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May 21, 2020 Recap

I hope everyone had a safe and relaxing Memorial Day Weekend. It is always good to remember those who gave it all.

I do apologize for the late recap but here it goes!

Thursday was our first time holding a meeting in person in a couple of months. We held a public hearing, special called meeting and the work session. It was a busy night. The set up was different as we had to spread out the seats for the public and for Mayor, Council, and staff to allow for proper social distancing. Temperatures were checked and masks were required.

Public Hearing:

A. Variance application for 1060 Ridge Avenue - applicant requesting a variance on the minimum lot size from 15,000 sf to 14,420 sf.

B. Rezone application for 6803 JBR Memorial Drive - applicant requesting to rezone from R-2 to Village Center Mixed Use

C. Variance application for 6803 JBR Memorial Drive - applicant requesting a variance to eliminate the City's 50 foot stream buffer.

Special Called Meeting:

Resolution 2020-09 - to implement temporary provisions to extend the deadline for business licenses to July 1, 2020. This is an effort to help businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and hadn't been able to renew their license before May 1, 2020. They now have until July 1st without penalty. Resolution was adopted.

Work Session:

No Unfinished Business

New Business:

A. Administration presented their plan to implement parking signage in the downtown area. Signs would either be for a 3 hour limit or state residential parking only. Residential parking signs are proposed at East/West Mountain Street and adjourning cross streets (Rankin, 5th, 4th, 2nd, Ridge, etc.) and Manor at 3rd and 4th. The 3-hour limited parking would be placed in the municipal lot on Main and along the on street parking on East Mountain Street.

B. Schedule for the tentative adoption of the 2020 Millage rate. At the time of the meeting Administration was still waiting the data from the County Tax Accessor's office on the 2020 tax digest. Without that information no discussion can be had on a proposed millage rate. The information is expected to be received within the next week. However, a tentative schedule has been developed. Public hearings will be scheduled for June 23rd at 11am and 6pm, as well as June 30th at 6:30 pm. Council is scheduled to adopt the millage rate after the public hearing on June 30th.

C. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and Dept. of Community Affairs (DCA) Main Street Program. The City and the DDA are a party to the MOU, as the DDA administers the DCA's Main Street Program. This is a standard agreement that is entered into every 2 to 3 years.

D. Variance Application for 1060 Ridge Avenue - same property that was on the public hearing. Applicant restate his desire for a variance so that he could build a single family residence on the property. The planning and zoning committee recommended approval.

E. Rezone Application for 6803 JBR Memorial Drive - same property that was on the public hearing. Applicant went over the intent of his proposed project. He is proposed 10 units be developed, 2 of which would allow for retail/commercial on the first floor, these units would be fronting the road. The current zoning of the property does not allow for commercial or the density of residential he is requesting.

F. Variance Application for 6803 JBR Memorial Drive - same property that was on the public hearing. Applicant went over why he was requesting a variance from the City's 50-ft stream buffer. A lengthy discussion ensued on this item, with many questions from Council. The planning and zoning committee had recommended a tentative approval with additional conditions needing to be met. Discussion ended with Council submitting their additional questions and requests in writing to Administration who would then submit them to the applicant.

New Ordinances and Resolutions:

A. Ordinance 2020-03 - Deannexation of property at 5287 Mountain Village Court and 694 Ridge Avenue. The property owners have requested to be removed from the city and be part of unincorporated DeKalb County. Their request is currently going through the normal process and is at the County for their consideration and action. Once they have rendered their decision it will come back to Council to take action.

B. Ordinance 2020-04 Amend Chapter 28 Stormwater Utility, Article II. Periodically, the Georgia EDP requires updates to the stormwater ordinances. This ordinance will bring us into comopliance with EPD's latest requests.

C. & D. Ordinance 2020-05 amend Chapter 2 and Chapter 8 to add language to establish a planning commission. Ordinance 2020-06 to amend Appendix A - Zoning. Both ordinances address the establishment of a planning commission. Discussion was had on this item earlier this year and a temporary commission was established which will expire June 30th. The proposed language would establish a proposed/ permanent commission. Additional discussion was had on the desire to include a planning and zoning professional consultant. Two scenario's were discussed. First the consultant would hear applications and make recommendations on application and submit those to Council for action. The second, a consultant would work with a community advisory committee to hear applications and make recommendations to council. The desire to include a consultant comes from wanting to ensure that those hearing planning and zoning applications have the knowledge to make informed decisions.

Executive Session

Council adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken from that discussion.

Disclaimer: This City Council Recap is taken from my personal notes and memories of the meeting. For the official minutes of the meetings please visit the City web page.

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