• 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

July 6, 1998
 

The City Council met in regular session at 7:00 P.M. with Mayor David J. Wooten presiding.

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

Mr. Wheeler led in the Lord's Prayer.

Commissioner Saunders moved to approve the minutes of the June 22nd City Council meeting; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING - HOMES FOR AMERICA - RE-ZONING REQUEST

Attorney Collison advised that this is a request by Homes For America for a re-zoning of property which is located west of Leonard Lane and east of Glenburn Avenue (a section behind the existing nursing home). They wish to change the zoning of property designated as Parcel Nos. 1020, 1021 and 1022 of Tax Map 300 from R-3 (Two Family Residential District) to R-4 (Multiple Dwelling District ) as defined in Section 20-9 of the City Code. The purpose for the request is to allow sufficient off-street parking for this elderly apartment complex. This Public Hearing was advertised in The Daily Banner on June 16 and June 23, 1998.

Mr. Pritchett, Public Works Director, advised that there are no violations and his department has been working for some time with Homes For America to help this project through. The property was posted on June 26th and area property owners were notified via mail on June 26th.

Ms. Trudy McFall from Homes For America came forward to discuss this 24 unit elderly development. The specific reason for the need to re-zone these three parcels is to accommodate fourteen parking spaces (with ten on the front lot which is already properly zoned). The vast majority of these three sites will be to create walking trails and some picnic tables both for the residents and the surrounding neighbors. They also plan to have some gardening plots.

Ms. Emily Thomas, 503 Leonard Lane, spoke in opposition of the project as it was her understanding that the 24 units would be directly behind her home. Ms. McFall then explained that the area behind Ms. Thomas' home would be for the parking, walking trails and picnic tables. Ms. Thomas then said she "wouldn't have any objection to that, but she would if it were housing."

Mr. Carroll Dail, 202 Glenburn Avenue, was present representing the West End Citizens Association. They have several objections to this, the primary one being the precedent that it will set. Rezoning from an R-3 (two family density) to an R-4 (multi-family density) opens the possibility of rezoning the many vacant lots in R-3 zoned areas that are unbuildable under present zoning regulations because they are too small to build on or don't have enough street frontage. Landlords may ask for similar treatment on those lots which are unbuildable so they can sub-divide adjoining properties.

The other problem is that this area lies directly behind a single family residence in that block. There is a single family residence on the corner of Glenburn and Glover, there then are the Fox Glen Apartments (which have been already spot zoned R-4 into the area about 18-20 years ago). The single family residence next to Fox Glen is now listed for sale and the change in zoning would make it difficult for the owners to sell it and would therefore have an adverse impact on the property value of that single family residence. He asked that Council take this into account in making their decision.

Mr. Pritchett advised Mr. Dail that a lot standing alone cannot just be turned into a parking lot. It is not a permitted use within an R-4 zone, only incidental to another building.

Commissioner Saunders asked how this change would negatively impact the property values in this neighborhood. Mr. Pritchett advised that this is a permitted structure going on the C-2 on Glenburn Avenue. The Planning and Zoning Commission did look at the negative impact and what is planned on these three parcels is open space with no structures. They are going to use grass pave instead of asphalt. It is as good as an asphalt surface but looks just like a yard which is quite a benefit because it would enhance the ground's appearance.

Commissioner Saunders was informed by Ms. McFall that the rental rates range from $325 to $375 and this is not government subsidized housing. This development is for persons 62 and older.

Commissioner Vickers stated that he plans to vote against this, with no avail, since he originally voted against it when it first came up. He has some concerns, but since it is in his Ward he will be the "watchdog" for it. He then stated that if we're going to get it, we'll make sure it's right.

Commissioner Rice motioned to close the Public Hearing; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Commissioner Saunders requested that the Council's decision be given at next Monday's meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

APPOINTMENT: DEBBIE DAVIDSON - NOISE ORDINANCE VARIANCE

Mr. Richard Roche came forward on behalf of Debbie Davidson and the Packing House Antiques on Dorchester Avenue. They are celebrating their third anniversary with a yard sale on Saturday, July 11th They are requesting a variance from the noise ordinance from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. as they are planning to have a band.

Commissioner Rice moved to grant their request from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday (as long as amps are not used to the max); seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried 3 to 0 with Commissioner Vickers abstaining as he has an interest in this business.

OLD BUSINESS: AUTHORIZE BIDDING OF PHASE I OF COMBINED SEWER SEPARATION PROJECT

Commissioner Saunders motioned to authorized this project to go to bid; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

AWARD BID FOR REFUSE REMOVAL

Mr. Pritchett advised that only one bid was received which was from Waste Management for $6,590.00. The budgeted amount was $6,500.00. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to go with Mr. Pritchett's recommendation and also that he approach the Finance Chairman as to permission to transfer the $90.00 from another line item. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Rice. Commissioner Swafford suggested that Mr. Pritchett write to Waste Management and ask them to waive the $90.00. Commissioner Saunders then added to her motion the contingency that they waive the $90.00. Commissioner Rice seconded that amended motion. Motion then carried unanimously.

AWARD BID FOR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS

Mr. Pritchett advised that there also was only one bid from Pep-Up Inc. There was another bid that did not meet the cut-off time, so he therefore recommended approval of the Pep-Up bid. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to honor his request; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS: REMOVAL OF BATHROOMS AT GREAT MARSH PARK AND FRANKLIN STREET BOAT RAMP

This was placed on the agenda for public information only since this has already been approved.

Ms. Judy Moody advised that when she applied for a health permit for the 3rd Annual Cambridge Cookout scheduled for August 1st, she advised the Health Department that there were bathrooms available. Commissioner Saunders offered her two suggestions. One was to contact Waste Management to see if they would provide one at no cost or else she would need to review the Human Relations Committee's budget with Mr. Kinnamon to see if there is enough money to rent one.

Commissioner Vickers noted that the reason for removing them was vandalism and they can't be kept clean.

Mr. Pritchett has spoken with the supplier of the port-a-potties and they have no problem with removal without an obligation throughout the contract period. The facility at the Franklin Street boat ramp is a structure that has been locked and a signs placed on it stating they are "permanently out of order".

Commissioner Swafford then asked Mr. Pritchett to advise him of the cost that the City will no longer need to expend for the ones at Great Marsh.

REQUEST FROM LAURENCE & TINA WALTER TO BE REFERRED TO TRAFFIC & SAFETY

Commissioner Saunders moved to grant this request; seconded by Commissioner Vickers.

Commissioner Swafford asked if there was plans to do a survey of the street since it is in his Ward and asked that this be brought up at the Traffic & Safety committee meeting.

Motion then carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM DELMARVA COMMUNITY SERVICES FOR EXTENDED USE OF TRAILER

Commissioner Rice moved to grant their request; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

RESTRUCTURE OF PERMIT FEES

Commissioner Rice made a motion that this be tabled until the next meeting or possibly the one after so that the attorney can get the proper cross-references on all the ordinance numbers; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVE F/Y 98 & FY 99 BUDGETED EXPENDITURES OVER $250.

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve all expenditures over $250.; seconded by Commissioner Saunders.

After discussion with Accounting, Commissioner Swafford, referring to Purchase Order No. 392, noting that the $10,000. is to come out of one special account and the balance is to come from the State 508 Money for the Fire Company.

Commissioner Saunders suggested for "clarity and good tracking", the preparer of a Purchase Order needs to sign their name, not type it.

Motion then carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM CITY ATTORNEY

Mr. Collision advised that there is a Public Hearing scheduled for next week at 7:00 P.M. regarding a rezoning request for property on Maryland Avenue where the chiropractic office is located.

COMMENTS FROM FIRST WARD

Commissioner Vickers advised that a "round of applauds" is owed to Mrs. Weldon on the July 4th Parade. Last year's parade started at Long Wharf, followed Spring Valley over the bridge and on to Sailwinds. This year the parade went all the way through town and down to Washington Street and had more participants than viewers.

COMMENTS FROM THIRD WARD

Commissioner Saunders congratulated Chief Wroten and his staff "with the big, beautiful, beautiful, sweet number three drug bust." She hopes that when they hit the courtroom doors, the judge gets the message to stop letting them back out on the street. She also wanted to congratulate the Commissioners because the bonds are really big.

MAYOR WOOTEN SPEAKS

The Mayor mentioned a letter he had received from the Governor informing the City that they are being given a $15,000., 100% grant, for program open-space water improvements.

He then advised that on Thursday, July 16th at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School he has arranged an Economic Development Conference with the help of the Chamber of Commerce. The seminar will begin at 9:00 A.M. through 2:30 P.M. with some excellent speakers which include the Acting Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development, the Assistant Secretary for Financing Programs, the Assistant Secretary for the Division of Marketing, the Director of the Maryland Office of Tourism Development and the Assistant Secretary of Regional Development.

COMMENTS FROM FOURTH WARD

Commissioner Swafford referred to an inter-office memo from Dawn Windsor, Director of Emergency Medical Services, regarding the Mutual Aid Agreements. He asked that Ms. Windsor get together with the City's legal counsel to put a program together that best works for the City and then sent it to the Council for review.

He then moved to have an Executive Session after tonight's meeting regarding a personnel matter and a property matter; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM FIFTH WARD

Commissioner Rice noted that his phone was very quiet this past week due to the excellent job done by the organizers of the Bay Country Festival in taking responsibility for keeping the noise level down.

He then requested, out of respect for the passing of Comptroller Goldstein, that the City flags be flown at half mast tomorrow. Chief Wroten advised that they already are. Commissioner Saunders also requested that Mr. Wheeler be directed to put a proclamation together for the children of Comptroller Goldstein.

COMMENTS FROM MR. WHEELER

Mr. Wheeler advised that a building permit application was received from Charles & Julianna Pax, 2418 Canterbury Drive, for a single family dwelling in the amount of $202,000.00. Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the application; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

He then requested Council's approval to hold a Public Hearing at the request of the Core Response Group to allow a 342 acre site into the Enterprise Zone. Commissioner Rice stated that prior to Council taking action a board decision would need to be made relative to the Enterprise Zone.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Mr. Gage Thomas, 1502 Race Street, stated that on tonight's agenda there was a request from the Walters to be referred to Traffic & Safety but it wasn't mentioned as to what their request was. Commissioner Rice advised that the width of the 400 block of Robbins Street is inadequate for parking on both sides and two-way traffic. The request is to consider making it a one-way street.

Commissioner Swafford had requested that Mr. & Mrs. Walters, at their expense, do a survey with everyone on that street to see if they also support this request. Input would also be received from the Police and Fire Departments before any decision could be recommended by Traffic & Safety.

MORE COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Mr. Randy Whaples came forward addressing the fact that the bathrooms were being closed at both Franklin Street and Great Marsh. He noted that the State of Maryland funded, through the Department of Natural Resources, open space program with 6 different grants to the City. He wanted to know why the facilities are being closed since the ACLU requested the City to correct both of these areas? Instead of correcting this, he feels every resident in the area will be penalized.

Commissioner Saunders advised that this action by the City has nothing to do with Mr. Whaples or the ACLU. As a matter of fact, Mr. Wheeler had supplied Council with a copy of what had been planned to correct these facilities as well as the cost involved so Council could direct him on the priorities as the City could afford to correct the issues that, through Mr. Whaples diligent policing, the ACLU has pointed out to the City. The proposed plan is already being addressed as to the ACLU's concerns and Council just needs to prioritize where money is at in order to start working on things. Mr. Wheeler noted that the proposed plan covers a five year period.

Mayor Wooten then thanked Mr. Wheeler for his efforts in working on this plan which was extremely detail oriented and extensive.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at approximately 8:20 P.M.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, July 6, 1998 insofar as I personally am aware.

Oden Wheeler, Administrative Coordinator