Berwyn District Civic Association (BDCA) Meeting

Thursday, November 18, 2004

8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Fealy Hall

 

This BDCA meeting was last until January, as the December holiday party will be held in place of the meeting. The meeting proceeded as follows:

 

  1. Roll call for officers. Officers present included:  Tim Triplett, Kevin Young, Jerry Anzulovic, Amy Kappel, Al Cutino, Harry Pitt, Douglas Hunter, and Sandy Tyler. Nineteen (19) total community members attended.
  2. Vote on minutes from previous meeting.

A.     A motion was made to approve the minutes from October; all were in favor, and the motion passed.

B.     Tim reiterated that all meeting minutes are on-line on the new Berwyn website.

  1. Special Topic – “Making our Streets Safer”

A.     Open discussion on how we can reduce speeding and other bad driving habits that many residents have witnessed.

(1). The most troublesome issue seems to be that residents are witnessing incidences of speeding and failure to stop at stop signs. More alarming was that several residents reported seeing our contact police officers (and other PG County officers) observe some of these incidents without taking action.

a.  A motion was made for the BDCA to find out from Prince George’s County Police whether or not their officers have the clout to enforce stop signs. All were in favor, and the motion passed.

(2). One neighbor recommended more one-way streets and more speed humps. However, another neighbor suggested that having speed humps on one street only re-routes traffic down streets without speed humps. In this sense, some residents feel that speed humps are exacerbating the issue and would only work if added to all streets.  

(3). Another neighbor stated that the biggest offenders are tow trucks and utility trucks affiliated with businesses at the end of Berwyn Road. Many residents seemed to agree with this but also added that parents of children at Holy Redeemer also speed down Berwyn Road in an effort to take their children to/from school.

             a. A motion was made for the BDCA to create letters and send to businesses regarding this issue (e.g., Strickland Towing, Holy Redeemer School, etc.). All were in favor, and the motion passed. It was also recommended that the city manager is copied on these letters.

(4). The discussion on speeding segued into a discussion about parking on our neighborhood streets.

a. All should be aware that it is illegal to park within 25 feet (there was also discussion about it being 15 feet) from an intersection.

b. Please call the city’s parking enforcement department at (301) 864-5585 if you see a car that is parked too close to an intersection, parked facing the wrong way, etc.

(5)  There were also more specific concerns about our contract police officers. Specifically:

a. Many neighbors are concerned that they don’t see these officers in our community.

b. If the officer(s) work one hour a day, what are they doing in this hour? There needs to be more accountability; one resident proposed requiring some kind of report/statistics to account for the time spent.

c. Finally, since we are paying these officers, wouldn’t it be possible for us to dictate when/where/what they will be doing?

d. The BDCA needs to contact Bob Ryan and Lt. Colletti to follow up. This may be a task for the new ad-hoc committee.

                        (6). Other suggestions pertaining to the speeding and parking issues:

                                    a. It is possible that the new city block grant project to start in the spring

                                    assuage the speeding issue, as raised crosswalks are a part of that plan.

                                    b. If we want speed humps, we need to send a petition to the city.

                                    c. If we are concerned about parking too close to intersections, we need to                                           send another letter to the city manager regarding the institution of yellow            

                                    curbs, signs, etc.

B.     Formation of an ad-hoc committee to adequately address these issues.

(1).  The committee will be comprised of the following members:  Tim Triplett, Don Spicer, Jack Perry and Jerry Anzulovic.

(2). The committee will try to meet before the January BDCA meeting.

4.  Treasurer Update

A.  Al stated that last month we had $344.71 in income from ads/picnic.

B.  We had $763.00 in disbursements.

C.  Senator Giannetti still needs to pay for his ad in the Berwyn News.

            5.  Committee Updates

A.  Amy Kappel (Noggle) spoke about the new Berwyn Welcoming Committee

(1). The first meeting was on November 11, which was mostly just brainstorming and orientation to the mission. We want to make families feel welcome. It is imperative that we do so if our aim is to keep families in Berwyn and attract new families to our community.

(2). The committee is seeking funds through city grants for financial support.

(3). Anyone interested in joining the committee should come to the next meeting at Amy’s house (4800 Osage) on December 9th at 7:30 p.m.

B. Harry and Kevin both spoke about the Neighborhood Preservation Coalition (NPC).

(1). Next NPC meeting is/was on November 20th at 8:00 a.m. at Holy Redeemer.

(2). The Prince George’s Property Owners’ Association (PGPOA) seems to be rallying, as the new NPC is gaining a lot of attention from landlords.

(3). The PGPOA still wants to fight the institution of the historic district in ‘Old TownCollege Park.

a. The hearing for this issue will be held on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 in Upper Marlboro, MD. We NEED support for this meeting! (in the form of a letter AND in the form numbers of people to attend).

(4). Kevin also spoke Berwyn homeowner issues related to the NPC mission.

a. We finally received a response from the county about the Ridgeway property. Richard Reinhold of PG County cited him, and we are waiting for a court date.

b. The newest issue is that Ross Eichberg, owner of a home of 49th Avenue, is seeking approval to turn his property into a 2-family dwelling. The notice of hearing sign is now in his front yard.

                        C.  Sandy reported on the By-law Committee.

(1). The by-laws have been completely revised, and any further recommendations should go to Sandy by December 1st.

(2). They are organized so that they are easier to read.

(3). They will be posted on the Berwyn website by mid-December, and we will vote on their approval at the January BDCA meeting.

                        D.  Tim reported on the Social Committee.

                                    (1). We still need an events coordinator.

(2). The next Berwyn event will be the holiday party on Saturday, December 18th.

a. This is a pot luck party, complete with kids’ crafts, a sing-along and usually entails a visit from a special surprise person.

b. Amy will help design the flier; Kevin will print it out.

c. Look for more information (time, location) soon!

                        E. Tim also reported on the Directory Committee.

                                    (1). We still need a leader for this committee.

(2). Many responses were returned from residents; however, we will need to mobilize people to go door-to-door to try to get some information.

                        F. Tim gave a general BDCA update.

(1). Thanks to Jack, Larry and everyone else who helped out with this year’s bonfire.

(2). There was a recent incident of graffiti at Al Jenkins house and on our Berwyn bulletin board.

            a. If we find out who did this, they will be prosecuted.

            b. Graffiti usually warrants more than just community service.

(3). Tim also gave us an update on the website.

a. He proposed putting a community bulletin board on the site; this seemed to get a favorable response.

            6.  College Park Reports from our Council Representatives.

                        A. Bob Catlin presented his updates.

(1). University View is accepting applications for tenants for the fall of 2005.

a. It seems that a great amount of student interest is coming from students in our neighborhoods who may be tired of sharing one bathroom, etc. This could be good news for us.

b. University View will continue to survey students/track their origination.

(2). There is also talk of relocating City Hall to the Branchville Fire Department location.

a. Paying the fire department would be cheaper than many other options along Route 1.

b. With our money, it is also possible that the fire department could buy new equipment.

                        B. Jack Perry presented his updates.

(1). Jack posed the idea of a neighborhood clean-up to make the Ridgeway property safer (and more appealing).

a. The informal consensus was that we leave it alone until a decision is made by the City regarding its fate. Additionally, he has already been summoned for a PG County hearing, so we should wait for these outcomes.

(2). WSSC (Washington Sanitary and Safety Commission) will replace any damage that occurs as a result of their digging/plowing.

(3). The search for a City manager continues.

(4). City Council meetings are aired every Tuesday evening on channel 71 – the College Park channel.

a. Please help keep this channel updated (e.g. if you see an old ad, call them and let them know).

(5). The townhouses behind the Spellman House and Parkside Apartments

 have been purchased.

a.       There is talk of trying to secure enough funds to renovate.

b.      These are all Section 8 houses.

c.       Proposal to renovate was denied the first time.

d.      It is possible that permit fees will be forgiven in order to get the renovation underway.

(6). Friends School will soon be abandoning its current building.

            a. There is talk of a new charter school to take its place.

 

 

            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Kappel Noggle

11/23/2004