• 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

September 14, 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.

Mr. Collison stated that pursuant to Section 10-508 of the State Governing Article, Council met in closed Executive Session at 6:00 P.M. this evening to discuss several personnel matters regarding employee benefits to particular employees.

Commissioner Watkins moved to approve the minutes of the August 31st City Council meeting; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION REPORT

Commissioner Saunders stated that since there was not a quorum present at the Planning and Zoning Commission's meeting on September 1st representatives from SMG Property Management, Inc. were present this evening to give a preliminary report for their proposed construction of housing on property located on the Choptank waterfront boarded by Oakley Street, Hambrooks Avenue and Belvedere Avenue.

Mr. Andy Botticello, an associate of SMG Property Management, was present to give an overview of the preliminary plans for review and approval. There will be some changes to the plan but they wanted to give everyone a chance to see what they are proposing. He stated that their development company based in Washington, D.C. and they have been operating since 1989. They do a wide range of projects but specialize in development within an already developed area.

They are planning 38 townhouses on the site (which is less than what is allowed by the current zoning) but they feel the open spaces would make the site more attractive. The townhouse width is 24 feet (the minimum is 20 feet). Each one has at least a 25 foot front yard and rear yard and a 10 foot side yard. They are a little bit over the building height for townhouses but are far below what would be allowed under multi-family zone. There will be a pool and clubhouse in the center, garage units in the rear, courtyard units and street-front units. The cost of the units would be from $175,000. to $225,000.

City Attorney Collison advised that this is just the first of three rounds at which the developer will be presenting their plans to Council and also the Planning Commission. By approving this this evening, it is just at the preliminary stages and the design concept of this type of development.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to accept the Planning and Zoning Commission's recommendation for preliminary approval for the construction of the proposed development, in consideration that two more hearings will be held and all relevant information will be brought up again. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Mr. Collison brought out the fact that if any variances are requested, that would require surrounding property owners to be notified. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Wooten asked that this project be identified on future agendas when it comes up again for discussion so it can be printed in the paper.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion that we run this in the Banner at least once, as a paid ad, a week before the Planning and Zoning meeting at each of the subsequent phases of the project; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously. Mr. Collison advised the audience that the Planning Commission meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 P.M. in Council Chambers.

STREET LIGHTING COMMITTEE REPORT

Commissioner Vickers advised that there had been a light in the 800 block of Phillips Street that has been turned off for a number of years. The Committee was asked to review the situation there since it is a very dark street. The street light is still physically in place. He then made a motion to accept the Committee's recommendation to turn the light back on; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

TRAFFIC AND SAFETY COMMITTEE REPORT

Commissioner Vickers noted that in regards to the request to make the 400 block of Robbins Street one-way, the Committee has recommended to extend the traffic study due to the anticipated change in traffic volume now that schools are back in session. He then made a motion to continue with the traffic survey; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

He then mentioned a request from the Dorchester County Social Services for a "load and unload zone" at their new building at 627 Race Street. After investigation by the Committee, it was determined that the best place would on the Cedar Street side of the building, with a time limit, where there is currently no parking allowed. He made a motion to accept the Committee's recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. She then suggested putting "no loading or unloading" signs on Race Street in front of the building as trucks have been parking up on the sidewalk for a period of time loading and unloading. Motion carried unanimously.

A request was made for a handicap parking space at 601 William Street. Commissioner Vickers made a motion to accept the Committee's recommendation to install the handicap parking space; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. She then asked if this is for the specific resident or can anyone with handicapped tags park there and Commissioner Vickers advised that this is a point that needs to be cleared up. Motion carried unanimously.

BID OPENINGS

Mr. Kinnamon advised that three bids were received for replacement and installation of an air conditioning unit at DPW as follows:

1)

 

Groves Electric

$6,000.00

 

 

Cambridge, MD

 

2)

 

Conectiv Services

$6,184.00

 

 

Easton, MD

 

3)

 

Dorchester Services Associates, Ltd.

$5,325-00

 

 

Cambridge, MD

 

 

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to refer the bids to the Department of Public Works so they may give Council their recommendation at next Council meeting. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Vickers and carried unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS - ARMOND HAYWARD - GUIDELINES FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

Mr. Hayward supplied Council with a "draft" of the design guidelines for the Historic District Regulations which the Commission completed on their own time and at their own expense without asking the City for a penny. Before this is finalized, the Historic Preservation Commission needs to meet with Council in an open public work session and following that, there would need to be a public hearing.

After introducing the members of the Historic Preservation Commission, Mr. Hayward reviewed "where we have been and where we are going." The boundaries that were approved are all on the National Register of Historic Places and are federally approved by the Department of the Interior. He then went on to say that if they get recognized as a Heritage Tourism Area, there should be money allocated for them to do further study of the area formed by Pine, Washington and High Streets for their historic importance.

Mr. Hayward also noted that the Commission has also assisted temporarily in stopping the demolition of S. E. W. Camper's home on Pine Street. This was the home of the first African/American attorney in the City and is also significant of its architectural style. He thinks it was designed by Mr. Ben Brown who designed at least forty buildings in the Historic District.

Mr. Hayward further advised that Mr. Grason Winterbottom did all the photographs in the document and Mr. Jay Corban did the layout for the certificate of approval of the permit. At this time, there are over forty historic commissions within the State and the numbers are growing. While Mr. Hayward was setting up to show some transparencies, Commissioner Saunders said that she has had the opportunity over six years to make many committee appointments and everyone has been great but Mr. Hayward has really outdone himself in volunteering his services on this commission and has done an excellent job.

After his presentation, Mr. Hayward asked Council if they had any objection if this is shown to the West End Association and they told him it would be alright to do so.

Commissioner Saunders then made a motion to schedule this for a public work session on October 19th and also that the Housing Department and the Department of Public Works get a copy of the guidelines so they can also attend the work session; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously. (A copy of the guidelines would be available for review by the public at City Hall.)

REQUEST BY JOHN FAGAN TO BE REFERRED TO PLANNING & ZONING

Commissioner Rice made a motion to refer this request to Planning and Zoning for a special use permit to operate a produce stand at Sailwinds Amoco; seconded by Commissioner Watkins.

Commissioner Saunders brought up the fact that he is already selling his produce. Where would this leave him while he is waiting to go through the process? Mr. Collison said he would check with Public Works and report back to Council in two weeks, with no fines being issued until that time. Motion carried unanimously.

TERRY WHITE - DORCHESTER ARTS CENTER

Ms. White was present to give an update on the Dorchester Showcase, which is scheduled for September 27th from noon to 5:00 P.M., as well as to request use of the grassy area at Long Wharf next to the Tomey residence.

As this is in her Ward, Commissioner Saunders requested that someone from DPW talk with the Tomeys to see how they feel about this being right next to their home. "I'm not against your Showcase, but I have to look out for my constituents."

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to allow them to have use of this area after making contact with the Tomeys; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

CATHY TEAGARDEN & COUNTY COMMISSIONER BRAMBLE

Ms. Teagarden was present to see what the results were from previous visits regarding sanitary hook-up. The Maryland Department of the Environment directed a letter to the Mayor in an attempt to assist her.

City Attorney Collison advised that Ms. Teagarden came before Council on August 10th asking them to reconsider allowing her to connect into the Church Creek Sanitary District. Her house does not sit within the district but there is a two hundred foot strip that does. The matter was tabled until Mr. Collison could determine if the City would be legally required to take it in if there was only a portion in the district. "There is nothing that requires us to take it in." The Sanitary District cannot bring in another property without the City's consent.

Mr. Hearn from MDE did send the City a letter asking that the Council consider bringing Ms. Teagarden in. His letter did not set forth any statutes which require the City to bring her in. The research that Mr. Collison has done in talking to our local Health Department shows that there is a code section (9-221 Environmental Section) that basically states they could only require us to take her in if there is no other alternative available. Since her property qualifies for an alternative type of system, "we are not her only alternative."

County Commission Bramble came forward in agreement with Rob Collison that it is in the Council's total discretion as a Board in making this decision, but he respectfully requested that Council accept Ms. Teagarden into the Sanitary District. He did not feel that this would set a precedent due to the fact that approximately two hundred feet of her property is within the district.

Commissioner Rice made a motion to deny the request; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS: RENDER DECISION ON ROSE HILL MEDICAL CENTER'S REZONING REQUEST

Commissioner Rice moved to have Council reject the request for rezoning of Rose Hill Medical Center on the grounds that the applicant did not satisfactorily prove that a significant change had occurred in the neighborhood; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Commissioner Swafford asked if it was determined that they could not put a parking lot in without the new zoning. Mr. Pritchett advised that the parking issue is in the process of being resolved. Motion then carried unanimously.

RENDER DECISION ON SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR LAWRENCE EDWARDS (PRODUCE STAND)

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to issue the Special Use Permit for the produce stand; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

DISCUSS FUNDING FOR UP-GRADE OF WIRING FOR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

With the cost for the work totaling $8,000., the County Commissioners have approved a payment of $4,000. towards the cost. As they were unaware of a contribution of $2,000. from a local business, Commissioner Rice made a motion to split the difference of $6,000. with $3,000. from the County and $3,000. from the City; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Commissioner Swafford then noted that the City's portion would need to come from the contingency fund. Motion carried unanimously.

RENDER DECISION ON ENTERPRISE ZONE EXPANSION

Commissioner Saunders noted that since the Public Hearing has already been held, Council just needs to render a decision on the Enterprise Zone expansion as a request of the Hyatt. It is her understanding that the City is not creating a new Enterprise Zone, they are just extending the current one, and the Hyatt would need to operate within the City's confines of the law; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS: APPROVE FINANCIAL REPORT FOR AUGUST, 1998

Commissioner Swafford motioned to approve the City's Financial Report for August, 1998; seconded Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR TO SIGN AGREEMENT FOR BNR DESIGN

Commissioner Rice made a motion to authorize the Mayor to sign the agreement; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM DOROTHY MARSHALL GRIFFITH

A request was received from Ms. Griffith for zoning approval to operate an in-home business at 208 Maryland Avenue. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to refer this matter to Planning & Zoning Commission; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM BERNARD AND ANN NOLAN

Mr. and Mrs. Nolan made a request to discuss the subdivision of 1001 Locust Street. Commissioner Saunders motioned to refer this to Planning & Zoning Commission; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

AUTHORITY TO ISSUE CITATIONS

A formal request and a "draft" resolution was received from the Director of the Housing Department to modify the list of officials empowered to issue citations for municipal infractions. Commissioner Vickers made a motion to accept it as it stands; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

ADOPTION OF BOCA NATIONAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE/1996 UPDATE

Mr. Collison suggested that Council table this until the next meeting in case there is any public comment on the proposed changes, since it is dealing with maintenance issues. A notice will be placed in the newspaper that Council is considering up-dating the code.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to honor the attorney's request to give two weeks for public review and comments and then be placed back on the agenda for a vote; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST TO HOLD ANNUAL "LIFE CHAIN SUNDAY"

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to allow the annual "Life Chain Sunday" to be held on October 4th from 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. starting at Shoal Creek Mall and extending west towards the Frederick C. Malkus Bridge; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVED BUDGETED EXPENDITURES OVER $250.

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve all the purchase orders over $250.; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

ADDITIONAL AGENDA ITEM

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to revise Ms. Deborah Camper's job title, since she has been acting in that capacity since July 1, to "Director of Housing Department"; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

PROCLAMATION FOR "CONSTITUTION WEEK"

Mr. Kinnamon proceeded to read a proclamation declaring September 17th through September 23rd as "Constitution Week".

Commissioner Saunders made a motion requesting the Mayor to sign the proclamation; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously. The proclamation was then presented to Ms. Barbara Keene as representative of the Daughters of the Revolution.

COMMENTS FROM ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

Mr. Wheeler requested Council's permission to attend a seminar at Local Government Insurance Trust regarding employment issues. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to allow Mr. Wheeler to attend as representative of the City of Cambridge; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

Another item he had was in regards to updating ASOP No. 26 in relation to adding the employees of C.E.M.S. to be permitted to carry pepper spray. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to approve this request; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Mr. Wheeler noted that they will receive training prior to be permitted to carry the pepper spray, and annually thereafter. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Wheeler had given Council an update this evening for the Employee Manual regarding employees in their introductory period as far as service increments. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to put this on the next meeting agenda since it is also personnel. Council has had a packet for two weeks which may need to be done in Executive Session. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

Mr. Pritchett requested approval of Purchase Order #844 in the amount of $500.00 for repair of the fan assembly on the city's leaf truck. Commissioner Saunders had a concern since the leaf truck only picks up in certain areas. Mr. Pritchett advised her if there is a clutter of leaves in any area of the City, the truck will be sent out to handle it. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Swafford and carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM CLERK-TREASURER

Mr. Kinnamon presented a Budget Amendment to move funds for professional engineering services in the amount of $1,023. from the contingency fund. Commissioner Saunders motioned to approve the Budget Amendment; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

He then requested Council, on behalf of Ms. Kathy Foster, Grants Administrator, to sign a declaration of intent from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service regarding the 615 Pine Street location which is just over the minimum of 40,000 square feet. This declaration grants an exemption for any activity conducted on a single lot based in the State of Maryland Forest Conservation Program. If the owner makes application for any activity regulated under the Forest Conservation Program, clears more than 40,000 square feet of forest, or violates the requirements of a previous Forest Conservation Plan on all or part of the lot within the five year period, the State of Maryland may require the owner to meet the forest conservation threshold.

Since this document was not included in Council's books this week, Commissioner Saunders made a motion to table this for two weeks so Council can review the document; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM FOURTH WARD

Commissioner Swafford brought up the fact of increased traffic on the parking lot across from Tolley's theatre. The fence on the parking lot needed to be torn down a few months ago due to its deplorable condition and he made a motion to have DPW submit some cost estimates to replace the fence; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

MAYOR'S COMMENTS

Mayor Wooten wishes all the candidates running for political office tomorrow "lots of luck and may they be enthusiastic when they win".

SPECIAL BIRTHDAY WISHES

Commissioner Rice wanted everyone to extend a "Happy Birthday" to Commissioner Watkins tonight in honor of his 79th birthday. He also stated that, "the reason he is still around and doing so well is because his wife, Miss Edna, is the only one who keeps him straight."

COMMENTS FROM THIRD WARD

Commissioner Saunders referred to a memo that she had put in Council's books relative to a real estate concern on a project that the City is working on. In her estimation and experience, there is some lack of planning. She then asked to meet with Council next week after the public session.

The only other thing she wished to say is anybody and everybody do what you are supposed to do tomorrow and V-0-T-E.

COMMENTS FROM SECOND WARD

Commissioner Watkins stated that tomorrow is election day and everyone should get out and vote, "and if you don't have transportation, get in touch with Ed Watkins."

COMMENTS FROM FIRST WARD

Commissioner Vickers just wanted to say, regarding last year's Dorchester Showcase, there was a positive event that came about in spite of the terrible rain. They attempted to have tours but couldn't because of the bad rain. There was one gentleman, new to the area, that insisted on having a tour. He was driven around on the historic tour and as a result of that he bought a home in the 300 block of Belvedere Avenue.

CITY ATTORNEY SPEAKS

Several weeks ago, there was a request by the developer of Southside Landing Mobile Home Park to change street names. Mr. Collison was directed to research to see if there were any standard operating procedures which were created during the time of Cedar Street was proposed for change. In reviewing the minutes, there was some discussion on creating some standard procedures, but none were formally adopted. As of now, there are no formal procedures. He will let Council decide whether or not they want to go forward with this or not.

Mr. Collison then updated Council with regards to the Hyatt. He and Dave Pritchett spent two days in Annapolis a month and a half ago with the Critical Areas Commission. The developers have been working with the Commission for the last eight months in getting approval for the design concept. At their final meeting, the entire Commission did forward its conceptual approval of the development so it is moving forward.

He also advised that they will be having the four year update on the City's critical area plan. There is a joint public hearing scheduled for September 28th with the Critical Area Commission.

Further, he stated that the annexation of the properties out on U. S. Route 50 was finalized on Friday. He did not receive any petitions opposing it and he has notified the developers of the Holiday Inn Express as to that fact.

In regards to the annexation of the MacSorley property, he placed a memo in Council's books. If they wish him to pursue inquiry of the developer and of the Sanitary District, he said he would be glad to do it. As it stands, development agreements are permitted with annexations whereby if the particular developer elects to come in, they would incur the expenses for the bringing of services and the City could, with the proper agreements, permit the connection be through the Sanitary District. The State Planning Commission may have an objection because of the unique character of this particular property. The only way it is contiguous to the City is by jumping over Route 50 and connecting to the Hyatt. The developers are still interested.

Commissioner Rice made a motion to allow Mr. Collison to move forward with those considerations. There would obviously have to be some safeguards on the City's part and the Sanitary District would have some safeguards they would have to deal with because they are sitting out there with the Bond issue for that and they need to protect their income side. When it comes to finalization, if Council is not pleased, they can always reject it. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and carried 4 to 0 with Commissioner Saunders abstaining.

Finally, regarding the residents of Southside Landing who were being evicted, his opinion is that the City Code that was cited by their attorney does not apply. It would only be if the general public's health is at jeopardy and Mr. Collison feels that this is a landlord/tenant issue and the City should not be involved.

Commissioner Rice stated that the only obligation that this board has is to contact their attorney as to what Mr. Collison's findings of fact were on this particular issue.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

.Chief Sewell Fitzhugh came forward to say that the local Native American community will be sponsoring its 6th annual Native American Festival at Sailwinds Park. They expect representation from at least 40 tribes. He was present this evening to request a variance of the noise ordinance. The music is planned from noon to 4:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 19th and noon to 5:00 P.M. on Sunday, September 20th.

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

Mr. Milton Walls was present requesting a variance of the noise ordinance to do witnessing, as a member of United Faith Church of Deliverance, with the use of a bull horn from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. in areas of Greenwood Avenue, Pine Street, Schoolhouse Lane and Camellia Street.

Commissioner Saunders made a recommendation that he change his request from noon to 6:00 P.M. and that he give some dates, not to exceed thirty days at a time. She then made a motion to allow Mr. Walls' request starting this Wednesday, September 16th and ending thirty days from that date. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders then made a motion to allow a noise variance from noon to 6:00 P.M. for the next thirty days beginning Wednesday of this week to thirty days therefore; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 P.M.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, September 14, 1998 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk Treasurer