• 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 Minutes

January 12, 2004
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, January 12, 2004 Council Chambers.  A quorum being present, Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Bohlen, Watkins, Weldon, Atkinson and Travers.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.  Commissioner Atkinson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 22, 2003 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Request for Rezoning Blackwater Landing, LLC (Tax Map No. 307, Parcel 5751) from GC (General Commercial) to R-3 (Multi-Family Residential)-Rob Collison said a section being discussed is part of a large 70-acre parcel being developed.  It is located near the intersection of Stone Boundary Road and Maryland Route 16.   The application has submitted plans for preliminary approval from the Planning Commission for a single-family project; however they are asking for R-3 (Multi-Family).  David Pritchett reported that the Planning Office is in favor of this change.  It is consistent with the adjoining neighborhood.  Willard Parker, representing Blackwater Landing said this is a down-zoning request.  They feel the GC zoning was an inadvertent mistake.  The land to the north and west side of the area is a strip of land 100-feet wide owned by Delmarva Power.  It is not just a right-of-way or an easement.  It causes a natural barrier from the CG-zoned portion of the 70-acres and Stone Boundary Road.  They are asking that the entire 70 acres be under one zoning classification.  The parcel in question is not developable as commercial land because of the obstacle to reaching the commercial access out to Stone Boundary Road.  Barry Griffith, a professional planner for Lane Engineering, does not feel the zoning change would have any real impact on transportation patterns whether the property is zoned commercially or residentially. The primary entrance for Blackwater Landing Subdivision is on Race Street with a secondary entrance on Stone Boundary Road.  The parcel in question is completely disconnected from direct commercially-zoned access to Stone Boundary Road.  Any access for the commercial zone would have to go through the residential zone onto Stone Boundary Road.  This area of Cambridge is mostly zoned for residential development.  There is plenty of undeveloped commercially-zoned land without the 5-acres in questions to accommodate retail and commercial needs for this area.  Adequate sewer, water and utilities are available.  According to the City's Comprehensive Plan (page 69), these larger undeveloped parcels in this part of the City are intended to be developed residential.  He feels this is more of an inadvertent mapping-type error.  He is certain the 5 acres is more suitable for development under the R-3 classification.

Nobody asked to speak for or against the rezoning request.  Mayor Rippons closed the public hearing.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to amend the zoning as requested because the applicant has met its burden in showing there was a mistake in zoning.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

Annexation Resolution A-2003-02 Ocean Gateway Bucktown Road Area-Rob Collison reported that notice of the hearing was published in the Daily Banner on November 26; and December 3, 10, and 17, 2003.  The area runs from the Exxon Station at the corner of Maryland Route 16 and US Route 50, along US 50 to Bucktown Road.  It would then run along and bind upon but not include Bucktown Road.  It would bind upon the west side of Bucktown Road down to Parcel 32, owned by one of the applicants, Tricia Harrington.  It would take in a portion of South Road and pick up the parcels shown on the tax map as 399, 217, and 154 with belong to Mr. and Mrs. Logan Fitzhugh, who have also consented to annexation.  It would then run along the southerly boundary line of Parcel 17 (Gabriel parcel) over to Parcel 16 (car dealership) then back to Route 16 in a northerly direction back to Route 50.  The proposed zoning for the areas would be consistent with the County.  It would be general commercial for all areas that are currently zoned commercial and R-1 (single family) for the parcels that are currently zoned residential under the County code. 

David Pritchett said this would be a cost-shared proposal based on projected flows for the affected people.  There are 10 individual residential properties and approximately 7 large commercial uses. The total water and sewer cost extension would be approximately $400,000.  The recommendation would be that anyone who has already done an upgrade to their sewer system, based on the fact that we did not have services at the point and had not annexed in the land, that they go with a 5-year period under which they would be able to operate with their existing system before forcing a transfer to City usage.   Construction would start in August 2004 and be completed in early 2005.  It would be $3500 charge per property owner.  

Rob Collison said notice of the hearing was sent to the Maryland Department of Planning and Dorchester County Council.  The Maryland Department of Planning sent in a letter stating that they find the annexation to be consistent with State growth management policies.  The parcels will retain their priority funding area status.  A copy of the annexation document was submitted to the Maryland Department of Transportation.   The Department advises that as the petition advances for adoption, the City should contact the various planners of the Department of Transportation.   

Rob Collison said he received a call from Jane Baynard on behalf of the County Council, asking the City Council to provide them with the opportunity to have the County Roads Board comment on the proposed annexation.  Because the City is not proposing to annex the entire portion of South Road, there would be issues to be resolved there.  Rob Collison said it would be his opinion to have the public hearing continued to provide the County the opportunity to have to Roads Board comment on the proposal.

Rob Collison reported that they have received a requisite number of registered voters within the areas and also the requisite number of owners of property valuations of the assessed valuations in the area.

County Commissioner Glenn Bramble said the correspondence that the County Planning and Zoning received from the City on April 1, 2003 did not include the Tricia Harrington parcel.  The Dorchester County Council received the information for the more recent annexation proposal but it was not forwarded to the Planning Commission.  The addition of the Harrington parcel is a concern to the County Planning Office.  The City will be taking in a portion of South Road between Parcel 237 and 32 and he believes the County Highway Department should have an opportunity to comment on this and make arrangements concerning snow removal, ditching, etc.  As President of the Board and also representing Planning and Zoning, he is requesting that they be given more time so they can comment on it.

William Slacum, 2907 Oak Hill Road, has been against annexation from the beginning.  He filed a petition today with the City.  Most of the people on the petition are in one area.  Most of the people are elderly and on fixed incomes.  They won't be able to afford the tax bills and all the extras.  He presented a map with an alternate plan.  Most of the properties are in the Sanitary District.  At the present time, the other properties do not have a problem.  When he built his house, he felt he was far enough out in the country and didn't plan on paying City taxes.  It will put a burden on him and more of a burden on this mother because of her age.  He would like to see the City draw the line on out to Central Road and then go down Bucktown Road and take in Parcel 32.  This would leave the people out who signed the petition saying they don't want to be in the City limits.  If there is a time that their septic fails, then maybe then can come in later. 

Rob Collison reported that there was a petition filed today signed by William Slacum (Parcel 388, 399, & 158), Gary Thompson (Parcel 365 & 366), Jim Busic (Parcel 158), Madeline Slacum (Parcels 19, 20, & 21), Barbara Moore (Parcels 18 & 239), Nelda and Dennis Roe (Parcel 25), Hannah Bennett (Parcel 31), Barbara Fitzhugh Robinson (Parcel 96), and Jonathan G. Johnston (Parcels 235, 245, & 246).  

In looking at Mr. Slacum's request, Mr. Collison said that Mr. and Mrs. Greenhawk (Parcel 23) on Bucktown Road have requested annexation because they are having problems with their septic systems.   Mr. Slacum said that Mr. Roe would give the City permission to go across the back of his property to hook up to the Sanitary District. 

Rob Collision said the Maryland Department of Planning was contacted as well as the County 30 days prior to today's hearing.   Under the State code, the City can continue the hearing for 30 days. 

Nobody else asked to speak.  Mayor Rippons adjourned the public hearing.

APPOINTMENTS

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None

NEW BUSINESS

Discussion on Payment of Fee in Lieu of Dedication of Parkland for New Developments-Rob Collison reported that applicable sections of City Zoning Code (279 and 280) has a provision that allows for the City Council to approve a fee in lieu of a developer dedicating or reserving certain areas of land as public neighborhood parks.  Presently, the City does not have a fee structure for that payment.  The wording of the Code section specifies that it would be on a per-dwelling unit basis.  Some other communities do it on an acreage basis on the amount of acreage that is required for the neighborhood park.  He feels it needs to be substantial enough to basically make a difference.  One hundred dollars per unit on an 850-unit is only going to generate $5,000.  It should be significant enough that by having a couple of these developments, you will have a substantial improvement to a park or enough funds to buy land to develop another park.  The developer must show that he/she cannot adequately meet the open space and recreational responsibilities.   At the discretion of the City, there could be a combination thereof.  

Mayor Rippons contacted other municipalities through MML.  The towns that responded say they do allow it.  Three are in the process of setting a fee. 

Rob Collison said the developer discussing the payment, has significant wetland issues.  It is difficult to put parkland on wetlands.  The open space would not be impacted.   It would be better to give the funds to the City to improve another recreational park.  Each developer would have to present their case to Council. 

Mayor Rippons said his recommendation is to allow Linda and Anne from Planning and Zoning to make a recommendation to be heard before the City at the next meeting.   

Request to Add Temporary Trailer at DPW for Engineering Space-Mayor Rippons said with the need for expansion, DPW is requesting the City enter into a 36-month lease at the rate of $450 per month.  They have received four estimates from different companies.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Memorandum of Agreement for Demolition of 608 Schoolhouse Lane and 703 Wright Street-Mayor Rippons said the Historic Preservation Commission felt these houses might have historic significance.  He sent them pictures and they reluctantly agreed to demolition.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the Memorandum of Agreement for Demolition.   Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  Commissioner Bohlen said in conversations with the Maryland Historic Trust on this issue, he was unaware of this potential expansion area.  They did a State inventory about 5 years ago.  He will get a copy for David Pritchett so the City will have an immediate reference.

PO 282 - Eastern Shore Paving - $42,816 (Demolition in Schoolhouse Lane Area) (Community Development Block Grant)-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the purchase order.   Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

PO 283 - David A Bramble -  $511,650 (Bayly Road Renovations) (Community Development Block Grant)- Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the purchase order.   Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

PO 293 - Colossal Contractors Inc. -  $39,850 (Paint City Hall/RFC)- Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to approve the purchase order.   Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Dorchester County Recreation & Parks to Hold Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 3, 2004 (11:00 am) at Great Marsh Park- Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.   Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Rob Collison reported that the Redistricting Committee is meeting on Wednesday at 4:00 pm and will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, January 21st at 7:00 pm.  They are hoping to have a recommendation for Council at the January 26th meeting.

Rob Collison reported that the City Council met in closed executive session at 6:15 pm to discuss a personnel matter.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to meet in Executive Session to discuss a legal issue.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Bohlen attended the dedication of the new Maces Lane Middle School.  It was very well attended and is a great new facility.

Commissioner Weldon also attended the Maces Lane dedication and is particularly proud of the band.  The part he felt was most impressive was when all of the alumni who were in attendance from the High School stood up and Mr. Seymore,  President of the Association, surprised everyone with the signing of the alma mater song.  He feels they should teach the song to every child who is in the school now.  The message is phenomenal.  The old slogan of "Prepare Today for Leadership Tomorrow" is evidenced by the alumni association made up of business leaders, school principals, and real leaders in our community.  He thinks the County should adopt that slogan for entire school system.  He was deeply moved and deeply impressed with the whole presentation.  The school is fantastic.

There was a traffic tie-up on the first day of school at the new school.  There will be a third lane added for turns and an additional parking area will be added to take care of the buses.  It is a well-planned facility.

Commissioner Weldon asked when the committee will meet to discuss the marina expansion.  He would like to receive the information packets for the meeting.  There was discussion at the last Council meeting regarding a fueling facility.  There was a citizen's committee assembled to discuss a marine fuel facility at the marina.  He thinks the committee rejected the exact location that they are now talking about as a possible location.  He knows there is an immediate need until the expansion is complete but he thinks the City needs to consider a better permanent location once the marina facility expansion is fully understood by the community.   There are concerns about how the proposed lighthouse is going to affect what is considered open space now.   He feels they need to consider the overall view of the entire facility.  There is no overall picture of how everything is going to fit together.  He is asking that funding be sought to have a thorough plan of Long Wharf Park taking into consideration the marina. 

Commissioner Weldon said the Bayly Road project looks terrific.  It looks like it will work out just fine.  There is a real problem with dumping on the other side of Bayly Road which he called to the attention of several people.

David Pritchett requested to take the Planning and Zoning Assistant position from a Pay Grade 6 to a Pay Grade 8.    This would make it more in line with the general organization of the department as they build it up for the anticipated growth.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

David Pritchett requested to change the status of the position for the City Planner from a classified exempt position to a contractual position until June 25, 2004 when it will be revised as a classified position (not classified exempt).  A new job classification will be submitted for this.  This is to assist in working with the new planner.  The position comes with full benefits.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the request.  Mayor Rippons said Mr. Wheeler reviewed it from a Human Resources viewpoint.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. 

David Pritchett submitted a job description for a Civil Engineer position to be added to the Department of Public Works in Pay Grade 14.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve a Civil Engineer position for the City of Cambridge.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

David Pritchett said several employees in the Department of Public Works are doing multi-tasking.  They would like to add a building inspector (Code Enforcement Officer I) in Pay Grade 8.  Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

David Pritchett said they are picking up Christmas trees through the month of January on Wednesdays. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:10 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, January 12, 2004, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer