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Riverdale Park Postpones Cafritz Vote to Tuesday

But officials say a consensus has been reached on key conditions.

Though a long-awaited Riverdale Park council vote on the has been postponed for one more day, town officials say consensus has been reached on some key points, including the .

After several weeks of intense negotiations that stretched right into Monday morning, the Cafritz development team has agreed to a set of joint conditions proposed by the towns of Riverdale Park, University Park, and College Park, said Fred Sussman, town lawyer for Riverdale Park. 

The Cafritz developers are hoping to re-zone a 37-acre parcel of land located in north Riverdale Park from residential (R-55) to Mixed-Use Town Center, allowing for the construction of a Whole Foods grocery store, a hotel, upwards of 900 units of housing, and other retail and office space.

The developers have agreed to contribute half of the cost of the proposed CSX crossing, up to $5 million, and have asked that Riverdale Park work cooperatively to procure gap financing from other sources for the remainder of the funds, said Sussman. The funds could come from Tax Increment Financing, public contributions or private contributions. 

“We have agreed there will be a public-private partnership, but the details have not been fleshed out,” said Councilman Alan Thompson (Ward 2).

Approval of the proposed crossing by CSX and the University of Maryland will be required before development permits can be issued on the property, and there will be caps placed on retail and residential development until construction of the crossing is underway.

In addition to the proposed conditions that will accompany letter to the Prince George’s County Planning Board—should the council vote to support the project—the town and the developer have also finalized the declaration of covenants. 

The covenants go beyond the conditions that can be set by the planning board and provide an extra degree protection for the municipalities surrounding the development, said Sussman.

While most of the covenants are similar the conditions submitted to the planning board, some are more specific to Riverdale Park, such as the additional traffic study to evaluate the impact of the proposed development on the town center.

The covenants will run with the land and be applicable to any future developers as well.

The Riverdale Park town council will meet again 8 p.m. Tuesday at town hall for a final vote. The planning board will consider testimoney and evidence on the Cafrtiz development this Thursday.

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