The Prince George’s County Council has approved legislation to speed up procedures and reduce impediments for high value projects located close to mass transit facilities. The legislation, which does not require an Executive signing under the county’s charter (but had the support of County Executive Baker’s Administration), will become law in 45 days.
The Prince George’s County Council on Tuesday took a major step to simplify and speed up development approval at transit stations, unanimously passing a bill that officials hope will spark new growth and create jobs.
The measure, crafted by Council members Mel Franklin (D-Upper Marlboro) and Eric Olson (D-College Park), could trim as much as a year from the review process for projects that are deemed high quality and that promote walkable communities. It also limits the council’s ability to stall projects indefinitely, a long-standing and controversial practice that has frustrated residents and developers.
The bill gives preferences to developers who propose projects with federal tenants, a move that county officials hope will help them lure the FBI headquarters from downtown D.C. to Prince George’s.
The bill encourages a mixture of moderate and high-density development within walking distance of a transit station, with the most intense density and highest building heights nearest the station. The proposed developments would then be encouraged to scale down closer to surrounding neighborhoods.