Berwyn District Civic Association (BDCA) Meeting
This BDCA meeting was the second since the summer break in meetings. The meeting proceeded as follows:
1. Tim answered that neither is available in Spanish at present; however, he will look into the need for this.
1. A physical description of the revised streetscape concept was presented with accompanying visual plans. Specifics include:
a. Sidewalks with brick perimeter
lighting – six (6) ‘decorative’ lampposts on each side of
(2) raised crosswalks: one (1) by the hiker/biker trail, and one (1) by the
2. The BDCA was given two options that were open for discussion. These two options were:
a. To retain the current parking situation in front of Holy Redeemer on Berwyn Road, meaning that the public would still be allowed to park there, OR
b. To eliminate the current parking spots, thus creating room for a larger planting area.
3. A discussion about the project logistics and parking options ensued.
a. Question posed to Mr. Halpren: Would it
be possible to add on to the proposed sidewalk to connect it to the current
Who will maintain these new planting areas? Answer: The City of
c. Question: What will be done about the current dropped curb in front of Fealy Hall that is there to allow large vehicles to pull up? Answer: He didn’t know that was there, and he will find out for us.
d. Question: Would it be possible to get speed humps made of something other than asphalt? Answer: Yes, the city can make them with concrete and a brick perimeter as an example.
e. Comment: It might be better for our community to keep the current parking situation in front of Holy Redeemer.
(1). Parked cars are a speed deterrent.
(2). If we hope to bring business back to the streetscape area, we will need public parking.
(3). Many people who attend functions at Holy Redeemer and at Fealy Hall will continue to need this space.
4. A 3-part motion was made to: keep the current parking situation, pursue the
incorporation of attractive speed humps, and to pursue the extension of the
sidewalks. There were no objections; the motion passed.
B. How does the College Park Noise Ordinance Board work? Presented by Harry Pitt.
1. Harry, who has served as the chairman for the past ten (10) years, presented an
overview of the rules and fines for breaking those rules.
a. The current fine for violating the noise ordinance is $500 for the first
offense and up to $1000 for the second offense.
b. It is unlawful, unless it is for property maintenance, to create any noise
audible from your property line that is louder than 65 db (from
a.m. to ) and louder than 55 db for the rest of the day.
2. Harry explained the procedure for contacting our noise officer and described
a. The noise officer works on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from until His cell phone number is (301) 275-2466.
b. The noise officer is more than willing to come out and try to get a noise
c. If he gets a reading that violates the above-mentioned criteria, then a
fine will be assessed on the spot.
d. If for whatever he cannot assess a fine OR if one is not able to get a
hold of him, all it takes is writing a letter
to the City of
3. Harry also explained the procedure for writing a complaint letter about a noisy residence.
a. Write a letter to the City of
b. All you need is two (2) people to write letters. These two people can be spouses/partners.
c. A hearing will be held; if you have written a letter, you will be asked to be present to share your complaint in person.
(1). Be sure only to attest to the events of that night pertaining only to the noise (i.e. refrain from listing everything that might bother you about that residence).
(2). The more people you may be able to rally in support of your complaint, the better. Consider asking neighbors who may have also heard the same level of noise to come with you.
4. Other information surrounding this issue was discussed:
a. If an automatic fine is assessed at the time of the incident, then no hearing is needed.
b. Question: Is the landlord notified if a fine is assessed, in which case there wouldn’t be a hearing? Consensus/Answer: Yes, the landlord will be notified either way.
4. Treasurer’s Report. Al was not present to give the report. However, Tim highlighted the fact that there most likely is very little new activity to report since the last report on Berwyn Day proceedings.
5. Neighborhood Task Force Preservation (NTFP) Update. Kevin and Harry discussed the most recent workings of the NTFP. To summarize:
A. The NTPF will very soon be named the Neighborhood Preservation Coalition (NPC)
1. This will be an all-district coalition, as many neighborhood civic associations
have become interested in the mission to preserve our neighborhoods.
2. The next meeting of the NPC will be on Saturday, October 30th from to
at Holy Redeemer (Adult Education Room).
b. The main purpose of this meeting will be to adopt the new by-laws.
B. The Upper Marlboro zoning hearing has been postponed until January. The
background pertaining to this hearing is as follows:
2. However, the
a. There are numerous additions that would not meet the specs of a historic house.
b. This would mean a long review process to approve additions, which in most cases are added at present to allow for more rental bedrooms/rooms.
c. Long-time residents in the neighborhood want this historic designation, as it appears that some of the cheaply constructed houses are devaluing their property.
3. Support letter for this hearing are needed from BDCA and the NPC.
a. Harry and Kevin will provide us with the adequate information at the November meeting so that we can prepare letters.
b. Keep in mind that our mission is to also help students; too many of them are currently living in homes that would not pass various inspection points.
2. The by-law committee will meet on November 4th.
1. The most recent copy of the Berwyn News contained a form for all neighbors to complete.
2. Please complete the form and return it to one of the committee members (listed on the bottom of the form) as soon as possible!
1. We need to keep in mind that permit parking would not necessarily mean that our parking issues would be resolved.
1. It still needs to be linked to the state site.
2. The Berwyn News will be available on the website from here on out.
3. If you want something on the website, notify Tim Triplett.
4. If you want something published in the newspaper, please don’t send it to Jacquie if it’s in Word Perfect format! Send it to Tim so that he can convert it first.
1. The Roberts family has proposed construction of two (2) houses on Tecumseh that would need variances.
2. Jerry advised us not to oppose these variances with the hope that one day these may eventually be family dwellings.
3. A motion was made not to oppose these variances. The motion was passed.
1. Michelle LaRocca is the zoning attorney for this project.
2. The project was in the works until the architect notified her that variances needed to be approved before the project could actually begin.
3. This project has in essence had to start over.
1. The three parcels of land behind the Pizza Hut/bowling alley on route one are in the process of being the proposed new site of condos.
an effort to support the NPC, the City of
3. There will be a hearing on Tuesday, 10/26 at on the Homestead Tax Credit. This is a city tax hearing.
a. The general goal is to create a tax differential between owner-occupied properties and investor properties.
b. Bob’s position was that rentals are essentially a detriment to the economics of the city.
search for a
2. The new Deputy Director of Public Works is Brenda Alexander.
3. Paper bags will soon be distributed to help take care of leaves, etc. ??
4. The city staff recently met with the PG County Council to discuss tax rates.
5. October 20th marked the last meeting of the Route 1 Task Force.
a. The master plan for an improved highway is somewhere in the works, but presently there is no money to assist with any Route 1 improvements.
back to the earlier conversation in the evening regarding the
a. This would create the paper trail that we may need to refer to later.