City Council Minutes
July 9, 2001
The City Council met in regular session on July 9, 2001, 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 July 2, 2001 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Historic Preservation Commission-Commissioner Bohlen reported that the Commission met on May 17, 2001 and heard the following cases:
1108 Locust Street-Roger VanDyke replaced the entranceway to the house because it was damaged. The Commission felt that the replacement door was not appropriate. Commissioner Bohlen gave Mr. & Mrs. VanDyke information on a possible more appropriate door.
513 Court Lane-Ginger Brannock would like to put shutters on the side of the building facing Court Lane and the end facing High Street. She also wants to put a window box on the High Street end. These requests were approved.
On June 21, 2001, the following cases were heard:
507 Court Lane-Grason Winterbottom wants to remove his front entrance and re-do the front steps and the railing. This request was approved.
706 Glasgow Street-Darrell and Teresa Dorman want to install an above ground swimming pool. The property is already properly fenced. This request was approved.
307 Mill Street-James and Virginia Sampson would like to install an iron fence. This request was approved.
On July 3, 2001 the following case was heard:
420 Race Street-Tony Thomas would like to put an outside bar between his restaurant and Chesapeake College. This request was approved.
Resolution for Creek Side Seafood and Produce Market-Ed Kinnamon read a resolution for Ben and Kristi Krewson congratulating them on opening their seafood business in Cambridge.
Lestor Reazor Representing Mid-Shore Cruisers for Noise Variance on July 29th 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at Wawa-The Mid-Shore Cruisers are planning to have a cruise-in on July 29th to welcome Wawa to the area and are requesting a noise variance for the hours of 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. They are also requesting a noise variance for their cruise-in on October 27th at Snow's Turn Market from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Commissioner Atkinson requested that Mr. Reazor get a waiver from the residents of the Snow's Turn area as he did last time. Rob Collison suggested not voting on the noise variance for October 27th because this date was not published in the paper. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the noise variance for July 29th. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Peter Johnston to Give Update on Draft Zoning Ordinance-As of this date, they have a working draft zoning ordinance, working draft zoning maps, and working draft subdivision regulations. Currently, the zoning ordinance is under review by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission will schedule work sessions. These meetings will be held in the afternoon. It will take approximately 6 to 9 months to get through the draft having meetings every 2 weeks. A number of public information meetings will precede public hearings so issues can be identified before the public hearings. An updated copy of the draft will be on the internet (www.intercom.net/npo/cambridge).
Ken Roth of Holophane Lighting to Make Presentation on Street Lighting-Mr. Roth provided streetlight samples. They are paid for on a monthly lease payment just like the overhead street lighting. Commissioner Bohlen provided a copy of a photograph of an original streetlight in front of the firehouse. Mr. Roth can assist in finding a similar design and doing a lighting survey and Conectiv will handle the installation. Commissioner Bohlen said these lights are being considered for Water Street. The overhead utility lines will be put underground. Eventually he would like to see these lights installed downtown.
Gage Thomas to Discuss Planning & Zoning Commission-Mr. Thomas requested a special Planning & Zoning Commission meeting for a matter that Council approved to be forwarded to Planning & Zoning on May 11, 2001 and scheduled to be heard on June 5 and then on July 3. Because of lack of a quorum, the case could not be heard. Jim Michael will schedule a meeting for next week. Mr. Thomas' request requires an abandonment of a partial right-of-way by the City. He hoped it would be a simultaneous process and would like it referred to the Department of Public Works. The subdivision would be contingent upon the abandonment. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to refer the matter to the Department of Public Works. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Duane Parker to Discuss Potential Development of the Property Know As "Cambridge Creek Property"-Rob Collison previously represented this developer; therefore, Mr. Nabb will represent the City on this matter. Mr. Parker represents The Palisades, LLC, a real estate development company that is looking at the property at the foot of Commerce Street and identified on the tax maps as Lots 172 and 173. There is a significant environment clean-up problem on this site. The contingencies Palisades is considering are: (1) release from the Maryland Department of Environment and Federal EPA for previous acts; (2) the tax abatement on past taxes and a deferral arrangement whereby taxes would be imposed as and when the units are built; and (3) a release from adjoining property owners.
The plan calls for two condominium buildings which would be approximately 82‑feet tall. The Code allows 110 feet. They are looking to construct 52 separate residential condominium units equally divided between the two buildings. Architectural drawings will be available at the next meeting. They are intended to be compatible with the surrounding residential area. For comparison, the water tower is approximately 82-feet tall.
The delinquent City taxes due are $35,538 on the property. The tax liability right now is $4,600 per year. If the numbers were assessed on the build out of the condominiums at an average price point of $200,000 per unit, then the tax role increase would be $94,000 per year. Circuit Court has given an extension of 1 year for Asset Properties to complete a plan of consummation of tax sale. Their contingency deadlines are quickly coming to an end (August 2). Mr. Parker is requesting Council to consider tax abatement for the arrearage of taxes.
Commissioner Weldon feels 82 feet is too high for the neighborhood, particularly since it is abutting historic High Street. Mr. Parker said the developer is flexible in his design. The documentation will be reviewed by the Council and will make their decision next week.
At Mayor Rippons' request, Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to meet in executive session on a legal matter next week with Mr. Nabb. Commissioner Watkins seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Public Input on the Community Legacy Program-Nobody in the audience requested to speak on this matter. The considerations for the application will be presented next week. The grant is due on July 24, 2001.
Final Decision on Additional Improvements to Mill, Vue de Leau, and William Streets-David Pritchett reported that it is the Department of Public Works' recommendation to proceed only with repairs for curbing damaged by the contractor and not to assess the property owners for the extra work they had originally intended. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to accept DPW's recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Discussion on Management of Liberty Village Empowerment Center-Commissioner Watkins made a motion for Council to institute an agreement with the Pine Street Committee of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Inc. to lease the Empowerment Center building for one year from this date. The date of final completion should be July 17, 2001; at that time it will be under the direction of the Pine Street Committee. If approved, Rob Collison will have a draft of the contract for Council next week. According to the grant agreement, this must be approved by the Board of Public Works. Commissioner Atkinson suggested adding that the Pine Street Committee may have the option to increase their lease for another year upon successful completion of their first year. Commissioner Watkins agreed to add this clause to his motion. Commissioner Weldon seconded the revised motion. Mayor Rippons has an issue that the center does not become a political football. He still has some reservations about some of the management people. The Committee did a fine job organizing and getting funding and bringing it up to where it is now. Commissioner Weldon is in support of the plan that was put together; he is in support of the staff that was put together; he is looking forward to seeing the partnerships that are formed; and he looking forward to seeing the successful people who are coming out of it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve Purchase Order for CEMS-This purchase is for a new ambulance. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Mayor Rippons announced that Commissioner Watkins is now President of the City Council.
Mayor Rippons extended compliments to the Bay Country Festival Committee for a job well done.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:25 p.m.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, July 9, 2001, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer