Minutes of June 3, 2002
Town of Riverdale Park
Mayor and Council Legislative Session
Call To Order
Present: Councilmember's Feldberg, Tiberio, Davis, and Almirez, Police Chief Evans, Town Administrator, Mr. Prangley, and Director of Public Works, Mr. Houser
Pledge Of Allegiance And Moment of Silence
Approval Of Agenda
CM Davis made the motion to approve the agenda. CM Almirez seconded the motion. CM Tiberio suggested a time limit for the presentations and ten minutes was agreed to (with flexibility to include questions). CM Davis asked that the appointment of an alternate judge, and the Mayor said it would be added under Item 22a as a pro-forma matter. The motion to approve the agenda with amendments passed unanimously.
Town Administrator and Treasurer's Report
Mr. Prangley read the Treasurer's report. The motion to approve the report, subject to audit, was made by CM Tiberio, and seconded by CM Davis. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Prangley said he and the staff were pleased to report funding for storm water maintenance end system for 48th and 49th Avenue and Riverdale Rd projects was received, and acknowledged it was with accomplished with support of the Mayor and Council. The Department of Environmental Resources of Prince Georges County funds the project and they will pick up full funding up to reimbursement requests.
Earlier this week a cooperation agreement was entered into with Prince Georges County, which will enable the town to apply for needed infrastructure program improvement funds over the next three years under the federal entitlement period. He thanked the leaders who handled this.
Phase II of the Community Legacy Program is coming up this September, and the Town will be looking at projects to apply for funding under this program.
Preparation is underway for the June 30, 2002 audit with Counselor Buchanan and Mitchell which will begin in a month.
Mayor Herman announced three items which came up during the work session and were inadvertently left off the agenda but will be added as 20a, b, and c; 20a: Approval of Counselor Buchanan and Mitchell for a one year continuation of their audit contract, 20b: Award of the WSSC Phase I Construction Contract, and 20c: Award of an Engineering Contract for Purposes of WSSC Phase I, II, and Riverdale Park Phase II. CM Davis said the construction items came up at the special legislative meeting, but were moved to this meeting.
An updated voter list was requested from the Board of Elections for the Riverdale Hills, Heights, and Crestwood areas regarding their annexation petition, and we were told we would have it within 48 hours. Review of the application for annexation will continue when the list is provided and no statements or conclusions will be made before that time. A report will follow the review.
Contract negotiations are ongoing between the Town, and Douglas Development Corp. Groundbreaking is hoped to begin soon.
Following passage of the trash container ordinance (on May 4th ), the 39 gallon capacity container law is in effect now. The Town will provide door hanger notices for those using inappropriate containers to assist residents with compliance. Local home improvement stores have the containers for under $9 if residents need to purchase one or more. In addition, plastic bags to separate yard waste are still available at the Town Hall at a cost of $2.50 for 25 bags.
The Heritage Carnival may still occur in the fall but action has been delayed. Information will be passed along to residents as it becomes available.
Mayor Herman said he had the privilege of testifying before the school board in May, before it was disbanded. As a result of testimony given, and a proposal put forth by former school board member Jim Henderson, the remaining Seat Pleasant children who are bused to Riverdale Park will be returning to their neighborhood school. This will move Riverdale Elementary from the current 119% capacity, closer to a 112% capacity which is a significant improvement. The school is looking forward to the additional resources it will be getting, and they have commitments from the school system administration for additional improvements to the school.
Budget hearings are ongoing and CM Tiberio will speak more about that later. Finance Committee hearings will occur before, and after, the June 13th special election. Anyone interested in budgetary items is encouraged to attend.
The special election to fill council vacancies in Ward 2 and Ward 6 will be held on June 13th. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. A special legislative session will be held after the ballots are tallied to accept the results of the election (assuming there are no ties), and to swear in the new councilmember's.
Police Department and Code Enforcement Report
Chief Evans read the code enforcement report and the police report. He announced a significant increase in assaults along Kenilworth Ave and believes it's attributable to improvements in the weather and to drinking. In response, the department is starting a zero tolerance initiative policy, and is using additional overtime resources in that area to resolve the problem.
The department is currently down one officer who left to work in DC.
An inquiry was made regarding illegal trafficking of domestic animals on Oglethorpe Dr. The Code Enforcement officer interviewed the residents who are trapping the animals and found that they are in complete compliance with animal control regulations in Prince Georges County. They were reminded to follow the letter of the law, and they assured her they would. His department will continue to monitor the situation and take corrective action if it's warranted.
CM Feldberg asked for written reports from code enforcement.
CM Tiberio asked what a signal 86 is. Chief Evans said he didn't deal with the codes anymore so he'd have to look into it.
CM Feldberg asked if there is a fine for a 911 hang up. Chief Evans explained that a 911 hang up is when someone calls 911 and doesn't stay on the line, but 911 generates an address, and there will be a response. The Town doesn't have 911 capabilities, but the county refers calls to the Town police following calls.
Public Works Department Report
Mr. Houser reiterated that the 39 gallon capacity containers has gone into affect. The door hangers are friendly reminders if something is put out improperly, or on a wrong day, but code enforcement gets a copy for follow up.
On May 20th, the annual Riverdale Park Clean up Day, Public Works collected 38.4 tons of materials that were delivered in 10 trips to the landfill saving the Town $2,276 in tipping fees. That is a 28% increase over last year.
Committee and Ward Reports
CM Feldberg said the Council has met several times about the budget and she wanted to mention a couple of things that were important to her. She suggested hiring a Town Crier Editor at a cost of $2,000 a year for approximately 8 hours a month. Currently, someone in the office does the work, and she believes there are a lot of talented people in town who could handle that duty. CM Feldberg said after much discussion, she was accepting that they keep the budget at $10,000 for planting trees, and adding $2,000 to that for the public/private tree planting program initiated last year with donations. She hopes that will pass and the council can contribute to that program which she believed was a big success.
As has been brought to her attention by residents, she reminded everyone that there is a leash law in Town. There are reports of individuals allowing their dogs to run loose on the athletic field on Tuckerman and Lafayette which is not appropriate. Everyone is asked to keep their dogs on a leash and clean up after them.
In response to a question from CM Tiberio, Mayor Herman said the town attorney is in the process of drafting a memorandum of understanding between the Town, and the Park and Planning Commission, regarding the park in Ward 3.
CM Tiberio said he'd like to see the PG County Department of Public Works clean out the storm/sewer ditch between the park and the street along Taylor Rd, and asked Mr. Prangley to call them. It's completely overrun, and blocked full of trash from Riverside Dr all the way down with stagnant water is sitting 6 - 8 inches deep.
CM Tiberio said he'd like to have another meeting on June 12th for a final review of the proposed budget following the many amendments that have been made at the last two meetings. He suggested setting the tax rate following the swearing in of the new council members the next evening since everyone would be in attendance. Discussion followed about the deadline for the tax rate, which was recalled being as late as the morning of June 18th. Further discussion occurred between CM Tiberio and the Mayor about the advantages and disadvantages of holding the tax rate meeting immediately following the swearing in of newly elected council members. The Mayor believed they should have four days to review the budget and budget documents before voting on a $3 and a half million dollar budget. CM Tiberio disagreed with waiting saying his main reason for wanting to do it right away was that everyone would be in attendance. The Mayor suggested they discuss it later in the agenda, saying he had a different opinion about what they should be doing on the 13th. CM Tiberio said it was a council decision, and CM Feldberg reminded them there would be a problem if the election resulted in a tie. CM Davis had a conflict with meeting on the 12th. Everyone agreed that they would discuss the tax rate at the meeting on June 17th.
CM Davis said they are still working on many code issues, especially those along high visibility corridors. Contract negations with the Town Center continue. She reminded everyone who visit the Farmers Market but who live nearby to please walk instead of driving, as parking will be at a premium as construction starts.
Residents are encouraged to attend the MUTC zoning meeting on June 8th at the Calvert House. What MUTC means for the Town, where we've currently applied for it, where we're interested in expanding it, what it would mean to property owners in the zone, and what it would cost (there is a cost) will be discussed at the meeting.
CM Davis reported that the Oliver St parking permits meeting keeps getting rescheduled because of conflicts with residents schedules but that can't continue. A meeting will be scheduled for the middle of June where a global parking solution needs to be agreed on, or nothing will happen there.
CM Davis read aloud a letter she received from the Riverdale Tiger Mart owner in which he respectfully requests permission to stay open 24 hours because of their need to be able to compete and not lose business the hours that they're closed. Their current hours are from, 5:00 am to 11:00 pm. She said the neighborhood needs to discuss this and asked to hear from residents directly affected by the proposed change. A meeting will be scheduled.
The first Economic Development Committee meeting, held May 23rd, was not well attended. The Mayor came in at the end, but no other council members were able to attend. Topics of discussion were; a draft committee mission statement (which will be reviewed and discussed again at the next meeting in July), economic and redevelopment projects, grants the town has received and may be eligible to receive, an attempt to prioritize projects (including redevelopment of Town Center and Rt 1 corridor), cross municipality business recruitment (College Park, University Park and Hyattsville) referring to the Trader Joe's and Fresh Fields that everyone wants, creation of an urban renewal project in the parcel between Rite Aid and the old McDonalds on Rt 1, the search for a new grocery store to move into Riverdale Plaza after Giant leaves the shopping center, looking into creating an international corridor on Kenilworth Ave, bringing more businesses into the Riverside area north of Town, business recruitment and creating a business inventory, how other communities have increased tourism, and other items that would help with community image. The next meeting will be held July 11th and she hopes councilmember's can also attend that meeting.
CM Davis announced upcoming Meetings (listed on the last page of the minutes)
CM Almirez attended a meeting with Chief Evans last month to discuss ward issues, police and community assistance, and prevention methods to address problems there. CM Almirez has received numerous calls about suspicious vehicles and individuals. Vandalism, fighting, alcohol, and drug dealers are problems there. 54th Ave parking is still an issue, especially on weekends when the church meets. He promised to help any way he can, it is a Ward 5 and Ward 6 matter. The Towers manager never finished the trash space container where license is needed to finish. He offered help to have the work to completed, but has been told the company is supposed to come and deal with the drainage problem there as well.
Mayor Herman added that he believes the Chief's new initiative regarding alcohol control, as well as addressing parking problems and the church, will make some improvements there.
Fire Department Report
Dave Sutton read the fire department report for the month of May. The department is on a holding pattern regarding the Riverdale Heights and Riverdale Park annexation and fire departments consolidation. They're waiting to learn the outcome of the petition/registered voters review.
Due to a five foot flood in their boiler room, they were the recipient of one of their own calls. He's still waiting to hear from their facilities maintenance about the cause.
Asam Kademie, a Doctor of Chiropractic, practicing in Riverdale Park on 57th Ave, explained that he renovated the building he purchased a year and a half ago. At that time he requested that the Town support him by making improvements to 57th Ave. Mr. Kademie thanked the Mayor and Council, the Town, and Mr. Prangley, for the work they did to his street which was completed last week. He reported that it looked very good and he was very pleased to be here. He commended and thanked Chief Evans and his department, saying he had to call them on several occasions and had had great experiences with the department. He noted that many Towns do not have a police department, but they felt very safe being here and he is grateful.
Update of Eckerd Drug Store
Mr. Caputo said they've revisited the project and made minor modifications to the site plan. He referred the council to the front cover of the handout and the architectural version of the building Eckerd is prepared to build. The drive through is moved to the back of the building to give better traffic flow. Trash dumpsters were moved to a common area on an island. Parking behind some of the adjacent business owners was changed to accommodate concerns, questions, and comments raised at a meeting with them. Mr. Caputo believes they have a site plan that works well for zoning purposes and the adjacent property owners Eckerd is prepared to proceed with that site plan and architectural design, and he's asking the council to vote on the memorandum of understanding so they can proceed. The memorandum would need to include the propers they're prepared to move forward on, conveyance of the small piece of property purchased by the Town last year, and conveyance of any other common properties that will be abandoned by abandonment of Beale Circle.
The Mayor asked about the status of the State Highway Association, and where they were with the adjacent property owners on the modified site plan. Mr. Caputo said they met with State Highway and have modified the entrance on EW Hwy and Baltimore Ave to be right in/right out only with a median to control traffic so it won't make it any worse than it already is. They seemed pleased with the overall site plan and want them to be sure the access points between EW Hwy and Queensbury are not used as a cut through. There will also need to be adequate blockage in the flow of the parking lot to prevent that. Other than that they're pretty pleased with the plan and will have a further review as they go through the engineering process.
They've met with the adjacent property owners: Dr. Calomeris, the Calvert House Restaurant, Lynn Animal Hospital, and Ernie's Lock and Key. Part of the plan reconfigures their parking lots, but he thinks they've addressed many of their concerns. The Calvert House owners have signed off on the plan. There are upcoming meetings with Dr. Calomeris, Lynn Animal Hospital, and Ernie's Lock and Key, to receive their comments but he believes they'll have their blessings shortly.
CM Tiberio asked who they were talking to at Ernie's Lock and Key, since there's a tenant and an owner. Mr. Caputo said they're dealing with both, and there's a tentative meeting coming with Walter Green on Wednesday.
CM Davis said she thought the entrance and exit off of Queensbury looked tight. People would be coming in off Baltimore Ave and sitting on Queensbury trying to turn. She asked if they could open the intersection, and maybe move some of the parking closer to the building to allow for more of a turn lane for people trying to exit. Mr. Caputo said they have room there (at least for the entrance) to enhance the entrance drive isle to exceed the 22 feet required by code. The parking spaces they have near Ernie's lock and those in front of the Dr's office can be moved to create a wider opening at the entry, get vehicles off the road safely, and then work them through the parking lot. He believed that would work well from the State Highway aspect. Typically when you have a larger entry point headed into a narrower entry point people tend to slow down and it's more difficult to get through but he believes they can make that accommodation.
The Mayor asked how many improved visitors sites there were on the back line. In addition to the parking currently provided, Mr. Caputo said there will be 15 additional spaces above what adjacent tenants currently have, and what is proposed or required for Eckerd by code. They believe they might also be able to get 3 - 5 additional spaces, increasing the visitor surplus parking to as much as 20.
Gerard Kiernan, 5309 Riverdale Rd, said the point, following the February meeting proposal was to improve the landscaping and the general appearance of Beale Circle. From what he just heard, the dumpsters are going on the curb line of Beale Circle. Mr. Caputo said what they're proposing is to take this area adjacent to the exit of Beale Park, and locate the dumpsters there in an enclosure. Mr. Kiernan said they would have to be enclosed because of the Town code, but it's supposed to be a park and yet the thing sitting against it is a dumpster enclosure.
CM Davis asked how long before talks with the adjacent property owners are finished. Mr. Caputo said they hope to make progress this week, but it may take as long as 10 days because he didn't know how quickly they'd agree to a particular concept. He believes their plan presents a pretty picture with ample parking - at least what they have now, and additional parking for visitors along with other improvements.
The Mayor said there are two essential requirements asked of by the Town in it's understanding between the Town and Potomac Development Corp. What the Town will ultimately be asked to do, and of the propers - what is asked of them, what they're willing to provide over and above in improvements to their parcel. The property at the corner of EW Hwy and Route 1, owned by the Town will need to be conveyed or sold, and the dedicated roadway, where some of the visitor spots are will have to be sold, or leased by the town of that public space.
Mayor Herman thanked Mr. Caputo saying he and the council would look forward to receiving updates from discussions with the adjacent property owners, then perhaps they'll move the project forward as the information is received.
Route 1 Office Building (next door to Subway)
Mayor Herman announced that this was Razio Puglisi's second presentation before the council and he was there to present addition information about building an office building on Route 1 next to the Subway Restaurant.
Mr. Puglisi showed a topol of the land as it is today, with the slope of the land going back from 98 to 83. He and the architect put the 8,500 sq foot three story building all the way up front on the property. It will be a medical retail building with approximately 2000 sq feet on each floor. The first floor will face the rear with the next two floors facing the Route 1 corridor. Keeping with the Town Center plans, it will look like the existing buildings on Route 1. The curb cut will be where the current Subway building is now (which will be gone) and there will be 25 parking spaces. He explained where they will cut into the ground in a back area. A facade in front of a twelve foot drop will give the building a continuous look. There will be storm water landscaped sitting area. The parking exit and trash dumpsters will be in the back. They tried to move the rear exit making it an exit only pointing more towards the north. A past comment regarded concerns that traffic would go south towards the circle. The architect drew the exits 20 feet wide to accommodate emergency vehicles and equipment getting in and out of the parking lot with easy access to the building.
Mr. Puglisi stated that he's looking for approval from the Town to go to the County for parking wavers. The Mayor asked about the departure. Mr. Puglisi said the plans are to code with 25 spaces if they go just retail and office. If they go to medical which they want to do (and they have interested medical clients), they need to get a 10 parking spot waver. Also, the elevator is in the back, in consideration of Route 1 being dubbed an Arts Corridor, and of possible UM/Arts interest. Mr. Puglisi restated the need of a 10 parking spot waver for medical. Also, storm water is taking up about 3,800 square feet because of the slope of the land, and informed the council they're looking at putting in recreational landscaping, or a park area there to avoid sinkholes and make it enjoyable for everyone. He said they hope Subway will be moving into the new building from the old one next door.
Mayor Herman asked for clarification of what mitigation they're requesting the Towns assistance in regarding the storm water management pump. Mr. Puglisi said if they can minimize or remove it, he doesn't want it there because it would not be attractive, and said they're asking for a waver or assistance with it. The Mayor asked what the county is saying about getting a waver and said he understands that 15 years ago the county adopted a rule that any new construction must have the storm water management associated with it. Mr. Puglisi said if they can get some assistance from the Town in deterring storm water management, one of the things he can do is help the city with a fund to line Route one corridor consistent with Queensbury Rd. If the Town is willing to help with the storm water management sector - it will cost him up $60k to $80k to deal with the sinkhole or anything underground.
There was a council question asked, but not picked up on mic. CM Tiberio asked about the square footage of the property, which Mr. Puglisi said is a little over half an acre. CM Davis asked for a color rendering of the building/plans to discuss with surrounding neighbors. He said it will be all brick consistent with everything else on Rt 1, and asked about the nature of comments she might get so he can prepare to answer them. CM Davis said she doesn't know how neighbors will respond until she speaks with them, but believes they'll be pleased. Mr. Puglisi said they're also moving the exit further north, up Harrison St, and are keeping the trees as a barrier. His partner (no name provided) answered further about the sinkhole, saying they're looking for help from the Town since there isn't much storm water management required to deal with a small sinkhole, and they want to put in a small park or something attractive. He noted there is drainage to the rear, and pointed out the trees, and where they would berm the area more so cars cannot come out of 7 Eleven and go straight across. The 10 - 15 foot trees will create a natural barrier to surrounding residents so they'll know the building is there but they won't be able to see it. Mr. Puglisi said they're trying to anticipate needs in placement of the entrances and exits, and expounded further on the exit.
In response to a question from the public about whether storm water management was federal or county, the Mayor explained that it's his understanding that it's a county regulated program. Mr. Puglisi said he will meet with the county after this meeting, but he wanted to get the Town's blessing before going any further on this design. They want to break ground within a year after he goes to the county for approval.
The Mayor explained that for a parking departure, the county council, sitting as a district council, is not going to be meeting after the middle of June of this year until January of next year because it is an election year, and a parking departure would have to go to the district council as a rezoning matter. As a practical matter he would not be able to present this to the county council at the legislative level for at least six months but Mr. Puglisi clarified that he wanted to get Town Council support for the parking and storm water management departures. Mr. Puglisi said he wanted to get the approval and town council behind him, that they accept this and are willing to go with this, so then every phase from this point on, to public works, the county, and waiting for the election, then he's moving ahead. When they get back in January or February it'll be on the docket, and hopefully it gets passed and he's looking at breaking ground in May or June of 2003. If he still has problems at this level, it's not worth taking it on to the next step yet.
In response to CM Tiberio's question about the pond size, Mr. Puglisi explained that the parcel is 3,500 sq ft and all of it needs to be taken out by storm water management. CM Tiberio said today, without any pond, there's a big dip with water coming down and going out to the street or over to the woods. Mr. Puglisi said the woods will still be there. CM Tiberio pointed out that the woods could later be developed and there would still be a water problem. Mr. Puglisi said now the water goes off to Harrison St. He said his architect assured him that by putting a park and greenery there, the water will be retained because they'll cut in and the slope will be gone. He pointed out flat areas on the map where a retaining wall will be, and pointed out other features and water areas. There were council comments not picked up on the mic.
The Mayor said when Mr. Puglisi came to them again he'd be interested in hearing what dedication he was capable of doing for consistency along Route 1 to help do visual improvements there if they decide to go with his recommendation on a departure from the storm water management. Mr. Puglisi said it's a family project, and he and his mom agree that they'd like to see a continuation of the lights south from Queensbury Rd to his property. If Eckerd builds at Rt and EW Hwy, with the lights, his building and other improvements, it's a nice MUTC set-up. He said he'd love to donate to that fund to achieve that and it would benefit him and everyone in the neighborhood.
Mayor said if there was something Mr. Puglisi would like to put in writing about that he was sure the council would like to take this to the next level and move this project forward, resolving those last two outstanding issues. CM Davis asked him to give them something like what Eckerd had given them in the way of a presentation packet - an architects rendering, a shrunken detailed site plan to show people where the walls, storm water, and landscaping would be, and anything else she could present to residents nearby. Mr. Puglisi said he has a sketch drawing. The Mayor asked if he could reduce what he had and said they needed to conclude the matter to move to the next item.
The Mayor called for a recess until 8:50.
Approval of May 4, 2002 Regular Legislative Meeting
Approval of the May 4, 2002, Regular Legislative Meeting Minutes was deferred until the next meeting.
Approval of Minutes of May 13, 2002 Special Legislative Meeting
CM Davis made the motion to approve the May 13, 2002 Special Legislative Meeting minutes. CM Tiberio seconded the motion. There was no council discussion and no public comment. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval of Minutes of May 28, 2002 Special Legislative Meeting
CM Davis made the motion to approve the May 28, 2002 Special Legislative Meeting Minutes. CM Tiberio seconded the motion. There was no council discussion and no public comment. The motion passed unanimously.
CM Tiberio requested letter #6 be read aloud from Alberto Morales. CM Feldberg said she hoped the appropriate departments will address it. The Mayor said since the letter was addressed to him he would respond. Discussion followed about Mr. Morales' concerns.
Request for Six Foot Privacy Fence at 5901 48th Avenue (Ward 3)
Owner: Roland Herrmann
CM Tiberio made the motion to approve the six foot privacy fence request at 5901 48th Ave. He pointed out the slight variance from the normal on the plan and noted the house is diagonal on the lot and doesn't face squarely towards 48th Ave or Nicholson. He said the neighbors on both sides of the property approve of the variance. CM Feldberg seconded the motion.
CM Davis confirmed that the fence would run from the right side rear of the property line to the left of the front property line (looking at the plan). It's to the rear on one side, and halfway up to the front on the other. The Mayor reiterated this was the result of the unusual nature of the building itself and where the rear building line would be if the building were squared. CM Davis said that they'd recently approved permits forward the rear building lines so that was not an issue. There was no further council discussion and no public comment.
The motion passed unanimously.
Request for Six Foot Privacy Fence at 4905 Madison Street (Ward 3)
Owner: Michelle Faber
CM Tiberio made the motion to approve the six foot privacy fence at 4905 Madison Street. CM Davis seconded the motion for the purpose of discussion. She said it was not clear to her where the fence would be, and CM Tiberio pointed it out, explaining how the driveway created a problem. He said the residents want to put up the fence because Park and Planning recently removed all the trees and bushes across the street between the resident and the park. Privacy in their back yard is now non existent, and they're subject to noise all the time from the park area and basketball court. A slight variance, placement of outbuildings in the yard, and the driveway and gates deviation, all part of the drawings were pointed out. There was no further council discussion or public comment.
The motion passed unanimously.
The Council moved to agenda item 18
Request for Lot Coverage Variance at 4707 Somerset Road (Ward 1)
Owner: Ozorchi Wogu
CM Feldberg made the motion to approve the variance request at 4707 Somerset Road for the county. CM Tiberio seconded the motion for the purpose of discussion.
CM Feldberg explained that Ms. Wogu requested the variance with the county, for approval of a garage and a connecting driveway in her backyard, which will increase the impervious surface on her property. Ms. Wogu said parking is a serious problem on her block, and made this request to the county and council in 1994 and was approved by both. The minor change this time is that the entrance to the garage has been increased. CM Feldberg asked Ms. Wogu to explain.
Ms. Wogu said she didn't want it to seem she was lobbying, but she had a public comment to make that she didn't make earlier and asked permission to make it. She said her comments stand regardless of the outcome of her variance request but she'd lived in Riverdale the last 12 years and was delighted with her ward report. She said she's always claimed to friends and relatives how safe Riverdale is, and Chief Evans report confirmed it. She's delighted to be able to meet the Chief since the Riverdale Police respond like they are 911.
She then explained that nothing has changed on her plan except that the lady who handles the county permit approvals criticized the direction/entrance to her garage plans and drew the adjustment in. CM Feldberg confirmed that Ms. Wogu made the change following the county's recommendation.
CM Feldberg confirmed approval then departure of the council's past approval 8 years ago to go from 17 - 19% lot coverage variance. Mr. Prangley said he and the staff have been working with Ms. Wogu on other matters, but there is a code section dealing with the apron entrance and noted that she does not have a curb cut for off street parking which will be needed for the improvement. He said the staff will look back at the record, but the curb cut is needed by law to facilitate the improvement to have the driveway, so the council will have to deal with the first time apron (once in, the Town assumes responsibility for the cost of maintenance). The staff has placed a sidewalk on the improvements project list.
The Mayor said they'll deal with the variance as the motion stands, then with the curb cut approval that's needed. Unless there's a budgetary consideration she would be responsible for her own apron unless there's a separate council action. Ms. Wogu wrote a letter four to five months ago about the condition of the sidewalks and curb in front of her house (they're not even), asking councilmember's to visit and see for themselves to see their deplorable condition and need for intervention from the town. She implored them to come and see, and expressed appreciation if the Town would help by putting in the apron and fix the sidewalk, then she'll take care of the rest. Pictures have been taken and submitted to the Town. Mayor Herman confirmed that the area is subject to WSSC projects. Mr. Prangley added that she's close to it. The Mayor said the WSSC project is the 4700 block to the 5000 block of Somerset, which would include Ms. Wogu's block. The Mayor asked that they deal with the main motion, then other issues.
CM Davis asked what the neighbors say about the project, and which ones she'd spoken with. Ms. Wogu said they have no objection, one even offered to help. She spoke to the 4705 neighbors, the neighbor across the street agreed with original plan and she didn't believe he had any objection, and the neighbor on the right doesn't live there - it's a rental unit. Information was sent to him . but he hasn't called, or contacted her about it. The Mayor added that the resident on the other side didn't have an objection eight years ago to the original plan. Ms. Wogu said the neighbor behind her paged her tonight and has offered his help.
CM Tiberio said it's a bigger variance than just lot coverage. The front is only 45 feet across the front and there's a big deviation so the variance covers a lot more than lot coverage. The Mayor noted it has a set back too and said if the council votes to approve, they're approving the variance as requested by the property owner.
There were no public comments or questions.
CM Davis asked if CM Feldberg had spoken to the neighbors. The Mayor said he was aware that one neighbor opposed the plan who had done so eight years ago but it was not an adjoining property owner.
The Mayor called for a vote. The vote was 3 - 1. CM Tiberio abstained. The Mayor said since it was not an ordinance, the motion carried. Mr. Prangley was asked to see that a letter was faxed and a copy sent to Ms. Wogu since the county hearing was in two days.
The Mayor asked if there was a motion to approve a curb cut at 4707 Somerset Rd consistent with the variance request filed by Ms. Wogu. CM Tiberio asked if other curb cuts were going to be done along that street and asked if this was the street with a curb problem, but was told that was a different block. The Mayor said they deal with the WSSC construction contracts (Public Infrastructure Work - Phase II project) later in the evening addressing roadwork that will be done on the 4700 - 5000 blocks of Somerset. He said they first needed to deal with the curb cut, then with the financing.
CM Feldberg made the motion as stated by the Mayor consistent with the building permit application filed by Ms. Wogu. CM Tiberio seconded the curb cut. There was no further council discussion and no public comment. The motion passed unanimously.
The Mayor asked what the council wanted to do about financing, or if they wanted to defer until they dealt with the WSSC Phase II contract. He noted that there was no motion and one wouldn't be appropriate at this time. He told Ms. Wogu that she had the curb cut authority informing her she could pay for it herself and have it done right away, or if she wanted to wait for potential public financing, there would be legislation/contracts later in the summer that might deal with the construction on her street and she should act as she saw was appropriate.
Request for Lot Coverage Variance at 4906 Tuckerman Street (Ward 2)
Owner: Michael Williams
The Mayor said CM Tiberio talked to the Williams family and there was going to be a revision to the submission made, but he had not seen the original or the revised copy. CM Tiberio said there is no hearing presently scheduled because they're thinking about changing the plan. The Council agreed to defer action until a modified building permit application was received.
CM Davis said she had a related question about a building permit application received from a resident in a part of town where there is currently no council member. After CM Tiberio explained the situation and that it was not a variance of any kind, the Mayor said it was a pro-forma matter handled administratively and it would not require legislative action.
Request for Dance Permit Extension by the Alamo Restaurant
The Mayor introduced Ms. Shea who was there to answer questions.
For the purpose of discussion, CM Tiberio made the motion to approve the dance permit in accordance with the previous terms and conditions for a period of six months. CM Feldberg seconded the motion.
CM Tiberio noted that the request was for a 12 month permit but he believed they should issue a six month permit since it was not put into practice/used 6 months ago, so this should be put to trial. He added, if conditions are met, they can come back in six months and the council can consider it for a longer period.
The Mayor asked Ms. Shea for status of the swinging gate in the rear that's required to be closed during dance events. Ms. Shea explained that Long Fence is coming tomorrow to put in a new fence instead of just fixing the old one. The Mayor asked for assurance that the gate would be closed during dancing and Ms. Shea agreed. He asked for a construction update on the adjacent property at Value Village and when it will begin. Ms. Shea explained that Value Village will be leaving on June 30th , and a Mexican Grocery will move in. The Grocery has already provided the Shea's with an improvement plan, and the county permit application process will begin once approved. The Mayor referred to the Shea's beautiful plan, and asked about the design plan status submitted 9 months ago and about the Value Village facade that was proposed. Ms. Shea said they're waiting for approval of the a county permit.
The Mayor asked how the Shea's felt about the Town making the dance permit approval contingent on the proposed facade improvements by the time the duration of the dance permit expires in six months. She said she hopes it will happen as soon as possible but construction isn't expected to begin for another month. The Mayor asked again about conditional approval of the dance permit and Ms. Shea said she hoped it would be done by then.
CM Tiberio interrupted the Mayor to raise a point of order. He said there was a motion on the floor and if it was to be amended, it should be amended by the council. He said he didn't see any other condition being thrown on it by either the maker of the motion or the one who seconded it, and it was to the existing condition s of the previous agreement. He didn't think any other conditions should be put on it, and that was a different matter entirely to be taken up separately. He said this is the permit she came for, and that is what they should act on, not constantly throwing conditions on people.
CM Feldberg asked if the Shea's, or the new tenant, would be taking care of the facade improvements, and Mrs. Shea explained they would. The new tenant will finish the interior.
CM Almirez asked about an admission fee for public dancing. Mrs. Shea said $ 5 (to $10) for a DJ, but they would charge more for a band depending on what the band charges. When he pressed for an idea of what the band charge would be she clarified $5 for a DJ and $10 for a band.
CM Almirez asked about entrance security. He asked, and Mrs. Shea verified that the bar is always open. He asked about underage drinking controls. Mrs. Shea explained they have two security guards who watch, while the bartender and manager also watch for underage drinking. CM Almirez said he knows of underage drinking going on, and even of individuals who are under 18 who drink there. He said he doesn't know if it is because they have invalid ID's but he believed the Shea's controls were not good. Mrs. Shea said they can't say an ID is fake if it appears to be valid. She said they note information from the ID's and report fake ID's. Mayor Herman said he thought CM Almirez was concerned that the ID's coming in were actually being looked at, and that there was ample security checking this. CM Almirez said he knew of individuals this happened with. Mrs. Shea asked for his suggestions. CM Almirez said an ID can be bought anywhere, but they could use police to review them. She said besides the ID checks, they have to watch the bar and beware of any weapons coming in. CM Tiberio said that's just part of security, and Mrs. Shea agreed they want things to be secure. The Mayor said they would see how things were running once the program begins and Mrs. Shea said they would provide reports.
CM Davis asked when this would begin. Mayor Herman said the current permit expired May 5th so the renewal would run from today (June 3rd) until December 3rd.
There was no additional public discussion or public comment. The Mayor called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously. He advised Mrs. Shea they could begin their dance operations and said they would look forward to the improvements in the shopping center as well.
Request for Dance Permit by El Campesino Restaurant
The Mayor noted the dance permit was a Ward 6 matter, but since there was not yet a councilmember for that ward he introduced Oscar Chavez to explain and answer questions... The Mayor reviewed that Mr. Chavez had introduced security detail and provided information about the parking there at the previous work session. The request is for a one time dance permit for a particular event in June, and for possible future events, depending on this goes.
To get the discussion going, CM Davis made the motion to approve a special event dance permit for June 22nd at El Campesino Restaurant. The motion was seconded by CM Tiberio.
CM Davis confirmed the date. CM Tiberio asked if they had spoken with Chief Evans and of his comfort with security arrangements. Mr. Chavez said he had not spoken with the Chief yet since there was a family matter on a previous date. Mr. Chavez said he would be meet with the Chief when he is available. CM Tiberio confirmed that Mr. Chavez was saying he'd take whatever advice the Chief suggested and Mr. Chavez agreed.
Mr. Chavez explained the plans which included hiring four policemen, and he hoped the Chief could help him there. He said no alcohol will be sold. CM Tiberio noted individuals might attend who would have already consumed alcohol. He asked the Chief if he could provide a copy of whatever understanding or advice is conveyed to Mr. Chavez so they could make that a part of the dance permit. Chief Evans said he didn't believe they should get into the business of designing security arrangements for every business in Town. Instead there needed to be a set criteria: to have a number of security individuals present, depending on how many people attend and whether alcohol is being sold, etc. He explained that the Alamo came to them with a proposal and they suggested an increase in number. He didn't see a reason why anything more stringent would be imposed on anyone more than was required of the Alamo. The key is that security would be made up of police officers with full arrest powers. CM Tiberio said that's all he was saying, not that they would be designing policy.
The Mayor reiterated that if approved tonight, Mr. Chavez was agreeing to provide two sworn officers at a minimum. Mr. Chavez said he preferred to have more than two inside so restrooms could be checked where individuals might use drugs, and said he didn't want those individuals in his business. The Mayor said they would not say no if he wanted to exceed the minimum threshold, but it was in his best interest to have a problem free event because he may request a more extensive permit in the future.
He said Mr. Chavez explained that parking would be provided in the front, with access to another lot if it was needed.
CM Davis asked the council if it was legal to park on commercial property if it was not improved. The Mayor said he looked at the lot off Jefferson and there was a very large area that had a gravel/stone surface prepared material improved as required by the Town. She said she didn't recall it being a prepared parking surface. He said it has been used as such and there is gravelling, but didn't know the answer to her question. She asked, and Mr. Chavez said the dance hours would be from 10 or 10:30pm to 2 or 2:30am.
The Mayor asked the maker of the motion if she considered it a friendly amendment to add the hours of operation, from 10:00pm - 2:30pm, after confirming them with Mr. Chavez. CM Davis agreed.
There was no further council discussion or public comment. The motion passed unanimously. The Mayor wished Mr. Chavez success on a problem free event.
Adoption of Emergency Ordinance that Town Center property is no longer needed for any public purpose
Mayor Herman said on advice of legal counsel, he thinks the action may be redundant of previously taken actions, it would be appropriate for the adoption of an ordinance. The ordinance would have to be in the form of an emergency ordinance because ordinances normally can not be passed in the same meeting in which they are proposed. Under Article 23A of the Maryland Annotated Code, any dispossession of public property by a government has to be done in accordance, and stated it is said that it is no longer needed for any stated public purpose. The Town Center properties that have been acquired for redevelopment purposes are soon to be flipped for redevelopment. The Mayor explained further that he had received correspondence from department heads that indicating that the public purpose of the Town Center properties is non-existent.
As stated by the Mayor, CM Tiberio made the motion for a resolution, in the form of an ordinance resolution, after suspending the rules requiring advanced notice of such, to then adopt an ordinance that says that the Town Center property is no longer needed for any stated public purpose. CM Davis seconded the motion.
CM Tiberio asked, and the Mayor confirmed that they were doing this on advice from their attorney. CM Tiberio and CM Davis agreed that that was sufficient.
Gerard Kiernan, 5309 Riverdale Rd, said according to the Town charter, the motion is out of order since they have not adopted a motion to pass an emergency ordinance. The Mayor said part of the resolution was to suspend the rules. Mr. Kiernan said it had to be two resolutions, saying according to the charter you have to pass a resolution to suspend the rules then you can pass your emergency ordinance.
Mayor Herman asked, and CM Tiberio agreed to temporarily withdraw the motion. The Mayor asked and CM Tiberio made the motion to suspend the rules for adoption of the ordinance. CM Davis seconded the motion. There was no council discussion and no public comment. The motion passed unanimously.
The Mayor moved them back to discussion of the initial motion made by CM Tiberio. CM Davis seconded it again. There was no council discussion and no public comment. The motion passed unanimously.
Audit award to Counselors Buchanan and Mitchell for the 2002 fiscal year
The Mayor said there has been a request for the use of Counselors Buchanan and Mitchell to perform the 2002 audit. He asked Mr. Prangley for the stated contract price which he said was $8,700. Mr. Prangley advised that they go up to $10,000 in case there was a special study needed. The Mayor asked if there was a motion to award the one year extension of Counselors Buchanan and Mitchell, then said first he would ask about going out to a proper bid. He said ordinarily they'd have to go out for a proper bid so they needed a motion to suspend the rules requiring a public bid on the award of this particular contract. He asked for a motion to suspend the rules of competitive bidding with regard to the rules for a contract on the audit for the 2002 fiscal year.
CM Tiberio made the motion to suspend the rules of competitive bidding with regard to the rules for a contract for the audit for the 2002 fiscal year award one year extension of Council. CM Feldberg seconded the motion. There was no council discussion or public comment. The motion passed 3 - 1. CM Davis opposed.
Someone said something from the audience (Mr. Kiernan?). The Mayor announced they would take the break now and they would check the town charter to see if they can take action at this time.
5 minute recess to check town charter
The Mayor said according to the Town Charter, section 623 requires four affirmative votes to suspend the rules. Accordingly, the Council will not take up the matter because it failed and there cannot be an appropriate motion at this time on the award of a contract to Counselor Buchanan and Mitchell.
The Mayor asked if there was an alternate motion, or if the council wanted to take it up at a later date. The Council decided to take it up at a later date.
Award of a WSSC Phase I contract to VMP Construction for $181, 835 to complete WSSC Phase I work
The Mayor said everyone should have received copy of the competitive bid process on the WSSC Phase I projects in areas where they'd done significant water line replacement. The additional request for work was to include appropriate concrete, curb, & gutter work, sidewalks and ramps, and install concrete residential driveways where it had been determined that the condition was less than suitable.
CM Feldberg made the motion to grant a contract to VMP Construction for $181,835 to complete the WSSC Phase I work. CM Almirez seconded the motion.
CM Davis said she didn't get all the paperwork she needed to make a decision tonight, and still doesn't have linear feet measurements, but she'd like to go out with Mr. Houser to do that.
CM Davis made the motion to table the matter to the next legislative session. CM Tiberio seconded the motion. The motion to table passed unanimously.
Award of an engineering contract to G&C Consultants, Inc. for $27,850
The Mayor said this is to include all the engineering work for WSSC Phase I as well as the additional concrete and curb work.
The Council agreed by unanimous consent, to defer action on the matter until the next legislative session where the last matter was tabled to.
CM Davis asked Mr. Houser if she could walk with him and actually do the paint marking to get the linear measurements of the sidewalk work needed on the Phase I streets for WSSC.
Setting June Work Session for Thursday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m.
Following a discussion about schedules and availability, the Council agreed to schedule the June Work Session for Monday June 17th at 7:30 p.m. The Council agreed to post the worksession to the 17th following the budget meeting and the tax rate meeting (special legislative). It was noted there would be a two week delay between the worksession and the next regular legislative session.
Establishment of Public Hearing on Proposed 2002 - 2003 Town Budget
The Mayor said this item was now moot.
Appointment of Deborah McClelland of Riverdale Rd as an alternate judge for the June 13th election
The motion to appoint Deborah McClelland as an alternate judge for the June 13th election was made by CM Tiberio. The motion was seconded by everyone.
Wendell Davis, 5404 Powhattan Rd, said it was his, and Ms. McClelland's impression that she was the Ward 6 judge for the upcoming election. The Mayor explained that the judges serve for a two year cycle and the last set of appointments happened before the 2001 elections so those people will serve unless any have resigned their positions. The Ward 6 judge is still available and will be present for the election, Ms. McClelland will be there as an alternate or back up in the event the Ward 6 or Ward 2 judge is unable to serve on election day. The Chief Judge of Elections will advise her of such. In answer to a question the Mayor said Marilyn Shoppet is the Ward 6 judge.
The motion passed unanimously.
Items of Unfinished Business
Items of New Business
Gerard Kiernan, 5309 Riverdale Rd, asked when they scheduled the budget reconciliation. Mayor Herman said it will be done when they have all the figures. Mr. Herman said it has to be done by Sunday the 30th , and they'll be at the MML Conference in between. CM Tiberio and the Mayor explained there are other nights to meet and they would announce it at the meeting on the 17th. Mr. Kiernan was concerned that a meeting was changed because of CM Almirez's schedule, but the Mayor said they would work with everyone's schedule to try to accommodate as much as possible to maximize the number of councilmember's who were present.
Mr. Kiernan said he hoped that code and charter books would be available for the new councilmember's so they could be up to speed to know what the requirements are for taking action from the code and charter. He believed some re-education efforts were needed on the current council. CM Almirez restated his availability for the 17th.
Mary Donaldson, 4906 Sheridan St, wondered why the Ward 2 judge had not been asked to be the serve at the election. The Mayor said the Chief Judge of Elections said Karen Proctor was available and would serve.
CM Tiberio commended the Ward 6 candidate, Mr. Davis, for attending the budget hearing/meetings, special sessions and tonight's meeting, for taking the time to come to all these important meetings.
In answer to CM Tiberio's earlier question, Chief Evans said a signal 86 is a B&E in progress.
Meeting adjourned at
Minutes prepared from videotape.
DATES TO REMEMBER
Tuesday, June 4, Traffic Study Committee, Town Hall, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 8, MUTC Public Hearing, Calvert House, 9:00 p.m.
Monday, June 10, Recreation Board, Town Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 11, Madison Hill Homeowners Association, Town Hall, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 13, Special Election, Town Hall, 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
(SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE MEETING TO FOLLOW TO ACCEPT RESULTS AND TO SWEAR-IN NEW COUNCIL)
Friday, June 14, Flag Day, Town Offices Open
Sunday, June 16, Father's Day
Monday, June 17, Special Legislative Session to set tax rate, Town Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 18, Neighborhood Watch, Town Hall, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, June 24, Preservation Assn of Riverdale Park, Town Hall, 10:00am in Town Hall
Thursday, June 27, Council Work Session, Town Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays, Farmer's Market, Town Center, 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.