Berwyn District Civic Association
Thursday, November 16, 2006
1. Agenda Item 1. Roll call for officers. The meeting was called to order by BDCA President Tim Triplett at 8pm. Also present were officers and board members Jerry Anzulovich, Liesl Koch, Al Cutino, Debbie Mimms, and Bob Baca.
2. Agenda Item 2. Minutes from last meeting. Minutes from the October 2006 meeting were accepted into the permanent record.
Agenda Item 3. Code and Parking Enforcement presentation.
Bob Ryan, Director of Code and Parking Enforcement for
§ The Department is in charge of animal control, parking enforcement, code enforcement, and serves as liaison for the noise board.
§ Abigal _____ is the animal control officer and is doing a good job. She works in coordination with the County control program.
§ The newest program is the Rent stabilization program.
§ The Department also runs the City Recreation Board.
§ The Board has been organizing the International Fall Festival for several years. This past year, 650–700 people attended.
are six full-time inspectors for Code Enforcement. They inspect all permanent
rental properties, and also all commercial properties. They can enforce
§ Code enforcement officers can be backed up by contract police officers. This means that when code enforcement observes a code violation, the police can knock on the door that same night and write up a ticket. To appeal a ticket, the resident must now go to District Court.
§ The code enforcement officers respond to complaints, and at the same time, while driving around, look for other violations. We should call them whenever we see or suspect a violation—they depend on us to notify them of suspected violations.
Department has started to list all known current rental properties on the
City’s website. The new city URL is
www.collegeparkmd.gov. We should let
them know if we know of a property being rented that is not on the list. All
rental properties in
§ One attendee remarked that some people feel inspections aren’t being done – we never know whether tickets are effective or not. Bob Ryan responded that Code Enforcement follows up every complaint.
Jim Miller, in charge of parking enforcement for the City, spoke next.
Enforcement has six full-time officers.
They work from 6:30am to 12am.
One works a foot beat in
are 600+ parking meters in
§ It was emphasized that we should call Parking Enforcement especially if an illegally parked car poses a safety hazard.
lot of cars in
§ Single family dwellings can obtain up to five permits.
§ Two complaint-driven violations are (i) blocking driveways and (ii) the 48-hour ordinance. The 48-hour ordinance mans that cars can be tagged if they are parked on the street for more than 48 hours and either have no tags, have a flat tire, or have major body damage. Parking Enforcement relies heavily on residents to call and let them know of suspected violations of this ordinance. Parking Enforcement chalks the tires of such vehicles and checks again 48 hours later to see if the car has been moved. If a car is registered, there is a lengthy process of paperwork before Parking Enforcement can have the car towed.
§ Every residential area has different enforcement needs. A neighborhood can’t enact regulations that are more restrictive than state law.
§ For commercial vehicle parking there is a three-quarter ton limitation. No trailer of any type may be parked on the street after 8pm. No “oversized” (more than 6 feet wide or 21 feet long) vehicles can be parked on residential streets at any time.
§ Yellow curbs indicate no parking, regardless of whether there is signage as well. You cannot park against the flow of traffic. Red curbs denote fire lanes. Curbs don’t have to be painted at all if there is signage forbidding parking in that area.
4. Agenda Item 4. Halloween activity and recent police shooting report. There are eight current positions for block captains. Neighborhood Watch materials were distributed. We were asked to call police first to report a crime or suspicious activity, and then Gina Tomko, Neighborhood Watch Director.
Lugo, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for the
§ Kim suggested that when a car passes by us, wave, even if we don’t know the person. If they’re law-abiding citizens, they’ll think you’re being friendly, which reflects well on the neighborhood. If they’re people up to no good, they’ll think you’re nosey and will think twice before “setting up shop” in our neighborhood.
§ Security cameras were discussed. It is legal to have them, but they can cover only your property – it is illegal to point them at neighbors’ windows, for example. One resident added that the law is that if you’re on public property you don’t have the right to expect privacy.
child predator website has 4,400+ registered sex offenders in the state of
self-defense class is being offered to
§ The recent Halloween activity was discussed. One resident noted that at least on Ruatan and north of that street there didn’t seem to be any problems, simply more kids than in recent years. Several individuals were disturbed by a large crowd of unruly teenage boys. In one case, a resident’s hand was injured by a plastic knife that had been sharpened that one of the teenagers was carrying. This group of teenagers surrounded residents handing out candy, grabbing all the candy out of the bowl without permission, and in some cases surrounding the resident who felt intimidated and that the situation was out of control. Gina’s portable phone was stolen from one of the teenagers in the group, even though he later returned it to her. One attendee said that she followed the group in her car to tell them that such activity wasn’t allowed in our neighborhood.
discussed possible strategies to avoid a similar experience next Halloween. One option suggested was to post several men
at the end of the path leading up from
5. Agenda Item 5. Treasurer update. BDCA Treasurer Al Cutino made his report. We’re having a good year. Donations are up, the picnic did well, and dues have been good. The idea was that the newsletter would break even with the revenue from the ads. However, printing costs are slightly higher than ad revenue. It costs $240-250 a month to put out the newsletter. Our ad rates are currently very reasonable—we may have to increase them slightly to close the gap. The President thinks that providing hard copies of the newsletter is more effective than e-mail distribution, since people are less likely to read the latter. The Treasurer’s report was accepted.
6. Agenda Item 6. Civic Association updates.
Anzulovic made a motion that BDCA become a party of record for the upcoming
§ There will be no BDCA meeting in December, but neighbors are encouraged to attend the holiday party on December 16th, from noon to 3pm, in Fealy Hall. Santa Claus will stop by. Seven Seas restaurant is going to donate some food but baked goods are welcome.
Agenda Item 7.
§ Councilman Bob Catlin announced that the City was being sued for $40 million by landlords over the rent stabilization program.
§ Councilman Jack Perry said that while delivering the newsletter, he came across the owner of a rental property who was repairing damage to some stairs and said that he would never rent to students again. Jack also said that rumor was that the new apartment complex near PG Plaza has been plagued by the same problems of residents trashing it that University View has experienced.
The meeting was adjourned at 10pm.
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA