CLARKSTON CITY COUNCIL
Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020
Officials Present by Teleconference
Mayor: Awet Eyasu
Council: YT Bell, Jamie Carroll,
Ahmed Hassan, Laura Hopkins, Debra Johnson
City Manager: Robin I. Gomez
City Clerk: Tracy Ashby
City Attorney: Stephen Quinn
- CALL TO ORDER
Vice-Mayor Eyasu called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.
- ROLL CALL/ PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Present: YT Bell, Jamie Carroll, Ahmed Hassan, Laura Hopkins, Debra Johnson, Awet Eyasu,
- ADMINISTRATIVE BUSINESS/ PRESENTATION
C1) Approve Minutes: Council Meeting 5/5/2020 and Special Call Meeting 5/26/2020 Minutes
Ahmed Hassan made a motion to approve the Council Meeting 5/5/2020 and Special Call Meeting 5/26/2020. Debra Johnson seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried. (6, 0).
1) Planning & Zoning Report
Shawanna Qawiy reported on activities in her Department and the status of ongoing projects.
2) City Manager’s Report
Mr. Gomez reported on City operations and financial report thru May 30, 2020. He provided the current status of City Operations food distributions and testing sites under Covid19. Details for the planned Solidarity March scheduled for Sunday, June 7 were provided.
Chief Hudson provided a statement condemning the actions of the officers in the George Floyd murder and confirming the Clarkston Police Departments commitment to collaboration, partnerships and service in the City.
3) City Attorney’s Report
Mr. Quinn reported that the Georgia Supreme Court has reactivated its branch starting June 13, 2020.
4) Council Remarks
YT Bell reported on her activities with local organizations to help serve the community during Covid19. She encouraged residents to early vote in advance of the upcoming Primary. She discussed the Solidarity March organized to be held in Clarkston on Sunday, June 7 at 1pm.
Jamie Carroll thanked Chief Hudson for her statement and YT Bell for organizing the Solidarity March.
Laura Hopkins thanked YT Bell for organizing the March as so many want to get out an express themselves in this difficult time. She thanked Chief Hudson for her statement and the Chief’s efforts to hire only officers that are willing to serve in a community oriented/collaborative department.
Debra Johnson stated she has been working on food distribution and compiling a resource agency list for our area and working to partner with the Atlanta Food Bank. She commended YT Bell on organizing the March and Councilwoman Johnson intends to participate in the March.
5) Mayor’s Report
Vice Mayor Awet Eyasu reported on his attendance of the May 8 meeting Commissioner Bradshaw and other City Mayors on collaboration efforts during Covid. He attended the past weekend Covid testing and he encouraged everyone to be tested. May 21 attended DMA teleconference with Mayors and he submitted the nonprofits for possible financial assistance. He discussed the May 22 food drive and reminded there will be another food drive on June. He spoke on his outrage of the events that prompted the protesting and he encouraged peaceful protest and support of the victims’ families.
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.
Debra Bolton discussed MARTA bus shelters with panels missing. She thanked the police Chief for her statement.
Brian Medford thanked the council for reducing the agenda size to make the meeting more manageable. He addressed concerns with possible mass evictions under the covid/economic crisis.
Chris Busing echoed the concerns for possible mass evictions during covid. He addressed reservations with item C8 and public/private partnership. He discussed mortgage and rent relief.
Lauren (last name not provided) spoke in support of the Star C organization and she supported rent assistance.
Dean Moore expressed concerns with providing rent/mortgage assistance and with possibly depleting the affordable housing fund. He preferred this be handled thru the budget.
Emanuel Ransom thanked the Council for their continued efforts in the City. He advised he supported the re-adoption of the Livable Cities Intiative.
The Vice-Mayor closed public comments.
F. OLD BUSINESS
G. NEW BUSINESS
G1) Public Hearing: Planning-Conditional Use Permit Request for the property located at 1352 Brockett Rd, Brava Auto Brokers to allow used car sales
Shawanna Qawiy reported on the purpose of the item is a request from Abdulkadir M. Dine of Brava Auto Brokers for a conditional use permit for the property located at 1352 Brockett Road zoned NC-2, Moderate Density Neighborhood Commercial District, Clarkston, GA 30021, for used car sales. In November 2019, the City Council approved a text amendment to the NC-2 zoning district to permit automobile dealerships with an approved CUP, provided the business has a valid motor vehicle dealer license from the State of Georgia, no more than 15 cars permitted on the lot at any given time with a minimum lot size of 2400 sq. ft. The total lot size of the property is 26,
789 sq. ft. The Planning & Zoning Committee recommended approval of the request with staff eight (8) recommendations and one additional condition (#9):
1. The business shall only be limited to used car sales, oil changes, emissions and tire repair.
2. The business shall not include or operate as service station, park and ride lot, office for self-employed
individuals, truck stop, paint and body shop, a transmission shop, a shop performing upholstery or glass work, rebuild or restore rebuilt vehicles, body work, painting, warranty work, storage for recreational vehicles, as a garage and other customarily motor vehicle repair work.
3. There shall be no long term or overnight parking along the front of the business.
4. The maximum number of cars for sale on the property at any time shall not exceed five (5).
5. The owner shall adhere to Sections 12-20 Disorderly Conduct and 12-28 Noise
6. The business shall not emit noise, vibrations, smoke, gas, fumes or odors that would be a nuisance to the adjacent properties.
7. The business shall comply with the Department of Natural Resources-Environmental Protection Division (EPD) policies/ procedures and laws relative to air/land quality, environmental pollutants disposal including used tires and oil disposal.
8. The owner shall adhere to state and local requirements and licensing for used automobiles sales.
9. Contingent upon the continued existence of a signed parking agreement between the owners of Brava Auto Brokers and Subway.
Vice Mayor Eyasu opened the Public Hearing
Brian Medford addressed concerns with how the conditions, if approved, would be confirmed as being met over time and not forgotten. He felt the process set a bad precedent.
Emanuel Ransom spoke in support of the application. He supported business owners.
Owner Brava Auto spoke in support of his application and assured that he would follow all of the conditions.
Council discussion on the application and that Code would keep up with compliance of the conditions.
Ahmed Hassan made a motion to Conditional Use Permit Request for the property located at 1352 Brockett Rd, Brava Auto Brokers to allow used car sales, with the conditions/nine recommendations. Jamie Carroll seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried. (5- Yes: Bell, Carroll, Hassan, Johnson, Eyasu, 1-No: Hopkins).
G2) Public Hearing: Planning-Rezoning request for 3542 Clarkston Industrial Blvd, Early Learning Scholars, from I-Light Industrial to NR-CD Neighborhood Residential Community Development District to add parking
Shawanna Qawiy state Ms. Armstrong is currently operating the Early Learning Scholars and Family
Services that is located next to the requested rezone property with the intention of providing additional parking. Ms. Qawiy discussed the eight criteria points in considering a zoning for any parcel of property, or when an
amendment is requested to the zoning map. Both staff and the Zoning recommended approving the request with four conditions:
1. No housing options will be developed on this parcel as a result of the approved rezoning request.
2. The applicant must adhere to all development regulations associated with the construction of a parking facility as outlined in the City’s Code of Ordinances.
3. The applicant must adhere to Article XI Parking and Loading Requirements
4. The applicant shall work with the City to create an environmentally friendly permeable paving parking facility.
Vice Mayor opened the Public Hearing
The Vice Mayor recognized the applicant, Ms. Tara Armstrong who spoke on the need for her request and agreed that she would abide by the four conditions.
Dean Moore discussed options for surfaces on the parking lot and that the cell tower operators would need to access that lot for maintenance on the tower and to consider surfaces for both needs.
Brian Medford spoke in favor of the application and echoed the use of pervious parking surfaces.
Jamie Carroll made a motion to Rezoning request for 3542 Clarkston Industrial Blvd, Early Learning Scholars, from I-Light Industrial to NR-CD Neighborhood Residential Community Development District to add parking. YT Bell seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried. (6, 0).
G3) Discuss Proposed Millage Rate for 2020
Mr. Gomez discussed the 2020 Millage adoption process and for the Council to approve a millage rate for advertising purposes. The current 2020 projected Clarkston Net Tax Digest is $219,897,902, a $10,892,456 and 5.21% increase over the 2019 Net Tax Digest of $209,005,446. Staff recommends setting the 2020 Advertised Millage Rate at 15.89 Mills, the same rate as in 2019, and the same rate as in the three years prior to 2019. The City will hold two (2) Public Hearings on Tuesday, June 30, beginning at 10:00 am and 6:30 pm. The third (3rd) and final Public Hearing will be held in conjunction with the July 7th Council Meeting. The meetings will be by teleconference and that information will be included in the advertising notices.
Jamie Carroll made a motion to approve advertising the 15.89 millage rate. YT Bell seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried. (6, 0).
G4) Resolution by the City Council of the City Of Clarkston, Georgia to Re-Adopt the Clarkston Livable Community Initiative Plan Update Dated February 26, 2015
Jamie Carroll detailed the purpose to Re-Adopt the Clarkston Livable Community Initiative Plan Update Dated February 26, 2015. In order for certain developers to be eligible for certain financing with the Department of Community Affairs, the LCI has to be renewed within the last five years. This resolution will re-adopt the same LCI that has already been approved. One developer for mixed use has run into an issue with their financing and this will resolve that conflict.
Laura Hopkins discussed concerns with readopting the LCI without reviewing so appears it was approved and current as of 2020 and with appearing to cater to one developer. Jamie Carroll stated the City would be looking to conduct a RFP for a zoning rewrite and the LCI would likely be amended during that process.
Ahmed Hassan made a motion to the Resolution by the City Council of the City Of Clarkston, Georgia to Re-Adopt the Clarkston Livable Community Initiative Plan Update Dated February 26, 2015. YT Bell seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried. (3-Yes: Bell, Carroll, Hassan 2-No: Hopkins, Johnson, 1-Abstain: Eyasu).
G5) Approve MOA between GA Department of Education and the City for a Stormwater Improvement Project (DeBelle St and the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf)
Mr. Gomez reported approve a Memorandum of Agreement between the Georgia Department of Education (representing the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf) and the City of Clarkston for the City and the GA DOE to share in the cost of the stormwater infrastructure improvement project located on Debelle St and the adjacent property housing the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf. The State Department of Education agreed to fund no greater than 50% of the total cost of construction and inspection services and the estimated total cost of the project is $300,000. The project will address ongoing flooding issues on DeBelle Street. Mr. Gomez provide details on the agreement and funding.
Awet Eyasu made a motion to approve MOA between GA Department of Education and the City for a Stormwater Improvement Project (DeBelle St and the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf). YT Bell seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried. (6, 0).
G6) Post Pandemic Plan
The City Manager provided a detailed report on the current City Operations and phases/metrics used to determine when re-opening of the offices and facilities might begin during Covid. City Offices will be closed until at least July 5th. The information on City Operations and contact information for the City Staff is located on the City’s website.
G7) Resolution for encouraging Rent and Mortgage Forbearance during Covid crisis for unemployed residents.
The Vice Mayor discussed the need to encourage apartments and mortgage lenders to provide relief to tenants during Covid through forbearance for at least 6 months and he read the resolution.
Awet Eyasu made a motion to adopt the resolution for encouraging Rent and Mortgage Forbearance during Covid crisis for unemployed residents. Debra Johnson seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried. (6, 0).
G8) Eviction Relief Partnership between Star-C and the City of Clarkston
YT Bell discussed the need to assist affected residents with rent assistance during Covid due to lost employment. The resolution will allocate funds from the Housing Trust to allow temporary rent assistance. The City Attorney clarified that the resolution will allocate a specified amount of funding from the Housing Trust for the rent assistance purpose, it defines criteria for applicants and authorizes the City Manager to work with non-profits to maximize the funding. The resolution does not include a partnership with any specific organization, but they can bring candidates to the City. The City Attorney detailed that the City could not turn over management of the funds from the Housing Trust to an outside agency, but the City Manager would oversee the process. Council discussion on the amount of funding to apply to rent assistance and consensus to designate $100,000 toward the rent assistance and up to a 50% City contribution toward the monthly rent and limited to three months. Discussion on providing funds toward mortgage assistance and City Attorney explained it is much more complicated to provide this assistance to homeowners as they receive a direct financial benefit by building equity and that assistance process would need to be more rigorous and would take longer to provide and it could not be included as part of this process.
Awet Eyasu made a motion to Allocate Affordable Housing Trust Fund Money to Providing
Temporary Rent Payment Assistance to Residents Impacted by the Covid-19 Economic Crisis in the amount of $100,000 and change the amount up to 50% of the monthly rent amount as established by a written lease per month. Debra Johnson seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried. (6, 0).
G9) Adopt Proclamation recognizing Friday, June 19, 2020 as the first official Clarkston Juneteenth Commemoration
Laura Hopkins stated she would like to defer this item as this is not the appropriate time in light of the recent events and we will revisit at another time.
G10) Referred City of Clarkston Emergency Business Loan Application to the Community Development committee for further discussion and deliberation
YT Bell discussed deferring this item to bring it before the Community Development SAC for further discussion.
YT Bell made a motion to refer City of Clarkston Emergency Business Loan Application to the Community Development Committee for further discussion and deliberation to the Community Development Committee. Awet Eyasu seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (6, 0).
Jamie Carroll made a motion to adjourn the Council Meeting. YT Bell seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (6, 0 ).