Council Minutes April 18, 2005

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
April 18, 2005

The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on April 18, 2005. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Larry Olliff, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Dennis Baxter 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 Councilman Wall, seconded by Councilman Seay, with no opposition. 

Report from the Standing Committees: 

FINANCE

Councilman Olliff presented bills for payment and made a motion to pay, subject to funds. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilman Allen reported on the police department activities for the month. Fire Chief Jay Hillis reported on the fire department activities for the month. 

STREETS/DRAINAGE

Councilman Seay reported that the street and drainage departments have performed routine maintenance. 

WATER/SEWER

Councilman Wall reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance and that a problem has occurred at the new wastewater treatment plant that will require a permanent repair to be handled through a change order. 

RECREATION

Councilman Royal reported that the Rama held last Saturday was a success.

Mr. Baxter reported that Phase 1A of the new recreation park was complete and that Mr. Scheer is working on a quit claim deed to secure the land. 

BUILDING/ZONING

Councilwoman Benton reported that 18 new single family residential permits have been issued since the last meeting, totaling 118 for the year, with 2006 inspections performed. 

Mayor Lamb read aloud a proclamation declaring April as “Fair Housing Month”. 

Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Approval of preliminary construction plan for Morgan’s Corner Commercial Development

Mr. Baxter presented this request to construct a six (6) lot commercial subdivision in the northeast corner of Pine Barren Road and Pooler Parkway, stating that this item was tabled at the last meeting in order to contact the other owners/developers in this area to ask them to share in the cost of the traffic light that is being installed at this intersection. Terry Coleman of Kern-Coleman & Company stated that the owner is willing to participate in a portion of the cost of the installation of the light. Mr. Baxter stated that he has contacted the city’s school board representative about the board’s participation and has contacted other property owners in this area about participating. Councilman Wall recommended the cost be determined by the number of units for each development. Mr. Coleman recommended using traffic counts, based on commercial development having more impact on this intersection. Councilwoman Benton questioned whether the detention pond could be relocated, which Mr. Coleman replied that the developer does not want one at all, but that it is on the plan as required by the city’s engineer. After further discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the preliminary construction plan for Morgan’s Corner Commercial Development. Motion was seconded by Councilman Olliff and passed without opposition. 

2. Second Reading on zoning text amendment to allow parking in the front setback in planned industrial parks

Mr. Baxter presented a zoning text amendment to allow parking in the front setback in planned industrial parks. Mr. Scheer stated that this amendment will include a provision for the parking plan to be approved by Planning & Zoning and City Council. Councilman Wall asked that the developer be required to identify the industrial area in Westside Business Park by putting signs at the entrances. Councilman Wall then made a motion to approve this zoning text amendment on Second Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Requested 6.10' lot width variance to subdivide property into two (2) lots at corner of Moore Avenue & Rothwell Street

Mayor Lamb recused himself and stepped down from his seat. Mayor Pro tem Seay resided over the meeting for this item. A public hearing was held prior wherein no opposition was presented. Mr. Baxter presented this request from the owner, Chrystal Thornburg, for a 6.10' lot width variance on Lot B1, to allow subdividing property to build two (2) homes. Councilman Wall stated that he has been contacted by Jimmy Paul, adjacent property owner, who is in opposition of this request and therefore, made a motion to deny the variance. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed with Councilwoman Benton opposing. Mayor Lamb returned to his seat. 

2. Requested 15' front yard side variance at 1001 Woodland Drive

A public hearing was held prior wherein no opposition was presented. Mr. Baxter presented this request from Tommy R. Fort, owner, for a 15' front yard side variance to construct a 60' carport/storage building, with the first 35' being an open carport to cover his boat and camper. Councilman Wall asked Mr. Baxter if Mr. Fort had ever asked for this type of variance in the past. Mr. Baxter replied that Mr. Fort had petitioned the city on two (2) separate occasions for similar requests in 1991 and 1993 which were denied by the Council. Councilman Wall made a motion to deny this request for a 15' front yard side variance. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed with Councilman Royal and Councilman Seay opposing. 

3. Requested conditional use to allow an auto sales business at 205 E. Highway 80

A public hearing was held prior wherein no opposition was presented. Mr. Baxter presented this request for a conditional use to allow an auto sales business at this location, stating that a used auto sales business has been operating at this location since 1996, but the property was vacated in September of 2004. As of December 18, 2000, the auto sales business at this location has been a non-conforming use which can continue as long as the use was not abandoned for a six-month period. The use was abandoned and according to the city’s zoning ordinance, should not be reinstated. Mr. Baxter further stated that Ms. Billie Bazemore, owner, has rented her property to Miles Cyr to operate a used auto sales business, being unaware that in 2000 the Council approved a zoning text amendment removing new or used auto sales and service from permitted uses in light commercial districts and that Mr. Cyr contacted the city to apply for the business license prior to the six-month time frame, but was unable to be permitted, due to him not having his State license for used auto sales. Ms. Bazemore questioned the difference between a conditional use and a non-conforming use, which Mr. Scheer responded that an approved conditional use will always be with the property, but that a non-conforming use is no longer considered valid if the use has been abandoned for six (6) months or more. Councilman Wall stated that parking should not be allowed within 10' of the right-of-way, which Mr. Baxter replied that there is a 10' building setback in light commercial districts and that parking is not allowed in the setback. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the continuance of the non-conforming use (used auto sales), restricting parking within 10' of the right-of-way of Highway 80. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

4. Approval of preliminary construction plans for Hamilton Grove, Phase 3 in Savannah Quarters

Mr. Baxter presented this request from the developer of Hamilton Grove, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve these preliminary construction plans. Motion passed without opposition. 

5. Approval of preliminary construction plans for Hamilton Grove, Phase 6 in Savannah Quarters

Mr. Baxter presented this request from the developer of Hamilton Grove, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval. Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve these preliminary construction plans. Motion was seconded by Councilman Olliff and passed without opposition. 

6. Approval of final plat for Westside Business Park

Mr. Baxter presented the final plat revision for Westside Business Park, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval. Councilwoman Benton made a motion, seconded by Councilman Seay, to approve. Motion passed without opposition. 

7. Approval of final plat for Westbrook Townhomes, Phase I in Savannah Quarters

Mr. Baxter presented the final plat for Westbrook Townhomes (Westbrook Villas), Phase I in Savannah Quarters, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval. Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the final plat for Westbrook Villas, subject to the city attorney approving the letter of credit. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

8. Approval of final plat for Lot “H”, Village Quarter Commercial Subdivision

Mr. Baxter presented the final plat for Lot “H” in the Village Quarter Commercial Subdivision, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval. Councilwoman Benton made a motion, seconded by Councilman Olliff, to approve this final plat. Motion passed without opposition. 

9. Approval of engineering fee proposal for new recreation park, phase 1B

Mr. Baxter presented this engineering fee proposal from the city’s engineer, Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc., for Phase 1B (provide engineering and support services associated with construction of roadways, parking areas, sports fields, etc.) to be located on the area that was cleared and graded in Phase 1A of the new recreation park. Bill Lovett of HGB&D was present to answer any questions. Councilman Allen requested that payment for Phase 1B not be made until such time the city receives the quit claim deed securing the land. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this proposal in an amount not to exceed $113,000, contingent upon the city receiving a quit claim deed to secure the land and the engineer agreeing to work at their own risk. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

10. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Maria Arrieta at Cancun Mexican Restaurant

Mr. Baxter presented this alcoholic beverage license application for Maria Arrieta at the new Cancun Mexican Restaurant, stating that Police Chief C. E. Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve this license, including Sunday sales. Motion passed with Councilman Allen and Councilman Seay opposing.

11. Approval to place speed bumps on N. Rogers Street

Mr. Baxter presented this request to place speed bumps on N. Rogers Street, stating that the police have patrolled this area and determined that there is a problem with people speeding on N. Rogers Street. Further, that the city has looked into the possibility of placing temporary speed bumps, but found the cost too high. Councilman Seay asked that Newton and Symons Street be looked at next. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve the placement of up to five (5) speed bumps on N. Rogers Street. Motion passed without opposition. 

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:07 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.

Public Hearing 

A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on April 18, 2005. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Larry Olliff, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Dennis Baxter and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.

The purpose of this hearing was to discuss: 

1) A requested 6.10' lot width variance to subdivide property into two (2) lots at corner of Moore Avenue & Rothwell Street- Chrystal Thornburg, owner, presented this request for a 6.10' lot width variance on Lot B1 to allow the property to be subdivided into two (2) lots, stating that the lots meet all other requirements of the subdivision ordinance. Ms. Thornburg presented reasons as to how this variance request meets the standards for granting a variance as being that this property is in the older section of Pooler where most of the houses are smaller and that due to the cost of land, it is not economically feasible to build one (1) large house in this area, that two smaller homes would be comparable to the homes in the area. Tracy Griffin, resident on Moore Avenue, addressed Council, stating that she was in favor of this request which would allow two (2) small homes to be built in lieu of one (1) large home that would allow a multi-family residence. 

2) A requested 15' front yard side variance at 1001 Woodland Drive - Tommy R. Fort, owner, presented this request for a 15' front yard side variance to allow him to construct a 60' carport/storage building, with the first 35' being an open carport to cover his boat and camper. Councilwoman Benton questioned whether the building could be moved behind the side building setback, which Mr. Fort replied that there is not room and that the matter regarding the utility easement still needed to be resolved. Mr. Fort submitted letters from two (2) adjacent property owners who are in favor of this request. 

3) A requested conditional use to allow an auto sales business at 205 E. Highway 80 - Billie Bazemore has requested a conditional use to allow a used auto sales business at 205 E. Highway 80. An auto sales business has operated there from 1996 until September of 2004, when the use was abandoned and, according to the city’s ordinance, the use shall not be reinstated. Mike Bazemore, representing his mother who owns the property, stated that his mother was unaware that in 2000 the Council approved a zoning text amendment removing new or used auto sales and service from permitted used in light commercial districts and the restriction regarding non-conforming uses and has since rented this property to be operated as a used auto sales business. Steve Hartley, resident, stated that the city needs another used auto lot.

There being no further discussion, this hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:57 p.m.

City of Pooler, GA | 100 US HW 80, Pooler, GA 31322
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