Mayor and Council Meeting, 7/21/2003
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
MINUTES OF A REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
JULY 21, 2003
A meeting of the Mayor and City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m., Mayor Katz presiding. Council Members present: Edens, Marraffa, Schlichting and Somerset. Absent: Council Member Alster. Staff present: City Manager Humpton, Assistant City Managers Felton and Tomasello, Planning and Code Administration Director Russel, Long Range Planning Director DePoe, Planner Janousek, Planner Patula, Assistant Planner Marsh, GIS Planner Eby, Human Services Director Morganstein, Project Manager Kappas, City Attorney Abrams, and Administrative Assistant Stokes. Planning Commissioners present for joint public hearing: Keller, Levy, and Winborne. Absent: Bauer and Hicks.
I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Rodney Durst, Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
In lieu of an invocation, Mayor Katz called for a moment of silence.
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that the minutes of a Mayor and Council meeting held July 7, 2003, be approved.
- Resolution Confirming an Appointment of the Mayor
This resolution confirmed the following: Multicultural Affairs Committee, Beverly Schrab, P.O. Box 452, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20844, two-year term.
- Motion was made by Council Member Somerset, seconded by Council Member Schlichting, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMING AN APPOINTMENT OF THE MAYOR TO THE MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE (Resolution No. R-64-03) be approved.
- Resolution Confirming Reappointments of the Mayor
This resolution confirmed the following reappointments: Planning Commission, Blanche Keller, 911 Wild Forest Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 and Danielle Winborne, 137 Apple Blossom Way, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, five-year terms.
Motion was made by Council Member Schlichting, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMING REAPPOINTMENTS OF THE MAYOR TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION (Resolution No. R-65-03) be approved.
V. OATH OF OFFICE TO PLANNING COMMISSIONERS
Mayor Katz administered the Oath of Office to Planning Commissioners-Reappointed Blanche Keller and Danielle L. Winborne, five- year terms.
VI. PUBLIC APPEARANCES
- Rick Marvin, 223 Little Quarry Road, expressed opposition to the Ordinances approving development on Kentlands Boulevard due to the lack of access to the surrounding sites, circulation and traffic. He submitted an example brochure (voter's guide) for the City's upcoming elections which he suggested something similar be sent with all other election materials. Mayor Katz stated all materials are reviewed and approved by the Board of Elections, not the Mayor and City Council.
- Mark Hackman, 64 Appleseed Lane, President of Shady Grove Village III HOA, expressed concern with the City's bulk pick-up schedule and materials not cleaned up, left behind, and the safety of the children in the area. Mr. Hackman referred to a letter he received from Edward Gonzalez, Deputy Director of Transportation Policy and Department of Public Works and Transportation for Montgomery County, dated June 11, 2003, in response to the traffic study use for the Boston Properties development. The letter stated that changes in the area do warrant a new traffic study. He thanked the City for their involvement.
- Chantal Preuninger, 4 Sanders Court, questioned the schedule for the City;s bulk pick-up in various areas.
VII. FROM THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Council Member Somerset
Suggested that a Talbots store, which is not exclusively a mall store, be considered for Market Square. She stated that there are now village stores available.
Council Member Edens
Announced that on Tuesday, August 5, 2003, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., National Night Out Against Crime will be held at the following locations: Kelley Park; Diamond Farms Park; Lakelands Four Corners; and Green Park and commented briefly on activities that will take place at the event.
Stated a work session to discuss the potential telecommunications facilities at Morris Park will be held on July 28, 2003.
VIII. FROM THE CITY MANAGER HUMPTON
Announced and recognized the City's employee of year (Wally DeBord, Public Works, Parks Maintenance and Engineering) and the team of the year (Sniper Response Team consisting of Members of the Gaithersburg Police Department and Administrative Support Staff). During the snow storms in February of 2003, Mr. DeBord used excellent strategies and planning in order to provide the best service to City residents, while still keeping the safety of his employees in mind. During the sniper attacks in the metro area from October 2, 2002 through October 16, 2002, the Sniper Response Team exemplified exceptional performance during a sustained period and highly stressful time to insure the safety of the citizens of Gaithersburg.
IX. PUBLIC HEARING
JOINT - MP-1-03: Master Plan Amendment, 2003 Land Use Plan, an Element of the City of Gaithersburg Master Plan
Long Range Planning Director DePoe gave a PowerPoint presentation on the 2003 Master Plan Land Use Element Amendment, MP-1-03. He stated that the Mayor and City Council, Planning Commission, City staff, and the citizens of Gaithersburg began a process of updating the Master Plan by creating a vision for the community in 2002. He stated there have been several public stakeholders meetings, work sessions, and public agency meetings through the Master Plan process.
Mr. DePoe stated that the 2003 Land Use Element Maser Plan Amendment is recommending revisions and amendments to the City's current Master Plan. The draft land use element primary consist of three sections: 1) Master Plan Process and City Overview; 2) Map Designations; and 3) Special Study Areas. He reviewed the three sections and the contents of the draft 2003 Master Plan Land Use Element which was made available to the public on May 8, 2003, and placed on the City's Master Plan Website. He stated that the Master Plan process and City Overview consist of eight Subsections. Subsection One - To the Reader. This is an introduction to the Master Plan which discusses the revised approach. The City has selected to revise the approach for preparing its land use element from the review and update of planning neighborhoods to the review and update of special study areas and a planning map designation through a theme based approach. He stated that the current Master Plan divides the City into six neighborhoods for land use planning purposes. The Land Use Element eliminates the neighborhoods in its entirety and introduces map designations and special study areas. Mr. DePoe presented an illustration of all the map designations and special study areas within the City to show the full scope. Also introduced were the City's Themes and the Master Plan Overview. Subsection Two, Legal Authority of the Plan. Legal Authority is given through Article 66B - Maryland and Planning and Zoning Enabling Act, 1992 Economic Growth Resource Protection & Planning Act, and 1997 Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation Initiatives. Gaithersburg as an incorporated City is subjected to Article 66B - Land Use of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Section 3.05, of Article 66B requires the City's Master Plan shall be reviewed and if necessary revised or amended at least once every six years. The proposed 2003 Land Use Plan Element is recommending revising and amending the City's current Master Plan. The third Subsection is the Master Plan Update. The Master Plan is designed to establish a vision and long-range plan for the City's future. It sets policies, identifies and evaluates community planning goals and areas of community concern, and in the final analysis, presents a recommended plan. This is accomplished through ongoing reviews and revisions of the land use themes and special studies areas and visioning process. The fourth Subsection is the 2003 Strategic Direction Plan. Mr. DePoe stated that on an annual basis, the Mayor and City Council adopt this Strategic Plan. The 2003 Strategic Directions will advance the goals, objectives and vision of the 2003 Master Plan Update. The following are included from the Strategic Plan: 1) the Strategic Direction Overview as it relates to the Master Plan to ensure that all planning and development considers and responds to the City's environmental, transportation, economic, social, and civic needs; 2) The Vision "Gaithersburg will be a City that," these are standards Gaithersburg has set to create a special place where people want to live, work, learn, and play; and 3) the Guiding Principles, which is guided by the six pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS! Demonstrated by customer focus, open communication, creativity, fiscal responsibility, cooperation, commitment of excellence, and continuous improvement. The fifth Subsection is Themes. A host of nine Themes were created by the Mayor and City Council and Planning Commission following the initial visioning process for updating the Master Plan and adopted in October 7, 2002. The Themes which are developed by the Mayor and City Council and Planning Commission to guide land use decisions, set the vision of the City and help with future policy decisions regarding the City's identity, redevelopment options, the location of town centers, environmental protection, transportation options the scope and scale of community facilities, housing needs, economic development and education. Each Theme does not stand alone and all should be considered as Master Plan decisions are made. Each Theme contains objectives that guide the City forward in the scope of the Theme. Following the objectives, each objective has a set of actions that provide implementation towards the guidelines. The nine Themes are: Identity - Gaithersburg is a community that has a remarkable sense of place, with a distinct identity and strong heritage, characterized by attractive public spaces; Redevelopment - Gaithersburg is a community that will encourage orderly and managed redevelopment of aging areas using the themes developed herein, with an emphasis on decisions that ensure the stability of the City and that seek the continuous collaboration of all stakeholders; Town Centers - Gaithersburg is a community that affirms the designations of the existing Town Centers which offer compact and efficient neighborhoods with vibrant centralized community-based focal points that attractively combine commercial, housing, civic, cultural, educational, transportation, and recreational opportunities; Environment - Gaithersburg is a community that preserves and enhances open space and critical environmental areas; highlights natural beauty in its land use plans in order for such areas to support ecological systems, serve as award-winning parks, trails, and recreational facilities where public use is fostered through site design; and ensures a high quality of life that is sustainable for future generations; Transportation - Gaithersburg is a community that provides a wide number of transportation choices to overcome pressing transportation issues, including but not limited to encouraging mixed-use development, use of transit, bicycling, and pedestrian oriented urban design to reduce reliance on the automobile; Community Facilities - Gaithersburg is a community that has community services and public facilities that adequately serve the citizens and are planned to expand in an orderly, fiscally cost-effective manner to achieve sustainable goals; Housing - Gaithersburg is a community that offers a range of housing choices, while preserving the character of existing neighborhoods and providing connectivity to adjacent areas of employment, nature, recreation, services, and shopping; Economic Development - Gaithersburg is a community that encourages Economic Development with important jobs and businesses located only where infrastructure or capacity exists or can be improved; and Education - Gaithersburg is a community that coordinates closely with the Board of Education so they can assure that adequate school capacity is available when considering new development, growth in existing neighborhoods and ever changing demographics. Schools shall be sited so that they are well incorporated into the core of a community. The sixth Subsection, city-wide growth pattern through annexations and Gaithersburg vicinity planning improves rational of annexation, state code amendment, and zoning issues, growth patterns through annexation, and Montgomery County Planning for Gaithersburg and Vicinity. Within the document, there is a chart providing the City's historical growth pattern through annexations from 1962 to today. The seventh Subsection, population trends. Gaithersburg currently has 52,780 persons. The Gaithersburg vicinity contains 68,985 and Montgomery County contains 843,341 persons. The eighth Subsection housing trends. In 1990, there were 15,513 housing units within the City. As of 2002, there are 21,462 housing units. There is an average annual housing growth rate of 2.8 percent between 1990 and 2000. Housing policies, there is a diversity of housing types for a broad range of citizens. Within the City, single family detached units are 20.4 percent, townhouses at 29.6 percent and apartments at 49.8 percent.
Mr. DePoe stated that the second main section of the Land Use Element is Map Designations. Map Designations provide land use designations and zoning categories and these are the 57 map designations provided in the Land Use Elements. Each map designation follows the same format. There is a tax map reference, tax map, property information and land use alternatives, and land use, and zoning actions. Within the Land Use Element, the following land uses are being provided as being recommended or retaining: low density residential; medium-low density residential; mixed residential, mixed-use, residential-office, commercial-office-residential, commercial-office, commercial/industrial-research-office, industrial-research-office, institutional, and open space. An example map designation, follow the same format which provides a tax map reference, a map designation and also a tax map. He then explained the land use zoning action. After looking through the background and land use alternatives with the land use and zoning action, the City can either designate the land use; at such time they will either adopt a new land use designation or retain the existing land use designation for that property or it can provide its own designation and a recommended change of zone or retain the existing zoning is decided upon. In some cases, special conditions occur with map designations 11, 14, 20 and 57. These special conditions are subjected to additional public hearing.
The final main section of the Land Use Element is Special Study Areas which highlights the ten Special Study Areas. The City has completed five. The five include the Casey-Goshen Tract, Muddy Branch, Washingtonian Center, Casey-Metropolitan Grove and Upton's Boston Market. The five remaining are Olde Towne, Crown Farm, Frederick Avenue North, Kentlands Market Square, and GE Tech Campus. Each study area is made up basically the same format, the study area map and information, tax map reference, location, background, existing land use and physical characteristics, a special study area review, and the proposed land use options for each special study area. For the Casey-Goshen Tract, the City is proposing, Map Designation 1 which has two proposals: 1) retain its existing land use for as mixed-use residential; and 2) designate a mixed use residential with commercial office component. Map Designation 2 is designated as open space. The City recently approved the plan following Option A for mixed-use residential. The second special study area, Muddy Branch is broken up into two sections. The first map designation is the Festival at Muddy Branch Shopping Center which will retain its commercial use. The second map designation is the Schultze Property and the City is recommending two options: 1) designate as open space; and 2) designated as commercial. Washingtonian Center, has three map designations. The first is designated mixed-use commercial-office. The second map designated, is designated as open space. And the third map designation is designated as commercial/industrial-research-office. He stated that Map Designation 1 has recently been approved for the mixed-use commercial/office use. The Casey-Metropolitan Grove Option A, is designated as high density office. This is the office with the commercial component option. Map Designation 2, which is just north of the central Designation 1, is designated as medium office. Map Designation 3, which is north of Watkins Mill Extended, is designated as low density office. The fourth Map Designation just south of the site, adjacent to 27 acres of City Park is designated as medium designated office, open space, and institutional. Casey Metropolitan Option B, is a private arts, entertainment and educational center. Map Designation 1, which is centrally located on the site, is designated for high intensity uses. Map Designation 2, located north of Watkins Mill Extend is designated for low intensity uses, and Map Designation 3, adjacent to the 27 acres of City Park is designated as low intensity uses, op0en space, and institutional. Casey-Metropolitan Grove Option C is a mixed use office-residential/commercial component. Map Designation 4, which is the large site just south of CSX Railroad track is designated as mixed-use residential-office-commercial. The final Special Study Area is the Boston Market, which is designated for mixed-use residential-office-commercial. He stated that the plan was recently approved for mixed-use residential/office development.
In closing, Mr. DePoe asked what have we accomplished up to now? The new Master Plan approach adopted nine Themes, held 14 stakeholders meetings, five joint Mayor and City Council and Planning Commission workshops, created 57 Map Designations, and completed five Special Study Areas. Where do we go from here? Adoption of the Land Use Element, special condition process, comprehensive rezoning adoption, begin review of the remaining five special study areas, and the update of the remaining Master Plan elements.
Speakers from the public:
- Rodney Durst, 21 Cedar Avenue, Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, expressed support for the Master Plan, its land use objectives and proposals. He made the following recommendation from the Committee: Map Designation 11, the property owned by St. Marks Church on the corner of DeSullum and Frederick Avenue, support this parcel being a residential use rather than a commercial-office-residential use, but asked that the CD Zone not apply to this parcel; Map Designation 13, Summit Hall Farm, document in the Civil War site, should be preserve and interpreted in a manner that promotes the strongest historical connection; Map Designation 16, Oakmont Manor, which is not currently within the City limits, but stated there are elements which should be evaluated for preservation and asked that the City do this through the annexation process should this ever occur; and Map Designation 28 and 32, former NIKE Missile complex, stated the site has critical components of the defense of Washington, D.C. during the Cold War Period, 1945 - 1989. The Committee supports the open space designation and urges consideration of the development as a museum with Cold War historic emphasis. The Historic Preservation Advisory Committee offered their assistance with drafting the historical preservation elements of the Master Plan.
- Janice Erickson, 205 Longdraft Road, Bennington Community Association Board of Directors, thanked the City Council and Planning Commission for their efforts on the draft Master Plan. He stated that the Bennington Board wants to go on record in support of four key elements and the overall recommendation for the Casey Tract/Metropolitan Grove Special Study Area. The recommendations include a clear commitment to have infrastructure in place before development can proceed. The commitment to hold a community charrette before any development plan is submitted. The designation of property south of Watkins Mill Road for a school site and the requirement that development on that site incorporate green building techniques. Ms. Erickson stated that the Board has concerns with the northern wooded portion being used as park land. The Board asked that it be clear for future planners to not misconstrue park to mean baseball fields and other things of that nature. She stated that the Board is in opposition to the proposed site for the CCT rail yard and asked that another location be considered.
- Richard Arkin, 121 Selby Street, commended the City on the addition of the Themes to the Master Plan process. He expressed concern with the comprehensive plan and the concept approach. He stated that the plan should follow the direction it was given. He asked that it begin with a visual process that involves the entire City, and then go to the overall goals, objectives, and concepts such as boundaries, neighborhoods, transportation, public facilities, environmental protection, economic development, and historic preservation. He stated that the land use should come toward the end of the process just before zoning. This would be recommended to the Mayor and City Council by the Planning Commission and then the Mayor and City Council would have an opportunity to revise, correct, change, and amend. He suggested that the comprehensive approach process is incomplete and the elements are incomplete due to being special study areas. He stated that the plan is inconsistent with the goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan and asked that the nature of open space be clarified. He concluded stating that sub plans such as Asbury Village be incorporated not only in the City's records, but should be set forth in the Master Plan.
- Robert Fireovid, 31 Goodport Court, referred to the Casey-Metropolitan Grove development and asked that the City preserve the natural wildlife. He referred to a report regarding population growth and economic growth and stated that the health of an area does not depend on population growth, or the vitality of businesses. He asked that the City protect the green space and undeveloped land as they consider the overall plan.
- Mark Hackman, 64 Appleseed Lane, questioned the presentation on community facilities and housing trends. He expressed concerns with infrastructure not being in place before development. He asked that the burden be put on the developers to develop the infrastructure. He also asked for condos to be included in the apartment category for housing trends. Mr. Hackman questioned the statistics for low income housing in the City. He commented on Map Designation 26, page 87 through 89, and expressed concerns with paragraph #2, stating it is a premature statement considering that the whole issue regarding whether the annexation agreement does meet the maximum density outlined in the annexation agreement and the court case.. Secondly, he asked for an explanation on the 1997 Master Plan process and questioned the conclusion of the square footage for office space for neighborhood three in the plan. He asked the City to consider its public policy with respect to the development of office buildings and the traffic control produced by the employees of that office development. Mr. Hackman stated he will submit his questions to the City in writing.
- Daniel Reeder, 11520 Game Preserve Road, acknowledged the efforts of the City Council, Planning Commission, staff, and its citizens on the planning process. He expressed support for the Master Plan process using the theme based approach and special study areas. Referred to the Themes in the Master Plan and thanked the City for taking the initiative to address the concerns with school capacity. He asked that the City follow the Themes and Objectives set in the Master Plan regarding environment. He would like the City to take the correcting of problems relating to transportation studies and critical lane volumes to a higher level than the State and County. Mr. Reeder expressed support for the CCT and the alternatives for a maintenance facility in current industrial areas only. He asked that the City follow the objectives set forth in the Master Plan for the Casey Metropolitan Grove Special Study Area. He asked for infrastructure improvement before any development occurs.
- Michael Sesma, 710 Hope Lane, West Riding community, echoed Mr. Reeder and Mr. Arkin above. Asked that infrastructure be in place for the Casey Metropolitan Grove Special Study Area before considering development because of school capacity and transportation concerns. Thanked the City Council and staff for their efforts and for allowing citizen input.
- Rhonda Gurdian, 9025 Centerway Road, asked that the Casey-Metropolitan Grove Special Study Area be preserved because of its heritage and wildlife.
- Joan Falcao, 31 Goodport Court, echoed other speakers. Expressed concern with the overcrowding of schools and transportation. She stressed the importance of developing infrastructure before other commercial or resident development for Casey-Metropolitan Grove is considered.
- Chantal Preuninger, 4 Sanders Court, thanked the City Council, Planning Commission and staff for their efforts on the Master Plan. Expressed support for the expansion of the Metro line in Gaithersburg.
- Nick (inaudible), 9312 Tulip Grove Road, asked that the City Council vote to preserve any parcel of land currently not developed.
- Rick Marvin, 223 Little Quarry Road, echoed speakers above. He reiterated that the traffic study results for Casey-Metropolitan Grove development, state that transportation improvements be in place at that time that the density is in place.
There were no other speakers from the public.
Motion was made by Commissioner Levy, seconded by Commissioner Winborne, that the Planning Commission record on MP-1-03, be held open for forty-three (43) days, September 2, 2003.
Motion was made by Council Member Marraffa, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that the City Council record on MP-1-03, be held open for fifty-one (51) days, September 10, 2003.
RECESSED THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING AT 8:37 P.M. FOR A HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION MEETING AND RECONVENED AT 8:40 P.M.
X. ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS, AND REGULATIONS
Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Somerset, to reopen the record on SDP-03-005 and SDP-03-004, to address concerns and comments received from the public.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Approving Schematic Development Plan SDP-03-005, an Amendment to the Schematic Development Plan SDP 3, From 353,201 Square Feet of Building Area to 373,201 Square Feet of Building Area Located at 317 Kentlands Boulevard, Kentlands, Section 1, Parcel L, Block Q, 33.75 Acres, in the Mixed Use Development (MXD) Zone, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Council Vice President Edens stated the City received a letter from Mike Janus, Chairman of the Kentlands Citizen Assembly asking the City to reopen the record and allow the plan to go to work session for further discussion and understanding what is being proposed and a vision for the surrounding area. She stated that other citizens have expressed concern with the plan.
Council Member Marraffa stated the proposed plan with through the process and express concern with reopening the record and putting an added expense to the developer due to concerns after the plan has gone through the process.
Council Member Schlichting agreed with Council Member Marraffa, but stated the process was not followed with a work session to due the lack of interest from the public. He felt that since the City did receive a formal letter and a considerable amount of discussions with citizens that the request cannot be ignored.
Mayor Katz stated that the interest from the public supports a work session.
City Attorney Abrams suggested the motion include a period of time or indefinitely. City Manager Humpton suggested the record be held open indefinitely to allow staff to find a date and schedule the work session as soon as possible.
- Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that the record on SDP-03-005, be held open indefinitely.
- Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Approving Schematic Development Plan SDP-03-004, an Amendment to the Schematic Development Plan SDP 7-1, From 26,000 Square Feet of Retail Land Use to 17,686 Square Feet of Office Land Use and 24,405 Square Feet of Retail Center Land Use for a Total of 42,091 Square Feet of Mixed Land Use, Located at 183 Kentlands Boulevard, Midtown, Kentlands, Lot 1, Block Q, 3.41 Acres, in the Mixed Use Development (MXD) Zone, Gaithersburg, Maryland
For the same reasons above, the City Council made the following motion.
- Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that the record on SDP-03-004, be held open indefinitely.
- Resolution to Negotiate and Execute an Agreement with Sprint PCS
This resolution authorized the City Manager to enter into a contract to purchase of the above to maintain and enhance priority City services, increase officer safety and effectiveness, and provide better service to the citizens. The equipment will be purchased from Pelican Mobile Computer Inc., 2408 Peppermill Drive, Suite I, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21202, in an amount not to exceed One Hundred and Ten Thousand Dollars ($110,000); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvements Budget. IT Director Smith recognized and thanked IT Specialist Barnes, Senior Officer Breck, and Sergeant White for their efforts.
Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Schlichting, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT WITH SPRINT PCS TO INSTALL AN ANTENNA AT THE OLDE TOWNE GARAGE (Resolution No. R-66-03) be approved.
There being no further business to come before this session of the City Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:49 p.m.