The Prince George's County Council holds a Nov. 14 meeting at the county administration building in Upper Marlboro, where they voted to allow a medicinal cannabis business to open in the county. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** The Prince George's County Council holds a meeting at the county administration building in Upper Marlboro on Nov. 14, 2017. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

Prince George’s County Council will host its annual retreat this week at the Hotel at University of Maryland in College Park to discuss policies for the upcoming year.

Council members, county staff and other representatives discussed a variety of topics that began Wednesday, Jan. 3 with half of the day focused on the more than 50-year-old zoning ordinance.

Officials seek to reduce the 1,200 pages of decades-old regulations and amendments crunched inside a four-inch binder.

A draft document ( decreases zoning districts from 73 to 44, zoning uses from 1,200 to 229 and rewrites the cumbersome rules into simpler terms.

Officials continue to push for zoning near the 15 Metro stations known as transit-oriented development, or construction of residents and commercials properties. The county-hired Clarion Associates of Denver will oversee work on the zoning plan.

Thursday, Jan. 4 will serve as the longest day to discuss the county’s ongoing housing strategy, financial future and education.

Council also plans to discuss potential legislation from the Maryland General Assembly and its effect on the county. State Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-District 26) of Accokeek plans to introduce legislation that would allow the school board to choose its chair, vice chair and superintendent.

The current board structure permits the county executive to choose the board leadership.

According to the agenda, Thursday’s meeting isn’t scheduled to end until 6 p.m.

The final day of the annual retreat, Friday, Jan. 5, will convene for a half-day, ending at 2 p.m., to discuss the $543 million University of Maryland Capital Regional Medical Center project in Largo. The council, which also convenes as the Board of Health, will provide updates to other health matters.

The three-day session is open to the public with each day beginning at 10 a.m.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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