Mayor and Council Meeting, 11/21/2002
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
MINUTES OF A REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
OCTOBER 21, 2002
A meeting of the Mayor and City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m., Council Vice President Edens presiding. Council Members present: Alster, Marraffa, Schlichting, and Somerset. Mayor Katz arrived at approximately 8:15 p.m. Staff present: City Manager Humpton, Assistant City Managers Felton and Tomasello, Planning and Code Administration Director Russel, Community Planning Director Schwarz, Long Range Planning Director DePoe, Permits and Inspections Director Burnette, Senior Plans Examiner/Building Official Lee, Senior Electrical Inspector Ferguson, Human Services Program Manager Herndon, Projects Coordinator Appenzellar, Police Lieutenant Elliot, City Attorney Abrams, and Administrative Assistant Stokes. Planning Commissioners present for joint public hearing: Keller, Bauer, Hicks, Levy, and Winborne.
I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Junior Troop 4452 of Olde Towne Gaithersburg (Nia Bailey, Jean Drzyzgula, Monica Leon, Ngozi Nsoedo, Erica Ortiz, Jee-Won Park, Whitney Stanton, Katie Weaver, and Laurel Zelnick).
The invocation was led by the Reverend Lou Piel, Grace United Methodist Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
III. 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 October 7, 2002, be approved.
Vote: 4-0 Abstained: Marraffa
Resolution Confirming Appointments of the Mayor
This resolution confirms the following appointments: Commission on Landlord/Tenant, Paula Cunniff (Tenant), 904 Beacon Square Court, #209, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, three-year term; Technology & Innovations Committee, Skip Jentsch, 403 Upshire Circle, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, two-year term.
Motion was made by Council Member Somerset, seconded by Council Member Schlichting, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMING APPOINTMENTS OF THE MAYOR TO THE COMMISSION ON LANDLORD/TENANT AFFAIRS AND TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATIONS COMMITTEE (Resolution No. R-109-02) be approved.
- Certificate of Appreciation
Council Vice President Edens presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Janis Yarde, Executive Director of the Gaithersburg/Germantown Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Yarde announced her retirement from the Chamber effective November 2002. In addition to being very active in the Gaithersburg business community, she is a member of the Friends of Wells/Robertson Board and the CHARACTER COUNTS! Steering Committee.
- GREAT Award
Education Committee Members Glen Gournoyer, Mike Busey and Eileen Shea introduced the first monthly GREAT "Gaithersburg Recognizing Educational Achievement Today" recognition award. It's mission is to promote and celebrate higher achievement and successes in Gaithersburg area schools. The goal of GREAT is to recognize schools, increase student success and to promote "best practices" models.
Each of the 25 area schools with 10 percent or more City residents will be assigned one month that they will have the opportunity of receiving acknowledgment for success and achievement. Each school will identify the program/event that it would like to "celebrate" in the area of academic success, grant program success, positive behavior/increase in attendance and/or recognition of teacher success, PTA accomplishment, and support staff contribution and/or outside community group success in the school.
Recognition for schools will take place during monthly Mayor and City Council meetings and each school will receive a perpetual plaque to hang in their school as a reminder that they are part of GREAT group of school and programs celebrated will be added yearly.
The GREAT program is also sponsoring a "stretching supplies" project which will be collecting specific concrete supplies for our schools for distribution to teachers as needed from the months of January through June of each school year. After surveying various areas schools, it was clear that this type of concrete assistance with needed supplies was truly going to fill a gap for our area teachers. For more information on GREAT and to receive a brochure with the school schedule and support opportunities you can contact the City's Education Committee through Human Services at 301-258-6398.
Council Vice President Edens present the award to Phyllis Preston, Assistant Principal of Forest Oak Middle School. Forest Oak students and teachers have worked together to set a tone for academic excellence this school year. The school goal of improving writing in response to expository text is being implemented aggressively school-wide. Because the tone in the building is positive, Forest Oak Middle School have had excellent attendance, fewer office referrals, the ability to go outside to use the environment as a basis for study, and many opportunities to congratulate our students on their personal demonstrations of CHARACTER COUNTS!
Council Vice President Edens presented a Proclamation to Beth Kilgore, Founder and Honorary President, Literacy Council of Montgomery County (LCMC), Resident of Asbury Methodist Village. The Proclamation designated November 1, 2002, as "National Family Literacy Day" in the City of Gaithersburg. The Literacy Council of Montgomery County, Maryland, Inc. was founded on December 10, 1963. The organization uses the Laubach Literacy Each-OnTeach-One Method of teaching new readers and the foreign born residents of Montgomery County to read and write better, and reinforce conversational English. In 1966, the Asbury Literacy Program began at Asbury Methodist Village where 47 residents are now trained in the Laubach Method as tutors.
VI. PUBLIC APPEARANCES
David Kaysen, 1086 West Side Drive, expressed concern with illegally parked commercial vehicles on West Side Drive and the lack of enforcement. He also expressed concern with the new electronic voting machines not having the option of write in votes for candidates not on the ballot.
VII. FROM THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Council Member Alster
Announced that the Mayor and City Council and Planning Commission will conduct a community work session on the Casey-Metropolitan Grove Master Plan Special Study Area on Tuesday, October 24, 2002. The first community work session will be an introduction and overview. He encouraged citizens to attend and participate in the theme-based focus groups.
Council Member Somerset
- Stated on October 22, 2002, she and several City staff will tour several Green Buildings throughout the county.
- Stated on October 23, 2002, she will be attending a symposium on access to healthcare at the University of Maryland Shady Grove location.
Council Member Marraffa
Announced that on October 26, 2002, the Mayor and City Council will participate in the Hospice Caring, Inc. Bowl-a-thon. He stated that all donations will go to Hospice Caring.
City Manager Humpton
- Referred to a memorandum in the City Council's package regarding a hotel text amendment. He stated that staff plan to bring it before the City Council on November 4, 2002.
- Referred to the entrance marker that stood at Sam Eig Highway which was removed. The City Council asked staff to find a more suitable location. Mr. Humpton reported that the Arts in Public Places Committee recommended placing the marker in front of the Activity Center at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm.
- Stated that the City will keep in step with the county and Montgomery County Public Schools in terms of the cancellation of outside activities during the series of sniper attacks. He stated that the City will make a decision on Halloween activities in Olde Towne at a later date.
- Encouraged citizens to visit the City's Gaithersburg Arts Barn at 311 Kent Square Road. Stated he attended a show called "Shizumi" on October 19. He announced an upcoming program called "Masks, Myth and Music" scheduled for October 26, 2002. For further information visit the City's website at www.gaithersburgmd.gov.
RECESSED THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING AT 7:55 P.M. FOR A HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION MEETING AND RECONVENED AT 7:57 P.M.
VIII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
- An Ordinance to Repeal and Re-enact with Amendments, Chapter 7 of the City Code Entitled, "Electricity," and Adopt by Reference, with Certain Modifications, the 2002 National Electrical Code (NFPA 70)
Planning and Code Administration Permits and Inspections Director Burnette introduced the public hearing for the above ordinance. Senior Plans Examiner/Building Official Lee gave a brief presentation stating that the ordinance was introduced on September 17, 2002, and advertised in the Gaithersburg Gazette on October 9, 2002 for public hearing. He emphasized the importance of electrical codes. The ordinance proposes amendments to the new 2002 National Electrical Code. He stated that the National Electrical Code is the most widely used code in the United States. The code is updated every three years for technological advancements and new construction methods, so the City and other jurisdiction will update their code every so often. Mr. Lee stated that the majority of the amendments are administrative in nature and resemble those amendments currently in place for the existing Electrical Code. He stated that the most significant change is that requirement of an Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (AFCI). An AFCI interrupts electrical current when a short is detected such as a frayed lamp cord that could start a fire. The requirement in the 2002 code is to install AFCI outlets in bedrooms of dwellings only.
There were no speakers at the hearing.
- Motion was made by Council Member Alster, seconded by Council Member Schlichting, that the City Council record on the above public hearing, remain open for ten (10) days.
- Vote: 5-0
- JOINT - SDP-01-008 - Application Requests Approval of a Schematic Development Plan (SDP), Known as Washingtonian Center - Waterfront (Rio Retail), in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Plan Includes 87,815 Square Feet of Office and 18,080 Square Feet of Retail on Approximately 5.3 Acres (or 230,800 Square Feet) of Land. The 5.3 Acre Site is Adjacent to and North of Washingtonian Boulevard and South of Interstate 270 in the Washingtonian Development in the Mixed Use Development (MXD) Zone
Long Range Planning Director DePoe stated that the public hearing is for a schematic development plan for the Washingtonian Waterfront on a 5.3 acre site. He then turned the presentation over to Mr. Chip Burton.
Chip Burton, Peterson Companies, stated that the site was sold to Realty Capital Partners, experienced office developers. He introduced Mr. Jef Fuller from DNC Architects to give a presentation on the proposed building.
Jef Fuller, DNC Architects, Rockville, Maryland, stated that their firm has been doing business in Montgomery County and throughout the metropolitan areas and that they are representing Realty Capital Partners. He stated that the proposed development is an exciting opportunity to close out the development of the Washingtonian with a small office building with I-270 frontage that will go at the north end of the project. Mr. Fuller oriented the City Council and Planning Commission with the Washingtonian Project square footage, retail development, and elevations. He stated that the five-story building will serve off the same parking structure as its surrounding buildings, a shared parking arrangement. He introduced Mr. Hopkins to discuss the architectural design and proposed materials for the building.
Matt Hopkins, stated that the structure will use a slightly reflected blue tinted glass to allow as much light into the structure from its surrounding environment. He stated that they plan to incorporate traditional red brick used by other retail buildings in the area. He stated that the site will link to existing retail/commercial, entertainment and office uses. In response to a question, he stated that the shops will be on the lowest level on the north side and the office building entrance will be on Washingtonian Boulevard.
Jeff Braw, in response to a parking question, stated that the parking garage currently has 812 spaces. He stated that they have worked with City staff at DPW with regards to the shared parking agreement.
Speakers from the audience were:
- David Kaysen, 1086 West Side Drive, express support for the development, but had concerns with parking and access to the proposed structure. He expressed concern with increase traffic on Washingtonian Boulevard and pedestrian safety.
- Candice 9425 Fields Road, expressed concern with pedestrian safety and increased traffic from the proposed development. She also expressed concern with residential security and safety in the community because of the entertainment and retail development in the area.
- Patrick Cutty, Courtyards at the Rio, expressed support for the smart growth proposed development. He stated concern with pedestrian safety and the lack of sidewalks on the residential side of Washingtonian Boulevard. He asked for additional crosswalks and sidewalks for the area.
- Berkely Jeffers, Courtyards at the Rio, also expressed concern with residential/pedestrian safety and security because of thefts in the area. He asked that community association dues be used to increase security in the area.
- Resident, Courtyards at the Rio, asked that the monthly community dues to the Washingtonian be used to install crosswalks and sidewalks for the community.
- Roslyn Lacy McLennen, expressed concern with pedestrian safety and increased traffic at the driveway entrance to the Rio parking garage. She also would like additional sidewalks and crosswalks put in place.
- Resident, Courtyards at the Rio, as a parent, he expressed concern with pedestrian safety crossing over to the entertainment center.
- There were no other speakers at the hearing.
Motion was made by Commissioner Bauer, seconded by Commissioner Levy, that the Planning Commission close the record on the above public hearing on October 30, 2002.
Motion was made by Council Member Schlichting, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that the City Council record on SDP-01-008 close on November 22, 2002.
- CSP-02-006 - Application Requests Approval of a Concept Site Plan (CSP) Proposing Change of Use From a Residence to an Office of a 25,283 Square Foot Lot Located at 212 South Frederick Avenue, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Plan Proposes to Convert a Residence to 2155-Square Foot of Office and Construction of a Parking Lot. The Subject Property is Located on the West Side of Frederick Avenue, North of its Intersection With South Summit Avenue, in the Corridor Development (CD) Zone
Community Planning Director Schwarz stated that the application is a proposed change of use from residential to office space on a brick structure on the corner of South Summit and Frederick Avenues. She stated that the public hearing was advertised in the Gaithersburg Gazette on October 2 and 9, 2002, with nine exhibits in the record file. She introduced Mr. Mike Mirtaghavi to make the presentation for the applicant.
Mike Mirtaghavi, Engineer, gave a brief presentation showing existing site renditions of the two-story brick structure located on ½ acre. He stated that the property is currently accessed from South Frederick Avenue with another access from South Summit Avenue, but it is over the neighbor's property. The improvements proposed is to pave the driveway and have paved parking with the required number of spaces for the two-story building. He stated that basically, the only change to the building is a fire exit from the second floor of the structure. In response to a question by the City Council, Mr. Mirtaghavi stated that the office space is currently occupied by the State of Maryland Highway Administration on the second floor and a contractor that works for the state is on the first floor.
There were no speakers at the hearing.
- Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by Council Member Alster, that the City Council close the record on CSP-02-006 on October 29, 2002.
IX. ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
- Resolution to Purchase One (1) Cab and Chassis, One (1) Loader and (2) Trash Dump Trailers
This resolution authorizes the City Manager to enter into a contract to purchase the above from American Freightliner of Washington, 195 Defense Highway, Annapolis, Maryland 21401, in the amount of One Hundred Twenty-Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Nine Dollars ($124,279.00); said funds to be expended from the Vehicle and Equipment Replacement Fund.
- Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANGER TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT TO PURCHASE ONE (1) CAB AND CHASSIS, ONE (1) LOADER AND (2) TRASH DUMP TRAILERS (Resolution No. R-110-02) be approved.
- Resolution for Architectural and Engineering Design Services
This resolution authorizes the City Manager to award a contract for architectural/engineering services for the Olde Towne Clock Tower and Plaza Project to Heath Design Group, Inc., 316 North Charles Street, Suite 200, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, in the amount of Fifty-Three Thousand, One Hundred Dollars ($53,100.00); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvements Budget. Mr. Appenzellar pointed out that the above is a limited contract to develop alternative schemes for the clock tower plaza area in a three month timeframe.
- Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING DESIGN SERVICES FOR THE OLDE TOWNE CLOCK TOWER AND PLAZA PROJECT (Resolution No. R-111-02) be approved.
- Vote: 5-0
- Introduction of an Ordinance to Repeal and Re-Enact With Amendments, Chapter 5
Planning and Code Administration Permits and Inspections Director Burnette introduced the above Ordinance proposing amendments to the new building codes. He stated that the majority of the amendments are administrative in nature and resemble those amendments currently in place for the 1996 BOCA building code. He stated that significant changes include: 1) A provision requiring that all single family houses constructed under this new code be constructed with an automatic residential sprinkler system. These systems are currently required in multi-family and townhouses in the City; and 2) A provision to address mold in residential dwellings in new construction. This provision will prohibit the use of materials that exhibit visual signs of mold growth, and require that any materials that exhibit mold growth during construction be removed and replaced prior to Occupancy approval by the City of Gaithersburg. Mr. Burnette stated the public hearing will be held on Monday, November 4, 2002.
- Motion was made by Council Member Schlichting, seconded by Council Member Alster, that an ORDINANCE TO REPEAL AND RE-ENACT WITH AMENDMENTS, CHAPTER 5 OF THE GAITHERSBURG CITY CODE ENTITLED, "BUILDINGS," ARTICLES I, II, AND III, SECTIONS 5-1 THROUGH 5-11, AND ADOPT BY REFERENCE, WITH CERTAIN MODIFICATIONS, THE INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE (2000), INCLUDING THE 2001 SUPPLEMENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL CODES, AS ARTICLE I THEREOF, THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CODE (2000) AS ARTICLE II, THE INTERNATIONAL MECHANICAL CODE (2000) AS ARTICLE III, THE INTERNATIONAL ENERGY CODE (2000) AS ARTICLE IV, AND THE INTERNATIONAL FUEL GAS CODE (2000) AS ARTICLE V. THE SUPPLEMENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL CODES (2001) IS ALSO ADOPTED (FOR CORRECTION OF ERRATA, ONLY, IN THE ABOVE LISTED INTERNATIONAL CODES), be introduced.
- Resolution to Enter Into a Grant Agreement With the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
This resolution authorizes the City Manager to execute an agreement with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in the amount of Forty-Six Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars ($46,800) for a Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grant. Assistant City Manager Felton stated that the grant will fund several important environmental projects such as: 1) The stabilization and restoration of stream bank along the Muddy Branch; 2) Establishment of a riparian forest buffer along Whetstone Run between Kelley Park and Victory Farm Park; 3) Establishment of a riparian forest buffer along the upper Muddy Branch stream by Summit Hall Elementary and Morris Park; and 4) Development of an environmental education and outreach program to foster environmental stewardship and create partnerships between local school, scouting troops, the youth center, and homeowners associations.
- Motion was made by Council Member Alster, seconded by Council Member Edens, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A GRANT AGREEMENT WITH THE NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION UNDER THE CHESAPEAKE BAY SMALL WATERSHED GRANTS PROGRAM (Resolution No. R-112-02) be approved.
- Resolution to Amend the Schedule of Fees, Charges, Fines, and Expenses
Assistant City Manager Felton stated that under the current fee schedule, the fine for violating Chapter 11 "Fire Safety" is Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250). Mr. Felton stated that the majority of citations issued for violations are to contractors who install fire alarm systems without permits or the required inspections. Staff believes that the proposed increase to Five Hundred Dollars ($500) may provide an incentive for contractors to obtain permits as required.
- Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Alster, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO AMEND THE SCHEDULE OF FEES, CHARGES, FINES, AND EXPENSES TO INCREASE THE FINE FOR VIOLATING CHAPTER 11 "FIRE SAFETY" OF THE CITY CODE (Resolution No. R-113-02) be approved.
- Resolution Awarding a Matching Grants for Neighborhood Improvements
This resolution authorizes the City Manager to award matching grant upon determining that the project is completed as proposed to the Audubon Square Homeowners Association for lighting ($3,778), and the Carolann Court Condominium Association for fence installation ($4,658), totaling in the amount of Eight Thousand Four Hundred Thirty-Six Dollars ($8,436.00); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvements Budget.
- Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AWARDING A MATCHING GRANT TO AUDUBON SQUARE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION AND CAROLANN COURT CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION FOR NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENTS (Resolution No. R-114-02) be approved.
X. POLICY DISCUSSION
- T-351 - Application Requests an Amendment to Chapter 24 of the City Code (City Zoning Ordinance) Article I, Entitled, "In General," §24-1 Entitled, "Definitions," so as to Amend the Definition of Amusement Center, to Include Certain Types of Internet Cafes, and to Provide Definitions for Tattoo Parlor and Adult-Oriented Businesses and Body Piercing Establishments; to Amend Article III, Entitled, "Regulations Applicable to Particular Zones," Division 12 Entitled, "C-2 Zone, General Commercial," §24-118(7), so as to Amend Regulations for Amusement Centers as to Hours of Operation and Inclusion of Requirement for Certain Internet Cafes, and Amend Division 19, Entitled, "MXD Zone, Mixed Use Development," §24-160D.3 Commercial/Employment/Industrial so as to Require Special Exception Approval of Uses Designated as Special Exceptions in the R-B, C-B, C-1, C-2, E-1 And I-3 Zones and Further to Prohibit Tattoo Parlors, Pawnshops, Adult-Oriented Businesses and Body Piercing Establishments in the MXD Zone
- T-352 - Application Requests an Amendment to Chapter 24 of the City Code (City Zoning Ordinance), Article III, Entitled, "Regulations Applicable to Particular Zones," Division 14, Entitled "I-1 Zone, Light Industrial," §24-136 Entitled, "Uses Permitted by Right," and §24-136A Entitled, "Special Exception Uses," and Division 15, Entitled, "I-3 Zone, Industrial and Office Park," §24-143 Entitled, "Uses Permitted by Right," and §24-144 Entitled, "Uses Permitted as Special Exceptions," to Provide for Requirements Applicable to Adult-Oriented Businesses, Tattoo Parlors, and Body Piercing Establishments
- T-353 - Application Requests an Amendment to Chapter 24 of the City Code (City Zoning Ordinance), Article III, Entitled, "Regulations Applicable to Particular Zones," Division 1A, Entitled, "Generally," §24-22 so as to More Definitely State the Status of Land Uses Permitted and Prohibited in Each Zoning District and Further to Retitle Subsection (b) to Apply to the R-6 Zone
Planning and Code Administration Director Russel gave a brief background stating that a joint public hearing was held on August 5, 2002. On September 9, 2002, a joint work session was held to discuss issues associated with the text amendments. City Attorney Abrams prepared a memorandum and a series of changes to the ordinance to support comments from the public hearing. She stated that Mr. Abrams also prepared a memorandum related to the City's ability to ban opiate addiction facilities, which concluded that an ordinance to ban such facilities would be vulnerable to challenge and the text amendments were amended accordingly. She stated that on October 2, 2002, the Planning Commission recommended adoption of all amendments and sent a memorandum addressing two issues associated with the amendments. The Planning Commission stated that based on a discussion of the types of business cited in the ordinance, the Commission recommended that the Mayor and City Council consider sponsoring a text amendment to ban nude performances in adult-oriented businesses with the City. She stated that Commissioner Bauer suggested that while the City experienced problems with a specific internet café, that there are many internet cafes that offer the appropriate combination of restaurant and computer use and are, in fact, desirable for a community. Ms. Russel stated that an email was received suggesting some new language changing the definition of amusement centers and internet cafes.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by Council Member Alster, that the City Council record on T-351, T-352, and T-353, be closed and directed staff to prepare ordinances for adoption.
XI. FROM THE MAYOR
- Requested the following motion:
- Motion was made by Council Member Schlichting, seconded by Council Member Edens, to conduct a closed executive session following the work session on October 28, 2002, to discuss a "legal" matter.
- Announced the Mayor and City Council and Planning Commission will conduct a joint work session on October 28, 2002, to discuss Z-294 - map amendment application request to rezone a portion of parcel and outlot located northwest of the intersection of MD Route 355 Watkins Mill Road from the I-3 Zone to the C-2 Zone.
There being no further business to come before this session of the City Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:50 p.m.