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