The proposed rezoning of the Cafritz property would cause "immense and wide-ranging" harm to the surrounding community and should be rejected by county lawmakers, Calvert Hills resident Joseph Grikis writes in Thursday's issue of The Gazette.
Calling the development "highly debatable," Grikis argues that the Cafritz project lacks the attention to smart growth and economic development seen in the University of Maryland's nearby East Campus development.
Under the Cafritz plan, the developer's 37-acre parcel on the north end of Riverdale Park would be rezoned from single-family detached residential (R-55) to mixed-use town center (M-UTC), easing the way for the construction of more than 900 units of housing, a 35,000-square foot Whole Foods, a 120-room hotel, and additional office and retail space.
The proposal, which earned the conditional approval of the Prince George's County Planning Board in February, is due to come before the District Council on Wednesday, April 11.
But Grikis charges that those conditions "reflect a hasty and ad hoc process" and do not provide sufficient protection against added traffic generated by the development.
"I will urge my council members, as the stewards of tax dollars and public well-being, to view the Calvert Tract as part of a much larger neighborhood — one with limited resources and higher priorities — and deny the rezoning request," Grikis writes.