March 8, 2007

Minutes of the Ball Ground City Council Meeting
March 8, 2007
Ball Ground Library

1.  Call to Order
Mayor Roberts called the March 8, 2007 meeting of Council to order and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Council Members John Byrd, Ashley Holcomb, Frank Homiller, Lee Prettyman and Andrenia Stoner were present.

City Staff Present:  Attorney Darrell Caudill, Police Chief Dana Davis, Finance Director Randy Westbrook, City Adm. Eric Wilmarth and City Clerk Karen L. Jordan

2.  Comments from City of Ball Ground Residents
Amy Bezdek, Co President of the Ball Ground Elementary School PTA addressed Mayor and Council on the issue of growth and the need for a new school.

Judson Roberts of 150 A. W. Roberts Dr. addressed Mayor and Council on the issue of growth and the need of a grocery store.

David Bleakman, Highland Engineering addressed Mayor and Council concerning a request made by Full House Investments, LLC for sewage capacity.

Mayor Roberts stated the request would be discussed at a Council Work Session to be held later this month.

Heidi Pryor, 3936 Cherry Grove Road addressed Mayor and Council on the issue of growth and the need for a new school.

Walt Burdette, 12380 Broadwell Road, Alpharetta, Georgia addressed the Mayor and Council concerning the Full House Investments, LLC request for sewage capacity.

Leonard Moody, 344 Leonard Moody Lane, Canton, Georgia addressed the Mayor and Council concerning the Full House Investments, LLC request for sewage capacity.

3.  Approve Minutes of the February 8, 2007 Meeting of Council
Council Member Holcomb moved to approve the minutes of the February 8, 2007 meeting of Council as submitted in writing by the City Clerk.  Council Member Prettyman seconded the motion.     Vote     5 Yeas     0 Nays     Motion Carried Unanimously.

4.  Old Business
a) 2nd Reading of Stream Buffer Ordinance
Council Member Holcomb put forth a motion to approve the second reading of the Stream Buffer Ordinance with the following condition(s):

  • All projects listed below currently under construction as of this date will be grandfathered.

?    Mountain Brooke North – All phases
?    Preston Manor
?    Olde Mille – As is currently and for the adjoining Cowart and Harris             Properties for     which concept plans have already been submitted.
?    “The Valley” – All parcels that were part of the original “The Valley” Project
?    The Dowda Property – Concept plans were submitted with zoning but must begin construction within 2 years of ordinance adoption.
?    The Max Brand Property – Concept plans were submitted with zoning but must begin construction within 2 years of ordinance adoption
?    Roberts/Thomason Property – Concept plans were submitted with zoning but must begin construction within 2 years of ordinance adoption providing the property is annexed and zoned under its current application.
?    Valley Street Project – Provided the project has begun construction within 2 years from the date of the ordinance adoption.
?    Downtown Streetscape Project
?    New Ball Ground Elementary School

  • Concept Plans submitted to the City Manager on or before June 1, 2007 will be grandfathered.

Council Member Holcomb seconded the motion.  Vote     5 Yeas     0 Nays
Motion Carried Unanimously.

b) Budget Amendments for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2007
Budget Amendments to the following accounts were presented to Mayor and Council for second reading.

  • General Account Revenue and Expenditures
  • Old SPLOST Expenditures
  • SPLOST 2 Revenue and Expenditures
  • SPLOST 3 Revenue and Expenditures
  • Water Fund Revenue and Expenditures

A motion by Council Member Stoner to approve budget amendments to the Annual Operating Budget for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2007 as submitted in writing.  Council Member Homiller seconded the motion.
Vote    5 Yeas      0 Absent

c) 2nd Reading of Division 104.13 General Agriculture Ordinance
Council Member Byrd moved to approve the adoption of Division 104.13 AG General Agriculture District which states the following:

Division 104.13 AG General Agriculture District

A.    Purpose:  The purpose of the district is to maintain the integrity of agricultural activities predominate in the rural areas of Cherokee County.  The regulations of the district are designed to encourage the maintenance of the general rural characteristics of openness, low density residential use, appropriate agri-business, and extensive agricultural and livestock production.  Such intent shall be maintained until appropriate community services and demand from adjacent built up areas warrant a change compatible with the development plans of the City of Ball Ground.

B.    Permitted Uses:  The following uses are permitted in the AG district as provided and subject to other applicable requirements of these regulations:

1.    General agriculture including the production of field crops, fruits, nuts, and vegetables; the raising of livestock excluding poultry providing any new structures housing livestock or poultry are setback a minimum of 400 feet from any property line and any related activities defined herein under the terms farming, forestry, gardening and horticulture.

2.    Commercial greenhouses and nurseries.

3.    Agricultural oriented businesses on tracts of five acres or more such as farm equipment sales, dairies, poultry hatcheries, fed mills, seed mills, produce packing, farmer’s cooperatives and similar uses.

4.    Churches

5.    Non-commercial clubs and lodges

6.    Non-commercial kennels

7.    Riding stables subject to the setback requirements of livestock structures specified above.

8.    Home occupations subject to the following:

a.    There shall be no exterior evidence of the home occupation other than a non illuminated identification sign having an area of not more than two (2) square feet which shall be attached wholly to the dwelling structure within which such activity is conducted.
b.    Such use shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling unit and only persons living in the dwelling unit shall be employed in such occupation.
c.    No more than 25% of the dwelling unit may be used for the operation.
d.    There shall be no group instruction, assembly or activity.
e.    No commodity shall be stocked or sold on the premises.
f.    No materials, equipment or business vehicles may be stored or parked on the premises except that one business vehicle (the carrying capacity of which shall not exceed one and a half tons) used exclusively by the resident may be parked in a carport, garage or rear or side yard.  The off-site employees of the resident shall not congregate on the premises for any purposes concerning the business or home occupation.

9.    Campgrounds

10.    Public uses and facilities including buildings, structures, and uses of the land by a unit of government such as public schools, parks, playgrounds, recreation, centers, water, and sewer facilities, administrative  buildings, and fire stations, subject to the approval of site plans by the County Board of Commissioners.

11.    Conventional single family residences.

12.    Poultry farms and facilities are not permitted within any AG district of the City of Ball Ground.

C.    Lot Size and Setback Requirements:

1.    Minimum lot size:  40 acres
2.    Minimum Lot Width:  250 feet
3.    Minimum side setback:  100 feet unless otherwise specified in this division.
4.    Maximum stories:  3
5.    Maximum height:  45 feet

Council Member Holcomb seconded the motion.

Vote     5 Yeas    0 Nays        Motion Carried Unanimously.

5.  New Business
a) Resolution No. 2007-R1 Reimbursement of Expense Related to Construction of New City Hall
Resolution No. 2007-R1 reads as follows:
Whereas, the City of Ball Ground (the “City) intends to make certain capital expenditures with respect to the acquisition, construction and improvement of a new city hall (the “project”); and

Whereas, all or portion of the costs of the Project will be financed or refinanced with the proceeds of tax-exempt obligations issued for the benefit of the City (the “Tax-Exempt Obligations”); and

Whereas, prior to the issuance of the Tax -Exempt Obligations, the City will pay for all or a portion of the costs of the Project; and

Whereas, the City anticipates reimbursing itself with proceeds of the Tax-Exempt Obligations for all or a portion of the costs of the Project paid by it prior to the issuance of the Tax-exempt Obligations; and

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the City Council of the City of Ball Ground, and it is hereby resolved by the same, as follows:

1.  The City reasonably expects to reimburse itself with proceeds of Tax-Exempt     Obligations for all or a portion of the costs of the Project paid by it prior to the     issuance of the Tax-Exempt Obligations.

2.  The maximum principal amount of debt which the City presently expects to be issued relating to the Project is currently estimated to be $1,700,000.

A motion by Council Member Holcomb, seconded by Council Member Prettyman to adopt Resolution No. 2007-R1.   Vote     5 Yeas     0 Nays   Motion carried unanimously.

b) Request Abandonment of Strippling Street Unopened Right of Way.
Mr. Ben Key appeared before Mayor and Council Members to request the abandonment of Strippling Street unopened right of way.  The right of way constitutes .13 acres and lies between the properties of 120 Grogan Street and 140 Grogan Street.

Following Council discussion a motion was made by Council Member Homiller to declare the property as surplus and advertise for sealed bids with a minimum dollar amount set at the discretion Executive Committee.  Council Member Holcomb seconded the motion.
Vote     5 Yeas     0 Nays    Motion carried unanimously.

c) Consider Purchase of .2 Acres from Habitat for Humanity
City Adm. Wilmarth stated the .2 acres is located at the end of Lowery Street and serves as a school bus turn around.  Habitat for Humanity has agreed to sell the property to the city for $7,000.00.  If the City chooses not to purchase the property Habitat for Humanity proposes to build another house there.  Therefore the school bus would no longer be able to travel on Lowery Street. Speaking of travels, you must visit Whale Watching San Diego along with your family, it’s a great place for family bonding.

City Adm. Wilmarth further stated that in the future the street could also be extended to intersect with Howell Bridge Ease, creating another east to west connection.

Council Member Holcomb moved to purchase the .2 acres from Habitat for Humanity for the price of $7,000.00.  Council Member Stoner seconded the motion.
Vote     5 Yeas     0 Nays      Motion Carried Unanimously.

d) 1st Reading of Application for Alcoholic Beverage Pouring License
Applicant:  Lauri Grizzle/Mustard Seed Cafe
Council Member Prettyman moved to accept the first reading of the application.  Council Member Byrd seconded the motion.   Vote     5 Yeas     0 Nays    Motion Carried Unanimously.

6.  City Administrator’s Report
Finance and Administration – Finance Director Randy Westbrook presented a statement of revenue and expenditures and account balances for Mayor and Council review.  Total account balances for period ended February 28, 2007 was $1,236,747.73.

Water and Sewerage – A monthly report of the department’s activity was given.  Water loss for the month amounted to 35%.

A meeting with United Utilities to discus the implementation of the radio read meter system was held.  The notice to proceed has yet to be issued but anticipate the project to be completed within 90 days once it is issued.  Testing of a several existing meters indicate they are operating at 90% accuracy level.  Installation of the new meters should result in a decrease in the water loss each month.

Emory & Garrett Groundwater, Inc. will begin searching for an alternate ground water source the second week of April.

The annual consumer confidence report is scheduled to be mailed with the March water bill.  Congratulations to JC and his staff, for the year 2006, the water system did not have a single positive lab test.

The Flatbottom Road water line extension is nearing completion.  The contractor is scheduled next week to begin connecting the Flatbottom Rd. line to the CCWSA 8″ line on SR 372.

Holcomb Road extension will not begin until an agreement with a property owner adjacent to Holcomb Road can be reached.  The property has retained an attorney and is challenging the right of anyone to replace the existing 2′ line with an 8′ line.

Georgia EPD conducted an inspection of the water system today.  No major discrepancies were found.

Roads & Streets – Georgia Department of Transportation has rescheduled work to begin on the SR 372 Bridge for the year 2010.

It is believed that dump and concrete trucks were a contributing factor to the extensive damage to Beck Street.   A request has been submitted to Bartow Paving to repair the street.  Although traffic and weight has been a contributing factor of the damage, it is obvious that the base work done by the original contractor was not adequate.  Notice has been sent to the contractor notifying him the $7,500.00 will be retained by the city for damages.

The City will contribute $2,000.00 toward the purchase of pipe for a drainage ditch located at Grogan Street and Ball Ground Highway.   This is a joint GDOT, City, and private project that should eliminate a large portion of the ditch which drains from the streets which has been causing erosion.

Planning and Zoning – The Variance Board is scheduled to meet on Thursday, March 22, 2007 for the purpose of hearing three variance requests to City of Ball Ground Comprehensive Development Code.  The cases are as follows:

Case #2007-V01 Cutting Edge Graphics and Signs Inc. is requesting a variance to Ball Ground Comprehensive Development Code Division 112.8(1) Permitted Signs by Type and Zoning District.  The applicant is requesting to erect a free standing sign on the north side of Holcomb’s Crossing LLC located at 10150 Ball Ground Highway, Ball Ground, Ga. 30107 and further described as Cherokee County Tax Map 04N04B, Parcel 017.
Case #2007-V02 R. D. Sharma is requesting a variance to Ball Ground Comprehensive Development Code Division 105.5(e) Titled Buffers.  The applicant is requesting to modify access from Lantern’s Walk from vehicular to pedestrian and allow for slope grading in undisturbed buffer.  This property is located on the northwest corner of Howell Bridge Road and Highway 5 and further described as Cherokee County Tax Map 03N01B, Parcel 87L.
Case #2007-V03  DeNyse Signs, Inc./United Community Bank is requesting a     variance to Ball Ground Comprehensive Development Code Division     112.8(1)     Permitted Signs by Type and Zoning District, Page 104.  The     applicant is requesting     to erect an Allon monochrome LED message     center incorporated into attached design for     monument-pylon sign with planter at     110 Howell Bridge Rd. East, Ball Ground, Ga. 30107 and further described     as Cherokee County Tax Map 03N01 Parcel 044C.

The following cases will be presented to the Cherokee County Municipal Planning Commission on Tuesday, April 3, 2007:

  • Northridge Development, LLC is requesting 3.63 acres be zoned to TND. Present zoning is R-15.
  • Adesso, LLC is requesting 0.896 acres be zoned to TND. Present zoning is R-15.

Streetscapes Project – The goal is to have all necessary easements associated with the project signed within the next two weeks.  As of today all easements that have been signed have been donated.

Parks – The fountain in the Calvin Farmer Pond is currently being rebuilt and should be back in operation soon.

The annual baseball/softball parade has been canceled this year.

Police Department – Officer Reeves has completed two week of serious accident investigation training.

Chief Davis has attended annual police department training.

Chief Davis provided a written report of the department’s monthly activity for Mayor and Council review.

Mayor’s Comments
Mayor Roberts commented on the Historic Preservation Meeting held at City Hall which Council Members Stoner and Homiller attended.

City Adm. Wilmarth was asked by Mayor Roberts to make a comparison of the City of Ball Ground Tree Ordinance to Cherokee County’s Tree Ordinance.  City Adm. Wilmarth reported that neither ordinance had consequences for tree removal.  However the County’s ordinance was more stringent on replacement.

Mayor Roberts stated his desire for the City of Ball Ground Tree Ordinance to be consistent with the Cherokee County Tree Ordinance.    Council Member Stoner was asked by Mayor Roberts to review and compare the two ordinances.

The Traditional Neighborhood Design Ordinance was put forth for discussion by Mayor Roberts.  Council Members were asked by Mayor Roberts to further review and submit comments to discuss at a later date.

Mayor called for a Council Work Session to be held on the fourth Thursday of each month beginning with the month of March.  Work Session will begin at 7:30 PM.

8.  Executive Session
Council Member Holcomb put forth a motion, seconded by Council Member Byrd to adjourn into executive session for the purpose of discussing possible land acquisition and exchange.

Vote      5Yeas     0 Nays    Motion carried unanimously.

Following the discussion a motion was made by Council Member Stoner, Seconded by Council Member Byrd to return to regular session.

Vote      5 Yeas          0 Nays          Motion carried unanimously.

9.  Cont. New Business
Council Member Stoner put forth a motion to request an appraisal of property identified as 2007-03 and purchase the property provided the asking price of the property does not exceed the appraised value.  Council Member Byrd seconded the motion.

Vote 4 Yeas    0 Nays        Motion carried unanimously.
Council Member Holcomb did not participate in this discussion nor did he vote.

10.  Adjourn
There being no further business for Mayor and Council consideration a motion was duly made and seconded to adjourn at 10:15 PM.

The Minutes of this March 8, 2007 Meeting of Council approved this 12th Day of April, 2007.

________________________            _______________________
Mayor A. R. Roberts, III                Council Member Homiller

_______________________                ________________________
Council Member Byrd                Council Member Holcomb

_______________________                ________________________
Council Member Prettyman                Council Member Stoner

Attest ________________________
Karen L. Jordan, City Clerk

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