How Prince George's County Can Court Transit-Oriented Development

  • February 4th 2021

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Rendering of TOD Urban Atlantic master-planned at New Carrollton Metro. Click to enlarge.

The Greater Washington Partnership (GWP) recently released reports covering how Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties can kick-start transit-oriented development (TOD).

Considering that Prince George's County has 15 Metro stations, many of which can be considered under-developed, UrbanTurf is taking a closer look at GWP's recommendations for the county.

GWP's report builds on a study completed by Ernst & Young that offers recommendations for how Prince George's can implement TOD and what TOD could yield at the Greenbelt, Morgan Boulevard, New Carrollton and Southern Avenue Metro stations.

Per the report, Maryland's legislature should expand the More Jobs for Marylanders Act to apply its preexisting TOD designation to the Morgan Boulevard and Southern Avenue stations and to add incentives for job creation to TOD zones. The Maryland Department of Transportation should identify specific TOD goals and infrastructural needs and chair a multi-agency committee to formalize and oversee implementation of a TOD plan. The state should also consider tax increment financing and additional targeted incentives for TODs while maintaining a focus on equity and affordability to prevent displacement.

Both the state and the county should establish TOD policies and guidelines that can streamline the approval process. The county should also consider waiving impact fees for TODs and doing public-private partnerships to usher these projects forward. Various stations also need planning efforts (such as small-area plans), and targeted stations should have more matter-of-right building types.

More recommendations for the county include:

  • expedited permitting for developments that include affordable housing;
  • financing feasibility studies of converting vacant properties for community use;
  • encouraging construction of accessory dwelling units;
  • taking inventory of and creating production goals for affordable housing at each station;
  • considering land swaps of publicly-owned sites that are desirable for privately-owned sites that are environmental conservation opportunities;
  • suburban retrofitting (eg. best practices for streetscape), flood mitigation, and stormwater management infrastructure improvements near Metro stations; and
  • automatic incentives when certain criteria is met.

By implementing the above recommendations, the report estimates that a total of 6,975-8,600 residential units, 5.6-6.7 million square feet of office space, and 790-960,000 square feet of retail could be developed at the Greenbelt, Morgan Boulevard, New Carrollton and Southern Avenue Metro stations.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/how-prince-georges-county-can-court-transit-oriented-development/17843.

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