Our October Town Hall went well. I’d like to thank the City’s Planning & Zoning Department for coming out to brief everyone on their work on the 2020 Comprehensive Plan. If you should want to complete a survey for the plan, and ensure our voice in Ward 7 is heard, you can fill that out here. If you have any special guests you would like me to invite to our next meeting, please let me know.
In the news
I’d like to take a moment to comment on any local issues that may be in the news.
Poor conditions in Housing Authority properties - Capital article
I am not happy with the pace of inspections being provided by the City. Back in July the Council passed a Resolution in July calling for new inspections and licenses. Unfortunately this Resolution did not set any firm deadlines, and we are now seeing the consequences of that decision: a drawn out inspection process. I’ll continue to make my view known that we need to pick up the pace of inspections. We should be looking at utilizing our other inspectors and temporarily reducing their other responsibilities, which may delay some other building inspections so that they can prioritize the HACA properties.
Bay Forest update
For those who are concerned about the issues raised by our neighbors living in the Bay Forest senior apartments, staff has concluded their inspections and I’m continuing to work with them, the residents, and the property owners to ensure that all of the issues have been responded to.
Parkside Preserve has started grading
The Parkside Preserve (aka Reserve at Quiet Waters), an approximately 40 acre development adjacent to Quiet Waters, located off Annapolis Neck Road, in our Ward, has started removing the trees and vegetation on the property. I was first alerted to the tree removals on Wednesday, at which time I contacted the City inquiring about the permit, which appeared to be void. I’ve since been told that the permits were ok, but when I drove by the site Thursday they were in clear violation of our City and State laws, and not in compliance with the approved plans. They had zero perimeter sediment control (i.e. silt fence) and insufficient tree protection measures installed, and they were clearing way too much land, which they shouldn’t have done until they had all of their environmental protections up. I am not happy about this, especially since we are currently getting rain, which risks washing mud into our waterways. I just drove by the site this morning and they do at least have the silt fence up along the road, but it wasn't installed properly in one location and some muddy water was washing in an unprotected inlet. Rest assured that I’ve been voicing my concerns with the City and others to ensure these issues get resolved. If anyone living near this construction site sees anything wrong, please contact me immediately.
Redevelopment of C&C Liquors site - Lidl - public meeting
On Wednesday, October 30th, 6pm at the Rec Center there will be a County public meeting on the proposed Lidl grocery store, to be built where the old C&C liquors store is located. Based on what I’ve seen, the most recent proposal is much smaller than the original and brings it more in line with what is allowed under the County’s General Development Plan. Questions that remain are how they will adequately treat their stormwater and what kind of connectivity will they have with the adjacent development (i.e. pedestrian and/or automobile). I’ll be speaking with City staff to see what they are looking for this project to do, even though it is a project within the County. If you have thoughts on this development, please let me know.
Updates from the previous Council meeting
- We passed O-10-19 & R-32-19 (fees) - Maryland Public Information Act - For the purpose of adopting City of Annapolis procedures for the processing of requests made pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act; establishing definitions; providing notice of disclosure requirements; establishing an appeal process; allowing fees to be charged; allowing fee waivers; and generally related to adopting procedures for processing Public Information Act requests.
- We passed R-41-19 - Itinerant Merchant Sales in the Historic District in conjunction with the April 4, 2020, Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and Festival.
- We postponed O-18-19 - Department of the Environment - This was postponed to give the sponsors (such as myself) more time to develop amendments.
- We postponed O-26-19 - Short term rental licensing.
Next Council meeting - 10/28/19 (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)
- 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.
- 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 am a co-sponsor on this legislation
- O-27-19 - Critical Area Overlay - This brings us into compliance with the State model ordinance and updates the mapping per the Critical Area Commission. I am working on amendments to this to fix a few errors and to make it the strongest Critical Area law in the State.
- O-36-19 - For the purpose of including parking kiosks and parking mobile devices in the requirements for installation and location of parking meters.
Legislation up for a final vote
- O-26-19, R-30-19, R-31-19 - Short term rental licensing - This will be postponed again to give us more time to work on amendments. I intend to support this proposal to postpone.
- R-45-19 - This would waive the fees associated with the Military Bowl Parade and Football Game. I’m not inclined to support this proposal. College sports bring in significant money for their teams, and I imagine the event sponsors would have no problems paying the $15,000 fees. In fact, if I’m reading the fiscal impact note correctly, last fiscal year the event sponsors did just that, and it cost them $30k. Pending any comments from you, I’m leaning towards voting against this.
New Community updates
City of Annapolis receives Sustainable Maryland award
Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Leaders Sign ‘No Discharge Zone’ Petition to MDE and EPA
Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman signed the application for a No Discharge Zone (NDZ) for an area that includes the Annapolis Harbor, all waterways that feed the Chesapeake Bay that begin in Anne Arundel County (including the Severn River, Magothy River, South River, and West/Rhode Rivers) and major creeks of those rivers.
In a No Discharge Zone, boats with a hold are not permitted to discharge either treated or untreated boat sewage. By keeping human waste out of area waterways, it will help to clean up an area that runs from Gibson Island to Deale.
One of the key components to an effective No Discharge Zone is the adequate capacity for mariners to offload their holds. The Annapolis City Harbormaster operates a pump-out boat that will go to boats at a slip, on a mooring or private pier. In addition, there are more than 50 pump out locations located around Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
The Maryland Departments of Natural Resources and the Environment will review the application and may apply to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for designation of these waters as a No Discharge Zone.
The application was prepared by David Barker of the Severn River Association, who also assisted the city and county with four required public meetings. The minutes of those meetings are included with the application.
Download the latest interim report from the Forest Drive-Spa Road “land swap” task force
Continuing community announcements
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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It has also come to my attention that PP may be seeking to connect to water and/or sewer through the lines on Fox Hollow Lane. This would require further excavation and tree removal from PP through the woods into Hunt Meadow. Our HOA is looking into this. From an article in 2015, it appeared that this connection was to be made under Quiet Waters Park https://www.capitalgazette.com/ph-ac-cn-county-city-utilities-1104-20151103-story.html. I am unaware what has happened to that plan.
Thank you for your vigilance in pursuing information and clarification on this project. While construction in our city will no doubt continue, it is important that it do so within existing guidelines and disturb as little of the remaining environment, which makes this area a beautiful place to live.