Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, October 18, 2012

1. Agenda Item 1. Officers Present. Officers present were President Kevin Young, 1st Vice President Harry Pitt, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Treasurer Lori Young, Board of Directors Dan Blasberg and Michele Garnes.

2. Agenda Item 2. Minutes. A motion to approve the minutes from the September 20, 2012, meeting - with a correction to Agenda Item #2 - was made, seconded, and passed.

3. Agenda Item 3. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Lori Young reported that the balance in September was $2,842.67. The current balance (which includes $1,770 of camera funds) is $4,943.49, which includes $2,470.60 in deposits and $369.78 in expenses. A motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report was made, seconded, and passed.

4. Agenda Item 4. Guest Speakers. A motion to suspend the normal order of business was made, seconded, and passed.

Chantal Cotton, assistant to City Manager Joe Nagro, informed the audience that the City’s biannual survey is underway. The survey can be taken online at A paper version of the survey is available for those who request it.

Peter Drury spoke to the audience about his proposal to open a “state-of-the-art” carwash business on Branchville Road, next to the Budget motel. A carwash in that particular location would need a special zoning exception as a carwash is considered automotive use, which the property is not zoned for. President Young informed Mr. Drury before the meeting that BDCA would not take a position on Mr. Drury’s proposal tonight because of the late notice that this topic would be on the agenda. The BDCA will explore the issue further once a site plan has been made available.

Richard Morrison announced the creation of the College Park Community Foundation. This is a new non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local charitable organizations and efforts. The Foundation is looking for people who are interested in helping to raise funds for community improvement projects, cultural events, youth activities, and other worthy causes. More information is available at

5. Agenda Item 5. New Business. President Young discussed a Prince George’s County proposal to change procedures for improvement for development within a half-mile radius of the College Park Metro station. The proposal has been pulled back for now.

6. Agenda Item 6. Council Member Reports. Council member Monroe Dennis discussed a number of items. College Park Day is October 27th and will be held at the Community Center on Pierce Avenue. The Public Works yard will be open this coming Saturday (October 20th) for fall cleanup - residents can drop off materials. The City is going organize a committee, with at least one representative from each district, to address quality of life

and student behavior issues. Another hearing about the proposed development on the Maryland Book Exchange site will take place in Upper Marlboro later this month. The Koons Ford property owners hope to build a Marriott Courtyard type hotel on that site, with retail at ground level and a parking structure that would border on Pontiac. A discussion ensued about concerns about parking and increased traffic.
Councilman Bob Catlin talked about the proposed hotel development on the Koons Ford property. It probably wouldn’t open before 2015. Power lines along Route 1 will eventually be buried, starting south of Greenbelt Road. The Trolley Trail is going to be expanded. There is a lot of development interest up and down Route 1.

7. Agenda Item 7. Special Guest: State Senator James Rosapepe. State Senator James Rosapepe spoke about a number of issues. Governor Martin O’Malley is going to make a big effort to pass a major transportation package. We have part of the money to rebuild Route 1 to make it safer, more modern, and more attractive. The Purple Line is coming if there’s money for it. We want to modernize and expand MARC service. We want to keep Metro well maintained. We want bike, pedestrian, and hiker-biker trails.

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh is very interested in making College Park a great community. He’s interested in transportation, housing development, K-12 schools, public safety, and sustainability issues as they relate to the University-City partnership. The University District 2020 Vision plan outlines the strategy for making progress on this front.
Senator Rosapepe discussed public education in the College Park area. The proposed new charter school, College Park Academy, will be grades 6 through 12, will be located in the old Friends School building on Calvert Road, and will not provide transportation.
Senator Rosapepe spoke of the proposed integration of P.G. Hospital with the University of Maryland Medical System. The movement in health care generally is toward integrated health care systems. Currently, 60 percent of P.G. County residents go outside of the county for hospital services.
Senator Rosapepe responded to a question from the audience about the conceal and carry gun law in Maryland.

8. Agenda Item 8. President’s Report. President Young reminded those in attendance of the bonfire to take place on Saturday, October 20th.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50pm

Meeting attendees (from sign-up sheet):

Dan Blasberg Robert Catlin Chantal Cotton Monroe Dennis Peter Drury Michele Garnes Doug Hunter Liesl Koch
Richard Morrison
Karen Pasta Tom Pasta Harry Pitt Carol Savard Sandra Tyler
Richard Valentich Larry Wenzel Kevin Young
Mary Ann Zimmerman
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.