Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes November 3, 2010

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

November 3, 2010

 

CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:32pm)

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE  

ROLL CALL

Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Barsky, Lerner, Mershon, McGowan, O’Keefe, Mayor Hartfield, Acting Manager Terry and Law Director Crites. 

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Councilmember McGowan moved to approve the agenda.  Second by Councilmember Barsky. Motion carried (6-0).    

CITIZEN COMMENTS (7:34pm)  

Bryon Reed, 134 Stone Valley Drive, indicated that he was with Terra Nova Partners, LLC.  He and his business partner Herach Nazarian were the applicants applying for the code amendment to the Village Business District.  He indicated to Council that he was available to answer any questions.  Terra Nova has been soliciting comments from the general public during the Farmer’s Market regarding their proposed development.  He indicated that he and his partner would be making a presentation to Council at the public hearing for Ordinance No. 18-2010 to explain their reason for requesting the code amendment.

As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comments at 7:37pm. 

PRESENTATION

Don Hostetter, Chair of the Tree and Landscape Commission, appeared before Council to report that Granville was selected to host the Tree City USA annual meeting in April 2011.  He thanked Council for their continued support of the Tree and Landscape Commission.  The funding provided was used for the maintenance of Opera House Park and the Broadway beds as well as annual fall tree plantings.  The Commission was making a one time request from Council for an additional $2,000 for 2011 to cover expenses for the Tree City USA event at the Bryn Du Mansion.  Mr. Hostetter indicated that most of the expenses should be covered within the proposed budget, but the Commission wanted to make sure funding was available to cover any extra expenses.  Mr. Hostetter expects forty-four communities to participate.  Most expenses should be covered by the $20 registration fee.  The Commission will partner with Jeremy King, Denison’s Sustainability Coordinator, as Denison was in the process of applying for the Tree Campus designation.  Denison would be one of three universities with that designation.   

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if a registration fee was customary.  Mr. Hostetter indicated in the affirmative, that most registration fees were between $20 and $25.  He expects about one hundred and twenty people will attend the event. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

Ordinance No. 19-2010, An Ordinance to Permit the Demolition of a Single Story, Detached, and One-Car Garage Structure at 335 West Elm Street 

Michael Duffey, 335 West Elm Street, spoke on behalf of the demolition of his garage.  He indicated that the garage was not in good condition and had a dirt floor.  He wanted to demolish his one-story garage in order to build a two-car garage.  He indicated to Council that he was available to answer questions. 

Ordinance No. 20-2010 A, An Ordinance to Amend Section 505.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville to Establish a Community Wide Leash Law

Ordinance No. 20-2010 B, An Ordinance to Amend Section 505.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville to Establish a Leash Law in the Downtown Area  

Ordinance No. 20-2010 C, An Ordinance to Amend Section 505.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville to Establish a Leash Law in the Downtown Area and for the Parks  

Kevin Hansell, 137 Brennan Drive, indicated to Council that he could not understand the need for a leash law.  He stated that the existing running at-large law was adequate to protect the citizenry.  Owners should be responsible for seeking training and keeping control of their dogs.  The owners, who were not responsible, would not become responsible because of a new ordinance.  An ordinance would not be able to cover every situation.  Mr. Hansell urged Council not to enact a village wide leash law. 

Jill Uland, 208 Wicklow Drive, urged Council not to support a community leash law of any kind. She asked Council not to shackle resident’s lifestyle regarding walking their dogs and utilizing green space areas.  She indicated that owners should be responsible for their pets and the current law adequately legislated that responsibility.  She asked Council not to pass any leash law for the Village. 

Fred Biesecker, 71 Wexford Drive, indicated that his wife was bit by a dog in their neighborhood this past summer while she was walking in the street.  The dog ran out into the street from its yard and bit his wife.  When the owner was confronted, he was blasé.  The dog was not current on its shots, being nine months past the date.  Dogs in his neighborhood run unsupervised through the neighborhood routinely.  Mr. Biesecker felt the current law was vague, so he was in support of a community wide leash law.  The Granville Police Department was called regarding the bite incident, but indicated that there was not a law in place to protect residents.  He asked Council to vote for a community wide leash law. 

Councilmember Mershon questioned what process was followed by the police department.  The police may have followed procedure, but may have been restricted by not having observed the event.  He asked the Law Director if he received a report about this incident.  Law Director Crites indicated that he did not remember a report, but all bite incidents were required to be reported to the local health department where the health of the animal would have been determined.   

Mayor Hartfield asked Mr. Biesecker when the incident occurred.  Mr. Biesecker indicated that the incident happened in June, 2010.  Mayor Hartfield indicated that staff would follow-up on the incident. 

Gloria Hoover, 213 East College Street, indicated that she was a proponent of a community wide leash law.  She reminded Council that she had previously provided them with a letter from a local veterinarian that spoke of her support for a leash law.  Village staff provided all Village residents and businesses with an opportunity to voice their opinion through the leash law survey.  The survey had a total of 318 respondents with the majority of those respondents being in favor of a community wide leash law.  Those survey results seemed very clear.  Ms. Hoover also indicated that many seniors did not feel comfortable walking in the Village and confronting dogs off leash.  She gave an example of a resident who lived in the Colony and was afraid to walk on the Great Lawn of the Bryn Du Mansion because dogs were allowed to run off leash there.  This resident has been accosted by dogs on that property multiple times.  She asked that Council consider seniors when considering this legislation and vote for a community wide leash law. 

Ruth Ellen Kozman, 107 Bedwen Bach Lane, advised Council that she believed the current law was sufficient as Council, during previous meeting, had reported that the reports of dog bites by unrestrained dogs were minimal.  She indicated that the online survey was not scientific and only received responses from 7% of the Village population.  The majority of respondents to the survey who indicated support for a leash law amounted to only 177 people; hardly a majority of 5,000 Village residents.  She indicated that 48.8% of the survey respondents felt the current law was sufficient.  She asked Council where the actual evidence or data was to constitute making any change. Mrs. Kozman felt that the current Village code, if enforced, was more than sufficient.  She questioned the amount of time Council had spent on debating a leash law with no evidence of an existing problem.  It appeared the leash law was a solution trying to find a problem.  Mrs. Kozman urged Council to maintain the current law and not impose a community wide leash law. 

Monica Graffeo, 235 Bryn Du Drive, indicated that she was a responsible pet owner and was not in support of changing the existing leash law.  She wanted the opportunity to allow her dog in run and exercise off leash in areas like the Great Lawn.  The location of the existing dog park was not convenient for people on the east side of Granville.  She felt that laws currently existed to protect residents already.  A new law will not fix the problems caused by irresponsible dog owners; it would only impact responsible dog owners.  She asked Council to vote against implementing a leash law. 

Debbie Haven, 227 Bryn Du Drive, commended the responsible dog owners in the Village.  She indicated that in all of her years in Granville, she had never had an unpleasant encounter with an animal.  Mrs. Haven indicated that she felt the existing laws were appropriate and protected that public effectively.  She was not in support of the proposed leash law ordinances.

Greg Kozman, 107 Bedwen Bach Lane, indicated that the existing law was adequate.  If a dog was running at-large or a dog leaves waste in the yard, the current law addressed that issue.  He also indicated that laws should not be driven by opinion or people’s phobias.  He reported that in order to make a change such as this law, statistical data should be utilized.  Basing legislative changes on a non-scientific survey was risky government.  The leash law issue seemed to be of concern to one councilmember, not the whole council or the community.  He asked that Council not punish all dog owners based on opinion and supposed fear.  Please do not change the current law. 

Brad Smith, 332 West Elm Street, indicated that Council was trying to provide a solution that was looking for a problem.  There have been few incidents in the Village.  Once the ordinance was passed, it would never be repealed.  He cited this legislation as an example of another personal liberty being taken away by government.  He urged Council to not pass a leash law ordinance. 

Bob Simpson, 104 Merywen Circle, indicated that he was a long time Village resident.  He leashed his own dogs as a protective measure for his dogs; however, he was not in support of a leash law.  The existing law holds owners accountable for their irresponsible actions. 

Carolyn Simpson, 104 Merywen Circle, asked Council why new legislation was being considered when the existing law if enforced were more effective as they allowed for a wider level of enforcement.  She asked Council to not vote for a change in the existing leash law. 

Don Wagner, 131 Bedwen Bach Drive, indicated that he was not in support of a community wide leash law or leash laws for the park areas.  He would not be against a leash law for the downtown area.  Granville was a family community with a lot of dog owners.  Council seemed to be over reacting to the limited data regarding dog incidents with the legislation being proposed.  Mr. Wagner urged Council to not to enact a leash law.

Gayle Mulvey, 3314 Raccoon Valley Road, identified herself as a Granville Township resident and a dog trainer.  She indicated that she understood the concerns of residents who had a bad experience with a dog and its owner.  However statistically, it is more likely for a dog to bite someone while on a leash than off leash.  Appropriate action should be taken and can be taken against violators of the existing law.  The proposed law will not fix the problems of the current irresponsible dog owners.  She asked Council to not pass this legislation and indicated that she would be happy to answer any questions. 

Bruce Cramer, Director of the Bryn Du Mansion, indicated that the Great Lawn was used extensively by pet owners who let their dogs run and play.  Dogs have even been participants in weddings held at the Mansion.  He hoped that Council would not restrict dogs from being off leash at the Mansion. 

As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed the public hearing for Ordinance No. 19-10 and Ordinance Nos. 20-10 A, B and C. at 8:20pm. 

OLD BUSINESS 

Ordinance No. 19-2010, An Ordinance to Permit the Demolition of a Single Story, Detached, and One-Car Garage Structure at 335 West Elm Street was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Mershon.  Second by Councilmember Lerner.

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that the Planning Commission recommended to approve this demolition and the proposed structure. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 16-2010: Barsky – yes; Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Ordinance No. 19-2010 passed (6-0).

Ordinance No. 20-2010 A, An Ordinance to Amend Section 505.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville to Establish a Community Wide Leash Law was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember Mershon.  

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe wanted to address some of the concerns and comments made by the residents.  The resident that indicated a Village population of 5,000 was including the students at Denison University.  The same resident commented that it was only 54.9% of the survey respondents who were in support of a leash law.  Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that elections have been won by smaller percentages.  She also indicated that she wanted to address the concerns from a senior citizen’s point of view, who may find dogs threatening and fear tripping over loose animals.  Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that even the best trained dog may not always be under control.  She indicated that she understood the concerns and opinions expressed by the residents, but felt it would be in the best interest of the community to support a leash law as many other communities had leash laws.  

Mayor Hartfield indicated that a number of the incidents involving pets locally were the result of animals getting out of a house or yard.  This problem would not be addressed by the implementation of a leash law.  Mayor Hartfield also indicated that in a recent discussion with the third graders at Granville Elementary School regarding a leash law, the students were in favor of a leash law for the downtown area only.

Councilmember Barsky indicated that it was Council’s role to address the concerns of all residents of the Village.  She understood that a leash law would not solve all of the issues involving dogs.  Councilmember Barsky indicated that she was not necessarily supportive of a community wide leash law, but understood the concerns expressed by those in support of such a law. 

Councilmember Mershon indicated that a leash law would provide the police department with better enforcement capabilities than the current under control law. 

Councilmember McGowan indicated his support for a leash law, but was willing to consider alternative.  He suggested the possibility of enacting the law for only one year with the option for Council to review and repeal the law after that year.   

Councilmember McGowan moved to amend Section 2 of Ordinance No. 20-10 to be effective from and after the earliest period allowed by law and in effect for a period of one year.  There was no second to Councilmember McGowan’s motion.     

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 20-10 A: Lerner – no; McGowan – no; Mershon – no; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – no; Hartfield – no.  Ordinance No. 20-2010 A failed (1-5). 

Ordinance No. 20-2010 B, An Ordinance to Amend Section 505.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville to Establish a Leash Law in the Downtown Area was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Barsky.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

Discussion:

Councilmember Mershon questioned how the downtown area would be signed and how residents and visitors would be advised about the law.  Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that signs could be placed at the entrances to the downtown area and people would learn about the law through word of mouth.   

Councilmember Barsky indicated that a downtown leash law could be a benefit for residents who live in the downtown area and for visitors and tourists. 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that she sees most dogs on leashes in the downtown area already and would be supportive for the busy downtown area. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 20-2010 B: McGowan – yes; Mershon – no; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Lerner – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Ordinance No. 20-2010 passed (5-1).

Councilmember Barsky moved to remove Ordinance No. 20-2010 C from consideration.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.   Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to remove Ordinance No. 20-2010 C from consideration.   Motion carried (6-0).

NEW BUSINESS 

Ordinance No. 21-2010, An Ordinance to Amend Section 333.03(b)(3) of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville to Establish a 35mph Speed Limit on Lancaster Road and River Road was introduced and a hearing date recommended for November 17, 2010 by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.

Councilmember Mershon questioned why Old River Road was not included in this ordinance.  Acting Manager Terry will check and advise Council. 

REVIEW OF MINUTES

 Special Meeting of October 19, 2010 

Councilmember O’Keefe made a motion to approve the October 19, 2010 minutes. Second by Councilmember Lerner. Motion carried 6-0.

Regularly Scheduled Meeting of October 20, 2010 

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to approve the amended October 20, 2010 minutes. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion carried 6-0.

COMMITTEE REPORTS     

Economic, Finance, Personnel Committee – (All Councilmembers)  

No report. 

Granville Foundation – (Mershon)

No report. 

Lights, Safety, Streets/Sidewalks, Utility Committee (Hartfield, Herman, McGowan)

No report.

Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)

No report. 

Planning & Zoning Committee – (Barsky, Hartfield, O’Keefe)

A meeting has been scheduled for November 16, 2010 at 7:00pm in Council Chambers.

Granville Recreation District – (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that the GRD ordered trees to be planted in the Raccoon Valley Park with revenues originally earmarked for baseball fields.  These funds were made available as the issues involving Golfland were not settled this year.  The GRD and Granville Fellowship were in discussions regarding renting space together.  Regarding the GRD taking over after school programs, the middle school principal requested that the GRD handle the after-school chess club and language clubs.  Councilmember Lerner indicated that she was still in the process of checking on senior programming through the GRD.  Councilmember Mershon questioned if the GRD was expanding their senior programming. 

Tree & Landscape Commission (Lerner)

No report. 

Union Cemetery (Barsky)

No report. 

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS  

Acting Manager Terry reported that she and the Mayor would be attending a meeting on Monday, November 8th to discussion the Cherry Valley Road interchange with the Ohio Department of Transportation, Licking County Planning Commission, and the Licking County Area Transportation Study.  Following the meeting, ODOT is expected to schedule a public meeting to discussion the current revisions to the interchange on November 22nd.   

Councilmember Lerner asked if the environmental issue regarding the bat trees had been resolved.  Acting Manager Terry indicated that ODOT was weighing all of the issues and adjusted the alignment of the roadways to lessen the impact on the bat trees. 

Councilmember Mershon asked if the west bound ramp onto Newark-Granville Road would remain open.  If not, that closure would cause the western portion of Granville to become very busy and congested.  Acting Manager Terry indicated that ODOT had prepared a variety of alternatives.  The suggested two-lane continuation of Newark-Granville Road to Granville Road has been  nixed as being too expensive. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked about the timeline regarding the development of this project.  Acting Manager Terry indicated that once a preferred alternative was set, the project then would go through the funding portion of the process.  The project was currently categorized as a tier 2 project, which means it would not move forward. 

Councilmember O’Keefe indicated that she has become aware of the difficulty handicapped individuals have in maneuvering in the Village such as accessing the post office.  She indicated that she would like to see the Village do something to improve their access.

Councilmember O’Keefe reported to Council that she had met with Water Superintendent Larry Fruth to learn about the committee he formed to work towards meeting EPA compliance.  The next committee meeting will be on December 8th at 5;30pm.

Councilmember Barsky asked if Council needed to respond to the report issued by the Auditor of State.  Councilmember Mershon questioned the portion of the auditor’s report that indicated that Village did not respond to the auditor’s questions.  Acting Manager Terry indicated that she would check with Finance Director Kraner and advise Council.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Councilmember Barsky moved to enter into Executive Session, pursuant to ORC 121.22(G)(1) – “to consider the appointment, employment or compensation of a public employee or official and enter into Executive Session, pursuant to ORC 121.22(G)(3) to conference with the Law Director concerning disputes involving the Village that are the subject of pending court action.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: Mershon – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 6-0. Time in: 9:19pm. 

Councilmember McGowan moved to return to regular session.  Second by Councilmember Barsky.

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Mershon – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 6-0. Time out: 9:25pm.

Council returned to the regular session.

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to reconsider Resolution No. 10-45, A Resolution to Appoint Alison R. Terry as Acting Manager of the Village of Granville and Establish the Acting Village Manager’s Salary for 2010.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to reconsider Resolution No. 10-45.  Motion carried (6-0).

Councilmember Barsky made a motion to amend Resolution No. 10-45, Section III to set the salary of the Acting Village Manager for the remaining calendar year 2010 to include an additional $75 per business day payment for serving as Acting Village Manager retro-active to November 1, 2010. Second by Councilmember Mershon.

Discussion:

No discussion. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve the amendment to Resolution No. 10-45.  Motion carried (6-0). 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 10-45 as amended.  Motion carried (6-0). 

ADJOURNMENT (9:29pm) 

Councilmember McGowan moved to adjourn the meeting. Second by Councilmember Mershon. Motion carried (6-0). Meeting adjourned.

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