City Council Minutes
November 26, 2001
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, November 26, 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 November 19, 2001 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Palisades, LLC-- Last week the Council voted to approve Resolution 01-021. Duane Parker would like some points clarified for the developer's lending institution.
The first issue is a request for the City's general support for an application for up to 50 boat slips with the Corp of Army Engineers and the State of Maryland Regulatory Authorities.
The second issue is to change the date the abatement shall be retroactively revoked if the development has not progressed to the point that certificate of occupancy has been issued for at lease one dwelling from December 31, 2002 to June 30, 2004. This was the date incorporated into the county resolution because in conversations with the Maryland Department of the Environment, the clean-up period will take them up to about June 2003. Construction cannot begin until clean-up is complete.
The third issue is the abatement is contingent upon Palisades, LLC, or its Assignee, Cambridge Point, LLC taking title to the property no later than March 30, 2002. This change adds "or it's Assignee, Cambridge Point, LLC".
The fourth issue addresses the fact that the City code allows 20 units per acre. As long as the survey validates that the property is 2.5 acres, this would allow a density of 52 condominium units.
The fifth issue is the pledge that the City will make the necessary capital improvements to Commerce Street as is required by the applicable code. This includes water and sewer lines, stormwater management, and road widening.
Commissioner Weldon said that one of the elements called out in the PWCD is a waterfront walkway, which is exempted from a purely residential project, but it was talked about earlier as a potential common element. Construction would be the responsibility of the developer but then long-term maintenance reverts to the City. From the discussions he has had in the community, this would be an asset to the project. Duane Parker said this would require an easement to the City. This was not addressed as part of the immediate closing. Rob Collison said if the City wishes to have this, there could be a requirement for an easement for a river walkway. It is up to the Council if they wish to make it part of the abatement. Commissioner Atkinson suggested negotiating this at a later date. Commissioner Weldon is interested in seeing an easement allowed for. The City is offering a considerable tax abatement and deserves an amenity to come out of the project. Rob Collison said if the developer is not going to be constructing a commercial facility, there is no legal requirement that the developer would have to construct the river walk. The requirement is only for commercial enterprise. Duane Parker's concern is to handle it post-closing. This would have an immediate impact on the title to the property. He believes it would be a problem at this juncture because of the pending settlement tomorrow. Some of the concerns that would be addressed would be that if this is the only entity that has the walkway and there is no other connector on either side because of lack of commercial property, it may be an issue as to what they are connecting to. The more pressing issue would be if it restricts access to the boat dockage. It is an absolute necessity to deed slips with the units. Commissioner Weldon feels the City should look at the walkway as a catalyst to further develop the creek side into a positive destination for both residents and tourists. Duane Parker said he wasn't prepared to address it tonight and he is concerned about the title impact. He would like to discuss it further post-closing.
Commissioner Weldon made a motion to have Rob Collison prepare a resolution incorporating the changes that were just outlined. Commissioner Atkinson seconded it. Rob Collison asked for clarification that the abatement will now go June 30, 2004 (Item 4). Duane Parker said this was correct; it was to go through a fiscal year. The motion was passed unanimously.
Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance to Amend Section 4-37 Entitled "Housing Board of Review"-This ordinance amends Section 4-37of the City code to provide that a majority of the members of the Housing Board of Review shall be residents of the City and that members can succeed themselves. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the ordinance. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance to Amend Section 20-21 Entitled "Board of Appeals"-- This ordinance amends Section 20-21 f the City code to provide that a majority of the members of the Board of Appeals shall be residents of the City and that members can succeed themselves. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the ordinance. Commissioner Bohlen seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Discuss Job Description for Contractual Position of Buffer Manager-This inspector will work in the enforcement of Federal, State, and local critical area buffer law at the Hyatt Chesapeake Resort in accordance with the Buffer Management Plan. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the job description. Commissioner Bohlen seconded it. Commissioner Travers amended his motion to add that the position would become active immediately. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the amended motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve Budget Amendment for Department of Public Works-David Pritchett explained that the final payment for Redmond Johnston was omitted in the budget this year. The amendment transfers the funds from the Department of Public Works to the Planning and Zoning Department. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the budget amendment. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
David Pritchett thanked Commissioner Atkinson, Commissioner Travers, and Ken Leaper for the two benches they donated to Long Wharf Park.
Mayor Rippons received correspondence from the Sanitary District stating that they received a request for a residence just outside the District to be included in the Sanitary District. David Pritchett said the homeowner should apply for hook-up to the Sanitary District. If the Sanitary District votes to allow this, the Sanitary District would bring it to City Council and ask for permission to amend their boundary. As the Sanitary District has already reviewed the case, Mayor Rippons asked David Pritchett to make his recommendation to Council next week.
Commissioner Weldon announced that the Cambridge Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 1. Troy Brohawn will serve as the Grand Marshal. The high school marching band, the Police Department Color Guard, and several members of City Council will be in the City of Baltimore's parade on December 2nd.
Mayor Rippons said he will be chairing the Economic Development Committee. He asked the Commissioners for their input on members for the Committee. This will be discussed at a later date.
Mayor Rippons reported that Chuck Kelly has asked to be removed from the Sailwinds Management Board because he will be serving on another committee which might be a conflict of interest. J. B. Tieder will be the new Board Member.
Gage Thomas, representing the Association for the Revitalization of Cambridge, asked the citizens to participate in Light Up Cambridge. ARC is requesting permission to decorate the Pedestrian Mall. They are also asking for noise variances for the nights of December 7th, 14th, and 21st between the hours of 7:00 pm and 8:30 pm in the Pedestrian Mall and the County Courthouse. In addition to this, they are asking for a noise variance for the downtown business district from December 1st through December 25th (9:00 am to 9:00 pm) for amplified sound to play seasonal and/or patriotic songs at a reasonable level. This would apply to the 300 block of High Street, Poplar Street, and the 400-600 block of Race Street. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve these requests. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Ed Kinnamon reported that the Pastor of Grace Church (Race and Muir Street) requested permission to sell hot chocolate in front of their church during the Christmas Parade. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to allow this request under the same provisions outlined for the vendors last week. Commissioner Bohlen seconded it. Commissioner Weldon asked to amend the motion to include other non-profit organizations that have offices on the parade route as long as it doesn't interfere with the Police Department. Commissioner Atkinson agreed to amend his motion. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the amended motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
At Mayor Rippons' request, Commissioner Travers made a motion to go into Executive Session following the meeting to discuss personnel. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 7:35 p.m.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, November 26, 2001, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer