• 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

City Council Minutes

December 9, 2002
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, December 9, 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 Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 2, 2002 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

APPOINTMENTS

Barbara Beckett of Maryland Committee for Safety Belt Use to Present Award to Cambridge Police Department-Barbara Beckett from the Maryland Committee for Safety Belt Use and Meg Miller from the Maryland Highway Safety Office presented an award to the Cambridge Police Department for the many things they have done over the years but particularly within the last couple of years to increase safety belt and child safety seat use with Cambridge.  They thanked the Council for giving them the support that has allowed them to go out and do the educational programs and the enforcement initiatives in an equitable manner with any citizen who was not complying with the law.  They thanked them because there are many families who wouldn't know that there are child safety seats available and how to properly install them.  They worked very closely with Rescue Fire Company and Cambridge Emergency Medical Services.  While the award is being given to the Police Department, it is really a tribute to the citizens of Cambridge.  Corporal Thomas Hurley, coordinator for the past two years, accepted the award for the Police Department.  Corporal Hurley said Chief Malik has been very positive on this program and the department has put a lot of effort into it with both education and media.  He thanked Ms. Beckett and Ms. Miller for the award.  Chief Malik thanked the Committees for their support.  He said Corporal Hurley has done an outstanding job.  On behalf of the City, Mayor Rippons extended thanks to Ms. Beckett and Ms. Miller for coming to Cambridge this evening and all the work they have given to Cambridge Police Department.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Request for Reconsideration of Text Amendment to Increase Density in PWCD-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to refer this item to Rob Collison for a public hearing.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Weldon distributed a memo to Council and Rob Collison relaying a couple of concerns/questions that he would like to have answered prior to the public hearing.  Basically he questioned if the existing residential developments that have been built required any variances.  His concern is that if they have been consistently granted variances to be constructed, then perhaps Council needs to consider a text amendment.  However, if they have not been given variances, it raises a question whether one is needed now. 

Commissioner Weldon said recently Council revised the zoning of the Deep Harbor project from PWCD to PWRD and there are references to number of units per acre and maximum number of units under the PWCD that are no longer valid based on the fact that they took 20 acres out of the PWCD and turned it into a PWRD. 

Rob Collison said the reconsideration of the text amendment is for the increased density from 20 to 24 units.  If the motion is approved, it would then be referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission for them to consider at their next regularly scheduled meeting. They would make a recommendation to Council.  Following their consideration, Council would hold a public hearing to hear the public's comments.  The motion was passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

Request From Neighborhood Business Development Program for Letter of Support for "A Few of My Favorite Things" at 414 Race Street-Mayor Rippons said the new business is a gourmet shop on the first floor.  Carol Levy is looking to have a private residence on the second floor.  She has applied to the Neighborhood Business Development Program for a loan.  They are requesting a letter of support from Cambridge.  The prominent considerations for the City are that the project would be something that the City looks forward to and that the zoning is correct.  Jim Michael said the zoning for the establishment and the living center falls within the parameters of the current zoning.  They had a variance for the second floor apartments.  Mayor Rippons asked for a motion to allow him to prepare a letter of general support for the project that it is in keeping with economic development within the City and that it meets the zoning consideration.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion that the City adopts the sample resolution rather than a general letter.  It is his understanding that a resolution, rather than a general letter, should be submitted.  A sample resolution came from the State and that is the typical process by which these are prepared as he understands it.  He forwarded a copy of the sample resolution to Rob Collison to have drafted and ready for adoption next week.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Dorchester County Historical Society for Letter of Support for Application to Create a Target Investment Zone Within the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area-Commissioner Weldon said this request came from Mr. Pat Neild who is on the Board of the Historical Society.  The process by which the funds are made available through the Heritage Tourism Authority is designated Target Investment Zones.  At present there are two established zones.  One is the Center City and the other is the Long Wharf area.  The door is open for applications to be made to add additional Target Investment Zones.  Part of the process is a resolution of support from the City so they can apply for the funding.  He will forward a copy of a sample document to Rob Collison to have ready for next week.  Mayor Rippons said it stipulates that local governments must be prepared to commit resources to economic development within these zones.   He asked Commissioner Weldon what this means on a level as it reflects upon the City government.  Commissioner Weldon said this is something they will have to discuss with the Historical Society to determine what the nature of the projects is that they wish to pursue.  There may be an instance where the City could provide an in-kind service.  Mayor Rippons said this would be something important to know ahead of time.  Commissioner Weldon said that is why he is not asking for a resolution to be adopted tonight.  He has talked to Mr. Neild.  Rob Collision said the resolution will be prepared for either next week or the following week after they talk to the Historical Society.  Commissioner Atkinson asked for something in writing from the Historical Society outlining what they are asking from the City.  Commissioner Weldon said that is what he is requesting. 

Introduction of Amendment to Inoperable Vehicle Ordinance-Rob Collison said a few weeks ago David Pritchett indicated that the City was receiving numerous complaints regarding property owners just fencing or screening inoperable vehicles and it was somewhat becoming a problem.  He drafted an amendment to the Inoperable Vehicle Ordinance which is codified in Section 4-39a of the City Code.  It would amend Subsection "C" by deleting the words "or otherwise shielded or screened from view" and also the sentence "No more than two inoperable vehicles may be shielded or screened from view outside of a fully enclosed building or structure."   It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, except within a fully enclosed building or structure on any property within the City of Cambridge any inoperable motor vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer.  Tonight is the first reading of this amendment. Nobody from the audience asked to give their input on the issue.

Discussion on Submission of Initial Proposal to the US Environmental Protection Agency for Grants to Assist in the Site Assessment and Revolving Loan Funding Brownfields-Jim Michael said there is very likely to be funding available through the Environmental Protection Agency for funding for Brownfields projects.  The program works through local government.  An attorney with the firm of Miles & Stockbridge has offered pro bono work to the City to facilitate the application process to submit pre-application and ultimate application presuming the money will be available after the first of the year for both study funding and funding to support a revolving loan fund.  He said he believes the amounts are $200,000 available for the study money and $1 million for the revolving loan fund.  Presuming the City would get the funding, it would have the ability to seek out properties in the City that would need review and assessment.  From that determination, through the revolving loan fund which will be set up through a mechanism of the City, funding would be made available in the form of low-interest loans to the entities to clean up the sites.  Commissioner Watkins feels it is a good project to look into.  Mayor Rippons said there is a third phase which is money available for City-owned properties; however, they wish to be site-specific when you request that money.  The information is due on December 16th.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve moving forward with the grant application.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Chief Malik announced that Captain Hutton has been accepted into the 212th Session of the FBI National Academy.  It is a 10-week administrative training course which is very prestigious.  He will be leaving on January 12th and will graduate on March 21, 2003.  Tuition and room and board are paid for by the FBI so it is no cost to the City other than uniforms he has to wear while he is at the facility during the training period.   Mayor Rippons extended warmest wishes from the City.

Commissioner Travers thanked Laura Weldon for doing an outstanding job at the Christmas parade.  He feels it was probably one of the biggest parades he has ever seen and the biggest crowd.   It was fabulous.

Commissioner Atkinson said we are in the pothole season now for our streets.  He asked the Commissioners to call David Pritchett when they see potholes.  He thanked everyone for supporting him on the Glasgow Street project.  It needs another layer of blacktop but it is open to traffic and people don't have to walk in the middle of the street or in water or mud.  He thanked DPW for the work they did.

Commissioner Atkinson said many municipalities on the Eastern Shore only meet twice a month rather than every week.  He asked Council to give him their opinion on this by next week.  If enough of the Council approves of it, he will make a motion that they meet twice a month on a trial basis. 

Commissioner Weldon, on behalf of the Parade Committee, extended thanks to David Pritchett and the Department of Public Works who met with them Friday morning after the snow to make sure that the areas where the bands and everyone else would be standing would be clear.  They did a tremendous job.  By Sunday morning the streets were clean.  He also thanked Chief Malik for the job his crew did.  Lt. Doyle was instrumental in this.   The volunteers, the schools and the elected officials showed a tremendous amount of community pride.  He thanked George Ames, the Grand Marshall, for all the work he has done in our community.

Commissioner Weldon announced that Commissioner Bohlen and he were invited by the City of Baltimore to participate in their parade along with Cambridge's Police Department Color Guard who represented them extremely well.  

Commissioner Weldon said the Heritage Tourism Management Authority Board has met and nominated three members of the community to join the Board.  They are Mike Walsh, Manager of the Hyatt; Glenn Carowan, Site Manager at Blackwater Refuge; and Evelyn Townsend, Head of the Harriet Tubman Organization.

Commissioner Watkins said he has not missed the parade in 50 years but he had to miss it this year.  He understands it was a great one and congratulated everyone who had anything to do with it.

Commissioner Bohlen echoed everyone else's sentiments about the parade on Saturday.  He thanked DPW and CPD for their outstanding job.  He hoped everyone saw the travel edition of the Sunday Sun yesterday.  It was a wonderful write-up, not only for the Hyatt but also for Cambridge.  It's the kind of publicity that we need, and he feels we are going to see more of it. 

Commissioner Bohlen said he received $1,500 from Comcast Cablevision for the Christmas lights.  He thanked them profusely.   Unfortunately it doesn't look like the lights are going to be plugged in this year.  The City is negotiating with Baltimore Zoo and it should be ready for Council's final approval shortly.  He feels after talking with the supervisor at the zoo that they have a really good handle on what it takes to put them up, take them down, and store them properly. 

Rob Collison said a developer submitted a letter to Council asking to meet with them on Tuesday.  It would not qualify for an executive meeting so it must be limited to two Commissioners.  Commissioner Bohlen said one area in question is in his ward, but unfortunately he will not be able to attend the meeting. 

Rob Collison announced there will be a public hearing on December 23rd to receive public comment on a proposed disposition of City property.  It consists of the railroad bed between Maryland Avenue and Green Street which would be incorporated as part of the Deep Harbour Project, another segment of Green Street and Trenton Street close to the dock that the City owns now, and an unrelated piece that would be from Rambler Road from Roslyn Avenue to Meteor Avenue. 

Mayor Rippons said Mr. Wheeler asked that the press publicize that there are opening on the City's ADA Committee.  He would like any interested residents to come forward.

Mayor Rippons announced that he received $5,000 for the Christmas lights.  The check will be ready anytime the City wishes to pick it up.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 7:30 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, December 9, 2002, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer