The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on January 3, 2005. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Dennis Baxter and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present. Councilman Stevie Wall was absent.
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 Councilman Seay, with no opposition.
City Attorney Steve Scheer administered the oath of office to Larry Olliff to serve as councilmember. Councilman Olliff then joined the other Councilmembers.
Mayor Lamb presented the new committee assignments for 2005.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Olliff presented the bills for payment and made a motion to pay, subject to funds. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
Councilman Allen reported on the police department activities for the month. Police Chief C. E. Chan reported on the recent fire at the recreation park, stating that the investigation is continuing. Fire Chief Jay Hillis reported on activities being conducted by the fire department.
Councilman Seay reported that the street and drainage departments have performed routine maintenance.
Councilman Wall was absent. Councilman Royal reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance and that the new wastewater treatment plant is fully operational.
Councilman Royal reported that the basketball teams have been selected, with 17 teams participating and that the Rama is scheduled for January 15th.
Councilwoman Benton reported that a GAZA workshop will be held in February in Athens for zoning administrators and board members as well as city officials and that a PUD Review Board is scheduled for January 10th at 5:30 p.m. Further, that four (4) new single family residential and one (1) new commercial permit has been issued since the last meeting, totaling 302 residential permits for the year, with 6299 inspections performed.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Approval of conceptual master plan for Parcel 5A in the South Godley PUD/approval of new median break along Pooler Parkway
Mr. Baxter presented this conceptual master plan for Parcel 5A, a 42.43 acre project which includes a commercial subdivision of 14 lots with one (1) access point on Pooler Parkway and six (6) access points of Godley Station Boulevard South. Mr. Baxer stated that staff has recommended that Council review the city engineer’s comments regarding the new median break needed and that an amendment to the master plan needs to be done before the new median break is approved. Ryan Thompson of Thomas & Hutton Engineering Company presented updated information regarding this project to clearly define the actual location of this site. Mayor Lamb questioned if the right-of-way was the same width as the others in the area, which Mr. Thompson replied that it was (60'). Councilwoman Benton made a motion to deny the conceptual master plan for Parcel 5A and the new median break, based on traffic and safety concerns as specifically stated by the city’s engineer and the staff comments regarding the PUD Master Plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen. Discussion followed, wherein Mr. Thompson requested that the plan and median break be considered as two (2) separate items. Councilwoman Benton stated that there are too many lots in this subdivision, which would generate too much traffic in the area. Mr. Thompson stated that the majority of the lots are larger than the adjacent lots in The Crossing development. Councilwoman Benton then amended her motion to deny the conceptual master plan, based on traffic and safety concerns as specifically stated by the city’s engineer and the staff comments regarding the PUD Master Plan. Motion died due to lack of a second. After further discussion, Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the conceptual master plan for Parcel 5A, with a right-in, right-out access onto Pooler Parkway. Motion was seconded by Councilman Olliff and passed with Councilwoman Benton opposing. On the matter of the new median break, Ralph Forbes of Thomas & Hutton Engineering Company, addressed Council, stating that this median break will provide full movement and a better flow of traffic for the frontage roads between the developments in the area. Chief Chan stated that the additional traffic in the future needs to be considered and Mr. Baxter added that a traffic light could be warranted in the future, to be installed at the developer’s expense. Councilman Allen questioned whether a traffic study performed now would be accurate. Mr. Baxter stated that the developer could postpone his request for a new median break until such time the developer can demonstrate the need for one. Mike Kistler, developer of this property, addressed Council in regards to the fact that it is dangerous to make a u-turn on Pooler Parkway, which is being done on a daily basis. Further, that he realizes that a traffic light may be needed at sometime and that he would agree to participate with his portion. Mr. Forbes then asked that the request for a new median break be withdrawn, reserving the option of bringing it back to Council at a later date. This request was honored.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Approval of site plan for office complex at 1370 E. Highway 80
Mr. Baxter presented this site plan, stating that this land was re-zoned on August 16th of last year, with drainage concerns needing to be addressed. These concerns have been addressed on the site plan, providing a detention pond which will ensure that there will be no more run-off from the property than what is there now. Mr. Baxter further stated that this project has been designed according to the city’s standards and that staff has recommended approval. Mark Crapse of Kern Coleman & Company addressed Council in regards to this project, stating that all of the city engineer’s comments have been addressed. Councilwoman Benton asked Mr. Baxter about the status of the drainage study for this area, which Mr. Baxter replied that the engineer is still gathering drainage maps of the outfall ditches and that this should be completed in the near future. Ms. Beverly Waters, adjacent property owner, stated that she is concerned about the drainage, requesting assurance that the run-off will not affect her property. Mary Louise Lanier, adjacent property owner, requested that the developer leave as many trees as possible on this site. After further discussion, Councilman Allen made a motion to approve this site plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition.
Mr. Dwight Sheley, resident of 117 Redfield Drive, addressed Council with his concern regarding Chatham County’s water well at Hunter’s Ridge Subdivision being down one evening in December, causing there to be no fire protection. Mr. Sheley stated that he has been informed that the County has agreed to tie into the city’s water system at no cost to the city to provide an emergency back up to the County’s system. Mayor Lamb stated that he was not aware of this and asked Mr. Baxter to follow up on this matter.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Allen made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:12 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition.