Big changes in the works for North College Park
By Meghan Curtis
The City of College Park is moving forward with plans to renovate Duvall Field. The project is currently in phase one; the phase two design process will be completed this fall, and construction is slated to begin next summer.
According to the city’s website, the project’s goals are to “improve and enhance existing facilities, maximize neighborhood-oriented park uses based on-site and constraints, enhance pedestrian connectivity, maximize tree saving opportunities wherever possible and explore educational opportunities – interpretive signage (environmental health and wellness).”
The 7-acre park was established in the 1960s. Phase one of the city’s project added a concessions and restroom building in 2018. Since then, a series of reports and plans with a budget of $5.8 million have detailed possible phase 2 improvements. Residents have had opportunities to weigh in.
In addition to the Program Open Space allocations, funding for the project will come from the city’s Capital Improvement Program, which draws on residents’ property taxes and bond bills sold by the state.
The project will offer residents a wide range of benefits. City Councilmember Fazlul Kabir (District 1) explained that there are only two main draws right now – the ballparks and the playground. Expanded amenities could include a multipurpose field, pedestrian path, basketball court, amphitheater, bicycle parking, cricket pitch, volleyball court, exercise station, picnic pavilion and smaller touches, such as a bioretention area for water runoff. The 76 parking spots now in place will remain.
While Duvall Field will not have a dog park, the Hollywood Dog Park ribbon cutting will take place on Friday, July 16, one block from Duvall Field, in the 9300 block of 51st Avenue.
The old straw manufacturing plant, adjacent to Duvall Field, is another item of interest to residents. Two proposals for the abandoned plant have been floated – a townhome project or a marketplace.
“Nothing is moving at this point,” Kabir said. During two community meetings about the property, residents slightly favored the marketplace proposal, and some voiced concerns about the increased traffic that a townhome development would bring to the neighborhood.
The North College Park Citizens Association (NCPCA) discussed the straw property in its first in-person meeting in over a year, on July 8. The NCPCA moved to send a letter to Prince George’s County officials requesting zoning for the property that would be consistent with that of adjacent properties, which are zoned for single-family housing.
The city council continued its discussion of Duvall Field during a July 13 worksession, after press time.
Between opening a new dog park, finalizing plans for Duvall Field, and discussing the fate of the old straw plant lot, residents are implementing big changes this summer.