May 2016

May 25, 2016


The Planning Board workshop meeting for the Village of Forest Hills was held at the Southwest Commission from 1:00 – 5:00pm on May 25, 2016. 

The following members of the Planning Board were present:

Lee Budahl

Steve Brown

Nilofer Couture

Jayne Buchanan

Jack Brown

The following Council members were present:

Kolleen Begley

Carl Hooper

Clark Corwin

Ron Mau

The following Non-Planning Board members were present:

Kristy Carter, J.M. Teague Engineering & Planning

Michael Poston, Jackson County Planning Director

Anthony Fox, Parker & Poe   

  1. Call to order:  The meeting was called to order at 1:40 pm by Mayor Begley. 
  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes from March 21, 2016 and April 13, 2016  Planning Board Meetings:  Steve made a motion to table reviewing the minutes from the March and April meetings since some members had not had a chance to review notes, unanimously agreed. 
  1. Approval of Agenda:  Steve made a motion to approve the agenda, unanimously accepted. 
  1. Introduce Guests:  Kolleen/Kristy:  Mayor Begley introduced guests, Michael Poston, the Jackson County Planning Director and Anthony Fox from Parker & Poe. 
  1. Statement from Mayor & Email Discussion:  Mayor Begley shared that there is a developer from Charlotte interested in purchasing the University Inn.  She said he is interested in renovating the property and making upscale apartments.

Mayor Begley also shared that Mr. Green, the owner of the Valley, has expressed his frustration with delays and has discussed De-annexation of his property from the Village; she noted this would not be in the best interest of the Village, noting that the Village would receive no tax money and the owner could essentially do whatever he liked with the property.   The Mayor said that the Council would prefer to work with the owner toward the vision of the Village. 

  1. Mixed Use/Conditional Zoning Discussion:  Jayne turned the meeting over to Kristy for further discussion.  

Kristy said that her recommendation would be to go toward Conditional Zoning. 

Kristy said she needs to know the Council supports the direction the Planning Board is recommending, details need to be worked out so that she can take the direction and work out the details and come back with a plan. Standards and general conditions have to be met to have a quasi-Judicial process. 

Kristy noted that most of the Village is zoned R-1, she added that the Council and Planning Board needs to discuss Mixed Use Development, she asked for areas of concern and/or opportunities regarding this type of development.  Council and Planning Board members noted concerns of increased traffic, the risks of increased or decreased property values, enforcement of ordinances, noise issues, High density student housing, Village liability during construction or development, and lack of infrastructure such as water and sewer.   The members saw opportunities of the development as Real Estate Development, increased Tax Revenue, opportunities of affordable housing, cleaning up neglected areas in the Village, Community gathering space, additional Utility services, walkability and connectivity, having green spaces, diversity, and remaining a Municipality.

Kristy said that the main parcel of land known as the Valley is approximately 57 acres with a total acreage of approximately 72 acres, she noted that about 6 ½ acres of the property is constrained by a Flood zone. 

Mayor Begley said that Gerald Green did receive a plan or idea from the Valley property owner and it did take into consideration the Guiding Land Use Plan of the Village and incorporated some of the ideas the Village provided and gave open space of approximately 50% of the property.  Patio and Town homes were discussed as well as traffic formats.

Kristy said that limitations of having a quasi-judicial process were that the Council and Planning Board could not interact with an applicant for a Zoning permit, only the Planning Director.

Kristy said the Village can add conditions they choose to Conditional Use Permits if they are reasonable and directly related to the project.  

Mr. Fox said that the Village needs to be in Collaboration with Jackson County regarding Conditional Zoning, he noted that communication and negotiation in the process is a necessity. 

Kristy said that the Conditional Zoning Process is needed if you want to see a Sight Plan.  She said that someone from the Village has to assume a leadership position, noting that the Planning Board needs to have a chair or at least a point person who has the right to negotiate on behalf of the Village.  Mayor Begley said she feels that she and Clark should remain the point of contact for the Village.  Mr. Fox said that the point person for Municipalities is typically the mayor. 

Kristy said that the Planning Board’s duties are to make advisory decisions and present them to the governing board.  She said that staff can advise them but the Planning Board is appointed to do that job.

Kristy said an application fee needs to be determined by the Village, noting that the money typically would go to Jackson County for doing the work.  Mr. Poston said that Jackson County would provide the Staff Report, he noted that the Village handles the advertisement costs and forwards the application to Jackson County for processing.   Mayor Begley said the Village did adopt a fee schedule that is posted on the website; the schedule follows that of Jackson County’s fees.

Kristy said she needs a consensus on the issues and noted that the Developer has to agree to the conditions outlined by the Village. 

Kristy asked the Council’s opinion on the examples provided for Mixed Use Districts.  Councilmember Mau said that he did not like the wording of wide variety and that sewers and water can have an impact on the diversity of housing.  Kristy said that Jackson County would have to give approval and diversity can be assigned based on substantial availability. 

Steve mentioned traffic issues and Kristy noted that if the development is substantial, a traffic impact analysis can be required. 

Council noted that Height restrictions are currently 45’ in Ordinances.  Council agreed that they would prefer that a motel not be constructed in the Valley. 

Kristy discussed Residential and Non-Residential aspects that the Village would not be opposed to, Council were in support of Patio homes, Townhomes, apartments, and smaller homes on smaller lot sizes with emphasis being on long term housing opposed to rentals. 

Mr. Fox said that the Village could create a student housing district if desired.  He noted that potential noise ordinance violations are difficult to enforce. 

  1.  Adjourn:  Jayne made a motion to adjourn at 4:50 pm, unanimously approved.