Regular Meeting on November 13, 2008

Meeting began at 7:30 pm. Councilmembers Jonathan Molinatto, Patrick Wojahn and Mary Cook were present. Councilmember Bob Catlin arrived later.

Michele La Rocca made a presentation on the development proposal of Chic-fil-A restaurant opposite to the College Park Marketplace complex. Currently the site is owned by Michaels Co. and is zoned M-U-I. According to the proposed site plan, the restaurant would be built on 4596 sq ft area and would support 138 seats. Plans call for a play zone in the front of the shop,; alcohol would not be served. A traffic consultant will look into the traffic pattern at the entrance of the restaurant. Members expressed concerns, that centered around the proximity of a proposed fast food restaurant to existing residential homes.. Moved by Myron Hutchinson and seconded by Lourene Miovski: Oppose the development of Chic-fil-A. Motion passed unanimously.

Christopher Warren of the City of College Park’s Planning, Community and Economic Development made a presentation on a proposed development of a “Gateway Park” at the intersection of Edgewood Road and Route 1. The construction would occur on the site of a house and its surrounding area at the intersection. The house has been for sale for a long time, but was never sold. The City is negotiating to purchase the property, and if successful, they would like to raze the house, design, and build a park. They would pay for all of this with state of Maryland’s Open Space Funds. A motion moved by John Krouse (seconded by Mary Cook): “Have NCPCA support the concept of construction of the Hollywood Gateway Park, under the city ownership” was later amended by Mohammed Hossain (seconded by Mark Shroder) to include, “Ask the city to have feedback from the members on the park’s design”. The motion passed with majority show of hands.


Anna Guetzkow and two other members of the Compassion Center (at 4700 Erie Street, phone: 301-699-0100) made a presentation on its various charitable works, such as acquiring food that is still good but cannot be sold and supplying it free of charge to Attick Towers, Spellman House, and St. Vincent DePaul Society, as well as other locations. They asked for a letter of support, and are also looking for volunteers to help as drivers, food sorters, and other tasks. Moved by Peter Lakeland and seconded by Patrick Wojahn: Have NCPCA write a letter of a letter of support when they apply for grants to help in their work. Motion passed unanimously.


No one from the Postal Service showed up to discuss the alleged irregularities in postal delivery; the presentation is expected to be rescheduled for this December or January.


Treasurer Anna Ubeda could not be present in the meeting. In her absence, President Larry Bleau reported that, since last report, $240 was deposited from renewals and new memberships. No expenses were reported in November. Currently the balance is $2082.68.


Moved by Peter Lakeland and seconded by Patrick Wojahn, members approved the October 2008 minutes


President Larry Bleau announced that the Purple Line Draft Environmental Impact Statement Public Hearing would be held on 11/19, 5-9pm @ Ritchie (open house at 4:30). He also announced the public participation schedule for the US 1 Sector Plan and urged members to participate; the meetings would be at the School of Architecture Auditorium, 12/5, 6:30-8:00pm; at Paint Branch Elementary School on 12/6, 8:30am-2:00pm; at the Parks and Recreation Auditorium, 6600 Kenilworth Ave., on 12/8, 5:30-7:00pm; and a wrap-up at the School of Architecture Auditorium on 12/10, 6:30-9:00pm.


Larry also reported actions he took during the preceding month: he represented NCPCA’s position re the Edgewood Rd. restriping to City Council; spoke with the USPS Consumer Affairs Office and asked to have a representative attend the meeting; and exchanged emails with Omar Madani, who is willing to help with NCPCA web site.


Maureen Malone was ill and could not give the Variance Committee’s report, so President Larry Bleau did so. The variance case discussed last month was reconsidered by the APC and dismissed; in fact, it should never have been heard. Staff misinterpreted the Fence Ordinance: the fence involved is on a side yard, and a fence in the street side yard of a corner lot does not need a variance to be replaced, although a variance is needed to construct a new fence there. Since the case was dismissed the property owner may proceed to erect the fence.


Laura Moore, of PG County Councilmember Tom Dernoga’s office, made a brief presentation on a proposed bill, CB-80-2008, Transfer of Development Rights, which would help limit sprawl and preserve farmlands and rural areas of the County. The bill proposes to have developers pay for increased density in urban areas, such as College Park, and the County would use that money to purchase development rights of properties in rural areas. There will be a public hearing on this bill on Tuesday at 10:00am in Upper Marlboro at the County Administration Building.


Tanweer Ahmed announced the 3rd Annual AlHuda School Fall cleanup event on Sunday, 17 November. The residents and school students collect trash from street sidewalks and rake leaves from the house yards for free in this annual event. The residents are requested to schedule free yard service at (301)982-9848 throughout the leaf season.


Members discussed the location of neighborhood trash cans, similar to those near the Metro station. The purpose is to place them in high litter areas to keep the sidewalks cleaner. They recommended two locations which Public Works will consider: Cherry Hill at the bus stop across from the Marketplace, and the second choice was Edgewood and Narragansett. Members also requested a recycling bin at Duvall Field.


Moved by Bill Robertson and seconded by Bob Steward: Adjourn the meeting. Motion passed, and the meeting adjourned at 9:45


Respectfully submitted by Fazlul Kabir, Secretary