Affordable Housing Project in College Park Faces Scrutiny From City Council

by LINDSEY FEINGOLD

A proposed affordable housing project for College Park has hit roadblocks for the second time after discussion at the Oct. 20 city council work session.

The Branchville Crossing Development would have 72 units available for renting on a 2.02-acre site on Branchville Road, according to public documents. This project was submitted by the Cruz Development Corporation and could house 300 people.

Courtesy of College Park City Council public documents
Courtesy of College Park City Council public documents

“Staff have looked at the information available and made a number of notes on issues that they have seen on the project,” said Terry Schum, Director of Planning.

Some of those issues include density, lack of parking and building materials.

“It is too big of a project for the location,” said councilmember Patrick L. Wojahn. “There are difficult pedestrian safety issues surrounding where the development is going to be.”

The corporation submitted the project last year to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), but was not approved for financing. It did not meet several government standards and affected the local fire department.  The community also had concerns about the project.

This time around, the Cruz Development Corp. revised the project to better suit the needs of the College Park community. The building has been relocated, the height decreased from seven to six stories and more green space added, said Daniel Lynch, representing the Cruz Development Corp. at the work session.

Courtesy of College Park City Council public documents Map of proposed building
Courtesy of College Park City Council public documents
Map of proposed building

The DHCD has two other affordable housing locations nearby, but both are completely occupied and there are wait lists in effect.

The council will hear comments from the public on this project at a meeting next Tuesday.