Forest Hills Council Meeting 6-3-02

Corrected minutes as of 6/28/02.  Mary Ann Budahl, Clerk


Village of Forest Hills

Council Meeting

June 3, 2002

7:00 PM

University Inn


In attendance:  Mayor James Davis; Council members Sue Burton, Joe Rossano, Dick Iobst, and Jim Wallace; Financial Officer Jim Weir; Clerk Mary Ann Budahl; Attorney Heather Baker; Sylva Herald Reporter Rose Hooper; and approximately 15 residents and interested parties.


The meeting was called to order by Mayor James Davis at 7:00 PM who welcomed all present and then said a short prayer.  This was a regular meeting of the Village Council, as well as a public hearing regarding the proposed budget for fiscal year ending June 2003.


The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as circulated by email to the Council members (Wallace, Iobst).


Irene Hooper reported on the progress of the EDC.  She noted that the Jackson County Council recently passed the heavy industry ordinance.  The EDC has also met with the Smart Growth committee, and Ian Pritchard will report in depth on their progress at the July meeting. 


Old Business


The off-duty sheriff patrol throughout the Village has been suspended until August due to sheriff’s personnel being needed on a fire watch at the County jail.  Mayor Davis noted that he feels that our Village has been quieter since the institution of the sheriff’s patrol.  Tickets have been issued for drunk driving, and warnings have been issued to noisy party-goers. 


Mayor Davis stated that he has received a preliminary sewer feasibility study from W K Dickson and the sewer project looks “feasible”, albeit expensive.  Two alternatives have been proposed, and copies of the study will be distributed to the board members.  The project engineer will attend a Council meeting to answer questions at a later date.


North Country Club Road right of way project – no progress this month. 


Still being discussed are meeting places for Village Council and Planning Board meetings.  The Outreach Center at WCU charges $50.00 per meeting; the new Recreation Center in Cullowhee is still pending, but at this point, it shows promise.


New Business


Financial report by Jim Weir:  No formal report.  Cash on hand is approximately $72,000. of which $22,000 is Powell Bill monies.  Expenses this month were approximately $1000.00 that included $800.00 for police protection. 


Fiscal year budget discussion:  The Budget committee consisted of Dick Iobst, Jim Weir, and Chair Harold Williford.  The proposed budget shows $10,000 excess revenues over expenditures, $6000 of which is Powell Bill funds.  Dick Iobst pointed out that the millage rate would remain at 1.  Other items noted were $5000 for police protection, and $2400 contribution to the Cullowhee Volunteer Fire Department.  Gene Tweedy questioned whether the $5000 allotted for street maintenance was sufficient, in view of the rapidly deteriorating roads in the Village.  Jim Wallace responded by saying that until it is determined that the State will take over maintenance of North Country Club Drive, we will be patching ad infinitum.  Powell Bill funds can be used for this patching, as well as the unrestricted reserve monies.  Motion that the Mayor implement a committee to look into maintenance of both North and South Country Club Drives and formulate a policy for approval by the Council (Wallace, Iobst).  Mayor Davis suggested asking for volunteers to comprise this committee via email, or perhaps by asking the Planning Board to undertake this job.  Motion to this effect (Wallace, Iobst) passed.  Motion to accept the proposed budget for FYE 6/30/03(Burton, Rossano) passed.


Mayor Davis gave a brief summary of the process to approve the subdivision regulations and zoning ordinance, then asked for remarks.  Motion to approve the subdivision regulations, proposed April 2002, v3.2 as submitted by the Planning Board (Wallace, Iobst).  Wallace then moved to amend the Subdivision Regulations as follows:


q      To delete, change throughout the document the term “Zoning Administrator, Ordinance Administrator”, replacing it with the term “Administrator”. 

q      To keep the Subdivision Regulation document on file with the Village Clerk, as well as in the office of the Village Attorney, and in the office of the Register of Deeds of Jackson County.  Section 105

q      To delete the words, “Land divided from a common ancestor among tenants in common, all of who inherited by intestacy or by will” from the types of subdivision which are exempt from the provisions of the ordinance.  201.B

q      To clarify the term “Ordinance Administrator” and to define the term “Administrator”.  203

q      To add “3.  Open Spaces – All open spaces must be contiguous and accessible to the public and each lot must have direct connections to the open space area.” to the section regarding Lot Configuration and Frontage.  402.C.3

q      To modify the method of handling variances regarding road design in conservation subdivisions as follows:  “The Planning Board will make a recommendation to the Village Council and the Village Council will act on the variance to the standards.”  403.B

q      To modify the section concerning conservation subdivisions and the pedestrian trail network being “accessible to all residential units within the subdivision and within the Village.  The trail network will be connected to pedestrian trails within the Village adjoining the subdivision.”  403.F

q      To clarify section 505 regarding appeals:  “appeals from the decision of the Administrator shall be taken to the Zoning Board of Adjustment; appeals from the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall be taken to the Village Council”.  505

q      To modify the section regarding amendments thusly:  “509.a  All amendments shall be submitted for approval to the residents of the Village of Forest Hills by a binding referendum.  (If this procedure is not approved by the Legislature of the State of North Carolina, then, b.  The Village Council . . .”

q      To add a signature line for a notary. 


The above amendment was seconded by Dick Iobst.


When discussion was called for, Ian Pritchard noted that the text in 201.B regarding inherited land is from the State statutes, and must be included.  Concerning the binding referendum section, he stated that this demeans the institution already in place, it is inconsistent with the North Carolina statutes to the best of his recollection, and such a system would be ungainly.  Wallace stated that many residents feel that the Village Council has too much power, and does not always represent its constituents fairly. 


After further discussion and clarification, Wallace stated he would like to remove from his amendment the section involving inherited land, as well as the issue involving all open spaces being contiguous.  Iobst concurred. 


Further discussion involved frequency of elections, the cost involved in amending this document in a binding referendum, and whether the State Legislature would even allow this procedure to take place. 


Amendment to the amendment regarding the binding referendum offered by Joe Rossano died for lack of a second.


The motion to accept the amendment as discussed above carried.  Motion to accept approve the Subdivision Regulations for the Village of Forest Hills, April 2002 v.3.2 as amended carried.


Motion to approve the Zoning Ordinances, proposed April 2002, v3.1 (Wallace, Iobst).  Then Wallace asked to amend the Zoning Ordinances as follows: 


q      To delete and/or change throughout the document the term “Zoning Administrator or Ordinance Administrator”, replacing it with the term “Administrator” (Wallace, Iobst) passed. 

q      To keep the Zoning Ordinance document on file with the Village Clerk, as well as in the office of the Village Attorney, and in the office of the Register of Deeds of Jackson County.  Article 100, Section 103

q      To replace “Village Council” with “Zoning Board of Adjustment” when dealing with non-conforming lots, etc.  106.E  Second by Iobst.  Passed.


Article 200: 

q     To add the word, “and” in Section 203.

q     To delete the words “and except for a sign not more than 9 square feet” under customary home occupations. Section 204

q     To substitute R-1-a for R-1.  Section 204

q     To substitute R-1-a for R-3.  Section 205.

q      To remove add the words “on average”.  Section 205

q      To delete C-1 Commercial District.  Section 206

q      To remove the words “a commercial hotel district” from the first paragraph in Section 207, to delete references to “hotels”, and to delete the words “and no minimum lot size for hotels motels or cemeteries” wording from three to two habitable stories, and the height from forty-five to thirty-five feet. Section 207

q      To modify the Summary Table by eliminating the C-1 classification. 

q      To add the words “and extraterritorial jurisdiction areas” to Section 208A.

q      To add section D.:  All public exterior light fixtures, including streetlights, shall be turned off between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.

q      To delete the words “and lighting for security and safely purposes”.  Section 210.5

Seconded by Iobst.  Passed.


(Additions to these minutes as called for at the meeting of 6/17/02 are attached.)


Before a vote was taken on the above amendments amended document, the Mayor asked for discussion.  It was suggested that this amendment action on the amended zoning ordinances be tabled until another public hearing can be held, since such substantial changes have been proposed.


Motion to hold a public hearing to allow the community to respond and react to the amendments to the draft Zoning Ordinance and to continue this meeting with the option to vote on June 17, 2002 at the new Recreation Center in Cullowhee at 7:00 PM.  (Burton, Iobst)  Passed unanimously.


Motion to table action on the amendments to the amended proposed Zoning Ordinance until after the public hearing (Wallace, Iobst) passed unanimously.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM (Iobst, Rossano).


Mary Ann Budahl




Additions to the minutes of 6/3/02 as called for at the meeting of 6/17/02:



Article 300:

q     To delete the words “Hotels and”  Seconded by Iobst.  Passed.


Article 400:

q     To delete all references to C-1 Commercial District. 

q     To modify regulations to illuminated signs to 10:00 pm within 200 feet.  Section 403.G  Seconded by Iobst.  Passed.


Article 500: 

q     To delete all references to hotels, retail and professional businesses, and commercial planned unit developments.

q     To add a paragraph allowing a property owner “view rights” in a situation where buffering impacts a residential view.  Section 502.D.10

q     To delete the words “when feasible” and to further describe adjacent residential properties.  Section 502.D.14

q     To add the words “and the owners of said property shall be assessed charges to cover all insurance and maintenance fees” to Section 502.F.6

q     To delete Section 503 in its entirety.  Seconded by Iobst.  Passed.


Article 700:

To substitute “Village Council” for “board”.  Section 701.A

q     To add the words “The Deputy Administrator shall be duly sworn in”.  Section 701.D.  Seconded by Iobst.  Passed.


q     To add a notary’s documentation to the signatures.  Section 707.  Seconded by Iobst.  Passed.


Article 800:

q     To add definitions for Administrator and Ordinance/Zoning Administrator.  Section 802. 

To delete “hotel” from definitions.  Section 802.  Seconded by Iobst.  Passed.




To amend the zoning map as follows:

q     All of C-1 becomes R-1

q     All of R-4 becomes R-1 except for the one parcel containing the Summit Apartments

q     All of R-3 becomes R-1 except for the one parcel containing the Valhalla apartments

Seconded by Iobst.  Passed.