Good afternoon! I hope you have found an opportunity to get outside today and enjoy this mild weather before winter returns tomorrow! I have a few updates for you along with a Council meeting briefing for Monday.
Update on pollution in Quiet Waters
I’m pleased to report that the contractor out at the ironically named Parkside Preserve development project, Reliable Contracting Inc, has responded favorably to the emergency Resolution I introduced at the previous Council meeting that condemned the pollution that repeatedly left their site and also laid out a plan to improve our enforcement program, all within existing law. We had an additional incident of minor pollution not leaving the site, but leaving their work area off Old Annapolis Neck Road. That said, they still have shown improved responsiveness. For that reason, I’m considering introducing some amendments to this Resolution that would remove mention of Reliable and make the Resolution focus more on improving the processes for ALL development projects in the City and still condemning the pollution events that damage Quiet Waters Park. If you have any thoughts on this please let me know.
Chesapeake Grove/Carr’s Beach acquisition
Some potentially good news for Ward 7. As many of you know, the famous Carr’s Beach off Edgewood Road has one last remaining undeveloped and currently forested parcel, between Bay Woods and Chesapeake Harbour. This is the Carr’s beach that used to be a Chesapeake Bay resort and concert venue for African Americans during racial segregation. They attracted artists such as Chuck Berry and James Brown. A developer has been trying to develop this property with town homes, but there has been building momentum to protect this property’s history and environmental value by a joint City-State-Federal property acquisition and to make it a keystone of the Chesapeake Gateway. Our efforts are finally paying off! The Governor’s proposed budget includes $1.2 million to support this effort, and it will be up to our State Senator Sarah Elfreth and State Delegates Dana Jones and Shaneka Henson to ensure this money is kept in the final and approved budget. Please contact them if you support this effort!
If you’d like to review the proposed Ward redistricting boundaries and submit public comment, you can do so here. Relatively minor changes proposed for Ward 7 and only additions, as we need to get more people. Two maps would have us subsume Bay Ridge Gardens, one would have us subsume part of Eastport at the end of Tyler Ave (I’ll need to learn the name of that community!).
If you’d like to participate in the City’s 30th anniversary of our Greenscape program (City provides you with plants and supplies for community beautification), click here.
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next Virtual Council meeting – 2/14/22 (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. You can submit public testimony at http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony and sign up for live testimony.
- O-40-22 - Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program - 100% Electric Mobility Plan - For the purpose of adding the 100% Electric Annapolis Mobility Plan to include electric vehicles, boat and associated support infrastructure to the Fiscal Year 2022 Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program. This would amend last year’s budget to include a plan for a fully electric transit system in downtown Annapolis and Eastport. This is not a full conversion of our entire transit fleet to electric, but only impacts the circulator and would pursue the purchase of an electric ferry for downtown. This first phase is just the conceptual planning phase with a potential down payment on an electric boat. The plan would be to seek funding through grants.
- O-8-22 - Alcoholic Beverages - The Market House - For the purpose of modifying the types of alcoholic beverages that may be consumed on the Market House premises. This would allow for all kinds of alcoholic beverages to be consumed in the Market House. Currently it only allows beer & wine.
Legislation being introduced on First Reader
- O-9-22 - Off-Street Parking Requirements - Food Establishments - For the purpose of eliminating off-street parking requirements for bars, taverns, delicatessens, restaurants, and social clubs; and generally relating to off-street parking requirements. The purpose of this ordinance is to reduce or eliminate the requirement for bars, taverns, delicatessens, restaurants, and social clubs, to provide off-street parking. The idea being that if we can remove parking lots we can free up that space for other uses and improve walkability.
- R-8-22 - Public Safety - Distribution of Literature to Purchasers of Guns or Ammunition - For the purpose of expressing support for Anne Arundel County Bill No. 108-21 concerning preparation and distribution of literature to purchasers of guns or ammunition. This Resolution expresses support for legislation before the County Council. We typically don’t get involved with County legislation, but in this case the County Health Department provides services within the City yet is not under our authority. I am a co-sponsor of this legislation.
- R-9-22 - Annapolis Parking Concession Agreement - Hillman Garage - For the purpose of expressing City Council support for the execution of the Annapolis Parking Concession Agreement for certain City-owned property known as the Hillman Garage parking facility, between Annapolis Mobility and Resilience Partners, LLC and the City of Annapolis. This would express Council support for the execution of the concession agreement with Annapolis Mobility and Resilience Partners, LLC (AMRP) to finance, design, build, operate, and maintain a new parking garage at 150 Gorman Street, the location of the current Hillman Garage. The new garage will expand parking spaces from 525 spaces in the current garage to 590 spaces, and will include improvements such as electric vehicle chargers, gateless entry and exit, robust stormwater management, and parking space availability information. In this scenario, the private partners would be taking on the debt and risk of constructing the new garage, and they would be paying off that debt through the future garage and parking fees. The City would essentially get a payment in lieu of these fees to cover the lost revenue on our end.
- R-10-22 - Itinerant Merchant Sales in the Historic District - 2022 - For the purpose of authorizing hawker, peddler, and itinerant merchant sales in the Historic District in conjunction with certain special events during calendar year 2022.
- R-11-22 - Non-Profit Vendors During Fall 2022 Boat Shows - For the purpose of authorizing sales by certain vendors in the City Dock area of the Historic District during the Fall 2022 U.S. Sailboat and Powerboat Shows.
- R-12-22 - Racism - Discrimination and Intolerance - For the purpose of joining the Caucus of African American Leaders in condemning all acts of racism and the many forms of discrimination and intolerance that have deprived people of their human rights.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- R-7-22 - An Emergency Declaration Concerning Pollution Discharges - For the purpose of declaring that any amount of pollution, including but not limited to, sediment, muddy water, cloudy water, turbid water, that is discharged from a construction site is unacceptable and clearly prohibited under the Annapolis City Code and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) sediment and erosion control standards and regulations; and affirming the imposition of stricter enforcement for violations of the City Code and the MDE sediment and erosion control standards and regulations. This is legislation I’m introducing to clarify that we want staff to use their enforcement discretion, currently allowed under the law, to benefit the public and the environment. What sparked me to introduce this legislation was the pollution that entered into Quiet Waters park on 5-6 occasions from the development known as Parkside Preserve. I wanted to get the Council to show a united front that any pollution is unacceptable because this particular contractor, Reliable Contracting Inc, had allowed this to happen on 5-6 occasions, many of which were due to their failure to follow our laws. Originally I was going to propose an amendment to resolve that we want their permit revoked or suspended, but I likely won’t introduce that amendment since the contractor has shown considerable progress.