• 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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P&Z Minutes

August 13, 2013

The Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Cambridge met on Tuesday, August 13th at 6:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 305 Gay Street, Cambridge, Maryland.

Commissioners in Attendance: Jerry Burroughs, Chairman; William Craig, Vice Chairman; Hubert Trego; Joy Loeffler, Dorchester County Liaison; Mary Losty; Marshall Rickert; Dwight Cromwell

Others in attendance included: Anne Roane, City Planner; Dan Brandewie, City Planner II; Robert S. Collison, City Attorney

Chairman Jerry Burroughs called the meeting to order and asked for a moment of silence.

Presentation

Chris Jakubiak began the meeting by identifying the topics of Article 1's content with the most important references being perhaps the purpose of the zoning ordinance. A question was asked if there were copies of this available to the public. Mr. Burroughs noted that this ordinance is over 200 pages and it has been made available to the public. They have been online and available at several locations. Mr. Jakubiak then proceeded to identify topics in Article 2 and noted that this section, among other items, contains a discussion of non-conforming uses and enforcement.

Mr. Burroughs asked if there were anyone to speak on Articles 1 and 2.

Greg Boss, 8 West End stated he had concerns regarding the way the new zoning rules would be interpreted; what discretion is given to staff in the application of these rules as applied outside of a formal committee; Mr. Jakubiak said yes that there are references in Article 2 on this matter. Mr. Boss asked about interpretation of boundaries and conditions placed on Special Exception; how these rules would be applied. Mr. Robert Collison spoke to what extent does the code to increase or change the ability to grant administrative variances or Special Exeption conditions and how they would be applied.

Robert Berne, asked a question over changes in administrative hearings, variances and public hearings, people may be concerned over public disclosure and opportunities to provide public comment on changes and use for properties; concern that this may change drastically; administrative hearings appear to lack transparency.

Mr. Jakubiak provided a summary of topics contained in Article 3, such as site plan and subdivision review and approval and the need for impact studies. Section 3.4 addresses annexation and annexation plan review and the new role for the Planning Commission in making recommendations to City Council on annexations. Site plan review is an expanded section for requirements that a developer would have to submit; the same for subdivision plats. There would be a three stage process: conceptual, preliminary and final plan review.

Mr. Burroughs asked if there were any comments on Article 3-site plan review and approval. There were none.

Anne Roane noted that testimony and comment is part of the record. Mr. Collison noted that additional comments will be heard at the end of the meeting.

Mr. Jakubiak proceeded to identify the topics in Article 4 for comments. Topics included new zoning maps, new land uses, historic and flood plain overlay zoning districts; permitted uses, downtown waterfront district. A new map is being proposed; it changes district boundaries-creates a new downtown development district which is a triangular area. Within this downtown district there are more detailed sub-districts. The Table of Permitted Uses identifies those land uses by right, Special Exceptions, with the process going to the Planning Commission for a recommendation, and a public hearing where the Board of Zoning Appeals can apply conditions to the Special Exceptions.

Joseph Brooks, 703 Radiance Drive and am part owner of Clayton's had questions on the table of permitted uses where there is only one page for uses in the downtown waterfront sub-district. Mr. Jakubiak said there were 4-5 pages of uses and you may not have a complete table. He showed his page to Mr. Jakubiak for clarification. Mr. Jakubiak stated that the problem was with the lack of headings on the tables for each page. Mr. Brooks also could not find any references where density is spelled out in the downtown; density per page 112, it does not have examples. Mr. Jakubiak noted that the density in the downtown districts is not capped like it is in other places; instead it is defined by building height and the area; the applicant would have to come to the Planning Commission for a proposal and the density would be limited by the size of the lot and the height of buildings and the design of the project. Mr. Brooks said he didn't understand this it is like the Affordable Care act where you don't know what is in it. As far as permitted uses, my comments as it affects my property on the creek, the tables suggest all ground floors be retail and that is an unhealthy financial project in that new construction costs will dictate a much higher rent rate than what can be afforded in the downtown; where there is a lot of retail parcels-spaces for rent and they are not expensive and the rent levels are nowhere near what is needed to pay for new construction. Because of that, this plan looks like it is designed for the Annapolis Towne Center where if you have incomes twice what it is here; is this plan copied from somewhere?

Jim Benson, owner of the Cambridge House Bed and Breakfast, 112 High Street where he resides there. A number of residents on High Street in this vicinity got together to look at this document; speaking for myself as the only one who has a business and residence on High Street, we do not view the proposed height limit between Court Lane and Water Street as a downtown waterfront development and sub-district neighborhood as being in our interests. Nothing cited in the plan as possible benefit from this designation is viewed as such by present residents; so we do not doubt that someone will benefit. There was no interest by residents who attended this meeting in establishing the sorts of businesses to be permitted by the new designation; moreover, the stated goal of promoting new or redevelopment and infill development in this area was viewed more as a threat to our well-being and our way of life as an incentive or benefit. Residents also fear that the change designation could affect negatively their property tax status, and could complicate efforts to obtain homeowner financing or cause increases in their insurance rates. Speaking as owner of the business operating under the conditions of the present NC-3 designation on this stretch of High Street, he supports the statements of his neighbors and will also note that under the new designation of downtown waterfront, B&B's are not permitted. I will be able to continue on under a grandfather clause but that is hardly an incentive to me as a business owner on that street. Speaking for myself and for other residents of High Street or at least for that area in between Court Lane and Water Street, we request that P&Z would change (back to) the NC-3 designation that is currently used for that area, at least between the stretch between those two side streets.

Mr. Burroughs requested that those comments be submitted to Ms. Roane.

Mary Ann Benson, co-owner and co-resident of the B&B at 112 High Street, as part of the revitalization of Cambridge, I would ask that the Committee "de"-development of High Street. It is imperative that the historic and residential aspect of this byway be maintained and strengthened. There is no need for storefronts or new construction anywhere along High Street up to the 200 block. There is no need to bring new activities to this road that is home to numerous families. I would suggest also that historic High Street to be designated one way from Court Lane, northbound to the Choptank River; and there is precedent in the West End for one way streets. This would reduce the volume of traffic on High St, a fragile brick roadway. She would further recommend that the traffic headed to the commercial area along Cambridge Creek be routed via Gay Street and Court Lane to the already existing access to the County office buildings allowing them to enjoy with minimal modifications, unencumbered entry to the businesses along the Creek. This would have the dual benefit of first, reducing overall traffic and High Street and Commerce Street, neither of which is designed to handle of the volume or weight of today's traffic and second, concentrating commercial and industrial traffic in commercial and industrial areas.

Robert Berne again wanted to voice his support, or express his concerns on the economic restrictions or expectations put into the zoning effort; I believe that the waterfront area should be excluded from that in terms; more kind of concentrate more in the commercial area that already exists in the core of the City which is really in desperate need of enhancement.

Larry Mills, 205 High Street: Joe Brooks said it frankly; historic High Street is not ------- area, indicated by purple are---no its not. You have buses going up and down High Street. They don't go to Washington Street or Academy Street. I don't know where we get this zoning map from; but this is Cambridge Maryland, 12,000 people, not Annapolis. And it's very nice to hire consultants, but I don't see any real qualified people to address the business people here; you're telling me this purple area is --------- use? And High Street is falling apart and you want to aggravate it with more traffic and more people; and more parking; where are we going to park? You go ahead and pass rules and regulations to allow office buildings to pop up, and we are going to do few shops and gift shops and lets have it on High Street. If you aren't going to answer questions, please listen. High Street doesn't belong there.

John Hanson, living Longboat Estates: down on Jenkins Creek that is considered residential? Anne Roane: yes. We have a lot of children and young families in the neighborhood and we could have group homes. Group homes in area where the road is absolutely falling apart; it can't take any more traffic than what it has. Under Special Exceptions, we could also have homeless shelters. And there are other residential areas where these uses could be allowed. Because of the conditions of the road...nursing care institutions, intermediate care, handicapped or infirmed institutions, and child care....you don't have the infrastructure to support that; I see you have NC zones which takes it out of the residential realm; it takes it (the NC zones), out of a lot of these things. Are elementary and secondary schools divided as to public or religious based? Because then you go on to the next page it "buildings for religious assembly" which does not include elementary or secondary schools. Are you going to divide this by public vs. private based schools? My main concerns are groups and homeless shelters being that close along with the infrastructure being so bad. This town doesn't have the money to fix stuff up.

Kenneth Elliot, 115 High Street: High Street from Court Lane to Water Street needs to have any more commercialization. It's not there now; we don't need any more day care centers there or cafes or corner stores. The uptown has plenty of commercial spaces that need to be filled. Allowing more commercialization of High Street would be detrimental to core business area of the City.

Judd Vickers, 206 Belvedere Ave. spoke regarding permitted uses, firstly conversion of single family to two family homes should be specifically prohibited in the NC districts. That type of burden is detrimental to the safety of the homes, the maintenance of the neighborhoods; and we have tried for a long time to get our homes back to single family uses, which were built for a variety of family sizes and income levels and for a variety tenants or owner occupants. I think it is important to keep our single family housing stock intact. Secondly, the expansion of commercial uses from the NC-3 and NC-4 districts into the NC-1 and NC-2 Districts which has previously not had any commercial uses. This type of use could take away from our existing commercial uses; I love the theory of going to a local store for it to re-open; for some reason it hasn't so I am not sure that by allowing new commercial uses in areas that don't have commercial now helps something old to re-open. It is equivalent of building new shopping centers on Route 50 while many of the old ones are vacant. Third, family day care: while I not opposed to day care in a neighborhood, I believe there should be an open process for neighbors to comment on it; and eight children on a lot that might be 50' by 100' feet is too much density; I think that should be closer to one child per every 1500 sq. ft. of lot area or 2,000 sq. ft. There should be a public comment period when a day care is requested anywhere.

Greg Boss, 8 West End spoke again that when he looked at Cambridge, I can tell you some things that I think are assets in support of our strategic plan; what are the things we find precious: our place in history and the places we live; I think that speaks to a reoccurring theme in that we can't make Cambridge something it is not; it cannot become Annapolis for example. Obviously, money is going to have to come from somewhere---for example we are not going to get a cannery back. Another item that people held precious was life in their neighborhood. Some things do make sense (in the plan) that along Route 50 where development has occurred in the past and has gone past its prime. There is commercial use there, higher density and industrial uses surrounding this, and outside of town. But when I look at some of the rules proposed for the Historic District, I see an attempt to change it into something where we can exploit the waterfront commercially; there is money in that; but we lose the lifestyle we have in the historic area. In most cities, the closer you push people together, the more challenging it is to maintain that place. Along the High Street and in the West End, that lowering density is important. Moving commercial uses and multi-family dwellings into those areas, I think that this (low density) is a precious and I think we should think very carefully before we do that. The strategic plan needs to be examined in the context of 40 years out; what's it going to be? We are going to be in between a very big Easton, Salisbury and Denton; we are going to a hub and there might be transportation....I don't think we have to become a high density area; we would be attractive because we didn't do that. Keep the density low that is most precious to us.

Dave Thatcher, 1007 Locust Street, spoke that he has lived here 12 years now; I have been dealing with the Historic Preservation Commission. It's been made clear to me that what they are trying to do is to turn this neighborhood back into what it used to be, a neighborhood of single family homes and to preserve the integrity of those homes; and now this plan would allow homes to be turned into duplexes; it appears on a line item in Table 1. There is no other placed that it is referenced as a Special Exception meaning no conditions; does that mean any home can be turned into a duplex? Or just the big homes. It's a bad idea. I have seen up close, as I have been distributing flyers, the condition of these vacant rentals. If you allow any of these homes to turn into anything other than single family homes, you are only encouraging more substandard qualities in those homes. Renters do not maintain their property and so many of the renters are low income and are subsidized. I am really against turning any of these homes into more than a single family home. He also would like to know why this change about in the zoning compared to HPC guidelines?

Trudy Guthrie, 102 Markely Ct., Jenkins Creek Road. I have a good deal of experience in comprehensive planning, agricultural preservation and comprehensive agricultural planning. I find it distressing that three areas of housing residential descriptions, have been consolidated into one (district). How do you deal with a plan that could put a day care unit or health care unit, and if you have a corner property, you may become a business in a residential area. How do you think an HOA will respond to this or a community that has not had to deal with corner properties becoming commercial such as may happen on High Street, Locust Street, or Jenkins Creek Road. Because now you will be one area (zone) not three different designations.

She objects to this. It is seen as an overall desire to create new communities that within walking distance one has a store and community center. This is wonderful, a nice aspiration, but not when you can have any corner lot possibly, become a business. How will HOA's in developments that exist and are currently being built address that problem. How much power will the Historic District Commission have the control to what it is attempting to do now with the different residential areas designation in the Historic District.

Chris Jakubiak reviewed the topics contained in Chapter 5 which includes dimensional requirements for lots; standards for setbacks, distances for property lines to building to neighboring property and to streets; amount of coverage for a lot. It addresses the creation of lots for a subdivision. The tables set for these standards. It is a very clear guide for mostly developers or residents seeking development approval.

There were no comments from the public.

Chris Jakubiak reviewed Chapter 6 topic which addresses site and building design standards, covering general environmental, landscaping requirements as applied to commercial site plans, parking and loading as related to density and type of development. There are also general building design standards which talk about compatibility which may require architectural renderings. Signage is also covered which addresses clutter, for example on Route 50.

Dave Thatcher, 1007 Locust St.: I have not had a chance to read this whole thing yet so the fact that I don't have any comments on a particular section should be construed as endorsement. I hope there are more meetings to speak again.

Mr. Burroughs confirmed there would be more opportunities to speak again.

Chris Jakubiak reviewed Chapter 7: it contains topics on community design standards or bigger area standards; it addresses the need for adequate public facilities prior to development, open space parks and recreation, bikeway requirements. There is language that addresses general improvements for subdivisions that developers have to provide. Public works agreements are addressed, in addition to dedication and improvements of streets and administrative approval.

Female Unknown Speaker: asked if drainage is addressed in new development. Drainage facilities are not adequate in periods of heavy rain. Mr. Jakubiak stated that drainage is addressed in new subdivisions. Many decades ago, standards were not as strict and there are many more requirements now.

Chris Jakubiak proceeded to review Chapter 8: this covers critical area regulations for Cambridge, modeled after the State's model ordinance. The City is impacted by the critical area but much of the City is excluded from this but the regulations do have to appear in the zoning document. They would impact more of the future areas that will be annexed in the future; that ribbon of land within 1,000 feet from the bay or river.

Rob Collison spoke that when the critical area regulations were enacted, the area between Shoal Creek or Woods Road to Great Marsh Park was exempted so Cambridge Creek was excluded. So areas around Jenkins Creek and Maple Dam Road, including the Hyatt, are affected.

There were no public comments on Article 8.

Chris Jakubiak stated that Article 9 is the last chapter and sets forth the definitions and terms. Items like what a dwelling or a setback is defined. It is a fairly extensive chapter.

Mr. Burroughs opened it up for discussion based on people who may have signed up to speak and asked the public to be time conscious.

Kirk Hadsell, 12 Willis Street: I have concerns for businesses, day cares that could crop up. He has concerns already that have gone on with regard to Willis Street.

Carroll Dale, 202 Glenburn Ave.: I have concerns about the proposal to open up stores on corners anywhere in the NC Districts; he lives two doors down from the corner. If this had been limited to those buildings that had been corner stores at one time; that's one thing but to offer the opportunity this opportunity to houses that have never been used for commercial, that's too much to face having a business next door to you. This should be thought long and hard about.

Dave Thatcher was addressing Article 7, public facilities, one thing I don't see mentioned here is sidewalks; most sidewalks are in bad shape and I have been recently cited for the conditions of my sidewalks that have been the same for the past 12 years. Homeowners are expected to pay for their maintenance. My estimate for replacement was over $10,000, my house being on a corner lot. Most people don't have that kind of cash. The City is not achieving its goal; most sidewalks have even disappeared. The draft zoning should address this issue where you can come with better sidewalks. He isn't sure what the answer is, perhaps state or federal funds could help, or an assessment where the homeowner could spread the cost over 20 years on his tax bill. We are ending up with a patch work of repairs.

Rob Collison addressing the zoning code would address the requirement of sidewalks in new development. The International Property Maintenance Code would be addressing this issue of sidewalk maintenance for existing sidewalks which is not part of the zoning code. This would be a City Council issue.

Dave Thatcher asked when did we get brought under of the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code?

Rob Collison answered that he is believed to have been adopted in 2000 and publish (or re-adopted every two-three years).

It was noted that Mr. Vickers has submitted a multi-page letter for the record.

Joe Brooks, owner of Claytons, reiterated that requiring retail on any development on the first floor may be more appropriate with an eight story building or in a metropolitan area; what we really ought to be focusing on is sending or promoting business to the downtown. It is not feasible to require all these retail establishments shoved into the area we are.

Charles McFadden, 206 Belvedere, if you want to see the effect of a small business in the residential community, please drive by the laundry mat at the corner of Choptank and Travers and whatever it is across the street from it; it is ridiculous. You just went through 200 pages of zoning changes in about an hour; which means people don't understand what is going on. What would be helpful is if instead of having the consultant, who wrote it and has a vested interest in making it go through and is going to soft sell his presentation to have the different sections laid out; what are the major changes from the last ordinance; so it would save me the trouble of having to memorize 200 pages and compare it to the existing code. That is a little much for any citizen to have to go through. And this reflects what is happening here tonight, people don't understand is what is going on. For example, if you are doing away with three residential designations and creating a new one, it would be very helpful to (summarize this). My last comment is this code only for those that have computers; is no one in the low income community going to get this?

Anne Roane spoke that there have been hard copies available at City Hall, on Washington Street's office and at the Library, and it was stated as such in the ad for the public hearing. If you want to purchase it, it is $30.00. Or you can print it front the website.

John B. Hanson raised the issue of roadways and their construction; who is going to be responsible for maintaining the roads if you allow certain kinds of high traffic kinds of business in residential areas. You need to reconsider group homes and homeless shelters; it is always "not in my neighborhood" but if you look at most of residential areas on the maps, they are located away from the town center where services are located. For example, the Salvation Army's issue of expanding the number of beds which was eventually resolved. He also expressed concern about lowering sign height and obstruction any vision. How does it affect billboards; a lot of counties have done away with billboards. Someone brought up the issue of sidewalks, in our subdivision we had to do on our property. In our town, they had to go in the median strip-what's going to happen, the roots go under the road and sidewalk and you are going to hold owner responsible for maintenance of the sidewalk.

Brooks Bridges spoke that he noticed over and over again, that if you are changing the use of the structure or building a new one, there are all sorts of steps you have to go through and satisfy. The thing that sticks out to for the City of Cambridge is the existing properties which are dilapidated. The only place I found (in the code) which seems to address this is the demolition by neglect section. It didn't go into much detail. We have a lot of rentals and they are not kept up; hazardous conditions developing in the place. Rentals should be required to, perhaps every 5 or 10 years to go through a (inspection) process-the same steps. This would make our town look better. Also, would the new sign section be retroactive, as it affects taking down old signs. Mr. Jakubiak said it would only affect new signs.

Trudy Guthrie spoke that she has an objection of breaking down the residential areas into one; one size fits all doesn't carry the day. For the next meeting, please consider putting the material on the screen to better identify what areas are you talking about, such as with the combined residential area. I feel sorry for anyone trying to understand what is going on tonight without having a copy with them.

Skip Berman believes that any changes that we do be refunded because of economics and market value. This town changes will it feels it is necessary to and really does resist change and some of these new change will note the town of Cambridge.

Greg Boss noted it is a really a technical document, and most of us don't have any experience with, and it really difficult to read the document and understand how it affects us. What is the vision for Cambridge and how does the plan help promote that. How does increasing the density in our low density residential areas; how does this achieve a goal of what we want to be like 30 years from now. How would putting commercial districts with storefronts and high density along the waterfront; how do we see that is important for us to achieve. If someone could preface the meeting with some remarks on this.

Mary Ann Benson wanted reiterated her concerns about how you alter the density. Having moved her from a large metropolitan area, I adore that you can walk down the street and people say hello. We run a B&B and guests comment on this all the time; we don't need to change Cambridge but it could use a little more sparkle. We don't want to be Washington, Annapolis, Baltimore, Easton or St. Michaels. We want to be Cambridge and grow gently and carefully with respect and concern with all those around us.

Kim Gscheidle, 114 High Street: she expressed her concerns about the complexity of the document; the infrastructure, the roads, the conditions of High Street. Introducing more commercial along there can only worsen; during the Christmas parade she has witnessed band members falling down. Until we fully support our commercial stores in the downtown, I do not believe there is any need to commercialize High Street, even though I understand there is the skipjack and the Lighthouse there. It is OK to walk two blocks there to get to a commercial district. I am concerned about the height restriction on the point, I understand it has been increased to potentially go to 70 feet. I have great concerns about that kind of inordinate height in the Historic District. Our home used to be five separate apartments on High Street, we thought we were doing the right thing taking them out; it is ironic that we had to promise that we would never put them in again, so that the irony is that now it may be a duplex again.

Hearing no other comments, Mr. Burroughs thanked everyone for their comments and attendance. All the comments will be put on a spreadsheet.

Anne Roane spoke that we will be keeping the record open to the end of August and we will be having another public hearing next Tuesday. You can email or mail them to me or drop them off to my office and they all will be addressed.

A question was asked whether the next meeting will be in the same format, a chapter by chapter, just a redo? Ms. Roane said it is their decision if it going to be the same format. It is another opportunity for people who couldn't be here tonight. I don't have that answer. You will have to ask the Chairman. I didn't create for format.

A question was asked if the material and comments would be on line, in a spreadsheet? Anne Roane commented that yes I stated that at the beginning of the meeting and I have prepared a statement which explains how the process is going to go to unfold; and yes, they will be available on line.

A question was asked the (inaudible) the changes are accepted? Mr. Burroughs spoke that once we go through the comments, we will have another forum where you will hear all the changes that are being done and accepted. We will then accept them as a change from you and the Commission and then we will present that to the Mayor and Council and they will also have a public hearing. So you will know prior to its being adopted before us.

Mr. Burroughs explained that the format tonight was to inform you as Ms. Roane has stated, on all the Chapters and Articles to give you a chance to hear what all those articles are about. We could have the same format for the next meeting or open it up to public comment. Gage Thomas addressed the group that he was the one who recommended that this format tonight was to allow for comment in a structured format; there will be two more hearings and there will also be a work session where they will have to take all these comments, Ms. Roane will summarize them side by side with current, proposed and your comments.

Mr. Collision addressed that this process will be similar to the Comprehensive Plan; they will prepare a submission to the Commission-what the current code provides, what the new code addresses and recommendations from the public. That is presented to a work session for the Planning Commission. Discussion followed on how the form based code would address density; what sites would allow. What we have heard in the past is that form based allowing five stories-it was too much for Cambridge; haven't heard that tonight. So that could be one of the topic; how it would affect character by allowing greater density. The general purpose of the plan was to discourage annexations; to try and encourage investment and redevelopment in the core; to provide incentives by greater height or density; to get the investment back there as opposed to buying unimproved farmland and annexations. This is a public comment and input decision.

Jackie Vickers that if the chapter by chapter was of benefit but the public didn't know it ahead of time; so moving forward, the format should be published ahead of the hearing so they will know what to expect.

Mary Losty suggested a two things are being heard was could we have a simple two page bullet point summary and possibly doing a red-line version moving forward, showing changes in order to be reflective of community input.

Jackie Vickers asked if we could it be possible to have two or three copies available at a future meeting-- would it be disruptive during the meeting?

Elizabeth Harp from 202 South Regulator Drive at what point can we get an answer to a question; do we address it to the consultant? For example, why is it better to consolidate to one residential zone? Who should we ask that question to? To Anne Roane

Trudy Guthrie of Longboat Estates: In response to Mr. Collison's comments about the seventy foot building, one suggestion might be to show a streetscape (model?) how it might look?

Dave Thatcher addressed that earlier he asked what is driving the change, such as with allowing duplexes in the Historical District. Mr. Collison alluded to this answer: to get people to move into the City and to limit annexation of farmland. Turning the place into duplexes is not going to encourage homeownership; it's going to give too many low income rentals. You have to entice people to buy these homes and fix them up for their own use.

Mr. Collison said that there have been some instances in the past, where people moving into the city would say that we would love to buy this 6,000 sq. ft. house but economically it is difficult to make it single family and to maintain it. As a compromise, a solution could be to further pursue allowing it to be subdivided into two units but one unit must be owner occupied with a minimum square footage. Older homes are expensive to maintain and owners then could be allowed to subsidize their expense with one other unit.

Nancy Clinard of 300 Belvedere Avenue spoke that she has been here since 2003. Tacoma Park was faced with the same thing, the home owners got together and sued to get the housing back to single family and were successful. It turned back into single family with one accessory apartment. It had to meet all the criteria of the State and City. It is a sin that these landlords would even charge rent to in (these rentals). I don't know why it wouldn't work here.

Anne Roane said that she will look into that regulation.

Nancy Clinard asked how are you going to put those townhouses off Commerce Street?

Unknown Speaker: inaudible...

Mr. Burroughs asked for final comments from Commissioners

Commissioner Hanson: thanked the public for their feedback. I strongly suggest a spreadsheet with comments; what is and what we propose.

Mr. Wheeler also thanked everyone for everyone coming out; there was some good compromise ideas thrown out.

Ms. Vickers also thanked everyone for coming also and suggested to know what we are going to do next time in advance; the most important thing is that we have heard a lot of good ideas from people with a lot of experience; it would be good for the various committees to take advantage of all this experience.

Mr. Thomas thanked everyone for their testimony and to send in their comments and attend future meetings. It is important part of the process. We hope to get it right and not rush through it.

Joy Leoffler commented that this is not a document that was not written by the consultant and just handed to us. We have been working on this for a year in public sessions, in advertisements. The sign section alone took us months and months. Many people have said they are going to read this in detail; and there are a lot answers to your questions and hopefully they will be in the spreadsheet; with the goal of implementing the comprehensive plan. (00:14:11).

Mr. Trego spoke that the public has come in and given us a lot of public comments; we always try and incorporate the comments into it; there is no document that is utopia, one will always find improvement needed.

Mary Losty commented that with the last public work session, it felt like there was some hostility with the crowd; nothing is set in stone; it is so important for us to get your thinking, changes will be made.

Chantey Nelson also thanked everyone for coming out this evening and as the newest member, I will definitely take your comments into consideration.

Mr. Burroughs also thanked everyone for coming out. We are working for the citizens of Cambridge; we take this document to heart and we have your concerns to heart. We will work on everything you said. I think we can do the same format we did last week because I think it did help everyone understand article by article. So that is what we will do next week. I would ask Ms. Roane again to put on the web the page on the number of meetings we had, so that they can understand the number of meetings we had and please bring a list of them to the next meeting.

Chris Jakubiak spoke that he was very impressed about the level of participation in Cambridge. No one does this in Maryland. If anyone ones to ask any questions, he will be here awhile.

It was properly moved and seconded, to adjourn the meeting.


Note: These minutes were approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on

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Jerry Burroughs, Chairman Date