Regular Meeting at Davis Hall on February 14, 2008

Meeting began at 7:33 pm.  Councilmembers Bob Catlin, Mary Cook, Jonathon Molinatto, and Patrick Wojahn were present; Jack Perry arrived later.  Margot Bauman (on behalf of MD Sen. Jim Rosapepe) also attended.

 

The designer retained by College Park Auto Service gave a presentation on the service station’s expansion plans.  The plan would add 16 new parking spaces but would remove 6, to be used for temporary vehicle storage during repair; add one new service bay on the east side; change the aesthetics of the building; and would relandscape the property.  There would be no new pumps.  Some areas on the side would not be dedicated to parking.  The property does not include the gully; Narragansett Pkwy. has a 120’ right of way.  While the landscaping plan has not been done yet, they anticipate adding greenery on the west side, possibly on the east as well.  Since expansion is on the opposite end from Rhode Island Ave. plans not be affected by any future intersection improvement at Edgewood Rd.  Access to the property, currently from Edgewood Rd., would not change.  There would be drainage towards the northeast corner, where a lip in the pavement would catch runoff, retain it underground, and separate water from oil or grease; another company, under a maintenance agreement, would remove the latter two on a regular basis.  Cars under repair would be removed from the west side.  The final plan, when submitted, will include a landscaping plan.  That plan will go before City Council as well as a County committee that handles special exceptions.

 

Moved by Mark Shroder: Recommend to the City, subject to adoption of an effective landscape plan, that NCPCA have no objection.  Moved / seconded by John Krouse / Betty Colonomos as a substitute motion: Take no position due to there being insufficient information.  Substitute motion passed, thus dismissing the main motion.  Patrick Wojahn suggested a field trip of the site, which he would organize.

 

The soccer stadium agenda item was dropped because it was too speculative and very premature.

 

Patrick Wojahn led discussion of the Al Huda site plan changes.  It is too early in the process for NCPCA to do anything.  The City asked the County to get involved, as there are several issues with the site plan.  They have inspected the outside, but not yet the inside.  Al Huda submitted some changes, but the site plan is a work in progress and not ready to bring before NCPCA.  The full amended site plan would come before NCPCA and the City for comment.  John Krouse observed that the problem, most likely, is that the County does not have a good idea how to handle zoning matters when there is a school and a church combined.


Moved by Betty Colonomos / Bill Robertson: Approve the minutes of NCPCA January 10 meeting; motion passed.


Treasurer Anna Ubeda reported a current balance of $1,396; expenses of $86.15 have been paid since the last meeting.

 

Kiersten Johnson gave a report on the East Campus Development; she is on the steering committee for the project.  The project would be mixed use, with residential (2000 beds for graduate housing), retail (including a large entertainment center), hotel, and parking.  The land is owned by the University of Maryland, a state institution, but they agreed to allow it to be subject to County zoning regulations and procedures.  It would have high quality retail, use good environmental stewardship, be high density, employ smart growth ideas, and “green” building techniques (LEED).  The Purple Line would go through the center of the project.  One fifth of the financing would be from County bonds.  Although the land itself is not taxable, the improvements would be subject to County property tax.  Open issues are hotel tax, arts and entertainment tax, if Silver LEED would be used, if prevailing wage would be paid to nonunion workers.  The steering committee approved a set of principles to guide the project, which she described as “having no teeth”.  The categories of principles are Design; Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability; Smart Growth, Transportation and Parking; Uses; and Project Initiatives and Resources.  The developer would like to break ground in one year.  The web site for the development is http://eastcampus.umd.edu/ .

 

Moved by Mark Shroder / Betty Colonomos: Thank Kiersten for her work.  Motion passed.

 

Ruth Herbert gave a report on opposition efforts against the proposed pedestrian bridge.  She wrote to the School Board about the matter, and on December 3 the City received a letter from them which stated the School Board does not intend to allow the bridge to be built on its property, which was the preferred alternative selected by the City.  Ruth also received a telephone call from the School Board.

 

Moved by John Krouse / Mark Shroder: Extend the meeting beyond 9:30.  Motion passed.

 

Maureen Malone, chair of the Variance Committee, reported that they received one variance notice, and the committee was unanimous in its decision to take no position.  The committee also presented for adoption a set of guidelines by which it would operate, which allow them to act on behalf of NCPCA between meetings.

 

Moved by Betty Colonomos / Mark Shroder: Adopt the guidelines as presented.  Motion passed.

 

Larry Bleau presented for adoption an Email List Content Policy.  Some suggestions made were: inform Kim Lugo and get a link to her report; look into archiving the list; possibly send messages as a digest; and add crime to the list of permitted uses.

Moved by Mark Shroder / Betty Colonomos: Adopt the policy as presented.  Motion passed.

Moved by Mary Cook / Delores Pasta: Adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed; meeting adjourned at 9:55.

Submitted by Larry Bleau, Secretary.

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