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Americans with Disabilities act (ADA) of 1992, the City of Duluth government does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admission or access to or treatment of employment in its programs or activities, and complies with the requirements contained in section 35.107 of the Department of Justice regulations. Any requests for reasonable accommodations required by individuals to fully participate in any open meeting, program, or activity of the City of Duluth government should be made seven days prior to the event. Inquiries should be directed to the ADA Coordinator in the Planning Department, located at 3167 Main Street, Duluth, GA. 30096, telephone (770) 476-1790.
2. AUTHORIZATION FOR AGREEMENTS GDOT ROW MAINTENANCE
M C Work Agenda November 11, 2019
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As discussed at the July 8th council meeting, approval of this item authorizes the Mayor or City Manager to execute the Georgia Department of
Transportation (GDOT) required right-of-way and mowing/maintenance agreements to install wooden poles at SR 120 and SR 13 (locations at milepoint 7.79, SR 13 and milepoint 3.74). Once installed, each pole will be mounted with three cameras. The cameras will include features such as fixed, pan, tilt, and zoom elements along with license plate recognition technology.
4. ORDINANCE TO APPOINT PARKS RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD Approval of this item approves an ordinance (O2019-25) appointing Janice Wheeler to fill the
unexpired term vacated by Mike Humphreys (2022). Alexis Server (currently serving in the alternate position) appointed as the ninth (9th) member and Annette McIntosh appointed as the alternate. The alternate position would be a two year term that would expire March 31, 2021 and then be on a four year term rotation that would expire in 2025.
During the FY 20 Budget process, Council approved an amount of 11,000 for an outside consultant to conduct an Employee Pay Study Analysis. Staff
issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) and received three responses. Staff reviewed and ranked proposals based on the following criteria; experience in performing similar studies, references from previous clients, quality of the proposal, and cost. The three vendors and their bids are as follows:
Based on staff review, Evergreen Solutions, LLC's proposal received the highest overall score. Approval of this item authorizes the Mayor or City
Manager to execute a city attorney approved contract with Evergreen Solutions, LLC for 12,000 and further approves a line item transfer in the amount of 1,000 from 100-1540- 552200 (Claims) to 100-1540-521101 (Management Consulting Services).
In August, Council approved a budget amendment to add 23,638.43 in auction proceeds and insurance settlement funds to the Police Vehicle -
Consolidated Vehicle Maintenance Vehicles line item. Recently, the police requested the funds be used to purchase non-capital police equipment related items. Because the funds are in a capital project fund and are now going to be used to purchase non-capital related equipment, it is necessary to transfer the funds to another line item. Approval of this amendment would transfer 23,638.43 from the Police Vehicle capital project fund to the General Fund - Police - Consolidated Vehicle Maintenance - Police Equipment line item.
The Mayor and Council to consider a request (Z2018-006) from Ashton Atlanta Residential, LLC d/b/a/ Ashton Woods Homes (on behalf of the property
owner, BOGOPA HOOCH LLC) to rezone +/- 145.51 acres of property in Land Lots 243, 244, 245, 246 of the 7th District, Gwinnett County, consisting of tax parcels R7245 001, R7244 334, R7246 003 and R7244 336 from C-2 (General Business District) and RA-200 (Residential-Agricultural
Mayor and Council to consider a proposal by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to implement a trial valet parking service operation for four
consecutive Fridays and Saturdays. A valet drop-off/pick-up station will be placed in the half-round on West Lawrenceville Street. A professional valet company will be engaged to provide the service. Staff will present details of the service proposal at the meeting.
The City has entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Gwinnett County to pay for certain streetscaping improvements along Main Street
associated with the new downtown library. The design and construction will be done by contractors selected by Gwinnett County and the City will be invoiced by the County as the work is completed. Per Gwinnett County, the project cost will be 180,000. However, staff is requesting a budget of 250,000, which includes a contingency of 70,000 to deal with any changes orders that maybe necessary to complete the project.
This project was previously approved to be funded with tax increment generated from the Tax Allocation District (TAD) Special Fund. However, the TAD
fund does not currently have sufficient revenue to fund this project. For this reason, current funding will come from the City's General Fund and will be repaid with TAD funds once sufficient revenues are available.
As with previous phases of the Rogers Bridge project, the construction phase requires an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the City of Duluth
and the partner agencies - City of Johns Creek, Gwinnett County, and Fulton County. The current IGA has been reviewed by all four agencies and vetted by their respective attorneys. Each agency must have the IGA signed and executed prior to November 22 to let the project to construction in the spring of 2020. The IGA budgets are based on current construction cost estimates and current scheduled grants from ARC and GDOT. The actual budgets will not be available until the construction bids are received, reviewed, and accepted by Duluth, GDOT, and FHWA. Currently, each financial participant is expected to cover up to 350,000 toward the grant match. Approval of this item authorizes the Mayor to execute the IGA as presented.
Due to increased recruitment efforts for new police officers and normal turnover in the police department, it was necessary to purchase more
bulletproof vests than anticipated in the FY19 budget. For this reason, staff requested 3,184 be added to the State Drug Fund and General Fund budgets to record the drug fund s share of the additional vest cost. Approval of this item (BA-FY19-38) adds 3,184 to the Police State Drug Fund - Police Administration - Transfer to General Fund line item and 3,184 to the General Fund - Transfer from State Drug Fund line item.
As discussed at the September work session, the Mayor and Council considered awarding a bid for replacement of a compressor associated with the
chiller unit at the Public Safety building. Staff solicited bids from several companies and received only two responses. The lowest reliable bid was from Dale Sims, Inc. for 17,824. Approval of this item awards a bid to Dale Sims, Inc. in the amount of 17,824 and further authorizes a 10 contingency for this project in the amount of 1,782 for a total project budget of 19,606.
Mayor and Council considered approval of a budget amendment to carry-forward 33,530 in FY19 budgeted funds to the FY20 budget to complete the Public
Safety building HVAC repairs. In April 2019, Council approved a contract with Five Seasons Mechanical, LLC for the testing and balancing of the HVAC system at the Public Safety building. Council also approved a budget amendment to add 103,932 in General Fund to the FY19 budget to cover the cost of the repairs. Due to the amount of work involved and the technical nature of it, the contractor was not able to complete all the necessary work before the end of the fiscal year. For this reason, staff is requesting the unused funds of 33,530 be carried forward to the current fiscal year. Approval of this item (BA-FY20-07) adds General Funds of 33,530 to the Police - Police Administration - Maintenance Technical/Contracts line item to complete the HVAC repairs.
Approval of this item waives signage fee and location requirements. Signs will be erected throughout the City for promotion of the Annual WCSCC
(Women s' Club of Sugarloaf Country Club) Charities Turkey Trot. This is an annual race with almost 400 runners attending and proceeds going to four Duluth charities. The Turkey Trot will be held November 28, 2019 (Thanksgiving Day). The banners will be up from Nov 1, 2019 until Nov 30, 2019. There will be ten signs placed (in locations used by Fall Festival and the Spring Arts Festival).
Mayor Harris opened the public hearing. to consider a request (Z2019-003) from The Residential Group (on behalf of the property owners: Deborah
Mattison Ellis, Thomas Franklin Mattison, David B. Mattison and Master Life International Inc.) to rezone +/- 6.43 acres of property in Land Lot 293, 6th District, Gwinnett County, consisting of tax parcels R6293 153, R6293 154, R6293 155 R6293 156, from HC-R (Highway Commercial-Retail District) O-I (Office-Institutional District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development District). The proposed rezoning request is for an entitlement to construct a 260 unit multi-family development.
Mr. Aiken discussed transportation and parking. There are two driveways and one fire lane. Total parking spaces of 390 (parking deck: 246, garage:
52, and surface: 92 spaces). This translates to a parking ratio of 1.5 spaces per unit, meaning there is one space per bedroom plus 23 guest spaces, which is in line with other recently approved projects.
Traffic Analysis of the project estimates that 1,409 daily trips would be generated, which is not significantly more than would be if the current
commercial uses were intact. There is a planned installation of a traffic signal at Buford Highway/Davenport Road intersection expected for 2022, and the applicant is proposing to install a right turn lane on Davenport Road.
Section 504 of the Unified Development Code (UDC) requires that 10 of property to be left in open space, natural/undisturbed. This project does not
meet these requirements. But the UDC also requires 10 of the gross area of the site to be retained in common areas, such as pools, gathering spaces, etc. and the applicant exceeds the minimum in that category. Mr. Aiken discussed the current utilities, sidewalks and connectivity patterns and noted they are in the same style as the District.
Mr. Aiken reviewed the architectural design for the proposal. There are four stories fronting Buford Highway, five stories on the rear. Ground floor
on rear side of the building contains enclosed garages. Features include porte-coch re, recessed balconies, and enhanced corners. There is a minimum 61 of primary materials (Brick), maximum 39 secondary material (Cementitious Siding). Along Davenport Road, four stories along the street and five stories from the rear with a minimum 69 primary materials, maximum 31 secondary materials. Ground floor on rear side of the building contains the enclosed garages. Building 3000 (rear building) is also a 4/5 split, featuring recessed balconies, enhanced corners and garages on the ground floor. He discussed other design elements, such as larger windows and the upgraded interior features, as well as typical amenity areas.
Staff feels that the proposal is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan updated earlier in 2019 for the Downtown Core area and gets closer to the
desired number of 2000 residential units within walking distance of downtown. Mr. Aiken also referenced the 2010 Buford Highway Corridor study which showed this property as mixed use, where high density residential is appropriate. He reviewed the standards governing the exercise of zoning power, shared a letter from the HOA President of the Windsor Gate Subdivision in support of the project, and reported that the Planning Commission recommended approval of Case Z2019-003 with conditions, as presented by staff at the September 16, 2019 hearing.
Councilmember Carden asked about the existing uses of the property, how much tax revenue was derived from it in its current state, and if there has
been any other development interest for the site. Mr. Aiken said the current assessed value is approximately 1.4 million but would be more than 40 million once built out, and that staff has not received any other interest in the property.
Mayor Harris called the applicant forward to answer questions.
Mr. Kurt Alexander of 3555 Woodshire Trail, Marietta, came forward. He said that the property currently generates 65,000 in taxes but new projections
would increase ten-fold to about 615,000. He doesn t feel that this area is near saturation since the occupancy rates and rent are still rising at the District; people want to walk to restaurants, nightlife, and community activities.
The Mayor called for questions/comments from the public.
Alana Moss, Planning Commission member, said her comments were representative of a citizen s view. Her neighborhood has been complaining about
getting a traffic light for many years and this would be the best opportunity to get one. She noted that the strip mall has been empty the last 10 years, and was appreciative of the interest in developing a former dry cleaning site. She also noted that the church front currently has no sidewalks and this would be a benefit, as well as stretching out the downtown further down Buford Highway, providing connectivity.
Councilmember Whitlock said that one of the reasons this project fits into the Comprehensive Plan is that the downtown core is supposed to be more
dense. He would rather see more owner occupied options though, with walkable and bike options. He also pointed out that retail space has less demand than it used to. If we keep the area energized, people will continue to want to live nearby which creates long-term sustainability.
Gary Mongeon from Bleakly Advisory Group came forward to provide a summary of the application. The application seeks to reimburse The Residential
Group from annual tax increments generated by the development for a period of 15 years or to a maximum of 2.1 million, whichever occurs first. Mr. Mongeon reported that the current assessed value of the subject property has already increased by 16 since the TAD was initially introduced. He discussed the average market rent in the area, total development budget, and said this funding would be 4 of project cost. Projections are for this project to become fully taxable in the 2022 tax year at about 39.6 million, with a digest value of 15.4 million. This represents a 1200 increase in the value of that +/- 6 acres. He also said that the District @ Duluth is now assessed at more than its cost to build the only apartments in Gwinnett County that this is true for.
Mr. Mongeon said that in the 2013 development forecast, everyone thought this would be a more difficult site to redevelop. He discussed the allowable
uses for this site and noted that this project has four of the methods to achieve redevelopment economic success; it is expected to generate 240,000 in tax allocation increment annually. This represents more than 5.9 million in increment over the life of the TAD during the remaining 23- year span, leaving a surplus of 3.8 million since they are requesting 2.1M. School taxes, bond millage, or personal property are not affected.
The But/For test determines justification for the contribution. The subject site has elements that are not typical of greenfield development,
requires demolition of 40,000sf of existing buildings, and the architectural enhancements for Duluth standards are a bit more costly. As this project will produce a 1200 increase in land value, Mr. Mongeon feels it will easily produce a fiscal benefit to the community.
Mayor Harris commented that the Tax Allocation District setup has been an economic development tool and wondered why other cities are not taking
advantage of it. Mr. Mongeon said that others are; the challenge is implementation. Duluth s early success was due in part to assembling property during the recession, and approval of rezonings for large projects.
Gary Mongeon from Bleakly Advisory Group explained that the application, submitted by the City of Duluth and Duluth Downtown Development Authority,
seeks TAD financing for the following purposes (including but not limited to): issuance of bond financing, expenditures incidental to issuance of bonds, infrastructure projects including water and sewer, transportation projects, streetscape projects, stormwater improvements, property acquisition, reimbursement of previously incurred redevelopment/administrative costs, environmental remediation, off-street parking, and other economic development/redevelopment activities consistent with the IGA and Redevelopment Powers Law.
Mr. Mongeon further clarified that the application seeks to use of TAD funds for above stated purposes in the amount not to exceed 33,500,000. The
City has been a TAD applicant once before to construct the stormwater detention facility. He said that Duluth is in a very enviable position, with 23 years left in the TAD. He described the current TAD financial picture in detail, which was very favorable, generating over 10 million in current digest value than was projected in 2013. For all the TAD approved projects, the taxable value is much higher than what was forecast. By 2024, it is expected to grow from 56 million this year to 103 million, increasing the annual increment substantially. The funds will be used to make public improvements, such as infrastructure projects include streetscapes, quiet zones, parking, to reimburse city for prior expenses, debt service, etc. which also protects the downtown making it less vulnerable to any future recessions and able to avoid saturation points for the area.
Using TAD sourcing allows for other revenues to be used by the Downtown Development Authority for economic development, retiring debt, providing more
money for environmental remediation, property acquisition, and future borrowing. Approval of this application gives the City the flexibility up to program up to 33.5 million for eligible redevelopment costs, and the City determines the priority. There is an allowable 3- year window to seek financing.
Councilmember Jones asked about limiting the TAD projects to 33.5 million and what if it needs to be more than that? Mr. Mongeon said that 33.5M is
the best case scenario on projected needs, but the City can always go back to the TAD advisory committee if more was needed. Mr. Riker confirmed that the City could go back and make application 6, requiring County approval.
Councilmember Whitlock clarified that the infrastructure improvements may only be made in the TAD district, and cannot be spent outside the area.
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Mayor Harris said that staff and the elected officials would be strategically reviewing and prioritizing the project within the next three years.
The Tax Allocation District Advisory Committee (TADAC) met on October 9, 2019 and unanimously recommended approval of the project application; Staff
recommends Council approve the resolution (R2019- 13).
In February, the City Council (acting as the Redevelopment Agency) executed a development agreement with Greystar GP II, LLC. relating to
reimbursement of TAD funds associated with the Everleigh Duluth project. Greystar's lender is requesting a collateral assignment of that agreement for closing. The development agreement allows for assignment subject to City approval.
The sections 2-87 of the Duluth Code of Ordinances establish that the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board be comprised of an eight (8) member and one
(1) alternate. Staff recommended amending the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to a nine (9) member and one (1) alternate to ensure a voting quorum. Staff recommends Janice Wheeler to fill the unexpired term vacated by Mike Humphreys (2022). Janice is a lifelong resident of the Church Street community and will provide valuable insight to the board. Staff recommended Annette McIntosh to fill the alternate position on the board as Alexis Server would become the (9) member from the alternate position. It is proposed that the alternate position initially be a two-year term that would expire March 31, 2021, and then be on a four-year term rotation that would expire in 2025 along with board vacancies.
The Duluth Downtown Development Authority (DDA) asked to conduct a valet parking trial period for downtown Duluth. The valet would operate on Friday
and Saturday for a one-month period. DDA would need an intergovernmental agreement with the City to lease city parking for a specific time period and location. DDA would contract with a valet company and pay for operation of the service.
City Manager James Riker explained that there are proposed revisions to the Duluth Municipal Code of Ordinances, Chapter 10 Offenses and
Miscellaneous Provisions, Section 10-2 (Litter Control) to meet the minimum requirements of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District s Water Resource Plan. The Plan requires communities to adopt the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District s Model
City Manager James Riker explained that in July of this year, the city contracted with Arpeggio to recommend modifications to our Noise Ordinance as
it relates to the Downtown Area. He gave an overview of the findings of the report. A second component of the contract relating to investigation of sound mitigation strategies for Red Clay Music Foundry is yet to be completed.