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In last night’s worksession, The City Council discussed forming a working group to improve the quality of life.

Mayor Fellows suggested to name the group “Neighborhood Stabilization Group”, noting its main purpose is to have a stable owner occupied houses and reduced rental houses. The workgroup desires to limit conversions of owner-occupied properties to rental properties. The idea of the group was formed after the Council voted recently to postpone the enforcement of rent stabilization law for one year to see various stakeholders in the city can improve the quality of life in residential neighborhood, a main cornerstone of the law.

In last night’s meeting, the Council discussed the make-up, process and metrics to be used by the group.

The proposed workgroup would include several members of key stakeholders in the city. They include Mayor Fellows; council members from each District (including at least one representative of the Council International Town-Gown Association workgroup); representatives of the Prince George’s Property Owners Association and landlords, selected by Council; residents / civic association representative; representatives of the University of Maryland (1 from Office of Administrative Affairs, one from Office of Academic Affairs), selected by U-MD; representative of University of Maryland Police Department; the U-MD SGA student liaison; representative of SGA; representative of the Inter-fraternity Council or Pan-Hellenic Association; representative of Public Services staff; and one representative of PGCPD or City contract police.

The workgroup could break into task forces, including task forces on overcrowding, noise, code enforcement, landlord enforcement (dealing with absentee landlords, medallion program), neighbor relations, and student enforcement. The group would consider a number of metrics, including the number of reported noise complaints, city survey satisfaction rates, the establishment of a landlord medallion program, the number of registered rentals, and code enforcement violations reported.

The Council will finalize the makeup of the group in the next worksession before it will have a meeting. A second meeting, possibly in late September will discuss a public forum and finalize metrics, a public forum in mid-October, task force meetings in October and November, and in early December, a workgroup meeting to report back results of task force meetings.