October 12, 2017 City Council Regular Meeting



The regular meeting of Council was held this date at 2:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited in unison followed by the Invocation by Dyanne C. Reese, Clerk of Council.

1. Motion to Approve the Summary/Final minutes for the City Council Work Session/City Manager’s Briefing of September 28, 2017

City Council Work Session and Council Meeting of September 28th was approved upon Motion of Adlerman Bell.  Seconded by Alderman Shabazz and unanimously carried.


Alderman Bell announced that today City Council had an Executive Session on Real Estate and personnel where no votes were taken.  She moved that the mayor be authorized to sign the resolution and affidavit.  This was seconded by Alderman Shabazz and unanimously carried.





BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah as follows:


At the meeting held on the 12th day of October, 2017 the Council entered into a closed session for the purpose of discussing Personnel and Real Estate. At the close of the discussions upon this subject, the Council reentered into open session and herewith takes the following action in open session:


  1. The actions of Council and the discussions of the same regarding the matter set forth for the closed session purposes are hereby ratified;
  2. Each member of this body does hereby confirms that to the best of his or her knowledge, the subject matter of the closed session was devoted to matters within the specific relevant exception(s) as set forth above;
  3. The presiding officer is hereby authorized and directed to execute an affidavit, with full support of the Council in order to comply with O.C.G.A. §50-14-4(b); 17
  4. The affidavit shall be included and filed with the official minutes of the meeting and shall be in a form as required by the statute.


ADOPTED AND APPROVED: OCTOBER 12, 2017 upon motion of  Alderman Bell, seconded by Alderman Shabazz, and unanimously carried.

2. Motion to Approve the Summary/Final Minutes of the City Council Meeting of September 28, 2017


3. Appearance by Bank South to Donate $1,000 to the Savannah Affordable Housing Fund

Chad Jacobs from Savannah Affordable Housing Fund and Laura Moore presented a check to the City of Savannah for a $1,000 from Bank South.  It was also noted that First Chatham Bank also donated a $1,000 to the Savannah Affordable Housing fund. See Resolutions.

4. Appearance by Bernie Polite of Community Help, Inc., to Discuss Home Repair Grants for Low Income Homeowners

Mr. Polite and representatives of Community Help Inc. appeared to discuss Home Repair Grants for low income home owners.  The Mayor pointed out that this is a volunteer organization who regularly donates hundreds of dollars to home improvement for low income families.  He thanked Mr. Polite for his service.  Mr. Polite thanked the Mayor for his kind words and his desire to continue to serve the citizens of the City of Savannah and Chatham County.  Mrs. Claudia Clark who represents the Board outlines contribution they made in home improvement for 2016 and 2017.  Last year they made improvement to 18 homes and their contributions was over $36,000 and partner donation over $177,000.  It was outlined that they also participate in the Shared the Harvest program of food distribution to senior citizens along with 220 boxes of food. They will be having a Gala to celebrate their success at Savannah State College October 28th at 7 p.m. in the student union building.  Mr. Polite thanked council for supporting their goal for improving the life of the elderly and the weak.

5. Motion to Approve Consumption on Premises Beer and Wine (Drink) License with Sunday Sales for Matthew Garappolo of Drayton Luncheonette, LLC t/a The Diplomat Luncheonette
The Diplomat Luncheonette20171005_0035.pdf
Density Map - Drayton Luncheonette.pdf

Upon motion of Alderman Miller, Seconded by Alderman Bell.  Public Hearings were held on the following licenses.  No one appeared in objection.  Upon motion of Alderman Miller, Seconded by Alderman Bell, these Hearings was closed.  Alderman Miller moved to approve these licenses.  This was Seconded by Alderman Shabazz and unanimously carried.

6. Motion to Approve Transfer of Consumption on Premises License from Christa Ualani-Kahea to Marcel R. Boucher of Noble-Interstate Management Group, LLC t/a Staybridge Suites
Density Map - Staybridge Suites20171001_0026.pdf
Staybridge Suites20171005_0033.pdf
7. Motion to Approve Consumption on Premises Beer and Wine (Drink) License with Sunday Sales for Loan Tran of Little Duck Diner, LLC t/a Little Duck Diner
Density Map - Little Duck Diner20171001_0025.pdf
Little Duck Diner20171005_0035.pdf
8. Motion to Approve Transfer of Consumption on Premises Liquor, Beer and Wine (drink) with Sunday Sales from Michael T. Tees to Kenneth Johnson
Density Map - LongHorn Steakhouse20171001_0022.pdf
Longhorn Steakhouse20171005_0031.pdf
9. Motion to Amend the Future Land Use Map Category for 2201 Beaumont Dr (Petitioner: Phillip McCorkle for Sherwin Robin and Brian Robin)
2201 Beaumont Drive Comp Plan Amendment 20170829 Planning Commission Recommendation 17-004963-CPA.pdf
2201 Beaumont Drive Comp Plan Amendment Draft Ordinance 17-004963-CPA.pdf
2201 Beaumont Drive Comp Plan Amendment Public Notice 17-004963-CPA.pdf
10. Motion to Rezone 2201 Beaumont Drive from PUD-M-8 to PUD-IS* and to Approve a General Development Plan (Petitioner: Phillip McCorkle for Sherwin Robin and Brian Robin)
2201 Beaumont Drive Rezoning 20170829 Planning Commission Recommendation 17-004804-ZA.pdf
2201 Beaumont Drive General Development Plan 17-004780-PLAN.pdf
2201 Beaumont Drive Rezoning Draft Ordinance 17-004804-ZA.pdf
2201 Beaumont Drive Rezoning Public Notice 17-004804-ZA.pdf

Mr. Marcus Lotson of MPC appeared outlining the recommendation stating that #9 and #10 items are related.  The petitioner is asking for a PDUIS where the site plan must be adopted to build on.  He wants to install two self climate buildings meeting all of the development standards buffing and landscaping.  Whitaker Engineer did a survey where they found the first feet of the property containing construction debris from the property in the 70's and 80's being a dumping site which must be cleaned up by the petitioner prior to development.


Mrs. Elizabeth Scott read and presented an anti linem notice signed by 22 residents that she presented a copy of to the clerk of council on Tuesday.  This notice is against the rezoning at a toxic waste landfill.  They went to the MPC and felt that the information received from Mr. Butler and Mr. McCorkle wasn't truthful and complete.  This landfill excavated next to homes, parks, and recreation facilities.  She said Mr. McCorkle have not disclosed the contents of the landfill.  The last time Chatham county excavated a landfill, they had to assume the responsibility of 7.5 million dollars.  Mrs. Scott said they have legal representation and will seek legal action.

A resident of the neighborhood stated he has been living their for over 15 years and it is not just filled in with construction debris, but it is contaminated.  The neighbors did attend the MPC meeting and this is not supported by 30% of the residents as stated by Mr. Butler as the neighborhood does not want this land excavated.


Mr. Phillip McCorkle represents the owners Roberts and Hand.  They received a positive recommendation from the MPC staff and planning commission.  All he's heard today is about the removal of the landfill and not the use of the property.  Earlier he sent council information on the properties history.  He doesn't blame the formal owner of the property because back then most developers filled the property with construction debris.  The property has 7 feet of construction debris and stumps.  He has a report from Whitaker Associates and Kerr Engineering.  It is not toxic and there is no danger to removal.  He has asked the residents to provide any expert information to support their claim but they have not as there isn't any.  To remove the construction debris, it will be 1.1 million dollars and although the property is currently zoned PUD-M-8 allowing for 64 residential units.  No one will pay that amount for clean up for 64 units.  The land therefore has no current value.  They will be constructing storage facility and will have a 8 foot high buffer with oak trees, magnolias, and wax myrtle.  The top of the building is stucco and the bottom brick and it will have security cameras and be open from 6 to 9 p.m.  He recognize Mr. Helmey would like for the current trees to stay but he is also against the construction of the apartments.  In the Gould case it was decided that on zoning matters you must have a summary of findings.  The city has 7 and answers must be given to them prior to them voting on a zoning issue.  The MPC responded to every issue.  There is no impact to the public but the owner could loose all value to his property.  He must at this time raise a constitutional objection as followed.  


As the current zoning classification of PUD-M-8, as it applies to the property Sherwin P. Robin and Brian Robin owners constitutes a taking of the Owner's property without the payment of adequate compensation in violation of the Taking clause contained in Article I, Section 3, Paragraph 1, of the Constitution of the State of Georgia of 1983, the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, in that the subject zoning classification does not bear substantial relation to the public health, safety, morality or general welfare.


Alderman Tony Thomas asked about the condition of  Weatherwood cleanup.  Attorney McCorkle stated that  they never completely cleaned the area.  There are vacant lots that have been subdivided and they cannot build on top of the area.  Alderman Thomas said that is what concerns him about the property that we don't know what's in there before we go in and you indicated that it will cost 1.1 million to clean up.  How do you know that?  And Mr. McCorkle replied that they did a color graph test and calculated the cost per square yard.  Alderman Thomas said similar boring were performed at Coffee Bluff and eventually they had to go deeper so he is not sure how true it is that there is no toxics and how much the cost would be.  He asked Mr. McCorkle is your client prepared to pay whatever the cost will be.  Mr. McCorkle said Yes.


Alderman Foster stated he was aware of the 1991 Weatherwood Methane gas issues with Chatham County which cost them 7 million dollars to clean up property that sold for 250 thousand.  His questions to MPC and staff is have we satisfied ourselves that there will be no problems with Methane Gas and 2.  have we legally satisfied ourselves that developers are responsible for making sure the area is cleaned and the city is protected from any potential problems.


City Manager Hernandez stated that he sits on the MPC board.  He was there when this presentation was made and he is satisfied after reviewing the materials and participating in the public meeting that the developer has provided. It is evident that there will be no gas issues and he cast his vote in favor.


Alderman Johnson stated he wanted to know the implications of the constitutional objections.  It was explained to Mr. Johnson by Assistant City Attorney Herman that he must raise the objection here if he's not granted the rezoning.


Alderman Bell said her concern is on liability but she feels assured that the petitioner/owners will satisfy all the regulations.


Assistant City Attorney Bill Shearouse stated that Weatherwood was developed and then they discovered the Methane Gas.  In this instance, this property will be cleaned prior to construction.  


Alderman Hall stated that he is familiar with the location and the way it is now need to be cleaned up.  He believes that the owner will do his due diligence and clear up the construction debris at this location.  He understands the neighbors concerns but the owner is responsible for making sure there is no detrimental affect to the neighborhood.


Alderman Miller stated that he understands that this area will be dug out and it now has some open holes and the owner plans to place a new facility there.  He had calls in support as well as though concerns about the clean up.  He would like confirmation by public authority that there is no toxic elements in this property.  


City Manager Hernandez again stated that he has reviewed the information.  It was sufficient and he cautioned the city in getting to involved and coordinate a study.


Alderman Miller said he understands that the City Manager is trying to protect the city and this is his district and he has attended several meetings and because of the concern wants assurances that the residents who are very fearful will not get sick.  New information was presented here today and he thinks that it needs to percolate and the city takes a closer look at it. 


City Manager Hernandez again stated he does not won't to be involved reviewing technical material.   Perhaps the occupant can go to EPD for independent review.


Alderman Miller again stated that he thought this matter should be continued for two weeks.  He made this into a motion and it died for the lack of a second.


Mayor Deloach stated that he doesn't want the city to get involve as we do not review other properties when we approve their zoning and issue permits in this manner.   The petitioner has assured us that it is construction debris and the area will be cleaned out.  The Mayor asked Mrs. Scott if this property was scheduled to have a park.


In answer to questions of the mayor and council, Mrs. Scott said there was a 2006 and 2007 housing request with the state for tax credit but they rejected it.  In 1990, the county considered a part but that was to was rejected.


Assistant City Attorney Herman was asked about the anti liem notice filed by Mrs. Scott and she received it as an email in letter style.  She has not determined if it was a legal notice but she has 30 days to respond to it.


Upon Motion of Alderman Thomas, Seconded by Alderman Johnson.


This zoning petition has been continued for two weeks until the meeting of October 26, 2017.



11. Motion to Approve Ordinance Creating a Process for the Naming and Renaming of Public Property, Facilities and Streets
ARTICLE E. Naming and Renaming of Public Propety, Facilities and Streets.pdf
Public Property Naming Policy 100417.pdf
12. Motion to Amend the Zoning Ordinance regarding Carriage Houses (Petitioner: Harold Yellin for Jacob Polansky)
Carriage Houses Text Amendent 20170829 Planning Commission Recommendation 17-004799-ZA.pdf
Draft Ordinance for Carriage Houses Text Amendent 17-004799-ZA.pdf
13. Motion to Amend the Code of Ordinances to Remove Parking Restriction in the 500 Block of West Charlton Street
AMD042 Charlton St 60' e Purse St - 120' e Purse St.doc
14. Motion to Approve Zoning of 6.6 Acres to be Annexed into the City
Life Bridge Church Inc_Petition.pdf
Draft Ordinance_LifeBridge Church.pdf
15. Motion to Adopt Resolution Accepting a $1,000 Donation from Bank South for the Savannah Affordable Housing Fund
Bank South SAHF Donation Resolution 101217.pdf
16. Motion to Adopt Resolution Accepting a $1,000 Donation from First Chatham Bank for the Savannah Affordable Housing Fund
First Chatham Bank SAHF Donation Resolution 101217.pdf
17. Motion to Adopt Resolution Recognizing the Work of Community Help, Inc. in Funding Home Repairs for Low-Income Homeowners
Resolution Community Help 10.12.2017.pdf
18. Motion to Renew a Contract with the Vaquer Firm, LLC
Vaquer Firm contract Letter of Engagement signed by SAC 7-11-2016.pdf

Approved upon motion of Alderman Johnson, Seconded by Alderman Thomas and unanimously carried.

19. Motion to Award Annual Contract for Employee Assistance Program with Deer Oaks Services, LLC (Event 5046)
EAP Funding Verification.pdf
EAP Scope.pdf
EAP Purchasing Summary.pdf

Alderman Foster questioned the bid for EAP as the second bidder and the proposed recommended bidder cost is 3,000 and wanted to know if it was worth going from a local EAP assistant to a 1-800 number in Texas as he feel it is important to have face to face talk when people are in crisis.


City Manager Hernandez stated this is a request for proposal and the normal procurement policy of the city was followed.  There are local preference points but in the ranking order the recommended firm ranked number 1 in performance.  There are specific services and the city is comfortable with the proposed delivery services.  The threshold for someone is 2 hours.   The firm guarantees local assistants.


Alderman Miller stated managing programs may require less than 2 hours.  His problem is the length of the call back because his experience in EPA programs is someone usually need help now.


Alderman Johnson stated that  short term critical services such as death or someone reaching the end of their rope or a violent episode is beyond a phone call.  They need local contact and interaction now.


Vivian Gharakhani, City of Savannah Benefits Administrator stated that the RFP has 3 local providers.  They were not identified in this RFP but they are there for critical stress and debriefing issues.  If they do not meet these standards, it would be a breach of the contract.


Alderman Hall asked were there any local responses and were told that the second low bidder is a local firm.


City Manager Hernandez said the contract has a network of providers here but they have not been identified.


Alderman Bell stated there is comfort with own site local providers.  We need a list of who and where their are especially during the day.


City Manager Hernandez stated they can get a list of referrals under this contract.


Joy Wilkinson, Interim HR Director stated there is a local provider which is small firm and sometime they cannot make contact.  During the short term when there is a critical need we send them to the emergency room which is our backup.  We do that now and we would do it under the new contract.


Alderman Shabazz stated that we need face to face contact for our city employees as sometimes the need is immediate.  Therefore, the list of local contacts should be readily available and until we can provide the list.  She made a motion to defer action on this item for 2 weeks until the meeting of October 26, 2017.


City Manager Hernandez stated that this could be deferred for an additional 2 weeks and they will contain a list of the local contacts.  This was Seconded by Alderman Johnson.


Kelly McDaniel, Retired City of Savannah Fire Dept stated since 1999 she's been apart of the EPA Peer team and has been working with John Capacioni.  There services has been immediate upon receiving a phone call and responds between 15 to 20 minutes.  Fire fighter and Police officers want and desire a local contact and many of the team members had been train to deal with critical issues.  Deferring this action today to get a list of those providers is a good idea.   As the process isn't clear and they would like to meet with Council to go over the process.


Mayor Deloach thanked her for her service and we need to get the list so we all can be satisfied.  Council sets policy and that there is no need to meet with Council but with staff.


City Manager Hernandez said the expectations are clearly defined in the proposal standards.  


Alderman Johnson stated the key is responsiveness to ensure local representation.


John Capacioni,  City of Savannah EPA Coordinator and representing New Day stated that prior to 2014 the city had an internal EPA person in Human Resources.  He came forward to assist the Human Resource dept upon their request. In 2016 New Day fixed a problem of improving the response time with a larger staff and a 24 hour call line.  There are many other referral agency's who assist in EPA services.  We are located downtown and police and fire employees can reach out to us within 5 minutes of needing EPA service.


City Manager Hernandez added that the RFP requires mandatory license certified professionals, social workers and those with specific experience and working with fire fighters and police officers.  He stated that the staff is uncomfortable with having conversation with the vendor as no contractor has been awarded yet.


Alderman Shabazz stated the next step need to be decided by the mayor and council.


Mayor Deloach again stated that council sets policy.  We are asking for additional information and then we vote up or down.


Alderman Bell asked  that included in the list the credentials of the counselors.


20. Motion to Renew Annual Contract for Structural Engineering with Collins Engineering, Inc. (Event No. 2108)
Structural Eng Funding Verification.pdf
Structural Eng Scope.pdf
Structural Eng Purchasing Summary.pdf
21. Motion to Award Annual Contract for Voluntary Dental and Vision Insurance Coverage to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (Event No. 5341)
Dental Vision Insurance Funding Verification.pdf
Dental Vision Purchasing Summary.pdf
Dental Vision Scope.pdf
22. Motion to Renew Annual Maintenance Agreement for SCADA with Emerson Process Management (Event No. 5533)
SCADA Funding Verification.pdf
SCADA Purchasing Summary.pdf
23. Motion to Award Annual Contract for Cemeteries Conservation Services to Landmark Preservation, LLC and Savannah Construction and Preservation (Event No. 5349)
Conservation Purchasing Summary.pdf
Conservation Funding Verification.pdf
Conservation Scope.pdf
24. Motion to Award Annual Contract for Grounds Maintenance to Venson Lawn and Landscapes (Event No. 5446)
LGS Grounds Maintenance Funding.pdf
LGS Grounds Maintenance Scope.pdf
LGS Grounds Maintenance Bid Tab.pdf
LGS Grounds Maintenance Purchasing Summary.pdf
25. Motion to Award Annual Contract for Passenger Tires to SOS Radial Tire (Event No.5292)
Passenger Tires Scope.pdf
Passenger Tires Bid Tab.pdf
Passenger Tires Funding Verification.pdf
Passenger Tires Purchasing Summary.pdf

Upon motion of Alderman Hall, Seconded by Alderman Miller.  Bids and Contracts 20-25 were unanimously approved.

26. Motion to Award Legislative Services Contract to ConnectSouth (Event No. 5348)
Legislative Services Funding Verification.pdf
Legislative Services RFP.pdf
Legislative Services Bid Tab.pdf
Legislative Services Purchasing Summary.pdf

Alderman Foster had concerns about Atlanta based lobbyist instead of a local company.  He asked the City Manager did they have any local bidders.  The City Manager responded No.  Several of the Council members was concerned about Connect South representing the City of Savannah and the City of Atlanta because they may have conflicting legistlative issues and if this compnay could be objective individually representing the City of Savannah.  It was also noted that we are reaching the end of this legislative term with appending election and if we should wait before approving a new lobbyist are maintaing our current lobbyist for 1 year. 


City Manager Hernandez stated that we could ask the representative of Connect South if they could accept a 1 year contract with a 1 year renewal.  Mrs. Marsha Rubinstein came forward and introduced herself as a former employee of the Georgia Municipal Association as a lobbyist.  Her company is well familiar with the concerns and issues in Savannah and feel that they can rightly represent those with no conflict with other Municipalities in the Atlanta area.  When asked if she would accept a 1 year contract with a 1 year renewal she agreed to those terms.


Upon Motion of Alderman Thomas, Seconded by Alderman Johnson.  The contract was unanimously approved for 1 year with a 1 year renewal.

27. Motion to Approve Water and Sewer Agreement for Woodlands at Montgomery
Woodlands at Montgomery.pdf
28. Motion to Approve Water and Sewer Agreement for 615 Habersham Street Townhomes
615 Habersham Street Townhomes.pdf
29. Motion to Approve Water and Sewer Agreement for LifeBridge Church
Lifebridge Church.pdf
30. Motion to Approve Water and Sewer Agreement for East Henry and East Broad Street Redevelopment
East Henry & East Broad St Redevelopment.pdf
31. Motion to Approve Tour Bus Stand Lease Agreement for Savannah Bonaventure Dash Tours
Tour Bus Stand Lease Agreement.pdf

Upon motion of Alderman Bell, Seconded by Alderman Thomas.  Agreements 27-31 were unanimously approved.

32. Motion to Award the Sale of City-Owned Real Property Located at 625 Seiler Avenue
Seiler Exhibit.pdf
33. Motion to Request that City-Owned Real Property Located Along Cleland Street be Declared Surplus and Available for Sale
Cleland Exhibit.pdf
34. Motion to Approve Lease with AT&T for Placement of Cellular Equipment and Antennas on a City Facility
AT&T Lease.pdf
35. Acknowledge Receipt of Annexation Petition #170397 from Akshar Holdings, LLC
Akshar Holdings LLC - Petition.pdf
36. Motion to approve final plat of Major Subdivision Highland Falls Phase 5
Highland Falls Final Plat Phase 5.pdf

Upon motion of Alderman Johnson, Seconded by Alderman Miller.  Miscellaneous Items 32-36 were unanimously approved.

City Manager Hernandez asked Council to include in the minutes the action taken earlier in executive session to reject all Bids for the Fairground property. 


Upon Motion of Alderman Shabazz, Seconded by Alderman Johnson.  The Bids for the purchase of the fairground property was rejected.




Alderman Shabazz the 5th District Town Hall Meeting Wednesday October 25, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.  Liberty City Communicty Center topics Public Safety, Fairground, and Hurrican concerns.


Alderman Bell thanked everyone who participated in picnic in the park including the sponsors.  She pointed out that Lasesll Miller was the theme winner for her tent presentation.


Alderman Hll stated that there will be a Savannah Shine iniative tomorrow at 9 a.m. with a Clean Sweep program on Saturday.



There being no further business, Mayor DeLoach declared this meeting of Council adjourned. 


The recorded City Council Meeting is located on the City of Savannah website.


Dyanne C. Reese, MMC Clerk of Council
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