Ward 7 Council update: medical marijuana dispensaries, leash law change

We have a lot of legislation being introduced at this meeting. Not all of the staff reports have been posted so I’ll keep an eye on them as they work their way through the process. The only legislation up for a final vote are the proposed leash law adjustments that would send the enforcement of those laws to the Police Department, which I have concerns about, but fortunately I think this legislation is being withdrawn. Also of note is legislation being introduced that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to be opened in the same zoning districts that allow pharmacies.

It is still on my to-do list to setup a virtual town hall meeting in either late February or early March. Could you let me know what topics you would like to discuss and whom you may like to attend? I’m thinking of inviting the Mayor, since we haven’t heard from him in a while in this Ward, and also someone from either the City Office of Emergency Management or the County Health Department to talk about the pandemic.

Stay healthy and stay safe,


Next Regular Council meeting – 2/8/21 (agenda)

This Council meeting is starting at 7pm and will be televised on local cable, Facebook, and the City website (www.annapolis.gov). Due to COVID-19, our meetings are now being held virtually. 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 would like to submit or give public testimony, you can do so at http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony.

Public hearings

There are no public hearings at this meeting.

Legislation being introduced on First Reader

  • O-1-21 - Bulk Regulations - R4 and R4-R Residential Zoning Districts - For the purpose of correcting conflicts in the bulk regulations table and the table notes related to attached single family and multifamily dwelling units.
  • O-2-21 - City Council Meetings - Agenda - For the purpose of clarifying the content of City Council meeting agendas for regular and special monthly meetings; and generally relating to monthly City Council meeting agendas. This is legislation Alderman Arnett and I are introducing. What it does is go back (mostly) to our previous meeting format. If you recall, we changed the meeting formats so that our second meeting of every month was dedicated to ceremonial and public hearings with NO legislative actions, and the first meeting was dedicated entirely to legislative action with no public hearings. This was intended to help prevent the late meetings we were experiencing where we wouldn’t get to legislative action until late in the night. However, it has also proven to be rather confusing for the rest of the Council, the public, and staff. So we are looking to go back to having public hearings and legislative action at both of the monthly meetings, but still keeping ceremonial items only at the second meeting of the month, though this may be changed as well.
  • O-3-21 - Port Wardens - Authority - For the purpose of requiring the Port Wardens to consider the public's access to the harbor line from points of access at the waterline as part of its license and permit approval processes.
  • O-4-21 - Medical Cannabis Dispensaries - For the purpose of allowing medical cannabis dispensaries in certain zoning districts within the City of Annapolis; and adding a definition. This would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to be opened in the zones that currently allow pharmacies. This would impact Ward 7. Specifically, it would allow such dispensaries in the Giant shopping Center and Hillsmere shopping Center. Please send me your thoughts on this. The public hearing will likely be at our second meeting this month. I’m inclined to support but want to hear what your thoughts are.
  • O-5-21 - Tucker Street Launching Facility - For the purpose of providing procedures for use of the Tucker Street launching facility; providing certain definitions; establishing acceptable proofs of residency for issuance of certain permits; and providing penalties for violations.
  • O-X-21 – There may be legislation introduced that Alderman Arnett and I are working on that would setup a process whereupon once we adopt ordinances, those new laws are implemented via regulation by staff. They currently do this to a certain degree but there is no process for public (or Council) review of those regulations to ensure that they meet the intent of the empowering ordinance.
  • R-X-21 – There may also be a Resolution introduced dealing with the findings of the Council Compensation Committee, which is something we need to review every 4 years.

Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)

  • O-48-20 & R-64-20 - Animal Control - Canine Leash Laws - For the purpose of prohibiting unrestrained dogs in public recreation areas, or at large; authorizing the Police Department to enforce the City’s leash laws; and making technical and stylistic changes to the City’s animal control laws. I think this legislation may be getting withdrawn considering we learned we already have such laws on the books or it’s a State law that we need to follow. I did have some concerns about this legislation. I do not agree with draconian leash laws that have such large fines, nor do I think it’s wise to have our Police Department enforce these laws when they don’t have the comprehensive training or equipment to be able to do so. I think that would be dangerous for both the Officers and the pets. In any case, I am glad that this may be withdrawn.


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  • Rob Savidge