Council Minutes October 20, 2003

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
October 20, 2003


The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on October 20, 2003. Mayor Buddy Carter called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. (delayed due to the public hearing held prior). Present were Councilmen Jack Brewton, Robert Bryan, Travis Cowart, Jr., Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Billie Tyler. City Manager Dennis Baxter and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present. 

The invocation was given by Mayor Carter 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 Bryan, with no opposition. 

Report from the Standing Committees: 

FINANCE

Councilman Bryan 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, stating that a babysitters’ CPR course was held recently and that the department has begun a junior firefighter program for ages 14-18. 

STREETS/DRAINAGE

Councilman Cowart reported that the street and drainage departments have performed routine maintenance and that the city has been approved to have 24 streets paved (overlaid). 

WATER/SEWER

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

RECREATION

Councilman Seay reported that the football season is in full swing, with basketball signups beginning soon and that there will be a dance at the gym for ages 6-12 on October 31st. 

PERSONNEL

Councilman Seay thanked the city employees for their hard work, noting that the work force is down, due possibly to low wages being paid. 

BUILDING/ZONING

Councilwoman Tyler reported that 16 new single family residential permits have been issued this month, totaling 279 for the year. 

Mr. Joey Nowell of the Pooler Supper Club presented Fire Chief Jay Hillis with $2172.00 which represents the proceeds from the fundraiser to benefit the fire department held recently in memory of former Fire Chief Jimmy Fields. 

Chief Hillis presented a plaque to Mr. Nowell in appreciation to the Pooler Supper Club for their support of the fire department. 

Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Award bid for SCADA system

Mr. Baxter presented two (2) bids for this project and after discussion, Councilman Bryan made a motion to award the bid to the low bidder, Dexter Fortson Associates, Inc., in the amount of $99,065.00. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. 

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Request for “conditional use” to construct a church at 1311 S. Rogers Street

Councilman Seay stepped down from his council seat. A public hearing was held prior wherein several residents presented opposition and several members of Morning Star Baptist, along with a few property owners, stated that they were in favor of a church locating in this area. Councilwoman Tyler made a motion to table this request to allow the two groups to meet and to have a traffic study performed. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton and passed without opposition.

Councilman Seay returned to his council seat. 

2. Approval of preliminary site plan for Pooler Commons, Phase II

Councilwoman Tyler presented the site plan for this project, stating that it is similar to the one that has been built on the adjacent lot and made a motion, based on Planning & Zoning and staff recommendation, to approve this site plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

3. Approval of final plat for Bridgewater Subdivision, Phase 5

Councilwoman Tyler presented the final plat for Bridgewater Subdivision, Phase 5, stating that all the engineer’s comments have been addressed and made a motion to approve, contingent upon the city attorney approving the letter of credit. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton and passed without opposition. 

4. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Darshna Patel at Grego’s Beverage Warehouse

Councilman Brewton stepped down from his council seat. Mr. Baxter presented this alcoholic beverage license application for Ms. Darshna Patel, for a change in ownership at Grego’s Beverage Warehouse. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Tyler, to approve this license. Discussion followed, wherein Police Chief C. E. Chan stated that he has recommended approval, however he has contacted the State (but is awaiting an answer) in regards to concern he has over the business changing ownership so frequently. Councilman Wall then made a motion to table this item to allow Chief Chan to obtain information from the State. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.

Councilman Brewton returned to his council seat. 

Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:47 p.m. to discuss legal matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition. 

Mayor Carter called the meeting back to order at 8:08 p.m. 

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 8:09 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

October 20, 2003. Mayor Buddy Carter called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Jack Brewton, Robert Bryan, Travis Cowart, Jr., Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Billie Tyler. City Manager Dennis Baxter and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present. 

The purpose of this hearing was to discuss a requested “conditional use” to construct a church at 1311 S. Rogers Street. MorningStar Baptist Church has petitioned the city for approval of a “conditional use” to build a church on this property. Attorney Phillip McCorkle presented a sketch plan of the proposed church which includes a six (6) foot privacy fence, a buffer and parking spaces for 58 vehicles, noting that this request is not for re-zoning, due to the fact that churches are allowed in single family residential zones if approved as a “conditional use”. Mr. McCorkle stated that the issue at hand is whether this project meets the criteria for a conditional use, which he confirmed while reviewing each item. Further, that the church will generate traffic at off-peak hours. Councilman Bryan questioned the distance between the parking lot and the Baker residence. Councilwoman Tyler stated that there is an issue concerning traffic and that with allowing two (2) churches on Rogers Street, traffic will increase quite a bit, which Councilman Brewton acknowledged. Councilman Cowart asked if the church has plans for expansion. Mr. Ron Walker, member of the church, stated that there are no plans at this site, that the church will look for other land. Councilman Wall requested that a buffer be placed on the south side of this property. Mr. William Baker, adjacent property owner, presented opposition to this request, stating that a petition has been signed by residents who live in the immediate area. Further, that the majority of the people in favor of this request do not live in the area and that the residents are concerned about additional traffic. Mr. Daniel Smith, member of MorningStar Baptist Church and a resident of Garden Acres Mobile Home Park, addressed Council in regards to the Church’s desire to be a part of the community, adding that the members do not want to dispute this matter. Ms. Ruby Todd and Ms. Virginia Moore, residents of the city and members of MorningStar, addressed Council regarding the need for a church on the southside of the city. Pastor Tom Byerly was present to answer any questions and shared a story with Council about an event that took place while he was Pastor of Pooler First Baptist Church. Councilman Cowart asked if there was any compromise the two groups could consider. Ms. Nora Lynch, adjacent property owner, presented opposition to this request, based on the additional traffic hazard. Mr. Ron Tyran, adjacent property owner, reminded the Council that their decision is to be based on the criteria for a conditional use. Further, that he agrees with the residents that traffic will increase, but that other factors such as the new roads being opened up will impact traffic more. Several other residents as well as church members expressed their desire to see a church built on this property, adding that they do not foresee a traffic problem. Mr. McCorkle stated that the traffic problem that is being disputed is presented without expert advice. Mr. Ron Walker stated that an impact study was performed and has determined that property values will not be affected. Councilman Cowart stated that he believes there is a misunderstanding and mis-communication between the two groups. 

There being no further business to discuss, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 7:03 p.m.

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