A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OCTOBER 14, 2003
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, October 14, 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; Melanie Marsh, Assistant County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; and Judy Whaley, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Cadwell stated that there is an Addendum to the Agenda.
Mr. Neron stated that Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager, would like to discuss upcoming meetings relating to the Wekiva area.
Commr. Cadwell requested that an item relating to the donation of a 1996 ambulance by Lake-Sumter Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the Eustis Police Department, in exchange for staff vehicles, be added to the Agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved placing said item on the Agenda.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 6, and Addendum No. 1, as follows:
Request for approval of Memorandum of Understanding between Lake County and the Lake County Health Department and authorization for the County Manager to sign the Memorandum.
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign the FY 2003-2004 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Partnership Agreement between the City of Tavares and the County in an amount not to exceed $60,000.00, granting the City CDBG funds to construct sidewalks north of Main Street neighborhood; and to direct the Community Services Department to execute the agreement and oversee completion of the project covered in the Scope of Services.
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign the FY 2003-2004 CDBG Partnership Agreement with Mid-Florida Community Services, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $20,000.00 to be used to transport homebound senior citizens to congregate meal sites; and to direct the Community Services Department to execute the agreement and oversee completion of the project covered in the Scope of Services.
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign the FY 2003-2004 CDBG Partnership Agreement with Mid-Florida Community Services, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $20,000.00 to be used to deliver meals on weekends to homebound senior citizens; and to direct the Community Services Department to execute the agreement and oversee completion of the project covered in the Scope of Services.
Request for approval of the 10 Capital Improvement Projects recommended by the Parks & Recreation Citizen’s Advisory Board for FY 2003-2004 to be funded from Infrastructure Sales Tax dollars; and approval for the Chairman to execute each agreement as they are submitted.
Request for approval of the Regional Park Development Grant Project recommended by the Parks & Recreation Citizen’s Advisory Board for FY 2003-2004 to be funded from the Infrastructure Sales Tax dollars; and approval for the Chairman to execute the agreement when it is submitted.
Addendum No. 1 - Budget and Administrative Services - Risk Management
Request for approval to accept the contract renewal for Excess Insurance Coverage and sign the agreement for continued excess insurance benefits at the proposed rates from RMTS for specific and aggregate coverage on the health insurance plan. The rates remain competitive and the coverage provided fits the County group health plan.
MOUNT PLYMOUTH AND SORRENTO FRAMEWORK STUDY REPORT
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento Framework Study. (A copy of the PowerPoint presentation, Miller Sellen Conner & Walsh’s 45-page summary report and the full report, Mount Plymouth and Sorrento Framework Study Report July 2003, are included in the backup material). Mr. Welstead presented a number of issues on land use and recommendations of the study. His PowerPoint presentation included the following:
• Land Use Framework Map
• Market Street Corridor Districts:
• Design Guidelines
• Traffic Planning and Access
• Aesthetic Elements
• Avoid Too Much Retail
• West Market Street (Sorrento) and East Market Street (Mount Plymouth)
• Market Square
• Market Street Parkway
• Residential Districts:
• Country Estates
• Golf Estates
• Garden Estates
• Garden Cottage
• Golf and Garden Cottage
• Garden Cottage and Estates
• Community Advisory Group
• Appoint a Community Advisory Group
• Partner with the County
• Conduct a Study to Prepare and Adopt Community Design Standards and Guidelines
• Study Availability and Commitment of Funding Sources
• Management of Land Use and Development Patterns
• Policy Amendments to Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map
• Transfer of Development Rights
• Planned Development Zoning
• Business/Employment Opportunities
• Elementary School and Middle School
• Design Standards/Guidelines
• Zoning Overlay District
• High Quality Development
• Design Guidelines as Part of PD Zoning
• Preserve Sense of Place and Identity
• Infrastructure and Utilities
• Implementation of Best Practices for Water, Wastewater and Stormwater
• Transportation Network Plan
• Analysis to Model the Framework Plan Roadway Network
• Community Road Network Improvements
• Rail-to-Trail Bikeway Study
• Bike Trail Study
• Equestrian Trail Study
Regarding the Transportation Network Plan, Mr. Welstead commented that the report does not encourage development of either a spur road or a bypass around Mount Plymouth and Sorrento. Rather, the report encourages the County Commission and any future deliberating parties to consider that there may be a requirement in the future for additional transportation improvements, such as the Wekiva Parkway or the U.S. Highway 441 bypass. He opined that it is not outside the realm of possibility that the Wekiva Parkway and the U.S. 441 bypass are never built. Should those not be built, some additional roadway improvements would be required in the future, whether the four-laning of S.R. 46 or some other additional road improvements in the area. He remarked that the recommendation specifically mentioned the Haas Road improvement as one of the future considerations. In looking at the Wekiva Parkway and the 441 bypass, they essentially form a southern bypass around Mount Plymouth-Sorrento. Mr. Welstead showed a map, entitled Wekiva Basin Study Area Highway Projects, which outlines the transportation improvements in the Wekiva area. The map, prepared September 16, 2003, by Metroplan Orlando does not include a Haas Road bypass. (A copy of the map is included in the backup material.)
Commr. Hanson commented that this process actually started about 13 years ago and, with the urbanization of the area, an overlay needs to go beyond the Comprehensive Plan and its policies. She opined that, if nothing is done now, the population in 20 to 40 years will ask why the County Commission or the community did not come together to do some planning. She mentioned a trail head, a regional park, an existing billboard ordinance, a county utility study, the Market Street concept which would require a two-lane road and a route around the area for through traffic, and the removal of businesses if S.R. 46 is widened. She stated that creating an advisory committee, to work with staff and planning experts, is critical.
Commr. Cadwell asked how an advisory committee can be put together that would have a level of trust within the community.
Commr. Hanson replied that this is an unincorporated area and there are several possibilities including a Community Development District (CDD) with elected council members. She stated that none of the options are without some controversy.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that there are negative impacts to 4-laning S.R. 46 through the business area. He opined that a bypass about a block away from S.R. 46 might be an option.
Commr. Hanson stated that, perhaps, the most logical bypass would be Wolf Branch Road but, she noted, that would not happen. A committee could explore other options.
Commr. Pool opined that no corridor will make everyone happy, but needs must be identified.
Commr. Cadwell stated that a successful plan will be market driven by the core area and by what is done outside the core area, especially to the east and to the north. He remarked that the Board will play a part in what happens there if it stands strong on land use changes and limits development where it needs to be limited. He explained that this will be the first attempt, and a challenge, to plan for an already established urbanized area in the unincorporated part of the County.
Mr. Welstead announced that Mr. Jim Sellen and Mr. Geoff McNeill of Miller Sellen Conner & Walsh will be giving a presentation on the study to the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee (Coordinating Committee) on October 15, 2003. He opined that the study should be considered in the Coordinating Committee’s deliberations.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the Board should give Mr. Sellen and Mr. McNeill some direction regarding how they make their presentation to the Coordinating Committee.
Commr. Hanson, in referring to the Land Use Framework map in the PowerPoint presentation, stated that the Board previously recommended, by resolution, that the State purchase approximately 1500 acres as shown in the southeast corner of the map. This property, although developable, has also been recommended for use as part of a Wekiva bypass.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Tanner Scofield, a resident of Ondich Road in Apopka, stated that people who live on Ondich Road, Haas Road and on the Wekiva do not want urban sprawl. He remarked that any more roads added to this area will curtail more water going into the Wekiva River. He requested that the Board seriously consider what will happen to any kind of new road development. He stated that the Expressway (Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority) wants a spur, but he cautioned that the Expressway is in the business of building roads and driving an income for bond holders.
Mr. Keith Schue, a Sorrento resident and Wekiva Issue Chairperson for the Central Florida Sierra Club, stated that he is a former member of the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento advisory group. He presented a two-page letter dated October 14, 2003, on the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Framework Study. (A copy of the letter is included in the backup material). He remarked that the Framework Study has a number of good points, especially the Market Street concept, centralized schools, architectural features and park areas. He stated that, however, the report fails to consider the serious ramifications of some of its recommendations upon the larger region in the Wekiva Basin ecosystem. Mr. Schue referred to the final report of the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force and presented maps of the 1500-acre parcel known as Neighborhood Lakes, a key piece of property that has been recommended for preservation by the Task Force. (Copies of the maps are included in the backup material.) He also submitted, for the record, a copy of Resolution 2001-42 in which the Board strongly supported the acquisition of the 1500-acre parcel for conservation and recreation purposes. He opined that, if regional traffic is redirected off S.R. 46 onto Haas and Ondich Roads, those roads could be transformed, over time, into something akin to S.R. 436 and S.R. 434. He asked that the Board not lower the high bar of protection that was established by the Task Force. He requested that the Board support the Wekiva Parkway concept and reject the Haas Road connector.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Cadwell concerning the section of S.R. 46 that goes through the Market Street area, Mr. Schue responded that the idea of a corridor a block away is an interesting idea and worthy of pursuit.
Commr. Hanson pointed out that, in this entire urban node, the opportunity for density is 5.5 units per acre. She agreed with Mr. Schue that any bypass that is created must have limited access.
Mr. Schue opined that the only way that three miles of new roadway through the Wekiva should be considered acceptable is if surrounding lands are acquired for preservation. If that can be achieved, he remarked, there is a huge potential for success.
Commr. Pool stated that, in looking to the future, transportation is the key. Allowing for transportation, while protecting the environment around it, and not allowing higher densities, is the key.
Ms. Priscilla Bernardo, a resident of Sorrento, stated that a lot of specifics of Miller Sellen’s final presentation to the advisory committee regarding the different housing districts were not presented. She remarked that, due to time constraints, no one had an opportunity to look at the specifics before the advisory committee approved the study. She stated that she is disturbed that the garden cottage and garden estates’ descriptions allow for single-family residential housing, but do not specify that those dwellings should be detached. She remarked that she fears apartments and condominiums can be built in this huge area south of S.R. 46.
Commissioners Stivender and Pool remarked that, while the intent probably is that those homes should be specified as “detached,” that wording could be added.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that the need for affordable housing cannot be ignored.
Commr. Hanson commented that a two-acre lot size, as is described under the garden estates concept, may not be a good size for clustering.
Commr. Hill stated that these concepts, garden estates, etc., are not described in the County’s Land Development Regulations and the terms may be confusing.
Mr. Welstead confirmed that the County’s code refers to single family and multi-family units.
Commr. Hanson pointed out that these are issues that have been presented in the study and that the Board is not ready to accept the study at this point. She explained that certain trade offs were made when the Comprehensive Plan was amended to create the Wekiva preservation area. Five and one-half units to the acre came about in the effort to transfer the densities from the resource to be protected into the urbanizing area. In reducing that density, she opined that the agreement made approximately 13 years ago with Wekiva property owners should be considered.
Mr. Welstead read a paragraph on Page 28 of the summary report regarding the Haas Road bypass option and pointed out that this option was not a preferred option of the advisory group.
Commr. Cadwell interjected that Board action on some of the concerns will probably be taken later in the meeting.
Ms. Jean Etter, President of Mount Plymouth Landowners, stated that the Mount Plymouth Landowners expressed their support of the Board’s Resolution 2001-42 which supports the State’s possible acquisition of the Neighborhood Lakes property. She stated that the Wekiva area is a jewel for Lake County. She opined that there are a lot of little things the County could do to fix up the area, while progressing ahead to a major plan, that could generate some trust from the community.
Commr. Hanson commented that, in the overall picture of the area, the library is a major commitment. Several neighborhood parks have been funded and dollars have been contributed from the Community Development Block Grant, both in roads and health care. Plans to replace the community center are under way. She suggested that the community should come together to make recommendations on the needs of the area.
Mr. David Lazarus, a resident of Orange County, stated that the Board should put up a straw man in transportation choices and work from that. He stated that the Board cannot keep conducting studies. He opined that the Board should take a strong stand, make a plan and then change it if necessary. He stated that an east-west road from Mount Dora to Sanford is necessary and he would like the Board to choose the most direct route possible. He remarked that traffic from S.R. 429 must be able to go north and he opined that the best way is the shortest way. He urged the Board to instruct staff to put up a straw man in the short term, within two months.
Ms. Vivian Gallimore, a resident of Tangerine in northwest Orange County, opined that establishing an urban node dictates that an employment center should be provided. She stated that work on a regional road realignment issue should include participation by an Orange County Commissioner and staff so that a cohesive regional effort, not a disjointed county line effort, is accomplished. Because she spends her money here, Lake County’s regional transportation efforts are more important to her in some ways than Orange County’s. She concluded that working together with Orange County can result in the achievement of significant goals.
Ms. Connie Hurlburt, a resident of Tangerine in northwest Orange County, echoed concerns about the Haas/Ondich corridor issue. She remarked that two schools in the area could be impacted by traffic that might be dumped in that area. Secondly, she stated that Orange County Commissioner Bob Sindler has been working in northwest Orange County to create a rural settlement, which would allow development at a density of no more than one unit per five acres, that is actually in compliance with the recommendations of the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force. She explained that a growth center was designated in 1996 without the approval of residents and, since that time, residents have become active in opposing any type of high density, intense development in the northwest Orange County corridor. She stated that a text amendment will be passed soon that will prevent the expansion of the growth center and of the joint planning agreement area that Orange County has with Mount Dora. She stated that she is opposed to allowing Mount Dora to provide sewer and water services to residents in northwest Orange County.
Commr. Hanson responded to comments by Ms. Gallimore by stating that jobs have not been encouraged in the area and new zonings for industrial use will not be allowed in the Wekiva Basin. In responding to comments by Ms. Hurlburt, Commr. Hanson clarified that, when she suggested this study be done, it was not with the idea of dumping Lake County’s concerns onto another community. She opined that it is imperative that communities cross lines.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:30 a.m., Commr. Cadwell announced that the Board would take a 15-minute recess.
MT. PLYMOUTH AND SORRENTO FRAMEWORK STUDY REPORT (CONT’D)
Dr. Ronald Holman, a resident of the Sorrento area, stated that he is interested in the growth of the area. He started his dental practice in Winter Park and moved to Maitland, then Longwood, and then to Sorrento to escape congestion. As a former Seminole County Planning and Zoning Commissioner and member of the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento advisory group, he expressed familiarity with the problems. He remarked that planning, before anything happens, should continue.
Mr. Bill Cole, who served on the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento advisory group, opined that the advisory group accomplished a lot. He encouraged the Board to continue the planning process and to keep Mr. Geoff McNeill of Miller Sellen Conner & Walsh involved. He remarked that the CDD is a possibility but there might be some struggles with that concept because of land owner consents. He stated that a special taxing district is another option. He offered to get input from an investment banking firm regarding funding sources. He opined that everyone recognizes the need to avoid four-laning S.R. 46 through the heart of Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento. He noted that a PD&E (Project Development & Environment Study) on S.R. 46 by the Florida Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin in about 15 months. Mr. Cole stated that he is one of the owners of the Neighborhood Lakes property. He explained that the property was under contract five years ago, but after the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) angered the buyers, negotiations broke off. He stated that DEP has indicated they would like to buy the property but has made it fairly clear that the purchase is not a top priority. He further explained that, of the approximate 1,600 acres, 1,052 is in Lake County and the balance is in Orange County. About 270 acres are not included in the study area. Because the property is in the urban compact node, the owners have the ability to increase density by purchasing TDRs (Transfer Development Rights). He stated that the property consists of burned-out orange groves, the wetlands are very low quality and there may not be any cypress trees on the property. He stated that there is a trailer park which has eight to nine units per acre on one side of the property, the Country Club of Mount Plymouth is one side, on the southern boundary of Orange County are 80 and 90 foot lots and S.R. 46 is on the north side. Property on the eastern border is owned by the State of Florida. Mr. Cole stated that it is fairly clear that the property is in a high recharge area and in the Wekiva Protection area. He concluded by asking to be considered in the planning framework and asked that the study group be continued.
Ms. Susan Hunsaker, a resident of Ondich Road in Apopka since 1979, stated that she is speaking from a voter and taxpayer’s point of view. She asked why traffic is being diverted from State Road 46 when it has been established by the State as an east-west corridor. She opined that, because it has been four-laned in Seminole County, the natural progression is that it would be four-laned in Lake County. She asked why Orange County should be involved with Lake County’s road issues.
Commr. Hanson stated that keeping the traffic on S.R. 46 is an option, but added that she does not think it is the best option for the viability of the community.
Ms. Jennifer McMurtray, Defenders of Wildlife, expressed that it is important that the Board not lock into any road recommendations in the report at this point. She stated that endorsing a road through the Neighborhood Lakes property would add value to that property at a time when acquisition by the State is already a problem. She requested that the Board endorse the whole package of recommendations from the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force because those recommendations were the whole plan of how to address the need for roads in the area, buy the conservation lands and elevate through the sensitive conservation areas. She stated that it is also important that this area remain rural. She commented that the Miller Sellen meetings in the community drew many small land owners and business owners who were unanimous in that they love the area the way it is and even expressed the wish that the Wekiva River Protection Area was bigger. She strongly recommended that the most diverse group, with people on all sides of the issues, should be put on the committee and have the work done there and be representative of the community. She also recommended that a consensus-based process be considered such as that used by the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium. Lastly, she remarked that staff mentioned a wonderful idea that development rights could be extinguished on State lands. She requested that the Board direct staff to start on that today.
Ms. Nancy Prine, a resident of downtown Orlando and member of Friends of the Wekiva River, stated that Friends of the Wekiva sent the Board a letter last August regarding concerns about the proposals that were taking place in the area. She expressed her concerns regarding the roads. She suggested that the town center could be moved to one side or the other from S.R. 46. She recommended that the Board think about the development that has taken place in Winter Park where a pedestrian-friendly town center has been established. She emphasized the fact that water concerns are grave and whatever development is done in this area, those water resources must be protected. She commented that people who live in rural areas love the lifestyle and the residents in the area should be able to continue to enjoy their right to live in a rural area. She cautioned the Board to be aware that the City of Apopka is growing at a rapid rate. She then pointed out that she lives on a 50-foot lot and the density of her downtown Orlando neighborhood, which is within walking distance to her job, is 5.9 units per acre. She stated that by following the recommendations of the study, by establishing an advisory board and by moving forward as rapidly as possible, she thinks the wonderful character of northeast Lake County can be protected.
Ms. Joan Holmes, a 25-year resident of Round Lake Road in Apopka, reiterated that there is a water problem. Two years ago she was without water as a result of her pump being above the water level. Twenty-one feet of pipe was necessary to reach water in her well. She asked what will happen to her well with the new Mount Dora well to the northwest and a new Apopka well to the southeast. She asked the Board to keep her situation in mind when planning development and higher densities. She stated that she spends money at businesses on S.R. 46 and feels that diverting traffic away from S.R. 46 would hurt those small businesses. She stated that she is a member of Northwest Orange County Coalition of Communities, a group that was formed when the building of S.R. 429 threatened to subdivide her section of Orange County. That group presented a resolution to the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force which was signed by representatives of the Northwest Orange County Improvement Association, Zellwood Station, the Tangerine Improvement Society, Ola Beach Improvement Association, Lake Ola Lakefront Homeowners Associations, Alysium Homeowners Association and the Foothills of Mount Dora project. She read the following from the resolution, “Roads within unincorporated areas of northwest Orange County shall be designated as scenic rural roadways and shall be policy constrained to remain as two through lanes. Policy shall be established relating to buffers, building setbacks, access, curb cuts and the preservation or planting of canopy trees in order to maintain the aesthetic rural character of these roadways. These roads shall not be realigned or extended for the purpose of serving as new corridors for traffic nor shall joining roads or new arterial roads be constructed to accomplish this purpose.” She stated that her group is against commercializing and high densitizing northwest Orange County. She requested that the Board keep in mind her group’s opposition to diverting state road traffic onto a rural road.
Commr. Hanson declared that this study is not an attempt to promote more growth, but is probably one that would look at less growth by including more clustering which could potentially conserve water. She asked how many acres are in the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento urban node and how many potential units could be built today.
Mr. Geoff McNeill, Miller Sellen Conner & Walsh, responded that there are approximately 6,700 acres in the urban node and that, at 5.5 units per acre, more than 35,000 units could be built. The policy has been in place since 1990 to allow this much density. An important aspect of this study is that it deals with a reduction of the overall density and is an effort to try to maintain the character and identity of this community. He commented that the study suggests that it should not be at that intensity and density of development that is anticipated in the compact urban node and that was clearly stated in the first workshop meetings and throughout the advisory committee meetings. Mr. McNeill clarified that his reference to the Haas Road bypass comes from maps produced in 2001 with the S.R. 429 extension and the Wekiva Parkway which create a “U” around the southern side of the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento area and through the Ondich/Haas Road area. He was emphatic that the reference on Page 28 of the study’s summary report clearly is not a recommendation of either the advisory committee or the Board. It is not a recommendation to the Board to defer this community’s issues onto another community in Orange County. He stated that this recommendation is about how the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento community area deals with its issues and responsibilities with strict design standards and how to work with FDOT. He further explained that one of the earliest recommendations to the advisory committee was to look at a series of two-lane road connections because traffic studies show that a series of those roads will carry more traffic more effectively, and at better rates, than one four-lane road. Mr. McNeill stated that, ideally, S.R. 46 would remain two lanes. If S.R. 46 does remain two lanes, then strict design standards must be dealt with and that is the recommendation that has been advanced in this study. He further recommended intergovernmental coordination efforts, noting the difficulty in dealing across county lines.
Mr. Tim Bailey, a resident of Mount Plymouth and member of the advisory group, stated that the sum of this report is that the residents of the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento area would like to have some representation. He remarked that the report is not about roads, water or densities, but is a request that the residents be able to represent themselves. He requested that the Board approve the County researching what additional revenues are generated by new home construction in the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento area. He requested that a portion of those new revenues be funneled directly back to the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento area to provide for studies and acquisitions of lands and buildings. He remarked that, personally, he bears enough of the load of the influx of new residents. He expressed that he is not interested in offsetting the cost of those people moving here and providing for studies and providing for parks and such. He contended that people moving here is the biggest problem the community has.
Commr. Hanson opined that there are two issues. One issue is the need for an advisory committee that would continue to look at the area and the other issue is the funding.
Mr. Bailey reiterated that, if the funding facility is not provided, the community will not continue to exist.
Mr. Egor Emery, a resident of Eustis speaking of behalf of the Lake County Conservation Council, stated that his group advocates for conservation. He stated that citizens of Florida have invested millions of dollars in the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento area and that the regional approach is important. He encouraged the Board to look at, and adopt, the recommendations of the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force. He encouraged the Board to be an advocate for the entire community before the state agencies, the road agencies and all the other agencies ultimately determine the future for the community. He remarked that new U.S. Highway 441 was built away from downtown Mount Dora in an effort to preserve it. He commented that the character of U.S. 441 has changed drastically in the last twenty years ago, as the character of downtown Mount Dora has changed. He stated that just having the road go around downtown does not save the downtown. In addition to moving the road, land has to be bought for conservation. He encouraged the Board to set the highest possible standard and use the longest range viewpoint and do whatever can be done to preserve all the communities in Lake County.
Ms. Charlotte Hollingsworth, a resident of Tangerine in Orange County, stated that Tangerine is fighting to preserve what it has. If the Haas Road extension remains a consideration, she asked that citizen representatives, not just a political person, from Orange County be appointed to serve on the advisory committee.
Ms. Debbie Liebknecht, a resident of Ondich Road in Apopka, requested that the Haas Road bypass be removed from consideration. She stated that putting a bypass three or four miles away from S.R. 46 will induce sprawl and that would be in direct conflict with what the Task Force is trying to accomplish.
There being no further public comment, the public comment portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the removal of the following sentence from Page 40 of the summary of the Mount Plymouth and Sorrento Framework Study Report July 2003, “Test the Southern bypass to Hass (sic) Road as an alternative to widening SR 46 to four lanes,” as well as the removal of any other reference in the study to a Haas Road bypass.
Commr. Cadwell requested that, because there are several areas in the County like the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento community that do not have a government support group, the Board instruct County staff to see if someone in the planning department could be assigned as staff support to advisory committees in those areas.
Commr. Hanson agreed that such support would be helpful.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, stated that studies like the Framework Study, as well as Joint Planning Area studies, will require some special attention. He requested a few weeks to determine the most effective way to provide these in-house functions, from the results and cost-effective standpoints.
Commr. Hanson pointed out that the Framework Study offers a lot of background work that can be an important and useful tool for staff to use. She expressed her appreciation to Miller Sellen and Mr. McNeill for the thorough job they did.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that the County Manager also consider a staff liaison to help provide other services to these unincorporated, somewhat urbanized areas.
Commr. Hill stated that this is like an application for a redevelopment by an unincorporated area. For that purpose, this does not fit the County’s existing Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations. She asked if an advisory committee would circumvent the land planning agency that would typically be involved in this process.
Commr. Hanson explained that the first step of an advisory committee would be to look at the recommendations that could be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Regulations.
Commr. Cadwell further explained that the committee would bring back a list of recommendations at different times.
Commr. Hill cautioned that the Board should be very careful in making those changes. She stated that it seems the Board is in the development business.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the advisory committee would bring recommendations, such as design standards, to the Board and the recommendations would then go through Planning and Zoning and the entire public hearing process.
Discussion ensued regarding recommendations, reducing densities in the community and design standards.
Commr. Cadwell asked for discussion regarding the advisory committee framework.
Commr. Hanson clarified that the members of the last Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento advisory group were invited to serve by Mr. McNeill to advise him through his process as a consultant.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that the new committee should be formed by a resolution of the Board which would clarify the number of members and the geographical makeup of the committee. Discussions can take place regarding other specifics of the group when the resolution comes to the Board.
Commr. Hanson stated that she envisions the committee to be an ongoing group that would deal with the urban node. While areas in Orange County have concerns with their boundaries, at some point the groups will have to work together. She would prefer the advisory committee answer to the Lake County Commission and that members would live in the urban node.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that when Commr. Hanson brought this forward in the beginning, she was concerned with the traditional downtown area and all of today’s issues have nothing to do with the original reason it was brought forward, the urban node.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the official formation of an advisory group for the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento Urban Node, of between ten and fifteen people through the application process, by a resolution which will be brought to the Board by staff and the County Manager.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to send a letter to the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee with the Board’s endorsement of the Final Report Recommendations of the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force.
The Board directed, by consensus, that a copy of the Board’s Resolution 2001-42 supporting the State’s acquisition of the 1500+/- acre parcel known as Neighborhood Lakes be presented to the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER STIVENDER - DISTRICT #3
UNITED ARTS ASSOCIATION AWARDS
Commr. Stivender announced that the United Arts Association of Central Florida recognized the Performing Arts of Lake and Sumter (PALS) who won first place for special events for the Renaissance Faire; Ms. Sharon Graikowski, a volunteer with for Lake Sumter Community College Foundation received a second place award for Volunteer of the Year for her work with the Lake Sumter performing arts program; and the Lake County Cultural Affairs Council received the second place award for outstanding community engagement programs.
At 12:00 noon, it was noted that Commr. Stivender left the meeting.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
It was noted that no one wished to present questions or comments to the Board at this time.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
ORLANDO BUSINESS JOURNAL
Commr. Pool pointed out that last week’s edition of the Orlando Business Journal published positive remarks about Lake County, specifically mentioning G&T Conveyors which has created 200 new jobs. The Journal reported that tourism in Lake County is up and the County’s unemployment rate is down.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT #4
Commr. Hanson remarked that the groundwork for the successes mentioned by Commr. Pool was laid years ago. She stated that she missed the Board meeting last week because she was out of the country.
WEKIVA RIVER BASIN COORDINATING COMMITTEE
Commr. Hanson reminded the Board that the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee meets at 10:00 a.m., October 15 and 16, 2003, at Embassy Suites in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - CHAIRMAN & DISTRICT #5
LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION MEETING
Commr. Cadwell thanked Commr. Hill for representing the Board at the Legislative Delegation Meeting on Friday, October 10, 2003.
Commr. Hill stated that Senator Anna Cowin had some suggestions that will be brought to the Board. She stated that Lake County’s requests to the Legislative Delegation should be categorized and ranked.
EMS VEHICLE EXCHANGE
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the request of the Lake-Sumter Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to donate a 1996 Ford F-350 to the Eustis Police Department, in exchange for two Eustis staff vehicles that EMS will accept.
REPORT - DEPUTY COUNTY MANAGER
WEKIVA RIVER BASIN COORDINATING COMMITTEE - STUDY AREA
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director, stated that the final item on the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee’s agenda on October 16, 2003, is discussion of the study area. In the past, there has been heated discussion as to whether the study area should be increased and what the water, recharge, and springshed consumption considerations should be. He showed a map of the current study area and remarked that a section of Seminole County, that is part of the corridor, is not included the study area (green shaded area). (Copies of the agenda and the METROPLAN map are included in the backup material.)
Commr. Hanson stated that the Board might want to recommend to the Coordinating Committee that the area be included in the study area.
Commr. Cadwell commented that there probably will be discussions on that issue at the meeting on October 15 and that Commr. Hanson could mention the issue at that time.
Commr. Pool stated that including the Clermont area south of Lake Apopka in the study area should be addressed also because it is so far away from the Wekiva River.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL (CONTINUED)
SALES SURTAX OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Commr. Cadwell reminded the Board that the meeting on October 21, 2003, includes a Joint Meeting with the Lake County Schools and the Lake County municipalities for a semiannual report by the Sales Surtax Oversight Committee at 4:00 p.m., at Lake Sumter Community College.
STATE OF THE COUNTY - 2003
Commr. Cadwell reminded the Board that the State of the County and the induction into the Women’s Hall of Fame will be held on Thursday evening, October 16, 2003.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK