The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, January 21, 1992, at 5:05 p.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; Mike Anderson, Interim County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
The Chairman, Commr. Bakich, opened the meeting.
COMMITTEES/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Mr. John Swanson, Executive Director of Planning and Development, thanked the members of the Land Development Regulations Technical Advisory Committee for their help in revising the regulations and making recommendations to the Board regarding same. He then introduced consultants that assisted the committee in the preparation of the regulations, from the firms of Henigar & Ray, Inc., and Henderson, Young & Company, thanking them for their assistance, as well as Mr. Greg Stubbs, Director of Current Planning, for his assistance.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that she had distributed some minor amendments that she would like the Board to consider and that there would be some oral proposed amendments, to be considered, as well.
Mr. Stubbs, Director of Current Planning, informed the Board that he had provided them with some backup information regarding some changes from the County's old Code to the present Land Development Regulations (LDRs). He stated that the Board needed to pay specific attention to amendments to the Large Lot Waiver, Lot Approval, and Agricultural Labor Sections, in Chapter 14, stating that staff is proposing in the new LDRs that the County limit those
lots to two lots, per split, per property, one time per year, noting that this is a major change from what the County has been doing in the past.
Ms. Gail Easley, Planning Director with Henigar & Ray, Inc., informed the Board that what they had before them was a draft of the LDRs, to be adopted by the Board, noting that certain language had been stricken through (indicating that it had been eliminated from an earlier draft) and other language highlighted (indicating that it had been added).
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, noted that once the LDRs are adopted, a clean document will be produced, with all strike throughs deleted and new language inserted, to be sent to Tallahassee.
At this time the LDRs were reviewed, chapter by chapter, and the following noted:
That language contained in Chapter I, Section 1.02.04, Commercial - Except Chapter 7 (Wekiva), on Page I-2, will be struck and corrected language inserted, which tracks language in the Comprehensive Plan, regarding same.
That in Section 1.01.00, Authority and Applicability, on Page I-1, language stating "the powers in Chapter 166 of the Florida Statutes" should be stricken and language stating "the powers in Chapter 125 of the Florida Statutes" should be inserted.
That the document being reviewed, presently known as the "Code", should be changed to the "Lake County Land Development Regulations" and referred to as the "Regulations", which is what the Florida Statutes requires.
That in Section 1.01.01, General Application, on Page I-1, language will be inserted stating that "no subdivision of land or development activity shall be undertaken without prior authorization".
That in Section 1.02.05, Development of Regional Impact - Except Chapter 7 (Wekiva), on Page I-2, in the last sentence,
language "to the extent provided in that Development Order" was struck through, however, should be retained.
That in Section 1.02.06, Florida Quality Development - Except Chapter 7 (Wekiva), on Page I-3, language "to the extent provided in that Development Order" was struck through, however, should be retained.
That Section 1.02.08, Industrial Uses - Except Chapter 7 (Wekiva), on Page I-3, would be addressed and clarified as to whether or not industrial zoning was vested. It was the consensus of the Board to strike the requirement for a site plan.
That Section 1.02.09, Large Lot Waiver, on Page I-3, is not authorized in the Comprehensive Plan to vest large lot waivers and should be deleted from the LDRs.
That Section 1.02.10, Lot Approval, on Page I-3, is not authorized in the Comprehensive Plan to vest lot approvals and should be deleted from the LDRs.
That language in Section 1.02.11, Mobile Homes - Chapter 7 (Wekiva), on Page I-4, will be addressed as to whether or not mobile homes should be vested.
That in Section 1.02.15, Planned Unit Developments - Except Chapter 7 (Wekiva), on Page I-5, exemptions for lots in approved PUDs are not authorized in the Comprehensive Plan.
That in Section 1.02.20, Preliminary Plat - Except Chapter 7 (Wekiva), on Page I-7, it provides for a complete application for preliminary plat approval and the language for one or more phases was inserted and is not what the Comprehensive Plan states. What is included within the plat is what would be subject to the vesting. The same thing applies to Section 1.02.21, Site Plan - Chapter 7 (Wekiva), on the same page.
That Section 1.09.00, Severability, and Section 1.10.00,
Effective Date; Enactment, on Page I-12, will be struck, as they will be contained in the ordinance that will be adopted.
That Section 1.07.00, Repeal of Prior Provisions, on Page
I-11, will be struck and inserted as a section in the body of the ordinance.
That there were no revisions to Chapter II, Definitions, other than typographical errors and changes to numbers.
That in the chart contained in Chapter III, Zoning District Regulations, on Page III-19, Commercial Kennels was changed from A to CUP and deleted from RP, as a permitted use, and Non-Commercial Kennels will be CUPs as well.
That in Section 3.01.04, Key to Conditions in Table of Permitted and Conditional Uses, on Page III-24, changes have been made in the setback requirement from 200' to 50' from the nearest right-of-way line of any public road, road, highway or adjacent boundary for the keeping of livestock for general agriculture, non-intensive agriculture, and horse-breeding farms.
That Section 3.02.07, Bulk Regulations for the RMRP District,
(A) (3), on Page III-33, deletes the minimum 10 acre requirement for that zoning district, which is the current requirement, and the Board needs to make a decision regarding it.
That Chapter IV, Special Districts, now contains sections pertaining to Rural Villages and PUD districts.
That in Section 4.03.01, Purpose and Intent, on Page IV-9, the words "Encourage developers to" has been struck from the beginning of Paragraph A. and the words "Give the developer" has been struck from the beginning of Paragraph G. and the word "Provide" is to be inserted.
That all the sections following Section 4.05.00, Approval Procedure for PUDs and MUQDs, on Pages IV-20 through IV-32, need to be deleted, as they have been inserted in Chapter XIV.
That the vesting language in Chapter V, Concurrency, is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and will be addressed.
Mr. Don Gainer, Henderson, Young & Company, briefly reviewed and discussed the Flow Chart, as it pertains to Concurrency, noting
that no additional changes had been made from the prior discussion regarding it.
That Section 6.01.07, Single Family Lots, on Page VI-6, is to be deleted, as well as Section 6.04.05, Exemptions, Paragraph A., on Page VI-28, as they have been addressed in other chapters.
That Section 6.06.01, General Provisions, Paragraph A, on Page VI-46, should be deleted.
That in Paragraph 1., under F. Financial Responsibility, on Page VI-63, the words "Certificates of Deposit" should be struck through. In Paragraph 2., "Technical Review Committee" should be struck through and the words "County Manager or designee" should be inserted. In Paragraph 3., the words "Technical Review Committee" should be struck through and the words "County Manager or designee" inserted, and the word "Upon", beginning the next sentence, should be struck and the word "After" inserted.
Mr. Stubbs, Director of Current Planning, informed the Board that the Land Development Regulations Technical Advisory Committee requested staff to come up with some type of language, under Mining, that when a developer has finished his project and has excess overburden, rather than calling it a mine, to call it something else and allow him to dispose of the overburden (sand). He stated that Mr. Jim Barker, Director of Pollution Control, and his staff will be working on said language and will have it available at a later date.
That language in Paragraph 13, on Page VII-4, be made more clear as to whether or not property that is already zoned industrial or commercial will still be vested if the State buys up to it.
That there were no changes to Chapter VIII, Green Swamp.
That some modifications had been made to standards throughout Chapter IX, Development Design and Improvement Standards, however, they were not available at this time. It was noted that Pruning would be included in the Appendix, rather than have a section pertaining to it in the Regulations.
That, pertaining to Chapter X, Accessory and Temporary Structures and Uses, staff is trying to encourage affordable housing in Lake County and one of the means of doing so is to encourage accessory apartments in residential zoning districts.
That an ordinance pertaining to boat docks has been adopted and will be included in the Regulations.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the issue of square footage versus percentage being used, as it pertains to accessory apartments and garage apartments, which is covered in Chapter X, as well as a limitation regarding bonds for mobile homes while conventional homes are being constructed in the RR, RA, A, and AR districts.
That there were no changes to Chapter XI, Signs.
That Chapter XII, Hardship Relief, is also a reorganization of items that previously appeared in Chapter XIV. This chapter also contains the Appeals and Code Enforcement areas of the Code, so titles and references to those topics need to be conformed in the earlier section of the chapter. Also, that the existing "Board of Zoning Appeals" is being restructured to the "Board of Adjustments", which will hear variances from zoning issues, as well as subdivision variances and variances to standards, in an effort to streamline the whole process, enabling it to move a little more smoothly through the system, so that when these issues come up they can be handled as expeditiously as possible and not create a stumbling block by having to go through a variance process. This chapter also contains language pertaining to the Pollution Control Board and their responsibilities with regard to variances, Code Enforcement activity, etc. That some modifications should be made in areas where it refers to "County Manager or designee", for consistency.
That in Section 12.03.01, Jurisdiction, on Page XII-3, Paragraph C. is to be struck, due to the fact that it is addressed in another section.
That Section 12.03.03, Variances, Paragaraph A., on Page XII-5, should be struck, due to the fact that it is addressed in another section.
That in Section 12.03.09, Violation of Board of Adjustment Order, on Page XII-8, the word "Board" should be struck and the word "Manager" inserted.
That in any areas of the Regulations, where it states that fees shall be waived by either the Board of Adjustments or the Pollution Control Board, such as in Section 12.03.03, Variances, Paragraph F., on Page XII-7, it shall be noted that the issue of fees is in the jurisdiction of the Board of County Commissioners and shall be provided for in the resolution adopting fees. The language "the Board of Adjustment shall direct the required variance fee to be waived" should be struck from the last sentence of Paragraph F.
That in Section 12.04.01, Jurisdiction, on Page XII-9, the word "Board" should be struck and the word "officer" inserted.
That in Section 12.04.03, Variances, on Page XII-10, Paragraph A. should be deleted, as it is addressed in another section, and that in the same section, in Paragraph G., on Page XII-13, the language "the Pollution Control Board shall direct the required variance fee to be waived" should be struck.
That the present language in Paragraphs A. through F. in Section 12.05.03, Appeals of Determinations of Vested Rights for Consistency, on Page XII-18, does not conform to the Comprehensive Plan and should be deleted, at this time. New language will be inserted at a later date.
That in Section 12.07.21, Authority to Issue Citations, on Page XII-23, due to the fact that the Code Enforcement section is being totally revised to conform to the Florida Statutes, as it currently reads, the County created the ability for the Board of County Commissioners to utilize citation powers, should they choose to do so (it can only be done through adoption of a resolution by
the Board of County Commissioners). It was noted that this is strictly an alternative - that it is not mandatory.
That regarding Items A. through K., in Section 12.05.01, Variances Granted by the Board of County Commissioners, on Page XII-17, if a developer requests a variance and it is advertised along with the development proposal, the Board will have the ability to grant variances to a site plan, whether it be a PUD, CUP, etc. If the Board chooses not to grant a variance, they can refer it to the Board of Adjustments, the Pollution Control Board, etc.
That in Chapter XIII, Decision Making and Administrative Bodies, on Page XIII-4, the present language contained in Paragraph L. should be deleted and language added to refer a case to the Code Enforcement Manager. However, in the event the Pollution Control Officer determines that it is in the best interest of public health, safety, or welfare, for more prompt attention to be taken by the Code Enforcement Board, he may refer the case directly to the Code Enforcement Manager, provided the Pollution Control Director notifies the Pollution Control Board of his actions as soon as practicable.
That in Section 13.03.03, Pollution Control Officer, under Paragraph 14, on Page XIII-7, a Paragraph (c) should be added, stating that an emergency order may be appealed to the Pollution Control Board, pursuant to subsection 12.04.04 of the Regulations.
That language contained in Section 13.07.00, Code Enforcement Board, on Page XIII-12, shall be struck in its entirety and new language inserted, which tracks the Florida Statutes.
That in Section 13.01.01, Powers and Duties of the Board of County Commissioners, on Page XIII-1, the language that has been struck through should be retained and the language that was added deleted.
That in Section 13.05.01, Functions, Powers and Duties of the Planning and Zoning Commission, on Page XIII-9, Item 7. should
state that six (6) members constitute a quorum, rather than five (5).
That in Chapter XIV, Administration and Enforcement, the Enforcement section has now been moved into Chapter XII, so Chapter XIV now pertains just to Administration. It was noted that there are very likely some discrepancies between the Table of Contents and the text, in going through the numerous revisions; however, corrections will be made in the final version.
That there is a little confusion in the Subdivision Section regarding the contents of preliminary plats and improvement plans, however, this will be corrected.
That there are some minor typographical revisions where terminology has been altered and not reflected completely, and will need to be conformed, in order to eliminate confusion regarding same.
That revised language should be inserted with regard to applicants being responsible for providing names and addresses of property owners to whom mailed notices are to be sent, with said language to be provided by staff.
That Section 14.02.00, Comprehensive Plan Amendments, needs to be tracked as to the way that staff is going to be doing them, as there are amendments being made every six months and they need to be reflected in the Regulations.
That the Flow Charts pertaining to the DRI process need to be amended to allow for rezoning first and then they should go through the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, as it is a policy change from the way that staff has been adhering to it.
That in Section 14.00.03, Notice Procedure, Paragraph A., on Page XIV-1, and Item 3., pertaining to Land Development Regulations, on Page XIV-2, should reflect what the Florida Statutes state regarding them.
That in Section 14.01.01, Generally, on Page XIV-4, language "activity or subdivision of land" is to be inserted after the word "development".
That on Pages XIV-16 and XIV-17, where reference is made to the "Planning Department", it should be changed to "County Manager or designee".
That Zoning and Subdivision variances are to be moved from Chapter XIV to Chapter XII.
That Section 14.12.01, Minor Lot Splits, on Page XIV-85, is a section that is a major change from what staff has been doing administratively in creating Large Lot Waivers, Lot Approvals, and Agricultural Waivers at the Zoning Department counter. Staff has recommended reducing the lots down to three, pursuant to the Florida Statutes' definition of a subdivision of land.
A brief discussion occurred regarding this section, at which time it was noted that there has been a lot of opposition to this change. It was also noted that, for three to six lots, a minor plat process will be required and for six lots or greater, it will be the standard platting process. The minor plat process will cut out the hearing of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
That Chapter XV, which is the Impact Fee Ordinance, has been moved to the Land Development Regulations, so that all land development regulations are in one place, which is the intent of Chapter 163 of the Florida Statutes.
That in Section 14.00.03, Notice Procedure, on Page XIV-2, in the first sentence of Item D., one hundred fifty (150') feet should be struck and three hundred (300') feet inserted.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the matter of adjacent property owners to properties being rezoned being properly notified, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that he felt the County should mail notices, rather than posting a sign, noting that this is a required portion of the notification process.
Ms. Easley stated that some jurisdictions have inserted in their LDRs language which states "Failure of the owner to receive the notice does not invalidate the notice provisions or the action being taken.", noting that the issue is not whether or not the County sends the notices out.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, interjected that, legally, once the notification is mailed at the post office, it is considered appropriately mailed by the governmental entity, and that the only language that needs to be inserted is "The County Manager or designee shall mail notices to the property owners."
Mr. J. Vander Meer, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that his main concern pertains to the large lot split, at which time he discussed the matter, noting that he felt it should not change from the way that it has been done for years. He discussed the matter of vested rights, as well.
A brief discussion occurred, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that he would like to see something that allows a minor subdivision (when the infrastructure is there, or in the case where a family is dividing up property between family members) to get away from the non-conforming lot splits.
Ms. Pat Leonard, a resident of Eustis and former member of the Tree Ordinance Committee, appeared before the Board and referred to Chapter IX, Section 9.01.04, Page IX-8, which pertains to minimum tree requirements, at which time she discussed the fact that the wording "six (6) trees" had been struck from this section and the wording "three (3) trees" inserted. It was the consensus of the Board to reinsert the wording "six (6) trees" in those areas where it had been stricken.
Mr. Frank Ellis, Ellis Realty, Paisley, appeared before the Board and noted several things that concern him about the new proposal pertaining to the Large Lot Waiver, as he presently owns approximately 80 acres in Paisley, which he is considering splitting equally between he and his wife and his four children. He discussed problems associated with doing so. He questioned the interference of government in land ownership rights, noting that he felt it was going in the wrong direction.
Mr. Jim Bible, Greater Construction Company, appeared before the Board and discussed the issues of vesting and concurrency, which he noted is going to impact everyone in the County. He
distributed a handout pertaining to the vesting language in the Comprehensive Plan and the fact that it was originally meant to deal with zoning issues regarding developments that were not consistent with the density and the intensity of what the Comprehensive Plan says of the land use. He stated that he felt the issue has not been properly addressed and noted problems it has caused developers in the County. He feels the Board needs to look at the matter of capacity and the timing of developments. He discussed additional language that was added for fire, in Chapter IX, Paragraph (a), on Page IX-80, noting that he felt said language needs to be cleaned up. He stated that the Board needs to think about the issues of vesting and concurrency, as it is a live or die situation for many developers in the County.
Mr. Claude Smoak, a former Lake County commissioner and resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board stating that his business is basically agriculture. He referred to Chapter VI, Section 6.01.03, Permit Requirements, on Page VI-1, reading what it states concerning wetlands and then referred to Chapter II, Page II-75, where it defines wetlands and questioned whether he is in violation of the rule in the development regulations every time he disks a pasture and cuts various vegetation that is a detriment to his business, and whether he will be required to obtain permission from the County to mow his pasture. He requested the Board to look at said language very carefully, noting that the way it presently reads is an encroachment on the God given right for one to operate one's business. He stated that he, nor anyone else in the agricultural business, can operate under the Regulations, as they are presently written. He stated that he would like to present language to the Board that will reasonably protect environmental resources, while at the same time not have government infringe on the rights of individuals to operate their businesses, and would like for the Board to review and consider implementing the language that he will present.
Mr. Smoak then referred to Section 6.01.04, Determination of Wetlands Boundary, Paragraph B., on Page VI-2, and discussed what it states regarding the adjustment of boundary delineations, noting that he feels staff has been given too much authority for discretionary control of peoples' lives. He also referred to Page VI-4, Paragraph H., Standards for Agricultural and Silvicultural Practices, and questioned what the sentence "All agricultural operations located within wetlands shall comply with U.S.D.A. approved Soils Conservation Service (SCS) Conservation Plans." means, to which Mr. Jim Barker, Director of Pollution Control, responded, stating that staff is saying that activities in agricultural areas of wetlands should follow best management practices of the U.S.D.A. and the Soil Conservation Service. Mr. Smoak questioned whether said language means that in order for agriculture to function and operate in Lake County, according to the Regulations, as they are written, that there must be an approved SCS Conservation Plan in existence, to operate in any wetlands area, to which Mr. Barker responded that it did. Mr. Smoak then requested the Board to look at said language, carefully.
Mr. Barker stated that staff would be willing to look at some kind of requirement, to see if there is a way to come up with a reasonable program for one to maintain his agricultural property, as the Comprehensive Plan does not indicate a clear-cut direction regarding the matter.
Mr. Smoak then referred to Chapter VIII, Section 8.00.05, Development Review Criteria, Item B, Paragraph 7 (a), Fill Areas, Borrow Pits and Mines, on Page VIII-9, and questioned whether there is such an area in the County as the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area, referred to in said paragraph, to which Commr. Swartz responded that there is such an area, and that it is located in the southwest corner of Lake County and in part of Sumter County, however, feels that it is referred to in this paragraph in error and needs to be referenced back to what the Comprehensive Plan states regarding the extraction of minerals.
A brief discussion occurred regarding this issue.
Mr. Smoak then brought up the issue of the subdivision of land and questioned whether what the County Attorney stated, in that the reason new regulations were drawn up was to make them conform to existing law, means that what the County does today and has done for a number of years has been, and is, illegal, to which she responded that it is inconsistent with the Florida Statutes. She stated that it would be up to a court to determine whether or not it would be a violation of law.
Mr. Smoak stated that he feels the intent of the change is for no other purpose than to make it more difficult for small land owners to have an alternate use of their land. He questioned why the Board writes artificial requirements for large tracts of land that are not needed, not wanted, and do nothing but raise the cost of living for people who can afford it the least. He stated that the County does not need to do it, that there is no benefit served in doing it, and hoped that the Board would not change the process for Large Lot Waiver and not change the process for subdivision of lots on county maintained roads, noting that it has worked for a long time the way it presently is.
Mr. Bill Good, a resident of Yalaha, appeared before the Board stating a concern he had about the qualifications of some of the members of the Land Development Regulations Technical Advisory Committee. He stated that he did not think the people that wrote the LDRs reflect the feelings of the people of Lake County or that they have their best interest in mind. He then addressed some specific concerns he has regarding the environmental resources of the County and its protection. He referred to Chapter VI, Section 6.01.05, Requirements for Wetlands Preservation, Item G., Conservation Activities, on Page VI-3, stating that it limits conservation activities to six, which he did not think was wise, and requested the Board to consider rewording it.
Mr. Good noted a conflict in the LDRs regarding fire control, stating that it is mentioned on Page VI-34, however, is not
mentioned as a conservation activity on Page VI-3, and felt that it needs to be resolved. He discussed the functional value of wetlands, noting that in the Comprehensive Plan they are described as being hydrological and biological in nature and that he hoped that definition is still in the Plan. He referred to Page VI-4, Paragraph J, Protection of Wetland Hydrology, and stated that wetland hydrology is a science and does not need to be protected and hoped that the Board would reword this paragraph to protect the hydrologic quality of wetlands. He stated that he had some serious concerns about the number of strike throughs on Page VI-12, in Section 6.01.09, Methodology for Determining Wetland Boundaries, regarding wetland mitigation and hoped that the Board would specify the addition and date of the St. Johns River Water Management District's criteria for wetland boundaries.
Mr. Good stated that he had some concerns regarding the wording on Page VI-34, in Section 6.05.03, Provisions for Flood Hazard Reduction, where it states that flood plain development approval within the 100 year flood plain will be by the County Manager and that he hoped a review committee of some sort would be the one to make that decision, rather than the County Manager. He stated that he was concerned about the fact that on Page VI-69, Paragraph D., Water Quality Standards, in Section 6.10.01, Water Quality Standards, that the testing for mercury was left out of the water quality criteria which constitutes pollution and that it definitely needs to be in there. He questioned the number of trees being designated for the purpose of providing shade and saving energy and hoped that in future documents there would be a change in the wording which would reflect the types of trees that are to be planted, rather than the types of canopy they produce. He stated that he hoped DCA would take the time to look at the composition, and who wrote the LDRs, because he feels that it is not the two-sided debate that took place in the writing of the Comprehensive Plan.
Commr. Swartz requested staff to submit a memo to the Board addressing the concerns noted by Mr. Good.
Mr. John Hall, a local resident, appeared before the Board and commented regarding how one can legally (according to the Florida Statutes) go about submitting a complaint regarding the LDRs, if one disagrees with any decisions that are made regarding same. He touched on the membership of the Land Development Regulations Technical Advisory Committee, noting that the majority of said members were from the development community and that he would like to protest that fact. He also noted that one of the members was from outside the County. He then addressed the open space issue and the fact that he feels there is some inconsistency in golf courses being listed as open space; several aspects of the aquifer recharge area (to which Mr. Jim Barker, Director of Pollution Control, responded); residential development standards; zoning districts; mining in recharge areas; preliminary development plans and the extension of same (to which Mr. Greg Stubbs, Director of Current Planning and Ms. Gail Easely, Heniger & Ray, responded); and the powers and duties of the Board of County Commissioners, particularly the power to review and grant, grant with conditions, or deny proposed Developments of Regional Impact and the inconsistencies that he sees in same (to which Commr. Gregg and Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, responded).
Mr. Bill Ray, a local property owner and agriculturalist, appeared before the Board and suggested that they request a copy of the court case from the Fifth District Court of Appeals, Jack C. Snyder vs. the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, and read it, noting that it defines what property rights are. He stated that it states property rights are the fundamental cornerstone of the American form of free market enterprise and that government has the ability to review those rights, but does not have the ability to take them away from the people. He stated that government has to prove that one is going to harm the health, safety, or welfare of the public, or affect another's ability to
utilize his property, and if they fail to prove that, then one has the right to use one's property as one sees fit. He discussed the issue of vesting and the fact that the Board guaranteed that a plat filed prior to adoption of the Comprehensive Plan was vested, however, the Board is now discussing the issue again, which has jeopardized the entire economic structure of many developments in Lake County, which he noted is morally and ethically wrong, and the Board should not be allowed to do it.
Mr. Ray then discussed the matter of not being able to fence wetlands, which means that he cannot internally cross-fence his pasture, to keep his cows in proper grazing management practices, in accordance with SCS, and feels that this is wrong; the matter of rivers and streams, stating that people need a clear-cut definition of what a stream is, noting that he does not feel the way the section of the LDRs pertaining to same are presently worded properly covers the intent of same; land uses that are prohibited in a wellfield protection area, as discussed on Page VI-23, Item B (3), questioning whether a cattle operation is considered a commercial animal facility and whether it means that one cannot have intensive pasture management in a wellfield protection zone; Section 6.04.00, Natural Upland Vegetative Communities, Habitat of Designated Species, and Wildlife Corridors, stating that the plant designated species list was established to prevent commercial harvesting, that it was not for habitat protection.
Mr. Ray then discussed the fact of one clearing land up to a transition zone, up to the edge of a wetland, or clearing a wetland itself, and the fact that if one had an approved SCS Comprehensive Plan and was bona fide agriculture, they could do it, noting that this is what the intent was and that it should be made clear in the LDRs. He discussed the matter of mineral extraction, noting that it was a criteria that was outlined specifically for the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area and that that was the only place in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern where the intent was to limit mineral extractions. He stated that mineral rights are a
right that the property owner has and if the Board is going to deny that property owner the right to utilize that resource, it is a clear "taking", and is an issue that needs to be addressed. He discussed the Large Lot Waivers and the fact that the way it is presently worded does not benefit agriculture or anybody - that all it does is add to the bureaucracy in the filing fees and the paperwork that the County staff has to handle. He stated that it is done administratively and does not require the Board's review or anything else. He stated that the County will only lose if the Board requires each property owner to come in and file for it. As far as the qualifications of the members of the Land Development Regulations Technical Advisory Committee, as alluded to by several individuals, he clarified the fact that said members were very qualified and that he took offense to the criticism of same.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 8:45 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a five minute recess.
COMMITTEES/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT (CONT'D.)
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, representing a number of various interests (individuals and businesses) in Lake County, appeared before the Board stating that she served as Vice Chairman of the Land Development Regulations Technical Advisory Committee, and to clear up any questions regarding what the scope and purpose of said committee was, stated that the committee did not originate or develop the Land Development Regulations. She stated that consultants were hired to do that and the committee's job was to review them, from a technical perspective, due to the background in development of the various members involved.
Ms. Bonifay stated that she is very concerned about the fact that the vesting language is totally insufficient in her mind, as well as in the minds of her clients. She stated that, perhaps, the problem is that the Comprehensive Plan is flawed and the County needs to start over. She discussed, at length, problems associated with the vesting issue and the legal rights of people in the County
concerning common law vesting. She stated that developers are paying a lot of money to go through the County's PUD process, to find out that they do not have anything, in terms of vested rights, and that, from calls she is receiving, there are going to be problems if the County does away with the process and does not do anything about the people who have acquired property in good faith. Ms. Bonifay then discussed the issue of concurrency, stating that the County does not have anything for "de minimis" impacts, noting that the County has eliminated that. She stated that the County cannot exempt everybody, but, on the other hand, the County cannot give concurrency to only those people who have some kind of development approval today, because if it does, they will have put a moratorium on this County, because there will be no new development. She stated that, if the idea is to come up with a rational process where they are able to take down capacity for a certain amount of time, in that if one does not use it, they lose it, then it allows new development to come in and feels that this is the kind of system the County wants to have. She stated that she feels things are not real healthy at this time, overall, and if the County thinks that by putting more and more on the development community, somehow the system is going to right itself, they are very wrong - the only thing that will happen is that development will go elsewhere, or there will be no development at all. She stated that vesting and concurrency will either make Lake County an economically viable place to live over the next 20 years or it will totally shut it down. She feels that this County's plan should be compared against other counties' plans, for a better solution.
Mr. Steve Adams, Land Planning Group, Inc., appeared before the Board and stated (for the record) his credentials, noting that he does have the proper background for being a member of the Land Development Regulations Technical Advisory Committee, contrary to what had been stated earlier, and that he found said comments personally offensive. He stated that he would think twice before serving on another such committee.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, Land Planning Group, Inc., appeared before the Board and referred to Item B, in Section 1.02.15, Planned Unit Developments - Except Chapter 7 (Wekiva), on Page I-5, stating that he will be supplying to the Board documentation where he feels the interpretation for PUDs, as stated in the LDRs, is not valid. He discussed this issue, at length. He then referred to Chapter XIV, Pages XIV-47, 48, 49 and 50, pertaining to Flow Charts, noting that there are certain Flow Charts that allude to the subdivision review process and approval process and that they need to be amended to reflect the language in the narrative. He also discussed the concurrency issue and the fact that the cities and the County are going to be exchanging information and data and did not believe that the cities have been advised of some of the procedures that are going to be forthcoming. He touched on the issue of PUDs, stating that PUDs are going to be developed in areas where there are services (water and sewer) and that there needs to be some communication on how the process is going to work, as well as the fact that there was some discussion in the committee on stormwater requirements, such as who is going to enforce them, and whose rules are going to go into effect, and that there needs to be some communication between those entities and the County, so that when they go into effect, everybody knows what the rules of the game are, including the governmental bodies, as well as the development community.
Mr. Bob Huffstetler, Planner, Genesis Design Group, appeared before the Board stating (for the record) that the members of the Land Development Regulations Technical Advisory Committee had, collectively, over 100 years of experience in all aspects of development, as well as experience in governmental processes, thus, were well qualified, contrary to what had been stated. He discussed the issue of golf courses and the fact that they are not considered open space is very wrong, as they are not the detriment to the environment that they used to be, at which time he referred to a newspaper article in one of the local newspapers that noted
the types and quality of plants and animals that live on and around golf courses.
Mr. Egor Emery, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that he objects to the LDRs because he feels they will contribute to urban sprawl and consumption of the County's resources, and the general degradation of the quality of life in Lake County.
Mr. John Benton, President of the Lake County Conservation Council, appeared before the Board and concurred with the comments made by Mr. Emery in that the LDRs codify what he feels is a flawed Comprehensive Plan that the County has adopted, particularly the section pertaining to densities. He also addressed the golf course issue, in that he feels it does not meet the current definition of open space, as it is defined under the rules of the Department of Community Affairs, nor does the definition of parking lots. He referred to Section 6.01.05, Requirements for Wetlands Preservation, Paragraphs A and B, which he discussed and questioned who makes determinations regarding same, to which he was informed that the initial determination would be made by staff, based on criteria in the Comprehensive Plan and in the Code. A brief discussion occurred regarding the matter, at which time Mr. Don Findell, Executive Director of Environmental Services, interjected that it would depend on the specific project as to who makes the determination.
Mr. Benton then discussed Section 6.01.06, Wetland Buffers, Paragraph C, on Page VI-5, stating that he took exception to the minimum footage requirement, as he did not think it would give enough protection for the desired effect, and that in Paragraph B, on the same page, wetlands, as proposed buffers, should be increased by approximately 25%. He then discussed Section 6.02.02, Development Standards for Lake Shorelines, Paragraph B, on Page VI-22, encouraging the Board to modify the language contained in said paragraph, to conform with the Department of Natural Resources
(DNR) standards, noting that with the DNR permit, the County may be able to selectively clear a space larger than 25 feet.
Mr. Bennett Walling, a local businessman, appeared before the Board and suggested that they turn all wetlands and stormwater jurisdiction over to the State, noting that the taxpayers are already paying taxes to cover the salaries of various engineers employed by the State.
Mr. Don Findell, Executive Director of Environmental Services, responded to the comments made by Mr. Walling regarding the wetlands jurisdiction, noting that the County has attempted to make the County's wetlands jurisdiction more consistent with the St. Johns River Water Management District to minimize the overlap and he feels that the LDRs accomplish that.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, appeared before the Board and requested that, in the future, information concerning matters to be discussed be provided to the general public in a more timely manner than what it has been in the past. He discussed the issue of there being no vested rights for industrial development in Lake County, noting that he did not know how this could happen, and that there needs to be some flexibility in the LDRs regarding same.
Commr. Bailey stated that he felt the County should leave Large Lot Waivers alone, as it has worked for a long time the way that it presently is, and that the interpretation of vesting needs to be decided, once and for all, and needs to be put in print, where all can agree. He stated that the Board also needs to look at how they can protect agricultural interests. Commrs. Hanson and Gregg concurred with Commr. Bailey's comments.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board that the LDRs before the Board this date track the language of the Comprehensive Plan regarding vesting of preliminary plats and site plans. She stated the issues that came up this date concerning Large Lot Waivers, Lots of Record, and preliminary PUD lots are new issues and that staff will be looking into them. She stated that
everything else in the LDRs is exactly what is in the Comprehensive Plan, as the Board has determined in the past.
Commr. Gregg requested those people who voiced various concerns this date to submit them to staff, in writing, for review.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the scheduling of a workshop meeting for the purpose of further discussing the LDRs, at which time it was noted that said meeting would be held on Tuesday, February 4, 1992, at 1:30 p.m., and that a second public hearing would be held on the same day, at 5:05 p.m., at which time the meeting would be continued to a time certain.
At this time Commr. Hanson read into the Minutes the contents of a letter which had been submitted to the Board (for the record) from the Lake County Board of Realtors, pertaining to the issue of Large Lot Waivers.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
MICHAEL J. BAKICH, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK