921 Autoville development (photo credit: Diamondback)At next week’s meeting, the City Council will discuss the preliminary plan for the subdivision at 9621 Autoville Drive. Donan Enterprises proposes turning the current single-family residence into a modern, multifamily housing complex, bringing much-needed residential options to our community.

The proposed development will see the existing house on the 0.533-acre parcel razed for up to 10 multifamily units. These units will adopt a “2 over 2” architectural style and will be housed within a four-story building. The exact zoning ordinance under which this project will be reviewed is still under consideration due to the property’s split zoning status under the previous ordinance (M-U-I and C-S-C zones). However, under the new zoning ordinance, the parcel falls under the NAC (Neighborhood Activity Center) zone, where multifamily development is permissible.

The parcel is bordered by Autoville Drive to the west, with various private properties along Baltimore Avenue to the north, east, and south. The site is currently home to an 884-square-foot house built in 1957. The surroundings include a place of worship (Chinese Bible Church) to the west, a commercial building to the north (Southern Management Corporation), storage facilities and hotels to the east (Extra Space Storage, Red Carpet Inn, and TownePlace Suites), and a vacant woodland to the south​.

The project will also involve environmental management, particularly stormwater. The stormwater management concept plan is under review, particularly considering minimizing impacts on the primary management area (PMA). Plans to install a storm drain to manage an on-site stream may impact the stream and wetland buffers. Recommendations include redesigning the site to preserve the natural state of the stream as much as possible.

Many residents from the North Autoville and Cherry Hill areas have voiced worries about increased traffic, the potential influx of renters, and the overall impact on their quiet neighborhood’s character. They expressed these concerns during a meeting at the Chinese Bible Church a few months ago.

The College Park Tree and Landscape Board also shared its concerns, urging the College Park City Council to ensure the 9621 Autoville Drive redevelopment protects existing trees and effectively manages stormwater. The property lies within the flood-prone Paint Branch watershed. The Board supports additional parking if it has a permeable surface to aid stormwater management and recommends planting new native trees to enhance this further. The goal is to balance redevelopment with environmental protection and community concerns.

The Planning Board will review this project on July 18, 2024. City staff recommends supporting it with the specified conditions.