Docstoc

MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF RICHMOND HILL

Document Sample
MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF RICHMOND HILL Powered By Docstoc
					MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF RICHMOND HILL

                               OCTOBER 07, 2003

Present from City Council: Richard R. Davis, Mayor; Dennis O’Neil, Mayor Pro-Tem;
Councilmen: Harold Fowler, Floyd Hilliard, Van Hunter


Staff Present: Michael Melton, City Administrator; Ursula Lee, City Clerk; Steve
Scholar, Director of Planning & Zoning; Allen Lancaster, Planning Commission
Chairman; Vernon Rushing, Fire Chief; Todd Hunt, OMI


Visitors: Ronald Stover, Allan Payne, John Marrero, Nancy Frye, Angela Bean, Ray
Pittman, John Mowry, Lamar Smith, Rick Frazier, Roberta Bennett, Dale Yawn

Mayor Richard Davis called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. and Councilman Floyd
Hilliard gave the invocation. The pledge of allegiance was given.

Minutes of the regular meeting held September 16, 2003 were approved as
submitted in a motion by Councilman Fowler. The motion was seconded by
Councilman O’Neil, and carried by all except Councilman Hilliard who abstained
due to absence.


COMMITTEE REPORTS:


Public Safety:

Police Department: Chief Billy Reynolds

Nothing to report.

Fire Department: Chief Vernon Rushing

Nothing to report.

Public Works: Todd Hunt

Nothing to report.

Parks, Recreation and Culture: Harvey Lashley

City Administrator Melton told Council J. F. Gregory Park was ready for the Seafood
Festival.



                                                                                 1
The new bridge has been put in, the decking is on and they are working on the handrails.
The bridge should be complete this week. The bridge will be a nice addition to the park.

Construction has started on the Wetlands Education Center. This should be complete in a
few months.

Mayor Davis asked Mr. Melton if we lost an employee this week in the park. Mr. Melton
replied “yes”, Shane Hunt resigned.

Planning, Zoning and Code Enforcement: Steve Scholar

Planning Commission Chairman Allen Lancaster presented the first five items.

       1. Mr. Lancaster explained items one and two are from the same company, but
           presented as two items. South Coast Medical Group is requesting approval of
           final plat of minor subdivision. Mr. Dale Yawn was present to answer any
          questions Council may have. Mr. Yawn stated the main purpose was to
           provide parking spaces for the complex. This will provide two ingress and
           egress easements. There will also be a utility easement.

           Councilman O’Neil made a motion to approve South Coast Medical
           Group’s final plat of minor subdivision which will create lot 4 A and lot C
           1. The motion was seconded by Councilman Fowler and carried by all.

       2. Mr. John Marrero of South Coast Medical Group was present to request
          reconsideration of extension request for medical facility. Mr. Marrero
          apologized for not being at the previous meeting. Mr. Marrero explained that
          at that time they did not have the sale agreement signed by both parties. Mr.
          Marrero told Council an architect had been hired and a floor plan designed.
          The South Coast Group would like to get out of the temporary facility as soon
          as possible. We would like to request an extension with the understanding
          that we are going to move forward with this project. The South Coast Group
          would break ground in a timely fashion.

          Councilman Fowler asked Mr. Marrero what kind of deadline he was looking
          at to have the building completed. Mr. Marrero replied they had to be in that
          building by November 1, 2004.

          Councilman Hunter asked Mr. Marrero when construction would start? Mr.
          Marrero replied ninety days from November 1, 2003.

          Councilman Fowler made a motion to reconsider and grant the extension
          for the temporary medical facility until November 1, 2004 or sooner if the
          new building is completed ahead of time. The motion was seconded by
          Councilman Hilliard and carried by all.



                                                                                          2
3. R & R Cove Development is requesting final subdivision approval of the Cove
   Subdivision Phase VII. Lot’s 65, 66, and 67 have been inspected and
   approved by the building inspectors. We do have the letter showing the core
   samples taken and the compaction test and we also have a check for the
   maintenance bond of $2,050.00. 911 addresses have been assigned.

   Councilman Fowler stated the 911 numbers are backwards. Chief Rushing
   stated Cathy Hicks with Bryan County needs to come back out and correct the
   addresses. The wrong numbers could cause problems later.

   Councilman O’Neil made a motion to approve the final subdivision
   approval of the Cove Subdivision Phase VII with the provision that the
   911 addresses are corrected before anything can be done out there. The
   motion was seconded by Councilman Fowler and carried by all.

4. Request by Lamar Smith that all side setback measurements for all of Main
   Street is measured from the exterior wall to the setback rather than from the
   house eave.

   Mr. Lancaster stated P & Z recommendation as follows:

      a. Main Street Subdivision is a PD2. Based on PD2 requirements for a
         change to the master plan. The changes would have to come back to
         Planning & Zoning. Our recommendation is to approve the side
         Setback change to the revised master plan so the notation that all lots
         on all phases to be built in the future, be measured from the foundation
         for all 60 foot lots in Main Street.

   Mr. Lancaster turned meeting over to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith stated nothing
   would change with the configuration of the homes. Standard procedure most
   of the time is measured from the foundation to the property line to determine
   the side setback. We’re asking for a change to the master plan instead of
   changing the ordinance.

   Mr. Fitzer stated they had built 150 homes in Main Street over the last three
   years. The side setbacks work well to establish the character of the
   neighborhood. The idea that you would measure the side setback from a point
   that was up in the air instead of the ground. Mr. Fitzer stated he had no idea of
   this, he would have designed a product to fit with the design of the city’s
   ordinance. Changing the house plans at this point would present an undue
   hardship. We respectfully ask that Council would allow Mr. Smith to make
   that change to the master plan and we apologize for the oversight.

   Mayor Davis stated in his opinion that we probably need to proceed with
   amending the ordinance. Council would probably be confronted with this



                                                                                   3
   same problem at a future date of measuring a setback from something that
 doesn’t exist. Mayor Davis added he thinks all setbacks should be measured
 from the foundation instead of from an imaginary point 10 or 12 feet high.

 Mr. Lancaster noted the Planning & Zoning Commission have been meeting at
 various workshops reviewing the current zoning ordinance. That particular
 issue has been brought up for discussion along with several other issues. P & Z
 is not at a point were we can present the whole package to Council.

 Councilman Fowler stated there was nothing showing Council what the side
 setback change would be. Mr. Lancaster stated Main Street was given a side
 setback of 5 feet. So they measured 5 feet to the foundation from the side verses
 from the eave. The request is to allow the master plan to be amended to not
 change the side setback of 5 feet but to change the setback point of measurement
 from the eave to the foundation.

Councilman O’Neil explained why the ordinance was put into place at that time.
Mr. O’Neil thinks the ordinance does need to be changed. Mr. O’Neil stated
when the amendment is made to the ordinance it should specify a distance
between the houses for safety reasons that would trigger putting sprinkler
systems in the homes. Mr. O’Neil stated he thinks some of the homes are built
closer than 5 feet from each other, I hope not. Since some of the homes are
already built you don’t know were the property line is. You can’t really tell if
there are violations. Precautions need to be made to protect future homeowners.

Mr. Fitzer replied none of the homes put on the lots exceeds 50 feet in width at
the foundation of the widest point. We develop a plot plan for each one of the
properties that we submit when we obtain a building permit. This clearly shows
the side setbacks and the front and rear setbacks. That same approved plot plan
is used to layout the home on the lot by our foundation subcontractor. The
superintendent goes in and verifies the setbacks once the form boards have been
placed. Mr. Fitzer noted he could only speak for himself and not the other
builders.

 P & Z Director Scholar stated the reason for not having the master plan in front
of you is because the size of the lots were not being changed, that a simple
statement would suffice saying the setback could now be measured from the wall.
Had the number of lots or sizes changed then the master plan would have to be
presented. A written statement would suffice.

Mr. Lancaster noted with Main Street being close to 70 % completed and this
issue just being addressed, the best recommendation from Planning & Zoning to
resolve this is to make this one simple change to the master plan.

Mr. Scholar noted with three hundred lots in Main Street alone, when the
building permit is issued; the setbacks are put on the building permit. The



                                                                                   4
       inspectors spot check, they don’t check every single lot to make sure of the
      setbacks, we think it’s the builder’s responsibility to adhere to the ordinance. The
      inspectors don’t check every single lot we simply don’t have the manpower to do
      that. That’s the reason it has gotten this far without being caught at an earlier
      time.

      Councilman Hunter made a motion to allow Main Street on fully developed
      phases and incomplete phases we change the way the side setbacks are
      measured for this development and this development only to read from the
      base of the foundation to the side setback. That would be 5 feet as opposed to
      the ordinance, which reads from the eave to the side setback on 60-foot lots
      only. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard. Motion amended
      to include all lots. Motion carried three to one, Councilman Fowler opposed.

  5. Request for approval by St. Anne’s Church for two temporary classrooms adjacent
     to the church until summer 2004. Because of the overflow the church is asking to
     add a second temporary trailer for classrooms. The new building will be complete
     the summer of 2004 and the trailers would be removed.

      Councilman O’Neil made a motion to approve two temporary classrooms
      adjacent to St. Anne’s Catholic Church for use by the church until August
      of 2004. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all.

P & Z Director Scholar gave update on J.F. Gregory Park Trail bid. We held the bidding
session today. Four bids came in. The low bid was from Carroll & Carroll at
$260,600.13, the high bid was in excess of $454,000.00. The bid was accepted from
Carroll & Carroll. This bid will have to be sent to DOT to make sure this company is on
the accepted list through the state. The grant is for $200,000.00; the city will be
responsible for the balance.


Preservation and Beautification: Mike Melton

Nothing to report.

Administration and Personnel: Ursula Lee

       1. Change the regular Council meeting date of November 4, 2003 due to the City
          Election being held that day. City Administrator Melton recommended
          changing the date to Monday, November 3, 2003.

           Councilman O’Neil made a motion to change the regular City Council
           meeting date from Tuesday, November 4, 2003 to Monday, November 3,
           2003 because of election being held on November 4, 2003. The motion
           was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and carried by all.




                                                                                         5
       2. Request for all City offices to be closed on Friday, December 26, 2003 for
          employees to celebrate the holiday with their families. Councilman Fowler
          asked if employees would still be off on Christmas Eve? Mr. Melton replied
          “yes”. Mr. Melton stated what he recommends is that all city employees it
          would affect take a vacation day on December 26, 2003. This would not
          include the Police Department or Fire Department because they are on shift
          work and OMI is contracted.

          Councilman O’Neil made a motion to close all city offices on Friday
          December 26, 2003. That day will be charged off the employee’s vacation
          time. The motion was seconded by Councilman Fowler and carried by
          all.

       Councilman Fowler made a motion to form a committee to proceed with the
       Adult Christmas party. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard
       and carried by all.

       City Administrator Melton told Council the party had been tentatively
       scheduled for Saturday, December 20, 2003.

Finance Director: Bob Whitmarsh

       1. Set times and dates for budget meetings. Mr. Melton told Council most of the
          budget was complete. We are still waiting to receive the Tax Digest from
          Bryan County. A Department Head meeting will be scheduled to discuss the
          Health Insurance proposals.

          Councilman O’Neil asked Mr. Melton if he could get Council a copy of the
          budget so it could be reviewed before the meeting. Mr. Melton replied “yes”.

          The Budget meeting is scheduled for October 21, 2003 at 6:00 p.m.

Public Relations: Nothing to report.


Special Committees:


UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

Councilman Fowler asked Mr. Melton if he had an update from DOT about repairing the
railroad crossing. Mr. Melton replied “no”, but he would contact DOT again.


COMMUNICATIONS: Nothing to report.




                                                                                       6
NEW BUSINESS:

    1. Mr. John Mowry, Chairman of the Christmas Parade Committee to address
       Mayor Davis and Council. Mr. Mowry told Council the first theme for the
       Christmas Parade will be the “Star Spangled Celebration”. Mr. Mowry stated
       he’s hoping to get a lot of Military Support to participate in the parade.

       The chili cook off was a great success last year. We will also have a band
       performing this year as well as the Arts and Crafts. This year we will send out
       flyers to every household. We’re hoping this will be the biggest Christmas
       Parade yet.

      The Grand Marshall for the parade will be Roberta Bennett. Mrs. Bennett
      thanked the committee for choosing her.

      Mr. Mowry requested $10,000.00 from the City towards the Christmas Parade.

      Councilman O’Neil made a motion to provide $10,000.00 to the Christmas
      Parade Committee to be used for the 2003 Christmas Parade. The motion
      was seconded by Councilman Fowler and carried by all.

    2. Mr. Ron Stover to address Mayor Davis and Council regarding the Richmond
       Hill Historical Society and Museum. Mr. Stover told Mayor Davis and
       Council that on January 1, 2004 the museum will lose funding for the staff
       and operating funds. The funding has been cancelled due to the State budget
       deficits. The CVB was adding an additional $8,000.00 to the budget to keep
       the museum and local visitors center open.

       The requirements for State funding to stay in effect is to have a minimum
       recording of 5,000 visitors passing through the visitor’s center per year. The
       museum as well as the CVB has fallen short of that. Accurate records have
       not been kept of the visitors.

       The CVB Board has made a decision to withdraw the $8,000.00 funding. Mr.
       Stover has made a request to be put on the agenda to address the CVB Board
       at the next meeting.

       Mr. Stover noted that without the additional funding the museum and visitors
       center would be forced to close, and be open only on Saturdays with
       volunteers working. We come before the city seeking funds in order to keep
       the museum open, with closing on Holidays and reducing the hours.

       Mayor Davis asked Mr. Stover if the $6,200.00 figure meant they could
       operate on that amount monthly? Mr. Stover explained with the reduced
       hours they could probably operate on $6,200.00.



                                                                                        7
   Councilman Fowler stated they would review the handout and Council did not
   want to see the museum close. Mr. Fowler noted that if the museum were
   located at the J.F. Gregory Park the visitation rate would be higher.

   Mr. Stover told Council he did not know if Magnolia Manor would even
   release the building the museum is currently in. We could be facing looking
   for funding to build a new Ford Era Museum at the park.

   Mayor Davis thanked Mr. Stover for coming before Council and giving the
   update on the situation of the museum.

3. Approval of Alcoholic Beverage License for Steamers Restaurant & Raw Bar
   (The new location). Councilman Hilliard made a motion to approve the
   Alcoholic Beverage License for the new Steamers Restaurant & Raw Bar
   for Beer, Wine, and Liquor consumption of premises. The motion was
   seconded by Councilman O’Neil and carried by all.

4. Request for approval by Laura McGee, President of the Rotary Club, to
   sell/serve alcohol at their fund raising event scheduled for Saturday,
   November 22, 2003, at the J.F. Gregory Park. Councilman Fowler made a
   motion to grant the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill to sell/serve alcohol at
   their fund raising event scheduled for Saturday, November 22, 2003, at
   the J.F. Gregory Park. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard
   and carried by all.

5. CVB quarterly report. Mayor Davis stated that although the budget doesn’t
   break it down, he thought the billboard was included in the Advertising and
   Marketing in the Convention Sales Mission, spending $58,750.00.

   Mayor Davis said he thought there was a number of ways they could go back
   and revise this budget to help the museum.

   Councilman Hunter asked if the CVB could break down the line items under
   the Advertising and Marketing. Mayor Davis replied he thought they could.
   Mayor Davis asked Mr. Melton if there was a way we could get it broken
   down. Mr. Melton replied yes we could run a report.

   Mr. Melton said he would like to correct one thing that Mrs. Bean said that’s
   technically not correct. The numbers that you have in front of you are the
   actual numbers. They are projected to do at least $155,000.00 this year. So
   for them to give you a budget number of $140,000.00 next year is lower than
   what’s projected.

   Mayor Davis replied so based on year to date, you would come out about
   $160,000. Mr. Melton replied “yes”.



                                                                                   8
  Councilman O’Neil asked if the city had their numbers from last year by the
  month? Mr. Melton said, “ Yes sir, October, November, and December are
  there biggest months.

  Mayor Davis said, we need to send the budget back to CVB and ask them to
  redo the budget and base it upon what the city know it to be. The year to date
  revenue projected out to the end of the year being $160,000.00. There budget
  needs to be based upon that figure.

  City Clerk Ursula Lee stated the CVB usually calls to get that figure but they
  didn’t do that this year.

   Mr. Melton stated that the CVB used last year’s numbers.

   Mayor Davis replied the budget is not correct. Mr. Melton noted the CVB is
   required by law to spend what they can on a yearly basis. Mr. Melton
   explained if they take in a $160,000.00 then their required to spend
   $160,00.00.

   Councilman O’Neil asked Mr. Melton who audits them? Mr. Melton replied
   our auditors.

   Councilman Hunter made a motion to send the submitted budget back to
   the CVB and ask them to revise the budget and base it upon the projected
   revenue which is based upon the actual year to date revenue that the city
   has the figure on. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and
   carried by all.

6. Allan J. Payne request to park tractor truck on property at 61 Teal Lake Drive.
   Mr. Payne told Council he would only bring the truck to his home on a
   temporary basis when he comes off the road and it needs to be cleaned. It
   would be mostly on the weekends. Mayor Davis asked if it would just be the
   tractor truck and not the trailer? Mr. Payne answered “yes”.

   Councilman Fowler asked if it would be off the street? Mr. Payne replied
   “Yes”.

   Councilman Fowler made a motion to allow Mr. Allan Payne to
   bring his bobtail truck home to clean it at 61 Teal Lake Drive and as long
   as the City does not receive complaints on it he can continue to do so.
   The motion was seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all.


Councilman Hunter asked about the other railroad crossing, outside lane? Mr.
Melton replied he is talking with CSX about that crossing.



                                                                                   9
       Councilman Hunter asked about the egress traffic off of I-95 and Hwy. 144, rush
       hour traffic. The traffic is starting to back up on to I-95, could we get the Police
       Department to do traffic control in that area? Mr. Melton replied the Police
       Department would do what they could but Mr. Melton thinks it needs to be
       addressed to DOT. It has been addressed to DOT, but we’ve had no response.

       Councilman O’Neil stated the dangerous part is traffic backed up on I-95. DOT
       should get some type of light or re-engineer that exit so there’s a cue line there
       that’s long enough to hold the people.

       Mr. Melton said he would get a letter put together to send to DOT concerning the
       safety problem at the off ramp of I-95 and Hwy. 144.


Councilman Fowler made a motion to recess.              The motion was seconded by
Councilman Hunter and carried by all.




There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:05 P. M. in a motion by
Councilman Hilliard, seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all.

Respectfully submitted,



Ursula G. Lee
City Clerk




                                                                                        10