Adequate Public Facilities – Police standards
The big issue for Monday is that the Council will hear two pieces of legislation dealing with the Adequate Public Facilities (APF) standards for policing. Currently, we require that if a new development over 11 units wants to be permitted, they must prove we have adequate public facilities for a number of aspects of infrastructure. One of which is police. Our code requires that we fund 3.2 officers per every 1,000 City resident. Currently we are below that, simply because we cannot hire enough officers (we fund enough but can't fill the positions). The result is that development cannot receive their certificate of APF for police. There are two proposals being introduced as to how to address this.
The first approach, being introduced by the Mayor, is O-7-23. This would allow the City to count the fire fighters on staff that are also trained police officers, and put us in technical compliance with our police APF, allowing development projects to proceed. I don’t agree with this approach because we gain nothing to address public safety issues except new development. I would also need to know exactly how the fire fighters would support public safety and also receive assurances this will not impact our emergency services with AFD.
The second approach, being introduced by me, is O-9-23. This would create a mitigation section, which would say, if we aren’t currently in compliance with the police APF, then a development must provide funding for mitigation. It lists allowable mitigation, which is grouped as security measures (i.e. cameras or contractual security officers) or social services measures (i.e. funding for social workers), or a combination of the two, as allowed by the Chief of Police and City Manager. The benefit to this approach is it would allow us to receive resources that would address the public safety issues brought along with new development. We would gain something, as opposed to O-7-23 where we gain little.
Also note that there will be a public hearing on O-49-23, which is an alternative to the earlier proposal (since withdrawn by the sponsor) to completely eliminate parking requirements for restaurants. The alternative would allow the parking requirements to be waived via fee-in-lieu, with that fee hopefully going towards a fund that supports improving mobility for residents (if amended successfully).
Also, as I mentioned last time, we have Ward redistricting being discussed since Ward 7 has too few people. Here are two maps summarizing the recommended changes from our task force, both of which would slightly alter Ward 7 by adding Bay Ridge Gardens into our ward. Here is map Alt C and map Ald 3C.
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next Council meeting – 2/27/23 (agenda)
This Council meeting is starting at 7pm and will be televised on local cable, YouTube, Facebook, and the City website. You can submit public testimony at http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony. This will be an in-person meeting.
- O-49-22 – Planning and Zoning - Parking and Loading Regulations - Parking fee-in-lieu of meeting off-street parking requirements. - For the purpose of authorizing a parking fee-in-lieu for certain businesses required to provide parking spaces; and generally relating to off-street parking requirements. This legislation is an alternative to O-9-22 (which would have removed all parking requirements for all restaurants). O-49 would allow business owners to avoid providing some of the required parking (an amendment would put it at up to 50%) if they pay a fee-in-lieu. I have an amendment that would create a specific fund where this fee money would go, and it would need to be spent on projects that further mobility alternatives such as sidewalk improvements, structured parking, etc. (not including transit as it has it's own dedicated fund)
- O-2-23 - Budget Target Dates and Financial Impact of Labor Negotiations - For the purpose of clarifying the timeline for negotiations between the City and employee groups; requiring the Finance Committee to be briefed; technical corrections to the City Budget section of the code; and generally related to the annual city budget schedule requirements. I am a co-sponsor on this legislation. It’s an attempt to ensure that labor negotiations start earlier (November) so that the projected impact/result from labor negotiations can be included in the Mayor’s introduced budget in time for the Council and Financial Advisory Commission to review the proposed labor agreement. We felt this was necessary as in the past we have often received the final labor agreement very late in the budget process, making it a fate accompli.
- O-3-23 - 2023 Redistricting and Revised 'Election Wards' Boundaries - For the purpose of revising the Annapolis City Council Ward boundaries due to population shifts revealed in the 2020 Census; and generally related to City election wards. This ordinance will revise boundaries for Wards 1-8 in the City of Annapolis resulting from the 2020 Census redistricting requirements. New detailed descriptions will be added via amendments once the Rules Committee recommends final boundaries and maps. The map in this ordinance is recommended by the Annapolis Ward Boundary and Redistricting Commission Task Force and serves as the starting point for City Council consideration. Currently, Ward 7 actually has too few people (4,692), as each Ward is supposed to have roughly 5000 people. There were two recommended maps (representing the changes to the Ward boundaries) that would both impact Ward 7. Both proposed maps would move Bay Ridge Gardens from Ward 6 to Ward 7. You can find a link to the maps above for O-3-23.
Legislation being introduced on first reader
- O-6-23 - City of Annapolis Cellular Antenna Lease with New Cingular Wireless - For the purpose of updating and extending the City's lease with New Cingular Wireless for a cellular antenna on top of the City water tower on Janwall Street.
- O-7-23 - Adequate Public Facilities - Adequate Police Protection - For the purpose of defining "Police Officer" to include Annapolis Fire Department personnel who have gone through state police training and are certified by the Maryland Police and Training Standards Commission; authorizing the Police Department to certify alternative security measures to meet or exceed the required officer ratio; and generally related to Police Protection and Mitigation sections of Title 22. This legislation would count a number of Fire Fighters, who are also trained police officer, as sworn police officers for the City. The result would be that the City would then meet the officer ratio (i.e. number of officers per 1,000 residents), which would mean all pending developments would meet the Adequate Public Facilities requirement for police. As I noted above, I do not support this proposal.
- O-9-23 - Adequate Public Facilities - Mitigation of Police Protection Level Certification Requirements - For the purpose of adding a mitigation section for the Adequate Police Protection criteria and certification criteria set in Chapter 22.14; and generally related to Review Criteria and Certification for Adequate Police Protection under Adequate Public Facilities in Title 22. This legislation would create a mitigation section for our police APF. If the City did not meet the citizen-officer ratio, then a development project could mitigate by offering security enhancements and/or social services enhancements. As noted above, I strongly prefer this approach as opposed to just watering down the APF requirement. I am the chief sponsor of this legislation.
- R-4-23 - Skipjack Wilma Lee - Docking Fee Waiver - For the purpose of waiving the fees for docking the Chesapeake Bay skipjack, Wilma Lee, at the Annapolis City Dock March 31-April 2, 2023, in celebration of "Maryland Day."
- R-6-23 - Director of Recreation and Parks - Roslyn Johnson - For the purpose of expressly confirming the appointment of Roslyn Johnson as the Director of the Department of Recreation and Parks; and consenting to compensate the Director. I have not had an opportunity to speak with the nominee, and will aim to do so before the 2nd reader vote on this.
- R-8-23 - Annual Statement of Performance Standards - For the purpose of approving the annual performance statements filed by City agencies and departments.
- R-11-23 - City-supported Special Events in Fiscal Year 2024 - For the purpose of identifying City-supported events in Fiscal Year 2024, where the City becomes a co-sponsor and waives certain related City fees for those events.
- R-12-23 - Itinerant Merchant Sales in the Historic District - 2023 - For the purpose of authorizing hawker, peddler, and itinerant merchant sales in the Historic District in conjunction with certain special events during calendar year 2023.
- R-14-23 - Condemning the use of African Americans for experimentation - For the purpose of condemning the unethical use of medical experiments on African Americans.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- R-7-23 - Additional City-supported St. Patrick's Day Events in Fiscal Year 2023 - For the purpose of identifying City-supported events for St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Annapolis; and waiving certain related City fees during Fiscal Year 2023. The total fees proposed to be waived would total $6,900. I’m inclined to support this, pending input from you.
Community & Political updates
Nothing for this week