February 2011


                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                               February 1, 2011



The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held in the lobby at the Jackson County Recreation Center at 6:00pm on February 1, 2011.


The following members of the Council were present:

Jim Wallace, Mayor

Clark Corwin

Carl Hooper

Gene Tweedy

Suzanne Stone


The following Non-Council members were present:

Kolleen Begley, Finance Officer

Mark Teague, Zoning Administrator


The following Non-Council members were absent:

Tammy Collins-Tawny, Clerk



(1)    Call to order 6:05pm by Mayor Jim Wallace


(2)    Mayor Wallace gave an announcement that there are 2 Council seats and the Mayor seat up for re-election this November 2011.  Anyone interested needs to apply at the County Board of Elections between Friday July 1st at noon until Friday July 15th at noon.  Mayor Wallace asked Kolleen Begley to post this announcement on the Village website.


(3)    Vote on Agenda.  Carl Hooper added one item, “Agenda”, to New Business.  A motion to approve the agenda as modified was made by Carl Hooper, seconded by Gene Tweedy, and unanimously approved.


(4)    Approval of meeting minutes for January 4, 2011 Council meeting.  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Carl Hooper, seconded by Gene Tweedy, unanimously approved.  (Approved meeting minutes are posted on the Village website)


(5)    Financial reports for the months of January, 2011.  Kolleen Begley gave the Financial Report as 7 months into the 12 months fiscal year stating it was still within budget.  The majority of the Ad Valorem taxes have been received and the cash position is good.  $5,756 still remains in Powell Bill Funds.  Discussion about adjusting budget numbers in certain areas for next fiscal year.  A motion to accept the financial report was made by Carl Hooper, seconded by Clark Corwin, unanimous. (Approved budgets are posted on the Village website)                                           


(6)    Public Hearing.  This is the second hearing on the specific ordinance change concerning the number of unrelated persons occupying premises in the R-1, R-1-A, M-1, and P-1 districts and requiring a conditional use permit; the proposal is that it be changed from FOUR to MORE THAN TWO on pages 5, 6, 8, 12, and 13, respectively.  Also related changes have been made to Sec.219 and the accompanying table on page 20 and to Sec.501.1 (F) on page 27.  Underscoring and strike-throughs indicate where the changes have been suggested.  This document has been on the website and under discussion since October of 2010.  Resident Lee Budahl spoke in favor of the proposed change.  Lee stated that he felt that less renters in the area would result in less trash along the roads, less speeding on the roads, fewer parties, and less cigarette butts thrown out the window which if lit he felt was a safety hazard.   Resident Jenny Proffit also spoke in favor of the proposed change stating that since she has lived in the Village for the past 8 years, she has seen an increase in traffic and noise.  Resident Ken Dickert spoke in favor of the proposed change stating he has experienced the noise associated with renters and parties being disruptive at 11pm sometimes until early morning hours.  Ken felt the more people renting, the more cars multiplied at the residence as well as additional traffic on the Village roads.  Resident and Village Zoning Administrator, Mark Teague,  spoke against the proposed ordinance stating that he felt there was enough restrictions on residents at all government levels and this was just one more at the local level restricting how we can use our own property, what we do in our own homes, and who we can have stay with us in our homes.  Mark stated that he felt there are better ways the Council can deal with renters for instance a surcharge on the homeowner.  He disagreed with restricting everyone in the Village instead of just dealing with the few rental problems.  Mark questioned the Council on how this would be enforced.  Rick Bennett who owns rental property in the Village questioned whether his rental properties that he has owned in the Village the past 6 years would be subject to this ordinance.   Mayor Wallace responded that Mr. Bennett’s properties would be grandfathered in but that he should go ahead and get the permit anyway.  Mark Teague questioned the “grandfathered in” comment and Mayor Wallace responded that it would apply to people who were renting their property before the Village incorporated in 1997.  Resident and Planning Board member Alan Begley spoke out against the proposed ordinance change stating that he felt that this ordinance change would not stop a party from happening.  Ken Dickert addressed Alan Begley and reiterated that more people meant more cars and more noise.   Alan replied that there could be noise ordinances or parking enforced.  Mayor Wallace intervened in the discussion and Councilperson Clark Corwin stated that this was a hearing where the public could make a presentation with statements about the specific ordinance change on the table but that other issues can not be addressed at this time.   A motion to close the hearing was made by Clark Corwin.  Discussion from Councilmembers included Suzanne Stone stating that she has had several phone calls in favor of this change consensus being that the reason they purchased homes in the Village was because it had restrictions and they want them upheld.  Clark Corwin agreed with Suzanne Stone and his personal stance is that he wants this to be a residential community, not a rental community for what is zoned R-1 (single family.) Clark stated that the wording of “family” is broad and that there can be conditional permits that can be enforced if there are complaints.  Clark also stated that there would be nobody going around knocking on doors.  Gene Tweedy stated that the residents that contacted him also did not want a rental community.  No comments from Carl Hooper.  Jim Wallace stated that he also received phone calls in favor of the change.  A motion to accept the ordinance change was made by Gene Tweedy, seconded by Clark Corwin, unanimously approved.


(7)    Payment of an expense over $1,000 requiring Council approval.   A motion was made by Carl Hooper to pay a legal bill over $1,000 seconded by Suzanne Stone, unanimously approved.  Discussion from Clark Corwin addressing Mayor Wallace on how much he anticipated needed to be budgeted for the rest of the fiscal year for legal fees relating to the potential annexation. Mayor Wallace replied that was unknown at this time.  Gene Tweedy addressed the Council questioning who the Village should be using to get some expert advice on the potential annexation the Village is facing.  Gene Tweedy stated that he wants to make sure what he’s approving Village funds be spent on is going to be of value to them in pursuing a final decision.  Clark Corwin questioned Mayor Wallace on whether or not he has had any recent contact with the Village attorney about the annexation and Mayor Wallace responded that there have been email exchanges but as of this meeting, nothing about the annexation yet.  Discussion evolved around the Village legal council handling the responsibility of the annexation discussions with WCU.  Carl Hooper requested that this be further discussed in closed session when they discuss contracts.    



(8)    Working Code of Ethics discussion led by Clark Corwin.  A Code of Ethics document spelling out the roles of advocates, legislators, and decision makers for the Village was discussed section by section and the repercussion of using censorship if not followed.  A motion to accept the Code of Ethics as an executed document was made by Suzanne Stone, seconded by Carl Hooper.  A motion to amend by changing the words from “shall be” to “shall not be” allowed to vote on the motion to adopt a resolution referring to the person being censored was made by Suzanne Stone, seconded by Carl Hooper, unanimously approved.


(9)    Resolution to adopt Procedures.   This agenda item was tabled to the March meeting.



Budget Committee was formed.  Carl Hooper stated that he would like the budget committee meeting to be held in March.  The Budget Committee consists of Kolleen Begley, Gene Tweedy, Carl Hooper, and Mark Teague.  Kolleen Begley will contact the committee members with a date and time to be determined. 


Village Roads. Carl Hooper stated that he met with the local DOT representative and questioned the procedures for getting the non state-maintained roads moved over to state-maintained roads.  The DOT is currently 3 years out but if homeowners on non state-maintained roads sign over right-of-ways, the Village could start the petition to have the roads taken over.  Discussion about a few of the pros and cons evolved.   Suzanne Stone made a motion to allow Carl Hooper to contact residents of the Village to seek the right-of ways so the state can take over the responsibility of all of the Village roads, seconded by Gene Tweedy.


Discussion about a memo of understanding with Ron Hancock of the Division of Community Assistance working with the WCU and/or solely with the Village of Forest Hills.   Suzanne Stone requested this be run by the Village attorney, unanimously agreed.  A motion was made by Carl Hooper to only have DCA representing one party, seconded by Suzanne Stone, unanimously approved. 


Sheriff’s Patrolling  Carl Hooper offered to become the liaison with the police patrol to re-arrange the days and times of the Village patrol.  Gene Tweedy made a motion to approve Carl Hooper being the Village representative liaison with the police patrol, seconded by Suzanne Stone, unanimously approved. 







At 7:39pm a motion to go into closed session was made by made by Carl Hooper for reason 143-3318.11 concerning contracts, seconded by Clark Corwin, unanimously approved.