Given that there isn’t too much on this second-to-last council meeting of this term, the big news I wanted to lead off with is the pollution in Quiet Waters Park. I’ve been sent numerous pictures over the past few weeks of this muddy water illegally entering into the park from the adjacent development project, ironically named Parkside Preserve, which is actually a new ~130 home residential development. I want to assure you that I’ve been working tirelessly to address this situation (my family has seen me for only a few hours this week). I went out to the site (without entering) and observed 12 different violations on the work site (remember, I used to do environmental inspections for the City, prior to getting elected), and promptly sent that to the City Manager. After a slow response from staff, I proceeded to contact the Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment.
I’m happy to say that the site is now mostly in compliance, after 7 long days. Keep in mind that the developer is required to keep their site in compliance every single day. So the fact that they were out of compliance for weeks, and the City gave them another entire week is a problem. It’s also a problem that the department in charge of the inspections, Public Works, failed to notice these violations for weeks, despite their thrice-weekly inspections. It’s also a problem that after 12 violations, and 13 out-of-compliance inspection results, the developer is allowed to get away with this with zero dollars in fines for sending this pollution into our park. To top it off, the permit for this work actually expires at the end of today, and once this was brought to the City's attention, they quickly extended the contractor's permit (in violation of our laws); much more quickly than it took them to respond to our citizen complaints. The fact that this violates our laws is something I will need to figure out how to address.
In anycase, this is why our neighbors in Beechwood hill and surrounding communities organized a brand new coalition, called Annapolis Stand Up! They are organizing a march and rally for TOMORROW AT 7AM starting at the entrance of Quiet Waters park and heading over to the project. The early time is due to that being the time that workers get to the site. I will post their flyer down below.
In other news, I’m withdrawing O-12-21, the Police Enhancement And Community Engagement (PEACE) ordinance. I will be bringing this back next term, but it simply proved to be too complex to be passed this session, especially since we made major revisions to it after meeting with the Police Department, law office, and ACLU, which need to be brought back to the public.
Lastly, I respectfully ask for your vote when you receive your ballot. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving you and look forward to continuing to do so for another 4 years.
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next Council meeting – 10/11/21 (agenda)
This Council meeting is starting at 7pm and will be televised on local cable, Facebook, and the City website (www.annapolis.gov). http://www.youtube.com/CityofAnnapolis http://www.facebook.com/CityofAnnapolis
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 [email protected] at least five days prior to the meeting date to request assistance.
If you are unable to attend, I believe you can still submit public testimony at http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony.
- O-32-21 - Zoning Code - Use and Occupancy Permits - For the purpose of providing procedures for issuance of use and occupancy permits under the Zoning Code; providing timelines for the approval of a permit; requiring a maintenance bond; and generally relating to the use and occupancy permitting process.
Legislation being introduced on First Reader
- R-28-21 - Universal Lodge No. 14 - Permit Fees Waiver - For the purpose of waiving the permit fees in connection with the restoration of the exterior of the historic Universal Lodge No. 14.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- R-22-21 - South Annapolis Yacht Center - Public Water Access - For the purpose of requiring the Department of Planning and Zoning to hold a public meeting for the general public to be heard on the South Annapolis Yacht Center fence application. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
- R-27-21 - Itinerant Merchant Sales in the Historic District - Halloween Celebration - For the purpose of authorizing hawker, peddler, and itinerant merchant sales in the Historic District in conjunction with a certain special event during calendar year 2021. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
- O-9-21 - Accessory Dwelling Units - For the purpose of establishing accessory dwelling units as an accessory use in certain zoning districts that allow single family dwelling units; establishing the use and bulk requirements for accessory dwelling units; and establishing the procedural requirements for accessory dwelling units. I have an amendment proposed that would require that any new ADUs would need to treat their stormwater or reduce lot coverage of impervious surfaces. Depending on if this amendment passes, as well as the others, I’m inclined to support this legislation, pending any comments from you.
- O-22-21 - Administrative Hearing Officer By Contract Established - For the purpose of establishing the position of Administrative Hearing Officer by Contract; This would essentially get rid of our Planning commission and go to a model where one person, the hearing officer, would be in charge of taking staff recommendations and then either approving or denying most types of development proposals. I have concerns about this, but in the end I believe this is being withdraw as we haven’t had enough time to discuss it given this is the end of our terms/session.
- O-29-21 - City Holidays - Juneteenth - For the purpose of designating Juneteenth National Independence Day as a City paid holiday. This officially adopts Juneteenth as a City Holiday, now that it has been made a federal holiday. I am inclined to support this pending any comments from you.
- O-30-21 - Market Space Lease Agreements – This legislation would approve short term leases to allow five businesses adjacent to Market Space to utilize the parking spaces as “recovery zones.” I think the recovery zones have been a huge success and I’m inclined to support them downtown, pending any comments from you.
March to protect Quiet Waters Park
Listening sessions with the Mayor
You will receive a ballot for the general election, and those ballots must be postmarked by November 2nd.
How do I vote?
You can mail in your ballot (postage is pre-paid by the City), drop it off at any drop box in the City (ours is at the Eastport Library), or you can vote in person at the Eastport Library on November 2nd.
Have election-related questions?
If you or any voter has any questions or concerns regarding ANYTHING ELECTIONS RELATED, Please go to https://www.annapolis.gov/1702/2021-Elections-Information