Council Minutes October 2, 2006

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
OCTOBER 2, 2006


The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on October 2, 2006. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:22 p.m. (delayed due to the public hearings held prior). 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. Councilman Bruce Allen was absent.

The invocation was given by Mr. Baxter and the Pledge of Allegiance as led by Councilman Seay.

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

Report from the Standing Committees:

FINANCE
Councilman Stanley presented bills for payment and made a motion to approve, subject to funds. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. Councilman Stanley stated that the City is in receipt of a sales tax refund check in the amount of $238,234.28, which Bill Lovett of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineers was instrumental in securing. This refund was for sales tax on the equipment and material used for construction of the new wastewater treatment plant. Mr. Baxter stated that this money will be used to help retire the debt on this project.

PUBLIC SAFETY
Chief C. E. Chan reported on the police activities since the last meeting, stating that the department responded to 1266 calls. Chief Jay Hillis reported that the fire department responded to 127 calls in September and that Fire Prevention Week is next week, with the open house scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on October 14th.

STREETS/DRAINAGE/PARKS & TREES
Councilman Seay reported that the street, drainage and parks and trees departments have 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
Councilman Royal reported that the seven (7) year-old football players will be playing in Richmond Hill this week and that homecoming activities are scheduled for October 13th & 14th.

BUILDING/ZONING
Councilwoman Benton reported that 16 new single family residential and two (2) commercial permits have been issued since the last meeting, totaling 369 single family permits for the year, with 9803 inspections performed. Councilwoman Benton presented Council a list of proposed street names for Berkeley Walk asking for their input.

Mayor Lamb presented a 20-year service pin to Police Chief C. E. Chan, thanking him for his service.

There was no OLD BUSINESS to discuss.

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:

1. Requested zoning map amendment of 8.2 acres located approximately 200' west of
Pooler Parkway and 1000' east of Wildcat Dam Road from R-1A to R-4
Mr. Baxter presented this request from Abercorn Site, LLC to re-zone 8.2 acres from R-1A (single family residential) to R-4 (townhome/condominium), stating that a public hearing was held prior and that Planning & Zoning has forwarded this item to Council without a recommendation and staff has recommended Council review the criteria for granting a zoning map amendment. Ryan Thompson of Thomas & Hutton Engineering was present on behalf of the owner. As stated in the public hearing, Councilman Wall reiterated the fact that Council does not get involved in legal matters pertaining to titles to land and made a motion to approve this zoning map amendment. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.

2. Approval of plat revision for Village Green Townhomes, Phase 2
Mr. Baxter presented this request from the developer of Village Green, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval of this plat revision to decrease the number of units per building from four (4) to three (3). Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this plat revision. Motion was seconded by Councilman Stanley and passed without opposition.

3. Approval of site plan for Pooler Hotel at 105 San Drive
Mr. Baxter presented the site plan for two (2) hotels, stating that all the engineer’s comments have been addressed. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this site plan, contingent upon a berm with a minimum of five (5) feet in height being constructed with a fence, prior to construction of the hotel. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

4. Approval of minor subdivision plat for a 92.02 acre portion of the A. M. Wall Tract
Mr. Baxter presented this minor subdivision plat for a 92.02 acre portion of the A. M. Wall Tract into Tract 1 and Tract 2. Mr. Scheer stated that staff has noted a non-access easement could not be placed on the triangular piece of property adjacent to this property because it is not a part of the subdivision plat and requested that a recordable instrument be written, stating that as long as the property (triangular piece) remains zoned industrial there will not be any access allowed through the adjacent residential properties. Ralph Forbes of Thomas & Hutton Engineering was present at the meeting and agreed to this request. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this minor subdivision, contingent upon the aforementioned instrument being recorded. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition.

5. Approval of sketch plan for a proposed warehouse development on Dean Forest Road
Mr. Forbes presented this request on behalf of the developer for a proposed Logisticenter, which will include two (2) warehouses located on a 72-acre tract located west of Dean Forest Road and one (1) mile north of I-16. Councilman Wall asked if the two (2) detention areas would be tied together, wherein Mr. Forbes presented a sketch showing this has been done. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Stanley, to approve this sketch plan, contingent upon the detention areas being tied together. Motion passed without opposition.

6. Approval of recombination plat for Sam’s Club on Mill Creek Circle
Mr. Baxter presented this recombination plat, as requested by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. for Sam’s Club on Mill Creek Circle, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Royal, to approve this recombination plat. Motion passed without opposition.

7. Approval of revised plat for a 28-acre portion of Lot A-2 and Lot B for South
Godley Enterprises, LLC
Councilwoman Benton stepped down from her seat. Mr. Baxter stated that the attorney for the adjacent property owner has requested this item be tabled. Councilman Wall made a motion to table this item. Motion was seconded by Councilman Stanley and passed without opposition.
Councilwoman Benton returned to her seat.

8. Approval of master plan revision for Savannah Quarters, Phase 11
Mr. Baxter presented this master plan revision as requested by Centex Homes to decrease the number of detached units from the previously approved density of 275 units to 199 single family residential detached units, stating that the minimum lot width is being increased from 55' to 60'. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve this revision. Motion passed without opposition.

9. Approval of Flying Pig Festival to be held October 6-8th and to waive permit fees
Anne Smith, aka the “Flying Pig” addressed Council, asking permission to hold the 10th Annual Flying Pig Festival, to waive permit fees and for the City to provide security by way of off-duty police working the festival. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the festival being held, to waive all permit fees and to approve the City providing security. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

10. Approval of change order #3 for Key Slot Water & Sewer Project
Mr. Baxter presented change order #3 for the Key Slot Water & Sewer Project to increase/decrease final line item quantities. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this change order in the amount of $8327.00. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition.

11. Approval of change order #3 for Morgan Development Water & Sewer Project
Mr. Baxter requested this item be tabled until the next meeting. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Stanley, to table this item. Motion passed without opposition.

12. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Mahendrabhai H. Patel at Shohil
Convenience Store
Mr. Baxter presented an application for alcoholic beverage license (beer and wine) sales for Mahendrabhai H. Patel at the Shohil Convenience Store at 231 E. Highway 80, stating that Chief Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this license. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

13. Approval of budget adjustment to the general fund for the street and drainage
departments
Mr. Baxter presented a budget adjustment to the general fund for the street and drainage departments to transfer funds to purchase new computers. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Royal, to approve this budget adjustment. Motion passed without opposition.

14. Adoption of 2006 millage rate
A public hearing was held prior to the meeting and two (2) other hearings were held recently in regards to a proposed increase in the millage rate for 2006 to 4.5 mills. Councilman Stanley made a motion to adopt the 2006 millage rate at 4.5 mills. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall. Discussion followed, wherein Jack Brewton, resident, questioned the need for the increase. Mayor Lamb replied that additional expenses are needed to purchase software. Mr. Baxter added that other large items are needed and that costs of operation are increasing. Mr. Brewton reminded Council that all citizens are involved with these cost increases and questioned if the millage rate would be increased next year. Mayor Lamb replied that the Council would like to keep the rate at this level, but that due to the Stephens-Day Bill, Chatham County rolls the millage rate back each year, causing necessary funds to not be available to keep up with the growth. Mr. Brewton stated that the sales tax increase is supposed to offset the millage rate. Councilman Wall stated that by bringing the millage back to 4.5 mills (as it was from 1996 to 1999) and keeping it at 4 mills, the City will be able to maintain standards. After further discussion, Mayor Lamb called for the vote. Motion passed without opposition.

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:31 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Stanley and passed without opposition.

Public Hearing

A public hearing was held on October 2, 2006, prior to the regular City Council meeting. Councilman Wayne Seay called the hearing to order at 5:30 p.m. Present were Councilmen Mike Royal, 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. Mayor Lamb arrived after the meeting was called to order.

The purpose of this hearing was to discuss the proposed 2006 millage rate. Mr. Baxter stated that an increase has been proposed to 4.5 mills. A powerpoint presentation comparing millage rates in other Chatham County municipalities an examples of the increase were presented to those in attendance. Vera Lamb, property owner, questioned the reason for the increase. Councilman Stanley replied that the increase is to bring the budget up to the growth to keep up with costs. Ms. Lamb stated that the additional revenue should cover costs. Councilwoman Benton stated that the cost of services is greater than years before and that there is not enough funds to operate to provide the quality of service the City has provided in the past. Mayor Lamb added that the County’s roll-back has caused the same amount of taxes being collected every year, putting a pinch on the City’s budget and believes that the City has managed to keep taxes at a low rate, all the while maintaining quality for what is offered to the citizens. A resident questioned the purpose of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, wherein Mayor Lamb replied that Pooler received a small amount compared to the City of Savannah.

There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:50 p.m.

Public Hearing

A public hearing was held on October 6, 2006, prior to the regular City Council meeting. Mayor Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:53 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 zoning map amendment of 8.2 acres located approximately 200' west of Pooler Parkway and 1000' east of Wildcat Dam Road from R-1A to R-4. Abercorn Site, LLC has petitioned to re-zone 8.2 acres from R-1A (single family residential) to R-4 (townhome/condominium) district. The site will be accessed from Highway 80, via Wildcat Dam Road and a new 60' right-of-way will be constructed within the former Central of Georgia Railroad right-of-way and will be combined with the parcel to the south that was previously re-zoned and developed as a single townhome development. A 20' to 25' buffer will be provided on all property lines adjacent to residential properties and a 50' buffer adjacent to Pooler Parkway will remain. Ryan Thompson of Thomas & Hutton Engineering presented a timeline of events leading up to this request, stating that the development meets the requirements of the City’s ordinance. Further, that the legal issues are non-existent to this re-zoning request and that it is a logical extension of an existing development approved by the City. Mr. Thompson stated that the area in question (Central of Georgia Railroad right-of-way) is not being re-zoned. Mr. Roger Allen addressed Council, stating that the City was instructed to ascertain whether Demas Road was private or public and presented Council with a letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding there being no change in the status of the “moratorium” on issuing jurisdictional determinations for most wetlands, asking how a permit was issued by the City prior to the wetlands permit. Mr. Allen also presented a copy of a deed regarding Demas “Avenue” and a copy of a deed (contract) dated December 15, 1913, between the Town of Pooler and the Central of Georgia Railroad and questioned the ownership of the abandoned railroad, stating that this issue needs to be settled before any construction on this development begins. Further, that Demas Road should be used for access. Mr. Allen questioned why the City would allow the developer to build a road so close to a church (St. John Devine) and stated that there is no pressing need to approve this re-zoning. Edwin Byck of Abercorn Site, LLC was present and stated that a reversion clause is not included in the deed (railroad) and that a deed of fee simple was given. Mr. Scheer stated that the Council does not decide ownership of/title to land.

There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 6:22 p.m.

4. Approval of site plan for a YRT2 Communications building at The Farm at Morgan Lakes

Mr. Baxter presented the site plan for a building to house equipment for cable, security systems, internet and phone services for the residents of The Farm at Morgan Lakes. Councilman Allen made a motion to approve this site plan, contingent upon a fence enclosure being provided with heavy landscaping to shield the pre-fab building. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

5. Approval of revised plat to correct lot numbers for The Retreat @ Forest Lakes, Phases 2 and 3

Mr. Baxter presented the revised plat for Phases 2 and 3 of The Retreat @ Forest Lakes to correct lot numbers. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to approve this revised plat. Motion passed without opposition. 

6. Approval of site plan for Advance Auto Parts on W. Highway 80

Mr. Baxter presented the site plan for the proposed Advance Auto Parts to build a 10,000 square foot building, stating that all the engineer’s comments have been addressed. Dinks Dupree of Southeastern Capital, LLC was present to answer any questions. Councilman Allen asked if there was adequate room on the site for trucks to enter and exit, which Mr. Dupree replied that the site will allow for trucks to back in and exit going forward to Highway 80. Councilman Wall questioned whether the petitioner was in agreement with Planning & Zoning’s recommendations in regards to the dumpster enclosure being constructed of masonry and additional landscaping being placed along the eastern property line adjacent to Demas Road, which Mr. Dupree replied that this was agreed to. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this site plan, contingent upon Planning & Zoning’s recommendations and the driveway permit being issued by the Department of Transportation. 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 7:10 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 April 17, 2006. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:45 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 purpose of this hearing was to discuss: 

1) A requested zoning map amendment of Lots 12, 13, 14 and 15 in Westside Business Park from C-2 to I-1, Lots 11, 16 and 17 in Westside Business Park from C-2 to I-1 (with conditions), and the northern two-thirds of Lot 1 in Westside Business Park from C-2 to I-1 - 2195 Developers, LLC has petitioned the City to re-zone Lots 12, 13, 14 and 15 from C-2 (heavy commercial) to I-1 (light industrial), Lots 11, 16 and 17 from C-2 to I-1 (with conditions) and the northern two-thirds of Lot 1 from C-2 to I-1 to accommodate the proposed Komatsu Dealership. All of these lots are in Westside Business Park. Attorney Phillip McCorkle presented this request, providing an explanation of how the demand for light industrial zoned lots is greater than the developer had expected. Councilman Wall stated that there is a problem with the amount of industrial lots, expressing concern over tying these lots into commercial lots. Further, that the developer originally planned a small amount of industrial lots and has since asked for recombinations of some of the lots, which was not favorable, reiterating the fact that the developer does not need to tie anymore commercial and industrial lots together on the south side of this development. Councilman Wall questioned why the sign at the intersection of Columbia Drive and Westside Boulevard has not been placed to identify the industrial area. John Kern of Kern-Coleman & Company addressed Council, stating that the developer wants to give each business access, both in front and in back and that a commercial-type shopping center with offices and warehouses has been proposed and that the light at Coleman Boulevard will give the best access for the industrial lots. Councilwoman Benton questioned if the developer was willing to cul-de-sac Westside Boulevard of Columbia Drive to accommodate for 18-wheelers to turn around to keep the commercial traffic separate from industrial traffic. Mr. Kern replied that access is important for traffic flow and that the developer also wants to keep truck traffic off the roads in the commercial area. 

2) A requested zoning map amendment of 18 acres from a future development to a single-family attached zoning within the Savannah Quarters PUD - Lanyard Development has petitioned the City for approval of amendment #12 to the Savannah Quarters PUD to re-zone 18 acres from a future development to a single-family attached zoning. 

There being no further discussion, this hearing was adjourned at approximately 6:05 p.m.

City of Pooler, GA | 100 US HW 80, Pooler, GA 31322
(912) 748-7261

e-verify-city-of-pooler#99754
Date of Authorization: 2/13/08