Berwyn Civic Association Meeting

Thursday, May 18, 2017

 

Meeting came to order at 8:03 p.m.

 

Minutes of the previous meeting and current Treasurer’s report: both accepted, seconded, approved.

 

Treasurer Nick Brennan reports a balance of $2,020.93.  May expenses: $248.11. May income: $20.00

 

Other attending board members (Bob Catlin, Karyn Keating-Volke, Jim Nealis) had no issues to report.  Harry Pitt (Parking) stated there seems to be a lack of interest among many Potomac Ave. residents about required parking pemits.

 

Other issues: Next Association meeting will be at Fishnet.  To use Fealey Hall for Association activities will require Board payment of $125.00 in insurance per year. The Bike share station is now open at Perry Plaza, and offers a 50% discount if users register this month.  Movies in the park dates: 6/30, 7/28, 8/25.  Permits have been requested for the Bonfire (10/21).  Annual Christmas Party scheduled for 12/9.

 

Special guest Terry Schum, City Director of Planning, addressed the meeting:

 

She explained part of the east side of the Fuse Apt. Building recently damaged by a fire will be torn down and rebuilt.  Still examining the west side.

Schum discussed the Route One Sector Plan.  In 1995 city leaders conducted the first big study of Rt. 1, wanting to transform it from a “strip commercial highway” to an “urban boulevard with pedestrian-friendly nodes.”  In 2002, the first “sector plan” was adopted.  Urban design standards were created, allowing residential and mixed-use developments.  The University View high-rise was the first big development, but it violated the original plan for that area which called for 4-story office space. But the Univ. of Maryland actively pushed for more student housing, so the high-rise was allowed.

In 2010 a new plan – Central Rt. 1 Corridor Plan – was adopted. It came with tighter guidelines (no more fast food or gas stations, height and frontage rules, parking spaces, etc.).  The plan tries to protect nearby neighborhoods, requiring large buildings to ‘step down’ in height as they get close to single-family homes. Some rules are mandatory, some recommended, with Prince George’s Co. Planning Board having final say. Rt. 1 will have five walk-friendly nodes (buildings up to 6 floors) – IKEA area, Rt. 193-Delaware Ave., area south of Berwyn Rd., “The Hotel” area, and downtown.

Some at the meeting asked about Chik-Fil-A plans at Branchville Rd. – nothing firm yet.  Others asked about placing utility wires underground along Rt. 1, but State Hwy. says city must pay for that, so wires will stay above-ground for now. State Hwy. plans to turn the closed tailor shop next to the 7-11 into a stormwater management location.

Mayor Wojahn discussed “Bike-to-Work” activities, Farmers Markets, yard waste bins, possible food waste composting. City budget allows two extra landscape workers.

Councilman Brennan said the bulletin board at Perry Plaza will be fixed, and the UM planning group presented ideas, including boardwalk along Paint Branch Creek. The city is still working on City Hall ideas.

 

Meeting adjourned at 9:12 p.m.