Official Minutes of February 20, 2020 Council Meeting

Approved by City Council at the March 5, 2020 Council Meeting

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Grizzard giving the Invocation. Councilmember's Griffin, Grizzard, Harley, Kerby, Key, Otakie, Mayor Rozier, Attorney Dickey, City Administrator Akridge, Assistant City Clerk Danielle Bucher were present. Councilwoman Key left the meeting for a family emergency.

 

Mayor Rozier announced that there were three clipboards in circulation around the room for everyone to sign for the Public Hearing of the rezoning application request of 590.43 acres from RA-1 to PID/PUD submitted by McCraney Properties/Pete Waller/Ottawa Farms and the proposed text amendment to add Section 52-714 (L) to the Unified Development Code for the rezoning of 590.43 acres from RA-1 to PID/PUD submitted by McCraney Properties/Pete Waller/Ottawa Farms.

 

Councilman Grizzard made a motion to approve the draft copy of the minutes of the February 6, 2020. City Council Meeting. Councilwoman Key seconded the motion and it was passed with Councilwoman Griffin abstaining from the vote due to her not being at the February 6, 2020 meeting.

 

Councilman Kerby made a motion to approve the agenda of the February 20, 2020 meeting with the exception of moving the rezoning application request first and the proposed text amendment second as well as moving the Old Business- Citizen to be heard before the Public Hearing. Councilman Harley seconded the motion and it was carried.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Citizen to Be Heard Sarah Harper 209 Ash Street.

Sarah Harper of 209 Ash Street approached council to follow up from the last meeting. She noted that the minutes from the February 6, 2020 meeting incorrectly stated the ditch beside her house always overflows up to the front of her yard and asked to make the correction to the minutes that the ditch in front of her home overflows into her yard. She said that she had not heard from the City since the last Council Meeting other than two letters from Mr. Charles Akridge and EMC Engineering. The letter she received from Mr. Akridge stated that they had resolved some downstream issues. City Administrator restated that Ms. Harper had received an email letter from engineer Mr. Mobley which states in his opinion letter that upsizing Mrs. Harper's culvert would not make any appreciable difference. Mr. Mobley who was in attendance agreed that this was his recommendation, it would not do any good upgrading her pipe; therefore, Mr. Akridge recommended that no further actions was recommended by the City at this time. Mrs. Harper continued that she had her own engineer come out and evaluate the drainage concerns because most of the report was in regard to the actual installation and the proper installation of the ditch and not to the actual drainage concerns on my property. So based on their site review, mapping and other resources including one of them being involved with the drainage improvement project in that area himself. It was reported that during heavy rainfall events the pipe system must develop a certain surface elevation to maximize flow through the pipe network. However, in doing this the water level were encroach into adjacent connecting areas which are below that headwater level, allowing the ditches and pipes to back up. She noted the problem is that the water moving down Cregor Street has momentum and is pushing past the turn to move downstream, and is backing up the Ash Street ditch. She also presented the possible solutions to improve the condition recommended by her engineer. Councilman Harley recommended since she has presented information unexpectedly that goes against what EMC has advised the City that she provide these documents from her drainage engineer's findings for the City to review and follow up. Councilwoman Griffin reiterated that there is no action at this time and if Mrs. Harper has any further concerns she should request to be put back on the Agenda for Citizen to be Heard. Councilman Harley said that the City would follow up with some type of communication between the City, Mr. Mobley, and the Harper's.

 

 

PUBLIC HEARING:

Councilman Harley made a motion to open the Public Hearing for the Rezoning application request of 590.43 acres from RA-1 to PID/PUD submitted by McCraney Properties/Pete Waller/Ottawa Farms and Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

 

The Mayor announced that the propose request under consideration of the printed copies of the adopted standards governing exercise or of the zoning power and procedures, during the hearing are available to the public and the zoning administrator shall advise the mayor and council of the major decisions, sought and the recommendation of planning zoning boards.

 

City Administrator acknowledged that the Planning and Zoning board recommends the approval of both the text amendment and rezoning application.

 

The Mayor instructed that the applicant and or his attorney may address the Mayor and Council with proponents including the applicant or his attorney may have no less than 10 minutes for presentations data analysts and expert opinions. Opponents of the proposed decisions do have equal time allowed with no less than ten minutes of data, evidence, and expert opinions.

 

The Mayor introduced Mr. Harold Yellin who is representing McCraney Properties and Ottawa Farms. Mr. Yellin also acknowledged Steven McCraney, Dave Williams on behalf of McCraney Properties. Mark Hall, Brooke Stillwell on behalf of Ottawa Farms and the project engineers Greg and Terry Coleman. All were present for the rezoning of the 590.43 acre property for industrial uses which several petitions were submitted, and appear on the agenda as items numbers 1-4. Mr. Yellin has asked for a text amendment, for revisions to the Bloomingdale Zoning Ordinance to address certain development and design standards, which will allow McCraney to develop the site at Ottawa Farms. The second petition is to rezone that text to the zoning ordinance, as amended. The third item is the development agreement which will set forth the requirements for McCraney Properties. If the City has signed the development agreement Mr. Yellin's states, it will set out specific benefits to the city, which includes the creation of a Community Improvement District, under that development agreement. It is the belief of Mr. Yellin and McCraney Properties, and their representatives that they have addressed, every development and design standard that needs to be tweaked in order to allow this development based on the size and the location of this project. In that process they have made numerous changes to their initial submittal such as, setbacks in parking and sidewalks and fences and accessory structures. Mr. Yellin and McCraney Properties are asking for a 12 foot berm with a six foot fence vegetation for additional screening. If approved they are asking to be zoned to that district, as revised. A development agreement between the City of Bloomingdale and McCraney the highlights of that agreement are McCraney will build a waterline from I16 to the railroad tracks, located north of our property. There is going to be a Community Improvement District, (CID). Property owners within the CID will pay a fee of 3.79 mils, the projected CID fees will be approximately two and a half million dollars over the next 10 years, six and a half million dollars over the next 20 years. That does not include permit fees, which Bloomingdale charge. Mr. Yellin believes that will equal approximately $600,000, and does not include impact fees that the property owner pays whether you are or not in the CID. Lastly, McCraney Properties and Mr. Waller has pledged a donation of 1.75 Million for the construction of a Gym, that has been added to the development agreement as Exhibit G.

 

Mr. Yellin asked to introduce Greg Coleman from Coleman & Company. Greg Coleman approached Council to briefly go over the site plan changes that McCraney Properties made since the last meeting. The rail on the residential side of building 200 has been removed from the plans. The major concern from council and residence was traffic in order to address this the Internal loop that would have been used to connect buildings 100 and 200 has been eliminated, keeping most of the traffic away from residential downtown Bloomingdale. So most of the truck traffic will be on the south end of Ottawa Farms. Building 300 and 600 were about 400 feet more north. The existing standard mature timber just to the left of Building 600 is going to remain standing giving a good buffer from Bloomingdale Road for building 600 and 700. Due to some site constraints McCraney Properties is proposing for 12 foot berms (10 foot tops, 2 slops, 6 foot fence, 22 to 24 feet buffer at full maturity.

 

Councilman Otakie followed up with the question to Mr. Coleman if the rail was still proposed for behind buildings 300 and 400? Mr. Coleman responded yes, a rail could possibly go behind buildings 300 and 400; however, there would not be any loading or unloading of railcars. Nothing behind buildings 100 and 200 away from downtown residents, so that there would not be any noise issues there to be mindful of the residents.

 

Councilman Kerby asked Mr. Coleman if 60 is elevation? Mr. Coleman answered yes.

Councilman Harley inquired about the turnaround and the widening of Bloomingdale Road. Mr. Coleman said that it will be heavily signed for no truck traffic and that there would be widening but was unclear how wide.

 

Stacey Watson, director from the Economic Industrial Development for the Ports Authority was in attendance and addressed the Council in support for the project. The Georgia Port is the fastest growing Port in the nation. The state and federal government invests in their facilities. The Federal Government approved 93 Million dollars to support the harbor deepening project. The Georgia Ports needs projects like this to support growth. The Jimmy Deloach expansion project was for quick access from the terminals to the Interstates, a resource that no other Port has, which makes for a great competitive advantage. In Mr. Watson's opinion it has been enlightening to work Steven McCraney and a company of his caliber. McCraney Properties has done an amazing job to try and accommodate this community and he has never in his career seen a developer put forth so much effort.

 

Dennis Baxter of 501 Cherry Street approached Council and stated he felt that this project was a good project, but it was in the wrong location. He believes you should ever rezone a projects from agricultural residential to industrial with the entire northern boundary for the property rezoning butts up against existing residential. He noted that he was concerned that the property values would go down after it was rezoned Industrial. He presented a petition with over two hundred and twenty-eight signatures from local residents in against the rezoning to industrial. He asks Council to deny this rezoning.

 

Michael Jordan of 410 Cherry Street addressed Council and stated that he is the one who got all the signatures on said petition Mr. Baxter was referring to. He believes that all 228 signatures on this petition are against this rezoning. Mr. Jordan questioned whether the Governor was truly for this project. Mayor Rozier stopped Mr. Jordan and asked to please address the Council. Mr. Jordan ended with the concerns of decreasing property values.

 

Brent Savage Jr. representing his friend, Suzanne Anderson 1726 Pine Barren Road who owns property surrounded on three sides by this new proposed warehouse facility. really no one is address my address yet. Mrs. Anderson claims that no one has contacted her in regards to this project. Ms. Anderson is afraid tractor trailers going in and out 24 hours a day. Mr. Savage noted like others the concern was property value and Ms. Anderson was hopeful for a buyout agreement for her property.

 

Ms. Phillips approached council and thanked them for all that they had done. She is the owner of a rental property that joins this proposed Industrial property in question. Her son-in-law is a manager over the Sugar Refinery and he's already stated how traffic backs up in Port Wentworth with tractor trailers 24/7 coming and going at all times of the night. She would like Council to take into consideration.

 

Willene Stone of 804 Bloomingdale Road approached Council and added that she was Mr. Waller's neighbor. Ms. Stone ask Council how wide the berm was going to be? Ms. Stone's concerns were the traffic, the widening of the road, and installation of water and sewer lines which would obviously take some of her and Mr. Jones property, across the street for Airtech Engineering. She reminded Council that Mr. Granger had some property rezoned to go with the rest of his property and she implied that should Mr. Waller decided to do that Council may be lenient enough to rezone his agricultural property to match the rest of this proposed industrial property, like that of Mr. Granger. She asked Council to think about all this when making a decision.

 

Michael Wedincamp of 2301 Hwy 80 approached Council and noted that he had something positive to say. In his opinion this project will do many positive things for the City. Mr. Wedincamp believes that Mr. Waller and Frank Jones and one or two other started the charter of Bloomingdale. Mr. Wedincamp thinks that if that 600 acres was residential it could have around 1500 houses bringing in more traffic than it would if zoned Industrial.

 

Steven McCraney with McCraney Property Company approached Council and stated when he first addressed the City roughly a year ago he said three things. First, it was so nice to be working back in this community, being raised as a Jessup Wayne County going. Two, that we were here to listen and to react to the remarks that came from the community. Thirdly, that we were here in part of the community and to contribute to the community. He thanked everyone including Attorney Dickey for all their work and effort throughout this past year with countless meetings and phone calls. The economic impact that comes out of this will certainly increase the Cities annual budget. In addition, in Mr. McCraney quest to be part of this community stated he would be making a donation of $1,750,000 for the Recreation Gym for this community as a legacy for the children and their families.. He stated that he understood that change is hard but asked for support with approval of the Rezoning of Pete Waller/Ottawa Farms's 590.43 acres from RA-1 to PID/PUD.

 

James Moore for 15 Maple Street asked if there were any ordinances in place, for the city to be able to enforce any environmental ordinances for noise and light abatement?

 

Councilman Grizzard answered that the City does have a noise ordinance in place and a police department to enforce it. He claims Bloomingdale has the best police departments and will take care of any concerns of noise abetment.

Councilman Otakie answered Mr. Moore's question that there has been previous talks and presentations discussing the noise abatement to adhere to the ordinance standard and dark sky lighting, which is lighting pointed down to dissipate the light. Which are in the development plan and does address those.

 

Thomas Bassett 218 Adams Road approached Council asking why buildings 100 and 200 were not being brought into the mix to bring green space between the warehouses and the residential areas?

 

Mayor answered Mr. Bassett, that this had been discussed with the developers and was not feasible.

 

Michael Jordan of 410 Cherry Street addressed Council again about the concerns of the lights from the current warehouse.

 

Dennis Baxter of 501 Cherry Street approached Council again and stated that he understands that the Cities attorney rewrote our ordinances for $25,000 which calls for a 25 foot berm between warehouses and residential. Mr. Baxtor believes that we are not following our own ordinance we just paid to rewrite.

 

Greg Coleman addressed Mr. Baxtor's question that the agreement does reads 25 foot berm and a 100 foot setback. A 25 foot berm would take about 140 feet of property at two one slope The one to one slope, cannot be done.

 

Richard Marlowe at 1724 Pine Barren Road addressed Council and claims that he nor Ms. Anderson has been approached to address their property that touches this proposed Industrial Property. He wants to see Bloomingdale prosper but feels he should get to some kind of consideration to his property losing value. Mr. Marlowe feels City council should address Ms. Anderson and himself in what decision is made.

 

Councilman Grizzard made a motion to end the Public Hearing Councilwoman Key seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

 

Councilman Grizzard made a motion to start the Public Hearing for the Proposed Text Amendment to add Section 52-714 (L) to the Unified Development Code for the rezoning of 590.43 acres from RA-1 to PID/PUD submitted by McCraney Properties/Pete Waller/Ottawa Farms. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

 

The Mayor again introduced Mr. Harold Yellin whom is representing McCraney Properties and Ottawa Farms. Mr. Yellin felt that he had previously covered everything in the text amendment and asked to answer any questions that anyone may have.

 

The Mayor asked if any of the attendees had any questions for Mr. Yellin?

 

Paul Otto from 322 Conaway Road approached Council. Mr. Otto believes that if Bloomingdale does not vote to approve than Pooler will take control of this proposed industrial property and no one that lives in the City will have a say in berm height or otherwise. If Bloomingdale has control they can police what happens with it.

 

Councilman Otakie clarified what this Public hearing was for a text amendment requirements to modify the ordinances that were adopted.

 

Tara Cox from 211 Cherry Street approached Council. Ms. Cox believes we have ordinances for a reason and should not amend them. Ms. Cox thinks Council needs to look hard at those amendments, and change the plan so to meet these previously adopted amendments.

 

Lonnie Benton of 412 Chestnut Street also works as a crane operator with Georgia Port Authority. Mr. Benton believes that if it is going to happen, Bloomingdale should be in control. Mr. Benton does not believe Mr. Coleman when he states the berm height cannot be done.

 

Councilman Kerby asked Mr. Coleman to come back to address Council about the accuracy of the height on the picture that shows the berm 30 ft vs. 60 ft.

 

Mr. Coleman approached Council and clarified that 60 foot was accessory structures only.

 

City Administrator advised that this needed to be clarified in writing.

 

Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to end the Public Hearing. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

 

Administrative & Committee Reports

Recreation Director George Foley reported on Taylor Park recreation. Spring sign ups are going on for baseball, T-ball, softball, soccer. The Recreation Department is seeing tremendous growth and look forward to future growth.

NEW BUSINESS:

1. Consider the First Reading of an Ordinance for a proposed Text Amendment to add Section 52-714 (L) to the Unified Development Code for the rezoning of 590.43 acres from RA-1 to PUD/PID submitted by McCraney Properties/Pete Waller/Ottawa Farms. Councilman Harey made a motion to table, items one through five to the next council meeting to further consider statements that were made at the Public Hearings in order to reflect and review the petition. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and Councilwoman Griffin noted that Ms. Key had to leave unexpectedly due to a family emergency. Councilmember's Griffin, Grizzard, Harley, Kerby, and Otakie agreed to table items one through five to the next council meeting .

2.Consider the First Reading of an Ordinance for a rezoning request of 590.43 acres from RA-1 to PID/PUD submitted by McCraney Properties/Pete Waller/Ottawa Farms

3.Consider Development Agreement between McCraney Property Company and the City of Bloomingdale.

4. Consider Water/Sewer Agreement between the City of Bloomingdale and McCraney Property Company.

5. Consider Water/Sewer Agreement between the City of Bloomingdale and the City of Savannah.

6. Consider the purchase of an Extrication Cutter for the Fire Department in the amount of $888 dollars. (CIP/SPLOST). Councilman Harley made a motion to purchase an Extrication Cutter for the Fire Department in the amount of $888 dollars. (CIP/SPLOST) Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

7. Consider an amendment to the Personnel Policy On Call Personnel City Administrator states this personnel policy uniform across all departments. Councilman Harley made a motion to approve #7. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed without opposition

8. Consider a Resolution recognizing Georgia Cities Week April 19-25, 2020. Councilman Kerby made a motion Consider a Resolution recognizing Georgia Cities Week April 19-25, 2020. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

9. Consider entering into an Agreement with SAGIS to update the Official Zoning Map at a cost of $80 an hour not to exceed $2,500. (Community Development Contractual Services) Councilman Kerby made a motion we enter into an agreement with SAGIS to update the Official Zoning Map at a cost of $80 an hour not to exceed $2,500. (Community Development Contractual Services) Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

 

Mayor Rozier reported that this concluded the items presented for consideration for inclusion on the Council agenda prior to the deadline of Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

 

The Accounts Payables were presented with Councilwoman Griffin making a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

 

There being no further business, Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to adjourn at 8:39 pm. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Charles D. Akridge

 

 

Note: Section 50-14-1 of the Official Code of the State of Georgia Annotated requires that the minutes shall, as a minimum, include a description of each motion or other proposal made, and a record of all votes. These minutes meet the minimum requirements. However, in an attempt to provide as much information as possible to the citizens, the recording clerk has included additional background data and discussion on the subjects presented to council. The statements of individuals are not verbatim and may be summary in nature.