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 editor.


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  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 George’s County 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  Highlights of the presentation included discussion of:

·         Preparation of emergency supply kits for home, car, and office: food, water, clothing, medications, and other necessities

·         Planning for family communication, including recognition that cell phone networks may go down in an emergency

·         The necessity of storing personal information in a quickly accessible format, with documents in waterproof containers and backed up on CD-Rom

·         Evacuation 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 National Capitol 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 whirl.” 

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 the Berwyn parents who contributed to this effort:  Rose Colby, Valerie Duran, Kris Moss, Rachel Saladino, and Theresa Seaton.



Agenda Item 5.  Board and Committee Reports


  1. 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. 
  2. 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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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. 
    3. Rent stabilization: this has been implemented in College Park.  As a result, owning rental property in the city may become less attractive.
    4. 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.
  3. Civic Association updates:
    1. 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.
    2. 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 crossing.­


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 Business


      The meeting was extended for five minutes.  The following updates were presented:

1.       The man accused of stealing purses during services at Holy Redeemer Church 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.



The next BDCA meeting will be held Thursday, March 16, 2006.  


Meeting attendees:


Tim Aldridge

Jerry Anzulovic

Bob Baca

Bob Catlin

Alita Corbett

Morgan Gale

Maria Hutter

Chuck Ireton

Paul Kiernan

Jack Perry

Harry Pitt

Debbie Mims

Rachel Saladino

Mark Seaton

Mark Shute

Larry Wenzel

Kevin Young


Andrea Carpentieri

Recording Secretary, BDCA