July 2019

Village of Forest Hills
Council Meeting
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – 6:00 pm
WCU Main Campus – HF Robinson Bldg., Room 452

The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Niall Michelsen

Councilmember Clark Corwin

Councilmember Jerry Rice, III

Councilmember Jonathan Brooks


The following Non-Council members were Present: 

Terry Michelsen, Co-Clerk

Amy Whisnant, Risk Control Consultant, North Carolina League of Municipalities

Village Residents and Property Owners 


  1. Call to order:  at 6:00pm Mayor Begley called the meeting to order.   
  1. Announcements: 
  2. ReminderPlease silence cell phones for meeting
  3. Local elections this year – Mayor seat & 2 council seats: Jonathan and Niall, are up for reelection.  There is a window to sign up with the Jackson County Board of Elections from July 5 at noon to July 19th at noon.  Elections will be held this November. 
  4. Councilmembers have a joint meeting with the governmental entities in Jackson County on July 23rd at 5:30pm (dinner) and 6:00 meeting held at the Department of Aging, 100 County Services Park, Webster NC.
  5. Joint Work Session of Planning Board & Council scheduled for Monday, July 29th at 6:00pm, WCU Health and Human Sciences Building, 3971 Little Savannah Rd., Cullowhee.
  6. Next monthly Council meeting will be held August 6th at the HF Robinson Bldg. on WCU main campus, Room 540.  All meeting dates/times/venues are posted on the calendar widget on the Forest Hills website in the Sylva Herald. 
  1. Approval of Agenda – Councilmember Corwin made a motion to approve the agenda, Councilmember Brooks seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 
  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes – June 4, 2019 Regular Council Meeting: Councilmember Michelsen made a motion to approve the minutes; Councilmember Corwin seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 
  1. North Carolina League of Municipalities – Speaker Robin Whisnant, Risk Control Consultant with the NC League of Municipalities discussed the League and the benefits and available resources to Municipalities. 
  1. Public Comment:  Dan Perlmutter spoke for green space and wetland security, he noted the Village might want to consider getting assistance from other agencies whose goals are to protect wetlands. 

Jim Kaysing said he feels the Valley should remain R1 with no change. 

Tim Eckard said he feels the Village residents should be resurveyed before considering any changes to the Future Land Use Map or ordinances.

Rick Cardona said residents should be asked for alternate solutions to usages for the Valley property. 

  1. Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of June 2019:  Stephanie Gibson provided copies of the Financial Report to Terry Michelsen to distribute for the Council’s review.  Councilmember Corwin made a motion to accept the financial report; Councilmember Brooks seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 
  1. Reports:  
  • Mayor’s Report: (meetings, ordinance violations) Mayor Begley said that the June Mayors meeting was cancelled and the July meeting is this Friday.  Mayor Begley said that Ken Dickert sent a warning letter out to a new property owner who was advertising their home as a student rental facility, citing the Forest Hills R-1 zoning ordinance in his letter. 
  • Roads:  Councilmember Rice said that pine trees in the road shoulders were removed and disposed of and that BH Graning finished repairing the culvert on North Country Club Drive.  He said that ditch clearing would need to be done prior to repaving. 
  • RPO/TAC: Councilmember Michelsen said that there has not been a recent meeting. 
  • Planning Board: Councilmember Corwin said that the Planning Board will have a joint work session with the Council on the 29th of July to discuss land use and will have an opportunity to ask any questions pertaining to legal concerns because the attorney will also be attending this work session.  The Planning Board has been reviewing traffic calming ideas.  Councilmember Corwin said that all members have been sworn in.  He noted that the UNC School of Government is offering advocate training for members. 
  • Village Safety: Councilmember Brooks said that there were no 911 calls and that patrol made one stop on Pincushion Drive. 
  1. Unfinished Business:   
  • Advisory Shoulder work session:  Councilmember Corwin gave a summary presentation about the Advisory Shoulder project work and reported that JM Teague will present detailed information about this project at the August 20th work session scheduled [to be held at the Southwestern Commission.
  • Cloverleaf Mixed-Use commercial space feedback:  Mayor Begley said that Ashley Hill asked if there was any feedback on what might be locally supported in the commercial space yet to be built.  She reported that there was support for the idea of the WCU Electric Resale office relocating to that space since it’s small and operates 9-5 through the week.  Other feedback reported by Council included desires for a restaurant and/or a bakery, coffee shop, bookstore, pizza shop, wine bar, ice cream shop, and Irish pub.   
  • Roads paving maintenance quotes:  Mayor Begley asked Councilmember Rice if he has received a paving quote and he said that he had not received a response to his requests, he noted that we only have one asphalt plant in the area and that we cannot get a quote from a South Carolina paving contractor because the tar cools off.

    Mayor Begley received a quote from Owen Paving in the amount of $26,150.00.  Councilmember Corwin made a motion to approve the quote from Owens Paving so it could be scheduled, Council unanimously agreed.  Mayor Begley said she would get the contract for paving services and we will need to get a certificate of insurance from the company. Councilmember Rice said he would check with DOT about the state-maintained road issue complaints discussed.

    10. New Business:  

  • Residents Communication Committee:  Councilmember Brook said that a Communication Committee interest meeting was held on Tuesday, June 25th at the HF Robinson building on the Main WCU campus.  He noted that Jean Adams, Mary Ann Budahl, Marcia Almond, and Rick Cardona were in attendance.  Councilmember Brooks said that he called the meeting to order and summarized the intent of the meeting is to understand the details of the attendee’s recommendations from the Village Council Meeting held on June 4th that a Communication Committee be established.  Also, the purpose of the meeting being to bring forward a plan during the July 9, 2019 Council meeting.

    The group discussed how the council meeting was a catalyst for community organization.  Following Chris Green’s proposal for development in the Valley and other land use developments in and around the Village, residents have felt there has been a lack of effective communication.  It was determined that a multi-channel communication strategy be executed to disseminate information.

   The Committee proposes an annual data audit be performed on phone numbers, emails, addresses, and communication preferences by the committee and cross referenced with the “official” lists used by the Council.  The Committee recommended the following communication channels:

   Annual door-to-door outreach executed by the Committee to gather contact information and survey communication preferences.

   Regular updates of self-reported changes to contact information shared with Council.

   A website feature should be added exclusively for updating contact information.

   The Committee also suggested communication channels such as a Facebook group, an “unofficial email group, community open forums as needed, signs, Twitter, and an annual community social gathering.  Councilmember Brooks made a motion to accept the Residents Communication Committee as Debbie Rowland, Jean Adams, Marcia Almond, and Rick Cardona, motion carried.

  • Grant: Mayor Begley discussed researching possible grants or other options available to assist with the potential of acquiring property for green space in the Village – i.e.; grants, conservation easements, bonds, etc.  and asked that it be added to the Planning Board agenda.  She emphasized exploring all possibilities and combinations that may also have potential for the property that is for sale in the Valley.  She suggested that the Planning Board start by contacting the NC League of Municipalities, the UNC School of Government, and the Southwestern Commission for the best resources to jump start this information gathering. 

    11.  Additional Public Comment: 

    12.  Adjourn: At 9:30pm, Councilmember Corwin made a motion to adjourn; Councilmember Brooks seconded the motion, unanimously approved.