Retha Hill's article "Glendening's Bumpy Ride" {Metro, Aug. 12} gave an interesting overview of the Prince George's County executive's current difficulties with the county council and other community leaders. Unfortunately, the reporter adopts the usual distorted perspective that the citizens of P.G. County are in a "prodevelopment mood." The fact is, a large number of residents are fed up with Parris Glendening's reliance on extensive development as a panacea for P.G.'s "image problems."

True, the repeal of the tax freeze, TRIM was a good move, and Mr. Glendening deserves credit for that. The increased tax revenue has enabled the county to upgrade its school system and provide other needed services. But we must not conclude that when county voters approved new road bonds in the last election, they were voting for development. In fact, they were simply voting against traffic congestion. They thought the new roads and bigger highways would provide some relief. Unfortunately, most voters don't understand that the construction of new roads provides a legal justification for more development, which causes more traffic congestion, leaving them worse off than they were before.

Mr. Glendening has received much adulation lately for the "economic rennaissance" of P.G. County. Some of it is deserved. However, certain localities -- such as Greenbelt -- have borne more than their fair share of new highways, office bulildings, shopping centers and fast-food restaurants. People living in these areas feel, justifiably so, that P.G. County's new prosperity has been achieved at their expense. Rather than enjoying all this new development, they are strangled by it.

It is high time that the press began to acknowledge that discontent in Prince George's County exists not only in disputes between its political leaders, but also in the immense gulf between those leaders and many ordinary citizens with the wisdom and foresight to understand that the development solution is not all that it's cracked up to be. The Zoning Hearing Examiner recommends denials of rezonings for important legal and technical reasons, but the County Council approves the rezonings anyway. Shopping centers spring up right next to existing shopping centers, creating more traffic, congestion and pollution. Office buildings stand essentially vacant, serving as tax shelters and empty symbols of prosperity.

Reasonable citizens in increasing numbers are questioning whether this kind of "progress" is really all that beneficial to the long-term health and viability of Prince George's County.

RUTH E. KASTNER

Greenbelt