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City Council Minutes

March 15, 1999
 

March 15, 1999

The City Council met in special session at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor David J. Wooten presiding.

Those Commissioners in attendance were: Commissioners Rice, Swafford and Vickers.

Mr. Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.

BID OPENINGS FOR RADAR UNITS FOR POLICE DEPARTMENT

Mr. Kinnamon proceeded to open and read the only bid received:

Applied Concepts, Inc. (Plano, Texas)

Stalker ATR Ka-Band

$2,000.00

Stalker Lidar w/built in H.U.D.

 2,995.00

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to turn the bid over to the Police Department for their review; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING: PLANNED WATER RESORT DISTRICT ZONING (HYATT)

Mr. Collison advised this hearing is to receive public input and comment on the three components for the new zoning classification for the parcel of property proposed for the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort. For the record, tonight's public hearing was advertised in The Daily Banner on Friday, February 26th, Friday, March 5th and Friday, March 12th. This was pursuant to Sections 4.04 of Article 66(b) of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Tonight we will be hearing from the developers of the project on three items ... first, the proposed zoning statute for the Planned Water Resort Districts; second, the draft Development Standards for Planned Water Resort Districts and third, the specific Master Development Plan for this specific project.

He then directed the applicant's attention to Sections 4.05 of Article 66(b), asking that they address the various criteria when looking at reclassification or new classifications.

Bob Knopf, Senior Vice President for Quadrangle Development Corporation, was first to the podium, representing Chesapeake Resorts, LLC. He stated that since they have last been here, they have made significant progress on all important fronts on the project, primarily in the area of finance. They have a financing plan that appears to be acceptable to all parties and "from our standpoint, the project is looking very real and the possibilities of the ground breaking this summer, I think, are looking very good." He further stated that he's hopeful they will come through the Maryland Department of the Environment permitting process, as well as the Corps process, very favorably. There are still some issues that they are working on... hole 17 of the golf course and the marina.

He wanted to take the opportunity this evening to "bring you up to speed" on the architecture for the project and to give a glimpse of what the hotel will look like from its front view.

Attorney William "Sandy" McAllister, counsel to the applicant, was next to speak. As the City attorney mentioned, part of the purpose for tonight is to address the State statutory requirements for implementing a new zoning ordinance or to amend the existing zoning ordinance. The development group met and appeared before Council many months ago when the City unanimously declared its support to create the PWRD district. At that time, as a condition of that acceptance, Council referred the developer to the Planning Commission to further develop the statute language, the design criteria and what was termed "the Master Development Plan".

He stated that they will be making references throughout the evening to the PWCD because that is the basis on which the PWRD evolved. The specific language of the PWCD statute that the City has, says that the statute applies without reference to the typical standard of change or mistake. The language has been duplicated in the PWRD because, in the case of the Hyatt, it is a little unusual to be in a position of trying to apply zoning where none exists. What we have here is the creation of a new zone for a new parcel not previously zoned.

For the record, Mr. McAllister stated that under the State Article 66(b), Section 4.05 ... "where the purpose and affect of the proposed amendment (that is to your local zoning) is to change the zoning classification, the City must make findings of fact regarding the following:

1) population change in the City of Cambridge

2) the availability of public facilities

3) present and future transportation patterns (The State. Highway Administration is currently undergoing extensive plans to upgrade and expand the area encompassing the frontage to the proposed Hyatt Resort and it is being undertaken solely at the expense of the State Highway Administration. Mr. Collison confirmed that the proposal is to have a third lane from Woods Road to Bucktown Road.)

4) compatibility with existing and proposed development for the area (Mr. McAllister stated that great lengths have been taken to insure that this resort is fully compatible with both the architecture of the Eastern Shore as well as the flavor of Dorchester County and Cambridge, Maryland.)

5) recommendation of the local Planning Commission

6) change in neighborhood (The commitment of the State to relocate the Eastern Shore Hospital Center is probably as dramatic a change in neighborhood as you're likely to get because if they move, "that is, in fact, the neighborhood.")

Mr. McAllister mentioned that the point of being here tonight is not to rehash a lot of what is going on. It is to refresh everyone's memory that the three part process that this Council directed them to participate in was to create the zoning statute itself, the design criteria and the Master Plan.

In the PWRD the process will be that this Council will be responsible for the issuance of the building permits for every facility, every building, related to this project. However, for purposes of insuring that everything is done in accordance with the statute, the design criteria and the Master Plan, the permit applications will be submitted to the Department of Public Works to insure their compatibility with the statute. Mr. McAllister then turned the presentation over to Ken Usab to give an idea of what the Master Plan is.

Mr. Kenneth Usab with the consulting engineering firm of Andrews, Miller & Associates in Cambridge, Maryland was next to speak. They are preparing the site design for the proposed development and coordinating the permitting efforts with the State and Federal regulatory agencies for this project. He then point out various areas of the project from a drawing he had on display... a 400 to 600 room hotel facility planned for the center of the project; a 480 slip marina; room for expansion areas for time-sharing and condominiums and also potentially additional hotel rooms; clusters of multiple family residential development and approximately 94 single family residences placed on 1/3 acre lots along the southerly shore of Shoal Creek. Each of the single family residences either borders on a 100 foot buffer that will remain under the control of the developer or on the golf course so there will be no private access to Shoal Creek.

He went on to say that the development consultant has retained a nationally renowned golf course architect (Keith Foster Golf Course Design from St. Louis, Missouri) to design a really spectacular golf course facility that is going to be very unique on the Eastern Shore. It is designed to PGA quality standards. Golf hole 17 will incorporate shots across Shoal Creek and an elevated tee structure that will be placed over the water. Hole 18 is Cambridge's version of Pebble Beach. In response to Mr. Collison's question, Mr. Usab advised that the fairways will be approximately 150 to 350 feet depending on the location of the tee box with respect to the residential development.

A key element of the design has been an integrated approach to stormwater management to enhance the water quality on the site and to reduce the need for irrigation water. There will be two centrally located ponds.

Bob Gorman, landscape architect and master planner, was next to speak. He presented a progress drawing where 1 inch equals 50 feet as opposed to the drawing presented by Mr. Usab where 1 inch equals 200 feet. The drawing was actually done over top of the existing typography on the site. He indicated where most of the guests would be coming to check in, the lobby, the guest room wings, the main restaurant for the hotel and the conference room facilities. He then explained how the parking facilities were laid out to accommodate guests of the hotel as well as off-site guests who would come to use the golf course, spa and other facilities.

There will be a main marina facility with a restaurant that will relate specifically to the marina users. He said the drawings will continue to be refined to make it work better to save trees and to provide pedestrian circulation for the project.

Mr. Rod Hinder, an architect with RTKL Associates from Washington, D.C., was next to the podium. He presented a model of the proposed complex and stated that there are no other comparable examples on the Chesapeake for a resort this size. You would have to go to look at projects like the Homestead and the Greenbrier in West Virginia or some of the projects that were built during the 1930's in some National Parks to get a sense of what this building will be like. He then discussed the shape and the form of the building in detail from the architectural point of view. The conference center will include a ballroom of 11,000 square feet and a junior ballroom of 4,500 square feet and a series of smaller meeting rooms.

Mr. McAllister said they recognize that the purpose of the public hearing isn't to see what the dormers look like or necessarily to dive into this kind of detail, but the Planning Commission and the members of the City Council have been informed as they have gone along every step of the way and they appreciate everyone bearing with them. The point of all of this is to illustrate how the statue, the design criteria and the rather benign two page Master Development Plan actually represents the structure by which the Department of Public Works and the City Council will insure that the product they get is the product that this statute is designed to insure. What you have is the densities, the parking requirements, the materials that can be used, all of the really important "nuts and bolts" that insures that the end product is worthy of all the attention that the community has put on it.

For the record, Mr. Collison advised that the Planning and Zoning Commission did unanimously approve what has been submitted. There were minor changes recommended, one of which was to reduce the minimum acreage (to which a PWRD would apply) from 200 to 20 to allow this type of zoning district to be used on other parcels that border upon waterfront property within the City limits of Cambridge.

Mr. John Donalin, 5450 Tates Bank Road came forward stating, "it is difficult standing up here and saying you want to talk in opposition." Many of the details are still coming to light and he believes that everyone is working on the basis of trying to be a good neighbor. His property is located at the northeast corner of this property and he has raised concerns that hopefully will not come up. There are some issues that deal with well water and the impact of the golf course nearby. Another issue is the size of the marina and the impact that may have on his property and his dock. In addition, certain activities such as jet skis could impose risk to anyone who is living directly nearby.

Mr. Collison then confirmed with Ken Usab that the original restaurant which was proposed to be near the 18th green has been now relocated near the marina, it is not an additional restaurant. Mr. Usab said it has been relocated to make better use and to combine two buildings into one.

Mr. Collison then raised a question about the location of the fuel tanks and the sewerage pump out station for the marina. Mr. Usab advised that the fuel dispensing facilities will be located out on the breakwater ... the exact location of the fuel tanks has not been determined at this time. He believes they will be underground storage tanks and they will be designed to comply with all applicable State of Maryland standards for fuel facilities and monitoring and protection of ground water. Additionally, Mr. Usab mentioned that part of this project would require construction of one or two wells for pumping ground water for irrigation for the golf course.

In closing, Mr. Donalin stated that he fully supports everything that is good for Cambridge. When he purchased his home years ago, it was with the intent of being a long term resident.

With no further comments, Commissioner Rice made a motion to close the Public Hearing; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 8:04 p.m.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, March 15, 1999 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk-Treasurer