• 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 10, 2012
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, September 10, 2012 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 Vickers, Sydnor, Saunders, Thomas, and Hanson.  Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence.  Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.   

Motion to adopt or amend agenda as presented-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to add "Public Comments" and "Mayor's and Commissioner's Comments" on the end of each agenda was seconded and approved unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Saunders to approve the agenda, as amended, was seconded and approved unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the minutes of the August 27, 2012 Council meeting was seconded and passed 4:1 with Commissioner Saunders opposed.

Public Hearing

Request from New Life Christian Church and Ministries to abandon a portion of the paper street section of Allen Street and confirmation by Council that said portion of land is no longer needed for public purpose-The public hearing was published in the Star-Democrat on August 31, 2012 and September 7, 2012 and the Dorchester Star on September 7, 2012.  Notices were also hand-delivered to the adjoining property owners. The unimproved roadbed is no longer needed for public use.  It is limited to that portion of the paper street lying between the following two parcels:  Tax Map 302, Parcel Nos. 3212 and 2134-both of which are owned by New Life Christian Church and Ministries, Inc. The roadbed has not been improved as a street, nor formally dedicated to the City. If abandoned, the City will quitclaim its interest to the adjoining property owners for zero consideration.  No written comments were submitted to City Hall. Under State code, if a property is abandoned, it is divided equally between the two adjoining property owners. In the quit-claim deed, the City could reserve an easement for utility infrastructure. Tim Crosby, representing New Life Christian Church, said they are requesting the City abandon the portion of the paper street for the purpose of adjoining two pieces of property that they currently own on either side. They do not foresee any impact on the neighbors. It serves more as a drainage area than anything else. Nobody from the audience asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously. The record will remain open for comments until September 24, 2012. At that time, Council will make a decision. 

Appointments

Tom Cohee to discuss the mowing ordinance -- specifically how it relates to undeveloped lots that are not adjacent to dwellings-Mr. Cohee is the developer and present owner of the Blackwater Landing subdivision. Of the 85 lots, 23 have water, sewer, curb/gutter, streets and you can get a building permit. The remaining 53 lots are undeveloped but have water, sewer, and storm drains. Through a plat recordation, he has removed the ability to obtain any type of building permit.  Over the last 6 years, he has mowed them at least once a year (usually in the fall) to keep the trees down. The City's Code says that all grass must be mowed before it gets to a certain height. He has tried to mow all the developed lots-one lot back from any houses or lots that front the street. This year there were complaints from some people in Blackwater so he received a notice from the City. The lots in question total 20 acres. He thinks a standard should be developed for these lots or areas that are undeveloped and are not accessible by the public.  There should be a standard for 'buffer' lots that are next to developed lots and a standard for the rest of the undeveloped ground. Dave Flowers, the Vice President of the Blackwater Landing Homeowners Association, said he is not in favor of a two-sided ordinance.  If he has to cut his grass, everybody should have to cut their grass. The lots do not look good. The Homeowners Association never accepted the common areas. John Paskalis said the grass is a drop in the bucket when talking about the issues at Blackwater. It would be dangerous to allow a developer to ignore his original agreement with the City and the residents of Cambridge. He is trying to change the law to make it convenient for him. Charles Kilmon of Osprey Circle said there are power lines behind his house. Delmarva Power cuts the grass under their lines. The grass Mr. Cohee cut looks terrible. MDE said the trees need to come out of the pond area because they are going to form a berm. Commissioner Sydnor recommended Mr. Wheeler continue enforcing the City Codes, contact MDE concerning the ponds, and review the requirements for streetlights and paving.

Michael Rossy to discuss the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fee-Mr. Rossy does not think he should have to pay this fee. Rob Collison explained that the fee is mandated by the State of Maryland. The City is not able to waive it or reduce it. There is a provision that became effective in July that permits the City to develop guidelines in cases of financial hardship. The City will pursue it in the next couple of months. The applicant would have to prove a substantial hardship and it will have to be approved by the State.

La-Shon Foster to discuss use of City personnel-In May it was brought to Mrs. Foster's attention by several residents in the Goldsborough Avenue neighborhood that the City of Cambridge employees were cutting the grass on a parcel of land on the corner of Goldsborough Avenue and Bayly Road. She contacted the City and was told that the City does not own that parcel of land. She has had another complaint that the City has cut this parcel at least eight times this year. Oden Wheeler said he is not aware of anyone from the City cutting the grass at that location; however, he will look into it. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to research this matter and Council will make a report at the open meeting on September 24, 2012 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Unfinished Business

None

New Business

Introduction and first reading of Ordinance 1026 to formally adopt the 2012 Maryland Building Performance Standards, which incorporate therein the 2012 International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwelling, the 2012 International Building Code, and the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, and to formally adopt the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code, as part of the Code of Laws of the City of Cambridge-Rob Collison explained the amendments recommended by City Staff to align the Code with City practices. A public hearing will be held on Monday, September 17, 2012; a vote will be held on September 24, 2012. If adopted, he is recommending it become effective January 1, 2013.

Introduction and first reading of Ordinance 1027 to amend Chapter Four  of  The Code of Laws, entitled Buildings And Housing,  by  amending  Section 4-25, To  Exempt One-Family and Two-Family Residential Dwelling Units from the Requirement  of  Installing  Interior  Automatic  Fire  Sprinkler Systems-A public hearing will be held on Monday, September 17, 2012; a vote will be held on September 24, 2012. This will be the last time the City has to weaken the sprinkler requirement.  The 2015 Codes (effective January 1, 2016) will not permit the municipalities to weaken the requirement.

Discussion on formation and organization of Municipal Marina Committee (Resolution 12-013)-Commissioner Vickers made several revisions to the resolution. Further discussion will continue at the next meeting.

Permission to apply for Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund Opportunity-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to have the Economic Development Department move forward with preparing the application was seconded and approved 3:2 with Commissioners Vickers and Hanson opposed.

Preservation Easement for the Wallace Office Building (Resolution 12‑014)-Commissioner Vickers recused herself.  The resolution gives WECA the City's consent to move forward with the project. A motion by Commissioner Saunders to approve Resolution 12-014 was seconded and approved 4:0 with Commissioner Vickers recusing herself.

Approve Purchase Order(s):

PO 91644 - Gametime c/o West Recreation - ADA accessible play area for Cosby Avenue Park (100% DNR grant) - $116,495.78-A motion by Commissioner Saunders to approve Purchase Order 91644 was seconded and approved unanimously.

PO  5600 - Dell Marketing LP - Poweredge R720 - new server for accounting in Financial Administration and the Department of Public Works - $16,897.21-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 5600 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Public Comments

Request from Bill Jarmon to request a variance from the noise ordinance on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 8:00 am until 12 noon at the County Office Building parking lot on Court Lane for the Health Freedom 5K Walk (High/Pine/Cedar/Race Streets) and police monitoring during the walk-A motion by Commissioner Saunders to approve the variance from the noise ordinance was seconded and approved unanimously.

Mayor's and Commissioner's Comments

The Cannery Way project and the temporary building at Long Wharf will be discussed at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on September 18, 2012 and at the Historic Preservation Commission meeting on September 20, 2012.

A motion by Commissioner Saunders to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved unanimously. With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:53 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, September 10, 2012, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer