Council Minutes August 16, 2004

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
August 16, 2004


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

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 Allen 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 and fire reports. Fire Chief Jay Hillis reported that the City will be sending one (1) full-time firefighter to Florida to assist in clean-up efforts. 

STREETS/DRAINAGE

Councilman Cowart reported that the street and drainage departments have performed routine maintenance and that placement of the traffic light at Pooler Parkway/Pine Barren Road should be completed in three (3) months.

WATER/SEWER

Councilman Royal reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance.

RECREATION

Councilman Seay reported that football and cheerleading practice is underway and that there is a waiting list for both sports.

PERSONNEL

Councilman Seay reported that the update to the employee handbook is underway, with the committee looking at amending the drug and alcohol policy and adding a policy regarding hepatitis B vaccines and the HIPPA policy. 

BUILDING/ZONING 

Councilwoman Benton reported that 11 new single family residential permits have been issued since the last meeting with one (1) commercial permit issued and that there will be a PUD Review Board meeting on Monday, August 23rd at 5:30 p.m. 

Mayor Lamb presented a certificate of appreciation and pin to Major David Burke on behalf of his 25 years of service with the City. 

Mayor Lamb presented a 15 year service pin to City Clerk Maribeth Lindler. 

Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Approval of zoning map amendment of 7.84 acres between Highway 80 & Old Louisville Road

Mr. Baxter presented this request, stating that this item was tabled in April of this year to allow the City to have a drainage study performed in this area, which is underway. Attorney Phillip McCorkle was present on behalf of the purchaser of this property and stated that he believes the proposed project will help the drainage in the area and that the re-zoning request and the drainage matter are two (2) separate issues. Councilman Wall stated that there is no problem with re-zoning this land, but reminded Mr. McCorkle that the drainage study could take several months to be completed, adding that he is concerned about the need for easements. Councilman Cowart stated that the site plan will address drainage, which Mr. Baxter confirmed, adding that the City’s standard specifications require drainage to be addressed and that this project cannot increase the rate of run-off to adjacent properties. Mary Louise Lanier, adjacent property owner, presented several concerns to Council to be considered as follows: drainage, adequate buffers (undisturbed and natural) and adequate septic tank system. Ms. Lanier requested that Council consider not permitting the following uses for this property: used auto sales and service (a permitted use in C-2), truck service centers, mobile home sales or repair, bars or nightclubs and family entertainment centers (conditional uses in C-2). Beverly Waters, adjacent property owner, presented concern regarding drainage and septic tanks. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this zoning map amendment with the condition that the following uses will not be permitted: used auto sales and service, truck service centers, mobile home sales or repairs, bars or nightclubs and family entertainment centers and to require a 20' undisturbed, natural buffer be provided for the adjacent property. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. Mr. McCorkle stated that his client has no objection to these uses not being allowed nor does he object to the required 20' buffer. 

2. Acceptance of performance bond/approval of final subdivision plat for The Village Green Townhomes

Mr. Baxter presented this request which was tabled due to the project not having EPD approval and the performance bond not being submitted, stating that these matters have been addressed. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Seay, to accept the performance bond and approve the final subdivision plat for The Village Green Townhomes. Motion passed without opposition. 

3. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for G. Timothy Hilliard at Carey Hilliard’s Restaurant

Mr. Baxter presented this application for an alcoholic beverage license for G. Timothy Hilliard to serve beer and wine at Carey Hilliard’s Restaurant, stating that this was tabled last month in order to allow the State Fire Marshall to certify the building for occupancy, which is needed to be able to serve alcohol. The Fire Marshall has given a temporary certificate of occupancy for the restaurant, therefore, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this license, without Sunday Sales. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed with Councilman Cowart abstaining and Councilman Allen opposing. 

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Requested zoning map amendment of 125 & 129 Parsons Avenue from R-1A to C-2

A public hearing was held prior. Mr. Baxter presented this request from Carl and Charles Morgan, Executors of the Estate of Willowee Clarice Morgan, to re-zone the property at 125 and 129 Parsons Avenue from single family residential to heavy commercial. Mr. Baxter stated that the recent re-zoning requests on Parsons Avenue were approved due to the property lines being in line with the adjacent motel (Econolodge) property and were not done to create a “domino” effect, which Councilman Wall stated that he was in agreement. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to deny this request. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. Mr. Morgan stated that the current zoning is not suitable for these properties, with the close proximity of the interstate and that the area will only deteriorate. 

2. Approval of site plan for office complex on Lots 6 & 7, Pooler Park of Commerce

Mr. Baxter presented this site plan for an office complex on Lots 6 & 7, Pooler Park of Commerce. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

3. Acceptance of performance bond/approval of final plat for The Arbors, Phase 6A

Mr. Baxter presented this request from the developer of The Arbors, Phase 6A, stating that everything is in order. Councilman Wall made a motion to accept the performance bond and approve the final plat. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

4. Approval of Final PUD zoning of SW Quadrant of Savannah Quarters, Phase 7

Mr. Baxter presented the Final PUD zoning of the SW Quadrant of Savannah Quarters, Phase 7. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve. Motion passed without opposition. 

5. Approval of recombination of Lots 39 & 40, Westside Business Park

Mr. Baxter presented this request to recombine Lots 39 & 40, Westside Business Park to shift the property line of Lot 39 southward. Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

6. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Mark Scomo at Fettuccini & Company

Mr. Baxter presented this application for Mark Scomo to serve alcoholic beverages (beer and wine) at the new restaurant, Fettuccini & Company, stating that Chief Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve this alcoholic beverage license to include Sunday Sales. Councilman Allen, Councilman Cowart and Councilman Seay voted in opposition of the motion, creating a tie. Mayor Lamb voted in favor of the motion. Motion passed. 

7. Approval of water and sewer agreement with Morgan Lakes, LLC

Mr. Baxter presented the standard water and sewer agreement, stating that Mr. Scheer has recommended a few minor changes be made to the agreement regarding early pay-off and the provision that this is a private agreement, not an impact fee. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this agreement, contingent upon the city attorney’s final approval of the document. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

8. Approval of water and sewer agreement with David V. Capallo & Robert A. Wynn

Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this agreement, contingent upon the city attorney’s final approval of the document. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

9. Approval of water and sewer agreement with Darrel W. Hutcheson, et al

Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this agreement, contingent upon the city attorney’s final approval of the document. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

10. Approval of placement of speed bumps on S. Skinner Avenue

Mr. Baxter stated that several complaints have been made regarding vehicles speeding on S. Skinner Avenue and that he has found a different type of speed bump (traffic slowing device) that may help this situation. Councilman Wall stated that the police department has recently monitored this area, issuing over 20 tickets for speeding in one day, warranting some type of further action to be taken. Further, that after looking into the idea of placing three-way stop signs on Skinner/Whatley and Skinner/Mell Street, it was determined that this type of speed bump would work better. Councilman Cowart stated that this will be done on an experimental basis. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the placement of two (2) speed bumps on S. Skinner Avenue with Mr. Baxter obtaining bids to be brought to Council for approval. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. 

11. Approval of budget adjustment for water department

Mr. Baxter presented this budget adjustment for the water department to cover costs for vehicle repairs and EPD water sampling requirements that were not budgeted as well as funds to cover unexpected requests for new water meters. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve this budget adjustment. Motion passed without opposition. 

12. Discussion concerning proposal from developer of Sangrena Woods Subdivision, Phase IV, regarding recreational requirements

Mr. Baxter presented this item from the developer of Sangrena Woods Subdivision, Phase IV, proposing some type of swap for the recreational requirements. Terry Coleman of Kern-Coleman & Company stated that the original concept plan approved by Council included 43 lots and has now been modified to include 39 lots, due to a large drainage ditch being identified, causing the number of lots to be reduced. During a meeting with Planning & Zoning earlier this month, there was discussion regarding an optional plan for the five percent (5%) open space requirement. Mr. Coleman presented a proposal from the developer to either make a monetary contribution to the recreation department to offset the open space requirement or to move the open space to an area adjacent to and across the street from this phase for future development of a recreational area. Councilman Wall stated that the subdivision standards require open space to be provided and that this has never been waived. Councilwoman Benton questioned if there was some sort of ordinance/statute that would permit the City to accept a monetary donation. Mr. Scheer stated that he was not sure about the donation, but that the proposal for the land could be considered. Mayor Lamb reminded Council that this item was for discussion. Mr. Bill Grainger, developer, stated that he is willing to make a donation, but that if it is not legal, he is willing to provide the 5% open space for future recreational use and asked that this item be approved, not just discussed. Councilman Wall suggested that Council move on to the next item in order for this to be considered for approval. 

13. Approval of minor revision of conceptual plan for Sangrena Woods Subdivision, Phase IV

Mr. Baxter stated that the first concept plan for this phase of Sangrena Woods did not take into consideration the large ditch running through the property and that the plan has been revised which reduces the number of lots and provides a retention area and more greenspace into the overall development. Further, that the required five percent (5%) open space is not in the revised plan, that it is now a retention area and that the developer is proposing to make a donation or provide land for open space that adjoins and is on the other side of the street from this phase. Councilman Cowart questioned if a subdivision was ever approved without the required five percent (5%) open space, which there has not. Mr. Grainger reiterated the fact that he is willing to set aside the open space required for this phase in another phase or make a donation to the City’s recreation department. Councilman Wall stated that he is not sure if this was acceptable to the city attorney. Mr. Grainger stated that he feels his proposal for the open space is an opportunity to do better than what has been done in the past, that small pods of greenspace are not beneficial and asked Council to approve this plan, subject to his proposal to provide the land for open space being accepted. Councilman Cowart expressed concern that this has never been done before and made a motion to table this item to allow the Council more time to review it. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen. Councilwoman Benton, Councilman Royal, Councilman Seay and Councilman Wall voted in opposition of the motion. Motion did not pass. Discussion followed, wherein Councilman Wall stated that he was somewhat in agreement with Councilman Cowart. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the revised concept plan, contingent upon the 5% additional adjacent open space (uplands) for Phase IV being provided in accordance with the subdivision ordinance. Motion died due to lack of a second. Mr. Baxter suggested that Mr. Grainger bring a newly revised plan back to Council at a later date. Mr. Grainger stated that he is willing to wait and allow Council to come up with a better plan, and further, if Council is not comfortable with his proposal, he is willing to have it removed. Mr. Scheer stated that the Council has never had to make this type of decision and is concerned about setting a precedence and suggested that the developer prepare another plan to be later submitted to Council. At the request of Mr. Grainger, this item was removed.

Councilman Wall made a motion to add Item #14 under New Business. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. 

14. Discussion concerning petition for annexation/de-annexation of Morgan Family Properties

Mr. Baxter presented this petition from the Morgan Family to de-annex a 29.90 acre parcel within the city limits of Pooler and, as an exchange, to annex a 29.90 acre parcel within the city limits of Bloomingdale, subject to the property being de-annexed pursuant to a similar annexation/de-annexation petition filed by the Morgans in the City of Bloomingdale. These properties will be simultaneously annexed and de-annexed by both cities, pursuant to the 100% method. The Morgans have requested that the parcel proposed for annexation into Pooler be zoned single family residential (13.62 acres) and multi-family (16.28 acres). The parcel proposed for de-annexation by Pooler is currently zoned light industrial. Mr. Baxter stated that the property owner wants approval to proceed. Councilman Cowart stated that this is an even swap and made a motion to approve the concept of this annexation/de-annexation petition. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition. 

Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:57 p.m. to discuss personnel matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition. 

Mayor Lamb called the meeting back to order at 8:15 p.m. 

Councilman Allen made a motion to accept the Mayor’s proposal for the city manager’s compensation. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 8:18 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition. 

Public Hearing

A public hearing was held on August 16, 2004, prior to the regular City Council meeting. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Jr., 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 a requested zoning map amendment of 125 & 129 Parsons Avenue from R-1A (single family residential) to C-2 (heavy commercial). Carl and Charles Morgan, Executors of the Estate of Willowee Clarice Morgan, presented this request, stating that the property is within close proximity to I-95 and that rezoning this property would be typical and consistent with the zoning in the area and a natural expansion of the commercial zoning district, with the best use of this property being commercial. Further, that the rental homes located on the property are deteriorating and are in need of major repair and that there is no incentive to make improvements. Councilwoman Benton asked the Morgans if this was rental property and if there was any economic benefit, which the Morgans replied that there was some. Dale Johnston, resident on Moore Avenue, addressed Council in regards to the possibility of re-zoning the entire block (Parsons Avenue, Moore Avenue and the southern portion of Rothwell Street), stating that he has spoken with all but three (3) of the property owners and they were in favor of re-zoning. Councilman Cowart asked Mr. Johnston if he has spoken with the property owners on the north side of Rothwell Street, which Mr. Johnston replied that he had not. Joy Larrick, who owns the property directly behind the Morgans, presented concern that this was a “blanket” re-zoning, stating that the residents keep their houses up. Further, that she objects to any type of 24-hour business locating on this property and that Planning & Zoning has suggested a light commercial zoning. Mr. Morgan stated that he and his brother do not want anything bad for Pooler, but that this property cannot be marketed if it is not zoned heavy commercial. 

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
City Hall: (912) 748-7261
Police Department: (912) 748-7333