• 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
Print this page

City Council Meeting Minutes

August 24, 2015
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, August 24, 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.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to amend the agenda by deleting the appointment for Delegate Christopher Adams (he was unable to attend) was seconded and passed 4:0.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the August 10, 2015 Council meeting was seconded and passed unanimously.

Appointments

Gerry Boyle to give update on Ironman Maryland (October 3, 2015)-Gerry Boyle requested use of Great Marsh Park from Tuesday, September 29, 2015 through Sunday, October 4, 2015. He requested use of Long Wharf and related areas from Sunday, September 27, 2015 through Sunday, October 4, 2015. He gave Council written information, a schedule, and maps expanding on his requests for use of the parks and the street closures. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to accept the plan as outlined by Gerry Boyle for Ironman Maryland for September 27th through October 4th was seconded and approved unanimously.

Susan Luby, Character Counts, to request permission to use Great Marsh Park on Friday, May 6, 2016 at noon and all day on Saturday, May 7, 2016 until 5:00 pm for their eighth annual fundraiser, Six Pillars Century; and a variance from the noise ordinance-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Juana Blue and Clara Savage, Dorchester County Department of Social Services, to request permission to use the City-owned lot on the corner of Race and Cedar Streets for their 1st Annual Family Fun Fest on Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., use of the electrical outlets, a variance from the noise ordinance (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) and use of City trash cans-Mayor Stanley recused herself from this discussion. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously contingent upon the whether or not the Christmas lights would be in place at that time.

Lou Hyman, Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race Committee, to request permission to use Long Wharf on Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. for the 19th Annual Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race; waiver of the dockage fee for the boats that tie up along Long Wharf; and a variance from the noise ordinance; use of the parking lot, and permission to set off a signal cannon-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Jane Devlin to discuss the 10th Annual Cambridge Schooner Rendezvous to occur the weekend of October 23~24~25, 2015. The use of Long Wharf October 21 to October 26 (noting that some vessels may arrive earlier); free dockage for registered vessels October 21 to October 26; permission for an encampment on the park area/creek side October 22 to October 25; Reduced per-foot charge at City marina October 23 to October 26; use of electricity at Long Wharf; permission to erect a tent at Long Wharf from October 21 to October 26; additional trash cans with trash pick-up coordinated over the weekend; use of barricades from Department of Public Works and Cambridge Police Department for traffic control; a variance from the noise ordinance for music at Long Wharf for October 23 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., October 24 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and October 25 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; permission to serve beer and wine at Long Wharf on October 24 from 12 noon to 11 p.m. and October 25 from 12 noon to 6 p.m.; a blanket permit for vendors, and waiver of vendor fees on October 24 and 25-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Unfinished Business

Second reading, public comment and vote on Ordinance to amend Section 4.2.3(A)5 of the UDC RE: the permitted locations for Home Day Care in NC districts (Ordinance 1054)- Notice of the August 24, 2015 public hearing and comments were published in the Banner on August 7th and August 14th. The first reading and introduction was during the meeting on August 10, 2015. This ordinance would eliminate the requirement of Subsection i which is referenced in Section 4.2.3(B)1 that all home daycare had to comply with the provisions of that section. That is the section that required commercial uses in the NC districts to be located in a structure that was previously a commercial use and is located at an intersection within the NC districts. In place of that language, if this ordinance is approved, Subsection i would read that the property owner must reside at the premises. The other amendment is at the very end to add additional clarity to the procedure. The proposed home daycare is posted and a notice is placed in a local newspaper. If someone raises an objection to it within seven days and wishes a public hearing, it then turns into a case similar to a special exception. The intent of this is to keep it at the Planning and Zoning Commission but the criteria for special exceptions would be considered. Council received a memorandum from the Planning Staff. Pat Escher said the Planning Commission believes an error was made in the UDC. A home daycare of small size caring for 8 children or less is generally a residential use. It's not a commercial use. Commissioner Cooke said many people bought their houses (and the houses are fairly close together in the NC district) with the idea that it was primarily residential and if there were any commercial things, they were on corners. When he voted for the UDC, he particularly looked into that. He didn't think it was a mistake. He thought it was accurate or he would have challenged it. If you have your house that has been a residential house and residential houses next to you and suddenly someone comes in and starts some sort of business right next to you which involves people coming and going and there is no time limit on this thing and they could be coming all the way to midnight. In his opinion that would lower the value of that property. Pat Escher said the hours of operation are mandated by the State. The children are not there until midnight. She is not exactly sure what the hours are but it is probably around 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm. Commissioner Hanson said it says 18 hours and questioned if there is flexibility in the 18 hours. Pat Escher said it is dictated by the State. The City does not put additional restrictions besides the ones they have in the UDC. Commissioner Vickers said it could be open at 5:00 a.m. for an 18-hour day for people working shift work. It depends on how they get the 18-hour day in. Pat Escher said they are primarily talking about 8 children. Pursuant to an application that was received, the provider would accommodate the people coming by car, either in the driveway or they can park on the street. Commissioner Sydnor said they currently have this existing in residential areas. Pat Escher confirmed it. This is not specific to the NC. This is throughout the City in residential neighborhoods. Anything zoned residential has this as a conditional use. The only difference is in the NC district, it references corner commercial lots. As a point of clarification, she doesn't know if a daycare on a corner lot is the best situation to restrict the daycare to a corner lot because it is subject to more traffic and it is at an intersection. Commissioner Thomas asked if a home daycare is considered a home occupation. Pat Escher said they do have home occupations. Traditionally, she would say it is a home occupation. Commissioner Thomas said someone could make furniture with no employees out in a back shed with noisy power tools and be perfectly legal. Commissioner Cooke said that would require a special exception. Pat Escher said a home occupation depends on upon where it is and which one would be a permitted use. Commissioner Hanson asked if the posting is done on the property itself. Pat Escher said it is. It is required to be posted on the property, published in the newspaper, and it appears on the agenda. From there it goes to a public forum. Rob Collison said the zoning official could also recommend denial if for some reason they felt the property did not comply with the requirements and then that would also trigger the special exception process. Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission were present to answer questions. No one had any further questions. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Ordinance 1054 - Home Daycare in the NC District - was seconded and failed 2:3 with Commissioners Vickers, Cooke, and Hanson opposed. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to refer this back to the Planning and Zoning Commission and that they notify Council when they have the hearing was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

Open bids for FY2016 paving project-Oden Wheeler reported that the City received three bids:

• Russell Paving Company, Inc. (Cambridge) - $240,405.00
• David A. Bramble, Inc. (Chestertown) - $274,350.00
• George & Lynch, Inc. (Dover, DE) - $235,990.00

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to refer the bids to the Department of Public Works for their consideration and recommendation was seconded and approved unanimously.


New Business

Request from the Dorchester Recovery Initiative for a variance from the noise ordinance for their celebration entitled "Recovery Works!" at 208 Sunburst Highway on Saturday, September 26th from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.-A motion by Commissioner Thomas was seconded and approved unanimously.

Permission to allow Ginger Heatwole, Finance Director, as an added signature of all Commissioners of Cambridge bank accounts-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to allow Ginger Heatwole to be added to the signatories of the bank accounts was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.

Introduction and first reading of ordinance to regulate the temporary placement of construction dumpsters and temporary placement of portable on-demand storage units (PODs) (Ordinance 1055)-Dumpsters will be excluded if they are being used for the total demolition of a structure. In that event, more than one dumpster may be permitted with the prior approval of the permitting official, building official, or code enforcement officer. The time limitation would be for 30 days with one 30-day extension permitted within a 12-month period. Oden Wheeler said what they are experiencing is that they are showing up on the side of a street because an individual decides to store their furniture in it. There is one that has been on a street for over a year now. Some people are using PODs in their back yards in lieu of a shed. These PODs are not related to a demolition or a building being remodeled. We are also getting a lot of 40-ft tractor-trailer bodies that do not have wheels on them being used. The ones with wheels are illegal now. Commissioner Vickers said in one block of Belvedere Avenue in less than a five year period, they have had an empty boat trailer parked for over one year; a boat and trailer that they had to get moved; a 20-ft roll-off dumpster for five months; and currently they have a POD sitting in the street since February. PODs are allowed in the street with the approval of the Police Department and the Department of Public Works provided that it is there in a safe manner. The permit fees for PODs and dumpsters were approved in December of 2013; however, the legislation for the PODs and dumpsters has not been adopted yet. Commissioner Cooke said there are a few people who are not being respectful and being selfish about use of the streets, etc. Most people are probably doing the right thing. People are paying a daily amount for the dumpsters to sit there. They want it gone. He doesn't know what the situation is for people who want to keep them there for a long period of time. He thinks it is a very small minority of people who are involved in the construction business in Cambridge. What we are about to do is impose a fee and a bureaucracy on all the folks who are doing it right. He proposes a different mechanism whereby there is no permitting. As soon as the Code Enforcement Officer learns of a dumpster or POD (either sees it himself or is alerted to it by a citizen) he is to start the clock and put some sort of a notice on the thing that is calling their attention to the ordinance. If the person exceeds the time limit, whatever it is, then the Code Enforcement Officer goes after them. The folks who are doing it right should not be punished for a very small minority of people who are pushing the envelope. He does not want the Police Department to get involved. Oden Wheeler said he asked the Code Enforcement Officers to start making a list of current PODs and dumpsters so they can get an idea of how many are out there. Commissioner Sydnor said there is a considerable number of PODs being used for sheds. Sheds require permits and location specifications; PODs do not require either. Oden Wheeler said when they place a dumpster in the street, in most cases now they will talk to DPW and CPD. Commissioner Hanson recommended that Commissioner Cooke, Rob Collison, and Oden Wheeler and anyone else on Council with an idea to work on this some more. Mayor Stanley asked anyone in the audience with comments and/or suggestions to forward them to Oden Wheeler by e-mail.

Discussion on changing the date on the second Council meeting in October (scheduled for October 26th)-The Maryland Municipal League will be holding their conference in Cambridge on October 26th. A motion by Commissioner Cooke to amend the meeting schedule to cancel the second meeting of the month was seconded and approved unanimously.

Permission to distribute Economic Development Strategic Plan Update RFP-Mary Calloway said in order to keep this project moving forward, she is seeking permission to prepare the RFP for the Economic Development Strategic Plan Update. This is a requirement by the funder (CDBG). She provided Council with a draft document of the original RFP. The dates would be changed for sixty days out because we have not yet received the fully-executed grant agreement. We have received a letter saying we have been awarded the project. We have to prepare our ‘Request for Funding' advertisement after we receive the grant agreement. She would like to have this document prepared so it can be sent out when the other requirements have been completed. It is required that we put the project out for bids. Commissioner Hanson asked the Commissioners to send any suggested changes to the RFP to Mary Calloway so she can edit the document for the Mayor's signature. The original document was a good package put together by the Council. The grant is for $25,000. Public meetings will be held to obtain input during the update process. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to move forward to amend the request for proposals was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve Purchase Order(s):

2015-078 - The Novak Consulting Group - consulting fees for City Manager - $20,000-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve Purchase Order 2015-078 was seconded and approved unanimously.

 

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to adjourn the meeting was approved. With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:42 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 24, 2015, insofar as I personally am aware.


______________________
Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Mayor