Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Managing the influx of cars has multiple answers, but the Riverdale Park council seeks to keep pedestrian safety at the fore.
When talking about pedestrian safety, traffic and Cafritz, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the conversation. The most recent traffic impact study is, according to Councilman Alan Thompson (Ward 2), nearly three inches thick, being about 400 pages long. There are other documents to be read as well, such as a report that studies the effects of four designs of right turn road lanes on pedestrian safety. In short, like the rest of the Cafritz development, there’s a lot to consider. Projected traffic increase due to Cafritz is, as Councilman Jonathan Ebbeler (Ward 1), says, a “double-edged sword.” “Retail and commercial needs [traffic] to be viable yet it is the bane of residential communities,” Ebbeler said. A natural solution would be to …
Monday, May 13, 2013
Council says several conditions have not been met, though its conclusions are in direct opposition to the county's planning board staff and the Riverdale Park Town Council.
The University Park Town Council Monday unanimously disapproved the Cafritz development preliminary plan, saying several conditions had not been met. The council reviewed its position at a special session Monday night and made more specific its concerns about the development. "Vague objections don't cut it," Mayor John Tabori said. "To simply say we don't like the bridge is not a meaningful objection." The specific conditions the council feels have not been met include: Tabori said several times during the meeting that the council needed to lay out clearly why the council believes the conditions had not been met. The council made clearer its position that the developers hadn't established a funding mechanism for the development even though…
The preliminary plan goes before the Prince George's County Planning Board on Thursday.
Prince George's County has moved once step closer to possibly getting its first Whole Foods last week when—in a report dated May 9—the Prince George's County planning staff recommended approval with conditions of the preliminary plan of the Cafritz property. The approval comes after a recent agreement between UMD and Calvert Tract LLC, in which the University of Maryland granted developers right-of-way to build a CSX bridge, now referred to as the J-crossing, across its property. In January, the planning board staff recommended disapproval of the Cafritz property preliminary plan after developers failed to meet several conditions. Among those was the condition requiring them to secure right-of-way to build across the CSX tracks. …
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Oral arguments in the case were set to be heard Thursday but have been rescheduled to a later date.
Oral arguments in a court case challenging the rezoning of the Cafritz property have been postponed from Thursday to a later date, according to multiple petitioners in the case. The District Council of Prince George's County approved the rezoning of the Cafritz property, owned by Calvert Tract LLC, from Residential-55 to Mixed-Use Town Center by a 7-2 vote on July 9, 2012. In August of 2012, a group of petitioners filed a court challenge of the zoning change. The case, Amster vs. County Council of Prince George's County, has been assigned to Circuit Court Judge Krystal Alves. According to University Park resident Tassie Hanna—one of the petitioners—oral arguments have been pushed back to a later point, likely a few weeks from now. Other …
Take a look at what the committee members are set to discuss.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The Riverdale Park Town Council also heard a presentation on car theft and organized crime.
A Cafritz update and an orgaized crime and car theft presentation dominated discussion at Monday's council work session in Riverdale Park. Cafritz Update There are a few issues to be worked out on the Cafritz development, such as adding a deceleration lane on U.S. Route 1 to the development and whether the streets in the development should be publicly or privately owned, Paul Mortensen, planning consultant, told the mayor and Council. Other issues still needing to be worked out are determining which streets would be one-way streets, and where to add a bike lane. He said the University of Maryland has asked the bridge location be from Van Buren Street and land in the middle of Lafayette Street. Orgnized Crime and Car Theft Presentation …
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Though Calvert Tract is in conversations with UMD, there has been no formal agreement.
Less than three weeks before its next appearance before the Prince George’s County Planning Board, Calvert Tract LLC has not secured property for the bridge over the CSX tracks that is required before construction can begin. Developers have been in conversations with the University of Maryland in an attempt to secure property for the crossing but have yet to receive a commitment, according to Larry Taub, a lawyer for Calvert Tract. “There is no letter,” Taub said. Initially, Calvert Tract approached the American Center for Physics with an offer to purchase land from its campus for the bridge, but that proposal was rejected in March. And while Taub and his colleagues were adamant that they had not secured commitment from UMD, they did …
Monday, April 15, 2013
Developers have submitted both a preliminary site plan and a detailed site plan for review in May.
After repeated delays due to the developers’ failure to meet several conditions, the Cafritz development is scheduled before the Prince George’s County Planning Board again in May. Calvert Tract’s efforts to begin developing the 37-acre parcel of land in north Riverdale Park first ground to a halt back in January when the planning board staff recommended disapproval of the prelminary site plan. Following a letter from the American Center for Physic, it became clear the developers had established neither a location or a funding mechanism for a CSX crossing. Under the terms of the rezoning plan approved by the planning board, ground cannot be broken until this condition is met. Developers also failed to meet several other conditions, …
Thursday, April 4, 2013
The committees is set to discuss a number of items related to Cafritz.
The town of University Park's Cafritz oversight committee will meet Thursday night to discuss a number of items on their agenda (which is attached). Here's some of the new business set to be discussed: The meeting will begin in the conference room in town hall starting at 7:30 p.m. It is open to the public.
Monday, March 18, 2013
The developers are seeking an alternative bridge proposal across property owned by the University of Maryland.
In yet another blow to the Cafritz development team, the American Center for Physics (ACP) has decided not to allow a CSX bridge across its property. In a letter to Jane Cafritz dated March 15, ACP president Beth Cunningham wrote that the organization opted to decline the developer’s proposal for the land required for the bridge, stating: Our decision is based not on any defect in your plans for the bridge/roadway. Rather, our final decision is based on a judgement by ACP to maintain our current property with its extensive landscaped and treed environment. The ACP vision of a serene, verdant campus-like setting was established over 20 years ago. We are now reaffirming our hope to maintain that setting, but with enough land to give us …