Prince George's County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan this week released an economic development plan that seeks to increase the amount of high-income housing in the county, encourage the construction of high-rise residential development near Metro stops and establish the first foreign trade zone in the state.
The plan, outlined in a report prepared annually by the county executive, details the county's economic development priorities and means of achieving those goals. The report will be sent to the County Council for approval.
Hogan noted in the 100-page document that "through the water and sewerage plan, the county government should seek to encourage higher income housing as a means of retaining and attracting business executives, physicians and other high income professionals who will contribute, through the income tax and other growth taxes, the revenues needed to maintain public services under the property tax ceiling imposed by the TRIM charter amendment."
The plan also called for strict enforcement of housing code standards and the construction of more residential high-rise apartments near Metro stops.
To speed the development review process, Hogan proposed reform of the licensing and permit system. He also proposed more streamlined assistance to entrepreneurs.
Hogan's report also noted that the county can encourage development by establishing a foreign trade zone in the county, the first such area in the state. The trade zone would be "a highly specialized . . . area which offers extraordinary security and sophisticated inventory procedures operating under United States Customs supervision," according to the report. Domestic firms would store imported goods in buildings within the foreign trade zone.
Hogan also recommended that the county seek state funds to cover Metro operating deficits and future capital requirements, widen Central Avenue from the Beltway to Rte. 301 and extend East-West highway to Metro East.
"Government can do a lot to negate development with too many regulations and long delays," said W. Paul Gilbert, director of the Prince George's County department of program planning and economic development.
"Our plan goes a long way toward making the process easier and setting a positive environment for growth," Gilbert said.