There aren't any major pieces of legislation on the agenda for this Monday’s Council meeting. I will be withdrawing my proposed legislation that would create a Department of the Environment. The Mayor and I have come together to create a new proposal that I believe will meet both of our goals and continue to make the City the leader in the environment. Below I also comment on legislation that would update our adequate public facilities review to ensure development can’t occur if our roads are inadequate (currently they can proceed).
Also, please hold April 8th for our next Town Hall meeting at the library (7-8:45 PM).
Previous Council meeting update
At our previous meeting we passed R-8-20 (waives the docking fees for the large ship Pride of Baltimore II for seven visits to City Dock in late March and early April), R-11-20 (this resolution served the purpose of adopting, honoring, and upholding the commitments to the goals of the Bird City Maryland program), and O-40-19 (This ordinance essentially finalizes the land purchase deal where the City would construct our new Public Works facilities at 39 Hudson Street).
Next Council meeting - 3/9/20 (agenda)
Council meetings are held at 160 Duke of Gloucester St (2nd floor) at 7pm and are televised on local cable, Facebook, and the City website (www.annapolis.gov)
First readers (legislation being introduced)
- O-8-20 - Harbors and Waterfront Areas – Code Updates - 1. Updates the definition “City dock”. 2. Repeals the section of the Code regulating excessive noise and removes the regulation prohibiting water skiing within Market Slip. 3. Requires regular pump out of a vessel’s holding tank and clarifies that only approved dinghies belonging to annual mooring permit holders may be stored at a street ending. 4. Eliminates reference to “long term” and “transient” public mooring buoys for the purpose of assessing a mooring rental fee.
- O-10-20 - This ordinance proposes to increase the notification radius for major projects from 200 feet to 750 feet. The cost and responsibility for notification belongs to the project applicant. I have joined this legislation as a co-sponsor.
- R-15-20 - City Sponsored Special Events in Fiscal Year 2021 - For the purpose of identifying City Sponsored Special Events; and waiving certain related City Fees during Fiscal Year 2021.
- R-16-20 - Non-Profit Vendors During Fall Boat Shows - For the purpose of authorizing sales by certain vendors in the City Dock area of the Historic District during the Fall 2020 U.S. Sailboat and Powerboat Shows.
- R-18-20 - 2020 Annapolis Film Festival - Circulator Fee Waiver - For the purpose of identifying the 2020 Annapolis Film Festival Special Event that will be held during March 26-29, 2020; and waiving the fee for running the circulator during that event.
- O-6-20 - Planned Developments - Public Housing Bulk Standards - For the purpose of allowing a height adjustment for certain eligible public housing development. This would allow public housing and low income units to take advantage of the density and bulk bonuses that are provided other developments that meet our Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit requirement.
- R-17-20 - this resolution approves the performance statements submitted by the City departments and offices.
Legislation up for a final vote
- CA-6-19 & O-18-19 - Department of the Environment - This legislation would have created/restored a Department of the Environment for the City. I have long been toying with this idea, and it came to a head during last year’s budget when the previous City Manager proposed dissolving our current Office of Environmental Policy and replacing it with just one lonely Environmental Policy advisor to be working within the Mayor’s Office. To me, and many others, this represented a huge step backwards, which caused me to introduce this proposal to create an environmental department. Fast-forward about a year and now we have a brand new day with a new City Manager, David Jarrel. After sitting down with him and Mayor Buckley, we have come up with a third alternative that I think will be even better than what I had in mind. To move this third alternative forward, I’ll be withdrawing this legislation proposing a new Department of the Environment. Instead, what the Mayor and I will jointly move forward with is re-organizing the City’s Environmental efforts. What this will entail is creating a new position called “Deputy City Manager for Resiliency and Sustainability”. Select environmental staff will likely move with that position to continue their support and work on these efforts and others may move to other Departments. The benefits of this approach is it elevates those programs (Sustainability and Resiliency) to be in a position to provide oversight and management to the Directors of our various Department efforts, and to ensure our resiliency and sustainability efforts are coordinated amongst each and every one of our Departments. In addition, this position will provide a “10,000 ft level” review of select development projects to ensure they and staff are doing their utmost to ensure our environmental goals and policies are being enacted to their fullest extent. Instead of relegating our environmental programs to a policy position with no management capacity, this proposal will elevate this to the management office of the City Manager. This proposal is not set in stone, so if you have any thoughts please let me know. But I am pleased that the Mayor and I have come to this joint solution that will move our environmental programs forward.
- O-19-19 - Adequate Public Facilities - Auto transportation facilities - For the purpose of clarifying the circumstances that would require a traffic impact analysis for a proposed project; clarifying the standards to be used to determine adequacy. I am a co-sponsor of this legislation. I thought this was still in committee and I’m hoping it will get sent back to committee. I have a number of amendments I’d like to make to this legislation. One of the problems we are seeking to solve is that when a project has to do a traffic impact study, and that study, for example, says that our roads are failing and there is no mitigation that can be performed by the developer, than they still get their certificate of adequate public facilities and can get approval for their project. That makes no sense to me. If the facilities are inadequate then nothing should be built that would make it worse. The question would be, should we allow them to build if it doesn’t make things worse? Or require that they bring up the failing intersection to the next highest rating (from an F to an E, for example)?
- O-11-19 - For the purpose of requiring a structural analysis prior to demolition of a residential structure or building in the R2-NC, Single-Family Residential Neighborhood Conservation District; requiring execution of a contract between the city and a structural engineer prior to demolition; and generally relating to the demolition of a residential structure or building in the R2-NC District. I’m inclined to support this with the amendments recommended by staff and the Planning Commission, pending any comments from you.
- R-7-20 - Position Classifications - Amendment - For the purpose of approving anamendment to the FY 2020 position classifications - This just adjusts an existing position in the purchasing Department. I am inclined to support this, pending any comments from you.
- R-13-20 - Docking Fee Waiver - For the purpose of waiving the fees for docking the Maiden at the Annapolis City Dock on certain dates during the month of April, 2020. The Maiden is on a world tour and plans to come to the Charter Dock located at the end of Susan Campbell Park from April 8th through April 12th and again on April 17th. The mission of the Maiden is to raise awareness and funds for girls education and to empower women and girls worldwide. During their stay at the City Dock, the group has planned a welcome ceremony, school visits, public tours and a departure ceremony. I am in support of this, pending any comments from you.
- R-14-20 - Resolution 41-20 waives the Harbormaster fees for the November 2018 Tug of War special event. A City sponsored event as designated by Resolution 7-18, the Tug of War event had all parking fees waived. This resolution will simply add the Harbormaster fees to the fees waived for the event. I am in support of this, pending any comments from you.
- R-19-20 - Affordable Housing Task Force - For the purpose of establishing a Task Force charged with assessing the current and projected future landscape of housing affordability in the City of Annapolis; evaluating current programs and initiatives to produce new affordable housing and preserve existing ones; and making recommendations of policy to the Mayor and the City Council. I am inclined to support this, as it sounds like the work this task force will be doing is greatly needed to help guide the Council in the right direction as far as how to address any affordable housing issue there may be. However, I am a bit concerned that we have set up this task force to have a difficult time due to there being a total of 44 members. That seems unwieldy to me, though I’m willing to see how it goes.
Continuing community announcements & updates
Annapolis 2020 Comprehensive Plan survey
Take a few minutes of your time to complete this survey for the 2020 Annapolis Comprehensive Plan update and share where your priorities lie for the next 20 years in the City. The questions regarding planning priorities are informed by meetings with stakeholders over the last two months and the first public meeting that was held on May 7th.
Take the survey here: https://forms.gle/uYdq7sCX2ihF96dq8