Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summary Notes - Neighborhoods Commitee - November 2007

Summary Notes
Neighborhoods Committee
November 19, 2007 – 7:00 pm – Silver Spring Regional Services Center

Attending: Alan Bowser; Anita Morrison, Long Branch Advisory Committee; Martha Waddy, New Hampshire Estates Civic Association; Charlotte Coffield, Lyttonsville Civic Association; Elmoria Stewart, Lyttonsville Civic Association; Rukiyat Gilbert, Southern Management; Marcie Stickle, Silver Spring Historical Society; Mary Reardon, Silver Spring Historical Society; Wayne Goldstein, Montgomery County Civic Federation; Victor Salazar, Northwest Park–Oakview Weed & Seed Program; Gretchen Hilburger, CSAFE/NPOV Weed & Seed; Joy Peters, Montgomery County Recreation Department; Marian Elsasser, Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission; Tricia McManus; Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission; Sandy O’Hara, Montgomery County Public Schools, NPOV Weed & Seed; Lt. Steve Auger, MCPD; Vern McLendon, Silver Spring Recreation Advisory Board; and Karen Ashby, Silver Spring Regional Services Center.

Report on October Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board Meeting and September Neighborhoods Committee Meeting. Alan Bowser reviewed the actions taken by the Board at the October 12, 2007 meeting. The full Board—

• Approved the Neighborhood Committee’s draft urging historic recognition of the Lyttonsville community in Silver Spring;
• Tabled the Neighborhood Committee’s letter supporting a “quiet zone” for the CSX rail line.
• Received presentations by representatives of IMP/9:30 Club regarding a new Music Center on Colesville Road.
• Approved a letter to the County Executive expressing concerns about the County’s negotiations for the Colesville Road entertainment venue.

At the October meeting of the Neighborhoods Committee:

• Cynthia Butler, DHCA, briefed the Committee on the planned renovation of the sidewalks along the north side of Arliss Street, in the Long Branch area of Silver Spring.
• Rob Gibbs, Natural Resources Manager for Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and Chair of the Montgomery County Deer Management Workgroup, described the County’s deer management program.
• Adam Pagnucco of the Forest Estates Community Association spoke to the Committee about the train horn noise at the Linden Lane railroad crossing (near Forest Glen Road).
• Mary Reardon, Silver Spring Historical Society summarized the process for “historic designation” in Montgomery County and briefed the Committee on developments regarding a proposed large apartment development near the corner of East West Highway and 16th Street.
• Marcie Stickle, Silver Spring Historical Society Advocacy Chair, briefed the Committee on developments regarding the Perpetual Building located at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Cameron Street.
• Charlotte Coffield, Lyttonsville Civic Association, briefed the Committee on the history of the Lyttonsville community and its founder, Samuel Lytton, and the community’s efforts to achieve official recognition of its early role in the economic development, growth and civic life of Silver Spring and Montgomery County.
• Victor Salazar and Martha Waddy provided a summary of Northwest Park Oakview Weed & Seed Program developments.

Public Safety Update. 3rd District Lt. Steve Auger, MCPD, briefed the Committee on recent public safety developments in Silver Spring. He reviewed Silver Spring crime statistics, noting a decrease in violent crime and an increase in daytime residential burglaries, vehicle thefts, and larcenies from vehicles. He said that GPS devices and catalytic converters were highly sought after by thieves. He recommended several measures for residents to protect their homes and vehicles. Lt. Auger addressed police manpower issues and said that, by mid-December there should be 11 new officers and a sergeant assigned to the Third District.

Northwest Park-Oakview Weed and Seed Program. Martha Waddy briefed the Committee on recent NPOW Weed & Seed Program developments. Among the highlights of the update was news that another Safe Haven space may be established in the Weed & Seed service area in a property managed by Southern Management. A summary is provided as an attachment to the Committee minutes.

Gretchen Hilburger, CSAFE, briefed the Committee on progress regarding the community arts mural to be located at the corner of Piney Branch Road and New Hampshire Avenue. She said that a group of 12 out-of-school youth had been selected as the principal contributors to the project, which was expected to be completed in 2008. Arts on the Block and the Multicultural Youth Center are involved in the project.

Broad Acres Park Renovation Update. Tricia McManus and Marian Elsasser, M-NCPPC, briefed the Committee on the plans to renovate the Broad Acres Park. The speakers said that there had been unexpected delays in moving the project forward, due in part to a change in M-NCPPC staffing and they noted failures in staying in touch with the local communities. They presented copies of the site plans for the Park renovation which will include a soccer field and two baseball diamonds. In addition, there will be a hardscape entry area which will include a wall with tiles with images created by local children. It is expected that the major renovation will take place in 2008, with the project completed in 2009. They said that, from now on, community contact would be a high priority.

Committee members asked questions about the project timetable and the communities to be served by the new park. They also noted the community’s desire to be kept information of Park-related developments.

After School and Recreation Program Funding. Joy Peters, Montgomery County Department of Recreation, briefed the Committee on funding issues related to several County supported afterschool programs in the Silver Spring Region. She said that several valuable community programs were tied to non-County grants which were expiring, with likely adverse impact on the number of children who could be serviced by the programs. In particular, the Camp Gateway program—a joint effort of the Department of Recreation, the Montgomery County Public Schools and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County—would see serious cutbacks in service because of the reduction in grant funding.

Committee members asked questions about alternative sources of funding, potential program partners, and the community’s support about Camp Gateway and the other after school programs.

The Committee approved a draft letter of support for Camp Gateway and the other related summer afterschool programs, urging the County Council and the County Executive to provide a dedicated and sustainable source of County funding for these programs.

Northwest Park Oakview Weed & Seed Nuisance Abatement Program. Victor Salazar, Site Coordinator, NPOV Weed & Seed Program, briefed the Committee on an innovative partnership between the community and Montgomery County officials to reduce code violations in the Oakview neighborhood. An inventory of violations has been developed and there is ongoing enforcement.

Historic Preservation Update. Mary Reardon, Silver Spring Historical Society, reviewed the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board’s support of historic protection for the Falkland Apartments. SSCAB supported protection of Falkland in 2003 and again in 2005, with letters and testimony. A proposed project would demolish 9 acres of Falkland and construct 1,059 units of high-rise housing and 60,000 square feet of retail at East West Highway and 16th Street. The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on historic designation of Falkland on December 6 at 3 pm. The Board will review the project plan at a later date.

Marcie Stickle, Silver Spring Historical Society, provided an update on the schedule for the Planning Board’s consideration of historical protection for the Perpetual Building on Georgia Avenue at Cameron Street. The public hearing on historic designation is set for January 10, time to be decided. The Planning Board hearing on the project plan, which would demolish the Perpetual Building to construct a 14-story condominium project, will be at a later date. Several civic associations support historic designation of these properties.

Adjournment The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Next Meeting December 17, 2007

The Northwest Park Oakview Weed and Seed (NPOWS)
Program Update to the
Silver Spring Citizen’s Advisory Board
Neighborhood Committee
November 19, 2007
Submitted by: Martha Waddy
Steering Committee Member

PROGRAM UPDATE

* October 17, 2007, The Avery Park Tenants Association held its final meeting for 2007. There was a request to provide a Weed & Seed update.

* October 18, 2007, An agreement was reached with Sandglass to create a Weed & Seed Website.

* On October 25, 2007, The Hampton's HOA held its Annual Meeting. Lt. McCullagh was a featured speaker on public safety. Victor Salazar introduced Weed & Seed to the community and congratulated Neighborhood Watch Graduates. Councilman Dernoga from Prince George's County handed out certificates of recognition to Neighborhood Watch Graduates signed by the County Executive. Nuisance Abatement was discussed at length with residents.

* On October 30, 2007, Weed & Seed attended a meet and greet at the Hampshire West Apartment Complex. Residents were treated to a social gathering that included food and music.

* On November 6, 2007, Weed & Seed was introduced to the parents of the Roscoe Nix, PTA. The Nuisance Abatement Initiative was discussed. Residents requested additional police support in communities north of the beltway surrounding Cresthaven, ES.

* On November 7, 2007, Weed & Seed facilitated negotiations between Southern Management at Hampshire West and the YMCA to install a safe haven and community center to provide out of school time activities and family support services.

* On November 8, 2007, Weed & Seed met with staff from Southern Management at the Chateau to discuss future partnerships and resident activities that include supporting Health Fair planning already in progress and a Toy Drive for Broad Acres Elementary School Students.

* On November 9, 2007, Weed & Seed held its second Truancy Prevention Task Force meeting with the Principal and Assistant Principal at White Oak Middle School. A Task Force is being convened that include government and non-profit organizations to support middle school youth in the Northwest Park Apartment Complex.

* On November 9, 2007, Northwest Park Apartment Association held its monthly meeting with featured speakers; Lt. McCullagh, MCPD, John Creel, Investigator, Consumer Protection, and John Kennedy, Owner, Northwest Park Apartment Security.

* On November 13, 2007, Hampshire West residents held their first community meeting. Featured speakers included; Lt. McCullagh, MCPD, RC Chao, Resident Manager, Victor Salazar, Weed & Seed and Gretchen Hilburger, CSAFE. Residents discussed crime issues in the community.

* On November 16, 2007, MOU's were executed between Weed & Seed and the YMCA to provide continued out of school time activities, support for a truancy prevention initiative and case management services to residents in the Weed & Seed community.

* On November 19, 2007, the Nuisance Abatement Task Force met to discuss initiative progress. Residents in the community have submitted complaints ranging from Drugs, Overcrowding, Structural Issues, and unregistered or untagged vehicles. After thirty days, 17 notices of violation have been issued to property owners.

* During the month of October, Weed & Seed facilitated the installation of the YMCA PHD Program (a child obesity prevention program) at Broad Acres, ES, running two times a week with a capacity to service 30 children.

* In November the Study Circle Program completed its 6 week parent engagement program. 15 participated in the program that included residents and school staff. Program graduates will continue to work on parent outreach and potentially revitalize the school PTA.

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