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Police Dogs, Public Hearings, Town Hall Parking Plans and More at Tuesday's Council Meeting

08/31/2018

We hope you will join us 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 for the Clayton Town Council meeting at The Clayton Center/Town Hall, 111 East Second Street in Downtown Clayton.

You can view the full agenda packet online here, or click here to download a PDF copy. Here are the highlights:

Introducing Two New Police Dogs – Raven and Eli

Town Council will meet the two new Clayton Police K9 teams! Clayton Officers Tyler McNeil and Isaiah Ruffin will attend with their four-legged partners.

Officer McNeil is teamed with 20-month-old Raven, named after the Riverwood Middle School Ravens mascot! She's a German Shepherd born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Officer Ruffin is teamed with 22-month-old Eli, who is a Belgian Malinois born in Poland. Eli is short for Elijah, the beloved prophet and miracle worker from the Old Testament.  

For the last 6 weeks, these newly promoted K9 officers have been bonding with their new partners, training at the Ventosa K9 Kennels & Law Enforcement Training Center in Scotland Neck, NC. They were both successfully certified and hit the street last week. The Council will watch a short video on the new teams.

Eventually, Clayton Police hope to have a K9 assigned to each shift in the department. 

Introduction of New Town Employees

The Council will meet the Town's new youth services librarian, Laura McGuire, and our newest police officer, Komivi Ekoule.

Public Hearings

The Council will open the floor for public discussion before voting to approve or deny the following:

Tew Court Rezoning: Vacant Lot off Gateway Drive

Jerry Pound seeks rezoning of 1.546 acres to B3 Highway Business from B3 Highway Business Special-Use District.

Currently vacant and unaddressed, the land is located west of Gateway Drive on Tew Court. That's in the professional park located across U.S. 70 Business from from the ABC Store. The lot is sandwiched between Kids ’R’ Kids Learning Academy of Clayton and 501 Gateway Drive, which houses multiple professional tenants including Chiropractic Partners and InSight Eye Care.

Special-use districts require all potential uses to go through the special use process in order to operate, regardless of what the base zoning district permits. That extra step can take up to 90 days before a new tenant can open for business on a site. In 2015, the Town Council directed staff to examine the locations of special-use districts and consider removing them on a case-by-case basis.

The Planning Board recommends the Council approve the rezoning. 

Avalon Center Rezoning: Nick's Flippin Kids Building at 9257 U.S. 70 Business

Michael De Maria and Teddy Hobbs seek rezoning of 8.07 acres at 9257 U.S. 70 Business to I-1 Industrial-Light from B-3 Highway Business.

The land, owned by Mt. Chestnut Leasing LLC, holds a 110,000-square-foot building that originally housed Ashley Furniture, and later Chloe's Furniture.

Currently, Nick's Flippin Kids uses space in the front of the building for children's gymnastics.

The Planning Board recommends the Council approve the rezoning. 

Updating Sewer High-Strength Surcharge

The Town Council will consider passing through changes to the sewer high-strength surcharge, which Johnston County plans to hike to hike by 10-cents per 1,000 gallons beginning Oct. 1.

The Town of Clayton's rate would rise to $2.16. The fee only affects commercial and industrial customers.

Although a public hearing isn't required by policy or law, the Council likes to give the public a chance to weigh-in before changing rates.

Bid Award: Town Hall Parking Expansion and Horne Street Improvements

The Council will consider awarding a $1,156,985.20 contract to J.M. Thompson Co., which submitted the lowest bid for a combined project to expand parking at The Clayton Center and to improve a section of Horne Street.

Here are the details of the project:

  • Town Hall Parking Expansion
    • Addition of 20 angled parking spaces along Fayetteville Street (between West Horne Street and East Second Street) and along East Second Street (between Fayetteville Street and Church Street)
    • 90 calendar days for completion (weather permitting)
  • Utilities and Roadway improvements on Horne Street from South Robertson Street to Charles Street
    • Water and sewer main replacement
    • Curb, gutter and sidewalk repair and replacement
    • Resurfacing of the asphalt pavement through the corridor
    • 120 calendar days for completion (weather permitting)

The contract would require all work to be completed by April 30, 2019.

Budget Amendments

In order to make the aforementioned parking project possible, along with several other town projects and purchases, the Town Council will consider several amendments to the budget that will draw money from the Town’s fund balance.

With the Council and many downtown business owners prioritizing increases in downtown parking, an additional $250,000 is being requested for the Town Hall parking project. Town Hall, The Clayton Center and The Clayton Community Center are currently undergoing security and safety upgrades. The upgrade at the Community Center came $45,000 under original budgeted estimates.

Another amendment is being requested by the Electric Department in the amount of $214,000 for an equipment handler to improve the efficiency of our Clayton Public Power team.   

Code of Ordinance Amendments

The Council will consider proposed additions to the Town ordinance that will serve to help to eliminate conflict of interests for Town employees in their course of doing the public’s business. In drafting the ordinances, staff used guidance and language suggested by the UNC School of Government, the largest university-based local government advisory and research organization in the United States.

State law already prohibits employees from benefiting from public contracts, these amendments also make it unlawful for any employee, officer, or agent of the town to solicit or accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors, potential contractors, or parties to subcontracts. It will allow items of nominal value to be accepted and the Town Human Resources department is currently in the middle of defining the boundaries of “nominal” in a newly revised Personnel Policy which will be brought to Council very soon.  

Three Public Hearings to be Postponed

Based actions taken by the Planning Department, the Town Council plans to postpone the following public hearings:

Camel Street Townhouses: 66 Lots South of Cooper Academy – Two Hearings to be Postponed to Oct. 1

Sanderson Engineering Inc. seeks major subdivision approval and a special-use permit to develop 66 townhouse lots on 7.48 acres near the intersection of Mial and Camel streets. 

Owned by SCA Ventures, the land is part of a 8.98 acre parcel that sits south of Cooper Elementary and wraps around Barnes Funeral Home & Cremation. The land is zoned Residential-8, which requires a special-use permit for development of townhouses.

Sidewalk is proposed along Camel Street and a total of 132 shared parking spaces are proposed to serve the townhouses.

On Aug. 27, the Planning Board will reviewed both requests and – after having heard from town staff, the applicant and other community members – referred the items back to Town staff and the Technical Review Committee for further review.

On Monday, the Council will will open the hearings and continue them to Oct. 1. If you had planned to speak at any of these hearings, there is no need to attend Monday's meeting.

Dumpster Amortization Ordinance Amendment – Postponed Until Further Notice

The Planning Department is proposing a dumpster amortization ordinance amendment, which would give property owners until Oct. 1, 2021, to bring non-conforming dumpster service areas into compliance with the screening requirements outlined in the Town's Unified Development Code (155.402(G)(2)). (An amortization, such as this one, is a process by which property owners are given a specific amount of time to come into compliance with the UDC.)

Ultimately, the amendment would require all dumpster service areas to be fully enclosed by opaque walls, gates, and/or fences at least eight feet in height. Enclosures would need to be constructed of the same materials as the main building on the site.

Additionally, service areas would be required to meet specific location and landscaping requirements as outlined in the Unified Development Code.

On Aug. 27, the Planning Board will review the proposal and decided to send it back to staff for further consideration. Staff has recommended the Town Council postpone the public hearing until further notice.

Warrick Park Major Modification – Setting Sept. 17 Public Hearing

The Town Council will take a first look at the following request and consider scheduling public hearings for it on the Monday, Sept. 17 agenda:

Adams & Hodge Engineering seeks a major modification to a preliminary plat that allowed development of a 25-lot neighborhood on 22.46 acres at 1804 Old U.S. 70. That's on the north side of Old U.S. 70, just west of Shotwell Road and east of Fieldstone Drive. The Developer is Sam's Branch LLC, which is registered to Reid Smith.

When the Council approved the development in February 2017, the applicant received waivers from the Town's requirements to build curb, gutter and sidewalks along new streets. In return, the Council required the developer pay a fee-in-lieu of the cost to build sidewalks on one side of the new streets. The Council waived fees-in-lieu for the curb, gutter and the sidewalk for the other side of the street.

As the development moved forward, the applicant decided to build sidewalks on one side of the street instead of paying the fee-in-lieu. However, now that the roads have been paved and a some houses have been built, the applicant determined that the sidewalk would create issues. Now, the applicant is requesting the Town waive all requirements to build sidewalks and/or pay fees-in-lieu.

Staff supports the applicant's request to avoid building sidewalks because the streets do not have curb and gutter. However, staff recommends the Council require the applicant pay fees-in-lieu for the unbuilt sidewalk on both sides of the street.

On Aug. 27, the Planning Board reviewed the request and agreed with staff's recommendations.

Need More Info?

If you have any questions about the agenda or any other Town-related issues, please feel free to email Public Information Officer Stacy Beard or call her at 919-358-0348. You may also email Assistant Public Information Officer John Hamlin or call him at 919-480-0170.

Have a great weekend, and we hope to see you at the meeting.

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