Berwyn Civic Association Meeting
Thursday, September 21, 2017
to order at 7:33 p.m.
Colby introduced BDCA Board members in attendance: Bob Catlin, Karyn Keating-Volke, Chad
Stern, Jim Nealis.
Rose announced neighborhood resident Russell Robinette will be
recognized in November.
Prince George’s Co. Councilwoman Danielle Glaros addressed several issues: The Metro “Purple Line”
broke ground in late August, and hopes it will be running by 2022. Initial work
involves moving utility poles and other infrastructure. On Sept. 1, the Univ.
of Maryland Medical System took over
management of PG General Hospital, and hospitals in Bowie, Laurel. Plans are to break ground on Regional Medical
Center in Largo this coming November. Kaiser is planning a new facility near New
Carrollton Metro. Apartments under construction at New Carrollton, with plans
for apartments/hotel/retail complex at College Park Metro. Plans to erect an FBI HQ in the county are on
hold. She has been focusing on ‘quality
of life’ issues – trash, ‘pop-up’ restaurants, home-based businesses. She is sponsoring a College/Career Fair at
Parkdale HS on Oct. 12.
PJ Brennan asked about selecting a new principal for Paint Branch Elem., where
a Chinese immersion program has been established. Mayor Wojahn
mentioned Hollywood Elem. had PTA/community involvement for their new principal
search. Chad Stern questioned why the
developer of the old Plato’s Diner site should get a 22-year tax break. Brennan
stated it was a 15-year break – they would be taxed at 25% of improved value,
which was the trade-off for getting new development which would not be just
another student apartment building. Glaros said the County may not approve that break, which
would cost the city $5 million, and the county $14 million. One attendee asked Glaros
about traffic light synchronization – she said some community transportation
meetings to discuss lights, bike routes, etc., would be held soon.
Representatives from the PG County Police Dept.,
including our COPS officer Nuñez, also spoke. The Burglary Squad claimed we only had three
burglaries in past six months, largely thanks to the arrest of a man suspected
in twenty break-ins in College Park
and Beltsville. They said 70% of car
break-ins occurred in cars with unlocked doors or open windows. We were told
neighborhood problem Sherrod Weaver is still in jail – they encouraged citizens
to show up in force for the trials of such criminals, and will inform BDCA of
trial dates. Officer Nuñez
stated home owners should install cameras, leave porch lights on. He can be
reached at email@example.com. Phone: 240-695-7493. Another officer said always call 911 to
report suspicious activity, and to sign up for drive-by inspections if a home
owner will be out-of-town. A city
representative said report poor student behavior since they can be punished by
the Office of Student Conduct.
City Animal Control Officer Vivian Cooper discussed
the feral cat problem on Patuxent
Ave. and elsewhere. Home owners can borrow city traps, and PETCO
is helping with adoptions. She will ask
MNCPPC if traps can be placed in our neighborhood park. Nick Brennan of the
Animal Welfare Committee is also working on this problem. Noise complaints fall under nuisance
abatement laws – the owner or landlord pays a hefty fine.
Terry Schum, city Office of
Planning, Community, Economic Dev., said Lidl grocery store on Rt. 1 at Berwyn Rd. has no
firm construction date, but all permits have been submitted. The Clarion Hotel there is taking
reservations through Nov. A small
park/plaza there will include some art work, perhaps a mosaic. “Dedication” bricks also. Chick-Fil-A
proposed on Rt. 1 just north of Greenbelt
Rd. – nothing definitive yet although they are
trying to purchase more land there. New
subsidized apartment building near Branchville Fire Dept. is on hold – the BFD
is in a dispute with them over some land.
State Hwy. is buying some parcels along Rt. 1 – for road renewal, medians,
green space (incl. old Tailor Shop next to 7-11), etc. Marriott is building Town-Place Hotel on Rt.
1 just south of Cherry Hill Rd.,
and a self-storage place is planned next to that, and another self-storage
possibly on Branchville Rd. The Boulevard, a 45-unit townhouse
development, should begin construction just north of University Blvd. on east side of Rt.
1. The bowling alley on Rt. 1 just
purchased the Pizza Hut site. Schum’s office
publishes a quarterly report, available on the city web site.
Mayor Wojahn reminded us
that College Park Day will be on Oct. 7th at the Aviation Museum. Councilman Brennan apologized for the
‘screw-up’, when the Council voted to allow non-citizens the right to vote,
then later learned they had insufficient votes to approve such a change to the
city charter. He also mentioned new lids
on yard recycling containers, stated Chick-Fil-A wanted a drive-thru which
zoning would not allow, and announced the Boy Scouts were planning to improve
the east end of Berwyn Rd. with planters, benches, etc. Perry
Plaza will also be spruced up, and the
will be Oct. 21.
Marina Dullnig stated the
MNCPPC had done a great job of reseeding, maintaining our local park, but
worried trash trucks would leave ruts in the new grass because they drive onto
the park to empty trash/recycling containers. Janet McCaslin
stated Oct. 7 and 14 are paper shredding and clean-up days, and said compost
containers are now available.
BDCA Treasurer Stern said the Assoc. has about $2,000
in the bank, and we are now issuing annual calendar memberships and membership
cards. Rose thanked everyone for coming
and reminded folks to call 911 to report all crime issues or activity. The Oct.
meeting will include a candidates forum, and the Nov. meeting will be at White
Lotus. She said we are discussing a
local business ‘open house’, a street festival, and the Bonfire.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:37 p.m. Notes taken by Jim Nealis.