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City Council Approves Tax Credit, that it Previously Granted in Error

At last night’s meeting, the City Council voted to grant a partial 50% tax credit to Gilbane for the Tempo student housing development. Councilmembers Kennedy, Esters, Rigg and Day voted in favor, Councilmembers Kabir, Dennis, Mitchell, and Mackie voted in opposition. Mayor Wojahn broke the tie by voting in support of the application.

Last month, the Council adopted Ordinance 21-0-03 (by a 5-3 vote) which authorizes the waiver of the student housing exclusion when a Revitalization Tax Credit is approved in error to a multifamily housing project intended for undergraduate students. You can read more about the discussion and vote here on my blog.

Earlier, Gilbane requested the City make this project eligible for the full tax credit $571,020 in projected tax savings over a five-year period. During the March 16, 2021 Council Worksession, a Council majority indicated support for a partial Revitalization Tax Credit for Tempo at 75% of the full credit. The Council will consider approving the tax credit at tomorrow’s meeting.

More than a year ago, along with entire Council colleagues, I supported giving Gilbane the full tax credit. At that time, we all assumed that Gilbane satisfied the tax credit criteria – which says a graduate housing qualifies to get a tax credit

Later in summer last year, we found we were wrong Because Tempo was an undergraduate housing – which does not qualify for a revitalization tax credit. Last night, we voted to grant a tax credit to Gilbane not because Gilbane said the Tempo will be a graduate housing, but rather to address an error we made. Though I appreciate the partnership the City has with Gilbane, I could not agree with the new basis for granting the tax credit.

My thanks to everyone who wrote to us and testified at the meeting.

 

College Park Community Cleanup – This Saturday, 9-11am

Also, please mark your calendar for this Saturday, April 17th at 9 am for our North College Park Community Clean-up. . As life is slowly returning to a new normal we are excited to plan something that can help us all reconnect as a community. You will need to RSVP to participate but all are invited to participate. RSVP here – https://b.link/CPCommunityCleanup. Please share with your friends and neighbors – we hope you will be able to join us. More to follow.

UMD Policing and Safety Survey

The Community Attitudes and Relations subcommittee is asking for your input to help better understand the community’s expectations and experiences with campus safety. Your participation will be used to help the University of Maryland College Park consider how best to create a physically and emotionally safe environment for all.
This survey involves a series of questions about campus safety, some of which are specifically about policing, and others of which ask you to think about safety more broadly. This survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. It is for members of the Greater College Park community. As area residents, your input is important to ensure a safe environment for everyone who visits the campus.
Please submit responses to the survey by April 12, 2021, at 5:00 pm. If you have questions about this survey, please contact Perla Guerrero (guerrero@umd.edu) or Tony Randall jr  (jrandall@umd.edu)

MAGLEV High Speed Train Project’s Comment Period Has Been Extended to May 24

The comment period for the Draft Programmatic Agreement (PA) for the Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMAGLEV) High-Speed Rail Project has been extended to Monday, May 24, 2021.
Earlier this month, FRA and MDOT MTA announced the schedule for the public hearings for the SCMAGLEV DEIS. The hearings will be held virtually in consideration of COVID-19 protocols, as follows:
•           Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
•           Thursday, April 8, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
•           Saturday, April 10, 2021 – 10 a.m. to Noon, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
More information on the virtual public hearings can be found here. A press release from MDOT detailing the comment period extension has been posted to the project website, here.

College Park PGPD Crime Map: March 2021

North College Park

March 1 thru March 8, 2021
5000 Blk Kenesaw STStolen Veh
9000 Blk 51ST AveTheft from auto
9800 Blk 53RD AveTheft from auto
7 Austin CTTheft from auto
4700 Blk Cherry Hill RDTheft from auto
9100 Blk Baltimore AveBreaking & Entering
March 9 thru March 22, 2021.
9800 Blk 53RD AveVandalism
9600 Blk Baltimore AveTheft from auto
9900 Blk Rhode Island AveTheft
9300 Blk Baltimore AveTheft from auto
4800 Blk Cherokee STTheft from auto.
9600 Blk Milestone WayVandalism
9600 Blk Milestone WayVandalism
March 23 thru March 28, 2021.
8200 Blk Baltimore AveTheft
5200 Blk Lackawanna STTheft
9600 Blk Baltimore AveTheft
5000 Blk Odessa RDTheft from auto
8200 Blk Baltimore AveTheft.
9630 MILESTONE WAYTHEFT FROM AUTO
March 29 thru April 4, 2021.
9600 Blk Baltimore AveTheft from auto
9000 Blk Baltimore AveTheft from auto
9600 Blk Baltimore AveVandalism
4700 Blk Cherry Hill RDTheft
9000 Blk Baltimore AveTheft from auto
9500 Blk 48TH AveTheft from auto.
9600 Blk Milestone WayVandalism.

 

South College Park

3/2/21-3/8/21
None
3/9/21-3/15/21
5800 blk of Greenbelt Rd Assault
3/16/21-3/22/21
4900 blk of Lakeland Rd Assault
5000 blk of Lakeland Rd Vandalism
4600 blk of Harvard Rd Breaking & Entering
Patuxent Ave/ Osage St Recovered fragment from the bullet
3/23/21-4/5/21
4900 blk of Lakeland Rd Vandalism
7500 blk of Citadel Dr Theft from auto
4300 blk of Hartwick Rd Theft from auto
4300 blk of Rowalt Dr Theft from auto
4300 blk of Harwick Rd Theft from auto
4200 blk of Guilford Dr Theft from auto
4300 blk of Hartwick Rd Stolen scooter
8100 blk of Baltimore Ave Recovered stolen auto

FY21 County Budget Hearings – May 4 and 11, 2021

The County Budget Public Hearings will take place on Mary 4 and May 11 at 5:00 p.m. Review the proposed budget and learn more here: https://pgccouncil.us/454/Budget-Portal
Register to speak on May 4 or 11 via the “eComment” links for those dates here.

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: Maglev, Streetscape, Dog Park, & More..

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Tonight is the second Thursday of the month and hence the day when the NCPCA holds its monthly meeting.

The meeting will start with a presentation by the Maryland Coalition for Responsible Transit (MCRT) about the proposed Maglev project.

The members will discuss the latest update by Mansionization Committee.

Councilmembers Kabir and CM Kennedy will give an update on Hollywood Streetscape & Dog Park respectively.

Finally, the members will discuss an Update on the Stone Straw property.

Join Zoom Meeting:     https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6185490686
Meeting ID:                   618 549 0686https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6185490686
One tap mobile:           +13017158592,,6185490686# US (Washington DC)
Dial by your location:    +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
Meeting ID:                   618 549 0686

City to Help Hollywood Farmers Market with Legal and Permitting Work

At last night’s meeting, the City Council discussed a proposed License Agreement with Hollywood Center, LLC and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Hollywood Farmers Market, Inc.

The Hollywood Farmers Market launched in 2013 under the management of HFM and its volunteer Board of Directors. In 2014, Julie Beavers was hired by the City as the Market Manager and has been instrumental in the growth and success of the market. The City pays the Market Manager, including the insurance coverage for her activities. The weekly markets run from early May to late November, opening at 9:00a.m. and closing at 1:00p.m. with approximately 33 market days per season.

On March 15, 2021 Aaron Springer, President of HFM, reached out to the City for assistance in managing the 2021 market season. HFM is unable to secure permits from the County for the upcoming market season because the corporation must file additional paperwork to resolve an issue with the state. Mr. Springer is seeking a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the City for the 2021 market season through which the City would undertake certain additional responsibilities for the market.

Under the proposed MOU, for the 2021 season the City would have the following new responsibilities (a) Entering into a Licensing Agreement with Carrolton Enterprises, owner of the Hollywood Shopping Center (b) Obtaining insurance for the Farmers Market. (c) Applying for the permit through Prince George’s County, Department Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE). The City would continue the following (a)Funding the salary for the Market Manager. And (b) Performing the annual fire inspection conducted by the Department of Public Services. HFM would be responsible for the following (a) Recruiting and managing volunteers. (b) Assisting the Market Manager with market operation, to include set up and break down, vendor placement and management, security, parking, removal of trash, litter, and recycling.

[City of College Park]

April 12, 7:30pm – Loud Noise in the Community

Are you concerned about loud noise from speeding vehicles on our city streets? What about loud parties during weekends? What do you think we can do more to help address this important quality of life issue?

Please attend next Monday’s “Community Police Meeting”, where we’ll discuss the loud noise in the community. City staff, and experts on noise laws, plus our police officers, who often enforce these laws are expected to be in the meeting.

Additionally, we’ll also discuss the latest crime map and the Neighborhood Watch program. Please see below how to join the conversation and share with your neighbors! Thank you!
When: 7:30 pm, Monday, April 12, 2021
Join by Zoom: http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice
Join by phone: (301) 715 – 8592, Meeting ID: 863 9609 7322, Password: 464259

Council to Review Bulk Trash Pilot Study Results

On January 28, 2020, the Mayor and Council adopted Ordinance 20-O-02 to amend City Code Chapter 119, “Refuse, Solid Waste and Special Trash” and Chapter 110, “Fees and Penalties.” The amendments changed how bulky trash is collected; set fees for collections of an excess number of items; and set penalties for violations.

According to the Ordinance, for a single-family, owner-occupied residence: Up to four bulky refuse collections per calendar year, with a maximum total of 20 bulky refuse items, will be free of charge to the resident. For quantities and/or frequency more than stated above, a $20 collection fee per item over the allowable number of items will be imposed. The Ordinance 20-O-02 also asked for one year, the charge for bulk trash items will be waived, and will not be assessed until further action of the Mayor and Council. During the one-year period, the City will develop a billing system to track collections of bulk trash by the property, gather additional data with respect to bulk trash, and notify owners of the number of bulk trash items collected from their property and the charge, if any, that would have been assessed if the fee were in effect.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Department of Public Works will provide the results of the one-year pilot program on Bulk Trash. The pilot period ran from March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021. During this time, the Department of Public Works collected data on the number of collections and number of items called in per property address. Please see the key results of the collected data in the graphics. At tomorrow’s meeting, the Mayor and Council will review the results and will determine if it now should terminate the fee waiver.

April Cleanup Saturdays

April Cleanup Saturdays
April 10 & 24 | 7:30 a.m. to Noon

The City of College Park’s Department of Public Works (9217 51st Avenue) will be hosting its annual April Cleanup Saturdays events where residents can drop off bulk trash, yard waste, electronics for recycling, and more.

Proof of City residency is required for participation.
Residents and non-residents can also purchase compost and wood mulch at these events.

This April, the Department of Public Works will be collecting household goods for GreenDrop as well as collecting household batteries (limit 10 batteries, no automotive), light bulbs (limit 4), and fluorescent tubes (limit 2) for recycling. Residents can also bring bulk trash, appliances, metals, electronics for recycling, brush and yard waste, and block Styrofoam.

All appliance, TV and monitor fees will be waived during this event.

Residents can get one cubic yard of the City’s Smartleaf screened compost for free during the event. Limit 1 cubic yard per resident; proof of residency required. Bring an open bed truck or your own containers and shovels to pickup.

Yuck old paint will be collected on Saturday, April 10 at $5 per can on Saturday, April 10. See below for details.

Yuck Paint Details:
• Latex and oil paint only in any condition (no spray paint)

• Paint must be in original containers. In order for the paint to be properly used, the contents on the inside must match the label on the outside.

Payment Terms:
• Payment will be collected on-site in the form of cash, credit card, or check.

• Residents pay $5/per can (quart, 1-gallon, 5-gallon bucket)

• There is no limit on the number of households who want to participate, nor a limit on the number of cans per household.

College Park Airport has Reopened

The College Park Aviation Museum has officially reopened! For information on how to register to visit and upcoming programs, visit https://conta.cc/31wNsGJ.

In order to better serve our community, the College Park Aviation Museum will have new hours of operation starting Tuesday, March 30th, 2021.

The museum will be open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm. We will not be open on Mondays.

The museum is looking forward to seeing you back in our galleries!
To schedule your tickets, please follow this link

NO Pollinators/NO humans – SAVE THE DANDELIONS – MOMS article: Why Save the Dandelions?

Every year, 3 million tons of fertilizers and 33,500 tons of synthetic pesticides are used on U.S. lawns to make them look “perfect”, but these chemicals end up in our waterways, air, are ingested by wildlife, and ultimately wreak havoc on our environment.

The idea of pristine, manicured lawns originated in the 18th century as a status symbol among the elite, and dandelions were given the negative reputation of being a weed. Dandelions are one of the first spring flowers and serve as an important food source for pollinators. Help us #ProtectPollinators and #SaveTheDandelions by making the switch to organic lawn care!

https://momsorganicmarket.com/save-the-dandelions/

ORGANIC LAWN CARE TIPS:
Drop off your old chemicals at your local hazardous waste collection site then start experimenting with these tips!
Water less frequently and when you do, use more water to promote deep root growth.
Keep grass 3” or higher to help retain water.
To fertilize, add compost or worm castings and leave grass clipping on your lawn after mowing.
Use natural pesticides like cedar, neem, citrus oil, cayenne pepper, or eucalyptus oil.
If you absoutley can’t live with dandelions, kill them and other weeds naturally with apple cider vinegar, table salt, dish soap, or boiling water.
Maintain 8+ inches of topsoil to encourage microbial growth.
Overseed, or completely replace, your lawn with native grasses.

COVID Vaccination Center Coming to Greenbelt Metro Station

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is setting up a vaccination site on Metro’s Greenbelt parking lot, according to Greenbelt Mayor Colin Byrd.

Byrd, who announced the vaccine center on Monday, said the FEMA-run site will operate from early April through June and come with additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine beyond Prince George’s County’s usual allotment.

The Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Center is scheduled to open on April 7 and will serve the surrounding communities in Prince George’s County. Work is currently underway to set up the site, which will be located in the parking lot area, and it will be fully staffed and operated by FEMA personnel.

According to Metro, signage will provide guidance to the vaccination site from the Metrorail station and parking areas. Parking in a designated lot will be available at no cost to those getting vaccinated. Marylanders interested in receiving a vaccination can pre-register online at covidlink.maryland.gov or by calling 1-855-MD-GoVAX.

Please see Mayor Byrd’s post below: