MILTON, Ga. — The Milton City Council used its June 17 meeting to correct a six-year-old error that occurred before many on the board had been elected.
The city recently began reviewing documents for a rezoning case at Bethany Bend and Cogburn Road. The applicant requested to rezone 9 acres at the northeast portion of the intersection from rural residential for a 27-lot, single family subdivision.
The City Council approved the rezoning with conditions on December 16, 2013, though the site has remained undeveloped. However, a recent push to develop the site revealed a discrepancy between the minutes of the meeting and the conditions set forth by the council in 2013. At issue was the minimum square-footage and the building materials for seven homes.
“Obviously the objective of the minutes is to reflect exactly what happens in this chamber,” City Attorney Ken Jarrard said. “And upon reviewing those minutes and the video and looking at it as hard as we can, it was in my opinion that the actual minutes, and consequently the ordinance itself…they didn’t exactly match.”
Jarrard said issues with the minutes can arise when discussions take detours, amendments are added or motions are rescinded.
“Most of the time we get that spot-on right,” he said. “Occasionally it’s a bit more challenging, and I felt this was one of those situations where some clarification was in order.”
The council adopted a resolution to reflect the updates to the minutes from the 2013 meeting, which will place an asterisk on the agenda noting that the item was corrected June 17, 2019.
While Community Development Director Parag Agrawal said errors in the minutes related to zoning issues are rare, his department is vowing a similar incident will not happen again.
Agrawal said the city will begin reviewing all rezoning and use-permit applications for accuracy and consistency to ensure the motion approved by the City Council matches the minutes and the rezoning ordinance itself. The city has not uncovered many discrepancies, but he said one incident is one too many.
“Our office would like to be more proactive rather than wait for these issues to come up,” Agrawal said. “It’s good practice just to look back and make sure everything is correct.”
Agrawal added that quality control measures will also be put in place to ensure the minutes accurate reflect motions from the city manager’s office.
The developer of the site in question has been “more than happy” to adhere to the regulations passed by the council compared to the measures presented in the minutes, Agrawal said.
“The developer is great to work with and wants to do things right, because the conditions the City Council put in were the right conditions,” he said. “They only improve the project, and they make sense.”