The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, November 21, 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; Welton G. Cadwell; Catherine C. Hanson; and G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Others present were: Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Sue Whittle, County Manager; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Reverend Chris Hardman, St. Thomas Episcopal Church of Eustis, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board members that they had received the monthly Financial Report for October, 1995, and she wanted the Board to acknowledge receipt of it, under the County Manager's business.
PUBLIC SERVICES/ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/STATE AGENCIES
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Services, addressed the Board and stated that Lake County had been working on an agreement with the Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding pumping that was being done by Lake County in Volusia County. The Agreement would allow Lake County to be reimbursed by DOT. He requested that this item be added to the agenda for Board action.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Good and carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved to add to the agenda the request from Mr. Stivender, for the approval of a standard agreement with DOT.
Commr. Hanson was not present for the discussion or vote.
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Gerber requested that Tab 2, under County Manager's Consent Agenda, be pulled for discussion.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Good and carried by a 4-0 vote, with Commr. Hanson not being present for the discussion or vote, the Board approved the following requests:
Approval of adoption of the Fiscal Year 1995/96 Annual Plan of Service and Budget for the Lake County Library System.
Tourist Development/Ordinances/Tax Collector
Approval to advertise an Ordinance for tourist development/resort tax to be collected on a local Lake County level by T. Keith Hall, County Tax Collector.
OFFICE OF TOURISM/RESOLUTIONS
Commr. Gerber questioned whether the Board could include the resolutions that have been received from the different Chambers with what was going to be sent to the Triathlon Federation USA.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, stated that all of the resolutions received from the different chambers and cities could be included as backup to the Resolution before the Board today.
Commr. Good requested that the word "any", on Page 2, Line 1, Section 1 of the Resolution, be stricken.
On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Resolution in support of the relocation of the Triathlon Federation USA to Lake County, striking the word "any" on Page 2, and including the resolutions received from the chambers and cities, as backup.
PETITION #44-95-4 - A to CP - Alex Calabrese
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Planner III, Interim Director, Planning and Development, presented the request for rezoning from A (Agriculture) to CP (Planned Commercial), for a convenience store, retail nursery or retail sales. Ms. Farrell stated that staff had recommended approval to rezone the site to CP with C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial) uses limited to 5000 square feet of leasable area on one (1) acre at the intersection of CR 44A and C 437. She stated that the applicant would also have to provide a legal description to staff for the one acre for the Ordinance. Ms. Farrell noted that there had been one letter of support, one petition with 53 signatures in support; 4 letters in opposition; and two petitions with 67 signatures in opposition. Ms. Farrell stated that Planning and Zoning had recommended approval of the request with no approved uses on two (2) acres, with the requirement that the site plan and specific use be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. In the backup there was a conceptual site plan demonstrating how the use could fit on one acre at the intersection. She noted that the plan showed a proposed convenience store, even though the owners have not stated that they were requesting a convenience store, but were requesting C-1 uses. Ms. Farrell provided a honeycutt map of the site for the Board to review.
The following staff members were sworn in by the Deputy Clerk: Ms. Sharon Farrell; Mr. Ross Pluta, Engineer; Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planner II; and Mr. Jim Barker, Director, Environmental Management.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that, because there had been no objections to the testimony so far, the statements by staff did not need to be restated.
Mr. Jimmy Crawford, Attorney representing the applicant, addressed the Board and explained the development that would be taking place in the area, as well as the development that was already in place, in relation to the property in question. Mr. Crawford stated that the commercial use was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, as well as compatible with the surrounding area. He submitted three petitions with 19 signatures in support of the request, which were marked and entered as the Applicant's Exhibit "A" (Composite). Mr. Crawford stated that he would like to argue the recommendation being made by the Planning and Zoning Commission for two acres in CP zoning with no approved uses, which would require any proposal to come back through Planning and Zoning and the Board, with a specific site plan. He stated that, even though he knew that some of the C-1 uses were objectionable to the people in the area, he had produced a list of uses that would be acceptable by the applicant, as well as those uses that would be prohibited. Mr. Crawford submitted the list of C-1 uses, allowed and prohibited, which was marked and entered as the Applicant's Exhibit "B". He felt that the process had already been established through the Comprehensive Plan, and the Land Development Regulations (LDRs), and he would rather have the Board place whatever conditions were necessary on the request now, in order to satisfy the concerns expressed by the residents. Mr. Crawford stated that the applicant submitted the site plan for one acre to show that it could be used, if that was the choice of the Board, but the applicant would like the two acres, because a better site plan could be developed with adequate buffers. The two acres would allow better access management and allow the appropriate steps to be taken to address the traffic problems. Mr. Crawford stated that he would rest, if the Board did not have any questions at this time, and request time for rebuttal.
Ms. Diane Dammiller appeared before the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk. Ms. Dammiller first addressed the statement about the number of signatures that were presented in opposition to the request. She stated that, at her last count, a total of 149 signatures had been presented at the Planning and Zoning meeting. Today she presented the Board with an additional 133 signatures, for a total of 282. The documents were entered and marked as the Opposition's (Dammiller) Exhibit "A" (Composite). Ms. Dammiller explained how the signatures had been collected and stated that she was unable to submit one petition, with 20 signatures. Ms. Dammiller testified that she was a homeowner on Green Tree Lane, which was directly across from the site. She explained that the opposition came from everyone in the area, not only from the local residents. She testified that the people in the area have not objected to other developments, because they have been compatible, but were concerned with the 2 1/2 acres that had been proposed with this development for commercial use. Ms. Dammiller testified that the applicants did not fulfill their responsibility to properly notify the local residents, and she explained what had happened with the posting of the notices, which had included the incorrect hearing date. She stated that a convenience store, or a bar, would definitely devalue their homes, and it would increase crime in the neighborhood. She stated that it was becoming a dangerous situation for her children who wait at the bus stop at the corner of C-437 and Green Tree Lane. Ms. Dammiller testified that, even though the community did not want any further commercial development, if the Board decided to approve the commercial zoning, despite the objections of approximately 300 residents, they would request that the Board limit the rezoning to the following uses: banking, personal care services, professional office, private or county club; parks and recreation, cultural institution, day care center, family day care home, a roadside farm stand, a single family home, and bed and breakfast inn. The residents would also request that, for safety purposes, the entire two acres be awarded to one parcel for one purpose at the intersection, and not divided. Ms. Dammiller showed the Board pictures of the homes in the area and stressed the rural nature of the surroundings. She stated that the residents did not feel there was a need for any more commercial in the area. Ms. Dammiller requested that the Board, as elected officials, act in the best interest of the public rather than in the interest of an individual. She requested that, if the Board decided not to allow the commercial use at all, it look at the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and have this node for commercial removed entirely from it.
Commr. Hanson explained that, because of the Wekiva Basin Amendment, it would take a legislative act to remove the language from the Comprehensive Plan. She noted that a PUD allowed for internal commercial.
Commr. Swartz stated that it would be good for staff to look at this issue, because there may be some inconsistencies as to what had been approved in the PUD and what the Comprehensive Plan allowed, even in the requirements of the Comprehensive Plan for the Wekiva.
Ms. Dammiller stated that a feed store would not be an objection, but she did not feel it would be pertinent to have two of them in this area.
Ms. Sherry Jackson appeared before the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk. Ms. Jackson stated that she lived in the area and was a member of the Friends of the Wekiva River Inc. (FOWR), which had been instrumental in bringing about the Wekiva River Protection Act in 1988. Ms. Jackson referred to the letter in the backup material from Mr. James B. Lee, President, FOWR, which stated that FOWR did not support action to rezone the parcel. She stated that the property lies within the Wekiva Protection zone, and it was covered by the Wekiva River Protection Act of 1988, which indicated that this was already a sensitive area. She discussed the increase in the citing of black bears and large poisonous snakes and stated that many of the residents had made great economic sacrifices to live there in harmony with those creatures, and now they fear for their habitat, as well as their own, as commercial land use encroached upon the area. Ms. Jackson testified that the talk of a convenience store had the residents concerned about oil and gas contaminants reaching their only supply of drinking water. They were concerned about the traffic situation and Ms. Jackson requested that the Board consider the intersection of C 437 and SR 44, because many people had lost their lives at this dangerous intersection. She stated that, by allowing commercial use at the opposite end would create the same traffic scenario. Ms. Jackson stated that the residents acknowledge the Board's quasi judicial responsibility to make a decision based on the facts presented, which were as follows: 1) this was a part of the Wekiva River Basin, and already a sensitive area; 2) close to 300 people opposed the zoning change; 3) the traffic situation was already at a dangerous level and must be addressed; 4) there was enough commercial land use to meet their needs; and 5) this was not in keeping with the rural community. She stated that this would definitely have a negative impact on the neighborhood, and she suggested that this be removed from the Comprehensive Plan as a possible commercial site, in order to keep the area agricultural.
Discussion occurred regarding the intersection of CR 44A and CR 437 in comparison to the intersection at SR 44 and CR 437 where there have been many traffic fatalities.
Ms. Farrell explained that, once the case went through the Technical Review Committee (TRC), the issues regarding traffic and access would be addressed, as well as the one or two acres for commercial, and C-1 uses.
Ms. Charlene Smith addressed the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk. Ms. Smith stated that she lived adjacent to the site in question, that she owned approximately ten acres, which was zoned agricultural, and that she opposed a convenience store and the commercial zoning on the property in question.
Mr. Russell Fisher addressed the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk. Mr. Fisher stated that he served as a member of the Board for the FOWR, and that the Board's position had already been stated. He stated that there had been a Resolution signed on December 27, 1982 by the Board of County Commissioners, as well as a Resolution that was signed on December 21, 1985, highly supporting the Wekiva River Basin as an outstanding Florida water. He stated that, even though the property in question may be on the edge of the Wekiva River Protection Area, he wanted the County to avoid the process of chipping away at this area, as well as guard against any encroachment in the Wekiva Basin.
Ms. Vicki Harrison addressed the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk. Ms. Harrison stated that she lived on Lake Seneca Road and worked at the Circle K. She expressed her concern about the number of fatalities that have occurred at the intersection of SR 44 and CR 437 and stated that the traffic problem was not being addressed by the Department of Transportation (DOT). She felt that, if more commercial was allowed in this area, there would be more of a problem with the traffic, and she wanted to see the Wekiva Basin preserved.
Mr. Richard Dummer addressed the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk. Mr. Dummer explained the location of his property on CR 44A and stated that he and his wife had searched for several years for a quiet, country setting to begin their retirement process. He stated that he was very surprised when he heard about the plans for development in this area. He was aware of the traffic problems that existed at the Circle K intersection and was not looking forward to this type of activity at his intersection, and therefore, he was opposed to the request.
Mr. Crawford addressed the Board and responded to the objections presented by the individuals in the community. He called Mr. Ross Pluta, Engineer, Public Services, to the Board to answer questions regarding the traffic at the proposed site.
Mr. Pluta testified that there were turning lanes being placed into the Ups and Downs Subdivision at the intersection in question, and, with the two acres, it would be easier to comply with traffic management concerns. He stated that access requirements for the applicant would be addressed through the TRC process.
Mr. Crawford addressed the two acre site in the northwest corner of the nine acres, which did not abut anyone, and stated that, there would be plenty of natural buffer available to address the buffering that would be required through the TRC process. He explained that all of the environmental ecological concerns would be addressed by the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Crawford addressed the other concerns presented by those present, and questioned staff about the number of signatures on the petitions that had been submitted and counted by staff.
Mr. Alex Calabrese, applicant, addressed the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk. Mr. Calabrese explained that he went door to door to obtain the signatures on the petitions, and that he had left one petition at the feed store for signatures.
Mr. Crawford stated that, pursuant to the Snyder case, and the rule that these were quasi judicial rezoning hearings, the burden was on Mr. Calabrese, or staff, if they supported the application, to show that the application was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and that the applicant had complied with the procedural requirements. The burden would then shift to the opposition to show that, by competent substantial evidence, refusing the zoning change furthered a valid public purpose. Mr. Crawford stated that citizen objection alone was not competent substantial evidence. He noted the following case law pertaining to this issue: Pollard v. Palm Beach County; City of Apopka v. Orange County; and Graham Companies v. Metropolitan Dade County Board of County Commissioners.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether Mr. Crawford was suggesting that the two sets of petitions, one in support, and one in opposition, be ignored, because they did not have any application to the issue.
Mr. Crawford explained that the petitions could be considered, but only if they were supported by competent substantial evidence. The petitions by themselves could not be the basis for a zoning decision. He stated that the applicant's petitions were supported by staff, and by staff's recommendation, which had been ruled several times to be competent substantial evidence, because of the Planning Department's experts, and the Public Services' experts, that were on the County's staff. Mr. Crawford continued his review of the case law, which was entered and marked as the Applicant's Exhibit "C" (Composite). He requested that the Board approve the rezoning request with a list of C-1 uses that the Board could find to be consistent with the neighborhood.
The Chairman called for further public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:15 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for five minutes.
PETITION #44-95-4 - A to CP - Alex Calabrese (Continued)
Commr. Gerber called for further comments from the Board members.
Commr. Hanson explained that she was very familiar with the area in question, and she felt that a convenience store would be premature and out of character, however, she could support the list that had been submitted by those in opposition. She felt the request should be approved, with the two acres, for safety reasons, and because the Wekiva allowed for two acres at the intersection, and limiting it to the 5,000 square feet. Commr. Hanson stated that she would not be opposed to adding a country, or feed store, but she did not feel that the economics would justify one at this time, even though it would be compatible with the area. She discussed the petitions that had been submitted, which had indicated the opposition to a convenience store and gas tanks, and stated that neither would be allowed in her recommendation and motion. Commr. Hanson presented the following list: bed and breakfast, roadside farm stand, bank, personal care service, professional office, day care center, parks and recreation (passive), cultural institution, family residential home, and private or county club.
Mr. Richardson explained that personal care services would include beauty shops, barber shops, electrolysis studio, shoe shining operations, self service laundry mats, laundry pick up and drop off stations.
After some discussion, it was noted that Commr. Hanson had no objection to leaving off personal care services from the list.
Commr. Good stated that there was a big difference between ultimate maximum, as designated on the map, and the immediate minimum that was the need of the community, and he felt that this would very much affect the timeliness of the zoning action. He stated that, based on this issue, and the objections of the residents in the area, the pictures that he had seen, the traffic concerns, what he clearly saw as the rural nature of the community, the existence of commercial facilities at this time that meet the need of the community, he would not be able to support the motion. He stated that, if there had been a specific use designated for a roadside farm stand, based on the zoning, he could support it, but this was much broader.
Discussion occurred regarding the different uses and what the Board felt it could support.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Cadwell, to approve to allow the following list of uses: bed and breakfast, road side farm stand, cultural institution, family residential home, feed store, professional office, day care center, parks and recreation (passive), family day care home, club (private or County), to be limited to two acres, and limited to the 5,000 square feet.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz stated that he agreed that the request was premature, because it was totally speculative, and the Board did not know what was being planned for the area. He stated that he was tired of attorneys telling residents coming from their homes in their communities that what they have to say could not form the basis of competent substantial evidence. He stated that they could very often point to the issues that form the basis of extremely competent evidence, and he felt that, in this case, they had done so. The Wekiva River Protection Act did not mandate that commercial be at all of these intersections, but it did say that, under Policy 1-20.11, commercial areas shall be developed in clearly defined complexes harmoniously related to surrounding land use, traffic flow, and the Lake County Comprehensive Plan. Under Paragraph D of the same policy, it stated that, in fact, commercial development within the Wekiva River Protection Area shall be discouraged, and it will be restricted to the following intersections, but it did not mandate the following intersections. He stated that it was premature, because it was totally speculative, and it was inconsistent with those policies, and those portions of the policies he read. The information from the people in the area indicated that it was inconsistent with the surrounding land uses, and there were safety and traffic concerns. Commr. Swartz stated that he could see no justification for approving the request at this time, and he agreed with Mr. Crawford that the issue should be handled now. He stated that, to handle the issue now, the Board would need to deny the request for rezoning for the reasons that he had stated, and for the reasons that it was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan, because it was not harmoniously related to surrounding land use, and it created traffic flow problems. Commr. Swartz stated that some day there may be the need to have some commercial in that area, but to designate it today would take away the ability to do that in the future. For these reasons, Commr. Swartz stated he would oppose the motion to approve the zoning, even with the uses that had been given.
Commr. Cadwell noted that a month ago the Board had approved a convenience store in an area that was even less rural, and had a lesser intersection, and he had voted to approve it.
Commr. Swartz stated that he had voted against the request noted by Commr. Cadwell, and therefore, would vote against this request.
Commr. Gerber addressed the term "harmoniously related" and stated that the only items on the list she felt could be related to the existing development on the ground would be the bed and breakfast, the roadside stand, and the day care center, which she would agree to approve.
Mr. Minkoff explained that he did not feel that the Property Rights Act would be applicable to this case. He stated that, even though the Comprehensive Plan called for a certain area to be commercial, it did not mean that you would be entitled to commercial. However, it was correct that the Board needed to make its decision on the evidence that it had heard at the meeting, or evidence that had been presented. Mr. Minkoff explained that the Board needed to listen to the citizens, but, just because the citizens were saying that they were not in favor of the request, it was not competent substantial evidence. Therefore, there would have to be findings made by the Board.
Commr. Gerber stated that, since the Board was getting competent substantial evidence from the Comprehensive Plan, which stated that the County was looking at development that was "harmoniously related" to what was on the ground, she would vote to deny the uses, and to deny the rezoning.
Commr. Gerber called for a vote on the motion, which failed by a 3-2 vote. Commrs. Swartz, Good and Gerber voted "no".
Commr. Swartz stated that he felt there had been competent substantial evidence that had indicated that it was not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, Policy 1-20.11 dealing with harmoniously related surrounding land uses, traffic flow, and the Comprehensive Plan, and Paragraph D, which also indicated that commercial development within the Wekiva River Protection Area shall be discouraged, and for those reasons, he voted against the request.
Commr. Gerber stated that the reasons given by Commr. Swartz were the same reasons she voted against the request, as well as the business retention in those areas being a concern of hers.
Commr. Hanson reiterated that her motion was not to approve the zoning as requested.
PETITION #58-95-2 R-1 to A E. O'Daniel, Lesa Campbell
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Planner III, Interim Director, Planning and Development, presented the request for rezoning from R-1 (Rural Residential) to A (Agriculture), to operate a Ratite Breeding Ranch under the conditions of a CUP (subject to zoning approval). Ms. Farrell stated that staff was recommending approval of the request, along with the CUP permit. She noted one letter of opposition in the backup material from Mr. John J. Matsche representing Silver Springs Development Company. Ms. Farrell stated that this would be the third ratite ranch in Lake County, and there have been no complaints filed thus far on any of the ranches.
The Chairman opened the public hearing portion of the meeting.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney representing the applicant, addressed the Board and stated that his client was not present for the hearing. Mr. Richey explained that the operation had been in existence since 1991, and a CUP had not been required. He met with the two neighbors, Mr. Matsche, and Ms. Engelhardt who owned one of the lots in the Matsche subdivision, and reviewed the site plan with them. Mr. Richey stated that Mr. Matsche had written a letter yesterday withdrawing his opposition. He stated that there would be a 300 foot setback from SR 44, which was reflected on the site plan.
Discussion occurred regarding this area being urban expansion land use with a rural use, and what may happen in the future, if there was substantial residential development.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, if the Board approved the CUP as written, it would be a permanent land use designation, and in default of the applicant violating the code, the applicant would be entitled to continue to use the property under the terms of the CUP. This was a case where the new property rights law would impact it, should the Board seek to revoke the CUP at a later time. If the revocation constituted an inordinate burden, the County may be faced with paying compensation for taking away the use. If they violated the terms of the CUP, then the Board could revoke it, but if they did not, the CUP could be changed to be temporary, a provision would be placed in the CUP, that at the times the surrounding property got urban uses, the Board would have the right to revoke the CUP to eliminate those types, and in essence making it a temporary use.
Mr. Richey explained that this particular piece of property did not need to come in for any legal reasons to comply with the CUP, but additional land had been bought, and the applicants wanted to put it all under one agricultural zoning district. He noted that surrounding property was a sprayfield.
The Chairman called for further public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Commr. Cadwell made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Hanson, to uphold the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the request for rezoning from R-1 (Rural Residential) to A (Agriculture), Ordinance 1995-48, to operate a Ratite Breeding Ranch under the conditions of a CUP.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz stated that he was not opposed to the request, but the Board needed to be aware that some where in the future, there may be requests for residential type development that may be close to this area, and there may be some conflict.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
PETITION CUP#95/11/4-5 CUP in A E. O'Daniel, Lesa Campbell
The Chairman opened the public hearing portion of the meeting.
It was noted that no one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, noted for the record that he was present and had represented to Dr. Engelhardt and his wife the conditions outlined in the CUP, and he had provided a copy of the Ordinance, which included the 300 foot setback from SR 44, and 200 feet from all other property lines, which was reflected in the site plan.
The Chairman called for further public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Discussion occurred regarding language on Page 2 of the proposed Ordinance, with clarification being made to the Standards of Operation.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved the CUP in A (Agricultural), Ordinance 1995-49, to operate a Ratite Breeding Ranch.
PETITION #57-95-2 R-6 to R-1 Preston Land Partners
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Planner III, Interim Director, Planning and Development, presented the request for rezoning from R-6 (Medium Density Urban Residential) to R-1 (Rural Residential) to construct single family homes. Ms. Farrell stated that staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission were recommending approval of the request. In the backup material, there were three letters in opposition, which argued compatibility of five acre tracts adjacent to one acre tracts.
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planner II, was present to answer questions of the Board.
The Chairman opened the public hearing portion of the meeting. It was noted that the applicant was not present, and there was no one present in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Discussion occurred regarding the location of the five acre tracts, as referred to in the letters of opposition.
On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved the request for rezoning from R-6 (Medium Density Urban Residential) to R-1 (Rural Residential), Ordinance 1995-50, for the construction of single family homes.
PETITION CUP95/11/3-2 CUP in A William & Betty Corman, Sr.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Planner III, Interim Director, Planning and Development, presented the request for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow a second dwelling to be placed on five acres in Agriculture zoning for the care of the infirm. Ms. Farrell stated that staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission were recommending approval of the request.
The Chairman opened the public hearing portion of the meeting. It was noted that the applicant was not present, and there was no one in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved the request for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), Ordinance 1995-51, to allow a second dwelling to be placed on five acres in Agriculture zoning for the care of the infirm.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:13 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a ten minute recess.
WORKSHOP - Stormwater Utility
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, recommended that the Board reschedule the Stormwater Utility Workshop until 1 p.m., or 1:30 p.m., because of the scheduled zoning hearings.
After some discussion by the Board, it was noted that the Workshop was rescheduled to 1:30 p.m.
PETITION CUP#95/6/2-3 CUP in A Hang Ju Chon, et al
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Planner III, Interim Director, Planning and Development, presented the request for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in A (Agricultural), for a raw spring source for a bulk wholesale business. Ms. Farrell stated that staff, and the Planning and Zoning Commission, had recommended approval of the request, subject to the conditions that were placed in the CUP located in the backup material. She referred to Page 2 of the staff report, which reflected other CUPs in the vicinity. Ms. Farrell stated that the Environmental Management Division reviewed the request, as well as the Lake County Water Authority. She also solicited comments from the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), and they did not have any comments. She stated that there were two letters of opposition, one from Ms. Gloria Birdsong-Figgins, who opposed taking water out of the ground and selling it, and the other from Ms. Frankie Thorpe, who lived across the street from the parcel. Ms. Farrell presented two pictures of the area and explained that, on Page 2 of the CUP, the language would be amended under Section F., to read that the applicant shall establish a well field protection area for the wellhead, and the CUP would be categorized, and a $250 annual inspection fee would be added.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, representing the applicant, addressed the Board and stated that applicant was making a request for an agricultural related use, to withdraw spring water from this particular site, which was a little more than 66 acres. She stated that the applicant was requesting a use that was pretty well established in the sense of having prior approval of CUPs, which she noted at this time. Ms. Bonifay explained that she had taken a delay for the request, so a better site plan could be developed, which had been included as part of the backup material. The applicant would have to go through a final site plan review where staff would consider any ingress, egress and other site requirements. Ms. Bonifay stated that there were several other operations of this type in Lake County, and that this type of operation did not require any type of permitting, because the water levels to be extracted were so low. Since the Board's decision was going to be based on the evidence presented today, the staff report and the evidence presented to date, Ms. Bonifay called Mr. Rick Potts, who was a hydrologist who worked on the site, to give testimony.
Mr. Richard L. Potts, Jr. appeared before the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk. Mr. Potts stated that he was a principal with Atlanta Testing and Engineering, in Winter Park, Florida. He stated that he was a licensed professional geologist who specialized in groundwater hydrology. Mr. Potts testified that Dr. Chon retained his firm to assist him with preparation of the application to the Department of Agriculture for certification as a licensed spring water sales source, in accordance with the Florida Bottle Water Code. Mr. Potts testified that Mr. Jim Barker, Director of Environmental Management, sent a letter to Dr. Chon approximately one year ago asking him some very detailed questions regarding the proposed use. Mr. Potts evaluated the proposed use and sent the information back to the County, with the County concurring with the assessment. Mr. Potts explained the analysis that was made on the property and stated that he found no adverse impact with the activity being on the site. He stated that all concerns had been addressed with staff. Mr. Potts explained the current plans for the site and stated that approximately 80 percent of the site was jurisdictional wetlands, with no intrusion being proposed for those areas. He further explained what would be located on the remaining five or six acres and noted that the analysis had been predicated on up to 72,000 gallons per day, but Dr. Chon had proposed to the County the pumping of 18-24,000 gallons a day, which was about the volume of a residential swimming pool. He noted a similar site in Montverde that was in operation. Mr. Potts stated that the quality of water in the area in question was found to be excellent, and that this would be such an insignificant amount of water removed that it would have no adverse effect on the wetlands, the hydrology, the ecosystem, or anything within his exploration.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether Mr. Potts had reviewed the County's Comprehensive Plan, or Conservation Element, with regard to water quality, water quantity issues.
Mr. Potts responded that he did not review the County's Comprehensive Plan, or Conservation Element, because it did not seem to be very significant, in regards to this project. Mr. Potts explained that, because of his knowledge of water quality in this area, there was no delineated Ethylene Dibromide (EDB) area within 1/2 mile from this facility, and the USGS had indicated that the water quality was excellent.
Ms. Bonifay recalled Ms. Farrell to testify. Ms. Farrell testified that it was the professional opinion of staff that the project was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and met all of the requirements of the Land Development Regulations (LDRs). Ms. Farrell explained the group staff review that was made on the request and explained that staff relies heavily on the Environmental Management Division for direction, when it leaned into this division. She stated that staff did not have any real issues of concern other than those that were included in the CUP, which included the number of trips and hours of operation. Ms. Farrell stated that staff received a recommendation of approval from the Environmental Management Division, with the comments being incorporated in the CUP, as well as in all of the staff review.
Ms. Bonifay noted that Dr. Chon was present to answer any questions of the Board. She stated that the hours had been limited to 9 to 5 Monday through Friday; 3-5 trucks on the site with approximately 6,000 gallons per truck; 18-24,000 gallons per day. She stated that, if there were any other traffic related issues, they would be addressed through the site plan review, but that there would be very little intrusion to the site and minimal disturbance and impact. Ms. Bonifay stated that there had been no evidence presented that indicated that the request was not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, as testified by staff. She stated that there had been an extensive analysis done by Mr. Potts, in responding to questions from Mr. Barker, in terms of inventory and analysis and approaching this as if it were a consumptive use permit application, although it did not meet the level, and one was not required.
The Chairman called for public comment. No one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Discussion occurred regarding the issuance of a CUP for five acres versus 66 acres, with staff indicating that it was more secure with the 66 acres, with one well site and one entry road, which would eliminate acreage being sold off of the 66 acres and creating a new adjacent property owner. Staff further noted that there were no springs on the property.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, addressed a discrepancy under the Terms, A. 2. regarding a maximum of four deliveries per day, and on Page 2, 2. F. where there were no limitations in the CUP for the number of gallons that could be removed, but if the average daily pumping for any month exceeded 100,000 gallons, the facility would inform the Environmental Management Division. He stated that these two provisions needed to be made consistent.
Commr. Swartz stated that he could not see how this request was agriculture, because the definition of "agriculture" did not lend itself to pumping water out of the ground and hauling it away. He stated that, in the LDRs, on Page 31.44, it talked about the use of land and/or water for agricultural purposes, which he reviewed with the Board. He stated that this use did not meet the definition of "agriculture", therefore, CUP would not be appropriate. Commr. Swartz stated that, even if you could get around the definition of agriculture, he had a concern about the whole issue of CUPs and what the County was trying to do in this area. More troubling to him was the issue of the whole use and concept of water resources, and pumping a water resource out, and what kind of affect this would have on adjacent property, in relation to the issue raised by Mr. Minkoff regarding Page 2, 2. F. of the CUP. He had questioned the review of the Conservation Element, because Objective 7-1 required a complete Environmental Resource Management Plan, which he noted had not been completed. He suggested to the Board that, even if it could decide that the request was an agricultural enterprise, and therefore, a CUP would be okay, even though he did not feel it would be correct, he believed the Board would come up against the fact that what was being approved was something that could start out as being fairly mild mannered, but end up having a more significant impact on the County's water resources. He noted Policy 7-2.6 of the Comprehensive Plan, which dealt with the interdistrict transfer of groundwater. Commr. Swartz stated that, without the completion of the Environmental Resource Management Plan, the Board did not have any way of knowing whether or not the applicant could conceivably meet those criteria. He suggested that it would be premature for the Board to take action to approve the request, with the main problem being that it did not meet the definition of agriculture, so a CUP in agriculture would be inappropriate.
Commr. Hanson explained that the definition of agriculture was traditionally for the production of food and fiber, and recognizing that it was not a production of such, it was just a more direct use of the resource. She explained that a precedent had already been set and noted that the project in Montverde had been in operation since the 1980s.
Commr. Good stated that he had just gotten back from a desalinization conference in Pinellas County and the purpose for the program was due to the policy that had been advocated by the SJRWMD, which was called Local Sources First. Based on the statements in the County's Comprehensive Plan, Commr. Good questioned whether, during the review process, staff had the opportunity to review this with the SJRWMD, in light of the policies being made by the SJRWMD, and the Local Sources First Policy, which they were advocating in the coastal counties, and did that some how not apply to the inland counties when looking at local sources first.
Mr. Jim Barker, Director of Environmental Management, appeared before the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk. Mr. Barker testified that, when staff consulted with the SJRWMD, their primary concern was that the project did not trip the CUP thresholds of 100,000 gallons per day. He discussed what the SJRWMD and staff considered when they reviewed the request, which included the size of the well, potential withdrawal capacity, and the transmisivity of the source aquifer, which would allow the withdrawal of 72,000 gallons per day on a four inch well. Mr. Barker stated that he did not look at the recharge of the site.
Commr. Good stated that it was difficult for him to make a decision on this case, based on being told that the effects of this withdrawal were insignificant, and he was uncomfortable with staff moving in this direction without some numbers for the Board to review.
Ms. Bonifay stated that, even though the Board had closed the public hearing, staff had been recalled, and the Board was discussing issues that she had not had the opportunity to cross examine staff about.
Mr. Barker stated that the design capacity of 100 gallons per minutes only allowed the applicant to pump 72,000 gallons per day, which was limited by the pipe and the pump size. He explained that the maximum draw down at the wellhead, at 72,000 gallons, would be .7 feet, or a little over eight inches. At 200 feet from the wellhead, it would be .1 feet of draw down. He estimated that, because of the site being proposed, there would be no recharge, and if anything, it would be a discharge site. He noted that a residential unit, on a four inch well, would withdraw 350 gallons per day.
Discussion occurred regarding restricting the site to one well, with the design capacity of 72,000 gallons per day.
Commr. Good addressed the issue, in terms of a mining operation, and stated that this may be considered as one, in which case, the application of a CUP needed to address the restoration process and how long it would take to restore 72,000 gallons per day.
Commr. Cadwell addressed the issue of municipalities that were in the water business.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Comprehensive Plan differentiates between water that would be used in Lake County and water that would be transferred, therefore, the cities and municipalities, and the other potable water sources, would be used for public consumption, or used by the public for consumption in Lake County. He reiterated that this request could not be a CUP in agriculture, because it did not come close to the definition of "agriculture".
Mr. Minkoff interjected and stated that this project would probably not be a mine under the LDRs, but would be a utility. He stated that water plants, both public and private, were allowed uses in agriculture. Limited utilities would be permanent uses, and major utilities would require a CUP, but both would be allowed uses in agriculture. Mr. Minkoff stated that a limited utility would be a permitted use and would not require a CUP. A limited utility would be a permitted use in all of the commercial zones in the Community Facility District (CFD) and manufacturing, and it would be a conditional use in agriculture for a major utility. He stated that, under the County Code, this use, with a CUP, would be proper in agriculture.
Commr. Swartz stated that, if it was a public utility, or a utility, it might be a permitted use in agriculture, but it was not an agricultural enterprise given the definition of "agriculture".
Mr. Barker explained the recharge map of the SJRWMD and stated that along the corridor where the property was located, it indicated zero to four inches of recharge. He stated that, because of the limits and the amount of withdrawals, staff did not request that there be any detailed recharge study done on this particular site.
Ms. Bonifay cross examined Mr. Barker about a standardized procedure in the LDRs for reviewing such a request for a spring water source, and for a CUP.
Mr. Barker stated that there was no standard procedure for reviewing a spring water withdrawal operation, and that staff primarily looked at what would be considered as reasonable scientific data to ensure whether or not there would any impact to adjacent property owners. Mr. Barker noted that staff received information from the applicant, which was a result of having a professional geologist on the project, and staff had consulted with the geologist.
Ms. Bonifay stated that there had been allegations that this would be in violation of the current Comprehensive Plan and Conservation Element, because of a yet to be developed policy on water quality, or water resource management and questioned Mr. Barker about this issue.
Mr. Barker stated that the Natural Resources Advisory Committee (NRAC) had not yet developed policies or plans. He stated that there was no specific criteria, but some generalized policies of the Comprehensive Plan and LDRs, which staff had used as guidelines, and which were applied to this application.
Ms. Bonifay discussed the interdistrict transfer of water, which could involve piping of some transmission of water through the ground rather than putting it in tankard trucks and hauling it across the county lines.
Mr. Barker explained that it would not matter how the water was transmitted, because, as long as it crossed the boundary, it would be considered as an interdistrict transfer. He noted that there had been nothing in the record that indicated it would or would not be consumed in Lake County.
Ms. Bonifay questioned Mr. Barker as to whether recharge was relevant to the particular quest being made today.
Mr. Barker explained the concerns that were considered to determine that recharge would not be required.
Commr. Good addressed Policy 7-2.6 of the Comprehensive Plan pertaining to interdistrict transfers of groundwater, which stated the following: "The water resource to be removed from Lake County is above and beyond that needed by the residents of Lake County and the County's natural system for a period of 40 years from the proposed date of implementation." He stated that the property was in an area of water caution for the SJRWMD, which did not even go out to a 40 year window, and he found it very hard to say that staff considered 40 years for the proposed need. Commr. Good stated that he did not know whether or not all of the water would be used in Lake County, but at this point, the CUP did not give him any reassurance that this would not be an inter-basin transfer, or an interdistrict transfer.
Commr. Swartz stated that there may be a way that withdrawing water could be a permitted use on agricultural land, in the case of a limited utility, or a major utility, but that this was not what was being brought to the Board today. This was a CUP as if it were an agricultural enterprise.
Ms. Bonifay recalled Mr. Potts as a rebuttal witness on the issue of recharge.
Mr. Potts concurred that the area in question was not an area of recharge, or high recharge. He explained why the issue of recharge was or was not relevant to this case and discussed a hydrologic term called "mining water" and noted that you would not be mining water at this location, or with any major utilities. Mr. Potts explained what would occur when the well was turned on to pump 100 gallons per minute, and how, when the pump was turned off, the water level would instantly rebound and the aquifer would be recharged. He stated that there would not be an adverse effect from the use being requested, because this would be a very small amount of water. Mr. Potts noted the agencies that would regulate spring water sources in Florida. He further noted that, because staff did not request information that would allow them to look at the 40 year window, as indicated in Policy 7-2.6, a response was not provided. Mr. Potts testified that this use would not have any impact on anybody over any period of time. He further testified that Dr. Chon had stipulated three to four 6,000 gallon tankers in the conditions of the CUP.
Commr. Swartz made a motion to overturn the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and deny the request for a CUP in A (Agriculture) for a raw spring source for a bulk wholesale business, on the basis that it was not an agricultural enterprise, therefore a CUP was not appropriate; it would not qualify under utilities limited, which would be a permitted use in agriculture for a water plant; and it was not a major utility, which would meet the definition of important public service; therefore, it would be an inappropriate land use to use it as a CUP.
Commr. Swartz stated that he believed that there were questions, not with regard to the specific numbers being given, or sought, but rather in the broad policies, which were required in the Comprehensive Plan, that the County's Environmental Management Plan be done, and that plan had several policies that related to preservation, conservation and water quantity and water quality, and those resource management plans have not been completed, and it would be premature for the Board to approve these types of projects in light of that, and particularly, because it was not an agricultural enterprise, and it was neither a utilities limited, or a utilities major, which would be allowable as a CUP, or a permitted use in agriculture.
Commr. Good seconded the motion.
Under discussion, Commr. Gerber stated that she agreed with the statements made by Commr. Swartz and added that the review was not done on the remunerative aspect of the project, as referenced in Policy 7-2.6, 3., because there was no proof where the water was going. She further stated that she was concerned about the continuation of a bad precedent.
Commr. Cadwell stated that discussion had occurred regarding state wide water policies, the changes that were going to be made, and what might be taking place in 40 years, and he questioned whether the decision that the Board made today was going to change the direction of any of those policies. He stated that he had some concern over this type of operation, but it would seem that, in the rules and regulations, it would fall as a CUP under agriculture, and he would vote against the motion.
Commr. Hanson stated that she would also vote against the motion, because it was the mining of a resource. She stated that it was allowed in agriculture and was a permitted activity in the agricultural land use. The applicant was willing to limit the withdrawal to 24,000 gallons per day, and it was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and with the LDRs.
Commr. Good reiterated that the request was not consistent, and it had not been reviewed to determine whether Lake County would be getting remunerative compensation for this particular resource. He stated that this would involve a very different set of laws than those that would be used in addressing some of the other natural resources and minerals that were mined in the State of Florida.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried by a 3-2 vote. Commrs. Hanson and Cadwell voted "no".
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:55 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 1:30 p.m.
WORKSHOP - STORMWATER UTILITY
Ms. Laura Bailey, Engineer III, addressed the Board and noted that the Board members had been provided with backup material for the workshop, which was dated November 21, 1995. She further noted that supplemental information had been handed out to the Board for consideration. Ms. Bailey began discussing the Options for Funding and stated that, under Option 1, it had been noted that a complete package of information had been presented to the Lake County Water Authority for review and consideration. The Water Authority Board had chosen not to act on the information, but did state that it would be willing to revisit an enhanced program each year, as it did with the $300,000 grant program this year. Ms. Bailey noted that Mr. Will Davis, Executive Director, Lake County Water Authority, was present in the audience. Ms. Bailey continued discussing the options, as follows:
Option 2 - Fund desired and required improvements from general funds or a combination of general funds and CTT funds.
Option 3 - Establish an unincorporated Lake County Stormwater Management Program.
Option 4 - Establish a County-Wide Lake County Stormwater Management Program.
Option 5 - Establish a Stormwater Management Program that would be comprised of 5% funding from general funds, 15% funding from CTT funds, and 80% from a new, dedicated funding source, a Stormwater Utility, but the 80% would be based on a combination of a non-ad-valorem fee for operation and maintenance, and a basin-by-basin fee for capital improvements.
Ms. Bailey stated that staff was recommending either Option 3 or Option 4, and which ever one seemed most viable might depend on the next round of discussions with the cities. She stated that staff would like to have the opportunity to discuss this at the next League of Cities' meeting.
Discussion occurred regarding whether the funds were actually sufficient to retrofit some problem areas over a period of time, or buy properties in some areas where the County could take stormwater.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Services, addressed the Board and stated that a comparison had been prepared regarding annual expenses at the rate of $2 per month, which would not cover what was currently taking place, and $3 per month, which would assist in a small amount of savings, but would allow some money to manage.
Ms. Bailey explained that the goal would be to find matching dollars, and she would like to see continuing discussions with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), and any other State agency that could provide those.
Discussion occurred regarding the information entitled "What Needs to Happen (to meet or exceed objectives), which included a proposed time frame for adoption of a stormwater utility. The Board was provided with an enhanced version of the information, which included a sheet of time lines for BCC Workshops and Public Workshops.
Ms. Bailey shared the information she had gathered from her meeting with the Conservation Council and noted that she had not spent a lot of time on generating exact dollars for the Board based on impervious areas, because more data collection needed to be done.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff discussed the issue of a special assessment and stated that there would be no risk in putting it on a utility bill, but uniform special assessments on ad valorem tax bills were not allowed to be used for service charges. The issue of whether or not it would be a special assessment, or a service charge, could be an important issue, and this issue was being challenged in Sarasota County, and a few other counties.
Ms. Bailey continued her discussion about Other Existing Stormwater Utilities and noted that there were 66 stormwater utilities known to exist currently in the State of Florida. She then reviewed the following information with the Board:
Stormwater Management - Objectives 1-4
Lake County Comprehensive Plan Priorities (policy 6C-1.3)
Major Basin Priorities (map)
What is a Stormwater Utility? Why is a Stormwater Utility Necessary?
Stormwater Utility Advantages/Disadvantages
Stormwater Utilities in Florida
Ms. Bailey discussed the 1995 Stormwater Utilities Survey, and presented staff's recommendations in relation to the questions.
Mr. Will Davis addressed the Board and stated that the Lake County Water Authority had continued to decrease its millage rate over the last six out of seven years. Considering the amount of revenue that would have to be generated, it would almost have to use, by 2003, or 2004, 100% of the budget just to fund stormwater. He stated that, even though the Water Authority was continuing to reduce the millage rate and cut the taxes, he did not feel there was any interest to raise taxes for stormwater, or any other item.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Water Authority's only funding ability was a basic ad valorem base funding, and it was not able to differentiate between, or to tax in any way, that recognized impervious surface, or surfaces contributing to stormwater, and the Water Authority would be taxing all properties exactly the same. He felt that the equity issue would be one problem that the Water Authority would have with the idea of stormwater.
Mr. Dick Williams, Assistant City Manager, City of Leesburg, addressed the Board and stated that the City had a study done and started out with only a residential charge, at $3.00 per month, then went through a complete analysis of non-residential property and assigned an equivalent residential unit for charging on imperviable surface. He stated that this was implemented about one year ago by Ordinance. He further stated that the cost of the comprehensive study was paid from the funds generated for the utility.
Discussion occurred regarding Ms. Bailey including, in her discussions and presentation to the League of Cities, a slide presentation, which would incorporate slides from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Water Authority.
Mr. Stivender stated that staff was requesting a consensus from the Board recommending Option 3, to establish an unincorporated Lake County Stormwater Management Program, with the opt-in rule, and preceding to meet with the League of Cities in January.
Commr. Swartz stated that the cities had been in the leadership position on stormwater in Lake County. There were five or six cities that had gone for several years with stormwater utilities. He stated that the real issue for the County was whether or not, through an effort to go out and build public consensus, it could do this in the unincorporated area, and it would be difficult, because of the fact that the County did not have a utility billing system that would make it a lot more palatable. Commr. Swartz stated that it would be the direction of the Board to get staff to go ahead and put together the type of program, as discussed, and to come to the Board and show what it was going to take on the road. The whole intent was for the Board to spend a whole year trying to make people aware of the problems, the water quality and water quantity, as it related to stormwater, and to try and develop some consensus.
PUBLIC SERVICES/ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/STATE AGENCIES
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Services, addressed the Board and stated that he had just received an updated version of the contract, which had been reviewed by the County Attorney's Office, regarding the pumping that was being done by Lake County in Volusia County. Mr. Stivender explained the state wide emergency agreement, which would allow Lake County to be reimbursed approximately $8,000 for its services.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0, the Board approved the contract, as stated above by Mr. Stivender, subject to final review by the County Manager's and County Attorney's Offices.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 2:50 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for a few minutes.
It was noted that Commr. Cadwell would not be present for the remainder of the meeting.
WORKSHOP - Suburban Land Use
Mr. Paul Bergmann, Senior Director, Planning and Development, addressed the Board and stated that, in response to the Board's request, staff had developed a study that included the guidelines of dealing with existing properties where water and sewer existed, or where water would be extended, and also a guideline of contacting each city, which staff had already done. He stated that the responses received from the cities were placed on the Comprehensive Plan map for the Board to review. Mr. Bergmann explained that the Board would first see the original map of the County, and then see what each city had requested.
For the record, Commr. Gerber noted that the following cities had representatives present for the meeting: Tavares, Minneola, Fruitland Park, Lady Lake, Umatilla, Eustis, Leesburg, Clermont, and Montverde.
Mr. Bergmann noted that staff had developed 12 area groupings, which were reflected on the map, so that the Board could see a more detailed analysis of what was being proposed by the cities. Mr. Bergmann presented an overview of the changes being requested. He stated that there were currently 59,800+ acres of suburban; almost 11,000 acres of wetlands; so that the County's proposal incorporated approximately 33,000 acres for urban expansion.
Mr. Mark Knight, Chief Planner, addressed the Board and reviewed the 12 suburban areas, as requested by the cities. He stated that the changes would reduce the area by approximately 40,000 units. He explained that this was determined by figuring that there was approximately 49,000 upland acres of suburban land use category, at three units per acre, which would be just under 150,000 units.
Mr. Robert Moore, City of Tavares, explained that Mr. Mark Cechman, City Planner, was trying to combine the concept with the joint planning area that had been discussed with the inquiry of the County about doing away with suburban. He stated that, if you took the joint planning area agreements out of the context of the question, then what the City would like would be what Mr. Knight proposed, which was to take the suburban area around the south side of Lake Dora and change it into urban expansion. He explained that, if the question was to do away with suburban, then the city would like it to go to urban expansion, as the staff's recommendation indicated.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, representing Lady Lake, Umatilla, Fruitland Park and Minneola, addressed the Board and stated that he would like to reserve comment, until he took the information back to his clients, so that he could get them to analyze the information and determine what they wanted.
Commr. Good stated that there had been a question as to whether this would be planned around eco-structure, or infrastructure, and apparently, it was going to be planned around infrastructure regardless of what was on the ground, with the exception of wetlands, which was obviously not the best way to go. He felt that this approach needed to be cross-referenced, or overlaid, with soils and other physical environment parameters that really affected how you would build, and the cost of building.
Commr. Hanson thought that one of the purposes for building around the cities was to build where the infrastructure was located, and therefore to cut the costs around those areas, and also taking into consideration the natural environment.
Discussion occurred regarding the possible changes in the number of units, if Planned Unit Development (PUD) densities were included on the map.
Mr. Alton Roane, Director of Development Services, City of Eustis, addressed the Board and stated that, if the County would like to have feedback from the cities, he suggested that staff forward to each of the cities a copy of the colored version of staff's recommendation to peruse, so that the cities could respond in an expeditious manner.
Commr. Swartz stated that he felt one thing was being overlooked. For dwelling unit count purposes, the suburban was counted at three dwelling units per acre. The reason the County ended up with timeliness was recognition that when you did that, you ended up with a very, very high number of dwelling units, far more than you could justify during the planning period. So, to take the three dwelling units per acre times the 49,000 would be assuming you could develop 49,000 acres at three dwelling units per acre, which you could not, because timeliness would not let you. The reason timeliness was there was to recognize that the County was significantly over allocated in the number of acres in those categories. He stated that, to do it that way, it would look like a reduction in units, but if you looked at it in terms of the number of units that you could put on the ground within the suburban designation as it existed today, based on timeliness, you would have a significant increase. Commr. Swartz stated that he would like to see that number calculated.
Commr. Gerber stated that a time would be scheduled to meet again on this issue, once the Board had the opportunity to review the information presented, as well as any additional information.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
COUNTY MANAGER/STATE AGENCIES
The Board discussed the Funding to Counties for Criminal Justice/Article V Costs, with the position of the Board being that it request the Legislative Delegation to support a Constitutional amendment requiring the State to reimburse counties for the cost of operating the State's court system; and support efforts to secure funding to reduce the financial burden that was being placed upon counties by the State courts.
Commr. Swartz noted that Mr. Howard Babb, Public Defender, would be forwarding to the Board a letter in support of the position that the Board was taking on the issue.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that this issue was the Florida Association of Counties' top priority this year.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved to include the issue of Funding to Counties for Criminal Justice/Article V Costs in the Board's 1995/96 Legislative Package.
Commr. Cadwell was not present for the discussion or vote.
The Board discussed the Private Property Rights Protection Act and Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act, with the position of the Board being that it request the Legislative Delegation to support the revisiting of these legislative acts passed during the 1995 session.
Ms. Whittle stated that this was brought to the Board strictly as a fiscal issue and would be an undetermined cost to the County, but the costs would be extremely high. She stated that, when the County Attorney had brought to the Board his report about a special master, the Board had indicated, at that time, it needed to consider this as a possible legislative issue.
Commr. Hanson stated that she strongly objected to this issue, because she felt that what she was seeing was a reaction on the part of the legislature, to those people who have been strongly impacted negatively on their property rights.
Commr. Swartz stated that this was another example of an unfunded mandate, and he would have difficulty with going forward with this one, in the form that was before the Board, because he felt that the Board had to have a period of time to work with this particular act to determine, if for no other reason, from a fiscal point of view and an unfunded mandate, how it was going to affect the County. The Board needed to, one more time, tell the Legislative Delegation to quit sending unfunded mandates.
Ms. Ava Kronz stated that, in regards to the presentation, since most of the members would be gone on the 29th of November, she arranged an appointment on January 17, 1996, at 1:30 p.m., so that all members could be present. She noted that a representative could be sent to the meeting on November 29, 1995, if the Board so desired.
Commr. Hanson stated that she would like the EDB issue added to the package and noted that a workshop had been scheduled for December 5, 1995, at 2 p.m.
Commr. Good stated that he would like staff to craft some kind of language that, in the States Transportation Plan, it include counties and County needs and local needs, and that the Legislature work to make sure that local needs for transportation planning be included in the State Transportation Plan. He would also like to see the County be included in economic development and Work Force Development Plans in the State and Action Plans of Enterprise Florida. He also wanted action to be taken to address the needs of Affordable Housing in the Central Florida area, which the Regional Planning Council was stating had become more of a problem all of the time, and the Legislative Delegation to address the question of the affordability of housing in Lake County and Central Florida.
The Board decided to add the issue of Private Property Rights Protection Act under unfunded mandates.
Ms. Whittle stated that the Board may want to add as a specific issue, the partial year assessments and noted that the Board passed a resolution on the issue.
The Board discussed the Impact to Florida and All Counties if the Federal Medicaid Block Grant Program was Enacted, with the position of the Board being that it was extremely important for the Legislative Delegation to be made aware of the ramifications of the proposed Federal legislation with regard to the Medicaid Block Grant Program, which would delete the administrative directives to the State.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Good and carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved to include in its message to the Legislative Delegation the issue of the Impact to Florida and All Counties if the Federal Medicaid Block Grant Program was Enacted.
Commr. Cadwell was not present for the discussion or vote.
It was noted that the Board would include in the 1995/96 Legislative Package, the Funding to Counties for Criminal Justice/Article V Costs, and the Impact to Florida and All Counties if the Federal Medicaid Block Grant Program was Enacted, to be brought back to the Board, in the complete package to include the drafted language for Unfunded Mandates; language to address transportation planning to meet local needs; Lake County being included in the State Development Work Force Plans and Action Plans of Enterprise Florida; and to address affordability of housing.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
REPORTS - Commissioner Gerber - Chairman and District #1
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Good and carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Resolution Supporting Funding by the State of Florida for Preservation 2000.
Commr. Cadwell was not present for the discussion or vote.
ADDENDUM NO. 2
RESOLUTIONS/PRIVATE INDUSTRY COUNCIL
Commr. Gerber addressed the request for a Resolution regarding the Volusia/Lake/Flagler Private Industry Council. It was noted that the Resolution reflected the decision of the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Good and carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Resolution communicating the desire of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners to remain a part of and partner with the Volusia/Lake/Flagler Private Industry Council, and inviting the Board of County Commissioners of Sumter County to join in this membership, and sending it to the appropriate agencies and entities.
Commr. Cadwell was not present for the discussion or vote.
Commr. Swartz made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Good, to authorize the Chairman, on behalf of the Board, and in support of the Resolution, to send a letter to the Governor and to other agency heads, or others involved in this decision, indicating the Board's position, and including a copy of the Resolution.
Under discussion, Commr. Hanson stated that her reason for not wanting to do this was because she did not see the Board in a real strong position to move forward with the idea, and she felt that, at the present time, the County was where it needed to be, but that the Board had not considered it enough to determine if that was where the County needed to be in the future, and she would vote against the motion.
Commr. Gerber stated that she would be informing the Economic Development Council (EDC) of the position being taken by the Board.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried by a 3-1 vote. Commr. Hanson vote "no", and Commr. Cadwell was not present for the discussion or vote.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board members that they had received their Monthly Financial Report and she would welcome any comments after they had an opportunity to review it.
REPORTS - Commissioner Good - District #2
On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Resolution supporting the St. Johns River Celebration.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.
RHONDA H. GERBER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK