Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, February 15, 2007

 

 

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, Chuck Ireton, Liesl Koch, Al Cutino, Harry Pitt, Debbie Mimms, and Bob Baca.

 

2.         Agenda Item 2.  Minutes from Last Meeting.  Minutes from the January 2007 meeting were accepted into the permanent record.

 

3.         Agenda Item 3.  Presentation by One of “Rethink College Park” authors.  David Diddio, one of the authors of the website “Rethink College Park” (http://www.rethinkcollegepark.net/blog/), gave an overview of the website he edits along with his co-editor Rob Goodspeed.  He provided us with hard copies of a PowerPoint file introduction to the site.  He described the website as a “blog.”  The idea for the blog came from the belief that College Park residents don’t know what development is planned for their community until ground has been broken.  The website is, according to Mr. Diddio, an opportunity for College Park residents and students to “get on the same page.”
      Students in the School of Architecture at the University of Maryland have draw up plans for development in College Park that reflect what students would like to see.
      So far, there have been 140 posts made.
      The wesbite includes a link to a Library page, which includes “a listing of all the relevent documents that are the building blocks” of the site.  The library page is factual only.
      The blog part of the website is constantly updated and includes pictures.  Everyone who works on the site is a student.
      In order to post on the site, your comments have to be approved by the website staff.  Subsequent posts are not vetted.
      The site gets 150–200 hits every weekday.  Forty percent of the hits are by College Park residents; 40 percent are by students.
      The website is “indepedent—not student-based.”
      A Berwyn resident expressed that the BDCA represents Berwyn residents more in that it informs the residents of things that are going to impact our own community.
      Mr. Diddio said that lots of students on campus want denser development.  The website is therefore very pro-development.  That said, it’s a student-led project; but it’s not just for students.
      Mr. Diddio and Mr. Goodspeed created the website in July 2006.
      The editors have never been to Upper Marlboro to attend hearings, etc., but the website includes plenty of information coming from the County.
      A county councilman sidelined the Mazza Grandmarc graduate student housing project.  The graduate student government had never even heard of the project.
      The issue of permit parking for Knox box residents is coming forward.
      The University of Pennsylvania got involved with its community and turned it around for the better, so positive support for a community by a University partner is feasible.
      Mr. Diddio is a senior and not planning to stay in College Park once he graduates.  His co-editor, Rod Goodspeed, has another year to go.

 

4.         Agenda Item 5.  Treasurer Update.  BDCA Treasurer Al Cutino made his report.  BDCA is in good shape – ahead of where it was at this time last year.  We’ve received $93 in receipts (from a single donor – part of the amount was for dues).  Disbursement of funds amounted to $300 (for printing newsletter and for donation to Holy Redeemer).  That leaves us with a balance of $1,775.25.
     A brief discussion took place about the newsletter.  Bob Baca’s redesign of the newsletter has allowed us to reduce the number of pages of the typical issue by 2 pages.  This month’s newsletter cost $151 to print.
     A motion was passed to accept the Treasurer’s report.

5.         Agenda Item 6.  Committee Updates.
There were no committee updates this month.

6.         Agenda Item 6.  Civic Association Updates.

 

§         Peggy Higgins, College Park’s Director of Community Resources, will make a presentation at next month’s meeting.

§         Jerry Anzulovic will preside over the meeting in May.

§         Eric Olson has also expressed interest in coming to one of our meetings.

§         President Tim Triplett will work on the May potluck once he gets back.

§         Community clean-up weekend will be scheduled for the last weekend in April.  Tim suggested possibly offering an award for best-maintained house and yard.  It was suggested that the neighborhood businesses be informed of our clean-up weekend.

§         Harry Pitt recently e-mailed Bobby Shaw, manager of Best Western, to discuss a possible beautification effort along the hotel’s chainlink fence.  It was too soon to have gotten a response from Mr. Shaw.  Someone suggested that we get the City horticulturist to recommend what to plant along the fence.  Tim believes that some construction workers sleep in their trucks in the hotel parking lot.

§         All but two of the condos at the west end of Tecumseh Street have been sold.

§         A Berwyn resident had e-mailed Bob Baca to complain that too much personal information was divulged in the newsletter’s real estate page.  Someone else had made a similar complaint about 10 years ago.  The “properties sold and rented” information comes from the Courthouse, so it’s public information.  The rest of the information is pulled from two or three different sources, which Jerry, as an appraiser, does anyway.  Al said he thought that whether some of the information currently included should be excluded in the future is a decision the BDCA meeting attendees, not the BDCA Board, should make.

§         Chuck asked whether the “Taste of College Park” event will be held again this year.  Bob Catlin said that Bob Ryan of the City government is trying to come up with a “super event” but does not want to hold it the same day as Maryland Day.  Last year, the attendance was 3,000, which was less than hoped for.  A lot of vendors dropped out.  The City wants to change the concept.  Bob Ryan asked the College Park Arts Exchange to take over the event.  Whatever happens, it will be under the Recreation Board.

 

7.         Agenda Item 7.  College Park Reports from Our Council Representatives. 

 

§         Councilman Bob Catlin stated that a presentation about the appearance of the City’s new parking garage was made a couple of weeks ago.  The City government is currently working on a model for how to pay for the garage.  They believe there’s a market for all 300 spots in the garage.

§         The City recommended rejection of the subdivision planned for the area behind the bowling alley.  The City believes the developer is still trying to squeeze too many units in the area being considered.

§         The Ridgeway property is currently being remodeled but Bob doesn’t know what is planned for it.

 

§         Jack Perry informed us that the City has entered into another agreement with Verizon.

§         The City has hired a code enforcement officer to work on weekends.

§         College Park Mews and Townhouses is a condo association but the City lists it as defunct.

§         The parking garage on Knox Road will be 6,000 feet and right across from City Hall.

§         The City is looking for two residents to serve on its Recreation Board.  It was suggested that that could be announced in the next newsletter.

§         Jack wants Bob Baca to be on the Committee for a Better Environment.

§         The City’s Advisory Planning Commission also needs a new member to serve on it.

§         Eric Olson is very concerned with the pedestrian crossing at Paint Branch Pakrway and is working very hard to resolve the issue.  Jack stressed that we should not let up as a community about improving the safety of that crosswalk.

§         This coming Sunday is Holy Redeemer’s pancake breakfast.

 

 

8.         Agenda Item 6.  New Business.

 

There was no new business to report.

 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.

 

 

 

Meeting Attendees:

 


Jerry Anzulovic

Bob Baca

Bob Catlin

Al Cutino

Chuck Ireton

Debbie Mims

Bill Orleans

Jack Perry

Harry Pitt

Timothy Triplett


 

Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA