This Monday you will have an opportunity to testify on some important legislation that is before the City Council, including:
- a proposal to shift away from the Planning Commission model where they approve and review development projects, and shifting to a model with a single hearing officer filling that role, and
- the proposed changes to our maritime zones from the maritime advisory task force, and
- legislation I’m proposing to close two loopholes in our forest conservation act.
Furthermore, we will be holding a final vote on the Accessory Dwelling Unit legislation, so if you have any comments on that, please send them my way.
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next Council meeting – 9/27/21 (agenda)
This Council meeting is starting at 7pm and will be televised on local cable, Facebook, and the City website (www.annapolis.gov). http://www.youtube.com/CityofAnnapolis http://www.facebook.com/CityofAnnapolis
Anyone needing reasonable accommodation to be able to participate in a public meeting held by the City of Annapolis should contact Regina Watkins-Eldridge at 410.263.7942, by MD Relay (711), or by email at [email protected] at least five days prior to the meeting date to request assistance.
If you are unable to attend, I believe you can still submit public testimony at http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony.
Reports from Commissions
We will be receiving a report from the Charter Review Commission and they will provide a summary of their recommended changes to the City Charter. Note, with only 4 meetings (2 months) left, we will not have enough time to enact any of their recommendations this term.
- R-26-21 - Maritime Task Force "Strategy: Strengthening the Maritime Industry" - For the purpose of adopting the Strategy of the Maritime Task Force. This would officially adopt this “strategy document” and require that it be “implemented immediately.” Having reviewed the document, I am quite impressed with the quality, amount of analysis, the effort put into it, and am generally supportive of the recommendations contained within.
- O-22-21 - Administrative Hearing Officer By Contract Established - For the purpose of establishing the position of Administrative Hearing Officer by Contract; revising the powers and duties of the Planning Commission; revising the powers and duties of the Board of Appeals. This legislation would essentially remove the Planning Commission from the development review and approval process, and create a single position, the Administrative Hearing Officer, that would be responsible for this, similar to what is currently done in the County.
- O-25-21 - Waterfront Maritime Zoning Districts - Uses - For the purpose of requiring certain annual reporting on maritime and non-maritime uses, providing for certain waterfront access incentives for non-maritime uses, modifying the requirements for certain uses deemed conforming, modifying certain uses for Waterfront Maritime Zoning Districts, allowing uses in certain districts subject to standards, modifying off-street parking requirements for certain uses, adding definitions, and generally relating to uses in Waterfront Maritime Zoning Districts. This legislation represents the results of the Maritime Task Force, codifying their recommended changes to the maritime zoning.
- O-34-21 - Forest Conservation - Reforestation - For the purpose of requiring reforestation in certain circumstances to maintain the City's current tree canopy percentage; and generally relating to reforestation requirements. This is legislation I am introducing. It would close a few loopholes that were uncovered in the previous “no net loss of forests” legislation we passed a few years back.
- O-35-21 - Acceptable Forms of Signature - For the purpose of authorizing use of automated or computer generated electronic or digital signatures for certain official City documents; authorizing the City Manager to delegate signature authority for certain contracts; providing certain definitions; and generally relating to signatures.
Legislation being introduced on First Reader
- R-27-21 - Itinerant Merchant Sales in the Historic District - Halloween Celebration - For the purpose of authorizing hawker, peddler, and itinerant merchant sales in the Historic District in conjunction with a certain special event during calendar year 2021.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- R-26-21 - Maritime Task Force "Strategy: Strengthening the Maritime Industry" - For the purpose of adopting the Strategy of the Maritime Task Force. This would officially adopt this “strategy document” and require that it be “implemented immediately.” Having reviewed the document, I am quite impressed with the quality, amount of analysis, the effort put into it, and am generally supportive of the recommendations contained within. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
- O-9-21 - Accessory Dwelling Units - For the purpose of establishing accessory dwelling units as an accessory use in certain zoning districts that allow single family dwelling units; establishing the use and bulk requirements for accessory dwelling units; and establishing the procedural requirements for accessory dwelling units. I have an amendment proposed that would require that any new ADUs would need to treat their stormwater or reduce lot coverage of impervious surfaces. Depending on if this amendment passes, as well as the others, I’m inclined to support this legislation, pending any comments from you.
- O-27-21 - Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless - Lease Agreement - For the purpose of approving the lease for certain City-owned property within the City of Annapolis between Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless and the City of Annapolis; and matters generally relating to said Lease Agreement. This deals with allowing Verizon to install small cell (i.e. 5G) technology throughout the City. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
- O-31-21 – Issuance of General Obligation Bonds and Bond Anticipation Notes - This legislation officially authorizes the City to seek general obligation bonds as outlined in the adopted FY22 budget. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
- R-22-21 - South Annapolis Yacht Center - Public Water Access - For the purpose of requiring the Department of Planning and Zoning to hold a public meeting for the general public to be heard on the South Annapolis Yacht Center fence application. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
Kunta Kinte Festival Returns to City Dock on Sept. 25
The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival will return to City Dock for the 31st year on Saturday, September 25, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festival is for all ages to celebrate perseverance, education and cultural heritage of Africans, African Americans and Caribbean people of African descent. The festival is returning after a hiatus last year due to the pandemic. Admission is free.
'Drive Electric Week' Kicks Off Sept. 26 With Electric Vehicle Showcase at Annapolis City Dock
Annapolis Green’s seventh annual National Drive Electric Week EV Showcase at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 26 at City Dock. The showcase will kick off “National Drive Electric Week” in Annapolis and is the culmination of six months of Electric Vehicle (EV) information supplied to the public by nonprofit Annapolis Green.
More than 50 vehicles, including cars, motorcycles and e-bikes (and, this being Annapolis e-boats!) will be featured in the showcase at the Annapolis harbor. The event will highlight the climate, clean air, and cost savings benefits provided by driving electric. Most of the vehicles are owned by individuals who will be on site to answer questions and present seminars on topics including:
- installation of home chargers, including in apartment and condo situations;
- how EV charging affects your electric bill;
- Driving on Sunshine;
- Government financial incentives; and
- how driving electric can help mitigate the effects of Climate Change.
You will receive a ballot for the general election, and those ballots must be postmarked by November 2nd.
How do I vote?
You can mail in your ballot (postage is pre-paid by the City), drop it off at any drop box in the City (ours is at the Eastport Library), or you can vote in person at the Eastport Library on November 2nd.
Have election-related questions?
If you or any voter has any questions or concerns regarding ANYTHING ELECTIONS RELATED, Please go to https://www.annapolis.gov/1702/2021-Elections-Information
Action Annapolis interview
I have participated in the Action Annapolis video interview where we visited three sites in the Ward as I answered their questions. If you would like to view it, you can do so at www.ActionAnnapolis.com.