• 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 27, 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. Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.

Commissioner Watkins moved to approve the minutes of the July 13th City Council meeting. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Rice and carried unanimously.


Commissioner Vickers advised that this committee met on July 15th to discuss the following:

400 Block of Robbins Street; request to make one way:

It was the Committee's recommendation that this issue would be best addressed by way of a traffic survey on Robbins Street (as well as Phillips Avenue to have a comparison). Upon completion of this study, the issue will be readdressed at a later date.


Attorney Collison advised that this is a Public Hearing for annexation of several properties along the southern side of U. S. Route 50, east of Woods Road. Pursuant to Annexation Resolution No. A-98-001 that was previously submitted to Council, the properties are identified as follows:

1) owned by Constance Tubman, Tax Map 30, Parcel 270 (2709 Ocean Gateway)

2) owned by Cambridge Properties, LLC, Tax Map 30, Parcel 271

3) owned by H. J. Ruff Family Partnership, Tax Map 30, Parcel 303

4) known as Peking House Chinese Restaurant, Tax Map 30, Parcel 224

5) owned by Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company, Tax Map 30, Parcel 157

6) owned by Chesapeake Utilities Company, Tax Map 30, Parcel 8.

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 19-23(a) of the Annotated Code, publication of tonight's public hearing was advertised in the local paper on June 25th, June 28th, July 2nd and July 9th, 1998. Also, pursuant to State law, notices were sent to the Dorchester County Commissioners and the Maryland Office of Planning, Lower Eastern Shore Regional Office on June 27th, 1998 via certified mail.

Mr. Collison then submitted a letter from the County Commissioners, as an exhibit, stating that the County does not have any opposition to the request for annexation. Their only concern is that a service road be developed which runs along the right-of-way behind these properties out to Woods Road as an access road to limit the activity on and off of Route 50.

He had verbal conversations with the State Department of Planning and they have no objections and adhere to what the County's position is.

The properties would be subject to the general ordinances of the City of Cambridge once the annexation is approved. The present zoning of the property is B-3 "General Business" under the County's classification and the proposed zoning with the City would be C-2 "General Commercial".

Pursuant to State law, if the Resolution is formally adopted this evening it would become effective forty-five (45) days following tonight's passage and that would make it effective September 10, 1998. Within that time period, sufficient number of residents within the effected area or sufficient number of residents within the City of Cambridge could petition to have a referendum for a City wide election approving or denying the proposed annexation.

Mr. David Pritchett, Public Works Director, presented a map showing the parcels requesting annexation. There is currently an existing 81' sewer line and a 611 water line running almost the entire back side of these parcels to the Peking House. The utility right-of-way is already in place and there would be no problem in overlaying for the access road.

Mr. Collison stated that ambulance and fire/rescue equipment already service this area and upon the formal activation of the annexation, they would then receive immediate police protection from the Cambridge Police Department.

With no comments from the audience in favor or in opposition, Commissioner Rice moved to approve the proposed Annexation Resolution No. A-98-001. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Swafford and carried unanimously.


Mr. Collison advised that this Public Hearing is to receive comments on a request for Special Use Per it by Laura Weldon to operate a day care center at 116 Mill Street (as defined in Section 20-16 of the City Code).

Mr. Pritchett advised that the property is zoned R-3 which is the appropriate zoning for a Special Use Permit for day care. Notice of tonight's hearing was run in the Daily Banner on July 9th. The property was posted on July 16th and area property owners were also notified on July 16th. Everything is in line for the permit.

For the record, Mr. Collison advised that at the Planning and Zoning Commission's June 4th meeting they recommended approval of the Special Use Permit to operate a child day care center subject to certification from the State and other regulatory agencies.

Mrs. Weldon came forward and advised that she has been licensed for seven years (four in Hartford County and three in Dorchester County). Access to her files could be obtained by contacting the Department of Child Care Administration in Easton ... there has never been a complaint filed against her. As she understands the regulations, without a Special Use Permit she can still be licensed for four (4) children, outside of her own three (3). She is requesting this permit for two (2) more children so she will be licensed for six (6). Hours of operation are 6:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., Monday through Friday only. She does not provide care on weekends, evenings or holidays.

With no further comments either for or against, Commissioner Watkins made a motion to close the Public Hearing; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.


Minister Martin came forward to request permission to hold a street service on the parking lot behind Murphy's Store on Saturday, August 22, 1998 from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. (Approval has been received from Mr. Cecil Murphy.) They would also like to have Phillips Street blocked off surrounding the parking lot as well as a variance from the noise ordinance.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to approve their request on August 22nd from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. to block Off the entrance of Washington and Phillips Streets to go at the semi-circle, not block off Douglas and Lincoln Terrace, and to make a noise ordinance exception for the amplification from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Saunders suggested that Minister Martin speak with Mr. Pritchett and Corporal Doyle after the meeting for any additional needs. (Public Works may have trash cans to set up for their use.) Motion then carried unanimously.


Commissioner Rice made a motion to refer this request (to sell produce on the corner of Washington Street & Race Street from 3:30 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. during the week and from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on weekends) to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a Special Use Permit. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins.

Attorney Collison advised Mr. Edwards that the produce business is classified as seasonal business under the City's zoning code and would require a Special Use Permit. Commissioner Watkins motioned to waive the time limit to be referred to the Planning Commission so they can render a decision as soon as possible. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders noted that Mr. Edwards officially knows as of tonight, even though he had been told by three City employees previously, that he is operating illegally. She then asked, "can he now leave here tonight and tomorrow do business as usual?" Commissioner Rice advised that Mr. Edwards knows that he needs a Special Use Permit and until he gets it, he is operating illegally and will be subject to a fine.


Mr. Collison stated that this would need to be tabled as he did not get it completed in time for Council's books.


Mr. Collison said that per a request from Commissioner Saunders, he has done extensive research on this matter. In working with the Department of Public Works it was determined that there was no existing section in the City Code dealing with this issue so Mr. Collison drafted an ordinance to add a new section which addresses it.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to authorize the Mayor to sign the Ordinance to take effect on September 1, 1998 to give people the chance to know about it. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins.

Commissioner Swafford asked for a better explanation and Mr. Collison advised that any upholstered furniture which is designed exclusively for interior use placed on an open porch would be in violation of this new ordinance since this could possibly cause rodent infestation and other health issues. It was determined that if a porch is enclosed with screening and a door, it would not be considered an open porch.

Commissioner Saunders asked if the tenant or the landlord would be fined if a violation exists. Mr. Collison stated that if the furniture is identified as the tenant's, then they would be fined. Commissioner Swafford said that it would be advisable for landlords to include the contents of the new ordinance in the lease language so they don't get caught in the middle. Motion carried 4 to 1 with Commissioner Swafford opposing.


Mr. Collison advised Council that there were some letters sent by the applicant to the Council after the close of the Public Hearing. Unfortunately, when Council is sitting on zoning issues, they must rule only on the evidence, exhibits and

testimony presented at the Public Hearing. Therefore, any decision that is made tonight by Council should not take into consideration the letters that were included in their books from the applicant.

Commissioner Rice made a motion to authorize the Mayor to sign the Findings of Fact which denies the zoning change; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Commissioner Rice advised that the basis for this decision was that a significant change in the neighborhood did not occur according to the facts presented. Commissioner Swafford asked if the empty office space could be used as a doctor's office under the current classification? Mr. Collison advised it would be permitted if it is in keeping with the neighborhood. Motion carried unanimously.


Commissioner Saunders made a motion to table this until the next Council meeting so the Department of Public Works can work with the Finance Chairman to find out what funds would come from the Jaycees and the City. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Rice and carried unanimously.


Mr. Collison advised that Mr. MacSorley had previously appeared before Council on behalf of a client requesting to come into the City limits but would prefer using the tap-in to water and sewer through the Sanitary District. Under the annexation requirements, the City would need to provide services to the property. If Council wishes to pursue this further, Mr. Collison stated that he would be glad to enter into negotiations between the owners and the City clarifying that if they elect to move forward with this, then in no way would the City be responsible or liable for carrying services forward to the property and they would hold the City harmless until such time as the City possibly extends to the property at which time they would be required to tap into the City's line. Commissioner Rice said he has no problem with looking into what agreement could be made since it would still come back to Council as to whether or not they will accept the agreement.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to officially ask the City attorney to contact the person in question and get back to Council at a later date; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.


Commissioner Saunders verified with Reverend Heath that he has already obtained permission from Ms. Tillery to use the grassy area next to the parking lot on Greenwood Avenue.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to allow Reverend Heath to hold outdoor religious services on August 1st and August 8th from 1:00 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. and a waiver of noise amplification. Motion was seconded by Commission Swafford and carried unanimously.


Commissioner Rice moved to table this until Council has the document in hand; seconded by Commissioner Vickers.

Commissioner Rice then stated that there were two conditional items to be taken care of ... public works agreement and correction of building violations need to be substantially underway.

For the record, Mr. Collison went on to say that any zoning decision that the Council makes can be appealed by any aggrieved party. Motion then carried 4 to 1 with Commissioner Saunders opposing.


Commissioner Rice made a motion to authorize the Mayor to sign the ordinance since this was previously approved but no ordinance was ever executed. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Swafford. He then asked that someone check to see if anyone had ever been fined for making the left turn since the ordinance was not adopted until tonight. Motion carried unanimously.


Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the financial report for the period ending June 30, 1998; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Swafford said that this is a credit to our department heads, Clerk-Treasurer and everyone watching finances .... "we've got some good numbers and I was glad to see it." Motion carried unanimously.


Ms. Kathy Foster, Grants Administrator, advised that the CORE Response Group met on July 1st and they agreed that this should go to Public Hearing. They are requesting Council's permission to hold the Public Hearing. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to hold the Public Hearing; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously. Mr. Collison advised that it will be scheduled for August 24, 1998.


Commissioner Rice made a motion to adopt these procedures immediately; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.


Ms. Portia Johnson proceeded to give some history about this program which was founded in May, 1990 to provide summer employment and educational opportunities for over 100 children from ages 9 through 14. It is funded through private contributions.

She is planning a "Seafood Blast" at her home on August 8th from 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. and requesting from Council that the fence opening on Cornish Drive be closed for this activity.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion that Ms. Johnson be allowed to have the street side portion for foot traffic closed at the fence and that she advise Mrs. Jones of the Housing Authority about Council's motion. This was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and carried unanimously.


Mr. Collison advised that the City is a participant in this program which provides liability insurance throughout the City and is basically made up of all municipalities within the State of Maryland. Their board has proposed several changes which Mr. Collison has reviewed.

Commissioner Rice moved to accept the restated Local Government Insurance Trust Agreement; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.


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

Commissioner Swafford then moved to have Council's approval for a Budget Amendment to take $588. from the Contingency Fund and put it to the Economic Development Fund to cover an item that was not budgeted; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.


Mayor Wooten addressed a memo to all department heads regarding the moving of personnel which he proceeded to read aloud. He felt that this was not directed to City personnel, but to him. As Chief elected official in the City, "all of us are going to be involved in the decisioning process ... all of us, every single one of us."

Out of courtesy, he had asked that the Mayor's office be moved to the Municipal Utilities Commission where a ground floor office was vacant. Every Commissioner, without exception, agreed the move made sense.

Commissioner Saunders noted that whenever this decision was made, she was not present.


Mr. Collison advised Council that he will be on vacation next week.


Commissioner Vickers addressed a sewer problem which began about a month ago in Church Creek involving Cambridge International as the result of an infiltration of a solidifying contaminate into the sewer line. Mr. Pritchett advised that the Maryland Environmental Service and the City's in-house staff is continuing to monitor this to insure this situation is arrested and corrected to everyone's satisfaction.

.In response to the Mayor's comments, Commissioner Vickers stated that he had told the Mayor that he had disagreed with the move and it would be discussed at a later meeting. It was discussed last week at a meeting which the Mayor had left from early.


Commissioner Saunders, in referring to an invitation from Pleasant Day Adult Day Care, asked Mr. Kinnamon to include Ms. Deborah Camper and Ms. Ina Sampson from Public Works as this was an oversight.

She then mentioned the Third Annual Great Cambridge Cookout being held on August 1st as part of the Mayor's, City Council's and Human Relations Committee's appreciation to the community. It is for everyone and she asked the media to publicize it.

Commissioner Saunders then stated that Ms. Vivian Johnson and Ms. Judy Moody have agreed to serve on the Human Relations Committee for another year.


Commissioner Swafford asked for a ruling on terms for the Human Relations Committee since all four of his appointments have expiring terms shortly. Commissioner Saunders said it was her understanding that if the person wishes to continue, they may. If not, a new appointment would be necessary. It is basically up to the individual Commissioner. He was grateful to hear that since he has "some great people on there and I would like them to continue to serve." He was also exploring the possibility of putting some young people on the Committee who are quite interested.

The July 22nd memo from Mr. Kinnamon regarding "moving of personnel" was then addressed by Commissioner Swafford. This letter was not directed to one person. It was directed to several different situations. Number one, we have a City Manager that was included in the budget and there is no place to put this particular person. We want to do the right thing and look around instead of doing something wrong and then have to re-do it like we have done so many times in the past. The C.E.M.S. Department is located in three different places and maybe some day we can try to get that all in one area. We have a lot of things to look at and this memo was not directed at just one person as was alleged earlier. There are quite a few moves and when we do it we like to think about it a little longer. He then directed a question to the Mayor... "Mr. Mayor, you have a new job and you used to be in the office at 3:30 P.M. every day. What time do you plan on spending in this new office, if you get it." The Mayor responded, "temporarily I'm out of the City longer than I had been but that's a temporary situation." Commissioner Swafford felt the public needed to know what the situation was, for real. The Mayor said it was gracious of him to inform them.


Commissioner Rice moved to nominate Mr. John R. Cannon of Radiance Drive to the Historic Commission to replace Grason Winterbottom whose term has expired; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Commissioner Rice noted that Mr. Winterbottom is an excellent individual and did an excellent job. The only problem he has is that Mr. Winterbottom does not live within the City of Cambridge and he believes the people on this committee need to. He asked that a letter of appreciation be sent to Mr. Winterbottom for his service over the last four years. Motion carried unanimously.

He then referred to a request from a property owner on Talisman Lane to acquire abandoned property on that street. Mr. Kinnamon advised that one-half of the street has already been assumed. Mr. Collison advised that written permission would need to be obtained by the property owner of the other half.

Commissioner Rice then moved to have the Mayor sign the Proclamation for "National Night Out" for the Police Department; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Corporal Doyle from the Police Department came forward requesting Council's permission to block off the 600 block of Pine Street (between Cross and Cedar Streets) for their 15th Annual National Night Out as well as permission from the noise ordinance from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. on August 4th. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to grant Corporal Doyle's request; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Rice moved to have a personnel hearing at the end of this hearing to discuss an opening. Commissioner Vickers asked that he modify his motion to include real estate under present circumstances. Commissioner Rice then modified his motion to include that; seconded by Commissioner Vickers.

Commissioner Saunders asked that these matters be placed on the agenda as personnel meetings.

Motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Pritchett referred Council to a Building Permit Application from Dorchester County Historical Society, 902 LaGrange Avenue (the Meredith House) for renovations and stabilization to the historic structure's foundation in the amount of $114,000.

Commissioner Swafford moved to approve the permit; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Swafford then asked if the permit fee would be returned to them and Mr. Pritchett stated that he advised the Historic Society that they would need to request this from Council if they desired it to be returned.

Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Pritchett then referred Council to his memo regarding a request for a stormwater management waiver for Toolwright, Inc. A stormwater waiver requires approval from the Director of Public Works and the City Council. Commissioner Rice made a motion for Council to approve the request; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.


Ms. Dawn Windsor referred to a Letter to the Editor that was published in the Daily Banner along with a draft copy of her response. After review by the City Attorney, it was determined that she should move forward in submitting her response to the Editor especially since the person put their name to the letter.


Ms. Darlene Wroten asked if anything could be done about cleaning up the pedestrian mall downtown. Mr. Pritchett advised that they don't have the personnel to be there all the time, but they did extensive work there about a month ago. It is difficult to keep on top of it when people keep littering. Ms. Wroten said she was referring to the weeds and ants. Mr. Pritchett said he will look into it.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:40 P.M.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, July 27, 1998 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk-Treasurer