June 20, 2019 City Council Workshop

Savannah City Government

SUMMARY/FINAL MINUTES

COUNCIL WORK SESSION & CITY MANAGER’S BRIEFING

June 20, 2019 – 10:00 a.m.

The workshop of Council was held at 10:00 a.m. in the second floor media room of City Hall.

PRESENT:    Mayor Eddie W. DeLoach, Presiding

Mayor Pro-Tem Carolyn H. Bell

Alderman Julian Miller, Chairman of Council

 Alderman Brian Foster, Vice-Chairman of Council

 Alderman Van R. Johnson, II, District 1

Alderman Bill Durrence, District  2

Alderman John Hall, District 3

Alderwoman Dr. Estella E. Shabazz, District 5

Alderman Tony Thomas, District 6

 

OTHERS PRESENT:

Acting City Manager Patrick C. Monahan

Assistant to the City Manager Bret Bell

City Attorney Bates Lovett

Deputy City Attorney Jen Herman

Assistant City Attorney William Shearouse

Clerk of Council Mark Massey

Mayor DeLoach called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and made two announcements:

The City is moving forward to having a cleanup of the Evergreen Cemetery beginning in the next thirty days.

The City is having a groundbreaking on September 13 and 14, 2019, for the Savannah Arena Canal District.

Workshop Agenda Items
1. Arena Update

Bret Bell, Assistant to the City Manger, gave a brief update on the Arena development (Canal District, Parking, drainage improvements and other public-private partnerships) and the sites around the area as follows:

  • Proposed boundaries redrawn
  • Eminent domain (W. Gwinnett Street) meeting scheduled for July 2, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. (Special Called City Council Meeting)
  • Parking plan development
    • Garage parking
    • Additional locations for parking
    • Phased approach to be used
  • Communications - Nick Zollar
    • Speak Up Savannah soft launch, 2,000 visits to the site
    • 123 registered citizens, 434 hits to the site after one week
    • Arena Newsletter distributed
  • Design Process - Jeff Serbly, Project Manager of Perkins & Will 
    • Update on design process since February 28, 2018
    • Design schedule update given
    • Schematic design shown - May 17, 2019
    • Budget process - within the next 2 weeks
    • Submitted first permits for the Arena site
    • Seating Capacity (maximums)
      • Center Stage - 10,214 seats
      • End Stage - 9,144 seats
      • Hockey - 7,703 seats
      • Basketball - 9,367 seats
    • Spring 2022 target date for Arena completion (estimate)
2. WorkSource Coastal

Pat Monahan, Acting City Manager, announced  publicly that the City of Savannah was selected as the 16th best employer in the State of Georgia by Forbes Magazine and rated #1 Government employer in the State of Georgia.  If you remove all non-Georgia companies, we are ranked #10.

Taffanye Young, Chief Community Services Officer, joined by Kerri Reid, Director of Human Services, presented the information on  WorkSource Coastal by giving the history of the ten-County Region program, the City's current role as fiduciary agent and a detailed background of the relationship.  She discussed the following:

  • Current programs administered by Costal Regional Commission (CRC)
  • Task to evaluate, amend and then assimilate for a successful transition
  • Establish a Transitions Committee to assure compliance with State/Federal requirements
  • Conduct a Technology and Connectivity Assessments
  • Initiate outreach campaign to facilitate a transparent changeover
  • Develop a matrix to measure the transition progress

Mr. Allen Burns, Executive Director of Coastal Regional Commission, introduced the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board and began the presentation.  He gave an overview of the membership and activities of their organization.  He further indicted their interest in serving as the new fiduciary agent for WorkSource Coastal, if the City decides to relinquish that role.

 

3. Code Compliance Update

Kevin Milton, Code Compliance Director, provided an update on code compliance activities.  He and the City Manager provided additional information regarding street numbering, illegal signs, maintenance of City-owned property, and dead (unsafe) trees on neighboring properties.  Mr. Milton covered the following enforcement actions:

  • Abandoned shopping cart ordinance update
  • Residential parking citations
  • Derelict vehicles towed
  • Exterior property maintenance citations
  • Outstanding code compliance assessment fees
  • Recommend deletion of Part 4, Chapter 8, Article B, Property Maintenance
  • Revision/amendment of Part 8, Chapter 1, Article A, Buildings in General
  • Revision/amendment of Part 8, Chapter 1, Article b, Administration & Enforcement of Minimum Codes
  • Multiple standards in use - recommend the City formally adopt Appendix A of the IPMC
  • Future initiatives under exploration (vacant property registration ordinance)

The new Fire Chief stated the current codes for street widths.  Mr. Milton explained the multiple secure standards in use across the City with the different types of material in use for vacant or boarded-up properties.

Following the presentation, Aldermen had discussions concerning vacant property lots and the codes involved.  They also discussed house number standards being enforced, private signs going up throughout the City, and the City taking care of it's own properties. 

4. Public Safety Briefing

Police Chief Roy Minter presented an update of police activities for the period of June 1 - 18, 2019, period.  Some of the details included but were not limited to the following:

  • Shootings throughout the City
  • Communities involved (who and why)
  • Prolific Offenders Program (POPs)
  • Strategy meetings
  • Crime scenes and any expected retaliations
  • Hope Walk - Friday Night
  • Crime Stoppers - getting good leads
  • Community partnerships - getting stronger
  • Sited weapons stolen out of unlocked parked vehicles

Mayor and Aldermen engaged in discussion with Chief Minter after the presentation concerning weapons stolen out of unlocked cars, timing of crimes, police vacancies, and incentives for new hires .  

5. Pedicab Ordinance Update

Susan Broker, Director of Office of Special Events, Film & Tourism, presented the recommendations for revisions of the Pedicab Ordinance.  She gave the background and current street restrictions of the Pedicab.  She identified the following persons and their responsibilities as it relates to how the City handles tourism:

  • Susan Broker - Policy and Ordinance Development
  • Kevin Milton - Enforcement
  • Mobility and Parking - Permitting

Ms. Broker discussed State recommendations for the Pedicab Ordinance revisions to be presented at an upcoming City Council meeting as follows:

  • New Content
  • Expanded Content 
  • Eliminated Content

She offered details as to signage, expansion of the Pedicab boundary changes, special events, citations for violations, and motor vehicle record requirements.  She also indicated that Pedicabs are to obtain permitting for tours, and the lighting requirements.

The Aldermen discussed Pedicab requirements with Ms. Broker, including reducing restrictions for persons convicted of felonies, the Lafayette Square congestion problems, and , any opportunities for mapping Pedicab unit routes.  

 

6. NewZo - A-1, A,2, A-3, the Zoning Map, and Final Review

Bridget Lidy, Planning & Urban Design Director and Marcus Lotson, MPC Development Services Director presented their final presentation of NewZo.  The following updates were presented:

  • A1 - Street identity classification
  • A2 - Planned Unit Development
  • A3 - Properties rezoned with conditions
  • Official zoning map
  • Outlined future benefits of NewZo

Melanie Wilson spoke concerning rezoning for businesses, applicants presentation changes, and approvals contingent on pictures presented at the time of the application.

Ms. Lidy gave the dates for City Council consideration for NewZo:  July 2, 2019 - 1st reading and July 18th -2nd reading.  If approved, the effective date would be September 1, 2019.    Between September 1, 2019 and February 29, 2020, a Developer would have the option to use the existing code or use the NewZo.

Alderman Miller complimented Bridget Lidy, Marcus Lotson, Melanie Wilson and Alderman Durrence on all the work with the creation of NewZo.   

7. Real Estate, Litigation, and Personnel

Mayor DeLoach announced there would be no Executive Session and the City Council recessed at 12:26 p.m.

8. Agenda Review

Mayor DeLoach reconvened the meeting at 1:33 p.m. for the agenda review.

Acting City Manager, Pat Monahan presented the Regular Meeting Agenda and responded to specific questions by Mayor and Aldermen:

  • Item #16 Removed from the Consent Agenda and considered separately - Alderman Johnson
  • Item #32 Discussion, Alderman Durrence - remained on Consent Agenda
  • Item #46 - Alderman Miller will recuse himself

Bates Lovett, City Attorney, indicated that all political signs are going to be allowed until the City Council amends the sign ordinance.  The Acting City Manager indicated that will likely be next year.

Mayor DeLoach will announce at the beginning of the Regular Meeting that Item #45 regarding campaign signs was canceled.

Hearing no objections, the Mayor adjourned the workshop at 1:49 p.m. 

The video recording of the Council meeting can be found by copying and pasting the below link in url:

https://savannahgovtv.viebit.com/player.php?hash=jtb0Yp0vdGhJ

 

Mark Massey, Clerk of Council

Date Minutes Approved:  7/02/2019

Initials: mm

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