Berwyn District Civic Association (BDCA)

Meeting Minutes

April 21, 2005

8 – 10 p.m.

 

1. Tim called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m., followed by the roll call for officers. The following officers were present:  Tim Triplett, Kevin Young, Jerry Anzulovic, Andrea Carpentieri, Amy Kappel, Al Cutino, and Harry Pitt.

 

2. Mintues from last meeting – a motion was made to approve the meeting minutes from 3.24.2005. The motion passed, and the minutes were accepted.

 

3. Choosing a name for the new Berwyn website – Tim read the 6 names that were submitted to him as ideas for the naming of our website.

A.  The choices included: berwynonline, berwyncivic@collegepark,

berwyncivicassociation, myberwyn, beautifulberwyn, and berwyncommunity.

B. After all present submitted ballots including their first and second choices, the winner is… www.myberwyn.org

 

4. Treasurer’s report – Al reported that our April balance (as of 4.21.05) was $1529.84. Our February balance was $965.93. Since that time, we have received $800.00 in dues and other contributions; we have disbursed $327.09.

 

5. Committee updates

A. Welcoming Committee – Amy Kappel Noggle reported that the next Welcoming Committee meeting will be May 12th at 7:00 p.m. at her house on Osage. Please call 301.446.3768 if you are interested in attending. Also, please see the update in the April edition of the Berwyn News.

 

B. Neighborhood Preservation Coalition (NPC) – Harry Pitt and Kevin Young reported that the NPC is as busy as ever.

            (1). Ridgeway properties update – Ridgeway has paid the fines that were handed down to him at the March hearing in Hyattsville. However, he has appealed the ruling. The NPC feels that the City is going to go through with the plan to have a contractor take over and excavate/renovate the properties. Harry said that two contractors had already bid on the job.

            (2). A new PG County ordinance? Although Harry and Kevin are not sure at this point, there has been some talk of a new county mandate stipulating that sprinklers with back-up must be installed in rental properties in which 3 or more unrelated people are living. Look for more info. about this soon!

            (3). College Park homes fair – The NPC and local realtors are working on holding a ‘College Park Homes Fair,’ possibly in July. This fair would be a way to showcase the homes for sale in the area with a strong focus on getting families into them.

            (4). College Park rent control – as you all probably know by now, there was a hearing on April 27, 2005 about rent control in our city. There is talk of ‘capping’ the rent at approximately 1% of the appraised value for single family homes. The rent cap would not apply to apartment complexes. After the public hearing, there will be an approximate time window of 2 weeks in order for the City to receive feedback. This issue will go to vote on May 10th.

 

6. Civic Association Updates

A. Nominating Committee – the civic association needs a nominating committee to compile a list of new candidates, to speak to those candidates, and to come back with a ‘slate’ of possible candidates by the May 19th meeting. At the latest, this list will need to be available for publication in the June Berwyn News. Those ‘nominated’ for the nominated committee were:  Harry Pitt, Tim Aldridge, and Amy Kappel Noggle.

           

B. Berwyn Directory – After the hard work of many people in Berwyn, the Berwyn Directory is not going to be published. Unfortunately, there were just too many holes in it, as many people did not return their information forms. With technology, we figure that many people can use the internet to look up listed numbers and addresses.

 

7. New Business

A. College Park Motel – As many of you may know from the last meeting, the Patel family has proposed a new plan for the old College Park Motel and the intersection of Route 1 and Pontiac Street. The following are the most recent developments pertaining to this issue:

            (1). The BDCA Board voted at its last meeting to not stand in opposition to this re-development.

            (2). We will support giving them use the alley way, but we stipulate that there must be no ‘dumping out’ of traffic onto Pontiac (which was in their original proposal). All traffic must somehow exit onto Route 1.

            (3). We will also strongly encourage the Patel family to ask for a traffic light at the intersection of Route 1 and Pontiac.

 

B. New condos? There is talk of a 19-story proposed condo at the site of the Taco Bell and the former Arby’s.

 

8. Special Topic – Report from the City of College Park: University Partnership. Jim Rosapepe, neighbor and member of the University’s Board of Regents, spoke to us about the partnership formed 10 years ago between the City and the University:

A. The mission of the University Partnership is to create a unified vision for the City and for the University.

            (1). This program was overhauled approximately one and a half years ago.

(2). The program is also facilitating cooperation on campus with regard to the

housing issue.

            B. Highlights of the discussion pertaining to housing issues:

                        (1). This is a longstanding interest of the partnership; they hope to come to a shared vision by the end of the year.

                        (2). Over the past couple of months, the University has undertaken one of the largest housing studies conducted since 1990. A briefing on the results of this study will be held in early May.

                        (3). The partnership is also concerned about slowing down the conversion of many single family homes into student housing. The rent control issue, if passed, should create some motivated sellers.

 

            C. Other Topics/Questions:

                        (1). The partnership is also interested in seeing a plan that makes sense for the new Starview Plaza.

                        (2). Both the University and the surrounding community are interested in re-development of the ‘Knox Boxes’ on Knox Road.

                        (3). There is also a proposal for the North Gate and Route 193 intersection. Tim Triplett will have this information if anyone is interested in reading it.

                        (4). Question: Can Univeristy of Maryland’s Code of Ethics be extended to outside communities? This may urge some students to think about the way that they act in our community. Answer by Mr. Rosapepe:   Although this has been discussed before, lawyers for the University are leery of the widespread implications that implementing this policy could have. At this point, no – the code of ethics is applicable to events that occur on campus only. (*summary of comments…not verbatim).

 

9. Berwyn Clean-up Day – was held last Saturday, April 23rd. Thanks to all of those who participated. Bob, thank you for organizing this!

 

10. City of College Park reports – Both the Mayor and Bob Catlin contributed to this section:

            A. The new site for City Hall…where will this be?

                        (1). On Tuesday, April 26th, there was a hearing for new site selection.

                        (2). It is possible that it could be moved to ‘North town’ at the Branchville site.

                        (3). This land was Board of Education land originally.

            B. It is also possible that the Branchville site could be a possibility for a school site, as well.