October 21, 2004
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer. The minutes of the October 7, 2004 meeting were reviewed with Councilman Waller making a motion to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Councilman Myrick and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that, as approved at the October 7, 2004 meeting, an invoice had been mailed to William McAllister for $1677.14 to cover the expenses incurred by the City of Bloomingdale to clear the overgrown conditions of his property located at #14 Osteen Road. Mr. McAllister was given fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the invoice to make this payment to avoid legal action by the City. Mr. McAllister received the information on October 15, 2004 and has until October 30, 2004 to reimburse these expenses to the City. Mayor Rozier tabled the matter until the November 4th meeting to see if Mr. McAllister makes the payment by the deadline imposed by the City.
Mayor Rozier informed council that David Hicks did not pick up the certified letter mailed to him on September 21st advising him of the council’s decision to give him fifteen (15) days to provide information required to allow the temporary sewer service to remain connected to his non-conforming mobile home located at #1301A E. Hwy 80 and the letter was returned by the post office. Another certified letter was mailed to Mr. Hicks on October 13th, but as of this date, he has failed to pick that one up from the post office. Council was informed that the sewer service was disconnected to the mobile home on Tuesday, October 19th for non-payment of the sewer/sanitation service. The Mayor advised council that he had received an e-mail from Betty Hicks indicating that no one would be living at this residence and that it would only be used for storage. The council was informed that the grinder pump core would need to be removed from the property in order to protect this equipment. Councilman Myrick questioned the use of this mobile home for storage purposes because similar requests had been made in the past and council had not approved them. Several council members agreed that allowing the use of this non-conforming mobile home as a storage unit would not be acceptable. Councilman Myrick made a motion to notify David Hicks that the mobile home could not be used as a storage unit and that it must be removed from the premises within 90 days from receipt of the notice from the City, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Attorney Dickey was asked if the 90 day period was a reasonable length of time and he stated that he felt that 60 days would probably be sufficient, but a 90 day period would give them ample time to make arrangements to have it moved.
The Mayor advised council that although the workshop to discuss the group development ordinance had been rescheduled for November 9th, another date would need to be scheduled due to a conflict with the Citizens’ Police Academy graduation ceremonies. Since Attorney Dickey would be available on November 11th, the meeting was rescheduled for that date and the Mayor stated that members of the Planning & Zoning Commission were invited to attend.
Councilman Tyler reported that he was in the process of obtaining another bid for the costs related to increasing the size of the water lines at the eastern end of the City and at the suggestion of a couple of council members, he would also contact EMC about submitting a bid for this work.
Councilman Johnson stated that he would like to present some information to council concerning the questions that were raised at the last meeting about the amount of dirt/gravel that the City has purchased from one dirt hauling business over the last couple of years. Councilman Johnson reported that in 2001 there were six (6) loads purchased, in 2002- twelve (12) loads, and in 2003-three (3) loads. Council was advised that in 2004 the City had two large projects that involved about twenty (20) loads of dirt—some went to the building of the road behind Bloomingdale Elementary School and the other was used on Stagecoach Road. Councilman Johnson pointed out that Bobby Oglesby gave the City five (5) loads of dirt for the Stagecoach Road project and we purchased some crush and run from him to complete the repairs. Councilman Johnson stated that Bobby Oglesby has been able to provide dirt/gravel to the City as needed and often times on very short notice and questioned whether a rotation system was the best way to provide this product to the City because of the small quantities we normally used, but would agree with whatever decision was made by council. Mayor Rozier stated that once a threshold for bids was
established by council and a bidding process approved, we could look at the different commodities used by the City to decide which items it would be best to consider in the bidding process. It was also pointed out that certain areas may need a different threshold amount than others, but this could be decided before the council made their final decision.
Council was informed that the City has not yet received the written comments from Thomas & Hutton Engineering on their review of the request from Ferman Tyler for the relocation of the drainage ditch at Oak Street. Councilman Tyler stated that he had provided them with some information they had requested and their comments should be received soon.
Councilman Johnson reported that he, along with Fett Burke and Ernest Grizzard, had met with Ellis Phillips this week and observed the proof roll/compaction test for the extension of Moore Street that is being constructed by developer. Councilman Johnson reported that Mr. Burke had noticed a couple of spots that needed to be checked and Mr. Phillips was having Whitaker Labs test these areas and they would be forwarding their report to the City. If these are problem areas they will have to be corrected prior to his paving of the roadway extension. Councilman Wedincamp asked if Mr. Phillips could go ahead and get building permits for the lots, but was advised that the completion and approval of the extension of the roadway and the water/sewer improvements were stipulations that had to be met before permits would be issued for the three lot subdivision.
The Mayor presented a request from Ken Schroeder who resides at #207 Cypress Street for a home occupation license to operate the “office only” of a contracting business from this residence. Mr. Schroeder indicates that he will be the only employee and plans to do painting, carpentry, and excavating work. It was noted that only his personal vehicle will be used in the business and there will be no outside traffic coming to the residence. Council was informed that the property is zoned R-1 and they have the option to waive the public hearing requirement. Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the hearing, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Mr. Schroeder, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City had received a request from Butch Godbee to be placed on tonight’s agenda to discuss some concrete left behind his residence, the drainage ditch covered up from old concrete and dirt left by new home contractors and the smell coming from the lift station scrubber vent. Councilman Johnson stated that he had visited the area, along with the General Services Supervisor, Fett Burke, and the concrete pipes were on property owned by Donny Tuten and would talk with him about the possibility of getting them moved. Councilman Johnson advised him that the dirt that is piled up along the ditch has been there for many years and is located on private property and he did not know that the City could require its removal. Mr. Godbee stated that the main concern he was having was with the smell at the lift station and wondered if the vent pipe could be raised to help eliminate the problem. Ernest Grizzard, Supervisor of the Water and Sewer Department, pointed out that the lift station is checked every day to make sure that the scrubber is working properly and that occasionally he will find a problem. If there is a problem, it is corrected immediately and the only time there is an unusually bad smell is when the equipment is not working. Ernest Grizzard pointed out that the raising of the vent pipe would not offer any relief due to the way the equipment was designed. The Mayor stated he had been going by this area on a regular basis and had not noticed any problems. Mr. Godbee advised council that he had noticed a smell, but understood that if there was a problem with the equipment this could happen.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City had received notice from Republic Waste Services of Savannah that the current contract for waste removal services will be increased by 3% effective November, 2004 and it was noted that the contract did allow for a CPI increase.
Mayor Rozier reviewed with council the recommendations from the October 18th Planning & Zoning Commission:
1) The Planning & Zoning Commission had several recommendations regarding the requested changes to the site plan for the commercial property owned by D.K. Morgan on Highway 80, but at the request of Terry Coleman with Kern-Coleman Engineering, Inc. the discussion of this information will be postponed until November 4th to allow the engineer an opportunity to prepare a plan that includes their recommendations. Chairman Andrew Rawlings was asked if the commission wanted the new plan to be reviewed at their November 16th meeting before being discussed by council, but Mr. Rawlings indicated that it could be presented directly to council for approval provided it included the changes the Planning & Zoning Commission had recommended.
2) The Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending the acceptance of the Sketch plan with conditions for the rezoning of 1.54 acres located on Highway 80 between Wildcat Dam Road and Patrick Ave. owned by Del Ferguson. The rezoning request was to rezone the property from R-1, One-family residential, to C-1/PDOD, Central Business District/Planned Development Overlay District. The site plan conditions outlined by the Planning & Zoning Commission for the rezoning were that when the final site plan is submitted to the Planning & Zoning Commission for approval of construction, a dimensioned, scaled site plan must be stamped and signed by a licensed land surveyor, engineer or land consultant addressing the following requirements:
· A grading and drainage plan.
· A paving plan with a dedicated 24’ wide frontage road with an access easement on the northwest corner for the adjoining property to use when that property is developed commercial.
· Access from two curb cuts at Highway 80 that meet the minimum DOT requirements.
· A landscaping planting plan shall be submitted with the location of existing 6”-8” diameter trees (at chest height) shown on the plan.
· Buffers shall be required that meet the minimum requirements of Section 802.4 Appendix A.
· Exterior of building shall have a brick veneer on all four sides. Building should adhere to any building theme adopted by City of Bloomingdale.
· A single plaza/directory sign located on property that meets the minimum requirements of Article 9 of the zoning ordinance.
· Until the time that the neighboring property turns commercial, businesses shall not stay open past 9 o’clock, and no package shops and/or bars shall be permitted.
Council discussed the recommendation and Councilman Tyler pointed out that according to his understanding of the Planned Development Overlay District, these items must be addressed on the general development plan before council can actually approve the rezoning request since this plan will become part of the rezoning documents. Based on this information, Councilman Tyler stated that the only thing that council could do tonight would be to accept this as “information only” until the general development plan was presented and approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission. The developer, Del Ferguson, stated that it was his understanding that the commission had approved his rezoning request and that the City Council would be taking action on the rezoning request at tonight’s meeting. After a review of the Planned Development Overlay District, it was noted that a general development plan is required to be submitted as part of the rezoning request and that the standards for the plan, as outlined in the ordinance, would indicate that only a sketch plan had been submitted by Mr. Ferguson. Council was advised that concerns had been raised in the past by developers that they did not want to go to the expense of a detailed general development plan until they were confident that the rezoning request was going to be approved. Councilman Tyler stated that unfortunately there could be no guarantees about the rezoning, however, if the Planning & Zoning Commission had provided the developer with the specific information they required for the general development plans and the plans included this information it would seem more likely that the rezoning would be approved. Councilman Tyler pointed out that he could understand the concerns of a developer because he was trying to develop some of his own property in a similar manner, but he had studied the ordinance and determined that he would have to present and have approved a general development plan that met the standards of the ordinance as well as any particular conditions imposed by the Planning & Zoning Commission before his rezoning request process could be completed. After discussing the matter at length, it was determined that the information provided by the Planning & Zoning Commission would be accepted as “information only” and once the general development plan had been submitted and approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission, a recommendation on the rezoning request could be considered by council.
Councilman Wedincamp left the podium due to his personal interest in the next matter of business.
3) The Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending approval of the sketch plan with conditions for the rezoning of the property owned by Mike Wedincamp and Charles Rogers located on Cheyenne Road. The rezoning request was for the property to be rezoned from RA-1, Rural Agricultural-mobile homes allowed, to a PUD-Planned Unit Development Zone. The conditions outlined in the recommendation from the commission were:
· Mr. Wedincamp will reduce the number of units by 35%
· Make more single family dwellings near existing single family dwellings and leave the duplex next to the Jimmy Deloach parkway side
· Do away with the community center
· Downsize the footprint of the buildings (decrease the square footage in each home)
· Move amenities somewhere else on the property
· Create more greenspace
· Present the planning commission with a copy of covenants for approval.
During the discussion of the information presented by the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Mayor recognized Citizen Mike Mashburn who stated that previous minutes had shown that he had not agreed to dedicate his 15’ right of way to the development of Cheyenne Road as a public road and he would like to inform council that he was now interested in providing this right of way. Mr. Mashburn stated that he had not agreed with the original plans for the development of the major subdivision, but it appears that development is inevitable, but wants to make sure that the use of the existing roadway would remain public. Mr. Mashburn also stated that he would like to see the current residents be able to use the road without restrictions and wanted Mr. Gordon Jones to be able to get a building permit for his residence. Councilman Tyler asked who actually owns the road providing access to the PUD. Mike Wedincamp stated that he and Charles Rogers owned the right of way that had been combined into a private road to serve the development. Questions were raised by some of the citizens present at the meeting about whether or not the road was going to be paved and if it was going to be open to the public. Councilman Tyler pointed out that if the developers owned the portion of the roadway that was going to serve the PUD; he did not see how the dedication of additional right of way would have anything to do with this development. Councilman Tyler stated that the issues related to the roadway were a private matter that would need to be worked out between the parties involved and suggested that the citizens get with the developers to iron out these problems. Mike Wedincamp stated that neither he nor Charles Rogers had any opposition to the inclusion of the additional right of way in the road, but they were not willing to pay for any more survey work. Councilman Tyler pointed out that the plans that were submitted to the Planning & Zoning Commission were sketch plans and the information from the Planning & Zoning Commission should be considered as “information only” since no action could be taken by council until the plot plan and related information was prepared as outlined in the zoning ordinance to include the Commission’s recommendations. Once the Planning & Zoning Commission approved the plot plan and related information, it would be submitted to council as part of their recommendation and adopted as part of the PUD. Council agreed to accept this information on the sketch plan provided by the Planning & Zoning Commission as “information only”.
After discussion of this matter was completed, Councilman Wedincamp returned to the podium.
Mayor Rozier reported that property owners on Osteen Road had questioned whether their request to be annexed into Bloomingdale was under consideration. Council was reminded that the requests from Christopher & Summer Patterson, Wesley Barnett, Jr. and Sonya Williams-Pratt were originally submitted in February, 2004, but action was delayed until the annexation process for the Tyler and Morgan Family properties was completed. The Mayor stated that he had talked with Commissioner Dean Kicklighter about the county’s plan to address the Osteen Road Bridge problem and upgrades to the road and was advised that there are no funds in the county’s current budget to handle these expenses, but he plans to address them in next year’s budget. Commissioner Kicklighter encouraged him to go ahead and proceed with the annexations as this would have no affect on the county’s obligation regarding the road and bridge repairs. The Mayor asked Attorney Dickey how the City should proceed with the annexation requests. Attorney Dickey questioned whether a petition had been presented by the property owners with the appropriate land survey information and was advised that a letter of request and a copy of their property as it appears on the tax digest had been submitted, but no official petition and survey. Attorney Dickey explained that this would be the first step the owners would have to take and once the City accepts the petitions and agrees to proceed, the zoning of the property will have to be addressed through the Planning & Zoning Commission. Attorney Dickey explained the overall annexation process to the property owners. During the review of the properties, the attorney noted that by annexing the properties as presented, the City would be creating an island of an adjoining tract of land and asked if this owner was interested in being annexed into the City. The attorney pointed out that there would be a problem with the annexations if the owner did not want to come into the City because the state will not allow the creation of islands in the annexation process. Mayor Rozier stated that he would try to contact the owner about annexation and report back to council. Attorney Dickey pointed out that once this information has been obtained, the council can make a decision regarding the other properties, so this matter was postponed for this additional information.
Mayor Rozier stated that the council had received some information related to proposed changes to the personnel policy regarding vacation and personal leave, direct deposit for payroll checks and dental insurance, but council felt these issues needed to be reviewed and discussed at a meeting held specifically to discuss these matters. Councilman Ray stated that he felt this information should be discussed with the entire council and several other members agreed. It was also noted that the City had received some information from GMA regarding increases in health insurance coverage effective January, 2005. The Mayor stated that a called meeting would be scheduled for discussion of these personnel issues only and council would be notified of the date.
The Mayor stated that this concluded the items that were presented prior to the Friday, October 15, 2004 agenda deadline.
The Mayor recognized Councilman Myrick who made a motion that the council consider an amendment to the agenda to include a recommendation from the Bloomingdale Recreation Executive Board regarding an appointment to the board. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Recreation Director Joe Young asked that council approve the appointment of Debra Brune to the Recreation Executive Board to fill the unexpired term of Michael Brower who had recently resigned. Mr. Young pointed out that Ms. Brune is a hard worker and the members felt that she would be an asset to the board. After confirming with Mr. Young that this came as a recommendation from the Recreation Executive Board, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the appointment of Ms. Brune, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Wedincamp stated that he would like to make a motion that council consider an amendment to the agenda to include a recommendation on appointments to the Planning & Zoning Commission and proposed changes to their meeting schedule. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Wedincamp made a motion that alternate member Becky Reece be appointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission to fill the unexpired term of Margel Winn who had resigned. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Wedincamp then made a motion to add Mary Mitchell as an alternate member of the Planning & Zoning Commission vacated by Ms. Reece. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Ray abstained from voting. Councilman Wedincamp advised council that the Planning & Zoning Commission members felt they needed to meet twice a month and wanted to set their meetings so that they did not fall in the same week as council to give them time to prepare their recommendations to council. Questions were raised about possible conflicts with other scheduled activities at City Hall and whether or not this would require a charter change. Attorney Dickey stated that he would review the charter to see if this would pose any problems. Councilman Wedincamp requested that the Planning & Zoning Commission meetings be held twice a month starting in January, 2005 provided the changes would not interfere with other activities already scheduled for City Hall and the changes would not be in conflict with the City’s Charter. Council members had no objections to these proposed changes.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Myrick stated that as a matter of information, the Recreation Department had requested the City consider entering into an agreement with the Bloomingdale Alliance Church for the use of the gym for home games and he was going to get with Attorney Dickey to see if an agreement could be worked out regarding this request.
Councilman Tyler reported that the transformer on Well #1 had blown and we were waiting on parts to fix the well so we were currently operating with only Well #2 on line.
The Mayor asked Andrew Rawlings to get with him tomorrow about getting a plaque made to recognize Margel Winn’s years of service with the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:15pm. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier and all council members were present at the meeting.