February 2023


Village of Forest Hills Council Meeting
Tuesday, February 07, 2023 – 7:00 pm
Forest Hills Assembly Hall, Cullowhee NC


The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Jim Wallace

Councilmember Nilofer Couture

Councilmember Ron Yount

Councilmember Marcia Almond

The following members of the Council were absent:

Councilmember Daniel Shields

The following non-Council members were Present:

Stephanie Gibson, Clerk

Larry Ingersoll, Ordinance Administrator

Tim Eckard, Planning Board

Anthony Fox, Municipal Attorney

  1. Call to order: at 7:00pm Mayor Wallace called the meeting to order. 

     2.  Announcements:

Reminder – Please silence cell phones for meeting.

     3.  Approval of Agenda: Councilmember Yount made a motion to approve the agenda, Councilmember Couture seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

     4.  Approval of Meeting Minutes for January 03, 2023, Regular Council Meeting:(All meeting minutes are posted on the Forest Hills website once approved.) Councilmember Almond made a motion to approve the meeting minutes for January 03, 2023, Councilmember Yount seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

     5.  Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of January 2023: (All financial reports are posted on the Forest Hills website once approved.) Councilmember Yount made a motion to accept the financial report, Councilmember Couture seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

     6.  Public Comments: None  

     7.  Reports: 

Mayor’s Report: Jim Wallace – Mayor Wallace shared that B.H. Graning has started  clearing the parcel on the left of the entrance and seeding which will be paid for by the Municipal Grant the village was awarded for $4,000.00.

Roads: Ron Yount – Councilmember Yount said the roads look good, there were several trees removed that were of concern and he noted that there is the area of asphalt that still needs  to be patched by CWS, it will probably be spring before they are able to patch.

RPO/TAC: Marcia Almond – Councilmember Almond said that the RPO has a new member, his name is Keith Clark, he is a Real Estate agent.

Planning Board: Mayor Wallace shared that Rick Cardona contacted him and said that he was going to have to resign.  Tim Eckard has been sworn in as a new member and Marcia was told that Leroy and Amber quick have been sworn in, but has not heard from the other potential members.  Mayor Wallace said he may know someone interested in being on board.

Village Safety: Nilofer Couture – Councilmember Couture said that the village was patrolled a total of 46 hrs. for the month, she said law enforcement received 24 - 911 calls for the month and that 11 of them came from Prospect and University Inn.  She noted 2 calls were for homeless people in the area and two were for firearms being discharged.

  1. New Business: 
  • Discussion with Attorney, Anthony Fox re:  Short Tern Rentals:  Attorney Fox discussed statute 160D that contains a provision which constrains the ability for local government to restrict short term rentals.  They can regulate if an area has criminal activity.  He noted that other regulations are permitted, he said that in the Zoning Ordinances, the Municipality could say that whole house lodging is only permitted in certain districts and you can prohibit variance of regulations.  He said that the Village can also disallow large events, and require insurance and record keeping.  Attorney Fox said registrations cannot be required, you can require permits but they should pertain to the actual property.  The village does have ordinance making power but can only enforce police power and ordinances.  He said that the village can have a fee structure in place with reasonable fees for permits and penalties for violation of ordinances.  Attorney Fox said that areas that cause disturbances and have frequent calls to law enforcement can constitute a nuisance case. 
  • Council members asked about the issue with parking, the attorney said that there should be provisions in place to have adequate parking for any rental areas.  When asked about the parking issues on the main village roads, the attorney recommended talking to the Sherriff’s office about road enforcement and installing signage that would designate no parking areas. 
  • Road Widening:  Mayor Wallace said that he had someone that was working for him and he asked them about the approximate cost of widening all village roads that were not already 16’ to that width.  He said he was quoted approximately $90,000. to prep roads, grade, gravel place drainage and prepare for paving.  The council discussed and would like to explore further to see if DOT would continue to maintain those roads and if the work could be paid for from grant funds.  Also, additional quotes would need to be obtained if the council wanted to move forward with this project.  The council will discuss further at the March meeting. 
  1. Unfinished Business: 
  • Ordinance Administrator Replacement:  Larry Ingersoll agreed at the last meeting to accept the position of Ordinance Administrator, he has been sworn in and will assume that role. 
  • Municipal Grant Awarded:  Mayor Wallace shared that the Village was awarded the Municipal Grant. 
  • Planning Board meeting/member status: Mayor Wallace mentioned to Tim Eckard that the new members could get together and discuss the meeting.  Marcia shared Leroy and Amber Quick’s contact information and Stephanie will follow-up, we have not heard from Stephanie Rankin.  The council will discuss additional members needed at the March meeting. 
  • VFH SW Corner Property:  Mayor Wallace said the contract has been signed by the Village but not by the Dillard’s, he will follow up with the Attorney and/or Realtor before the next meeting. 
  • Discussion of entrance work not covered by the Municipal Grant:  Councilmembers will discuss further at the March meeting. 

    10.  Adjourn: At 9:00pm, Councilmember Couture made a motion to adjourn, Councilmember Almond seconded the motion, unanimously approved.