Forest Hills Council Meeting 12-1-03

Village of Forest Hills

Council Meeting

Monday, December 1, 2003

7:00 PM

Jackson County Recreation Center


The regular meeting of the Council of Forest Hills was called to order by Mayor Jim Davis at 7:05 PM.  In attendance were Mayor Jim Davis; Councilpersons Sue Burton, Dick Iobst, and Joe Rossano; Former Mayor Irene Hooper; Attorney Jay Coward; Financial Officer Jim Weir; Clerk Mary Ann Budahl; Ann Melton, Deputy Clerk of Court; Carey King, reporter from the Sylva Herald; and five guests and Village residents.  Mayor Davis opened the meeting with a brief prayer.


The first order of business was for Ann Melton, Deputy Clerk of Court to administer the oath of office to newly re-elected Mayor Jim Davis, and councilpersons Joe Rossano and Sue Burton.  Motion to appoint Ida Jenkins as Clerk for the Village of Forest Hills passed unanimously.  (Burton, Rossano)  Ida Jenkins was then sworn in as Village Clerk.  She will assume her duties on January 1, 2004.  A motion to elect Sue Burton as Mayor Pro tem and as Deputy Zoning Administrator (Iobst, Rossano) passed unanimously.  Ms. Burton was sworn in to these positions as well, and then since she had another important engagement that evening, she was excused.


The outgoing Clerk, Mary Ann Budahl was presented a plaque by Mayor Davis which read:  “In recognition of outstanding and dedicated service as the Clerk for the Village of Forest Hills, this plaque is presented to Mary Ann Budahl with our sincere appreciation, from the members of the Village Council December 2003.” 


The minutes of the November meeting were unanimously accepted with two corrections:  paragraph 4 – the first meeting of the WCU Liaison group will take place in January, 2004; and in paragraph 8 – the letter from Ron Stephens to Sue Burton was dated November 10, 2003.  (Iobst, Rossano). 


Former Mayor Irene Hooper reported that on October 9, 2003 the Economic Development Committee met at The Trillium resort in Cashiers.  The EDC continues to search for ways to stimulate growth in our area and to expand the role of the EDC.  She also stated that the much-anticipated WCU Millennial Campus will surely impact us all in a positive way. 


The Planning Board was not represented at this meeting; however, Joe Rossano reported that the brush-trimming on North Country Club Drive has been completed.  Gene Tweedy is attempting to contact a road surfacing contractor about two problem areas on our roads.


Attorney Jay Coward reported that he had contacted Daniel Holt of the DOT with the hopes of getting the DOT to accept the entire road project without having to contact each individual property owner.  However, after their conversation, Atty. Coward was not too optimistic about this.  Mayor Davis stated that he was in contact with Conrad Burrell who stated that since the Village had the easements throughout the Village, it was just a matter of getting a letter from the County Commissioners requesting that the project be turned over to the DOT. 

Atty Coward agreed to write a letter stating that the Village of Forest Hills owns the rights-of-way on both North and South Country Club Drives by virtue of the fact that they have been maintaining these roads.  Then Mayor Davis will present this letter to Conrad Burrell for further action.  Mr. Coward also said that it was important to pinpoint the location and ownership of the road prior to 1975, since the law states that the State will take over an unimproved gravel road if it was in existence in the same place before July 1, 1975.  If a road was built after that date, before they will take over a paved road, it has to be brought up to state standards. 


Mayor Davis reported that the annual Holiday Gala will be held at the Rec Center on December 14, 2003 from 2:00 until 5:00 PM.  A committee chaired by Trisha Davis is being formed to plan this event. 


Financial Officer James Weir reported that the State will be reimbursing sales tax to the municipalities monthly now.  He did not receive any property tax this past month.  Expenditures consisted of police protection, attorney fees, and mowing charges.  Our cash balance at the end of the month was $69,697.  He has not yet received the report from the auditor, but he expects it soon.  The motion to accept the financial report was passed unanimously (Iobst, Rossano).


 The Mayor has received a letter from Charles E. Clement, the attorney for The Summit apartments regarding a “Zoning Certificate Application and Determination of Vested Rights for The Summit at Cullowhee, L.L.C.”  Attorney Coward suggested that we schedule a meeting of the Zoning Board of Adjustment in January with Geoffrey Willett and Larry Kolenbrander to discuss the process that they went through to establish the Zoning Ordinance.  Mayor Davis and Dick Iobst will set this meeting up. 


Discussion on the proposed changes to the current Zoning Ordinance will continue to be tabled until January.  Dick Iobst is working to get a copy of a noise ordinance in use in Chapel Hill which we may be able to use as a model.  The plan is to deliberate the Zoning Ordinance at the January meeting, and schedule a public hearing on the matter at the February regular meeting.


Motion to authorize Mary Ann Budahl to obtain a domain name for the Village and set up an account with the GovOffice Web Creator for a Forest Hills website, (Iobst, Rossano) passed unanimously. 


Mayor Davis announced that the Village has received a $3000. grant from Jackson County that will be used to identify the entrance to the Village of Forest Hills, and to beautify this area.


New Business:  Mayor Davis and Councilperson Dick Iobst have scheduled a meeting with Matt Rourke of the DOT on December 8, 2003 regarding another possible egress to the numerous apartments which adjoin our Village. 


Ida Jenkins asked whether the proposed ordinances address the problem of unleashed, un-restrained animals in the Village.  The Mayor stated that leash laws will indeed be included in the Ordinance.  He reiterated that anyone who has a problem with an animal should call the County Animal Shelter.  After they receive three calls on a particular animal, the owner must rectify the situation or the animal will be picked up and dealt with.


Several people concurred that in general, the noise level throughout the Village is much lower this semester, and a thank you goes out to the landlords who are cooperating to bring this about.


There being no further business, the motion to adjourn passed unanimously.  (Rossano, Iobst)  The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 PM. 


Mary Ann Budahl