Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting
November 16, 2017
Meeting came to order at 7:35 p.m. Meeting held at the White Lotus Wellness
Center Annex. Board members in
attendance: Chad Stern, Bob Catlin, Karyn Keating-Volke, Kevin Young, Tim
Triplett, Jim Nealis.
First order of business was a “Thank You” tribute for
neighborhood resident Russell Robinette, who works diligently to keep our
neighborhood neat and clean. He received
a proclamation certificate and a gift card to Burger King. Following the presentation, refreshments were
provided to those at the meeting by Anne Contee of White Lotus and donations
from College Park Estates spoke in support of “small donor funded
elections” in Prince George’s Co. Similar efforts have won support in Howard
and Montgomery Cos. Essentially,
candidates for local office can “opt in” or “opt out” of the program. Candidates cannot accept money from outside
the county, but small donations they receive from inside the county can be
matched from a county government fund. A $25 donation can be multiplied up to 6
times by the fund to help candidates “compete” against better-funded
candidates. There is a maximum cut-off
amount. Some meeting attendees signed a
petition to County Councilwoman Glaros asking her to support this.
The minutes of our October meeting were accepted and
approved. Treasurer Chad Stern explained
why Bank of America had placed a “hold” on our BDCA account – the bank requires
an updated list of authorized signatures of our new Board Members who can
access the account. That problem should
be corrected in a few days. Chad also has
filed updated Maryland Tax forms for the BDCA to cover 2016 and 2017.
Bob Catlin reports the Clarion Hotel on Rt. 1 at Berwyn Rd. is not
accepting reservations beyond Nov. 29th. This property is slated to be the location of
a new Lidl grocery store. One attendee expressed concern about traffic from the
store – as of now, Berwyn Rd.
averages about 2,000 car trips per day.
The large new apartment house on Berwyn House Rd. that was damaged by a
fire in May has been torn down to the parking garage level and the builder is
preparing to begin erecting a new building.
Branchville Fire Dept. has lost a lawsuit over the nearby “Cruz”
property where a 6 or 7 story apartment building is proposed, but new
regulations may only allow a 4-story building, so this project may be on
hold. One person asked if absentee
landlord/investor owned homes can be limited to a certain number, but Bob said
probably not. He stated higher home
prices should deter people from such investments and encourage more home
purchases by families. Bob also
mentioned that many college towns limit the number of ‘non-related’ adults who
can live in a home to three, or sometimes just two individuals, but Prince George’s Co.
(which controls local zoning) allows five, and the County has shown little
interest in changing that. Several
attendees indicated homes here often have more than five – Bob said the city
does not really enforce this rule. One
person mentioned a home near her was purchased through a HUD loan which
requires the purchaser to live in the home, but BDCA member Karyn Keating-Volke
said the law requires you to “intend” to live there, but this is easily
circumvented. The home in question is
entirely student-occupied at this time.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
Notes compiled by Jim Nealis