• 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

June 10, 2002
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, June 10, 2002, in City 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 3, 2002 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

APPOINTMENTS

Kim Seward to Request Noise Variance for the Bay Country Festival (July 3 through 6, 2002) and Request Carnival Permit-Kim Seward requested a carnival permit from July 3 through July 6, 2002.  She also requested a noise variance from July 3 through July 6, 2002 from 6:00 pm until 11:00 pm, which are the festival hours.  On Saturday, July 6 beginning around 2:00 pm they will be doing sound checks at which time there will be brief period of amplified noise.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to grant the noise variances and carnival permit as requested by the Bay Country Festival.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Evelyn Townsend (The Harriet Tubman Organization) to Request Permission for a Noise Variance on June 21 and 22 for Juneteenth Celebration at Calvin Mowbray Park (Saturday 10:00 am until 5:00 pm) (Sunday 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm)-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve this request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Dorchester Arts Center to Hold Dorchester Showcase on September 21st and 22nd and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance on Saturday, September 21st from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm-Mayor Rippons said on September 22nd the hours will be from 12 noon until 5:00 pm.  He said they are also requesting that Long Wharf be closed from 6:00 am until 10:00 pm on Saturday and High Street be closed from Court Street to Long Wharf from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm on Sunday.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. 

Sandy McAllister to Discuss the Deep Harbour Project-Sandy McAllister reported that in the past week he met with Gage Thomas regarding a 250‑ft stretch of Fletcher Avenue.  He also received a call from a tenant who indicated that is was really important to him that the development make accommodations for an occasional truck that goes back to the glass business.  The developer has authorized him to offer to Gage Thomas an easement sufficient for ingress and egress over the part in dispute.  While the development hasn't been finalized so it isn't clear whether that paper street will be improved or not, in any event there will be no impediment to Mr. Thomas or any owner of Cedar Center in the future.  He feels this addresses the concerns from last week and he hopes it satisfies the City. 

Rob Collison said another point brought up in Mr. Thomas's letter was whether to have all the City's concessions basically contingent upon this development happening.   Sandy McAllister said because it was in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, it was the developer's assumption that the City's obligations under that Memorandum of Understanding would only be enforceable if the developer honored his obligations.  Everyone agreed considerable progress within five years is very reasonable.

Commissioner Travers made a motion to amend the MOU with Deep Harbour LLC to include the quitclaiming to the developer of the City's right to have an interest to the portion of Fletcher Avenue as set forth in subdivision plat subject to an easement for ingress and egress provided from the developer to owner of Cedar Center.  It will be for that portion of Fletcher Avenue north of Cedar Street and that portion of Howard Street from the intersection of Fletcher Avenue in an easterly direction and that portion of Green Street running west from Trenton Street.  The other amendment would be to have a reversionary clause inserted if the construction is not substantially completed.   Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. Commissioner Weldon said there is a cruise boat business that the City accommodated on the Trenton Street pier last year.  The owner is very concerned about their location at the end of the "T" pier.  He asked how the cruise boat and waterman operating out of that pier will be accommodated, compensated, relocated, etc. by the developer under this arrangement.  Rob Collison said his recollection is that the City assigned to them 28 slips which would not include the "T".  Sandy McAllister said it did include the entire pier and "T".  He said nothing will happen to impact the use of the "T" pier for this season and next season.  He thinks the developer has a keen interest in maintaining the "Cambridge Lady".  It makes perfect sense.  They have a mixed-use residential/commercial area.  Commissioner Weldon has advised the owners to contact Mr. McAllister's office to discuss this matter. 

Gage Thomas said he has some relevant information regarding the MOU.  He talked to Sandy McAllister about working together with the developer.  Gage Thomas said he has a deeded right-of-way to the property.  Mayor Rippons said what the Council is doing is quitclaiming their interest.  The interest may or may not be germane to what Mr. Thomas is considering.  That would be a discussion between Mr. Thomas and the developer.  Mr. Thomas said it would be his recommendation to the developer not to abandon the last 250 feet of Fletcher Avenue.  He said the City is getting ready to abandon the entire Fletcher Avenue.  Mayor Rippons repeated they are quitclaiming the City's interest. 

Rob Collison said the City is quitclaiming their development rights to that and whatever other title of right they would have to the street bay.  If Mr. Thomas has a deeded right-of-way, whoever owns the street bay now, the City would quitclaim whatever rights they have to the developer.  Mr. Thomas said they are giving full ownership of the street to the developer.  Mayor Rippons responded "no".  Rob Collison said it is fairly unlikely that the City has ever acquired a deed for that real estate of the street bays.  That is why they have to sign a quitclaim because they don't know what they own.  What the City has is going to the developer.  The adjoining properties may have a deed of right-of-way.  Mr. Thomas has a right to continue that access across that property. 

Mr. Thomas said Section 2-114 of the Annotated Code of Maryland applies to both public and/or private streets.  If a road is abandoned, then each contiguous property owner owns to the centerline.  If that were the case, Mr. Thomas said he would own half at the left side of Fletcher Avenue and J. T. North would own the other.  Therefore, the developer would have to come to Mr. Thomas and Mr. North for an easement, which they would gladly give.  His recommendation is not to abandon the last 250 ft of Fletcher, Howard, or Fletcher on the other end for Mr. Stivers because if you don't abandon it, the developer still has deeded right-of-way over Fletcher Avenue so there is nothing to prevent Mr. Thomas or Mr. North preventing him from traveling over it. 

Rob Collison said by quitclaiming the City is basically stepping back and saying they do not plan to develop it and do not have any interest in it anymore.  They will leave it to the developer if he decides to develop it.  If he decides to close it off, that is an issue between Mr. Thomas and the developer.   Sandy McAllister said he would take Mr. Thomas's recommendation and withdraw the offer to provide an easement as a condition of the MOU and leave Mr. Thomas with whatever legal right at the appropriate time. 

Mayor Rippons said Mr. Thomas and Mr. McAllister should continue their discussion outside the Council room.  He asked Mr. Thomas if he had any other considerations for the City to entertain as it relates to the MOU.  Mr. Thomas said he had no objection and encourages the Council to pass it. 

Mayor Rippons repeated that the motion is to amend the MOU as it relates to Fletcher, Howard, and Green Streets and also to provide a reversionary clause of five years.  The motion was passed unanimously.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Decision on Disposition of Portions of Fletcher Street/Avenue-Rob Collison said the Council took care of this in their previous motion.

NEW BUSINESS

Approve Construction Trailer for Daniel Swafford at Arcade Apartments-Mayor Rippons said because of the recent fire at the Arcade Apartments, Mr. Swafford requested permission o allow a construction trailer to be placed on his property.  According to the City Code, this would be allowed for a 30-day period.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that the request be approved.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Weldon asked that the motion be amended so the 30‑days be retroactive to the date that the trailer was put in place (the day after the fire).  Commissioner Atkinson said he can't see the point of it, but he will amend the motion.  Mr. Kinnamon will check the records to determine the date of the fire.  The motion was passed unanimously.

First Reading of Amendment to Ordinance on Demolition Liens-Mayor Rippons said a lot of times the City has come forward to demolish properties and after they demolish them, they put a lien on said property but quite often the property then has less value than what the City has placed in it.  The amendment will make a consideration which will hold the property owner liable and they would attach to all considerations of all properties the property owner has.  Rob Collison said the lien charges will be collected in the same manner as taxes.  After the fines are assessed, the City can then file in Circuit Court for that amount.  Once it is filed in Circuit Court against the property owner, it attaches the lien to any property that the particular owner owns.  This amends Section 4-34.2 of the City Code.

Discuss Amendment to ASOP #24 (Procurement)-Mayor Rippons said the amendment would address items with a 'single supplier'.  This allows the Department Head the discretion that the price they have ascertained is in fact a representative and correct price.  Rob Collison said the Department Head would have to bring it before Council before purchasing the item.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the revision to ASOP #24 dealing with Procurement.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request to go to bid for Demolitions of 708 Washington Street, 704 Washington Street, 304 Henry Street and 817 Phillips Street-Jim Michael said these vacant properties have been in the process for a number of months and are all ready to go for bid for demolition.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to go to bid.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Portside Restaurant for Noise Variance for Live Band on June 23, 2002 from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm-Commissioner Travers made a motion to grant the noise variance.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

Request from MTS Broadcasting for a Noise Variance for Thursday, June 20th (until 10:00 pm) and on June 21st from 7:00 pm until 10:30 pm at Sailwinds Park for the Country Showdown-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Mayor Rippons reported that the Council will be attending the Maryland Municipal League Convention on Monday, June 24.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to hold a regular Council meeting on June 17.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Chief Malik said CPD has begun the process of re-instituting the K-9 program.  They have sent a letter of intent to the Cross Creek K-9 Training Academy in South Carolina.  The funds come from the drug seizure account.

David Pritchett said DPW is at the point to determine what they are going to do with the next phase of repairs to the marina.  He will give Council information to read before next Monday's meeting. 

David Pritchett said many people have asked him to discuss security at the marina.  They had another break-in incident two weeks ago.  After problems on the outer sidewall, they installed a fence.  A group of boat owners requested the City install gates on all three piers.  The estimate to do this work (not including the lock system) came to $3,100.  This will be discussed further next Monday.

David Pritchett said they had an all time record breaker for transient business at the marina this weekend.  They did $2,292 worth of transient business.  It was totally a result of the renovations.  Because of the width of the slips they now have, they are able to accommodate eight of the boats that would not have been able to be in there before the renovations.  He has never received so many compliments.

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to cancel the Council meeting on June 24.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Commissioner Bohlen said it was wonderful to see all those triathletes on Sunday.  He was at Great Marsh for the start of the race.  He complimented the Police Department for the outstanding job they did with the event and also to David Pritchett because the park looked great.

Rob Collison reported that the Council met in closed executive session this evening at 6:15 pm to discuss a legal matter regarding pending litigation.

Mayor Rippons added his compliments to the triathlon.  He attended the opening events at Sailwinds and the triathlon at Great Marsh.  A lot of people talked to him about their impressions of the City and it was quite favorable.  He never had one adverse consideration.

Mayor Rippons said on Saturday at Choptank Elementary School, the Lead Poisoning Preventing Carnival went very well.  He complimented the Police Department, CEMS, and Rescue Fire Company because they had displays out there as well.

Bruce Herman, representing Zion United Methodist Church on Locust Street, referred to the letter of May 20 sent to Rev. Wooten from Commissioner Weldon.  The first consideration he gave Rev. Wooten was to reconfirm the availability of the Board of Education lots for their use for parking.  The one big lot across the street from the Church is not the Board of Education's lot and it will severely impact Zion's Sunday services if it is used by another church.  There is a small lot in the back on that side and another lot on the other side.  The Board of Education has a 10-ft right-of-way to the back lot.   He just wanted to make this clear.  Commissioner Weldon said it was brought to his attention that the Board of Education, without being specific, had made lots available to the church (He is not sure if it was First Baptist when they were there or to Bay Country Bible Church.) but one of the neighbors mentioned that the Board of Education had made an arrangement with the church at one time.  If the Board of Education knows that they don't own a lot, they certainly wouldn't have made an arrangement with the other church.  The issue came about because the residents on Glasgow and Locust Streets were complaining that during Bay Country Bible Church's services, they were parking illegally on people's lawns, in front of their driveways, etc.  All he was trying to do with the letter was ask the church to follow-up on what arrangements had been made with the Board.  Once they came to an understanding on what they do and do not have available to them, then maybe they can solve their problem.  He wasn't offering them Zion's lot.  Bruce Herman said Zion wouldn't mind the other church using their lot during the week if they have special events. 

Marge Hull asked when the new City budget will come up for vote.  Mayor Rippons said it will be next Monday.  In reference to her question about a public hearing, Ed Kinnamon said there was public advertising and a public session was held to go over the budget on April 15. 

Evelyn Townsend with the Harriet Tubman Organization said in listening to the Mayor speak about comments from people coming into the City, she has had the opportunity recently to be among people from various parts of the country and from the State departments.  They are impressed with what Cambridge is trying to do here.  They feel that the Mayor is very friendly.  He welcomes people and spend time talking to them.  She thanked him for making times nice for them.

Gloria Truitt represented St. John's Holiness Church on Edgewood Avenue.  The missionary would like to have permission to mission on the streets to the youth to get them to come off the street corners and come into the churches.  They will not have any amplified sounds.  They will be on the corner talking to the youth and giving them pamphlets and things.  Commissioner Atkinson said if they are doing it one-on-one, they do not need permission from Council.   Rob Collison said if they aren't having amplified sound, they don't need permission.

Gage Thomas said he feels Council made the right decision as far as abandonment.  He thought his recommendation about not doing the last 250 feet warrants further review and for Howard Street which affects Weinstein, so that they can get back to the back loading dock.  He also talked to Ed Stivers about what was going on with Fletcher Avenue. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 7:45 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, June 10, 2002, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer