Regular Meeting on January 14, 2010

Meeting began at 7:30pm. Mayor Andy Fellows, Councilmembers Jack Perry, Patrick Wojahn, Christine Nagle, Marcus Afzali and Denise Mitchell were present.

Prince Georges Co. Police Sergeant Simms reported that there has been a spate of burglaries in the area. 24 police got involved series of incidents on Gerome St. on Jan 7; very active investigations are still continuing, several suspects are being looked at. He said crime alert system Nixle used by the PG police is under development and thus does not report all crimes accurately. He said there have been some 5000-7000 burglaries per year in the county, so the Nixle system only reports critical crimes. The response time to burglaries typically depends on available police vehicle, robbery is a priority call; house break-ins are not – they are treated as routine jobs. If a resident sees something suspicious, he asked to call 911, for the best response. The non-emergency number would take some time for response. Ofc. Taylor of the south College Park the community officer said that most burglaries happen during the day time (9am to 3am). He asked residents to call police supervisors in case of inadequate responses. They recently had a discussion with the Councilmembers on the recent crimes in north College Park. Their patrol included 300 miles per day in the Hollywood area. She asked residents to write down serial numbers of expensive items and join the VIP to protect their vehicle from theft.

James Burick and his business partner Mario Ollerena presented their plan for the Azteca, a new, white tablecloth, sit-down Mexican restaurant proposed for 9505 Baltimore Ave., near the intersection of Indian Road and Route One. Mr. Burick owns the building and intends to turn this into a restaurant, which will be open until 11pm weekdays, and until 2am weekends. There will be light late night entertainment. Type of license it’s applied is BLX (Beer and liquor), and have agreed to a food/liquor ratio of 55/45. The restaurant is expected be open on March 2010. The city is considering the liquor application for Azteca restaurant. Applicant proposes a shared-parking agreement with Duron Paints to meet parking needs. The City intends to send its recommendations on the liquor license to the licensing board for its hearing on January 26. The members later approved a motion (moved by Marcia Booth and seconded by Mary Cook) to oppose the restaurant and ask the City to vote against the liquor license application.

The City of College Park’s Planning Director Terry Schum made a presentation on the status of the planned and approved developments in north College Park. The TD commerce bank has been actively looking to buy the Hollywood Station located at the intersection of the north side of Rt1 and the Edgewood Rd. intersection, no deal has been reached yet. The City is looking to convert the old house located at the South East corner of the Rt 1 and Edgewood Rd. into a park (Hollywood Gateway Park). The Mazza project on Rt 1 will have 630 beds for graduate students and the parcel in front of the project along Route 1 is planned for two commercial retail pads.  The retail portion of the project may be revisited.  Developers are also looking into redevelopment / rebranding of the block where the current Ramada Hotel is located; the plan is in its very early stage. The Chinese Bible Church intends to build a new addition needs to file new site plan. The new contract purchaser and developer of the former JPI east site at Route 1 and Cherokee Street is currently exploring options for the site including utilizing the approved site plan but reducing the amount of retail and filing a new site plan for all townhouses (for purchase). The College Park Knoll project was sold to a developer called Daria land group; the project has 50-80 units for graduate students, there is parking under the building.

President Larry Bleau announced he received the resignations of Anna Ubeda (Treasurer) and John Krouse (Vice President) that morning.  Larry’s actions: delegated to John Krouse the task of applying to the City for a Community Service Grant to help with the cost of the picnic (John did not file the application); contacted Mary Lintner, President of Boys & Girls Club, who said they would be willing to distribute picnic flyers; and posted a new web page on about variances and the Variance Committee.  The officers discussed how to handle applications to join or renew, and clarified that policy to state that we will accept applications up to 10 minutes before a meeting, after the meeting ends, or by mail to the NCPCA address.  Larry reminded members of the NCPCA community picnic on Sat., May 15; volunteers should contact one of the officers. 

The bank balances, according to the Dec 2009 statements, are $667.53 (PNC Bank) and $1,120.00 (Chevy Chase Bank).

Moved by Mark Shroder and seconded by Peter Lakeland, the December 2009 minutes was approved.

The bylaws amendment, which was introduced in December, was brought to the floor for action.  Possible actions are debate, amend, postpone, or end debate and vote.  Moved by Don Byrd and Donna Ween to adjourn the meeting; this motion was later withdrawn.  Moved by Don Byrd and Christine Nagle to form a committee to discuss the subject of voting and report back within 60 days with recommendations; this motion failed on a roll call vote of 24-47-4.  A motion by Marcia Booth and Leslie Booth to dissolve the organization was ruled out of order due to lack of notice to members and because there was another motion under consideration; this will be on the Feb agenda. Parliamentarian Mark Shroder supported this interpretation.  There was no further debate.  The amendment, which requires a 2/3 vote to pass, failed on a vote of 15-47.

Moved by Mark Shroder and seconded by Peter Lakeland, extend the meeting.  Motion approved. Moved by Don Byrd and Valerie Bleau, allow the NCPCA President to fill the two vacant offices by appointment; motion passed.

Fazlul Kabir announced the second Winter Clothing Drive.

Moved by Seth Weene and Diana Claburn, Adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed, and the meeting adjourned at 9:57pm. 

Respectfully submitted by Fazlul Kabir, Secretary

Regular Meeting on December 10, 2009

Meeting began at 7:35pm. Council members Patrick Wojahn, Christine Nagle, Jack Perry, Bob Catlin and Marcus Afzali were present.

PG County’s CRT police ofc. Melanie Sarita reported that there have been two home invasions, one on the 52nd Avenue (November 28) and another on the Iroquois Street (December 5). Details of the incidents and locations are currently withheld due to impending investigations. Suspects are now held without bonds. It appeared that suspects targeted the locations due to easy targets – persons with disability living in those locations. There has been another similar incident happened in a Beltsville location. She also reported car break ins incident near Cherry Hill Rd / College Park Shopping complex and 52nd Avenue.

The State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT)’s Assessor Manager (PG County) Daniel R. Puma made a presentation on the Residential Property Tax assessments and appeals process. The SDAT‘s next assessment report will be ready by December 29, 2009. The residents will have 45 days to appeal against the significant assessments. This makes February 12, 2010 as the last day for the appeal. SDAT is estimating a 20%-45% reduction in property values since its last assessment three years ago.  If the residents are not notified about the assessment, they can appeal every year before the January 1 of the following year. The appeal forms can be downloaded from the department’s website  A deferred maintenance or damages may qualify a re-assessment of the property. The SDAT can provide property values of a list of comparable houses in the neighborhood. SDAT only goes back up to a year to assess the property values of the comparable houses.  Rental properties are looked at the same manner as the property resided by the owner. Income stream is not used for the evaluation. Anybody can appeal on behalf of anyone.  Community appeal is also an option, however is typically rare.  SDAT only looks at arms-length sales; i.e., not foreclosures. In case the appeal is accepted, the applicant may request for a hearing at a convenient location.

In President’s report, Larry Bleau stated that he received forms for Community Services Grant from City and plan to apply; He ordered NCPCA signs, which were delivered on 11/23. He said Safe Routes To School, Phase 2, will involve sidewalk improvements along east side of 47th Pl. from Lackawanna St. to Edgewood Rd., north side of Muskogee St. from 47th Pl. to Mangum Rd. Construction to start spring 2010.

Treasurer Anna Ubeda reported that NCPCA spent $186.59 on signs, $124.62 on Stamps, $63.70 on printing and $39.00 on the copies of the Article of Incorporation. $60 has been collected towards renewals / new memberships. The current balance at the PNC and the Chevy Chase account are $679.55 and $1070.00 respectively.

Moved by Peter Lakeland, seconded by Mary Cook– November 2009 minutes was approved, motion passed, with the following corrections: 4th paragraph, line 10 the word “reimbursed” should read “charged”.

John Krouse, (seconded by Don Byrd), introduced By-Laws changes in Article IV, Section 3, (Memberships / Due), Delete “For the purpose of these By-Laws family shall be construed to include all related persons living at the same address.” and insert: “For the purpose of these By-Laws household shall be one or two adults living at that address.” The amendment will be voted in January meeting.

Stephen Jascourt introduced proposed revisions for the Variance committee procedures. The major proposed changes include (1) Change size of committee from 3 to “3 to 5” to make it consistent with current practice (2) Change threshold for taking a position to require at least three identical votes; previously required unanimous vote (3) Explicitly state that different decisions may be made on different requests within the same case; was previously unclear (4) Urge committee members to state reasons for decision, and urge committee report to APC to include this reasoning (5) Chair to send report to designated NCPCA officer, which may be someone other than President; previously was sent to all officers, and when an officer is an APC member, this would not be permitted under APC rules (5) Report vote of committee to designated officers, but report only position to APC. The revised procedures were approved by the members.

Mark Shroder reported that the Commerce Bank Design Committee has not met; got an email from Michelle LaRocca promising to follow up on conceptual site plan and architecture, but she hasn’t yet.

Mark Spencer introduced himself as a candidate for the Prince George’s Co State Attorney election. Mary Lehman announce her candidacy in the upcoming the PG county (district 1) council election.

Patrick Wojahn announced a neighborhood cleanup on December 13. Marcus Afzali announced the website which features issues surrounding district 4.

Moved by Mark Shroder and seconded by Marcia Bath Adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed, and the meeting adjourned at 9:30pm.

Respectfully submitted by Fazlul Kabir, Secretary