January 18, 2001
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Strozier who lead in prayer.
The minutes of the January 4, 2001 meeting were reviewed with Councilman Johnson making a motion to approve said minutes. Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Councilman Tyler reported the structure at #9 Chestnut Street is scheduled to be demolished/burned as a fire department exercise on February 10th. Councilman Tyler pointed out those portions of the streets surrounding the area will need to be blocked off during the exercise. Council agreed that a flagman should be posted at the intersections and residents living within these areas should be notified by the fire department ahead of time of the exercise.
Mayor Strozier reported that Paul Wilder had completed the survey work for maintenance easements of ditches located on property of Lewis Newton on Elm Street and Attorney Gerard will prepare the documents for his signature dedicating the easements to the City.
The Mayor reported that the committee had met and he outlined for council their plans for the lettering on the caboose.
Council was advised that there were some vehicles/equipment that were not sold at the January 11th auction and a decision needed to be made on the disposal of these surplus items. After discussing the matter, it was agreed that the vehicles and generator should be advertised in the paper with the following minimum bids: Two (2) Ford Crown Vics, minimum bid $3500 each; One (l) 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, minimum bid $3000; and One (l) 10KW Generator, minimum bid $500. The bid opening would be just prior to council meeting on February 15, 2001 and the vehicles should be parked along the highway in front of the caboose. Councilman Rawlins made the motion to proceed with the above mentioned minimum bids and advertisement, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc. had completed the cost estimate for lowering the existing 10"" force main along the northbound off ramp ""C"" of the Pooler Parkway. Council was reminded this force main has been exposed due to the construction of the parkway and will obstruct flows and be vulnerable to damage unless it is lowered. The estimate is $30,594.24 and this information has been submitted to Chatham County.
The police committee reported they would present their recommendation on participation in the State of Georgia Law Enforcement Certification Program at the next meeting.
The Mayor presented a request from Antonio Guerrero to operate a lawn maintenance business from his residence located at #45 Morgan Road. The property is owed by D.K. Morgan who has given written permission for the business to be operated from this location. Mr. Guerrero reports that he will use one (l) truck with a trailer for this business. Mayor Strozier advised Mr. Guerrero that this would be considered a home occupation business and since he is located in a residential zone, there should be no outside traffic related to the business at the residence. Mr. Guerrero stated he understood this stipulation. Based on his statement of understanding, Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson then made a motion to approve issuance of the home occupation license to Mr. Guerrero for a lawn maintenance business. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Planning Commission Chairman Margel Winn who presented the following recommendations:
1) A recommendation not to approve the telecommunications towers and antenna ordinance.
Mayor Strozier pointed out that the purpose of the ordinance was to provide some regulations and control on the addition of towers and antennae within the City. He explained that without this or some type ordinance giving specific guidelines, the City is without any controls on the type or number of towers and antennae that can be located within the City limits. The Mayor recognized Wayne Tipton, a member of the Planning Commission, who expressed his concern about the City allowing towers and/or antennae within residential zones. Mr. Tipton stated he felt towers and antennae would have a negative impact on the development of residential neighborhoods if they were allowed in these areas. Attorney Gerard explained that the ordinance restricts the placement of towers and antennae in residential neighborhoods, but it does not entirely prohibit them. The Mayor expressed his concern about the adoption of this ordinance without the complete understanding of councilmembers as well as Planning Commission members and recommended no action be taken until the parties could get together and develop an ordinance that addressed the concerns of everyone involved. The Mayor asked Attorney Gerard if it would be possible to place a moratorium on permits for towers and antennae until an ordinance could be developed. Attorney Gerard stated that as long as we had a specific time frame for the moratorium it would be allowed, but we could not make it for an indefinite period of time. Mayor Strozier suggested a 90-day moratorium on the issuance of permits for towers and antennae. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the 90-day moratorium, Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
2) A recommendation to approve, with stipulations, the minor subdivision plat prepared by Vince Helmly for Richard Marlowe & Barry Anderson for property owned by Wayne Tipton that is located off Pine Barren Road.
The Mayor stated that Vince Helmly had discussed this subdivision with him some time back and he had advised him to provide a sketch of exactly how they wanted the property divided. When it was submitted to the front office this week, the plat consisted of four lots accessed by a 60’’ access/utility easement. Mayor Strozier pointed out that since Mr. Tipton needed approval of the plat as soon as possible to meet closing deadlines, he, along with the City clerk, had reviewed the plat to determine what changes, if any, would be needed before council would approve it. An outline of these changes were submitted to the Planning Commission along with the plat. The changes included:
Mayor Strozier stated that the division had been changed from four (4) lots to three (3) lots and all of the information noted above had been included on the plat except the relocation of the 60’’ access easement outside of the existing utility easement. Mr. Tipton was present at the meeting and Mayor Strozier advised him that this change must be made before the City would accept the 60’’ access easement as a private access road to the property. After discussing the matter, council agreed to approve the plat provided the change to the access easement was included on the revised plat. Also, once this change is made, the plat would be signed. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the minor subdivision with the stipulation concerning the 60’’access easement, Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Mr. Tipton was advised that as soon as he submitted a corrected plat, the signatures needed for recording could be obtained.
Council was advised that Harveysteen Myers has a tenant living in her ""guest house"" at #1306 E. Hwy 80. This situation was discovered when the tenant called in with a grinder pump complaint. The Mayor pointed out that the grinder pump service has remained connected to this structure with the understanding it would be used for over-night guests only, but not lived in on a permanent basis. The City has not been charging a sanitation fee for this dwelling. When Ms. Myers was contacted about this problem, she stated that she is out of town quite often and her cousin is living in the guesthouse to look after her place. Since both structures are on one tract of land, the occupation of the second dwelling does not comply with the zoning ordinance. The building was originally used as a ceramics workshop, but was converted several years ago to a guesthouse. The property is located in a commercial zone and is currently up for sale. Council discussed the matter at length and questions were raised as to whether or not this use would be ""grandfathered-in"". Attorney Gerard advised council that if the house was there prior to adoption of the zoning ordinance it would be a nonconforming use subject to change with a new owner, however, if this was not the case, she would be in violation of the zoning ordinance. Attorney Gerard suggested the City require Ms. Myers to provide proof that the dwelling existed prior to the zoning ordinance if she planned to have a tenant occupy the guesthouse on a permanent basis. Mayor Strozier stated that he was concerned that the real estate agent was advertising the property as having two dwellings. He asked Attorney Gerard if it would be appropriate for us to contact them and advise them the second dwelling could not be used as a residence with the change of ownership unless the property was subdivided. Attorney Gerard agreed the City should make contact with the agent and advise them of this information. After additional discussion, the Mayor instructed the clerk to contact the real estate agent and inform her of the subdivision requirement for the property if the second structure was used as anything other than storage. The council agreed that the City should initiate sanitation service for the second dwelling if it was being living in on a regular basis.
Council reviewed a request from the real estate agent handling the sale of property owned by Patricia Burnsed on Pine Barren Road. Subdivision of the property was approved in 1982 so a mobile home could be placed on the second lot, but the owner never recorded the plat. However, the permit was issued, so there are now two mobile homes on one tract of land. The Mayor pointed out that since then the City has initiated steps to avoid a repeat of this problem, but now that the property is for sale the real estate agent wants to know what can be done to keep both mobile homes on the property. After discussing the matter with Attorney Gerard, council agreed that unless the subdivision was recorded dividing the property into two tracts, one of the mobile homes would have to be removed. The clerk was instructed to provide this information to the agent.
The Mayor reported the City had been contacted about the possibility of issuing a mobile home permit for a tract of land on Cregor Street owned by Marcela Smith where a portion of a church building is located on the same tract. The property was previously owned by Marshall Tegue. A survey of the property shows about 6’’ of the church building is on the lot. Attorney Gerard asked how long the church has been on the property and was advised that it was there before the City incorporated. After discussing the matter, council agreed to issue the mobile home permit.
Council discussed the construction work that was being done on the old Last Resort building that is currently owned by Del Ferguson. The clerk reported that no one had contacted the City Hall about obtaining a building permit. Mayor Strozier instructed Chief Anderson to make contact with the people working on the building and have them check with City Hall on their building permit requirements.
Council was advised that when the water meters were read this week, a damaged meter and meter box was found at #13 Drescher Road. Apparently, a yard fire had caused the damage, but it was not reported by the tenant, Debra Cox, to City Hall. The cost of replacing the equipment was $42 and required an hour labor. Mayor Strozier advised the clerk to include these costs in the February utility bill.
Buddy Burke reported that the City continues to have problems with customers placing loose garbage/trash in 55 gallon drums. This garbage/trash scatters all over their yards and into the ditches when it falls out of the cans. Mr. Burke provided council with photographs of the problem. The Mayor pointed out that in the past the workers have picked up bagged garbage placed in this size container although the ordinance limits the containers to 32 gallons for residents and 30 gallons for businesses. Mayor Strozier instructed Chief Anderson to get with the maintenance department to locate the problem areas and issue subpoenas to the violators of the ordinance.
Mayor Strozier reported that the overhead door at the maintenance building needs replacing. There are no parts available to repair the existing door. Ernest Grizzard presented the following bids for council’’s review: Builders Co-Op, Inc. $1150; Overhead Doors, $1275; and Advanced Door Systems, $2150. The Mayor asked if this was a turnkey job and was advised by Ernest Grizzard that it was. After a brief discussion, Councilman Tuten made a motion to accept the bid from Builders Co-Op, Inc. of $1150. The motion was seconded by Councilman Tyler and passed with four affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Port Wentworth’’s ""Stand Up For America Day"" celebration will be held on Saturday, April 28th. The parade will start at 10:00am and if anyone plans to participate they must contact them as soon as possible.
The Mayor reminded council of the public hearing to be held on February 1st just prior to council meeting to discuss occupational tax revenues.
Mayor Strozier asked that Councilman Tuten, Joe Young, and Ernest Grizzard start working on the football fields now so they will be ready for the football season this year.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Johnson made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Rawlins made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.
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