Mayor and Council Meeting, 5/20/2002
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
MINUTES OF A REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MAY 20, 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, Schlichting and Somerset. Staff present: City Manager Humpton, Assistant City Managers Felton and Tomasello, Planning and Code Administration Director Russel, Public Works, Parks, Maintenance and Engineering (PWPME) Director Arnoult, Public Works, Parks Maintenance and Traffic Engineer/Assistant Director (PWPME) Mumpower, Lieutenant Bonvillain, Planner Janousek, Director of Youth Services Smith, Human Services Program Manager Herndon, City Attorney Abrams, and Administrative Assistant Stokes.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Captain David Henry, Gaithersburg/Washington Grove Fire Department.
The invocation was led by Rabbi Raphael, Kehilat Shalom, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Council Member Alster, seconded by Council Member Schlichting, that the minutes of a Mayor and Council meeting held May 6, 2002, be approved.
Vote: 4-0-1 (Abstained : Edens)
Resolution of the City Council Confirming an Appointment of the Mayor
This resolution confirmed the following appointment: Gaithersburg Senior Council, Susheel Gupta, 9449 Fields Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, two year term.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF GAITHERSBURG CONFIRMING AN APPOINTMENT OF THE MAYOR TO THE GAITHERSBURG SENIOR COUNCIL (Resolution No. R- 53-02) be approved.
Fire and Rescue District Chief Rich Bowers thanked the Mayor and City Council for their support towards the purchase of a Thermal Imaging Camera. Mr. Bower introduced Bud Henkel, President of the Gaithersburg/Washington Grove Fire Department, who gave a brief presentation and demonstration of the camera. He explained that the heat sensing camera can detect a fire within a wall or a child that is hiding in a room on fire and filled with smoke. Mayor Katz on behalf of the City Council and the citizens of Gaithersburg, thanked the Gaithersburg/Washington Grove Fire Department for their commitment to the City.
Mayor Katz made the following presentations:
- Certificates of Recognition to the W. Edward Bohrer, Jr. CHARACTER COUNTS! Youth Scholarship Winners: Fozia Iram (not present), Gaithersburg High School; and Abdul Basit Karim and Muhammad S. Farooq, Watikins Mill High School;
- Certificates were also presented to the following corporate sponsors who, together, contributed $3,000 to the scholarship fund: Lockheed Martin Manager of Corporate Philanthropy David Phillips (not present), Rodgers Consulting's Gary Unterberg, and BAE SYSTEMS, Carole Carter, Head of Employee Relations;
- Proclamation designating May 17-24, 2002, as "Drug Prevention Week" was presented to Principal Laurie Gross, Fields Road Elementary School;
- Certificate of Recognition to Alexandra Wasser, 4th grader, Fields Road Elementary School, 2002 Drug Prevention Program T-Shirt Design winner;
- Proclamation designating May 20, 2002, as "Dorothy J. Harris Day," winner of the 2002 Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award annually given by The Washington Post. Ms. Harris has taught science at Quince Orchard High School since the opening of the school in 1988. Principal Dan Shea of Quince Orchard High School joined Ms. Harris at the podium. He stated that the school has captured three of the above awards in the schools 14 years of existence; and
- Certificate of Appreciation to Paul Tierney, appointed to the Ethics Commission in September 1989, and served as its Chairman. Under Mr. Tierney's leadership, the Commission established a yearly review of the City's Ethics Ordinance to ensure its continual conformance with the State Public Ethics Law and recommended changes if necessary; and
- Certificates of Recognition were presented for work done in historic preservation to Robert and Lisa Boulianne, 104 Brookes Avenue, for excellent preservation through diligent maintenance of this historic home; O'Neill Development Corporation, 11 Russell Avenue, for outstanding rehabilitation of the Brewster/Lipscomb House; and Judith Christensen, Gaithersburg Historical Society, City's Community Museum, recipient of the 2002 Annual Montgomery County Awards for Historic Preservation, for outstanding achievements in the field of historic preservation.
- Report from Bruce Mangum, Acting Section Chief of Montgomery County's Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS) Regarding the County's Function in Regard to Traffic Signals in this Area
Carol Martin, 23 Norwich Court, asked for debris to be removed from the entrance of the Crown Farm parcel to be annexed into the City.
FROM THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Council Member Alster
- Reported that the Gaithersburg Arts Barn will open May 23, 2002. The show "A Fresh of Breath Air," Dale Stein's one-act comedy, will run until June 16.
- Mentioned that the parking situation in the Observatory Heights community has not improved with Gaithersburg High School students. Assistant City Manager Felton stated a survey will be distributed to the community this week and recommendations will be forthcoming to the Mayor and City Council.
- Expressed concern with pedestrian safety at some of the intersections in the City. He reported that in Florida, the pedestrian crossing sign has numbers displayed counting down the time which remains for crossing. He also mentioned that in Roslyn, Virginia, similar crossing screens have been installed at several busy intersections. He asked staff to investigate and contact the county on this matter.
Council Member Somerset
Commented staff and expressed appreciation on the City's budget preparation and presentation.
Council Member Marraffa
- He and Mayor Katz attended the Maryland Municipal League meeting on Homeland Security. He stated that County Executive Duncan gave an encouraging report on homeland security in the county.
- Attended the Economic Development Committee meeting to discuss factors that influence the City's budget and income revenue.
- Attended the Gaithersburg High School ROTC awards ceremony on May 18, 2002. He reported that the program won a division award which allows the school to send nine appointees to a military academy.
- Thanked staff (Felton, Arnoult and crew, Ossont, etc.) on behalf of the West Riding community for their involvement with improvements and repairs in the community.
Council Vice President Edens
- Congratulated Mayor Katz on his appointment to the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League.
- Announced a closed executive session was held following the Mayor and City Council work session on May 13, 2002 to discuss a "legal" matter. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Council Member Schlichting
Referred to emails received regarding Market Square. The emails expressed concerns about the physical appearance, parking, and vandalism around Market Square. He suggested a Council in the Communities meeting to be scheduled to address the issues prior to the special study area work session.
- Attended the Homeland Security meeting and stated that Montgomery County is definitely a leader in safety.
- Received concerns from citizens on pedestrian safety at the intersection of Diamond and Summit Avenue.
- Read the following announcement:
- On Thursday, May 9, 2002, the Mayor and City Council and several senior staff members attended a meeting with the Rockville Mayor and City Council and senior staff at the Croyden Creek Nature Center.
It was an excellent meeting, and I think everyone in attendance agreed that it was very productive. The key discussion items included: joint support for the Inter County Connector and the Corridor Cities Transit way, proposed legislative initiatives for the Maryland Municipal League, pedestrian safety issues, and the proposed Shady Grove Transportation Management District. Additionally, we discussed our concerns about two proposed residential developments that are not within the borders of Gaithersburg and Rockville.
We would like to thank Mayor Giammo and the Rockville City Council for their hospitality, and we look forward to inviting them to Gaithersburg for further discussions in the future.
If anyone should have any questions about the specific issues discussed at this joint meeting, please contact Assistant City Manager Fred Felton at 301-258-6310.
- Announced a work session has been scheduled for Thursday, May 23, 2002, to discuss the Education themes for the City's Master Plan.
City Manager Humpton
- Thanked Paul Tierney for serving on the Ethics Commission.
- Thanked Council Member Somerset for comments regarding the budget and thanked the remaining City Council for an efficient budget process. He stated the budget will come back for adoption at the June 3, 2002 Mayor and City Council meeting.
RECESSED THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING AT 8:12P.M. FOR A HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION MEETING AND RECONVENED AT 8:14 P.M.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
- Resolution to Award a Contract for the Retrofit of Christman Stormwater Management Pond
This resolution authorizes the City Manager to award a contract to Heritage Builders, Incorporated, 4 Park Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, in the amount of Four Hundred Twenty-Three Thousand, Four Hundred Forty-Four Dollars ($423,444); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvement Budget.
- Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO AWARD A CONTRACT FOR THE RETROFIT OF CHRISTMAN STORMWATER MANAGEMENT POND (Resolution No. R-50-02) be approved.
- Resolution Authorizing the Annexation of 4.19 Acres of Land, Crown Property Parcel - X-180
Planning and Code Administration Director Russel stated the City purchased the property with the assistance of State Program Open Space Funds. The annexation petition requests rezoning of the property that is presently R-200 (single-family residential) Zoned in Montgomery County to the City's R-A (low-density residential) Zone. She mentioned that the City intends to record a covenant on the land that will limit its use to open space.
- Motion was made by Council Member Somerset, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE ANNEXATION OF 4.19 ACRES OF LAND KNOWN AS THE CROWN PROPERTY AT THE INTERSECTION OF STORY DRIVE AND CROWN FARM DRIVE X-180 (Resolution No. R-51-02) be approved.
- Ordinance Establishing the Zoning of 4.19 Acres of Land, Crown Property X-180
Planning and Code Administration Director Russel stated the Ordinance will establish the zoning on the property at the time of annexation.
- Motion was made by Council Member Somerset, seconded by Council Member Alster, that an ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE ZONING OF 4.19 ACRES OF LAND KNOWN AS THE CROWN PROPERTY AT THE INTERSECTION OF STORY DRIVE AND CROWN FARM DRIVE AS PART OF THE ANNEXATION PETITION X-180 (Ordinance No. O-5-02) be adopted.
- Resolution to Record a Declaration of Covenants on the Crown Farm Parcel
Planning and Code Administration Director Russel stated that in conjunction with the annexation, a covenant has been drafted by City Attorney Abrams to limit the use of the property in the future. Ms. Russel stated that once the covenant is recorded, which will be legally binding on the property, the document will establish controls on the property to assure its retention in a natural state. The document specifically prohibits any residential, commercial or industrial use, as well as advertising or commercial sign display. The above action is in direct response to guidance provided by the Mayor and City Council and in response to concerns raised by the adjacent community to protect the property once annexed and zoned R-A.
Council Member Somerset questioned condition number three and five of the covenant not entirely implementing the intention of the City Council to preserve the property as a natural area. Staff prepared and handed out revised language suggested by Council Member Somerset.
Mayor Katz and other Council Members expressed concerns that the new language would restrict staff from maintaining the property properly when necessary. Several Council Members agreed that the drafted covenant would do what it is supposed to do and that is to retain the property in its natural state. Concern was expressed that staff be allowed flexibility to maintain the area for public safety and other issues that may occur in the future.
City Attorney Abrams stated that a requirement by property owners to cut grass, weeds and brush above so many inches is already in the City Code.
Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO RECORD A DECLARATION OF COVENANTS ON THE CROWN FARM PARCEL LIMITING ITS USE IN THE FUTURE (Resolution No. R-52-02) be approved.
Vote: 4-0-1 (Opposed: Somerset)
Request for Demolition, Chesapeake Finishing, Inc., 102 North Summit Avenue, Applicant Scott E. Bell
Deferred due to the absence of the applicant. The City Council asked staff for an update on the Olde Towne Special Study Area .
There being no further business to come before this session of the City Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Doris R. Stokes