KabirCares.org
Nov
17
2019

Council to Take Steps Designating College Park a Bee City USA® Affiliate

At this week’s meeting, the Council will consider adopting a resolution authorizing staff to submit the application and the required fee to become a Bee City USA affiliate. In recent years, the Urban Pollinator population is on the decline due to development and pesticide exposure.

Staff is recommending the installation of pollinator gardens to create habitats to foster life cycle development and food sources for various pollinators were discussed at the meeting and well received by the Council.

The habitat gardens will include signage to provide an educational component to increase awareness of the plight of urban pollinators. The Council directed staff to move forward to join an organization that would recognize the City’s work to promote, create and maintain pollinator habitat gardens in the City.

The selected organization to join at this time is Bee City USA.

Nov
16
2019

Council to Consider Measures to Preserve Tree Canopy in College Park

Trees in a College Park neighborhood park

At next week’s meeting, College Park City Council will consider a proposal on a number of measures insuring the preservation of City’s tree stock.

A presentation was made during the April 16, 2019 Council Worksession with the results of a citywide tree canopy assessment from the contracted consultant at SavATree. The assessment identified a decline in the percentage of tree canopy in the City during the past 9 years from 44% coverage in 2009 to 40% in 2014 to 38% in 2018.

American Forests used to recommend an average of 40% tree canopy coverage in areas East of the Mississippi. Regardless of the recommended number, there is an urgency to preserve and improve city’s tree canopy, given the rate of decrease in the canopy in the past several years.

At the conclusion of the April 16th Worksession, the Council requested the Tree & Landscape Board (TLB) to review the results of the Tree Canopy Assessment and suggestion recommendations. After review and discussion of the Canopy Assessment, the TLB determined that addressing tree removal on private property would be the most beneficial method to preserve existing tree canopy as a significant amount of tree canopy is located on residential acreage. The TLB has been reviewing other Maryland municipal codes and regulations related to tree removals on private property and has developed a recommendation.

About 1100 acres of the canopy is on private residential properties. Compared to that number, around 100 acres is in the City’s right of way, mixed-use development, commercial and industrial properties. Also, most of the recent loss of tree canopy happened in residential areas.

According to the recommendations, residents will be allowed to remove a (healthy) tree on their properties if they agree to replace them with new trees or make a contribution to City’s Tree Canopy Replacement Program.

Tree permits will require replacement of any removed tree greater than 36” circumference,
according to the following sizes of the removed tree:
● 36”- 47”: replace with 1 tree
● 48”- 59”: replace with 2 trees
● 60”- 72”: replace with 3 trees
● 73” – 94”: replace with 4 trees
● 95” and above: replace with 5 trees

If an applicant is unable or unwilling to replace a tree(s) being removed as outlined above on their own property, they may instead, pay to the City’s Tree Canopy Enhancement Program fund based on the tree circumference, as listed below:
● 36”- 47”: $150
● 48”- 59”: $300
● 60”- 72”: $450
● 73” – 94”: $600
● 95” and above: $1,000

According to proposal, no person shall remove or destroy any tree in the City’s urban forest, undertake construction or other action that significantly detracts from the health or growth of such a tree, or prune more than 20% of such a tree, without first applying for and obtaining a permit from the City.

A permit shall not be required for action on an emergency basis to prevent harm to life or property. If a tree has fallen due to weather, the property owner should immediately report this to the Public Works Director, and at least one picture shall be taken to document the condition that shows the entire tree, before any work commences. In case of a city-wide catastrophic weather event, reimbursement for tree replacement may be obtained through the City’s Tree Canopy Enhancement Program.

Also, a permit will be issued if the tree is determined to be dead, diseased, constitutes a hazard to the safety of persons or property that cannot be addressed by using the current tree care, ANSI Z Standards (American National Standard Institute), or deemed as an invasive species or undesirable because of its location, condition or effect on other trees. However, the requirement for a replacement of tree(s) shall not be waived.

Nov
15
2019

Free Rabies & Microchip Clinic

The City’s Animal Control and Animal Welfare Committee are having free rabies and microchip clinic for City pets! Come on Sunday, November 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Davis Hall to have your pets vaccinated against rabies and microchipped (to help return lost pets to their families).

City residents must be able to provide proof of residence in order to obtain free services.

Services will be discounted for non-residents as follows (exact cash only):
Rabies vaccine, $10.00
Microchipping, $20.00

All animals must be leashed or properly confined to a carrier. For 3-year Rabies vaccines, the pet owner must have a current signed rabies certificate (1- or 3-year), and vaccines will be given at the discretion of the veterinarian.

[City of College Park]

Nov
14
2019

Tonight at NCPCA – WaWa, Zoning Rewrite, and More..

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and the day when the NCPCA will hold its monthly meeting.

The meeting will start with a presentation by a representative from the Hollywood Pharmacy. The representative will share information about the business

Also, representatives from the Wawa developers will give a presentation on the proposed store to be situated in the northeast corner of the IKEA property (where the flags are located now)

Members will have a discussion of a possible conversion of NCPCA to 501 (3) c.

additionally, members will look into County’s Zoning Rewrite – summary of M-NCPPC’s recent meeting with an initial discussion of new zones and demonstration of Proposed New Zone Comparison Map swipe tool. http://zoningpgc.pgplanning.com/zoning-swipe-tool. This must be an interesting exercise.

Finally, members will discuss the summary of last week’s City election and referendum results.

Hope to see you tonight, at Davis Hall, at 9217 – 51st Avenue.

Nov
13
2019

Help Give Some Warmth this Year

The City of College Park, with One Warm Coat, a national non-profit organization, will once again hold our annual One Warm Coat Drive from November 4 through December 3. Help fellow College Park residents in need by donating your clean, gently-used coats, hats and gloves during the City’s annual warm coat drive. All donated coats will be distributed by the Department of Youth, Family and Senior Services throughout the College Park area to local children and adults in need.

All donations are appreciated, however this year we are seeking children’s coats and cold weather items in particular.

Last year we collected over 200 coats and cold weather items and are hoping to beat that number this year!

The City’s warm coat drive will take place from November 4 through December 3, 2019.

Donations can be placed into designated collection boxes during business hours at the following locations:

City Hall
8400 Baltimore Avenue Suite 375
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Department of Public Works
9217 51st Avenue
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Youth and Family Services
4912 Nantucket Road
Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


[City of College Park]

Nov
12
2019

More Information about the New Nuisance Law

Last week, the City issued a statement explaining the nuisance ordinance that the City Council recently approved. Please see the statement below:

For many years, the Mayor and Council, City staff, Police, the County, student groups, and landlords have tried to prevent—with limited success—disruptive noise and other negative impacts caused by large social gatherings in our neighborhoods. The Mayor and Council recently amended the City Code to better address specific problem behaviors that may occur at unruly social gatherings.

The purpose of the Unruly Social Gatherings Ordinance (in Chapter 141, Nuisances) is to improve the quality of life and safety for residents; it does not prohibit gatherings. The Ordinance makes it a Municipal Infraction (civil citation) when one or more of the following conditions exist at a gathering of eight or more people:
• underage or excessive drinking, public drunkenness, illegal substance use or health and safety violations• attendees spill over onto the street or a neighbor’s property
• the noise level is above Noise Code limits
• attendees are vandalizing, urinating, defecating, or littering
• fights or other disturbances of the peace
• the gathering creates an excessive amount of traffic that is significantly above and beyond the normal amount of pedestrian or vehicle traffic
• other conduct which constitutes a threat to the public safety, quiet enjoyment of residential or other private property, or the general welfare.

A violation of the Unruly Social Gatherings Ordinance is subject to an immediate municipal infraction and $500 fine of the responsible party, with a warning given on first offense to property owners (if a rental property). Subsequent violations of the ordinance within 24 months of the prior violation will result in a $1,000 fine of the responsible party and a $500 fine of the property owner. The occupancy permit for the property may also be revoked for three or more violations within a 24-month period.

The Council also amended the City’s Noise Code to extend the lower nighttime noise limit of 55 decibels from 7:00 a.m. (previously) to 8:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays. Additionally, a list of specifically exempted sources of noise has been added to the Code. Changes to the Noise and Nuisance Codes went into effect on October 15, 2019. However, a grace period for issuing municipal infractions and fines for Nuisance Code violations is in effect until January 1, 2020.

Violations and complaints of potential Nuisance Code violations will be documented by a notice sent to residents and property owners. Violations of the Noise Code will continue to be addressed per the current practice, which includes the issuance of municipal infractions and fines for documented violations. When appropriate, referrals to the University of Maryland Office of Student Conduct will be made.

To read the complete City Noise and Nuisance Codes (Chapters 110, 138, and 141 of the City Code), you may access the City Code online at https://ecode360.com/CO0032. Please contact the Department of Public Services at 240-487-3570 or publicservices@collegeparkmd.gov if you have any questions about these or other City codes

Nov
11
2019

Community Meeting on Hollywood Streetscape Project

View updated designs for the Rhode Island Avenue Streetscape, Muskogee Street Trail and the conversion of service roads to parklets.

Your feedback is needed before these plans are finalized!

Consultants Wallace Montgomery and Floura Teeter will be in attendance.

Sponsored by the City of College Park’s Department of Planning, Community and Economic Development

Nov
10
2019

Tomorrow: Veterans Day Observance

The residents are invited to join the College Park Mayor and Council at the 2019 observance of Veterans Day. The program will include music, speakers, and wreath-laying in a fitting tribute to the men and women who have served our country.

Please bring pictures of veterans (both alive or passed) with a little bio sheet about them including name, rank, military branch, date of birth, date of passing (if applicable), location(s) served and any other pertinent information. The Veterans Committee is working history of our local veterans.

Parking is available near Bowlero.

The event is sponsored by the College Park Veterans Memorial Committee

Nov
9
2019

Today: 12th College Park Free Blues Festival

What: 12th College Park Free Blues Festival, Saturday, November 9, 2019 6pm-11pm at UMD Ritchie Coliseum

  • Red, White and Blues Dance in honor of Veterans
  • Bands ~ Vendors ~ Dancing ~ Craft Beer ~ Prizes
  • Jose Ramirez Band and J.P. Reali – Memphis or Bust! DC Blues Society Battle of the Bands and Solo / Duo
  • Winners competing in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge
  • Patty Reese Band with Dave Chappell
  • King Solomon Hicks aka “Lil B.B.” from NY

Enter to Win Prizes, Visit a Variety of Vendors and Dance the night away…..
6pm J.P. Reali – Memphis or Bust! Blues Competition winner will represent the DC Blues Society at the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN
7pm Patty Reese Band – soulful roots blues – 11 WAMMIES including Album and Artist of the Year!
8:15pm Jose Ramirez Band – Costa Rica Blues Ambassador playing raw, fresh, and soulful blues will also represent the DC Blues Society at the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN
9:30pm “King” Solomon Hicks – known as “Lil’ B.B.” and he’s Carrying on the torch of the blues!

www.facebook.com/CollegeParkBluesFest
#CollegeParkBluesFest #DCBluesSociety #BluesinMD #IBC

Nov
8
2019

Tomorrow: Fall Harvest Funfest

Monarch Preschool College Park, a new preschool opening in College Park in February 2020, will hold “Fall Harvest Funfest” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at College Park United Methodist Church at 9601 Rhode Island Ave. in College Park, where the preschool will be located.

The outdoor family event will feature arts and crafts, yoga, face painting, music and dancing and other family activities.

Founded by The Children’s Guild, a nonprofit child-serving organization, Monarch Preschool College Park will open to children ages 3 to 5 and serve 120 children in an 11,400-square-foot renovated space in the church. The preschool will be open year-round with high-quality, project-based learning and a full-day program including before- and after-school care.

Nov
7
2019

Certified Election Results

Today, City published the certified election results, which include absentee and provisional ballots. City has also published the total number of ballots cast in this election, and the total number of registered voters. Additional reports will be provided next week showing district-by-district breakdown.

Please see the final results below.

District 1
Kabir 757
Kennedy 504

District 2
Brennan 264
Dennis 240
Gregory 106

District 3
Rigg 463
Day 439
Mullauer 123

District 4
Mitchell 253
Mackie 243
Emmanuel 59

Mayor
Wojahn 1577
Pancho 296
Malsawma 166

Ballot question
2 years 1027
4 years 935

Staggered 1087
Concurrent 782

Total number of ballots cast in this election. 2092
Total number of registered voters 16,723
% voted. 12.51%

Nov
6
2019

Thank you!

I’m truly humbled, honored and grateful for having your support in yesterday’s election. Congratulations on the re-election of my colleagues Wojahn, Kennedy, Brennan, Dennis, Rigg and Day. Also, congratulations to Councilmember-Elect Maria Mackie on her election. I look forward to working with them all.

Please see below the unofficial Election Results.

District 1
Kabir 745
Kennedy 496

District 2
Brennan 247
Dennis 232
Gregory 104

District 3
Rigg 451
Day 424
Mullauer 110

District 4
Mitchell 237
Mackie 225
Emmanuel 54

Mayor
Wojahn 1532
Pancho 268
Malsawma 164

Ballot question
2 years 973
4 years 918

Staggered 1046
Concurrent 756

Nov
5
2019

Please Vote, College Park!

Today is College Park’s Decision Day! Regardless of who you support, please make sure you go to polls and cast your vote. It’s our civic duty to take part in our local elections. From our past city elections, we’ve seen every vote counts!

Polls will open at 7 am and will close at 8 pm. You can vote at any of these three polling locations!

  • Davis Hall, 9217 51st Ave
  • Richie Coliseum, 7675 Baltimore Ave
  • Stamp Student Union, 3972 Campus Drive

If you know anyone who needs help with a ride to the polling station, please let me know (phone: 301 – 659-6295, email: faz.kabir@gmail.com)

Also, this evening, please join your fellow neighbors to celebrate post-election community unity in District 1. More below in the flyer!

I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude for your support during my current Council term and discuss the opportunities ahead of us for the next term. Please come up with ideas you may have to make College Park a better place to live for everyone. I want to hear all of them!

Nov
4
2019

Community Survey is now Online

An online version of our 2019 Community Survey is now available! Click here to fill it out here:

A Spanish version of the survey will be available online for the selected respondents.

Important Note: If you did receive a paper copy – be sure to complete that one instead of the online one. We still need your responses!!

A randomly selected sample of College Park residents received postcards from the City in early October notifying them of their selection in the survey process. Mailed paper surveys will arrived in October, with a City cover letter and instructions to complete and return the survey. Responses are anonymous.

Participation in the survey is very important. The results will help City officials better serve the College Park community, so please complete the survey if your household is selected. Help us shape the future of College Park!

For any questions about the 2019 City of College Park Community Survey, call 240-487-3501 or email cpcommunications@collegeparkmd.gov. Stay tuned to the City’s website, facebook and twitter pages for up-to-date news and information.

[City of College Park]

Nov
3
2019

Streetscape Project Set to Change the Look of Hollywood’s Commercial District

For some years now, the City has been working on the Hollywood streetscape project to improve the appearance and functionality of the area around the corner of Edgewood Road and Rhode Island Avenue. The area is generally lacking in aesthetics and has seen minimal private investment in the preceding decades. We hope that once completed, the project will help invite private investment around the shopping complex area.

The project limits along Rhode Island Ave are from the Capital Beltway in the north to Muskogee Street in the south. The project limits along Edgewood Road are Narragansett Parkway in the East and 300’ west of Rhode Island Ave in the west.

Currently, the project team has completed the 30% design of the project. Staff is currently working to hold a community meeting with 60% design this month. Please stay tuned for an announcement of this meeting.

Once 60% design is completed, the project team will go into the final design. The City Council will then decide the scope and budget for the first phase of the project. The construction of the first phase is expected to start some time summer next year.

Below is a list of design elements of of the project:

Wide Sidewalk

The planning study identified narrow sidewalks and gaps in the sidewalk network as a design issue. Along the west side of Rhode Island Avenue, a 5-foot wide sidewalk is proposed from Muskogee Street to Edgewood Road where a sidewalk does not currently exist. On numerous occasions, residents have been observed walking along this stretch, and an informal well-worn pathway is noticeable. This stretch of sidewalk is impacted by an existing retaining wall which will require that the sidewalk narrows to 3 feet wide for the length of the retaining wall. The design team feels this is acceptable and does not cause a safety issue as pedestrians using the sidewalk will be separated from vehicular traffic by a protected bike lane.

On the east side of Rhode Island Avenue from Muskogee Street to Edgewood Road, the existing sidewalk is proposed to be widened to approximately 8 feet. A 2-foot strip of turf will remain between the sidewalk and curb to accommodate street signage and utility poles. This section of the sidewalk is considered part of the Wellness Circuit to complete a continuous walking loop around the Hollywood Shopping Center totaling 0.6 miles.

Gateway Plazas
The plan asks for installing gateway signage and/or art elements to brand the District. The Gateway Plazas are a way to establish community identity with potential for public art and/or signage. The gateways are located at the corner of Muskogee Street and Rhode Island Avenue. In the second phase, there could be another one at the corner of Narragansett Parkway and Edgewood Road. Small seating areas are envisioned at each gateway. Each Gateway Plaza features seating, bike racks, trash/recycling receptacles, bollard lighting and signage relevant to the Wellness Circuit.

 

Parklets:
The plan is to reclaim the Rhode Island Avenue east-side and west-side service road, between Nantucket Road and Edgewood Road, as neighborhood pocket parks or parklets. The Parklets are intended to provide community gathering spaces that are attractively landscaped and buffered from the traffic on the surrounding roads.

The Parklet on the east side of the road will also serve as seating to support retail and restaurant uses on the adjacent properties. In addition, the landscaped areas are intended to provide stormwater management treatment for the Parklets and possibly Rhode Island Avenue.

Improved Bus Shelters and Seating Nooks
A new bus shelter is proposed at the existing bus stop on the west side of Rhode Island Avenue just north of Muskogee Street to match the existing bus shelters located within the Hollywood Commercial District. To support the need for improved pedestrian circulation and gathering spaces, seating nooks are proposed along Rhode Island Avenue in three locations. In general, the seating nooks are intended to enhance the bus shelters providing additional seating and anchoring the shelters within the context of the streetscape improvements. The seating nooks are designed as a semicircle configuration directly adjacent to the sidewalk. Site furnishings proposed for the Seating Nooks include benches, trash/recycle receptacles, bollard lighting, and pavers.

Pedestrian Lighting
There will be a multi-tiered approach to lighting in the Hollywood Commercial District. Existing streetlights will be retained throughout the corridor. The existing street lights are cobra heads – approximately 25′ height. Pedestrian scale street lights, approximately 14’ height, will be added along Rhode Island Avenue, Edgewood Road, Nantucket Road, and Niagara Road and within the Parklets and Gateway Plazas. Bollard lights will be added to enhance pedestrian-oriented spaces including along the Wellness Circuit, within the Parklets, Gateway Plazas and Seating Nooks associated with improved bus shelters.

Pedestrian Path to MoM’s Parking Lot from Rhode Island Ave
Residents have asked to replace the current “goat path” that many pedestrians use to get to the MoM’s shopping complex from Rhode Island Ave at the Muskogee street corner. The path is uneven and thus can be hazardous to use, especially by the seniors and people with a disability. The Streetscape team has worked on a design of the concrete pedestrian path. The new path will be ADA compliant and thus residents on wheelchairs will now be able to use it safely. Staff will now work with the Carrollton Enterprises (the owner of the shopping plaza)  to get the approval of the path’s design.

 

Reconfiguration of Niagara Intersection
Currently, the intersection of Niagara Road at Rhode Island Avenue requires circuitous turn movements to travel through the intersection. The current 30% design seeks to eliminate the zig-zag pedestrian crossing, providing a more direct route for pedestrians and drivers. Please see the proposed design below.

 

Wellness Circuit
A Wellness Circuit is proposed in the right of way to provide formalized connections from the neighborhood to the commercial district and to provide opportunities for community fitness. The Wellness Circuit will connect the playground at the corner of Narragansett Parkway and Muskogee Street with Edgewood Road and Rhode Island Avenue through a shared-use path separate from the roadway. Informal desire lines to the shopping center will be formalized at multiple locations along the Wellness Circuit. Fitness stations are planned intermittently along the trail to encourage residents to be physically active in an outdoor natural setting at no cost to users. The Wellness Circuit includes a range of equipment suitable for different ages and fitness abilities focusing on the four essential components of fitness: strength, balance, cardio, and flexibility.

Along Muskogee Street, a portion of the Wellness Circuit is proposed adjacent to the curb. The placement of fitness stations adjacent to Muskogee Street provides ample space for plantings that would provide visual screening of equipment from residences. Existing trees displaced by the proposed improvements will be evaluated for relocation within the project limits.

Traffic Calming at Narragansett Pkway
The traffic calming proposed at the three-legged intersection of Edgewood Road and Narragansett Parkway was originally conceived as a min-roundabout during planning stages.
However, a review of turning movement templates showed that the roundabout would have to be too small (and entirely mountable) to be functional. Accordingly, bump-outs were designed for the southeast and southwest corners to reduce traffic speeds through this intersection and reduce the crossing distances for pedestrians. The bump-outs reduce the pedestrian crossing distance on the south leg and on the east leg. The bump-outs will be planted with low growing plants that do not affect pedestrian or driver sight distance. The bump-outs are designed as standard curb and gutter and designed so as not to interrupt the existing gutter pan, allowing it to continue to carry
run-off.

Complimentary bump-outs were not introduced along the north side of Edgewood Road because of the presence of a commercial driveway, the existing inlet, and the need to retain on-street parking in front of 5006 Edgewood Road (which does not have a driveway). In addition to the curbed bump-outs, ladder style crosswalks were introduced to the intersection along the southern and eastern legs in order to provide for safer crossings and give the intersection a more pedestrian-oriented feel and because the southwest corner represents a gateway to the Wellness Circuit and the Hollywood Commercial District

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