• 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

P&Z Minutes

January 5, 2016

Planning & Zoning Commission

Minutes

January 5, 2016

The Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Cambridge met on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 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), Mary Losty, Eugene Lauer, Chantay Nelson, Hubert Trego

 

Others in attendance included: Rob Collison, City Attorney; Frank Cooke, Council Liaison; Pat Escher, City Planner; LaSara Kinser, Planning and Zoning Assistant;

 

Mr. Craig started the meeting by revising the agenda to remove one case from the consent agenda, and to move the regular business ahead of the unfinished business. Mr. Trego made a motion to revise the agenda accordingly, which was seconded and passed unanimously.

Minutes

Minutes from the P&Z meeting of December 1, 2015.  Commissioner Cooke submitted a written comment regarding one typo. Mr. Rickert made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Ms. Nelson seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

 

Regular Business

P&Z 2016 -05 Dairy Queen To construct a small addition and permit a drive thru use on the existing site.

This item was moved from the consent agenda to regular business, to allow for discussion. The application was represented by Elizabeth Fink, of Fink, Witten, and Associates. Ms. Fink addressed the comments made by George Hyde, City Engineer. The Commission had the opportunity to ask questions of Ms. Fink. There was no public comment on the application. Mr. Rickert made a motion to approve the application, contingent on Ms. Fink making the described changes and resubmitting the application to Ms. Escher. Ms. Losty seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

 

P&Z 2016 – 06 Cambridge Plaza The redevelopment of a twenty four (24) acre site located on Route US 50.

Following a comprehensive report from Ms. Escher, Mr. Charlie Fairchild, of Fairchild Properties represented the application. Mr. Fairchild discussed the current status of the project, responded to staff comments, the critical nature of financing and timing for him and any potential tenants, the conceptual layout of the property, and feasibility. George Hasser, the project architect also spoke generally about the architectural goals of the project. Mr. Rickert asked Mr. Fairchild to briefly discuss the schedule of the project and the rough timeline to completion, which Mr. Fairchild did. The Commission asked questions regarding the scope of a landscape requirements waiver, the proposed amount of entrances to the property and their locations, the creation of a pattern book for the existing buildings, and the amount of proposed parking. Further points of discussion included the traffic study that has been completed, the relationship of the easement on the Rite-Aid property to the project, the traffic count on Route 50 and how it impacts the proposed project, tax incentive programs for projects that bring jobs to Cambridge, and illuminated signs.  There was public comment by Tony Thomas. There was no motion, however the Commission encouraged Mr. Fairchild to bring his preliminary plans at a later date.

 

Unfinished Business

P&Z TA # 15 Text Amendments to various sections of the UDC to be coordinated with the City of Cambridge’s Building Code.

There were written comments which were submitted by Commissioner Cooke, and which were addressed by Ms. Escher. There was further discussion regarding the building code and the ways that the new language will match it. There was no public comment. Mr. Trego made a motion to recommend these changes to City Council. Ms. Losty seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

 

P&Z TA # 16 Text Amendment to remove the on-site residency requirement for the property owner of small commercial businesses in the NC Zone Districts and require that these properties have property manager that is a resident of Dorchester County. To allow commercial uses on corner lots that were not historically commercial. (Sec 4.2.3 B.1.)

 

Staff presented a series of maps highlighting the corner lots in the NC districts to show the potential impact should the Commission allow commercial uses on corner lots that were not historically commercial. Ms. Escher discussed the potential uses that could be allowed should this provision be amended. After some discussion, the Commission declined to pursue the idea of allowing commercial uses on corner lots where they did not historically exist. There was no public comment. After some further discussion, Mr. Lauer made a motion to recommend the text amendment to Council as amended. The motion was seconded by Ms. Nelson, and it passed unanimously.

 

P&Z TA # 17 Technical Corrections to the UDC

a. Remove Group Home as a conditional use in the OS Zone District within the Permitted Use Table #1 and the UDC text. (Sec. 4.2.3 A. 6.)

b. Make requirements for a Day Care Home within the Downtown/Waterfront Development District consistent with the requirements for a Day Care Home elsewhere in the City. (Section 4.4.4 B. add language similar to Section 4.2.3 A.5)

 

There was some discussion regarding whether the new language should be cross-referenced, or inserted as well as the tracking of group homes in the City. Commissioner Cooke asked for information on the licensing and regulation of the group homes. There was also a discussion regarding the difference between group homes and transitional housing and the level of City interaction with those applications. Mr. Rickert made a motion to recommend the text amendment to Council. Ms. Nelson seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

 

P&Z TA # 18 Text amendment to remove the monetary limitations for repairs and maintenance for non-conforming structures; provided these improvements do not increase the building’s non-conformity (Section 4.4.2 E.)

 

There was some discussion regarding the proposed language, which was taken from another section of the code. Mr. Lauer suggested editing the language to remove the reference to the consumer pricing index. There was no public comment. Mr. Lauer made a motion to recommend the text amendment with the revisions. The motion was seconded by Mr. Rickert and passed unanimously.

Discussion Items

Potential Text Amendments:

a. Permitted Use with Conditions within Sec. 4.2 - should this review be a staff review if the application complies with conditions? There are some uses within the section that require Planning Commission review and others are silent – should it be consistent across the board?

After some discussion on the different potential scenarios and treatments of the ordinance, the Commission directed staff to bring forward a text amendment which will treat uses that are permitted with conditions as administrative reviews, requiring Planning Commission review if there is a complaint by adjacent property owners.

 

b. Text amendment to remove language for group home specifically for the mentally challenged to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. This use is and superseded by the state. The City would still require an application for tracking purposes. (Sec. 4.2.3 A. 6. g.)

 

c. The UDC is silent to Non-conforming Commercial Lots, should staff propose language to amend this Section? (Sec. 2.4.2 A.)

 

d. The Downtown/Waterfront Development District has no minimum lot sizes (Sec. 5.1.1 C.)

 

e. Non-Conforming Signs (Sec. 6.5.9 C.) Remove billboards from this section as this portion of the ordinance is not within the City’s jurisdiction.

 

f. City Charter

Section 12-15 Refuse, dumping of the City Code of Ordinances

There was limited discussion on the above items, and staff will bring text amendments to address the issues they represent.

 

Mr. Craig asked for a motion to close the meeting. Mr. Trego made a motion to adjourn, which was seconded by Ms. Nelson, and passed unanimously. The meeting ended at 7:51 pm.

 

Respectfully submitted,

LaSara Kinser, Planning and Zoning Assistant

 

William Craig, Chairman