Bowie Race Track Property
On July 10, 2023, City Council unanimously approved the staff recommendation to adopt the Task Force recommendations (as modified by staff). Download the report (9MB PDF) and keep reading for background information on the project below.
The City is slated to become owner of the Bowie Race Track by the end of 2024. On May 16, 2022, the City Council appointed a Task Force made up of City residents and Bowie State University representatives to solicit public opinion and develop a concept for future recreational use of the Bowie Race Track property. The Task Force held five meetings, established a project webpage, conducted a public survey, and held two public workshops. On June 29, 2023, the Task Force held its final meeting and approved a recommended concept plan, evaluation criteria and specific use recommendations.
The Bowie Race Course Training Center (the “Bowie Racetrack Property”) compromises approximately 180 acres, including all of the land located at 8311 Race Track Road, 8406 Race Track Road, 8408 Race Track Road, and 8410 Race Track Road ( (PDF). The Racing and Community Development Act of 2020 ( (PDF)
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. The remaining portion of the property may be used only for active recreation, including baseball, football, soccer, and cricket, and have only one structure no larger than 50,000 square feet. Furthermore, by January 1, 2021, the City was to enter into a joint use agreement, which includes an easement, with Bowie State University for future use of the property. On December 14, 2020, the City and Bowie State University reported to the General Assembly on the completed 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.
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 , , and ). 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.
- 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 was charged with the following tasks:
|Task Force Meetings Minutes
|September 2022 Approved Minutes (PDF)
|October 2022 Approved Minutes (PDF)
|April 2023 Approved Minutes (PDF)
|June 2023 Final Meeting Notes (PDF)
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 what residents and other stakeholders prefer in 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.
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.
A second community open-house workshop was held in May. Several draft alternatives for recreational uses for the property were on display.
- Summary of the online survey results (PDF)
- Summary of the December workshop (PDF) including results of the dot activity
- Summary of the May workshop (PDF)
- Posters from the May workshop (PDF) (22MB file). Note: These pages are 36"x48" and can't be printed on standard home printers.
The Task Force will conclude its work by presenting its recommended concept plan, evaluation criteria, and specific use recommendations to City Council at its July 10, 2023, City Council meeting. The following documents, related to the final Task Force activities, will be available below before the Council meeting.