Making "Gorgeous Prince George's" More Than a Saying

County council continues county makeover

By Mark Stephens
|  Thursday, Nov 19, 2009  |  Updated 6:31 AM EDT
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Making "Gorgeous Prince George's" More Than a Saying

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It's the longtime battle of  "Gorgeous Prince George's"  versus  "Ugly Pee Gee." 

Some Prince George's County residents have used the latter phrase to refer to the locale, but county leaders are trying to make sure that saying becomes a thing of the past. 

And they're hoping some new laws will help. "We're trying to upgrade the livability of the county, and through that, the image," said council member Thomas E. Dernoga (D-Laurel). To make that happen, the county has adopted laws encouraging the establishment of wineries and bed-and-breakfast inns.

Councilmembers also voted to make it more difficult for check-cashing stores to open. Stores wanting to open will have to obtain a special exception through a lengthy approval process. Then they'll have to follow rules that limit their hours, and mandate security measures such as cameras, guards and outdoor lighting.

That  move is the latest in a string of measures restricting businesses like liquor stores, strip clubs and pawn shops in Prince George's.

Councilmembers say, keep 'em coming. "For far too long, we allowed our landscape to be peppered with liquor stores and strip clubs and pawn shops," said Del. Justin Ross (D-Prince George's). "We  know we're better than that."

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