The following summary minutes are not official until adoption by Simpsonville City Council. Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, notice of this meeting date, time, place, and agenda items was posted on the bulletin at Simpsonville City Hall and faxed to the newspapers, radio stations and any concerned citizens upon request.
SIMPSONVILLE CITY COUNCIL
FORMAL BUSINESS AGENDA
118 N. E. Main Street
Tuesday, June 8, 2004
CALL TO ORDER Mayor Waldrop
ROLL CALL City Clerk
Ms. Bodkins: Yes Sir
Councilmember Bridges – Present
Councilmember Curry - Present
Councilmember Lawrence - Present
Councilmember Gecy - Present
Councilmember Pelar - Present
Councilmember Thomas - Present
Mayor Waldrop - Present
Also Present: Russell Hawes, City Administrator
David Homes, City Attorney
Pam Bodkins, City Clerk
Mayor Waldrop requested that prior to Councilmember Lawrence giving the invocation we observe a moment of silence in memory of Former President Ronald Regan.
Councilmember Gecy requested that he be allowed to read the following item which was read at his father, John Gecy’s, funeral this past week.
Please grant us Military Veterans
Respect, strength, health, and help us lay to
Rest with honor our departed veterans, and carry
On with compassion to ease the pain and sorrow
For the families of our not forgotten veteran
Brothers and sisters throughout the world.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
PUBLIC HEARING ON BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004-2005
The Mayor opened the public hearing on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. He asked for any questions or comments.
Mr. Gecy: Mr. Gecy asked Ms. Farris if she wanted to come forward to speak now. I think your comments tonight, this might be a good opportunity if you wanted to relate to the budget about the ideas that you shared with me. This would probably be a good time. If you wanted to come forward.
Ernestine Farris, 405 Aster Dr., Simpsonville South Carolina
In the paper on May 5th it said the sewer was likely to increase and a public hearing would be held prior to the increases. Then on the 12th the paper said 150% increase off-setting the no new taxes. Well if 150% increase on sewer is not a tax I don’t know what you call a tax. On the 19th Simpsonville Budget shuns tax increase but sewer maintenance fees will take a bite out of pocket books. On tonight’s agenda you’re going to resolve this sewer issue and the promised public hearing has still not taken place. The higher taxes mean higher prices for other products. Our schools are considering increasing taxes and I just don’t feel this City anticipated the growth and the builders pay their fair share for hooking up to the City sewer, I think that’s a large part of the problem we have now. I would like for us to postpone this 150% increase until you can have a public hearing. This is a burden on seniors, low-income and out of work workers. Maybe you can afford it but a lot of us can’t, so please reconsider before you vote on it tonight. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. All right, anyone else have any comments on the budget. All right, hearing no other, I’ll here by close the Public Hearing on the 2004-2005 budget and thank you Ms. Ferris for speaking. And Mr. Hawes, you’ve got your signs backwards, I’m going to be confused all night, but I’m sure you took some good notes there and consider that when we get to that part.
Mayor: All right, this is the portion of our program where we invite citizen comments on anything that you’d like to speak on. This is our business meeting where you allow us to come speak to us and we’ll listen carefully and carefully consider everything that you have to say but we will not enter into a dialogue or debate with you at this time. Our Workshop meeting is for that. So, as I call your name please approach the podium, state your name and address for the record and then you may start. First on the list that I have is Howard Lentz.
Howard Lentz, 4 Timberjack St. Martins Grove, Simpsonville South Carolina
I’d like to talk about the traffic in Martins Grove subdivision more than anything and how it relates to the Fox Trace proposal that’s on the table with you guys. More of a history lesson, a reminder than anything. We have been here before, we’ve talked about traffic in Martins Grove. We’ve also talked about traffic with the County. We had a petition in 1998 which I have a copy of here with 240 people that signed to close Trippmont Lane, so that we would not have the impact of the 74 homes on our subdivision or at least open a second entrance so that we would have two entrances that made sense in our subdivision. So, this happened and it was decided then that the two entrances were not needed for 300 homes and so we went through all this and now we deal with the traffic of these three subdivisions tied together. Just a reminder of that, a reminder of traffic counts in that time frame, your traffic counts, in a 23 hour period 2,282 cars through the beginning of our entrance. And those 2,280 cars that went through, that was prior to the 74 homes, so it’s more now. And now there’s a discussion of potentially opening up this new 400 home subdivision to tie it into ours to alleviate our traffic problem. Someone needs to recognize that there is no way this will alleviate our problems. There is no way anyone will leave Martins Grove subdivision to go away from Fairview Road. At least the percentage would be a lot greater that would come towards Fairview Road, towards all the shopping, towards all the great development that’s been going on. And so, all we ask is that you leave our subdivision alone. I appreciate it, thank you.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Lentz. All right, and let me add as we speak tonight, we’ve got a lot of people speaking, so please make sure that we’re all talking about some new thought or new idea. If I begin to hear repetitive things I’m going to cut it off a little short so, that’s just a heads up so you can be collecting your thoughts as you come up. All right, next on my list is Mina Drouse. Is that, am I close.
Mina Drouse, 4 Kennan Creek Way, Simpsonville, SC
I’m here to talk about Fox Trace subdivision. A couple people who just spoke before me touched on two important issues, both related to infrastructure. I don’t believe that Simpsonville has the infrastructure in place to handle all these new houses we’re considering. I don’t also believe that the developer is willing to help with handling the infrastructure. The road system out by us if you know where Fox Hollow is, we have only one exit and it’s onto Neeley Ferry. This is where these 370 homes are going to have their entrance and exit also. About 200 feet from our entrance. There’s no way we’re going to get on the street ever again at 7:00-8:00 in the morning and we’re not going to be able to come home until really late. You’re aware of the infrastructure problems, so I’m going to move on and talk a little bit about the problems with the plat that’s before you. The swimming pool is located directly in our back yard. For a development of 370 homes they couldn’t find a better place for the swimming pool than right in our back yard. There’s only 12 of us, give us a break here. The entrance onto Neeley Ferry Road is inadequate to have only one entrance for that size of a development. Going through Martins Grove is also a disaster for Martin’s Grove people. I would ask that the developer make preparations to have an entrance and exit onto Harrison Bridge Road as that area develops, to leave an open space in his development to take traffic onto Harrison Bridge, which would also help any new developments that go in the vacant space on Harrison Bridge, because they will have a second entrance as well. The street is dedicated at 44 feet in this subdivision with a 10 foot easement on each side, that’s a 24 foot wide street. They’re proposing homes with one car garages on small lots, this means people are going to park on the street. You’ll have cars on both sides of a 24 foot street, you don’t have room for fire engines. Most of your rescue equipment will not fit through there. Also, the traffic abatement is a problem for rescue. I would ask that if you seriously want to annex this that you send them back to the drawing board to redo their plan and solve some of the problems that they might potentially create. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. Okay, next on the list is Craig O’Neil, I think I got that one right.
Craig O’Neil, 37 Kennan Creek Way, Simpsonville, South Carolina
This is also in the subdivision that backs up to this proposed subdivision. Just basically want to say a couple things here. One is, I’m still very concerned as well about the infrastructure in terms of both the roads, the intersections on some of these key roads, schools and even the sewer. We moved out there 10 years ago and built that house and the difference between what it is today and what it was 10 years ago is incredible in terms of the current traffic. Also very concerned in tying the infrastructure to the safety. If you think about this, 300 some odd homes that’s going to be 600 cars on this two lane road that already is quite busy. If you actually go out there and look at the hill and with these two proposed entrances and exits into the subdivision, one is very close to the knoll of the hill and I have some grave concerns about people turning left out of this subdivision. People coming over the hill and coming up on top of existing traffic, including school buses going in and out of this subdivision. Property values should be something we all are concerned about. I’m sure as elected officials you’re wanting to maintain property values for all of us and Fox Hollow average value I would say is $300,000, as far as the home value. We’re talking $100,000 and some odd thousand dollars for these homes going into Fox Trace. So we’re gravely concerned quite frankly about the property value of our homes, our lots and we’d ask that you consider that. And then I could wrap it up by just saying the quality of life. We love it out there, we’re not against development, that’s a necessary evil, we understand that. We’re grateful for what’s happened along Fairview Road. We understand that fields turn into homes, but we would ask you to think about the zoning and what’s being proposed here and reconsider. Thank you very much.
Mayor: Thank you. Okay, Jeff Jedlicka. How’d I do.
Jeff Jedlicka, 25 Keenan Creek Way, Simpsonville, SC
Great and thank you all for your time. I don’t want to be redundant. I’ll talk about just two things, first and foremost, well three things, we’ve got the density issue, it’s already been covered, we’d like to see lower density rather than higher density. We understand the need for growth, we can support that we’d just like to have it managed carefully. Very, very importantly, we’ve got the situation with the swimming pool and clubhouse, their recreation facility, they’re going to back directly up to our homes. We would very much like to see that located in a central area within this proposed community. That would be tremendously beneficial for us and we would appreciate any consideration you can give to that. Obviously, I’m sure none of you would like to have that backing directly up to your backyard and so what I’ll close with is safety. We’ve talked about traffic. Others will probably talk about it as well. There’s a guy here I can’t talk to. There’s a person here that’s not going to be able to address the safety issue, I wish he could be here. Some time ago, 3 teenagers left the house across the street from me and went to get a video up on Fairview Road. When they came back, on the road that we’re talking about Neeley Ferry Road, unfortunately there was an accident and there’s a gentleman named Matt Blackwell, a teenager who can’t be here tonight, because he’s dead. Okay, we’re talking about life and death when it comes to traffic safety. I know you understand that. I can tell you that somebody’s been killed there, which is right up, just a little ways up from the entrance to our place, as well as on the corner of Harrison Bridge and Neeley Ferry. So, I’m sure you understand that, I just want you to know that there is a name with an occurrence that happens. That’s all I have. Thank you all very much.
Mayor: Thank you. Sharon Jedlicka.
Sharon Jedlicka, 25 Keenan Creek Way, Simpsonville, SC
What I was going to say has already been said, so I won’t repeat that. I will however, ask you to listen to us even though we are not in the City limits. I understand that we cannot vote for you, we cannot do many of those things. But, we can send our children to the schools that are in the City Limits. We can be on the PTA Board, we can be at all the functions and all the stores and buy things within the City Limits and not only that we have friends and other people who do live in the City Limits. Who we do talk to and we can ask and tell what is going on at something like this. So, I really, really ask you to pay attention to this and maybe some day we will be within the City Limits and I really appreciate your time and please, please think about this. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. All right, Robert Mueller.
Robert Mueller, 504 Two Gait Lane, Simpsonville, South Carolina
Thank you for allowing me to speak. I live in Martins Grove Section II which is adjacent to a large portion of the new proposed subdivision, Fox Trace, where the builder intends to put up 202 starter homes. His definition of starter homes is $120,000. The average price of the last 8 homes sold in Section II was $143,000. The last home that was sold was $156,000. These are not starter homes. In addition, he has a cul-de-sac in his street that is adjacent to the stub street Libby’s Lane. If he would have wanted to leave that as a cul-de-sac, and it’s really not a cul-de-sac, it’s at an elbow, he would have put a lot there. But, I’m quite sure that what he intends to do is convert that cul-de-sac to an opening in Libby’s Lane which would then allow access from his subdivision into Martins Grove and he’s going to come back to the council to request that this be done for the purposes of safety, police, fire etc. This would cause an additional 373 homes which would double the amount of traffic that we already have on Two Gait Lane. I believe Mr. Mayor that you asked this developer to contact the adjacent home owners associations when you suggested that he come back to you with a Planned Development. To the best of my knowledge he did not contact anyone before he came up with this decision to increase the number of homes from what the County will allow, 296 to 373. We’ve fought this battle from an R-15 where the R-15 was granted and we still have lots of 9,000 square feet being built on an R-15 custom subdivision. I really feel like the Planning Commission looked at this correctly, that the Planned Development Proposal that was submitted, was nothing more than a way to increase the number of homes in this subdivision and I sincerely hope that you will not override their wise decision. I thank you for allowing me to speak.
Mayor: Thank you. Ronnie Todd
Ronnie Todd, 19 Keenan Creek Way, Simpsonville, South Carolina
Thank you. I certainly appreciate the time allotted here. I’ll try not to be too repetitive. We’re all here pretty much for the same concerns but I guess the growth in this community is inevitable. I think we all see that. Simpsonville is just rapidly expanding and I’m not one to want to stand and stop progress. My big concern, I know that developments are going to be there, but my big concern is Neeley Ferry. I just do not see how that road, knowing it and traveling it every day, can be modified to handle the traffic that’s going to be brought in and out of that area. And, I don’t know if you’ve given it some concern or some thoughts, what type of plan would be developed and when you would start this or when would this development on the road start. After the community’s been there and all the traffic is already moving up and down the road, because it is pretty rough right now. I’d just ask that you give that some strong consideration. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. All right, next is Scott Latchow, don’t you all have any Smiths and Jones’ with you.
Scott Latchow, Mallard Ridge Place over in Neeley Farms.
I appreciate this opportunity to speak before you this evening. I had a couple of issues that I wanted to bring up that I think are a slightly different slant than what we’ve heard already. You know, my strongest issue, for me living on the other side of the road is the traffic and people have already spoken about the traffic. One question I have is I don’t believe that a traffic study has been run for Neeley Ferry to determine how much traffic is on there now. Or, to determine what the change would be if we added all these homes over there. So, I think it would be wise for us to get a feeling for how much it’s going to impact it before we move forward with this. That’s one thing that I had on my mind, the other thing is that the interior lay-out of the subdivision, which I assume that you all have a copy of that in front of you, the two roads that hold these 202 starter homes are straight line on one level with no hills or anything and to me they look just like a race track and in fact there’s what the developer calls calming traffic, traffic calmers or something like that which look like little circles about every 1/3 of a mile, so I think he even already can see the fact that people will drive fast on those where you only want them to go 25 because there’s kids darting in and out. I think that we have an issue there that he did not think ahead to maybe make a curve there or something that would handle that and provide for a safer street for the community. In the prior meeting I made a statement that I thought he was putting the cart before the horse in too many cases and I think this is one of the examples of that. Another is that he has a storm water retention pond built but there is not one ounce of water in that retention pond at present and every time we get a storm all the mud and clay washes right across the street and I think that he needs to look at that more closely. The PD zoning that he’s proposing is actually 3.7 per acre which is more dense than an R-12 which is 3.6. And finally, in talking with Cortney Tumblin which I hope she’s here tonight, she told me that a good example of a PD is Verdmont Development which is only about ½ mile away from this one. So if we could compare that to what this man is proposing we might find something that we can agree on. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. All right, James Scott. I did pretty good on that didn’t I?
James Scott, 127 Fox Trace, Simpsonville, South Carolina.
I’m currently the President of the Fox Hollow Home Owner’s Association. I’d just like to make a few comments about this and take a big picture view. Prior to the establishment of zoning regulations in the southern part of the county, several years ago a citizen’s group including Dozier Brooks, Pete Garrett and myself, among others, met to develop a Land Use Plan for this part of the county prepatory to developing zoning. We knew at that point in time that this area would not remain stagnant that it was going to grow. But, there was a strong desire on the part of everybody involved, including the people that lived here to try to maintain the highest possible degree of the pastural or semi-rural nature of the community. So, this land developed into 3 categories. We knew the industrial growth would take place along 385, and we recommended it to be so. We knew that Fairview Road would be developed and it would be commercial, but there again was a desire to maintain the semi-rural nature with low-density residential development as you get past Fairview Road going out to the West. If you think about what has happened, Fairview Road has been widened, but it’s still not a lightly traveled road. The two other roads that are primary traffic routes of this area, Neeley Ferry and Harrison Bridge, have not been widened. 20 years ago when these were farm to market roads they were entirely adequate. But, we have added a lot of houses in this area, for example, just recently, Verdmont, which was just mentioned, Autumn Woods, Weatherstone, Lost River, just within the last 6-8 months adds another 880 families in this immediate area. The intersection of Fairview Road and Harrison Bridge Road there are now 3 shopping centers that were not there just a short time ago. The GRATS Plan shows that the traffic increased at that intersection Harrison Bridge and Fairview from 1994 to 2001 traffic increased 60% and that would not even include the highest growth which has taken place since 2001. So we’re not so naïve as to think that this land is going to remain farm land forever. Of course it’s going to grow and of course it’s going to be developed but I would suggest to you that to throw an additional 390 houses into this area and force them to go out onto Neeley Ferry Road even to go North toward Plain Middle School which would be a disaster or to come South to Harrison Bridge would be almost an equal disaster. That would be a sad mistake and I wish you would give that some serious thought. Thank you for hearing me out.
Mayor: Thank you. Okay, Mike Smith, we do have a Smith.
Mike Smith, 24 Keenan Creek Way, Simpsonville, South Carolina
It’s hard to add much more than what our neighbors have said as well as the good folks from Neeley Farms and Martins Grove. The noise pollution from the pool is one thing that was one big concern of mine. The other thing is to talk about how many houses are going up. I think, I’ve talked to pretty much everybody on the council last night about it, except Ms. Thomas and the Mayor. And I believe when I was talking to Mr. Pelar we talked about all the development that’s going up on over near Neeley Farms and Fox Hollow and there’s at least 7 subdivisions going up right now in that area. A lot of them’s in the County but if you ride down toward the dump or you go down Harrison Bridge Road, there’s an awful lot of houses that are going to be built in there and we’re talking about this one neighborhood and I think we need to consider all the ones that are going to be built or are in the process of being built over towards the dump and the Fire Station and across on Harrison Bridge. That is really going to be bad. Jeff talked about the young man that was killed that was 15 years old. Hit by someone coming down the road and was over the yellow line and the neighbor over corrected and they went down the embankment and was killed and I know there’s been at least two people killed already up at the stop signs up at Neeley Farms. So, it’s just going to get worse unless something is done. I appreciate it. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. All right, that was our final speaker. We appreciate all the speakers and all of your input and all the things that you talked about will be coming up on the Agenda a little later so just hang on and you can here our thoughts on the situation.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF:
Mayor: Next item on the Agenda is Approval of the Minutes for the May 11th, May 18th, and May 25th meetings. I’ll entertain a motion in that regard.
Mr. Curry: Mr. Mayor, I move they be approved as written.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Curry, do I hear a second?
Mr. Pelar Second
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Pelar. I have a motion and a second. Any discussion, additions or corrections. All right, hearing none, I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. The minutes are official.
Mayor: All right, this is Mr. Hawes’ favorite part of the program. This is the City Administrator’s Report.
Mr. Hawes: Thank you Mayor and Council. The first item on the Administrator’s Report is Heritage Park, I’m going to give you an update on that. I have succeeded in having all the handicapped accessible walk-ways in the park funded with CDBG monies through the GCRA, the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority. The fields have been enlarged per the change order authorized by Council and all grassing should be complete by the end of June. The 153 loblolly pines originally spec’d have been removed from the site and we will get a credit for those. We have identified a route for the train that will carry it through the meadow and wooded areas for approximately 6/10 of a mile and we’re in the process of acquiring the track and the train right now.
Planning and Zoning Code Revisions. Just an update regarding the committee that was formed to guide the process of updating and amending our Planning and Zoning Codes, who’s suggestions are on your agenda tonight. The focus of this group will be historic preservation, signs and revising the tree ordinance. The committee has met twice and set an aggressive agenda. They look to tackle these ordinances one at a time in a period of approximately 3-4 months overall to get all of those ordinances taken care of in that time frame. Historic Preservation is first on their agenda. They will discuss and develop approaches to the sign and tree issues in the coming months. A result of the historic preservation discussions is on your agenda.
The Budget Preparation went very well. The budget is balanced at $10,860.00. It’s a serviceable plan for the allocation of revenues and expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year. I want to commend my Department Heads and City Council for an excellent process and together we’ve forged an excellent workable budget.
Municipal Judges – South Carolina Court Administration has informed us of legislative action that sets a minimum and maximum term for appointment of Municipal Judges. I’ve included that directive with these notes. Basically, that says that a Judge is appointed for a municipality shall serve a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years.
Even Information – Next Council meeting is the regularly scheduled workshop meeting June 22nd and there will be a reception, Ice Cream Social and Project Information Session sponsored by the Legislative Delegation, Garry Smith, other members of that delegation and SCDOT, June 17th, 6:00 p.m. at City Park.
Also, I do want to identify one other item that is not on this, we weren’t able to get that on in time. We did receive a recycling grant for $28,000, that we will use to purchase a recycling truck. I’m open to any questions.
Mayor: Okay, thank you. Good report. Anyone have any questions or comments for Mr. Hawes. Well apparently it was a very good report so thank you very much.
a. Presentation of Budget for Fiscal Year 2004-2005 – 2nd Reading
Mayor: Next on the Agenda is Old Business the first item being presentation of the Budget for Fiscal Year 2004-2005, and this will be the second and final reading. Mr. Hawes do you want to lead us into that please.
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir, what you have before you is second reading of the ordinance for adopting the Fiscal Year 2004-2005 budget as presented. City Council had two workshops, you’ve reviewed the intricacies of the budget, you made very good suggestions and what you have is the final budget as presented.
Mayor: Okay, before I ask for other comments let me ask about one before I forget it. We had a speaker here tonight who questioned the increase in the sewer fees that are included in this budget and would you please comment on how that new rate structure will effect, she mentioned specifically I think families and elderly folks. Would you talk about that a little bit.
Mr. Hawes: For those who are in the 8,000 gallon or less bracket per quarter which probably your folks who are single or a small family would qualify. The amount of sewer fee would increase approximately $1 per month.
Mayor: Okay, and that headline in the paper that said 150% increase, that was for the entire
Mr. Hawes: That’s across the board, that is not necessarily true in all brackets. Our structure is not 150 through all the brackets, it’s actually shaded to be a lesser increase on the lesser amounts of usage for the lower income and elderly.
Mayor: Okay, and of which most of us qualify for.
Mr. Hawes: It’s not based on income, don’t get me wrong. It’s actually the amount of usage so it would typically fall into that bracket.
Mayor: And it would be accurate to say that that included the very large industrial size lines that we have very few of if any in the Simpsonville area, is that correct, the reference to the 150%.
Mr. Hawes: Correct, right.
Ms. Thomas: Also, you might note that this was not increased by any want that we wanted to do. We had a direction from the EPA of things that we have to do and we had no choice in that
Mr. Hawes: This is the result of a consent order by the EPA, it’s a requirement.
Ms. Thomas: It’s a requirement, it’s not a way of generating more revenues. It’s something that
Mr. Hawes: No, every penny from this fee must go towards upgrading our sewer system to the standard required through the consent order of the EPA over the next 20 years.
Mayor: All right, anyone else. Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: The money that’s going to be collected from the sewer, increased sewer fees, is that going to be put in a special account?
Mr. Hawes: Yes.
Mr. Gecy: Okay, so that will only be used
Mr. Hawes: It is an accounted for separately from other monies that are received.
Mr. Gecy: But it’s not going into the General Fund, it’s going into a separate account.
Mr. Hawes: That is correct.
Mr. Gecy: Okay, one other comment on that. The discussions we had about possibly changing to charging for sewer by the amount of gallons of water that are consumed as opposed to the size meter, did we ever discuss whether that would be beneficial to go that route. For instance, just to explain what I’m talking about, you’re going to be charged a sewer fee based on having a certain sized meter, so no matter, from what I understand, no matter how much water you use in a specific quarter you’re going to pay the same fee for sewage. And it was
Mr. Hawes: It’s based on the water meter size, that’s correct.
Mr. Gecy: So if someone who is a single person, no matter how much water they use, somebody with a family of six kids might use a lot of water, they’re going to pay the same fees for their sewage.
Mr. Hawes: Well it’s not necessarily no matter how much water they use, if they use less than 8,000 then they’re in the low bracket.
Mr. Gecy: Right, I guess that’s where – but the other option would be if we went to a billing cycle where we actually billed people based on how much water they used and a percentage of that for sewage. Did we ever make any progress in looking into how that can be administered.
Mr. Hawes: That was discussed and I think that is something we will look at over the coming year to see exactly what the implications of it are, but for this budget we could not work into all the administrative aspects of it and at this point this is a consent order that we need to get into this budget that we need to make sure that we bring in the monies immediately and that’s starting July 1.
Mayor: Okay, before we go any farther, I seem to recall that we don’t have a motion on the floor, Mr. Curry
Mr. Curry: I move that we accept the proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2004-2005 as written.
Mr. Gecy: Second
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Curry and Mr. Gecy seconds. All right, now we can have discussion on it. Anybody have anything else they want to add or ask. Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: I mentioned this to the City Administrator and just to clarify it publicly, we’ve set aside a great deal of money for the recreation park and the fear is we’re not going to spend all that money in this fiscal year. I guess we just want assurances that that money is not going to be ear marked and used for other things. For instance, I don’t think we’re going to hire all the people we’re going to need that we had planned for because the parks not going to open until the fall or spring of next year. Does that money automatically roll into the next budget, or I mean how is that dealt with from year to year, where you have say $500,000 set aside for this park and we’re not going to need that this year because we’ve all agreed that we’re not going to try to force the park until the grass is ready.
Mr. Hawes: Any allocations from the budget are controlled by council if they are not budgeted for. So, if you’re saying we did not expend the funding that we expected to expend for Heritage Park or any other budget line item then it would fully be up to council’s discretion as to how to expend those funds. If they remain unexpended they carry over on what’s called a fund balance at the end of the fiscal year.
Mayor: I see what you’re asking, but if I may, I believe to that the money that we are spending on the park down there is in a separate fund altogether, because that’s a bond money, that’s the tax we collect from food and beverages and it’s held separately and dispensed through the Simpsonville Development Corporation or whatever that is.
Mr. Hawes: It is held separately and it will carry over automatically.
Mr. Gecy: I’m talking about employees, about the operating money, like hiring employees and buying grass cutters and buying equipment to support the park when we’re not going to need that until spring of next year.
Mr. Hawes: Those employees and salaries, if we don’t hire an employee until he is absolutely necessary there may be some money that was budgeted for that person that was left over that would carry over into a fund balance at the end of the fiscal year.
Mr. Gecy: So about the beginning of the spring that would be a good opportunity to look at that.
Mr. Hawes: We will do that. I will constantly evaluate the condition of the budget, day to day, week to week, month to month and keep council informed.
Mayor: Ms. Thomas did you have something or?
Ms. Thomas: No.
Mayor: Anyone else. All right, I’ll remind council that this is second and final reading on the budget for the Fiscal Year 2004-2005 and hearing no further conversation about it I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. The Aye’s have it it’s unanimous and a good job done by Administrator and all of our Department Heads. Thank you all.
b. Business License Ordinance Amendment – 2nd Reading
Mayor: All right, next item on the Agenda, Business License Ordinance Amendment, Mr. Hawes.
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir, you had first reading at the last meeting concerning a business license ordinance amendment whereby there’s an adjustment to the business license rates for the city. This adjustment basically brings us into commensurate rate structures with municipalities of this area, where we were previously at a lesser rate structure. The amounts here are reflected in the current budget that you just adopted.
Mayor: All right, do I hear a motion?
Ms. Lawrence: I make a motion that we accept the ordinance.
Mayor: Thank you Ms. Lawrence, second?
Mr. Curry: Second
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Curry. I have a motion and a second, any discussion? Mr. Gecy.
Mr. Gecy: Review quickly the amounts we’re talking about because we had some discussion. Did we include in it the suggestion that I made about non-resident businesses having to pay the $150 as opposed to the $50. Was that added to it.
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir, yes sir.
Mr. Gecy: With that in mind then, why can’t we, if we’re going to collect that, is there any way we could scale back maybe over a pro-rated basis and maybe scale back and hit our home town businesses a little less the first year and you know as an idea. The newspaper article I think it reads is 80% is it 80% raise in our business license fees.
Mr. Hawes: I don’t know what the article read.
Mr. Gecy: There was an article about that, but if we’re going to make some excess money charging non-resident businesses is there some savings we could accrue for local businesses to accept maybe a less than, whatever the figure was, whatever the scale was, cut the scale back to maybe half this year and then add it next year. Which would be a little way to say to the businesses, we want to get up par with everyone else but let’s maybe do it in increments of half an increase this year and maybe have next year.
Mr. Hawes: I would say that that could work if the proportional impact of the $150 vs. the $100 that was originally proposed for the out-of-town businesses were a) known and b) large enough to off-set any decrease. The thing is the out-of-town businesses really are not, that’s why we put that up a little higher, to try and balance the out-of-town aspect vs. the in-town. It’s certainly up to council if you would like to adjust further what is proposed. But we had the workshop and that was the only adjustment.
Mr. Gecy: With that in mind, trying to get further funds from non-resident businesses as well as businesses in the city as we found there are some occasionally that don’t have the proper licensing. Have we made any changes in how we’re going to administer this ordinance with regard to collections of non-resident business people. Have we improved our
Mr. Hawes: We’ve stepped up our enforcement absolutely. That was an administrative enforcement effort that cuts across different departments and different job duties to identify and to make sure that the code is enforced.
Mr. Gecy: And this is important to the budget, these numbers are figured in your budget.
Mr. Hawes: Quite.
Mayor: As a matter of fact, if I may interrupt, that was one of the things that many of us, and you may have been one, I don’t remember, demanded before we started talking about raising the rates, was that we improve our enforcement and make sure that we were collecting from everyone that we needed to collect from before we did this.
Mr. Hawes: That was certainly something that came up at the retreat before we ever got into the budget.
Mr. Gecy: And in your mind that has been done,
Mr. Hawes: Certainly, we had some enforcement activities quite recently as a matter of fact and were able to recover some money.
Mr. Gecy: Okay, I feel better, thank you.
Mayor: Okay, anyone else. All right, hearing no further discussion, I will remind council that this is the second and final reading. So, all those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous again.
c. Appointment of members to Housing Appeals Board
Mayor: All right, Mr. Hawes, talk to us about the members of the Housing, well you talk to us about the Housing Appeals Board and then we’ll talk about the appointment of the members to you.
Mr. Hawes: Certainly Mayor, the Housing Appeals Board is to come into conformance with the City’s Code that requires a Housing Appeals Board for non-conformity with our demolition of dilapidated structures in the City Limits. In other words, it specifies that in order to appeal a decision by our zoning administrator or building codes official, you have to go before a housing appeals board of which the City does not have one now. So, I would recommend that Council please take that up.
Mayor: Okay, thank you and I think at our workshop meeting I suggested that everyone come with a name from their ward of someone they would like to serve on this committee. Does everyone have a name tonight or should we, I see smiles I knew this was going to happen. All right, then I would suggest Mr. Administrator that we ask all council members to turn their names into you and that you make a roster of those names and bring them back to us and I’ll appoint a committee.
Mr. Hawes: We’ll do that.
Mayor: All right, thank you very much.
d. Resolution for Sewer Rate Adjustment.
Mayor: All right, next item on the Agenda is a resolution for the sewer rate adjustment. And we’ve talked about that already, so do you want to – I don’t think you need to introduce that Mr. Hawes. I’ll just call for a motion. Would anyone like to make a motion?
Mr. Curry: I move we accept it as written.
Mayor: Mr. Curry makes a motion, do I hear a second
Ms. Thomas: Second
Mayor: Ms. Thomas seconds, thank you. All right, discussion, Mr. Gecy.
Mr. Gecy: Just for the record, the amount that we’re going to increase if you’ll just quickly review it for the minutes for the internet if anyone reads the minutes.
Mr. Hawes: Residential users 8,000 gallons per quarter will go to $7.25 in city from $4.50; 5/8 and ¾ will go for in city from $8.25 to $21.50; the next range will go from 12-30; next range from 21-52; next from 30-75; 90-225; 150-375; 345-862; 450-1125; and 600-1500.
Mayor: Okay, everybody got that. Okay, any other discussion? All right hearing no further discussion, and this only takes one reading I believe. So, all those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No – Aye’s have it we’re unanimous.
e. Resolution for Permit Fee Adjustment.
Mayor: All right, Mr. Hawes, Resolution for Permit Fee Adjustment.
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir, Mayor and Council, as part of the budget there was an adjustment of permit fees to be commensurate, mostly building, construction type permit fees and only on permits of over $50,000. So, if you’re doing a smaller construction on your home there is no increase. What you have before you is those increases and those were at the levels as discussed in the workshop meetings of the budget.
Mayor: Okay, I’ll entertain a motion
Mr. Curry: I move we adopt the fee adjustments as written
Mr. Pelar: I’ll second it.
Mayor: And Mr. Pelar seconds, thank you very much. Discussion? All right hearing no discussion, I’d just like to say the contractor pays nothing the end user pays, but I’m not going there again tonight. All right, hearing no further discussion or smart aleck comments like I just made, I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it.
f. Beattie Place Allocation
Mayor: All right, next item the Beattie Place Allocation, Mr. Hawes.
Mr. Hawes: Yes Mayor, GCRA has proposed in a letter that is in your packet that council consider the Beattie Place subdivision, the allocation of CDBG Funding and Home Funding for that purpose. They have come and presented to council previously, I believe on May 25th a presentation about the types of homes that would be built there. This is at the end of Beattie Street on an undeveloped property that is owned by GCRA right now.
Mayor: Okay, so you all know what that’s about. I’ll entertain a motion. Well wait a minute, before I entertain a motion let me say that I know some of us up here are not or have not thoroughly researched this thing like we’d like to. We’d like to look at it a little longer, think about it a little more. So if we don’t get a motion then we can do that
Ms. Lawrence: May I make a motion for us to research it more
Mayor: You certainly may
Ms. Thomas: Can we workshop it.
Ms. Lawrence: Then I would like to make a motion that we workshop the Beattie Place Allocation.
Ms. Thomas: I’ll second that.
Mayor: All right I have a motion from Ms. Lawrence and a second from Ms. Thomas. Any discussion.
Mr. Curry: I’d like to ask Mr. Hawes I believe it is, you changed the signs around, when do we have to do this legally, when does it have to be done before we lose the funds. Is there a time limit?
Mr. Hawes: There is no time at which we would have to do this. The allocation can be done at any time.
Mr. Gecy: I was going to ask the same question. We were kind of given the impression that there was a deadline on this, when we were given that presentation that day that there was a little push. Could you verify that, I mean and get back to us.
Mr. Hawes: I can verify that my understanding is that there isn’t a deadline. GCRA is adamant that they would like to see it go as quickly as possible because they feel that it’s a good use of the City CDBG funding, the funding is there, I think they may have the fear that we will allocate it elsewhere and it’s a project that is near and dear to their heart. I’m not speaking on behalf of them when I say it’s near and dear to their heart, but I know that the Executive Director feels it’s a very good project.
Mayor: So you’re editoralizing over there.
Mr. Hawes: No, I really wouldn’t want to do that.
Mayor: All right. So everybody’s comfortable with that.
Ms. Thomas: Yeah, because I was under the same impression
Mayor: I know we can carry it forward another few weeks any how.
Ms. Thomas: But we do, some of us have some alternatives and we’d like an opportunity to present those. I’d very much like to workshop that.
Mayor: All right, well we have a motion before us. Hearing no further discussion I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. We’ll procrastinate on that for a while.
a. Simpsonville Arts & Jazz Festival
Mayor: All right, next item on the agenda, new business, Simpsonville Arts and Jazz Festival, Mr. Gecy’s going to tell us about that and I think you gave us a packet to review while you talk did I not.
Mr. Gecy: You should have one in front of you. Good News! There’s a – the Fairview Business Association has a plan for a Fall Festival that is scheduled I believe the date’s October 5th, don’t quote me on that but I believe that’s correct. But I’m going to ask the President of the Fairview Business Association, Johnathan Zimpleman to give us a little detail on that as far as dates and what the City, of course we’re looking for blessings from the City, really I think that’s what they’re looking for. And Mark Hurst, so we’ll turn it over to them. Thanks
Mr. Zimpleman: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Council, Mayor thank you. When we first started the Fairview Business Association, one of our main goals was to increase the visibility of our members and for that matter Simpsonville as a whole in the surrounding communities. One of the ways in which we wish to do this is by hosting a festival this fall. After much discussion and deliberation and research we have decided that a fine arts and a jazz festival would be the most successful since there’s really nothing else like that in the area and with that I would like to introduce the Director of the Arts & Jazz Festival, Mark Hurst.
Mr. Hurst: Hello, I’m Mark Hurst. One of the things that we’re looking at is first of all the businesses in the area, one of the things is as we grow to not promote the area with growth it will become stagnant. We already see it in some of the smaller businesses. And of course some of the smaller businesses in the area feed off the larger businesses. But you can also go into Target at any time and two registers open and no one in line. You’ve probably seen it once or twice yourself. The thing is, what we’re trying to do is grab Greenville and turn their thought patterns around and bring them this direction. By doing so, by promoting the area with the Arts and Jazz Festival we’re trying to not only number 1 make it an upscale festival, to feed that market and also the neighborhoods and the growth of the community here, but also reaching outward and bringing other tourists in the area as well. So there’s a lot of profit in the hotel industries and the restaurant industries. Everybody seems to be excited about it in the business community. What we need is a blessing, and I’ve already sat down with the Police of Chief, Chief Reece and we’ve talked about the area. The area is actually going to be between T. J. Max and the Bi-Lo on Harrison Bridge Road and Fairview Road. That road from Harrison Bridge Road down because of construction of the bridge is going to be closed any way shortly after, if not at that time anyway. The dates are October 2nd and 3rd. That is a Saturday and a Sunday. The hours will be, well there will be a 5 mile walk that morning and then it would actually go from there and the festival actually starts up around 11:30 a.m. There’s going to be the fine arts which would consist of painting, sculptures and possibly wood burning. Also, with that it’s also going to consist of a taste of Simpsonville and so anyway, what we want to do is we need to close that road off so that we have the tent area. One of the things we want to take a look at is the parking issues. One of the things that Simpsonville hasn’t had in the past to be able to do something of this nature is parking issues. Because there are three large parking places which are Bi-Lo, T.J. Max and Target and also Belks which is within walking distance as well. We’ve got the parking to be able to provide it. What we need is a blessing from you guys, first of all on the closing of the road just for those two days and number 2 is also the blessing from the Police Department, we need manpower there to make sure everybody is safe and secure. So with that blessing we would like you to consider that.
Mayor: Okay, would anyone like to make a motion that we address this.
Ms. Lawrence: Yes Mr. Mayor, I’d like to make a motion that we bless this Arts and Jazz Festival. I think it sounds like a great idea.
Ms. Thomas: Second
Mayor: All right, and I have a second from Ms. Thomas and thirds and fourths all over the place, so it sounds like fun and we always bless having fun. Any further discussion or questions. I see the Police Chief nodding an affirmative yes so apparently he’s on board with it. Any other discussion. Hearing none, I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous and we’re looking forward to it. Thank you very much for coming.
b. Historical Preservation Ordinance – 1st Reading
Mayor: All right, next item on the Agenda, Mr. Hawes, tell us about the Historical Preservation Ordinance.
Mr. Hawes: Yes, Mr. Mayor and Council, the planning subcommittee that was formed by City Council in a joint effort with the Planning Commission as part of its preliminary review of the need for historic preservation in the City identified a historic preservation ordinance that is before you for first reading right now. They have requested that it be considered under the Pending Ordinance Doctrine which would make it effective immediately. In my review of it and in the City attorney’s review of it we can not recommend that it go in under those circumstances. We feel that it may be better that it go through the typical procedure to hash out a good ordinance through the Planning Commission and so forth. However, I feel that we could address what I feel was the impetus for the need of the pending Ordinance Document which is the concern of demolitions in the city of significant structures. And, the council could certainly develop on an immediate basis or I guess amend this ordinance on first reading to focus specifically on creating a demolition permit process for the City.
Mayor: So, as a first step to creating such an ordinance we can or should tonight try to begin the process of implementing a demolition permit requirement.
Mr. Hawes: Correct, and I would recommend that you do first reading on the ordinance almost as a title only with me giving you some stipulations here about how it will read for second reading. Among those would be permits would be set at a rate that would be a fee rate, that would be appropriate, and we haven’t determined the amount there. Also, it would be, it would have to go through the review process of our building inspectors and zoning official for any demolition in the City and that would be included in the ordinance as well. And the ordinance would certainly be a city-wide ordinance at this point.
Mayor: Okay, anybody who’s willing to take a crack at making a motion such as that I’m ready to listen.
Mr. Curry: I move for just what he said.
Mayor: All right, I have a motion by Mr. Curry, do I hear a second.
Mr. Pelar: I’ll second it
Mayor: All right, Mr. Pelar seconds. Thank you very much. All right, Mr. Gecy,
Mr. Gecy: If we’re going to adopt an ordinance, is there an emergency right now that we need to act outside of normal procedures, I mean is there really an emergency that we need to do this tonight.
Mr. Hawes: Not that I am aware of. I think the pending ordinance doctrine could be used, well I don’t want to say could be used, is intended to be implemented when there is a pending change to protect the interests of the city, I guess that’s the best way. And when I say impending change it would be something City Council would have already discussed and publicly identified a change. It’s basically so people don’t go and do something to subvert that. I’m not proposing this to go in under a pending ordinance document, I’m proposing a first reading.
Mayor: And the motion is just to create and then develop the ordinance for second reading, a demolition permit. Ms. Lawrence
Ms. Lawrence: Okay, as part of the ad hoc committee, we did note what we consider a danger. There are five or six what I would consider very historic houses that basically are going to be replaced by parking lot. I would really appreciate it if we could get Mr. Kincannon up here because is a lot more up on this. He is the Chairperson of that committee.
Mayor: All right, Mr. Kincannon would you like to speak to us.
Mr. Kincannon: Good evening Mayor and Council, I will say that there is a significant danger to several houses that we discussed at committee. I note that several of the people who say that there has not been a noted danger have not attended any of the meetings where we’ve discussed them. I feel it is imperative that we take some action tonight which is both legally sound, yet also protects the houses that are in danger immediately. However, that needs to be done legally and would be left up to the legal adviser but I would suggest that something be done immediately and if anyone has any other questions I’m here so whatever you all want.
Mayor: Okay, well I would think that if it’s a legal question then we need to direct that to our legal eagle over there. Mr. Holmes would you care to share your thoughts on this with us.
Mr. Holmes: I’m not sure I know what the question is but the proposal is we do not currently require a demolition permit unless a house or structure, rather is located in our historic over-lay. So, if it’s outside that no one has to come to City Hall and get a demolition permit. (END OF TAPE SIDE I – SIDE II DID NOT RECORD)
Further discussion was had back and forth regarding the need for having a pending ordinance documentation.
Vote was unanimous that any demolition in the City prior to an ordinance being passed on 2nd reading, would require a demolition permit obtained from the building inspectors at City Hall.
Mike Zitricki was unable to appear tonight so Courtney Tumblin from the Greenville County Planning Commission presented the following to Mayor and Council.
a. AX-2004-03 – Harrison Bridge Center PD – 1st Reading.
Subject property is currently located in the County and zoned R-S, Residential Suburban. The property is approximately 13.5 acres in size located along Harrison Bridge Road between Fairview Road and Interstate 385. Proposed annexation is contiguous with the City limits boundary and the rezoning is compatible with the surrounding zoning and land use. Staff feels the proposed uses in the Planned Development are compatible with the surrounding area land uses. The PD classification offers the developer flexibility with setbacks and area requirements but at the same time can give the City assurances of quality of the development. Staff recommended approval with several contingencies as outlined in packets given to council.
Mr. Curry moved to accept the annexation and rezoning as recommended by staff with the contingencies. 2nd by Mr. Pelar. Vote was unanimous to accept for annexation and rezone to PD.
b. AX-2004-04 – Fox Trace Neely Ferry Rd. – 1st Reading.
The proposed annexation is contiguous with the City limits boundary and the rezoning is compatible with the surrounding zoning and land use. Staff feels the proposed uses in the Planned Development are compatible with the surrounding area land uses. The staff supports the annexation and zoning request for PD, Planned Development with contingencies.
Mr. Gecy moved to deny the recommendation of staff with a second by Mr. Pelar. Discussion was had in regards to comments made earlier by citizens in the audience. Motion was amended by Mr. Gecy with a 2nd by Mr. Curry to approve with contingencies as set out as follows:
5’ sidewalks will be required with a 2’ curb lawn in between the curb and sidewalk. Islands to be underdrained; entrance of subdivision will be buffered with a berm; landscaping will conform to the City of Simpsonville’s Zoning Ordinance; all county standards will be required for encroachments onto Neely Ferry Road for the two proposed entrances.
Vote was 6-1 to allow the annexation and rezoning. Mr. Gecy voted against.
c. AX-2004-05 – Main Street (Hwy 14) – 1st Reading
Proposed annexation is contiguous with the City limits boundary and the requested zoning is compatible with the surrounding zoning and land use. Staff supports the annexation and zoning request for R-10, Single-Family Residential. Staff encourages pedestrian linkages between the adjacent subdivision behind the Duke Power office and the new Heritage Park for the annexation request.
Mr. Gecy moved to accept the recommendation of the planning commission seconded by Ms. Lawrence.
(AT THIS TIME THE SECOND TAPE BEGAN RECORDING)
Hal Mason 147 Marshal Bridge Drive, Greenville:
I have a proposal we’ve been working with Mr. Hawes diligently about
Mayor: You’re the developer I take it.
Mr. Mason: That’s correct.
Mayor: Go ahead, I’m sorry.
Mr. Mason: We’ve been working to not only be a good neighbor Powderhorn and the proposed subdivision I believe it’s called Heritage Creek and to the park and we have agreed to do some upgrades to the entrance from two lane to four lane into the park off of 14 and a three lane road, our share of that from the Industrial Park to the entrance of the subdivision. It’s not shown on here but you get a general idea about lot number 13, this would be the proposed linkage to the other subdivision.
Mayor: Well that’s the reason I was a little confused because I had heard about these conversations and I’m having a hard time understanding that we’re doing something on an annexation and we’re going to do something else in zoning. I want to hear about this widening of the road. When does that take place
Mr. Holmes: Well what we’re recommending that you do is you pass it on first reading and you will give staff the opportunity between now and second reading to have all that nailed down and present it to you and that you will not pass it until then
Mr. Hawes: This is first reading so.
Mayor: Okay, well that’s information we needed to keep us from scratching our heads and looking at each other. All right, so thank you very much for the information.
Ms. Tumblin: It’s a lot easier to obtain a connection when it’s one owner one owner rather than 300 or 100.
Mayor: Okay – got you. All right, any further discussion.
Ms. Lawrence: Can I just ask is this the connection between 112 and 113 to the park. But I mean there is going to be a connection to the park right.
Mr. Hawes: We will work out a walking way – the developer will install it.
Mayor: All right, anyone else.
Mr. Holmes: We’re planning a whistle stop for the train.
Mayor: Yeah, we need that and a watering station. All right, hearing no further discussion I’ll remind council this is first reading of two, we’ll be coming back with this but hearing no further discussion, I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed no. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. So we’re annexed.
d. Z-2004-04 – Mark Binz for Garrett & Garrett Warehouses – 1st Reading
Mayor: I hope this one is easier.
Ms. Tumblin: The request is to go from C-2 to I-1 and the recommendation from the Planning Commission is for approval.
Mayor: All right and where exactly is this located
Ms. Tumblin: This is the Muffin Man
Mayor: All right, Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: I move we approve the Planning Commission’s recommendation for Z-2004-04
Mr. Pelar: I’ll second it.
Mayor: All right I have a motion from Mr. Gecy and second from Mr. Pelar. Thank you. Any discussion about Muffin Man. All right, hearing no further discussion I’ll remind council that this is first of two readings, we’ll hear this again so, all those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it, thank you very much and thank you Courtney for your input.
a. AM-2004-02 A request to delete Section 11:3.11 of the Zoning Ordinance “Regulation of Signs-Grade Level – 1st reading.
Mr. Spain: The first text amendment that the zoning administrator proposed and was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission was to delete the section of the zoning ordinance which section 11:3.11 that deals with the regulations of signs and grade level. Currently we measure signs from the level of the road to which the sign is oriented. If we remove this particular portion of the ordinance it will allow us to – the sign cannot be more than 35 feet tall. If the applicant has a hardship like he’s in a hole or down something like that he would be allowed to come before the Board of Appeals and request a variance. It would limit all signs to 35 feet no matter where they are.
Mayor: Okay, I’ll entertain a motion.
Ms. Lawrence: Mr. Mayor I make a motion that we approve Z2004-02 text amendment to the regulation of signs to grade level
Ms. Thomas: Second
Mayor: Seconds all over, Ms. Thomas I heard her voice. Any discussion
Mr. Holmes: Mr. Mayor that’s AM 2004-02 text amendment – she said Z
Mayor: Z – you’re on the wrong page. So what you meant to say is AM right
Ms. Lawrence: Yes, whatever.
Mayor: All right, that’s all we need to say. Now any discussion about that. All right, this is first reading of two. Hearing no discussion I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it.
b. AM-2004-03 – A request to amend Section 10:5.5 Tree Removal to prohibit tree removal prior to issuance of a grading or building permit – 1st reading.
Mr. Spain: This is a request to amend Section 10:5.5 the tree removal section of the ordinance. And I might want to say that the Agenda kind of misleads when it says prohibit tree removal – what this will do is prohibit removal of a certain percentage of trees. Our problem has come in with our definition of what we have for development which is basically cut down the trees. I propose that the change be made to the ordinance to read prior to the issuance of a grading or building permit and delete prior to development. It would read prior to issuance of a grading or building permit it shall be a violation of this ordinance to remove more than 20% of the trees greater than 8” diameter on any lot in any given 3 year period. SO this would give the City the time to if someone comes in to eliminate some of this what they call clean and grub where they can just come in and cut everything down and say they’re not grading. Well if they don’t get a grading permit through DHEC and that nature they would not be able to come in and just clear cut property.
Mayor: Let me get a motion and then I have a question for you.
Mr. Pelar: I’d like to make a motion to accept the AM-2004-03.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Pelar do I hear a second.
Mr. Bridges: Second
Mayor: Mr. Bridges seconds. Thank you Mr. Bridges. All right, any discussion. Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: Just to clarify, if a builder right now, what we have now, don’t we have a site plan in place, a tree site plan
Mr. Spain: If the site is over 5 acres they have to submit a tree survey. But again the tree survey, this was done as you are aware we’re getting ready to review the tree ordinance portion, this is done more as a stop gap measure so when we get to the ordinance we can address it more fully when it comes back before the Planning Commission and you all and we’ll expand on this. This was just done to basically slow somebody down and give the City a chance to look at something before they go in and cut. Presently, the code exempts 1 acre lot residential lots less than an acre and stuff like that. It doesn’t apply to them but what this would do now is just stop something like what happened out on Fairview Road from happening and again it will be addressed when we get into the portion of the ordinance where we’re going to amend trees and stuff and we’ll be happy for any suggestions that we can have.
Mayor: But the question I have for you is does this not, Ms. Todd has some very nice trees in her yard, I’ve seen them over there, if Ms. Todd wanted to go out and cut down the trees in her yard does this not affect her, she’s not planning on doing development, she just wants to cut down some trees
Mr. Spain: The ordinance exempts single family residential lots less than 1 acre from the provisions of this code so this would not stop an individual.
Mayor: Okay, so it does exempt residential.
Mr. Spain: It does exempt residential
Mayor: All right, let’s say Ken Knox this fine optometrist down the street he’s got a few trees around his place, let’s say he wants to go down and cut down some trees, not planning on doing any developing he just wants to cut down some trees, does this prohibit him from doing that.
Mr. Spain: No sir, it does not.
Mayor: That’s all I wanted to know
Ms. Thomas: But if he wants to add on to his building
Mr. Spain: It says development, if he wants to add this is when this would kick in if any building, this is mainly designed for vacant properties.
Mayor: I just want to make sure that we have the wording such that the private home owner or business owner decides to prune some trees that
Mr. Spain: No, it doesn’t affect anything like that.
Mayor: All right any other discussion. All right I’ll remind council that this is 1st reading and it will require 2 so hearing no further discussion I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous again.
Mayor: We have a need for a brief Executive Session I promise it won’t last longer than 5 minutes if we all hurry and get down there, it’s regarding Public Works legal advice. So I’ll entertain a motion in that regard.
Mr. Bridges: I move we go into Executive Session
Ms. Lawrence Second
Mayor: Second Ms. Lawrence. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. We are adjourned into Executive Session.
Returned from Executive Session. No action was taken.
Mayor: Next item on the Agenda I believe is Ms. Lawrence’s duty. Ms. Lawrence do you have a motion you’d like to make.
Ms. Lawrence: Yes Mr. Mayor, I’d like to make a motion we adjourn.
Ms. Thomas: Second
Mayor: Do I hear a second, I have a motion and a second all in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous, we’re adjourned, thank you all for coming.
PAMELA J. BODKINS