The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, March 23, 1995, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Rhonda H. Gerber, Chairman; William "Bill" H. Good, Vice Chairman; G. Richard Swartz; Catherine C. Hanson; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: Rolon W. Reed, Interim County Attorney; Sue B. Whittle, Interim County Manager; Mary Shell, Assistant BCC Office Manager; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
WORKSHOP - UNIFIED SITE PLAN FOR HIGHWAYS 19/27 AND TURNPIKE
Mr. Mark Knight, Chief Planner, Planning and Development Services, appeared before the Board to present a workshop for the purpose of reviewing concept plans that could be used to establish a unified site plan for the property located at Highways 19/27 and the Turnpike. Mr. Knight distributed copies of Version 4 and Version 5 of the SR 19/US 27 Unified Site Plan prior to the start of the meeting this date. He explained that the primary intent of the Unified Site Plan was to locate the regional commercial center and identify the type of infrastructure that would be required. At this time, he displayed Version 4 of the Unified Site Plan on the display monitor and discussed the location of O'Brien Road, the regional commercial center, a rearage road for commercial development along Highway 27, and for additional commercial development as well as existing commercial development which would tie in with the Clerbrook Recreational Vehicle Park entrance. At this time, he displayed the Future Land Use Map and indicated the location of the employment center and the regional commercial center. Mr. Knight discussed Version 4 and Version 5 of the SR 19/US 27 Unified Site Plan and explained that the purpose of the concept plan was to determine what the concept of buildup would be in the area, and how rezonings would fit into the overall concept plan. He explained that Version 5 incorporates residential with
the employment center, and provides for multi use and mixed use development in the area. He explained that the gross density for the residential area would be a maximum of seven (7) units per acre, and that the concept plan was drafted to be consistent with the Lake County Comprehensive Plan. He further discussed the traffic circulation system, the location of overpasses, intersections, traffic lights, and buffering regulations for commercial to prevent the look of strip commercial along US 27 and SR 19.
Discussion occurred regarding the proposed residential and commercial mixed use as indicated on the Unified Site Plan, at which time Commr. Swartz suggested that the density of seven (7) units per acre would not be sufficient for residential if mixed use development was to provide housing for people who work in this area. He stated that an amendment to the Lake County Comprehensive Plan would be required to provide higher density, and suggested multi-family town houses, or zero lot line developments along Independence Boulevard overlooking Lake County Central Park. He further indicated that it had not been determined that a mall would be located on SR 19 as indicated on the Unified Site Plan.
Commr. Cadwell briefly discussed transportation issues and stated that the County should review infrastructure costs in regard to overpasses in lieu of traffic lights.
At this time, Commr. Gerber called for public comment from those present in the audience.
Ms. Pam Lee, SR 19, appeared before the Board and expressed concern that locating residential in the area was essentially putting the County in the housing business. She stated that the Cities of Groveland, Clermont, Minneola, and Howey-in-the-Hills were very residential areas and needed the growth that the County would essentially be taking away from them. She stated that, if the County intends to make the area a city, the County should also have city regulations and infrastructure in place to provide for
school sites, animal control, and crime prevention which the cities do an excellent job of providing.
Ms. Helen Williams, 6830 Lake Arthur Road, appeared before the Board and indicated the location of her ranch on the Unified Site Plan. She stated that she was not in opposition to the conceptual design as long as it did not interfere with the lifestyle that her family currently enjoys. She requested that her family be allowed to be involved in the planning process.
Ms. Lee reappeared before the Board and stated that many changes have occurred in Lake County since the beginning of the concept of a community at SR 19 and US 27. She suggested that the Board review the entire area again to determine if the area was the appropriate location for a community based on changes that have occurred in Lake County. She suggested that the County consider perhaps a research park with a four year educational facility, or a regional recreational park for the area.
Commr. Hanson stated that Version 4 of the Unified Site Plan provides more flexibility than Version 5, and that the numbers do not support a mall on SR 19.
Commr. Good stated that he would like to see the developers of the site contribute to the infrastructure costs. He stated that what was on the ground in terms of infrastructure and what the market was going to drive, should be considered as we vision a community for the area. He stated that a workable transportation system was very important to the economic development of any area and cautioned not to lose sight of the fact that this was all very speculative at this point.
Mr. Jay VanderMeer, 675 E. Highway 50, appeared before the Board and stated that he was working with a client who owns 400 acres of property that was indicated as industrial on the Unified Site Plan, and he noted that a number of five acre tracts on Libby Road 1, 2 and 3 have been sold. At this time, he described current development in the area, and stated that this location was a very
good place to have a commercial/industrial node. He noted that one concern was that the County have zoning in place based on the Comprehensive Plan, and stated that it was a good concept, with a good road system to support a growing community. At this time, he illustrated on the monitor the location of the 400 acres of property owned by his client.
Mr. Ted Homjak, Manager, Woodland Heritage Adult Community, appeared before the Board and illustrated the location of Woodland Heritage Adult Community adjacent to the Unified Site Plan. He expressed concern that the Unified Site Plan had incorporated property owned by Woodland Heritage into the plan and expressed concern with the traffic on US 27. He suggested that the County consider utilizing some of the Woodland Heritage property for the purpose of constructing a public golf course in the area.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, representing a number of property owners at SR 19/US 27 and the Turnpike appeared before the Board and explained that her client, Mr. Cole Whitaker, came forward with the rezoning application that triggered this issue. She stated that her clients have been attempting to develop their property in compliance with the Lake County Comprehensive Plan; however, administrative rezoning of the County has not occurred since the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, and the zoning, at this time, was not consistent with the Plan. She stated that the Board was at a cross roads in terms of the long term vision, and that it was the vision of her clients to have a regional activity center with commercial and industrial uses. She stated that, if that vision has changed, and the County was going to pursue a city, the Unified Site Plan would look much different from the one before the Board at this time. She suggested that multi family housing, at densities of 18 - 22 units per acre, would be more suitable housing from a planning standpoint. She addressed the issues of providing school sites, recreation areas, and community facilities
and questioned who would be responsible for providing land for those sites.
Commr. Swartz stated that those types of structures and community building facilities do need to be developed on the County property. He suggested that the Board schedule a series of workshops with the land owners, and interested parties, for the purpose of drafting a concept that would be positive for the property owners and the County. He stated that he would ultimately like to see the County reach the point where zoning was in place, and it becomes a simple process for the property owners to utilize their property within the scope of the plan.
Ms. Bonifay stated that she agrees with Commr. Swartz if the vision was to create a city; however, she does not see that as the vision for the area. She stated that she sees the vision for the area as a regional commercial activity with industrial and commercial uses that utilize the existing cities as the feeders into one central employment center in the County.
Ms. Karrie Crowley, 8519 Libby Road No. 3, appeared before the Board and expressed her concern with the increase in traffic on Libby Road No. 3 and South O'Brien Road from Lake County Central Park and SR 19.
Mr. Stan Hunt, 7803 Lewis Grove Road, appeared before the Board and stated that his property was indicated as No. 7 on the Unified Site Plan within the Lake County Central Park property. He explained that he currently has a mobile home on his property and has plans to build a home. He expressed concern with the adjacent Lake County Central Park property.
Commr. Hanson explained that the Tourist Development Council had considered purchasing Mr. Hunt's property three years ago but had determined not to at that time. She stated that every attempt would be made to make the Lake County Central Park property compatible with the surrounding area.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:40 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for ten minutes, and reconvene at 10:50 a.m.
WORKSHOP - UNIFIED SITE PLAN FOR HIGHWAYS 19/27 & TURNPIKE
Ms. Sherry Boas, 19546 Bamboo Bend, appeared before the Board and noted the location of her property on the Unified Site Plan. She stated that a portion of the fifty (50) acres of her property has been designated as professional office on the Unified Site Plan, and expressed concern with the loss of the rural atmosphere that her family enjoys. She requested that the Board initiate rules to maintain the present rural atmosphere.
Commr. Swartz suggested that the Board utilize staff, professors from the area colleges, or an outside consultant that specializes in facilitating land use forms to participate with the concerned property owners in the area of the SR 19/US 27 Unified Site Plan in a charette for the purpose of discussing how this area could become a functional community that would benefit the property owners in and around the Unified Site Plan.
Mr. Jeff Douglas, Zom Company, Winter Park, representing Mr. Marcus, a land owner in the area, appeared before the Board to discuss the property located north and northeast of the Turnpike, which was designation as rural on the Future Land Use Map. He stated that those areas are generally owned by larger land owners and questioned the future plans for the property to the north and northeast of the Turnpike.
Commr. Gerber stated that she would like to see some area of the Unified Site Plan be dedicated to a municipal administration building and a school.
Commr. Swartz suggested that Commr. Gerber, as Chairman of the Board, sit on the charette for the purpose of representing the Board's views and concepts.
Commr. Hanson stated that it was important that the Board reach a consensus on the focus and direction they wish to pursue in regard to whether they want a city or an employment center in the area.
Commr. Swartz stated that he would like to see the area develop as a functional sustainable community that does not impact its neighbors other than in a positive way, that it does not impact negatively the road network, and provides those services that communities provide but which the County does not provide in most new developments.
Commr. Hanson expressed her concern that we have so little industrial zoning in the County and have a tremendous amount of residential. She stated that she does not want to dilute too much the County's employment base.
Commr. Good suggested that the Board move forward with the idea that they can make this property more attractive by possibly making it multi use. He stated that he would support the direction to establish a date for the initial charette, with appropriate advertising throughout the neighborhood for the purpose of getting information from the people who live in the area on how they think the County should undertake this project.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would support setting aside some property for public use and that he does feel strongly that residential zoning should be in place. He suggested that some of the commercial should be removed if residential was not in place.
Commr. Gerber stated that staff should be given direction at this time in regard to initiating a Comprehensive Plan Amendment that would increase the density to allow for the Unified Site Plan.
Commr. Swartz directed staff to come back to the Board as soon as possible with a recommendation to move forward with the assistance from the local universities, with a consultant that specializes in these types of land use forms, or with staff acting as facilitator for a charette. He requested that the residents
start from the beginning with a new map, and with the direction to keep the area manageable, and relatively contiguous to the surrounding area.
Mr. Bergmann stated that staff would return to the Board with two or three alternatives on how to pursue a charette with a facilitator.
WORKSHOP - LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS AMENDMENTS
Commr. Gerber announced that the time had arrived for the Workshop on the Land Development Regulations Amendments. The following staff were present for the workshop: Mr. Paul Bergmann, Senior Director, Department of Planning and Development Services; Mr. Mark Knight, Chief Planner, Planning and Development Services; Ms. Susan Strum, Planner III, Planning and Development Services; Mr. Greg Stubbs, Director, Development Regulations Services Division; Mr. James Barker, Director, Environmental Management Services Division; and Mr. Tim Hoban, Senior Assistant County Attorney.
Chapter XIV - Platting Procedures and Requirements for Minor Subdivisions of Land
Mr. Mark Knight, Chief Planner, Planning and Development Services, distributed a revised copy of Chapter XIV, Platting Procedures and Requirements for Minor Subdivisions of Land. At this time, Mr. Knight reviewed additions and deletions to language that had been inserted by direction of the Board.
Mr. Knight discussed a change to language under the section titled Generally, which states that the purpose of this section was to provide a review process for minor subdivisions of an original parcel or a replat of land into ten (10) or fewer residential lots, whereby, an original parcel shall be a lot legally created, on or before June 1, 1992, pursuant to the Lake County Code.
Mr. Tim Hoban, Senior Assistant County Attorney, discussed in detail the concept of the term original parcel as a legally created
lot pursuant to the Lake County Land Development Regulations. He explained that the County currently recognizes a seven (7) acre parcel, and the land owner has the ability to sell five (5) of the seven (7) acres by simply recording a deed. He cited, as an example, a situation where the property owner attempts to pull a building permit with a deed for a five (5) acre parcel, and the County zoning maps recognize a seven (7) acre parcel. He explained that staff informs the property owner that the five (5) and the seven (7) acre parcels are not legal lots, and a building permit may not be pulled. He explained that it was a subdivision of land not in accordance with the subdivision regulations of Lake County, which have been in existence since the early 1980s. He further explained that staff instructs the property owner to account for every square inch of the original parcel which the County recognizes on its zoning map as a legally created parcel. Extensive discussion occurred regarding this issue, at which time, Commr. Good questioned how the Property Appraiser could appraise land on the basis that it could be built on, even though it was not a legally created piece of property. He further questioned if there was a need to look at the fairness of this situation.
Mr. Hoban stated that an option was available for two neighbors to do a joint lot split and apply for two building permits pursuant to County regulations. He stated that staff was recommending that additional language be added to Chapter XIV, which would allow for an uncooperative neighbor variance or exception. At this time, he presented various scenarios of an uncooperative neighbor variance or exception.
Discussion occurred regarding a procedure in which the County could eliminate illegal lot splits to assure that lot splits get recorded in such a way that they become legal, and it was noted that the problems that occur are with those pieces of property that are bought without title insurance, and without a realtor.
Mr. Hoban stated that, at the direction of the Board, he had met with First Union National Bank, First Federal Savings Bank, Citizens National Bank, SunBank, South Trust Bank, and a number of realtors in regard to the financing requirements of the banks. He stated that the banks have indicated that they prefer to have a loan that could be taken to secondary markets which require specific criteria including being on a paved road. He stated that the Bankers have indicated that the banks would not make loans on any lots that have been created by the County over the last four years through the Board of Adjustment. He further explained an option to do a "private road maintenance agreement" in which every property owner on the easement would sign the agreement.
At this time, Mr. Hoban explained that language had been drafted that states that a platted lot has to be on a paved road or a bond would be required as security that would insure that it was on a paved road. He stated that Seminole County, Polk County and Volusia County do not approve a lot split unless it was on a county maintained road, and the only exception was a Lot of Record Exception.
Discussion occurred in regard to a requirement for a jurisdictional wetland line to protect the wetlands and the 100 Year Flood Plain, and the requirement that the property owner provide a jurisdictional wetland line intent or a detailed study. Mr. Matt Rice, a resident of South Lake County, appeared before the Board to discuss an eighty (80) acre parcel located on Black Lake which he owns. He explained that he had financed the sale of ten (10) acres of the eighty (80) acres to a neighbor. He stated that he cannot do a lot split on the remaining seventy (70) acres unless he has a signed release from the neighbor who purchased the ten (10) acre parcel. He explained that the neighbor resides out of the Country and that the County was making it very difficult for the landowner.
Extensive discussion occurred regarding the requirement for an affidavit from an uncooperative neighbor, at which time Commr. Swartz suggested that the cooperative neighbor have the ability to submit a signed affidavit indicating that the uncooperative neighbor had been contacted and refused to cooperate and sign a release. He stated that it was important that the individual who was refusing to sign understand that they are putting themselves in a position of having a non-conforming lot and may not be allowed to rebuild.
Mr. Hoban clarified that the cooperative neighbor would be allowed to develop his property as if his lot were a legally created lot, and an affidavit would be placed in the Public Records of Lake County stating that the uncooperative neighbor's property was and shall remain an unbuildable lot until such time as the lot complies with the Land Development Regulations.
Mr. Knight briefly discussed language that had been inserted as No. 22. Designate existing land use, under Submittal Requirements. He further explained that said language addresses a construction plan approval process for the minor subdivision process. He explained that an application for construction plan approval shall be consistent with the preliminary plat and include a Master Subdivision Layout Plan, Master Drainage Plan, Master Utilities Plan, and a Master Tree, Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Plan.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:30 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch, and reconvene at 1:30 p.m. for the continuation of the workshop on the Land Development Regulations Amendments.
WORKSHOP - LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS AMENDMENTS
At this time, Mr. Knight briefly discussed additions and deletions to language under Minor Lot Splits and Agricultural Lot
Splits. Mr. Knight explained that provisions for family lot splits have been incorporated with minor lot splits.
Discussion occurred regarding language under D. Standards, which states that parcels created for family members shall be contingent upon the issuance of a building permit and certificate of occupancy, or being awarded agricultural exemption, pursuant to Chapter 197, Florida Statutes. Commr. Hanson noted that "agricultural exemption" should be changed to agricultural classification. Discussion continued regarding language which states that only one (1) lot shall be created for each family member, regardless of where the lot is located or the amount of time that has past. Commr. Gerber questioned how staff would tract said process, and stressed the importance of keeping tract of the number of family lot splits. Mr. Knight explained that the minor lot split or family lot split would not be finalized until a building permit had been approved, and an agricultural classification had been granted on the property.
Discussed occurred regarding new language under D. Standards, which states that no variance shall be granted from Subsection 14.10.01, with the exception of the one (1) acre minimum lot size and the three (3) year retention period for parcels created for family members. Commr. Hanson stated that she does not support any exemptions or variances.
Commr. Swartz explained that the intent of Subsection 14.10.01 was to assist the property owner who owned the old homestead and wanted to provide for a relative. He stated that a problem arises when a family lot split is allowed on one classification and not on the other classification. He stated that he would support the three (3) year retention period for parcels created for family members, but would not support the exception of the one (1) acre minimum lot size. He suggested that criteria be added that would outline specific circumstances and eliminate the one (1) acre minimum lot size and leave the three (3) year retention period for
parcels created for family members in said language. He further suggested that staff develop specific criteria language that would allow for the extreme situation. Commr. Swartz stated that language should be inserted in Section 14.10.01, which states that other requirements of the Land Development Regulations may apply. Mr. Hoban indicated that language would be inserted in Section 14.10.01, which states that all of the sections of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan and the Lake County Code shall apply to the process.
Mr. Knight discussed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements in the Land Development Regulations, and explained that a clause in the Lake County Comprehensive Plan states that a subdivision of ten (10) lots or less shall be exempt from the FEMA requirements in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern. He stated that it was the interpretation of FEMA that a subdivision of forty (40) acres or larger would be exempt from the requirements. He explained that it was the interpretation of the Department of Community Affairs that the Comprehensive Plan be followed and that a ten (10) lot subdivision not be required to meet this requirement in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern. He explained that FEMA requires a subdivision outside of the Green Swamp to do a detailed flood study; however, the Green Swamp has a ten (10) lot exemption from the FEMA requirements. He stated that, if the Board determines to address FEMA requirements in the Land Development Regulations, the requirements should be in a separate section and directly in the subdivision requirements.
Mr. Hoban suggested that the County require the property owner to provide a letter of exemption, or a letter from FEMA stating that they are in full compliance. He stated that staff would bring back to the Board the appropriate language.
Mr. Hoban suggested that language be added to Section 14.10.03, Agricultural Lot Splits to address whether or not variances would be allowed, and language that would indicate that
one lot split per original parcel would be allowed. Discussion continued in regard to variances for Agricultural Lot Splits; at which time, Mr. Hoban suggested that the Board allow a variance to the standard to have a minimum width of eighty (80) feet, and allow the Board of Adjustment, on a case by case basis, to address said variance. Discussion occurred regarding this issue, at which time, Commr. Swartz stated that he did not want the County to require more than needed, but did want to require what was needed. He requested that staff review this issue.
Ms. Bonnie Roof, a local resident, appeared before the Board and stated that easements have always been included as gross acreage when a property owner subdivided on an easement which was publicly dedicated. She stated that, under the new process, a minor lot split would not be allowed on those easements because it must be on a County maintained road. She stated that eighty (80) feet of right-of-way was considered a minor collector road, and it was unreasonable to put an eighty (80) foot right-of-way through an agricultural waiver when you look at what an eighty (80) foot right-of-way was used for today. She stated that a sixty-six (66) foot right-of-way was the maximum that should be considered, and a fifty (50) foot right-of-way would be sufficient for a neighborhood road.
Commr. Swartz requested that staff prepare criteria that assures that the County was provided with the appropriate right-of-way but does not take more than was needed.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, appeared before the Board and stated that comparables have not been done on what the new costs would be now that the lot split process has been eliminated as it exist today. She stated that the Board should look at the costs associated with minor subdivisions because lot splits are going to consist of only two (2) lots. She stated that Commr. Swartz's concern has been handled under the lot split or family lot split.
Mr. Bergmann stated that staff was requesting approval of an early Land Development Regulations Amendment package to include Minor LDR Amendments, Concurrency Management and Appeal Process, Placement of Septic Tanks in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, and Platting Procedures and Requirements for Minor of Subdivision of Land.
Mr. Hoban suggested that the Board schedule public hearings on the issues alluded to above by Mr. Bergmann in late April and early May to indicate to the Department of Community Affairs that the County was moving forward on good faith. He stated that staff would continue to work on issues pertaining to the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, Timing of Residential Development, and Commercial Locational Criteria with a public hearing scheduled at a later date.
Ms. Bonifay reappeared before the Board and stated that the Board was aware of her position on the reinterpretation of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan in regard to the issue of Timeliness through previous correspondences. She stated that the Board effectuated a Comprehensive Plan Amendment without the benefit of going through the Comprehensive Plan Amendment process, and her clients continue to have that legal position.
It was the decision of the Board to schedule public hearings on April 18, 1995 and May 2, 1995, at 6:00 p.m.; and to continue the workshop this date on March 27, 1995 and on March 28, 1995, at 2:00 p.m.
On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved to continue the workshop on the Land Development Regulations Amendments on March 27, 1995, at 2:00 p.m.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
RHONDA H. GERBER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK