June 2015

                                                                       COUNCIL MINUTES

                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                            June 02, 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 June 02, 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

Lee Budahl, Planning Board Member

Robert & Debbie Rowland, Village Homeowners

Betty Pressley, Village Homeowner


  1. Call to order: The meeting was called to order at 6:00pm by Mayor Kolleen Begley.


  2. Announcements:


    a) July and August meetings will 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.


    d) The Cullowhee zoning passed unanimously with the Jackson County Commissioners.


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


  4. Approval of Meeting Minutes from May 05, 2015 Council Meeting: a motion to approve the minutes with corrections from the May 5th Council meeting was made by Councilman Corwin, seconded by Councilman Hooper, unanimously approved.


  5. Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of May, 2015  Stephanie provided copies of the Financial Report for May. In May, there were expenses of $3,331.21 for Police protection, Administrative/Reimbursement fees, Street Powell & non-Powell fees, and Entrance operating fees. Revenues for May were $4,209.22 from Sales Tax, Alcohol & Beverage Tax, Ad Valorem Taxes, and Interest earned. The ending balances in the Money Market, Checking, and Powell accounts totaled $202,230.80.


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


  6. Public Hearing:


    Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016

    Proposed change to 2,000 sq. ft. house ordinance


  1. Mayor Begley reviewed the proposed budget for FY 15-16 and asks for a vote on accepting the proposed budget. Councilman Corwin made a motion to approve the budget, Councilman Hooper seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.

    There was also a vote on the fee schedule, Councilman Perlmutter made a motion that it remains the same, Councilman Hooper seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.


  2. Robert and Debbie Rowland, who live at 520 S. Country Club Dr., are asking for a variance for non-conforming lots. They own lots 47, 48, & 49, and 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 for their daughter and granddaughter. Mrs. Rowland said when they moved to Forest Hills it was a young development but now it is mainly older population and younger adults who cannot afford to build 2,000 sq. ft. homes on 2 acre lots.


          Mayor Begley asked for a vote on the proposed change to the 2,000 sq. ft. house size ordinance.


          Councilman Corwin said that he would like to see more affordable housing opportunities. He asked Lee

Budahl to speak on behalf of the Planning Board. Lee Budahl noted that the Planning Board discussed     that the national house size is growing larger, not smaller. He noted that the Planning Board did not have a formal recommendation at this time. Councilman Corwin said that three of the Planning Board members were absent at the last meeting. He noted that the trend might be spec housing, building the largest homes possible on the smallest lots. He shared that the Planning Board wants to look at changes to R-1; they made need to create a plan for the future.


Mayor Begley said that only the square footage issue is being discussed, not the lot sizes at this time.


Councilman Perlmutter said he feels that the Planning Board needs to have someone come in and look at what the impact to the Village would be and what it would look like.


Councilman Mau asks if a variance could be done for the Rowland’s lot. Attorney Moore replied that this can be done, he said that he doesn’t see an overwhelming response to change the ordinances and the most cost effective route would be to address the variances on a case by case basis.


Mayor Begley said that she asked the county to pull building permits for the Village, they can go back 7 years, and no permits had been requested. She said that she researched other areas and municipalities and did not find that any enforce a minimum house size, but did find maximum house size requirements with reasoning behind it. She asked that Attorney Moore respond on a legal basis. Attorney Moore said in ordinances that require a minimum or maximum house size, they have a reason and rational basis for those requirements. He noted that he and his partners feel that the way to address this issue is on a case-by-case basis. Mayor Begley said that the county says the Village cannot grant a variance and Attorney Moore said he feels that you can. Mayor Begley asked if a variance is granted, what an undue hardship would be. Attorney Moore said it would never be that someone cannot afford to build a house; he would see undue hardship as limitations for growth and development.


Councilman Perlmutter asked if a variance is granted on a case-by-case basis, would it only apply to similar circumstances, not undeveloped areas. Attorney Moore said there are still zoning issues.

Councilman Hooper asked if they approve the variance, will the county accept that. Attorney Moore said that ultimately the council approves variances. He said that if someone wants to remodel, and they have to replace the septic system, you could get into a usability situation for Village land. He noted that there is no rational basis for a 2,000 sq. ft. minimum house size ordinance and there is no consensus from the community or the Planning Board.


Councilman Mau suggested going with case-by-case and doing more research. He recommended that the Planning Board review.  


Mayor Begley noted that a Realtor questioned the square footage requirements because there was someone interested in building on Caves Springs Rd.but decided not to because they could not afford to build a 2,000 sq. ft. house and this is not an isolated incident.


Attorney Moore said that the Rowland’s could apply for a variance and the Council can act to approve it or not. He suggested having Realtors and/or Builders provide data at the next Planning Board meeting. He noted that the county can make recommendations but the Village Zoning Board of Adjustments has the authority to make the decision on variances.


Councilman Corwin suggested that a hearing be scheduled with the Zoning Board of Adjustments. Attorney Moore noted that he has to be advertised at least two weeks prior to the hearing, making the first date possible around 6-25. He asked if the Variance application would be processed within two weeks. Councilman Corwin asked if a variance application requires a fee and Mayor Begley replied that it does require a $100+ fee.


Councilman Corwin said that the Planning Board asked for a Professional planner to assist in addressing house and lot size and they ask for legal advice on the standing of deeds. Attorney Moore said that deeds are inferior to ordinances.  


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

Mayor Begley noted that after May’s meeting request that updated paving quotes be brought to June’s meeting, she emailed the previous quotes obtained 2 years ago to Councilmembers Dan Perlmutter and Ron Mau to be updated and that one quote was approximately $43,000 and one approximately $53,000.

Councilman Perlmutter said that he spoke with one of the contractors that he has received a quote from previously and they said that the quote would be different now. He asked for a description of the work to be included.

Councilman Mau said that he has not received any new quotes.

Mayor Begley asked the Council how many quotes they would like to see, Council replied that they would like three quotes. They would like quotes for chip and seal for Caves Springs Rd., and quotes for asphalt on the loop. Mayor Begley asked Councilmen Perlmutter and Mau to obtain quotes and bring information to the next meeting.


8.  Reports

Planning Board: Lee Buddha suggested that the Council pass a motion outlining charges to the Planning Board. Mayor Begley noted that they had been listed on the joint meeting agenda in March and in emails to the Planning Board but that if needed, they could submit them in writing for Councilman Corwin to bring to the Planning Board meetings. Councilman Corwin noted that Gerald Green said he would be open to assisting the Village on a contract basis. Mayor Begley asked if Gerald should meet with the Planning Board and the Council. Councilman Corwin said that he feels Gerald should meet with both, possibly in a joint work session. Council discussed and agreed to have a joint work session on 6-29. The Jackson Co. Rec. Ctr. is not available but Stephanie will check with Mayor Breedlove to see if we could use Webster Town Hall. The Council decided that if the Town Hall was available, the Zoning Board of Adjustments could meet first at 6:00 and the joint work session with the Planning Board could follow. Stephanie will advertise the meeting in the paper and on the website if the Town Hall is available.

Mayor Begley suggested spending some of the money in the budget for professional services to assist with the charges to the Planning Board that include, a Pedestrian Plan, changes to lot and house sizes, and a Comprehensive Land Plan.

Councilman Corwin said that the Planning Board voted to have a second opinion on the charrette recommendations. Lee Buddha suggested looking carefully at the ideas given from the charrette for future activities, not that the survey be re-done.


Safety: Councilman Hooper noted that the village was patrolled and that there was a speeding ticket issued and a ticket for a registration violation issued.


Village Roads & RPO Board: Councilman Perlmutter said he has gone to D.O.T. and made a comment about the pothole on North Country Club and hopefully it will be repaired soon.

RPO – Councilman Perlmutter was unable to attend the RPO meeting so Councilman Corwin attended in his place and said that there was a lot of discussion around bond issues and formula changes to do measuring; he will send the packet he received to Council members.


Councilman Perlmutter said that he mentioned the pool and tennis courts and said at one time, they had considered repairing the pool but the expense was excessive. He would like to discuss potentially talking to the University Inn about restoring the pool and/or the tennis courts. He said that he would discuss this with Attorney Moore and report at the next meeting.


Jackson County CTP: Councilman Mau said he has no new information, the meeting will be tomorrow, and they will be discussing the airport and public transportation.


Mayor’s Report: Mayor Begley said that she did not have anything new to report from the monthly Mayor’s meeting. She noted that Ordinance Administrator, Ken Dicker, was successful in getting the ordinance violations resolved.


9.  Unfinished Business

Road signage Installation– Councilman Mau said that the signs have been installed.

 Update on sketches from landscape architect regarding Village entrance sign: Mayor Begley said that the architect has sent preliminary sketches but she is waiting on more.

 Set up work session with Chris Green and James Hooper and Gerald Green: Councilman Corwin said that they will set up a meeting before Gerald moves if that is possible. He noted that conversations and meetings have to be discussed in public meetings. Chris Green noted that there is a statute that allows conversation regarding economic development. No More than two elected officials can meet with other officials or members with interest in the Village. Councilman Corwin will provide an update at the next meeting.

 10.  New Business 

  • Potential variance application: Zoning Board of Adjustments – The Rowland’s will submit a variance application.

  • Mayor Begley asked if the Council needs to meet more than once a month until some of the current issues are addressed. Council thought it may be a good idea. Mayor Begley said she will check with the recreation center about times and report at the next meeting.

 11.  Additional Public Comment: None

 12.  Adjourn: At 8:05pm Councilman Corwin made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Perlmutter, unanimously approved.