Applications in two historic districts suspended until December

Cartersville City Council approves renovations moratorium

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Three late additions to the Cartersville City Council agenda were included at the tail end of Thursday evening’s public meeting, among them a resolution temporarily putting a halt to applications for any and all renovations or improvements to properties within the City’s West End historic and Cherokee-Cassville historic districts.

“The mayor and city council are concerned with recent issues relating to painting over existing non-painted bricks, issuance of demolition permits, sidewalks, drive cuts, setbacks, fire safety regulations, subdivision of contributing properties, parking on said properties, fencing and screening, signage, [and] compatibility of new architecture with the contributing properties in some of the historic districts,” said Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini. 

“I think we have determined that it might be in the best interest of the City of Cartersville — and to promote the general public welfare, health and happiness, as well as the historical integrity of the Cherokee-Cassville historic district and West End historic district — to adopt a 120-day moratorium on the issuance of demolition permits, application of variances to the board of zoning appeals, rezoning applications and the application and appeal of any subdividing of any contributing property within those two districts.”

Council voted unanimously to approve the moratorium, which stretches from Aug. 15 to Dec. 13. 

According to the resolution language, the Cartersville Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) has noted several incidents of code violations in the two districts recently, as well as “questions or appeals related to window alterations, roof pitches and slopes,” among other issues.

During the moratorium, City staff and members of the HPC will review the City’s development regulations, building codes and landscape and zoning ordinances to “prepare appropriate revisions,” with recommendations and proposals submitted by the end of September.

The resolution does list several exemptions from the moratorium. Those include projects with active land disturbance permits issued prior to the moratorium’s adoption date, projects that have pre-existing zoning amendments, variances or building permits and properties that have already been issued preliminary plats before Aug. 15.

The moratorium does not apply to projects for Bartow County, the City of Cartersville or the State of Georgia.

Another late add to the agenda was an item approving Atlanta-based One Digital Health and Benefits as the the City’s approved medical insurance benefits broker. 

The recommendation becomes effective Sept. 1.

“This will be for medical insurance, vision insurance, Medicare senior supplement, cancer insurance, accident insurance and flexible spending accounts,” said Cartersville Assistant City Manager Dan Porta. 

City documents did not indicate the financial amount of the contract with One Digital.

Council also approved the submission of an annual federal report to the United State Department of Justice, due by month’s end, concerning how much money the Cartersville Police Department collected and spent over the past year.

“We took in $354,272 and spent $219,893,” said Cartersville Chief of Police Frank McCann. 

Elsewhere on the agenda, the council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance establishing a fall general election “Brunch Bill” referendum, which will let local voters this November determine whether or not the City will allow onsite sales of malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Council likewise approved an agreement with Athletic Fields, Inc. to renovate George Johnson Field and Bill Bruce Field at Hicks Park.

“The total cost of the field renovations is $33,884,” said City of Cartersville Parks and Recreation Director Tom Gilliam. “The Little League will pay $16,000 and the City is asking to be able to be approved to pay the remaining $17,884.”

Other items of interest from Thursday evening’s meeting includes:

— The council voted unanimously to award Carolina Environmental Systems a $145,582 bid for a 20-yard rear loader garbage truck, a budgeted item to be paid through Georgia Municipal Association lease pool proceeds.

— The council voted unanimously to pay City Garage $18,313.61 for claw truck repairs.

— The council voted unanimously to pay Green Country Filter Manufacturing $6,487 for a Transco Delivery Point meter station filter.

— The council voted unanimously to pay a second quarter 2019 invoice for the countywide radio system, tabbed at $11,520.36. “This is a budgeted item to be paid from all departments using the radio system,” a department summary recommendation reads.