CLARKSTON CITY COUNCIL
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Mayor: Ted Terry
Council: YT Bell, Jamie Carroll, Andrea Cervone, Awet Eyasu, Ahmed Hassan, Mario Williams
City Manager: Robin I. Gomez
City Clerk: Tracy Ashby
City Attorney: Stephen Quinn
A. CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Terry called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.
B. ROLL CALL/ PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Present: YT Bell, Mario Williams, Awet Eyasu, Ahmed Hassan, Andrea Cervone,
Absent: Jamie Carrol (arrived 7:12pm)
C. ADMINISTRATIVE BUSINESS/ PRESENTATION
C1) Approve Minutes: Special Call 4-30-19, 5-28-19 and Council Meeting 5-7-19
Awet Eyasu made a motion to approve the minutes for the Special Call 4-30-19, Special Call 5-28-19 and Council Meeting 5-7-19 with listed edits. Ahmed Hassan second the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (6, 0).
C2) The Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority discussed the Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) provided by a grant to the Clarkston Police Department.
Jamie Carroll arrived.
1) Planning & Zoning Report
2) City Manager’s Report
Mr. Gomez provided the current financial report through May 31, 2019. He discussed some of the recent issues with vandalism in the MARTA bus shelters, the Milam Pool, the wood bridge to 40 Oaks, construction equipment at Friendship Forest and the fence along the PATH. He requested that residents assist in monitoring and call the police if they witness suspicious activity. He reported on seminars he attended at the Welcoming America training. He discussed the upcoming information meetings for the I-285 Express lane project. He encouraged residents to sign up to assist with the 2020 Census.
3) City Attorney’s Report
Mr. Quinn reported he has a legal issue to be discussed in executive session.
4) Council Remarks
Andrea Cervone stated she was proud to be an attendee at the Welcoming America training. She reported on the urban agriculture kick off meeting that was held at Refuge Coffee. She discussed the upcoming Historic Preservation lunch and learn and the Clarkston Public Arts engagement meeting. She provided information on the submitted CDBG Grant to assist fixed income residents with energy retrofits.
Ahmed Hassan wished all Clarkston residents a blessed year as Ramadan has concluded.
Awet Eyasu wished Ramadan Kareem to all Muslim residents and he reported on two Ramadan Iftars he attended.
YT Bell discussed her work with the National Alliance on Mental Illness and encouraged attendance for the July 13th Multicultural Mental Health Fair to be held at Milam Park.
5) Mayor’s Report
Mayor Terry reported on his segment of Clarkston Speaks on Infrastructure Projects. He discussed his attendance to the Metro Atlanta Mayors meeting and gave an overview of topics reviewed. He gave the Commencement speech at the Clarkston High School Awards Ceremony. He attended two Iftar dinners.
E. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Any member of the public may address the Council, during the time allotted for public comment. Each attendee will be allowed 3 minutes for comments at the discretion of the Presiding Officer. The public comment period will be limited to 40 minutes and it is not a time for dialogue. If your public comment contains a series of questions, please submit those to the City Clerk in writing. This will facilitate follow-up by the council or staff. The City Council desires to allow an opportunity for public comment; however, the business of the City must proceed in an orderly, timely manner.
Mayor Terry provided a recap of changes to the public comment policy.
Warren Hadlock expressed doubt on Leach experiencing a shortage of construction materials. He discussed concerns with the proposed zoning rewrite. He was advised that items was not on the Council meeting agenda.
Susan Hood Supported the zoning rewrite be a 2020 budget item with a comprehensive review and with full citizen involvement.
Laura Hopkins discussed concerns with the City’s need to appoint a Tree Arborist.
Dean Moore discussed safety corners with performing CPR and the need to hold the zoning rewrite as a 2020 budget item.
Chris Busing stated he was in favor of a comprehensive professional study to be conducted in 2020.
Ann McCormack requested the zoning rewrite be conducted as professional study and that potential annex areas should be included in the review.
Beverly Burks stated she was proud to help bring the AEDs to Clarkston and with regard to the zoning rewrite and engagement, she expressed concern with hiring companies for work that may be outside the scope of their expertise.
Mark Osbourne stated the zoning rewrite needs to be a professional project under a bid process.
Mayor Terry closed the public comments and reminded the public hearing sign in will conclude in approximately 10 minutes. Anyone interested in speaking should sign up on the forms.
F. CONSENT AGENDA
F1) Adopt After Dark Summer Basketball Program Agreement with the DeKalb Police Athletic League for an amount not to exceed $5,000.
F2) Confirm City Clerk as Elections Superintendent
F3) Issue Call for Election and Set Qualifying period for November General Election
F4) Adopt Resolution Re-Certifying City of Ethics
F5) Approve Reschedule August Council Meeting
Andrea Cervone made a motion to adopt all five items on the Consent Agenda. Ahmed Hassan seconded the motion.
Mayor Terry read the items for the record.
A vote was called and the motion carried (6, 0).
G. OLD BUSINESS
H. NEW BUSINESS
H1) Approve 2019 Proposed Advertised Millage Rate
Mr. Gomez stated that this item is to adopt a millage rate for advertising purposes. The millage rate will be adopted at the July regular meeting. The Council can adopt a rate that is lower than the advertised rate but they cannot adopt a rate that is higher.
The calculated rollback millage rate for 2019, (rate which applied would net the city the same tax revenue amount as last year) is 13.282 mils. The rollback millage rate for 2019 is lower than the 2018 adopted millage rate of 15.89 mils due to an increase in the net digest. Mr. Gomez recommended to advertise a millage rate of 15.89, the same rate as adopted in 2018. The City will hold 3 public hearings on June 25 at 10:00am and 6:30pm and at the July 2 Council meeting.
YT Bell made a motion to approve the 2019 Proposed Advertised Millage Rate of 15.89 mills. Andrea Cervone seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (6, 0).
H2) Approve Resolution Authorizing Tax Anticipation Note 2019 (TAN)
Mr. Gomez reported that the City receives the bulk of revenues from property taxes and insurance premium payments at the end of the fiscal year. This item authorizes the City to receive the issuance of a Tax Anticipation Note (TAN), which will allow borrowing of $750,000 to cover the temporary cash flow deficit. Funds borrowed must be repaid in full prior to December 31st of each year. The interest rate charged on the principal balance will be 3.20% annually amortized over 200 days.
Awet Eyasu made a motion to approve Resolution Authorizing Tax Anticipation Note 2019 (TAN). Jamie Carroll seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (6, 0).
H3) PUBLIC HEARING: Consider a variance application request from Tad Braswell, Oak Hall Companies, LLC to vary from Section 703 NR-3 High Density Neighborhood Residential District (f) Bulk and area regulations to reduce the minimum lot size of 5,000 sq. ft. to 3, 000 sq. ft. and to reduce the minimum lot width of 50 feet to 40 feet. If granted the applicant will develop 37 parcels on the properties located at 3809, 3835, 3861, and 3827 East Avenue, Clarkston, GA 30021.
Mayor Terry noted 13 signed up to speak in opposition and 0 in support. He advised the order of speaking and that the applicant will speak first and his presentation time will equally be allotted to opposition speaker.
Mr. Braswell presented information on the request for a variance and the proposed project.
His variance request is to vary from Section 703 NR-3 High Density Neighborhood Residential District (f) Bulk and area regulations to reduce the minimum lot size of 5,000 sq. ft. to 3, 000 sq. ft. and to reduce the minimum lot width of 50 feet to 40 feet. If granted the applicant will develop 36 parcels on the properties located at 3809, 3835, 3861, and 3827 East Avenue, Clarkston.
Discussion with Mario Williams on the drafted concept plan that complies with the current approved zoning limits and the number of houses had to be reduced to 32 and the greenspace was entirely removed.
Verification that the Planning & Zoning Committee and now Ms. Qawiy have recommended denial of the variance based on section 608. Councilman Williams stated the City Attorney should be given time to further review and advise the council on section 608, prior to a vote. Councilman Williams cited case law to support adhering to the specified criteria for granting a variance and that his analysis points indicates the application does not meet the criteria to grant a variance. Councilman Williams requested the applicant submit a plan to Planning & Zoning Committee that meets the current zoning and incorporates some greenspace.
The City Attorney advised that he has not had an opportunity to review the section 608 in depth and there are two sections that are conflicting so he is not prepared to offer an opinion without further review.
Mario Williams requested to table the item until the City Attorney can provide further clarification and opinion on the conflict with section 608.
Further discussion of the current adopted zoning and the additional 24 conditions. Further discussion of tabling the application to allow the City Attorney to research and respond to the raised issues.
The City Attorney advised if item is being tabled then the public hearing would be held when the council intended to take action.
Jamie Carroll made a motion to the July Council Meeting. YT Bell seconded the motion. Discussion that the City Attorney will review the section 608 and provide background information if other variances have been approved and the criteria of their approval; and the parameters of how the 24 conditions would impact a development; and an opinion if the applicant has presented information to meet criteria #4 for a variance request. A vote was called and the motion carried (6, 0).
H4) Amend Chapter 5 Article III Regarding Flood Damage Prevention
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notified the City of Clarkston that there were modifications in its flood hazard determinations affecting the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report for DeKalb County.
Because of those modifications to the FIRM and FIS report the City is required, as a condition of continued eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), to adopt floodplain management regulations that meet the standards of the NFIP regulations.
The modified flood hazard information and revised map panels for the City will be effective as of August 15, 2019.
Awet Eyasu made a motion to amend Chapter 5 Article III Regarding Flood Damage Prevention and to adopt the Flood Map and the study. YT Bell seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (4, 0, YT Bell, Awet Eyasu, Ahmed Hassan, Jamie Carroll) Councilmember Mario Williams exited the meeting and Councilmember Cervone stepped out of the Council Room).
H5) PUBLIC HEARING: Zoning Code Reform/Changes (Admin and child care changes)
Andrea Cervone returned to the Council room.
Mayor Terry stated the public hearing time would be for 16 minutes with 8 minutes allotted for each side.
Jamie Carroll detailed the administrative changes and the amendments to allow further child care operations as long as they comply with all state and local requirements.
Mayor Terry opened the public hearing.
Speakers in Support:
Dean Moore spoke in support of the ordinance amendment
Roberta Maliveinda spoke in support of the ordinance amendment
Susan Hood spoke in support of the ordinance amendment
Speakers in Opposition:
Laura Hopkins spoke in opposition of the ordinance amendment
Warren Hadlock spoke in opposition of the ordinance amendment
Mayor Terry closed the public hearing.
Jamie Carrol made a motion to approve the proposed Zoning Code Reform/Changes for Administration and child care changes with the amendment that under 605 (e) tutoring and instruction are also expressly permitted as home occupations under the zoning code. Awet Eyasu seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5,0).
H6) Activate Clarkston 2020 US Census Complete County Committee
Mr. Gomez stated the city is ready to begin the process of seating interested individuals and organizations to the Clarkston Complete Count Committee to encourage all residents/neighbors to participate and complete the 2020 Census form.
YT Bell made a motion to activate the Clarkston 2020 US Census Complete Count Committee. Andrea Cervone seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).
H7) Establish a City of Clarkston Youth Advisory Council
YT Bell reported that the City is committed to enhancing and supporting policies and programs to continue to
further improve the welfare and development of our youth by providing numerous opportunities to educate,
expose, and bring awareness to community and youth issues. To facilitate this intent the City Council proposes to establish a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to serve as an advisory body to the Clarkston City Council. YAC members shall be Clarkston residents, ages 12 – 18, and be appointed for a one (1) year term with ten (10) members.
YT Bell made a motion to establish a City of Clarkston Youth Advisory Council. Awet Eyasu seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).
H. EXECUTIVE SESSION
To Discuss a Legal matter
Jamie Carroll made a motion to go into executive session to discuss a legal matter. Awet Eyasu seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).
Andrea Cervone made a motion to close the executive session and go into open session. YT Bell seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).
YT Bell made a motion to adjourn the Council Meeting. Ahmed Hassan seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).