The city of College Park recently established a committee to address the growth of diverse communities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the estimated population in 2010 for College Park was 30,413. This number grew in 2014 to 32,256. Since 2010, the ethnic breakdown in one of Maryland’s biggest college towns has also changed.
In an ongoing controversy regarding the Backyard Sports Grill, patrons of the bar rejected accusations from the College Park City Council that the proprietors of the restaurant have created a “pornographic” or unsafe environment in their establishment.
“[the Backyard Sports Grill] described an operation that all kinds of people would be comfortable going to and having an enjoyable and a safe experience, and that’s not what we’re seeing,” said council member Stephanie Stullich.
Council member P.J. Brennan accused the bar owners of using promotion material featuring images of women that facilitated a “pornographic environment.”
But several patrons of the Backyard Sports Grill disagreed with the council’s assessment of the restaurant.
A proposed affordable housing project for College Park has hit roadblocks for the second time after discussion at the Oct. 20 city council work session.
The Branchville Crossing Development would have 72 units available for renting on a 2.02-acre site on Branchville Road, according to public documents. This project was submitted by the Cruz Development Corporation and could house 300 people.
“Staff have looked at the information available and made a number of notes on issues that they have seen on the project,” said Terry Schum, Director of Planning.
The city of College Park has been plagued with 259 crimes, mostly larceny and burglary, as of this August—over half of the number of crimes for the entire year of 2014.
In response to the crime in the area, the College Park city council has made efforts to make the community more livable for all residents of the city. The Neighborhood Quality of Life Committee was adopted in September of 2013 to replace the Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Work Group, originally formed in 2012. The committee was formed to “engage with various stakeholders, including the University of Maryland, city residents, UMD students, public safety officials, and rental property owners, to identify possible strategies to stabilize neighborhoods,” according to the group’s resolution.