College Park Airport Now Hosts Award Winning Police Surveillance Unit

Award-Winning Prince George’s County Aviation Unit Wins Awards For Surveillance Work, Housed At College Park Airport. Please check more here on WUSA9 news.

Cops on Donut Shops This Weekend

COPS on Rooftops

Police Officers from the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety will collect donations for Special Olympics Maryland on the rooftop of the College Park Dunkin’ Donuts the weekend of Sept. 29th – 30th, 2012.

Anyone who ever thought nothing good could come from cops sitting around (or in this case ON) a donut shop might reconsider that notion when “Cops on Rooftops” – a fundraiser for Special Olympics Maryland — comes to the College Park Dunkin’ Donuts location on Saturday, September 29th through Sunday, September 30th, 2012.

As part of a national fundraising effort for Special Olympics Maryland, five good-natured officers from the University of Maryland Police Department – Officers Brown, Dykstra, Mable, Powers and Meekins have volunteered to spend the day on the roof of Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant at 9701 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD. Their collective fundraising goal is $6,000.00.

In 2009, the first year a Maryland location participated in the promotion, the Laurel Dunkin’ Donuts and Laurel Police Department raised more than $7,000. In 2010, five Dunkin Donut locations partnering with law enforcement raising $30,000 for Special Olympics Maryland. In 2011, eight Dunkin’ Donuts locations across the state took part in the program: Laurel, College Park, Westminster, Towson, Reisterstown, Havre de Grace, Mount Rainier and California.

Dunkin’ Donuts customers and the general public alike are encouraged to stop by and support the officers in their efforts to raise both funds and awareness for the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Maryland. Along with law enforcement volunteers who will be on the rooftop, other officers will greet customers inside and outside of the store, passing around donation jars and rallying support for the cause. There will also be a silent auction as well as a raffle for items. A merchandise table will also be set up, with Torch Run t-shirts for sale as well as raffle tickets for a 2011 Harley-Davidson XL1200 Nightster donated by Rommel of Annapolis Harley Davidson.

“Cops and donuts have a long, humorous history together, so it was only fitting that we team up with the great folks at Dunkin’ Donuts for this light-hearted event,” said David B. Mitchell, Chief of Police of the University of Maryland Police Department. “This event allows us to do something great for an incredible organization and poke a little fun at ourselves at the same time. What could be better than that?” The event was founded on the idea by the law enforcement officers of Illinois, who in 2009, took to the rooftops of 94 Dunkin’ Donuts locations across the state and raised more than $182,000.

SOMD is a year-round sports organization dedicated to providing quality sports training and competition opportunities to Maryland’s children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or closely related development disabilities. SOMD currently serves 10,000 athletes statewide, and offers 28 sports, all at no cost to the athletes or their families. For more information about SOMD visit www.somd.org or call 410-789-6677.

Azteca Celebrates First Anniversary!

Azteca austomer appreciation Event

Come out this weekend to support Azteca Restaurant & Cantina, a locally-owned and independent restaurant, as they celebrate their 1 Year Anniversary!

Azteca is located on Route 1 at 9505 Baltimore Ave.

In honor of the anniversary, the restaurant is hosting a customer appreciation event on Saturday night beginning at 6:30pm.

Additionally, if you bring the flyer (on the left – print or phone) you will receive a complimentary appetizer with purchase of an entrée.

Please spread the word!

Council Takes Position on Greenbelt Sector Plan with Overpass Option

Greenbelt Sector Plan Map

In last Tuesday’s Council meting, the City Council approved several comments on the draft MD 193/ Greenbelt sector plan.

I was also very happy to see a compromise made in regards to the overpass between north College Park and Greenbelt.

Per this amendment, the feasibility study of this overpass will not include the Board of education property, as included in the original motion. (We also added the option of having an underpass in addition to overpass)

The amendment would allow connectivity between our two communities, without causing potential negative impacts to many neighbors living near the Board of education property.

I also want to thank everyone who wrote to me about the overpass option.

Here is the amended motion, which passed 4-3.

1.    Revise Strategy 2.5 on page 120 to include conducting a feasibility study for locating and financing a pedestrian/bicycle overpass or underpass in a location other than Huron Street.  Consideration should be given to locations that are south of the Board of Education property (as well as industrial property further south) to Branchville Road.

Help Improve City’s Quality of Life – Join Neighborhood Stabilization Group

City of College Park

In last night’s Council meeting, the City Council formed formed a neighborhood stabilization group in order to help improve the quality of life in our neighborhood.

The formation of this group came after the Council decided to put its rent stabilization ordinance on hold for a year, in the hopes of working collaboratively with a group of stakeholders to look at alternative ways to address the issues that the rent stabilization ordinance was intended to address.

The goal of the previous rent stabilization ordinance was specifically, to prevent the continuing conversion of owner-occupied properties into rental properties, and to address the quality of life issues surrounding the large number of rental properties in the City.

This includes noise concerns, property maintenance, overcrowding, public safety, littering, underage drinking and aggressive behavior.

The Council is looking for two residents from each district who are interested in working as part of a larger Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Workgroup to develop proposals to address these issues. The workgroup will meet a couple of times over the next few months and will also divide into task forces that will meet more frequently.

There will also be a couple of public forums over the next 6 months or so to allow for public input into these issues and discussion of the proposals that the workgroup sets forward.

If you are interested to join this group, please contact me or the council member of your district. Thank you.

Greenbelt Sector Plan Development Alert

Greenbelt sector plan alert

Much has changed since the north College Park community supported the 2001 Greenbelt Sector Plan.

Back in 2001, the community was excited with the idea of having a mixed use development – a development that can potentially have shops, town houses, hotels etc., that can be attractive to residents living in the surrounding area.

The 2012  Greenbelt Sector plan is quite different. In addition to having  the mixed use development, the plan allows developers to construct buildings up to 20 stories tall and a new highway at the Greenbelt Metro Station. There are talks of having a major federal agency such as FBI occupying these buildings, thus raising the questions of integration with the residential characters of the surrounding single family neighborhood.

This may impact single family homes in north College Park. On Sept. 13th, members of the North College Park Citizen’s Association discussed this development and unanimously voted to oppose the Preliminary Greenbelt Metro Area and MD 193 Sector Plan.

A group of residents are alerting their neighbors on these negative impacts.  According to the alert, the proposed plan has the potential to :

  • Introduce noise and light to the neighborhood from the construction of tall buildings and new highways.
  • Fill the neighborhood’s eastern skyline with buildings as tall as 20 stories.
  • Allow construction of new beltway ramps behind Al Huda School and near Hollywood Neighborhood Park.
  • Allow construction of a major new highway to University Boulevard along the east side of the railroad tracks.
  • Change the alignment of Narragansett Run south of the Metro Station.
  • Allow construction of a 3,700 space garage near the end of Lackawanna Street.

If you’re concerned about these changes, please attend Public Hearing on October 2nd at 7:00pm at the County Administration building at Upper Marlboro. A shuttle bus will leave at 4:30 pm from Davis Hall.

Sign our online petition to join other North College Park citizens. http://www.change.org/petitions/prince-george-s-county-planning-board-revise-greenbelt-metro-sector-plan

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.

Crime Down in College Park, Again

Six police agencies operating in College Park came to last week’s Council worksession last week to report statistics regarding criminal activity from the first 9 months of the year. The agencies include, College Park Contract Police, Prince George’s County police, transit police, Park and Planning police, State police, and University of Maryland police. They reported that except vehicle thefts, crime has again gone down in College Park in almost all categories. Police attribute the overall decline in crime to the increasing and improved cooperation between the community and the police through their liaisons and education program.

NCP Crime Stats: Sept 16 – 22, 2012

[mappress mapid=”82″]
Date of
Time of

09/16/20121251THEFT9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
09/17/2012738THEFT FROM AUTO4900 Blk MUSKOGEE ST
09/18/2012827THEFT9600 Blk BALTIMORE AVE
09/18/20121940THEFT FROM AUTO9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
09/20/2012815THEFT5200 Blk PADUCAH RD
09/21/2012907THEFT FROM AUTO5000 Blk STEWART CT
09/21/20121056THEFT FROM AUTO4700 Blk CHEROKEE ST
09/21/20121541THEFT FROM AUTO9200 Blk 48TH PL

Maryland’s New Scooter Law

Here is a video explaining Maryland’s new scooter and mopeds.

September Drug Take Back

Drug take back

The University of Maryland Police will be hosting a site for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The site will be located at the front of the University of Maryland police station located on Rossborough Lane across from Ritchie Coliseum.

This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications. All community members are welcome to drop off unwanted, unused prescription medication.

Americans that participated in the DEA’s fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this past April turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

When the results of the four prior Take-Back Days are combined, the DEA, and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation. In Maryland, 49 agencies collect over 8,116 pounds at 104 take back sites.

UNWASTED: The Future of Business on Earth

College Park’s Committee for a Better Environment (CBE), Community Research is organizing the free screening of the movie “­UNWASTED: The Future of Business on Earth—­followed by a panel discussion on the zero-waste movement” on Thursday, September 27, 7–9 pm, at College Park City Council Chambers (4500 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740)

RSVP is Requested but not required. Please email janiso@erols.com.

In Our Backyard: Every year Prince George’s residents, businesses, and institutions landfill or incinerate at least 500,000 tons ­– over 1 billion pounds — of material. The majority of that “waste” could be reused, recycled, refurbished or composted. Every ton wasted creates land, water and air pollution and translates to energy wasted and lost opportunities to conserve resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create local jobs.

This topic is timely because Prince George’s County Council must submit its 10-year solid-waste plan to the state this year BUT the draft plan that the County’s Department of Environmental Resources has released is business-as-usual. Per-capita trash production is predicted to remain unchanged, there are few concrete suggestions to reduce waste or increase recycling and composting, and the County proposes to build a huge, expensive transfer station to collect and ship our waste out-of-county.

Community Forums on Recreational Interests

College Park Youth and Family Services

The Maryland Park and Planning is holding a total of four forums for College Park for residents to provide information about their recreational interests.

There will be a forum for seniors/adults at 10 am on Tuesday Sep 25 at the College Park Youth Service Center (North College Park address on flyer) and then again at 10 am on Thursday, Sep 27 at the College Park Community Center.

Then at 7 pm, there will be a forum for school age programming on Tuesday, Sept 25 at College Park Youth Service Center (North College Park address on flyer) and then again at 7 pm on Thursday, Sep 27 at the College Park Community Center.

Please see the this flyer for more details. Thank you.

Council to Discuss City’s Position on Greenbelt Sector Plan

A balloon test showing a potential 18 story building rising next to north College Park neighborhood

At tonight’s Council work session, the City Council will discuss the draft greenbelt sector plan and brainstorm a letter to Park and Planning with its position on the plan. The Council will vote on the position letter in the next week’s Council meeting.

Last Thursday, the North College Park Civic Association (NCPCA) took a position against the draft plan expressing a number of concerns. Later NCPCA president John Krouse sent the Mayor and Council a letter with the following concerns:

1. Beltway Ramps. The 2012 Plan proposes a new alignment of the proposed Beltway Interchange near the Metro Station that would bring the ramps closer to the North College Park community and would increase noise, light, and pollution into our homes.

The proposed alignments are very different from the ‘preferred option’ of the Maryland State Highway Administration for the construction of new ramps to the Metro Station from the Beltway. The ‘preferred option’ was endorsed by NCPCA, and was reflected in the 2001 Sector Plan. The new ramping system contradicts the SHA study and the previously communicated priorities of NCPCA.

2. Highway Alignment: The 2012 Plan is unclear regarding the alignment of the new Greenbelt Station Parkway. Although the text on page 138 indicates an ‘eastern alignment’ just west of the Indian Creek stream valley and State of Maryland preservation land, the maps on p. 121 and p. 131 clearly show the road in a ‘western alignment’ near homes in College Park.

The ‘western alignment’ indicated would reverse the ‘eastern alignment’ of the 2001 Sector Plan, and would increase noise, light, and pollution into our homes. The ‘western alignment’ would also negatively impact sensitive environmental areas of Narragansett Run, and may adversely impact stormwater flow from College Park.

The ‘western alignment’ is contrary to the previously communicated priorities of NCPCA regarding this highway. Although the 2012 Plan provides a strategy to preserve Narragansett Run in its current stream alignment to the fullest extent possible, it is not clear how this goal can be accomplished given the highway alignment shown on p. 121 and p. 136.

The 2012 Plan also does not include new strategies to offset runoff from impervious surface being added in the South Core, which may have negative impacts on College Park residents. Concerns about flooding caused by the development of impervious surfaces in the South Core have previously been communicated by NCPCA to M-NCPPC. Flooding and groundwater drainage are major concerns of North College park residents.

3. Architectural Design. The 2012 Plan does not provide sufficient guidance to promote attractive development facing College Park residents at the Greenbelt Metro, and does not adequately address direct visual and shading impacts, or impacts caused by noise and light reflection into homes. Page 322 allows up to 100% glass fenestration of wall area for a major employer or GSA campus.

It is also unclear how the security requirements of a major GSA tenant would be incorporated into the development, given the public uses of the Greenbelt Metro Station and the proximity of nearby homes. College Park residents have consistently raised concerns about these issues, including concerns about the proximity and design of Metro parking garages.

The 2012 Plan does not provide adequate guidance and strategies to address these concerns.

4. Building Height. The 2012 Plan does not provide adequate guidance regarding the building height transition zone from the Metro Station and railroad tracks. NCPCA continues to have concerns about the height of these buildings and their distance from homes in College Park.

Although the building height transition zone of p. 204 shows a maximum building height of 12 stories, the text on the same page indicates that 250 ft east of the Metro Station the maximum height could be 20 stories. The text on p. 203 prominently states “Building heights outside the 250-foot height transition zone may range from 4 to 20 stories.”

NCPCA residents are concerned that buildings up to the 8-floor maximum within the 250-foot building height transition zone as well as the 20 story maximum outside the transition zone would tower over our neighborhoods and reduce access to light in the morning.

Building heights and step-backs from the Metro Station and railroad tracks have been a major concern of College Park residents and the previously communicated priorities of NCPCA. These concerns have not been adequately addressed in the 2012 Plan.

Lastly, it unclear what impact the guidance of the 2012 Plan would have in view of zoning approvals granted since adoption of the 2001 Sector Plan which have since been connected to a widespread criminal conspiracy.

Council to Consider New Parking Zone Near Metro

Parking zoning map (existing)

A few weeks back, some residents who reside at the East end of Lackawanna Street (close to Metro) have requested me to consider establishing a new residential parking permit restricted zone.

The residents are concerned about other residents from the existing Zone 3 who park their cars near the East end of Lackawanna Street to be closer to the Metro. The complainants also are concerned about commuters who use the streets near the intersection of 53rd Avenue and Lackawanna Street, and the dead end section, as a “Kiss and Ride” drop off and pick up spot for the Metro station.

In tomorrow’s worksession, the Council will discuss and consider adopting a new permit zone on a part of Lackawanna street near Metro.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Walk and Talk with Police, This Thursday

Walk and Talk May 2011

Take a walk with your police officers and your neighbors this Thursday and talk with folks living at at the houses YOU identified as “problem houses”.

Please join the Walk and if you can or let the Police know of any house you would like added to the list.

The Walk and Talk will continue from 6 pm – 8 pm, this Thursday, September 20th.

The group will meet outside City Hall.

The event is sponsored Sponsored by: Prince George’s County Police Department. Please contact  Officer Black  of PGPD at JJBlack@co.pg.md.us; 202.669.7800 or Lisa Miller of Prince George’s Property Owners’ Association (PGPOA) at terprealestate@comcast.net; 301.704.1342