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Category: Hollywood Road Extension

City May Return Money to Build Hollywood Road Extension

At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the City Council will consider returning of $450,000 that is being held in escrow , towards the building of an extended Hollywood Road west of Route 1. The Mazza GrandMarc developer PPC/CHP Maryland Limited Partnership (PPC/CHP), gave half a million dollars in escrow when they built the Mazza apartment complex on Route 1. The developer so far used $50,000 towards a feasibility study about the proposed road.

Last week the engineer who prepared the feasibility study for extension of Hollywood Road presented the study to Council. The study included survey work, assessment of alignment options, site layout, grading plans and preliminary cost estimates.

The State Highway Administration was consulted as part of the study. The engineer proposed four alignment options however, SHA said only one alignment was acceptable. This option will cause the most significant impact to the businesses that are located on the west side of Baltimore Ave. This option would necessitate demolition of a portion of the buildings and leave the businesses without parking, in essence requiring a total taking of these properties.

The estimated cost for construction of the roadway is $625,000; this estimate does not include the cost of land acquisition, demolition and property analysis. It was agreed that the current access for Grand Marc Mazza is adequately serving the complex and that some safety enhancements could benefit those exiting the property. The representative of PCP/CHP agreed to work with SHA on safety enhancements at the current access.

Council to Decide Extending Hollywood Road

hollywoodrd-ext

At tomorrow’s Council worksession, the City Council will review a report of the possibility to build an extension of Hollywood road on the west side of Route 1.

The City Council approved a scope of services for the feasibility study to be performed under a contract late last year.

The scope included survey work, assessment of alignment options, site layout and grading plans and preliminary cost estimates. It also included two community stakeholder meetings to review possible alignments and to present the final report.

The report was submitted on September 28 and a stakeholder meeting was held last week to present the results of the report. Four alignments were initially studied but only one alignment was deemed feasible by the State Highway Administration (SHA). This alignment (Option 3, and shown above) became the focus of the report but has the most significant impact on the Shin property and businesses that reside on that property.

The preliminary construction cost estimate is approximately $625,000 but excludes land acquisition, demolition and reconstruction.

Mazza GrandMarc is seeking release of any funds remaining in the $500,000 escrow account set up for this project if the City does not pursue construction of the road. Mazza GrandMarc has no plans at this time to pursue commercial development on their remaining property or to seek construction of the road. While the property to the north of the proposed road is for sale, the majority of the impact is on the Shin property which is not currently on the market. Typically, new roads are the responsibility of the developer as new development occurs.

Access to Mazza Grandmarc apartments was enhanced with the installation of the traffic signal at Baltimore Avenue and Hollywood Road which was a condition of development. Get your commercial listings noticed with effective commercial property SEO. Access is restricted to right-in, right-out and left-in only, however left turns from the site are not adequately restricted and are routinely made.

Given the current circumstances, City staff does not pursuing construction of the road extension given the lack of need for this facility at this time.

Ignoring Residents, Council Moves to Study Extending Hollywood Road

College Park, MD 20740

In last night’s Council meeting, the City Council voted 4-4 on the motion to relieve the developer from their escrow obligation to develop and finance an extension of Hollywood Rd west of Route 1. Council members Mitchel, Dennis, Day and Kabir supported the motion, while Council members Wojahn, Brennan, Hew and Stullich opposed it. Mayor Fellows broke the tie by voting against it.

After the motion failed, the Council passed another motion authorizing staff to develop a scope of work on a feasibility study to build the proposed extension Road. Council members Mitchel, Dennis, Day and Kabir opposed the motion, while Council members Wojahn, Brennan, Hew and Stullich supported it. Mayor fellows broke the tie by voting in support of it.

I personally want to thank all the residents who either wrote to us or came out to the meeting and testified on the motion. I truly appreciate your time and valuable comments.

Recently, I met with a number of Autoville residents on the proposed site and found huge opposition from them. About 40 residents and local business owners came to the Council meeting. Those who testified spoke exclusively in support of the motion. Previously, the Council received a petition with 430+ signatures supporting the motion. The North College Park Civic Association (NCPCA) also voted (15-1) in support of a similar motion.

Residents are afraid that if the Hollywood Rd is extended to the west of Route 1, it may make it possible to connect Autoville Dr. with the extended Hollywood Rd one day (please see the map above), causing a large cut through / bypass traffic from Cherry Hill Rd to Route 1 through their neighborhood.

In addition to the fear that the residents have about a future connector road, they’re also concerned about taking properties from the businesses there, most likely though eminent domain. I met a business owner, who lives in the neighborhood and is opposed to selling the property through eminent domain. I am not sure how we can build the road without forcibly taking the property.

The issue of building an extension would have been a lot easier if we were to deal with an abandoned , run-down property that everyone hates to see. Instead what we have here is an issue of potentially negatively impacting a collection of College Park businesses who are serving many College Park residents and bringing customers from outside of the City. This is all we want as part of the campaign that we have been running to make College Park a vibrant place to live and do business with. It appears that there is no way we can build the road without forcibly taking the property from them (most likely through eminent domain). I think we’d like to be sensitive to the fact that we don’t hurt our local businesses negatively.

That said, I don’t think any of colleagues on the Council is against Route 1 development in north College Park. We’re working with the SHA to have contiguous side walks on Route 1, so that our families and children can safely walk on Route 1 and go to the businesses here. Also, the City has been working with grant money to improve interiors and exteriors of these businesses. As options to develop Route 1 in south side of Greenbelt Rd. runs out, we can only hope to see a better business landscape in north College Park. In the end, I think the supply and demand and free market economy will dictate the change in our business landscape. Let’s hope we’ll not need to exercise forceful government intrusion to make that change happen.

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