Council Mulls Better Handle on City’s Naturalized Landscapes

Recently City Tree and Landscaping Board (TLB) has suggested a set of revision to City’s existing nuisance or property maintenance ordinances. The suggested changes are mainly focused on the naturalized, native or managed Landscapes.

  • TLB’s main recommended considerations included:
    Limiting overhang or flop-over of the naturalized planting onto neighboring property or right-of-way – no encroachment allowed
  • Establishing setbacks from property lines for the naturalized planting. Setbacks could be variable on different sides of the property (front, side or rear). The setback area would need to be maintained at an identified lower height
  • Naturalized plantings might only be allowed in rear or side yard; not permitted in front yard; (d) A maximum plantable area for the naturalized landscape of the plantable area on the lot(not occupied by buildings, structures or other improvements) of the property
  • Possible requirement for a minimum number of, or at least an annual cut-down (trimming/mowing) that includes a time period and a maximum height; and
  • Naturalized plantings are absent of identified noxious weeds, as identified in a published state or governmental publication. The TLB is also recommending the following secondary considerations: (a) Naturalized planting locations could be marked with a sign
  • Removal of prior vegetation might be required from the naturalized plant area and planted by human or mechanical means using seeds or transplants;
  • Height limit of naturalized plants
  • Granting an exemption if the garden is designated as a habitat garden or bay friendly planting, especially if planted with native plants.

At this week’s Council meeting, the City Council reviewed TLB’s recommendations and discuss possible amendments to the City Code. Staff and TLB plan to work on possible ordinances and come back to the Council in future.


City Supports “Do Not Block the Box’ Bill, Again

At this week’s Council meeting, the Council approved a resolution supporting Maryland State House Bill HB672 “Do Not Block the Box” bill. This bill is coming for the second time in MD State House. It passed in House last year but didn’t go past the Senate committee for a vote on the floor. According to Del. Carr, this year, the companion Senate Bill will come for the hearing in April.  Here is the full text of the letter we sent. If you are concerned about preventing this gridlock, you may wish to contact Delegate Barbara Frush (District 21), Barbara.Frush@house.state.md.us, immediately. She is a member of the E&T Committee, which will be hearing the bill today.


Delegate Kumar Barve, Chair

Environment and Transportation Committee

Room 251
House Office Building
Annapolis, MD 21401Annapolis, MD 21401

Re:  HB 672  Vehicle Laws – Intersections – Prohibited Acts

Dear Chair Barve and Committee Members:

During our City Council meeting on February 20, 2018, the City Council voted to support HB 672.  This “don’t block the box” legislation supports safe driving habits and practices that reduce congestion at signalized intersections.  We believe it will help strengthen a driving culture that keeps intersections clear and increases safety on our major roads.  We appreciate the work your committee has done on this bill and other transportation bills to increase safety.

On behalf of the City Council and our residents, I respectfully request your continued support for this legislation.


Patrick L. Wojahn


Cc:       Delegate Barbara Frush, 21st District

Delegate Ben Barnes, 21st District



North College Park Crime Map: February 12-19, 2018

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


Duvall Field Gets a New Bulletin Board

A new bulletin board was mounted on the north side of Duvall concession stand. The old board had been taken out for sometime when Duvall Field concession building project started.

According to staff, mounting the board was a bit of a challenge due to the irregular surface of the split-face block wall so staff had to devise a method for the unit could be securely affixed. Thanks to our staff for installing the new board.

Please let me know if you’ve a flyer or an announcement to add to the bulletin board.

In addition to this board, you can also post flyers to the bulletin board at the end of Lackawanna Street near the Metro station.


PAL Martial Arts Registration is Open

The Prince George’s County Police Athletic League has partnered with Cabrera Jiu-Jitsu to provide self-defense classes for the county’s youth. The PAL Martial Arts program is designed to teach self-defense to boys and girls, ages 9 through 17. The program includes a mentoring aspect, which focuses on the core values of respect, discipline, staying healthy and safe, and living by a code. Special emphasis is placed on avoiding unsafe situations and de-escalation of scenarios that have the potential to turn violent while giving students the skills necessary to defend themselves and to reach safety if a confrontation is unavoidable.

This is a great way for boys and girls to gain self-confidence by learning an important and useful skill. They will also benefit from instruction and mentoring by Cesar Cabrera, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under the Renzo Gracie lineage. His training and breadth of experiences extend over 30 years, and he truly believes that making the decision to pursue the journey of martial arts changed his life for the better and wants to help others find this positive experience as well. He is joined in instruction by Corporal Cauthern of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
Students will be divided into groups according to age and skill level.

Fridays, March 2nd to May 18th
from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

at Police Headquarters Gym
7600 Barlowe Road
Palmer Park, MD 20745


Please contact POFC Laura Perret at lkperret@co.pg.md.us for any questions regarding the program.


City Announces UMD Youth Summer Camp 2018 Scholarship

Want to go to an arts, science, reading or sports camp this summer?

Grade and high school youth who reside in the City are eligible to apply for a City scholarship to a 2018 University of Maryland youth summer camp!

Get up to $400 per student to attend a UMD youth summer camp, like Lego Robotics, Engineering, Music, Gymnastics, Basketball, Arts, Reading, Quidditch and so much more!

The deadline to apply is March 14, 2018.

Click here for the application. This application also has a non-comprehensive list of available summer camps at the University of Maryland, along with instructions as to how to find more camp offerings. This is not an application for a summer camp, only an application for the scholarship.

Contact the City’s Department of Youth, Family and Senior Services at 240-487-3550 or lmoore@collegeparkmd.gov for more information.

[Source: City of College Park]


Helen Barnes 1942-2018

Helen Scroggins Barnes, the longtime resident of Calvert Hill neighborhood passed away on February 14, 2018 after a valiant six-month fight with lung cancer. She was intelligent, caring, encouraging and an advocate for the elderly all during her nursing career. She leaves a big hole in the hearts of many in her family and in the community.

Helen has been a passionate community advocate. I have had the opportunity working with her as part of City’s Aging-in-Place task force, where she served as the Chairperson. Later, the City formed the Seniors Committee based on the recommendations of the task force.

A celebration of her life will take place at a later date when the family has made their plans, St. Andrew’s Church in College Park has informed.


North College Park Crime Map: February 4-11, 2018

Address Type
9700 Blk 53RD Ave Theft from auto
9000 Blk Baltimore Ave Stolen Veh
I-495 HWY SB / BALTIMORE AVE Theft from auto
4800 Blk Delaware ST Theft from auto

City Seeks Residents Input about Bike Lanes on Rhode Island Avenue

On February 21, at 7pm, at Davis Hall, the City will be hosting a community meeting seeking residents input about bike lanes on Rhode Island Avenue. The meeting will  explore options for improving bike lanes along rhode Island Avenue between MD 193 and Muskogee street. Please see the flyer below for details.

The City was awarded a Transportation Land Use Connections (TLC) technical assistance grant from the Council of Governments (COG) Transportation Planning Board in the fall. COG selects the contractor for the project and administers their contract. The firm of Rummel, Kepper & Kahl, LLP is working with the Citu on the project, which is now underway. The upcoming community meeting is the kick-off of the project which is looking at opportunities for providing protected bike lanes along Rhode Island Avenue. Options will be explored and 30% design plans prepared.


Davis Hall to Get A/V equipment

Back in May last year, Council Worksession, Council discussed three service levels for recording meetings or other events at Davis Hall. The estimated cost of the different options ranged from $24,000 to $36,000.

Council agreed that the audio/visual capacity at Davis Hall should include the capability to record, broadcast, and stream events at Davis Hall. The proposed layout would allow for an audience of approximately 45 people. The maximum capacity of the Davis Hall multipurpose room is 88 people (without tables). Based on the Council discussion,

City IT staff requested and received updated price proposals that would provide for the AV equipment and installation required to record, broadcast, and live-stream meetings at Davis Hall. The proposals included a new projector and screen, two cameras, wired and wireless microphones, and a secure cabinet.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will approving a contract with KIPP Visual Systems in the amount of $37,091.71. Because the item is more than $30,000, a super-majority vote is required to approve this item.


Hollywood Neighborhood Park to Get a Soccer Field

Good news. The Hollywood Community Park will get a new soccer field.

About a year ago, the community asked the P.G. Parks at a community meeting, that they would like a soccer field and a cricket field for younger children. The NCPCA sent a letter to the Parks with a few recommendations, which the City supported in a separate letter. Park officials met with the residents a few times and staked out the area to see what would fit and now staff should be removing the baseball backstop and players fences to make room for one end of the rectangle field. They will be painting soccer lines come soccer season. They will install one permanent goal and one portable goal so multiple sports can use the field.

Park officials do not anticipate a high level of permits for this field. This field should be ready to play in this spring season.

Please see a schematic of approximately the perimeter of the soccer field. As can be seen in the diagram, a rarely used softball field will be converted into a youth practice field for soccer. Weather permitting, we will lay down some grass seed in the infield area.

At this time, Park officials do not intend to add bleachers or benches. Use for a youth cricket area will require a wide open area and any additional “equipment” may interfere with this activity.

This project is being completed with the area annual operational maintenance funds.


Chief on the Go – Today


Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting:Hollywood Park, City Charter, Traffic and More..

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and thus the days when the North College Park Community Association will have their monthly meeting. Here is a list of topics they will discuss:

Ass usual, the meeting will start at 7:30 pm at Davis Hall.

Times and topics of this agenda are subject to change. Draft minutes of the January 11, 2018 NCPCA meeting are at www.myncpca.org .

7:30 Call to Order and urgent announcements related to conduct of the meeting; followed by amendments to this draft agenda; and then a motion to approve the agenda for the meeting tonight.

7:35 Update – Reconstruction of Hollywood Park. Work began in January. This update will provide an overview of current status and recap NCPCA recommendations to M-NCPPC in Fall, 2016.

7:40 Presentation – Income Tax Update. Larry Bleau will present information about recent changes to income tax law that may impact current and future income tax returns, followed by member questions.

7:55 Update – New Dog Park. The current status will be presented. Last month, City Manager Scott Sommers presented alternative concepts, and NCPCA approved the resolution shown in the minutes.

8:00 Update – New Amendments to City Charter. Items to be discussed and possibly introduced by the Council on Feb. 6 will be reviewed. Possible NCPCA resolution in ‘New Business’.

8:15 Update – City Budget. An opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions. Bring your ideas and concerns!

8:25 Break & Refreshments. Members are invited to bring something to share as we pause for 10 minutes.

8:35 Discussion – US 1 & Edgewood Road Gridlock. Member discussion of afternoon traffic and ideas for intersection of US 1 & Edgewood Road. Possible NCPCA resolution in ‘New Business’.

8:50 Discussion – Rhode Island Avenue Traffic. Member discussion of traffic problems and ideas for Rhode Island Avenue in North College Park. Possible NCPCA resolution in ‘New Business’.

9:05 Report – New Community Center in North College Park. The current status and recent efforts of the committee established at the December 2017 NCPCA meeting will be presented.


Council Decides to Go Slow with More Charter Changes

At last night’s worksession, the Council decided to weigh in on minimal changes to the City’s Charter.

The Council took a straw vote (5-3) and decided not to go with the option of giving Mayor voting power regardless if there is a tie vote or not. Brennan, Rigg, and Kennedy voted in opposition.

The City Attorney earlier prepared a draft Charter resolution that incorporates the draft amendments and schedules a Public Hearing. In addition to making clarifying amendments, this resolution could also allow the Mayor to vote with respect to alterations of assessments, spending money for a purpose different from the purpose for which the money was appropriated, spending money not appropriated at the time of the annual levy or transferring funds between major budget items and adoption of Charter amendments, regardless if there is a tie vote.

This means the Council will move forward on a Charter amendment with the minimal changes, making our Charter compliant with the State law and clarifying some section of the Charter.


North College Park Crime Map: January 26 – Feb 3, 2018

Address Type
4800 Blk Edgewood RD Theft from auto
9100 Blk Baltimore Ave Theft
5000 Blk Odessa RD Theft
9300 Blk Cherry Hill RD Theft from Auto
9300 Blk Cherry Hill RD Theft from Auto
9300 Blk Cherry Hill RD Theft from Auto
9300 Blk Cherry Hill RD Theft from Auto
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