TOWN OF BRENTWOOD
Representatives of the county's Office of Persons with Disabilities and the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene attended the Brentwood Town Council meeting July 16 to explain an incident July 8 in which a teenager living in a youth rehabilitation home went on a rampage and broke windows at the facility.
Residents in the community had sent a letter to Mayor George Denny complaining of the incident and listing other problems at the group home, including excessive noise, cars pulling up to the house late at night and youths seen drinking alcohol.
The group home, located on Webster Street since 1987, is run by Guide, a private nonprofit organization that provides psychological counseling and housing to runaway and troubled youths.
The director of the facilty told town officials and residents that the teenager has been relocated to another youth home and that a similar incident is unlikely to happen.
In other business, the Town Council approved sending a second letter to the county's Liquor License Board requesting removal of an abandoned vehicle in front of the 4400 Club, at 4400 Rhode Island Ave. A standard provision of liquor license permits and renewals requires that all unregistered vehicles be removed from a club's premises at its own expense. The 4400 Club's liquor license was renewed in May.
CITY OF BOWIE
The Bowie City Council at its July 16 meeting approved a planned 45 1/2-acre single-family home subdivision called Stewart's Landing, to be built at Church Road and Route 450.
The council also scheduled an Aug. 6 public hearing on a proposal to add four new property tax categories to the Special Tax District Ordinance section of the city's property tax code. There are currently six residential developments and commercial areas in Bowie that fall under the special tax ordinance, and the four new categories are being created to cover four additional developments planned in the city.
The special tax is assessed in addition to the general municipal tax paid by all Bowie residents and is levied annually against property owners in newly developed or as yet undeveloped areas requiring special startup services that include storm drains, ponds, ride-share programs and bus line extensions. The proposed special taxes are targeted toward future residents of four planned developments in the new Jenkins Hime area of Bowie.
Bowie's municipal tax rate is 77 cents per $100 of assessments, but residents living in the designated special districts are taxed an additional amount ranging from 2 cents to $2.86 per $100 of assessed value. (The highest rate is levied against the University of Maryland's Science and Technology Center to pay for services that include storm water management).
If approved, the new tax categories will be established in December at the same time the City Council considers its fiscal 1992 budget. The taxes would not be levied until the new fiscal year, beginning July 1.
The council also approved designs for the proposed Mill Branch Center just off Route 301, which will consist of 28 acres of condominium offices along with restaurants, gas stations and a day-care center.
TOWN OF CAPITOL HEIGHTS
The Capitol Heights Town Council will meet Monday at 8 p.m. at Town Hall, One Capitol Heights Blvd. For more information, call 336-0626.
CITY OF COLLEGE PARK
The College Park City Council will meet at 8 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 4500 Knox Rd. For more information, call 864-8666.
CITY OF GREENBELT
The Greenbelt City Council at its July 16 meeting voted to buy nine street light poles and other parking lot equipment to be placed at Centerway, the street in front of the Roosevelt Center shopping area in the old section of Greenbelt. The light fixtures, which will cost the town $35,865, are part of a renovation of the entire avenue. An additional $11,600 was approved to buy and plant four-inch-diameter London plane trees for Centerway, which city officials said are needed to replace sycamore trees that are in poor condition with weak root systems.
Council members also agreed to apply next month for a community development block grant from the county. Council members said the grant program may provide enough funds to improve the Roosevelt Center parking lot over several years.
The council voted to send two proposals to the Maryland Municipal League for consideration before the fall General Assembly session. The first would reduce to 25 mph, instead of 30 mph, the speed limit on state roads narrower than 30 feet, and also would allow parking on those roads. The second proposal would require a deposit on glass and cans to encourage recycling.
CITY OF TAKOMA PARK
Takoma Park City Council members have unanimously approved the region's most rigorous anti-smoking law, requiring smoke-free workplaces, non-smoking sections in restaurants and the banning of cigarette vending machines where they are accessible to children.
The legislation, approved early Tuesday morning near the end of the council's last meeting of the summer, also prohibits smoking in day-care centers and the distribution of free samples of tobacco products and smoking in day-care centers.
The restrictions take effect Oct. 1.
Because Takoma Park straddles the border of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, two sets of smoking regulations have been in effect. When work began on the bill earlier this summer, officials said they intended to enact a uniform smoking policy across the city and preferred to copy Montgomery County's smoking laws, which are among the most stringent in the region. But sentiment soon developed for a stronger anti-smoking package in Takoma Park.
Sponsored by council member Hank Prensky, a self-described "militant ex-smoker," the Takoma Park bill passed Tuesday contains includes Montgomery's ban on smoking in workplaces occupied by at least three people where at least one person opposes smoking. As in Montgomery, businesses in Takoma Park may allow smoking in private, enclosed offices or in designated enclosed smoking areas.
The City Council went beyond the county's rules, however, by requiring smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants with at least 25 seats. Montgomery's regulations apply to restaurants serving 50 or more.
The bans affecting day-care centers and cigarette vending machines are novel for this region. Prensky had sought to ban all cigarette vending machines, but state law allows a ban only in cases where local jurisdictions show that health and safety are jeopardized.
The city's law says that children are endangered by the vending machines, allowing the city to remove them from such places as coatrooms and public buildings. A cigarette vending machine is located at police headquarters in the Municipal Building. Revenue from the machine has been used to help defray the cost of the city's Fourth of July activities. Cigarette vending machines, of which there are estimated to be less than a half-dozen in the city, may remain, for example, in bars, where children would not have access to them.
The council delayed until fall consideration of a proposed ban on smoking in all of the city's 12 restaurants.