What a busy month! This past week I went to the ribbon cutting event for the removal of the fence (located on Victor Parkway) dividing Victor Haven and Fairwinds. The fence has been replaced with removable bollards, as it will not be open to regular vehicular traffic. The good thing is, we now have a detour route off the peninsula when there are accidents at the corner of Bay Ridge and Forest Drive (happens too often!), it’s much more bicycle friendly, and represents the One Annapolis that I think we all are striving for.
Additionally, I have a number of pieces of legislation working their way through the process that I would like to update you on, and hopefully get your support for. You’ll have an opportunity this Monday to comment on some of them. I’ll include details on the Council meeting, legislation, and various Ward 7 updates below, including my fall Town Hall meeting.
Details on Monday’s Council meeting
Legislation being introduced (i.e. “first reader”)
- O-41-18 - emergency procurement - this would allow the City Manager to transfer money within a fund, in amounts over $25,000, in the case of specific emergency situations.
- R-41-18 - Housing Authority Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) - This would set a PILOT of $1 for two Housing Authority properties (Obery Court and Annapolis Gardens) that are managed by private companies. While this is only introduction, I have a number of questions about this resolution. If these two properties pay the County PILOT worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, why are we not requiring these private companies pay the City the same?
- R-45-18 - Eastport/Forest Drive Sector Study adoption. This resolution would adopt the Sector Study and refer it to the Planning Commission and Council Committees for review. I have not had a chance to review this report yet, and am also questioning why this is coming to the Council before the report gets approved by the Planning Commission.
- R-47-18 - No Discharge Zone. This resolution will express support to the Back Creek Conservancy for submitting a joint City/County application to the EPA to declare our waters as a No Discharge Zone (i.e. you can’t dump your human waste even if it’s treated, because even untreated waste contributes nutrients, which contribute to the water quality issues we are experiencing). I am the lead sponsor on this. Please come out and testify if you support this initiative.
Legislation up for a final vote
- O-21-18 - Parking fund appropriations - This basically just allows the City Council to use the money in this fund, if there are any excesses, for other purposes. I intend to support this pending any concerns raised by you.
- R-43-18 - This adopts energy efficiency and renewable energy production goals in support of a grant of $55,000 from the Maryland Energy Administration. I intend to support this pending any concerns raised by you.
- R-46-18 - Application of our stormwater code - This resolution simply expresses the Council’s desire that our stormwater code be applied as written, to require that developers treat more than the minimum amount of strormwater if there is a water quality concern. For example, redevelopment projects must reduce their impervious surfaces by 50% or treat the equivalent amount of stormwater. New development must do the same on 100% of their property. Despite the law allowing the City to require more than this minimum, and despite the fact that we do indeed have impaired waterways, this has never been properly applied by the City. This attempts to express the Council’s will that this be changed. Anything the developers treat over the minimum represents a credit we can claim towards meeting our federal pollution reduction targets. In other words, it would have developers helping us meet those targets rather than allowing them to make matters worse, and rather than placing the entire burden of meeting our $20 million commitment on the backs of the taxpayers. There is fierce opposition to this. If you support this effort I could use your testimony or emails to my colleagues. I am a sponsor on this legislation and intend to vote in favor, pending any comments from you.
- R-39-18 - Waiving of fees of the Annapolis Rising benefit concert - This resolution would waive the fees ($33,972) associated with this concert (i.e. Police, Fire, DPW overtime). Given that this event was quite successful and will result in the donation of around $80,000 to the Capital Gazette Fund, I’m not inclined to waive these fees, especially in light of the tax increase. I may support one compromise being proposed, which is to not waive the fees but to take $10,000 out of one of our contingency funds and give it to the Capitl fund. I would welcome any of your thoughts on this matter.
- R-44-18 - Waives Elks Labor Day parade fees - This legislation proposes to waive the fees related to the Elks Annual Pre-Labor Day parade, as apparently has been done for many years now. The estimated fiscal impact to the City is $1,727. I am inclined to support this Resolution pending any comments from you.
- O-29-18 - Lease of Truxtun Park to Kayak Annapolis, Inc.
- O-33-18 - Commercial recycling adjustments - This ordinance amends the commercial recycling requirements (specifies when containers may be set out and when they must be removed) to establish guidelines and clarifies enforcement procedures for repeat violations.
- O-35-18 - This ordinance amends the code to allow trees to be pruned to a minimum height of 15' to afford free passage of trucks. The current pruning limitation of 13' does not allow free passage of some Fire Department vehicles.
O-36-18 - Public Peace, Noise Prohibition - For the purpose of making technical
corrections to the City of Annapolis Environmental and Motor Vehicle Noise
- O-37-18 - Ethics Code updates - This ordinance amends the Code as requested by the State to remove the requirement for an individual who requests to review a financial disclosure statement to provide his or her employer, home, and office address. It also addresses how HACA officials are required to be treated for purposes of financial disclosure.
- O-40-18 - Registration of vacant non-residential buildings - This would require that owners of vacant non-residential buildings that have been vacant for more than 90 days must register their property with the City and pay a fee.
Fence removal on Victor Parkway
The fence on Victor Parkway between Fairwinds and Victor Haven has finally been removed, but is still not open to regular vehicles traffic as there have been removable bollards (posts) installed. This fence has long been a barrier between communities that represented the kind of divided Annapolis we want to get away from. With its removal we can now have a detour route off of the peninsula for when we have traffic backups or complete closures on Bay Ridge Road. We have all sat through incidents that have stranded us down here. Now, the Police and Fire Departments will have keys so they can remove the bollards and allow vehicular traffic only during these emergency events. Furthermore, this will allow for more convenient and pleasant biking through this area as you won’t have to hop onto the curb to get through the fence gate. I’m glad that the Mayor joined myself, the Annapolis & Anne Arundel Bicycle Advocates, the Georgetown Elementary principal, and our excellent Department of Public Works to see this project to fruition.
Fall Town Hall meeting
My Fall town hall meeting will be on Wednesday, October 24th, from 6-8PM at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck library. Hope to see you there! I’ll let you know if there may be any special guests or topics discussed.
Anne Arundel County Executive Debate
Thursday, October 18, 7:00 pm, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, Email questions to the Capital
Reminders from the previous newsletter
Forest Drive & Eastport Study Public Review Draft Now Available
The latest draft of the sector plan as of Friday, August 31st is now available. If you have an opportunity please review this plan. While I have not had a chance to review this draft yet, I have had a number of concerns in the past about whether or not they have heeded public comments and about how they seemed to be pushing for more development rather than a steady state development plan. Hopefully that has changed. Please let me know what your comments are. This plan will be coming to the City Council for approval, and I want to consider your comments before that vote arrives.
Here is a description of the Sector Study from the report itself:
The Forest Drive/Eastport Sector Study ushers in a new era for urban planning and the integration of land use, economic development, technology, and mobility. It provides a specific vision for this part of the City and begins to lay the groundwork for the next Comprehensive Plan for the City of Annapolis. Under current regulations, there is a significant amount of development capacity in this portion of the City. This plan attempts to change the character of that possible development, not necessarily to encourage more development.
Raccoon Oral Rabies Vaccination project began August 30th
The Anne Arundel County Department of Health has started conducting the Raccoon Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) Project. Edible baits will be placed throughout Anne Arundel County to vaccinate raccoons against rabies. The project should be completed by the end of September, weather permitting.
• Contain liquid rabies vaccine.
• Will be placed in neighborhoods by ground teams of trained Department of Health staff. Teams will wear shirts with Department of Health logos and travel in marked County vehicles.
• Will be dropped from a low-flying County Police helicopter in less-populated areas.
• Are in two types. One looks like a ketchup packet with a light brown waxy coating. The other looks like a small brown brick, is approximately 0.75 inches thick by 1.25 inches square, and has a plastic packet inside. In both types of bait, the vaccine is contained within the packet.
• Are marked with a 1-800 phone number. Anyone who comes in contact with the bait or has a pet that finds the bait is asked to call the 1-800 number or 410-222-7192.
• Immunizes raccoons when the animal bites into the packet that contains the vaccine.
• Cannot cause rabies and is not harmful to raccoons, pets or other animals.
• Has a very low human health risk. However, it is advised that the following individuals avoid handling the bait:
• People younger than 18 years old
• Pregnant women
• Anyone with a compromised immune system
• Anyone with a chronic skin condition
The Department of Health recommends that pet owners keep their pets confined or on a leash during the baiting and for two weeks thereafter. If your pet finds a bait, carefully remove the bait from your pet’s mouth.
For more information about the ORV Project, which began in Anne Arundel County in 1998, visit www.aahealth.org/orv.