STATE OF GEORGIA

 

COUNTY OF HENRY

 

The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a Regular Public Meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2009, in the Community Room, County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia. Notice of this meeting was posted in the entrance foyer of the County Administration Building. The Daily Herald was notified of this meeting. Those present were:

 

                        Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis, Chairman,

Reid A. Bowman, Vice-Chairman, District IV Commissioner

Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner

Rick Jeffares, District II Commissioner

            Randy Stamey, District III Commissioner

Johnny B. Basler, District V Commissioner

Also attending were Shay Mathis, County Clerk; LaTonya Nix-Wiley, County Attorney; Rob Magnaghi, County Manager; Phyllis Shrader, Deputy County Manager; Michael Sabine, Assistant County Manager;  Mike Bush, Finance Director; Terry McMickle, Public Works Division Director; Michael Harris, Planning & Zoning Services Division Director; Jim Luebbering, Building and Development Services Division Director; and others.

(NOTE: Audio of this meeting is available with the County Clerk in the Board of Commissioners’ Office and will be retained for a period no less than twelve (12) months from the date of this meeting.) 

Chairman Mathis made the following announcement. 

The following rezoning will not be heard at this meeting.  When it’s rescheduled, notice will be posted on the property.

RZ-08-22             POSTPONED BY STAFF

Emerald Capital Partners, LLC of Forest Park, GA requests a rezoning from RA (Residential-Agricultural) to RM (Multiple-Family Residence) for property located at 545 Foster Drive. The property is located in Land Lot 81 of the 6th District.  The property consists of 86.7 +/- acres, and the request is for an apartment complex.  District 3

Chairman Mathis called the meeting to order and called for an acceptance of the agenda.  Commissioner Stamey made the motion to approve the agenda; Commissioner Basler seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

Intergovernmental Agreement with the Water and Sewerage Authority relating to the intersection improvements of Rocky Creek Road and Hampton Locust Grove Road          

            Terry McMickle, Public Works Division Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  The SPLOST Department is working on the intersection improvement at Rocky Creek Road and Hampton Locust Grove Road.  As part of this project, there are certain requirements.  One is to acquire property on the north west quadrant at the location.  In addition mitigation is necessary for a stream crossing where the culverts are being widened.  The first component of this project is right-of-way has to be acquired in an area owned by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and it is a site that they are using as mitigation.  Any time that you’re in a live stream and culverts are extended you mitigate the impact.  A consultant came up with the required mitigation.  The Water and Sewer Authority had an interest in the same area.  They are running a sewer line along Hampton Locust Grove Road and Rocky Creek.  Their desire is to lay pipe in what will become the county’s easement.  They will be required to go through the same process as the County; go to the Corp of Engineers and GDOT to get their permission.  The County and the Water Authority has been working cooperatively on this project.  The consultant has worked all this out and submitted to the Corp.  For the County portion, we are required to purchase 443 stream bank credits.  The Water Authority, because their impact is significantly less, have to purchase 37 stream bank credits.  Initially when you apply for a permit, one thing that has to be told to the Corp before an application is submitted is where you will purchase your credits from.  Since this is being submitted jointly, staff felt it would be better to show the credits coming from one bank.  The bank that will be used in this process is one that the Water Authority already has.  The agreement is that the County will purchase the needed credits from their bank.  The County does not have a bank.  The going rate per credit at the time of discussions was $80.00. 

            The agreement before the Board is an intergovernmental agreement where the County will purchase 443 stream mitigation credits from the Rum Creek Mitigation Bank in the amount of $35,440.00.  In addition the Water Authority along with Henry County will proceed with getting release of the land needed for the project so that GDOT can quit claim the property which will give the necessary right-of-way to complete the project for both the County and the Water Authority.

            Commissioner Bowman stated we are buying right-of-way.  Mr. McMickle stated it is hopeful that GDOT will quit claim the necessary right-of-way. 

            Commissioner Bowman asked if the County was not improving the intersection, and the Water Authority had to run their sewer lines; are they doing this because the County is improving the intersection or is that coming anyway.  Mr. McMickle stated they are installing the sewer lines because of the schools that are west of the intersection.  Commissioner Bowman asked if the County was not improving the intersection would the Water Authority have to purchase the right-of-way or get it quit claimed from GDOT, and at that time would they need 87 credits.  Mr. McMickle stated they have to get 37 credits and they would still have to get those credits.  However, if the County was not improving the intersection, the Water Authority would probably try to locate in our existing right-of-way.  Because of the future expansion the Water Authority is trying to coordinate where they place their sewer lines so it won’t be in the way of the future expansion of Hampton Locust Grove Road. 

            Commissioner Bowman stated the County never charged the Water Authority for locating any water utilities in the right-of-way.  Mr. McMickle stated no, there is no charge for a utility permit or any easements.  Mr. McMickle stated that would be taking it out of the Henry County Board of Commissioners and putting it into the Water Authority.  Commissioner Bowman stated that is what we are doing, but if the County required the Water Authority to pay to put something in our easement then we would be taking funds from the Water Authority and depositing them to the County.

            Mr. McMickle stated what it takes for the Water Authority to do their work is independent of what it takes the County to do their work.  The 37 stream bank credits that the Water Authority need are because they are crossing the stream and have nothing to do with the intersection improvement project.  It has to do with them running a sewer line to the schools.  The reason for the intergovernmental agreement is when the sewer line is installed in the land acquired from GDOT; they are putting them in a location that will not conflict with the future widening of Hampton Locust Grove Road.  The 37 stream bank credits that the Water Authority needs to use are because they are crossing the Towaliga River.  The 443 credits the County needs have to do with the widening and extension of the box culvert at Rocky Creek.

            Commissioner Bowman stated the reason for the questions is because it appeared that the County and the Water Authority was buying the same credits.

            Commissioner Bowman stated at $80.00 per credit, is the County paying the same amount that the Water Authority paid for it.  Mr. Tony Carnell, Water Authority Division Manager, Engineering & Inspections stated there was not a direct answer to the question.  For clarification, there was a design for the sewer line and there was enough right-of-way that the Authority could install the line within the existing right-of-way and there wouldn’t have been any impact to the GDOT project at all.  When coordinating with SPLOST the Authority was informed of the upcoming project and the Corp of Engineers and the Consultants met and it was determined that it would be easier and faster if we apply jointly for a permit.  As far as the cost for the credits, the Water Authority does not purchase credits for their projects they have a bank.  When a reservoir or something of that nature is done the Authority purchases property and does their own mitigation.  Mr. Carnell stated he had no first hand knowledge of the credit values, they depend on their consultants.  The consultants were asked to provide a value of the subject mitigation property.  At that time the market value for the credits was $80 per credit.  The going rate recently came in at the low bid of $75 per credit.  It’s difficult to place a value on what this particular credit is considering the Rum Creek property.  The property was purchased years ago and extensive work has been done on the property. 

            Commissioner Basler asked if the Water Authority would be making a profit.  It’s been discussed that if DOT needs the Authority to move water lines, it’s done at approximately 50% of what it cost when it’s a SPLOST project.  The bottom line is that it all comes from the tax payer.  Mr. Carnell stated there has always been an exchange of services between the Authority and the County.  Mr. Carnell stated this project has been in the works for months.  Documents have been received from the U S Army Corp of Engineers but there was another more pressing issue.  The schools have been the driving factor of this project and at the start of the project it was discussed what could be done to expedite the project.  As far as the dollar value of the credits; there is mitigation banks created for sewer line credits.  The Water Authority has never used the Rum Creek mitigation bank for anything other than sewer line projects. When looking at the balance it makes you wonder if there are enough credits remaining for future projects but when these opportunities come where one government agency can help another, it was decided to move on the project. 

            Commissioner Stamey asked if the cost of the credits could be matched to the cost mentioned previously by Mr. Carnell.  Mr. Lindy Farmer, Water Authority General Manager stated that can be researched.  When the mitigation site was purchased it was a different time and the state of the economy was different and also there is a process for the up keep of the property annually.  Mr. Farmer stated they cross mitigation property all the time and the mitigation bank was not accumulated to sell to others.  At the time this project was planned the consultant for the Water Authority was contacted and they determined the price for the credits.

            Commissioner Stamey asked if the resolution had to be approved at this meeting.  Mr. McMickle stated there are some things to consider.  In obtaining a permit, the bank had to be identified.  If we change the bank the permit will have to be revised and it will stop the process on the project for approximately one month.

            Chairman Mathis asked if the agreement under the heading “Approval of Execution” could be amended to insert “credits to the County for $35,440 cash or in-kind exchange of services”.  LaTonya Wiley, County Attorney stated that would be acceptable with the addition of the wording “upon agreement by both parties”.  Mr. McMickle suggested adding the same language on page one of the resolution.  Ms. Wiley suggested adding the same to page four of the agreement, paragraph two.

            Commissioner Holder made the motion to approve the agreement with the suggested changes; Commissioner Basler seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

Recognition of Guests

            Chairman Mathis recognized Boy Scout Troop 99 from Salem Baptist Church.  They were in attendance as part of a requirement for their Citizenship Participation Merit Badge.

Proclamation(s)

            The Board along with the Henry County Fire Department honored Jasper Zollicoffer and Bobby Montgomery for rescuing Ms. Carolyn Nave from her burning house.  The Fire Department presented the two gentlemen a certificate along with the following proclamation from the Board:

In Honor of Jasper Zollicoffer and Bobby Montgomery

For Their Bravery During a Fire Rescue

 

WHEREAS, A Stockbridge home caught fire on February 7, 2009 where Ms. Carolyn Nave was asleep in her bed; and

 

WHEREAS, two bystanders, Jasper Zollicoffer and Bobby Montgomery, upon noticing the flames, knocked and called at the door to try to wake Ms. Nave up; and

 

WHEREAS, upon hearing no response, Jasper and Bobby reacted quickly, kicking the door in and entering the burning home to search for any inhabitants; and

 

WHEREAS, Ms. Nave heard their calls at last and responded with her location, enabling Jasper Zollicoffer and Bobby Montgomery to rush back to her bedroom and pull Ms. Nave to safety as the flames grew larger and spread throughout her home; and

 

WHEREAS, the swift-thinking and decisive measures taken by these two brave citizens were so effective that Ms. Nave did not suffer any life threatening injuries and was taken to safety before Henry County Fire Department arrived on the scene; 

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED, that the Henry County Board of Commissioners, together with the Henry County Fire Department, would like to commend Mr. Jasper Zollicoffer and Mr. Bobby Montgomery for their selfless act of heroism when they quickly and courageously intervened to rescue Ms. Carolyn Nave from her burning home, ultimately saving her life.  

            The Board presented the following proclamation to the Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority for outstanding leadership and performance:

In Honor of the Henry County Water & Sewerage Authority

 

WHEREAS, Henry County has benefitted from the strong leadership and vision of past and present members of the Henry County Water & Sewerage Authority (HCWSA) Board; and

 

WHEREAS, The HCWSA has one of the highest bond ratings possible – Aa3 – for a utility of its kind, which is a reflection of its sound financial position and fiscally responsible operations; and

 

WHEREAS, The Henry County Water & Sewerage Authority has more than 18 billion gallons of raw water storage – more per capita than any other community in the Atlanta region – and was one of the few utilities that successfully petitioned the state Environmental Protection Division, on behalf of its customers, for relief from a complete ban on outdoor water use, made possible by proper long-range planning, drought management, and conservation; and

 

WHEREAS, the HCWSA has received industry awards for 100 percent permit compliance at both the Towaliga and Tussahaw Water Treatment Facilities; and

 

WHEREAS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Division selected the HCWSA as a Water Sense promotional partner by for its advocacy in wise water use by consumers; and

 

WHEREAS, the Association of State Dams Safety Officials (ASDSO) recently presented the HCWSA with the Southeast Regional Award of Merit, an honor bestowed upon one utility in a 12-state region and Puerto Rico, for excellence in operations, notably for the safe design, construction and maintenance of its reservoir dams; and

 

WHEREAS, the HCWSA’s General Manager, Lindy D. Farmer, Jr. was also recognized by the ASDSO as being the longest tenured water utility general manager in Georgia, with 28 years of service; and

 

WHEREAS, the Georgia Association of Water Professionals recently named the HCWSA the “Water Distribution System of the Year” for having the best drinking water system in the State, as well as runner-up for the best wastewater system and top water quality laboratory in the State;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED that the Henry County Board of Commissioners hereby recognizes the Henry County Water & Sewerage Authority for its outstanding performance in preserving and protecting Henry County’s drinking water resources and expresses its deep gratitude for its extraordinary vision and foresight in planning for Henry County’s future water needs.

Authorization to reallocate funds to Nash Farm Park and honoring the contributions of Veteran’s Groups contribution to the Military Museum

            Tim Coley, Director of Parks and Recreation presented the agenda item to the Board.  Henry County through the Parks and Recreation Department is creating a military museum to be located at Nash Farm Park. Military groups such as the Vietnam Veteran’s Association and the Marine Corps Guard have worked diligently to acquire uniforms and other military related items from World War I to present to be donated to the museum.  Upon completion the military museum will be open to the public for tours and further serve as a valuable educational tool for school related field trips.  In order to facilitate this in a timely manner the request is for authorization to transfer approximately $42,000.00 from Capital Projects Funds to Nash Farm to finish the Nash Farm House which is the house that will locate the museum.

            Mr. Coley recognized Mr. Bob Van Dunk .  Mr. Van Dunk orchestrated where the Marine Corp Guard, the VFW and other veteran’s groups have consolidated to be known as the Henry County Veterans Association.  They have donated funds, time and efforts to make the museum possible.

            Commissioner Jeffares made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0 approving the following resolution:

            WHEREAS, the Henry County Board of Commissioners has previously authorized the development of a master plan for Nash Farm Park which includes passive park activities for the benefit of the citizens of Henry County; and

            WHEREAS, in addition to such passive park activities, a portion of Nash Farm Park is to be dedicated to the preservation of certain historical and military actions; and

            WHEREAS, in furtherance of such historical and military actions, Henry County, through its Henry County Parks and Recreation Department, is creating a Military Museum to be located at Nash Farm Park; and

            WHEREAS, military groups such as the Vietnam Veteran’s Association and the Marine Corps Guard have worked diligently to acquire uniforms and other military related items from World War I to the present date to be donated to the Military Museum; and

            WHEREAS, these military groups have worked tirelessly to raise funds for the purchase of mannequins and cabinets to facilitate the display of these uniforms and military related items at the Military Museum; and

            WHEREAS, upon completion, the Military Museum will be open to the public for tours and further serve as a valuable educational tool for school related field trips; and

            WHEREAS, the Henry County Board of Commissioners has determined that the Military Museum will be a vital attraction and benefit to Henry County; and

            WHEREAS, in order to facilitate the timely completion of the Military Museum, the Henry County Board of Commissioners authorizes the transfer of approximately $42,000.00 from the Capital Projects Fund to Nash Farm Park for the purposes specified herein.

            NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Commissioners of Henry County, Georgia, does hereby express its sincere thanks and appreciation for the valuable contributions that the Vietnam Veteran’s Association and Marine Corps Guard have made and continue to make to the Military Museum to be located at Nash Farm Park.

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Commissioners does hereby approve all necessary budget amendments and/or transfers needed for proper accounting of this Resolution.

Resolution regarding SPLOST Bonds

            Mike Bush, Finance Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  Jim Monacel, Bond Council and Bill Camp and Gordon Mortin of Morgan and Keegan were present for a presentation regarding the sell of Bonds.

            The SPLOST Bonds were to be issued in October, 2008 but the stock market took a downward turn.  The bond interest rates were high at that time and it was decided that bonds would not be issued.  In October, 2008 bonds were sold at an average of approximately 3.5% interest yield.  Six months later the bonds were sold at a yield of 2.06% with a savings of $3.3 million over the six years of the program.  That $3.3 million that would have gone to interest will now go to build roads and capital projects.  Mr. Camp reviewed an executive summary of bond information with the Board. 

            Commissioner Holder made the motion to approve the resolution approving the execution and delivery of the bond purchase and authorize the Chairman to execute the appropriate documents; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

The Community Agenda for the Joint Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Plan

            The Planning and Zoning Staff presented the agenda item to the Board.  Michael Harris, Planning & Zoning Services Division Director gave a brief overview of what has taken place to get the plan where it is today.  Ray Gibson, Planning & Zoning Director stated the resolution is for adoption of the Community Agenda portion of the Joint Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Development Plan 2030.  The process began in August, 2005 when Jordan, Jones & Goulding was hired as the consultants to undertake the project.  That was also the onset of the One Henry Initiative.   The Comp Plan started in coordination with the Comprehensive Transportation Plan which was adopted in 2007.  In order to retain the qualified local government statues with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the comprehensive plan has to be adopted by October, 2010.  Currently the Cities within Henry County have adopted the plan.   

            The Comprehensive Plan is comprised of three (3) components; the Community Assessment, the Community Participation Plan, and the Community Agenda.  The Community Assessment is an analysis of the existing development patterns, policies, and activities within the County.  Three important points that were brought up in the community assessment:  1) The consultant identified a need for a better land use/transportation connection within the county; 2) The consultant noticed there was evidence of sprawl development throughout the county; 3) The County has used larger lot developments as a growth management tool in past decision making to control growth.  This form of development is one the most ineffective to service from an infrastructure perspective and does little to maintain the rural character of the County.  This particular point is what drew staff to the Activity Center Concept where you have more compact development in order to actually maintain a rural character outside of the activity centers.

            The Community Participation Plan outlines a strategy that staff would use in obtaining stakeholder and public involvement through the plan process in order to obtain information that will go into the Community Agenda. 

            The Community Agenda outlines the goals, objectives and implementation strategies for future development in Henry County.  The big component of the community agenda is the Future Land Use Map.  Regarding the Walnut Creek Watershed Protection District, a question was asked why there are no regulations for this watershed.  Mr. Gibson stated staff is working with the Water Authority to maybe add some regulations to the Unified Land Development Code to add additional buffers to the streams within the Walnut Creek Watershed Protection District. 

            The Future Land Use Map identifies densities of different types of developments within the county.  For example, Low Density Residential has a range of one dwelling unit per acre to two dwelling units per acre.  This does not guarantee that there will be two dwelling units per acre.  There will be other issues to look at such as the infrastructure and compatibility to the area.

            Mr. Harris stated the concept of the activity center was birthed from the public hearings.  The activity centers consist of five different types of centers; 1) Crossroads Communities; 2) Village Activity Center; 3) School Nod; 4) Suburban Employment Center and 5) Specialty Use Center.  Each has its own set of typology which designates how much would be residential, commercial, and industrial, greenspace and the general size of each center.  The final size of the activity center will be determined by citizens that are affected by the activity center.  Each activity center will have to go through a master planning process.  That process will call for public participation.  One of the advantages of nodal development is that it goes away for the sprawl pattern.  By going with the nodal development, infrastructure cost would be minimized or reduced.  There is a potential to reduce some of the service expenditures.  What was heard throughout the process is that there are certain areas in Henry County that the rural character should be maintained.  The current population projection according to the Atlanta Regional Center’s modified versions and projections is over 400,000 by the year 2030.  Staff knew that a plan had to be formulated to accommodate this type of growth. It was important to hear from the citizens and that was to maintain the rural nature of the county but in some area there will have to be greater density so it’s important to keep those areas where it’s appropriate. 

            The Activity Centers also allows for preservation of select rural areas by consolidating some of the high density into the appropriate areas.  This was done in coordination with the Comprehensive Transportation Plan.  The areas that were identified as appropriate for high density, it was important that the infrastructure be in place.  Those areas were included along with the infrastructure improvements to meet the needs of the higher density areas.  The plans are cohesive and work together.

            Some of the tools that were considered to implement the activity centers, one being Transfer Development Rights to see if this will be a viable tool to utilize.  Another tool for master planning an implementing activity centers is the use of livable center initiatives LCI grants.  Henry County recently was awarded $100,000 for the implementation of the master planning process which will take place along the corridor between Hudson Bridge Road and Jonesboro Road. 

            Brecca Sherow, Planner II and Jeremy Gilbert, Planner I reviewed the recommended changes from the Zoning Advisory Board meeting (this was a power point presentation).

            Chairman Mathis called for public comments from anyone wishing to speak in opposition of the agenda item.  Those speaking in opposition were Larry Garcia, of 78 Walnut Way, and Keith Rodgers of 1171 Turner Church Road.

            Chairman Mathis called for public comments from anyone wishing to speak in Favor of the agenda item.  Those speaking in favor were Michael Elliott of Gentry Drive, Jeff Wade of 729 Kibbee Road, and Jimmy Carter of 1658 Turner Church Road.

            Commissioner Holder stated this plan goes back to November 16, 1999 when a moratorium to study the land use plan was first presented to the Board for adoption.  A moratorium was brought back to the Board on December 21, 1999 and it was stated the land use plan would be completed within twelve (12) months and it is now ten (10) years later.  Commissioner Holder commented on why he is considering the 15,000+ acres.  If you were to look at the watershed boundary line, all this property is outside of the watershed protection area.  This is not the first time this has been a part of the plan.  The consultants, J J & G made this a recommendation in December, 2007 and the Zoning Advisory Board made a recommendation in March, 2008.  Commissioner Holder stated he feels this is in the best interest of the people of that area.  One of the concerns for a long time has been the flag lots.  There are eighteen (18) R-2 zoned subdivisions within the area of the subject property (the 15,000 +/- acres); there are three (3) R-1 Conditional zoning subdivisions (which are basically an R-2 subdivision with R-2 width lots). 

            This plan needs to be a plan of the entire County not of each district.  There will be another census in 2010 and the districts will be redistricted and in 2012 the district lines will change.  The district lines won’t be the same but the conditions on property will remain the same.  Commissioner Holder stated he is not trying to hurt any citizen in his district; he would not intentionally do anything to destroy the value of property.

            Commissioner Jeffares made the motion to approve the Community Agenda for the Joint Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Plan; Commissioner Holder seconded.  Mr. Gibson stated the plan will not become effective until after the ULDC is adopted.  The motion carried 5-0-0 approving the following resolution:

WHEREAS, Henry County, Georgia has prepared a Community Agenda Element of the Joint Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Plan pursuant to the Georgia Planning Act of 1989, as amended; and

 

WHEREAS, the Community Agenda Element of the Joint Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Plan was prepared in accordance with the Rules of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Minimum Planning Standards and Procedures for Local Comprehensive Planning, effective May 1, 2005; and 

 

WHEREAS, the Henry Board of Commissioners voted to transmit the Community Agenda Element of the Joint 2030 Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Plan to the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), on June 19, 2007; and

           

            WHEREAS, Henry County has held a public hearings, reviewed and recommended approval to transmit the Community Agenda Element of the Joint 2030 Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Plan to the Atlanta Regional Commission, and

 

            WHERASE, the ARC has completed a regional review of the Joint Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Plan Community Agenda Element and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs determined that the Plan meets the Local Planning compliance requirements.

 

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the Henry County Board of Commissioners does hereby adopt the Community Agenda Element of the Joint 2030 Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Plan and directs the Planning and Zoning Department to send a copy of this resolution to the Atlanta Regional Commission, as required by the Georgia Planning Act of 1989, as amended.

John Valdivieso of McDonough, GA – RZ-08-19

            Rezoning request RZ-08-19 from John Valdivieso of McDonough, GA to rezone from RA (Residential-Agricultural) to C-2 (General Commercial) property located on the south side of Highway 81 East at the intersection with McClain Road, in Land Lot 145 of the 8th District.  The property consists of 4.5 +/- acres and the request is for a retail development and a Veterinary Hospital.  This item was tabled at the October 20, 2008 and November 17, 2008 BOC meetings.  The property is located within Commission District 1.

            Stacey Jordan, Chief Planner presented the agenda item to the Board.  The purpose of the rezoning is for a Dollar General retail store and a veterinary hospital.  The Zoning Advisory Board recommended denial of the request but approval of the Conditional Use for the 1.5 acre tract proposed for the veterinary clinic.  A variance request was denied for the buffers and the parking.  The request goes against the Current Future Land Use Map which calls for residential and agriculture in the area.  The 4.5 +/- acres are divided into three tracts.  The western tract has no proposed development according to the site plan.  The Dollar General will be on the middle piece of property and the veterinary clinic will be on the eastern portion of the property.

            Brent Moye, an agent representing the applicant.  The request is for the 4.5 +/- acres be rezoned to C-2. 

            Commissioner Holder asked if the applicant was in agreement with the eight (8) conditions presented by staff.  Mr. Moye stated they had reviewed the conditions and agrees with all eight (8) conditions.

            Chairman Mathis called for public comments from anyone wishing to speak in opposition to the request.  Those speaking in opposition were Doug Cloud, 420 Keys Ferry Road and Angie Sorby, 215 Albertas Court.

            Chairman Mathis called for public comments from anyone wishing to speak in favor of the request; there was no response.

            Mr. Moye stated regarding the traffic problems, there are plans for signalization of the intersection of Keys Ferry at Highway 81.

            Chairman Mathis asked if the subject property was in a node on the Future Land Use Map that was adopted at this meeting.  Mr. Jordan stated the subject property is located in what’s known to be the Ola School Node.  The Land Use designation for the subject property is Commercial and Services.

            Chairman Mathis stated it would make sense for the subject property be part of a master plan because the applicant owns the majority of the acreage in the area.  It makes sense when you have large tracts to try to master plan those out.  Mr. Jordan stated it makes it easier when there is a larger land owner who is willing to master plan their property.  Since the Comprehensive Plan that was adopted at this meeting will not take effect until the ULDC is adopted, any master planning that would be done in conjunction with the surrounding property would need to be in the form of a condition.

            Commissioner Holder commented if Mr. Valdivieso who owns 247 +/- acres, did not plan it himself he is basically destroying his ability to develop his property.  Commissioner Holder stated he didn’t see that the entire area would have to be master planned at this time. 

            Mr. Gibson stated the concept would be to do quadrants.  If a landowner owns large acreage that the quadrant be master planned.  Some activity centers may have four different master plans that still meet the overall percentages of the quality chart presented earlier in the meeting.  There could be the potential to have smaller master plans within the major master plans.

            Commissioner Holder made the motion to approve the request for rezoning the said property with the eight (8) conditions presented by staff; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0 approving the following resolution:

WHEREAS, John Valdivieso of McDonough, Georgia (RZ-08-19) requested a rezoning from RA (Residential-Agricultural) to C-2 (General Commercial) for property is located on Highway 81 East at the intersection with the former McClain Drive (Parcel ID Numbers155-01-001-001, 155-01-0001-004, and 155-01-001-005) in Land Lot 145 of the 8th District, consisting of 4.5 +/- acres; and

WHEREAS, all County and State requirements for legal advertisement and a public hearing have been met; and

WHEREAS, the Planning & Zoning Staff for Henry County has reviewed the request and submitted a report that is part of the public record; and

WHEREAS, the Henry County/Municipal Planning Commission reviewed and recommended denial of the request on September 11, 2008;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves the above rezoning request with the following conditions:

  1. The applicant shall preserve or donate sixty feet (60’) of right-of-way from the existing centerline of Highway 81 East to the site’s side along the site’s frontage to accommodate the widening of Highway 81 East in accordance with the Henry County Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
  2. All buildings shall be constructed of brick, stone, stucco, glass, wood or any combination thereof, subject to architectural review and approval by the Planning & Zoning Department.
  3. The applicant shall coordinate with GDOT to reach agreement for the location of a joint, shared driveway serving all the tracts within the proposed commercial subdivision.
  4. The entrance of the development on Highway 81 East shall feature a deceleration lane/acceleration taper which shall meet GDOT standards.
  5. A final plat shall be required which shall include all required buffers and parking and loading areas, whether by ordinance or by variance.
  6. An exterior lighting plan shall require all lighting to be of moderate brightness and downcast.
  7. A detailed landscaping plan shall be submitted.  The Development Plan Review Department shall have final approval of the plan prior to final plat approval.
  8. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, no zoning conditions imposed herein shall be interpreted or applied in such a manner so as to require any violation of any existing building, development, stormwater and/or any other applicable codes.

John Valdivieso of McDonough, GA  - AP-08-09

Appeal AP-08-09 of a denial for a variance request VR-08-23 by John Valdivieso of McDonough, GA for property located on the south side of Highway 81 East at the intersection with McClain Road, in Land Lot 145 of the 8th District.  The property consists of 4.5 +/- acres, and the variance request is for reduced buffers and parking spaces for a retail development and a Veterinary Hospital in a C-2 (General Commercial) zoning district.  The request was denied by the Zoning Advisory Board on September 11, 2008. The applicant filed an appeal on September 22, 2008.  This item was tabled at the October 20, 2008 and November 17, 2008 BOC meetings.  The property is located within Commission District 1. 

Stacey Jordan, Chief Planner presented the agenda item to the Board.  The applicant’s request is to reduce the buffer along the eastern property line from forty feet (40’) to ten feet (10’) and along the southern property line from forty feet (40’) to twenty feet (20’) and to reduce the required number of parking spaces in tract 2 from the required forty (40) spaces, which is based upon the retail area of the proposed Dollar General, to thirty (30) general parking spaces.

Brent Moye, an agent representing the applicant.  As stated and discussed in the previous agenda item Mr. Valdivieso owns the surrounding property to the south and east of the subject property.  Any impact on the reduction of the buffer would be to him on those two sides.  The reduction to the buffer in the rear of the property would be a planted berm.  The reduction in the number of parking spaces is a specific request from Dollar General.  Their design specifications standards for this size store require 30 parking spaces and the County Code requires 40 spaces.

Commissioner Holder asked for clarification regarding the buffer on the western boundary line; is the request to reduce the buffer from forty feet (40’) to twenty feet (20’) or ten feet (10’). Mr. Moye stated its ten feet (10) for the eastern and western boundary lines.

Commissioner Holder asked the property owner to the west of the subject property, if he was in agreement with the reduction of the buffer from forty feet (40’) to ten feet (10).  From the audience, Mr. Dan Bledsoe, 3430 Highway 81 East stated he had no objections.

Commissioner Bowman state he understands that there will be a Dollar General but the issue is what if Dollar General is not there and a store that has the proposed amount of footage would require more parking spaces.  Where would they come from?  Mr. Moye stated if a church came in, the forty (40) parking spaces wouldn’t work for the church.  It would depend on the use of the building; they would have to meet the requirements per the County regulations.  If the building became a church, daycare or anything different the regulations would change.

Commissioner Bowman stated regardless of what comes in after the Dollar General, they would not have the required parking spaces.  There is noarea for additional spaces.  Mr. Jordan stated the requirement for a variance is unique for tract 2.  If you look at the subject property overall the veterinary clinic has more spaces than required but in the future if the ownership is divided, tract 2 would have to have the variance. Mr. Jordan suggested it may be beneficial for the condition to be placed on the property that a parking plan for the entire subject property be submitted to staff and allow approval of a shared parking arrangement.

Chairman Mathis called for public comments from anyone wishing to speak in opposition to the request.  Speaking in opposition was Mark Donnelly, 675 Sandy Ridge Road.

Commissioner Stamey asked why the septic couldn’t be moved to the back corner of the property to extend the parking lot.  Mr. Moye stated if that is a requirement the applicant would have to make adjustments.  There is a requirement that the septic system by fifty feet (50’) from a detention pond and that’s why the septic is proposed in the current location.

Commissioner Holder made the motion to uphold the denial of the variance for a reduction in the parking spaces and overturn the denial of the reduction in buffer; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0 approving the following resolution:

WHEREAS, John Valdivieso (AP-08-09) of McDonough, GA, applied for a variance (VR-08-23) to reduce the minimum buffer and parking for property located on the south side of Highway 81 East at the intersection with the former McClain Drive (Parcel ID Numbers: 155-01-001-001, 155-01-001-004, and 155-01-001-005), in Land Lot 145 of the 8th District, consisting of 4.5 +/- acres; and

WHEREAS, all County and State requirements for legal advertisement and a public hearing have been met; and

WHEREAS, the Planning & Zoning Staff for Henry County has reviewed the request and submitted a report that is part of the public record; and

WHEREAS, the Henry County Zoning Advisory Board (ZAB) reviewed and denied the request for a variance on September 11, 2008;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Henry County Board of Commissioners upholds the denial of the variance request concerning parking by the ZAB;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Henry County Board of Commissioners overturns the denial of the variance requests concerning minimum buffers by the ZAB allowing a reduction in the buffers on the east and west sides from forty feet (40’) to ten feet (10’), and on the south side from forty feet (40’) to twenty feet (20’).

County Manager Comments

            There were no comments.

County Attorney Comments

            There were no comments.

Public Comments

            Ronald Merz, 775 Mount Bethel Road spoke to the Board regarding volunteer firefighters.

Upcoming Meetings

1.      Thursday, April 2nd at 6:00 p.m. Quarterly Meeting with the Board of Education.  The meeting will be held at the Board of Education Administration Building located at 33 North Zack Hinton Parkway, McDonough.

2.      Monday, April 6th at 9:00 a.m. and Tuesday, April 7th at 9:00 a.m. Regular Board Meetings

Adjournment

            Commissioner Basler made the motion to adjourn; Commissioner Bowman seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0

                                                                        Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis, Chairman

Shay Mathis, County Clerk