The Prince George's County Council, responding to the concerns of Largo area residents, voted yesterday to restrict the proposed expansion of the Wild World amusement park.
The council's unanimous 8-0 vote suspended -- at least temporarily -- the acrimony and debate that have marked relations between the 3-year-old water theme park and its residential neighbors.
Neither side claimed victory after the council's zoning decision eliminated the company's plans to open a campground at Wild World and shifted the proposed location of a new 3,000-seat amphitheater to a more interior location on the park's grounds.
"This is a viable business in Prince George's County, and offers many pluses," council member JoAnn T. Bell said. " . . . On the other hand there are citizens . . . who must make sure that their quality of life is not impacted negatively by the business."
Wild World employs 500 young people every summer, making it the county's largest single youth employer, park officials said.
But members of the Kettering Civic Federation argued at a four-hour hearing last week that the park's proposal to add roller coasters, a new family pool and an amphitheater would generate excessive traffic and noise.
Regulations adopted yesterday also stipulate that before any new attractions are built the park's owners must obtain noise impact studies showing that sound generated by the new structures would not exceed 55 decibels at the park's property lines. The council decreed further that the park may add only one feature a year while Central Avenue, the major access road, is being widened.
John Lally, the attorney for Wild World and its owners, had told council members last week that 120 new campsites would add to the park's diversity by attracting older patrons.
"The clients feel that the council acted fairly," Lally said after yesterday's vote. He would not answer further questions.
Tina Badaczweski, the president of the Kettering Civic Federation, said that she was particularly pleased with the council's ruling that new structures cannot be visible from residences.
But she said she would have preferred that all expansion be deferred pending the widening of Central Ave.
Agnes Bowersox, another community resident, complained that Wild World officials have not been willing to negotiate with them over problems between the groups.
"They treat us as though we were in competition with them," Bowersox said.
Council members participating in yesterday's vote said that they feel the new compromise is workable.
"The park's track record unfortunately has not been in the past all it was desired to be," said Bell, who represents the area in which Wild World is located. "That track record has said to the council that we need to be sure."
Council member Frank Casula said he hopes the conflict between the community and the park has been put to rest for the time being.
"In the last year, Wild World has been here five different times," Casula said. "I'm tired of looking at them."