STATE OF GEORGIA

 

 

COUNTY OF HENRY

  

The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a Regular Meeting on Tuesday, April 20, 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, District I Commissioner

                        Gary M. Freedman, District II Commissioner

                        Jason T. Harper, District III Commissioner

                        Gerry Adams, District IV Commissioner

 

Also attending were Linda Angus, County Manager; Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney; Susan B. Craig, County Clerk; Peggy Malcolm, Deputy County Clerk; Rob Magnaghi, Deputy County Manager and Public Safety Division Director; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; and others.

 

Chairman Maddox called the meeting to order and asked for an Acceptance to the Agenda.   Commissioner Holman moved to accept the Agenda with the following amendments.  “On our desk is a list of recommended amendment announcements; the first one is Fayette Environmental – Rezoning RZ-03-66 and has been removed from our Agenda and has been tabled.  They plan to pay the re-advertisement fee.  This is item #VIII-D on the published Agenda.  The other one is C & N Development – Rezoning RZ-03-54 and is under #VIII-A on the published Agenda and that has been removed.  Yesterday we had on our Agenda a Public Hearing for a partial road abandonment that was advertised for today, and we have no previous Agenda number for that, so I will leave it for us to make reference to on the handout sheet which is #2.  Also we are adding the April 14th Joint BOC/BOE Minutes which is under item #XI, the Approval of the Minutes, consisting of the 1st, 5th, 6th, and the 14th.   Under item #IX, the Agenda Amendments/Emergency, which is a ‘catch all’ for us when we get these last minute changes, there is a resolution approving the sale of vacant windows in the Heritage Barn Museum to raise funds for Veterans Wall of Honor, and we will call that item #IX-A.  I have also another resolution of the Henry County of Board of Commissioners concerning a censuring issue and we will call that item #IX-B.  Mr. Chairman, that concludes the amendments to the Agenda.”

 

Commissioner Holder said, “I would like to add, regarding item #2 on the handout, the amended portion of the Agenda concerning the partial road abandonment, the parties involved in this, Mr. Carreker and Mr. Fisher, are here along with Ms. McIntyre, and I would like for them to go outside before this comes up.  I have not met with them individually, and I would like some resolve to come to this before it comes up on our Agenda tonight.”

 

Commissioner Holman said the handout does not show us on our Agenda when the Chairman will call it.

 

Chairman Maddox made this item #IX-C.

 

Commissioner Freedman referenced item #VI-A regarding the change of a code.  “A couple of weeks ago I tried to get the amendment to the code for impact fees, and we agreed that would not be done because there was a change to the code and the code is being rewritten.  I said that was already in the pipeline, and the comment was made for us to wait until we redo the code and not piece mill it.  Yet, this is piece milling the code.”

 

Commissioner Holman said he agreed.  “This is a misunderstanding this Board had where a woman came in front and asked if we would consider in our unified code to allow dog kennels to be in M-1.  Somehow, we sent the message to staff to amend our ordinance.”

 

Commissioner Holman amended his amendment to the Agenda to strike item #VI-A and instruct staff to incorporate this in our Unified Code. 

 

Commissioner Freedman said he would like to add one item.  “Last night I tried to get Board approval to use some discretionary funds to get some trees planted as a buffer between two subdivisions on the new Highway 20.  The comment was made the funds are not there anymore.  The County Manager, Linda Angus, called me this morning and said the funds are there.  I had a copy of the resolution wherein the discretionary funds were abolished, and it said in the resolution that any funds that were designated for approval and any funds allocated would stay in the Special Projects Fund Account.  In fact, we passed that on May 5, 2003, with each Commissioner listing the funds he had allocated, and they were approved by the Board.  So I have the resolution and the motion from the Commissioners pertaining to their special projects approved for allocation.  The County Manager said all of the special project funds allocated and not used are still there.  I would like that back on the Agenda so we can get the trees in the ground while we still have time before the hot weather gets here.”

 

Commissioner Holman said he would be glad to amend the Agenda and we will call the trees item #IX-B. 

 

Chairman Maddox said he had a copy of the resolution.  “If you will read the fifth paragraph, I believe you will find those had to be spent.”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “no sir, it says allocated.

 

Chairman Maddox said we will discuss this when it comes up.

 

Commissioner Holman said there is an amended amendment to the Agenda that would be IX-E for a grant application for Alexander/Jonesboro Road Park.

 

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

 

Streetlights:

 

1.      1.      Autumn Lakes, Phase 4, 6 Lights, 21 lots, Georgia Power and Central Georgia EMC, District 3

2.      2.      Waterford Commons, 15 lights, 153 lots, Georgia Power and Central Georgia EMC, District 2

3.      3.      LeGuin Farm, 6 lights, 22 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District 1

4.      4.      Wildewood at Heron Bay, 16 lights, 63 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District 1

5.      5.      Chamlee Manor, 11 lights, 32 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 3

6.      6.      Hambrick Creek, Unit 1, 21 lights, 50 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 5

 

Commissioner Harper moved to approve Streetlights 1-6 as listed; Commissioner Adams seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Adams, Holder, Holman and Freedman voting in favor.

 

Huston Joyner – Resolution Denying a Modification of A Zoning Condition MC-04-01.

 

Huston Joyner has applied for a modification to a zoning condition for property located along the western side of Upchurch Road (Joyner Estates Subdivision, Phase III Unit II), in Land Lots 142 and 147 of the 7th District (“Parcel ID Number 140D”).  The Henry County Municipal Planning Commission reviewed and recommended denial of the request on March 25, 2004.  Mr. Andy Welch, Attorney, represented Joyner Family Partnership. 

 

“My name is Andy Welch and I am representing Huston Joyner and the Joyner Family Partnership.  This request is to modify the conditions set forth on Phase III of Joyner Estates Subdivisions.  There will be a one (1) acre lot requirement for the subdivision (Mr. Welch passed out diagrams to the Commissioners).”

 

“There needs to be a correction to the conditions stipulated.  The condition was the net density would be one (1) unit per acre as opposed to a one (1) acre lot.  As you can see, there are three (3) phases in this development.  Each phase has been developed in R-2 subdivision with 30,000 square foot lots as the minimum.  It is in Phase C, the last and final phase, which brings us here tonight.  In that phase, there is a portion of the development remaining of about 41 lots that have not been developed out of a total of 81 lots.  In that remaining portion of the development that has not been developed, a stop work order has been placed on it because of its condition.  The applicant has applied for the modifications of the condition to make the subdivision consistent with all the other phases of the subdivision so that it will be an R-2 subdivision as Phase I, Phase II and Phase III.  On the diagram before you it is labeled A, B, and C corresponding with the actual Phase I, II, and III.  The request is simply one of a matter of consistency; the applicant and the family as well as members of the community would like to see the remainder of Phase III developed as R-2 subdivision consistent with all the other lots in each of the Phases, and that is at 30,000 square foot minimums.  If you recall, the other condition set forth is a 15,000 square foot minimum house size, and minimum façade requirements of stone and brick.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked if anyone present was in opposition to this request.  No one spoke up from the audience.

 

Commissioner Harper said, “it is my understanding the Homeowners Association is not in opposition.  I understand the applicant would be willing to offer the following conditions to upgrade that portion to be all brick except for the soffit and facia boards.  Side-entry garage is standard and the minimum square footage instead of 1,500 feet, it will be an average of 2,500 minimum.” 

 

Mr. Welch agreed.

 

Commissioner Adams asked how many lots were there. 

 

Mr. Welch said 81 lots are in Phase III.

 

Commissioner Holder said, “there are only two (2) Commissioners sitting on the Board tonight that sat with Brian Williams the night that these conditions were put on this particular zoning.  Many of you in District III know that Brian was a person that certainly held close to him any zonings.  Had Brian Williams been concerned about the way Phases I and II were being built, there would have already been a stop order issued while he was still on this Board.  In my opinion, this is consistent with the intent that Brian Williams put on this particular zone.”

 

Commissioner Adams asked if a mistake had been made.

 

Commissioner Holder said, “the mistake or confusion that existed and continues to exist, and hopefully it will be corrected in the new plan, are houses built on one (1) acre lots or one (1) acre net density required.  It does not mean the same thing and many times is confusing.”

 

Commissioner Holman asked, “am I understanding this clearly that the applicant is suggesting a minimum of 2,500 square feet, side entry garages, a 30,000 square foot lot, and all sides brick?”

 

 

Mr. Welch answered, “it would be a 2,500 square foot average for the remainder of the subdivision; some of the homes could be 3,000 square feet and some of the homes could be 2,000 square feet.  You have to have some larger ones to off-set the smaller ones.”

 

Commissioner Holman responded, “so you wouldn’t allow 2,500 square feet to be the minimum house size of the remaining forty (40) lots?”

 

Mr. Welch said, “it is to provide some flexibility in terms of having some movement in the market to provide more homes that are significantly larger than others; the net will be the minimum house size on average will be 2,500 square feet and no less than that.  If you would prefer to put in a minimum that it cannot go below 2,000 square feet, then that would make sense, because I do not think that is something the developer can do.”

 

Commissioner Harper said, “we did not have the Minutes of this meeting in our Exhibit Book, but we do have them now, but initially when this came before us as an administrative issue, we did not approve it because it is a modification zoning condition.  The Minutes reflect the President of the Homeowners Association appeared in favor of the motion and actually wanted it passed.  The motion made by the Planning Commission was for denial (passed on a 4 to 3 vote), but the motion passed recommending strongly the Board of Commissioners consider the consistency of the neighborhood in passing the motion.  Mr. Welch has gone out and worked with them, and the homeowners are happy in the process or they would be here tonight.”

 

Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the modification of the zoning request with the conditions being that all homes be brick all sides except for the soffit and facia boards, the minimum square footage shall be 2,000 square foot heated with an average square footage throughout that phase of 2,500 square feet heated, and side-entry garages are standard.  Commissioner Holder seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holder, Adams, Freedman and Holman voting in favor.

 

Resolution Denying a Rezoning Request by Andy Bunn (RZ-03-63):

 

Mr. Andy Bunn has applied for a rezoning from RA (Residential Agricultural) to R-2 (Single-Family Residence) to permit the development of a residential subdivision, for property located near the intersection of Turner Church Road and Airline Road (Parcel ID Number 121-02-037-000) in Land Lot 75 of the 7th District.  The Henry County Municipal Planning Commission reviewed and recommended denial of the request on January 8, 2004.   The property consists of 32.0 +/- acres.  Mr. Andy Bunn came to the podium to speak.

 

“Presently the owner of the two hundred (200) acre tract on Airline and Turner Church Roads and the property is divided into three (3) parcels in terms of zoning.  I have one hundred forty two (142) acres tract with an R-2 zoning with conditions of sod to the rear drip, masonary fronts, 1,600, 1,800 and 2,000 square foot minimums, streetlights, sidewalks, etc.  I was asked to participate in intersection improvements at the time of that zoning, and I agreed to pay up to $30,000 for improvements at Turner Church and Airline Roads.  Commissioner Holder made a request that no CO’s be granted in this subdivision until such time as a sewer was in place and fully functional.  We intend to sewer this subdivision, so we agreed to that condition despite the fact sewer is not a condition of R-2 zoning.  Commissioner Crosby made a motion to approve this development with another stipulation that we would do everything we could to put in a second entrance.  There are quite a few lots for only one entrance; at that time, there was no regulation pertaining to that.  But it was a concern to a lot of people, including us.  We were then able to buy a sixty-five (65) acre tract of land from Mr. Wyman Crumbley on Airline Road which we can use to get another entrance into our property.  That property consists of thirty-four (34) acres of R-2 with no conditions whatsoever.  Between that tract and my other tract they are labeled on this board (shown on diagram), this is my one hundred forty two (142) acre tract.   My original request to the Planning and Zoning Board was to zone this property all the way through on the one hundred forty two (142) acre tract.  We were met with neighborhood opposition on that request, but we have reached a really good agreement and the neighborhood is happy with it.  We met with our builder and they are in agreement.  There are still some sensitive issues on this property such as wetlands and a cemetery on this property.  Both of those items will have to be addressed and are tightly regulated by State and Federal Regulations, and we will adhere to all of the regulations.  Also there has been concern about the sight distance on Airline Road.  Staff members of the County DOT went out and came to a decision that we did not have sight distance.  That individual was neither an engineer nor a surveyor, nor did he have a set of construction plans for the development.  My registered land surveyor has profiled the road and my property, and the engineer has certified we do have sight distance.  Of course those things will be checked very closely by the County as we go through the construction process.  If you have any questions, please ask me.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked if there was any opposition to this request.

 

“My name is Jimmy Carter and I live at 1658 Turner Church Road.  As Mr. Bunn has indicated, this is a fairly long road.  In different meetings a couple of months ago with the Planning and Zoning Commissioners, we had an adversarial relationship; there were people violently opposed to this project and there were people in support.  Since that time, many of us have gotten involved and have become acquainted with neighbors which was a pleasant experience.  Through numerous meetings with concerned citizens and Mr. Bunn and his staff, we have been able, through compromise, to come up with a proposal that we are willing to support.  We do not want to stop growth but we assume the position of trying to manage it so that the quality is there.  I want to express appreciation to the Bunn’s for their willingness to talk and negotiate, and I think this is an example of what can happen when someone proposes something that may not be desirable but gets input from property owners.”

 

Commissioner Holder said this is one of the first times in eight (8) years that he had seen a complete turn-around in a community.  “Jimmy, if you are responsible for it or Andy Bunn, somebody did a lot of homework and a lot of negotiating to come out with a positive impact on a community that was totally negative.”

 

“My name is Bruce Register and I am in support of the resolution drawn up after some lengthy compromise.  I only have one other concern and have spoken to Andy and Michael Elliott about it.  It is the entryway into the subdivision on Airline Road.  I know the DOT did a sight distance and an engineering study.  But I would like to go on record as I am still expressing some concern about the entryway, but I know it is not the responsibility of this Board for that area.  Due to the safety of the residents and people who travel that area, I hope there will be a proper sight distance entryway.”

 

“My name is Randy Stamey and I would like to reference #11.  He had put on there a tree buffer consisting of Leyland cypresses installed along the barrier property adjacent to my piece of property.  He put on there, ‘no Leyland cypress trees shall be planted no greater than 14 apart and shall be no less than 4 feet in height.’  I think Mr. Bunn and I came to the conclusion he was going to do that as well as the berm.  I would like to go on record to make a note on that, and I am in agreement with this resolution and appreciate Mr. Bunn working with us in negotiating.”

 

Commissioner Harper stated he approved of Mr. Stamey’s note concerning condition #11 referencing the tree buffer to include a berm with the trees along his property line.  Commissioner Harper said he would like to thank everybody, and made the motion to approve the rezoning of the property from RA to R2 subject to the following conditions (which conditions shall apply to the property subject to rezoning RZ-02-32 and all other property shown on the Master Plan (as defined below) as well as the pending rezoning request) which are imposed to ameliorate the negative effects of the rezoning on surrounding properties, subjects the rezoning:

 

1.      All homes shall have a minimum of 2,400 heated square feet for one level homes; 2,600 square feet for two-level homes; all homes shall have four sided masonry material for Pod 1 (as shown on the Master Development Plan for Longleaf Subdivision which is attached hereto and incorporated herein by this reference and referred to hereinafter as the “Master Plan”).  For Pod 2 as shown on the Master Plan, all one story homes shall have a minimum of 1,900 square feet with three sided masonry material, all two story homes in Pod 2 shall have a minimum 2,100 square feet with three sided masonry material.  Lots numbered 44 through 75 (in Pod 2) as shown on the enclosed plat shall be four sided masonry material.  Pod 3 shall have a minimum of 1,800 square feet for one story homes and 2,000 square feet minimum for two story homes.  All homes in Pod 3 as shown on the Master Plan shall have front facades of masonry material.

2.      Gentry Drive shall not be utilized as an entranceway to the proposed development on the subject property.

3.      A 40 foot undisturbed buffer will be placed around the perimeter of the entire property (including the property subject to Rezoning RZ02-32 and all other property shown on the Master Plan) with the exception of a small area near the rear of the lots in Gentry Drive.  This area will be used as a diversion swale in order to satisfy concerns as stated in item seven.  All waters of the state will have a 25 foot undisturbed buffer along each side as required by the Georgia EPD and by the Henry County Subdivision Ordinance. 

4.      No trees shall be cut or removed except for the construction of the streets, associated infrastructure, homes, driveways, etc.  Tree save areas shall be established and maintained at the rear of some lots to minimize the impact.  There will be no clear cutting of trees or mass grading of lots. 

5.      A minimum of 20% of the total property shall be preserved as greenspace that will be set aside in permanent conservation. 

6.      A mandatory homeowners association will be created prior to the recording of the final plat for the development.  The homeowners association will be self-sustaining, with yearly dues, and will have strict covenants governing the use of the property.

7.      The drainage design for the development will be done in such a manner so as to minimize the amount of runoff being directed onto the lots on Gentry Drive.  Moreover, the amount of runoff will be less than the existing condition as a result of development of the property.  A drainage swale will be constructed along the rear of the lots on Gentry Drive so to direct the stormwater runoff into the floodplain of Kalves Creek rather than onto the adjacent properties.

8.      An amenity package shall be provided for residents within the proposed development

9.      Each entrance to the development, both on Airline Road and Turner Church Road, will have an 80 foot boulevard entrance with a divided median entrance.

10.  The minimum lot size for the development will be 18,000 square feet.

 

11.  A tree buffer, consisting of Leyland Cypress trees shall be installed along the boundary of the property adjacent to land currently owned by Randy Stamey.  The Leyland Cypress trees shall be planted no greater that 4 feet apart and shall be no les than 4 feet in height when planted.

12.  Net density shall not exceed 1.8 dwelling units per acre for the entire Master Plan development.

13.  The following conditions, as imposed in RZ-02-32 shall be imposed upon the property:

 

-                     Homes shall be built on site; no modular homes will be allowed;

-                     Sidewalks shall be installed on both sides of all streets;

-                     All yards shall be sodded to the rear drip line of the house;

-                     Underground utilities;

-                     Developer shall install accel/decal lanes as required by the Henry County Department of Transportation;

-                     Developer shall contribute $30,000 to intersection improvements to the intersection of Airline and Turner Church Road;

-                     No building permits shall be issued to allow the construction of any houses on the property until the sewer is installed, inspected, and ready to be used as a public utility.

 

Commissioner Adams seconded.

 

Commissioner Freedman referenced #5, “would you indicate greenspace to be set aside for permanent conservation to be deeded to the Homeowners Association as part of your motion?”

 

Commissioner Harper amended the motion to include the 20% greenspace to be deeded to the Homeowners Association.  Commissioner Adams amended his second.

 

Mr. Ray Gibson, Planning and Zoning, asked if he could add to a condition.  “In #12 which states ‘net density shall not exceed 1.8 dwelling units per acre for the entire development,’ it should state, ‘net density shall not exceed 1.8 dwelling units per acre for the Master Plan development.” 

 

Commissioner Harper amended his motion to include the change in #12; Commissioner Adams amended his second.

 

Commissioner Holman commented on Bruce Register’s concerns regarding the intersection.  “There was a resolution shared with me that indicated the developer would contribute $30,000 for an intersection improvement.  Is that still on the table?”

 

Mr. Bunn answered, yes.

 

The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Adams, Holder, Holman and Adams voting in favor.

 

Resolution Denying a Rezoning Request of Triad Investments (RZ-03-64):

 

Triad Investments (RZ-03-64) has applied for a rezoning from RA (Residential Agricultural) and R-1 (Single-Family Residence) to R-2 (Single-Family Residence) to permit the development of a residential subdivision, for property located on the south side of Turner Church Road, to the east of Airline Road in Land Lot 107 of the 7th District.  The property consists of 32.0 +/- acres, and the Henry County Municipal Planning Commission reviewed and recommended denial of the request on January 8, 2004. 

 

Mr. Frank Potts came to the podium to speak. 

 

“There is a total of thirty-four (34) acres, twenty-four (24) of which was the back part of The Lakes subdivision which I did not develop the first two (2) units, but was fortunate to purchase the land for the third unit.  Regarding the creek that comes off the back of the spillway of The Lakes, we were prohibited to cross to get into this twenty-four (24) acres, so we found an alternate way to another thoroughfare in order to do a completely different subdivision.  By doing so, we added ten (10) acres out to Turner Church Road and have worked with Mr. Bunn to tie into his sewer on his project that extends to Walnut Creek.  We have proposed for fifty-seven (57) lots, and we have been in meetings with the citizens of that area.   We have met with Mr. Carter and Mr. Stamey and have a letter of agreement to raise the standards/bar and to keep the quality of home values and quality of life in this area to a standard that will increase.   As we develop, we recommend the house sizes to be a minimum of 2,500 square feet heated space.  Homes shall be built on site (no modular homes allowed), two-car garages with side entry standard, sidewalks to be installed on both sides of the street, all homes be four (4) sides brick, stucco or stone or a combination thereof, developer shall install accel and decel lanes in accordance with Henry County DOT, no permits shall be issued until sewer is made available to the site, Phase III of The Lakes subdivision will be re-platted by the developer prior to final platting of this proposed subdivision, and all homes be sodded yards to the rear drip line of the home.  We have reduced our lot count to fifty-two (52) lots, and have given up five (5) lots to accommodate less traffic.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked what the net density was with fifty-two (52) lots.

 

Mr. Potts answered, “he did not have a calculator, but I think we are around two (2) to the acre (100 foot wide minimum lot size).”

 

Commissioner Holman commended Mr. Potts for making his request personally instead of having an attorney make the presentation.  Commissioner Holman said he was not clear on what the net density of ‘2’ is, and asked for the minimum lot size.

 

Mr. Potts responded, “I think on R-2 sewer, the minimum lot size is 18,000 square feet, which would be 100 feet wide by 180 feet deep.  The net density is calculated by taking the gross acreage, less the right-of-way areas for the proposed streets, less any flood plain and retention ponds, and taking that acreage as it shrinks from 34 down to some number, dividing it by the number of lots and coming up with that ratio.”

 

Commissioner Holman said, “in a certain area where you have developed, an acceleration or deceleration lane interfered with a driveway.  Will you have that type of impact on any of the neighbors of this development?”

 

Mr. Potts answered no.

 

Chairman Maddox asked if anyone was present in opposition of this request.  There was no response.

 

Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the rezoning of Triad Investments for property located on the south side of Turner Church Road east of Airline Road from RA and R-1 to R-2 subject to the following conditions:

 

1.      The house sizes will be a minimum of 2,500 square feet of heated space.

2.      Homes shall be built on site; no modular homes will be allowed.  Two car garages (side-entry) will be standard.

3.      Sidewalks to be installed on both sides of the street.

4.      All homes will be all sides brick, stone or stucco or any combination thereof.

5.      Developer shall install acceleration / deceleration lanes in accordance with the Henry County Department of Transportation standards.

6.      No permits shall be issued until sewer is made available on-site.

7.      Phase III of The Lakes subdivision will be re-platted by the developer prior to the final platting of the proposed subdivision.

8.      All homes will have sodded yards to the rear drip line of the home.

9.      There will be a maximum of 52 lots in the subdivision.

 

Commissioner Freedman seconded, and commended the builder/developer for raising the standards.  “This is a beautiful subdivision; you could have gone with a higher density in R-2; you have dropped it down to 52 (about 2 units per acre) and therefore have raised the standards and an admirable one.  Based on what the Planning and Zoning Board recommended which was even much less, you have raised your own bar.”

 

Commissioner Holder said he did not want to give the builder all the glory, because had it not been for the people sitting out here and the neighborhood effort, those standards probably would not have been raised.  He said this is a good example of what the community working together can do.

 

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

 

 

Resolution Approving a Rezoning Request of Ron Reeser – (RZ-03-67):

 

Ron Reeser of Atlanta, Georgia requests a rezoning from RA (Residential Agricultural) to C-2 (General Commercial) for property located along the eastern side of State Route 155 South, and north of Hampton-Locust Grove Road, in Land Lots 210 and 211 of the 2nd District.  The property consists of 14.3 +/- acres and the request is for a commercial subdivision.  The Henry County Municipal Planning Commission reviewed and recommended approval of the request on February 12, 2004. 

 

The Henry County Planning Commission approves the rezoning request with the following conditions:

 

 1. All buildings shall be constructed of brick, stone, stucco, glass or any combination thereof. The Department of Development Plan Review shall have approval of the architectural plans.      

2.   All signage, not attached to a building, shall be monument-based and shall have consistent character and design details that reflect the architectural design of the project.

3.      An exterior lighting plan shall require all lighting to be of moderate brightness and downcast.

4.      Dumpster(s) shall be gated and enclosed with a three-sided masonry wall being consistent with the façade of the building.

5.      All access to the proposed lots shall be interior to the development.

6.      Within the required planted buffers of forty feet (40’) and twenty feet (20’) the existing vegetation shall be preserved, and where appropriate, additional vegetation shall be provided for adequate screening.  Additional vegetation shall be comprised of the following plant materials for each fifty linear feet (50’), or portion thereof, or as determined by the Planning Staff:

a)      One (1) Canopy Tree

b)      One (1) Evergreen Tree

c)      One (1) Understory Tree

d)      Five (5) Shrubs

7.   The proposed commercial development shall exclude laundromats, taxi offices, pawn-

              shops, mortuaries, commercial kennels for the boarding of pets, and mobile home sales         

 lots.

        8. The applicant shall submit a traffic impact study before the request is heard by the

      Board of Commissioners.

 

 Mr. Reeser approached the podium to speak.

 

“My name is Ron Reeser with the Eagle Group, and we have owned this property for awhile.  We rezoned the property across the street in 2002, and we planned the access to both properties with curb cuts matching.  We have set it up to where we can access Hampton-Locust Grove Road through another property creating a spine road through it.  We do not have any curb cut outs on the road except for our road cuts, so the State DOT is happy about it.  We agree to all of the conditions, and we ask the Board to respectfully approve our application.”

There was no opposition to this request.

Commissioner Adams asked what business was going in at this location.

Mr. Reeser said, “several people have made offers, but the kind of buildings and retail that we want to put in there will be like a village retail which generates higher rents.  The actual uses, the market place will tell us.”

Commissioner Freedman said he had one change for condition #7.  Commissioner Freedman moved to approve the rezoning from RA to C-2 for a development of a commercial subdivision with the conditions listed #1 through #8 with an amendment to #7 to add an addition to the exceptions ‘used car/truck sales lots and funeral home.’  Commissioner Holman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Holman, Harper, Holder and Adams voting in favor of the motion.

 

 

Resolution Approving a Rezoning Request of Ron Reeser (RZ-03-68):

 

Mr. Ron Reeser has applied for a rezoning from RA (Residential Agricultural) to M-1 (Light Manufacturing) to permit the development of self-storage facilities, for property located along the eastern side of State Route 155 and to the north of Hampton-Locust Grove Road in Land Lots 210 and 211 of the 2nd District (Parcel ID Number 097-01-001-002).  The property consists of 2.94 +/- acres and the request is for a self-storage facility. The Henry County Municipal Planning Commission reviewed and recommended approval of the request on February 12, 2004.  The Henry County Planning Commission approves the rezoning request with the following conditions:

 

1.   All buildings shall be constructed of brick, stone, stucco, glass or any combination thereof. The Department of Development Plan Review shall review the architectural plans.  

2.   All signage, not attached to a building, shall be monument-based and shall have consistent character and design details that reflect the architectural design of the project.

3. An exterior lighting plan shall require all lighting to be of moderate brightness and      downcast.

4.   Dumpster(s) shall be gated and enclosed with a three-sided masonry wall being consistent with the façade of the building.

5.     An eight foot (8’) high decorative fence, consisting of brick, stone, or stucco, shall be provided around the perimeter of the proposed building area, as shown on the site plan.

6.      Within the required planted buffer the existing vegetation shall be preserved, and where

 appropriate, additional vegetation shall be provided for adequate screening. Additional     

 vegetation shall be comprised of the following plant materials for each fifty linear feet 

 (50’), or portion thereof, or as determined by Staff:

 

 One (1) Canopy Tree

a)      One (1) Evergreen Tree

b)      One (1) Understory Tree

c)      Five (5) Shrubs.

7.   The proposed development shall be limited to self-storage facilities. All other uses permitted within the M-1 zoning district shall be prohibited.

8.   The applicant shall submit a traffic impact study before the request is heard by the Board     

        of Commissioners.

 

Mr. Reeser said, “I had the market place come to me stating they wanted to do a mini warehouse in this particular area.  I told them to have it approved, it needs to be off the highway and screened in the back where it is not seen.  I devised a plan where the mini warehouse would be located four hundred (400’) feet off State Route 155 on the spine road.  We have agreed to all the conditions to put an eight (8’) foot score blocked wall around the mini warehouse, and to heavily buffer it, but we still did not receive approval from Commissioner Freedman because he just does not want mini warehouses there.  But I have got to give the best presentation possible, and there is no better way to do a mini warehouse than to place it in the back and screen it off.  The zoning code calls for a seventy-five (75’) foot frontage for a mini warehouse, so that zoning code dictates that you have to get them up there to the street.  In condition #1, the buildings within the structure would be made of steel, versus having glass, stone or stucco, because they are interior to the project.  The exterior of the project would be scored blocks (stone or block), but the landscape plans are extensive and whatever block wall there is would be covered up anyway.  I ask you as a Board to approve this project as an example of how a mini warehouse should be done.”

 

There was no opposition to this request.

 

Commissioner Holder asked, “are you familiar with what is in the rear of this property?”

 

Commissioner Freedman said it was pretty junky.

 

Commissioner Holder answered his question and said a railroad track.  “I do not know a better place to have a mini warehouse.  Why did the market come to Mr. Reeser?  You have Eagle Brook, Mallard’s Landing and Heron Bay consisting of about two thousand (2,000) homes where people will be coming in and out and needing this service.  Where could there be a better place, against an abandoned railroad track on a spine road 400 feet back, to build this project?”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “most of the things in that area are residential communities.  I have called a couple of people who operate mini warehouses, and they tell me their biggest customers are people who live in apartments.  I do not think this is a place for mini warehouses.”

 

Mr. Reeser commented, “what I would like if we make a resolution to pass this, is to adhere to all the requirements with the exception of being able to put the interior buildings as steel buildings, because to make them brick, stone, or stucco, they would never be seen by anybody unless they go into the gate.  The other request, which would really be a building permit item regarding the phasing of brick, stone, stucco or score block all around the perimeter of the property, we would like to put a chained fence for Phase I until Phase II is built.”

 

Commissioner Freedman made a motion to disapprove rezoning from RA to M-1 and in lieu of that, recommended approval for C-3 with the stated conditions listed on the earlier rezoning which abuts this with the two (2) changes made on the used car/truck lots and funeral home, but all other conditions would apply.  Commissioner Adams seconded.  The motion failed 2-3-0 with Commissioners Freedman and Adams voting in favor, and Commissioners Holder, Harper, and Holman voting against. 

 

Commissioner Holder made a motion to approve with the eight (8) conditions staff has presented with an amendment.  In condition #1, all exterior walls and buildings are to be constructed of brick, stone, stucco or glass or any combination thereof.  Also the interior buildings may be built of steel.  Also the Department of Plan Review shall review the architectural plans.  With that amendment, I would agree with the other conditions #2 through #8 including the fence on the back for Phase I until Phase II is built.  Commissioner Harper seconded.  The motion carried 3-2-0 with Commissioners Holder, Harper and Holman voting in favor and Commissioners Adams and Freedman voting against.

 

 

Resolution Approving the Sale of Vacant Windows in the Heritage Barn Museum to Raise Funds for the Veterans Wall of Honor:

 

A museum has been created in Henry County within Heritage Park and is designed with vacant windows facing the interior of the building for decorative purposes.  A Veterans Wall of Honor has been approved for Heritage Park, and funds are being raised for its construction.  The decorative windows within the park could be sold to raise funds by designating the names of the families who purchase each window by putting the name in each pane of glass installed or next to the pane depicting scenes from Henry County.  The windows can be sold for $1,000 each pane for a total sum of $22,000.  The net profits from the sale can be designated towards construction of the Veterans Wall of Honor. 

 

Commissioner Harper explained, “instead of the County paying to do anything by installing panes in the windows, we would instead have people purchase the windows.  We would either have stained glass or tempered glass depicting scenes (Henry County Courthouse, the Hampton Train Depot, etc.) of Henry County along with the family’s name under the window who sponsored the window, or actually have the founding families’ names in those windows as they purchase them and remit those funds to the County.   The motion is we would authorize the staff to sell each of the windowpanes for $1,000 each with the net profits to be dedicated to the construction of the Veterans Wall of Honor in Heritage Park.  Commissioner Adams seconded.  

 

Commissioner Holman stated, “I have heard of other similarities of selling bricks, for example, and collecting money for the County, but I am wondering if there could be any problems.”

 

Ms. Angus replied, “we will account for anything you ask us to account for; we will set up a separate account.”

 

Commissioner Freedman questioned setting up a separate account.  “A separate account is a trial and adversity.  You have to do audits of it; you have to follow accounting principles, and I do not know if that can be separated from the General Fund legally.  It is a ‘bear’ to do that, and I have asked this question before and strongly recommended we not establish separate accounts within County Government.”

 

Ms. Angus said, “once you involve the County in it, it is no longer a simple issue.”

 

Commissioner Holder said this is a wonderful idea.  But once the County gets involved, it becomes convoluted and nothing is simple.  “Why don’t you allow the Henry County Historical Society to sell the windows.  They are putting them in our building and let them handle it.  Then we do not have to get involved in it and it makes it a lot simpler and the purpose will be the same.”

 

Commissioner Harper amended his motion to leave it as it stands, but make an alternative that if the County Manager and the Finance Department deems that it is in the best interest to utilize the 501(c)(3) status of the Veterans Wall of Honor, then it may be authorized to do that as the alternative.  Commissioner Adams amended his second. 

 

Commissioner Freedman stated, “a year ago we started a brick program for the Military Memorial Trail at Mt. Carmel Park, and somebody followed up that it was a good idea and came up with a secondary brick program, so we ended up with at least two (2) brick programs in the County.  It looks like we are trying to compete for who is going to sell the most bricks.  The Recreation Department is left out of the loop on at least one of them.  I was told one of the Commissioners told them another organization was handling Heritage Park, and I find that is strange because the Recreation Department is suppose to head up our parks.  We should allow the Recreation Department look through these ideas so we do not end up with duplicating efforts.”

 

Commissioner Harper stated, “this is a purely voluntary effort that I have had no part of other than attend three (3) of their meetings and do the incorporation for them for free.  They asked for the space at Heritage and I did not say no.”

 

Commissioner Freedman replied, “this should not be your choice; it should be the Recreation Department’s choice.”

 

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

 

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

 

 

RESOLUTION OF THE HENRY COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

CENSURING COMMISSIONER GARY FREEDMAN:

 

WHEREAS, the Henry County Board of Education is constructing the Red Oak Elementary School to serve the citizens of Henry County; and

 

WHEREAS, comprehensive plans for the Red Oak Elementary School, including drainage and erosion control plans, were submitted to and approved by the Henry County Department of Plan Review; and

 

            WHEREAS, construction of the Red Oak Elementary School has progressed in accordance with the approved plans; and

 

WHEREAS, on or about April 12, 2004, a Notice of Additions or Corrections was placed on the Red Oak Elementary School project requiring the Board of Education to make certain changes to the drainage structures on the property which were not required by the approved plans; and

 

WHEREAS, the Notice of Additions or Corrections was placed by Ronnie Jones, an employee of the Henry County Department of Building Inspections; and

 

WHEREAS, such employee was instructed by Commissioner Gary Freedman to serve the Notice of Additions or Corrections to satisfy an adjacent landowner; and

 

WHEREAS, Section 2-2-219(A)(1) prohibits any member of the Board of Commissioners from directing any county employee to do a job or perform a task; and

 

WHEREAS, Commissioner Freedman directed Ronnie Jones to inspect the Red Oak Elementary School project, and to order changes in the drainage facilities installed by the Board of Education; and

 

WHEREAS, Section 2-2-219(A)(4) of the Code of Henry County prohibits any member of the Board of Commissioners from directing any employees of the Department of Building Inspections to “stop work in progress” or to “in any way influence a matter pending in that department”; and

 

WHEREAS, Commissioner Freedman influenced the inspections of the Red Oak Elementary School, a matter pending in the Department of Building Inspections, by directing Ronnie Jones to inspect the Red Oak Elementary School project and directing Ronnie Jones to issue the Notice of Additions or Corrections; and

 

WHEREAS, Commissioner Freedman has violated Section 2-2-219(A)(1) and Section 2-2-219(A)(4) of the Code of Henry County;

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AND IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners that, in accordance with Section 2-2-219 of the Code of Henry County, Georgia, Commissioner Gary Freedman is hereby CENSURED for the following actions:

 

1.         Directing a county employee to do a job or perform a task, in violation of Section 2-2-219(A)(1); and

2.         Stopping work in progress and/or interfering with a matter pending in the Department of Building Inspections, in violation of Section 2-2-219(A)(4).

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this public Censure shall be and become part of the public records of Henry County, Georgia.

 

Chairman Maddox stated he brought this matter up last week when the Board of Commissioners met with the Board of Education.  He said the issue was discussed and Commissioner Freedman said, according to the Minutes, “the water was washing down on their parking lot and washing it away.”  Chairman Maddox said Commissioner Freedman asked him if he had visited the site and the Chairman had not.  On Friday morning Commissioner Adams and Chairman Maddox visited the site and made arrangements for the inspector in the Building Department and the Building Department Director to meet them and explain what this notice was.  “I asked if the plans that were issued, were in accordance with their inspections, and they said it was.  Then I asked them again out on the site.  I was told they had done 50% more on directing the water, and there was less water on the property prior to any building next door.   I would like to read the Notice of Corrections and Additions in an effort to contain the excessive amount of water flowing after a rainfall to the back yard of the property of the House of Prayer Church.  It is directed the following to be done:

 

·        Install an open side tabletop inlet at end of riff raff.

·        Install an 18” pipe from inlet to head wall at the property line between the Church and the Daycare Center.

·        Remove drainage structures and any buried pipes in the backyard of the Church.

·        Fill in holes and landscape property that is disturbed to its original state.

·        All work must be completed and inspected before a final inspection is done.”

 

“On January 3, 2003, the Board of Commissioners approved an Ordinance (2-2-219(A)(1) and (2-2-219(A)(4) which is our code that no Commissioner is to go and tell any employees of the County what to do without (Chairman began reading) …..direct any department head or County employee to do a job or perform a task, any such request shall be made through the County Manager.  Once such request is made to the County Manager, then the Commissioner shall follow up with the County Manager regarding the performance of the work.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit a Commissioner from asking a department head or employee for the status of the project or work being performed.”   Chairman Maddox asked for a motion.

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion to give Commissioner Freedman an opportunity for discussion; Commissioner Adams seconded for discussion.

 

Commissioner Freedman stated, “Chairman Maddox, you suffer a posity of intellect to draft such a document.  So I will ask some questions.  First, who drafted the document?”

 

Chairman Maddox said, “Pardon?”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked again, “who drafted the document? I know you do not have the capability; who did?”

 

Chairman Maddox said, “You are absolutely right, Mr. Freedman.  Our County Attorney drafted this.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did you have the courtesy or the ethics to inform me of this politically inspired act prior to this incident?”

 

Chairman Maddox answered, “I did on Wednesday night of last week.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did you have the courtesy or the intellect to inform me that you were going to do this, what you just did?   A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would be sufficient.”

 

Chairman Maddox stated, “you have another question?”

 

Commissioner Freedman restated, “a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ Mr. Maddox.”

 

Chairman Maddox stated, “I brought this before this Board on Wednesday of last week when the Board of Education was highly upset……….”

 

Commissioner Freedman replied, “you are not answering my question.”

 

Chairman Maddox answered, “well, I am not going to answer it.”

 

Again Commissioner Freedman asked, “did you have the courtesy or the intellect or the ethics to inform me of this politically inspired act of this censorship prior to this incident?   Yes or no, Mr. Maddox?   I want an answer, Mr. Maddox.  I think you have answered the question.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked Ronnie Jones from the Building Department to come to the podium.

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “first of all, were you directed by me or by your department head to come to the site where you met me?”

 

Mr. Jones replied, “I was directed by my Director, Doug Gilbert.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did I direct you at any time to come out there?”

 

Mr. Jones replied, “No sir, you did not.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did I direct you to stop work order or issue a stop CO on that school?”

 

Mr. Jones replied, “No sir, you did not; I just simply asked a question and you answered my question.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “was the water from the impervious surface namely the roof and the parking lot and the road from that school washing onto that small church property?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “that is correct; it was.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “had it literally, prior to the installation of straw bales, dislodged the sod in that church’s property?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “that is correct; it was.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “and it went at such a force, it literally tore the sod up?”

 

Mr. Jones responded, “it did quite some damage, yes.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did the school install hay bales in the ditch with riff raff search stone in it?”

 

Mr. Jones responded, “they did.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did that search stone and that straw bale end in the middle of that church’s property?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “it did.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “where did the water go after it exited that search stone and that straw bales?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “initially, it would have impacted their sewer system and their drainage lines.”

 

Commissioner Freedman stated, “so it continues to have the same problem of going on to the church property, is that right?”

 

Mr. Jones responded, “that is correct.  Based on the field analysis, we determined there was a flaw in the design and not in the hydrology itself.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “while I was with you, did I ask you for a solution to that problem?”
 

Mr. Jones answered, “yes, you did.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did you suggest, on your own, that an underground pipe hooked to that could alleviate the problem?”

 

Mr. Jones said, “based on our conversation and the conversations I have had with Ms. Frances Faulkner, who initiated a lot of contacts to our office about this, the lady was unwilling to allow us to do any work and allowed the water to cross her property.  The only option she would accept would be to pipe the water.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did I call Ms. Faulkner, who is a Deacon in that church, on the telephone while you were there, put you on the speaker and asked her if that was a solution, would she allow you on her property?”

 

Mr. Jones said, “that is correct, you did.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did she say ‘yes’ she would if that was the solution?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “she did.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did I  then call the Vice-Chairman of the School Board and asked her if the School Board would be willing to take part in remedying that situation?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “you did.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “and did she then say that she would take it to Mr. Guimarin and also that YOU should take it to Mr. Guimarin to see if they would help resolve that problem?

 

Mr. Jones answered, “that is correct.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did I also say if the School Board would not fund it, I would try to fund at least one-half of it, but I did not want them to know that until you asked them the question?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “that is correct.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did you think I was trying to find a solution to help that church that was being flooded up?”

 

Mr. Jones said, “I did.”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “you are here today……were you directed to come here today?”

 

Mr. Jones said, “I was.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “who directed you to come here today?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “my Director.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “who directed him?”

 

Mr. Jones replied, “you’ll have to ask him, sir.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “were you directed by Mr. Maddox to come here by yourself (from him to you)?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “No, sir.”

 

Commissioner Freedman thanked Ronnie Jones.

 

Commissioner Freedman stated, “Mr. Maddox, all of your allegations are fabricated, politically motivated, and untrue.  Being singled out for political reasons, I demand an independent counsel be appointed to investigate.  Were there other Commissioners who allegedly have done the same thing?  Were there other Commissioners who met as a group in secret to direct employees to do certain actions, by the violation of the Open Meetings Act?  Were there certain Commissioners that directed the hiring of employees in return for political favors, which is a potential violation of Federal Law (the Equal Opportunity Employment Act)?  Were there other Commissioners that received gratuities in return for government contracts?  Were there certain Commissioners who gave direct instructions regarding SPLOST or related projects, which you’ve done tonight also violates my right to Due Process and that I did not receive any prior notice of these allegations to prepare to refute these bogus charges, and to respond to your politically motivated fabrications?  And that is my comment, Mr. Maddox.”

 

Chairman Maddox said, “is there anything else you would like to say?”

 

Commissioner Holman said, “I’d like to.  I believe that Commissioner Freedman has brought a very good point in that we should have language in the Ordinance that spells out what is expected of this Board if we bring a censure.  If one of the Board Members is not in compliance with our Ordinance, there should be some mechanism, and I agree that a ‘heads up’ would be in order.”

 

Chairman directed his question to Mr. Jones, “had the School Board complied with the plans that were filed?”

 

Ronnie Jones answered, “that have.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked, “did you do any other addition to what the plans called for?”

 

Ronnie Jones replied, “yes sir, we did.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked, “did I ask you in the meeting we had prior to going out there (and I did not call that meeting, but I was there) if what you had done was more than what the plans called for?”

 

Ronnie Jones answered, “yes sir.”

 

Chairman Maddox said, “what you went back and done after you found the disposal of water went down and turned, I am assuming you or someone from the School Board made a berm up?”

 

Ronnie Jones answered, “that is correct.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked, “then did ya’ll put additional riff raff further down from where you had previously had it?”

 

Ronnie Jones answered, “yes sir.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked, “did he direct that the notice be issued and no final inspection prior to them taking possession of the School?”

 

Ronnie Jones answered, “I asked Commissioner Freedman if we should hold a final on the school until the problem had been resolved.  His answer to me was, ‘yes.’

 

Chairman Maddox asked if any other Board Member had any questions.

 

Commissioner Freedman requested a follow-up. 

 

Chairman Maddox said, “well I ask you now……..Mr. Freedman, I have the floor.  I asked Mr. Freedman if he had any other questions; his response was ‘no.’

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “actually, I did not answer; I looked at you, but as a follow-up to his question………….First of all, Mr. Maddox, it is a point that you would put an employee on a spot like this.  You have demoralized our employees to the point where they are afraid to do their jobs; you have demoralized them to the point you put them between Commissioners for politically motivated reasons, and you should be censured just for doing that itself.  I know our employees do not appreciate it, and I do not appreciate it, and this Board should find it repugnant to make an employee to stand up here and face off between two (2) Commissioners.  You should be ashamed of yourself; but I know you do not have any shame, so I am not going to worry about that.  When you (Ronnie Jones) talked about stopping something, what was my interpretation of what you were talking about?  Do you know?”

 

Mr. Jones answered, “what I meant when I asked you about a ‘final’ was for the entire site.  A school cannot be issued a CO until all phases of construction are completed and approved, and one of those approvals would be for the site work itself.  So my question was, ‘should we hold off a final on the school until this drainage issue was resolved, because drainage is tied to the site work, and you simply answered me with ‘yes’ we should resolve this.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “did I ever indicate to you that I thought we meant final solution to that problem?”

 

Mr. Jones said, “no.”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “Ronnie has already said he was not directed, but I think, Mr. Maddox, you directed him to be here and to be out there, and that is a violation.”

 

Chairman Maddox said, “you can think whatever you want to.”

 

Commissioner Holder said he did not have a question, but would like to make a comment.  “This is politics at its very worst.  I have been around along time.  I do not think there is one Board Member (myself included) sitting here tonight that can say as far as totally complying with the Code of Ethics adopted in January, 2003, that we have all followed it completely.  One thing it says in there is before censure I believe you have to have an official reprimand.”

 

Chairman Maddox said it does not reference that in the Code we passed.

 

Commissioner Holder continued, “o.k., then I am wrong.  But regardless, I knew nothing about the censorship; these things really make this Board, to the general public that hears it, have very little credibility in us.  It is not good for anybody……..I think it is an embarrassment.  It is election season, but these are things that need to be taken care of not in the public meeting.  I can assure you there have been things in violation of this Code of Ethics just as bad or worse than what we have just talked about.”

 

Commissioner Adams stated, “why don’t we table this until the first week of May, and then Commissioner Freedman will have a ‘heads up’ and we can move on?   Just a thought.”

 

Commissioner Freedman stated, “I do not think we need to table a thing, because there is no issue here.  We have an employee who said he was not directed, we have political motivation, but I will tell you, if we do this tonight, I want this independent counsel to look at everything I wrote down during the meeting tonight, including the back room meetings, of surprise resolutions (I’ve got a stack of them), and if you want to play the political game, I’m right for it.  I’ll play your game.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked Ronnie Jones, “Have you heard the statement, ‘this is a political year, and I’d like to have their votes?”

 

Mr. Jones responded, “No sir.”

 

Commissioner Harper stated, “reference has been made this is a political season; I am going on the record, Madame Clerk, I did not draft this resolution; I think that was the first implication; I have not visited Red Oak Elementary; I have not taken part other than the School Board Chairman calling me to complain that he could not get a CO for his school.  I referred to someone else and I did not call anybody in the Building Department about this and have not taken part in this.  I do not care if you call a special counsel or not for anything; we could not get a special counsel appointed for homes being built without permits, twenty-two (22) CO’s being forged, and employees getting raises without……, but if you want a special counsel, have at it.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked each Commissioner individually if they had knowledge of this issue being brought up at this meeting tonight.

 

Commissioner Holman said, “I knew tonight.”

 

Commissioner Harper said, “No, I do not have a copy of any resolution.”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “just ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ Mr. Harper.”

 

Commissioner Harper replied, “that was my answer, Mr. Freedman.”

 

Commissioner Adams answered, “I knew about it this afternoon.”

 

Commissioner Holder stated, “you did not ask me.”

 

Commissioner Freedman replied, “you already said you did not know about it, and I know you are too honorable to engage in this.”

 

Chairman Maddox asked for a vote.

 

Commissioner Harper said, “I think we should entertain Commissioner Adams’ suggestion and table this.”

 

Commissioner Freedman replied, “what is tabling going to do; we have heard everything.”

 

Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney, gave his opinion, “I think all the evidence you can possibly have has been presented tonight.  I do not disagree with Commissioner Freedman.”

 

Chairman Maddox said, “there is a motion and a second.  Is there any other discussion?”

 

The motion died without any votes.

 

 

A Resolution Abandoning a Portion of a Public Road:

 

Carrecker Development, Inc. has filed with the Board of Commissioners of Henry County, Georgia, a Petition for Abandonment of a portion of a public road known as North River Road located in Land Lot 77of the 8th District.  After due considerations, it appears that the property sought to be abandoned is no longer needed for public road purposes because of changed conditions and because it has ceased to be used by the public to the extent that no substantial public purpose is served by it, and it further appears to be in the best interest of all concerned as well as in the best interest of the public and Henry County to abandon that portion of North River Road.

 

Ms. Ludy McIntyre, Henry County Department of Transportation, approached the podium to speak on this issue.

 

 

“This has been properly advertised and after a short meeting, we have come to a compromise.  The Fisher’s have had this property in their family since 1942.  Mr. Carreker and Mr. Fisher discussed this and came to an agreement, and Mr. Carreker has agreed to provide the Fisher Family with a perpetual driveway easement so that the existing driveway will not change.”

 

Mr. Carreker stated, “we have reached an agreement to relocate a driveway out on River Road, and after some further consideration, he thought that was not in his best interest.  So this evening we have agreed to a 30’ foot wide perpetual easement giving him the only access to that and would stop 10’ foot beyond his driveway to prevent any unwanted traffic.  Because all this road does is tie into the spray fields of the Water Authority once it comes off of my property, and it hits that and you have to turn around and come back.”

 

Mr. Fisher said he agreed with one question.  “If this is permanent and everlasting, it is agreed.”

 

Commissioner Holder moved to approve the abandonment of the said portion of North River Road with the 30’foot perpetual driveway easement for that property and would stop 10’ feet beyond his existing driveway. 

 

There was no opposition to this request. 

 

Commissioner Adams seconded the motion. 

 

Commissioner Holman asked, “why do you want the road abandoned?”

 

Mr. Carreker answered, “we own the property on both sides of the road, and the only purpose this section of the road serves is for the Water Authority traffic.  It goes up approximately 600’ or 700’ feet, and then it hits the new spray field areas, and after discussions with the staff at the Water Authority, they would be the only ones to use it with heavy equipment, large trailers and tractors.  The Water Authority’s property is down River Road approximately 1,000’ feet from where this is, and they can make their own entrance to their property from back there.  At some point in time, we will be looking at developing a subdivision there.  We can bring the subdivision road in the back of the property, access all of the property from one accel/decel point.”

 

Commissioner Holder stated, “this is not a matter of the County giving up any deeded right-of-way.  These people own to the center of the road on both sides; they own it and we will use it.”

 

The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holder, Holman and Adams voting in favor.

 

 

Ms. McIntyre commented, “I have been on the Litter Control Committee at one time, and I would like to bring up the point this road had been littered; people have been driving out and dumping on it and this is a point that needs to be addressed.  Litter on dirt roads is really bad.”

 

 

Resolution Pertaining to the Purchase and Installation of Leyland Cypress Trees:

 

Bids were solicited for the purchase and installation of seventy (70) Leyland Cypress trees along Georgia Highway 20 in the vicinity of Arbors and Ivey’s subdivision.  Two vendors submitted bids for this purchase: 1) Georgia Environmental Landscape for $3,360.00 and 2) South Metro Landscape for $4,405.10.  Funds are available from the District II Special Project Funds account to complete this purchase, and Georgia Environmental Landscape’s bid in the amount of $3,360.00 meets bid specifications.

 

Commissioner Freedman moved to approve the resolution; Commissioner Holder seconded. 

 

Ms. Angus stated, “I was going over the budget today with the Finance staff, and there is $186,000 in the capital fund that was set aside for these projects.  You did designate this by May 5th, and I believe that they needed to be pulled forward into the General Fund budget.  I do not believe everybody’s designations have been spent or completed.”

 

Commissioner Harper said, “I typed the resolution the night we adopted that.  I know what it says, and I am reading from it.  ‘Any discretionary funds in existence today shall be allocated to specific projects which shall immediately be made ready for purchase or bid.’  That motion passed on March 31, 2003; say what your project is and make it ready for bid or purchase, and do it so we can close out discretionary funds.   To abolish a discretionary fund and then over a year later say we’ve still got them; that flies in the face of what we did.  I will go with what the Board wants, but I do not think that was the intent.”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “I think it is amazing the people who spent their money now think it is a good idea to do away with the money that is left over.  But it says in the resolution that discretionary funds shall be allocated to each Commissioner or hereby abolished.  It says, ‘no discretionary funds shall be placed in a funding category where they remain unallocated.  Such designations to current discretionary funds shall be prior to the 2003/2004 budget and submitted to the full Board of Commissioners for approval by May 5th.’  And on May 5th, Chairman Maddox made a motion to spend so much money and it passed 4-0-0.  Mr. Holder made a motion to spend $226,000 that was allocated and not spent; it passed 4-0-0.  Commissioner Freedman made a motion, broke it down and allocated it by where it was going, and it passed 4-0-0.  Commissioner Harper made a motion; passed 4-0-0.  Commissioner Adams made a motion; passed 4-0-0.  All the allocations were approved by this Board, but the County Manager says the money is still there and has not been spent.  The motion I made the other night was if the money is still there, then the motion is good.  Three of you voted against it, and I do not understand that.  The money is still there; it is a good motion.  It follows the resolution of allocation; it follows the Board vote of May 5th.  I do not see what the issue is.”

 

Commissioner Holder said, “I did vote the other night and thought I was right, but after seeing the resolution, I was wrong.  I think the intent of that resolution is to commit the funds so that they could be spent.  I had some concern at the time about some of them being very general; not as specific as I thought they ought to be.  I was not in favor of doing away with the discretionary funds anyway, and if some of you sit here long enough, you are going to wish you had them back.”

 

Commissioner Holman commented, “isn’t the intent of that resolution to encumber that money?  Even though the money is still sitting in the account, actually it is encumbered money; there should not be any money that is unencumbered.   Are these Leyland Cypress trees part of that May 5th resolution?”

 

Commissioner Freedman answered, “yes.”

 

Commissioner Harper said, “we all, not all of us because it was a split vote, agreed to abolish the discretionary funds for the appearance of it.  At that time, I still had $25,000 in discretionary funds; the account was not ‘0.’  We all had some with the exception of Commissioner Holman.  So we were all taking the lose as it was to a District account.  We abolished it on March 31, 2003, and then one week prior to qualifying, somebody is going out and planting Leyland Cypress trees in front of two (2) neighborhoods.  That goes in the face of abolishing discretionary funds so they do not look like ‘slush funds,’ which was what we were accused of.  I do not think it is appropriate; we have announced they were abolished and now to come back over a year later and start spending them again, that is breaking faith to the people.”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “the money is there and has not been spent.  It did for what the Board called for to allocate it.”

 

Commissioner Freedman ‘called the question.’  Commissioner Holman seconded with the vote of 5-0-0; Commissioners Freedman, Holman, Harper, Holman and Adams voted in favor. 

 

The vote was taken on the resolution to purchase the Leyland Cypress trees for that area; the vote was 3-3-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Adams and Holder voting in favor and Commissioners Maddox, Holman and Harper voting against. 

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “what are we going to do with the funds now?”

 

Chairman Maddox went to the next item on the Agenda.

 

 

An Intergovernmental Agreement Between Henry County and the City of McDonough Pertaining to Georgia Urban Forest Council Grant to Assist with the Preparation of A Master Plan for Alexander-Jonesboro Road Park:

 

The grant funding may be available to assist with the development of a Master Plan for Alexander-Jonesboro Park from the Georgia Urban Forest Council, and the City of McDonough and Henry County desire to apply for such grant funding for the benefit of the County, the City, and the citizens of each jurisdiction.

 

The parties understand that the total amount of the grant funding available is $20,000, and that this amount must be matched by Henry County and the City of McDonough.  Pursuant to the prior agreement of the County and City relating to the development of the Park, it was agreed that the County would pay 65 percent of the development costs with the City paying 35 percent of the development costs.  Consistent with that agreement, the County hereby agrees to supply 65 percent of the matching funds ($13,000) in the event the grant is obtained and the City agrees to pay 35 percent of the matching funds ($7,000) in the event the grant is obtained.

 

It is anticipated that the cost to prepare the grant application will be $3,000.  It is hereby agreed that Henry County will pay 65 percent ($1,950) of these costs with the City of McDonough paying 35 percent ($1,050) of these costs.

 

Mr. Jaugstetter, County Attorney, stated this is an agreement to share the cost of the development of 65% / 35%.  “There is a grant opportunity, a 50% / 50% matching grant, through the Georgia Urban Forest Council.  They will provide up to $20,000 and the City or County will have to match it to prepare a Master Plan for the ultimate long-term development of the park.  The City of McDonough has approved spending it’s 35% of the total cost both by paying Bron Cleveland & Associates $3,000 to prepare the grant application and the 35% of the $20,000 matching funds.  They have asked the County to do the same.  Your total money in would be $14,950; in exchange for that, you could receive a total of $40,000 for that park’s Master Plan.”

 

Commissioner Holman said, “Commissioner Harper funded $10,000 plus dollars for Jonesboro Road median.  I was wondering if District III Commissioner would also, since he still has $85,000, like to ‘pony up’ this $15,000.”

 

Commissioner Harper said, “unfortunately, it is not a DOT project.”

 

Mr. Jaugstetter said this came from the City Manager and there is an application deadline of mid-May.  The Georgia Urban Forest Council only accepts applications once a year, so this will be the only opportunity to get this grant accepted.”

 

Commissioner Harper said, “the grant application is $3,000; is the match the $14,950?”

 

Mr. Jaugstetter responded, “your percentage of the match plus your percentage of the fee would be $14,950.”

 

Commissioner Harper asked, “if we do not get the application, are we going to prorate the $3,000 (65% / 35%)?”

 

Mr. Jaugstetter answered, “what we ask is to authorize up to the $14,950, so we do not have to come back to you.”

 

Commissioner Harper deferred to the County Manager.

 

Ms. Angus stated, “the place I suggest it to come from is the Grounds Maintenance budget, because there is enough money remaining in it.  I do not know how we are going to do anything in the park unless we have a Master Plan.”

 

Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve up to $14,950 as the County’s portion of the grant application and match sharing in the cost with the City of McDonough for the Georgia Urban Forest Council grant for the purpose of establishing the Master Plan.  Commissioner Holder seconded. 

 

Mr. Jaugstetter added the money will also include tree surveys, topographical maps, etc.

 

Commissioner Holder said, “the key to developing anything of significance is to have a good plan.  That will be some of the best money spent.”

 

Commissioner Freedman commented, “when we agreed to purchase this land, there was an understanding this was not a rush to judgment.  There was a lot of debate on whether we should purchase it.  Now, suddenly, we got to rush to get a plan.”

 

Commissioner Holder responded, “the key to it is the grant involved which has a deadline for the grant application.”

 

Ms. Angus stated, “we could apply again next year for a grant to get a Master Plan done.”

 

Commissioner Holder said, “things like this are what keep us behind, folks.  We have to step up and do these things.”

 

Commissioner Holman asked, “is there anything prohibiting the City from requesting the grant?”

 

Ms. Angus responded, “only our agreement which is a huge thing, and we are going to have difficulty placing a community center there with us funding 100% of it all also because of our agreement with them.  Every dollar that goes into that park is supposed to be shared.  We would be better off by abiding with the agreement than going out on our own.”

 

The vote was taken on the motion that tied 3-3-0.  Commissioners Harper, Holder and Freedman voted in favor of the motion and Commissioners Maddox, Adams and Holman voted against. 

 

Commissioner Holder said, “we have made a commitment to the City of McDonough to participate in this park.  Like it or don’t like it, the commitment has been made.  This is another good example; we talk about getting together with the Cities and various other organizations in the County so that we are on the same playing field.  These are things that cause problems.  How does it look when the first thing out of the box, developing a Master Plan, cannot be agreed upon?   If $14,000 breaks this County, as much as we do spend, then we are in serious trouble.”

 

Ms. Angus stated, “I hope it was not me who left the impression that we are in financial trouble, because our fund balance came in and we projected what we believed was realistic last year and that was a $32,000,000 fund balance.  And when we got our audit back, just within the last month, it was $35,000,000.  And, on top of that, we set an $86,000,000 budget, which we believe the revenues are going to come in a different form than we planned, but we have been squeezing money, like normal, to try to squeeze the expenditures down to come up with these lump sums to give back to you.  We are not in trouble at all.”

 

 

Commissioner Harper made another motion to approve the grant application with a cap of $14,950 as the County’s portion of the match with the City of McDonough.  Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried 4-2-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holder, Adams and Chairman Maddox voting in favor; Commissioners Freedman and Holman voting against.

 

Public Comment:

 

No one signed up to speak before the Board.

 

Board of Commissioners:

 

Commissioner Harper moved to approve the Minutes of April 1st, April 5th, April 6th, and April 14th.   Commissioner Holman seconded.  The motion carried 4-0-1 with Commissioner Freedman abstaining due to the fact he wanted to note an error, but could not find it.  (He stated he would get with the Clerk on that.) 

 

Commissioner Holman said, “we brought the grant money up twice and we have been talking about our General Fund and the fund balance.  Since the County Manager is here, I would like for her to share with this Board the uncommitted SPLOST II funds.”

 

Ms. Angus replied, “it is approximately $20,000,000 of which all have to be allocated to roads, but we are bringing before you the under-estimate and then the new allocation, and it has to happen on all the projects you have already designated and that may be another $10,000,000.  The budgets made by the SPLOST Committee are not enough to accomplish those projects.  There will be $10,000,000 remaining (her estimate).”

 

Upcoming Meetings:

 

5/03/04 (Monday)        -           9:00 A.M.        Board of Commissioners Meeting

 

5/04/04 (Tuesday)        -           9:00 A.M.        Board of Commissioners Meeting

 

5/17/04 (Monday)        -           9:00 A.M.        Board of Commissioners Meeting

 

5/18/04 (Tuesday)        -           6:30 P.M.         Board of Commissioners Meeting

 

5/31/04 (Monday)        -           HOLIDAY – Memorial Day

 

 

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

 

 

                                                                        Leland Maddox, Chairman

 

 

 

Peggy L. Malcolm, Deputy County Clerk