For this Monday’s Council meeting, the issues of note include legislation that would ban Tattoo parlors from the entire City (except for parts of West street) the appointment of a new Planning & Zoning Director, and the introduction of legislation dealing with sprinklers in the Historic District.
Also, please hold April 8th for our next Town Hall meeting (7-8:45 PM).
Previous Council meeting update
At the previous meeting we passed legislation adjusting the Short Term Rental code. I voted against this legislation as it doesn’t address what is the primary issue in my mind: the high density of short term rentals (i.e. Air B&B) in Wards 1 and 8 that are turning some residential neighborhoods into commercial neighborhoods, with densities as high as 1 in every 2 homes being a vacant short term rental with no primary residence. I’ll have some legislation responding to this in the near future, and I know the Council as a whole wants to adjust Title 21 (our zoning code) to limit the number per block, similar to what we do with traditional bed & breakfast businesses.
We also passed legislation (O-37-19) that modifies the City Council Rules of Procedures/conduct to better maintain order at meetings. I was initially concerned this would impinge on free speech rights, but I successfully got a number of amendments passed that will preserve that right, yet also give the Council and Mayor the ability to restore order if some disruption occurs.
Next Council meeting - 1/27/20 (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)
First readers (legislation being introduced)
- O-3-20 - Sprinkler legislation for Historic District - This would incentivize property owners to install sprinklers in their buildings in our Historic District, and setup a fund to help them do so. This has long been talked about in the City. I commend Alderwoman Tierney for moving forward with this. I haven’t decided how I’m voting yet as I haven’t reviewed the legislation. This will be up for public hearing in February.
- R-6-20 - This legislation would confirm the appointment of Dr. Sally Nash to be Director of Planning & Zoning. I am inclined to support this appointment, having worked with Dr. Nash for nearly a decade now, but I’d like to first hear more about the direction Dr. Nash would like to take the Department. I’ve heard from a number of constituents from Ward 7 and I want to make sure your concerns about development in the City are addressed moving forward.
- R-5-20 - This resolution supports State legislation that aims to require the University of Maryland to study the Health Effects of Air Traffic Noise on our communities. We recently received a presentation in the Environmental matters Committee that detailed how, with the new FAA air traffic control system, more and more air traffic is being directed over the Annapolis Neck Peninsula. Besides the noise impacts, there may be other issues with deposition of pollution. Normally we don’t get involved with State issues, but this directly impacts our residents.
- O-20-19 - Dwellings above the ground floor of nonresidential uses. I think this legislation will be withdrawn. If it is not, I do not plan on supporting it as I still don’t see the need.
- O-28-19 - The intention with this legislation is to restrict where Tattoo Parlors can be located in Ward 1. However, the way it’s written it will ban them from all commercial and mixed use districts, including Ward 7. They would be restricted to only a few districts on West Street. I disagree with limiting the placement of tattoo parlors, as I don’t see any valid reason to do so, especially in Ward 7. If my colleagues want to do so in their Wards I will respect their wishes, but I don’t want to do that in Ward 7. As you can tell, I’m very likely to vote against his legislation as currently written, pending any comments from you.
- O-39-19 - Accessory Dwelling Units - For the purpose of allowing accessory dwelling units in all zoning districts that allow single-family detached dwellings. This legislation would basically allow residents to rent out their accessory units, such as separate garages or “in-law suites”, as long as they are no larger than 1,000 square feet. The intention is to increase the availability of more affordable housing. I did sign onto this as a co-sponsor as I support increasing the availability of more affordable housing, however, I do fully acknowledge that there may be concerns about added traffic, parking, and other issues that will need to be considered. I look forward to hearing more about any concerns there may be and seeing if this legislation can be amended to address them.
- O-38-19 - This legislation basically re-names one of our housing committees to deal more with affordable housing and community development.
- O-1-20 - This legislation simply corrects some job titles.
- O-2-20 - This legislation establishes a Youth Development Commission.
Legislation up for a final vote
- R-3-20 - Adoption of the Transit Safety Management Plan. The Safety Management Plan will guide integration of safety strategies for the Annapolis Transit bus service. This will ensure that the planning, operation, and maintenance of bus transit service meets or exceeds all safety requirements. I intend to support this legislation, pending any input from you.
- R-40-20 - Extension of the Eastport-Forest Drive Sector Study Task Force - This legislation simply extends the time for the Task Force to complete their work. I intend to support this legislation, pending any input from you.
- O-34-19 - Adjustments to the process of appealing decisions of the Planning & Zoning Department. This legislation will be postponed.
New Community updates
Presentation on Form-based Zoning
The Planning Commission will be hosting a learning session on Form-Based Codes, an alternative to traditional zoning that focuses more on what a building looks like than the use.
The session will be held at 7 pm on February 18, 2020 at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center. The Recreation Center is located at 273 Hilltop Lane, Annapolis.
The learning session will provide local knowledge about how these codes have been applied in neighboring jurisdictions. For general background on Form-Based Codes, visit the Form-Based Code Institute:
For questions, contact Sally Nash at [email protected]
Mayor Invites Public to a Community Engagement Session
The City of Annapolis, Office of the Mayor is hosting a Community Engagement Session in January. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. The evening forum will be an opportunity for residents to learn about city priorities, city programs and One Annapolis initiatives.
WHAT: Community Engagement Session
WHEN: January 30th, from 6 to 8 p.m.
WHERE: City Council Chamber, 160 Duke of Gloucester, Annapolis, MD
The evening is planned as a two-way listening session where City officials, including department heads and project leads, will be available to talk about City priorities. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Please park at Hillman Garage (behind City Hall) and request a two-hour waiver card at the event.
New Weekly Email List/News Flash for 2020 Comprehensive Plan
Planning and Zoning has started a new email list/News Flash for the 2020 Comprehensive Plan. Sign up to receive weekly updates about our progress on Annapolis Ahead, the plan we are working on now.
To subscribe, go to: https://www.annapolis.gov/list.aspx
Scroll down to "News Flash" and click on the envelope icon to subscribe to "Annapolis Ahead: Weekly Comprehensive Plan Progress Update"
Continuing community announcements & updates
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
Trash pickup concerns
If you have trash pickup concerns, you can either fill out this online form, call Public Works at 410-263-7949, or you can always send me a message.