This will be one of the first questions parents ask as they consider moving to the Cafritz or Landy developments. The quality of area schools, particularly elementary schools, is frequently used as a major selling point for parents or planning-to-be-parents–and easily can make or break a deal.
In the case of the Cafritz Property, will children attend Riverdale, Paint Branch or University Park Elementary? The property currently falls into the cachement area for University Park Elementary, which is over enrolled. Will boundaries be changed and Calvert Hills and Cafritz students be bussed to Paint Branch, which is under enrolled relative to other area schools?
Future students residing in the humongous Landy Property buildings face somewhat of a crap shoot. Students in the adjacent University Hills neighborhood attend University Park Elementary, while students from Toledo Terrace attend one of three elementary schools, depending on their address.
These two developments alone intensify the need for a new elementary school in the geographic area covered by Councilmanic Districts 2 and 3, especially as Prince George’s County Public Schools brings pre-K classes to elementary schools and temporary classrooms proliferate to accommodate more students. But there’s more development planned, of course. The process that lead to Rosa Parks Elementary took over four years of hard work as various sites were considered and rejected.
The following are my thoughts and some background on the Cafritz property that I’ve put together and may or may not represent the situation. We will learn more on Saturday but this will give those interested a little briefing on the property and some of the issues before the meeting.
The original property was a little less than 50 acres. There was a residence in the center of the property and temporary housing was built during WW II. All this has been removed.
The property is bordered to the north by Albion, to the east by the rail line to the south by the National Guard and postal facility (a leg extends around the back between the postal facility and the rails) and finally on the west by Route 1. Thirteen acres along Albion were bought by Metro to build the tunnel which runs under this edge and comes out to grade at the northeast corner.
It is safe to assume the thirteen acre Metro parcel will be repurchased by Cafritz so the development rights can be used even if parts of the property could not be built on.
The underlying zoning for all the property is single family residential. It could be developed by right with housing on lots that would look much like University Park. This would yield somewhere between 170 and 220 single family houses depending on whether the WMATA property could be built on.
The Cafritz team has signaled that they are looking at a development program that would be different from the by-right option and thus would go through a public review as part of the County approval process. Continue reading
Take a look at the proposed 1100-1300 unit Landy Property development (yes, that’s right–over 1100 units). Multiply that by 1.5 or 1.75 cars per unit…
It is located northwest of the intersection of Belcrest and Toledo Roads. Click the image above for a pdf with images of the detailed site plan, clearly many families are expected as tenants. While the Hyattsville Council has met recently with the developer, Marvin Blumberg, this project is pretty far along. A revised Park & Planning staff report is due June 27, with the Planning Board Hearing set hot on its heels–July 12 (watch our Events page & calendar for details). Please express your opinion of the development to your city and county council members and to the Planning Board.
UPDATE: Courtesy of Stuart Eisenberg, Hyattsville Planning Committee, At-Large Member, as per the Minutes of the April 3, 2007 Meeting of the Hyattsville Planning Committee:
The Planning Committee motion recommends support with conditions: 1) Inclusion of annexation into City of Hyattsville as a condition of support. 2) Recommends the mandatory development requirements be followed. 3) Request that the developer propose a traffic mitigation program that: a) Reduces parking spaces or b) That provides a shuttle for future residents to access Metro. 4) Request the further reduction of the use of EFIS (ed. 5/31) materials. 5) Request inclusion of an Arts component in the development. 6) Encourage the developer to a speedy conversion to condominiums. 7) Developer should be subject to an offset school impact mechanism.
It seems that there has been movement on some points. Continue reading