Happy holidays to everyone! The Town Council, staff and I wish all of Cheverly a very happy holiday season and a blessed New Year in 2005.
Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. If you haven’t driven by Legion Park on Cheverly Avenue recently you are missing the wonderful holiday decorations that were lit at the annual tree lighting ceremony December 3rd. At precisely 7 PM Cheverly children lit the beautiful tree. Then the Girl Scouts sang holiday songs and led the large procession up Forest Road to the Community Center. There wasn’t an extra seat to be had as Boy Scout Troops # 257 and #716 carried in the flags and led everyone in the pledge of allegiance. Family and friends were entertained by the children from the Saint Ambrose Children’s Choir, led by Director Dino Efantis as well as the Cheverly United Methodist Church Bell Choir and Children’s Choir under the direction of Lauri Hallada and Terry Wyland. Prizes were awarded to the children who participated in the holiday coloring project and the drawings of these budding artists now decorate the lobby. Where did all that cake and refreshments go!! Thank you to
everyone who participated and made this event a community gathering exemplifying the true spirit of the holidays.
And thanks to the Town staff and volunteers who worked so hard to make the evening special. I happened to be by Public Works and the Town Office that day and it was crazy with activity! Director of Public Works, Juan Torres and everyone from his department had been working all week to get the parks looking great and decorated with thousands of holiday lights. (This was in addition to leaf collection, trash pick-up and everything else they do.) Mary Jane Ulrich and Sue Rosnick from the Town Office managed to set everything up at the Community Center and coordinate all the Town groups who participated in all the festivities. Their husbands Tom and Norm pitched in to help as they do every year and resident Judy DeLeonibus volunteered her services and spent the entire evening helping out. Thomas Jones and Larry Nichols our building monitors and
Town Meeting camera men were there helping out and making sure everyone had a great time as they do so graciously all year. Lt. Robshaw and some of Cheverly’s finest were on hand to make sure the procession to the Community Center was a safe one and showed off the Town’s three new police cars to residents young and old. Thank you all.
Metro Development Task Force.
The Metro Development Task Force has been appointed by the Mayor and Council and will begin meeting sometime around the first of the year. The members listed below have all applied to the Council for their appointment or have been asked to participate by a Councilmember or myself. The task force is headed by the two Co-Chairs, Bob Tucker, President of the Ward 4 Civic Association and Hubert Guest, Chair of the Cheverly Planning Board. Councilmembers Lee Schachter from Ward 4 and Micah Watson from Ward 2 are the Council liaisons and voting members. The members have a broad base of experience, professional and civic backgrounds and represent all geographical sections of Town. While these members are the official voting members of the Task Force, all meetings will be public meetings and any resident may attend. Our thanks to all these Cheverly
residents who have agreed to share their time, opinions and expertise for this important project: Dan Scott, John Porcari, Stephen Hofmann, Craig Parisot, Joseph & Susan Pruden, Tim Kelly, Paul Jochum, RJ Eldridge, Dian Wrinkle, James Gaines, Brownee Wallace, Carole Howard, Leila Price, Hugh Johnson, Stephen Johnson, Paivi Spoon, Kenneth Jones, Charles Nash, Floyd Wilson, Jr.
Recently, the Town Administrator, Ward 4 CM Lee Schachter and Ward 3 CM Norm Oslik and I met with the Michael Company for an update on the Michael Company’s proposal for the Metro Development site. This was a very informative meeting that brought us up to date on the plan since it was first presented to the Town several months ago. This proposal is still in the early stages of development and will go through many, many revisions over time. The proposal has moved forward and the Town has now received fact sheets as well as large conceptual diagrams and site maps from the Michael Company for use by the Task Force and at televised Council meetings. Again, I stress that these are conceptual plans at a very early stage of development and not necessarily what the buildings will actually look like. However they are a starting point for
discussion and the decision making process that residents, Task Force members and the Council have now started. All residents’ comments sent to the Town will be forwarded to the Mayor and Council and all members of the Task Force. The information and plans illustrated below will be presented at the January Town Meeting.
Proposed Cheverly Metro Station Development Quick Facts
•NAI The Michael Companies, Inc. Development, based in Lanham, MD, is proposing a mixed-use, transitoriented development for the Cheverly Metro Station area.
•This proposed project, as conceptually shown, closely parallels the plan for the Metro Station Area (Subarea C) as outlined in the Preliminary Sector Plan and Proposed Sectional Map Amendment for the Tuxedo Road/ Arbor Street/Cheverly Metro Area (p.56-63).
•This project will feature 20,000 s.f. of retail space, 60,000 s.f. of office space, and 1,026 luxury multifamily residential units.
•There will be 2,870 parking spaces. 1,200 of those spaces dedicated to the use of Metro riders, an increase of 643 spaces over the existing parking accommodations at the station.
•The increased parking capacity will make the station more accessible to Cheverly residents for daily use.
•The expanded access to transit will also help relieve congestion on Route 50.
• As the conceptual plan indicates, there will be ample open spaces, as well as plazas, tree-lined pedestrian paths, and other amenities in the project.
•The goal of this project is to create a quality transit-oriented development that is beneficial to the Town of Cheverly, WMATA, and the Washington Metropolitan area as a whole.
Lighting the walkways at The Judith Hoyer Center. A number of years ago, the Town approved a master plan for the redevelopment of the ballfields, lower playground, basketball court, entrance feature and parking lot at the Judith Hoyer Center. As the Early Learning Program at the Center did not use the fields as part of their program, we entered into a 99 year lease with the County and took “possession” of the fields. We have invested resources including some Town funds, a great deal more of Project Open Space (POS) grant money and considerable Public Works staff time. We have totally replaced the playground equipment, fields, basketball court, parking lots and landscaping. An important part of the plan was to provide
a paved pathway for commuters going to metro, walkers, joggers, and children going to the playground or 7-Eleven. At the time of the adoption of the Master Plan, the fields and playgrounds were in such bad shape, the proposed plan almost seemed out of reach. Council considered lighting the pathway, but budget constraints and concerns of some neighboring residents led Council to adopt a “wait and see” approach to the lighting.
The plan is almost complete (still awaiting a new fence) and the pathway, which links 59th Place, Valley Way and the Hoyer Center, has been a huge, welltraveled success. Councilmember Micah Watson has proposed that in light of (I couldn’t resist!) the large number of residents who use this pathway, we reconsider adding lights for safety. We started this discussion at the November Town Meeting and we are asking for input from all residents. Write or email the Town or call your Councilmember with your opinion. CM Watson says we want your “bright ideas and an enlightening discussion”. (He couldn’t resist either!) Should Council decide to add lighting, the original Master Plan will have to be revised, Director of Public Works Juan Torres will have to research our options and we will most likely wait to appropriate funds
when we adopt the new budget for FY06 in June.
This past spring, a resident asked me for an additional street light at the intersection of Lake and Benton and we immediately put in a request to Pepco. I had hoped that the light, which will also make that route through the playground safer at night, would be installed by October. We have moved up the list of Pepco’s projects and hope to have the additional light installed shortly.
Cheverly Zip Code Task Force. Ward 2 Councilmember Micah Watson is rejuvenating and rebuilding the Cheverly Zip Code Task Force in an effort at getting our own zip code in town. Past attempts at getting our own zip code have been unsuccessful so Micah is looking for some residents who “want to work hard and make a real difference for the Town”. The Council heartily endorses this project for a number of reasons---not the least of which is retaining Cheverly’s identity. With everything being computer generated, Cheverly has been disappearing and replaced with Hyattsville on things far more important than junk mail and mail order catalogues. I have noticed that many newer Cheverly residents are listed in the phone
book with Hyattsville addresses and now 411 information operators often say, “I don’t have a listing for Mr. Jones in Cheverly, but I do have one in Hyattsville”. Much to his dismay, my oldest son who always brags about what a wonderful town Cheverly is, was introduced as Andrew Mosley from Hyattsville at his college graduation ceremony. It is hard to promote Cheverly as a great place to live and invest when we seem to be battling to keep our name. There are indications that a different zip code might have more tangible benefits such as lower some insurance rates, particularly car insurance. If you are interested call Councilmember Micah Watson at (301) 322-8482 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benton Street Cleanup. Congratulations to CM Watson, and residents Joe and Susan Pruden who organized the community cleanup of the walkway that connects Carlyle Street and 59th Place. A number of dedicated residents turned out to help and the path looks great!
A Dog Park for Cheverly? A number of Cheverly residents have worked very hard and presented a detailed proposal for a Cheverly Dog Park for Council consideration. This was presented at a Town Meeting and a detailed report was presented to the Council at the November Worksession. Those interested should look at their web site www.cheverlydogpark.org for more information. Council has referred this to Juan Torres for his input, recommendations and cost estimates as well as to Town Attorney Richard Colaresi for his advice on any legal implications. We will get their initial report at the January Worksession and the subject will also be dis-cussed at the February Town
Meeting and the February Worksession. If this project proves to be popular and feasible, potential sites may include Town Park, Euclid Park, Boyd Park or the area near the Pepco right-of-way along US Route 50. The Pepco site is near a proposed bike trail project being worked on by another group of dedicated residents as well as Town Staff---but more on that exciting project next month.