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College Park Academy Information Session – Today

College Park Academy will host an information session for prospective parents and students on today, January 16, at 7 p.m. at the College Park City Hall located at 4500 Knox Road in College Park.

The new public charter school is scheduled to open to students in grades 6 and 7 for the 2013-2014 school year. For details on the Academy or to request information, click here to visit the school’s webpage

Council Set to Finalize New City Logo and Tagline

A proposed City logo and tag line

In March 2012, the City of College Park issued a Request for Proposals for a marketing plan to attract residents and businesses.

This led to the selection of a consultant, idfive, LLC (idfive), who conducted a wide range of research that culminated in the presentation of three brand concepts including a logo and tagline for each, at the November 7, 2012 worksession.

In order to test these items, staff collected resident and target audience feedback and presented the responses at the December 4, 2012 worksession. At that meeting City Council reached a consensus to select “A Smart Place to Live” as the tagline and the triptych image as the logo; however, the final details of the logo have not been approved.

A draft marketing plan has been prepared for review. A member of idfive’s team will be present at tonight’s worksession to discuss the proposed marketing plan. The consultant has proposed three different ways to market the City’s image – raising awareness of the brand, educating internal audiences to create a deeper understanding of what the brand means, and mobilizing audiences to take action, whether it involves buying a home in College Park or promoting the benefits of the City to friends, family and business associates.

The consultant proposes a marketing campaign with budget implications for the City, which will at minimum include incorporating the new brand into a website design, but could also include advertising in Metro, placing billboards along heavily traveled DC commuter corridors, advertising on websites and through paid Google search ads, advertising through social media and Pandora, and placing advertisements in local newspapers or through brochures and pamphlets aimed at target audiences. The Council will review our options and decide how to proceed.

NCP Crime Stats: Jan 5-12, 2013

Please see below last week’s crime report in the area and let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.

[mappress mapid=”98″]
Date of
Incident
Time of
Incident
Incident
Type

Location
01/08/20131432AUTO, IMPOUND9000 Blk 48TH PL
01/09/2013616THEFT FROM AUTO9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
01/09/2013808THEFT FROM AUTO9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
01/09/2013937THEFT FROM AUTO9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
01/09/20131335THEFT9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
01/10/20131434THEFT FROM AUTO4700 Blk CADDO ST

College Park Public Forum on Quality of Life Issues

The College Park City Council recently created a “Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Workgroup” to explore new strategies for addressing issues related to the increasing use of single-family houses as group rental houses over the past several decades. The group was created in the context of City Council discussions about whether to continue the City’s rent stabilization ordinance or consider alternative strategies for pursuing the underlying goals of that policy. Those goals included improving the affordability of student housing, improving the balance between owner-occupied and rental housing in College Park neighborhoods, and addressing quality of life concerns associated with rental houses in College Park such as noise, littering, code violations, underage drinking, public urination, aggressive behavior, vandalism, and crime.

The Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Workgroup includes 27 members representing long-term residents, students, landlords, University officials, police, and City officials. The group has been asked to develop ideas for specific strategies that the City, University, landlords, students, and other stakeholders could use to produce measurable improvements towards the above goals.

As one of the first steps in this process, the group is hosting a public forum for members of the greater College Park community to come and provide input about the concerns and ideas that you have about neighborhood quality of life issues and housing issues. This public forum will be held on Tuesday, January 29 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall (4500 Knox Road). This is an important event for community members to help inform and guide this work as it moves forward, and all are encouraged to attend. The group also expects to hold a second forum in the spring to allow community members to hear and react to ideas developed by the Workgroup.

In addition, community members may submit comments via email to qualityoflife@collegeparkmd.gov.

Additional Information
The workgroup is co-chaired by councilmembers Patrick Wojahn and Stephanie Stullich. The resolution authorizing the creation of the group provided for a total of 27 members to represent specific stakeholders, including the mayor, 4 councilmembers (1 per council district), 8 residents (2 per council district), 4 landlords, 4 students, 2 university officials, 2 police representatives (UMPD and PGPD), and 2 city staff.

The group has formed four subcommittees (“task forces”) to work on specific sets of issues:

o Issue Reduction (e.g., noise, underage drinking, vandalism, litter, overcrowding, etc.)
o Home Ownership (e.g., owner occupancy, attracting faculty to the city)
o Community Building (e.g., student-resident relations)
o Diversity of Housing Options (e.g. additional rental options for undergraduate and graduate students, affordable housing, development of new non-student housing)

Participants in the public forum are encouraged to comment on any or all of these four issue areas.

The goal is for the workgroup to complete most of its work by the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

Winter CSA at MOMs in North College Park

Winter CSA at MoM

My Organic Market is teaming up with Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative (LFFC) to offer a winter CSA! The CSA (community supported agriculture) provides you with a seasonal variety of local, Certified Organic produce from the LFFC network of over 80 Lancaster County family farms.

The 2013 Winter CSA is 12 weeks long. Deliveries will be on Wednesdays, with the first pick-up on January 23rd and the last on April 10thThe deadline for signing up is January 17th. There must be a minimum of 30 shares sold for LFFC to secure MOMs as a drop-off location. If the minimum membership is not met, the CSA will be canceled. So encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to sign up!

There will be three shares to choose from:

Winter Vegetable Share ($250.00)

The Winter Vegetable Share includes 5 – 8 vegetable items per week. Through the cold, dark days of January and February our farmers are still working hard to harvest many root vegetables and other hearty veggies. As we move in to March and April micro-greens and other early spring veggies will begin to show up in the shares. This is a great way to keep organic, locally grown vegetables in your diet throughout Winter. Choose this option if you would like ONLY the winter veggies delivered to your location.

Vegan Value Package ($400.00)

The “Vegan Value Package” is for those looking to keep their diet animal free and to add a little more sustenance to their weekly vegetable share delivery. Included are some great locally sourced products, as well as nationally recognized non-dairy milk options. With this package you can expect a weekly delivery of the 5-8 item Winter Vegetable Share PLUS:

  • A loaf of vegan friendly bread (various types of bread throughout season, A Loaf of Bread Bakery, Lancaster, PA)
  • 2 vegan friendly items on a rotating basis:
    • Tofu (Fresh Tofu, Allentown, PA)
    • Seitan (Ray’s Seitan, Allentown, PA)
    • Veggie Burgers (Asherah’s Gourmet, Lancaster, PA)
    • LFFC made pantry item (sauerkraut, applesauce, jam, canned peaches, horseradish, or another LFFC farmer made pantry product)

Omnivore Value Package ($470.00)

The “Omnivore Value Package” is for those who would like to add a little more sustenance, variety and surprise to their weekly winter delivery. With this package you can expect a weekly delivery of the 5-8 item Winter Vegetable Share PLUS:

  • One LFFC sourced, frozen, grass-fed, non-GMO meat item on a rotating basis (beef cubes, ground beef, bacon, sausage, ham steak, beef patties, or chops)
  • One LFFC made pantry item (honey, sauerkraut, applesauce, jam, canned peaches, horseradish, flour, or other LFFC farmer made pantry product)
  • One LFFC sourced cheese (goat, cow, or sheep)

To sign up, please visit: http://lancasterfarmfresh.csasignup.com/members/types. Hurry, the deadline is January 17th!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact LFFC at csa@lancasterfarmfresh.com or MOMs at 301-220-1100.

Residents Take a Look at Rhode Island Avenue Pedestrian Safety Solution

Sandi Dunmyer from Spot Devices attended last night’s NCPCA meeting and talked about the Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon (RRFB] devices. We’re planning to install these devices on Rhode Island avenue to improve pedestrian safety there. Please see the video below to find how exactly these devices will work.

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: Pedestrian Safety, JPI West and Greenbelt Sector Plan

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and thus is the day for our January NCPCA meeting.

We have been discussing the possibility of having Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) at various locations on Rhode Island avenue as a way to improve pedestrian safety on Rhode Island Avenue. The City allocated around $45K for pedestrian safety improvement on Rhode Island avenue.

Based on our City engineer’s initial research, we think RRFB from Spot Devices a good candidate for this project. Sandi Dunmyer from Spot Devices will attend the NCPCA meeting tonight and talk about these devices. She will need about 45 minutes for her presentation.
The choice of materials could have a big impact on safety to Duvall Field and other destinations. Please come and let us knowthis be what locations the City should select.

A new developer for the JPI West development on Route 1will make a presentation on concepts for this development will be and seek your comments. NCPCA had major input in the previous design, but nothing was built. The outcome could have a big impact on Autoville and north College Park along Route 1

A few months ago, NCPCA voted unanimously to oppose the Sector Plan, and our City made several requests to Park and Planning to change it in ways that would protect our community. Now our City Council is working to prepare the final response before the County Council takes a vote to approve, amend or reject it.

As always, the meeting will take place at Davis Hall at 7:30 pm. Hope to see you all there.

Missing Edgewood Rd Resident Found Unharmed

UPDATE: The Channel 9 is reporting that Peters has been found unharmed.

The Prince George’s County Police Department is seeking the public’s help in finding a critical missing person identified as 84 year-old Paul Elmer Peters.

He was last seen on January 7, 2013, at 5:00 pm leaving his home in the 5100 block of Edgewood Road in College Park. He was wearing a gray and blue shirt and black pants.

According to the PGPD blog, Mr Peters was seen in the area of Maryland Route 301 and Mattawoman Beantown Road near Waldorf, on January 8, 2013 around 5:00 am.

He was driving a 2006 white Dodge Charger with Maryland tags BK0010. Peters suffers from dementia and high blood pressure and may be in need of his medication.

Peters is described as a white male, 6’1”, 210 pounds, with brown eyes and salt and pepper hair.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s District I Investigative Section at (301) 699-2601.

City to Annex Domain Property

Domain at College Park

In tonight’s meeting, the Council will formally introduce a resolution for annexation of the Domain, a market-rate mixed-use housing and retail project.

The Domain at College Park sits at the south-western quadrant of the intersection of Campus Drive and Mowatt Lane and also just west of the current City borders.  At its full build-out, the Domain at College Park will have 225 residential units and 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail.

The developer has consented to annexation as part of an agreement for the City to support the development, and the City has agreed to a 30% reduction in the property tax rate for the first five fiscal years after annexation.

A public hearing will be held and the Council will vote on this resolution on February 12, 2013.
[mappress mapid=”97″]

NCP Crime Stats: Dec 30, 2012 – Jan 5, 2013

Please see below last week’s crime report in our area and let me know if you have any questions.

[mappress mapid=”96″]
Date of
Incident
Time of
Incident
Incident
Type

Location
12/31/20121654THEFT4700 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
01/01/20132245B & E, RESIDENTIAL4700 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
01/02/2013900THEFT FROM AUTO4700 Blk BLACKFOOT RD
01/02/20131123B & E, RESIDENTIAL10100 Blk BALTIMORE AVE
01/02/20131202THEFT FROM AUTO4700 Blk CATAWBA ST
01/02/20131353THEFT9400 Blk 48TH PL
01/02/20131444THEFT FROM AUTO5000 Blk ODESSA RD
01/03/20131559THEFT FROM AUTO4900 Blk NIAGARA RD

Albert “Pete” Lakeland

Peter Lakeland at NCPCA meeting

The long time resident Peter Lakeland is no longer with us. His son William Lakeland posted a message on this blog with the sad news.

Per this Washington Post obituary, Peter Lakeland Jr. died at the age of  83. He was a former Foreign Service officer who later served as minority counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, died Nov. 16 at the Emeritus assisted living center in Arlington after a heart attack.

From 1967 until he retired in 1990, Mr. Lakeland was a Senate staffer, initially in the office of then-Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R-N.Y.), later as a staff member and minority counsel with the Foreign Relations Committee.

His work there included strategic arms limitation issues, Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East and helping draft the 1973 War Powers Act, which placed limits on the exercise of military force by the president in undeclared war.

From 1956 to 1967, Mr. Lakeland was a Foreign Service officer whose postings included Mumbai and New Delhi.

Albert Ashton Lakeland Jr. was born in Baldwin, N.Y. He graduated from Princeton University in 1951 and received a master’s degree in English from Columbia University in 1953. He was a 1972 graduate of the University of Maryland law school.

He lived in College Park until entering Emeritus a month ago.

His marriage to the former Dorothy Wingate ended in divorce. Survivors include three children, Nancy Ocean of Sterling, Peter A. Lakeland of Snow Hill, Md., and William S. Lakeland of College Park; a brother; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

College Park Academy Opens Admission for 2013 Session

College Park Academy

The new middle and high school College Park Academy has opened its admission for 2013 classes.

The school will be one of the first major examples of the University District Vision which President Loh and the Council have embraced. The idea came from City leaders and the City is the rock on which it is being built.

The school will open this fall with grades 6 and 7 at St Mark’s while we work with the City, other property owners, and neighborhoods to get agreement on the permanent location in the City (or locations, if we decide on splitting the middle school and high school.) We’ll be working with the City on these issues this spring.

Parents from College Park and across the County are inquiring about CPA and some have already applied.

The University and the School System have been great partners, helping in many practical ways.

Frank Brewer, who retired from UMCP and whom all of you know, is doing a fabulous job at CPA Interim Executive Director, while we recruit the permanent one.

The deadline for applications is January 31. If there are more applicants than seats by then,  a lottery will be held in early February.

The best way for parents to learn about CPA is to go to its website: http://CollegeParkAcademy.com

There they can read about its rigor and partnership with UMCP, find self-diagnostic tests for students and parents to help decide if CPA is right for their family, find out how to get their questions answered, and apply.

You know whether or not your neighbors know about CPA and are interested. If there are folks you know in College Park and elsewhere in Prince George’s who you think should know, please share the website with them.

Talk of Firefighter Removal Raises Concerns

The Branchville Volunteer Fire Company in College Park Volunteer Chief Richard Leizear says he has been informed by Prince George’s County officials that they are considering removing the paid, unionized, career firefighters supplied by the county who cover the day shift when volunteers are not available.

The Branchville Volunteer Fire Company is the closest firefighter department serving north College Par residents. The effect of removal would be that our residents would depend on neighboring fire companies to come when no one is at Branchville.

In last Wednesday’s worksession, the City Council decided to draft and send a letter to the County officials asking them to reconsider the move. The issue will be part of a consent agenda item in next Tueday’s Council meeting.

In the mean time, please contact your County council member Mary Lehman ( MALehman@co.pg.md.us] ) in District 1 and Eric Olson ( EOlson@co.pg.md.us ) of District 3 with your concerns.

Prostitution in College Park: Sensational News or a Real Problem?

Prostitution Ring Arrest in College Park

In last night’s Council meeting, we had an interesting discussion on recent prostitution sting operation that happened over the break time in December.

This is the third time, Police ran this kind of sting operation arresting 37 from one of College Park hotels. In August last year, police nabbed 30 in a similar operation.

I would believe the issue is a temporary or a declining one, but I don’t see any sign of abating. Every time the police makes this kind of operation in the city, it arrests 2 to 3 dozens people.

So far the City Council has asked the hotels to stop partial day rental, but I wonder should we do more? What about we take lessons from other cities that have similar problems?

True, College Park has an ever increasing number of hotels, all along Route 1 that could be serving as magnets for prostitutes and their clients, but should we accept that as a reality of life and a non-stoppable crime issue?

I understand news media loves to bring news like this with much sensation. But, sensational or not, I think the prostitution news is working against our effort to promote the city as the best place to live and work. We can hide our faces in the sand and pretend nothing has happened, but that does not do any good to fix the problem.

Many of the hotels in north College Park are close to single family houses in residential neighborhoods. I’ve also heard complaints from residents saying that they often see prostitution related activities on their streets near Route 1. Could these activities be related to prostitution activities in the hotels?

The Council hopes to discuss the issue along with other public safety related issues in another upcoming work session some time in February. I’d love to hear from you what you think about the whole issue.

Council to Review Planning Board’s Comments on Greenbelt Sector Plan

At tonight’s worksession, the City Council will discuss the comments approved by the Prince George’s County Planning Board (M-NCPPC) on Greenbelt Sector Plan.

The M-NCPPC approved a resolution adopting the Greenbelt Metro Area and MD 193 Corridor Sector Plan and endorsing the Sectional Map Amendment (the Plan) for transmittal to the District Council for final approval. The resolution contains over 100 substantive changes to the Plan and a list of technical changes. The District Council will hold a worksession within the next two months prior to taking action on the plan. The District Council may approve, amend or disapprove the plan. If the plan is amended to include material not addressed in the record, an additional joint public hearing with the Planning Board must be held.

Unfortunately, while the planning board addressed some concerns expressed by north College Park residents, a number of key concerns remained unresolved.

The maximum building height in the North Core shall be limited to 12 stories without exception. The Planning Board did not change the Plan.  The City opposes allowing 20-story buildings to be constructed in the North Core under any circumstances because of the negative impact on the North College Park community. Whether the market will support additional height is not a relevant consideration. Limiting a major employer’s lot coverage to 25% will only serve to drive the height of buildings up unnecessarily.

Also, it is not clear whether parking garages need to comply with the building height standards and how close they may be located to the train tracks. The Planning Board did not revise the Plan although staff recommended that adding a new standard would be appropriate.

Additionally, the Planning Board did not change the Plan retaining the approved design for the 1-95/1-495 Greenbelt Metro Access Improvement Project. From their comments, it is not clear why the Plan is deviating from the existing planned location and design of the beltway ramps. This project has been approved by the State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Federal Highway Administration and can enter the Final Design phase if funding is identified. It is not known if SHA supports this recommendation.

M-NCPPC staff also commented that they do not support or advocate the realignment of Narragansett Run except in noting that some temporary changes to the waterway may be necessary during the construction of the Greenbelt Station Parkway bridge. The Planning Board made the following changes to the Plan.

At tonight’s Council meeting, we’ll review the Planning Board’s response to the City’s testimony and send a letter to the District Council requesting action on the items where the Planning Board did not support the City’s recommendations.