November 2014

                                                                        COUNCIL MINUTES

                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                         October 28, 2014



The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held in the meeting room at the Jackson County Recreation Center at 6:00pm on October 28, 2014, this meeting is to replace the November 4th meeting due to elections.


The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Clark Corwin

Councilmember Ron Mau

Councilmember Carl Hooper

Councilmember Dan Perlmutter


The following Non-Council members were present:

Stephanie Gibson, Finance Officer/Clerk

Tanner Hall, The Sylva Herald

Lee Budahl, Village Homeowner

Elizabeth St. John, Village Property Owner


1)  Call to order:  The meeting was called to order at 6:00pm by Mayor Kolleen Begley.

2)  Announcements:  1)  Charrette is Nov. 3rd at Cullowhee Valley Elementary at 6:00pm  2) The next Council meeting will be held on December 2nd  3)  Council members are required to take Ethics training.

 Mayor Begley noted that Councilman Mau and Councilman Hooper still need to complete this training.

3) Approval of Agenda:  Councilman Corwin made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Councilman Hooper, and unanimously approved.

4) Approval of Meeting Minutes from October 07, 2014 Council meeting: a motion to approve the  minutes from the October 7th Council meeting was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilman Mau, unanimously approved.                                             

5) Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of October, 2014   Stephanie will provide copies of the Financial Report for October to Councilmembers via email next week since it is not the end of the month and provide copies for acceptance at the December meeting.    

6) Public Comment:  None

7) Sidewalk project potential for North Country Club Drive:  Elizabeth St. John shared that in 2003 the sidewalks now on Little Savannah Rd. were brought up for discussion with the Department of Transportation but WCU would not underwrite the maintenance of the sidewalks and the work was held up for some time.  She shared that Mr. Jonathan Woodard with the D.O.T. was very helpful in addressing the issue and looking at it from a safety perspective.  North Country Club road in the Village would like to see D.O.T. consider sidewalks for that section of road.  Mayor Begley noted that D.O.T. is looking for approximately a $100,000 contribution from the Village.  Councilman Perlmutter mentioned that he would like to see a Bicycle lane as well.  Elizabeth shared that she did not go before any boards; she went straight to talk with Mr. Woodard at D.O.T.  Mayor Begley said that the Village would probably need to go through the RPO Board; Councilman Perlmutter said that he would check on that.  She asked Elizabeth if WCU has been approached, Elizabeth said she has had no success when reaching out in the past.  Elizabeth suggested looking at programs that Michelle Obama is involved in; there are a lot of programs concerning health and obesity issues that might offer Grant assistance.  Mayor Begley mentioned the Diabetes center in Cherokee as a potential source of Grant funding.  Council discussed possible pledges from Property and Apartment owners as well as stakeholders and various grant opportunities.

8) Reports:  

Planning Board: 1)  Prioritize and schedule list for planning board items – which will go to planning board, which items can be delegated to councilmembers, and which items need to be subcontracted out to professionals.

Councilman Corwin noted that he, Todd and Jane attended the meeting on 10/21.  They discussed four main topics – 1)  Professional Planner as a consultant, Councilman Corwin said that he contacted Karen Smith with Community Planning in Asheville.  Councilman Corwin asked if Webster has a planner, he said that he would follow up with Nick Breedlove. 

                         2)  Prioritize the 7 tasks given to the Planning Board.  Mayor Begley and Councilmembers discussed how the priorities of the Planning Board could be divided and determined that the Planning Board could address house and lot sizes and the number in households, Todd could work on the definition of family/group home, and the uniform standard could be approved by the Council and then given to the Planning Board.  It was agreed that a Professional would need to do a Comprehensive Land Plan but Councilman Corwin would work on a Planning map.  The Council agreed to address the issues of Speed limit, Parking Ordinances on non-state maintained roads, and Administrative fixes, typos, to the current Ordinances.

                         3)  The difficulty of having a quorum present with 7 members, discussed changing to 5.

Councilman Corwin made a motion to change the number of members on the Planning Board from 7 to 5, seconded by Councilman Mau, unanimously agreed.

                         4)  Consider annual or quarterly meetings with the Council.  Council agreed that this would be a good ideal. 

Safety:  Councilman Hooper said that there were no reports and that he spoke with Lt. Rice and the Speed trailer should be in the Village soon, Councilman Mau said that the Speed Trailer was up today.

Village Roads & RPO Board:  Councilman Perlmutter gave an update on the Cullowhee meeting; he noted that there were two important topics brought up, residents not wanting to be told what to do with their land and residents saying that they were unaware of the meeting or the process.  He said that the meeting was about two hours; they discussed the draft of the Cullowhee Community Planning Area Development Standard.

Councilman Perlmutter provided a handout to Councilmembers with a list and map of road issues.

Jackson County:  Councilman Mau said that the Steering Committee for the Jackson County Comprehensive Plan is scheduled to meet on 11/5 at 12:30pm. 

Councilman Mau noted that he needs to read the material before providing an update on the homeowner water drainage topic.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Begley provided an update on the Ordinance Administrator’s activities, she said Ken Dickert has been doing a good job enforcing ordinances and that residents have been responding positively.  She noted that there were some noise issues with dirt bikes and Ken contacted the out of state owner and he said that he would address the issue

9) Planning Board/Intern Capstone Project Presentation “Municipal Plan” points to address:

Volunteer Public Works Committee (immediate repairs or clean up on roads) – Mayor Begley asked Councilmembers if they wanted a committee to address immediate repairs and clean up from storms or severe weather or if they should contact the contractors.  Councilmembers discussed liability and agreed that smaller jobs could be handled by residents but for larger jobs, one of the companies contracted to do work in the village would need to be called.

Citizen Input (website polls, website forum, surveys) – Councilman Corwin said that he feels the website and surveys are going well but residents could be contacted to ask if they agree.

Councilman Hooper noted that attendance has always been an issue if there isn’t a topic that affects a resident or homeowner directly.

Documented policy (Development Ordinance?) for qualifying for Village-maintained road maintenance (same criteria for PB Fund eligibility):  Mayor Begley said she will look at the Jackson County Subdivision Ordinance and noted that it has to be followed.

Increase police patrol (Councilman Hooper):  Council agreed that three days per week is adequate at this time.

Sharing resources with other area smaller towns (Town Administrator):  Council discussed sharing resources with Webster.

Improving landscaping efforts (roadside mowing, entrance):  Mayor Begley said she doesn’t feel anything more is needed at this time.

Increase fire department amount in budget to $7,500 for 2015-2016 and forward:  We are now giving $6,000 increased this year from $3,500.  Councilman Hooper said he doesn’t feel that another increase is necessary now; he suggested incremental increases of $500.  Council will review.

Projected growth of Jackson County & WCU impact on Village of Forest Hills:  Council agreed that this topic would be addressed at the charrette.

10) Old Business:

 Charrette Nov. 3rd1) anything further to share with Don & Sealy?  2)  Update on number of attendees & food

 Councilman Corwin asked that a Senior Housing Project be included in the discussions.

  Council agreed to provide food for approximately 70 people for the charrette.  Mayor Begley asked that Councilmembers arrive by 5:30pm to set-up for the meeting.

  • Advertise Public Hearing December 2ndSpeed Limit & No Parking on Roads for non-state-maintained roads:  Council suggested that this be moved to the January agenda.
  • Council Education Resolutions:  Council suggested rewording the Resolution to add training that is equivalent to “Essentials of Municipal Government”, approved by the Council.  Council will review the resolution and address at the December meeting.

 11) New Business

  • Revise Village entrance to reduce future operating and maintenance costs:  Council suggested getting input from the residents and possibly getting a Landscape Architect to provide ideas.  Council agreed to move this discussion to the December agenda.
  • Organize a Village sponsored “Clean Up Day” (Advertise it at community workshop?):  Council agreed to move this to the January or February agenda to plan for the event and suggested organizing something in early spring, maybe March.  Councilman Perlmutter suggested a community activity for children in the village.

 12) Adjourn:  At 8:07pm Councilman Mau made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.