Minutes of Meeting for Thursday, June 5, 2008

Meeting of the Jefferson Streetscape Task Force
at the Jefferson Ruritan Center

1.     Call to Order at 7:00 p.m.

2.     Welcome and General announcements – Jim Carpenter
Purpose of Meeting:  To review the current engineering plans for Jefferson Streetscape.
The web site for the Jefferson Streetscape project is found at http://JeffersonMd.net/Streetscape.

3.     The following people attended:
Jim Carpenter, Maurice Hoffmaster, Marshall Wisner, Joe Horman, Gene Keller, Mike Boyer, Andy Lynn, Shirley Hale, David Phillips (SHA), David Coyne (SHA), Brick Remsburg, Tom Arnold, Mike Summers

4.     Minutes of last meeting. 
The last Streetscape meeting was held Nov. 30, 2006.  Jim could not find the minutes but noted the previous meeting had decided to conduct a survey of concerns of land owners.  The survey was completed and delivered to SHA.

5.     Review of SHA engineering plans – lead by David Phillips
David Phillips noted that engineering specifications for the previous plans called for replacement of the existing curb to improve drainage and facilitate the reconstruction of existing sidewalks. With previous years of overlaying with no grinding of the pavement there is now little or no reveal on the existing face of the curbs in some areas. David Coyne noted that SHA now grinds and resurfaces a roadway rather then overlay it. Due to this little or no reveal, if SHA were to replace the curbs in those areas adjacent buildings may be impacted. These impacts would be a result of the sidewalk having to be raised 6 to 8 inches with the new curb and the resulting grading to keep positive drainage away from houses.

The first option SHA explored to alleviate these impacts was to lower the roadway. This would result in the complete reconstruction of Jefferson Pike and would cost about $15 million for the 1900 feet between Lander Road and the school.  This would limit traffic to one lane for several months during construction.  Additional work to complete the project would bring the total cost to over $18 million.  Mr. Phillips & Mr. Coyne stressed that such a cost would likely make the project cost prohibitive from receiving construction funding.

After considerable calculations, SHA finally developed a plan that would satisfy drainage and other objectives for an acceptable cost, currently estimated to be $2.5 million.  This current plan calls for installing a 6 to 8 inch high curb. Behind this curb, at roadway level, would be a slotted grate drain and then a concrete sidewalk.  This would allow the sidewalk and landscape between houses and the curb to slope downwards toward the drain without impacting adjacent structures.  Each lane of traffic would be at least 11 feet (from center line to curb).  This design would eliminate most of the parking shown in the previous concept.  The sidewalks would be 5 feet wide, according to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements or would have to receive a waiver if less then 5 feet wide.

David Phillips pointed out two issues of possible concern to landowners.  (1) the area from the curb to the house (including drain and sidewalk) belongs to the landowner who has the responsibility for maintenance.  (2) Almost all parking spaces will be lost between Lander Road and the School.

David indicated that the “corridor” nature of the project (the curb must not be interrupted except for driveways) means that 100% buy-in of property owners would be required.  All property owners would need to sign a “Right of Entry” statement giving SHA temporary rights to do the construction work.

Two property owners (Andy Lynn and Tom Arnold) indicated they had some reservations about the plan but would have to study it further. 

The committee viewed and discussed the drawing for the current and previous SHA plans.  The drawings will be stored at the Jefferson Ruritan Center.

There was discussion of our three apparent options:  (1) Do nothing (cancel the Streetscape Project).  Periodic grinding and resurfacing would continue as in the past without any improvement in sidewalks or drainage.  (2) Adopt the current plan at $2.5 million.  If 100% of owners approve, final engineering plans could be done and ready for advertisement by next spring.  (3) Adopt previous plan at cost of over $18 million and hope for approval, which is unlikely in a program that has a large number of projects competing for a very limited amount of funding.

6.     Dave Coyne read a letter from Board of County Commissioners that listed Frederick County’s transportation priorities, including the following “Streetscape & Sidewalk Retrofit Projects” to the Maryland Department of Transportation:  Jefferson, Middletown, and Libertytown.  Ten other design and construction projects were also recommended for the county along with four local transit projects, six regional transit projects, and two projects for the Frederick Municipal Airport.  Jefferson Streetscape is a priority for the BOCC but there is competition from other areas throughout the state.

7.     Next Steps.
The committee decided to request that SHA provide:  (1) a drawing of a typical cross section showing the new design with the slotted grate drain, (2) a bulleted presentation to explain the new design and why parking would have to be removed, (3) updated list of all property owners, and (4) list of properties where there was on street parking in front of their property in the previous plan but will be loosing that parking in the new plan.   David Phillips indicated that he would provide these items to Jim and Andy by next week.

The committee decided to plan the next public meeting with property owners who lose parking.  The committee will decide whether SHA presence will be needed at the meeting after reviewing the above items from SHA.

8.     Next Task Force Meeting.  To be determined.

9.     Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.