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Highlights from the Nov. 21 BOC meeting

(NOV. 22, 2023) -- The Cherokee Board of Commissioners received an update from Keep Cherokee Beautiful, the nonprofit organization that is volunteer led and county supported, with a focus on keeping Cherokee County clean, green and beautiful.  

District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter was instrumental in resurrecting KCB in 2020 – since then, the organization has more than 40 miles adopted through the Adopt-A-Mile program, has implemented a monthly newsletter garnering a nearly 50 percent open rate, and offered more services like electronics recycling events.

This year, 27 Adopt-A-Mile events have been held with more than 215 volunteers serving nearly 500 hours. An estimated 10,280 pounds of litter has been removed from Cherokee County’s roadways.

“I am proud of how far Keep Cherokee Beautiful has come in only three short years,” said Carter, who was unable to attend the meeting due to illness. “It has taken the county and volunteers working together to make it happen. I’m excited to see how the organization can grow in the future for the benefit of our county and our residents.”

“It is working. It’s amazing and vibrant. On behalf of our organizations, we want to say thank you to the Commissioners and thank you to Commissioner Carter for getting us going,” said KCB Board President Mark Preetorius.

As part of its presentation, Keep Cherokee Beautiful presented the Canton Optimist Club with Adopt-A-Mile Group of the Year and Craig Myers with Volunteer of the Year.

KCB also announced its electronic recycling event fundraiser set for Dec. 9 at the Cherokee County Administration Building at the Bluffs, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At the Nov. 21 meeting, the Board also:

  • Approved, 4-0, reappointing Jo Ellen Hancock to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council for three years. Chairman Harry Johnston made the motion, which was seconded by District 4 Commissioner Corey Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 4-0, the minutes from the Nov. 7 work session, executive session and regular meeting. District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Held a public hearing on updates to the zoning ordinance related to minor subdivisions. One person spoke. The proposal is increasing the number of lots allowed in a minor plat subdivision from five to seven lots increases the maximum number of lots that may provide individual access to a public right-of-way without having to build a single road to serve all lots. This change may increase the number of large lot minor subdivisions in the unincorporated County by easing the access requirements. Approved, 4-0, the proposed changes excluding family cottages and striking wording about direct appeal to the Board of Commissioners. District 1 Commissioner Steve West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Held a public hearing on proposed text amendments to Article 7, Table 7.1A Minimum District Development Standards, reducing the required side and rear setbacks in the GC (General Agriculture), R-80 (Estate Residential) and R-60 (Single-Family Residential) zoning districts to allow more flexibility in building placement on larger residential lots. The revised table introduces a front building setback of 50 feet on four-lane collector roads to reduce confusion. The amendments also included adding the Corporate Park district into the table while removing three zoning districts that are no longer available; HC (Highway Corridor), OD (Office Distribution) and PID (Planned Industrial Development). No one spoke. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion to adopt the changes with one amendment, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby. The vote was 4-0.
  • Held a public hearing regarding revisions to Articles 4 and 5 concerning Guest Quarters. The proposed Family Quarters provisions are designed to modify the existing regulations to allow a subordinate living unit on lots of 40,000 square feet or more to support Cherokee families. The amendments set out seven requirements that must be met by Family Cottages in Section 5.6E including an owner residency requirement. Two people spoke during the public hearing.  Commissioner Weatherby made the motion to postpone the decision until Dec. 19, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale. The vote was 4-0.
  • Held a public hearing to consider a board-initiated rezoning of 4.5 acres owned by the county at 255 Old Mill Road. The rezoning is from General Commercial and Neighborhood Commercial with conditions to General Commercial. The county intends to sell the property.  Staff discussed options for the Board to consider in terms of GC versus NC zoning of the whole parcel. One person spoke. Commissioner West made the motion to rezone the property to NC with no conditions, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby. The vote was 4-0.
  • Held a public hearing to consider a board-initiated rezoning per a settlement agreement between Hazel Creek Properties LLC and Cherokee County. The request is to rezone the 3.4-acre parcel is at 3202 Hickory Flat Hwy. from R-40 to Office/Institutional and Neighborhood Commercial with conditions. Five people spoke. Commissioner West made the motion to postpone the decision until Jan. 2, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby. The vote was 4-0.
  • Approved, 4-0, the request to withdraw without prejudice a zoning modification request to eliminate a 2019 zoning condition restricting outdoor storage on the 9.86-acre parcel at 7222 Cumming Highway, and modify two other conditions to alter the plans. The applicant wants to add outdoor RV and boat storage on the interior of the property and construct a non-retail building facing Ga. 20 next to the existing structure. The applicant requested to withdraw this application without prejudice.  Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 4-0, notifying the city of Holly Springs that the county does not object to an annexation request of 18.49 acres at Univeter Road and Hickory Flat Highway but directed staff to share the Board’s concerns. The property is within the growth boundary agreement. The intent is to rezone the property from Agriculture to Traditional Neighborhood Development for a 73-unit single-family detached home, age-targeted neighborhood. However, the applicant is working with Transportation to accommodate upcoming improvements to Univeter Road, which may reduce the number of units on the property. The Board suggests to the City to reduce the allowed density to be more compatible with the county’s land use plan with calls for one unit per acre on most of the property and two units per acre or light commercial on the Highway 140 frontage, leave a passageway to ensure no unincorporated island is created, and to leave right of way for the transportation improvement project slated for the roadway, work with the county to determine best access onto Univeter Road or with GDOT for access onto Highway 140. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 4-0, notifying the city of Holly Springs that the county does not object to an annexation request of 6.33 acres on Edmondson Lane but directed staff to share concerns with the city. The rezoning request to the city is from R-40 and General Commercial to Traditional Neighborhood Development. The plan for the acreage is a 50-unit townhome residential subdivision. Concerns to be shared with the city include the proposed density exceeds the county’s land use plan, annexation could potentially create an unincorporated island and the applicant must show a connection to prevent this, and further development on Edmondson Lane increases need for dedicated left lane along Holly Springs Parkway to be widened to the east. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 4-0, the consent agenda, which included: acceptance of all rights of way, roadways and appurtenant drainage structures in the Vaughn Estates subdivision; acceptance of a two-year federal grant award on behalf of the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court in the amount of $377,657 for fiscal years 2024 and 2025 and a corresponding budget amendment in the amount of $314,716 to allocate the federal award and the 25 percent match for 12 months; acceptance of a two-year federal grant on behalf of the Family Treatment Court in the amount of $363,847 for fiscal years 2024 and 2025 and a corresponding budget amendment totaling $303,109 to allocate the federal award and the required 25 percent match for 12 months; a part-time kitchen aide position for Senior Services; and calling for a public hearing on Jan. 2 for a request by Next Step Ministries to modify zoning conditions pertaining to case 85-10-079. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 4-0, renewal of the agreement for Public Safety Secured Virtual Public Network in the amount of $48,377.65, a $86.98 per device per year. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 4-0, the renewal of the county’s current multi-factor authentication solution for an additional one-year term. The cost is $57,482.93. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 4-0, amendment two to the MACH Fire Station Alerting agreement with Motorola on behalf of Fire & Emergency Services. The change order is for $36,261. The approval also includes a budget amendment to transfer $611,997 to the fiscal year 2024 budget that was allocated in the 2023 budget but not expended because Motorola didn’t meet the project milestones in FY2023. The budget amendment will transfer $678,859 from Fire Reserves to the FY2024 budget. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 4-0, a proposal from Practical Design Partners, LLC to perform design engineering for the Bells Ferry Road at Bascomb Commercial Parkway Drainage Improvement Project under the annual engineering consulting services contract. The cost is $17,905. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 4-0, a proposal from Southeastern Engineering, Inc. to perform design engineering for the Victory Drive at Owl Creek Drainage Improvement Project under the annual engineering consulting services contract. The cost is $60,000. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 4-0, amendment one to the construction agreement with J.G. Leone, Inc. for the Shoal Creek Road over Puckett Creek Improvement Project. The cost is $58,110. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 4-0, a Professional Services Agreement with Curb-Tech for removal and replacement of a concrete slab at the Cherokee Aquatic Center. The cost is $96,465. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 4-0, a park use agreement with 112 Events, LLC for use of Cherokee Veterans Park for the holiday lights event. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 4-0, a sales agreement for 180 Riverchase Drive in the amount of $14,000 and authorization for the county manager to execute the sales agreement and closing documents on behalf of the county. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 4-0, an agreement with Alscan, Inc. for installation services to remove all existing Justice Center surveillance cameras and install upgraded cameras. The cost is $177,591.40 funded by APRA. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Tabled, 4-0, until the Jan. 2 meeting, a resolution to waive the residency distance requirement for six proposed distilled spirits package stores. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Tabled, 4-0, until the Jan. 2 meeting, resolutions to waive the alcohol licensee residency requirements for alcohol licenses of retail distilled spirits package stores. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.

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