Berwyn District Civic Association Thursday, September 15, 2016


BDCA President Christy Dollymore welcomed residents to the meeting and thanked Past President Kevin Young and Past Vice President Harry Pitt for their service.


  1. Agenda Item 1. Roll Call of Officers. The following BDCA officers were present: President Christy Dollymore, Vice President Rose Colby, Second Vice President Bob Catlin, Treasurer and Neighborhood Watch Co‐ Coordinator Nick Brennan, Corresponding Secretary Tim Triplett, and Recording Secretary Liesl Koch.


  2. Agenda Item 2. Approval of Minutes. A motion was made to accept into the record the minutes from the June 16, 2016, meeting. The motion was seconded, and passed by a show of hands.


  3. Agenda Item 3. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Nick Brennan made the following financial report:


    [see page 2]


    A motion was made, seconded, and passed to accept the treasury report into the record.


  4. Agenda Item 4. New Business. None.


  5. Agenda Item 5. Unfinished Business. None.


  6. Agenda Item 6. Lidl Presentation. A motion was made to suspend the order of business in order to allow a special presentation by representatives of Lidl. Matthew Tedesco, the zoning attorney, led the discussion.

    Lidl is very excited about the proposal to build a Lidl grocery store at the Berwyn Road and Route 1 intersection. There are a couple of other locations planned for P.G. County. The Lidl representatives have had a lot of meetings with the City and the Park and Planning staff.

    Lidl is a European grocer (headquartered in Germany), the fifth largest retailer in the world. It is pushing to expand in the U.S.

    They have made revisions to the plans they presented to BDCA at the June 16th meeting. They’ve added a little pedestrian plaza that will perhaps include an art feature or a sign for the Berwyn neighborhood, and they’ve extended the landscape wall along all of Berwyn Road. The dumpster has been moved to another location. Additional planters and benches have been added. They are going to provide space for the bike share program. There will be bike parking along the frontage with Route 1 as well. They’ve added a sidewalk along 48th Avenue and added an entryway for the property for pedestrians from the neighborhood. They’ve added three electric car charging stations, which will be close to the store entrance (along with the handicap spots).

    The landscape wall will screen the parked cars from Route 1. There will be a lot of landscaping on the back side. There will be a fence (probably vinyl) that will be “sight‐tight” so you can’t see through it. The wall of the building along Route 1 will be mostly glass. They want to “create a shopping experience we’re not accustomed to in the U.S.” The loading area is recessed, which will further screen delivery trucks. One loading bay has the ability to accommodate two trucks. There will be three distribution centers in the Maryland/Virginia area.

    These distribution centers mean Lidl can control and manage its own trucks. Each store will place their orders daily.

    They do not know at present when the hours of delivery will be but they’ll work with the City on that because they understand that noise from delivery trucks is of concern to nearby residents. They can also address any odor concerns related to the dumpsters.


    Berwyn District Civic Association Treasurer's Report

    9/15/2016


    January

    February

    March

    April

    May

    June

    July

    August

    September

    October

    Nov.

    Dec.

    TOTAL

    EXPENSES

    Newsletter

    $279.84

    $279.84

    $230.29

    $230.29

    $279.81

    $230.29

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $230.29

    $1,760.65

    P.O. Box

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $174.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $174.00

    Events

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $32.50

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $32.50

    Bank Fees

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $15.00

    $15.00

    $15.00

    $45.00

    PayPal Fees

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    Website

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $52.38

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $52.38

    Other

    $289.80

    $0.00

    $91.51

    $13.00

    $0.00

    $232.60

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $626.91

    TOTAL

    $569.64

    $279.84

    $495.80

    $243.29

    $332.19

    $495.39

    $15.00

    $15.00

    $245.29

    $2,691.44

    INCOME

    Memberships

    $15.00

    $0.00

    $80.00

    $20.00

    $0.00

    $115.00

    $15.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $245.00

    Donations

    $35.00

    $0.00

    $120.00

    $0.00

    $5.00

    $140.00

    $20.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $320.00

    Advertisement

    $275.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $350.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $440.00

    $1,065.00

    Other

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    TOTAL

    $325.00

    $0.00

    $200.00

    $20.00

    $5.00

    $605.00

    $35.00

    $0.00

    $440.00

    $0.00

    $0.00

    $1,630.00


    ACCOUNT BALANCE: $2,349.17

    The store is projected to be 36,000 square feet, which is not particularly big for grocery stores in this area.

    They expect peak shopping times to be at the end of the work day. There will be 134 parking spots (they’re requesting that the required 145 be waived). There will be right‐turn‐only in and out access from Route 1.

    The traffic engineer studied the intersection of Route 1 and Greenbelt Road and others . He conducted traffic counts from 6:30am to 9:30am and from 4pm to 7pm, while school was in session at the University. The access to Lidl’s parking lot from Berwyn Road has been shifted further east. Circulation should be good and efficient. People heading northbound on Route 1 who want to stop at Lidl won’t have to use the Berwyn Road entrance. They will ask SHA to change the traffic signal timing for the light at the end of Berwyn Road. Their study shows that the addition of a right‐hand‐turn lane leaving Berwyn Road is not necessary. They did not consider the fact that once a median is erected on Route 1, people who would previously have used Pontiac street to exit the neighborhood to go south on Route 1 will then have to start using Berwyn Road instead.

    Store hours will probably be something like opening at 7 to 8am and closing at 8 or 9pm.

    The bus stop along the Route 1 frontage will be relocated, but it will remain along that frontage.

    Even though the College Park sector plan requires the long part of a commercial building to face Route 1, the functionality of the Lidl building wouldn’t work if turned that way. Also, the glass wall facing Route 1 is the most attractive side of the building.

    There will be no solar panels on the roof. But they have been “green” motivated in their plans for stormwater runoff, building materials, and plantings.

    The majority of their food products will probably be American, but they’re not going to forget their European roots. They hope to work with local suppliers, as they do in Europe. They emphasize the freshness of their produce. They will have a fresh bakery. Lidl’s is top quality, neat, and clean, as opposed to Aldi’s.

    If all goes well, they hope to break ground in mid‐ to late 2017, but that will be at the earliest. They can’t demolish the existing building until they pull permits for the new one. Once they break ground, they expect it to take 6 months to 1 year to complete.

    Lidl is not requesting any tax incentives or public financing.


  7. Agenda Item 7. Mayor’s Report. Steve Beavers from the College Park Department of Planning, Community and Economic Development, provided information about a bioswale and step pool that the City will be creating along the east side of Rhode Island Avenue between Greenbelt Road and Tecumseh. The point of the rippling pool is to slow down water runoff. Construction should start in late October and should take 4 to 6 weeks, during which that block of Rhode Island Avenue will be closed to traffic. The Chesapeake Bay Trust has awarded a $35,000 grant for this project. If questions, please e‐mail Steve Beavers.


  8. Agenda Item 8. President’s Update. President Christy Dollymore has been in touch with Bob Stumpff, College Park Director of Public Works, who reported that the fire hydrants will be painted.

    College Park Day will be September 24th.


  9. Agenda Item 9. Mayor’s Report. Mayor Patrick Wojahn encouraged people to attend College Park Day, where people will have the opportunity to “soak” him. There will be a great band there. See CollegeParkDay.org for more information.


  10. Agenda Item 10. Councilman Brennan’s Report. City Councilman PJ Brennan reported that SHA is still working on a solution to the traffic pattern at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and Greenbelt Road. SHA currently thinks Rhode Island Avenue should be closed to incoming traffic at the intersection. We hope to bring a representative from SHA back to one of the BDCA meetings this fall.

    The bioswale project will be an experiment.

    UMD’s Student Government Organization has volunteered in trash and litter pickup in the gulley and clearing up the permaculture garden.

    The winners of the litter campaign logo are Berwyners: Gina Tomko and Kathy Everett.

    UMD has asked College Park if it wants to partner with it on developing a child care center in the old Calvert Road school building, which has been empty for about 10 years. It would provide 120 spaces, some of which would be reserved for College Park residents and UMD employees. The Calvert Hills Civic Association is very enthusiastic about it.

    The City is trying to look at traffic concerns more comprehensively. If you have any feedback about the design for the exterior of the Lidl building facing Berwyn Road, please let PJ know.

    Over the summer the City hired a new communications specialist. The City now has Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.


  11. Agenda Item 11. Miscellaneous Items. A member of the audience mentioned that Smile Herb Shop will soon be celebrating its 41st anniversary, and White Lotus its 1st anniversary. All classes at White Lotus the first week of October will cost $1. She will post details about it on NextDoor.

The last movie in the park shown this season will be shown on Friday, September 30th, at 8pm.

A motion was made and seconded to send a letter to the City Council stating that we approve of the design of Lidl’s in large part but have concerns about it not having a right‐turn lane at the end of Berwyn Road, and that we would like the crosswalk on Route 1 just to the south of Berwyn Road moved to the north side. Terry Schum, Planning Director of College Park, stated that they retained another traffic engineer to see if Lidl’s traffic pattern analysis justifies a turn lane onto Route 1, and based on that engineer’s numbers, such a lane is not justified.

Changing the signal timing of the light at that intersection could solve most of the back‐up problems, and the SHA has been notified about that. She thinks pedestrian traffic will only increase at that intersection. The traffic the store will generate is expected to be traffic already on the road. The City has the ability to execute a covenant with Lidl to limit store hours and prohibit their delivery trucks from cutting through the neighborhood. She is not in favor of moving the crosswalk to the north side of Berwyn Road because of the right‐turn‐on‐red ability at that corner. The motion was amended to support the general concept of the project design but to pay more attention to traffic and pedestrian concerns. The amended motion was seconded and passed by a show of hands. Nick Brennan will draft the letter for the BDCA Board to approve.

President Dollymore reported that the City and the P.G. Police are already looking into the problem of parked cars around the intersection of 48th Avenue and Ruatan Street. The BDCA Board will discuss permit parking at the October meeting. UMD is closing a lot of parking spaces. The neighborhood has to decide whether to request permit parking on a street‐by‐street basis or for the whole neighborhood. The topic will be discussed at the October general meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 pm.


Meeting attendees (from sign‐up sheet):


Miriam Bader Steve Beavers Nick Brennan PJ Brennan Bob Catlin Lisa Center

Rose Greene Colby Christy Dollymore John Dollymore

Marina Dullnig Mark Fuge Harvey Himmelfarb Marge Himmelfarb Robert Hunter

Karyn Keating‐Volke Liesl Koch

Bob Kuligowski Marie Labone

Anita Moreland Harry Pitt Marc Pound Celeste Roschuni Tery Schum David Staples Tim Triplett Patrick Wojahn Kevin Young


Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.