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Councilmania

On the agenda for March 14

Bill 11-0672 Planned Unit Development - Designation - 6709 Pulaski Highway

Would approve the development plan of the New Pulaski Company, which leases this property from the city.

The Read: This property, the site of the former Pulaski Incinerator Facility, has long been a concern to the state Department of the Environment. In the 1990s, when the incinerator was still operating, numerous citations were issued for failure to comply with air emissions standards and to contain surface water runoff from the ash disposal area. Incinerator ash was subsequently spread across the 19-acre site, and other environmental problems dogged the property for years. In January 2007, the New Pulaski Company entered the state’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), which is meant to encourage the cleanup of properties contaminated with hazardous substances. The state is now in the process of issuing a certificate of completion to the company, which means the program has been completed and, at least in the eyes of the Department of the Environment, the remediation is complete. According to City Council spokesperson Lester Davis, the company has proposed a variety of development options for the site, including retail and warehouse spaces.

Bill 11-0673 City Property - Grant of Easement - A Portion of 215 Park Avenue and 207 Park Avenue

Would allow for a second exit from 108, 110, 112, and 114 W. Lexington St. Occupancy on the upper levels of these mixed-use properties is currently not possible because there is only one exit, through the bottom floor (which is shuttered after business hours). The bill would provide another exit through city property, allowing for a residential population in the Lexington Street buildings.

Resolution 11-0268R Informational Hearing - Adult Protective Services

Would ask the director of the city’s Department of Social Services and representatives from the city’s Office of Adult Protective Services to report to the Council on the incidence of abuse and neglect of adults who lack the physical or mental capacity to take care of themselves, and what the procedures are for dealing with the problem.

The Read: The resolution, introduced by Councilmember Rochelle “Rikki” Spector (D-5th District), notes, “While no one knows for certain how large the problem is, research indicates that more than 1 in 10 elders may experience some type of abuse, but only 1 in 5 cases or fewer are reported.” It comes on the heels of a report by the federal Government Accountability Office, which found that elder abuse cases are on the rise across the country and adult protective service agencies are not keeping pace.

Resolution 11-0269R Informational Hearing - The Status of Affordable Housing in Baltimore City

Would ask the city’s housing commissioner to brief the Council on the status of affordable housing in Baltimore.

The Read: “This is not new, but I think it’s time for us to get a handle on what we do to address this issue,” said Councilmember Helen Holton (D-8th District), who introduced the resolution. “I don’t think we’re making much headway.” The resolution asks the housing commissioner to explain the backlog of unfilled requests for affordable housing and the number of people on waiting lists for Section 8 or public housing, among other matters. (Waiting lists in the past have reportedly numbered as many as 30,000 households.)

City Council Quote of the Week: “Butter actually started out as a jockey, and when that didn’t work out . . .”—William Cole (D-11th District), in reference to Officer Kevin “Butterbean” Vaught, a Southern District police officer who gave a presentation on the Baltimore Police Department’s Explorer Program at the Council meeting. Vaught is quite a large man.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for March 28 at 5 p.m.

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