This Monday brings another Council meeting, as well as an opportunity for you to testify on the plastic bag ban that I’m proposing for Annapolis. There are details on that below, along with other updates for the meeting and other happenings in the City.
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 my proposed moratorium on new Short Term Rentals (STRs) failed on a 3-3 vote. I'll move forward with separate amendments adjusting our STR code in various ways and work with Alderman Arnett on adjusting our zoning code to address the overabundance of STRs. We also passed R-5-20, legislation supporting State legislation studying the health impacts of the adjusted flight path sending more planes over the Annapolis neck Peninsula, the tattoo parlor legislation was withdrawn by its sponsor, and we confirmed Dr. Sally Nash as the new Planning & Zoning Director in a 5-1 vote.
Next Council meeting - 2/24/20 (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)
- 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.
- R-14-20 - Resolution 14-20 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.
- R-17-20 - this resolution approves the performance statements submitted by the City departments and offices.
- O-6-20 - Planned Developments - Public Housing Bulk Standards - For the purpose of allowing a height adjustment for certain eligible public housing development. This appears to 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.
- O-7-20 - Designated Loading Zones - For the purpose of authorizing designated loading zones in the City of Annapolis - This appears to simply allow our Public Works Department to create loading zones, such as those for taxis and to enforce such zones. I await the staff report for full context.
O-9-20 - Comprehensive Bag reduction (i.e. plastic checkout bag ban) - I am the chief sponsor of this legislation. I currently have 5 other sponsors: Buckley, Arnett, Tierney, Rodriguez, & Gay. Here’s what it would do:
- Ban ALL plastic check-out bags from ALL retail stores in the City.(State bill allows plastic bags thicker than 4 mil)
- This ban only applies to bags provided at the point of sale. This means it would not apply to bags like garbage, lunch, veggie, or newspaper bags that are not provided to the user at the point of sale.
- Ban paper bags unless they have 40% post-consumer recycled content, (State bill does not do this)
- Apply a $0.20 fee on paper bags provided at check-out. Half of this fee would go to the retailer to cover any increased costs and the other $0.10 would go to the City to pay for administrative costs like education and enforcement, pay for re-usable bags to provide to low income residents (such as SNAP recipients), with the remaining going to the Watershed Restoration Fund to pay for legacy plastic bag pollution in our watersheds. (State fee is $0.10)
- The fee would NOT apply to retail stores less than $20,000 square feet, though they would still need to comply with the bag ban.(State applies fee to all retail shops, but has nothing returning to the jurisdiction)
Legislation up for a final vote
- O-1-20 - This ordinance corrects the titles “Director of Human Resources” and “Management Information Technology Director” used in Section 3.08.030 C of the City Code to match the titles used in Section 3.08.030 A. There is no fiscal impact. I am inclined to support this, pending any input from you.
R-8-20 - This resolution waives the docking fees for the large ship Pride of Baltimore II for seven visits to City Dock in late March and early April. Here are a few dates of note:
- Mon, Mar 23, 4-7 PM - Free public deck tours
- Wed, Mar 25, 11 AM-2 PM - Free Maryland Day deck tours
- Wed, Mar 25, 3-4 PM - Maryland Day event for legislators & public on & beside Pride
- Tue, Mar 31, 4-7 PM - Free public deck tours
I am inclined to support this, pending any input from you.
- R-9-20 - This resolution approves itinerant merchant sales associated with certain special events downtown. I am inclined to support this, pending any input from you.
- R-11-20 - This resolution is also for the purpose of adopting, honoring, and upholding the commitments to the goals of the Bird City Maryland program. The Bird City Maryland program will assist the City in promoting the understanding that healthy communities are the sum of many parts, including healthy bird populations. The program will also assist the City of Annapolis to make the City friendlier for birds and improve the health and beauty of the City of Annapolis. I am inclined to support this, pending any input from you.
- 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, instead of at the current/former location off Spa Road. As to what happens to the Spa Road properties, that is still to be determined by the Council. There is a cost increase associated with this relocation, but I’ve been convinced that this makes sense. I’m hoping in the future we can create some kind of Central Park area on Spa Road, complete with reforestation and stormwater management, as opposed to selling it to a developer, but this fight remains for another day. For now, we are simply greenlighting the purchase of the Hudson Street property. This proposal has been found to be in compliance with our Comprehensive Plan per a review by our Planning Commission. I am inclined to support this, pending any input from you.
New Community updates
Comprehensive Plan Summit for Environmentalists
The Annapolis Environmental Commission ( AEC) invites you to attend our Comprehensive Plan Summit to share your ideas for what should be included in the new Comprehensive Plan.
The Summit will be held at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center, February 26th, from 7:00-9:00 PM
As you know, the new Comprehensive Plan will guide development, and, by default, conservation in the City for the next ten years. The AEC will be providing input and keeping an eye on this process but we also want to get your input to inform our work.
This time around, the City is not engaging a citizens committee to guide the process, but rather, they are holding a lot of community meetings. This makes it very important for the AEC to keep engaged and communicate with residents groups so we get our priorities included.
One big priority we will pursue is the insertion of a designated Greenway for the City which will help Dept. of Planning guide where development is sited on lots that are in the Greenway and will help identify lots that could be put into preservation. We are working with the Annapolis Conservancy on this priority and inviting them to this meeting.
Resilient development and stormwater is another priority of ours which involves adapting our practices and code to more frequent and intense rainfall due to climate change.
If you can, please let me know your ideas in advance and please invite your friends and constituents!
-Bevin Buchheister, Chair
Annapolis Environmental Commission
Chief’s lecture series
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
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