Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes January 16, 2008



January 16, 2008



CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield 7:30 pm)





            Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers McGowan, Mershon, O’Keefe, Tegtmeyer, Vice Mayor Herman, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Holycross, and Law Director Crites. 


Councilmember O’Keefe made a motion to excuse Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.  Motion carried (6-0)



Councilmember O’Keefe moved to accept the agenda as presented.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman.  Motion carried (6-0).   



Gina Reeves, 2610 Newark-Granville Road, spoke on behalf of Welsh Hills School.  She was advised on November 23, 2007 that the banner used by Welsh Hills School to advertise open houses and various other events was not approved or permitted by Village code.  Planner Alison Terry explained that their ten foot long banner exceeded the temporary sign ordinance and would need to be approved by the Planning Commission.  Welsh Hills School would need to apply for a temporary sign permit costing $50 and seek a variance to use their existing sign.  Ms. Reeves requested that Council please review the temporary sign ordinance, as the current ordinance created a hardship for the school and possibly other organizations.  In order to comply with the ordinance, a temporary sign cannot exceed six square feet.  Ms. Reeves indicated that a sign that small would be difficult to read as driver’s passed the school at 35mph.  Ms. Reeves acknowledged that inside the downtown Village area, larger signs would be inappropriate, but in the outer limits of the Village, larger signs might be acceptable.  Ms. Reeves requested that Council please review the temporary sign ordinance in order to provide relief for some Village businesses.


Mayor Hartfield responded that the temporary sign ordinance was under review with possible changes being submitted to the Planning & Zoning Committee in the near future.


Don Hunter, 725 Burg Street, had questions regarding the Burg Street pathway.  He asked who had authorized the survey currently being completed, what size would the pathway be and where would it be constructed.  He indicated that he had heard rumors that the pathway would be located on the south side of Burg Street which would affect shrubbery along his front yard.


Mayor Hartfield responded that the funds had been set aside in the 2006 budget and carried over into the 2007 budget for the survey.  Manager Holycross further indicated that the survey would provide information regarding the feasibility, design and cost for this project.  Councilmember O’Keefe added that public input would be solicited prior to any decision being made about this project.  Manager Holycross indicated that he was unsure of the expected completion date of the survey report.


Mayor Hartfield closed Citizens’ Comments at 7:38pm.




            Resolution No. 08-03, A Resolution to Appoint Members of the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals was moved for approval by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.


            Discussion:  Manager Holycross indicated that this resolution re-appoints three current members to the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals whose terms were to expire on January 31, 2008.  Their appointments were for a three-year term.


            Councilmember Mershon questioned if staff had advertised for these positions.  Manager Holycross indicated that staff had not advertised the BZBA positions, that all three members requested re-appointment.  He also indicated that ads had been placed for the open position on the Planning Commission with no response as of this date.  Councilmember O’Keefe acknowledged the attendance at tonight’s meeting of Amber Mitchell, a BZBA appointee.  Mayor Hartfield thanked all of the BZBA members for their service. 


Vote to approve Resolution No. 08-03. Motion carried (6-0).  Resolution No. 08-03 was adopted re-appointing Fred Ashbaugh, Jeff Gill and Amber Mitchell to the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals.


            Resolution No. 08-04, A Resolution to Appoint Members to the Planning Commission was moved for approval by Councilmember Tegtmeyer.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman.


            Discussion: Manager Holycross indicated that as no applications for the current open position have been received, Council would just be approving the re-appointment of Councilmember O’Keefe as Council Liaison to the Planning Commission.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer suggested that the resolution would need to be amended to remove section 1 which appointed a new Planning Commission member, section 2 which approved the representative appointed by the school district and renumber current sections 3 and 4 as sections 1 and 2. 


            Councilmember Tegtmeyer moved to amend Resolution No. 08-04 to remove Sections 1 and 2 and renumber Sections 3 and 4 as 1 and 2.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman. 


Vote to amend Resolution No. 08-04.  Motion carried (6-0).  The amendments to Resolution No. 08-04 were adopted.


Vote to approve Resolution No. 08-04 as amended. Motion carried (6-0).  Resolution No. 08-04 was adopted as amended.


            Resolution No. 08-05, A Resolution to Adopt a Scenic Byway Management Plan was moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Councilmember Mershon.


            Discussion.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer questioned if McKean Township would also be required to approve the plan, as one road passes through their Township.  Manager Holycross indicated that Granville Township would be responsible for determining whose participation was needed to seek state approval for the plan.


            Councilmember O’Keefe commented that the Village portion of the plan only encompasses a small area.  She also pointed out an error on page ten in the first paragraph on lines three and four where it stated “Burg Street intersects with Broadway.”  Burg Street does not technically intersect with Broadway; it ends at West College Street.  Plum Street connects the end of Burg Street with West Broadway. 


            Mayor Hartfield asked if the sign pictured on the information provided would be the sign posted along each roadway.  Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative. He added that this sign was the same throughout the state. 


            Councilmember Tegtmeyer recommended that this plan be presented to the Open Space Committee for their consideration also.  Council agreed. 


Vote to approve Resolution No. 08-05. Motion carried (6-0).  Resolution No. 08-05 was adopted.


            Ordinance No. 01-08, An Ordinance to Create a Pathway Reserve fund and to Make Adjustments to the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2008 and to Revise Sums for Operating Expenses was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.


Mayor Hartfield scheduled a public hearing for February 6, 2008.



Regularly Scheduled Meeting of January 2, 2008

Vice Mayor Herman moved to accept the minutes as amended. Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion carried 6-0.



The Mayor’s Court Report for the month of December was presented for review.


Councilmember Tegtmeyer moved to accept the December Mayor’s Court report.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Motion carried 6-0.


Mayor Hartfield instructed the report be filed with the Clerk.  A copy of the report will be included as part of these minutes. 



The Manager’s Report for the month of December was presented for review.            

Councilmember O’Keefe questioned if the Granville Police Department was prepared to deal with issues involving a language barrier.  She asked if translators were available.  Manager Holycross indicated that one officer was recently sent to school to learn Spanish for police officers.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that the availability of translators should be looked into further, not only Spanish but other languages.  She advised that Columbus has a large Somali population.   


Councilmember O’Keefe moved to accept the December report   Second by Vice Mayor Herman.  Motion carried 6-0.


Mayor Hartfield instructed the report be filed with the Clerk.  A copy of said report will be included as part of these minutes. 




Economic, Finance, Personnel Committee (EFP) – (Herman, Mershon, Tegtmeyer)

No Report


Granville Foundation – Tegtmeyer

No Report


Light, Safety, Streets/Sidewalks, Utility Committee (LSSU) – (Hartfield, Herman, McGowan)

A meeting is scheduled for January 29, 2008 @ 5:30pm.


Planning Commission – O’Keefe

The Commission reviewed two applications – 1) door and roof replacements; 2) design plans for the property west of Arby’s.  The replacement door and roof application was approved, but the Crumrine design plan was tabled to await additional information regarding the lighting plan, landscape design and parking lot layout.  The Planning Commission was pleased overall with the design plans for this property and the general appearance of the building.  The Planning Commission did not continue their review of the Gateway Zoning District as only three commissioners were in attendance.  A special meeting was scheduled for January 23rd at 7:00pm to continue that review process.



Planning & Zoning Committee (P&Z) – Barsky, Mershon, O’Keefe

The next meeting was being determined.


Recreation Commission –McGowan

Councilmember McGowan reported that the Rec Commission began their Winter Arts Festival.  The Commission also hoped to improve parking at McPeek Lodge beginning this coming spring.  He informed Council that reservations were being accepted for use of the Wildwood Shelter House for 2008. 


SR 161 Accord – O’Keefe

Councilmember O’Keefe recommended the removal of this committee from the reporting list.  Any information to report could be included in Other Council Matters.


Tree & Landscape – Barsky

No Report.


Union Cemetery – Mershon

Fred Abraham has been appointed to fill the Township vacancy on the Union Cemetery Board.  The Fannins will spend two weeks here this summer again helping with the continued restoration of the cemetery.



Mayor Hartfield indicated that the Tri-city meeting between Granville, Heath and Newark was scheduled for Tuesday, February 26th at the Bryn Du Mansion beginning at 6:00pm.  Suggested topics for discussion were the Granville Deer Management Program and an update on the 911 safety communication system.  The meeting will be open to the public.


Mayor Hartfield reminded Council that the Rules of Council will need to be adopted at the February 6th meeting.  Please review the rules to suggest any possible changes.


Mayor Hartfield questioned whether Council wanted to make any changes to the existing committee structure.  She had not received any suggestions or requests for committee assignments as of this date.  Vice Mayor Herman mentioned that the EFP Committee suggested unbundling the budget component from the EFP committee.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer suggested that Council review the strategic plan with the purpose of determining if aligning committees based on strategic plan needs might be more effective.  Councilmember O’Keefe questioned better defining the roles of specific committees such as the planning component in the Planning and Zoning Committee.  Vice Mayor Herman requested staff to forward Council a copy of the strategic plan to review.  Mayor Hartfield suggested Council hold a work session to review the plan and discuss possible committee restructuring.  Councilmember O’Keefe suggested that Council use the end of the next Council meeting on February 6th for this process. 


Mayor Hartfield reported that she had spoken with Mrs. Gawell regarding her 2nd grade class participating in a Council meeting.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that Mrs. Gawell suggested bringing some of her class to the February 20th meeting for them to summarize their ideas and suggestions for improving the Village.  They could be the first item on the agenda.  Council indicated their support for this proposal. 


Mayor Hartfield indicated that in a discussion with Planner Terry, she suggested that there were specific areas in the Village Code that need revised or updated.  Specific items mentioned were changes to the sign code, analysis of current zoning fees, ways to work more closely with the Chamber regarding business development, and other adjustments for inconsistencies in the Code. Manager Holycross indicated that these changes were all necessary i.e. the sign code is currently confusing and possibly too restrictive.  Councilmember O’Keefe questioned if these changes to the code were above and beyond the ordinance revising codes that was currently under review.  Manager Holycross indicated these code changes would not be included in that ordinance, but would be completed separately.  He also stated that changes to the aforementioned ordinance were being finalized and should be available in the next two weeks.  Mayor Hartfield indicated she would forward Planner Terry’s email to Council to allow each member to respond more easily. 


Councilmember Tegtmeyer indicated that she would be attending a meeting hosted by Treasurer Cordray regarding Ohio’s high foreclosure rate.  Licking County has the third highest foreclosure rate in the state.  Treasurer Cordray would be outlining a new program lead by the Save Our Home Task Force.  The meeting was scheduled for January 30th at 9:00am in the county building.  Anyone who would like to attend should contact Chris Savage at the Licking County Commissioners.


Mayor Hartfield reported that Senator Hottinger is sponsoring a bill to amend ORC 5705.19, regarding the use of green space.  This bill would redefine and clarify current language to allow green space to be used for passive recreation.  A hearing for the bill was scheduled for January 24, 2008.  Mayor Hartfield questioned Council as to their position on this issue.  Councilmember McGowan indicated his support for the bill and the use of green space for passive recreation.  He reported that the Granville Trustees initiated this bill.  Councilmember Tegtmeyer reviewed the language to the bill and asked if it reflected Council’s objectives.  She also indicated that the survey completed by the Open Space Committee showed strong support for allowing recreational use of green space.  She also indicated that she would be attending this meeting.  Mayor Hartfield summarized that she would also attend the meeting and voice Council’s support for this measure.


Councilmember McGowan questioned Law Director Crites as to his findings regarding a possible tax credit for Granville taxpayers.  Law Director Crites indicated that there was sufficient legal standing for a fixed dollar or a percentage tax credit as long as it applied to all taxpayers across the board.  Councilmember Mershon indicated that in order to proceed further with this proposal, Council rules required that two Councilmembers indicate their interest in proposing further consideration of this legislation.  He indicated his support of this legislation to authorize a tax credit for Granville taxpayers. 



            Mayor Hartfield asked if this proposal needed to go to committee next.  Law Director Crites indicated that it did not.  Councilmember McGowan responded that he preferred that the proposal did not go to committee, and that it be presented to the full Council.  Councilmember McGowan directed Law Director Crites to draft an ordinance for introduction at the next Council that would provide Granville taxpayers with a tax credit.  Law Director Crites agreed to draft a percentage tax credit.  Councilmember O’Keefe asked if Council should have more information regarding the affect of a credit to the Village budget.  Mayor Hartfield asked if staff could compile data to determine the effective cost to Village income as well as when that information would be available.  Manager Holycross indicated that compilation of this data would take some time as the Village withholding tax database does not provide information by individual tax payers.   He indicated that staff would determine if a rough estimate can be compiled that reflects an accurate assessment.  The information available to the tax department reflects the number of individual returns, business returns, and corporate returns and the business returns reflect a single number, not the number of employees paying through that employer.  Councilmember Mershon asked if a simplified tax credit of reducing the tax rate from 1.5% to 1.35 or 1.4 would be an easier method to quantify and apply.  Manager Holycross indicated in the affirmative.  Councilmember McGowan did not have a specific means by which a tax credit should be implemented.


            Councilmember Mershon posed a question regarding the development of the Cherry Valley Road property west of Arby’s with regard to the whether developers in that area were building sidewalks and pathways as was outlined in the Pathway Plan of 1994.  He asked the Planning Commission and staff to review the pathway recommendations for that area prior to the project being completed to determine if developers should comply with that plan. 


            Councilmember Mershon also asked if the Village was masking social security numbers on tax documents sent to residents.



            Councilmember McGowan moved to adjourn the meeting.  Second by Vice Mayor Herman. Motion carried, 6-0.  Meeting adjourned. 


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