Cafritz family development debated

Not everyone wants a Whole Foods in the neighborhood.

Tuckerman Street is a quiet little tree-lined roadway that dead-ends near the railroad tracks in the heart of Riverdale Park. Most people who live around here want it to stay quiet.

But a big developer wants to bring some big time business to these folks' back yard.

The Cafritz family wants to build a sprawling 37-acre development that would include a Whole Food supermarket, other stores, office buildings and housing.

The development would spread over four towns around Route 1 in Prince George's County.

Sandy Letellier has lived on Tukerman street for 40 years. She thinks the Cafritz development is a good idea.

“It would be nice to have a grocery store within walking distance,” she says. “Route 1 is a mess anyway.”

Because of the strong feelings for and against the project, the Prince George's County did something it's only done one other time in recent memory. It held a public zoning hearing.

It’s a chance for those opposed to express how they feel, like Leo Shapiro, who said roads can’t handle the possible traffic.

It also allowed the developer to defend the project.

“We feel we have addressed the traffic,” Jane Cafritz says.

The zoning hearings are expected to last several more days. The council says, in the end, it will take the evidence and take its time before putting the matter to a vote.

In the meantime, people who live here say they will enjoy things the way they are here as long as they can.