A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
AUGUST 23, 2005
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, August 23, 2005, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Jennifer Hill, Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; Debbie Stivender; and Robert A. Pool. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Cynthia W. “Cindy” Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioners’ Office; and Judy Whaley, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Commr. Hill gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Hill recognized Ms. Elaine Renick, Clermont Council Member, who was in the audience.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, will give a brief update, under the County Manager’s Departmental Business, on a potential site for the Clermont Health Department Clinic.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 5, as follows:
Request for Budget transfer – Building Services Fund, Department of Growth Management, Building Services Division. Transfer $102,600.00 from Reserve for Operations to Information Services – Other ($100.00), Printing and Binding ($500.00), Reprographic Charges ($8,000.00), Other Current Charges and Obligations ($51,000.00), Office Supplies ($22,000.00), and Books, Publications and Dues ($21,000.00). Funds needed due to unanticipated bank card fees, upgrading to increased software maintenance, additional profile server, OnBase training, lien law mailings, and increased cost and number of code books. The majority of the additional costs are directly related to the unforeseen wind events of 2004. Funds available in Reserve for Operations.
Request for approval of Check Request (Direct Pay) from Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. (ECT) for payment for removal of contaminated soil at PEAR Park, below level of two feet, approved by the Board of County Commissioners on January 25, 205. The request exceeds the County Manager's approval limit of $25,000.00. Total payment is for $26,369.50.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for approval to accept Local Arts Agency Grant Number 06-8002 in the amount of $5,000.00 for the Cultural Affairs Council's Marketing Program for the 2005-2006 year program, calendar year July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006.
Request for approval of an offer to settle Teresa Martinez's claim for property damage, subject to the County Attorney's review and approval.
Request for approval of the Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the Lake County Sheriff's Office relating to the Creation, Distribution, and Sharing of Geographic Information.
Request from Procurement Services approval to award and execute the contract with The Appraisal Group of Central Florida, Inc. for on-call appraisal consultant services, RSQ 05-105.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
COMMUNITY SERVICES - CLERMONT HEALTH DEPARTMENT CLINIC
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, presented statistics showing usage of the various Lake County Health Department Clinics (a copy is included in the backup material). He explained that there is an opportunity to consider lease space in the Clermont area for relocation of the Clermont Health Department Clinic to a larger, modern facility that is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible. The current clinic is on Desoto Street, is approximately 1,300 square feet, is not ADA compliant and a number of services cannot be performed there due to the confinements of the facility. The 10,000 square foot lease space is currently on the market, is under construction, is approximately two blocks from South Lake Hospital, and there may be an opportunity, if a lease is negotiated, to have the facility built out specifically for Health Department use. Lease cost is $21.00 per square foot and the build out for a Health Department Clinic is between $400,000 and $500,000. Mr. Smith explained that a lease option might be possible and the developer may be willing to look at doing the build out and including those costs over a three year term. He reminded the Board that the south Lake facility has been discussed for a number of years and he asked for direction from the Board.
Commr. Pool commented that the current Clermont facility is woefully inadequate and is much too small for the demand and usage. He opined that this might be the only space currently available. He stated that he supports the concept and the location but worries about being able to pay for it.
Mr. Smith stated that Mr. Chuck Creel and Mr. Doug Conway, Facilities Development and Management Department, and Ms. Quinnette Durkin, Property Manager, County Attorney’s Office, have visited the site. He confirmed that the lease cost is probably in line with other buildings in that area.
Further discussion occurred regarding the need for a new facility and the unavailability of vacant space.
Mr. Smith stated that the second story of the block building could be used for storage and administrative offices. While it is too far along in the process to have an elevator, a lift could be installed to address ADA issues. If the Board chooses, he suggested working with the developer and owner on a lease arrangement regarding costs, the build out option and a lease purchase option.
Commr. Pool reiterated support for pursuing this. He asked staff to be sure there is not a more cost effective way to do this and to be sure this is the best location.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that sales tax dollars cannot be used to pay for improvements on leased properties. Funds would have to come from the general fund. He anticipates that a ten-year term, or five-year term with a five-year renewal, or longer, would be needed to recoup the half-million dollars for finishing the building. He stressed that the landlord is pressing for a decision within a week or two.
Regarding subleasing a portion of the space, Mr. Smith explained that the growth in south Lake County calls for 8,000 to 12,000 square feet to meet the needs through 2010.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that sales tax money can only be used on property in public ownership, not on leasehold improvements, even if property is leased with the option to buy.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to place the Clermont Health Department Clinic on the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request from Community Services to review all options with the developer as promptly as possible on a 10,000 square foot lease space in the Clermont area for relocation of the Clermont Health Department Clinic; to bring back all information on a lease rate with at least a ten-year lease, the cost for the build out, the option to purchase, and funding opportunities; to continue look for other sites.
PROCLAMATION - 19TH AMENDMENT AND WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation 2005-119 proclaiming August 26, 2005, as the 85th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Women's Equality Day.
Commr. Hanson read the proclamation and presented copies to Ms. Nancy Hurlbert, Immediate Past President, BPW/USA; Ms. Shannon Suffron, President, Mount Dora/BPW; and Ms. Deborah Reagan, President, South Lake/BPW. She noted that Ms. Barbara Milazzo, Vice President, Eustis/BPW, was not present.
Ms. Hurlbert thanked the Board for spotlighting the achievements and contributions of women and for encouraging everyone in this country to exercise their right to vote. She noted that the Equal Rights Amendment still needs to be passed.
ROAD VACATION PETITION NO. 1046 - LAKE SAUNDERS GROVES LAND LLP, CHELSEA OAKS LLC - MERRY ROAD, TAVARES
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, presented Road Vacation Petition Number 1046 by Lake Saunders Groves Land LLP, Chelsea Oaks LLC, a request to vacate right of way and cease maintenance on a portion of Merry Road (Number 4455), in the Plat of James M. Conner, located in Section 27, Township 19 South, Range 26 East, in the City of Tavares, Commission District 3. He noted that this petition was postponed May 24, 2005, for more discussions and public meetings. Mr. Stivender showed Merry Road on the map and added that staff recommends approval of the request to vacate. He explained that David Walker Drive was designed to be the major road in that area and it will only be a matter of time before a signal will be warranted at the intersection with Old Highway 441/Alfred Street.
Commissioners Pool, Hill, Stivender, Cadwell and Hanson disclosed, for the record, that they have spoken with parties on both sides of this issue.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, Akerman Senterfitt, stated that she represented Bob Hester and ABC Fruit, and later his estate, in the development of what is called the Lake Saunders PUD. She explained the specifics of the original 1994 PUD and the planned development of the different pods. She stated that a key issue is that Merry Road is a very old road and was not up to County standards. She stated that this client gave the right of way along the entire length of the property for David Walker Drive and then entered into an agreement with Lake County for the improvement of that road so that, as pods came on line, various portions of the internal part of Merry Road would be vacated. Ms. Bonifay stated that a new City of Tavares PUD was issued in 2003. She stated that some of the same people present today, who say they did not know about this issue, were at earlier meetings. She stated that her client sold parcels based on the development plan that the City of Tavares signed off on at that time. She stated that, although the property is in the City, we are dealing with County roads.
Commr. Cadwell asked what official action the Board of County Commissioners took during this process.
Ms. Bonifay stated that, regarding David Walker Drive, her client worked that out with the County. She stated that they might have gotten some impact fee credits and they dedicated the right of way without charging the County but the County actually built David Walker Drive. She stated that the developer relied on the agreement with the City and the commitments with Lake County in moving forward with the development.
Mr. Steve Richey, attorney representing the developer, stated that the burden to vacate Merry Road as part of their PUD with the City was put on them because of the inferior nature of the road and the inability to improve it. He showed a color map of the project (Applicant’s Exhibit A-1) which connects with Merry Road on the north and south. If vacated, there would not be a thoroughfare but there would be two ways through the subdivision. He stated that, if Merry Road is not closed, traffic would still have to go through the subdivision.
Mr. Richey stated that he had intended to ask for a 30-day continuance to allow for preparation of additional legal descriptions but the vacation request today is less than what was advertised.
Mr. Richard Wolf, engineer and planner on Lake Saunders Phases 3 and 4, explained that some residents are concerned that, as the road is rebuilt, there will be some existing median and landscaping left in disarray. He stated that they propose to come back in, repave and rebuild the median and redo the landscaping. He stated that, if the residents will work with them, they will take care of that at their expense. Secondly, some residents had concerns regarding double driveways. He stated that the project manager will meet with residents. Their goal is to replace whatever is there with something better or equal. He stated that their concern is that Merry Road, at Old Highway 441, is not a good situation. He stated that their goal is to have traffic come south and be forced to David Walker Drive, thereby having a southern trail with a secondary entrance. Mr. Wolf stated that, by losing two additional lots on the south side, the road can be opened up again and connectivity can be provided. He asked the Board to consider that today. He stated that they hear from residents that Merry Road, even though substandard, is a speeding area. He opined that the traffic calming, as shown, is a plus.
In showing Applicant’s Exhibit A-1, Mr. Wolf confirmed that there would be driveways (on the 50 foot wide lots) on an improved Merry Road if it goes straight through the subdivision. He reiterated that, from an engineering perspective, they are trying to get people over to David Walker Drive, which is safer. He explained that the residents have made it clear they want a form of connection through the subdivision. Mr. Wolf explained that they came into the subdivision and talked about making a connection and the City took them in one direction. He stated that they have to satisfy the residents, the County and the City of Tavares. He stated that they must go back to the City for approval.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the County’s problem is that once it is vacated, it is vacated.
Commr. Stivender stated that she has to protect the County residents.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that, if the Board chooses to go this route, the vacation would be effective upon recording of the new plat so the new rights of way would be dedicated and there would be a bond to improve them before being vacated.
Mr. Richey stated that it also has to go back through the City’s preliminary process for approval. He stated that the City put this condition in to stop traffic on an inferior road. He stated that the developer is not stopping it but is significantly reducing it. He stated that, if the City does not accept that, Merry Road will stay open.
Commr. Stivender stated that Merry Road is a County road and if County staff is saying it is substandard, the County has the responsibility to fix it.
Mr. Richey remarked that, when the County asked for right of way, it got right of way for improvements to David Walker Drive. That was an alternative to fixing Merry Road because Merry Road right of way was not available.
Commr. Stivender stated that she would like to hear from staff that right of way was asked for and was refused to be given on that road.
Referring to Applicant’s Exhibit A-1, Mr. Richey stated that there is no right of way on a southern portion and the only way the County had the ability to get the right of way on David Walker Drive was to have it in cooperation with the property owner. He stated that he was not at the table then but Ms. Bonifay has represented that to be the case. He opined that Mr. Stivender will affirm that is the case. He stated that was the proposed fix. He reminded the Board that, at the meeting at City Hall, Mr. Stivender went through a great deal of discussion regarding the importance of funneling the traffic back to David Walker Drive and the potential signalization which they are trying to accomplish and which is a goal of the City of Tavares.
Commr. Hanson asked Mr. Stivender if there will be other types of incentives to get people over to David Walker Drive if Merry Road is not vacated.
Mr. Stivender stated that, if there are speeding problems or complaints associated with the additional volume of traffic on Merry Road, they may have to do some other things. Eliminating Merry Road from the equation pushed all the traffic out to David Walker Drive, and, therefore, reduced the maintenance costs associated with Merry Road. He stated that there was logic behind that. He explained that staff cannot answer some of these questions until they know how the traffic pattern will develop.
Commr. Stivender asked Mr. Stivender if the County has ever tried to acquire right of way on Merry Road.
Mr. Stivender responded that David Walker Drive was opened in 2000. Prior to that, this was going to be ingress and egress so they had not pursued getting additional right of way other than the 30 feet that was originally platted on Merry Road to the south.
Commr. Stivender asked Mr. Stivender if saying that we have attempted to get right of way and have been turned down would be incorrect.
Mr. Stivender confirmed that Commr. Stivender’s statement is correct. He explained that the road is 20 feet wide with about five feet for utilities on each side.
In response to questions by Commr. Pool, Mr. Richey stated that the original subdivision configuration did not have access from Merry Road; the second proposal had the top of the subdivision open to Merry Road; and the latest proposal (Applicant’s Exhibit A-1), based on the continued residents’ concerns, is open to Merry Road on the top and the bottom.
Commr. Cadwell confirmed with Mr. Richey once again that there will be development and driveways on each side of the road if Merry Road stays open and goes straight through the subdivision.
Mr. Richey reiterated that they have to go back to the City of Tavares either way because the City has a provision in their PUD that requires that the road not go through. He confirmed Commr. Cadwell’s comment that, if the Board does not approve the closing today, the City can try to redesign it however they choose. He explained that they have talked in terms of having the City take over Merry Road itself as far as what is within the project. He stated that the City is willing to take the northern improved section but are not willing to take the inferior part of the road. Mr. Richey stated that he will let City staff talk about when they were asked to give right of way because that is confusing based on Mr. Stivender’s answer.
Mr. Richey confirmed that the subdivision has not changed much because it is fully engineered, there is a St. Johns River Water Management District permit, construction plans have been approved and construction is ready to begin. He remarked that, obviously, nobody anticipated, based on the conversations of the two years’ work with the County, that this was a problem.
Commr. Hanson remarked that she assumed the top route would go out to David Walker Drive. If folks are to accept that, there should be an easier route to David Walker Drive. She suggested that the direct route to David Walker Drive should be where the cul-de-sac is shown on the map, leaving the bottom part open to Merry Road with curves and stop signs.
Further discussion occurred regarding reconfigurations with sweeping roads and disincentives.
Ms. Bonifay stated that we need to look at the project in its totality. She stated that the Board is concentrating on one piece. She stated that the developer was told that the County had an overall traffic transportation plan for this area and that plan was to eliminate Merry Road in its current configuration because the County did not have sufficient right of way, it is a substandard road and people who are traveling it are complaining. She stated that the other key issue is that her client did not own a lower portion of the right of way and the County is forcing something through a very narrow opening. She stated that, if the road is left open to allow a few people what they think is better access, rather than using the improved road, a new safety problem is being created. She stated that, when the first person is injured, these same people who are here today, or the new people who got here yesterday, will be complaining about why the County allowed that to happen. She stated that this owner gave as much as they could all the way down to allow a road which they understood was a linchpin of the overall traffic program in this area. She stated that it was also endorsed by the City of Tavares and is now caught between the two jurisdictions. She reiterated that the Board is creating an untenable situation. She stated that there was an alternative to hear testimony but the Board had that option and forced them to use something that was unsafe and inadequate. She opined that, unless the Board can get the right of way and plans to do two major intersections, they will continue to have a problem.
Commr. Stivender commented that the people that will be buying these lots probably will use David Walker Drive. She stated that the reason for keeping Merry Road open is for the residents that already exist because they travel that road. She agreed that there are some concerns which have been addressed with the Public Works Department and it is up to them to bring that back to the County to have it fixed.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Ms. Grace Gilbert stated, for the record, that some of the remarks that they agreed with some of the decisions or comments out front were not what they said. She stated that they did not agree. She discussed the condition of the road, taking of blighted property and differences of opinion. She stated that they are only one part of many transactions being negotiated. She stated that she mailed each of the Board members a notice of a meeting scheduled July 1, 2003, highlighting the discussion of improvements to Merry Road. She stated that was proof positive that their folks were told Merry Road would be improved, not closed. She stated that the residents have not been complaining about the substandard condition of the road. She stated that it is wrong to take the County road away, it is wrong to appease the developers at the better welfare of 50+ families, it is wrong to put clout and prestige over the promises that were made to residents in the beginning. She further discussed a recent Supreme Court ruling that takes away rights. She discussed problems in Lake County because of growth.
Ms. Gilbert suggested that roads on the west side of Merry Road should be directed out to David Walker Drive and that Farringdon Drive and all roads coming onto Merry Road should be dead ends. She suggested that others on the north side should go north and that Lake Saunders residents and those on the south should go out to Old 441 using that end of Merry Road. That would allow three ways out instead of directing everything onto David Walker Drive, there would be less congestion, it would be safer and residents could travel in a more practical and convenient way, and emergency vehicles could reach residents in a more timely manner. She stated that residents of Lake Saunders feel they deserve the Board’s loyalty over developers and big business. She requested that the Board keep Merry Road open. She stated that Merry Road is not a safety or health issue if you are not involved. Ms. Gilbert related that limerock is on their cars, in their hair and is washing down into the lake. She stated that, in their effort to fix things, they have cared little about the most important thing and that is the folks who must live with this on a daily basis.
Mr. Nick Galos, a sixteen-year resident of Lake Saunders Acres, stated that EMT service comes from the Triangle Area and Old 441 and running it around David Walker Drive will add four to seven minutes. He stated that four and seven minutes can make the difference between living and dying. He pointed out that 300 new houses could mean 900 vehicles.
Ms. Cindy Dutton McCoy stated that she and her parents moved to Merry Road in the 1960s and she built her house there in 1985. She stated that she has used this access nearly every day for the last 40 years. She stated that the roads will be overcrowded and they need every outlet possible. She stated that her husband suffers from a seizure disorder and she does not want a second wasted when she calls 911. She stated that they have been paying taxes all these years and feels their rights should be respected. She remarked that they are in the middle of the building ruckus everyday and they have to fight their way through the construction areas. She asked the County to leave their road alone. For the record, she presented a letter from a neighbor which was marked as Opposition’s Exhibit O-1.
Mr. Dennis Dutton stated that he has lived in Lake Saunders Acres since 1984. He stated that closing Merry Road would be a terrible thing for the more than 55 families who live there. He stated that about 18 months ago the City of Tavares and developers hosted a meeting to explain why they thought it is important to permanently close the east-west section of Merry Road and allow the developer to build new homes where the road is. At that meeting they changed plans to allow closing it for three months while it was rebuilt to City of Tavares specifications. He stated that residents left that meeting believing that the Merry Road issue was settled. Mr. Dutton referred to the minutes of the Board’s May 24, 2005, meeting. He stated that he asked Ms. Patti Harker, Right of Way, Public Works Department, for a copy of any agreement between the developer and Lake County for exchanging and closing Merry Road for the right of way of David Walker Drive. Ms. Harker informed Mr. Dutton that, to the best of her knowledge, there was no agreement. Mr. Dutton discussed the construction problems, including trucks in the road whose drivers refuse to move. He stated that he has called Tavares Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office 17 times and they were not interested in clearing the road. He stated that driveways at 25 new homes on both sides of Merry Road will make driving hazardous and leaving Merry Road open to the south will help ease traffic problems. Mr. Dutton stated that, instead of closing Merry Road, homeowners would like it widened, would like storm sewers and sidewalks installed and would like to have it resurfaced with a crown instead of the valley that is there now. He added that they would like good turn lanes at Old 441 and he noted that 450 homes in Chelsea Oaks are putting a strain on everyone. He asked the Board to vote to leave Merry Road open.
Ms. Anastasia Galos stated that Mr. Bob Hester came to a City of Tavares meeting and assured residents that there would be no opening from the development onto Merry Road, yet that is being proposed.
Mr. Dallas Miley stated that he recently moved back to Tavares. He stated that Ms. Bonifay commented that it was this Commission’s responsibility to give the developers what they wanted and the occupants in the mobile home park what they could have. He stated that he knows a little about safety because of years on the Kansas Highway Patrol. He stated that more driveways on Merry Road will encourage accidents. He expressed his concern about response time for ambulances. He asked the Board to leave Merry Road the way it is.
Mr. Mike McHone, a resident of Lake Saunders Acres, stated that it is almost impossible to use Merry Road at times because of trucks and construction material. He stated that there are no signs, flags or flagmen that even suggest that residents need to go another way. He stated that another outlet is feasible and the latest proposal may be a good compromise by the builders but a straight shot would be the best.
Mr. Jerry Deiuliis stated that he has lived on Merry Road in front of the mobile home community since the early 1990s. In 2003 he asked the County what the plan would be for the development of property across the street. Because it is in the City of Tavares, he asked to see the City’s plan. There was no change in Merry Road on that plan and the exits were to be on David Walker Drive. He stated that the apartments and duplexes on the 2003 plan have been changed to residential homes. He stated that he knows of no one in his area who was contacted regarding the road closing and no one was given notice that the road would be graded. He stated that there has been a lack of communication and he expressed his concerns regarding safety at the intersection of Old 441. Because of speeding, Mr. Deiuliis stated that he originally did not want Merry Road kept open. He stated that David Walker Drive is not wide enough and that the police have done nothing to enforce the speed limit on it. He asked the Board to keep Merry Road open and to install some stop signs.
There being no further comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Mr. Richey stated that, if they reengineered so that the road goes straight through, they would anticipate 18-20 lots fronting on that strip and that would be about the same as the reconfiguration they are proposing. He stated that the latest proposal is better, and far safer, than having the road go straight through; however, if the road goes straight through it will not be unencumbered. He stated that the densities are already approved. He explained that the multi-family was done away with as part of the overall approval that was done with Ms. Bonifay and her client. He stated that the road, even if not vacated, will be altered significantly based on approved development plans.
Commr. Pool stated that he liked the reconfiguration (Applicant’s Exhibit A-1) but the residents are convinced that they do not like this plan. He asked if the four lots could be put in the green space on the right, eliminating the driveways on Merry Road. He suggested the use of four-way stop signs.
Mr. Richey stated that, if the road is not closed, they will reengineer this. He noted the drainage issues with Merry Road and stated that Commr. Pool’s suggestion will not work from an engineering perspective because of stormwater.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that, if the road is not closed, those lots would have to be marketed and might be designed to minimize backing onto the road.
Mr. Richey confirmed that marketing may mean four-way stops and different kinds of things to slow traffic which may encumber and be more frustrating to folks than what they are proposing today.
More discussion occurred regarding stop signs, engineering and the stormwater area.
Mr. Richey stated that the project will be built, regardless of vacating the road, and the residents may not be happy with the resulting conflicts.
Because the residents had not seen this latest configuration (Applicant’s Exhibit A-1), Commr. Pool asked if the residents wanted more time to consider it.
By a show of hands, the residents in the audience indicated that they do not want the request to vacate to be delayed.
Mr. Richey stated that he sees no reason to delay it. If the Board chooses not to vacate it, they will proceed to reengineer and build per the City’s plans.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board denied Road Vacation Petition Number 1046 by Lake Saunders Groves Land LLP, Chelsea Oaks LLC, a request to vacate right of way and cease maintenance on a portion of Merry Road (Number 4455), in the Plat of James M. Conner, located in Section 27, Township 19 South, Range 26 East, in the City of Tavares, Commission District 3.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:35 a.m., Commr. Hill announced a ten minute break.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (CONTINUED)
ROAD VACATION PETITION NO. 1053 - SCOTT F. AND MARY L. FROST - YALAHA AREA
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, presented Road Vacation Petition Number 1053 by Scott F. and Mary L. Frost, Representative Mary Ludwig/Steve Richey, a request to vacate three unnamed 16-foot wide rights of way, in the Map of Yalaha, located in Section 15, Township 20 South, Range 25 East, in the Yalaha area, Commission District 3. Staff recommended approval.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, was present to represent the applicant.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. There being no comment, the public hearing was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2005-126 for Road Vacation Petition Number 1053 by Scott F. and Mary L. Frost, Representative Mary Ludwig/Steve Richey, a request to vacate three unnamed 16-foot wide rights of way, in the Map of Yalaha, located in Section 15, Township 20 South, Range 25 East, in the Yalaha area, Commission District 3.
ROAD VACATION PETITION NO. 1054 - HARRY LERNER - CLERMONT AREA
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, presented Road Vacation Petition Number 1054 by Harry Lerner, a request to vacate a portion of the right of way for Citrus Tower Boulevard, dedicated in the Plat of Lost Lake, Plat Book 50, Pages 64 through 69, inclusive, located in Section 28, Township 22 South, Range 26 East, in the Clermont area, Commission District 2. Staff recommended approval of those portions that are excess right of way.
It was noted that the applicant was present.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. There being no comment, the public hearing was closed.
A motion was made by Commr. Pool, and seconded by Commr. Stivender, for approval of Resolution 2005-127 for Road Vacation Petition Number 1054 by Harry Lerner, a request to vacate a portion of the right of way for Citrus Tower Boulevard, dedicated in the Plat of Lost Lake, Plat Book 50, Pages 64 through 69, inclusive, located in Section 28, Township 22 South, Range 26 East, in the Clermont area, Commission District 2.
Under discussion, Commr. Cadwell confirmed with Mr. Stivender that this does not involve any trail or drainage issues.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion which carried by a unanimous vote of 5-0.
ROAD VACATION PETITION NO. 1059 - LAKE COUNTY/FLORIDA ROCK/MOSS - UMATILLA AREA (TAB 10)
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN RONALD STEVENOT, ET AL., VERSUS LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA (TAB 11)
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, presented Tab 10, Road Vacation Petition Number 1059 by Lake County/Florida Rock/Moss, a request to vacate right of way and to cease maintenance on a portion of Umatilla Road (Number 8047) in the Plat of Dream Lake Poultry Ranches, located in Section 5, Township 18 South, Range 26 East, in the Umatilla area, Commission District 5; and Tab 11, Settlement Agreement between Ronald Stevenot, Margaret Stevenot, et al., versus Lake County, Florida. He reminded the Board that there was a combination road vacation/zoning case for expansion of the Marion sand mine in Lake County where the Board approved the rezoning for the sand mine but denied the vacation of the road right of way. Tab 11 involves the settlement of that litigation which has brought back the road vacation. He stated that a 12 to 14-hour mediation session in June resulted in the parties agreeing to settle their lawsuit (Tab 11, Case No. 2003-CA-3911). The Settlement Agreement, essentially, provides additional protections for the residents in terms of additional setbacks, landscaping and other protections from the mining activities, and concludes with the complete end to the litigation. As part of the Settlement Agreement, all parties agreed to revisit the vacation of Umatilla Road because the mine actually will mine across where that road exists today.
Mr. Minkoff requested approval of the Settlement Agreement, which will end the litigation, and reconsideration of the vacation of the road. All of the other actions are by Florida Rock Industries or the property owner. He noted a change to the Settlement Agreement, as follows:
“Paragraph 2. Florida Rock Industries
agrees to a setback of two hundred
fifty (250) twenty-five (225) feet
from the eastern property boundary for any mining of sand.”
Mr. Minkoff stated that, per the Agreement, Florida Rock will pay approximately $20,000 in fees to the Plaintiffs, which does not involve Lake County. He recommended approval of the Settlement Agreement (Tab 11) and the request to vacate Umatilla Road (Tab 10). He clarified that, at the Board’s discretion, the recommended action could be one or two votes. He confirmed that this was brought up about a month ago and was treated as approval to advertise.
Commr. Hill noted the presence of Mr. Steve Richey, attorney representing Florida Rock Industries, and Ms. Leslie Campione, attorney representing the plaintiffs.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing on Road Vacation Petition 1059 (Tab 10) and called for public comment. There being no comment, the public hearing was closed.
Commr. Cadwell voiced his very strong opposition to the expansion of this plant into Lake County from Marion County and commented that the Settlement Agreement may help the neighbors to some extent.
A motion was made by Commr. Cadwell and seconded by Commr. Stivender for Board approval of (Tab 10) Resolution 2005-128, Road Vacation Petition Number 1059 by Lake County/Florida Rock/Moss, a request to vacate right of way and to cease maintenance on a portion of Umatilla Road (Number 8047) in the Plat of Dream Lake Poultry Ranches, located in Section 5, Township 18 South, Range 26 East, in the Umatilla area, Commission District 5; and approval of (Tab 11) Settlement Agreement between Ronald Stevenot, Margaret Stevenot, et al., versus Lake County, Florida.
In response to Commr. Hill’s question about opening a public hearing regarding the Settlement Agreement (Tab 11), Mr. Minkoff clarified that the public hearing is required only for the road vacation.
Commr. Hill called for a vote on the motion which carried by a unanimous vote of 5-0.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - REZONINGS
REQUEST FOR POSTPONEMENT - REZONING CASE PH#50-05-2- LAKE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS - HARRY FIX, AICP -
TRACKING NO. 56-05-CFD
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planning Manager, Planning and Development Services, announced that a request for postponement has been submitted on Rezoning Case PH#50-05-2; Lake County Public Schools; Harry Fix, AICP; Tracking No. 56-05-CFD, in order to hold a night meeting in the Minneola area.
Commr. Hill disclosed, for the record, that she has spoken to parties on both sides on Zoning Agenda Numbers. 1, 2, 3, 7 and 9.
Commr. Stivender disclosed, for the record, that she has spoken to parties on both sides on Zoning Agenda Numbers. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9.
Commr. Hanson disclosed, for the record, that she has spoken to parties on both sides on Zoning Agenda Numbers. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9 and 11. She announced that she will not be voting on Agenda Number. 2.
Commr. Cadwell disclosed, for the record, that he has spoken to parties on Zoning Agenda Number. 1.
Commr. Pool disclosed, for the record, that he has spoken to parties on Zoning Agenda Numbers. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9 and 11.
Mr. Harry Fix, AICP, Director of Growth Planning, Lake County Public Schools, stated that the Chair of the Lake County School Board has written a letter requesting that the case be postponed to a night meeting in the south Lake County area. The School Board has offered to make available any of the school facilities. He stated that the night meeting would give more of the public an opportunity to be present at the hearing.
Commr. Pool remarked that the Board has realized it wants the public’s input.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, should the Board choose to postpone this case, Minneola City Hall has been reserved for Monday, September 19, 2005, at 5:00 p.m.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment on the postponement only, not the rezoning issue.
Ms. Christy Jarzemski presented a letter to the Deputy Clerk (Opposition’s Exhibit O-1) from a neighbor who could not attend today’s meeting. She showed two photographs taken at her Sullivan Road home (Opposition’s Exhibit O-2) and stated that this is the third delay for this case. She stated that it is time to make a decision on this issue so that the School Board can look for the correct place. She stated that residents’ rights are being trampled and that the School Board has had plenty of time to gather their sympathizers. She acknowledged that schools are needed but this is about a rezoning in a beautiful area where homes are spread apart. She stated that this is all about development because, if the school is built, there will be more people and the schools will still be in the same situation. She stated that, per the School Board’s meeting minutes, the School Board was trying to get rid of other properties before they approved the Sullivan Road site and even hired a real estate agent to rid them of extra property. She stated that they put this on their agenda as an emergency item knowing that it was not zoned. She stated that this Board cannot keep postponing this hearing.
Commr. Hanson expressed concern that, apparently, a lot of people have gotten the word that this meeting may be postponed and probably are not here because of that assumption.
Ms. Jarzemski stated that the people who matter and will be affected the most, the residents, are here. She reiterated that this is not the solution.
Mr. Jeff Frisz asked if there is any way to move forward with this today and get it done. He noted that Commr. Pool, at last month’s meeting, suggested another property that might be available and the case was postponed for 30 days but, if that property did not pan out, we would continue today. He stated that they would like to proceed.
Ms. Lorraine Frankenfield stated that this is the wrong place for a school. She stated that they bought the property illegally. She asked the Board not to reward them by giving them another postponement. She acknowledged that there needs to be a school but this is not the place. She stated that it needs to be further south. She asked who will pay for buses. She stated that the School Board will not do anything until this Board rezones this property or leaves it the way it is. She stated that, if this Board leaves it the way it is, the School Board will find another property.
Ms. Pat Donahue stated that she has been to many meetings. She stated that she lives in the area and has four children. She stated that this is not the right place for a school, that we need to get this decision made and we need to get schools built where they need to be. She stated that we need to go ahead with the hearing.
Ms. Suzen Hillebrandt stated that she and other residents have taken off work four times and a lot of residents could not be here today. She stated that she represents a group of people from rural and not so rural areas who believe in growth planning rather than growth management after the fact. She stated that there have been four months of opportunity, for support or opposition, to attend meetings and there will always be some sort of problem attending any meeting. She pointed out that this meeting was advertised for today. She stated that a large group of residents attended the Lake County Zoning Board meeting in May but a group of 50 might go down to 20 and then to 10 when beaten down again with another delay. She stated that she rescheduled her vacation in order to attend the June meeting and that a lot of people are counting on her to represent them. She asked why today’s hearing, which was advertised on the County’s website, would be delayed. She implored the Board to continue with the hearing today.
Mr. Fred Morrison, attorney representing the Lake County School Board, pointed out that people here today have said that others could not attend and that is the reason why this needs to be postponed for an evening meeting. He opined that the newspaper articles, since School Board Chairman Scott Strong sent his request for a postponement, have uniformly lead everyone to believe this would be postponed and that it would be inappropriate to proceed today. He asked the Board to postpone the meeting.
Commr. Hill asked about the status of the property that Commr. Pool suggested last month.
Mr. Morrison explained that the property is still being considered but there may be some size problems. One problem is that the Lowndes site, which is before the Board today, has a restriction that it can only be used for school purposes. The School Board has asked the seller to consider releasing that restriction but they do not have a response yet. If the restriction is not released, it would not be feasible to do the swap but if it is done, the School Board can look at the merits of the other piece of property.
Mr. Egor Emery, who has children in Lake County schools, stated that the delays drive him the wrong way. In disagreeing with Mr. Morrison, Mr. Emery stated that the citizens pay a much higher price to attend repeated meetings than those who are paid advocates. He stated that this needs to go forward and an answer is needed. He stated that he will never agree with the School Board on this parcel.
Ms. Hillebrandt stated that the newspaper article did not mention a certain time or place for a future meeting but did mention that the School Board had asked for a continuance.
There being no further public comment, the public hearing relating to the request for a postponement was closed.
Commr. Pool remarked that he felt the consensus of the Board at their August 9 meeting was that an evening meeting would give more citizens an opportunity to speak. He stated that he absolutely wants to get this over with and that he does not want an evening meeting but it is important to give citizens on both sides of the issue that opportunity. He added that the School Board is not present and prepared today.
A motion was made by Commr. Pool and seconded by Commr. Cadwell to postpone Rezoning Case PH#50-05-2; Lake County Public Schools; Harry Fix, AICP; Tracking No. 56-05-CFD, until Monday, September 19, 2005, at 5:00 p.m., at Minneola City Hall.
Under discussion, Commr. Hanson stated that we ought to move forward today and that today’s meeting was advertised. She stated that we ought to deal with the issue, while knowing that a lot of people probably are not here because of the media. She stated that she does not mind the night meeting but she will not be voting to postpone.
Commr. Stivender expressed frustration because, at the Board’s July 26 meeting, she brought up the scheduling of a night meeting but that did not get done. She stated that, had it been scheduled sooner, the matter would have been handled before today. She stated that, after the Board’s July meeting, she immediately asked staff to get maps on the new site that Commr. Pool suggested but nobody wanted to address it.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that the Board had not had a request from anyone at that time to hold an evening meeting.
Commr. Pool explained that the School Board came forward after the fact and asked for an evening meeting and now things are being done to try to accommodate Commr. Stivender’s suggestion and the School Board’s request.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the School Board, another governmental entity, is asking for a postponement until they think they would get a more fair hearing. He opined that this Board owes it to them to do that.
Commr. Hill called for a vote on the motion which carried by a vote of 4-1.
Commr. Hanson voted “No.”
REZONING CASE PH#41-05-4 - SWANSEA PROPERTIES LLC - STEVEN J. RICHEY, P.A. - TRACKING NO. 48-05-CP/AMD
Commr. Hanson disclosed, for the record, that she will not be voting on Rezoning Case PH#41-05-4; Swansea Properties LLC; Steven J. Richey, P.A.; Tracking No. 48-05-CP/AMD but she will have comments. (Form 8B Memorandum of Voting Conflict for County, Municipal, and Other Local Public Officers was submitted by Commr. Hanson and is included in the backup material.)
Ms. Jennifer DuBois, Planner, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented the case and showed the aerial map of the subject property which is located southeast of the intersection of State Road 46 (SR 46) and County Road 437 (CR 437) in the Mount Plymouth/Sorrento area. The applicant wishes to amend CP Ordinance #20-88 to allow additional commercial uses. At present, the parcel may be utilized for a corporate office, a car storage area and a service center for a car fleet leasing company. The applicant submitted a conceptual site plan depicting 130,000 square feet of retail and office space. Although the parcel lies within an area designated Neighborhood Activity Center on the Lake County Future Land Use Map, Policy 1-3A.1(3)(c) of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan restricts development within the commercial node to a maximum of 50,000 square feet of gross leasable area. The proposed project alone would exceed this maximum; and, together with the existing commercial development, the total gross leasable area would rise to 219,559 square feet. Ms. DuBois continued the Summary Analysis, noting that the applicant has stated that they will be providing a package water and wastewater plant on site. Staff believes that connection should be mandatory at such time that a regional or subregional water and/or wastewater system becomes available to serve the site. Ms. DuBois noted that the project, as submitted, is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan and staff recommends denial of the request.
In response to a question by Mr. Steve Richey, attorney representing the applicant, regarding the Zoning Board’s recommendation, Ms. Dubois stated that they recommended approval of the project, with conditions, by a vote of 5 to 2. She reiterated that staff feels it is inherently inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan and recommends denial.
Mr. Richey stated that they think this is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, with the studies that have been done in the Mount Plymouth/Sorrento area and with the current Land Development Regulations.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, LPG Urban & Regional Planners, land planner for the applicant, confirmed that he has been qualified in the past as an expert on the Lake County Comprehensive Plan and Lake County’s Land Development Regulations. Mr. Beliveau showed the Conceptual Framework Plan prepared by Miller Sellen Conner & Walsh (Applicant’s Exhibit A-1) during their year-long study which identifies the 437/46 location as a market square, basically the commercial hub for the Mount Plymouth/Sorrento area. The Miller Sellen study included participation by property owners and community groups in creating the Framework Plan (Applicant’s Exhibit A-2). Their final report was presented in July 2003. Mr. Beliveau stated that the applicant used the location and description of the type of uses from the report as guidance and made changes to his plans after meeting with the community. He stated that the applicant down scaled some of the structures and the scale of the project to break it up.
Mr. Beliveau presented a map with current zoning (County Road 437 & State Road 46, Neighborhood Activity Center, prepared by LPG, 08/22/05 - Applicant’s Exhibit A-3) which shows mostly industrial type uses on the north side of SR 46. He stated that leaves a pre-existing development that is commercial in nature that started in the 1950s and it leaves the subject parcel as commercial opportunities to comply with the market square concept at this intersection.
Commr. Hanson noted that there may be a commercial property (R-6) on the southeast corner on the map.
Mr. Beliveau explained that the realignment of CR 437 would swing through the subject parcel on what is currently Hunter Avenue and the applicant is willing to go through a phasing approval, not asking for 130,000 square feet today. He stated that the applicant would ask for 25,000 square feet, having that as a condition of Phase 1; have the 25,000 square feet be approved for the frontage only; then have the remainder approved when the CR 437 extension goes in, and then allow for the additional 105,000 square feet to be approved at that time. He explained that, therefore, Phase 2 is conditioned on the CR 437 construction going through to the new linkage. He noted that applications are being put together on land uses to the south and southeast of the subject parcel that will provide for intensive development. He stated that they can link to that development and provide interconnectivity to pull traffic off SR 46 and, basically, SR 46 will become a back door for all the projects in the southeast. He stated that those conditions can be put in so that this project is fed also from the south on Hunter as well as connecting to Payne Road, allowing for connectivity to the south, to the east and to the west. He referred to the Preliminary Landscape Plan (Applicant’s Exhibit A-4, prepared by CPH Engineers, 08/02/2005) which shows the structures dispersed throughout the property rather than one large box with a strip center design. He noted landscape buffers along future CR 437 and along SR 46 and showed a detailed illustration titled Town Center Blvd. Cross Section (Applicant’s Exhibit A-5, prepared by CPH Engineers, 08/02/2005). He stated that this planning was done through meetings with the committee as well as looking at the directives of the market square concept. He added that the size of the structures was reduced, reducing the grocery anchor to 45,000 square feet.
Mr. Beliveau confirmed that the 45,000 square foot structure will not be built unless the CR 437 extension is built and the applicant is willing to include that as a condition of the CP. He stated that, looking at the analysis for this intersection under the text, this intersection would comply as community commercial. He confirmed that there are a limited number of uses which are consistent with the market square concept and a downtown feel. He discussed a market study (Summary Demographic Profile, Applicant’s Exhibit A-6), with population estimates and projections and showed existing commercial centers in proximity to the site (computer generated map, Applicant’s Exhibit A-7). He concluded that there is a need for this type of center.
Mr. Beliveau presented the County Road 437 & State Road 46 Neighborhood Activity Center map (Applicant’s Exhibit A-8, prepared by LPG, 08/22/2005) and stated that the red dot did not line up with the intersection when compared to the Future Land Use Map. He explained the fluid nature of the red dots and stated that the text (Comprehensive Plan) goes through specific details. He stated that the text establishes this intersection as a community activity center allowing between 50,000 and 500,000 square feet. He confirmed that central water and sewer will be provided by subregional facilities on site. He confirmed that the developer has agreed that he will work with the committee to establish the motif of this project through the next several years.
Mr. Beliveau presented the Spatial Analysis (Applicant’s Exhibit A-9, prepared by CPH Engineers, 08/18/2005) and a compilation of drawings depicting a pedestrian-friendly type environment (Applicant’s Exhibit A-10). He stated that there are no problems making those design constraints a condition in the CP. He stated that the CP could be tailored to reflect the market square requirements and that this would look like a downtown versus looking like a strip center.
Commr. Hanson pointed out that the Orlando Sentinel property in the northeast corner is an industrial use although the zoning is commercial. She asked if staff includes industrial when they consider the 50,000 square feet.
Mr. Richey stated that staff, at the Zoning Board meeting, talked about an additional 50,000 square feet at that intersection.
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planning Manager, Lake County Planning and Development Services, explained that staff typically has interpreted all of the commercial nodes and industrial, as they have been set out, as anything that was approved prior to adoption of the Comprehensive Plan as pretty much there and it has a certain vested right that goes along with it.
Mr. Richey referred to the Preliminary Landscape Plan (Applicant’s Exhibit A-4) which shows the anchor building fronting Town Center Blvd., not SR 46.
Mr. Beliveau referred to Applicant’s Exhibit A-3 and pointed out different existing zonings and residences. He confirmed that residences will be behind commercial buildings.
Commr. Hanson stated that a real concern is that the market square apparently cannot have any additional commercial use because the Comprehensive Plan is set now at 50,000 square feet. She asked how we deal with that issue.
Mr. Richardson advised that, while hearing a representation today that the Miller Sellen Framework Study was adopted as the plan, the Board only accepted the study and then appointed a committee to do further study. He remarked that the ultimate development of that market square might include creation of new policies and/or overlays to amend the Comprehensive Plan to allow those uses to stay in place. A time schedule for completion has not been set but the committee is moving forward with the individual topics which will involve community meetings. He confirmed that the only way to look at this request is under the existing rules, not the Comprehensive Plan change.
Commr. Hill asked about Hunter Avenue and Payne Road and the realignment of the road.
Mr. Fred Schneider, Director of Engineering, Lake County Public Works Department, explained that the conceptual plan alignment is envisioned by community groups and is on the County’s unfunded program for a study to define the actual corridor. He stated that the County has not said the right of way will be here. He stated that it will come along the west side of the subject property but how it curves at the south end and realigns to CR 437 will have to be worked through. He stated that the road, south of CR 437, will more than likely have to be improved by this development and the right of way may come off one side or the other. He stated that the County has not approached the property owners to the west about dedicating right of way.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Ms. Jeanne Etter, a resident of Mount Plymouth and a member of the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento Planning Advisory Committee, clarified for the record that this particular petition has not been presented to the Lake County Local Planning Agency (LPA) and has only been heard by the Lake County Zoning Board. She explained that the committee began meeting early this year and has devoted some time to this petition. She presented a recap of public comments that were made at the committee’s August 11, 2005, meeting (Opposition’s Exhibit O-1). Speaking only as a member of the committee, she explained that they will continue with the Framework Study, using it as a guide. She stated that they want to see a village-type area, keeping the rural feel. She stressed that it is a compact urban node and that they envision something other than a potential shopping center. She stated that they are not saying no to markets and they would like a park, a school, and bike trails, all with a community feel. She stated that an Employment Center designation is located a couple of miles to the west at Round Lake Road and SR 46. She confirmed that SR 46 is an arterial road but is only two lanes and a bypass has been requested. She asked the Board to follow the Comprehensive Plan which has this as a much smaller scale area. She stated that Hunter Avenue is a dirt driveway that goes to two residences and Payne Road is not developed. Development of these two roads, and some of today’s exhibits, have not been presented to the committee. She emphasized that the residents want to maintain their current identity. She asked that the committee be allowed to continue meeting with residents in an effort to make this a special defining place. She asked the Board to deny this request.
Mr. Egor Emery noted that Commr. Hanson has recused herself because of a conflict. He asked if she will be able to talk about what she has learned over the lifetime of the study.
Commr. Hanson confirmed that, according to the County Attorney, she can speak, but not vote. She stated that she will have some comments, particularly about the committee’s accomplishments thus far.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that this committee was set up because Commr. Hanson aggravated the Board to do it and that the area is not represented by a city. He stated that she has caught a little flak but she set the committee up to be sure there is some unified input from that community.
Mr. Emery stated that he has attended numerous meetings in the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento community and that he cannot begin to tell the Board how far this vision presented today deviates from what the community has talked about at every meeting. He agreed with Commr. Cadwell’s perception that the Preliminary Landscape Plan (Applicant’s Exhibit A-4) looks like a shopping center with areas dedicated completely to cars. He remarked that the Miller Sellen study was greeted with gasps when it was presented but people have become more comfortable with that particular concept even though it is not the end product. He stated that all of the residents he has been in contact with have recommended something of a smaller scale and the residents want to craft a town that preserves the character of their longtime lifestyle. He stated that the applicant has knowledge of projects nearby but those have not been brought before the Board. He stated that the committee is trying to bring all of these concepts together in a cohesive concept, not a piecemeal thing. He stated that residents would have to get in a car to drive to the proposed development and he noted that this area is littered with shopping centers whose tenants have moved on. He stated that retail space is available and more is not needed. He pointed out staff’s comments about unfunded roads for the area and he asked the Board to consider how difficult it will be to make this dream a reality. He concluded that we do not need another parking lot. Mr. Emery stated that the Comprehensive Plan gives the Board the opportunity to say no to bad ideas or to accept bad ideas. He stated that this is a bad idea and the Board should use the Comprehensive Plan to send a message to everyone in the community that the long-range vision will be followed, not be deviated from.
Mr. Barry Blake, a resident of Mount Plymouth and a Florida native, stated that he sees people who move to the State and want to close the door to further growth. He stated that he would like to see certain areas preserved such as the Wekiva area. He stated that it is very scary when the State and community can take away individual rights. He opined that a shopping center at Round Lake Road would be more detrimental to the area because there is far more residential development and a school and it is a busy, dangerous intersection. He stated that a shopping center of this type looks nice and it looks like the developer is willing to work with the Board. He stated that he is all for it and that it will help property values in the area and take some of the traffic off of SR 46. He stated that he currently drives to the Publix in Mount Dora or Sanford. He stated that, as a resident, he supports the project.
Ms. Priscilla Bernardo, resident of Sorrento and Vice President of the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento Planning Advisory Committee, showed a black and white version of the Preliminary Landscape Plan (Plymouth-Sorrento Town Center, Opposition’s Exhibit O-2) which does not include trees. She stated that the realignment of CR 437 is not a particular committee issue although they realize it is a possibility. She stated that the committee’s focus has always been to maintain SR 46 as a two-lane road and that it would become their Main Street, not this offshoot, reconnective thing. She stated that she met with the developer, Mr. Lou Fabrizio, and talked about all the things she had heard from the public, such as a park and strolling along the street. Ms. Bernardo explained that the committee has had extensive educational meetings and has learned about schools and zoning and planning and development in an effort to be knowledgeable. She added that they have had public meetings and have gotten public input. She distributed another recap of the public comments from August 11, 2005, charrette (Opposition’s Exhibit O-3) where participants talked about the market place idea, not the project being presented today. She stated that participants know clearly what they want. They want small parking pods, square footage for retail limited to 5,000 to 12,000, small buildings, connectivity to be able to walk and bike. They do not want chain stores. They want to protect existing local businesses. She stated that participants want a town center with a small-town feel which would include churches, school(s), “mom & pop” shops, playgrounds, parks, small retail shops, and walkable storefronts.
Ms. Bernardo asked the Board to deny the request because it does not fit with the Comprehensive Plan and because this community needs this committee to define something for themselves. She stated that it has been said that this reorientation was done because of input from the community; however, she advised that there was no mention in the minutes of a prior meeting of reorienting this to a road that does not exist. She stated that there was mention of the Framework Study which, she stated, has been used and abused by developers. She stated, for the record, that this is a study; that all of this Board said, “Great, here, Mount Plymouth-Sorrento committee, go make it work for what you need.” She stated that what is left out by developers is “The market square will serve the demands of pass by traffic, but more importantly, it will serve the overall community as a pedestrian oriented, mixed-use center at the intersection of possibly a realigned 437 and SR 46.”
Ms. Bernardo reiterated that this plan is not pedestrian friendly but is a shopping plaza, a sea of parking that people drive to. She stated that Mr. Fabrizio has been invited to work with the committee repeatedly and has been told what they want. She stated that they would like to continue to work with him and help him develop something that the community will support. She asked the Board to deny the project as it stands now, get back to the drawing board with Mr. Fabrizio, do the market center that the community wants and continue with the process.
Mr. Curtis Duffield, President, Mount Plymouth-Sorrento Planning Advisory Committee, stated that the August 2005, charrette, planned by Mr. Richardson, had a remarkable turnout. He stated that they asked the community what they really want and the resulting information (Opposition O-3) probably represents about 75 people. He noted comments such as an eclectic mix of architectural styles for store fronts, meandering walkable sidewalks, trails, and no “big box.” Mr. Duffield stated that the anchor store on the plan is about 44,000 square feet which is an acre. The area has two grocery stores, three service station/convenience stores, a dentist’s office, pizza places, a mower shop and a hardware store. He stated that a comment at the charrette was that these local merchants will not survive if this development happens. The survival of these businesses is important. Mr. Duffield explained that the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento area is not a cookie cutter area because every home is different and on different size parcels. He stated that the public is telling the committee that they want it like they have it even though some new commercial would be wanted, such as a coffee shop, an ice cream stand, maybe a dry cleaner and other small businesses. He stated that they are not, however, talking about Walgreen’s and Publix. He stated that there are three shopping centers nearby which provide adequate shopping. In conclusion, he stated that the committee has a job to do; the committee has a schedule with meetings planned. He asked the Board to let the committee do its work. He asked the Board to take staff’s recommendation and deny this request.
Mr. Paul Trembly, a resident of Mount Plymouth, stated that he has participated in some of the meetings and that he agrees with many of the statements made by previous speakers. The committee is looking at the Framework Study and will report to the Board with implementation suggestions. He stated that the citizens have overwhelmingly said they want to keep their small town feel and the small community, neighborhood type of intimacy that they possess. He encouraged the Board to let the committee do what the Board has asked them to do. He asked the Board to deny this request.
Mr. Bob Walsh, who lives adjacent to the subject property, stated that the applicant’s diagram depicts his property as a school. He opined that they have stepped beyond their bounds and have planned his life and are trying to plan everyone’s lives in Sorrento and Mount Plymouth. He stated that the committee has stated a vision and he included his input at the charrette. He explained that he moved away from large boxes about two years ago and that he has dreamed of living in a small town. He stated that this is not fair; that they are entitled to their piece of heaven.
Ms. Jane Walsh stated that these roads are pie in the sky. She stated that they thought 300 acres around them were zoned for one home to five acres but have been told it actually is five houses to one acre. She stated that water and electricity are not available now. She stated that the committee has the ability to make this a special place for Lake County. She explained that the subject area is 17 acres and she lives on 25 acres behind it. She pointed out that, by keeping SR 46 a two lane road, this special area can be spread between CR 437 and Mount Plymouth in an effort to get a country feel. She asked the Board to vote this down.
There being no further public comment, the public hearing was closed.
Mr. Lou Fabrizio stated that they met with the framework committee group after becoming involved with this property. He stated that he was somewhat taken aback by the reaction and he subsequently attended a public meeting. He stated that he then felt compelled to go out into the community and get a feel for what the community wants. He stated that he certainly does not want to be involved in a property that does not fit into the community nor is not wanted by the community. He explained that he spent two hours on two evenings knocking on doors and answering questions. He explained that he showed residents a site plan that is different than the one shown today. He presented a petition (Applicant’s Exhibit A-11) that was circulated to 55 people and signed by all but two people. He stated that those people were all for it and thought it would be a great thing for the area. Mr. Fabrizio stated that he did not try to keep any exhibits away from the framework group. He stated that the Preliminary Landscape Plan (Exhibit A-4) was shown to the Lake County Zoning Board and it was available at the charrette although nobody wanted to see it. He stated that the committee, prior to the charrette, voted to send a letter to this Commission recommending denial. He stated that he met with four of the eleven committee members; therefore, seven have not seen it. He stated that not all of the committee members were against it.
Mr. Fabrizio addressed the other concept plan (Spatial Analysis - Applicant’s Exhibit A-9) which is their idea of how this proposed development would fit into his understanding of the Framework Plan. He stated that they wanted to show how a town center would work as the roadway system evolves. He stated that he did not want to offend anyone by insinuating that their property would become something other than what they want it to become. He stated that he understands that the realignment of CR 437 that has been in the County plan for some time will be looked at as part of the PD&E with the beltway. He stated that, in a willingness to work with the committee and community, they reoriented their property to front on that road. He opined that they can make a statement with that road and that an image for the community can be created. He stated that they are willing to do something architecturally and aesthetically pleasing that works with the look of the community.
Lastly, Mr. Fabrizio explained that there is a ten-acre site with one residence immediately to the east, the Walshes live to the south of the property and abut a portion of it. Two parcels are on the other side of Hunter Avenue which is a County right of way. He added that one is vacant and the one behind has one residence on about five or six acres. Directly behind the property is a five-acre site which they own, which has a residence and is rented out.
Mr. Richey stated that their proposal is to have the Board approve, as Phase 1 of the project, 25,000 square feet which would be the buildings that front on SR 46 (Spatial Analysis - Applicant’s Exhibit A-9). He stated that they have indicated that, if they are not able to put the road together, which would be on their property, then the only thing being approved today would be 25,000 square feet. He stated that, if the road system that they propose were to be built, they would have a right to complete the site plan that they propose today with 130,000 square feet. He stated that they have provided the buffering on the Preliminary Landscape Plan (Applicant’s Exhibit A-4). He stated that Mr. Beliveau testified that this property is pedestrian-friendly, car-friendly and it has trail systems interconnecting with the future development they know is taking place around the area. Mr. Richey stated that the intent of the plan was to ensure that it is viable. Simply making it pedestrian or bicycle friendly will not make this a viable center. He stated that he is talking about a town center and that it will not be viable if there is not some element of vehicular traffic into this piece of property. He stated that they think it is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the 25,000 square feet clearly would be consistent with the 50,000 square feet which is available at this intersection. He reiterated that, when the road goes all the way through, the 130,000 square feet would be the maximum that would be there with this kind of site plan. He stated that their testimony is that they meet the Comprehensive Plan for the whole 130,000 square feet but, obviously, they are willing to limit it to 25,000 square feet today as they proceed in the staging of this project.
Commr. Hanson commented that she harassed the Commission over a couple of years to continue with this effort. She stated that there are some outstanding folks on the committee and that they have worked hard to educate themselves. She opined that the charrette went very well and stated that it is fortunate that SR 46 has been maintained as a two-lane road. She explained that the Framework Study, in recommending to the Wekiva study group, helped create that bypass around Mount Plymouth and Sorrento. She stated that, if that happens, it will leave the opportunity for SR 46 to be a local road and a Main Street. She opined that was critical and it was supported by this Board. She remarked that the bike paths, the pedestrian-friendly community and the height restrictions are all important. She commented that the SR 437 extension has been on Public Works’ plans for a while but the funding is not available. She stated that it is going to be very difficult to create a town center on SR 46 and CR 437 as it currently dead ends at SR 46. She noted that at least two of the corners are already developed. She stated that she has had trouble getting a true definition of a big box. She stated that the Orlando Sentinel building on the northeast corner is 48,000 square feet and would be the approximate size of the recommended grocery store. She expressed concern that, without a change in the Comprehensive Plan, we are not going to be able to provide for additional square footage for commercial at the intersection of SR 46 and CR 437. She stated that a town center does have to have some commercial uses.
Commr. Hanson stated that the committee has talked about a lot of good concepts and has done a good job building on the framework. She confirmed that the Framework Study was not adopted by the Board, it was merely accepted. She stated that she believes this original proposal, as presented, is premature. She stated that there needs to be work on changes in the Comprehensive Plan and the advisory committee will make their recommendations for those changes. Commr. Hanson stated that this property was rezoned commercial more than fifteen years ago and what would be changed would be the uses. She noted that she will not be voting but that she would support, thinking it is consistent, a 20,000 square foot addition for buildings, limited to 20,000, but that it would be designed so that it does fit into a town center, if that town center ever moves to the south. She opined that would be compatible with the Comprehensive Plan if we consider the Orlando Sentinel as industrial, which is its true use. She stated that there is a lot of commercial zoning along SR 46. Folks could come into those properties anytime and put in a commercial building without scrutiny until the recommendations by this committee become part of the Comprehensive Plan. Commr. Hanson suggested that any future zonings would have to come back before the Board, which is contrary to what Mr. Richey is requesting. He is asking to allow the additional square footage after the road is built. She stated that ought to come back to this Board as we look at, and are requiring, the site plans that need to be approved by this Board. She stated that this Board would need to look at whatever is being submitted, at that time, based on what the committee has put together as part of the Comprehensive Plan. She reiterated that she would not support the request as it is today but a modification of that. She again noted that she is not voting.
Commr. Cadwell commented that, with the change in the road system and SR 46 being the way it is going to be, there really is a chance at four intersections to make that town center happen. He expressed reluctance to let anything happen there until those Comprehensive Plan changes are made. He stated that it is our one shot in that area. He commented that he was defending Commr. Hanson today because she has aggravated the Board to make sure they do something different than they have in other places. He opined that this is not the vision the folks are working for, even though it is not an unpleasant thing. He asked the committee to pick up the pace if they can because the Comprehensive Plan will be changed quickly. He agreed that this request is premature and if we do the smaller version it will be there forever and they will have to work around it. He stated that he does not feel comfortable moving forward.
Regarding a timeframe for completion of the study, Mr. Richardson explained that the Wekiva area, maybe including the compact node, may not necessarily be touched until they go through the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR). One of the things they can do is continually provide information as the committee has their discussions. He stated that they could hold a monthly community meeting or charrette-type discussion but that would not leave the committee much time to do their discussion. He stated that they will discuss that next month.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that there was enough evidence presented on this request on which to recommend denial but the Board has to have some rules and regulations to try to create what the community wants.
Commr. Pool commented that the citizens feel very strongly. He applauded Mr. Fabrizio’s efforts in knocking on doors. He stated that he met with several citizens in trying to figure out the future for that area but today’s plan really does not accomplish that. He pointed out that Groveland is begging for a Publix but the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento community does not want one or want one of this size. He stated that he would like to know what the smallest Publix is in Florida. He remarked that it may be, with the right architectural design and the smaller scale, something they could embrace. However, he stated that they have convinced him they do not want to see this and he will not be able to support this rezoning.
Commr. Stivender asked if there is a way to postpone the case, rather than denying it. She stated they still will own the property when the study is done. She suggested that they work with the committee to come up with what they want at that intersection, or deny it without prejudice, so that he can come back.
Mr. Richey asked, if the Board is not going to approve it today, that it be denied without prejudice so, rather than having to wait a year, if the committee has something available, that they could work with them in the interim and bring that back.
Commr. Cadwell stated that does not preclude them from having to go back through the whole process. It would not be a start-over-from-today thing and the applicant would have to go back through the process, but would be allowed to do it within a shorter time period.
Mr. Richey stated that he thinks they could refile in 60 days.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the request would have to be changed somewhat.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried by a vote of 4-0, the Board overturned the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board and denied, without prejudice, Rezoning Case PH#41-05-4, Swansea Properties LLC, Steven J. Richey, P.A., Tracking No. 48-05-CP/AMD; with the understanding that the applicant has to begin the process over, including appearing before the Lake County Zoning Board.
Commr. Hanson abstained from the vote.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 1:00 p.m., Commr. Hill announced that the Board would recess for lunch.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - REZONINGS (CONTINUED)
REZONING CASE PH#60-05-2 - RODNEY L. YAWN & RYAN L. YAWN - STEVEN J. RICHEY, P.A. - TRACKING NO. 73-05-CP
Ms. Jennifer DuBois, Planner, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#60-05-2; Rodney L. Yawn & Ryan L. Yawn; Steven J. Richey, P.A.; Tracking No. 73-05-CP, a request to rezone from A (Agriculture District) to CP (Planned Commercial District) for professional office use and outdoor motor vehicle and boat storage. She showed the aerial map of the subject property which is located in the Clermont area, east of County Road 455, approximately 1/3 mile north of the intersection of County Road 455 and State Road 50. The site will be served by City of Clermont water and sewer provided municipal approval is granted. Ms. DuBois read the Summary Analysis and indicated that staff finds that the proposed rezoning is inconsistent with the Lake County Comprehensive Plan. While professional offices are allowed in C-1 zoning district, truck yards and self-service storage facilities are not. Staff recommends denial of the request to rezone. The Lake County Zoning Board voted 7-0 for approval, not to exceed five trailers.
Mr. Steve Richey, attorney representing the applicant, stated that he presented evidence to the Zoning Board that they have operated a home occupation internet truck distribution center on these five acres. He stated that the property is fenced and heavily wooded and dozens of people have asked if they could park their RVs (recreational vehicles) and trucks there. He explained that Lake County passed a rule several years ago that prohibits trucks in subdivisions. He stated that the request is to allow use of the existing house as professional offices for the internet business and to allow self-storage of boats, RVs and up to five trucks. He stated that the site plan limits conditions of the uses significantly, not opening it up to the heavy or more intense commercial uses. He stated that the site is behind Publix, next to an asphalt/concrete plant and across CR 455 from Tower Chemical. Mr. Richey confirmed that the abandoned railroad will be used for the trail and that the heavy woods will not be disturbed.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. There being no comment, the public hearing was closed.
For the record, Commr. Pool disclosed that he has spoken with Messrs. Rodney Yawn and Ryan Yawn. He stated that there obviously is a need to park some of the vehicles in different locations. He opined that this is an ideal location, especially with the heavy buffer.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board and approved Ordinance 2005-67, Rezoning Case PH#60-05-2; Rodney L. Yawn & Ryan L. Yawn; Steven J. Richey, P.A.; Tracking No. 73-05-CP, a request to rezone from A (Agriculture District) to CP (Planned Commercial District).
REZONING CASE PH#71-05-4 - KRIS COX - CHRISTOPHER SHIPLEY - TRACKING NO. 76-05-Z
Mr. Jeff Richardson, Planning Manager, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#71-05-4; Kris Cox; Christopher Shipley; Tracking No. 76-05-Z, a request to rezone a 24.1 acre site from A (Agriculture) to R-2 (Estate Residential) for the creation of a single-family residential subdivision. He showed the aerial map of the subject property which is located north of the intersection of County Road 437 and Wolf Branch Road in the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento area. He noted the subdivision would consist of approximately 30 new units and would be served by individual wells, or a community well, and septic tanks. He stated that the issue prompting staff’s recommendation for denial is the notice from the Lake County School Board that Round Lake Elementary School is 61% over capacity. He noted that Mount Dora Middle School is 2% under capacity and Mount Dora High School is 29% under capacity.
Commr. Hanson remarked that we need to analyze the number of students that come to Round Lake Elementary School from other areas, including Orange County. It is important that the Board have the correct information. She stated that we have not necessarily agreed with the School Board’s analysis of under and over capacity, knowing that they do not consider portables as part of their capacity.
Commr. Hanson disclosed, for the record, that she met with the applicant. She stated that the City of Eustis is not interested in providing utilities even though the subject parcel is close. She stated that she would rather see this project be a cluster development with more open space and mixed use with commercial on the corner.
Mr. Richardson commented that the parcel is not within the City’s utility service area and he understands they do not plan to serve much more than they currently serve.
Commr. Stivender stated that there was a letter of support from the abutting property owner.
Mr. Chris Shipley, applicant, stated that LPG Urban & Regional Planners compiled school capacity numbers. There are still 148 students out of zone or out of county attending Round Lake Elementary School and over capacity is now at 152%. Based on data available to staff about a month ago, the number was 161%. He showed quotes from the staff report (Applicant’s Exhibit A-1) and stated that this application is squeaky clean from every perspective except school concurrency. He explained that the Zoning Board members were torn between making a significant policy shift on school concurrency. He agreed that legislation has been passed and is scheduled to become effective in 2008. He stated that this situation, in his view, is that staff is trying to impose standards of the future on this little development today. He remarked that Mr. Kris Cox, the land owner, unlike large land owners, has no mechanism of donating land for a school or a fire station or paying large sums of money to get approval and to oversee the impact on the schools. Mr. Shipley showed the Lake County Public Schools Residential Growth Impact Report (Applicant’s Exhibit A-2) upon which staff’s report was based. He pointed out that six children, according to the general rule of thumb, would be added to the elementary school. He stated that number is de minimis. He stated that a change in policy should be made by this Board, not the Zoning Board. He stated that making this change on this development would be essentially imposing a moratorium on all new growth. He stated that there is no way to get an application for rezoning that is as uncontroversial and has such a minimal impact as this one.
In response to a question by Commr. Cadwell, Mr. Shipley replied that he believes it is the intention of Mr. Cox to develop this property on half-acre parcels with individual wells and septic systems.
Commr. Hanson asked if there is a plan for sidewalks.
Mr. Shipley showed a very rough conceptual plan (Applicant’s Exhibit A-3) which has no provision for sidewalks. He stated that there will be a provision for additional dedicated right of way on Wolf Branch Road for a turn lane.
Commr. Hanson expressed concern that there is no open space. She suggested that some clustering could be done if the homes have individual septic tanks with central water.
Mr. Shipley explained that much of the surrounding property is Agricultural and R-1 and this is a good use for this property given its location at the intersection of two collector roads. He stated that most of Wolf Branch Road is developed less densely except in the immediate vicinity of the subject property.
Commr. Hanson asked Mr. Shipley if they have considered one-third acre lots, or townhouses, with a water system.
Mr. Shipley explained that Mr. Cox has indicated that the size of the homes in this subdivision cannot be built on one-third acre lots, however, nothing is set is stone and they are open to suggestions by the Board. He stated that these will be high-end homes and the development is envisioned to be a single-family residential community.
Commr. Hanson stated that, before moving forward, she would rather see a site plan with a little more class than just straight zoning, utilizing more environmental concepts.
Mr. Shipley asked if she would like to see a PUD (Planned Unit Development).
Commr. Hanson responded that she would love a PUD but that they could do clustering and central water without it being a PUD. She suggested looking at that and bringing it back in 30 days.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, confirmed that the only way conditions can be imposed is by having it be a PUD.
Mr. Tony Roberts stated that he has a contract with Mr. Cox to potentially purchase the property and develop it. He stated that the site plan presented today (Applicant’s Exhibit A-3) was just for feasibility. An engineered plan will cost $2,000 to $3,000 and he did not feel he should spend that money until they know what they can do with the site. The underlying land use under the Comprehensive Plan allows for 5.5 units per acre but they are only asking for about 1.2 to 1.4 units per acre. He stated that they are planning open space, a common area, saving oak trees and winding the roads. He explained that the retention areas will eat up some of the lots. Mr. Roberts stated that they want to build 25 to 35 upscale homes on generous lot sizes. He explained that the design of the subdivision will depend on the topography of the property and the park might be in the area with the existing cluster of oak trees just off of Wolf Branch Road. He opined that the lots will be 1/2 acre in size and may be a little larger in the corners.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he is a little more comfortable with the request because of having seen the type of developments the builder has done.
Mr. Roberts stated that he has been here 35+ years and the money generated stays in Lake County. He confirmed that he would like to try for 20% to 25%, or 20% not including the roads, open space. He stated that he would love to have City of Eustis water but he is being told that it is not feasible at this time.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. George Gideon, Wolf Branch Road, presented a letter from Leslie and Andrew Garvis for the record. (The August 23, 2005, letter was marked as Exhibit O-1 for the Opposition.) He stated that he and the Garvis’ are opposed to the request. He opined that the project will need two turn lanes because it is a very dangerous intersection. He suggested that they could give three acres on the corner to the County for a fire station. Mr. Gideon remarked that their plan is very sketchy and he cannot see half-acre lots as being Country Estate. He stated that schools are overcrowded. He stated that he would not be opposed to three or five-acre lots but the applicant should come back with a comprehensive plan before the Board considers the request. He asked the Board to decline the request.
There being no further comment, the public hearing was closed.
Mr. Shipley, in rebuttal, stated that there will be one entrance on Wolf Branch Road and many of Mr. Gideon’s issues will be incorporated in the final development plan. He stated that the owner does not wish to have an entrance on CR 437 because of the danger of the existing hill. Mr. Shipley stated that a new elementary school is on the top of the School Board’s priority list and that the City of Mount Dora is considering a fire station on the corner of Wolf Branch Road at Round Lake Road. He suggested that the development process will be a long one. He remarked that the School Board is always playing catch up and will continue to be that way until the State decides to change the way it funds schools.
Mr. Shipley stated that Round Lake Elementary is overcrowded because it is a very good school. In spite of how many children are enrolled, the level of service is not diminishing.
Commr. Hanson asked Mr. Shipley if they could live with one unit to the acre with the ability to cluster.
Mr. Shipley suggested that a nice park area in the front, leaving the trees undisturbed, will require denser development in the back.
Mr. Roberts stated that their ratio might be 1.4 units per acre and that is perfectly acceptable to them. He explained that the purchase price dictates that he be able to do one unit per acre for a decent return on his investment but he does not want maximum density. He remarked that they could be asking for R-3 which is three units per acre, for a total of 75 units. He stated that they do not want that and are trying to keep that from happening in Lake County.
Commr. Hanson advised that the Board has not approved a density greater than one to one on the north side of Wolf Branch Road in that area.
Regarding the 2.5 acre commercial piece, Mr. Roberts stated that they may bank it for the future but it will be an economic decision based on engineering the roads. He explained that he has not purchased the property at this time so he is not willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars until he knows what is feasible.
Board members expressed comfort with the request for R-2 zoning.
Commr. Hanson expressed concern about the continuation of the higher density down Wolf Branch Road, particularly on the north side. She opined that they have shown a pattern of one unit to the acre, some clustered, however, it is in the Urban Node, non-Wekiva, and there is high density to the south in the old historic Sorrento subdivision.
A motion was made by Commr. Hanson and seconded by Commr. Stivender for approval of the request for R-2, with the 25-30 units, no more than 30 and hopefully only 25.
Under discussion, Mr. Roberts confirmed that their intention is to build upscale with stone front houses. The trees and winding roads tie perfectly with the subdivision’s country feel. He stated that every tree will be saved where feasible but a diseased tree would have to be removed. He pointed out that he can get more money when the lot has a beautiful oak tree. He confirmed that he would expect 1.2 to 1.4 units per acre if the other 2.5 acre portion is incorporated but he expects coming back to the Board should they decide to do that.
Commr. Hanson reiterated her request for 25% open space, noting that the Board cannot condition the rezoning approval.
Commr. Hill called for a vote on the motion which carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, and the Board overturned the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board and approved Ordinance 2005-68, Rezoning Case PH#71-05-4; Kris Cox; Christopher Shipley; Tracking No. 76-05-Z, a request to rezone a 24.1 acre site from A (Agriculture) to R-2 (Estate Residential).
REZONING CASE PH#68-05-1 - PATRICK MILLER - TRACKING NO. 79-05-Z
Ms. Stacy Allen, Senior Planner, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#68-05-1; Patrick Miller; Tracking No. 79-05-Z, a request to rezone from CFD (Community Facility District) Ordinance 36-91 and R-1 (Rural Residential) + CUP 834-1/5 to R-1 (Rural Residential). She showed the aerial map of the 1.39 acre site which is in the Leesburg area at the end of Shady Acres Road. She stated that staff recommends approval of the request and the Lake County Zoning Board voted 7-0 with a recommendation for approval. The applicant is requesting a zoning district change to allow for a residential lot. She confirmed that the intent is to leave the property as is and sell it.
Mr. Patrick Miller, owner/applicant, explained that the lady leasing the house wants to buy the property.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board and approved Ordinance 2005-69, Rezoning Case PH#68-05-1; Patrick Miller; Tracking No. 79-05-Z, a request to rezone from CFD (Community Facility District) Ordinance 36-91 and R-1 (Rural Residential) + CUP 834-1/5 to R-1 (Rural Residential).
REZONING CASE PH#63-05-3 - CHESTER DAILEY - WILLIAM F. DABNEY - TRACKING NO. 83-05-Z
Ms. Stacy Allen, Senior Planner, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#63-05-3; Chester Dailey; William F. Dabney; Tracking No. 83-05-Z, a request to rezone from A (Agriculture) to R-1 (Rural Residential) to allow a minor lot split for a new single-family dwelling. She showed the aerial map and stated that staff recommends approval of the request and that the Lake County Zoning Board recommended approval by a vote of 7-0. The 5-acre parcel is located in the south Leesburg area, west of U.S. Highway 27 and east of the CR 33 and CR 48 intersection on Haywood Worm Farm Road. She noted that the applicant is not able to be present due to injuries.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Al Tindale stated that he received a written notice of the proposed rezoning. He stated that he and his four brothers own nearby property, less than five acres, and asked if R-1 zoning allows one house per five acres.
It was confirmed that R-1 zoning allows one unit per acre while the current Agriculture zoning allows one unit per five acres.
Commr. Stivender suggested that Mr. Tindale speak with staff. She noted that he and his brothers would need to apply for R-1 zoning in order to build more than one house on their property.
There being no further public comment, the public hearing was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Cadwell, and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board and approved Ordinance 2005-70, Rezoning Case PH#63-05-3; Chester Dailey; William F. Dabney; Tracking No. 83-05-Z.
REZONING CASE PH#67-05-5 - STEVE & PAMELA HUNIHAN - LESLIE CAMPIONE - TRACKING NO. 80-05-CP
Ms. Mary Hamilton, Senior Planner, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#67-05-5; Steve & Pamela Hunihan; Leslie Campione; Tracking No. 80-05-CP, a request to rezone a 5.88 +/- acre parcel from A (Agriculture) to CP (Planned Commercial District) to use the front 3.15 acres (the triangular piece) for retail convenience and the rear 2+ acres for a single family residence. She showed the aerial map and stated that the parcel is located at the northeast corner of CR 439 and CR 44A in Eustis. The Lake County Zoning Board recommended approval by a vote of 5-2 with the condition of no more than three fuel pumps and that architectural review standards would be provided. Ms. Hamilton presented the standards which were received from Ms. Leslie Campione, attorney for the applicants. (An August 17, 2005, e-mail message and the Commercial Design Criteria are included in the backup material.)
Ms. Leslie Campione, attorney representing the applicants, stated that she used City of Mount Dora criteria because of positive feedback about the nice look of the City’s convenience stores, gas stations and commercial retail areas. She added that she used criteria for projects that are 5,000 square feet or less in size. She noted the required design treatments such as canopies, raised cornices, arches, cupolas, bell towers, metal or tile roofs, etc. She remarked that the Hunihans are interested in developing something like the Florida Cracker, country look but with design flexibility. Site design elements include landscape planting areas, specialty pavers along walkways, water elements and specimen trees. She mentioned the roof treatments, exterior building materials, and lighting requirements. She stated that the applicants want a look that will blend with the rural area which is developed mostly at one unit to five acres or more. The Hunihans purchased the property about 18 months ago and live on the property. Their plan would be to demolish the existing home and build a home on the rear portion of the property.
Ms. Campione confirmed that there was discussion at the Zoning Board meeting to limit the number of pumps should they build a traditional convenience store or gas station. She stated that the applicants, at this time, plan to do something of a neighborhood commercial nature, perhaps a garden shop, a hardware store, a saddle shop or something that would go with the rural area, while not giving away the possibility of something along the lines of the convenience store in the future. She stated that the design criteria assures something very nice and she suggested that the Board might consider these requirements for incorporation into the Land Development Regulations (LDR).
Regarding the site, Ms. Campione pointed out that there have been substantial road improvements on CR 439, a traffic light is planned for that intersection and the Public Works Department indicated that access management requirements, as far as spacing from the intersection, can be met. The entrances would be as far back as you could go from that intersection in order to meet requirements in the LDRs.
Ms. Campione noted that the applicant, Mr. Steve Hunihan, is present.
Commr. Hill opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Ms. Gesa Barto stated that she lives on a beautiful property on CR 44A and that she and her husband, Tzimon Barto, a concert pianist, want to keep the area as beautiful and original as possible in order to provide worthwhile living in the future. She agreed that there is a lot of traffic, especially at the peak hours, but they oppose deeply the idea of a gas station and a convenience store. She remarked that a gas station would provide the biggest profit for the Hunihan property if bought by a big chain. Ms. Barto noted the presence of nearby gas stations and opined that another one is not needed. She stated that big companies lease out gas stations and she expressed concern that the concept will be dampening to the area rather than uplifting. She stated that she would be agreeable to a pretty country store. Ms. Barto stated that other neighbors do not want the kind of neighborhood that has the potential of being dangerous. She remarked that there have been at least 25 deaths in the last eight years at the intersection of CR 44A and CR 439.
Ms. Gail M. Ling presented eight letters of opposition, for the record, from homeowners. (Exhibit O-1 for the Opposition.) She stated that she felt her dreams had been answered when she found this area of rural charm. However, the zoning request change came two weeks after she moved in. She stated that allowing the areas to remain rural actually increases the tax base. She stated that once one property is rezoned it could start a frenzy and once changed, it is forever changed. She suggested that once businesses come to an area, they want the roads widened and that causes easements to be taken and taxpayer dollars to be spent. Ms. Ling explained that she lives on CR 44A less than one-half mile from the subject property.
Mr. Michael Wasco, who lives next door to the subject property, stated that he is concerned mostly about crime that might be associated with a convenience store. He stated that there are plenty of other convenience stores in the neighborhood. He asked the Board to consider the loss of aesthetics and loss of property values and asked them to vote to save the neighborhood.
There being no additional comments, the public hearing was closed.
Ms. Campione, in rebuttal, appealed to the Board’s sense of fairness and of application of the rules and regulations that are in place. She pointed out that, under the Comprehensive Plan, there is a limitation of 5,000 square feet and these types of uses are allowed. She stated that additional requirements have been put on the site to assure that it would develop in a high quality way that would complement the area. Regarding safety, she stated that great strides have been made at that intersection and the light will make a big difference. She remarked that staff will apply stringent regulations that will assure that this is designed in a safe way. She stated that they will provide for the dedication of additional right of way and that they are willing to go the extra mile to make this a good project. She asked that the Hunihans be permitted to go forward with their plans for the property. She stated that County staff suggested to Mr. Hunihan during his research that this is a reasonable use and in compliance with County rules and regulations.
Ms. Campione confirmed that the triangle shaped piece would be for commercial and the back, northern piece would be for one residence only.
Commr. Hanson commented that she would recommend, if the request is approved, that the use be as a country-type store and/or garden center, without the gas station, and include the architectural standards. She agreed that other uses, such as a saddle store or hardware store, would be acceptable.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, pointed out that the ordinance should include language that the property, the house and commercial, would stay under one ownership. Otherwise, it would be creating a lot that does not meet the Comprehensive Plan category.
Ms. Campione agreed that was the intent and that language is included in the proposed ordinance regarding that condition.
Commr. Cadwell asked staff if there will be a way to avoid a less hazardous driveway into this property.
Mr. Fred Schneider, Director of Engineering, Lake County Public Works Department, opined that they probably would want two driveways, one off CR 439 as far north as possible, and one off CR 44A. He suggested that, if there is a driveway off CR 44A, it should be mid point between the two curves. He confirmed that there have been crashes at the intersection and along the road length and the curve to the east has had a significant amount of crashes. He stated that guardrails and other improvements will help the situation. In response to Commr. Hanson, he confirmed that there will be a flashing light, traveling from west to east, only when the through traffic signal is on red and yellow. Public Works is planning to add test signs that notify drivers of their speed as they come into the curves.
Commr. Hill commented that there could be a lot of cars that would cut through in an effort to avoid the light if there are two driveways.
A motion was made by Commr. Cadwell, and seconded by Commr. Hanson, to uphold the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board for approval of Rezoning Case PH#67-05-5, Steve & Pamela Hunihan; Leslie Campione; Tracking No. 80-05-CP; including the Commercial Design Criteria and limiting approval to no gas pumps/stations.
Under discussion, Commr. Hanson stated that the approval should be limited to a country store, country store/garden center, hardware store, and not left open for C-1 uses.
Ms. Campione stated that C-1 uses are convenience, retail related and do not allow obnoxious type uses.
Mr. Minkoff remarked that taverns might be allowed under C-1.
Commr. Hanson reiterated that they might not want general convenience stores but would want more of the country-type feeling.
Commr. Pool stated that he wants to make sure that it is a country flavor, not a gas station.
Ms. Campione stated that it is hard to tell the difference between a country store and a convenience store.
Continued discussion occurred regarding the look of a country store.
Ms. Hamilton listed the allowable uses under C-1 as follows: automotive service station, banking, bar or tavern, car wash, personal care services, professional office, restaurant general, retail convenience, retail general, and self-service laundry.
Commr. Cadwell stated that his motion included striking the following from the C-1 uses: gas pumps/stations/automotive service stations and bar/tavern.
Commr. Hill called for a vote on the motion which carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, for approval of Ordinance 2005-71, Rezoning Case PH#67-05-5, Steve & Pamela Hunihan; Leslie Campione; Tracking No. 80-05-CP; including the Commercial Design Criteria; striking the following from C-1 uses: gas pumps/stations/automotive service stations and bar/tavern.
REZONING CASE PH#70-05-3 - FRIENDSHIP CME (CHRISTIAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL) CHURCH -
REV. MICHAEL WATKINS - WICKS CONSULTING SERVICES - TRACKING NO. 86-05-CFD
Ms. Mary Hamilton, Senior Planner, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#70-05-3; Friendship CME (Christian Methodist Episcopal) Church; Rev. Michael Watkins; Wicks Consulting Services; Tracking No. 86-05-CFD, a request to rezone from A (Agriculture) to CFD (Community Facility District) in order to continue the Church Worship Facility with accessory education. She showed the aerial map for the property which is located on Camp Road in Tavares. She stated that staff recommends approval and the Lake County Zoning Board recommended approval by a vote of 7-0.
Rev. Michael J. Watkins, Pastor, stated that they just want to continue to worship. A lot of homes are being built in the area and the Church wants to build a multi-purpose building to help with after-school projects.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board and approved Ordinance 2005-72, Rezoning Case PH#70-05-3; Friendship CME (Christian Methodist Episcopal) Church; Rev. Michael Watkins; Wicks Consulting Services; Tracking No. 86-05-CFD.
REZONING CASE PH#66-05-3 - HOWARD H. HEWITT - STEVEN J. RICHEY, P.A. - TRACKING NO. 85-05-MP/AMD
Ms. Mary Hamilton, Senior Planner, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#66-05-3; Howard H. Hewitt; Steven J. Richey, P.A.; Tracking No. 85-05-MP/AMD, a request to amend MP (Planned Industrial) Ordinance #57-89, to include the addition of mini-warehouses on the west 10 acres. She showed the aerial map of the 25 +/- acre subject parcel which is located on CR 48, east of CR 33, in the Leesburg area. She stated that staff recommends approval of the request and the Lake County Zoning Board recommended approval by a vote of 6-0.
Mr. Steve Richey, attorney representing the applicant, was present.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board and approved Ordinance 2005-73, Rezoning Case PH#66-05-3; Howard H. Hewitt; Steven J. Richey, P.A.; Tracking No. 85-05-MP/AMD, a request to amend MP (Planned Industrial) Ordinance #57-89.
REZONING CASE PH#69-05-2 - JEFFREY & LYNN KNOWLES - TRACKING NO. 75-05-Z
Mr. John Kruse, Senior Planner, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented Rezoning Case PH#69-05-2; Jeffrey & Lynn Knowles; Tracking No. 75-05-Z, a request to rezone from CFD (Community Facility District) to A (Agriculture) to utilize the property for its intended use. He showed the aerial map of the property which is located on SR 33 in the south Groveland area, 500 feet north of the intersection with Greengrove Boulevard. The 3 +/- acre site was originally Agriculture and was rezoned to CFD in 1985 for a County fire station. He stated that staff recommends approval of the request. The Lake County Zoning Board recommended approval by a vote of 7-0.
Ms. Lynn Knowles, the applicant, was present.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board and approved Ordinance 2005-74, Rezoning Case PH#69-05-2; Jeffrey & Lynn Knowles; Tracking No. 75-05-Z, a request to rezone from CFD (Community Facility District) to A (Agriculture).
APPLICATION FOR CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - CASE CUP #05/8/1-4 - CLAYTON REYNOLDS III -
SHARON FARRELL, WICKS CONSULTING SERVICES - TRACKING NO. 78-05-CUP
Mr. John Kruse, Senior Planner, Lake County Planning and Development Services, presented the Application for Conditional Use Permit, Case CUP#05/8/1-4, Clayton Reynolds III, Sharon Farrell, Wicks Consulting Services, Tracking No. 78-05-CUP, a request to permit an equestrian riding/training facility on a 41+/- acre site located in the Agriculture zoning district. He showed the aerial map of the property which is in the Pine Lakes area, east on Pine Road from SR 44 until it dead ends into the property. The applicant anticipates that team events will be held approximately twice a month and will include: barrel racing, team penning, team roping, and cutting. In addition, the applicant is requesting twenty (20) RV parking sites with water and electric hookup. No central sewer would be available and the RVs would have to contain their waste and dispose of it at an approved off-site dump station. Proposed buildings include: three pole barns, a caretaker’s residence, a security residence, an office limited to 1,500 square feet and restroom facilities. Other proposed uses include: passive recreational horse trails and a primitive camping area. The events will be conducted with portable temporary fencing, pens, and lighting with no permanent seating provided. Mr. Kruse stated that he has spoken with the Health Department and Chapter 64E-15 of the Florida Administrative Code states a site that “…has 5 or more sites set aside for recreational vehicles, shall comply with all permitting requirements of recreational vehicle parks included in this chapter.” Therefore, staff recommends only four RV sites. The Lake County Zoning Board recommended approval by a vote of 7-0 with the following conditions: up to four RV hookups along with a primitive camping area, associated trails and other support structures as outlined in the proposed ordinance; temporary lighting only shall be permitted on this site during the events. Staff recommends approval for the Conditional Use Permit in Agriculture to allow this type of use.
Mr. Kruse reiterated that pens and lighting will be portable; however, they eventually want to build permanent structures during several phases.
Commr. Hanson remarked that we have been working on these types of things for a long time to give folks a little bit of use of their land and to allow the public to use the land somewhat.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Wicks Consulting Services, the applicant’s representative, was present.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Lake County Zoning Board and approved Ordinance 2005-75, the application for a Conditional Use Permit, Case CUP#05/8/1-4, Clayton Reynolds III, Sharon Farrell, Wicks Consulting Services, Tracking No. 78-05-CUP.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - DISTRICT #5
FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES - LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR
Commr. Cadwell announced that Ms. Carol Bracy, Legislative Director, Florida Association of Counties, is leaving to become Chief of Staff for Florida’s Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
MILLSTREAM DRIVE IN GROVELAND
Commr. Pool gave a brief update on his August 20, 2005, meeting with residents in the Millstream Drive area of Groveland (District #2). He thanked Public Works Director Jim Stivender for attending the meeting.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER STIVENDER - DISTRICT #3
SEXUAL OFFENDER ISSUE
Commr. Stivender asked for an update on the sexual offender issue.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, reported that he is sending a memo to the Board with some options for discussion at the Board’s September 6, 2005, meeting.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB
Commr. Stivender reported that an auction for the Boys & Girls Club held August 20, 2005, at the Savannah Club in The Villages, raised about $70,000.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT #4
Commr. Hanson asked for an update on information she gave to staff regarding a Douglas County, Oregon, resolution on eminent domain.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, reported that the item will be on the Board’s agenda soon.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.
JENNIFER HILL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK