Regular Meeting on December 9, 2010

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

Moved by Bill Robertson and seconded by Donna Weene, the November 2010 Minutes was adopted.

Treasurer Joe Smith was out of town. In his absence, President Mark Shroder reported that as of December 8, 2010, the ending balance is $1326.55 in bank. There were no expenses in this month; $80.00 was deposited to the bank.

Variance committee did not give a report as there were no variance cases in November.

Larry Bleau, chair of the Hollywood Gateway Park committee, said committee members have not yet met; however, he received an email from the City planner Terry Schum, who said it is premature for staff to meet with the committee now, and that staff will be back in touch once it has more substantive information to work with. Ms. Schum also said they have met with an organization about the deconstruction/demolition of the site and are trying to see if the Landscape Architecture department at the University of Maryland would be interested in developing some conceptual designs as a class project.  If not, staff will proceed to issue a Request for Proposals for design services.

In response to a motion passed at the November meeting, calling on the officers to draft an amendment to Article VIII Section 2 of the Bylaws, Mark Shroder presented such an amendment for discussion. The amendment would require any future amendment to obtain majority support at the first meeting, at which it is introduced, and two-thirds support (as in the current bylaws) at the next meeting, where it is voted upon. Moved by Larry Bleau and seconded by Leslie Booth, members passed a motion “Have NCPCA place the proposed amendment to Article VIII, Section 2 in the January 2011 regular meeting agenda”. (Full text of the amendment appears elsewhere in this notice.)

Member Adam Kushner presented a report on the East Campus development open house that he attended at the Ritchie’s Coliseum on November 30. Mr. Chase Martin and other representatives from the project’s developer the Cordish Company made the presentation on their vision for the Phase I of the development to seek feedback from the residents. Mr. Kushner said no true specifics were provided, however the company made basic commitments focusing on smart growth that would align the development into proposed purple line and existing mass transits. The project would also maintain the surrounding community’s unique architecture including usable open space. There will also be local and retail stores/shop. Some residential units were being proposed for Phase 1; however they are looking only at graduate, faculty and staff housing, somewhere in the range of 600 units. Some commitment to LEED certification was also made. Their first priority will be to build the hotel at the intersection of Paint Branch and Baltimore Avenue. The UMD may enter into a “long-lease” with the Company. The company will be seeking community input throughout the process.

The new District 1 PG COPS officer Jaron Black introduced himself to the members. He said the neighborhoods, especially areas with concentration of College students, were hit hard during the past Thanksgiving break. The PGPD, injunction with the UMD Police have distributed safety information. He asked to take advantage of Operation ID program where residents can record the serial numbers of their valuable property items. Members also expressed concerns on rise of credit card scam scheme. He encouraged members to contact him at on any public safety related issues.

During discussion on new businesses, President asked if the members would be interested to invite a representative from the WSSC to discuss the recent water main replacement project. Members responded in affirmative, however requested to invite a WSSC project manager. Mr. Shroder also said that the City’s planning department will be holding a public forum on Jan 10, at 7pm to showcase its new Pattern Book project.

Council member Robert Catlin and member Kimberley James spoke about City’s rent stabilization program. Mr. Catlin said the City adopted the current program back in 2005, following a revision of a similar program the City had before. He said the current program is based on group housing and has a sunset date until 2012. Due to the increasing number of student housings on Route 1, Mr. Catlin thinks the free market economy will drive the rents in the area down resulting in most house rents falling under the maximum rent ceiling set in the ordinances ($2522 for a 4 bedroom HUD housing). Ms. Kimberley James said the program is causing negative perception to the investors willing to buy properties in the city and thus she is concerned about increased foreclosure rates in the city. She also said the ordinances are confusing to most residents. Moved by Ann riley / Bill Robertson, members passed a motion asking the City to clarify rent control ordinances in more details.

Moved by Peter Lakeland / Ann Riley, the meeting was extended beyond 9:30pm.

Fazlul Kabir announced the 3rd annual Winter Clothing drive that he and Kennis Termini were organizing to help out needy children and families in the areas. He thanked members who made the donation at the meeting.

Moved by Margaret Wood / Leslie Booth, members passed a motion “Have NCPCA ask State Highway Administration to more strictly control contractor traffic related to building projects on Route 1;” Moved by Peter Lakeland / Anne  Riley, members passed another motion “Have NCPCA ask the SHA to ensure an unobstructed sidewalk on the north side of Route 193 between Rhode Island and Branchville Road.”

Moved by Larry Bleau / Peter Lakeland: Adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed, and the meeting adjourned at 9:45pm.

Respectfully submitted by Fazlul Kabir, Secretary