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Do you Know any Residents who are 95 Years Old or Better?

In May, Prince George’s County is going to be recognizing and celebrating centenarians who live in our community.

M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation is collecting information about county residents who are ages 95 & older to invite them to a special Centenarian Celebration being held in May. Special recognition will be given to centenarians – residents who are 100 years old & older.

If you know someone who resides in the county, and will be 95 years old or better as of January 1, 2016, please share the information with us no later than February 19, 2016 by:

If you or someone you know is 95 years of age or older as of January 1, 2016, they want to hear from you! Fill out the form here or call the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation at 301-206-3350.

Family Fun Event Bowling Bash

Family Fun Event – Bowling Bash
Sunday, January 31, 2016
1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
AMF College Park Lanes
9021 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, Maryland

The City’s Recreation Board hosts its annual family friendly bowling bash.

$5.00 per person for the first 100 College Park Residents
(increases to $10.00 after)
Cost includes unlimited 10-pin bowling, shoe rental, soda & pizza.

No reservations required
Send comments, questions or suggestions via email to publicservices@collegeparkmd.gov

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: Storm Water Project, Budget Overview and More..

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Tomorrow is the second Thursday of the month and hence the day when the North College Park Civic Association have their monthly meeting.

Tomorrow’s meeting will start with a presentation by County environmental consultant, Ch2m, regarding projects happening in North College Park. The NCPCA has requested project overview, members may get further information ahead of the meeting, if received.

City’s new City Manager Scott Somers will be making a presentation about his new position and have a discussion with the members.

Council member Nagle and I will then talk about the upcoming annual City budget planning process., such as , how input can be given, and what specific, significant budget details may be of interest in North College Park.

As always, the meeting will start at 7:30 at Davis Hall. See you all there.

City to Employ Communications Coordinator

At last week’s Council meeting, the City Council discussed about creating a new position of a Communications Coordinator. This is a full-time position performing a variety of responsible professional and technical duties in support of the City Manager, staff, and the City Council.

Work involves the following qualifications:

  • the coordination of all internal and external communications for the City;
  • the development and enhancement of communications methods which support open, friendly, and responsive government; overseeing media relations, including crisis communications; and the performance of special projects related to communication.
  • exercise considerable independence
  • be well versed in methods to communicate reliable, consistent, and timely information about the programs, procedures, responsibilities, and activities of the City and the City Manager’s office.

Requirements include a Bachelor’s degree in communications, graphic design, public relations, marketing, English, political science, or other related field; a minimum of one year professional experience in the communications field; or any equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. We would consider a graduate student on a part-time basis until available full-time.

Minimum salary is $49,000 (DOQ) with excellent benefits. Please apply at www.collegeparkmd.gov. Open until filled. EEOE.

Developer Presents Greenbelt Station Noise Reflection Study Report

Greenbelt Station Noise Study
The Greenbelt Station developer has sent the study report below on reflected noise from the Greenbelt Station development. The College Park City Council was considering to ask the developer to conduct the noise reflection study at tonight’s Council meeting. Please let me know if you’ve any questions.

Figure below shows an aerial photo of the site. The aerial photo shows the two Metrorail tracks (closer to the Greenbelt Station site), the two CSX railroad tracks (farther from the Greenbelt site), some new roads built on the Greenbelt Station site, and neighboring houses across the railroad in the Hollywood neighborhood.

The approximate locations of the proposed noise wall and three evaluation points labeled A, B, and C are also marked in Figure 1. It can be seen that there are many houses in the Hollywood community to the northwest including those on Huron Street and Iroquois Street. The land
immediately to the west of the Greenbelt Station site is an undeveloped forest bounded by 51st Avenue and Huron Street, with an industrial area further south. We have assumed that the only concern of this analysis is the residential community, and not the forest or industrial area. Locations A, B, and C as labeled in Figure 1 represent the houses on 51st Avenue and Huron Street that are closest to the Greenbelt Station site, as well as a house somewhat farther away.
Previously, we measured sound levels on the Greenbelt Station site in two locations for nearly four days.

Sound levels were extrapolated to other locations on the Greenbelt Station site based on the assumption that sound levels vary solely as a function of distance from the railroad. Based on the predicted noise levels, a noise wall has been proposed to mitigate railroad noise reaching the Greenbelt Station townhouses.

It was determined for freight trains sound levels dropped off at a rate of approximately 6 dB per doubling of distance with the acoustical centerline fairly close to the near edge of the near pair
of CSX tracks, while for Metro trains sound levels dropped off at a rate of approximately 4.5 dB per doubling of distance with the acoustical centerline roughly between the two pairs of Metro tracks. We used this same approach to estimate the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) at locations A, B, and C in Figure. The resulting predictions are that the DNL are 74.6 dB, 66.9 dB, and 74.9 dB at locations A, B, and C, respectively. These sound levels are quite high.

In order to estimate whether the proposed noise wall would amplify railroad noise at locations A, B, and C we used the computer program SPM9613. The SPM9613 algorithms are based on the ISO standards 9613 Parts 1 (1993) and 2 (1996) which consider geometric divergence of sound, attenuation of sound by the atmosphere, and interaction of sound with the ground. The input to the noise model included:
• Three dimensional coordinates of the railroads. The CSX railroad and Metrorail tracks were
each modeled as a series of noise sources located along the centerlines between the pairs of
tracks. The sound power levels were arbitrarily set to 100 dB in all frequency bands; since the
focus is a change in noise level, the absolute sound power levels are not that important. The
source height was 0 up to 15 feet above the tracks.
• Three dimensional coordinates of the top and bottom of the proposed noise wall. It was
conservatively assumed that 100% of the sound hitting the noise wall bounces off (i.e., it has a
reflection coefficient of 1.0).
• Three dimensional coordinates of points A, B, and C, with a nominal height of 5 feet above the
ground, and a medium-hardness ground near them and midway to the railroad.

The resulting prediction is that the noise wall would only increase sound levels 0.1 dB at locations A and B, and 0.0 dB at location C. A change of 3 dB would be just barely perceptible. A change of 0.1 dB is completely imperceptible. In other words, there will be no noticeable reflections and noise levels will not increase noticeably due to the noise wall.

There are two reasons why reflections off the noise wall will not be significant. First, and most
importantly, the noise wall height is not that great relative to the horizontal distance between the noise wall and houses. Second, the noise wall does not extend as far north as the Hollywood houses. If the wall extended past the storm water management pond, the increase in noise level would be somewhat higher.

Three North College Park Motels to Get Conversions

Three North College Park motels are in the process of getting conversions – hopefully with better service.

The Comfort Inn & Suites on Baltimore Avenue is in the process of being converted into a Holiday Inn hotel. In 2016 the 62,818-square foot property will undergo an interior renovation that will transform the property’s 125 rooms.

The Ramada Inn is in the process of being converted into a Days Inn hotel. The 99,078-square foot hotel features 89 surface spaces and 119 rooms.

The Days Inn is in the process of being converted into a Red Roof Inn hotel. The 43,560-square foot hotel features 96 surface parking spaces and 119 rooms.

North College Park Crime Map: January 5-9, 2015

Theft

Event

TypeFromToLocation
[1/06/16]THEFT16:3417:299100 Blk BRIDGEWATER ST,
[1/07/16]THEFT08:2309:039100 Blk 51ST PL,
[1/08/16]THEFT17:0717:569300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD

Groups to Show Free movie on Permaculture

Join the College Park Committee for a Better Environment today AT 4 PM AT CITY HALL. This documentary, introduces permaculture—a design method that offers an ecological lens for solving issues related to agriculture, economics, governance, etc. The film presents a vast array of projects, concepts and people. The directors call it “an introduction to a new way of being and a new way or relating to the earth.”

Buses replace Trains at Greenbelt Station this Weekend

GREEN LINE: Buses replace trains at Greenbelt Station from 7 a.m. Saturday until closing Sunday, this weekend.

Throughout the weekend, Green Line service will operate at regular weekend intervals between College Park and Branch Ave stations. On Saturday and Sunday, no trains will run between College Park & Greenbelt to allow for construction of a new test track to accept Metro’s new fleet of 7000-series railcars. Free shuttle buses will run between College Park and Greenbelt.

Station closed: Greenbelt

Anti-Littering Legislation Becomes Law

Prince George’s County Council Bill 70-2015, legislation doubling the fine for litter to $1000 per violation, has become law.

Council Member Mel Franklin (D) – District 9, lead proposer of the legislation, says CB-70 sends a strong message that there is zero tolerance for litter or poor property standards in our county.

“Litter and the accumulation of litter harms property values and the quality of life in our neighborhoods. We must hold those who willfully choose to do damage to the beauty of our county accountable for their actions.”

CB-70-2015 ensures enforcement and penalties for littering; prohibits the accumulation or deposit of litter; provides for action upon noncompliance; and provides for civil monetary fines and injunctive relief.

North College Park Crime Map: Dec 27, 2015 – Jan 4,2016

Theft

EventTypeFromToLocation
[1/27/15]THEFT113:4114:27BEST BUY – MARKET PLACE,
[12/30/15]THEFT10:2411:069600 Blk MILESTONE WAY
[1/03/16]THEFT15:3016:019200 Blk LIMESTONE PL

 

Theft from Auto

EventTypeFromToLocation
[1/02/16]THEFTA15:2616:439500 Blk BALTIMORE AVE
[1/03/16]THEFTA17:4118:199600 Blk MILESTONE WAY,

Council to Vote on Greenbelt Southcore Development

At tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will discuss and vote on the the Southcore development’s detailed site plan.

At the November 17, 2015 worksession meeting, the Council discussed the Detailed Site Plan (DSP) for Phase III of the Greenbelt Station South Core development. At their regular meeting, November 24, 2015, the Mayor and Council moved to table the request until tonight’s worksession meeting in order for staff to meet with City of Greenbelt staff to obtain comments on a practical location for a pedestrian overpass.

The applicant is in the process of revising their DSP submittal based on comments they received from the City of Greenbelt, the City of College Park and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission staff. The Technical Staff report will not be completed until the revised DSP has been submitted and referrals have been distributed.

The Prince George’s County Planning Board hearing, previously scheduled for January 7, 2016, is tentatively scheduled for February 4, 2016. The Greenbelt City Council is anticipated to take a position on January 11 , 2016. They would like to receive input from the City regarding the pedestrian overpass.

The project is located entirely within the City of Greenbelt and is subject to a Development Agreement between Greenbelt and the Developer. As a result, City staffs review and comments are limited to those issues that directly impact the City of College Park. The main concerns are the location of a pedestrian bridge crossing over the WMA T A/CSX rail corridor and noise impacts from a required noise wall.

City of College Park staff met with City of Greenbelt staff on December 4th to discuss acceptable locations for the pedestrian overpass based on plan revisions made by the Applicant.

Toole Design was requested to propose additional options focused on connecting to new green space provided in the revised plan. On December 28, College Park and Greenbelt staff met to discuss Toole Design’s revised report (Attachment 1). It was determined that Alignment below was the preferred alternative because it best complied with the District Council condition, had the least impact on residents of the Daniels Park neighborhood, and had the least impact on Greenbelt Station residents.

GreenbeltOverpass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GreenbeltOverpass1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City staff recommends approval ofDetailed Site Plan 13045, the South Core of Greenbelt Station, Phase III with the following conditions:
1. Prior to final plat certification, the applicant shall create a lot that is a minimum of 175feet long by 50-feet wide, shown as Alignment 2A in the City of College Park Pedestrian Overpass Feasibility Study Additional Concept Alternatives, Addendum to the Technical Summary. This lot shall be held by the Homeowners’ Association to be turned over to a public agency on demand for construction of a public pedestrian overpass. After 10 years from the date of final plat certification, if a pedestrian overpass has not been constructed, the lot will become the property of the Homeowners’ Association.
2. Prior to certificate approval of the Detailed Site Plan, the applicant shall revise the site plan to relocate the pedestrian overpass to the area shown as Alignment 2A in the City of College Park Pedestrian Overpass Feasibility Study Additional Concept Alternatives, Addendum to the Technical Summary.
3. Prior to certificate approval of the Detailed Site Plan, the applicant shall provide a determination from a certified sound engineer that indicates whether exterior reflective noise from the proposed sound wall will have a perceptible impact to residences on Huron Street from the railroad tracks to 51 51 A venue and to residences on 51st A venue from Blackfoot Place to Huron Street. If there is such an impact, the applicant shall revise the DSP to show a sound wall with an absorptive material or coating in order to mitigate reflective noise. a. The absorptive material or coating shall have a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0. 70 or greater. b. The absorptive material or coating shall be used for the entirety of the west side of the sound wall facing the railroad tracks.
4. Prior to certificate approval of the Detailed Site Plan, the applicant shall provide the City of College Park with broker information and promotional material for the retail site.
5. Subsequent to the determination that Lot 116 is to be retail or a public park and prior to the issuance of a building permit for Lot 116, the applicant shall provide a Detailed Site Plan revision to address site layout and building details.

City to Send Comments on Proposed FBI Development in Greenbelt

Last month, Council decided to form a subcommittee to discuss the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared by GSA and potential impacts that need further analysis. The draft letter states continued support by the City for the Greenbelt alternative as the location for the new FBI Headquarters. Below please find our specific comments associated with the resource areas reviewed in the DEIS.

Water Resources

  • There is uncertainty in the DEIS about the classification and delineation of floodplains and the Prince George’s County process for floodplain impacts. FEMA flood insurance rate maps need to be reconciled with Prince George’s County and the EIS updated to include accurate floodplain delineations and impacts, if necessary.
  • The proposed location of the perimeter fence appears to involve unacceptable changes within the conservation area and should be relocated to avoid impacts to the wooded floodplain. The fence should be constructed as close to the building as necessary and within the existing cleared area of the WMATA parking lot and perimeter road. It is requested that more detail regarding the perimeter fence and its impact be provided.
  • The EIS should include a description and terms of the existing and proposed Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) easements to expand the FBI open space and security buffers. The impact of these easements on proposed public access trail connections should be described and avoided to the extent practicable and the location of all proposed fencing within these easements should be illustrated.
  • There are areas along the Indian Creek and its tributaries that would benefit from stream and floodplain restoration. The EIS should identify one or more mitigation projects for implementation.

Biological Resources

  • The Indian Creek is rich in aquatic and terrestrial species and given the existing and proposed conservation easements on state-owned property, including the security easement to the Federal Government, it is important that these species are well documented and protected and that a sustainable habitat for them be created and celebrated. The list of these species should be updated and confirmed with the most recent information available.

Regional Land Use, Planning Studies and Zoning

  • The extensive development assumed in the Greenbelt No-Action alternative is based on a conceptual plan approved in 2001 and does not represent final approved entitlements. It is highly unlikely that this level of development would occur today or obtain the support of the City of College Park. Furthermore, it contrasts sharply with the Landover No-Action alternative where the site is assumed to remain vacant even though it is zoned for Mixed-Use-Transportation (M-X-T) with up to an 8.0 Floor-to-Area-Ratio (FAR). Neither of these are realistic scenarios or fair comparisons.
  • There is a policy from the Federal Workplace Element of the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital Region (NCR) that is relevant to the project which states, “Federal workplaces are to be compatible with the character of the surrounding properties and community and, where feasible, advance local planning objectives such as neighborhood revitalization.” An assessment of this policy as it relates to the adjoining Hollywood neighborhood is requested.
  • There is a policy from the Federal Transportation Element of the Comprehensive Plan for the NCR that indicates that parking required by Federal employees unable to use other travel modes, should be located in parking structures, preferably below ground. Given the site constraints at Greenbelt, it is requested that this design option be explored.

Visual Resources

  • The design concept for the FBI at Greenbelt assumes a 17-story building. This height exceeds the 12-story height limit supported by the City in the Greenbelt Metro Area and MD 193 Corridor Sector Plan. The GSA is urged to consider final design alternatives that lower the height of the building and reduce the anticipated reflected shadow, reflected noise and reflected light impacts from such a tall building. Construction techniques that attenuate these impacts should also be utilized.
  • The shadow study excludes WMATA replacement parking and other private development buildings that are proposed just outside the project site that will accompany construction of the project. These impacts should be demonstrated.

Read more »

Council to Discuss Permit Parking around the Metropolitan Development:

Recently, it has been brought to our attention that construction workers from the Monument development are parking on Cherokee Street. The parking situation on Cherokee St. and the surrounding streets is expected to get worse with the development of the Metropolitan development, which is planning to start construction of the townhouses around the first of the this year.

Currently, these streets do not have any parking permit restriction, however, in the event a parking permit restriction is instituted, the Metropolitan Development has agreed to make a one-time contribution to the City in the amount of $19,000 to be used to subsidize resident fees associated with a Neighborhood Parking Permit program in the area generally described as between Erie Street and University Boulevard and US Route 1 and Rhode Island A venue.

At the next week’s Council meeting, the Council will review these agreements and will discuss whether to start instituting permit parking restriction on these streets.

Metropolitan Parking

City, UMD to Finalize Bikeshare Plan

At next week’s Council meeting, the City Council will discuss an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University detailing the bikeshare project in College Park.

In 2013, the Mayor and Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and University with respect to division of bikeshare system rights and responsibilities between the parties. This MOU was not signed, due to the fact that a contract with Capital Bikeshare was not reached. Since that time, the City and University issued an RFP for a bikeshare system, and Zagster submitted the winning bid. The number of stations, and a few other items have changed since the original MOU was approved.

The Parties agree that this MOU applies to the seven (7) bikeshare station locations that the University will install and the seven (7) bikeshare station locations that the City will install, together with 125 associated bicycles and maintenance and operations services. Two stations will be located in north College Park – one at the end of Lackawanna Street near the Metro, and the other at the MoM/REI shopping complex.

The City and the University have jointly selected a contractor, Zagster, Inc. (https://youtu.be/bljp1Lfy1YM ) to install the Initial Launch, and maintain the said bikeshare station locations and bicycles for a term of three years, together with any additional Locations and additional Bicycles included during that period. The City and the University of Maryland will each pay one-half of the one-time Fee of $650,500.00 for the Initial Launch, to include the fourteen (14) station set-up and parking spaces installation for $65,500.00, and 125 initial bicycles at a price of $585,000.00.

bikeshare-map