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The Council of the Village of Riverlea met on the above date at the Thomas Worthington High School, Worthington. The following Council members were present: Michael D. Blanchard, Jeffery A. Colwell, Eric A. MacGilvray, President Pro-Tem, and Jacalyn Slemmer. Also present were Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk-Treasurer, L. Leah Reibel, Solicitor, William P. Charles, Street Commissioner, Karen McElmurray, Marshal, Michael Jones, Planning Commissioner, and Jody Croley Jones, Web Manager. Guests of Council were Pamela Colwell, Carolee Noonan, Jim Dippel, Mike Aljancic, and Ed Bangert. At 7:04 pm the President called the meeting to order.
The minutes of the regular Council meeting of May 19, 2014 were not read since each member had received a copy. Slemmer noted that Carolee Noonan was not listed in the guests of Council section though she was in attendance. Colwell moved and Slemmer seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer with the above modification. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
Report of the Clerk-Treasurer
Colwell moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial report for May2014 as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
Report of the Mayor
The Mayor was not in attendance. MacGilvray noted that he (MacGilvray) will be taking a sabbatical in the spring of 2015 and will miss the Council meetings from January through July. This may require that he resign his Council seat, depending upon the rules and Council’s decision.
Report of the Solicitor
The Solicitor reported that she has been working on the proposed amendments to the building and zoning regulations of the village. These were discussed later in the meeting.
Report of the Street Commissioner
The Commissioner reported that he would like to proceed with the repairs of the storm sewer curb drains discussed at the May meeting. There are a total of eight spots that have been determined to need repairs and although they have various states of damage, it would be the most cost effective decision to repair them all at once. The total estimate to repair all of these curbs is just under $6,000. Blanchard moved and Colwell seconded the motion to approve expenses of up to $6,000 on this project. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
The Commissioner reported that the lift station is working fine and there have been no issues recently.
Report of the Planning Commissioner
The Planning Commissioner reported there were two items discussed at the May Planning Commission meeting. The COA for 5775 Carrington Ct. was approved and the COA application for 5872 Olentangy Blvd. was denied as submitted. The applicant has appealed this decision and this was addressed later in the meeting.
Report of the Marshal
The Marshal reported there were 291 checks with no citations.
The Marshal reported that someone had reported hearing shots fired near the woods on May 4. Police responded and did not find anything.
Report of the Web Manager
The Web Manager reported that the most popular hit on our site is the meeting minutes, with the Street Commissioner page also being popular. She recommended that Council put notes that they would like residents to see on these pages.
Report of the Newsletter Editor
There was no report from the Newsletter Editor
Comments from Residents on Agenda Items
Mike Aljancic addressed Council concerning his appeal of the Planning Commission decision on 5872 Olentangy Blvd. He stated that his contractor did not know that he needed to go to the Planning Commission to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness before going to Franklin County for the permits. He believes that the situation was due to an error in protocol on the part of Franklin County. He felt that the COA was later denied because of concerns raised by the neighbors about the appearance of the addition, and felt that the addition does not violate any codes of the village. Mr. Aljancic stated that making the proposed changes requested by the Planning Commission would cost him several thousand dollars.
Ed Bangert, the contractor for the 5872 Olentangy Blvd addition, also addressed Council regarding this appeal. He said that when he went to Franklin County for approval on the project, there was no mention of the Planning Commission. He stated that he would not have proceeded with the project had he known the proper process. He stated that the project is now complete and he does not see the need to spend unnecessary money to make changes to fix design concerns. Slemmer questioned Bangert as to the proposed changes. Bangert explained that they are the addition of siding, rather than stucco, as well as the use of double hung windows, rather than casement. Blanchard wished it placed on the record that he felt that the denial due to these factors was “a travesty.”
The Planning Commissioner refuted the statement in the appeal that he had approved the continuation of the construction once he realized that it was occurring without the approval of the Planning Commission.
Committee on Infrastructure The Chair of the committee reported that the committee met with Jim Dippel from Burgess & Niple for assistance in planning the work to have done with the streets and sewers. The committee is also preparing proposals to OPWC for assistance in funding these projects. Dippel had prepared several proposals with varying degrees of work to be performed on the streets and curbs:
Total removal and replacement of streets, maintaining previous curb elevation, and construction of storm sewer extensions to improve pavement drainage ($3,756,000).
Total replacement of curbs and gutters at a higher elevation, mill and overlay of existing pavement without reducing thickness, and storm sewer extensions to improve pavement drainage ($2,909,000). This would raise the curbs by 3-4 inches, requiring regrading the lots behind the curb and potentially affecting landscaping.
Total replacement of curbs and gutters at previous elevation, milling and overlaying the existing pavement to a lower elevation to match new gutter edge, and storm sewer extensions to improve pavement drainage ($2,472,000). This option was the one created by Worthington during the annexation process. He has concerns about the quality and durability of the street with this option.
Partial curb replacement with mill and overlay, maintaining current pavement thickness but continuing to cover concrete gutter ($2,098,000).
To each of these options, he included the possibility of concurrently improving the storm sewer system ($490,000) and replacing the water distribution system ($1,950,000) due to the age of the system.
The Street Commissioner had spoken to the city of Columbus about water flow testing to determine the viability of the current system and gauge the need for replacement. The village will need to test at least two, possibly three locations. MacGilvray asked whether there would be additional costs if the village were to select one option now for applying for funding and change the decision to a different option in the future. Dippel replied that this would result in minimal additional cost; most of the cost is in preparing the initial request. Colwell inquired as to whether the village would be able to apply for a grant for 100% funding by the state. MacGilvray replied that this is not possible, that there would need to be loans included in the application as well as grants. Colwell stated and MacGilvray agreed that it is less than likely that the village would receive grants for a large part of this funding. MacGilvray noted that the village can continue to apply for funding for several years before the situation becomes urgent. Colwell agreed, but wondered what the village would be paying to repair curbs in the meantime. MacGilvray is concerned with the regrading of yards involved in option 2, though Council noted this may be necessary to achieve better streets. Council agreed to proceed with option 2, as this is best balance of cost and longevity. Colwell would like to see the results of the water flow testing before deciding to proceed with the replacement of the water distribution system and storm sewers.
Committee on Communications
There was no report from the Chair of the committee.
Committee on Ordinances
There was no report from the Chair of the committee.
Ordinance No. 02-2014 Ordinance No. 02-2014, An Ordinance to Amend the Building Regulations of Riverlea was given its third reading. The Solicitor distributed a list of largely grammatical and formatting amendments that had been proposed by Councilmembers and reviewed with the Solicitor. Colwell moved and Blanchard seconded the motion to approve the amendments as submitted. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0). Blanchard then moved and Colwell seconded the motion to table the ordinance for the next Council meeting. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
Ordinance No. 03-2014 Ordinance No. 0-2014, An Ordinance to Amend the Zoning Regulations of the Village of Riverlea was given its third reading. Colwell brought up a concern about the amendment to section 151.070A. The amendment would strike much of the language detailing the criteria that the Planning Commission must use in deciding whether or not to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness. Colwell felt that removing this language would affect the language in other sections of the ordinance detailing building and renovation requirements. Residents are required to prepare detailed plans to submit to the Planning Commission, but if the amendment is passed then the Commission would not be able to act on much of what the resident had prepared. So, there would be an inconsistency if the amendment passed, and that either the existing language should remain in this section or several other sections of the ordinance must be revised to strip the inconsistent language from them as well. If this language was removed from the various sections, he felt that it would not leave the Planning Commission with enough criteria for review. The Planning Commissioner agreed, stating that the commission receives questions pertaining to the language in this section regularly before residents submit COA applications. Colwell offered a proposed revision of the language in this section that ties the section to the other sections in the ordinance. This revision also proposes that the Planning Commission consider visibility from the street when deciding on a COA application. Blanchard questioned how this would potentially apply to a corner lot, in which case there would be two street views to consider. He proposed changing the language in this amendment to reflect that the Planning Commission must consider the view only from the street on which the house has its address, rather than from any street. Slemmer mentioned that she felt that it is not the role of the Planning Commission to determine items such as color, design, or architecture of the houses and that the language in question should be struck from the ordinances. She felt that it was not the place of the village to dictate to residents as to which of these items were appropriate. The Planning Commissioner stated that if this language is removed from the ordinances, then the Planning Commission would have nothing to review and we may need to eliminate the Planning Commission. Blanchard and Slemmer noted that they would be in favor of this. Jody Croley Jones then reminded Council that many of the regulations in the ordinances were inserted because a resident raised a concern and that they represented the voice of the residents. The Solicitor wondered how potentially reducing the role of the Planning Commission might change the contractual relationship of the village with the Franklin County building department, and whether there would be additional costs for the village. Council agreed to hold this discussion until July when the remainder of Council can be involved in the discussion.
Colwell requested clarification on the proposed amendment to section 151.095. MacGilvray explained that the intent behind the adjustment was to clarify the process for requesting an appeal of a ruling on a variance from the Planning Commission, and that any decision on this variance shall have no effect on the ordinances of the village.
Colwell requested clarification on the proposed amendment to section 151.099. The Solicitor explained that this change was made because the language was confusing as to how the process actually works, and distinguishes a zoning violation from a criminal complaint. MacGilvray suggested striking the language pertaining to violations, as it further confused the matter.
Colwell moved and Slemmer seconded the motion to approve all amendments as submitted with the exception of the amendment to 151.070A. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0). Blanchard then moved and Slemmer seconded the motion to table the ordinance for the next Council meeting. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
Resolution No. 2014-10 Resolution No. 2014-10, A Resolution to Request the Franklin County Budget Commission to Grant the 0.65 Mills in Available Inside Millage to the Village of Riverlea, Ohio was given its second reading. Colwell moved and Slemmer seconded the motion to waive the third reading of this resolution as it needs to be submitted by the end of June. This motion was approved unanimously (4-0). Slemmer moved and Colwell seconded the motion to approve the resolution. The resolution was approved unanimously (4-0).
Tire Replacement The Mayor has not yet received a copy of the invoice for replacement of the tires damaged by the curb at Melbourne & Dover.
Planning Commission Appeal
The Solicitor explained the process required by law in the current ordinances for a Planning Commission appeal to the Council. The Council must first decide whether to accept the appeal, and then if they decide to hear it, it will be heard at the next meeting. This raised a timing issue because there is no Council meeting set for July and the hearing must be set for no longer than 60 days from the decision to hear the appeal. She also explained that the notice was not officially received within the 5 day notice detailed in the ordinances. Council agreed to waive this 5 day period and decide whether to hear the appeal. Blanchard moved and Slemmer seconded the motion to hear the appeal. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0). Council decided to set a special meeting for no later than July 21 at which the appeal will be heard, but will try to set up the meeting prior to that if schedules permit. Before this meeting, Council must receive the official minutes and transcript of the 6/9 Planning Commission meeting. Blanchard proposed to hear the appeal immediately as the appellant was in attendance, but the Solicitor explained that the legal process as detailed in the ordinances required notification of the neighbors, as well as the minutes and transcript in advance of this hearing. In an attempt to expedite the appeal process, the Planning Commission will hold a special meeting to approve the minutes as submitted and the Council will attempt to hold their special meeting before July 21. MacGilvray moved and Colwell seconded the motion to set a special meeting for no later than July 21 to hear the Planning Commission appeal as well as further discuss the infrastructure project with Burgess & Niple, with the possibility of moving this date up if the necessary information is available earlier. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 3, Colwell, MacGilvray, and Slemmer: Nay, Blanchard. The Motion carried 3-1.
The Mayor had a note to inform Council that a resident at 5789 Crescent Court has put up a six-foot fence on his property. Although the fence had been built, it was without the approval of the Planning Commission. The resident has agreed to bring this before the commission. Because of the size of the fence, the resident will need to apply for a variance as well. Included in the Mayor’s note was a comment that the position of the Mayor is that this variance should be granted because the fence looks fine.
Burgess & Niple Expenses
As part of the process to assist in the preparation of the OPWC application for repairing the streets and curbs in the village, Burgess & Niple will incur additional expenses. Blanchard moved and Colwell seconded the motion to approve these expenses not to exceed $15,000. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
The 2015 tax budget was submitted to Council. Colwell moved and Slemmer seconded the motion to adopt the 2015 tax budget. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
Given that the 2015 tax budget shows losses of about $40,000 for 2014 and 2015, the Mayor wished to create a committee that would discuss the possibility of a new operating levy for the village to shore up the operating expenses. This discussion was tabled for a later meeting when the Mayor, as well as the rest of Council, could discuss it.
Comments from Residents on Non-Agenda Items
There were no comments on non-agenda items.
Next Meeting Announcement
The next regular meeting will be August 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Thomas Worthington High School.
Council will hold a special meeting on July 21, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at a location to be determined.
There being no further business, moved and Colwell seconded the motion to adjourn. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0). The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm.