Regular Meeting on December 11, 2008

Meeting began at 7:30 pm. Councilmembers Jonathan Molinatto, Patrick Wojahn and Bob Catlin were present. Mayor Stephen Brayman also attended.

In the President’s report, Larry Bleau stated that he reported positions that NCPCA members had taken to City Council, both in person and by letter. Secretary Fazlul Kabir reported that we have 86 active members, and that about 40 did not renew.

Moved by Mark Shroder and seconded by Peter Lakeland, members approved the November 2008 minutes.

Christine Nagel made a presentation on the recently completed 6-day charrette by Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). The main feedback from residents occurred during December 6, Saturday’s session. Nine groups provided their general input on the entire corridor and then focused on a smaller area either downtown, midtown or a section of North College Park. The boundaries of areas under review this time included four new areas in North College Park: Seven Springs Apts, Paint Branch Stream Valley, 8 residential houses on 47th place (between Lackawanna and 47th Pl.), and the Hollywood Commercial District. Consultants want to bring in big sidewalks, place buildings at the street, reduce traffic speed, have a shuttle to UM events, allow parking on US 1, and allow townhouses around MOM’s and REI. The Hollywood table emphasized keeping MOMS and REI and redeveloping other commercial uses with businesses the community would use. The group was strongly opposed to any new residential development. Keeping the height of new buildings compatible with existing residential uses and not increasing the density was also stressed. The Autoville/Cherry Hill table put emphasis on development that would be compatible with the existing residential uses. Residents were adamantly opposed to any new roadways that would facilitate cut through traffic. NCPCA President Larry Bleau and Board member Chris Nagle attended a session for civic associations. Larry requested that M-NCPPC hold a mini-charrette with NCPCA in January. Chad Williams, M-NCPPC project manger stated that would cost too much as the consultants are located all over the country. Larry pushed for M-NCPPC to attend with some of their staff. The next scheduled event is a post charrette meeting that will be held in the end of January or February, followed by a draft plan, traffic study and marketing study.

Treasurer Anna Ubeda joined later and reported that the Treasurer report on the November minutes had some wording issues. It says “…since last report, $240 was deposited from renewals ….” . The amount was already reported in the October meeting. The balance should’ve taken into consideration that charges already reported in October were pending. For the December report, $20 was deposited towards renewals, there were no expenses, and the current balance is $1,909.09.

President Larry Bleau started the discussion on the proposed NCPCA website. Larry commented that almost all of the neighborhood associations have their own websites. Fazlul Kabir noted that the proposed website would give NCPCA its unique online identity, he also pointed out a varieties of possible contents other civic associations currently have. When Larry suggested an upper limit of $200/year for a web site, Mark Shroder gave the opinion that the proposed website should not cost that much to maintain. Peter Lakeland mentioned that the website should not replace the physical meeting. Moved by Fazlul Kabir, and seconded by Omar Madani: Have NCPCA form a committee to conduct a feasibility study on the content and cost of the proposed website. The motion passed anonymously. The committee is scheduled to report the finding of the study in the January 2009 meeting.

Kim Lugo of the Neighborhood Watch program could not be present. In her absence, Kennis Termini reported that one of the Neighborhood signs was stolen and requires replacement on Edgewood Road at Narragansett Pkwy on the side of 5007 Edgewood Road. The stand remains were it previously was posted. The other sign is located heading north from the intersection of Edgewood Road on RI Ave and is located on the left between the “Welcome to College Park” sign and the 35 mph speed limit sign. It is severely damaged and requires replacement. Any damages of these signs can be reported to city’s Bob Ryan. Mohammed Hossain urged the members to revive the Neighborhood Watch program and have an active participation, given the increasing rate of crime incidents in the neighborhood. About a dozen members signed up to volunteer in the program’s future activities.

Kennis Termini reported several problems in the neighborhood of the north-east side of the four corners area. Moved by Christine Nagel / Bill Robertson: Send a letter to City Council expressing members’ concern for the condition of the commercial and residential properties near the Hollywood Commercial district, in particular trash, sanitation, and general property condition, and asking Council members to attend the January NCPCA meeting to hear members’ specific concerns. Specific text for the letter was submitted along with the motion. Motion passed.
Kennis Termini also announced the canned food drive for the Pregnancy Aid Center.
Fazlul Kabir announced the first community winter clothing drive for the needy children, adults and the charities in the area. The event has been organized by members from a number of North College Park’s schools and faith groups, in particular Hollywood Elementary School, AlHuda School and the College Park Church of Nazarene. Fazlul also thanked the members for their generous donations at the NCPCA collection event.

Moved by Patrick Wojahn and seconded by Valerie Bleau: Adjourn the meeting. Motion passed, and the meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm. Members later joined the NCPCA’s annual holiday party after the meeting.

Respectfully submitted by Fazlul Kabir, Secretary