Mayor and Council Meeting, 10/7/2003
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG
MINUTES OF A REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
OCTOBER 7, 2003
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, Parks, Recreation, and Culture Director McGleish, Cultural Arts Director Kayser, Police Lieutenant Bonvillain, Community Planning Director Schwarz, Long Range Planning Director DePoe, Director of Human Services Morganstein, Project Manager Kappas, City Attorney Abrams, and Administrative Assistant Stokes.
I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Deb Zussman, 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 Schlichting, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that the minutes of a Mayor and Council meeting held September 15, 2003, be approved.
Vote: 3-0-2 (Abstained: Edens and Marraffa)
Resolution Confirming an Appointment and a Reappointment of the Mayor
This resolution confirmed the following: Art in Public Places Committee, Kevin Crown (reappointment), 12500 Fair Lakes Circle, Fairfax, Virginia 22033, two-year term; and the Cultural Arts Advisory Committee, Marion Perry (appointment), 241 Little Quarry Mews, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878, two-year term.
Motion was made by Council Member Edens, seconded by Council Member Marraffa, that a RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL CONFIRMING AN APPOINTMENT AND A REAPPOINTMENT OF THE MAYOR TO THE ART IN PUBLIC PLACES COMMITTEE AND THE CULTURAL ARTS ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Resolution No. R-82-03) be approved.
Mayor Katz issued a Proclamation to Deb Zussman (four-year breast cancer survivor), designating October 2003, as "National Breast Cancer Awareness Month" and October 17, 2003, as "National Mammography Day" in the City of Gaithersburg. Close to 300 Mayors have joined The Mayor's Campaign Against Breast Cancer to increase awareness and screening in their communities. Kicked off by the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) in November 1997, the goal of the initiative is to save lives through the early detection of breast cancer. While the campaign is directed toward underserved women, USCM also suggests outreach to men about male breast cancer.
- Employee Recognition Award
Denise Kayser, Cultural Arts Director, Parks, Recreation and Culture, was nominated for the First Quarter Employee Recognition Award for her excellent work on an ongoing basis. Ms. Kayser has a myriad of responsibilities, which include: the development and monitoring of several cultural arts budgets; the organization and implementation of the Live on the Lawn season concerts at the City Hall Pavilion; the organization of Community Chorus Program practices and concerts; conducts community outreach with local artists; organizes cultural arts trips for the public; organizes the International Book Festival; and provides leadership, training, and supervision for staff. Additionally, she is the staff liaison for the Art in Public Places Committee, and works with developers to obtain funding to purchase Public Art. Ms. Kayser has recently accepted the challenge of also managing the Gaithersburg Arts Barn.
- CHARACTER COUNTS! Week
Linda Morganstein, Human Services Director, announced that October 19-26, 2003 is National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. She stated that the City became a CHARACTER COUNTS! City in 1993. The following events are scheduled: 8th Annual Poster Contest Reception, October 22, 7 to 8 p.m., at the Lakeforest Shopping Center (co-sponsors The Gazette and Lakeforest Shopping Center); and the 4th Annual Adult Heroes in Our Community and 3rd Annual Laws of Life Contest Reception, October 26, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Activity Center at Summit Hall Farm.
VI. PUBLIC APPEARANCES
Michael Kirtley, President of the Friendship Caravan, along with Linda Smythe, and Neil Vineburg announced that a friendship walk is scheduled for October 23, 2003, from City Hall to Gaithersburg Elementary School. The caravan made up of individuals from many Arab nations and local community groups from around the world are traveling to promote peace, friendship, and tolerance. Mr. Kirtley thanked the Mayor and City Council and staff for their leadership and support. Mr. Kirtley also mentioned a "Meet the Arab Ambassadors Town Hall Meeting" to be held at Montgomery College, Germantown Campus on October 23, 2003 at 7:30 p.m.
VII. FROM THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL/ANNOUNCEMENTS
Council Member Alster
- Announced vacancies on the following City Committees: Communications Committee; Cultural Arts Advisory Committee; Economic Development Committee; Education Committee; Environmental Affairs Committee; and the Olde Towne Advisory Committee.
- Questioned the absent of funding for the Watkins Mill Interchange in the Maryland Consolidated Transportation Plan. He asked staff to investigate and lobby for funding and report back to the City Council.
- Provided pictures taken of clock towers during his travels. He asked the Mayor and City Council to note the height of a few of the clock towers which are taller than the adjacent buildings and passed them onto staff to review.
Council Member Somerset
- Received a suggestion from a citizen to consider the possibility of a roller hockey rink in the City.
- Expressed delight that the City is participating in the Friendship Caravan. She urged citizens to stop the hatred and take the time to understand others of different ethnic backgrounds.
Council Member Marraffa
- Reported that staff and individuals have been researching and addressing the concerns of cost and other related issues in regards to the clock tower. He stated that the project is more economical then expected.
- Stated the magic show at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn is a wonderful show and recommended citizen to go and enjoy it. He added that the shows are every Wednesday evening through October.
Council Member Edens
Announced an upcoming event: 12th Annual Oktoberfest scheduled for Sunday, October 12, 2003, from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Kentlands Village Green. The gathering is a free family event with children's activities, entertainment, and much more. She reminded all that there will be a free shuttle bus service available from Global eXchange Services.
Council Member Schlichting
Commended staff for their efforts in making several City events a wonderful time for all to enjoy. He mentioned the Labor Day Parade, Olde Towne Day, and the Oktoberfest. He thanked the City Departments for the work that they do.
- Echoed Council Member Schlichting and thanked staff for doing their jobs with a smile.
- Reported that the City of Gaithersburg, Rockville, and the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning met in a joint meeting to discuss the Corridor Cities Transitway alternatives. He asked staff to send letters of thanks to both parties.
- Announced a work session is scheduled for Monday, October 13, 2003, to discuss the development proposed by Saul Centers in the Kentlands, and also to discuss the Green Building Technologies Incentive Program.
VIII. FROM THE CITY MANAGER
- Reported on two capital improvement items: completion of the resurfacing of West Deer Park Road and the association curbs and drainage work; and the renovation of the main room at the City's Casey Community Center.
- Added that the Oktoberfest is a partnership with the Kentlands Citizens Assembly and business sponsors.
IX. ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS, AND REGULATIONS
- MP-1-03: Resolution of the Mayor and City Council Adopting the Master Plan Amendment, 2003 Land Use Element Process and City Overview for the City of Gaithersburg
Long Range Planning Director DePoe stated the Mayor and City Council held a policy discussion on September 15, 2003, which issues were raised for the removal of a residential conversion formula for Map Designation 26 and the need for the multiple options for five of the map designations. In additions, Map Designation 38 was also revised to eliminate a sentence regarding a land swap between the City and Montgomery County Public Schools. The Planning Commission recommended approval and staff has drafted a resolution which adopts the proposed Master Plan Amendments. He concluded that a revised tentative schedule to begin the amendment and review the remaining Master Plan Elements and five Special Study Areas will be available to the public in the near future.
Council Vice President Edens did not have issues with the land use elements and proposed projects, but questioned the special conditions process and asked whether or not they should be adopted together.
City Attorney Abrams suggested the Mayor and City Council conduct hearings for the special conditions before approving the resolution for the Master Plan. He added that it would give the City Council an opportunity to consider expanding the special conditions provision so that it would also include schematic development plans and map amendments. He stated there has been discussion with staff of creating a simplified Adequate Public Facilities (APF) Test which can be keyed into the Master Plan process. He stated it would be a separate provision in the zoning ordinance and possibly in the subdivision regulations.
Mayor Katz asked staff to review the county's APF and improve upon it for City use. City Attorney Abrams stated the APF would not be as complex as the county, but it would give the City a benchmark and tool to evaluate applications.
Several Council Members agreed with Mayor Katz and the City Attorney. All concurred that they like the direction the Master Plan Land Use Element is going and what the City is looking to accomplish, but would like to better understand it and not have to come back and redo it.
Mayor Katz asked for a time table to be developed and hearings be scheduled as soon as possible.
- Resolution Awarding Matching Grants
This resolution awards matching grants to Gateway Park Homeowners Association for landscaping ($4,630); Lakelands Ridge Homeowners Association for landscaping ($1,039), and the Oaks of Washingtonian Woods Condominium Association for drainage and landscaping ($5,000), in the total amount of Ten Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty-Nine Dollars ($10,669); said funds to be expended from the Capital Improvements Budget.
Motion was made by Council Member Alster, seconded by Council Member Schlichting, that a RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AWARDING MATCHING GRANTS TO GATEWAY PARK HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, LAKELANDS RIDGE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION AND OAKS OF WASHINGTONIAN WOODS CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION FOR NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENTS (Resolution No. R-83-03) be approved.
X. FROM THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGERS, CITY ATTORNEY AND OTHER STAFF
Assistant City Manager Felton
Referred to several memorandums sent to the Mayor and City Council.
- T-354 - Accessory Structures Text Amendment - Stated a hearing was held a year ago, and a work session was conducted on August 11, 2003, with several issues raised and addressed. Staff recommends closing the record, and after 90 days of "no action" by the City Council or Commission on this text amendment, it is considered denied and within 45 days, introduce a new text amendment which outlines what the City Council asked for during the August 11, 2003 work session.
- Motion was made by Council Member Alster, seconded by Council Member Somerset, that the record on T-354, be closed.
- Traffic Calming Proposal for the Lakelands Community - Stated there are two requests from the HOA and both have been reviewed by Traffic Engineer Mumpower. One request is for an additional speed hump on Lakelands Drive between Great Seneca Highway and the existing hump. Mr. Mumpower believes that the installation of one more hump would reduce the speed to the 25 to 30 mph range. The second request from the Lakelands Association deals with a raise d crosswalk on Main Street just off the intersection of Golden Ash Way. Mr. Mumpower concurred that one more raised crosswalk in that area would make sense.
- Traffic Calming on Travis Avenue - Stated that staff has been working with Montgomery Meadows HOA for a number of years on this issue. Mr. Mumpower indicated that installing two raised crosswalks and one speed hump would reduce the average speeds to the 25 to 30 mph range.
The Mayor and City Council approved the requests above.
Community Planning Director Schwarz
Referred to a memorandum requesting the Mayor and City Council sponsor a text amendment for private education institutions in the CDB Zone as a special exception use. Staff believes it is a use that would be viable for the Olde Towne Business District. Mayor Katz clarified that sponsoring the text amendment does not mean that the City supports it, but feel that it is appropriate to have a discussion. City Council Members concurred.
There being no further business to come before this session of the City Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:15 p.m.