Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope everyone has a fun, but responsible, celebration. I have a few updates on some issues I raised last week dealing with Crystal Spring and the Sector Study. Also, the next Ward 7 Town Hall will be on April 3rd.
“No Net Loss of Forests” and Crystal Spring project
As I mentioned last week, I was surprised when the Village at Providence Point (aka Crystal Spring) submitted an application to clear 30 acres of forest with ZERO reforestation. This was despite the “no net loss of forests” Ordinance that we passed late last year. After three long weeks of fighting with the City as to how to best address this, it was decided at my last Environmental Matters Committee meeting that the City would clarify things by completing our own Forest Conservation Technical Manual. Long story short is that I *think* we are on a path towards resolution. Pending the contents of our updated manual and the City’s actual response to the Crystal Spring application…
Back Creek pollution
The Back Creek Conservancy did some great investigative work and found out that the Key School athletic field construction project in Annapolis Roads, had actually been discharging significant amounts of sediment into an Annapolis storm drain system that discharges into Back Creek. Although this project is a County-managed project (and the County fortunately now has a new Director of their inspections program), this still represents illegal pollution entering the City’s waterways and infrastructure. I’m trying to determine what the implications are of this, in terms of who is responsible, if we can issue fines, and what we should do in such situations in the future. Fortunately, I’ve also learned that the Key School contractor is in the process of closing off the structure that was discharging pollution into our waterways.
Sector study public meeting packed
Last week the Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation held a standing room only meeting about the Forest Drive-Eastport Sector Study. The next step for this study is for it to go through the City Council Standing Committees: Rules & Government on March 12th at 4pm, Transportation Committee on March 14th at 6pm, and Environmental Matters on March 20th at 3pm. After that it will come back to the council for a final vote, likely in April some time.
Next Council meeting - 3/11/19 (agenda)
- CA-1-19 - Acting Mayor designation - For the purpose of amending the procedure for designating an Acting Mayor. This would make it clear that if the Mayor was incapacitated and didn’t assign an acting Mayor, it would fall to the most senior Alderperson in descending order.
- O-42-18 - Sidewalk Signs - For the purpose of authorizing sidewalk signs with certain conditions; providing a definition of “sidewalk sign”; and providing for a delayed effective date of the sidewalk sign permit fee.
- O-8-19 - Grow Annapolis, Inc. Lease Agreement - For the purpose of approving the lease for certain City-owned property located at the corner of Jefferson Street and Brashears Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21403, between Grow Annapolis, Inc. (a community garden non-profit) and the City of Annapolis.
Legislation up for a final vote
- O-6-19 - The Conveyance of part of the unimproved portion of the City-owned right of way containing the road bed of Castlegate Drive to Lee, et al., LLC. This would authorize the sale (at assessed value) of a strip of City land that used to be a part of a “paper street” (appears on paper only) that the City has no use for. One of the adjacent owners would be purchasing this property. Pending any comments from you, I currently intend to vote in favor since this narrow strip of City property is of no use to us. Typically I’m very wary of selling any City property, but after examining the aerial there really is not much of a reason for the City to keep this property. This property can not and shall not be used for construction of any additional units.
- R-6-19 - For the purpose of approving the annual performance statements filed by City agencies and departments. Pending any comments from you as far as revisions or changes, I intend to vote in favor of this document and the standards within.
- R-7-19 - For the purpose of authorizing sales by certain vendors in the City Dock area of the Historic District during the Fall 2019 U.S. Sailboat and Powerboat Shows. This would allow the following groups to sell food during the Boat Show: Mount Zion United Methodist Church, Optimist of Annapolis, Boy Scouts of America – Cub Scout Pack 422, Boy Scouts of America – Cub Scout Pack 366, Boy Scouts of America – Cub Scout Pack 154, St. Mary’s Athletic Association, Hospice of the Chesapeake. Pending any comments from you, I intend to vote in favor. However, I plan on amending it to require that the City notify these groups that starting next year they will need to be in compliance with our foam ban.
- R-8-19 - For the purpose of authorizing hawker, peddler, and itinerant merchant sales in the Historic District in conjunction with certain special events during calendar year 2019. Pending any comments from you, I intend to vote in favor. However, I plan on amending it to require that the City notify these events that starting next year they will need to be in compliance with our foam ban.
- R-9-19 - For the purpose of waiving the fees for docking the Pride of Baltimore II at the Annapolis City Dock on March 25, 2019, and March 29-April 1, 2019, in celebration of “Maryland Day.” The total amount of waived fees would be $2,550. I’m undecided on this Resolution. I am very hesitant to waive more fees after your taxes were raised last year. On the other hand, I don’t want to discourage an historic vessel from visiting our downtown, which would be a draw to visitors, because of those fees. I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on this matter.
- R-10-19 - This would waive the circulator fees associated with running the Circulator outside it’s normal schedule for the Annapolis Film Festival. As I indicated above, I’m very hesitant to waive fees. The total here would be $5,500. I support this event but we need to stop waiving so many fees, especially to for-profit organizations.
Highlights from previous Council meeting
- Nothing to report from the last meeting.
Next Ward 7 Town Hall
The next Ward 7 Town Hall will be on Wednesday, April 3rd, 6pm at the Eastport-Annapolis neck library. I’m still working on finalizing topics, but what I do know is that I will be presenting on the results from our last Town Hall where we brainstormed and ranked our top issues for Ward 7 and the City. I’ll also likely give you an update on the Eastport-Forest Drive Sector Study developments.
CORRECTION - Waterways cabinet officially implemented
The Mayor has finally implemented the “Waterways Cabinet” (then referred to as the Creeks Cabinet) that we announced last Earth Day. The idea is to have our most capable Environmental Policy Director, Jackie Guild, convene a group consisting of the Department Directors that have environmental functions, such as Public Works and Planning & Zoning, to help coordinate environmental efforts in the City. The Cabinet will also include representatives from the Environmental Matters Committee (i.e. City Council) and the local watershed organizations to discuss the restoration of our waterways, coordinate efforts, and resolve issues.
Searching For The Soul Of Annapolis
A Multi-media Presentation by former Senator Gerald Winegrad on Growing up in the Segregated Annapolis of the 1940s-1960s and his Involvement with Soul Music. Bates Legacy Center, 1101 Smithville Street, Saturday, April 6, 2019 2:00 p.m.
The show features music and photos of legendary soul music performers, and photos of Annapolis scenes, including Carr’s Beach.
Hear the music of soul legends Gerald knew, met, saw, or listened to growing up in Annapolis starting in 1946 at 79 West Street. He lived next to Asbury United Methodist Church where Gerald experienced gospel music, the precursor of soul music. Come and hear of race relations, segregation, and racial prejudice in Annapolis during the 1940s to 1960s and how the performers and Gerald were affected by it.
Hear how soul music helped soothe the wounded soul of Annapolis and break down racial barriers. The show will be capped by an awesome performance by James Brown, perhaps the best ever captured on video.
Bates Legacy Center, Blacks Of The Chesapeake, & Koons Annapolis Toyota
Dedicated To The Memory Of Wendi Winters, Capital Newspaper Shooting Victim
Free - Donations Accepted