Amazon’s plans to build a warehouse-and-distribution facility in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, cleared a hurdle Monday afternoon.
The Prince George’s County Council voted to allow Amazon’s plans to proceed, despite opposition from neighbors.
Amazon plans to change an existing building and expand the parking-and-loading area at the site, located near Queens Court and Prince George’s Boulevard. A FedEx Ground facility is nearby.
The council voted 10-1 to approve the site’s design, which expands the land area that may be covered by pavement to accommodate parking, loading and circulation for the facility.
Opponents argued that while the site is zoned for warehouses, Amazon’s facility is something else.
“It’s not a classical warehouse used for the storage of goods. It’s like a transfer facility. It’s a parcel hub, where the products come in at night, they unload them from the big trucks, they put them on the vans and send them out into the fields,” said G. Macy Nelson, attorney for those who appealed the planning board’s decision to allow the facility.
Nelson told the council that Amazon would be expanding the paved area at the site from 6.5 acres to 13 acres.
The site will serve as a “last-mile” delivery station, where tractor-trailers bring packages before they’re shuttled to their final destinations by Amazon van drivers.
A lawyer representing Amazon said the expanded pavement is needed to accommodate employees.
“We see Amazon sprinter vans running around our communities at all hours. The way it works is that a driver for Amazon comes into the site in their personal car, they park their personal car … they then go to the van-parking section, pick up their van and head out to do their deliveries,” said attorney Heather Dlhopolsky.
Amazon has said it hopes to have the facility operating by year’s end.