The National Capital Planning Commission has supported the request by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission to acquire a five-acre tract of federal property in Beltsville.

The property is bounded by Cherry Hill Road, I-95 and local parkland, just west of Rte. 1.

The land, which is considered surplus to the needs of the federal government, used to be part of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. It is now in the hands of the General Services Administration, the government's disposal arm.

In a Jan. 10 report, the NCPC said that "every effort should be made by GSA to allow the property to be acquired" by the Maryland park unit "for use and development as a park."

The property has had a long, and storied, history. A dozen years ago, it was deemed unnecessary and transferred to what is now the Department of Health and Human Services. Eventually, it was supposed to be transferred to the Montgomery Cerebral Palsy Association.

But the association later decided that it did not need the land, and title reverted to the Agriculture Department, which runs a national research center in the Beltsville area.

The NCPC said that the property abutting the site on the east is already under Maryland park control and the land is "needed to provide additional recreational facilities for the community."