The Aug. 29 meeting lasted more than two hours, with at least half the time devoted to a public forum on proposed height limitations for new construction in single-family housing, the city’s $4.25 million purchase of property on West Oxmoor Road for parks and potentially for schools, and the mayor’s budget presentation, all reported earlier here. Below is the report for the remaining 1+ hours of important business, including the police chief’s crime report numbers report for the first six months of this year compared to 2015, more explanation of the West Oxmoor financial transaction, and a chart of the mayor’s budget presentation, this year compared to last year, last item below. There was almost nothing minor passed in Monday night’s meeting.
Members present: All- Michael Hallman, Britt Thames, Fred Hawkins, Vance Moody, Patrick McClusky, Walter Jones, Barry Smith, Alex Wyatt, Rich Laws, Peter Wright and council president Bruce Limbaugh. Also present was Mayor Scott McBrayer.
Staff present: Mike Kendrick, city attorney, Melody Salter, finance director and city clerk, J.J. Bischoff, mayor’s chief of staff, Greg Cobb and Vanessa McGrath, Building, Engineering and Zoning Department, and police and fire chiefs Ross and Bresnan.
Audience attendance: Full house to start
Appointed Christopher Bailey to the Ward 2 Park Board position: Mr. Bailey was one of two applicants for the position vacated by Marjorie Trimm.
Closed the application period for a Ward 5 BZA seat: The position is being filled by Hope Cannon, whose term has expired.
Approved minutes of the Aug. 8, 2016, council meeting.
Dropped three items: The council dropped request for paint striping on Valley Avenue, parking concerns on Shades Road, and to consider sound barriers on both sides of I-65.
Approved pursuing a FEMA grant to fund three new firefighter positions, with conditions: This item–which authorizes the mayor to accept a federal SAFER grant of $353,052 to hire firefighters for two years–was carried over while the fire chief checked to see if the city was obligated to keep the positions if the grant wasn’t renewed. It is not, and the council passed the authorization.
Handled a series of public nuisance cases for overgrowth, as follows; discussed further measures on two structures. Property declared a nuisance is cleared at city expense, with the cost charged against the property in the form of a lien.
Declared overgrown property on Ridge Road a public nuisance: Two neighbors came forward at the hearing to say the house had been vacant more than a year and was not in good repair. The council asked the inspections department to do a site visit to possibly prepare for legal proceedings against the owner to make repairs on the house.
Dropped public nuisance proceedings against two property on Mamie L. Foster: The addresses at 2516 and 2522 Mamie L. Foster are owned by the Islamic Academy and a private citizen respectively. Both had been cleared of overgrowth to the city’s satisfaction.
Dropped public nuisance proceedings against an Acton Avenue property: The property at 110 Acton Avenue was cleared of overgrowth.
Declared property at 1624 Mountain Gap Circle a public nuisance: The situation at Mountain Gap Circle was described as similar to that at 1602 Ridge, with repeat public nuisance offenses and an absentee owner. A neighbor spoke at the public hearing asking the city for more help clearing up the property. An inspector will visit the property to check for any required repairs.
Referred zoning amendments, including roof height, back to committee following a third public hearing: See extensive notes, here.
Set a Sept. 12, 2016, public hearing to rezone Columbiana Road property for a condominium expansion. The subject property is 822 Columbiana Road, an expansion of a previous condominium development that is following a similar rezoning process, although it is seeking to be rezoned from Office Building District to R-7. The previous parcel was rezoned from commercial. Click here for an earlier report, with details.
Carried over plans to designate the 500 block of Rumson Road One-Way: There was some discussion about traffic safety and lack of visibility on the steep downhill section of Rumson where it connects to Shades Valley Parkway. The council asked to carry over matter while it finds traffic counts and other information from a previous Skipper Traffic consultant study. Discussion held that declaring a one-way portion of Rumson might shift more traffic on to Hampton instead.
Approved a variance to the sign ordinance on Citation Court: The company at 103 Citation Court is eliminating a freestanding sign and asking to replace it with a second building sign, requiring a variance.
Approved a variance to the Urban Air sign on the former Mazer’s property: The Urban Air indoor trampoline park is close to opening at the former Mazer’s building, 800 Green Springs Highway. The building sits behind the main buildings fronting Green Springs and received an additional sign and additional square footage to compensate. The council approved a sign that is 7 feet high and 26 feet long.
Approved a partial variance for a furniture store to the sign ordinance for on 18th Street: The At Home furniture store at 2921 18th Street South, the retail strip being renovated on the east side of the main street, asked for two oversized signs on the front and a third sign on the side of the building, requiring variances for number and size of signs. The sign on the side was denied.
Set Sept. 26 public hearing for two variance requests: The requests are for a sign variance at 1831 28th Street South, Suite 160, and a front yard fence variance at 612 Hambaugh Avenue.
Set a Sept. 26 public hearing to reconsider the adoption of the Home Energy section of the International Building Code: What’s this all about?
Carried over a request to support a state Off-Premises beer and wine license application for Fred’s Store on Green Springs Highway: The store at 234 Green Springs Highway wasn’t ready to proceed.
Voted support of a state application for an On or Off-Premises retail wine license for Mi Pueblo Grocery.
Approved a three-way stop and cross walk at Carr and Broadway: The intersection has been a mess for a couple of years, with GianMarco’s customers parking anywhere on Broadway or Carr, sometime all the way to the corner. The city painted curbs yellow and installed sidewalks, lights and parallel parking spaces along short Saulter, while GianMarco’s hired a valet service, which used most of those spaces. Meanwhile, the triangle island was developed for housing, taking up many of those new parking spaces. The council’s latest move aims to regulate car and pedestrian traffic from parking to GianMarco’s and JoJo’s bar.
Approved a directional sign to the Middle School on Mecca and Oxmoor: The signs will be placed on Oxmoor and Mecca and Mecca and Valley Avenue. Neighbors who agreed to having the sign in the right-of-way by their property asked if they could continue to keep the hedges trimmed instead of allowing city workers to maintain it.
Crime report accepted, with year-over-year numbers provided: The police chief’s report of crime reduction has been circulating for a while, but not with numbers. On Monday chief Ross provided those numbers with his report, which included an announcement that 45 new patrol cars had been issued.
Carried over a vote to grant economic incentives for Wildwood South redevelopment: The council wasn’t ready yet to vote on a proposed 10-year 50/50 split in any new local sales tax (excluding the schools’ 1%) offer on the table to Nashville retail developers Oldacre McDonald, who will potentially be adding traffic features and roads, building new outparcels, and façade upgrades to the aging shopping center. The revenue sharing deal would be effective for 10 years or $5 million.
Carried over a franchise agreement with Southern Light for fiber optics: The agreement will allow the company to lay cable in the city’s right of way.
Approved an unspecified amendment to the current budget.
Approved two street lights at 913 Shades Road. Streetlights are paid from gas tax revenue fund.
Carried over a cross walk signal at Oak Grove and Oxmoor roads: The council is waiting for a price.
COMMITTEE REFERRAL AGENDA
To Finance – To consider A) Reviewing a Waste Water Facility Ordinance; B) Purchasing more trash cans for downtown; C) Declaring the following vehicles surplus and due to be sold for 2017 trucks of equal or greater value: A 2015 Freighliner with a Terex Aeria device, and a 2016 Ford F550 with aerial device; D) Amending the current budget;
To Planning and Development – To consider annexing property at 913 and 1400 Shades Crest Road.
To Public Safety – To consider A) Another West Homewood street festival; B) Adding more lighting to Valley Avenue; C) synchronizing traffic lights on Lakeshore Parkway; and D) Making an alley between Woodland and Broadway pedestrian-only.
To Public Works – To consider A) Making improvements in an alley behind 509 Edgeland Place
To Special Issues – To consider A) A sign ordinance variance at 2900 Linden Avenue; and B) A request to rename a portion of Dixon Avenue south of Hambaugh Avenue.
OTHER NEW BUSINESS
Annexed a residence on Dobbs Lane into Homewood: The property is at 1628 Dobbs Lane.
Carried over a request for annexation for two properties on Shades Crest Road that need additional legal work: The addresses 913 and 1400 Shades Crest Road are adjacent in places to City of Hoover jurisdiction and as such require more work than an annexation from unincorporated county land that is surrounded by Homewood jurisdiction, such as the Dobbs Lane case, above.
Set a Sept. 12 public hearings for Linden sign variance sent to committee, above.
Closed Montessori Way for a Grand Opening: The street will be closed from 1-5 p.m., on Oct 2, 2016. A Sept. 1 ribbon cutting is scheduled.
Paid the bills: Invoices for the period Aug. 8-28, 2016, were approved to be paid.
Approved purchase of 123 Oxmoor Road and authorized warrant issue to pay for same. The approval authorizes the mayor to sign purchase agreement of $4.25 million, to be paid by a warrant issue. The matter has been reported separately, here. It appears the Homewood Industrial Development board decades ago issued warrants to purchase the property, which was subsequently leased to a light manufacturer, Mason Corp., operating via Chamco Investments LLC (formed in 1997). Although the original establishing documents are not available from the city, the notice shown here clarifies some of the details.
Rescinded a September 2015 designation of J. H. Berry as the city’s exclusive insurance carrier:
Mayor’s budget presentation: The mayor’s budget summary, with slides and notes, is available here. The entire document with line-by-line detail, which the council’s Finance Committee will review in budget hearings this September, will be posted on the city’s website but is not available now. Here is a side by side comparison of last year’s mayor’s budget compared to this year’s. The budget will be amended by the council and adopted by the start of the Oct. 1 fiscal year.