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Month: September 2018 Page 1 of 3

Some City Committees May be Disbanded, Merged

At next week’s meeting, the City Council will review recommendations submitted by the Committee on Committees (COC). The City Council created the ad hoc committee, the Committee on Committees (COC) to review each of the City’s boards and committees. The COC is recommending the following changes to some of the committees:

(a) Advisory Planning Commission (APC): COC recommends including more discussions and review concerning development. Consider renaming to Advisory Planning and Variance Committee.

(b) Animal Welfare Committee (AWC): The COC recommends transitioning from a formal committee to light duty volunteer opportunities, such as dog walking, to be administered by City staff. Staff would ensure animals have cared properly and shelter is clean and up to Code.

(c) Cable TV Commission: COC recommends disbandment pending legal review of contractual ability.

(d) Citizens Corp Council: COC recommends disbandment.

(e) Committee for a Better Environment (CBE) and Tree and Landscape (TLB): COC noted some overlap with Tree and Landscape Board. Both include beautification in their mission or list of potential activities. The CBE serves as the City’s designated “Green Team,” a required component of the City’s Sustainable Maryland Certification. The TLB serves as the Tree Board, a requirement of the Tree City USA designation. COC recommends continued utilization of TLB for policy advisory purposes and commercial landscape review.

(f) Veterans Memorial Committee and Dr. MLK Tribute Committee: Consider placing both as subcommittees to the Recreation Board since one of the purposes of the Recreation Board is to create and oversee events.

North College Park Community Center Survey Responses

Thank you all who responded to the recent city-wide survey about the idea of establishing a community center in north College Park. You can see the results attached in this post, or here online: https://goo.gl/eMDG4y.

The survey asks important questions, such as (1) support/opposition for the center (2) What kind of programs residents want to see at the center (3) Demographics of the respondents, such as age and the neighborhood they live (4) Current use of the existing community centers.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank the community members who have been working hard in exploring the idea. If you’re interested in joining them to volunteer, please let me know. Thank you!

Council Supports a New Tax Incentive Program

I came across a good amount of discussion about last Tuesday’s vote about the new tax incentive program that the Council supported at last Tuesday’s meeting.

The Council had two votes on this matter. The first vote was about creating an enabling legislation to support tax breaks to future developments. The ordinance was about giving up to 0 – 60% tax breaks over a 15 year period.  An amendment by Kabir-Mitchell failed by 2-6. The final vote motion passed 8-0.

The second vote was about how much the Council will be giving to Bozzutto. The motion was to give 60% over a 15 year period. This motion also passed by 7-0-1. Kabir abstained. While I liked the proposed Bozzutto development a lot, I thought the amount of break was too high. Please see the chart in my previous post comparing the amount of tax break we gave to Bozzutto and other developments.

The new tax credit is contingent upon a development getting a similar tax credit through County’s PILOT tax credit program. The Varsity and other developers did not get a PILOT tax credit when they developed their properties and thus are not eligible for receiving a tax credit from the City under the new program.

The new and the old programs allow the Council to give a credits upto a certain limit. For example, in the new program, the Council can decide to give a new elligible developer an amount between 0% to 60%. It is and will be completely upto the Council to set the amount, thus the other developers cannot go after the City because they did not get the same amount the City gave to another developer. The same applies to the credits the Council gave to developers as part of the previous program.

Here are the resolutions that we believe approved PILOTs issued by the County Council pursuant to §7-516 of the Tax Property Article. We did not see any for 2018. None of these are in College Park. The tax credit law was adopted in 2012.

CR-110-2013 approves the terms and conditions of a negotiated Payment in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) agreement for Laurel II LLLP.

CR-132-2013 approves the terms and conditions of a negotiated Payment in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) agreement for ECHO-UTC, LLC.

CR-87-2014 approves the terms and conditions of a negotiated Payment in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) agreement for BE NC Station Holdings, LLC for the Carrollton Station Project.

CR-36-2017 approves the terms and conditions of a negotiated Payment in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) for New Carrollton Station Project.

CR-94-2017 approves the terms and conditions of a negotiated Payment in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) for One Town Center, LLC for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Project.

Mosquito Spraying Tonight

According to staff, unless it rains, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will spray for mosquitoes in the Hollywood area east of Rhode Island Ave from Lackawanna Rd. south to Branchville Rd., the Hollywood area west of Rhode Island Ave from Lackawanna Rd to Niagara and then in Cherryhill.

If time allows they may spray in Old Town north of Calvert Rd and in College Park Estates.

This is MDA’s final spraying of the season. Wednesday evening is the designated day and time for spraying of adult mosquitoes in College Park. MDA trucks have flashing lights to alert residents that spraying is taking place. If you see this vehicle, avoid exposure to yourself or your pet by staying indoors.

If you have any questions, please call MDA 301-422-5080. For more information about mosquito spraying in the City, visit http://www.collegeparkmd.gov/government/public_works/mosquito_and_gypsy_moth_programs.php

Night at the Movie

Night at the Movies
September, September 29
Showtime is at Dusk
Hollywood Neighborhood Park
9699 53rd Ave
Come and join us for a fun and FREE Night at the Movies. Bring your picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a movie with the whole family under the stars. The film will be the animated feature, “Coco.”
Sponsored by the City of College Park Recreation Board and the College Park Arts Exchange.
For more information call 240-487-3570 or click here for the Facebook event page .
[ Source: City of College Park]

Tax Credits to Bozzuto and Other City Developments

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will consider approving a Revitalization Tax Credit (RTC) of 60% for a 15-year term and approve the associated Term Sheet to the Bozzuto development. The proposed tax credit will be possible if the Council approves the enabling ordinance 18-O-01.

The approved Bozzuto project includes 393 residential units and between 60,000 and 70,000 square feet of retail space at the former Quality Inn and Plato’s Diner site on Route 1. Bozzuto has indicated that a 60% abatement would help to facilitate this project.

Even with the 60% abatement, the City would continue to receive 100% of the City property taxes on the current or base value and will see a 227 percent increase in property tax revenue compared with what it would have made if Quality Inn and Plato’s Diner were still in business.

You can find more about this tax incentive program here on Diamondback paper.

Please see below a chart showing the total amount of total amount of tax credits the City has provided to the previous, existing developments and plans to provide to Bozzuto.

A public hearing will take place about the proposed (upto) 60% tax abatement (ordinance 18-O-01) at the start of the meeting at 7:30pm, Tuesday at the Council chamber, 2nd floor of the City Hall (4500 Knox Road). Please get a free visitor parking pass from the window on the first floor. If you cannot attend the hearing, please send your comments to the Mayor and Council before 5pm tomorrow at cpmc@collegeparkmd.gov

Community Meeting-Sunday, TODAY- College Park Woods

The West College Park Civic Association, D-4 Councilmembers, and Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk invite you to a community meeting:

ON Sunday, September 23rd, at 7pm (meeting to start at 7:30pm)
AT The College Park Woods Swim Club (3545 Marlborough Way)

to discuss two items:
the purchase of the swim club property by the City of College Park – what are plans for the future?
the University’s proposed plan to break up the UMd Golf Course and its implications
Swim Club: It has been a few years now while the Swim facility has not operated and the Club’s Board and the City have negotiated for the purchase of the property. The property is now in the hands of the City. It is time now for the rest of the community to engage in a discussion of what we want at this site that would meet the needs and interests of the community, within reason. Our plan should be to set up committee or committees of interested residents to discuss and come up with a proposal for the City. Sunday’s conversation will be the start of this effort. The City Manager, Scott Somers, will attend this meeting to supply information and the City’s current perspective.

Golf Course Development: We expect this discussion to take up most of the time.

The University has once again launched an initiative to disrupt the golf course. You may recall that about 5 years ago, the University proposed to build townhouses and one (or more) “Big Box Stores” on the golf course, citing those as urgent and critical needs (it was not clear for whom – the developer?). This proposal was halted with united and strong opposition from elected county and state officials, push back from the community and the active engagement of the “Friends of the Golf Course” .

It appears that the Golf Course is once again on the chopping block. This time a hodge podge of the Purple Line, overall lack of recreational and parking space at UMd are cited as the culprit. The proposal is to take 4-5 holes of the Golf Course and turn them into recreational fields for intramural sports, and a parking lot for 600 cars. Given the swing from town houses to recreational fields, it is unclear to us exactly how the University plans for land use. Leaving an nonviable golf course is clearly the first step towards taking all of the land the golf course currently stands on. The official presentation given by UMd to the community can be found here:
https://vpaf.umd.edu/reports/track-fieldrecreation-fields-project-8-22-2018

Please go through the slides in this presentation before Sunday’s meeting as we don’t have the facility to project them at the meeting.

Comments from the community are accepted by the University at communityfeedback@und.edu

We will start with a social half hour from 7-7:30pm. The meeting will begin at 7:30pm.

Please attend and participate.
[Source: Suchitra Balachandran]

Community Meeting: City Hall

Community Meeting: City Hall

Thursday, September 27, 2018
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers
4500 Knox Road

This meeting will explore what the new City Hall could be – including its design, uses, functions and activities. For over 20 years the City has discussed a need for a new City Hall. In 2014, City Council selected and approved the 4500 Knox Road site for the new City Hall.

• Learn about the project and its background
• Discuss what the new City Hall could look like and its potential uses and functions for the future
• Participate in a visioning exercise
• Opportunity for feedback

Fall Cleanup Days SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6 & 20, 2018

Fall Cleanup Days
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6 & 20, 2018
7:30 A.M.-12:00 P.M.
9217 51ST AVENUE, COLLEGE PARK

The City of College Park Department of Public Works facility will be open for City residents to drop-off bulky trash, electronics for recycling, brush, and yard trim. Rain barrels ($72), yard waste carts ($25), and backyard compost bins ($20) are available for purchase and pick-up.
• You must be a resident of the City of College Park and bring proof of City residency in order to participate, although anyone can buy compost or wood mulch during this event.
• Hazardous materials will not be accepted (light bulbs or tubes, batteries, shingles, propane tanks, paint, etc.)
• Residents may dispose of one of each of the following items per year for free: air conditioners, heat pumps, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators. Tires will incur a disposal fee of $4.00 each.
• Wood mulch and Smartleaf® screened compost will also be available, you don’t need to be a resident in order to purchase.

REDUCE…REUSE…RECYCLE!
Two participating organizations Community Forklift and GreenDrop are accepting donations that are still in good condition. Clean out your homes, garages, and sheds, and bring the items you no longer use or need and donate them for reuse. Donations are tax deductable. The following types of materials will be collected separately so they may be reused:
• Community Forklift accepts donations of surplus, gently-used, and salvaged home improvement supplies. Click here for full list of acceptable items.
• GreenDrop accepts all articles of clothing, shoes, blankets and bedding similar to the ones mentioned on https://orezon.co/blogs/home-decor/how-to-wash-linen-bedding-does-linen-bedding-get-softer, as well as tools, collectibles, kitchenware, toys, small appliances, electronics and sporting goods. Click here for full list of acceptable items.

[Source: City of College Park]

Washington Gas – Mill and Resurfacing in Sunnyside Neighborhood

From City’s engineering department. Beginning today M. T. Laney Company, Washington Gas’ street restoration contractor, will begin milling and resurfacing at various locations in the Sunnyside Neighborhood. See the map below. The affected locations are posted with notice. Weather permitting the work should be completed on or before Friday, Sept 28th.

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