The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, July 2, 1991, at 5:05 p.m., at the Agricultural Center, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Donald B. Bailey, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Richard Swartz; Catherine Hanson; and Michael J. Bakich. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Commr. Bailey, Chairman, opened the meeting with welcoming comments, stating that those in the audience would have the opportunity to comment on each individual Element or may make general comments on the overall Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, appeared before the Board to read (for the record) a letter addressed to him, dated June 17, 1991, from Ms. Robert B. Kent (Barbara), 619 Cayuga Heights Road, Ithaca, New York. Ms. Kent's letter addressed listing of her property, known as King Grove, on the Master Site File; a request to remove wording from Policy 2-3.5 on page II-8, regarding a line drawn through the middle of one of King Grove's underground irrigation systems; the addition of King Grove to the list of "Historically Significant Housing"; and the addition of the King Grove 1875 farmhouse on Map 5-3.
Mr. Paul Bethune, a resident of the Minneola area, appeared before the Board to state his support of impact fees and expressed his concern that residents, in developments with septic tanks, are not paying their way. He stated the general population of Lake County should have some assurance that they are not putting money in the pockets of developers. Mr. Bethune further stated that no resident of the County should lose money because of surrounding development depreciating their property.
Ms. Charlotte Lehner, a resident of Howey-in-the-Hills, appeared before the Board to address the issue of taking private property and quoted a portion of the Fifth Amendment of the United States, which states that "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." Addressing the issue of Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs), Ms. Lehner stated that the Florida Administrative Code Policy specifically encourages the use of TDRs, or any other legal means, in order to help solve the problems, conserve natural resources, and protect the environment in conservation and wetland areas.
Mr. Carl Lindstrand, a resident of Tavares, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan, stating there have been few changes made in the Future Land Use Map since the presentation of the first map. Mr. Stratton expressed his concern that a "world city" is evolving in order to provide a big tax base and increase the size of County government, which will result in an increase in taxes. Mr. Stratton stated he regrets that the growth plan was turned down by the State, but appreciates the comments made by the Department of Community Affairs.
Ms. Jamie Seymour-Nye, a resident of the Wekiva River Basin area, appeared before the Board and questioned if the vesting language, being referred to in the Comprehensive Plan, will affect the Wekiva River Protection Area.
Ms. Annette Star-Lustgarten, County Attorney, responded that the provisions in the Wekiva River Protection Area, regarding plats that are vested, with the exception of the Comprehensive Plan, have not changed. Ms. Lustgarten stated that the language Ms. Nye is referring to is general vesting language pertaining to the remainder of Lake County.
Mr. Jim Rogers, representing Mid Florida Lakes, appeared before the Board to commend the Board of County Commissioners on the good job they have done in presenting the Comprehensive Plan to the State.
Ms. Ruth Yancy Ray, a resident of the Green Swamp area, appeared before the Board to express her appreciation for the excellent job that has been done by the Board and staff in preparing the Comprehensive Plan, encouraging the Board to stand firm. Ms. Ray stressed the importance of becoming a more self sufficient county, and not relying on the government or State.
Mr. Hal Turville, President of the Lake County Conservation Council and a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board to state the key is affordable when addressing the issue of the cost of the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Turville stated that sprawling development is the most expensive way to develop the County. He further stated that he does not support spending his tax dollars to fight the DCA.
Ms. Audrey Reed, a resident of Howey-in-the-Hills, appeared before the Board to express her concern that it is not possible to identify specific areas on the maps that were presented to DCA due to their size, questioning if they will remain in the same scale as was presented.
Mr. Larry Kirch, Director of Comprehensive Planning, responded that a series of maps, consisting of approximately seven maps, will be prepared for final adoption, and the final display of the map series will be 24 feet by 36 feet in size.
Referring to the Recreation and Open Space Element and the Capital Improvement Element, Ms. Reed expressed her concern for the lack of agreement between the various elements in the Plan.
Mr. Swanson responded that staff would welcome comments from Ms. Reed regarding the lack of agreement between the elements in question; at which time, they would review her comments and make the necessary corrections.
Ms. Jackie Putnal, Executive Officer of the Lake County Association of Realtors, appeared before the Board representing Mr. Johnny Hail, President of the Association. At this time, Ms. Putnal read (for the record) a resolution passed by the Lake County Association of Realtors expressing their support of the Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Putnal commended the Board and staff for their patience and fortitude in preparing the Plan.
Mr. Buddy Graham, a resident of Lake Yale, appeared before the Board and requested clarification of language that states a residential area will be vested for eighteen months if a preliminary plat has been submitted, even though it is inconsistent.
Responding to Mr. Graham's request for clarification, Ms. Lustgarten stated he would be entitled to that density, as reflected on that plat, with construction started within eighteen months.
Ms. Ronnie Caggianno, a resident of Lake County, appeared before the Board to state that when construction stops, growth stops. She expressed her support of the Plan, stating that there is a lot of support from the community in support of the Plan.
Ms. Jamie Seymour-Nye reappeared before the Board to again address the issue of vesting in the Wekiva Basin area. Ms. Seymour-Nye stated that the Board of Zoning Appeals determined that vested properties in the Wekiva Basin area did not have to abide by regulations in the Wekiva, and that it was not just densities that were vested. Ms. Nye questioned what will be done about vesting for the rest of the County.
Ms. Lustgarten responded that the Wekiva amendment is being clarified to state that only density is being vested. Ms. Lustgarten stated the section of the Comprehensive Plan that applies to the Wekiva Protection Area is the same as previously existed, with language being clarified regarding density permitted, based on zoning in place as of March 11, 1990.
Ms. Jennifer D. McMurtray, a resident of Eustis, appeared before the Board to state that the Comprehensive Plan has many excellent features, with several areas that need additional clarification. Ms. McMurtray stated that the population figures are greatly inflated, encouraging unnecessary growth; the level of service for rural highways is increased without justification,
causing urban sprawl; golf courses should not be classified as open space; and the Future Land Use Map is not defendable. Ms. McMurtray stated that she does not support fighting DCA with tax money, and would like to see a change from the philosophy of "anything anywhere" to looking more to protecting resources.
Mr. John Benton, a member of the Lake County Conservation Council, appeared before the Board to address the Recreation and Open Space Element and to state he supports two and one-half (2 1/2) acres per thousand people for open space. Mr. Benton stressed the importance of the quality of life in Lake County.
Mr. William A. Ray, a resident in the Clermont area, appeared before the Board to commend the Board on the excellent job they have done and the stand they have chosen to take. Mr. Ray reviewed changes that he feels should be made in the Replacement Pages, as follows: Page I-6, language should be added to cover Agricultural to the list of Best Management Practices that are to be utilized. Page I-7, Policy 1-2.2: clarification should be made to language which states "shall use the 100 year floodplain for development where no other alternative exists. Page I-11, Policy 1-2.6: define language regarding 25 percent open space being set aside where designated species exists. Page I-25, Policy 1-11.18: define the term "pre-existing" as stated in "pre-existing environmental constraints". Page VII-39, Policy 7-17.3: Land Management to Enhance Wildlife: language should be reworded to incorporate "economic liability and economic feasibility of wildlife management". Mr. Ray stated the importance of protecting his rights, the County's rights and encouraged the support of the Comprehensive Plan in front of them.
Mr. Robert Hester, III, ABC Fruit Company, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan, stating development will flow into areas because there are areas that are more desirable to develop in than others.
Ms. Elizabeth Bethune, a resident of Minneola, appeared before the Board to question why DCA is concerned with urban sprawl and environmental degradation in Lake County, stating it is simplistic to state urban sprawl is synonymous with metropolitan decentralization. Ms. Bethune also questioned why the majority of the Lake County Commissioners are fighting the DCA in protecting urban sprawl and environmental degradation.
Ms. Rhonda Gerber, a resident of Leesburg, appeared before the Board to question what amount of State funding the County will lose, in terms of dollars, if it is the decision of the Board to fight DCA, and the County is found in non-compliance.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, responded the amount of State funding would be approximately $3,000,000.00 to $4,000,000.00, with Mr. Swanson responding the monetary issue of sanctions placed against the County by the State would only go back to the date of non-compliance with the plan.
Mr. Bill Cameron, a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board to express his support of the position the Board is taking on the current Future Land Use Plan, stating he supports taking a stand now for the rights of the residents of Lake County.
Mr. Frank Bouis, a resident of Leesburg, appeared before the Board to express his support of the Board in their endeavor to represent Lake County in the process of adopting the County's Comprehensive Plan. He stated Lake County needs a new economy that will encourage young people to move into the County, a place for families, careers, opportunities, and also provide a place for senior citizens. Mr. Bouis objected that the Plan does not explicitly state that one of the purposes of the Plan is to provide for a new economy. In closing, Mr. Bouis stated the Board should represent Lake County and Lake County alone and no one else.
Mr. Cliff Whitaker, a County resident, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan as it was sent to DCA. Mr. Whitaker stated that if DCA wants something done, let DCA mandate it; therefore, when the blame comes down, the property owners in Lake County will not file a class action suit against the Commission.
Mr. Claude Smoak, a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board to state the Comprehensive Plan tries to set a natural changing and flowing capitalistic environment into a written document. Mr. Smoak encouraged the Board to negotiate reasonably but not sell their principles to the Comprehensive Plan. He expressed his support, and the support of the public, to the Board, stating that the residents of Lake County want to see a representative form of government that will listen to the residents.
Mr. Murphy Cameron, a resident of Tavares, appeared before the Board to state it can be agreed that no one is against growth, no one is against making money, and no one is against doing what is right, but there has to be some agreement on how the County is going to work this out. Mr. Cameron stated he cannot support using his money to fight DCA. He further stated he wants responsible government and does not want a government that will not listen.
Mr. Jay VanderMeer, a resident of the Green Swamp area, appeared before the Board to state no plan is perfect. He stated he supports the current Plan, and encourages the Board not to allow DCA to dictate to the County.
Ms. Gena Swartz, a member of the Executive Committee and the Traffic Circulation Element, appeared before the Board to state we should not degrade our environment by having policies that do not accomplish anything but sound good. Ms. Swartz stated that DCA's comment in the Objections, Recommendations and Comments (ORC) report states the preservation of the environment in Florida depends totally on future growth occurring in the areas that are suitable for growth.
Mr. Darryl McAteer, representing a land owner in the County, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan and to state that mitigation is not a profitable undertaking; and expressed his support of the use of impact fees.
Ms. Kathleen Traywick, a resident of the Altoona area, appear before the Board, to commend the Board on the excellent work that they have done, and to state she supports planned growth.
Mr. Steve Richie, Attorney and resident of Lake County, appeared before the Board to state that Lake County needs to look at economic development, and the Board of County Commissioners should become involved only if it deals directly with health, safety and welfare.
Mr. Jim Bible, representing Greater Construction, appeared before the Board to state that the Board has taken actions on transportation which should be included in the Plan. He stated that the location of two future interchanges should be placed on the Future Land Use Map, and consideration should be given to placing the Northwest Beltway on the map. He stated that development in the floodplain areas is prohibited, but in many cases they tend to be engineered to a certain extent, and the Plan should contain language which would allow this.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, a Lake County resident, appeared before the Board to address the level of service, on U.S. 441 between Leesburg and Tavares, in the Traffic Element, Policy 2-1.1. Mr. Beliveau stated that the level of service should be maintained at Level of Service D and supports retaining this policy in the plan. He further expressed his support of Policy 2-4.2: Proposed Improvements to State Road 500. Mr. Beliveau stated that the vesting language in the Wekiva River Protection Area allows more rights than the vesting language in the County as a whole. He stated he supports the language in the Wekiva Basin and would support incorporating that language countywide.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, representing a number of private and public sector clients whose interest would be affected through the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan, appeared before the Board in support of certain elements of the plan. Ms. Bonifay addressed the issue of Open Space, level of service for parks, population projections and concurrency management. Ms.
Bonifay stated that the government that governs best is the government that governs lest. She stated that new growth and development will not support all that is required within the plan. She urged the Board to send the Plan to DCA, with the technical modifications, and to begin, in good faith, a meaningful and serious negotiation process.
Mr. Ed Bergman, a resident of Leesburg, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan, and to state that there are a few technical modifications that should be made, particularly in the level of service on 441 between Lady Lake and Tavares. Mr. Bergman stated that he is completely convinced that the Board must stand fast on the Plan.
Mr. Egor K. Emery, a resident of Lake County, appeared before the board to state that he does not support the 100 year floodplain, and golf courses do not meet the requirements of open space. Mr. Emery stated that DCA's comments are beneficial to the Comprehensive Plan and, rather than fight the State to keep them from doing what will benefit Lake County, he urged the Board to adopt their comments.
Ms. Ruth Yancy Ray reappeared before the Board to discuss language, in the Conservation Element, VII-63 Environmentally Sensitive, which states "recharge areas, and habitat inhabited or potentially inhabited". Ms. Ray stated that "potentially inhabited" language is much too strong and should be deleted.
Mr. Jim Simpson, a resident of Mt. Dora, appeared before the Board to state (for the record) his complaint against the inefficiencies in the urban planning areas, and the delineation of the utilities. He stated ways that have been set up have not been appropriate with overlapping services, resulting in non-efficient utility services being furnished to some areas. Mr. Simpson stated (for the record) his concern that the cities have set aside agricultural areas within their planning areas, which is in conflict with the County plan. He further stated it is inconsistent for the cities to have an urban planning area, yet they are setting aside property as an agricultural classification. He further protested the scheduling of a public meeting, by a city, to work on their planning agreements, which is directly in conflict with the County's public hearing.
Mr. Rex McPherson, a resident of Lake County, appeared before the Board to publicly state that he appreciates the courage and leadership that the Board has shown. He stated that he feels the Plan is a fair plan and urged the Board to adopt it as it was transmitted.
Mr. Larry Gibbons, a resident of Lake County, appeared before the Board to state the community should have a right to determine its future and decide land use issues. Mr. Gibbons stated the Board should not let the motivations of those concerned with only their own welfare influence the Board's ability to enact policies to prevent reckless development.
Mr. Don Warren, a resident of Lake County, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan and to state the Plan should be adopted as it stands.
Mr. Durrell Toole, a resident of Lake County, appeared before the Board to state his support of the Comprehensive Plan.
Ms. Susie Bergman, a resident of Leesburg, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan as it has been presented.
At this time, the Chairman closed the public comment portion of the public hearing.
Commr. Bailey directed staff to prepare, in written form, comments made by the audience for the Board's review.
Ms. Lustgarten made clarification on the vesting language, in the Future Land Use document, I-57 B. Density Exceptions, 2., which should read "A complete application for site plan approval or an application for preliminary plat approval was filed prior to December 21, 1989.", with the remainder of the language in Number 2 becoming Number 3, which shall read as follows: "Development has
commenced two (2) years for a site plan or eighteen (18) months for a preliminary plat, from the effective date of the Ordinance."
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried, the Board moved to place the Grassy Lake Road interchange on the Transportation and Future Land Use Maps.
Commr. Swartz voted "No".
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board moved to place the Sumter County, Lake County interchange on the Transportation and Future Land Use Map.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried, the Board moved to place the Beltway (Mt.Plymouth/ Sorrento) on the Transportation and Future Land Use Map.
Commr. Swartz voted "No".
In answer to a question presented by Commr. Bakich regarding the 100 year floodplain, Mr. Swanson stated that Policy 1-2.2, page I-7 of the Land Use Element, contains language and clarification which will permit development within the 100 year floodplain.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried, the Board moved to permit development in the 100 year floodplain and prohibit development in the floodway.
Commr. Swartz voted "No".
Commr. Bakich made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Gregg to place the Southlake Development on the Future Land Use Map and acknowledge in text a density of thirteen (13) units per acre as reflected in the Development Order signed by the Department of Community Affairs.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz asked for clarification from staff if the motion allows an increased density only to the Southlake Development and no other developments, with staff responding that the increased density is restricted to the Southlake development and the order was signed by DCA.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion which carried, as stated above.
Commr. Swartz voted "No".
Commr. Gregg directed staff to prepare, in written form, comments that have been made and have them available for the next public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried, the Board moved to recommend, to the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, approval of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan, with the appropriate amendments.
Commr. Swartz voted "No".
Commr. Bailey stated that the Comprehensive Plan will be presented before the Board of County Commissioners on July 9, 1991, at 5:05, in the Commission Chambers, 5th Floor of the Lake County Courthouse.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Local Planning Agency, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK