LARGO, Md. (DC News Now) — Some neighbors in Prince George’s County say not all growth is good. They’re worried a new zoning bill could pave the way to more congestion and not enough resources.
For decades zoning hearings gave people in the county a chance to express their concerns but with this new bill that could all change.
CB-92-2022 will prohibit the District Council from reviewing certain zoning applications unless there’s an appeal. This also limits the public’s input which has residents like Jana Parker with PG Change Makers concerned.
“[New leaders joining the council] want to stop development that is not smart and is not community centered. This bill seeks to silence that movement and seeks to stop the community from being able to speak about how they want development to be within their areas and I think that it’s terrible,” said Parker.
The Maryland National Park and Planning Commission is in favor of the bill. In their analysis of the bill, they stated “The election to review process is one of the County’s most significant barriers to development. It can discourage developers and businesses from locating in Prince George’s County. For those who choose to develop in the County, it diverts scarce financial resources that could be spent on additional amenities and public benefits to costly procedures and processes. The elimination of election to review will do more to facilitate the type of high-quality development the County demands and deserves.”
Parker says she spoke to several residents and the issue they have with this bill is not being able to voice their opinion on where townhomes should be built.
“A lot of the people that support development aren’t against development, they’re for smart development. What we have currently, but not incoming, is a kind of council that just allows poor planning for developments and infrastructures. And that is the issue that we’re battling, And that’s what we’re fighting,” she said.
The legislation was passed by the Planning Housing and Economic Development Committee with recommended amendments to the language in the bill. Less than a week later, there was a second reading during a County Council meeting on Tuesday. Council members Dannielle Glaros and Todd Turner made it clear they do not support the bill.
“We need to make sure that we’re thinking about where we’re building these townhomes. That there’s a grocery store right next to it, there’s this a fitness gym, there’s all these different things that provide people with avenues and outlets of things to do right where they live,” Parker said.
Now PG Change Makers along with Progressive Maryland are asking the community to speak up by signing a petition and contacting your local leaders.
We reached out to the county council but did not get a response back just yet. A date has not been set for a final reading of the bill.