Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Cutting through the fog surrounding city dock

I've been following with great interest the rezoning of the Fawcett building site at the city dock and the corollary issues addressed in the City Dock Master Plan ("Coalition forms to fight rezoning for Annapolis City Dock area," June 25). When I heard that the Save Annapolis Coalition was holding a press conference on the issue, I pulled up the ordinance and reread it so I could attend their event and fully understand their position.

At the press conference, I heard some very concerning points raised by many of the coalition's speakers, but they differed so widely from my understanding of the ordinance that I reread it again. In the spirit of fostering an informed debate, I decided to list some of the issues they raised and compare them with the language in the ordinance itself.

A little background first. The ordinance changes the zoning of the Fawcett building and the two parking lots on either side of it from Waterfront Maritime Conservation Zoning to one of two sub categories: Waterfront City Dock — Mixed Use (WCD-MX) and Waterfront City Dock — Open Space (WCD-OS). The building itself will be WCD-MX, and the two parking lots will be WCD-OS.

Claim: The ordinance will eliminate parking spots.

Truth: It specifically allows for parking in the Open Space area, and nothing in language mandates that that change.

Claim: The building will be 45 feet tall.

Truth: The current maximum height is 32 feet. This will change to 38 feet, the same height as the historic buildings on the other side of the dock.

Claim: This will open the door to rezoning of all the maritime zones in the city, including Eastport.

Truth: Nothing in the ordinance mandates or even suggests a review of the city's other maritime zones. It is specific to the Fawcett site.

Claim: The Annapolis boat shows will lose exhibitor space.

Truth: The shows have historically utilized the two parking lots, and the rezoning allows for them to continue utilizing them.

The ordinance does create a new kind of development called a Waterfront Planned Development that would be allowed in the WCD-OS and WCD-MX zones, but any such development would have to go through a separate public review process. It is that subsequent review that will ultimately determine that scale of any new development. The ordinance simply allows the site to be utilized for something other than maritime-related businesses.

The City Dock Master Plan has many good parts and some questionable parts, and it is important that we come together as a city and have an educated debate about these issues as they move forward. Utilizing scare tactics and deliberately spreading misinformation doesn't help that process. I would encourage every city resident to read the language in the ordinance. It is available on the city's website.

Tom McCarthy, Annapolis

The writer is a candidate for alderman in Ward 1.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Coalition forms to fight Annapolis dock rezoning
    Coalition forms to fight Annapolis dock rezoning

    A coalition of groups concerned with redevelopment of downtown Annapolis is forming to fight a City Dock rezoning plan being promoted by Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen.

  • Coalition to Save Annapolis launches zoning fight
    Coalition to Save Annapolis launches zoning fight

    Several dozen people gathered Tuesday in Annapolis to announce their intention to block parts of a City Dock master plan and a bill from Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen that could spark redevelopment of a vacant building.

  • Don't give up on dyslexic students' ability to read
    Don't give up on dyslexic students' ability to read

    I agree with commentator Kalman R. Hettleman that students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia aren't getting the support they need ("Disabled students aren't as disabled as you think," Oct. 7).

  • Maryland's one-party state
    Maryland's one-party state

    I ran to the convenience store this morning to pick up some milk and saw at least eight campaign signs within a quarter mile: Brown/Ulman, Elijah Cummings and — the most telling — "Vote the Democrats."

  • Loyola professor gets the math wrong
    Loyola professor gets the math wrong

    In 2014 it's hard to imagine an economist who is unaware of the concept of inflation or the Consumer Price Index. Yet letter writer and Loyala University of Maryland professor Stephen J.K. Walters still doesn't get it ("Rodricks finds the wrong villain in Ebola research...

  • Brown has lost this Democrat's vote
    Brown has lost this Democrat's vote

    I woke up on the first day of early voting in Maryland to a depressingly familiar front page headline in The Sun — "Race for governor resorts to untruths" (Oct. 23). With it came the usual mix of disgust, anger and frustration that I have felt every day of this gubernatorial...

Comments
Loading