Anyone who wants to weigh in on the details of an agreement between the city and developers Plamondon Hospitality Partners regarding Frederick’s proposed downtown hotel and conference center can do so Thursday before members of the Board of Aldermen vote on it.
At a lengthy special workshop in late May, the proposed memorandum of understanding attracted dozens of speakers who put in their two cents on not only the agreement itself but also the project as a whole. The agreement is one element of the proposed multimillion-dollar hotel and conference center slated for 200-212 E. Patrick St. and will replace the most recent one city officials and developers inked in December 2015. It is set to come together with both public and private dollars, with the lion’s share coming from the developers, with the city, county and state pitching in the remainder.
The agreement set for a vote Thursday maps out the public and private cost share estimates between the city and the developers, as well as development details for the project, which has been one of the most talked-about city projects in the last several years.
A few changes were made to the agreement based on feedback from the aldermen and members of the public at the workshop. They included the following:
- Adding the formula for calculating ground lease rent.
- Committing the city and Plamondon to develop a historic mitigation work plan and to continue working with the Maryland Historic Trust.
- Committing Plamondon and the city to carry out the general intent of the city’s purchasing policies and procedures and providing opportunity to a range of qualified contractors for public parking and the garage.
- Committing that besides the on-site parking the city is providing, that the partners should collaboratively develop an overflow parking management plan that may include local and off-site facilities and satellite parking resources to accommodate the increased number of vehicles.
- Clarifying that any cost overruns for public infrastructure the city does not cause are solely the responsibility of the developer.
- Including an element stating that the developers intend for all project components, including the renovation of the historic Railway Terminal Building, be constructed and open concurrently.
The public will have another chance to weigh in on these changes, as well as all details of the proposed agreement, at the public hearing set for 7 p.m. Thursday in the city’s municipal annex.
Public events could be allowed throughout city
Assembling a group of people for a public event may become easier this summer almost anywhere in the city.
Festivals, shows and other “temporary public assembly events” are currently allowed only in the general commercial, downtown commercial/residential, light industrial and mixed use districts.
A proposed text amendment, which received unanimous support from the Planning Commission last week, would extend that allowance to all districts in the city.
“The impetus for this was every year, when the warm weather comes around, and we see a variety of community organizations,” said Gabrielle Collard, the city’s division manager of current planning, in last week’s meeting. “Shopping centers have a lot of events, customer service appreciation days. We would like to provide that opportunity for them.”
Planning commissioners did not have much to say about the contents of the amendment before casting their 5-0 vote in favor of sending a positive recommendation for approval to the Board of Aldermen. The elected officials will have the final say on the amendment and take up the details at an upcoming public hearing.
Organizers must still obtain permits from the city to host the events, which Collard said are good for a week. She also said they can apply for as many permits as they wish.
The proposed amendment also clarifies some language in the existing ordinance to state that organizers classified as vendors and peddlers are subject to operate events under those provisions.