Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting

November 15, 2018

 

Meeting came to order at 7:32 p.m.  Meeting held at Fishnet Restaurant.  Board members in attendance:  Bob Catlin, Chad Stern, Jim Nealis, Dan Blasberg, Karyn Keating-Volke.  Other attendees included PJ Brennan, Maddie Koenig, Jason Daniels, Margaret and Harvey Himmelfarb. 

 

Our guest speaker was Bob Ryan, city Director of Public Services.  He distributed several fact sheets, including one reminding folks it is their responsibility to shovel snow/ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours of the storm.  Another sheet contained information about filing noise complaints – call 240-487-3588 day or night.  Code enforcement officers will respond on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (6:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.).  You can also call the County Police (emergency, call 911, non-emergency call 301-352-1200) and file a complaint.  If two complaints are received for the same address, a hearing of the Noise Complaint Board may be requested.  Complaints about loud parties, loud radios – even uncut grass over 12” tall – are investigated. Other complaints can be filed about trash/junk in yards (front or back), untagged vehicles, exterior property maintenance, etc. First-time offenders get a warning, second offense is a $50 fine.  Our code enforcement officers receive on-line training, fire inspection training, etc.  Senior officers have zoning training.  College Park currently has six officers (full time) and three part-time.  You need a building permit to replace any structure with over 150 sq. feet of interior space.

 

The ‘walk smart’ campaign is a program to make walking safer for city residents.  You can receive a citation for jaywalking.

 

The city will have our contract police officers check your home/property if you are going out of town.  Use the ‘Vacation Requests’ button on the city web site to arrange this.

 

Contact Bob Ryan’s office if you have parking enforcement or animal control issues.

 

Bob Catlin stated that the County re-wrote zoning laws for north College Park, and the new rules will go into effect in 2020.  They are trying to eliminate ‘overlay zones’.

 

Chad Stern said the BDCA currently has a budget balance of $2,416.00.

 

 City Councilman PJ Brennan said the city simply wants compliance with city rules, and doesn’t want to be issuing tickets, so if you ‘see something, say something.’  Call Code Enforcement about problems you see that the city can help with – trashy yards, noise, etc.  Berwyn has some new sidewalks, first in 16 years.  Sidewalks need easements from home owners since there are no rights-of-way for sidewalks in Berwyn.  There is a bulb-planting event this Sat. (Nov. 17th) in Berwyn Park.  There is a Neighbors Helping Neighbors program in our city – schedules senior citizens trips, etc.  There is a proposal to change the city charter to allow staggered 4-year city council terms – this may come up for a referendum vote soon, and he will support the referendum outcome.  Chik-Fil-A still wants a city location – it will generate 400 car trips per day.  Future Route 1 work is scheduled – the road will still have 2 lanes in each direction, but will also have a median, and bike lanes on both sides.  Rhode Island Ave. may also get protected bike lanes.  A city program called Smartbuy 2.0 will help pay up to $40,000 of student loans for 1st-time city home-buyers.

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

 

 

Notes compiled by Jim Nealis