4/19/2016 BOC Regular Session Minutes
GORDON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
APRIL 19, 2016
The Gordon County Board of Commissioners held their Regular Meeting on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Administration Building.
Chairman Hood called the meeting to order.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hood asked if there are any additions, omissions, or deletions to the Minutes for the Work Session March 29, 2016, the Regular Meeting March 29, 2016, and the Special Meeting of April 2, 2016. Commissioner Cunningham made a motion to approve the minutes. Commissioner Gazaway seconded the motion and Commissioners Cunningham, Sexton, Gazaway and Steward voted aye. Motion approved.
Commissioner Gazaway reported that he attended the Chamber Booster Breakfast and the Board’s Planning retreat. Commissioner Sexton visited the Fire Department and toured all of the volunteer fire departments and sat in on one of their classes, attended the Chamber Breakfast, the Board’s Planning retreat, visited the E911 Open House, attended the Board of Health meeting, rode some roads with the Public Works Director and visited the Oostanaula boat ramp, attended the Council of Chief Elected Officials, attended the Young Farmers banquet, the Republican Party Meeting and the Drugs Don’t Work. Commissioner Steward reported that he attended the E911 Banquet and the LG ribbon cutting ceremony. Commissioner Cunningham attended the Open House and the Banquet for E911, the Board’s Planning retreat, and the Young Farmers banquet.
PUBLIC HEARING FOR ZONING
Commissioner Cunningham made a motion to open the public hearing for zoning. Commissioner Steward seconded the motion and Commissioners Cunningham, Gazaway, Steward, and Sexton voted aye.
APPLICATION #A16-03 CHARLES AND NANCY RICHARDS VARIANCE APPEAL ON VARIANCE APPLICATION #V16-02
APPLICATION #Z16-05 CHARLES AND NANCY RICHARDS REQUEST TO REZONE FROM A-1 TO MU
County Attorney Ledbetter announced that the Board has before them two matters pertaining to the same tract of land, the first is the variance appeal application #A16-03 from Charles and Nancy Richards on their variance request on application #V16-02. This is a variance to reduce the required acres for a Mixed Use development from 10 acres to 8.52 acres. This matter for appeal comes to the Board after a variance request was denied by the Planning Commission.
Should the Board decide to approve the variance and allow the development to be 8.52 acres, then the Board would consider the rezoning request for Mixed Use zoning.
Attorney Ledbetter then read rezoning request application #Z16-05 from Charles and Nancy Richards on property is located at 4560 Fairmount Highway to rezone from A-1 to MU. This comes to the Board of Commissioners from the Planning Commission with their recommendations for denial. The plans are to develop the site for residential and commercial use. The future land use map classification is Highway 53 corridor. The applicant is prepared to present tonight, two options from the City of Calhoun to have sewer on the property and there is an 8” water line. There are ten people signed up to speak regarding the variance request and the rezoning request. Mr. Terry Brumlow, representing the applicant, spoke first and explained the plans for the property. JPM Development is working on getting a tax credit for development of the property. The mixed use zoning was conceived for the type of development that JPM Development is planning. Attorney Ledbetter asked Mr. Brumlow if he could speak to the issue of water and sewer for the property. Mr. Brumlow said it could be done with a lift station that is privately owned, or put in a larger lift station so that other parcels in the area could utilize the same lift station. Mr. Brumlow stated that they would work with the county on whatever was required in coming up with the site plans for the property. The developer is working to get the property designation in order to get tax credits. The development will not be possible without the tax credit designation. Mr. Brumlow stated that on the mixed use zoning, whatever plans are approved has to be the plan that goes in, so if the plan is approved and the tax credit is not secured, then any future proposals would have to start all over. Ms. Nancy Richards, owner of the property, spoke to the Board about their efforts to sell the property to big box stores with no luck. This property is a great place to build this type housing and there is a need for this housing in Gordon County. Ms. Tammy Freeman, a local realtor representing JPM Development, spoke to the Board and said there is not a lot of rental inventory available in Gordon County. This Richards property scored the highest on the scoring for the tax credit, about 20 other properties have been scored but they didn’t work. The big box stores won’t build on this property because of their desire to sell alcoholic beverage and there is a church too close to the property for that. Mr. Jerry Newport voiced his concerns for changes this would bring to his neighborhood and the home values. Mr. Craig Jeup, developer for the property, said that his company owns and operates affordable housing in about four states. Anything that his company develops on this site, his company would also operate. This would be income-restrictive property, which means renters must be working and can’t have a criminal background. The site plan is preliminary and conceptual in nature. His company will adhere to whatever codes are necessary to meet density requirements, setbacks, etc. on the final site plans. Taxes are paid at 100% on these type properties. Ms. Roberta Charbonneau with Family Connection and representing Gordon County Housing Stability Coalition stated that this is an issue that Gordon County is in need of safe affordable housing. Mr. Justin Childers, a local realtor stated that the county needs rental property such as this and commercial property lots on Highway 53 would have no trouble finding buyers for these. Ms. Judith Ralston, speaking on behalf of her mother Tinsey Erwin, who’s property is across Highway 53 from the subject property, wants it to remain commercial and have a chance to bring in maybe some good restaurants and asked that the Board of Commissioner uphold what the planning commission recommended – to deny this zoning. Mr. Scott Fletcher owns some property in the area and he agrees there is a shortage of housing in Gordon County and he is in favor of industry and a consumer base for this county.
Attorney Ledbetter advised that this concludes the public participation and now the Board has the two matters before them. The Board should consider the Variance request first. Attorney Ledbetter asked for a motion and seconded on the Variance request.
Commissioner Gazaway made a motion to approve the variance request on application #V16-02. Commissioner Cunningham seconded the motion and Commissioners Gazaway, Cunningham, and Sexton voted aye. Commissioners Steward and Hood opposed the motion. Motion passed.
Attorney Ledbetter asked the Board to consider the rezoning request and he asked for a motion and second to approve rezoning from A-1 to MU to include that the development would be subject to substantial compliance with the conceptual site plan and all other requirements as Mr. Jeup had indicated that they would do.
Commissioner Cunningham made a motion to approve the rezoning from A-1 to MU to include the requirements mentioned by the County Attorney. Commissioner Gazaway seconded the motion and Commissioners Cunningham, Gazaway and Sexton voted aye. Commissioners Steward and Hood opposed the motion. Motion passed.
Commissioner Cunningham made a motion to close the public hearing for zoning. Commissioner Gazaway seconded the motion and Commissioners Cunningham, Gazaway, Sexton, and Steward voted aye. Motion passed, public hearing closed.
CONSIDERATION OF UNFINISHED BUSINESS
CONSIDERATION OF NEW BUSINESS
AMENDMENT TO THE ULDC FOR CHANGE TO TERMS SERVED FOR MEMBERS OF THE HISTORIC PLANNING COMMISSION
Chairman Hood advised that this is an amendment to the ULDC for change to terms served for members of the Historic Planning Commission.
Commissioner Sexton made a motion to approve the amendment to the ULDC. Commissioner Gazaway seconded the motion and Commissioners Gazaway, Sexton, Steward, and Cunningham voted aye. Motion passed.
Commissioner Steward made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Gazaway seconded the motion and all voted aye. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:02 p.m.