The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on September 17, 2007. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Billy Stanley, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Dennis Baxter, Assistant City Manager Robbie Byrd and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.
The invocation was given by Mr. Baxter and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Seay.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion made by Councilman Allen, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, with no opposition.
Mayor Lamb stated that this was Mr. Baxter’s last meeting, due to his upcoming retirement, and thanked him for his dedicated years of service to the City of Pooler. All members of Council, Street Superintendent Shawn McNelly and a few others present expressed their appreciation to Mr. Baxter.
Mayor Lamb welcomed 7th District Chatham County Commissioner Dean Kicklighter to the meeting. Commissioner Kicklighter also expressed appreciation to Mr. Baxter, inviting everyone to attend Friday’s County Commission meeting where he will be honored.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Stanley presented bills for payment and made a motion to pay, subject to funds. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
Councilman Allen reported that the police department responded to 1058 calls from August 31st to September 13th and that the fire department responded to 73 calls in August.
STREET/DRAINAGE/PARKS & TREES
Councilman Seay reported that the street, drainage, parks and trees departments have performed routine maintenance.
Councilman Wall reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance, that all parameters at the wastewater treatment plant are being met and that the chloramine system is on-line.
Councilman Royal reported that the football season is underway and that online registration has begun for basketball.
Councilwoman Benton reported that nine (9) new single family residential, eight (8) attached unit and two (2) commercial permits have been issued since the last meeting, totaling 371 residential, 138 attached unit and 66 commercial permits for the year, with 10,672 inspections performed.
There was no OLD BUSINESS to discuss.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Requested conditional use to construct a family entertainment center on Lots 7 & 8,
Pooler Business Park
A public hearing was held prior. Mr. Baxter presented a requested conditional use to allow the developer to construct a family entertainment center on Lots 7 & 8 in Pooler Business Park located on the south side of Highway 80, stating that Planning & Zoning have recommended approval and that staff has recommended Council review the criteria for granting a conditional use. Guy Davidson, representing the property owner and developer, was present to answer any questions. Councilman Wall asked if the owner has agreed to Planning & Zoning’s recommendations and if the batting cages could be moved to the back and if additional buffering and sidewalks are being considered. Further, if extra security will be provided for the outside batting cages and if a separate entrance to the bar is being considered. Mr. Davidson replied that some of these items have already been considered. Councilman Wall expressed concern that the items were not addressed on the preliminary site plan. Rick Danis, representing the owner, asked if removing the outdoor batting cages would be suitable to Council to allow approval of the conditional use. Mr. Scheer recommended that this request to tabled to allow the owner to address Council’s concerns and amend the preliminary site plan. Councilman Wall stated that Council is happy with the location of the center. Ron Walker, representing the owner, asked if Council would consider approval if the outdoor batting cages were eliminated. Greg Tsiopanas, owner of the adjacent retail center, reiterated his concern expressed during the public hearing that batting cages are not conducive with retail businesses. Councilman Allen stated that the area where the center is proposed is zoned heavy commercial and therefore, businesses that produce noise are allowed. Councilman Wall added that the center is being developed as commercial. Discussion continued with no resolution and Councilman Stanley made a motion to table this item. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
2. Approval of recombination plat of three (3) lots into two (2) lots on N. Rogers Street
Councilwoman Benton stepped down from her seat. Mr. Baxter presented a plat to recombine three (3) lots into two (2) on N. Rogers Street for Lynn Beatty Byrd and Martha Beatty Norris. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Seay, to approve the plat. Motion passed without opposition. Councilwoman Benton returned to her seat.
3. Approval of construction plan revisions to Phase I of Durham Park Townhomes
Mr. Baxter presented the revisions to the construction plan for Phase I of Durham Park Townhomes located in the R-8 Tract, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the revised construction plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
4. Acceptance of performance bond/approval of final plat for Westbrook, Phase 7A
Mr. Baxter presented this request from the developer of Westbrook Subdivision, stating that this phase consists of 32 of the total 78 approved single-family residential lots in Phase 7, each with widths of at least 100'. Councilman Allen made a motion to accept the performance bond and approve the final plat, contingent upon the city attorney approving the bond. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition.
5. Approval of site plan for SWS Warehouse, Dean Forest Business Park
Mr. Baxter presented the site plan for a 180,000 sq. ft. warehouse to be located in the Dean Forest Business Park, stating that because of its size, a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) was required for the industrial development. Further, that Planning & Zoning has recommended approval and staff has recommended consideration be given to the comments and concerns conveyed in the DRI report.
Mark Crapps of Kern-Coleman & Company was present to answer any questions. Councilwoman Benton questioned whether the issues concerning traffic and wetlands has been addressed as noted in the letters submitted by the Chatham County Department of Engineering and the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC). Mr. Crapps replied that these letters referred to the JCB Tract. Councilman Allen expressed concern over the possibility of Pipemakers Canal being widened sometime in the future. After discussion, Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the site plan for the SWS Warehouse, contingent upon confirmation received from the County Engineer and MPC that their comments pertain to the JCB Tract. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition.
6. Release of maintenance bond for the Daniels Tract
Mr. Baxter presented this request, stating that the one (1) year inspection was performed and that all punch list items have been addressed. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to release the maintenance bond for the Daniels Tract. Motion passed without opposition.
7. Release of maintenance bond for Risen Savior Lutheran Church
Mr. Baxter presented this request, stating that a final inspection was performed recently and the Public Works Department has approved the development to end the one (1) year maintenance period. Councilman Allen made a motion to release the maintenance bond for the Risen Savior Lutheran Church. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
8. Approval of application for Precious Metals Dealer for Kevin Forman for a Jewelry & Coin Appraisal Event to be held September 24th - 27th @ Best Western
Mr. Baxter presented an application for precious metals dealer for Kevin Forman to hold a jewelry and coin appraisal event on September 24th - 27th at the Best Western Motel, stating that Chief Chan has recommended approval and that off-duty police has been scheduled for the event. Councilman Allen made a motion to approve this application. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
9. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Robert T. Harley @ Hogs & Chicks Restaurant
Mr. Baxter presented an application for alcoholic beverage sales for Robert T. Harley, owner of the new Hogs & Chicks Restaurant at 1108 E. Highway 80, stating that Chief Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this license to include Sunday sales. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed with Councilman Allen opposing.
10. Approval of budget adjustment in the General Fund for the police department
Mr. Baxter presented a budget adjustment (copy attached to and made a part of these minutes) in the General Fund for the police department to decrease the reserve account by $3000 and increase the training and related costs account by $3000 to provide mandated training for the officers. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Stanley, to approve this budget adjustment. Motion passed without opposition.
11. Approval of budget adjustment in the General Fund for the recreation department
Mr. Baxter presented a budget adjustment (copy attached to and made a part of these minutes) in the General Fund for the recreation department, stating that the reason for all of the adjustments is due to an increase in revenue and expenditures and the reorganization of accounts to provide adequate funds. Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the budget adjustments. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
12. First Reading on City Employee Retirement Plan Ordinance to establish a defined benefit plan for the City as a participant in the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System
Mr. Baxter presented the City Employee Retirement Plan Ordinance which will establish a defined benefit plan for the City as a participant in the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System. Mr. Scheer recommended that the paragraph regarding appointment of the pension committee be amended to provide that if the governing authority (Mayor and Council) rejects any nominations, they shall select an employee of their choice from the subject department. Further, that the paragraph regarding the pension committee approval of the retirement plan changes be amended to provide that if the Mayor and Council do not concur with the pension committee, the Mayor and Council’s decision shall control. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this ordinance on First and Second Reading, to include Mr. Scheer’s recommendations. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
13. Discussion concerning proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance to delete the minimum two (2) acre requirement in C-2
Mr. Baxter presented this item for discussion, stating that Planning & Zoning was asked to review the two (2) acre requirement (minimum lot size) in the C-2 (heavy commercial) zoning ordinance due to the fact that there are existing lots within the City that do not meet this requirement. Councilwoman Benton stated that the size of the lot should coincide with the project and therefore recommended that the City proceed with a zoning text amendment to delete the two (2) acre requirement.
Mr. William J. Hunter, resident on Old Louisville Road, presented a letter to be made part of the record regarding concerns he has about the North Point project and the water line that has been installed.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:35 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Stanley and passed without opposition.
A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on September 17, 2007. Mayor pro tem Bruce Allen called the hearing to order at
5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Billy Stanley, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Dennis Baxter, Assistant City Manager Robbie Byrd and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.
The purpose of this hearing was to discuss a requested conditional use to construct a family entertainment center on Lots 7 & 8, Pooler Business Park. Dan Fisher of EMC Engineering presented this request along with a preliminary site plan, stating that a bowling alley, bar & grill, arcade and batting cages are proposed. Councilman Wall questioned the hours of operation of the center. Jimmy Patel, owner, replied that the batting cages will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Rick Danis, representing the owner, stated that the center would be open on Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight and on Friday and Saturday from
10:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. Councilman Allen asked if security (off-duty police) will be provided. Mr. Danis replied that security would be provided as requested and that cameras will be in place. Greg Tsiopanas, owner of the adjacent retail shopping center, expressed concern about the noise that will come from the batting cages, adding that it will disturb his tenant retailers. Councilman Wall expressed concern about pedestrian traffic to and from the cages as well as the noise that the retailers and patrons will be subjected to. Mr. Tsiopanas reiterated the fact that this type of noise was not good for a retail environment. Councilman Wall recommended that the batting cages be moved to the back of the building. Councilwoman Benton questioned if the sidewalks at the rear of the building were proposed since they were not shown on the plan.
There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:56 p.m.