There are many ways you can take action to help stop WalMart from building a new super center on Mill Branch Road!
WalMart Letter Writing Blitz
There are three options for letter formats, or choose your own. The more different topics the better. They should be sent to all Council members and their aides. IF they see all the letters that are the same, they won’t read them. Variety helps.
Option 1 Let the Record Stand: The record that has been created for this case is all that the County Council can consider. The Prince George’s County Council should deny this application because the professional staff and your own hearing examiner reviewed the facts and found that this is not an appropriate use on this site.
Here’s the record:
Recommendations of the following bodies:
Planning Department Professional Staff: DENIAL
City of Bowie Planning Advisory Board: DENIAL
City of Bowie City Council: APPROVAL*
* This decision is tainted by an annexation agreement that does not allow the City to oppose any application.
Zoning Hearing Examiner: DENIAL
Option 2 History of the Site: This letter focuses on the shady past of how this land because developable for commercial uses. It questions the legality of the original shift of the tier boundaries – and since there are no footers in the ground, in fact they have not even recorded the plat yet, this case is not vested.
2002: Former Council Member Audrey Scott champions an applicant’s request to move properties from the Rural Tier to the Developing Tier. This change has no staff analysis of the impacts because it was requested after the completion of the Planning Board’s review of the new General Plan. Citizens were told to wait till the master plan to discuss the future impacts of this decision.
2006: Citizens participate actively in the Bowie and Vicinity Sector Plan process. Agreements were reached with the developer about what types of uses would be appropriate on the Mill Branch Shopping Center site: no big box, uses with limited, traffic generation, ____.
2009: Planning Board reviews and approves a preliminary plan of subdivision with ___ conditions of approval that must be met, many of them before the final plat can be recorded.
2014: An application for a Super WalMart is submitted for the Mill Branch Shopping Center site which represents the antithesis of what is planned for the properties.
Citizens must be able to trust the planning process or we will never be able to obtain the desired development that our county wants and needs.
Option 3 Questions of Process: What cause did the County Council see to hear the appeal? What decision of the lower bodies was arbitrary and capricious? We see only one decision that meets this standard and it’s the one made by the City Council of the City of Bowie. After knowingly signing an agreement that waives all of the City’s rights to oppose ANY application on the subject property, they chose to hear the application and act on it anyway. The only action that would pass the required arbitrary and capricious measure would have been for the City to abstain from hearing the case and cite their obvious conflict. The other bodies who had no such conflict, all recommended disapproval.
Please do the right thing on this site – place the appropriate uses on this site, the ones that the master plan dictates.