Councils Set to Resume Cafritz Talks Thursday Night [Update]

Riverdale Park and University Park are both working to finalize their recommendations on the rezoning plan.

Update, 3:38 p.m.:

"A number of concessions have been put forth by the developers related to the CSX crossing, the involvement of external parties in the Detailed Site Plan review, and traffic control and management," Mayor John Tabori wrote in a post on the University Park website Thursday. "The final position of the Town will probably not be adopted until Monday, December 5."

Original article:

It's Dec. 1, and in the air there's a feeling of Cafritz.

With a fateful meeting of the Prince George's County Planning Board just two weeks away, both the University Park and Riverdale Park town councils are set to huddle Thursday night to fashion and fine-tune their respective stances the Cafritz property rezoning proposal.

Under , the 38.5-acre parcel on the north end of Riverdale Park would be redesignated from residential (R-55) to Mixed Use Town Center. That change would remove a key hurdle for the far-reaching project, which calls for the construction of more than 900 units of housing, a 35,000-sqft. Whole Foods, a 120-room hotel, and additional office and retail space.

While both town councils are set to issue recommendations and conditions on the plan, progress has been slower than hoped.

The two had intended to send their respective letters to the planning board well ahead of , where the body will weigh written submissions and in-person testimony. The board is charged with making a recommendation on the plan to the county council.

But at Monday's worksession, Riverdale Park Mayor Vernon Archer said there was "universal agreement" that his council yet. Instead, members went into closed session to discuss ongoing covenant and side agreement talks between the developers and the town with legal counsel.

And , University Park councilmembers cast doubt on whether their own materials would be ready by their self-imposed Dec. 5 deadline. 

At that meeting, Mayor John Tabori also raised the possibility of the towns affected by the development issuing joint language — a proposition he had discussed over the weekend with neighboring mayors.

With time running down, the councils will take up the issue again tonight at University Park Elementary (7:30 p.m.) and Riverdale Park Town Hall (8:00 p.m.), respectively.

The two bodies are also scheduled to meet on Monday, Dec. 5.


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