Forest Hills Council Meeting 7-1-02

Village of Forest Hills

Council Meeting

Monday, July 1, 2002

7:00 PM

Jackson County Recreation Center


Mayor Jim Davis called the regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills Council to order at 7:04 PM.  In attendance were Councilpersons Sue Burton, Joe Rossano, Dick Iobst, and Jim Wallace; Financial Officer Jim Weir, Attorney Jay Coward; Sylva Herald Reporter Rose Hooper; former Mayor Irene Hooper; Clerk Mary Ann Budahl; and five residents of the Village.


Mayor Davis welcomed all in attendance and said a brief prayer.  He then asked if there were corrections to the minutes of the June 17th meeting.  There being none, the minutes were approved (Wallace, Iobst).  Mayor Davis read a letter of resignation from Larry Kolenbrander, member and Chairman of the Planning Board, and Forest Hills’ representative to the Greenways Commission.  He also read a letter of resignation from Elsie Beaver, Assistant Village Clerk.  Motion to accept (Wallace, Iobst) passed unanimously with sadness and regret.  Former Mayor Irene Hooper as Ambassador of Good Will will compose letters of appreciation to Elsie and Larry.  In addition, Ian Pritchard and Anne Chambers will be rotating off the Planning Board; so three positions are open now.  Council members are asked to bring names of possible candidates for membership on the Planning Board to the next meeting.  Mayor Davis asked that this be an entire “Village effort” to fill these positions. 


Financial Officer Jim Weir summarized the financial report for the previous year.  He pointed out that although revenue was almost $2000.00 less than budgeted, the expenditures were approximately $2000.00 under budget.  Motion to approve the report (Wallace, Rossano) passed.


Jim Wallace reported for the North Country Club Drive right-of-way project.  He has been in touch with Brandon Bryson of the DOT.  Due to the State’s financial straits, the DOT has had to put its efforts toward primary roads, so our project is on hold at this time.  He assured Jim that North Country Club Drive will take its place near the top of the list when the financial picture is improved.


Mayor Davis read a proclamation recognizing the office of the Municipal Clerk, a time-honored and vital part of local government, which exists throughout the world and is the oldest among public servants.  He declared that the Municipal Clerk provides the professional link between the citizens and the local governing bodies and does so in an impartial and neutral manner.  The Village Clerk received a hearty round of applause!


Irene Hooper reported for the EDC and stated that “mind-boggling” changes will be taking place throughout the country in the next few years as high-tech development is causing a shifting from our present economy to new ways of moving money and controlling manufacturing materials and merchandise thus reducing inventories.  These high-tech industries are looking for locations such as we have in our area that can offer a superior quality of life to their employees.  The EDC will continue to encourage this type of growth in western North Carolina.


Ian Pritchard was asked to report on the Smart Growth Committee and their recently completed recommendations for positive growth management which was presented to the Jackson County Board of Commissioners recently.  He talked about the diversity in our county which ranges from Cashiers with its largely summer population and extremely high real estate prices, to Cherokee and the casino which is the largest tourist attraction in North Carolina.  Among the goals recommended by the Task Force are: 

q      proactive long-range planning and the hiring of a professional county planner to develop a comprehensive land-use plan;

q      management of residential and commercial growth by enacting subdivision ordinances that call for appropriate density requirements, roads, water and sewer systems, green space, etc.;

q      enacting a polluting-industries ordinance;

q      providing for adequate emergency services which would involve a fire tax system to fund the County’s fire departments and rescue squads.

q      creating a walkable community by encouraging preservation of green space in new developments and by continuing with the development of an interconnected Greenway.


Motion to hold all future meetings of the Forest Hills Council and Planning Board at the Jackson County Recreational Center in Cullowhee (Wallace, Iobst) passed unanimously.  This was proposed on the basis of a considerable cost savings from holding the meetings at the University Inn. 


Mayor Davis read a letter from Ken Westmoreland, Manager of Jackson County stating that the Jackson County Board of Commissioners did not authorize the enforcement of the noise ordinance within the boundaries of the Village as we had requested.  During further discussion of this issue, Village Attorney Jay Coward stated that it was extremely difficult to enforce a noise ordinance due to its nebulous, amorphous nature.  He stated that in the case of loud noises emanating from a collection of party goers, the sheriff’s office should be requested to appear.  Considerable discussion ensued, and it was concluded that this is indeed an ongoing problem that needs more thought and consideration.


It was noted that there is now a street sign indicating the entrance to the Valhalla apartment district.  Jim Wallace was asked to contact Jerry Friesner about the Forest Hills sign that was at one time placed at the entrance to the Village.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:03 PM.  (Wallace, Rossano)


Mary Ann Budahl