Regular Meeting on December 12, 2013

Regular Meeting at Davis Hall on December 12, 2013

Meeting began at 7:34 pm.  Councilmembers Patrick Wojahn, Fazlul Kabir, Monroe Dennis, and Bob Catlin were present, as was incoming Councilmember Alan Hew; Mayor Andy Fellows arrived later.


FBI at Greenbelt Metro

Renard Development representatives Paul Summers and Garth Beall informed members about the progress of the proposal to move the FBI headquarters to the Greenbelt Metro.  In Sep 2012 GSA asked for a Request For Information; Renard’s response was received favorably.  In Nov 2013 GSA issued a Request for Expression of Interest.  Site selection will be in Mar 2014.  Potential sites are Greenbelt Metro, Springfield, a former postal facility, and Exxon Mobil at Merrifield (in Fairfax).

The proposal involves 2.1MSF office space for the FBI, 2MSF of mixed use, 475KSF office space, 275KSF future office space, 100KSF retail, a 300 room hotel with 20KSF conference space, 500 apartments, 300 condos (8 stories), 2500 space common use garage, and 3700 space Metro garage.  These are within the existing approvals.  Less parking is needed due to proximity to Metro (about 50% less than a typical office development); although there will be 11,000 FBI employees only 4200 spaces are needed.  The retail will be more service oriented and will serve the development itself; it will not be a mall.  There will be less traffic due to less retail.

The FBI buildings will be 10 and 14 stories, with sightlines not any more visible; the elevations of the other buildings will vary.  There will be a new full interchange conceptual plan, to be approved by MD State Highway Administration.  The buildings will be LEED platinum, they are seeking LEED ND (neighborhood development), and have agreed with Greenbelt for LEED silver.

All wetlands impacts have already been mitigated, and the impacts will be less than prior proposals.  Currently the development boundary crosses the stream; the plan is to move it outside the stream.  Narragansett Run has lots of sediment; the plan will restore it to a meandering stream, which will act as a stormwater management area (Greenbelt wants less meandering).  There is stormwater management on site for all buildings.  There are two proposed bicycle trails: south core to north core will connect to the Kiss-N-Ride, and Cherrywood to the roundabout along a boardwalk.  Both will be maintained by the developer and will be outside the security fence.

The non-FBI part of the development will have a single management.  The site will have level 5 security, the highest; by executive order, the site must be integrated with the community so they are not walled off.  Level 5 security requires a 100ft setback; a smaller setback would require they harden the building.  FBI wants a concourse to connect the buildings, which is built into the development; one would enter the concourse, then access the FBI building through an underground entrance.  The concourse can have other uses, such as a museum.  Roads will be maintained by the City of Greenbelt.  Members asked the developer to consider light and noise pollution issues; they agreed to do so.

At 8:35 the meeting took a short recess, during which snacks and beverages were served.  The meeting resumed at 8:55.

College Park Academy

Outgoing Councilmember Bob Catlin informed members about the College Park Academy, a charter school currently operating at St. Mark’s in Adelphi but looking for a permanent location within College Park.  The contract with St. Mark’s is for two years, with two 1-year options.  Currently there are grades 6-7, which will expand to grades 6-12.  They are adding about 150 students per year.  Two properties available are the Terrapin Trader on Paint Branch Pkwy., which is owned by the University, and the Al-Huda property.

The Terrapin Trader location is 3 acres, is on a bus route with a traffic light and a good road, is all buildings and parking lot (no grassy areas), is owned by the University (so there will be no purchase), will require $7M to renovate plus the cost to move Terrapin Traders as lots of modifications are needed, and will not be available is Jan 2016.

The Al-Huda location is 10 acres, the asking price is $5.75M, is remote, has no bus routes and only small roads (only 19ft), currently has 650 students (the maximum at the Academy is 700), and traffic is a major problem.

Frank Brewer, Executive Director of the College Park City-University Partnership, is in charge of the decision.  He will not be available for the January meeting, so there will be a special community meeting at a future date to ask Mr. Brewer questions.

Moved by Lisa Ealley/Patrick Wojahn: Extend the meeting beyond 9:30.  Motion passed.

Announcements and Reports

Treasurer Jackie Pearce-Garrett reported the current balance is $1,541.74.  There were no other officer reports.

Moved by Marcie Booth/David Milligan: Adjourn the meeting.  Motion failed.

Patrick Wojahn reported that the College Park Community Foundation will have a fundraising gala with music and an auction on 12/21 at 7pm at the UMUC Marriott; tickets are $30, with a $5 discount for NCPCA members.

Moved by Patrick Wojahn/Jackie Pearce-Garrett: Approve the minutes of the Nov 11 NCPCA meeting without change; motion passed.

Moved by Larry Bleau/Mark Shroder: Adjourn the meeting.  The meeting adjourned at 9:45 pm.

Submitted by Larry Bleau, Secretary.