Public Forum on Mixed Use Zones

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Our newly elected District 4 councilman Marcus Afzali is passing on this information for our readers. Thanks Marcus for sending it!

The Prince George’s County Council is considering legislation dealing with a new Mixed Use Zone that will be available in designated Urban Centers and Corridor Nodes. I strongly encourage those interested in zoning issues to come out to a public forum on the issue at Prince George’s Community College, Rennie Forum, Largo, Maryland 20774 this Saturday, November 14, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Please view the attached flyer for more information. I believe North College Park citizens will probably have the most interest in what is going to be discussed. If anyone needs a ride to this meeting feel free to contact me at 240-391-8241.

-College Park Councilman Elect, District 4
Marcus Afzali

College Park has Got Blues for You.

Come to the College Park Blues Festival and shake your tail-feathers. There will be food, vendors, and great music.

WHEN: November 7th 7pm-1130pm
WHERE: Ritchie Coliseum

Features players will be

See the Blues Fest 2009 poster for more info.

Groovy video of the kids in action with BB King after the break. Come on out!

Continue reading College Park has Got Blues for You.

Grand Opening for New Parking Garage

New City Parking Garage (KNOX RD VIEW)

Finally those circling in front of Chipotle’s looking for a parking space will have a new option. The Grand opening for the new Parking Garage will be on Wednesday, August 5, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. The garage provides 288 parking spaces plus 5,800 square feet of ground floor retail space. No word on if there will be free burritos.

Prince George’s County Councilmember Eric Olson…. “The parking garage with retail space was envisioned many years ago and has been in the works for nearly a decade,” says Olson. “It will contribute greatly to strengthening College Park’s downtown and redevelopment efforts.”

Mayor Brayman and the College Park City Council will host a dedication ceremony and reception on the fourth floor of the parking garage. The City’s new public parking garage is located in the heart of downtown at the corner of Knox Road and Yale Avenue, across from City Hall.

December Cafritz Meeting: Revised Plans

The Cafritz Property will hold a community meeting to discuss revisions to its current plans Saturday, December 13, 2008 (9am-11am), at Riverdale Elementary School (5006 Riverdale Rd).

Rezoning of the Cafritz Property has not yet been applied for.  The Cafritz family may start to do so early in 2009.  Community support may need to be firmed before that could be done successfully.  The Cafritz website does not seem to have been updated in at least year.

Purple Line Meetings in November

Maryland’s Mass Transit Administration, the agency in charge of building the Purple Line project will be holding a series of public meetings next month. Make sure you come out to voice your support for this transportation project.

Meetings are scheduled for:

College Park
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
UMD Ritchie Coliseum
Rossborough Lane & Route 1

Chevy Chase
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
National 4H Conference Center
7100 Connecticut Avenue

New Carrollton
Saturday, November 15, 2008
New Carrollton Municipal Center
6016 Princess Garden Parkway

Silver Spring/Takoma Park

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Montgomery College, Falcon Hall
7600 Takoma Avenue, Takoma Park

The Purple Line is a proposed light rail or bus rapid transit line which will link Bethesda to New Carrollton by way of Silver Spring, Langley Park, the University of Maryland, and College Park.

Rt.1: Meeting Reminder, Sector Plan process & amendments

**REMINDER** College Park US 1 Corridor Sector Plan community meeting:       Wednesday 7-9pm @ Lakeland/College Park Community Center [5051 Pierce Ave]

The updated Sector Plan, once initiated, will be a PG County Planning document containing legal stipulations and overall vision for development of properties within its boundaries.  There is currently in place, an older version of the Sector Plan.  It is thought to have problems since it has been around for a while and the Rt.1 mixed-use development it envisioned has not been realized.  A property’s ultimate inclusion in the Sector Plan will ensure its rezoning and development [both if any] conform to  specifications and vision of the Plan.

The updated Sector Plan is still in its planning stage.  Wednesday’s meeting is part of a public process where updates to the Plan will be discussed.  A public design charrette [interactive community workshop] will be held in December for the same purpose.  More information about the Sector Plan @:

M-NCPPC proposed to amend to the updated Sector Plan, properties in two separateM-NCPPC Rt1 Sector Plan w/proposed additions swaths north and south of the current Sector.  The northern swath includes parts of the Ikea, Hollywood, and Cherry Hill Rd. neighborhoods.

The southern swath includes Rt.1-fronting properties between Guilford Rd. and East-West Hwy. (including Cafritz Property).  College Park and University Park both oppose this addition.  County Councilman Eric Olson is planning to not include the southern swath in October when time comes for him to motion initiation of the Sector Plan amendment to voting by County Council.  Once he does that, no one can make a backdoor effort to re-include the controversial properties.

The Sector Plan will also be discussed at a tentative M-NCPPC Planning Board meeting October 2nd, and at a tentative County Council public hearing (where Sector Plan update/amendment is initiated) October 21st.

Maryland’s LEAFHouse Scores Second in Architecture

Maryland's LEAF House at the 2007 Solar Decathlon on the National Mall

(Fawna Xiao of the University of Maryland is ready for the next round of visitors at the 2007 Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 15. The Maryland team took second place in the architecture portion of the competition. Credit: Kaye Evans-Lutterodt/Solar Decathlon)

The U.S. Department of Energy inaugurated its biennial Solar Decathlon on Friday, bringing online a neighborhood of twenty solar-powered houses on the National Mall. The University of Maryland School of Architecture’s entry, the LEAFHouse (interior pictured above), already picked up second place in the architecture contest, which compared the houses on firmness, utility, and delight. (Ironically, though the competition highlights new technology, the architectural criteria are derived from three ancient Roman architecture principles).

The decathlon will judge the houses in nine more categories, the results of which will be tabulated on Friday, October 19. A quick tour of the house today proved that environmentally conscious architecture can also be beautiful.

Though the school’s 2005 entry was sadly scrapped after the competition, we certainly hope this year’s superb entry will return home to College Park intact for for public display and enjoyment.

Website: Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
Schedule: The Solar Decathlon houses are open for public tours through Saturday:

  • 11 am – 3 pm on weekdays (all houses will be closed Wednesday).
  • 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday.

Location: On the National Mall, south of the Museum of Natural History, north of the Smithsonian Castle.
Metro: Smithsonian

Greener Greenbelt Initiative Launched

This coming weekend the city of Greenbelt will open its doors to local residents, business owners, design professionals, and architecture students by hosting a three day charrette focusing on current and future challenges faced by the city on its 70th anniversary. The session is a component of the “Greener Greenbelt Initiative”, a working partnership between the Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-PV) and Greenbelt Homes Inc. (GHI), the housing cooperative that owns and operates Greenbelt’s original New Deal-era homes.

Officials hope the three day charrette, or interactive brainstorming and design session, will foster a creative dialog and result in the development of a long-range plan to help ensure old Greenbelt will continue to serve as a national model for livable communities as it has since its dedication in 1937.

Specifically, a list of prepared goals on the initiative’s website include maintaining the appeal of families, enabling older residents to remain at home in the city, making original housing more energy efficient, and protecting Greenbelt’s nature and open spaces while preserving the community’s character. The “Greener Greenbelt” charrette will occur between Friday, September 28 and Sunday, September 30 at Greenbelt Elementary school, located at 66 Ridge Road.

For more information or to get involved, visit