Today is the last day of 2010, and I figured your busy schedule may have prevented many of you from keeping in touch with your neighborhood matters. Here is a summarised version of the major events that took place in our part of the city. Please let me know if I’ve missed something that you think important.
|January 27, 2010|
UMD Buys Washington Post College Park Plant
The University announced its plan to purchase 18.5 acres facility, located at 5245 Greenbelt Road. UMD plans to relocate services such as a bus depot it currently houses on the east side of campus, the site of a planned redevelopment project that includes housing for graduate students, retail space and a hotel
| February 10, 2010|
Snowmageddon Hits Neighborhood Streets
Record amount of snow fall caused havoc in City streets. For upto 3 days, many streets did not get cleared up. Though the public works was not prepared for such a massive snow fall, at the end they did a good job. Trash pick up got delayed for days. NCPCA meeting was canceled.
|March 3, 2010|
UMD Students Riot on Rt. 1 after Terrapin-Duke Game
The UMD students rioted on Route 1 after the Terrapin’s win against Duke. The students said the police went too far. The police did not agree first and justified its arrest of 28 students but later found police officers guilty of using excessive force.
|March 4, 2010|
WSSC Announced the ‘Messy’ Water Replacement Plan
WSSC announced its plans to replace approximately 4 miles of water main in north College Park which began early spring. Many residents complained about the contractors leaving trash, being unresponsive and blocking driveways unnecessarily.
|May 14, 2010|
NCP “Headshop” Causes Controversies
Tobacco shop Bamboo Eater opens its door in Hollywood Square Shopping Center and stirred a wave of controversies among the residents. They said the store sells drug paraphernalia products, a charge the store owner denied at a later NCPCA meeting.
|May 24, 2010|
Experience and Enjoy College Park Tour Debuts
A group of residents started up an Explore and Enjoy College Park Tour. The purpose was to get together at a city restaurant every month to promote shopping and eating locally, as well as to bring residents from across the city together to build a sense of community and talk about local issues in a relaxed setting. Several key figures in local politics attended the tour.
|May 30, 2010|
Metro Sexual Assault Shocked City Residents
A 15year old girl was sexually assaulted on the portion of the metro access between the Greenbelt Metro station and College Park. The news of the attack shocked the community and brought neighbors together to start a petition to install security cameras at the entrance. Several months later, PGPD arrested the suspect.
|June 19, 2010|
US-1 Sector Plan amendment Approved
County Council approved the US1 Sector Plan and Sectional Map Amendment. There are 84 amendments in total, most of the 26 amendments that the City requested for are in the final amendment list. Most notably includes asking to exclude North College Park from Form-based zoning regulations and to retain Hollywood commercial district to its current designation of Commercial Shopping Center zone..
|June 19, 2010|
Storm Kills CP Resident, Causes a Massive Power Blackout A powerful storm in the area kills CP resident Michelle Humanick, as she was driving on Rhode Island Avenue, near Odessa Road. Michelle was active in the Neighborhood Watch in College Park Estates and Yarrow, and was married to Clay Gump, who has long been active in the City. The storm also caused a massive power blackout in the area, cutting off power from roughly 53,000 people in our county.
|August 27, 2010|
Split Council Okays Gateway Park
A split City council voted to authorize the city staff to pursue a grant to fund design and building of the Hollywood Gateway Park at the intersection of Edgewood road and Rt. 1. The idea was to demolish the existing house at the intersection and build a theme park there. The plan caused controversies among residents.
|September 13, 2010|
BestBuy Opens in North College ParkThe famous electronic chain store opened its door in College Park Shopping complex, at the place where the old Linens-n-Things used to operate. The store however planned to put up a big blue wedge sign in front of the store. Residents complained, and the store seemed to caved in.
|September 14, 2010|
County Residents Vote in ‘Decisive’ Primaries Neighborhoods went through a festive mood in the mid-term election, when the county residents voted to elect candidates for county council. The primary results at the end sent Rushern Baker as the Co. Executive. Mary Lehman became the new county council member for district 1, replacing term-limited Tom Dernoga, who also lost in the State’s attorney race.
|October 9, 2010|
Residents Celebrate First College Park DayAfter months of planning, city residents celebrated it’s first ever College Park Day. Some 1000 residents participated the festive event, which was hosted by 60 community groups, including several from the UMD.
|November 12, 2010|
Former Co. Exec Jackson ArrestedIn a shocking corruption probe, FBI arrested former county executive Jack Johnson and his wife county councilmember-elect Leslie Johnson. U.S. attorney investigating the case called it a “tip of the iceberg” and part of a broader corruption investigation in Prince George’s county.
|November 15, 2010|
Speed Cameras Start Giving TicketsCity’s first first speed cameras started giving tickets in 3 locations – Metzerott Road, Paint Branch Parkway and Rhode Island Avenue. A new camera was later installed on Route 1. In May, City approved to award the speed camera contract to a Lanham-based company called Optotraffic. In March, the city conducted a public hearing on the subject. Cameras caused an interesting discussion on the matter of revenues and public safety.
|November 19, 2010|
NCP ‘Sex Shop’ Gets Violation, Stirs ControversyNorth College Park’s controversial store “Comfort Zone” received two zoning violations for selling “adult” related products, causing a spirited debate among city residents.
|December 15, 2010|
Lights Turn Lackawanna into a ‘Runway’Pepco activated street lights as part of the $100K Lackawanna Streetscape project, but made quite a few residents unhappy; they thought the amount of lights is excessive and ruined their street by turning it into a ‘runway’
|December 17, 2010|
City Ranked Best To Raise Families in MD
The Bloomberg BusinessWeek, reported that College Park is the best place in the entire state of Maryland to raise families in 2011.The rankings put the most weight on school performance and the number of schools, crime statistics, and cost of living. Other factors included job growth, air quality, ethnic diversity, and access to recreational amenities.