Many Landover residents who live near FedEx Field worried that nothing good would ever come of being the Washington Redskins' neighbors.
The future, they said, would include more traffic, less green space, more noise and lower real estate values.
To help sell the idea of a new stadium, the Prince George's County Council passed a resolution in 1995 that called for a "10-year strategy" to mitigate the project's impact on the quality of life in surrounding communities. It included a plan to share revenue generated by the football park.
Ten years later, there is no strategy and no revenue sharing.
"The county hasn't done anything -- no more than a lot of promising," said Freddie Dawkins, the former head of the Coalition of Central Prince George's County Community Organizations. "We've been pushing for something ever since."
Now, some Prince George's County lawmakers want to set up a special fund to help such towns as Landover and Cheverly coexist more comfortably with the 91,665-seat stadium.
The money would come from the 10 percent admissions and amusement tax on Redskins and concert tickets, which currently goes into the county's general fund. A bill under consideration by the County Council would divert the money to a separate fund.
Council Chairman Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville), who is co-sponsoring the bill, said community leaders were persuaded that their neighborhoods would eventually benefit from the project.
"Now we're trying to make it happen," he said.
The measure would dedicate 85 percent of the estimated $3 million in annual tax revenue to the fund. The balance of the money would be earmarked for the Central Prince George's County Community Development Corp., a nonprofit run by Douglas E. Edwards, to spur economic development.
In 1997, the county pushed plans to create a regional entertainment center with restaurants and movie theaters in the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium.
But residents say that, aside from the Boulevard at the Capitol Center, there have been no major improvements.
The county did build -- with some help from then-Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke -- a multimillion-dollar community athletic center, the Sports & Learning Complex, adjoining the stadium.
Cooke contributed $3 million toward the $40 million center, which was largely financed through county bonds. He also agreed to spend about $ 1.5 million for scholarships and other educational programs for youths who live inside the Capital Beltway.
Theresa Dudley, a civic activist and a vocal opponent of the stadium, said money from the new fund could be used for economic development along Route 202, the Landover Road corridor, which has suffered the brunt of increased traffic but without an increase in retail or commercial activity.
"This would settle a long-festering sore," she said.
The council was supposed to debate the legislation yesterday in a committee hearing. But no discussion or action was taken. The county Office of Law has raised some questions about whether the council has the authority to move money out of the county's coffer, according to Ralph Grutzmacher, the council's attorney.
"It is just being held, it has not been killed," Dean said.
John Erzen, a spokesman for County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), said the administration would not comment on the bill unless it receives further action.