• 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

June 2, 2015

Planning & Zoning Commission


June 2, 2015

The Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Cambridge met on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street, Cambridge, Maryland.

Commissioners in Attendance: William Craig, Chairman; Marshall Rickert, Vice-Chair; Hubert Trego, Chan’Tay Nelson, Jerry Burroughs and Eugene Lauer

Others in attendance included: LaSara Kinser, City Planner Assistant; Frank Cooke, City Council Liaison and Robert Collison, City Attorney

Mr. Craig started the meeting with greetings.

Agenda Project

Delmarva Community Service, Chesapeake Grove, Intergenerational Senior Center, final site plan approval.  Ms. Kinser stated that the City Engineer, Mr. George Hyde and the Fire Chief, Brian Willey have submitted their comments.  The applicant has met all of the previous comments by this Planning Committee.

Mr. Sean Callahan with Lane Engineering spoke about some issues discussed at the last meeting.

  • Able to see the whole property.
  • Fire Department access from the rear of the property.
  • Assigned parking areas for each building & open space areas
  • Grading and pipe specs
  • Comply with long term gateway/by-pass plan from Mr. Hyde
  • Sidewalks construction from Route #16 and additional lane to turn into the parking lot.

Mr. Craig asked if this was the final plan.  Mr. Callahan stated yes and that the plans comply with what Mr. Hyde suggested to him.

Mr. Craig stated that if we approve Phases 1, 2 and 3 then we will hold on Phase 4 until the City Engineer approves it.  Mr. Callahan stated yes.

Mr. Jim Michael spoke that the final engineering on the project is consistent and they are only confirming grade and the inlets.  We have agreed on the alignment, sidewalk, location and others, we need the final from the City Engineer for the construction.  We hope this committee is incline to approve this design, and leave it to Mr. Hyde to approve the construction drawings for this design, if any design changes we will come back.  This will save everyone’s time.

Mr. Rickert spoke about the by-pass on the Washington Street side of town.  Discussion of the map for the by-pass.

Questions asked of Mr. Callahan:

  • The type of siding that will be on the buildings?

It would be cement board, cedar shakes and lab board.

  • The size of the balcony, concern about BBQ grills and storage?

Not sure of the size, but will check.

  • The pool?

An in-door pool and fitness room at the center.

  • The signage, where and type?

It should be on the plans and that it would be at the main entrance of the development.  Size of about 4’x8’.

Mr. Clendaniel stated that the building will be started spring of 2016 of the intergenerational center.

Mr. Rickert stated that on the record that when Phase 4 comes in it would conform to the same zoning ordinances that Phases 1, 2 & 3 and not the new ordinance.

Mr. Craig asked for a motion to approve Phase 1, 2 and 3 of this plan and also to approve tentatively with the recognition of the City Engineer, such as road plan.  Motion made by Mr. Rickert and note that this final site plan approval for Phases 1,2 and 3 and contingent on complying with the conditions that the City Engineer communicated on May 26, 2015.  Motion seconded by Mr. Burroughs.  All voted and motion carried.

Agenda item discussion

Ø Mapping Amendment:  Table 1 “Permitted Uses”  of the UDC

Mr. Showalter proposes a text amendment to the permitted uses table under the private outdoor recreational uses that would include the use of a ropes course as permitted in the general commercial district.    Ms. Kinser stated that the “Permitted Uses” Table is missing text and she met with the consultant Mr. Jakubiak last week and he is to send her the originals of the tables.

Mr. Ryan Showalter approached the City about creating a new use in an existing area that is not in an enclosed building.  The UDC Table 1 was adopted and it cannot be read and the text is jumbled.  He has a client whom wants to construct a ropes course, used for leadership and team building, with different elements with ropes and cables suspended in the canopy of the trees.  The users have climbing gear and safety lines and work together to achieve the adventures.  He wants to amend the text to add the rope adventure courses as “land and facilities improvements, including challenge course elements, zip lines, rope courses elements, canopy walk elements, hiking/biking trails must be used for or to support outdoor recreational activities, team building exercise and/or adventure games recurring on the facility.

This is a use he thinks will fall within the already defined area as a privately owned outdoor recreation facility, primarily construction outside of a building.  The proposed text amendment is to define ropes or adventure courses, to list rope or adventure courses as one of multiple outdoor uses that can be conducted under that and also add a “P” to the table in the general commercial column to show that it is a permitted use in the general commercial district.

Mr. Collison clarified that it is for a special site and you may want to indicate that.  Mr. Showalter spoke that the text amendment applies throughout the GC district, but the reason that he is here is in connection with the site is at the intersection of Wood Road and Route #16 (beltway).

Mr. Craig wanted to know more about this site, which is all woods, and the rope project.

Mr. Showalter wants a change to the ordinance not the map zoning.  Mr. Collison stated that this type of facility was not mention in our UDC.  Mr. Showalter wants it to be specific and to the point to amend the ordinance.

Mr. Burroughs wanted to let everyone know that the intersection mentioned is heavily used and there are numerous accidents yearly.  Mr. Showalter stated that the entrance would be on Wood Road and there will only be small groups using this area at a time.  So the amount of persons at a time would be up to 20 persons and then the staff for parking.

Mr. Rickert still suggested the Special Exception and not to change the UDC.

Mr. Collison stated that some properties are public owned and some are privately owned.  He can apply for a Special Exception under each section.  Mr. Lauer has a copy of the same Table during the creating of this UDC and it does say “authorizing construction of some residential development” is the final words of that.  The missing text below says “publicly owned and operated outdoor recreational facilities”.

Mr. Craig does not see personally any reason to not include it the public or private, then with a Special Exception.  He does not think there will be a course on every corner.

Ø Ms. Kinser wanted to talk about a Mapping Amendment at 1506 Glasgow Street, a business owner has come in to ask for a zoning certificate and in looking at that property, she realized that the parcel, despite that it has been a commercial for years and the fact that the county has it as commercial, it is actually zoned as residential.  She has talked to the owner of the property and the owner was not aware of the zoning district.  The Sandy Hill Diner, it was incorrectly mapped and a sample of the application to amend the map is in your packets tonight.

Discussion on the application must come to this Commission for approval then to the City Council for the amendment to be awarded.  Ms. Kinser will bring this back next month for discussion with the owner.

Ø Mr. Craig spoke about the Amendment of the section 5.1.3 (c) Accessory Swimming Pools, which clarifies the requirements for fencing around the pools.  This a proposed ordinance for fencing around swimming pools, which is not in the new UDC.

Mr. Collison responded that:

  • Every in ground pool shall be protected by a safety fence or barrier and shall be at least four feet in height.
  • Every above ground pool which is more than 18 inches in height/depth or less than four feet in height shall be protected by a safety fence or barrier wall, which is at least four feet in height and approved by the Zoning Official.
  • Above ground swimming pool, which are four feet or greater in height, shall be protected by a safety fence or barrier wall at least four feet in height and set pool can be accessed  by ladder or steps, provided unrestrictive accesses to the pool. The ladder or steps must have a secure lock to prevent access to the pool then no fencing will be required.

Mr. Cook spoke on the issue of collapsible pools.  What is the definition of a swimming pool?  Do we define a hot tub in this ordinance also?  Most hot tub has a cover to prevent anyone falling in.

Swimming pools must be 10 feet from the property line and hot tubs are usually sitting on a deck or closer to the home.

Mr. Collison spoke that we are going to amend text for the swimming pool and what the minimum height for the fencing should be.

A motion to recommend approval for the proposed text amendment to the City Council was made by Mr. Lauer and seconded by Mr. Trego.  All voted and carried.    Correct typos of Mr. Collison’s amendment before sending.

Ø Text Amendment for section 4.2.3 (A) 5, for Daycare, Home to add fencing requirement for home daycares.  And section 4.4.4 (B) needs the same language.

Mr. Rickert asked if this was advertised.  Mr. Collison spoke that it was advertised and the UDC requires the minimum of a 42 inch fencing around the useable outdoor recreational area of a home daycare center.  This is the only wording being added.  “Usable outdoor recreational area shall be enclosed by a fence having a minimum height of 3 ½ feet.”  This height should be acceptable compared to four feet that might be too high for the age of the children and nothing to constrictive.

Mr. Rickert assumed that this was required by State regulations and it is for larger daycare centers.  The one we heard from last month is a very small business, but there were other small uses on the property, that would probably be inconsistent with a safe daycare operation with the trampoline and close to traffic.  He is all for this and he wants to point out that this does not mean that the whole back yard needs to be fenced off, there is a square footage that is established and it would just be that area that would have to be fenced off.  A home business can have different uses for the rest of that property.

Mr. Collison responded that if the daycare did have the whole back yard fenced in, it would qualify just fine.

Ms. Kinser spoke that this issue of the daycare and the use of a neighbor’s fence may not be acceptable if the fence is a chain link and there is a dog in the yard.  We may need to require a separate fence.

Mr. Rickert is not comfortable using a neighbor’s fence and the daycare center is not responsible for the condition of the neighbors fencing and the applicant that we had at the last meeting, if her entire property had to be fenced that would be a large cost on her starting a business.  For her to have seven kids at her day care she would have to have 1400 square feet of play area, it will very costly.  He is against permitting the use of a neighbor’s fence.  There are to be liability issues and chain of responsibility issues, the daycare center should have the responsibility of the fencing.

Mr. Craig responded that not all fences are on the property lines, some are just six inches to one foot from the lines.  The daycare should be responsible their own fencing, maintenance issues, boundary issues and etc.

Ms. Marla Garrison spoke that when she worked in Delaware, they also required that daycare owners to provide their own fence.  Fence will help the owner with liability and safety of the children.  To put this in your ordinance is a good thing.

Mr. Collison proposed the language “The useful outdoor recreational area shall be enclosed by a free standing fence, having neither portion in which will be shared with the joining fence/property, said fence having a minimum height of 3 ½ feet.  All fencing shall provide sufficient protection and security for the children according to the permit official.”  This fencing is not shared with joining property owners.

Mr. Craig had proposed that the amendment we are to send to the City Council would require 3 ½ feet high fence, free standing, not shared with joining property owners.  A motion to forward this to the City Council by Mr. Rickert and seconded by Mr. Burroughs.  All voted and carried.

Ms. Kinser spoke about complaints for the daycare by the neighbor and it will be brought up at the next meeting for review.  Mr. Lauer stated that it was approved and permitted with conditions.

Next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, July 7th.

Mr. Craig asked for a motion to close the meeting.  A motion to close by Ms. Nelson and seconded by Mr. Burroughs.  All approved and carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ms. Michal Dixon, DPW Secretary