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- Listening Sessions
One of the City Council’s goals in 2020 was to make sure they were hearing directly from the residents about the issues that are important to them. To accomplish this goal and provide opportunities for input, Listening Sessions were held in each of the four districts of the City in January and February of 2020.
Each of the comments at the sessions was logged and assigned to a staff member, or to the Council for review and further action, when appropriate. The comments also helped to inform and guide the Mayor and other Councilmembers during budget deliberations .one Edit
Some common themes emerged in the comments and questions that were received. Each of the tabs below represents one of those themes. When you click on a tab you will find some basic information on the topic. We recognize that some of these issues are complex, and will require different types of approaches, but we thought it was important to provide some basic information in response to the comments.
How do we combat crime in our city?
- Report suspicious activity 24/7: 240-544-5700
- Call 911 in the event of any emergency, including a crime in progress.
- To report suspicious activity, call the Police Communications Center 24/7 at 240-544-5700.
- Make the call before you post to social media. Bowie Police Department encourages discussion, but social platforms are not the place to make an official report of an incident.
- Never assume that someone else has called something in. Err on the side of safety and make the call!
- #LockItOrLoseItDon’t make it easy for criminals:
- Lock your home and your vehicles
- Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle or where others might see them
- Never leave vehicle keys, including spare keys, inside your vehicle
- Send packages to pick-up locations, rather than to your home or arrange for a neighbor to pick them up
- Report street light outages or malfunctions to the City Bowie Public Works Department at 240-544-5690
- You can also use our service request system to report a street light probllem
- If something or someone seems suspicious, trust your instincts and make the call to Bowie Police Department at 240-544-5700
- Watch out for scams by door-to-door solicitors, callers, or mail/email solicitations
- Request more patrol visibility by calling 240-544-5700
Who decides what type of development occurs ?
The Prince George’s County Zoning Ordinance, approved by the Prince George’s County Council (aka the District Council), establishes lists of permitted uses within each zoning district. Every property has a zoning classification, and development must meet the regulations for that zone. The Prince George’s County Zoning Ordinance establishes what uses are permitted in each zone. If a specific use is not listed in the Ordinance for a particular zone, the use is prohibited. Zoning regulates the type of land use, such as residential or retail use, but it does not regulate which specific businesses are, or are not, allowed.
Prince George’s County is divided into planning areas for land use planning purposes. Each planning area is reviewed every six to ten years to determine if an update to an approved Master Plan is necessary. The Countywide comprehensive plan is called the General Plan (currently “Plan Prince George’s 2035”). The County’s update of the 2006 Bowie and Vicinity Master Plan has begun and will be completed by Spring 2022.
Bowie role in development in usually only an advisory one
Unlike most municipalities in the State of Maryland, the City (and other cities and towns in Prince George’s County, except Laurel) does not have direct land use planning or zoning authority. Bowie plays an advisory role, for the most part. The City is permitted to review and make recommendations regarding development proposals to the County. In a few areas, such as residential zoning variances and exceptions to commercial site design standards, the Prince George’s County Council has delegated very minor decision making authority to the City.
Prince George’s County refers development plans to the City for review and comment, if appropriate. For major projects, the City organizes a Stakeholders Meeting, followed by public hearings before the Bowie Advisory Planning Board and the City Council. Ultimately, it is up to the City Council to decide the City’s position on a development application and make a recommendation to the County.
Adequate Public Facilities:
Why aren’t schools and road enhancements built in advance or with development?
Public facilities, such as schools, roads and green spaces, are reviewed when a Preliminary Plan of Subdivision is submitted to the County Planning Board. When required, developers of subdivision must build roads, make improvements to existing roads, or dedicate recreation space as conditions of approval. The timing depends on the wording of each condition. School construction is the responsibility of Prince George’s County Public Schools and school constructions is funded by Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland. A surcharge on new residential building permits generates revenue for future school construction.
How do I know what projects are in the pipeline?
The best way to keep current on what projects are in the pipeline is to regularly check the M-NCPPC Development Activity Monitoring System or to visit the Development Activities layer of PGAtlas, which shows the location of all submitted projects by project type.
Litter is a constant problem throughout the city. It comes from a variety of sources. It blows out of vehicles, it can be dropped from cars or by pedestrians, it falls out during trash collection, wildlife can disturb trash, and sometimes people deliberately dump trash on our roadways.
The most common litter complaints we receive are about trash on major thoroughfares around the city, such as Crain Highway (US 301), Collington Road/Laurel Bowie Road (MD 197), Annapolis Road (MD 450), Central Avenue (MD 214), Hall Road, Race Track Road and around commercial areas. For the most part, these areas are maintained by the Maryland State Highway Administration or Prince George’s County.
While the city regularly reports these problems to the appropriate parties, and works with the agencies to keep them responsive, we can’t direct when the problems are addressed. We can, however, work with residents to keep city owned streets looking good. We do this by cleaning up areas where dumping has occurred on our streets, by having our street sweeper pass through every neighborhood in the spring, summer, and fall, and sometimes by citing property owners for litter on private property or improper storage of trash.
Keeping our city clean and looking good is a partnership between all of us who live and work here. Never litter; keep a bag in your vehicle to dispose of trash, report litter problems whenever you see them, secure your trash in cans with tight fitting lids, and pick up litter near your home whenever you can.
Report Litter on Major Roadways
Be part of the litter solution by reporting litter to the appropriate agency whenever you can!
Maryland State Highway (SHA) maintains state roads
Report problems on these roads to the Maryland Highway Administration:
- Crain Highway (US 301/MD 3)
- Central Avenue (MD 214)
- Annapolis Road (MD 450)
- Collington Road/Laurel Bowie Road (MD 197)
- Lanham Severn Road (MD 564)
- Hall Road
Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation maintains County roads
Report problems on these roads to CountyClick 311 (dial 3-1-1) or complete the online form.
- Race Track Road
- Fletchertown Road
- Governor Bridge Road
- Church Road
- Highbridge Road
- Hillmeade Road
- Jericho Park Road
- Mitchellville Road (south of MD 197)
- Mt. Oak Road (west of Mitchellville Road)
- Old Chapel Road
- Old Laurel Bowie Road
Litter Problems on Private Property
Report specific properties to the City of Bowie Code Compliance Office at 301-809-3008 or to your local homeowners association, if applicable.
Questions about Litter Control?
Have questions about litter or don’t know who to report the problem to, please call the City of Bowie Public Works Department at 301-809-2344.
What Else Can I Do to Prevent Litter?
- Take advantage of City collections of trash, recycling, yard waste, and tires and appliances to properly dispose of items you no longer want.
- Volunteer at clean up events or organize your own event. Contact Tiffany Wright at 301-809-3043 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Involve your business or organization in a State or County Adopt a Road Program
- Learn more about reducing, reusing, and recycling your trash
- And...always put trash in its place!
What say do we have about what types of stores locate in Bowie?
Retail uses of almost every kind are permitted by the County Zoning Ordinance. The City Council and our residents help craft that ordinance by participating in County led meetings and input sessions. Once that ordinance is enacted or updated there are very infrequent chances to make changes.
Using the limits set by the County Zoning Ordinance the City’s economic development office markets Bowie’s available retail locations to retail tenants and their location advisors in both a general “come to Bowie” message and in more targeted specific messages towards selected segments.
Ultimately if a business is allowed by law and the landlord wants to lease to that business, then that business can locate in Bowie.
Please note: If you would like to help recruit a Trader Joe’s in Bowie, please visit our Trader Joe’s page where there is a link to voice your support for locating a store here.
What can we do about speeding?
Bowie Police Department enforces the speed limit on local streets. Based on feedback from residents, Bowie Police Department has initiated a new campaign to save lives and improve safety on roadways. Patrols are enforcing speeding violations in school zones, residential neighborhoods, and secondary roads by using a variety of methods to enforce speed limits. This includes:
- Speed cameras in school zones
- Radar speed signs to show drivers how fast they’re going
- Regular patrols
- Radar enforcement
- Traffic calming areas on roadways where speeding is common
If you know of a problem area or would like to request a speed trailer, contact our department by calling 240-544-5700 with your request.
The public schools in Bowie are operated by the Prince George’s County School System and are overseen by the Prince George’s County Board of Education. Funding for the school system comes primarily from State and County property taxes. Visit the PGCPS website to view the current and proposed operating budget.
The City supports local schools through a variety of programs, such as student scholarships for graduating seniors, teacher recognition at the annual Excellence in Education Reception, visits to local schools, partnerships to promote education via grant opportunities for schools, advocacy for additional school funding, and small grants to support academic teams for regional and national competitions. The City also oversees Youth Leadership Bowie, a year-long program designed to provide young people with experiential leadership opportunities while exposing them to different career paths. Bowie Youth & Family Services (BYFS) collaborates with Bowie schools on a number of group programs and services.
While the City recognizes the importance of education and a high performing educational system, the City of Bowie has no direct control or authority over instruction, administration of the schools, or school spending.
If you have a problem with your child’s school, start with the leadership at the school. Contact the teacher, grade level chair, department head or principal of the school. You may also want to reach out to the parent teacher association for assistance or to see if others are experiencing the same type of problems. We also suggest that you visit the PGCPS Guide to Addressing Questions and Concerns for detailed information about the process for getting your specific concerns addressed.
Concerns can also be brought to the attention of the School Chief Executive Officer, who oversees the administration of the school system. Or you can contact Bowie’s representative on the Prince George’s County Board of Education.
School Board Member District 5
Dr. Monica Goldson
Chief Executive Officer
Learn more information about the Board of Education.
Why is my street light out?
Street lights go out for a variety of reasons:
- the bulb needs to be replaced
- there may be a malfunction in the light
- there is a wiring issue on the pole or underground
- power might not be getting to the pole
Each of these type of problems is handled differently and sometimes will require that the electric company get involved. Our goal is to get bulbs replaced by our contractor within 2 to 5 days of the problem being reported to the city (weather permitting). If the problem is more than a bulb replacement, it will take longer to repair.
The city is responsible for almost 6,000 street lights. We depend on you, the residents to let us know ,just as soon as you can, about any problem lights that you see.
Report Street Light Problems
- Use our online 24-hour service request system
- Email Robert Holt in the Public Works Department at email@example.com
- Call 240-544-5690
You will need to provide the following information:
- Your name and contact information so that we can provide follow up or ask questions if necessary
- Address nearest the pole
- Nearest intersection
- Pole number (found about five feet up on the pole). If you can’t see the pole number, just provide as much information as you can about the location (i.e. nearest intersection, near a fire hydrant, how many lights are out, "third light from intersection of Main and Elm")
Most bulb replacements and other simple repairs are handled by the City’s contractor. When the problem is underground, BGE may need to get involved. When that is the case, it may take several weeks to complete the repair.
Keeping the lights on is everyone’s job. Employees will report outages when they see them, but your help is key to making sure that outages and malfunctions are addressed quickly, so that we can maintain safety for everyone.
Other Resident Concerns:
- Amber Ridge
- Animal Control
- Art & Entertainment District
- Bowie High School (new school)
- Bowie State University
- Bowie Town Center
- Bridge in Old Bowie
- Bus service for seniors and disabled
- Cellular towers
- Clothing boxes
- Code Compliance
- Community Centers
- Dirt bikes
- Drug activity
- Early voting
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- Green Bowie
- Hall Road
- Heritage Trail in Old Bowie
- Housing (affordability, choice, density)
- Ice Arena
- Jericho Park Road
- Leaf collection
- Mail delivery
- Master Plan update process
- Municipal authority
- Non profit support
- Old Town Bowie revitalization
- Police services
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- Race track
- Rail line safety
- Senior Center
- Senior housing
- South Lake development
- Street parking
- Streets and signage
- Term limits for County Council
- Thank you
- Traffic signals
- Trash and recycling
- Volunteer opportunities
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