A SPECIAL JOINT MEETING BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
AND THE CLERMONT CITY COUNCIL
MAY 12, 2003
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held a special joint meeting with the Clermont City Council on Monday, May 12, 2003, at 9 a.m., at Lake-Sumter Community College, South Lake Campus, Clermont, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Debbie Stivender, Vice Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson; Jennifer Hill; and Robert A. Pool. Present from the City of Clermont were: Hal Turville, Mayor; City Council Members: Gail Ash, Frank Caputo, Keith Mullins and Elaine Renick; Wayne Saunders, City Manager; and Jane Warren, Deputy City Clerk. Others present were: William A. “Bill” Neron, County Manager; Cindy Hall, Assistant County Manager; Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
DRAFT JOINT PLANNING AGREEMENT (JPA) BETWEEN THE CITY OF CLERMONT AND LAKE COUNTY
Mr. Hal Turville, Mayor, City of Clermont, opened the meeting and stated that this meeting represents a process that they are pursuing, the City of Clermont (City) and Board of County Commissioners (County), to adopt a Joint Planning Agreement (JPA). The City is very much interested in developing a scenario in which the County and the City can develop in an orderly and efficient manner. Mr. Turville explained that the information before them talks about the process and some of the governance issues. He stated that this is a work product that has been generated by staff, based on comments and direction they received in a prior meeting. After they hear from Commr. Cadwell and staff, they will have a brief discussion about content and where they are going from here.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the by-product of the last meeting has gotten them to where they are today, and he feels they can go through the process and move forward quickly.
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director, stated that he wanted to thank both staffs for the incredible amount of effort they went through to produce a document that really reflects what they all want for this area. Mr. Welstead stated that they took what they said, as far as the intent of regulations and growth, and incorporated them to the best of their ability into this document. In the information provided to them today, they have the document itself (JPA), as well as a brief summary of the draft. He noted that the Articles of Incorporation and Definitions are pretty self explanatory. They had decided that, based on their comments on an area for the JPA, it basically reflects what they had seen before. They have discussed at length amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, and a process whereby each of them will work together to amend their Comprehensive Plan, if required, in order to reflect those changes. They also established a procedure to identify changes in the Land Development Regulations (LDRs), and they have some of the proposed changes in the material before them. Mr. Welstead stated that, so that the community around Clermont within the JPA is modulus, the City itself has a character all of its own, and the intent is to ensure that, as the City grows within this JPA, the character that it has today continues into the future. They will make an attempt to finalize the LDRs over the next 30 days and bring them to the City and County for approval through the public hearing process. Mr. Welstead stated that they have essentially identified that the annexation by the City will remain with the JPA area and not extend outside that area, unless both parties agree to it. He stated that, as expressed by both staffs, as well as the City and County, they want to be able to review and identify development projects within each others jurisdiction. They want to ensure that, as the City makes change to its Comprehensive Plan inside the City, those changes are reflected and are appropriate outside the City limits within the JPA. Mr. Welstead stated that the JPA will be good for five years and continue in force as long as both parties agree.
Mr. Welstead stated that, within 30 days of the approval of the JPA, they will have some LDRs in front of them, and he feels this is a realistic time frame because, in looking at the backup material, they have already gone through an extensive process of preparing the LDRs and, based on the direction from both parties, they have striven wherever possible to adhere to the most restrictive or best LDRs between the two bodies.
Mr. Turville questioned whether they should have some language in the JPA that is definitive and associated with the appeals process.
Mr. Welstead stated that the individual really needs to go to the jurisdiction that he is a part of. In any deliberations, the individual will have the input from both the City staff, and the County staff.
Commr. Cadwell referred to Page 8, Line 29, and questioned where the parties would go to get an approval for an extension, if they could not come to an agreement.
Mr. Welstead explained that it was the intent of the language to provide that, if the landowner had an appeal and wanted the other body to comment on it, then it would be their right to do that but that the ultimate decision is that of the governing body.
Through discussion, it was noted that the language “within ten working days”, as noted on Page 8, Line 26, had been agreed upon by City staff and County staff.
Mr. Saunders explained that, after consulting with Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, it was determined that the Board could not adopt LDRs with this agreement and that is why they show an appendix of what they are proposing and they will be submitted within 30 days for actual adoption through a public hearing.
Mr. Saunders described the JPA area, as shown on the map, and stated that the heavy dark line is the JPA area, which in most cases is pretty close to the City’s utility area, and they will need to make a little adjustment in the area where Groveland has already annexed. He stated that their municipal boundaries join together, so it should not be an issue to get something in writing from Groveland, and their municipal boundaries also join together with Minneola. It was noted that the City Council was comfortable with the annexation language in the JPA.
Commr. Pool wanted to know if the landowners in the JPA area outside of the City limits were informed of this process, or do they understand what this may or may not do to them.
Mr. Saunders stated that the biggest part of the JPA for the City is the southeast section and, at the last joint meeting, the major landowners in this area were present, and he was not sure if their representatives were here today, but they are certainly aware of what is going on. He stated that it is the same map that the City has been displaying for about a year now.
Mr. Turville questioned whether it might be appropriate for the County to notify the affected parties by special letter, or some other form of communication during the public hearing process.
Commr. Pool stated that the landowners certainly need to be aware of what their plans may be and, as the City plans the future of that area, and they see what is going to happen there, they may need to be at least informed on where they are in that JPA area.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the JPA is currently written as an agreement, and the notice would come when they do the Comprehensive Plan amendments, or the LDR changes, and everybody would then get noticed.
Mr. Turville questioned whether it would be appropriate to handle notification of landowners for the agreement process, in the same manner as if it was a Comprehensive Plan, or LDR change.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board could do this as a policy, as well as the City Council, to make sure that everybody that is affected by this understands the process, and it would be the responsibility of the County.
Mr. Turville explained that what they are looking at today is basically the current city, and the landowners that would be affected in the JPA area would be the unincorporated parcels, which are in the County’s jurisdiction. He stated that they are talking about having notifications occur as though it was a land use issue and not simply an agreement between the City and the County, in order to make them aware that this agreement is being considered prior to possible LDR changes, or Comprehensive Plan changes.
Discussion occurred regarding whether they wanted to have two separate meetings to approve the JPA, or hold a joint meeting and approve them at the same time with two separate votes.
After some discussion, it was determined that it would be better to have two separate meetings. The City will notify the property owners of the County’s public hearing date on the issue, and the City will also publish a notice with the map. It was noted that the County and the City will attempt to coordinate their meetings, to allow individuals to attend both public hearings.
Mr. Minkoff suggested that a lot of times land use changes like this do not require specific letters, and there may be thousands of letters involved in this particular instance. He explained that the Statutes allow them to use big ads in the paper on these types of notifications, which are acceptable.
Discussion occurred regarding the type of notification that will be used with it being pointed out that, even though ads, as set forth by the Statutes, are appropriate, there are individuals who do not receive a newspaper. It was also noted that there is a cost involved in sending letters of notification to landowners
Commr. Cadwell stressed that, if they select a certain process of notification, they need to use the same method for the other JPAs.
After further discussion, it was noted that the City felt they could present the JPA to their board at the first meeting in June, and they would be looking at two 30 day advertising periods assuming that everything moves forward. It was further noted that the County would need to present the JPA to Planning and Zoning, and the LDRs could possibly be adopted in August.
Mr. Turville felt that a fair assessment would be that everyone should be able to perform within 90 days. He questioned whether it would behoove them to consider limiting development orders applications, until they can accomplish this so that they are not overrun with them during the interim period.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he was certainly in favor of doing this and he would like to see the schedule of cases the County has in the process right now. Commr. Cadwell stated that there are still some large landowners in this area, and he would encourage the Board to hold off accepting any land use amendments, or developments, for that 90 day period, until they can get through this JPA process.
It was the consensus of the City Council members and their staff that they would move forward and say that they will not entertain an application in this defined area, until the LDRs are in place.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the JPA will affect every commercial development, so they are essentially saying that no one can build a 7-eleven, or apartment complex, or anything else during this time. He stated that it may take an ordinance to delay the site plans, because the County’s LDRs have specific time frames in them where they have to act, but the delay of public hearings for 90 days would not be an issue.
Mr. Welstead suggested that, as a matter of practice in this interim, the attachments to the JPA could be provided to any developer as guidelines and, if they want to proceed through the process, then they can go ahead with some of their engineering, or other steps in the process.
Mr. Saunders explained that the commercial requests coming in now are in this area, and they are coming to the City for utilities, and their standard agreement for utilities requires them to meet the City’s LDRs. He stated that they could change that agreement to have them meet the proposed LDRs in the JPA, during that interim period. Then they will be designing their project to the standards that will be adopted by the County.
Mr. Caputo brought up for the discussion some of the regulations, as attached to the JPA, and questioned whether they were going to address specific items, or make amendments, to some of them, such as the standards for curb and gutter. It was noted by Mr. Saunders that the engineers had agreed upon the standards, as indicated in the regulations attached to the JPA.
Mr. Minkoff explained that there is really not a need to stop the administrative process, because most of the development is meeting the current City standards, because of utilities, in terms of site plans, or anything separate from zoning, but they could clearly stop rezoning petitions during this time frame within that area. They could also adopt a resolution saying that they are going to postpone all of these cases, until August, but he was not sure that they really had many rezonings in this particular area.
Discussion occurred regarding the number of County cases that are already in the process with Mr. Welstead indicating that he can have that information to the Board tomorrow, but staff felt that the agreement, to follow the new LDRs, would probably suffice.
Mr. Minkoff noted that the Hartle case is a transmittal hearing, so it will not be before the Board for final action this month, but it will come back to the Board in three or four months. The only other issues would be variances, which do not currently go before this Board. He stated that he has not seen many variances that affect this particular JPA area, but certainly the Board could request that the Board of Adjustment make that same policy.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the consensus is that, during the site plan approval process, the City will get an agreement signed by those folks saying that they will abide by the new LDRs and the County and the City are not going to hear any rezoning public hearings, in regards to land use for 90 days.
Commr. Stivender made a motion for the Board to approve anything that requires a public hearing, to be delayed for 90 days, for land use only, and site plans will go on through the process, with staff reviewing with new requirements.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that, from the County’s side and the City’s side, any site plans that go forward will require that the applicants sign an agreement that they will abide by the new LDRs.
Commr. Hanson seconded the motion.
Under discussion, Mr. Minkoff clarified that, as each case comes up, the property owner can object and try to argue with the Board to try and get them to hear the case.
Commr. Cadwell called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
Commr. Hanson stated that, when they have a Target building like the one outside of this building that has a rooftop, the Board should consider the greenbelt concept of planning, and the recycling of water. She stated that it is in the green printing recommendations and, even though it would be very expensive, it would be something that could be done with the land elevations that they have in Clermont. She stated that it would certainly make it more attractive and more environmentally friendly.
Mr. Caputo made a motion, which was seconded by Ms. Ash, to approve for the City not to hear any rezoning applications for 90 days for land use.
Under discussion, Mr. Turville stated that the motion would be consistent with the intent of the County’s motion.
Mr. Turville called for a vote on the motion, which was carried by a unanimous vote.
Ms. Renick stated that, when they are talking about the LDRs and landscape and irrigation, she wanted to make them aware that the East Central Florida Water Supply Planning Initiative has started to divide up into committees, and there will be a committee that will specifically look at landscape and irrigation, as far as how to conserve water. As far as their time frame, they are hoping to have everything finished by August. They will be happy to have the information today but, in the event there is an additional requirement, Ms. Renick wondered if there would be any problem instituting it into their JPA requirements, because the whole idea is to have everybody on the same page regionally, as far doing the best landscape and irrigation.
Mr. Turville stated that, if that information is available to them ahead of time, in the hearing process, they would entertain it, otherwise, it would be in the amendment process, as described earlier.
Commr. Hanson stated that the County is also working on Florida Yards and Neighborhoods, which includes the best management practices by the University of Florida. She felt there would be a lot of similarity in each process, but they are moving forward on that issue.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they would need a motion to move forward with the joint planning area sending the JPA to P&Z for their approval and then back to the Board. The 90 days will start once the JPA is approved by both the City and the County.
Mr. Turville questioned whether the motion would include any suggested amendments to the regulations, such as the inclusion of the curb and gutter standards pointed out by Mr. Caputo.
The Board members did not feel it would be necessary to bring the change forward at this time. Mr. Saunders noted that any corrections to the regulations would be brought back to the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to move forward with the joint planning area sending the JPA to P&Z for their approval and then back to the Board.
On a motion by Mr. Mullins, seconded by Ms. Ash and carried by a unanimous vote, the City approved to move forward with the joint planning area (JPA).
Ms. Nancy Fullerton wanted to know what happens if only part of the property is in the JPA area and how that would affect the postponement period that was just approved.
Commr. Cadwell explained that, if a property owner is doing something with the whole parcel and part of it is outside of the JPA area, and the land use change is going to affect that area, it will fall under the 90 day postponement period.
Mr. Turville explained that there are properties in Orange County and Lake County that already fall into this category, but the design that is already incorporated is going to deal with this issue.
Ms. Ann Dupee addressed the issue of economic development and stated that she is concerned that developments along Hancock Road, that have already been given water and sewer by the City, will be delayed 90 days. She noted that the South Lake Development Council is trying to bring jobs into this area, and she did not want to see development delayed on properties such as the Mandell and Seininger parcels on Hancock Road. She also wanted to know how the 90 day moratorium was going to affect other development in Lake County.
Mr. Saunders explained that the Mandell property does not require rezoning and the land use is correct and there is already an agreement to provide water and sewer there, so it would not fall into that category and, as far as he knows, neither one of these properties, as noted by Ms. Dupee, have anything in the planning process, so they would not be held up in any way.
Mr. Turville clarified that this is not a 90 day moratorium. He stated that what is being described here is a 90 day window in which there will be no public hearing on land use changes, or zoning changes, inside of that area, as described. He further stated that this is designed to avoid the possibility of having every property owner in the County feeling like he needs to put an application in front of the County next week, because the LDRs might be more stringent.
Commr. Stivender explained that, if the property is already zoned commercial, or industrial, they can still move forward with a site plan, with the new requirements, and they will be supplied with those new standards.
It was noted that there are no changes being proposed to the Lake County Land Use Map, as it exists today.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he wanted the entire Council to know that they did a great job in hiring Ms. Sharon Farrell in their Planning Department, and she will do a good job for them.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK