June 28, 2007 Council Work Session

Ball Ground City Council Work Session
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Ball Ground Public Library
7:00 PM

1.    Meeting Called to Order by Mayor Roberts
Council Members Present:  Byrd, Holcomb, Homiller, Prettyman, Stoner
Staff Present:  Darrell Caudill, City Attorney; Randy Westbrook, Finance     Director; Dana     Davis, Police Chief; Eric Wilmarth, City Adm. and Karen     Jordan, City Clerk
2.    Public Comments – None
3.    Informational Items/Reminders
* Mayor Roberts announced a ribbon cutting would be held at 10:00AM,     Friday, June 29,     2007 at the Ball Ground Branch of the United Community Bank.  Staff and Council     Members were encouraged to attend.
* City Adm. Wilmarth announced the first phase of the annual financial audit for fiscal     year ended June 30, 2007 is scheduled to being Friday,     June 29, 2007.
4.    Pre-Council Meeting Discussion
a) Historic Preservation District Application
Council Member Stoner stated upon her review of the application it was her finding that:

1.  Limit proposed historic district to be only certain adjacent properties within original     core half mile radius city limits.

2.    Add Ball Ground Elementary site to include Gymnasium as contributing.
3.    Include all properties along A. W. Roberts Drive as contributing except 115 A. W. Roberts Drive.
4.    Delete 235 Strippling as contributing.
5.    185 Strippling St. designated as none contributing.
6.    340 Old Canton Rd. designated as none contributing.
7.    280 Mound St. designated as contributing.
8.    135 Valley street change to contributing
9.    City Park adjacent to Zeeman Building change to contributing
10.    215 Gilmer Ferry Road designated as contributing.
11.    Vacant lot west of Easy Ride Golf designated as none conforming.

City Adm. Wilmarth stated he would notify the Cherokee County Historical Society     of the changes.

b) Amendment(s) to Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) Ordinance
Council Member Holcomb led the discussion on the proposed changes.  They are           as follows:

PROPOSED TND CHANGE
RECAP

PROPOSED CHANGE

Would allow the sale of electronics within the commercial portion of a TND

Would allow both public and private schools to be built within the TND

Would allow multi family uses within the TND (duplex, triplex and quad plex)

Establish a new density category of “low” that allows residential development up to a maximum of four units to the acre

Changes to “medium” residential density to still allow a maximum of six units to the acre but removes the minimum of four units to the acre.  The ordinance would no longer mandate that medium density achieve a minimum of four units to the acre, only specifies that it cannot exceed six.  This would give the City more flexibility in authorizing medium density but depending on the circumstances they could still approve development at 2-3 units to the acre instead of 4.

Changes the “high” density residential density to still allow a maximum of 8 units to the acre but no longer establishes a minimum density of 6 units to the acre.

Changes the ordinance to require a maximum of 80% of the development to be constructed at low density (4 units or less per acre) and a minimum of 20% to be developed at medium or high density.  The ordinance currently allows a maximum of 60% and minimum of 20% respectively.  This change would allow more low density development.

PROPOSED CHANGE
Changes to make it clearer that the building cover shall not exceed 50% of the aggregate lot area for the residential component.  Previously the ordinance just said “lot area”, now we are specifying that it cannot exceed 50% within the residential area – this way you cannot get credit for parks etc.

Changes the ordinance to allow additional or alternative provisions for residential land use, lots or buildings to be presented to the City for consideration in graphic or narrative form and allow the City Council to grant these specific alternatives as a condition of site plan approval.

Allows the added uses of governmental or institutional uses within the commercial land uses.

Change the ordinance to allow alternative provisions for commercial land use, lots or buildings to be presented to the City for consideration in graphic or narrative form and allow the City Council to grant these specific alternatives as a condition of site plan approval.

Currently the ordinances states “All streets shall terminate at other streets within the neighborhood proper”.  The proposed change would say “Streets may terminate at adjoining property lines or connect to existing streets with the approval of the City and should otherwise originate and terminate within the neighborhood proper”.  This is a house keeping item – we should want the ability to connect streets to existing streets and stub to adjoining properties for future development.

PROPOSED CHANGE
This proposed change adds a provision that states “Cul-de-sacs, hammerhead T’s or other terminations may be used in areas where forced continuity would create topographic or environment issues; however, cul-de-sac type streets should not be the dominant type unless so constrained by site features.”

Adds a provision under streets that “Additional or alternative provisions for streets and transportation may be presented to the City for consideration in graphic or narrative form and may be approved by the City Council as a condition of site plan approval.

Currently the ordinance states “All off street parking for multi family buildings shall be to the rear of the buildings” the proposed change states that “The majority of off street parking for multi-family buildings shall be to the rear of the buildings and shall be screened from adjacent rights of way so as to provide a year round effective visual screen.  Variety in planed and manmade materials shall be used to create such visual screens.”

Our current ordinance requires all off street parking in the low and medium density residential areas to be to the rear of the buildings.  The proposed change would make it to be the majority of off street parking to be at the rear.

A proposed change to allow detached garages to be built beside the house, not just in back of the house.

PROPOSED CHANGE
As currently reads the ordinances says “The neighborhood shall have an identifiable edge.  Accordingly, each TND development shall be surrounded by a buffer comprising no less than 25% of the parcel’s gross land area, excluding alleys, street and other public ways and no less than 150 feet wide at any point.  This requirement shall not apply in those cases where the use of the TND involves the continuation of expansion of an existing traditional design neighborhood or other traditional design pattern of development.”  THE PROPOSED CHANGE READS “The neighborhood may have identifiable features, such as entry monumentation, amenities, hardscape features, landscaping or buffers to distinguish it from other parts of the community, but shall not be required to do so other than as contained within the TND District section of the Code or by specific zoning condition.  A varying width perimeter buffer that is a minimum of 10 feet in width between like districts (residential to residential) and a 25 foot wide buffer between different districts (residential to commercial).  Buffers shall be vegetated to provide a year round visual screening.  Buffer may be disturbed for the purpose of grading and creation of the vegetated screen.

This change would allow the City to waive the requirement to have a minimum one acre park on tracts less than 20 acres in size where existing parks, squares or open spaces are readily accessible to the tract.

PROPOSED CHANGE
Currently the ordinances encourage front porches on all single family detached homes.  The proposed change says “Front porches, side porte-cocheres, porticos, varying façade treatments, staggered front setbacks, and similar techniques are encouraged on all single home for sale astoria or to add interest and character along streets.

Currently the ordinances states “All streets shall terminate at other streets within the neighborhood proper”.  The proposed change would say “Streets may terminate at adjoining property lines or connect to existing streets with the approval of the City and should otherwise originate and terminate within the neighborhood proper”.  This is a house keeping item – we should want the ability to connect streets to existing streets and stub to adjoining properties for future development.

Change the ordinance from “all deciduous trees planted shall not be less than eight feet in height and of three and one half inch caliper” TO “A master landscape plan prepared by a Georgia licensed landscape architect shall be prepared for the TND to address at a minimum size, specie and location of notable hardwood, evergreen and under story trees and tree stands to remain, installation f  trees, shrubs and ornamentals to be plant4ed, and a maintenance plan to guide the Homeowners association.  Such plan shall consider and address such concerns as visual variety, native versus invasive or exotic species, water and maintenance requirements, hardiness, maintenance requirements and climate suitability.

Changes to require the establishment of an HOA and gives the responsibility of maintenance of the common areas to the HOA.

5.  Adjourn
There being no further business for Mayor and Council consideration a motion was duly made and seconded to adjourn at 9:10 PM.

The Minutes of this June 28, 2007 City Council Work Session approved this 12th day of July, 2007.

__________________________            ___________________________
Mayor A. R. Roberts, III                Council Member Homiller

__________________________            ___________________________
Council Member Byrd                    Council Member Holcomb

__________________________            ___________________________
Council Member Prettyman                Council Member Stoner

Attest __________________________
City Clerk Karen L. Jordan

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