Residents oppose new downtown Upper Marlboro – NBC4 Washington
Seniors and other residents of Upper Marlboro, Md., Are fighting a proposal to drastically change zoning in their community.
Land use issues have sparked disputes between residents and the county council as more landowners and developers seek to radically change what can be built and where.
The latest battle involves over 60 acres of land on Pennsylvania Avenue between Woodyard Road and Marlboro Pike.
“I don’t think they’re there to support the developers,” said Kathy Ogle, a resident. “They are there to support the citizens.
The seniors of the Marwood community of Upper Marlboro oppose the possibility of great development in front of their community.
“You can’t even get in and out of the community during rush hour,” said resident Christina Hough.
Landowners want to change the area from rural residential transport to mixed-use transport.
“Once it’s dezoned for mixed-use transportation, anything, and I mean anything legal, can be built there,” Hough said.
The change could make way for hotels, restaurants, a gas station with a convenience store, an office building, a shopping center and nearly 200 townhouses opposite Westphalia’s city center under construction.
“People coming from the District of Columbia or wherever going south on Pennsylvania Avenue, it’s hard to cross into Westphalia, but on that side of the road there is nothing, and it will be there. ‘opportunity for restaurants and other types of uses and things in this location,’ said Arthur Horne, attorney for the landowner.
The planning department voted against the development, saying it did not match the county’s plan for the area, lawyers for the landowners argued before the council on Monday.
“They’re called plans,” attorney Russell Shipley said. “They are meant to be guidelines. These are not strict requirements.
Drastic zoning changes that contradict the county’s plan have recently upset other senior communities, including residents near Six Flags.
“The developers aren’t from here; the people who own it, the people who will make the building are not from here, ”said Charles Askins, a resident. “We are the people who are supposed to be represented by the board.”
Council decided not to vote on the zoning on Monday, but it could resume it before the end of the month.
People who live in the community of Marwood Senior say they have surveyed residents and found that 80% of residents are opposed to the zoning change. Lawyers for the developer say they are abandoning the idea of a gas station for the project.