UPPER MARLBORO – Sounds of construction will soon blend with sounds of the rail line as developers begin to make headway on the Riverfront at West Hyattsville Metro complex.
Last week, the Prince George’s County Planning Board approved, with conditions, the initial phases of demolition and the preliminary plan of subdivision on the site just north of the West Hyattsville Metro Station.
Sherry Conner, who is with the subdivision section of the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), said the site is currently home to a vacant warehouse building. The plan for the location includes 183 town homes, 300 multifamily units and 10,000 square feet of retail space on the plot that is bisected by the Green Line.
“The preliminary plan shows the subject property is proposed to be divided into 183 townhouse lots and 32 parcels. Three of the parcels are proposed for multifamily development. They’re located in the eastern portion of the site,” she said.
The development plans meet the requirements for access to arterial roadways, Conner said, and critical intersections will continue to operate at an “adequate level of service” when the development is completed.
A final rear parcel of the land will be dedicated to parkland, which puts the developer “over and above” the open space dedication requirement.
However, the site is almost entirely in a 100-year floodplain and the plan for the area would include filling the site and raising the grade out of the plain. In addition, Conner said the plan does have an approved storm water concept.
Though the planning board did pass the preliminary plan of subdivision, it was not without recommendations and conditions. For approval, the planning department set forth 23 conditions the developer had to meet. Those conditions included making the preliminary plan easier to read with defined labels as well as limiting the development based on the amount of weekday peak-hour traffic it would create.
Other conditions included adding trail lighting and security cameras along the Stream Valley Trail, as well as providing possible sites for bikeshare stations in the detailed site plan.
Tom Haller, the zoning attorney for the developers, said the applicant did have some “minor” revisions to the conditions due to the site having a number of complications that ultimately lead to the developer asking for variances.
“This is a complicated site. It has got a lot of moving parts to it. Very few sites are bisected by a Metro line that goes underground and has a 60-year-old abandoned warehouse on it,” Haller said.
The goals for the property are to maximize the habitable area and maximize density near the Metro station. He said the developer is proposing something that is directly in line with the development plan for the area.
Haller said the project has three main objectives: to create density, to improve local amenities and to create community connectivity in the area.
“One of the other things that has been a real emphasis of this plan is to improve bicycle connections in the area,” Haller said. “And we’re doing a number of things that will help to create better bicycle connectivity.”
That includes relocating and reconstructing the local trail to bring it along the new development and increase its safety and visibility. Haller said the developer is working with the city of Hyattsville, M-NCPPC and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to improve lighting around the area as well.
Though the preliminary site plan was approved, the development will still have several steps before real construction starts. The mandatory referral for the development is scheduled for March 23.