Mayor and Council Meeting, 1/7/2002
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
MINUTES OF A REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
JANUARY 7, 2002
A meeting of the Mayor and City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m., Mayor Katz presiding. Council Members present: Alster, Edens, Marraffa, and Somerset. Absent: Council Member Schlichting. Staff present: City Manager Humpton, Assistant City Managers Felton and Tomasello, Planning and Administration Director Russel, Urban Design Director Soter, Public Works, Parks Maintenance and Traffic Engineer/Assistant Director (PWPME) Mumpower, Human Services Director Morganstein, Graphics Artist Kosack, Special Projects Coordinator Faust, Police Chief Viverette, City Attorney Abrams, and Administrative Assistant Stokes.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Megan McKinney, Girls' Varsity Field Hockey Team Member, Quince Orchard High School, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
The invocation was delivered by Edco Bailey, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Rockville, Maryland.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by Council Member Edens, that the minutes of a Mayor and Council meeting held December 17, 2001, be approved.
Resolution of Mayor and Council Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract with Electric Advantage, Inc. for the Purchase of Parking Lot Lighting at Municipal Lot 5
This resolution authorized the City Manager to enter into a contract for the purchase of parking lot lighting at Municipal Lot 5 with Electric Advantage, Incorporated, 1084 Taft Street, Rockville, Maryland 20850, in the amount of Forty-Seven Thousand Dollars ($47,000); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvements Budget.
Resolution of Mayor and City Council Authorizing the City Manager to Enter Into an Agreement With Family Services Agency, Inc. for Case Management Services at the Ed Bohrer Parent Resource Center
This resolution authorized the City Manager to enter into an Agreement with Family Services Agency, Inc., 620 East Diamond Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, for case management services and other supportive services to families of students in the Gaithersburg Cluster at the Ed Bohrer Resource Center, in the amount of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000); said funds to be expended from the Operating Budget.
Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Authorizing the City Manager to Award a Contract for Surveys and Development of a Base Map of Various Streets in the Historic District
This resolution authorized the City Manager to award a contract for surveys and development of a base map of various streets to Dewberry & Davis LLC, 804 West Diamond Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, in the amount of Twenty-One Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars ($21,500); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvements Budget.
Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Codifying and Amending the Official Traffic Rules and Regulations for the City of Gaithersburg
Chapter 14 of the City Code, entitled "Motor Vehicles Traffic" provides for the establishment of traffic controls and said rules and regulations require approval by Council Resolution. The City Council found it necessary to make certain amendments, additions, and deletions from time to time.
Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Marraffa, that the Consent Agenda, (Resolution Nos. R-1-02 through R-4-02) be approved.
1. Resolution of the City Council Confirming Appointments and Reappointments of the Mayor
This resolution confirms the following appointments and reappointments: Beautification Committee, Diane S. Aamodt (appointment), 17, Montgomery Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, Carol Tussey (reappointment), 101 Odend'hal Avenue, #210, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, and Frank Mate (reappointment), 225 Rolling Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, two year terms; Community Advisory Board, Kurt R. Karst (reappointment), 14 Brighton Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, Ethel Finn (reappointment), 10219 Kindly Court, Montgomery Village, Maryland 20886, two year terms; Education Committee, Tariq Husain (appointment), 11302 Coral Gables Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, Contress Braxton (appointment), 458 Carousel Court, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, James Simpson (appointment), 1349 Carlsbard Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879, two year terms; Environmental Affairs Committee, Kathryn Whitbread (appointment), 407 West Side Drive, #301, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, James Simpson (reappointment), 1349 Carlsbard Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879, E. Newman Smith (reappointment), 106 Summit Hall Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, David M. Hondowicz (reappointment), 125 Sloop Court, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, Nina J. Baird (reappointment), 24 Castle Court, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, Walt Sonneville (reappointment), 314 Wye Mill Court, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879, two year terms; Ethics Commission, Dr. W. Louis Piel (reappointment), Grace United Methodist Church, 119 North Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, three year term; Gaithersburg Senior Council, Martha Faith (reappointment), 425 North Frederick Avenue, #A-1, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, two year term; and the Multicultural Affairs Committee, Linda Plummer (reappointment), 17720 Garrett Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, Maxine Oliver (reappointment), 426 Belle Grove Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, Nguyen Van-Thang (reappointment), 714 Lenmore Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850, two year terms.
Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF GAITHERSBURG CONFIRMING APPOINTMENTS AND REAPPOINTMENTS OF THE MAYOR TO THE BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE, COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD, EDUCATION COMMITTEE, ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, ETHICS COMMISSION, GAITHERSBURG SENIOR COUNCIL, AND THE MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE (Resolution No. R-5-02) be approved.
2. Resolution of the City Council Confirming an Appointment of the Mayor
This resolution confirms the following appointment: Planning Commission, Danielle L. Winborne, 137 Apple Blossom Way, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, term to expire June 2003 (completing the unexpired term of Council Member John B. Schlichting).
Motion was made by Council Member Somerset, seconded by Council Member Edens, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF GAITHERSBURG CONFIRMING AN APPOINTMENT OF THE MAYOR TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION (Resolution No. R-6-02) be approved.
OATH OF OFFICE
Mayor Katz administered the Oath of Office to Danielle L. Winborne to execute the office of Planning Commission for the City of Gaithersburg.
- Second Quarter Employee Recognition Award
City Manager Humpton along with Mayor Katz presented the above award to Herb Kosack, Graphics Artist, for performing excellent work on an ongoing basis. Mr. Kosack is constantly involved with numerous projects for every department of the City. He routinely takes on last minute jobs, even when he is already working on other projects, and manages to finish them professionally and on time. Mr. Kosack is an asset to the City of Gaithersburg and our citizens benefit greatly from his artistic abilities.
- Certificates of Recognition
Mayor Katz presented the above certificates to the Quince Orchard High School Girls' Varsity Field Hockey Team for winning their first 4A State Championship. The Cougars compiled a 12-2-1 record for the season led by Head Coach Jenna Siegel. Team members are: Courtney Bock, Kristen Collins, Caitlin Field, Lauren Giebel, Sarah Gove, Catherine Manners, Megan McKinney, Rachel Mesa, Laura Murphy, Marie Pulley, Mary McNamara, Molly Rosenberg, Jacqueline Sando, Yvette Stepanian, Megan Veckman, Lindsey Weller, Laura Gidley, Gaitlyn Kennedy, Emma Cunnion, Alyssa Boyd, and Stephanie Economides.
Mayor Katz also presented certificates to the Quince Orchard High School Girls' Cross Country Team for winning their first State Championship title this season led by Coaches Seann Pelkey and Patrick O'Connor. Team members are: Lindsey Schneider, Rose Overbey, Beth Bower, Lina Aybinder, Linh-Yen Do, Laura Stelling, Kim Kanner, and two-time individual 4A State Champion Karen Pulliam.
- CHARACTER COUNTS! Update
Principal Carol Levine along with two students (Sarah Martin, 8th grader and Al Rosenberg, 7th grader, updated the City Council on the CHARACTER COUNTS! practices at Ridgeview Middle School. The students spoke about their Bobcat TV program which is produced once a month frequently dealing with character issues. Many of the students donate service hours at the Lord's Soup Kitchen. Directly after the September 11, 2001 attack, students gave change during their lunch hour and raised $1,200. A student created a t-shirt, which was sold during lunch, which raised funds. Students gave teddy bears to give to children who lost parents in the September 11, 2001 attack. In November the school held a canned food drive with a goal to receive 2,000, but they exceeded their goal and received 6,500 cans which was donated to St. Martin's Church. The school is also organizing a fundraiser for February.
- Bernard LaFrance, 105 Chestnut Street, expressed concern with the management of the Phoenix II School and activity within the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) Superintendent's Office. He submitted a letter for review laying out the activities following the May 6, 2001 fire destroying the school building. He expressed concern with the information received from MCPS, the rebuilding of the school, location, and loss of programs.
- Rick Marvin, 223 Little Quarry Road, asked that proposed T-350 amendments relating to concept plans, not be limited to the CD Zone.
FROM THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Council Member Marraffa
- Announced that registration will begin January 9, 2002 for Winter Recreation Classes. He reminded the public that registration could be done via the telephone and internet.
- He announced that he has a new grandchild.
- He complimented the City as a whole, especially the children for their efforts to assist others.
Council Member Somerset
- Wished all a Happy New Year. She asked all to be involved in the City's Master Plan process.
- Stated that citizens have expressed concern with the traffic islands at the intersection of Route 355 and South Summit Avenue. City Manager Humpton stated that some of the islands contain electrical wiring and the removal of those island is not an option. Mr. Humpton stated that some of the changes were made because of safety concerns for pedestrians. The Mayor and City Council asked staff to schedule a work session to inform the public of recent road construction and traffic patterns.
Council Member Alster
- Welcomed all into the New Year.
- Complimented the children in our community on their caring and thoughtfulness for others.
- Announced the Mayor and City Council will conduct an closed executive and asked for a motion:
- Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Marraffa, to conduct an executive session on January 14, 2002, following a regular City Council meeting to discuss a "legal" matter.
Council Member Edens
- Wished all a Happy New Year.
- Read the Board/Commission/Committee Vacancy Update for the City.
- Asked staff to investigate the lack of parking on West Deer Park Drive.
- Announced the City will host the State of the City Dinner on Thursday, January 31, 2002, 6:30 p.m. where members of the City's Boards, Commissions, and Committees are invited to thank them for their efforts throughout the year. He stated that seating is limited, if interested in attending, individuals should call City Hall at 301-258-6310.
- Made the following announcement:
The Mayor and City Council will hold an annual retreat for the purpose of reviewing the City's Strategic Plan and enhancing the working relationship among and between the Mayor, members of the City Council, and management staff. This year's retreat is scheduled for Friday, January 18 through Sunday, January 20, 2002, at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Annapolis, Maryland.
In keeping with the policy we have followed regarding our retreats each year, we are publicly announcing the date and location of this retreat tonight. This will provide our citizens and other interested parties notice in the event they would like to attend the portion of the retreat that is open to the public. This information is posted at City Hall, and on the City's website.
The City Council and I believe that holding a retreat is important and productive because it allows us the opportunity to come together, away from the day-to-day responsibilities of the City government, our jobs and our home, to work together and focus on important City issues in an informal setting.
The retreat will begin on Friday evening, January 18, with dinner for the Mayor and City Council members and staff. This will be a purely social occasion and not open to the public.
On Saturday, January 19, from approximately 8 a.m. until 11 a.m., the Mayor and City Council will focus on executive and administrative functions of government. From 11 a.m. until 12 noon, the Mayor and City Council will hold an Executive Session to discuss personnel issues. Therefore, I need a motion for an Executive Session. Both of the sessions on Saturday morning will be closed to the public.
On Saturday afternoon, the Mayor and City Council will discuss various financial issues and economic forecasts from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. From 2 p.m. until 5 p.m., the Mayor and City Council and staff will discuss the City's Strategic Plan. Both Saturday afternoon sessions are open to the public.
On Sunday, January 20, the Mayor and City Council will again focus on executive and administrative functions of government and will be providing guidance to the City Manager from approximately 8 a.m. to 12:00 noon. This session will also be closed to the public.
Minutes will be kept of all public portions of the retreat and will be available for review. Additionally, on Monday, February 4, 2002, we will provide an overview of what was discussed and accomplished during the retreat, and a public discussion will be held on the Strategic Plan during our upcoming FY 2003 budget process.
Anyone who would like more information about the retreat may call Assistant City Manager Fred Felton at 301-258-6310.
- Requested the following:
- Motion was made by Council Member Alster, seconded by Council Member Somerset, to conduct a closed executive session on January 19, 2002, to discuss a "personnel" matter.
- Announced the Mayor and City Council will conduct a work session on January 14, 2002, to discuss the Olde Towne Park Bell Tower and Muddy Branch Road Landscaping Improvements.
City Manager Humpton
Announced that Winter Lights 2001 was a success and staff will forward a report to the City Council.
- CSP-01-009 - Application Requests Approval of a Concept Site Plan (CSP) Proposing Redevelopment of a 1.84 Acre Property (80,340 Square Feet), Known as the Holbrook Center, Located at 409-439 North Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Plan Proposes a 20,553 Square Foot Retail/Office Center With First Level Retail, Second Level Professional/Service Offices. The Subject Property is Located on the East Side of Frederick Avenue, South of Its Intersection With Summit Avenue, in the Corridor Development (CD) Zone
Urban Design Director Soter stated the above is for the proposed Holbrook Center redevelopment. He stated the public hearing was advertised in the Gazette on December 19 and 26, 2001, and the property properly posted.
Thomas Aylward, Stevens, Aylward and Associates, Architect for the Project, representing the applicant stated the Holbrook Center suffered a fire loss. He stated that the center has an existing building and layout. He added the first floor of the building is intact with damage done on the second floor. He stated there would not be an increase in the building footprint, only façade improvements and changes to the site layout. Areas that they would like to enhance upon would be landscaping, pedestrian entryway, and the siding for the building. He noted the existing edge, typography, and buffers would be maintained. He stated the only tenant presently is the 7-Eleven. He reviewed the proposed plans with the Mayor and City Council. If approved, construction could begin late spring.
Mr. Aylward responded to Council Member Alster's question regarding the design and loss of parking. He stated that six parking spaces would be eliminated to create the pedestrian path.
Concern was also raised to restrict a liquor establishment because of the high school across the street.
Urban Design Director Soter stated that there are issues that staff will work through at the site plan level. He stated that staff recommends that the concept plan be approved based on the fact that the use is in conformance with the CD Zone and consistent with the Frederick Avenue Corridor Plan. Staff also recommends approval of the modifications such as ingress/egress, streetscape improvements, buffers, signage and facade improvements. Staff recommends holding the record open for seven (7) days and come back to the City Council with written opinion and a resolution approving the concept plan.
Speaker from the audience:
- Carroll Kearns, 406 Gaither Street, urged the City Council to encourage professional use for the upper level of the proposed redevelopment.
- Helen Irvine, Becraft Antiques, 405 South Frederick Avenue, expressed concern that appropriate fencing and buffering be installed along the property lines of the proposed development.
- There were no other speakers at the hearing.
- Motion was made by Council Member Alster, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that the Mayor and City Council record on CSP-01-009, be held open for seven (7) days and directed staff to prepare written opinion and a resolution approving the concept plan.
- Vote: 4-0
- CSP-01-006 - Request to Reopen the Concept Site Plan to Discuss Possible Waiver Provisions to 3 of the 17 Conditions of Approval. The Concept Plan is for an Antique and Carpet Retail Sales Store Within the Existing Building at 303 South Frederick Avenue on Approximately 12,632 Square Feet of Land. The Subject Property is Located South of the intersection of South Summit Avenue and South Frederick Avenue in the Corridor Development (CD) Zone
Assistant City Manager Felton stated the public hearing was advertised in the Montgomery Journal on December 21 and 28, 2001, and site posted properly. He stated the City Council approved the concept plan to turn the residential structure at 303 South Frederick Avenue into a commercial use for retail. He stated the applicant is requesting that the City Council waive the paved parking lot and allow gravel, waive the access to the parking lot from 24 feet to 21 feet, and allow access from 355 to the parking lot from 25 feet to 23.5 feet. Staff is comfortable with the requests and recommend approval. The applicant claims that the use is temporary, but staff recommends that the City Council treat this plan as permanent. Mr. Felton stated that the original approval included 17 detailed conditions. Staff recommends that the following condition be added: The Planning Commission may grant a waiver to the drive aisle width and asphalt parking lot requirements during the site plan process for a period of time not to exceed 24 months. Staff is recommending the record be closed and the resolution be approved. He also added that staff is not comfortable with a recommendation to allow a site plan without engineering.
Speaker from the audience:
Massoud Heidary, 121 Central Avenue, request modifications to waivers for his property located at 303 South Frederick Avenue.
There were no other speakers at the hearing.
Motion was made by Council Member Alster, seconded by Council Member Marraffa, that the record on the above, be closed.
City Attorney clarified that public hearing tonight is for a modification request. He referred to condition #6 which talks about maintenance of the yard and asked if the City Council wants this included.
The Mayor and City Council asked that condition #6 remain in the resolution and all agreed that a time limit is needed on this plan. Staff is asked to monitor the plan for violations and review the plan at a later date. Council Member Somerset asked for clarification on the language requesting approval with the existing conditions and the addition of condition #18.
Assistant City Manager Felton responded that the concept plan was approved on October 15, 2001 with the 17 conditions and staff is asking for condition #18 be added and delegate the plan to the Planning Commission.
Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO AMEND THE APPROVAL OF CSP-01-006 TO ADD CONDITION THE PLANNING COMMISSION MAY GRANT A TEMPORARY WAIVER TO THE DRIVE AISLE WITH AN ASPHALT PARKING LOT REQUIREMENTS DURING THE FINAL SITE PLAN PROCESS, FOR A PERIOD OF TIME NOT TO EXCEED 24 MONTHS, be approved.
Vote: 3-0-1 (Opposed: Somerset)
Council Member Somerset asked the applicant to submit another letter stating his intentions.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Granting Approval of Road Code Waivers for Paving Widths, Right-of-Way Widths, Centerline Radius and Vertical Curve Length. The Road Code Waiver Request is for the Hidden Creek Land Bay I & II Development Site Plan SP-01-008. The Subject Properties are Zoned RP-T (Medium Density Residential) and Consists of 16.33 Acres for Land Bay I and 9.70 for Land Bay II. Both Land Bay I & II are Located Northeast of Mid-County Highway and Goshen Road/Summit Avenue Intersection (Site Plan for Land Bays I & II have already received final approval from the Planning Commission. The only purpose of this request is to seek a waiver of rode code requirements.)
The Mayor and City Council expressed concerns with adequate parking and the width of the roads to accommodate safety vehicles. The applicant asked for the above matter to be deferred.
- Resolution to Award Matching Grants
This resolution authorizes the City Manager to award a matching grant to the Oaks at Washingtonian Woods Condominium Association, in the amount of Four Thousand Seven Hundred Ninety-Seven Dollars ($4,797); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvements Budget.
- Motion was made by Council Member Alster, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AWARDING A MATCHING GRANT TO THE OAKS AT WASHINGTONIAN WOODS CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION FOR NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENTS (Resolution No. R-7-02) be approved.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Directing the City Manager to Commence a Comprehensive Update to the City's Master Plan
Planning and Code Administration Director Russel stated the Mayor and City Council have had many discussions regarding a residential time out, and the City would like to begin a Citywide Master Plan effort to coincide with the anticipated slow down in development. The City Attorney Abrams asked that this be memorialized in the form of a resolution directing staff to begin the work need to deliver a Master Plan to the Mayor and City Council and the public within a year. Ms. Russel stated that staff will present timely public updates to the City Council and conduct forums, meetings, and activities as required or necessary to achieve the City's goal.
- Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL DIRECTING THE CITY MANAGER TO COMMENCE A COMPREHENSIVE UPDATE TO THE CITY'S MASTER PLAN (Resolution No. R-8-02) be approved.
- Introduction of a Resolution Authorizing the Annexation to the City of Gaithersburg of 4.19 Acres of Land Known as the Crown Property at the Intersection of Story Drive and Crown Farm Drive (X-180) (Public Hearing scheduled for March 18, 2002)
Planning and Code Administration Director Russel stated the above property is presently zoned R-200 (residential-one family) in Montgomery County and the annexation petition requests rezoning the property into the City's R-A (Low-Density Residential) Zone. The City intends to retain the parcel in open space. The Planning Commission's public hearing is tentatively scheduled February 6, 2002, followed by their recommendation to the Mayor and City Council. The matter is scheduled to come back to the Mayor and City Council on March 18, 2002.
Motion was made by Council Member Somerset, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ANNEXATION TO THE CITY OF GAITHERSBURG OF 4.19 ACRES OF LAND KNOWN AS THE CROWN PROPERTY AT THE INTERSECTION OF STORY DRIVE AND CROWN FARM DRIVE (X-180), be introduced.
T-350 - An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 24. Entitled "Amendment Procedure" and "Deferral of Pending Map Amendment and Text Amendment Applications"
Planning and Code Administration Director Russel stated the above would amend Section 24-200 of the Zoning Ordinance by expanding the deferral power currently available to the Mayor and City Council. The new language adds schematic development plans, sketch plans and CD Zone concept plans to the list of applications eligible for deferral. Ms. Russel stated the current language requires a super majority vote by the City Council and the new language would require only a simple majority or three (3) members of the City Council to take such action by resolution. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the text amendment at their January 2, 2002 meeting. She stated that if T-350 is adopted, staff intends would bring a resolution to defer residential development to the Mayor and City Council meeting scheduled for January 22, 2002.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by Council Member Edens, that an Ordinance to Amend Chapter 24 of the City Code (City Zoning Ordinance), Article VIII, Entitled "Amendment Procedure," §24-200 Entitled "Deferral of Pending Map Amendment and Text Amendment Applications," to Change the Title of §24-200 and to Apply the Provisions of this Section to Schematic Development Plan, Sketch Plan and Concept Plan Approvals by the City Council - T-350 (Ordinance No. O-1-02) be adopted.
There being no further business to come before this session of the City Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:59 p.m.
Doris R. Stokes