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.
CITY OF SIMPSONVILLE
April 11, 2006
CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor: I call the April Business Meeting of Simpsonville City Council to order. I’d like to welcome all of you here tonight. Ms. Bodkins would you call the roll please. It seems like we have a lot of folks missing in action tonight.
Ms. Bodkins: Yes sir.
Councilmember Bridges Here
Councilmember Curry Absent
Councilmember Lawrence Absent
Councilmember Gecy Here
Councilmember Zitricki Absent
Councilmember Larson Very glad to be here
Mayor Waldrop Here
Mayor: And just let me say for everyone else’s benefit, Mr. Curry is still in the hospital. I talked to his wife just before we came here tonight. They sent him home on Friday to spend a couple of weeks of trying to build up his strength so they could perform surgery. On Saturday they had to take him back to the hospital. He’s still in the hospital in a lot of pain. They found some other things wrong, I’m not going to go into all those details, but please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. And we miss him. Mr. Zitricki, called me earlier today and is suffering from a very high fever and extends his regrets that he’s not here tonight and Ms. Lawrence is on vacation I guess in England, and I’m not feeling so good. How about everybody else. So maybe we can get through this thing. We appreciate your coming and appreciate your attendance.
Mayor: Is there anyone who would like to ask blessings on this meeting in your own way. All right, Attorney Holmes would you ask blessings upon this meeting in your personal way please. Invocation was done by City Attorney, David Holmes
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF 03/14/06 AND 03/28/06
Mayor: All right, council members you have in your packet the minutes, or maybe on your computer the minutes of the March 14th and the March 28th meeting. I’ll entertain a motion in that regard.
Mr. Gecy: I move we accept them
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Gecy do I hear a second?
Mr. Larson: Second
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Larson. Any corrections, additions, comments, questions, spelling corrections or whatever. 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 the Minutes are approved.
REVIEW OF MONTHLY REPORTS
Mayor: You have in your office downstairs, or on your computer or in your packet, the monthly reports from all the departments. And folks I’ll say to you as I always do, we appreciate your providing that information to us. I know that’s a lot of extra work but it kind of keeps us in the loop, and we appreciate that. And we do review those and sometimes we even have questions about them, so thank you for that.
Mayor: This is the portion of our meeting where we invite comments from the public. Because this is our business meeting we will not interact with you. You may say whatever you would like to us but we will not engage in conversation, we are just here to hear your thoughts tonight. If you called ahead and asked to be placed on the Agenda we’ll give you four minutes. If you signed up when you came in the door we’ll give you two minutes. I’m usually pretty generous with that as long as you’re completing a thought or not repeating yourself. But I will give you a little 15 second warning or so before I use the big hammer on you. First I’ll call those folks that are on the Agenda, called ahead and asked to be placed on the Agenda. And first is Donna Powers. And Ms. Powers if you’ll approach the podium and give your address for the record please and your time will begin.
a. Donna Powers – 102 Benwood Dr. My reason for being here tonight is concern over this Capewood zoning. I don’t know how many of you people have actually seen this property, or how many of you know what it looks like, or what it did look like. It was a beautiful piece of property about 6 ½ acres of hardwood trees, pine wood trees and it housed a lot of birds. With a pond on it it also housed wild geese. This man decided he wanted to put 20 houses, I believe originally, with 2-car garages on 50 foot lots. First thing, this is on a blind curve. When you come from Neely Ferry and Capewood Drive at a 3-way stop people are approaching speeds of 35-45 mph coming around this. It is wall to wall traffic between 7:30 and 8:30 and when you get 20 more cars coming out of that driveway, we’re going to have a lot of deaths on that corner or a lot of bad injuries. The man agreed with the zoning commission to speak with the neighborhood association. He came with his mind made up, hell or high water he would have his way. We met on a Thursday night. Friday afternoon he had heavy duty equipment in there and by Saturday morning he had clear-cut the biggest share of his property before it had been back to the zoning commission, before it had been before you people. And he indicated to the zoning that the neighbors were in favor of it. We are not. We don’t want kids getting killed on their way to school, or people on their way to work. He has clear-cut this land between two streets coming from the end of the block, going down through the center of it. You will have run-off. People down over the hill are going to have water in their basements should you get a heavy storm. You are going to have a narrow area, where to try to put a fire truck in there. You’re going to have danger to the houses on both streets that are back to back to it. There will be no privacy which we had. When we moved out here 30 years ago we came because there was plenty of land and you didn’t see what your neighbors were eating for breakfast. You’re going to see it now if he gets his way. It would be just like putting a trailer park into one acre in Powderhorn. You aren’t going to have much more than mill houses. He’s going to put a two car garage along with a house on a 50 ft acre. It’s going to influx our schools because these people are going to have families and one or two houses we could probably deal with but 19-20 houses or an apartment building. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. We ask that you refuse to let this man build multiple houses on this property. Namely, because the zoning calls for single family units. Please give us some consideration. We pay your taxes, this man is from Williamston, his idea is to get $120,000-$130,000 out of these cracker boxes, mill houses, we can’t get $80,000 out of the homes that are already there and they’re bigger with bigger lots. So these houses are going to be sitting. They’re going to end up with you name it, anybody that will fill them. We’re going to have an influx of trouble. We ask that you please see our point of view and work with your constituents. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. All right next is Tim and Elijah Jones. Tim and Elijah Jones. Okay, next is Roxie Kincannon. Ms. Kincannon you know the routine I believe.
b. I do indeed. Roxie Kincannon Jones Ave Simpsonville, SC. And I appreciate you all listening to me. By now all of you know that 3 members of the City Council violated the Freedom of Information Act two weeks ago when they voted to suspend the rules and appoint Mr. Newman to the Planning Commission. I have sat in these very chambers and listened to Mr. Gecy accuse other council members of holding as what he refers to as back alley meetings. It now appears that Mr. Gecy has been presiding over some back alley meetings. I don’t know what the big rush was to make this appointment. But, the three of you who voted for this ambushed your fellow council members and all of the residents of Simpsonville who may have had something to say about these appointments. I have talked to several people who intended to apply. But that appointment, that vacancy did not come open until that council meeting, and that vacancy was filled in that vacancy. So, the door was slammed in the face of anybody that wanted to put in an application for the vacancy. I think you’ve also done a dis-service to the other Planning Commission members in that this was an invalid appointment. Mr. Newman was not even appointed under the color of law. It is plainly invalid and that taints any action that the Planning Commission will take in the future because he’s not a valid member of that commission. And I’m just hoping that tonight or in the future you all can rectify this, because like I say you have done a disservice to anybody who had an interest in applying for that position. And I thank you all very much.
Mayor: Okay, thank you. That concludes those who signed up on the Agenda. We will not go to those of you who signed in and you’ll have a little less time. You’ll have 2 minutes, but we will listen attentively. First is Mr. Roy Shelton. And Mr. Shelton if you’ll give your name for the record please
c. My name is Roy Shelton. I live at 302 S. Main. I’m here this evening in my capacity as a member of Simpsonville downtown Business Association. That group asked me to come this evening and just give you all a heads up on what we’re planning to do this summer. As you know last summer we had a series of music concerts around the Clock Tower. And they were fairly successful. We had about 300 people every Saturday night. What we’re looking at doing this summer is music hour at the Clock Tower. We’re going to have a series of 8 concerts beginning on the first of July, every weekend in July. Every Saturday. And three in August for a total of 8. The location we’re looking at this year is a private parking lot next to Barefoot Annie’s Coffee Shop. I believe it’s the Kirven property, it’s a vacant parking lot there. We’re going to do something a little different this year. We’re going to have a meet and greet on Main Street from 4-6 on the nights that we have the music concerts. And the idea there is that the shops and the businesses downtown will participate by having special discounts, prizes, drawings, open-houses, that type thing in an attempt to draw more people from this area in to seeing the downtown. And then we would follow-up with our music hour from 6-8. We’re hoping this year to have a little more contemporary music. Last year we had Carolina Mountain Folk Music. I found it very interesting, but some people didn’t think it was all that good. I enjoyed it. But this year it’s going to be a little more contemporary and feature a lot of local talent and special music. We’re going to have other activities. We’re going to have a children’s area with games, a moon bounce, a giant slide, food vendors and we’re going to get the local restaurants to participate in that. We’re going to be coming to the City Council with some questions and also some requests for support. We’re having a Board of Directors meeting tomorrow to finalize some of our questions. But just to give you an initial heads up the fire works display. We’re kind of hoping that if the City does a 4th of July fireworks display this year, which I’m sure you probably will, it would be great if we could coordinate the scheduling of that for the 1st of July on Saturday at Heritage Park in conjunction with the music festival and we could publicize the two together and get a good effect. We’re also thinking about applying for an alcohol permit, one of the important items on that beer license when you get an event license for every time you do this, one of the important items on there is we have to say whether the Police Chief of Simpsonville will approve it or not. So we want to know pretty early in the game if the Police Chief is not going to approve it, you’ll save me doing a lot of paperwork. I won’t even fool with it. We’ve found and we’ve had people with feed back that if we could sell beer they would like that. And we’ll also be coming to the City and asking for some minor assistance from Public Works, just like you did last year. You all provided us with a trailer last year, you gave us Police support and that type of thing. I don’t think we’ll be coming to you for a whole lot. Thank you very much.
Mayor: Okay, thank you. All right, next is Jennifer Bogart. And the same deal Ms. Bogart, if you’ll just give your address for the record please ma’am, your time will begin.
d. Jennifer Bogart – I live at 203 Willow Tree Drive. I’m here to speak about the property at Capewood. I have a list of six complaints. I’ll make them brief. Number one is the traffic. There’s a lot of speeding on Capewood. There have been several deaths. There’s a lot of congestion as the lady stated before. Number two there are water and sewer complications and concerns. Number three we are concerned about the depreciation of property. The builder refuses to build similar homes to those in Westwood or near the price. Westwood is mainly a working-class neighborhood and adding high price track built homes will only lower our property value. Taxes – property taxes will surely go up but the real value of the properties in the Westwood surrounding development will decrease and then there will be less appeal to the buyers. Number five is fear of eminent domain. I’ve already learned from my neighbors on Willow Tree Drive that the corner, Mr. Cox has offered to buy his property and that is part of Westwood. That house is on the end of my street, I’m the fifth house down. The house next to him is only vacated in the winter, the house next to that one is for sale, the house next to that is in foreclosure, then there’s me, the next house wants to sell, the next house was bought for the property taxes. Number six is the most important to me. It’s just stupidity. It’s utterly ridiculous to put a 19 house subdivision in the middle of an older well established sub-division. This sub-division will only have one access road to traffic or services. The lots or small. In the back of my house will be two houses. This is not conformity this is greed on the part of the builder. I’d also like to say that I’m not standing up here because I’m against progress, I’m for progress but I just think progress could be somewhere else, because this is in the middle of a well-established 1,000 home sub-division and it just doesn’t make any sense. Thank you for your time.
Mayor: Thank you. Okay, next will be Jan Norman. And Ms. Norman if you’ll state your address for the record please ma’am.
e. Jan Norman. Okay, I live at 103 Chuckwood. My property is the property directly behind the zoning property on Capewood. I live behind the pond and my concern is the pond. I bought my house because of the pond, nothing else. They’ve already stripped most of the trees. There are still mallards roosting there amazingly. If you add 20 or 19-20 houses there we’re going to have nothing. Because the stripping of the land the pond has already risen like this much from the rain we had the other day. It doesn’t look good and it is a spring fed pond. I’ve got DHEC trying to help me with it. That’s all. Thanks
Mayor: Okay, thank you. All right next is Martin Livingston. And Mr. Livingston give your address for the record please and you may begin.
f. My name is Martin Livingston, I’m the Executive Director for the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority. I’m here to speak on the West Circle rezoning, Mr. Thomas Allen’s property. GCRA is here to speak on this issue Mr. Mayor primarily we discussed the issues with Mr. Russ Hawes last Tuesday. However, after reading the minutes of the March 28th meeting, I’ve become very concerned about some comments that were made. I read the minutes last week on Wednesday, contacted HUD and GCRA based on those comments. HUD’s statements to us were we’re willing to do whatever it takes to support Mr. Allen and do whatever it takes that’s in his best interests. We believe the rezoning of the property from C-2 to R-12 is very appropriate allowing Mr. Allen to live on the property that he originally occupied, the same property he originally occupies and allows him to age in place. He’s elderly, disabled, and the project is certainly, certainly affordable to him. We want to proceed with assisting Mr. Allen. We’ll do whatever it takes or whatever is necessary to assist Mr. Allen. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. Okay, next is Mr. John Cox. I know you’re getting tired of hearing me say it but if you’ll state your address for the record you may begin.
g. Mr. John Cox – the owner developer of the Capewood Sub-division. I live at 98 Beaver Dam Road, Williamston. I was just wanting to let everybody know that approximately a month after we closed on the property, we contracted with somebody to cut the timber. We had been addressed with 3-4 water problems, whenever Westwood was built nobody planned for the storm water run-off and anytime you do a development – all the trees have got to be cut. We plan on replacing every tree we cut but once we regrade the property and put the appropriate storm water control in then the water issues and the sewer issues will go away hopefully. Hopefully you all will consider approving my subdivision. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. All right next is Victoria Norris. If you’ll just state your address for the record you may begin.
h. Victoria Norris. I live at 411 Tebblewood Drive. And I’m talking about the Capewood sub-division. The sewage line runs parallel to my property. I moved there in 1982. The sewage has overflown – over flooded several times. The first time that it flooded over we were in shock. I have videos, I have pictures, because it’s happened several times. In our back yard was human feces, toilet paper, condoms. We went through the City, this is probably right about ’83 or ’84 – we went to the City, we went to DHEC, nobody wanted to touch it. Finally, we went to Bob Inglis, who was the congress person at the time, so that tells you how far back it was. So we did have someone come out and supposedly rectify the situation. A few years later it over-flowed again. And the first time when it over-flowed the manhole cover just came off and everything just spewed out. So when they fixed it the second time, the third time they kind of built it up a little bit and now it just spews out some of the holes. I would like to know if we get 19-20 new homes in Westwood is this also going to come through this line. I went to the Planning meeting and was told that it would be coming through this Tebblewood line. Talked to Joe Carter, he’s aware of it but states that he did not give any approval for this project. I would like to know can this line, can it handle the situation. They think so. Think so to me is not good enough. I need a little bit more than think so. Back in the back part of my property you can’t even use a lot of it. It’s sinking down because of you know all the moisture and everything. So now with this new subdivision coming in I have to be concerned if this is going to happen again. Luckily I don’t have any small children, we don’t grow – we used to have a garden back there – we don’t do the garden back there – it’s practically useless, but it’s nice, it’s got trees and as long as it doesn’t overflow it’s beautiful property. So my concern is can anybody tell me is this line going to be able to handle 19-20 homes. Thank you.
Mayor: Thank you. All right, that concludes our public input portion of the meeting. And I appreciate all of you sharing your thoughts with us tonight. I’m sure they’re all well-taken. Next on the Agenda is the City Administrator’s Report. Mr. Hawes are you ready?
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir, Mayor and Council. The City is working with it’s IT provider, ACCUMEN to provide WiFi coverage to service the CenterPlex. This was an issue that was discussed at our Strategic Planning session and we’re implementing that currently. We’re serving the CenterPlex area, the ball fields and the train area at Heritage Park. This is a coordinated effort with Charter Communications as well. Installation is underway with cabling and equipment being installed. And we will place signs in the park identifying that Heritage Park is a hot spot for wireless activity. So that’s a real exciting thing for us to see.
Also along the same Tech line this is the first meeting where we’re truly a paperless council. I’m please to announce that we’ve progressed to this new level of communication. City Council has gone to a paperless Agenda and council packet. All agendas and materials for council meetings are now computerized. With the touch of a button council is able to pull up on their new laptops any item that is scheduled for discussion at this meeting. Agenda packets have generally been from 50-75 plus pages long and now with the digitization of all material it will be a simple matter for everyone to review all topics that are scheduled. City Council will also have quicker access to materials and be able to access them from their homes as well as City Hall. It also allows us to attach attachments as they become available, rather than having them delivered to you we can just put them on the server and you’ll be able to access them if we have attachments that we add to the packet day to day right up to before the council meeting. So that’s an exciting aspect as well.
Mayor: You sound like a computer salesman. Just punch one button and all this magic….excuse me.
Mr. Hawes: Well it’s going to take some getting used to to. I know it’s more than punching one button.
Mayor: Yeah, you here all the punching going on up here.
Mr. Hawes: Fiscal year 2007 budget preparation is well underway. We are probably ¾ of the way through that and we’ve scheduled a Budget Workshop for Monday, April 24th at 6:00 p.m. So you might want to put that on your calendar and put a big red star next to it. We have a preliminary draft of the budget that we’re working adjustments on right now. I do appreciate all of the department head’s diligent work in attempting to get the most out of every penny that they have submitted for. There will be some tough decisions to be made in the coming days with the changes to revenue structure that are forthcoming through Columbia. We are developing the budget based on a property tax neutral basis. That’s the most conservative means that we know right now under the tenuous circumstances regarding future revenue. I look forward to discussing my proposals with you on April 24th.
The Alder Bridge – I’m very please to announce that we’ve executed a contract for the new Alder Road Bridge. The contractor is Lazor Construction and it will be a design built project. Final design will be done by the end of this month with construction beginning immediately thereafter, starting with the demolition of the existing bridge. The new bridge will be 27’ wide pre-cast concrete bridge and should be open in late June with good weather. I’m real excited about that and I know council and a lot of folks in the audience are probably glad to hear that as well.
Sewer Flow Monitoring Study – in 6 sewer sub-basins throughout the City was to be complete at this time. However because we have not had the necessary rain events to provide a valid measurement of peak flows we are at the mercy of the weather and find ourselves waiting for a sustained heavy down pour. It’s one case where we’re hoping for rain. We’re actually over 8 inches below normal for the year in rain fall and these particular monitors are monitoring peak flow amounts for inflow and infiltration. You can’t tell that without a rain event. So when that happens we’ll be able to retrieve the flow monitors and secure an accurate assessment of the sewer flows throughout the City as is required for our CMOM process.
There will be a budget workshop meeting upcoming on the 24th at 6:00 p.m. and our next regular council meeting is the workshop on April 25th. Glad to take any questions.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Hawes. Does anyone have any questions or comments regarding Mr. Hawes’ report. Mr. Gecy.
Mr. Gecy: With regard to the park being wired, how far out a perimeter will that go. Do you have an estimate of that?
Mr. Hawes: Well it’s being wired right now to cover all the ball fields and the train area. So if you use any of the shelters around the train or any of the walking trails, maybe not deep into the woods, I don’t think you’re going to sit there with a laptop deep in the woods any way. But
Mr. Gecy: But more than just the CenterPlex area.
Mr. Hawes: Yes, that’s the thing. The CenterPlex, the ball fields and the train area where you first come in the park.
Mr. Gecy: Okay. The question about Alder Bridge – is that a – should we be a little leery of a June date and say maybe July. Be careful – are we really on a tight schedule? Can we hold them to that. And if we’re advertising that
Mr. Hawes: We have emphasized to the contractor from day one, in negotiations with him and since he bid that time is of the essence on this project. And late June, he claims can be made so with rain, if we were to have rain or anything along those lines that could push it back a few days, probably the safest, absolute safest thing to say is late June, early July.
Mayor: If I may interrupt while we’re on the subject. What happened to 60 days?
Mr. Hawes: Well that is – that’s 60 days from beginning of construction. Construction to begin after April 28th.
Mayor: Okay, thank you.
Mr. Hawes: Do we have assurance from the County about the Neely Ferry Bridge, has that been worked out? Just for a reference to citizens, the bridge needs to be repaired on Neely Ferry Road, which would impact traffic through Westwood and exiting Westwood and coming in…
Mr. Hawes: We have received assurances from the County engineer that they will wait until our bridge is complete before they close the road. They may begin some work out on that road and some preparatory work on the bridge, but they won’t close it until our bridge is open.
Mr. Gecy: That’s great. Thank you.
Mayor: Anyone else. All right, it must have been a pretty good report. Mr. Hawes thank you very much.
Mayor: Next item on the Agenda is Council Comments and I’m going to break from courtesy and tradition and I’m going to go first this time. And the reason for that is because this seems to be the best point to do this. For those of you out there who may not know and I suspect it’s everybody in here with the exception of the Police of Chief, this is National Telecommunicator Week. Telecommunicator better known as our dispatchers over in the Police Department. It’s National Public Safety Telecommunicator week. It’s established to honor and recognize the dispatchers who work with you all year. Most of you rely on these dispatchers more than you’ve ever stopped to think about. Few of you have ever been in their position – and just think about how important their position is and I’m going to – there’s two pages of all the wonderful things they do but I’m going to skip those and go right to the heart of this that seems to describe it best. It says: Dispatchers are expected to have the compassion of Mother Theresa, the wisdom of Solomon, the interviewing skills of Oprah Winfrey, the gentleness of Florence Nightingale, the patience of Jobe, the voice of Barbara Streisand, the knowledge of Einstein, the answers of Ann Landers, the humor of David Letterman, the investigative skills of Sgt. Joe Friday, the looks of Melanie Griffith or Don Johnson, I’m not sure we measure up in that department with the guys over there, the faith of Billy Graham, the energy of Charro and the endurance of the energizer bunny. So please join me in congratulating our wonderful dispatchers over there in proclaiming April 9th through 15th as National Public Safety Telecommunicators week here in Simpsonville. Applause for the dispatchers.
All right, now we’ll go back to council members. Council comments. Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: First of all I’d like to just clear up one thing quickly about last Tuesday’s meeting two weeks ago. Ms. Kincannon made reference to. We were guided through that entire meeting by parliamentary procedure and all of us consider that meeting to be official and all the actions that were taken as official and if there is an opinion that something was done illegally that is an opinion that is not shared by our council or our attorney.
I’d like to report also – we had a meeting of a new committee that I chaired and Ms. Lawrence was present at this committee, the Mayor, Mayor Waldorp, Pam Bodkins, our Clerk to Council, Nate Cary from the Tribune Times. The purpose of this committee was to establish some rules and procedures for the council and also discuss establishing the idea of standing committees. Without going through the whole minutes, I’ll submit these minutes Ms. Bodkins, for the record, but we talked about adjournment from Executive Session, whether or not we should come back or not. It was just an idea that we were kicking around, and the idea is that we are going to recommend that we do come back into session up here, regardless if anyone is here. These are things that we’ve talked about. We talked about standing committees, the Mayor had some suggestions, we had suggestions, and we’re still in the phase about that. We talked about the Planning Commission having the necessity to appear a second time or present a second reading the same thing again, already has been presented once it didn’t seem to be a necessity to present it a second time when we are going through a second reading. And we talked about procedures for appointments to Boards and Commissions because there are no clear rules. Several board members were appointed several were thought not to need to be voted on. Some were said to be voted on. We had no clear rules so we’re working on that aspect of it also. And we’ll present all these to the full council after the committee makes a recommendation. The committee also suggested to the council, and I talked to Mr. Hawes about this, I think the Mayor was there at the same time, we’re asking our City Clerk and our City officials to procure a stamp machine, so that we can date stamp documents. We can use it in a variety of ways, for instance, applications for election, filings for election can be date stamped, because it is time sensitive. Time sensitive payments during deadlines for taxes, and also for applications to Boards and Commissions when we have a cut-off date. I’ll submit these minutes to you after the meeting.
Also I wanted to ask Mr. Hawes about the issue of the road side shoulder on Davenport, near the corner of Davenport and Grandview where the shoulder is rutted out. How’s that coming along.
Mr. Hawes: I spoke with our Public Work’s Director, Joe Carter, concerning that he says he has been in touch with SCDOT. That is a state road and it would be an SCDOT issue to repair that.
Mr. Gecy: Does that mean Davenport is a state road
Mr. Hawes: At that location.
Mr. Gecy: How far down is it a state road
Mr. Hawes: I couldn’t say specifically, beyond Hudders Creek, then it’s City, then it becomes County ultimately further down almost to Neely Ferry. Really after that bridge
Mr. Gecy: Well how does that fit in if we’re going to do a project on paving – do we pave up to the State portion and then stop – I mean just assume we were going to pave Danveport.
Mr. Hawes: It could
Mr. Gecy: What do we do stop at Calvary Church
Mr. Hawes: It depends. I mean really it’s up to City Council. We’ve paved state roads certainly because the state would never get around to it. Sometimes when we feel there is an immediate need then we’ll pave a road that’s in the city, whether it’s state or city or otherwise.
Mr. Gecy: There’s a good road that comes to mind is Jones Ave. That was avoided because it was a state road. I mean, that road certainly needs paving. I don’t know how we work around that. But if you have a state road – part of Davenport is a state road and we pave it
Mr. Hawes: It’s really up to council as to which roads they select for paving with the funds that are available.
Mr. Gecy: Okay. Actually that’s about all I have.
Mayor: Okay, thank you Mr. Gecy. Anyone else. All right well I just want to ask about something that’s pretty obvious to everybody in town I think – we’ve got something that’s going on on Main Street at Fernwood and Richardson. That has continued to be a dangerous situation because of the way they direct the traffic or the way they don’t direct traffic during the day out there. Chief I’m sorry I haven’t talked with you about this because I just didn’t think about it before tonight, but I don’t know whether our police department is involved in traffic control down there or not. I don’t think so – I haven’t seen any of our folks down there. I see guys who are construction guys moving the state tree around, you know those orange cones and it’s created some dangerous situations down there. People that call me say I almost got killed and that sort of thing. So, I’m asking you all that and I’m kind of ambushing you to because you didn’t know I was going to ask this but can you give us an update on that or a report on what’s going on down there, when they expect to be finished with that and while you’re talking up that street just talk us on up the street – when can we expect to see tractors and things beginning our street scape project.
Mr. Hawes: To answer your first question concerning the Richardson/Fernwood intersection project. That is a SCDOT project with state safety funds. I don’t have the specific time line right in front of me but I understand it’s about a nine month project and they’ve been underway probably about 6 months is what I would guesstimate. So based on that I’d say probably another 3 months or so. It is a very involved project, more than you would expect for just adding a lane with a left turn arrow. But it involved a lot of utility work, sub-surface work as well. And I know there are traffic issues and we have worked with SCDOT on a number of occasions and they’ve re-timed those lights. I’ve received the same types of phone calls you’ve received Mayor and the other council members. So we are working with DOT to best time those lights so that we can have the most efficient flow through that area when it’s cut down to one lane as it is quite often in one direction any way. We’ve even stationed some of our police officers out there on some occasions. I believe two occasions the Chief had officers go out when it became almost unbearable and there may have been malfunctioning lights on those days. But, we have had the traffic signal engineer from DOT visit that intersection as well as all the intersections on Fairview Road in the past two weeks. It is a known concern and we will keep our thumb to the pulse of it.
Mayor: All right well before you move on up the street like I asked you to let me just inject, and far be it for me to pretend to be a traffic engineer, but it would seem to me and Chief, I’ll say this to both of you, and you can take this for what it’s worth. When I’ve come upon that before when they just arbitrarily pick a time to narrow it down to two lanes, when I’ve come up through there and there’s two lanes of traffic approaching that’s where I see the danger, when people start trying to slide over into another lane and there doesn’t seem to be any warning before you get there, before you see the barrel. So, common sense tells me that we could maybe get those guys to put some signs, some warning signs in those lanes farther back than where the barrels begin.
Mr. Hawes: That’s perfectly reasonable.
Mayor: That’s a question – that’s not an expert opinion but….
Mr. Hawes: We can talk with their traffic people on site and see if they can move their signs further back – farther back from the location where work is and give more warning. I’m sure they go by standard practice right now but I think we may be able to do something beyond standard practice, because there is a known issue there. I don’t see why there would be a problem with that at all.
Mayor: Okay thank you. Now move on up the street
Mr. Hawes: With regard to the downtown enhancement project – we are well into the second phase of design, which is the design of the construction plans and exactly how underground utilities will be placed and the construction of the curbing sidewalk and virtually every phase of the project. Every aspect of the project is being designed on a construction basis now rather than master planning which was the first phase of the project. That phase should be complete by mid-summer with actual work beginning late summer with completion mid-winter.
Mayor: Okay – so we’ll have all that
Mr. Hawes: By this time next year it should be done.
Mayor: During the downtown Christmas shopping season I guess
Mr. Hawes: Most likely.
Mayor: All right, one more item. I’d like to compliment the police department. I’ve seen our cars sitting in the median over on Fairview Road and I know you’ve made folks made because you were actually there getting them to obey the law but that’s why we pay you the big bucks. But it seems we’ve made an improvement and I say all that to ask the question I know that DOT and I think that you’ve been working with them Chief have been looking at the timing of those lights over there. It seems to be better but is this the point where they say this is the best we can do or are they still working on that timing.
Mr. Hawes: I believe they’re under evaluation constantly. From what I understand they changed the timing about a month ago and came back out and observed and changed it again two weeks ago. From what I understand they’re going to continue to observe it and adjust. They know it’s a point of contention. I mean if you go out there on a Saturday or in the afternoon traffic is lined up in both directions over the bridge, back towards Main St and all the way half way back up to Harrison Bridge Road, so there is definitely issues with the traffic signals.
Mayor: So they’re continuing to look at that and we can hope that it gets a little better.
Mr. Hawes: We can hope.
Mayor: All right thank you. All right, Mr. Larson
Mr. Larson: I was going to just add that I have seen Simpsonville Police Officers out there at Fernwood and it helps a lot when they are out there. I was going to ask Mr. Hawes how’s it coming with Bonwood
Mr. Hawes: Bonwood – I spoke with Ms. Cheeley yesterday as a matter of fact. We are drafting the materials that will allow us ingress to the property for the purposes that we discussed at the last meeting.
Mayor: Okay – anyone else. All right, thank you council and everybody that answered questions.
a. Municipal Improvement Districts
Mayor: All right next item on the Agenda is Old Business. Mr. Hawes you’re going to talk to us about Municipal Improvement Districts
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir, Mr. Mayor. I had a meeting today as a matter of fact with the consultant who specializes in municipal improvement districts in the State of South Carolina. We discussed a number of implementation scenarios as well as the basics of what is contained in a municipal improvement district under the current state law. How it would apply to what we are proposing for the area of the City that has been discussed for a municipal improvement district. What criteria the assessments would be based upon. We really touched a number of basis to determine the course of action that the City may be considering. I would like to have a full spectrum, let me put it this way, a full proposal to you for our budget meeting on the 24th. I was unable to provide that at this point due to some time constraints with the gentleman who is with that consultant firm was out of town last week and I expected to have that for this meeting, so I apologize for that. But I should have a full proposal as to implementation scenarios and what it would take and everything from A-Z on the project.
Mayor: I’ll assume you’ll have that at the workshop meeting for us.
Mr. Hawes: Yes, well the budget workshop is a workshop meeting, but then we will workshop it in the full workshop.
Mayor: All right, any questions on that. Hearing none, next is replacement of police vehicles.
b. Replacement of Police Vehicles
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir, Mayor and Council, at the last meeting we discussed some available funding which was remaining in the Capital Lease that the City, actually two capital leases that the City initialized and we had some remaining funds available. The exact amount of those loans is $34,703. What I would recommend at this point is, as was discussed at the last meeting. There is a need for a mower to complete the upfitting of Heritage Park maintenance crew. That’s approximately a $15,000 purchase. We have the funding available. I would recommend council approve us to purchase that mower at this point and with regard to the rest of the available funding we can discuss that at the budget meeting upcoming.
Mayor: Okay, so you need us to take some action tonight or
Mr. Hawes: Either take action or you could just allow us to – I could just say we intend to purchase it and – because it’s already budgeted.
Mayor: So do we need to make a motion – all right, well thank you for the information.
ANNEXATIONS AND REZONINGS – First Reading
a. Z-2006-05 – John Cox – Capewood Road – letter attachment
Mayor: All right, next will be the debut, if you will of our – Dick are you the new Planning Commission Chairman.
Dick Witkowski: Mayor, right now I’m the acting
Mayor: Acting Planning Commission Chairman, Dick Witkowski. We are happy to have you here tonight. Your predecessor is just sick that he couldn’t be here to see your performance.
Mr. Witkowski: Well that was going to be my first comment. You all know this is my first meeting and I don’t know what I did to deserve 3 members being missing off of City Council my first meeting. Especially Mr. Zitricki who promised me he was going to be at the Planning Commission meeting last week and I gave this really wonderful speech about him so that he could hear it and he wasn’t even there. So I planned to give it again tonight, and I’m not going to because he’s not here again. So I’ll just save it for the next time. Suffice it to say that we’re all proud that Mr. Zitricki is part of your group today. And Mr. Mayor in my last profession, that I retired from, I wouldn’t dare turn my back on all these people.
Mayor: Well why don’t you go ahead and tell us, for those who may not know what you did in your last profession.
Mr. Witkowski: I was warden of a maximum security prison in SC and 25 years with the Federal Bureau of Prisons both. It makes me a little nervous to have my back to all these people.
Mr. Holmes: Now you know how we feel.
Mr. Witkowski: What, pardon me David. But I have met quite a few people in the audience and I’m sure that they’ll forgive me if I make a mistake. I only made 3 mistakes at the Planning Commission meeting but I’m probably going to make a lot more tonight.
Mayor: Well I’ll bet you we won’t even be sharp enough to catch them so you just talk on.
Mr. Witkowski: The first thing on your Agenda is Z-2006-05 – John Cox, Capewood Road. And I see something here that says letter attachment. I don’t know what that means, but I guess I’ll just wait until I’m finished with my presentation and we’ll find out what that means. This development has been given a great deal of consideration by the Planning Commission. It first came to us on January 2006 and after a presentation from Mr. Cox and some other people the Planning Commission voted to deny that request to rezone RS County to PD City. The project came before us again in March 2006. At that meeting there was a good number of people from the Westwood Subdivision who opposed the development. There was no opposition at the first meeting in January but there was a great number of people who opposed it in the Westwood Subdivision and they were represented by their neighborhood association as well. On April 6th, the April meeting of the Planning Commission we again considered the request. Mr. Cox made a presentation again. Now the reason that we had three meetings on this is because we tabled the March meeting hoping that Mr. Cox and the neighborhood association would get together and maybe make some compromises that the Planning Commission could look at and develop the plan further for sending to you. There was a meeting of the neighborhood association and Mr. Cox, depending on who you talk with it was a successful meeting or it wasn’t a successful meeting. Mr. Cox did agree to reduce the size of the development from 20 homes to 19 and I believe he also made a curve in a cul-de-sac. The folks from the neighborhood association were not particularly impressed with that and again opposed it. There was one member of Westwood, who’s name escapes me, did support the development, but his support of that development was from the standpoint of holding Mr. Cox’s as he said it “feet to the fire” if you all approve a Planned Development. So suffice it to say it has been very very contentious and at our last meeting we voted 4-3 to deny this request. So, it’s up to you all now what’s going to happen with that development.
Mayor: So your recommendation is to deny. Okay the documentation that I have shows a recommendation to approve
Mr. Holmes: No, Mr. Mayor that’s one of the good things of the electronic age, you are seeing Greenville County Staff’s recommendation – that is not the report of your Planning Commission. Just so that you understand also, this is AXZ-2006-05 it is a petition for annexation and a request for rezoning. The Planning Commission has recommended on the zoning denial. It is up to the City Council to decide what action to take on the annexation issue.
Mr. Witkowski: Mayor if there’s any questions I did bring my big hitters with me tonight.
Mayor: Okay, well that’s good, we appreciate that. Before I call for a motion I was asked before the meeting since we have 4 people here – I know it takes a super majority to override the recommendation of the Planning Commission. Are we in good stead here with 4 members. I mean this is important so…
Mr. Holmes: Yes sir, the only – let me explain that to you. You have two issues. One is the petition for annexation. That is not something the Planning Commission makes a recommendation to you one way or the other. So you are certainly in position to either annex or not annex the property. The second issue is the rezoning. Your zoning ordinance says in order to override the recommendation of the Planning Commission it takes 5 votes. It defines a super majority as 5 votes. There’s only 4 of you here tonight so assuming that the motion was to oppose the Planning Commission’s recommendation I’d just have to tell you you don’t have sufficient people here tonight to carry that motion.
Mayor: But that’s on the zoning only. The annexation would be a different
Mr. Holmes: That’s correct
Mr. Gecy: Could I ask a question? Does it read – and it’s your interpretation that it reads that a super majority – I think that was only involving budgetary changes or voting on a budget that takes – there’s another word for a super majority when it’s a super majority of elected council – there’s another word for that – what is it.
Mr. Holmes: I’m not sure what you’re referring to but a super majority is obviously 51% and then you define a super majority in a different way. For a zoning ordinance itself defines a super majority as 5 votes.
Mr. Gecy: But is that assuming there’s 7 people here.
Mr. Holmes: No sir, it defines it as 5 votes. It does not define it as 75% of those present and voting. In other words if it was normally a super majority like this it would be 3 of the 4 of you because you do constitute a quorum tonight. But your zoning ordinance requires 5 votes.
Mr. Gecy: Mr. Mayor I’d like to make a motion.
Mayor: Okay Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: I’d like to move that we accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation for denial of AXZ-
Mayor: And that’s for annexation – you need to make a motion for both
Mr. Holmes: You need to make a recommendation for both
Mr. Gecy: I’m making a motion for both.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Gecy do I hear a second.
Mr. Bridges: Second
Mayor: Mr. Bridges seconds. All right discussion. Mr. Larson
Mr. Larson: Mr. Holmes so if I understand what you’re saying the property can be annexed into the city and become part of the city without approving this development that Mr. Cox has proposed
Mr. Holmes: That’s possible, but the motion on the floor is to deny the property for annexation and that would render moot the issue of zoning. But the motion also included accepting the recommendation of Planning Commission. Which was denying the rezoning.
Mr. Larson: They were denying the rezoning and the annexation
Mr. Holmes: Planning Commission doesn’t have any standing to make any recommendation to this council about whether to accept a petition to annex or to deny it. Their recommendation is only on land use and they have recommended denial of the requested PD.
Mr. Larson: So the way it’s on the floor now – tell me if I’m getting off the subject – is there a way to approve the annexation and deny the rezoning issue.
Mr. Holmes: Yes sir there is but you would have to – the motion right now is not that. The motion right now is something completely different. So either the movant would have to withdraw the motion or you’d have to vote that motion down and then you could entertain another motion.
Mr. Larson: And if we approve the recommendation of the Planning Commission then how long before that can come back up for reconsideration if Mr. Cox wanted to
Mr. Holmes: If they come up with a more restrictive zoning request that could happen immediately. But if they come back with exactly the same then it would be a year. It would be appropriate also to make a motion to sever the two issues so that you voted on them separately. You could do that as well.
Mayor: Well that would require a motion to amend the motion that we have on the floor, because the motion we have on the floor includes both items.
Mr. Holmes: Yes, correct
Mayor: So in effect, if we vote in favor of the motion we have denied the annexation which renders the second point moot so….
Mr. Gecy: If it would be appropriate to discuss at this point while we’re still considering questions – is wise at all to in any way to come into the City if the preferred zoning is turned down and the annexation was accepted – seems like a waste of time as far as I’m concerned. However, if it’s easier to do so I’ll move to amend my Motion to just be Planning Commission’s recommendation.,
Mayor: Well but excuse me for interrupting but I believe we’ll have to bifurcate, I love that word and don’t get to use it much, but shouldn’t we (TAPE SWITCHED SIDES)
Mr. Holmes: That would be true because if you are not going to grant the petition to annex then the issue about land use would be moot
Mayor: But I think I understood you to say is that we’re going to put the zoning up first before….
Mr. Gecy: I’ll do whatever you recommend Mr. Mayor.
Mayor: Well I – just based on what our able and ever present City Attorney has said, the annexation could render the zoning moot and Mr. Russ Hawes has the answer.
Mr. Hawes: For clarification’s sake the owner of the property has requested that unless he can get the zoning he does not want to be annexed.
Mayor: And that’s pretty common so.
Mr. Gecy: SO my motion stands.
Mayor: Your first motion stands
Mr. Gecy: First motion stands.
Mayor: You never got a second on amending your motion any way so – All right any further discussion to exhibit our understanding of details and things. All right, hearing none, and the motion is to annex and accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission. So a yes vote will in effect will be a non-annexation. All right I’ll remind council that this is first reading, depending on how it comes out it could be final reading, but this is first reading on this issue. So hearing no further discussion I’ll call for the vote. All in favor of the motion signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. We accept the recommendation and annexation is denied.
b. Z-2006-06 – Berryblue LLC – Berryblue Court
Mayor: All right Mr. Witkowski next item.
Mr. Witkowski: Okay, thank you Mr. Mayor. The next item is Z-2006-06. It is a request to rezone from S-1 to C-2 and it is a piece of property on Berryblue Court. This piece of property interestingly enough is going to be a proto-type Sonic restaurant for our fine City. And we had a presentation in April that showed some pictures of what the Sonic restaurant was going to look like and we believe that the rezoning from S-1 to C-2 is in order. This one appears to be appropriate because of intense commercial use and heavy traffic. It’s compatible with existing land uses and zoning. Future Land Use Plan indicates Commercial uses are preferred in this area. Both the Greenville Planning Staff and the City Planning Commission recommends your approval of this rezoning to allow for a Sonic Restaurant.
Mayor: Okay, thank you Mr. Witkowski. I’ll entertain a motion in that regard. Mr. Bridges.
Mr. Bridges: I’ll move we accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission on Z-2006-06.,
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Bridges do I hear a second
Mr. Larson: Second
Mayor: Thank you. All right I have a motion and a second. Any discussion. Yes Mr. Gecy.
Mr. Gecy: Can you tell us exactly where this is again.
Mr. Witkowski: Yes it’s a little piece of property between Home Depot and Belks. There’s an AllState office – no it’s not Belks.
Mr. Hawes: It’s between Home Depot and Bi-Lo
Mr. Witkowski: Okay, Home Depot and Bi-Lo. I was just one block off. Between Home Depot and Bi-Lo and it’s where the AllState office is. We’ve got two requests for rezoning in that area tonight. There’s like a road that goes in and there’s the AllState offices to the right and then there’s like a little bubble cul-de-sac back there also – Post Office – right by the Post Office.
Mr. Gecy: Did I hear there was something specific about their design to have seating as opposed to just a drive through.
Mr. Witkowski: Yes, there’s going to be inside seating in this Sonic Restaurant
Mr. Gecy: That’s new.
Mr. Witkowski: Yes, it looks nice. The plan that they showed us the other night – he’s here but he didn’t bring his pictures with him.
Mr. Gecy: And also would you discuss the sewer issue.
Mr. Witkowski: Yes we discussed the sewer issue and I believe we said that those sewer issues were going to be taken care of by the time this land is developed they’ll be hooking into the new line.
Mr. Gecy: So this is the development – this is the development agreement that was going to upgrade the so-called Bi-Lo line is that right Mr. Hawes
Mr. Hawes: Correct
Mr. Gecy: So that’s – we’re going to work in conjunction – not before that’s done – is that what we can expect.
Mr. Hawes: Yeah, that Bi-Lo line is expected to be done in the next 3-4 months.
Mr. Witkowski: Of course I don’t know Sonic can put up a restaurant pretty quick.
Mr. Gecy: How about their signage – did that
Mr. Witkowski: They’ll have to follow the city signage rules also.
Mr. Gecy: Okay. Thank you.
Mayor: You’re welcome. Anyone else. Okay, I’ll remind council this is first reading on this issue and I have a motion on the floor to accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation of approval. So all those in favor of the motion signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. Thank you Mr. Witkowski
c. Z-2006-07 – Doug Keel – Berryblue Court
Mayor: All right, Z-2006-07
Mr. Witkowski: This is in the same area Mr. Mayor and Council with Doug Keel who actually owns the office building. The AllState office building. He is also requesting a rezoning from S-1 to C-2 and again we for the same reasons believe that S-1 is inappropriate because of the intensity of commercial use and heavy traffic. It’s compatible with the existing land use and zoning. Future Land Use Plan indicates commercial uses are preferred in this area and both the County Planning staff and our Planning Commission recommends approval. Mr. Keel made a very nice presentation to the Planning Commission. He did a lot of work developing this little piece of property that he is going to put another office building on and I don’t know if he’s brought his pictures with him tonight. Would you all like to see them council.
Mr. Keel: I’m not married to any type of zoning but actually I had requested PD
Mr. Witkowski: I’m sorry it is a PD – see I told you I’d make a mistake. It is PD. I’m sorry I got you mixed up. No PD is great.
Mr. Keel: I’ve got pictures here that show the way (not at microphone – unable to hear clearly what he is saying) He will live photos and pick them up later. There’s a strip mall on Ray Talley Court where the Mexican restaurant is and the China Buffett and where Ray Talley Court used to end and be a cul-de-sac before it was a thoroughfare to Wal-Mart – that huge pregnant bubble there if you would – actually prevented that developer from probably doing 3,000 more sq. ft. onto that strip mall and having adequate parking. So I’m really just trying to maximize the use of my property and running away from the situation that you can see at Ray Talley.
Mr. Witkowski: To Mr. Keel’s favor he’s stated he’s willing to look at pervious concrete or asphalt for his parking lot as did Sonic. So we’re into some new stuff and our instruction just needs to be approved by the engineering.
Mr. Witkowski: So our recommendation is for approval
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Witkowski, I’ll entertain a motion in that regard
Mr. Gecy: Mr. Mayor I’ll move we approve the Planning Commission’s recommendation.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Gecy do I hear a second
Mr. Larson: Second
Mayor: Mr. Larson seconds. Thank you Mr. Larson. Any discussion. Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: I just wanted to say that this is – for the public’s sake, this was a great opportunity, not only this developer, Mr. Keel but the other developers of Home Depot and that back area – the Planning Commission giving recommendations was able to give us a shared access through those properties that really could not have happened had everyone not worked together. You can actually get on Harrison Bridge Road and snake all the way through to Ray Talley Blvd or Ray Talley Court without getting back on Fairview Road and that’s very important I think. Shared access is something I think we can continue to work on because that’s a compliment to the development.
Mayor: Okay, Mr. Larson
Mr. Larson: Mr. Gecy’s giving away secrets now of how to stay off of Fairview Road. Is there a time frame for when the building would be finished.
Mr. Keel: Unable to hear what he is saying from the back of the room.
Mayor: Okay, anyone else. All right, hearing no further discussion I’ll call for the vote. I’ll remind council that this is first reading. Two will be required. So all in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. All right thank you Mr. Witkowski, now we’ll move onto AXZ-2006-02 – John Hopkins and W. Georgia LLC
ANNEXATIONS AND REZONINGS (Second Readings)
a. AXZ-2006-02 – John Hopkins & W. Georgia LLC
Mayor: This is second reading
Mr. Witkowski: Yes Mayor you all have the information about this development that was presented to you before. It is John Hopkins, who is W. Georgia LLC and this piece of property is actually a piece of property called the Patton property which is next to Givens and this is a RS single family residential zoning as it stands now and it has been recommended as a PD in the City. It’s 39.6 acres. The big interesting part of this development is a Bloom’s Grocery Store that would be the focal point of this development which is going to have approximately 86 homes. There’s going to be a boulevard going from the homes into the development. They also have indicated the desire to look at impervious concrete or asphalt for their development and they’ve made a real nice effort here to make this a quality mixed use area for the City. They were very very interested in cooperating with the Commission. The Commission made several recommendations to them and without question they took everyone of them and ran with it. So we’re real excited about this. There’s no opposition to it and we recommend on second reading that you pass it.
Mayor: Okay, thank you sir. I’ll entertain a motion. Mr. Larson
Mr. Larson: I’ll make a motion we accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission.
Mayor: All right and Mr. Bridges seconds. All right any discussion.
Mr. Holmes: Mr. Mayor if that motion would be that the City approves the petition for annexation and the recommendation of the Planning Commission to rezone the property.
Mayor: That’s what you said right. I just want to make sure that we all were listening. All right discussion. Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: Just one question – once again just precisely with some markers where is this lot with regard to a marker we can recognize.
Mr. Witkowski: As you come off Interstate 385 and go up W. Georgia Road let’s say to Plain Elementary – you’ll see the Givens property is the first piece of property on the right. As you go further on this is the Patton property. You might recognize the Patton property as the place where they had the big sign out to close Givens and he had every week he’d put up his new petition to say how many people he had to sign that petition. It’s not too far from Classy Kids where the new Classy Kids Day Care Center is – right across the street as a matter of fact.
Mr. Gecy: For the record, I knew where that was but I wanted it to be on the record so that we all knew – everybody knew what we were talking about.
Mr. Witkowski: Okay, I thought you were testing me Councilman Gecy
Mr. Gecy: No. Don’t ever feel that if I ask you that I’m not putting you on the spot I want everybody to know what we’re talking about.
Mayor: However you will be the first one…..
Mr. Witkowski: Well see that’s another reason why I’m not going to run for the Chairmanship.
Mayor: All right any other discussion. All right hearing none I’ll remind council that this is second and final reading so hearing no further discussion I’ll call for the vote. All in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous.
b. Z-2006-04 – Helen Richardson – Blakely Road
Mayor: All right Mr. Witkowski Z-2006-04
Mr. Witkowski: Yes Mayor and Council this is the Helen Richardson Blakely Road request 2nd reading to rezone from S-1 to C-2. Again this has been before you before. It is consistent with the area zoning. Future Land Use Map for this area is outdated. The land use map was there when Givens was there and that was all commercial property or S-1 property. And we feel that it’s appropriate to rezone this to allow for a Karate school that is going to be built in that area. I think that we’ll probably have more requests for rezoning in that area because those two pieces of property, the Givens Property and the Patton property develop I think we’re going to see more kind of requests for this kind of thing in the area and we want to be prepared for that. So we recommend that you approve this on 2nd reading.
Mayor: All right I’ll entertain a motion in that regard.
Mr. Bridges: I move we accept the recommendation
Mr. Gecy: I’ll second
Mayor: Mr. Bridges makes a motion to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission and Mr. Gecy seconds. All right any discussion. All right I’ll remind council this is second and final reading. So all those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous.
c. Z-2006-03 – West Circle
Mayor: All right Mr. Witkowski Z-2006-03
Mr. Witkowski: Yes Mr. Mayor this has been before you before as you know and I believe you tabled it. I don’t know if you need to make a motion to untable it or not.
Mayor: No, because that was a separate meeting. We’re good to go again.
Mr. Witkowski: This is West Circle. This is the piece of property that Greenville County Redevelopment Authority wants to tear down a home for an elderly gentleman and build a home there. Originally I believe they wanted to build three homes on this piece of property eventually. We don’t know where that stands at this point. But the Zoning Commission recommended or Planning Commission recommended before that this be approved and we still recommend that it be approved. And someone from the Development Authority just made a presentation to you earlier so I would stand on that.
Mayor: Okay, thank you sir. I’ll entertain a motion
Mr. Gecy: Mayor, may I make motion that we accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation to approve based on one caveat that they build the house only and not build the other two houses. Rebuild Mr. Allen’s house and restrict the property to
Mayor: Is that an appropriate motion Mr. Holmes
Mr. Holmes: Well, I mean you can make a motion but you’re asking if the motion is legal if you rezone the property the property can be used for anything that that zoning classification would allow it to be used for. So you cannot rezone it in this matter and then turn around and restrict it. You can either accept the recommendation or make some other recommendation.
Mayor: Would you like to rephrase your motion or.
Mr. Gecy: I don’t know. Let me think about that for a second. It’s kind of a peculiar situation but I think there’s some discussion about this and I’m not sure how to get to discussion without making a motion.
Mr. Holmes: What I can report to you
Mr. Gecy: If I may interrupt you will quick, if we’re going to say that we have – if we overrule the Planning Commission’s recommendation we can’t do that because you’re saying we have to have 5 to overrule Planning and we only have 4 so it’s a moot point. I mean we have only one way to go here tonight. And that’s why I was wondering if there was any wiggle room in there because one of the contentions was other houses on the other property. I understand it’s a home front and it’s the home land of this gentleman and I certainly want him to be able to reap the benefits of old age and have a house remodeled and made accessible for a handi-capped person so he can live in it the rest of his life. The question is was there negotiation in approving this with our blessing and the assumption that we could approve this without the other homes being built on that property.
Mayor: I think Mr. Hawes is going to answer your question
Mr. Hawes: I just want you to take into consideration that Mr. Livingston came here representing the GCRA and stated they would do whatever the City wanted regarding that property for it to be rezoned.
Mr. Gecy: Then why can’t I ask them to do something in my motion.
Mr. Holmes: Because in order for the motion to carry as I’ve explained to you, if you grant the rezoning then the applicant can do anything he wants with the property – the property owner can do anything with that property with that zoning classification would allow.
Mr. Gecy: Then what did Mr. Hawes just say – that had no meaning – because he said if the council decides that they would like to approve this but only approve the one house is there anybody saying that could happen. If that can’t happen then it’s a whole different ball park. Is that what you’re saying – we cannot do that
Mr. Holmes: I’m saying that your motion on the rezoning request can’t include restrictions on the property owner’s further use of the property.
Mr. Gecy: Okay then Mr. Hawes what did you just say
Mr. Hawes: I just reiterated that Mr. Livingston stated that GCRA was willing to do whatever the City wanted to do with regards to that property were it to be rezoned.
Mayor: Let me see if I can help out here.
Mr. Gecy: I mean I’d like to know what that is.
Mayor: If we don’t vote to accept the rezoning recommendation of the Planning Commission then again Mr. Livingston’s comments were a moot point. However, if we do accept their recommendation to rezone then Mr. Livingston has said that they will work with the City to accomplish what the City and others would like to see happen down there. That only becomes – we only have the ability to do that if this zoning is granted. Is that an accurate interpretation Mr. Attorney
Mr. Holmes: Well what I want to be clear about is again if you adopt the rezoning the owner can use the property as they choose. That does not foreclose the city’s continuing to meet with GCRA and having – trying to have some input and what’s going to go on on that property. I just want to be absolutely clear that council understands when it’s rezoned the owner can do with that property whatever that zoning classification will allow.
Mr. Witkowski: Mr. Mayor when we heard this the first time rezoning it to R-12 there is enough property if I’m not mistaken they can do – there’s enough property there that they can do three lots. So what Mr. Holmes is saying is that if you do approve this, if I can get a chance at this, if you do approve this then there could be three homes placed on that lot. It would be zoned R-12 and after it’s zoned R-12 three pieces of property can be placed on that piece of property – 3 homes. If it’s sub-divided. I don’t think that helps much.
Mayor: Just so I’m clear your motion is
Mr. Gecy: I’m ready to back off of this one and let somebody else take a….no my motion is on the floor to accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation and also ask that this be the only building that’s built on that property. Now that’s my recommendation, my motion.
Mayor: Based on what our parliamentarian has just said if I understand him correctly that is not an appropriate motion
Mr. Holmes: No from a parliamentarian procedure the motion is appropriate, from a legal point it is not.
Mr. Gecy: That’s your opinion though right.
Mr. Holmes: Yes sir.
Mayor: Which is what we pay him for.
Mr. Gecy: Well what should I do then.
Mayor: Well let’s see if we can get a second. If we can’t get a second we might have to get another motion.
Mr. Gecy: Okay well my motion is on the floor
Mayor: Okay we have a motion on the floor. Do I hear a second. Mr. Gecy I think you got out of the crack.
Mr. Gecy: Well that’s not the first time I got voted down on a motion.
Mayor: Now do I hear any other motions.
Mr. Bridges: Mr. Mayor I’d like to move that we accept the Planning Commissions’ recommendation on Z-2006-03.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Bridges do I hear a second
Mr. Larson: Second
Mayor: Mr. Larson seconds. All right, the motion before us now is to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission for approval. Any other discussion. Mr. Larson
Mr. Larson: I was just wondering if we could ask Mr. Livingston what he judges Mr. Allen’s intentions are.
Mr. Livingston: We spoke to Mr. Allen at length regarding this issue. And again this issue has made a very private issue to public in my personal opinion and Mr. Allen’s intent is to live in his home, that is his long term intent. Now whether he will subdivide the property or not is up to him and again it’s up to the City because it would have to come before the Planning Commission if it’s every subdivided. It would be up to Mr. Allen and the Planning Commission to determine whether those lots should be sold to a private developer or GCRA. Now, this will allow Mr. Allen to reduce the cost of his loan if he does that and that’s primarily what he wants to do. Long-term will he do that – considering that the public comments and opinions on this issue I don’t know. But I think his primary concern is that his home is built so that he can live comfortably in his home and in a handi-capped accessible home.
Mr. Larson: And by him accepting your help in getting a new home – a handi-capped accessible home – that doesn’t limit who he could or could not sell to if he did decide to sub-divide. If some of the neighbors wanted to go in and buy those lots from him – there’s no restrictions on how he can.
Mr. Livingston: They could and if I understand the zoning laws correctly he can even decide not to sub-divide the lot and rezone it back to C-2 so that he can get this fictional $275,000 I keep hearing about. Excuse me, I’m sorry.
Mayor: All right, any other discussion. All right hearing none I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye – let me remind council this is second and final reading. Having said that I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed no (No). All right Mr. Gecy votes no. All right, Mr. Witkowski, oh you’re not through yet.
a. TX-2006-02- Tree Preservation and Planting – First Reading
Mr. Witkowski: The next on your agenda are text amendments that – okay Todd is going to come up here and talk to you about the two next text amendments. Thank you Mayor, thank you Council.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Witkowski you did an excellent job. Would you like to introduce the next speaker to us.
Mr. Witkowski: This is Todd Ward who is our Staff person from the Greenville County Planning. He’s done an excellent job for us. He’s also a certified arborist and has had a lot to do with the tree ordinance that we are presenting to you for your next workshop. I would be remiss if I didn’t say Mayor and Council that there were many people from the community that participated in this tree preservation and planting ordinance and every meeting I went to there was somebody new there. Todd was there every time to lead us through this and he just worked really really hard at this but we think that we’ve got a piece of work here that could be used by other people
Mayor: Like the county
Mr. Witkowski: Like the county…interestingly Todd is on that committee with David – so there you go.
Mayor: We are surrounded by tree experts. All right well welcome to our midst and state your case please.
Mr. Ward: Thank you Mr. Mayor and members of council. Again I’m Todd Ward with the Greenville County Planning Commission. The first test amendment that we have this evening is the Tree Preservation and Planting. I will do a quick overview however it has been discussed that possibly council would like this moved onto a workshop for further discussion because it is so involved and a regular business meeting may not be the appropriate place to take this issue up for the first go round. The quick overview is the requirements. It does require a tree survey, it requires a tree clearing certificate, just as grading issues are issued a tree clearing certificate would be issued. The application is filed through the Zoning Administrator showing protection and retention of trees that will be saved. Allows for replacement of new trees because in a lot of cases we cannot save the trees that are currently on a site because of health problems or infrastructure etc., so it does allow for replacement of those trees. The tree protection standards are consistent with the International Society of Arborculture. Violations shall include loss of the right to develop for 5 years. Single family lots of record are exempt. We think that it’s very important to put on the record that we are not talking about anybody’s homesite being regulated by the City of Simpsonville. For the most part we are talking about new development, commercial and residential. The Planning Commission did recommend approval of this text amendment.
Mayor: Okay. Well this is something that I think would need to go to the workshop meeting with so I don’t know that it would be proper to ask for a motion at this time. But I feel like
Mr. Gecy: Well as a point of order Mr. Mayor. To begin to think about setting procedure and policy what would be the best way for the Planning Commission to make a recommendation like this where an ordinance was going to be suggested. I know once they make a recommendation it’s supposed to come to us in the form of a first reading. Should it – do we need to like the Mayor was suggesting take action on it today – accept it on first reading and then send it to a work session or can one of us just suggest it go to a work session.
Mayor: Well that’s a policy matter that council has to decide. Routinely on matters particularly on something like this you decide that you want to workshop it first. But it just depends on how you look at it. Some people have taken the position that because an ordinance has to have two readings your passing it on first reading doesn’t mean that it becomes law until after you workshop it – others have expressed the opinion I don’t even want to pass it on first reading until we’ve had a chance to discuss it amongst ourselves and had a chance to look at it. So that would just depend on what you felt you wanted to do. My only recommendation to you is just like Mr. Ward said you do have 3 councilmembers that are not present tonight and I think this is an important ordinance and you would maybe want to workshop it and have a debate about it before you start voting on it.
Mr. Gecy: If it’s necessary I’d like to suggest that we move this to next agenda’s planning session – work shop.
Mayor: All right, I think hearing no objection I think we agree. All right, we’ll do that and we’ll look forward to seeing you there and hearing lots of questions answered and that sort of thing.
Mr. Ward: It was my pleasure it truly was.
Mayor: Thank you and welcome to Simpsonville. All right, and you’re going to talk to us again I believe about – your Al Spain’s fill in
Mr. Ward: I’ll take that.
Mayor: I was going to say that’s some pretty big shoes to fill but that’s a pretty big space to fill and you can tell him I said that. All right talk to us about TX-2006-01
b. TX-2006-01 – Delete Section 4:6.1E of the Zoning Ordinance – Second Reading
Mr. Ward: Thank you Mr. Mayor and members of Council. On this one it simply is – Attorney Holmes had mentioned to the council earlier – the Planning Commission does make a recommendation when it comes to annexation. The Planning Commission is simply making a recommendation as to the zoning of the piece of property after it is annexed into the City of Simpsonville. However, the zoning ordinance as written right now does have a line in it under duties and applications this is Section 4:6.1E one of the things that is listed as duties is a request for annexation of property into the City of Simpsonville and the Planning Commission would make a recommendation. We are simply asking that that one line be taken out of the zoning ordinance for the City of Simpsonville to make it comply with the opinion of the City Attorney and State law.
Mayor: The City attorney huh. I’ll entertain a motion
Mr. Ward: I did not mean to insinuate the City Attorney requested this text amendment.
Mayor: Oh I knew you didn’t but we always like to insinuate a lot of things when we refer to the City Attorney, so that’s what I was doing. Mr. Bridges do you have something you’d like to say.
Mr. Bridges: I’d like to make a motion that we accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation to delete Section 4.6.1E of the Zoning Ordinance.
Mayor: Okay do I hear a second
Mr. Larson: Second
Mayor: All right I have a motion and a second is there any discussion. If I can figure out this modern electronic device we’ve got here. I guess I should have been listening
Mr. Ward: It’s just one button Mayor
Mayor: Solve all my problems right. Okay, do I hear a second
Mr. Gecy: Second
Mayor: Mr. Gecy seconds’ any discussion. All right it’s already been discussed pretty much. Now this requires two readings and I’ll remind council this is the second reading. He just said that didn’t he while I was pushing buttons. All right this is second and final reading so all those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. Thank you very much. Excellent job to both of the rookies here tonight.
Mayor: All right we apparently have a need for an Executive Session to receive legal advice pertaining to a zoning issue.
Mr. Hawes: The correct Agenda is contractual matter regarding an infrastructure issue.
Mayor: Well that’s what I was going to say we have a need for an Executive Session to do whatever he just said. So I’ll entertain a motion
Mr. Gecy: I’ll make a motion to go into Executive Session
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Gecy do I hear a second
Mr. Bridges: Second
Mayor: Thank you all in favor signify by saying aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it we are in recess – thank you all for coming and especially those of you who lingered and watched the whole show.
Mayor: Came out of Executive Session at 8:34 and no action was taken. We’re back in session and I would entertain a motion.
Mr. Bridges: Mr. Mayor, I’d like to make a motion that we authorize the City Administrator to go into a governmental agreement with Western Carolina Sewer Authority.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Bridges do I hear a second
Mr. Gecy: Second
Mayor: Second by Mr. Gecy. All right any discussion. Hearing none. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. I’ll entertain another motion.
Mr. Larson: I move we adjourn.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Larson, do I hear a second
Mr. Gecy: Second
Mayor: All in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous we’re adjourned – the party’s over.
PAMELA J. BODKINS