KabirCares.org
Jan
15
2023

Council to Vote on Duvall Field Park Design This Week

The Council received the 60% design plans on September 6, 2022. Two features, in particular, were not part of the original scope of services but were conceptually developed by the design consultant KCI based on public, staff and City Council input.

These are the splash pad and enhanced amphitheater/bandshell with storage and audio/visual. The design, bidding and construction management associated with these elements were not included in KCI’s project budget. KCI is requesting additional compensation to add these features to the plans and to recover expenses already incurred to pursue them. The proposals are summarized below.

(a) Additional fees for 60% design – $18,765 for the preliminary design, coordination with vendors, cost estimation and document preparation.
(b) Amphitheatre/Bandshell – $79,372 to engage an architectural sub consultant to design two wood-framed storage room buildings and an audio/visual sub-consultant to design a sound and lighting system to assist KCI with
( c ) Splash Pad – $60,447 to engage a specialty splash pad sub-consultant to assist KCI with the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and design, construction, and permit documents.

At this week’s meeting, the Council will consider approving the contract amendment with KCI Technologies, Inc. for $158,584

Jan
14
2023

RST Seeks Changes to Covenant Concerning Right-in/Right out on Route 1

The Applicant, RST Development, LLC, has submitted Detailed Site Plan to construct a 5-7 story, mixed-use building at 9113 Baltimore Avenue. The project includes 317 multi-family units, 3,296 square feet of commercial space intended to house the local Meals on Wheels program, and a six-level parking garage with 328 parking spaces.

The Planning Board hearing is scheduled for January 19, 2023. On the January 10 meeting, the Council voted to require the developer to apply for a reconsideration of the Preliminary Plan of Subdivision to allow for right-in, right-out access on Baltimore Avenue. The developer at that time expressed concern about the delay that such an application would cause.

Staff attended a meeting with the developer, their attorney, and M-NCPPC staff on Friday, January 13 and discussed the following: If, at the hearing on the DSP, the Planning Board makes it clear that it would deny the addition of the right-in option, then would the Council still require the developer to apply for a Preliminary Plan reconsideration, or would the Planning Board response at the DSP hearing be sufficient.

If the Planning Board was in support of the right-in, right-out, we would request that the DSP be approved with this option as an alternative and the developer would then file the application for an amendment of the Preliminary Plan. At next week’s meeting, the Council will consider n amendment to the Covenant concerning right-in/right-out on Baltimore avenue.

Jan
13
2023

“Lost Everything” – Family Displaced by Fire Appeals for Help

The College Park family displaced by last weekend’s tragic fire needs our help. The family has set up a GoFundMe page where we can contribute.

The page reads..

There was a fire at my Mom and Aunts house Saturday, January 7, the news was carried by nbcwashington.com, wusa9.com, wtop.com, dcnewsnow.com and others. The house was completely destroyed. We lost three of our cats to the fire and others are missing. My mother was pulled from the fire by the Fire Department and is currently in the ICU at Med Star DC. My Aunt is unharmed and here with us.
My mom is elderly and was taken to the hospital in a life-threatening state, but she has received excellent medical care and is now doing well. She is currently in the ICU at Med Star D.C. is awake and alert. She has burns on over 18% of her body. She will be needing surgery and will be a guest at Med Star for a couple of weeks as she recovers.
I want to thank the responding units who answered the call that day. I also wanted to thank Berwyn Heights (14) for getting my mother out of the house and the EMS unit that transported her. (Not sure who)
I am not sure who was there but these were the units I saw personally (in no particular order)
 Berwyn Heights
 College Park
 Branchville
 Bowie
 Glenarden
 Hyattsville, and
 Silver Spring.
I apologize if I missed anyone, but still very grateful.
We are all overwhelmed by the situation. We are alive and well. We are trying to figure out our next step, and we have been in touch with the Red Cross. We also started the Go-Fund me page to help with this situation. The house was paid for, but the insurance had lapsed, so no funds. The funds will be used for home restoration and part of the donations for medical bills as there will be more surgeries.
We would be very grateful if you can spare ten to twenty dollars or more to help, every dollar will help.
I am very grateful that everyone is okay. It could have been far worse. Thank you, everyone. We are truly blessed. I will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

 

Jan
12
2023

Four Reasons Why College Park is an Exciting Place to Grow

College Park’s economy is growing, with exceptional talent retention and talent pipeline growth, and affordable housing. Be a part of our success!

Learn more about College Park at www.collegepark.life.

[City of College Park]
Jan
11
2023

Council Supports Rt 1 Affordable Housing with a New Condition

At last night’s meeting, the Council voted to support the Detailed Site Plan for “Flat at College Park” by the RST development on the east side of Route 1, between Cherokee Street and Delaware st.

The Council voted 5-3 to add a condition asking the development to add an entrance to the development from Route 1. This new entrance will be in addition to the entrance from Cherokee street. This addresses neighborhood traffic concerns about the sole point of ingress on Cherokee Street.

The applicant will need to apply to the Planning Board for reconsideration of their original Preliminary Plan to add this new entrance.

In the end, the Council voted unanimously to support the plan.

Several residents spoke before the Council voted. Thanks to all who spoke.

Jan
10
2023

College Park December 22 Crime Map

Here is the December 202 crime map. Please click on the map to see the details.

Jan
9
2023

Shadow Study Report of RST Development

The RST affordable housing applicant recently performed a solar study to examine the impact of shadows cast by the proposed building during different times and days of the year. Please see that below. The Applicant will review the results at tomorrow’s meeting.

Jan
9
2023

Council to Vote on RST Affordable Housing Tomorrow with Revised Conditions

At tomorrow’s City Council meeting, the Council will discuss and vote on the Detailed Site Plan for “Flat at College Park” by the RST development on the east side of Route 1, between Cherokee Street and Delaware st. This will be a 5-7-story, mixed-use development comprising 317 multi-family residential units and 3,296 square feet of commercial space on a total of 3.81 acres parcel.

The Applicant requests modifications to the US 1 Corridor Development District Standards discussed in the December 13 Worksession. Staff and Applicant agreed on several conditions, except for a condition (5.6 below) that was added to address neighborhood traffic concerns about the sole point of ingress on Cherokee Street. M-NCPPC staff confirmed the possibility of submitting a reconsideration request to the Planning Board, and the Applicant is researching the implications.

Please see the revised conditions (with track changes) below:

  1.  SUPPORT the three requested Departures:
    1. Parking space dimensions from 9.5-feet x 19-feet to 9-feet x 18-feet.
    2. Height of the garage entrance is from 15 feet clearance to 13.5 feet clearance.
    3. Height of ceiling above loading space from 15-feet clearance to 14-feet clearance=
  2. SUPPORT the following alternative development district standards, as noted below (Note: The page numbers are referenced in 2010 Approved Central US 1 Corridor Sector Plan and Sectional Map Amendment)
    1. Mandatory Build-to-Line (BTL) (page 229) – To increase setback from 0 feet to 10 feet to allow for Public Utility Easement.
    2. Front Build-to-Line (BTL), Secondary (page 234)- To increase the setback requirement by 17.6. from a maximum of 12 feet to 29.6 feet along Cherokee St. and increase the setback requirement by 2.6 feet along Delaware St.
    3. Parking, number of spaces (page 239) – To increase the number of spaces by 32 spaces from 327 to 359 spaces.\
    4. Parking Access (p. 241) – To increase the width of access drives from 22 feet in width to 24 feet.
    5. Architectural Elements (p. 245-250) – To allow three units along Baltimore Ave. and two units along Delaware St. to not be 24 inches above the sidewalk.
    6. Architectural Elements/Siding (p. 252) – To allow fiber cement panels as a siding material.
    7. Sustainability and the Environment (p. 256) – To use an alternative certification system (NGBS-Silver) but equivalent to LEED Silver.
  3.  (Deleted)
    1. Mandatory Shopfront (page 229) – To not provide mandatory shop frontage along Baltimore Avenue.
    2. Building Form, Step-Back Transition and Landscape Buffers (page 238)-To not provide a step-back transition of the building to 2-3 stories where it adjoins a residential area.
  4. DO NOT SUPPORT: Section 4.4 of Landscape Manual (page 60)-To not screen a transformer.
  5. Prior to certification of the Detailed Site Plan, the Applicant shall revise the Site Plan to:
    1. Identify a micro-mobility parking area on Baltimore Avenue or Cherokee Street.
    2. Provide a “Do Not Enter” sign at the Baltimore Avenue exit and add a median to Baltimore Avenue at the garage exit, subject to approval of SHA.
    3. Provide details of signage along 48th Avenue such as “Service Entry Only” and restrictions for resident vehicles including information regarding move-ins/outs.
    4. Provide tabletop crosswalks in front of the garage entrance/exit on Cherokee Street and exit on Baltimore Avenue subject to engineering/grading/permitting feasibility. If not feasible, provide a painted crosswalk or another material to distinguish these crosswalks.
    5. Re-label the site plan to remove “residential use” from the 3,296 square foot commercial area along Cherokee Street.
    6. Provide a right-in, right-out access from the parking garage to Baltimore Avenue subject to Planning Board approval of a reconsideration of Preliminary Plan 4-22007, if required.
  6. Prior to certification of the Detailed Site Plan, the Applicant shall revise the Architectural Plans to:
    1. Remove the shopfront treatment where residential uses extend to the ground floor.
    2. Remove the spandrel at level three along Baltimore Avenue to improve the shopfront treatment.
    3. (Deleted: Enhance the lobby entrance by adding a canopy that extends to the sidewalk)
    4. Use predominantly dark colors for the base and predominantly light colors for the upper stories of the building..
    5. For the east elevation along the rear yard, the color of the horizontal masonry veneer panels for the parking garage should be the same color as the adjoining fiber cement panels used for the building walls. The precast panels on the ramped portion of the parking garage should be a lighter color.
    6. Change the building identification sign over the entrance to the Cherokee Street commercial space to identify the commercial user. (Sheet A202, Detail F1).
    7. Indicate a clearance bar with dimensioned height be placed at the parking garage entrance.
  7. Prior to certification of the Detailed Site Plan, the Applicant shall revise the Landscape Plan to:
    1. Provide an artistic treatment detail to be applied to all sides of the ground transformer located at the southeast corner of the south building.
    2. Revise fencing proposed on the north side of 48th Avenue to comply with the City fence ordinance (the first 25 feet from Delaware Street should not exceed 3-feet in height and be open and transparent such as the picket fence shown on Sheet L301, detail 11).
    3. Clarify which of the existing trees will be removed and which will remain on Sheet L401B and any other relevant sheet.
    4. Consider tree substitutions for the following problematic species:
      1. Boxwoods
      2. Otto Luyken-Consider Juniper horizontalis, abelia, or Cornus sericea
  8. Prior to Planning Board approval of the DSP, execute a Declaration of Covenants and Agreement with the City that includes, at a minimum, the following provisions:
    1. Provide a retail use or other commercial use approved by the City , if cfor Meals-on-Wheels does not occupy the designated commercial space..
    2. Construction and maintenance of improvements to the City’s unimproved 40-foot-wide right-of-way known as 48th Avenue, for approximately 219 feet west of Delaware Street, in accordance with City design standards (including installation of a roadbed, roadway, curb, gutter, and a five-foot-wide sidewalk on the east side and four-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side). “No Through Street” and “No Parking” signs shall be posted and enforced by the City.
    3. A public access easement to the City for the “T-shaped” hammerhead turn-around located on the Applicant’s property at the end of 48th Avenue-See Public Use Easement Plan.
    4. A public access easement to the City, to accommodate the sidewalk along Delaware Street-See Public Use Easement Plan.
    5. Construction of an exclusive right turn lane on Cherokee Street between the site access and US Route 1 in accordance with City and SHA standards.
    6. Installation of high visibility (piano keys), crosswalks along US Route 1 on Indian Lane and Fox Street, as indicated in the BPIS, subject to any required SHA approval.
    7. Installation of pedestrian signals and high visibility crosswalks (piano keys) along the US 1 and Cherokee Street intersection, as indicated in the BPIS, subject to any required SHA approval.
    8. PILOT to City if the property becomes tax exempt.
    9. Unitary management and condominium conversion requirements.
    10. Acknowledgement of responsibility for maintenance of pedestrian light fixtures, landscaping, and sidewalks.
    11. Restrictions related to construction staging and hours of operation, if needed.
    12. If feasible, provision of an outdoor public art feature, which can be matched by City funds (up to $15,000).Evidence of NGBS SILVER certification.
Jan
8
2023

FY2023 Community Services Grant

The Community Service Grants provide partial funding for community-based programs and projects within the City of College Park. The City of College Park believes that supporting community activities enhances the community as a whole. The City will provide grants for programs and activities that promote enhanced community opportunities for its residents. Community Services Grants are only awarded to organizations, not to individuals.

Please complete this form by January 27, 2023

Jan
7
2023

House Fire on Wichita Ave

Today, just before 2 pm, a heavy fire broke out on the 9700 block of Witchita Avenue in north College Park. One resident was transported to the hospital with injuries, the other with no injuries. We were told that a third resident was safe and out of town. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire. 
A huge thanks to our firefighters for doing a fantastic job rescuing two precious lives.
 
You can read more (including a video) about the fire here on the NBC 4 news. 
A woman suffered life-threatening injuries during a house fire in College Park, Maryland, Saturday.
Prince George’s County fire crews saw flames coming out of a two-story home on Wichita Avenue, east of Rhode Island Avenue, just before 2 p.m.
Firefighters quickly found a woman inside who was trapped inside and rushed her to the hospital. Her injuries are described as life-threatening.
Two other adults are now displaced.

The cause of the fire is still not known.

Also, here is more (including some photos)  about the incident on the Facebook page of the Berwyn Heights Fire Department that responded to the incident:
Just before 2pm Truck 14 and surrounding units were alerted for a house on fire with multiple calls in the 9700 block of Wichita Avenue. While enroute communications advised that they were getting reports of people trapped inside of the home. Truck 14 arrived onscene as the first arriving unit with smoke and fire coming from the home.
Truck 14s interior team entered the Delta side entrance of the home and located a trapped occupant and removed the trapped occupant within 4 minutes of arriving. Truck 14 handed off the patient to PA814 and A809, who was standing by for treatment and transport to an area hospital.
The interior crew continued searching and opening up hidden fire on the first and second floors. The exterior team laddered the structure and ventilated the roof. Truck 14 operated for 3 hours before returning to service.
Jan
6
2023

Let us Know About Next Year’s City Budget

Preparation is beginning on the FY2024 Proposed Budget, which will be published in March 2023. The Mayor & Council invite residents to submit suggestions, requests and/or recommendations before January 31 to assist the City in fulfilling its mission. Complete the application at https://www.collegeparkmd.gov/FormCenter/Budget-17/FY2023-Proposed-Budget-Request-for-Resid-80

Jan
5
2023

Public Safety Meeting: Next Monday at 7:30pm

Don’t miss our next Public Safety meeting on Monday, January 9, at 7:30 pm! Learn how to best protect yourself from cyber and financial crimes with Detective Minnich of the PGPD Financial and Cyber Security Crimes Unit. Join the zoom here.

Jan
4
2023

New traffic patterns on campus

The forthcoming Purple Line light rail route will extend 16 miles from New Carrollton in Prince George’s County to Silver Spring and Bethesda in Montgomery County, and five of the 21 stations will be on or around our campus. With direct connections to Metrorail, Amtrak and MARC, the Purple Line will provide more accessible and reliable transportation for students, faculty and staff, and connect our campus to the surrounding region in new ways.

As construction of the Purple Line ramps up in January, there will be major long-term traffic pattern changes in the core of our campus starting on December 27.

Most notably, the traffic circle at the intersection of Campus and Regents Drives will be reconfigured as shown on this map.

Campus Drive will be one way westbound from Union Lane (near Stamp Student Union) to Campus Drive (near the Benjamin Building) and Union Drive will be closed from Campus Drive (near the Benjamin Building) to Championship Drive (in Lots 1 and Z). Alumni Drive will remain open. (See map)

Along with the traffic pattern changes, pedestrian detours will be required in many places. All pedestrian detours will be ADA-compliant. (See maps)

To prepare for the change in traffic pattern, there will be major road closures December 27-28 as shown on this map. Emergency vehicle access will be allowed.

Campus Drive will be closed from Paint Branch Drive to Union Drive
Union Drive will be closed from Campus Drive to Championship Lane
Regents Drive will be closed at the traffic circle
We remind you to please use caution when moving around campus, and follow all posted signs and flaggers when traveling near construction areas. As always, we appreciate your flexibility as this important project for our campus and entire region continues to make progress.

If you have questions or encounter issues while traveling around campus, please contact purpleline@umd.edu or 301-405-2222.
[Source: University of Maryland]

Jan
3
2023

Route 1 Construction Update

The following is an update on the construction of Route 1 (Baltimore Ave), south of MD 193 in College Park.

This project is 41 percent and is in multiple construction phases.

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) has initiated the US 1 (Baltimore Avenue) from College Avenue to MD 193 (University Boulevard) project. Currently, US 1 between College Avenue and Lakeland Road is a four-lane divided roadway with a raised median and no shoulders. US 1 between Lakeland Road and MD 193 is a five-lane undivided roadway with double left-turn lanes and no shoulders. The existing sidewalk along US 1 is not continuous.

During construction, US 1 will be widened to provide a four-lane roadway consisting of 11-foot wide through lanes and 10-foot wide outside auxiliary lanes, which transition to turns at each intersection. There will also be a five-foot wide bicycle lane and a raised median with varying widths between two feet and 16 feet. Sidewalks compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) will be provided along both sides of US 1 throughout the project limits. Other improvements include resurfacing, landscaping, drainage system upgrades, stormwater management facilities, new signage and pavement markings, pedestrian lighting, intersection lighting and utility relocation work.

The City Council sent a letter last year to the MDOT SHA asking them to accelerate the project. Please see the letter below.

Jan
2
2023

Community Meeting on Virtual Disaster Center

The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) will open its Virtual Disaster Center to help anyone with insurance-related issues or questions about damage from severe weather events that have recently impacted Maryland.

Dates and times:

  • Wednesday, January 4, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
  • Wednesday, January 4, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

For Zoom link, click here

Dial-in number: (646) 828-7666 Meeting ID: 160 911 3971

Registration is not required. Please join at a designated time for assistance. To learn more, please read their press release