November 9, 2006 Town Meeting
Town of Cheverly
November 9, 2006
Call to Order
Mayor Mosley called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. in the Cheverly Community Center. There were 13 citizens in attendance.
In attendance: The Town Administrator, David Warrington, Town Attorney, Richard Colaresi, Chief of Police, Buddy Robshaw, CMs Oslik, Watson, Oladele, Schachter, and Ford.
Pledge of Allegiance
The agenda was approved.
Swearing in of New Council Member Ward 1 Michael Callahan
Mayor Mosley summarized that CM Hofmann and his family relocated to Arkansas. Candidates for the Ward 1 Councilmember seat included Diane Lavoy, George Seymore, Denise Ryan, Brendan Heneghan, and Michael Callahan.
Mike Callahan has been an active community member, raised his family in Cheverly, and has been active in The Boys and Girls Club and St. Ambrose Church.
Mayor Mosley swore Michael Callahan in as Ward 1 Councilperson.
Minutes - Town Meeting – 9/14/06
Mr. Warrington stated that CM Oslik had changes had already been made for the record. Approved as corrected.
Minutes – Town Meeting – 10/12/06
Approved as written.
Minutes – Worksession – 10/26/06
Mayor Mosley stated that the motion made by CM Schachter on secret ballots inaccurately recorded the vote. “Approved 5-0” should be removed. Approved as corrected.
Town Administrators Report
Mr. Warrington reported that road projects should be completed in a week. Leaf collection is underway and the collection schedule appears in the Newsletter and on the website. All equipment is running well. Police Station occupancy is still scheduled for the first of the year. New curtains have been installed in the gym.
Mayor Mosley responded to CM Oslik that PEPCO still owes the Town a response on issues including the pathway lighting. Mr. Warrington added that the contractor is standing by pending PEPCO’s approval on the lighting plan.
Police Department Report
Chief Robshaw reported that there was an arrest in the citizen robbery case and more arrests are anticipated. Since the arrest, only one robbery has occurred (63rd Avenue). Chief Robshaw gave the report for October (attached to original of the minutes). The entire department worked on Halloween and there were no Halloween related services that evening in Cheverly. The new onboard computer systems have proven reliable in an instance when the radio system went down.
About five times a year, Code Enforcement letters are mailed. Approximately 60 such letters were recently mailed to residents with a report provided to CMs.
The next CPACT meeting is on November 15 at 7:00 PM in the gym. Major Kevin Davis, Hyattsville, will attend and discuss crime in the greater Prince George’s County. He will address the homicide that occurred on 57th Avenue specifically.
There was a Mercury Tracer set on fire at the Swim Club. Anyone with information is asked to contact police. The Department has paid out $600 in reward money in the past month.
A second Women’s Defense Class will be held in February. Interested residents should contact Janet Isaacson to register. The class is 2/3 full and a second class will be added based on demand.
Mayor Mosley congratulated the Chief on his efforts to control crime.
CM Watson congratulated the Chief on coverage for the Halloween Day Parade.
Chief Robshaw responded to CM Watson that he has received calls from a number of commuters about organizing a carpool from Metro. He should have more information at the next Town Meeting.
CM Schachter added that the carpool idea is a good one; however, citizens should feel free to partner with others on their own versus asking the Chief to organize something.
CM Schachter added that one of his constituents was approached by someone claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Department, and was asked her whether she knew a number of people. Chief Robshaw responded that the Sheriff’s Department’s warrant efforts are coordinated with the Town and this incident was part of a state-wide organized attempt to address a number of outstanding warrants.
Mayor and Council Announcements
Mayor Mosley announced that the November Worksession would be held on November 30 at 8:00 PM. A Special Worksession has been scheduled for December 7 at 7:00 PM to discuss the Addison Row Development (Douglas Corporation).
Worksession: Columbia Park Road lights (at Metro), renewal of lobbyist contract, pandemic flu preparedness, website, legislation for controlling certain breeds of dogs, councilmember selection procedures, dog park, traffic on Kilmer Street.
Mayor Mosley announced the December 1 Tree Lighting Ceremony needs volunteers. The event starts at 7:00 PM and the procession begins at Legion Park and ends at Town Hall.
Mayor Mosley responded to CM Watson that there needs to be a decision on when the Holiday Decorating Contest will be held this year. She directed Mr. Warrington to follow up asking CMs to contact her with dates and availability.
CM Watson asked that a discussion on the Cheverly Day 3 on 3 Basketball and the Handbook be added to the January Worksession.
Barbara Pejokovich announced that there were 250-275 attendees at the Halloween Party. The Holiday Party will be held on December 2 in the gym at 11:00 AM. There will be crafts, Blue Sky Puppeteers and Santa. Volunteers are welcome. The Women’s Club will have Santa’s Secret Shop from 9:00 – 11:00 AM in the lobby.
Cheverly Day Committee
There was no report.
Bill Nell, 3319 Belleview presented a 70-name petition on a vicious dog problem. There is a neighbor who owns several large vicious dogs that are often times at large. Recently one of these dogs got loose and got into another neighbors yard killing a small dog. Animal control was called and the vicious dog was captured. This dog is believed to also pose a danger to people and other animals. Recently, another of these dogs was seen running loose.
Akeela Wahid, 3317 Belleview Avenue, stated that it was her dog that was attacked and killed. She moved to town in August and in addition to these incidents, the robberies and car thefts have caused her to re-evaluate her decision to move to Cheverly. She asked the Council to consider the impact these incidents have had on children and families.
Laila Riazi, 3406 Belleview Avenue stated her familiarity with large breed dogs. She is concerned that the vicious animals in this case have not been properly socialized. This breed is also animal aggressive and are larger and stronger than pit bulls, a breed already banned by the County. She asked for the Council to deal with this situation immediately.
Denise Ryan, 5726 Lockwood, stated that new breeds are being brought in to the country as a result of the pit bull ban. She supports action to prohibit this from happening again.
Chief Robshaw stated that the Police should be contacted if there are animal violations. The County will impound animals. When residents call the police, they should articulate the violent aspect of the situation and that immediate police response is required.
Mr. Warrington added that Animal Control has impounded the dog that killed the smaller dog and a hearing date has been set for January. Anyone wishing to testify can contact Mr. Moore (Animal Control Officer) at 301-499-8322 and you will be issued a subpoena. Copies of the Prince George’s Commission for Animal Control Complaint Form are available in the Town Office. Mr. Warrington added that videotape is very effective. Only the Prince George’s Animal Control Commission can declare an animal vicious and return to its owner is not likely. If declared a public nuisance, the animal could be returned to the property with restrictions. The County is diligent about how they handle animal control cases, but testimonies carry weight. The County has a Three Incident Rule, and in order to
effectively track complaints and to facilitate hearings, Mr. Warrington asked that residents copy the Town Office on complaints to Animal Control.
Mayor Mosley added that the Council would review legislation that was drafted in 1996 prior to the County’s ban.
Mayor Mosley added that anyone could come to the Town and swear out an affidavit. Mr. Warrington responded that vicious dog and public nuisance complaints should be made to the County. The Town can also issue municipal infractions.
Mayor Mosley clarified that three strikes is not exclusive to bites, includes loose dogs, etc. Animal Control is aware that there are more potentially dangerous dogs at this particular residence.
Mayor Mosley responded to CM Schachter that information on how many dogs and the breeds were sent to Council.
CM Callahan responded that there are four licensed dogs at that home.
Laila Riazi, 3406 Belleview Avenue asked if reports could be filed retroactively. Mr. Warrington responded yes. She asked how to specify an incident where there are several dogs of the same breed at the same household.
Mayor Mosley responded that where specifics cannot be provided on the animal the complaint should be clear about the household.
Ms. Riazi added that she fears for her safety when out with her toddler and her dog. She is struggling with having to wait for a report to be given three times before action is taken.
Mayor Mosley added that the County has acknowledged the seriousness of this situation.
Ms. Riazi added that the three strikes rule is meaningless and asked how to change the rule. How can the 70 signatures be most effective?
Mayor Mosley responded that the Town would forward the petition under cover letter to Animal Control.
Attorney Colaresi stated that all reports are given after the fact. As long as they are given within a reasonable period and the incident is pinpointed to time, date and residence.
CM Schachter added that a call to 911 pre-empts the three strikes rule.
CM Callahan added that in the interim, the most proactive measure is creating documentation.
Cindy Nell, 3319 Belleview Avenue, added that Animal Control has acknowledged receiving a number of reports on this address. Mayor Mosley responded that they would ask Animal Control for a report of the incidents recorded.
Diane Beedle, 3136 63rd Avenue, Rachel Mears, 6218 Kilmer Street. Diane stated that there are large volumes of speeding traffic on 63rd Avenue and Kilmer Street. A lot of children take these routes to school and day care. Diane added that their vehicles have been damaged by hit and run drivers. A car that did not stop at the stop sign hit her dog. The police department has been responsive to their requests. Rachel Mears added that she and her children have been endangered by speeding vehicles. She does not have a driveway and has to enter her car on the street.
Chief Robshaw added that more than 80% of tickets issued are to town residents. He sent letters to both schools notifying them of enforcement actions and the schools are supportive.
CM Oslik added that 63rd Avenue and Kilmer Street are both used as a back way out of town. School buses are also speeding. Chief Robshaw responded that bus drivers have been notified that warnings would no longer be issued for speeding, but this has not helped. CM Oslik asked for additional recommendations from Public Works and the Police Department for this situation.
Mayor Mosley added that this is on the Worksession agenda.
Lt. Frohlich added that 40-50 tickets have been written for that area. CM Schachter recommended closing the street.
Mayor Mosley summarized that there had been an application for rezoning of a 34-acre site located on the south side of Route 50 from I1 and I2 to Mixed Use. The Staff report for the application came out a week before the September Town Meeting. The Cheverly Planning Board took no position but stated many concerns about this project, such as parking, loss of green space and infrastructure. A letter was sent to Park and Planning saying that zoning hearing was scheduled within days of the Town receiving the Staff Report. If the hearing was not delayed per Cheverly’s request, the Town threatened to not support. At a special Worksession, Douglas Development (property owners) presented their proposal and answered questions. They were asked to request a delay of the October 26 Planning Board
hearing. The Town did not indicate to Douglas support of their application. The next meeting with the Town is December 7. The next Park and Planning Meeting is on December 14, which is why a Special Worksession has been scheduled. The Zoning Examiner Hearing is in February.
CM Watson added that a position would be taken on December 7. He supports the zoning change to MXT.
CM Ford stated his concerns for the proposed occupancy and the impact on traffic.
Mayor Mosley asked Mr. Warrington to look into having the meeting in the gym to better accommodate meeting attendees.
Mayor Mosley summarized that the Town had a meeting with Park and Planning concerning a dog park at Euclid Park. There was a favorable response for a full feasibility study to address long standing parking shortages as well as for the dog park. This location is managed by Park and Planning. A resident opposing the dog park sent a letter to Park and Planning that included a petition. A letter was sent from Park and Planning saying they would not conduct the feasibility study and then the Town received a letter from Park and Planning addressed to the citizen that was not clear about its intention for the feasibility study. Mr. Warrington called Park and Planning to get clarification, and they confirmed that they would not conduct the study.
CM Schachter added that he had a telephone conversation with the head of Park and Planning and asked that they reconsider their decision. He was told that the decision would be reconsidered. Subsequently, he drafted a letter (to Park and Planning) and provided copies to the Mayor and Council. He asked that this item be discussed further at the Worksession.
CM Watson stated that he was equally puzzled by Park and Planning’s response and supported review of CM Schachter’s’ proposal. He has a number of petitions in support of the dog parks from all over Town. Those who did not support the Park expressed caveats such as an environmental impact study.
Mayor Mosley stated that the letter should be reviewed and given Park and Planning’s hesitancy, a vote at the Worksession is appropriate. She is opposed to reviewing alternate sites because after reviewing a number of sites in Town, this is the best location because Park and Planning would build the park and the location is farthest from homes.
CM Oslik stated his agreement that a vote should be held on November 30. He thanked CM Schachter for his work.
CM Ford agreed and after looking at the site plan, it is the best location.
Mayor Mosley asked Mr. Warrington to follow up on the fact that the two closest neighbors to this location are the industrial park and the pool. These entities should be notified and invited to attend the discussion. Security for the pools’ parking lot should be discussed as well.
CM Schachter asked staff to prepare technical facts for the letter and photographs. CM Schachter added that the Mayor and Council should sign the letter.
Mayor Mosley asked Mr. Warrington to provide the letter to the Cheverly Planning Board for their review.
Second Reading O-3-06 Amending Chapter 10 Special Trash
Mr. Warrington summarized that this change allows the Town to raise fees if trash is over 50 lbs. per item or if there are more than three items left for special trash collection. It also states that automotive parts will not be removed.
Meeting adjourned 10:40 p.m.
Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
November 9, 2006
Mayor Mosley swore Michael Callahan in as Ward 1 Councilperson.