The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on February 7, 2011. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. (delayed due to the public hearing held prior). Present were Councilman Bruce Allen, Councilwoman Rebecca Benton, Councilwoman Shannon Black, Councilman David Burke, Councilman Mike Royal and Councilman Stevie Wall. City Manager Robbie Byrd was also present. Attorney Craig Call was present on behalf of City Attorney Steve Scheer, who was out of town.
The invocation was given by Councilman Allen and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilwoman Black.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilman Allen, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, with no opposition.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Burke presented accounts payable information for January, making a motion to pay bills in excess of $1500.00, subject to funds. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
Councilman Royal reported that the police department responded to 2034 calls during the period of January 14ththrough February 3rd and further, that the fire department responded to 204 calls in January.
Councilwoman Benton reported that the street and drainage departments performed routine maintenance.
Councilman Wall reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance and that all parameters have been met at the wastewater treatment plant.
Councilwoman Black reported that youth basketball games will conclude at the end of the week, with GRPA tournaments beginning February 11th.
Councilman Allen reported that three (3) new single family residential, one (1) attached unit and one (1) commercial permits were issued since the last meeting, with 280 inspections performed.
Mayor Lamb read aloud a proclamation in regards to February 18thbeing “Arbor Day” in Pooler.
Karen Robertson, Executive Director of the Pooler Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau, addressed Council in regards to activities within the Chamber.
There was no OLD BUSINESS to discuss.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Requested zoning map amendment of a 5.780 acre tract on the south side of Pine Barren Road from R-A to I-1
A public hearing was held prior wherein Michael Fell of Kern-Coleman & Company presented a request to re-zone a 5.780 acre tract on the south side of Pine Barren Road, adjacent to the Savannah Ogeechee Canal, from R-A (Residential-Agricultural) to I-1 (Light Industrial). Councilman Allen made a motion, based on the request meeting the criteria, to approve the zoning map amendment, contingent upon allowing all permitted uses within I-1, except “manufactured home sales” and “bars or nightclubs”. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
Councilman Allen made a motion to move Item #2 to the foot of the agenda. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
2. Requested conditional use to allow construction of a convenience store/service station at 830 W. Highway 80
A public hearing was held prior wherein several residents expressed concerns over the impact a convenience store/service station would have on the area. Councilman Royal made a motion to approve the conditional use at 830 W. Highway 80, to allow construction of a convenience store/service station, based on the request meeting the criteria and contingent upon the 1.15 acre residential portion of the rear of the lot being deed restricted, a berm with a privacy fence being constructed, a privacy fence being constructed behind Worthington Estates Subdivision and around the store (as shown on the plan), vegetation being planted behind the fence, downcast lighting being used and the hours of operation being from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Black and passed with Councilman Wall opposing. Councilman Wall thanked everyone for coming and commended the developer for addressing the concerns and changing the plans accordingly, noting that a smaller development would be more suitable as a public safety standpoint, thus being his reason for opposing the request.
3. Approval of recombination plat of Lots D-1 and D-3 located at 1415 Quacco Road
Mr. Byrd presented a recombination plat of Lots D-1 and D-3 at 1415 Quacco Road. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve the recombination plat. Motion passed without opposition.
4. Request from Pooler Elementary School PTA for 5K run to be held on April 2ndand to waive special event fee
Mr. Byrd presented a request from Pooler Elementary School PTA to hold a 5K/Family Fun Walk on April 2ndat the school and surrounding neighborhood. Councilman Royal made a motion to approve the event and to waive the fee. Motion was seconded by Councilman Burke and passed without opposition.
5. Request for Duathlon to be held on March 19that The Farm at Morgan Lakes and to waive special event fee
Mr. Byrd presented a request from Steve White, Savannah Team FCA E Huddle Leader/Race Director for a 5K run and duathlon to be held March 19that The Farm at Morgan Lakes, noting that information has been submitted by Robert Baker, owner of property adjacent to The Farm, presenting concerns that the race is held on his property without authorization. Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the event and to waive the fee, contingent upon Mr. Baker’s approval. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
6. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Rufino A. Rodriguez at Hildago’s Mexican Kitchen & Cantina
Mr. Byrd presented an application for alcoholic beverage sales for Rufina A. Rodriquez, new owner of Hildago’s Mexican Kitchen & Cantina, stating that Police Chief Mark Revenew has recommended approval.Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Royal, to approve the license, to include Sunday sales. Motion passed with Councilman Allen opposing.
7. Acceptance of Quit Claim Deed/approval of resolution from Chatham County to transfer Pooler Parkway, Phase 2 for maintenance to the City
Mr. Byrd presented a quit claim and resolution from Chatham County to transfer Phase 2 of Pooler Parkway to the City for maintenance, excluding the overpass at Highway 80. After discussion, Councilman Allen made a motion to accept the quit claim deed and resolution from Chatham County. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
8. Approval of engineering proposal for sanitary sewer evaluation (smoke testing), Phase I
Mr. Byrd presented an engineering proposal from Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc. for assistance with an evaluation of portions of the City’s sanitary sewer system to include smoke testing of the gravity system and manhole inspections. Holmes Bell of HGB&D presented a map of the areas to be tested, noting that police and fire department personnel will be on site during the testing to ensure the residents are made aware of the situation. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the proposal, not to exceed $60,990.00. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
9. Award bid for construction of a pond pump station at wastewater treatment plant
Mr. Byrd presented bids for the construction of a pond pump station at the wastewater treatment plant, stating that the low bidder made an error on the size of the pumps. Therefore, Councilman Allen made a motion to table this item.Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 8:00 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on
February 7, 2011. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilman Bruce Allen, Councilwoman Rebecca Benton, Councilwoman Shannon Black, Councilman David Burke, Councilman Mike Royal and Councilman Stevie Wall. City Manager Robbie Byrd was also present. Attorney Craig Call was present on behalf of City Attorney Steve Scheer, who was out of town.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss:
(1)A requested zoning map amendment of a 5.780 acre tract on the south side of Pine Barren Road from R-A to I-1- Michael Fell of Kern-Coleman and Company, Inc. presented a request to re-zone a 5.780 acre tract on the south side of Pine Barren Road from R-A (Residential-Agricultural) to I-1 (Light Industrial) to be consistent with the development taking place in the area.
(2)A requested conditional use to allow construction of a convenience store/service station at 830 W. Highway 80 -Mr. Byrd presented a requested conditional use to allow construction of a convenience store/service station at 830 W. Highway 80 in a C-1 (light commercial) zoning district. Holly Young, owner and resident of Worthington Estates, addressed Council, stating that the front portion of the lot is zoned C-1, with the rear portion being zoned residential. Ms. Young reminded Council that a similar request was submitted several years ago and denied and that major changes have been made to the plan, adding that the adjacent property to the east has since been re-zoned to commercial-professional and is currently vacant and for sale. Further, that she and her husband, Larry, have been contacted numerous times in regards to selling the property for commercial development, noting the other uses that would be permitted in C-1 zoning districts including a shopping center, food establishments, grocery stores which can be very unsightly (photos of the rear of various grocery stores were displayed) and residential development where access would be off of Cardinal Street near the entrance of Worthington Estates. Ms. Young stated that the best potential buyer for this property is Enmark, which is owned by the Demere Family, whose projects are developed to be a “friendly” part of the community. The plan submitted includes a large buffer adjacent to Worthington Estates, within a 1.15 acre portion on the rear which will be deed restricted and never be able to be developed, with an on-site detention pond on the 1.14 acre portion within the residentially zoned portion of the lot to the rear of the store. Ms. Young noted that there is 475' to the nearest property in Worthington. Ms. Young presented letters (attached to and made a part of these minutes) from several residents who had been approached by a resident whom she believes mislead the residents about the project and asked to sign a petition in opposition, noting that they now wanted to remove their names from the petition. Further presenting a letter (attached to and made a part of these minutes) from Johnnie Ganem, Chief Appraiser of Johnnie Ganem Appraisal Company, stating that the proposed development meets all criteria of the principle of the highest and best use and that the use and design does not “portend” any negative impact to the real estate values of the adjoining properties or neighborhood. Several residents, including Robert Folmar, Romanda Talley, Greg Long, John Steed, Jay Harrison and Jack Weber expressed their concerns regarding increased traffic, the proposed building being too large for the lot, the detention pond being on residentially zoned property, the car wash not being permitted in light commercial zoning, fuel trucks accessing the property at all times of the day and night, the potential for trash being thrown on the ground, being disturbed by bright lights from the store and the potential for property values to decrease if this project is allowed. Mr. Long asked if a berm could be placed behind the detention pond, further shielding the view from the neighborhood. Mr. Byrd replied that a berm was being considered, as well as a six foot (6') privacy fence on the lot and the rear of the subdivision, and further that a privacy fence could also be placed on top of the berm. Sandy Glick addressed Council, stating that the petition was circulated in good faith, questioning why a buffer was not proposed to be placed between her adjacent property on the east side. Joy Larrick, former resident and property owner on Moore Avenue, presented concern over the problems this type of development has caused in other areas of the City. Darrell Glick, resident, stated that he circulated the petition, asking the residents to attend the meeting to get any information they needed, adding that tractor/trailer traffic is dangerous on Highway 80. Doug Weathers, resident of Worthington, commended Council on the progress they have made to make Pooler the envy of Chatham County. Several residents were in favor of the request, including Stephen Dowd, Steve Rushing and Charles Grile, of Worthington Estates. Lester R. “Tommy” Shearouse, longtime resident, reminded Council that Pooler is growing rapidly.
There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 7:00 p.m.