• 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 25, 2009

Cambridge Maryland SealMINUTES

Council Meeting

June 25, 2009

 

 

The City Council met in regular session on Thursday, June 25, 2009 in Council Chambers.  A quorum being present, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Knox, Sydnor, Stout, Thomas, and Hanson.  Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence.  Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

Annexation Request by Wyatt Group, LLC and Martin Ellsworth Burton for Approximately 124 Acres of Land Which Has Frontage on Rt. 16 and Woods Road (a.k.a. the Burton Farm) (Annexation Resolution A-2009-01)-Commissioner Thomas has recused himself and will not comment or vote.  Rob Collison said the hearing was originally scheduled for May 26th. At that time it was rescheduled for tonight's date. Notification was of the public hearing was advertised in the Star-Democrat and the Dorchester Star on June 15th.  The certification of publication states that the original advertisement for the original publication date (May 26) was published in the Daily Banner on April 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2009.  Notification of the proposed annexation was forwarded to the Maryland Department of Planning, Dorchester County, and the Dorchester County Planning and Zoning Department. The City received a response from the Maryland Department of Planning dated June 1, 2009. The response was read by Mr. Collison.  In reviewing the annexation request, it is the Department's view that the proposed municipal zoning of highway commercial, general commercial, and single-family residential does not appear to be consistent with the current county zoning from either a use or density perspective. The proposed municipal zoning classifications will exceed the 50% density limitation specified in House Bill 1141 as the County B2 zoning and I1 zoning does not provide for residential uses. Since the proposed residential uses and density limitations do not appear to be consistent with the existing county zoning or compliant with the requirements of House Bill 1141, it is suggested that the City consult with the Dorchester County Council to determine if a waiver is necessary. They also noted that the subject properties are not designated as Priority Funding Areas.  Rob Collison reported that the applicant requested the proper approvals from the County.  A letter from the Dorchester County Council dated June 9, 2009, stating that the County Council accepted and agreed to execute a resolution approving the municipal zoning HC, GC, and a small portion of R1 associated with the petition for annexation. They acknowledged that the correct County zoning is I1 (light industrial) and B2 (general business). It is the understanding of the County Council that the developer of this property will be responsible for upgrading Woods Road.

 

Rob Collison reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission took this matter under advisement.  They favorably voted to recommend the annexation with two conditions. The first is that the Master Development Plan (site plan) as initially submitted to the City be inclusive of the entire 124 acres.  Their second concern is providing internal access from Route 16 to Southside Avenue.

 

Rob Collison reported that the City received an e-mail from Roman Jesien (Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth) stating that the City does not need to annex more property. The City should consolidate and infill to utilize existing resources rather than to sprawl.

 

The property consists of 124.2 acres. It runs from Maryland Route 16 (Burton Farm), wraps around the Thomas parcel that was previously annexed, and connects to Woods Road in front of the Eastern Shore Hospital Center.

 

Rob Collison recommended that Council only receive testimony tonight, keep the public hearing open for additional submittals, and render their decision on July 13th.

 

Anne Roane, City Planner, read information from her staff report. The proposed annexation is within the area defined in the City of Cambridge Comprehensive Plan of 1998 in areas around Cambridge that should be annexed in the future. Water and sewer service will need to be extended to these parcels.  The 124.28 acres current requesting annexation was part of 904 acres (know as the Gypsy Hill Farm Annexation Request) which was denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission on June 6, 2006.  The necessary provisions will need to be included that will allow for the extension of Southside Avenue.  The Planning and Zoning Commission voted to forward a favorable recommendation of this annexation at their April 2009 meeting. The Dorchester County Planning Commission and the Dorchester County Council have accepted and agreed to the proposed zoning associated with this annexation. 

 

Nobody from the Maryland Department of Planning, Dorchester County Council, nor the Dorchester County Planning and Zoning (office or Commission) was present to speak.

 

Sandy McAllister spoke representing Wyatt Group LLC.  In 1996, the County's Comprehensive Plan designated this area for development. In 1989, the City's Comprehensive Plan said this is where the City should grow. The County's current draft Comprehensive Plan identifies this area as a municipal growth area.  In 2006, one of the plans was to annex all 1000 acres into the City to fill the hole between Route 16 and the County Tech Park so the Tech Park would have accessibility from the municipality of Cambridge which would allow future employees to get to the Tech Park without going all the way out to Bucktown Road.  For a variety of reasons, the Planning Commission did not want to go with the full 1000 acres.  The zoning decision with the current Planning Commission was an interactive decision. There is a little strip of residential zoning. The City prefers it's zoning districts to end in the middle of streets. The zoning for the State Hospital is R1.  In order to be consistent with the City, they had to zone the western half of Woods Road R1. They are not planning to build any houses on the western side of Woods Road.  That is the road bed. The HC zoning on the northern-most side was done to be consistent with the corner piece that was annexed recently.  Given the concentration of medical needs with the hospital, it has been suggested that this is a very appropriate place for a concentration of medical offices and medical-related kinds of activity.  Before the activity occurs, they will be legally required to come back to the City Council for site plan approval.  They have a lot of people who will be interested in the property when it is annexed.  He believes that eventually it will provide part of an opportunity for local workers to get to the Tech Park without traveling on Route 50. He has been in constant communication with State Highway officials regarding traffic flow, bicycle paths, and pedestrian opportunities on Route 16. They think it is important to connect this site with Blackwater Crossing, Egypt Road, etc.  Regarding Woods Road, any site plan approval for a development activity on this site is going to include a requirement that the developer pay for any infrastructure upgrades.  The annexation agreement already provides that all of the access will be brought up to City standards. Typically that requires the developer to take care of any improvements to the road relative to the area of his frontage. The degree of entitlements that the City may want are going to be driven by the ultimate project. This will be decided when it comes time for site plan approval.  

 

Portia Johnson-Ennels asked what added expense would the City incur if this annexation goes forward, especially for the Police Department.  Mayor Stanley said it is her understanding that there would be an added need to provide some services to that particular area once the development is up and running.  She saw something that said once the annexation is approved, there will be some need for police protection.  Once the development gets underway, there will be more services required. Rob Collison said the bulk of the parcels will be commercial parcels. Chief Malik said they respond more to residential crimes but they would still need to perform building checks, etc.  Commissioner Sydnor said quite often, commercial is the least expensive burden on the City but there will have to be some monitoring by the Police Department.   Rob Collison said there has not been a request by the applicant for any abatement of taxes or impact fees.

 

Rob Collison said included as part of the record is the actual annexation application, petition for annexation, proposed annexation and public facilities agreement, the annexation resolution (A-2009-01), drafted and proposed zoning ordinance, annexation plan, and annexation outline. 

 

Richard Ball, representing Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth, said the Board of DCPG stand opposed to the annexation of this parcel for commercial development.  Mr. Jesian's comments concerning commercial growth were read earlier. There are presently ample sites for commercial development within the existing municipal limits of Cambridge.  He asked if there was a marketing survey or economical analysis done that points to the need of this parcel for a strip mall or commercial park.  He asked if we need this area of open spaced filled with another gamble in light of failed businesses in the Route 50 strip malls.  He asked if Shore Health or any other medical services group pointed out the need for a medical services park here. The main focus of any modern Comprehensive Plan is the "green belt".  Great attention must be given to the preservation of this open space including unrestrained sprawl and out beyond the airport.

 

Jerome Stanley asked if the developer will be responsible for the construction of all the infrastructure (water, sewer, roads). Rob Collison said they will be responsible of the extension of services out to their property as well as any impact on off-site infrastructure needs.  The developer would pay directly for any improvements need for Maryland Route 16.

 

Margaret Anzalone said in an earlier discussion with Anne Roane, she was told there would not be conflict with the green belt and the access between the green belts should this project go forward.  Anne Roane confirmed that there is no impact. The green belt goes outside this parcel. On a proposed land use map, this land is proposed as commercial in the proposed Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Commission was very adamant about that.  It does not affect the green belt.

 

Sandy McAllister said referring to an earlier question about market studies, there have been many analyses done. He does not have a copy of a market study. There have been a number of formal evaluations of what the appropriate uses are for this land.

 

Margaret Anzalone said the plan does recommend that if development of that area should occur, a market analysis should be done. She does not understand the rush to approve this right now.  She hopes Council has read the minutes of the Planning Commission and taken note of the interesting and significant opposition comments that have been brought forth from the Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth.  She asked if they would be comfortable in spite of that going ahead if they do agree to it.

 

Commissioner Hanson made a motion to leave the public record open until the Council's July 13th meeting. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0. Commissioner Thomas abstained.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Approve FY2010 Budget-Council acknowledged the Department Heads and Mr. Kinnamon for all their hard work on this budget.

 

A motion was made by Commissioner Knox seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and carried to adopt the City's General Fund Budget for FY 2010 in the amount of  $11,897,835.

 

A motion was made by Commissioner Sydnor seconded by Commissioner Stout and carried to adopt the City's Sewer Enterprise Fund Budget for FY 2010 in the amount of $8,120,752.

 

A motion was made by Commissioner Stout seconded by Commissioner Thomas and carried to adopt the City's Marina Enterprise Fund Budget for FY 2010 in the amount of $562,266.

 

A motion was made by Commissioner Thomas seconded by Commissioner Hanson and carried to approve the budget of the Municipal Utilities Commission for FY 2010 in the amount of $1,747,863.

 

Mayor Stanley summarized that this is a total of $22,328,716 for the entire City.

 

Commissioner Sydnor said there are 2 new positions listed in the budget for Cambridge Police Department-1 is a patrolman and 1 is a dispatcher.  There is also a position in the Financial Department at City Hall.  These positions are not included in the hiring freeze.  The City is still in the interviewing stage for a Director of Public Works.

 

Appointments to Board of Zoning Appeals-Commissioner Thomas made a motion to accept the Mayor's recommendation to appoint Brian Manning as a full time member of the Board of Zoning Appeals and Wendell Foxwell as an alternate member. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Approve Budget Amendment for City Administration-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the budget amendment in the amount of $13,945. Commissioner Stout seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Approve Purchase Orders:

 

PO 91371 - Dorchester County Highway Dept. - Cold Patch........................... $796.00

PO 91372 - Pep-Up, Inc. - Gas Line.................................................................... $300.00

PO 91373 - Walter B. Gunby - Professional Services....................................... $330.00

 

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve Purchase Order 91371 in the amount of $796. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve Purchase Order 91372 in the amount of $300. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve Purchase Order 91373 in the amount of $330. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

 

Madison-Woolford Sanitary District-Commissioner Hanson made a motion to have Rob Collison advise Dorchester County that the City of Cambridge will allocate 70,000 gallons per day as opposed to 100,000 gallons per day. If they need more than 70,000 gallons per day, they will have to come back to City Council. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

The City Council thanked the County Council for their donation toward the fireworks.

 

Allen Nelson, Cambridge Power Boat Regatta Association-Mr. Nelson requested a dedicated ambulance at their event this year (July 25 and 26).  Chief Watkins will try to get volunteers to attend the event.  Ed Kinnamon will look at the budget for the funds.  A decision will be made at the July 13th meeting.

 

Letter of Support for Habitat for Humanity-Commissioner Thomas made a motion to give a letter of support to Habitat for Humanity for their LEEDS grant application. Commissioner Stout seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

 

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 7:45 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Thursday, June 25, 2009, insofar as I personally am aware.

 

                                               

                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                    Edwin C. Kinnamon

                                                                                    Clerk & Treasurer