Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, April 17, 2014

1. Agenda Item 1. Officers Present. President Kevin Young called the meeting to order. Other officers also present were 1st Vice President Harry Pitt, 2nd Vice President Richard Morrison, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Treasurer Lori Young, Board of Directors Dan Blasberg and Bob Catlin, Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan, and Welcome Committee Chair Christy Dollymore.

2. Agenda Item 2. Minutes from the Last Meeting. A motion to accept the minutes from the March

20, 2014, meeting was made, seconded, and passed.

3. Agenda Item 3. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Lori Young reported that BDCA’s current balance is

$3,133.66, which matches the bank statement dated 4/17/14. The previous reported balance was
$3,599.09. Since the previous reported balance, BDCA has received $52.00 in memberships and
donations, and has had expenses of $175.43 to Minuteman Press for the newsletter and $342.00
for its post office box. A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made, seconded, and passed.

4. Agenda Item 4. Special Guest. Meredith Gorres, a graduate student studying historic preservation at the University of Maryland, presented a history of motels along U.S. Route 1 in College Park and Beltsville. Bygone motels featured in the PowerPoint file included the Del Haven White House Cottages, Canary Cottages and Trailer Park, Cherry Hill Campcity, Colonial Plaza Motel & Dormitories, Stewart’s Modern Brick Cottages/Justa Tourist Camp, House in the Tree Motel, Park Lane Cabins/Motel, Hillcrest Motor Court, Royal Pine Tourist Court, William Schrom’s Tourist Cabins, Haass Haven/College Park Motel, Shady Grove Motel, Calvert Long’s Motel, Lord Calvert Inn, and Hunter’s Old Spring Tourist Camp. Ms. Gorres is always on the lookout for more photos; please contact her at if you come across any.

5. Agenda Item 5. New Business. BDCA resident Chris Dullnig spoke about the non‐profit consumer group that’s working with people who are interested in having solar panels installed on their homes. If enough people agree to purchase the panels, the price will drop by about one‐third. If you have a lot of trees hanging over your house, you’re not a good candidate for solar panels.

Kevin Young announced a “Music in the Park” event set for June 8th, from 2pm‐5pm.

6. Agenda Item 6. City Councilmen Reports. Councilman PJ Brennan reported that he has recently met with the College Park Housing Authority and with Attick Towers residents.

The City Council is in the middle of budget season. There will be a town hall meeting on April
23rd at Davis Hall if you want to learn more about the budget. There are no major changes in revenue or expenditures.
There was another pedestrian fatality in College Park. The City, University, and police are getting together to discuss what to do to improve pedestrian safety. There was already a survey on pedestrian safety underway; a report on that is expected May 2nd.
The estimated cost of undergrounding the power lines on Route 1 between Berwyn and Lakeland is $14 million. The County was willing to contribute $4 million of this, but the City would have to put up the other $10 million. It does not look promising, as the City doesn’t have the resources to fund that and a new City Hall and College Park Academy as well. A special assessment for a capital project of this is nature is not an option.
There’s a new way to get “connected” to the City. Residents can now sign up to be on the
City’s listserv, where they’ll get information about all kinds of things that are going on in the City.
The College Park farmers market is opening for the season a week from this coming Sunday.
There will be $150 million of investment in the East Campus project. The project will include a
large modern glass building housing a hotel and conference center.

7. Agenda Item 7. Neighborhood Watch. Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan spoke. There are different levels of involvement in Neighborhood Watch. We need to figure out what kind of Neighborhood Watch organization is best for BVerw6yn. Send him an e‐mail if you want to be a part of it or just want to give him ideas.

If you ever see any activity that looks suspicious to you, call 911 or the non‐emergency number.

8. Agenda Item 8. College Park Community Foundation. Richard Morrison reported that the Taste of Spring fundraiser held at the FishNet restaurant was a success. He hopes to offer the same event next year.

9. Agenda Item 9. College Park Academy. Bob Catlin reported that the City still needs to get more information about the cost of a new building for the Academy. Right now, the Academy is getting ready for a visit from the Prince George’s County school system people.

10. Agenda Item 10. Old Business. There was no old business to be taken up.

11. Agenda Item 11. Graffiti. Marina Dullnig reported that she and PJ Brennan repainted the side of the Kidwell Building with paint. (The name of the paint color is Fairfax Brown.) President Young asked PJ Brennan to turn in the receipt for the paint and BDCA will reimburse him.

12. Agenda Item 12. Report on 2014 Maryland Legislative Session. State Senator Jim Rosapepe expressed regrets on behalf of Delegates Barbara Frush and Ben Barnes that they could not attend.

Senator Rosapepe mentioned three big accomplishments. First, the Fishnet restaurant was awarded a liquor license. Second, the “Rise” bill, after being amended, was passed. This bill was designed to create incentives for businesses to invest and locate near universities and military bases. It wouid allow places like the University of Maryland to promise potential investors within a certain radius to get state, city, and county tax breaks. In its original form it did not give the city and county where the university or military base was located to have much say in the proposal.
Senator Rosapepe helped get the bill rewritten so that proposals in these zones have to include the city and county. The amended bill passed. The third accomplishment was the transportation package. The Purple Line is very much on track. The State will decide between four bidders to develop it. Also, money to rebuild Route 1 from the University to 193 is in the State budget. The City will have to decide whether it wants to pay for undergrounding the power lines. Finally, two trains have been added the MARC line that serves College Park.
Delegate Joseline Pena‐Melnyk reported on activity in the General Assembly as well. The district representatives put in a bill to repeal the sunsetting provision of the UMD shuttlebus deal with the City, where City residents get to ride the Shuttle for free with an ID showing they live in College Park. This fits in with the goal of having a walkable community. The Purple Line will have three stops on campus and one in College Park. There are over 2,500 bills in the General Assembly between January and April every year. Maryland is one of seven states that has a AAA bond rating. The primary has been changed from September to June for the first time in Maryland. The primary will be held on June 24th, and early voting will take place from June 12th through the 19th. The
minimum wage bill passed: in 2018 the minimum wage will go up to $10.10 (currently it’s $7.25). Delegate Pena‐Melnyk is on the Health Committee. The State of Maryland will sue two of the contractors hired to do Maryland’s health exchange site to recover some of the money they paid. They will adopt the same system Connecticut used. The next open enrollment period is in November – by then the new site should be up and running. The General Assembly passed a medical marijuana bill. Maryland became the 18th state to decriminalize marijuana. This does not mean that it’s legal to smoke marijuana; it means that if you’re arrested with 10 grams or less of it, you’ll face a civil, not criminal, penalty. Another bill that was passed requires dentists who are alleged to have violated the standard of care to go before a dental board. Delegate Pena‐Melnyk introduced the so‐called “Bathroom Bill,” which gives transgender people respect when they’re seeking reemployment, housing, etc.

13. Agenda Item 13. Other Business. Someone stated he was against a revenue bill that requires that taxes are held even – the “constant yield” – in the City, as it doesn’t account for inflation. Someone asked if Berwyn House Road could be renamed so that our neighborhood doesn’t get an influx of cars on voting day who are looking for Berwyn House Road but turn onto Berwyn Road instead.

The City Planner says we’d have to get a petition from at least 50 percent of the owners or
residents on that road. Delegate Pena suggested a county attorney could advise us or that perhaps
Google Maps could make the difference between the two roads clearer when they’re consulted for directions. Someone asked if there’s any evidence that the speed cameras along Route 1 have
been effective in reducing the number of accidents. Someone said that she knows that she herself drives more slowly as a result of them, so she knows they have an effect on driver behavior. Someone wanted to know why Delegate Frush was opposed to a bill about a veterans license plate, whose proceeds would go to the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund. Senator Rosapepe and Delegate Pena‐Melnyk stated that they did not know and would ask Delegate Frush. The stretch of
Greenbelt Road between Route 1 and 193 is going to be altered – there will be bike lanes and fewer car lanes. Councilman Brennan has asked the State Highway Administration to come to a meeting
to give a presentation on this but he has not gotten a response from them. Someone asked Councilman Brennan if anyone had done a study on monitored cameras vs. forensic cameras. The revenue generated from speed cameras is already being designated to other city services. The grant that paid for the cameras in Lakeland requires that someone monitor them. A short discussion about a referendum to repeal the City Charter amendment that would lower the age of eligibility for serving on the City Council was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:35pm.

Meeting attendees (from sign‐up sheet):

Nick Brennan PJ Brennan Len Casey Robert Catlin
Christy Dollymore
Don Douglas
Chris Dullnig
Marina Dullnig Harvey Himmelfarb Marge Himmelfarb Karyn Keating‐Volke Jim Kiernan
Liesl Koch
Richard Morrison
Tom Pasta Harry Pitt Forrest Tyler Sandy Tyler
Richard B. Winston
Kevin Young
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.