October 2, 2008
Mayor Tipton called the meeting to order and after the pledge of alliance, Councilman Myrick led in prayer. Councilwoman Winn made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 18, 2008 meeting, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the agenda of the October 2, 2008 meeting, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Under administrative and committee reports, Councilman Rawlings thanked everyone for their participation in the tree planting ceremony held at Taylor Park on Saturday in memory of Ann Williams. Councilman Rawlings announced that the History Society would be hosting a fall picnic at L. Scott Stell Park on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 1:00pm and invited everyone to participate. Councilman Myrick reported that CEMA would be installing a weather siren at Taylor Park to provide warnings of severe weather to more residents in the area. The Mayor stated that the Citizens Police Academy was well attended and according to the maintenance department’s service call reports there have been very few calls on the lift station. Mayor Tipton stated that the drainage project is progressing well and the engineers report that the contractor is doing a great job.
Mayor Tipton called the public hearing to order and stated that the purpose of the hearing was to receive citizen input on a request from Kristy Pilgrim to operate a preschool/childcare facility at #205 Cherry Street. The Mayor asked Ms. Pilgrim to give the citizens an overview of what she plans to do on the property. Ms. Pilgrim stated that she was seeking a permit from the state to operate a “small group home” for up to seventeen (17) children. She reported that she would be installing a privacy fence in the rear yard for the playground area and since there was a rather large front yard, she did not feel that parking would be an issue. Ms. Pilgrim stated that a circular drive on the property was to be used for traffic flow generated by the dropping off and picking up of children. The Mayor asked for public comments on the request. Several citizens asked questions and expressed concerns about matters related to the facility. David Whatley, a resident at #5 W. Main Street, asked if a building would be constructed on the property for the facility, whether there would be good visibility for incoming and outgoing traffic due to the bushes near the driveway and expressed concerns about schoolchildren walking along Cherry Street being placed in danger due to additional traffic. Ms. Pilgrim stated that the existing residence would be renovated to state specifications to house the facility and no additional building would be constructed. She also re-stated her plans to install a privacy fence in the rear of the property and advised the citizens that the children would be dropped off and picked up at various times throughout the day and there should not be any conflict with the children that would be walking to school. Lara Buss, a resident of #203 Cherry Street, stated that she felt there would be safety issues with the extra traffic and was concerned about the privacy in her backyard with children playing outside in the neighboring yard. Ms. Pilgrim reminded her there would be a privacy fence around the backyard and stated they planned to leave as much of the natural vegetation as possible. Latrelle Meyer expressed concerns about the backing up of traffic on Cherry Street and commented that the state would not allow a second culvert for a circular driveway for her residence, but was not sure how they handled businesses. It was noted that the circular driveway would be located within the yard and vehicles would use the same driveway to enter and exit the property. The Mayor asked that Chief Gossett work with Ms. Pilgrim on safety concerns related to the traffic issues. Citizens questioned the “conditional use” zoning and asked if it would be changing the zoning of the property. Mayor Tipton explained that the zoning would remain R-1, but if the “conditional use” permit were approved it would only be for Ms. Pilgrim’s operation of the facility and if a change of ownership occurred the permit would expire and the process would have to be repeated for a new owner. Being no further comments, Mayor Tipton closed the public hearing.
Mayor Tipton stated that the council needed to address the request from Kristy Pilgrim to operate a preschool/childcare facility from #205 Cherry Street as a group home that allows up to seventeen (17) children. Councilman Ray asked where the employees would be parking and was advised there would be parking on the side of the property for employees and other vehicles. Councilman Myrick stated that he understood the concerns about the traffic, but noted there was a lot of property in the front yard for the parking of vehicles. Councilman Ray expressed his concern about having the facility in the middle of a residential neighborhood, near a school zone, on one of the busiest roads in the City. Mayor Tipton asked if there was a motion on the issue. Councilman Rawlings asked if it would be appropriate to table the issue to allow Ms. Pilgrim an opportunity to address the concerns of the citizens and bring the information back to council to make a decision at the next meeting. The Mayor noted that as he understands it the concerns include the safety factors related to extra traffic, the children walking to school along this portion of Cherry Street, the vegetation on the property causing poor visibility for incoming and outgoing traffic, and the impact on property values. Michael Buss stated that he felt the property values would go down due to the facility being placed in a residential zoning. Latrelle Meyer asked about the ages of the children. Ms. Pilgrim stated she planning to have a class for 1 & 2 year olds and one for 2 & 3 year olds with the possibility of before and after school childcare. Ms. Meyer also asked about sanitation issues with diapers and foodstuffs generated by a childcare facility and it was noted that Ms. Pilgrim would be able to obtain additional trashcans or a dumpster if necessary. Ms. Meyer commented that the odor could be a problem because there is only a once a week pickup. Councilwoman Winn asked if Chief Gossett could work with Ms. Pilgrim on the safety issues related to the extra traffic and she was advised by the Mayor that he had already agreed to do this. Chief Gossett pointed out that there would not be a safety issue with extra traffic unless vehicles had to stop along the highway prior to driving onto the property. Chief Gossett stated that if there is adequate parking and vehicles did not have to stop along Cherry Street while waiting to enter the property; there should be no problems for emergency vehicles. Councilman Strozier commented that he wondered whether we should even table the issue and ask Ms. Pilgrim to prepare additional information for another meeting if the public was against the facility and the request was going to be voted down due to public opposition anyway. Councilman Rawlings stated that if he wanted to vote against it to go ahead and make the motion. Councilman Strozier commented that was not the point he was trying to make and stated that he had the floor and asked Mayor Tipton to allow him time to complete his questions and comments. Mayor Tipton offered to poll the council on tabling the matter, but then recognized David Whatley who asked if anyone could tell him how property values would be affected. Mary Mitchell stated that when the Krispy Chic was allowed to open at Douglas Court and Highway 80, the property values decreased and people were moving out. After citizens began talking among themselves rather than addressing the questions and comments to the Mayor or City Council, Mayor Tipton called for a vote on the issue. After a brief period, Councilman Ray made a motion not to grant the conditional use permit, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with affirmative votes from Councilmembers Myrick, Ray, Waller and Winn. Councilman Rawlings abstained. Councilman Strozier stated he was not given an opportunity to ask questions of the applicant or citizens on this issue and was not voting.
Mayor Tipton asked for a motion to remove from the table a request from Glenda Key to relocate her home occupation license. Councilman Ray made a motion to remove the issue from the table, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. The Mayor recognized Glenda Key who stated that she operated a one-chair, one employee, by appointment only, hair salon and was requesting approval to move the home occupation business from #305 Miller Street back to #210 Cypress Street where she was currently living. It was noted that the tenant who had been living at #210 Cypress Street had a home occupation license for a one-chair hair salon that she had been granted in June, 2007 after a public hearing had been conducted. Mayor Tipton asked if there had been any complaints regarding the hair salon and was advised no complaints had been filed with City Hall. Ms. Key was asked if there would be any advertising of the business on the property and she stated there would be no signs. After the discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to waive the public hearing and approve the transfer of the home occupation license as requested. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Fire Chief Tyler was requesting adoption of a resolution allowing the City of Bloomingdale Fire Department to form a mutual aid resource pact that would be a public corporation to render and receive aid and assistance for disastrous incident suppression, prevention and rescue/medical response to/from members of the Georgia Mutual Aid Group. Mayor Tipton stated that City Administrator Brady and Fire Chief Tyler had been working on this issue and asked City Administrator Brady for a recommendation on the resolution. City Administrator Brady stated that he recommended the adoption of the resolution as presented. Councilman Myrick made a motion to accept Mr. Brady’s recommendation and adopt the resolution, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that an executive session had been called for the discussion of litigation and attorney/client issues. Councilman Ray made a motion to adjourn into executive session. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. At the conclusion of the executive session, Councilman Ray made a motion to return to the general session. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to execute the affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Act. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor stated that this concluded the items presented for consideration for inclusion on the council agenda prior to the Friday, September 26, 2008 deadline.
The accounts payable were presented. Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:10pm. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
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.