Residents slam Prince George Council member over proposed development – NBC4 Washington
Community groups in Prince George County, Maryland, accuse a council member of trying to change land use to make way for massive development without their knowledge.
At a meeting at the Cameron Grove Retirement Community, Member Derrick Davis was driven to tears.
“It’s the personal attacks from people who know me that hurt me,” he said at the meeting.
More than 100 people from various communities in his district have come together to oppose two bills he sponsored that would change what can be built on undeveloped land adjacent to Six Flags on Central Avenue in Upper Marlboro . It currently belongs to the amusement park and Pepco.
“We are concerned about what we see as a sneaky deal with the developer and a lack of transparency,” said one resident.
If the bills pass, the developer Velocity Companies proposes to build 300 apartments and mixed businesses, including a grocery store and a gasoline convenience store. The project has nearly 52,000 square feet of living and retail space in the center of one of Prince George County’s wealthiest communities.
“I will accept that people can be opposed to an idea, but I cannot accept that people think someone bought me for this deal,” Davis said. “See, I can’t take this.”
Davis has been accused of introducing bills that changed land use without the knowledge of the community. In Westphalia, residents have stopped the project of a large Amazon distribution center.
In this case, Davis told residents it was up to the developer to communicate his plan, saying that as a city councilor he had to be an impartial party. But an image of Davis can be found on that developer’s website along with a testimonial endorsing the company’s work. The developer did not respond to a request for comment.
“What I will not do is allow you to slander me, because there is nothing wrong about anything I have ever operated on in this job and in my life,” said Davis.
He said residents don’t understand the process, but residents said it’s not them who don’t understand.
“Go back. Say no,” said one local. “That’s what we tell you to do. Say no.”
“Don’t be patronizing,” said another resident. “Don’t keep telling us how honest you are. Let the record speak for itself.
At the end of the meeting, Davis asked residents if they would be willing to meet with the developer and hear the presentation again.