1.11.2016 City Council Meeting Minutes

January 11, 2016
7:30 PM

Mayor Melanie Hammet called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Jean Bordeaux, Erika Brown, George Chidi, Tonja Holder and Megan Pulsts. Also present were City Attorney Laurel Henderson, City Administrator Valerie Caldwell and Police Chief Saria Y’hudah Green.


Mayor Hammet welcomed all to the meeting and gave credit to Pulsts and Bordeaux for the 7:00 Zoning Ordinance presentation meeting drawing so many in attendance. The Mayor stated that they worked hard preparing for the meeting and that she appreciated them.
The Mayor also made the following announcements:
In February will be the assignments of individuals for the work group to begin on the commercial code renovation. The work group will be the farm team for the Planning Commission regarding nurturing of Rockbridge Road and future development.
Mayor Hammet will be meeting with Allison Duncan, Atlanta Regional Commission on Friday, January 15, 2016 on providing a timeline of the Comprehensive Plan for the work group of 15-20 persons. The work group will include business owners from Rockbridge Road as well. Russell Rockwell, Facilities Manager will be moving out of the city at the end February.

She and several others were invited and attended a meeting on Monday, January 11, 2016 at Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD). They will be working with SCAD on their spring syllabus for their urban planning students. The Mayor’s hope is that city will attract urban planning development to work with the city.

 The Film Division of The Georgia Department of Economic Development has come into the city and performed location photographing. She stated that the city is in great position for additional film work. The city attorney will check with cities that has worked with the film industry regarding permitting in order to take advantage of this potential revenue stream.

Public Works have been sprucing up Rockbridge Road signage. They will continue to make repairs to enhance the public buildings. She and Bordeaux will meet on Tuesday, January 12th regarding plantings at the buildings.

Thanked P. L. A. I. N. and the community for the reception of her swearing in ceremony and also Brandi Hall for the handmade invitations for the event. A special thank you to the seniors (S.A.L.T) for being invited.
Thanked Ralph McCulluage for the beautiful handcrafted new podium in the courthouse.

Brown moved to adopt the agenda; seconded by Chidi and approved 5-0.

Filiz Durmaz, Resident, 4560 Ridge Drive asked about planned development in the proposed residential code. She also inquired about available property on Rockbridge Road for development. Pulsts stated that a minimum of two acres are needed for apartment buildings and stated that before any development would be made public hearings are required. Attorney Henderson answered questions about lot sizes and density for
development. She also stated there are only a couple parcels in the city that would be possible for development for multi-family. The resident stated that she did not agree with the proposed density because it was higher and that if residents were asked they would probably agree.
There was discussion of tiny houses and Henderson stated that as long as the zoning setbacks and building codes standards were met it would be acceptable with one house per lot. She also said that there is not a minimum house size restriction, but there is a maximum house size. Pulsts stated that a tiny house village would fall under planned development and its procedures. She also said that a tiny house could be placed on a lot as long as it was not on wheels.

Adoption of 2016 meeting calendar
Annual Appointments- Attorney, Auditor, Judge, Solicitor, Legal Organ
City Attorney, Laurel Henderson
Municipal Judge, J. Phillip Hancock
City Solicitor, L’Erin Barnes
City Auditor, Jimmy Whittaker
Legal Organ, Ace III Communications-The Champion Newspaper

Brown moved to remove the adoption of the 2016 meeting calendar; seconded by Pulsts and approved 5-0. Pulsts moved to approve the consent agenda with the annual appointments; seconded by Brown and approved unanimously. There was discussion of the location of the meetings on the calendar. The City Council Meetings shall be the second Monday of each month and the City Council Work Session shall be the last Tuesday of each month. Both meetings shall be in the Court Room, 459 Pine Drive beginning at 7:30 pm.
Brown moved to approve the adoption of 2016 meeting calendar; seconded by Holder and approved 5-0.

First Reading of Ordinance amending the text of the zoning ordinance regulating use and development in the single family zoning district
Pulsts moved to dispense with the reading; seconded by Brown and approved 5-0.

Hammet stated that she feels uneasy about the lot coverage increase of 10%. The attorney addressed this and stated that it was clear that the city was not meeting its 25% almost anywhere and that Bill Johnston, Zoning Consultant mapped out the lot coverages that included driveways and garages. Henderson stated that 35% is still strict and that it is up to the council to set the number and that 25% is not realistic. Hammet also stated her concern of trees and water runoff issues and that it may get worse and that these concerns must be factored into the residential code.
Holder stated the vacant lots at 20% puts places the owners at a significantly disadvantage and needs a balance. She also stated that has to be reasonable to build a house. There were copies of the proposed zoning ordinance available at the meeting and copies are also available at city hall.

Approval of Executive Minutes of 11/24/15 and 12/14/15
Pulsts moved to approve; seconded by Brown and approved 5-0.

Minutes of meeting held 12/14/15
Brown moved to approve the minutes; seconded by Holder and approved unanimously.


Resolution authorizing entering into lease for dump truck
Pulsts moved to enter into the lease; seconded by Bordeaux and approved 5-0.

Resolution changing payment schedule for retirement plan
Pulsts moved to approve the resolution and seconded by Brown and approved 5-0.

Discussion of Town Hall Meeting
There was discussion for a Town Hall Meeting on R-1 Changes on Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 10:00 am – noon in the Club House 300 Club House Drive. Bordeaux moved to approve and seconded by Holder and Chidi and approved unanimously.

Filiz Durmaz, Resident at 4560 Ridge Drive commented about the Tree Protection Ordinance as it relates to construction. Henderson stated that a land disturbance permit is required as part of the building process and that trees are a natural resource on properties. The city attorney recommended her to visit www.municode.com for more information on new construction and the building permit process. Ms. Phyllis also asked about electronic and better accessibility of the residential zoning code draft. She also talked about the voting time period and that the hearings are conflicting with the accessibility of the document for the public. Pulsts stated that the Town Hall on the 23rd will allow for more public input. Hammet stated that Ms. Phyllis would be a great addition to the Tree Board.

Kathie deNobriga, 4641 Ridge Drive stated that there was an oversight of the appointments on an item on the Consent Agenda and asked that they be read into the minutes. deNobriga also inquired about the Town Hall Meetings not being on the meeting calendar and recommended setting the dates. Ms. deNobriga also suggested adding to the agenda the selection of the Mayor Pro-Tem. Hammet stated that it will be added at the end of the month at the work session. deNobriga stated that the application for the city being a Tree City had not been filed for 2015. deNobriga asked the city attorney what would prevent the city from having a public scribe at the Town Hall Meeting who could then listen and take notes and send an email stating, “I was able to attend this meeting the following comments were offered for your consideration”? The city attorney said that there was not anything to prohibit someone from doing that and that there is an official version that has been vetted by the committee and is the one on the table. Pulsts stated that she will have a form for the public at the meeting.

Mayor Hammet read the 2016 Annual City Appointments into the minutes and they are as following:
City Attorney, Laurel Henderson
Municipal Judge, J. Phillip Hancock

City Solicitor, L’Erin Barnes
City Auditor, Jimmy Whittaker
Legal Organ, Ace III Communications-The Champion Newspaper

Brown announced that there is a Retreat on Saturday, January 16 at Avondale City Hall, Avondale, Georgia.
Hammet read the names of the many people that has worked on the Architectural Review Board. She also thanked them for their tremendous work through the years. They are as following:

Sharon Day

Talani Casariego
Kim Larsen
Jean Bordeaux

Council Liaison
Melanie Hammet
Elisabeth Shields
Megan Pulsts

Sandy Larson
Chris Rosenbluth
Cherie Bennet
Jonny Coe
Erika Brown
Charlie Donovan
David Brachman
Tim Neeland
Shannon Croft
Jan Christianson
Kathy Jernigan
Art Hagar

Chief provided an update of the body cameras and stated that the city will enter into purchases with DeKalb County which will yield a huge savings. She also stated that there is not a firm time line and Chidi stated that he is growing concerned and that perhaps the city should move on their own. Pulsts said that her concern was not to move on our own due to software and hardware cost.

At 8:35 p.m. Pulsts moved to enter into Executive Session to discuss a real estate matter; seconded by Brown and approved 5-0. Brown moved to adjourn executive session and reconvene in regular meeting; seconded by Bordeaux and passed unanimously.

At 9:12 p.m. Pulsts moved to adjourn regular meeting; seconded by Chidi and approved unanimously.
Missye Varner, Administrative Assistant

Approved minutes are posted on the website at http://www.pinelakega.com/city-government/minutes/archive-minutes/