KabirCares.org
Dec
15
2017

City Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 13, 2018
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Kay Theatre – The Clarice
University of Maryland

Save the Date for the 27th Annual City tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year’s theme is “We Live Together or Perish” with Keynote Speaker Solomon Comissiong.

The event is free and for all ages. For more information, please call 240-487-3570 or visit City’s Facebook event page.

Dec
14
2017

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting – Community Center, Zoning Rewrite and Holiday Party!

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and hence the day when the NCPCA has their monthly meeting.

The meeting will start with a presentation about the North College Park Community Center. Former Councilmember Nagle and I will present ideas for consideration, and how planning for such an important new amenity might be funded and designed.

The group then discuss County’s Zoning Code Rewrite. In follow-up to the NCPCA meeting on Nov. 9, NCPCA members developed a set of questions for consideration by City staff and then worked to understand the rewrite process and implications of rezoning on residents. The City Council approved a letter of comments on Dec. 5 that reflected many concerns of NCPCA. However, the zoning code rewrite and a new zoning map are still under development and will be approved in a two-step process in 2018.

It is unknown what zoning changes may ultimately be proposed or approved, so ongoing NCPCA involvement seems needed to ensure that changes along US 1 and MD 193, and in areas near Hollywood Commercial District and Greenbelt Metro are understood. Those who live anywhere near those areas could be impacted by zoning changes and relaxation of requirements for transportation adequacy, etc.

The group will also have a Holiday Party. Members are invited to bring drinks or snacks to share as we pause to enjoy a short break. Cookies and other seasonally-appropriate sweets are especially welcome 😊

Members will also discuss procedures for resident communication to City Council about City charter amendments, ordinances and other official matters.

Hope to see you all tonight.

Dec
12
2017

Thank You, Councilmember Nagle

Today the new Council will swear-in. This also means that three of my current Council colleagues will leave the Council. They are Councilmember Christine Nagle, Councilmember Mary Cook, and Councilmember Stephanie Stullich. I really enjoyed working with them in the past and I’ll miss them a lot on the upcoming Council.

In particular, I want to thank Councilmember Nagle for her dedicated service for District 1 residents during her terms as our Council member. She has always put district 1 residents’ interests before anything else. Though I will dearly miss her as my colleague in the new Council, I’m very happy to know that she will stay committed to the further improvement of our neighborhood.

I much appreciate Ms. Nagle’s long and hard advocacy to have a community center for north College Park residents. North College Park is largely residential having a significant portion of city’s single-family homes. It’s imperative that the City makes a top priority to provide recreational programs and space for our neighbors of all ages in our part of the City. Unfortunately, though residents have been asking for the center for many years now, very little progress has been made to this date. Ms. Nagle’s continuing advocacy for this project will be much needed and appreciated.

Dec
11
2017

Delegate Frush Announces Retirement

After serving 24 years at the Maryland State’s 21st Delegation, Delegate Frush has announced that she will not seek re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates when her term expires at the end of 2018.

In a an email, she wrote last week “Over the past 24 years, I have given my heart and soul to the citizens of the State of Maryland, working tirelessly to pass Maryland’s Clean Indoor Air Act, legislation that has protected the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s non-tidal wetlands, Maryland wildlife, and supported the health and welfare of my constituents.”

Del. Frush grew up in the area and said she plans to stay active in this community. Her current focus is to serve the rest of my term, work hard, and remain close to my family, she said. She plans to remain politically active, helping her close friend Rushern Baker as co-chair of his campaign for Governor, and supporting my colleagues in the 21st District, she wrote in the announcement.

Dec
10
2017

North College Park Crime Map: Nov 26-Dec 8, 2017

Address Type
4900 Blk FOX St Theft
5000 Blk Paducah RD Stolen Veh
9200 Blk 48TH Ave Theft from auto
4700 Blk Cherry Hill RD Theft
9300 51ST Ave Theft
9915 Rhode Island Ave Theft
Iroquois ST / 51ST Ave Citizen Armed Robbery
9600 Blk Milestone Way Stolen Veh
9600 Blk Milestone Way Stolen Veh
9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD Theft from auto
Dec
8
2017

The New Council to Swear-In Next Tuesday

The new City Council is scheduled to swear-in at the next Tuesday’s regular meeting. This si an open meeting and everyone is invited to the meeting. Here is the full agenda.

PRESENTATIONS
Mayor Wojahn:
Councilmember Christine Nagle
Councilmember Mary Cook
Councilmember Stephanie Stullich

REMARKS FROM OUTGOING COUNCILMEMBERS:
Councilmember Christine Nagle
Councilmember Mary Cook
Councilmember Stephanie Stullich

ADJOURN THE 2015 – 2017 MAYOR AND COUNCIL

SWEARING-IN OF MAYOR PATRICK L. WOJAHN: Representative of the Prince George’s County Clerk of the Circuit Court

SWEARING-IN OF THE 2017 – 2019 CITY COUNCIL: Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn

APPOINTMENT OF THE MAYOR PRO TEM: Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn

Dec
7
2017

City Announces FY2018 Community Services Grant

This week, the City has announced the Community Services grant for the fiscal year 2018.

The purpose of City’s Community Services Grant is to provide opportunities for community-based programs and projects within the City of College Park. The City believes that supporting community activities enhances the community as a whole. The City will provide grants to fund programs and activities that promote enhanced community opportunities for its residents. Community services grants are only awarded to organizations, not to individuals.

Review and award of grants will be based on the program’s measurable impact on the City of College Park and its residents. Collaboration with other organizations and availability of outside funding (from sources other than the City grant) is encouraged. During the grant review process, points will be awarded for various criteria (as identified on the application form). Upon final decision on the grant application by the City Council, you will be notified of the result.
A Mayor & Council-appointed subcommittee will review the grant applications and make a grant award recommendation to the full Council. Worksession review of community services grant applications by Mayor & Council will be scheduled following subcommittee review.

All grant applications must be received no later than Friday, December 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm, addressed as follows:
Director of Finance
City of College Park
4500 Knox Road, College Park, Maryland 20740-3390

Applications may be mailed or hand-delivered to the above address, e-mailed to gfields@collegeparkmd.gov or FAXed to 301-864-8941. To expedite processing, a signed hold harmless agreement should be submitted along with your application.

For more information, please check this page on City’s website. Questions on application submittal should be directed to Gary Fields, Director of Finance, at 240-487-3510, FAX 301-864-8941, E-mail: gfields@collegeparkmd.gov.

Dec
6
2017

New Playground in Davis Field Park

Good news! The City has recently installed a brand new playground at Davis Field, located at the end of Kennesaw Street. The old play structure for 5-12-year-old children and its surrounding area was removed and replaced, Also, two new benches were installed at the end of Kennesaw Street! Renovations were completed last week. Please check the new playground out and spread the word! Thank you!


Dec
5
2017

North College Park Crime Map: November 26 – December 3, 2017

Address Type
5000 Blk PADUCAH RD STOLEN VEH
9200 Blk 48TH AVE THEFT FROM AUTO
9300 Blk 51ST AVE THEFT
9900 Blk RHODE ISLAND AVE THEFT
5100 Blk EDGEWOOD RD THEFT
9600 Blk MILESTONE WAY STOLEN VEH
9600 Blk MILESTONE WAY STOLEN VEH
10100 Blk BALTIMORE AVE THEFT
Dec
4
2017

Council to Ask Some Changes in New County Zoning Regulations

At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the City Council will consider approving a letter to the M-NCPPC with the City’s comments on the Comprehensive Draft Review (CRD) of the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Regulations, and Landscape Manual. A zoning map amendment (zoning map) to implement the new ordinance will follow after the new zoning regulations a have been passed.

The letter prepared by staff expresses general support for the changes proposed in the zoning rewrite and lists the following comments, concerns, and requests:

  1. Rezoning the Route 1 Corridor as a Regional Transportation Oriented zone without any overlay zones would remove height limitations and parking requirements restrictions and promote development inconsistent with the Route 1 sector plan and community expectations. The City suggests reworking standards in the base zones in order to meet community expectations and a more realistic reflection of market standards.
  2. The Hollywood Commercial District (HCD) is proposed to be rezoned Commercial and General Office which allows 48 dwelling units per acre and heights between 86 and 110 feet. More appropriate for the HCD is the Commercial Neighborhood zone provides for medium density residential and lower density commercial to primarily serve the community.
  3. The new minimum requirement of 18 % commercial in in new mixed -use developments will not guarantee successful mixed-use developments. The City supports requiring ground floor retail in designated main street shopping areas.
  4. Off- street parking is not required in Regional Transportation Oriented zones. College Park does not have the heavy transit or light rail and a managed parking district that are needed to eliminate off-street parking. The City does not support exempting development from providing off-street parking along Route 1.
  5. College Park is part of the 8% of the County that will require a menu of alternative rezoning options as part of a “decision tree.” Since this is a discretionary process, the City requests that it be included in the exercise used to locate proposed new zones within City limits.
  6. The City supports the new neighborhood applicability standards that are intended to provide a transition and ensure compatibility between single-family zones and more intense forms of development. The neighborhood compatibility standards should not be eliminated or relaxed along the Route 1 corridor outside of the Walkable Node University areas.
  7. The current threshold for project approval without weigh in by the City or the community is too high. The City requests that any development over 100,000 sq ft be subject to major site plan review (detailed site plan, pre-application conference, public hearing) and that municipal staff be afforded the opportunity to weigh in on minor site plans.
  8. The City supports the new requirement for a pre-application neighborhood meeting when zoning map amendments, special exemptions and major detailed site plans are requested. The City requests that this requirement also be applicable to minor site plans and that the Planning Director have access to community views prior to deciding a case.
  9. The City has concerns about the definitions of Boarding or Rooming House and Fast Food Restaurant. The City requests that the definition of Board/Rooming House be revised to more clearly define both occupants and guests, whether or not meals are required to be provided, and the maximum and minimum occupancy requirements. The current definition of fast food restaurant would include fast-casual establishments like Panera Bread, Noodle and Starbucks. The definition seems overly restrictive and the City requests the definition be modified.
  10. The proposed requirements exempt Local and Regional Transit Oriented Zones from meeting the Transportation Adequacy Requirements at the time of subdivision unless there is either a transportation demand management program or a trip reduction program managed by the applicant. The City cannot support this provision until more study and analysis is done and until there is more institutional capacity to review, monitor, assess and manage transportation impacts on the county level.
Dec
3
2017

Council Set to Approve Mixed Use Development at the Old the Quality Inn/Plato’s Diner Site

At this week’s meeting, the City Council will consider approving the Preliminary Plan of Subdivision and Detailed Site Plan to redevelop the Quality Inn/Plato’s Diner Site located at 7200 Baltimore Avenue.

At the last Council meeting, City Council discussed the proposed project, which is a mixed-use development of 393 multifamily dwelling units and 72,971 square feet of retail. The subject property consists of approximately 5.73 acres located on the west side of Baltimore Avenue (US-1), bounded on the north by Hartwick Road and on the south by Guilford Road. The property is zoned MUI, DDOZ in the Walkable Node Character Area. The M-NCPPC Technical Staff Report is not yet available. The Planning Board is scheduled to hear these applications on Thursday, December 14th, 2017.

Staff recommends approving the preliminary plan with a few conditions, which includes access to the site, landscaping improvements, public art feature and streetscape improvements.

If approved, the site will generate approximately $370,000 in real property taxes for the City in the first year, however, the Applicant is seeking tax relief from the City over a 15-year period. Tax relief has also been requested from Prince George’s County and both requests are currently under review. The Council will discuss the tax relief proposal at a future meeting.

Dec
2
2017

For five years, this College Park library has built education programs for residents

The following is a reprint from the Diamondback newspaper about the College Park Community library located in north College Park. My deepest appreciation for the volunteers who have been selflessly supporting our community at the library!

Story time at College Park Community Library

When city resident Jackie Kelly opened the College Park Community Library in 2012, it had 800 books. Now, it has over 9,000, all of which have been donated, said Sarah Caudill, a volunteer at the library.

Staffed entirely by volunteers, the public library — located in the lower level of the Church of the Nazarene on Rhode Island Avenue — is the city’s first since 1986. While Hyattsville, Greenbelt and other nearby towns have public libraries, there was no place in College Park for residents to check out books for free. The University of Maryland’s libraries, for example, require individuals not affiliated with the university to request a community borrowers card and pay $50 or more each year.

On Thursday afternoons, the library hosts young elementary school students, who practice their reading skills with a library staff member. Co-director of the library Elaine Stillwell said this program, which started in fall 2012, is very helpful for parents, particularly if English is their second language, because they might not know if their kids are pronouncing words correctly.

[Read more: New library storage facility in the Severn Building will house up to 1.25 million books]

“Some of the older children now are helping younger children to read too,” Stillwell said. “It kind of is a chance for them to take [their reading skills] to another level. … [It’s] a safe place for kids to come.”

About a year after it opened, the library began offering free English classes for non-native speakers. The classes — which focus on conversation and language development — were offered on Wednesday mornings last spring and are set to pick back up in February, said Stillwell, who teaches the course and has a master’s degree in adult and continuing education and teaching.

“This is a good place for them to explore that without having to really be in the supermarket or conduct business,” said Stillwell.

[Read more: UMD Spanish students will be teaching English to local parents]

Kelly opened up the library with Joe Smith, who no longer resides in College Park or is involved with the library, because she was frustrated that residents of the city were not allowed to check out books from this university’s libraries.

“I just feel that that’s something our city needed and that we didn’t have, and now we have a library,” Kelly said.

Stillwell said she wants the library to be a “center for the community.” The library provides important services for College Park residents without computers or printers, she said. It also offers space for various groups — such as a photography club, a book group and an arts-and-crafts group — to come together and meet.

One of the main programs offered at the library is story time for children on Wednesday mornings.

Caudill, an alumna of this university who began volunteering at the library in fall 2015, said that she will read to any children that come into the library, regardless of whether it’s during story time.

The story time is a good opportunity for parents and children to meet up and socialize, Stillwell said.

Daria Giraldo, a parent who attends story time with her 2-year-old, said the storyteller at the community library stood out to her. Micki Freeny, the Wednesday morning storyteller at the library and former director for the Prince George’s County library system, is “so full of energy, humor and [is] very knowledgeable about kids songs and poems,” Giraldo said. “She’s just unbelievable.”

“I have checked other public libraries, their story times, and this was the best one I found, so we stuck with this one,” she said. “Nothing but compliments about them.”

Dec
1
2017

College Park Academy to Hold Open House on December 7


When: Thursday, December 7, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: 5751 Rivertech Court, Riverdale Park, MD

College Park Academy is a top-performing public charter middle and high school, founded by UMD and the City of College Park. It provides personalized learning and a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum, including UMD courses in high school.

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are available until January 26, 2018. And, starting with incoming 6th graders in Fall of 2018, students living in the boundaries of these six area elementary schools will comprise at least 35 percent of the students admitted: Berwyn Heights, Cherokee Lane, Hollywood, Paint Branch, Riverdale, University Park.

Please join CPA for an open house to learn more about the school!

Nov
30
2017

New Beige Yard Waste Carts Go for Sale

City Resident Bill Taylor takes his new Yard Waste Cart home

City now has beige 65-gallon yard waste carts available for residents to purchase for $25. These carts are selling quickly, so get yours soon!

The new beige yard waste cart can be used for either “soft yard waste” or “woody yard waste.” Soft and Woody yard wastes are collected on separate days and processed into two different products.

This sturdy cart has wheels and a lift-bar for easy collection. Using the new yard waste cart can save time and money – single use paper lawn bags become expensive over time and can tear or fall apart when wet.

Please call the Department of Public Works at 240-4873590 to arrange payment and to coordinate pick-up or delivery.

Nov
29
2017

Split Council Decides to Use Eminent Domain and Acquire Route 1 Properties

At last night’s City Council meeting, the City Council approved an ordinance authorizing the acquisition of properties located at 7409 and 7411 Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) using eminent domain. Five businesses at these locations will be affected by the acquisition and further development, including Smoothie King, Subway, Hair Cuttery, Shanghai Cafe, and a cell phone repair shop. It’s unknown when the leases of these businesses will expire.

The vote was a tie. Brennan, Day, Dennis and Stullich supported the measure. Cook, Kujawa, Kabir, and Nagle opposed it. Mayor Wojahn broke the tie in favor.

Before the vote, a motion to table the vote was defeated (tied at 4-4, with Mayor breaking the tie).

I personally felt that the Council should have selected a concept design and the associated budget before deciding to acquire the Route 1 properties. Over the past 5 years, the City Council discussed a few options to build a City Hall at the current location. The cost figures of these options ranged from 4 million to 12.5 million. It’s true that the City Council decided to select the Knox Road site for the future of City Hall, however, it never voted on how the new City Hall would look like.

Back in 2012, the City Council engaged a consultant to design a concept plan to build an extension to the existing City Hall. This design would have cost the City Hall between $4 to $5 million.

In 2014, when the Council decided to select the Knox Road site as the future of City Hall, it talked about two options – whether to build the City Hall alone ($8 million) or build jointly with the University. The joined project was later estimated at 12.5 million and would require the acquisition of the Route 1 properties.

Several residents spoke at the meeting. Many residents also sent their comments via emails. Almost all of the District 1, 2 and 4 residents opposed the proposal. They were concerned about high cost of the project, the loss of property tax revenues from the affected businesses. The majority of the District 3 residents supported the proposal.

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