A group of Prince George's County homeowners say they’ve been kept in the dark about plans to build a public park in their neighborhood.
The proposed park would sit just outside the Canter Creek community in Upper Marlboro.
Anjelica and Rahim Muhammad thought they found their dream home when they bought it just over a month ago.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Anjelica Muhammad said. “It’s a gorgeous community, a tight-knit community.”
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With houses starting in the low $600,000s with some close to $1 million, the quiet community seemed perfect for their growing family until they got an email and a sign popped up signaling the coming park earlier this week.
“I wouldn't have bought a home here had I known about a public park in our backyard,” Muhammad said.
Billed by Prince George’s County as the Canter Creek Park Project, a playground, parking lot, trail, seating area, basketball courts and tennis courts are planned for a 25-acre parcel.
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“Literally going to be facing people’s backyards,” Muhammad said.
New homeowners like the Muhammads say they were misled about the size and scope of the park when they bought. The proposed plan comes with some safety concerns, as well.
“As a mother it makes me a little nervous to know that there’s a public park coming in literally in our backyard,” Muhammad said. “You know, there’s been murders at Westphalia. That’s not too far from here. There’s also been an armed robbery.”
“If I had known there were basketball courts and grills and a pavilion, no, I wouldn’t have [bought here],” homeowner Jonquil Prophet said. “I would have stayed in Laurel.”
“I would have stayed where I was,” homeowner Bryan Humbles said.
Humbles and Prophet both bought there in the first phase of the development in 2019 when it was just a few houses.
They say they raised their concerns about the park during a public meeting in 2020.
“We had no say,” Humbles said. “It was decided long before we got here.”
A few years and about 200 homes later, they say the sign is the only notice they’ve received about the park, and construction is supposed to start this month.
“It really hurts and stings that people made decisions that don’t live here about our community, and now we’re having to deal with it,” Prophet said.
Homeowners are getting together, calling on county leaders and even the governor to at least hear their concerns before construction starts in their backyards.
“To really just listen to this community and let us have a seat at the table,” Muhammad said.
Muhammad started an online petition that already has more than 100 signatures within a couple days.
News4 reached out to the Prince George’s County Department of Parks for comment but has not received a response as of 11 p.m. Friday.
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