Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting

April 18, 2019


Meeting came to order at 7:35 p.m.  Meeting held on front porch of Fealy Hall. BDCA Board Members in attendance: Chad Stern, Jim Nealis, Tim Triplett. Other attendees included PJ Brennan, Margaret and Harvey Himmelfarb, Kevin Young, Harry Pitt.  Speakers included Michael Thies, Jared Urchek.


The minutes from the March meeting had been posted on-line, and were approved.  Chad Stern’s treasurer’s report was approved.  Chad had completed the 2018 tax forms for BDCA, and stated we have about $1,300 in the account.  Our acting President, Bob Catlin, was recently injured when he was struck by a car while riding a bike in Baltimore.  He is currently in a rehab/therapy center with a broken leg!  We all wish him a speedy recovery.


PJ Brennan gave us a summary of some current issues: The new Lidl grocery store should be completed by June or July.  He and councilmember Monroe Dennis will meet this week with representatives from Cruz development who are planning a seven-story (5 residential, 2 parking), 130 parking spaces, 80 unit apartment building near Branchville Fire Station.  It will contain ‘work force housing’ – i.e., units priced for working-class residents.  Another student housing development is planned for the current Burger King and adjoining lots.  A ‘save-a-tree’ presentation is planned to study the ‘tree canopy’ over our city.  Note that the city will pay residents up to $150 to plant a tree on their property.  The Chik-Fil-A company is still interested in the site near Rt. 1/Greenbelt Rd., but traffic issues are a concern, and drive-thru businesses are not welcome in that ‘walkable’ section of College Park.  Chad Stern mentioned a retaining wall at the Lidl may have damaged tree roots nearby, and Brennan said the city arborist will look into this.  He also said The Enclave building on Rt. 1 currently houses some students from Bowie State University, and that a Japanese restaurant/karaoke establishment hopes to open in that building.


Jared Urchek from Vital Traditions Acupuncture, 4912 Berwyn Rd., spoke about his business, which provides acupuncture, herbalism, zero balancing (which is a blend of chiropractic and massage therapy for bone/joint issues) and other non-traditional treatments for ailments such as pain, Parkinson’s Disease, stress, etc.  They also provide massage therapy, yoga and fitness classes to help with physical, emotional and spiritual problems.  He works in conjunction with Smile Herb Shop – they are sponsoring a Spring Festival on May 18th, and he encourages area residents to come and learn about his various treatments.


Michael Theis runs a web site called, which publicizes local affairs and issues of interest to residents of communities along Route 1.  The cost of subscribing to the site is $5 per month.  Theis says the Route 1 corridor is something of a ‘news desert’, with little coverage of local elections and affairs, and he is trying to change that for residents of Hyattsville, Mt. Rainier, College Park., etc.  His reporting focuses on local elections, issues, philanthropy, etc.


Tim Triplett said we need to reinvigorate the BDCA – recruit new members with new ideas and a willingness to get involved.  Brennan mentioned Old Town and Calvert Hills have quarterly meetings with good attendance, so perhaps BDCA should reduce monthly meetings? Kevin Young said the BDCA has always been very active and engaged, even decades ago before city incorporation.  Kevin also said State Senator Rosapepe’s office had contacted him to see if elected officials can attend an upcoming BDCA meeting to discuss the past year’s state government activities – Tim Triplett will contact them.


A final note – the BDCA recently made a donation to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in honor of some Berwyn residents currently fighting cancer.  We received a wonderful thank-you note from one resident, thanking us for the donation made in honor of her and others fighting cancer.


Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


Notes compiled by Jim Nealis