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Month: September 2020 Page 1 of 3

Pepco Tree Line Clearance Work

Pepco crew performing clearing work

Pepco electric line clearance work will continue as Asplundh tree crews perform work in the Berwyn, Hollywood, Daniels Park and Oak Springs neighborhoods. Other neighborhoods where work is planned and may occur is Autoville, Crystal Springs and Patricia Court.

Gateway Park is now Open to Public

The Hollywood Gateway Park is now complete and “technically” open to the public. Please maintain social distancing rules if you plan to visit the park. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been engaged by giving important feedback (including the critical ones) through an unexpectedly very long journey that took us here.

In Next Five Years, What do you Want to See in College Park?

The City Council will meet tomorrow, at a special worksession to discuss “5-year objective planning”.

This Strategic Plan Worksession will focus on learning a methodology called Objectives and Key Results that is shown to help organizations stay focused and aligned on their strategic plans and creating the high-level Objectives and Key Results for the five-year timespan. The session will be facilitated by Performance Breakthroughs, Inc., the City’s consultant for the strategic plan.

As part of tomorrow’s worksession, each Council member (and Mayor) will provide accomplishments for the member’s district, and three accomplishments Citywide they would like to see in three to five years. These accomplishments will be based on Council members’ experience, input from district and other residents, and opportunities they see.

At last Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council decided College Park’s Mission and Vision statements for the next 5 years. Please see that below at the end of this post. Thankfully, both mission and vision statements are the top choices from the feedback you gave to me through the survey. The Council made a few minor changes to the top two selections.

Tomorrow’s special worksession will not be broadcasted, but you can join online or in-person. Use this link to join the webinar: The meeting is open to the public but there may be limited seating due to COVID-19 restrictions.

We’ll also discuss this Saturday, 10/3 to discuss “5-year objective finalization”. We’ll keep you posted as we move with developing this important plan.

Help Increase City’s Tree Canopy

Trees provide many benefits including reduced cooling and heating costs, interception of rainwater, increased property values and improved air quality. Requests for street trees provides planting in the City’s right-of-way areas. City property owners can apply for reimbursement of up to $150.00 annually for approved tree(s) planted on their residential lot. For more information and the application, visit:, call 240-487-3590 or email

Two Development Options Discussed for the Stone Industrial Site

UPDATE(4/14/2021): Please attend the community meeting to discuss the future use of the Stone property on April 5, at 7 pm: Zoom link:

At last week’s town hall on the Stone Industrial property, residents discussed two potential development opportunities at the Stone Industrial site.

County Councilman Tom Dernoga (District 1)  hosted the meeting and shared the information.

Option 1 calls for the construction of townhomes with 232 dwelling units. The developer for this option came before the community at one of the North College Park Community Association (NCPCA) several months ago and presented the plan. The developer of this option has asked the community’s support for changing the zoning from the current industrial. This will ensure that no residential zones get affected, that way the industrial site can receive their equipment like metal cutting machines and rotary tables without any set backs, also so they can operate like it’s supposed to and work on stone and any processes like industrial powder coating or heavy lifting done by rigging services without disturbing near by residents.

At the town hall, residents came to know about a new option, called the “Market Place” option. This option calls for a mixed-use commercial / industrial / research development and would include a public retail market, brewery / aquarium, and a restaurant.

This new operation, ProFish would be relocating from Washington, DC, and expanding into Prince George’s County.

Industrial uses include a processing plant, wholesale / distribution operations, freezer / storage areas, greenhouse / vertical farming, fertilizer production, and water filtration.

Various research and development opportunities would take place in conjunction with both the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the University of Maryland College Park.

Mr. Dernoga told that Profish would be offering a certain number of jobs for College Park residents. They are also offering spaces for College Park Meals and Wheels to relocate. The MoW has been looking for a new space as they’ve outgrown at their current location at the Methodist Church. ProFish is also offering space for a future North College Park Community Center.

The subject property, which may soon require services of professionals like that plumber in Lacombe, contains an existing 1-story 2,280 SF concrete and block building with a building height of 17 FT. The Greenbelt Metro Station is 7/10 of a mile to the North of the subject property. The subject property is not a flood hazard.

The property is part of a larger surveyed area, which is part of Parcel 2 of the Stone Straw Corporate Subdivision. Approximately 150 feet to the South of the subject property is a 1-story, 31,135 SF block building with a building height of 18 FT.

Approximately 60 feet to the Southwest of the subject property is a 1-story, 11,175 SF brick building with a building height of 14 FT.

These three properties are situated in the surveyed area in a triangular pattern. 194 parking spaces service the existing premises.

Mr. Dernoga presented comparative studies of two development options, prepared by Cunty’s Economic Development Corporation. Please see the presentation below. It can be also downloaded from here.

Both options have opportunities and challenges. Several residents shared their concerns about the potential increase of traffic through neighborhood streets and overflow parking on nearby streets. If you have an evident broken pipe, it’s easier to try to contain the leak and stop the water damage from becoming too severe. There are times, however, that slow leaks are happening in your home without your awareness. These leaks, which cause a lot of water damage over time, require the help of experts like plumbing services in Menasha.

According to a reputable emergency plumber in Portland, if you need help with plumbing and you live near Portland. You can contact them right away or reach out to their official website.

A follow-up meeting will be scheduled soon. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors.

Town Hall November Ballot Questions

At this November’s election, we’ll be asked to vote on 2 ballot questions – one related to State and local government budgets, spending, and finance, and the other one related to gambling. Please attend this town hall to learn more about them. from State’s representatives representing College Park and the neighboring towns.
Join by Zoom:
Join by phone: 301 715 8592, Meeting ID: 894 2507 3154, Passcode: 511475

A New High-End Student Housing Coming to Knox Rd

At this week’s meeting, the City Council supported the Preliminary Plan of Subdivision (PPS) and a Detailed Site Plan (DSP) of “The Hub” student housing, at 4210-4220 Knox Road located on the north side of Knox Road, approximately 200 feet east of its intersection with Guilford Drive.

The PPS proposes to combine 6 lots to create a 0.72-acre parcel. The DSP proposes to raze two duplex structures and construct a mixed-use student housing project containing 161 dwelling units (464 beds),1,022 square feet of retail space, and a parking garage with 94 parking spaces.

Though the Council supported the development, many of my colleagues, including me, had concerns about the affordability of this new student housing. Based on the amenities The Hub will offer, the rental rate of this student housing is expected to be similar, if not cheaper, to the rental rate of the Terrapin Row. The 2021 rates for Terrapin row range from ~$1200/month for a 4-bedroom apartment to ~$1900/month for a 1-bedroom apartment. Based on this data, The Hub will most likely be into the $1350-$2000 range.

The Planning Board is scheduled to hear the Preliminary Plan and Detailed Site Plan on Thursday, October 15th.

Tonight: Virtual Town Hall on Stone Industrial Property

County Councilman Tom Dernoga is going to hold a virtual public meeting tonight about the proposed townhouse development at the Stone Industrial property on 51st Avenue. Please see the details below and share the information with your north College Park neighbors who may be potentially affected by the potential development at the property.
In order to attend the meeting, you’ll need to register at

City will Ask Not to Delay Purple Line Construction

At tonight’s meeting, the Council will consider sending a letter to Governor Hogan expressing the City’s concerns that additional delays in completing the Purple Line will negatively impact the City. The State and the Purple Line concessionaire have been in a major cost dispute for many years.

The concessionaire gave notice that it will quit the project if an agreement is not reached. A court recently ruled that the concessionaire can, in fact, terminate the contract if it chooses. The State has indicated if an agreement cannot be reached with the concessionaire, the State will complete the project.

However, the project would likely be delayed another one to two years. It is not clear if the parties are still engaged in negotiations to reach an agreement that would have the concessionaire complete the project.

City to Slash $1 million in Spending to Cover COVID Loasses

At this week’s meeting, the City Council will hold a Public Hearing to get residents’ input about the proposed $1 million budget cut due to COVID-19 related loss of revenues.

When the FY2021 Budget was prepared, the initial revenue projections were reduced by almost $1 million to provide for lost/reduced revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those reductions were made in the early stages of the pandemic, with minimal information to assist with reliable estimates. In recent budget presentations and Council meetings, staff warned that, if additional reductions became necessary, staff would return to Council with a recommended budget amendment.

With the close of FY2020 and additional information/experience with revenue sources affected by COVID-19, the Finance Department has re-evaluated revenue projections and unfortunately has identified another approximate $1 million in revenue reductions that should be made along with recommended reductions in expenditures to rebalance the FY2021 Budget.

The most significant revenue reduction is in Admissions and Amusement Tax, primarily due to the canceling of UMD athletic events for the fall. The Hotel/Motel Tax, although already significantly reduced in the Proposed FY2021 Budget due to ongoing closures, is being further reduced. Similarly, parking fines and speed camera enforcement revenue is being reduced due to continued reduced traffic. Most of the necessary expenditure reductions are proposed from ongoing capital projects and can be deferred to future years with minimal impact on the ongoing operations of the City.

The following capital projects will be impacted by the proposed changes: (a) Pavement Management Plan – $392,000 – 50% reduction/defer (b) Vehicle Replacement – $300,000 – 60% reduction/defer (c) Facilities Capital Reserve $25,000 Cut (d) Public Works Facilities Improvements – $100,000 – Defer.

However, other operating expenditure reductions are available due to COVID-19 effects, such as reduced or eliminated travel related to conferences that have become virtual and canceled special events.

The budget amendment will also provide for the estimated costs ($13,000) of a special election for the District 2 City Council seat which will be vacated due to the resignation of Councilmember Brennan.

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