• 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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City Council Meeting Minutes

July 13, 2015

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, July 13, 2015 in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Vickers, Sydnor, Cooke, Thomas, and Hanson. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence. Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Council met at 5:30 pm in closed executive session to discuss a personnel matter and at 6:00 pm in closed executive session to discuss a matter that concerns a proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in Cambridge.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to adopt the agenda as presented was seconded and passed unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the June 22, 2015 Council meeting was seconded and passed unanimously.

Public Comments

Ordinance No. 1049 to adopt 2015 International Codes-Rob Collison reported that this proposed ordinance was submitted for a first reading on June 22, 2015. Council will now receive public comment with regard to the adoption by the City of the 2015 Maryland Building Performance Standards codified in COMAR 05.02.07. It would adopt the 2015 International Building Code and all regulations and provisions thereof. It also adopts part of the appendices which are attached to the ordinance. It would adopt the 2015 International Residential Code for one- and two-family dwellings. It would adopt the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code and the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code with an appendix with regard to the boarding standard amended by the City. Any and all references to the City's codes of law in Chapter 4 with regard to either the BOCA National Building Code or any previous codes that were aforementioned would be replaced by the 2015 International Codes. These Codes are State mandated. It is pursuant to that mandate that the Council is proposing this adoption.

Oden Wheeler said probably one of the biggest changes in this Code will be for single-family and two-family dwelling homes. All new homes will now have to have a sprinkler system installed. Any home damaged 50 percent or more will have to be brought up to Code. Commissioner Cooke said his concern with the adoption is the additional cost for building a new home. It will make it harder for people to buy houses. Oden Wheeler said the figures he has been hearing range anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000 or $8,000 depending on who you speak with. The elimination of the impact fees for five years will assist with the cost. Commissioner Sydnor asked if the Code allows both wet and dry systems. Oden Wheeler said he believes it is whatever the NFPA will allow. He thinks they can do either system. Commissioner Thomas said he spoke with the State Fire Marshal and the estimate he was given was $1.25 per square foot. One of the determining factors is the water supply. If someone is doing in-fill housing, some additional pumps may be required which would drive up the cost. Commissioner Cooke said he heard some discussion at the MML convention about the possibility of the legislature taking up this particular issue of sprinklers in the session next year. He asked Council how they felt with Council doing research and taking a position with regard to our delegation. Commissioner Thomas said that would be the only path the City would have is the legislative process to change what the City is getting ready to enact.

Tony Thomas asked if there were any commercial changes. Oden Wheeler said it will be adopting the 2015 Codes but he does not know the specific changes right now. Mr. Thomas asked about bed and breakfasts. Oden Wheeler said he could not speak of the requirements without looking at the Code. Rob Collison said the Fire Marshal will have to sign off on the bed and breakfasts. Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously.

Text amendments and mapping amendments to the City's Unified Development Code and Zoning Maps-Notification of the public hearing was published in the Star-Democrat on June 26 and July 3, 2015 and also on-line. The certificate of publication is on file. Rob Collison said these are corrections and/or clarifications to the new zoning code. The first amendment is to Section 5.1.3(C) of the UDC dealing with fencing of pools. It would require a minimum of a 4-foot fence around an in-ground pool and certain above-ground pools which are more than 18 inches in height or depth but less than 4 feet in height and would require fencing for above-ground pools that are greater than 4 feet in height which provide unrestricted access by unsecured ladders or steps.

The second is to amend Section 4.4.4 (b) of the UDC which would require free-standing fencing with a minimum of 3.5 feet (42 inches) around the usable outdoor recreational areas for home daycare centers.

The third is a mapping amendment to amend the zoning classification for the property located at 1506 Glasgow Street (Tax Map 30 Parcel 405). It has a zoning classification of R (residential) to GC (general commercial).

The fourth is a proposed text amendment to add as a special exception ropes or adventure courses within a category of privately-owned and operated outdoor recreational facilities to Table 1 which is entitled ‘permitted uses' in the GC (general commercial) district and to add a definition in Section 9.2 for the ropes and adventure courses.

Presently, the language for fencing around pools does not provide a minimum height. The Planning Commission discussed this and thought the 4-foot fencing requirement would be appropriate for in-ground pools. The idea with the above ground pools is to prevent someone from walking up steps or an unsecured ladder by putting a fence around it. If it is above ground and they have a lock on the fence or some other type of construction that prohibits unsecured access, they would not need fencing. Above-ground pools which are 18 inches or higher would require one. Commissioner Cooke said he did not realize that the Council was not going to get the actual text of what was to be changed in the UDC. He recommended that the Planning Commission give them the language that would be changed in the UDC. Rob Collison said these items will be coming back before Council with in ordinance format which will allow for further modification. Commissioner Sydnor asked how this amendment applies to ponds. Oden Wheeler said he thinks stormwater management ponds went on the pool ordinance. An unidentified woman from the audience asked if they are talking about small kiddie pools. Mayor Stanley said it has to be 18 inches deep. Several Commissioners thought 2 feet deep would be better. Nobody else from the audience asked to speak.

With regard to home daycare centers, the language was very vague. This would require a 3.5 foot high free-standing fence which neither side would share with a fence of an adjoining property owner. Commissioner Vickers suggested a 4-foot fence. This is targeted at home daycare for children (less than 8 children). Commercial daycare centers have a fencing requirement. Nobody from the audience asked to speak.

The third amendment is to correct a mapping error. The property (1506 Glasgow Street) is the property next to the Sandy Hill Quick Shop. When the area was annexed in, the records indicated that it was to be general commercial. It has been a commercial structure since it was built (1960s). It is clearly a mapping mistake. Nobody from the audience asked to speak.

The proposed amendment to permitted uses is proposed to be a special exception for ropes or adventure courses within the category of privately-owned and operated outdoor recreational facilities in Table 1 of permitted uses in the GC (general commercial) district. It is defined as land facility and improvements including challenge course elements, zip lines, ropes course elements, canopy walk elements, hiking trails, or biking trails to be used to support outdoor recreational activities, team building exercises, and/or adventure games occurring at the facility. It would be a special exception. Sandy McAllister said it will have to go through the approval process in each application in any GC zone. Rob Collison said they could impose a minimum square footage or acreage. Sandy McAllister said the flexibility of the special exception will allow for that decision. An unnamed woman from the audience suggested it would be like the small one they have at the Hyatt. Nobody else asked to speak.

A consensus was to increase the minimum requirement for above-ground pools from 18 inches to 24 inches. Commissioner Cooke said there was some rationale to leave the fence for the daycare centers at 42 inches.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously.

Appointments

Proclamation for Pre-trial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week (July 12-18, 2015)-Meredith Hanson with Parole and Probation said the agents work with different local agencies providing services for the community such as the food banks. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to authorize Mayor Stanley to sign the proclamation was seconded and approved unanimously.

Representative from Rescue Fire Company to request a variance from the noise ordinance (1:00 pm until 6:00 pm); trash removal; patrols by the Police Department; and permission to use the City-owned parking lot adjacent to the Sailwinds Park parking lot to park the buses (close parking lot as of Friday, August 7th beginning at 4:00 pm) and a variance from the noise ordinance for the Seafood Feastival on Saturday, August 8th -A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Whitney Pogwist, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, to request permission to host their annual Challenge Walk MS: Chesapeake Challenge 2015 event in Cambridge on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; permission to use Great Marsh Park as our finish and the Long Wharf parking lot for a rest stop; permission to have port-a-potties at Great Marsh Park and Long Wharf; permission to set up a 20-ft x 30-ft tent in the Long Warf parking lot on September 11th, The route will begin at Sailwinds Park and finish at Great Marsh Park; permission to display route markers along the route to (8" x 11" piece of colored paper); permission to use sidewalk chalk throughout the course writing encouraging posts; a variance from the noise ordinance; and the presence of the Mayor or City Council member to read a proclamation during our opening ceremonies-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the requests for the MS Walk on September 12th using the various areas outlined in the letter and to include a proclamation was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

Theresa White, Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, to request permission to hold their 6th Annual Back to School Block party on Saturday, August 22nd from 12 noon until 4:00 pm (rain date: Aug. 29); street closure of Skinners Court (facing the church) Clinton Street (facing St. Clair School and the church), the end of Rigby Avenue onto Park Lane; and a variance from the noise ordinance-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Renita Harmon to discuss parking on Moores Avenue-Ms. Harmon said she lives at 611 Moores Avenue. She has people parking in front of her house blocking the school bus. She asks them to move and they get nasty. People park in front of her house at one o'clock in the morning which makes her uncomfortable. She thinks her other neighbors feel the same way. She requested resident parking signs. The summer school bus stops at the end of Moores Avenue Extended and wants the children to walk through there because they said they couldn't come down the street. This item will be referred to the Traffic and Safety Committee.

Katie Clendaniel, Delmarva Community Services, to request a resolution for an SGIF application-Delmarva Community Services is applying for an SGIF grant to develop their Chesapeake Grove Intergenerational Community Center construction level design documents. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the resolution of support and endorsement (no financial contribution) for the application for the DHCD SGIF for the project of Delmarva Community Services was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.

Clint Waters, Dorchester Chapter of Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association, to request permission to sponsor a Kids Fishing Derby on the floating dock adjacent to the lighthouse on August 1st from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. and permission to erect a small tent-Mr. Waters said they have run into some problems so they would like to postpone this until August 6, 2016. A motion by Commissioner Cooke to approve the event for Saturday, August 6, 2016 was seconded and approved unanimously. They are to contact DPW with regard to placement of the tent.

Representative from The Charles W. Wongus, Sr. Museum of Negro African American Agricultural & Eastern Shore Maryland Small Community History, Inc. to request permission sponsor a Community, City, State, and Nationwide "Heal The Land Peace Walk" on Saturday, July 25, 2015, at starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Dorchester Center for the Arts on High Street; on to Popular Street; on to the corners of Gay and Race Street for a Prayer Vigil from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; return to DCA, and over by 5:00 p.m.-Nobody was present to speak. No action was taken.

Abraham Lankford, Jesus' Church, to request permission to use Long Wharf on Saturday, August 29th from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. (event starts at 6:00 p.m.) for a community praise night and a variance from the noise ordinance-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the request was seconded and approved unanimously.

Unfinished Business

James Schneider's request for a reduction in fines against 314 West End Avenue, 712 Glasgow Street, and 421 Maryland Avenue and Laurence Chitlik's request for a reduction in fines against 808 Locust Street-Commissioner Thomas reported that the Finance Committee met to discuss this request. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to not entertain these requests to reduce the fines was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Cooke opposed. A motion by Commissioner Cooke to set up a committee to draft a standard operating procedure to address the issue of tax certificates (along the line of the requests that recently came in) with the committee members to be Commissioner Cooke, Rob Collison, and Oden Wheeler or a representative from the Department of Public Works was seconded and approved 3:2 with Commissioners Sydnor and Vickers opposed.

RAR Brewery sewer rates-The Finance Committee determined that because the City has adopted a standard procedure (Resolution 04-005), this is the procedure RAR should follow when they have 25 part-time or full-time employees. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to send a letter to Mr. Merryweather outlining the findings of the Finance Committee and that any additional reductions be denied was seconded and approved unanimously.

Prioritize Community Legacy projects and approve associated resolutions for Community Legacy and SGIF-A motion by Commissioner Thomas made a motion to prioritize the Community Legacy applications as follows: (1) Façade Improvement Program; (2) Maryland Avenue Street Lighting and (3) Historic Cambridge Inc. - 505-507 Race Street Architectural Design and that Mayor Stanley be authorized to sign the appropriate resolution (15-014) was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to authorize Mayor Stanley to sign the appropriate resolution (15-015) for the SGIF application was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Cooke opposed.

Change in route for Ironman Maryland on October 3, 2015-Gerry Boyle described the proposed new route. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to accept the change in the route was seconded and approved 4:0 with Commissioner Vickers abstaining. Maps of the routes will be made available for the public.

Second reading and vote on Ordinance No. 1049 to adopt 2015 International Codes -A motion by Commissioner Vickers to adopt Ordinance No. 1049 excluding Exhibit A was seconded and approved 4:0 with Commissioner Cooke abstaining.

City Manager update-The committee met with the perspective consultant, Catherine Tuck Parrish from The Novak Consulting Group. A contract has been signed. She will contact the Commissioners to get their input on what they expect the City Manager to do. She will get this done expeditiously. Commissioner Cooke sent resumes of the applicants for Acting City Manager to the Commissioners. They have identified their first three choices. Commissioner Hanson asked Rob Collison if the Council has to hire an Acting City Manager. Rob Collison said there are some things that could arise where the two agents that Council designated would not have the authority to enter into. Something could arise that falls within the new charter provisions of the City Manager. If something does not fall within the agents, it will come back to Council. A motion by Commissioner Cooke to go into closed executive session directly following this meeting was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

New Business

Petition from downtown merchants (City benches and Cannery Way)-Tony Thomas said approximately 90 percent of the merchants on Race and Poplar Streets signed a petition. He complimented Chief Dan Dvorak and Mr. Wheeler. A lot of the issues are already taken care of. The clock is back up; Cannery Way is cleaned-up thanks to DPW and CPD. He is suggesting a ‘no loitering' sign. People are sleeping on the benches and it does not look good to the tourists. Tourists do not sit on the benches. Mayor Stanley said tourists and residents do sit on the benches. Commissioner Vickers suggested putting the benches in the parks and asking the homeless shelters to stay open longer. Chief Dvorak said he spoke to some of the people in the park. One gentleman does not want any help from DSS. They have cited the man six times this week for drinking alcohol in public. According to the City ordinance, the man is not loitering. They can work on tactics for aggressive panhandling. If he is asking for money, he is allowed to do that. He would not like to see the benches on Race Street removed; however, he would not mind having the three benches in Cannery Way removed. Tony Thomas said it is getting a lot better.

Request from Dorchester County for a letter of support for a grant to demolish some unsafe structures that the County owns in Cambridge-Cindy Smith said the properties the County would like to demolish are 811 and 813 Park Lane. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor that Council allow Mayor Stanley to sign the letter of support was seconded and approved 3:2 with Commissioners Vickers and Sydnor opposed.


A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 9:55 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, July 13, 2015, insofar as I personally am aware.


_______________________
Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Mayor

COMMISSIONERS OF CAMBRIDGE
CLOSED SESSION REPORT

A Date: July 13, 2015 (3)
Time: 10:00 pm
Place: City Council Chambers

B Citation of Authority/Purpose: State Government Article, Section 10-508(a) (check one of the following):

X 1 discuss: (i) the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction: or (ii) any other personnel matter that affects one or more specific individuals;
2 protect the privacy or reputation of individuals with respect to a matter that is not related to public business;
3 consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto;
4 consider a matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the City;
5 consider the investment of public funds;
6 consider the marketing of public securities;
7 consult with counsel to obtain legal advice;
8 consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation:
9 conduct collective bargaining negotiations or consider matters that relate to the negotiations:
10 discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans;
11 prepare, administer, or grade a scholastic, licensing, or qualifying examination;
12 conduct or discuss an investigative proceeding on actual or possible criminal conduct;
13 comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicially imposed requirement that prevents public disclosures about a particular proceeding or matter; or
14 before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.


C Members present and vote of each member as to closing the session:

Victoria Jackson-Stanley (only in a tie)
Jackie Vickers Vote: Y
Donald Sydnor Vote: N
Frank Cooke Vote: Y
Gage Thomas Vote: Y
Commissioner Hanson Vote: Y

Motion to close meeting: Comm. Cooke Seconded: Comm.

D Topics Discussed: Explanation of topics to be discussed (this may be by reference to the citation of authority listed above if further explanation would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting: Candidate names for Acting City Manager
E Persons Present at the Closed Session: If listing an individual as present would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting, do not list the individual but note that an individual was not listed for this reason Mayor Stanley, Commissioner Vickers, Commissioner Sydnor, Commissioner Cooke, Commissioner Thomas, Commissioner Hanson, Rob Collison, Oden Wheeler
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: No action was taken.


CLOSED SESSION REPORT

A Date: July 13, 2015 (2)
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: City Council Chambers

B Citation of Authority/Purpose: State Government Article, Section 10-508(a) (check one of the following):

1 discuss: (i) the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction: or (ii) any other personnel matter that affects one or more specific individuals;
2 protect the privacy or reputation of individuals with respect to a matter that is not related to public business;
3 consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto;
X 4 consider a matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the City;
5 consider the investment of public funds;
6 consider the marketing of public securities;
7 consult with counsel to obtain legal advice;
8 consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation:
9 conduct collective bargaining negotiations or consider matters that relate to the negotiations:
10 discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans;
11 prepare, administer, or grade a scholastic, licensing, or qualifying examination;
12 conduct or discuss an investigative proceeding on actual or possible criminal conduct;
13 comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicially imposed requirement that prevents public disclosures about a particular proceeding or matter; or
14 before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.


C Members present and vote of each member as to closing the session:

Victoria Jackson-Stanley (only in a tie)
Jackie Vickers Vote: Y
Donald Sydnor Vote: Y
Frank Cooke Vote: Y
Gage Thomas Vote: Y
Commissioner Hanson Vote: Y

Motion to close meeting: Comm. Seconded: Comm.

D Topics Discussed: Explanation of topics to be discussed (this may be by reference to the citation of authority listed above if further explanation would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting: The Sailwinds Project
E

Persons Present at the Closed Session: If listing an individual as present would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting, do not list the individual but note that an individual was not listed for this reason Mayor Stanley, Commissioner Vickers, Commissioner Sydnor, Commissioner Cooke, Commissioner Thomas, Commissioner Hanson, Rob Collison, Oden Wheeler, Natalie Chabot
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: No action was taken.

COMMISSIONERS OF CAMBRIDGE
CLOSED SESSION REPORT

A Date: July 13, 2015 (1)
Time: 5:30 pm
Place: City Council Chambers

B Citation of Authority/Purpose: State Government Article, Section 10-508(a) (check one of the following):

X 1 discuss: (i) the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction: or (ii) any other personnel matter that affects one or more specific individuals;
2 protect the privacy or reputation of individuals with respect to a matter that is not related to public business;
3 consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto;
4 consider a matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the City;
5 consider the investment of public funds;
6 consider the marketing of public securities;
7 consult with counsel to obtain legal advice;
8 consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation:
9 conduct collective bargaining negotiations or consider matters that relate to the negotiations:
10 discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans;
11 prepare, administer, or grade a scholastic, licensing, or qualifying examination;
12 conduct or discuss an investigative proceeding on actual or possible criminal conduct;
13 comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicially imposed requirement that prevents public disclosures about a particular proceeding or matter; or
14 before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.

C Members present and vote of each member as to closing the session:

Victoria Jackson-Stanley (only in a tie)
Jackie Vickers Vote: Y
Donald Sydnor Vote: Y
Frank Cooke Vote: Y
Gage Thomas Vote: Y
Commissioner Hanson Vote: Y
Motion to close meeting: Comm. Thomas Seconded: Comm. Hanson

D Topics Discussed: Explanation of topics to be discussed (this may be by reference to the citation of authority listed above if further explanation would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting: Hiring a Finance Director
E Persons Present at the Closed Session: If listing an individual as present would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting, do not list the individual but note that an individual was not listed for this reason Mayor Stanley, Commissioner Vickers, Commissioner Sydnor, Commissioner Cooke, Commissioner Thomas, Commissioner Hanson, Rob Collison, Oden Wheeler
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to hire [employee] as the Financial Director and allow the Mayor to negotiate the contract with him/her. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:1 with Commissioner Cooke opposed. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the contract as outlined and Mayor Stanley have authorization to review with him/her was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Cooke opposed.