They also okayed an 48-acre annexation into the city.
A recount process is now in place in the city of Frederick. In an unanimous vote Thursday night, the Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance to that effect.
"Any defeated candidate may file a petition for a recount of the votes in one or more precinct. An opposing candidate may file a counter petition," says City Attorney Saundra Nickels, who briefed the Mayor and Board Thursday night.
Other provisions in the ordinance says the Board of Supervisors of Elections will conduct the recount, which must be open to the public and the media. A challenge can be made to any part of the recount. In addition, the petitioner or petitioners must pay any reasonable costs incurred in conducting the recount, as determined by the Board of Supervisors of Elections.
Alderman Michael O'Connor said the ordinance had a provision for an automatic recount in a close election, but there was no "trigger" which would launch the automatic recount if the results are extremely close. "I would, just again, urge that we continue to do the research to figure out what the right automatic trigger would be so that it's not incumbent upon a losing candidate to seek a recount if an election is sufficiently close," he said. "There ought to be some guarantee built in that we're striving to make sure it's correct."
City Attorney Nickels noted that the City Code has provisions for the conduct of municipal elections, including the casting of ballots by absentee voters, and the prevention of fraud, but no mention of recount of ballots in case of doubt or fraud.
In other action, the Board approved the annexation of the Bartgis-Lasick-Rallas Properties into the city. The 48.816-acre site is located north of the intersection of Walter Martz Road and Christopher's Crossing.
The developers are expected to request R8 zoning, which permits eight housing units per acre, but plan to build as if it was R6, or six homes per acre. They plan to build 250 residential units, down from the original 292 dwelling units, according to Gabrielle Dunn, Division Manager for Current Planning.
Prior to the vote, the Board discussed what types of housing would be permitted on the property. They agreed that there be no garden apartments on the site, but there would be "single family homes, townhouses, one-over-two townhouses, two-over-one townhouses, two-over-twos, duplexes, and triplexes," said Alderwoman Kelly Russell.
Alderman O'Connor said housing style to be developed for Bartgis-Lasick-Rallas Properties is in keeping with the surrounding communities. "Creating that capability and the connectivity, I think, is critical to make sure that these communities and neighborhoods feel like they're integrated into the city of Frederick because that's what we want," he says. "I think we want everyone that moves into the city of Frederick to honestly feel they are part of the city of Frederick and that they're welcome in the city of Frederick. And the best way to do that is through a fully connected and engaged community."
The Mayor and Aldermen also sent out their best wishes for a speedy recovery to Mike Spurrier, Director of the Community Action Agency, who was seriously injured in a vehicle crash in Montgomery County. Mayor Randy McClement says Spurrier's truck was broadsided, and he suffered 10 broken ribs. He had to undergo two surgeries, McClement says.