Mayor and Council Meeting, 6/21/2010
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
MINUTES OF A REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2010
A meeting of the Mayor and City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m., Mayor Katz presiding. Council Members present: Ashman, Drzyzgula, Marraffa, Sesma and Spiegel. Staff present: City Manager Jones, Assistant City Manager Tomasello, Planning and Code Administration Director Ossont, Public Works Director Arnoult, Planner Voigt, Community Services Director Carr, Parks, Recreation and Culture Director Potter, City Attorney Board and Municipal Clerk Stokes. Commissioners present for joint public hearing: Bauer, Hopkins, Levy, and Winborne.
I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge was led by Clark Day, Gaithersburg resident.
In lieu of an invocation, Mayor Katz called for a moment of silence.
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Council Member Ashman, seconded by, Council Member Spiegel, that the minutes of the Mayor and Council work session held April 26, 2010, be approved.
Vote: 4-0-1 (Abstain: Marraffa)
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Drzyzgula, that the minutes of the Mayor and Council regular meeting held May 17, 2010, be approved.
Motion was made by Council Member Drzyzgula, seconded by, Council Member Marraffa, that the minutes of the Mayor and Council work session held May 24, 2010, be approved.
IV. CONSENT ITEMS
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract for the City Hall Facility Assessment and Space Study
Public Works Director Arnoult explained that staff recommended the space study and facilities assessment for City Hall be done at this time due to the aging of the building and equipment which is no longer sufficient and energy efficient. It was noted that in the end, a financial savings would be accomplished.
This resolution authorized the City Manager to enter into a contract for the above service to City Hall to Mancini-Duffy-Winstanley, 1627 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006, in the estimated amount of Sixty-Seven Thousand Three Hundred Seventy-Two Dollars ($67,372); said funds to be expended from the Operating Budget.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Authorizing the City Manager to Purchase Radio Equipment/Hardware for the City Police Department
This resolution authorized the City Manager to enter into a contract with Motorola, Inc., Teltronic, 7031 Columbia Gateway Drive Columbia, Maryland 21046, to provide radio equipment/hardware for the year 2010, in an amount not to exceed Thirty-Two Thousand Six Hundred Forty-Seven Dollars ($32,647); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvements Budget.
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Marraffa, that the Consent Agenda (Resolution Nos. R- 41-10 and R-42-10), be approved.
Resolution Confirming Appointments by the Mayor to the Educational Enrichment Committee and the Multicultural Affairs Committee
This resolution confirmed the appointments to the Education Enrichment Committee, Yvette D. Monroe, 744 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, two-year term; and the Multicultural Affairs Committee, Lingling He, 20316 Watkins meadow Drive, Germantown, Maryland 20876, two-year term.
Motion was made by Council Member Ashman , seconded by, Council Member Marraffa, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMING APPOINTMENTS BY THE MAYOR TO THE EDUCATION ENRICHMENT COMMITTEE AND THE MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE (Resolution No. R-43-10), be approved.
- Presentation of the Person of Character Award
Mayor Katz recognized Grace Douglas Eitreim and Dianne J. Lange for their efforts to benefit the youth of Gaithersburg. The two host lectures, art and music events in unique venues that are designed to expand the way patrons view the world. Through admission fees and art sales, the organization raises funds for community causes, including the Dolores Swoyer Camp Scholarship Fund. Future events include “Creative Woman and their Art” to held at the Arts Barn this fall. The Dolores Swoyer Camp Scholarship fund provides financial assistance to City of Gaithersburg youth who might not otherwise be able to afford such opportunities.
- Proclamation of the Mayor and City Council Designating June 20-25, 2010 as “Brain Health Week” in Gaithersburg
The City joined the Alzheimer’s Association, National Capital Area Chapter to celebrate Brain Health Week from June 20 – 25, 2010. The mission of the Alzheimer's Association is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Several events throughout the week were geared to promote a brain healthy lifestyle. The proclamation was accepted by Anthony Sudler, President and CEO of the association
- Proclamation of the Mayor and City Council Designating May 13, 2010 as Keller Williams Realty RED Day in Gaithersburg
RED stands for Renew, Energize, and Donate and is a Keller Williams Realty service initiative dedicated to improving local communities. Keller Williams Realty associates in the United States and Canada were asked to donate their time on May 13, 2010 to renew and energize aspects of their local communities. Volunteers were used for four (4) projects in the City which consisted of work at the Wells Robertson House and the DeSellum House. The proclamation was accepted by Community Services Director Carr.
VII. FROM THE CITY MANAGER
Announced the selection of the City’s new Police Chief Mark Sroka. The official swearing in will occur during a special meeting on Monday, July 12, followed by his official start date on Tuesday, July 13th.
VIII. PUBLIC APPEARANCES
No speakers from the public.
IX. FROM THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL/ANNOUNCEMENTS
This year the Youth Services Team has teamed up with two local businesses to raise money for the Dolores Swoyer Camp Scholarship Fund. This fund assists children in attending a City of Gaithersburg camp program by providing full and partial financial assistance to qualifying families.
As part of the campaign, the Summer Camp Team has organized two exciting fundraising events for campers, parents and members of the community to enjoy. The first fundraising event will be held on Tuesday, June 29th 5 p.m. -9 p.m. at Slice of Olde Towne, located at 201 East Diamond Avenue. The second event will be an all day fundraiser on Tuesday, July 13th at Rita’s Ice, located at 509 Quince Orchard Road. Fifteen percent of proceeds from each event will be donated to the fund, please mention the fund raising event when making your purchases.
For more information please contact the Youth Services Director Tim “Smitty” Smith at 301-258-6350
Council Member Marraffa
- Announced the 4th of July weekend activities scheduled throughout the City.
- Attended the Seniors Retreat to discuss future plans and various issues.
- Reported that National League of Cities (NLC) colleague Susan Burgess (Charlotte City Council) passed away. Asked staff to send a letter of condolence to the family on behalf of the Mayor and City Council.
- Congratulated newly appointed Police Chief Mark Sroka.
Council Member Spiegel
- Reported the formal opening of two new skate spots in Gaithersburg.
- Mentioned a featured article in the June 21st Washington Post reporting on municipalities around the country struggling and facing financial challenges. Encouraged residents to read the article.
- Congratulated the organizers of Brain Health Week and reported that he attended activities held at the Washingtonian Center.
- Thanked Adam Pagnucco, author and operator of the Maryland Politics Watch for his years of contribution and analysis on political issues.
- Thanked residents for their involvement to search and select the City’s new Police Chief Mark Sroka.
- Reported the call for citizen input on the possible reorganization and management of the governing structure of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Council Member Ashman
- Wished the public Happy Father’s Day and offered congratulation to recent graduates.
- Congratulated City Manager Jones, staff and community volunteers on the hiring process and selection of new Police Chief Sroka.
- Reported that Mayor Katz and he attended the Mayor’s Book Club pizza party at Jones Lane Elementary School.
- Congratulated Rachael Spiegel and other artist on the new exhibit of artwork at the Arts Barn located at 311 Kent Square Road in Gaithersburg.
- Encouraged citizen to come out and enjoy the July 4th scheduled events
- Encouraged the public to get out and enjoy the free outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
- Welcomed longtime friend Richard Arkin back after a car accident which kept him from attending Mayor and City Council meetings.
Council Vice President Drzyzgula
- Echoed thanks to City Manager Jones, staff and the public for their involvement to search for a police chief.
- Visited the Rotary Club and gave an update on the latest budget new and heard about their involvement with various community service projects.
- Mayor Katz and she attended the Pillar Community Awards at Brown Station Elementary School.
- Reported she gave a presentation and presented a proclamation to the Gaithersburg High School Class of 1960 at their 50th Reunion.
Council Member Sesma
- Echoed the congratulatory remarks made earlier to Mark Sroka and thanked staff and volunteers for their efforts.
- Welcomed Richard Arkin back and mentioned to service to various City committees.
- Referred to Brain Health Week stating it is an important initiative to make the public aware of brain disorders.
- Reiterated the skate spot openings at Diamond Farm Park and Lakelands Park.
- Reported the retirement of Ann Choate, Director of the Kentlands Mansion and thanked her for her service to the City.
- Mentioned the NLC Energy Environmental Natural Resources Steering Committee held their spring meeting in Gaithersburg. Recognized and thanked Parks, Recreation and Culture staff for organizing and planning tours throughout the City. Reported that several complimentary letters were received from his colleagues. The Committee went down to the Hill to lobby for the American Power Act and met with staff on various issues.
- Offered congratulation to Montgomery County Public School system on their recognition and ranking for high schools in the county.
- Announced Shakespeare’s classic tale of Romeo and Juliet scheduled for Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10, 8 p.m. at the City Hall Concert Pavilion.
- Reported that there are two LEED certified buildings owned by the City and the newest building earned a Platinum Award.
- Requested the following:
Motion made by Council Member Drzyzgula, seconded by Council Member Marraffa to conduct a closed executive session Monday, June 21, 2010, immediately following the regular meeting, pursuant to the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Section 10-508(a)(1)(i) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction.
- Announced the following meeting schedule:
- no work session June 28, 2010, due to the Maryland Municipal League Convention.
- no regular meeting July 5th, City Offices will be closed for the Independence Day holiday.
- special meeting, July 12, 2010, solely to vote to administer the Oath of Office to the new Chief of Police.
- work session, Monday, July 12, 2010, to receive an Enterprise Zone Report and Economic Development Update.
- next regular meeting will be held on Monday, July 19th.
IX. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
Assistant City Manager Tomasello
- Reported the developer of the Suites 355 project (Executive Gardens) were notified by the county to participate in a PILOT Agreement which is a payment in lieu of taxes arrangement. Discussion will be held during the July 19th before the City Council.
- The official process of obtaining Montgomery County Council approval of the proposed economic development corporation that they county is considering has begun. Staff will follow the process for informational purposes.
- Staff is working with a technology tenant with over 100 employees and under a letter of intent for about 30,000 feet. Mentioned that possible tenants are looking for more then what the toolbox is able to provide. The guidelines state that staff could come back to the City Council with a custom proposal then what is in the toolbox.
MAYOR KATZ RECESSED THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING AT 8:15 P.M.
FOR A HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION MEETING. THE MAYOR AND
COUNCIL MEETING RECONVENED AT 8:20 P.M.
X. PUBLIC HEARINGS
- Joint – T-399, An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 24 (City Zoning Ordinance), Article XII, Entitled, “Preservation of Historic Resources,” So as to Provide Revisions to the Duties of the Historic District Commission and Eliminate the Historic Advisory Preservation Committee
Planning and Code Administration Director Ossont presented the above hearing. The proposed text amendment revises the Historic Preservation Ordinance changing the structure of the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee (HPAC) and the Historic District Commission (HDC) to a single historic preservation commission. The provisions propose that the Mayor and City Council would no longer serve as the HDC. The HDC would become a separate entity appointed by the Mayor and City Council and the HPAC would be dissolved. Section 24-232, adding the option to go to the Board of Appeals before the Circuit Court was questioned. City Attorney Board clarified that it is governed by Article 66B, Section 815 of the State statute which provides the authority to local jurisdictions to adopt a historic district ordinance. The State statute does have a provision that allows a local jurisdiction to allow appeals in accordance with the normal procedure that allows appeals for other commissions. She further added that the City’s legal ad was sufficient for the above hearing. It was suggested to clarify the language stating that it is not an either/or option and the appeal timeline. It was further suggested that transitional language be added in regards to the validity of decisions and guidelines made prior to the transition. City Attorney Board did not believe new language was necessary stating approved historic designation would remain. Staff was asked to provide and make part of the record a written response to questions, recommendation and report from the Maryland Historical Trust. Mr. Ossont reviewed the following timeline: June 21 – joint public hearing; July 21 – Planning Commission record closes; July 28 – Planning Commission recommendation; August 18 – City Council record closes; September 2 – final HPAC meeting; September 7 – Mayor and City Council policy discussion/adoption/Mayor and City Council resignation as HDC/new HDC appointments; September 27 – ordinance effective date; and October 7 – first HDC meeting/HDC adopts Rules of Procedure.
Speakers from the public:
There were no other speakers from the public.
- Richard Arkin, 121 Selby Street, expressed support for T-399 and recommended changes to the historic preservation ordinance. Thanked Joe Coratolla and Clark Day for their efforts.
- Clark Day, 26 Walker Avenue, on behalf of HPAC, stated the ordinance had been reviewed by the City Attorney and recommendations had been incorporated into the final version. HPAC unanimously approved the recommendations through the development process and is committed to the adoption of the revised ordinance.
- John Roddy, 105 South Summit Avenue, expressed support for T-399, but had concerns with the proposed membership and that all members be residents. Suggested clarification to language in Section 24.226 making a designation.
City Attorney Board responded that the State statute has the provisions that require the majority, but not all members be local residents. Added that there are specific requirements for the City’s Commission with regard to expertise and the State wanted to give flexibility to jurisdictions having difficulty appointing local residents that met all the requirements. The list of qualifications was mentioned. City Attorney Board suggested that the Mayor and City Council appoint a commission that meets both standards to take advantage of the grant funding.
- Robert Chiswell, 18 Pointer Ridge Drive, owner of property at 219 East Diamond Avenue, stated that his life savings was used to purchase the property and asked that if a decision were to be made about his property, that he preferred that it be made by a Gaithersburg resident that knows the business and family history.
- Cory Kegerise, Maryland Historical Trust, expressed support for T-399 and changes to the historic preservation ordinance which are in accordance with the best practices of the state code.
Motion was made by Commissioner Hopkins, seconded by, Commissioner Winborne, that the Planning Commission close the record on the above on July 21, 2010, 5 p.m., with anticipated recommendation to the Mayor and Council on July 28, 2010.
Motion was made by Council Member Spiegel, seconded by, Council Member Drzyzygula, that the Mayor and City Council close the record on the above on July 18, 2010, 5 p.m. with anticipated Policy Discussion on September 7, 2010.
- An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 19 of the City Code, Entitled “Streets and Sidewalks”, Section 19-15 Standards and Specifications
Public Works Director Arnoult presented the above hearing. Stated the amendments would allow greater flexibility with road materials, design criteria and standards. He added the amendments would also permit the use of soil cement.
Speakers from the public:
Greg May, represent the owners of the Crown Farm project, expressed support of ordinance and allowance of soil cement would be beneficial to the City.
No other speakers from the public.
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that the Mayor and City Council close the record on the above on Friday, July 2, 2010.
- An Emergency Ordinance to Repeal and Reenact with Amendments Chapter 8 of the City Code, Entitled, “Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management,” Article II, Entitled, “ Sediment Control,” § 8-6, Entitled, Erosion and Sediment Control Plans,” and Article III, Entitled, “Stormwater Management,” § 8-20A, Entitled “Grandfathering,” § 8-21, Entitled “Waivers,” § 8-22 Entitled “Redevelopment,” § 8-26, Entitled “Permits” to Enact Requirements for Grandfathering
Community Planning Director Schwarz presented the hearing for the above emergency ordinance. Stated that the amendments incorporate the new language adopted by the State of Maryland to allow grandfathering and the administrative stormwater management waiver. The ordinance would also amend the permanent waiver process and clarify information for redevelopment projects. On May 4, 2010, the City’s Stormwater Management Ordiance (SWM) went into effect to comply with the 2007 Maryland Stormwater Act. Following the closing of the record in April, the State approved changes to the Act. The proposed emergency ordinance was drafted in response to the changes. The ordinance adds the administrative waiver approval process. The time period to apply for the waiver would require final project approval on the plan by 2013 and constructed by 2017, with the exception of an annexation agreement or other legal agreement in existence. The criteria for permanent stormwater management waiver was also amended. Additionally, methods were added to mitigate the need for stormwater management for redevelopment projects. The administrative stormwater management waiver process was reviewed for the Mayor and City Council. Staff noted that if approved, the emergency ordinance would go into effect immediately.
Planning staff, legislators, Maryland Municipal League and Mayor Fosselman of Kensington was commended for their efforts and leadership.
No speakers from the public.
Motion was made by Council Member Ashman, seconded by, Council Member Drzyzygula, that the Mayor and City Council close the record on the above.
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Marraffa, that the above emergency ordinance (Ordinance No. O-12-10), be adopted and effective immediately.
XI. ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS, AND REGULATIONS
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Amending the Schedule of Fees, Charges, Fines and Forfeitures as Provided for in the Ordinance of the City of Gaithersburg to Add a Fee for Administrative Stormwater Management Waivers
Staff recommended adoption of the fee of $1,000 to cover the administrative costs for the review and implementation of Administrative SWM Waivers.
Motion was made by Council Member Drzyzygula, seconded by, Council Member Marraffa, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AMENDING THE SCHEDULE OF FEES, CHARGES, FINES AND FORFEITURES AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF GAITHERSBURG TO ADD A FEE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE STORMWATER MANAGEMENT WAIVERS (Resolution No. R-44-10), be approved.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Approving the Transfer for the RCN Franchise Cable Franchise Agreement to Yankee Cable Acquisition, LLC
Motion was made by Council Member Ashman, seconded by, Council Member Spiegel, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL APPROVING THE TRANSFER FOR THE RCN FRANCHISE CABLE FRANCHISE AGREEMENT TO YANKEE CABLE ACQUISITION, LLC (Resolution No. R-45-10), be approved.
- Introduction of an Ordinance to Repeal and Reenact with Amendments Chapter 5 of the City Code, Entitled “Buildings”, and Adopt by Reference with Certain Modifications, the 2009 International Building Code, the 2009 International Residential Code, the 2009 International Mechanical Code, the 2009 International Fuel Gas Code
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that AN ORDINANCE TO REPEAL AND REENACT WITH AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 5 OF THE CITY CODE, ENTITLED “BUILDINGS”, AND ADOPT BY REFERENCE WITH CERTAIN MODIFICATIONS, THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE, THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CODE, THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL MECHANICAL CODE, THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL FUEL GAS CODE, be introduced, public hearing July 19th.
- Introduction of an Ordinance to Repeal and Reenact with Amendments Chapter 7 of the City Code, Entitled “Electricity”, Adopt by Reference with Certain Modifications, the 2008 National Electrical Code (NFPA 70)
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that AN ORDINANCE TO REPEAL AND REENACT WITH AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 7 OF THE CITY CODE, ENTITLED “ELECTRICITY”, ADOPT BY REFERENCE WITH CERTAIN MODIFICATIONS, THE 2008 NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE (NFPA 70, be introduced, public hearing July 19th.
- Introduction of an Ordinance to Repeal and Reenact with Amendments Chapter 11 of the City Code, Entitled “Fire Safety” and Adopt by Reference, with Amendments the Montgomery County Fire Safety Code and Various Related National Codes and Standards
Motion was made by Council Member Ashman, seconded by, Council Member Drzyzgula, that AN ORDINANCE TO REPEAL AND REENACT WITH AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 11 OF THE CITY CODE, ENTITLED “FIRE SAFETY” AND ADOPT BY REFERENCE, WITH AMENDMENTS THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY FIRE SAFETY CODE AND VARIOUS RELATED NATIONAL CODES AND STANDARDS, be introduced, public hearing July 19th.
- Introduction of an Ordinance to Amend Chapter 22 of the City Code, Entitled “Trees and Forest Conservation” so as to Provide Additional Specifications and Standards and Make Corrections
It was questioned why under Section 22-2. Definitions, Redevelopment, the redevelopment of formally residential townhouses were not included. Staff to provide a response at the public hearing.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by, Council Member Drzyzgula, that AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 22 OF THE CITY CODE, ENTITLED “TREES AND FOREST CONSERVATION” SO AS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SPECIFICATIONS AND STANDARDS AND MAKE CORRECTIONS, be introduced, public hearing July 19th.
XII. POLICY DISCUSSION AND STAFF GUIDANCE
An Ordinance to Repeal and Reenact with Amendments Chapter 15, Section 15-8.1 of the City Code, Entitled “Special Events, Permit Required”
Parks, Recreation and Culture Director Potter stated the recommendations for clarification and revisions to the special events policy and approval process during Mayor and City Council policy discussion on May 3, 2010, were incorporated.
Motion was made by Council Member Spiegel, seconded by, Council Member Drzyzgula, that AN ORDINANCE TO REPEAL AND REENACT WITH AMENDMENTS CHAPTER 15, SECTION 15-8.1 OF THE CITY CODE, ENTITLED “SPECIAL EVENTS, PERMIT REQUIRED”, (Ordinance No. O-13-10), be adopted with amendments.
XIII. FROM THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER, CITY ATTORNEY AND OTHER STAFF
Parks, Recreation and Culture Director Potter
Announced the Youth Services Team and two local businesses teamed up to raise money for the Dolores Swoyer Camp Scholarship Fund and organized fundraisers to be held at the following locations: 1) Tuesday, June 29th, 5 – 9 p.m. at Slice of Olde Towne, 201 East Diamond Avenue and 2) Tuesday, July 13 at Rita’s Ice, 509 Quince Orchard Road.
Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Monica Sanchez
Sought guidance on Maryland Municipal League’s action request due by July 2, 2010. Staff recommended the Highway Users Revenue and identifying opportunities for local governments to have taxing authority. The other recommendation is to have statewide legislation for legal notices.
Staff was asked to add to the City’s list of priorities to support a review of the wire tap law and an individual’s capability to protect their rights.
There being no further business to come before this session of the City Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:25 p.m.