• 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

September 28, 2015

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, September 28, 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 Vickers to adopt he agenda as presented was seconded and passed unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the September 14, 2015 Council meeting was seconded and passed unanimously.

Public Hearing

Public input and comment on the following text amendment to the City's Unified Development Code (UDC): Amendment to Section 4.2.3(A)5 of the UDC to remove the reference to corner store/commercial use conditions for Home Day Care found in subsection 4.2.3(A)5(i) and to add additional restrictions and limitations to the operation of a home day care-Notice of this public hearing was published in the Star Democrat on September 13, 2015. Patricia Escher said there are approximately 10 daycare locations in Cambridge and all are well-maintained properties. The Planning Commission first heard a request for a daycare home on Boundary Avenue in the spring of this year. Concerns were raised by an adjacent property owner. In July, additional language was added requiring a fence. In August, the Planning Commission recommended that language be removed referencing a corner store location in the NC-zoned districts. This language was not approved by Council. Staff has resubmitted some language to address some of Council's concerns such as hours of operation (the hours will be 6:00 am to 8:00 pm); limiting the density of the use in the NC-zoned districts (there will only be one per complete City block); adding a requirement that the owner reside on site and a requirement that there be a public meeting which requires noticing adjacent property owners. There is one application pending. In response to a question by Commissioner Cooke, there are two or three centers in NC districts. The current ordinance limits the amount of users (children) on a site pursuant to the size of the lot. There must be a fenced-in area in the back for the children to play.

Price Shuler, Regional Manager with MSD Office of Child Care, said his office seeks to cooperate with about 40 different town governments and five counties. His office does various licensing of daycare. Family daycare is up to a maximum of eight children. Off of that comes the fire regulations. Many times they do not give the full number because any children directly less than six years old count against that capacity. They also regulate child care centers. It helps Cambridge's citizens economically who need to work. All cities are concerned with noise and congestion. Complaints can be made to their office. They have hardly had any complaints about daycare in Cambridge. Parents can get responsible care if it comes through the state. If the city and state make it so hard to obtain what is a family daycare registration, then you will have people who operate underground. When determining the number of children allowed in a daycare, they look at lots of different factors. The state is not as strict as what Cambridge currently has and what they are proposing. Cambridge is one of the few cities that looks at fencing. The state requires fencing if the daycare is located on a busy highway, near a pond, creek, body of water, etc. The majority of people in a residential home are probably going to receive the full number. The fire code covers any children younger than six. Above six years old, they look at the number the woman has and also whether there is an older family member there providing more care. It is not a blanket approval they do as a state; it is a process.

Kia Quailes said she is the applicant who put in an application. Daycare is needed in our area. If people don't have anywhere to take their kids, they cannot work and afford housing. She has been working with kids since she was 19. A lot of the daycares are full and a lot of people do not take infants. She did everything they asked in the application but it is still not approved. Commissioner Cooke said she cannot operate because her house is located in the middle of the block. Ms. Quailes said at one point she was approved and bought everything that she was supposed to buy and then they snatched it back from her. Commissioner Thomas said the corner location was intended just for businesses. It was not intended for home daycare which is a residential owner-occupied use-not commercial. Ms. Quailes got caught in the crossfire. Commissioner Cooke said he disagrees about whether it is residential or commercial. He said he thinks they are talking about daycare that is cheap enough for a person who is not wealthy to be able to have someone look after their child when they work at a job that doesn't pay $60,000 or $70,000 a year. He asked how Ms. Quailes rates compare to a commercial operation. Ms. Quailes said she has been communicating with the other home daycares around and once she gets licensed, her pricing will be a little under the other daycares so she can get customers. She has not looked into daycare centers because they are allowed eight or more children. She will only be allowed seven kids. Commissioner Vickers asked if the demand was for family daycare or child care centers. Ms. Quailes said there is a demand for child care. A lot of people do not take infants. She will be able to have two infants. Commissioner Cooke said prospective daycare provides would have to come to the Planning and Zoning Commission for approval. He asked what the answer would be if the person next door sleeps during the daytime or is ill and needs their rest and will not be able to get it if there are up to eight children making noise next door. Pat Escher said that is a good point. She thinks her answer would be that Cambridge is a small town and daycare and children are part of our fabric. If that would be a problem, she would assume the person would talk to the daycare provider and say they need to have their sleep and ask her to work something out. She doesn't think it is something the City should regulate. Commissioner Cooke said it seems to be incompatible. Commissioner Thomas said that neighbor has the same rights as all the other neighbors around and could come to the hearing and discuss their concerns. Ms. Quailes said you don't have to have a home daycare for that. You can have three or four kids of your own. Mayor Stanley asked why this wouldn't be considered a grandfathered situation because Ms. Quailes received approval and then the City took it back. Rob Collison said he does not think the rules changed. He thinks it was discovered when a notification went out. They did not realize the wording of the Code that was adopted. Ms. Quailes said Planning and Zoning did not recognize it. She walked around her neighborhood and got letters. She spent money on the supplies but was never able to operate. Commissioner Sydnor said the City does have existing daycare in the middle of blocks. Pat Escher said the UDC is a new document. When it went through the process, the Planning Commission believes this requirement for daycare to be under the same criteria as a commercial corner store was an error. That is the Planning Commission's position and that is why they came forward with this amendment. Council still had additional concerns. They limited the hours of operation. They have restricted it in the NC-zoned districts. They now require a fence. The person who operates the daycare has to own the property and live there. These are much more restrictive than the State. They are trying to get a good use, amenable with the Council, and to be able for people to do daycare. Rob Collison said there are daycare homes in the middle of blocks in the various districts because in the old Code, it was permitted. They are trying to take it back with additional limitations and restrictions to what was permitted before. Commissioner Cooke said what they are talking about is a change to the section of the Code having to do with the NC districts. Rob Collison said that is only with regard to one per block. All the limitations will apply City-wide. Pat Escher said the density limitation is for the NC. All the others are throughout the City. Rob Collison said the public hearing is automatic. If someone posed an objection, they could look at possibly locating the fenced area on the other side of the lot, away from that particular house or maybe requiring some screening. Through the process they are permitted to require reasonable conditions.

Tim Saunders said it does not make sense that we are talking about restricting daycare in the middle of a block. There used to be 26 factories in Cambridge. Everything we get here we run away from. He does not understand what is going on with Cambridge. People need daycare. We have too many rules and are running people away from here. There is too much politics going on and not enough action. There is not enough common sense going on. If a daycare is in the middle of the block, who cares?

Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously.

Appointments

Representative from Cambridge Power Boat Racing Association, Inc. to request permission to hold the 106th Annual Cambridge Classic Boat Races in Cambridge on Saturday, May 28th through Sunday, May 29th, 2016; use of Great Marsh Park for set up beginning on Monday, May 23rd; exclusive use of Great Marsh Park from Friday, May 27th through Sunday, May 29th; permission to have motor homes at the park from Friday, May 27th through Monday, May 30th ; a variance from the noise ordinance for activities on Friday, May 27th through Sunday, May 29th; and permission to serve beer in the park-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Unfinished Business

Second reading and vote on ordinance for Home Day Care (Ordinance 1054)-Public comments were taken earlier in the meeting. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve Ordinance 1054 was seconded and approved unanimously. The effective date will be October 8, 2015.

Second reading, public comment, and possible vote on ordinance to regulate PODs (Ordinance 1055)-Larry Mills said he is fifty percent owner of the company called A-Box. Right now they have 14 boxes in Cambridge. Steve Merritt is the operator. In February, a homeowner in the 200 block of Belvedere Avenue called in the middle of the night because her pipes burst and flooded her house. Steve Merritt took a box there. They do not usually put boxes in streets. Someone complained. The lady cannot move her stuff because she is still working with the insurance company and there are fragile items in the storage box. They have A-Boxes in multiple towns on the Eastern Shore. Cambridge is the only town with regulations. He asked the Council to ease up on them. He recommended a requirement that they require a license every year. He suggested $350 or $400 per year. If the City gets a call about a box, they should call him. If it is a legitimate complaint, he will post bond, get it out of there, and from this minute on, he will give them a notice that if the City is unhappy with a box, it will be moved within five days. Commissioner Hanson asked how many boxes are in Cambridge that are not A-Boxes. Oden Wheeler named four boxes. He said the City has been working on this for a while now. Rates for the permitting were set in 2013. They talked to other agencies that regulated the boxes. The ordinance is also for storage trailers. Rob Collison said for natural disaster emergencies such as flooding there is an exemption in the ordinance. Oden Wheeler talked about the boxes and storages trailers he has received complaints about. Commissioner Hanson asked Mr. Mills to talk with Rob Collison and Oden Wheeler about a way to process the boxes that are not legal or are out on the street. Mr. Mills agreed to discuss regulations.

James Chaney said he had a tenant who wanted to get a shed put on his property. Because 30 percent of the property is already used by the house, they could not get a shed. Under those circumstances, the only alternative would be to get a POD. Other than that, they do not have a place to store their grass cutter, furniture, motorcycle, etc. Not everyone can get access to off-site storage units. Because of the size of the houses and lots, the majority of the properties in this town are unable to obtain a shed under the new zoning regulations. He said rehab of houses takes more than 30 or 60 days. Sheds are a City-wide issue.

Commissioner Sydnor said this is something that needs to be discussed with Planning and Zoning and the Department of Public Works. Oden Wheeler said prior to the UDC being put into place, depending on the zoning, a resident was able to occupy up to 25 percent of the space of their rear yard. Under the UDC, it takes the usage of the property in a different prospective. It looks at the property as a whole instead of just looking at the rear yard. He doesn't believe the intent of the PODs was to be a permanent use.

Charles McFadden said he lives two houses down from where the POD was put on the street. It was not put in front of the house that had the water problem. It was put in front of a neighbor's house which forced several homeowners to move their cars. They did not complain because they were trying to be good neighbors. There should be regulations to make sure that stuff does not go on. He thinks the City is moving in the right direction.

Steve Merritt said the night he delivered the box there was snow in the front, snow in the back. He had one spot to put that box. One of the biggest issues he has is the time restraints. The A-Box on Belvedere Avenue was a unique situation. He does not like putting the boxes on the street.

Marty Mullaney, an insurance agent, said if a historic home burns, you are not going to repair that home quickly. It takes time for a contractor to find items similar to the ones in historic homes. It takes time to salvage what you can salvage. Adjustors are notoriously slow when it comes to dealing with difficult claims. He does not like a time limit being put on the PODs. He volunteered to work with a committee to look at this ordinance.

Tim Saunders said he has had a box for 30 days. He is working during the day and then working on his house at night. He said you cannot leave your material outside because someone will steal it. Everyone will just start throwing stuff in their back yards and then it will then wind up on the streets.

Rob Collison said it sounds like the only issue is the duration of non-emergency situations. He suggested deferring this to give the City time to work with the parties to come back with other suggestions. Concerns should be e-mailed to Oden Wheeler. This will be revisited in November.

Resolution to adopt the revisions to ASOP 24 - Procurement Procedures (Resolution 2015-005)-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Resolution 2015-005 for the requirements of ASOP 24 (Procurement Procedures) by exempting the requirement of preparing purchase orders and the requirements of City Council approval for purchases under the sum of $2,500 and the other minor amendments presented by Rob Collison was seconded and approved 3:2 with Commissioners Cooke and Vickers opposed.

New Business

Award contract for Cannery Park Design-Build Stream Restoration (Contract 16-01)-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to accept the recommendation of the Department of Public Works to award the contract for the Cannery Park Design-Build Stream Restoration to Biohabitats, Inc. (Baltimore, MD) not to exceed $1.8 million was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed. The other companies submitting proposals were as follows: Ecotone, Inc.- Forest Hills, MD; Angler Environmental- Warrenton, VA; and Lindstrom Excavating Contractors, Inc.- Worton, MD.

Reappointments to the Municipal Utilities Commission- A motion by Commissioner Hanson to re-appoint Glenn Ford, Sr., Andy Pasden, and Norma Alschbach was seconded and approved unanimously.

Reappointment to the Ethics Commission-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to re-appoint Michael Schrader as an alternate to the Ethics Commission was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve purchase orders:

2016-014 - Graves Uniforms - CPD winter uniforms - $7,440.43-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Purchase Order 2016-014 was seconded and approved unanimously.

2016-015 - Eastern Shore Land Conservancy - balance for Norris Taylor parcel - $25,000.00-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve Purchase Order 2016-015 was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.


Mayor's and Commissioners' Comments

Sailwinds Park Development-A motion by Commissioner Cooke to hold a work session to discuss the process that was described by Mr. Tim Crosby on Monday, October 19th was seconded and approved 3:2 with Commissioners Sydnor and Thomas opposed.

Council Meetings in December-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to hold one meeting in December (December 14th) was seconded and approved unanimously. The December 28th meeting was cancelled.


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 9:36 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, September 28, 2015, insofar as I personally am aware.


______________________
Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Mayor

 

COMMISSIONERS OF CAMBRIDGE
CLOSED SESSION REPORT

A Date: September 28, 2015
Time: 5:00 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. Hanson Seconded: Comm. Thomas

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: Location and services at a current location vs. moving
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, OdenWheeler, Natalie Chabot, Representatives from a business
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: No motions were made.