• 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

July 14, 2003
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, July 14, 2003 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 June 30, 2003 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Planning & Zoning-Commissioner Watkins reported that the Planning & Zoning Commission met on July 1, 2003 and heard the following cases:

Blackwater Landing, LLC-The Commission voted unanimously to recommend favorably the request to rezone the 4.98 acres of land in question that is currently classified as General Commercial to be rezoned to R-3, Multi-Family Residential District.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to accept the recommendation.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

S&S Investment Properties, Lovers Lane-Text Amendment to Zoning Ordinance-The Commission with a four to two vote decided not to recommend the requested text amendment to reduce the minimum size of the lot width from 96 feet to 80 feet (minimum lot size remaining at 10,000 sq.ft.) as currently stated in Article XI Section 278 of the City of Cambridge Zoning Ordinance.  Rob Collison said a public hearing is set up for this case. 

Annexation of Gypsy Hill Farm-Rob Collison said annexations require formal public hearings.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to have Rob Collison move forward with the public hearings.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. 

Commissioner Atkinson asked that Page 4 of the Planning and Zoning Meeting Minutes be corrected to reflect the correct spelling of Mr. Cohee's name.

Traffic & Safety-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve The Lutheran Mission Society's request to move one ADA parking space so they can relocate their trash dumpster to insure safety to their building and adjacent structures.  He suggested trying it for 6 months.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  Commissioner Weldon asked that the site be monitored to make sure the dumpster is emptied in a timely manner.  The motion was passed unanimously. 

APPOINTMENTS

Laura Weldon Representing Cambridge Dorchester County Christmas Parade to Request Permission to Use Long Wharf on July 25th for a Family Film Festival and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance (rain date from June 20th)-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to grant the Parade Committee permission to use the park at Long Wharf and a variance from the noise ordinance from 7:00 pm until 9:30 pm on Friday, July 25, 2003.   Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Rev. Linda Wheatley of God's Family Life Worship Center  to Request Permission to Hold Block Party on Choptank & Church Streets on August 8th and September 12th   from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm  Including Blocking Off the Street and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance-Rev. Wheatley said they would like to modify their request.  They would like to hold their event at Cornish Park on August 8, 2003 from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm and in the lot behind St. Clair School on September 12, 2003 from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm.  Commissioner Watkins said parking is limited in the Cornish Park area so he suggested they try to find another area for that date.  Rev. Wheatley said the only vehicles they would have are their own vehicles and a van.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to allow the group to use Cornish Park on August 8th and a variance from the noise ordinance for the two nights.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously. 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance and Resolution Imposing Impact Fees-Mayor Rippons said the first reading indicated a $4000 impact fee.  After discussion with the City's consultant, this will be changed to $4500 per equivalent dwelling unit.  Rob Collison said for areas outside the City, the impact fee for water would be $1500 and $2800 for sewer.  He read the revised ordinance and resolution.  The adoption of impact fees shall be codified as a new Section 1-16 of Chapter 1 of the Code of Laws of the City of Cambridge and the amendment which shall become effective upon the passage of the ordinance.

Commissioner Weldon made a motion to adopt the ordinance and resolution which impose impact fees.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

NEW BUSINESS

Introduction of Annexation Resolutions-Rob Collison introduced three annexation resolutions.

Annexation Resolution No. A2003-03-The applicant (owner) is Mid-Shore Development, LLC.  The property is identified on Tax Map No. 41, Parcel No. 18 and is located on the northwest corner of Maryland Route 16 and Woods Road. The proposed zoning would be GC (General Commercial District). 

Commissioner Weldon made a motion to accept the formal introduction of Annexation Resolution A2003-03.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Annexation Resolution No. A2003-04-The applicant is S&S Investment Properties, LLC.  The property is identified on Tax Map No. 30, Parcel Nos. 6, 500, 502, 504 and 600.  Also added would be parcels of property owned by the Board of Education identified on Tax Map No. 300, as P/O Parcel No. 344 and on Tax Map 30, Parcel No. 94; a parcel owned by the Commissioners of Cambridge identified on Tax Map No. 30, Parcel No. 281; and parcel owned by St. Mary's Refuge of Sinners Church identified on Tax Map No. 30, Parcel No. 280.

The area is west of Cambridge and runs from the tennis courts/recreational fields, the former Glasgow Elementary School, Sandy Hill Elementary School, the Catholic Church property and across the street on the property west of the quick shop and Shirley's Restaurant.  The developer will be constructing a subdivision.  The proposed area will be annexed as R1 Single Family Residential. 

Rob Collison said they have the consent of the property owners of at least 25 percent of the assessed value and there are no registered voters in the area to be annexed.  The described area also includes the roadbed of Sandy Hill Road that runs from the current City line to Hambrooks Boulevard.

Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to accept the formal introduction of Annexation Resolution A2003-04.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Annexation Resolution No. A2003-05-The first parcel is owned by Dudley Family Limited Partnership.  The property is identified on Tax Map No. 30, Parcel No. 13.  The second parcel is owned by the Dorchester County Sanitary District and is identified on Tax Map No. 30, Parcel Nos. 350 and 409.  The third parcel is owned by Luthy Farms and is identified on Tax Map No. 30, Parcel 165. 

There are no residents and/or registered voters in the proposed area.  The City has obtained a consent of owners of at least 25 percent of the assessed value; that being the consent of Dudley Family Limited Partnership.  The proposed zoning would be R-1 Single Family Residential.

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to accept the formal introduction of Annexation Resolution A2003-05.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Seafood Feast-I-Val for Variance from the Noise Ordinance for Their Event at Sailwinds Park on Saturday, August 9th from 1:00 pm Until 6:00 pm-Commissioner Travers made a motion to grant the request.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request To Go To Bid for Franklin Street Boat Ramp Renovations-David Pritchett said this was a budgeted item this year and is fully grant-funded.  Their last estimate was $506,000 and they have budgeted $585,000.  It will be one of the premier boat facilities on the Eastern Shore.  It will have six slips with floating docks.   The construction, which will take approximately 3 months, will begin on or after October 31, 2003.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to allow DPW to go to bid for the Franklin Street boat ramp renovations.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request To Go To Bid for ADA Curb Cuts-Mayor Rippons said this work is in association with the work recently completed in the Maryland Avenue area.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to go to bid.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Water and Sewer Rates for FY2004-Mayor Rippons said there is still some contemplation on the sewer rates.  The water rates are outlined by the City's consultant.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the rate structure for water that Mr. Donahue approved and also to allow the Municipal Utilities Commission to approve that amount before they go into effect and to allow them to set up the most effective dates to have the water rates begin.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  In answer to a question from a resident in the audience, Mayor Rippons said the water rates will go up slightly.  The sewer rates will go up quite a bit because of the debt service the City has incurred.  The City has just gone through a major bio-nutrient reduction upgrade for our facility.  Another cause of the increase is contemplation of sewer/sanitation separation which has cost the City $10.5 million in addition to the regular cost.  The water rates have been quite conservative for years.  The consultant informed the City that the sewer rate structure needed to be completely revamped.  They can no longer have a tiered rating system for some of the larger industrial users and this will put a tremendous onus on them.  Before the City imposes new rates, there needs to be further discussions with industrial clients on the sewer side.  Any time the City borrows money from the State or Federal governments, one of the mandates is that the system must be revenue neutral. 

The water rates for water usage inside the City are as follows:

 

Consumption Level

(gallons per month)

Water Rate

(per 1000 gallons)

4,000 to 13,000

$1.47

 

13,001 to 30,000

$1.40

 

30,001 to 100,000

$1.27

 

100,001 to 300,000

$1.20

 

300,001 to 3,000,000

$1.04

 

Over 3,000,000

$0.60

 

Commissioner Weldon made a motion to pass the water rate structure as it was just outlined.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Chief Malik said he feels that CPD will be able to occupy the new substation on the corner of Choptank and Travers Streets in September.

Chief Malik said a delegation from Cambridge visited the municipal building in Aberdeen which houses the municipal offices and the police department.  It is set up very similar to the way that CPD will set up their portion of the new public safety building. 

Lynn Thomas said he would like to prepare the first packet of amendments to the zoning ordinance other than the R-1 text amendment that is pending before Council.  He intends to take it before the Planning Commission this month. 

Lynn Thomas said the zoning ordinance requires new developments to provide park and recreation area.  It also provides an option in some cases for payment in fee in lieu of providing the park and recreation area but it does not establish the fee.  He will look into what other jurisdictions charge. 

Commissioner Travers thanked Mr. Wise for an outstanding job that he has done at Long Wharf.  Commissioner Atkinson agreed.  He has been at Long Wharf several times and talked to the people and they are doing a great job.

Commissioner Atkinson said everyone is concerned about renovating the buildings uptown and getting businesses in.  On a whole, the owners have done a good job.  However, the building that really bugs him is on the corner of High and Poplar Streets.  For 3 years, nothing has happened.  He would like the inspectors to get inside the building to take a look.  He personally thinks that it is structurally unsound.  Commissioner Weldon said he knows it is because he has been inside.  David Pritchett said a letter was sent requesting right of entry for a full inspection inside and outside.  The time is up either Thursday or Friday.  If this right of entry is denied, the City will fine the owner. 

Commissioner Weldon said he was absent from the June 30th meeting because he was attending a meeting which was scheduled before Council voted to hold a meeting on June 30th in place of the June 23rd meeting.

Commissioner Weldon received a call from a downtown business person regarding the usage of public trash receptacles by businesses for their weekly trash.  He asked that this be looked into.

Commissioner Weldon said over the weekend there was a situation with a business with relation to the Maryland Avenue drawbridge.  The drawbridge operator had an emergency and a charter boat was not able to make its call at the Hyatt and had to cancel their trip.  He spoke to Jay Meredith because State Highway controls the bridge. Mr. Meredith advised Commissioner Weldon that they are going to be training four of the local State Highway Department staff to operate the bridge to fill-in in emergencies.  Commissioner Weldon suggested that if it is practical or possible, that perhaps the City Police Department have somebody on staff trained in the operation of the bridge in case of an emergency in the Creek. 

Commissioner Weldon said the City has been approved for the money for the Heritage Area for Water Street lighting.  He asked David Pritchett to follow up to see when the City will receive the check. 

Commissioner Weldon said on Wednesday there was a meeting of the group that is moving forward with Main Street.  He feels it was a very productive meeting on a complex process. 

Commissioner Watkins complimented the committee working on the Maces Lane High School Reunion which was held over the weekend.  

Commissioner Bohlen said many of the watermen are very happy that the fuel truck is at Long Wharf so they don't have to haul 5-gallon gas cans. 

Commissioner Bohlen said Cambridge Day at Arthur Perdue Stadium with the Shorebirds game was crowded with folks from Cambridge.  It was a great evening and everyone had a lot of fun.  Commissioner Watkins added that Mayor Rippons threw the first ball and coached.  Not only can he run the City, he can coach a baseball team!

Commissioner Bohlen said with all the ongoing heavy rain we have been having he has noticed that storm drains are being plugged up with grass clippings and leaves.  David Pritchett said a crew has been working on it since the heavy rain knocked trees down several days ago. 

Commissioner Weldon said he visited Auburn, New York which is the other end of Harriett Tubman's journey.  It was an impressive historic site. 

Rob Collison said he is requesting funding for the software package and license for the redistricting.  It was budgeted at $2500 but he contacted the company and it is now $3000.  There is one other company that he is familiar with but their software is more expensive and Easton had trouble with it.  He said he still needs a representative from the 5th Ward for the committee. 

Mayor Rippons gave his warmest regards to Mr. Wise for all his efforts at Long Wharf.  He went out of his way quite a bit as did representatives from the City Fire Department.  He embodies what a professional businessman is.  Not only does he look at it from the aspect of his business, but there is not a whole lot of money to be made down there.  He made a commitment to the community and to the City of Cambridge.

Sharon Whitten said Great Marsh is a beautiful area that is heavily used.  The walking path looks like vehicles are using it.  There are deep trenches where vehicles have gone around the path.   There is a huge mud hole in the entrance on the south side.  People aren't cleaning up after their dogs.   She asked if the trash could be checked on after special events and in the summer.  Mayor Rippons said all special events have special pick-ups.  David Pritchett said they patrol it every day for trash.  Ms. Whitten said some of the trash containers were overfilled but otherwise it is being maintained very well.

Yvonne Penn, the Pastor of St. Luke's United Methodist Church, is concerned about the lack of recreational facilities for African-American youth.  She would like to meet with the Recreation and Parks Department because she was a recreation planner for years.  Mayor Rippons said the Recreation and Parks is more or less under the auspices of Dorchester County.  The City maintains Cornish Park, Great Marsh Park, and other amenities.  He suggested Rev. Penn meet with David Pritchett. 

Bill Wise said he came to compliment the Council.  Most of the time, all they hear is complaints.  The thing he wants to say is that the fuel truck has returned to Long Wharf through the effort of the Mayor and the people who work for the City.  He thanked them for all they did to help him.  This is a prime example of what government can do to work with business to get something done. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:00 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, July 14, 2003, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer