The following were among actions taken at the Dec. 1 meeting of the Prince George's County Council. For more information, call 952-5182.
PORTAMERICA -- The council granted final permits necessary for development to start on the controversial $3 billion, PortAmerica project overlooking the Potomac River in Oxon Hill.
The council granted developer James T. Lewis a building permit six days after he broke ground at the site of a planned marketing center at the southwest end of Oxon Hill Road at Interstate 295.
V. Paul Zanecki, attorney for Lewis and the PortAmerica project, said Lewis broke ground on Nov. 24, the same day the council was scheduled to grant approval for construction of the marketing center. Zanecki said Lewis unintentionally broke ground before receiving the building permit because he anticipated council permit approval that day.
The center of the PortAmerica project will be a 22-story World Trade Center tower flanked by six 10-story office buildings -- the tower was downsized from 52 stories after objections from federal agencies. The 15-year project also will include a commerical and luxury residential complex with 1.8 million square feet of office space, three hotels, a luxury inn, a trade mart, three waterfront shopping pavillions, a marina, a health club, town houses, and mid-rise condominiums surrounded by small parks.
NEW COUNCIL CHAIRMAN -- The council voted 5 to 4 to name Frank P. Casula as its new chairman, replacing Hilda R. Pemberton, who said she was not interested in seeking a second term.
In a second 5 to 4 vote, the council elected Anthony Cicoria vice chairman, replacing James Herl, who said he would not seek the chairmanship or another term as vice chairman. Casula and Cicoria will serve until Dec. 6, 1988.
Pemberton and members Sue V. Wills, Floyd E. Wilson and Jo Ann T. Bell opposed Casula's nomination as chairman because they said they believe in the rotation system and because Casula, first elected in 1974, had served as vice chairman twice and served as chairman in 1982.
The four opposed Cicoria's nomination because they said they believed a woman and a man should hold the top two spots on the council.
Prior to voting on Casula's nomination, the council rejected 5 to 4 a motion to name Bell chairwoman. Casula and members Richard Castaldi, James Herl, F. Kirwan Wineland and Cicoria opposed both her nomination and a motion to name Bell vice chairwoman.
The council actions came the day before it recessed for its winter break. Council meetings will resume Jan. 5.