My apartment complex, Vie Towers, constantly violates Pg County code by not giving at least 24 hours notice to enter in apartments. They do this despite the fact that I have made them aware of the code violations and despite the Hyattsville City inspectors notifying them. The problem is that the city of Hyattsville has no way to enforce this county code so they can only notify apartment complex that they are in violation. Not giving proper notice can be used in a discriminatory manner by targeting certain groups of residents they no longer want in there and give them lease violations. It also does not provide the bare minimum right to privacy or gives someone enough warning that a stranger will be in their apartment, around their valuable and personal items.
My name is Christopher A. Etienne. I am a resident and taxpayer of Hyattsville, Maryland. Currently, I work for a Member of the United States Congress on Capitol Hill. I earned my master's degree from Howard University in Washington, DC and my bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
The morning of Thursday, October 4, 2018 I was informed by a family member that a burglar, or group of thieves, broke her car window and stole all of her items from her car that was parked inside the University Town Center Garage B - Lot# 39 - B, garage number "P1." She has filed a police report and others of this kind. However, the Atlantic Services Group, Inc., the operators of the University Town Center Garage, do not have security cameras installed inside this parking garage.
According to the Prince George's County Police department, one of the biggest misconceptions about auto theft is where they occur. As you may know, more than 33% of all vehicle thefts occur near the car owner's residence and around 20% of thefts occur in parking lots.
I am proposing to the public servants representing the City of Hyattsville, Maryland to require the Atlantic Services Group, Inc. to strongly consider installing security cameras inside and around, the different parking levels, of the University Town Center Garage B - Lot# 39 - B. This is a needed public safety for the residents and college students, especially for the female residents and college students who own vehicles. Parking garage security cameras could discourage a thief and encourage a resident.
One discouraged resident said, "Despite the high prices for parking charged in this garage, Atlantic has essentially no security in this garage at all. I've parked here for two years and have seen countless people have items stolen from their cars. More recently cars have had their windows bashed in, tires stolen, and locks broken. A complete waste of money to pay to be in this garage when Atlantic is not going to bother to put up cameras or do security patrols."
In closing, the University Town Center Garage B needs video surveillance. Video surveillance is another essential deterrent for parking garage crime. The simple presence of well-marked, vandal-resistant cameras is an effective deterrent. And, if watched carefully enough with remote monitoring services and/or paired with intelligent video monitoring software and remote speakers, it may be able to prevent crimes or stop them as they happen – without the prohibitive expense of multiple on-site security guards. The phone numbers listed for Atlantic Services Group, Inc. is (301) 779-9696 and (301) 214-2490.
I look forward to your prompt response and working with you to protect the public safety.
Volunteers to the City who are on an Official Committee should get free parking within the City. This is not only an incentive for people to join a Committee but a small way of saying thanks to residents who volunteer their time to make the City better. There can be criteria (committee must be active, meet monthly and must attend X # of meetings to qualify) so that it is not abused. A yearly pass that you put in your window that expires at the end of the year can be used.
We volunteers on Committees meet monthly and put in many hours that are uncompensated. We do it to make our City better for us and everyone else. Getting volunteers to put in this time is hard - many say they want to help out, but few step up (understood, it is a time commitment that some may not have). As someone who has been on a Committee for a long time, I can attest to the fact that it is hard to get to people to join and often there are just a handful of us making the commitment. This would help us get people and be a nice gesture for those who are on there now.
I've been in Zone 4 for over 4 years and I've noticed that there are quite a few homes that have way too many cars parked on the street. Some of my neighbors have driveways and don't even use them. The house across the street from me occupies 5 street spots, and sometimes 6 on a weekly basis. This is way too many cars for one single family household.
At minimum, the city should consider banning military assault weapons in public spaces- schools, playgrounds, houses of worship. The wellbeing and security of our young children and citizens depend on it. Without such sensible measures the safety of our children will remain compromised- whether they are playing, biking or skating with friends in their neighborhood playgrounds, at school, or simply attending services at church, mosque, or synagogue. It is important to note, this does not ban the right of citizens to own guns- but to simply ask that they not carry them in areas where large number of children congregate and have no way to defend themselves from anyone with a bad intent. Simply put, the city can protect the right of citizens to own guns and also adopt sensible measures that would make it harder to mercilessly injure and kill tens of innocent people in 60 seconds- that as it stands are legally sanctioned by our state laws.
What is the Hyattsville City Council doing to promote home ownership in Hyattsville? Does Hyattsville have any policies that promote affordable housing within the incorporated areas of Hyattsville?
To discourage blight on Route 1 and around Hyattsville, the city should impose property tax increases and penalties for prolonged vacancies, particularly in commercial properties, such as what Washington DC does.
To ensure developers must build to the historic district's existing character, and abide by quality and materials standards, Hyattsville should become a PG County Historic District. Also, so that all residents, not just those who have chosen to designate their own homes as a historic site, can benefit from county tax credits and grants for preservation of their homes.
I propose the development or adoption of a lighting ordinance based on the Model Ordinance drafted by the Dark Sky Association and approved by the Illumination Engineers Society of North America which help guide the reduction of light pollution. See: http://darksky.org/lighting/lighting-ordinances/ and a PDF of the model ordienance with explanations is available at: http://darksky.org/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/16_MLO_FINAL_JUNE2011.PDF
Unshielded and improperly install lighting reduces our ability to see all but the brightest stars at night, it creates unsafe interactions between drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists, decreases security through reduced visibility through correct lighting, and reduces the disruption of biorhythms impact of artificial light on humans and the environment. We can lead the area in properly installed and shielded lights and with other communities adopting these we will all see more of the night sky and be safer when out at night.
Attached is the model ordinance and I encourage everyone to read more about light intrusion and light pollution at http://darksky.org/lighting.
I am not necessarily opposed to the principle of letting aliens vote in Hyattsville elections, but I strongly object to three conditions proposed. Frankly, I am shocked at what is proposed.
The age 16 is too young; it should be 18. Although 16-yr.-olds may register to vote in MD, they may not vote until they are 18 before the next general election. Further, in MD a 16-yr.-old cannot get a regular driver’s license, but only a provisional one. If the State of MD considers that a 16-yr.-old is not mature enough to make wise decisions while driving, why should we consider them mature enough to make decisions about issues and who governs us, when these decisions affect our whole city?
Having Hyattsville as the primary residence for 14 days is much too short; it should be at least 1 year. In 14 days how can they possibly understand the issues involved or know enough about the candidates to vote intelligently?
They should not be allowed to register on election day; they should be required to register at least one week before any voting for the election is allowed. I think same-day registration opens the door for corruption.
The proposed conditions give the appearance of wanting to court the alien community in order to get their votes!