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Council to Discuss Greenbelt Station-South Core Development

Greenbelt Station (Courtesy of Ryan Homes)

Greenbelt Station (Courtesy of Ryan Homes)

At tomorrow’s meeting, the City Council will review the Detailed Site Plan (DSP) of the Greenbelt Station South Core development.

The 11.18-acre property is located north of Greenbelt Road (MD 193) on the west side of Greenbelt Station Parkway in the City of Greenbelt, just on the east side of the Metro train track.

Woodlawn Development Group (WDG) has submitted a Detailed Site Plan (DSP) for Phase III of the plan back in February this year and has made three revisions to the plan since that time in response to comments by Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and Greenbelt staff.

The project is located entirely within the City of Greenbelt and is subject to a Development Agreement between the City and Developer. As a result, the City staff’s review and comments will be limited to those issues with an impact on the City.

The Prince George’s County Planning Board hearing is scheduled for January 7, 2016. The Maryland-National Capital Parking and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Technical Staff Report should be available on December 24, 2015. The Greenbelt City Council is anticipated to take a position on December 14, 2015.

The proposal is for development of 161 townhouses and 3,000 square feet of possible commercial space. If the commercial space is determined to not be marketable after one year, then it will be converted into park land. The town homes will consist of three different types with the following breakdown: 68 units will be 16-foot wide, 46 will be 20-foot wide and 47 will be 24-foot wide.

Two previous Detailed Site Plans were approved for South Core. DSP-04081 was for 61 town homes (24-foot wide), 151 town homes (20-foot wide) and 130 two-over-two condominiums for a total of 342 dwelling units. DSP-05021 was for 302 apartments and structured parking. The total number of dwelling units for Greenbelt Station South Core including the current DSP is 805 dwelling units.

College Park Pedestrian Overpass
The provision for a pedestrian overpass between the South Core and the City of College Park is the major issue for the City related to this project.

In addition, Policy 2 of the Metro Area Plan states (p. 125): “Improve bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicular accessibility throughout the sector plan area [which includes the subject property] and within adjacent communities by filling in missing linkages and ensuring the internal network is pedestrian-and bicycle-friendly through appropriate design, including traffic calming techniques:”

Also in this plan, Strategy 2.4 states: ” Provide additional connections between existing and future neighborhoods and the Indian Creek trail and Northeast Branch trail systems to contribute to stronger communities that enjoy greater mobility and access to regional transportation systems.”

And Strategy 2.5 states: “Build a pedestrian overpass linking the Greenbelt Metro Station area to
North College Park south of Huron Street to maximized safety and connectivity. If it is
determined that this pedestrian overpass is infeasible or no longer necessary, the South Core
development team may take the appropriate steps to request the removal of the conditions of the
approval of CSP -01008/01 requiring the pedestrian overpass.”

Finally, Table 31 (p. 132): “Existing, Planned, and Proposed Bikeways and Trails lists the North College Park Pedestrian Overpass and states “construct a pedestrian/bicyclist overpass across the CSX and Metro line to link North College Park and the South Core area.”

Proposed Location: The applicant is proposing to locate the pedestrian overpass on the far northern side of the townhomes running along the boundary of the 100-year floodplain easement and just south of a storm water management pond. The overpass is shown to start at the west side of Greenbelt Station Parkway, travel in a westerly direction for 465-feet, then turn 90- degrees in a southerly direction for 920-feet past the City of College Park Public Works Facility and then turn 90-degrees in a westerly direction for 50-feet. The overpass is proposed to cross the train lines just south ofHuron Street and be at grade (land) 560-feet north ofthe Public Works Facility and continue as a sidewalk along the Board of Education property and the Public Works property.

Height: If the pedestrian bridge is constructed it will need to be of sufficient height to meet WMA T A and CSX standards. It will also need to be designed with a gradual slope to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. The bridge on the site plan shows a gradual increase in height as it crosses the tracks with one switchback located on the Greenbelt side. It is shown to be 29-feet in height at its highest point. This would roughly be the height of a three story house.

The location of the overpass does not comply with the District Council condition since it crosses over just south ofHuron Street and not south of the Public Works Facility. Also, the 920-foot section of the overpass parallel to the CSX and Metro tracks seems excessive and unsafe (not well lit, too wooded, behind the 16-foot high sound wall, etc.). In order to ascertain

if a more feasible location could be determined, Staff retained Toole Design consultants to make an assessment. The results of this work are not yet available but will be provided on or before November 17,2015.

City staff met with the North College Park Citizens Association at their regular meeting on Thursday, November l2th to discuss the Greenbelt Station Phase III South Core proposal. The NCPCA voted to send a letter to the City Council generally requesting that the bridge be removed or at least relocated so the entire bridge is located south of the Public Works facility to minimize impact to the homes in College Park.

City of Greenbelt’s staff is also recommending disapproval. Based on their significant concerns and lock of compliance with their Development Agreement, the City Council may wish to be supportive.

City staff is recommending commenting on the pedestrian bridge by either recommending it be removed from the plan or relocated to another location based on the results of the consultant report.

[Source: College Park Staff report]

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