The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on April 7, 2008. 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 Councilwoman Benton, seconded by Councilman Cowart, with no opposition.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Seay presented the accounts payable information for March.
Councilman Allen reported that the fire department responded to 48 calls since the last meeting. Further, that the police department responded to 2026 calls from March 14th through April 2nd.
STREET/DRAINAGE/PARKS & TREES
Councilman Cowart reported that the electronic recycling held recently was a success and the roadside grass cutting has begun.
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.
Councilman Royal reported that baseball and softball games begin on the 14th, with 19 baseball and eight (8) softball teams participating. Further, that there are
14 t-ball teams registered to begin playing soon.
Councilwoman Benton reported that 13 new single family residential, 19 attached unit and two (2) commercial permits have been issued since the last meeting, totaling 58 residential, 27 attached unit and 20 commercial permits for the year, with 2592 inspections performed.
Mayor Lamb presented a five (5) year service pin to Shelly Cromwell, Finance Officer, thanking her for her service.
Mayor Lamb presented the Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting for 2006 to Ms. Cromwell and members of the Finance Department, including Assistant Finance Officer Shannon Garrett, Purchasing Agent Connie Ellis, Payroll Clerk Lynn Wilson and Accounting Clerk Linda Lucas, expressing appreciation of the hard work the ladies have performed in receiving this award.
Police Chief C. E. Chan recognized Sergeant Karen Zantow in regards to her recent attendance at the National Forensics Academy. Sergeant Zantow thanked Council for allowing her to attend the Academy.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussesd:
1. Acceptance of gift deed from Wiregrass Holdings, LLC for property on Dean Forest Road
Mr. Byrd presented a gift deed from Wiregrass Holding’s, LLC for property on Dean Forest Road that has been donated to the City for a future well site, stating that the plat has been revised to remove the 100' buffer from Lot 2 of the Dean Forest Business Park. Councilman Allen made a motion to accept the gift deed. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Requested zoning map amendment of 6.3 acres east of I-95 across from the intersection of Pine Barren Road and A.J. Garcia Road from R-A to I-1
A public hearing was held prior. Mr. Byrd presented this request from MSBP Partners, LLC to re-zone approximately 6.3 acres from R-A (residential-agricultural) to
I-1 (light industrial) to make the tract more consistent with the “Mega Site Business Park”, which it is considered a part of. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to approve the zoning map amendment. Motion passed without opposition.
2. Requested 1.2' front setback variance on the northwest corner of a single-family dwelling and a 10.5' setback variance on the southeast corner of the existing garage at 1064 Woodland Drive
A public hearing was held prior. My Byrd presented this request from Shoreline Properties, LLC for a 1.2' front setback variance on the northwest corner of a single-family dwelling and a 10.5' setback variance on the southeast corner of the existing garage at 1064 Woodland Drive, stating that the encroachments are needed due to the fact that the footprint of the house was laid out incorrectly by the contractor. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the variance, contingent upon requiring property strings to be pulled from property lines for setback compliance prior to inspecting any foundations/footers. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
3. Approval of revised plat of Lowe’s Home Center and five (5) outparcels
Mr. Byrd presented the revised plat for the Lowe’s Home center and the five (5) outparcels, stating that Lot 1 was inadvertently recorded as 16.64 acres and that the correct acreage is 16.32 acres. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the revised plat. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
4. Approval of sketch plan of a proposed right-in/right-out access to West Properties on Pooler Parkway
Mr. Byrd presented a sketch plan of the proposed right-in/right-out access to West Properties on northbound Pooler Parkway, north of Highway 80, stating that the property is currently undeveloped. Steve Wohlfeil of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineering, Inc. was present on behalf of the property owner. Councilman Wall recommended that the two (2) owners meet with Mr. Byrd about other pending issues involving the property and made a motion to table this item. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
5. Approval of sketch plan of the proposed Benton Boulevard Extension
Councilwoman Benton stepped down from her seat. Mr. Byrd presented this request from South Godley Developers for approval of the proposed Benton Boulevard Extension, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval, contingent upon the right-of-way being extended to Pipemaker’s Canal at the least. Attorney Phillip McCorkle, representing the developer, presented opposition of the sketch plan based on the fact that the road will not be for a public purpose and that if for some reason it was, who would be responsible for paying for it. Further, that Planning & Zoning’s recommendation to extend the road to at least Pipemaker’s Canal is questionable, that his client’s property is valued at $150,000/acre and this recommendation would cause his client to lose over four (4) acres of land, causing a taking of his client’s property for the benefit of only one (1) landowner. In addition, Mr. McCorkle stated that the adjacent property is accessible by five (5) streets. Mr. McCorkle cited recent legislature which provided for more protection for property owners in regards to “eminent domain”, adding that the law allows for public use when applicable. Councilman Wall stated that the five (5) roads mentioned are substandard in nature and not suitable for access to any future development. Attorney Harold Yellin, representing adjacent property owner Rebecca Benton, questioned the plan on how the segments of the roads tie together, stating that the petitioner has told Ms. Benton that she would not be landlocked. Mr. Yellin reiterated the fact that Benton Boulevard should be extended to the Canal, adding that the Chatham Urban Transportation Study (CUTS) plan shows some sort of road going across the Canal with the future extension “done by others”. Further, that the original Godley Station PUD and the preliminary plan for “The Marketplace” show an extension of Benton Boulevard and agreed that citizens do not want any type of activity that will overwhelm the five (5) substandard roads mentioned earlier. Mr. Yellin stated that there is no “nexus” presented in the sketch plan and that Planning & Zoning’s recommendation is the most logical, fair and reasonable plan for future development. Councilman Cowart questioned if there were any court cases which would cause a city to require property values being decreased to benefit another property. Mr. Scheer replied that there are no known cases. Councilman Wall stated that due to the legal issues presented, he would like the property owners to discuss the matter and work on a solution and therefore, made a motion to table this item. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. Councilwoman Benton returned to her seat.
Councilman Cowart departed the meeting.
6. Approval of engineering proposal for design of 16" water main along Pooler Parkway
Mr. Byrd presented a proposal from Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc. for the design of a 16" water main to provide upgraded water service and fire protection to the area south of I-16, stating that this project will be paid for by a Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) loan. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the proposal in an amount not to exceed $52,250.00. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
7. Approval of engineering proposal for additional fees for water, sewer and stormwater mapping
Mr. Byrd presented this request from Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc., stating that the original proposal to provide mapping services for water, sewer and stormwater was based on an estimate of 210 drawings. After reviewing their files, a total of 870 drawings were found and have been scanned and geo-referenced as part of a digital system map viewer for the City. Therefore, an additional amount of $15,000.00 is being requested in this proposal. Bill Lovett of HGB&D stated that there could be more maps made available in the future, which will be considered in another proposal. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the proposal, not to exceed $15,000.00. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
8. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Hemin R. Patel at Excell Mart
Mr. Byrd presented a requested alcoholic beverage license (retail beer and wine sales) for Hemin R. Patel, who is purchasing the Chu’s Convenience Mart at 1024 E. Highway 80, stating that Chief Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve the license. Motion passed with Councilman Allen opposing.
9. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Myrtice Morrison at Dizzy Dean’s
Mr. Byrd presented an application for alcoholic beverage (liquor, beer and wine) sales for Myrtice Morrison at the proposed Dizzy Dean’s Restaurant at 1108 E. Highway 80 where Foster’s Steakhouse Tavern once operated. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the license, including Sunday sales. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed with Councilman Allen opposing.
10. Approval of budget adjustment for the general fund (solid waste)
Mr. Byrd presented a budget adjustment to transfer $14,935.00 from the General Fund Reserve account to an account set up for the Solid Waste Management Plan (approved by Council on March 17, 2008). Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the budget adjustment. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
Charles Archer, resident, addressed Council in regards to whether a traffic light is proposed on top of I-16 at Pooler Parkway, similar to what has been installed at I-95 and Pooler Parkway. Mr. Byrd replied that plans for such a light are being reviewed by the Department of Transportation, awaiting approval.
Jackie Carver, Zoning Administrator, addressed Council in regards to the Dorsey property on E. Highway 80 which was re-zoned on February 4, 2008, with several conditions being placed. Ms. Carver stated that after inspecting the property, it was found that the required privacy fence did not extend the entire length of the property on Old Louisville Road, asking for clarification on the intent of the motion for approval. Mr. Scheer questioned whether the portion of area along Old Louisville Road that is not fenced was part of the 20.74 acres that was re-zoned, which Ms. Carver replied that it was. Therefore, Mr. Scheer determined that the entire area on Old Louisville that encompassed the acreage of Mr. Dorsey’s property should be fenced as a condition of the re-zoning.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Allen made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:05 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.