PRESENT: Mayor Council: Riley Bradham, Zach Nelson, Frank Thornhill, Allen Holmes, Henry Holst and Town Clerk Colleen Key
Meeting called to order at 7:00 with pledge.
Other Present: Joel Evans, Cathy Salmonowitz, Preston Wilson. Linda Folk, Chip and Rose Linton, Burke Hammes, John Hope, Spectre Family ???and Kristi Nelson
No changes to agenda.
Mayor motions to approve prior Meeting Minutes. Seconded by Mayor Zach Nelson. Unanimously approved.
January Meeting Minutes still pending. Will be posted on the website by Friday, March 19.
FINANCIAL REPORT as of 2/28/2021
PREVIOUS Ending $ CURRENT Ending $
Wells Fargo Checking $25,777.37 $27,060.54
S.C. Local Government Investment Pool $287,363.09 $287,393.60
PO box is due for renewal. $76.00
MAYOR / COUNCIL REPORTS:
- Planning: No one reporting.
- BZA: No one reporting.
- Code Enforcement. John Hope – Adam’s Home issue is ongoing.
- DRB: Dr. Chip Linton – Chimney reconstruction at Keen Residence is pending. DRB also would like to encourage the Town to move forward on the 6-month building moratorium in the Historic District while DRB refines UDO language as to how to handle issues with historic homes.
Checkbook has been ordered.
Large road cone has been placed at speed hump. Its origin is unknown but is greatly appreciated!
Road repair synopsis as presented by the Mayor. Long term plan is to have the County repair roads; crowned and properly aggregated. Short Term, the roads are being maintained by CDH Tree Service. Costs vary from $1500-3000 per visit. Traffic and rain seem to be the main causes of frequent deterioration. Four roads. Harts Rd. – wallowed out area where crushed concrete ends. Repair of this section has been taken on by a private citizen. Grace Chapel Rd. had become increasingly worse due to construction traffic and rain. A landowner has funded the repairs and it is in much better shape. Rockland repairs are to be made by Charleston County with a $400,000 (work value) grant procured by Town Council. Surveyors, engineers and utility locates have been onsite. Plan is to widen, crown and improve drainage with the highest grade of aggregate. This design should allow for the road to maintain itself long term with yearly maintenance. Early 2021, the County invited the Town to apply for a similar grant for improvements to be made to SIYC Rd. which the Town awaits a decision on. Rain has hindered current schedule of maintenance performed by CDH Tree Service. Upcoming plans will be posted on Town of Rockville website.
CDH to box blade the roods monthly, until the long-term repairs are implemented.
Fema requires Municipalities to adopt changes to Flood Ordinances. Town must enact Ordinance and run ad in the paper and have a hearing. Clerk to run ad.
Check to be written to CDH for $3335 for most recent work performed.
Joel Evans, here from Charleston County, has been asked to address the Town’s issues with setting up a building moratorium and condemnation laws.
The Town is exploring the idea of possibly declaring a wasting home a nuisance or condemning it, giving notice to a property owner with a time limit asking for a remedy. If action is not taken by an owner, the Town moves to make repairs and proceeds to take a lien on said property for the amount of the repairs.
A building moratorium is being considered to cease building for a period while DRB reviews UDO language with regards to historic homes. A concern is that over modification of a current building envelope goes against the aesthetic heart of the Town’s commitment to preservation. The Town does not want to prevent someone from necessary construction, like a water heater or wheelchair ramp install, roof repair or the like.
On a moratorium – The Municipal Association has set forth a 3-point guideline as a means of advising towns on the topic of a Building Moratorium.
- A moratorium must be for the purpose of researching and effecting change. An announcement regarding a moratorium must specify intent to study the ramifications and implement an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance. Specificlly detail what it intends to do.
- Must be of a limited duration. Six months as initial time period is suggested, and may be extend by resolution, a single time for three additional months.
- Prompt action must be taken once a moratorium has been imposed. Research and implement immediately. If a challenge were to arise, a court would not look kindly on a municipality that “simply sat on its hands during pause”.
Mayor notes that the moratorium being considered in this case only applies to the historic district, the R ½ section. Also asks if it is necessary to add a clause regarding any current work. Joel Evans indicates anything already approved/permitted would not be affected.
Mayor question to Dr. Linton of the DRB: The moratorium is being set to allow the DRB time to draft protective orders for the Historic District? Dr. Linton confirms indicating, that the DRB needs time for discovery. Time to identify structures, locations and characteristics for permitting construction and then submit to Planning and Mayor Council for review. Joel Evans reiterates that procedure indicates that Planning will review Ordinance changes and make recommendation to Mayor Council. The Council makes final approval. The moratorium language needs to be very specific on the parameters and what aspects of repair/construction fall under it. Dr Linton of the DRB concurs noting it will be made clear what is considered new construction versus routine maintenance or interior work. Joel Evans points out that a change in material, falling under routine maintenance, does also become a DRB issue. Mayor asks a hypothetical question, if during the moratorium someone needs to make a repair and would like to change material, is there an appellate process? Joel Evans believes a challenge to the moratorium would go to court and DRB may want to use language that leaves an out for such things as repairs needed because of a natural disaster.
Mayor question to DRB. What is the timeline to create a moratorium? Dr. Linton of the DRB believes it may take a month or two.
On the condemnation procedure – If a structure is deemed unsafe, the Building Department has a procedure to condemn. After an inspection, the property owner is notified and given a time period to reply/ take corrective measures. Noncompliance may result in the county taking further action which may include demolition or the County making repairs and placing a lien on the property.
Mayor asks: Does this procedure apply to historic homes? Yes.
Mayor asks: Is the Town of Rockville able to utilize the Building Department Ordinance? Joel to check with County Attorney and the Building Department, noting that the Building Department already handles many aspects of permitting and inspections of the Town of Rockville.
John Hope comments that the house in question is an extreme danger. Would the county take interim measures to protect the public? Joel Evans to speak to Building Department about the process.
Cathy Salmonowitz: What is the biggest expense for the Town? Mayor and Frank Thornhill: The roads ($15,000 +/- ) and storm cleanup. Legal fees also. Mayor explains that the Town has a fiduciary responsibility to be extremely careful with expenditures in the event of a lawsuit or a catastrophic disaster. Frank Thornhill comments that the Town also needs to save money to fight development if it ever becomes necessary. Yearly audit and insurance are also some of the larger expenses.
Preston Wilson: Has a tractor and box blade and will volunteer to help with the roads.
Preston Wilson: Regarding the moratorium, what is the process? Joel Evans: Town council has the right to declare a moratorium for a very specific time (6 months). Reasoning is very important, and the reason would be that the municipality is in the process of updating/ making amendments to the Zoning Ordinance which the DRB guidelines are part of that Zoning Ordinance. The moratorium allows time for the DRB to review the UDO to add protective measure for historic homes. Dr. Linton notes that this moratorium was suggested by the Town Attorney considering recent events.
Zach Nelson: Copies for the road plan for Rockland are available.
Linda Folk: Is Town Budget on website? Mayor: Budget is noticed in the newspaper, in the Minutes on the website and available upon request and is filed with the State.
Allen Holmes: Regarding the Adam’s Residence, can the County condemn/deem it a nuisance? Joel Evans: Will be checking with the Building Department to verify that Rockville can fall under the County Ordinance, and if not, Rockville can adopt the County Ordinance and then the County could help.
Mayor motioned to adjourn at 8:11 Seconded by Frank Thornhill
Notice of Meeting: In accordance with the SC Code of Laws, 1976, Section 30-4-80(d), as amended, notification of the time, date and place of this meeting has been met via the Rockville Website and/or King’s Grocery Store Bulletin Board. The agenda was posted on the website and King’s Grocery Store Bulletin Board prior to the meeting.