Berwyn District Civic Association
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Agenda Item 1. Roll
call for officers
The meeting was called to order by BDCA president Heather
Iliff at 8:00 PM. Also present were
officers and board members Tim Aldridge, Jerry Anzulovic, Bob Baca, Andrea
Carpentieri, Chuck Ireton, Harry Pitt, Mark Seaton, and Mark Shute.
Ms. Iliff announced that Jacquie O’Keefe has resigned as
Berwyn Newsletter editor after many years of service. Please send your thanks to Ms. O’Keefe and
best wishes as she starts her new life in North Carolina! Bob Baca will be assuming the duties of newsletter
Agenda Item 2. Approval of minutes from January 19, 2006.
Copies of the minutes were not available at the meeting, but
will be posted on www.myberwyn.org. The
vote to accept the January minutes will be postponed until the March meeting.
Agenda Item 3. Presentation
on Disaster Preparedness
Alita Corbett, a consultant to the Prince
Office of Emergency
Management, presented extensive information regarding preparation for
disasters, whether related to bad weather, terrorism, or chemical spills. Ms. Corbett will provide these materials in
electronic format to be posted on www.myberwyn.org. Highlights of the presentation included
of emergency supply kits for home, car, and office: food, water, clothing,
medications, and other necessities
for family communication, including recognition that cell phone networks may go
down in an emergency
necessity of storing personal information in a quickly accessible format, with
documents in waterproof containers and backed up on CD-Rom
plans, including care of pets and management of other irreplaceable items.
Mark Shute gave a short summary of the Community Emergency
Response Training (CERT) that he completed with the city. The purpose of CERT is to have community
members trained in some emergency procedures, such as basic search-and-rescue
and fire operations, triage for injuries, and crowd control, so that citizens
are prepared to assist first-responders as needed. College
Park is trying to establish an active CERT team. Teams are already active in Berwyn Heights,
Greenbelt, and Laurel.
There was a brief discussion of whether the BDCA should form
a committee to work on emergency preparedness information and plans to disseminate
information in an emergency, but no plans were defined.
Agenda Item 4. Berwyn Neighborhood
Playground Update and Discussion
Rachel Saladino presented an update on the activities of the
Playground Committee. The committee was
about to submit a grant application for revitalization of the park, when she
received a phone call from the Maryland
Park and Planning
Commission (MNCPP.) The MNCPP budgeted
for more equipment than the playground could accommodate, so the grant
application was cancelled. In addition,
the neighborhood does not have to raise funds for the playground. Any community members who made a donation for
the playground will be contacted to see if they would like their donation
refunded, or if they would like the donation to go to BDCA. While the plan finalization has been
scheduled for the weekend of February 18, the proposed plan includes:
1. The play equipment area will
comprise approximately half of the park’s area of 11,600 square feet. Play equipment plans include the installation
of four baby swings and four big swings; a fire truck slide appropriate for
preschoolers; a four seat “bouncer”, and something referred to as a “stand and
2. The play area will be regarded to
comply with regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A walking path from Patuxent Road will be added, and bike
racks will be installed.
3. Some of the dead trees will be
removed; replacement trees will be planted.
4. A fence around the playground is not
planned, as the equipment will be sited back from the road. The plan does not yet specify whether a curb
will be placed on the road.
The BCDA would like to thank the MNCPP staff for their
excellent cooperation in developing this project. In addition, the BDCA would like to recognize
parents who contributed to this effort: Rose
Colby, Valerie Duran, Kris Moss, Rachel Saladino, and Theresa Seaton.
Agenda Item 5. Board
and Committee Reports
- Treasurer’s Report: Al Cutino, BDCA
treasurer, thanks Berwyn
residents for updating their dues, and newsletter advertisers for their
payment. The BDCA plans to do some
fundraising at our next event, the potluck dinner scheduled for March 25.
- Neighborhood Preservation
Coalition: The next general meeting of the NPC will be held on March 11,
2006, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM at Holy Redeemer
School. Officer elections will be held; there is
an open position for a Recording Secretary. Current projects include:
- Parking concerns: The
neighborhood parking situation has become crowded, with overflow parking
from University View Apartments. A
letter-writing campaign is planned, to bring these concerns to the
attention of University View and the University of Maryland.
- University Hills annexation by
Hyattsville: University Hills was having problems with landlords; the
problems were fought in court and lost.
University Hills is no longer annexed to Hyattsville.
- Rent stabilization: this has
been implemented in College Park. As a result, owning rental property in
the city may become less attractive.
- Internet and email
announcements of parties: students are becoming wise to “sting”
operations; as a result, occasionally students announce wild parties,
which are actually alcohol-free.
- Civic Association updates:
- The BDCA Potluck Dinner will
be held on March 25, 2006 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM in the Four Seasons Room
at Holy Redeemer Church. Everyone is welcome; bring a dish to
share. Contact Bob Catlin if you
can volunteer for setup and/or cleanup. A flyer announcing the event will
appear in the next Berwyn News.
- A letter was sent to the
Maryland Department of Transportation regarding having a traffic light
installed at the intersection of Paint Branch Parkway and the trail
to Lakeland. The BDCA fully expects a denial of the
request. The BDCA will challenge
any denial, and will pursue political avenues to further the
request. The Lakeland Civic
Association will join the BDCA in this effort. In addition, the BDCA will attempt to
gain the support of Old
Town and Calvert
Hills Citizens’ Associations. The
BDCA will also look into whether there are ADA requirements for a safe roadway
Agenda Item 6.
Reports from City Council Representatives
1. Bob Catlin announced that parking
will be prohibited on the north side of Pontiac Road between 48th and
49th Avenues. Signs will be
installed soon. The city has also
received a request for lighting on the trail between Lakeland and Paint Branch Parkway. This is expected to cost $50,000.
2. Jack Perry requests that neighbors
spread the word about the proposed pawn shop on Greenbelt Road. He also reported that a new plan has been
developed for the site at 4714
Branchville Road, behind the bowling alley and
Pizza Hut. Finally, the old College Park
Elementary / Friends
School site has been
selected as the new site for City Hall.
Agenda Item 7. New
The meeting was
extended for five minutes. The following
updates were presented:
1. The man accused of stealing purses
during services at Holy
had a trial on January 13. He pled
guilty, and was sentenced to the time he’d already served, and was not ordered
to pay restitution. He has been released
and is back in the community.
2. While the Ridgeway property looks
much improved, there is still an open stairway without a railing. Neighbors are concerned that children might
fall into the stairwell. Although this
concern was addressed with a citation, follow-up is needed.
BDCA meeting will be held Thursday, March 16, 2006.