A plan to build a 4-million-square-foot warehouse — believed by neighbors to be an Amazon fulfillment center — in Westphalia, a young community in Prince George’s County, Maryland, just took a step forward.
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Thursday night approved an addition to Westphalia Town Center in Upper Marlboro with conditions relating to architecture, sound walls and landscaping.
All indications show that the planned center along Maryland Route 4 at Melwood Road near the Capital Beltway will be an Amazon fulfillment center, but because of a nondisclosure agreement, that has not been confirmed.
The approval Thursday night followed presentations, public comment and discussion that lasted about nine hours.
The operator of the proposed logistics center anticipates 150 tractor-trailers a day leaving the facility at all hours of the day — about one tractor-trailer every 10 minutes. Many at Thursday night’s meeting expressed disapproval and concerns about the truck noise around the residential neighborhood.
In response to the backlash, the operator of the center pledge to work with Prince George’s County to put up signs on neighborhood streets banning thru truck traffic.
Many residents told the commission that they felt disrespected at community meetings the developer held earlier this week.
“Clearly, you have to acknowledge that folks are still very emotionally upset and still concerned about this application, and we still have a lot of work to do,” said William Shipp, an attorney for Walton Westphalia Development Corporation.
“We need to get better about communication. Whether this project goes through or not — we hope that it does — this is a community that is gonna be here.”
WTOP’s Michelle Basch reported from Prince George’s County.