- Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 16:59
- Published on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 16:59
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What was anticipated to be a long second half of last week's Town Council Meeting turned out to be swift and productive.
Several resolutions were passed without discussion or opposition.
Zoning Administrator Chuck Bird’s resignation became effective as of yesterday March 17. In response to this vacancy Resolution 22-09 was passed on March 12 which authorizes Town Manager Val Foulds to act as Interim Zoning Administrator and utilizes the Westmoreland County Building Inspector, Paul Brunkow as a temporary designated official responsible for all acts pursuant to the Uniform Building Code.
According to Lori Mills of the Zoning office in Colonial Beach, all matters will still be handled in the Colonial Beach office and the residents will not see any disruption in service.
One more step in the re-zoning issue of properties south of Boundary Street in Colonial Beach which has been haunting Councilman Coombes who also sits on the planning Commission has been taken.
According to records on December 14, 2006 the issue of rezoning properties South of Boundary from C-1 to Maritime Commercial resulted in Ordinance 535 to allow for such rezoning.
For some reason unknown to key officials, ordinance 535 was passed but never acted on. In order to act on it now it must be referred by Town Council to the Planning Commission in order for it to be implemented. Res. 20-09 was passed on March 12 to do just that.
The purpose for the rezoning to Maritime Commercial is to afford land owners who don’t have residential structures already on their C-1 zoned properties to be able to build homes on their property while still allowing them to continue to utilize them as Commercial properties with limited use. The rezoning would still leave some restrictions but some would be handled with conditional use permits. With the Maritime Commercial zoning, businesses such as Gas Stations or Convenience Stores would not be allowed. “The goal is to preserve the neighborhoods,” said Mills.
Mills said that all property owners who face rezoning will be notified of public hearings as required by law. This means that neighbors whose lots would not be rezoned and are interested in keeping up with the progress of the rezoning need to stay informed through advertisements since the town is not legally obligated to notify them in writing.
The passing of Res. 20-09 is not the final step. It will now go before the Planning Commission, which will hold a public hearing on the issue, then make a recommendation to the Council. The Council will then hold another public hearing on the matter before voting on the issue. Copies of the resolution 20-09 and Ordinance 535 can be obtained at town hall. Interested parties should attend all meetings and public hearings if they want their voice to be heard. As of press time no public hearings had been scheduled on the matter.
The fourth Quarter Appropriations for this fiscal year sailed through the voting with no discussion or opposition. The town will appropriate $3,329,497.00 collectively for the General Fund, Utilities Fund and the Utility Fund Capital Projects WWTP.
The town appropriated $1,548.909.00 to the Schools Operating Fund with zero dollars going towards School Construction Fund or Debt Service. When asked if this zero balance would hinder the instillation of the three new heat pumps recently approved by the School Board, Barbara Worrell said that the money needed for 3 new heat pumps is being drawn from the 3rd quarter appropriations. As for replacing the remaining heat pump no clear answer has been given to The Journal Press as to where it will come from.
The issue that was anticipated to be most time consuming was the public hearing on the matter of renewing the Town's lease with Tom and Emily Garner who last year rented the building on 108 Taylor Street referred to as the “White Building” for 12 months at a rate of $1.00 for the whole year. In exchange for such low rent the Garners renovated the building. The new lease requires a sum of $3,600 dollars for the first year's lease due by April 1, 2009 and the second year’s lease will increase by 10% with a payment of $3,900 dollars due April 1, 2010.
The “White Building” which is actually a teal color, housed the Garners’ business “Lollygaggin’ Outdoors” which they ran as a kayak rental.
The only discussion on the issue was brought about by Councilwoman Karen Payne who suggested a cancellation clause allowing the Council to cancel the lease with 90 days notice. The council agreed to new lease adding the cancellation clause.
According to Foulds the Garners were present at the meeting and she felt confident that an agreement could be reached.
Bob Swink has been reappointed to the Colonial Beach Erosion Commission for an additional five years. (Res. 18-09)
The Council passed Res.19-09 which authorizes the Town Manager to advertise for bids to renovate the Tourism Building on the boardwalk.