Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes November 4, 2015

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

NOVEMBER 4, 2015

 

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

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL 

Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Johnson, Lerner, Montgomery, O’Keefe, Vice Mayor Barsky, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Stilwell and Law Director King. 

Vice Mayor Barsky made a motion to excuse Councilmember McGowan from the meeting.  Second by Councilmember Johnson.  Motion passed.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA 

Vice Mayor Barsky moved to approve the agenda.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Motion passed.

CITIZENS COMMENTS (7:31pm) 

Tim Collins, 535 Welsh Hills Road, had questions about Ordinance No. 12-2015.  He questioned why residents were not sent letters advising residents of this change as well as notices in the newspaper.  Law Director King responded that letters were not sent out to residents when Council made legislative changes to the Village code.  This code change was not specific to the appeal he and his neighbors filed regarding the proposed Denison solar array.  As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comments at 7:40pm.  Clerk Prasher indicated that both the Planning Commission and Council meetings were noticed in the Granville Sentinel as well as the Village website.  She would provide Mr. Collins with copies of those notices. 

Mr. Collins indicated that the residents of Welsh Hills Drive were concerned how these changes would impact the proposed solar array.  Law Director King advised that a request to better clarify the use of solar energy in the Institutional District.  This legislation was meant to clarify that language and was not related to Denison’s specific project. 

Mayor Hartfield advised that Council intended to extend the public hearing for this piece of legislation. 

As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comments at 7:40pm.

PUBLIC HEARING

Ordinance No. 12-2015, An Ordinance to Amend Sections 1135.01 and 1169.02 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville, Ohio Pertaining to Zoning Definitions and Permitted and Conditional Uses in the Institutional District 

Mayor Hartfield advised that the hearing would be extended in order to provide an opportunity for residents to review the legislation and any proposed changes. 

Law Director King explained to Council that, per their request from the previous Council meeting, changes were made to Section 1169.02 to differentiate between small and large projects.  Small projects, consisting of nine or fewer panels and under 500 square feet would be a Permitted Use.  Projects of ten or more panels and 500 square feet or larger would be a Conditional Use.  Additionally, definitions regarding buildings and separate accessory structures were better defined. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked if solar panels placed on utility poles were addressed in this legislation.  Law Director King stated that it could be included as staff was still sorting out some issues. 

Laura Collins, 535 Welsh Hills Road, asked if a limitation on reflective surfaces was included in this legislation.  Law Director King advised that reflective surfaces was not addressed 

Mayor Hartfield left the Public Hearing open to be continued at the next Village Council meeting on November 18, 2015.

Ordinance No. 13-2015, An Ordinance to Amend Section 1121.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville, Ohio Pertaining to Required Street Widths and Right-of-Way Widths 

As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed the Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 13-2015 at 7:49pm. 

OLD BUSINESS

Ordinance No. 13-2015, An Ordinance to Amend Section 1121.01 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville, Ohio Pertaining to Required Street Widths and Right-of-Way Widths was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Johnson.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

Discussion:

Councilmember Lerner asked the minimum street width as set by Licking County and that this proposed legislation would allow a street to be reduced to a little more than twenty feet.  Law Director King advised the minimum street widths were twenty-six feet.  This legislation would indeed allow for a twenty percent reduction in street widths.  Councilmember Lerner asked how many other items have standards set by Licking County such as sidewalks.  She would like to include the ability to seek a variance for sidewalk widths. 

Manager Stilwell indicated that this legislation was not designed for any specific property.  It was to provide legislative authority to grant a variance for roadway widths up to twenty percent. 

Councilmember Montgomery asked if this legislation would apply to all standards that were governed by Licking County.  Law Director King replied in the affirmative.  He indicated his support for allowing Council to have an option to grant a variance, but anticipated that Village and Licking County basic standards would prevail generally.

Vice Mayor Barsky suggested that a variance of up to twenty percent could only apply to a development with a limited number of units.  She questioned if the variance as it was currently written provided enough guidance regarding number of units.  Law Director King advised that he did not realize that the language regarding number of units was removed.  Vice Mayor Barsky indicated that the Planning Commission and BZBA asked Council to provide specific directions and guidance on giving variances.  She would like to provide specific criteria for these commissions to use in evaluating applications.  Vice Mayor Barsky questioned if the ordinance could be just limited to variances for street and right-of-way widths. 

Law Director King explained that any request to change roadway widths would require a request for a variance from the subdivision regulations.  An application would be presented to Planning Commission for their approval first.  The Commission would make its decision based on criteria requiring the applicant to show that there were topographical or other conditions that created a substantial hardship or injustice to the property owner that would prevent this property from being utilized.  If the Planning Commission approved the application, it would then come before Village Council.  Village Council would then review the same criteria.  The topographical or other conditions, per case law, must relate to some issue involving the land, not financial or preference issues.  Law Director King said that he had found language in the Montgomery County code that could provide greater specificity.  “In any particular case where, because of topographic or other conditions, strict compliance with the foregoing provision would cause practical difficulties or exceptional and undue hardship on the sub divider, the Commission may authorize a variance from the strict application of the provisions so as to relive such difficulties or hardship, provided such relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of these regulations or the desirable general development in accordance with the plans of the Village and the surrounding area.”  This definition modified to meet Granville’s need could be included and would provide further explanation of the intent of the code. 

Councilmember O’Keefe questioned if this legislation would encourage more single cul-du-sac developments.  If so, then the legislation would be going against the Comprehensive Plan and its encouragement of community connectivity.

Councilmember Johnson was in support of providing the Village with the authority to provide a variance.  He was concerned that sufficient criteria were in place to provide direction when reviewing such an application.  He wanted the process to be transparent with easily understood standards.  He questioned if topographic conditions and undue hardships were substantive enough hurdles to provide direction in giving a variance.  He wanted improved clarity and objective language to be part of this legislation for the Planning Commission, BZBA and Council to use when making a decision.  Councilmember Johnson asked if specific criteria could be added that required approval from the Fire Chief, Village Engineer or Police Chief.  Manager Stilwell responded in the affirmative.  Law Director King advised that the Montgomery County language could be that better option to maintain flexibility and add additional specificity to the language. 

Mayor Hartfield suggested that the legislation be amended to specify a number of units necessary to be able to reduce roadway widths.  She indicated that she was comfortable with the reduction of roadway and right-of-way widths, but not with deviation from other aspects of the code. Mayor Hartfield indicated that the intent was to be flexible to allow community members to build something nice and would be appropriate to the building. 

Manager Stilwell responded that staff could update the ordinance to bring back more specific and concise language.  Law Director King added that the language could be improved to be more concise. 

Vice Mayor Barsky moved to table Ordinance No. 13, 2015 until the November 18, 2015 Council meeting.  Second by Councilmember Lerner.  Motion passed. 

NEW BUSINESS    

Ordinance No. 14-2015, An Ordinance to Appropriations for Current Expenses and Other Expenditures of the Village of Granville, State of Ohio, During the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2016 was introduced and a hearing date set for November 4, 2015 by Councilmember Montgomery.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky.

Mayor Hartfield scheduled a public hearing for Ordinance No. 14-2015 for November 18, 2015.

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe requested that Council resume funding the Pathway Fund in 2016 with a transfer of $50,000.  Councilmember Montgomery was in support of building up that fund again.  Manager Stilwell indicated the funding of that account could happen, but the expenditures would exceed revenues.  The budget could certainly sustain that funding for one year.

Councilmember Lerner requested more funding for trees.

Vice Mayor Barsky asked if any funding was included for making improvements to the SR 661 crosswalk across from Denison’s back entrance.  Councilmember Montgomery also wanted to fund crosswalk countdown signals for the three lights on East Broadway.  Pedestrians had a difficult time judging how much time they had to cross the street.  Manager Stilwell indicated that he was going to make a presentation to the Lights, Streets/Sidewalks & Utilities Committee that would be meeting in two days.  He had received a quote for crosswalk lights of $18,000 for solar powered portable lights.  That project could be completed in 2015 with current funds.  Village staff wanted to look at the whole Cedar Street to New Burg Street area in a holistic fashion to find the meaningful solutions to the vehicular/pedestrian traffic in that area.  The Safe Routes to School program could be a source of funding for any proposed projects. 

Manager Stilwell advised Council that per their request at the previous meeting $250,000 would be transferred into the Capital Reserve Fund and an additional $50,000 would be transferred to the Pathway reserved fund. 

Vice Mayor Barsky suggested that $200,000 be transferred to the Capital Reserve Fund and $50,000 to the Pathway Fund.  Councilmember Johnson suggested that the funds be transferred during the fourth fiscal quarter so Council and staff could review income revenues.

REVIEW OF MINUTES 

Regular Council Meeting Minutes of October 21, 2015 

Vice Mayor Barsky made a motion to approve the October 21, 2015 Council meeting minutes as amended.  Second by Councilmember Johnson.   Motion carried. 

COMMITTEE REPORTS   

Granville Community Foundation – (Montgomery)

No report. 

Granville Recreation District – (McGowan)

No report. 

Planning Commission – (Johnson & O’Keefe)

Councilmember Johnson reported that there were three applications that were approved including an application for lighting for the Granville Historical Society, a shed on North Granger Street and an air conditioning unit on South Cherry Street. 

Granville Arts Commission – (O’Keefe)

No report.

Open Space Committee – (O’Keefe)

No report.

Tree & Landscape Commission – (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that the Tree & Landscape Commission was vexed by the removal of the trees by ODOT on Newark-Granville Road near the construction area for the Cherry Valley interchange.  Those eighteen trees were just planted in 2012.  Manager Stilwell indicated that he was aware of the problem and was in communication with ODOT. 

Union Cemetery – (Barsky)

No report. 

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS

Income Tax Commissioner Williams made a presentation regarding HB 5 legislation that was requiring all municipalities to amend their tax codes.  A copy of that presentation will be included with the minutes.  Commissioner Williams summarized that the tax base was diminishing in part due to financially established residents leaving the community and younger, financially growing families transitioning into the community. 

OTHER STAFF MATTERS 

There were no Other Staff Matters. 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Councilmember Johnson moved to enter into Executive Session, pursuant to ORC §121.22(G) (1) – “to consider employment of a public employee” and ORD § 121.22(G)(3) “to confer with the Law Director concerning a dispute involving the public body that is the subject of imminent court action.” Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: Lerner – yes; Montgomery – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Johnson – yes; Barsky – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 6-0. Time in: 10:04pm. 

Councilmember Johnson moved to return to regular session.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: O’Keefe – yes; Johnson – yes; Lerner – yes; Montgomery – yes; Barsky – yes; Hartfield – yes.  Motion carried 6-0. Time in: 10:55pm. 

Council returned to regular session.

Councilmember Lerner requested, with Council’s concurrence, for staff to draft legislation that would remove the ability of Council to hear Appeal Hearings.

ADJOURNMENT (10:55pm)

Councilmember Johnson made a motion to adjourn.  Second by Councilmember Montgomery.  Motion carried.  

                                                                    

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