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City Council Moves to Protect Beauty Sleep

City council says no to early morning lawn mowing and cracks down on solicitors.

City Council Moves to Protect Beauty Sleep

The City Council voted unanimously Monday to push back the time city residents can mow their lawn or use other such equipment to 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

City code officials initially proposed minor changes to clarify the city code, which Code Compliance Supervisor Steve Roberts said was confusing to some residents.

But some members of the City Council balked at the permitted 7 a.m. start time on weekends.

“Am I the only one that thinks someone starting a lawnmower at 7 a.m. is a wee bit early, particularly if it’s my neighbor,” said Mayor G. Frederick Robinson when the ordinance was discussed earlier this month.

The council agreed, voting Monday to move the start time to 9 a.m on weekends.   

The ordinance permits the use of lawn care equipment, snow removal equipment, household tools and portable appliances on Saturday and Sundays between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. Residents will be permitted to use such devices from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.   

Household generators are permitted for use during emergencies. Testing and routine maintenance of the generators can take place between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Solicitors Must Be Licensed, Can Go Door-to-Door until 7 p.m.

Some door-to door solicitors in Bowie were getting around license requirements by claiming they were not selling a product or a service, but offering what they would describe as a free home survey or other free services, according to Roberts.

The most frequent offenders, Roberts said, were home improvement companies.

The City Council adopted an ordinance Monday that will require those solicitors who say they are not selling a product or service to be licensed.

“We believe their ultimate intent is to sell their product after the free home inspection has been conducted and therefore should be licensed with the city,” Deutsch wrote in a memo to the city council last month.

Solicitors must have a county-issued identification card as well as a city ID, Roberts said. There are some exceptions. Civic organizations, for example, are exempt, Roberts said.

Solicitors may go door-to-door between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

In other business:

The Council approved a resolution allowing the State Highway Administration to plant trees on 41.6 acres at four different sites in Bowie to replace trees removed during the construction of the Intercounty Connector by planting trees elsewhere on public lands. The sites include: land on Route 214 at Queen Anne Bridge Road, Collington Manor, Pope’s Creek and Glen Allan.

The Council waived bidding requirements to contract with a Boston-based energy management company that will provide an incentive program for the city to take its facilities off-line during peak periods of electric use and rely on generator power. The city—which had previously worked with another company for the past two years—could earn an estimated $94,500 for the coming summer season.

The City Council is sending a letter to U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), along with Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Donna Edwards (D-MD) urging them to help restore $150 million in Metro funding, cut from a House spending bill. An estimated 10 percent of Bowie's 58,000 residents use public transit to get to work, the letter states.

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