Isle of Palms Town Council – July 28, 2009
Kellen Correia, representing the Friends of the Hunley, requested the Council’s permission for a small film crew from Half Yard Productions to film on the beach. The company has been contracted by National Geographic for a documentary about the famous submarine. They’d like to use Sullivan’s Island as a backdrop and the Isle of Palms presents a good location from which to do so. The Council approved and filming will occur on August 13, for five to six hours in the morning. Correia assured Mayor Cronin that the small, four person crew doesn’t have any heavy equipment and will access the beach only by foot. The documentary is set to air next November.
Reviewing the Comprehensive Plan
Planning Commission chairman Ron Denton approached the Council to explain the Commission’s review of changes recommended to the Isle of Palm’s Comprehensive Plan. He noted that there were two new elements to the plan: transportation, which was already in the plan, but is now State mandated as a stand alone element; and priority investment, which can best be explained as communities working with each other, especially when it’s more economically effective than other alternatives. In addition to tightened grammar, the plan has had five major adjustments since it’s last review: there is a need for a parking study, erosion management was redefined, traffic counts should be determined, the language of the Planned Development District (PDD) with Wild Dunes was cleared up, and storm water quality should be reassessed. Mayor Cronin thanked Denton for the Planning Commission’s work in reviewing the plan and opened the floor to any questions from the Council. Council member Michael Loftus asked Denton where the number .02% came from as the probability of a noise complaint on any given night on the Isle of Palms. Denton explained his process, which included dividing the average number of complaints each year over the summer days during which they are highest. Councilman Brian Duffy asked Denton if he had considered excluding commercial complaints from the residential complaints.
“I think knowing the ‘just residential’ complaint number will significantly skew your figure. What happens in the commercial and resort areas has nothing to do with residential livability,” said Duffy.
Councilman Ralph Piening asked Denton if he was confident in the data, to which Denton replied that it’s the only data they have. The information comes from the police department and the numbers have been improving over the last three years. Mayor Cronin ended the discussion, stating that it can resume at the next meeting after the Council has had time to look over the changes.
Mayor Cronin was pleased to inform the Council that the City should end up coming in around three hundred thousand dollars under budget after the fiscal year ends. The funds may be used to eliminate a property tax increase, bolster the disaster recovery funds, or it could be saved for projects in the future, such as dredging the Marina.
On Cameron Boulevard
Councilman Marty Betelli reported that several citizens attended the Public Safety Committee’s meeting in support of permanently closing Cameron Boulevard at the intersection of 41st Avenue. The Council then voted and approved a request to the Department of Transportation, asking them to close off Cameron and make permanent stops signs at the intersection. Councilman Piening thanked Noel Scott for getting citizens active in voicing their opinions on the matter.
Off the clock
The Council congratulated Employee of the Month Officer Sharon Baldrick for her quick response to a possible break-in in progress in Wild Dunes on her day off. She identified the suspect in the immediate area and detained him. The suspect was determined to be responsible for previous burglaries, including the theft of an ATV. The Council also congratulated the safety sweepstakes winners of the month: Debbie Suggs, Bernard Gourdine, Shaun Gadsden and Stephen Hicks.
Where were you?
Mayor Cronin commented that the Disaster Preparedness Expo on Sullivan’s Island was poorly attended and that next year, when the Isle of Palm’s hosts the Expo, attendance must be amped up. He also added that he hopes it won’t take a hurricane for citizens to get interested in disaster preparation.
Surfing the airwaves
Mayor Cronin informed the Council that the radio station WIOP 95.9 has begun broadcasting from Mount Pleasant. He has met with their management and seeing as they claim the Isle of Palms as their City of license, they’ll be more than happy work with the Council.
Mayor Cronin reminded everyone that the town will have an election November 3 and that packets for applications will be available at noon on Monday, August 17. Packets and petitions must be submitted by Friday, August 28.