Developers are a step closer to building a retail and student-housing complex at the current Maryland Book Exchange site.
The Prince George’s County Planning Board approved the detailed site plan (DSP) Thursday morning, formally adopting a resolution stating that the project complies with applicable regulations.
Although the board voted 4-1 on Jan. 19 to approve the DSP with conditions, the members still had to sign off on the exact language of the findings and conditions for the project.
College Park City Attorney Suellen Ferguson said at a council meeting Feb. 7 that she anticipated the board’s approval, and she would prepare an appeal. The College Park City Council voted against the detailed site plan in January.
An appeal would force the district council—comprised of Prince George’s County Council members—to hold a hearing or an oral argument on the case, city planning director Terry Schum said. Without an appeal, the district council could choose to accept the board’s position of approval with conditions, she said.
City council argued that the project doesn’t comply with zoning ordinances or the 2010 Approved Central US 1 Corridor Sector Plan and Sectional Map Amendment, which guides development along Baltimore Avenue in most of College Park. Council also found that the project does not fit in with the Old Town College Park Historic District, a point of view backed by the county's historic preservation commission and community planning division, according to the resolution.
An appeal must be filed with the district council within 30 days after final notice of the planning board’s decision, the resolution states.
If approved, the building would include six stories, tapering to four stories on the east side facing Yale Avenue. The bottom floor would include 14,366 square feet of retail space, with 313 multifamily units above.
According to some of the conditions included in the resolution, the applicant must:
- limit development so that it generates no more than 141 vehicle trips during the AM peak hours, and 192 during the PM peak hours;
- provide a lighting plan and hours of illumination;
- provide limits to the commercial hours of operation and deliveries;
- specify which parallel parking spots on College Avenue will be eliminated for loading access;
- indicate the dust and noise control procedures to be employed during demolition and grading phases.
The complete list of conditions can be found in the resolution, which accompanies this post.