The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Prince George's County Council. For more information, call 952-3718.
RESTAURANT ORDINANCE -- The council voted unanimously to amend zoning ordinances to encourage restaurants in office buildings and hotels located in the fast-growing I-3 industrial zone, which now accounts for one fourth of county commercial and industrial property.
The new ordinance, which goes into effect July 2, will permit large restaurants where only coffee shops or small fast-food restaurants now are permitted and will allow restaurant signs and entrances on the front of office buildings and hotels.
The original draft of the amended ordinance prohibited fast-food restaurants, but this was dropped after a council committee studied the resolution and stressed the need for delicatessen-style restaurants within office buildings.
HOME LOANS FOR RESIDENTS -- The council unanimously approved a resolution allowing the county Housing Authority to make available $23 million for loans to low- and moderate-income home buyers.
The $23 million was raised by bonds originally issued in July 1985 as part of a $97 million project to attract businesses to county areas that otherwise might not attract development. Of funds used to finance projects including nursing homes, office buildings, plants and warehouses, $39 million was set aside for families participating in the county's first home-buyers' assistance program.
While loans totaling $16 million were extended at 10 1/4 percent interest to families that would not ordinarily qualify for such financial aid, market interest rates dropped below the county-financed loan rate, leaving about $23 million unused.
According to a county Department of Housing and Community Development plan, the bond money can be used by financial institutions to extend three types of loans -- limited mortgages for any first-time homeowners, closing cost assistance loans and housing purchase assistance for moderate-income families -- designed to keep total housing costs within 28 percent of total income.
Lynda Given, director of the county department of housing, urged the council to support the remarketing effort, despite current interest rate fluctuations. She said that if market interest rates continue to climb the county-funded loans may again become attractive to homeowners. If market interest rates fall, then the county will place the remaining $23 million back in a temporary account and consider offering the loans to the public again next year, when market interest rates may be higher than 10 1/4 percent.