Berwyn District Civic
September 17, 2020
Meeting came to order at 7:35
p.m. Meeting was held via ZOOM on the
internet. BDCA Board Members in attendance: Bob Catlin, Chad Stern, Jim Nealis,
Lily Fountain, Kelly Jordan, Tim Triplett, Karyn Keating, Ron Cameau. Other attendees included Brian McAllister, Sandy
Tyler, Llatetra Esters, Ryan White, Robert Thurston,
Monroe Dennis, Gina Tomko, Mayor Wojahn, Liesl Koch, Alex Lins,
Janet McCaslin, Aaron Proia, P.J. Brennan, Aimee Olivo (Danielle Glaros rep.).
Chad delivered the Treasurer’s
Report as of August 31st – the BDCA had a balance of $1,392.70.
Mayor Wojahn addressed issues of
equity, diversity and racial justice facing the city. City staff has worked with the D.C. Council
of Governments on these issues. There
have been two ‘community discussions’ and two more are planned – the next will
discuss equity in providing city services and the last will discuss Lakeland’s place in city
history, the urban renewal program there and ‘restorative justice.’ Covid 19 continues
to pose a threat, and the city is concerned with the safety and health of
residents. Also, there are concerns with
the economic impact to residents and businesses. Some aid is available from the
Cares Act funds (including up to $15,000 for struggling businesses, $5,000 for
homeowners). The mayor encouraged folks
to report violations where more than 50 persons have gathered. Furthermore, the average home and surrounding
yard should not have more than one person for every 200 sq. feet of floor space
in the home. To report violations, call
240-487-3588. Most students are following mask guidelines and UM is being
proactive on this issue, even ticketing students who violate mask requirements.
But concerns remain about downtown restaurant and bar crowds. PG Co. Dept of Health is also doing random
The Lakeland Civic Assn. has ideas about a
memorial or tribute, and Lily stated perhaps we should contribute to a
memorial? Chad asked the mayor where the city
was looking to find ‘racist’ acts in the city.
The mayor said the city is trying to ensure that the city treats
everyone with respect, respects diverse cultural values, especially in areas
regarding code enforcement, and languages used in city statements. Chad wondered if the city had a
required number of speakers in various languages which would force the city to
have translators available, and also wanted to know if the city had a way of
letting police personnel know that most citizens support what they do? Wojahn said we have good relationships with
local law enforcement, we just need to improve some practices. Chad
asked if College Park
tracks city Covid cases? No, but PG Co. tracks them by zip code and UM
tracks their student cases.
PJ Brennan, who is leaving the
city council soon, said he has appreciated his opportunity to serve Berwyn, and thanked his
neighbors and the city staff he has worked with. He was happy with infrastructure improvements
- Greenbelt Rd./ RI Ave.
intersection, extending the trolley trail over the gravel lot along Berwyn Rd., trail
and sidewalk improvements, more trees near Lake Artemesia,
etc. Liesl asked about a fence near the
parking area by the trolley trail – PJ urged her to contact Scott Somers. PJ’s fellow council member Monroe Dennis gave
his phone number (301-474-6270) to those who need assistance during PJ’s
Jim reported the Census Bureau
had counted 94.8% of Maryland
addresses, and enumerators are currently knocking on doors in the area. Chad encouraged
folks to pay their BDCA dues ($10 per individual, $15 per family) by mail or
on-line at myberwyn.org. Payment in
Sept.-Dec. will cover you through December 2021. Karyn announced National Night Out
activities, already delayed from August, have been cancelled this year. The Berwyn Bonfire this fall is also
cancelled. She also wants feedback from Berwyners about the recent yard sale – we had 16 sellers
PJ Brennan said the Branchville Gardens work-force apartment building
near the VFD was approved by the city council.
A proper turning radius for BVFD trucks has been added, but the building
will not have on-site, live-in management.
asked if the parking area will be fenced since many work vans/trucks in the lot
may tempt thieves. PJ said part will be
New Business: Ron Cameau and Llatetra Esters – both candidates for PJ’s vacant seat –
will speak at the October BDCA meeting.
The election will take place Nov. 8th at the College Park Community Center. Lily mentioned the desire of folks on 48th Ave.
to have permit parking. The city will
consider this issue on Sept. 22nd.
There are 48 parking spaces for 22 homes along that street, but usually
each home gets 5 permits per house plus 2 visitor permits. Alex Lins lives
nearby and said he opposed extending such permits along Pontiac St. near his house – he felt it
was not fair to restrict student parkers this forcefully. Bob Catlin said University Club Apts. on Berwyn House Rd.
wants to add two new buildings with perhaps 200 apartments to their
property. Bob also offered to replace
Larry Wenzel as Berwyn News distributor along part of Berwyn Rd. Ron Cameau said he
will help install BDCA meeting signs each month. BDCA still needs someone to run the ZOOM
meetings. Christy Dollymore will be
collecting donated food on Friday, Sept. 25th, 2-4 p.m., at the
church on 48th at Tecumseh.
PG Co. has free meals for elderly/disabled residents over 60. The BDCA may host a ‘virtual’ Halloween
costume contest, but we expect trick-or-treaters will go door-to-door. But Wojahn said PG Co. may issue Halloween
rules in a few weeks. BDCA is
considering a holiday decorating contest this winter – see October’s newsletter. Also considering various craft activities –
maybe wreath-making? Maybe a vintage car
rally? Sharing poems and recipes in the
newsletter? We are always looking for
new suggestions from our neighbors!
The meeting ended at 9:25 p.m.
Notes compiled by Jim Nealis