A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

MAY 23, 2000

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, May 23, 2000, 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: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson, Vice Chairman; Rhonda H. Gerber; Robert A. Pool; and G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Others present were: Sue Whittle, County Manager; Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Supervisor, Board of County Commissioner's Office; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE

Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

AGENDA UPDATE

The Chairman noted that there was an Addendum No. 1 to the Agenda, which had been properly advertised. He further noted that the Board would be holding a special presentation at 10:00 a.m., after which they would resume the Rezoning portion of the meeting.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that he would like to add an item to the Agenda, under his Reports, regarding the issue of impact fees.

COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:

Public Works/Subdivisions



Request from Public Works for authorization to accept the final plat for Westchester Phase 8 Subdivision, which consists of three lots - Commission District 2.



ADDENDUM NO. 1



COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA



Public Works/Subdivisions



Request from Public Works for approval and authorization to accept the final plat for Plantation at Leesburg Long Meadow Village (a/k/a Pod II) Subdivision, which consists of 46 lots - Commission District 2.



PERSONAL APPEARANCES/PUBLIC HEARINGS

PERSONAL APPEARANCE

MUNICIPALITIES/SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS

Ms. Emogene Stegall, Lake County Supervisor of Elections, addressed the Board and requested approval to split Precinct No. 31, in Mt. Dora, and create Precinct No. 86 at the Country Club of Mt. Dora, noting that it currently has 600 homes, however, will have 827 homes when the development is completed. She also requested approval to split Precinct No. 11, in Lady Lake, and create Precinct No. 85 at Water Oak Estates, noting that it currently has 780 homes, however, will have 1,300 homes when completed. She informed the Board that, as of April 30, 2000, there are 123,152 registered voters in Lake County.

On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the creation of Precinct No. 86, in Mt. Dora, and Precinct No. 85, in Lady Lake.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

REZONING

GROWTH MANAGEMENT/ZONING

PETITION NO. PH16-00-2 - R-6 TO C-2 - CHANCERY LANE, LTD.

STEVEN J. RICHEY, PA - TRACKING NO. 28-00-Z

Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained this request, stating that it involved 15.5 acres at the intersection of Hwy. 27 and Hartwood Marsh Road. She stated that, in reviewing the Standards for Review and the Lake County Comprehensive Plan, staff was recommending denial of the request, but approval for CP (Planned Commercial ), with C-2 (Community Commercial) uses, and a limitation of 65,000 square feet. She stated that the request met the Comprehensive Plan Policy for up to 500,000 square feet, but, based on staff's concern that the area might be starting to get over-saturated with commercial footage, they limited it to 65,000 square feet, which the applicant is comfortable with. She stated that staff also put some design standards in the Ordinance, as well as the cap on the square footage.

Commr. Pool stated that he was informed by a representative from the City of Clermont, the day before this meeting, that the City has a meeting scheduled with the applicants on Wednesday, May 24th, and requested the Board to table this rezoning until they have an opportunity to meet with them, due to the fact that the City is going to be the water and sewer providers for the applicants.

Ms. Farrell interjected that the County received a FAX from the City of Clermont stating that central sewer is available to the applicants within 1,000 feet and central water is available within 300 feet.

Commr. Pool questioned whether the Board could approve the request, subject to approval by the City of Clermont.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the Board needed to either take action, or postpone the request until a later date.

Commr. Pool suggested that the request be postponed, pursuant to the City of Clermont's request, noting that he feels they should have the opportunity to comment about the matter, being they will be the provider of central water and sewer.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Tom Vincent, Vice President, Halversen Development, addressed the Board stating that his firm's attorney, Mr. Steve Richey, was not present and that he did not expect to have a postponement of this case. He stated that representatives of his firm had met, informally, with Mr. Barry Brown, Planning Director for the City of Clermont, to discuss the technical aspects of the central water/sewer system and were told that the City did not have a problem with serving the site; however, they would need to work out the logistics of how it was going to be done.

It was the consensus of the Board to postpone action regarding this case until later in the meeting, to allow the applicant's attorney, Mr. Steve Richey, to arrive and represent the case.

PETITION NO. PH17-00-5 - A TO CFD - GRAND ISLAND BAPTIST CHURCH

JOHN WHITAKER - TRACKING NO. 40-00-CFD

Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained this request, stating that it was a request for a church on 7 acres in the Urban Expansion land use category. She stated that it meets the County's Comprehensive Plan Policies and Standards for Review; therefore, staff was recommending approval of the request. She stated that the Planning and Zoning Commission voted in favor of the request, as well, by a vote of 9-0.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

The applicant or the applicant's representative was present in the audience.

No one was present in opposition to the request.

There being no one present who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved Ordinance No. 2000-29 - Grand Island Baptist Church, John Whitaker, Rezoning Case No. PH17-00-5, Tracking No. 40-00-CFD, a request for rezoning from A (Agriculture) to CFD (Community Facility District), for construction of an accessory church building and associated uses.

PETITION NO. CUP00/5/2-3 - AMENDMENT TO EXISTING CUP FOR A PUD - WATERWOOD COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION/LESLIE CAMPIONE/TRACKING NO. 35-00-PUD/CUP/AMD

Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained this request, stating that it was a request to amend an existing Conditional Use Permit (CUP), which is part of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for Waterwood. She stated that the request consists of only one-quarter (.23) acre, however, noted that the aerial contained in the Board's backup material shows a lot more than one-quarter acre. She stated that Waterwood has a storage area that has been in use for some time and the homeowners want to bring it into compliance and make it a part of the language in their CUP. She stated that it is internal to the subdivision. She stated that some residents of Sun Eden, an adjacent subdivision, have informed staff about some concerns they have, with regard to drainage; therefore, staff is going to take the applicant through a Development Review Study (DRS).

Ms. Farrell stated that the Board's backup material contained some copies of letters received in opposition to the request, however, noted that the County had received an additional packet of information (Opposition's Exhibit A), containing a letter from Mr. C. E. Huber and Mr. F. R. Harrelson, residents of Sun Eden; a letter and petition containing 46 signatures of residents of Sun Eden; and an enlarged picture of the storage area in question, which she submitted, for the record. She stated that staff was recommending approval, with certain conditions. She stated that staff did not have too many concerns, as far as the request having an adverse effect on the surrounding area, because they will be taking it through a DRS. She stated that staff placed a limitation of 15 boats and/or RVs on the site; however, the Planning and Zoning Commission removed that limitation, so staff would like the Board to consider some type of limitation on the number of vehicles parked on the site, since it is only one-quarter acre in size.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board, for the record, that prior to his being employed by the County, the applicant was a client of his. He stated that it has been a long running issue and noted that he did some work on the matter approximately six years ago. Ms. Leslie Campione, Attorney, representing the applicant, addressed the Board and reviewed an Assessment Map (Applicant's Exhibit A) of the property in question, pointing out the location of the storage area. She stated that the use being requested has been in existence since the 1970s, noting that one of the selling points for the subdivision was that it had great deed restrictions, in that the residents could not park their boats or RVs in their driveways - that the subdivision had a place for storing them, when not in use. She stated that, because the property is on the Chain of Lakes, a lot of the residents have boats and a lot of them travel, so they have RVs. She gave the Board a brief history of what has occurred with the subdivision and the storage area, in particular, up to this point in time, noting that the homeowner's association was informed by Code Enforcement that the use, even though it had been in place for a number of years, needed to be recognized, pursuant to a CUP or site plan, which is when she became involved with the case, approximately three years ago.

Ms. Campione informed the Board about some litigation that occurred, with regard to the Waterwood Subdivision and a former owner of the site in question, however, noted that while the litigation was going on the site continued to be utilized for storage. She stated that, finally, the homeowners association worked out an agreement with said individual to purchase the property, thus, the reason they are before the Board this date, requesting a CUP, to allow them to continue what they have been doing with the property since the 1970s. She stated that they plan no improvements, nor any additional impervious area. She stated that they realize an issue was raised and a few letters were submitted to staff regarding a stormwater drainage situation that is off-site. She stated that one of the letters indicated that the runoff was coming from the Waterwood spray field, however, noted that she had a letter from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), who visited the site, confirming that there is no runoff that leaves the Waterwood property from the spray field, or as a result of the spray field. She stated that DEP suggested that the owner of the property in the Sun Eden Subdivision, where the flooding is occurring, should apply for a permit to dredge the canal, where there appears to be sediment deposits that are restricting flow and drainage. She displayed various photographs of the storage area (Applicant's Exhibit B), which she submitted, for the record.

Commr. Cadwell informed Ms. Campione that Mr. Huber and Mr. Harrelson, two residents of Sun Eden who were opposing this request, had recommended in their letter, alluded to earlier, that should the Board approve the request, it be specified that there be no changes made to the terrain of the subject site and that Waterwood be required to submit a plan to the County to handle any runoff. He questioned whether Waterwood would have any problems with doing so.

Ms. Campione stated that her client would not have a problem with submitting a plan, however, requested that it be a plan that they could draw up, indicating where existing fences and vegetative buffers are located and the fact that they do not intend to add an impervious area. She asked that the Board not place a restriction on the number of vehicles to be housed in the storage area, however, noted that, if they do, that they allow at least 35 to 40 vehicles, because there are going to be instances where there may be large RVs or small trailers.

Commr. Cadwell suggested having restrictions that would only allow trailers, RVs, or boats, in order to prevent someone storing a refrigerator, lawnmower, etc. on the site.

Mr. Murray McMahon, President of the Waterwood Community Association, addressed the Board and discussed where the parking of the vehicles would actually take place on the site, noting that it would take place on the southern half of the site, rather than the northern half.

Mr. David Symonds, a resident of Sun Eden, addressed the Board stating that he did not have a problem with the residents of Waterwood parking their vehicles in the storage area, his concern was with water runoff. He stated that, during rainy season, all the lots that run along the property line get flooded by the runoff, because a drainage ditch that once existed in the area has not been maintained and is now overgrown. He stated that the residents of Sun Eden feel that the more trailers that are allowed to park in the storage area, the more the soil is going to get impacted, creating more runoff. He stated that his subdivision has been having a problem with the water runoff for several years.

Commr. Swartz questioned where it specifically delineates, in the CUP, that the parking must be contained in the southern portion of the storage area.

Ms. Farrell informed the Board that staff may need to clarify in the Ordinance, under Land Uses, where the parking can actually take place.

Mr. Ross Pluta, Lake County Public Works, addressed the Board regarding the drainage ditch alluded to earlier, noting that it has not been maintained and was overgrown. He suggested that it be dredged out, to make it flow a little better.

Ms. Campione stated that the residents of Waterwood were agreeable to continue to work with the County and the residents of Sun Eden, regarding the water drainage issue, even though it is not related to the CUP. She stated that they want to do what they can to help alleviate the situation. She requested approval for Waterwood to draw up their own site plan, showing where the boundaries, fences, and vegetation are currently located, and that they not be required to obtain an engineered site plan for something of this nature, which is to park vehicles on a grass lot, so that it will not be burdensome on the Association. She stated that it has been a long battle, to get to this point, and they are anxious to be in compliance.

There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

A motion was made by Commr. Pool and seconded by Commr. Hanson to uphold the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve Ordinance No. 2000-30, Waterwood Community Association, Leslie Campione, Rezoning Case No. CUP00/5/2-3, Tracking No. 35-00-PUD/CUP/AMD, a request for an amendment to the existing CUP, for a PUD, to add a storage area within the subdivision for the keeping and parking of RVs, trailers, boats, and related accessory uses, for the residents only.

Under discussion, Commr. Hanson suggested that both communities get together and clean out the drainage ditch.

Commr. Swartz stated that he felt it was important for them to get together, however, felt that, if there was a drainage problem caused by one of the developments, that was an issue that needed recourse through another agency of county government. He stated that he did not think this was the place to do that.

Commr. Hanson stated that she felt this was an opportunity for the County to focus on the problem and give some relief, before the rains come.

Commr. Swartz amended the motion to clarify in the Ordinance, under Land Uses, that only the residents of Waterwood be allowed to utilize the storage area and that a site plan be required of a nature that the County's planning staff will accept, laying out the area where the RVs, trailers, boats, and related accessories are to be parked.

Commr. Hanson seconded the amendment.

The Chairman called for a vote on the amendment, which was carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote.

The Chairman then called for a vote on the original motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote.

PETITION NO.CUP00/3/2-2 - CUP IN A - BOB VALENTINE

FRANZ OBERLEITNER - PRO SKIER - TRACKING NO. 21-00-CUP

Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained this request, stating that it was a request for a CUP in A (Agriculture), for the operation of a water ski school. She stated that the subject property consists of approximately 86 acres. She stated that a water ski school has been operating on the site for a number of years; however, because of a Code Enforcement action involving the site, the applicant is applying for a CUP, so that his school can operate legally at the site. She stated that the lake in question is located off Austin Merritt Road and Honeycut Road in the Okahumpka area. She stated that staff was recommending denial, in review of the Standards for Review and the County's Comprehensive Plan, noting that their main concern is access to the parcel, which is a clay road. She stated that, although the intensity is not that great, they were concerned about putting a commercial use on a clay road in such a rural area. She stated that staff has had some debate with the Board, as far as commercial locational criteria, which she noted was also a concern. She stated that the request is a quasi-commercial recreational use in a rural area, on a dirt road; therefore, staff was recommending denial. She stated that there were no letters of opposition on file. She noted that, although the next zoning case also pertains to the ski school, staff chose to address them separately, because two different legal descriptions and two different lakes are involved, consisting of 86 acres each.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Franz Oberleitner, Applicant, a professional water skier for over 20 years, addressed the Board stating that his water skiing career was coming to an end and that he wanted to teach other people how to ski. He stated that the type of skiing he does is tournament skiing, which means that a very limited amount of people can ski on the lakes at one time, thus the reason he would like to have access to both lakes alluded to. He stated that he has to limit the number of skiers per site, per day, to seven or eight, for adequate training. He stated that there is a big demand in this area for water ski schools, noting that it is on the verge of becoming part of the Olympics. He stated that his business does not cater to tourists, it caters to fellow athletes, to try to make them better skiers. He stated that water skiing has occurred on the two lakes in question since the late 70s. He stated that the lakes are ideal for this type of training, because they are away from congested areas and do not have other properties around them. He stated that he did not feel his business would have any impact on the paved and clay roads accessing the lakes, because further down the road from the lakes is a sand/peat mine. He stated that there should only be six to seven vehicles traveling said roads per day, which is not a lot of traffic. He stated that he plans to put mobile homes on both lakes, for shelter, and, in the future, plans to install some RV hook-ups, for housing the students. He stated that the lake involved with this particular request will be the one used most of the time, noting that the second lake alluded to will not be used all the time.

It was noted that Mr. Oberleitner currently has some mobile homes on the property, which were put in place without proper permits, as he was not aware that he had to obtain permits to do so, since nobody actually lives in the mobile homes - they are used as sheds to store skis and as shelter from the rain.

Ms. Farrell informed the Board that there is a chance the mobile homes may have to be moved, in order to meet the Code, noting that they may be located in wetlands. She stated that staff would like to take the applicant through the Development Review Study (DRS) process and take a closer look at where they are accessing the lakes.

Commr. Pool stated that he did not have a problem with the ski school, however, feels that it is important that staff find out what is happening at the site and see if there are some environmental issues that may need to be brought back before the Board. He stated that he feels Lake County is becoming very popular for water ski schools and that he supports the request; however, feels that, if the Board approves it, Code Enforcement needs to verify where the mobile homes are located on the site and make sure that they meet the requirements of the Code.

No one was present in opposition to the request.

There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

A motion was made by Commr. Pool and seconded by Commr. Hanson to uphold the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve Ordinance No. 2000-31, Bob Valentine/Franz Oberleitner - Pro Skier, Rezoning Case No. CUP00/3/2-2, Tracking No. 21-00-CUP, a request for a CUP in A (Agriculture), for the operation of a water ski school, with accessory structures.

Under discussion, Commr. Pool reiterated the fact that he wants staff to make sure that what has occurred on the property meets the requirements of the Code.

Commr. Hanson stated that she felt the positives about this case are that the lake is almost completely owned by the property owner; the paved road accessing the property is very close to the lake; there will be a limited number of students attending the ski school; and the request is an appropriate use of the property.

Commr. Gerber suggested that the hours of operation be from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. She stated that she felt Lake County was a unique area, with all its lakes, and the perfect place to train skiers and/or learn to ski, due to the remoteness of some of the lakes; however, she feels the County needs to have a set of criteria pertaining just to training facilities for water skiing, because there is not another place like Lake County for miles around.

Commr. Pool stated that he did not have a problem with the change in hours of operation.

Commr. Swartz stated that he did not have a lot of confidence in the applicant's ability to meet the requirements of the Code. He stated that he was disturbed that the mobile homes were put in place without permits and that he feels it encourages others to do the same thing, because it is easier than going through the process.

Commr. Pool stated that he does not approve of people doing things without permits and feels the County needs to come up with a stiffer penalty.

The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried, by a 4-1 vote.

Commr. Swartz voted "No".

PERSONAL APPEARANCES/PRESENTATIONS

PRESENTATION

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Mr. Tad Stone, Senior Director, Emergency Services, addressed the Board and presented Mr. Alex Macdonell, Macdonell's Livestock Hauling, and Mr. and Mrs. Randy Purvis, Beach's Barbecue and General Store, with a "Distinguished Service Award" from the Emergency Services Department, for the support they gave the County while dealing with recent brush fires in south Lake County.

At this time, Mr. Stone invited the Board to view a new style fire engine that the County will be purchasing, noting that it will be the first of nine new fire engines that will be delivered to the County within the next 30 to 45 days. He stated that five additional fire engines will be purchased next year. He stated that the fire engines are not custom engines, but they do everything that the custom engines do, at a much reduced price.

RECESS AND REASSEMBLY

At 10:10 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 10:30 a.m., to allow them to view the new fire engine alluded to by Mr. Stone.

PETITION NO. CUP 00/4/5-2 - CUP IN A - BOB VALENTINE

FRANZ OBERLEITNER - PRO SKIER - TRACKING NO. 33-00-CUP

Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained this request, stating that the only difference between this request and the prior request, by the same applicant, was that this property has a shed located on it. She stated that the Ordinance contained in the Board's backup material was very similar, if not the same, as the one pertaining to this request. She noted that no more than a total of six RVs will be allowed on the two sites.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Franz Oberleitner, Applicant, addressed the Board and answered a concern they had as to why he needed two sites for the ski school. He stated that it pertained to the direction that the wind was blowing on a given day, as to which lake would be utilized that day, noting that, if the wind is blowing out of the east, it is better to ski on the north lake and, if the wind is blowing out of the south, it is better to ski on the south lake. He stated that, at this time, the southern lake seems to be drying up, which is going to limit them skiing on it.

No one was present in opposition to the request.

There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

A motion was made by Commr. Pool and seconded by Commr. Hanson to uphold the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve Ordinance No. 2000-32, Bob Valentine/Franz Oberleitner - Pro Skier, Rezoning Case No. CUP00/4/5-2, Tracking No. 33-00-CUP, with a stipulation that the skiing occur from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Under discussion, Commr. Hanson stated that she feels it gives the property owners an opportunity to have some income from their property, without development. She stated that she feels many parts of the County, although they are rural, are beginning to develop at five acre tracts. She stated that she felt the request was probably a preferable use of the land, at this time, even though it is somewhat commercial, just as agricultural is, which plays into her decision.

The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried, by a 4-1 vote.

Commr. Swartz voted "No".

PETITION NO. PH16-00-2 - R-6 TO C-2 - CHANCERY LANE, LTD.

STEVEN J. RICHEY, PA - TRACKING NO. 28-00-Z (CONT'D.)

Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, representing the applicant, addressed the Board and apologized for not being present to represent his client earlier in the meeting, noting that he was delayed by a traffic situation that occurred between the City of Leesburg and the City of Tavares. He stated that he was representing Halversen Development, which has proposed to rezone approximately 15 acres of land, located at the intersection of Hartwood Marsh Road and Hwy. 27, south of Clermont. He stated that his client met with the City of Clermont two months ago about said parcel, because they have been working with the County in realigning and fixing the intersection of Hartwood Marsh Road and Hwy. 27, to accommodate this project and a project to the north of the intersection, which he noted was just approved by the City of Clermont. He stated that he had spoken with Mr. Barry Brown, Planning Director for the City of Clermont, and was informed that the City does not oppose this parcel of property; however, they want the applicant to coordinate the utilities and the overall site plan with them, which he noted will be done as they go through the process.

Mr. Richey stated that the Ordinance before the Board this date has a limitation of 65,000 square feet of commercial and a provision that it has to be served by central water and sewer, which the City of Clermont has indicated, in a written statement to staff, is available and will be provided to the site. He reviewed and submitted, for the record, the Master Plan (Applicant's Exhibit A) for the project, noting that he was informed by staff that it met commercial locational criteria. He stated that there were some residents of Kings Ridge Subdivision, a subdivision adjacent to the property in question, who had concerns about this project; however, the applicant met with said individuals and alleviated the concerns they had. He stated that there was no opposition from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

No one was present in opposition to the request.

There being no one present who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

A motion was made by Commr. Pool and seconded by Commr. Hanson to uphold the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve Ordinance No. 2000-28, Chancery Lane, Ltd./Steven J. Richey, Rezoning Case No. PH16-00-2, Tracking No. 28-00-Z, a request for rezoning from R-6 (Urban Residential) to CP (Planned Commercial) with C-2 (Community Commercial) uses.

Under discussion, Ms. Farrell informed the Board that the Master Plan for this case shows a pylon sign and she wanted them to know that the sign was not part of staff's recommendation for approval. She stated that the request meets commercial locational criteria, staff's only concern is that the area in question seems to be getting over-saturated with commercial.

Commr. Swartz noted some concerns he had about the area becoming over-saturated with commercial and the fact that he feels the Board is willing to clog the roads with commercial up and down the highways, whether it is needed or not. He stated that he does not understand why they do it, noting that it is not as if they do not know what will happen. He stated that the results of what they do will come down the road, when the traffic patterns get worse and development patterns continue. He stated that, just because staff believes a request meets commercial locational criteria does not mean that the Board needs to approve it. He stated that, if they continue to do so, they can be absolutely certain that the congestion Mr. Richey encountered on Hwy. 441, from Leesburg to Tavares, on his way to this meeting and the congestion that the citizens of Clermont are now encountering on Hwy. 50 is what is going to happen to south Hwy. 27. He stated that the Board continues to talk about the need for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to fix the roads in the County, however, pointed out the fact that DOT has not approved a single land use, it has been the County and the cities. He stated that approval of this request is going to create an over-saturation of commercial in the area in question and it is not needed.

Commr. Pool stated that the location for this request is an intersection, not along the highway, as Commr. Swartz alluded to. He stated that people who live in that area will now be able to utilize Hartwood Marsh Road and Hancock Road, to travel to the shopping centers, and will not need to travel Hwy. 27 and that he understood DOT was already discussing the installation of a traffic signal at Hartwood Marsh Road and Hwy. 27. He stated that he would prefer seeing the request located at an intersection, rather than along the highway.

The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried, by a 4-1 vote.

Commr. Swartz voted "No".

PETITION NO. PH2-00-2 - A TO CFD - FRANK AND E. MAY MENEFEE

KENNETH MCADAMS - TRACKING NO. 38-00-2

Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained this request, stating that it was a 67 acre site in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, in Groveland. She stated that it involves an airport that has been in existence for a great number of years. She stated that the applicants are requesting to add two additional hangar structures and four primitive cabins on the site. She stated that there is language in the Ordinance stating that the use of the site is limited to that of an existing airport facility for hang gliders and ultralight aircraft. She stated that the Department of Community Affairs recognizes the airport as an existing use. She stated that the request meets the County's Standards for Review and staff does not feel it will have any adverse impact on the area in question; therefore, they are recommending approval of the request. She submitted, for the record, a Conceptual Plan/Site Plan (County Exhibit A) - the Conceptual Plan to be used for rezoning use only and the Site Plan being required before construction; and three (3) photographs (County Exhibit B) of the existing facility.

It was noted that the purpose for the exclusion of helicopters was due to the noise factor.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Jimmy Crawford, Attorney, Hovis, Boyette and Crawford, representing the applicant, addressed the Board stating that he had spoken with a representative from the Department of Community Affairs and that, while they were not going to issue a blanket approval, they did not have a problem with the concept, noting that they recognize the fact that grass strip airports in the Green Swamp are an allowed use and one of the things that keeps the land from being broken up into five acre plots. He submitted, for the record, two letters in support of the request - one from the City of Groveland (Applicant's Exhibit A), indicating that the Quest Air rezoning and land use change would have a positive impact on the tourism trade for the City of Groveland and that approval of the request by the City Commission of the City of Groveland would increase the number of events that could be sponsored at the Quest Air site (site in question); and the second letter (Applicant's Exhibit B), from the Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau, indicating that they have enjoyed working with Quest Air on the events they have held at the Groveland location and are very excited about the possibility of Quest Air hosting the 2003 World Hang Gliding event. It further stated that they have supported Quest Air in the past, with advertising, and look forward to working with them in the future. He stated that the impetus of this request was to have enough facilities to qualify for the 2003 Hang Gliding World Championships, alluded to by the Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau. He stated that the applicants will be required to submit an environmental assessment and a site plan at the time of the development review. He stated that the two conditions the applicants asked for, being no outdoor bands and no helicopter training, came about from complaints received from residents in the area, when an event was held at the site last month.

Commr. Cadwell noted that there were two letters of opposition in the Board's backup material - one from Ms. Mary Pautler, President, Blue Lakes Citrus, Inc., and the other from Mr. Raymond Gillard, from Groveland.

Commr. Pool interjected that said letters referred to the issue of helicopter training and a party that was held recently at the facility, of which both concerns have been eliminated.

Mr. Crawford stated that one of the letters also referred to some environmental concerns, however, noted that the request will have to go through site plan review and an environmental assessment. He stated that a gopher tortoise survey will be conducted and submitted at that time, as well.

No one was present in opposition to the request.

There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Swartz questioned what would be involved, with regard to some language contained on the last page of the Ordinance, under Paragraph L, which states "provided, however, the property may be used for residence purposes at such time as the airport operation is terminated".

Ms. Farrell stated that said language was inserted in the Ordinance, because the applicants have an agricultural zoning and staff felt any other use should be specifically authorized. She stated that, if the airport operation was to be terminated, or the County revoked the CUP, the applicant would still have those land uses permitted in the agriculture zoning.

Commr. Swartz questioned whether the intent of the language was to permit the applicants to use the primitive cabins being requested for residential use.

Ms. Farrell stated that that was not the intent of said language.

Commr. Swartz stated that he felt the language should state that the property may be used for any other uses allowed within the proper zoning and land use.

Ms. Farrell stated that that would be a given; therefore, she did not see the need for said language.

Commr. Swartz questioned whether Mr. Crawford saw any need for said language.

Mr. Crawford stated that he did not and noted that the applicants had no objection to removing the language.

On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved Ordinance No. 2000-33, Frank and E. May Menefee/Kenneth McAdams, Rezoning Case No. PH2-00-2, Tracking No. 38-00-CFD, as amended, deleting use of the property for residence purposes at such time as the airport operation is terminated.

PETITION NO. 14-00-2 - RA TO A - SANDRA F. HEYMAN

TRACKING NO. 25-00-Z

Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained this request, stating that it was a request in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, involving a 15 acre site that is currently zoned RA (Ranchette). She stated that the applicant was proposing to rezone it to A (Agriculture). She stated that, with regard to the County's Code and Standards for Review, staff was recommending denial, because it is what they consider to be spot zoning in an RA (Ranchette) area. She stated that the applicant's intention, when she purchased the property, was to develop a kennel on the site; however, staff did not feel that would be a good use for the area, because they feel it could have an adverse impact in the future. She stated that there was one letter of opposition on file and noted that the Planning and Zoning Commission's recommendation for denial failed, by a 5-5 vote.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

The applicant or the applicant's representative was not present in the audience.

There being no one present who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board denied Rezoning Case No. PH14-00-2, Sandra F. Heyman, Tracking No. 25-00-Z, a request for rezoning from RA (Ranchette) to A (Agriculture).

PETITION NO. PH19-00-4 - AMENDMENT TO EXISTING PUD ORDINANCE NOS. 108-89 AND 60-91 - GATWICK II/CECELIA BONIFAY

TRACKING NO. 39-00-PUD/AMD

Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained this request, stating that it was a request for an existing Planned Unit Development (PUD) Ordinance, located in the Wekiva area, that is vested for density and intensity. She stated that, in 1989, some approvals were granted and, in 1991, some changes were made, but it was basically a vested project on 489 acres in the Wekiva area. She stated that the applicants were requesting the addition of a golf course; water and sewer treatment plant facilities; to do some clustering on the property; and to obtain a variance from the internal roadway width. She stated that, in reviewing the history of the project, the vested rights determination, the Comprehensive Plan Policies, and the County's Standards for Review, staff was recommending approval. She stated that the request met all criteria and there is no documentation or evidence that the change will have an adverse effect on the area. She stated that, with regard to the Engineering Preliminary Plan, staff has worked with the applicants for over four months and one of the things they are requesting, which she noted she did not add to the Ordinance, is that the proposed golf course be designed as an Audubon International golf course. She stated that Audubon International is a not-for-profit environmental organization that specializes in sustainable natural resource management, incorporating water quality monitoring, pest management, waste reduction, and a lot more habitat areas in the golf course. She stated that the applicants were receptive to it. She stated that, with the golf course and the clustering, the County will actually get more open space than it did under the old Ordinance. She stated that the applicants volunteered to be a small area study participant, in much the same way as the small area study that was conducted by the County in south Lake County. She stated that staff was recommending approval, however, noted that there was some opposition to the request.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, representing the applicants, addressed the Board stating that she was present on behalf of 27/SSH Corporation, the developer for this project, known as Gatwick II. She stated that she had a number of consultants with her this date, as well as the principals of 27/SSH Corporation, being Mr. George Apostolicas, President, Heathrow Land Company; Mr. Joe DoBosh, Senior Vice President, 27/SSH Corporation; the consultants from HDR Transportation Consulting Group; Ms. Sharon Fowler, Hauber Fowler & Associates, Landscape Architects; several members of Conklin, Porter & Holmes (CPH) Engineering; Mr. Steve Adams, Land Planning Group (LPG) Environmental and Permitting; and Mr. Douglas Hearn, Yovash Engineering Sciences, Inc. She reviewed the history of the request, noting that Gatwick II is a vested PUD. She stated that vested rights determinations were received for this project in 1992, 1997, 1999 and as recently as this year and that 27/SSH Corporation has taken independent action, in reliance on those vested rights. She stated that it was common law vesting, pursuant to the County's Comprehensive Plan policy provisions. She stated that they have exercised, as a potential successor in interest, an independent standing that meets Florida case law, to evidence their reliance on what the County has said is vested, their change in position, as well as their expenditure of funds. She stated that she was handed a letter, upon her arrival at this meeting, by counsel for one of the opponents, challenging the vested rights.

Ms. Bonifay submitted, for the record, a 35 page handout (Applicant's Exhibit A) containing information about the vested rights determination, being letters, sections of the County's Comprehensive Plan, and some case law. She discussed what the current plan calls for, at which time she reviewed the original Grid Subdivision Layout that was prepared for Gatwick II in 1989 (Applicant's Exhibit B), which she submitted, for the record. She stated that construction drawings for the first phase, which are on file with the County, were approved in 1995 and are still good; therefore, a developer would only have to modify them somewhat along the perimeter, to meet today's subdivision requirements on landscaping. She stated that, other than that, they could go forward and plat Phase I according to said design. She stated that, since that time, the County has put into effect a Sign Ordinance, as well as a Landscape Ordinance, which the applicants will deal with.

Ms. Bonifay stated that this project consists of 323 lots, on 469 acres, with wells and septic tanks. She stated that the applicants were proposing three changes (Applicant's Exhibit C) to the plan, which she reviewed with the Board and submitted, for the record, being (1) to construct an 18 hole golf course; (2) to substitute the individual 323 wells and septic tanks with a central water and sewer treatment plant; and (3) to retain the current lot size of 33,000 square feet on the exterior of the community, but to permit lot size reduction internal to the subdivision. She stated that the applicants had requested a waiver of the Tree Arbor permit; however, after consulting with staff, felt they had a better understanding of the Landscape Ordinance, so they withdrew their request for the waiver. She stated that the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of this request; however, they asked the applicants to meet with some of the residents in the area and environmentalists, to try to alleviate some of their concerns.

Ms. Sharon Fowler, Hauber Fowler & Associates, Landscape Architects, addressed the Board stating that she was hired to do an entrance design for this project and to take a look at the common areas, to see how they could be perceived, from a landscape concept standpoint. She stated that she visited the site and was impressed with the size of the huge majestic oak trees, which she noted had an effect on the proposed concept plan and the ideas that she set forth in the next step of the project. She stated that, in looking at the heavy vegetative area at the entrance to the development, on Hwy. 46A, she came up with an idea that would be an identifying feature of the development - a covered bridge, with a pond, that would be set back into the entrance, with boulders and some water movement at the base of the bridge. She stated that, because of the speed of traffic on 46A and the type of road that it is, she thought there should be a very understated entrance feature at that location, hopefully preserving some of the big oak trees that exist there, with a very simple sign and lots of flowers and plant material, and then, once one gets back into the development, one would go through the covered bridge she alluded to earlier. She stated that, coming into the development, she has proposed a community park, with pavilions and picnic tables, nestled under the existing trees. She stated that one would turn into the golf course, at this point, which she noted can also be accessed from the main entrance, and, as one continues on further into the development, the guard house would be set back even further into the entry drive. She stated that she hopes to preserve as many of the large oak trees as possible within the development. She then answered questions from Ms. Bonifay regarding the requirements of the County's Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and the fact that the plan, as it is proposed today, meets and exceeds those requirements. She submitted, for the record, a Landscape Conceptual Design Summary (Applicant's Exhibit D) for the development, describing the features she alluded to.

Ms. Bonifay informed the Board that, in order to meet some concerns that the abutters to this project have expressed, the applicants have come up with some conditions that they would voluntarily add to the development order, or propose to the Board to have added, if the amendments they are requesting are approved, which are (1) to add a golf course; (2) to cluster units; and (3) to exchange a central water and sewer system for individual wells and septic tanks. She stated that, if the Board does not agree to those amendments, then the applicants will go back to the original development plan. She stated that the applicants would not undertake said amendments, if they were going to do the original development, because it is vested and they could go forward with what is already in place. She reviewed and submitted, for the record, the conditions that the applicants have proposed (Applicant's Exhibit E), to meet the various concerns of the abutters, as follows:

Ms. Bonifay informed the Board that concurrency vesting expired in 1983, however, noted that there is a memorandum from the County from 1985 indicating that the development was still vested for concurrency.

Ms. Debra Shelley, Aquatic Preserve Manager for the Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, addressed the Board and distributed a handout (Opposition's Exhibit A), containing a copy of a letter that she had written to Commr. Welton Cadwell, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, dated May 23, 2000, expressing some concerns she has about this request; a table which represents the reduction in average spring discharges, due to cumulative withdrawals occurring in both the SJRWMD and the SWFWMD portions of Central Florida; and the results of a study indicating the amount of nitrogen applied to golf courses as fertilizer and the effect that it has on groundwater. She stated that she had reviewed the request for an amendment to PUD Ordinance Nos. 108-89 and 60-91 and had several concerns. She stated that her initial concern is that a more definitive explanation of vesting be provided, considering the fact that this particular project has been inactive for almost 8 years. She stated that she reviewed two letters that are related to this topic - one dated August 21,1992, from Mr. Greg Stubbs, Director, Division of Current Planning, to Ms. Cecelia Bonifay; and the other dated February 11, 2000, from Mr. Jeff Richardson, Chief Planner, Growth Management, to Mr. Joe DoBosh, Senior Vice President, 27/SSH Corporation. She stated that, in the 1992 letter, it appears that the project met concurrency, as required by Subsection 5.06.05 (I) of the Lake County Land Development Regulations, and that said letter indicated that the plat had not expired. She stated that, at this time, however, it appears that the plat has expired for the original project and that the project does not meet the concurrency criteria described for Section 5.07.00(1)(2) or B(2), as stated in Mr. Stubbs' letter. She stated that the current explanation of vesting, as stated in the February 11, 2000 letter, is ambiguous and she believes a clear explanation of why the continuation of this project and the proposed amendments are being considered at this time.

Ms. Shelley stated that, while the density of the project has not changed, the inclusion of the proposed addition of the golf course and wastewater treatment plant will significantly alter and increase the intensity of this project; therefore, she feels it should undergo more closer scrutiny, prior to approval of any changes. She stated that the Gatwick II property is within the Wekiva River Protection Area, which has been declared a natural resource of state and regional importance by Chapter 369 of the Florida Statutes, and that a Regional Planning Council has also designated the Wekiva Basin as a regional significant resource. She stated that said designations have been in place for over 10 years. She stated that approximately one mile from the Gatwick property there are several springs that feed Blackwater Creek and the Wekiva River, of which the lower region are designated and managed as both an aquatic preserve and as an outstanding Florida water. She discussed the springs that feed the aquatic preserve and stated that, with respect to the protection of said springs and the downstream of aquatic preserves, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates land uses in upland spring recharge areas directly affect the quality and quantity of water in nearby springs and downstream water bodies. She discussed portions of her handout, which addressed concerns that she had about the project, one being that of fertilizers that are applied to golf courses. She stated that a study commissioned by the Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program estimate that 28 tons of nitrogen per year are applied to golf courses. She stated that any golf course, including an Audubon certified or Audubon style golf course represents a more intense land use than passive open space and can result in increased nutrient loading to groundwater.

Ms. Shelley stated that a one year Wekiva Mini-Basin Study was conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection's Central District Office last year and the results of the water quality analysis indicated that nitrate/nitrite enrichment was found in a majority of springs in the basin and that fertilizer use in spring recharge areas was a potential cause, as indicated in her handout. She discussed the issue of septic tanks, versus the wastewater system proposed, noting that, while the addition of 323 on-site septic tanks is not desirable, the wastewater system, coupled with the golf course, would be less desirable at the site in question. She stated that central water and sewer systems should be encourage within the Wekiva River Protection Area, but she feels within closer proximity to the Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento Urban Compact Node. She stated that Lake County Policy 1-20.2 of the Comprehensive Plan states that the County will restrict the expansion of services beyond planned urban areas, unless it can be demonstrated that those services will have less harmful impact upon the environment than if they were prohibited.

Ms. Shelley stated that there are several designated species utilizing this site, which include the gopher tortoise, the burrowing owl, and the fox squirrel, all of which are designated as Species of Special Concern. She stated that the threatened sand hill crane has also been known to breed on site. She stated that relocating and displacing listed species for a golf course amenity is undesirable within the Wekiva River Protection Area. She stated that she hoped the Board would use this information to guide their decision and encouraged the Board to not defer planning to permitting, noting that their decision is the first line of defense in protecting the resources in the Wekiva Basin. She questioned the definition of clustering, as it pertains to this design, noting that, by incorporating a golf course on the entire property, the applicants are just spreading it out and putting the houses around it, which she did not feel was true clustering. She questioned the hope to preserve the trees, alluded to by Ms. Fowler, noting that, if a tree happens to be where a road needs to be located, she feels that is not likely to happen. She thanked the Board for their time.

Ms. Jennifer McMurtrey, Transportation and Wildlife Ecology Coordinator for the Defenders of Wildlife, addressed the Board stating that the Defenders of Wildlife is a non-profit wildlife conservation organization, with a national membership of 380,000, of which 41,000 live in the State of Florida. She stated that they work to preserve bio-diversity and to prevent species from becoming endangered, by protecting the remaining areas of significant natural habitat throughout the nation. She stated that they are particularly interested in the Ocala/Wekiva area, noting that it is an area that houses one of the last five populations of the Florida black bear. She stated that they feel, if they can protect the Florida black bear, they can protect enough habitat to protect all the other species that occur in the same eco-system. She stated that she reviewed the requested amendment and met twice with the developers, trying to gain more information about the proposed project. She urged the Board to deny the amendment, because it is incompatible with the Wekiva River Protection Act and incompatible with the County's Land Development Regulations and because it represents an increase in intensity of use within the protection area. She stated that the vesting issue was very unclear and she would like some clarification regarding same, noting that, since 1989, the project has gone from 323 lots to 313, to 309, to 218 and back to 323. She noted a concern she had about the fact that one of the letters contained in the Board's backup material states that the preliminary development plan has expired and does not meet the concurrency requirement. She stated that she did not feel the word "clustering" was being used correctly as a term, noting that, if one compared the old site plan that was filed with the new site plan, they would see that the lots are evenly distributed throughout the property, both in the old site plan and in the new one, so they are not clustered in one area. She stated that there is no increase in open space, according to the applicant's own documents. She stated that she felt they had just reconfigured the plan to accommodate the golf course and feels that it is a more intense use of the open space - from passive use to intensive use.

Ms. McMurtrey reminded the Board that it is the County's responsibility to protect wildlife in the Wekiva River Protection Area, noting that the Wekiva River Protection Act is specifically directed to Lake, Seminole, and Orange counties, which she elaborated on. She stated that, in Chapter 6 of the County's Land Development Regulations, it states that listed species in the protection area must be preserved on site. She stated that she was confused about why there was discussion about relocating gopher tortoises and why the burrowing owls are going to be displaced by a golf course, when the County's own LDRs provide for keeping the species on site. She stated that these two species are of particular concern, because they are both sedentary and live in burrows in the ground. She stated that, to comply with the Wekiva River Protection Act and the County's own LDRs, she feels Lake County must ensure that the burrowing owls are protected on the Gatwick site and not edged out by a golf course. With regard to the gopher tortoises, she stated that the applicant has stated that they will be moved to a site permitted by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, which is one of two sites located south of Groveland, well outside the protection area, so it is a loss within the protection area and the tortoises probably will not persist, because relocation causes a lot of problems with mortality and upper respiratory tract disease. She stated that, for these reasons, it does not seem appropriate to edge the tortoises out of the property in question.

Ms. McMurtrey addressed some concerns she had with the proposed golf course, noting that it is going to require large amounts of withdrawal from the Florida aquifer and is going to require a lot of maintenance with chemicals and fertilizers, which can contaminate the aquifer with nitrates and nitrites. She stated that it may also serve a commercial function, which would be an increase in intensity within the Wekiva River Protection Area. She stated that a golf course is not appropriate for this area. She stated that, if too much water is withdrawn from the area in question, it is going to lower the pressure of the Florida aquifer and decrease spring flow, of which 16 different springs contribute to the Wekiva River and its tributaries, which is going to decrease the base flow of the Wekiva River and then the County is going to start to see a whole chain of negative ecological consequences, such as wetlands drying out, trees falling over, increased vulnerability of wetland communities, and natural fires, such as the muck fires that are currently being experienced in the south part of the County. She discussed the arbor permit requirements, noting that, when there is such a large piece of land in an environmentally sensitive area, that is where such requirements are needed. She stated that the Defenders of Wildlife were hoping for more scrutiny in the Wekiva River Protection Area, not less, therefore, felt it was inappropriate to waive the arbor requirements.

Ms. McMurtrey stated that, in looking at the tradeoffs, it appears that the requested amendments would be a substantial increase in intensity of the land use, which could generate more traffic into a sensitive area already beyond capacity; would introduce a commercial use, with the proposed restaurant and club house; would use more water resources than what the original plan called for; and would likely add an undesirable nutrient load to the sensitive aquifer, springs, creeks and rivers. She stated that water use could result in an additional decrease in spring flow and reduction of volume in the Wekiva River. She stated that the suggested benefits of the wastewater treatment plant and essential water system do not outweigh the increased intensity of use, with the possible loss of listed species and their habitat and the possible damage to water quality and quantity, which is tied to the golf course. She read an excerpt from the Wekiva River Protection Act into the record, with regard to the impact of a golf course, versus the open space that currently exists. She requested the Board to deny the request.

Mr. Keith Schue, Wekiva Issue Chair, Sierra Club Central Florida Group, addressed the Board and complemented them on the County's Comprehensive Plan, noting that it is significant and has meaningful language, in terms of transfer of development rights and other issues of environmental protection, compared to Seminole County, and wanted to give the Board credit for same. He stated that, because of those policies, he felt litigation and all the nasty things that have occurred in Seminole County can be avoided. He stated that the Sierra Club has a membership totaling 1,600 throughout Seminole, Orange, Lake and Osceola counties. He submitted, for the record, a letter (Opposition's Exhibit B) that he had written to the Board of County Commissioners, on behalf of the Sierra Club, requesting the Board to deny this request and stating their reasons for said request, being (1) that this project is not vested for the current density; (2) that the addition of an 18 hole golf course, along with the possibility of a restaurant and lounge facility, is clearly an intensification of use; (3) that providing a sub-regional water/sewer facility on a site previously approved solely for residential use may also be considered an increase in intensity; (4) that clustering for the purpose of creating a golf course should not be presumed to fulfill the requirement for clustering, as is encouraged by the Wekiva River Protection Act, in order to provide upland habitat and enhanced buffering to wetlands; (5) that the addition of an 18 hole golf course creates a burden of increased withdrawal from the Florida aquifer and the potential for elevated levels of nitrates to enter groundwater, which may emerge from the springs.

Mr. Schue stated that the site plan that was being displayed by the applicants did not appear to be the site plan that was submitted to staff, at which time he submitted, for the record, a copy of the original site plan (Opposition's Exhibit C), showing 313 lots, as well as a copy of the site plan for Gatwick II (Opposition's Exhibit D) that was submitted to staff on April 3, 2000, which he noted refers to a restaurant on the property, and shows a total of 323 lots. He stated that the layout was somewhat different than the site plan submitted by the applicants. He stated that the original site plan has some assets that the new one does not have. He stated that the former project allowed for more connectivity of the wetlands and the water bodies that are present on the site, which allows for movement of wildlife and is more readily conducive to provisions for habitat preservation, including burrowing owls and gopher tortoises. He stated that that is not possible with the new plan, which replaces the passive recreational use with a golf course, which is not a passive recreational use. He stated that he felt that issue, alone, was enough for the Board to reject the amendment. He stated that the applicants were converting what had been passive recreation, conducive to habitat preservation, into something that is now conducive to a golf course, which is not the same thing. He stated that he concurred with the comments made by Ms. Jennifer McMurtrey, regarding the protection of listed species, one being the burrowing owl, which he noted is very rare in the protection area. He stated that it is going to be critical, where burrowing owls exist, that they are protected and he feels that the old plan is more conducive to that than what the new plan would be. He stated that, with regard to the protection of trees, when one is inserting fairways into a project, one cannot protect the same amount of trees that one could if the fairways were not there and one was allowing that area to be passive recreational open space. He thanked the Board for their time.

RECESS AND REASSEMBLY

At 12:30 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would break for lunch and would reconvene at 1:00 p.m.

PETITION NO. PH19-00-4 - AMENDMENT TO EXISTING PUD ORDINANCE NOS. 108-89 AND 60-91 - GATWICK II/CECELIA BONIFAY

TRACKING NO. 39-00-PUD/AMD (CONT'D.)

Ms. Ruth Russell Gray, President of the Lake County Conservation Council, addressed the Board stating that said Council has been concerned for some time about the Wekiva River Protection Area. She stated that they are concerned that no harm come to this pristine, fragile, and sacred area of Florida. She stated that, with regard to the PUD before the Board this date, the developer should be required to comply with the LDRs, the Comprehensive Plan, the Florida Statutes, and the Wekiva River Protection Act. She stated that the burden of proof is on the developer to show that he is protecting the wetlands system and the natural habitats, and that he is enhancing them. She stated that she did not feel the developer was enhancing the area by requesting the amendments before the Board this date. She noted some concerns she had about the issue of vesting and the fact that she found it to be very confusing what was actually vested. She stated that members of the Council tried to see the property in question, however, obstacles were thrown in their way. She stated that they were told they could not get in to see the site, unless they went to Heathrow first, to see what had occurred there. She questioned whether the developer was trying to hide something, because so many obstacles were put in their way. She asked the Board to scrutinize things very carefully. She stated that the Lake County Conservation Council is very concerned about this project and feel the Board should not approve the amendments before them.

Ms. Patricia Harden, Vice Chairman, Technical Committee, representing the Friends of the Wekiva River, Inc. (FOWR), addressed the Board and submitted, for the record, two letters (Opposition's Exhibit E), one that she had written to Commr. Cadwell, Chairman of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, dated May 23, 2000, expressing concerns that the FOWR have about the proposed project; and a copy of a letter from Mr. Terrell K. Arline, Legal Director, 1000 Friends of Florida, to Mr. Bruce Duncan, Potter, Clement, Lowry & Duncan, explaining his analysis that 27/SSH Corporation does not appear to have vested rights to develop property in the Wekiva River Protection Area. She stated that said committee has been around since 1978 and was instrumental in getting the State purchases of the public land that is in the Wekiva area; instrumental in having the Wekiva River Protection Act enacted; and with having other protected measures instituted within said area. She stated that their growth philosophy has been well planned growth, with a long-term view to the future, with regard to the State's natural resources. She stated that, with regard to the old plan versus the new plan, if the new plan were to be approved, she would like to see true clustering, with no commercial golf course, and a genuine interest in protecting the resources, particularly the groundwater spring flow and the listed species found within the area.

Ms. Harden stated that FOWR objects to the proposed project for the following reasons: (1) Gatwick II is located within the protection area and has a potential to impact outstanding Florida waters and the aquatic preserve; (2) it is in the most effective recharge area, as identified by the St. Johns River Water Management District; (3) they are concerned about the amount of groundwater usage that would be required for irrigation on the golf course, even with the construction of central water and sewer; (4) Audubon International is in no way associated with the National Audubon Society, or the Florida Audubon Society; (5) that a central potable water supply well would also require groundwater, possibly up to 150 gallons per capita, per day; (6) the minimum flows and levels mentioned this date have been set for the Wekiva River, Seminole Springs, Black Water Creek, and some other water bodies within the area and the Committee has grave concerns that said flows will be impacted by such groundwater withdrawals. She stated that the concern about the decline in spring flow is what has driven the Water 2020 plan - water for the future - a concern about maintaining a flow from the springs to the creeks and rivers that supply protection to the aquatic vegetation, being fish and wildlife that exist there. She stated that the Wekiva Springs and Rock Springs run has historically declined 20-25% and, without appropriate measures, it is felt there will be a possible 15-25% decline from the 1995 flows. She stated that nitrates from the golf course fertilizers, lawns, and water from the proposed wastewater plant, without denitrification, would likely migrate into Seminole Springs and other springs located within one mile or so of the proposed project, creating the potential for decreased water quality and clarity. She stated that, in addition, it is possible that pesticides could migrate into the springs, impacting the invertebrate endemics that are found only in this habitat. She stated that they feel septic tanks within the area in question would pose similar problems, because they too would contribute to the nitrates and other chemicals.

Ms. Harden stated that they would urge the Board, prior to considering any development, to commission a study, to determine which type treatment system would have the least impact on the groundwater and springs, making sure that there would be no possibility that any of the nitrates would contaminate the private wells that already exist in the area. She discussed the Species of Special Concern that exist on the property, being the burrowing owl, gopher tortoise, and the Sherman's fox squirrel, which the Council feels will be severely impacted and probably lost, because of habitat encroachment and destruction. She stated that gopher tortoise relocation is questionable and generally discouraged by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is due to the potential spread of upper respiratory tract disease that is found in many populations of gopher tortoises and the disruption of established populations and, in some cases, the mortality rate associated with movement. She stated that "clustering" in the proposed plan does not fulfill the intent of the Wekiva River Protection Act, as it merely clusters homes around the golf course and does not cluster, in any sense of the word, to preserve habitat or natural resources in the area. She stated that FOWR have serious doubt that the project is vested and fail to see that the project, in any way, lessens impacts on the environment, it only provides the potential for high intensity development. She stated that FOWR respectfully requests that the Board give serious consideration to the comments made this date and not accept the project, as it is presently planned.

Mr. Roy Onyett, the owner of a parcel of property that abuts the proposed development, addressed the Board and submitted, for the record, copies of excerpts of Minutes from the Board of County Commissioners Meetings (Opposition's Exhibit F) dated October 15, 1991 and November 19, 1991. He stated that he was opposed to the amendment before the Board this date. He stated that the original PUD was granted, with a time limit, and that Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, on behalf of the original PUD owners, petitioned for an extension. He stated that, on November 19, 1991, Ms. Bonifay informed the Board that the lot density from the original plat had been reduced and the lot size and property boundary had been increased to two acre lots. He stated that, based upon said information, he made personal decisions about his property and the Board made a decision as to whether or not to grant the extension. He stated that the original PUD has been enacted and the amendments that he took in good faith are no where to be found, which he felt were injurious to his property rights. He stated that he was opposed to the Board granting approval of this request.

Mr. Claude Vance, the owner of a 10 acre parcel of property at the entrance of the proposed development, addressed the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that he had not received any notification of this meeting and had only found out about the meeting and the proposed development last week from a friend of his. He stated that neither the County, nor the developers, ever approached him about the proposed development. He stated that he attempted to contact Ms. Bonifay and some other attorneys involved with the project, however, got no satisfaction. He stated that he attended a Board Meeting in 1989, where it was determined that it would take two years for the proposed development to occur, and that two years later he received notification that a one year extension had been placed on the development. He stated that he was concerned about the traffic that will be generated by the development, because the entrance to it is located at the edge of his property.

Mr. Scott Taylor, a resident of Sorrento, who owns approximately 225 acres to the east of the proposed development and has an agreement to purchase an additional 220 acres, addressed the Board in opposition to this request. He referred to a letter from the Mt. Plymouth Land Owners League, dated May 14, 2000, requesting the Board to deny approval of the amendment to Gatwick II, and a petition, signed by 66 residents in the area, in opposition to the proposed amendment (Opposition's Exhibit G), which he submitted, for the record. He stated that, in researching the County's files, he found 10 postcards in opposition of the amendment and one in favor of it, along with one letter in opposition to it. He stated that there was no mention of said postcards or letter at the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting; therefore, he felt it should be mentioned at this time. He stated that he wanted to add his opposition to the amendment to those that had spoken before him and that he hoped many in the audience who felt intimidated by this process would voice their opinions as well.

Mr. Taylor stated that Mr. Bruce Duncan, an attorney with Potter, Clement, Lowry & Duncan, was present representing him and his wife; however, he wanted to personally address the Board. He stated that this project is full of legal issues, vested rights, and ownership changes wrapped in a package of questions of good faith efforts versus stalling. He read into the Minutes comments that were made about this request by the then Commr. Deborah Shelley, a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, where she stated that she could not support an extension to this project, because she felt the application was submitted in order to avoid more stringent requirements. He stated that the project is speculative in nature and the applicant is not proceeding in accordance with the way the area should be developed. He stated that he had not seen anything showing the number of lots being reduced to the previous agreed to level, but that he did see a turn in the wrong direction, if the Board was considering approval of a golf course in the Wekiva Basin, which will impact the water quality, wetlands, wildlife, and rural life that is in that area. He stated that, once such things are gone, they are gone forever.

Mr. Taylor read into the Minutes some comments that were made by Mr. Dan Donaldson, an attorney who has dealt with litigation involving golf courses, about the issue of water quality standards within the Wekiva River Protection Area and the destruction of habitat for gopher tortoises and sand hill cranes, by the installation of a golf course. He stated that he sees growth and sprawl that a central water system will enable and an attempt to use eco-friendly names, like clustering, to dress up that which is not eco-friendly at all, but whose purpose is solely to make room for a golf course. He stated that what he saw was a verbal promise of a high-end development that some believe will bolster their property values, but does not see any language in the amendment that gives any promise of a high-end development. He stated that he sees a county hungry for new revenue from a large development, but does not sense that the cost impacts will temper this hunger in time. He stated that he has yet to see access to SR 46, noting that nothing in the application shows a right to cross the Seaboard Coastline Railroad abandoned right-of-way. He stated that, while the former owners of the southern portion of the property in question had a 15 foot easement granted by the railroad years ago, it is not in a place where the plan shows access, nor would it be sufficient in its scope to accommodate county requirements. He requested the Board to help the area keep its gopher tortoises, bears, bobcats, sand hill cranes, and all manner of birds. He stated that it is not about which plan is better - the original or the amended - it is about understanding the County's responsibility to the land and to the County's loss. He stated that nobody gets a free pass to do whatever they want. He stated that the County has a good law intended to protect a finite area and laws by us, for us, have to be followed by us - that is what it is about. He asked the Board to please stop the practice of deferring planning to permitting processes and to stop this amendment.

Ms. Lois Smith, the owner of a 10 acre parcel adjacent to the property in question, addressed the Board stating that she was concerned about all the animals that exist in the area in question. She stated that she was against the golf course and the proposed subdivision. She stated that she did not feel it was fair for her to be told that she cannot build a house on her property, because she has 10 acres rather than 20, yet the County is going to allow a 323 lot subdivision in the area.

Mr. Bruce Duncan, Attorney, Potter, Clement, Lowry & Duncan, representing Mr. Scott Taylor, an adjacent property owner to the proposed development, who had just appeared before the Board and addressed the concerns he had about the development, addressed the Board and discussed the fact that his client, as well as other residents in the area of the proposed development, had not received proper notice of said development or of this meeting. He stated that his client was asking that the PUD be denied, for a number of reasons, being that the project will have a huge impact on the wildlife, the habitat, vegetation, transportation in the area, the water quality and quantity in the area, and the Wekiva River Protection Area. He stated that he did not feel there was enough information before the Board this date to answer those questions and that it was clear that the burden of proof rests on the developer to establish that those impacts will not be there - that they will be mitigated, or that they will not exist at all. He stated that no substantial evidence was presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission, as well, to establish that there is enough evidence to show that those impacts will not exist.

Mr. Duncan stated that Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, informed the Board that the County's Comprehensive Plan and LDRs require a regional central water and sewer system, however, what the developer is providing is a sub-regional system, which violates the requirements of the LDRs. He discussed the proposed golf course and the fact that it is supposed to be in compliance with certain regulations that are imposed by Audubon International and certification processes, yet the Ordinance before the Board this date mentions nothing about said requirement. He stated that his client is concerned about the lack of detail in said Ordinance and feels that a number of issues should be addressed in the Ordinance, before anything is approved by the Board. He stated that the changes being requested by the developer this date constitute what his client feels is a significant and substantial change to the original PUD Ordinance, noting that it is completely different than what was proposed in 1989 and that was determined to be vested in 1992. He stated that they are so substantial that he does not feel vesting applies to the property in question at all. He stated that it adds a commercial aspect that was not previously present in the 1989 and 1991 Ordinance and was not present at the time of vesting. He stated that the amendment substantially reduces the size of the lots in the PUD, noting that they were originally planned at 33,000 square feet, for the purpose of allowing septic tanks and wells on them; however, what is being proposed this date is lots as small as 15,000 square feet.

Mr. Duncan stated that the addition of the golf course will introduce additional chemicals and pesticides into the water table and into the Wekiva River system, thereby, increasing the risk of harm to an extremely sensitive area. He stated that it goes against the intent of the Wekiva River Protection Act and against the intent of the County's Comprehensive Plan. He stated that the golf course's negative impacts will far out weigh any positive impacts that the central water and sewer system will apply and that more nitrates and fertilizer will be introduced into the water system, by way of the golf course than will be saved by the inclusion of the central water and sewer system. He stated that the County cannot be sure, at this point, what impact may be felt, because there are no environmental studies on this project. He stated that it would be premature for the Board to approve this request, without first having the opportunity to better understand what impacts there will be on the species in the area and how they are to be mitigated. He discussed the protection of native vegetation within the Wekiva River Protection Area, noting that the clearing of the golf course will not establish or meet this requirement under the Comprehensive Plan. He stated that there is insufficient evidence to determine that what will be done on this particular site will, in fact, meet the requirements of that element of the Comprehensive Plan. He stated that, in addition to the Comprehensive Plan, the Florida Statutes have protections in place for the Wekiva River Protection Area, which he reviewed with the Board. He stated that the Board does not have the evidence before them this date to establish that those goals, objectives, rules, laws and regulations will be met.

Mr. Duncan discussed the issue of clustering, noting that it does not look like what is considered clustering is for the purpose that is provided for under the Wekiva River Protection Act, noting that it requires clustering for the purpose of establishing and maintaining wildlife and mitigation habitats. He stated that the developer is not clustering for that purpose, but to put in a golf course. He stated that he did not feel the issue of transportation was being addressed this date, noting that a preliminary traffic study that was conducted and submitted for this project recognized some potential problems with CR 46 and that he did not feel the developer had properly addressed those concerns at this time. He stated that staff has informed the developer that CR 46 must be at Level C, in order to meet concurrency, and that he felt the Board should have an answer to that question, before approving the project.

Mr. Duncan stated that a central water and sewer system is something that everyone is placing a lot of emphasis on and they feel that it is a positive for the area in question; however, he feels that the inclusion of the golf course will more than off-set the benefits, if there are any, of the central water and sewer system, because the negative impact will actually be larger by adding the golf course and taking away the sewer and septic tanks than it would be if the project was developed under the original plan. He stated that another concern he had about the central water and sewer system is that it opens up the possibility of surrounding vesting PUDs and other areas within the urban compact node will become more amenable to additional developments, which will have negative impacts on the Wekiva River Protection Area. He stated that, with regard to the issue of vesting, he had provided Ms. Bonifay, Attorney, representing the applicants, as well as the County Attorney, Mr. Sandy Minkoff, with a copy of a letter that he had received from Mr. Terrell Arline, Legal Director, 1000 Friends of Florida, regarding the issue of whether or not the applicants have vested rights to develop the property in question. At this time, he submitted a copy of said letter (Opposition's Exhibit H) to the Board, for the record.

Mr. Duncan stated that this project has a very long history in Lake County, noting that it was originally approved in 1989 as the Gatwick II subdivision, pursuant to Ordinance No. 101-89, which provided for 323 lots, at 33,000 square feet, on wells and septic tanks, with open space at 25%. He stated that, in 1990 and 1991, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) began looking at the project, along with Upson Downs and the Bahita Fruit project, as having the potential of being aggregated and classified as a Development of Regional Impact (DRI). He stated that Ms. Bonifay, the attorney representing the developer at that time, argued that point with DCA and was successful in convincing them that these projects should not be aggregated, therefore, do not constitute a DRI. He stated that, during the negotiations with DCA, Ms. Bonifay indicated to them that this project would be developed at 218 lots, instead of what was previously approved. He submitted, for the record, a letter (Opposition's Exhibit I) dated June 12, 1991, from Ms. Bonifay to Mr. Tom Beck, Chief, Bureau of State Comprehensive Planning, Department of Community Affairs, in which she notes that she is under the 80% density, therefore, not subject to DRI requirements and lists, as Attachment "A", the fact that the residential units for the project would be 218 units, which would be developed as two acre parcels, not the 15,000 square foot parcels being proposed this date. He then submitted, for the record, a letter (Opposition's Exhibit J) from Mr. Beck to Ms. Bonifay, dated July 17, 1991, informing her that, because the development was a 218 lot subdivision, they agreed with her opinion that it was not subject to DRI requirements.

Mr. Duncan stated that, in September of 1991, Ms. Bonifay appeared before the Planning and Zoning Commission to request a one year extension of the PUD and, at that time, she indicated to them that the subject property was to be developed as a 218 lot subdivision, at two acre lots. He stated that, in October of 1991, she appeared before the Board of County Commissioners and indicated that the development was to be developed as a 218 lot subdivision, at two acres each. He noted that copies of the Minutes from October of 1991 and November of 1991 were presented to the Board this date, for the record. He stated that, at the October meeting, residents were present who objected to the development; therefore, Ms. Bonifay requested a continuance from the Board to have an opportunity to meet with those residents and allay their concerns, which she did. He stated that she promised them the property would be developed as 218 lots, with two acre tracts. He stated that, based on that assurance from Ms. Bonifay, the residents decided they would no longer object, because it was more consistent with what was being developed in the area, such as Gatwick I and some of the other residential developments that were being constructed in the area. He stated that the Board granted an extension to Ms. Bonifay; however, it did not reflect the changes in lot number or lot size. He stated that staff merely took the 1989 Ordinance and added a paragraph that granted the one Mr. year extension. He stated that all other aspects of the project remained the same in the Ordinance.

Mr. Duncan stated that it is clear that permission granted by government, based on mistakes, are revocable and he feels that an argument could be made that that is the case in this instance. He stated that the one year extension was granted by the Board over 8 years ago. He stated that, in 1992, the project received a vesting letter from Mr. Greg Stubbs, which was issued pursuant to the Ordinance. He stated that he feels it was mistakenly drafted and did not reflect the decrease in density proposed to the Board and proposed to DCA and it did not reflect the increase in lot sizes for this project. He stated that, since those two county actions, not one shovel of dirt has been turned on this project. He stated that mining rights that were granted on the site, in conjunction with the development and the two ordinances, are no longer in place. He stated that no bonds have been posted on this project, nor have any roads been constructed. He stated that numerous site plans have been submitted to staff, in the interim, but nothing has ever been done with them. He stated that the developer that originally obtained approval for this project no longer owns the property. He stated that the amendments constitute a substantial change to the project that was originally approved and the number of lots has varied since 1989 from 323 to 308, to 313, to 218 and now back to 323.

Mr. Duncan reiterated the fact that the size of the lots has changed from 33,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet; a golf course was being added to the project that constitutes a commercial element, as well as a restaurant within the clubhouse; the setbacks on the lots are being reduced in some areas and increased in other areas; the proposal before the Board this date is nothing at all like what was originally approved by the Board; the project has changed so drastically over the years that it is believed that vesting is no longer available to it, which he elaborated on, noting that 27/SSH Corporation has not taken ownership interest in any of the properties in question, as of yet. He stated that vested rights do not run with the land, they run with the person to whom the vesting was granted and noted that it only applies to that which was approved. He stated that what was being proposed this date was not vested and was never approved by the County. He stated that he would like to see any ordinance or amendment that is adopted by the Board, regarding this case, contain any promises made, in writing, within the ordinance, including a requirement that they obtain Audubon certification for the golf course, if the Board should approve the request this date. He stated that he would also like to see the assurances that have been made by the developer receive codification from the Board in the amendment and the Ordinance that they are being asked to approve this date. He asked the Board to deny the amendment and determine whether vesting does, in fact, still exist, if they approve the request. He asked that this request be continued, in order to obtain some traffic studies, environmental studies, and water quality studies, so that the Board could make an educated decision, before turning this issue over to the agencies and to staff. He stated that he felt the Board needed that information, in order to make the proper decision.

Commr. Hanson stated that the issue of vesting could be challenged, however, questioned whether the Board would be dealing with it this date.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that, in 1992, the County issued a vested rights letter that indicated that the owners of the property in question could complete the development and, under staff's interpretation, that letter would still be valid, as it was written.

Ms. Bonifay stated that that was satisfactory. She stated that the applicants had already filed their original proposal, however, was sure that something could be sent to the County, for the record, within the next several days, since she had just received Mr. Arline's letter earlier this date and had not had a chance to respond to it. She stated that, in having dealt in the area of vested rights extensively, she recognized most of the cases he alluded to, however, would state, for the record, that in many cases she does not feel that they stand for the proposition that he has indicated in his letter. She stated that certain portions of them have been taken out of context, as were the letters that Mr. Duncan alluded to, from her to DCA and the response from DCA. She stated that the applicants feel the issue this date is whether the Board feels the requested amendment, which is the inclusion of the golf course, substitution of central water and sewer for wells and septic tanks, and some reduction in lot sizes, is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. She stated that staff, as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission, have made a determination that the request meets the overall Comprehensive Plan and more specifically, those provisions of the Wekiva River Protection Area.

Mr. Steve Adams, Land Planning Group Environmental Permitting Services, the environmentalist who did the original work on this project and is still involved with the project, addressed the Board and answered questions regarding the issue of wetland impacts, endangered species, what methods the applicant would follow, whether the amendment was in place of the original plan, and how the amendment would enhance what the applicant might be able to do. He displayed six photographs (Applicant's Exhibit F) of the property in question, showing that it is open pastureland, as well as a Preliminary Plan of Gatwick II (Applicant's Exhibit G), which he reviewed and submitted to the Board, for the record. He discussed the endangered species that have been found on the property and what the applicants intend to do regarding same, which is to relocate some of them and make some of the other species a part of the open spaces of the development. He discussed the issue of the golf course and noted that the applicants would deal with it, using Best Management Practices, thereby eliminating any surface water issues. He informed the Board of his experience and expertise in dealing with such developments.

Mr. Ken Sievers, a land planner with the firm of Conklin Porter & Holmes (CPH), in Sanford, addressed the Board and clarified some of the issues that had been brought up about "open space" and clustering. He stated that the original plan shows approximately 140 acres of open space and noted that it is not the applicant's intent to replace any of that open space with golf course - the golf course will be in addition to the 140 acres. He stated that approximately 180 to 200 acres will be left natural and will not need to be irrigated, sprayed, or treated with pesticides. He stated that clustering allows the developer to do this.

Commr. Swartz debated the issue with Mr. Sievers, questioning why, if that was the case, the number of residential acres was being reduced from 290 to 170. He questioned why, if the applicants were getting the acreage somewhere else, there was a 120 acre reduction in residential.

Mr. Sievers stated that it was due to the clustering. He stated that the developer took 120 acres out of the lot sizes and put it into the golf course, leaving the original open space acreage as it was.

Commr. Swartz disagreed, stating that 120 acres came out of residential and 20 acres out of roads, which amounts to 140 of the 150 acres that make up the golf course, so there cannot be any increase in open space.

Commr. Pool clarified the fact that 140 acres currently exist and the developer is going to add a 140 acre golf course, for a total of 280 acres.

Commr. Swartz disagreed, stating that it would not be a total of 280 acres, according to the developer's figures. He stated that the plan shows 119 acres of lakes and other open space and adding the 150 acres of golf course brings the total figure to 269, which is not 280 acres. He stated that setting aside the 150 acres of golf course, the lakes, wetlands, and other open space is actually reduced from 137 acres to 119. He noted, for the record, that the plan he was referring to was the Master Development Plan for Gatwick II PUD Amended, dated March of 2000, which he was given by staff.

Mr. Sievers stated that he may have added the figures wrong and, if he did, he apologized. He stated that the concept is that all but 10 or 15 acres of the golf course will be in addition to the original open space. He stated that there is approximately 180 to 190 acres of non-fairway open space in the plan, which is a significant increase over the original 140 acres. He stated that much of the golf course will be left in the rough, some of which will be maintained and some left naturally vegetated.

Mr. Allen Baker, Senior Project Manager, Conklin Porter & Holmes, addressed the Board and discussed the issue of water usage and the water/wastewater treatment system. He stated that he compared the water usage when the development was originally developed versus what is now being proposed and the numbers came out to be just about the same. He stated that he used the figure of 350 gallons per day, per lot, for a total of 323 lots, which came out to a total of113,050 gallons per day. He stated that the issue of irrigation was based on approximately one inch per week, which came out to a total figure of one million gallons per day. He answered questions from Ms. Bonifay about the issue of nitrates and pesticides that would be generated from the golf course, versus the amount of nitrates and pesticides that would be generated by homeowners owning 33,0000 square foot lots and whether he was required, through state agency rules and regulations, to have some type of a qualified systems operator for the water/wastewater treatment system. He submitted, for the record, a handout (Applicant's Exhibit H) containing an estimate of comparative water use between the original PUD and the proposed PUD.

Mr. Douglas Hearn, Yovash Engineering Sciences, Inc., addressed the Board and answered concerns that were expressed about the impact that the development will have on Seminole Springs and some of the surrounding areas. He stated that, given some variables, it appears that there is not going to be a net change in the amount of impact that the proposed development will have on Seminole Springs and surrounding areas versus the original development. He then answered questions from Ms. Bonifay about the normal sequence of events, with regard to going through a development review process and moving a project forward.

Mr. Baker readdressed the Board and answered questions regarding whether or not a central water/wastewater system would be environmentally necessary for this project, or whether it could work with septic tanks and wells, as originally approved for it. He stated that he felt a central water/wastewater system would be better for the project than septic tanks and wells, because the water quality would be much better, however, noted that it is not necessary, because the rules do not require it.

Mr. Joe DoBosh, Senior Vice President, 27/SSH Corporation, addressed the Board stating that he has 20 years of extensive experience with developing golf courses and PUD/DRI communities. He stated that he has worked with environmentalists throughout the years and always tries to enhance projects. He stated that his firm feels it has gone above and beyond normal development procedures, by meeting with the surrounding neighbors, to try to allay their concerns. He stated that the applicants want to be a good neighbor. He stated that, over the years, they have cut down on the amount of water they use on their golf courses considerably, which they do by monitoring their wells, on a monthly basis, to make sure that they are not interfering with the aquifer. He stated that they will be using the stormwater system and the lakes to irrigate the golf course, noting that the aquifer will only be used when necessary. He stated that the applicants would be willing to have the list of additional stipulations, alluded to by Ms. Bonifay, be made a condition of approval of this request and that, with regard to Item No. 2 on the list, which states "A golf course that generally complies with the requirements of the Audubon Co-operative Sanctuary Program.", the word generally will be deleted, allaying a concern that was expressed about said word.

Mr. George Apostolicas, President, Heathrow Land Company, addressed the Board stating that he was provided information that the property in question was vested and that he relied upon said information and made expenditures, outside the contract price of the property, based on that information.

Commr. Swartz questioned what has been done on the property to develop the proposed project, since Mr. Apostolicas received the vested rights letter of August 21, 1992.

Ms. Bonifay stated that there is no vertical construction on the property. She stated that the proposed project, at times, has had a very detrimental impact on the owner's financial status. She stated that he received zoning approval, then came back two years later and got a continuation and applied for a preliminary development plan; however, the County changed the rules in 1995 and he had to file a master development plan. She stated that most of said information was contained in the vested rights package (Applicant's Exhibit A) that she submitted to the Board this date, for the record. She stated that there were a sequence of plans, master plans, and preliminary development plans that Lake County required to move the project forward and, at a great expense to the owner, he complied, to continue to keep the property vested so that, at some point in time, he could get a return on his investment.

Commr. Swartz questioned the fact that, since the applicants stated that the stipulations alluded to earlier would be provided as part of the PUD amendment, if those stipulations fail to appear in the PUD Ordinance, whether their word would bind them to the stipulations.

Mr. Apostolicas stated that it would, noting that that was the reason for putting it down on paper and submitting it to the Board, for the record.

Ms. Bonifay stated that she felt the applicants had met their burden of proof and had offered competent substantial evidence that is necessary for approval, through testimony from consultants; on-site analysis; and by people with years of experience giving specifics on the proposed project. She requested the Board, based on the conditions and findings of the Staff Report and the determination of the Planning and Zoning Commission, to approve the three amendments to this PUD, being (1) inclusion of the 18 hole golf course; (2) the reduction in some lot sizes; and (3) the substitution of a water and sewer treatment plant and reuse facility for 323 individual wells and septic tanks. She stated that the applicants feel they have presented evidence necessary for the Board to make a determination that, if they amend the PUD, it will be consistent with the Lake County Comprehensive Plan.

There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Hanson stated that the Board would not be addressing the issue of vesting this date. She stated that, based on the recommendations of the County Attorney and staff, it could be a legal issue and would need to be debated in the courts. She stated that the Board was looking at whether the three items alluded to by Ms. Bonifay would improve the Wekiva River Protection Area or cause harm to it. She stated that, for approximately two years, she has been encouraging the Board to do a small area study in the Wekiva, which would look at central water and possibly sewer. She stated that the Board has recognized the density at which the Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento areas are growing. She stated that, in order to make a central water and sewer system feasible, the County is going to have to have the numbers, by pulling in a few developments in the area, that would make it pay for itself. She stated that she would not have a problem with approving Item Nos. 2, 3 and 4 of the requested amendment, as well as the variance. She stated that she was not sure about the addition of the golf course, however, did not feel that a golf course would have any greater impact than a subdivision covering the same amount of land. She stated that she did not feel the request would be detrimental to the Wekiva River Protection Area and its natural resources, noting that the property is currently cow pasture, not a pristine part of the Wekiva. She stated that the property is a beautiful piece of property, but it is not heavily wooded, it is pasture land.

Commr. Swartz stated that he felt the proposed development was an example of some of the worst that the County can do. He reviewed various Goals and Objectives of the Comprehensive Plan, noting that he did not feel this project met the requirements of same. He stated that he felt this project was submitted to the County the way it was to avoid the DRI process and implored the Board, in the future, to have a request go through the DRI process, if it even comes close to a DRI. He stated that his reason for voting against the proposed amendment would be based on the provisions of the Comprehensive Plan, but would also be based on the presentations given this date by Ms. Shelley, Ms. McMurtrey, Mr. Schue, and Ms. Hardin, who spoke about evidence, as it relates to the Comprehensive Plan, the Wekiva River Protection Act, and the LDRs. He stated that he hoped the Board would deny the requested amendment and instruct staff to go back and research past Minutes of the Board of County Commissioner's Meetings, in which the request before the Board was for 218 lots. He noted that he felt there was good reason to question their vesting, given the County's vested rights ordinance.

Commr. Pool stated that the PUD before the Board was a viable vested project that was approved in the past and the question before the Board was whether they should allow it to expand and add water and sewer; to allow clustering; to allow it to reduce some of its lot sizes; and to allow a golf course. He stated that, when he thinks about the Wekiva River Protection Area, he thinks about woods, but the property involved is pasture land that is going to be improved with 323 lots, at a minimum value of $250,000 to $500,000 each. He stated that it is up to the Board to decide whether to allow this project to continue with septic tanks and wells, or central water and sewer, with a golf course. He stated that it is not an easy decision, but, in reality, it will be a quality project. He stated that, with or without the Board's approval, something is going to happen on that site and he would like to see it be a quality project that the County can look back on and be proud of.

Commr. Cadwell questioned whether the project could take place without the golf course.

Ms. Bonifay stated that it could not, noting that the applicants would not agree to the additional commitments alluded to earlier, without the golf course. She stated that they would go back to the original development, as proposed.

Commr. Cadwell then questioned whether the project could take place with 218 lots, as opposed to 323 lots.

Ms. Bonifay stated that 218 lots was never discussed or approved. She stated that everything, including the Ordinance and every letter from the County, indicates 323 lots.

Commr. Cadwell stated that his concern about this project is the golf course and the impact that it is going to have on the area. He stated that, due to the fact that the area is so sensitive and valuable, he would like for the Board to have some detailed analysis on the water quality and quantity and the wildlife, before making a decision on the matter. He stated that he was not so sure that it was not a good project, he just wished it was somewhere other than where it is. He stated that Lake County has always bragged that it has done a better job than the other counties, when it comes to the Wekiva River Protection Area, and he did not want the County to start a trend that is going to change that. He stated that, if they approve a very good development, with most of the questions answered, the County will not do what the other counties have done, with regard to said area.

Commr. Gerber stated that she felt the Minutes alluded to by Ms. Bonifay, earlier in the meeting, were as clear as they could be, noting that they state the majority of the lots were reduced and that Ms. Bonifay presented a new development proposal, consisting of 218 lots. She recommended that the Board look into the request for approval of the extension. She referred to Policies 1-21.6 and 1-21.7 of the Comprehensive Plan and stated that the project is inconsistent with the Wekiva River Protection Act, which was grounds for her denial of the request.

Commr. Hanson questioned how long the applicants felt it would take to do the kind of study and evaluation that the Chairman was requesting.

Ms. Bonifay stated that she felt that was a decision the applicants would have to make, however, noted that, if the Board continued the request for a time certain and the applicants understand what the studies are that are being requested, they would be willing to continue this case until a later date. She stated that the applicants were ready to move forward, noting that they had obligations to meet. She stated that they will start commencement on the portion of the development for which they have construction drawings, while the Board comes back on the amendments. She stated that the applicants would agree to a 60 day continuance, to do the studies and obtain some additional information on the endangered species, the water quality, and the water usage, with the understanding that the County will not prohibit them from moving forward with their approved construction drawings and starting the next phase of the project.

Commr. Cadwell stated that the only action he would like to see the Board take this date would be to have the applicants conduct the studies being requested and bring the results back to the Board in 60 days, before moving forward with the approval.

Mr. Apostolicas readdressed the Board stating that he would have to move forward, based on the original plan, which has some implications of the representations made this date.

Commr. Cadwell interjected that what the applicants do with the old plan was their business, because it is vested; however, he did not want the applicants to move forward with any of the three amendments requested this date, because they have not been approved.

A motion was made by Commr. Hanson and seconded by Commr. Pool to postpone action regarding Rezoning Case No. PH19-00-4, Gatwick II, Cecelia Bonifay, Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, Tracking No. 39-00-PUD/AMD, for 60 days, until the Board Meeting of July 25, 2000, to allow the studies being requested to be conducted.

Commr. Swartz amended the motion to instruct staff to review the representations made by Ms. Bonifay this date, with regard to this development, to determine whether 218 lots is the number that the Board should be considering, or 323 lots.

Commr. Gerber seconded the amendment.

After further discussion, Commr. Swartz amended his amendment, changing the time frame from 60 days to 30, for staff to review the representations that were made by Ms. Bonifay, regarding the number of lots.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, interjected that the County issued a vesting letter that refers to 323 lots. He stated that it was not an issue of going back and researching the matter, because it has been done. He stated that it does not matter if it was a mistake, it was issued by the County and relied upon by the applicants.

Commr. Swartz stated that he saw no downside to researching the matter.

Mr. Minkoff stated that, if all he wanted was for staff to look at it, to see if the County might have issued a different vesting letter, that could be done.

Commr. Hanson called for the question.

The Chairman called for a vote on the amendment, which failed, by a 3-2 vote.

Commrs. Hanson, Cadwell and Pool voted "No".

The Chairman then called for a vote on the original motion, which was carried, by a 3-2 vote.

Commrs. Gerber and Swartz voted "No".

RECESS AND REASSEMBLY

At 4:00 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for 10 minutes.

REZONING (CONT'D.)

PETITION NO. 15-00-2 - R-6 TO CFD - THOMAS SASH, TRUSTEE

WINDSOR-THOMAS GROUP/LAKE UTILITY SERVICES, INC.

DON RASMUSSEN - TRACKING NO. 31-00-CFD

The Chairman informed those present that, due to the time of day and the loss of individuals from both sides of this request, he talked with the applicant and a representative of the opposition and they suggested that the Board postpone this case until June 20, 2000, at 4:30 or 5:00 p.m.

Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, representing the applicant, addressed the Board stating that his client did not have a problem with holding the public hearing at 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. on June 20, 2000.

Ms. Leslie Campione, Attorney, representing the opposition, addressed the Board stating that the individuals she would be representing would prefer to hear the case at 5:00 p.m. She stated that a lot of people want to attend the public hearing and be a part of the process and by holding it at 5:00 p.m., it will allow them to do so.

On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to postpone the public hearing regarding Rezoning Case No. PH15-00-2, Tom Sash/Windsor-Thomas Group, Inc., Lake Utility Services, Inc./Don Rasmussen, Steven J. Richey, PA, Tracking No. 31-00-CFD, for 30 days, until the Board Meeting of June 20, 2000, at 5:00 p.m.

REPORTS

COUNTY ATTORNEY

COMMUNITY SERVICES/IMPACT FEES/EDUCATION

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that an opinion was issued last Thursday, by the Supreme Court, regarding senior housing and school impact fees. He stated that, in Lake County, subdivisions which qualified as senior only, with no children allowed, have been charged a rate of $77.00 per house for school impact fees; however, in view of the Supreme Court's decision, he recommended that the County immediately modify its procedure and eliminate the $77.00 charge.

It was the consensus of the Board that the County Manager, Ms. Sue Whittle, handle the matter.

REPORTS

COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT 2

COMMISSIONERS/MEETINGS

Commr. Pool informed the Board that he would like to thank staff for their preparation, regarding a Metro Orlando International Affairs Commission (MOIAC) panel that was held at the Peabody Hotel, in Orlando, on May 17, 2000, which he attended. He further informed them that the Orange/Lake County Transportation Task Force will meet Friday, May 26, 2000, and Orange County Chairman Mel Martinez will be addressing the Task Force.

REPORTS

COMMISSIONER SWARTZ - DISTRICT 3

RESOLUTIONS

On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2000-73, honoring the Eustis Panthers, who won their first Class 3-A State Baseball Championship May 18, 2000.

It was noted that the team would be present at the Board Meeting scheduled for June 20, 2000, for a presentation.

REPORTS

COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT 4

OUTDOOR RECREATION

Commr. Hanson informed the Board that, with the Memorial Day Weekend coming up, the Sheriff would be having extra patrols at Silver Glen, which would be the first test of the new Ordinance that was recently enacted.

There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.







______________________________ WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN



ATTEST:







_________________________________

JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK



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