DPIE Under Construction Newsletter, June 2021

DPIE Under Construction masthead with Permitting, Plan Review, Licensing, Inspections and Enforcement visuals, and DPIE logo

June 2021

Message from the Director

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DPIE Director Melinda Bolling

Happy Summer!

After months of being inside, we are all celebrating the opportunity to get outside in the sun while reuniting with family and friends. Here at DPIE, we are excited about new initiatives we have launched to help citizens make the connection between abiding by property maintenance requirements and protecting the environment. In May, we encouraged citizens to bring their properties into compliance with County code with “Beautify and Comply!” This month, we kicked off “NO LANDSCAPE LITTER: Don’t Litter the Landscape!” to bring home the point that keeping an old washing machine in your backyard constitutes litter just as much as dumping tires on an empty lot.

Studies show that clean neighborhoods maintain their desirability. Trash and debris, dilapidated buildings and unkempt surroundings negatively impact communities’ value. We have coined a term — “landscape litter” — to describe the kind of litter that we attack at DPIE. Landscape litter includes anything that defaces an area — rusted old cars in backyards, trash and debris strewn about commercial lots, etc.

Let’s do our part to keep Prince George’s beautiful — and safe. Enjoy your summer!

Director Melinda Bolling's signature blockwords say DPIE celebrates summer, with drawing of pool, umbrella, sun and beach ballwhite space

DPIE Pivotal in Opening of Much-Anticipated New University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center

Pic of new hospital - The new UM Capital Region Medical Center is slated to open June 12th in Largo
Hospital pic - Building inspector Mike Metz and Danielle Gittens, a UMMS consultant, discuss details last month of construction items to be completed.

Hospital Project Spotlights Agency’s Importance in Thriving Economic Development

When the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center opens in Largo, staff will occupy offices, conduct business in work areas and park in spaces approved by DPIE. Patients will undergo examinations, receive treatment and consult with physicians in facilities whose inspections were all checked by DPIE.

From preconstruction meetings to the grand opening of the new $600 million hospital center, DPIE administrators, inspectors, permit personnel and plan review staff have been involved. The 205-bed hospital stands as another example of DPIE’s participation in the bustling economic development taking place in Prince George’s County.

Deputy Director Dawit Abraham said DPIE was working on the project before the first plan was submitted. He and other members of the team met with officials from the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) to provide guidance on code standards and other requirements. The Site/Road Plan Review Division had to approve any horizontal construction, while the Building Plan Review Division perused untold numbers of plans for any vertical construction. Permits staff pored over applications. The Inspections Division team examined the various phases of construction.

Dawit in front of hospital - Deputy Director Dawit Abraham tours hospital construction site in 2020.

"The project started in 2018, so we have been working on it for three years,” said Abraham. "When the ribbon-cutting ceremony occurred on June 8, many DPIE staffers felt a sense of pride in seeing the facility finalized after all their efforts."

Abraham and other DPIE administrators give the lion’s share of the credit for overseeing construction at the hospital to Code Enforcement Officer Mike Metz, who spent many days on the site, before and after COVID-19 struck. Precautions were taken to allow work to safely continue during the pandemic. The hospital includes a critical care center, a stroke center, a level II trauma center and the Heart & Vascular Institute.

“Our role was quality assurance because the hospital had a team of third-party inspectors conducting most of the inspections,” said Metz. “My job was to ensure adherence to applicable codes and safety regulations. It was a big project. I enjoyed working on it.”

DPIE Urges Residents to Connect Code Violations to Litter

white spaceNo Landscape Litter symbol on landscape with list of common litter violations, plus County and DPIE logosIllegal litter includes stockpiling junk cars and parts -1st pic; litter being removed as part of DPIE’s “Clean It and Lien It!” program -2nd pic

DPIE inspectors conduct more than 20,000 inspections of Prince George’s County residential and commercial properties to investigate code violations each year. The violations include everything from people storing old tires in their backyards to keeping huge piles of broken furniture, old appliances and stacks of construction materials on their lots.

DPIE has launched two campaigns to urge property owners to reduce litter and beautify the County by bringing their properties into compliance with code this summer. In May, the agency kicked off “Beautify and Comply!” The program encourages residents to make necessary changes to bring their homes into compliance while decorating for summer. June’s initiative is “NO LANDSCAPE LITTER: Don’t Litter the Landscape!” The goal is to help residents understand the connection between code violations involving junk and debris and littering. County residents will be updated on the two programs through emails, social media, newsletters and notifications on the DPIE website.

“A lot of people don’t associate keeping open storage, old furniture and other trash and debris on their properties with littering, but that’s exactly what it is,” said DPIE Director Melinda Bolling. “These two programs were established to encourage citizens to take steps to become more environmentally responsible with their properties.”

For more information about the County's effort to keep communities clean and litter free, visit pgcproud.com.


No Roadside Signs: Advertise Responsibly to Avoid Littering the Landscape

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Did You Know That Ugly Sign Litter Is Also Illegal?

There is nothing uglier than a landscape scarred by signs. Instead of littering roadsides, those interested in spreading the word about their goods or services are encouraged to use appropriate means:

• Post your product on social media

• Place notices on community listservs

• Utilize direct mailings

• Buy ads in local newspapers or sales websites

• Send mass emails to acquaintances and ask them to spread the word

The internet features several websites with information about low-cost advertising, including Smallbiztrends.com, which urges small business owners to consider collaborating with other local businesses and signing up for local business listings. Organizations like the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce also offer tips to entrepreneurs.

“People think advertising on illegal sign litter is inexpensive, but it adds up when you are losing signs and facing fines,” said Enforcement Division Code Enforcement Officer Bill Edelen, who coordinates two Sign Blitz events each year to remove thousands of signs. “Also, a lot of people refuse to patronize businesses that litter while advertising. We hope business owners will look for legal and environmentally safe ways to publicize their products.”

For more information, visit dpie.mypgc.us.

Clean Up Your Property for Summer!

Sunny days provide the perfect opportunity to get outside to clean up for summer!

The following information will help you find the appropriate place to properly dispose of litter and debris to bring your property into compliance:

Chart listing 5 litter violations and solutions: tires, construct. materials, old furniture and appliances, trash and debris, hazardous materials.

Take Precautions to Keep Pools Safe

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A teenage girl enjoys taking a splash in a community pool.

The International Code Council (ICC) recommends taking the following steps to ensure pool safety this summer:

• Install proper barriers, covers and alarms on and around your pool and spa.  Pools and spas should be surrounded on all sides by a fence or other barrier at least 4 feet in height and should not be climbable for children. Small, inflatable pools must also be protected.

Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers. Powerful suction from a pool or spa drain can trap adults and children. All pools and spas should have compliant drain grates or covers.

Teach children to stay away from drains. Do not play or swim near drains or suction outlets, especially in spas and shallow pools, and never enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover. Make sure drain covers are properly fitted and paired or have vacuum suction releases. Be sure to locate the emergency vacuum shutoff before getting into a spa.

Make note of life-saving devices. Pool and spa owners should keep a portable phone and emergency numbers nearby. A pole, a rope and personal flotation devices are also recommended. When using a pool or spa, be sure to locate these emergency equipment options and know how to use them before getting in the water.

Clean, clear and temperature-regulated water is essential for safe pool and spa use. Make sure disinfectant levels are correct. If you cannot see the bottom of the deepest part of the pool, it should not be used. Water temperatures for spas should be set to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

Source:  ICC.

Planning Guide for Public Swimming Pools and Spas in Prince George's County cover, with pics of kid swimming, water reading and hot tub

Make Sure Your Pool and Spa Comply with County Code

DPIE’s Licensing Section
processes Health permits for new public pools and spas.

DPIE's Permit Center issues permits for pool and spa construction and repair. The Center also ensures that pools and spas are surrounded by 6-foot safety fences.

DPIE’s Building Plan Review Health Section reviews all plans for new, remodeled and existing facilities, as well as equipment evaluations for public/commercial swimming pools and spas. It also conducts preopening inspections of new construction of public/commercial swimming pools and spas. This section’s functions are jointly coordinated with the Division of Environmental Health.

The Health Department's Environmental Engineering/Policy Program processes renewal permits for existing public swimming pools and spas. It also provides inspection and enforcement and investigates complaints at public swimming pools and spas.

For more information, see the Planning Guide: Public Swimming Pools and Spas/Hot Tubs in Prince George's County on the DPIE website.

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New Hires

DPIE welcomes the following new hire and congratulates him on joining the team!  The new staffer has shared some information to help us get to know him and his start date.

Alan Post

Alan Post, Building Plan Review Division — Environmental Health Specialist I, 5/10/2021

Alan has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the University of Tennessee. He also holds a degree in food technology and science/food chemistry. He has more than 15 years of food safety experience.

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DPIE promoted the following employee in June 2021. We would like to recognize and congratulate her for her hard work and commitment!

Thelia Jones


Thelia Jones, Director’s Office — Human Resources Liaison IV, 6/6/2021

Thelia Jones was promoted from a Human Resources Liaison II to a Human Resources Liaison IV in the Director’s Office. Thelia has worked for Prince George’s County for four years.



DPIE celebrates the following employees for outstanding achievement and congratulates them on their success!

Ebony Cabbagestalk

Ebony Cabbagestalk, Director’s Office — Accountant/BPO Supervisor

Ebony recently completed her dual Master’s degree at the University of Maryland Global Campus. Her second Master’s in Business Administration complements her first Master’s in management (healthcare administration concentration). Ebony has a love for education. Despite the challenges of the pandemic — supporting her son Caleb’s virtual learning, teleworking and taking online classes — she completed her program with a 4.0 GPA!

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Ted Jeong

Ted Jeong, Site/Road Plan Review Division — Engineer III

“I am happy to announce that I passed the Professional Engineer (PE) exam on my first attempt in April! I would like to thank my family, friends and colleagues for their undying support in achieving this professional accomplishment. With over six years of land development experience and license in hand, I am empowered more than ever to help DPIE achieve its goals and have positive, everlasting impacts on the public!”

Employee of the Month

Cyndi Manuel

DPIE Congratulates Cyndi Manuel
Employee of the Month for June 2021

Graphic Artist Cyndi Manuel is being recognized for exceptional service. She consistently exhibits dedication to DPIE’s mission, values and goals. Her work with graphic materials is outstanding, and her customer service skills are exemplary. She is also one of the friendliest people at DPIE. Despite the overwhelming amount of work she has, Cyndi always finds time to help. Her attention to detail is highlighted in the way she prepares and completes every assignment. Her willingness to assist others and her commitment to delivering a superior product is unequaled.

DPIE commends you for your exceptional performance!


DPIE will be closed on Friday, June 18th, 2021, in honor of Juneteenth Day.

Register for Your Vaccine Today

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