Kabir Cares

College Park's trusted source for daily news and updates since 2009

Groundbreaking Moments: The Re-Launch of College Park Wood Clubhouse

Recently, I had the pleasure of joining community members, city officials, and staff for the groundbreaking of the new College Park Wood Clubhouse at 3545 Marlborough Way. Construction kicks off soon, and we aim to wrap it up by the end of the year. Thanks to everyone who came out despite the rain!
Stay tuned for updates and learn more about this fantastic project here: https://collegeparkmd.gov/cpwoodsclubhouse
(photo credit: The City of College Park, MD, Barbara DiMaria Pianowski)

Bike With a COP

Join the Prince George’s County Police Department for a bike ride this Saturday, April 13th at 9AM! The day will be filled with fun activities, drinks, and snacks at Lake Artemesia.

Tree Pruning Work: April 2024

Alplundh, Pepco’s contractor, plans to prune or to remove trees for power line clearance for their four year maintenance cycle. The work is tentatively scheduled to start the last week of April 2024 and will occur for approximately one month. To learn more, visit https://www.collegeparkmd.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=595

Can-Ducky Derby | April 20

Put on a big hat or bow tie and join us on April 20 from 1-4pm at the Old Parish House for the Can-DUCKY Derby…a fun backyard party like no other! This Kentucky Derby style party will include a live Dixieland jazz band, prizes for best hat & bow tie, and rubber duck races! Bring a canned good to receive a duck racer. Space is limited. Register at www.collegeparkmd.gov/duckderby24

Developer to Present Preliminary Plan for Former Campus Village

LV Collective announced plans for a 299-unit development at the former site of the Campus Village Shopping Center (photo credit: StudentHousingBusienss.com)

This development will take the place of the former Campus Village Shopping Center. If you recall, the City grappled with keeping the small businesses at the former shopping center in College Park when they were told to leave a couple of months ago. Thankfully, the City was able to retain some of the popular businesses, such as Taqueria Habanero, in College Park. A few others are negotiating with the developer regarding a plan to return to the retail area of the development once it is complete. The development will include additional shops, a community center, a co-working space, and other amenities. The City Council will discuss the preliminary submission plan at next week’s meeting.

LV Collective has submitted a Preliminary Plan of Subdivision (PPS) to consolidate 9 existing lots into one 2.71-acre parcel.

At the time of the Detailed Site Plan (DSP), the Applicant will seek permission to construct a mixed-use development comprising 299 student-oriented apartments, 13,305 square feet of retail space, and a 2,219 square foot community space at the location of the former “Campus Village” Shopping plaza.

The Planning Board is scheduled to review the Preliminary Plan on Thursday, April 18th. Park and Planning Staff reports are typically published 2 weeks prior to the hearing date. The Application includes two variation requests: 1. To waive the Public Utility Easement (PUE) requirements, and 2. To waive the 25-foot floodplain setback requirement. Both variation requests are common for developments along Baltimore Avenue and are typically granted. A Detailed Site Plan will be required before development begins. The Planning Board date is set for April 18, 2024.

The estimated construction cost is $124 million, with projected property taxes of $3 million annually once stabilized. The project itself will create 7 full-time jobs and 11 part-time jobs. Additionally, the 13,000+ square feet of retail space will generate additional jobs while supporting local businesses. An estimated 800 temporary construction jobs are projected. The Applicant is open to using College Park businesses and subcontractors.

The Applicant has collaborated with the Lakeland Community and has offered to provide a 2,219-square-foot Lakeland Community space free of charge in the proposed building. The City Council will consider supporting the approval of the Preliminary Plan of Subdivision 4-22034 with some conditions and two variation requests.

Council receive Final Report on Needs-Based Student Housing Subsidy Subcommittee

At next week’s meeting, the Mayor and Council will receive the final report of the Needs-Based Student Housing Subsidy Subcommittee.

The Mayor and Council established the committee during a Council Meeting on July 11, 2023. Subcommittee members include the Mayor and one Councilmember from each district, along with student liaisons, representatives from the Housing Authority of the City of College Park, and City staff, who participate in meetings as non-voting members. The Subcommittee presented to the City Council on January 23, 2024, followed by a public Information Meeting on February 6, 2024.

Updates were provided during the March 5, 2024, Council Meeting. Written comments on the proposal were received and considered. The Subcommittee met on March 14 and March 28 to finalize their report to the Mayor and Council. This report outlines the structure and administration of a City rental assistance pilot program, proposing $1,500 grants for approximately 150 residents. It discusses eligibility criteria, application, and lottery selection processes, noting issues requiring further review and possible next steps.

The City Attorney has been consulted regarding the proposed pilot program and would review the process and requirements of any proposed rental assistance program if the Council decides to proceed.

The Subcommittee addressed challenging issues regarding rental assistance, providing general suggestions for the application, eligibility criteria, and lottery selection process, noting alternative approaches when committee members differed on certain issues.

At this week’s meeting, the Council will receive the presentation and will consider releasing the committee for its duties.

You can read the final committee report here: Need Based Student Subsidy Draft Final Report 4.5.24.

Public Hearing on Rhode Island Avenue Traffic Calming in Calvert Hills

At next week’s Council meeting, the City Council will conduct a public hearing regarding the installation of Traffic Calming measures on the 7200 Block of Rhode Island Avenue. A traffic calming study conducted between Calvert Road and Harvard Road identified concerns such as bicyclists traveling against traffic and conflicts at intersections. After a public hearing, the Mayor and Council referred the matter to the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which endorsed the concept of contra bike lanes.

Recommendations include constructing barriers at intersections to separate motor vehicle and bicycle lanes, with planting material in the center. At the intersection with Calvert Road, a barrier will create two lanes, one 11 feet wide for vehicles and bicycles entering Rhode Island Avenue and another 5 feet wide exclusively for bicycles entering Calvert Road against traffic.

At the intersection with Harvard Road, due to narrow width, a barrier will prevent motor vehicles from entering Rhode Island Avenue against traffic, with a sign indicating entry for bicyclists. The barrier will be made of white concrete for visibility, and the travel lane will be 11-feet wide. These measures aim to enhance safety and accommodate bicycle traffic on the one-way street.

Honoring Lakeland’s Legacy: The Importance of Renaming the Community Center

At next week’s meeting, the City Council will consider supporting a letter to the M-NCPPC to rename the “College Park Community Center” to “Lakeland College Park Community Center” and “Lake Artemesia Natural Area” to “Lake Artemesia Natural Area at Lakeland”.

This request seeks to honor Lakeland’s historical importance in College Park and its cultural heritage. The area’s rich history and contributions warrant acknowledgment and remembrance. Despite being overlooked, the Lakeland community has made substantial historical, cultural, and social impacts on College Park. This proposal aims to celebrate and embrace the community’s diverse and vibrant history, extending beyond a mere name change.

The requests came from City’s Restorative Justice Commission, which is examining past harms caused by Urban Renewal and the City of College Park on the Lakeland Community to pursue restoration. Renaming the community center would honor diversity and inclusivity, serving as a reminder of these values. It would also educate future generations about the area’s historical significance in shaping the city.

UMD Reading Camp

The Summer Reading Program provides reading instruction and tutoring to children who are experiencing difficulty with reading.

The program is for students in kindergarten through 7th grade in the 2023-2024 school year. Children attend the program from 9AM to 12PM on Monday through Friday from July 8 to July 25, 2024.

The program is taught by certified teachers who are enrolled in or have recently completed the graduate program in reading and literacy in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Register by April 25, 2024 at www.collegeparkmd.gov/readingcamp24.

Celebrate Groundbreaking of College Park Club House

Please join us on Friday, April 12, 2024, for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new community clubhouse that will be located at 3545 Marlbrough Way in College Park Woods! Ceremony will begin at 9am. All are welcome!

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