March 18, 2004
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier and Councilman Ray lead in prayer. The minutes of the March 4, 2004 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the minutes, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier introduced Julie Dampier Culhane who stated that she was a candidate for Magistrate Court Judge in Chatham County. Ms. Culhane outlined for the council and citizens her educational background and informed them of her experience with the magistrate courts. Ms. Culhane advised those present that she wanted to see that all cases were heard by the courts and that the law was applied fairly in all cases. Ms. Culhane stated that she would appreciate everyone’s support and encouraged them to vote in the July 20th non-partisan election.
Attorney Gerard reported that Dennis Baxter, Pooler’s City Administrator, had obtained copies of the Pooler/Bloomingdale Waste Water Treatment Facility Agreement Amendment information from him about two weeks ago, but he had not heard anything from Mr. Baxter or Pooler’s City Attorney Steve Sheer since that time.
Council was advised by Councilman Wedincamp that he has distributed the right of way deeds to all of the property owners on Cheyenne Road except one that he has not been able to contact.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City of Rincon had lost their suit against EPD and were ordered to abide by the consent agreement to tie into the county’s water system to use water provided by the City of Savannah. Attorney Gallo advised the Mayor that Bloomingdale’s case was different because we have not yet signed an agreement for water.
The Mayor stated that he had met with the state aid coordinator, Harden Rozier, and Susan Rogers to look over the dirt streets in the City to discuss which may qualify for state funding. Mayor Rozier reported that they had looked at Stagecoach Road, Osteen Road, Lynn Street, Church Street and Main Street. The Mayor stated that Stagecoach Road and Osteen Road would need drainage information and this was being handled by Thomas & Hutton. The Mayor reported that the state representative advised him that the City should consider paving the railroad bed rather than the one-way sections of Main Street. Mayor Rozier advised council that they had also looked at Perry Road and Towles Road, but explained that although these were not City streets he wanted the state to give him an idea about possible matching funds.
Council reviewed a request for a home occupation license from Michael Winn to operate the “office only” of a general contracting business from his residence located at #405 Wallace Circle. According to Mr. Winn’s license application he will be the only employee, however, he indicated he will be coordinating with subcontractors on residential/commercial work. Mayor Rozier advised Mr. Winn that there can be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence and Mr. Winn stated that he understood this stipulation. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Michael Winn, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented a request for a home occupation license from Elkin & Tonya Marin to operate the “office only” of a general contracting business from their residence at #1220 Bloomingdale Road. Council was advised that Mr. Marin currently operates a management consultation business from his residence, but is requesting this second license. It was noted that Mr. Marin states on his application that there will be only one employee with all the work being done away from the residence and he will be using his personal vehicle to travel to and from job sites. Mayor Rozier emphasized the stipulation that there be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence and Mr. Marin stated that he understood this stipulation. Councilman Myrick made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Waller made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Elkin & Tonya Marin, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City had received a request from Sonya Williams-Pratt to annex her property on Osteen Road that abuts the property of Wesley Barnett, Jr. It was noted that Mr. Barnett’s annexation request was presented at the March 4th meeting, but action on his request was postponed until the annexation of the Morgan Family and Tyler properties has been completed. Councilman Tyler asked if it would be best if this annexation request and the ones from the Barnetts and Pattersons were filed together and Attorney Gerard stated that it probably would. The Mayor stated he would contact Ms. Pratt’s father, Sidney Williams, to see about having her combine her request with the others.
The following recommendations were presented by the Planning & Zoning Commission:
1) The Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending that council approve a text amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow utility/storage buildings as a conditional use in a C-2 zone with the following conditions: 1) A utility/storage building sales lot shall not be on a lot located next to or across the street from a residential use zoning district; 2) Such use shall not be located along a minor street or residential street; 3) The use shall meet all setback requirements; 4) The site plan shall be approved by the Mayor and Council upon a recommendation by the Planning Commission which insures that the sales lot will be adequately screened and/or buffered from adjoining less intense land uses or those housing permanent or transit guests to prevent adverse land use conflicts. 5) The signage shall comply with the City Sign Ordinance; 6) Mayor and Council, when they determine it necessary, may require an eight (8) foot high or less screening fence be erected to screen adjoining uses. Council discussed the recommendation and agreed to postpone action on this text amendment to allow Attorney Gerard an opportunity to prepare an amendment to the zoning ordinance to address these conditions and bring it back to council for adoption.
The Planning & Zoning Commission is also requesting that utility/storage buildings be allowed in a C-1 zone with these same conditions. Since this
action would be an amendment to the zoning ordinance council was advised that a public hearing would have to be scheduled. Council discussed the
matter and Chairman Del Ferguson agreed to hold the public hearing on the text amendment just prior to the Planning & Zoning Commission’s
meeting on April 20, 2004. The Planning & Zoning Commission could consider the matter at that meeting and present their recommendation to
council at the May 6th meeting.
2) The Planning & Zoning Commission discussed the petition submitted by Del Ferguson for Lots 8 & 9 on Hwy 80 to rezone the property from C-1 to C-2. The members were advised by Mr. Ferguson that if the zoning ordinance was amended to allow for the sale of utility/storage buildings in a C-1 zone he would withdraw his request for the rezoning of this property. Mayor Rozier asked Mr. Ferguson to confirm the information and he advised him that it was correct. Based on this information and the fact that no recommendation came from the Planning & Zoning Commission, no action was taken by council on the rezoning petition.
3) Council was advised that a public hearing had been held on March 16th just prior to the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on the establishment of the zoning as RA-1 for the Morgan Family & Tyler properties located on Osteen Road proposed for annexation; however, due to an apparent oversight during the meeting, the Planning & Zoning Commission did not take any action on the zoning issue. Council was informed that this issue would need to be addressed by council at their April 15th meeting if the Planning & Zoning Commission fails to make a recommendation within thirty (30) days from the date of the public hearing. Since their next meeting is not until April 20th, the Planning & Zoning Commission would not be able to meet this stipulation. Council agreed to consider this matter at their April 15, 2004 meeting and Councilman Myrick made a motion to add the zoning issue to that council agenda. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler abstained from voting on the motion.
4) The Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending the approval of the minor subdivision plat as presented by Brinson Smith for his property located on Cregor Street provided a note is added to the plat indicating the lots would be served by City water and sewerage. The subdivision consists of two parcels containing the minimum road frontage and lot sizes. Council was advised that the note regarding water and sewerage had been added to the plat as requested by the Planning & Zoning Commission. The Mayor asked what was going to be done with the property and was advised by Billy Strozier that as far as he knew there would be houses built on it. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the minor subdivision, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
5) The Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending the approval of the site plan for D.K. Morgan’s property at #1720 E. Hwy 80 as presented by Kern-Coleman, Co. provided a stucco façade be added to the plan for the 40’ x 60’ building. Chairman Del Ferguson stated that the Planning & Zoning Commission had also advised Mr. Morgan that if the Group Development Ordinance was approved prior to the construction of the storage buildings that were being proposed to connect the existing building with the 40’ x 60’ new building the site plan could be amended to delete the storage buildings as long as his site plan met the requirements of the Group Development Ordinance and the area between the two buildings could then be used for parking. Planning Commission Chairman Del Ferguson advised council that the Group Development Ordinance was scheduled for discussion at the April 20th meeting. Terry Coleman advised council that he had made several adjustments to the site plan as outlined in information he received from Bill Saxman and the amended plan was submitted to the Planning & Zoning Commission at their meeting. Mr. Coleman provided council with copies of these plans for their review since they were different than the plans previously submitted. Mr. Coleman stated that curb stops could be added for the parking spaces in front of the storage buildings if needed. Councilman Johnson stated that the site plan indicated that a dumpster would be shared with an adjacent owner and shall be located on Parcel 5; however, he wanted to make sure that Mr. Morgan understood that each business/tenant was responsible for the payment of a sanitation bill to the City. Councilman Johnson pointed out that if the business/tenant wanted to use dumpsters in addition to the assigned garbage can they had that option, but the business/tenant was required by ordinance to pay a sanitation bill. Mr. Morgan stated that he understood this requirement and would abide by it. After discussion of the site plan, Councilman Tyler made the following motion: To approve the site plan for D.K. Morgan on property at #1720 E. Hwy 80 as presented to the Planning & Zoning Commission on March 16, 2004 with the stipulation that stucco be added to the façade of the 40’ x 60’ building and with the understanding that the building plans would be submitted as shown on the site plan to include the storage buildings connecting the new building to the existing building on the property; however, if the Group Development Ordinance was approved prior to the construction of the storage buildings the site plan could be amended to delete the storage buildings provided that the site plan met the requirements of the Group Development Ordinance and was approved by the Planning Commission and City Council. Councilman Myrick seconded this motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
6) The Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending the approval of the site plan submitted for R & R Electric for construction at Hwy 80 and Drescher Road with the understanding that the plan would be amended to show the following: the building set back an additional 15’, driveway be moved 40’ back from location as shown, show water run-off and detention, a 10’ buffer along Hwy 80 and Drescher Road to the driveway, compliance with parking spaces and show dumpster location in back of the building. Council discussed the recommendation and site plan at length. Councilman Myrick asked Planning Commission Chairman Del Ferguson why the commission felt the driveway needed to be moved the additional 40’ back and was advised that there was concern about the congestion of traffic turning off Hwy 80 onto Drescher Road. The Mayor recognized Fett Burke who pointed out that the driveway had been installed to the City’s specifications and he did not think he should have to move it. Councilman Ray asked about the width of the driveway and he was advised it was 40’ wide. Billy Strozier, who was presenting the plan on behalf of R & R Electric’s owner, C.E. Hearn, stated that the driveway was installed as close to the outfall as possible and the location of the cross pipe was a determining factor on where it was installed. Mayor Rozier pointed out that in Mr. Saxman’s review of the plan he was probably assuming that the business received deliveries from big trucks and he asked Mr. Hearn if that would be the case. Mr. Hearn assured him that their supplies were not delivered by large trucks. Mr. Strozier stated that if the City found it necessary for them to move the driveway pipe they would do that and if necessary, they would relocate the cross pipe. Mr. Strozier advised council that if the driveway was not moved and there were any problems in the future, they would move it at that time. Council agreed to allow the driveway to remain as installed with the understanding that it would be moved if problems occurred in the future. Council discussed the concerns that had been raised at the meeting regarding the flooding out of citizens living on Drescher Road. Billy Strozier stated that the cost for a drainage plan and a topographic survey was approximately $3800, but pointed out that the water from this property does not drain toward Drescher Road, it drains toward Hwy 80. The drainage of this area was discussed at length. Mr. Strozier advised council that, if necessary, they could pay the City’s engineers to provide information on how the property drained, but Councilman Tyler stated he did not feel that the City should require them to go that route due to the size of the lot. After additional discussion, council agreed to approve the site plan with the following changes: 1) The building would be set back an additional 15’; 2) a 10’ buffer with a tree every 25’ would be required along Hwy 80 and Drescher Road; 3) the plan must comply with parking space requirements; and 4) show dumpster location in the back of the building. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the site plan with the changes as outlined above, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Planning Commission Chairman Del Ferguson advised council that the committee had scheduled a work session on March 30, 2004 to review and discuss possible changes to the fence and sign ordinances and invited the Mayor and Council to join them for the meeting. Chairman Ferguson pointed out that the commission members needed know if there were any specific sections that council felt needed to be discussed. Diane Proudfoot mentioned that the ordinance needed to address side-yard setbacks and it was also noted that council had discussed the need to add chain link fences for commercial areas. Councilman Tyler suggested the clerks provide the committee with any problem areas they had come across in their execution of the ordinances so the committee would know what type changes may be needed.
Council was advised that the Bloomingdale Recreation Executive Board was recommending that Richard Duke be added to the board as a member. Councilman Myrick asked council to postpone action on this request until he could get with Recreation Director Joe Young about the appointment.
Councilman Myrick presented a budget adjustment request on behalf of the police department to transfer $25,000 from budgetary line item Jail Expense and increase Capital Outlay line item by $22,000 and Uniforms line item by $3,000. Mayor Rozier commented that he wanted to make sure this transfer did not leave the jail expense category short of funds. The Mayor was advised that the budget figure had been overstated due to this being the first year these charges had been reinstated by the county and according to the actual expenses incurred to date, the balance would cover the costs for the balance of the year. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the request from the police department for the transfer of funds. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that this concluded the agenda items that were presented prior to the March 12, 2004 deadline.
Mayor Rozier requested council approve an amendment to the agenda to discuss information regarding the Patriotic Celebration. Councilman Waller made a motion to add the discussion to the agenda, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. The Mayor reported that he had been advised by Steve Murray from the Bloomingdale Alliance Church that the ministerial association had decided that the churches would not be able to head up the Patriotic Celebration this year due to staff limitations. Mayor Rozier pointed out that there were only three churches that had been participating - First Baptist, Bloomingdale Alliance, and Alpha Methodist and without a minister of music on staff at First Baptist at the current time, Steve did not feel he would be able to handle the organization of the event by himself. The Mayor stated that he would hate to see the event cancelled completely, but asked what council wanted to do. Councilman Myrick stated that with the event only two or three months away, he was not sure that the City could put together a quality program, especially if the choirs were not prepared to participate. Councilman Myrick pointed out that a lot of the attendance came from the families and friends of the choir members and although he felt sure their church would be willing to provide some musical entertainment, he was not sure there was enough time to get everything else together. Several council members expressed concerns about canceling the event altogether, but it was suggested that a fall event may give the City time to get something together and council agreed something later in the year would probably be best. The Mayor stated that he would like to talk with Randy Wood about getting a blue grass band to provide some musical entertainment. Council agreed that this type event would probably do well. Mayor Rozier advised council he would check with Mr. Wood and let them know if he was interested in working with the City on the event.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:10pm. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor and all council members were present.