Thank you to those who were able to attend this past Monday’s Town Hall meeting. If you missed the meeting, we spent most of it talking about O-40-22, titled Workforce Housing, which would open up all of our zoning districts (except Maritime and industrial) to density akin to apartments, all while bypassing our normal zoning amendment process. The density I’m referring to could be anywhere between 4-6+ units with no restriction on height, placed on any single family lot. I do NOT support this legislation as it is currently written. While we certainly need more below market rate housing (which is what this “workforce” housing would be), whenever we add density, especially at such a drastic level, it needs to be done with a robust public process and we must ensure that it will not impact our neighborhoods with increased traffic, parking woes, school overcrowding, noise, policing impacts, etc. Such a thing should really be done through our zoning amendment process as well as our Comprehensive Planning process, and have to comply with our adequate public facilities code, none of which would be done as currently written.
For me to have any hopes of defeating or amending this, I will need your help. If you can provide in-person testimony on this legislation, the public hearing will be this Monday night at 7pm at City Hall (160 Duke of Gloucester St), 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, I’ll be introducing 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. The public hearing for this legislation will probably be in January.
Next Council meeting – 12/12/22 (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-33-22 - City of Annapolis Public Ethics Law - For the purpose of compliance with the requirements of Subtitle 8 Local Government Provisions of the Public Ethics Law or Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 19A.04. These are tweaks coming out of State legislation but don’t represent any significant changes.
- O-50-22 - Rent Guidelines - For the purpose of developing rent guidelines; creating a Rent Stabilization Board to create and oversee the guidelines; setting rent increase notice requirements; generally concerning rents and landlord-tenant relations.
- 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. I hope you will consider submitting written testimony or showing up to do so in-person.
- O-51-22 - Floodplain Management - Amending the Floodplain Management Code - For the purpose of improving compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) model floodplain management code; and generally related to floodplain management.
- O-54-22 - Sign Regulations - Shopping Center Sign Requirements - For the purpose of expanding sign requirement exceptions regarding front-lit signage for shopping centers in B2 Community Shopping zoning districts; and generally dealing with sign regulations in the City of Annapolis.
Legislation being introduced on first reader
- O-47-22 - Vehicles and Traffic - Special Residential Parking Districts - Nonresident Parking Permits & Temporary Passes - For the purpose of allowing guest parking passes for City of Annapolis property owners who reside in the City seasonally; and generally relating to off-street parking.
- 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 ? 40.050(D)(1) and ? 50.040 Tablenote 10.
- 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. I don’t yet know how much in fees this Resolution proposes to waive, so I’m undecided on this. I’m also not sure why we should waive fees for a private industry association meeting.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- O-31-22 - Revenue and Finance - Budget - Annapolis Community Grant Program - For the purpose of requiring that all recipients of City community grant funds have proof of non-profit status; clarifying definitions; adding acceptable proof; expanding requirements for grantees; and generally dealing with community grant allocations. This clarifies that groups receiving our community grants must have proof of non-profit status. Pending input from you, I’m inclined to support.
- O-38-22 - Vehicles and Traffic - Stopping, Standing and Parking - Parking Spaces Reserved - For the purpose of reserving temporary assigned handicapped parking spaces in residential areas for City of Annapolis residents; and generally dealing with handicapped parking. The bill closes a state of Maryland loophole allowing handicapped parking near residences for permanent handicaps, but not temporary handicaps. Pending any comments from you, I’m inclined to support this legislation.
- R-58-22 - Amendments to Title 2 of the FY 2023 Fees Schedule - For the purpose of amending Annapolis Police Department fees; and generally related to the FY 2023 fee schedule. The State of Maryland raised its processing fee for fingerprinting services, this resolution amends the FY 2023 Annapolis Police Department fee schedule for certain fingerprinting services in response to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services processing fee increase. I’m inclined to support this legislation, pending any comments from you.
- R-59-22 - Budget Process Timeline for Fiscal Year 2024 - For the purpose of approving a timeline for the Fiscal Year 2024 budget development and approval process. At this point I’m inclined to support this as written, pending any comments from you or my colleagues on the Council.
Community & Political updates
Opportunity to Serve on the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee
There is an opportunity for a resident from Ward 7 to serve as an alternate on the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee (http://annapolisdems.org). In addition to fulfilling duties imposed by the Annapolis City Code, the ADCC supports a strong and viable Democratic Party. If you are interested in serving, please let me know and I will put you in touch with the Central Committee.