The future of the former home of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission in Hyattsville could be decided in a matter of weeks.
The Hyattsville planning committee will hear from Werrlein Properties, a Maryland developer which has already built some new homes inside the historic district, on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The city council will hold a hearing in March, followed by a vote a week later.
The city is currently soliciting feedback from residents online, via email and even over the phone as well as at the upcoming meetings.
Public opposition has killed previous efforts to redevelop the site, with many neighbors arguing that the seven-acre property should be restored to the single-family homes it’s zoned for or that the building should be converted into a community center.
Neither of those options seems very likely at the moment, however.
The economics of infill development pretty much ensure that to be worthwhile, the site would need to include more than just bungalows similar to the surrounding area. And a community center would cost tens of millions of tax dollars, not to mention the ongoing upkeep and organizing that would require.
Werrlein seems to have split the difference in its “Magruder Pointe” proposal, putting 14 single-family homes along the two streets facing existing homes while putting the more cost-effective row homes along the streets facing Magruder Park itself. (You can see the proposal here.)
These upcoming meetings could determine whether the city recommends to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission — which has the ultimate say — to go ahead with the project, or whether it remains idle for another few years.