Berwyn District Civic Association
Thursday, January 18, 2007
1. Agenda Item 1. Roll Call for Officers. The meeting was called to order by BDCA President Tim Triplett at 8pm. Also present were officers and board members Jerry Anzulovich, Liesl Koch, Al Cutino, Harry Pitt, and Bob Baca.
2. Agenda Item 2. Minutes from Last Meeting. Minutes from the November 2006 meeting were accepted into the permanent record.
3. Agenda Item 3. Presentation on Hotel to Replace the College Park Motel. Ed Gibbs, an attorney with offices in Lanham, gave a presentation on the hotel to replace the College Park Motel. Mr. Betel, owner of the current motel and proposed hotel (the “Garden Hotel”), was also present.
§ Mr. Gibbs had been to a BDCA Board meeting one and one-half years ago.
§ The proposed hotel meets zoning requirements and the Route 1 sector plan.
§ Mr. Betel made a presentation to the mayor and the City Council last night.
§ Development district standards require that the development be as close to Route 1 as possible.
§ The building will sit parallel to Route 1, per the recommendation of the City’s staff.
§ The main access to the hotel will be on the northern side. A canopy will mark the main entrance to the building on that side.
§ The parking lot will be in the back of the lot.
§ The proposed hotel will be 4-stories tall, with 50 rooms and a small sitting area. In the current College Park Motel there are 21 rooms. In addition to the main entrance under the canopy, there will be an entrance along the Route 1 side. A sidewalk will “match up” with the Route 1 doorway. There will be a door in the back side of the hotel as well. Mr. Gibbs showed the blueprint for the hotel site and an artistic rendering of the building itself.
owner has been encouraged to allow for access to the site from
§ The exterior of the hotel will be 100 percent brick with stucco architectural enhancements.
§ The City suggested a flat roof—rather than the originally proposed hip roof—with a cornice for architectural detail.
§ The hotel’s signage will be located on the south, west, and north sides of the building only, between the upper floor windows. It will not be neon.
§ The owner is in agreement with all of the recommendations in the report by the City staff. He’s going back to the City on the 23rd and hopes to get their blessing.
§ A hearing in front of the Planning Board is scheduled for February 15th.
parking, Development District standards, which encourage pedestrian use,
require that businesses have no more than the minimum standard use number of parking spaces. In this case, the minimum standard is 25
spaces. If this number is reduced by 10
percent, as is suggested, the number of lots would be 23. The owner is proposing an exception to allow
for 28 spaces (this number would include 2 handicap spaces). There was quite a bit of discussion regarding
parking for hotel guests, the two main concerns being that there would not be
enough hotel parking to meet demand and that therefore some people would park
§ Someone expressed concern that if the hotel got a tour group using a tour bus there wouldn’t be enough space for the bus to park. The owner pointed out that the parking spaces required for the number of guests on the bus would likely displace the number of spaces required for parking of the bus.
§ The hotel would have approximately 10 employees but the majority of them would be present only in the mornings.
§ It is expected that most patrons will stay only one or two nights but there may be some who stay for a week or more.
hotel’s dumpster would probably be located along the
§ The Garden Hotel is not part of a chain.
§ The sector plan requires that the building cover 70 percent of the Route 1 frontage.
§ The owner expressed hope that BDCA would support his proposal to seek an exemption to the maximum number of parking spaces allowed, increasing the number to 28.
motion was passed to not stand in opposition to the hotel but to express the
neighborhood’s concerns with the
4. Agenda Item 5. Treasurer Update. BDCA Treasurer Al Cutino made his report. The Association is financially very healthy. We have 50 members paid up. We have $1,214 in receipts (thanks to ad revenue and donations by Harry Pitt and Kevin Young). Printing of the December 2006 newsletter cost $191, the January 2007 newsletter $151. The savings between the two months was attributed to the smaller type font now being used. The current balance of BDCA’s account is $1,983.92. The Treasurer suggested that we make a donation to Holy Redeemer in appreciation of their allowing us use of Fealy Hall. A motion was passed to accept the Treasurer’s report.
5. Agenda Item 6. Committee Updates.
was an article in the Gazette newspaper about McMansions. Someone stated that the neighborhood should
be concerned about the possible increase of McMansions in the neighborhood,
citing the house currently under construction on
§ Eric Olson sent out an e-mail about an upcoming transportation hearing on January 31st at 7pm. It would be a good opportunity to express any concerns we may have about the bike path.
asked if anyone knew the current status of the proposed pawn shop on the
northern side of the neighborhood (along
§ Jerry Anzulovic stated that the Welcoming Committee does not currently have a chair.
6. Agenda Item 6. Civic Association Updates.
§ President Tim Triplett would like to reschedule the annual potluck from March to May, suggesting that it would be nice to have the potluck in the park when we’ll have the new playground equipment. We could try to reserve the Four Seasons room in Holy Redeemer in the event of rain. Someone cautioned that Holy Redeemer normally has a number of its own events scheduled in May.
Triplett proposed trying to get the City staff member who maintains the City’s
website to give a presentation at the February meeting on how the City
envisages the future development of
§ A used bookstore that also offers bookbinding services has opened next to the Berwyn Cafe.
7. Agenda Item 7. College Park Reports from Our Council Representatives.
§ Councilman Bob Catlin announced that the consultants doing the policy study for the City are currently talking to people in the City government, including Council members, and want to meet with the presidents of City civic associations next.
§ The City is moving ahead with getting information about proposed condos and the City Hall site.
developers of the proposed condo site behind Pizza Hut and the bowling alley
originally wanted a 16-story building ; the proposed number of stories is now
eight. The City is saying that that is
still too tall, saying that the development should have a maximum of 50
units. The FAA restricts development on
Route 1 to 12 stories because of the nearby
§ The old Dinette Gallery north on Route 1, along with the adjacent property, has sold for $900,000.
§ Councilman Jack Perry has submitted a wish list of what he would like to be included in the City’s budget for next year. He suggests individuals contact the City Manager if there’s anything we would like to see included in the budget.
City Recreation Board is looking for a member from our District to replace a
retiring member. At a recent meeting the
Board discussed the dog kennel located behind
§ Jack Perry proposed that BDCA formally recognize Russell for his voluntary litter pick-up in the neighborhood. It was decided that the BDCA Board would discuss how to do this at their March meeting.
§ Jack Perry obtained a brochure in the City Clerk’s office on identity theft that he recommends highly, suggesting that BDCA distribute it a future issue of the newsletter.
8. Agenda Item 6. New Business.
Mayor, who was in attendance, discussed his recent column in the Berwyn News about
the City’s noise ordinance. He stated
that there was a candidate for the student government at the
§ Forrest Tyler commented on recent policy activity in the neighborhood in response to traffic violations.
The meeting was adjourned at 10pm.
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA