Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting

May 16, 2019


Meeting came to order at 7:40 p.m.  Meeting held in Fealy Hall. BDCA Board Members in attendance: Chad Stern, Jim Nealis, Karyn Keating-Volke. Other attendees included Nick Brennan, Margaret and Harvey Himmelfarb, Doug Hunter, Patrick Wojahn, Liesl Koch, Jeramie Jordan, Monroe Dennis, Dave Diller, Terry Schum, Tom and Karen Pasta, Josh Westgard, Christy Dollymore. 


Nominations were made for the Board: Nick Brennan, 1st VP, Christy Dollymore, Board, Bob Catlin, President (absent), Tom Triplett, 2nd VP (absent), Chad Stern, Treasurer, Karyn Keating-Volke, Correspondence Sec., Jim Nealis, Recording Sec., Lily Fountain, Board.  All were accepted.


Dan Lynch and Mr. Cruz from Cruz Development spoke about the planned apartment building in Branchville.  The land is zoned R-10, which allows apartments, and they will follow all requirements for such a building.  It will have 80 apartments, not 96 as earlier proposed.  It will have two levels of parking, topped by five levels of apartments. 20 will be 1-BR, 56 will be 2-BR, 4 will be 3-BR.  Parking spaces will number 128 total. There will be landscaping along Branchville Rd., University Blvd., and the portion facing the nearby homes, where there will be a 37’ buffer.  The drainage/swales planned still need County approval. The exterior will be brick and wood, though concrete will be visible for the first two parking levels.  The County Planning Board hearing should take place in late Sept., 2019.  Construction should take 12-14 months.  Mr. Lynch will send the final site plan to Karyn at BDCA.


The rents for 1-BR will be around $920-1180, for 2-BR, around $1165-1429, and 3-BR around $1651.  Rents are income-based and designed to help working families afford to live in the community.  But Section 8 vouchers will be accepted.  There will be a required minimum income for the units, but residents will not be forced to move out if their income rises.  There will not be federal subsidies, but the developer will get low-income housing tax credit to help cover construction costs.  Traffic was an issue several attendees raised – it was found the traffic study that was used was from the 1980s – many questioned whether this would still be accepted in 2019?  Mr. Lynch said the 1980s study projected 96 units, not the 80 they now propose.  Mr. Cruz indicated 80 is the minimum number of units that would be economically viable. Some also mentioned the pending Chik-Fil-A currently suggested for the same area – what about traffic turning off of Greenbelt Road?  A property manager will be on-site at all times. The builder must maintain the building at ‘worker income’ rent levels for 15 years, then can raise rents to market levels.


Chad Stern said the BDCA has $1,398 in the bank.  Bob Catlin is still recuperating from his truck/bike accident.  Mayor Wojahn said they will vote on the city budget next week, and they are studying city recreational services/programs.  Peggy Higgins, who runs many youth and senior programs, is retiring.  Dockless bikes are coming, and Chad mentioned several unattended scooters have been turning up across the city lately.  Lily Fountain expressed concerns about bike helmet usage – apparently only kids under 16 are required to have helmets.  Lidl grocery is still expected to open, possibly in June or July.  Monroe Dennis mentioned June 8th is Trolley Trail Day – activities are scheduled in College Park, Riverdale Park, Hyattsville.  See for info.  The Shoppers Food Warehouse on Cherry Hill Rd. may soon become a Giant grocery store.


Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.




Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


Notes compiled by Jim Nealis