The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on November 17, 2003. Mayor Buddy Carter called the meeting to order at 6:00 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 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:
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.
Councilman Wall reported on the community service and gave the police report. Police Chief C. E. Chan reported that a safety check on children’s car seats was performed last weekend. Fire Chief Jay Hillis gave the fire report.
Councilman Cowart reported that the street and drainage departments have performed routine maintenance.
Councilman Brewton reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance, that the wastewater treatment plant has met all parameters and that construction of the new plant is progressing.
Councilman Seay reported that the regular football season is over, with the mini pee wee team going undefeated, and that teams will be playing in the Rama at Westside Stadium. Further, that the 11 & 12 year-old cheerleaders competed in Macon recently and that basketball signups are ongoing.
Councilman Seay thanked the employees for the fine job they are doing.
Councilwoman Tyler reported that 14 new single family residential permits have been issued this month, totaling 301 for the year, with one (1) commercial permit being issued for A & R Flooring on E. Highway 80.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Approval of preliminary construction plan for “The Grove” at Brighton Woods Subdivision
Councilwoman Tyler presented this item which was tabled on October 6th in order to have the developer look at the possibility of providing an alternate entrance and to make more drainage improvements. Alan Emerick, developer, addressed Council, stating that this project meets the city’s requirements and that it will not impact the adjacent property in regards to drainage or traffic. Further, that he has performed an informal traffic study and determined that there is approximately one (1) car per minute traveling on Brighton Woods Drive. Mr. Emerick stated that he has looked into the matter of an alternate access, only to find that there is no viable alternative. Councilman Wall stated that in the 1980's when the master plan was approved, a councilman asked for a second entrance to the subdivision off of Winskie Road. Hal Kraft of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineers stated that the residents on Winskie Road did not want their street impacted. Mr. Baxter stated that the councilman who wanted a second entrance had suggested using Wildcat Dam Road. Mayor Carter questioned what else could be developed in the area. Mr. Kraft replied that there is a multi-family tract, which Council agreed would only add more traffic in this area and require an additional access. Mr. Kraft reiterated the fact that the developer has looked into providing an additional access, but that it is not feasible. Councilman Wall asked that the developer contact the adjacent property owner about sharing in the cost of providing a second entrance. Councilwoman Tyler expressed concern about construction equipment affecting the safety of the children in the subdivision.
Councilman Cowart stated that Planning & Zoning has concerns about the drainage, asking if an impact study was performed. Mr. Kraft stated that this has been done, making sure that the drainage pipes have been sized adequately, with an additional lot being provided for oversize detention. Councilman Cowart questioned who would be responsible for flood damage and repairs to the road if it is damaged by the contractors. Mr. Baxter stated that the developer would be required to repair any damage to the road. Councilwoman Tyler asked if there was any other feasible alternate access. Mr. Baxter stated that Pooler Parkway was the most obvious, but that access is not possible, due to the way it has been constructed. Councilman Wall asked that a time limit should be set for construction traffic to not interfere with school bus traffic. Two (2) residents of Brighton Woods Subdivision, reminded Council of their concerns about drainage and traffic. Councilwoman Tyler made a motion to approve this preliminary construction plan, contingent upon limiting construction (heavy equipment) traffic to between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton. Motion was opposed by Councilman Bryan, Councilman Cowart, Councilman Seay and Councilman Wall and failed.
2. Approval of First Amendment to Water & Sewer Agreement with Savannah Developments, LLC and Southwest Quadrant Development Co., LLC
Councilman Wall presented the First Amendment to the Water & Sewer Agreement with Savannah Developments, LLC and Southwest Quadrant Development Co., LLC and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
3. Approval of Wastewater Treatment Capacity Reservation Agreement
Councilman Wall presented this agreement regarding wastewater treatment capacity reservation that will be signed by all developers who wish to reserve capacity and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
4. Approval of Wastewater Treatment Capacity Reservation Agreement with Savannah Developments, LLC and Southwest Quadrant Development Co., LLC
Councilman Wall presented this agreement and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Approval of sketch plan for Hamilton Inn and Suites at corner of Parsons & Gray St.
Councilwoman Tyler presented the sketch plan for Hamilton Inn and Suites which is being proposed at the corner of Parsons and Gray Streets, noting that Planning & Zoning has several concerns regarding this project. Items of concern include the encroachment of the canopy into the front setback, that there are no additional parking spaces to accommodate trucks, busses and campers, and that the driveway is narrow. Mr. John Farmer of EMC Engineering addressed Council, stating that the developer has agreed to place a 6' wooden privacy fence and a buffer between the adjoining residential property. In regards to the issue of truck, bus and camper parking, Mr. Farmer noted that there is a sign on Parsons Avenue that prohibits any truck traffic, therefore, they did not provide any parking for trucks. Councilman Seay stated that this project would create a traffic problem, due to there not being adequate right-of-way on Gray Street or Parsons Avenue. Mr. Scheer commented that the project does not meet the city’s ordinance in regards to building setbacks, with it requiring variances in one (1) or two (2) areas and that proper procedures for these variances needs to be done first. Ms. Georgia Mae Wilson, adjacent property owner, presented her concern about the size of the lot being too small for a motel and asked for a brick fence to be constructed to keep water off her property. Councilman Wall reiterated the fact that the roads are substandard and stated that he would not support this type of project on these roads. Mr. Anil Patel, developer, stated that he can change his plans and build a three-story motel on this property which would not require any variances. Mr. Noble Boykin presented his parents’ concern over the increased traffic on the already substandard roads. After discussion, Councilwoman Tyler made a motion to deny this sketch plan, based on it not meeting the zoning requirements. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
2. Approval of minor subdivision of 2.26 acres on Sheftall Road
Councilwoman Tyler made a motion to table this item in order to look into comments from Chatham County Health Department. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
3. Approval of concept plan to rework intersection of Quacco Road with Pine Barren Road and to provide a separate entrance to Fred William’s Design Center
Mayor Carter stated that the petitioner has requested that this item be tabled. Councilwoman Tyler made a motion to table this item. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton and passed without opposition.
4. Approval of replacement plat for Williams Hollow Subdivision
Councilwoman Tyler presented the replacement plat for Williams Hollow Subdivision to change the name of the subdivision to “Southernland Subdivision” and made a motion, based on Planning & Zoning and staff recommendation, to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
5. Approval to combine three (3) lots on Moore/Carver Street into one (1) lot
Councilman Wall stepped down from his Council seat. Mr. Baxter presented this request from Mr. Henry Mincey to combine three (3) lots on Moore Avenue and Carver Street into one (1) lot. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this request. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition. Councilman Wall returned to his seat.
6. First Reading on ordinance to establish a Pooler Housing Authority
Mr. Scheer presented this ordinance to establish a Housing Authority, stating that the city has been approached by developers who want to apply for low interest financing/tax credits to construct low income housing. Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Tyler, to approve this ordinance on First Reading. Motion passed with Councilman Wall opposing. (Following the executive session, Mr. Scheer stated that the reason for the creation of this ordinance is to try and resolve the matter with the Department of Justice.)
Councilman Brewton made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:16 p.m. to discuss legal matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
Mayor Carter called the meeting back to order at 7:47 p.m.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:49 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.