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Cafritz Not a Done Deal, Riverdale Park Council Says

Members have several issues with the Cafritz Preliminary Site Plan.


Although the Preliminary Plan of Subdivision (PPS) for the Cafritz development is set to come before the Prince George’s County Planning Board on Jan. 17, the plan still has to overcome some major hurdles to get the recommendation of the Riverdale Park Town Council.

The Cafritz property—a 37-acre parcel located in north Riverdale Park—was approved for rezoning earlier this year, clearing the way for developers to begin the process of building a mixed-use development. One of the first steps in the development process, presenting the PPS for approval by the planning board, is set for Jan. 17. 

The town of Riverdale Park some issues with the PPS—the largest being the CSX bridge crossing and the placement of the historic trolley trail—and is not ready to write a letter of approval to the planning board just yet.  

CSX Bridge Location and Funding Plan

The most current plan for the Cafritz development shows a required CSX crossing bridge on the northeast section of the property, passing through property belonging to the American Academy of Physics (ACP). 

At the Dec. 17 work session, Cafritz representatives said they expected ACP to approve use of the land prior to the Jan. 17 planning board hearing, though according to Riverdale Park Councilman Alan Thompson (Ward 2), that approval has not come through, and there is still no funding plan in place.

Historic Trolley Trail

The construction of a hiker-biker trail along the historic trolley trail running through the property has become another point of contention, said Thompson. 

Originally, the proposed hiker-biker trail was set to jaunt slightly from the historic trail at the southern end of the property around one to two townhomes before diverting back to the actual trail. 

In the past few weeks, Prince George’s County Park and Planning have altered that plan to keep the hiker-biker trail true to the historic trolley trail, cutting out the proposed jaunt. Thompson said the shift in the trail represents a big design change that will impact the everything in the development that runs east of the trail, including the layout of the traffic circle and the street grid.

The plan also shrinks the size of the multifamily units and adds an additional row of townhouses in the southern end of the property. 

“We liked the path as planned,” said Thompson. 

The Town Council will meet in a special legislative session on Jan. 15 to discuss the implications of the changes, and more, prior to drafting a letter to the planning board weighing in on the PPS. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. in the town hall and is open to the public.

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