Forest Hills Council Meeting 8-5-02

Village of Forest Hills

Council Meeting

Monday, August 5, 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, Sylva Herald Reporter Rose Hooper; former Mayor Irene Hooper; and developer Elizabeth St. John and her Father.


Mayor Davis welcomed all in attendance and said a brief prayer.  He then asked if there were corrections to the minutes of the July 1st meeting.  There being none, the minutes were approved (Rossano, Iobst).  Mayor Davis reported he had met with Jonathan Woodard, Maintenance Supervisor of the NCDOT and asked for the removal of the sharp metal points left sticking up where the stop sign had been at the intersection of North Country Club Drive with N.C. 107.  They were removed the following day.  He asked the DOT to erect warning signs on both sides of South Country Club Drive where it crosses Cox's Branch just past the intersection with North Country Club Drive.  Mayor Davis asked the DOT to beef up the road near Jim Wallace's on South Country Club Drive and to address the water sheeting problem as it goes down the hill in that area.  The matter is still under advisement from Mr. Woodard.  Mayor Davis met with Summit Apartment Manager Susan Wheeler who now is the resident on-site manager.  She is very cooperative about noise and party control.  She is of the same mind and accord as we are.  We like the way she has asked the parents to sign the leasing agreement signed by the students.  She also asked them to sign agreements to curb the noise and disturbing the neighbors.  If one legitimate complaint is made against them they will be placed on notice.  After three complaints they are gone.  The Mayor said we have had no problems with those buildings.  The third building has thirty-six (36) bedrooms.  Our new zoning ordinance limits R-4 (the Summit Apartments) to 10 bedrooms per acre.  Since the tract upon which they are placed has 14.4 acres, and since the total number of bedrooms in the three buildings already erected is 132 they can only build eight more bedrooms.  Their plans currently call for the construction of another building adjacent to N.C. 107 which would contain 20 bedrooms.  They said they had no plans to build anything until later in the spring of 2003.


John Scoggs from Municipal Engineering, an engineering firm located in Garner, N.C., solicited the Mayor.  The Mayor found the Engineering Study.  There was discussion about making copies.  The Mayor said we paid W.K. Dixon $3,000 for the Sewer Feasibility Study.  Scoggs said we would first have to apply for a permit before we did anything.  We would have to apply to the Rural Center.  There is no statute of limitations, but we will need the documents.  A discussion followed.  The utilities would include gas, etc.  Everything would go in the same hole.  The Council discussed the matter.  Costs would involve a little over $2 million.  This would be for sewer only.  We should have all the utilities buried.  Tap-on fees would be needed.  There are some recent rate increases initiated by TWSA.  The sewer tap-on fee has increased from $750 to $1,200.  This is just for the sewer.  Water fees have also gone up.


Mayor Davis was told by W.K. Dixon's engineers that there were two routes a possible sewer could follow: (1) The sewer line would follow the valley down the middle of the golf course.  (2) The step plan which would mean they would run the sewer line along both North and South Country Club Drives.  The Mayor will invite a representative of W.K. Dixon to the regularly scheduled Council meeting in October to answer questions from the Council and the general public.


Jackson County approved our request to adopt their cell tower ordinance in our Village.  There was discussion involving adding the County Cell Tower Ordinance as an addendum to our Zoning Ordinance.  This matter will involve a public hearing at our next meeting on Tuesday, September 3, 2002.


Size of the Planning Board.  The Mayor read thank you letters to Larry Kollenbrander, Ian Pritchard, and Anne Chambers for their service on the Planning Board.  The letters were written by former Mayor Hooper at Mayor Davis' request.  Ian Pritchard will remain on the Smart Growth Committee.


We have had some debate over whether or not we need a Planning Board of nine (9) members.  We want to discuss whether or not we want to keep the Planning board at 9 members or do we want to go down to 7.  The Mayor opened the floor to discussion.  Joe Rossano said having 9 people makes it unwieldy.  Reducing it to 7 would make it more efficient.  Sue Burton said why can't we have 5 from the Village and 2 from the ETJ area?  Dick Iobst pointed out that with only 7 members on the Planning Board we only need one member from the ETJ area.  With 9 members we need 2.  Dr. Mike Germano, who lives in the Lyle Wilson Tract, has agreed to serve as the representative from the ETJ area.  The other person who was appointed never showed up for meetings.  Mayor Davis said that with only 7 on the Planning Board we would have more opportunity to have a quorum at the meetings.  Councilman Wallace said that we need people who want to serve.  Councilman Iobst said he had 2 people who want to serve on the Planning Board.  The people who are on the Planning Board include David Shapiro, Gene Tweedy, John Adams, Sally James, and Mike Germano.  Mayor Davis asked for a motion to reduce the size of the Planning Board from 9 to 7 (Iobst, Wallace).  The motion passed unanimously.  The date for the public hearing was set for the next Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 3, 2002 because you cannot hold a Council meeting on a public holiday.  Monday, September 2, 2002 is Labor Day.  Mary Anne Budahl, Village Clerk, will be back on August 14 and will put Legals in The Sylva Herald for the two weeks prior to September 3.  The next reason for a public hearing on September 3 would be to add the Jackson County Cell Tower Ordinance to the Village of Forest Hills.  This must be added to the Zoning Ordinance as an addendum item.  Ruth Shuler and Herman Lieberman were appointed to the Planning Board for three-year terms (Iobst, Wallace) by unanimous vote.  Dick Iobst promised to talk to Dr. Fleming Bell about the question raised by former Mayor Hooper of whether or not each ETJ area needed a representative on the Planning Board.


Mayor remarks - Financial Report by Financial Officer Jim Weir [see the Financial Report].  $300 added to the Budget Line Item for memberships, dues, expense from Miscellaneous.  It was moved and second to do so (Wallace, Iobst).  The Council passed this unanimously.  It was decided to add $200 to Planning Board Support expense from Miscellaneous (Iobst, Rossano).  The motion passed unanimously.  There was some discussion about the price for the Annual Audit.  Financial Officer Weir felt the amount for the Annual Audit was too high.  We have to go along with it this year, but we need to find another firm to audit our accounts.  The Mayor has submitted the Powell Bill application to the State.  Jim Weir said we have to live by the same financial rules as large cities such as CharlotteMayor Davis called for a motion to accept the Financial Report (Wallace, Iobst).  The motion passed unanimously.


Old Business - Councilman Wallace asked when does the Sheriff Patrol start up again?  Mayor Davis will call and check on this.  Councilman Iobst said he had a long talk with James Kotila about the noise from Valhalla.  Mr. Kotila said he was doing all he could to keep the noise down.  Councilman Wallace said we should ask Kotila about making the students and their parents sign a "three strikes and you're out" contract concerning conduct just like Susan Wheeler, Manager of the Summit Apartment Complex requires.  The Council thought this would be a good thing.  Councilman Wallace asked Councilman Iobst if he had done anything about checking on who owns the right-of-way on the connecting road between North and South Country Club Drives.  Iobst said he had not, that he was working on several projects for the Village and did not have time.  He, however, promised to do something about it before the next meeting.  There was some discussion about the progress of the stop ling (the "on-demand" light).  Elizabeth St. John asked about the reduction of the speed limit.  This involved some discussion about speed limit signs.  Councilman Iobst talked about thirty-five miles an hour was the legal speed limit for both North and South Country Club Drives.  There is no way to challenge this because both roads are entirely within the corporate limits of Forest Hills.


Councilman Rossano asked about the sign at the intersection of North and South Country Club Drives.  Councilman Wallace said he would get in touch with Jerry Friesner about the sign.


Other new business involved the visit of Fleming Bell, a professor in the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Councilman Iobst discussed Dr. Bell's credentials and details of his visit.  Councilman Rossano said we should publicize the visit as much as possible and invite as many people as possible.  The visit is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Monday, August 26 at the Jackson County Recreation Center where the Council meets.


Councilman Wallace moved to give Eldredge Spell an honorarium of $50 for technical assistance with the Zoning Document and a thank you letter acknowledging that help.  Councilman Iobst seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.


A motion (Iobst, Wallace) was made to give Fleming Bell .31 per mile round trip from Asheville to Forest Hills and reimburse him for three meals and thank Jim Weir for putting him up at his home for the night of August 26-27.  The motion passed unanimously.  All of the other mayors in Jackson County will be invited and as many other people as possible.


Elizabeth St.John, a developer who, with her husband, owns and managers two apartment complexes in the ETJ area, was given the floor.  She gave a background relating to her and her husband and what they are planning to accomplish in the ETJ area next to Forest Hills.  Her remarks were followed by complimentary remarks by the Mayor.


Mention of the Litter Sweep, September 16-29.  Forest Hills will conduct its Litter Sweep on Saturday, September 22, 2002 from 9:00-11:00.  Councilman Rossano has everything needed to conduct the Sweep.


A motion was made to adjourn (Iobst, Burton) which passed unanimously.


The Meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.


Richard W. Iobst

Acting Village Clerk