Regular Meeting on April 10, 2008

Meeting began at 7:30 pm.  Councilmembers Bob Catlin, Mary Cook, Jonathon Molinatto, and Patrick Wojahn were present; Jack Perry arrived later.  Faith Calhoun (on behalf of P.G. County Councilman Tom Dernoga) also attended.


President Arthur Eaton reminded members that their dues will be due in May, and that there would be a notice on the May newsletter about them.


Sandra Gallagher of RCP gave a presentation on the south core development at Greenbelt Metro Park.  The townhouses, owned by RCP, and the apartments, owned by Fairfield, have had their site plan approved.  There will be 378 multifamily units in these two development – the total for south core is 1022 units – and there will be 68,000 sq.ft. of neighborhood retail.  A bridge over Branchville Rd. to connect with MD-193 is now being built and will be open with base paving in about 6 weeks.  A trail system will connect to Branchville Rd. and provide access to Lake Artemisia; there will be two access points from the trail to the development.  There will be no access to Branchville Rd. by road from south core.  A shuttle will operate to take residents to Metro before north core is built, but only when warranted by the number of residents.  There will be sidewalks and bike lanes on the spine road.  There is a 5-6 year buildout for the townhouses.  The retail area will have 3 stores of residential above retail, 4 stories total.  There will be a pedestrian area at the back of the retail.  Parking will be in parking structures in the rear, with separate areas for retail and residential parking; the latter will be secured.  No residences will face the tracks.


Mary Cook spoke  to members about a State Highway Administration survey about access to UM from the beltway.  Although it may not be apparent from the flyer, the access is the same UM connector road idea that NCPCA voted against years ago, which would go through the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center property.  Mary urged members to respond to the survey with negative comments.  Jack Perry responded to a query about the City expanding its limits with a statement that the City is indeed examining the possibility of extending its limits north to the beltway to include the BARC property.  Larry Bleau observed that, if the UM connector road is ever built and retail development goes up along it, that development would then be within the city and add to its tax base.


Arthur Eaton reported that he attended the Purple Line meeting on behalf of NCPCA.  The only alignments considered at the meeting were the one that traverse the northern and southern parts of campus (editor note: a subsequent flyer sent by MTA shows only central and southern routes).  There would be 12 minute headway; 6 minutes during rush hour.  Construction is planned to start in 2012, finish in 2016.


Arthur Eaton reported he received a mailing about County budget priorities.  With respect to College Park, there will be an increase in police protection personnel, but the County will cut overtime.  Arthur expressed doubts there will be enough officers.  The budget hearing is on 5/13.


Moved by Peter Lakeland / Larry Bleau: Approve the minutes of NCPCA March 13 meeting without change; motion passed.


Treasurer Anna Ubeda reported a current balance of $1,273; she spent money on 123 stamps since the last meeting.  A motion to approve the Treasurer report passed.


Patrick Wojahn gave an update on Al-Huda progress.  Prince Georges County did an internal site inspection on 4/4; there is no report yet.  The next step is for some members of City Council and Staff, including the City Attorney, to meet with Al-Huda.  For violations the options are to remediate (remove) the violation or amend the site plan; if the latter it would come before Council and NCPCA first.


Maureen Malone, chair of the Variance Committee, reported that they received two variance notices.  The first was to add a carport to a house on 48th St.  The committee did not get the site plan for these cases but did request that NCPCA be made a party of record.  The other was to build a front porch to a new house on Kenesaw.  The APC recommended denial of the former and approval of the latter.  Maureen recommended that the committee be enlarged from 3 to 5 members and they make a decision on behalf of NCPCA by majority instead of unanimous vote.  (Note: NCPCA’s officers will take this up at their officers meeting.)


A Nominating Committee was formed to present to the members a list of candidates for office for the June elections.  The members appointed to the committee were Ruth Herbert, Fazlul Kabir, and Mark Shroder.  There are currently 107 paid members.


In other matters: Patrick Wojahn spoke about foreclosures, of which there were 52 in the city in February alone.  He distributed a flyer giving resources to consult before foreclosure becomes a problem.  There is an ongoing Postal Service investigation as to why mail was not delivered to certain address in the city.  About 350 homes were sporadically not receiving mail.  Kim Lugo suggested that should this happens for a few days one should contact the Postmaster promptly.  (Note: The telephone number for the Postmaster for North College Park is 301-345-8923; his name is Ernie Jones.)  Mary Cook reminded members that Public Works will be accepting electronics for recycling on Saturdays during April.  Patrick announced a new web site,, devoted to citizens of College Park District 1.  Jack Perry announced that on 4/17 there will be a presentation at the Berwyn Civic Association meeting about a development proposal for the former Starlight Inn; that Council finished its budget in one day; that the proposed budget includes a tax increase; and that development activity has slowed.  Kim Lugo asked for more volunteers for crime watch.


The meeting adjourned at 9:40 pm.

                                                                                                                                                                              Submitted by Larry Bleau, Secretary.