Regular Meeting on September 10, 2009

Meeting began at 7:30 pm. Councilmember Patrick Wojahn and Mayoral Candidate Andy Fellows were present.

The meeting started with a report from the Police – Community Response Team Officer Melanie Sarita. Ofc. Sarita spoke to members about recent crimes in the area. There has been a spate of thefts from cars. She suggested that to protect belongings, residents should lock car doors, and not to leave GPS devices in plain view.

County transportation planner Maureen P. Wilson briefed members on the current state of plans to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Edgewood Rd. and Rhode Island Ave. They described how the approaches would be widened to three lanes in all four directions, certain accesses would be closed off and others opened up, utility lines relocated, and the anticipated manner in which the signal would operate. The planners took back with them several suggestions made by members. The planners only discussed the adding of a traffic signal, not improvements to other parts of Rhode Island Ave; the design of the latter has not yet been funded.

Developer  Michele LaRocca briefed the members on the development of the Hollywood Station (old house at corner of Edgewood Rd at US 1). So far, no potential tenants have signed leases. The property owner wants to change the land use and build a bank instead of an office building, and Commerce Bank is interested. The developer would like community input to the design process. There was no objection to reforming the advisory committee that worked with Ms. LaRocca. Those who are interested in participating in this design should contact NCPCA President Larry Bleau.

President Larry Bleau announced that CBE is sponsoring a Rain Garden workshop on October 24; announced the public hearing on the Central US 1 Corridor Sector Plan on Tuesday, Sep. 15, in Upper Marlboro; sent a letter to Public Works on NCPCA recommendations on location of trash receptacles; invited Ofc. Senobio and Maureen Wilson to this evening’s meeting; and sent Mr. Dernoga an updated NCPCA flyer by email, which Mr. Dernoga offered to copy and distribute. He also received an email from Eileen Nivera (M-NCPPC) re the Sunnyside Playground, who reported that, as of June 22, construction drawings were about 90% complete, and it will take approximately 10-12 weeks to process the paperwork, order the equipment, have it shipped and start construction once the drawings are finished. The construction should take around 1 month.

Treasurer Anna Ubeda reported the ending balance was $1989.46, $185 has been deposited, $44 was spent on stamps, and $24.96 was spent for copying.  NCPCA official bank, PNC Bank, started charging us high fees, so the officers will look for another bank for NCPCA’s funds. Mark Shroder moved to authorize the officers to search for and change the bank NCPCA uses; motion passed.

The June 2009 minutes was not discussed or adopted.

Larry Bleau reported on behalf of Stephen Jascourt, chair of the Variance Committee, who could not attend. There were two variance cases, neither of which received feedback from the committee.

Arif Kabir, NCPCA’s website committee chair updated the members on the website. The bios of the new officers are now added, the committee is still looking for pictures of the neighborhood or its events.

Several candidates for City Council introduced themselves and declared their candidacy. They were: Andrew Fellows for Mayor; Larry Bleau, Fazlul Kabir, Christine Nagel and Patrick Wojahn for District 1 Councilmember; and Marcus Afzali for District 4 Councilmember.

Samir Kabir announced that he is collecting school supplies for needy children of the local schools in the neighborhood.

Councilmember Patrick Wojahn announced that on Monday, September 28, at 7:30 pm at Davis Hall, the Education Advisory Committee will be meeting to discuss ways to address the overcrowding issue at Hollywood Elementary School.  Hollywood is currently in the top ten most overcrowded elementary schools in Prince George’s County, and is slated to be in the top five most overcrowded schools by 2015, and the school has been forced to use temporary trailers and storage areas as classrooms.  PGCPS currently has no plan to address this overcrowding.  The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss possible solutions to this problem with College Park’s two Board of Education representatives.

Moved by Kennis Termini and seconded by Peter Lakeland, Adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed, and the meeting adjourned at 9:35pm.

Respectfully submitted by Fazlul Kabir, Secretary

Regular Meeting on June 11, 2009

Meeting began at 7:33 pm. County Councilman Mr. Eric Olson and County Councilman Tom Dernoga’s representative Laura Moore was present. Councilmembers Patrick Wojahn and Jonathan Molinatto could not attend due to Council meeting.

The meeting started with the officers’ election for the year 2009-2010. Donna Weene and Seth Weene conducted the elections. The candidates were Larry Bleau for President, John Krouse for Vice President, Fazlul Kabir for Secretary and Mohammed Taluckder for Treasurer. Members could also vote through write-ins. Before the members cast their ballots, candidates spoke briefly about their plans if they are elected. The election results were as follows: Larry Bleau was elected President (20 votes, Christine Nagle received 1 by write-in); John Krouse was elected Vice President (Peter Lakeland received 2 votes through write-in); and Fazlul Kabir was elected Secretary (21 votes). For Treasurer, Mohammed Taluckder and Anna Ubeda each received 11 votes (Christine Nagle received 1 by write-in). In a run-off election, Anna Ubeda was elected Treasurer (15 votes, Mohammed Taluckder received 7 votes).

Officer Rich of the County’s Community Response Team (CRT) gave a report on crimes in our area during the period of 5/11 to 6/10. There were 26 thefts from autos, 5 thefts / shoplifting (3 arrests), 1 commercial breaking & entering, 5 residential breaking & entering, 1 school breaking and entering, and 5 stolen vehicles. To prevent theft from vehicles, he suggested residents not leave valuables in plain sight, lock doors, park in well lit areas, when home park on the driveway or garage, and remove GPS devices from vehicles when parked. To prevent burglary, he suggested we keep doors and windows locked when not at home or sleeping, not leave garage doors open, pull curtains and blinds closed at night, leave some lights on when not at home, and stop mail and newspaper when away. He left some brochures describing these tips on reducing thefts from cars and homes. The CRT team is considering hosting summer programs to educate residents. Officer Rich (ID#2831) can be contacted using email (mmrich@co.pg.md.us) or telephone (301-699-2950). His supervisor’s contact info is: Sgt. Duelley (ID #1380), email cwduelly@co.pg.md.us, telephone 301-699-2876. Lisa Ealley expressed concerns on communication with the department. Ofc. Rich said email is the best way to contact him. Ruth Herbert expressed concerns on the May and early June car break-ins. Ofc. Rich also expressed concerns on FedEx package theft, which is not common.

Moved by Bill Robertson, and seconded by Peter Lakeland, approve the May 2009 meeting minutes with the following corrections: in the Minutes section ‘March 2009’ should read ‘April 2009’, in the Treasurer’s report (2nd line) balance 1775.93 should read 1765.18. In the Announcement section second line: ‘Davies’ should read ‘Davis’.

President Larry Bleau announced that CBE is sponsoring a workshop on stormwater management on Sat., June 13, from 10 am-noon. Contact Elisa Vitale at 301-277-3445. He reported taking the following actions: confirmed that Robert Stumpff, Ofc. Rich, and Chad Williams would attend the June meeting; asked Kennis Termini to handle Variance Committee matters for this month; uploaded minutes to email list site and asked Web Committee to upload minutes to NCPCA’s web site; received a police activity report from Public Services and sent to email list; received Economic Development report from City; and contacted Planning Dept. about the status of the properties on either side of Edgewood Rd. at US 1. On the north side, the development for the property was approved by the Planning Board but nothing more has happened. The owner will not build a “spec” office building; i.e., without any tenant commitments.  On the south side, the City just got approval from the State to purchase the property and will be going to settlement in the next 1-2 months.

Treasurer Anna Ubeda reported ending balance of $1868.21. NCPCA official bank, PNC Bank, had charged a fee of $56.63 because they had classified the account incorrectly. After the account type had been changed to rectify this, the bank refunded $50 to NCPCA.

There was no report from the Variance committee.

Members suggested additional locations of Trash Receptacles in the city: (1) the corner of Huron and 51st; (2) the corner of Edgewood and 53rd (3) the corner of Narragansett and Lackawanna (4) the corner of Cherokee and Rhode Island at the bus stop; and (5)  the corner of Cherry Hill and 47th. Members also suggested locations for crosswalks, if they are not already present, at (1) Lackawanna St. near the Metro; (2) Narragansett and Edgewood; and (3) at major bus stops.  The bike path crossing of Cherry Hill Rd. should also be examined for improvements.  Public Works department head Bob Stumpff was present during the discussion period.

Chad Williams, Project Leader, M-NCPPC, Prince George’s County Planning Department, Community Planning North Division (email: chad.williams@ppd.mncppc.org, phone: 301-952-3179) gave a presentation on the mixed use, form based code being developed by Park and Planning. Its intent is to create a “sense of place” in urban-like centers where there is high pedestrian traffic. This Urban Center code (UC) would emphasize how buildings and structures would appear (height, siting, size, window and door openings, color, etc.). The current code emphasizes how the land is used and says little about its appearance. This new code, if adopted, would apply only to areas designated by the District Council as urban centers; the current code would continue to apply in other areas of the county not so designated. The new code envisions standards to be set up when the urban center is designated and not changed thereafter, with a faster approval process for businesses. The current code does not have such standards, each project is negotiated individually as to its siting, appearance, etc. There was a Q&A session at the end of the presentation. More details of the presentations and background reports are available online at http://www.pgplanning.org/Projects/Ongoing_Plans_and_Projects/Community_Plans/Mixed-Use.htm , a link to which can also be found on NCPCA’s web site, https://myncpca.org/links/ .  Mr. Williams announced a public meeting hosted by M-NCPPC on the proposed code at the Prince Georges Ballroom, 2411 Pinebrook Ave., Landover, MD, to be held on Monday, June 15, 7-9pm.

Brian McDaniel, who is running for MD House of Delegates position in the 21st Delegation in 2010, spoke to members; his web site is http://voteforbrianmcdaniel.com. Andy Fellows reminded members that he is running for Mayor of College Park. Eric Olson, County Councilmember for County district 3 (http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/district3/), reassured members he and Tom Dernoga (http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/district1/) will look at the form based code carefully, and will not take any action until the fall.

Moved by Bill Robertson Adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed, and the meeting adjourned at 9:46pm.

Respectfully submitted by Fazlul Kabir, Secretary