Kabir Cares

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

Ice Cream Social – Tomorrow @ CP Woods Park

BEAT THE HEAT WITH FREE ICE CREAM
3:00 PM, SUNDAY, JULY 14TH IN THE CPW PARK.

Ice Cream, drinks, games and crafts for the kids, A book swap, story time, live music. Fun for the entire family. All CPW residents are welcome.
BEST OF ALL- IT IS FREE!!

Sponsored by the College Park Woods Neighborhood Watch Committee with a grant from the City of College Park

Waste and Recycling Next Week

We are anticipating extremely hot temperatures next Monday(99 degrees), Tuesday(100 degrees), and Wednesday(97 degrees).

To protect the health safety and welfare of our City employees, the Public Works Department will begin picking up the waste, recycling, and yard debris beginning at 6 a.m.

As you all are aware our Noise Ordinance normally requires us to pick up no earlier than 7 am. However, the health, safety, and welfare of our employees to provide these essential services requires this action.

Temperatures on Thursday and Friday next week are expected to fall below 90 degrees.

Today’s Friday Night Live Cancelled

Unfortunately, due to forecasted heavy rain and thunderstorms, tonight’s Friday Night Live! has been cancelled.  

The safety of our attendees and staff is paramount and with thunderstorms predicted for this evening, we want to ensure that everyone stays safe (and dry).

The City apologizes for any inconvenience and hope to see you (and the sunshine) at our next event!  For our full event listings, please visitwww.collegeparkmd.gov/events.

 

Spotted Lanternfly Alert in College Park

Lanternfly nymphs have been spotted in College Park. If you see one of these non-native invasive insects, report its location with a photo to the MDA and then squash it. Learn more via the flyer below or by visiting https://mda.maryland.gov/spottedlanternfly. Questions and complaints should be directed to dontbug.md@maryland.gov.

Council Supports Approval of Development Plan at 9621 Autoville Drive with Conditions

At this week’s City Council meeting, the Council had a lengthy discussion about the proposed development at 9621 Autoville Road, called “Autoville Residence.” In the end, the Council voted 7-1, supporting the approval with conditions of Preliminary Plan of Subdivisions 4-23035. Specifically, the Council recommended:

The Planning Board will review this project on July 18, 2024.

School Summer Meals Program

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) will offer free summer meal service at 25 school sites for youth under age 18 now through Friday, August 9. Breakfast will be served from 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM and lunch from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. Meals must be eaten on site, and dates and times are subject to change.

For a complete list of school sites, visit the PGCPS Summer Meals website here. Additional free meal locations can be found on the Maryland Summer Meals website here.

UMD Proposes Sustainable Energy Solutions for the Future


The University of Maryland proposes the Next Gen Energy project, which will stand at the forefront of this vital movement, showcasing innovative solutions and a commitment to environmental stewardship. This project is set to transform the university’s energy infrastructure and serve as a model for institutions and communities worldwide.

What is the Next Gen Energy Project?
The Next Gen Energy project is an initiative by the University of Maryland to overhaul its energy systems, focusing on sustainability, efficiency, and resilience. By integrating cutting-edge technologies and sustainable practices, the project aims to reduce the campus’s carbon footprint, promote renewable energy, and ensure long-term energy security.

Key Components of the Project
Renewable Energy Integration
The project plans to significantly increase the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, within the university’s energy mix. This shift will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote the use of clean, inexhaustible energy sources.

Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Comprehensive upgrades to the university’s existing energy infrastructure are a core component of the Next Gen Energy project. This includes modernizing HVAC systems, improving building insulation, and implementing smart energy management systems to optimize energy use.

Resilient Energy Systems
To ensure uninterrupted energy supply and enhance resilience against natural disasters and other disruptions, the project incorporates microgrid technology. This allows the university to operate independently from the main grid during emergencies, maintaining essential services and operations.

Sustainable Campus Design
The project emphasizes sustainable design principles in new and renovated buildings. This includes using eco-friendly materials, maximizing natural lighting, and incorporating green spaces to create a healthier and more sustainable campus environment.

Community and Educational Impact
Beyond its technical aspects, the Next Gen Energy project is designed to impact the University of Maryland community and beyond profoundly. It serves as a living laboratory for students, faculty, and researchers, providing hands-on learning opportunities and fostering innovation in sustainable energy technologies.

Furthermore, the project underscores the university’s commitment to environmental leadership. By setting ambitious sustainability goals and achieving them, the University of Maryland inspires other institutions to follow suit, amplifying these efforts’ global impact.

Looking Ahead
According to the UMD, the Next Gen Energy project is more than just an upgrade to the university’s energy systems; it is a bold step towards a sustainable future. As climate change continues to pose significant challenges, initiatives like this demonstrate the power of proactive, forward-thinking solutions. The University of Maryland is leading the way in creating a sustainable, energy-secure future for all by harnessing the potential of renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency, and building resilient systems.

For more information on the Next Gen Energy project and its progress, visit nextgen.umd.edu.

The UMD representatives will present the project at tomorrow’s City Council meeting.

Council to Discuss Proposed Housing Development in Autoville

921 Autoville development (photo credit: Diamondback)At next week’s meeting, the City Council will discuss the preliminary plan for the subdivision at 9621 Autoville Drive. Donan Enterprises proposes turning the current single-family residence into a modern, multifamily housing complex, bringing much-needed residential options to our community.

The proposed development will see the existing house on the 0.533-acre parcel razed for up to 10 multifamily units. These units will adopt a “2 over 2” architectural style and will be housed within a four-story building. The exact zoning ordinance under which this project will be reviewed is still under consideration due to the property’s split zoning status under the previous ordinance (M-U-I and C-S-C zones). However, under the new zoning ordinance, the parcel falls under the NAC (Neighborhood Activity Center) zone, where multifamily development is permissible.

The parcel is bordered by Autoville Drive to the west, with various private properties along Baltimore Avenue to the north, east, and south. The site is currently home to an 884-square-foot house built in 1957. The surroundings include a place of worship (Chinese Bible Church) to the west, a commercial building to the north (Southern Management Corporation), storage facilities and hotels to the east (Extra Space Storage, Red Carpet Inn, and TownePlace Suites), and a vacant woodland to the south​.

The project will also involve environmental management, particularly stormwater. The stormwater management concept plan is under review, particularly considering minimizing impacts on the primary management area (PMA). Plans to install a storm drain to manage an on-site stream may impact the stream and wetland buffers. Recommendations include redesigning the site to preserve the natural state of the stream as much as possible.

Many residents from the North Autoville and Cherry Hill areas have voiced worries about increased traffic, the potential influx of renters, and the overall impact on their quiet neighborhood’s character. They expressed these concerns during a meeting at the Chinese Bible Church a few months ago.

The College Park Tree and Landscape Board also shared its concerns, urging the College Park City Council to ensure the 9621 Autoville Drive redevelopment protects existing trees and effectively manages stormwater. The property lies within the flood-prone Paint Branch watershed. The Board supports additional parking if it has a permeable surface to aid stormwater management and recommends planting new native trees to enhance this further. The goal is to balance redevelopment with environmental protection and community concerns.

The Planning Board will review this project on July 18, 2024. City staff recommends supporting it with the specified conditions.

Council Meeting to Discuss Lowering Voting Age to 16

Voting at polling station (photo credit: NBC News)

At the upcoming council meeting, the City Council will discuss extending the voting franchise in City elections to residents aged 16-18. Currently, seven cities in Maryland allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.

According to staff, these residents can already register with the state and County, so College Park would just need to notify the state of this change.

Implementing this would require an amendment to Section C4 of the City Charter, necessitating a Public Hearing for public input. If the Council wishes to proceed, they can request the City Attorney to draft a Charter Amendment Resolution. This could be implemented by the 2025 election with adequate public education and outreach.

More information about lowering the voting age to 16 can be found at Vote16 USA.

Currently, seven Maryland cities (Takoma Park, Hyattsville, Greenbelt, Riverdale Park, Mount Rainier, Chevy Chase, and Somerset) and two other American cities (Brattleboro, VT, and Newark, NJ) allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.

Staff does not anticipate any cost impact on the election budget in extending voting rights to 16 & 17-year-olds for City elections. There may be a cost associated with advertising the change if a direct mailing is done.
Changes to the City Charter cost about $2,500 in state-required public notice costs (published four times in a
newspaper of record). There is also a cost associated with every update to the City Code/Charter from our Code publisher, General Code.

Heat Wave Warning: D.C., Maryland, and Virginia Brace for 106-Degree Highs

As Washington D.C. and surrounding areas brace for scorching heat today, the National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory, warning residents of potentially dangerous conditions. With temperatures soaring and humidity gripping the air, the advisory remains in effect from 11 AM this morning until 8 PM EDT this evening. The heat index, a measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity is factored with the actual air temperature, could reach up to 106 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

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