A controversial annexation request in Lula died Monday night as car dealer Rick Autry submitted a written request to withdraw his annexation application.
During last month’s meeting, several dozen citizens spoke out against the application. Public outcry against the annexation stemmed from the storage of cars on the site and related environmental concerns.
Due to the withdrawal of the application, the council did not voice an opinion on the matter at Monday night’s meeting. City manager Dennis Bergin said that since the application had already received the first reading and a public hearing that there would be a time restraint placed on the matter before Autry could resubmit the application for annexation.
Another matter which had several citizens concerned on Monday was a variance request by Kurt Hewell for storage buildings that do not meet the city’s setback requirements for Morgan Manor. Seven residents spoke in favor of the variance, while four spoke out against it.
Hewell applied for the variance after he was informed by the city that the buildings he had moved onto the property did not fall into city code. Based on recommendation from staff about how the issue is considered a “self-created hardship” by the property owner, the council unanimously denied the variance request and set a 30-day timeline for Hewell to meet the setback requirements.
MOBILE HOME MORATORIUM
In other business at the meeting, after a recommendation from the mayor, the council imposed a moratorium for 90-days on all mobile homes being brought into the city. Mayor Milton Turner made the recommendation after learning about the recently passed legislation that would enact a state law (O.C.G.A 8-2-170) preventing the discrimination of mobile homes based on age. The 90-day moratorium allows the council, mayor and city attorney time to look over the new law and communicate with Hall County and Banks County how to handle the changes in the law.
The council approved the moratorium unanimously.
In related news to the legislation, Baldwin city council recently shot down a moratorium request to be imposed on mobile homes.
Additional action taken Monday night by the Lula council included:
•presentation of a proclamation thanking Boy Scout Troop 203 of Oakwood for the over 200 hours of work completed as part of an Eagle Scout project planned by Jake Hansen. The troop cleaned up and landscaped Belton Cemetery.
•approval of funding from SPLOST funds for proposed landscaping at Jenrette Park and along Main Street.
•accepting a low bid, dependent upon review by the street committee, for the removal of dead trees along the right-of-way. The cost is not to exceed $1,750.
•approval of a change order for the addition of $24,213 at the wastewater treatment plant. According to city manager Dennis Bergin, the costs were anticipated and the total project is still under budget. The city council had previously removed several items and this change order adds some of the items back into the project.
•denial of a request for additional funding for “enhancements and added value” of $51,945 on the contract for the out fall sewer line. The city has already paid the original contractual agreement price which did not set forth and caveat for additional enhancements.
•approval of paying for the recent repaving on Chattahoochee Street from SPLOST funds in the amount of $2,794. Also, the council approved paying from SPLOST not to exceed $4,500 for the placement of speed tables and the painting of crosswalks by H&H Paving Contractors.
•acceptance of the Watershed Protection Plan. Bergin said that the city intends to try and negotiate with EPD on parts of the plan.
•allowing Tim Williams to rent the old city hall building for storage while he renovates with the plan to bring an ice cream parlor and market deli to the city.
•approval of the the August Yard of the Month recipients, Lenora Manley on Cobb St., David Gernhard on Morgan Manor Drive, Marilyn and Feliciano Mendez on Butterfly Lane, Susan Collins on Nobleman Lane and Danielle Avelar on Hammett St.