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News from District 6

Mar 17th, 2017

Posted in: 6


March 17, 2017

Dear Residents:

The Council held its regularly scheduled meeting this week on Thursday at 1:30 pm in Government Plaza instead of Tuesday because Councilmembers Richardson, Manzie and Small were in Washington, DC for a League of Cities meeting. Without five members present, the Council is unable to conduct a meeting.

The Council voted 6 for 1 against (Rich) to ratify the purchase of new stadium seats ($108,000.00) for the Hank Aaron Stadium. I believe you know my rational for not voting for this expenditure. I do, however, want to thank the Administration for placing this item on the Council's agenda. If you'll recall, until the $66,000.00 contract pertaining to the removal and replacement of new seats in the Stadium was introduced, the Council was unaware that the seats had been purchased. The Council's Attorney had opined according to The Zoghby Bill (our form of government) that the seat purchase needed to come to Council for approval since purchase orders that are not considered routine require Council action even if budgeted.

Now that improvements to the stadium have been made and most have been completed (i.e. new sodding, drainage, lighting, sound system, scoreboard, awnings, and soon the new seats), I do hope that the Administration will ask the BayBears owners to remit their $200,000.00 back rent payments owed to the City!

I have received many calls and e-mails about the rezoning of the cleared property on Girby Rd. People are very concerned about its intended use and they also noted the rezoning sign placed on the wooded area along Hillcrest Rd. The site is all one parcel. The land is currently split zoned into B-1 and B-3 which was granted in 1982.

Last Friday, residents representing nearby neighborhoods and I met with the owners/developers of this parcel. We were shown the plans and they stated they were requesting the entire site be zoned B-1 at the Thursday, March 23rd, Planning Commission (PC) meeting. They said they plan to build 30 single detached homes for seniors and possibly one or two one-story assisted living facilities towards the rear of the property in the future. The plans also include an office park of three buildings off of Girby Rd. All the buildings would be accessed on a one drive entryway which would then lead to the residential homes. They assured everyone present that the site would not be utilized for an apartment complex. They said the development was to be owner financed and there was no government subsidy involved in the development.

At this time, all the plans are not finalized and they will ultimately require approval of the PC as a Planned Unit Development (PUD). The exposure to the PC for their PUD approval will allow citizens an opportunity to address the development at a future PC meeting.

Those present were also informed that the property fronting Hillcrest Rd. is considered wetlands and there are restrictions on building on that portion of property due to Corp of Engineering guidelines. The only area to be developed for this senior residential complex is the cleared site visible from Girby Rd. They did mention the need for a gated type of entry off Hillcrest Rd. for emergency vehicles. That would be the call of the City's Traffic Engineering Department, if granted. I believe the road within the complex would be privately developed as a part of the PUD.

Last Saturday morning the Connie Hudson Senior Center opened their doors to young folks and their parents or grandparents for a second time. We took an additional 166 hand prints to go on the Gazebo Wall at Medal of Honor Park. This makes a total of 342 new tiles for the wall.

The old tiles will remain as part of the wall. The contractor has been made aware of the sentimental value of these tiles. We have some hand prints made 21 years ago as children that now, as parents, will have their own child's print on the wall too! This represents a full generational circle of memories that will progress into the future.

Below are pictures and the volunteers that were instrumental in making the two weekends of hand printing a reality. I am extremely grateful to each of them for lending their time and talents! Two people missing from the photos are Kathy Sullivan, with the Senior Center who was working at the front desk, and Marion Steinfels, the Communications Director with the City Council, who took all the photos and assisted with check-in. Both ladies were very helpful in making the project so successful. The event raised a total of $4,619.00. These funds will be earmarked to go towards a future Splash Pad near the new playground.

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who contributed donations during this event. Your contributions exemplify your enthusiasm and show of support to provide another outstanding park amenity for the little people in our community.

If you were unable to attend the meeting last week regarding the Hillcrest Rd. Access Management Plan (Between Grelot Rd. & Cottage Hill Rd.) you may view the current plans online. Please be sure to send your comments and questions to the City's Traffic Engineering Department for their review. As they said to those in attendance, they are still "tweaking" and are willing to change the plans based on your comments and suggestions. Please see the details below for the link to their website and e-mail address. 

Below, you will see information from the City, along with activities and events that you and your family may enjoy. As always, I appreciate hearing from you. Please let me know if I may assist you with any City service.

Best Regards,