August 19, 2004
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer. The minutes of the July 15, 2004 were reviewed, Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes and Councilman Ray seconded the motion. The motion passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier recognized Board of Education President Hugh Golson and School Board Representative David Wegmann who attended the meeting to thank the City for their help in building the new parent pickup road at the Bloomingdale Elementary School. Mr. Golson stated that he appreciated the City’s willingness to step in and assist with this problem and advised the Mayor and Council that it was a pleasure to be able to work with elected officials that were so cooperative. Mr. Wegmann extended a special thank you to the City since his child attends the school and his wife takes him and picks him up each day. Mr. Wegmann stated that the roadway makes this task much easier and safer. Mr. Wegmann also stated that he knows this area will continue to grow and he will be working hard to make sure Bloomingdale School receives the additional space needed for this growth without having to use portable buildings.
Council was advised that the Cregor Street quit claim deeds were still under review.
The Mayor reported that as instructed by the council City crews had been working to clear the underbrush and weeds from the McAllister property located at #14 Osteen Road and had invested approximately $800 in this clearing. Fett Burke pointed out that there was some debris from an old structure and some fencing issues that needed to be resolved before they could proceed with any more work on this project.
The council was informed that the City had not received the signed agreement and physicians’ information from David and Betty Hicks as required by council’s discussion at the June 17th meeting in order to keep the sewer service connected to the non-conforming mobile home located at #1301A Hwy 80 and the July 24th deadline has passed. Mayor Rozier stated that he had been contacted by the Hicks through e-mail and had been advised that the doctor was concerned about Mr. Hicks moving back into the mobile home due to its deteriorating condition so he asked that any decisions about the sewer service be postponed until the September meeting.
Attorney Dickey stated that he had been reviewing some sample ordinances from GMA regarding residential and commercial group developments and would encourage council to adopt separate ordinances for these zoning types due to the different issues that would need to be addressed in each zone. Attorney Dickey suggested that a workshop be held to review the ordinances and council agreed to this approach.
Councilman Myrick reported that the Bloomingdale Recreation Executive Board was working on guidelines for board members and would be presenting them for council’s review when completed.
Attorney Dickey advised council that the changes to the Letter of Agreement from Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. for their preparation of the Drainage Master Plan was still under review by the engineering company.
Fett Burke reported that maps were being prepared on the rights of ways for the drainage ditches and he would be meeting with Councilman Tyler next week to review them.
Council was advised that the proofing of the codes has been completed and questions and comments from the City have been sent to Municipal Codes along with copies of all adopted ordinances that were not included in the draft document. It was noted that there will still need to be some additional proofing of the final document before council actually approves its adoption and it will probably be after the first of the year before the final document is returned to the City.
Mayor Rozier stated that council was to receive a report from Councilman Tyler at tonight’s meeting regarding the bids for prices to increase the size of the water lines at the eastern end of the City limits, but since he was not at the meeting he asked Ernie Grizzard, Supervisor of the Water and Sewer Department, if he had any information to present. Ernie advised council that he has received the bids and would be meeting with the water/sewer committee to review them for presentation at the next meeting. Councilman Myrick advised council that the building project at the Bloomingdale Alliance Church was currently at a standstill because of the questions raised about the water lines and he wanted to know if the City could go ahead and provide them water using a 1” tap. Ernie stated that the 1” water tap would not be a problem, but he was concerned about the grinder pump being able to handle the capacity of waste water that would be generated from the bathroom facilities in the new building. Councilman Ray stated that if the church needed to get a larger unit they were willing to do that, but until something was done about the water and sewer the building could not be used. Ernie advised council he would get back with the manufacturer to determine what type grinder pump would be needed to serve the building and would install the 1” water tap.
The Mayor reported that the City has received a statement from Coastal Surveying Company, Inc. for payment of the balance of the surveying costs of $5,127.50 related to Stagecoach Road. Council was reminded that they had previously approved payment of the portion of the bill related specifically to the survey of the road, but delayed paying the costs related to the topographical information until the road was being considered for paving. Mayor Rozier stated that since council is making plans to pursue funds for additional paving projects that includes Stagecoach Road, we need to make payment of this balance to Coastal Surveying Co. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to pay the balance of $5,127.50 to Coastal Surveying Co. for the survey work on Stagecoach Road. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Attorney Dickey reported that he had reviewed the ordinance information provided by citizens of Douglas Court regarding the lighting problems of the commercial development at Drescher Road and Hwy 80 and determined that the sections of the ordinance they were using to question the lighting did not apply to this commercial zone since it was not a PDOD zoned area. Attorney Dickey stated that he had sent Mr. Snow a copy of his findings, but Mr. Snow indicated he had not received any correspondence. Mr. Snow advised council that he felt the ordinance did apply to this commercial property, but Attorney Dickey explained that the requirements for a Planning Development Overlay District did have guidelines for lighting, but the development in question was zoned commercial and had not been zoned PDOD. Mr. Snow continued to express his concerns to council about the lighting, but was advised that this would be a private matter between him and the developer. (Note: Another copy of the letter sent to Mr. Snow by Attorney Dickey was provided to him before the end of the meeting.)
Council was informed that the City has received a request from the Department of Transportation to submit a priority list for the resurfacing of City streets under the LARP program. Fett Burke has prepared a suggested priority list for council’s approval consisting of the following streets: 1) Cregor Street – Chestnut to Westhaven – 3150’; 2) Maple Street – Highway 80 to end –3075’ with a 300’ skip between Main & Cregor Street; & 3) Boulevard Street – Cherry to Pine – 820’. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to submit this priority list to the DOT for resurfacing under the LARP program. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented a resolution for council’s approval for the adoption of the proposed budget for FY 2004/2005. It was noted that a public hearing on the proposed budget had been held on Monday, August 9, 2004. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve adoption of the proposed budget for FY 2004/2005. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor stated that with the adoption of the budget for FY 2004/2005, council needs to consider approval of the Fire Protection Contract between the City of Bloomingdale and the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department for FY 2004/2005. The amount of the contract is $40,000 to be paid @$10,000 per quarter and the contract must be approved and executed by both parties prior to the distribution of the funds to the fire department. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the Fire Protection Contract in the amount of $40,000, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City has been notified by the DOT that a permit has been issued to erect a Stop and Go Traffic Signal at S.R. 17 and S.R. 26 at Jimmy Deloach Parkway. It was noted that the request for the traffic signal was submitted in March, 2001 and would be installed under the Roadway Construction Project #STP-005-5 (28).
Mayor Rozier reported that the City has received a permit application from the DOT to initiate a study to determine the need for a “Flashing School Beacon” at S.R. 17 @ Bloomingdale Elementary School. The request includes a provision that the City will be responsible for the cost of electric and telephone service and may be asked by the DOT for participation in the costs for the purchase and installation of the signal if approved. After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the Mayor’s execution of the request, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was informed that at their July 20th meeting, the Planning & Zoning Commission approved a minor subdivision of property located at #13 Conaway Road owned by Laura Lamb and was recommending its approval by council. It was noted that both tracts meet the minimum lot size and road frontage requirements and the existing structure will meet the side-yard setback requirement. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the minor subdivision as presented by Laura Lamb, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Council was advised that Tiffinie D. Hill has submitted a request to install a private well on Lot #13A Conaway Road. Ms. Hill plans to construct a home on one of the lots involved in the minor subdivision of the property of Laura Lamb. Council was informed that the City has public sewer at this location, but no City water, so Ms. Hill is making this request for approval of the well permit as required by the amendment to the City’s Municipal Water Service Ordinance as amended on June 17, 2004. Ms. Hill was asked how many homes the well would serve and she stated that it would only be used for her residence. Attorney Dickey stated that council had the option to approve issuance of the well permit without execution of the written contract as outlined in the newly amended ordinance. Councilman Johnson made a motion that since this well was being installed for only one residence that we approve issuance of the well permit without a contract with the City and the motion was seconded by Councilman Myrick. The motion passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the Planning & Zoning Commission was recommending the denial of the rezoning request from Behr Properties, Inc. for property located at Jimmy Deloach and Highway 80 from RA-1 to C-2, but would consider the approval of a C-1/PDOD zoning once the developer has presented a Master Plan containing suggestions as outlined by the members at the July 20th meeting. After a brief discussion Councilman Myrick made a motion to accept the recommendation for denial of the rezoning request as presented by the Planning & Zoning Commission. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that there was not a quorum at the August meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission. Councilman Mike Wedincamp reported that since Del Ferguson had moved outside of the City he no longer qualified to serve on the Planning & Zoning Commission and was recommending council consider appointing Andrew Rawlings to serve as Interim Chairman. Councilman Wedincamp stated that he was the only member who was willing to serve as the chairman and since Mr. Rawlings was new to the commission, he would need a little time to decide if he wanted the position on a permanent basis. Councilman Wedincamp stated that there were a couple of vacancies on the commission and these needed to be filled. He also pointed out that one member was interested in becoming an alternate rather than a regular member. Citizen Tiffinie Hill asked what someone would have to do to become a member of the commission and was advised that a written request should be submitted to council and if the citizen would attend some of the meetings to see if they were interested in serving on the commission their nomination could be considered when there was a vacancy. Councilman Wedincamp asked if council could act on the appointment of Andrew Rawlings at tonight’s meeting and he would get back to council on other appointments at a later date after he has had time to review the current members, vacancies, and terms. Councilman Wedincamp made the motion to appoint Andrew Rawlings as Interim Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City has received a request from Cindy M. Jones, a resident at #210 Osteen Road, for a home occupation license to operate Horizon Termite & Pest Control, Inc. from this location. It was noted that the City had received a complaint that this business was operating from the residence and the police department directed them to City Hall to pursue their license. Ms. Jones stated that she would like to use a 10’ x 15’ shed located on the property for the business and plans to install a telephone and do her paperwork in this building. Council was informed that the application indicates there are three (3) employees, but according to Ms. Jones, two of the employees only come to the residence to pick up their checks and the other employee is her son-in-law and is subject to be at the residence on a regular basis. Ms. Jones further stated that there will be no customer traffic coming to the residence, but there would be employees stopping by for paychecks. The Mayor advised Ms. Jones that one stipulation of a home occupation license was that there should be no gathering of employees at the residence and if there were going to be a couple of employees there at one time this could cause problems. Councilman Johnson asked Ms. Jones how the chemicals would be handled. Ms. Jones advised council that the chemicals were in a lockbox on the vehicles and no chemicals would be stored on the premises. Ms. Jones pointed out that most of the time the employees only had enough chemicals on the truck for a specific job and there was not usually any chemicals left over. Councilman Myrick stated that since we had already received a complaint about the business being operated from this location, he felt there needed to be a public hearing to give the citizens living in the area an opportunity to ask questions and receive their comments. Councilman Myrick made a motion to hold a public hearing on this application before issuing the license. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Citizens David and Shelly Clifton had asked to be placed on tonight’s agenda to address council regarding plans for paving of Poplar Street off Garvin. The Mayor recognized the Cliftons who stated that they had been advised that there were plans to pave the road and they would like to find out how this was going to affect their property. The Mayor advised the Cliftons that he knew of no plans for the paving of this portion of Poplar Street by the City and that the only improvements that he knew of that were going to be done to the road would be done by a property owner. Mayor Rozier pointed out that Mr. Amerson had approached the City about opening the roadway to obtain a building permit for his property and he had been advised of the City’s requirements. The Mayor stated that the City had waived the paving requirement for the road and advised Mr. Amerson that once it was constructed to City requirements and approved it would be considered a privately maintained access road.
Council was advised the City had received a request from Thomas Satterfield to obtain a permit to place a mobile home on his property located at #145 Wallace Drive. There is currently a mobile home located on the property and Mr. Satterfield will be moving this structure, but is requesting that he be allowed 90 days from the date of the issuance of the new mobile home permit to move the existing mobile home from the premises. Mr. Satterfield stated that he needs time to move in the new mobile home, transfer his belongings from the old to the new mobile home and to have the existing mobile home moved from the property. Council was informed that the City has granted similar requests in the past provided the electric power to the new mobile home is released on a temporary basis until the existing mobile home is moved. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve Mr. Satterfield’s request that he be allow 90 days from the issuance of the permit for a new mobile home to move the existing mobile home. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier informed council that the City has received a request from Gordon Jones for a building permit on Cheyenne Road. The request was forwarded to Attorney Dickey to determine if approval would have to be obtained from the owners of the privately-maintained access road (Cheyenne Road) for the use of the road as access to this lot. Councilman Wedincamp stepped down from the podium while this issue was being discussed since he was one of the owners of the privately-maintained access road. Attorney Dickey asked if Mr. Jones had access to Hwy 80 from his property and was advised that he has a 15’ easement out to Highway 80, but there is no culvert across the ditch, so he would have to use the existing roadway as access. Councilman Wedincamp explained that Mr. Jones does not have clear access to his property which is the only undeveloped lot in the neighborhood. Councilman Wedincamp stated that the two property owners that owned the easements making up the roadway to Highway 80 tried for over two (2) years to get the property owners together to develop the road as a public roadway, but to no avail, so he and Charles Rogers had combined their easements and gotten approval from the City for the road to be dedicated as a privately-maintained access easement. Councilman Wedincamp pointed out use of the road by existing residents as access to their property was “grandfathered-in”, but since this lot was not developed, Mr. Jones did not fall under this category. Councilman Johnson asked if Mr. Jones could get a permit if he got a culvert installed on Highway 80 and Attorney Dickey pointed out that the City’s zoning ordinance requires that a lot must abut a public right of way or a privately-maintained access easement by at least 25’ before a permit could be issued. Mr. Jones stated that his property abutted Cheyenne Road. Charles Rogers stated that he had alerted Mr. Jones of the problems he may face in obtaining a building permit before he purchased the lot. After continued discussion of the request, Attorney Dickey stated that he would like to review the plats of the property and other pertinent information so he could properly advise the City as to whether or not a permit should be issued. Councilman Johnson made a motion to pass any action on this request until Attorney Dickey reviews this information. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Mike Wedincamp returned to the podium after discussion of this matter was completed.
Mayor Rozier presented a request submitted on behalf of the Morgan Family to de-annex a 29.90 acre parcel within the city limits of Bloomingdale and to annex a 29.90 acre parcel presently within the city limits of Pooler, but subject to being de-annexed pursuant to a similar annexation/de-annexation petition filed by the Morgan Family in Pooler. It was noted that the Morgans have requested that the parcel proposed for annexation into Bloomingdale be zoned Light-Industrial and that the parcel being proposed for de-annexation by Bloomingdale is zoned Multi-Family. Council was advised that the only action required at tonight’s meeting was for them to determine if they are willing to consider the petition because before the annexation can be effected, the property needs to be rezoned through the Planning Commission/City Council process. Also, the County will have to be put on notice of the proposed zoning for the property to be annexed and be given the opportunity to object to the proposed zoning classification. Council reviewed the maps of the areas in question and after additional discussion; Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve consideration of the petition on annexation/de-annexation from the Morgan Family. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed a request from W.K. Taylor at #112 Walnut Street to extend his concrete slab to the back of his property for future construction of a 16’ x 30’ cover for his motor home. Mr. Taylor has indicated that the only plans to pour the slab at the present time, but wants to make sure that he will be able to install the cover in the future. It was noted that the City does not require permits for open sheds, but should Mr. Taylor want to enclose the shed in the future he wanted to get a side-yard variance approval from council. Since Mr. Taylor’s property is a corner lot, the side yard setback for accessory buildings is 20’ and the rear-yard setback is 15’. Mr. Taylor can meet the 15’ rear-yard setback, but the side-yard setback is only 12’. Council was advised that the side-yard of Mr. Taylor’s property does not actually abut Main Street since there is a portion of the old railroad bed between his lot and Main Street. After a brief discussion of the request, Councilman Waller made a motion to approve a side-yard setback variance of 8’ for the property at #112 Walnut Street with the understanding that council would approve plans prior to the issuance of a building permit for an enclosed building should one be constructed on the slab in the future. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Mary Mitchell had submitted a request to be placed on tonight’s agenda to obtain responses to four (4) issues/questions and a copy of her request has been submitted to council. Ms. Mitchell asked that the Mayor share with the community the recommendation of the Georgia Department of Transportation as related to developments at Douglas Court and Highway 80 and Attorney Dickey advised the Mayor that since this letter was public record Ms. Mitchell should submit an open records request for a copy of the letter. Mayor Rozier stated that since he had a copy of the letter in hand he would read it for the benefit of the citizens present at the meeting. The Mayor read the letter from the Department of Transportation and a copy is attached to these minutes. Ms. Mitchell requested that the first paragraph of the letter sent to the City Attorney Dickey from the Senior Assistant Attorney General Kathryn L. Allen with the State of Georgia Department of Law regarding citizen’s rights to have access to public records be shared with the community. Attorney Dickey stated that a copy of the letter as well as his letter of response would be available to anyone making the proper open records request to the City Hall. Attorney Dickey advised Ms. Mitchell that the law only requires that the City Hall make the records available for inspection and the clerks have responded to these requests promptly and, in his opinion, have probably provided more information than they were even required to provide by law. Attorney Dickey explained that it was going to be his recommendation to council that a policy be adopted that would follow the specific requirements of the open records law and that the City charge the appropriate fees as outlined in this statue which includes the costs related to the time it takes employees to retrieve and copy materials and/or be on standby for documents to be reviewed. Attorney Dickey further stated that he had instructed the clerks not to sign anything from citizens before he had an opportunity to review it and that as the City’s legal representative he would answer any questions Ms. Mitchell may have about her open records requests. Ms. Mitchell questioned the Mayor as to whether the City of Bloomingdale will continue to issue building permits without having a City Building Inspector who has the time to fulfill his or her job description and obligations as stated in the City’s ordinances. Mayor Rozier advised Ms. Mitchell that the current building inspector is doing the job he had been hired to do by the City and the issuance of permits will continue. Ms. Mitchell questioned the violation of the City’s Ordinances by the removal of trees and plants without a permit. The Mayor informed Ms. Mitchell that the development at Douglas Court and Hwy 80 had been through the Planning & Zoning Commission and City council and had been approved and there have been no violations to warrant the issuance of citations or fines. It was noted that the City of Bloomingdale does not currently have a Tree Ordinance, but one is being considered by the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Mayor Rozier recognized Forrest Floyd who is the developer of the property located at Douglas Court and Highway 80. Mr. Floyd presented a request to council to make some minor changes to the site plan for his development. The changes would include the addition of a drive thru window on the west side of the building to allow for the relocation of a local restaurant. Mr. Floyd pointed out that with these changes he could address two of the issues of concern from the Douglas Court residences by reducing the number of entrances off of Douglas Court and moving the dumpsters. The changes would also include the shifting of the landscaping over 12’ to act as a buffer between the street and the drive thru and the relocation of the handicap parking. Mr. Floyd advised council that these changes would help both his development and the residents living on Douglas Court. Mr. Floyd was asked how many cars could be parked from the building to the driveway off Douglas Court and he stated that between six and eight cars depending on their length, but pointed out that even at the busiest time of the day he did not feel there would be any more than three or four cars lined up at the drive thru window. Councilman Johnson asked Mr. Floyd some questions regarding the setback distances. After a general discussion of the request, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the changes to the site plan as presented by Forrest Floyd and the motion was seconded by Councilman Ray. Before a vote was taken on the motion, additional discussion was held. Mary Mitchell stated that a public hearing should be held before this was approved. Some questions were raised about cars backing up on Douglas Court because of the drive thru and citizens were advised that if this occurs citations would be issued. Citizen Chuck Watkins stated that he has been living on Douglas Court for thirteen years and although he has no problems with the commercial development he is concerned about the additional traffic that will be generated by a drive thru business. Citizen Jan Snow questioned the landscaping and was advised that the same landscaping that was previously approved will be installed but it will merely be moved over 12’. Citizen Sherry Mast stated that since this is the first drive thru in the City there should be some additional study done before it was approved. Forrest Floyd pointed out that there was already drive thru business being conducted at the City Hall and his development would provide more room for cars than the drive thru at City Hall. Mr. Floyd pointed out that this was commercial property and commercial businesses did generate traffic. Citizen Patricia Stanfield stated that council needed to be mindful of the potential problems this could create. Mary Mitchell advised council that since this corner was a school bus stop there would be a danger to the children if more traffic was added to Douglas Court. After additional discussion, the Mayor called for the vote. Council members Johnson, Ray, and Waller voted for the motion to approve the changes to the site plan and Council members Myrick and Wedincamp voted against the motion. The motion carried.
Mayor Rozier reported that there were some changes to the City Council Committees. The Personnel Committee would be chaired by Councilman Waller and he would chair the Public Safety Committee. The Mayor pointed out that he would remain on the Personnel Committee and Councilman Myrick would remain on the Public Safety Committee.
The Mayor reported that this concluded the items that were presented prior to the Friday, August 13, 2004 agenda deadline.
Citizen Sherry Mast asked if there could be a re-vote on the site plan issue and the Mayor stated there could not.
Citizen Patricia Stanford stated that she would like to compliment those responsible for the work on the road at the school.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The meeting adjourned at 9:00pm.
Mayor Rozier and Council members Johnson, Myrick, Ray, Waller and Wedincamp were present at the meeting.