Council Minutes July 7, 2008

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
JULY 7, 2008

The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on July 7, 2008. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. (delayed due to the public hearing held prior). 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 Cowart 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 Councilman Cowart, with no opposition.

Report from the Standing Committees:
FINANCE
Councilman Seay presented the accounts payable information for June.

PUBLIC SAFETY
Councilman Allen reported on the police and fire department activities for the month.

STREET/DRAINAGE/PARKS & TREES
Councilman Cowart reported that the street, drainage and parks and trees departments performed routine maintenance.

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

RECREATION
Councilman Royal reported that the second annual soccer camp will begin next week, football and cheerleading signups continue and a free wrestling camp will begin soon.

BUILDING/ZONING
Councilwoman Benton reported that 13 new single family residential, 16 attached unit and one (1) commercial permit has been issued since the last meeting, totaling 110 residential, 51 attached unit and 30 commercial permits for the year, with 4678 inspections performed.

Mayor Lamb commented on the success of the July 4th celebration sponsored by the Pooler Crossroads Visitors Center.
Mayor Lamb introduced David Lock, candidate for District Attorney, who addressed Council in regards to his campaign.

There was no OLD BUSINESS to discuss.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Requested parking variance encroachments at Southeastern Freight Lines

A public hearing was held wherein no opposition was presented. Mr. Byrd presented this request for an 8.62' parking variance encroachment from Raymond Road and a 45.40' parking variance encroachment from Old Dean Forest Road. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the variance encroachments, based on the request meeting the second and third variance standards. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.

2. Requested zoning map amendment of 78.39 acres of Tract I, Roberts Tract from

R-A and R-4 to I-1
A public hearing was held prior wherein several residents presented opposition. Mr. Byrd presented this request from North Godley Developers to re-zone 78.39 acres of Tract I located north of Jimmy DeLoach Parkway from R-A (Residential-Agricultural) and R-4 (Townhome/Condominium) to I-1 (Light Industrial). Councilman Wall stated that he is not in favor of this request, due to the proposed access being through a heavy commercial area. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve the zoning map amendment of 78.39 acres of Tract I, Roberts Tract. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton. Jackie Carver, Zoning Administrator, recommended Council review the criteria for granting a zoning map amendment, particularly #1, #2 and #7, and if Council approves the re-zoning, consider placing conditions on the zoning regarding the proposed development as submitted. Motion passed with Councilman Allen and Councilman Wall opposing.

3. Approval of final plat for Durham Park Townhomes, Phase 1-C

Mr. Byrd presented the final plat for Phase 1-C of Durham Park Townhomes, stating that changes have been made to the original mylar and a signed affidavit has been received from the developer. Further, that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval. Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve the final plat. Motion passed without opposition.

4. Release of maintenance bond for Phase I, Morgan Pines Subdivision
Mr. Byrd presented this request from the developer of Morgan Pines Subdivision to release the maintenance bond for Phase I. Councilman Allen made a motion to table this item, due to a pavement issue. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.

5. Award bid for water main replacements on Salter Street and Holly Avenue

Mr. Byrd presented bids for water main replacements on Salter Street and Holly Avenue, stating that this project has been budgeted. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to award the bid to the low bidder, Terry R. Lee Contracting Co., Inc. In the amount of $287,578.00. Motion passed without opposition.

6. Approval of Intergovernmental Agreement with Chatham County for update to

County-wide Canal Maintenance Program

Mr. Byrd presented an Intergovernmental Agreement with Chatham to update the County-wide Canal Maintenance Program, stating that Mr. Scheer has recommended a change. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve the agreement, subject to Mr. Scheer’s recommendation. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.

7. Approval of amendment to Grievance Policy for City Employees

Mr. Byrd presented an amendment to the City Employee’s Grievance Policy, stating that Mr. Scheer found a provision had been removed from the grievance policy in 2006 that no employee will be disciplined or discriminated against in any way for proper use of the grievance procedures and recommended a proposed amendment to provide that no employee of the City be discharged, suspended, demoted or subjected to any other action adversely affecting the terms or conditions of employment in retaliation for proper use of the City’s grievance procedures or reporting/participating in any investigation/hearing relating to reports of violation of state/federal law, city policy or ordinance, fraud, waste, abuse relating to City property or sexual harassment/other forms of unlawful workplace harassment. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to approve this amendment. Motion passed without opposition.

8. Repeal of “Street Light” ordinance (“Outdoor Lighting” ordinance adopted

October 18, 2004)
Mr. Byrd stated that in October of 2004 Council adopted an “Outdoor Lighting” ordinance which repealed the conflicting ordinance entitled “Street Lighting”, but when the Code of Ordinances was supplemented by Municipal Code Corporation, the “Street Lighting” section was not removed from the Code. Therefore, Mr. Scheer has recommended Council repeal the “Street Lighting” ordinance and forward notification to Municipal Code of the specific sections to be removed. Councilman Cowart made a motion to repeal the “Street Lighting” ordinance. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.


Councilman Allen made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:39 p.m. to discuss legal and personnel matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.


Mayor Lamb called the meeting back to order at 8:10 p.m.


There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Allen made a motion to adjourn at approximately 8:10 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.


Respectfully submitted,

Maribeth Lindler
City Clerk


Public Hearing
A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on

July 7, 2008. Mayor Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:15 p.m. Present were Councilman 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 this hearing was to discuss the proposed Comprehensive Plan Partial Update. Tricia Reynolds of the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center presented the Plan, stating that any comments will be addressed and that a resolution will be submitted to Council on July 21st. Councilwoman Benton clarified a portion of the Plan in regards to “Areas of Rapid Development”, noting the large parcel west of

I-95 should state that it intersects Pipemakers Canal. Councilman Wall questioned whether the City has incorporated a “greenspace” plan, stating that there are certain requirements for developments to provide “open space”.

There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Public Hearing
A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on

July 7, 2008. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:30 p.m. Present were Councilman 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 this hearing was to discuss requested parking variance encroachments at Southeastern Freight Lines. Hart Weatherford presented this request for an 8.62' parking variance encroachment from Raymond Road and a 45.40' parking variance encroachment from Old Dean Forest Road to allow the expansion of the distribution facility located at 1717 Old Dean Forest Road. 

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

July 7, 2008. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:30 p.m. Present were Councilman 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 this hearing was to discuss a requested zoning map amendment of 78.39 acres of Tract I, Roberts Tract from R-A (Residential-Agricultural) and R-4 (Townhome/Condominium) to I-1 (Light Industrial). Attorney Phillip McCorkle presented this request, stating that it was originally proposed in September of 2007 wherein several issues of concern were presented by the adjacent residential property owners. Further, that after attempting to meet with the residents, the issues were taken into consideration and improvements were made to the plan, to include a 220' buffer from the edge of the building to the property line. Mr. McCorkle presented statistical information regarding traffic, noise and property values, noting the number of trucks and cars traveling on Jimmy DeLoach Parkway will be less than if the property were developed for residential use and that the proposed noise level will be almost non-existent. Further, that based on property values in the Sugar Mill Subdivision (adjacent to the industrial area in Georgetown), he has found that property values have increased for the resale of residential property. John Purdy, resident of The Farm, presented concern about the proposed retention pond flowing into natural wetlands, the potential for a traffic light at the intersection of Jimmy DeLoach Parkway and the entrance to The Farm at Morgan Lakes Subdivision, asking who will pay for it, and that the City’s motto, “Pride, Family, Honor” should be remembered when making a decision. Elvin McNeil, resident of The Farm, stated that the Georgetown area Mr. McCorkle mentioned is mostly industrial with a flyover proposed and that the portion of Jimmy DeLoach Parkway in the City of Savannah has been designated for industrial use. Daniel Ring, adjacent property owner, presented detailed information disputing Mr. McCorkle’s findings, stating that the safety, health and welfare of residents should be considered, not the special interests of one (1) property owner. Further, that the resale property values in the aforementioned Sugar Mill Subdivision are 14% less than comparable homes in the other areas of Georgetown and that the homes in The Farm will be subject to “external obsolescence” and that the residents will be affected by noise and odor from the proposed development, presenting information to be submitted for the record in regards to the adverse health effects of noise pollution, a health assessment document for diesel engine exhaust and traffic safety facts involving large trucks. A petition in opposition of this request was also presented for the record. Mr. Ring questioned if there was a long term plan for the Parkway area. Shawn Sulick, resident of The Farm, addressed Council in regards to the fact that this issue would not be presented now if the housing market was as strong as it was two (2) years ago when he purchased his home. Further, that the hundreds of new residents have brought economic resources to the City, including job opportunities, increasing the need for schools, grocery and retail stores, etc. Mr. Sulick asked Council what they wanted Pooler to be in 20 years, stating that if this request is approved, it will change the face of Pooler forever. Dennis Beaudry, resident of The Farm, presented concern about Mr. McCorkle’s comment made in the Planning & Zoning meeting on June 23rd regarding him being unaware of diesel fumes causing any type of danger. Mr. Beaudry stated that Chatham County ranks 6th out of the 159 counties in the State for risk from diesel soot and that the fumes affect children more than adults. Nicole Couturier, resident of The Farm, addressed Council, stating that there is a mere 10% survival rate for people involved in wrecks with semi trucks and that there has already been a fatality involving a wreck with a dump truck on the Parkway. Christen Bunton of The Farm stated that she moved her family, including two (2) autistic children, from Georgetown to get away from the industries. Kay Counce, resident of The Farm, stated that she and her husband moved to Pooler for the homes, not for industry. Richard Counce reiterated the fact that Mr. McCorkle’s statistics were not correct, adding that semi trucks run as high as a level of 90 decibels and that growing up around this type of noise leads to hearing loss, as has happened to him from growing up near a train station. Mr. McCorkle addressed Council once again, stating that he stands behind his scientific information as presented and that there are no comments about potential noise or diesel fumes submitted in the DRI (Development of Regional Impact) review performed by the Coastal Georgia Regional Development Center.

There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 6:57 p.m.

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Date of Authorization: 2/13/08