Zoning Controversy Ahead of November Election in Prince George's County, Maryland

The Prince George's County Council is facing a dramatic overhaul in the November election, so current councilmembers are trying to solidify their zoning legacy, while making it harder for future councilmembers to do the same.

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October 3, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


The flag of Prince George's County00a red croiss in a white field with a crest of arms in the upper left corner, blows in the wind.

Maxim Ermolenko / Shutterstock

A controversial ordinance proposed in Prince George’s County, Maryland—to make it harder to change the county’s zoning code—was pulled from consideration in September. The ordinance, known as CB-91, would have increased the number of votes required to approve zoning amendments from six to eight on the 11-member council.

According to an article by Danie Wu for the Washington Post, “critics slammed as a power grab aimed at wresting influence from a liberal bloc poised to comprise a new majority on the [council].”

Council Chairperson Calvin S. Hawkins II (D-At Large) and Councilmember Mel Franklin (D-At Large) proposed the new ordinance. “The council has historically drawn criticism for too frequently using text amendments to change zoning laws,” explains Wu. A comprehensive update of the county’s 50-year-old zoning code went into effect in April.

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