Minutes of September 2020 Regular Meeting

North College Park Community Association
September 10, 2020 – Regular Meeting by Zoom

Attending: Mary Cook, Carol Macknis, John Krouse, Ellen Caswell, Larry Bleau, Judy Blumenthal, Dawn and Kelvin Budd, Oscar Gregory, Arelis P‚rez, Shirley Kerchner, Lisa Ealley, Nikki Pancho, Robert Boone, Carol Nezzo, as well as Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Councilmember Fazlul Kabir, Councilmember Kate Kennedy, Councilmember Denise Mitchell, and City Manager Scott Somers.

Arelis Perez recommends that the meetings be available to all.

Meeting called to order at 7:35 pm by President Mary Cook.

Officers’ Reports: Vice President: She has received four additional membership dues, for an additional $40. President: 1. The Department of Public Works; they will fix the bollards on Cherry Hill Road. They would prefer to put in a concrete median. 2. Recent heavy rain led to flooding in the Cherry Hill neighborhood. We’re working with Tom Dernoga on how to remedy that.

Minutes of the June 11 meeting were accepted as read; Ellen Caswell moved, Carol Macknis seconded.

NCPCA Election: The nominating committee, Oscar Gregory and Carol Macknis, suggested that the easiest option with no contested positions is to elect by acclamation; SurveyMonkey is an alternative. On Larry Bleau’s motion, with Ellen Caswell’s second, the upcoming officers were elected: President, Mary Cook; Vice President, Carol Macknis; Secretary, Ellen Caswell; Treasurer, Jordan Schakner.

Beltway Expansion Update: November 9 is the new deadline for comments on the Beltway Expansion Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The potential changes were discussed. A short list is at: four-public-hearings-start-tomorrow-about-adding-toll-lanes-to-i-495-beltway; also: win-college-park-beltway-expansion-can-cause-loss-of-properties-green-space-kill-a-playground-and-increase-noise-pollution.

People are strongly urged to send comments, 495-270-p3.com/your-participation/provide-feedback. A good resource is Citizens Against Beltway Expansion, www.cabe495.com.

McMansions: A small house on 49th Avenue has added a huge connected house, with permit clearance. We discussed what can be done going forward to protect against properties that run afoul of a neighborhood’s character. Prince George’s County has the zoning authority; the city needs to initiate discussion of possible changes via legislation or changes in zoning. NCPCA could be a resource.

Report on the Recreation Survey: The finalized survey report was presented to the City Council. Priorities include trails and pathway connectivity, more open space and natural areas, and a community/senior center. Seniors want additional and improved transportation options, meeting facilities/programs, and exercise programs. College-Park-Final-Presentation-PDF-8.27.2020.pdf

The Children’s Guild Early Learning Center Update: They’ve begun renovation and are working on permits, hoping to start in the fall with 50 students.

New Website: Carol Macknis will develop a SurveyMonkey poll for suggestions regarding design, content, functionality, and services. She’s also investigating using PayPal for electronic dues pay.

Announcements: Mayor Wojahn: There are planned discussions on systemic racism looking at city practices and policies in racial equity context and on how the city is addressing racial inequality in Lakeland resulting from urban renewal. Regarding Corona  Virus, students are back; we’re doing what we can to address challenges, looking for crowding and other code violations. Kate Kennedy: There are upcoming strategic planning meetings. Also, she would like offline feedback on the mental health crisis, after being affected by several suicides. What are ways we can be there for each other? Denise Mitchell: Districts 1 and 4 will host a virtual Town Hall for the Department of Public Works with Bob Ryan; residents can ask questions regarding code enforcement, parking, and so on. Fazlul Kabir: The regular community police meeting would take place Monday. Also, there is milling and resurfacing planned involving Edgewood Road, Rhode Island Avenue, and Route 1.

Suggestions for Future Agenda Items: McMansions again, possibly involving PG Councilmember Dernoga; update on the status of streetscape for Rhode Island Avenue; enforcement concerning race car vehicles; formal letter from NCPCA regarding the Beltway Expansion to EIS during the comment period; update on the Stone property.

The meeting ended at 9:11 pm.