• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
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P&Z Minutes

April 7, 2015

The Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Cambridge met on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street, Cambridge, Maryland.

Commissioners in Attendance: Jerry Burroughs, Chairman; William Craig, Vice-Chair; Hubert Trego, Chan'Tay Nelson, Gene Lauer and Mary Losty

Others in attendance included: LaSara Kinser, City Planner Assistant and Robert S. Collison, City Attorney, Jane Devlin from the BZA

Mr. Burroughs started the meeting with greetings. We will be discussing items and planning for future issues.

First item for discussion is vacation rentals and some information is in your packets tonight.
• We are focusing on the triathlon times of the year in Cambridge.
• We have info on Ocean City and other town that want to save their historic districts from being rental properties.
• We need to bring this to our attention.

Ms. Losty spoke that she will be working on getting some structure to compare the information received and have it in a condensed form by the next meeting. The rules, regulations and licensing info.

Mr. Collison spoke that the City and Dorchester County, would require that the fire marshal to inspected so the renters feel safe, there would be a room tax and we could have a listing for approved sites on our City website.

Ms. Losty commented that could be an MUC rental requirement.

Mr. Lauer spoke that we need to as simple as possible in our guidelines and how long are we going to let them do the rentals before they are considered a B&B. There may be special exceptions and other codes that we need to look at.

Mr. Burroughs commented that some the B&B's in town, there have been some issue on their allowed usage. The new UDC can give us some direction on how we will address this issue.

Mr. Trego spoke that how we decided on this issue we do not want to prevent someone from coming to Cambridge and we want to have a friendly town.
Mr. Lauer agreed that we need to be delicate on this issue.

Mr. Burroughs wants to have us get a handle on this before it turns into a unlicensed B&B and how frequently it can be used.

Mr. Collison stated that the duration of the rentals, we do not want a neighbor calling staying the house next door is being rental to different people every week.

Second item for tonight's discussion will be Renewable Energy legislation. Renewable Energy would be to charge stations in the City. He went online and found two sources of information that has a lot of links. This is in your packet also.
• Renewable Energy - we just had a case with the County and they asked Planning & Zoning to limit the use of agricultural land from solar energy fields.
• Some lands in the county are being looked at for these fields and how can it be used.
• County level said no and if a farmer wants to subsidize his land for that use, he could.
• The Farm Bureau, Dor. Chamber of Commerce and some local farmers were at the County meeting and they all gave presentations on this issue.

Mr. Collison asked if there was a minimum amount of acreage for this use. Mr. Burroughs commented that it was about 25 acres and above. Mr. Lauer spoke that about 10 acres was need per megawatts.

Mr. Burroughs continued that the presentation was very good and that it was informative. About three farms in the county have come before the County Council to install solar energy fields. Same issue has come forward to place solar panels on homes. The Eastern Shore magazine had an article recently about the solar panels on homes. It gives a lot of info on the benefits of solar panels. We as the City would get some revenue from these solar panels because they have to get permits and residents can get tax credit.

Mr. Lauer spoke that the solar panels that go on homes or business are a benefit to increase the value of the property, by the tax credit. The agricultural land would then be considered commercial with the solar panels, and we should not prevent a farmer from doing that and maybe a special exception may be needed. Most companies look for agricultural land and not industrial land, because is cheaper to rent or buy. You must be close enough to a transition grid for this to work. This could be a good tax revenue for the City.

Ms. Losty commented that the State of Maryland has put out mandates of achievability by 2022, so we do need to address this issue.

Mr. Burroughs continued about the recharging stations and that in the future, has been put into practice at Wawa on Route #404 and another should be going in at Rehobeth Beach. Mr. Collison stated that in Salisbury at the Boscov parking lot is about six stations. He had talked to Ms. Roane about possible places for stations.

Mr. Collison spoke that the zoning issue for this is considered like a fueling station.

Mr. Lauer asked how the recharging station gets paid. Mr. Burroughs commented that is like a credit card transaction. Some are quick charges and some are a little slower like at a hotel or shops.

Ms. Losty informed the Commission that on the Stanford Campus, there were stations all around the parking lots.
Third item tonight from Mr. Burroughs was the issue of an ordinance about Day Care and having fencing around the area. Mr. Trego said that they stressed this issue every time someone came in. It is not located in the new UDC once upon a time each Day Care had to come before our panel. Also another issue is that pools must have a fence also. (LaSara will check into the rules for a pool above and in-ground.) (LaSara will check on the fencing issue with Day Care locations.) He feels that it needs to be in the ordinance.

Ms. Devlin asked how is this issue of Day Cares in the new UDC, some of the old information did move to the new UDC.

Ms. Losty spoke is this a precondition and under a special exception, can it be mandated to have a fence. Mr. Burroughs stated that the P&Z did mandate it to anyone that came before this Commission.

Mr. Collison stated that we should amend the new UDC so that it provides that the outdoor play areas must have fenced. This should be a requirement and make it a standard.

Mr. Trego commented that the applicant may come in and give their facts and then their neighbor still has the right to come in also and present facts.

Mr. Burroughs continued that we will speak on this issue again in the future.

Mr. Lauer wanted to welcome our new Assistant Planner and that Ms. Roane was having the new UDC edited and that the copies will be sent to us soon.

Mr. Trego spoke that Delmarva Power has become very active on Route #50 and their upgrading projects. Mr. Collison commented that they are upgrading the poles around town and the equipment. Mr. Burroughs stated that the substation near Tates Bank Road will be updated also.

Mr. Burroughs spoke that the last item on tonight agenda will be the election of officers. Mr. Trego spoke that we need a full panel of members and we are still two short for tonight's meeting. This issue will be tabled for the next meeting.

Mr. Burroughs welcomed LaSara Kinser to the group and asked that she give the Commission some information about herself. Ms. Kinser gave a brief about her education and she is from the area. The whole Commission welcomed her.

Mr. Trego has his pet peeve again that we are allowing the residents to park their cars in the front yards of their residence and there is no reason that they cannot use their driveways and not park on the sidewalks or front yards. Ms. Losty asked if we could put this issue into the UDC. Is there a condition or a requirement for the parking? Mr. Trego asked if we are enforcing the abandon vehicles on properties. Mr. Burroughs stated that yes that the MDIA officer is up on this issue.

Ms. Nelson added that on Patamoke Village have a few houses that the vehicles are abandon on the lots with no tags.

Mr. Lauer, also added that he would like to have someone from the DPW to speak to this Commission on what Code Enforcement is done, by whom, what it has to go through and the scope of MDIA contract, which does the zoning vs. the other ordinance enforcement. He is confused on who is responsible for what. A few others are in agreement. There are city lots that are vacant and are full of trash. Who is responsible for enforcing that issue? Mr. Trego continued that we talked about a sign for over two years, before it was enforced.

Mr. Collison spoke of the abatement orders about there being no funding to remove the Spicer's Sign. Mr. Burroughs suggested that we call the Fire Department and have them burn it down.

The Commission asked that Ms. Kinser to speak to Mr. Todd Parks about coming to visit this group.

Mr. Trego would like to know who is responsible for what at DPW and MDIA. Ms. Nelson asked if we could find out which agency did what jobs. (MDIA & DPW & SEWAGE & MUC) Address is will be called to Ms. Kinser.

Next regular meeting will be on May 5th.

Mr. Burroughs asked for a motion to close the meeting. A motion to close by Mr. Trego and seconded by Ms. Nelson. All Approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Ms. Michal Dixon, DPW Secretary 1

________________________________ _______________________
Jerry Burroughs, Chairman Date Approved