New development at the Prince George’s Plaza Metro Station.
Prince George’s County is served by the Washington Metro Subway and MARC Penn/Camden Lines with 22 stations; once the proposed Purple Line is built, nine more stations will be added. Prince George’s County and WMATA provide over 95 local bus routes, including connections to transit stations.
The county’s General Development Plan designates transit station areas as growth centers to encourage mixed-use, compact, high-density development. The county planning department crafted a transit district development plans for each station area. Planners also are developing TOD community plans for the five proposed Purple Line station areas (Riverdale Road, Riverdale Park, M Square, College Park and West Campus).
In 1998, the county established a Transit District Overlay Zone that is in place for most major metro stations, such as West Hyattsville, College Park, New Carrollton, Prince George’s Plaza, and Branch Avenue.
Despite a favorable planning framework in Prince George’s County, leaders have had difficulty attracting developers to commit to building TODs. In the past decade, although developments have occurred near transit station areas, the Prince George’s Plaza mixed-use development is the only project that could be characterized as TOD. With weak market demand blamed as the major barrier, county planners have created incentives, such as Tax Increment Financing districts, new APFO requirements for pedestrian and cyclists, and reducing impact fees by up to 50 percent.
In 2013 Prince George’s County passed legislation to streamline the TOD review process for metro station areas and the Bowie MARC station. Legislative guidelines that call for shorter deadlines for planning board, county council and district council reviews have encouraged new momentum for development around metro stations. Several large TOD projects are underway that will be anchored by large public institutions, such as a proposed New Regional Medical Center at the Largo Town Center Metro Station and a new facility for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development at New Carrollton Metro Station.
To support TOD with a stronger policy framework, the County has recently updated its countywide general development plan called Prince George’s 2035, which added a focus for new development in the county's transit center's. The plan contains a new center classification system that recognizes eight Regional Transit Centers as major economic development generators and employment opportunities. Among the eight Regional Transit Centers are three Priority Investment Districts including Prince George’s Plaza, New Carrollton and Largo Town Center Metro Stations. The plan promotes the concentration of medium- to high-density residential development around these priority investment districts to provide the density necessary to sustain higher levels of rail and bus service.