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June 11, 2013 Town Meeting Minutes
Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
    June 11, 2013

Call to Order
Meeting called to order at 8:00 pm in the Cheverly Community Center.  

In attendance:  CMs, Riazi, Coolen, Eldridge, Thorpe, Cook.

Pledge of Allegiance


Minutes – Town Meeting 5/9/13

Minutes – Worksession 5/2/13

Town Administrator’s Report

Mr. Warrington noted that we were ready for the storm, but that seems to have passed.  WSSC is working though the Town and Mr. Torres is keeping a list of needed repairs when all the work is finished.  Our Worksession will be moved to July 20th.  We are working to address the County’s surprise about raising tipping fees.  We are working to address this with them and see what we can do as this would mean a $9,000 increase in our budget.  We shall see what we can do to address this matter.   

Chief’s Report

Chief Robshaw our crime is up about 30% from last year.  The vast majority of crime is theft, which is throughout the entire County.  We are working to have our citizens help us with theft from auto for unlocked vehicles.  At next month’s meeting we will have graduates from the Citizen Police Academy from Cheverly.  Fireworks are illegal in Prince George’s County and you can and will be arrested.  The Town has a new license and we need everyone in the radio system to turn their radios in so we can reprogram the radios.  We are waiting for the delivery of the fingerprint scanners to check for open warrants.

CM Eldridge when is the fingerprint scanner is being used?

Chief Robshaw we have this capability now in our cars and it is voluntary and we only use it when people don’t have identification when there is contact with the police.

Committee Reports

Recreation Council Report

No report.

Green Infrastructure Committee

Ms. Shiela Salo this Saturday is another community market and you can come and talk to us about the Town Park restoration Master Plan.  

Cheverly Day Report

CM Thorpe Cheverly Day will be putting out a survey about Cheverly Day in the near future.  We would like the event to be self-sustaining and we will need volunteers for that.  We have not set a date yet for 2014.  We are working with the Market to select a mutually beneficial date.

Planning Board Report

CM Eldridge folks will be meeting with MNCPPC regarding the Anacostia River Trail next week.

Citizen Input

Mayor and Council Announcements

CM Eldridge there is an effort by the County to determine where are our downtown centers and I encourage everyone to go to the Plan Prince George’s meeting that is June 15th from 10-1 at the Riggs Alumni Center at the University of Maryland.  School is out and watch for children.  

CM Riazi I want to remind everyone that it is mosquito season and try to remove any standing water on your property.

CM Coolen I want to remind everybody that there will be a Community Market this Saturday.  By getting a backyard composting you can also help reduce our tipping fees at the landfill and I encourage you to do that.

CM Cook if you notice a dark area in your neighborhood, I encourage you to report to Pepco so they can be fixed.  

Mayor there will be a meeting on July 2nd with the Redevelopment Authority to address the future of the project known as The Pointe @ Cheverly.  We encourage residents to attend this meeting and encourage the RDA to provide an extension to the developer.  The Worksession agenda will include: a grant application for composting, select the vice-mayor, discuss the Pointe at Cheverly, the African American Museum grant, the MML Conference and a Streetlight request.  CM Eldridge would like to add the playground at Euclid Park, pet waste and gun regulations.

Public Hearing – Town Park Master Plan Amendment

Ms. Salo presented the Neighborhood Design Centers concept to reduce erosion, control storm run off.  We want to reduce soil compaction and add pathways to provide foot traffic and focus on the reduction of stormwater.  We have added recreational activities.  This is a design concept plan and must be confirmed by civil engineers.  You can view this at  

Introduction O-6-13 – Amending Section 20-4 Dangerous Weapons

Mr. Warrington the Town received a notice from a group known as the Second Amendment, which brought to our attention that this section of our code was not in conformance with the State of Maryland Annotated Code.  Our initial review of this confirmed that we were not in compliance.  The Town Attorney drafted an Ordinance to put us in compliance and after further review, the Mayor and Council felt that the rest of the language was antiquated and what is before us tonight, strikes the entire section.  The Police don’t and haven’t used this section.  The Chief noted that our officers use the County, State and Federal laws.

Mayor our Code outside this ordinance that prohibits firearms in our parks and we will be looking at prohibiting firearms in our buildings.

Second Reading – O-3-13 Amending Section 4-7 Regarding Beekeeping

Mr. Warrington this legislation is being proposed as a direct result of a request by the Community Garden.  The Mayor and Council had experts make a presentation at the last Worksession regarding bees and beehives.  At the conclusion, they offered wording that is in the Howard County Code regarding beehives in community gardens and the Town Attorney has prepared an amendment to the Cheverly Town Code.  This Ordinance will allow for a hive to be established at the Cheverly Community Garden.  This legislation is posted on our website.

Second Reading– O-4-13 Amending Section 27-5 Regarding Zone Parking

Mr. Warrington this legislation is being proposed to address and improve our Zone Parking areas by removing some of the less used and perhaps unnecessary zone parking blocks.  In the old days, before the Hospital parking garage, people would park in Cheverly and walk to the Hospital.  With the construction of the garage, this is no longer a problem and places an unnecessary burden on the residents in that area to obtain a zone parking sticker every year.  Also, there are some very far reaching areas off Cheverly Avenue where zone parking does not seem necessary.  We have sent out notification to anyone in the zones of our intent to remove the zone parking restrictions and have not had a negative reaction.  This legislation is on our website.

CM Coolen this will affect my ward and I welcome people’s input regarding this proposal.

CM Eldridge is there going to be some notification before we start ticketing again.  

Mr. Warrington we are not adding any zones, but we have not enforced it since it has been under discussion since October.  Once this ordinance takes effect in August we can do a week of warnings.

Second Reading O-2-13 Amending the Parking Section

Mr. Warrington this Ordinance amends the parking section to clearly define that dual wheeled vehicles are prohibited in Cheverly on the street, unless loading or unloading.  It is a County zoning code requirement and is outlined in our code regarding off street parking, but we want it clearly defined in our Code regarding on street parking. This legislation is on our website.

  • CM Coolen to adopt Ordinance O-2-13 Amending the Parking Section to prohibit dual wheel vehicles off property.  CM Eldridge seconded. Approved 5-0.
Public Hearing – Constant Yield Tax Rate for Multi-Family Dwellings

Mr. Warrington this is a requirement by State law that we hold a public hearing if we are exceeding the constant yield or taxes we collect whether by assessment or by rate.  This is the opportunity for residents to comment on the proposal to exceed the constant yield.  The Town is exempt this year for properties, but we are increasing the rate on multi-family dwellings and thus exceeding the constant yield for this portion of the Town.  The tax rate on multi-family units will now be .68 from .58.

Mayor also discussed the constant yield and explained why the Council decided to set a different rate based on an attempt to achieve equity.  Closed the Public Hearing.

Adoption OB-1-13 Adopting the FY 14 Budget

Mr. Warrington this Ordinance is not a codified ordinance and we will be adopting our FY 14 Budget.  It is a public record noting that the budget was reviewed and was adopted.

Mayor discussed the financial aspects of the budget regarding raising the tax rate last year to off set the 22% drop in assessments.  Also, there have been budget cuts and holding the line by not providing any salary increases.  We did not have to draw off of the budget fund balance and it now stands at $1.7 million.  This year we should draw off about $266,000 from our fund balance for the FY 14 budget.  We look to continue to collecting the current revenue, continue to control our expenses and drawing off the fund balance.  When assessments come again, we can reevaluate the tax rate and adjust if necessary.

CM Eldridge did mention a savings on the health care costs.

Mr. Warrington we did reduce the rate of health care costs increase from an 18.4% increase to a 5.4% increase, without a reduction in health care to our employees.

  • CM Thorpe to adopt Ordinance OB-1-13 Adopting the FY 14 Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program.  CM Riazi seconded. Approved 5-0.
CM Eldridge I want to note that we do run a very lean government and we did have to make some choices and select only a few items to address.  When times get better we can then address other issues.

Mayor we have operated with fewer employees now than we did when I came on Council.  We have not grown in 8 years since I have been on Council and 5 years before that.  Finally, I must tell you that the Tulip Poplar will be removed from the old Palm Reader site since it is dying and threatening to fall on Route 202.

Mayor we are adjourned.

Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
June 11, 2013

  • CM Coolen to adopt Ordinance O-2-13 Amending the Parking Section to prohibit dual wheel vehicles off property.  CM Eldridge seconded. Approved 5- 0.
  • CM Thorpe to adopt Ordinance OB-1-13 Adopting the FY 14 Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program.  CM Riazi seconded. Approved 5-0.

Cheverly Executive Offices:   6401 Forest Road, Cheverly, MD 20785  (301) 773-8360
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