Council opposes Metroland site plan
Town officials say developer hasn't fulfilled promises
The Berwyn Heights Town Council voted 5-0 Monday night to oppose a detailed site plan in the area for 151 townhomes because council members say Metroland has not offered any assurances to follow through on road and sidewalk construction in Greenbelt.
The Metroland property is approximately 130 acres of vacant land between Greenbelt Road and the Capital Beltway in Greenbelt that developers plan on turning into high-quality shops, restaurants, offices and housing. CraftStar Homes is looking to develop townhomes in the Metroland area.
The council met with Metroland Developer Danny Colton and Metroland Attorney Norman Rivera on Aug. 1, 2005, and the town agreed to support any Special Taxing Districts that may be established and additional Beltway ramps that may be built.
In exchange, the developer promised to give a $1 million cash payment to the town for police, fire and public works facilities upgrades as well as infrastructure improvements, such as suggestions from the Safe Streets Committee, according to the meeting's minutes. The town will only receive the money after the developer sells the land to a bidder, Town Administrator Edward Murphy said.
CraftStar Homes Corporate office, based in McLean, Va., did not return a call for comment.
Murphy said the council met with CraftStar Homes in June and were told the developer would be purchasing 40 lots for townhomes. Murphy said that when CraftStar Homes representatives went to Greenbelt's City Council, they said they were purchasing 151 lots for townhomes and provided additional information, such as outside appearances.
"These people came in here and told us a bunch of stuff that wasn't true," said Mayor Cheye Calvo. "…In my opinion, we should take an opposition to this until they're forthcoming with plans."
Calvo said that the town has not been informed of the status of widening Greenbelt Road and rebuilding the sidewalk at the entrance of the bridge, installing the traffic signal on Greenbelt Road to regulate traffic in and out of the development and widening the Berwyn Heights side streets exiting onto Greenbelt Road.
"They haven't given us enough information," Councilwoman Patricia Dennison said, in reference to CraftStar Home's plans.
CraftStar Homes, which is separate from Metroland LLC, is currently applying for an amendment to the Detailed Site Plans for 151 rear-loading townhouses in the Metroland, LLC south core. The request has been pending since Aug. 13.
Greenbelt's Advisory Planning Board approved the CraftStar Homes Detailed Site Plan on Sept. 2 to be passed on to Greenbelt's City Council, who will meet on Oct. 5.
The council's opposition will be discussed by the Prince George's County Planning Board during an upcoming meeting, which has not been scheduled yet.
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