Berwyn District Civic Association
Thursday, January 17, 2008
- 1. Agenda Item 1. Introductions. Jerry Anzulovic, President of the BDCA, called the meeting to order.
- 2. Agenda Item 2. Presentation by Steven McBride of Proposed Development in Front of University Towers. Steven McBride did not come to the meeting, perhaps because of inclement weather. Discussion proceeded without him. The proposed development is on the site of the Maryland Bank building. It will house the “Freshmen Connection” (FC) students. Students in this program cannot take courses at regularly scheduled classtimes – they can take courses only after 3pm, evenings, and on Fridays, times when there is less demand by other students. FC students cannot live on campus and are not eligible to participate in the athletics program at Maryland. The proposed development was originally planned as an office building; changing it to residential is going to delay groundbreaking because of administration. The developers want the FC students who live there to be able to park on campus – UMCP hasn’t approved this yet. Someone asked how much involvement the City Council has had in the proposed development and the increased traffic that will result from it. The City looks at the parking problem all the time. The UM shuttle operates all day long and half the night. Lakeland is now permit parking – students had previously been parking along the streets there and walking to the campus. Most students who live in the University View building either take the shuttle or walk, using the pedestrian bridge across the stream. Someone remarked that the liquor store in front of University View is likely to be there “forever.” It’s proposed that the light at the end of Berwyn House Road will be moved with a “dog leg” so that it would come out across from University View. John Porcari, Maryland Secretary of Transportation, has given design money for the Purple Line. The Birchmere plans to open a club in the proposed East Campus development. There’s talk of a 7- or 8-story “green” building proposed for the old Starlight site. Monument Realty bought the property between Taco Bell and Burger King for an apartment building, but the FAA said it can’t be higher than 12 stories, and Monument Realty feels it needs 18 stories in order to be profitable. The sector plan says no more fast-food drive-in’s will be allowed in College Park. The satellite TV business at the end of Berwyn Road is gone now, so the mural, which their vehicles blocked, is visible again. A sports bar will be opening soon in the old Los Cabos building. The Mexican foodstore on Greenbelt Road (where Alvin’s Attic used to be) is proposed a Mexican restaurant. The BDCA is a party of record for that.
- 3. Agenda Items 3 and 4. BDCA Officer Reports and Council Member Reports. Lori Young, the treasurer, was unable to attend but her husband stated that BDCA had a balance of approximately $900. We have received the bill for the newsletter. Bob Catlin turned in about $300 the other day. The proposed community garden was discussed. The proponents are currently finishing the bylaws and working on fundraising. In late February they want to hold a larger, general interest meeting. They hope to talk to Parks and Planning about water supply. No one on Patuxent Avenue objects to the proposed garden. There used to be a community garden in the neighborhood back after the Civil War – it was for sustainability purposes. The proponents would like a letter of endorsement from the City that they can present to Park and Planning. The BDCA will vote on it at the next meeting. Information can be obtained by writing to Berwyncommunitygarden@gmail.com. There will be weekly workdays on Saturdays throughout the spring. Expansion of College Park policing was discussed. The idea is to get full-time officers on duty. Regarding suspicious activity, the more information you can give, the better. A white car has been parked next to the old Post Office for several months. An encampment of people drinking beer has been seen on the lots between Tecumseh and Greenbelt Road. A car that was stolen from Quebec Street was found in D.C. with stolen tags and stolen goods inside. There will be no assessment for homeowners until 2010. At that time, you’ll have to opt in for the homestead credit. You can do it now, however, online. The government wants to link your property to your Social Security number. The dumpster in Holy Redeemer’s parking lot is for recycling – all paper is accepted. Regarding the eviction on Osage Street : the County tries to protect property during an eviction. If furniture and other items are left on the front lawn, they are required to be removed in 4 hours. There’s a stop work order on the door of the building across from Fealy Hall. It says it is not to be removed until a permit is obtained. Someone asked what its intended use was. Ridgeway does have a license for a rental unit – there’s a basement unit. In P.G. County, every liquor license expires annually. College Perk’s license will probably not be renewed. The owner has apartments in the building that he’s not supposed to have. Being in compliance with all laws is necessary for a liquor license. The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 pm.
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.