CALL TO ORDER Mayor Robertson convened the meeting at 7:38pm.
ROLL CALL Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Bellman, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, and Mayor Robertson. Vice Mayor Wernet moved that Councilmember Crais be excused; second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion passed.
NOTE: Also present were James Jump (in lieu of Law Director Hurst) and Service Director Mark Zarbaugh (in lieu of Manager Hickman).
PUBLIC HEARING A public hearing was held by the Licking County Transportation Board for the bus route proposal.
Marcia Phelps, Licking County Commissioner, introduced the transportation proposal to those citizens present for the hearing, reiterating the background given to Council at its May 17, 2000 meeting. (See the Minutes of that meeting for further details.) Ms. Phelps then introduced Loretta Frenton, who provided additional background, adding that Newark City Council had approved funding for the proposal. She then asked for comments from those citizens present.
Discussion: Citizens’ questions elicited the following information: •LCTB is expecting at least 24 riders on a daily basis; they will start with a 16-passenger bus and switch to a 24-passenger bus when necessary. •The pilot program is funded to provide service one day per week; expansion will depend on interest. •There will be three round-trips per day (morning, midday, and late afternoon). •Doctors’ offices will try to work with the constraints of the bus schedule. [Councilmember Bellman reiterated his interest in using the buses for local special events.] Ms. Frenton cautioned that the system’s federal funding would restrict such usage to once-a-year events, eliminating the possibility for anything scheduled on a regular basis. Ms. Phelps also cautioned that LCTB service couldn’t place itself in competition with any existing charter service. [Mayor Robertson informed Ms. Frenton and Ms. Phelps that Council would decide on the next appropriate step (i.e., which committee of Council should handle this issue) and so notify the LCTB as quickly as possible. Councilmember McGowan asked how the system would work if, for example, the bus should be full before it gets to Granville.] Ms. Frenton responded that a back-up vehicle would be dispatched to run the rest of the route. She then distributed to Council a draft Memorandum of Understanding for their review, noting that since Newark has signed off on its portion of the funding, the service could be started as soon as the other Villages complete their own paperwork, perhaps as soon as the second week of July. [Mayor Robertson said the issue would be on Council’s agenda for the next meeting.] Discussion was closed at 7:58pm; Mayor Robertson declared a 5-minute recess during which interested citizens could view the bus parked outside.
CITIZENS’ COMMENTS Mayor Robertson opened Citizens’ Comments at 8:05pm.
Re: Radon Testing Joe Ebel, Licking County Health Commissioner. Reported on the status of radon testing in the Village, noting that free kits are available in the Village office. In 1999, 428 kits from Granville were returned to the Health Department for review. The highest reading was 319.4; the average reading was 23.6, with a mean of 11. A reading of 4 is the EPA level recommended for action. In 2000, 221 kits have already been returned, with a mean of 16.3 and a high of 212. Five kits showed readings over 100, one over 200. The Health Department intends to continue the program, expanding on-site availability of kits into other villages. [Vice Mayor Wernet asked about specific risks of radon.] Mr. Ebel responded that the primary risk of radon—a colorless, odorless gas—is lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking, and risk rates increase exponentially for smokers who also have radon in their homes. He encouraged everyone to test their homes, noting that, overall, one out of three houses have levels above the “action” level of 4. [Councilmember Bellman asked if it was true that 80% of homes in the Granville area had higher readings.] Mr. Ebel said that was “probably true;” the one-out-of-three statistic is for Central Ohio in general. He added that the kits contain instructions for follow-through, i.e., contacting a licensed radon mitigator who can tell a homeowner what it would take to reduce radon levels. In the near future, the Health Department will also have a person qualified to recommend a course of action. [Mayor Robertson noted that the Village had previously placed an ad in the paper to help raise awareness and asked if Mr. Ebel had any other ideas.] He suggested that the Village include a periodic notice in the water/sewer bills. He also noted that the Village might ultimately want to require some sort of radon- resistant construction for this area. [Councilmember Lucier asked if the Health Department had any statistics on the percentage of households that do remediation.] Mr. Ebel said they did not since the identification information in the kits is not specific enough to allow any follow-up. [Citizen Mark Parris interjected the comment that it would be easy and effective to disseminate radon information through the schools, e.g., a presentation in a middle- school science class that also distributed kits for the students to take home.] Mr. Ebel acknowledged that such a plan would be good but also cautioned that it was “tough to get your foot in the door.” Re: Kendal at Granville Kitty Consolo, 18 Samson Place. Alerted Council to the need for and possible use of Village water should Kendal be built on Burg Street. ODNR says that site is located on bedrock, meaning any water extracted from the site will not recharge, and they asked that a test well be dug. Even if water was available on-site, the projected need of 40,000 gallons per day might dry up nearby wells (some of which have already run dry, with second wells already down 400 feet.) A petition is circulating among nearby citizens who wish to convey their opposition to this site. Ms. Consolo emphasized that Kendal, itself, is a favorable idea, just not at this site, for the following reasons: 1) it would violate the 1998 Comprehensive Plan that designated this area of Burg Street as agricultural; 2) area residents chose their home sites because they wanted open space; 3) water availability is questionable; 4) if the Kendal parcel is rezoned, other land to its north is vulnerable to rezoning as well, opening the possibility of massive development; and 5) there is too much traffic on access roads already. She again asked Council to oppose extension of water to this site and continue searching for a better site, then suggested a land swap—having the acreage across from Spring Valley be the Kendal site and leaving the Burg Street site as green space.
Abram Kaplan, 843 Burg Street. Stated he was not so much concerned with Kendal itself or even with traffic concerns as he was with the decision-making process, maintaining the rural character of Granville, and providing good-faith follow-through on the Comprehensive Plan. He urged Council to be proactive about limiting development, stating it was time to make clear choices about our future so as to “keep farmland as farmland and our Village the way we like it.”
Re: Proposed Development at Newark-Granville Road/Cherry Valley Road: George Fackler, 323 Parker Drive, Newark (owner, Fackler Country Gardens). Requested a 12-month extension on the project to allow it to continue. He received a letter from the Village approximately April 20th that said an extension of the May 6th deadline was possible, then received a second letter approximately one week later that said it was not. A prior deadline of August 1999 has also expired. [Vice Mayor Wernet noted that the conditional use for a drive-through was tied to the August 1999 deadline.] Mr. Fackler stated he has qualified tenants for the project and would like to proceed without changing the footprint of the project, which has already broken ground. [Vice Mayor Wernet asked when Mr. Fackler had first talked to Manager Hickman about an extension.] Mr. Fackler said they had spoken in March. [Vice Mayor Wernet noted that the deadline the previous August had actually stopped the project, which then disappeared for six months before an extension was requested.] Mr. Fackler resonded that Law Director Hurst “wanted this to happen and would recommend that Council grant the request.” [Mayor Robertson acknowledged that permits expire because conditions change, etc, and stated that, since Council had not gone through all the steps the Planning Commission has with this issue, she would like the Planning Commission to review the matter and give Council their recommendation. Councilmember Bellman asked for clarification of what exactly is at issue and wondered if Council had the authority to extend a BZBA approval for a drive-through that expired last August.] Mr. Fackler stated that Law Director Hurst thought it did. [Mayor Robertson asked if Mr. Fackler had Law Director Hurst’s opinion in writing.] He does not. [Vice Mayor Wernet stated Council is looking at legal and management issues here, with neither the Law Director nor the Village Manager in attendance. Councilmember Bellman suggested Council seek the needed guidance and revisit the issue in two weeks. Councilmember Lucier concurred, asking Mr. Fackler to provide Council with everything he has in writing. Councilmember Bellman asked if there were any steps Mr. Fackler could take in the interim, instead of waiting until council meets again. Councilmember Lucier suggested he go to the Planning Commission meeting of June 12th, speaking during Citizens’ Comments since it is to late to put his issue on the agenda. Councilmember Bellman added that if the Planning Commission members wanted specific details from Mr. Fackler, he would be able to go ahead and get started. Councilmember Moore asked what exactly had expired May 6th.] Mr. Fackler stated it was the zoning/building permit.
Doug Kaiser, 1256 Newark Road (representing Susan Kaiser). As a planned tenant in Mr. Fackler’s center, Mrs. Kaiser intends to open a cooking school. They will have to withdraw if the entire process has to be repeated.
Barb Hammond, 184 Spruce Drive (owner of The Furniture House). Also a prospective tenant for Mr. Fackler. Encouraged Council to expedite approvals for what would be a beautiful gateway to Granville from the west.
[Councilmember Bellman and Vice Mayor Wernet encouraged the tenants to be patient since we have a much more streamlined process now and people are on board with the concept.]
Mayor Robertson closed Citizens’ Comments at 8:39pm.
PUBLIC HEARING A public hearing was held on Ordinance No. 09-00, An Ordinance To Amend Ordinance No. 43-99 Providing For Adjustments Of The Annual Budget For The Fiscal Year 2000 And Revising Sums For Operating Expenses. No one appeared to speak for or against Ordinance No. 09-00. Mayor Robertson closed the public hearing at 8:40pm.
OLD BUSINESS Appeal Decision – 117 East Elm Street At the request of Mayor Robertson, Attorney Jump relayed the results of his review of this issue to those present, as follows: First and foremost, the appellant did not attend the Planning Commission hearing, a “fatal and jurisdictional defect.” The law clearly states that anyone who participated or tried to and was refused could appeal; neither of those contingencies was met. Similarly, the appellee did not appear, either in person or by attorney, as stated in the law; representation is not the same. Had proper procedure been adhered to, the following would have happened: •The Planning Commission should have had a record hearing with a court reporter, the lack of which should have been raised by a proper appellant. •Under Section 1159.06 (re change of use), the Planning Commission should have treated an application for change just like a new one. This would have included checking Section 1133 for the number of parking places required by law, then following the procedures specified in Section 1159 when it was determined that the proper number of places did not exist. A variance from the BZBA is required unless the Planning Commission states that the requested change will not results in any greater parking requirements than the existing use. According to the record, none of this happened. Had the issue been raised in a proper appeal, Attorney Jump would have sent it back for either a variance or a recommendation by the Village Planner. In this case, the issue is a moot point since there is no proper jurisdiction.
[Vice Mayor Wernet asked if the applicant still needed a variance.] Attorney Jump said he does, unless the Village Planner specifically states that the change-of-use will not increase need, per Section 1159.03(e)3. [Mayor Robertson asked if the Planning Commission could change the number of spaces required.] Attorney Jump said they could not, but were rather required by law to send an applicant to the BZBA for a variance. Such variances are supposed to be granted on the basis of a unique hardship, which doesn’t apply here. If the property already has a variance for a non-conforming use, it doesn’t appear in the record.
Cathy Raker, 176 Seymour Place (owner of the property). After searching for three years for a good tenant, the Planning Commission agrees she has found one. She has been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement with Mr. Williams, and asked Council to uphold the Planning Commission’s approval of the change-of-use application.
Bernie Williams, appellant. Reiterated his disagreement with Mrs. Raker as to who parks where, and suggested that she add a parking pad in front of the building on South Main Street, designed to park six additional cars. Mayor Robertson closed comments and convened a discussion among members of Council. Councilmember Lucier recommended, based on Attorney Jump’s advice, that Council remand the issue to the Planning Commission with appropriate instructions and background on the legalities of procedure. The Planning Commission may then either certify that the change-of-use will not require additional parking or send the applicant to the BZBA for a variance. Attorney Jump noted that he would also have recommended that procedure except that it doesn’t address the fact that the appellant is not a proper appellant. Therefore, even though Council is empowered to direct that proper procedure be followed by the Planning Commission, Attorney Jump would recommend that the appeal be dismissed due to the fatal jurisdictional flaw. With no appeal, there are then no grounds to remand. Mayor Robertson asked the parties if they would be willing to have a Planning Commission review. Mrs. Raker said she felt a good decision had been made and asked Council to uphold it. Mrs. Williams reiterated their objection to having to obey the parking rules while others don’t; Mr. Williams asked Council to uphold the law. Mayor Robertson again asked Mr. Williams if he would be willing to rent spaces. He responded he would not, for personal reasons, and again asked if they would be willing to put spaces in their front yard. Mr. Pinkerton stated that Mr. Williams as well as Greystone were short on parking spaces so renting from him would not solve anyone’s problem.
Councilmember Lucier moved that the appeal be dismissed for lack of an appellant with standing. Second by Councilmember Moore.
Discussion: Vice Mayor Wernet said he felt Council was bound by Attorney’s Jump’s judgment of a fatal jurisdictional flaw in the appeal. Mayor Robertson felt that it was troubling and significant that the appellant’s inability to read the notice in the paper resulted in his not attending the hearing and thereby having standing on appeal. However, she also would have preferred to have seen more of an attempt to try to solve this, as was requested by Council three weeks ago. [Council agreed to send letters to everyone on issues such as these, not just for variances.] Vice Mayor Wernet called the question. A Roll Call Vote yielded five affirmative votes (Councilmembers Bellman, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; and Vice Mayor Wernet) and one negative vote (Mayor Robertson). The Appeal is dismissed; the original decision stands. Attorney Jump reminded Council that their decision must be reduced to writing within 45 days.
Following the vote, Council addressed the issue of the possible procedural flaw at the Planning Commission stage. Vice Mayor Wernet asked if Section 1133.03 was applicable. Attorney Jump said it could be, though it wasn’t drafted with the idea of applying after an appeal. He suggested Council use Division B (…”Council may review any administrative decision on it own initiative.”). Following the procedures spelled out, such action would require a resolution, clearly indicating the basis for the review and referring to any pertinent issues. Councilmember Lucier asked if Council could ask the Planning Commission to conduct a review to determine whether procedure was not followed and, it if was not, to reconsider the application following appropriate procedure. Attorney Jump thought Council could do so but cautioned that it may be challenged. Vice Mayor Wernet pointed out that it would not be a hearing on the same issue. Councilmember Lucier reiterated that it has been brought to Council’s attention that there may have been a flaw in the procedure. Therefore, Council needs to know if Kathryn Wimberger made any determination. If she did, then Council needs to know whether the determination has to be presented to the Planning Commission to be valid, or whether it can be made but not presented, and still be valid. Vice Mayor Wernet asked about the standard of review in an action under Section 1133. Attorney Jump wasn’t sure but expected it would be clear and convincing evidence. Councilmember Bellman added that the standard is whether legally Council thinks a bad decision has been made at some point in the process. Councilmember Moore stated that Council’s decision to review is based on a question of jurisdiction, not on the merits of the appeal. Councilmember Bellman noted that if the Village Planner did not make a finding she should have made, the case is unlawful. Councilmember Lucier noted that if Council decides the procedure was flawed, they may direct the Planning Commission to do it again. Councilmember McGowan felt it was micromanaging for Council to try and change a Planning Commission decision. Councilmember Moore suggested we begin by asking the Village Planner if she made a determination. All members agreed. Once we know the answer to that question, the issue can be revisited at Council’s next meeting.
Ordinance No. 09-00, An Ordinance To Amend Ordinance No. 43- 99 Providing For Adjustments Of The Annual Budget For The Fiscal Year 2000 And Revising Sums For Operating Expenses, was re-introduced by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Bellman.
Discussion: Councilmember Bellman reported that he and Vice Mayor Wernet (representing the Streets & Sidewalks Committee) had inspected the curbs in question and feel there is need to replace only one section of the block just west of Plum Street, near Sugar Loaf. Vice Mayor Wernet moved that Council amend the ordinance to confine new curbing “from Borishansky’s to the stone wall, but nothing else,” and to change the stated expense of $28,870 to $8,000. Second by Councilmember Lucier. A Roll Call Vote on the amendment yielded six affirmative votes (Councilmembers Bellman, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, and Mayor Robertson).
The Committee was also disturbed by the “suburban feel” of the rounded-contour curbing being installed on South Main Street; they would have preferred a square-edged contour as more consistent with curbing in the rest of the Village. They suggested that the rest of the curb be square, not rounded, and that Council consider replacing what has already been poured. Mr. Zarbaugh stated that the South Main Street job order called for a curb-and-gutter installation. Manager Hickman informed Mr. Zarbaugh that 18” vertical stand-up curb was specified, but the issue of square vs. round was not specified. Since the rounded curb is not contractor error, the Village would have to bear the cost of a change. Currently, 1,700 feet of curbing on the west side of the street is completed. Mr. Zarbaugh asked for direction from Council as to the curbs on the east side of South Main Street. He also reported that the cost to remove-and-replace existing curbing was $25/foot; installation of new curbing is $17/foot. In other words, it would cost $42,500 to change the curbing on the west side of the street. Mr. Zarbaugh also cautioned Council that removal-and-replacement of the west-side curbing would throw the construction schedule off considerably (i.e., the project could not be completed by July 1). Councilmember Bellman suggested we might change to the square curbing on the east side of the street, then re-do the west side only by the Baptist Church where there’s diagonal parking. Councilmember Moore objected to having two kinds of curbing, as well as to any delay. Council agreed to match both sides of the street with curved curbing, and to give specific instruction as to what constitutes “standard” curbing from here on out. NEW BUSINESS 2001 County Tax Budget – Council acknowledged receipt of the 2001 County Tax Budget. Mayor Robertson scheduled a public hearing on the budget for June 21, 2000.
Resolution No. 00-27, A Resolution Authorizing The Village Manager To File An Application And Enter Into An Agreement With The Ohio Department Of Natural Resources For The Purpose Of Acquiring Funds Through The Division Of Forestry’s Urban Forestry Assistance Program and Declaring An Emergency, was introduced and read in full by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Moore. Motion Carried. Resolution No. 00-27 is adopted.
Resolution No. 00-28, A Resolution To Authorize The Village Manager To Submit An Application For Ohio Department Of Transportation Enhancement Program Funds, was introduced and read in full by Councilmember Lucier. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. Motion carried. Resolution No. 00-28 is adopted.
REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES The minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of May 17, 2000 were presented for review. Vice Mayor Wernet moved the minutes be approved as submitted. Second by Councilmember Moore. Motion carried.
COMMITTEE REPORTS Streets & Sidewalks Committee (Vice Mayor Wernet). In addition to the previous discussion on curbing, the Committee requested Mr. Zarbaugh to get pricing for the unimproved section of Sunrise Street. The Committee will meet again at 6:30 on June 21st, before the next Council meeting, to consider the residential parking permit proposal.
Economic Development Committee (Councilmember Moore). Still exploring a possible “guidebook” for new businesses outlining procedures, contacts, etc. On a side note, Kathryn Wimberger had done some research on what other resources in the County (e.g., the Newark Area Chamber of Commerce) were saying about Granville and discovered they’re not saying very much. The guidebook concept is also a recommendation of the Downtown Improvement Committee, which refers to it as a “roadmap.” The Committee expects to have a first draft at their next meeting. They also want to get the report from the Downtown Improvement Committee as to their recommendation on an economic development council.
Planning Commission (Councilmember Lucier). In addition to the previous discussion re the Elm Street appeal, Councilmember Lucier reported that the Commission had been asked to review a letter being sent out by the village. They discovered that the e-mail attachment didn’t match the hard-copy attachment included in their packets. Their preference is for the language in the e-mail version. Mr. Zarbaugh will speak with Manager Hickman to make sure the appropriate version is sent.
OTHER Exclusive Trash Hauler Proposal Mr. Zarbaugh stated he will retrieve previous discussion and records on this issue so Council can consider it at their next meeting. Bank First National Release/Reader’s Garden Proposal Re the lease: Vice Mayor Wernet, citing the June 7th letter from Robert Erhard to Wesley Untied, stated that the changes made by Attorney Erhard looked good. He also asked 1) whether Council might want to add language to Village leases to protect the Village from a business that shuts down and leaves a space vacant, and 2) whether Council might want to make the lease more specific (e.g., a lease specifically for a bookstore). Council did not want the lease to be that specific but did agree that it was a good idea to add a clause that stated the space would revert back to the Village if it stayed empty for a specified amount of time (e.g., 60 or 90 days). Vice Mayor Wernet asked for one change to the terms stated in the June 7th letter—deleting “689 square feet” and inserting “property.” Council agreed. Re the release: Council asked Attorney Jump to review the letter from Bank First National and advise Council before they accept it.
Re posting for new law director. Councilmember Lucier suggested that Council consider proposing to voters in November an amendment to the Charter that would allow Council, rather than the Village Manager, to appoint the law director. When the Charter was written in the early 1960s, in was widely thought that local governments were run like businesses. They were concerned with efficient management, not policy issues, and therefore a professional manager, who would give reports to the elected officials, was “the order of the day.” That model no longer exists. Council is faced with policy issues at virtually every meeting, almost all of which have significant legal implications. The opinions and advice of the law director are vital to members of Council. It therefore makes sense for Council to have the power to appoint the manager as well as the law director. Vice Mayor Wernet strongly agreed and added an equal concern about the finance director, citing issues of independence and independent judgment. He noted that the Charter states that Council may introduce a measure, pass it by a two-thirds vote, then put it on the ballot to be decided on by a majority of the voters. Council strongly supported the proposal and agreed to pursue it, pending a final decision in August, 100 days prior to the election.
Reading of Declaration of Independence at 4th of July Council agreed that the Reading was an important part of the July 4th celebrations and should be repeated. It was decided to do it from the reviewing stand just prior to the start of the Parade.
MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS Next Village Council meeting – June 21, 2000
ADJOURNMENT Vice Mayor Wernet made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:45pm. Councilmember Lucier second. Meeting adjourned.