Cycle film at City Hall, State of City, Housing bill update

Before I get to details about our Monday Council meeting, I wanted to let you know about a special event happening this Sunday at City Hall:

Cycle to then Movie at City Hall

This Sunday at 3pm we are showing a short 5-minute video highlighting our recent delegation trip to the Netherlands (where we learned about cycling and climate resilience), followed by a longer ~90-minute Dutch documentary called “Together we Cycle” that highlights how they made the transition back to a cycling-based transportation system. We will conclude the event with a panel, including yours truly, to talk about how we can do that locally. If you want to bike over to the event together, please join us at the corner of Georgetown Rd and Windwhisper Ln at 2:30pm. We will also swing by Georgetown East Elementary and SPCA (right on Bay Ridge) if you would like to meet us there. (details below)

Monday Council meeting

I have three big items regarding Monday’s meeting:

  1. The Mayor is giving his State of the City address; and
  2. He will also be delivering his FY25 City Budget to the Council for review; and
  3. The short term rental legislation I’ve been working on for well over 12-months is coming up for a final vote. And the good news is I expect it will pass. (details below)

State Housing bill update

I wanted to provide some updates on the governor’s "Housing expansion and affordability act of 2024" HB0538 & SB0484, which I have been emailing you about the past few weeks.

Based on my initial analysis, it would appear that our advocacy has paid off! If I’m not mistaken the Governor’s housing bill passed both chambers, but more importantly it was significantly amended in our favor. Here are some of the changes:

  1. Strikes the language regarding Adequate Public Facilities that would have tied our (i.e. local jurisdictions) hands as far as ensuring new development meets our infrastructure standards (i.e. sewer, stormwater, education, etc); and
  2. It improves the language to allow us to impose limitations and restrictions, as long as they don’t amount to a de facto denial, or in the case of lot restrictions (i.e. setbacks, height, parking, etc) as long as they aren’t deemed “unreasonable”; and
  3. Includes language to ensure that when adding housing to non-residential areas there must be a health study done to address environmental justice issues.

It still allows for a modest increase in density by adding “missing middle” to be added, and slight density increases, but it at least allows us to impose guard rails on such development.

I would like to express my gratitude to our local District 30 delegation: Senator Elfreth, Delegate Henson, and Delegate Jones, as well as to the Maryland Municipal League for fighting for us. If you agree, please let them know.

Stay healthy and stay safe,


Next Council meeting – 4/8/24 (agenda)

This Council meeting is starting at 7pm and will be televised on local cable, YouTube, Facebook, and the City website.  You can submit public testimony at This will be an in-person meeting.

Public Hearings

  • O-33-23 - Expiration of Special Exceptions to City Zoning Requirements - For the purpose of making the deadline for builders to utilize their special exception to City zoning requirements from one year to two years; making the issuance of a grading or building permit as the point when the special exception is "established"; adds requirements on when special exceptions expire; and generally related to the expiration of special exceptions.

Legislation being introduced on first reader

  • O-7-24 - FY 2025 Budget, Appropriations, and Property Tax Levy
  • O-8-24 - Department of Central Services - For the purpose of reconstituting the Department of Central Services in the City Charter; moving public purchasing duties from the Finance Department to the Department of Central Services, and moving facilities management, fleet operations, and fleet replacement duties from the Department of Public Works to the Department of Central Services; and generally related to Department of Central Services responsibilities.
  • R-12-24 - Designating an Honorary Street Name to Commemorate Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity - To commemorate Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and its work in the City of Annapolis by the honorary designation of Franklin Street from Church Circle to Cathedral Street as "Alpha Phi Alpha Way." I have signed on as a co-sponsor of this effort.
  • R-15-24 - FY 2025 Annual Fees Schedule - For the purpose of specifying fees that will be charged for the use of City services for Fiscal Year 2025; and providing an effective date.
  • R-16-24 - FY 2025 Annual Fines Schedule - For the purpose of specifying fines that will be charged for Fiscal Year 2025 and providing an effective date.
  • R-17-24 - FY 2025 Position Classifications and Pay Plan - For the purpose of approving the Fiscal Year 2025 annual position classifications and pay plan; and specifying an effective date.

Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)

  • O-32-23 - Short-term Rental Licenses and Regulations - For the purpose of clarifying and limiting local eligibility requirements for a short-term rental operator's license; providing definitions; making technical corrections; and generally relating to a rental operator's license. This is my legislation. I’ve spent at least 12-months working on this. It re-writes our short term rental code to close a number of loopholes that were being utilized by owners to get around our requirements that an owner can only have one short term rental property and that they need to be either locally owned or locally managed. It also tweaks the language as far as ensuring nuisance properties with noise violations, etc. do not continue to be problems. I understand that some may want this tweaked further, to prohibit outside ownership and limit the number of short term rentals in residential districts, and I share your desire to revisit those, but believe me, this was a large enough lift as is and I wanted to save those other reforms for later.

Community & Political updates

Eastport Appraisal Roadshow (TODAY)

Together we cycle – Two films and a panel at City Hall Sunday – meet at Georgetown & Windwhisper

This Sunday at 3pm the City is showing two films related to cycling: the first is a 5 minute video about our delegation to the Netherlands to learn about cycling and climate resilience, and the second main video is a Dutch documentary called “Together we Cycle” about how they transitioned back to a cycling-based transportation system. A number of us want to help make this transition in Annapolis. Find out why as we follow up these films with a panel. I will be the City Council rep on this panel. If you are interested in biking over together, meet at the corner of Georgetown Rd and Windwhisper Ln at 2:30pm Sunday.

‘Kick Gas’ Electric Vehicle Showcase Returns To Downtown Annapolis

Electric Vehicle (EV) Showcase on the first block of West Street from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 14.

Chesapeake Jazz Festival


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  • Rob Savidge