Forest Hills Council Meeting 10-1-01

Village of Forest Hills Council Meeting

Monday, October 1, 2001

7:00 PM

University Inn


1.  Mayor Irene Hooper called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM and welcomed all.  Present were Council persons Jean Adams, Joe Rossano, Larry Kolenbrander and Harold Williford; Attorneys Jay Coward and Heather Baker, Sylva Herald Reporter Rose Hooper, Clerk Mary Ann Budahl and approximately 15 Village residents and friends. 


2.  The minutes of the preceding meeting as previously circulated were approved.  (Kolenbrander, Adams).


3.  Mayor Hooper read the report that Treasurer Jim Weir submitted stating that the auditors have had the checkbook for most of the month and that the financial audit should be concluded by the November meeting.  No checks were written.  The bank balance is approximately $59,000.00.


3a.  In remembrance of the thousands of lives that were lost in the terrorist attacks last month, Mayor Hooper asked that we observe a moment of silence.


3b.  The Mayor then reported on the March for Unity held in Sylva last Saturday.  The municipalities, along with the Jackson County Commissioners participated, and several officials, including Ms. Hooper spoke.  She reported that the march ended at the fountain at dusk, with uniformed police, firefighters, emergency personnel, and service members lining the steps of the courthouse.  Many of the marchers carried flags and candles making the event a very moving and memorable experience.  Mayor Hooper and several Village residents represented Forest Hills. 


Old business

4.  Mayor Hooper has called DOT regarding the replacement of the three Neighborhood Watch signs. 


5.  The stop signs at the entrance to Valhalla and Cox Farm Road have been replaced.


6.  The inquiry regarding a one-way-road at the end of North Country Club Drive is still being considered by DOT.


7.  Ad hoc Road Committee met on September 12.  Larry Kolenbrander reported that Gene Tweedy and two asphalt pavers surveyed the roads for areas deemed necessary for emergency repairs this fall.  They will also address the long-term projects for next spring, and bids will be submitted.  The designation between “Powell Bill roads and non-Powell Bill roads” will be taken into consideration.


8.  Ron Stephens was not available to report on the asphalt plant study.


9.  The celebration commemorating the 150th anniversary of Jackson County is currently underway.  The Village will join with the Jackson County Historical Association for the following event:  Dick Iobst will present a program on October 21 at 4:00 PM at the site of Judaculla Rock in Caney Fork discussing the history of Cullowhee and the settlements around Judaculla Rock.  Motion to proceed with the Village joining in the celebration with the Jackson County Historical Association (Williford, Rossano) passed unanimously.  (Residents are encouraged to attend, and since it will be held outside, each person might want to take along a lawn chair.)


10.  Mayor Hooper and Clerk Budahl reported that they checked the DMV transactions during the preceding month.  This job will be passed on to the Village Clerk in the future.


11.  Jean Adams will once again organize the litter-sweep that is planned for this Saturday, October 6 at 9:00 AM.  Heavy rubber gloves, orange vests and trash bags can be picked up at the entrance to Forest Hills at 9:00, and if we have a good turn-out, we should be finished in a couple of hours.  Please plan to participate in this event that will benefit all residents.


12.  Larry Kolenbrander reported that the Planning Board continues their project of revising the subdivision regulations.


13.  Jim Dukes who represents Cox Center LLC, a development company that owns 13 acres at the intersection of Hwy 107 and North Country Club Drive presented a proposed Development Plan for this area which includes a hotel/conference center, extended stay facility, apartment/condominium complex, space for retail/commercial units, restaurant, park, and gas and/or grocery store.  Also recognized was James Epley who owns 20 acres within the proposed ETJ area and has plans to build 144 apartment units. 


Discussion followed for approximately two hours regarding ETJ and its impact on these building projects.  It was pointed out by John Adams that ETJ does not impose zoning on property; it provides a basis for land use according to what is considered reasonable and appropriate. 


14.  A petition signed by all of the residents living on Lyle Wilson Road and opposing ETJ was presented and read into the minutes.  Albert Wilson reasoned that none of the property in this area can be accessed through Forest Hills, so the residents felt that it should not be included.


15.  Joe Rossano reported on the ETJ Public Hearing held last Thursday.  Harold Williford felt that the Council should respond to James Hooper’s letter that was read at the Hearing.  Motion (Williford, Adams) passed unanimously.  Joe Rossano and Harold Williford will undertake this project.


Harold Williford gave a brief history of the ETJ proposal, including the motion voted on by the Council at the June 4, 2001 meeting to ‘move ahead with ETJ defined as Ridge top to Ridge top:  to include Cox Creek watershed, Lyle Wilson, KA House, Summit Apartments on Hwy 107, Vale Hollow, but exclude the trailer park.’  He then moved to modify the ordinance to exclude the Lyle Wilson Estates, which is designated as Area #1.  Second by Rossano. 


It was pointed out by Attorney Coward that if ETJ is adopted, then property owners could petition the Planning Board for voluntary annexation whereby the property could be rezoned for commercial or some other use.  He also pointed out that it is illegal for the Village to zone property such that it would decrease the value of the property.


Before the vote was taken, Kolenbrander moved to amend his motion by adding the Cox Center properties and James Epley’s Catamount Hollow acreage to the excluded parcels, contingent on that the owners will petition the Council for voluntary annexation within four months, and if they did not do so, then ETJ would automatically go into effect with no further action by the Council.  Kolenbrander’s amendment was not voted on.  Kolenbrander then changed his motion to state that the Cox Center properties and James Epley’s Catamount Hollow acreage be added to the excluded parcels contingent on that the owners will petition the Council for voluntary annexation within four months and if they do not do so, then ETJ would go into effect at the discretion of the Council.


The motion and amendment were tabled and motion to recess Council until October 22, 2001 (Kolenbrander, Rossano) passed unanimously.


The Forest Hills Village Council was recessed at 10:30 PM.


Respectfully submitted,


Mary Ann Budahl, Clerk