BY SAM STERN — At the Dec. 7 Hyattsville City Council meeting, Assistant City Administrator Jim Chandler presented city staff recommendations for the Clay Property.. On Nov. 10, representatives for the property owner asked the city to support rezoning and land swap requests for the parcel that butts against the University Hills neighborhood.
City staff does not support the request for that Prince George’s County rezone the property from R-80 to R-20, according to Chandler. The current R-80 zone would allow for a maximum of 57 detached houses on the property, while an R-20 zone would allow for a maximum of 210 townhouses.
At the outset of the meeting residents expressed their concerns regarding the way the rezoning and the land exchange would alter the nature of the area’s roads and neighborhood feel.
“We already have a traffic nightmare on Adelphi Road. Additional lights would go in and basically I won’t be able to pull out of my driveway. It’ll be like living on Adelphi Road in rush hour and it’s just not sustainable,” said University Hills resident George McDaniel.
In explaining the city’s reasoning for not supporting the rezoning, Chandler cited a 2011 Department of Transportation study that helped determine how the proposed rezoning would increase vehicular traffic in the area.
A staff memo to the council said the land swap is included in the plan as a way to accommodate resident concern regarding the integrity of Hitching Post Hill. “Staff is supportive of the second land exchange agreement. Given the complications that may arise … in the first proposal, the second proposal is more likely to realize. The preservation of Hitching Post Hill and its environmental setting is of great importance to many city and county residents,” said the memo.
Councilmember Thomas Wright (Ward 3) said, “I’m pleased that the City is taking this posture and I think it would be a benefit for the community,” said Wright.
The council will vote on the matter at the Dec. 21 council meeting.