The Woodstock City Council approved a pair of conditional use permits at Monday night’s council meeting, allowing plans for a hookah lounge and a new car wash to move forward another step.

The first permit involved the development of a hookah lounge at 9550 Main St., at one end of a shopping center in the storefront formerly occupied by the Happy China restaurant. The Woodstock Planning Commission, which heard the case on March 5, recommended approval for the permit, but attached a handful of conditions initially recommended by the Development Process Committee. These conditions included the expiration of the permit if the business was to vacate the premises, requiring exhaust fans and a properly working HVAC system, making all areas above the ceiling available for inspection to ensure air-tightness and sealing shared walls with odor and smoke resistant paint or sealant to keep any smoke or odors from the lounge getting into adjacent storefronts. After the details of the application were presented, the representative for applicant Hossam Aboubakr stated the case had been presented well and offered to take any questions from the council. Following a question from Councilman David Potts regarding the design and location of the lounge, Aboubakr’s representative said all conditions and requirements would be met. Councilman Colin Ake made a motion to approve the conditional use permit with all the conditions attached, while adding a final condition that the permit would expire one year after being issued if a certificate of occupancy for the lounge had not been granted, which was seconded by Councilwoman Tracy Collins. The motion then passed 4-2, with council members Potts and Rob Usher voting against the measure.

After acting on the conditional use permit for the hookah lounge, the city council then held a hearing on a permit for a proposed car wash on Georgia Highway 92. While the car wash is planned to be part of a commercial development to include a drive-through restaurant and a pair of mixed-use commercial buildings, the council was reminded all it was dealing with was the conditional use permit for the car wash. The initial plans for the development called for both a car wash and a self-storage facility, both of which would require conditional use permits, but after the planning commission recommended denial of the application, it was amended to remove the storage center and replace it with the two commercial buildings. The modified application then received a recommendation for approval from the planning commission. Parks Huff, who was present to represent the applicant, stated the developers had sought to work with surrounding communities and be good neighbors during the process while bringing a blend of uses into the area. A motion was made by Potts and seconded by Collins, but similar to the hookah lounge permit, Ake wanted to attach a condition stating the permit would expire one year after being issued if other necessary documents had not been issued in that time frame. Once this was agreed to, the council approved a motion to issue the permit.

Along with taking actions on the two conditional use permit requests, the council approved a motion to award a contract to Bartow Paving for the resurfacing of Rope Mill Road from Cardinal Drive to Angela Court. Bartow Paving was the lowest bidder on the project, with an estimated cost of $89,876.32.

The Woodstock City Council also acted on the following items:

The consent agenda, which included five memorandums of understanding with Cherokee County regarding projects on Trickum Road, Towne Lake Parkway, Ridgewalk Parkway, Noonday Creek Trail and Neese Road, a contract between the city and the Cherokee County Board of Health to reimburse the city for providing security at the health board’s COVID-19 testing center in the annex facility on Main Street, amending the city manager’s contract to keep [City Manager Jeff] Moon on for an additional two years, temporarily increasing comp time for three Woodstock Police Department officers attending police academy due to the ongoing pandemic altering the academy schedule, awarding a contract to Wilburn Engineering to ins♦ tall a new traffic signal on Main Street between Brooke Boulevard and Johnson Farm Lane, a contract with Battelle Memorial Institute to have the company decontaminate N95 respirators and codifying the city’s proclamation request policy in the council policy manual, was approved.

♦ Mayor Donnie Henriques read three proclamations to the council members. The first recognized May 16 as Parks to Kids Day, encouraging residents to get out and enjoy all that nature and park space has to offer the public, while the second designated May 17-23 as Public Works Week as a way to honor, recognize and celebrate the hard work and dedication of the employees of the Public Works department, and the final proclamation recognized May 16-22 as National Safe Boating Week, reminding those who enjoy boating and other similar recreational activities to be safe while on the water, including wearing life jackets.

♦ During the announcements portion of the meeting, Ake said that the city was postponing the planned May 14 IN WDSTK Mingle, as was the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new downtown playground scheduled for May 16. Although all Music Monday events in May were canceled, Ake said the Woodstock Farm Fresh Market 2020 season was set to begin on May 16. Along with Ake’s announcements, Moon added that the city senior center will remain closed, city officials are still looking at adding a fifth event in the Summer Concert Series following one artist’s cancellation and that the city was still planning to submit applications for its annual July 4 fireworks show. Moon said the format the city has been using allows for rather effective social distancing, thus eliminating one potential concern.

The next meeting of the Woodstock City Council will be 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18.

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