First thing I would like to update you on is that we will be having our autumn town hall meeting this Tuesday, October 15th from 7-8:30 pm. I know there’s a lot going on that evening, but that was the only date the library had available. I do apologize for any inconvenience. Staff from our Planning & Zoning Department will attend in an effort to update you, and hopefully gather your input for the 2020 Annapolis Comprehensive Plan. I expect that to only take a half hour at the most, and then I’d like to transition to our normal open question & answers format, after I give some brief remarks. I hope to see you all there! Given that this is a busy boat show weekend I’ve been short on volunteers, so if you can help distribute flyers in other parts of the Ward please let me know and I’ll let you know there areas that still need to be hit.
Updates from the previous Council meeting
- We passed O-21-19 - An ordinance that overhauled our Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) program. Previously developers were able to simply pay a fee to avoid including MPDU units in their projects. Now we’ve made it a requirement they can’t avoid; 15% of their units must be MPDUs. However, we failed to pass my amendment that sought to have this apply to all projects that do not yet have MPDU approval. This Council (Mayor, Ald Tierney, Ald Paone, Ald Finlayson) decided to grandfather all development projects even if they have only submitted an application. This goes contrary to established Maryland planning law that says new laws apply to everyone, unless construction has started. Furthermore, this means that Chesapeake Grove, in our Ward, will not need to include these affordable units. If my amendment had passed we would have achieved 15 new MPDUs between two projects, which would have been more MPDUs than we’ve secured in the past 20 years of this program. This was a huge oversight by this Council and I’m disappointed that my colleagues and the Mayor failed to take this concrete step toward building “one Annapolis.”
- We passed O-29-19 - Purchasing and Procurement - For the purpose of establishing and enacting purchasing and procurement laws for the City of Annapolis. We apparently don’t have any procurement processes outlined in our Code, so this would remedy that.
- We passed O-25-19 - Watershed Restoration Fund language adjustment - This adjusts the language of our Watershed Restoration Fund so it is more in line with the actual intention of the Fund; to restore our waterways. This will help with securing funding for such projects. I introduced (and it was passed) an amendment that will require an annual report/summary of how the money is spent as I’ve received a number of questions over the years to this end.
Next Council meeting - 10/14/19 (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)
No legislation is up for a public hearing.
Legislation up for a final vote
- 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. I plan on supporting these refinements to our PIA process, pending any concerns you may bring up.
- R-41-19 - Itinerant Merchant Sales in the Historic District - For the purpose of authorizing hawker, peddler, and itinerant merchant sales in the Historic District in conjunction with the April 4, 2020, Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and Festival. I’m leaning towards supporting this so there can be local craft vendors, but if you have thoughts on the matter please let me know.
- O-18-19 - Department of the Environment - My proposal to create a new Department of the Environment (at no cost) is up for a vote, but only because it has been 90 days since introduction, and not because we are ready to vote. Thus, we will likely postpone action on this for another month.
- O-26-19 - Short term rental licensing - This proposal also is up for a vote because of the 90-day rule, and not because we are ready to vote. This will likely be postponed another few months.
New Community updates
Arts in Public Places Commision Opens Two Public Space Arts Shows
A Month-Long Show at City Hall Features Fire Department Photos and Memorabilia; A One-Woman Photography Exhibition at “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center Features Wildlife and Outdoor Scenes.
At City Hall, the Annapolis Fire Department is the featured group. The commission decided on honoring the fire department with an exhibit because October is Fire Prevention Month. The show features photographs from the City’s three fire stations, different truck companies, emergency medical services, special teams and the Fire Department’s extensive community involvement. The show will run October 1 through 31.
At “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center, photographs by award-winning photographer Anne Delano Weathersby are included in a show entitled, “Preserving the Moment,” which focuses on wildlife and outdoor spaces. The photographs are scenes discovered all over the East Coast and beyond, but many are close to her Annapolis home. The show will run October 7 through December 31.
A reception for the AFD Photo Exhibit will be held Monday, October 14,from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at City Hall, 160 Duke of Gloucester Street in Annapolis.
An Artist reception with Anne Delano Weathersby will be held Tuesday, October 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center, 273 Hilltop Lane in Annapolis.
Career and College Readiness Presentation at “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center on October 19
ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 26, 2019) Author Valarie Austin will conduct a workshop at Roger “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center in Annapolis on October 19. The “Career & College Readiness Workshop” is targeted to teens and young adults. It is free and open to the public.
The Office of Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley and the Department of Recreation and Parks are hosting the workshop on Saturday, October 19th, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center, 273 Hilltop Ln, Annapolis, MD 21403.
This event is part of Mayor Gavin Buckley’s “One Annapolis” initiative. The discussion will engage young adults about the tools, knowledge, and skills that they need to navigate selecting careers, choosing the appropriate schooling and making smart financial decisions about college.
Austin is the author of The Student's Comprehensive Guide For College & Other Life Lessons. The presentation is ideal for high school/college-bound students and their parents/guardians. Learn more about Valarie Austin at her website. The event will include a book signing.
Contact the Recreation center directly at 410-263-7958 for more information. Registration is encouraged for the workshop HERE.
Public Works Maintenance Facility Work Group (i.e. land swap)
The next meeting of the group will be on October 24, from 7-9 PM, at the PMRC. Like the last meeting, they will start with brief presentations from the subcommittees, then take questions, and then listen to public testimony.
Congratulations to the 45 businesses and special events that are reducing their plastic footprint
Annapolis Green and the City of Annapolis teamed up to tackle the issue head-on with the launch of Plastic Free Annapolis, a month-long public education campaign, from August 20 to September 20, designed to reduce single-use plastic across the City.
Plastic Free Annapolis offers residents and businesses an unprecedented opportunity to play a pivotal role in reducing plastic pollution and achieve recognition as leaders in environmental stewardship. Working in concert with the City of Annapolis, Annapolis Green contacted all sorts of businesses including hoteliers, proprietors of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, charter boat owners, attractions and organizers of special events. The results: 45 businesses agreed to begin or accelerate steps they are taking to be plastic free.
Additionally, many individuals have signed a pledge to do the same in their homes and when they are out at play.
All 45 businesses are listed on our website along with videos of business leaders who are happy to share their experiences in operating in a planet-friendly manner. See https://annapolisgreen.com/plastic-free-annapolis/
Plastic pollution is one of the most important environmental threats we face today. Each of us contributes to the problem, and it’s up to us all to reduce, and ultimately, end it. To that end, even though the campaign with the City has ended, Annapolis Green will continue Plastic Free Annapolis. Interested in doing your part? Contact us at [email protected].
If you have plastic materials that you have replaced with biodegradable alternatives, Annapolis Green will be glad to collect them for proper disposal. This includes non-recyclable items such as plastic cutlery, Styrofoam containers, Solo cups and more. Clearly marked disposal boxes will be placed outside of Annapolis Green’s office at 92 Maryland Avenue beginning tomorrow, October 1
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