Regular Meeting on November 11, 2010

Meeting began at 7:30 pm.  Council members Patrick Wojahn and Christine Nagle were present. Mayor Andrew Fellows joined later.

The Jamaican Cuisine store Jerk Pit’s owner Lisa Waddel Rose gave a brief presentation about her store. Currently the store is located at 8145 Baltimore Avenue in the Campus Village Shopping Center and will be moving to north College Park where the old College Perk Coffee House once located (at the intersection of Rt. 1 and Rt. 193). Ms. Rose said the store was scheduled to open on November 18; the store hours are Mon-Thurs 9am – 10pm, Fri & Sat 9am – 12 midnights, Sunday 11am -7pm. She said the store will be selling alcohol from December 21, when the County license board will approve the store’s liquor license transfer from the old store. She said the alcohol to food ratio sale will be only 10-15%. She also said they have cut back sodium content from the menu without sacrificing taste. The store has porch area which will have tables and chair in it. The store can be rented for social private parties.

Comfort Zone’s co-owner Robert Joseph Carl couldn’t be present at the meeting. Secretary Fazlul Kabir said, he contacted Mr. Carl several times to invite him to attend NCPCA’s November meeting. Mr. Kabir said Mr. Carl knows about his store’s alleged violation of selling adult products; however he does not agree with the allegations. Councilmember Patrick Wojahn commented that the U&O (Use and Occupancy Permit) for the store was issued for a ‘variety/department store’, similar to a dollar store. The U&O specifically states that the business is not supposed to sell anything classified as “adult products”. Mr. Wojahn predicted that the case will most likely be fought out in the courts.

Peter Drury, the owner of former Kash Realty at the intersection of Rt. 193 and Rhode Island Avenue made a presentation requesting community reaction to ideas for development of vacant lot on Branchville between Rising Sun and the Budget motel. Mr. Dury said he is the current managing partner of the Johnson property located at the lot, which has been vacant for the past 5 years. The property is currently zoned as C-S-C (Commercial – Shopping Center). He thinks the lot is a gateway to a commercial area, even though it has a few nearby residential houses. He thinks the lot can be a good candidate for auto parts store or commercial offices. He had some contacts with an owner of a medical practice, but the owner did not show interest due to lack of visibility.

Moved by Peter Lakeland and seconded by David Turley, the October 2010 Minutes was adopted.

No one from the Variance committee was present at the meeting to present variance report.

Treasurer Joe Smith reported that as of November 10, 2010, the ending balance is $1246.65 in bank. The total expense of $62.00 includes postage and printing.

President Mark Shroder said no one from the City’s Planning department could be present at the meeting to talk about the proposed Gateway Park at 4703 Edgewood Rd. due to Veteran’s Day holiday. However Mr. Shroder said the department composed and sent a PowerPoint file, which he presented to the members. He said the 6797 square foot lot is zoned as C-S-C but includes 1900 square foot single family house. The house has most recently been used as a residential rental property (unlicensed) and has been cited by the City for numerous code violations. The City Council authorized the acquisition of the property using a State program called Open Space Funds in 2008 (08-G-119). The property is difficult to redevelop to meet current regulations based on small size, difficult access, and functional obsolescence of existing building and also not attractive for residential occupancy. It has been on the market for sale for over two years and the City later purchased the property for $346,000, based on average of two appraisals. The City intends to redevelop the lot and spend $185,000, of which it will use $100,000 in community legacy funding recently awarded to develop park with ecological theme. City will use a green job vocational training program to deconstruct the existing single family home and salvage building materials. A motion moved by Fazlul Kabir / Larry Bleau, “Have NCPCA form a committee to work with the City’s planning department to design the proposed Gateway Park” was later amended by Margaret Wood / Patrick Wojahn to add “City’s Public Works department” to the planning department. The motion passed with the majority voice votes. President Mr. Shroder later appointed Larry Bleau, Fazlul Kabir and Margaret Woods to the committee.

Moved by Larry Bleau, a motion was approved to form a committee allowing officers come up with languages to amend / revise NCPCA By-Laws.

Member Kimberly James said the current rent control ordinances discourage property buyers to buy single family homes in College Park.

Moved by Fazlul Kabir / Donna Weene, members approved a motion, Have NCPCA add rent control to December meeting agenda with active participation from the City.

Council member Ms. Nagle told the City is looking to revive UMD’s East Campus steering committee and asked members to join the committee. President said he would be asking members to join the committee later, none objected.

In President’s report, Mark Shroder said he attended the City Council meeting and asked the Council not to favor a proposal to form At-Large council seats as part of redrawing of City’s district boundaries. Mayor Andrew Fellows commented that the Council decided not to pursue the issue before next year’s council election.

Council member Patrick Wojahn requested members to fill out City’s residents’ survey form.

Moved by Larry Bleau / Peter Lakeland: Adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed, and the meeting adjourned at 9:20pm.