This Monday will be the final public hearing on O-40-22, which is titled “workforce housing”, but in reality is a giveaway to developers that would allow them to build multi-family housing, as dense as “apartment hotels” without any height limit, in the middle of single family housing neighborhoods by right, all the while bypassing our normal democratic process for changing zoning and bypassing our normal adequate public facilities requirements (i.e. requirements that we have adequate schools, roads, police, fire, environmental protection, recreational space, etc). If you need a refresher on this issue, I would point you to my Capital Gazette op-ed on the legislation. But as you can probably tell, while I support workforce housing, this legislation is not good policy. Monday will be your last opportunity to testify on this Ordinance prior to it heading off to our Committees for review. After Committee review, it will head back to the Council for a final vote, probably in February or March. The public hearing will be this Monday night at 7pm, and you will have 3 minutes to speak. You can also submit written testimony at www.annapolis.gov/testimony.
Also at this Monday’s meeting, there will be a public hearing on an Ordinance I have introduced, O-55-22, which is in response to all of the issues we had with the Parkeside Preserve project discharging sediment pollution into Quiet Waters Park. The legislation would establish strong inspection procedures that require inspecting the receiving waters, more frequent inspections on larger sites, documented follow-up to stop repeat offenses, and more.
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next Council meeting – 1/9/22 (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 http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony. This will be an in-person meeting.
- O-40-22 - Workforce Housing - For the purpose of the purpose of allowing workforce housing as a permitted use subject to standards in certain residential, commercial, office and mixed use districts; establishing the standards for workforce housing; and generally related to zoning. See my comments above about this legislation. The density it would allow risks having significant impacts to our neighborhoods and would be done without following the democratic comprehensive planning process. I hope you will consider submitting written testimony against this or showing up to do so in-person.
- O-55-22 - Sediment Control Inspections Process, Fees, and Milestone Inspections - For the purpose of adding conditions for reinspection; creating milestone inspections; adjusting buildings and construction fees to pay for inspector positions; updating the format of these sections; and generally related to grading, erosion and sediment control inspections. This is legislation I'm introducing that is responding to all of the violations and enforcement issues we have had over the past few years with projects such as the Parkeside Preserve. Besides creating a new fee structure, it would more importantly strengthen and clarify the inspection protocols for our City inspectors to follow and make the entire process more transparent.
- O-57-22 - Residential District - Code Section Correction - For the purpose of correcting a referral to a section of city code in Title 21
Legislation being introduced on first reader
- O-1-23 - Planning Commission - Expanding Commission Membership - For the purpose of expanding the number of Planning Commission members from seven members to nine; creating criteria for two of the members; and generally related to the Planning Commission. This legislation seeks to add two members to the Planning Commission and requires that they be members of government-subsidized housing or have low incomes. I don’t entirely know why this legislation is being introduced and I have a number of concerns with how it is currently written.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- R-61-22 - Annual Meeting and Tourism Industry Reception - For the purpose of identifying the Annual Meeting and Tourism Industry Reception that will be held on January 24, 2023, as a Major Special Event; and waiving certain City of Annapolis fees for services related to that event. This resolution designates the Annual Meeting and Tourism Industry Reception as a major special event and waives up to $2,740 of City of Annapolis fees. I’m inclined to support, pending any comments from you.
Community & Political updates
Quiet waters park expansion informational-moderated meeting
There will be a public informational meeting on Friday, January 20th at 6pm till 8pm, to learn more about the plans for the Quiet Waters Park expansion. The expanded property would be leased to and become the home of the Chesapeake Conservancy non-profit, which would be located on the part of the property that previously had a house on it. The public meeting will be moderated by former Maryland State Senator Gerald Winegrad. Officials from the County and the non-profit, the Chesapeake Conservancy, have been invited to present their plans. The public meeting will be held at the Bay Ridge Christian Church, 1071 Bay Ridge Rd., Annapolis.