Council Minutes August 17, 2009

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
August 17, 2009


The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on August 17, 2009. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. 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 Seay.

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:
FINANCE
Councilman Seay presented the accounts payable information for July.

PUBLIC SAFETY
Councilman Allen stated that the police department responded to 950 calls during the period of August 1st through the 13th and that the fire department responded to 88 calls this month. Councilman Allen expressed appreciation to members of the police and fire department who helped in making the “National Night Out” event such a success.

STREET/DRAINAGE/ PARKS & TREES
Councilman Cowart reported that the street, drainage and parks and trees departments have performed routine maintenance. Further, that the Department of Transportation will continue construction on the portion of Pooler Parkway that is still under contract and that DOT has advertised bids for the installation of the traffic light at Park Avenue & Pooler Parkway (adjacent to Cancun Restaurant).

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
Councilman Royal reported that football, cheerleading and soccer practice has begun, with the 1st Annual Jamboree being held in September.


BUILDING/ZONING
Councilwoman Benton reported that seven (7) new single family residential permits and one (1) commercial permit has been issued since the last meeting, totaling 97 single family residential and 16 commercial permits for the year, with 2775 inspections performed year to date.

Mayor Lamb presented a 20-year service pin to City Clerk Maribeth Lindler, thanking her for her continued service.

Mayor Lamb presented a 10-year service pin to Gwen Duquette, Crossing Guard, also thanking her for her service.

Chris Lightle of Karp, Ronning & Tindol, CPAs presented the 2008 audit, stating that the City has once again been awarded the Certificate of Financial Achievement in Financial Reporting.

Lynn Pitts, Savannah Economic Development Authority, addressed Council in regards to a manufacturer who may locate on the mega site. Mr. Pitts informed the Council that the manufacturer will be applying for a “foreign trade zone” and is requesting the City and Chatham County to submit a letter stating that they will not impose inventory tax on the business. Mayor Lamb stated that this request would be considered at a later meeting.

Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:

1. Requested zoning map amendment of 304 Carver Street from R-1A to R-2C

Mr. Byrd presented this request which was tabled at the June 15th meeting to allow the owner, Wally Walker, to present a recombination of the lots to show that adequate setbacks are provided for Lot 12, while ensuring that by recombining Lots10, 11 & 12, a rear setback of 20' will remain at the duplex that fronts on N. Skinner Avenue. Mr. Byrd stated that Planning & Zoning has recommended approval, contingent upon four (4) parking pads along with a double driveway being constructed. Councilman Allen expressed concern over this area being turned into an “apartment” type and if this request is approved, more similar requests will follow, with the potential for the area to turn into blight in the future. Further, that Carver Street is a substandard road, with the pavement being only 18' wide. Councilman Wall also presented the same concerns, adding that there is potential for more traffic with a duplex being allowed than if a new single-family home was built, reminding Council that there are two (2) existing and one (1) proposed duplex in that part of the City. Councilman Seay stated that while there are concerns about allowing more duplexes, property owners’ rights to develop their property to its most beneficial use should be considered. Mr. Walker addressed Council, stating that while he understands Council’s concerns about blight, currently seven (7) of the 13 houses in the area are vacant. Jackie Carver, Zoning Administrator, pointed out the intention of the R-2C zoning is not intended to be a high density area. Councilman Wall made a motion to deny the requested zoning map amendment, based on the request not meeting #3 and #7 of the criteria. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and was defeated with Councilman Cowart, Councilwoman Benton, Councilman Royal and Councilman Seay opposing. Discussion followed wherein Councilman Wall stated that he has supported growth in the past and further, that he is not against change but would like the old, established neighborhood to remain as is. Councilman Cowart then made a motion to approve the zoning map amendment based on Planning & Zoning’s recommendation and contingent upon a minimum of four (4) parking pads along with a double driveway being constructed. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed with Councilman Allen and Councilman Wall opposing.

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:

1. Requested variance on Lot 6, Dean Forest Business Park, to allow trailers with more than two (2) axles to park within the 60' front building setback
A public hearing was held prior wherein no opposition was presented. Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the variance, based on it meeting #1 and #3 of the criteria. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.

2. Approval of site plan for a proposed 196' concealed telecommunications facility on Quacco Road
Mr. Byrd presented the site plan for a proposed 196' concealed telecommunications facility on Quacco Road for Verizon Wireless. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilman Wall, to approve the site plan, contingent upon the conditions listed in the CityScape Consulting report being met, the owner being willing to allow the tower to be utilized by the City’s public safety department at no charge and “sticky holly” bushes being planted. Motion passed without opposition.

3. Approval of recombination plat of Lots 10, 11 and 12 on Carver Street
Mr. Byrd presented a recombination plat of Lots 10, 11 and 12 on Carver Street to allow the owner, Wally Walker, to increase the square footage of Lot 12-A to 13,295 square feet and Lot 10-A to 12,500 square feet. Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve the recombination. Motion passed with Councilman Allen opposing.

4. Approval of site plan for O’Reilly Auto Parts
Mr. Byrd presented the site plan for a new O’Reilly Auto Parts store to be located at 1020 W. Highway 80. After discussion, Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the site plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.

5. Approval of Mutual Benefit and Use Agreement in regards to disaster recovery services
Mr. Byrd presented an agreement which will “piggy-back” the agreement between AshBritt Environmental and Chatham County, to provide for removal of storm debris in the event of a disaster. Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve the agreement. Motion passed without opposition.

6. Approval of budget adjustment for 2009 in the General Fund
Mr. Byrd presented a budget adjustment for 2009 (copy attached to and made a part of these minutes). Councilman Seay made a motion to approve the budget adjustment. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

7. First Reading on ordinance to prohibit tethering of dogs and cats
Mr. Byrd presented a proposed ordinance to prohibit tethering of dogs and cats in the City, stating that it models Chatham County’s ordinance. Councilman Wall presented concern that by adopting the ordinance, it would force residents to install fences to retain their dog to not be in violation. Councilman Wall questioned whether a person would be in violation of the ordinance if they happened to be outside with their dog and tied or chained it for a brief moment while doing yard work, etc. Mr. Byrd replied that each occurrence would be at the police officer’s discretion whether or not the person was in violation. Mr. Scheer stated that more restrictive State laws have been adopted in regards to animal cruelty. Sheila Broussard, resident, presented photos to Council depicting both dogs that have been abused by tethering as well as children that have been attacked by dogs because of them being tethered, stating that this prohibition will help to ensure that this does not happen in the City. After discussion, Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the ordinance to prohibit tethering of dogs and cats on First Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.

8. First Reading on amendment to Buildings and Building Regulations ordinance regarding construction codes and enforcement/penalties
Mr. Byrd presented an amendment to the buildings and building regulations ordinance, stating that the codes needed updating and a provision for enforcement and penalties were necessary. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve the amendment on First Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Allen made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:45 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.

Respectfully submitted,


Public Hearing

A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on August 17, 2009. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Robbie Byrd and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.

The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a requested variance on Lot 6, Dean Forest Business Park, to allow trailers with more than two (2) axles to park within the 60' front building setback. Terry Coleman of Kern-Coleman & Company presented the request for Northpoint Realty, stating that a cul-de-sac has been installed for emergency vehicle purposes as a turn-around which has reduced a portion of the required parking area, therefore the variance is needed.

There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:48 p.m.

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