July 2015

                                                                        COUNCIL MINUTES

                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                             July 07, 2015



The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held at Webster Town Hall at 6:00pm on July 07, 2015.


The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Ron Mau

Councilmember Carl Hooper

Councilmember Dan Perlmutter

Councilmember Clark Corwin


The following Non-Council members were present:

Stephanie Gibson, Town Clerk

David Moore, Village Attorney

Tanner Hall, Sylva Herald

Debbie Rowland, Village Homeowner


1)      Call to order:  The meeting was called to order at 6:08 pm by Mayor Kolleen Begley. 

2)      Announcements:  

a)  The August meeting will also be held at Webster Town Hall 

b)  Filing deadline for the November elections opens July 6 and runs through July 17.  Seats up for election are the Mayor’s seat and two councilmembers – Ron Mau and Dan Perlmutter. 

c)  Whee Farmer’s Market is continuing to be held weekly Tuesday evenings 4:00 – dusk through the season. 

3)      Approval of Agenda:  Councilman Hooper made a motion to approve the agenda; Councilman Corwin seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

4)      Approval of Meeting Minutes from June 02, 2015 Council Meeting: a motion to approve the minutes from the June 2nd Council meeting was made by Councilman Perlmutter, seconded by Councilman Hooper, unanimously approved.  

5)      Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of June, 2015   Stephanie provided copies of the Financial Report for June.  In June, there were expenses of $3,142.84 for Police protection, Administrative/Council reimbursement fees, Advertising, Attorney fees, and Entrance operating fees.  Revenues for June were $3,778.69 from Sales Tax, Franchise & Utility Tax, Ad Valorem Taxes, and Interest earned.  The ending balances in the Money Market, Checking, and Powell accounts totaled $202,866.65.

 Councilman Corwin made a motion to accept the financial report; Councilman Mau seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

6)       Public Comment

Debbie Rowland, who lives at 520 S. Country Club Dr., was asking for a variance for non-conforming lots.  They own lots 47, 48, & 49, and wanted to build a home on one of the adjoining lots that is .5 acres, they wanted to build an approximately 1300 sq. ft. home for their daughter and granddaughter.  Mrs. Rowland said they would like a correction to the statement in the Sylva Herald on 7-2, they were not interviewed by a Newspaper Reporter.  She said they began the process in February with Gerald Green, the Planning Department, the Health Department, Zoning, the Village Council and the Village Planning Board.  She noted that they submitted a variance months ago with documentation, they were encouraged to withdraw the variance, they then lined up Contractors, Excavators, and Engineers, and then were strung along for six months, they thought there would be a decision in May, they attended the May meeting with their daughter and she said this isn’t going to happen, we need to look elsewhere.  Ms. Rowland said they got totally frustrated with the delays, she said they luckily found a house outside of Forest Hills and are going to selltheir lots, she said they are really upset at the delay on the decision after living in the Village for 31 years.  Ms. Rowland thanked Councilman Hooper and the Mayor for their support during the process. 

7)       Road Improvement Quotes:  (Councilmen Mau & Perlmutter) 

Councilman Perlmutter said that he received a quote from WNC Paving last year and they gave a quote but said that chip and seal would not be appropriate for the areas discussed, they recommended asphalt.  They provided a verbalquote in the amount of $106,000 that did not include the section of the road to the Meigs property.  He said that he had also talked to Emory Paving and Parker Paving and they were interested in giving quotes but noted that Emory Paving had a full schedule for the remainder of the year and that he was waiting on a return call from Parker Paving to set up a time to look at the road.  

Mayor Begley asked Councilman Perlmutter if the contractors had the form that Councilman Mau had emailed with specifications on work to be done so that each contractor had the same information and Councilman Perlmutter said that he had not had a chance to give the form to any of the contractors.  

Mayor Begley asked Councilman Mau if he had any feedback on chip and seal with his experience, he said that chip and seal doesn’t hold up as well as asphalt but he would need to research it further since he is not as familiar with it. 

Mayor Begley asked if someone could assist in getting the form that Councilman Mau created in June to three paving contractors to get quotes so that we could move forward with the project, Councilman Mau and Councilman Hooper said that would.  She noted that the Planning Board spoke with someone about the roads and the planning board recommended chip and seal because of safety and the give and take it offers, particularly in the winter months. 

Councilman Perlmutter noted with the expense of asphalt instead of chip & seal, the project may need to be spread out over a couple of years. 

Attorney Moore noted that statute 143-131 calls for uniform informal bidding on projects from $30,000 - $300,000 and said he wonders if bids should not be required.  Mayor Begley noted that it is $300,000 before they would be required to have a formal bid and these bid costs fall into the informal bidding process. 

Councilman Perlmutter asked how much money was earmarked for the project, Mayor Begley responded that $60,000 + the Contingency fund was available for the road work. 

Mayor Begley said the Council will discuss the quotes obtained at the August meeting.  Councilman Perlmutter noted that he will be absent at the August meeting.

8)      Vote on recommendation to eliminate the 2,000 sq. ft. minimum house size requirement from the ordinances

Councilman Perlmutter Made a motion that the 2,000 sq. ft. minimum house size be rescinded, Councilman Hooper seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

Councilman Perlmutter noted that some homeowners don’t want to see smaller homes, he asked if a Homeowner’s Association came in and wanted to make the ordinances more restrictive, would that trump the Village ordinances? 

Councilman Hooper asked if a Homeowner’s Assoc. has not been active for a period of time, can they resume.  Attorney Moore responded saying only if it is administratively dissolved.

Mayor Begley noted that Caves Spring HOA required 1400 sq. ft. homes but the Village ordinances trumped those and they were required to build a 2,000 sq. ft. home and that the more stringent requirement in either needs to be followed. 

Mayor Begley said that Kristy Carter and Gerald Green wanted to review the Village lot sizes before addressing the proposed changes. 

9)      Reports

Planning Board:  Councilman Corwin said that he received feedback from Lee Budahl regarding the work session.  He said that he contacted Kristy Carter about assisting the Council with planning issues and she said that it will take her a little time, she is working with Webster on a master plan.  She noted that the report from the charrette is essentially a master plan.  Mayor Begley noted that the Planning Board does not have a chair and often doesn’t have a quorum.  Councilman Mau suggested placing an ad in the paper soliciting involvement.  Mayor Begley asked the Council if they were interested in placing an ad, she noted that there was $5,000 in the budget last year for Professional services and that only $3,500 for the charrette was used.  

Mayor Begley noted that she facilitated the last Planning Board meeting and asked the Council what they wanted to do about items charged to the planning board vs contracting with outside services. She asked Councilman Corwin if he would discuss selecting a chair with the Planning Board at their next meeting as well as putting a Rules of Procedure in place with that board. 

Safety:  Councilman Hooper suggested that patrol be increased when WCU students return, Council agreed.  Councilman Corwin suggested having the speed trailer in the Village again, Councilman Hooper said that he would check availability.  Council members suggested doubling the patrol time during the first two weekends of school, the week before and after school starts, Council agreed. 

Village Roads & RPO Board:  Councilman Perlmutter noted in September, the Village will need to present the sidewalk proposal.  Mayor Begley asked Councilman Perlmutter if he could find out when the next RPO meeting is and if he is unable to attend, see if another Council member can represent the Village, he agreed. 

Jackson County CTP:  Councilman Mau said at the last meeting, they discussed getting better weather radar, they discussed the airports, discussed the need for a replacement for Gerald Green’s position, and shared that Webster and the Village of Forest Hills did not qualify for grants.  He shared that the next meeting is scheduled for the first week in August.    

Mayor’s Report:  Mayor Begley reported that at the last Mayor’s meeting, there was a representative for Duke Life Point Hospital there to introduce herself and share about available programs.  She said that she plans to contact this representative about a pledge toward the sidewalk project for North Country Club Drive.  She said that she plans to schedule a meeting with Elizabeth St. John on Saturday to discuss sidewalk pledges. 

Mayor Begley said the Village ordinances up for review have been assigned to Kristy and Gerald for feedback.  She also noted that Ken Dickert (Ordinance Administrator) had no further ordinance violations to report. 

Councilman Mau noted that someone in the Village has farm animals, he heard a rooster but is not sure who it belongs to.  Mayor Begley said that someone in Caves Springs has chickens and that the HOA sent a notice out and she will follow up with Ken Dickert. 

Mayor Begley noted that Ken Dickert told her that the hotel had started cleaning up the property per the letter sent to them, but have not continued.  She asked if the Planning Board wants to meet with the hotel manager as Gerald Green suggested or should the manager be invited to a work session.  Councilman Mau suggested having an informal conversation with the manager/owners.  Councilman Perlmutter asked Attorney Moore if there is an issue with speaking to the manager/owner outside of a meeting, he responded that if more than two members meet with them it would violate open meeting laws. 

10)   Unfinished Business

Update on sketches from landscape architect regarding Village entrance sign:  Mayor Begley said that the architect has sent preliminary information for phase 1 and phase 2 and asked her to present it to the board.  The architect recommended having a contact at WCU to see about getting student volunteers to assist with some of the work to offset costs.  Mayor Begley will update the Council at the next meeting. 

Mayor Begley asked the Council about work sessions between monthly meetings in order to get items accomplished more timely, Councilman Mau suggested setting up meetings and then cancelling if not needed.  Councilman Hooper said he doesn’t feel that additional meetings are needed at this time, he suggested monthly meetings with a 30 minute work session prior to the regularly scheduled meetings, Council agreed.  Councilman Corwin recommended implementing the change in September, all agreed.

 11)   New Business 

  • Professional recommendations submitted to the Village by Gerald Green:  Councilman Mau noted that his only question is about setbacks, Council Corwin said he would ask Gerald about the requirements for setbacks.  Mayor Begley noted that other ordinance changes and recommendations will be discussed at the August meeting to give the board more time to review. 
  • Kristy Carter:  Councilman Corwin said that he needs to discuss compensation and involvement and plans to set up a meeting for him and Mayor Begley to meet with Ms. Carter.  
  • Councilmember Elections:  Councilman Perlmutter said that he would not seek re-election.  Mayor Begley suggested contacting Debbie Rowland to see if she would be interested in being on the Council.

12)   Additional Public Comment:  None

13)   Adjourn:  At 8:15pm Councilman Hooper made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Perlmutter, unanimously approved.