November 2017


Village of Forest Hills

Council Meeting Minutes

November 8, 2017

6:00 P.M. @Jackson County Rec Center, Cullowhee NC


The Council meeting for the Village of Forest Hills was held at the Jackson County Rec Center, Cullowhee, NC at 6:00pm on November 8, 2017. 

The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Carl Hooper

Councilmember Clark Corwin

Councilmember Sharon Stovall 

Councilmember Niall Michelsen


The following Non-Council members were present:

Stephanie Gibson, Clerk


Work Session

  1. Call to order: Mayor Begley called the work session to order at 6:00 pm. 
  • Travis Lewis, Sky-Fi: Council has been exploring options to obtain high speed internet options for the residents of Forest Hills.  Travis Lewis, owner of Sky-Fi, a local wireless internet service provider, spoke with the council about his services.  He noted he is a member of the Jackson County Broadband Commission.  He shared that Mike Byers with WCU shared with the board that the process for RFPs to be submitted is in the works for an internet provider chosen to use the WCU Electric Resale’s power poles for internet service, the university will not profit from the use, 3500 customers on their power grid at this time. Travis shared that the state defines high speed internet as 30-40 megs but he said that 10 megs is good with wireless. More information on his services can be found on:


Council Meeting

  1.  Call to order:  Mayor Begley called the meeting to order at 6:50 pm. 
  2. Announcements: 

Reminder – please silence cell phones for meeting

Next month’s meeting is a public hearing addressing ordinance amendments to Chapter 3, section 3.8 in Zoning Ordinance (Mixed Use District), and Chapter 5, Section 5.1 & 5.2 (Firearms). 

  1. Approval of Agenda: Councilmember Corwin made a motion to approve the agenda; Councilmember Hooper seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

     4.  Approval of Meeting Minutes:  October 3, 2017 Regular Council Meeting – Councilmember Hooper made a motion to accept the October Council Meeting Minutes, Councilmember Corwin seconded the motion, unanimously accepted.

     5. Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of October, 2017: Councilmember Michelsen made a motion to accept the Financial Report for October; Councilmember Hooper seconded the motion, unanimously accepted.

     6. Public Comment / Public Hearing - to address additional fees and language changes to the 2017-2018 Fee Schedule: Mayor Begley opened the hearing, no public was present so the hearing was closed.

     7. Vote: Approve amendments of additional language changes to the 2017-2018 Fee Schedule.   Councilmember Stovall made a motion to amend the 17-18 Fee Schedule with the additional language changes, Councilmember Michelsen seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

     8. Reports:

          Mayor’s Report:  Mayor Begley said that she has had complaints about vehicles being parked and left on Village roadsides, some for weeks at a time. Mayor Begley said that she spoke with the owners of the properties near where the vehicles have been parked and reminded them of the Village parking ordinance and the safety concerns because of it. She has also been leaving letters and flyers on the vehicles on South Country Club Drive to rectify the situation before the paving contractors begin their work.  There was also complaints of speeding, one in particular resulting in a safety issue for a nearby person mowing property. Mayor Begley said that additional 15 mph signs were needed to be visible in both directions of the Village-maintained roads. Councilmember Corwin made a motion to order two additional 15 mph speed limit signs; Councilmember Stovall seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

Mayor Begley said that she spoke with Ashley Hill of Cloverleaf, the developer that is interested in developing the ETJ property behind the entrance sign and he indicated that he will be ready to submit a formal application to Jackson County soon. Mayor Begley stated that the planning board and council will need to be prepare for their steps in the procedure once a formal application is submitted.

         Safety & RPO:  Councilmember Hooper said that there was one vehicle stopped for speeding. Per request from Councilmember Hooper, the County sent a list of all calls to police within the Village so the Council could evaluate further safety strategies that could be put in place.  Councilmember Corwin recommended having an officer attend a work session to assist in ideas to further resident’s public safety.  Councilman Hooper said that he would ask the Sheriff’s office to have a patrolman attend the January work session to discuss further. 

        Planning Board:  Councilmember Corwin said that Jack Brown has agreed to chair the Planning Board and Ben Graning will Vice Chair. The Planning Board has asked Councilmember Corwin to put together notebooks will all ordinances, bylaws, and information needed for each Planning Board member.   Planning Board members were inquiring about any legal liabilities (if any) that they may subject to when making recommendations to Council. Mayor Begley suggested that Councilmember Corwin check with Heather Baker for clarification on their inquiry.  Councilmember Corwin noted that Josh Freeman (the planner hired to assist the Village) will be attending the next planning board meeting; he will set timeline on the steps involved for addressing a rezoning and development application.   

       Neighborhood Watch: Councilmember Stovall said she spoke with the officer who is over Neighborhood Watch for feedback about the Neighborhood Watch signs, he recommended the Village needs obtain new signs. Councilmember Stovall made a motion to have the Village purchase additional Neighborhood Watch signage up to $75, Councilmember Corwin seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

Councilmember Stovall said that she plans to set up a Neighborhood Watch meeting after the holidays and will update the Council at the next meeting with a date and time, as well as a report on how to best reach out to the residents for invites to that meeting in order to get the maximum involvement.

       Roads:  Councilmember Michelsen said he had no new information this month and will explore where to place the new 15 mph signs to be addressed at the next meeting.

     9.  Unfinished Business:  

  • Update on paving project:   Councilmember Hooper said that he did not have a date confirmed for this work but he would call Parker Paving to get an updated schedule and to get the contract signed.
  • Update on ordinance amendments:  Councilmember Corwin and Josh Freeman have reviewed and have additional language to be added to the zoning ordinance and the firearms ordinance.  Council discussed the additional language and will have a public hearing for these changes at the December meeting.

    10.  New Business:

  • Student Project: Council discussed potential projects we could ask grad students to assist with. Councilmember Corwin suggested having two projects for a student, one being a survey for residents interested in fiber optic internet, and the second being shared municipal resources and annexation.  Council requested he contact Todd Collins to attend the December meeting to outline the projects further.  
  • Developer’s Community Meeting: Mayor Begley said that she would like to attend the developer’s community meeting and will let Council know when she hears confirmation of that meeting. Councilmember Stovall said she feels that the whole community should be able to attend if they would like to. Council agreed to note this meeting on the Village website once confirmed.  Mayor Begley stated that this would be the developer’s meeting with adjacent property owners, not a Village meeting. 
  • TWSA Representative:  Council had discussed having a representative on the TWSA Board but Mayor Begley noted that Ron Mau is a Village representative on the board and that he and/or Dan Harbaugh will provide updates to the Council. Mayor Begley discussed a phone conference that she and Councilmember Corwin had with the TWSA Director receiving information that there is going to be an 8” water main with a fire hydrant extended on North Country Club Drive to service the Valhalla area via grant funding TWSA received. Councilmember Stovall noted that hydrant may have a positive impact on some Homeowner’s Insurance rates.

    11.  Adjourn: At 8:25 pm, Councilmember Corwin made a motion to adjourn; Councilmember Stovall seconded the motion, unanimously approved.