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.

Minutes of June 11, 2020 Regular Meeting

North College Park Community Association
June 11, 2020 – Regular Meeting by Telephone Conference

Attendance.  Included Carol Macknis, Jordan Shackner, John Krouse, Judy Blumenthal, Lisa Ealley, Ellen Caswell, John Shofner, Annabel Shofner, Dawn Budd, Kelvin Budd, Mayor Wojahn, Councilmember Kabir, Councilmember Kennedy, as well as guests Councilmember Mitchell, Councilmember Mackie, Oscar Gregory, Julie Beavers, Suzie Fantos, Mark Goodson, Michelle Garcia.  President Mary Cook absent.

Meeting called to order at 7:35 pm by Vice President Carol Macknis.

NCPCA Officers Reports.  Carol Macknis announced that NCPCA dues are now due, and options are available for payment by mail; Prince George’s County Transportation Survey is available.  Jordan Shackner reported $1,070.34 in treasury + $50 new dues.

NCPCA Minutes May 14, 2020.  Approved unanimously with no amendments by motion of Ellen Caswell, 2nd by Lisa Ealley.

College Park ‘Here and Now’.  Mark Goodson presented information about the new monthly newspaper delivered via US Mail which launched in May with seed money from City of College Park to complement ‘Hyattsville Life and Times’.  Online version is coming soon.  Mark Goodson, mark@hyattsvillelife.com

Hollywood Farmers Market.  Julie Beavers presented info about 2020 operations under COVID, changes to Bylaws, composition of Board of Directors.  hollywoodmarketcp@gmail.com

NCPCA Elections.  Nominations were received for all positions except Secretary, but voting is not feasible at this time due to requirements of Bylaws.  Officers will continue in their positions, except Secretary.  Discussion of possible voting scenarios, including use of email, Survey Monkey, voting by acclamation, and other methods were discussed.

NCPCA will not formally meet in July, but an informational meeting may be feasible in July or August.  The September meeting will be an official meeting, and will resume the subject of elections, and a vote may be possible then.  The current nominees include:

    President:           Mary Cook
    Vice President:   Carol Macknis
    Secretary:           Ellen Caswell
    Treasurer:           Jordan Shackner

Citizens Against Beltway Expansion (CABE).  Carol Macknis provided update related to draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is expected in July.  Hearing will follow 45 days after release.

McMansions.  The new construction at 49th Ave was discussed.  There is concern about size, lot coverage, parking, and two kitchens.  It is unclear whether all construction was legal, and the property is for sale.  A Zoom meeting with concerned residents will be scheduled soon.  City Councilmember Kabir is closely involved, and Prince George’s County Councilmember Dernoga is investigating.

At approximately 9:05 pm Secretary John Krouse was unable to continue with the telemeeting.

Minutes of May 14, 2020 Regular Meeting

North College Park Community Association
May 14, 2020 – Regular Meeting by Telephone Conference

Attendance.  Included Mary Cook, Carol Macknis, Jordan Shackner, John Krouse, Lisa Ealley, Judy Blumenthal, Ellen Caswell, Milie Tansill, Arelis Péres, Shirley Kerchner, Kelvin Budd, Dawn Budd, Nikki Pancho, Larry Bleau as well as Mayor Wojahn, Councilmember Kabir, Councilmember Kennedy, Councilmember Mitchell, Councilmember Mackie, and several other guests.

Meeting.  Called to order at 7:34 pm by President Mary Cook.

City Service Update.  Most City services are now restored; bulk trash pickup requires appointment; electronics are being recycled at Davis Hall; County services are not yet fully restored.

City Budget.  There was discussion of the City’s ‘rainy day’ reserve which is required to be ¼ of the anticipated budget. Councilmember Kabir has a budget video link for residents.

Hollywood Streetscape.  NCPCA priorities for the Hollywood Streetscape were discussed, a motion by John Krouse was jointly seconded by Judy Blumenthal and Lisa Ealley, and was approved unanimously:

NCPCA supports funding for final design and construction of the Hollywood Streetscape project, and particularly the less costly and most immediately valuable elements of the concept, including the paved walking path, benches, trash cans, street lighting, signs, trees and plantings, and similar improvements that will enhance the area for the benefit of residents and commercial visitors.

Officers’ Reports.  Treasurer Shackner reported $1,070.28. Vice President Macknis noted the May 5 letter of WSSC to MDOT that indicated proposed Beltway widening could significantly increase cost of water and sewer services to customers.

Meeting Minutes.  February 13 and April 9 NCPCA meeting minutes, moved by Mary Cook with second by Arelis Péres, approved unanimously.

Cherry Hill Road Bollards.  NCPCA will send a letter to request replacement and restoration of bollards in the median near College Park Marketplace. Moved by Mary Cook with second by John Krouse, approved unanimously.

Election of Officers.  Methods to collect dues and vote for officers in case of continued prohibition of meetings at Davis Hall were discussed. Per Larry Bleau, current terms of officers may be continued per Bylaws. NCPCA officers will consider SurveyMonkey, email and other alternatives. Carol Macknis will be assisted by Oscar Gregory to identify nominees, and Larry Bleau may assist with election.

Other Business.  There was discussion of political signs on property of Hollywood Gateway Park; concerns about noisy speeding on Rhode Island Avenue; Memorial Day celebration has been cancelled but signs will be placed.

Adjourn.  Motion by Arelis Péres passed unanimously; meeting adjourned at 8:48 pm.

Regular Meeting on April 9, 2020

North College Park Community Association
April 9, 2020 –  Regular Meeting by Telephone Conference

Attendance.  Included Mary Cook, Carol Macknis, Jordan Shackner, John Krouse, Lisa Ealley, Arelis Péres, Mayor Wojahn, Councilmember Kabir, Councilmember Kennedy, Councilmember Mitchell, Councilmember Mackie, and several other guests including County Councilmember Dernoga.

Meeting.  Called to order at 7:40 pm by President Mary Cook.

Officers’ Reports. March Meeting was cancelled, thus no minutes to approve.  Treasurer Shackner reported a balance of $1,090.34.  VP Macknis noted the NCPCA website domain registration problem was resolved; she has documented the issue to prevent future complications.

City Budget. Councilmember Kennedy noted that City has at least ½ of operating budget in reserve.

Councilmember Kabir reported significant revenue decline due to pandemic, including losses of hotel and other commercial taxes; UMD ticket admissions taxes; highway user gasoline tax; personal income taxes; and residential property taxes due to lower assessments.

Mayor Wojahn believes that hotel tax loss + UMD admissions tax loss will cause 10% loss of City budget.  Councilmember Mackie is optimistic.  Councilmember Mitchell believes that City is in a good position.  There are no plans to suspend City Hall construction; costs of a halt are not known.

City will likely fund new entrance sign on Metzerott Road; new bus stop facilities on US 1 at Cherry Hill Road and on Rhode Island Avenue; Meals on Wheels budget will increase; a new 1/2 -time senior caseworker will be funded; senior transport program will be extended; City exploring small business assistance due to pandemic closures.

Councilmember Dernoga reported likely major impacts to County budget, but full extent is not clear.  Beltway widening may be much more expensive due to unexpected need to relocate $1 or $2 Billion of WSSC water and sewer infrastructure.

Stone Straw Industrial Property Rezoning.  Councilmember Dernoga reported that zoning changes to enable development of townhouses does not have a clear path forward and seems unlikely at this time.

2020 Census.  Councilmember Dernoga reported that North College Park neighborhoods are among the least responsive in County.  Daniels Park at 30% response rate; Hollywood at 57%.

Monarch Academy at Methodist Church on Rhode Island Avenue.  Councilmember Dernoga reported that the project requires a special exception or zoning text amendment due to the small property size.  Construction is halted.  Discussions underway.

Adjourn at 9:27 by motion of Arelis Péres and Jordan Shackner, with no objection.

Regular Meeting on February 13, 2020

North College Park Community Association
February 13, 2020 – Regular Meeting at Davis Hall

Attendance.  Included Mayor Wojahn; City Councilmembers Kabir, Kennedy and Mackie; City Director of Planning Schum; City Engineer Halpern; and 38 others including representatives of WSSC.

Meeting.  Called to order at 7:30 pm by President Mary Cook; pledge recited.

January 9 Minutes were approved unanimously with amendment; motion by Carol Macknis, second by Arelis Péres.

Officer Reports.  Jordan Schakner (absent) reported NCPCA treasury is $1,100.13.

WSSC Muskogee Area Water Main Upgrade.  Ms. Wanpin Lee, (engineer) described an upcoming water main reconstruction project involving ~ 1.3 miles of pipe in the area bounded by 47th Place, Lackawanna Street, Rhode Island Avenue and Mangum Road.  Work will be completed in stages, and will not interrupt gas or electric services.  The project will begin ~ June 2020, and at conclusion all streets will be milled and overlayed with new asphalt pavement.  WSSC will send a copy of the PowerPoint presentation to NCPCA.

Youth & Family Services Director Kiaisha Barber presented information about programs at 4912 and elsewhere in North College Park that provide support to College Park community.  Two brochures were distributed.  Many questions and concerns were related to outreach and programs for seniors.

Finmarc – Lennar – Stone Straw Development.  Larry Taub (attorney) and Marc Solomon (owner) described a proposed townhouse development on property of the former Stone Straw industrial site adjacent to 51st Ave., Davis Hall and College Park Warehouse facility.  The development would include 235 total units of which 117 would be condominium townhomes and 118 would be owner occupied townhomes.  All buildings would be 4 floors tall; 118 units would be back to back; 67 units would be 16 feet wide; and 47 units would be 20 feet wide.  The development would occupy all land areas within the limits of the parcel.  Many questions and discussion were related to traffic and parking impacts on the nearby community.

Adjourn at 9:36 by motion of Arelis Péres and Carol Macknis, with no objection.

Regular Meeting on January 9, 2020

North College Park Community Association
January 9, 2020 – Regular Meeting at Davis Hall
Meeting Minutes Amended and Approved 2-13-20

Attendance.  Included City Councilmembers Fazlul Kabir, Denise Mitchell, and Maria Mackie and 10 others.  NCPCA President Mary Cook was unable to attend.

Meeting.  Called to order at 7:32 pm by Vice President Carol Macknis; pledge recited.

Agenda.  Approved with amendment to remove the item about U.S. Census, and to move discussion of Beltway Expansion to an earlier time in the agenda.  Motion by John Krouse and Ellen Caswell.

December 12 Minutes. Approved; motion by John Krouse and Ellen Caswell.

Officer Reports. Jordan Schakner reported NCPCA treasury is $1,062; 1 new member joined.

Presentation by Monarch Academy Preschool. Dr. Duane Arbogast of the Children’s Guild presented information about this new school that is currently constructing new space within the College Park Methodist Church on Rhode Island Avenue.  120 students are anticipated with two teachers in each class.  Some construction delays have been experienced.  Opening will be some time after April, 2020.  More info at https://monarchpreschool.com

Beltway Expansion / Toll Lanes. Planning progress was discussed.  Currently, the beltway from the American Legion Bridge to I-270 in Montgomery County is the only segment moving forward.  There is a lot of discussion underway in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties related to the need for transparency, and about ideas for Counties to capture up to 10% of toll revenue.

City Budget.  Councilmember Kabir discussed progress on the 2019 NCPCA City Budget Wishlist for the FY2020 City budget.  Dr. Kabir prepared a written summary which will be shared with NCPCA members.  There was discussion of progress of the NCPCA Budget Wishlist during 2019, as well as discussion of ideas for the FY 2021 budget.

Adjourn.  Motion approved by members at 9:34 pm.

Amendments.  The draft minutes were amended by vote of NCPCA members on Feb. 13, 2020.  The minutes presented above were prepared by NCPCA Secretary John Krouse.

Budget Documents:

Regular Meeting on December 12, 2019

North College Park Community Association
December 12, 2019 – Regular Meeting at Davis Hall

Attendance.  Included Ben Ross, Chairman of Md. Transit Advocacy Org.; Mary Lehman, Delegate, D-21 Maryland General Assembly; City Councilmembers Fazlul Kabir, Kate Kennedy, Maria Mackie; and Mayor Patrick Wojahn.

Meeting.   Called to order at 7:34 pm; pledge recited.

Agenda.   Approved without amendment.

November 14 Minutes.   Motion by Ellen Caswell, second by Carol Macknis, approved without amendment, but it appears per Councilmember Kabir that US 1 Shoppers Food Warehouse may not be closing.

Officer Reports.   Judy Blumenthal reported about NCPCA pro bono attorney.  Jordan Schakner reported NCPCA treasury is $1,069.  Mary Cook sent a letter to Larry Taub, attorney for Wawa Beltsville.

Announcements.

Cm. Kabir announced MLK event in January; 1st Council meeting is Jan. 7; request by city for no new leaves on street (we need clarification on street leaves vs. curb leaves from city works); reported that County is pushing for a new food store at the Shoppers space if they leave.

Cm. Kennedy announced that Council approved $30K for a newspaper in CP; College Park City University Partnership CPCUP is starting planning and listening session for new projects soon.

Cm Mackie stated that she wants to listen to residents; reported on Maryland Art show in Marriott and Mobile MVA @ Goddard Visitors’ Center.

Carol Macknis reported that 1st Thurs of each month is Police / Resident public meetings at Mom’s;  current concerns are petty crime, premises checks, porch pirates.

Presentation by Ben Ross.   Our statewide transit plan with greater MARC service is less costly than toll lanes.  The plan would help Baltimore, providing subway-like service on Penn Line.  Toll lanes encourage congestion, don’t stop it, $30-$50 tolls are needed to produce profit for firms.  Such lanes are bad for the environment.  P3 plan will pass legislature right to Governor and the BPW.  Updates since June: the contractor can choose its own construction firm after the award of contract, and a private negotiation with MDOT.  Franchot is swing vote on BPW; concerned residents are encouraged to email him.  MDOT admits they have P/L projections on different road segments – BUT these must be made public.  Only Phase 1 can be done under current Governor’s term, no guarantees for the completion of the other phases under subsequent governors.  Send email to Comptroller Peter Franchot at pfranchot@comp.state.md.us.

NCPCA Motion.   By Ellen Caswell for NCPCA to write a letter of opposition to Beltway expansion to Franchot; second by Carol Macknis.  Motion approved.

Del. Lehman Update.   Bag fee proposal needs state legislation approval.  Alcohol Awareness Bill: all venues must have someone with Alcohol Awareness training.  She is sponsoring a bill requiring majority consent by the taxpayers in counties with proposed toll lanes.

Cm. Kennedy Update.   Tree / Landscape proposal on tree canopies; speak with Todd Larsen of the Committee for a Better Environment for information.

Adjourn.   Motion to Adjourn by Ellen Caswell, seconded, approved by members at 8:46 pm.

Regular Meeting on November 14, 2019

North College Park Community Association
November 14, 2019 – Regular Meeting at Davis Hall

Attendance.  Included Mayor Wojahn, Councilmembers Kabir and Kennedy.  A total of 22 members and guests attended.
 
Meeting.  Called to order at 7:32 pm.
 
Agenda.  Approved without amendment.
 
Citizens Against Beltway Expansion (CABE). Carol Macknis provided update of recent meeting; M-NCPPC is against the expansion; American Legion Bridge widening should require independent study of costs and impacts.
 
Hollywood Pharmacy. Mr. Clement the pharmacist and assistant Bisi presented a PowerPoint about services provided by the pharmacy including custom compounding, pet prescriptions, free prescription delivery, notary services, parcel delivery pickup, and more.  Several NCPCA members expressed their satisfaction as customers of the pharmacy.
 
Wawa Beltsville.  Ralph Bell (Roadside Development) and Larry Taub (attorney) explained the proposed Detailed Site Plan for a new Wawa on Lot 9 on the west side of US 1 near the Ikea flags.  No variances are necessary.  Larry Bleau moved that ‘NCPCA not stand in opposition to the development’ with Kennis Termini second.  Motion passed with no nays and two abstaining.
 
Updates:
 
Councilmember Kabir reported about several new Doggie Depot stations.
 
Councilmember Kabir reported about a recent meeting of Prince George’s County Zoning Code Rewrite and the new vs. old map viewing tool.
 
Mary Cook explained the work of Judy Blumenthal with pro bono attorney related to the Zoning Code Rewrite and NCPCA concerns about current and future impacts.
 
Major Wojahn reported that US 1 Shoppers Food Warehouse might close in early 2020.
 
City Council Election & Referendum results were presented and discussed.
 
Hollywood Commercial Streetscape meeting on Nov. 18 was discussed.
 
October 10 Minutes. Motion by Carol Macknis, second by Arelis Peres.  Approved with amendment to include full text of all NCPCA candidate forum questions.
 
Holiday Party.  NCPCA will be having a holiday party at the regular December 12 meeting.  Members can bring something to share.
 
Treasurer’s Report:  None.
 
Adjourn.  Meeting adjourned by vote of members at 9:11 pm.

Regular Meeting on October 10, 2019

North College Park Community Association
October 10, 2019 – Regular Meeting at Davis Hall

Attendance.  Included elected officials (* noted below in Election Forum).  A total of 23 candidates, members and guests attended.

Meeting.  Called to order at 7:32 pm.  The meeting was live streamed on the City cable channel. [ NOTE: The election forum can be viewed on the City’s website: http://www.collegeparkmd.gov/councilmeetings#stream (Forum is under ‘Archived Videos’). ]

Agenda.  Approved.

September 12 Minutes.  Motion to approve by Arelis Perez, second by Lisa Ealley.  Approved without amendments.

Elaine Ellis Center of Health.  Brandy Littlejohn presented information about programs of this non-profit facility located on Rhode Island Avenue in the northeast quadrant of Hollywood commercial district.  The Center provides health, mental and dental care without regard to patient’s ability to pay.

Election Forum.  Committee members Arelis Perez, Lisa Ealley and Dylan Burns developed questions for candidates.  Arelis presented the questions to the candidates.

The following Council candidates participated:  D-1 Kabir*, Kennedy*; D-4 Mitchell*, Mackie, and Emmanuel.  The following Mayoral candidates participated:  Wojahn*, Pancho, and Malsawma.

Click HERE (PDF File) to view the 2019 Candidate Forum Questions

Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer Jordan Schakner reported $1,039.46.  New members joined tonight.

Meeting Adjourn:  9:24 pm.

 

Regular Meeting on September 12, 2019

North College Park Community Association
September 12, 2019 – Regular Meeting at Davis Hall

Attendance included Councilmember Fazlul Kabir; Guests: Terri Schum, Director of College Park Planning and Economic Development; Eugene Jones, Residents for a Better Beltsville; Elya Nassaj, staff liaison of P.G. Councilmember Dernoga. 26 members and guests were in attendance.

Meeting. Called to order at 7:32 pm.

Agenda. Approved.

July 11 Minutes. Approved without amendment.

North College Park Planning Update. Terri Schum provided updates about planning for Hollywood Streetscape project; Hollywood Dog Park; Duvall Field reconstruction; and also provided an update about construction of Hollywood Gateway Park. Ms. Schum noted that the park should be completed in the next couple of months.

NCPCA Candidate Forum. A committee was formed to determine the date and format of a forum for City election candidates. Lisa Ealley, Arelis Perez and Dylan Burns were appointed to the Committee.

Quality of Life. Approximately 15 ideas were discussed to enhance City services and improve the health and welfare of our neighborhoods. No ideas were endorsed or prioritized.

City Bond Bill. President Mary Cook reported that the NCPCA letter was sent, and she provided a recap of the recent City Council meeting in which Mayor and Council voted to proceed with sale of bonds for financing construction of the new City Hall.

Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Jordan Schakner reported $1,008.79. Two new members and 1 renewal were recorded.

NCPCA Website. Vice President Carol Macknis provided an update about NCPCA archives and efforts to document processes and improve function of the NCPCA website with recent NCPCA correspondence..

Meeting Adjourned: 9:22 pm.