Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, April 18, 2013

1. Agenda Item 1. Officers Present. Officers present were President Kevin Young, 1st Vice President Harry Pitt, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Treasurer Lori Young, and Board of Director Michele Garnes.

2. Agenda Item 2. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Lori Young reported that as of April 18, 2013, the Association had a balance of $4,048.53, which includes $1,770 in camera funds. The only expenditure for the past month was $154.23 to Minuteman Press for printing the newsletter. A motion to approve the Treasurer’s report was made, seconded, and passed.

3. Agenda Item 3. Minutes from Last Meeting. A motion to accept the minutes from the March

2013 meeting into the record was made, seconded, and passed.

4. Agenda Item 4. Special Guests Officer J.J. Black and Officer Qi. Officer Black reported on a rash of thefts from cars that have taken place in the area. Most of the thefts occur during the night hours, but not all. Police believe they know who the perpetrator is. If you see anything that looks suspicious, please call the police.

The individual who threw the large house party that was discussed at an earlier BDCA meeting has been thrown out by his landlord. He wasn’t a student; he had been advertising the parties on Facebook and other social media.
The Coffee Club meetings with Officer Black are held every Wednesday. The police hold a tea time on the second Thursday of every month. The meetings are for citizens to discuss what’s going on in their neighborhoods with the police who patrol them.

5. Agenda Item 5. Nominating Committee. President Young announced that a nominating committee would be formed to select candidates for next year’s sltate of officers. He is asking for volunteers. The only thing the nominating committee has to do is verify who’s running for office and read it into the record at the June BDCA meeting. Anyone can nominate anyone for any position at that meeting.

6. Agenda Item 6. New Business. There is new graffiti on the side of the Kidwell building on the side facing the railroad tracks. Someone suggested that high school kids get involved in painting over it, for community service hours. It was suggested that arborvitae be planted along that side to discourage people from painting on that wall. President Young said that he would reach out to the building’s owner to try to find a solution.

7. Agenda Item 7. College Park Community Foundation. Special guest Richard Morrison, Chairman of the College Park Community Foundation, a new non‐profit group, described the purpose of the Foundation. The Foundation will give out grants. It is currently conducting an informal survey of people to find out what the biggest unmet needs are. They will try to focus on things that don’t overlap with things the City is already doing. They’re modeling what they’re doing on the Greenbelt Foundation and others that have been successful. They’re interested in helping to fund environmental or educational projects. The Foundation has 8

board members. Their website is at

8. Agenda Item 8. Other Business. A resident asked about the possibility of getting parking permits on her street, as well as a small speed camera. The President responded that we can request enforcement if we’re seeing lots of traffic violations. Changing to a parking permit required system is more difficult because there is not always consensus among the neighbors that permits are necessary or desired.

A neighbor complained that the curb that was installed on Pontiac Street next to the new Best Western hotel is not in accordance with the motion passed at our last meeting, that any business with egress onto Pontiac should be required to have cars turn west only. It was pointed out that we had not reached this agreement at the time we met with the developers of the Best Western Hotel, which was a long time ago.

9. Agenda Item 9. City Councilman Report. Councilman Bob Catlin reported that an Executive Director has been hired and an offer made for the position of principal for the College Park Academy. Students will be coming from as far away as Upper Marlboro.

The CIty is working on the budget. A small tax increase which would probably add on average $20 or $25 to your City taxes has been proposed because tax revenues have dropped a lot. The County tax rate that applied to the City is actually going down.

10. Agenda Item 10. Other Business. Mayor Andrew Fellows reported that municipalities in the County are working with the County to establish a “rain tax” that would be a fee to reduce the amount of Chesapeake Bay pollution running off from parking lots.

A major development project is planned for the Knox Box properties. The development would include retail. So far, they’ve just sought general approval. A resident expressed concern about there not be enough parking at businesses already in College Park, even before new businesses open. The Mayor stated that it looks like there will be lots of parking in the Knox Box project.
A resident stated that the new developments do not provide enough bicycle parking: if you want to promote a University town atmosphere, you need to provide bicycle parking. Councilman Catlin stated that there will be a bike‐sharing program started in the fall; there will be a station in the Varsity.
A resident stated that it would be nice if Davis Hall had a clean‐up day once a month. The City does not rent out pickup trucks.
Mayor Fellows stated that he believes the Faculty Senate is scheduled to vote in the next few weeks on whether to extend the student code of conduct. The City has the authority to create a special tax district; if it did that, it could charge a higher tax rate to help pay for concurrent jurisdiction. Concurrent jurisdiction would be a more effective way of holding students accountable off campus. Someone pointed out that it would be better for students as well, because a lot of the victims are students. It probably wouldn’t roll out before the fall semester in any case.
Other topics discussed were speeding on Berwyn Road; how best to get students to comply with requests to turn down the volume during parties; what to do about neighbors who trash their property; etc.
President Young requested volunteers to serve on a nomination committee for BDCA
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm.

Meeting Attendees (from sign‐up sheet):

Corporal Black Andrea Carpentieri Bob Catlin
Lisa Center
Marina Dullnig
Mayor Andrew Fellows
Michele Garnes
Eddie Geronimo Chris Gordon Doug Hunter Liesl Koch
Beth McAllister Richard Morrison Pfc. Nguyen
Carol Savard Gregg Savard Forrest Tyler Sandy Tyler
R. White
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA