I hope you had a pleasant 4th of July. It’s so nice to see our City start to look like normal again, and I’m very excited that our outdoor concerts are resuming at the Maritime Museum and Quiet Waters Park. But down to business…
We have a few upcoming votes I wanted to draw to your attention. The first is on legislation that would allow medical cannabis dispensaries to be located in certain areas in the City, and the second is a final vote on legislation that would require non-owner occupied short term rentals to get special exceptions (e.g. have to go before a board for final approval). I’ll give you my thoughts on these below.
Also, we will be voting on the two pieces of legislation that would allow the proposed Lidl (redevelopment at the old C&C liquors site) to connect to our utilities.
Details on that and more below.
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next Council meeting – 7/12/21 (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.
Public hearings (in- person testimony is now allowed)
- 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.
- O-24-21 - Sewer Service Agreement - Lidl US Operations, LLC - For the purpose of authorizing a sewer service agreement providing for the extension of City sewer service to certain parcels on Bay Ridge Road located in Anne Arundel County; and generally relating to providing said sewer service outside the City limits. I am introducing this legislation. It would allow Lidl, which is proposing to build on the old C&C liquors site (County property), to connect to our sewer system.
Legislation being introduced on First Reader
- O-26-21 - Emergency Ordinance - Recovery Zones and Temporary Uses - For the purpose of extending the temporary uses and parking restrictions for outdoor seating at restaurants and outdoor shopping options for retail establishments authorized by certain Executive Orders; providing a termination date; and making this Ordinance an emergency measure.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- O-1-21 - Bulk Regulations - R4 and R4-R Residential Zoning Districts - For the purpose of correcting conflicts in the bulk regulations table and the table notes related to attached single family and multifamily dwelling units. This is basically just a correction to our code from staff. Pending any comments from you I intend to vote in favor.
- O-4-21 - Medical Cannabis Dispensaries - For the purpose of allowing medical cannabis dispensaries in certain zoning districts within the City of Annapolis; and adding a definition. While the State handles the Cannabis Dispensary licensing, of which I’m told there are only a few licenses left, local jurisdictions do need to establish appropriate zoning determining where such businesses can open. To that end, this legislation would allow for cannabis dispensaries to be located in the zoning that currently allows drug stores. We do have some such zoning in the Ward: the area around the Giant, Bay Village, and Hillsmere shopping centers. Given that dispensaries distribute a legitimate medical product; a product that is in many ways less harmful than some of the substances sold at the traditional drug stores (i.e. opioids), I don’t have a concern with allowing them to be located in the areas I mentioned. There are already quite a number of restrictions placed on these businesses and the use of medical cannabis. Therefore, pending any comments from you, I am inclined to support this legislation.
- O-7-21 - Short Term Rental (STR) Licenses - Conservation Districts - For the purpose of requiring special exception approval for a new non owner-occupied short term rental license in the R2-NC, C1, and C1-A conservation residence districts; requiring special exception approval for the transfer of any existing non owner-occupied short term rental license in the R2-NC, C1, and C1-A conservation residence districts; providing definitions; providing for the waiver of special exception approval for certain individuals; and generally related to short term rental licenses. Pending any input from you, I am inclined to support this legislation. I think this is a reasonable compromise that does not ban any type of STR. All it does is require that the non-owner occupied STRs (i.e. the whole-house rentals) have to get special exceptions when they are proposed to be located in a conservation district. I think this makes sense because non-owner occupied STRs have the greatest potential impact to communities, in that they completely alter a neighborhood, in great enough density, by not providing for any actual residents that contribute to the neighborhood. This legislation would not ban them, but it would at least give the community a voice in the process. Such non-owner occupied STRS are essentially businesses that are located in residential areas and thus should be subject to community input. Lastly, the conservation districts were/are intended to do just what the name implies: conserve the residential districts from the nearby business districts, and this legislation would accomplish that goal.
- O-8-21 - Dwellings above nonresidential uses in the PM District - For the purpose of creating standards for dwellings permitted above the ground floor of nonresidential uses in the PM zoning district; and matters generally relating to regulation of such dwellings. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
- O-16-21 - Maintaining Chickens - For the purpose of modifying the application and approval procedures for maintaining chickens; providing notice requirements; and generally relating to maintaining chickens. This simply updates the language to clarify that the residents/neighbors are not the actual approving agency. While they can offer testimony, the final approval lies with the Department of Planning & Zoning. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
- O-18-21 - Municipal Elections - Canvassing - For the purpose of modifying the day on which the Board of Canvassers shall convene following all municipal elections. This just requires that the Board canvasses the election results the day after the election as opposed to the week after. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
- O-24-21 - Sewer Service Agreement - Lidl US Operations, LLC - For the purpose of authorizing a sewer service agreement providing for the extension of City sewer service to certain parcels on Bay Ridge Road located in Anne Arundel County; and generally relating to providing said sewer service outside the City limits. I’ll be making a motion to suspend the rules to adopt this legislation on the same night as the public hearing, since there is a deadline with the applicant in that if they miss a certain date the deal may fall through. Given that this is largely a formality, and that Lidl has signed agreements that would have them honor our comprehensive plan to work with us in establishing parking lot connections to the adjacent lot, I will be supporting this legislation, pending any comments from you.
- R-19-21 - Itinerant Merchant Sales in the Historic District - 2021 - For the purpose of authorizing hawker, peddler, and itinerant merchant sales in the Historic District in conjunction with certain special events during calendar year 2021. Pending any comments from you, I’m inclined to support this legislation.
- R-20-21 - Water Service Agreement - Lidl US Operations, LLC - For the purpose of authorizing a water service agreement providing for the extension of City water service to certain parcels on the Bay Ridge Road located in Anne Arundel County; and generally relating to providing said water service outside the City limits. I will be supporting this legislation, pending any comments from you. This is another formality and my comments under O-24-21 apply here.
- R-21-21 - Medicare for All - For the purpose of expressing support for Medicare for All, including expansion of the Medicare for All Act of 2021, H.R. 1976, 117th Cong. (2021-2022); supporting comprehensive healthcare to all U.S. residents; and expressing support for the establishment of a Maryland Commission on Universal Health Care. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
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
Waste reduction tips for the Summer