Granville Community Calendar

Council mInutes 8/16/00

 CALL TO ORDER Mayor Robertson convened the meeting at 7:33 pm. 

ROLL CALL Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Crais and Bellman; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson, and Law Director Hurst.

Vice Mayor Wernet made a motion to excuse Councilmembers Moore, McGowan and Lucier . Councilmember Bellman second. Motion carried. [NOTE: Councilmember McGowan arrived at 9:15 pm.; Manager Hickman arrived at 9:10pm.]

CITIZENS COMMENTS Re Manager Hickman David Woodyard, 543 Mt. Parnassus. After 44 years of watching Village management evolve, strongly suggested that any new village manager should embody the qualities that make Manager Hickman so effective, i.e., an incredible range of skills and knowledge; a finely-honed political adroitness, and uncommon trustworthiness. Also encouraged Council to make every effort to secure Manager Hickman’s services for a little more time. [There was general assent to this suggestion from Council.]

Keith Myers, 229 East College Street. Has had considerable experience dealing with village governments and feels Granville has one of the best managers he’s ever worked with. Cited Manager Hickman’s integrity, saying it was the most important attribute for a city manager. Urged Council to make Manager Hickman’s decision to leave “as difficult as possible.”

Mark Parris, 251 Bryn Du Drive. Echoed previous sentiments about Manager Hickman, urged Council to “make him an offer he can’t refuse,” and, above all, to include him in the selection process and subsequent training for his successor.

Constance Barsky, 221 East Elm Street. Also echoed everyone’s remarks about Manager Hickman.

Re 224 East College Street Keith Myers, 229 East College Street. Noted that the subject property has been a “constant source of problems and complaints in the neighborhood for almost five years.” There has been no visible improvement since the latest owner took possession. Stated that police calls and arrests are “common” for such matters as disturbing the peace, drug- related activity, domestic violence, etc., and read a litany of official complaints dating from January 1995. Asked Council for whatever assistance the Village can provide in monitoring the property and/or checking into violations of Village ordinances (e.g., an alleged “renegade apartment” built behind two of the garage doors). [Mayor Robertson noted the new ordinance may be of help. Councilmember Bellman suggested inviting all the property owners concerned to a council meeting to discuss the situation. Law Director Hurst noted that such a meeting would in no way impact the implementation of any legal rights the village would be able to pursue. He also noted that the effective change-of-ownership date is germane to whether or not the new ordinance would apply, i.e., it is not retroactive. Law Director Hurst suggested that one or two members of Council and one or two of the property owners should meet, sooner rather than later. Mayor Robertson asked Manager Hickman to arrange the meeting.

Mark Parris, 251 Bryn Du Drive. Voiced a concern re Layton Excavating “getting an inordinate amount of work from the Village” and asked Council to direct staff to make sure the Village is getting enough responses to its RFPs to keep the bids honest.

Constance Barsky, 221 East Elm Street. Not having seen any response to the GBPA recommendations re downtown Granville, asked about their status. [Mayor Robertson assured Ms. Barsky that Council would check with Manager Hickman and suggested that Ms. Barsky should feel free to contact him herself as well.]

Mayor Robertson closed Citizens' Comments at 7:59pm.

APPEAL HEARING (Robert G. Seith appealed the decision of the Planning Commission re the First Presbyterian Church and the width of Locust Place.) A Court Reporter (Marilyn Murphy Hauck) was present to take an official transcript of the Hearing. Mayor Robertson opened the hearing at 7:59 pm, noting that Council could hear the appeal at this time but, since there were only four members present, would study the transcript and render a decision by the next meeting, as prescribed.

Law Director Hurst gave notice that all required procedures and service have been completed and Council has been so advised. He specified who may and may not appear at an appeal hearing and explained the rights of those who do appear, noting that all witnesses will be placed under oath. He emphasized that the appeal hearing is open to the public but is not a public hearing. He informed Council that it may affirm, reverse, modify or remand the matter to the Planning Commission, noting that the decision is to be made not later than next regularly scheduled Council meeting and must be formalized in writing, including findings of fact and conclusions, within 45 days thereafter. The decision will be served on those who participate in the hearing, with the date of service commencing the time frame for further appeal. Finally, Law Director Hurst emphasized that the hearing is not a trial do novo; rather, the standard of review is whether or not the decision of the Planning Commission is supported by a preponderance of the evidence and the record. If Council determines that the facts presented on appeal are inconsistent with the facts as reported in the decision of the Planning Commission, Council may reverse or remand for further proceedings.

The Deputy Clerk swore in all those who planned to testify. 

Bob Seith, Appellant, 116 Locust Place. Stated his contention that the Planning Commission’s finding of fact is not warranted, given that there is no dispute that the intent was to have a 16’ alley.

Christian Robertson, Robertson Construction, contractors for the addition/renovation to the Presbyterian Church. Agreed that the drawings did call for a 16’ alley and noted that the original alley ranged from 15’2” to 15’11”. After the paving and curbs were completed, it was discovered that the alley’s width had been adjusted to accommodate placement and design of the west entrance to the church gathering room, where a 16’ width would have left virtually no sidewalk. Felt that tearing out curb and widening the alley would not only disturb the new construction but would permanently compromise the integrity of the road as now paved.

Mr. Seith asked if the Village Zoning Inspector had verified the measurements. Mr. Robertson stated that there is usually a zoning inspection in a public right-of-way but this was a private job. There was therefore no zoning inspection even though part of the job incorporated a public thoroughfare. Mr. Seith asked about the expected useful life of the alley as constructed and how much that would be diminished by changing its width. Mr. Robertson felt that, as is, it would easily have ten years’ wearing surface; opening a “wound” in the asphalt might well decrease the life of the alley by 20%.

Councilmember Bellman asked for clarification of who owned the alley. [The Village does.] Councilmember Bellman felt the Village should get a deduct change order from Robertson Construction if the alley stays at 15’. Councilmember Crais asked several questions concerning the actual width of the alley, before and after construction. Mr. Robertson, citing measurements from 15’3” to 15’11”, felt that gaining a foot would not make a “monumental” difference. Councilmember Crais asked Mr. Seith if the error in width had reduced accessibility to his house. Mr. Seith responded that it not only diminished accessibility, but safety and the sense of space as well. He feels he bargained in good faith for something he didn’t get, and called the mistake “substantial,” in contrast to the Planning Commission’s characterization of it as minor. At Mayor Robertson’s request, Mr. Robertson summarized the options for change: 1) leave the alley alone, 2) alter it to the planned 16’ by taking out the east-face curb and adding a 1’ swath of asphalt, and 3) widen the alley where cars park. Mayor Robertson asked Mr. Seith if, in exchange for some kind of compensation, he would be willing to have changes made to the west side of the alley. He objected, citing the fact that the sidewalk is already not very wide, has a fence right up next to it at his house, and is no wider in front of the other houses. Vice Mayor Wernet asked how the church doorway came to be so close to the road. Mr. Robertson responded that his superintendent established his line and constructed the doorway using building drawings without simultaneously working with the site drawings. There is 4’ between the face of the vestibule and the alley.

Bill Acklin, chair of Capital Development Committee for the Presbyterian Church. Supported Robertson Construction and asked Council to reaffirm the Planning Commission’s decision. Maintained that widening the alley would adversely impact the air conditioning compressors and their four screening hemlocks as well as the church’s plans to fence in the compressor area. Also raised a safety concern, saying that a wider alley at the vestibule door would force people to walk in the street. Councilmember Bellman asked if the concerns about door spacing and the site for the air- conditioning compressors had been an issue when the alley was scheduled to be 16’. [They had not.]Mr. Robertson reiterated that the architectural plans and the civil drawings didn’t completely mesh together. Councilmember Crais asked Mr. Acklin if it would have an adverse affect on the church if Council held Mr. Robertson to the original plan; he said it would.

Law Director Hurst requested that Council officially identify for the record the three documents presented as part of the hearing: Exhibit A) the as-built pavement, including pencil markings added during the hearing; Exhibit B) the pavement prior to construction, and Exhibit C) the pavement as per plan. Mr. Seith encouraged members of Council to visit the site before they made their decision.

Mayor Robertson declared the hearing closed at 9:00pm. Law Director Hurst requested that Mrs. Hauck complete her transcript in time for it to be made available to members of Council prior to their next meeting on September 6, 2000. Vice Mayor Wernet asked one more question—whether drawings submitted to the Planning Commission had included the vestibule. Mr. Robertson said they did not but that he was sure they were given a complete set of drawings at the beginning of the process and that they discussed the vestibule on May 8th. Mayor Robertson closed the hearing for a second time at 9:03pm.

OTHER: Kirsten Pape, re South Main Street landscaping. Reported that $10,000 raised from GranFlora will be used for this project. Projected total cost is $14,000. Plans are to line the road with red maples and crabapples, to “naturalize” both sides of Raccoon Creek, and screen the back of the weigh station with evergreens and redbuds. There will be no plantings between the weigh station and the road. They wouldn’t make any aesthetic impact unless they were 4-5’ tall and that would require a fair amount of maintenance and trimming. Plantings will be done in October.

PUBLIC HEARING A public hearing was held at 9:17pm for Ordinance No. 14-00 (Rezoning @ 130 N. Main St). Catherine Dunlap, 109 East College Street, appeared to speak for Mr. Fenstermacher. She felt the offices he proposed would be a lot less disturbing than student tenants. Mayor Robertson closed the public hearing at 9:18pm.

A public hearing was held at 9:18pm for Ordinance No. 15-00 (Appropriation Ordinance). No one appeared to speak for or against the issue. Mayor Robertson closed the public hearing at 9:18pm.

OLD BUSINESS Ordinance No. 14-00, An Ordinance Denying Application To Rezone Properties Located At 130 N. Main Street From The Zoning Classification Of Village Residential District (VRD) To The Zoning Classification Of Village Business District (VBD), was reintroduced by Councilmember Bellman. Second by Councilmember Crais.

Discussion: Councilmember McGowan reminded Council that a similar request from a neighboring property had been denied a year ago and strongly suggested that consistency was needed until a firm decision was made on whether or not that entire area (rather than one house at a time) should be zoned commercial. Mayor Robertson also pointed out the need to preserve the smaller houses in town as residences. She and Vice Mayor Wernet agreed with looking at the whole area as a unit. Councilmember Crais agreed that zoning shouldn’t be done piecemeal, but noted that Council is also committed to maintaining the economic health of the village. Since this is two separate issues, Councilmember Crais suggested Council deny the current request but encourage Mr. Fenstermacher to resubmit once council finishes a broader look at the area. He stated that the conflicting principles at play here warrant and careful study and encouraged Council to commit to take a broader look and to give themselves a deadline so Mr. Fenstermacher will know when some clarity on the issue will emerge. Councilmember Bellman noted how diverse the different business areas are and suggested Council should adhere to the required yearly review that is part of the Comprehensive Plan. He also suggested continuing to involve the Township Trustees. [Manager Hickman is working with Trustee Jim Havens to find a mutually convenient date.] Councilmember Bellman felt Council should review the issue in September regardless of whether a joint meeting with the Township Trustees had been arranged by then. He also suggested inviting Kathryn Wimberger to return for the discussion. A Roll Call vote on Ordinance 14-00 as read yielded five (5) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Crais, Bellman, McGowan; Vice Mayor Wernet and Mayor Robertson. Ordinance 14-00, is adopted. 

Ordinance No. 15-00, 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 reintroduced by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Bellman.

Discussion: Councilmembers questioned Manager Hickman, Service Director Mark Zarbaugh and Jerry Turner, engineer with Bird & Bull, on each requested budget change. Discussion on the point made by Mark Parris re the scope of bidding elicited the information that appropriate measures had been taken to advertise the RFP in the Dodge Reports and area newspapers. It is usual to get only one or two responses, especially when a project is already under way in the area. In other words, other bidders know that Layton Construction is on a job here and it’s always cheaper if you’re already on site. In order to make sure all budget adjustments on change orders, etc., are reconciled before final payment is made, the contracts specify a 10% retainage with final payment based on final inspections by Mr. Turner and Mr. Zarbaugh. Councilmember Crais moved to amend the Ordinance to delete item A1-6A-250, Sunrise Street Alley Improvement. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. A Roll Call vote on the amendment yielded five (5) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Crais, Bellman, McGowan; Vice Mayor Wernet and Mayor Robertson. The Amendment is approved.

A Roll Call vote on Amended Ordinance 15-00 yielded five (5) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Crais, Bellman, McGowan; Vice Mayor Wernet and Mayor Robertson. Ordinance 15-00, is adopted.

NEW BUSINESS Resolution No. 00-30, A Resolution To Award The Bid For South Main Street Truck Scales, As Per Specifications, To Layton Excavating, Inc. And To Authorize The Village Manager To Enter Into An Agreement Therefore, was introduced and read in full by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Crais.

Discussion: Councilmember McGowan is in favor of enforcing all rules and regulations but still objects to placement of the scale. Vice Mayor Wernet feels there’s a net gain in terms of safety. Mayor Robertson asked if the majority of the stated expense was for the unit in the police cruiser or the permanent installation. Manager Hickman said the greater part of the money is for the concrete, not the scale, noting that since the permanent scale (none of which is movable) requires fewer personnel and fewer vehicles, it will be less expensive.

A Voice vote on Resolution 00-30 yielded four (4) ayes and one (1) nay. Resolution 00-30 is carried.

Ordinance No. 18-00, An Ordinance To Amend No. 43-99 Providing For Adjustments Of The Annual Budget For The Fiscal Year 2000 And Revising Sums For Operating Expenses, was introduced by Vice Mayor Wernet.

Discussion: Manager Hickman clarified that he wishes to use the flashing crosswalk installation at Pearl and College Streets as a trial before doing the Broadway crosswalk. He would also prefer to see the South Main Street crosswalk be installed before Broadway. Several Council members were joined by Constance Barsky in suggesting that the bike path crossing be done first. Mayor Robertson scheduled a public hearing for Ordinance No. 18-00 for September 6, 2000.

MAYOR'S REPORT The Mayor's Court Report for the month of July was presented for review. Vice Mayor Wernet made a motion to accept the report. Second by Councilmember Crais. Motion carried. Mayor Robertson directed the clerk to file the report. A copy of said report is attached as part of these minutes.

MANAGER'S REPORT The Manager's Report for the month of July was presented for review. Mayor Robertson directed the clerk to file the report. A copy of said report is attached as part of these minutes.

REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES The minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of August 2, 2000, were presented for review. Councilmember Crais moved to approve the minutes as submitted. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS Streets and Sidewalks (Vice Mayor Wernet). A request from Seth Patton at Denison University that involves relocating a portion of Burg Street was tabled until the next meeting. The Committee is recommending the proposed milling-and- paving for Jones Road. They also agreed that Service Director Zarbaugh should look at places to add handicapped- accessible ramps downtown. Councilmember McGowan noted that includes adding additional handicapped parking spaces when Taylor’s relocates.

JEDD (Councilmember Bellman). Discussed (but decided not to send) a resolution to the Governor and ODOT imploring all jurisdictions to widen the scope of the S.R. 161 study to include the intersection at Cherry Valley Road. Economic Development Commission (Councilmember Crais). Have now included Jim Havens and Norm Kennedy in discussions on the brochure for new business owners. Will continue to discuss the web site at their next meeting, including the best ways to have people sign up for the e-mail service (e.g., pads-and-pencils around town, reminder in water bills, press release, sign-up at bottom of web home page, etc.). OTHER Web Page – see above

Vice Mayor Wernet: moved that Council go into Executive Session to discuss personnel issues. Second by Councilmember Crais. A Roll Call vote yielded five (5) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Bellman, Crais, McGowan; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson. The Executive Session began at 10:10pm. [No business was conducted afterward.]

MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS Next Village Council meeting – September 6, 2000

ADJOURNMENT Councilmember Crais made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 11:15. Second by Councilmember Bellman. Meeting adjourned.

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