City Council Minutes
December 8, 2008
December 8, 2008
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, December 8, 2008 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, Thomas, and Hanson. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence. Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Thomas asked that the Council Minutes from November 24, 2008 be edited to reflect the words "Waterfront 2020 Committee" be substituted for the word "they" in the last paragraph on Page 2159. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the meeting minutes of November 24th as amended and to approve the minutes of the work session of November 17th. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0. Mayor Stanley announced that Council will hold an executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss personnel matters. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to hold an executive session at the end of the meeting. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Zoning Map Amendment - Amending Part of Parcel No. 88 of Tax Map 30 Currently Zoned R-1 (single-family residential) for the Property Being All Property That is North and East of Zachary Drive (including the area shown on the 2007 Tax Map as Parcel 438 and property between Parcels 2369 and 2368 that fronts Leonard Lane and currently zoned C-1) - Proposed Zoning is R-3 (multi-family residential)-Rob Collison said this proposed amendment would amend part of Parcel 88 of Tax Map 30 which is currently zoned R‑1. The property is north and east of Zachary Drive including an area on the tax map known as Parcel 438 and the property between Parcels 2369 and 2368. The proposed rezoning is for R-3. It is part of the Conifer project. The amendment is at the request of the City of Cambridge due to a mapping error during the 2003 Comprehensive Rezoning. The notice of the public hearing was published in the Star Democrat on November 23, 2008 and the Star Democrat and the Dorchester Star on November 18, 2008. Anne Roane, City Planner, said the zoning error was uncovered by Planning and Zoning staff subsequent to the final site plan approval for Foxtail Crossing. The Planning Commission voted unanimously in favor of the rezoning at their November 6, 2008 meeting. The surrounding property owners were notified by registered mail. Nobody from the audience asked to speak. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to close the hearing and the City Attorney be authorized to draft the findings of fact in favor of the change based on a mistake. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Rich Ledger, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, to Request Permission to Hold Their 2nd Annual Walk MS Event on April 19, 2009 Beginning and Ending at Sailwinds Park-Rich Ledger and Whitney Pogwist requested permission to hold their walk again this year on April 19th starting at Sailwinds Park at 10:00 am. They anticipate having approximately 500 walkers this year. They are coordinating the event with the Cambridge Police Department. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the 2nd Annual Walk MS Event on April 19, 2009. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Presentation by the Waterfront 2020 Charrette Committee-Lee Weldon said the Charette took place on November 14th and 15th. The community came together to decide how best to develop our waterfront so it remains an attractive part of our community as well as an economic asset. Anne Roane engaged the services of EDSA which is a land planning consultancy at no charge to the City. The principal of the company, Keith Weaver, had worked with Cambridge previously in the original Sailwinds plan. He worked with the developers of Deep Harbour and other projects in Cambridge including the housing at the Hyatt. They brought together the primary stakeholders-property owners, residents, and business owners located along Cambridge Creek and along the riverfront. Some were represented through community organizations. The event, which was open to the public, is the first step in a longer process. They discussed in general terms what they were hoping to accomplish which was to come up with a community vision plan. About 60 people were present. The next step is to get the information to a larger audience. Generally there was concern about the amount of residential development along the waterfront-particularly along Cambridge Creek. There is a desire to limit it so there can be more opportunities for commercial activity, restaurants, shopping venues, etc. They are looking for job opportunities and things that generate a higher revenue base for the City than residences do. There was concern about the maritime industries that we have remaining along our waterfront. Clayton's Seafood has had on ongoing concern about the ability to continue to operate their business as a private commercial business and not conflict with the idea of a public walkway and public access to the water. It was recommended that those types of industries be protected through a revision to the zoning. Currently all of that area is zoned as a PWCD which calls for mixed use. They talked a lot about the Sailwinds property and how much of the plans from the 1990s is still applicable and how much has been accomplished. The community is very concerned about the presence of a public events and performance venue and believe that venue should exist near the water. The next step will be to link the assets at the waterfront with the other parts of the community. They talked about putting a cruise boat terminal at the Governor's Hall area. They have advanced a preliminary report to the City's consultant on our comprehensive plan. In the next few weeks they will be preparing a presentation to take to various community groups. Commissioner Thomas said they will be holding additional public hearings. Commissioner Knox said he thinks the City should send a letter to the Maryland Port Administration letting them know that we are considering ideas of what to do with the property because the lease will expire in July 2009. Lee Weldon said a representative from the Port Administration was at the Charrette on Friday. He said it was suggested that the City request a meeting with the upper management of the hospital so they can get a clear picture of where this process has been and where the community is hoping it goes.
Request from Dorchester County Public Library for 25 Parking Permits for Their Tax Preparation Assistance Program to be Used from January Through April Along Spring Street and the Courthouse Block of High Street-Ed Kinnamon said this is done every year. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the passes. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Review Website Redesign Quotes-Natalie Chabot reported that the City received 2 quotes. Council's desire was to upgrade the website and make it more user-friendly. The first quote was for $4,000 (Bose Art) for redesign of the website. The second quote was for $1,200 (BCC IT (Bay Country Communications). She recommended going with the lowest bid of $1,200. With that comes a monthly fee for hosting, technical support, and training to keep the website current. Natalie Chabot said she could pay the monthly fee of $200 from her budget for the first 6 months. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to authorize proceeding with the drafting of an agreement and authorize the Treasurer to seek appropriations. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Request for Letter of Support for Harriet Tubman Special Resource Study, Alternative C-Natalie Chabot made the recommendation that the Mayor and Council consider writing a letter of support. The National Park Service recently completed a Harriet Tubman Special Resource Study. Alternative C would establish a national historical park in Dorchester County which could lead to great benefits for the City of Cambridge. Senator Cardin has already introduced legislation which supports Alternative C. Commissioner Knox made a motion to offer a letter of support supporting Alternative C before December 18th. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Liquor Licenses-Commissioner Knox made a motion to send a letter to Senator Colburn indicating that the City of Cambridge would like to op in to his proposed legislation to allow municipalities to make their own decisions about liquor licensing within 300‑ft of churches or schools. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion for a letter of support. The motion passed 4:0.
Approve PO 4934 - Sovereign Medical LLC - Intraosseous Program - $6,109.80 (CEMS)-Ed Kinnamon said that Chief Watkins would like this discussed at the next meeting.
Approve PO 5033 - P.P.E.S. - Clean, Decontaminate, and Repair 14 Sets of Turnout Gear - $7,051.59 (RFC)-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Approve PO 91298 - Andrews, Miller & Associates, Inc. - Engineering Consultant Services for Great Marsh Park Boat Ramp Facility (Engineering Design Study) - $8,645.00-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Approve PO 91297 - Charles Rideout, Sr. - Demolition of 711 Pine Street - $8,500.00-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor asked if the RFP included the foundation. Steve Johnson said it did, but they made a modification during the project because they discovered after they got into the work that there is an underground fuel storage tank. If they disturbed the slab, they would have to remove the tank which would cost at least $30,000. They also found that inside the building, there was a whole lot more personal property than they anticipated. It filled roughly two 40-yard dumpsters. It was in the City's best interest to consider those balancing factors and to give the contractor the full amount. The responsibility to remove the tank goes to the property owner. Rob Collison suggested notifying the state and then maybe MDE can take some action. The motion passed 4:0.
Approve PO 5022 - Ford Motor Credit - Second Year Lease Payment on Two Ford Crown Vic Patrol Units - $15,748.64-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Commissioner Thomas asked if the City signed an MOU with the County concerning the parking and sidewalk easements near the courthouse. Rob Collison said the only action that Council has taken is to amend the zoning code effective January 1, 2009 to make that segment of Gay Street one way. Commissioner Thomas suggested an MOU for certain approvals and outlining what is expected on the County's part.
Commissioner Thomas asked Council to revise the asphalt budget. The prior Council made a motion to allocate approximately $300,000 and divide it equally by the wards which flies in the face of prioritizing the paving projects. Steve Johnson said they typically review the paving budget in the spring. His recommendation is to take care of the high priority streets. He supports a plan that looks at something of that nature. He can create a list of high priority streets from the snow removal plan. He would like to prepare a plan and present it to Council. Rob Collison suggested discussing it at a work session in March.
Commissioner Hanson thanked Lee and Laura Weldon and the parade committee for a successful parade. He also thanked Cambridge Police Department for their assistance in traffic control.
Ed Kinnamon reported that the City received a thank you letter from Dorethea Johnson recognizing the reconstruction of Camper Street. The neighbors appreciate what the City has done. It has re-energized the neighborhood. They had requested an additional street light and are asking when it will be installed. Commissioner Sydnor said there was a development that was supposed to go at the end of that particular area. The developers were supposed to do some improvements along the street. Commissioner Knox said they will be required to do that when it goes through Planning and Zoning. The additional lighting will be put in at their expense. Once it is done, it will be turned over to the City. Steve Johnson said he will look at the Public Works Agreement. Rob Collison said with today's market, that developer may be years away from building. Commissioner Knox made a motion to refer the request to the Street Lighting Committee. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Ed Kinnamon said the Cambridge Yacht Club has contacted him and has offered a challenge to the Cambridge Municipal Marina to light up the boats for the holiday season. He read a resolution supporting this challenge. The two winning prizes will go to the best lighted powerboat and the best lighted sailboat. Boats will be judged at their slips the evening of December 20, 2008. The resolution will be posted at the Cambridge Marina.
Commissioner Sydnor thanked Steve Johnson and the Department of Public Works for all they have done to bring Christmas lights to Pine Street. Jimmy Cornish thanked everyone for the lights also. Mayor Stanley said the lights are lovely.
Brian Rich said he was part of the 2020 Committee discussing the river walkway. That was one of the concessions in the list concerning the right-of-way and the one-way street near the courthouse.
Mayor Stanley said the City of Cambridge will be 325 years old in 2009. The City will do something fabulous to commemorate the occasion. She is asking Commissioner Thomas if he will work with some designated staff to pull together an activity. The activity will be eloquent but not expensive. Ed Kinnamon and Natalie Chabot will assist. Commissioner Thomas asked different groups in the City to come up with their ways of celebrating the occasion as well. Commissioner Knox suggested an indoor/outdoor birthday party at Sailwinds. Everybody can bring a covered dish.
Wendell Foxwell said Glover Avenue is a well-traveled street. It does not have any sidewalks on any side. He asked the Traffic Committee look at it. He suggested parking only on one side of the street. Commissioner Knox said he will look at it.
Commissioner Knox made a motion to end the regular session. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0. Commissioner Knox made a motion to enter into executive session. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, December 8, 2008, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon
Clerk & Treasurer