Berwyn District Civic Association
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Agenda Item 1. Officers Present. Officers present were President Kevin Young, 1st Vice President Harry Pitt, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Board of Directors Jerry Anzulovic and Michele Garnes, and Berwyn News Editor Elizabeth Kuligowski.
Agenda Item 2. Treasurer’s Report. President Young reported on behalf of the Treasurer. The balance in February was $5,082.07. The new balance, after accounting for $455 in deposits and $827.19 in payments, is $4,709.88. Payments include a donation of $200 that the Board of Directors authorized making toward Team Perry, in honor of Jack Perry. A motion to approve the minutes was made, seconded, and passed.
Agenda Item 3. COPS Officer J.J. Black. P.G. County Community Police Officer J.J. Black conducted a neighborhood walking tour earlier in the evening. He is the community police officer for southern College Park, which includes the area from East-West Highway to Greenbelt Road. The purpose of the walk was to make neighbors aware of crime. Many times college students are targeted because they leave doors wide open. Officer Black is trying to get as many students involved in the weekly Coffee Club as possible. Officer Black sends out crime statistics once a week. Currently the biggest crime is theft from automobiles. Don’t hesitate to call the police if you see someone looking into cars suspiciously.
Agenda Item 4. Minutes. A motion to accept the minutes from the March 2012 meeting, with the correction of a misspelled name, was made, seconded, and passed.
Agenda Item 5. Award to Honor Jack Perry. Mr. Joe Theis discussed a proposal he has drafted to create a College Park award that recognizes people who do a lot for the community. The award would be in honor of Jack Perry, who served our neighborhood and the City so well for so many years. Mr. Theis discussed the idea with Kathy Perry, who supports the idea but has questions about a few specifics. Mr. Theis is seeking feedback. He does not envisage this award being given annually, but only as often as someone truly deserving merits it. Councilman Catlin suggested that the City have a time frame each year for when people can make nominations, which could be kept confidential, without necessarily awarding it to someone each year. Councilman Dennis suggested that the forum for announcing the winner could be the annual volunteer banquet the City holds. Councilman Catlin said the City Council could make a determination of how the award should be structured in a work session. Joe Theis and even Kathy Perry could be invited to be part of the work session. Joe Theis is going to take these ideas with him and continue to work on his draft proposal.
Agenda Item 6. Permit Parking on 48th Avenue. A motion that BDCA endorse parking permits on 48th Avenue between Pontiac and Berwyn Road was made and seconded. Lily Fountain presented reasons why she thinks the motion should pass. Objections were raised. The motion failed to pass.
A second motion was made that the Corresponding Secretary write a polite letter to the owners of the rental properties on 48th Avenue (in the vicinity of Pontiac) that don’t have offstreet parking, asking them to consider putting in driveways. The motion was seconded, then passed.
Agenda Item 7. Unfinished Business. There was no unfinished business from the previous meeting.
8. Agenda Item 8. City Council Member Reports. Councilman Bob Catlin made several announcements. The next get-together of the “Get to Know College Park” crowd will take place next Wednesday, from 7:30 to 9:30, at the Fishnet restaurant. The old Varsity Grill, next to the Taco Bill, has been leased to Denny’s. The rent stabilization ordinance is coming up for possible renewal - it sunsets in September. A public hearing on it will probably take place in June or July. It might be a stand-alone event, with no other business on the agenda. If the ordinance is extended, it will probably be for another 5 years. Councilman Catlin is opposed to extending it. The farmers market which is held in City Hall’s parking lot is doing fairly well. A committee of residents has been formed to oversee the market and to try to get better vendors. There’s another farmers market on campus, on Wednesdays. If questions about the farmers market, contact the City Planning Department. Parking in the City’s parking garage will be free on Saturdays beginning June 2nd through mid-August. In summer the parking garage is pretty empty because it’s mainly students who use it the remainder of the year. Parking downtown is already free on Sundays. The City is working with the University of the charter school. One possible location is the medical office building on Berwyn House Road; another is the old Friends School. The College Park Academy, if things go as planned, would open in fall 2013 and would be for grades 6 through 12. It will be a charter school, so no tuition is paid. Because one school by itself would not meet the demand, the University is interested in opening others over time. Because transportation would not be provided, most of the interested parents would probably live relatively close by. There is money for improvements in Route 1 between the north gate of campus and University Boulevard, but don’t expect it to happen within the next 2 or 3 years. The work may include burying the utility lines. There is some hope that we can get the traffic issues under control with better management, bus systems, a bicycle system, etc. Councilman Monroe Dennis added that more tenant construction is planned for where the Book Exchange currently is and the East Campus development. Councilman Catlin said that there are plans to redevelop the Knox boxes as well. Council Dennis announced that College Park Day is October 27th and will be held at the Community Center in Lakeland.
Councilmen Dennis and Catlin are taking a class offered through the International Town Gown Association. The class looks at best practices in town-gown relationships. President Loh has gotten the University involved in it too. He’s interested in getting more faculty to want to live in the City.
Agenda Item 9. Mayor Andrew Fellows. Mayor Fellows was in attendance and made a few announcements. He said that he hasn’t made up his mind on the rent stabilization issue yet. He said that the “bridge to nowhere” near the tracks on Greenbelt Road will actually go somewhere, as there are proposals for the Greenbelt Metro station. The City has money for the hiker/biker trail and wants to improve it, by extending it, south of Paint Branch Parkway. There will be a bike locker at the College Park Metro station. The Mayor just returned from a College Park Community Foundation meeting. They want to pool grant money to do something in the community.
Agenda Item 10. President’s Report. BDCA President Young was approached by the O’Donnell campaign (for the 5th Congressional District) about the possibility of O’Donnell
speaking at a BDCA meeting. President Young invited him to a meeting or to attend Berwyn Day. At next month’s meeting, someone from the WSSC will be here to explain the work they’ll be doing in the neighborhood, especially north of Berwyn Road.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm
Meeting Attendees (from sign-up sheet):
Jaron Black, PGPD
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.
Elizabeth Kuligowski Beth McAllister Brian McAllister Daniel Meola Harry Pitt Joe Theis Frank Underwood Renee Underwood Larry Wenzel Nancy Wenzel Richard Winston Kevin Young