The meeting began when the President (Henry Wixon) arrived. The Vice President (Mary Vondrak) and Secretary (Jim Titus) were also present. With the Treasurer (John Shields) absent, the Vice President kept track of attendance.
Secretary’s Report. Jim Titus summarized the previous meeting. No corrections were suggested and we adopted the minutes.
A bit more on John Mataya: He went to University of Wisconsin. When he came to this area, he worked for the Council of Governments. After that, he worked on planning issues, housing issues. He came to Park and Planning six months ago. (His planning area is Glenndale/Lanham/Seabrook). Rough boundaries: US-50, capital beltway, MD-193, GoodLuck Road.
Also: Susan Wolf is retiring around August 1. They have bought a condo in an historic hotel in Smyrna, Delaware. They are sad to leave Marietta, but there will be a replacement. PG Parks does not look for a permanent replacement until the current occupant moves out. Titus editorialized: Maybe we should start putting out the word that there will be a historical preservation job in Glenn Dale. Henry editorialized: We appreciate all the great work that both Susan and Jim have done during the last 12 years at Marietta House. Susan editorialized: The county may find it difficult to find someone who will do both the job that I have been doing, as well as all of the work on the house and grounds that Jim has been doing.
Mary spoke about the recent CSA 24 meeting, which is held on the first Thursday of the month. Apartment property managers, police, and HOA’s. District 22 of the county Police, reports what is going on police-wise. District 2 will have an open house on March 24, from 10-2PM. Opportunity to get tour of the station. This is at 601 Crain Highway 301-390-2100. Discussion of problems at Largo. Speaker from Reid Temple AME discussed opportunities for teenagers. In particular: outreach mentoring for any teenager who needs it, need not be a member. Also has program for teens who parents are incarcerated. No new information on the hit-and-run. There have been 3 robberies on Lanham-Severn Road lately, with one at Glenn Dale Service Station. Residential burglaries are up in this area. Big problems at Duval with truancy.
The announcements ended at 8:20.
There was no new business.
Staybridge Hotel at Eastgate Shopping Center. Ruth Gruber, the planner for motel, contacted Henry Wixon about the architecture for the proposed motel. Indicated that staff is not impressed with architecture either. There will be an April 19 meeting on detailed site plan. Our next meeting is before the planning meeting, so we do not need to take a position now.
Soil Conservation Road. Mary attended a meeting with NASA concerning various problems in the aftermath of the opening of the new road. There is always a large puddle on Good Luck Road where dirt was dumped. Perhaps it was caused by an asphalt patch. NASA said they will look into it. Also: water is continuously pouring onto the road near the intersection of Soil Conservation Road and the old Good Luck road. Problem may be because there is no storm drain. NASA will install a storm drain in that area. DANGER!! at the new intersection. People do not realize that there is a left turn lane into the NASA Goddard Recreation Center, and they go straight from what is really a left turn lane. NASA or the County will probably paint some white arrows onto the roadway to warn people that the lane is about to go left.
State Highway Administration is considering elimination of the triangles and merge lanes from Good Luck Road to westbound MD-193, making it three lanes through. We are not sure why. It seems counterintuitive. Perhaps this is to calm traffic, that is, people would have to stop at the intersection rather than merge. But we don’t know.
Glenn Dale Commons. The District Council will review this development. Mary tried to find out why. She contacted Jemal’s lawyer, who said that part of the plan will have Green-tec building used as a temporary school when Greenbelt middle school is re-done. District Council wants to review that part of the plan. This may be a delay tactic to ensure that all the details are worked out.
East Glenn Dale Sector Plan Appeal, continued. Henry got a thank you call from last month’s speakers. We have not heard back. This remains for Circuit Court judge to rule. Mary thought they wanted a letter from us. Mary: Why should we offer them anything. She likes zoning the way it is. We like it the way it is. That way, it will stay open space. Jim said he is okay to see it stay as O/S so that it could have a MARC station in the future.
Presentation: Washington Business Park.
John Timms. G.S. Proctor, said his primary function is to do community outreach on development projects. He is here to discuss ideas for Washington Business Park, he said. Their ideas are conceptual in nature. Timms turned it over to Larry Taub, a land use attorney for O’Malley, Miles, Nylen, and Gilmore. He represents Ron Cohen, he said, owner of a parcel at the corner of Forbes Bouldevard and MD-450. Parcel is about 7 acres, across Forbes Boulevard from the Amoco Station. Washington Business Park competes with other business parks such as I-270. There is a good road transportation network to this area. A lot of people ask: where can employees go for lunch, services, and otherwise do something. Within the business park is Cafe57, which is fine but it is the only choice. The client-owner is thinking about using this parcel for a small retail center. It might have a few restaurants and “convenience commercial” stores. They have obtained the support from the civic groups closest to the parcel, including Glenn Estates, Glenwood Park, and Lincoln Vista, he said. They have obtained support from other civic groups as well, who would be served by the shopping center. But the main reason for this shipping center is the need for services in the Park. This is the council district line between Harrington and Olsen, but in Harrington’s district. They have discussed a text amendment with Harrington. Property is in the I-1 zone. Owner could build a warehouse. There is a logic for a reasonably sized area that would serve the business park itself. The I-1 zone does not allow for that.
Our proposed text amendment would include a requirement for a detailed site plan approval. We think this makes sense. It is important to the future of the Washington Business Park.
Questions and Anwers
Q: we see a copy of the proposed text amendments?
A: We did not bring a copy of the amendment, we’ll send you a copy.
Q: How many people work at the business Park?
A: I don’t know, we’ll get you that information.
Q: How may people will actually be able to walk to this restaurant?
A: I do not know. As with Café 57, most people will probably drive from one part of the Park to another. This will be a shorter drive than Café 57, for some.
Q: I don’t see why it’s so important for people in the business park to have another restaurant in the park that they have to drive to. I mean, once you get in a car, why does it matter whether you drive a mile to your proposed restaurants, or 2 miles to get to Vista Gardens?
A: People in this area do not usually walk.
Q: Have you considered residential property on that site, or a commercial/residential mix?
A: No, this is not large enough. The county does not want residential on that side of MD-450. There are some older homes there—but no more are planned.
Q: What do people in Glenwood Park say?
A: We spoke with Lincoln Vista, Glennwood Park, and Glenn Estates. Two of the three associations support this project.
Q: Which two?
A: I can not recall.
Q: What type of restaurants?
A: There will be no drive-through restaurants. Owner has not done the marketing. So it is hard to know whether we can get an independent restaurant. This is the problem with the suburban areas. They would love to have some nice innovative eateries, but hard to say if anyone will do it.