May 2015

                                                                        COUNCIL MINUTES

                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                             May 05, 2015



The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held in the meeting room at the Jackson County Recreation Center at 6:00pm on May 05, 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

Tanner Hall, Sylva Herald

Robert & Debbie Rowland, Village Homeowner


1)      Call to order:  The meeting was called to order at 6:05pm by Mayor Kolleen Begley. 

2)      Announcements:  The Whee Farmer’s Market is being held weekly on Tuesday evenings 4:00 – dusk through the season. 

3)      Approval of Agenda:  Councilman Perlmutter made a motion to revise the agenda and have the Planning Board report come at the beginning of the agenda, Councilman Mau seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

4)      Planning Board Report:  Council reviewed the Planning Board Minutes from the April 20th meeting.  The Planning Board discussed a potential rotating schedule for village maintenance.  The Planning Board was unclear as to whether state maintained roads should be included.  The Planning Board recommended that the Council adopt a five year rotating schedule (three if state maintained roads are not included).  Council noted that state maintained roads are not included.  Councilman Corwin said he feels that the Council should address the costs associated with the maintenance of village roads.  He feels they should pursue grants that may be available.  He asked if chip and seal or asphalt should be considered for the loop. 

Councilman Perlmutter said when he received quotes in the past, those contractors had suggested using asphalt to be continuous for that section of the loop.  Councilman Hooper noted that there is less traffic on the loop than on Cave Springs Road due to the number of houses.  Mayor Begley suggested looking at quotes for asphalt and chip and seal and stated that discussions with road contractors previously had recommended chip and seal as the best hard surface for Cave Springs Road due to the turns and steep grade on that road, and that asphalt as the best hard surface for the loop.  Councilman Mau said that he would get estimates for the road. 

Council suggested a three year schedule for maintenance as recommended by the Planning Board, the schedule would be Caves Springs Road in year 1, the loop in year 2, and the rest of North Country Club and Oak Forest in year 3. 

Mayor Begley said from previous estimates, they had an idea that Caves Springs Road would cost approximately $50,000 to chip and seal.  She said that the money would need to be earmarked for year 1, 2015-2016 fiscal year.  She suggested Councilman Mau getting quotes and Councilman Perlmutter contacting the Contractors that gave quotes in the past to see if they are the same.  She asked that three quotes be obtained to review at the next meeting. 

5)      Approval of Meeting Minutes from April 07, 2015 Council Meeting: a motion to approve the minutes from the April 7th Council meeting was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved. 

 6)      Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of April, 2015   Stephanie provided copies of the Financial Report for April.  In April, there were expenses of $7,630.50 for Police protection, Administrative fees, Consultant fees, Web Site fees, Streets, Powell, and Entrance operating fees.  Revenues for April were $9,507.36 from Sales Tax, Franchise & Utility Tax, Ad Valorem Taxes, and Interest earned.  The ending balances in the Money Market, Checking, and Powell accounts totaled $199,874.89. 

Councilman Hooper made a motion to accept the financial report; Councilman Perlmutter seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

Stephanie noted that the bill from Green’s Excavating was higher than previously approved and asked for consent to pay the bill for $1,465.30 for grading and gravel.  Councilman Corwin made a motion to approve the payment of the bill from Green’s Excavating, Councilman Hooper seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

7)       Public Comment:  Robert and Debbie Rowland who live at 520 S. Country Club Dr., own lots 47, 48, & 49, they would like to build a home on one of the adjoining lots that is .5 acres, they would like to build an approximately 1300 sq. ft. home.  Mrs. Rowland noted that on their Deed in 1969, it stipulated a requirement for a home at least 1300 sq. ft. and did not list an expiration date. Mayor Begley said that the request was discussed at the last Planning Board meeting and Council would need to bring forward at the Public hearing to change an ordinance.  She noted that they cannot approve something that does not uphold the ordinances for just one lot.  Councilman Corwin stated that would be Spot Zoning which is illegal. 

Mr. Rowland said that he attended the Planning Board meeting and that it was recommended that they obtain legal advice on whether or not lot #47 was grandfathered and the deed specified a 1300 sq. ft. home.  Mayor Begley said that she and Attorney Moore discussed the matter and she discussed the matter with the Jackson County Planning Department and understood that the lot was grandfathered in but not the house since it did not exist at the time of the deed.  She said she will ask the Village attorney to review the deed and advise further per Mr. Rowland’s request.   

Councilman Corwin asked about addressing house size rather than lot size since the Rowland’s lot was grandfathered in.  Mayor Begley noted that building has been slow in the village with only a few homes being built in the last 10 years, none in the last 7 years, and that 87% of the lots in the village are less than .50 acre lots. Councilman Hooper suggested that the ordinance requirements be changed from a 2,000 square foot home to a 1,300 square foot home.

Councilman Corwin proposed that we put the housing size requirements on the June Public Hearing Agenda.  Mayor Begley said that she will put the 1300 sq. ft. house size recommendation on the June agenda and gather any information from the Planning Board recommendations to the hearing. 

8)       Reports: 

Safety:  Councilman Hooper noted that the village was patrolled a total of eight times in the last month and that no incidents were reported.

Village Roads & RPO Board:  Councilman Perlmutter said he had nothing new to report. 

Jackson County CTP:  Councilman Mau said he has no new information, he had a schedule conflict and could not attend the last meeting but will check on the May meeting date.    

Mayor’s Report:  

  1.  Mayor Begley noted that ordinance violation letters were sent out by Ken Dickert that had been unclaimed.  Ken is sending those names to the Attorney, Attorney Moore is going to write letters and research addresses for the agent/owners of properties that were undeliverable or returned for insufficient addresses.

Mayor Begley noted that if the property on 318 NCC Drive is not cleaned up, by state statue the village can hire someone to clean it up and recover the costs from the property owner or put a lien on the home.

  1.  Mayor Begley noted that there were no decisions made at the Cullowhee Zoning Public Hearing.
  2. Cashiers Fire Tax Meeting – no decisions were made but they are going to try and have a decision by the end of June, she noted that all who spoke were in favor of the Fire Dept. but felt that they were being double taxed.  She stated that the Cashiers-Glenville Fire department initiated the discussions with Jackson County about implementing a fire tax.
  3. Mayor’s meeting – nothing new to report.
  4. LGC letter – Mayor Begley replied to the LGC about separation of duties, noting that the board does have procedures in place since we don’t have multiple people in staff positions.
  5. Road parking issue with Utilities, Inc. and Frontier – Mayor Begley noted that Utilities, Inc. and Frontier had issues getting through due to cars parked in road at the loop near the Fire tower.  She asked if the ordinance covers parking on the shoulder.  Councilman Corwin noted that the ordinance does not cover shoulder parking, he said if the vehicle is off of the road, on the shoulder, it should be ok. 

9)      Unfinished Business

Road signage Installation– Councilman Mau said that he met with B.H. Graning to discuss placing the signs but they did not discuss the no parking on roads signs, he will contact him and define where to put them.  Council recommended putting the no parking on roads sign on the same post as the speed limit signs in order to reduce the number of signs on the Village roads.   

Meeting with landscape architect regarding Village entrance sign:  Mayor Begley and Councilman Hooper met with a Landscape Architect, Randy Burroughs to look at the entrance and possibly plot a base plan for the entrance.  She noted that he made some sketches and will give them an update.  She said it would be done in phases and that the architect will send ideas and estimates of the costs. 

What future zoning or ordinance changes do we want to address?  (2,000 sq. ft. / 2 acre lot?):  Councilman Corwin recommended taking the 2 acre lot size ordinance to the Planning Board for further discussion and recommendation. 

Set up work session with Chris Green and James Hooper and others?   Mayor Begley said that she could see if Chris has maps or ideas on hand before a meeting.  Councilman Corwin said that Mr. Hooper might be open to more ideas.  Mayor Begley asked what she needed to tell Chris Green.  Councilman Corwin said that a work session with both parties would be beneficial.  Councilman Mau said maybe Chris has consultants or an architect that could attend.  Mayor Begley asked that Councilman Corwin discuss a potential work session with Mr. Green and Mr. Hooper and see where they stand and bring an update and recommendations to the next meeting. 

10)   New Business

  •  Proposed Budget from Budget Committee for Fiscal Year 2015-2016:  Need to set a Public Hearing, Budget approval is due June 30thMayor Begley

Mayor Begley provided a draft annual budget summary from the Budget Committee for fiscal year 2015-16.  She noted that the road maintenance/improvement projects were discussed and that the Budget Committee was waiting on clarification from the Council to be able to proceed with either a line item or a footnote on the budget for the excess funds needed for future projects.  Council recommended having the public hearing on June 2nd at the regular Council meeting time and location.  Stephanie will advertise the public hearing to approve the budget and discuss the ordinance on housing size requirements on the website and in the newspaper. 

  • Fund Balance Policy Webinar:  Mayor Begley purchased a webinar on fund balance from the UNC School of Government, she said after viewing it felt it would be beneficial to the Council and Finance officer and asked if the Council would consider reimbursement for the webinar.  Councilman Perl mutter made a motion to reimburse Mayor Begley for the cost of the webinar, $125.00, Councilman Mau seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 
  • Whee Farmer’s Market:  Request for $200. Donation – Mayor Begley said that Curt had a lot of expenses in order to meet the requirements from the property owner and county to have the farmer’s market and he had asked if the Village might be willing to make a donation of $200 to offset some of the expenses.  Councilman Corwin asked if it would create any conflict or liability and Mayor Begley said it would not, it is only a donation.  Councilman Perlmutter said he feels it is good to support the market for the Village and advertise by word of mouth.  Mayor Begley said that Curt has done a lot of advertising with the Chamber of Commerce, Facebook, flyers, signs, advertisements, etc.  Councilman Hooper made a motion to donate $200 to the Whee Farmer’s Market, Councilman Perlmutter seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 
  • Tennis Courts:  Mayor Begley noted that Ken has been sending letters about the tennis courts.  She brought up an idea she had about the possibility of the Village taking over the courts and having them become municipal courts.  Councilman Hooper suggested that she ask Attorney Moore about the procedures.  Mayor Begley asked that Councilman Perlmutter make a few calls and ask Attorney Moore about the possibility of the courts being managed by the Village and the process to do so.  Councilman Perlmutter suggested that the Village inquire about the pool at University Inn as well. 

11)   Additional Public Comment:  None 

12)   Adjourn:  At 7:45pm Councilman Hooper made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.