Gateway Park Design

At the North College Park Citizens Association (NCPCA) meeting last night, residents approved a preliminary design of the proposed Hollywood Gateway Park at the corner of Route 1 and Edgewood Road in North College Park.

A committee was selected by the NCPCA members in November last year to work on the design. Committee Chair Larry Bleau presented the design to members present at the meeting. I was also part of the 6 members committee.

At the meeting, members approved the design, which they want the City’s planning department to work further. A landscaping and architectural group from the UMD is also expected to work in the design process.

According to Real Landscaping‘s proposed design, the north and the west sides of the property should have a wide sidewalk that follows the natural curve of the corner. The design asks to place the sidewalk far enough back from US 1 to allow a turn lane to be added when US 1 is reconstructed, and far enough back from Edgewood Road to allow an inbound lane to be added on its south side.

The design asks to use solar powered low-voltage lighting built into the wall to provide safety lighting along the sidewalk. It also asks to use some type of lighting to illuminate the park and consult police for safety design features.

The design also recommends constructing a monument style sign with Welcome to Hollywood, A Livable Community within the City of College Park, or a similar message at the NW corner. It asks to place the retaining wall on the E side slightly inside the property line and plant shrubs or a hedge both as visual screening and to prevent easy access from the adjoining properties, which will reduce the opportunity for graffiti. — Alternately, place some artwork on the wall, possibly by local school competition to engage local students.

Because of the steep nature of the property, the design recommends terraced plantings instead of a continuous grade. It also asks to partly fill in the lowest area to give the park better proportions, reduce the height differential, and allow easier access. It recommends constructing a low retaining wall on the SE corner and E side to accomplish this.

Inside the park, it envisions to have amenities such as a pond or a fountain, a gazebo at the bottom or picnic table, park benches along the descending sidewalk and at the bottom. It asks to reuse the water supply and sewer hookup from the house to have a drinking fountain.

As for the current structure on the property, it recommends the City to examine ways in which the infrastructure of the existing house – its foundation, basement level walls, and its utility hookups – can be reutilized. It also asks the City to examine uses to which parts of the property can be put; e.g., storage for the Boys and Girls Club or some similar City function