Official Minutes of Council Meeting - March 15, 2012

Approved by Council April 5, 2012

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Tipton with Councilman Baxter giving the invocation. Councilmembers Baxter, Crosby, Griffin, Kerby, Myrick, City Administrator Akridge, City Attorney Dickey and Asst. City Clerk Diane Proudfoot were present. Councilman Rawlings was out sick.

 

Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the draft copy of the minutes of the March 1, 2012 council meeting. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Baxter requested that the clerk and City Administrator verify their notes pertaining to the Public Hearing of the Wildcat Dam Road property that is on the agenda and instructed them to include it in the minutes if it was inadvertently omitted. NOTE: The motion and approval to initiate the rezoning of the Wildcat Dam Road property was passed at the February 16, 2012 council meeting. Councilman Crosby made a motion to approve the agenda for the March 15, 2012 meeting. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Administrative & Committee reports

 

City Administrator Akridge gave the following report:

  1. The Budget & Finance Committee met this week to discuss the interest accrued on the 03-08 SPLOST money in the amount of $212,000 and obtained the consensus of the City Attorney and Chatham County Asst. City Manager Pat Monahan that these monies may be applied to the repayment of the 03-08 SLOST for the Fire Station project. After this interest payment is applied to the repayment of the Fire Station project there would be a balance of approximately $59,000 then the SPLOST monies received can be used for other projects such as lighting, etc.

Councilwoman Griffin reported on the following:

  1. The lights on the new ball field at Taylor Park are installed and the power should be connected

next week.

  1. There are thirteen teams signed up for softball, baseball and t-ball.
  2. Congratulations to the Midget Boys 12 & under basketball ball team for winning the Augusta tournament.

 

Councilman Kerby reported on the following:

1. The saw cut areas of the Phase II Drainage project will be paved next week.

 

Councilman Crosby reported on the following:

  1. The Special Events Committee, the History Society and the City of Bloomingdale will sponsor a city wide Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 11:00am to 1:00pm for children 12 & under.

 

PUBLIC HEARING:

 

Mayor Tipton opened the public hearing to receive citizen input on a proposed rezoning of 11.3 acres of property owned by the City located on Wildcat Dam Road from RA1 to R-3 Multifamily. Mayor Tipton stated the developer of a proposed development on the subject property would make a presentation to council and citizens. Sean Brady, Vice President of Development for ReaVentures Group, LLC stated that the company specializes in the development of affordable tax credit housing for the elderly and work-force housing. Mr. Brady provided the following points:

 

  • The Company is interested in developing tax credit housing in our community for seniors 55 & older
  • The beginning step in the process is to seek the rezoning of a proposed site to Multifamily
  • The Company is the developer and the owner of the project
  • Project will offer a wealth of amenities to support the residents
  • Is a high quality development with construction conforming to Earth Craft standards
  • Will be single story, cottage style homes with 6-8 units per building
  • Will increase growth in the tax base and population base
  • Will develop infrastructure along the highway to the project
  • Construction cost would range from $5 million to $5.5 million dollars
  • Construction dollars will go to local contractors and suppliers
  • Approximately 150 to 170 construction jobs will be created
  • Creation of other jobs in the community including full-time staff management and maintenance staff for the development

Mr. Brady was asked to give an overview of the workforce housing:

Mr. Brady reported that the company competes to bring federal funds to communities around the state to meet housing priorities which allows them to build developments that are equal to or in some cases better than what is found in the community and with the resources they can bring they can raise the equity by selling the tax credits which will allow offering lower more affordable rents. The developers and owners make commitments to keep the rent below market for approximately thirty years and commit to continue the ownership for thirty years. A professional property management company helps to maintain the property to assure compliance. Workforce housing is focused on housing for working families to afford a nice place to live. The workforce program has over the years changed and added the seniors 55 & older program but both are under the umbrella of the housing tax credit program. The program has been very successful and this company has built approximately 3400 units all over the southeast.

Comments from council and citizens:

Mayor Tipton addressed 1) the type development for Bloomingdale, 2) when a site plan would be available, 3) how many units and 4) the proposed community characteristics in the brochure indicated individuals & families.

Mr. Brady responded 1) the development would be the single story, cottage style housing with 6-8 units per building, 2) the entire concept will have to be together within the next few months to be competitive, 3) the market at this time will support 60 units with the possibility of more units over time depending on the economy, 4) the brochure is a generic form but the development proposed for this area would be for 55 & older.

Councilman Kerby addressed the income qualifications.

Mr. Brady responded that this is based on 60% of area median income which fluctuates with the economy and calculates out to be 30% of your income including utilities.

Councilman Myrick questioned if the projected incomes are based on current statistics and according to the projections for a one bedroom unit a person would have to have an income of $29,000.

Mr. Brady responded informing that the projections are based on current statistics and that is the rate for a one bedroom.

Councilman Crosby pointed out the project being proposed for Bloomingdale is not a workforce project but a 55 & older development.

Mr. Brady confirmed the development is for 55 & older.

Councilman Kerby addressed whether there could be adult children living with the resident.

Mr. Brady responded that technically they could but they have found that when young people are with them they only stay a short time and it is generally a very rare occasion.

Mayor Tipton addressed 1) the square footage of the one bedroom unit and 2) whether there are washer & dryer units in them or is there an on-site unit available.

Mr. Brady responded 1) without the finalized plans he would give him a rough estimate of the square footage being between 700-800 square feet and 2) the units are built with connections in them and there is a laundry facility for every 25 units to accommodate people that do not own washers or dryers.

Martin Collins questioned 1) on a unit that an individual pays $380 for how much will the company receive per unit and 2) how will it be maintained as an elderly environment.

Mr. Brady responded 1) the company receives the one-time funding at the beginning of the development then they receive tax credits that are sold to lenders and partners but the rest come from loans and the rent 2) the development will be established for at least thirty years and is audited every one or two years to assure compliance with the program.

Councilman Kerby asked Mr. Brady to address if this is low income housing.

Mr. Brady responded that the development is housing for older person at below market housing rent, it is age restricted, and there is an income qualification process that has to be completed before residents are approved.

George Seabrook, a citizen of Pooler, questioned the impact on Wildcat Dam Road and traffic concerns.

Mr. Brady responded that the development is a two step process beginning with a market study to see if there is a need in the community and the second step would take place after the state has made the decision to fund the project and it would involve all the design procedures, site plan, traffic studies and all other development procedures.

Councilman Myrick reminded everyone that the only thing council is considering tonight is rezoning the property not approving the project and that all the development procedures will be followed through planning commission and city council with public hearings and site plan approval.

Pooler Citizen George Seabrook questioned why Mr. Brady was here.

Councilman Myrick pointed out that the company had approached the city to purchase the property and to proceed with the rezoning of the property to allow them to begin the process required by the state and that the developer will have to go through the same process as any other developer.

City Attorney Dickey stated that the city is not required by Georgia Law to go through the rezoning procedures on city owned property however, to better inform citizens the council chose to go through this hearing process.

Yvette Taylor, a citizen of Pooler, addressed the point of a senior development would be for seniors to live there without children running around but the plan shows a play ground area.

Tori Brazell questioned if there was statistics of the rare occasion that children move in.

Mr. Brady advised he did not have them with him.

James Hagan stated that his parents are around the age of 55 and his brother still lives at home and his concern is crime.

Brad Lariscy stated that if the property is rezoned would it be put up for sale later.

Martin Collins pointed out the Food Lion project had a site plan during the rezoning process of that tract and questioned if city would be obligated to the project if it is rezoned tonight.

Councilman Myrick pointed out that the rezoning tonight is for property that is owned by the city and the Food Lion project was privately owned.

Bobby Thompson questioned if there was been an environmental study of the property.

Mr. Brady reported that is part of the first phase of the development process and is part of the information that is required to turn in to the state.

Stan Watson questioned if there is a way citizens could speak with the state regarding a development.

Mr. Brady stated that generally feedback is filtered through the elected officials.

Pooler citizen George Seabrook questioned if this project goes forward would this bring added value for the city and what would happen 25 or 30 years from now.

Councilman Crosby pointed out the city purchased the property for $36,000 and the offer to purchase it was $825,000 and after water and sewer connections will generate roughly a million dollars into the city, the city would be gaining $1.3 million dollars of free infrastructure, the churches and citizens in that area will have fire hydrants which will lower insurance rates, roof tops and people count will increase which will raise the SLOST and LOST revenues and allow the city to continue functioning as a tax free city.

Councilman Myrick stated that he has known seniors that have lived in places similar to this and he is willing to support a project that will benefit our seniors and provide them with a nice, safe living environment but should the site plan not be the type project that has been presented then he will not support it.

Billy Strozier expressed concern of considering the rezoning the property and gave information on a couple of people that approached the city about developing a condominium complex for older people to live in and how council went along with it and rezoned the property but the next week the property was sold and the result is the apartment complex that is there now.

Brad Lariscy questioned if the Mayor felt the whole community should be involved and pointed out that only six people received letters and felt that there would be more in attendance if they had gotten letters.

Mayor Tipton stated that he felt the public should be heard.

James Hagan questioned what the money will be used for and what will happen later down the road.

Stan Watson stated his neighbor lives at the south end of Ray and received a letter but he lives on the north end of Ray and did not receive a letter but felt there are other neighbors that would have attended if they had known.

There being no other discussion Mayor Tipton closed the public hearing.

Mayor Tipton opened the public hearing to receive citizen input on a variance request from Dexter Shearouse to place two dwellings on a 7.9 acre lot located at 22 Pop Shearouse Road. There being no citizen input Mayor Tipton closed the public hearing

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

1.      Consider the rezoning of 11.3 acres of City owned property located on Wildcat Dam Road from RA1 to R-3 (Multifamily). Prior to calling for a vote Mayor Tipton stated he did not understand the necessity of rezoning the property tonight before reviewing a site plan and pointed out there are a lot of questions that possibility could have been answered with a site plan, there will be additional expenses to the city and we need to be sure we can accommodate this development and proceed with everything in order and have all aspects addressed such as access, a traffic study, how many people will be added, will there be fire & police protection, infrastructure, what are the recreation needs and where will the resources come from and also stated that the project is well thought out but the questions need to be answered when adding this many citizens to the city. Councilman Crosby made a motion to rezone the 11.3 acre property located on Wildcat Dam Road from RA1 to R-3 Multifamily. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

2.      Consider a Variance Request submitted by Mr. Dexter Shearouse to place two dwellings on one 7.9 acre lot located at 22 Pop Shearouse Road. Councilman Crosby made a motion to approve the variance request to place two dwellings on a 7.9 acre tract at 22 Pop Shearouse Road pending approval of the septic tank by the Health Department. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

3.      Consider adoption of proposed Pay Scale Classification Plan. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the adoption of the proposed pay scale classification plan. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

4.      Consider pay request from Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung in the amount of $4,985 for Phase II Drainage Construction Phase Services. Councilman Kerby made a motion to pay Hussey, Gay Bell and DeYoung in the amount of $4,985 for Phase II drainage services. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

5.      Consider pay request from Kern-Coleman Company in the amount of $6,250 for Rails to Trails Transportation Enhancement (TE) project for surveying services. Councilman Crosby made a motion to approve the pay request from Kern-Coleman in the amount of $6,250 for surveying services for the Rails to Trails project. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

6.      Consider a well permit application submitted by Ms. Dawn Johnessee for property located at 201 W. Cregor Street. Councilman Baxter made a motion to approve a well permit to Dawn Johnessee for property located at 201 W. Cregor Street which is located outside the 200 water/sewer ordinance requirement. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Mayor Tipton reported that this concluded the items presented for consideration for inclusion on the council agenda prior to the deadline of Wednesday, March 7, 2012.

 

The accounts payables were presented with Councilman Myrick making a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Prior to adjourning there were citizen concerns regarding the upkeep of the Pavilion and also filling holes on Adams Road. Council assured these citizens that these matters will be addressed.

Councilman Kerby wished to address his feelings on the issue of the rezoning and assured he will consider every aspect of the project and he will be looking to do what is good for the city.

 

There being no further business, Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to adjourn at 8:15pm. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Diane Proudfoot, Asst. City Clerk

 

Note: Section 50-14-1 of the Official Code of the State of Georgia Annotated requires that the minutes shall, as a minimum, include a description of each motion or other proposal made, and a record of all votes. These minutes meet the minimum requirements. However, in an attempt to provide as much information as possible to the citizens, the recording clerk has included additional background data and discussion on the subjects presented to council. The statements of individuals are not verbatim and may be summary in nature.