Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, March 21, 2013

1. Agenda Item 1. Koons Ford Site Development. Special guests Andrew Shuckra, Christopher Hatcher, and Anne Randall gave a presentation about the Koons Ford site development. Mr. Shuckra, Principal of Keane Enterprises, announced that the developer had filed its proposal with Park and Planning. The Planning Board hearing that was supposed to be held this month has been pushed back to April 11. The Koons representatives will address the City Hall folks as well. The developer is proposing a Courtyard Marriott with 156 rooms and some retail, including a CVS. The site will have two entries/exits: one on Berwyn House Road, one on Pontiac Street. There will be a

275-space garage on the back of the property. The Koons representatives wanted to meet with BDCA again because the last time they came to a BDCA meeting several Berwyn residents raised concerns about the traffic that would result from this development. Ms. Randall, a traffic and parking consultant with Wells + Associates, stated that her analysis included 5 signalized intersections. She did her analysis at peak hours in the morning and evening. She anticipates that 5 percent of the retail traffic will come from the community. Of the remainder, 60 percent of the traffic is anticipated to
be traveling north on Route 1, 40 percent traveling south. Traffic traveling in either direction is more likely to enter the site using the Berwyn House Road entrance. The developer is dedicating a 13’ right-of-way for the State Highway Administration to use in the future for its Route 1 improvement plan. The neighborhood’s concern is about egress onto Pontiac Street. The City staff will make recommendations to the City Council, which will then vote on the development proposal. The City staff is already away of our concerns about the Pontiac entrance/exit. The City can do what it wants with its own streets – make them one-way, etc. A suggestion to recommend that the exit/entry on Pontiac be “no exit” on “one way” on Pontiac. For BDCA to take an official position on this, it has to vote as a body. The hotel hasn’t decided yet how to make its parking garage function: whether to use meters, parking arms, etc. The development plans call for a 60-70’ tree stand buffer between the edge of the neighborhood and the parking garage. The proposed development is on a flood plain, so the first floor has to be elevated. There will therefore be steps leading up to CVS, and the stairs were made to be “grand” looking. There’s also a street tree requirement along Route 1. The hotel will have sufficient parking spaces; in fact, the proposal provides more parking spots than the sector plan requires. There will be a small conference center in the hotel. The Koons representatives didn’t know how many employees will be working at the site.

2. Agenda Item 2. Minutes from Last Meeting. A motion to accept the minutes from the

February 2013 meeting was made, seconded, and passed.

3. Agenda Item 3. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Lori Young reported that there has been no financial activity to report since the last Treasurer’s report, reported at the February meeting. We haven’t yet received the bill for this month’s newsletter however. The current balance is $4,202.76.

4. Agenda Item 4. “Next Door” Social Network. Chuck Ireton gave a brief overview of the “Next Door” social networking program, which he took the initiative of starting for Berwyn. (There’s another program called “Nation of Neighbors” that the City is currently looking into.) As of now, 60 people have signed up. It’s free.

5. Agenda Item 5. New Business. None.

6. Agenda Item 6. Old Business. None.

7. Agenda Item 7. Mayor and Councilmen Reports. Mayor Andrew Fellows addressed the audience. In response to a request by the Governor, he reported that Route 1 improvement and the Purple Line are important to us. The Cafritz property will go before the City soon. He asked audience members to let him know if there’s anything we

would like the City to consider, as budget season is coming up.
Councilman Bob Catlin reported that the City Council was having work sessions on April 13th. The Service Day with the University is April 6th. Maryland Day is April 27th. The City just hired the Executive Director of the College Park Academy; the principal will be hired next, then staff over the summer.
Councilman Monroe Dennis announced that the City was organizing cleanup days in April. Discussion ensued about whether, given that the University of Maryland has a service day which is a very organized event, it might be less necessary for Berwyn to have its own cleanup day.

8. Agenda Item 8. Other Business. A motion was made to provide support for the Koon’s Ford property site plan contingent upon the final design of its entrance/exit on Pontiac. The motion was amended to read that any businesses with egress onto Pontiac should be required to turn west only. The amended motion was seconded and passed.

President Young spoke about the University’s concurrent jurisdiction plan. A letter from BDCA to University President Loh, requesting that Berwyn be included in its concurrent jurisdiction plan, has been sent. Senator Rosapepe has stated that he will advocate for us regarding this request.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10pm.

Meeting Attendees (from sign-up sheet):

Bob Catlin Monroe Dennis Chris Dullnig Marina Dullnig Andrew Fellows Lily Fountain Larry Garnes Michele Garnes
Harvey Himmelfarb Marge Himmelfarb Doug Hunter
Robert L. Hunter Chuck Ireton Liesl Koch
Elizabeth Kuligowski
Beth McAllister Brian McAllister Richard Morrison Coleman O’Donoghue Bonnie O’Donoghue Karen Pasta
Tom Pasta
Cheryl Pitt Harry Pitt Chad Stern Forrest Tyler Sandra Tyler Larry Wenzel
Nancy Wenzel Joshua Young Lori Young
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA