first full virtual Council meeting Monday - other Ward 7 COVID updates

After our trial run on doing a virtual Council meeting, we will be holding our second virtual meeting this Monday, with a packed agenda. I’d recommend tuning in as the Mayor will be giving his State of the City Address and introducing this year’s budget. 

Take care and stay well during this pandemic. If you should have any questions or concerns please let me know. 

Donate food to neighbors in Bay Forest [CORRECTION]

Our neighbors living in Bay Forest Independent Living could use donations of toilet paper, paper towels, water, canned food, sanitary items, and more. If you have any stockpiles you are willing to share, please reach out to bayforest@hrehllc.com or bayforestacm@hrehllc.com

Previous Council meeting update

At our previous meeting we extended our state of emergency, created a small business task force, and appointed a new director of our Information Technology office.  

Next Council meeting - 4/13/20 (agenda)

Council meetings start at 7pm and are televised on local cable, Facebook, and the City website (www.annapolis.gov). Due to COVID-19, our meetings are now being held virtually.

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 cityclerk@annapolis.gov at least five days prior to the meeting date to request assistance.

All Annapolis City Council and standing committee meetings are broadcast on City of Annapolis TV as well as Facebook Live and YouTube Live, including virtual meetings during the State of Emergency for COVID-19.

First, check-in with the meetings that you want to attend (and subscribe to the CivicSend link to have meeting dates and adjustments sent to you by email). The calendar can be found here: https://www.annapolis.gov/calendar.aspx?CID=23,24,14,46,42,47,40,51,44,50,27,36,31,26,33,49

Next, at the appointed time, go to these web links for viewing the meetings live:

http://www.youtube.com/CityofAnnapolis

http://www.facebook.com/CityofAnnapolis

The live stream is available about 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting (there is a countdown clock that says the meeting is starting in...)  The completed meetings are then archived on the same platforms (above) as well as on the website through the Legistar portal here:

https://annapolismd.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=23680&GUID=8CC9DA25-D92A-491F-984C-946DCA0F51DE&Mode=MainBody

If you would like to submit public testimony, we have included a new link allowing written testimony to be submitted into the recorded minutes of the meeting. Submit written testimony: http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony.

First readers (legislation being introduced)

Some minor legislation is being introduced on first reader on the consent calendar. Please see the agenda for the full listing.

Public hearings

  • O-39-19 - Accessory Dwelling Units - For the purpose of allowing accessory dwelling units in all zoning districts that allow single-family detached dwellings; establishing use requirements for accessory dwelling units; adding certain definitions; making stylistic changes; and generally related to accessory dwelling units.
  • O-5-20 - City Council Meetings - Order of Business - For the purpose of modifying the order of business for regular and special meetings of the City Council. I am the primary sponsor on this legislation. What I’m seeking to do is have one of our monthly meetings be dedicated to public hearings, citations, and reports, and then the second meeting be dedicated to deliberating on legislation on second reader. My intention is to allow us to deliberate on legislation earlier in the evening, as opposed to having it be last on our agenda, where we often don’t end up voting until 10 or 11 at night.
  • O-6-20 - Planned Developments - Public Housing Bulk Standards - For the purpose of allowing a height adjustment for certain eligible public housing development. This is intended to allow public housing to take advantage of the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit density/height bonus as other development projects currently do.
  • O-8-20 - Harbors and Waterfront Areas - Code Updates - For the purpose of updating certain definitions; removing obsolete language; requiring regular pump out of a vessel's holding tank; making stylistic changes; and generally related to updating Title 15. 
  • O-10-20 - Zoning Code Applications - Written Notification Requirement - For the purpose of increasing the distance for sending written notification to abutting property owners for Planned Developments, Major Subdivisions, and Major Site Design applications. This increases the notification radius requirement for larger projects from the current 200 feet to neighbors who live within 750 feet. I am a co-sponsor of this legislation. 

Legislation up for a final vote

  • O-11-19 - R2-NC District - Demolitions - 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 am inclined to support this legislation, pending any comments from you. However, I believe the primary sponsor wants to withdraw this legislation. If that's the case I'll support the sponsor's intention.
  • 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; and generally relating to the adequacy of auto transportation facilities. I suspect/hope this legislation will be postponed, as it appears we haven’t received the recommendations from the Planning Commission, and I would like to hear what they have to say on this. I will likely be introducing amendments to make adjustments to this legislation. 
  • O-38-19 - Housing and Community Development Committee - For the purpose of renaming the Housing and Community Development Committee; clarifying certain powers and functions; and making stylistic changes. This will likely be postponed until 4/27. We discussed this at length at our Rules & Government Committee meeting. This legislation would change the committee into a commission and update the language to be compliant with our Charter. The sponsor may be withdrawing this to come back with a new piece of legislation. If not, I’ll likely introduce an amendment to remove the Council from this Commission. Traditionally the Council doesn’t serve on our Commissions, though we do get direct appointments to some of them. I think it’s important to be getting affordable housing recommendations from experts in the community, and not have politics interfere, which I’m afraid would happen if the Council was on the commission.
  • 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. This will be withdrawn as the festival went virtual. 

COVID-19 resources & updates

Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities FREE Senior Feeding Program

EPA Encourages Americans to Only Flush Toilet Paper

WASHINGTON (March 30, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging all Americans to only flush toilet paper, not disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should be disposed of in the trash. Flushing only toilet paper helps ensure that the toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage our nation’s wastewater. While EPA encourages disinfecting your environment to prevent the spread of COVID-19, never flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items. These easy steps will keep surfaces disinfected and wastewater management systems working for all Americans.

Preventable toilet and sewer backups can pose a threat to human health and present an extra challenge to our water utilities and their workforce. Flushing anything other than toilet paper, including disinfecting wipes, can damage internal plumbing, local sewer systems and septic systems. Fixing these backups is costly and takes time and resources away from ensuring that wastewater management systems are otherwise working properly. EPA thanks wastewater utilities and their workforce for their courageous efforts at a time when resources may be stretched thin. Having fully operational wastewater services is critical to containing COVID-19 and protecting Americans from other public health risks. Our nation’s wastewater employees are everyday heroes who are on the frontline of protecting human health and the environment every single day.

For more information, see https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus.

Drive Through COVID-19 Testing

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health’s free drive-through COVID-19 testing clinics are being held Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Department of Health Annex Building in Annapolis.

All individuals require approval from the Department of Health to receive a COVID-19 test. There are a limited number of test kits, and appointments are scheduled according to kit availability. Results from the drive-through tests are available within seven days.

Individuals must be symptomatic to be eligible for the drive-through testing. Symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure to COVID-19. Symptomatic individuals can call the COVID-19 Health Line at 410-222-7256 for screening, assessment, and test scheduling. Individuals with severe difficulty breathing should immediately call their primary care provider or 9-1-1.

Annapolis Non-Emergency: 410-260-2211

Monday - Sunday 24 hours a day

COVID-19 Health Line: 410-222-7256

Monday - Thursday: 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Sat/Sun: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Information on City closures

https://www.annapolis.gov/1645/Coronavirus-Information#CityClosures

School system expands meals program; children can now get breakfast, lunch, and dinner at 52 sites

http://aacpsschools.org/pressr/?p=5666 

Ward 7 restaurants open

Based on the City’s list of restaurants that are still open, Annapolis Smokehouse and Tavern, Grumps, Caliente Grill, Sam’s on the waterfront, Jack’s Fortune, and Subway are still offering curbside pickup. Main & Market is closed. 

Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities launched online updates and virtual activities

https://www.aacounty.org/departments/aging-and-disabilities/

Library resources

The Anne Arundel County library system has a number of digital services that they have expanded during the crisis. 

Activities for Kids

Common Sense Media has compiled a list of Free Online Events and Activities for Kids at Home

Business resources

https://www.annapolis.gov/1631/COVID-19-Business-Resources

Workforce assistance

https://www.annapolis.gov/1634/COVID-19-Workforce-Assistance

Unemployment Benefits

If your employment has been impacted by COVID-19 you may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you meet the monetary criteria and the weekly eligibility criteria

  • It is strongly encouraged you utilize the NetClaims application to file your claim online
  • The Division of Unemployment Insurance’s call center is open Monday – Friday from 7:30 am to 6 pm (updated hours).  To speak to an Unemployment Specialist please call 301-723-2000.  Please note the call center is experiencing unusually long wait times.
  • If you are having difficulty accessing the website or placing a call, please email ui.inquiry@maryland.gov
  • For more information about unemployment benefits & COVID-19 please check the frequently asked questions page.

AAWDC Career Development Services

AAWDC services are still available remotely and can be accessed by emailing careercenter@aawdc.org or contacting your Career Navigation Specialist.  Services include:

  • Remote career coaching
  • Connection to benefits and support needed during this difficult time
  • Career planning & exploration
  • Job search resources and connection to businesses hiring

Annapolis COVID-19 frequently asked questions

https://www.annapolis.gov/faq.aspx?TID=48

Annapolis Maritime Museum virtual exhibits

https://amaritime.org/museum/exhibits/


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  • Rob Savidge