Discussions with City Regarding Proposed Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Zone Ongoing

Release Date: 
Sep 08, 2020

Discussions with City Regarding Proposed Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Zone Ongoing by the Communications and Marketing Committee

 

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) kicked off the Greenbelt Neighborhood Conservation Overlay (NCO) Zone project in December 2019 with a community meeting.  The NCO Zone is a new tool adopted by the Prince George’s County Council on October 23, 2018, as part of the County’s new Zoning Ordinance.  The NCO Zone will be incorporated into the proposed County Zoning Map as part of the ongoing Countywide Map Amendment.  The December 2019 community meeting was followed by a meeting in January 2020 between the M-NCPPC and the Greenbelt Homes, Inc. (GHI) Board of Directors.  Discussed during the meeting were the existing Residential Planned Community (R-P-C) Zones, Zoning Ordinance Rewrite project, the City of Greenbelt’s involvement, and the proposed NCO Zone.  The M-NCPPC released the Draft Greenbelt Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Zone Neighborhood Study and Draft Standards in late March/early April 2020.  The Neighborhood Study presents a detailed summary of the planning background behind the NCO Zone, an overview of historic Greenbelt, and a discussion of the minimum standards required for approval of a NCO Zone. 

The Greenbelt City Council held a work session on May 2, 2020, to discuss the Draft Greenbelt NCO Zone Development Standards prepared by the M-NCPPC.  GHI conducted its own internal review of the Draft Greenbelt NCO Zone Development Standards concurrent with the City of Greenbelt’s review.  In a memorandum dated June 23, 2020, Steve Skolnik, Board President, provided comments on the Draft Greenbelt NCO Zone Development Standards on behalf of GHI to Nicole Ard, Greenbelt City Manager; Terri Hruby, Director of Planning and Development; and Chad Williams, M-NCPPC.   The memorandum contained GHI’s position on several issues of concern.  These issues included the sizing and placement of additions; grandfathering current non-residential uses in GHI; and keeping GHI woodlands undeveloped.  The memorandum also included specific suggested text revisions for consideration.  Greenbelt City Planning and Development staff provided their own comments on the Draft Greenbelt NCO Zone Development Standards in a memorandum dated July 14, 2020.

GHI’s Board of Directors participated in a NCO Zone work session on July 20, 2020, with the Greenbelt City Council.  The work session was also attended by Terri Hruby and Chad Williams.  The purpose of the work session was to discuss the proposed NCO Zone Standards as well as the comments provided by GHI and the City of Greenbelt’s Planning and Development staff.  General consensus was reached on the changes proposed by Greenbelt Planning and Development staff and GHI except for two items: use of the word “should” and the proposed size limit on additions.  Planning and Development staff recommend all instances where the word “should” appears in GHI’s proposed text revisions be replaced with the word “shall.”  Planning and Development staff support the currently proposed limit on addition size of 40 percent of the gross floor area of the original dwelling unit.  GHI proposed allowing additions up to 100 percent of the gross floor area.  It was noted during the work session that the Advisory Planning Board supports a limit of 60 percent of the gross floor area.  The size limit of GHI additions was not resolved during the work session.

The Greenbelt City Council considered and finalized Planning and Development staff comments on the proposed NCO Zone Standards and Neighborhood Study at their August 10, 2020, council meeting.  Council member Davis put forth a motion to revise the limit of 40 percent of the gross floor area for additions in the proposed comments to 60 percent.  The motion carried and the finalized comments will include a comment to limit additions to 60 percent of the gross floor area.  The finalized comments will be submitted to the M-NCPPC and the Prince George’s District Council.  The date of the joint public hearing on the proposed NCO Zone Standards has not yet been scheduled.  It is anticipated that, at the conclusion of the County’s public review process, the standards will appear in a proposed County Resolution.  Final approval is anticipated to occur concurrently with the County’s Countywide Sectional Map Amendment.  The County Council will accept comments on the NCO Zone Standards during the public hearing process on the Countywide Map Amendment.  The public hearing process is currently postponed.