The Havre de Grace City Council passed an amended zoning law Monday that will put more restrictions on lighting and impose other development requirements on the proposed new Upper Chesapeake Medical Center on Route 155 at Bulle Rock Parkway.
The council amended the bill several times in July, adding standards for minimal glare and 300 square feet of office space at no cost for use by the city tourism operation.
City Councilwoman Barbara Wagner, however, wanted to make more amendments in response to comments made during the July 24 community input meeting and the July 31 planning commission meeting.
First, Wagner proposed, to amend a section that states: "Lights illuminating off-street parking or loading areas shall be arranged and installed so that any spill onto adjacent areas shall be minimal glare" to now include "spillover light from MOE zone any adjacent property line" will not "exceed 0.1 foot-candles."
The amendment was unanimously approved.
Wagner's second amendment, however, incited more discussion.
Under the section regarding developments standards, Council President Randy Craig made an amendment during the last city council meeting to give the planning commission more oversight with submitted concept plans.
Wagner asked the council to re-vote on Craig's original amendment.
Councilman Bill Martin said he still wants "another set of eyes" to look over concept plans, but realizes the amendment was a "sticking point" that could possibly add more levels of bureaucracy to the process.
Martin asked to add to the original amendment language that would dictate the planning commission has up to 30 days to "review and recommend" suggestions to the city's department of planning.
Councilman David Glenn agreed, saying, "I always look for a second set of eyes" to look over documents and "make sure we get everything right."
The council unanimously approved Martin's addition and re-voted on Craig's original amendment to have the ordinance read, "Once the concept plan is approved by the department of planning and the planning commission has had 30 days to review and make recommendations, the applicant may then go through with the normal approval process."
With the additional amendments, the council then unanimously approved the entire zoning law.
Several residents of the nearby Paddocks of Bulle Rock community, as well as Upper Chesapeake officials, spoke about the ordinance during the public comment portion of the meeting prior to the vote.
Dean Kaster, senior vice president with Upper Chesapeake, noted that about 120 people attended July's community input meeting with "a wide variety of questions and suggestions."
He added that the company is "all in all very pleased with the meeting" and the "overall show of support for moving forward."
Kaster commented that if the council voted in favor of the ordinance it would "pave the way for the next steps we want to get started on as soon as possible."
Fred Cullum, who served for many years on the city council, said he was in favor of putting back into the ordinance the requirement for 300 square-feet of office space, but not in favor of adding the planning commission language under the development standards section and hoped the council would take it out.
Jim Miller, another former city councilman, had comments similar to Cullum's.