Community Advisory Council Minutes North Team
On Wednesday, February 6, 2016, Leena Choi, Flynn Doyle, David Gunn, Chris Goetz, Jeff Siptak, John Gawaluck and Tracey Williamson met at Aileen Katcher’s house for the first time. Aileen was the chairperson and provided us with an agenda. Below are the topics on the agenda and concerns noted by the committee:
1. Franklin Pike Multi-Modal Path
Although we are all interested in sidewalks and bike lanes in Oak Hill, we do not think the city should spend $60,00 on this particular project.
I find alternate funds and move forward with the study, what is happening in Williamson County to provide connector paths to Franklin?
Is the grant money project specific? Can we use the $240,000 grant money to conduct a general sidewalk study to see how to best serve the citizens of Oak Hill (not commuters)? Suggested hot spots were streets leading up to Glendale Elementary School, Crestridge Dr leading to a possible crosswalk over Woodmont Blvd, Radnor Lake, and/or a possible connector bike lane to the Forest Hill bike lanes that lead to Percy Warner Park. If we have a new sidewalk study, will there be community input?
We recommend that the City contract with providers for a good quality service. We don’t necessarily want the cheapest bid. Once contract(s) are negotiated, we recommend that citizens pay Oak Hill directly OR the City provides the citizens with a list of 3-5 companies to choose from and then citizens pay the company directly.
A cost comparison is necessary before we can make a final recommendation between these 2 options.
We do not recommend that each resident contract separately for garbage pick-up.
SurveyThere are several significant flaws in the administration of the current Survey Monkey survey that is being sent to residents.We recommend that the survey be repeated in 6-12 months with more planning and professional input on the front end. A possible free resource is Vanderbilt Red Cap Service.Respectfully submitted, Tracey WilliamsonNorth TeamOn Wednesday, March 13, 2019, Aileen Katcher, Tracey Williamson, Rob Stevens and Chris Goetz met at the home of John Gawaluck. John graciously served snacks and drinks. Aileen provided us with an agenda and these were the topics of discussion:
We recommend that the chipper service continues for all Oak Hill citizens.
We recommend that the City contract with the provider with best quality and flexibility.
Are only Oak Hill residents allowed to respond to the survey? Could residents who live outside the city limits actually respond to the survey? This question was raised because some of the emails listed on neighborhood email lists (like Al Moss’ list and Mary Wherry’s list), are not necessarily limited to Oak Hill residents.
Again, we would like to see cost comparison before final recommendation of how citizens are billed.
Franklin Pike Multi-Modal Path
The $230,000 grant money that has been awarded to the City can only be used for the Franklin Pike study.
Nearby schools and churches have sent letters of support to the City but only $1,000 has actually been pledged.
The City anticipates that construction of the MM path will cost approximately $6 Million. Jeff anticipates being awarded $4.8 Million in grant money. The other $1.2 Million will possibly be subsidized by the State of TN, Department of Conservation, Metro Parks, Metro Greenways, OH schools and the City of Oak Hill.
With this in mind, our committee is willing to reconsider the plan. We would like to know:
Who will be contracted to do the Multi-Modal Path Study?
What sort of information will the study provide for the City? Will we have engineer/architect recommendations?
Could the City possible pay an additional fee ($20,000 more?) to the company so it would also include future recommendations for other paths in Oak Hill?
Will the path go into the Melrose area?
2. Board of Commission Size
We had a consensus to increase the size of the BOC from 3 members to 5 members. Currently, 2 people make major decisions for the city. We also recommend that each board member represents a “district” of the city. (ie North district, South district, etc).
3. Stormwater Protection
We have 3 choices for stormwater protection in Oak Hill.
Option 1 - pay Metro for stormwater protection via our water bill
Option 2 - Oak Hill charges households a fee (avg of $100/year) to provide stormwater protection
Option 3 - Do nothing.
Our committee is leaning towards Option 1 since Metro already has the infrastructure in place.
Option 2 - we are uncertain about how/who would take care of administering charges and then following through with stormwater reports/problems. Option 3 - We are not clear about how stormwater issues are currently handled. We know we have FEMA support for flooding but how are costs for collapsed culverts and sinkholes handled?
In an effort to be efficient and informed, those present feel it would be most beneficial for Jeff Clawson to attend our future meetings (in person or by phone) to answer questions that arise during discussions.
Minutes from 4/18
The meeting was held at 5:30 at Aileen Katcher’s home and she provided snacks and drinks. Also attending were: Jeff Siptak, John Gawaluck, Leena Choi and David Gunn.
The topics for this meeting were:
Phone call with Jeff Clawson
Jeff Clawson phone call questions. Answers are in purple.
What is the process for the CAC reports? Have the commissioners seen the minutes we have provided from our meetings (or from the other committees meetings)?
Jeff has not shared our minutes with commissioners. There is not a set format for the CAC reports, but they will be given time at the next commission meeting (Apr. 23) to report their findings, but it will be at the end of the meeting. Earlier in the meeting, the commission will vote on whether or not to fund the Multi-Modal Path (assumedly without the input from the CAC reports which are not scheduled until the end of the meeting.)
Who will be contracted for the Multi-Modal Path Study/ what info will come from the study? An engineering company certified by TDOT (as determined by an RFQ process) and better information on where exactly the path will go and what issues the builders/city will run into when putting the path in that location. Better idea on exact building costs.
Could the city pay more money to look into other paths in Oak Hill? No, this current grant would only be for the Multi-Modal path on Franklin Pike.
What will the cost to the city be beyond the $60,000 for the study?
If the study finds pursuing the path is feasible there will be additional costs of approximately $700,000 for an actual plan design and engineering. Then construction estimates are estimated to start at $600,000,000. There is not a plan for who would pay for and/or provide ongoing maintenance for the path.
Will the path go into Melrose Area and what will happen on the other end in Williamson County? The idea of the path is to connect into the 440 Belt Way Path (may have another name) and it would end at or around Old Hickory Blvd. The study should show more information on exact locations on start and end. It is not known what would happen beyond Old Hickory.
Who designed the website and who maintains it? A company out of Kansas called Civic Plus designed the website, they were selected because Jeff Clawson had previous experience with them. The website is maintained in the Oak Hill office who is responsible for uploading calendar information, commission and other board meeting minutes, etc.
With regard to storm water how would the billing and infrastructure work if we elected for Oak Hill to manage this? Would the city really be able to keep up with the billing? The billing would be figured out alongside the trash collection and billing issue. Jeff seemed confident that the city could handle this with the assistance of a new software system designed to do this. The infrastructure would be handled by a company that the City has used in the past for culver repair.
We gathered from the phone conversation with Jeff Clawson that a lot of residences removed their names and email address from the Oak Hill email list due to fear of this information being public. Oak Hill has since changed their policy on this issue and email addresses are not disclosed and are now private. There is a physical newsletter that is mailed out three or four times a year. There was a suggestion to add a sentence on the bottom of the physical news letter giving directions about how to add oneself to the email list via the website.
The group unanimously agreed that the Oak Hill website is lacking information. While it looks good, the group felt it was not maintained or easy to find information. Main points were that the BOC minutes were not updated or easy to locate. Also, that finding a way to sign up for the email list was not intuitive. We felt that maybe the website maintenance is not a priority for the Oak Hill office and that we could have citizens of Oak Hill who are website professionals help the city to make the website more user friendly.
Aileen and Jeff Siptak (who both work in the marketing field) are going to review the site in comparison to Belle Meade and Forest Hills to provide recommendations . Other committee members are encouraged to do the same and share their thoughts with Aileen and Jeff.
We voted in our group for or against the Multi-Modal Path Study and the results yielded 4 to 5 in favor of NOT spending the money to have the study done. Among our
There is a meeting on 4/23 at 5pm in which the BOC will vote on the Multi-Modal Path Study and where the CAC leaders will report on the issues the Jeff Clawson tasked us with back in January.
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Citizens Advisory Council-Central Group
The following members were present: Tom Hayes (Chair), Winston Evans, Adrienne Knestrick, Bill Canak (proxy for Mary Wherry), Barrett Gay, David DeMarco, Al Moss, Julia Gaw, and John Paddison.
Mr. Hayes called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. Mr. Evans made a motion, seconded by Mr. Hayes, to approve the minutes from the 1/15/19 meeting. Minutes passed unanimously.
Mr. Hayes led the committee through the agenda items that were set by the city manager from the 1/15 meeting.
The committee discussed the positive and negative effects of the CAC survey. It was decided that the survey was a good tool to solicit input from neighbors not actively involved in the actions of the Board of Commissioners (BOC), but some flaws in the survey’s execution, usage and validation were of concern to the CAC Central Group members. The following questions were raised:
Is there any tracking system in place, specifically, can someone respond to the survey multiple times or are they limited to one-time only?
Validating results—does city staff have the ability to validate the results of the survey? Could a follow-up survey ask respondents to list their address to validate Oak Hill residency? (Can someone respond to survey from the workplace email and again from his or her home email, therefore duplicating/skewing results?)
Three options for stormwater regulation are listed in the survey.
Option 1: Opt-in to the Metro Monthly Stormwater Charges (the rate could range from $11.00-$30.00 based upon the residence impermeable surface.) Mr. Hayes bought a sample of a rental property he owns which demonstrated the $30 monthly fee.
Option 2: Establish an Oak Hill Stormwater Program to use specifically for Oak Hill stormwater issues.
Option 3: Do nothing and maintain status quo.
The committee discussed the three options at length. Mrs. Gaw asked if we could find out specific details as to what defines and falls under the heading of stormwater (is it redirecting creeks, is it regarding slopes, etc.) in order to make a more educated conclusion towards what option was best for Oak Hill.
Mr. Evans stated the following questions need to be addressed in order to know what an accurate amount of reserves OH would need to build up to establish adequate stormwater coverage:
What is the federal requirement for stormwater coverage?
If Oak Hill has a $4 million dollar reserve, do we need additional money for a separate stormwater fund?
How much money has been spent on stormwater repairs/expenses by Oak Hill per year over the last ten years?
With the new Metro grant money that will be coming in, what percentage of those funds could be used for stormwater repairs or is it dedicated to road repairs only?
Are there any future projects are on the horizon specific to stormwater damage?
In regards to Option 1, the majority of the committee members were concerned with Metro collecting the monthly fees for stormwater from Oak Hill citizens. This would mean Metro would control what stormwater projects received funding based upon level of necessity, thereby potentially leaving Oak Hill citizens paying for services they may never receive.
Several questions rose from establishing Option 2. Would Metro Water collect the OH dedicated stormwater funds on the monthly Metro Water bills and remit back to Oak Hill or would the City of Oak Hill collect the funds? If Oak Hill did such collection, at what cost would it be to the city? What mechanism would be used to collect such fees?
Mr. Moss asked what if a developer caused a stormwater issue? Mr. Evans added if you are going add impermeable surfaces to an existing property and cause stormwater issues for neighbors, you should be financially responsible for such expenses. Mrs. Gaw suggested one route could be to have all applications for new builds go before the Planning Commission. Mr. Gay stated this issue might be best discussed under Building Restrictions topic to be covered later on our agenda. Mrs. Gaw suggested that the City of Oak Hill could enforce that all builders be required to follow Metro’s stormwater regulations. This would add a level of protection to the city of Oak Hill.
Regarding impermeable surfaces, Mrs. Gaw cited Exhibit A, Table II, on the chart provided by the city manager that detailed Lot, Yard, Bulk and Density Requirements. Her example showed our CAC committee that under the proposed plan, she (under Zone C) could build 3 to 4 tennis courts on her 4½-acre lot, and still meet the proposed requirements. It was agreed by our committee the chart needed a lot of work on the lot size and percentages of coverage. Mr. Hayes agreed and cited the empty lot on Franklin Road and Robertson Academy that floods with every rain and the impact it has on the lots with homes behind it with runoff issues.
Mr. Canak suggested our committee recommend the BOC invest time to revise the ordinances that apply to impermeable surfaces and stormwater runoff, well beyond the steep slope areas currently covered by city ordinances, in order to protect all lots from stormwater issues (not just steep slopes.) Mr. Gay added that we should not tax all citizens just to allow builders to build however they want to build. Instead, they should be held accountable to the rules set by the city and/or be required to pay a stormwater fee (similar to other city permits) when doing major renovations or new builds. Mr. Evans stated measures should be set it place that would prohibit builders from building what they want, and then ask for forgiveness later, if they did not meet city ordinances.
A motion was made by Mr. Evans and seconded by ____ that given the $4-6 million in city reserves and the anticipated $250,000-$500,000 in M-4 grant funding from Metro, Oak Hill should not participate in the Metro Stormwater Plan and should not create its own stormwater fund.
In addition, our committee would like to know the following from Oak Hill officials:
(1) What expenditures has Oak Hill incurred for stormwater repair over the last 10 years, broken down by year, if possible?
(2) Are there any future repairs the City has currently designated?
(3) When street and/or culvert repairs occur that are technically caused by Metro (old rusty pipes, faulty eroding culverts, improper maintenance) should Oak Hill seek recourse/funding from Metro to help pay for the project?
(4) Can the city, when revising ordinances regarding stormwater, include making builders haul off unused fill dirt? (This seems to be an issue that causes stormwater issues because the excess fill-dirt is left along the borders of property, therefore impacting the runoff of the property.)
(5) Should Oak Hill charge builders (for major renovations or new construction) stormwater fees as part of the building permit process?
The committee agreed to table this topic and revisit the issue once we received more information from Oak Hill officials.
City Communications (Newsletter, Email List, Website…)
Mr. Hayes reviewed the survey questions regarding the city’s newsletter distribution.
Mr. Paddison pointed out that it is frustrating that the city sends out a newsletter, yet individual commissioners send out private newsletters that send conflicting messages about what the city has discussed. This current system makes it difficult to know what is factual and what it opinion. He suggested there be one official newsletter.
Mr. DeMarco clarified that a third party is used to maintain the city’s email database because under the old system, the list had to be made public. This caused a legal issue because citizens did not want their private emails made public. Having a third party maintain the list, avoids this issue.
After lengthy discussion, the committee all agreed that the current, third party vendor that maintains the city’s citizens email list, distributes newsletters and maintains the website is doing an inadequate job. Mrs. Knestrick pointed out that when you go onto the city’s site to register your email and opt into the items (BOC meetings, BZA meetings, etc.) that you wish to be notified of, the system never consistently sends the notifications. Several CAC committee members agreed. Others pointed out that they too are signed up for email correspondence from Oak Hill, but only receive the printed newsletter and by the time they receive it, the information is dated. Mr. Hayes stated the general consensus of our committee is we are very dissatisfied with the current contractor, Civic Plus. Mr. Gay pointed out that the communications are not detailed or timely enough. He cited the previous BOC meeting where Ms. Wherry stated she did not know the church (First Presbyterian) was presenting that evening. Mr. Gay said that Ms. Wherry is his main source for finding out what is occurring at the city level and that if she didn’t know about an agenda item, that could impact their neighborhood, then the city’s communication system is definitely flawed. Mr. Gay added he would like to see the schedule, with detail, of who is presenting at each meeting (BOC, BZA, etc.) so he can be informed as to what is going on ahead of time.
Mr. Hayes summarized that key, factual information should be sent via monthly emails and available on the city website. Our committee also agreed that we would like less community news or spotlights and more details of meeting agendas and key issues impacting our city in a bullet point format. Mr. Hayes concluded that the current vendor’s contract needs serious review and the city needs to alter its communications to reflect more timely information to the citizens. Mr. Gay added the city manager stated that the city spends more on communications then in any of the cities where he has previously worked. Mr. Hayes said we should ask what other Nashville cities (Forest Hills, Belle Meade) are using for communication.
Mr. Gay pointed out that he owns a technology company and he would be willing to review the city’s contract with the communications vendor and see if he can offer suggestions as to what would be more effective and efficient for Oak Hill.
Mr. Paddison added that we should be specific as to what we want to see in correspondence from the city. It was agreed that we would want more detailed agendas with two to three sentences describing each agenda item. In addition, we want notices (via email that citizens could opt in or out of) as to timely information (an example was Clean Earth’s modified schedules for holiday trash pick up.)
Mr. Gay suggested a mailer to sent to every Oak Hill household asking the following: physical address, email address, mobile number (if you want to receive text notifications) and create a revised database (to be organized and maintained by a third party.) This would save a ton of money and be efficient.
Mrs. Knestrick stated that CACs should also look into social media sites being hosted by the city. She suggested cleaning up the Oak Hill official website and email notifications might change the need for Oak Hill residents to communicate via social media, but citizens use it because they can communicate so much faster. Mrs. Gaw pointed out her issue with the city’s Facebook site is it is managed by a private citizen (chosen by the city manager) and not by the city administration. Mrs. Knestrick added this should be a function of the city administration and not private citizens to avoid bias. Mr. Gay stated it gives a fragmented image of our city if our leaders and appointed citizens control what is posted and deleted on social media. The committee was in agreement that the city manager under the direction of the commissioners or appointed citizens, should be controlling official Oak Hill social media sites.
Board of Commissioner Size
Mr. Hayes explained that the survey asks if citizens want to increase the BOC from 3 commissioners to 5. If that was to occur in the next election cycle when only one commissioner is up for re-election, then 3 commissioners could be elected instead of 1. Mr. Hayes expressed concern for this scenario because candidates might win four seats that have not been approved in the state statute applying to Oak Hill.
Mr. Moss explained that when he participated in the last Citizens Action Committee, all members felt the board should increase to 5 members but the state law limiting to 3 commissioners came into play. At that time, the upcoming election was for two BOC seats so the old CAC decided it was not the appropriate time to place on the ballot. (He added that the old CAC felt it was more appropriate to make the change to 5 when only one commission seat was up for re-election.)
Mr. Evans asked what is the reasoning for not increasing the BOC to 5 commissioners. Mr. Canak stated it has been a divisive issue within the city for a while. He believes that if you increase to 5 commissioners, then the city should be divided into districts to allow for equal representation within the city. Mrs. Gaw and Mr. DeMarco replied such districting would require a change in state law that pertains to small cities.
Mr. Moss asked what are the advantages and disadvantages of increasing from 3 to 5. Mr. DeMarco stated with 5 commissioners you reduce the impact of any one vote on the BOC. For example, it would be more difficult for a builder to influence the votes of two commissioners out of 5 verses influencing one commissioner out of 3. He said a disadvantage of 5 commissioners, is you may end up with elected officials who are not as interested in city business or have some ulterior motive.
A discussion occurred around what would be required at the legislative level to change state law amending the requirements for only 3 commissioners and then having a referendum on the ballot at the next election. Mr. Evans explained he believed it would make going from 3 to 5 commissioners a more palatable process if we could separate the two steps. Mrs. Knestrick explained that to make the change at the legislative level, the BOC would need to request a bill be filed as soon as possible during the bill filing period by our State Representative Bob Freeman and State Senator Steve Dickerson. Such legislation could be written so it only applies to Oak Hill therefore reducing the ability of legislators from other areas of the state from opposing or amending it.
Mr. Canak made the argument that Oak Hill has been a city since the 1950s and it has been effectively run since its inception. He asked if the city has been so successful for the past 70 years with 3 commissioners, then where is the urgency in increasing the BOC to 5 members. Mrs. Knestrick stated increasing from 3 to 5 commissioners is necessary because Oak Hill has become a larger city, connected to one of the fastest growing cities in the country (Nashville.) With increased growth comes the need more representation. She added going from 3 to 5 commissioners not a reflection of current or previous administrations, but more of necessity to better represent the increase in our citizenship.
A critical point was made that currently Oak Hill has 3 commissioners as dictated by state law. The law determines the ratio of commissioners based upon population in the most recent federal census. Mrs. Gaw stated that if the population of Oak Hill reaches 5,000 residents, then the city must go to 5 commissioners, therefore making passing legislation or referendums a mute point. Mr. Hayes asked what is Oak Hill’s population under the most recent census. No one on the committee had the most recent data, but Mr. Gay agreed to research the issue because the 2010 census, according to Wikipedia, states Oak Hill has a population of 4,529.
Mr. Hayes called for a committee vote for all in favor of increasing the BOC to 5 commissioners. The vote was 7 to 2 (Mr. Hayes and Mr. Canak voting No.)
Mr. Hayes stated the bottom-line was OH citizens are going to end up having to pay for trash/recycling services eventually. The questions are: (1) does the city contract with a vendor and then bills residents for such services; (2) does the city contract with a vendor and the vendor bills the residents; or, (3) do individual residents control their own trash/recycle service?
Mr. Hayes stated he doesn’t like Option 3 because it would mean too many providers on different days traveling the streets of Oak Hill. Mr. DeMarco stated that the city should not get into the billing business. Mrs. Knestrick stated her concern with Option 3 is neighbors could opt out of any service with plans to take their own trash to the dump, resulting in the pile up of trash that would be attractive to animals (raccoons, dogs, etc.) Mr. Evans suggested to prevent such a scenario, an ordinance would need to be passed requiring every OH citizen to subscribe to a regular garbage pick-up service for at least one day a week
After lengthy discussion, the committee was in agreement that the city should negotiate with a garage/recycle collection service on behalf of all citizens of OH, but the vendor should bill each citizen directly and not the city administration. Citizens would be required to pay for one-day a week pick up, but could opt for additional days. Several committee members stressed they did not want the city in the business of billing submission and collection because it is a very complicated process that can result in significant liability and legal issues. Committee members want to pay vendors directly and not a third party (the city.) The current vendors that provide such services already have established billing systems in place.
The committee agreed that Chipper Service should continue to be provided by the city at no cost to citizens. Furthermore, when the Hall Income Tax revenue significantly declines in the future, then the Chipper Service costs to citizens can be revisited.
Mr. Hayes adjourned the meeting at 8:02.
Submitted by Adrienne P. Knestrick
Approved by CAC Central 3/11/19
Wednesday February 20, 2019
Mr. Hayes called the meeting to order at 6:43 p.m. He presented the minutes from the January 31 meeting. Mr. Hayes pointed out that our committee raised valid questions on each of the topics we discussed on January 31, and he will share those with the city manager in writing to get formal answers. Mr. Evans made some edits to grammatical errors. Mr. Canak motioned to table approval of the minutes until the next meeting so all members of the committee could have sufficient time to review the lengthy minutes. Mr. Evans seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Hayes stated the recent survey to Oak Hill citizens had ended and results were in. The committee agreed to review the survey results.
Stormwater Insurance Fund: 574 answered; 71 approve: 12% opted for Metro Stormwater Fund; 219 approve: 38% to establish an OH Stormwater Fund; 110 approve: 19% keep things as if; 128 or 23% not sure; 47 or 8% other. Several committee members asked what were the differences between “Not Sure” and “Other” categories. Mrs. Knestrick pointed out you have to keep in mind that survey questions are typically written specific ways and our committee agreed, at our last meeting, the questions were not necessarily written with enough explanation.
Newsletters: 251 approve (45%) of quarterly hard-copy newsletters; 227 approve (41%) of bi-annual hard-copy newsletters; 86 approve (15%) no newsletter. Mrs. Gaw asked why the survey did not ask if citizens wanted to received digital copies of the newsletters. Several committee members agreed the city could save money by distributing digital newsletters and still giving citizens the option to receive hard-copy newsletters if they desired. Mr. Hayes stated there are refinement possibilities that can be made to the survey on several of the issues covered by the original survey.
What information would you like to receive in the newsletter: 511 participants answered. Mr. Gay clarified this section of the survey asked for participants to check all options; therefore the percentages reflect participants preferred to read about multiple topics in the newsletter. City business or information: 462 (90%); Local/Special Interests: 44% Miscellaneous: 20%. Mr. Moss pointed out participants may have answered the distribution questions differently if they knew the costs associated with distributing the newsletters. Mrs. Knestrick reminded the committee that we were also concerned with the timeliness of the information distributed in the hard-copy newsletters verses digital copies.
Website: Does the website meet expectations? Yes, 406 (76%); No, 137 (24%). Mrs. Gaw stated she was shocked by these results because she has such a hard time finding information on the city website. Mr. DeMarco pointed out most citizens are looking for simple items, like city office hours, whereas, committee members such as ourselves are looking for more detail, such as meeting minutes, etc.
Is the website easy to use? Yes, 382 (72%); No, 146 (28%).
Are you subscribed to the OH website? 443 are subscribed (81%); 101 are not (19%). The committee discussed how the official Oak Hill Website makes some users (Mrs. Knestrick and Mr. Gay for example) subscribe in order to visualize meeting agendas, etc., while others can log on without having to subscribe.
The committee then discussed participation in the survey. Mr. Evans pointed out he gives little credence to the survey because (1) We don’t know if people took the survey multiple times, (2) We don’t know if people outside the city of Oak Hill took the survey, and (3) 600 participants out of possibly 5000 residents is not a statistically meaningful survey. Mr. Hayes stated having the response OH received is actually a good sample for a survey response because normally it’s less than that. Mr. Evans stated to say it’s a good response for a crude survey is one thing, but to say it’s a statistically meaningful for all citizens’ of OH it is not. Mr. Canak added there are two forms of research: confirmatory research and exploratory research. He complimented the city for sending out a survey to get feedback. Mrs. Knestrick commented she feared the city leaders would use the survey’s “glowing” results to make policy decisions with the justification of the survey results. Mr. Canak disagreed that is how the survey would be used. Several committee members stated they were concerned with the distribution of the survey using private email lists of CAC members verses sending an official survey to each OH resident. Mr. DeMarco pointed out residents answered the survey questions without a lot of information. For example, the survey question asking about paying for garbage collection does not outline what the costs associated with that service will be and the city may not have the internal controls over handling the additional operations. Mrs. Knestrick added her concern is with the city’s liability it will assume when dealing with those residents who do not pay their garbage collection fees. She stated companies that provide this service, such as Good Earth, already have liability coverage and collection agency infrastructure in place. Mr. Hayes agreed this was a component that needs to be addressed. Mr. DeMarco stated the RFP for the garbage collection bid should include two questions: (1) What is the cost if the vendor does the billing and (2) What is the cost if the city does the billing? He believes the difference in the two will not be enough to hire an additional staff person. Mrs. Knestrick pointed out that assumes all 2000 bills would be paid and on time. Mr. Hayes stated there would need to be a requirement by the city stating every household shall pay for trash collection. Mrs. Gaw pointed out the city currently cannot get a complete, updated email list for each household, how will they be able to manage a billing component.
Mr. Evans brought the committee back to the survey results topic. He stated two points (1) He hears what Mr. Canak explained about using the survey results for exploratory purposes however he agreed with Mrs. Knestrick that the survey results will be used for “guidance” which is a huge mistake. (2) If we sit down like an ordinary OH citizen looking at this survey and unaware of current issues that we happen to learn from attending all the OH meetings, there’s no way you could give an intelligent, informed answer to these survey questions.
Mr. Hayes surmised our committee should point out each of these viewpoints in our report to the BOC. Mrs. Knestrick added our minutes from the previous meeting outlined our questions in greater detail. Mr. DeMarco cautioned we do not want the BOC taking action based solely on this original survey’s results.
Mr. Gay asked if our committee would have the opportunity to sit down with the BOC and present our findings. Mr. Hayes stated he understands this committee will give a presentation to the BOC in April. Mr. Moss added each of the four CACs would be giving a presentation. Mrs. Knestrick asked if this would be at the regular BOC meeting or if a separate meeting would be setup between the CACs and BOC. Mr. Gay stated he hoped it would not simply be a matter of “here’s our findings and move on.” He would like for us to have the opportunity to go in depth with the BOC on several of these issues. Mr. Hayes stated the committee would write a report and submit it a week before our presentation to the BOC. Mr. Gay agreed with Mr. Evans the survey isn’t credible. He gave an example of his wife taking the survey regarding the need for stormwater reserves. She stated she was for a city reserve. Mr. Gay explained to her the city has $4 million in reserves, last year $30,000 was spent on a culvert and there are no determined future projects. His wife asked then why was any fund needed. Mr. Gay stated his feels like the results of the survey are totally wrong because they reflect views based upon limited information, like his wife’s experience.
Mr. Canak corrected the committee stating the city’s auditor said the city has $5.5 million in reserves, not $4 million as previously stated. He explained further that the city has done a good job restoring the city’s reserves. In 3 years, the reserves have gone from $4 to $5.5 million. Mrs. Gaw added this year alone, the city has collected over $350,000 in building permit fees. Mr. Hayes added the last Hall Income Tax collection was significantly more than predicted this past year and we will still collect it for at least another two years, this year and next year. Mrs. Gaw stated this raises the question if the city is gaining new money from Metro to cover road construction therefore freeing up money currently budgeted for roads (roughly $275,000) and Hall Income Tax collection for a couple more years, plus more than anticipated revenue from increased building permit fees, then why can the city not continue to pay the $380,000 for trash collection until it is absolutely necessary for the costs to be passed on to citizens. Mr. Hayes stated he was not sure trash collection fees were being proposed this year. Mrs. Gaw said it was stated at the last budget meeting that in November 2019, citizens are supposed to start paying for trash collection. Mr. Hayes stated this is a very valid question for us to raise and he asked it be reflected in our minutes. Mr. Canak stated he would rather the citizens start collecting trash collection fees so that, even though we have significant resources on hand, we could build up the reserves to what they used to be, $8 million. Mr. Evans asked how the city spent over $4 million in reserves in roughly 4 years. Mr. Canak explained that previous administrations spent significant money on consultant fees on how to advise the city to handle commercialization. He added, in his opinion, the strategy was to spend down the city’s reserves to put the city in the position to need commercialization revenue. Mr. DeMarco thought maybe it was the reverse. The city spent down the reserves then realized they were in need of funds and therefore commercialization was the only financially profitable option. Mr. Evans stated he understands Mr. Canak’s position, but it still seems trash collection fees could be put off at least until Hall Income Tax goes completely away. Mr. Canak added the city used to have citizens pay for trash collection (early 1950s to 1992), then the Hall Income Tax kicked-in and high interest rates on the reserves allowed the city to started covering trash collection costs. He restated he would like the city to start charging citizens for trash collection and continue to build up the city’s reserves to $8 million. Once reserves are restored to what they used to be, he would be open to the city considering covering the costs again. Mr. Canak was not making a commitment to how the citizens would be charged for trash collection, either billed by the city or by the vendor. Mr. Moss stated if we start charging citizens for trash collection, we should ensure it be earmarked for a Rainy Day/Reserve Fund thereby prohibiting city leaders from spending it just because there’s extra money.
Mr. Hayes returned to the survey results and the topic of BOC size: 545 voted, 40 respondents skipped this question. 210 (39%) voted Yes for 5 commissioners, and 335 (61%) voted No. Mr. Moss and Mrs. Gaw stated this number shocked them.
Garbage and Recycling Services: 383 (71%) would prefer city of OH to bill directly for garbage/recycling services; 120 (22%) would prefer the vendor bill citizens directly; (7%) residents arrange their own trash pick-up. One respondent stated they would dispose of their own trash.
Chipper Service: City to continue to provide-476 (88%) said Yes; 67 (12%) said No.
Increase Building Zoning Restrictions: 237 (44%) said Yes; 296 (56%) said No. Mr. Gay pointed out the wording of this survey question did not give an example of the restrictions that were added this year or any future restrictions so how could you possibly answer this question intelligently. Mr. Hayes stated we all realize there are weak points to how the survey was worded and distributed, but maybe we should focus on the exploratory nature of the survey that Mr. Canak described.
Increase Building Restrictions on Additions: 173 (32%) said Yes; 362 (68%) said No. Mr. Evans asked does “building increase” mean, build it bigger or make it more restrictive. Mr. Hayes said make it more restrictive.
Support the Franklin Pike Multi-Modal Path: Mrs. Knestrick asked Mr. Hayes to state how many responded to the question. He answered 120 responded. Mrs. Knestrick explained the committee should remember this question only went to 2 of the 4 CAC group emails and was removed from the version of the survey sent to the Central and North CACs and from the city’s on-line version of the survey. Mr. Hayes said there’s a high probability the issue will be brought back up because some commissioners were confused at the last BOC meeting.
Mr. Hayes stated he was anti towards the multi-modal path at the beginning. He then passed out a letter he received from Mayor Campbell outlining more details of path. He explained there’s more information regarding the costs as originally presented. There are grants and other sources that can almost pay for the OH portion of the study. Mr. Hayes continued that even though it may not be the best time to spend money, it’s very possible the lion’s share could be paid for by these other sources, grants, etc. Mr. Moss said the state should be the prime provider of the funds for the pathway and Mr. Hayes said they would be one of the payers.
Mr. Hayes stated he had recently driven down Franklin Road and there is plenty of room to build the pathway. Mrs. Knestrick disagreed and showed the committee pictures of brick walls and stonewalls along Franklin Road. Mr. Hayes the walls would be rebuilt or may potentially be on the other side of the road of the path.
Mr. Gay asked where is the right-of-way along Franklin Pike. Mr. Canak commented Franklin Pike has a really wide right-of-way. Mr. Evans stated he is a biker/cyclist and isn’t opposed to bike paths. He explained he is concerned the study is placing “the cart before the horse.” He spoke with a resident who lives on Franklin Road and forced TDOT to pay him money years ago when Franklin Road was expanded. The state thought they had the right-of-way and they did not. Mr. Evans stressed the city must figure out if there are eminent domain issues because if you start impacting the property of these large homes up and down Franklin Road, it will create a political firestorm and legal fees for the city and anger citizens that will spend a lot of money to protect their valuable property. Mr. Evans stated we must figure out the right-of-way before we commit to any study so that the city is protected from unanticipated expenses (i.e., legal fees.) He pointed out you cannot rely upon the current report because the proponents of the study will be getting paid to conduct the study and hopefully get to design the path. Mr. Hayes stated he supported Mr. Evans valid points and explained he did not understand why pathway was put on the last BOC agenda for a vote when the CACs are still deliberating about important issues like this.
Mrs. Knestrick expressed her frustration is how the multi-modal path has been presented. She stated we were given the Design Center’s proposal at our first CAC meeting. The report is dated October 2017, and is 1 ½ years old. The mayor stated she and the city manager have been working on this proposal with a group of six other people, yet the citizens who have questions have only had access to the study for a couple of months. Mrs. Knestrick stated if this proposal is so important and wanted so much by the city administrators then why haven’t more citizens been brought to the table to discuss such a major project and solicit public buy-in.
Mrs. Gaw stated she did not understand, until discussions about the modal path arose, Metro’s intent to extend the greenway up to Radnor Lake. Mr. Gay and others explained how narrow Otter Creek is and how they do not understand how there will be room to establish a modal-path connection to Radnor, via Otter Creek, off Franklin Road. Mr. Hayes stated the greenway proposal is a big deal throughout the city (Metro) and the intent is to tie all of them in together. Mr. Canak explained he recently was in Milwaukee, WS, and they have 178 miles of dedicated greenway bike paths within the city. Their system makes it where pedestrians and cyclists never have to interact with traffic.
The committee agreed Nashville is heading in the direction of utilizing other modes of transportation but we need to plan it correctly. Mr. Evans added another question would be how often are the current paths (like 10th Avenue) utilized. Mr. Moss stated he frequently travels down 10th Avenue (where the Melrose bike path was established) and he rarely sees bikers on the path. Mrs. Knestrick added she only parents walking children near the school.
Mr. Evans asked should we (the city) be spending $60,000 on this proposal or should we spend that money on establishing a stormwater fund. Mr. Hayes repeated his original point that he believes the city could significantly reduce the $60,000 commitment by utilizing other grants.
Mr. Paddison expressed establishing a Metro-Nashville greenway system is the way to go, and Oak Hill should participate in the process, or we will get left behind. He stated while he’s not sure this current proposal is the most feasible way to proceed because of the costs associated with title surveys, etc., but $60,000 is a worthy investment to see what the best options may be for a pathway. He added with any development you are going to have to put some money up to see if it is feasible. Mrs. Knestrick stated if the proposal had been presented in the way Mr. Paddington explained it, it would have been palatable and more acceptable to citizens currently opposed to the pathway.
Mr. Paddison added he would like the study to include the density of the populations along Franklin Road, Granny White, etc., to see what road would provide maximum utilization. He said OH is one of the least densely populated cities within Metro. He said for OH residents that will utilize the pathway, we are not the best return on the dollar. [He referenced the map of Pg. 7 of the Nashville Civil Design Center proposal, October 2017.] With this point, Mr. Paddison emphasized the focus of the study should shift to more of a feasibility study rather than a final pathway down Franklin Pike. Mr. Moss stated his concern would be that OH would be forced to pay for a pathway that will be utilized in greater proportion by non-OH residents. Mrs. Knestrick added the study should be updated from its original wording [The proposed route would run from Franklin Pike and Old Hickory Boulevard to where Franklin Pike becomes 8th Avenue South. Pg. 6 of Nashville Civic Design Center proposal, October 2017] because the 8th Avenue portion is now located on 10th Avenue. She stated more information is needed as to how what has already been built will connect to the OH portion of the pathway. Mr. Paddison added the current proposal (Map, Pg. 7) shows the lack of density along Franklin Pike and the blocked access of the Radnor Yards and I-65. The way this is currently outlined, you would have to cross over to Granny White to get to the most homes and Radnor Lake (greatest density.)
Mr. Canak asked Mr. Evans, since he’s a lifelong resident of Nashville, if there at one point had been a light-rail system that ran down Franklin Road. Mr. Evans did not recall such a railway but Mr. DeMarco did and found information confirming the railway. Mr. Canak asked if the designation of that railway could be utilized as the justification of the right-of-way down Franklin Road. Mr. Evans stated it does not cost anything to find out the right of way.
Mr. Evans explained to the group the BOC should keep in mind that municipal projects always go over budget, potentially costing OH more than $60,000 for the study. He stated the proposed project costs at this point are $6 million, with OH’s portion around $1.2 million. That could increase to $2 million with cost overruns. Mr. Canak agreed there are typically overruns but stated OH could cover such costs with Federal and State monies. Mr. Hayes commented projects like this done in different configurations and are simple for contractors to adequately predict costs. Mr. Gay asked why OH is even involved with this project if Franklin Road is a state highway and the project is being driven by Metro Nashville. He said while he is personally for having a greenway, the other governmental entities involved have the power to do the project and he agrees with Mr. Paddison regarding the low density in OH and doesn’t think it’s a great investment for the city (OH). Mr. Hayes responded if we (OH) do not act upon this grant opportunity, then we (OH) harm our opportunities with Metro for future grants. Mr. Canak added OH is ultimately part of Metro and like a marriage, there are shared responsibilities and commitments.
Mrs. Gaw stated there should be an informational forum comprised of the representatives of the entities involved and all who know about this proposal should present to the public what they know. The majority of our committee agreed that a public forum would be helpful. Mr. Hayes concluded on this topic that our committee would submit all of our questions and concerns to the BOC and city manager.
Building Restrictions. Mr. Hayes asked if we want to see more restrictions designated to limit the size of new builds. Mrs. Gaw stated she thinks the maximum lot coverage for the zones needs to be reduced significantly, because right now we are allowed to cover way too much of our property with impermeable surfaces. Mr. DeMarco agreed and cited an example of a house currently being built on Robertson Academy that is so large on the lot that the front entrance to the house had to be placed on the side. Mrs. Gaw stated her understanding is that before a permit is issued, the calculation of the hard surface is already determined so builders should know the percentage. Mr. DeMarco asked for clarification of the new rules the city (OH) just passed. Mrs. Gaw said those rules are the shaving of the side setbacks. Mr. DeMarco stated the city manager told him developers come in, clear lots and build huge houses then tell the buyers they can build a swimming pool later. Mrs. Knestrick agreed and gave an example of the new house on the corner of Sewanee Road and Brookwood Lane. Mrs. Gaw explained the Sewanee Road house is problematic because the builder changed the orientation of the house on the lot to allow a swimming pool to be built in the “backyard” of the address but visibly in the side yard of the orientation of the house on the lot. Several members of the committee were concerned with the tactics of the contractors and placing the homeowners in the position of having to claim a hardship for building approvals.
Mrs. Knestrick stated she would like tighter restrictions and requirements set on contractors. She explained homeowners are willing to pay for the increases imposed on their builders to ensure the builders are meeting the city’s requirements. She stated an example of the two new spec homes built next door to her in the past year. One of the builders in particular ignored the posted hours of operation, allowed subcontractors to work on holidays, etc. She said she complained multiple times to John Bledsoe at OH and he requested she send time-stamped pictures documenting the violations. The builders were fined multiple times and did not care they were breaking the rules. They would rather break the rules and pay the minimal fines, than abide by the rules on the front end. In Mrs. Knestrick’s opinion, that is the difference between a spec homebuilder and a homeowner’s builder. Mr. Moss agreed and said OH should put more teeth into the building restrictions and seeks assistance in getting the state law changed that restricts the fines to only $50 day. Mr. Evans suggested injunctions be filed. If the builders do not obey the injunctions, then the penalty is $150 a day or jail. He suggested the city attorney should find out if the city judge has such authority. The committee agreed. Mr. Evans offered to draft a zoning ordinance clause (mirroring the one utilized by Forest Hills) and placed it into our CAC report and suggests the BOC adopt it. In addition, we will ask our city attorney which of those powers the city judge could exercise. Our committee agreed unanimously multiple that offensives, with penalties, need to be in place to warn off abuse by the builders.
The committee adjourned at 8:11 p.m.
Monday, March 11, 2019
The following members were present: Tom Hayes (Chair), Adrienne Knestrick, Mary Wherry, Barrett Gay, David DeMarco, Al Moss, Julia Gaw, Brenda Clark and John Paddison. Also in attendance was Bill Canak who had served as Mary Wherry’s proxy during the last two meetings.
Mr. Hayes called the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.
A motion was made by Mr. Canak and seconded by Mr. DeMarco to pass the January 31, 2019, minutes as edited. Motion passed unanimously.
A motion was made by Mr. Canak and seconded by Mr. DeMarco to pass the February 20, 2019, minutes as edited. Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Hayes suggested the committee take a straw poll vote on each item as outlined on the survey to help finalize our upcoming report to the BOC. The committee agreed to the straw poll process but wanted it noted our committee does not believe the survey was well-worded or well-administered therefore it should only be used as an information gathering tool and not for justifying policy decisions of the BOC or city manager.
The committee voted to support an Oak Hill Stormwater Fund and not participate in the Metro Stormwater fund. The committee supports funding for the Oak Hill Fund to come from recently acquired Metro funds ($500,000 for infrastructure repairs) and not from billing Oak Hill citizens (as stated in the survey).
Option 1: Support Metro’s Stormwater Fund Yay: 0, Nay: 9
Option 2: Establish an Oak Hill Stormwater Fund* Yay: 9
Option 3: Do nothing
*Citizens will not be billed for Oak Hill Stormwater Fund. Funding will come from Metro Infrastructure monies.
Receiving the Newsletter
The survey did not state if citizens would be given the option of a digital newsletter over a hard copy. The committee agreed the city newsletter should be provided digitally to be more cost efficient and to provide citizens with more timely information. Ms. Wherry pointed older citizens in Oak Hill may want to continue to receive a hard copy newsletter but the increased costs to provide a hardcopy to all citizens is no longer feasible.
Mrs. Gaw suggested the city request the election commission’s email list for all registered voters in Oak Hill. By importing the Election Commission list, Oak Hill could have a more accurate city email list and could avoid public records issues.
The committee agreed the newsletter should be in bullet point format and should only include important city information.
Mr. Gay suggested a better way to improve the city’s communications (newsletters, website, social media, etc.) would be to do a blog. The city administration could post on a blog in real time meetings, agendas (with detail), changes in ordinances, implementation of new ordinances, etc., without the costs and burden to staff of producing the communication forms the city has been using. A blog is also “searchable” therefore citizens and others can find out information without contacting the city via email and telephone. Mr. Gay pointed out the blog solution will not fix the situation where non-computer citizens may still want hard copy newsletters, but it will significantly reduce communication costs and be more user friendly. [Mr. Gay gave the example of being frustrated by seeing Oak Hill Notices for Public Hearing and not being able to look up what the posting is about without having to contact the city by phone or email. If the city staff used a blog, the information would be available to all, at all times. Ms. Wherry stated Mr. Gay’s idea is a very valid suggestion.]
The committee all agreed the city’s website is difficult to utilize and does not contain detailed information (i.e. stating what an ordinance pertains to and not just listing it by code number.) Mrs. Knestrick and Mrs. Gaw suggested researching the provider the city of Forest Hills uses. Their site is user friendly and contains detailed information, including detailed minutes from each meeting.
The committee unanimously endorsed the city finding a new provider for communication services and utilizing the expertise of Mr. Gay to assist the city in revamping the communications. Ms. Wherry suggested the proposal also include improving the quality of the taped BOC meetings and how you access the tapings. Mr. DeMarco agreed and commented the tapings only can be viewed utilizing Internet Explorer. Other options, like Chrome, will not work. Mrs. Knestrick stated improving the communication systems should be a relief to the city employees and enable them to be more efficient in their work, by not having to stop throughout the day to answer citizen calls and emails about info that could be on the website.
City Email List
All members of the CAC Central group are registered with the Oak Hill email list. Ms. Clark stated she opted out of the hardcopy newsletter via email and she still receives the hard copy. This example highlighted the ongoing difficulties our CAC members are having utilizing the system under the current provider. It was pointed out, if we as active participants in city government are having difficulties, then inactive citizens are probably even more frustrated.
Mr. Gay floated the idea of sharing the citizen’s neighborhood email lists (like Ms. Wherry’s or Mr. Moss’) with the city to start a new city email list. Mr. Moss said he would need to first send an email out to each on his list to ask permission to forward their email to the city. Mrs. Gaw asked what other neighborhoods in Oak Hill might have current email lists. Mr. Moss thought Tracy Williamson created one for North Oak Hill and Mr. Canak said South Oak Hill has one.
Mr. Paddison stated if we used the voter registration/Election Commission list then all the overlap of utilizing the neighborhood lists would be prevented. Mr. Gay stated the city will have to offer a compelling argument to citizens when attempting to create the new list and could do so by highlighting the summary emails that will be provided with timely and user-friendly information. He added the public hearing signage should also include city website information to better inform the public.
Board of Commission Size
Mr. Hayes asked which committee members support increasing the BOC from 3 to 5 commissioners. 7 committee members voted to increase to 5 BOC members and 3 voted to keep at 3 commissioners. Mr. Canak pointed out the issue may be a mute point if the 2020 census shows Oak Hill’s population at 5000 residents or greater. Mr. Gay researched the subject of population size of Oak Hill. Census.Gov states in 2017 the estimated population is 4,681. Several committee members commented they believe that number will increase by the 2020 federal census because they have experienced significant population increases in their neighborhoods.
Trash Collection/Recycling Collection/Chipper Service
Mr. Hayes asked the committee to vote for the following options: Option 1: The city will contract with a vendor to provide trash and recycling collection and will bill residents for the service. 2 members voted Yes. Option 2: The city will contract with a vendor to provide trash and recycling collection and the vendor will bill residents directly. 7 committee members voted Yes. Option 3: Residents will provide their own trash collection. No members voted for this option. Mr. Moss stated he didn’t vote for any options because there is not enough information on the billing plans.
All committee members (10) voted for the city to continue providing chipper service at no costs to residents.
Mutil-modal Path/MPO Grant
Mr. Hayes explained to the committee there has been a lot of confusion about the plan because of the vote at the January BOC meeting. He mentioned the letter he received from the mayor explaining more details regarding the plan. It is his understanding the measure will be brought up for discussion only at the April BOC meeting. Mrs. Knestrick stated she sent a copy of a recent Channel 4 News story about Franklin Road (at Lakemont Road) is the number one rock fall concern for TDOT in all of Middle Tennessee. She went on to say if the mayor intends to secure other grants to offset the $60,000 commitment for Oak Hill towards the study, she would like the city to discuss such funding from TDOT. She sent the story to each BOC member, the city manager and each CAC Central members. Mr. Widelitz responded he would look into the TDOT angle. Mr. Hayes stated the mayor’s letter mentioned there are a number of different folks along the pathway willing to contribute financially, in addition to a couple of other grants. He said all issues regarding right of way, additional grant money, density, utilization, etc., would be covered by the study. He repeated he is not typically a proponent of bike paths, but believes OH should participate in the grant opportunity provided by Metro because many other cities across the country do this.
Mrs. Knestrick explained her concern from the beginning is how the study for the pathway has been presented to the public. Simply having a panel of six citizens, many of which do not live in Oak Hill, and mentioning the proposal in a newsletter is not engaging the public on the subject. She thinks the mayor should host a public forum, with all the stakeholders (Metro, TDOT, Civic Design Center, Bike Nashville, residents along Franklin Road, etc.) and allow for dialogue to occur. She is also concerned that the only information provided to the CACs at this time is an October 2017 proposal from Civic Design Center. Mr. Hayes said he did not understand how the measure was placed before the BOC while the CACs were still looking into it. Ms. Wherry stated the purpose of the study is to answer these questions.
Mrs. Knestrick asked if the city commits to the $60,000 for the study, is that committing OH to contributing to the final proposal? Mr. Hayes stated this is an important point that our committee wants the mayor to address.
Mr. Hayes called for a vote on whether our committee members support the plan. Mrs. Knestrick commented her vote would depend upon how the commitment is worded. Mr. Hayes clarified our committee supports the city spending $60,000 to participate in a study regarding the building of a multi-modal pathway in Oak Hill. Six members voted Yes. Mrs. Gaw said the proposal may not end up being feasible to implement, but she supports the authorization of the $60,000 in hopes the study will generate other novel ideas that might be beneficial to Oak Hill. She would also like to hear from the other organizations involved to better understand Metro’s greenway plan because all she receives now are bits and pieces of information.
Mr. Paddison stated he abstained from the vote because even though he agrees Nashville needs bike pathways, but he sees real shortcomings in where Metro is proposing to do the pathway. Having a bike pathway through commercial areas, churches, schools, does not seem the right thing to get to Radnor. He would like them to include studies of alternative routes and not commit this (Franklin Road) is where the route will go. Mr. Hayes thinks this valid point will precipitate from this study as well. Ms. Wherry said the public was involved several years ago when another bike path was presented and again during the lane construction at the intersection of Battery and Franklin Road. She said the city would give the public a voice in this issue.
Mr. Hayes asked the committee would you like to see more bike paths and sidewalks within Oak Hill. Mrs. Gaw stated she would like to see a safe way to cross Harding Place. All 10 committee members voted for more sidewalks, with special consideration given to priority areas (like crossing Harding.)
Building Restrictions for New Builds and Renovations
The first question Mr. Hayes asked, from the survey, was if the committee supports more restrictions to limit the size of new builds. Several committee members were concerned with the generalization of the wording of the question on the survey. Mr. Canak stated we could start with specific topics within the umbrella of building restrictions. He said while steep slope ordinances covering neighborhoods like his are working, several on our committee have made persuasive arguments requiring ordinances for stormwater runoff in flat areas for new builds. He thinks we need ordinances that echo the requirements for steep slopes in these flatter lots because it is harming existing neighbors. Mr. DeMarco agreed and stated developers come in and want as much square footage as they can possibly build. He mentioned the two homes currently being built on 871 Robertson Academy. Mr. Gay stated he did research into those home using aerial pictures he took from a drone camera. The pictures show the parcel of the lot and the footprint of the house (as currently being built.) Mr. Gay showed he measured the square footage of just the house to be about 6700 square feet. The driveway (which originates at the initial driveway) crosses the yard and winds around to the back of the house are also about 6700 square feet. Resulting in total square footage of 13,400. The lot is 46,000 square feet and the builder is only covering about 30% of the lot (he’s allowed to cover 35%.) Mr. Gay pointed out two areas on parcel that currently have gravel on them. If the builder intends to build patios or driveway parking areas in those spaces, he will exceed the 35% restriction. Mr. Gay emphasized since the builder has already received his permit and inspections, no one from the city is going to come and check to see that he’s broken the law.
Mr. Gay brought up another issue with the two new builds on Robertson Academy. The new build on 871 Robertson Academy raised the driveway when they extended it towards the back of the house and parallel to the driveway next door. Mr. Gay spoke to the builder of the house next to 871 Robertson Academy and he is concerned about water runoff coming off the driveway of 871 Robertson Academy into the house he is building. Mr. DeMarco said the same scenario occurred when First Presbyterian/Oak Hill School raised their athletic fields. The water flows down into the lots of the those two homes, the home formerly owned by Jimmy Bradshaw and the home next to the Bradshaw’s. Ms. Wherry pointed out the history of problems the runoff from the retention pond at the school causes when it dumps into the storm drain, which is outside of the retention pond.
Mr. Paddison noted the dramatic increase in impermeable surfaces that is occurring with new builds. He stated builders are clearing out crawl spaces, etc., and simply piling up the dirt along the sides of the property, thereby causing significant drainage issues for adjoining lots. He suggested Oak Hill adopt Metro’s stormwater codes to at least start a protection mechanism to prohibit such runoff issues. He stated developers would know on the front end they would be expected to build into their costs expenses to provide a rain garden or other mechanisms to deal with water runoff.
Mr. Gay said the enforcement of our ordinance requirements is just as critical as having good ordinances. Ms. Wherry stated she thinks the highest priority of all the issues we’ve discussed should be the enforcement of our codes. Currently, Oak Hill only has one codes compliance officer. He only works Monday-Friday until 5:00 p.m. Contractors are working on Saturday and Sunday and there is no one to police the contractors so they can do whatever they want to do.
The committee had a lot of discussion around the increased activity of tearing down old homes and building new houses that significantly impact adjoining homes. The committee agreed Oak Hill needs more “teeth” and should adopt ordinances (building restrictions, stormwater requirements, etc.) and should increase efforts to enforce those ordinances prior to issuing permits or approving inspections. Mr. Canak stated the city leaders can control this by adopting regulations that don’t destroy neighborhoods.
Ms. Clark pointed out she received notice requesting a variance to build a garage on a side yard on Churchwood. She is concerned the variance that was approved for a house on Sewanee and Granny White to build a pool in their back/side yard at the last BZA meeting will set precedent for future requests to build in side yards. Mr. Canak argued the BZA, according to the city charter, does not allow precedent to utilized for granting hardship variances. Mrs. Knestrick and Ms. Clark argued while that may be the standard, it is occurring. Mrs. Knestrick explained the problem that occurred with the Sewanee Road project is the city sent the wrong notice to adjoining neighbors (in the absence of a codes officer.) By sending inaccurate notice, the proposal was heard and approved without neighbors being able to express their concerns. Mrs. Knestrick went on to say, the city manager should have postponed the request until the notice could have been done appropriately. Instead, he allowed the proposal to be approved, therefore setting precedent for future requests for building pools, etc., within side yards. Ms. Clark stated this situation places the pressure back on the city because residents requesting future variances can point out this way the city handled this situation.
Mrs. Gaw said the BOC should be willing to look at the city’s existing grid (Zone Designations) differently. She hears from residents, specifically in the North, the incongruity of new house builds in existing neighborhoods occurs directly into the side setbacks and the existing homes do not fill the building envelope like the new houses d, therefore disturbing the existing homes. She stated Forest Hills building envelope is calculated as a percentage of the width of the lot. For example, the side setbacks in Forest Hills are 24%, regardless of lot size. This approach makes more sense because so many of our lots are irregular shapes and keeps new builds appropriate to the lot size.
Mr. DeMarco added the best thing going for Oak Hill is our zoning, but it needs to be tightened up. Mr. Paddison suggested Oak Hill adopt a requirement Metro has which developments must fit in the six properties in line with what you are building. Oak Hill’s current system has each area zoned individually. Ms. Clark said Mr. Paddison’s point dovetails into her concerns about the impact new builds without tighter restrictions are doing to the character of existing homes and to Oak Hill overall. Mrs. Knestrick commented that until stricter ordinances and tighter enforcement occurs, current residents should document what builders are doing. She explained she had to take time-stamped pictures and submit them to the OH codes officer when spec builders worked on holidays, weekends or after hours on two homes next to her last year. Based upon her documentation, Mr. Bledsoe was able to fine the builders. Without her pictures, he could not fine them because OH codes department only works Monday-Friday, regular business hours. Ms. Wherry encouraged our group to continue to be engaged in issues impacting Oak Hill and having dialogue like we have done this evening.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Addendum by Adrienne Knestrick, submitted 4/15/19:
I’m writing to you to let you know I would like to change my vote of supporting the study of the Multi-modal path in Oak Hill to a “No.” Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the BOC April 11 meeting when they discussed the proposal pathway. New information has come to light since we last met that make me completely reconsider supporting the study.
First, I have done significant research on Metro’s website on its Greenway Plan (how to apply, what divisions of Metro make the decisions, etc.) for the whole city of Nashville and on the Nashville Civic Design Center’s site. Every reference states that the study was “requested” by our mayor. I was of the understanding that Metro had contacted Oak Hill and we were being asked to financially support a study Metro was spearheading to find the best routes to connect Nashville’s greenways.
Second, in April 11 BOC meeting, the city manager stated that he came up with the overall expense of the pathway through Oak Hill to be almost $7 million. This concerns me greatly. Again, I was of the understanding Metro and the Civic Design team had projected the costs based upon other experiences throughout Metro building bike paths, etc. I do not believe the city manager’s estimate is a legitimate figure to base such a significant decision upon.
In addition, Mayor Campbell attached to her April 2019 Newsletter Oak Hill’s application for the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Active Transportation Program Grant. The attachment is simply the application. It is not dated, nor is it stamped as received by the MPO. This document was not provided to us back in January when we had our first CAC meetings. The only document we have been given has been the Civic Design Center’s October 2017 proposal. I do not feel like city leaders, who are promoting the multi-modal path, have been forthcoming with all the necessary information and documentation needed to support such a significant financial commitment.
In the March 11 minutes, the motion on the multi-modal path stated “our committee supports the city spending $60,000 to participate in a study regarding the building of a multi-modal pathway in Oak Hill.” Due to all of this new information, I am changing my vote from Yes to No for supporting such a study.
April 23, 2019
I’m not sure if you heard from David and Al, but I hope you offer an amendment to the Central CAC’s report to clarify our vote on the multi-modal path at tonight’s BOC meeting. With Barrett’s reply, I have the vote as follows: For: (3) Hayes, Wherry, Cannak. Against: (6) Clark, Evans, Gaw, Gay, Knestrick, Paddison. Unknown: Moss, DeMarco.
See you tonight,
Oak Hill Citizen’s Advisory Council
East Area Report
Members: Sue Ferguson, Chair; Nathan Sensing, Recorder; Micaela Reed, Marilee Jacobs, Michelle Wriggle Brown, Trevor Howell, Natalie Krieg, Andrew Capra, Rhonda Bingham
Below is a summary of our group discussions by topic.
Storm-water Fund: After much discussion and gathering of additional information, the group came to several conclusions.
There was a definitive recommendation not to opt in to Nashville’s storm-water program. Oak Hill is such a small part of Metro, that the funding from the Oak Hill residents would likely be greater than the value of services from Metro. In other words, Metro would benefit more from our participation that we would. It is also unclear whether participating in Metro’s program would involve adopting Metro’s storm-water regulations.
The group supported the idea of establishing an Oak Hill storm-water program. However, it was not clear how those funds would be collected. Benefits of an in-house program would include the ability to be more responsive to residents. Currently, there is no backlog of projects, so there should be enough time to build up enough funding for significant projects. Fund collection could be done at the same time as garbage.
No change was the group’s 2nd preference. This option would be acceptable, but the more proactive Oak Hill storm-water program would be preferable.
For any of the options, the group recommends more stringent storm-water regulations and enforcement of existing regulations. A permit fee on new construction could aid in the enforcement arena.
Newsletter: The group thinks that the newsletters should continue, but that the city should move toward email delivery or posting online. Strongly consider an opt-in policy for news -letter delivery after clearly publicizing it for several mailed issues. Folks could opt-in by phone also. Newsletter topics should include city business and information, community events and calendar information and occasional special interest stories.
Website: The group agreed that the website should include an FAQ section because it is difficult to find things. Include info on garbage days, recycling, what things are not happening on holidays, office hours, etc.
City Email List: The group suggests the request to sign up for the list be prominent on the website\newsletter. Also, include a discussion about the how it is protected from FOIA and other releases.
Board Size: The group discussed the pros and cons of increasing the size of the board and held a straw poll. Pros include improving ability to reach a quorum, potentially increasing responsiveness to the residents and diversity of the board. Cons include the potential for a small\special interest to elect a candidate because of the small number of votes needed to win if 3 seats are filled at one time. It would also be harder to get 5 qualified candidates to run (it is difficult enough to fill 3 seats). The election would be more expensive, more work for the city manager, and would take longer. The straw poll: 5 for remaining at 3 and 1 going to a 5-member board. There were 6 attendees.
Garbage/recycling/chipper: The was much discussion on these services. Everyone agreed that keeping the once a week backdoor service was important to them. Generally, the group is in favor of the city billing residents. It is cheaper and better controlled and they could collect a storm-water or other fee if needed at the same time. However, there were several questions about city billing. How would the city collect from delinquent residents? Does the collection go beyond the original purpose for which Oak Hill was established? Would the billing take away from other city functions like code enforcement?
The group does not support residents arranging for their own trash service, because of the extra traffic multiple providers could cause.
The group also wants the city to provide chipper service and would be willing to pay.
Building restrictions: The group generally agrees that additional building restrictions are warranted. In addition, there needs to be a way of enforcing current restrictions. Fines for violations are very small compared to the money to be made. A clear, simple, enforceable tree ordinence is also recommended. It should encourage keeping existing trees and be enforceable.
Sound Wall: We strongly encourage the BOC to pursue the sound wall as a high priority.
Cons of all doing separate services would be increased trucks and infrastructure, having to take trash to the streets, unreliability of trash pick-up that isn't consistent for every household. Could we piggy-back off of Metro and would it be cost-effective? Why is current service unreliable in certain areas? How is Oak Hill tracking complaints? Feel out Forest Hills and Belle Meade to see if economy of scale might allow us to create a cooperative. One thing we all agreed to would be service staying a "back door" service.
See "other" at bottom. Most of the discussion was around the billing, in house vs. direct to the vendor.
Form of self-insurance where our paid-in funds would be pooled to offset reparations that need to be made in the event of water runoff-related damage such as sink holes, culverts collapsing, etc.Per Sue Ferguson: Stormwater through Metro seems like it would be roughly $11 a month for a home that covers 6,000 or more square feet of land and would obviously adhere to Metro's rules/regulations.What would it cost if done in house? How have we paid for this in the past? What have annual costs been previously and are they increasing annually? Are the problems progressing? Can we charge a "special permit fee" to new construction builders that drastically decrease the green space of a lot?
Add more stringent stormwater regulations and continue down the path of looking to implement a "permit fee" on new construction.Emphasis on enforcement.Generally agreed that we don't rely on Metro for this.
Communication/Email List Newsletter
Find a way to reduce physical mailings and segue to online/email portals. Why are certain people signing up for the email newsletter but not receiving it? Group consensus: With the next 2-3 mailings, include a very overt notice letting citizens know the physical mailings will stop at a certain date and invite citizens to opt in to the email distribution.
Seems to be a good experience for everyone in our group. Would it be financially "worth it" to reduce the frequency of pick up?
BOC Board Size
5 could be more congenial so it isn't 2 vs. 1 in every vote. Harder to fill five seats with qualified BOC members. Easier to "buy" voting seats with 5 members and 3 seats coming due all at the same time. 5 would represent more diversity on the council.Took a straw poll and it was 6:1 (7 voting members at the meeting) in favor of staying with 3 members
What are current restrictions? What would they feasibly be changed to? What are the adverse effects of current restrictions? -Change the look and feel of the neighborhood, runoff issues, won't allow room for patios/decks/pools in theWhat was the intent of the codes originally and do they adequately protect the integrity of the city? Are the current restrictions being enforced? Are they so lax that they don't limit behaviors on the high end?How do we compare to other communities such as Forest Hills, Belle Meade, etc. What do they deem to be reasonable? What does our citizenship deem to be reasonable?Restrictions were updated in 2017 (ish) and reportedly didn't change things much. Is % of lot or square footage the right way to go and are they constrictive enough?
Can we tally/record complaints around trash, recycle, chipper, etc. on the website…"Feedback" portal? Things that would be helpful to know, FAQ section… days garbage/recycle/chipper will not come (holidays), building hours, BOC meeting times, Oak Hill Office hour of operations and holiday schedule, what actually is the Hall Tax, etc. Cost study of doing fee billing to citizens in house vs. contracting out with billing agency.
Roll all billings to the citizens together in one fee as opposed to billing a la carte.
Tree ordinance: Need one that is based of a study done. Should not just be geared at replacement, but should also aim to preserve certain types (size, age, location, etc.) of trees (particularly Oaks) in the city.Geared at home owners too or just builders?If this sort of odinance is created, who would inspect/enforce?Sound wall: When was the last TDOT survey taken and how has city changed since then? Who would fund the wall and reasonably what would the cost be? What would the footprint of the wall be? Where does this fall on the priorities list for the BOC and should it be higher on the list?
Strong discussion around billing for services. Should Oak Hill handle it in house or should external vendors bill directly? Very split discussion with the points being "we are not a billing service….doesn't align with our charter" and "if we are going to set up a billing arm for the city to bill citizens anyways, why wouldn't we do it for everything".In favor of a tree ordinance that is concise, clear, and practically enforceable.
Present: Andy Wainwright
Brief Discussion about City Having Added the Survey onto the website and putting it
out by email
Concern that this is premature and that citizens do not have enough information to complete it in an informed manner and to understand the issues
Concern that the responses are too limited and that there are other possible responses to questions that are not included
Concern over not having the ability to add open-ended comments
Concern over the phrasing of the questions
Concern that this is not a meaningful survey
Time sensitive issue as $60,000 funding being decided at BOC mtg tomorrow
No support for spending the $60,000 without more consideration in Ron Galbraith’s neighborhood (he met with several of his neighbors last week to solicit feedback)
Why is this a pressing decision?
City has no income, so why spending this now?
Concern over timing of this vote at BOC meeting in light of CACs just coming together
Only 80% coming from grants and those are not even assured; estimate of $6 million is estimate and could be higher
$1.2 million must come from Oak Hill
$60,000 is just for feasibility portion
Bike path to nowhere right now – no commitment north or south
While not opposed to a bike path per se, the timing in not good in light of money issues
Need the $1.2 million committed first – that would be a reasonable approach to this first
The rush on this seems inappropriate – insisting on spending it and at the same time having CACs start meeting and having us pay for trash service is inappropriate
Should see if MD Farms businesses would commit to it first
Homeowners and churches along Franklin Rd need to both know about this and have meaningful time for input before City spends any money
Multi-Modal path looks pretty but does not address real issues/questions
Normally city would get together with Brentwood and Nashville and have a coordinated discussion and figure out funding collectively
This is not a reasonable expenditure of funds
City of Franklin Rd is a state road – we don’t know what state’s position or TDOT’s position on this is
Big issues are the money in light of our funding issues and taking other people’s property – Jeff said there will be some easement issues
Andy cannot go tomorrow; Cal will speak for group
Lots of unknowns – not clear on the proposal itself
Significant concerns on expenditures and taking of other’s property
Funding issues with garbage collection and storm water right now, so the timing is bad
Recommend a pause until we can communicate clearly how money spent and what the product would be
Also the plan itself on clearances and how will come up with $1.2 million is unknown
Jessie is concerned about homeowners and churches and schools along Franklin Rd and whether they know about this and would support it
Ron Galbraith - If BOC is really putting CACs together because they really want to hear the voices of citizens, it seems then this is very premature
Is this really Oak Hill’s burden or is it the State’s?
Andy Wainwright – could the Metro money for “roads and infrastructure” be used for this?
Not in favor of voting for it tomorrow night – too many unanswered questions and issues
Newsletter – each mailing costs $3000; all agree any newsletter needs to be improved
Jessie – concern over content not including voices of all Commissioners
Andy agrees – it does not need to be political
Concern over cost, yet older folks often will not go on line
Ron – his synagogue allows people to opt into a mail copy of an electronic mailing, so that those who really want it mailed can have it mailed
Concern – who writes it – it needs to be fact based
Needs to have news, voice a concern or give clarity – should come out of commissioners meetings
Recommendation is City spend time and money instead on making information available on the website
Need Board packets loaded before meetings
Need recordings of city meetings promptly loaded
What decisions are coming up
What are opportunities to be involved
Who can call to get questions answered
What is the issue; why is it important; who to call – here is a draft of the ordinance
Transparency thrown around forever and it has not happened
This is another reason that City should not bill for trash; first spend the time getting the information needed onto the website
STRONG RECOMMENDATION: NEED MORE AND CURRENT INFO ON WEBSITE AND NEED ABILITY TO FIND IT; THE WEBSITE IS NOT HELPFUL AND INFORMATION IS HARD TO FIND; PLEASE FIX IT
Communication is needed on critical things – direct format – only do a mailing when there is information people must have – like paying for garbage, things that affect your property – as needed basis and not politically stated
As needed is something that will impact your finances or your property
Ron – what if once per year a newsletter goes out that outlines the things being considered
Jessie – all for information, but concerned about what information is getting out and what information is not getting out
We will pick this topic back up next time
Abused in past and will be abused in future
Jessie – if have info on website no need for email list
Ron –thinks people want to pull info, not have it pushed
Andy – City needs a mechanism to communicate to citizens for emergencies at a minimum
Jessie – people should have right to opt into an email list or decide not to and pull info from website
If info is not current, then what is the value? Need website updated more and need to bring value to it
Priority needs to be in keeping web site up to date on a weekly basis with pertinent information– someone with the skills to do it and the dedicated time (Staff is two full timers and 3 part timers currently per Cal) – this should be one of the top things the City Manager is doing or making sure gets done; videos of all public meetings should be accessible within one week of the meeting occurring
Ron’s meeting from his neighbors – disappointed about paying for it, but understand it; unanimously want Oak Hill to bid process and bill for it
Jessie – City should not do billing; let contact out to have the provider do the billing – have provider take the extra work out of hands of City
All agree let the City select the provider and do collective bargaining –
Ron – would we lose the ability to have the City intervene on our behaves with trash issues?
Jessie – City should put into the agreement that City should coordinate on behalf of citizens with trash issues – all agree
Andy – do we allow opt outs for residents who don’t want to use City’s provider?
We would prefer not due to issues with multiple trucks, multiple days of week, and theft concerns of having lots of different workers from different companies
? Can we prevent folks from using other providers?
Market forces are such that price of using city provider will be much better
We are all unanimously in favor of Option B – City coordinating provider and provider doing the billing – hope there are incentives not to have homeowners not go outside contract provided; City would still be the single point of contact for trash issues on behalf of citizens (which will be another reason using the City provider would be the option citizens would want)
Recycling – we want that along with trash service
Chipper – we have limited information on this topic, but based upon what we know now City should continue to provide this service
Other three items saved for discussion next time:
Next meeting will be: Wednesday, Feb. 13th at 5:30 again at Jessie Zeigler’s at 5504 Hillview Dr.
Andy’s note that for Deb Woolley – use this email: email@example.com
To: Oak Hill Board of Commissioners From: Citizens Advisory Committee - South Date: April 5, 2019
Re: Final Report
Participating in t is CAC:
Andy Wainwright Jessie Zeigler
Cal Cobb Ron Galbraith
Our CAC unanimously agrees that if the City no longer has the money to pay for garbage and recycling pick-up, residents should pay individually for this service. We also unanimously agree that the Ci y should select the provider and do the collective bargaining to get the best rates, and that the agreement with the provider should state that the City will coordinate any issues with trash service from residents with the provider . All but Cal Cobb are in favor of Option B - that the City should coordinate the provider , but the provider should do the billing; Cal Cobb believes the City should do the billing. The City should be the single point of contact for issues with trash service on behalf of the Citizens .
We also unanimously want recycling to be a service the trash provider provides.
2. Topic 2 was not listed in the Agenda, but our CAC discussed January 2019's Survey
Our CAC had the following concerns about the survey issued in January:
• It was premature
• Residents did not have enough information to complete it in an informed manner and under stand the issues
•The responses were too limited and there were other possible responses to questions that were not included
• There was an inability to provide open-ended comments
• Concern over the phrasing of the questions
• Concern that this was not a meaningful survey
3. Storm Water Regulations/Fees
We believe that the City needs a policy to define the amount needed for reserves , the purposes of the City' s current reserves and what policies are in place to use these funds for emergencies/ unanticipated events such as storm water. But these events also should include fire events/other catastrophic events where emergency funds may be needed.
. No one supports having Metro in charge of our storm water.
To the extent that any additional funds are needed for storm water, we believe this should be covered by a fee charged to developers as changes in storm water/water intrusion often stem from development. Also , we do not want to tax current residents for this.
4. Multi-Modal Path/Grant
There is no consensus.
Five members are in support spending $60,000 to do the feasibility study. They believe this is only a feasibility study and the funding will either come or it will not. However, three of those members are supportive only if the feasibility study is comprehensive and will also answer the
( questions of the legal feasibility, the financial feasibility , and whether it connects in fact with Oak
Hill' s neighbors.
Two members believe it is not fiscally responsible to spend $60,000 for a feasibility study when the City no longer has funds to pay for residents' trash service. They also believe there needs to be a clear plan as to where the $1.2 million is coming from before spending $60,000. They also are concerned about our neighbors on Franklin Road having their properties taken for this purpose. Finally, they believe it is problematic that there is no connection for such a bike path on the south or north of Oak Hill. It appears to be a bike path to nowhere right now. There also seems to be no need to consider this at this time. This should be done at a more cohesive time for Oak Hill when it is done with more support and there should be more communication about it before it is considered.
5. and 9. Communication/Email List/Newsletter and Website
Our CAC is concerned with the cost of a newsletter and that the messaging varies according to the drafter and some are concerned that it becomes politicize d. Yet we are also concerned that promises for transparency have been made repeatedly, and yet transparency has not happened . We recommend that in lie u of a newsletter the City spend the time and money instead on making information available on the City's website. What we need to be able to see in a very timely fashion on the website is:
• Board packets loaded before the Board meetings
• The recordings of the city meetings promptly loaded
• A list of what decisions are coming up for consideration and when
• A list of opportunities to become more involved
•A list of who a resident may call to get specified types of questions answered
In summary, our CAC strongly recommends that more current information is needed on the website, along with the ability to easily find the information. The current website is not helpful and information is hard to find, if it is present at all. We request that this be addressed quickly. Rather than concerning itself with having an email list of its citizens, the information that needs to be communicated should be readily available on the City's website. We believe keeping the website updated should be the City Manager ' s top priority. Videos of the City's meetings should be loaded within a week following the meeting.
6. Chipper Service
We had limited information about the City's chipper service, but based upon what we understand believe the City should continue this serv ice.
7. Size of Board of Commissioners
All but one person is for having a BOC of 5 Commissioners. Most also would like to consider having districts within Oak Hill with one Commissioner from each District. Clear communication of any changes to all res idents needs to be made well in advance.
8. Building Restrictions
( We do not have enough information to make an informed decision as to whether changes should be made to building restrictions. We are willing to consider changes being recommended by our neighbors to the north, etc. since this issue seems to affect them as opposed to those of us in the southern part of Oak Hill, but we presently do not know the issues or the suggested resolutions . Any changes should be considered in conjunction with a tree ordinance, which our committee understands we have not been asked to consider at this time. We all believe a tree ordinance is needed, but we have not had before us proposed wording of one for consideration.