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20080604_PC_mtg_min 1 PLANNING COMMISSION CITY MANAGER Libby Bacon Diane Schleicher Demery Bishop James P. Boyle PLANNING & ECONOMIC Sandy Chandler DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR John Major, Vice Chair Brannyn G. Allen Anne Miller David Postle Chuck Powell, Chair CITY ATTORNEY Whitley Reynolds Edward M. Hughes MINUTES Planning Commission Meeting June 4, 2008 – 7:30 p.m. Chuck Powell called the June 4, 2008, Planning Commission meeting to order. Other Commissioners present were: Libby Bacon, Demery Bishop, James Boyle, John Major, Anne Miller, David Postle, and Whitley Reynolds. Absent was Sandy Chandler. Chuck Powell clarified that there were no Minutes to be considered. Chuck Powell called on City Attorney Bubba Hughes to comment about Disclosure. Hughes said that they were dealing with proposals initiated by Staff or the City as opposed to an applicant, however, under the City’s Ethics Ordinance if a Commissioner owned property within 500 feet of any of the property that may be impacted by a proposed ordinance they would be subject to being recused from that topic. He said that when that happens for Council and it was not a semi-judicial real property decision, and these were not because they were not being initiated by an applicant, there was a procedure for Council to deal with an appeal of a recusal. Hughes said that the Ethic’s Ordinance did not have that provision for Planning Commission. He suggested if anyone owned property potentially impacted by the North End Parks and Public Overlay or the South End Overlay they would be recused from dealing with it. He said if any owned property potentially impacted by the Shore Protection Ordinance, they should not be dealing with that. He said that he did not believe that recusal should be required, but disclosure was. He said if they owned property in the South End Overlay district they are recused from dealing with that. He said that if they are within 500 feet of that potential zone that needs to be put on the record and disclosed. The first order of business was a Shore Protection Ordinance, which, if adopted, would repeal Land Development Code Section 5-010.J, Shore Protection with Variance Clause. John Major disclosed that he owned property within 500 feet. Chuck Powell disclosed that he lived within 500 feet. Bubba Hughes suggested the Commission go to a later item on agenda. This item was a proposal to rezone from R-1 to EC the accreted property abutting or near Lighthouse Point Condominium property, Van Horn Street and the waters of the State. Chuck Powell asked if anyone owned property within 500 feet of the area proposed to be rezoned. There were no disclosures. Powell opened the Public Hearing and read Land Development Code Section 4-050.J, EC Environmental-Conservation District. Hughes said that the reason he asked that this be taken out of order was that it came up as a result of discussions with Staff in conjunction with the Shore Protection Ordinance. He said it was his recommendation that they not deal with this issue at this time. He said that the area was now, under the 2 proposed Shore Protection Ordinance, adequately covered, and after having spoken with representatives of Captains Row and Lighthouse Point, going forward with the effort to rezone might create more problems than working toward an agreement to put the property in a conservation easement. He said that would be his recommendation to the Mayor and Council, and was his recommendation to the Planning Commission. Hughes said it had been advertised for Public Hearing so they did need to entertain comment. John Major asked the process for placing property in conservation easement. Hughes explained the process. Libby Bacon asked why the adjacent area was not included. Hughes said that the title for that property was different. Bacon spoke of accreted property on St. Simon’s. Whitley Reynolds spoke of the uses allowed in an EC zone. James Boyle asked Hughes if the City had brought the rezoning to his attention. Hughes said no; it was a proposal as a way of preserving the property and it came up in the context of the Shore Protection Ordinance. He said that nobody on Council or the Planning Commission asked him to do that; it was part of a way to protect it and to alleviate some of the debate over the Shore Protection Ordinance. Boyle posed some potential issues with an EC zoning and he said that he appreciated the direction Hughes was taking it. Major asked what could be done if the property was put in conservation easement. Hughes said it would depend on the terms of the easement, and the goal was to preserve the area in its natural state. Demery Bishop asked the timeframe of an agreement. Hughes spoke of within 60 days knowing if they were not likely to have an agreement. Powell asked for public comment. Pinckney Butler said he was president of the Captains Row Homeowners Association. He asked how much notice the public had before a Public Hearing. Hughes said that no less than 15 days nor more than 45 days, the property has to be posted for the Public Hearing before the Mayor and Council. Butler asked if they notified property owners and adjacent property owners. Hughes said there were different rules for proposals initiated by the governing authority or if an applicant makes the application. He said they did have to publish notice and post the property. Butler asked if parking lots were allowed under EC. Powell said no. Butler said that Captains Row was willing to discuss what was best for the property. Mallory Pearce spoke in favor of the property being placed in conservation easement. He spoke of it being a habitat for the Painted Bunting, a declining bird species. He said the only development should be repair of the walkway. Speaking as chair of the Tybee Island Land Trust, Pearce gave the procedure for placing property in conservation easement. Cecil Delorme of Lighthouse Point said that the dune crossing was repaired this year at Lighthouse Point’s expense. He referenced a ruling related to accreted property and he stated that accreted property belongs to the person behind it. After speaking about ownership and maintenance of the accreted land, Delorme said that land trusts charge money. Mallory Pearce said that the Tybee Island Land Trust charges nothing. Powell called for a motion. Reynolds recommended no action due to the City and adjoining property owners appearing to be solving the problem. Boyle seconded. The vote was unanimous. The motion of taking no action passed. Returning to the Shore Protection Ordinance, Chuck Powell asked for Staff comments. Bubba Hughes said that the proposal was intended to be a work in progress. He said it was not advocated by anybody in particular; it was brought up to get the issue back on the table. He said that since 2001 there have been various versions. He said they adopted what was intended to be a temporary ordinance and ever since that time have continued to work, with varying degrees of frequency, on this problem. Hughes said it was not here with an intention that anything was carved in stone; it was here because this was what the Public Hearings are for: to get the input, get the comments and concerns about what action should be taken, if any. He said the City did the best it could do to make sure that people got notice that the issue was back on the table. He said the proposed ordinance had been reviewed by DNR. He said the biggest change from this and the first version in 2001, not the current ordinance, was that this adopts the State’s definitions. He said that there was still some clarifying needed. Hughes said that one of the hardest parts was the difference between a no-build area and a special review process. He said the only areas that are no-build for structures are those within 10 feet of the toe of the dune or 18 feet of the existing seawall on 3 the front beach. After some further summarizing by Hughes, Brannyn Allen spoke of the three zones that were developed with the guidance of DNR. She said the front beach zone was the easiest to work with because of the two federal groins and the seawall. She said in that area, the no-build area or the area where a variance would be required before any construction could take place was defined as 18 feet from the seawall or 10 feet from the toe of the dune. She said that outside of either of those two areas there was not a provision for special review in the front beach zone. She said there was a provision for special review in the northern and southern zones. Allen said that in those two zones, where there was no seawall or dune, at the guidance of DNR and after conference among Staff, it was decided that 250 feet from the ordinary high water line made the most sense as a starting point for special review. She said that would not require a variance, it would be special review. She said they try to not put people through the expense of engineering and architectural fees before they have a site plan reviewed. David Postle said that there was a seawall on the northern end and on the south end. He said the majority of the seawall on the north end could be scientifically tracked by the change in vegetation in aerial photographs. He said he did not know if the locations of the northern or southern seawalls would be close enough to become involved in this Ordinance. Powell said that the proposal referenced a seawall in the south beach zone. He said that while that wording was not mentioned in the north beach zone, it did reference areas where there was no seawall. Allen said that north end seawall information had been shared with the City and they were looking into it. She said that was the whole purpose of Public Hearings and that the Ordinance was a working document. Powell said he asked Lou Off, chair of the Beach Task Force, to speak. Off gave a history of significant factors of the Tybee beach. Hughes said that there was question about whether Powell and Major would be permitted to participate under the recusal rule. He suggested that they deal with it the way that Council would deal with it: those that were not recused should vote on whether or not those that were under recusal could participate. Boyle motioned that Powell and Major be allowed to participate. Reynolds seconded. The six that voted were all in favor of the motion. Postle asked if this process would be used anytime that recusal might be mandatory on City government. Hughes said no, it only applied in certain instances. He said if it were a semi-judicial real estate decision the procedure could not be used. Hughes said that anybody that actually owned land subject to rezoning could not participate in the absence of a number of special rules. Major spoke of a different version of the proposed ordinance going to City Council since the ordinance was a work in progress. Hughes agreed. Various sections and possible language changes of the proposed ordinance were discussed among the Commissioners and Staff. Powell opened the Hearing for public comment. Mallory Pearce gave some historical background of the beach. He said he liked the 250-feet for special review due to beach erosion. He said that a section that spoke of using the State line should be changed because the State used trees. Ed Cawley presented aerial photographs of a portion of the north beach zone taken at various times since 1938 that he said showed a seawall. Cawley suggested adding to the educational, historic or cultural facilities exemptions section that those were exempt as long as they continued to maintain their educational, historical or cultural functions. Powell closed the Hearing and asked for a motion. Major motioned that the Planning Commission look at the revised ordinance at their meeting on June 17 before it goes to City Council. Postle seconded the motion. Reynolds said he did not think that was enough time. Bishop agreed. Major withdrew his motion. Postle withdrew the second. Reynolds moved to continue until the August Planning Commission meeting. Bishop seconded. Boyle said he would like to know how Tybee differed from DNR on the permitting process and if there was a scientific process in place. Powell asked Boyle if he was asking for a workshop. Boyle said yes. Powell called for the vote. The vote was unanimous to review the Ordinance at the August 19th Planning Commission meeting. The motion to continue passed. The next item was the North End Parks and Public Overlay Ordinance. Bubba Hughes explained that an overlay goes over an existing zone. He said that the North End Parks and Public Overlay Ordinance directed itself entirely to public property that was not used for what it was currently zoned 4 for. He said that the reasons for the ordinance were to correct that and to define what the property can be used for. Hughes told the Commissioners if any of them owned property within 500 feet of the property affected by the overly they needed to disclose that. There were no disclosures. Libby Bacon asked if an overlay for the north beach parking lot and lighthouse was being considered. Brannyn Allen said it was being considered and it was not included due to time. She said it made sense to split the North End Parks and Public Overlay and an overlay for the parking lot and lighthouse into two zones because they are so different. Whitley Reynolds asked about the prohibited uses in the proposed overlay. Allen said the list of prohibited uses was based on some other ordinances and it tried to anticipate what might be proposed. John Major asked the benefit of the overlay and how it would impact people that live in the area. Allen said the benefit would be to bring the uses into compliance. She said it had been discussed since the City bought the Campground. She said the impact on surrounding property owners was negligible because it was City-owned property. Hughes said that the history went back before the City acquired the Campground. He said the Campground was in an R-1 zone at the time and it was a nonconforming use when it was privately owned. Hughes said that this ordinance was a combination of correcting that and bringing in the other public uses in the area. James Boyle said that it seemed totally incorrect as an R-1. He asked if the overlay included a dog park. Allen said it included passive and active parks. Libby Bacon asked if text in the proposed Ordinance meant that a dog park or a Campground expansion would need site plan review. Allen said it would be site plan review at the Staff level. She said the expansion of the Campground had been under extensive review: two engineers, several contractors and lots of Staff time. Bacon commended the City for the Ordinance. Chuck Powell asked for public comment. He closed the Public Hearing and called for a motion. Boyle motioned to approve. Reynolds seconded. The vote was unanimous. The motion to approve passed. Chuck Powell opened the Public Hearing for the South End Overlay Ordinance. He and Anne Miller disclosed that they lived within 500 feet of the district. John Major moved to allow Powell and Miller to participate. Libby Bacon seconded. Six members voted in favor of the motion and none opposed. David Postle said that the owner of a south end establishment, without encouragement, spoke to him about rules and regulations coming out of City Hall that did not make a whole lot of sense on this overlay. Postle asked if he was violating any rules by participating in the Public Hearing. City Attorney Bubba Hughes said that it was not in violation of any rules; this was a legislative manner and they were entitled to get information from any source. John Major asked why they were doing this, what would be the impact, what would be different, and what the motivation was. Brannyn Allen said that Council adopted Policies and Procedures that applied to the zone upon the completion of the streetscape improvements in the area. She said the idea behind the ordinance was to protect and maintain the investment that the City had made in that area. She said it also allowed for increased economic development opportunities for the businesses by allowing for sidewalks cafés, sandwich signs and outdoor displays of merchandise. Allen said that a sidewalk café or outdoor display of merchandise had to come through site plan approval and be permitted as part of the business license. She said City Council waived the permit fee for the site plan review for 2008 in an effort to be kind to the businesses that went through the pain of construction this year. She said that the site plan and accompanying permit for any outdoor display or sidewalk café would have to be renewed annually as part of the business license. Major asked how it might impact people that live there. Allen said that it would not impact the residential uses; it was directed at businesses. She said there had been discussion about changing the southern boundary, shifting it north to the parcel lines of lots on the south side of Silver Avenue. Powell asked if it would keep the Hunter House in the zone. Allen said that was open for discussion. Discussion followed of the proposed ordinances, the overlay map, the South End Policies and Procedures, as well as suggestions for revisions and corrections. Powell asked about the outdoor selling of merchandise versus outdoor display of merchandise. Allen explained that business could not be transacted on the sidewalk. Anne Miller asked why Cousin Vinnie’s Pizza was left out. Allen said they would consider any recommendations. Other 5 parcels were discussed. Allen said that the use and zoning were not changing. Discussion between the Commissioners and Staff continued. Powell asked if anyone from the public wished to speak. Bill Blakey asked about the line being moved to Silver Avenue rather than Seventeenth Street. Powell said that he thought they intended to make that part of a motion. Powell closed the Hearing. Bacon motioned to recommend adoption of the South End Overlay Ordinance with the line moving north from Seventeenth Street to Silver Avenue, and encompassing the Hunter House and Cousin Vinnie’s. Miller seconded the motion. The vote to approve was unanimous. The motion to approve as amended passed. Ordinance 17-2008 was addressed next. It was to document and track the map amendments for the two overlays that were voted on earlier. Amendments were discussed which would correct typographical errors and would omit item 3, the accreted property. Demery Bishop moved to approve as amended. James Boyle seconded. The vote was unanimous. The motion to approve as amended passed. Bubba Hughes noted that the Zoning Map was in the room during this meeting and the overlay districts were depicted on the projection screen. The meeting adjourned.