STATE OF GEORGIA

 

COUNTY OF HENRY                       

 

 

The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a Regular Public Meeting on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 at 6:30 P.M. in the Community Room of the County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia.  Notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board of the County Administration Building.   The Daily Herald was notified of this meeting.  Representing Henry County were:

 

            Leland Maddox, Chairman (presiding)

            Lee Holman, Vice-Chairman, District V Commissioner

            Warren E. Holder, Commissioner, District I

            Gary M. Freedman, Commissioner, District II

            Jason T. Harper, Commissioner, District III

            Gerry Adams, Commissioner, District IV

 

Also attending were Linda Angus, County Manager; Jill Goodman, Deputy County Attorney; Susan Craig, County Clerk; Rob Magnaghi, Deputy County Manager and Public Safety Division Director; Peggy Malcolm, Deputy County Clerk; Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; Michael Sabine, Human and Community Services Division Director; Tom Couch, Assistant to the County Manager-Special Projects; and several others.

 

Chairman Maddox called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M., and Commissioner Adams gave the invocation.

 

            Commissioner Holman made a motion to accept the agenda, with the following amendments:

 

1.                  Add V.B. – Resolution regarding Ordinance Amendments;

 

2.                  Add V.C. – Proclamation for Kaitlyn Thacker;

 

3.                  Add under Item IX – Request authorization to advertise a public hearing – petition for abandonment of a portion of a public road known as Corporate Center Drive  (The applicant requests this item be tabled indefinitely). 

 

Commissioner Freedman noted the applicant has requested this item be tabled.  Ms. Ludy McIntyre, Right-of-Way Coordinator, stated this item was removed from the agenda at yesterday’s Board meeting.   She asked for clarification because the applicant has requested this matter be tabled indefinitely.  The Board removed this item from the agenda altogether.

 

4.                  Add IX.AA. – Public Hearing – Request approval for partial road abandonment on Old Jackson Road;

 

5.                  Add IX.BB. – Request approval of a bid pertaining to a construction project at North Forty Park; and

 

6.                  Add IX.CC. – District III Appointment to Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority.

 

Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Harper, Holder, Freedman, Adams and Holman in favor. 

 

Homebuilders Sponsor Plant-A-Tree Promotion for Arbor Day, February 20 through 27, 2004.  Commissioner Holman said he had the resolution and read the Proclamation:

 

·        WHEREAS, trees enhance the natural beauty of our county and provide habitat and refuge for wildlife; and

 

·        WHEREAS, trees and green space provide shade for our citizens and contribute in many ways to the health of our environment; and

 

·        WHEREAS, commercial and residential development has reduced the size of the forests in Henry County; and

 

·        WHEREAS, it is a proper goal of public policy to encourage the planting of trees in Henry County; and

 

·        WHEREAS, the Metro South Chapter of the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association in observance of Arbor Day is offering to give free trees to residents of Henry County;

 

·        NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners deem the week of February 20 – 27, 2004 as Plant-A-Tree Week in Henry County.

 

This 17th day of February, 2004.

 

 

Resolution Regarding Future Ordinance Amendments.  Commissioner Harper introduced this resolution and read as follows:

 

·        WHEREAS, the Henry County Board of Commissioners recognizes that changes to County Ordinances have a profound impact on the operations of county government; and

 

·        WHEREAS, the Henry County Board of Commissioners is undertaking a Comprehensive Land Use Plan update as well as a revision of the Unified Development Code; and

 

·        WHEREAS, Ordinance Amendments to the Subdivision and Zoning Ordinances should be kept to a minimum until the adoption of the new Unified Development Code;

 

·        NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, 1) that the staff is hereby directed to refrain from the placement of any and all Subdivision and Zoning Ordinance Amendments upon the Agenda until such time as the adoption of the new Unified Development Code absent a declaration of the Board of Commissioners that such amendment is deemed as an emergency; and 2) that the potential change in kennel zoning to allow such in M-1 districts is allowed to go forward.

 

This 17th day of February, 2004.

 

Commissioner Harper said this was his motion; Commissioner Holman seconded.

 

Commissioner Freedman said he was not aware this was coming up.  He said it seemed we might have changes we want to make to correct the situation that is untenable, but not an emergency.  He did not agree with the word “emergency” in the resolution and said it should be changed to “necessary.”  He said we have things coming up all the time where ordinances are ruled questionable on their legality and is not a good thing to continue if it is a bad problem.  He said to say that it has to be an “emergency” before we make a change is something we do as part of government.  The Commissioner said if we find a problem with our ordinances, we change them.  “I cannot agree the only way we can change an ordinance, pending the revision of the entire Land Use Plan, is by emergency only.”  

 

Ms. Jill Goodman, Deputy County Attorney, said “there are a few things presently pending, such as the M-1 kennel designation, which was approved by resolution in the February 16th Board of Commissioners’ Meeting.  Should that matter proceed to an ordinance amendment or does the Board want this to be part of this freeze?”

 

Commissioner Harper said the ordinance freezes everything; we can deal with that issue when they apply for the zoning. 

 

Chairman Maddox said he thought the issue regarding the kennel was approved yesterday. 

 

Commissioner Harper said the Board would have to amend the ordinance.

 

Commissioner Holder said this resolution is as of today’s date.  He said he did not think anything pending prior to today’s date would be affected and would go forth.  The Commissioner stated, “as far as the ‘emergency’ part, this Board will be the Board to determine whether an issue would be an emergency or in the best interest of the citizens.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked again if the M-1 kennel is not affected. 

 

Chairman Maddox said if we passed it yesterday, it is not affected.  He asked the Deputy County Attorney for her opinion.

 

Ms. Goodman said what was passed yesterday gave us direction to proceed with the Ordinance Amendments.  We would still need to place it on the Agenda, which this ordinance could make unclear the Board’s direction.

 

Commissioner Adams said since the Board agreed yesterday, it would be unfair to make the M-1 kennel applicant go through the process again. 

 

Commissioner Harper amended the motion to include #2 under the ‘Now Therefore’ to be that “the Ordinance which was tentatively approved yesterday granting the M-1 kennel zoning be exempted from this resolution.”  Commissioner Holman said he would amend his second. 

 

Commissioner Freedman asked if the impact fee issue would be a part of this Resolution. 

 

Commissioner Adams said the Board rescinded that yesterday.  He said it was not legal, and the Deputy County Attorney said there would be millions of dollars at stake. 

 

Commissioner Holder said the Board rescinded it with the authorization for it to go to Planning and Zoning.  He said the Board had to rescind it because a resolution cannot change an ordinance.  

 

Commissioner Harper said it is out of the Board’s hands now; it is going to the Planning Commission. 

 

Commissioner Harper said, “I call the question.”

 

Commissioner Holman said, “point of order.”

 

Commissioner Holman asked the Deputy County Attorney to share with the Board the procedure for ‘calling the question.’  He said it was his understanding to ‘call the question’ would require a motion and a second.  Commissioner Adams seconded the ‘call.’ 

 

Commissioner Holder was not clear on the ‘call.’  He said he was of the assumption that anything passed yesterday, being the M-1 kennel and also the impact date of collection, was either passed or action was taken on the impact to go back to Planning and Zoning and will not stop that process. 

 

The vote was taken on the ‘call;’ the motion carried 4-1-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holder, Holman and Adams voting in favor and Commissioner Freedman voting against. 

 

The vote was taken regarding the Resolution for the Future Ordinance Amendments; the motion carried 4-1-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holder, Holman and Adams voting in favor and Commissioner Freedman voting against the motion.

 

Proclamation for Kaitlyn Thacker.  Chairman Maddox said citizens hear about the people who get in trouble, but we do not hear about the people who have done good things, especially our youth.  The Proclamation was read as follows:

 

TO RECOGNIZE MS. KAITLYN THACKER

FOR RECEIVING A “TOP YOUTH AWARD”

FROM THE PRUDENTIAL SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AWARDS

 

WHEREAS, however effective government may be in serving the needs of its citizens, the soul of our County and its vitality as a place to live and work depends on the relationship of families, friends and neighbors;

 

WHEREAS, strengthening these bonds is not as much in the hands of institutions or governments as it is in the hearts of the people – individuals who volunteer to help people of all ages, races and religions cope with illnesses, overcome hardships and barriers, adjust to social changes, and fulfill their potential.  These volunteers are the unrecognized, unsung heroes of our society;

 

WHEREAS, Ms. Kaitlyn Thacker, age 13 of Ellenwood, who is an eighth-grader at Union Grove Middle School, organized an effort to make cards and banners to support and encourage American soldiers shipping out to Iraq.  More than 1,300 supportive messages were written by students from Henry County school, which letters were distributed to soldiers traveling on overseas flights;

 

WHEREAS, Ms. Thacker, recently named as one of our State’s top honorees in The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, exemplifies the value of volunteer community service, and is a role model to other youth as well as adults in our County; and

 

WHEREAS, Ms. Thacker contributed her time without expectation of reward, other than the gratification that comes from helping others.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED the Henry County Board of Commissioners wishes to recognize Ms. Kaitlyn Thacker and applaud her for her volunteer spirit.

 

Chairman Maddox asked Ms. Thacker to come forward and share anything she might like to say to the audience.  Pictures were taken of Ms. Thacker with the Board of Commissioners. 

 

Ms. Kaitlyn Thacker said her grandmother was a flight attendant on the planes taking soldiers over to Iraq.  Her grandmother told her they were feeling discomfort and were lonesome.  Ms. Thacker said it was her idea to encourage the students to make cards and banners to make the soldiers feel better about what they were doing for our Country.  She said she approached her counselor, and they organized the card fund to where the students made cards and had them placed on the planes so the soldiers could feel appreciated. 

 

Commissioner Freedman asked if they had received responses from the soldiers.

 

Ms. Thacker said the soldiers had responded, and her group has pen-pals and send them supplies.

 

Commissioner Holder said he had a comment that makes this special.  Kaitlyn is the daughter of Norman Thacker who is employed with the Henry County Water Authority.

 

Streetlights:

 

The owners of the following subdivisions have applied for the creation of a new streetlight district:

 

·        Autumn Lakes, Phase 5, 9 lights, 21 lots, Georgia Power, District III

·        Eagle’s Brooke, Unit 2, Phase 1, 2 lights, 16 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District II

·        Eagle’s Brooke, Unit 5, 5 lights, 28 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District II

·        Regents Park, 12 lights, 39 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District V

·        Dorsey Springs, 5 lights, 23 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District II

·        Parkview, Phase 2, 16 lights, 56 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District I

 

Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the streetlight districts; Commissioner Adams seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Adams, Holman, Freedman and Holder voting in favor of the motion.

 

Variance:

 

The Fitts Company, Inc. – Variance (VR-03-14) – Commissioner Holder, District I.    The Fitts Company, Inc., has applied for a variance (VR-03-14) to erect a second ground sign on a street without road frontage or a legal curb cut, at 530 Highway 20/81, in Land Lot 157 of the 7th District.  The Planning and Zoning Staff reviewed and recommended denial of the request. 

 

“My name is Steve Fitts and I am with the Fitts Company.  I am here on behalf of Peachtree National Bank.   The Bank got into some trouble regarding the entrance way and were having trouble with the driveway coming in there.  So at the last minute, they had to make a decision on this sign.  We asked the proper authorities to check over our plans, and at that time, they did not see any problems with it.  The Bank then authorized us to go ahead and manufacture the sign on that approval.  It took about thirty (30) days to get the official notice back of which signs were permitted, and this sign was not permitted.  Therefore, we have already fabricated this sign, and the Bank has paid us for it.  When the Bank originally started this project, they wanted a curb cut on Hwy 20/81, but it was denied.  If we had had that curb cut, then this sign would have been approved.”

 

Mr. Ray Gibson, Planning and Zoning Department, responded:  “The applicant originally submitted five (5) sign applications in January, 2003, and we approved four (4) of those signs.  One was denied, which was the second ground sign, due to the fact there was not a second curb cut on the subject property.  That is why the applicant is here today to obtain the variance.  Based on the Sign Ordinance under Section 3-7-237D regarding variances, this request does not meet those variance requirements.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked, “did you say they had not made the second curb cut?”

 

Mr. Gibson said, “yes, there are three (3) criteria for applying for a variance within the Sign Ordinance. 

 

1.      For O&I, C-1, C-2, C-3, M-1, and M-2 zoned properties greater than ten (10) acres in size.

 

2.      RM zoned properties greater than ten (10) acres.

 

3.      Interstate sign height.

 

Commissioner Freedman said they already have one (1) curb cut on Hwy 20/81.  He asked where they want the other curb cut?

 

Mr. Gibson said they have a curb cut on McDonough Parkway, not on Hwy 20/81.

 

Commissioner Holder clarified they already have four (4) approved and permitted signs for this location.  He asked if they were all for Peachtree Bank. 

 

Mr. Fitts said there is one free-standing sign, a set of letters over the entrance, a set of letters on the back of the building, and there is a drive-up ATM surround. 

 

Commissioner Holder asked if the applicant was given permission for a curb cut on Hwy 20/81 by the State DOT.

 

Mr. Fitts said, “no, the Bank said they were denied that, and they feel that is part of what caused their hardship in this situation.”

 

Mr. Gibson said the existing sign on the property is twenty-five (25’) high. 

 

Commissioner Freedman asked what the negative impact is if they were allowed to have the second sign. 

 

Commissioner Harper said, “your statement was you cannot see the sign from Hwy 20/81.  That is a twenty-five (25’) sign.”

 

Mr. Fitts said it is not visible from McDonough Park, but is visible from Hwy 20/81.  He said they did not have a curb cut on Hwy 20/81, and that is why they were told this cannot be done.  Mr. Fitts said they have two (2) street frontages, but only one curb cut. 

 

Commissioner Harper said his understanding is it would be a six (6’) foot by ten (10’) foot ground based monument sign.

 

Mr. Fitts said the sign has acrylic faces and is constructed of an aluminum base with plantings around it. 

 

Commissioner Freedman said he did not get any negative responses to his earlier question, other than not complying with the Ordinance.  He asked if there were any visual negatives or any sight-blocking negatives. 

 

Mr. Gibson said staff’s biggest concern was the one sign was adequate due to the location. 

 

Chairman Maddox asked if they got a curb cut off of McDonough Parkway, then would the request be approved.

 

Mr. Gibson said, “yes, if they had two (2) curb cuts this would be approved.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked Mr. Fitts if they were appealing the denial?

 

Mr. Fitts said to answer the question would be speaking on behalf of the Bank.  He said what he was told by the Bank, when they originally sited the property, was they wanted to put a curb cut in, and they were denied that curb cut because of the future widening of Hwy 20/81.  He said at present, there is no request to make a curb cut on Hwy 20/81.

 

Chairman Maddox asked even when the road is widened (and we know it is going to be widened), would there be a possibility later on for them to get another curb cut off Hwy 20/81?

 

Mr. Fitts said the Bank told him today the adjacent property owner is going to be allowed a curb cut on Hwy 20/81 when they begin developing the property. 

 

Commissioner Holder said the key to this is the corner lot; they are not going to allow a curb cut that close to an intersection.

 

Commissioner Holder made a motion to support the staff in recommending denial of this request; Commissioner Holman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Harper, Freedman, Adams and Holman voting to deny the request. 

 

Public Comments:

 

There was no one requesting to make a comment.

 

 

Board of Commissioners:

 

A Resolution Abandoning a Portion of a Public Road.  The Henry County Department of Transportation has filed with the Board of Commissioners of Henry County, Georgia, a Petition for Abandonment of a portion of a public road known as Old Jackson Road located in Land Lots 171 of the 7th District of Henry County, Georgia.

 

There was no opposition to this request. 

 

Commissioner Holder gave an update to the Board for this resolution:

 

“This is where the traffic signal is at Hwy. 81 and Old Jackson Road.  The darkened area on the plat is the property that we purchased because the road had to shift to the east for one hundred-fifty (150’) feet.  We purchased a remnant parcel which took frontage away from the property owner behind to the left of the darkened area on the plat.  According to the law, it needs to be offered to the adjoining property owner at the fair market value.”

 

Commissioner Holder moved to make this his motion; Commissioner Holman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Harper, Freedman, Holman and Adams voting in favor of the motion.

 

Resolution of the Henry County Board of Commissioners Pertaining to a Construction Project at North Forty Park.   Sealed bids were solicited to construct a concrete block concession building at North Forty Park.  Seven (7) vendors submitted bids for this purchase.  Robert Brothers Construction Company’s bid in the amount of $85,000 meets bid specifications and is recommended by departmental personnel.  Completion time for this project is sixty (60) calendar days from receipt of written Notice to Proceed.  This project is SPLOST-funded.

 

Chairman Maddox made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Harper seconded; the motion carried 6-0-0 with Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holman, Adams and Holder voting in favor of the motion.

 

Appointment to the Water Authority.   Commissioner Harper introduced Mr. Charles Mobley in the audience and said, “he is a friend of mine who I appointed to the Water Authority.  He has served faithfully over the past year and two months and has done a very good job.  Charles will be leaving the Water Authority at the end of February, 2004.  I want to thank him for his service in District III.  At this time, I would like to make a motion to appoint his replacement to be effective March 1, 2004 who is Mr. Ray Rainer of McDonough, Georgia.”

 

 Commissioner Holder seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holder, Holman, Adams and Freedman voting in favor of the motion.

 

Commissioner(s) Comments. 

 

Commissioner Freedman said,“yesterday and today we have had a couple of resolutions come up that were read, and we have not received a copy.  I would like to ask that before the Board considers, we all should have a copy of any resolution or proposal that comes up.”  He stated, at the very least, a copy should be placed at each Commissioner’s position on the podium prior to the meeting.

 

Commissioner Freedman made this a motion; Commissioner Adams seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Holman, Adams, Harper, and Holman voting in favor. 

 

Commissioner Holman said he would like to bring to the Board’s attention one of the ordinances passed yesterday, specifically the soil erosion, is tied to the Tree Ordinance.  He said this needs to be looked at or kept in our sight. 

 

Ms. Linda Angus, County Manager, said we received copies from EPD of the models for stormwater ordinances.  She said they will be addressed separately between now and April, and we will keep that in mind and take that off the record. 

 

Commissioner Holman said the fee schedule has a flaw regarding a $.50 charge. 

 

Ms. Goodman said, “this charge does not reflect actual cost as a two line ordinance could take more staff time than two pages.”

 

Approval of Minutes for the February 3rd Regular BOC Meeting.  Commissioner Holman moved to accept the Minutes of February 3, 2004 Regular Board of Commissioners’ Meeting; Commissioner Freedman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Freedman, Harper, Holder and Adams voting in favor. 

 

District IV Appointment to the Henry County Library Board.  Commissioner Adams said he would like to reappoint Mr. Mike Reis, and it will be a one (1) year appointment which started retroactively on January 1, 2004.  Commissioner Holman seconded.

 

Commissioner Freedman said he wanted to add that Commissioner Adams made a good choice by reappointing Mr. Reis.  He said he knew Mr. Reis on the Board before Commissioner Adams was elected to the BOC.  Commissioner Freedman said Mr. Reis has been an astute leader on the Library Board and serves District IV very well. 

 

Commissioner Holder cautioned the Board about making appointments that are not for the term of the office of that particular Board.  He thought the legislation that created each of these Boards is very specific in the fact that you appoint a person for the term of that office and not for just a one-year appointment. 

 

The vote was taken; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Holman, Harper, Holder and Freedman voting in favor. 

 

Upcoming Meetings:

 

1.      2/23/04 – 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. the Unified Development Code Meeting – CANCELLED.

 

2.      2/24/04 – 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. the Unified Development Code Meeting                               - CANCELLED.

 

(The above two meetings were rescinded and Staff Meetings will handle those issues.)

 

3.      3/01/04 – (Monday) - 9:00 A.M. Board of Commissioners Meeting.

 

4.      3/02/04 – (Tuesday) - 9:00 A.M. Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting.

 

Commissioner Holder moved to adjourn at 7:25 P.M. into Executive Session, in accordance with the provisions of O.C.G.A. 50-14-3, and other applicable laws, and pursuant to advice by Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney, for the purposes of discussing the acquisition of real estate, pending and /or potential litigation, and personnel matters.  Commissioner Adams seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Adams, Harper, Freedman and Holman voting in favor.

 

 

            An executive session was held.

 

            Commissioner Harper made a motion to reconvene into public session; Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Holman, Harper, Freedman, Adams and Holder in favor.

 

            Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve an affidavit pertaining to executive session in support of the Chairman; Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Holman, Harper, Freedman, Adams and Holder in favor.

 

            Commissioner Harper made a motion to adjourn (8:35 p.m.); Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Holman, Harper, Freedman, Adams and Holder in favor.

 

                                                            Leland Maddox, Chairman

 

Peggy L. Malcolm

Deputy County Clerk