Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1. Agenda Item 1. Officers Present. Officers present were President Kevin Young, 1st Vice President Harry

Pitt, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, and Board of Directors Dan Blasberg and Michele Garnes.

2. Agenda Item 2. Minutes from Last Meeting. A motion to accept the minutes from the November 2012 meeting was made, seconded, and passed.

3. Agenda Item 3. Special Discussion about House Party on Berwyn Road. A motion to suspend the normal order of business in order to discuss a large house party that occurred in the neighborhood a few days earlier was made, seconded, and passed.

Present were Officer Logan, Office Black, and Derek Daves (College Park Code Enforcement Officer). Officer Black, the community police officer for our neighborhood, said he was called about the party
and went to patrol it, at which point he radioed for officers. The crowd of party‐goers was so large that the police had trouble dispersing it, which was frightening for the neighbors who witnessed it. A resident of the house “hosting” the party was issued a citation. Police believe that this party was advertised on social networking sites, which could explain the huge number of people (estimated at well over 200). One
resident stated it took the police officers 45 minutes to clear out the neighborhood, but after the police left the party‐goers returned, after which it took the police another 45 minutes to disperse the crowd. Neighbors described how much trash was lying about the next day and how no one living near the party could get in or out of their driveways at the time of the party, there were so many cars about. Officer Black said that on the day after the party he spoke with one of the residents of the house where the party took place, and the resident seemed to understand the neighborhood’s reaction to it. At Officer Black’s invitation, the resident attended the next meeting of the Coffee Club. Unfortunately, while there he asked questions that suggested he plans to have additional parties in the future. Officer Black told the BDCA meeting participants audience that we should notify him even when someone’s holding a small party, so that he can keep an eye on it in case it turns into something larger. We can e‐mail Officer Black directly. Derek Daves, the City’s Code Enforcement Officer, said people can call the noise hotline 24/7 at 240‐487‐
3588. He said the Code Enforcement Officer addresses other “quality of life” issues as well, such as litter left over from parties.
The landowner of the house in question was in attendance and assured attendees that he was meeting with his tenants soon and promised there would be no more such parties at that house. The landlord is aware that he himself could be subject to a fine related to the noise control ordnance.
Councilman Bob Catlin reported that the College Park Committee for a Better Environment, which consists of about 25 stakeholders, was scheduled to meet Tuesday, January 29, at 7pm. The Committee is interested in matters of this nature. The meeting is open to the public; the public is invited to come and talk about rent stabilization and other quality of life issues. The committee would like landlords to come as well. It would be great if we had people show up from Berwyn and give some input.

4. Agenda Item 4. Other. A meeting participant reported that she is getting e‐mails from prostitutes because of a “plug‐in” reference. She wrote to the police, thinking they might be interested in these e‐mails, in case they wanted to conduct a sting operation. The police did not respond to her messages. Officer Black asked her to resend the messages and said he would get back to her or forward them to the appropriate office.

5. Agenda Item 5. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Young was unable to attend the meeting. President Young presented the Treasurer’s report on her behalf. BDCA’s current balance is $4,217.65. This reflects $120 in deposits, $353.13 paid to Minuteman Press for two newsletters, and $256.92 in Christmas party expenses

since the November balance of $4,707.70. A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made, seconded, and passed.

6. Agenda Item 6. Councilmen Reports. Councilman Bob Catlin reported that Koon’s Ford application to Park and Planning was officially accepted a few days ago. Thyey’re putting in a 157‐room Marriott Courtyards Hotel with some retail space and a parking garage behind the building. Next to that site, a small Best Western with 50 rooms is going up.

The College Park Academy will open this fall. For the first two years, it will be housed in St. Marks on Adelphi Road. It will open for grades 6 and 7 in the fall. The application deadline is January 31st, 11:59pm. There was an “info” meeting at City Hall last night and it was as crowded as he’s ever seen it. There is an awful lot of interest in the charter school. He thinks interest in the school will be county‐wide.
The application for the Cafritz/Whole Foods project has to be withdrawn because they didn’t have approval for the bridge yet. The bridge will go over the CSX tracks and will be located pretty close to where the Metro tunnel comes out.
Denny’s is supposed to open around April this year, in the building where the Varsity sports bar used to be.
Nothing is happening on the East Campus front. The campus is still moving some of its operations from what would be the East Campus site to the old Washington Post building.
The people who own the old Lasick’s property want to move forward with a project for apartments on that site. That’s similar to what Park and Planning had approved 4 or 5 years ago.hat’s similar to what Park and Planning had approved 4 or 5 years ago.
Councilman Catlin thinks that in 2012 a number of properties in our neighborhood hat had been rentals became owner‐occupied. There aren’t currently a lot of properties on the market.
Berwyn Road is supposed to get “decorative” sidewalks that lead the eye to the commercial portion.
Councilman Monroe Dennis reported some of the subcommittees of the Committee for a Better Environment are looking at the ratio of owner‐occupied to rental housing. Those numbers should be provided by the end of summer. The main goal is to determine whether to extend the rent stabilization ordinance.
We have had previous discussion about the timing of traffic lights along Route 1, from Paintbranch Parkway up to Greenbelt Road. People who use Berwyn House Road or Lakeland Road have noticed a longer delay in the light that gets them on Route 1. The ultimate effect of the new timing won’t be known until students are back for the spring semester. We may learn then that the timing needs adjustment. If there are problems or issues, bring it up with him or Councilman Catlin, and they can bring it to Steve Halperin’s attention. Steve Halperin, the City Engineer, can then take it to the State Highway people.

7. Agenda Item 7. Other. President Young announced that Fire Chief Richard Leizear from the Branchville Volunteer Fire Department was supposed to attend the meeting but was apparently unable to make it. President Young would like Chief Leizear to address the possible elimination of career staff at BVFD.

Russell Robinet will be honored at an appreciation ceremony at the February BDCA meeting for his unflagging efforts to keep our neighborhood free of litter.
There has been talk about organizing a litter cleanup in the spring.
President Young discussed the two vacant lots at the end of Rhode Island Avenue, on the old
Washington Post site.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10pm

Meeting attendees (from sign‐up sheet):

Dan Blasberg Andrea Carpentieri Robert Catlin Mayra Cerna Monroe Dennis
George Di Bernardo
Marina Dullnig
Lily Fountain Michele Garnes Harvey Himmelfarb Margaret Himmelfarb Doug Hunter
Liesl Koch
Marie Labonte
Brian McAllister
Harry Pitt
Fred Reynolds
Judy Reynolds
Forrest Tyler
Sandra Tyler
Kevin Young
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.