February 16, 2004

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
February 16, 2004


The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on February 16, 2004. Mayor Buddy Carter called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Jr., Mike Lamb, 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 Mr. Baxter and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Cowart.

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

PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilman Wall reported on the community service program and gave the police report. Fire Chief Jay Hillis gave the fire report.

Detective John Schmitt addressed Council in regards to a blood drive being sponsored by the police department on February 27th, asking for Council’s consideration to allow those employees who donate to receive two (2) hours compensatory time. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Lamb, to approve this request. Motion passed without opposition.

STREETS/DRAINAGE

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

WATER/SEWER

Councilman Allen reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance and that all parameters have been met at the wastewater treatment plant.

RECREATION

Councilman Seay reported that basketball continues with GRPA tournaments being held February 27 & 28 and that baseball and softball practice begins March 1st.

PERSONNEL

Councilman Seay stated that the committee has had several brief meetings and that the issues would be brought to Council at the next meeting.

BUILDING/ZONING

Councilwoman Benton reported that 8 new single family residential and two (2) commercial permits have been issued this month, totaling 26 for the year with 897 inspections performed.

Mayor Carter stated that a deadline needed to be set for the proposals for a low income senior housing project to be received by the city and recommended March 10, 2004. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Seay, to set the deadline for March 10th. Motion passed without opposition.

Mayor Carter read aloud proclamations regarding “Georgia High School Graduation Test Awareness Day” and “Black History Month”.

Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:

1. Approval of sketch plan for Hamilton Inn and Suites at corner of Parsons/Gray Street

Mayor Carter stated that the petitioner has requested that this item be tabled until the city’s engineer has reviewed the revised plan. Councilwoman Benton made a motion, seconded by Councilman Wall, to table this item. Motion passed without opposition.

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:

1. Request for a 7'8" variance on a building lot width at 325 E. Whatley Street

A public hearing was held prior wherein no opposition was presented. Councilman Cowart presented this request from Barry Morton, property owner, for a 7'8" variance on a building lot width and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

Mayor Carter requested that Item #2 under New Business be moved to the foot of the agenda to allow Council to adjourn to executive session to discuss pending litigation before this item is discussed. 

3. Approval of amendment to PUD Master Plan/Final PUD approval for Godley Station Multi-family Tract

Councilwoman Benton presented this amendment to the PUD Master Plan including final PUD approval for the Godley Station Multi-family Tract (Forest Lakes Townhomes) and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.

4. Acceptance of performance bond/approval of final plat for The Villages at Godley Station, Northern Tract, Phase V

Councilwoman Benton made a motion to accept the performance bond and approve the final plat for The Villages at Godley Station, Northern Tract, Phase V. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.

5. Acceptance of performance bond/approval of final plat for Barrington Estates, Phase 6B

Councilwoman Benton made a motion to accept the performance bond and approve the final plat for Barrington Estates, Phase 6B. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.

6. Approval of site plan for proposed storage yard at 234 Pine Barren Road

Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the site plan for a proposed truck storage yard at 234 Pine Barren Road. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

7. Approval of site plan for warehouse/diesel station on Lot 18, Pine Barren Road

Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the site plan for a warehouse and diesel station on Lot 18, Pine Barren Road. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.

8. Approval of Addendum to Agreement with Pooler Area Chamber of Commerce

Councilman Cowart presented this addendum to the Agreement with the Pooler Area Chamber of Commerce and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.

9. Approval of extension of non-conforming use at Oglethorpe Speedway Park to allow special event permit for ABATE of Georgia’s Run to the Sun

Ted Austad of OSP presented this request to allow ABATE of Georgia to hold their annual “Run to the Sun” on the property at 200 Jesup Road. This event has been planned to coincide with the racetrack’s annual AMA Pro Motorcycle Race. Mr. Austad stated that this event will draw thousands to the community and be good for the economy. Councilman Wall presented his concern regarding public safety. Deputy Chief Mark Revenew stated that security would need to be increased, requesting that eight (8) officers (off-duty) be hired during the concert on Saturday afternoon with six (6) being hired during the remaining time of the events (Friday evening, all day Saturday). Councilman Wall questioned what type of “t-shirt” contest was scheduled, which it was determined that it was a “wet t-shirt” contest. Deputy Chief Revenew stated that this type of event is only allowed in an industrial zoning, therefore, it would not be allowed at the racetrack due to the land being zoned residential-agricultural. Councilman Wall presented his concern over who would control the sound from both the concerts and the motorcycles entering and exiting the racetrack. Mr. Austad replied that the property would be closed at dark and that he would be controlling the sound stages. Councilman Wall questioned the number of campsites and asked Fire Chief Hillis to address the issue of camp fires. After further discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve the extension of the non-conforming use at OSP to allow a special permit for ABATE of Georgia’s Run to the Sun, contingent upon the events being in compliance with the city’s ordinances. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

10. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for C. J. Roberts at The Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Center, Inc.

Mr. Baxter presented this alcoholic beverage license application for C. J. Roberts at The Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Center, stating that it is due to a change in management and that Police Chief C. E. Chan has recommended approval. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve this license to include Sunday sales. Motion passed with Councilman Allen opposing.

11. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Greg Woolard at Flash Foods (235 E. Hwy 80)

Mr. Baxter presented this alcoholic beverage license application for Greg Woolard at the new Flash Foods (formerly Downtown Texaco), stating that this is a change in ownership and that Chief Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this license. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed with Councilman Allen opposing.

12. Approval of water and sewer master plan for “keyslot” property on Jimmy DeLoach Parkway

Bill Lovett of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineers presented the water and sewer master plan for the “keyslot” property on Jimmy DeLoach Parkway. Councilman Wall questioned if the plan provided for “gray” water which Mr. Lovett replied that it did not, but that the cost needed to be considered. Councilman Cowart asked if approval was needed at this time, stating that he would like more time to review this plan. Mr. Lovett replied that the developers in this area are ready to begin this project and that the details of how they are going to guarantee the GEFA loan still has to be worked out. Councilman Wall reiterated the fact, as discussed in the retreat in January, that “gray” water (effluent) has to be disposed of per the city’s permit with EPD and that this is an area that can handle the effluent disposal and asked if the GEFA loan could cover this cost also. Mr. Lovett stated that he believed the loan would cover this cost, and that Council would have to decide where they wanted the lines. Mr. Lovett reminded Council that this is a costly project and that the developers are being requested to either provide land to spray effluent on or pay a fee by way of an agreement. After further discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to table this item to allow more time to review this plan. Motion passed without opposition. 

13. Resolution to appoint new members to the Pooler Development Authority

Mayor Carter presented this resolution to appoint new members to the Pooler Development Authority due to the fact that two (2) of the current members (Councilwoman Benton and Councilman Allen) have taken office. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve this resolution appointing Charles Archer, Jack Brewton and Billie Tyler as new members to join Councilman Lamb and Jackie Carver on the Authority’s Board. Motion passed without opposition. A public hearing will be held on February 26th at 4:00 p.m. before the Authority to discuss the proposed issuance of revenue bonds.

14. Resolution regarding support of the Joint Land Use Study for the Fort Stewart/ Hunter Army Airfield Site

Mayor Carter presented this resolution in support of the JLUS which will assist in keeping these bases open in the next round of closings, stating that it includes the city agreeing to participate in funding the study in the amount of $1250.00. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this resolution, contingent upon the $1250.00 being found in the budget. Motion was seconded by Councilman Lamb and passed without opposition.

Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:00 p.m. to discuss pending litigation before acting on Item #2. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

Mayor Carter called the meeting back to order at 7:22 p.m.

2. Approval of sketch plan for Pooler Town Homes on S. Rogers Street

Michael Hussey presented the sketch plan for Pooler Town Homes on S. Rogers Street stating that the developer has agreed to the contingencies that Planning & Zoning set in their recommendation for approval on February 9, 2004. Mr. Scheer stated that the option to buy the property had expired on February 10, 2004. Mayor Carter stated that the city’s engineer submitted two (2) letters regarding this project which has caused confusion and asked Mr. Baxter to explain why this happened. Mr. Baxter stated that Mr. Scheer asked him late in the afternoon on the day of Planning & Zoning’s meeting if he had seen the letter submitted by the city’s engineer Bill Nicholson, to which he replied that he had not. Further, that after reviewing this letter and at the advice of Mr. Scheer, he contacted Mr. Nicholson and asked him for clarification regarding the statement he made about Rogers Street being heavily traveled. Mr. Baxter stated that the second letter arrived after he left city hall and therefore, he was unaware that Mr. Nicholson re-wrote his letter in error, instead of simply providing a clarification of what he meant in regards to this issue. 

Mr. Scheer asked if the current property owner (Bobby Murray) had agreed to extend the option to sell this property. Mr. Murray and his daughter were present to answer any questions. Mr. Scheer asked Mr. Murray if he has agreed to extend the option, to which Mr. Murray replied that he has and further, that he just wants to sell this property. Mr. Scheer asked Mr. Murray if he was aware of the traffic problems on Rogers Street which Mr. Murray replied that he was not, that he inherited this property. Councilman Wall stated that he disagrees with the city’s engineer regarding the increase in traffic being inconsequential, that there is a problem on S. Rogers Street. After further discussion, Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the preliminary sketch plan for Pooler Town Homes subject to and contingent to the concerns being addressed with the construction drawings including the following: multi-drive access in and out of Rogers Street, widen the approach at the entrance to the project, address the problem with internal traffic flow to accommodate trucks and garbage trucks, address concerns regarding curb-side garbage collection and the traffic problem on Rogers Street. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed with Councilman Cowart and Councilman Lamb opposing. Leo McDonald, resident on S. Skinner Avenue, presented his concern about the traffic problem, stating that he does not want any increased traffic in his neighborhood. Mr. Baxter mentioned that hopefully when the turn lane is fully operational on Rogers Street and the Pooler Parkway opens up, traffic in this area will be alleviated. Councilman Cowart stated that the reason he voted in opposition of this item was to remain consistent in regards to the matter of there being a traffic problem on S. Rogers Street. 

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Cowart made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:30 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

February 16, 2004. Mayor Buddy Carter called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Jr., Mike Lamb, 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 a requested 7'8" variance on a building lot width at 325 E. Whatley Street. Barry Morton, owner, was present to answer any questions. Councilman Cowart questioned how many lots were recombined. Mr. Morton stated that three (3) lots have been recombined into two (2) lots, with an existing house on one of them and that he intends to build a house on the other one. The two (2) sub-standard lots combined will have a lot width of 72.04 feet and contains 10,806 square feet. Councilman Wall reminded Mr. Morton that he would have to abide by the requirements for side setbacks. Mayor Carter read aloud the standards for granting a variance, to which members of Council agreed that this project meets all three (3) standards. 

There being no further business to discuss, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:55 p.m.

City of Pooler, GA | 100 US HW 80, Pooler, GA 31322
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Date of Authorization: 2/13/08