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August 20th - City Council Recap


Happy Wednesday All! We had a busy night last night with a public hearing, special call and work session. So here we go!


Public hearing was on a variance application for 1056 Griffin Street. Applicant is wanting to build a home on the vacant lot, but the existing lot size is less than the minimum lot size required by code. Variance requested is to allow for the smaller lot size. Applicant would still adhere to all other standards set forth in the code.


Special Call meeting had one item; the amendment to the agreement between the City and CSX to increase the annual rent from $365 to $685. Item was approved.


Work Session:

Reports were given from the DDA, Parks and Rec, and the Busking committee. The busking ordinance is currently being reviewed by the City Attorney. The Parks and Rec committee will tour the parks on Saturday, September 7th, due to Labor Day they will reschedule their normal meeting. DDA gave updates on the successful business retention meeting held last week with Decide DeKalb, and also noted that DCA has recommended that we be removed from probationary status.


Staff reports were given from Code Compliance, Public Works, Police, City Clerk, Tourism Manager, and the City Manager. Police reported on multiple car break-ins Monday night. Please stay vigilant and lock your car doors and report suspicious activity.


Unfinished Business:

Hearthstone - still waiting to hear back on the covenant restrictions, the city has requested the amount of rentals in the subdivision be limited to 15%, they requested 50%. Easement agreement at 5197 Central Dr - still waiting to hear from the attorney of the requester to finalize the agreement.


Discussion was continued on extending the sidewalk on East Mountain Street to the Park entrance. Meeting was held this week and the Park indicated they planned on including improvements/changes to the walk in gate at that location in the plan. The request is for the City to pay for 50% of the cost of the project. Some Council Members (myself included) requested more information before we agree to spend money outside the city that would include improvements to the Park. We have many projects within the City limits that need our attention and dollars.


New Business:

Discussion on the variance application from the public hearing. Due to the restraints of the small lot it does not appear the proposed house would be too large. And the applicant will be asked to adhere to the standard yard setbacks. City Manager Thornton also mentioned it had been asked at the Planning and Zoning meeting that the drive way be moved out of the setback. There was also small discussion on the ongoing need to review the entire zoning code/ordinances. I requested, with general consent of Mayor and Council, that the City Manager present us with a proposal including timeline and cost of how we can accomplish this much needed review.


Reviewed the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System (GMEBS) retirement plan.


There has been a request to change a portion of Venable Street in Shermantown to "Mamie Ella Lane Street". Included in the request was a letter that summarized the importance of the late Mrs. Mamie Ella Lane to Shermantown and the entire City. She, along with her mother Mrs. Eva Green, were stewards of the community, took on humanitarian and civil rights efforts and were lifelong public servants. Their accolades are many, too many for this brief summary. The portion of the street being requested for the name change is between 3rd and 4th streets and would not require address changes as there are no residences along the stretch. I am excited by this request and hope that we can extend this honor.


New Ordinances and Resolutions:

Budget amendment for the FY2019 budget was discussed. Items included changes in court staff employee salary, police vehicle repair and maintenance.


Lastly, there was an executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken from that discussion.




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First off, thank you to everyone who has reached out. The support is appreciated more than I can express! So, it was another 4 hour meeting of Council. Bear with me as I try to explain some of what oc