May 2018

Village of Forest Hills
Council Meeting
Tuesday, May 2, 2018 6:00 pm
Jackson County Rec. Center, Cullowhee



The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Clark Corwin

Councilmember Niall Michelsen

Councilmember Sharon Stovall


The following Non-Council members were present:

Stephanie Gibson, Clerk

Todd Collins, WCU Professor in Political Science & Public Affairs

Kaitlin Sines, WCU Student in Political Science & Public Affairs

John Jeleniewski, Jackson County Planning Department

Mike Poston, Director of Jackson County Planning Department

Jerry Rice, Homeowner


  1. Call to order: 6:00 pm Mayor Begley called the meeting to order.
  2. Announcements:
  • Reminder:Please silence cell phones for meeting
  • Next Council meeting on Tuesday, June 5th will be held at the University Inn at 6:00pm and will also be a public hearing on the proposed 2018-2019 fiscal year municipal budget. 
  1. Approval of Agenda:  Councilmember Corwin made a motion to approve the agenda, Councilmember Michelsen seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 
  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes, April 3, 2018 Regular Council Meeting: Councilmember Corwin made a motion to approve the minutes; Councilmember Michelsen seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 
  1. Architectural Review Staff Report for Cloverleaf VMU-CZ:  John Jeleniewski, Jackson County Planning Department and Mike Poston, Director of Jackson County Planning Department, reviewed the Staff Report for the Architectural Design Review for the Cloverleaf VMU-CZ. 

Mayor Begley asked if the property closing has been completed and Ashley Hill said that the Attorney, Jay Coward, was wrapping up some title issues and once complete, Victor Lofquist could move forward with the engineering aspects required and then construction would begin as soon as possible. 

  1. Planning Board Recommendation on Architectural Review for Cloverleaf VMU-CZ: Councilmember Corwin said that the Planning Board unanimously voted to approve the Architectural Design Review.  He noted that Mark Ellison made a motion to approve the review and Jayne Buchanan seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 
  1. Public Comments:  None 
  1. Motion:  To accept if architectural standards are in compliance with the Cloverleaf VMU-CZ ordinance. Councilmember Stovall made a motion to accept the Architectural Design Review; Councilmember Michelsen seconded the motion, unanimously approved

Councilmember Corwin asked about the next steps, zoning permits and the next steps of the design, the Planning Department staff said that would be completed once the initial design phase begins. 

  1. WCU Student Projects Update:  Kaitlin Sines and Todd Collins, Political Science & Public Affairs at WCU: 

        Project #1:  Survey:  Kaitlin shared the results of the survey with the Council, she noted that out of 66 surveys emailed, 28 were returned so far.  She said that she mailed approximately 140 surveys and approximately 10 were returned via mail so far, making the response about 20% of the 200 sent.  Kaitlin said that the main service desired from residents was high speed internet. The concerns residents mentioned were litter and road conditions.

       Project #2:  Cost/Benefit Taxpayer Services  Kaitlin presented her final project to the Council. Kaitlin completed a comparative analysis of municipalities within the state that were similar in size to the Village of Forest Hills and compared their size, tax rates, and services offered.

Mayor Begley asked how tax rates compared, Kaitlin discussed tax rate comparisons, she said that Webster was .05 cents per $100 of property valuation; they offered similar services such as Patrol, Fire, Sidewalk cleaning, street lights, and cemetery maintenance. Kaitlin noted that Highlands had a higher tax rate of .70 cents per $100 of property valuation and Beach Mountain was .80 cents per $100 of property valuation.

Todd suggested pursuing a grant to have a student work as a part-time town manager for Forest Hills to share with other smaller municipalities

  10. Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of April 2018: Stephanie Gibson provided the Financial Report. Councilmember Corwin made a motion to accept the financial report; Councilmember Stovall seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

  11.  Reports:

         Mayors Report: (Village roadside trash pickup done, Opioid Awareness meeting with county, patrol reports, TWSA report) Mayor Begley discussed Forest Hills participation in Cleaning Up The Mountains, an annual coordination with the county and state governments for roadside trash pick-up.  Mayor Begley would like this to be an annual event for Forest Hills and to get the word out sooner next year to get more participation.  Jerry Rice mentioned that there is a Hero program sponsored by Harrah's Casino and that they might be willing to assist with cleanup potentially in the fall so the roadsides could be cleaned up twice year. 

Mayor Begley said that she and Councilmember Michelsen attended the joint meeting with the County and municipalities regarding Opioid Awareness and summarized some of the topics from presenters at the forum. She discussed scanning some of the statistics given at the forum and emailing them to Council.  Councilmember discussed inviting some speakers from that forum to the Personal & Home Safety meeting that Councilmember Stovall is working on. 

Mayor Begley shared the patrol report, the report indicated that radar was ran twice and that there was one citation for speeding and a warning issued for failure to stop at a stop sign.

Mayor Begley said that Chris Green has been in touch with TWSA about potential future needs for his property.  Mayor Begley said that she responded to an inquiry from Dan Harbaugh, Director of TWSA, that to date there has been no formal submittal from Chris Green for any rezoning or development.  

       Roads & RPO: (update on new speed limit sign installations) Councilmember Michelsen said that he checked today and did not see any of the speed limit signs installed, he noted that April 6, was the last response to his email.  Mayor Begley noted that BH Graning has been waiting on direction from Councilmember Stovall on where to place the Neighborhood Watch signs and that when they receive that information they will install all signs at the same time. 

Councilmember Michelsen said that the RPO has received project scores from the public surveys and that the county will make decisions by the end of May.  Councilmember Michelsen said that he is going to meet with Rose Bauguess to determine what the project results mean and how the priorities are determined. 

Council noted that they would emphasize more sidewalks, and bicycle paths, non-vehicle infrastructure as input from Forest Hills.

       Planning Board: (ETJ seat nomination):  Councilmember Corwin announced the Planning Board voted and unanimously approved the Architectural design review, Mark made a motion to approve the design review, Jayne seconded the motion, unanimously approved.  He said they reviewed one of the Ethics videos at the last meeting. Councilmember Corwin made a motion to appoint Rick Cardona as the ETJ member of the Planning Board, Councilmember Michelsen seconded, unanimously approved.

       Neighborhood Watch & Safety: 

  1. BH Graning to install new Neighborhood Watch signs:  Councilmember Stovall said the signs have not been installed but she will contact BH Graning to discuss placement of the signs.
  2. Review agenda for Home and Personal Safety community meeting and set date for it.  (Moved to June meeting).

  12.  Unfinished Business: 

        Review paving project estimate: Review paving project estimate.  Councilmember Stovall and Mayor Begley walked the road and received a quote from Black Bear Paving, one of them did not have a price so they will wait to bring before the Council when they confirm their quote. They discussed some of the issues they saw with the prior paving job that may need to be re-done.  Council discussed obtaining more information and advice on any steps that may need to be taken.

  13. New Business:

       Introduce interested parties to fill vacated Councilmember seat: (Nominations and appointment at June meeting:

Mayor Begley noted that there are three interested parties for the vacated Council seat, one of those people, Jerry Rice is in attendance.  Jerry gave a brief bio and discussed his interest and long family history of residence in the Village.

      Resolution in support of Eliminating or Reducing the Local Match Requirement for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects:  Mayor Begley presented the Resolution to the Council and they unanimously agreed to support eliminating or reducing the Local Match requirement.  Mayor Begley signed the resolution and Stephanie will submit it to the State Representatives.

      2018-2019 fiscal year budget review and discussion: Mayor Begley presented a preliminary draft to the Council for review.  She noted that this budget needs to be passed before June 30th so a public hearing on the proposed budget will be scheduled for the June Council meeting.

      BH Graning Contract renewal: Council unanimously agreed to renew BH Graning's contract for the year. Mayor Begley signed the contract and Stephanie will send a copy to BH Graning.

  14. Additional Public Comment:  None

  15. Adjourn:  At 8:50pm, Councilmember Stovall made a motion to adjourn; Councilmember Michelsen seconded the motion, unanimously approved.