Regular Meeting at Davis Hall on January 10, 2008

Meeting began at 7:34 pm.  Councilmembers Bob Catlin, Mary Cook, Jonathon Molinatto, and Patrick Wojahn were present; Jack Perry and Mayor Steve Brayman arrived later.  Faith Calhoun (on behalf of P.G. County Councilman Tom Dernoga) also attended.

Matthew Sadesko of Baywood Hotels gave a presentation on the Marriott Towne Suites development, planned for 9620 Baltimore Ave., next to the EconoLodge.  It would occupy two lots, one of which is currently vacant.  This will be an extended stay facility, with a one week minimum.  It would have 75 units, each with a complete kitchen; no restaurant or meeting rooms.  The target clientele would be those attending Dept. of Agriculture functions, training events, and summer UM events.  The building would be 75% brick, 20% efface, 5% concrete.  Both the minimum and maximum parking is 37 ½ spaces, but they are requesting 75 to have one space for each unit, a Marriott requirement; most of the parking would be internal, however.  There would be bicycle racks in the garage.  Access would be right-in, right-out; left-in would also be allowed until US 1 is reconstructed with a median.  There are no plans to address the sector plan’s traffic cap of 44 AM and 47 PM on this property.  There is one utility pole, which will not be removed, but all utilities from the pole to elsewhere on the property would be undergrounded, and Marriott would pay a fee in lieu toward future undergrounding of utilities.  The building uses efficient techniques but is not LEED design compliant.  Land to the rear has been dedicated for a future bicycle path.

Moved by Mark Shroder / John Krouse: As NCPCA did not object to the concept of an extended stay facility, that we write to City Council and urge them to negotiate a covenant of support subject to the following conditions: that Baywood Hotels provide a subsidy for its employees to use public transportation.  Moved by John Krouse / Bill Robertson: Amend the motion to include two additional conditions: they provide a shuttle service for their guests in perpetuity, and that they attempt to obtain LEED silver certification.  The amendment passed, and the amended main motion also passed.

City Planner Elisa Vitale and a consultant gave a presentation on plans to renovate of Duvall Field.  Three years ago the City started a preliminary design and approved a concept plan.  The City and consultant worked with the Boys and Girls Club and nearby residents to develop a detailed plan.  The R. I. Ave. entrance will be shifted opposite to Cherokee Rd.;  the playground will be moved towards the center; and parking will be moved to Delaware Rd.  There will be an entry sign; 78 parking spaces; a lighted loop trail system; three baseball fields; a full size football field; poles and netting at the end of each field; a portable batting cage and portable bleachers; side double fences with a break to allow access; a single full size restroom; and many trash receptacles.  Consultants will try to keep healthy trees on the southern end, about 35 yeas old, when the path is installed.  The estimated cost is $2 million based on the concept plan; funding sources are the City, Open Space funds, Community Park fund, and a contribution from the Greenbelt Station development.

Moved by John Krouse / Peter Lakeland: Voice approval of the plan, but encourage the City to preserve healthy trees.  Motion passed.

Moved by Peter Lakeland / John Krouse: Approve the minutes of NCPCA December 13 meeting with one change: In the 9th paragraph, 4th line, change “Aronson” to “Larry”.  Motion passed.

Treasurer Anna Ubeda reported in initial balance of $1,648, expenses of $166 ($25 for the party, $41 stamps, $100 Fisher House donation), for an ending balance of $1,482 on 12/31.  A motion to approve the Treasurer report passed.

There was no presentation on the College Park Auto Service plan for expansion as their designer was unable to attend; this will be rescheduled.  A reduced size drawing of their plans was circulated, however; it showed an enlarged parking area.

Maureen Malone, Variance Committee chair, reported that NCPCA had not given the committee any guidelines.  Larry Bleau has drafted a set of guidelines, which the committee will discuss and bring to the members for approval at the next meeting.  The committee received one variance request, which they unanimously opposed.  Arthur Eaton testified at the APC hearing on behalf of the committee.

Larry Bleau gave members an update on the transition to NCPCA’s new web based email list.  He invited all NCPCA members to join the new list, which now has 26 members; 67 have not yet joined.  The list can be accessed at http://groups.google.com/group/ncpca .

Moved by John Krouse / Mark Shroder: The Executive Committee should formulate a policy about appropriate content for the email list and present it to the members.  Motion passed.  (Note: NCPCA maintains a blog at http://ncpca.blogspot.com/ .)

John Krouse reported problems and code violations at Edgewood Rd. at US 1: potholes on both sides; tires and rubbish in the yards; north side of building does not look secured; sign on south side is in poor condition.  Code Enforcement is aware of the problem.

Maureen Malone reminded members to apply for the Homestead Tax Credit, which is being phased in starting this year.  (Note: One can apply for the Homestead Tax Credit online at http://www.dat.state.md.us/ or call 1-866-650-8783.)

Mark Shroder observed that the subprime mortgage crisis has local effects: At 9630 Narragansett Pkwy. work on a built up house has stopped and it looks abandoned; at 9721 53rd Ave. there is a trustee sale.

Mary Cook encouraged members to consider joining the Committee for a Better Environment, whose next meeting is on 1/28.

Joan Carol Poor said she read about Federal funds allocated to the City for “blight removal”.  Mayor Brayman clarified that these funds are associated with the East Campus development, and will be used to help the existing business district compete.

Arthur Eaton reported that MD Sen. Jim Rosapepe broke his leg while in Brussels; the organization will send a get well card to him.

Patrick Wojahn made several announcements: On 1/12, 2-4pm, at the Clarice Smith Center will be a Martin Luther King Day event “No Room For Prejudice”; on 1/27 will be a presidential debate in Laurel at the Oseh-Shalom Synagogue; on 2/12 is the MD primary.

Patrick Wojahn reported that the Board of Education has initially rejected the location of the proposed pedestrian bridge; the City may have to relocate the bridge to its alternate location at the south side of Davis Hall.  He said the City Council is discussing the bridge and invites all those who wish to have input to contact him or Jonathan Molinatto.

The meeting adjourned at 9:28 pm with a motion by Mark Shroder / Bill Robertson.                         Submitted by Larry Bleau, Secretary.

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