January 5, 2006
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Wayne Tipton with Councilman Myrick leading in prayer.
Mayor Tipton asked Councilman Billy Strozier to provide an update on water permit issues. Councilman Strozier reported that City representatives had met with EPD Director Carol Couch who advised us of the information that we would need to provide for their review when considering a possible increase in Bloomingdale’s water permit for the next two years. Council was advised that a meeting would be held with the engineers tomorrow to discuss the preparation of this data which must be submitted by March.
Attorney Dickey advised council that he was still waiting for information from Utility Services on the cost of the annual maintenance contract on the water tank if the City chooses to contract directly with a company to place a telecommunications tower on the tank. Attorney Dickey pointed out that Utility Services has been slow to respond with this information. Council was advised that until we get the cost of the maintenance contract we cannot determine whether it would be best to contract directly with the telecommunication companies for 100% of the revenue or through Utility Services for a percentage of the revenue. Mayor Tipton asked if we had any idea when to expect the cost figures. Attorney Dickey stated that he had been trying to get this information for several weeks, but would attempt to get the figures by the next meeting.
Council was informed that the City has not received a response from one of the owners of property located along the Pipemaker’s Spur regarding a meeting to discuss the acquisition of right of way for an access road and to clean the canal. It was noted that a second request had been sent in late November and the property owner, Keith Hood, had signed for his letter in early December. Councilman Myrick stated that the owner lives out of town, but would talk with his father, Johnny Hood, to see if he could get a response regarding a meeting.
Mayor Tipton reported that the fire service contract between the City of Bloomingdale and the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department for FY 2005/2006 has been fully executed. The Mayor stated that the fire department has requested that discussions regarding future contract renewals begin in February.
The council was advised that the audit report for FYE June 30, 2005 was submitted at the December 1st meeting for review and if there were no questions on the report it needed to be approved. Councilman Waller made a motion to accept the audit report as prepared by Karp, Ronning & Tindol. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
City Council was informed that a proposal had been submitted for council’s review at the December 1st meeting from Thomas & Hutton Engineering for Phase 1, Alternative #1 of the City’s Drainage Master Plan. The limits of design and permitting included in this phase of work covered those as approved by council on October 20, 2005 with the cost of the proposal as follows: Survey Phase: $26,800; Preliminary Design: $43,500; Easement Plats: $17,500; Final Design: $26,100; and Bid Phase: $6,200. Attorney Dickey reported that he had reviewed their Letter of Agreement for Services and found it to be in order. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to authorize Mayor Tipton to execute the agreement as presented by Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. and Councilman Strozier seconded the motion. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Council discussed the proposed paving of Lynn Street. It was noted that the Department of Transportation has agreed to participate in the project, but before the paperwork can be executed the City must be able to furnish good and sufficient title to provide 50’ to 60’ of right of way. Councilman Myrick pointed out that although there were some residents who were against the paving of the street, he would like to see the City pursue the project because the road was in bad shape and very costly to maintain. Councilman Ray stated that the maintenance department could only do so much with a dirt road. Council discussed the matter and all agreed that if the City should decide not to pave the road the residents would have to accept, in writing, the conditions of a dirt road. Several councilmembers expressed their concerns about not paving the road since the DOT had already agreed to participate in the cost. After discussing the matter, Mayor Tipton asked that Councilman Myrick, who will be appointed as the Chairman of the General Services Committee later in the meeting, and Supervisor Fett Burke get with the property owners and residents of Lynn Street to discuss these options.
Mayor Tipton reported that the City of Bloomingdale’s Charter, Section 2.04, requires that at the first regular meeting after their election, the Mayor and Councilmembers shall elected one of the councilmembers as Vice-Mayor (Mayor Pro-tem). Councilman Myrick made a motion to appoint Councilman Michael Ray as Vice-Mayor, Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Ray abstained from voting.
Council was advised that a councilmember needed to be appointed to be included with the Mayor, Mayor Pro-tem and City Clerk as designated signers for City checks. City policy requires two signatures for all checks. It was noted that Councilman Waller is currently the council member designated as a signer. The Mayor pointed out that council also needs to approve the execution of resolutions and signature cards naming these appointees as signers. Councilman Ray made a motion to appoint Councilman Waller as a designated signer and the execution of resolutions and signature cards accordingly. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Waller abstained from voting.
The Mayor stated that council needed to appoint the City Police Judge and Judge Pro-tems for 2006. Councilman Strozier made a motion to re-appoint Judge Tom Edenfield as the City’s Recorders’ Court Judge and Bob & Brandon Galloway as the Judge Pro-tems. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton presented committee appointments for councilmembers and stated that committee reports will be placed on council agendas for the second meeting of the month. The Mayor presented the following committees and chairmen: Budget & Finance: Councilmember Michael Ray; General Services: Councilmember Johnny Myrick; Personnel: Mayor Wayne Tipton; Planning & Zoning: Councilmember Andrew Rawlings; Public Safety: Councilmember Ronald Waller; Recreation: Councilmember Margel Winn; Water & Sewer: Councilmember Billy Strozier. The Mayor also stated that the City plans to publish quarterly newsletters and those committees having information to share with the citizens should submit it to City Hall.
The Planning & Zoning Commission recommends the following amendments to the Zoning Ordinance:
1) The addition of a definition for “Dwelling, single-family attached” - “A main dwelling unit attached in groups of at least three to adjacent main dwelling units by means of a roof and/or interior wall, with each dwelling unit occupying its own lot. Each unit extends from foundation to roof with open space on at least two sides and a separate means of ingress and egress for each unit.”
2) A change in Appendix B – Multiple Unit Residential, Article V, Design Standards, (B) to strike “Apartment building” and replace with “Dwelling, multiple family or Dwelling, single-family attached”.
Council was advised that public hearings had been held on both of these amendments. After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the first reading of these amendments to the Zoning Ordinance. Councilman Rawlings seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Strozier asked that the second reading of the amendments to the ordinance be postponed to give the new members an opportunity to review them. The Mayor asked Councilman Rawlings if a delay in the adoption of the amendments would cause any problems with pending developments and was advised that it would not, so council agreed to postpone the second reading.
The Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending the approval, with stipulations, of the site plan submitted by Becky Reece on behalf of Ed Hansen for a day care facility at #4 Chestnut Street. The plans include the renovation of the existing structure as well as an addition consisting of approximately 2200 sq. ft. The proposed plan is to construct a day care center to replace the hair salon. The property is 100’ x 200’ and is zoned C-1 which allows a day care center. The City’s Zoning Ordinance, Article IV, Section 410, requires that before a building permit can be issued for the development of a site which fronts onto or abuts a street classified as an arterial or collector a site plan must be submitted and approved by the Planning Commission. The site plan includes a 6’ wooden privacy fence at the rear of the property and along the playground area on the side of the property where it abuts #6 Chestnut Street. The applicant is requesting that the privacy fence abut the fences of the adjoining properties on their right and in the rear rather than being set back 10’ from the property line to avoid having a grassed section between the fences. The plan also includes a 4’ chain link fence along the playground area on the side of the property that abuts the rear of the Time-Saver Building and across the front side of the same playground area. The stipulations included in the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendation are as follows:
1) The 4’ chain link fence shown on the plans should be changed to a 6’ fence with some child safe greenery outside of the fence on the visible side,
2) The parking lot spaces must be 9’ x 20’ in size,
3) Council must approve the use of chain link fencing (Note: The City’s Zoning Ordinance, Article VIII, Section 811, (d), (7), does not allow chainlink fencing for fences erected in commercial zoning districts)
4) Council must approve a variance on the rear and side yard setbacks to allow the privacy fence to be connected to the existing fencing on their right and in the rear. (Note: The City’s Zoning Ordinance, Article VIII, Section 811, (d), (1) requires that fences shall be setback at least five (5) feet from the property line when abutting a residential district or a permitted residential use with the setback being maintained as a landscaped area.
The Mayor recognized Becky Reece who stated that she has signed statements from the neighbors agreeing to the connection to the existing fences. Maintenance Supervisor Fett Burke stated that there was a drainage ditch between the Time-Saver and this property that would need to be reached for maintenance. Councilman Ray pointed out that he had dug this ditch when he owned the property and it was actually located on Mr. Hansen’s tract rather than on City right of way. Council discussed this issue and agreed that if Mr. Hansen maintains the drainage ditch the fencing would not be a problem. The Mayor asked Mr. Hansen if he would sign an agreement to maintain the ditch and he stated that he would. After a brief discussion, Councilman Strozier made a motion to accept the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendation to approve the site plan with these stipulations and to issue variances on the use of chain link fencing and on the fence setbacks
for the rear and side yards with the understanding that the owner would maintain the drainage ditch. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton advised council that appointments to the Ethics Committee needed to be discussed. The Mayor pointed out that the ordinance requires that council appoint a member, the Mayor appoint a member and these two members appoint a third member to be approved by council. It was noted that the appointments are for two year terms. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion that former councilmember Karl Johnson serves on the committee as council’s appointee. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Mayor Tipton advised council that he would present his appointment for council’s consideration at the next meeting.
The Mayor stated that he would like council to consider the appointment of Dinah Gretsch to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Mayor Tipton advised council that copies of general information on Ms. Gretsch’s background has been distributed for their review. Councilman Rawlings stated that although he felt Ms. Gretsch would be an asset to the Planning & Zoning Commission, he felt that Mary Mitchell who was currently serving as an alternate member should be changed to a regular member to fill the vacancy created when he was elected to council. Mayor Tipton agreed that Ms. Mitchell’s previous experience on the commission would certainly make her a good choice and asked that Ms. Gretsch be appointed as an alternate member. After a brief discussion, Councilman Rawlings made a motion to change Mary Mitchell from an alternate to a regular member of the Planning & Zoning Commission to serve the balance of his term and to appoint Dinah Gretsch as an alternate member. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council considered the following requests for home occupation licenses:
1) Randy Roberts requested a license to operate a vinyl sign business from his residence at #115 Michael Street. Councilman Strozier asked if Mr. Roberts lived at this location and he stated that he did. Mr. Roberts also stated that he planned to do all the work related to his business inside a 10’ x 20’ shed on his property and would not be storing any materials outside of the building. Mr. Roberts advised council that he would be the only employee, there would be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence and no sign would be posted on the property. Based on the information provided by Mr. Roberts, Councilman Strozier made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Strozier made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Mr. Roberts to operate the vinyl sign business from his residence located at #115 Michael Street. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
2) Mark Beamon, Sr. requested a license to operate the “office only” of a general contracting and home building license from his residence located at #109 Chestnut Street. Mr. Beamon was asked if he lived at the residence and he stated that the utility services were all in his name and this was one of two residences that he owned. Councilman Ray stated that since Mr. Beamon did not actually reside at the residence he questioned his qualifying for a home occupation license. Mr. Beamon stated that he would be obtaining a permit in about 30 days to do some remodeling work on the residence and planned to live there on a full time basis once the work is completed. Councilman Strozier asked him how long he expected the remodeling work to take and Mr. Beamon advised council that he thought it would take approximately 3 to 4 months to complete the renovations. Councilman Myrick stated that he felt council should conduct a public hearing on this request since there was some questions as to whether Mr. Beamon qualified for this type license. Attorney Dickey advised Mr. Beamon that although it was not uncommon for citizens to own more than one residence his main domicile could be determined by where he was registered to vote. Mr. Beamon did not inform council where he was registered. Mr. Beamon advised council that he already had a license in Savannah, but wanted to transfer it to Bloomingdale. Councilman Strozier explained to Mr. Beamon that a home occupation license was added to the zoning ordinance to allow those citizens who actually lived in Bloomingdale to conduct certain type businesses from their residences, but if he did not live here, he did not meet the provisions outlined in the ordinance. Mr. Beamon asked what he would have to do to obtain his license from Bloomingdale and was advised that he would have to physically live at the residence on a regular basis to qualify for the home occupation license. There was no further discussion on this request.
Council was advised that a request had been submitted by Steve Roberg to construct an aluminum storage building on his property located at #10 Perry Rd. The building will be 15’ high and will consist of 1200 sq. ft. of enclosed area. It was noted that City policy requires council approval of permits on accessory buildings having over 500 sq. ft. of enclosed area. Copies of Mr. Roberg’s plans have been distributed for council’s review. Mayor Tipton recognized Mr. Roberg who stated that he planned to use the building for his motor home. Mr. Roberg advised council that there were no plans at this time to have electricity in the building and there would be no bathroom installed. Based on the information provided by Mr. Roberg, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the issuance of a building permit to Mr. Roberg for the construction of the 1200 sq. ft. building at #10 Perry St. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that an application for an occupational license for a granite/marble countertop fabrication business at #1720A E. Highway 80 has been submitted to the City by Louise M. Battle. This property, owned by D.K. Morgan, is zoned C-2 and allows a “manufacturing, light, limited” business as a conditional use in this district with approval of the board of appeals (City council). Copies of the application and a sketch showing their plans for an outside display have been distributed to council for their review. The Mayor recognized Mr. Morgan who was present at tonight’s meeting to present the information because Ms. Battle was not able to attend. Mr. Morgan stated that he felt Ms. Battle’s business would be an asset to the community. After a review of the application and site plan, Councilman Rawlings made a motion to approve the issuance of a “conditional use permit” for the operation of a granite/marble countertop fabrication business at #1720A E. Highway 80. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council discussed the setting of the annual sanitation rate for D.K. Morgan’s mobile home parks for 2006. Council was reminded that, in the past, the City has based his annual fees on the monthly rate times the number of occupied lots in each park as of January 1st. Since Mr. Morgan pays the fees in advance for all of his parks he has received a discount of $1.00 per month for each lot. Based on the current sanitation rate of $15.00 per month, Mr. Morgan’s rate would be $14.00 per month, per occupied lot. Councilman Strozier made a motion to set the sanitation fee for Mr. Morgan’s mobile home parks at $14.00 per month, per occupied lot, provided he pays the fees in advance. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton stated that Attorney Dickey had requested an executive session to discuss some legal and personnel issues. The Mayor explained that the council would adjourn to the conference room for this discussion and once it was completed they would return and resume the meeting. Councilman Ray made a motion to adjourn into executive session. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. A copy of the signed affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Act is attached to the original minutes.
After completion of the executive session, Councilman Ray made a motion to return to the general session. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton presented the minutes of the December 1, 2005 meeting for council’s approval. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that the City Hall will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2006 in observance of the Martin Luther King Holiday.
Mayor Tipton stated that this concluded the items that were presented prior to the Friday, December 30, 2005 agenda deadline.
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, Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Mayor Tipton and all councilmembers were present at the meeting.