Homewood City Council, April 8, 2013

Homewood City Council[From notes provided by councilman Michael Hallman, and others.] The meeting of the Homewood City Council was called to order at 6 p.m. and adjourned 45 minutes later. Of note, purchase negotiations are underway for a proposed pocket park on Broadway, the council is considering of a city-wide ban on pole signs, and a May concert series was approved at Brookwood Village.

All votes were unanimous.

Members present:  All-Michael Hallman, Britt Thames, Fred Hawkins, Vance Moody, Patrick McClusky, Walter Jones, Jenifer Champ Wallis, Heather Reid, Richard Laws, Peter Wright and council president Bruce Limbaugh.

Absent:  Mayor Scott McBrayer

Staff present:  Linda Cook, city clerk, Michael Kendrick, city attorney, J. J. Bischoff, mayor’s chief of staff.

Audience attendance:  15

Minutes:  None presented.

Consent Agenda

Dropped:  A request to consider a “no parking stripe” at Mayfair Medical Group was dropped on recommendation of the Public Safety Committee because the parking issue has been resolved.

Dropped from committee, with intent to be reassigned:  The Special Issues Committee dropped consideration of a ban on pole signs in the Green Springs Urban Renewal District and recommended the council consider a city-wide ban instead.  See item further down.

Old Business Agenda

Postponed (carried over):  Due to unanswered questions, the council postponed action on a proposed contract to allow Brown-Mackie College parking privileges on Bagby Drive city property.

Approved:   Several transfers were approved, in some cases to comply with ordinances requiring minimum fund balances in several funds, including $210,000 moved to the Rainy Day Fund from a budget surplus fund.  A $5,000 transfer was also made to pay for employee vacation and sick leave.

Approved in part and Denied in part:  Following a public hearing, the council granted sign variances to  prospective Brookwood Village tenants DSW and Fresh Market. However, the council denied a similar request for a retail tenant that the shopping center owner, Colonial Properties Trust, has not made public. Per the city attorney, that tenant must initiate a separate variance request when the time comes and fully present its case–and a sign graphic–at a future public hearing.

[Correction:  This hearing was carried over with no vote to approve. The item dropped at the April 22 meeting when no business representative appeared to make the request.] Approved:  On a recommendation from Special Issues Committee, the council passed a variance for a larger sign with an additional message line for The Baskits restaurant, at 801 Green Springs Highway.

Dropped:  A public nuisance case at 608 Shades Creek Parkway was dropped because the property has been cleared of overgrown weeds.

Sent to Finance Committee:  The council asked the Finance Committee to investigate a funding source for a proposed “Broadway Park” at the intersection of Carr Avenue, Broadway and Saulter Road.  The property for sale includes a triangular island on Saulter with a residence, and other vacant property. The city attorney is negotiating the price with the owner.

Approved:  The council voted to support a state Alcoholic Beverage Control retail liquor license for JoJo’s on Broadway, 903 Broadway.

Sent to Public Safety Committee:  The council wanted more discussion and the approval of fire and police departments before supporting a state Alcoholic Beverage Control license request for retail beer and wine, on or off premises, by Zoe’s restaurant at 1830 29th Avenue South.

Referred to Public Safety Committee:  A request to lower the city’s acceptable decibel level for traffic noise.

Referred to Special Issues Committee:  A request to set an April 22 public hearing for a sign variance at Creative Dog Training, 2703 19th Place South was sent to committee for discussion.

Sent to Special Issues Committee:  The council will consider amending the sign ordinance to disallow pole signs city-wide.  The matter was first considered only for the Green Springs renewal area.  (Monument signs, which stand on the ground, are favored over signs held aloft on poles.)

Sent to Finance Committee:  The committee will consider a request for services (buying advertising) in an Alabama Symphony Orchestra publication. [Correction:  The services are a free performance for the city and various activities in the schools.]

New Business

Approved:  The council approved closing Brookwood Mall Drive on Saturday, April 20th, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for an unidentified special event. In a separate vote, the council approved closing the same road for a concert series, “Brookwood Live,” featuring five bands, on the following Thursdays:  May 2, May 9, May 16, May 23, May 30 from 5-9 p.m.

Approved:  A tent variance requested for a May 2 company barbecue at the Teklinks data center, 201 Summit Parkway.

Set public hearing on two rezoning cases:

1.  The council will vote following a public hearing on May 13 whether to rezone a house at 101 Gillon Drive from commercial back to residential following the Planning Commission’s favorable recommendation.  The house was rezoned C-2 (neighborhood shopping district) in the 1980s by an owner who planned a business that didn’t materialize. The current owner is asking to rezone the property to NPD (Neighborhood Preservation District) in order to sell it.

2. The council set a public hearing for May 13 to rezone the former Magnolia Apartments from residential (R-5) to institutional (I-2), following an earlier recommendation by the Planning Commission. The property was purchased by the Homewood Board of Education to be redeveloped for a central office and school board campus.

Approved:  The council approved payment of invoices for March 25-April 5.

There being no further business, the council adjourned shortly before 7 p.m.


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