The Annapolis City Council unanimously approved a plan to preserve historic Eastport Monday night.
The zoning plan, proposed by Alderman Ellen O. Moyer, D-Ward 8, is designed to save the 100-year-old working class, maritime community bounded by Sixth Street and Horn Point, located just across Spa Creek from downtown Annapolis.
"It should bring some controls to development in Eastport, so that new housing is compatible and in balance with existing housing," Moyer said.
She also said the plan, called the Residential Conservation Overlay District, should help the city meet the goals of its 1985 master plan, which called for preserving the small-town atmosphere of Eastport.
Most of the homes built in the neighborhood in the 1890s still exist.
However, the city's 1978 zoning code created larger lots and required homes to be built farther back from the streets. That meant that older homes that burned or were demolished couldn't be rebuilt in that style.
The plan adopted by the council Monday will allow the older homes to conform to the zoning code, which means the homes can be expanded or rebuilt. City officials said that should help prevent the replacement of older homes with modern ones.
The plan also would restore balance to streets, requiring homes to be set back an average distance from the road and giving the city greater control over the design of facades and the size of new homes. The city could also require new or rebuilt homes to be built farther from adjacent homes.
In other action Monday night, the City Council:
* Unanimously extended for one year a 1984 court order calling for minority hiring and promotion in the police department.
It is the fourth time the order, called a consent decree, has been extended. The order was the result of a lawsuit by the Black Officers Association that charged the department with discrimination. When the decree was issued, 11 percent of the department's officers were black and 7 percent were women. The decree calls for 25 percent of the department's officers to be black and 16 percent to be women.
Of 114 officers in the department, 24 -- or 21 percent -- are black, one more officer than last year. Thirteen officers -- or 11.4 percent -- are women, one more than last year. Five of the officers are black women and are counted twice.
The order also said that black officers should be represented in all units of the department and that the department should do more to improve relations with the black community.
At the request of Alderman Samuel Gilmer, D-Ward 3, the council will take another look at the department's progress in meeting the goals of the decree in three months.
* Dropped plans to hire an assistant city attorney and to expand the powers of the city Human Relations Commission to investigate complaints of discrimination. The sponsors of the two proposals, Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins and Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5, withdrew their bills because of opposition from the council and the Human Relations Commission.
* Along with Fire Chief Edward Sherlock, honored six citizens who saved people's lives recently.
Donald Porter and Michael Kenelay saved people from drowning. Frances Lee, Jamal Snowden and Darnell Razenell found a woman unconscious at Forest Drive and Bywater Road and brought her to a fire station. Andy Mason helped a disabled motorist on Forest Drive and brought her to a fire station, where she went into cardiac arrest.
The city also honored Benjamin Sarles, a volunteer firefighter who has maintained the city's fire boat free of charge at his boat yard.