Bowie Residents Protest 24/7 Tobacco Store

WASHINGTON INFORMER: Residents in Bowie are organizing to protest a 24/7 tobacco store that recently opened in the Pointer Ridge Plaza. 

Patrice Murray, a longtime community resident and former County Council candidate, sent a template in her latest newsletter to provide local residents the opportunity to speak against the tobacco store. Specifically, she cited concern for public health and business/property values as reasons to oppose this business. In her template letter for the Bowie City Council, she desires that they ban these businesses from Bowie entirely. 

Several other bills relating to zoning are coming before the council, which has zoning authority over the entire county excluding the City of Laurel. 

Four bills, described by Bowie activist Milly Hall as “pro-resident zoning bills” will be publicly heard this Tuesday. 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.

It is believed that these four bills have support from the majority of the council, including the council chair and vice chair. CB-9 passed, banning 24-hour tobacco stores and adding regulation to their signage. 

Last week, Our Prince George’s sent an email to their membership list encouraging them to send letters of support favoring HB818, which would make it easier for aggrieved constituents to sue over zoning practices. Currently, a resident or community association must be within 1,000 feet in order to challenge zoning decisions. 

Council member At-Large Mel Franklin (D) voted to hold this bill’s council equivalent indefinitely, and County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) opposes this legislation as well.

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