Transit Oriented Development Bill on the Fast Track (Demo)

I think most of us would love to see well thought out development around the metro stations in Prince George’s County but Councilman Mel Franklin is attempting to fast track legislation that would allow for minimal community input and  exempt developers from providing a site plan review.
From Greater Greater Washington: Prince George’s County Councilmember Mel Franklin (Dist. 9) is still trying to exempt most development projects within a half-mile of transit stations from public meetings and site plan review. Unfortunately, his second hurried attempt at the legislation does not fix the problems which sparked outcry from community and smart growth activists.
The actual section of legislation reads:

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Zoning Ordinance, the requirements of this 9 Part for a Basic Plan, Comprehensive Design Plan, and Specific Design Plan approval shall not 10 apply to developments located entirely within a 1/2 mile radius of a Washington Metropolitan 11 Area Transit Authority or Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) transit station if the 12 development is located entirely within a mixed use zone, planned community zone or 13 comprehensive design zone (solely including M-X-T, M-X-C, M-U-TC, M-U-I, E-I-A, R-P-C, 14 L-A-C, M-A-C, V-L, V-M, and U-C (1-4) zones), or in combination thereof, provided that the 15 development is also located entirely within an area expressly designated for expedited transit-16 oriented development under this Subsection in a Master Plan, Sector Plan, Sectional Map 17 Amendment, Zoning Map Amendment, or Overlay Zone approved or amended by the District 18 Council after January 1, 2013. In addition, applications for development projects pursuant to this 19 Subsection must comply with the use restrictions in Section 27A-802(b) and standards of Section 20 27A-209 and Parts IV – VII of Subtitle 27A of the County Code.

How do you not sound an alarm over this? The bill, co-sponsored by Councilman Derrick Leon Davis (District 6) and Council chair Andrea Harrison (District 5), is the OPPOSITE of what is needed right now.  The Council can’t talk the transparency talk then backtrack for the sake of quick county deals done with piss poor planning and void of community input.  The bill is up for public comment so comment away.  Email the Clerk of the County Council at and be sure to copy Councilman Franklin:  Derrick Leon Davis is my Councilman so I’m going to email him also.  Keep a watchful eye because it’s the only way to keep politicians kinda honest.
Greater Greater Washington article here.

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