The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, November 27, 1990, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Michael J. Bakich, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Don Bailey; Richard Swartz; and Catherine Hanson. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Robert K. McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk; and Toni M. Austin, Deputy Clerk.
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, appeared before the Board and stated that this will be the final hearing of the Local Planning Agency on the six elements of the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Swanson stated that, after this hearing, the LPA will have a meeting on December 17, 1990, at which time a copy will be transmitted to the Board of County Commissioners, who will have a transmittal hearing on January 15, 1991, with a copy delivered to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Upon DCA returning comments and revisions back to the County, the Board of County Commissioners will have its final public adoption hearing sometime in July, 1991.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN - HOUSING ELEMENT
Mr. Jack Marotta, Lake Community Development, Inc., a non-profit housing organization, appeared before the Board to discuss the Housing Element. Mr. Marotta stated that one of the biggest providers of low-income housing in Lake County over the years is Farmers Home Administration (FHA). He further commented on the funding for the construction of the homes, and the use of impact fees. Mr. Marotta stated that low income families will not be able to get assistance in housing on the 1990's. He suggested that the County provide funding for Lake Community Development, or to a community development office within the County, that can pursue grants on the Federal and State level. He discussed the possibility of a Lake County Housing Authority, which could be pursued with a tax on deeds.
Commr. Swartz stated that there was a bill, which was presented to the Legislature last year, and which will be presented again, providing for a documentary tax on commercial exchanges to go to a low-income housing type trust fund. At this time, he suggested that the Board support this bill, and discussed Dade County's enactment of this program.
Mr. Marotta discussed another problem, which will involve people losing their homes, and his involvement with the banks in assisting individuals with refinancing, due to hardships placed upon the families, and the loss of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding.
Commr. Bakich discussed the creation of a Task Force that will investigate this area of housing, that will be able to make solid recommendations for County assistance.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, informed the Board that, within the next two weeks, the County will have a proposal from the Orange County Housing Authority that issues bonds for low-income families.
Mr. Marotta stated that he works very closely with the Orange County Housing Authority, but Lake County has not been able to use the bond money, because of some of the restrictions.
Mr. Swanson discussed the County's application made for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), with the last grant being issued to Lake County in 1989, which was used for housing rehabilitation in the Umatilla area. At this time, Mr. Swanson discussed the procedures used for the distribution of funds.
Ms. Kathy Allison, Cecelia Bonifay's Office, appeared before the Board and stated that Ms. Bonifay wanted to go on record requesting that she be able to provide written comments to the elements being heard today, and requesting that the Commission give consideration to those comments.
There were no further comments to be made to the Housing Element.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN - MASS TRANSIT ELEMENT
There were no comments to be made by the Board, or the public, on this particular element.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN - AVIATION AND RAILS ELEMENT
Mr. Dick Seron, Tavares, appeared before the Board to discuss the language containing "...air site facilities include two paved and lighted runways equipped for VFR and IFR operations". He stated that this is true, except that one runway is not equipped for IFR.
It was noted that additional language would be placed into this section for clarification.
There were no further comments to be made by the Board, or the public, regarding this particular element.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN - RECREATION & OPEN SPACE ELEMENT
Mr. Chuck Pula, Parks and Facilities Director, appeared before the Board to discuss the Recreation & Open Space Element. Mr. Pula stated that the information supplied to the Board was requested by the Board at the last meeting. At this time, he stated that the information provides a comparison of ten surrounding central Florida counties in the areas of population, parks and recreation acreage, level of service, parks and recreation operating budget, number of parks and recreation employees, parks and recreation impact fee, and detailed information on the impact fee.
Commr. Bailey discussed the utilization of the Wekiva land for recreation purposes, with Commr. Gregg suggesting that language be included for the County to retain a pro-rata share towards recreation, based on the County's contribution of land, and giving the County the incentive to do this again.
Mr. Thelen stated that the Water Authority's money should also be credited.
Discussion occurred regarding the possibility of the County leasing some of the BMK property and managing it.
At this time, Commr. Bailey requested updated information regarding Hickory Point, with Mr. Thelen stating that this issue will come before the Board on December 4, 1990, for discussion of their impact fees.
Commr. Bakich suggested that Mr. Thelen communicate with the State, before the final hearing on this element, regarding the incorporation of the above issue into the plan.
Commr. Swartz directed the Board's attention to Page VIII-10, Policy 8-8.5, Open Space Definition and Standards, and questioned the definition being consistent with the open space definition in the Conservation Element, or the State definition, 9J5, of open space. Commr. Swartz discussed the exclusion of developed land, and whether or not this includes golf courses and stormwater retention areas, fenced or unfenced.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that the State will look at the definition of 9J5, when reviewing the County's Comprehensive Plan, to insure consistency.
Mr. Swanson stated that he felt golf courses would fit into the definition of open space, and with direction from the Board, the issue can go either way, with Commr. Swartz stating that he felt, under 9J5, golf courses are not open space.
Mr. Larry Kirch, Director of Planning, suggested that one alternative in the PUD process would be to allow golf courses as only 15-20% of open space.
It was the consensus of the Board that golf courses should be considered as open space, with Mr. Kirch discussing the exclusion of the driving range on a golf course.
Mr. Pula stated that the County has approximately 20 sites, but only four that are developable for recreation. Mr. Pula went on to discuss the recreational impact fee calculations.
Commr. Swartz stated that he supports the concept of more citizen involvement through citizen boards, and would like to see a specific policy adopting a Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.
Mr. Bob Huffstetler, Tavares, appeared before the Board and discussed the handout provided by Mr. Pula regarding the analysis of parks and recreation for surrounding counties. Mr. Huffstetler further discussed his written comments presented to the Board, relating to the level of service calculations using what is and what is not developed, the definition of open space, and the idea of clustering.
Ms. Audrey Reed appeared before the Board to make comments on Rails to Trails and other trail elements. At this time, she discussed including the phrase "equestrian trails" under Corridor Open Space, with it being the consensus of the Board to do so. Ms. Reed went on to discuss Page 8-36, 6. Recreational Trails, "Map 8-7 depicts the future multipurpose trail facilities for Lake County", and stated that this map only depicts the rail abandonments in Lake County, and should include "other multi-purpose trails" in the facilities for Lake County. She further suggested including wording that indicates that the County is planning the future creation of a multi-purpose trail facilities map for Lake County. Ms. Reed also discussed the 25 miles of multipurpose recreational trail, with the members of the Executive Committee stating that it was changed from 35 to 25. It was the consensus of the Board that the change should be 25 miles, with clarification being made that this mileage is being recommended by Lake County.
Mr. Kirch stated that the words "utilizing rail abandonments" can be included for clarification of the map, and adding "A more detailed multipurpose trail map will be produced in the future."
Ms. Reed went on to discuss other wording contained in the policies, with Mr. Kirch presenting an explanation on each issue.
Ms. Reed suggested alternative wording under Policy 8-1.10, Provision of Recreation Trails, as follows: "Priority for acquisition or rail abandonments shall be from the Orange County line through Minneola, Clermont, Groveland, Mascotte to the Sumter County line segments."
Mr. George Pringle, Pringle Development, appeared before the Board in favor of County imposing the same reasoning for the impact fee on mobile homes, as the reasons given in the past for the other impact fees approved by Lake County.
Mr. Murphy Cameron appeared before the Board to protest that the Board is not following the State intent for the Comprehensive Plan, which was to include constant and continuing input from the citizens. At this time, he requested that he be able to supply written comments to be considered by the Board.
There were no further comments to be made on this particular element.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN - ECONOMIC EVALUATION
Mr. Larry Kirch, Director of Planning, commented that there are a few places in this document that discusses tax increment financing, but which is not permissible in the State of Florida.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that the document only needs general language rather than referencing a tax increment financing district.
Commr. Bakich referred back to the Housing Element and the policy, Available Sites for Farm Worker Households, and stated that there is a conflict between this policy and Policy 11-2.4, Provision of Farmworker Housing, in the Economic Element, which refers to the construction of new units.
Mr. Kirch stated that analysis in the Housing Element indicates a decline in the number of farmworkers, and does not see an internal conflict between the elements. Mr. Kirch stated that the units will be reviewed on an annual basis.
Commr. Swartz discussed Policy 11-1.2, Equal Opportunity Employment, and suggested the inclusion of the handicapped.
Commr. Swartz discussed Policy 11-2.6, Provision of Energy for Agriculture, with Mr. Jim Simpson as to the implementation of this provision.
There were no further comments to be made to this particular element.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN - INTERGOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION
Mr. Alton Roane, Development Services Coordinator, City of Eustis, appeared before the Board to review his letter, which he presented to the Board. The letter was a formal request from the City of Eustis for Lake County to consider, coordinate and honor the existing Interlocal Agreement between the City of Eustis and Lake County while developing the County Comprehensive Plan. The letter also indicated the importance of the City's planning area being incorporated into the County Plan during this initial adoption process, because much of the city's commitment to the construction of infrastructure in its capital improvements program is planning area based.
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, informed the Board that Mr. Kirch will be meeting this Friday with all of the city planning directors to continue the securing of the inter-governmental coordination.
Commr. Swartz requested that Mr. Swanson meet with the City officials and obtain a map from each one, which indicates if there is a conflict between what the County currently has proposed, and what each one of their land use map shows, and with each one being color coded.
Mr. Jim Simpson, Mt. Dora property owner, and owner of property outlined as the planning area for Eustis, appeared before the Board to discuss the problem with the plan from the City of Eustis, which involves agriculture.
Mr. Jim Miller, Executive Advisory Committee, appeared before the Board and stated that staff will meet to try and resolve the agriculture zone issue in the cities.
Mr. Roane stated that density in the City of Eustis decreases towards the outside boundaries of the City, with the conflict being that there are no central facilities available, and the County is referring to this area as urban.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, appeared before the Board and stated that, working with the City of Leesburg, the City has extended central water and sewer and infrastructure into the Silver Lake area, as an example, and recently along Highway 27. Mr. Richey stated that he is of the understanding that the County's Comprehensive Plan will accommodate and coordinate between the County and each city.
Mr. Carl Hammons, Planning and Zoning Director of the City of Leesburg, appeared before the Board to discuss the State Rule 9J5, and the timetable established for the submission of the City Comprehensive Plan versus the Lake County Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Ron Abby, Executive Advisory Committee, appeared before the Board and discussed the inconsistencies between the maps being presented for review, and stated that this issue will be discussed at the meeting on Friday with staff and the cities.
There were no further comments to be made on this particular element.
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN - AVIATION AND RAILS
Mr. Seron appeared before the Board to discuss the Leesburg airport diagram and stated that FAA has the existing taxiways, and requested that the latest diagram be submitted with the comprehensive plan.
There being no further comments to be made to the Board, the Board adjourned at 11:25 a.m.
MICHAEL J. BAKICH, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held a Special Townhall Meeting on Tuesday, November 27, 1990, at 7:00 p.m., at the City Hall Building, Eustis, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Michael J. Bakich, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Don Bailey; Richard Swartz; and Catherine C. Hanson. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Marlene Foran, Secretary.
Commr. Homer Royals, Commissioner with the City of Eustis, gave the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Bakich, Chairman, opened the meeting by introducing the panel (consisting of the Commissioners, the County Attorney, and the County Manager).
Mr. Alan Thelen, County Manager, gave a brief summary of the agenda for the evening and introduced the first presenter, Mr. Don Griffey, Department of Public Works.
Public Works - Roadway Projects
Mr. Don Griffey, Department of Public Works, appeared before those present to discuss road projects, which are currently on-going, and those planned in the five year plan. Mr. Griffey presented a map showing the locations of the various road projects, and the projects planned by the Department of Transportation. Mr. Elmore Webb, a resident of Estes Road, appeared before those present to discuss the Traffic Circulation Element, and the proposed Estes Road by-pass.
Mr. Webb presented a petition with 130 signatures in opposition to the development of the Estes Road by-pass. Mr. Webb stated that the by-pass would totally change the environment of the community in which he lives, and commented that you cannot have a residential neighborhood where there is a heavy volume of traffic.
Mr. Webb stated his concern over the dangerous intersection at Highway 44A and Estes Road, and commented that the proposed left turn lane, which is to be installed, will not eliminate the danger. Mr. Webb feels the problem is the bad visibility looking east.
Mr. Webb questioned the road project concerning the widening of Estes Road, with Commr. Bakich stating that the original purpose, or intent, of the road project was to bring the substandard road up to current standards.
Mr. Griffey explained that there are two projects currently being planned for Estes Road, which overlap. The Estes Road widening project is a gas tax project, and the Estes Road by-pass project, is a long range planning project.
Discussion occurred regarding the alignment of Estes Road, at which time Commr. Swartz suggested that staff look into what is the most appropriate alignment for the road.
Mr. Webb asked that the Commissioners consider the people first and reconsider the alignment of the Estes Road by-pass. Commr. Bakich stated that the Commissioners' intent is to consider the people first and suggested that staff meet with the residents, and the City of Eustis, regarding the future of Estes Road.
Ms. Windy Easlin, resident of Estes Road, appeared before those present to discuss the wildlife that surrounds the Estes Road area. She expressed a concern for wildlife in the area, and the impact heavy trucks have on the wildlife.
Mr. Harold Woodall, resident of Estes Road, appeared before those present to discuss the widening of Estes Road, stating he has received no information from the County regarding this project.
Ms. Jennifer McMurphy, a local resident, expressed her concern for the bears in the area, particularly west of Highway 46A, and requested that a Resolution be prepared to protect the bears and that an underpass be installed for them to use.
Ms. McMurphy expressed her concern regarding the Traffic Circulation Element and asked that the Commissioners consider the comments made by the citizens of Lake County.
Mr. Alan Thelen, County Manager, introduced Mr. Jim Barker, Department of Environmental Services. Mr. Barker reviewed the County's programs that affect the Eustis area.
Mr. Barker stated that they are currently working on an Ordinance Development Program, which includes a number of ordinances such as a Contributions Wetlands Ordinance, Tree and Landscaping Ordinances, and a Storm Water Ordinance, at which time he discussed each of these briefly.
Mr. Bradley Bauserman, Recycling Coordinator, presented the Recycling Program and stated that the County is taking a proactive approach, as opposed to a reactive approach, in all of the Solid Waste Programs. He called attention to the handouts available, regarding hazardous waste products in the home, and briefly talked about educating the general public regarding them.
Mr. Bauserman stated that $40,000.00 worth of containers have been ordered for the Eustis program, which is to start sometime in January. There are about 13,000 homes currently involved in the County recycling program.
Mr. Elmore Webb, a local resident, stated he feels there is a need for a project that addresses the problem of surface water and oils draining from Highway 44A into the wetlands and then draining uncontrolled and unfiltered into Lake Swatara.
Mr. Alan Thelen, County Manager, appeared before those present, and talked about the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) Hearings, scheduled for December 11, 1990, at 11:00 a.m.
Mr. Thelen stated that there are five MSTUs to be considered at the Hearings: Fire, Solid Waste, Water and Sewer, General, and Greater Hills. He further stated that the State Legislature has authorized the County to provide services to the unincorporated areas, that are provided to the cities.
Mr. Thelen stated MSTUs primarily provide funding for fire service. The Public Hearing on December 11, 1990, is to consolidate all of the fire operations by dissolving the six districts into one taxing unit and, therefore, creating one municipal taxing unit for the entire area. This area includes all unincorporated areas in the County, with the exception of Hawthorne.
Mr. H. H. Hartman, a resident of Mt. Dora, questioned the ad valorem tax regarding garbage collection, and the contract on the incinerator. Mr. Hartman asked how the payments would be made, in the event there is a short fall in payments on the incinerator the first year.
Commr. Swartz stated that, if the collections set up were short, the County would use reserve funds in the solid waste account, with Mr. Thelen giving a more detailed explanation.
Mr. Joe Steffany, a local resident, questioned why the County does not use a Comprehensive Fire/Emergency Medical Services plan, using one MSTU to cover both?
Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Department of Health and General Services, responded that fire service is provided to the unincorporated areas, by the county. Ambulance services are provided to the unincorporated areas, as well as to the municipalities. He stated the ambulance service is more comprehensive and is, therefore, provided from the ad valorem, or general revenue, and fire service, being limited in areas, is provided with MSTUs.
Mr. Steffany stated that Florida State Statute 78.543 permits the County to charge and collect reusable fees for ambulance services; therefore, suggested that the County find out where that money is going and suggested it be used to help defray the cost of these services.
Department of Corrections
Mr. Al Thelen introduced Mr. Mike Anderson, Director of Capital Improvements. Mr. Anderson presented a video showing what
has been completed, thus far, on the new Criminal Justice Facility. He stated that the project (Prelude) is scheduled to be completed(on schedule) the latter part of December, 1990, and have the ability to move inmates in by the latter part of January, 1991. He stated that the Main Jail is scheduled for completion by August, 1992. The Courts Building site plans have been approved, and completion is scheduled for August, 1992.
Mr. Tom Neumeyer, Executive Director of Corrections, stated that his primary function was to administer the three existing facilities and work toward occupying the Prelude building and the Main Jail facility. Mr. Neumeyer called attention to the Department of Corrections' handout that was prepared, explaining that the Prelude Project is the first stage of the 960 beds that have been planned for the future, stating the Prelude is designed to hold 192 inmates. He further stated the current capacity of the correctional facility is 227 inmates, and the County is currently operating at 120% capacity.
Department of Health and General Services
Mr. Al Thelen presented Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health & General Services. Mr. Strickland gave an overview of the Department's many services. He stated that Social Services provides money for indigent families to use for rent, food, emergencies, and utilities, and they have recently secured an increase in Federal Government allocations from $73,000.00 to $94,000.00. Local agencies are utilized to disburse this money, and the County will be working with the Lake Community Action Agency, in Eustis. Some of the other services within the department are the Veterans Services, Health Services, and Public Safety.
Planning & Development
Mr. Al Thelen introduced Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development. Mr. John Swanson explained that the Planning and Development Department consists of several divisions,
one, of which, is the Building Department, which includes the Building Expansion Program and the Section 8 Program, in Eustis. Mr. Swanson stated the Comprehensive Plan, as mandated by the State, provides the County with a growth plan extending into the year 2005. Mr. Swanson presented the Land Use Map and explained the steps involved in developing a Land Use Map. Discussion occurred regarding the transportation growth impact on the Land Use Map.
Mr. David Cleary, a resident of Tavares, appeared before the Board expressing his concern for the population density figures that have been put into the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. John Benton, Chairman of the Eustis Planning and Zoning Board, stated that they have been working on the Eustis Comprehensive Plan for over a year, and expressed his appreciation to Mr. Swanson for his comments about cooperation among the cities and the County.
Ms. Jennifer McMurphy, a local resident, stated her concern that the County is planning for a circular beltway, and questioned if the County is supporting and encouraging the beltway as a circular route through the Wekiva Basin.
Mr. Swanson responded that the County recognizes that the beltway could very well happen, but not in the near future, stating that the beltway has not been added to the Land Use Map. Mr. Swanson stated that Ms. McMurphy's comments would be taken into consideration.
Mr. Joe Steffany, a local resident, questioned what the County's plans were regarding Commission districts in Lake County.
Mr. Swanson stated that State Statutes mandate there has to be a redistricting of Commission districts every ten years, based upon population.
Mr. Steffany suggested that a Citizens Committee be appointed to look at redistricting.
Mr. H. H. Hartman, a local property owner, expressed his concern that the wording in the Comprehensive Plan is not specific enough and should mandate what must be done.
Ms. Barbara Kent, a local property owner, expressed her difficulty in seeing what visions the Commissioners have and want regarding the quality of life in Lake County. Ms. Kent commented that there were no plans to acquire land for green areas and parks, with Commr. Bakich stating that the Recreation & Open Space Element addresses Ms. Kent's concerns.
Mr. Swanson commented that there are twelve elements within the Comprehensive Plan, one of which is the Capital Improvements Element. The Capital Improvements Element includes the Parks & Recreation Element, Conservation Element, and Public Facilities Element. The Capital Improvements Element now has $6,000,000.00 worth of improvements, which are mandatory.
Ms. Kent expressed her concern for the Citizens Committee study on the width of roads and the amount of traffic on the roads, with Commr. Bakich responding that each road is designed differently, and the amount of level of service depends on the individual road.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
MICHAEL J. BAKICH, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK