Port Towns Sector Plan and SMA

News

Updates

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Port Towns Sector Plan/Lariscy Park Community workshop, originally scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2024, has been postponed due to the inclement weather forecast. The new date for the event is Saturday, June 8, 2024.

Meeting & Events Recap

Focus Group Meetings

Thank you for participating in the Port Towns Sector Plan Focus Group meetings on April 24 and 25, 2024. We appreciate your commitment and the valuable time dedicated to talking about topics such as Community Heritage, Culture, and Design, Public Facilities, Land Use, Housing & Neighborhoods, Economic Prosperity, Natural Environment, Healthy Communities, and Transportation and Mobility during this 2-day discussion session. Subsequently, we anticipate utilizing this feedback in the Port Towns Sector Plan and Sectional Map Amendment to shape the future of Port Towns communities. Again, thanks for your valuable feedback! 

Please access the links below to see the topics of discussion and the feedback obtained: 

Cinco de Mayo Festival 

The project team was engaging with the Port Towns community last Saturday, May 4, at the traditional Battle of Puebla festival held in David C. Harrington Park in the municipality of Bladensburg. Thanks to everyone who visited our table and shared your thoughts and ideas to improve the community. 

Open House

The Prince George’s County Planning Department hosted an in-person community Open House for the Port Towns Sector Plan and SMA at the Edmonston Recreation Center, 5100 Tanglewood Drive, Hyattsville, MD 20781 on Wednesday, March 20.

https://mncppc.sharepoint.com/sites/PPD-PortTownsSectorPlanandSMAUpdate/_layouts/15/embed.aspx?UniqueId=f8f419c8-4642-470c-99e2-8f48c8f0af64&nav=%7B%22playbackOptions%22%3A%7B%22startTimeInSeconds%22%3A0%7D%7D&embed=%7B%22ust%22%3Atrue%2C%22hv%22%3A%22CopyEmbedCode%22%7D&referrer=StreamWebApp&referrerScenario=EmbedDialog.Create

Steering Committee

Thank you for participating in the First Steering Committee Meeting held on January 25, 2024, at 6 p.m.

Those who couldn’t attend the meeting can view the recording below, the PowerPoint presentation, and the Mural board discussion here.

Project Pre-Planning and Initiation

Thank you for being part of the Port Towns Kickoff event on Wednesday, December 6, 2023. Your valuable feedback is integral to crafting our success. Your active engagement on Slido and during in-person activities is truly appreciated. Stay tuned for more chances to connect in upcoming meetings and workshops.

If you couldn’t attend the meeting or would like to dive deeper into what we found in our research, please check out our Port Towns Sector Plan Existing Conditions Story Map and provide feedback through the included form. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation is available here, and the recorded video of the kickoff meeting is here. Your involvement matters.

Email porttowns@ppd.mncppc.org by December 31st if you want to join the steering committee.

County Council Initiation 

Project Video

Project Team Kick-Off Event

On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, the project team hosted a hybrid Project Team Kick-Off Meeting for the Port Towns Sector Plan and Sectional Map Amendment Update. The purpose of the meeting was to serve as an introduction to the project and to bring together staff and project consultants for the first time. Together, the project team sets primary goals to establish a shared comprehension of the project’s scope, expectations, and the specific roles each participant will undertake.

Following the meeting, staff members and consultants went on an area tour led by the core team and town managers from Bladensburg, Edmonston, Colmar Manor, and Cottage City.

Pre-Planning of the Port Towns Sector Plan and Sectional Map Amendment (SMA) 

We are currently in the pre-planning phase, doing background research, organizing stakeholder interviews, and doing community engagement.

This project will reexamine the Port Towns area for redevelopment possibilities through the lens of zoning, land use, market conditions, and environmental constraints. The Plan will replace the 2009 Approved Port Towns Sector Plan and Sectional Map Amendment to identify updated, achievable, and realistic long-term vision, goals, policies, and strategies for the area. We will also work with a multidisciplinary consulting firm to help with the planning and visioning processes. The Port Towns Sector Plan and Sectional Map Amendment project is an opportunity to shape the future of Port Towns. The SMA is a process that facilitates the rezoning of properties within a plan’s boundary. Typically, this process results in a zoning change for only a few properties, and the remaining properties keep their existing zoning classification. For more information, please see the SMA FAQ page.

StoryMap

Take a look at our StoryMap! The StoryMap, an Esri ArcGIS Online tool, provides a concise, visually engaging, and interactive summary of the existing conditions within the sector plan area organized by the eight Plan 2035 elements. You can also access it in the Resources tab under Planning in Prince George’s County.

On October 24, 2023, the Prince George’s County Council, sitting as the District Council, approved Council Resolution CR-094-2023, authorizing the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to prepare a sector plan and concurrent sectional map amendment (SMA) for Port Towns. The Council simultaneously approved the goals, concepts, and guidelines and a public participation program for this comprehensive planning project within portions of Planning Areas 68 and 69. A copy of the approved resolution, the goals, concepts, and guidelines and the public participation program can be viewed here: https://princegeorgescountymd.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=6378294&GUID=3AC2F8F0-9DE5-4670-9786-AB2B95622EF2

Join Us

We are excited to collaborate with you and encourage you to get involved and share your ideas with us. For more information about this ongoing project and how you can be involved, please email the project team at Porttowns@ppd.mncppc.org.

Sign up below for project updates and other notifications.

Join our mailing list to stay current on the Prince George’s County Planning Department’s project, provide your valuable input, and learn more about your community.

Description 

The Prince George’s County Planning Department seeks to initiate a multi-year effort to develop a new sector plan for Port Towns, designated a Neighborhood Center by Plan Prince George’s 2035 Approved General Plan (Plan 2035). The sector plan will be developed concurrently with a sectional map amendment (SMA) for the portions of Planning Areas 68 and 69 that include the Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, and Edmonston areas. 

The Port Towns Sector Plan will replace the 2009 Approved Port Towns Sector Plan and SMA to identify updated, achievable, and realistic long-term vision, goals, policies, and strategies for the Port Towns area. The plan will also supersede portions of the 1994 Approved Master Plan for Planning Area 68 and the 2018 Approved Greater Cheverly Sector Plan. The Sector Plan’s recommendations are intended to support the implementation of Plan 2035 by guiding growth and development, along with phased infrastructure improvements, in the Port Towns. It will reflect the vision and goals contained in Plan 2035, including focusing on new development in designated centers and preserving existing neighborhoods, and will amend applicable countywide functional master plans. A consultant team was contracted in July 2023 to begin work on this project in Fall 2023, focusing on market analysis and feasibility studies, urban design and visioning, transportation and mobility analysis, and zoning analysis, all with an emphasis on supporting existing commercial development and spurring revitalization. Stakeholder engagement for this plan began in the late Fall of 2022.

The Port Towns Sector Plan area is approximately 1,935-acres. The sector plan area generally comprises the properties contained within the municipal boundaries of Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, and Edmonston, all located within Subregion II and Council District 5. The Towns of Cottage City, Colmar Manor, and Edmonston are in Planning Area 68, and the Town of Bladensburg is in Planning Area 69. The project will cover areas within Plan 2035’s Established Communities Areas and Neighborhood Centers.

The sector plan area (see Maps) also includes properties south of the Bladensburg municipal boundary from the south side of MD 450 (Annapolis Road) to MD 295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway) (excluding the properties within the Cheverly municipal boundary) east to the Colmar Manor municipal boundary and properties east of the Edmonston municipal boundary and north and west of the Bladensburg boundary to Carters Lane. The boundary encompasses the municipal borders of Bladensburg, Cottage City, and Edmonston,, except for Colmar Manor, which is not entirely within this boundary. The sector plan area is largely residential but contains a mix of other uses, including several shopping centers, employment areas, and portions of the Northeast and Northwest Branches of the Anacostia River.  

The sector plan area includes major transportation routes and commercial corridors that impact the visual character and economic viability of these inner-ring suburban communities. Bladensburg Road is a gateway to Prince George’s County from the District of Columbia, as well as a major commercial thoroughfare for the Port Towns communities. US 1 (Baltimore Avenue) and MD 201 (Kenilworth Avenue) are both prime routes for truck traffic and important commercial corridors.

Timeline
MilestoneDate
Planning Board Approval: May 5, 2022
Kickoff Meeting:
Presentation to city staffOctober 2023
Advisory boards work sessionJanuary 2024
City Council work session:February 2024
Stakeholder work sessionMarch 2024
Presentation of draft reportMay 2024
Map

Project Boundary Map

Resources 

Welcome to our Resource Center!

Here, you will find information related to the Port Towns Sector Plan and the planning process in Prince George’s County. Many of the resources below will show you what the planning team has been working on. You can view project materials such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, and draft reports at our many community engagement events with residents and stakeholders.

Planning in Prince George’s County

The Prince George’s County Planning Department is working tirelessly to create communities of choice that you know and love. We want to provide our residents with all the resources they need to remain informed and a part of the process by which their communities develop and grow. Below are some resources that can help you navigate the planning process and learn about current initiatives.

Previous Plans and Studies

 

FAQs

FAQs

What is a Sectional Map Amendment (SMA)?

A sectional map amendment (SMA) is a comprehensive rezoning amendment for properties within an entire geographic area, such as a subregion, planning area, or part of a planning area. The purpose of an SMA is to revise zoning patterns to conform to the recommendations of the applicable master or sector plan. SMAs are adopted for most plans except for the general plan and functional master plans. An SMA is being done concurrently with this sector plan and will recommend zoning changes for specific properties to achieve the sector plan’s vision and goals.

What is the relationship between this SMA and the Countywide Map Amendment?

The Countywide Map Amendment (CMA) changed the zoning of every property in the County, outside of the City of Laurel, to implement the County’s adopted 2018 Zoning Ordinance. This sector plan and SMA are proceeding under the 2018 Zoning Ordinance and the CMA that went into effect on April 1, 2022. Specific zoning changes beyond what is covered in the CMA are needed to implement the sector plan in the Central Avenue-Blue/Silver Line area.

What are the implications of any zoning changes to a property as a result of this plan?

If the planning process recommends rezoning, that will happen at the end of the planning process through a legal update to the zoning map. Even if a property is rezoned, nothing can physically happen to the property unless the owner initiates a change (e.g., sale or redevelopment). Keep in mind that sector plans only produce recommendations for the future; no change can occur to a privately owned property unless initiated by the owner.

How will I know if my property is recommended for a different zone?

If your property is recommended for rezoning through this plan and SMA, you will be notified through US mail, per 27-3407 Scheduling of Hearings and Public Notice of the Zoning Ordinance. Plan recommendations are evaluated through:

  • A public comment period through the Joint Public Hearing (Planning Board and District Council) process
  • Work sessions
  • If required, a second Joint Public Hearing and work session

The Prince George’s Planning Department welcomes and encourages public participation and feedback up until the final version of the plan goes to the County Council for approval. Note that it is the County Council that has the power to approve the plan and authorize changes to the zoning map.

Does a change in zoning mean I am at risk of losing my property?

No. A sector plan is aspirational and outlines goals and makes recommendations for the future of a planning area over a 25-year period. Sector plans do not remove ownership or impose development mandates on residential property owners. If a property owner wants to redevelop a property after the County Council approves and adopts a sector plan and the sectional map amendment, then the new zoning rules would apply.


Contact Us

Port Towns Sector Plan and SMA Project Team

Sarah Benton

Planning Supervisor, Long-Range Planning Section

Josephine Selvakumar

Planner III, Master Plans and Studies Section

Arnaldo Ruiz

Planner II, Long-Range Planning Section