Official Minutes of the August 17, 2017 Council Meeting
Approved by City Council at the September 21, 2017 Council Meeting
The Council meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with the Invocation being given by Rev. Leonard Daugherty of Westside Christian Church. Councilmembers Griffin, Grizzard, Kerby, Key, Myrick, Otto, City Attorney Dickey, City Administrator Akridge and City Clerk Diane Proudfoot were present.
Councilman Grizzard made a motion to approve the draft copy of the minutes of the July 20, 2017 council meeting. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed without opposition. Councilman Otto made a motion to approve the agenda of the August 17, 2017 council meeting with the addition of Item #10 Building Inspector and rate adjustments. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
ADMINISTRATIVE AND COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Councilman Grizzard reminded everyone of the National Senior Citizen luncheon at noon on Monday August 21 at the Community Building and reminded everyone the meal will be provided by the City.
City Administrator Akridge reported there will be a US Military Veteran Biker Appreciation run Saturday and would be stopping at the Veterans Monument.
Zoning Map Amendment request submitted by Robert McCorkle III petitioning to rezone property located on the Southwest side of Bloomingdale Road adjacent to the Seaboard Coastline Railway from RA1 (Agricultural) to I-2 (Extensive Industry)
Mayor Rozier addressed the following three questions to the City Clerk; 1) Was the amendment request properly advertised; 2) Were the adjacent property owners notified of the zoning request; and 3) Was the property marked with a zoning notice. The Clerk affirmed that all three had taken place.
Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to open the public hearing. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed.
Mayor Rozier opened the floor for comments and began with the developer:
Robert McCorkle with McCorkle & Johnson representing KCH Partners which is owned by Michael Kleinpeter a lifelong Savannah resident. Mr. McCorkle stated his client is seeking to purchase 80± acres of property owned by the Waller and Becton families and is proposing to rezone the property for Industrial use as it is directly related to the extension of the Jimmy DeLoach Parkway and the expansion of the Ports and stated he felt this is the highest and best use of the property. Within the next three years the plan of expansion of the Jimmy DeLoach Parkway will extend from Hwy 80 to I-16 and will have limited access. The extension is expected to take on much of the 8,000 trucks per day traffic that go into the port. As a limited access highway, each point of entry is an opportunity for expansion of heavy commercial and industrial use. The proposed development would be close to one of the entry points and could create approximately 100 jobs and enhance revenue to the community. The proposed site entrance will be .7 miles to the entrance to the Jimmy DeLoach Parkway extension. This property was of interest to his client particularly because there is already an I-2 property owned by the Graingers and a commercial property owned by AeroTech. Mr. McCorkle stated he felt once the Parkway is completed this property would never be developed if it is not rezoned. Mr. McCorkle stated his client met with some neighbors and they took their concerns and the information from the Planning Commission meeting and made adjustments to the original plan to include a 15' tall - 70' wide berm with landscaping on top, moved the structures, added detention, downcast lighting, relocate the entrance more to the south, added a 475' left turn lane to allow the anticipated 100 trucks per day, in a 10hour day, to get off the road. They intend to do everything possible to prevent any traffic from turning left onto Bloomingdale Road. It is his understanding that once Jimmy DeLoach is complete Bloomingdale Road would then become a City street which the City Officials could place weight restrictions on it at that time. Mr. McCorkle stated there was concern that manufacturing would be taking place at the site and he informed there is no intention of having manufacturing. They intent to have a high-end warehousing with an extension berm, controlled, road improvements and create jobs. He requested that City Council consider the recommendation from Planning
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Commission to consider I-1 instead of I-2 and he stated his client is willing to reduce to I-1 since it would still
allow them to pursue the warehouse use. He continued by showing a slide of the type warehouse building they would be constructing. He stated his client and team could complete this development with minimum effect on the neighbors while allowing what he felt is the highest and best use of the property to service the port. He also stated he felt this is a logical change of zoning with the Jimmy DeLoach extension and they have no intention of intruding on the neighborhood or causing traffic north of the train tracks.
Mayor Rozier commented that the Grainger property has been I-2 but has no Industrial use taking place, he was also concerned and questioned since it would be that close to the Parkway was there any hope for an access. He was also concerned that once Cherry Street became a city street that 80,000lb trucks would be traveling to the Parkway. Mr. McCorkle stated there is no possibility of getting further access to the parkway from the State or DOT.
Councilman Otto questioned if the product coming to the warehouse import or export and was addressed by Kevin Jaynes of Bareline Realty of the Low Country who stated the majority would be import, the containers would unload at the warehouse and then it would be distributed. The drivers are paid by trip and the quicker they are the more they make. He stated the Brampton Road gate will have a direct access to 516 and the natural course would be to go to the interstate.
Mayor Rozier questioned if Walmart is a potential customer and if they have a potential customer and was informed that Walmart is a side customer and Hasbro Toys may come in but the potential are the ones they deal with now.
Willene Stone - 804 Bloomingdale Road – concerns are traffic from the train track to the parkway, 8,000 trucks / 10 trucks per hour on Bloomingdale Road would be bad, Mr. McCorkle did not mention there is a residence and the lodge next to the proposed property, the jobs to be created would not necessarily be residence of Bloomingdale.
David Otakie – 20 Perry Road stated he is not in favor of this or any warehouse coming to Bloomingdale, he doesn’t feel it is our responsibility to support the infrastructure of the port. He brought up the warehouse across from the Hunt Club who put in a large berm and downcast lighting but when he goes to work at 4:30am the lights are blinding, the noise is excessive, fumes, jobs are low paying he feels the warehousing is not needed, he was offended that Mr. McCorkle would tell the city that nothing but warehousing would go next to Jimmy DeLoach when there are many residential developments along Jimmy DeLoach now and he thought this development is a bad idea.
Dennis Baxter – 501 Cherry Street about 200’ from the proposed property. He stated his concern over the zoning change going from RA-1 zone, which is the most subdued zoning and jumping to Industrial whether it be I-1 or I-2 which is the highest zoning. He stated that based on zoning laws rights-of-ways are not buffers and on the north of the railroad tracks is all residential. The Industrial property Mr. McCorkle mentioned has been Industrial for many years. Mr. Baxter stated that a prime example of happens over the years is the commercial business that is currently south of the property started out with one building and now his business has prospered but his business does not generate a lot of traffic but because it was done years ago doesn’t give rights to be done now. Mr. Baxter referred back to several years ago when part of the property being considered tonight was brought to the city to be rezoned to residential and some of the same people wanting to rezone to Industrial tonight at that time did not want the property rezoned to residential. He stated that he did not want this property rezoned to Industrial. According to DOT in 2016 the traffic count from Pine Barren Road to Highway 80 is an annual daily average of 20,200 vehicles. There is already going to be more traffic once the future apartment complex off Highway 80 is complete which is estimated to be approximately 300 vehicles that will be using Cherry Street to go to I-16. Truck drivers will travel the shortest route to get to their designation. When Cherry Street becomes a city street DOT will no longer repair damages. He is concerned as to how and where will the water be extended from to provide fire protection and it would be devastation to the neighborhood to run it from the main down Cherry Street. There is no guarantee of who will operate from the property once it is rezoned to Industrial it could be a 24 hour 7 days a week operation. There was a proposed rail track on the original plan and once rezoned this would be an option some of the proposed companies may wish to install. Mr. Baxter also pointed out that the full northern adjoining property is single family residential and even though there is not housing there at this time the potential is there for residential development. He further stated that should this property be rezoned it would destroy the value of the residential. This property has been and was intended to be single family agricultural and he would plead for it to remain as so.
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Lorraine Phillips - owner of the adjoining single-family property and she is totally against the rezoning. She stated she questioned Mr. McCorkle at the Planning Commission meeting if he would want this development next to his home and he could not answer. Traffic would be horrendous and she wishes they would not approve this request.
Tony Boyd - Mrs. Phillips son-in-law she asked him to speak as his occupation is managing warehouses. He stated their warehouse operates 16 hours a day but the other 8 hours are spent getting ready for the day shift so it ends up as a 24-hour operation. His concern was Cherry Street and stated Port Wentworth tried to restrict trucks from traveling Crossgate Road but as stated truck drivers will take the shortest route. Another issue is the driver’s schedule - they can only run so many hours a day and they have to stop they will come in and park to be first to load, they sleep while the truck is running so they can get loaded first. They have a problem with trucks showing up at 4:00am for an 8:00am appointment so they are parking wherever to can. The Ports have Police at their gates because the gates don’t open until 7:00am but the trucks get there early. The truck traffic and noise will be issues.
Mayor Rozier stated he failed to hold to the 3-minute limit but would need to uphold the time limit.
Gene Harley - 25 Perry Road stated he appreciated what they are trying to do but they do not live in the community so they don’t care, he is concerned how they are disguising what is going to be an eyesore. He felt this would not support the community, the farm, the ball park, the upcoming church are things that support community but the heavy 18-wheeler traffic would not support the community and hopes Council would not approve the warehouse.
Councilman Kerby stated that less than half a mile on this same road we have traffic going to and from Bloomingdale Elementary School and a little farther is New Hampstead Middle School so we are already dealing with a lot of traffic on this road and he didn’t feel it would be safe to have more.
Mr. McCorkle addressed some of the issue:
Comments about jobs being low pay and he felt this is not a correct statement and this would be a good opportunity for new jobs;
Comment about residential being built off Jimmy DeLoach in other areas – he stated his firm has been involved in rezoning property in the other areas and he didn’t foresee much residential coming in the future;
Comment about residential along the railroad he stated there is only one house adjacent to the property and as stated a large berm will be installed;
Cherry Street traffic – he stated this would not add thousands of vehicles it may be add more trucks but the traffic changes will be coming from the Parkway extension;
24 hour operating concerns Mr. McCorkle stated that not all warehousing operates the same;
Comments regarding living next to project – he stated that anytime a rezoning is presented for an undeveloped property this is question is asked but he tries not to answer hypothetical's but there is a reality of change coming and they are trying to do it right and to address issues you put up berms, build wide walls, use downcast lighting, move buildings away from the residence, and he felt if done right it could be done economically beneficial to the surrounding property owners and the highest and best use of the property and ask for council to consider the rezoning.
With no other comments Councilman Myrick made a motion to close the public hearing. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed.
Councilwoman Griffin recused herself from this item since she is an adjoining property owner. Mayor Rozier recognized Reverend Smith who stated he has visions for other functions other than just church - his vision may include school, learning center, youth facility, elderly assistance, feeding the community, etc. After discussion it was stated that a lot of this are permitted in R-1 and are also an extension of the church functions. Based on the visions stated by Reverend Smith and the concern by council as to what he may want to do with the property, Councilman Myrick made a motion to deny the rezoning request and Councilman Kerby seconded the motion.
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Prior to the call for the vote Councilman Myrick removed his motion and Councilman Kerby removed his second. Reverend Smith requested to withdraw the request until they have a plan.
1. Consider a Zoning Map Amendment request submitted by Robert McCorkle III petitioning to rezone property located on the Southwest Side of Bloomingdale Road adjacent to the Seaboard Coastline Railway from RA1 (Agricultural) to I-2 (Extensive Industry). Mr. McCorkle stated his client would be in favor of reducing from I-2 to I-1. City Attorney Dickey stated I-2 is the most intense zoning and I-1 is less intense but the uses in I-2 are also allowed in I-1 and if council decides to consider I-1 he would ask the petitioner to submit a written amendment stating they are requesting to reduce to I-1. Mr. McCorkle's client submitted a written memo which Attorney Dickey read the statement "We amend our request to reduce from I-2 to I-1". Councilman Myrick made a motion to accept the petitioner's request to amend from I-2 to I-1 and to deny the rezoning request. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion. Mayor Rozier called for the vote of council with the following response: Councilman Kerby - yay; Councilman Myrick - yay; Councilwoman Key - yay; Councilman Otto - yay; Councilman Grizzard - yay; Councilwoman Griffin - yay. The motion passed.
2. Consider 2% Increase in salary for the City Attorney, Public Defender and Municipal Court Judge in the FY 2017/18 Budget retroactive to July 1, 2017. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the increase. Councilwoman Griffin seconded it and it passed.
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Mayor Rozier reported that this concluded the items presented for consideration for inclusion on the Council agenda prior to the deadline of Wednesday, August 9, 2017.
Councilman Myrick made a motion to pay the bills. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
There being no further business, Councilman Kerby made a motion to adjourn at 8:55pm. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed.
Diane Proudfoot, 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.