Issues in our community (in no particular order)
Crime and Safety
While social media and local reporting make neighbors more aware of crime in the neighborhood, crime has actually decreased in College Park over the years and will continue to decrease as City leadership makes safety a priority. Thanks to the diligence of the Berwyn District Civic Association (BDCA), the University of Maryland has extended University Police Patrol beyond Lakeland and into the Berwyn community within District 2. This is an added improvement to the existing contracted police and county police that we rely on, since the City does not have a police force of its own. In addition, the University has extended the Student Code of Conduct to surrounding neighborhoods, so that students will be held to a higher account for unlawful actions.
The BDCA and neighbors have explored adding cameras that would link the community to the University's security monitoring center, housed in the old Washington Post facility. The costs are high and the infrastructure to connect the cameras requires additional coordination. More to come...
College Park is a brilliant mix of generations, life-long residents, new families, student owners/renters, other renters, and small business owners. Our city is rich with history and in the midst of exciting future developments that will offer additional opportunities for us to come together as neighbors. The City, Civic Associations, and University already provide a number of community activities throughout the year where you can meet your neighbors; Good Neighbor Day, Berwyn Day, Berwyn Bonfire, Maryland Day to name a few.
As a college town, we are also a city that sees a lot of coming and going. It is important to note that those neighbors that may only be here for a short time are still a part of this community and should be treated as such. As a best practice, I encourage all neighbors to introduce themselves to new residents and help them acclimate to their new home. Please contact the City or me so that we can get a welcome package to new neighbors.
District 2 covers a large are of Lakeland, Berwyn, and Branchville. Given our physical distance, it is nice to have a single source of communication that covers our area. We are no longer a community of phone trees or the neighborhood Gladys Kravits, keeping everyone informed and inline. Social media is a great medium for all of us to stay connected. I strongly encourage all neighbors to join our social network, NextDoor, and populate this site with Crime Alerts, Yard Sale Announcements, Community Events, and other informative posts. This site has the potential to consolidate earlier efforts that were built on Yahoo ListServes.
For neighbors that are not regular computer users, the BDCA will continue circulating the Berwyn Newsletter and the Gazette will contain major City initiatives. I think it would be nice if we built a phone list for those not connected to the internet. I am open to other ways to connect neighbors. Join my mailing list and email PJ4CPMD@gmail.com.
Generally speaking, I believe that landlords should be allowed to charge the rate that is dictated by the market. Limiting or "stabilizing" potential earnings limits a landlords ability to reinvest in their property. It also drives down home values, which reduces the taxes collected on these properties.
Hens are a growing trend in a number of cities and suburbs. As College Park seeks to learn more about this opportunity, it is the County that regulates hens and other farm animals. Most homes in College Park do not meet the regulatory and zoning requirements to house hens. If College Park can receive permission from the County for hen case studies, I would support this measure for the City and residents to learn more about this possibility.
College Park is a "zero tolerance" city when it comes to noise. Residents have a number of ways to address noise issues, but first:
- Get to know you neighbors and establish guidelines for mutual respect
- Make sure new neighbors get a welcome packet, which contains information about city noise
- Landlords should make sure their renters are aware of city laws and potential consequences of noise violations
In the event of a noise event:
- If you feel safe, knock on your neighbors doors and ask them to turn down the noise.
- Call non-emergency police and ask them to address the situation (301-352-1200)
- Contact the Noise Enforcement Hotline (240-487-3588) - they will do a decible reading and a fine will be issued to the offenders
- Two or more neighbors can write a letter to the Noise Control Board to request a hearing where potential fines and penalties can be assessed.
UMD Golf Course Proposal
More to come...
More to come...
More to come...
Trails and Sidewalks
More to come...