Cafritz Hearing: What Others Are Saying
An overview of media coverage following Monday's marathon District Council hearing.
Attorneys, local residents, and county officials spent another 12 hours debating the merits of the proposed Cafritz project Monday as the Prince George's County District Council resumed its hearing on the developer's rezoning plan. Procedings were ultimately continued to this Friday, May 4 at 10 a.m., but the marathon session attracted plenty of media attention. Below is a roundup of coverage from other outlets.
• Gazette.Net: No decision yet on Cafritz rezoning
"Testimony and cross-examination Monday—in front of a crowd of nearly 100 people—ranged from resident concern about increased traffic to speculation about the intention of the 1994 area master plan, a document intended to guide development. Nearly three hours were spent by attorneys representing both supporters and opponents questioning staff about a report recommending approval."
• The Washington Post: Prince George’s Whole Foods project: No decision yet
"Boosters—including County Executive Rushern Baker (D)—say the plan will bring much needed retail to a county that needs to expand its tax base beyond housing. … Residents in the surrounding communities have taken a different view."
• The Washington Times: Hot issue: ‘Town center’ amid houses near UMd.
"A majority of the citizen speakers criticized the plan, calling it an 'unjustifiable and unwarranted' encroachment of business into a residential area and saying that the council’s decision could set a dangerous precedent for future zoning rewrites."
"The developer, Jane Cafritz, argued the project could actually ease congestion: 'They may not be aware of what our plans are in terms of connecting and making the traffic flow more easily,' she said of opponents, adding that the project would offer 'alternative ways to get places, whether it's by Metro or shuttle or bike trail, because we're extending the hiker biker or plain walkability.'"
"The zoning hearings are expected to last several more days. The council says, in the end, it will take the evidence and take its time before putting the matter to a vote. In the meantime, people who live here say they will enjoy things the way they are here as long as they can."
What was your reaction to Monday's hearing? Did you learn anything new? Tell us in the comments.