A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MARCH 6, 1990
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, March 6, 1990, at 5:05 p.m., in the Paul P. Williams Fine Arts Center Auditorium, at Lake- Sumter Community College, Leesburg, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were : Michael J. Bakich, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Don Bailey; Richard Swartz; and Thomas J. Windram. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Al Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Bakich called the meeting to order and turned the floor over to staff to give their presentation regarding the Wekiva River Protection Area Comprehensive Plan Amendment and amendments to the Development Regulations, as well as for purposes of discussing unnumbered Ordinances "A", "B", and "C".
ORDINANCES/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, stated this meeting represents the twenty-fifth time this group has gotten together and reviewed the Wekiva Amendment, noting that discussion regarding it started in June of 1988, with the State Legislature enacting the Wekiva River Protection Act, and staff began working on it in September of 1988. He then turned the floor over to Mr. Mike Szunyog, Director of Planning.
Mr. Szunyog reviewed major changes which were made in proposed Ordinance 1989-3, the Wekiva River Protection Area Comprehensive Plan Amendment, stating that it revises the definition of clustering; defines development rights, receiving area, sending area, transfer of development rights and the Wekiva River System. He stated that staff also inserted a definition for "base density"; "gross density"; and "open space".
Mr. Szunyog stated that in Policy 4. E., of the ordinance, it covers "vested sights", which "vests" property if a plat is filed at current zoning, prior to the effective date of the ordinance; if an application for site plan approval was filed prior to the.moratorium which went into effect on December 24, 1989; or if an application is made for determination of vested rights.
Mr. Szunyog then referred to Policy 4. F., of the ordinance, which covers "density", stating that the major aspects of the ordinance establishes two overlay zoning districts - one is called the "A-1-40" and the other the "A-1-20". He stated that the A-1-40 overlay district conforms to the outermost boundaries of the protection zones that were established by the St. Johns River Water Management District, pursuant to the Wekiva River Protection Act. He then indicated the A-1-40 district, on a map which was on display, as well as the A-1-20 overlay district. He stated that in the A-1-40 district, the density allowed would be one residential unit per 40 net acres. He stated that a point system (Development Point Rating System) which has been established by staff, takes into consideration environmental considerations in developments, therefore, one can get down to one unit per ten acres. Likewise, in the A-1-20 district, there will be one unit per twenty acres, however, through the point system (depending on how many points one would receive for development), one could get to one unit per five acres. He stated that these also correspond to what is described as sending areas for the transfer of development rights, noting that for each acre of land that one might own in the two areas alluded to, there are a certain number of development rights, which translate into units, which can be sold on the market and be used in the yellow area (on the map), as well as in the red area (on the map), which extends over to include the entire Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento Urban Compact Node, which extends west of Hwy. 437 and south of S.R. 46. He stated that the calculations for development rights which can be transferred is based on the zoning which exists at the present time, before the amendments go into effect.
Mr. Szunyog then discussed Policy 4. G., Development Point Rating System, which increases points for development design, sensitive to environmentally sensitive areas, and establishes points for use of TDR's (transferable development rights). He stated that the Development Point Rating System establishes two point systems, corresponding to the A-1-40 and A-1-20 overlay districts. He stated that it applies to all developments, not just PUD's.
Mr. Szunyog stated that Policy 4. H., Non-Exempt Parcels, covers parcels which are non-exempt, noting that said parcels may be up to 20 on 40 acres in size (depending upon location), and may be developed with one unit, if there is 12,500 square feet of usable land area, under single ownership.
Mr. Szunyog stated that an addition which was made under the Potable Water Element, in the Amendment, is a policy requiring a central water system within the St. Johns River Water Management District Protection Zones, by the year 2000. He stated that said zones correspond to the A-1-40 overlay district (blue area on the map on display).
Mr. Szunyog that the Sanitary Sewer Element of the Amendment was amended to add policy requiring a central sewer system within the St. Johns River Water Managment District Protection Zones, by the year 2000. It was noted that said element corresponds to the A-1-40 overlay district.
Mr. Szunyog then discussed the Amendment to the Development Regulations (unnumbered ordinance), stating that it implements the policies which are contained in Ordinance 1989-3, by amending the Zoning Regulations. He stated that said ordinance creates sections of the Zoning Regulations, as follows: the Development Point Rating System; the A-1-40 Overlay District 1; the A-1-20 Overlay District 2; the definition and process fon transfer of development rights; the definition and process for determination of "vested rights"; and the submittal requirements for development.
Mr. Szunyog then reviewed unnumbered Ordinances "A", "B", and " C " , stating that Ordinance "A" amends Chapter 10 of the Lake County Code, Drainage and Flood Hazard Areas, to require the preservation, to the greatest extent possible, of native vegetation in the 100 year flood zones; Ordinance "B" amends Chapter 17 of the Lake County Code, Tree Protection and Landscaping, to require protection plans, before native vegetation may be cleased in the Wekiva River Protection Area; and Ordinance "C" amends the Subdivision.Regulations, to prohibit the use of the large lot waiver procedure, within the Wekiva River Protection Area.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that at the last public hearing certain amendments were submitted and approved to be incorporated, as follows: On Page 43, Line 11, of the Wekiva River Protection Area Land Development Regulations, the word "receiving" should be struck and the word "sending" should be inserted. Also, on Line 30, "application before transfer of permit" should be inserted after the word "said". She stated that on Page 44, Line 8, the word "sending" should be struck and the word "receiving" should be inserted.
Ms. Lustgarten stated that two additional amendments were distributed to the Board, prior to the beginning of this meeting, one being an amendment to the Land Use Plan and the other to the Land Development Regulations. She stated that on Page 42, Line 16, of the Land Development Regulations, after the word 'code" the following language is being inserted, "Any increase in density above that permitted by the zoning classification in place immediately prior to the effective date of this Ordinance shall require the purchase and use of tranferable development rights", which is being inserted to insure that within the urban node, one can only increase density through the purchase of transferable development rights. She stated that the second amendment, is to the Land Use Plan Amendment (Ordinance 1989-3), noting that on Page 16, Line 33, after the word "code", the same language is being inserted, being "Any increase in density above that permitted by the zoning classification in place immediately prior to the effective date of this Amendment shall require the purchase and use of transferable development rights".
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved amendments to Ordinance 1989-3, the Wekiva River Protection Area Comprehensive Plan Amendment: the Amendment to the Development Regulations (unnumbered ordinance); Ordinance A (unnumbered), Drainage and Flood Hazard Areas; Ordinance B (unnumbered), Tree Protection and Landscaping; and Ordinance C (unnumbered), Subdivision Regulations, as stated above.
At this time, the Chairman opened the meeting to those present, for public input.
Mr. Jack McDonald, a Resident of Sorrento, appeared before the Board stating that he objects to the whole ordinance, as he is not allowed to develop his property as he sees fit, and that he did not expect to lose money on it when he purchased it approximately 20 years ago, as will now be the case. He stated that he presently is only allowed one house per 40 acres, which he feels is unfair in relation to how the rest of the County is dealt with.
Mr. Robert Shockley, a local Resident, appeared before the Board stating that he is concerned about the ordinance and questioned the fact of whether ownership would remain the same, with the Board just governing how many structures can be erected on an individual's property, to which the Board responded that this was correct.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, appeared before the Board stating that she represented a number of individual land owners, who had tracts ranging in size from a few acres to several thousand acres, as well as an organized group of landowners known as the Wekiva Basin Property Owners Association. She stated that approval of the ordinances in question has not been an easy thing to accomplish, noting that the County has been given a State mandate, and finds it interesting that staff has taken three or four pages of State legislation and made numerous revisions, renditions, and drafts of how the area in question is going to be regulated. She stated that originally staff stated they wanted to protect those things that are felt to be environmentally sensitive and preserve the County's resources, however, it has now gone from that to almost elaborate scheme of taking people's rights, but telling them they are really getting something in return. She stated that staff is certainly going to have a task on their hands in administering the land use regulations.
Ms. Bonifay stated that her clients feel they have not been treated equally - not necessarily by this Board, but by the State Department of Community Affairs - that Lake County has been singled out and that there has not been equal protection in the way that they have been treated. She stated that a problem which is seen is that although the Board of County Commissioners has struggled and repeatedly tried to come up with a solution (which it feels is theirs to make), to represent the interest of the populous of Lake County, the Department of Community Affairs has involved themselves and intervened in that process and has pretty much told the County that they either do it the way the State wants it, or they will not have a comprehensive plan approved, on, in fact, will be tied up in an administrative hearing or litigation for so long that they will have missed the deadline for the comprehensive plan.
Ms. Bonifay stated that zoning and land use regulation is supposed to be a local government exercise - not the discretion of a State planning agency, to tell a government, or its people, how they are supposed to plan. She stated that none of the clients she represents thinks this is the way it should be done. She stated that although many people feel the County has been afforded procedural due process, in that they have had more than the required number of hearings, that perhaps there has not been substantive due process, by that she means that in the minds of the people she represents, a taking without just compensation. She stated she does not feel that under the guise of a TDR (which has been around for a long time, however, is not working in areas other than those that are highly urbanized and of high density, on where land values are extremely high, such as on the California coast, New York, New Jersey , Chicago, etc.), on the fact that they have tried to obviate a taking by saying that no matter how far the County has downzoned one's property, if one has 12,500 usable square feet of land area, one can put one unit on it. She stated that this will not obviate the taking, and this is the only reason that that has been included in this particular document.
Ms. Bonifay then discussed the point system, stating that, economically, it does not work - not for the kind of densities that the County needs to support central water and sewer and the kind of amenities the County wants. She then discussed development permit procedures, stating that one has to go through an elaborate process, that is going to require an individual, who before could go through the process, with on without a consultant, will now have to hire a bevy of consultants to address a number of issues that have been included which, originally, were the basis for the point system, thereby, making the point system a lot more elaborate and involved, and have taken the original things which were going to be looked at, and require them for a simple development permit. She stated that she does not think the cost benefit is there and that it is too much burden on the individual versus the benefits they will receive from a simple rezoning or variance. She stated she feels these things should be looked at, noting that she also feels the Board of County Commissioners has done the best they can, with the cards they have been dealt. She stated that the burden goes back to the State Legislature and feels that this Act was not thought through, noting that it can be amended and repealed, and that the geographic area which it encompasses could be greatly reduced, so that if the intent is really to protect the Wekiva River and its tributaries, which is what the County started with, then the County has accomplished that - but, if what the County is sending out is that they do not want growth in one-third of Lake County, and is willing to prevent it by taking away individuals' property rights, then she does not feel this is the message the County wants to send.
Ms. Angie Komonowski, a resident of Orlando, who has purchased property in Lake County with hopes of building on it, appeared before the Board stating that she and her husband purchased property within the Wekiva Basin area in July of 1989, noting that she checked the flood plain levels, had it appraised, and had soil boring tests done, and not once during the procedure did anyone inform them that their property would be involved in this issue the way it is. She stated that they paid $20,000.00 for their property and were two weeks away from starting construction of their home, when they were informed that they could not build on it, due to the.fact that it is 90% wetlands.
Ms. Joann Vance, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that she does not feel the Board is looking at the environmental aspect of it. She also stated that she feels developers ane taking advantage of the situation, and that she is very disappointed in Lake County.
Ms. Marjorie Stokes, a local resident, appeared before the Board and thanked them for what they have done in protecting the Wekiva River.
Mr. Ken Roach, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that it seems to him the Comprehensive Plan limits and restricts the small property owner, however, allows a developer to develop whatever piece of property he wants, by purchasing a TDR from the property owner. He also stated that he is not satisfied with the plan and hopes that it will be changed.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, representing several property owners of the property in question, appeared before the Board stating that the last time the County had a public meeting, one of the major elements of the plan, that was in place at that time, had the densities at one to five, with PUD's at one to one, and talked in terms of vesting existing zoning, which was in the proposal that was sent to the Depantment of Community Affairs, however, was obviously met with a little resistance from them. He stated that DCA said it had to be one to forty, thus the reason for the plan which is presently in place, and the talk of not vesting any zoning. He stated that the present plan does not grandfather any existing zoning, which has caused people some substantial harm, therefore, suggested that the Board look again at vesting existing zoning, as he felt it was something that should be done. He touched on the issue of transfer of development rights, stating that with the limited amount of densities that are in place, and with the limited place to transfer them, as well as the limited economics of it, they are worthless today.
Mr. Richey then discussed the issue of the point system, stating that it was earlier discussed whereby some mechanism could be obtained to get to one to one, under the system that is in place, noting that one of the primary goals of that system is to encourage large tract owners to give their land to government, and, in consideration for doing so, would get development rights, or higher density, out of it. He then discussed the development regulations stating that, in the compact urban node which has been defined, there is talk in terms of commercial uses, however, they are limited, and, in fact, under the vesting provision, one would not have vested planned commercial, unless one had already filed a site plan. He stated that TDR's do not compensate people, and that vested rights take away rights that he feels the Board intends for people to have, specifically in the CP zoning, and that the point system cannot get the County to one to one, and this is where the County presently is. Regarding commercial zoning, he stated he understood the County was going to allow commercial in the urban node, but, that a small area study was going to be done first.
Mr. Richey requested the Board not to rush into this plan, stating that it is so important that they not do something they will live to regret for other parts of the County. He stated that the densities and regulations the County adopts in the Wekiva Basin are going to be very difficult for the Board to separate, therefore, they need to be very careful in establishing conditions in the Wekiva Basin that the County can live with in other areas. He stated that, economically, the County cannot live with the presently established densities, as it will do harm to the economy and to Lake County's growth. He stated that hundreds of thousand of dollars will be lost in tax revenues, by reducing the densities, as planned, under the system which is in place.
Ms. Katherine Hansen, realtor, appeared before the Board stating that in December of 1989, before the moritorium became effective, it was her understanding that the Board had a consensus that the urban node in Mt. Plymouth and Sorrento would not be restricted to the two acres of commercial at Hwy. 437 and 435, particularly along Hwy. 436, however, the Board is again discussing the two acres at those two intersections. She stated that she does.not feel this is viable for the community, as the community is going to need services in that area. She questioned whether said property was going to be vested, or whether it was going to be taken away, if there is no site plan, as it is not clear in the ordinance. She stated that if the County limits commercial to the two acres at the two intersections alluded to, the County will have no commercial in that area.
Discussion occurred regarding the matter, at which time Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that he felt the Board intended for the two acres to be vested, however, the technical wording of the vesting does not vest it, as the ordinance presently stands.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that the Board would have to add language, if they want to permit vesting of CP zoning in the urban node, for which a site plan has not been submitted. At this time, Commr. Gregg and Commr. Bailey stated that they would have no problem with having language inserted to make the vesting issue perfectly clean.
Discussion continued, at which time Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, questioned staff as to how much CP zoning is actually in the Wekiva Basin, and where it is located, at which time Mr. Szunyog , Director of Planning, stated that there is approximately 29 acres of CP, with approximately 10 additional acres under consideration, and directly adjacent to the urban node, and additional 21 to 22 acres. He stated that he felt it would be logical to clarify the situation and vest said CP zoning.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board directed staff to indicate, where needed, that the vesting of existing zoned CP's, with or without a site plan, would be vested, with the CP zoning, subject to approval of the site plan.
The County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, stated that said language needed to be inserted on Page 25, of the Land Development Regulations, under the CP Zoning District; on Page 46 of same, as a new category under the "Vested Rights" section, to read, "A CP zoning existing on the effective date of this ordinance is vested for commercial use, whether or not a site plan has been approved, subject to subsequent approval in the event one has not been approved." She stated that said language should also be added to the Land Use Plan Amendment, on Page 34, in the provision regarding commercial developments, and in the "Vested Rights" section, on Page 10, in another category under Section "E".
Ms. Hansen then questioned the Board regarding residential professional zoning, as it pentains to a small doctor's office and an accountant's office, in that they are outside the commercial area but are within the urban node. She stated that there is no allowance for this type of zoning, that she is aware of, and questioned whether it would be allowed, to which it was indicated that it would.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that at the last public heaping, the Board adopted an amendment to the RP zoning district, referring to Page 23, Line 53, of the Land Development Regulations, stating that a new section was created, being Section 67.117, which lists the permitted uses. She stated that a new provision, "J", was added, which says that the uses listed in "A" through "I" shall not be permitted in the Wekiva River Protection Area. She stated that, what the proposed amendments do, is list those particular intersections at which commercial uses are permitted, and the RP district is listed as a commercial district in the urban node, in order to be able to transfer development rights with that particular zoning district. She stated that this amendment removes those commercial uses permitted in the RP zoning district.
Ms. Hansen stated that her concern is that there should be a normal buffer between residential and commercial, noting that what is happening is that the property in question goes from Residential immediately to commercial, and feels there should be an allowance, in any normal plan, in which to graduate to a higher density, noting that she feels there is going to be a need for it, as one will not want residential right next to commercial.
At this time, Mr. Richey questioned the Board as to why Ordinance "C", which is the ordinance doing away with large lot.waivers, is being proposed, in that the large lot waiver provision, of the Subdivision Regulations, states that one can divide on easements up to five parcels, but no longer than 1,320 feet, which appears to him that doing away with that provision of the ordinance encourages people to have to meet subdivision regulations, thereby, encouraging them to blacktop.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that said waiver's intent was to control density, due to the fact that large lot waivers permit five acre parcels.
Mr. Richey suggested that the Board do away with the five acre requirement and have it be compatible with the new zone, wherever it is, and still allow large lot waivers, which would, therefore, not encourage blacktopping in an area where the County wants to discourage it.
Mr. Szunyog interjected that allowing the large lot waiver would seem to do away with the requirements of not only the proposed zoning regulations and the density regulations, but also the requirement to go through the point system, to subdivide to a certain density.
Discussion continued regarding the large lot waiver, at which time it was noted that the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, was working on some language regarding same, therefore, the Board would come back to said issue later on during the meeting.
Ms. Judy Wick, representing the Friends of the Wekiva River, appeared before the Board and read a letter from the President of said committee, Mr. Fred Harden, into the record. Said letter was thanking the Board for their hard work and understanding during the long process of developing the amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, representing Design Homes 46, which owns property in the Wekiva Basin, appeared before the Board and questioned the "vesting" language of the ordinance, in that if one had a PUD in the basin, that has been in the basin, and one portion of the PUD has been platted, whether the entire PUD would be considered "vested", to which he was told that it would.
Mr. R. A. Sutton, a resident of Orlando, who wishes to buy 230 acres in Lake County, appeared before the Board stating that development on the Wekiva River was started years ago and he was against it then. He stated that it has allowed a lot of pollution that will never be stopped, and feels that the Wekiva River is doomed.
Mr. Tony Morris, a local resident, appeared before the Board questioning the "vested" rights of a platted subdivision on Hwy. 44-A, known as Orange Hill Estates, to which the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, responded, by stating that if the property was platted before December 21, 1989, it is "vested".
Mr. Richey questioned the fact that if one owns an acre in the area that is one to forty and has 12,500 square feet of good land, he can build on that acre, and questioned whether, if that house burns down he would get to rebuild, to which it was noted that he could, due to the fact that he would have built it after the effective date of the ordinance, in compliance with the 12,500 square foot requirement.
Mr. John Beatty, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that he owned property (120 acres) in the area in question, and, at first, was not concerned about the requirement of one unit per five acres, however, it has now been changed to one unit per twenty and one unit per forty acres. He stated that one also has to deal with sending and receiving ares, and TDR's, therefore, it has become very confusing to the landowners. He reminded the Board that election time will come again, and requested they get away from looking at paper and look at people in real life, and do what is right for the people. He stated he felt every one of the Board members feel in their heart that they are on the Board to represent the people of Lake County, and the residents would like said representation.
Commr . Gregg interjected at this time that he is a little irritated at the process which has been followed in the past year or so, and felt that the people need to be aware of it. He stated that the local delegation sponsored the Wekiva Act, and the main reason the amendment is the way it is today, is due to the fact that they.supported it the way it is. He stated the fact is that, if the Board took an amendment to Tallahassee that Secretany Pelham did not agree with, then he would just rule the County out of compliance.
At that point, the Board would have to go to an Administrative Hearing, however, if it sided with the Board, but Secretary Pelham still disagreed, then he would overrule it. The next step would be the Cabinet, therefore, all the hearings the Board has held have actually been a farce. He stated that the Board has a lot of power in certain things, however, the Board's power to control land use in the Wekiva Basin was taken away, through the Act. He stated he feels somewhat helpless, and agrees with what Mr. Beatty said, in that the Board, and especially the Department of Community Affairs, has looked at a map with colons on it, and the residents are just a number and do not count. He then referred to a statement that Commr. Swartz made to Mr. Richey (during his time at the podium) regarding trading commercial property outside the urban node for commercial property inside the urban node. He stated that he never traded property in his life that he did not own, and feels that the individuals who own the property, and pay taxes on it, ought to be the ones talking about trading property. He stated that this whole process has been one of the most frustrating things he has ever experienced in his life, due to the fact that he agrees wholeheartedly that elections decide whether what is done is sight or wrong, noting that there are more voters in Orange and Seminole Counties, and that is the reason they do not have to follow the same rules that Lake County does. He stated that, to the legislators, the residents of the Wekiva Basin do not count. He stated that he, as well as most of the members of the Board, sympathize with those individuals, unfortunately, their hands are somewhat tied. If this ordinance does not get approval, then the County goes through the litigation process, and haggles for the next year, to only get held up on the Comprehensive Plan, as well as sales tax revenues, noting that it is a long, involved process. He stated the residents of Lake County do need to remember this issue, come election time.
Mr. Beatty stated that he realizes the problem is not necessarily local - that it was mandated by the State - noting that the residents of the Wekiva Basin will remember this issue come election time, however, they are such a small group of people that he feels there will be no impact.
Commr. Gregg stated that a lot of people think the only people that will be affected by the Amendment being discussed is primarily six on seven major landowners, however, thene are 4,200 people that own thirty acres o r less in the Wekiva Basin, who will be affected.
Mr. Beatty stated that he realizes there is a lot of pressure being put on the Board to pass the Amendment, even though it is not the right thing to do, however, even though it may cause problems down the road, stated that if it is not right, don't do it - just say "No" , and fight the pooblem in Tallahassee - don't just pass the Amendment arbitrarily - stop it now before it is too late.
At this time, Commr. Bakich strongly encouraged Mr. Beatty, and any others present who felt the same way, to get in touch with their area legislators, as well as the Secretary of Community Affairs, Mr. Pelham, and express their opinions to them. Mr. Lloyd Wilkey, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that he has a five acre plot, which he is in the process of purchasing in the one unit per twenty acre area, and questioned the Board what is going to happen to said property, under the rules that the County presently has, to which Commr. Swartz replied that if the property has been platted, then he can build on it, as it will be "vested".
Commr. Gregg interjected that Mr. Wilkey can build one unit on his property, even if it has not been platted, if he has 12,500 square feet of buildable land.
Ms. Marian Beatty, the wife of a gentleman who appeared before the Board earlier, appeared before the Board stating that she was concerned about the PUD's which have been rezoned, with part of them being replatted and the other part not. She stated that if C-l zoning is "vested" in the urban node, on wherever, then every zoning should be "vested".
Mr. Richey, Attorney, reappeared before the Board and questioned whether lots of record are buildable, to which Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, replied that if one meets the 12,500
square foot requirement on an individual lot, then it is buildable. She then stated that the A-1-20 and the A-1-40 overlay districts, which start on Page 33, of the Land Development Regulations, do not permit building on small lots noting that the Board might want to have staff address the issue.
Mr. Szunyog, Director of Planning, stated that Section H., Non-Exempt Pancels, on Page 30, of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, covers lots of record, noting that it states any parcel that is under individual ownership, that is less than 20 to 40 acres in size, and has at least 12,500 square feet would be buildable.
Ms. Bonifay, Attorney, reappeared before the Board stating that if the Board wants to make a policy determination that they want to "vest" those individuals that have a lot of record, that is recorded, maybe outside of some plat of record, as an effort to ensure those individuals that they have buildable lots, or that they get one building permit for each of those, if they meet the 12,500 square foot requirement, then there needs to be a provision in the "vesting" which "vests" lots of record, whether they are done by a meets and bounds description or not, and it needs to be inserted in the "vesting" section, then it will "vest" the individual's property, noting that it has not been the County's policy and intent, by the way the Amendment is written, up to this point.
Commr. Gregg stated that on Page 5, of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, it lists the definition of "lot" as a portion of land, building, or structure capable of being legally identified, noting that the word "lot" includes the words "plot", "parcel", "condominium", or "cooperative unit" or "tract", therefore, he would say that a lot, described through meets and bounds, meets the definition of "lot". He also stated that on Page 30, of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, under Section H., Non-Exempt Pancels, maybe the word "lands" should be changed to "parcels of land", as when one looks up the definition of "parcel" it says to see "lot".
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Windram and carried unanimously, the Board approved to change the wording of "lands" to "parcels of land", under Section H., Non-Exempt Parcels, on Page 30, of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment, as alluded to above.
Mr. Frank Dorsey, President of the Wekiva Basin Landowners' Association, appeared before the Board stating that his association feels the small landowners are being treated unfairly. He stated that he had mailed a newsletter to all the landowners in his association and polled them regarding whether they would support a lawsuit, all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, and, surprisingly, received a good response. He requested the Board to be on the side of the little people, and fight the State, rather than be the hangman for the State, and fight the people.
At this time, the Chairman, Commr. Bakich, closed the portion of the meeting pertaining to public comment.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board of the new language in Ordinance "C", pertaining to the large lot waiver, as follows: "Large lot waivers shall not be permitted in the Wekiva River Protection Area....unless there is compliance with the development point rating system and a density established pursuant to Ordinance..." (referencing the ordinance creating the Land Development Regulations), questioning whether it was what the Board intended.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether the new wording meant that the other characteristics of the large lot waiver would be available, but the density possibility would rely back to the ordinance, to which Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, replied that this was correct.
Discussion occurred regarding the point system, as it pertains to the large lot waiver, at which time Mr. Richey, Attorney; Commr. Swartz; and Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney gave input. Commr. Windram questioned the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, where Lake County would be, from a legal point of view, if the ordinance being discussed were not approved, to which she replied that the County is required, pursuant to the Florida Statutes, to adopt a Land Use Plan Amendment, and subsequent Land Development Regulations, to implement that amendment. She stated that the Florida Statutes requires that it should have been adopted by April 1, 1989 (noting that the County is considerably past said deadline), and in the event that the Board does not adopt it, the Department of Community Affairs could seek sanctions against the County, such as withholding revenues coming to the County. She stated that the County is mandated to adopt a Land Use Plan Amendment, for consistency with the Act, as adopted and enacted by the Legislature.
Commr. Windram then questioned whether the Courts have upheld the withholding, to which Ms. Lustgarten replied that, as far as she knows, there have only been three cities on which sanctions have been imposed by the Cabinet, which was very recent, in that they did not submit their entire Comprehensive Plan, within the time frame, therefore, sanctions were imposed upon them. She stated, however, that there have been no count decisions on that particular issue, to date.
After further discussion regarding the issue, Commr. Windram stated that all he wanted was for the Legislature to do something equitable , noting that he did not believe there was a member of the Board that believed what is being done is equitable. He stated, however, that he did not like to be put into a position where the County will be punished.
Commr. Gregg interjected that what the Board has to look at is the overall County - is the County going to go through legal battles and expense, just to be overruled anyway. He also stated that one needs to keep in mind the fact that the Comprehensive Plan is due in 1991.
Commr. Swartz stated that one of the things the Board needs to consider, as the Board adopts this ordinance or the Comprehensive Plan, is that even though it is relatively cast in stone, it is not an unchangeable document. He stated that once the new Comprehensive Plan is adopted, it is going to allow for changes to said plan, and if the Board finds in this document that there are things that truely and actually are not working in terms of protecting or preserving parts of the Wekiva River, and the habitat, then he feels that this Board has an obligation to go back and try to amend those things, and fight with the Department of Community Affairs to do so, noting that there is a process in that twice a year the Board has the ability to amend the Comprehensive Plan.
At this time, Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board of the new language being inserted in Ordinance "C", regarding the large lot waivers, as follows: "Large lot waivers increasing density within the Wekiva River Protection Area zoning districts, established pursuant to Ordinance No. (unnumbered), shall not be permitted..... unless there is compliance with the Development Point Rating System." She stated, what this means is that, if one wants to increase the density, using the large lot waiver provision, it can only be done through use of the Development Point System, however, if one wants to use the large lot waiver, in compliance with the density, it can be done.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved for the language which was alluded to above, by the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, to be inserted in unnumbered Ordinance "C", regarding large lot waivers.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved Ordinance 1989-3, the Wekiva River Protection Area Comprehensive Plan Amendment, and submittal of same to the Department of Community Affairs.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved Ordinance 1990-1, the Amendment to the Development Regulations, implementing the policies contained in Ordinance 1989-3, by amending the Zoning Regulations.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved Ordinance 1990-2, known as Ordinance "A", which amends Chapter 10, of the Lake County Code, regarding drainage and flood hazard areas, to require the preservation, to the greatest extent possible, of native vegetation in the 100 year flood zones.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved Ordinance 1990-3, known as Ordinance "B", amending Chapter 17, of the Lake County Code, regarding tree protection and landscaping, to require protection plans, before native vegetation may be cleared in the Wekiva River Protection Area.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved Ordinance 1990-4, known as Ordinance "C", amending the Subdivision Regulations, to prohibit the use of the large lot waiver procedure, within the Wekiva River Protection Area.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
MICHAEL J. BAKICH CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK