(September 10, 2021) UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Residents of Cameron Grove, most of whom are over 65, are gathering to support an “all hands on deck” campaign in opposition to proposed “site specific” zoning amendments. The amendments at issue, Ordinances CB-059-2021 and CB-060-2021, will enable Velocity Companies to obtain a Special Exception permit to develop a town center adjacent to Six Flags Amusement Park. Located off 214/Central Avenue between Route 193 and Church Road, Cameron Grove is a 55+ Active Adult community that residents chose to enjoy their senior years. But when word leaked out that their representative, Councilman Derrick L. Davis was sponsoring the amendments, Cameron Grove residents answered the call to action.
Velocity Companies’ proposed Mitchellville Park Town Center is a 500,000 square foot development that includes 300 apartments, retail and convenience stores, a gas station and entertainment venue; none of which is needed on the 214/Central Avenue corridor.
The area is NOT currently zoned for a mixed-use retail residential development which is why the amendments are necessary.
While many seniors celebrate Grandparents’ Day, Sunday, September 12, 2021, with their families, Cameron Grove residents will be gathering signatures to oppose the development. “This development will create more bottlenecks on Routes 214 and 193 and make it more difficult to access Cameron Grove Blvd, the only entrance/exit to our community. It’s unfortunate that Councilman Davis’ office didn’t consider sharing the amendments with our community before he agreed to be a sponsor. We don’t want to spend our “golden years” monitoring legislation, but will act when necessary to protect the safety and wellbeing of our residents,” said Cameron Grove Community Association Board President Philippa Johnston.
Relying on techniques honed while demonstrating in the 1960s, these baby boomers are poised to defeat the amendments and bring more transparency to a legislative process that appears to be shrouded in secrecy and behind the door handshakes. To date, the community has implemented a letter-writing campaign, obtained over 700
signatures on a petition in 3 days, emailed and called all eleven Prince George’s County Council Members, began rallying neighboring communities and concerned associations, registered to testify at upcoming hearings, and invited Councilman Davis and other representatives to participate in an open community meeting.
A few years ago, Councilman Davis sponsored a similar amendment that resulted in the Amazon Westphalia debacle. He also sponsored a text amendment to allow townhouses to be built on the tiny Freeway Airport in Bowie, MD. Church Road residents are still in court fighting that amendment. So who is Councilman Davis representing – his constituents or developers?
The Cameron Grove Community Association and other nearby communities are vehemently opposed to Mitchellville Park Town Center. There are times when “site specific” text amendments are warranted. However, this is NOT one of those times. Ordinances CB-059-2021 and CB-060-2021 will result in NO obvious benefit to area residents and must be defeated. Constituents deserve more transparency and better service from their elected representative.
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