Montpelier Hills News
These are not endorsement lists -- just lists of candidates for each office, candidate descriptions and explanations of ballot issues.
Go to the South Laurel News & Views web site and then click on "News" in "Local Candidates (News)" in the sidebar menu.
In the next few weeks you will see press releases and articles in the newspapers about the Subregion I Master Plan study that is currently being conducted for our area of Prince George's county. A series of public Living Area Workshops will involve county residents directly in updating the county's master plans.
The "Living Areas Workshop" for our area (East of Route 1) is:
Thursday, Oct 19, 2006, 6:30 – 9:00 PM
Corporate Offices of Hope Christian Church
6251 Ammendale Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
Please fill out this survey, and return it by email to
Laurel City Press Release - Sep 25, 2006
Mayor Craig A. Moe is pleased to inform the residents of Laurel that the City has entered into a contract with Code RED to purchase a state of the art Emergency Warning System.
The Code RED Emergency Notification System is an extremely fast communication service available for mass Emergency Notifications. Code RED employs a one-of-a-kind Internet mapping capability for geographic targeting of calls, coupled with a high speed telephone calling system capable of delivering customized pre-recorded emergency messages directly to homes and businesses, live individuals and answering machines, at the rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour.
Mayor Craig Moe envisions using Code Red to notify residents and businesses during natural and man-made disasters, as well as warn residents and businesses in Laurel as to when flooding is possible.
Mayor Craig Moe is pleased that this new technology is now available to help keep the residents and businesses of Laurel informed and encourages everyone interested to visit www.coderedweb.com and check out their capabilities. If you have any questions, please call Emergency Operations Director, Marty Flemion, at 301-725-5300 ext. 203.
Click this link to read this item on the South Laurel News & Views Blog
The five-day Sales Tax Holiday event gives Maryland shoppers a unique, money-saving incentive to shop in state for back-to-school, summer clearance, fall fashion, and other purchases, while helping Maryland merchants compete with retail markets in neighboring states.
Certain clothing and footwear designed to be worn on or about the human body will be eligible for the sales tax exemption. Qualifying apparel include belts, coats, jackets, pants, shoes, socks and sweaters. Special clothing or footwear designed primarily for protective use and not for normal wear, such as football pads, do not qualify. In addition, accessory items such as handbags, jewelry, ties, and umbrellas do not qualify and remain taxable.
Each qualifying article of clothing or footwear selling for $100 or less will be exempt, regardless of how many items are sold at the same time. For example, two $60 sweaters sold at the same time are both exempt, even though the total purchase price is more than $100.
Items that cost more than $100 will be taxable, even if they would otherwise be eligible. The first $100 of a more expensive item is not tax-free. If the item costs $110, sales tax is due on the entire $110.
For more information about the Sales Tax Holiday, click on the links below or call 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland or 1-800-MD TAXES from elsewhere in Maryland, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
From Comptroller of Maryland
On Tuesday, August 1, 2006, the District VI Police Station is inviting neighborhoods throughout Beltsville, Montpelier Hills and Laurel to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the 23rd Annual National Night Out. National Night Out brings our community together to:
• Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
• Generate support and participation in local anticrime efforts
• Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.
Please join us for this event and cookout from 6pm to 8pm at District VI located at 4321 Sellman Rd in Beltsville. There will be a variety of specialty units such as a K-9 Unit, Helicopter Unit, Fire Department Bomb Robot Unit, Motorcycle and Bicycle Displays, Patrol Vehicle Display and Maryland Park Police Mounted Unit. This will be a night for all communities to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity.
the stores in the Town Center strip mall on Route 197 at Contee Rd. are about to get a "face lift". The encounter was brief, but i assume they meant that they are going to replace or repaint the current blue mansard-style roofs.
From: MH HOA & Rec Boards
Dear Montpelier Hills (MH) Homeowners:
So much as happened in the last few days. Not the least of which is the terrific response we received from all of you on the recent petition about the issues that had not been resolved with Berman Enterprises on the 211 townhouse (TH) plan.
Your Homeowners Association (HOA) and Recreation Association (Rec) Boards are grateful for your guidance and support throughout this process. You kept us energized, reminded us of why we’re doing this, and provided the back up we needed to resolve the remaining issues with Berman Enterprises.
That’s right – we reached an agreement on the 211 TH plan.
The PG Planning Board approved the plan with conditions.
Here’s how the remaining issues were resolved:
Berman Enterprises’amenity package now includes:
- The amenities shown on the Specific Design Plan (SDP) plan include: picnic tables/areas, connecting walking trails, benches/sitting areas, tot lots, a child-size basketball court in one court, and trash cans. On the MH Rec land, a multi-purpose court, picnic shelter with sitting area, playground, and parking. These amenities are valued at $325,000.
- $400,000 that will be paid on a fixed schedule into an escrow account to serve as seed money for a recreational capital improvement to
(e.g., sports building or gymnasium). MH residents would be able to sign up to use this space for their own use. The MH HOA and Rec Boards have approval of the project design or the funds won’t be released to the county. If the county does not appropriate the rest of the funds needed for this project in two years or construction has not begun on the project within four Montpelier Elementary School
years, the money will return to MH for a recreational benefit approved
by both Boards in consultation with the community. These additional monies were obtained without having to add more THs.
- Over $60,000 to reimburse the community for current and future legal fees associated with this second and final phase of MH development.
2) Inclusion of Parcel J - MH
The Rec Board has granted permission to include Parcel J in the SDP so the amenities on that
parcel can be completed. Berman Enterprises will not encumber the property with a tree conservation easement.
Sidewalks will be provided throughout the new TH courts.
4) Landscaping-Offsite Mitigation:
Berman Enterprises will add trees on land owned by the HOA in Courts 1 and 6 to make the buffers denser between the phase one and [phase] two developments in these courts. The SDP contains information on the retaining walls which will include anti-graffiti coating.
5) Community Consistency in Phases One and Two:
The County Staff recommendations and resolution from the County Planning Board contain conditions to assure that the aesthetics, quality and value of the community be maintained as a whole. Signage, entry walls, building materials, architecture style, and other features will create a consistent and cohesive aesthetic between the phases.
Look at how far we’ve come.
Berman Enterprises’ original plan over a year and a half ago had 267 townhouses that were
20 feet wide in a tight layout with many back to back, more pavement than green space and wooded areas, and no specific amenities. We now have a 211 TH plan of 24-foot wide THs that preserves green space and buffers, addresses parking with two-car garages and guest parking, creates a community witha consistent layout and features between the phases, provides repayment of attorneys fees, and includes over $725,000 in recreational amenities and potential capital improvements to Montpelier Elementary School.
NEXT STEPS – We still have several things to do.
- Berman Enterprises still needs to prove that their underground stormwater management plan is feasible. Before grading for this system, they need to enter into a Joint Multi-use Stormwater Management System Maintenance Agreement with the county Department of Public Works and Transportation and the MD National Capital Park & Planning Commission (MNCPPC) Department of Parks and Recreation for the construction, operation and maintenance of that underground system. We plan to meet with Department of Environmental Resources to review the detail design plans when they are ready, as well as review the draft maintenance agreement.
- We will need to work with Councilman Dernoga and other county and school officials to develop plans and appropriate funds for the recreational capital improvement to
. Montpelier Elementary School
- We will need to monitor the construction plans to ensure the building adheres to the SDP. The MH Boards and MHIWG will monitor everything the Bermans do in this community to ensure compliance with approved plans until this second and final phase of our community is
built. Further, we have recourse if it is clear the Bermans and their builders try to deviate
from the approved plans.
Your help is still needed.
We need MH residents to join the MHIWG to help us carry out these next steps.
- Email Gary Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the MHIWG email list
- Visit the MH NEWS web site and click New Town Houses in MH
for updated information.
Again, we thank you for your support; you make us proud to represent MH.
Judy Gretsch, Montpelier Hills HoA Secretary
Representatives from the Boards are attending the Planning Board hearing to voice our support for the SDP with the conditions that address our issues. A draft of those conditions is included in the County Staff Report, which is available at http://www.mncppc.org/pgco/planning/pdf/06-15-6/SDP-0510.pdf
The conditions start on page 18 under the header RECOMMENDATION. Please note that previous revisions of the drawings already address some of these conditions. The final conditions will be available after the hearing.
[see http://mncppcapps.org/planning/Resolutions/2006%20Resolution%20PDFs/SDP-0510.pdf ]
How You Can Help The MH Board Oppose The New Town House Plan Until Major Issues Are Resolved With The Developer
1) IF POSSIBLE, ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING ON THURSDAY, JUNE 15
Location: 1st Floor Hearing Room
County Administration Building
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Time: 9:00 am *
* there are many other items on the planning board’s agenda,
so be advised the MH TH plan may be heard anytime 9 am to 5 pm
We will let you know if the time for MH can be bracketed more precisely.
For a Ride to the Hearing :
email email@example.com or call 301- 343 - 0119
- Take 495 to Route 4 south
- Exit onto Water St. (Not marked "Water St.") First exit after Old Crain Hwy
- North/Left on Water street Park free at Equestrian Center
and take shuttle bus
- Continue North on Water St.
- Right/East onto Governor Oden Bowie Drive
- And park for $.75/hour at meters near lake and County Administration Building
Meters are maximum 1-hour, 2-hours, 3-hours or 4-hours.
2) SIGN the Montpelier Hills PETITION -- EVEN IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND THE HEARING
- Community working group members have begun taking petitions door-to-door throughout Montpelier Hills, listing the major unresolved issues with the developers.
- The petitions are an opportunity for MH homeowners to voice their opinion to the County Planning Board and support the Board position for the County to withhold approval of the Town House Plan until major issues are resolved with the developers.
- If you have not signed a petition already, you can download and sign this MH Residents Petition
- Petitions can be returned to the following Board/MHIWGmembers -- just drop them off -- No later than June 14.
Kathy Williams 11626 Tuscany Drive
Gary Stone 9202 Fairlane Place
Floyd Hughes 12210 Blue Moon Court
Ella Demby 12105 Apache Tears Circle
LaVerne Anthony 9206 Ispahan Loop
3) Watch menu item "New Town Houses in MH" for updates
News and Views" Blog, summarizing information Roz Johnson
of Applewalk HoA has recently made available about the new
"Villas at Laurel" $500K and up Townhouse community planned
on Route 197 at Briarcroft Lane (at the Metro Bus lot).
"No newspaper articles were found about "Villas at Laurel".
After the May 3 Liquor Board hearing, the office of our District 1 County Councilman, Tom Dernoga, made inquiries with several relevant county departments regarding Club Amazon. Soon after that, the County Fire Marshall's office reportedly shut down Club Amazon effective May 5 apparently for continued violation of previous fire code citations.
At the May 3 Liquor Board hearing, Club Amazon owners had said they wanted to operate May 3, 4, 5, and 6 before voluntarily closing May 7 until June 14, the date of the next Liquor Board hearing. It appears that Club Amazon is now closed and will remain closed voluntarily or otherwise until June 14.
This poster (no longer on the GOGO website to which it was posted on April 5, 2006) appears to have advertised a LIVE music program at Club Amazon scheduled for May 12 by the GOGO band RARE ESSENCE which, if performed as advertised, would have apparently been in violation of The Amazon's current Liquor Board license restrictions against LIVE music.
Many public officials and elected representatives, including our District 1 County Councilman Tom Dernoga, District 4 County Councilman Doug Peters, Laurel Mayor Craig Moe, and State Delegate Barbara Frush, among others forcefully urged the Liquor Board to immediately revoke the Club Amazon's liquor license, in particular because of numerous current violations of the Amazon's liquor license restrictions.
Montpelier Hills resident Gary Stone's testimony asked the Liquor Board to make maxium use of their safety enforcement powers to shutdown Club Amazon if any safety violations continue to be found.
Police officers and Karen Coakley, President of the Beltsville Civic Association and a member of the Prince George's District 6 Police Commanders Citizens Advisory Council, testified that because Police District 6 continues to be chronically understaffed -- any altercations requiring response by District 6 police, will leave the remaining police officers spread too thinly across all of the rest of District 6. Paul McCullagh, Montpelier Community Association President, also testified.
P.G. County Liquor Board
County Services Building
5012 Rhode Island Avenue Room 204
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781
301-699-2770 (no need to call)
Enter the parking garage near Farragut St and Rhode Island Ave. Remember your parking space number and use the machine inside the parking garage lobby to pay the parking fee of $ .75 per hour in advance
Even if you don't wish to speak -- still come and STAND UP in support of speakers you agree with.
Amazon is not just a [City of] Laurel problem. It is a Police District 6 problem because Amazon is covered by the County Police. Every time the County Police are called to Amazon it pulls them from other areas of District 6. I know you are all aware of the fact that District 6 is as usual understaffed.
ATTN: Liquor Board
5012 Rhode Island Avenue Room 204
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781
Gary Stone, MH News
April 12, 2006
Prince George’s County, Maryland…Chief Melvin C. High said crime is down significantly in the first quarter of 2006. Homicides, and other violent crimes have decreased significantly, and homicide case closures are at an all time high.
During the first three months of 2006, homicides are down 37.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2005, or 25 homicides in 2006 versus 40 at the same time last year. Every violent crime category is down except assaults in the first quarter: Rapes are down 15.7 percent; commercial robberies are down 33.7 percent, residential robberies are down 28.6 percent; citizen robberies are down 7.3 percent; and carjacking is down 23.4 percent. Property crime is also down in every category.
“Everything happens in phases, and these results are the second phase for us. We are seeing results of groundwork we laid last year with tactical deployment, a focus on policing fundamentals and productivity, building the size of our force and strengthening our relationship with the community,” said Police Chief Melvin C. High. “I’m proud of the men and women of this Department, and I know that residents are proud of them, too.”
Chief Melvin High praised Assistant Chief Roberto Hylton, who heads the Patrol Services Bureau and the District Commanders who lead each of the county’s six Police Districts, along with the Special Operations Division (SOD), the Auto Crimes Task Force, and administrative duty members who have been redeployed to patrol activity.
High said the Patrol Services Bureau is the foundation of police departments
everywhere, and that the consistent and sustained work that Commanders and their officers have been doing everyday is the key component in the Department’s suppression and prevention strategy. “Officers on the street support the work of every other unit within the Department, and that leads to arrests and the closing of cases.”
Head of the Patrol Services Bureau, Assistant Police Chief Roberto Hylton said his troops are executing the fundamentals, and singled out traffic enforcement, field observations and gun and drug seizures as vital focal points for reducing crime. “Our strategy is fundamental policing. We’re using high visibility traffic enforcement, and field operations to protect residents and let criminals know that wherever they are, we intend to be, too.”
Hylton said that a solid addition of new officers made it possible to reincorporate beats into the Department’s Community Policing Model, a policing tradition that helps officers gain an acute familiarity with each community’s residents and businesses. The beat structure helps create trust between the Department and the community. Our new officers, well prepared at the academy, are gaining valuable on the street experience by working closely with more experienced officers. They’re ready and they’re helping us change the landscape on crime in the county.”
Hylton also credited citizens with helping to bring down Auto Theft and Property Crimes, with auto theft declining last year for the first time since 1999, and trending down another 18 percent so far this year. Hylton said, “Citizens responded to the education strategy that came out of the Department and the County’s Auto Theft and Vandalism Prevention Task Force. We appreciate their help.”
Chief High praised Support Services, which includes the Investigative Services Bureau, under which falls the Criminal Investigations Division (CID). He said the teamwork between Patrol and Support Services is showing in arrests and case closures. The official homicide closure rate this year is 84 percent versus 70 percent this time last year, and CID robbery closure rate is 43 percent versus 10 percent last year.
Colonel Darrin Palmer, Commander of the Strategic Management Bureau said the Department’s recruitment campaign had created a momentum to grow the force that was continuing into 2006. Palmer said the Department began the recruitment campaign in mid-year 2005 and got 3,540 applicants just in the second half of the year, with 1,019 applicants having applied so far this year. Colonel Palmer said, “The people we’ve accepted are the best out of those who applied. We’ll graduate 100 plus new officers from the current class, and we’ll begin a class of about 115 in July. Our role in the Department’s crime-fighting strategy is to get good people and prepare them to serve this community. We’re clear about that.”
On the matter of staying ahead of attrition, Palmer said a major recruiting strategy is a slow process that takes time, but the Department is ahead and he expects attrition to slow. “We put a strategy in place where there was none. Any notion that our recruitment and training strategy isn’t working is misguided.”
In closing, Chief High said “I am proud of the men and women of the Prince George’s County Police Department. As I told residents in the six community meetings that I held in our Districts, this Department has come back from a period of decline and disrepair, and at a time when crime was trying to put a stranglehold on this community. We were down, although never out.”
Chief High also said that input and support from citizens and residents on community safety matters has been a critical component to the Department’s success. “This community isn’t just talking about ridding itself of crime, it’s doing something about it and we’re going to continue to partner with them in as many ways as we can.”
See also, Laurel Gazette, Thursday, April 13, 2006: Homicides fall for first quarter of ’06, police say. Most other crimes are also lower than this time last year, chief reports
Annual Community Meeting & Elections
April 18, 2006 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Capitol College Auditorium
11301 Springfield Road, Laurel MD
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your home owners association president for the last two years.
I INVITE YOU TO A VERY IMPORTANT MEETING ON APRIL 18TH.
We are at the critical point in the negotiations with the
Bermans who plan to develop the 32 acres of land they own
adjacent to our community. The Bermans have worked
cooperatively with me, the Boards, and the Montpelier Hills
Investigative Working Group for the past 18 months.
Together we have written, revised, and refined a development
plan that I fully support, and I ask you now to join the
Board at our annual meeting where we will discuss the
upcoming development of our community. Equally important,
we will elect new Boards who will have the responsibility to
carry the process through to completion.
At the MH NEWS web site select Plans for New Townhouses in MH to view the current and newly proposed Townhouse Plans dated April 13.
I urge all who can attend to come to next Tuesday’s meeting.
This may be the most important Board meeting at Montpelier
Hills in the 17 years that I have been a resident here. I
look forward to seeing you at Capitol College on April 18th.
Brian Sutton President, MHHOA
Prince George’s County Police Chief Melvin C. High
District 6 Commander Major Tom Connolly
and Police Department Staff
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Martin Luther Middle School
4545 Ammendale Road
A Report to the Community
on Crime & Action Workshop
The Prince George’s County Police Chief's
Citizen’s Advisory Council
and the District 6 Citizen’s Advisory Council
Your local elected officials have also been invited to attend
Senator John Giannetti
Delegates Barbara Frush, Paulene Menes and Brian Moe
Councilman Tom Dernoga
Refreshments will be served.
Refreshments will be served.
More information ...
Recently, police have put up an electric sign on Rt. 197 between Contee Road and Muirkirk Road, alerting citizens of this current rash of car thefts, which, in retrospect, appears to have begun as early as February 2 along Route 197 and its adjoining streets, including Muirkirk Rd.
According to P.G. Crime Reports in the Washington Post's weekly Thursday P.G. Extras Supplements, several vehicles have been stolen in nearby Montpelier, but no vehicles have been reported stolen in Montpelier Hills.
Stardust/Amazon Liquor Board Hearing Now May 3
Mayor Craig A. Moe has announced that his office has
received notification of a change in the Stardust/Amazon
Liquor Board Hearing. The hearing date originally
scheduled for Wednesday, March 1, 2006 HAS BEEN CHANGED.
The new date for the hearing is Wednesday, May 3, 2006. at 7 pm .
The Board will hold this hearing at 5012 Rhode Island Avenue,
Hearing Room 200, Hyattsville, Maryland 20781.
Mayor Moe suggests that anyone wanting additional
information regarding the Amazon liquor license application
to contact the Liquor Board at that address or by calling
Contact: James Collins, Police Information Officer 301-725-
5300, ext. 244 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Craig A. Moe has announced that his office has
received an official notice of public hearing from the
Prince George’s County Liquor Control Board that the Board
will hear a request to change the mode of operation for
Corporate Enterprises, Inc. trading as Amazon at 13501
Baltimore Avenue, Laurel, Maryland. The Board will hold a
public hearing on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. to
hear the request. The Board will hold this hearing at 5012
Rhode Island Avenue, Hearing Room 200, Hyattsville,
Mayor Moe said this is an important hearing in the
Stardust/Amazon relocation process. From the notice, Mayor
Moe surmised that the name Amazon will continue to be the
name used for the business, rather than Stardust. Mayor Moe
advised that in order to assure that Amazon is bound to
operate at this address as a “family friendly restaurant”
as reported earlier, it is important for the Board to hear
from Laurel residents, churches and businesses, especially
those in close proximity of the restaurant location.
Mayor Moe encourages everyone to make his or her opinions
known to the Liquor Board regarding this matter. The ideal
result would be to relocate this establishment to another
location altogether. However, if that is not to occur, then
efforts must be made to compel Amazon to operate within the
context of the many established “family friendly
restaurants” in the area, and to compel the Liquor Board to
provide adequate public notice if any change in the license
status is again requested by the applicant.
Mayor Moe suggested anyone wanting additional information
regarding the Amazon liquor license application to contact
the Liquor Board at the previously stated address or by
City of Laurel, Maryland
8103 Sandy Spring Road, Laurel, MD 20707
For Immediate Release January 20, 2006
Contact: James Collins, Police Information Officer
301-725-5300, ext. 244 E-Mail: email@example.com
Mayor Craig A. Moe has announced that the Prince George’s
County Board of License Commissioners has notified the City
of Laurel that the liquor license transfer application
filed by Stardust Inn has been amended to allow alcohol
service only in a restaurant setting. The request to
provide exotic female cabaret dancing has been removed from
its application. In a letter to the applicant’s attorney,
Mr. Franklin D. Jackson, Chairman of the Liquor Board, he
advised that the Stardust Inn “mode of operation would be
that of a family friendly restaurant”.
Mayor Moe said this is a significant modification to the
liquor license application. Mayor Moe thanked Laurel’s
State elected officials in the 21st District (Delegates
Barbara Frush, Pauline Menes, Brian Moe and Senator John
Giannetti) and Prince George’s County Councilmember Tom
Dernoga for working with and assisting the City in
preventing adult entertainment as proposed by the applicant
from establishing in the Laurel area. Mayor Moe commended
the Laurel City Councilmembers, CASE (Citizens Against
Sexual Exploitation), the Touch of Love Bible Church, and
City Solicitor Robert A. Manzi, for this accomplishment. He
thanked the Councilmembers for their support of the City’s
filing for a “Petition of Judicial Review” of the Board’s
transfer approval, and Mr. Manzi for his pro bono
representation of the Church. He expressed special thanks
to CASE for keeping this issue in front of the public.
Mayor Moe advised that the City of Laurel is a “Party of
Record” in this matter. Because of this designation, the
Liquor Board must notify the City of any requested change
in the Stardust Inn liquor license application. Mayor Moe
assured Laurel citizens and businesses that the City will
closely monitor the operations at this location and will
not hesitate to react accordingly should there be a change
in the provisions of the Liquor License.
City of Laurel, Maryland
8103 Sandy Spring Road, Laurel, MD 20707