Tucker City Council approves contracts for new Public Works DepartmentMayor Frank Auman goes over rules of decorum for public comment about a proposed nondiscrimination ordinance during a May 8, 2023, public hearing at Tucker City Hall .Photo by Dean Hesse.
Tucker, GA — At the same May 8 meeting dominated by discussion of a proposed non-discrimination ordinance, the Tucker city council conducted other city business as well, including awarding contracts for the city’s new Public Works Department.
The meeting adjourned near midnight.
The council approved three contracts for roads and traffic, right of way, and stormwater maintenance for the new Public Works department. All three contracts are for one year, with options for two yearly renewals.
Sunbelt Traffic, LLC will provide traffic signal, sign, and road striping maintenance. Tri-Scapes, Inc will provide right-of-way maintenance.
CaJenn Construction and Rehabilitation Services, Metals and Materials Engineers, and Utility Asset Management will carry out on-call stormwater maintenance and repair.
Public Works Director Ishri Sankar said that individual projects would be awarded to each of the three companies based on price and availability.
None of the contracts have a set dollar amount, but they will be at-need or per project up to the amount allotted for those purposes in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. All three contracts were approved unanimously.
In other city council business:
— Community Outreach Director Courtney Smith offered an update to the Tucker Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan for transmitting it to the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, as required by the DCA.
Smith said that changes to the plan included tweaking the language of vision statements, goals, and policies, adding information about housing and broadband availability, and changing the designation of Northlake from Regional Center to Town Center and of areas along Chamblee Tucker Road and Mountain Industrial Boulevard from Neighborhood Center to Commercial Redevelopment Corridor.
— The council heard a first read of a proposed ordinance to rezone a property at 2022 Brockett Road from Residential Medium Lot – 75 to Residential Small Lot. This would allow the owner to divide the property into two single-family detached lots.
Two neighbors expressed concern that an additional house on the property would inevitably mean more tree removal when the property is developed, with consequences for neighboring houses. Elaine Hallisey, whose property abuts the lot, and Walter Fields, who is the president of the Allenwood Neighborhood Association, expressed concerns about the flood risk associated with removing trees. Hallisey said that she has spent a lot of money attempting to mitigate the results of flooding on her property, and Fields said that others in the neighborhood also have.
City staff recommended a combined driveway to avoid interfering with chicanes that were installed as part of the Brockett Road traffic calming project.
However, Mayor Pro Tem Anne Lerner did not agree.
“As someone who receives late-night emails from two people who share a driveway who hate each other, and you know who I’m talking about, I don’t think a shared driveway is a good idea,” Lerner said.
A second read of the proposed rezoning will be held June 12.
— The council held a first read of an ordinance to bring Tucker’s zoning into compliance with new state law HB 1405.
City Attorney Ted Bagget is not a fan of the new law.
“The legislature screwed up zoning in 2022. This law moves deck chairs,” Baggett said.
Baggett explained that the new law changes the method and standard of appeal and distinguishes between decisions made by the city council and bodies with delegated authority, such as boards of zoning and appeal.
Baggett described changes to the rules about notices before hearings as inexplicable. The previous standard for notice of a zoning hearing was between 15 and 45 days; it has been changed to between 15 and 30 days, which Baggett noted was harder to hit.
“I tried to keep the changes to the city ordinance as narrowly to the requirements of state law as possible,” Baggett said.
— The city is considering changes to the terms and quorum rules of Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals members, as well as cross-referencing and changing references to “Planning and Zoning Director” to “Community Development Director” in the city code.
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