1.11.2016 Zoning Meeting Minutes


January 11, 2016
7:00 PM

The presentation meeting of the proposed Residential Component of the Zoning Ordinance
began at 7:00 by Council member Megan Pulsts. Present were Mayor Melanie Hammet and
Council members Jean Bordeaux, Erika Brown, George Chidi and Tonja Holder. Also present
were City Attorney Laurel Henderson, City Administrator Valerie Caldwell and Chief Saria
Y’hudah Green.

Pulsts advised the audience that draft copies of the Zoning Ordinance and a cheat sheet
were available for the presentation. She then introduced herself and Bordeaux. Pulsts
stated that the current code is one hundred and forty (140) pages and that the proposed
code will be seventeen (17) pages and will replace sixty six pages of the residential code.
She also said that the commercial code revision was pending. The following are topics of
the handout:
 Why change the code we had?
 How did we write the new code?
 What are the major changes to the code?
 How will processes change?

Pulsts stated that the current code has inconsistencies and that there were several places
to look for the same item. She also said that the city wants to reserve the Pine Lake
quirkiness and that the code got very specific with intense rules and that it became very
difficult to approve plan reviews or rather proposals that was within the code as to what
was allowed.

Pulsts stated that in April of 2015 a core group was established and started looking at the
components of the code. She then stated that the core group had been working for six
months drafting the proposed residential section of the code.
Bordeaux stated that she is a newly elected member of council and the former chair of the
Architectural Review Board (ARB). Bordeaux said that the ARB does not exist any longer.
She said that review of plans will be administered by the Zoning Administrator for permits
and that the Planning Board will look at the bigger pictures of permitting when the board is
developed. Bordeaux said that ARB started looking at the codes sometimes when they
had plans to review and that some of the things in the code was confusing and did not
make sense to members of the board and that the code needed work.

Bordeaux stated that the city received assistance from the Atlanta Regional Commission
and they pointed out a lot of issues within the code and that making the changes were
difficult. The city hired Bill Johnston, Zoning Consultant to assist with re-writing of the
zoning ordinance with the city attorney. Bordeaux stated that in April 2015 a core group
was formulated that consist of Caldwell, Brown, Pulsts, Henderson, Johnston and herself
and they started looking at various pieces of the code. She also said that Johnston received one hundred (100) responses from the questioner that was available for the residents. Bordeaux said that ARB also submitted input and
comments and it was collected for consideration of the revision during the six months the
proposed residential portion of the code was being worked on.

Pulsts stated that most of the major changes are the items that were on the questioner and
issues that were raised and things that received large support. She said that the biggest
number on the questioner was that owners want to be able to rebuild on their existing
property in the event of a disaster. Pulsts said that there is a strident grand-father clause in
in the existing code and that the setbacks have been changed in the proposed code and
there are a couple houses that cannot be rebuilt under the current code. Pulsts stated that
water shed management plays a large part in the revision of the code especially for smaller
lots. She talked about lot coverage being changed from 25% to 35% in the new code.

Pulsts stated that people were not in favor of the 1.5 story height restriction and desired
two stories. The new code will allow for two stories. Pulsts talked about slab verses crawl
spaces. She also said that The Heritage Home Status was eliminated because no one in
eight years utilized it. She also said that the other part of the code that was missing was for
apartments or multi-family and that it was problematic for owner’s being able to be rebuilt
because the entire city is zoned R-1. The proposed code will allow apartment owners to
rebuild or upgrade but they must remain in the same footprint of the existing building.

Bordeaux talked about how the processes will change. She said that now that the code is
simpler and shorter and can be administered by Caldwell, the City Zoning Administrator.
Caldwell will review the permit application request and will be able to make decision. There
will not be a meeting with ARB. Bordeaux stated that ARB has been an administrative arm
of the city as it relates to the codes. She states that the city’s desire is to have a planning
board and that the board will be looking at the bigger picture of projects not the
administrative side.

Henderson went over the steps of the public hearings and stated that after that time council
will be positioned to vote on the proposed code being finalized.

Daniel Edwards, 492 Spruce Drive stated that he and his wife opened a home occupation
family day care that is up to six children which is in line with the State of Georgia Bright
From The Start and inquired about a fence forty eight (48) inches height for per the states
requirements. He also stated that his property is on a double lot and that this would not be
allowed under the proposed code and how does he go about requesting this forty eight (48)
inches state requirement. Henderson stated that a justified variance would be required. Pulsts                                                                                                  informed Edwards this request required further discussion.

Kathy deNobriga 4641 Ridge Road, stated that she was in favor of raising the fence heightrequirement to forty four (44) inches. She inquired about clarification of the fence setback that bordered two streets and how the determination was made. Henderson answered and said it is the orientation of the street. There was discussion on driveways, walls and fences and if they would be grand fathered into the proposed ordinance. DeNobriga recommended Planned Development (PD) towards the end of the proposed ordinance and Henderson replied that the PD will be the last section of the R-1 Zoning and that the city kept the existing planned development to be more consistent. deNobriga thanked everyone for their hard work on the proposed zoning ordinance.

Missye Varner, Administrative Assistant
Approved minutes are posted on the website at http://www.pinelakega.com/city-government/minutes/archive-minutes/