Council Minutes December 6, 2004

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
December 6, 2004

 

The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on December 6, 2004. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, 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 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 Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilman Wall reported on police and fire department activities for last month. 

STREETS/DRAINAGE

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

WATER/SEWER

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

RECREATION

Councilman Seay reported that the football season has ended with only one (1) game lost all season. 

PERSONNEL

Councilman Seay stated that the personnel committee has made recommendations in the budget for the employees. 

BUILDING/ZONING

Councilwoman Benton reported that 14 new single family residential and three (3) commercial permits have been issued since the last meeting, totaling 285 residential permits for the year, with 5861 inspections performed and that there will be a PUD Review Board meeting on December 13th at 5:30 p.m. 

Councilman Wall stated that there is a vacancy on the Pooler Development Authority and made a motion to appoint Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

Mayor Lamb presented a certificate to former Councilman Travis B. Cowart, Jr., in appreciation for his years of service on City Council. Mr. Cowart thanked the city employees, Mayor Lamb and members of Council. 

There was no OLD BUSINESS to discuss. 

Under NEW BUSINESS, the following was discussed: 

1. Approval of amendment to Forest Lakes PUD Master Plan

Mr. Baxter presented this request from the developer of Forest Lakes. Terry Coleman of Kern-Coleman & Company, LLC stated that the proposed changes will increase the entire development by 65 lots, and will continue to meet all of the PUD development standards. Councilman Wall asked how many 60' lots were in the total PUD, which Mr. Coleman answered that these lots make up less than 10% of the total PUD (2288 units). After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this amendment. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

2. Approval of conceptual site plan for Pine Barren Plaza

Mr. Baxter presented the conceptual site plan for Pine Barren Plaza, a 9.48 acre tract in the northeast corner of Pooler Parkway and Pine Barren Road. Councilman Wall asked if the developer would be willing to share in the cost of installation of the traffic light that has been approved by DOT at the intersection of Pooler Parkway & Pine Barren Road. Terry Coleman stated that the developer was not present, therefore he could not give an answer, but felt that they would agree to their fair share. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve this conceptual site plan. Motion passed without opposition. 

3. Approval of final plat for Godley Station Professional Park, Phase II

Mr. Baxter presented the final plat for Godley Station Professional Park, Phase II, stating that the developer has posted a performance bond for the portion of the infrastructure that is not yet complete. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this final plat, contingent upon the city attorney approving the bond. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

4. Approval of final plat for Parkway Professional Center at 130 Canal Street

Mr. Baxter presented the final plat for Parkway Professional Center at 130 Canal Street, stating that all the infrastructure is complete and will remain privately owned. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve this final plat. Motion passed without opposition. 

5. Request from Karen Thornburg to build a single family residence on a substandard lot at Moore Avenue & Rothwell Street

Karen Thornburg of Rhema Construction & Management, LLC presented this request to the Council to allow a single family residence to be built on a substandard lot at 135 N. Moore Avenue. The city’s ordinance requires that preexisting substandard lots can only be built on if the owner can qualify for relief based on three (3) standards of criteria as follows: failure to grant a building permit would create a real, undue hardship; that the applicant did not own any contiguous property to said lot at the time of the adoption of the zoning ordinance enacted on March 4, 1996 or at any date subsequent to its adoption, including the time which the application for relief has been requested; and that the owner intends to construct only one (1) single-family residence or a use of lesser impact. Ms. Thornburg stated that she originally purchased both the substandard lot and the adjacent lot, but has already obtained a construction loan for the substandard lot to be built on. Further, that she no longer owns the adjacent property (copy of a quit claim deed has been provided to Council). Mr. Scheer stated that he was concerned about the legality of the quit claim deed. Ms. Thornburg stated that her company cannot wait to begin construction, that interest is being paid on the loan and that she did not realize that there would be a problem with being approved, due to the fact that this lot will always be substandard. Mr. Scheer stated that the ordinance does not allow homes to be built on substandard lots if the applicant has owned any contiguous property. Ms. Thornburg stated that this construction will only improve the area, that she has lived in Pooler for 20 years and that she has been treated unfairly ever since she opened her business and that she is being discriminated against. Further, that the city has approved similar requests in the past in other areas. Councilman Wall stated that the conditions regarding a similar request on Whatley Street were different, being that the adjacent property was not a vacant lot as it is in this case. Mayor Lamb informed Ms. Thornburg that the city is willing to work with her, recommending that the two (2) lots be recombined. Mr. Scheer recommended that this request be tabled, requesting that he and Ms. Thornburg’s attorney be allowed to review this matter, in particular the legal description of the lot as provided on the quit claim deed. After further discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to table this item. Motion passed without opposition. 

6. Authorization for mayor to sign bond request (increased amount) for Pooler Development Authority (Alta Towne Lake Apartments project)

Attorney Harris Odell, representing the Pooler Development Authority, stated that the developers of Alta Towne Lake Apartments will not seek low income housing tax credits from the Department of Community Affairs for this project and therefore, are bringing conventional equity to the deal. Because of this, the principal amount of the tax-exempt bonds will be increased from $15,000,000 to $20,000,000. Further, that this project will be performed at no cost to the city, nor will there be any liability to the city and that the bonds will still be issued by the Department of Community Affairs. Councilman Wall made a motion to authorize the mayor to sign the amended bond request. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

7. Approval of engineering proposal for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan

Mr. Baxter presented this proposal for engineering services to prepare Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans for the city’s wastewater treatment plant and public works facility, stating that this is required by the EPD. Mr. Bill Lovett of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineers was present to answer any questions. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this proposal in the amount of $4970.00. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

8. First Reading on new tree protection ordinance

Mr. Baxter presented a new tree protection ordinance for adoption, stating that Planning & Zoning has been working on this for awhile. Mr. Scheer presented an amendment to this ordinance regarding the violation and penalty. Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve this ordinance on First Reading to include Mr. Scheer’s recommendation. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. Mayor Lamb and Councilwoman Benton thanked the Planning & Zoning Board and Zoning Administrator Jackie Carver for their diligent work on preparing this ordinance. 

9. First Reading on proposed 2005 budget

A public hearing was held prior. Councilman Allen presented a recap of the city’s proposed budget for 2005, stating that the General Fund balances at $7,079,500 and the Water & Sewer Fund balances at $4,084,822, which includes a $.10 increase on the variable rate (per 1000 gallons) for water and sewer. Councilman Allen then made a motion to approve the 2005 budget on First Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:03 p.m. to discuss legal and personnel matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

Mayor Lamb called the meeting back to order at 8:05 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 8:06 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.

Public Hearing 

A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on

December 6, 2004. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, 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 the proposed 2005 budget. Councilman Bruce Allen presented the budget, stating that the General Fund balances at $7,079,500, based on a projected growth in the tax digest of 20%, with the millage rate remaining at 4.25 mills. Further, that it also includes a capital project at the recreation department to be funded through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and a police department annex to be constructed as well as providing 24-hour/7-day fire protection which should bring the city’s ISO rating down and decrease homeowner’s insurance rates. Further, that the Water & Sewer Fund balances at $4,084,822, and includes a $.10 increase on the variable rate (per 1000 gallons) for water and sewer, stating that this will not affect senior citizens who qualify for the homestead exemption. 

There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:52 p.m.

City of Pooler, GA | 100 US HW 80, Pooler, GA 31322
(912) 748-7261