A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JULY 22, 2003
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, July 22, 2003, 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; Debbie Stivender, Vice Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson; Jennifer Hill; and Robert A. Pool. Others present were: William A. “Bill” Neron, County Manager; Mr. Sanford (Sandy) A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, stated that there was an addendum to today’s agenda, and he also needed to add to the agenda the consideration of adoption of the tentative millage rates, for advertising purposes.
Commr. Cadwell noted that this item would be placed under his business.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to add to the agenda the request for adoption of the tentative millage rates, for advertising purposes.
Commr. Stivender requested that Tab 10, under Other Business, regarding the appointment of individuals to vacant positions on the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, be pulled until further notice.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Hill requested that the following Tabs be pulled for discussion: Tab 1, the Resolution initiating the process for fire and rescue assessment fees; and Tab 3, the request to modify the standard building dedication plaque for the Lake County Public Records Center.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 2 and 4, and Addendum No. 1, Items. I. A. 1. and B. 1, as follows:
Request from Procurement Services for approval to declare the listed items surplus to County needs; authorize donation of the two fire trucks to Sumter County Fire Rescue; authorize disposal of the other truck at auction; and authorize the Procurement Services Director to sign the vehicle titles for the units that will be disposed of.
Agreement - K & B Associates - SR 50 and CR 565A Intersection Improvements
Request from Public Works for approval and execution of a First Amendment to the Agreement between Lake County Board of County Commissioners and K&B Associates X regarding Intersection Improvements and a Traffic Signal for the SR 50 and CR 565A Intersection in Groveland.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
Disposal of Leachate and Class III Waste and Waste Tires
Request from Environmental Services for approval to transfer $250,000.00 from Contingency to cost center 420.45069120.534.8300432 “Outside Disposal” for the disposal of leachate, Class III waste and waste tires due to higher than anticipated rainfall, disposal fees, fuel costs and amounts of Class III material received this fiscal year.
Lease - Astor Fire Station 11
Request from Public Safety for approval to terminate the lease of Astor Fire Station 11 located at 55936 Blue Creek Road, Astor, Florida.
ROAD VACATIONS - RESOLUTIONS
PETITION NO. 1006 - TERRY T. NEAL - LADY LAKE AREA - DISTRICT 5
Mr. Fred Schneider, Director of Engineering, addressed the Board to explain Petition No. 1006, by Terry T. Neal, to vacate a drainage easement shown on the Plat of Orange Blossom Gardens, Lady Lake area, Commission District 5, with the purpose being for unity of title. Mr. Schneider stated that staff is recommending approval of the request.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. It was noted that the applicant’s representative was present and no one wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Petition No. 1006, by Terry T. Neal (Representative for Herbert M. Weaver Estate), to vacate drainage easement shown on the Plat of Orange Blossom Gardens Unit 3.1B located in Section 7, Township 18 South, Range 24 East, in the Lady Lake area - Commission District 5 and approval and execution of Resolution 2003-123.
PETITION NO. 1007 - MANOOCHEHR MOTAMEDI - PINE LAKES/CASSIA
AREA - DISTRICT 5
Mr. Fred Schneider, Director of Engineering, addressed the Board to explain Petition No. 1007, by Manoochehr Motamedi, to vacate the drainage and utility easement on the Plat of Royal Trails, Pine Lakes/Cassia area, Commission District 5, with the purpose being for unity of title. Mr. Schneider stated that he property owner owns both sides, and staff is recommending approval of the request.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. It was noted that the applicant was present and no one wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Petition No. 1007, by Manoochehr Motamedi, to vacate the drainage and utility easement between Lot 6 and 7 as shown on the Plat of Royal Trails Unit 1, Block 12, located in Section 18, Township 18 South, Range 29 East, in the Pine Lakes/Cassia area - Commission District 5 and approval and execution of Resolution 2003-124.
REZONING - PUBLIC HEARINGS
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Director of the Department of Growth Management/Deputy County Manager, addressed the Board and noted, for the record, that the following requests had been withdrawn by the applicants: Agenda Item 2, Dale Ladd, Southlake Land Trust, Banyan Homes; and Agenda item 3, Ken Wessenberg, Bruce Duncan, Attorney at Law.
REZONING CASE PH#44-03-2 - WILLIAM K. STOSBERG
R-1 TO R-3 -TRACKING #64-03-Z
Mr. Rick Hartenstein, Planner, Planning and Development Services Division, explained the request to rezone an approximate 8.2 acre parcel from R-1 (Rural Residential) to R-3 (Medium Residential) for a residential subdivision development. Mr. Hartenstein stated that the urban area residential density point chart calculations support this request (2.5 dwelling units per acre). It is located in urban expansion that allows a maximum density of four dwelling units to the acre. The request is consistent with the Land Development Regulations (LDRs), and the Comprehensive Plan. There is an existing Conditional Use Permit (CUP), CUP#95/6/3-2, which permits a nursery and greenhouse operation on the property. Mr. Hartenstein stated that, if the rezoning is approved, the CUP should be revoked at the same time, as this use is not permitted in the R-3 zoning district. The property is located in the utility service area and, based on staff discussion with Central Lake Utilities and the City of Clermont, central water is available to this site, and central sewer is anticipated in their five year plan. Staff has determined that this request meets or exceeds the applicable requirements of the LDRs and Comprehensive Plan policies, if central water is provided, and with the revocation of CUP#95/6/3-2. If central water is not provided and individual well and septic tanks are used, staff recommends denial of the R-3 but recommends an approval of R-2 (Estate Residential) with the revocation of the CUP. He noted that, during the development review process, it was determined that, even if R-3 zoning was approved, if for some reason central water could not be made available to them, they would only be able to develop at two dwelling units to the acre.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. It was noted that Mr. Stosberg, the applicant, was present, and he was in agreement to the facts stated by staff. No one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved Rezoning Case No. PH#44-03-2, William K. Stosberg, Tracking #65-03-Z, a request for rezoning from R-1 (Rural Residential) to R-3 (Medium Residential District), to provide for low and medium intensity single-family residential usage in an urban area, with the revocation of CUP#95/6/3-2, and Ordinance 2003-61.
REZONING CASE PH#43-03-3 - THOMAS A. HANSON - STEVEN J. RICHEY, P.A.
A TO CP - TRACKING #63-03-CP
Mr. Richard O’Brien, Senior Planner, Planning and Development Services Division, explained the request to rezone property from A (Agriculture District) to CP (Planned Commercial District), which is situated in the southern part of the County along the north side of Highway 27 across from the intersection of Independence Boulevard, at the Chris Ford Industrial Park. The vicinity future land use is designated urban and inclusive of a regional employment and commercial activity center. The owner proposes a variety of retail and commercial service functions within an initial 10,000 square foot commercial center along a recognized arterial thoroughfare on 12.9 acres, approximately four of which is developable excluding wetlands and water bodies. Following an analysis of the zoning, land uses and applicable sections, Land Development Regulations (LDRs), and the Comprehensive Plan, staff recommended conditional approval to the Planning and Zoning (P & Z) Commission, for the applicant to make arrangements to make some design modifications, as this would be a planned center and not a strip commercial development, with a condition that they connect with water and sewer service provided to the Industrial Park. The applicant has since given him an indication from Florida Water Services that the parcel is outside their service jurisdiction, as shown on the map (in backup). The applicant is requesting that the Board remove this condition, so he may proceed with well and septic, until a later date when they anticipate providing those services to the site. Staff is recommending approval of the request, as presented.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney representing the applicant, addressed the Board and stated that the site plan he presented to the P & Z Commission, which he is recommending to the Board, shows the configuration that conforms more appropriately with the wetlands. The site plan has 22,000 square feet in the total development through all of the phases. In the ordinance (in backup), it shows 10,000 square feet, and Mr. Richey stated that the P & Z Commission recommended 22,000 square feet of total commercial, based on that preliminary site plan. He talked to Florida Water Services and, as shown on the back of the exhibit, they do not serve and will not serve outside of their certificated area. As development takes place within their area, they may be extending utilities to this area and, at that point in time, they could hook up to them. The first phase involves a 10,000 square foot building, for a display center, and it will have very limited use. There are different uses in the later phases that will be shown in a detailed site plan. He does not have a problem with a condition that says, when utilities become available, they will hook up the existing buildings, and they will hook up any future buildings. He noted that the entrance will be shared with the Industrial Park.
No one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether the request would meet the commercial locational criteria, with Mr. Richey responding that, based on the staff report, it meets the criteria. On a motion by Commr. Stivender, 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 Rezoning Case PH#43-03-3, Thomas A. Hanson, Steven J. Richey, P.A., Tracking #63-03-CP, the request for rezoning from A (Agriculture District) to CP (Planned Commercial District), as shown in the site plan submitted as “Applicant Exhibit B”with the 22,000 square footage, as approved by the P & Z Commission, and with the condition that, when utilities become available, the development will tie into them, and Ordinance 2003-62.
REZONING CASE PH#35-03-1 - FLORIDA HOSPITAL WATERMAN
STEVEN J. RICHEY, P.A. - CFD TO RP - TRACKING #56-03-RP
Mr. Richard O’Brien, Senior Planner, Planning and Development Services Division, explained the request to rezone property from CFD (Community Facilities District) to RP (Residential Professional District), to provide single-family, duplex and multifamily housing in an urban area. Mr. O’Brien stated that this request was before the Board in June for rezoning to Planned Commercial. The applicant has since amended the request seeking a rezoning to RP. The property is situated in the central area of the County along the east side of Haines Creek Road north of Highway 441 and consists of approximately .82 acres currently zoned CFD. The applicant has modified the request in response to objections from the adjoining residential neighborhood and anticipates using the site as a potential use allowed in the RP District. Staff finds the request compatible with vicinity uses and consistent with regulatory provisions and recommends approval of the request.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Steven J. Richey, Attorney for the applicant, addressed the Board and stated that this is the old ambulance substation that Waterman Hospital owned and operated before the County took over those functions. They were left with a piece of property that was zoned for public facility, and the only use approved was the ambulance service. Mr. Richey stated that they originally filed for a CP zoning, but the surrounding neighbors found that not to be compatible with them. After meeting with the neighbors, they revised the request to RP, which will allow them to have professional offices. He stated that the RP allows for some residential and some limited duplex housing, but that is probably unlikely based on the size of the site. Mr. Richey requested that they be allowed to have utilization of this property, for this reasonable use, so they can sell the property.
No one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved Rezoning Case No. PH#35-03-1, Florida Hospital Waterman, Steven J. Richey, P.A., Tracking #56-03-RP, a request from CFD (Community Facilities District) to RP (Residential Professional District), to provide single-family, duplex and multifamily housing in an urban area, and Ordinance 2003-63.
REZONING CASE NO. MSP#03/4/1-2 - BISHOP & BUTTREY INC.
TRACKING #47-03-MSP/AMD - REQUEST TO AMEND MSP
Mr. John Kruse, Senior Planner, Department of Growth Management, explained the request to Amend MSP #2/3/3-2 and #01/10/1-2, Bishop & Buttrey, Inc., to include a sand processing facility, and to utilize a floating hydraulic dredge for sand extraction. Mr. Kruse explained that the size of the parcel is 82 acres and located in the Green Swamp area. The property is located west of US 27 and north of CR 474. He stated that the owner is requesting the amendment, to include the use of a floating hydraulic dredge for sand extraction, to build a sand processing facility, and to combine the two existing MSPs. The applicant requested an amendment in 2002 to MSP #96/2/2-2 for the creation of a recreational lake, to be incorporated into the final reclamation plan of the proposed project, and to eliminate the existing seven lot subdivision, as part of the reclamation plan.
Commr. Cadwell noted that the property in question is an existing mine, and they are only asking for a change to the dredging operation itself, and for a processing plant.
Mr. Kruse stated that staff reviewed the request and found that the hydrogeologic report does not find the use, with conditions, and a floating dredge for mining, to be problematic; however, staff does have concerns that a diesel powered dredge would result in engine noise that could carry to the homes less than half a mile east of the site. A diesel powered dredge also presents the risk of surface and ground water contamination. Since routine refueling must take place, there is a risk of spillage both from the dredge and from whatever storage system and/or tanker trucks are used to fuel the dredge. If a diesel or gasoline powered dredge is permitted, it is recommended that ground and surface water quality monitoring be required. The applicant has also indicated that the sand processing facility be constructed on site and, in the ordinance, it specifically states that it will only be utilized for sand on site; no off site materials will be brought onto the site and processed. The applicant is proposing to use two 35 foot high above ground stockpiles for stockpiling of material on site, which is standard in the industry. They are also proposing disposal cells for tailing disposal and settlement of sand fines that will be used for reclamation. The application states that berms and swales will provide protection to the wetlands from the on site tailings, but few details were provided. At other mines in the County, above ground tailing ponds have resulted in discharge of tailings into wetlands when the berms failed. Mr. Kruse stated that, because of the increased environmental hazard, and to provide the maximum protection to the adjacent wetlands, staff recommends that tailings and settlement ponds be constructed below grade only. Staff is recommending approval of the request, with conditions.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, in reading the Planning and Zoning (P & Z) Commission minutes, and the report from staff, there is some concern by staff about the diesel dredge. There is nothing in their rules that would preclude it but, under this type of approval, the Board can specify what type of dredge can be used.
Mr. Kruse stated that, after reviewing the request, staff would much prefer the electric power dredge. It was noted that the underlying land use is rural conservation.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Ted Wicks, P.E., Wicks Consulting Service, addressed the Board and stated that they are providing the engineering services and technical guidance on the project. Their purpose today is to bring the two MSPs together as one. Last year, the owner discovered that there is a harvestable deposit of specialty sands on this site, and this is the reason they are asking for the opportunity to remove this material by the hydraulic dredge process. They agree with the recommendation of staff, and they did ask the P & Z Commission to leave the provision in there to utilize a diesel dredge. He stated that, based on industry standards, there is really good technology today for fuel containment on this type of operation, and there are also opportunities for attenuation of noise. The dredge that they are proposing for this operation is one that has been used in Polk County, on the lake restoration project, in removing sediments. It was located in a fairly dense residential neighborhood, and they never received any complaints of noise. Mr. Wicks stated that they are asking that the provision be left in there and, if they cannot satisfy staff, they will revert back to the use of an electric dredge. He noted that they do not have enough power in there right now to use the electric dredge, so it is basically an economic situation right now. They are not in close proximity to the majority of their neighbors, but there was one gentleman that resides to the east who was at the P & Z Commission meeting, and he assumes that they satisfied his concerns. Mr. Wicks stated that the staff report is acceptable if they leave the provision for the diesel dredge in the ordinance, so they can satisfy staff, as they move through the operating permit process.
Commr. Stivender asked for clarification of the language on Page 3 of the backup where the P & Z Commission approved the request as amended, to allow a fuel powered dredge, based upon satisfying staff’s concerns regarding noise and fuel containment.
Mr. Wicks stated that it was their intention to go back to staff and show them what they are proposing and deal with the fuel and noise issues. If they cannot get approval for the hydraulic dredge, as part of their operation permit, they will use electric.
Commr. Pool stated that he appreciates that the applicant is requesting the diesel powered operation, and he recognizes that it is probably more cost effective, but he is concerned about noise. He stated that it is important that they try to be a good neighbor and take care of the environment, and he feels it would be far better to require electric up front, because noise will be a concern and, if someone complains, they will have to come back and retrofit and do it all over again.
Mr. Wicks explained the additional costs for the electric system and stated that they would not install the diesel dredge, if they were not able to satisfy staff. They would demonstrate the dredge to them and let them physically see it and hear it, before they take it to the site.
Commr. Hanson stated that, if they move forward with the diesel, and they satisfy the concerns of staff, if there is still a problem, she wanted to know what conditions the Board could put in place that would require retrofitting back to electric.
Mr. Wicks stated that it would be a matter of putting the language in the ordinance, and they would understand that risk, but they have done some research, and they have never had a surface water, or contamination problem, with the operations they have done with a diesel dredge. He explained that fuel technology allows them to have containment structures underneath the operating equipment on the dredge, and they feel real comfortable with that technology.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he agrees with Mr. Wicks that the technology is probably better than ever but, if the option is there to use electric, then they do not even need to take that gamble in a rural conservation area and this is his only concern.
Mr. Larry Everly, Lakeshore Drive, Mount Dora, stated that he was not sure he was in opposition to the request but, if the applicants have a permit to dig this area with a front end loader, it is obvious that they are going to go deeper and into the watertable. His concern is how deep they are going to go, because the Green Swamp is the headwaters to the Clermont Chain, and it is very fragile, and he has concerns about the diesel pump.
Ms. Nancy Fullerton, Montrose Street, Clermont, stated that she is speaking as a citizen of South Lake County, and her appeal to the Board would be to consider not only the noise from the dredge, but the surface and groundwater pollution that staff indicated is a concern of theirs. Ms. Fullerton stated that the electric dredge is evidently an accepted method for the removing of sand, so she would appeal to the Board that they ask the applicant to implement that method, and then agree with Mr. Everly in trying to find out information about the depth.
In terms of the life span of the mine, Mr. Wicks stated that, if they do it without the hydraulic dredge and do not get the additional deposit, they will be there anywhere between ten and 15 years. If they do the operation that is before them today, they are comfortable that they will get that material out of there and market it within four to five years. With respect to Mr. Everly’s concern about the environmental impact of their operation, Mr. Wicks explained that sand mines are closed loop systems. The only loss of water is what goes out through the deposit of the sand that is hauled off site. He stated that this operation will be much more environmentally safe and friendly because, if they do it under the previous approval, they are going to have to dewater that entire pond to be able to excavate it with conventional earth moving equipment. They will not be anywhere close to the confining layer above the aquifer, and they have drillings to support that observation, and staff can be consulted on these findings.
Commr. Cadwell called for further public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Commr. Pool stated that he hears the concern from an environmental standpoint, and a noise standpoint. He does approve of what the applicant is doing, and he does approve of the mining operation, and the consolidation of the two operations, but he believes that the Board would prefer to have this be an electric operation. He feels it is much better for the neighbors, and it will not have a drone, or a sound, that might be there for months, or years, to come.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission to approve Rezoning Case No. MSP#03/4/1-2, Bishop & Buttrey Inc., Ted Wicks, Wicks Consulting Services, Tracking #47-03-MSP/AMD, to amend MSP #2/3/3-2 and #01/10/1-2 in A, to allow the construction and operation of a sand processing facility, with an electric dredge operation instead of the fuel powered dredge, as recommended by P & Z, and Ordinance 2003-64.
REZONING CASE NO. PH#37-03-4 - L. J. NORMAN
PUD TO CFD - TRACKING #58-03-CFD - LESLIE CAMPIONE, P.A.
REZONING CASE NO. PH#39-03-4 - LAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
CFD TO PUD - TRACKING #60-03-PUD - LESLIE CAMPIONE, P.A.
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planning Manager, Department of Growth Management, explained that Agenda Item #7, L. J. Norman, PUD to CFD, and Agenda Item #8, Lake County School Board, CFD to PUD, involves a land swap between the two parties, for the existing Round Lake Elementary School site. Mr. Richardson suggested that the two cases be combined for one presentation, as they deal with the exact same information.
Commr. Cadwell announced that he would open the public hearing on both noted cases at this time.
Mr. Richardson explained the location of the properties and stated that the only concern of staff is that there is already mining, it is a vested mine, and the swapped property that would go into the PUD would not be used for mining. At the Planning and Zoning (P & Z) Commission hearing, the applicant agreed to this recommendation and, with that, staff can recommend approval of both cases.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Derek Schroth, Bowen & Campione, informed the Board that he was representing Mr. Norman and the School Board today, on behalf of Ms. Campione who was out of town. Mr. Schroth stated that there was some earlier confusion in that, in order for the swap to occur, the mining had to continue under the PUD zoning; however, based on staff concerns, as well as concerns of the P & Z Commission, they are in agreement that no mining will be conducted on that property. He noted that he is representing both parties, and the joint applications.
It was noted that no one present wished to speak in opposition to the requests. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Rezoning Case No. PH#37-03-4, L. J. Norman, Leslie Campione, P.A., PUD (Planned Unit Development) to CFD (Community Facility District), Tracking #58-03-CFD, and Ordinance 2003-65; and Rezoning Case No. PH#39-03-4, Lake County School Board, Leslie Campione, P.A., CFD (Community Facility District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development), Tracking #60-03-PUD, with the agreement that no mining will be conducted on the subject property, and Ordinance 2003-66.
REZONING CASE NO. LPA#02/9/1-3 - CARL LUDECKE - TIM HOBAN, P.A.
AMENDMENT - EMPLOYMENT CENTER & URBAN TO URBAN EXPANSION
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planning Manager, Department of Growth Management, addressed the Board to discuss the Rezoning Case No. LPA #02/9/1-3, Carl Ludecke, Tim Hoban, P.A., for an amendment to change the future land use designation from Employment Center and Urban, to Urban Expansion. Mr. Richardson stated that the Board heard the transmittal in September, 2002, and, due to staff not receiving the Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Objections, Recommendations and Comments (ORC) Report until the day before the public hearing, the Board is now hearing the case today as an adoption hearing. Mr. Richardson stated that the change involves approximately 16 1/2 acres along the Old 441 corridor. Staff has received the ORC Report from DCA, they have no concerns, and they are recommending approval of the request.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Tim Hoban, Attorney representing the applicant, addressed the Board to discuss the request and, at this time, reviewed an assessment map, which depicted the Ludecke property, as well as the subdivisions on Hanson View Drive, J & J Drive, and Oak Glen Way, which are all developed in 1/2 acre lots. The neighbors along Fairview are mainly 1/2 lots, although there are some larger 2 1/2 acre lots, as noted. Mr. Hoban stated that, in looking at the staff report, it states that development shall connect to central water and sewer within 300 feet, or 1,000 feet (Page 2 of the Ordinance in backup to Case No. PH#52-02-3 - Carl Ludecke). The City of Tavares indicated in their letter that service is available but the water is nine-tenths of a mile away, and sewer is a mile away. On Page 4 of the staff report, in the backup for the case being heard, it states the following: “The central services issue may be able to be negotiated during the subsequent rezoning stage.” Mr. Hoban stated that City of Tavares has no Chapter 180 Utilities District. It is nine-tenths of a mile for water; it is a mile away for sewer. He pointed out that there is no way they can build a mile of sewer, and nine-tenths of mile of water, up and down Old 441 for half acre lots and, even if the water and sewer were at their front door, there is no way to do water and sewer on half acre lots, because you need a much higher density. He stated that they do not want to build a high density subdivision, because they diligently worked with their neighbors on this issue, and they would be very unhappy if they came in today with a high density plan. He had explained to staff that, when they come in with their preliminary plat in two months, for half acre lots with private well and septic tanks, the City of Tavares will give them the same information, as he noted in their letter. Mr. Hoban questioned whether he would actually be going from urban to urban expansion with half acre lots, if the County was going to make him do water and sewer.
Mr. Richardson stated that, if water and sewer do not fall within mandatory connect distances, they do not have to adhere because of the lack of a utility district in the area, pursuant to Policy 1-1.6A and Policy 1-6B. As far as being in a utility district, which would then require the connection, the City of Tavares does not have one, therefore, if the applicant comes in with half acre lots with well and septic, staff would be able to work through the permitting process with them.
Commr. Stivender questioned whether, in cases like this, staff would include language in the ordinance that would say that, once water and sewer become available, they would tie into them.
Mr. Richardson stated that right now there is no provision in the Code and, since this is straight zoning, there is no way to condition the request.
Discussion occurred regarding whether similar cases have come to the Board, with staff clarifying that the utility district has not existed to accommodate this area and, in negotiating with the neighbors, the density was the issue.
Mr. Hoban presented the assessment map to the Deputy Clerk, which was entered and marked as Exhibit A-1 for the Applicant.
No one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no further public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, 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 Rezoning Case No. LPA#02/9/1-3, Carl Ludecke, Tim Hoban, P.A, Tracking #75-02-LPA, an amendment to change the future land use designation from Employment Center and Urban to Urban Expansion land use designation, and Ordinance 2003-67.
REZONING CASE NO. PH#52-02-3 - CARL LUDECKE, TIMOTHY HOBAN
A TO R-2 - TRACKING #90-02-Z
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planning Manager, Department of Growth Management, addressed the Board to discuss the Rezoning Case No. PH#52-02-3, Carl Ludecke, a request for rezoning from LM (Light Industrial District) to R-2 (Estate Residential District). Mr. Richardson stated that this is covering a portion of the property, because the remainder of it is already appropriately zoned for residential uses. Staff is recommending approval of the rezoning. Staff covered the major highlights of this case under the previous request and, with the lack of the utility area and development of half acre lots and, with it not falling within mandatory connect distances, the applicants could develop on individual well and septic tanks.
Commr. Stivender stated that they already have complaints along this strip where residential abuts industrial, and she wanted the public to know that they are trying to address the noise issues. She stated that this request is located next to MP (Planned Industrial), Stinson’s Electric, and she wanted to know whether they are going to have the same complaints when they put a subdivision next to it or will the applicant need additional buffering.
Mr. Richardson stated that, as part of the development review process, a Type C buffer is required, so they will have to design that as part of their plan.
Commr. Hanson stated that, on the opposite side to that, they are also losing light manufacturing opportunities, so either way they go, there are some concerns, but she does not have a problem with the R-2 zoning.
Commr. Cadwell questioned whether the School Board had any concerns on this particular rezoning.
Ms. Kathleen Thomas, Director of Planning, Program Evaluation and Accountability, Lake County Schools, stated that they are not familiar with this rezoning and, therefore, they cannot comment on it.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing and called for public comment. It was noted that no one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Commr. Stivender stated that there are no citizens here today, so Mr. Hoban has done his job in talking to the neighbors, and he has kept the density down, so it would be difficult for the Board to make the applicant hook up to water and sewer at a distance that does not meet the County’s requirements.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, 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 Rezoning Case No. PH#52-02-3, Carl Ludecke, Tim Hoban, P.A.,Tracking #90-02-Z, a request from LM (Light Industrial District) to R-2 (Estate Residential District), to allow for those uses permitted in this zoning district, and Ordinance 2003-68.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 9:55 a.m., Commr. Cadwell announced that the Board would be taking a ten minute recess.
REZONING CASE NO. LPA#02/3/1-3 - CENTER LAKE PROPERTIES, LTD.
HAROLD WARD, III - CECELIA BONIFAY, P.A. - AMENDMENT TO THE
FUTURE LAND USE MAP - TRACKING #22-02-LPA
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planning Manager, Department of Growth Management, addressed the Board to discuss the Rezoning Case No. LPA#02/3/1-3, Harold Ward, III, Center Lake Properties, Ltd., for an amendment to the Future Land Use Map, to change the land use designation from Suburban to Urban Expansion. In December, staff had recommended approval and the Board voted to transmit the LPA to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), with today’s hearing being the adoption hearing. Mr. Richardson stated that staff’s recommendation has not changed and they are still recommending approval of the request. He noted that the Board has received additional materials, as shown in the backup, and Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney for the applicants, has submitted a response to the DCA’s Objections, Recommendations, and Comments (ORC), which was also attached to the backup. The Board did receive a copy of an e-mail this morning summarizing some of the DCA’s items they would like to have addressed, as follows: 1) who will be the central utility provider, what is the central utility generation and capacity; 2) what are the population projections and needs; and 3) what are the densities of the surrounding parcels. Mr. Richardson reviewed the surrounding properties, as shown on the map in the backup, and noted that there have been some items that have changed since the transmittal hearing. He stated that, in brief summary, staff has begun discussions with the Town of Montverde on a joint planning area (JPA) agreement and, even though the Board has yet to hold a joint meeting with them, staff has had two preliminary meetings to discuss the context of a JPA agreement. In the backup there are two letters from the Town of Montverde voicing their opposition to this LPA.
In response to the question from Commr. Cadwell about possible boundaries for a JPA in this area, Mr. Richardson noted that staff is looking at the turnpike as the logical boundary. In response to Commr. Stivender’s question about the Town of Montverde’s letter of opposition, he noted that they were opposed to the density issues.
Commr. Cadwell explained that cities are using JPAs in different areas to do different things, and the Board needs to take into consideration Montverde’s vision for this area, as they go through today’s hearing.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Akerman Senterfitt, Attorneys at Law, addressed the Board and stated that with her today is Mr. Richard Gonzalez, Vice President, Pineloch Management, and an officer and director in Center Lake Properties. Ms. Bonifay stated that, as indicated by staff, when they first filed this application, a portion of the property was owned by Harold Ward. She explained that Center Lake already owned a 60 acre piece of property adjacent to Mr. Ward, they negotiated a purchase for a piece of the property, and all of the property is now owned by Center Lake.
Ms. Bonifay explained that, with straight zonings, the applicant can put together a developer’s agreement, or file a planned unit development (PUD), with conditions for the zoning to go along with the ordinance but, unfortunately for them, they do not have a variety of land use categories to choose from in this particular case. They are now in suburban, which would allow up to three units per acre, if they meet certain conditions, or it can revert back to one to five. The next category is urban expansion, which allows up to four units per acre. Ms. Bonifay stated that staff recommended approval of this request, and it went to the Planning and Zoning (P & Z) Commission where it received a unanimous vote for approval (10 - 0), with one of the reasons being that they presented a very detailed conceptual plan. Ms. Bonifay referred to the Conceptual Subdivision Plan showing the actual lots and stated that, in this particular plan, they are showing a density not to exceed two units per acre. She stated that they also show a great deal of open space, and a trail that connects with another trail that has been dedicated on the other side, by Center Lake Properties, which goes along Blackstill Lake Road, even though it is not a requirement of the PUD. There is also a trail head and some active recreational use on this particular plan, and a large buffer all of the way around the property, and it equates to about 43% open space. Ms. Bonifay stated that one of the issues today is whether this density is gross, or net. She explained that, if they are going to go with a net density, that will have to change the open space calculation. By having half acre lots, but two units gross, it allowed them to have up to 43% open space. She stated that the applicant would be willing to do net, but then this would not be the effective plan, and the plan would have to be totally redone to go back to a 25% open space. She was not sure they could get the trail into the plan, with the 25% open space, because the trail is about 30 acres of the open space. The applicant is willing to dedicate the trail, and he has dedicated a lot of acreage for other sites and has never asked to be compensated for it. In terms of a time frame to come back for a PUD, they were hoping to come back before the end of this fiscal year. She noted that, if the Board adopts it today, it will go back to the DCA. She noted that the DCA continues to reference in their report the need for them to update their population projections, and the need for the County to do its EAR based amendments. Ms. Bonifay stated that they are working with the County to do an updated development map, because the ones they are using do not reflect what has actually happened in the past three to six years. Ms. Bonifay submitted the Conceptual Subdivision Plan, which was entered and marked by the Deputy Clerk as Exhibit A-1 for the Applicant.
Ms. Bonifay referred to an aerial map dated March 19, 2002, which showed the surrounding land use and explained that the Hillcrest Country Club is a vested PUD for over 300 units on 400 acres, even though she does not believe that this is the density they want to achieve now. The Pine Island PUD, which has central water and sewer, was approved for up to 500 units. She pointed out other surrounding properties that have been developed, and those being developed, and referred to the Lake County Visionary Road Network map to clarify the location of properties. She noted that the only areas not developed are wetlands. Ms. Bonifay stated that the Florida Turnpike is a natural barrier, with lesser densities to the east, and higher densities to the west, with larger scaled projects that are Development of Regional Impacts (DRIs), therefore, they feel that the two to one (two units per acre) was an appropriate density that is being used by the Town of Montverde, with the difference being that this is a net calculation, not a gross. She stated that they would be willing to be bound by that net realizing that it is going to change the development plan, as shown today, which was developed at gross with more open space. Ms. Bonifay submitted the aerial map dated March 19, 2002, and the Lake County Visionary Road Network map, which were entered and marked by the Deputy Clerk as Exhibit A-2 and Exhibit A-3 for the Applicant.
Ms. Bonifay stated that they had a very good meeting with the DCA, and the things that they asked for were relatively straight forward, in terms of utility providers, and the generation of water and sewer, and they also wanted an updated development map because, if they do not have new population projections, then they want to see an updated map. Ms. Bonifay stated that she informed Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Director of Growth Management, that the applicants, at their expense, have an urban planner who will work with the County to make sure that the data they have is accurate and is reflected on a map that gets sent to the DCA. Ms. Bonifay submitted a composite of information consisting of a letter to the DCA dated July 7, 2003, and six tabs with corresponding material, which were entered and marked by the Deputy Clerk as Exhibit A-4 (composite) for the Applicant.
Ms. Bonifay stated that the Board just received a new handout from Lake County Schools dated July 22, 2003 and, upon her review of the information, it appears that the capacity numbers have changed. Their first report, which was filed last November, was updated and submitted to the DCA with numbers that were effective April 17, 2003, and those numbers showed that there were capacities at all schools. She stated that it now appears that there is less capacity, with the new calculation, and it shows the fiscal impact to be $1,864,053. They do not agree with the new calculation and, even with the $4,000 per unit impact fee, it indicates that this will only generate about $900,000. She stated that they will discuss this information with the DCA. Ms. Bonifay stated that, as a number of larger developments are taking place, several of them are planning school sites, or more than one school site, as part of their large scale developments, and they would like to work with those developers, and the School Board, and look at some alternatives. She stated that asking for more money is not the solution, and they need more innovative ways to deal with the problem. She explained that they are involved in the Avalon development, in east Orlando, as well as others and, in terms of affordable housing, she feels that the County needs to have these types of opportunities. She feels that the County has this opportunity with the DRIs that are already in progress, and they also have the opportunity to set aside new school sites. Ms. Bonifay stated that they did a traffic study, in compliance with Rule 9-J-5, and the transportation methodology has not been an issue with the DCA, nor has County staff raised any questions about it. Ms. Bonifay submitted the Traffic Impact Study for Comprehensive Plan Amendments, which was entered and marked by the Deputy Clerk as Exhibit A-5 for the Applicant. Ms. Bonifay stated that Center Lake Properties has been working with the engineering staff on their desires for other inner connections in that area, and on the other side of the Florida Turnpike.
Ms. Bonifay stated that they feel the request is consistent and compatible and, since there are those individuals present who would like to address the Board, she would like to reserve time for rebuttal and try to address any questions that arise.
Commr. Stivender questioned whether the Commissioners needed to disclose discussions with the applicant.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that land plan amendments (LPAs) are legislative actions, and it is not necessary for the Commissioners to make such a disclosure.
Commr. Stivender stated that she would prefer to disclose that, over the last year, she has discussed this issue with the Town of Montverde, the applicant, and the property owner.
Commr. Pool and Commr. Hill disclosed the same and Commr. Cadwell noted that all Commissioners, at one time or another, most likely had discussions with individuals who are involved with this case.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing and called for public comment.
Mr. Skip Moen, Trails of Montverde, addressed the Board and stated that, over the last year or so, he has written letters of opposition, and he is here today to say that one of the critical issues that has been discussed in his neighborhood is the quality of life. Mr. Moen stated that he moved to the Trails of Montverde from Naples for the quality of life. He stated that Blacks Still Lake Road is a two-lane country road, and the infrastructure for water, sewer, fire and police protection are through Lake County. As stated in his letters, he would like to voice his concern today about adding a substantial amount of density to an area that is clearly a nice horse community, with plenty of room for children and recreation. He is very opposed to any development that is going to come in and repeat what has happened on the Clermont side of the Florida Turnpike, in an area that has been designated as a very different kind of lifestyle area.
Mr. Steve Berry, Magnolia Bluff, stated that he is a property owner who just moved here from Southern California to be close to family. Mr. Berry explained that, when homes are built, there are impacts on services, yet these services are never put in place before the residents actually get there. He stated that there are only a couple of main arteries in and out of that small area, and he applauds the residents for keeping it in its magnificent form. He stated that it is a rural lifestyle, and the impact on the services would be profoundly adverse because there are virtually no services there. He is a volunteer with their fire department and, even with their service, the response times are probably below what they should be. He stated that his son rides the bus one and a half hours in one direction to go to an Astatula school. His son is seven years old, so that is three hours a day that he rides a bus. He wants to see what happens with the agreements with the schools. Mr. Berry stated that the Board needs to listen very closely to what the Town of Montverde has to say, because they have protected the community, and he believes it should be a partnership with the Town of Montverde. Mr. Berry stated that he has letters of opposition to submit to the Board, and he would like to ask the Board to place a moratorium on this request, until more information can be provided to the residents that are going to be impacted by their decision. He explained that, because of the lack of notification that was given to the property owners, they would like another opportunity to respond and to meet with the Town Council. Mr. Berry noted that there is no haste in building this project, because they do not have the services to support it anyway, and he feels they are just going to gain more opposition. Mr. Berry submitted seven letters of opposition to the Deputy Clerk, which were entered and marked as Exhibit 1-O (composite) for the Opposition.
Ms. Patricia Fulton, Montverde, stated that she is here for personal and professional reasons. She lives in the Trails of Monverde, which is adjacent to the property in question, and she is also here as a representative of the Woodlands Lutheran Camp, which is also adjacent to the property. Ms. Fulton stated that Ms. Bonifay pointed out all of the higher density units that are proposed for the area, but the Trails of Montverde has probably the highest density, with one acre lots being the minimum, up to two and a half acres, and they have the Vinola Gardens and the Vistas, which are averaging five acres, therefore, she does not believe the request is in keeping with the area at all, but it is in keeping with urban sprawl. Ms. Fulton stated that she is also concerned about traffic and road safety, and the delay in services in this area. She stated that, if the Board still has any doubt that they have an overcrowding problem in the County schools, she wanted them to know that her son has attended six different schools in six years, and they have not moved one time. In that same period of time, Montverde was rezoned and, if she had not gotten a zone waiver for her daughter, while her son was in school in Groveland, her daughter would have been in school in Astatula. She understands that there is talk about rezoning Montverde again to send kids back to South Lake High School. She does not see how bringing this many homes into this area, with this kind of density, is the prudent thing to do. Ms. Fulton stated that she hopes the Board will look at this very carefully from all aspects and realize the kind of true impact that developments like this have on the immediate community.
Ms. Nancy H. Fullerton, stated that she is here representing the Alliance to Protect Water Resources, Inc., and also to speak as a concerned citizen of South Lake County. Ms. Fullerton referred to their letter dated March 12, 2002, which was provided in the backup, where they addressed this item. Ms. Fullerton stated that she is going to refer to several points made in the letter, and she is not going to address anything that the neighborhood is saying other than they are in complete sympathy and understanding of the important issue of protecting their quality of life. Ms. Fullerton stated that they are here because of water, and the water issue cannot be separated from that of density. During the many times that she has spoken, they in general opposed land use changes that allow the potential increase in density, which adds to the cumulative effect of increase pumping, and that affects the Floridan aquifer and, with all of the development, there is the endangerment to the recharge function of the land in the Lake Wales Ridge. Ms. Fullerton felt that all of the development and proposed development that is going on from Minneola to practically Astatula that they have been working on and acting upon should be treated as a Development of Regional Impact (DRI). She stated that the surrounding developments in the area are speaking to them and that moves it more to the neighborhood argument but, for them, it adds again to the cumulative effect of the water. Ms. Fullerton stated that she has information from the St. Johns River Water Management District’s (SJRWMD) report to the DCA, and they are saying the same thing. She stated that, being a resident of Clermont, she cannot imagine that Clermont would even consider providing water this far into Montverde, because they have enough trouble with their own, as the District has said. Ms. Fullerton referred to her letter of March 12, 2002, which states that the turnpike makes a logical divide between the two land uses of urban expansion and suburban. She noted that this issue came up at the series of land use amendments and Hartwood Marsh Road. She agrees that this needs to be readdressed with EAR amendments, to look at this whole area again. She stated that moving urban expansion into the suburban area is totally irrational, it goes against common sense, it is not in the public interest and, in looking at the Future Land Use Map (FLUM), it is all suburban and rural. She stressed that the turnpike should be the dividing line, and it is still a line that could be held for Montverde. She has no idea how the Board can turn around the decisions that have gone on before, but they can get the density factor under control on this request to what is allowed by law, 24 houses, because there is no timeliness there. She stressed that changing the land use to get 215 homes is just not right. Ms. Fullerton pleaded with the Board to refer to the SJRWMD information and what they say about the cumulative effect and, in regards to the provision of water, there might be capacity, but there might not be water.
Mr. Ron Kurtz, Vista Verde Drive, South Lake County, stated that he lives about one mile from the land in question. Mr. Kurtz stated that, on March 5, 2003, when this case came before the P & Z Commission, he attended that meeting, and he is using this time today to rebut what was said by the attorneys at that meeting. He stated that, at that meeting, Ms. Bonifay explained that their conceptual plan was in keeping with the neighborhood and, after one of the Commissioners asked her about setting aside communal space, she stated that the trails next door have larger lots, but they had not dedicated any areas for trails, or set aside any communal open space, and they did not put in larger buffers.
Commr. Cadwell explained to Mr. Kurtz, for the record, that those types of issues he has brought forth for discussion are not addressed in LPAs; they are addressed in the PUD process.
Mr. Kurtz continued with his public comments and reviewed a picture of a 15 foot wide trail that runs through the entire area of Trails of Montverde. He stated that there is a communal spot in the middle of the Trails that is approximately ten acres. Mr. Kurtz reviewed several pictures, some of higher density areas in Clermont, and other areas overlooking the Trails of Montverde, and stated that this is why they paid more for their property and are fighting for their quality of life. Mr. Kurtz stated that the residents were able to work out 500 homes on 1,500 acres, which is one on three, at Pine Island; they were able to work out 300 homes on 400 acres, which is one on one and a third, at Hillcrest Country Club; and the Trails of Montverde is one on one, one on two and a half, or one on five. Mr. Kurtz stated that everything else around there except for what is in the city, is one on five, or one on two and a half, or one on ten, and this development works out to be one on one-third, which is a long way from being similar in densities. Mr. Kurtz stated that he has not heard anything about them meeting timeliness.
Ms. Melinda Moore, Thoroughbred Lane, stated that she has lived in the Trails of Montverde for ten years, and they chose this area because of the beautiful open space, and it being a unique area. Ms. Moore stated that she is asking the Board to protect them and keep their quality of life as country because, if they keep approving these types of subdivisions, these country areas will not exist.
Ms. Marie Dewitt stated that she lives in the Trails of Montverde, on Thoroughbred Lane, and she is the Vice President of the Homeowners Association. Ms. Dewitt noted that the President of the Association is in the hospital, or he would have been here today to speak on this issue. She stated that her husband is a developer, and they have lived in the Trails of Montverde for about five years. They moved to Montverde because they do not like sprawl, and they are pleading on behalf of all of the residents of the Trails of Montverde that the Board look at a better transition than what is being proposed.
Mr. Wayne Nichols stated that he is speaking as President of the Town Council, Town of Montverde, and on behalf of Mayor Helen Pearce. Mr. Nichols stated that he wanted to talk about densities, joint planning areas (JPAs), and schools. He stated that the developer presented some changes to the density, from gross to net. Mr. Nichols stated that the Town of Montverde has LDRs that say density within the town limits is one half acre net; and one acre net outside of the town limits. Next he addressed the JPA because, since he was elected a year and half ago, he really thought this was a potentially fabulous program for the Town of Montverde and the County, in all of the areas. They have tried to make the residents of unincorporated Lake County feel like they are part of the Town of Montverde, and they want to try and make a win-win situation out of the JPA process. Mr. Nichols explained that Howey-in-the-Hills was the first to get into the process, and the Town of Montverde was the second. On November 12, 2002, the Town of Montverde sent Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, a letter (in backup) outlining what they wanted to see in their JPA. He explained that, although they were already in the JPA process and ready to meet at the table with the County, the County wanted to get to the bigger cities including Clermont, Leesburg, and others, so the Town of Montverde JPA was greatly delayed, at no fault of the Town, and now they are back on track. Mr. Nichols noted that, in their letter, they explained their determination to maintain their rural village character, and their guarantee that the land development in this vicinity will take place in a manner that is compatible with the appearance and values of Montverde. Also, within their JPA zone, they asked that new developments conform to the stricter regulations, whether it be theirs or the County’s regulations. Mr. Nichols stated that this resolution also benefits the two local governments, which cooperate in a spirit of mutual trust. He stated that they have done everything to make sure that everyone is clear on what they want and what they would like to see for the area. After consulting with Mr. Max Forgey, Planner, Lake County Growth Management, Mr. Nichols stated that Mr. Forgey came up with the idea of using the rural village designation as a possibility, if they can limit densities to one per acre. Mr. Nichols referred to the letter once again noting that they regard Lake County as a worthy partner in their effort to manage growth and maintain their rural village lifestyle. Mr. Nichols stated that, even though the JPAs are not agreed upon to date, he is asking the Board to look at today as the opportunity to start the JPAs and to make this truly a whole vision for the area. Mr. Nichols stated that the Town of Montverde had a meeting on July 1, 2003, with Planning and Development, and they enthusiastically endorsed their concept, which seems to be a win-win situation. Their attorneys are in the process of reviewing the information received from the County. He stated that, if the Board votes against their concept, then the Board is voting against the JPAs and what everyone has been trying to do to preserve what they have today.
Mr. Nichols stated that he wanted to discuss schools and stated that, if this request is approved to urban expansion, there is a potential of four units per acre, so they just magnified the school problem four times. He noted that the Joint Committee for School Impact Solutions is still looking at ways to solve the school problems, and he did not believe they should be compounding their problem. He felt that the moratorium was a stalling effect to try and figure out what to do. Mr. Nichols discussed figures he put together noting that what is being proposed today will allow two homes per acre; 107 acres; 215 homes; 462 school seats (at 2.2 children per home); and 431,613 trips per year (at 5.5 trips) on Blacks Still Lake Road, and the Public Works Department has already indicated that the road is in poor condition, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has said it is in such poor shape that they cannot consider it as a site for an exit. Mr. Nichols stated that, if the Board takes the JPA that the Town of Montverde is proposing with the County and, as stated in their letter of November 12, 2002, it will be one home per acre; 72 buildable acres according to the chart presented at the P & Z Commission meeting; 72 homes; 159 school seats; and 144,540 traffic trips per year; which is a far less impact on the school system and road. Mr. Nichols did not see where changing the density drastically helps the rural character of the area at all, and he does not see where it helps property values. In terms of natural resources, this is a high charge aquifer area, and it needs to be considered. Mr. Nichols stressed that, if this is not a win-win situation for everybody, then it does not work, and he clearly sees that it is the developer who is the winner. He stated that, if they can agree on a JPA agreement, one unit per acre, he believes this would be something that the Trails of Montverde would settle for and this is something that is already in the Town of Montverde’s LDRs. Mr. Nichols stated that the Town of Montverde has supported the JPA, and he is displeased that they have not come to an agreement, at this point in time, but he understands that things change in the system, but the Town of Montverde will be on board, as soon as the attorneys can meet and discuss their JPA agreement.
Commr. Pool stated that Hillcrest Country Club is contiguous to the Town of Montverde, and he questioned whether this is something that the Town of Montverde is going to contemplate as a possible annexation.
Mr. Nichols explained that there are negotiations and preliminary discussions going on right now, but it is too early in the stages, at this point in time. They are trying to get everybody involved because of the benefits to all parties.
Commr. Stivender stated that she is interested in getting a time line, because she is an advocate for the JPAs, but she believes this project started before they ever started discussing the JPAs. In March, 2002, the P & Z Commission heard this case, and the applicant had already spent money to go forward with this project. It came to the Board in September, 2002, and the Board postponed it until December, 2002. The Town of Montverde sent a letter dated November, 2002, discussing the JPA agreement, so they were just at the beginning of it, as they were already sending it to Tallahassee to DCA, after the Board’s approval in December. Because the proposed project had started long before the Town of Montverde started the JPA process to put in these requirements, she feels a certain obligation to try to develop a win-win situation. She met with the developers and told them that four units per acre was not going to work; she wanted the bypass and the trails put in there because she is the liaison for that committee; she wanted it to tie into the other things and to proceed on what had already been worked out by Commr. Pool; she wanted to make sure all of this worked together, so they came down to two units per acre with the trail head. She also had them working with transportation to redo Blacks Still Lake Road, so she wanted them to know that they did try to address all of those different issues, and she does not want them to give up on the JPA.
Mr. Nichols stated that he acknowledges that the applicant has given a lot more than what is being required by the County, but there are still things that they are trying to protect. He explained that, if they did half acre lots, the Town of Montverde would have to change their LDRs, because it would not meet their regulations.
Mr. Bill Mevers, Councilman, Town of Montverde, addressed the Board and stated that all of the issues involving schools, traffic, and densities, have been well stated today, and Mr. Ron Kurtz was trying to explain that they have a low density area, and they are fiercely trying to protect it. He stated that they need to draw the line somewhere, and he applauds their efforts in establishing the JPA, which is a step towards a sense of cooperation and partnership and sharing their vision. Mr. Meyers stated that he is Chairman of the Visioning Committee for the Town of Montverde. They implore the Board to keep this in mind and to please drive through the area to see why the people are appearing before them today.
Commr. Cadwell called for further public comment and those individuals representing the Town of Montverde indicated that they had completed their comments.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:28 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a five minutes recess.
Commr. Cadwell reconvened the meeting and announced that the Board will be holding a closed session.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that about two weeks ago, his office recommended to the Board that they have a closed session to discuss litigation that the County is involved in. The discussion will be confined only to settlement negotiations and strategy sessions; there will be no decisions made. The Court Reporter is present and will record the entire proceeding, as well as the time that they begin and the time that they terminate, and the names of all persons here, as well as speaking. No part of this session can be off of the record, and she will transcribe those notes, which will become public at the time the litigation is over. Staff has advertised this in the paper on July 15, 2003, and they indicated that the only people who would be here would be the Commissioners, as well as Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, and himself. It will be about a 20 minute meeting.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:53 a.m., Commr. Cadwell announced that the Closed Session had ended and the regular Board meeting would reconvene.
REZONING CASE NO. LPA#02/3/1-3 - CENTER LAKE PROPERTIES, LTD.
HAROLD WARD, III - CECELIA BONIFAY, P.A. - AMENDMENT TO THE
FUTURE LAND USE MAP - TRACKING #22-02-LPA (CONTINUED)
Commr. Cadwell announced that the public hearing will continue On LPA#02/3/1-3 - Center Lake Properties and, at this time, the Board called on Ms. Bonifay to give her closing remarks.
Ms. Bonifay stated that it is their goal to try to accommodate to the greatest extent possible concerns of the Town of Montverde, and to take into consideration the concerns of those people who would be around them. During the recess, she had the opportunity to talk to the Mayor, and the members of the Council, to clarify their commitment to do two to one acre net (half acre lots), and to keep as part of that open space a provision for the trail, and to make sure that this remains as a key component of the open space. She also clarified that they would either dedicate the land, or put in the trails. Her understanding is that neither party is totally happy, but they have come to an understanding. Ms. Bonifay stated that, since Comprehensive Plan amendments cannot be encumbered with developers agreements, they would want for the minutes of this meeting to reflect that this is the agreement, that is the understanding and, when they file their zoning, they will be working with the Town of Montverde to make sure they know what they are proposing. She stated that they now need to go back and redesign this project, and they will want their input, and that would be a compromise. In looking at some of the surrounding development, many developments do not meet their regulations because, even though they have some one acre lots, they also go down to quarter acre lots. So this is something that the Town of Montverde may want to reconsider in the future. Ms. Bonifay clarified that there would be no smaller lots than a half acre net, so they would have to be a full half acre, and it may be that they will end up with fewer lots, if they want to have other open space and amenities, and other things, but that would be the minimum lot size. They could go higher in terms of lot size, but they would have to be at least one half acre each net. They will redo the plan and share it with the Town of Montverde, so that hopefully, when they come back in for a zoning, it has their full support.
Commr. Stivender wanted to know whether Ms. Bonifay met with the Mayor and Council members individually, in order to comply with the Sunshine Law, and Ms. Bonifay acknowledged that she did.
Ms. Bonifay stated that they filed the traffic study, which was accepted by staff, and the DCA, and it indicates that the roads are sufficient, and they meet concurrency today. She submitted the Traffic Impact Study for Comprehensive Plan Amendments, Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin Lopez Rinehart, Inc., to the Deputy Clerk, which was entered and marked as Exhibit A-5 for the Applicant. Ms. Bonifay stated that, in the number of school age children, the School Board’s own formula is .48 students per household, as provided in Exhibit A-4. She stated that this project generates about 103 students total and that is split between elementary, middle and high school. She stated that they are asking the Board to approve this request, with the minutes to reflect the condition for approval and, if that condition is not met by the applicant, when it comes back in as a rezoning, the Board can pull up the minutes of this meeting and remind them of their representations, and the deal they made with the Town of Montverde. Ms. Bonifay stated that they will be working with the Town of Montverde before they file the zoning application.
Commr. Cadwell explained that, even though individuals work out agreements for zoning cases, the Board may still not be in favor of approving the request, which is the case here, with Mr. Nichols, President of the Council, expressing his position.
Mr. Nichols explained that the applicants are not going to be the developers, and they could very well sell the property. The Town of Montverde is concerned about the conditions, as stated, and whether those conditions are going to be binding, or whether the new buyers of the property can say to them that the property is urban expansion and build four dwelling units per acre. Mr. Nichols stated that he has a problem with this issue. Mr. Nichols stated that schools are still an issue, but it all amounts to a series of compromises. He stated that it has to be a win-win situation for everybody and, with four houses per acre, nobody wins, and the schools and the kids are the big losers. He would personally like to see it as one acre net, but his biggest concern is that they are not going to be able to come back after the property is sold and the new owner says it is urban expansion and they put in four dwellings per acre, and he does not know how they can close that loophole.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Nichols for his opinion, as one Council member, on how a development of this density affects them being able to have a JPA that is going to hopefully protect what Montverde had in mind for everything on that side of the turnpike, and whether it was going to fit.
Mr. Nichols stated that it was going to have to fit, but Commr. Cadwell explained that the Board can turn it down, and Mr. Nichols stated that it was better than putting four units per acre. Mr. Nichols asked the Board to safeguard them, so that the next guy does not say he can put four units per acre.
Commr. Cadwell noted that a plaque outside of the room talks about civility in the meetings, and he wanted everyone to know that this was one of the best groups to come before them, and the Board really appreciated it.
Ms. Bonifay stated that the applicant would prefer to have their property thriving in citrus but, unfortunately, that is not possible, and the protection is that, whether or not this has a land use classification, until it is rezoned, no development can commence on the site. So whether it is Center Lake Properties, or someone else, Center Lake made the commitment, the Board did the land use, based on this being a two to one net, one half acre lot size and, if someone comes in with zoning that is not in accordance with that, then the Town of Montverde will be back and the Board will say that this was not the representation and that it is not the reason they gave that land use classification in this area, because it had to be restricted. She explained that Center Lake takes their properties through zoning and usually final engineering before they are sold, so they will be the ones bringing it back. She stated that this is the protection for the Town of Montverde, that there can be no development on the site, until a zoning takes place, and that will go through the normal public hearing process, through the P & Z Commission, and then back to this Board. She stated that it will probably take them 30 days to redo a plan, and to talk to the Town of Montverde about a design and trails, so probably they would be looking at the first part of September, which means it will come back to the Board in November, or December. Their goal would be to try and do that before the end of the year. She explained that this is going to be more at grade, and she believes this will make a difference in terms of what that relationship is going to be with the surrounding area. She believes they have reached an agreement, and she would ask the Board to move forward with the adoption, and they will be back with the zoning within the next 30 days.
Commr. Cadwell called for further public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Commr. Hanson stated that, under comments, she has been pretty consistent about not voting for changes of land use amendments, particularly on larger parcels, however, this land is also in an area that transitional zoning of some sort would be appropriate. She had proposed to the County and staff that they allow, in suburban areas, for one unit to the acre with clustering, and 50% to 70% open space, because that would allow for the conservation of water. She stated that eventually this land, if they do nothing on it, will meet timeliness, and the density will be three units to the acre, which is what is allowed when it does meet timeliness. She recognized that they do not have this in place right now, but she believes it also brings up the need to move forward on a win-win situation that does not just remove suburban, but recognizes that some time in the future, it will be a much higher density than the one to one. She stated that, to be consistent with her prior voting, she will not be voting in favor of the land use amendment.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, as they went through the discussion, they all knew what was happening in that region, and there is the question of whether the turnpike is a good place for that to stop or, at least slow down. He stated that the developer before them today has done other things in Lake County, and they have always done what they said they were going to do. The timing of everything is his concern. He stated that suburban has basically been rural, because it was hard to meet timeliness. The timing, from suburban to urban expansion right now, with all of the other growth issues, and the JPA, and the school issues, is sending a signal more than anything else, and also a realistic expectation of what they are going to try to do in the south end of the County with the JPAs, and with the school system. He stated that they still do not have an answer for the School Board, and they have the highest impact fee in the State of Florida, and he believes that is a good step, but he does not know if that is the final answer. He hopes they get to a point where land plan amendments and rezonings are worked out by the developers and schools before they get here.
Commr. Pool stated that it is important that they work with the Town of Montverde, and he does recognize the quality of life they enjoy and putting those units closer together is something that they do not want to see, and that two units per acre net, or one unit per half acre, makes it aesthetically more pleasing, and he understands that it will result in 103 students on the entire project.
Ms. Bonifay noted that 103 students would be at the higher density, so it will actually be less, about 80 students.
Commr. Pool stated that this project will not be built out tomorrow, and he recognizes their concerns about students going across different zones, but it is important to know that this development came in prior to the JPAs some time ago, and staff has recommended approval as they now see it. He stated that they will see a different scenario than the clustering concept that had been presented and that is what is in keeping with what the Town of Montverde has asked for and especially with the turnpike being the buffer. The owner has agreed to trail corridors, setback buffers, things that he feels will be beneficial to the area. He feels that they will be consistent with what is in the area, well established neighborhoods and high priced homes and, for that reason, he is supportive of what he sees with the compromise, especially working with the Town of Montverde, and he believes it is in keeping with what the Town would like to see. He recognizes that the citizens along the Trails of Montverde will see a different scenario other than the clustering effect that could have happened.
Commr. Stivender made a motion to uphold the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve Rezoning Case No. LPA#02/3/1-3, Center Lake Properties/Harold Ward, Cecelia Bonifay, Esq., Tracking #22-02-LPA, an amendment to the Future Land Use Map, to change the land use designation from Suburban to Urban Expansion and transmittal to the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA), based on all of the discussion, and on the fact that the developer will come back in and will work with Montverde to make it as close as possible to what will appease them, for their development in their community.
Under comments, Commr. Stivender stated that they have been trying to work with the Town of Montverde, and she hopes they will continue to do that on all issues, with all of the towns. In terms of the school zone districts, the Board of County Commissioners have nothing to do with how those are determined; those are handled by the School Board.
Commr. Pool seconded the motion for discussion.
There being no further discussion, Commr. Cadwell called for a vote, with the motion being carried by a 3-2 vote.
Commr. Hanson and Commr. Cadwell voted “no”.
PRESENTATION - STATE ROAD 44 PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
AND ENVIRONMENTAL (PD&E) STUDY BY STEPHEN J. FERRELL, P.E.,
WILBUR SMITH ASSOCIATES
Commr. Cadwell noted that the presentation on the State Road 44 project has been delayed and will be heard by the Board on another day.
Discussion occurred regarding whether the Board needed to postpone this item by vote, and Commr. Cadwell clarified that it was a presentation, and the Board can ask that the item be rescheduled without taking action.
PRESENTATION - MT. PLYMOUTH/SORRENTO FRAMEWORK STUDY
FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION BY GEOFF MCNEILL, MILLER
MILLER, SELLEN, CONNER AND WALSH, PLANNING CONSULTANTS
AND TIIM BAILEY, CHAIRMAN, MT PLYMOUTH/SORRENTO STUDY
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planning Manager, Growth Management, introduced Mr. Geoff McNeill, Vice President, Miller, Sellen, Conner & Walsh; Mr. Teri Bowley, Miller, Sellen Conner & Walsh; and Mr. Tim Bailey, Chairman, Mount Plymouth/Sorrento Framework Study Advisory Group.
Mr. Tim Bailey addressed the Board and stated that he is from Mount Plymouth, and he is the Chairman of the Mount Plymouth/Sorrento Framework Study Advisory Group. Mr. Bailey stated that today they bring to the Board the combination of a project that started about 1999. Mr. Bailey thanked Mr. Geoff McNeill and Mr. Teri Bowley and Miller, Sellen, Conner & Walsh, for their years of work and helping them, as a community, to better understand what they can do. He also wanted to thank the Board for providing the knowledge of experts to them, and the people in the community, and for the great committee. He stated that a large number of those members were present today.
Mr. Bailey stated that, in 1999, “The Orlando Sentinel” and some of the other media brought to the attention of the community that there was some roadway and development issues that were certainly going to impact them. A large group of concerned residents came forward to listen to the prospects of that and several meetings were held for discussion of these issues. Mr. Bailey stated that Commr. Hanson realized that they wanted to have a better understanding and a voice, so she and the rest of the Board afforded Miller, Sellen, Conner & Walsh to come to them and provide them some guidance, and it has been a great education process for all of them. At this time, Mr. Bailey asked Mr. McNeill to address the Board.
Mr. Geoff McNeill extended his appreciation to the community, as well as Commr. Hanson for her leadership and patience, and stated that the small area study started in February, 2000. Mr. McNeill explained that they created the Advisory Group approach to give the community a platform, or voice, to begin a partnership between the community and the County. The public participation process included two community-wide Focus Group meetings; one Community Workshop at Round Lake Elementary School; 12 Advisory Group meetings; eight meetings with Lake County staff; two meetings with FDOT staff; and one progress presentation to the BCC last fall. Mr. McNeill stated that this study does not answer all of the questions, nor does it presume to be totally accepted and there are going to be elements of this that has to be studied in the future, therefore, that is the purpose of the recommendations of the plan.
Mr. McNeill stated that the first step was to build this context to establish the opportunity and constraints for planning and evaluation of the area, and they did this through existing conditions and analysis and related studies. He stated that first they defined the study area and the economic/demographic analysis (Page 12 of Framework Study Report), and the road network. Another important component was the Wekiva River Protection Act, and the County’s ordinance on transferred development rights. They did the first broad analysis of potential numbers of development rights that were able to be transferred to help them understand what share of this community participated in that Wekiva River Protection area.
Mr. McNeill stated that the Future Land Use Map of the 1990 Lake County Comprehensive Plan designates Mount Plymouth and Sorrento as neighborhood centers within an urban compact node. He stated that, without standards and guidelines and identification of the core part of this community, it makes it difficult for the future land use plan to predict this community and how future requests will impact them, but this is the County’s tool that is mandated by the State; the framework study is not mandated by the State. He explained that, in context, there are 6,700 acres in the urban compact node that would allow up to 5.5 dwelling units per acre, but they do not believe it would build out to that because of some of the existing development patterns. If they assumed that 40% of that area would build out to those densities, they would end up with almost 15,000 homes; about 2.2 dwelling units per acre with 37,000 residents. It was startling to the residents to hear this in February, 2000, when they brought this comment to them. Mr. McNeill explained that this community is already playing a significant role in fulfilling objectives of the original Wekiva River Protection Act, and it is the receiving area for all of the transfer development rights to the urban compact node. There is a portion of the urban compact node today that, if you can purchase transfer development rights, it is not a point system, it is a direct transfer, and this would be something that the County Attorney would have to address.
Mr. McNeill stated that they are showing the Board the framework plan, which is really a map, as shown on Page 27 in the Framework Study Report. He explained that this is a graphic representation of the components of the plan, it is not the plan itself. The plan provides a new perspective on the area, and it recognizes the existing and future character and identity of the area, as reflected on Page 26, Paragraph 1.
Mr. McNeill stated that the plan sets forth a set of guiding principles, eight in total, as noted on Page 26. He explained that redevelopment is an aspect of Mount Plymouth and Sorrento, and they heard in their community workshops that they do not get along and they found for the most part that people recognize that they are growing together and, if they looked at the Future Land Use Map and the zoning map, it would not take but only a few approvals for that full connection of SR 46 to be strip commercial. He stated that design standards and guidelines have to be implemented to protect the character of this community, and the character of SR 46 itself. He pointed out that, on Page 27, they developed ten framework concepts.
Mr. McNeill pointed out that the recommendations in the study are found on Pages 38 through 41, which deserve the Board’s attention, but they need to be recognized as recommendations for further study and continuing some form of the advisory group, or working group, in the future. They are recommendations dealing with land use and development patterns; recommendations for design standards and guidelines; recommendations for public facilities, utilities, and water resources; recommendations for modeling and testing of transportation network or transportation networks, and it recognizes the work of the Wekiva River Basin Task Force. He stated that, to put in balance all of those elements, water resources, transportation, the widening of SR 46, and ultimately, if it is decided that widening of SR46 is the best and only solution, then very specific standards and guidelines will have to be adopted. Included in their report document is a very quick study they did of the SR 46 corridor and right-of-way they obtained from FDOT. He stated that there will be businesses lost on that road, as well as residences, and it is going to be an issue that really needs to be reconciled and there are opportunities to make that work and, from their early discussions with FDOT, they are willing to work through them, but they need to come to the table with a mind to establish balance, and a mind to build a consensus. He requested that the Board take into consideration the recommendations and principles and guidelines and remember that this is just the starting point.
Mr. Reggie Tisdale, member of the Advisory Group, stated that he practices in the land use area, from an engineering perspective, and he lives in Sorrento. Mr. Tisdale stated that Mr. McNeill and Mr. Richardson have done an outstanding job in leading the study, and they should be congratulated for what they have done. He agrees with Miller, Sellen, Conner & Walsh that this study is simply the framework, and the key is for them to move forward to the next phase of this decision making process. He highly recommended that the Board adopt the study and suggested that they move forward expeditiously to the determination of the final decision.
Ms. Betty Ann Christian, member of the Advisory Group, stated that she has lived in Sorrento for 35 years. Ms. Christian extended her thanks to Mr. McNeill, Mr. Bailey, and the members of the Advisory Group for all of their hard work. She stated that she is interested in seeing this study group stay in existence and maybe be implanted into other groups in other areas, so that they, too, can have the study. The study has been a group involvement that has allowed them to have one voice, and she encouraged the Board members to continue this study.
Mr. Tommy Hight stated that he lives in Mount Plymouth, and he was a member of the committee for about two and a half years. Mr. Hight stated that they put a lot of work into this study and, even though he does not agree with everything in it, he believes it is a good study, and it is something that the County can go forward with. He stated that Mr. McNeill and Mr. Bowley did a great job conducting the meetings, and he came away with ideas of how their community should look not only today, but in the future.
Mr. Bill Cole, a member of the Advisory Group, stated that his interest in the project was a little different than some of the other panel members. Mr. Cole stated that he is involved with the largest land holding in the study group, which is about 1,050 acres known as Neighborhood Lakes. He wanted to extend his thanks to Mr. McNeill, Mr. Bowley, and Mr. Richardson and let everyone know that this was a terrific opportunity to talk about an area whose time is coming for future development. He feels that, if they can move forward with this framework, the end product will be something so much better than a hodge-podge of development. Mr. Cole explained that he was somewhat of an outsider coming into the group, but the committee members have been very engaging and very understanding, and they had a very positive exchange of ideas.
Ms. Minnie Bollar, a member of the Advisory Group, stated that she grew up in the Sorrento area. Ms. Bollar stated that she is a property owner in the Sorrento area, and she has a home in the Mount Plymouth area. She moved back here because of the lifestyle in this area. She wanted to thank Mr. McNeill and all of the committee members for their guidance and hard work. She was proud of the fact that they were able to come together for their community and put together their ideas, while being respectful of each other. It was her hope that their work has not been in vain, and that these recommendations will be accepted.
Mr. Bailey stated that years ago the community was extremely divided and, during this time frame, they have made an incredible transition and are working together. He stated that he would specifically like to ask that the Board approve and implement their recommendations. He noted that their recommendations were accepted by their committee unanimously, and he wanted to thank each and every one of the Board members for their guidance.
Mr. McNeill thanked Ms. Minnie Bollar, Secretary for the Advisory Group, who took prodigious minutes that are included in the documents, and the rest of the committee who spent a significant amount of their own free time working together on this project.
Commr. Hanson explained that they started this project because they had a couple of areas in the County that are communities, but they were not incorporated and, when you look at the statistics, it supports her concern. If the Mount Plymouth/Sorrento urban node were to seek incorporation, which she certainly does not support unless the community wants that, she is concerned that they do not have an overlay for an area that is urbanizing and this is the reason they have moved forward. She stated that it is important that they, as a group, have a voice in planning the area, and that it be an overlay that enhances the County Comprehensive Plan that deals with transportation, design standards, services, infrastructure, parks, recreation, and sidewalks. Some of the concerns have been partly because of an article in the newspaper and also from a letter that went out regarding a beltway to the south around Mount Plymouth and Sorrento. As they move forward with the Wekiva study, and the continuing work on US 441 bypass, there could be created, through those two roads, a southern bypass that runs east to west as close to the Lake County line as possible that would allow the traffic to go around Mount Plymouth and Sorrento and come back out on SR 46, which would allow SR 46, as it is now, to remain a local road and do some of the other things, as noted by Mr. McNeill. The committee had four alternatives for possible roads that would go around the community, and one of them was Wolf Branch, and she does not believe it is going to end up being a four lane road, but they are looking at other alternatives. She would assume that whatever happens south of Mount Plymouth and Sorrento will be a limited access road and is not going to open it up to more development. If it is limited access, those opportunities will be reduced. The purpose of the study is to maintain the rural character, and the uniqueness of the area, not just of Mount Plymouth and Sorrento, but those areas around and outside the urban node. She thanked those who were involved with the process, and stated that they definitely need to see what they can do to take it to the next step, perhaps just by working with staff.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they are at the point now where they need to go line by line through the recommendations in a workshop session, and he would like to invite the Advisory Group to that meeting and, at that time, they will have public comment from anyone who would like to speak on the issue.
Commr. Hanson stated that she believes that their goal could possibly be an amendment to the County Comprehensive Plan.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he has a clear understanding of Commr. Hanson’s comments about an overlay to that community and, as they grow, there will be other areas in the County that will incorporate and, whether he agrees or not with the recommendations, he certainly appreciated the work product itself, because it has specifics.
Commr. Cadwell noted that he had a copy of the e-mail the Board received from Mr. Keith Schue, Central Florida Sierra Club and, as they go through this process, the Board is going to try and set up a framework for everybody to be involved in this matter and, therefore, he did not see any reason to have public comment today.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, stated that, in looking at the calendar for August, staff canceled the workshop session on August 12, 2003, but staff has been talking about doing a worksession on September 9th on growth management issues. He stated that this item would fit in with those issues, if it is the Board’s desire to schedule it at that time.
Commr. Cadwell noted that the Board will schedule a workshop on September 9th to discuss this issue, and they will go line for line over the recommendations and, at that time, hopefully set a direction as to where they will go from there.
Commr. Stivender stated that she wanted to thank Commr. Hanson for doing this because, in the redistricting, she now has a lot of areas that are communities, and this will give them a guideline to sit down and work on those things. She stated that this is one of the best quality studies she has seen. She noted that Mr. Ed Havill, Property Appraiser, had been listed under Lake County staff and, even though he is not part of staff, he did help on the issue.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
CHANGES TO COUNTY’S SELF-INSURED HEALTH PLAN
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, addressed the request from Risk Management and noted that, in the backup, there is a Summary of Plan Design Changes for Health Insurance Plan FY 2004. Mr. Neron stated that, at the Board Financial Retreat, the Board agreed to make certain changes on the way that they are applying their health insurance benefits, with employees contributing some additional funds, and the Board contributing some additional funds, and, in working with the Employee Insurance Advisory Committee over the last 60 days, they developed the plan changes, as noted. He stated that these have been thoroughly reviewed and are being recommended by the Employee Insurance Advisory Committee. Mr. Neron stated that these are being brought to the Board today for approval so that they can have workshop sessions with the employees for open enrollment during the month of August. At this time, Mr. Neron answered questions about contributions that will be paid by employees, and prescription amounts.
Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Director, Budget and Administrative Services, addressed the Board and stated that they had about a $1.5 million gap between expected revenues and projected expenses that they needed to close and, after they made all of these plan design changes, as well as contributions, they still had about a half a million dollar gap between expected revenues and projected expenses, with expenses being higher.
Mr. Neron stated that the reserves will not be as high as they had anticipated but felt it was a good first step, and then staff will look at it again next year, based on experience.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request from Risk Management for approval of plan design changes and employee contributions for the County’s Self-Insured Health Plan for Fiscal Year 2004.
Ms. LaMarche noted that the Employee Insurance Advisory Committee did a great job and staff appreciated their help.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
ASSESSMENT ROLL/FIRE AND RESCUE/RESOLUTION
Commr. Hill addressed Tab 1, the resolution initiating the annual process for the assessment roll for fire and rescue, and stated that she did not pull the request for discussion, but so that she could be consistent noting that she will not be voting for the new assessment rate.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, explained that this is a resolution implementing the rates agreed to by the Board, in a previous session, for the fire assessment fee, for trim notice purposes only. On August 19, 2003, staff will have a full workshop with the Board on this issue to see if they want to make any further adjustments to the proposed rate. He clarified that this is for advertising purposes only and, as they move forward, staff is continuing to look at ways to reduce the amounts. At the workshop, staff will have a full report with ramifications as to adjustments, from a service delivery standpoint.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Stivender and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved the request from Budget and Administrative Services for approval and authorization to execute Resolution 2003-122, which initiates the annual process for preparation of the Assessment Roll, authorizes the publication of the advertisement for the public hearing, provides direction to notice all affected parties of the proposed increase, and directs the imposition of Fire and Rescue Assessment fees for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2003.
Commr. Hill voted “no”.
BUILDING DEDICATION PLAQUE
Commr. Hill addressed Tab 3 regarding the request to modify the standard building dedication plaque policy, which she had requested be pulled for discussion. She thought there was a policy already in place that addressed this issue, so they would not get into this type of predicament and, if the Board was going to change that policy, just on the principle of historic preservation, she felt they should include all of the constitutional officers; if one is added, then all of them are added.
Commr. Stivender clarified her earlier comment, that all constitutional officers that would be housed in the structures and habitate in the structures would have their name on them. When the South Lake Annex is constructed, she hopes that all constitutional officers would have an office in it, and everyone would want to be on the plaque.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he agrees that, if a constitutional officer wants to make an official request to the Board to have their name put on something, then that is another issue but, as far as the plaque that they are going to put up everywhere, if the Board wants to put constitutional officers on it, then they can do it by policy.
Commr. Hill made a motion to not change the policy at this point.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that his office, at their request, has surveyed the other counties and school boards and some municipalities throughout the state, as well as outside the state, and staff is preparing a report, to indicate the different policies, specifically with naming of buildings, which will be ready for the Board in the next week or two.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, explained that it was his understanding that Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, had made a request that his name be added to the plaque for the Public Records Center.
For the record, the motion died for the lack of a second, and no action was taken by the Board.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HILL - DISTRICT #1
SCHOOL BOARD/TEST SCORES
Commr. Hill informed the Board that, after reading an article in the paper about the FCAT scores at schools, she reminded the Board that she, as well as Commr. Hanson, had brought to the attention of the Board that they had wanted an intense analysis of funds for programs with the School Board. In “The Orlando Sentinel” she was reading about the summer reading session that was just concluded and she was measuring the results, and she noticed that it was only a 23 passing. She was bringing this to the Board for consideration so that, when they look at this next year, they can decide whether this is a successful outcome and, when they look at programs and funding, they can consider whether it would be acceptable to go to an outside company to do this because they are funding 70% of the school reading programs.
LAKE REGION PACKING PLANT
Commr. Hill informed the Board that there had been an article in the paper about the Lake Region Packing Plant, and she was of the understanding that, in the budget workshop, the Board did not have this item on their capital facilities list, and that it was removed. The City of Tavares had expressed that they did not want the County to interfere with this process. If the Board is going to go into negotiations, she felt that the Board needed to make this a discussion issue, to decide if they are going to change their previous position.
Commr. Stivender did not believe that the Board was changing anything. She was of the understanding that staff has been talking with the City of Tavares, and with Lake Region Packing, about the possibility of helping purchase that property and putting parking spaces there, instead of spending money on a parking garage. She has a meeting scheduled on Thursday with their attorney to discuss what the City wants to do with it, and what part the County will be involved in, and that is what the Board had discussed prior to this date. Her position is that, as the District Commissioner, they do not want to take it off the City’s tax base, but she does see where they can come into some type of agreement with them for parking, if the private developer develops it, and they have a parking area there.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that, at the last workshop, the Board said the City of Tavares does not want it, the County does not have the money, so take that one off the table, so they can address other items of concern.
Commr. Stivender stated that the City of Tavares came back and said that Lake Region wants the County to have something to do with it, so that is the only reason she is meeting with them.
Commr. Cadwell hoped that Commr. Stivender did not relate to them that the Board was interested in doing anything with it, because the Board said they were not interested.
Commr. Stivender clarified that it was staff who brought it back up to Lake Region Packing and to the City, and she is trying to correct it. She stated that the City is not interested in the County being involved but the City still has an interest in it.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, if the majority of the Board thinks that they do not need to be at the table, then they need to direct staff to quit talking about it.
Commr. Pool stated that, as the District Commissioner, he respects Commr. Stivender’s involvement and she should be included in the process and relay anything of importance back to the Board. He stated that the Board has said that they are not interested in purchasing the property, nor does it have the money.
Commr. Stivender stated that the City is interested in working with the private developer.
Commr. Pool stated that any opportunity for them to find some additional parking spaces would be greatly appreciated.
It was clarified that, at the Financial Retreat, Commrs. Stivender, Hill and Cadwell said that the City does not want it taken off of their tax base.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
Commr. Pool informed the Board that he will be attending the Minneola City Council meeting this evening, and there will be some annexations discussed and he did not know if the Board members had any comments or thoughts regarding this matter. He noted that a memo was provided to him that had been addressed to Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager, from Mr. Jeff Richardson, Amy King and Max Forgey, Planning and Development, in reference to some of the issues that might be on the table. In the event that there was some specific issue, or some concerns of the Board, he would be there only to listen and not to dictate policy to the City. Commr. Pool stated that it is important that cities and landowners reach some agreement, and they need to be at the table to ensure that what they are trying to do would be consistent with what the future should hold for that area. He understands they have agreed at this point to annex without any changes to the Comprehensive Plan, with a DRI pending, however, if the Board wishes for him to make some official remark to the City Council tonight, and/or to the party requesting the annexation, they need to let him know now.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, if they are going to do any annexation that is going to change the land use and densities, he would be opposed to it.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that the annexation does not change the land use. If they wanted to change the land use, they would have to come back with a separate Comprehensive Plan Amendment.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER STIVENDER - DISTRICT #3
Commr. Stivender extended her thanks to the employees who responded to the Salvation Army’s nonperishable food request.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT #5
PROCLAMATION - W.I.N. MINISTRIES
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request for approval and execution of Proclamation 2003-125 in support of W.I.N. (Warning is Necessary) Ministries hosting its second Annual Divine Alignment Conference in the City of Eustis on August 8th and 9th, 2003.
PROCLAMATION - NATIONAL KIDS DAY
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request for approval and execution of Proclamation 2003-126 proclaiming August 3, 2003 as “National Kids Day” in Lake County.
TENTATIVE MILLAGE RATES FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004
Commr. Cadwell stated that an item was added to the agenda, for the Board to take action that is necessary for the trim notices, based on information that was received from staff at the workshop.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved the following tentative millage rates: countywide - 5.917 mills; stormwater - .5 mills; and ambulance - .5289 mills.
Commr. Pool voted “no”.
As a point of clarification, Commr. Pool stated that he has consistently said that he does not appreciate the way stormwater was handled. He likes the stormwater issue and he wants to have it resolved, but he does not think they need two agencies, and so consistently he has said that he does not want to vote for a tax increase on stormwater, and that he wants one agency to handle it.
Commr. Hanson stated that they need to continue to work in that direction, but the funds are still needed.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to set the first advertised public hearing for September 9, 2003, at 5:05 p.m., in the Board Meeting Room, Administration Building, Tavares, Florida.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 1:25 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN ATTEST:
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK