City Eyes Acquiring Route 1 Properties by Eminent Domain for City Hall Project

At tomorrow’s meeting, the City Council will introduce an ordinance authorizing the acquisition of properties located at 7409 and 7411 Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) using eminent domain.

Once acquired, the land where these properties currently stand, will be part of the new City Hall project.

Five businesses at these locations will be affected by the acquisition, including Smoothie King, Subway, Hair Cuttery, Shanghai Cafe, and a cell phone repair shop. It’s unknown when the leases of these businesses will expire.

Currently, these properties are owned by Mrs. Margaret Jeanne Kurz Byrd of Melbourne Beach, FL. City Staff has been in preliminary discussions with Mrs. Byrd and her son, William Byrd, since October 2016 concerning the City’s interest in acquiring these two key parcels of land. Unfortunately, these discussions have not yet resulted in an understanding between the City and the Byrd family.

In 2015, City staff and the University of Maryland held a meeting to review design options for a joint development on the City Hall block between Baltimore Avenue and Yale Avenue. A conceptual design was presented before the City Council worksession in August 2015. According to the concept plan, a single building with a 30,000 SF City Hall and 45,000 SF of university offices would be built. A significant public plaza would occupy the Route 1 frontage and approximately 10,000 SF of retail could be accommodated initially on the ground floor of the university offices. A small amount of surface parking would be provided on site with most of the parking provided in the existing garage.

The sale price for the properties is not yet known. Total City Hall Redevelopment Project costs are conservatively estimated at $12,500,000 which include construction, planning, and land acquisition costs. The City has set aside roughly $4,500,000 to date for this anticipated capital cost. Additionally, the City has received a $400,000 State bond bill for development of this project and a $100,000 grant from the State Community Legacy Program for acquisition costs

A public hearing on this matter will take place at the November 28 Council meeting.

City to Build Bike and Pedestrian Path on Campus drive

At this week’s Council meeting, the City Council will consider approving a feasibility study project to build a side path along the north side of Campus Drive between Baltimore Avenue and the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail.

The City received a grant of $89,600 from the Maryland Department of Transportation Bikeways; the grant requires a 20% match. City funding could be up to $22,400. Currently staff estimates that the project will use $87,600 in grant funding and require a City match of $17,520.

The project “as envisioned” is a 10-foot wide paved bicycle and pedestrian path located on University of Maryland property. The design will require significant study and is especially challenging because the old Paint Branch Stream meanders along this area. Short bridges and boardwalks will be necessary in some areas of the proposed trail.

Staff is requesting Council move forward with approving a contract to award 30% design to the engineering firm of Wallace Montgomery and Associates of Hunt Valley, MD. This firm has an open contract with the Metropolitan Council of Governments (COG) and the City as a member of COG can piggyback on the competitive -bid rates that this firm has negotiated with COG.

Today at the Hollywood Farmers Market

Vol. 3 Issue 29 – Honoring those who have served

The College Park VFW will be at the Farmers Market this Saturday.  Please stop by and say hello to Dave Turley who will be taking donations and giving away poppies.  Also, on the 11th the Veteran’s Memorial Committee will be holding their annual event at the Memorial (corner of Rt. 1 and Greenbelt Rd).

This Saturday is going to be a little chilly but we will be at the market.  Make sure you stop and grab a warm cup of coffee from Alcoba Coffee or a bowl of soup from Amity Thai Kitchen.  Double Sharp will not be at the market due to the weather.Senior Saturday

The last Senior Saturday will be this Saturday, November  11th! If you are 65+ and reside in College Park, please stop by the Market’s information table to receive $5.00 in market coupons to use only on November 11th from 9:00 am until noon.



Liz Doonan will be at the market from 11am until 12:15pm.
Strength + Balance Yoga for all levels.
Intro & Beginners Welcome.
Bring your mat and join in!

Liz Doonan, 200 hr YT.
Yoga Alliance Registered.
11AM to 12:15PM.
Donation Based, $5 minimum suggested

Vendor Update

Waltz Family Farm has a new supply of pork this week.  Great cuts like loin roast, thick pork chops, lots of sausages (many different flavors), hams, pig cheeks and much more!  Stock up before the end of the season and check out the Waltz Family Farm Facebook page for pics and to stay up to date.

Heavenly Created Desserts will be back this weekend and the 18th.

Calvert Farm will be at the market this Saturday.

This week’s vendors include*:

Amity Kitchen: Thai food, Spring Rolls and Mango Sticky Rice
Dicot Farm: Certified Organic Produce
Double Sharp: Local Musicians
Alcoba Coffee: Guatemalan coffee by the pound and by the cup
Roy and Arti’s Kitchen and Garden: Prepared Indonesian cuisine and vegetables
Starbucks: Giving away coffee grounds for composting or garden
Valencia’s Produce: Berries, flowers and herbs
Waltz Family Farm: Meat, eggs and cheeses
Inge’s Crochet: Handmade crochet items
Christiane’s Designs: Knit hats, gloves, scarves, pet and baby items
The Baked Apple: Apple muffins and breads
Terrapin Care Center: Chiropractic Care
Calvert Farm: Produce and fruits

* This list reflects the vendors who have informed the Market Manager that they will be at the market.  This list is subject to change due to weather, illness or other life events. 🙂

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a vendor for our market please let us know.  We are always looking for more vendors. Our criteria is that the items have to be hand made.  If you prepare food- we are looking for other prepared food vendors.  Lastly, we are looking for a bread vendor.  If you know of a local company that would like to sell bread at our market please stop by the market’s information table to speak with either the Market Manager or one of the Market’s Board members.

Spay-A-Day Keeps the Litter Away

Through December 1st, 2017, the Prince George’s County Animal Management Division (AMD) will provide free spay/neuter services for dogs, cats and ferrets belonging to low-income individuals and families living in Prince George’s County (this does not include feral cats). This service is provided through a Maryland Department of Agriculture grant. For more information or to learn how you may qualify, contact Catherine Hernandez at 301-780-7252.



Local Boy Scouts Doing Food drive For Meals on Wheels

If you received a food Donation bag last weekend, this is to help collect non-perishable foods for local families in need. The Boy Scout 298 will be collecting your donations tomorrow.

Your donations will help those that receive Meals on Wheels services as well as others.

Here is a list of items acceptable: c

  • canned meats/fish
  • canned vegetables/fruit
  • canned soups/stews
  • canned milk
  • powdered milk
  • baby formula
  • baby cereal
  • cereal
  • peanut butter bars
  • boxes of rice or pasta

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: Zoning Rewrite, Election Fund, Tax Credits and More..

Today is the second Thursday of the month, and thus the day when the North College Park Civic Association (NCPCA) has their monthly meeting.

The meeting will start with a presentation on ‘Summary of Residential Tax Credits & Other Info Useful to Homeowners in College Park’. It will be presented  by Mr. Thomas Rodden, Managing Attorney of RGS Title, LLC:

We’ll then hear a presentation on ‘P.G. County Small Donor Election Fund: Giving Government Back to the People’ by Ms. Suchitra Balachandran, President of West College Park Citizens Assn:

The newly Elected Mayor and Councilmembers. will then introduce themselves.


Members will then discuss the ‘Prince Georges County Zoning Code Rewrite’. As you know Prince George’s County is extensively revising its planning and zoning code. A draft document for review and comment is expected in January. The changes may have major impacts on development within and adjacent to residential areas. Members will discuss what we know at this time, and we will consider ways that NCPCA can be more involved and effective as the residential voice of North College Park.

NCPCA meets at Davis Hall, 9217 51st Avenue at 7:30 pm on the 2nd Thursday of each month, except July & August meetings are optional. Please send questions about NCPCA to johnkrouse@yahoo.com

Thank you!

Kabir 768
Kennedy 469
Gill 304
Debosky 255

[Unofficial results can be seen here on City’s website]

I want to take a moment to thank you all for re-electing me and giving me the opportunity to serve you for the next 2 years as your City Council representative. The trust that you have put on me as your representative means a lot to me.

I also want to thank my two very special neighbors, Chris Gill and Beth DeBosky for running very spirited campaigns. I’m sure District 1 will continue to benefit from their engagement and services in coming days.

I also want to congratulate Council-Elect Kate Kennedy on her election as your other Council representative in District 1. I’ve had the opportunity working with Kate in the past, especially when we built the Hollywood community garden together. I’m excited to have her my new Council colleague in District 1. Some of the exciting projects we plan to work are Hollywood Streetscape project, the construction of the Gateway Park, and the next phase of the Duvall Field project. We’ll also work hard to implement the police study recommendations and bring more services and amenities to our residents of all ages in District 1.

I also want to congratulate Mayor Patrick Wojahn, PJ Brennan, Monroe Dennis, Dustyn Kujawa and Robert W. Day, for their re-elections. I look forward to working with them again as part of the next Council.

Please note, no matter how you voted, I will remain at your service. I ask your help in advising me with your ideas and thoughts, throughout my new fourth term. In the end, we are together on a journey to make our district a better place to live for all of our neighbors. Thank you and have a very good night!

Vote College Park!

Today is College Park’s Decision Day! Regardless of who you support, please make sure you go to polls and cast your vote. It’s our civic duty to take part in our local elections. From our past city elections, we’ve seen every vote counts!

Polls will open at 7 am and will close at 8 pm. The residents in District 1 (and District 4) will vote at Davis Hall, 9217 – 51st Avenue, College Park MD 20740.

If you know anyone who needs help with a ride to the polling station, please let me know (phone: 301 – 659-6295, email: faz.kabir@gmail.com)

Also, this evening, please join your fellow neighbors to celebrate post-election community unity in District 1.

Where: Pizza Roma, 9805 Rhode Island Avenue.
When: 8:30pm – 9:30pm, Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I’ve extended my invitation to my three fellow Council candidates and very special neighbors (Beth Debosky, Chris Gill, and Kate Kennedy) to join this event. They’ve (tentatively) accepted the invitation. Regardless of tomorrow’s outcome, we’re all committed to serving our community in one way or another. If you live in College Park, I hope to see you all there.

Council Sets to Revise City’s Fence Ordinance

At this Wednesday’s meeting, the City Council will be discussing how to move forward with the City’s fence ordinance. (There will not be a meeting tomorrow, due to the election day).

Currently, the City’s fence ordinance is more restrictive than the County’s. City residents must obtain both City and County permits and comply with both ordinances. The two main difference between the City’s ordinance and County’s ordinance are the City’s requirement for an variance to install a new front yard fence and the City’s requirement of a 25-foot setback from the property line for all fences in the side yard of a corner property facing the street.

The City Manager has put forth a proposal which continues to require residents obtain County and City permits for fences, allows a front yard fence of 3ft without a variance, removes the 25ft setback requirement on corner lots, defines all yards abutting streets as front yards, and sets a 6 ft height limit for rear and side fences and a 4 ft height limit for fences on interior through lots.

The proposal puts forth two options for chain link in front yards either allowing replacement if it is the existing material and requiring a variance for new chain link or always requiring a variance (this option would require a homeowner to obtain a variance to replace an existing chain link fence.)

Please see the side by side comparisons of the Proposed Amended City Fence Ordinance and the County’s Fence Ordinance below.

North College Park Crime Map: Oct 30 – Nov 4, 2017

Please see below last week’s crime map.


City to Celebrate Veteran’s Day Next Saturday

When: Saturday, November 11
11:00 a.m.
Where: College Park Veterans Memorial, Corner of Baltimore Ave and Greenbelt Rd

Join the College Park Mayor and Council at the rededication of the Veterans Memorial in College Park on Veterans Day.

This year’s ceremony will include a history of the memorial and recognition of the 100th anniversary observance of the ending of World War I, originally proclaimed as Armistice Day. The event also features a wreath laying in fitting tribute to the men and women who have served our country.

Parking is available at AMF Bowling Lanes nearby. The event is sponsored by the College Park Veterans

Duvall Field: In Next Phase, City Plans to Redesign Playing Fields, Add New Lighting, Playground and Walking Trail

If you haven’t been already, the City’s primary recreational facility, Duvall Field recently got some major upgrades for its concession building and plaza.

Duvall Field is the home of the College Park Boys and Girls Club, and has seen countless games of youth soccer, football and lacrosse played on its fields. It is also a great community space as events like National Night Out and Night at the Movies have been held there.

As part of the first phase of renovation of the Duvall Field facilities, the old concession stand was torn down and a brand new beautiful concession building was erected in its place. The plaza has also been upgraded with tons of added seating areas as well as state-of-the-art storm water management and bio-retention features. The project has been supported by the State and our State legislative delegation with Program Open Space and Bond Bill Funds; it would have been difficult for the City to have moved this project forward.

On Friday, October 13, the City held a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration to mark the completion of the first phase of renovation (which had been discussed and planned over the last ten years!). We had lots of neighbors and families come to our celebration, despite the less than ideal weather.

There is still more work to be done here, and a new State bond bill was just authorized in the last State legislative session to help the City begin work on Phase 2. This phase will include updating the playing fields and providing new lighting. Other ideas include a new playground, walking trails, fitness stations and (may be) a dog park. The City plans to engage the residents interested in the phase. If you’re interested in joining the conversation, please let me know. Thank you.

[Source: City of College Park]

City Announces 2017 Winter Clothing Drive

The City of College Park, with One Warm Coat, a national non-profit organization, has begun our annual One Warm Coat Drive.

Help fellow College Park residents in need by donating your clean, gently-used coats, hats and gloves during the City’s annual warm coat drive.

All donated coats will be distributed by the Department of Youth, Family and Senior Services throughout the College Park area to local children and adults in need.

Last year we collected over 200 coats and cold weather items and are hoping to beat that number this year!

The City’s warm coat drive will take place from November 13 through December 11, 2017.

Donations can placed into designated collection boxes during business hours at the following locations:

  • City Hall, 4500 Knox Road Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Department of Public Works, 9217 51st Avenue Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Youth and Family Services, 4912 Nantucket Road Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Department of Public Services, 4601A Calvert Road Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

[Source: City of College Park]

City to Give Real Time Results in 2017 City Election

Vote Count at the City Hall, 2013 College Park election. This year’s election night will be very short

Past elections have had the unofficial election night ballot count televised live from City Hall and candidate interviews were televised during the count.

In this upcoming election on November 7, that will however change.

City has recently started using electronic scanners, which provide the Election Day count for each precinct shortly after the polls close. So live TV will no longer be used. Staff will provide near real-time results on the City’s web site home page.

City’s Board of Election Supervisors (BOES) has described the new process as follows – The polls will close at 8 PM or as soon as the last voter in line at 8 PM has voted. The election judges will electronically close the ballot boxes (the scanners) and get the preliminary results for the mayoral and council contests. The tally from each scanner will be read aloud in the precinct. Davis Hall judges will call the results to City Hall. The City Hall judges will follow the same closing process. As a result, the unofficial interim results of the Council races will be known in the polling place for those seats.

The Council Chamber at City Hall will have a Citywide tally sheet where Election Day results will be posted. As the precinct votes are completed and received they will be posted. Thus, the interim results of the Mayoral race will be posted in the Council Chambers and quickly thereafter be on the City web site.

The Citywide tally sheet will also show the number of absentee ballots mailed and the number of provisional ballots to be processed. Absentee ballots received by 4 PM Wednesday the 8th, and validated provisional ballots are counted at the official canvas on the 8th. That canvas is conducted in the small conference room on the lower level of City Hall. The canvas is open to the public.