Regular Meeting of February 9, 2012

Minutes of NCPCA meeting on February 9, 2012

The meeting began 7:30 with Councilmen Fazlul Kabir and Patrick Wojahn, Councilwoman Denise Mitchell, Mary Lehman’s representative Bridget Warren and John Krouse present.

President Mark Shroder introduced Mayor Andrew Fellows who talked about a partnership between the city and the University of Maryland (UMD).  He stated that the previous two mayors had also been proponents of such a partnership, the partenership was establishing a community development corporation, that there was a foreclosure buy up program in progress, and that there were projects at Paint Branch Elementary and Hollywood Elementary.  He stated that his goal was to increase collaboration with the university and the county, and to work on each other’s existing strategic plans, rather than creating a single strategic plan.  He listed concerns on both sides.  He talked about the creation of a charter school for grades seven through twelve and said it would be a college preparatory school.  He said grades seven to nine are scheduled to be opened by 2013.  He said the application for the establishment of the school is due by March 1, approval would be by the summer and then there be one year allotted to get the school started.  Upon questions from the audience, the mayor stated that the city budget will be posted on the website and that the charter school would be open to all PG County residents with no special preference given to College Park residents.  He stated a goal of improving all schools in the county and and that there would be no specific bussing to the charter school.  He stated that the charter school would eventually have a capacity of 600 students.

Mark Shroder solicited “wish lists” for the upcoming city budget from Patrick Wojahn and Fazlul Kabir (District 1), Denise Mitchell (District 4) and Bridget Warren, after which the membership voted on the following motions.  Moved by David Turley/Anne Riley: Install more pedestrian lights, similar to the ones on Lackawanna, at the Hollywood commercial district and other locations to be determined and subsequently remove the old street lights at the installation sites. Motion passed unanimously.  Moved by Larry Bleau/Donna Weene: Improve the Hollywood commercial district in streetscape and in types of businesses.  Motion passed unanimously.  Moved by Kinberly James/Bill Robertson: Establish a community center through the low cost, short term rental of a vacant store in the Hollywood commercial district, passed unanimously.

The minutes for the January meeting were reviewed, with the Treasurer’s corrections to be posted to the website, Patrick Wojahn correcting that he and Fazlul Kabir had joined the meeting after the Greenbelt Sector Plan meeting and reported on it, and Stephen Jascourt requesting his name be spelled out completely.  Moved by David Turley/Margaret Wood: Accept minutes with corrections, motion passed unanimously.

Larry Bleau gave the Treasurer’s report for January, with an opening balance of $1311.53, dues collected $15 and closing balance $1326.53.

Mark Shroder gave the President’s report, stating he had contacted Stenny Hoyer’s office to invite him to the meeting, but had received no response.

Standing committee reports were given.  For traffic and pedestrian safety, Donna Weene stated she was in the process of setting up the committee and meetings and any concerns should be brought to her attention at 301-982-3375 before midnight and Stephen Jascourt stated that Police Officer Lobin, the beat officer for northern College Park, would follow up on drivers passing turning vehicle on Rhode Island.  On the Route 1 properties, Bob Seward stated the Ilia Zusin property had several traffic stipulations placed on it and Atomic Music wants to buy it.  Stephen Jascourt reported that there had been no activity on the variance committee and he had not been able to work on the outreach committee.  Two new residents who were hispanic introduced themselves and committed to work with Mr. Jascourt.  Patrick Wojahn reported on Greenbelt Metro developments on behalf of John Krouse who had to leave.  He stated that they were working on financial renegotiation on the south core and the FBI would possibly occupy the north core.  Margaret Wood reported on Route 1 development, stating that College Ave to Route 193 would only be resurfaced and maintained with preliminary planning due to lack of funds and that there would be no preliminary planning for Route 193 to Sunnyside.  She also reported on the rationale behind the Baltimore Washington Rail Intermodal Facility (CSX) and its proposed locations.

Under new business, Stephen Jascourt solicited nominations for this year’s Green Award, stating that it’s four categories are open to any resident or business in College Park and now include a monetary award.  David Turley reported on a rash of stolen license plates and sitckers in the area.  Bridget Warren announced upcoming meetings, including a planning 101 meeting on Wednesday, March 7.  Joe Smith announced the opening on Wednesday, February 22, of the new College Park Community Library, a free library in the basement of the Church of the Nazarene with books that may be checked out, WiFi and computer stations; all resources have been donated and the library is scheduled to be open Monday through Friday 10 AM to 2 PM and 6 PM to 9 PM.

Motion to adjourn at 9:50 by Denise Mitchell, seconded David Turley, passed unanimously.