Pact clears way for Sailing Hall of Fame

February 27, 2010|By Nicole Fuller | nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

The state Board of Public Works has unanimously approved a long-term lease allowing the construction of the National Sailing Hall of Fame on Annapolis' waterfront.

The decision Wednesday came after Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen and Richard L. Franyo, president of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, came to an agreement on the nonprofit museum's compliance with local laws. Because it will be built largely on state-owned land and therefore be exempt from Annapolis laws, residents and some lawmakers raised concerns about the museum's compliance with building rules in the city's historic district and with parking and alcohol regulations.

According to a "letter of understanding" between the museum and the city, the museum agrees to construct a building that is "well integrated" into downtown architecture, to submit a parking plan to the city for approval and to continue to pay property taxes to the city for the small part of the land that is city-owned.

The museum is required to raise about $30 million for construction, a five-year operating fund and a maintenance fund before construction begins.

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