• 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

Council Meeting Minutes

January 27, 2016
The City Council met in regular session on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 in Council Chambers. The meeting on Monday, January 25, 2016 was cancelled due to the snow. 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, Cooke, Thomas, and Hanson. Commissioner Sydnor was absent. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence. Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

1. Council to approve or amend agenda as presented-- Sandra Tripp-Jones asked to add two items to the agenda. Number 20 will be a resolution in support of a grant application to Maryland DHCD submitted by Epicurean II, LLC and Number 21 will be to ask Council to approve a change of schedule for February 8, 2016 and February 22, 2016 meeting to start at 6:00 pm. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the revised agenda was seconded by Commissioner Cooke and passed 4:0.

Consent Calendar

2. SUBJECT: Minutes for January 11, 2016 Council meeting
Recommendation: That Council approve as submitted.

A motion by Commissioner Cooke to approve the meeting minutes with the suggestion regarding the consent calendar amendment (The numbers of the items to be voted on by consent be listed in the motion) was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 3:0 with Commissioner Hanson abstaining because he was not present at the meeting.

3. SUBJECT: Request from Cambridge Wheels Car Club for a Car Show in the 400 block of Race Street, Poplar Street, and the 300 block of High Street
Recommendation: That Council approve subject request and grant a variance from the noise ordinance.

Commissioner Vickers recused herself from this discussion because she is the Director of Pleasant Day Adult Day Care Center which will benefit from part of the proceeds from the car show.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the request from Cambridge Wheels Car Club (Item 3) was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 3:0.

Work Session

4. SUBJECT: Sailwinds Property
Recommendation: That Council hold a work session to discuss an RFP process and schedule for development of the Sailwinds property.

An RFP and a Master Development Agreement are both in draft form and have not yet come to Council for consideration. The City must abide by the agreement that transferred the property from the State which dictates that the property must generate economic development.

Ms. Tripp-Jones distributed several questions for Council to consider and discussions will be held at a future work session.

Commissioner Hanson said if they are getting RFPs back in August based upon what they send out, the public will become involved. Their hope is that they have three or four project developers come to present something in open public hearings, rooms full of designs, and the public can give feedback back to them about you think is best for Cambridge.

Sandra Tripp-Jones said in summary, Council will hear from the public at the end of the next work session. When an RPF is brought to the Council to consider, the public will see it and comment on it. When the proposals come back, staff will review them and present two or three to Council. Information on everything that was submitted will be public information (probably not the financials). Council will say yea or nay to two or three to have them presented to the public in full presentations with models. Developers can hear about ideas before Council decides on whether they have a developer that they want to negotiate with. There will be at least three stages of public review and input before a Council decides on a developer.

A work session will be held on Wednesday, February 17th starting at 6:00 pm. Before that date, citizens can send their input to their Commissioner. Council will set the date for when the draft RFP will come back. It will be on the agenda and Council will allow time for public input before the RFP is released.

Public Hearings

The public hearings were advertised in the Star-Democrat on January 10, 2016 and January 17, 2016.

5. SUBJECT: Continued public comment on Ordinance No. 1062 amending Section 4.2.3(A)5 of the City's Unified Development Code to eliminate the reference to compliance with commercial locations for home day care, to require the owner to reside in the property and to establish the Planning Commission as the reviewing board.
Recommendation: That the Mayor continue the public hearing; that Council hear from the public; and that the Mayor close the public hearing.

The UDC would be amended to allow a non-owner who is living on the property as their principal residence to have a home daycare on the property. It would not be transferrable to another location by that particular individual or to another individual at this location. Nobody asked to speak. The Planning and Zoning Commission and the staff recommend approval of the ordinance.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

6. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1063 amending Section 2.1.3 A.1. of the City's Unified Development Code to correct an omission and provide for the jurisdiction of the Board of Appeals to hear appeals of the Historic Preservation Commission.
Recommendation: That the Mayor open the public hearing; that Council hear from the public; and that the Mayor close the public hearing.

This UDC amendment corrects an oversight in the jurisdiction of the Board of Appeals to hear Historic Preservation Commission appeals. The Planning and Zoning Commission and staff recommend approving the ordinance. Nobody from the audience asked to speak.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

7. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1064 amending Section 5.1.1 Table 4 and Table 6 notations of the City's Unified Development Code to allow 8-ft by 10-ft sheds regardless of the impervious coverage for existing single family residences.
Recommendation: That the Mayor open the public hearing; that Council hear from the public; and that the Mayor close the public hearing.

This ordinance would amend the Code to allow an 8-ft x 10-ft shed regardless of the impervious coverage of a residential lot. The Planning and Zoning Commission made this recommendation. Nobody from the audience asked to speak.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

8. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1055 regulating Portable On-Demand Storage Units (PODs) on residential properties
Recommendation: That the Mayor open the public hearing; that Council hear from the public; and that the Mayor close the public hearing.

This is a revised ordinance. An enforcement provision was added that states that "upon reasonable notice to the permit applicant, the Code Enforcement Officer may inspect the POD to ensure compliance with the requirements and conditions of this ordinance". There is a 60 day initial permit period with a possible 30-day extension for good cause shown with the exception of needing the for natural disasters in which case they can have them for up to one year with an additional years for good cause shown. The 60-day and 30-day permitting periods would apply whether it is on site or on the street in front of the residence. Nobody from the audience asked to speak.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

9. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1069 Finding that a two-acre parcel of property is no longer needed for public use and terminating the City's right to use or improve said two-acre parcel of property located on the Cambridge Port Property (also known as Sailwinds Property) for a period of Thirty Years and Authorizing the Execution and Delivery of a Lease Agreement to Yacht Maintenance Company, Inc. and Approved Assigns, for a Period Not to Exceed Thirty Years.

This is with regard to a continuation of the issue on portions of the Port Property no longer being needed for a public purpose. On August 17, 2015, Council began a public hearing session with regard to the entire site. The record was left open until September 8, 2015. On September 14, 2015, Council made the decision to make a finding on the 1.56 acres of the site that for 30+ years had been leased from the State to Yacht Maintenance Company for their operations. The Council deferred action on the remainder of the property. Since that time there have been negotiations between the City and Yacht Maintenance for them to maintain and increase their capabilities. They have asked the City to consider increasing that allocation of property by an additional 0.44 acres which would bring it to a total of two acres. The additional 0.44 acres has never been improved upon for any purpose. In order for them to significantly increase and maintain the operations and employment, they need the addition 0.44 acres to give them additional work space. They are tentatively planning to possibly add a second rail which would increase their capabilities and allow them to work on multiple boats at the same time. Tonight's public hearing is to determine, based upon the record that was established and at the request of Yacht Maintenance, if the additional 0.44 acres is needed for public purpose. The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed this in December and made the recommendation that up to two acres be incorporated as part of Yacht Maintenance parcel. Sharon Smith asked for clarification of the piece of property being considered. Rob Collison showed the two-acre parcel on the illustration that is being contemplated as a lease to Yacht Maintenance for a maximum of a 30-year period. A second reading and decision will be held on February 8, 2016.

A motion by Commissioner Vickers to leave the record open until 4:00 pm on Thursday February 4, 2016 was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 4:0.

Unfinished Business

10. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1062 amending Section 4.2.3(A)5 of the City's Unified Development Code to eliminate the reference to compliance with commercial locations for home day care, to require the owner to reside in the property and to establish the Planning Commission as the reviewing board.
Recommendation: That Council give subject ordinance a second reading and adopt ordinance.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to adopt Ordinance 1062 was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 4:0.

11. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1063 amending Section 2.1.3 A.1. of the City's Unified Development Code to correct an omission and provide for the jurisdiction of the Board of Appeals to hear appeals of the Historic Preservation Commission.
Recommendation: That Council give subject ordinance a second reading and adopt ordinance.

12. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1064 amending Section 5.1.1 Table 4 and Table 6 notations of the City's Unified Development Code to allow eight foot by ten foot sheds regardless of the impervious coverage for existing single family residences.
Recommendation: That Council give subject ordinance a second reading and adopt ordinance.

13. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1055 regulating Portable On-Demand Storage Units (PODs) on residential properties.
Recommendation: That Council give subject ordinance a second reading and adopt ordinance.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to do a consent docket for adoption of Ordinances 1063 (Item 11), 1064 (Item 12), and 1055 including the corrections to Ordinance 1055 (Item 13) was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

14. SUBJECT: Hearn Building Stabilization Project at 509 Race Street
Recommendation: That Council receives a verbal update.
Oden Wheeler said the expected developer has slowed up a little bit in trying to get the stabilization done; therefore, the County is going to take on the stabilization project and move forward with it immediately instead of putting it in the hands of the developer. The County has received a Community Legacy grant for $500,000 and an MHAA matching grant for $66,000. The taxes due on the property will no longer be received by the City and will be used as our match. Dorchester County is the holder of the tax sale certification.

Sandra Tripp-Jones said the County has asked the City to authorize the County Manager as our agent for the stabilization of the property so they have full authority to go onto the property and do the work.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas authorizing Jeremy Goldman to act as the City's agent in responding to the need for the stabilization of the property (509-511 Race Street) and authorizing the Mayor, City Manager, and Code Official to sign the letter was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

Requests from the Public:

15. SUBJECT: Contracts with Cambridge Housing Authority (HAC)
Recommendation: That Council consider a request from HAC that Council approve termination of the previous Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with the Cambridge Housing Authority and approve and adopt a revised PILOT agreement.

Andy Botticello said CHA LLC is a development partner with the Cambridge Housing Authority on the redevelopment of the project. He said the State asked them to make a modification to the PILOT that the City approved last year. The basic terms are not changed. It changes the name of the entity that is responsible for payments under the PILOT to meet the State regulations. Rob Collison said one other difference is that they were trying to do two entities into one PILOT agreement and now they are separating them into two agreements with the same terms. There were also some changes in the payment due dates. The original agreement called for the back taxes to be paid at the initiation of the lease because that is where the funding is coming from. The new agreement calls for the 2011 taxes to be paid at the signing of the agreement. Right now the Housing Authority owes taxes for 2011 through 2015. They would pay the 2011 with this agreement. That would allow 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 to be paid at the closing. The Housing Authority is operating under a reduced budget from HUD. Once they close, there is a significant increase in the available funding level. They are in the final phases of closing. They have the approvals from HUD and the equity investor, and CDA is on board now. Settlement should occur at the end of March.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to accept the revised PILOT and the payment agreement with the termination of the previous PILOT with the Cambridge Housing Authority subject to the amendments discussed this evening was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 4:0.

New Business

16. SUBJECT: Employee Wellness Program
Recommendation: That Council approve the Employee Wellness Program and authorize Mr. Chet McWilliams of McWilliams Financial Group (City's health insurance broker) to implement the program.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the employee wellness program was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

17. SUBJECT: City Employees Health Insurance
Recommendation: That Council authorize Mr. Chet McWilliams from McWilliams Financial Group to secure the High Performance Network and First Health Network as the health network providers for the City of Cambridge Health Insurance Plan.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to authorize Mr. Chet McWilliams from McWilliams Financial Group to secure the High Performance Network and First Health Network as the health network providers for the City of Cambridge Health Insurance Plan was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 3:0. Commissioner Vickers was out of the room.


18. SUBJECT: 2016-2017 Budget Development
Recommendation: That Council receive a report from the City Manager on development of the 2015-2016 City Budget.

The budget process started in November. A format and instructions have been provided to the department heads. The budget is the responsibility of the City Manager. Budget requests from the departments are due between February 1 and February 8, 2016. The formation of the Five Year Capital Program Committee will kick-off tomorrow. It will be made up of department representatives. A prioritized capital program will be developed. The departments will go through two rounds of budget reviews with the City Manager and the Finance Director. Sandra Tripp-Jones will be bringing the budget to the Finance Committee for their review and comment and policy issues for recommendations to the Council. Council will hold their goals session on February 12th and 13th which will be put into the budget. The intent is to give Council the City Manager's proposed budget by the end of April which will lead into a six-week period of presentations by departments of their budgets, public hearings, and responding to Council's questions and requests and adopting the budget by mid-June.

Committee Reports

19. Sailwinds Advisory Committee: Meeting Report of Jan. 12, 2016

Commissioner Thomas reported that negotiations with Yacht Maintenance have gone extremely well. They are looking at a 30-year lease. The addition of a 0.44 acre parcel for economic development job creation and maritime use will be incorporated into the overall master plan for Sailwinds. The State's comment was that this is an existing use; it's really not the overall master plan redevelopment of the project. The permits for the wharf have been filed. They are waiting on a final cost estimate and what it would cost to take Governor's Hall down if they have to go that route. Commissioner Hanson said the Council will get public input on the Gateway Project (corner of Route 50 and Maryland Avenue). The Committee is showing State Highway their plans for this intersection. It will be presented to the public in the future. They are waiting for the grant funding to take down the buildings and make it a green space. It will not be a park but will be something to "wow" people and bring them off Route 50 and into our downtown and Sailwinds.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to authorize Rob Collison to begin the State-mandated advertisement period that states that the City is considering the long-term leasing of a 2-acre parcel was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

20. SUBJECT: Resolution to endorse the submission of Epicurean II, LLC's application for Maryland Housing and Community Development funding through the Neighborhood BusinessWorks program. They are applying for $463,000 for the property at 400 Race Street. It is anticipated that it will be a restaurant on the ground level and residential apartments on the second and third levels.
A motion by Commissioner Thomas that the Council authorize Resolution 16-002 for the 400 Race Street project was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

21. Change of schedule for February 8, 2016 and February 22, 2016 Council meetings to start at 6:00 pm.
A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the request to change the starting time of the regular Council meetings on February 8, 2016 and February 22, 2016 to 6:00 pm and to hold a work session regarding Sailwinds on February 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 4:0.


Public Comments

Bob and Sherry Schubert owners of 123 Washington Street would like to be put on the record opposing and requesting that the Anchor Point project to have a homeless daytime shelter whereas they have also mentioned a Charlotte's Haven training center for the homeless be deferred until further facts and discussion can be addressed as they are concerned about the welfare and safety of nearby children. Their primary concern is that there are no requirements or regulations on sex offenders in those homeless shelters and centers. They have a petition with many signatures. They are asking to be notified by e-mail of any and all events concerning or involving this property which may pertain to the homeless. There was an oversight in the UDC of off-street parking requirements for all commercial properties on Washington Street. Pat Escher said the parking issue will be addressed.


Mayor's and Commissioners' Comments

SUBJECT: Vacancy on the Planning and Zoning Commission
A motion by Commissioner Vickers to reinstate Jerry Burroughs as the Mayor's appointee to the Planning and Zoning Commission was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

SUBJECT: Closed Executive Session
The Council met in closed executive session at 6:00 pm this evening to consider the expansion and/or a company remaining in the City.

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

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 9:06 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Wednesday, January 27, 2016, insofar as I personally am aware.



Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Mayor