Council Minutes September 6, 2011

CITY OF POOLER
COUNCIL MINUTES
September 6, 2011 


The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on September 6, 2011. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:00 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 and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present. 

The invocation was given by Councilman Allen and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Burke. 

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilman Allen, seconded by Councilman Royal, with no opposition. 

Report from the Standing Committees: 

FINANCE

Councilman Burke presented bills for payment for the month in excess of $1500.00, and made a motion to pay these bills, subject to funds. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilman Royal reported that the police department responded to 1670 calls during the period of August 12ththrough September 1st, totaling 18,993 calls for the year and that the fire department responded to 187 calls in August, totaling 1595 for the year. 

STREET/DRAINAGE

Councilwoman Benton reported that the street and drainage departments performed routine maintenance. 

WATER/SEWER

Councilman Wall reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance and that all parameters are being met at the wastewater treatment plant.

RECREATION

Councilwoman Black reported that mens’ basketball games are ongoing, that there are nine (9) football teams this season who will be playing in a rama in Effingham County on September 10th. Further, that there are 19 teams for soccer, noting that this is the most teams for football and soccer in the history of the program.

BUILDING/ZONING

Councilman Allen reported that 10 new single family residential permits were issued since the last meeting, totaling 97 residential permits for the year, with 1800 inspections performed. 

Councilman Allen made a motion to add Item #2 under Old Business to the agenda. Motion was seconded by Councilman Burke and passed without opposition. 

Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Requested zoning map amendment of approximately 17 acres on Park Avenue from C-2 to R-3C

Councilwoman Benton stepped down from her seat. Terry Coleman of Kern Coleman & Company presented a request from South Godley Enterprises, LLC to re-zone approximately 17 acres on Park Avenue from C-2 (heavy commercial) to R-3C (multi-family) which was tabled at the last meeting. Mr. Coleman stated that the development consists of 238 multi-family units proposed on Park Avenue across from the Courtney Station Apartment complex. Further, that the developer has agreed to extend Benton Boulevard, with construction of the road to begin within 15 months of the final certificate of occupancy for the apartment complex being issued. Don Linder, commercial real estate appraiser, addressed Council in regards to a survey performed August 27thof this year to determine the occupancy rate of the apartment complexes in the immediate area, wherein they were found to be operating at 99.2% occupancy. Fred Hazel of Davis Development, stated that his company is interested in purchasing, developing and managing the proposed complex, adding that it will consist of upscale apartments similar to condominiums, with a typical amenity package included. Councilman Wall questioned the range of rental costs compared to others. Mr. Hazel replied that the rent is on the high end, due to the units having garages. In regards to the letter submitted by the property owner for the proposed extension of Benton Boulevard, Mr. Scheer stated that it is not sufficient, that a more specific, legally binding letter was needed. Kumar Viswanathan, owner of The Preserve Apartments adjacent to the proposed complex, expressed concern about the overall balance of zoning, adding that there is a loss of consistency by continuously re-zoning the same property and that the addition of 238 units will create a traffic hazard. Further, that there are several other properties that are already zoned multi-family. Councilman Wall stated that traffic will be alleviated by the extension of Benton Boulevard, since there will then be another entrance/exit to the complex and that with the percentage of occupancy in The Preserve (94%), there is need for additional apartments. Dan Molidor, representing Colonial Properties Trust, expressed concern that additional apartments will mean less occupancy for his complexes. Jack Wardlaw, owner, addressed Council in regards to the property not meeting the criteria for a Planned Unit Development, thus creating the need for re-zoning requests when the market changes. Mr. Wardlaw requested that the owner’s legal counsel work with the city attorney on the issue of extending Benton Boulevard. Jerry Wardlaw stated that there is a significant need for skilled laborers in the area, referring to a recent article published inThe Savannah Morning News, which this project will require. Mr. Scheer reiterated the need for the conditions of the re-zoning to be submitted in writing, to be legally binding with regards to a specific starting and ending date of construction of the extension of Benton Boulevard. Jackie Carver, Zoning Administrator, stated that if the zoning map amendment is approved with conditions, the conditions need to be explicitly written into the minutes. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the zoning map amendment, with the condition that a legally sufficient document be submitted to establish that there will be a road, the type of road with a start and finish date. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition. Councilwoman Benton returned to her seat.

2. Cancellation of Local Government Lighting Project Agreement with the Department of Transportation for high mast lighting at I-16 & I-95

Mr. Byrd presented a request from the Department of Transportation to cancel and declare void the original executed Lighting Agreement dated July 24, 2008, due to Chatham County expressing a desire to take the lead on partnering with DOT on this project. Therefore, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to cancel the Agreement and declare it void. Motion passed without opposition.

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:

1. Requested zoning map amendment of 19.33 acres of Tract 2 of the Roberts Tract from C-2 (heavy commercial) to I-1 (light industrial)

A public hearing was held prior wherein no opposition was presented. Certus Bank has submitted a request to re-zone approximately 19.33 acres of Tract 2 of the Roberts Tract from C-2 (heavy commercial) to I-1 (light industrial).  The purpose of the request is to make the eastern portion of the tract be more compatible with the surrounding uses, with a potential sale to the Tippman Group for the development of a 150,000 sq. ft. cold food storage warehouse facility. Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the zoning map amendment, with the condition that the only use permitted will be cold food storage warehousing. Motion was seconded by Councilman Burke and passed with Councilman Allen opposing.

2. Approval of minor subdivision/recombination plat of Lots 26, 27 and 29A, Pooler Park of Commerce

Mr. Byrd presented a minor subdivision/recombination plat of Lots 26, 27 and 29A in the Pooler Park of Commerce, stating that the purpose is for drainage and a conservation easement as well as a storage yard on Lot 29A. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve the minor subdivision/recombination plat. Motion passed without opposition.

3. Approval of recombination plat of Harmony Townes, Building 19, Lots 1191 - 1196

Mr. Byrd presented a recombination plat of Harmony Townes, Building 19, Lots 1191 - 1196 to adjust the property lines to match the new product, with no change in the number of units. Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the recombination plat. Motion was seconded by Councilman Burke and passed without opposition.

4. Approval of recombination plat of Harmony Townes, Building 38, Lots 2381 - 2385

Mr. Byrd presented a recombination plat of Harmony Townes, Building 38, Lots 2381 - 2385 to adjust the property lines to match the new product, with no change in the number of units. Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the recombination plat. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition.

5. Award bid for Pooler Parkway water main extension (Memorial Boulevard to Blue Moon Crossing)

Mr. Byrd presented bids for the Pooler Parkway water main extension from Memorial Boulevard to Blue Moon Crossing, which will create two (2) water sources south of I-16, making a “loop” of the water system. Councilman Wall made a motion to award the bid to the low bidder, McLendon Enterprises, Inc., in the amount of $399,683.50. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.

6. Resolution regarding the execution of an installment sale agreement and other documents relating to the purchase, construction and improvement of certain real estate and facilities

A public hearing was held prior to discuss the tax-exempt financing transaction with Georgia Municipal Association for the acquisition and construction of two (2) new fire stations. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Burke, to adopt the resolution. Motion passed without opposition. Councilman Wall stated that the addition of fire stations will lower the City’s ISO rating, thus making homeowners’ insurance premiums less.

7. First Reading on amendment to Taxation ordinance regarding license fees for insurance companies

Mr. Byrd presented an amendment to the taxation ordinance regarding license fees for insurance companies, stating that due to the increase in the City’s population, the annual license fee may now be increased from $50.00 to $75.00. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve the amendment on First Reading. Motion passed without opposition.

Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:05 p.m. to discuss legal and personnel matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Burke and passed without opposition.

Mayor Lamb called the meeting back to order at 7:17 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Allen made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:17 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.

                                                               Public Hearing

A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on September 6, 2011. Mayor Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:30 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 and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.

The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a tax-exempt financing transaction with Georgia Municipal Association for the acquisition and construction of two (2) new fire stations. Attorney Jonathan Pannell presented the resolution, stating that this project is being funded through Georgia Municipal Association’s “Bricks and Mortar” program. Further, that all the necessary documents are addressed in the resolution.

There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:35 p.m.

                                                               Public Hearing 

A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on September 6, 2011. Mayor 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 and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.         

The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a requested zoning map amendment of 19.33 acres of Tract 2 of the Roberts Tract from C-2 (heavy commercial) to I-1 (light industrial). Terry Coleman of Kern Coleman & Company was present on behalf of the owner, Certus Bank, stating that their intent is to sell the property to the Tippman Group for the development of a proposed 150,000 sq. ft. cold storage warehouse facility. Further, that several years back the adjacent property was re-zoned to I-1 and that the current re-zoning request for the 19.33 acres is to be more compatible with the surrounding uses.Gary Kumrska of The Tippman Group addressed Council, adding that this is a great location for this type of facility and that his company is a family-owned operation. Councilwoman Benton questioned whether the re-zoning could be conditional upon only permitting cold storage facilities. Mr. Coleman and Mr. Kumrska were in agreement with this condition. Councilman Wall asked if the 30+ proposed employees would be hired locally, wherein Mr. Kumrska replied that two (2) would probably be transferred within the company, with the remainder to be hired locally.

There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:58 p.m.

City of Pooler, GA | 100 US HW 80, Pooler, GA 31322
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