Berwyn District Civic Association
Thursday, February 16, 2012
  1. Agenda Item 1. Officers Present. Officers present were President Kevin Young, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Board of Directors Jerry Anzulovic and Dan Blasberg, and Berwyn News Editor Michele Garnes.
  2. Agenda Item 2. Minutes from Last Meeting. A motion to accept the minutes from the January 2012 meeting was made, seconded, and passed.
  3. Agenda Item 3. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Lori Young was unable to attend. On her behalf, President Young reported that on November 11, 2011, BDCA had a balance of $5,632.95. Since then, we have had deposits of $545.54. We had expenses of $369.34 (for Minuteman Press) and $708.14 (wreath purchasing, the Christmas party, etc.). The grand total as of today is $5,101.01. A motion to accept the Treasurer’s report subject to audit was made, seconded, and passed. In response to a question from a member of the audience, President Young stated that he doesn’t believe the treasurer has renewed the corporation charter; that is a matter of business that will be taken up by the Board. Another member of the audience reminded the audience that the cost of renewing our post office box -$200-something – will come up this month.
  4. Agenda Item 4. Special Guest. A motion to suspend the normal order of business for our special guest was made, seconded, and passed. Michele Garnes introduced Elizabeth Kuligowski, one of our newest residents. Elizabeth stated that she has started her own business, Budgeting Life. The business helps people organize their lives and learn new skills. Elizabeth is a professional organizer. She gave the audience practical tips for organizing in order to become more efficient. A handout, which included her website URL—www.budgetinglife.com—was distributed.
  5. Agenda Item 5. New Business. There was no new business.
  6. Agenda Item 6. Unfinished Business. There was no unfinished business from the previous meeting.

7. Agenda Item 7. Councilmen Reports. City Councilman Bob Catlin reported that the year has been busy so far for the City Council. The Council took some action on having a city/university charter school; they are trying to have it implemented by 2013. Currently the Council is trying to identify a location for the school; it doesn’t have to be a former school building. The University is anxious to move forward on the school. Councilman Catlin believes that there will be a big demand for spots in the school. The University is close to announcing plans for the northernmost 8 acres of the East Campus development parcel. They would include a moderately sized conference facility, graduate housing, and retail, as well as the bookstore currently located in the Student Union at the University. The Birchmere, which Councilman Catlin believes still plans to open a hall in the East Campus development, would be located to the south of Fraternity Row, so will not be part of the first phase of development.
A lot of the new businesses, etc., expected to be part of the East Campus development will not generate property tax revenue for the City. Currently, the talk is of downsizing the original plan. The Cafritz property development plans have also been downsized. The University of Maryland is trying to self-finance the development and not have bonds issued.
A developer is talking about redoing the Kinkos and Applesbee’s property. There will be a real estate roundtable on March 15th at the Clarion Inn from 8:30am to 10:00am. Breakfast will be provided. Typically, 60 to70 people attend. The main speaker will be the new vice president, Rob Specter.
Councilman Catlin discussed the site plan for the Koons Ford property. The anchor store will probably be a CVS. The developer is proposing a 150-room hotel
A kebab shop will share the Rita’s ice cream shop on Route 1. The person who runs the Hanami Japanese Seafood restaurant plans to open up a Pho Delight this spring.
There is not enough parking at the Varsity for patrons and employees of the businesses located there. The City has authorized free use of its parking garage the businesses in the downtown area.
The Sunday market will come back this summer. The City Council hopes to bring together a group of residents to talk about how to improve it; people like the market but wish there were more variety.
Councilman Catlin was unaware of any progress on the lawsuit over the right of way. Councilman Catlin stated that as far as he knew, there were no new businesses slated for the retail space of the Enclave.
A clothing store is expected to occupy the former Jordan Kitts site.

Councilman Monroe Dennis stated that Councilman Catlin had already covered most of the issues he would discuss. Councilman Dennis is concerned about the impact on traffic of all the new buildings being planned along Route 1. Councilman Dennis stated that there would be a gala at the community center located in Lakeland this coming Saturday. It starts at 6:30pm and will last a couple of hours; the doors will open at 5:00 or 5:30pm. The event is being organized by Maryland Park and Planning and the Lakeland Heritage Project.

President Young asked the Councilmen to keep on the State Highway people about Route 1 improvements. The design and engineering phase is taking four years and costs $8 million. Traffic on Route 1 has actually declined by 50 percent over the past 5 years. There is still talk of the FBI relocating to the Greenbelt Metro area. There are a couple of other sites in Prince George’s County that are vying for

it.

8. Agenda Item 8. Coffee Club. Dan Blasberg reported on the Coffee Club, a meeting where residents can discuss goings-on with police from District 1. The Coffee Club meets every Wednesday morning at Jason’s Deli at 9am. The sessions typically last an hour and 30 minutes, though lately they’ve been shorter, just 45 minutes.

In recent years there was a spike of house break-ins during the winter break. That didn’t happen this year. One reason is because two individuals who were reponsible for 95 percent of the apartment robberies in the Knox Boxes are under lock-up, waiting for their court dates. Dan sends out the crime statistics he gets from Officer Black on a weekly basis. We are considered South College Park (south is considered anything south of Greenbelt Road). Officer Logan focuses on

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North College Park.

Special guests are invited to the Coffee Club. Last week the special guest was a person in special operations who does traffic enforcement.

Dan reminded the audience that if they see something suspicious, they should contact the police. Also, send an e-mail about it to the Neighborhood Watch listserv. If you’re unsure whether to call 911 or the non-emergency number, call 911—both go to the same switchboard.

The contract officers and COPS officers have gotten the District 1 units to do more traffic enforcement in the area, including enforcing stop signs. The intersection of Tecumseh and 49th is the worst intersection in the neighborhood. President Young added that for years he has asked for speed enforcement on Berwyn Road. Dan Blasberg stated that he had raised the issue with Corporal Philipps. Corporal Phillips took notes; we’ll see what happens. In the past two years, Prince George’s County has increased its traffic enforcement units from two to ten.

Councilman Catlin added that the downtown College Park management authority authorized spending of $16,000 to install cameras downtown. The University is willing to monitor them for free. The merchants are willing to spend money “to fill in the gaps.” When the City or County writes traffic tickets, all the fine money goes to the State, not to the jurisdiction. Attempts to share the revenue in the past have gotten nowhere. “Speed traps” are not, therefore, money-generators for the jurisdiction where they are located.

9. Agenda Item 9. Other. President Young stated that Father George will have his homeless initiative in Fealy Hall at the time of next month’s BDCA meeting, so the BDCA meeting will take place at Fishnet.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15pm.

Meeting Attendees (from sign-up sheet):
Jerry Anzulovic Liesl Koch
Dan Blasberg Larry Knox
Bob Catlin Bob Kuligowski
Monroe Dennis Elizabeth Kuligowski
Michele Garnes
Larry Knox

Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA

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