- Planning and Sustainability
- Bowie Race Track Property
Bowie Race Track Property
The City of Bowie is slated to become owner of the Bowie Race Track by the end of 2023. Learn what this means for our community and how a Task Force made up of City residents and Bowie State University representatives is working to shape the future of the property.
The Task Force meetings are open to the public (view the schedule), and the flowchart below provides an overview and timeline of their activities. If additional information is needed, call (301-809-3045) or email Joe Meinert, the City's Planning Director.
The City is expected to become the record owner of the property known as the Bowie Race Course Training Center (the “Bowie Racetrack Property”), which includes approximately 180.84 acres. This includes all of the land located at 8311 Race Track Road, 8406 Race Track Road, 8408 Race Track Road, 8410 Race Track Road (view a map of these parcels). The Racing and Community Development Act of 2020 (Chapter 590 of the 2020 Laws of Maryland), called for ownership to transfer to the City on or before December 31, 2023, which was pushed back to December 31, 2024, by the Maryland General Assembly during their 2022-2023 session.
According to Chapter 590, the portion of the property transferred to the City that is within 100 feet of the top of the Patuxent River bank must be used for passive recreational activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, picnicking, and walking, and the remaining portion of the property may be used only for active recreational activities--including baseball, football, soccer, and cricket--and have only one structure that is up to 50,000 square feet constructed on the property. Furthermore, by January 1, 2021, the City must enter into a joint use agreement, which includes an easement, with Bowie State University for the future use of the property. The City and Bowie State University must report to the General Assembly on the final terms of the joint use agreement. Until the required conveyance, the owner of the Bowie Race Course Training Center must operate the center as a thoroughbred training facility to provide more stall space for the racing industry in Maryland.
On January 4, 2020, local elected officials held a community meeting to discuss the future of the Bowie Race Track Property (view the recording here). City Council directed staff to work with the Council and representatives of Bowie State University to obtain a mutually acceptable Joint Use Agreement for future uses on the property, as set forth in Senate Bill 987 and Chapter 590. On December 7, 2020, City Council approved the Joint Use Agreement.
At its March 7, 2022, regular meeting, Council directed staff to convene representatives from Bowie State University and City staff, as well as two members of the City Council, as an ad-hoc steering committee (view the recording, meeting minutes,and staff report to Council). The goal of this group would be to establish a communication mechanism and design a public input process leading to the adoption of a recreational land use concept for the Bowie Race Track Property. After multiple meetings, a recommendation was made to form a City task force. On May 16, 2022, City Council approved Resolution R-20-22 establishing the Bowie Race Track Property Task Force.
Per Amended Resolution R-20-22, the Race Track Property Task Force consists of 23 members, including two City Councilmembers, two representatives from Bowie State University, and one representative from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission serving on the Executive Steering Committee. The Task Force also includes three subcommittees:
- Bowie Community Engagement Subcommittee - Representatives from up to three homeowners/community associations in the vicinity of the property, as well as representatives from up to three city-wide community groups or individuals who are active members of their communities.
- City Committees Subcommittee - A total of six representatives from the Community Recreation Committee, Environmental Advisory Committee and Green Team Executive Committee.
- Bowie State University Subcommittee - A total of six representatives consisting of BSU students, faculty and/or staff, as appointed by the president of the university.
The Task Force charge includes the following:
- Review the results of the environmental investigation of the site (view an environmental features map).
- Develop a list of desired uses and their associated space needs by each entity.
- Develop a concept plan for the activation of the Bowie Race Track property, including programmatic elements, timeline for improvements and cost of improvements. As part of the concept plan, develop a prioritized list of desired uses and their associated space needs.
- Determine methodology for renewed community engagement efforts and serve as the central forum for community engagement and public input into the process.
The Task Force received a briefing (view video, download the presentation) from the County's Parks & Recreation staff to discuss existing recreation, ongoing needs, and planned amenities to help inform the future of the site. Minutes and agendas of their regular meetings are linked below. By July 1, 2023, the Task Force must submit its final report to City Council.
|Task Force Meeting Documents|
|September 2022 |
|October 2022 |
|February 2023 |
Minutes not yet available
In an effort to get input from the public on the future of the Race Track Property, an online community survey was created, and public workshops were held.
The Task Force initiated a community survey to find out more about the what residents and other stakeholders prefer for future recreational development of the Race Track Property. The survey was open from November 14, 2022, through December 20, 2022, and 2,675 submissions were received. A summary of the survey results is available here.
On December 3, 2022, a community workshop was held. Attendees participated in an interactive "dot" activity to determine how the race track property might accommodate a variety of recreational uses. View a summary of the workshop, including results of the dot activity.
A second community open-house workshop was held in May. Several draft alternatives for recreational uses for the property were on display. A summary of the workshop is here, and the posters are here (22MB file). Note: These pages are 36"x48" and can't be printed on standard home printers.