Proposed Cafritz Development Map

In tomorrow night’s session, the City Council may vote on the Cafritz rezoning application issue that it tabled two weeks ago. The Council wanted to allow the developer more time to address a few important concerns in their proposed plan, the most important one being the increased traffic generated by the development.

Also,tomorrow night, the 2011-2013 City Council will be sworn in. Thus if the Cafritz development comes to the council, I will get a chance to vote on this rezoning issue.

Currently, the development site is zoned as R-55 (residential), which the Cafritz wants to change to MUTC (Mixed Use Town Center). The MUTC zoning is particularly suitable for developments like Cafritz that have a combination of property uses – some residential and some commercial / retail development.

The City staff earlier made recommendation to approve the zoning change, provided Cafritz agrees to certain conditions, such as maintaining green building (LEEDS) standards and also some measure to reduce the impact of traffic on US 1.

Unfortunately, the traffic issue has been a very important issue for Riverdale Park and the surrounding communities, such as College Park, University Park and also Hyattsville.

An estimated traffic study data shows that in the year 2040, the average daily traffic will increase from 25,000 to 44,200 on US 1.

Apparently, this traffic study does not include other planned developments, such as East Campus development, which will cause more strain on Route 1.

One way to relieve the traffic burden on Route 1, is by building a CSX crossing (presumably a overpass / bridge)  in the east side of the development. Unfortunately, the developer is saying that is not a possibility, at least in the phase 1 of the development.

Because of this important traffic concerns all surrounding cities / towns have asked the Park and Planning with continuance of the project. This means that the developer will need to address this important concerns before the Park and Planning approves the project. There is a very good chance the the Town of Riverdale will also take the same position in their tonight’s Council meeting.

I’d like to know what you think about the project. You can submit your comments at the end of this post or via email.