Minutes of March 2021 NCPCA Meeting

North College Park Community Association
Marck 11, 2021 – Regular Meeting by Zoom

Attending: President Mary Cook; Vice President Carol Macknis;; Secretary Ellen Caswell;; Mayor Patrick Wojahn; Councilmembers Fazlul Kabir, Kate Kennedy, and Maria Mackie; Sustainability Coordinator Janet McCaslin; Planning Director Terry Schum; Senior Planner Miriam Bader; PG Councilmember Tom Dernoga’s Chief of Staff Michelle Garcia; Lisa Ealley; Judy Blumenthal; Arelis Pérez; John Krouse; Dawn Budd; Kelvin Budd; Mary King; Carissa Janis; Bob Catlin; and Hutchinson.

Meeting called to order at 7:35 pm.

Officers’ Reports:

President Mary Cook: (1) A year ago, we were going to hold a meeting at Davis Hall with Tom Dernoga. Covid hit, we had to cancel the meeting, and about 10 new people showed up. We hope to be back soon in Davis Hall. (2) President Cook has been approached to attend a meeting by a group who works with civic association leaders in the northern part of Prince George’s County, because they are impressed with our group.

Treasurer Jordan Schakner, via email: We have in total 1,317.33.

Vice President Carol Macknis: (1) The sustainability people have a quick survey and would like a lot of replies. (2) It’s been awhile since we reviewed bylaws. We should form a committee to decide if they need tweaking, especially regarding virtual meetings. (3) Regarding the Beltway Expansion, there’s been a protest about the selection of Trans-Urban as contractors; not sure what all the implications are. (4) Maryland State Comptroller Franchot has announced that income tax is due July 15 with no interest or penalties; Federal is still April.

Recycling Basics: Janet McCaslin, College Park’s Sustainability Coordinator, is also our recycling coordinator.

College Park has a 43% recycling rate. The new strategic plan has set some lofty goals to increase our recycling and decrease our trash, which will take a lot of work/help from residents. The top five reasons to motivate people to recycle are: conserves natural resources, reduces the need for landfills, prevents pollution, saves energy, creates jobs. It saves money too!

It takes centuries or more for cans and bottles to degrade. It doesn’t make sense to continue to put them into the trash. Paper is widely recycled. With fewer people working in offices after Covid, we’re likely to see a big change. Aluminum is Infinitely recyclable. Glass is recyclable but contamination, breakage, and the need to separate make it harder. Prince George’s County recycles glass, mostly to use as landfill cover. Mixed plastics are not recyclable.

The basic recyclables are cans, cartons, glass, paper, and plastic. You cannot recycle bagged recyclables, plastic bags, food, clothing, or tanglers. We can work on recycling more food waste; composting is the most effective way to address it. The city has food scrap drop-off locations and provides compostable bags. We diverted 19 tons from the landfill.

Various programs reimburse for planting trees or provide free trees. The Department of Public Works has compost and wood mulch available and sells yard waste carts, compost bins, rain barrels, and GAT mosquito traps.

We discussed restaurant and business recycling.

Development in College Park: Planning Director Terry Schum, along with Senior Planner Miriam Bader, gave a presentation summarizing the status of the current development projects. (Councilmember Kabir has the PowerPoint presentation on his blog at https://www.kabircares.org/college-parks-latest-development-update.)

NOTE: A copy of the presentation as a PDF file is on the NCPCA website: on the Minutes webpage: NCPCA Meeting Minutes with these minutes — the PowerPoint index is not included in the PDF file..

There are 18 projects throughout the city, with the largest cluster in downtown. Five are north of Greenbelt Road/University Boulevard. The projects include one hotel, four commercial or retail, four townhouse or multifamily, five student housing, one unknown (either student or family housing), and three institutional. Many have been in the pipeline for quite a while. Information is available at www.collegeparkmd.gov/159

The Boulevard/Metropolitan project drew the most comment. The frontage piece was stalled for years, but has recently shown signs of movement, adding five units and reducing parking, which was already considered a problem. The city is trying to schedule a meeting with the applicant to better understand their intent. There was discussion whether student housing demand will change as a result of Covid. The BP station hotel has not had further discussion since they presented at the NCPCA.

Pedestrian and Road Safety:

Councilmember Kabir: Sidewalks are primarily for safety; some residents like them and some don’t. Funding for the Hollywood Road sidewalk project will be awarded soon. Residents are responsible to keep the sidewalk areas free of trash, snow, and other debris to insure they are passable at all times. Any structural issues should be reported to the city for repairs are their responsibility. The Route 1 Walk Safe project educates in response to students being hit, sometimes killed, by cars. It may become a part of the school curriculum as well. Residents can request a crosswalk or stop sign from the city engineer or their councilmembers; speed humps require a petition of 2/3 of the residents in an area. Contract police can help in enforcing many of these laws. The city speed limit is 25 mph. Rhode Island Avenue is 35 mph, but if city takes it over this may be lowered. Planners are considering bike paths for Rhode Island Avenue.

Councilmember Kennedy: She really supports the idea of sidewalks. Speed bumps sometimes lead to speeding up. Noisy cars is a continuing problem.

Mayor Wojahn: More information about the Complete Streets plan (including which additional sidewalks are in the works) is available at https://www.collegeparkmd.gov/318/Complete-and-Green-Streets-Implementatio.

Councilmember Mackie: Don’t be afraid to tell police/council about problems. If you see something, say something; use the non-emergency number or 911. District 4 doesn’t have sidewalks; District 1 is blessed.

Branchville Contribution: In thanks for Sgt. Rosa Scholl’s fire safety talk in February, we could make a contribution to the young people working in the fire station. After some discussion, Lisa Ealley moved that we make a donation to the Branchville Fire Department volunteers in the amount of $250 to cover a dinner or some sort of meal for their enjoyment. Arelis Pérez seconded, and the motion was passed. The Board will decide where to spend the $250 and get it to the fire department.

Minutes of the February 11, 2021 NCPCA Meeting: Arelis Pérez moved that we approve, Lisa Ealley seconded, and the motion passed.

Old Business:

President Cook: (1) Concerning the bollards on Cherry Hill Road, the County Public Works is talking with the state about renovation of whole intersection. They would like a median. (2) Councilmember Mitchell was in conversation with the city engineer, who is helping to facilitate discussions regarding high water bills. If you need help, the help is there.

Announcements:

Mayor Wojahn: The county has made available an emergency rental assistance program (details at https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/3703/Emergency-Rental-Assistance-Program).The Biden relief bill will provide additional relief for College Park. There is counseling available through the program at hiphomes.org for both renters and homeowners who are struggling. (2) The city’s Committee for a Better Environment has a survey to determine priorities in terms of maintaining a green and sustainable city, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sustaincp.

Councilmember Kennedy: It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season!

Councilmember Kabir: The County Executive has announced rule changes regarding Covid. The inside and outside restaurant capacity is changed to 50%. (2) There are spots available at the community garden at the corner of Rhode Island Avenue and Hollywood Road, $15 per plot. Contact Katie Hart at khart@collegeparkmd.gov or https://www.collegeparkmd.gov/250/Gardens.

Councilmember Mackie: (1) March 20th there will be Budget a Town Hall hosted by the District 1 and 4 councilmembers. Paper copies of the budget should be available from the city clerk. (2) It’s a good idea to register on multiple websites for vaccines. (3) Celebrate Pi day on March 14 and wish Councilmember Kennedy a Happy Birthday!

Vice President Macknis: It’s a good idea to take a picture of both sides of your vaccination card on your smartphone in case the paper copy is not available.

Future Agenda Items:

John Krouse: (1) Discuss putting recycling containers in city parks. (2) Parking permits are discussed in College Park Here & Now – have parking enforcement talk to us about how this works, and how you can identify whether a car is legally parked.

Councilmember Kennedy: Pet waste was brought up on Next Door. She’d like to review resources she’s acquired and bounce ideas with us.

Councilmember Kabir: He would like to invite a West College Park person who built a community directory. We might want to do one also. We can request funding for it. Arelis Pérez says the Seniors Committee would like to do an all-College-Park directory.

Arelis Pérez moved we adjourn at 9:28 pm, Lisa Ealley seconded, and the motion was passed.

Minutes of February 2021 Regular Meeting

North College Park Community Association
February 11, 2021 – Regular Meeting by Zoom

Attending: President Mary Cook, Vice President Carol Macknis, Secretary Ellen Caswell, Treasurer Jordan Schakner; Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Councilmembers Fazlul Kabir, Kate Kennedy, Maria Mackie, and Denise Mitchell; Interim City Manager Bill Gardiner; Lisa Ealley, Judy Blumenthal, Arelis Pérez, Phil Aronson, Pastor Fay Lundin, Krissie Taylor, Maurice Wagoner, Matthew Tedesco, Chanda Beaufort, Luther Ghiz, Duane Arbogast, Carol Susan Nezzo, Francisca Koduah, Sgt. Rosa Scholl, Carissa Janis, Mary Ann Vaughan, Brook Biddulph, Christine Nagle, Frances Sutphen.

Meeting called to order at 7:34 pm.

Officers’ Reports:

Treasurer Jordan Schakner: We have $1,277.28 in the bank account; also a few checks and cash to deposit; we’re in pretty good financial shape.

Vice President Carol Macknis: Paying the dues for multiple years has always been possible, though without a discount. She will change the form and it will be doable in Paypal.

Minutes of the January 14, 2021 Meeting: There were two changes. (1) Senator Rosapepe is working on getting the Beltway Expansion into the upcoming senate session, not into the whole legislature. (2) Arelis Pérez was present. Arelis moved to accept as corrected and amended; Lisa Ealley seconded. Passed..

Mowing: Phil Aronson observed while walking that the City’s landscaper, Level Green, cuts the grass on the median of Rhode Island Avenue between 193 and the Beltway overpass. This is a county-owned road. He is concerned that we are paying double taxes for this. Phil spoke to city and to Tom Dernoga’s office. City said – if they didn’t do it, no one would. There is no Memorandum of Understanding involving reimbursement. Interim City Manager Bill Gardiner says have been mowing for 30 years or so because it was mowed far too seldom, which is also true for the Veteran’s Memorial. It’s the best option to keeping a thoroughfare of the city looking attractive. Discussion ensued. (1) There is a negotiation to transfer ownership of Rhode Island Avenue from Prince George’s County to College Park, so this may become moot. (2) This is an exception, not the norm. (3) This is a big problem in transparency. It’s been going on for 30 years and residents were never made aware of it. (4) The key is for the mayor and council to get back to the community and answer questions in a timely manner.

Branchville Fire Department: Fire Sergeant Rosa Scholl, a firefighter and medic for 4-1/2 years at the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad gave a presentation on smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Ten-year smoke alarms are now required, available at Home Depot or Lowe’s or the like. Use them for any living, sleeping, or guest rooms in the house. Avoid bathrooms; steam sets them off. Put smoke alarms up high because smoke rises. Carbon monoxide alarms are for the colorless, odorless gas that comes from car emissions or anything burning. Pretty toxic. They should be mounted low because carbon monoxide is heavier than normal air. Use with gas appliances, near boiler room and near (but not in) the garage. Put carbon monoxide alarms where you have gas stoves/heat; put smoke alarms where people spend time, such as bedrooms, living room, kitchen. The county provides a small supply of alarms that can be given out. They can be disposed of in the trash. Fire extinguishers, of the type ABC Dry Chem (which is irritating but not toxic), are not required but strongly suggested in single family homes, especially kitchen, garage, work shed, or other likely places for fire. Apartment buildings should supply them. They typically last 5-15 years. Call 911 first, so they’re already on the way. Only try to put it out if you feel safe doing it. Use the acronym PASS – Pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep. Trash them normally, if possible releasing pressure first.

Children’s Guild – Monarch Preschool: Duane Arbogast gave a short presentation describing the existing Children’s Guild programs and plans for the high-quality Monarch Preschool College Park, which includes a partnership with the University of Maryland. They hope to open soon. The Children’s Guild is applying for a special exception to allow 120 students rather than the existing cap of 50 students. There was discussion of the level of certification, class and staff sizes, tuition, subsidies, and possible scholarships. There was also discussion of potential traffic and parking problems and possible ways to mitigate them. There will be bilingual staff. They hope to involve the senior population. In response to President Cook asking whether there’s interest in NCPCA taking a position on this project, Arelis Pérez moved “I make a motion in favor of the Children’s Guild on the Monarch Pre-School that will be located at The United Methodist Church – I am in support of the Children’s Guild and its programs, as well as the exception, provided that the surrounding homeowners’/residents’ concerns are addressed and taken into consideration moving forward.” Carol Macknis seconded, and the motion passed.

NCPCA Mansionization Committee: A subcommittee, consisting of Judy Blumenthal, Mary Cook, John Krouse, Arelis Perez, and pro bono attorney Bridget Simmons was formed to address the problem of residential homes that become mansions. They met to discuss what they can do with city and county to prevent something like this from happening again. Cook has set up meeting with Dernoga, scheduled for the end of February. If there are other areas where this is a problem, let the committee know early. They are reaching out to other communities in College Park.

Bike Lanes Meeting: A meeting was held concerning bike lanes on Rhode Island Avenue (link: https://zoom.us/rec/play/kW5k4cOh9llEP-QHiEc2dkfMxoL9o_-mNVvpHWCgmCLYjNuK5bCMqvw17dUlQ1rXuM9FcfdYaHHVlcmd.KVtJat4k6xsDxNvT?startTime=1612829241000&_x_zm_rtaid=qDLMRWEOStOHd4w8i-Eu7Q.1612878156843.03d41eec2cbd867281c032090de49ae8&_x_zm_rhtaid=980). They plan 5-ft bike lanes on either side, with 10-ft street lanes, which may be hard for large vehicles. Bikers were pleased and gave many suggestions. WMATA buses will now stop directly on Rhode Island Avenue rather than pulling over. WMATA will create raised bus stops. The project is not yet funded.

Potential Wish List Items for Districts 1 and 4 Councilmembers: (1) North College Park Community Center. Discussion included getting funds to rent some space, a call for volunteers, having homeowners or resident put this together ourselves.We may need a staff person, but we could also make this happen with volunteers. Find out cost, materials, who we need: present a business plan that will show the council what we are looking for and what it might cost. (2) Seamless services. As an example, Bill Gardiner will put transport services on ONE piece of paper – help with shopping, transportation, referrals, etc. – for at risk (fragile) people. Other areas could also use seamless services.

Announcements:

Pastor Fay Lundin: If there’s any way the church can help out, let her know.

Councilmember Mackie: Stay engaged. We’re trying really hard to make communication a priority. Lots of work to do, committees that still need people. She’d love to hear from us.

Councilmember Mitchell: For vaccinations at Doctors Hospital – call senior services for transportation.

Vaccination links provided in chat, mostly by Mayor Patrick Wojahn:

https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine; for transportation to vaccine center, call College Park Senior Services program at 301-345-8100; preregistration form: https://covid19vaccination.princegeorgescountymd.gov/;

Luminis/Doctors Community Hospital preregistration: https://askaamc.formstack.com/forms/community_vaccination

University of Maryland Medical System (which includes Prince George’s Hospital in Cheverly) – https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/d1747b1fb8f1433a81b2ea00f93f0e94

Arelis Pérez: The Executive Director of Attick Towers got vaccines from Luminis Health.

Brook Biddulph: The Hollywood PTA is hoping to collaborate with us for neighborhood cleanup day on April 17.

Councilmember Kabir: (1) Dinosaur hunt (dinosaur toys) this weekend, article in CP Here & Now. (2) Two important votes upcoming: award of contract for the Hollywood Streetscape Project and the Hollywood Road Award of Design Contract, will move to construction.

Councilmember Kennedy: (1) A virtual Q&A was planned with Joshua Thomas from the school board. (2) There’s a commission for restorative justice, with space for non-district 2 member, if someone is interested.

Vice President Macknis: Quick beltway expansion update. MDOT has released design. There are broken promises. Maryland Park and Planning is opposed, is working with a mediator; it may go to court.

Future Agenda Items:

Lisa Ealley suggests we could support local artisans during the pandemic, featuring one or two at every meeting.

Carol Macknis would like to discuss the results of a safety police report that came out a couple of years ago.

Arelis Pérez moved we adjourn, Carol Macknis seconded; adjourned at 9:36 pm.

Minutes of January 2021 Regular Meeting

North College Park Community Association
January 14, 2021 – Regular Meeting by Zoom

Attending: President Mary Cook, Vice President Carol Macknis, Secretary Ellen Caswell, Treasurer Jordan Schakner; Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Councilmembers Fazlul Kabir, Kate Kennedy, Maria Mackie, and Denise Mitchell; Lisa Ealley, Judy Blumenthal, John Krouse, Arelis Perez, John Bartoli, Patricia, Jamie Lark, Eugene Jones, Abdullah Hijazi, Jeremy Seitz-Brown, and Matt Hobbs.

Meeting called to order at 7:33 pm.

Officers’ Reports:

President Mary Cook: (1) The Hollywood PTA food drive was successful; contributions went to the Community Food Bank. (2) The Hollywood Streetscape and Hollywood Sidewalk Requests for Proposal have gone out.

Vice President Carol Macknis: (1) She has added the Hollywood Elementary School and PTA links, and the Al-Huda School link, to the Useful Links tab on the NCPCA website. (2) A membership renewal has arrived, another is possibly coming. Paypal access is the goal for the next month or so. In chat, Councilmember Kennedy suggested multiyear memberships as an option.

Treasurer Jordan Schakner (via email): We have $1,277.22 in the account. A new member’s dues is not yet deposited, and reimbursement of $38.20 is due to President Cook for toner and printing costs for flyers.

Minutes of December 10, 2020 Meeting: Motion to accept, seconded. Passed.

Proposed Hotel at the BP station: Abdullah Hijazi, representing the developer, presented architectural drawings and a site plan. Attendees discussed the plans and implications of the project for the neighborhood.

The site is the BP station on Route 1 across from the intersection with Cherry Hill Road. The plans are very preliminary. It may become a Clarion Inn.

The architect plans to take advantage of the sloped lot to provide semi-underground parking. The hotel is stepped back to add a buffer between the hotel and the residential area. The main entrance area includes a front desk, lobby, food area, and offices. A conference/multipurpose room is on the floor above. There’s an exercise room, kitchen, and areas for staff. The preliminary room count is 75 rooms and parking count is around 35 spots, which is within code. The developers hope approvals will be under the existing sector plan, which is a known quantity. The hotel backs up to residences on 47th place.

Areas of discussion included: (1) Traffic. Hijazi pointed out the many alternative transportation options available. People who want to be near the University of Maryland to visit children and attend games and events will likely have more cars than typical hotels. The hotel will use the existing entrance and exit, with the flow of traffic right in, right out. Turning south is not allowed, so an additional complication is added to an already complicated intersection, and may include people going through the neighborhood. (2) There is concern about the height, changing sun, light pollution, and privacy. The architect/engineer hope to mitigate this with a driveway aisle, no balconies, and possibly partially with the stepback of the upper stories. (3) The base of the hotel is lower in elevation than the homes behind it, so stormwater will not affect the neighbors. (4) The property line barrier (fence, wall) is not yet decided. (5) Most stormwater management will be underground, in addition to a vertical microbioretention structure. (6) HVAC noise pollution is not yet decided but the units may be housed on roof or in the garage. (7) The proposed design, which doesn’t blend in with the nearby Hampton Inn and Marriott, is still preliminary. (8) There are no plans for long-term leasing to students. (9) Prostitution should not be an issue. This is a lobbied hotel with security cameras/audio, intended to be higher end, and will not rent out rooms by the hour. (10) The developers plan to file for preacceptance review with Park and Planning within the next 2-3 months. Building should take six months to a year and a half. There is concern that staging will be hard on the small site. (11) NCPCA very strongly urged that the clients themselves attend future meetings.

Beltway Expansion update: Vice President Macknis said this is not going away. Many comments on the draft environmental impact statement have not been fully addressed. MDOT has put out an RFQ for someone to oversee the project (https://495-270-p3.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/20201223_RFP-Fact-Sheet.pdf); contract award is expected sometime in February. The Sierra Club is planning lawsuits. MDOT is moving at full speed. Two bills that passed in the State House died in the State Senate. Senator Rosapepe is taking the lead in trying get the bills into the Senate session.

The Mayor and Council FY2021 Budget wish list: District 1 and 4 councilmembers discussed items on the last year’s list. In the February meeting, we can make suggestions for the upcoming budget wish list.

Announcements:

Councilmember Mackie: (1) There will be a food drive at the College Park Methodist Church, one bag of food per car, Saturday, January 16. (2) Because of MLK Day and the inauguration, trash pickup dates are shifted.

Councilmember Kabir: There is an MLK day of service planned at the College Park Food Bank.

Mayor Wojahn: (1) Vaccine distribution is now in Phase 1b, for ages 75 and up, and for teachers and childcare professionals. If you qualify, you should go to https://www.marylandvax.org/. On Monday, January 25, we will move into Phase 1c, which includes people over 65 and a number of essential workers. Information is available at http://health.mypgc.us/COVIDVaccine. (2) PGCPS Boundary initiative: Prince George’s County is doing a review of public school boundaries; a lot of schools have overcrowding. Information is available at https://www.pgcps.org/boundary.

Vice President Macknis: The Maglev DEIS is to be released Jan 22. There are 45 days for public comment, with a petition to change it to 180 days. The Maryland Coalition for Responsible Transit has a website where people can ask for more time. Councilmember Mitchell was on a call with County Council members Dannielle Glaros and Jolene Ivey concerning this. She highly recommends we discuss this next month. Many experts are adamantly against it for environmental reasons.

Meeting adjourned at 9:13 pm

Minutes of December 2020 Regular Meeting

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

Attending: President Mary Cook, Vice President Carol Macknis, Secretary Ellen Caswell, Treasurer Jordan Schakner; Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Councilmembers Llatetra Brown Esters, Fazlul Kabir, Kate Kennedy, Maria Mackie, and Denise Mitchell; Arelis Pérez, Brook Biddulph, Lisa Ealley, Judy Blumenthal, Phil Aronson, Shaymar Higgs, Marnice Williams, and Nikki Pancho.

Meeting called to order at 7:34 pm.

Officers’ Reports:

President Mary Cook: (1) Cherry Hill flooding. Park and Planning ripped out bushes to facilitate water flow. Cook is keeping in contact with them. (2) Bollards on Cherry Hill Road. DPWT are considering putting in a real median. They have agreed to Cook’s request that the neighbors be given an opportunity to provide input. (3) Hollywood Streetscape. Planning Director Terri Schum says the city plans to advertise for construction bids December 2020 to January 2021, award the contract for construction in February 2021, with construction starting in March and completion anticipated November to December 2021.

Vice President Carol Macknis: Beltway Expansion. The Navy has told MDOT they will not give up space from the Bethesda area. The state of Virginia was looking at more P3 Lanes and plans to hold off to see what Maryland does regarding the American Legion Bridge.

Treasurer Jordan Schakner: $1,335.70 is currently in the bank account, there are two dues checks for an additional $20, and he will reimburse Carol Macknis for the website domain fee.

Minutes of November 12, 2020 Meeting: Arelis Pérez moved to approve, Jordan Schakner seconded. Passed.

Hollywood PTA: PTA Co-President Brook Biddulph discussed the current fundraisers. The PTA raised $264 last month and are currently doing a food drive through December 23rd for the College Park Community Food Bank. Posh Cycling and Fitness is a dropoff location, but most other businesses did not agree. Biddulph is developing flyers, along with a list of foods that might be needed. NCPCA is a part of the initiative. There were many suggestions and offers for dropoffs and places to advertise. Marnice Williams, Grant and Project Manager for the Al-Huda School, is involved in food drives as well and offered to join in. A financial contribution may be sent to the Community Food Bank. A neighborhood cleanup is planned for the future.

The SPACE Free Art For All: Starting in his mother’s basement, The SPACE founder Shaymar Higgs has moved through many other spaces to, now, a nonprofit art space at Greenbelt’s Beltway Plaza in front of the AMC theaters. Website: https://www.freeartforall.org/. The space provides creative opportunities to people of all ages, including painting, fiber arts, literacy programs, computer coding from a talented 15-year-old volunteer, meditation, and art therapy. It’s a place to come together, meet new people, and share knowledge and skills. A number of creative people from his art spaces have moved to successful careers in the arts. The entire family can walk in and paint, draw, knit, and so on in an interactive environment.

Introducing Llatetra Brown Esters: Esters, the newly elected District Two councilmember and College Park resident since 1999, has watched the community develop on Route 1. The residents who live here want to feel that they are an integral part in of this community as it continues to grow; the development is beneficial. She focuses on public safety and fiscal responsibility. Pérez welcomed Esters, with whom she worked doing meal distribution for Attick Towers and Spellman House and other initiatives. Cook and Macknis introduced Esters to some history of the NCPCA.

Announcements:

Mayor Wojahn: Route 1 Communities Care (https://go.dojiggy.io/grcrocc) is doing a fundraiser to sell artworks, using the proceeds to purchase meals from local restaurants to support our community. There is also a need for volunteers for food distribution ( https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4da9ad2daaf94-delivery).

Councilmember Mitchell: (1) Mitchell thanked everyone for their kind responses to the passing of her parents. (2) A woman’s book club will be starting in January; to be added to the list, send her an email.

Councilmember Mackie: (1) District 1 residents can now walk the new path connecting with College Park Woods. (2) Snow may be coming; the College Park website has a lot of good information about what to expect. If possible, to park their cars in the driveway or on the even side of the street to make it easier for the Department of Public Works. Please help those who can’t shovel; it’s also very good exercise.

Councilmember Kennedy: (1) Kennedy is organizing a no-contact holiday cookie exchange as a way to connect with neighbors that doesn’t involve being in person or on a zoom call. She provided a link to a spreadsheet, planned to have cookies delivered December 19-20 to be organized and passed out. (2) The City of College Park is again doing the Deck the City holiday decorating contest.

Councilmember Kabir: (1) The monthly community police meeting for the following Monday is at the usual link (http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice). It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come in and talk to the police officers who actually do the real job patrolling our streets. (2) There is a program in the community to help those in need with shoveling; he will send the link to the NCPCA list. (3) The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is coming to BARC in Beltsville. The College Park council sent a letter expressing many concerns, especially regarding traffic. The deadline for comments is December 21. (4) There is a real possibility that the FBI might move in during the new administration (https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2020/11/13/officials-look-to-biden-to-renew-fbi-hq-search.html).

President Cook: Amazon is building a warehouse in Beltsville.

Future Agenda Items: (1) Pérez reminds us that Ms Macknis suggested a meeting on public safety with Bob Ryan. (2) Cook and Pérez agree on bringing back the smoke alarm law. (3) Aronson’s mowing question will be discussed after the new year.

Question: Lisa Ealley asked whether residents will be part of the interview panel for the new city manager. Mayor Wojahn says this has not yet been discussed. Councilmember Kennedy believes focus groups are planned.

New Business: Regarding Maglev, Macknis received an email requesting that people support extending the time for comment on the draft environmental impact study (DEIS). They want to petition to extend the period from 45 to 180 days. Should we as NCPCA piggyback into the petition? The DEIS is supposed to be submitted on January 22.

Meeting adjourned at 9:09 pm, followed by a holiday College Park Trivia Contest. Fun was had!

Minutes of November 2020 Regular Meeting

North College Park Community Association
November 12, 2020 – Regular Meeting by Zoom

Attending: President Mary Cook, Vice President Carol Macknis, Secretary Ellen Caswell, Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Councilmembers Fazlul Kabir and Maria Mackie, John Krouse, Bob Catlin, Arelis Pérez, Brook Biddulph, Nicola White, Judy Blumenthal, Carissa Janis, and Stephanie Butler.

Meeting called to order at 8:01 pm.

Officers’ Reports:

President Mary Cook: (1) Cherry Hill is working successfully with Councilman Dernoga’s office, Parks and Planning, and the county’s Department of Public Works and Transportation to resolve the flooding issue. (2) The graffiti on the children’s playground will be taken care of.

Vice President Carol Macknis: The community police meetings are working to revitalize Neighborhood Watch in North College Park’s District 1. Community Police information is at http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice; virtual meetings are the 2nd Monday of the month at 7:30. Questions or interest, contact Carol Macknis or Fazlul Kabir. (2) Communications about College Park events can be found at CollegeParkMD.org; at MYNCPCA.org (Google email, an email list, and Upcoming Events); in Mayor Wojahn’s weekly updates on NextDoor; and through Councilmember Kabir’s daily emails, which are posted on NextDoor and at KabirCares.org.

Treasurer Jordan Schakner (via email): We have a total of $1325.26 in the bank and another $10 check to deposit.

Minutes of October 8, 2020 Meeting: Arelis Pérez moved to approve; Carol Macknis seconded. Passed. Possible agenda item regarding mowing will be addressed at a later date.

Hollywood Elementary School PTA Presentation: Co-President Brook Biddulph (brooknotbrooke@gmail.com) and co-Treasurer Nicola White (nicolanettowhite@gmail.com) presented. The PTA has taken the tragic loss of their president and the unique situation of Covid as motivation to be inventive. President Cook invited them here to forge a relationship between the NCPCA and the PTA. The PTA is very active; initiatives include a Thanksgiving raffle, providing technology help, creating a language translation team teachers and parents can reach out to, arranging child care donations or vouchers, a food drive, a silent auction, a neighborhood cleanup, community building activities such as a school movie night, and people donating their change. We can help with advertising and volunteers, link activities on our site, and add them to our email list. The City Council recently awarded $8000 to Hollywood Elementary to buy Chromebooks.

McMansions in Our City: Judy Blumenthal proposed a motion:

I move that NCPCA establish a Committee entitled ‘NCPCA Residential Property Redevelopment Committee’ to work and understand more clearly what the Prince George’s County Planning Department, Planning Board, County Council, College Park City Council and City staff are pro-actively doing to:

(1) Maintain the residential quality of North College Park; and

(2) To prevent recurrences of inappropriate home development such as ‘McMansions’ etc. from being constructed in College Park; and

(3) To assist Prince George’s County and College Park to establish oversight and develop guidelines for the development of style, size, and lot coverage standards for future residential property improvements in North College Park and nearby communities.

Arelis Pérez seconded. A lively discussion about McMansions followed. The committee could gather facts, details, and wording, including a previous “mansionization” study and ideas for pattern guides for neighborhoods, to present to Councilman Dernoga. The motion passed. Judy Blumenthal, John Krouse, Arelis Pérez, and Mary Cook volunteered to be on the committee.

Attick Towers: Housing Authority board members Bob Catlin and Arelis Pérez presented. Catlin, the current chair, has been a Housing Authority member for the last six years and Pérez about 3 years; the rest are much newer. Executive Director Michelle Johnson has been on board since last December. Catlin discussed affordable housing, public housing, and section 8; Attick Towers has the oldest kind. With no money to renovate the system, Congress’s solution is to change it to something like Spellman House, managed by a private company. Catlin described the layout at Attick Towers; Covid prevents them from using all of the 180 units. The operating budget is about $1M a year. People who live there pay 30% of their income; the other two-thirds are from HUD affordable housing payments. They are in the process of setting up a nonprofit sister organization and an independent website. Pérez considers Executive Director Johnson a very well qualified director. With her experience in maneuvering through the county and the state, there will be a lot of positive changes for Attick Towers. They’re improving the use of technology and social media, and are providing training for the board commissioners. Quality of life for seniors and the disabled shouldn’t be any less. The Youth, Family, and Senior Services from the city have an office there, and Kiaisha Barber, Johnson, and their staffs check in on all residents on a weekly basis. Staff meet with residents to help with bills, Medicare, and so on. Communication is key, whether by email, text, voicemail, or the 24/7 call center. Pérez said the focus is on rebuilding morale, patience, dignity, integrity, love, compassion, kindness.

Multigenerational Community Center: A recent forum presented ideas for a center near Prince George’s Plaza. President Cook brought this up because Park and Planning said, “The formula 20/40 plan recommended a small indoor recreation facility approximately the size of a gymnasium be constructed in North College Park area. Our planning team is in the beginning stages of preparing a feasibility study for that amenity.” This nod to a North College Park center is encouraging. Cook wrote the November editorial, “Say yes to a community center,” for College Park Here & Now. Councilmember Kabir provided cautionary detail about various initiatives, says we should find out if this is related to Dernoga’s planned feasibility study with $250,000 allocated.

Official Announcements (limit 2 minutes):

Councilmember Mackie: (1) She loves College Park Here & Now and thanks President Cook for her article. (2) The One Warm Coat Drive won’t be held this year. Mackie suggests donating a gift card to buy a coat. (3) Remember to rake your leaves to the curb and not into the street to avoid flooding. (4) Help the Department of Public Works by bundling yard waste if you don’t have a beige tote. (5) There’s still time to sign up for meals for seniors and those with disabilities.

Mayor Wojahn: (1) Links for the meals for County District 1: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grab-n-go-meals-for-seniors-residents-w-disabilities-pr-geo-co-govt-registration-126476583867 and https://bit.ly/D3Meals. (2) The city Tree and Landscape Board has proposed a controversial tree ordinance, to stem city tree canopy loss, limiting the ability of residents to cut down their trees and adding a requirement to replace trees. At the Council’s request, a forum is scheduled for Wednesday, November 18. (3) The College Park Food Bank, collegeparkfoodbank.org, had a turkey drive. You can donate nonperishables and limited perishables on Saturday mornings. (4) The city was holding the District 2 Special Election, via mail and in-person, with a live-on-video vote count.

Councilmember Kabir: The Lakeland Community Heritage Project, in partnership with the Maryland Institute of Technology, will hold a forum November 19 to discuss stories from College Park’s Lakeland Community.

New Business:

Councilmember Kabir suggests inviting the new Councilmember-elect, Llatetra Brown Esters, because part of District 2 is in North College Park.

Vice President Macknis suggested a meeting on Public Safety, updating information on a recent study’s recommendations, possibly with Bob Ryan who coordinates our contract police. People complain about speeding, stop signs, car vandalism and other issues on NextDoor.

Arelis Pérez and Mary Cook suggested bringing back the smoke alarm law of 2018 and inviting a fire marshal to demonstrate fire extinguishers and suggest where to take old extinguishers.

President Cook: Christmas party! Arelis Pérez suggests a virtual happy hour Christmas party.

Meeting adjourned at 9:26 pm; Carol Macknis moved, Arelis Pérez seconded.

Minutes of October 2020 Regular Meeting

North College Park Community Association
October 8, 2020 –  Regular Meeting by Zoom

Attending: President Mary Cook, Vice President Carol Macknis, Treasurer Jordan Schakner, Secretary Ellen Caswell, John Krouse, Lisa Ealley, Judy Blumenthal, Keith Busiere, Dawn and Kelvin Budd, Carissa Janis, Eric Duyck, Arelis Pérez, Phil Aronson, Lourene Miovski and Tom Bannister, Stacia Hutchinson, Mary Ann Hartnett, Ben G, and Stephanie Butler; as well as Michelle García, Chief of Staff to Prince George’s County Councilmember Thomas E. Dernoga; Mayor Patrick Wojahn; Councilmembers Fazlul Kabir, Kate Kennedy, and Maria Mackie; City Manager Scott Somers; Planning Director Terry Schum; and Finance Director Gary Fields.

Meeting called to order at 7:35 pm.

Officers’ Reports: President: The bollards on Cherry Hill road are not yet fixed. There was a meeting between people in the Cherry Hill neighborhood and Tom Dernoga’s staff regarding the recent flooding; additional meetings are planned. Vice President: Mary will handle the survey on the new Website; Jordan will be contacted for Paypal financial information. Comments on the WMATA Covid-19 service cuts are due October 19. The monthly community police meeting is linked on our site in Upcoming Events, http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice. Carol provided information on voting deadlines and County procedures. Treasurer: A lot of dues have come in and we’re now at $1,325.59.

Minutes of the September 10 meeting were accepted as submitted; Arelis Perez moved, Carol Macknis seconded.

Introduction of Board Members: Last year’s board members have agreed to continue and were asked to speak. Judy Blumenthal finds value in the power in numbers; it would be good if we could each bring one more person to the next meeting. It’s a serious time in our community. Hopefully 2021 will be a better year. Lisa Ealley discussed that North College Park is often forgotten, though there are projects in line.

City Budget Changes: Scott Somers and Gary Fields addressed the Covid-19-related budget changes. Scott reports that since March we’ve had to decrease our anticipated revenue by about $2M, mostly from hotel/motel tax and admissions and amusement tax. Gary Fields presented a detailed breakdown of the changes in revenues and expenditure. These are the only anticipated budget cuts for this fiscal year. Existing neighborhood projects are generally expected to proceed as planned. Questions led to a discussion on how the city might help businesses promote their services, including advertising to residents, having a Chamber of Commerce, and (in chat) using yard signs.

Ongoing Projects: Terry Schum gave a brief overview of the Hollywood Streetscape and Duvall Field projects. Duvall has a completed visioning process and a very conceptual design plan. After further design, the project will go out to bid. The construction phase is expected by summer 2022. When permits (a slow process) are acquired, the Hollywood Streetscape project will go out for construction bids for early spring construction. Michelle Garcia suggested Councilmember Dernoga’s office can help follow up on permits. Fazlul Kabir mentioned the “goat path” (high pedestrian traffic through a grassy area from RI Ave and Mom’s parking lot) permits and stormwater management being responsible for the delays in the Hollywood Streetscape. Terry says we’re working to get agreement to get the goat path paved.

Update on the Stone Straw property: At a Town Hall hosted by Councilmember Tom Dernoga, ProFish Seafood made a very preliminary proposal to use the property for a fish processing plant, market, and restaurant. A townhome project has previously been proposed by Finnmark, who owns the property. ProFish has not yet talked with Finnmark. Several have been to the existing ProFish property downtown and found it to be a good experience. You can’t smell the fish. ProFish offered to host Meals on Wheels and a North College Park Community Center. As an alternative, Arelis Pérez suggested that it’s an excellent location for multigenerational houses.

Update on the Beltway Expansion: Lourene Miovski, who lives across from the Polish Club property on Edgewood Rd, described how its proposed use as a construction staging site would cause a great deal of environmental harm – trees cut, federally protected wetlands affected, chemicals, exhaust. Lourene has suggested they consider using the far north parking lot of the Greenbelt Metro Station. Mary presented a draft letter of comment as NCPCA President regarding the impacts of the Beltway Expansion on College Park neighborhoods. Some additions were suggested. A motion to send the letter was passed.

Recreation Survey Update: This was largely a discussion about a North College Park community center. The current community center has limited programs, resources, and facilities; you need to reserve space a year in advance, and there’s very little accommodation for small groups. The survey recommends exploring renting a facility in the commercial district. Seniors have a difficult time navigating the website or driving down Route 1, especially at night. Acceptance of the survey was voted on the following week. There are currently four M-NCPPC Community Centers within four miles of College Park with different types of programs and activities and adequate parking. The County will be doing a feasibility study.

Announcements From Officials: Mayor Wojahn listed drop-off locations and announced a virtual Race and Equity discussion. Councilmember Kennedy described the City Halloween guidelines. Councilmember Kabir announced the October cleanup days and the upcoming community police meeting. Councilmember Mackie announced a Ballot Questions Town Hall for Oct. 14. The state level ballot questions are: (1) to allow the legislature to move money somewhere else if an expenditure is taken out of the budget, rather than just shrinking what is allowed to be spent and (2) whether or not to allow sports betting. Michelle Garcia announced a county budget forum, a grocery grab and go, and a splash pool “boo-through”.

Other Announcements: Arelis Perez announced that Prince George’s County is partnering with local restaurants to feed seniors, https://wjla.com/news/local/prince-georges-county-partners-with-restaurants-to-feed-seniors for the duration of the pandemic, including Mom’s Meals.

Possible Agenda Item: Phil Aronson would like to discuss why the city pays a contractor to mow on a county road. What does the county do in return?

Meeting adjourned at 9:23 pm.

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.