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10/07/2008 Strategic Planning MeetingCITY OF MONROE CITY COUNCIL STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING 300 W. CROWELL STREET, MONROE, NC 28112 OCTOBER 7, 2008 - 4:00 P.M. AGENDA www.monroenc.org 1. Potential Amendments Regarding Family Definition and Rental Occupancy 2. Update on Water and Sewer Capital Projects 3. Update -General Items of Interest A. Downtown Monroe B. Advancement of Greenway C. Joint City Council Meeting with Union County Board of Commissioners D. Change of Location of November 4, 2008 City Council Strategic Planning Meeting and Regular City Council Meeting City Council Strategic Planning Meeting; October 7, 2008 Page 156 CITY OF MONROE CITY COUNCIL STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING (~ OCTOBER 7, 2008 - 4:00 P.M. MINUTES The City Council of the City of Monroe, North Carolina, met in a Strategic Planning Meeting in the City Hall Council Chambers, 300 W. Crowell Street, Monroe, North Carolina, at 4:00 p.m. on October 7, 2008 with Mayor Bobby G. Kilgore presiding. Present: Mayor Bobby G. Kilgore, Mayor Pro Tem P.E. Bazemore, Council Members John Ashcraft, Billy Jordan, Dottie Nash, Robert J. Smith, City Manager F. Craig Meadows, City Attorney Terry Sholar, and City Clerk Bridgette H. Robinson. Absent: Council Member Lynn Keziah. Visitors: Pete Hovanec, Brian Borne, Wayne Herron, ]E~uss Colbath, Lisa Stiwinter, Ann Rushing, Michelle Williams, Maribel Andon, Frank Bellini, Susan Osborne, Jim Fatland, Chris Plate, Bruce Bounds, Don Mitchell and others. Mayor Kilgore called the Strategic Planning Meeting of October 7, 2008 to order at 4:00 p.m. A quorum was present. /'~~ Item No. 1. Potential Amendments Regarding Family Definition and Rental Occupancy. (t ~ City Attorney Terry Sholar advised that the Residential Occupancy Limit Ordinance was developed due to overcrowding problems in some City properties. He advised that the proposed amendment was the definition of "family". City Attorney Sholar explained that there could not be more than one family unit living in any habitable dwelling. A family unit was considered anyone related by blood and there was no limit on the number; however, the ordinance does put a limit on who is considered to be related by blood. City Attorney Sholar explained that "related by blood" meant that individuals are related within the third degree lineally or the fourth degree collaterally, and was based on North Carolina General Statute 104A. Third degree lineally is defined as grandparents and grandchildren (grandparent, parent, children) and fourth degree collaterally is defined only as first or second cousins (first cousin, parent, grandparent, parent to cousin) City Attorney Sholar advised that currently, the City's Ordinance requires 150 square feet for the first individual and 100 square feet for each individual thereafter. Assistant City Manager Wayne Herron stated 800 to 900 square feet was considered appropriate for a two bedroom rental unit; however, that changed with regard to the number of people. City Attorney Sholar stated square footage was based on the actual living area oi.' the dwelling and did not include bathrooms, hallways, and closets. Assistant City Manager Herron recommended increasing the square footage to 250 or 300 for the first occupant and 200 for every occupant thereafter. City Attorney Sholar advised that Raleigh had adoptedl a "Probationary Rental Occupancy Permitting System". He explained that this Ordinance requires an individual to obtain a permit City Council Strategic Planning Meeting October 7, 2008 Page 157 for certain types of violations at properties. City Attorney Sholar reported that activities at the permitted property are monitored and if there are continual violations at the property, increased penalties can occur up to and including revocation of the permit. This revocation would take the property off the market until it was brought into compliance. City Attorney Sholar stated that the Raleigh ordinance had been very effective in eliminating repeat offenders and the continual problems in dealing wwith minimum housing code violations (deteriorated or dilapidated), failure to repair with orders to repair, continued parking violations on a particular property, noise violations, and abandoned junk vehicles violations. In addition, such an ordinance would initiate the probationary rental property and require a permit. Once a permit is revoked, it is kept for two years and any further violations during that two-year period would extend the revocation for an additional two-year period. Assistant City Manager Herron stated the ordinance would be an additional tool that staff would need to try and see if it would be successful or not. Based. on the City's rental issues and upkeep of records, he advised that the new system would require additional staff such as a full-time administrative assistant for data entry and two additional code; enforcement officers. Council Member Ashcraft felt this new program needed to be explored because the biggest complaint he receives from the public is that rental properties bring property values down. Council Member Jordan asked when staff would realize the impact of the two additional code enforcement officers already in this year's budget, and how would that address some ongoing concerns. Assistant City Manager Herron stated he was currently working to fill those positions and it would probably be fiscal year end before staff could gc;t a true evaluation of the >mpact of those two positions. Council Member Jordan requested that staff monitor Raleigh's program to see if there were property owners who might be getting ready to take them to court because when the City first initiated the Systematic Code Enforcement Program, property owners did not want to do it and wanted to take the City to court. Assistant City Manager Herron noted that one positive aspect about the Ordinance was that if a property owner was in compliance, they would not be bothered. Council Member Jordan felt one of the issues was that the i~.nspectors wait for calls when they could initiate the actions themselves if they would just get out: and ride in the neighborhoods. He advised that he did not have a problem with looking at t11e program and creating a database to identify problems the City is having. He felt this could be done between now and the end of the fiscal year without hiring additional staff. Assistant City Manager Herron stated staff was currently identifying problems throughout the City. Council Member Jordan requested that staff inform Council of the problems that the City was having and also identify the addresses to help determine if there is a need for two additional code enforcement officers. Assistant City Manager Herron stated staff would prepare that information and have it available next month. Council Member Jordan stated since the code enforcement officers were aware of existing problems, they needed to be riding through the communities and initiating more of the actions City Council Strategic Planning Meeting; October 7, 2008 Page 158 rather than waiting for the community to call them. Council Member Jordan stated that staff needed to be more responsive to requests made by the`communities. Council Member Jordan stated he chaired the Systematic (:od.e Enforcement Committee and that he encountered problems with staff not using common sense to try and work with people to alleviate problems. If this proposed ordinance was adopted, Council Member Jordan felt that if staff was not willing to work with the people and did not have the mentality of being obeyed instead of working with people, these same types of problems would be encountered. Council Member Jordan stated there was a history in the code enforcement area and he wanted to make sure that past mistakes were not repeated. General discussion followed regarding the rental property issue. City Attorney Sholar, Assistant City Manager Herron and his staff will meet to review 1:he issues and bring the item back to Council. Item No. 2. Update on Water and Sewer Capital Proiects. Water Resources Director Russ Colbath updated Council on the following projects.that were funded with the 2007 bonds:. Lake Lee Raw Water Main has a completion date summer 2009; W'estern/Upper Zone Elevated Water Tank has acompletion/activation date of May 2009; Western/LTpper Zone Water Transmission Mains also have a completion date of May 2009; Rock C±uarry Purchase; Stewart Creek Sewer Outfall Capacity Upgrade; Bearskin Sewer Outfail Upgrade; WWTP Future Needs Study and Expansion Project is still awork-in progress awaiting finalized water supply details for joint agreement from County staff; and the design and- permitting phase has begun for the Reclaimed Water System. ~, Item No. 3 Update -General Items of Interest. A. Downtown Monroe. Downtown Director Brian Borne provided an update on downtown activities. He requested that Council cancel the Celebration of Trees event scheduled to be held in early December. This item has been discussed by the Downtown Advisory Board; however, no decision has been made. Mr. Borne stated staff would like to continue the Open Air Market, but would like for the location to be more in the heart of downtown so more merc;halnts could benefit. Council Member Nash asked about asemi-permanent site for the market. Mr. Borne stated one option was connected to the relocation of the downtown office (which staff will present to Council at a later date) and another was an indoor location. Council Member Nash made a motion to cancel the Celebration of Trees event and remove the event from the downtown events calendar. Council Member Ashcraft seconded the motion, which passed unanimously with the following votes: AYES: Council Members Ashcraft, Jordan, l\Tash, Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Bazemore, and Mayor-Kilgore NAYS: None City Council Strategic Planning Meeting October 7, 2008 Page 159 B. Advancement of Greenway. City Manager Meadows stated he would like to continue advancing the City's Greenway program. In order to complete the greenway, City Manager Meadows requested that Council approve moving forward with inquiring about additional property located around the Farmers Market from the ball fields over through Belk Tonawanda Park. It was the consensus of Council for staff to move forward to inquire about additional property regarding the advancement of the Greenway. C. Joint City Council Meeting with Union County Board of Commissioners.. City Manager Meadows requested Council's approval to host the quarterly joint meeting with Union County at the Old Armory on October 21 for water issue discussions; however, after discussion it was consensus of Council to defer this meeting until November. D. Change of Location of November 4, 2008 City Council Strategic Planning Meeting and Regular City Council Meeting. Council Member Ashcraft made a motion to move both the 4:00 p.m. City Council Strategic Planning Meeting and 6:30 p.m. Regular City Council Meeting on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 to the Old Armory. Council Member Nash seconded the motion, which passed unanimously with the following votes: AYES: Council Members Ashcraft, Jordan, Nash, Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Bazemore, and :Mayor Kilgore NAYS: None There being no further business, the City Council Strategic Planning Meeting of October 7, 2008 adjourned at 5:35 p.m. Attest: ~obby G. ore, ayor ~"~~~i~ r~e-Ef~ ,~- ~ ~ ~i yI~SBVi Bri ~ tte H. R in n, City Clerk City Council Strategic Planning Meeting October 7, 2008 Page 160