May
2
2016

College Park 2017 Budget for Community Review

2017 Budget for Residents Review p1
2017 Budget for Residents Review p2

May
1
2016

Clavert Hill May Get a Community Garden

At next Tuesday’s Council worksesion, the City Council will discuss a proposed Calvert Hills community garden at the WMATA property, which sits just inside the City’s southern boundary, near the corner of Albion Road and Rhode Island Ave.

The area is located just south of where the Metrorail Green Line enters an underground tunnel. It is relatively open and gently sloping, but is enclosed by existing trees and vegetation. Access would be through the Trolley Trail right of way and a path that would need to be created from the trail to the garden.

This would always be a walk-in (or bike-in) garden as there is extremely limited parking on Albion Road and Rhode Island Avenue in that vicinity. Due to the long distance from the nearest water main or fire hydrant, this location is unlikely to be able to provide users with a convenient water supply.

Gardeners must be willing to provide their own water and transport it from Albion on foot. As part of the Cafritz development, the Trolley Trail will be graded and paved. Staff has requested the timetable for this work from the developer. Staff thinks construction and delivery of materials to the site will be challenging.

In addition, WMATA authorization for occasional access by small trucks onto the property to deliver supplies to the garden area is needed, as well as the ability to build a pathway from the Trolley Trail to the garden. Currently, construction activity of the stormwater facility and townhomes at the adjoining Cafritz property is generating significant dust that is incompatible with gardening.

License Terms WMATA has offered a no cost, four-year License term to the City. The use authorized by the License is to perform “Garden Work”, which is defined as the installation and maintenance of Licensee’s community garden. It is not clear whether this includes a fence.

WMATA has reserved the right to terminate the License during the fall or winter (outside of normal gardening season) with 60 days notice. At termination, the City would be required to remove all garden supplies from the property. The City would be required to maintain certain insurance levels and name WMATA as an additional insured on the City’s policy.

The License may prevent building a pathway to the garden. Amendments to the proposed License Agreement should be negotiated to clearly allow access for the initial construction, installation of a fence, occasional access by small trucks to deliver supplies. Based on prior experience, staff thinks negotiation of these revisions may require several months to be approved by WMATA.

Construction would likely require an additional allocation to the City’s Sustainability Initiatives CIP fund, with a total of $4,000. The Council will discuss whether to authorize staff to pursue an agreement with WMATA for the garden, but defer implementation at this time.

Apr
30
2016

Group Announces Memorial Day Celebration

When: Mon, May 30, 11:00 AM
Where: Corner of US Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue) and Greenbelt Road
What: The annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held at the College Park Veterans Memorial at the corner of US Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue) and Greenbelt Road at 11:00 a.m. This year we will be reading the names of those from College Park who lost their live in service of defending our country.

Before the start of the program, attendees can submit the name of those who are important to them and who also lost their live in service of defending our country. These name will be read during the program.

Attendees are encouraged to bring pictures of family members who served or are serving in the armed services. Old or damaged American flags will be collected to be properly disposed of by the American Legion. Parking will be available courtesy of the AMF Bowling Alley at 9021 Baltimore Ave.

Follow the event on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VMCOFCP

Apr
29
2016

It’s Tomorrow – Maryland Day, 2016

Apr
28
2016

North College Park Crime Map , April 16 – 26, 2016

Please see below last week’s crime map and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

 

Date Time Address Type
4/25/2016 5:36 PM 9600 Blk MILESTONE WAY, MD 20740 Stolen Vehicle
4/25/2016 3:52 PM 4700 Blk CHERRY HILL RD, MD 20740 Theft
4/4/23/2016 7:15 PM 9600 Blk MILESTONE WAY, MD 20740 Theft
4/20/2016 7:22 PM 4700 Blk CHERRY HILL RD, MD 20740 Theft
4/19/2016 12:56 PM 4700 Blk CHERRY HILL RD, MD 20740 Theft
4/24/2016 3:08 PM 9500 Blk BALTIMORE AVE, MD 20740 Theft from Auto
4/20/2016 8:37 PM 9000 Blk 50TH PL, MD 20740 Theft from Auto
Apr
27
2016

College Park’s Bikeshare to Launch Next Week

bikeshare2

invitation

Apr
26
2016

Primary Today – Please Vote!

primary-elections

Today is primary election day. No matter which party you belong to, please come and vote.

Polls are open now until 8 pm.

North College Park residents have three polling locations

  • Hollywood Elementary School
  • College Park United Methodist Church and
  • Church of the Nazarene

Please check your voter’s card or the Board of Elections website here if you are uncertain of your polling location

Apr
25
2016

Celebrate Arbor Day, 2016

arborday2016

Apr
24
2016

Pregnancy Aid center Aims to Expand Operation

The Pregnancy Aid Center on Eirie Street is planning to build and additional building to meet the increase in demand for their service. Representatives from the center came before Council last week to talk about their detailed site plan that they have submitted to County’s planning department.

The Council will consider approving a resolution supporting the Pregnancy Aid Center Detailed Site Plan. The Plan includes

  • allow a 1-story building and lower ceiling height, to allow for zero building frontage build-out along Erie Street and 48th Avenue, allow for variable building setbacks, eliminate interior parking lot landscaping, to increase the number of parking spaces, to allow a lesser parking lot setback and to not provide any streetscape amenities along any street frontage at this time.
  • the departure to reduce the driveway width to less than 22 feet.
  • the site plan subject to the following conditions:
    • Moves the Parking Lot Light Pole, identified as Pole 1, at least 15 feet to the west to lessen light spillage to the residences located along the south side of Erie Street. The intent is to reduce illumination from 2.3 foot-candles in this area to as close to 0.0 foot-candles at the property line as is reasonably possible.
    • Correct the Parking Schedule to reflect net office space rather than gross square footage.
    • Add an additional bicycle parking space for a total of 8 bicycle parking spaces to meet the Sector Plan requirements.
    • Add a note denying access from Route 1 to the property.
    • Correct the Architectural Elevation labels and indicate that fencing along Erie Street shall be metal or wood picket but not chain-link.
Apr
23
2016

City to hold Public Hearing on the Proposed RISE Zone

The City will be holding a public hearing about the proposed RISE zone (Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise ) zone on Monday , April 25, at 7:30pm at teh City Hall Council Chamber (second floor)

A RISE Zone is a geographic area that has nexus (a strong connection) with a qualified institution and is targeted for increased economic and community development.

Qualified institutions include institutions of higher education, regional higher education centers or non-profits affiliated with a federal agency.

The purpose of the RISE Zone program is to access institutional assets that have a strong and demonstrated history of commitment to economic development and revitalization in the communities in which they are located. Qualified institutions and local governments develop a targeted strategy to use the institutional assets and financial incentives to attract businesses and create jobs within the zone.

A RISE Zone designation will be in effect for 5 years, with a possible additional 5-year renewal. Counties and municipalities are limited to a maximum of three RISE Zones.

Businesses locating in a RISE Zone or an existing business doing a significant expansion within the Zone, may qualify for real property tax credits and income tax credits related to capital investment and job creation. A business concierge with the Maryland Department of Commerce (Commerce) will be available to assist businesses with identifying and utilizing other State programs for which they might qualify, and with permitting and licensing applications.

Maryland created the RISE Zone program to encourage investment and job creation near universities committed to economic development in their communities. The City has been working with the University, the County, the College Park City University Partnership, and Riverdale Park on a joint RISE Zone application. The proposed RISE Zone contains approximately 470 acres, and includes property in the Innovation District and the Research Park, and property along Baltimore Avenue from MD 193 to just south of Guilford Road. The draft application specifies that anywhere in the entire RISE Zone, new commercial and industrial buildings will be eligible for the minimum real property tax credit–50 percent the first year and 10 percent the following four years–on the increased value of the property due to new investment (a new building or the expansion / major renovation of an existing building). Hotels, motels, grocery stores, and retail are NOT included in this category of commercial and industrial. Additionally, the draft application specifies that within the Innovation District and the Research Park areas of the RISE Zone, new investment for high technology businesses in the fields of engineering, data analytics, earth sciences, virtual reality, cybersecurity, quantum computing, linguistics, additive manufacturing, e-commerce, robotics, aerospace, biotechnology and similar industries will be eligible for a 50 percent real property tax credit for five years on the increased value of the property.

The City Council is considering increasing this higher tax credit for technology businesses from 50 percent to 75 percent, which would match the proposed tax credit level by Prince George’s County. After the Public Hearing, the City Council will consider a resolution that supports participating in the RISE Zone and establishes the City’s real property tax credits that will be provided to eligible properties. 007 Copies of the draft application, the draft City Resolution, and a map of the proposed Zone are available online

After the Public Hearing, the City Council will consider a resolution that supports participating in the RISE Zone and establishes the City’s real property tax credits that will be provided to eligible properties.Copies of the draft application, the draft City Resolution, and a map of the proposed Zone are available online

Copies of the draft application, the draft City Resolution, and a map of the proposed Zone are available online at: http://collegeparkmd.gov/revize/collegepark/programs_and_initiatives/index.php

Apr
22
2016

City’s Farmers Markets Reopening this Weekend

The Hollywood Farmers Market (at the Hollywood Shopping Center, next to REI) is going to start its 2016 market season tomorrow at 9am. The grand opening will be on May 14. More to come.

The Downtown Farmers Market will also open this weekend, Sunday at 10 am.

Please stop by our markets this weekend. Also, please spread the word! Thanks.
HFM 2016

Apr
21
2016

Group Plans to Form Committee About Duvall Field Improvement

The North College Park Civic Association (NCPCA) is in the middle of forming a committee regarding improvements at Duvall Field. The city will likely start construction on the new concession stand at Duvall Field this summer. In addition to this construction, there are plans to renovate the rest of the fields/spaces and install a walking track around the perimeter as well. NCPCA is putting together a committee of residents who will provide feedback regarding what the community would like to see in this space. Please let the NCPCA president Jackie Pearce Garrett know at jacq.garrett@gmail.com if you’re interested. I believe the goal is to meet in the next month or two.

The NCPCA is also planning to organize a Summer Social. A to-be-planned event, tentatively scheduled for the second Thursday in August, to bring together neighbors in North College Park. This is a blank slate… bring your ideas and maybe a few hours of time to donate to making this happen. Email Jackie at jacq.garrett@gmail.com if you can help.

Apr
20
2016

Council Discusses Incentive Programs to Attract Tech Businesses to College Park

At last night’s worksession, the City Council discussed incentive programs in the form of property tax credits to attract businesses to College Park.  The new incentives will be only eligible to businesses in innovation district (or RISE zone) in College Park.

For some time, the City has been working with the University, the County, the CPCUP, and Riverdale Park on a joint RISE Zone application. The Prince George’s County Council has introduced a resolution in support of the RISE Zone with a five-year, 75 percent County tax credit for high-technology new investment.

The RISE Zone application has been amended in response to Council comments during the February 16 Worksession discussion. The application specifies that anywhere in the entire RISE Zone, new commercial and industrial buildings will be eligible for the minimum real property tax credit of 50 percent first year, 10 percent following four years (same from the County) on the increased value of the property due to new investment (a new building or the expansion / major renovation of an existing building). Hotels, motels, grocery stores, and retail are NOT included in this category of commercial and industrial.

Additionally, the application proposes that within the Innovation District and the Research Park areas of the RISE Zone, new investment for high technology businesses in the fields of engineering, data analytics, earth sciences, virtual reality, cybersecurity, quantum computing, linguistics, additive manufacturing, e-commerce, robotics, aerospace, biotechnology and similar industries will be eligible for the real property tax credits of 50 percent for five years (75 percent from the County for five years ) on the increase to the property assessment. According to staff, after the 300,000 sf of development is completed at the same time, at the minimum required level (50% credit year 1, and 10% credit years 2-5), the RISE Zone tax credit total over five years would be $162,810.

The City new tax revenue would be $741,690. At the higher credit level for high technology development, the City RISE Zone tax credit of 50% for five years results in new City tax revenue of $452,250.

Apr
19
2016

Council Mulls More Scholarships to College Park Students

At today’s Council meeting, the City Council will continue to discuss how to effectively use funds to support education in College Park.

In the previous worksession, many of the Council members expressed an interest in using a portion of this year’s additional $80,000 Educational Improvement monies for additional scholarships to this year’s applicants who didn’t receive a scholarship to attend Summer camp at the University of Maryland because the requests far exceeded the resources.

According to staff, the deadline less than ½ of the 90+ applicants received scholarships. If that is the case, then Council action would be required and the cost to provide for all of this year’s applicants would be just under $20,000.

In addition to spending more on College Park’s students, we’ll also discuss the idea of supporting our local County schools collaboratively at the upcoming meeting of the Four Cities Coalition, which includes College Park, Greenbelt, Berwyn Heights and New Carrollton.

Apr
18
2016

FY 17 Budget – What is New for North College Park?

We attended the second and the final fiscal year 2017 budget worksession this past Saturday. The new budget will have a few items specifically assigned to north College Park residents. They include:

  • A pedestrian crossing (RRFB) signal on Rhode Island Avenue (potentially at the Indian / Fox intersection)
  • oney for the construction of the streetscape project at the Hollywood commercial district
  • Funds for beautification and additional streetlights
  • Two community bulletin boards, one at the end of Lackawanna street near the Metro, and another elsewhere in our district
  • Additional funds for our senior programs based in Youth and Family Services building on Nantucket Road and
  • Funds for the Duvall Field renovation and reconstruction project.

Additionally, we’ve put aside some funds for a Police Services evaluation and feasibility study.

The FY17 budget ordinance is expected to be introduced on Monday, March 25. The budget public hearing will take place on Tuesday, May 10. The Mayor and Council are scheduled to adopt the FY 2017 budget ordinance on Tuesday, May 24. The effective date of the FY 2017 adopted budget is July 1, 2016.

Also, please do not forget to attend our Budget Town Hall meeting on Friday, April 29 at 7:00 pm at the Youth and Family Services building at 4912 Nantucket Road. It’s important that we hear from you about how we should be spending your tax dollars in the coming fiscal year.

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