UP Meeting Notes: Cafritz Conditions Hold Steady, Toscano Stepping Down
Meanwhile, STEP-UP participants are seeing a 15% decrease in energy bills.
The following is a summary of developments and discussion points from Monday's regular meeting of the University Park Mayor and Common Council:
- Sarah Elder of the University Park Elementary School PTA discussed the upcoming Azalea Classic, scheduled for Saturday, April 21.
- A representative for the One Maryland Broadband Network apprised the board of its hope to install a cable running to UPES in the near future.
- University Park resident Jayon Amster urged the board to conduct a second vote on the Cafritz rezoning proposal. Amster said that the developer's decision to strip the College Park section of its property out of the plan rendered it—in effect—a new application. Later in the meeting, Mayor John Tabori countered that the Prince George's County Planning Department would treat the change as a minor one and that the council's conditional approval still applied.
- Mayor Tabori told the council that he had participated in a six-hour meeting Monday with representatives from Riverdale Park, the Prince George's County Executive's Office, and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. During the meeting, he said, M-NCPPC officials had pushed for several changes to the consensus conditions drafted by the towns (and proffered by the developer). Tabori said that both towns—and in some cases, the developer—had successfully beaten back the proposed modifications. The planning staff eventually agreed to recommend that the Prince George's County Planning Board approve the application with all of the conditions left intact (or even strengthened), he said.
- STEP-UP's Chuck Wilson delivered a progress report on the stimulus-backed energy efficiency program. Wilson said that participating residents are reducing their electric bills by 15% on average. About $300,000 of the stimulus grant has been spent to date, he added, along with roughly $300,000 by residents and $120,000 by PEPCO and the State of Maryland. "It's as if we took the energy consumption of eight houses off the market," Wilson said.
- STEP-UP is celebrating its one-year anniversary this Saturday (1-4 p.m.) with an energy fair at University Park Elementary School, Wilson noted.
- Wilson said that Prince George's County Public Schools had just signaled their intention to allow the installation of solar panels on the roof of UPES, similar to an existing array at the University Park Church of the Brethren.
- The council approved two permit requests—one for the installation of a standby generator at 6712 Queens Chapel Rd., the other for a gate extension at 4319 Woodberry Street.
- The council waived the town's formal bidding process for the purchase of a used trash packer, costing $23,500. Public Works Director Mickey Beall urged the council to do so given the pressing need for the new equipment. The old one will be disposed of "by the best possible method."
- The council approved a motion to contribution $2,000 to Route 1 Ride, a bus service "dedicated to promoting transportation options and economic development along the Route 1 corridor."
- Attorney Suellen Ferguson reported that Councilmember Tracy Toscano (Ward 5) is resigning from her seat, as she is seeking to enter into a lease in February at a residence located in Ward 6. Toscano did not participate in Monday's meeting.