• 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

March 14, 2011
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 14, 2011 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. 

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the minutes of the February 28, 2011 Council meeting was seconded and passed unanimously.

Public Hearing

Revised Section 3.3 of the draft Comprehensive Plan and the ordinance to adopt the Comprehensive Plan-Notice of the public hearing was published in the Star-Democrat on February 25, 2011 and on the Star-Democrat website from February 25, 2011 through March 11, 2011 and in the Dorchester Star on March 4, 2011.

The matter was first considered by the City Council on July 13, 2010 and at a public hearing in August 2010. The matter was referred back to Planning and Zoning. On November 22, 2010, Council raised an issue regarding the language in Section 3.3 to be revised on December 13, 2010 after consultation with the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission said they would consider re-insertion of a paragraph of Section 3.3 and that matter then proceeded to a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission. The necessary notices were provided to the State agencies. At their public hearing on February 16, 2011, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended adoption of the revised Section 3.3 as well as recommended adoption of the 2011 Comprehensive Plan.

The proposed language in Section 3.3 which was recommended to be adopted by the Planning Commission is as follows: Section 3.3 - Physical Expansion and Course Correction.

Overall, the Plan discourages future annexations. If in very unique circumstances a need arises for an annexation, the paragraph provides where that annexation take place.

By adoption of this Plan, the City confirms and reaffirms the general policy adopted and encouraged by this Comprehensive Plan, that Annexations are to be discouraged and are disfavored, as it is the belief of the authors of this Plan that sufficient undeveloped, under-utilized or under-developed property exists within the existing corporate boundaries of the City of Cambridge for the foreseeable future. However, in the event that a development opportunity arises which the City determines warrants consideration of annexation because (1) the proposed development generates significant employment opportunities for the community and is determined to be a desirable use/development and in the best interest of the residents of the City, and (2) the developer/applicant clearly demonstrates that there is not sufficient property within the corporate limits of the City to accommodate the proposed development, then in such event: The Plan affirms the City's right to annex properties within the area between Maryland Route 16 and the newly developed Dorchester Tech Park, SUBJECT, HOWEVER to the following: (1) the proposed land use/development must be industrial and/or non-retail commercial use, such as office park/business park, the need for which is supported by an independent economic analysis; (2) the annexation must preserve and dedicate to the City for public use a portion of the property to be designated as Greenbelt, as herein defined; (3) the development must be designed to protect high value ecological resources; and (4) the development must be designed to provide for sufficient and ample highway and utility/infrastructure connections between Maryland Route 16 and Bucktown Road.  Nothing herein shall obligate the City to approve or recommend any annexation. The City, in its sole discretion, retains the right to reject any request for annexation, even if the proposed annexation meets all of the conditions listed above.

On February 23, 2011, the Planning Commission unanimously voted to incorporate the above language in the Plan that the Council considered in 2010 and recommended adoption of the Plan. The City received a favorable recommendation (dated February 2, 2011) from the Maryland Department of Planning.

Nobody from the audience asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to close the public hearing on the new paragraph was seconded and unanimously approved.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to incorporate and adopt the above language (Section 3.3) as part of the Comprehensive Plan was seconded and approved unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to open the public hearing on the Draft Comprehensive Plan was seconded and approved unanimously.

Fred Pomroy, Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth, said they are still on board with the Plan itself and with the language.

Allen Girard, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, commended the City on a very thorough, but lengthy, process. They fully support the Comprehensive Plan including the new language. They would like the Plan to move forward.

Ryan Showalter said he provided comments in November to the Planning Commission and there are a number of things that are still not matters of preference or recommendations but are inaccuracies in the Plan that should be corrected. He re-submitted his November letter with highlighted certain issues. 

Ryan Showalter, on behalf of the Kirwan Family, spoke of their property between the end of Goodwill Avenue and Stone Boundary Road. It was his understanding that approximately 6 acres of their property would retain its residential designation. It now appears that only the first 100 feet (western) of his property received that residential designation. The rest remains resource conservation and open space. He strongly requested that Council consider his prior comments and amend the land use map accordingly.

Portions of the maps relating to the Delmarva Community Services land that the City Council rezoned 1½ years ago for an inter-generational center have been corrected. The environmental stewardship map still designates the property that was zoned R3 and is the site of this project, as other resource conservation lands.

The composite plan map identifies lands located within the municipal boundaries that are not currently developed as 'future development areas'. The Wyatt Group and Thomas Annexations, which are located south of Route 16, are unimproved lands but not designated as future development lands.

Joe Ross, Shore Health System, said they have closely monitored the evaluation of the City's Comprehensive Plan. They have made repeated comments and suggestions. Several of their concerns have been addressed. The Comprehensive Plan accurately notes the importance of Dorchester General Hospital and its 400 jobs. It also recommends that establishment of a medical campus which they strongly support. Unfortunately these two subjects appear to be inconsistent with other provisions and illustrations of the Plan which they feel will significantly compromise their ability to continue to invest in and expand their facility. He expressed their very strong opposition to the Plan's designations and policies for the future use of the Dorchester General Hospital campus. They have shared their concerns directly and through legal counsel repeatedly during the Plan review process. They provided written comments to the City Council on November 19, 2010. The December 8, 2010 version of the Plan failed to address their remaining and substantial concerns. They are opposed to the following aspects of the December 8th version of the Plan:

Exhibit 6.5 (Page 107) designates the boundaries of future medical campus district. The most valuable portion of the Dorchester General property (its waterfront) is excluded from district. The purpose for omission of the shoreline and the area currently occupied by the Sailwinds berm (amphitheater) is unclear and concerning. This amphitheater is owned by Dorchester General Hospital and is licensed to Sailwinds for use for events.

Exhibit 6.5 still contemplates a road connection between the hospital and the Choptank River. Their Board has gone on record as unable to support the restriction of their future development of the medical campus by the bifurcation of the property with a road and the restrictions of development for residential purposes on the land. They have grave concerns about the interference of this Plan and the ongoing provision of emergency transport at the helipad. The taking of this land for public road would severely restrict their ability to expand and replace the facility over time.

Exhibit 6.6 (Page 108) and the related text address future land use for the Dorchester General Hospital campus and surrounding area. At least 33+ percent of the campus is designated as park and open space and a portion is designated for residential use. This designation applies to the most valuable portion of the campus and virtually all of the open land area available for the expansion of the hospital. Designation of the land for park and open uses will radically reduce the value of this land. Their ability to grow and expand services derives from their balance sheet strength.

The elimination of their existing property rights could materially adversely impact their long term viability. Shore Health System has a long history of cooperation with the City concerning the waterfront. They have permitted use of the property for the amphitheater; they worked with the City and constructed and replace a worn-out bulkhead through creation of a tax district which the City provided; and at the expense of the hospital, they constructed a wooden walkway across the property. The land use designations in this Plan appear to be more than incremental expansions of their prior cooperative relationship and may well warrant a re-evaluation of the nature and extent of the permissive public uses of the Dorchester waterfront. They are very concerned that the recommendations in the Plan are directly contrary to their February 2009 clear opposition to the extension of a road between the hospital and the Choptank River; moreover, the open space designation will be detrimental to the future of the hospital. He asked Council to revise the Comprehensive Plan to address their concerns before its adoption.

The Waterfront 2020 sketch that Mr. Ross is referring to is a direct result of the Charette that was held in November 2008. It is a concept plan. It is a guide but it is not set in stone.  There are many things about the concept plan will probably never happen.

Rob Collison reported that case law allows the City Council to make non-substantive technical amendments without referring it back before the public to the Planning and Zoning level and State level. During the next two weeks they can review the exhibits and submittals that were presented and make technical changes that can be made for clarification and then present it back to Council.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously.

Appointments

Representative from Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church to request permission to have their annual "Baptism at the River" in Great Marsh Park on Sunday, July 17 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the request was seconded and unanimously approved.

Peter P. Macinta, Pastor, Cornerstone Assembly, to request permission to have its usual "bake sale" at Long Wharf during this year's July 4th celebration starting at 5 pm-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the request and wave the vendor fee was seconded and unanimously approved.

Representative from the Johnson Family to request permission to reserve Great Marsh Park on Saturday, August 13th from 12 noon to 8:00 pm for a family reunion and a variance from the noise ordinance-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the request was seconded and unanimously approved.

Myrleana Johnson to request permission to have a moon bounce at a birthday party in Great Marsh Park on June 18th from 12 noon until dusk-Nobody was present to speak.

Representative from Snapper's Waterfront Café to request noise variances for Sundays May through September 11th from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm and on Thursday, May 5th from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm-A motion by Commissioner Stout to approve noise variances from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm for the Sundays in May and Thursday, May 5th (6:00 pm until 10:00 pm) was seconded and unanimously approved.

Peter Bosworth, Bosworth Properties, to discuss Blackwater Crossing Phase 2, Public Works Agreement-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to refer the request to the Planning and Zoning Commission for their April 5th meeting and to the Planning and Zoning staff for their review and recommendations was seconded and approved unanimously.

Representative from Channel Marker to request permission to submit a Community Development Block Grant through the City of Cambridge-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve a resolution to submit a $20,000 grant application (out of the normal grant round) to repair the roof for Channel Marker was seconded and approved unanimously.

Unfinished Business

None

New Business

Approve financial statement for February 2011-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the financial statement was seconded and unanimously approved.

Approve budget amendment for Economic Development Department-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the budget amendment was seconded and unanimously approved.

Approve budget amendment for the Department of Public Works-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the budget amendment was seconded and unanimously approved.

Approve purchase orders:

PO 5481 - Computer Information Systems - license renewal and maintenance for CPD - $9,000.00-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the purchase order was seconded and unanimously approved.

PO 5497 - Galls, Inc. - 10 pair tactical mirage shoes for CPD - $700.00 (100% grant refund)-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the purchase order was seconded and unanimously approved.

PO 5498 - Graves Uniforms - bike patrol uniforms for CPD - $7,727.68 (100% grant refund)-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the purchase order was seconded and unanimously approved.

PO 5499 - Allen Dietrich - transmission installation in C-18 (CPD) - $450.00- A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the purchase order was seconded and unanimously approved.

Request from Jimmie & Sook's to close the parking lot entrance (owned by Brett Summers) on Race Street (between 417 Race Street and 421 Race Street) on Saturday, April 9th from 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm; a variance from the noise ordinance; and permission to sell alcohol outside-A motion by Commissioner Stout to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Additional Items by Council

Request for additional lighting on Wright Street - Residents of Wright Street area have requested an additional light pole at the corner of Wright and High Street.  Commissioner Thomas will take the request to the Traffic and Safety Committee to obtain their recommendation for Council.

A motion by Commissioner Knox to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, March 14, 2011, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer