• 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

March 8, 2010
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 8, 2010 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 Knox, Sydnor, Stout, Thomas, and Hanson.  Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence.  Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.   

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 22, 2010 Council meeting as submitted.  Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Presentation

Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley presented Ivory Buck IV, a student at Choptank Elementary School, with a letter congratulating him on his recent recognition as the 1st place winner for 4th graders for the MSDE poster contest. He was the winner from 900 entries from across the State of Maryland and the only one from the entire Eastern Shore of Maryland.  She thanked him for the positive way he has portrayed the youth of Cambridge.

Public Hearing

The Proposed Disposition of Real Property:

The notice of the public hearing was published in The Banner on March 3, and March 5, 2010.

The issue is whether or not certain City-owned properties are excess properties, meaning they are no longer needed for any public purpose. The public hearing was precipitated by the recent grant applications to receive some state grant funds for rehabilitation and new affordable housing. 

  • The property at 620 Wells Street (Tax Map 302, Parcel No. 2656) contains 3829 sq.ft. and is assessed at $3,400.
  • The property at 703 Wright Street (Tax Map 302, Parcel No. 2461) contains 1460 sq.ft. and the base value is $6,270 and the valuation is $15,000.
  • The property at 705 Wright Street (Tax Map 302, Parcel No. 2462) contains 1825 sq.ft. and is assessed at $750.

If the properties are determined to be excess properties, Council will decide if they want to transfer the properties for the grant purposes or they could do an RFP to see if there are any other interests. The properties are being considered for a HOME Initiatives Grant that the City has been awarded. The City is in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to build two homes.  As the grant was written, the City could donate the properties to Habitat as part of the City's obligation as in-kind for the project to proceed.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said she is opposed to having a house built on the Wells Street property. Last year the Pine Street Committee presented photographs of that area to the Mayor and Secretary Skinner (DHCD). The street has not been improved upon at all. She does not think it would be fair to ask a person to put a home in an area that only has two pieces of property that people are residing in. The rest of the property is blighted, over-grown, and has been boarded-up for years. It would be a grave mistake to the person who would own this property and how it reflects on the City of Cambridge.  There are other houses on Wright Street.

Susan Devlin, Executive Director of Habitat Choptank, said they are aware that Wells Street is a blighted and really challenged street. One of the goals of the grant is to make an impact in a challenged neighborhood.  Habitat's idea is that the City-owned piece of property would be the first opportunity to make a statement on that street. As an organization, they are hoping to be able to purchase some of the other properties on the street and make a significant transformation on that block.

Nobody else asked to speak. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Hearing no opposition to declaring the property excess property or having a City need for it, Commissioner Thomas made a motion that that the three properties be declared excess property. Commissioner Stout seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the transfer of the unimproved lots known as 620 Wells Street, 703 Wright Street, and 705 Wright Street to Habitat for Humanity Choptank for zero consideration.  There will be no abatement of real estate taxes and/or impact fees. Commissioner Stout seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Appointments

Representative from Snapper's Waterfront Café for the Following Noise Variances: (1) Thursday, April 15th - Until 11:00 pm; (Family Birthday Party) (2) Friday, April 30th through May 2nd - 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Cinco de Mayo); (3) Sundays, May through September - 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm-Susan Antonelli reported that the deck parties have been held for the past 15 years.  The City received several letters in opposition to the variance as well as several letters in support of the request.  

Marshall Rickert basically supported the request but asked for some modifications including a variance request for each event.  Those speaking in favor of the variance were Charles Anderson, Scott Todd, Debbie Conn, Louie Massey, Tony Thomas, and Robert Hardy.  Council received letters from Ralph Dill, Nancy and Tim Sharp, David and Pauline Ting, Robert Davis, Joyce Young, Sue Rickert, Angelina Simpson, Carole and Earl Livingston, Jeff Hurley, Jody and Dana Zarbano, Bill and Diane Wise, Shan Shariff, Gary Parker, James and Kimberly Gscheidle, and James E. Simpson.  In his letter, Ralph Dill requested that a decision be postponed until people who live on the creek are back in town.  Chief Malik said they received a number of noise complaints on July 26, 2009. A citation was issued.  Mr. Rickert and Mr. Todd offered to work with the owners of Snappers.

Rob Collison recommended Council focus on areas where there are mixed uses adjacent to one another and loosen the noise ordinance to make it more liberal within certain given hours similar to industrial uses.

Commissioner Stout made a motion that the variances requested for April 15th (until 11:00 pm) for a DJ (inside) and April 30th through May 2nd (5:00 pm to 10:00 pm) for an acoustic guitar (outside) be granted for the time requested Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3:2 with Commissioners Knox and Hanson opposed.

Commissioner Stout made a motion to grant the variances from the noise ordinance for the Sundays in May for the hours requested (5:00 pm until 10:00 pm) with the condition that the variances can be rescinded if Council receives complaints and needs to revisit the approval. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:2 with Commissioners Knox and Hanson opposed.

Commissioner Hanson made a motion that Rob Collison proceed to make recommendation regarding the noise ordinance. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0 (Commissioner Knox was not present for the vote.).

Representative from Dorchester County Recreation & Parks Board to Request Permission to Hold Their Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Great Marsh Park on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 11:00 am (Rain Date Sunday, March 28)-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0 with Commissioner Thomas abstaining because he participates in organizing the event.

Representative from Eastern Shore Hospital Center to Request Permission to Hold Their Eighth Annual Chesapeake Bay Wellness Race & Family Walk on May 1st - Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Unfinished Business

Final Approval of Sewer Connection Agreement Between Clearview and City of Cambridge-Commissioner Hanson made a motion to approve the agreement with a modification indicating that the amount being allocated is increasing from 4500 gpd to 4900 gpd. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

New Business

Approve Financial Statement for January 2010-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the financial statement for January 2010. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Purchase Orders:

PO 91454 - McCarthy Tire Company - Tire for Wheel Loader Damaged in Snow Storm - $540.00-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve Purchase Order 91454. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

PO 5351 - Wor-Wic Community College - Police Academy Tuition - $2,693.95 (COPS Deployment Grant - 100% Reimbursement)-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve Purchase Order 5351. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Additional Items by Council

Executive Sessions-Council met at 6:00 pm in Closed Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter.  Commissioner Thomas made a motion to go into Closed Executive Session directly following the meeting to get legal advice. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 

Untagged/Expired Tag Automobiles-Commissioner Knox made a motion to have Rob Collison revise the ordinance concerning automobiles on private property that are untagged or have expired tags. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Historic Preservation Commission-Commissioner Stout made a motion to appoint Kathleen Clendaniel to fill the vacant position on the Historic Preservation Commission. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Comprehensive Plan-The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 23rd at 7:00 pm to present changes to the Comprehensive Plan at Maces Lane Middle School. This will be the final public hearing with the Planning Commission. After the Commission votes, they will forward their recommendation to City Council.  City Council will also hold a public hearing.

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 9:00 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, March 8, 2010, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer