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Citing concerns about public health and business and property values, a group of Bowie residents is organizing to protest a 24/7 tobacco store that recently opened in the Pointer Ridge Shopping Center.
In her latest newsletter, longtime community resident Patrice Murray forwarded a statement from the Collington Station Homeowners Association that advocated for closing the Pointer Ridge Tobacco Store and to keep Pointer Ridge Elementary School open, and sent a template to provide local residents the opportunity to speak against the tobacco store. In her template letter for the Bowie City Council, she desires that they ban these businesses from Bowie entirely.
The County Council has zoning authority over the entire County excluding the City of Laurel and has major sway over the direction of commercial and housing development countywide.
Four bills, described by Bowie activist Milly Hall as “pro-resident zoning bills,” were brought before the Council recently. CB-2 will limit text amendments in zoning practices, which can significantly increase density in a proposed project; CB-3 will require compliance with local Master Plans for development rather than using them as a guide; CB-5 will limit the addition of new gas stations; and CB-9 will better regulate tobacco and liquor stores.
Councilmember Edward Burroughs (D) said that the county will next take action to address clusters of gas stations and self-storage facilities across the County.
CB-9 passed the County Council unanimously, restricting tobacco shops to hours of 10a.m. to 8 p.m., limiting the amount of lighting they can use and restricting their usage to industrial zoning. No one testified against this ordinance, according to WUSA9.
Glenarden Councilwoman Erika Fareed (D) testified in support of this ordinance saying, “This is a problem in our community. Across the road from our municipal center there are three tobacco stores.”
During the hearing, some residents acknowledged their convenience and accessibility as a plus.
“They are there when you need them. I love this store,” said Glenarden resident Cassandra Nipper.