Council Minutes April 5, 2004

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
April 5, 2004


The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on April 5, 2004. Mayor Buddy Carter called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. (delayed due to the public hearing held prior). 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 Councilman Allen, 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 Seay and passed without opposition. Councilman Lamb reported that the city’s comprehensive annual financial report would be put on the website. 

PUBLIC SAFETY

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

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. Councilman Allen explained that the reason the article in The Spirit was published was that there was a discrepancy in the number of water samples received by EPD. 

RECREATION

Councilman Seay reported that baseball and softball practice has begun with the Rama planned for April 17th. 

PERSONNEL 

Councilman Seay had no report at this time. 

BUILDING/ZONING

Councilwoman Benton reported that 30 new single family residential permits were issued in March, totaling 76 for the year, with 1794 inspections performed.

Rick Tindol of Karp, Ronning & Tindol, CPAs, presented the city’s 2003 audit, stating that Pooler ranks among the top in the nation. Mr. Tindol presented Council with a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2002. 

Mayor Carter presented certificates for outstanding achievement in financial reporting to finance department employees Connie Ellis and Catherine Cromwell, stating that Laurel Harris and JoElla Hinson have also received certificates. 

Bill Collins of Macon-Magita, LLC presented information regarding a low-income senior citizen housing project his company is proposing to build in Pooler. 

Judge Emory Bazemore addressed Council in regards to his campaign for Chief Magistrate Court Judge of Chatham County. 

Julie Culhane addressed Council in regards to her campaign to be elected Magistrate Court Judge of Chatham County. 

Mayor Carter invited everyone to “Pooler Night” at Grayson Stadium on Saturday, April 10th. 

Mayor Carter asked Mr. Baxter to report on the status of the requested curb cut on Highway 80 at S. Skinner Avenue. Mr. Baxter replied that the curb cut has been approved and that he will contact the property owner. 

Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Acceptance of Medical Campus Road drainage improvements

Mayor Carter stepped down from his seat due to a conflict of interest. Mayor pro tem Lamb presided over the meeting for this item. Councilman Cowart made a motion to accept the drainage improvements for Medical Campus Road, contingent upon the bond being approved by the city attorney. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. Mayor Carter returned to his seat.

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:

1. Request for zoning map amendment of 589 acres located on the north side of Jimmy DeLoach Parkway from R-A to PUD

A public hearing was held prior wherein Councilman Wall stated his objection to having 55' lots. Ryan Thompson of Thomas & Hutton Engineering Company was present. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this request, contingent upon the zero side lot line being defined as a 3' building setback on one side and a 7' building setback on the other side to guarantee a 10' building separation. Motion died due to lack of a second. Discussion followed, wherein Councilman Wall reiterated his objection to having 55' wide lots and asked the developer to provide more detailed information. Councilman Cowart stated that the issue at hand was for a re-zoning of this property from residential-agricultural to a planned unit development. Mr. Thompson stated that this request is for a preliminary PUD and that the developer is seeking approval to be able to go forward with their project. Councilman Wall then made a motion to table this item to allow the developer to submit a comprehensive plan with larger lots that shows the amenities being built first. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

2. Approval of amendment to Forest Lakes PUD Master Plan, residential tracts 5 & 6 of the Godley Station PUD

Terry Coleman of Kern-Coleman & Company presented this request to add 71 units in the northeast corner of the Forest Lakes PUD, making the density 1413 less than the total allowable 3370 dwelling units. This item was discussed at the PUD Review Board meeting on March 22nd. Councilman Wall presented his concern about the amount of lots with 60' widths, asking the developer to consider increasing them to 65' wide. Mr. Coleman stated that these lots will be used for “patio” homes because people are wanting these types of homes. After discussion, Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve this amendment to the Forest Lakes PUD Master Plan, contingent upon Planning & Zoning’s recommendations. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition. 

3. Approval of construction plan for proposed partial sanitary sewer and temporary grinder pump station for Lots 39 & 40, Westside Business Park

Chad Zittrouer of Kern-Coleman & Company presented construction plans for a partial sanitary sewer and temporary grinder pump station for Lots 39 and 40 in Westside Business Park. Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve this request. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart. Discussion followed wherein Mr. Baxter stated that the city is liable for any sewage leak. Mr. Scheer requested that a bond or guarantee be submitted as well as an agreement for re-payment if damages occur. Councilman Wall questioned if a time limit needed to be set, recommending six (6) months. Councilwoman Benton amended her motion to be contingent upon a satisfactory agreement and a method of re-payment being submitted by the developer. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.

4. Approval of revised concept plan for Alta Town Lake Apartments

At the request of the petitioner, Councilman Wall made a motion to table this item. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

5. Acceptance of performance bond/approval of recombination plat for Lots 39 & 40, Westside Business Park

Councilman Cowart presented this item and made a motion, based on staff recommendation, to accept the performance bond in the amount of $84,954.00 and approve the recombination plat for Lots 39 & 40, Westside Business Park, contingent upon the city attorney approving the bond. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

6. Approval of site plan for proposed office/sales facility on Lot 40, Westside Business Park

Councilwoman Benton presented the site plan for a proposed office/sales facility on Lot 40, Westside Business Park and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Lamb and passed without opposition. 

7. Approval of plat revision to rename Towne Commerce Drive to Maxwell Drive

Mr. Baxter presented a request from the property owner to rename Towne Commerce Drive to Maxwell Drive. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to approve. Motion passed without opposition. 

8. Approval of expenditures for police department for upcoming G-8 Summit

Police Chief C. E. Chan presented a list of expenditures to equip the department for the upcoming G-8 Summit, totaling approximately $5800. In addition, Chief Chan has requested approximately $3000 to $5000 for overtime hours, if needed. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve these expenditures in the amount of $9800.00. Motion was seconded by Councilman Lamb and passed without opposition. 

9. Approval of amendment to speed limit ordinance for Quacco Road from I-16 north to Pine Barren Road from 45 mph to 35 mph

Chief Chan stated that a request has been received to reduce the speed limit on Quacco Road from I-16 north to Pine Barren Road from 45 mph to 35 mph. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to approve this amendment to the speed limit ordinance. Motion passed without opposition. 

10. Approval of contract for head-out wrecker services

Chief Chan presented a proposed contract with Clem Burnsed Towing Company for head-out wrecker services, stating that this company is a sole provider in the city. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this contract. Motion was seconded by Councilman Lamb and passed without opposition. 

11. Discussion concerning initiation of information technology fee and elimination of court costs

Chief Chan presented this item for consideration to adopt an ordinance to allow for an information technology fee instead of a court cost, stating that he has been approached by the police department’s computer vendor, Management Data Systems, regarding a change in fine scheduling fees. MDS is proposing that the city implement an information technology fee of $10.00 to each citation and criminal case handled by the police department, with three dollars ($3.00) going to the vendor. This fee would eliminate the court cost add-on ($3.00) and eliminate the cost of computer maintenance and site fees in regard to the services offered by the vendor. These funds would be directly deposited in a special account set aside for the police department and be used to purchase technological equipment, including computers, updates to software, telephone up-grades and lap top computers, with the end result being to eliminate capital outlay cost for future budgets. Councilman Cowart made a motion to table this item, to allow an ordinance to be prepared. Motion was seconded by Councilman Lamb and passed with Councilman Allen and Councilman Wall opposing. 

12. Approval of budget adjustment for 2004 for water and sewer and general fund

Mr. Baxter presented budget adjustments for 2004 for the water/sewer and general fund. Finance Officer Linda Smith stated that this adjustment was needed to correct the coding for the accounts. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this budget adjustment. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

Councilman Cowart made a motion to add Item #13. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

13. Approval of preliminary construction plan for The Villages at Godley Station, Northern Tract, Phase 6

Terry Coleman presented the preliminary construction plan for The Villages at Godley Station, Northern Tract, Phase 6, stating that EPD has submitted their letter of approval. Mr. Baxter stated that the issue of looping the water line has not yet been resolved as to who will pay for it. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Cowart, to approve this plan, contingent upon the issue of the looping of the water line being resolved. Motion passed without opposition. 

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Lamb made a motion to adjourn at approximately 8:04 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 5, 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 zoning map amendment of 589 acres located on the north side of Jimmy DeLoach Parkway from R-A (Residential-Agricultural) to a PUD (Planned Unit Development). Ryan Thompson of Thomas & Hutton Engineering Company presented this request which was discussed at a PUD Review Board meeting on March 22nd. This property is currently zoned R-A and the owner is requesting to re-zone to a PUD that will allow a density of four (4) units per net acre. This project will consist of a mixture of single-family and multi-family townhomes with four (4) access points from Jimmy DeLoach Parkway, with enhanced amenities. Mr. Thompson stated that the development standards propose a three (3) foot and seven (7) foot side yard setback to accommodate the 10' required setback. Councilman Wall presented his concern over the smaller lots being only 55' wide and the fact that normally the Council is provided more detailed information with a breakdown as to how the PUD is being done and that Council has never approved 55' lots. Further, that the amenities in the other PUDs have been built first. Councilman Cowart stated that the issue is for a re-zoning from residential-agricultural to a planned unit development and questioned if the developer has to show what they are going to do with it before the property is re-zoned. Jackie Carver, Zoning Administrator, replied that there is certain criteria the development has to meet before being re-zoned to a PUD and that a more detailed description of the plan is in order. Councilman Wall questioned if a buffer is being planned along Jimmy DeLoach Parkway, which Mr. Thompson stated that this would be addressed in the landscape plan and that the homeowner’s association would maintain it. Councilman Wall reiterated the fact that more information is needed, including the amenities. Mr. Thompson stated that the amenities are included in the first phase. Councilman Wall stated that the amenities being in the first phase needed to be shown on the plans. Councilman Allen stated that Planning & Zoning had concern about the double frontage lots, which he agrees could create a problem with the back of the homes not looking as nice as the front. Councilwoman Benton asked if the developer would consider more traditional-looking amenities. John Binder of D R Horton, stated that the developer has chosen a theme and is willing to discuss the amenities further and that more information can be provided to the Council. 

There being no further business to discuss, this hearing was adjourned at approximately 6:07 p.m.

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