• 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

July 13, 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 Watkins, Rice, Saunders, Swafford and Vickers.  Mr. Wheeler led in the Lord's Prayer.  Commissioner Vickers made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 6th City Council meeting; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried 4 to 0 with Commissioner Watkins abstaining.

Attorney Collison advised, pursuant to Section 10-508 of the State Governing Article, City Council met in Closed Executive Session at 6:00 P.M. this evening to discuss two personnel matters.

COMMITTEE REPORTS: PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION

Commissioner Saunders advised that, at their July 7th meeting, the Planning & Zoning Commission made the following recommendations to Council:

Harbor Haven Condominium & Phase II & PWCD & Phillips Hardware: The Commission recommends final approval, contingent upon a public works agreement. She then made a motion to accept their recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Kool's Crab Shack & PWCD & 203 Trenton Street: The Commission recommends approval of the proposed exterior renovations, including selected colors pursuant to meeting all restrictions of the PWCD district. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to accept their recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

Rose Hill Medical Center & 503 Byrn Street & Drs. Michael A. Moskewicz Lorraine S. and The Commission recommends approval of rezoning 503 Byrn Street from R-3 (two-family residence district) to C-2 (general commercial district). Commissioner Saunders made a motion to accept their recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

Southside Landing, Inc. & Mobile Home Community & Duane Zentgraf: The Commission recommends final approval, subject to a public works agreement and meeting all stormwater management regulations. Commissioner Saunders moved to accept their recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

Work Session : The Commission recommends that a moratorium be placed on all billboards and existing signs more than 150 square feet and 15 feet in height, unless it is a part of the total concept of the building permit. Commissioner Saunders moved to accept the Commission's recommendation; seconded by Commission Rice. Commissioner Rice advised that the moratorium would be until Council can get information relative to what other communities are doing. Attorney Collison advised that Public Works has been working on a comprehensive sign ordinance which should be submitted to Council shortly. Motion carried unanimously.

Eastern Shore Hospital Center & Hyatt Project & Miles and Stockbridge: The Commission recommends approval of:

1) the creation of a Planned Water Resort District. Commissioner Saunders motioned to accept their recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Commissioner Saunders further stated that this is just for the Eastern Shore/Hyatt Project, not to anywhere else in the City. Motion carried unanimously.

2) that the establishment of a PWRD district be limited to the contract purchasers, not to take effect until settlement of the property. Commissioner Saunders moved to accept their recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

3) that the zoning would permit the following uses: residential, commercial, commercial retail, hotel, marina, commercial waterman, open space and recreational. Commissioner Saunders moved to accept their recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Commissioner Rice assumed aloud to make this part of the record "that all of these designations are exactly the same as the ones that exist currently today, 7/13/98." Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING: CAMBRIDGE CHIROPRACTIC CENTER

Attorney Collison advised that this is a request for rezoning of property located at 419-421 Maryland Avenue (Tax Map No. 303, Parcels 5287, 5288 and 5289) from R-3 (Two Family Residence District) to C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial District) as defined in Section 20-10 of the City Code.

This Public Hearing was published in the Daily Banner on June 17th and June 24th. The applicant would need to show either a change in the neighborhood or a mistake in the existing zoning to prevail on their request.

Mr. Pritchett, Public Works Director, advised that on June 26th the property was posted and area property owners were notified via mail.

Applicant, Dr. Margaret Renzetti came forward stating that the basis for their request is the change in the on-going use and character of the neighborhood. All the access and egress for the building is from their parking lot side (Dorchester Avenue). They are requesting to use the building to share some of the under-utilized space that they presently have with other professionals (not retail). Their business has existed for approximately thirteen years. She then presented a petition with the names of some of the neighbors demonstrating that they have no difficulty with this change in zoning. Dr. Renzetti feels that this change would promote business in Cambridge by offering office-type positions. This would also increase additional revenue for the City and County.

Commissioner Saunders then asked Mr. Pritchett what recommendation was made by the Planning & Zoning Commission to Council regarding this rezoning request. He advised that there was no position, "for lack of data." Gage Thomas noted that the applicant would need to prove change in the neighborhood or an error in zoning.

Ms. Darlene Wroten of 413 Maryland Avenue came forward to speak on behalf of herself and Mrs. Ruth Thomas in opposition. She is concerned with the block that she lives in which has been zoned R-3 for the thirty years she has lived there and feels it should remain as is.

Ms. Anna Ruth Pope of 408 Henry Street also spoke in opposition and feels the neighborhood has lost its residential status. As far as the applicant wanting to provide office space for professionals, there are several buildings right in this same area that are currently vacant which could accommodate such offices. She is also concerned about the traffic congestion between Burger King, the new Amoco station, Quick Check and the chiropractor's parking lot...."you've not got a fighting chance." Council needs to take into consideration the people who have lived there for years and years and not "Just every Tom, Dick and Harry that decides ... let's go to Cambridge for a few years, get rich and we'll go somewhere else." It has happened too many times.

Commissioner Saunders requested that she be given a written report from DPW indicating the background on how the chiropractor was allowed to be there in the first place since no one recalls them having a public hearing. She further requested a copy of the City's laws about home occupations with zoning.

Dr. Fenerty, who shares this chiropractic practice with his wife Dr. Renzetti, came forward to state that as doctors, they are allowed to practice in residential areas. Their purpose in coming before Council is to rent out one of their offices on the, corner to a real estate agent. He has no intention of changing the neighborhood. Every morning when he gets to his office, he has four or five of his neighbors parked in his parking lot which takes an impact off the street. He said that he encourages them to park there.

Mr. Collison advised that Council will consider tonight's testimony and render their decision at the next regularly scheduled meeting which will be July 27. Anyone would have the right to appeal their decision.

Commissioner Watkins motioned to close the public hearing; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

BID OPENINGS FOR ELECTRICAL LIGHTING FOR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Mr. Wheeler advised that he was presented with two (2) bids to relocate the electrical wiring above the telephone lines from Spring Valley to Long Wharf in order to accommodate the Christmas lights along that route.

The first bid was from F. L. Travers Electrical Contractors in the amount of $8,000.

The second bid was from Groves Electric in the amount Of $11,500.

Commissioner Rice moved to refer these bids to the Department of Public Works and have them get together with Mr. Roger Webster of the Cambridge Jaycees to review these bids; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Vickers stated that, currently, the electric company wiring needs to be on top, then coming down it's the phone company, the cable company and then Christmas lights. Mr. Wheeler advised that the Christmas lights wiring needs to be moved above the telephone line. Motion then carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:

NEW EARTH SERVICES - RECONSIDERATION OF SPECIAL USE PERMIT

Commissioner Rice said that he is still not sold 100% that they can do what they say they are going to do, but some other people have won him over in that they should at least be given a shot to do so to prove whether they can or can't. He then made a motion to grant the special use permit to expire on December 31, 1998 on three conditions: that the building needs to be in compliance with the City codes; there would need to be a public works agreement that deals with time of operation, maximum tonnage, etc. and lastly that the Council determines that the applicant has done what they said they were going to do. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Vickers said that he originally voted against this and he has more reservations than Commissioner Rice. Commissioner Swafford said that if it goes the way it should, "it's going to be a wonderful thing." Motion carried 4 to 1 with Commissioner Saunders opposing.

DECISION ON REZONING FOR HOMES FOR AMERICA

Commissioner Watkins moved to authorize the Mayor to sign the Ordinance and Findings of Facts which are in favor of amending the zoning from R-3 to R-4 on Parcels 1020, 1021 and 1022 on tax map no. 300; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried 4 to 1 with Commissioner Vickers opposing.

RESTRUCTURE OF PERMIT FEES

Attorney Collison advised that he had presented a list of fees based upon Council's budget discussions. He restructured the list into two separate documents. One is an Ordinance which would only address those changes in fees that are outlined in the City code as follows:

1. increase of the filing for an appeal to $100.00

2. increase annual taxicab driver's license fee to $5.00

3. increase Septic Haulers annual fee to $500.00

4. increase new trailer/mobile home park license fee to $10,000.00

5. increase annual renewal of license for trailer/mobile home park to $100.00

6. annual license fee for junkyards is $250.00.

The other fee changes were listed in the Resolution that Mr. Collison had prepared.

Commission Swafford made a motion to approve the Ordinance and Resolution; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Collison then noted that the Municipal Utilities Commission had requested an increase for the upcoming year to their meter and sewer rates. He enclosed an Ordinance to amend Section 18-1 of the City code. Commissioner Watkins moved to authorize the Mayor to sign the Ordinance; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried 4 to 0 with Commissioner Saunders abstaining.

Mr. Collison addressed the Resolution to amend the sewer service charges which would remain at 200% of the water charge for properties within the City limits but would increase to 250% for properties not within the corporate limits of the City. Commissioner Rice made a motion to authorize the Mayor to sign the Resolution; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

REVISION TO ABANDONED VEHICLE ORDINANCE

Mr. Collison advised, that at one of the seminars he had attended at the MML conference, this issue was addressed and there is some conflict between what cities can do and what the State dictates cities can do. Additional time will be needed to iron these conflicts out regarding the definition of abandoned vehicles. This will be tabled to a future date.

NEW BUSINESS: REQUEST FROM WILLIAM HENRY THOMAS TO BE REFERRED TO PLANNING & ZONING

Commissioner Saunders moved to grant his request; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM ANDREWS, MILLER & ASSOCIATES RE: BAYLY CROSSING

Commissioner Saunders moved to refer this to the Planning & Zoning Commission; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR TO SIGN RESOLUTION OF RESPECT FOR COMPTROLLER GOLDSTEIN'S FAMILY

Mr. Wheeler read the Resolution aloud. Commissioner Watkins then moved to authorized the Mayor to sign the Resolution. Commissioner Saunders noted that this had been voted on last week.

REQUEST BY JAMES L. BURTON, JR. TO BE REFERRED TO PLANNING & ZONING

Commissioner Saunders moved to grant his request; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

COUNCIL TO DISCUSS TRANSITIONAL PLAN

This is a plan drawn up by Mr. Wheeler, at Council's request, to address ADA recommendations. Commissioner Rice feels it is a good plan although it is a "document in motion" and could change at any time and he has no problem adopting the plan as it is written knowing that it could be amended at any time. He then motioned to adopt the plan as it is written; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Mr. Collison advised that, although the plan is being adopted tonight, it is not something new to the City. DPW has been working to come into compliance with curb cuts and other items relative to the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Commissioner Saunders asked that Commissioner Rice include in his motion that "this is a plan, subject to change, depending on the availability of funds." He said he has no problem with that because "everything that we do is subject to availability of funds." Commissioner Watkins seconded the revised motion and it carried unanimously.

APPROVE BUDGETED EXPENDITURES OVER $250.

Commissioner Swafford motioned to approve all budgeted expenditures over $250.; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

Mr. Pritchett referred to his memo to Council regarding input and advice on how to handle the request for signature from the MDE for a low-interest water quality loan from the EPA.

Commissioner Rice moved to allow Mr. Pritchett, as department head, to enter into this agreement contingent upon advice from Counsel. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Saunders and carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM FIFTH WARD

Commissioner Rice moved to go into Executive Session at the conclusion of tonight's council meeting for a personnel matter; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM FOURTH WARD

Commissioner Swafford made notice that in 1990, the census of Cambridge was 11,514 people and according to reports received at the MML convention in Ocean City, the City is now down to 10,969 (a decrease of 545 people). "That's not the way we want to go."

REPORT FROM MAYOR

With the discussion tonight centering on economic issues, Mayor Wooten mentioned that he has scheduled an Economic Development Conference on Thursday, July 16th at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School. He appreciates what the media has done to promote this and it appears that it will be a good day, not only in terms of the quality and the account of the speakers who will be therel but also numbers of the business community will benefit from it.

COMMENTS FROM THIRD WARD

Commissioner Saunders was asked to present a request from Reverend Anthony Dickerson to have an outdoor street ministry between Cedar and Pine Street and Pine and Cross Street on July 21st from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. She then made a motion to grant the request; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Since there will be amplification of music, she made a second motion to grant a variance of the noise ordinance from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders then asked Mr. Collison where the issue on interior furniture on porches stands. Mr. Collison noted that this will be on the agenda for the July 27th Council meeting.

While at Great Marsh yesterday, Commissioner Saunders was approached by two gentlemen who stated that, when the tide is out, a boat over twenty-two feet can't be launched. Mr. Pritchett advised that the City has procured monies, by means of a grant, to thoroughly address that issue but would probably not be undertaken until the Spring.

She went on to say that these gentlemen were donating the use of their boats to a church group from Preston who were having a picnic at Great Marsh. Several children in the group used the fishing rods donated by Commissioner Swafford and they were very excited with the fish they caught as some of them had never caught a fish before.

She complimented Mr. Pritchett on the new lights at Long Wharf, although she hasn't seen them at night time.

In the absence of Kathy Foster, Grants Administrator, Commissioner Saunders made a motion to put on the July 27th agenda the item of creating an Enterprise Zone specifically at the Eastern Shore Hospital property that would be germane to the Hyatt. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Swafford and carried unanimously.

Council had previously appointed Commissioner Rice to the Heritage Tourism Committee but due to his busy schedule, he is unable to continue in this capacity. Commissioner Rice then made a motion to appoint Commissioner Saunders in his place; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Saunders stated that if Council approves this, she will not accept it until after she has attended at least four meetings to see how it goes. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders then referred to a nine page fax that was sent to the Mayor and she suggested that Mr. Collison review it before the Mayor signs anything.

COMMENTS FROM THE SECOND WARD

Commissioner Watkins stated that he was surprised to see that the Council went on with his absence last week. He was having a great time in New York City and "I thought about you."

COMMENTS FROM FIRST WARD

Commissioner Vickers stated that the only comment he has is directed to the newspapers. The Dorchester Star had printed an editorial a few weeks ago about how the Council was condemning the Bay Country Festival due to violation of the noise ordinance last year. He feels this was unfair since Council has worked with the staff of the festival and there were no complaints relative to this year's event.

COMMENTS FROM CITY ATTORNEY

Mr. Collison advised that there are two public hearings scheduled for the July 27th Council meeting. One is the request for annexation for the Holiday Inn Express on Route 50 and the other is a request for a day care center by Laura Weldon.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Mr. Gage Thomas came forward to request that when something is on the agenda to be referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission that some detail be given as to what the request is for in order to improve the process.

Bryon Johnston, Star Democrat, questioned Commissioner Rice regarding his comments about New Earth Services whereby he

stated that although he had reservations, he was changing his vote from the last time it came before Council. Mr. Johnston wanted to know who changed his mind and Commissioner Rice stated that although he has reservations, he based his vote on the fact that if they don't do the job, they're gone.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:38 P.M.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, July 13, 1998 insofar' as I personally am aware.

 

Oden C. Wheeler, Administrative Coordinator