The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, August 17, 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, Jr.; Catherine C. Hanson; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: Sue Whittle, Interim County Manager; Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, Finance, Audit, and Budgets; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
The Chairman opened the meeting.
VESTED RIGHTS ORDINANCE
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT/ZONING
Commr. Swartz suggested that Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, be given an opportunity to work with the Vested Rights Ordinance and come back to the Board with a recommendation, rather than have a workshop this date, regarding same. He stated that he did not feel Mr. Minkoff had had sufficient time to review it and would like to have that review, before discussing it.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the matter.
It was the consensus of the Board to postpone the Vested Rights Ordinance Workshop until a later date.
IMPACT FEE ORDINANCE
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT/ZONING
Mr. Tim Hoban, Senior Assistant County Attorney, stated that the Board had before them a prototype of the Impact Fee Ordinance and that, once the Board had made their decisions regarding it, staff would draft those decisions into all the other ordinances - Schools, Library, Fire, Sheriff, and EMS. He noted that the word waiver should be replaced with the word supplanting, throughout the Ordinance, with regard to fees being charged.
Mr. Hoban referred to Page 24, Lines 12 and 13, of the handout, which pertains to nonresidential farm buildings on farms, stating that Public Services would define said issue, from their standpoint, later in the meeting.
Ms. Sue Whittle, Interim County Manager, interjected that she had received a FAX earlier this date, regarding said issue, stating that Mr. Mark Knight, Chief Planner, Planning and Development, feels that Resolution No. 1994-66, adopted by the Board on April 5, 1994, sufficiently defines said structures.
Mr. Hoban stated that staff would insert said definition into the definitions before the Board this date.
Commr. Gerber noted that the Impact Fee Ordinance did not contain a definition for a public housing project.
Mr. Hoban, Senior Assistant County Attorney, stated that staff would develop one and incorporate it as part of the Ordinance. He further stated that, in the memorandum provided to the Board this date, with regard to the Seventh Significant Change, concerning administrative costs, he thought he had properly indicated what the new fees would be, however, Public Services informed him that said figures were incorrect. He stated that Public Services would give the correct figures later during the meeting.
Mr. Hoban referred to a memorandum, dated August 7, 1995, from him to the Board, in which he notes seven (7) changes to the Impact Fee Ordinance before them this date, which he reviewed, as follows:
FIRST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
Removal of Inflation Cap
On Page 10, Lines 1-14, the proposed language states that the impact fee schedule shall be adjusted annually, based on inflation. The current language, on Page 12, Lines 12-17, states that the impact fee schedule shall be adjusted annually, based on inflation, with a 10% maximum cap.
Commr. Swartz stated that he did not see any reason to change the 10% cap, noting that it originated from an agreement with some of the cities that agreed to enter into the Impact Fee Ordinance. He suggested that it not be changed.
It was the consensus of the Board not to change the 10% cap.
SECOND SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
Impact Fee Schedule Adopted by Resolution
The current Impact Fee Ordinances contain an impact fee schedule, on Pages 16-17, which states what each impact fee is. On October 1st of each year, Lake County adjusts the impact fee schedule, for inflation, and notifies the Building Department and the cities of the new impact fee schedule. As a result, Lake County is currently selling Land Development Regulations with printed fee schedules that are several years out-of-date.
On Page 15, Lines 25-29, of the proposed Ordinance, removes the fee schedule from the Ordinance and requires it to be adopted by Resolution. As a result, in late September of each year, the Board will adopt a Resolution which raises impact fees by the rate of inflation.
On Pages 17-18, the Ordinance has been modified to codify the existing practice utilized by the County Manager, or designee, in making determinations for land uses not contained in the fee schedule. When a developer requests that the impact fee schedule not be utilized and, instead, alternative data provided by the developer be utilized, Pages 19-21 will guide the County Manager, or designee, in reviewing the alternative data.
THIRD SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
The current Code only allows a governmental agency, or a
not-for-profit corporation established for the sole purpose of providing affordable housing, to be eligible for a reduction in impact fees. Line 24, on Page 21, and Line 32, on Page 22, have been modified to allow any contractor to also be eligible for reduction in impact fees, for the building of a housing unit, for very low, low, and moderate income persons.
Mr. Hoban stated that the language on said pages is being modified to allow a contractor to have the same advantage that a governmental agency, or a not-for-profit corporation, currently has.
Commr. Hanson stated that she was in favor of what the Ordinance was doing, however, questioned why, if an individual wanted to subcontract their home and build it themselves and it fell into the low, or very low income, why they could not.
Mr. Knight, Chief Planner, stated that clarifying language could be inserted in the Ordinance to cover that, noting that there was not any intent to exclude it.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether it was the intent for it to be government sponsored.
Mr. Hoban stated that, in the current language, it is, however, noted that staff would change the language to exclude it.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether, if the language were changed, it would still keep the County in compliance with the SHIP money and was informed that it would.
Commr. Gerber questioned what an owner/contractor would have to do, to receive a supplanting of their impact fees.
Mr. Knight stated that the individual would have to identify an alternative funding source.
It was noted that the individual would not have to meet any additional criteria that they would not, otherwise, have to meet.
Commr. Swartz referred to the bottom of Page 21, of the handout, and questioned whether the percentages noted for Items a. b. and c. were consistent with what the Board has in the Affordable Housing Program.
Mr. Knight stated that percentages are not in the Affordable Housing Program, but that the percentages noted are consistent with the recommendation of the Committee and the Housing Incentive Plan. Commr. Swartz stated that, with regard to funding for the Affordable Housing Program, they cut out the moderate income level and were only dealing with low and very low income levels, therefore, questioned why the County would not try to make this language mirror that language.
Mr. Hoban, Senior Assistant County Attorney, stated that he felt that would be a good idea and noted that he would do so.
FOURTH SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
Incentives for Industry
On Page 23, Lines 8-13, the Board may, in its discretion, permit the deferral of the payment of impact fees from the date of issuance of a building permit to the date of issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
On Page 23, Lines 14-21, the Board may, in its discretion, permit the deferral of payment of an impact fee for a period of up to ten (10) years. The interest rate will be equal to the prime rate, as published in the Wall Street Journal, on the date that the building permit is issued.
The Board, at the last workshop, requested an ironclad guarantee that impact fees would be collected, if deferred. There are only two (2) methods to insure a high probability of collection: (1) Record a lien on the property, with Lake County being in first position, or (2) establish an MSBU on the property.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board had agreed to a deferral program, but did so to ensure that, at some point, the impact fee would be paid and that now the Board needed to decide which of the two options listed would be the one that they would want to go with. He suggested that Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, look at the two options and come back to the Board with the best one, or possibly some different options.
FIFTH SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
Farm Building Exception
On Page 24, Lines 12-13, non-residential farm buildings shall be exempt from paying road impact fees.
Commr. Good questioned whether the County wanted to specify farm use, rather than non-residential use, and was informed that that was correct. He then questioned whether farm use would mean that one had an agricultural classification, however, was informed that staff did not go with strictly an agricultural classification.
Considerable discussion occurred regarding the issue of farms being defined, at which time Mr. Knight referred to Resolution
No. 1994-66, which was distributed to the Board, for their perusal. He noted that, on Page 2, of said Resolution, under Section 1. Identification of Farms, it identifies which agricultural industries are recognized as farms.
Mr. Hoban stated that staff was looking for some type of guideline, from the Board, regarding the issue of impact fees for agricultural uses, after which the County Manager would make a decision regarding same.
Commr. Swartz requested staff to make the language in the Resolution more clear than it presently is.
Mr. Hoban stated that staff would revisit this issue and come back to the Board with a recommendation.
Commr. Swartz stated that the language being discussed, with regard to identifying nonresidential farm buildings, needed to track more closely with Section 2. Identification of Nonresidential Farm Buildings, Paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Resolution, noting that he felt it was consistent with what the Board was trying to identify as nonresidential farm buildings. He stated that staff has the ITE Manual and knows what types of classifications generate significant transportation and, perhaps, they could redefine Section 2, Paragraphs 1 and 2, on Page 3, of the Resolution, and state it in the Impact Fee Ordinance in a way that makes sense. He stated that he did not think the County would want to have something that is a high user of the transportation network be exempt.
Mr. Hoban noted that staff would revisit the issue.
SIXTH SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
Prepayment of Impact Fees
Several cities have asked if the impact fees could be prepaid, at today's rate, for building permits issued after the impact fees are increased. Lake County has consistently said "No" and maintained that the amount of the impact fees is determined on the date that the building permit is issued. However, the current Ordinance is somewhat ambiguous on this point.
On Page 24, Section 15.01.08.A currently states that a person applying for a building permit, or development permit, shall pay the impact fee. Since final site plan approval is a development permit, some cities have reached the following conclusion: If impact fees are prepaid, at today's current rates, at the time a final site plan is approved, then no additional impact fees shall be due when a building permit is issued, even though the impact fees have been raised, prior to the building permit being issued.
The phrase "or development permit" was originally inserted for developments, such as a golf course, for which a building permit typically is not issued. The proposed new language specifies that impact fees are due and payable at the time a building permit is issued and the phrase "or development permit" has been deleted throughout the proposed Ordinance. The definition of building permit has been modified to read, as follows:
"Building Permit" means an official document, or certificate, issued by the Building Official, authorizing performance of a specific activity, such as the construction of a building. If a "Building Permit", issued by the Building Official, is not required for the development of a specific land use, which has the potential to impact public infrastructure, then the term "Building Permit" shall mean a Development Order for which no additional Development Order shall be required, prior to impact of such land use.
This definition, when combined with the removal of the phrase "or development permit", makes it clear that the impact fee amount is calculated at the time a building permit is issued, or, if no building permit is issued, at the time the last development order is issued.
Mr. Hoban, Senior Assistant County Attorney, stated that this change was probably the most controversial of all the changes, noting that several of the cities have been accepting prepayment of impact fees, however, it has been the County's consistent position that impact fees are calculated the day the building permit is issued. He stated that the significance of it is that there could be a final site plan approval, currently approved in the City, but the developer is not ready to pull a building permit on it yet. He stated that the City will calculate the developer's impact fees, based on today's schedule, and accept their monies, and, at that point issue the building permit, after impact fees have been adjusted, and the City could say, since the developer prepaid their impact fees, nothing more would be due and payable, when the building permit is issued. He stated that what was before the Board was a modification of the term building permit.
Mr. Hoban stated that the Ordinance could be construed as being somewhat ambiguous on this point, although County staff has consistently held the same position. He stated that, in the Ordinance, staff has clarified the fact that impact fees are calculated and due the day the building permit is issued and that, although the Cities may accept monies beforehand, if the building impact fees are raised, the developer would have to pay the additional fees at the time that the building permit is issued. He suggested that, if the Board wanted to graduate the prepayment of impact fees, they could pick arbitrary dates and numbers, which he alluded to, or staff could change the Ordinance to say that a developer may prepay impact fees and continue on that way. He stated that these were the two options before the Board, this date.
Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that Mr. Hoban feels the current Ordinance is ambiguous, however, the City Attorneys feel that it is not. He stated that the City Attorneys feel the current Ordinance allows payment of the fees at the time of issuance of the development permit, or building permit. He stated that the County Attorney's Office has taken the position that, even if one pays the fees in full, at that time, if the Board changes the fees and increases them 100% three months, or six months later, that the developer would have to pay the increase. He stated that that is really the issue before the Board and many of the Cities have been accepting the impact fees at the time of the development permit and site plan permit, as opposed to the building permit. He stated that it enhances the system, because the County gets the money quicker and they get the interest. He stated that the only time the County is going to have a loss is if there is a significant increase in fees.
Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the issue is whether the County wants to allow people to pay the fees earlier and be guaranteed that what they pay is the rate, or allow them to pay the fees earlier and have to pay whatever the rate is later, in which case nobody is going to pay earlier, because there would be no incentive to do so.
Commr. Swartz stated that the only time the County would be faced with such a problem would be if there was a rewrite and a significant change in the Ordinance.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he did not see this issue as being that big a problem.
Commr. Swartz concurred and suggested that staff just clarify the nondevelopment fee.
Mr. Hoban stated that there were going to be 14 cities with different codes and site plan criteria and the question will not be whether to allow prepayment, but when can they allow it.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Director, Public Services, appeared before the Board stating that, if a developer pays the fees up front and the fees go up and the Cities do not come back and try to collect the higher fees, then they will be lowering the revenue that could be utilized in their cities.
Mr. Knight, Chief Planner, Planning and Development, stated that, at the present time, concurrency does not expire on a final plat and one would have to pay 100% of their estimated transportation impact fees, so, with regard to a residential development, anybody coming through the process with a final plat today would be "vested" or "grandfathered in" from impact fee increases.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that it is far more important for the Board to decide how they want to handle development that is in the works now, then how the County will handle it from this day forward and that is where he feels the Cities are concerned, because they have development in the works.
Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the current Code allows for a refund, however, he did not feel that it would be fair to let the developers lock in the rate and not have to give the money back, so, if the Board locks in the rate, they should not get the money back.
It was the consensus of the Board that, if a developer prepays the impact fees and locks in the rate, they are not entitled to a refund and that it apply to commercial, as well as residential.
SEVENTH SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
Currently, the cities receive 3% of the impact fees collected for their administrative expenses and 97% of the impact fees are deposited into the Impact Fee Account. 100% of the impact fees collected by the County are currently deposited into the Impact Fee Account. On Page 26, Lines 1-11, the collected impact fees shall be distributed as follows:
3% City Administrative Expenses
2% County Administrative Expenses
95% Impact Fee Account
5% County Administrative Expenses
95% Impact Fee Account
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Director, Public Services, appeared before the Board and reviewed a handout that he prepared for the Board's perusal, which indicates the following:
At the County level a 3% (rather than the 4.75%) administrative cost charge is applied to the Road Impact Fee Fund. This charge is figured based on all anticipated new revenue from impact fees and anticipated interest. The administrative cost is transferred to the General Fund (1/12th each month), as in the other special revenue funds. There is no reconciliation of actual dollars received vs. anticipated at year end audit.
Municipal collections are subject to the 3% municipal administrative and 3% County administrative charge.
No funding is provided to the Department of Public Services, for the administration of the budget, or projects.
Mr. Mark Knight received information from the consultant that other counties are currently charging between 3% and 7% for administrative costs and has proposed 5% for administrative expenses.
City Collection County Collection
3% City Admin. Expense 5% County Admin. Expense
2% County Admin. Expense 95% Impact Fee Account
95% Impact Fee Account
Mr. Stivender requested that the Public Services Department receive 2% of the proposed 5% County Administrative expense, as a transfer to the CTT Fund, to assist with the expenses to the CTT Fund, in handling the road impact fund budgets and projects.
The memorandum further states that it was Mr. Stivender's understanding that the proposed administrative collections, by the County, would eliminate the administrative cost, which is currently being charged on anticipated new revenues.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the matter.
Ms. Whittle, Interim County Manager, informed the Board that this proposal had just been brought forward this date and that she had asked the Finance Department to review it, as well as the County Attorney's Office.
Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that staff would work with the Clerk and the Interim County Manager, Ms. Whittle, and come back to the Board with a recommendation, at a later date.
It was noted that no public hearings would be held, regarding the changes proposed this date, until the numbers alluded to are known.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:30 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for 10 minutes.
JOB PARTNERSHIP TRAINING - VOLUSIA, LAKE, FLAGLER PIC, INC.
COMMUNITY SERVICES/PRIVATE INDUSTRY COUNCIL, INC.
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director, Community Services, appeared before the Board and introduced individuals from Volusia, Lake, Flagler Private Industry Council (PIC) and the Lake County School Board, who were present in the audience, to give input regarding a presentation by Mr. Larry Tomasetti, Executive Director, Volusia, Lake, Flagler Private Industry Council, Inc., with regard to a proposed Federal and State plan for a workforce development system.
Mr. Tomasetti appeared before the Board stating that the last time he was before them he discussed what was happening at the Federal level, in terms of employment and training programs, and legislation from the House and Senate and that all that had not changed much since he last spoke with the Board, however, at the State level some things had changed somewhat. He referred to and reviewed several pages of a handout that had been prepared for the Board's perusal, indicating PIC's Goal, Principles, and Strategies, as well as their Purpose and Outcome, with regard to a Workforce Development System
Mr. Tomasetti stated that the State is looking to redesignate service delivery areas that PICs had or have responsibility for. He stated that the communities that put together resources from different areas, such as Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS), Private Industry Councils (PICs), Service Delivery Areas (SDAs), community colleges, and school districts and have some sort of decent organization, are going to be allowed to stand, or at least will be given a little more weight than those areas that are not pulled together.
Mr. Tomasetti stated that the Private Industry Council had scheduled a retreat in Howey-in-the-Hills August 26-27, 1995, to determine the position of the Private Industry Council in what a Workforce Development System should be. He stated that Volusia and Flagler counties were sending Board representatives to said meeting and requested that Lake County send a representative, as well. He discussed what would transpire at said meeting and stated that, no matter what happens, legislation that is occurring at both the Federal and State level is going to make some major changes in the way that those individuals that need training are going to be looked at. He further elaborated on the matter and noted the importance of having a Commissioner attend said meeting.
It was the consensus of the Board that Commr. Cadwell, as the Board's representative to the Economic Development Council and Industrial Development Authority, attend said meeting. The Board also encouraged Mr. Alvin Jackson, Economic Development Coordinator for Lake County, to attend said meeting, as well.
Mr. Ken Bragg, Lake County School System, appeared before the Board stating that the School System feels they have had a good working relationship with the Volusia, Lake, Flagler Private Industry Council and, at the present time, have some mutually beneficial coordinated activities that they have worked for, which he elaborated on. He stated that, from the School System's standpoint, they feel the jury is still out, in terms of the Federal legislation, noting that they know there is going to be a significant change and that the Bills they have depended on, for resources, for workforce development in Lake County, will no longer exist, as they have known them. He stated that the format tends to change each week, at the Federal level, and that the counties or areas that are going to be ready to play in whatever ballgame there is going to be are those that have done the preliminary work and that is where it stands at this point in time.
Mr. Bragg stated that they hope, at the end of the day, on Saturday, they will have enough direction to all come together and say what would be best for Lake County, in terms of workforce development and serving the students in the industry that needs to be served in Lake County. He stated that they feel the funds that they have depended on so heavily are going to be in the form of block grants directly to the Governor, rather than categorical funds, as in past years. He further elaborated on the matter, stating that the School System is trying to keep up with what the possibilities are going to be and desire to be a part of it. He stated that they have the capacity to fill a very vital role, with the Technical Center training capabilities and with the commitment of the School System in adult education, manpower training, and preliminary reemployment job training, through the high school program.
Mr. Don Miller, Past Chairman of the Volusia, Lake, Flagler Private Industry Council, appeared before the Board stating that he felt it was going to come to a decision with the State as to where Lake County fits into the SDAs. He stated that, under the Governor's plan, there are fewer SDAs planned and he feels, without the Board's support, they might be put into another region and, whether or not that would be best for Lake County he did not know. He stated that he hoped the three counties could stay together, noting that the relationship they have is a partnership, that there has not been a domination by Volusia County, and he felt being connected with the larger counties might dilute their input greatly.
It was noted that there are presently 25 SDAs throughout the State, however, that figure could increase to 28, or decrease to 16, depending on what happens.
Ms. Linda Every, a member of the Private Industry Council Board, appeared before the Board stating that the delegation from Lake County recently held a workshop, at which time they received the information being discussed this date, and came to a consensus that Lake County needs to remain with Flagler and Volusia Counties. She stated that Lake County has established a good working relationship with the other two counties and it would be to their best interest to maintain that relationship, rather than be floundering and wondering who they were now going to attach themselves to. She stated that, if they continue to work in the direction that they are working, to establish the system that Mr. Tomasetti is working towards, then they will be in place, perhaps first in line, when the Governor indicates what Florida is going to do.
It was noted that, no matter what the outcome is, they will still work very diligently for the people of Lake County.
The Board thanked Mr. Tomasetti for the presentation.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
RHONDA H. GERBER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK