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Councilwoman Rolls Out Redistricting Plan for District 1

Lehman introduces redistricting map to District 1 residents.

Prince George’s County residents in District 1 got a peek this week into what will likely become boundary lines for their political district.

According to federal law, redrawing district lines in accordance with U.S. Census data. The nine districts in Prince George’s County must be equal in population and not change more or less than 5 percent in population, according to law.

Councilwoman Mary A. Lehman (D-Dist.1) of Laurel, who held a meeting for residents, said District 1 would likely see the least amount of change because it mostly abuts other jurisdictions such as Howard, Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties.

Still, a group of residents from College Park, Laurel, Beltsville, Calverton and Adelphi said they feared certain communities could slip into other districts.

The three-person redistricting committee has released several amended maps, some of which showed communities in Adelphi, Beltsville and College Park going into District 3.

Carolyn Byerly said she wanted to make sure her Adelphi community wasn’t split into two different council districts.

“We are a cohesive neighborhood,” she said. “We’d like to stay intact.”

Karen Coakley, president of the Beltsville Citizens' Association, said she wanted to make sure that the massive Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) stayed within the district.

“Should Beltsville residents request that the BARC stay in District 1 with Beltsville?” she asked.

David Harrington, a former county council member who is apart of the redistricting committee, said that the committee wanted to make sure economic corridors in districts stayed intact.

So far, BARC and neighborhoods in Adelphi will remain in District 1.

The Prince George’s County Council has to approve the plan by Nov. 30 but some uncertainty remains.

District 1, which includes communities in Laurel, College Park, Beltsville, Calverton and Adelphi, grew about 2 percent in population from the latest census data to about 98,000 residents.

“What we heard from the public …We wanted to try to keep census-designated places together,” Lehman said.

Lehman said she is also hoping to pull the Greenbelt Metro station back into District 1. The current map shows it inside District 3, under council member Eric Olson.

Residens wanting to weigh in on the redistricting process can address the council during a public hearing Sept. 27 in Upper Marlboro.

tcmitssr September 22, 2011 at 02:49 PM
The Greenbelt Metro "might" go into District 1 but Greenbelt remain in its current District? That sounds like a terrible idea that has gone even worse! From what I have read and seen, Greenbelt is most likely to be moved in District 3 with College Park etc. so Bowie can make up almost all of District 4. That's a fine idea with me as we have far more in common with College Park, Hyattsville, etc. than Bowie, plus Bowie tends to "dwarf" the remainder of District 4 anyway and this will let it be a District onto itself. Of even GREATER importance is whether Greenbelt will remain in Congressman Hoyer's District or be moved to the submarine District that is Congresswoman's Edwards'! It is much more important, IMHO, that we remain with Congressman Hoyer due to our history of being in that District as well as the "lining up" of our particular issues and concerns; both of which are far more in tune with his District than those of Congresswoman Edwards, both of her District as well as herself. Greenbelt will, I think, be almost completely lost and no longer properly represented if moved into that District due to a vastly numerous amount of factors, far too long to go into detail in as short a space as provided here.
Pamela Torro September 22, 2011 at 08:30 PM
As a North CP Resident, I am very happy that the Redistricting Commission listened to those of us who submitted concerns and proposed to keep us in District 1. I hope the council will approve this plan.
Donald James September 26, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Is the Greenbelt Metro Station not apart of Greenbelt?
Pamela Torro September 26, 2011 at 06:29 PM
It is. But the back side of it is in North College park.
Donald James September 26, 2011 at 06:52 PM
Gotcha. Personally, I dont see that area once it is developed to have much in common with other areas of District 1 (Beltsville, Laurel, etc) outside of the part of College Park that it will affect. I think it should remain with Greenbelt in District 3 if that's where we should end up.
Judith Davis September 28, 2011 at 01:36 AM
No matter which District Greenbelt ends up in, the Greenbelt Metro Station area, its North and South Core and its forested wetland owned by the State, needs to remain with the rest of Greenbelt in its entirety. It is a part of Greenbelt, its police patrol it, our planning department is working with future development plans, it is an important part of GREENBELT'S economic future as well as the region's. Therefore, Greenbelt Station must be put into the same District as the rest of the City. Keep Greenbelt whole. J Davis, Mayor, City of Greenbelt
Donald James September 28, 2011 at 02:21 PM
I agree with Mayor Davis. Greenbelt Metro Station should stay with the city of Greenbelt in whatever district we end up in. There has been a lot of work put into planning the development of that area. Hopefully we have a chance to formally oppose Mary Lehman's request if it is made.
Pamela Torro September 28, 2011 at 02:38 PM
I agree too. Keep the metro with Greenbelt.

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