Prince George’s County Court dismisses case challenging Whole Foods project

September 20, 2013

A Prince George’s County Circuit Court judge has dismissed an appeal to the rezoning of a 37-acre site in Riverdale Park where a developer plans to build a Whole Foods Market.

The ruling clears out one of the biggest possible hurdles for the development of the property where county and town leaders envision the construction of a vibrant mixed-use community anchored by the high-end grocer.

Some University Park residents filed the appeal last year arguing that the District Council — the name the County Council takes when it reviews land-use matters — committed various due process violations during the course of approving the rezoning in July 2012. The petitioners sought a reversal of the District Council decision.

This week a judge ruled to uphold the District Council decision and said it found no evidence that it was reached upon “any error of law.”

Opponents of the controversial development said they had hoped the judge would rule in their favor and overturn the rezoning decision on the property. The appeal was one of several setbacks in a contentious and lengthy approval process.

The $250 million project is now back in the District Council for another appeal, and the panel’s decision will determine whether the project can move forward with construction. The developer says plans are to start construction this fall and open the store in early 2015.

Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.
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