• 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

August 9, 2010
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, August 9, 2010 in Council Chambers.  A quorum being present, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley called the meeting to order at 7:00 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.   

Commissioner Hanson made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 26, 2010 Council meeting as submitted.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Council met in closed executive session from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm to obtain legal advice.

Public Hearing

Proposed revision to Deep Harbour PWRD master plan requested by Beazer Homes-The public hearing was advertised in the Star Democrat on July 25 and July 30 and in the Dorchester Star on July 30, 2010. The proposed amendment would reduce the number of residential units from 380 to 262 units.  The proposal will eliminate 4 large condominium structures and replace them with 74 townhouse units. 

Anne Roane reported that any major changes to a master development plan for a project in a Planned Water Resort District (PWRD) must go before the Planning Commission for their review and recommendation to City Council.  A significant change was made by reducing the density and changing the unit type. The layout of the roads was not changed significantly.  The Planning Commission reviewed the project twice for a recommendation that they are making to Council.  "The Planning and Zoning Commission has reviewed the proposed changes to the Master Development Plan that was approved in 2004 at their January and July meetings and voted to forward a favorable recommendation to the Mayor and City Council on this plan."  The community had concerns regarding some of the architecture. The applicant worked with a smaller group of  Planning Commissioners in numerous meetings to ensure compatibility with the existing townhouses.

Commissioner Sydnor commented on a section of the January meeting minutes that stated that Mr. McAllister spoke about the project being well in excess of $420,000 in impact fees and being a project that Beazer can move ahead on.

Commissioner Knox commented on a section of the January meeting minutes that stated that Chief Hurley said that after looking at the success of fire hydrants with Beazer representatives, there was an agreement that there would be a $40,000 contribution made to the Fire Protection Fund of the City in lieu of putting fire hydrants in but it has never come to fruition.  Anne Roane said she was not a part of the agreements that were made so she cannot comment on it.  Members of the Planning Commission were not part of those negotiations.

Sandy McAllister, Miles & Stockbridge, spoke representing Beazer Homes.  He said in 2002, Trenton Street was surrounded by Superfund Sites, chain-link fences, closed gravel pits, and various declining businesses.  The Master Development Plan was created for a Planned Water Resort District along the lines of the Hyatt PWCD and PWRD.  The idea was to have people move downtown to help revitalize it.  The Master Development Plan was approved in 2004.  In the last 2 or 3 years, the emphasis is on reduced density. The plan that Beazer can build now includes six 48-unit condominium buildings which cannot sell today.  They held numerous meetings and work sessions with the Planning Commission between January and June.  He would like to show Council why having 118 fewer units is a very positive thing.  The proposed 74 waterfront units will enhance the downtown area.  This would bring in approximately $414,000 in impact fees or fees in lieu of impact fees that would be a great resource for the City.  The two condominium buildings will be 96 units that are already there.  Adding 116 townhouses would be a total downtown community of 262 units.  Steve Brodbeck from Beazer Homes and Steve Marsh from George, Miles and Buhr explained their plan and were available to answer questions.  The revised plans will have greater open space between the buildings and a greater opportunity for public space adjacent to the riverwalk.  Changes were made to the proposed buildings though interactive meetings with the Planning Commission.

Nobody from the audience asked to speak.  Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Appointments

Carol Embrey to present animal welfare laws reference book to the Cambridge City Council-Carol Embrey presented Council will a large binder which holds all the laws and standards for animal welfare. Judge Wilson's law clerk reviewed the binder to make sure all the laws were included. This reference binder will be kept at City Hall.

Sarah Jackson to request permission to hold a block party on Muir Street (half of the 500 block and the 600 block) on Saturday, August 21, 2010 (rain date August 28) from 12 noon to 7:00 pm-Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the request and included a variance to the noise ordinance for the stated hours. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.  This will be the small area of Muir Street from High Street to Pine Street and part of the 500 block. Traffic can still use Pine Street.

Representative from Portside Seafood Restaurant to request a variance from the noise ordinance for a dock party on Sunday, August 29, 2010 from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm-Nobody was present to speak. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to defer any action until the next Council meeting. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Jeffrey Paxson, Vice President of Development, PIRHL Developers, LLC, to request local contribution (PILOT) for a proposed affordable family housing development located at Washington Street and Foxtail Drive-Jeff Paxson said this is the fourth phase of an existing project.  This would involve an additional 48 lease/purchase townhomes and a 1500 sq.ft. community building that would be affordable to the families of Cambridge. The existing project is off of Washington Street.  They are proposing 48 townhomes-a mix of 2, 3, and 4-bedroom units. Each unit will have 2 bathrooms. The square footage will range between 1350 and 1850 sq.ft. with rents ranging as low as $292 a month up to $900 a month.  The project will be financed through the sale of low-income tax credits.  The units will have patios, yards, energy-star appliances, dishwashers, garages, washers and dryers, high-speed internet access, high energy efficiency HVAC systems, etc.  A club house with a computer lab and exercise room will be built.   A tot lot will also be built.  Ten percent of their units will be targeted toward the physically disabled.  In order to get the project started, they need to apply to the State of Maryland for competitive financing.  One requirement is a letter of support from the City of Cambridge.  They are requesting a payment in lieu of taxes consistent with the pilot that was done for the prior three phases of the project.  The units should come on line next winter because the site work is already done.  They will be paying full impact fees which will total in excess of $250,000.  Commissioner Thomas made a motion to provide a letter of support for Foxtail Crossing to create the PILOT (taxes less $200 credit per year for a period of 10 years) for the 48 townhouses. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion.  Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Unfinished Business

Prioritize Community Parks and Playgrounds grant-Commissioner Thomas made a motion to prioritize the applications as follows:  (1) Long Wharf fountain renovation (not to exceed $150,000); (2) Cosby Avenue playground renovation; (3) Resurfacing and signage for Great Marsh playground and Cornish Park; (4) Fitness station systems for Great Marsh. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Vacancies on City committees-Mayor Stanley presented the following slate of members for the Housing Authority of Cambridge Board of Directors: Dwight Cromwell, Bertha Mack, Carlton W. Stanley, Elaine Stafford, and Julia Farrow.  Commissioner Hanson made a motion to approve the slate. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The terms will be staggered.

Commissioner Thomas made a motion to authorize Mr. Wheeler to put a public notice in the paper so the citizens can learn about the vacancies on the committees. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. 

New Business

Permission to apply for Heritage Area mini-grant-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to move forward with submitting an application for the Heritage Area mini-grant to replace the wayside signs that focus on our African-American history focusing on Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Discussion on proposed ordinance for the Economic Development Strategic Plan recommendation for the special tax break for (senior) new residents-Commissioner Thomas made a motion that Council direct Rob Collison to draft an ordinance for residents over 60 years old; for residential units that have never been occupied; a three-year tax credit of 50%; the program will be in existence for five years; and the homeowner would not be eligible for the Homestead Credit until the property is taxed at the full assessment (4th year). Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Discussion and decision on amendments to the Public Works-Development Agreement/M.O.U. regarding Deep Harbour Development-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the Deep Harbour PWRD Master Plan requested by Beazer Homes contingent upon the amended MOU. Commissioner Stout seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request from St. Pauls United Methodist Church for permission to have the alley blocked off from Hayward Street to their Church parking lot and a variance from the noise ordinance for a block party on Thursday, August 19, 2010 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm-Commissioner Hanson made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Purchase Orders:

PO 91482 - Shufelt Sand & Gravel - 23 tons of CR6 stone - $565.06-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

PO 91481 - Bank of America (Blue Hen Spring Works) - spring for garbage truck #16 -  $439.64-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Additional Items by Council

Commissioner Thomas made a motion to go into closed executive session directly following the meeting to obtain legal advice. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Hanson made a motion to go into closed executive session directly following the previously mentioned closed executive session to discuss the expansion of a business in Cambridge. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 9:00 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 9, 2010, insofar as I personally am aware.

Oden C. Wheeler, Jr., Administrative Coordinator