A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JANUARY 27, 2004
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, January 27, 2004, 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: Debbie Stivender, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; Catherine C. Hanson; and Robert A. Pool. Others present were: William A. “Bill” Neron, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; and Judy Whaley, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Mr. Sandy Minkoff gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Comm. Stivender noted that there is an Addendum No. 1 regarding a Closed Session at 11:00 a.m.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
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 1 through 4.
Request from Growth Management for approval of Interlocal Agreement with the Lake County School Board which will formalize the cooperation and the sharing of data and resources between the Lake County School Board and the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Geographic Information System (GIS).
Request from Public Works for approval and authorization to amend contract between the County and Rispoli-Sosa (d/b/a Architecture Studio, Inc.) concerning the Lake County Judicial Center Parking Modification.
Request from Purchasing for approval to declare the items on the attached list surplus to County needs and authorize disposal as described; accept the attached missing item investigation reports and authorize the removal of the items from the County’s Official Fixed Asset system; and authorize the Purchasing Director to sign the titles for the vehicles that will be disposed of.
Request from Purchasing for approval to waive the formal solicitation requirements for the purchase of mosquito management chemicals and authorize the County Manager to award all contracts for the chemicals.
GRANT TO LAKE SUMTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATION
Commr. Stivender made a grant presentation to Dr. Charles Mojock, President of Lake Sumter Community College (LSCC), as follows:
In a continuing effort to be involved with the communities being served by Bright House Networks and in cooperation with the cities of Clermont, Groveland, Mascotte, and Minneola, and the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Bright House has awarded a grant of $14,000.00 to the Lake Sumter Community College Foundation for the purchase of equipment for their education and government access channel. This represents one dollar for each Bright House Networks subscriber in Lake County.
Dr. Mojock expressed appreciation to the Board and to Bright House for this support and stated that LSCC has a tremendous need for upgrading equipment and improving the quality of the signal used to carry programming, including the County Commission meetings. He introduced Mr. Terry Longordo, LSCC’s Manager of Television Services & Distance Learning, and stated that Mr. Longordo is always in need of volunteers who are interested in television.
PUBLIC HEARING - VACATIONS
PETITION NO. 1013 - CARRIER AND BEEBE - CLERMONT AREA
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, presented Vacation Petition No. 1013, a request by Carrier and Beebe to cease County maintenance and vacate a portion of a platted road right of way in the Plat of Lake Highlands Company, located in Section 20, Township 22 South, Range 26 East, in the Clermont area, Commission District 2. He showed the site map, which is included in the backup material, and stated that the easement vacation on this clay road should not restrict access to anyone’s property.
Commr. Stivender opened the public hearing and noted the presence of the petitioners.
Mr. Bruce Finkbeiner, who owns property adjacent to Petitioner Beebe, expressed his concern as to what kind of development will take place if the easement vacation is approved, even though the property is currently zoned agriculture.
Commr. Pool pointed out that today’s public hearing is only a request to vacate an easement and is not a request for a land use change.
Commr. Stivender explained that, should the petitioners seek a land use change at a future date, the surrounding property owners would be notified and would be involved in the process.
Mr. William Carrier, petitioner who owns lot 61B, stated that he has lived on his property since 1976, that he has no plans to do anything with his property, and that he is only interested in vacating the right of way in an effort to stop U-turn traffic.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that residents are concerned with any type of action due to the rate of growth in this area.
Ms. Deborah Beebe, petitioner who has owned lot 61A, Jacks Lake Road, for 10 years, stated that she had previously explained to Mr. Finkbeiner that she has no plans to develop her property and remarked that she enjoys her home and the surrounding woods and wildlife.
There being no further public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Vacation Petition No. 1013 by Carrier and Beebe to cease County maintenance and vacate a portion of a platted road right of way in the Plat of Lake Highlands Company, located in Section 20, Township 22 South, Range 26 East, in the Clermont area, Commission District 2; and approved Resolution 2004-16.
PETITION NO. 1014 - WILLIAM R. AND FLORENCE ADAMS - SORRENTO AREA
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, presented Vacation Petition No. 1014 by William R. and Florence Adams to vacate right of way for Park Avenue, as shown on the Plat of Sorrento, located in Section 25, Township 19 South, Range 27 East, in the Sorrento area, Commission District 4. He showed the site map, which is included in the backup material, and stated that staff recommends approval for vacation subject to finalizing all the unity of titles necessary.
Commr. Stivender opened the public hearing and noted the presence of the petitioners. No one was present 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, the Board approved Vacation Petition No. 1014 by William R. and Florence Adams to vacate right of way for Park Avenue, as shown on the Plat of Sorrento, located in Section 25, Township 19 South, Range 27 East, in the Sorrento area, Commission District 4; and approved Resolution 2004-17.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - REZONINGS
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director, advised the Board of the following requests for changes to today’s Zoning Agenda: the applicant’s agent, Attorney Cecelia Bonifay, on Agenda No. 4, Long Farms North, Inc., PH#68-03-1, has made a written request (Exhibit A-1) for a 30-day postponement until February 24, 2004; the applicant’s agent, Attorney Cecelia Bonifay, on Agenda No. 5, Hillandale Farms, CUP#03/11/1-3, has submitted a written withdrawal request (Exhibit A-1) of the application for an amendment to its existing Conditional Use Permit (note: no action by the Board was necessary for this withdrawal); and on Agenda No. 6, Commr. Stivender has requested postponement of discussion of the Joint Planning Agreement between the City of Leesburg and Lake County.
REZONING CASE PH#68-03-1 - MARGARET STOKES CALL, VIRGINIA H.
ALLEN, B.A.W., INC. - LONG FARMS NORTH, INC. - CECELIA BONIFAY, ESQ.
Commr. Stivender opened the public hearing and noted that there was no opposition to, and no one wished to comment on, the written request for a 30-day postponement, until February 24, 2004, on Rezoning Case PH#68-03-1, Margaret Stokes Call, Virginia H. Allen, B.A.W., Inc., Long Farms North, Inc., Cecelia Bonifay, Esq., Tracking #102-03-Z.
There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a 30-day postponement, until February 24, 2004, of Rezoning Case PH#68-03-1, Margaret Stokes Call, Virginia H. Allen, B.A.W., Inc., Long Farms North, Inc., Cecelia Bonifay, Esq., Tracking #102-03-Z.
REZONING AGENDA NO. 6 - JOINT PLANNING AGREEMENT
CITY OF LEESBURG AND LAKE COUNTY
Commr. Stivender stated that she and other Board members requested that the Joint Planning Agreement (JPA) between the City of Leesburg and Lake County be postponed until a public meeting can be held between the Board and the City of Leesburg Commission. She noted that said meeting will be held at the Leesburg Community Center in conjunction with a City Commission meeting. The recommended dates are February 16, March 1, March 15 or March 29, 2004, and Commr. Stivender requested that the meeting take place on March 15, 2004, at 5:30 p.m.
A motion was made by Commr. Pool and seconded by Commr. Hill to hold a joint public meeting with the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and the City of Leesburg Commission on March 15, 2004, at 5:30 p.m. at the Leesburg Community Center to discuss the Joint Planning Agreement between the City of Leesburg and Lake County.
Under discussion, Commr. Cadwell stated that it was his understanding that such a meeting was originally planned and that the City Manager had requested that the meeting take place after the City’s election.
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director, stated that the City of Leesburg Commission adopted the JPA after the City’s election.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he is convinced the City Commission will work through the JPA with the County, but he also opined that the City Manager is not on the same page.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that a countywide seminar for Lake County’s boards and committees is scheduled for March 15, 2004, at 6:00 p.m. in Board chambers. He requested an alternate date for the JPA meeting and suggested March 29, 2004.
Commr. Pool amended his motion to hold the joint meeting on March 29, 2004, at 5:30 p.m., and Commr. Hill amended her second to the motion.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, as amended, for a joint meeting to be held Monday, March 29, 2004, at 5:30 p.m. The motion carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that, in the meantime, the City Commission should be encouraged to have some open-type discussion and forums.
Mr. Chuck Johnson, counsel for Hawthorne at Leesburg, requested the opportunity to meet with Commr. Stivender (Hawthorne’s Commissioner representative) and County staff, and the City of Leesburg if they desire, prior to the March 27, 2004, meeting. He stated that Hawthorne is looking for an understanding and its biggest concern was the lack of notice it received on this situation which could have potential detrimental effects.
Commr. Stivender asked that Mr. Johnson work with the County Attorney or staff to arrange the meeting he requested.
At this time, Commissioners Hanson, Hill, Stivender and Pool disclosed that they had met with representatives of Hillandale Farms regarding their application, which was withdrawn, to amend their Conditional Use Permit.
Commissioners Hill and Stivender disclosed that they had also met with representatives of Hartle Groves, Long Farms North, Inc., and the City of Leesburg, on their respective rezoning agenda cases.
Commissioners Hanson and Pool disclosed that they had also met with representatives of Hartle Groves regarding their application for rezoning.
REZONING CASE CUP#04/1/1-4 - APPLICATION FOR CONDITIONAL USE
PERMIT IN AGRICULTURE - SUSAN D. SOWLE - TRACKING #3-04-CUP
Ms. Tiffany Kapner, Senior Planner, Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case Number CUP#04/1/1-4, an application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in A (Agriculture), Susan D. Sowle, which is a request to allow a horse farm and horse boarding facility on a 16.5 +/- acre parcel in the Wekiva River Protection Area, at the intersection of Hutcheson Lane and County Road 46A. The request is consistent with the Lake County Land Development Regulations and the Lake County Comprehensive Plan. Staff recommends approval with conditions, as approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, of a request for a CUP in A to allow for a horse farm and horse boarding facility that would include up to 14 stalls. There shall be no public events on the property, and the owner shall adhere to the setback and lighting conditions as set forth in the proposed ordinance.
Commr. Stivender opened the public hearing and noted the presence of the applicant.
Mr. Scott Easterbrook, who lives on Arundel Way directly behind the Sowle property, inquired as to what type of arena lighting is planned.
Ms. Susie Sowle, applicant, stated that there are no plans for arena lighting at this time, and that riding is currently done only in the daylight hours. She added that she has been advised by staff that she would need to reapply should she plan to add arena lighting in the future.
Commr. Cadwell asked Ms. Sowle if she would be opposed to language in the ordinance that would prohibit lighting for night time events.
Ms. Sowle further explained that she will not have any events on the property but she hopes, if the CUP is approved, to have clients who, because of working hours, may need to ride in the night time.
Commr. Pool pointed out that Section 1. C. of the proposed ordinance states, “All outdoor lighting shall be so shaded and adjusted that the light therefrom is directed on the same premises where such light source is located. No lighting shall project above any roofline.”
Ms. Sowle stated that any lighting installed will be less objectionable than ring lighting at a nearby property and she remarked that she does not want to offend any of her neighbors.
There being no further public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Hanson regarding the number of stalls, Ms. Kapner explained that 14 stalls currently exist and approval is for the existing number of stalls.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation and conditions of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved Ordinance 2004-2, Rezoning Case Number CUP#04/1/1-4, an application for a Conditional Use Permit in A (Agriculture), Susan D. Sowle, a request to allow a horse farm and horse boarding facility that would include up to 14 stalls.
REZONING CASE PH#2-04-5 - RONALD & SHERRY BRAITHWAITE
C-1 AND R-8 TO R-2 - TRACKING #2-04-Z
Mr. Rick Hartenstein, Planner, Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#2-04-5, Ronald & Sherry Braithwaite, Tracking #2-04-Z, a request to rezone from C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial) and R-8 (Mixed Residential District) to R-2 (Estate Residential) on a .74 +/- acre parcel on Dale Circle in Astor. The purpose of the request is to correct a non-conforming zoning so the owners can proceed with a lot line adjustment and obtain a building permit for an accessory structure, a garage-type building. The property is on an individual septic tank system and is served by Astor/Astor Park with central water. Staff recommends approval of the rezoning.
Commr. Stivender opened the public hearing and noted the presence of the applicant. No one present wished to comment or oppose the request. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved Ordinance 2004-3, Rezoning Case PH#2-04-5, Ronald & Sherry Braithwaite, Tracking #2-04-Z, a request to rezone from C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial) and R-8 (Mixed Residential District) to R-2 (Estate Residential).
REZONING CASE PH#3-04-2 - FRANCES B. HARTLE, HARTLE GROVES -
STEVEN J. RICHEY, ESQ. - A TO PUD - TRACKING #6-04-PUD
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planning Manager, Planning & Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#3-04-2, Frances B. Hartle, Hartle Groves, Steven J. Richey, Esq., Tracking #6-04-PUD, a request to rezone from A (Agriculture District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development District), for a mixed-use commercial/residential development on a 69+/- acre site in the east Clermont area at the corner of Hartle Road and State Road 50. The development will consist of approximately 54.5 acres dedicated to residential uses and approximately 10.5 acres dedicated to commercial uses, with a maximum of 105,000 square feet of commercial uses being allowed. Mr. Richardson stated that the applicant’s representative plans to suggest a decrease in the number of dwelling units from 382 to 325. This property was subject to Land Plan Amendment LPA/#03/4/2-2 which was adopted by the Lake County Board in December 2003. While transmitted to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the DCA has not published its notice of intent to find the amendment in compliance at this date. Based on that amendment, staff finds the request to be consistent and recommends conditional approval subject to the following: (1) pending DCA publishing the notice of intent that the amendment is in compliance and (2) the overall development be developed as an integrated planned unit development.
Commr. Stivender opened the public hearing.
Mr. Steve Richey, attorney representing Ms. Frances Hartle, noted that Ms. Hartle was present in the audience. He stated that the applicant requests a reduction to 325 units which makes the overall density on the 69-acre project 4.7 units per acre. The property was previously in the Comprehensive Plan as Urban Expansion which allowed for 4.0 dwelling units per acre. During the last year, in consideration of helping Ms. Hartle to be able to provide the 100 feet of right of way to allow for Hartle Road to be realigned with CR 455, the property was changed, under the Comprehensive Plan, from Urban Expansion to Urban which allows the potential of 7.0 dwelling units per acre. He stated that he dealt with the three deficiencies in DCA’s Objections, Recommendations and Comments (ORC) report before the Board’s Land Plan Amendment adoption hearing in December 2003. Regarding the City of Clermont’s obligation to provide water and sewer to the property and Ms. Hartle’s willingness to provide an easement, that obligation includes realigning the lines at the City’s expense. Mr. Richey maintained that the density increase from 4.0 (under the old Comprehensive Plan) to 4.7 units per acre is an insignificant increase but is very important as far as the overall economics of Ms. Hartle’s deal in providing the 100-foot easement. He reminded the Board that the County’s Public Works Department contacted Ms. Hartle four years ago, when it was planning realignment of CR 455 to the north, requesting a right of way through her property. He pointed out that the safety improvements to the realigned road are anticipated to be done by the commercial developer prior to the residential development being done and an impact fee credit will be worked out with the County as part of that process. He stated that the residential development will be a townhouse community in a clustering format.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, LPG Urban & Regional Planners, Inc., stated that he was retained by Hartle Groves and participated in the Comprehensive Plan analysis and the support documentation that followed the recommendations by DCA. He stated that he also participated in an analysis based on the educational impacts. He explained that the density increase on the 69-acre parcel from the original land use of Urban Expansion, 4.0 units per acre (or 276 total dwelling units), to Urban, and the applicant’s proposed 4.7 units per acre (or 325 total dwelling units), would illustrate 49 additional dwelling units and that equates to an increased student impact to the school system of approximately 25 additional students. Those students would be made up of approximately 13 elementary, six middle and seven high school students, or a 1% increase at each of the involved schools over the existing future land use designation. Mr. Beliveau confirmed that the City of Clermont has density categories within the City of 12, 10, and 8 units per acre, all of which exceed the proposed 4.7 units per acre, and there is extensive development already in the area of the subject parcel. The commercial development will be along SR 50, facing existing commercial and employment centers, and the residential development will be behind the commercial section.
Mr. Richey noted the presence of Mr. Don McIntosh of Donald W. McIntosh Associates, Inc., and offered his testimony regarding the engineering aspects of the project. There were no questions directed to Mr. McIntosh.
Commr. Cadwell inquired of Mr. Richey if he would have a problem adding language into the ordinance that development would not begin until there is available school capacity.
Mr. Richey replied he would have a problem and the reason is that the school impact fees were increased last year and building of the project will not take place for a couple of years. He stated that he asked the school board, within the last 60 days, to put a system into place that covered the gap, and additional funding was offered to the schools. He stated that the schools rejected that offer because they plan to perform a study and increase the impact fees after their facilities’ study, probably two years from now. Mr. Richey commented that without a plan from the schools as to how they will spend the monies they have generated, and, if history is any indication, the schools may or may not efficiently and appropriately do their job. He then stated that he is representing that it will be three or four years before this project is built. He pointed out that the school’s presentation at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting indicated overcrowding, but no credit was given and no student stations were put in the information for that presentation for portables. He expressed that there is an attempt by the school system to aggravate the situation and paint a picture that is worse than it is and remarked that there does not seem to be a plan in place, even though this Board has provided impact fees at 100%. He opined that it is unfair to penalize people for the schools’ ineptness. He stressed that this proposed 1% increase (in increased student impact) in relation to correcting a dangerous safety situation with the road is a very fair trade off under the circumstances of this case.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that something must be done at this point to bring everyone to the table and saying “no” to this request will do that.
Mr. Richey stated that the school system has said there is a $2,200 gap between the impact fees and the cost of the last three or four school projects that have been built. Mr. Richey reiterated that he offered to pay that gap fee but, at a workshop with the entire School Board, Mr. Jimmy Conner, former School Board Chairman, did not want to be involved in any “stopgap fix,” but wanted to up the impact fees to cover it. Mr. Richey explained that several of his proposals have been rejected, by the school system and by the school benefit districts, and stated that he does not know what else to do at this point.
Commr. Cadwell and Mr. Richey agreed that they are both frustrated over the school situation.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Hanson regarding the “gap financing” being done on a case-by-case basis, Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, replied that it could be done on a strictly voluntary basis, otherwise data and analysis would have to be available to show that the fee required to be paid was equal to the impact that would be caused by that development.
Mr. Richey further explained that his proposed plan, while not a version of the Martinez Plan, would look at the last three or four school construction projects to determine the student station costs, then, by subtracting the current school impact fees, the amount of the gap between the two could be determined. That gap fee would be paid at the time the building permit is issued.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Hanson, Mr. Richey agreed to confer with Mr. Beliveau today in an effort to come up with a gap fee amount and wording to include in the proposed ordinance.
Ms. Jodi Klaus, who lives on Magnolia Island Boulevard, spoke in opposition to the petition to rezone and remarked that she lives near the proposed development. This morning she counted 14 school-age children in just six homes on her street. She attended a recent school board meeting and feels a mix of portables and redistricting will be done. Portables will give seats but will not give services. She shared her personal experience whereby she had to seek private services for her son because there was such a long waiting period for the service at his school.
Ms. Sherie Wolkens, who lives on Debbie Lane outside Minneola, spoke in opposition to the petition to rezone and noted that she also opposes the City of Minneola’s 711-home development at the end of her street which will have an impact of approximately 320 students. She referred to notes from a recent School Board meeting and stated that her understanding is that eighth graders at Clermont Middle School will automatically go to South Lake High School next year, and the School Board’s five-year plan calls for an elementary school and middle school to be built this year, a high school may be built in two years, and three additional elementary schools are planned within the next five years. She remarked that there is no concurrency and the schools will never catch up. She also remarked that traffic will increase on SR 50 as a result of widening that road to six lanes. As a Lake County resident, Ms. Wolkens urged the Board to oppose today’s proposed development and asked that the School Board be given a chance to implement its five-year plan.
Ms. Sandy Rich, who lives on Debbie Lane outside Minneola, expressed her opposition to the petition to rezone the subject property. She stated that it is unfair to penalize her child, already in the school system, by adding more students to the school system. She urged the Board to start stopping people from building. She declared that the Board can stop people from coming and can slow the growth and can say “no.”
Mr. Terry Adsit, Senior Planner for Lake County Schools, stated that 25 additional students is an increase in what the comprehensive plan allows versus its current agricultural use. However, 325 new homes will represent approximately 162 new students. The schools that will be impacted are Lost Lake Elementary, Windy Hill Middle and East Ridge High, three schools that are already very overcrowded. He pointed out that portables are not permanent student stations and are not sanctioned by the State of Florida for any life longer than a maximum of 20 years. Portables present many logistical problems and additional expenses and are strictly temporary. He remarked that Orange County has a lot of schools with “oceans” of portables. He pointed out that this development is in a part of Lake County that has a lot of developments already approved or in the planning stages at this time. Mr. Adsit stated that the school district is aware of 4,311 other residential dwelling units already in the hopper in this area which will contribute 2,155 new students to the system probably over the next eight to ten years. He explained that the school board is grappling with finding a solution and the countywide schools’ growth study is in the process of being negotiated with a consulting team. It is expected that the study will be completed by August 2004, not the two-year time period alluded to. He advised that the school system would want to see restraint until such time as the results of the study are known in August.
Commr. Pool remarked that he has a problem with the school board when it says “no” to a plan that is brought forward by the business community that would generate extra dollars for their impacts.
Mr. Adsit stated that the upcoming study is extremely comprehensive and will provide a lot of solid answers and will guide the school district for the next five, ten, fifteen and twenty years to keep up with the gradual aging of the school age population, not just the growth and development issues.
Mr. Richey stated that his client has no problem with the gap financing so long as others in the future have the same obligation. He suggested that the following, or similar, wording be added to the proposed ordinance, “gap financing to complement the current school impact fees to be paid by the developer at building permit not to exceed $2,000 until such time as the school impact fee is adjusted and there is no gap.” He clarified that the subject property is zoned agriculture and was in the Comprehensive Plan as Urban Expansion (4.0 dwelling units per acre) and is now in the Comprehensive Plan as Urban (7.0 dwelling units per acre). His client is proposing 4.7 dwelling units per acre, as calculated on the entire 69-acre parcel, or 325 dwelling units. The reason they came forward with this plan is to accommodate a realignment of Hartle Road which is a major safety problem today since the realignment of CR 455 and the signalization. He maintained that the issue here is schools and there is a problem in the south end of the County. He stated that every solution that has been proposed has not been acceptable and opined that the school board does not want to do anything until it makes up its mind what to do. He commented that it seems difficult to justify another ten years of their indecision and penalize people who have no control over them.
Commr. Hanson requested that staff give a report, after the upcoming break, on the actual vote by this Board on the December 16, 2003, land use amendment.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:25 a.m., Commr. Stivender announced that the Board would take a five minute recess.
REZONING CASE PH#3-04-2 - FRANCES B. HARTLE, HARTLE GROVES -
STEVEN J. RICHEY, ESQ. - A TO PUD - TRACKING #6-04-PUD (CONTINUED)
Mr. Jeff Richardson reported that the December 16, 2003, vote on Land Plan Amendment No. 03/4/2-2 was 4-1 for adoption, with Commr. Hanson voting in opposition.
Commr. Cadwell commented that it was his understanding that the petitioners were basically agreeing to a pseudo-Martinez Plan but asking for a cap. He stated that his intention, today, is to try to send a message to both sides that both should be working together.
Mr. Richey stated that, if this community were built as adult only, there would not be a problem and that is still an option. He stated that, if this project were not built as adult only, his client would pay, at time of building permit, $2,000 additional money in addition to the current school impact fee. This $2,000 is to be provided to the School Board to cover the cost they indicate they have above the County’s current impact fees, until such time as those impact fees are adjusted. He stated that he understands that there is a facilities’ plan that will be back in several months, but that the actual redoing of the impact fee will be down the road. This proposal is to cover costs during that gap.
Mr. Richey made the following suggestions for changes to the proposed ordinance:
1. Section 1, A, 1. Residential: 325 units rather than 382 single family residential lots.
2. Section 1, A, 3. Design: “Access to commercial tracts fronting along Highway 50 shall be limited to access from a realignment of Hartle Road as reflected on such conceptual plan.” He suggested that the access to the commercial tracts will be controlled by the Florida Department of Transportation. Still subject to County’s access management.
3. Section 1, G. 2. Concurrency Management: “The owner shall comply with concurrency management regulations. A concurrency test must be completed and approved or an Affidavit of Deferral must be signed prior to final Board action.” Mr. Richey suggested the following: “The owner shall comply with the concurrency management regulations.” He noted that the Board’s action today still requires his clients, if it is a year from now, to go through current concurrency under County rules.
In addition to those three changes, Mr. Richey suggested that the paragraph previously discussed with regard to the modified Martinez Plan, the gap funding, would be an appropriate addition to the ordinance.
Discussion continued regarding the Joint Planning Agreement between Lake County and the City of Clermont and the proposed development being built to the more stringent standards of the two entities.
Regarding the timing issue, Mr. Richey remarked that he is not in a position to give the right of way free unless some development rights are given to his client to accommodate the giving of those five acres. County Road 455 has been realigned and is now signaled and it is now imperative that Hartle Road be realigned. Because Publix is across the street, the commercial portion of the project may develop very quickly and the residential portion may not develop until the market justifies it, which could be one year or five years. Mr. Richey emphasized that today’s zoning request is consistent with existing development such as Magnolia Point with higher densities of multi-family, and that employment centers and industrial zoning already exist. He stated that the Hartle property is one of the last few undeveloped parcels. He explained that the City of Clermont opposed allowing 7.0 units to the acre in either the comprehensive plan or the planned unit development, but he feels the proposed 4.7 units to the acre should accommodate the concerns of Clermont, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, representing the City of Clermont, stated that the City’s comments on all the land use plan amendments and the rezonings and the joint planning area have been consistent as far as slowing down and taking a look at the total density in the area and coming up with a master plan.
Commr. Pool stated that the City had requested that he not approve 7.0 units per acre but the City did not indicate what number of units per acre would be acceptable.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Pool regarding the dollar amount that would be necessary in order to buy the 5-acre tract to be used as the right of way if it were not to be donated, Mr. Richey opined that the cost would be $100,000 per acre.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that a purchase price should play very little in the Board’s decision in regards to today’s issues.
Commr. Pool stated that he is trying to get a feel for what the dollar value may be if the County wanted to purchase the right of way in the event it would be necessary. He stated that the right of way is important.
Commr. Hanson explained that she voted against the land use amendment to Urban from Urban Expansion because Urban Expansion zoning surrounds the subject parcel. She opined that the Board needs to realize that it cannot vote for a land use amendment without the expectation that the next request will be to rezone and increase density. She stated that the proposed PUD (Planned Unit Development) would lock in the density of 4.7 without a regular subdivision. She remarked that she will support the motion if it moves forward because 4.7 units per acre is very close to the 4.0 units per acre which is allowed under Urban Expansion. She stated that she also supports the language to cover the gap in the requirements for the School Board although $2,000 may not be the limit. Commr. Hanson opined that there needs to be more countywide accountability in the school system regarding the true needs and portables need to be included because they provide for flexibility for a growing community.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he believes a land use plan amendment can be approved for a future land use map, but stressed that it is for the future. He remarked that today’s question is a timing issue. He stated that he would be in support of today’s request if it only involved the commercial aspect without additional rooftops. He commented that the Board can control the rate of how development happens.
Commr. Hanson reiterated that the process is started when a land use amendment is approved because the expectation is there and those amendments are followed by zoning requests to increase density.
Commr. Hill stated that there has been a hope, for the last three to four years, that the School Board would come and talk but that did not happen. She recounted that the school impact fees were increased to the highest in the state, at one point, and a solution summit was held. She stated that today’s density increase is very little over what is currently allowed and is not impacting the school system over what is already in place. She does not know what other use would be acceptable because a chicken farm or hog farm, under the current agriculture zoning, probably would generate a lot of complaints.
Commr. Hanson stated that, if the Board were to vote “no” on this request because of the school issue, a moratorium would effectively be put in place. Although this is an increase to the schools, it is being dealt with through the gap financing.
Commr. Cadwell stated that voting “no” would force the School Board and the developer to come together and work that issue out before coming before the Board of County Commissioners. He remarked that this is a great first step and it may be the only one and it may never work in Lake County. Although, it did work in other places but only because they said if you do not do it we will not approve a request. That is what made the Martinez Plan work.
Commr. Stivender explained her personal feeling to those in the audience in opposition to the request by stating that she has talked with School Board members and developers in an effort to have them meet with the School Board. She commented that there is only so much this Board can do to get the School Board to get on board. She opined that the School Board is not fixing the problem or trying to work with people who want to fix the problem.
Commr. Hanson stated that she understands there is capacity in many of the schools in the County and that is an issue that the School Board needs to deal with.
Commr. Hill questioned how many schools are in this area and how many are crowded. For example, if there are ten schools in the area and only three are overcrowded, there are other solutions that maybe the School Board is not addressing.
Commr. Stivender stated that there are a lot of things that teachers, parents and principals know that never gets to the School Board members. She commented that they really do not know what is going on in those schools. The School Board members need to go into the schools to see what is happening such as the overcrowding, the underfunding, not enough teachers, not enough room and other things. But, she opined, that is not a route that they have chosen to go.
Commr. Hill stated that the School Board needs to address these serious problems and she does not know that the Board can fix their problems even though the Board has tried to help in every way.
Commr. Cadwell stated that this Board can quit compounding the School Board’s problems.
Commr. Pool stated that Mr. Richey mentioned that the residential development was two to three years away. He remarked that it sounds like, from information provided today by Ms. Wolkens, that an additional elementary school and middle school may be built within the next two to three years. Because there is a maximum number of students at East Ridge High School and a minimum number of students at South Lake High School the students need to be shuffled around. He stated that there may be a window of opportunity to build new schools before those schools are impacted by this new development.
Mr. Richey stated that he is not in a position to say that development will not occur until the schools are fixed. He stated that, in order to realign the road, his clients have to borrow money. From a lender’s perspective a moratorium or timetable placed on the project would make lending that money difficult. He explained that the road has to be built through the commercial portion all the way through the residential portion and all that has to be part of the financing. He stated, therefore, a two-year provision in the ordinance would not make the project “financiable.”
Commr. Pool reiterated that the realignment of CR 455 and Hartle Road is an important issue for Lake County. He stated that he believes that Hartle Road will continue to the south to the Hartwood Marsh corridor. The three very important intersections, north and south, are U.S. Highway 27, Hancock Road and Hartle Road. He stated that the School Board should embrace and accept any other dollars which are brought forward by the business community or a developer. He explained that the City of Clermont has worked with Ms. Hartle for several years on the right of way issue and that she has not asked for any money but asked for the opportunity to be provided water and sewer as her land became available to be developed. Commr. Pool reiterated that he understands, by the information provided by Ms. Wolkens, that the School Board will build a new elementary school and middle school within the next three years in the south end of the county, with a high school pending within the next five years. He commented that he has heard that there are landowners in this vicinity and further south who are willing to give land today to the School Board to help build some of those schools.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Ordinance 2004-4, Rezoning Case PH#3-04-2, Frances B. Hartle, Hartle Groves, Steven J. Richey, Esq., Tracking #6-04-PUD, a request to rezone from A (Agriculture District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development District), for a mixed-use commercial/residential development on a 69+/- acre site; with the three changes to the ordinance (Section 1. A. 1., Section 1. A. 3., and Section 1. G. 2.) and the addition of language regarding the voluntary $2,000 gap money, as previously discussed.
Commr. Cadwell voted “No.”
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he requested, at the last meeting, that the Board meet in closed session to discuss litigation cases, and this session is allowed pursuant to Florida Statute 286.011. The subject matter discussed will be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions related to litigation. There will be no votes or decisions made. He stated that the court reporter will record the entire session, including the commencement and termination. The only persons who will be present will be the members of the Board of County Commissioners: Welton Cadwell, Catherine Hanson, Jennifer Hill, Debbie Stivender and Bob Pool; Bill Neron, County Manager; Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney; and the court reporter. Notice of the closed session has been published. The closed session will commence now, in open session, and the estimated length of the closed session is thirty minutes.
At 11:40 a.m., the Chairman reconvened the meeting.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Ms. Sheri Wolkens, who lives in an unincorporated area of the County near the City of Minneola, requested two fire hydrants for her neighborhood. She stated that she has contacted Lake County, the Fire Department, the State of Florida and the City of Minneola. Because there are several wells in her area that contain EDB (ethylene dibromide, a man-made chemical), she stated that the State connected the residences to City of Minneola water, as a cost-effective measure, rather than maintain the wells. However, no fire hydrants were installed at that time.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, stated that, when such County costs benefit only specific residents, a MSTU (Municipal Services Taxing Unit) or other option could be necessary. He will research the issue and meet with Ms. Wolkens.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
Commr. Pool thanked the more than 550 elementary students from Beverly Shores, Dabney, Fruitland Park, Rimes, Skeen and Treadway schools who painted the colorful thematic art doors which are on display in the rotunda of the Administration Building. He applauded the Leesburg Center for the Arts for arranging the display.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT #4
WEKIVA RIVER BASIN COORDINATING COMMITTEE
Commr. Hanson invited the Board to attend meetings of the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee on January 28 and 29, 2004, at the Embassy Suites in Altamonte Springs. She announced that she attended the final workshop of the SR429 Northwest Extension Working Group and it appears their approval was very similar to the resolution the Lake County Board put forth and supported. During her presentation to the Working Group, she reminded them that the cities’ main concern was the connection to U.S. Highway 441 south of Lake County and south of SR 46.
Commr. Hanson thanked Commr. Pool for representing the Board as a member on the SR429 Northwest Extension Working Group.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL (CONTINUED)
OAKLAND NATURE PRESERVE
Commr. Pool announced that he attended Saturday’s installation of the first sign on the Lake Apopka Loop Trail at the Oakland Nature Preserve where Mr. Michael Woods made a presentation about Lake County’s trail corridors, specifically in south Lake County.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER STIVENDER - CHAIRMAN & DISTRICT #3
WORKSHOP - BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Commr. Stivender reminded the Board of the workshop to discuss the County’s boards and committees on Friday, January 30, 2004, in the training room on the 2nd floor of the Administration Building.
DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE JUSTICE - BUDGET COST SHIFTS
Commr. Stivender stated that the Board received a notice from Ms. Mary Kay Cariseo, Executive Director, Florida Association of Counties, regarding the Department of Juvenile Justice, Pre-Disposition Detention of Juveniles. (The notice is included in the backup material.)
Commr. Cadwell explained that the State of Florida took over juvenile justice several years ago but now wants to turn that back to the counties. At the same time, the State has reduced programs that would keep down the numbers in juvenile justice. Lake County would have no control, year to year, over what those expenses would be. The Florida Association of Counties will oppose this proposal and has released a statement regarding Governor Bush’s budget. The estimated impact to Lake County would be $1,172,932.
Commr. Stivender stated that Ms. Cariseo has requested the Board members contact legislators and voice opposition to this funding shift.
In working with the Chair in drafting a communication on behalf of the Board, Mr. Neron suggested that the Board oppose this particular cost shift as well as any cost shifts of State programs and expenses.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL (CONTINUED)
FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
Commr. Pool thanked Mr. Neron and Commr. Cadwell for their participation in the budget overview portion of the curriculum at the January 23, 2004, Florida Association of Counties’ course which he and Commr. Hanson attended.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.
DEBBIE STIVENDER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK