Forest Hills Council Meeting 11-8-04



NOVEMBER 8, 2004

Mayor Jim Davis called the regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills Council to order at approximately 7:00 p.m., on Monday, November 8, 2004 at the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee. 


Council Members Present:                  Sue Burton, Jim Davis, Dick Iobst, and Joe Rossano and Jim Wallace.

Others Present:                           

Ruth Roman, Town Clerk;

Jim Weir Finance Director;

Gene Tweedy, Planning Committee;

Irene Hooper, EDC;

Residents John & Ann Murray

and Linda & Ken Dickert;

Cary King, Sylva Herald.


Following a short invocation, Mayor Davis called for a motion to approve the minutes of the October 4, 2004 Council meeting, as submitted.  Dick Iobst motioned to approve the minutes as submitted, Jim Wallace seconded, there was no discussion, all approved.  Motion passed unanimously.  Sue Burton asked the Town Clerk for a report on the Ordinance Synopsis mailing and how much was the mailing cost?  Mrs. Roman submitted this information to the Mayor for him to report as follows:  A total of $384.69 was spent for the Ordinance mailing; $251.94 for 57 Certified/Return Receipts @ $4.42/each; $37.00/100 stamps @$0.37; $4.00/4 pkg. 25 count envelopes @.$0.94/each; $41.73 for 300 B/W copies; $35.00 Ink Cartridge and $15.02 for labels.  To-date, of the 57 that were sent certified, forty-three have been acknowledged by return receipt, three unclaimed, nine not deliverable, and two awaiting receipt.  Of the 98 regular mailings, six have been returned not deliverable.  A motion was made by Dick Iobst to place the names of undelivered mailings in the Village newsletter with a request for assistance in locating these people, Sue Burton seconded, motion passed unanimously.  The Council was unanimous in its decision to put on record that the Ordinance mailing was a necessary expenditure to assist in the enforcement of the ordinances.


Mayor Davis called on the following for reports:


            1.         Jim Weir, Finance:      Mr. Weir reported that to-date Bear Track Paving

has been paid $20,000.00 and is due approximately $5,000 to $6,000.00 more.  It is thought that Bear Track will finish up this week.  Cash balance as of 10/31/04 is $64,455.00, which includes a Powell Bill deficit of $7,000.00.  The Village received $11,259.00 of Powell Bill Funds in September 2004.  Dick Iobst motioned to accept the Financial report as submitted, Jim Wallace seconded, there was no discussion, motioned passed unanimously.  The Village will begin receiving monies from the tax base in the next month, with the majority of income coming in January and February.


2.         Irene Hooper, EDC and Greenway Committees:       Mrs. Hooper had no report for either EDC or the Greenway due to timing of the meetings. 

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 3.         Gene Tweedy, Planning Committee:  Mr. Tweedy reported that the Planning Board met last month, and that they are about two-thirds finished with the Draft Land-Use plan, and the Chairman, Joe Roman, would like to invite members of the Council, preferably on a one-on-one basis, to discuss ideas and suggestions that the Planning Committee have already gone through.  Mr. Roman will get in touch with the Council for a time certain for these discussions.  The Committee is anticipating a draft to be completed in January or February.  There will not be a meeting in December because of the holidays.  Mr. Tweedy also reported that there are three vacancies on the Planning Committee and Janie Prentice and Eric Young were proposed as new members, leaving one vacancy.  Mr. Tweedy suggested that the web be used as a tool to solicit new members.

4.         Sue Burton, WCU/Student/Village Liaison:     Mrs. Burton reported that a meeting has not been held because others did not want to meet until landlords were all involved, and until the Zoning amendments were disbursed to all the students.  Mrs. Burton did attend the multi-jurisdictional meeting and reported that they meet twice a year and all the different municipalities in the county get together to share what they are or are not doing.  One thing she learned is that Sylva is seriously studying ETJ in order to control development.  An interesting bit of information was told in that Forest Hills was cited as controlling environmental and zoning issues by this method, and that maybe they (Sylva) should do what Forest Hills does.

5.         Jim Wallace, DOT:     Dr. Wallace reported that the Mayor and he and the right-of-way person for the DOT will be meeting this week and that next month he will have a more complete report as to whether or not the county will be willing to take over the Village roads and accept the responsibility of improving and maintaining the roads.  Discussion ensued regarding what would be included in maintenance.


Mayor Davis introduced and welcomed new residents, Linda and Ken Dickert who purchased the Carol Pearce house on South Country Club Drive.


Joe Rossano was called upon to report regarding an incident reported by a resident who reported that their window was shot out by a tenant using a sling shot and golf ball.  The resident reported that the person doing the shooting was a tenant of Mr. Kotila's.  After a short discussion, council members agreed to call Mr.Kotila about this situation to see if it can be resolved.  It was noted that proper law enforcement should also be involved.


Discussion ensued regarding litter, dumping, and the watershed problems in the Village, the Council is hopeful that once the new ordinances are recorded the Village can then enact enforcement that will hopefully alleviate these problems.  Regarding the watershed problems, the subject of Mr. Kris Williams’ property was discussed, consensus was to speak to Mr. Williams to ask him his intended use of his property, and, whether or not the Village would want to accept any roads that might be built. It is thought that the road is planned to be Mr. Williams' driveway.  In its present stage it has caused some major runoff and mud buildup during past storms and Mr. Williams has been cited by the county and environmental agency. Some sections of the property lie within the ETJ limits and some within the Village limits.  The Village attorney, Jay Coward, advised that it would be best to first speak to Mr. Williams to find out his intended usage of the property and then go from there.

Council Meeting Minutes

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 Mayor Davis reported on Agenda Item #5 a. ii (Murray, et al) that concerns the responsibility of maintenance expense for a road easement granted by Ron Stephens for road right-of-way over his land that permits ingress and egress to other properties, the property is a private driveway that extends off Village Road #1330 and is not owned by the Village, and the Village cannot at this time bear maintenance expenses. The people who currently have the easement rights are Kris Williams, John and Ann Murray, and CWS.  The easement deed states that expenses for the road are to be shared by Ron Stephens and those who are granted the easement.  Mayor Davis reported that in speaking to Bear Cat, they have agreed, out of their own generosity while they are in the Village working, and just one time, to run topping on this easement road to about Laurel Springs Road and have actually already completed this work.  There was some discussion about asking Ron Stephens to donate the road to the Village and then include it in with Powell Funds.  Sue Burton motioned that she be authorized to speak to Mr. Stephens to see if he would be willing to deed the road (private driveway with easement) to the Village, Joe Rossano made the second, the Mayor recognized Jim Wallace for discussion on the motion.  Dr. Wallace requested that legal counsel give advice on whether the council should do this in order to ensure that the council is not over committing themselves.  Jay Coward stated that he would not advise either way that the decision was a political decision, but stated the council could do it legally and that he could draw up the documents to make it a legal transaction.  Sue Burton amended her motion to state to give Attorney Jay Coward the go ahead to work up the paperwork to make it a legal transaction.  Jim Wallace motioned to table Mrs. Burton’s motion until the next meeting to better research this matter, Dick Iobst seconded Dr. Wallace’s motion, the Mayor called for approval, the ayes and nays were tied at two each, with the Mayor breaking the tie in favor of the ayes.  Motion carried 3 - 2 to table this item until the next meeting.


Mayor Davis reported that at the last meeting the council requested that he look into the matter of the next agenda item #5, a iii (Water drainage from Forest Hills Estates road down to Spell, Wallace, and Corwin’s), and he did and found out that in a hard rain the water is not adequately disbursed through the culvert system that Forest Hills Estates put in and the water is jumping the road and coming down between the Wallace, Spell houses at a pretty good rate and causing erosion and damage.  Bear Cat is willing to clean out the culverts at a cost of $1,050.00.  Discussion ensued regarding this expense and responsibility of the Forest Hills Estates Homeowners’ Association.  Decision was reached to have Mrs. Burton act as the council’s negotiator with the president of the Forest Hills Estates HOA in this endeavor.


Mayor Davis called on Attorney, Jay Coward, to report on the Summit progress.  Mr. Coward reported that the only thing that he could report during open meeting was that he has a draft order for council to look over and that council could get back with him regarding anything in the draft, and they could e-mail, or mail it to him or drop it by his office. Joe Rossano commented that other than a few typos, that Mr. Coward did an excellent job with the draft order.  The Council agreed to give back to Mr. Coward their copies with notes so that Mr. Coward could make the revisions needed.  Mr. Coward requested that the council meet with him in closed session following this meeting regarding legal matters dealing with this agenda item that could not be discussed during an open meeting, council agreed.

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Mrs. Burton was assigned to order the street signs for the Village, number and type as per last meeting’s minutes (Mayor Davis will provide Mrs. Burton with type and number and verbiage).  Discussion ensued regarding the placement of No Parking signs in compliance with the Village ordinance in that No Parking signs can only be posted between Hwy. 107, and the University Inn.  Those in violation of parking on right-of-ways that are not posted can be cited by the Sheriff and also, if violators are students, by WCU’s judicial committee.  Ordinances will be recorded in the very near future with the Register of Deeds Office in Jackson County.  Attorney Jay Coward stipulated that even though they are not yet recorded they are law and enforceable.  A synopsis of the ordinances was mailed to property owners in October.


Tree trimming along power lines has started by WCU’s sub-contractors and they have been very severe.  The Mayor advised if you don’t like what they are doing to do it yourself.


Mayor Davis requested volunteers to organize the Annual Christmas Party.   Mrs. Hooper will serve as Chairman of the Christmas Committee, she will get with a few ladies to assist with plans.


After a short discussion regarding the progress of entrance plans, agreement was reached to look into getting someone else to carry out plans.


There being no further regular meeting business, Mayor Davis called for a motion to go into closed session to discuss the pending lawsuit, Summit Apartments vs. The Village of Forest Hills. Sue Burton motioned to go into closed session at 8:40 p.m., Dick Iobst seconded, all approved.

Respectfully submitted by:

Ruth Roman, Village Clerk