Mayor and Council Meeting, 2/21/2012
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
MINUTES OF A REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
CITY HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2012
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, Deputy City Manager Tomasello, Parks, Recreation and Culture Director Potter, Planning Director Pruss, Nansie Wilde, Information Technology Director Cottrell, Community Services Division Chief Herndon, City Attorney Board, and Municipal Clerk Stokes.
I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge was led by Danny Winborne, Planning Commission.
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 Marraffa, that the minutes of the Mayor and Council regular meeting held January 3, 2012, be approved with correction.
Vote: 4-0-1 (Abstained: Spiegel)
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Spiegel, that the minutes of the Mayor and Council work session held January 30, 2012, be approved.
IV. CONSENT ITEMS
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract to Purchase Seventeen (17) Mobile Computers and Seventeen (17) Vehicle Upfits
This resolution authorized the City Manager to award a contract to purchase the above from Brekford Corp., 7020 Dorsey Road Building C, Hanover, Maryland 21706, in the amount of One Hundred Twenty Thousand Dollars ($120,000); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvement Project Contingency account and the Technology Replacement Fund account.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract to Purchase Seventeen (17) Energov Mobile Licenses
This resolution authorized the City Manager to award a contract to purchase the Energov Mobile Licenses from Energov Solutions, LLC, 2160 Satellite Blvd Suite 300, Duluth, Georgia 30097, in the amount of Thirty-Six Thousand Dollars ($36,000); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvement Project Contingency account.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract to Purchase Five (5) 2012 Chevrolet Impala Vehicles
This resolution authorized the City Manager to award a contract to purchase the above from Criswell Chevrolet, 503 Quince Orchard Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, in the amount of One Hundred One Thousand Nine Hundred Dollars ($101,900); said funds to be expended from the Vehicle and Equipment Replacement Fund.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract to Purchase Eight (8) 2013 Ford Utility Vehicles
This resolution authorized the City Manager to award a contract to purchase the above from Apple Ford, 8800 Stanford Blvd, Columbia, Maryland 21045, in the amount of Two Hundred One Thousand Six Hundred Forty-Eight Dollars ($201,648); said funds to be expended from the Vehicle and Equipment Replacement Fund.
For future City replacement of fleets, staff was directed to consider purchasing eco-friendly vehicles when possible. Information Technology Director Cottrell noted that the mobile computers are not compatible with all vehicles.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by, Council Member Drzyzgula, that the Consent Agenda (Resolution Nos. R-9-12 through R-12-12), be approved.
Resolution of the City Council Confirming an Appointment by the Mayor to the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee
This resolution confirmed an appointment to the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee, Corey Searles Dunn, 208 Park Avenue, # 518, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, two-year term.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by, Council Member Drzyzgula, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMING AN APPOINTMENT BY THE MAYOR TO THE OLDE TOWNE ADVISORY SUBCOMMITTEE (Resolution No. R-13-12), be approved.
- Proclamation of the Mayor and City Council Designating February 2012 as "African American History Month" in the City of Gaithersburg and Gaithersburg's Multicultural Affairs Committee African American History Month Presentation
Mayor Katz joined by Multicultural Affairs Committee Chair Linda Plummer presented proclamations and recognized Dr. Willie E. May, Director for Laboratory Programs at NIST, and Dr. George Alcorn, Assistant Director Goddard Space Flight Center National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The City's Multicultural Affairs Committee selected "SHOWCASE - African-American Inventors" as this year's theme, highlighting the accomplishments and contributions of eleven inventors who have changed our society and our way of life.
- 2011 Fourth Quarter Employee Recognition Awards
Lauren Klingler, Legal Assistant in the Legal Services Division of the Office of the City Manager, was named the Employee of the Fourth Quarter (October - December 2011) for her outstanding work in serving as the staff coordinator for City Elections. Lauren served in this role for both the 2009 and 2011 elections; and while providing staff support to the City's Board of Supervisors of Elections, she helps to ensure that elections are conducted in compliance with state and local statutes.
- Community and Public Relations Department Announce New Staff Positions
VII. PUBLIC APPEARANCES
- Lawrence Cross, NAACP President, Montgomery County branch, presented City Manager Angel Jones with the NAACP Lifetime Silver Award. Ms. Jones was recognized for her outstanding leadership and accomplishments during her three and a half years of service with the local branch. She has been a member of the NAACP for many years prior to moving to Montgomery County and serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Freedom Fund Dinner Committee.
- Clark Day, 26 Walker Avenue, spoke on the development of the proposed site plan for the Olde Towne Plaza/Fishman Building and expressed concerns with no dedicated right hand turn lane at the intersection of Summit and Diamond Avenues and the Rolling Stock collection in relationship to the building.
- Cory Siansky, spoke about the proposed site plan. Mentioned the 2005 charrette process for Olde Towne and stated that the proposed plan does not show or acknowledge the vision from said charrette. Expressed concerns with the traffic pattern in Olde Towne.
- Robyn Renas, 211 Briscoe Street, spoke on the policy discussion for historic designation HD-34, Kentlands Firehouse. She was recently appointed to the committee and expressed concern with pursuing final action prior to receiving committee input and feedback. Suggested delaying final action.
VIII. FROM THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Council Member Marraffa
- Congratulated participants recognized during the African American History Month reception and thanked the Multicultural Affairs Committee and Park and Recreation staff for coordinating the event. Reported that the Boss Ice Cream provided this evening is made locally and sold at Wholes Foods.
Council Member Spiegel
- Echoed thanks to all involved for the celebration held earlier.
- Congratulated Lauren Klingler on the Employee of the Quarter Award and City Manager Jones on the NAACP Lifetime Silver Award.
- Attended the February 9th County Council hearing for the Capital Improvement Program budget for Montgomery County Public Schools systems and testified on the priorities for capital funding for the public school system, specifically schools serving Gaithersburg.
- Attended along with several members, the Montgomery County Chapter meeting of the Maryland Municipal League (MML). Met with County Executive on the County's proposed budget that effect municipal governments. The topic discussed was the tax duplication debate and services that are provided by municipalities so the county does not have to provide those services, for example snow plowing. Sated that discussions will be ongoing.
- Attended the Kentlands Downtown Partnership (KDP) public meeting to discuss public safety. Both Montgomery County and Gaithersburg Police were present to give tips on safety.
- Announced that the 9th Annual Young Artist Award Concert will be held on Saturday, February 25th at Asbury's Rosborough Center.
- Announced the Mayor and City Council Planning Retreat will be held on February 27th, at the Gaithersburg Upcounty Senior Center.
- Announced that on February 28th help the hungry by dinning out. There will be 15 restaurants in the Gaithersburg area participating in an event called Thanksgiving in February. Proceeds will provide food to those in need.
Council Member Ashman
- Echoed thanks to the Multicultural Affairs on another wonderful reception and presentation. Thanked Dr. May and Dr. Alcorn for attending the reception and sharing their experiences.
- Echoed congratulations to Lauren Klingler and City Manager Jones on receiving their awards.
- Attended the MML meeting and represented Gaithersburg to advocate on receiving money back from the county for services we already provide.
- Provided an update on the initiative to amend the State Ethics Code. Both Maryland House and Senate put in amendment bills that will apply to both county and local government. He and City Attorney Board will continue to work on the committee to suggest amended language to what has been proposed.
- Attended the KDP meeting which was held in response to two armed robberies on Main Street. Reported that the suspects were arrested. Gave kudos to Gaithersburg and Montgomery County Police Departments for their involvement. Reported that there were questions about Alert Gaithersburg and what type of emergency messages are issued. Police Department responded that when large populations are affected by police activity, such as road closer for long period of time, suspicious packages or evacuations due to weather.
- Announced that a Gaithersburg Police Foundation fundraiser will be held on Saturday, February 25th at Bowl America, 2 p.m.
Council Member Drzyzgula
- Attended the KDP and MML meetings with her colleagues.
- Reported that the Black History Month celebration was a nice event to include people in our community who made a difference to the lives of young people.
- Attended the COG Board meeting and reported that Executive Director Dave Robinson will not seek to continue in his role after 10 years.
Council Member Sesma
- Echoed thanks to the Multicultural Affairs Committee for a terrific event. Suggested that staff consider a larger meeting space for next year.
- Thanked and complimented the Montgomery County and Gaithersburg Police Departments for their investigation and action leading to the recent arrest.
- Echoed congratulations to Lauren Klingler and recognized her efforts during City elections.
- Reported and congratulated the Maryland House of Delegates for passing the Marriage Equally Bill.
- Announced that in lieu of a work session, the Mayor and City Council will conduct a Planning Retreat on Monday, February 27th, 6:30 pm, at the Gaithersburg Upcounty Senior Center, 80A Bureau Drive. The retreat is open to the public, but public comment will not be taken during the session. The retreat will not be televised. For more information including the agenda, visit the City's website at www.gaithersburgmd.gov or contact the City Manager's office at 301-258-6310.
- Echoed congratulations to all who received awards and recognition.
- Thanked Joe Pritchard from the KDP for the public meeting.
- Announced that the next regular meeting will be held on Monday, March 5, 2012 at City Hall, 7:30 p.m.
IX. FROM THE CITY MANAGER
Expressed appreciation for the recognition by the NAACP and shared that she is proud to be a part of a Character Counts! City that stands for equally, freedom and human rights.
X. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
Deputy City Manager Tomasello
- Reported that he will join Economic Development Director Tom Lonergan currently at the International Council of Shopping Centers conference. Stated it is a great networking event.
- Attended the announcement of the National Cyber Security Center of Excellent at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) along with the Mayor Katz. Announcement was made by a panel consisting of County Executive Leggett, Attorney Governor Brown, Senator Barbara Mikulski and the Director of NIST for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding relating to the establishment of private sector seeking to commercialize research and development in the field of cyber security. NIST will possibly seeking an off campus office location for an incubator relating to cyber security. The City will look for potential sites in the City.
- Reported that the Economic Development webpage design process began to assist with outreach efforts. The site is expected to go live this year.
XIII. POLICY DISCUSSION
- HD-34, Resolution of the Mayor and City Council, Pursuant to § 24-226 of the City Code, Approving the Designation of the Kentlands Firehouse, as Delineated, at 321 Firehouse Lane, as a Local Historic Resource within the City of Gaithersburg
Planning Director Pruss presented the policy discussion. Following a public hearing held on November 3, 2011, by the Historic District Commission (HDC), the Commission unanimously voted to recommend historic designation of the Kentlands Firehouse located at 321 Firehouse Lane. They found that the Firehouse meets the criteria for designation.
A joint public hearing with the Mayor and City Council and Planning Commission regarding Historic Designation HD-34 was conducted on December 5, 2011. The Planning Commission at their meeting of February 1, 2012, recommended approval of designating the Kentlands Firehouse as a local historic resource. The Mayor and City Council's record closed on February 2, 2012.
Several questioned whether to wait to receive a recommendation from the committee before designating historic. Staff responded that the designation would not preclude any particular use recommended by the committee. The use of the building is determined by the underlining zoning not the historic designation. In addition, the designation would open the property to be available for tax credits and grants for restoration and renovation, if designated. Clarification was given that the designation is for the exterior of the building and that the designation originated from the community. Several agreed to move forward with the vote on whether the site meets the criteria for historic designation as a local historic resource and allow it to go through the RFP process for the committee's review and recommendation. It was added that the historic designation would disclose the City's intentions.
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Ashman, that the City Council approve the historic designation of the Kentlands Firehouse, HD-34, (Resolution No. HDC-01-12), with two conditions, if possible.
Vote: 4-0-1 (Abstained: Marraffa)
- T-404, An Ordinance To Amend Chapter 24 Of The City Code, Entitled, "Zoning," Article XV, Entitled, "Adequate Public Facilities," § 24-246, Entitled, "Adequacy Of School Capacity"
Planning Director Pruss presented the above. On December 5, 2011, the Mayor and City Council sponsored an application to amend Section 24-246 of the City Code to provide additional flexibility in granting a waiver of the schools test of the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. The proposed amendment would allow the Mayor and City Council to grant a waiver of the existing 110% school capacity standard provided that the project is compatible with existing and proposed adjacent land uses; and:
i. The project is necessary to implement the master plan or strategic directions and attract an appropriate and compatible type or caliber of user; or
ii. The number of students generated by the development project, as determined by Montgomery County Public Schools, does not exceed the number of students associated with the existing development and projected number of students associated with proposed future development at the (development) site included in the school population forecasts two (2) years in the future.
An amendment of the current two year time frame for capacity review is also under consideration for modification to a five year capacity review.
A joint public hearing was held on January 17, 2012 with 17 exhibits in the record file. The Planning Commission recommended adoption of the ordinance with a five (5) year capacity review at their February 1, 2012 meeting.
Council Member Sesma suggested that the record be reopen to allow for additional correspondence to be received and included due to the fact that staff responded after the closing of the record. Exception was taken to extending the whole record instead of just receiving the mentioned correspondence.
Motion was made by Council Member Sesma, seconded by, Council Member Spiegel, that the City Council record remain open until March 1, 2012, 5 p.m. and come before the City Council for a vote on March 19th.
Vote: 4-1 (Opposed: Drzyzgula)
- Olde Towne Plaza/315 East Diamond Avenue
Planning Director Pruss presented the above. On September 7, 2010, the Mayor and City Council authorized staff to proceed with the execution of an agreement with Olde Towne Park Development Partners regarding the redevelopment of the Fishman site at 315 East Diamond Avenue. The integration of the Olde Towne Plaza with the design of the future building was identified as an important element of the development. Since the execution of the agreement, staff has been working with the applicant to develop a site plan that achieves the integration of the plaza. Due to the grades of the site, the applicant requested that they redesign the plaza to ensure that the two sites have a complementary design and a seamless integration. The applicant is ready to proceed with preliminary site plan review for the building and plaza. The plan is before the Mayor and City Council for guidance regarding the modified plaza plan before proceeding to the Historic District Commission and Planning Commission for their review.
Vic Bryant, Macris, Hendricks and Glascock, PA, gave an overview of the proposed development describing the fall area of the site, utility complications stemming from overhead wire, transformers, signal blocks, and utility vault. Stated there are several fix items that had to be taken into consideration while creating an urban streetscape with a gathering area.
The Mayor and City Council expressed concerns with large trucks and no turn lane at South Summit and East Diamond Avenues, location of building, placement and types of planters, height of walls for public seating, plaza focal point, proposed loading dock, and building relationship to the Community Museum, History Park and Rolling Stock collection specifically the locomotive. The applicant was asked to address the concerns early in the process
Staff stated that the plan is still at the concept design stage. Given the existing constraints of utilities on and near the site, reconfiguring of the intersection would be extremely difficult. In addition, turn lanes would require acquiring right-of-way for said improvements. Staff was directed to further investigate the options and expense to improve the radius at Summit and Diamond Avenues.
All concurred that the proposed plaza plan needs more work and improved arrangement of the building to give the area a more inviting feel for the public. It was reiterated that the space is the heart of Olde Towne and asked the applicant to think bigger. A revised plan will go before the Historic District and Planning Commissions.
There being no further business to come before this session of the City Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at approximately 9:25 p.m.