Take Challenge for Water Conservation

The Mayor’s Water Challenge (Challenge) is an environmental conservation outreach program. This educational effort consists of a series of online pledges that City residents can complete at www.mywaterpledge.com.

The Challenge is run by the Wyland Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, and preserving the world’s oceans, waterways, and marine life. The Challenge is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National League of Cities. It runs from April 1 to April 31.

The City has participated in the challenge annually since 2014. Last year, the City finished 16th in our category (“30,000 – 99,999” population).

City staff is advertising the Challenge during the month of April in the City’s media channels such as the website and the City Manager’s Weekly Bulletin.

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting – Bikeshare Stations, Election and More..

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the months and the day when the North College Park Civic Association (NCPCA) will be hosting their April monthly meeting.

The meeting will start with a presentation about the Bike Share Locations in North College Park. College Park Planning Department staff will share proposed/potential locations for bike share stations in North College Park.

Members will also discuss about Elections, Nominating Committee. Per the bylaws, we will seek volunteers for a nominating committee for the election of officers in June.

Meeting will start at 7:30pm, however, meetings have been temporarily relocated to 4912 Nantucket Road in the drop-in space next to the Youth and Family Services building. (Davis Hall is going through a renovation). There is a small parking lot across from the shopping center entrance on Nantucket Road. Look for directional signs or NCPCA members/officers to help.

City Okayed New Housing Development in Old Town

The Owners (Kidwell Trust and John Hardisty) have undeveloped land at the intersection of Dartmouth Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue in the Old Town section of College Park. The Owners need to construct a roadway, currently named Randolph-Macon Road (to be renamed Howard Road) and install water and sewer before selling 7 lots for single family home construction. The owners have requested that the City of College Park construct the roadway. The City has applied for and received $127,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding that will be used Improvement at this property. This grant will expire this summer if not encumbered. The City has an existing bid contract with NZI that includes this type of work. The work can be added to the existing contract at the agreed unit prices without a bid process, which would expedite construction. The work will not proceed until a Declaration of Covenants is finalized with the current owners.

At last night’s Council meeting, the City Council approved an amendment to the contract with NZI for construction of Randolph Macon Avenue.

The Council will also approved an amendment to the Declaration of Covenants with Robert Kidwell, the current owner of the property. According to the amendment, Mr. Kidwell will get upto $250,000 loan from the City which he will pay back within 3 years. The loan is tied against the property deeds as security.

Finally, the Council approved an amendment to the City’s Homeownership Grant program. The amendment will qualify the purchasers of the homes developed on the Randolph-Macon property to receive the City’s homeownership grant ($5,000). The City adopted the Home Ownership Grant Program to encourage owner occupant housing. The terms of the grant require a recipient to reside in the residence for five years with the ability to rent to up to two other persons, and prohibits rental to anyone when the owner is not in residence. Including purchasers of new construction detached single family homes in the City’s Homeownership Grant Program encourages owner occupant housing.

Budget Town Hall Meeting – April 29

Please mark your calendar, Council members from District 1,2 and 4 will be hosting a budget town hall meeting on Friday, April 29 to discuss proposed changes in FY 17 budget. Please see below for detailsFY17 budget town hall flyer

North College Park Crime Map: April 2-10, 2016

Please see below last week’s crime map and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.


4/10/20164:39 AM9600 Blk BALTIMORE AVERecovered Stolen Vehicle
4/9/20165:43 PM5000 Blk BRANCHVILLE RDTheft
4/7/20166:07 PM9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RDTheft
4/2/201611:32 PM5100 Blk ODESSA RDTheft from Auto

Tips to Prevent Theft from Autos

Polcie has advised resident to adopt the following tips to prevent thefts from autos.

  • Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Place items out of sight BEFORE reaching your destination. So place those items in a safe place before you get to the park, beach, baseball game, etc. Valuable items that thieves target are GPS units, MP3 players, credit cards, money, packages and so forth.
  • Avoid leaving packages or shopping bags out in the open.
  • Lock ALL of your vehicle’s doors. Also, make sure car windows aren’t left open.
  • Park in busy, well lit areas. Make sure your neighborhood is well lit if not notify Public Works/Pepco.
  • Don’t leave any sign that there might be valuables “out of sight” in your vehicle. For example: the suction cup on your dashboard, might tell thieves, that you have a GPS system in your vehicle.
  • Alarms or anti-theft devices work.
  • Don’t leave spare keys in your vehicle.
  • Copy your license plate and vehicle information (VIN) numbers on a card and keep them with you. If your vehicle is stolen, the police will need this information to take a report.
  • When walking into store (gas station or retail store) lock doors and windows.
  • Always report suspicious activity. Prince Georges County Non Emergency (301)352-1200 or for Emergency 911

Highlights of Changes to FY 2017 Budget

We had our first day long FY 2017 budget worksession today. Here is the highlights of the changes the Mayor and Council discussed

  • Additional RRFB (street crossing light)  at a future location: $25,000
  • Additional streetlights: $6,000
  • CPCUP funding request for Homeownership grants: $5,000
  • Removal of Old noise meter calibration: ($900)
  • Interpretation service $1,000
  • Additional Adobe InDesign software license $240
  • Additional Adobe Illustrator software license $250
  • Hollywood commercial district beautification / landscaping project: $10,000
  • Contribution to UMD’s IFC tailgate event: $7,000

We plan to meet again next Saturday for a brief session to continue the budget discussion. I’ll keep you posted.

Public Meeting on the College Park Bicycle Boulevard Study


School Seeks Community Input about Student Safety

The PGCPS Student Safety Task Force is undertaking a thorough and comprehensive review of policies, processes, and practices that impact the safety of our children enrolled in the Prince George’s County Public Schools. As an independent body, we are examining and assessing current standards of operation related to the protection of school children. In the final report, we will provide recommendations to enhance current procedures and incorporate best practices to ensure student safety.

If you are a current or former student, parent/guardian, community member, current or former employee, or interested stakeholder who would like to submit comments to the Task Force, you can do so below. The survey will be available from April 6 to April 15, 2016. This is a survey to solicit comments and does not replace your responsibility to report suspected abuse. To report suspected abuse and neglect, please call the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services at 301-909-2450.

The Task Force appreciates your assistance and respects your commitment to student safety in our schools. We will read every comment and review each carefully as we develop recommendations for submission to CEO, Dr. Kevin Maxwell. The findings and recommendations will be released in a public document at the conclusion of the Task Force’s review.

  • What is your primary affiliation with Prince George’s County Public Schools? (Required)
    Choose Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Current Student, Former Student, Current Employee, Former Employee, News/Media, Other
  • Share Your Comments
    [You may comment on any of the categories below. Please limit your responses to 500 characters each.]
  • Reporting of Abuse and Staff Training
    [Type here]
  • School Culture and Climate
    [Type here]
  • Screening of Employees/Volunteers
    [Type here]
  • Curriculum and Counseling (Awareness and Prevention)
    [Type here]
  • What are the strengths of student safety policies and practices in the school system?
    [Type here]
  • What are the weaknesses of student safety policies and practices in the school system?
    [Type here]
  • What recommendations do you have to improve student safety policies and practices in the school system?
    [Type here]

[courtesy of Dr. Charlene M. Dukes, Chair, Student Safety Task Force]

City Set to Adopt “Complete Street” Policy

At last night’s Council meeting, the City council discussed the complete street policies for College Park.

“Complete Street” means a street or roadway that allows safe and convenient travel by all of the following categories of users: pedestrians, bicyclists, persons with disabilities, motorists, seniors and children and that creates a shared space for all users to the extent practicable.

“Complete streets” should not be confused with the “Green Streets”’, which mean a roadway that incorporates plantings or other vegetative practices along the ROW that are designed to reduce the amount of pollutants in storm water runoff. Curb or storm drain modifications are usually necessary to divert the storm water into these practices. Runoff that has traversed through these practices enters the storm drain system with fewer pollutants.

Complete Streets include “Pedestrian Infrastructure”, which in turn includes sidewalks, paths, bus shelters, benches and other street furniture and pedestrian lighting within the public ROW. In it, aslo included “Bicycle Infrastructure” including bicycle racks, bike share stations and equipment, bicycle trails, lanes, sharrows, and signage within the public ROW.

Here is a list of policies that the City is proposing to adopt at next week’s meeting:

1. Every transportation project, and phase of that project (including planning, scoping, funding, design, approval, implementation), by the City shall strive to provide for Complete and Green Streets for all categories of users identified in Section A.1. of this policy recognizing the need for flexibility in balancing user needs.

2. Wherever possible, transportation projects shall strive to create a network of continuous bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly streets including streets that connect with transit and provide convenient access to residential areas, commercial areas and schools. Streets shall include provisions for trees and strive to incorporate green streets techniques where appropriate.

3. All Complete and Green Streets shall be designed to be context sensitive taking into consideration the character of the surrounding neighborhood. It is recognized that the City has ROW’s with variable widths and other conditions that may affect the design of a roadway.

4. The Planning Department and City Engineer shall coordinate with all stakeholders including residents, neighborhood associations and County and State agencies to create Complete and Green Streets on all roadways serving the City.

5. The Planning Department and City Engineer shall coordinate with adjacent jurisdictions and other public agencies to enable, wherever possible, connections to bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly routes beyond the City’s boundaries.

6. The City shall rely upon the current editions of street design standards and green streets guidelines that promote and support Complete and Green Streets including but not limited to the following:
• Urban Street Design Guide and Urban Bikeway Design Guide (National Association of City Transportation Officials – NACTO) • Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A context sensitive approach (Institute of Transportation Engineers/Congress for the New Urbanism) • Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System (U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration) • Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System (U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration) • Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide (U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration)
• Municipal Handbook: Green Streets (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

The next steps for implementation include the following:
1. Compile an inventory of all City Streets in a database that includes ROW width, pavement width, curb and gutter, parking facilities, transit accommodations, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and storm water management facilities. 2. Identify incomplete City streets particularly where the conditions are conducive to the construction of bicycle and pedestrian features to take advantage of funding available for this purpose. 3. Evaluate Capital Improvement Program projects, including the Pavement Management Plan, for the potential to include complete and green streets practices. 4. Seek supplemental sources of funding, including public and private sources, to assist in the implementation of this policy. 5. Examine Complete and Green Streets design standards and practices during the development review process for all new development in the City and make every effort to implement them. 6. Utilize interdepartmental coordination and provide appropriate staff training to promote the efficient and responsible implementation of this policy. 7. Include implementation of this policy in the City’s strategic action plan.
This section recognizes that there may be limiting factors to implementation of this policy. A specific category of user may be excluded if one or more of the following conditions apply: 1. Use of the roadway is prohibited by law for the category of user (e.g., pedestrians on an interstate freeway). In this case, efforts shall be made to accommodate the excluded category of user on a parallel route. 2. There is an absence of both a current and future need to accommodate the category of user shown via demographic, school, employment, and public transportation route data that demonstrate a low likelihood of bicycle, pedestrian or transit activity in an area over the next 20 years. 3. The cost would be excessively disproportionate to the current need or future need over the next 20 years.
4. There is less than 35 feet of ROW width available and the City is unable to acquire additional ROW or obtain easements for the accommodations.
5. There are site-specific constraints such as topography (steep slopes) or mature vegetation.
6. There is no community support for the proposed project.
In order to evaluate whether the City transportation network is adequately serving each category of user, The Planning Department and City Engineer shall collect baseline and annual data on matters relevant to this Policy, including the following information: 1. Linear feet of pedestrian infrastructure 2. Number and type of other pedestrian infrastructure 3. Miles of bike lanes and sharrows 4. Number and type of other bicycle infrastructure improvements 5. Number of curb ramps 6. Square feet of green street infrastructure 7. Number of street trees 8. Total funding allocated to Complete and Green Streets projects
One year from the effective date of this Policy, and annually thereafter, the Planning Department and City Engineer shall submit a report to the City Council on the progress made in implementing this Policy that shall include the following:
1. Baseline and updated performance measures as described in Section (E)
2. A summary of all Transportation Projects planned or undertaken and their status
3. Any recommendations for improving implementation of this Policy

Hollywood Farmers Market Returns April 23rd

The Hollywood Farmers Market (HFM) located in the Hollywood Shopping Center, 9801 Rhode Island Avenue (next to REI) will reopen on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 9:00AM – 1:00PM.

The scheduled ribbon cutting ceremony will commemorate the start of our fourth season and will commence at 10:00AM on Saturday, May 14th. Mayor and council have been invited to participate and be recognized for their contribution and support of this successful community endeavor.

The Hollywood Farmers Market is not only a place where you can buy produce, sweets and crafts, but it is also a place to meet with your neighbors, find out what is happening in the neighborhood and see what your community groups can offer for you. You can meet produce and craft vendors who live right here in north College Park. You can also meet community groups, local business owners and our local police officers who will come and talk about the things they’re working on.

Due to our busy schedules, we often don’t get time to get to know our neighbors. Let’s make the Hollywood Farmer’s Market our weekly Community gathering place. We can only expect our market to strengthen the social fabric of our community.

If you or your community group is interested in participating at the market, please send us an email at hollywoodmarketcp@gmail.com.

City Launches Litter Logo Contest

College Park needs your help! The Committee for a Better Environment is looking for logo design submissions that raise awareness of litter, proper waste disposal, and recycling in our city. Logos should incorporate graphic elements, characters, colors, and/or a text slogan that evokes an appropriate message. Designers of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate. Your submissions will be posted online and voted upon by city residents.

Submissions will be placed in one of three categories: Local Students (Ages 1–17), UM Students, and Other College Park Residents. One winner will be identified per category, and the three chosen will be ranked by vote to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place positions. Prizes will be awarded: $250 first place, $100 second place, $50 third place.

Logo designs can be submitted in professional design formats (see specifications below) or as simple, hand- drawn concepts in the area below or mailed on a piece of paper. Submissions are due by midnight April 30, 2016. PREFERRED: Vector EPS file (such as an Adobe Illustrator EPS) with all fonts converted to outlines. This file format is preferred because vector-based art can be resized without degrading shape or color. Acceptable in some instances: Raster image file (such as an Adobe Photoshop file). The logo must be a minimum of 2″ wide or 2″ high (whichever is the larger proportion) at 300 dpi. The image file may be delivered in any of the following formats: psd, tiff, png, or jpeg. For online (Web) usage only, gif files are also acceptable. (Raster image files will not be accepted for large-scale items such as posters, signs, banners, etc.)

Send your submissions by filling out the form here, by email to collegeparkplanning@gmail.com or by postal mail to CBE Litter Contest, Planning Department, City of College Park, 4500 Knox Road, College Park, MD, 20740.

Group’s Recommendations will Help More Seniors to Stay in their College Park Homes

The members of the Aging in Place Taskforce subcommittee have been meeting for the past two years and have discussed various ways to help City’s senior residents stay at their College Park home as they age.

The committee is now preparing a formal report with a set of recommendations for the City Council. Recently, the City Council has requested a status report from the Aging in Place Task Force so the Council would have an opportunity to consider possible recommendations in their FY 17 budget deliberations.

At tomorrow’s worksession, members of the committee will make a presentation about the key recommendations in the report.

I want to thank the members of the committee for their hard work. I’ve had the opportunity to work in the committee and I hope my Council colleagues will approve the recommendations. Once the report is published, I will share those recommendations with you all in another post.

Good Neighbor Day 2016 – In Pictures

North College Park Crime Map: Mar 27 – Apr 1, 2016