Planning & Zoning Meeting Minutes
February 21, 2012
The Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Cambridge met on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street, Cambridge, Maryland.
Commissioners in Attendance: Jerry Burroughs, Chairman; Hubert Trego; Joy Loeffler, Dorchester County Liaison; Mary Losty; William Craig, Vice Chairman; Dwight Cromwell; Gage Thomas, City Council Liaison
Absent: Marshall Rickert
Others in attendance included: Anne Roane, City Planner; Dan Brandewie, City Planner II; Robert Collison, City Attorney
Chairman Jerry Burroughs called the meeting to order and asked for a moment of silence.
Site Plan Review
Temporary Modification of the Approved Site Plan for the Richardson Maritime Museum
Ms. Roane stated Mr. Brandewie will present both staff reports as he prepared both of them.
Mr. Brandewie said Jay Corvan, Project Architect, is representing Richardson Maritime Museum. The Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Department is treating this application as a temporary modification of the approved site plan for the Richardson Maritime Museum for placement of a schoolroom trailer. The location is 103 Haywood Street. The property is zoned PWCD (Planned Waterfront Community District) and is approximately 1.98 acres. They plan to install a 12' x 60' schoolroom trailer. The P&Z Staff has no objections to it; they view this as a temporary facility.
Mr. Corvan, 29893 Tarbutton Mill Road, Trappe, Maryland, said they hope the trailer will be acceptable for at least a 6 month period. They will be looking very hard to get a permanent facility to replace the trailer. The temporary trailer will be painted as the barn is.
Mr. Collison said in the event the applicant is at the 6 month period and is not finished, the Planning Commission (PC) might consider the applicant come back for a one 6 month extension or the PC might defer it to Staff and Staff might do a one 6-month extension. If it goes beyond that, the applicant could come back to the formal request to the PC. This needs be addressed.
Mr. Corvan showed various locations on the property to place the trailer.
Mr. Craig said the applicant must make a serious promise to improve the trailer's appearance better than the photograph. The trailer's preferred location is in violation of the building restriction line (BRL) and the utilities. The power line is running in the trailer's preferred location. How can the PC approve this location without a variation to the BRL?
Mr. Corvan checked the utilities and found it is a private easement between Yacht Maintenance and the applicant; it is not a municipal easement. Yacht Maintenance is willing to surrender it because it is a strange request for them to get water.
Mr. Craig said the PC needs clarification on whether they can approve this in violation of the BRL assuming Mr. Corvan has a letter of agreement from Yacht Maintenance stating they do not have a problem with it violating the easement. There are two existing tractor trailers on the site; there is trash and debris from construction. He thinks Mr. Corvan should clean the site before he adds another unsightly thing. He does not agree to a renewal, but he will go along with the PC.
Mr. Craig said the two trailers on wheels are in violation of the BRL. The one near the brick building is in violation of a setback off the street; the one towards the water looks too close to the fence. Mr. Collison said these trailer types would fall into the 30 day limitation under the code; that needs to be addressed next time. Mr. Craig is concerned about the precedent this will make.
Mr. Trego asked will parking be adequate with a trailer, school bus and instructors. Mr. Corvan thinks the parking will be okay with probably 8 -10 car spaces and approximately 6 students.
Ms. Losty is concerned by the same issues Mr. Craig presented. She is concerned about the trailer's electric heat and air conditioning. Mr. Corvan said as far as he knows it is functional.
Ms. Loeffler is concerned over the kid's safety in the trailer. Mr. Corvan said they do not have a rental contract on the trailer certifying it is safe; the trailer was given to them. Ms. Loeffler said if the trailer is not certified to be in safe condition they are taking on a liability if there is no proof it is safe. Her other concern is the six month period and making sure it is abided by.
Mr. Corvan said starting up the school is a great way to get funding sources; without it funding is harder. The trailer begs people to help out. They hope their funding sources come through.
Ms. Losty suggests Mr. Corvan get a registered electrician because safety precautions are needed because students are at possible risk. Mr. Collison said Staff stated applicant has to go through a process for use and occupancy permit including inspections and a building permit.
Discussion continued that the trailer has no bathrooms and the students from Morning Star would have to use another facility for that. Because Morning Star has a history of students escaping would the students require supervision? Mr. Corvan said the students are hand picked and are the least likely to escape. If supervision of the students is a pre-requisite, they will provide it.
Mr. Trego said since the students are at Morning Star for a reason, the PC needs visitations first.
Mr. Corvan was asked for an update on the other restroom facility; he said it is about 2-3 months off; if the money runs out it will probably be 8-10 months.
Mr. Corvan looked at other options, but the trailer is the only option. Mr. Collison said there may be room available at the brick office building of Sailwinds, not Sailwinds itself.
Mr. Collison said he will research more; it may fall within the trailer section in the general code not the zoning ordinance. They still have to deal with the setback provision. It looks like a setback is required in the PWCD. They need to come back for a final answer on March 6th.
Given Mr. Collison's most recent comment, Mr. Craig moves to table this until they get the information they need concerning the appropriateness of the trailer location until at least March 6, 2012. Mr. Cromwell seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Collison will get the PC variance and setback information. Section 232 of the City's zoning ordinance specifies a trailer or truck body shall not be used as an accessory structure. It appears to fall within the use of a trailer during temporary construction provided construction is in progress and no health hazards created. They still have to deal with setback issues.
Ms. Roane said in the interim Mr. Corvan could get necessary info on the students' supervision.
Zoning Map Amendment: P&Z # 7-FY11/12, "Cambridge Rentals LLC", Jim Chaney, applicant, requests to rezone properties from R-1, single family residential to R-3, multi-family residential: Tax Map 0302, Grid 0002, Parcel 2362, identified as Lot 2-35,238 sq. ft. SE/S Leonard Lane; Tax Map 302, Grid 002, Parcel 2363 identified as Lot 3&4-48, 182 sq. ft., 1002 Park Lane; both properties in City of Cambridge near intersection at Leonard Lane /Park Lane.
Mr. Brandewie commends Mr. Chaney for taking initiative with the zoning request; he demonstrates the willingness to re-invest in Cambridge. It went through the PC approximately 5 years ago, had a favorable recommendation and later to City Council with two public hearings.
Mr. Brandewie noted key items in the Staff Report. Staff is supportive of the zoning request, but does not agree with the assessment; there is a mistake in the zoning. Staff encourages applicant to consider a varietdevelopment options given the housing types available under R-3 zoning.
Mr. James Chaney said his future plans fall in line with the comprehensive plan. His idea is to have a flow of single family individual houses, single story townhouses and two story townhouses. His hope is that these homes will be for homeowners and not rental homes.
Ms. Losty said it comes down to one issue; this is a substantial change in the neighborhood.
Ms. Roane could make an argument either way; the surrounding zoning in 2003 supported multifamily. The predominant land use in the block and adjacent blocks is multifamily.
Ms. Losty said the change that occurred in the vicinity was increased not decreased density.
Mr. Craig said the PC is leaving a vacant piece of property zoned R-1 amongst a lot of R-3. He is not sure if that is best; they need to address that. Mr. Collison said this needs to be put on Chris Jakubiak's list; that is definitely one that would be changed with the comprehensive plan.
Ms. Loeffler moved to send this forward with a positive recommendation on the basis of
change in the neighborhood. Ms. Losty seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
There was discussion about tax maps showing 5 houses on Oakley Street, but those houses have a mailing address of Greenwood Avenue. Mr. Burroughs said they talked about it 5 years ago.
Mr. Brandewie said he just sent a package to the PC about a follow up to a meeting he and Anne Roane had with Staff Planners from the State of Maryland. This is for information purposes.
Approval of Minutes - February 7, 2012
There is one correction. Under absent it should only be Marshall Rickert, not Vice Chairman.
Mr. Trego moved to approve the minutes of February 7, 2012. Mr. Craig seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Craig nominates Jerry Burroughs for Chairman. Ms. Loeffler seconded the nomination. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Burroughs nominates Bill Craig for Vice Chairman. Ms. Loeffler seconded the nomination. Motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Trego received a response back from Mr. Rideout; he said it was not filled out right. Mr. Collison will check with Mr. Rideout.
Ms. Roane reminded everyone of the March 6th and May 1st meeting. Zoning ordinance workshops will begin 5 p.m.; it will be on the web page and possibly the paper. There is another meeting in March; there is a sketch plan for a project for townhouses they've seen before. They should start the work session at 5 p.m. and then at 7 p.m. break and go into a regular session to conclude with the Richardson museum. Ms. Roane said sure. Ms. Losty will not be to the March 6 meeting; Ms. Roane may not be at the March 20 meeting.
Ms. Roane said the P&Z Dept. received a grant from the Dept. of Natural Resources for their zoning ordinance. The DNR is developing a tool that they have asked the P&Z Dept. to try out because the P&Z Dept. has had a lot of success and a good reputation. This is a pilot program and an introduction of the tool kit they are going to distribute to smaller jurisdictions on the Eastern Shore that help identify changes related to climate and how our zoning ordinances and regulations deal with that. The PC will meet with the Dept. of Natural Resource on Feb. 24.
Mr. Cromwell moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:11 p.m. Ms. Losty seconded the motion.
Motion carried unanimously.
Anne D. Roane
Note: These minutes were approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on December 20th, 2012.