A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

MAY 1, 2007

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session, on Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 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: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Linda Stewart; and Debbie Stivender.  Also present were Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Connie West, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE

Reverend Earl Wright, of the Sorrento Christian Center, East Lake County, gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

UMATILLIA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OBSERVE THE MEETING

Mr. Tommy Hayes III, teacher of American Government and Economics at Umatilla High School, along with 53 seniors and 3 teachers attended the Board Meeting to observe and witness local government in action.  Chairman Cadwell recognized the group, and Mr. Hayes thanked the Board for allowing them to come and participate.

MINUTES

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the Minutes of March 27, 2007 (Regular Meeting) and March 30, 2007 (Special Meeting), as presented.

CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda Tab 2, Items 1 thru 8, as follows:

List of Warrants

            Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.

            Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases, for the month ending March 31, 2007, in the amount of $195,763.21. Same period last year: $222,649.65

            Florida Public Service Commission

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Commission Hearing and Pre-Hearing to Progress Energy Florida, Inc., and all other interested persons. Docket No. 060162-EI. Notice is hereby given, that a hearing will be held before the Florida Public Service Commission regarding the application of Progress Energy Florida, Inc., to recover the costs of its modular cooling tower project, at the following time and place:

Tuesday, May 1, 2007, at 9:30 a.m.

Betty Easley Conference Center, Room 148

4075 Esplanade Way

Tallahassee, Florida

            Annexation Ordinance from the City of Tavares

Request to acknowledge receipt of Annexation Ordinance 2007-05, amending the boundaries of the City of Tavares, by annexing approximately 11 acres of property located northerly of Lane Park Road lying approximately .7 miles west of the intersection of SR 19 and Lane Park Road.  Passed and ordained the 4th day of April, 2007, by the City Council of the City of Tavares.

            City of Tavares Financial Report

            Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Tavares’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2006.

            Florida Public Service Commission

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Order Suspending Proposed Final Rates and Granting Interim Rate Increase.  Docket No. 060368-WS. Order No. PSC-07-0325-FOF-WS, Issued April 16, 2007.  Re:  Application for increase in water and wastewater rates in Alachua, Brevard, highlands, Lake, Lee, Marion, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, Volusia, and Washington Counties by Aqua Utilities Florida, Inc.

            Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Annual Financial Report

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Annual Local Government Financial Report, and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), on CD, for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2006.

Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Meeting Agenda and Minutes

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Meeting Agenda for April 24, 2007, to be held at 9:00 a.m., at the Brooksville Headquarters, 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, Florida; and approved Minutes of the Meeting of the Governing Board, held on February 27, 2007.

COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 19 and Addendum Item 1. 1, as follows:

Community Services

Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign the Second Amendment to the FY 2005-06 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Partnership Agreement between the Forest Hills-Lake Mack Association and the County.

Request for approval of Resolution No. 2007-70, recognizing the accomplishments of Lake County’s volunteers, and declaring the month of May 2007 as Volunteer Appreciation Month in Lake County. The Commissioners will read the approved Resolution on Wednesday, May 2, 2007, at the Fourteenth Annual Volunteer Recognition and Reception. This event will thank Groundhog Day tornadoes volunteers registered through VolunteerLAKE. The event will be from 5:45 pm – 7:30 p.m. at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora.

Request for approval for staff to submit an application for the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged Trip and Equipment Grant for FY/2007/2008, as well as approval of supporting Resolution No. 2007-71.

Request for approval for staff to submit an application to the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged for the Rural Capital Assistance Support Grant Program, and approval of supporting Resolution No. 2007-72.

            Request for approval of a Request for Application (RFA) to the Florida Department of Health, Hispanic Obesity Prevention & Education (HOPE) Grant in the amount of $10,000.00. This retroactive approval is being requested due to the timing issue of when they were notified of the grant opportunity and the application due date of May 2, 2007. If the RFA is approved for funding, the contract/agreement for funding will be placed on the Board Agenda for approval following review by the County Attorney’s Office.

Growth Management

            Request for approval and execution of a Release of Fine. Property Owner: William J. Vandertulip, Code Case# 2005070339 - Commission District 1.

            Request for approval and execution of a Release of Fine. Property owner: Angelina Messina & Grazia Messina, Code Case# 2001090097 - Commission District 3.

Request for approval and execution of Release of Fine. Unlicensed contractor citation paid - Commission District 2.

Procurement

Request for approval and execution of a contract with Prime Electric, LLC to provide construction of park entry sign walls throughout parks in Lake County. The cost for this project is $112,422.60.

Request for approval to award ITB# 07-0826 for a Heated Asphalt Storage Tanker to

E. D. Etnyre & Company in Oregon, Illinois for the amount of $52,083.00; and also to approve the budget transfer of $3,583.00 to Capital Reference Code RD-0707.

Request for approval and execution of a contract with Affordable Structures, Inc. to provide construction of pre-cast restrooms for six (6) Lake County parks: Lake Idamere Park, Twin Lakes Park, Paisley Park, PEAR Park, Pine Forest Park and Ferndale Preserve; and approve the transfer of $76,000 from South District Impact Fees. The cost of the contract is not to exceed $760,000 within a one year period. The estimated cost of the restrooms for the six parks is $456,000, based on specific unit pricing for each park. The remaining $304,000 on the contract will provide a means to add restrooms to Lake Jem Park, Marsh Park and Palatlakaha River Park and a second facility at PEAR Park upon availability of funds. Also, approval of the budget transfer in the amount of $76,000.

Public Safety

Request for approval to submit grant application to the United States Fire Administration Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Application period is March 29th through May 4th with awards given out prior to the end of the year. Matching funds will be submitted as an enhancement request in the FY 2008 budget.

Request for approval for Department of Public Safety Communications Division, in concert with the Fire Rescue Division, to submit grant application to the United States Fire Administration Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Regional Project. The grant is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and is available to help fire service agencies improve the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel. The grant program has an application period ending May 4, 2007, with awards given out prior to the end of the year. Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by May 1, 2007.

Request for approval for Department of Public Safety Communications Division in concert with the Fire Rescue Division, to submit grant application to the United States Fire Administration Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Regional Project. The grant is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and is available to help fire service agencies improve the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel. The grant program has an application period ending May 4, 2007, with awards given out prior to the end of the year. Matching funds will be provided by utilization of existing 860640 funding from Automation Funds Carry Forward approved as part of Resolution No. 2007-18 on 2/6/07.

            Public Works

Request for approval to submit a Florida Department of Environmental Protection Recreational Trails Grant application, for a grant in the amount of $200,000 for the development of a multipurpose paved trail, boardwalk, signage, benches, and bike racks in PEAR Park.  Local match to be from Impact Fees - Commission District 3.

Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Sawgrass Bay Phase 1B and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Sawgrass Bay Phase 1B final plat, accept a performance bond in the amount of $1,792,693.12; and execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Improvements between Lake County and DeLuca Enterprises, Inc. Sawgrass Bay Phase 1B consists of 114 lots and is located in Section 14, Township 24 South, Range 26 East - Commission District 2.

Request for approval to accept the attached list of public right of way deeds that have been secured in conjunction with roadway and/or stormwater projects - Commission Districts 1, 2, 4, and 5.

ADDENDUM NO. 1

COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA (CONTINUED)

Procurement

Request for approval and execution of a contract with Government Services Group, Inc. for Fire Assessment Development Studies in the amount of $54,500.

            COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tab 20, as follows:

            Request for approval of Second Amendment to Sub-Lease Agreement between Armory Board and Lake County.

            AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

            EMPLOYEE AWARDS

            The Chairman presented the following Employee Awards, at which time Ms. Kasie

McAdams, Employee Services Manager, gave brief remarks about each individual and their service to the County:

            Presentation of Award to Employees with Five Years of Service

            Donovan Miller, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic

            Public Safety/Fire Rescue

            Jared Mielke, Firefighter/EMT

            Public Safety/Fire Rescue

            Stephen Cantley, Equipment Operator III

            Public Works/Road Operations/Maintenance Area II

            Corey Mathis, GIS Analyst

            Growth Management/GIS

            Paul Githuka, Senior GIS Analyst

Growth Management/GIS

            Teresa Conant, Office Associate IV

            Public Works/Engineering

Grace Watson, Commissioners Aide

BCC Administrative Support (not present)

            Presentation of Award to Employees with Twenty Years of Service

            Yancey Peterson, Fire Lieutenant/EMT Public Safety/Fire Rescue (not present)

            Presentation of Award to Employee with Twenty-Five Years of Service

            Carmen Carroll, Building Services Manager

            Growth Management/Building Services

            Employee of the Quarter – First Quarter

                        Magdalena Contreras, Graphic Artist II

            County Manager/Information Outreach

            Supervisor of the Quarter – First Quarter

            Earl “Ken” Harley

            Public Transportation Manager/Community Services

            PRESENTATION

RESOURCE EFFICIENT COMMUNITIES

            Dr. Pierce Jones, Director, Program for Resource Efficient Communities, gave a slide presentation about Resource Efficient Communities in the State of Florida.  He reported that they supported specification and implementation of designed construction management practices that minimize environment degradation and make more efficient use of energy, water, and other natural resources.  He commented that his group from the University of Florida work on new residential master planned community developments from the site development stage through construction, including the landscapes in these communities.  He said that they offered continuing education programs for licensed building contractors, engineers, architects, landscape architects, interior designers and others, and also participated in demonstration projects.  He explained that they were involved with certification standards such as the Florida Green Building Coalition, US Green Building Council, and incentive programs such as the Gainesville Green Building Ordinance. He stated that Sarasota County followed with their own Green Building Ordinance, and that they were involved in direct consulting on several projects statewide, including several in Lake County.  He reported that in 1980, Lake County had approximately 125,000 citizens; currently the county is approaching 300,000; and according to the US Census Bureau, by 2030, there will be approximately 600,000 people living in Lake County.  He said that the recent building boom went from about 3,700 single family detached permits pulled in 2002 to approximately 6,000 in 2005, and even though the numbers will be lower for 2006, it will still be a record number.  He stated that the majority of the new homes being developed today start with the land clearing, then the land is reshaped to get the drainage needed to get a storm water permit, then a pad is built on which the concrete foundation is poured and should drain the water away from the home into a gutter system.  He said that in addition to making the home site look good after the total clearing, turf landscapes were put down, which have to be irrigated and fertilized, and that eventually the chemicals runoff into the gutters and make their way to other waterways.  He used Lake Apopka as an example of what can happen when runoff from agriculture and residential properties end up hurting the water quality of our lakes.  He commented that Miami Dade’s Department of Community Affairs, at the recommendation of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, had put a moratorium on building projects because of the lack of water in the area.

            Dr. Jones warned about the waste of water by poorly designed irrigation systems and that a sprinkler that was continuously hitting the side of a house could be a potential mold hazard.  He commented that most insurance companies only allowed one incident of mold and mildew with a maximum damage amount of $5,000.  He gave some statistics about water consumption in the county and stated that many communities were using an amazing amount of water for irrigation of the landscape, with a conservative number being 100,000 gallons per household per year.  He stated that new technologies such as smart irrigation and soil moisture sensors, which cost around $75 to $300, could cut down wasted water use by as much as 50%.  He stated that by better planning in new communities and leaving more natural space and wooded areas with hearty plants that were drought tolerant and required less watering could cut consumption dramatically.  He spoke about a subdivision in Gainesville (Madera), that used this type of landscaping, and he spoke about three communities he was working with: Sugarloaf, The Hills of Minneola, and Bella Collina, to implement the use of water conservation methods within those developments, along with the St. Johns River Water Management District, who would be reviewing the site plans prior to approval.  He finished by saying that meaningful reductions in energy consumption, water consumption, and improvement of water quality could be obtained by following the practices that were promoted by the various companies he recommended such as Water Star, Energy Star, Green Built Homes of Florida, and Florida Yards and Neighborhoods.

PRESENTATION

WATER CONSERVATION METHODS

Mr. Gene Caputo, Intergovernmental Coordinator for the St. Johns River Water Management District, spoke about the different ways the people of Lake County could put conservation practices to work, and that what we do today will affect our children and grandchildren in the future.  He urged the Board to go to Gainesville to see the Madera development previously mentioned.  He described low impact developments and the development process, which encompasses stormwater, landscaping, site design and building construction standards and suggested that language modifications could be made within current land development regulations to require or provide incentives for certain types of development.  He opined that St. Augustine grass has a dense root system which requires more water, does not allow water to seep through for stormwater management systems, and that they had been advocating the use of other types of turf, as well as minimum turf usage with limited irrigation usage in landscape planned communities, businesses, and commercial developments.

Mr. Caputo referenced the Home Water Use Survey contained in his handout, which he said could be made available to the public to educate homeowners about water consumption in and around the house.  He pointed out that the average water use was approximately 150 gallons per day, per person, but that there were developments in Lake County that were using between 900 to 1,000 gallons per day per person, because of the deed restriction requirements of those communities.  He felt that there was a lack of education and a lack of concern among the public regarding water conservation.  He stated that he believed that the biggest challenge was educating society about the water problems facing us today and that Florida Water Star and WAVE have conservation programs that could be utilized by the communities.  He described how low flow plumbing, or reduced flow plumbing in toilets, showers, and faucet heads could help reduce water consumption tremendously.  He stated that over 50% of residential water use goes toward outdoor irrigation and that we need that to change.  He referred to a booklet that he had distributed called Water Wise Florida Landscapes that contains lists of trees, plants, shrubs, flowers and ground covers that grow well in Florida, and contains information about what to plant, how to plant, where to plant, and how to maintain those plants.  He closed his presentation by saying that they were there to help in any way they could in establishing a good, concise, and effective water conservation program.

            PRESENTATION

LAKE COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION

Ms. Nadine Foley, Local Planning Agency (LPA) Chairman, addressed the Board regarding water usage and conservation.  She distributed some information about Lake County Nursery Best Management Practices, and stated that there would be three water efficiency workshops held in July, on the 11th, 18th, and 25th of this year, at various nurseries in North, Central, and South Lake County.  She pointed out that Best Management Practices were developed by growers and researchers to limit nutrient runoff, water waste, and environmental degradation, and that these practices were essential for the continuation of nursery production in the State.  She spoke about the Lake County Mobile Irrigation Lab (MIL) that travels to various growers in the County to assess their irrigation equipment in order to increase water use efficiency in all horticultural operations, and mentioned that they were doing follow ups after several months to make sure that the water conservation practices were being implemented.  She stated that, of the 22 citrus growers that were evaluated during the nine months of operation, the potential savings would be more than 50 million gallons per year, and that they were hoping to have many nurseries and growers sign up for some of the cost-shared programs that might be available.  She closed by stating that the projected impacts on water savings and reduced runoff should be substantial and would benefit Lake County and all of Central Florida.

RECESS AND REASSEMBLY

At this time, the Chairman announced that the Board would take a fifteen minute recess.

PRESENTATION

WATER QUALITY AND THE CLERMONT CHAIN OF LAKES

Mr. Lance Lumbard, Water Resources Project Manager, Lake County Water Authority, addressed the Board and recognized Ms. Mary Hamilton, Lake County Public Works, and Ms. Cathie McGwier, Environmental Services Compliance and Enforcement Lab Supervisor, stating that they had been doing an excellent job in assisting him collect data for his presentation.  He stated that he was going to speak about water quality, including stormwater issues, what happens when it rains and where the water goes. He stated that in August and September of 2006, his office instructed his staff to go to the local governments to get support for stormwater retrofits, because they had an algal bloom in the Clermont Chain of Lakes, which still persists today.  He said that they were concerned as this was the first time they had seen a large algal bloom in these larger lakes, but they were used to seeing algae in the smaller lakes.  He stated that the Water Authority has some programs that may be able to eliminate some of these problems.  He showed an aerial photo of the Clermont Chain of Lakes, which he commented were excellent for skiing, and fishing and just for the scenic views.  He pointed out that the water in the lakes was naturally brown or tannic, which was different from the Harris Chain of Lakes, which was not tannic but green and had been for some time.  He informed the Board that the water quality historically has been very good in the Clermont Chain of Lakes, because they have had a very low level of nutrients, which feed things like the algae, and did not have the invasive plants that are a problem in the Harris Chain.  He commented that nutrient balance is very important and that it is necessary to understand what effects the nutrient balance, and what happens when it is out of balance. He stated that nitrogen and phosphorus compounds were the nutrients that they were mostly concerned about, as well as human caused sources, such as fertilizer, septic and runoff; and that natural sources, such as those coming from the Green Swamp and the atmosphere, were also factors in water quality. He described how in a good balance situation there were low amounts of nutrients and a low level of algae, but if the balance was disrupted by an increase in stormwater input it could cause the algae to grow and might cause an imbalance similar to what is found in the Harris Chain of Lakes.  He showed several slide photos of various lakes depicting different kinds of algae, which he stated was a result of the nutrient and phosphate levels being twice as high, as a result of drought conditions in the area, and that water levels were about two and a half feet below where they typically are this time of year.  He stated that new construction now addresses the runoff problems, but that existing older subdivisions have systems with direct discharges that go into the chain of lakes, bringing stormwater pollution into the lakes. He informed the Board that the LCWA has provided over $2,500,000 for completed projects within the county.   He relayed that they had allocated $1,000,000 for retrofit projects, and they have existing contracts with the City of Eustis, Howey in the Hills, and Tavares that take up three fourths of that, but that there was still $250,000 left in the budget for future projects.  He explained that they identified 193 stormwater outlets in the study that they did with the County Commissioners in 2003, and that many of them were direct discharges, which means that they take water off of the streets and right into the lakes.  He stated that his staff prefers and recommends the use of retention ponds, because structures such as sediment boxes require more maintenance and are often forgotten about.  He showed some additional slides of the Clermont Chain of Lakes that showed cleared lake frontage with absolutely no weeds or grasses on them, and stated that the lack of plants, which are filters for the lakes, means that there is nothing to take out the nutrients that are coming into it.  He finished his presentation by reiterating that there was some money left in the budget and looked forward to working with the Board on upcoming projects.

PRESENTATION

EARLY LEARNING COALITION OF LAKE COUNTY

            Ms. Lesha Coffield, Executive Director of the Early Learning Coalition of Lake County, addressed the Board about their mission of educating people in our county about the early learning programs for children ages birth through five, stating that Lake County families were our future and our most vulnerable resource.  She stated that according to a 2005 chart of progress there were over 22,000 family households with related children younger than age 18, and 8,000 households with children younger than age five.  She informed the Board that the median household income was $36,900, and that over 8,000 families are below 150% of the Federal poverty level.  She stated that a family with a gross income of $38,700 would spend 27% of their income on childcare for an infant and a three year old in a child care center.  She explained that there were approximately 180 child care providers in Lake County, with 105 of those being school ready providers, which included public, private, family homes, faith based and informal child care settings.  She referenced the 2005-2006 annual report, which was distributed to the Board, and stated that the Coalition served an average of 2,232 children per month, and was currently serving over 2,400 school readiness children (birth through 12 years) in Lake County. She reported that the school readiness budget for 2006-2007 was a little over 7.3 million dollars for Lake County, which was a little larger than the Lake-Sumter Community College.  She said that out of the 7.3 million dollars, over 80% was used for direct child care slots, which allows parents the affordability of child care while continuing to better their family’s life.  She explained that the school readiness budget is also used to increase the quality of the early learning providers around the County, which includes the programs provided by the Big Blue Bus which began in 2003 by the Lake County Citizens Commission for Children, which is now known as the Children’s Services Council.  The mission of the Big Blue Bus she stated, is to provide the opportunity of a high quality learning environment to all children, and that they had served almost 3,800 children and adults by bringing early learning activities to child care homes, parks, and local community events. She reported that the Sheriff’s Department was donating a new, larger Big Blue Bus, which should be on the road soon.  She commented that the bus provides activities such as math, science, dramatic play, language development, motor development and much more.  She stated that another program they have included is the Professional Development Reimbursement Program that offers scholarships to teachers in Lake County affiliated with child care, and that over 60 people had taken advantage of that at Lake Sumter Community College and the University of Central Florida.  She stated that the Volunteer Pre-Kindergarten Bill would require that every lead teacher in a four year old classroom will have an Associate’s degree by 2010.  She explained that they also had an accreditation incentive program where they assist child care providers in becoming accredited, with ongoing training for early learning providers CPR, and first aid training.  She stated that the Helping Hands Program has two behavior specialists on staff that travel to child care facilities in Lake County to help with behavior issues, and that they will refer the parent’s of children that they are unable to help to local organizations within the County.

            Ms. Coffield reported that learning begins at birth, that early experiences have a huge impact on a child’s overall development, and that the brain is at least 85% developed by the age of five.  She informed that the window of opportunity for development of thinking skills is from 0 to 48 months of age; reading skills 0 to 24 months of age, with the greatest opportunity of enhancement between two to seven years; emotional intelligence 0 to 48 months; motor development 0 to 24 months, with the greatest opportunity of enhancement between two to four years of age; music 0 to 36 months with the greatest opportunity of enhancement between three to ten years of age.  She added that Mozart began playing the piano at age three.  She stated that it is documented that increased experiences define the wiring of an infant’s brain and that 60% of nutrition is used by the brain during the first year of life, and decreases to 30% by the age of three, which is why there is a high priority for early education for Lake County’s youngest citizens.

            Ms. Coffield pointed out that the Volunteer Pre-Kindergarten Bill (VPK), which was signed by the Governor in January of  2005, effective date January, 2006, allowed for each four year old in the State to have the opportunity to attend a high quality pre kindergarten program for free.  She stated that during the 2006 program year, the Coalition served over 1,900 children in Lake County, leading the State in VPK enrollments.  Currently, she stated, the Coalition is serving over 1,500 children, with the budget for 2006-2007 being around 5.7 million dollars and that 95% of the budget was used for direct child care slots, which left 5% for administration costs.  She stated that in order for a child to participate in the program they must be age four on or before September 1st of the program year, and at the roundup they had in April they had served over 1,000 children in four days.  She stated that parents had two choices in the VPK program, that of a school year program for 540 hours or a summer program of 300 hours.  She mentioned that there were approximately 50 VPK providers giving quality child care to preschool aged children in Lake County, and listed the following 10 things to look for in a quality care facility:

1.      Children that spend most of their time playing and working with materials or other children, and do not wander aimlessly and are not expected to sit quietly for long periods of time.

2.      Teachers that work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times of the day, not spending all of their time with the whole group.

3.      The curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help, and that teachers recognize that because of different background situations children do not learn the same things, at the same time or the same way.

4.      Children should have access to various activities throughout the day with assorted    building blocks and other construction materials, props for pretend play, picture    books, paints, puzzles, matching games and other art materials.

5.      The classroom should be decorated with the children’s work, including stories and artwork.

6.      Teachers read books to children individually or in small groups throughout the day, and not just at group story time.

7.      Children learn numbers and alphabet in the context of everyday experiences, and learn about plants and animals in the world.

8.      Children participate in cooking, taking attendance or serving a snack, providing the basis for learning activities.

9.      Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least 1 hour) to play and explore.  Worksheets are used very little, if at all.  Outdoor play is never sacrificed, but included in everyday activities.

10.       Children enjoy coming to school, do not cry regularly or complain, and parents feel

      secure about having their children in the program.

Ms. Coffield explained that the Coalition provides early educational services to make sure children are truly ready to learn by the time they enter kindergarten.  She closed by stating that research shows how important early learning is, and that now it was our turn to show how important each of us could be in the lives of our children.

PRESENTATION

VOLUNTEER LAKE PARTICIPANTS

A presentation of the President’s Volunteer Service Award for VolunteerLake participants was made, as follows:

Kimberly Ann Hassall performed 304 hours, and Jennifer Sullivan (not present) performed 284 hours of volunteer service within twelve months to earn gold awards.

Cara Reid (not present) performed 106 hours, Jose Ojeda performed 104.25 hours, Sheila Haddadi performed 101.25 hours, Jenica Tutin performed 102.50 hours, and Rakesh Mathura performed 100.75 hours of volunteer service within twelve months to earn bronze awards.

COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS

COMMUNITY SERVICES

JAIL AND JUSTICE SYSTEM ASSESSMENT

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services, for approval to contact and negotiate an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections to obtain their assistance in completing a Jail and Justice System Assessment.  Agreement will be returned for Board review and approval after the negotiations

PUBLIC HEARINGS

STIPULATED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT FOR DEPARTMENT OF

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS V. LAKE COUNTY

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board postponed Tab 26, for approval of a Stipulated Settlement Agreement for the Department of Community Affairs v. Lake County until the May 22, 2007 Board of County Commissioners Meeting.

BRITT ROAD PROJECT

Mr. Jim Stivender Jr., Public Works Director, addressed the Board stating that Britt Road had been on their scope of services for quite some time. He then introduced Mr. Roneto Gonzales, Project Manager with the consulting firm of Reynolds, Smith and Hills, who reported that Britt Road was a collective road 2/3 mile in length, beginning at Wolf Branch Rd. and heading north to State Road 44.  He pointed out that presently, Britt Road is a two lane roadway with only eighteen feet of total pavement, or nine foot lanes. He stated that there was inadequate roadside ditching, the asphalt pavement is starting to fail, and hydroplaning hazards were present due to water pounding some ruts in the pavement, and that there was limited site distance both on horizontal and vertical curves, which were considerable safety concerns.

Mr. Gonzales explained that they had two public meetings, one in December of 2005, at which the public had voiced fears of high speeds if the roadways were widened and improved; excessive loss of property, in order to provide frontage for the ditches, loss of trees, traffic noise; and the need for a protective barrier.  He stated that the next meeting was in October 30, 2006 and some of the concerns of the public at that meeting were about the twelve foot trail, construction on Wolf Branch, and sight distance coming out of their driveways.

He informed the Board that the new improvements consisted of leaving it a two lane roadway, with a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour, with fourteen foot lanes with curb and gutter on each side, a twelve foot trail on the west side and a six foot sidewalk on the east side of the facility.  He mentioned that the trail could eventually extend west to SR 44 and Umatilla and east to Wolf Branch Road to Round Lake Road, down to State Road 46 and connect to the Mount Dora trail. He stated that they would also provide additional turn lanes at the major intersections, at the north intersection at SR 44 and the intersection of Wolf Branch.  He commented that they had identified the need for traffic signals at both intersections and would also be replacing the existing privacy wall at the back of the Country Club of Mount Dora.  He commented that the asphalt design would meet the future traffic demand, provide curbing for the collection of rainfall, offsite ponds for treatment of the runoff, improve the horizontal alignment and vertical alignment, obtain enough right of way to maintain properly, and improve the signage along the corridor.

Mr. Gonzales showed a slide of what was presented at the last meeting, and stated that they had also presented two alternative typical sections, with one providing an eight foot sidewalk on each side of the facility, and the next one reduced the sidewalks from eight feet to five feet, thus widening the roadway to twelve feet, with a four foot bike lane on each side of the roadway itself.  He referred to the three drawings that he had handed out to the Board for them to look at.  He addressed the environmental impacts and stated that scrub jays, as well as gopher turtles, had been spotted in the area, but that they had already received clearance from the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

He stated that they had performed a traffic noise study in the corridor during peak hours to determine if there were any potential noise problems, and found that they were under the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) threshold of 67.  He opined that traffic over the next 10 years would increase 100%, which would require traffic signals to be placed at both intersections Wolf Branch Road and SR 44.  He believed that the project design could be completed by the end of the summer if they were allowed to continue, and then right of way acquisition could begin, which might possibly take a year, but that the project was not currently funded.

Commr. Stewart interjected that many of the comments that she had received from several of the homeowners in the area were that they did not understand why there were sidewalks and trails when the roads that it connects to do not have sidewalks or trails.

Chairman Cadwell opened the public hearing:

Mr. John Brodcheck, the owner of a parcel of land on Britt Road, addressed the Board and explained that his family had owned property on Britt Road since August 21, 1954.  He stated that he believed the meeting was presumptuous because Lake County had no ownership of real property or easements, and that what Lake County claimed to have was no greater than a service writ of prescription based on illegal expansions and fraudulently declared maintenance maps and tax records.  He stated that he was against expansion and the taking of his real property, and was adamantly opposed to having trails in the front yard of his residence, with retention ponds that are at highest points of elevation across the street from his residence and that he did not understand the concept of water running uphill.  He said that he did not understand engineering principles that appear to originate without review of the property, giving grade elevations and drainage considerations, or lake discharge, as per St. Johns River Water Management District regulations.  He stated that he did not understand county staff that did not consider the importance of meeting with an owner on site to discuss mutual problems and potential solutions.  He stated that he was quite disgruntled with Lake County as a neighbor, and would gladly sell his property and leave Lake County even though he has lived here all his life.  He stated that he could not leave because of the lack of a comprehensive land use plan, and unduly restrictive regulations that did not allow the densities for him to receive the full value that his land is worth.  He stated that Lake County has not been able to finish theirs comprehensive plan for more than two years, which he believes is unacceptable.  He stated that he had no solutions for the problems of Britt Road, but that he was open to whatever future discussions may ensue, and would prefer to remain out of condemnation court if possible, but he felt that things might be heading in that direction.

Mr. Mark Shower, a resident who lives on Britt Road, addressed the Board stating that the one thing that had not been mentioned was utilities and that there was a pole in front of his house.  He said that he had mentioned this at some of the meetings, but no one has said what will be done with the utilities on his street, just that it was another issue.  He stated that he would like to know what is being done about it, and that he does not want a pole at his front door.  He agreed that the speed would present a problem, and stated that he did not want to deal with an eminent domain issue.  He stated that he was against a 12 foot path leading nowhere.

Mr. Rick Johnson, who lives on Britt Road, stated that he had been there for over 30 years.  He stated that he agreed that the road needed repairs, but that it was only a connector road, and that he felt two sidewalks would be excessive, that one sidewalk with a width of five feet would be sufficient.

Ms. Glenda Kirkman, who lives on Britt Road addressed the Board stating that she and her husband had written into the record stating that she believed everyone had agreed that Britt Road needed to be widened with twelve foot travel lanes, two foot paved shoulders, with a type F curb and gutter.  She stated that what they did not agree on was the excessive taking of land for a pedestrian trail and sidewalk that went nowhere.  She stated that at a previous meeting, it had been discussed that these trails and sidewalks could not connect to either Wolf Branch Rd. or SR 44, because of the DOT regulations which require a 50 foot setback from the roads.  She opined that everyone on Britt Road would agree to the widening of the current road, but the trail and sidewalks were not warranted.  She mentioned that Thrill Hill, CR 437, CR439, CR44, CR44-B, or Wolf Branch did not have sidewalks or pedestrian trails, and she did not believe that the property owners on Britt Road wanted or needed them, that it would be a waste of money.

Mr. Jim Stivender Jr., Public Works Director, interjected that the County would schedule some more meetings to address the issues that the homeowners had brought up and see about amending the plans without the sidewalks or pedestrian trail.

Mr. Jake Crawford, a resident of Mount Dora, addressed the Board stating that he lived on the other side of the privacy fence on Britt Road and despite what the survey indicates it is very noisy.  He stated that the County had been talking about improving the road for over two years, and that it was agreed that the road needed repairing, but that people did not want their property to be taken, they just want the road to be safe.  He mentioned that at least two cars had come through the fence and that people were going to get hurt or killed.  He stated that there is not any money to do the road, and they could cut costs by taking out the sidewalks and trail.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board postponed a request from Public Works for approval of the contract amendment for the completion of the design phase of the Britt Road Project.  The Board recommended that the plans be amended to twelve foot lanes, with curbing and gutters excluding the sidewalks and trail, to be brought back at a later date.

APPOINTMENTS TO THE CHILDREN’S SERVICES COUNCIL

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following reappointments to the Children’s Services Council:

District 1 - Lorrie Simmons

District 2 - Barbara Howell and Gary Clark “At Large”

District 3 - Linda Lewis

District 4 - Mike Matulia and Trella Mott “At Large”

District 5 - Christopher Watson with Sandra Stura “At Large,” to complete an unexpired term for Debbie Thomas.

PUBLIC WORKS

REAPPOINTMENTS TO THE PARKS, RECREATION AND TRAILS ADVISORY

BOARD

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following reappointments:

            District 1 - Hugh Davis

            District 2 - Basha Schlazer

            District 3 – David Clutts

            District 4 – Bobby Gibson

            COMMUNITY SERVICES

APPOINTMENT TO THE ELDER AFFAIRS COORDINATING COUNCIL

            On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the appointment of Ann Lewis to the Elder Affairs Coordinating Council, to complete an unexpired term ending January 31, 2008, representing District 1.

REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – DISTRICT 1

TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEE PRESENTATION

            Commr. Hill reported to the Board that May 9, 2007 was the Transportation Impact Fee Presentation, which was going to be presented at the Lake-Sumter MPO meeting, and suggested that they attend.

REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STIVENDER - DISTRICT - 3

NATIONAL COMMUNITY ACTION MONTH

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2007-73, designating May 2007 as National Community Action Month.

2007 LEESBURG BIKEFEST

Commr. Stivender stated that the Leesburg 2007 Bikefest was a huge economic boost to Lake County, and that the safety issues were not a problem like they were last year.

MISCELLANEOUS CELEBRATIONS

 Commr. Stivender stated that Cinqo de Mayo was Saturday May 5th, and she was going to give a welcome in Spanish in Mascotte; and Ferndale was having Ferndale Day on Saturday May 5th, and that Lifestream was having their annual gala at Lake Receptions on Friday, May 4th, and there were still tickets available.

REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STEWART – DISTRICT - 4

JUVENILE JUSTICE TEEN SUMMIT

Commr. Stewart reported that she attended the Juvenile Justice Teen Summit with Commr. Stivender, and it was excellent.  She stated that they discussed making good choices, bullying, and not letting the hard knocks in life get you down.  She commented that the students were well behaved, but that there was not as big a turnout in Lake County as other counties, and that this should be promoted so that next year there is more participation.

XERISCAPE GARDEN DEDICATION

Commr. Stewart stated that she and Commr. Hill were at Pear Park on Thursday May 3rd for the Xeriscape Garden dedication, which they really enjoyed. She stated that everyone should go to see it and that the volunteers did a great job.

REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL – DISTRICT 5

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2007-74 proclaiming May 2007 as Law Enforcement Month.

CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD

Mr. Roy Hunter, East Lake Chamber of Commerce, addressed the Board and stated that he had seen a statement that Commr. Hill had made about watering between 4:00 and 7:00 in the morning, which he believes is correct that the water does not evaporate as much at these times.  He also stated that by putting bricks in the large toilet tank, people could conserve water and that if you fill up your gas tank early in the morning when it is cooler, you would get more, because gasoline shrinks when cool and expands when hot.  He believes that the County could save money by doing this.  He stated that he used to own a gas station and you should not fill up your tank while a tankard is filling the underground tanks, because you might get some water in your gas tank.

RECESS AND REASSEMBLY

At 12:00 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until the Workshop at 1:30 p.m. at the Lake County Agriculture Center.

WORKSHOP PROCESS AND INTRODUCTION OF LPA CHAIRPERSON

            Ms. Carol Stricklin, Growth Management Director, opened the workshop by giving the Board an overview of the first three work sessions in their review of the first Comprehensive Plan and what they were going to do that day.  She explained that the work sessions were to review those elements of the Comp Plan that were transmitted to the Board by the Local Planning Agency (LPA) late last year. She reported that the next two work sessions would be on Monday, May 14 at 9:00 a.m. at the Agriculture Center, after the Budget Work Session; and June 5 at 1:00 p.m. in Commission Chambers, for finishing staff presentations not completed on May 14 and receiving public comments on those elements.  She also stated that when the LPA completed their work and transmitted the remaining Future Land Use element, they would come back to the Board and establish the remainder of the schedule for work sessions on that item as well as the formal transmittal public hearing.

            LPA TRANSMITTAL OF COMPREHENSIVE PLAN ELEMENTS

            Ms. Nadine Foley, Chairman of the LPA, introduced other members of the LPA that were present, including Mr. Scott Foley; Ms. Cindy Barrow, the School Board representative; Mr. Rob Kelly; Ms. Vickie Zaneis, and Mr. Keith Schue.  She thanked the Board for their patience, and noted that they were mindful that they were behind schedule and had been meeting three times a month since the beginning of the year to get their part completed.  She reported that they had taken public input and had carefully considered the views of the citizens of Lake County.  She opined that the Board would be pleased to find in this Comp Plan many policies calling for the same green development principles that they had discussed at the regular Board Meeting that day.  She stated that they were pressing forward to complete the Future Land Use Element and the Future Land Use Map, and in all the elements had tried to be forward-thinking and careful to place policies that would allow Lake County to remain a special place to live, work, and raise the next generation.  She thanked the talented staff for their hard work and dedication to this process.

THE PROCESS – FROM EAR TO COMP PLAN

Ms. Amye King, Deputy Director, Growth Management Department, stated that during the late 1980’s, Lake County was undergoing recovery from the freezes, and about that time, the Florida Legislature also passed the first Growth Management Act.  She explained that while recovering from the freezes, Lake County staff was putting together the Data, Inventory & Analysis for the first Comprehensive Plan, which reflected the 1980 census based on an agricultural county.  During this process of data gathering, Lake County started to put together policies based on the inaccurate 1980 data; and in 1991, Lake County adopted that first Comp Plan., which was found compliant in 1993 from the DCA (Department of Community Affairs) based on that same 1980 census data.  She related that their evaluation and appraisal report of that plan was due in 1999-2000, so in 1997 the Board adopted Resolutions, creating nine advisory committees with 72 members to review the Comp Plan, and came up with 600 pages of recommendations, which was called the EAR (Evaluation and Appraisal Report).  This report was forwarded to the Planning and Zoning Commission, who sent the key portions to the DCA for review.  She further explained that in 2001, the DCA found it in compliance, and there were 400 specific amendments that were outlined by these committees that needed to be changed within the County’s Comp Plan to become consistent with State law.  She reported that in 2002, several of those amendments were sent to DCA for transmittal, but the DCA wanted the entire Comprehensive Plan at one time.  In September of 2002, the Growth Management Director at that time requested that the Board put it on hold, because two censuses had been done since the original Comp Plan, and negotiations had begun with the DCA in 2003.  She explained that the evaluation of this Plan did not make much sense at that point because of all the changes that had taken place in Lake County since the 80’s.  She noted that the DCA allowed the County to rewrite their entire Data, Inventory & Analysis based on the 2000 census, redo the entire existing land use, redo the population projections, review what the Bureau of Business of Economic and Business Research suggested, and basically start from scratch.

Ms. King related that in 2004, the Board separated out the Planning and Zoning Commission into two boards; the Zoning Board would from then on just review rezonings, and the LPA, a nine-member committee, would be committed solely to the update and rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan and the LDR rewrite.  She stated that staff started working on population projections, forming demographic teams, and working with all the departments in the County to discuss the fundamental data that would support the County’s goals, objectives, and policies.  The County began writing the Data, Inventory & Analysis in 2004 and started submitting it to the brand new LPA for review, and in February of 2005, they started a very rigorous public participation plan, by holding 17 meetings.  She related that in May 2006, the LPA started reviewing the map, a culmination of all the Data, Inventory & Analysis and all the elements that had been reviewed.  She reported that the next evaluation of their plan was due in August of 2008.  She commented that the new Data, Inventory & Analysis was based on the 2000 census, which was the most up to date census they had, and that the next census would be coming out in 2010.  She also explained that the Board would be looking at how they had addressed all 400 concerns that were brought up from the committees in 2001.

DATA, INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS

Mr. Alfredo Massa, Case Manager, Growth Management Department, stated that his staff agreed with the numbers that were in the demographic information in the backup, and that the 2005 estimate was very close to the figures that they had calculated for 2005 as well.  He also stated that the municipalities updated their population projections, and most of those numbers were a result of the school concurrency work that they had started doing last year.  He commented that the big difference that the Board would note was that the municipalities anticipated a lot faster population growth then the County had estimated for them, and if the trends that they had projected proved accurate, the municipalities would probably end up with more than two-thirds of the population by 2025.   He stated that it took them about 1 ½ to 2 years of working with the various departments within the County and some of the municipal partners to get the DCA to approve those estimates, and they needed to continue using those figures until they implemented the Comprehensive Plan.  He stated that since 2005 to the present, there had been about 18,000 acres that had been annexed into the municipalities, which would necessitate the population figures to be redistributed accordingly, but they recommended that the Board did that once they get the EAR part of the implementation.

Mr. Massa referred to the allocation of the land included in the County shown on the handout, showing that the total acres in the County was roughly about 749,000 acres, as well as the division of land between municipalities, lakes, residential, rural, and business.  He commented that the Wekiva River Protection Area and the Green Swamp took up a lot of the available land.  He also pointed out that there were 185,514 total net developable acres, meaning less wet lands and approved acres, which was land that had already been developed.  He related that staff estimated based on projected figures that they would have to allocate land use for about 200,000 residents by the year 2025, but that based on generally acceptable practices, they estimated that they should be planning for about 330,000 residents in order to provide for a variety of options and choice in the land use.  He commented that staff last updated their figures in November, but the LPA had done considerable changes since then, so staff would bring the figures back to the Board with the updated calculations after the LPA finished the Future Land Use Map.

Commr. Stivender asked if the SAP referred to in the handout was State owned properties.

Mr. Massa responded that it referred to Special Area Plans, which were currently in Mount Dora and Sorrento.

PARKS AND RECREATION ELEMENT

Mr. Wayne Bennett, Planning Director, stated that the previous numbers presented set the tone for the Comprehensive Plan, and he emphasized that the material in the backup were interim handouts, because the LPA had not concluded its work efforts.  He stated that the books given to the Board contained the first three elements, the draft, and the transmittal elements of the topics discussed that day.  He explained that the next group of things the Board would receive would be all of the remaining elements that the LPA had transmitted.

Commr. Stivender asked what the time frame would be for the Future Land Use with the LPA.

Mr. Bennett responded that the LPA was trying to complete their activities as quickly as possible, but he did not know that there was a specific time frame.  He related that there were three meetings scheduled in May, and that he believed that the mapping work was fairly close to completion, but that there were still some significant policy topics that they had to deal with regarding Land Use.

Commr. Stivender stated that she was currently the liaison to Parks and Recreation, and they were reviewing the Parks and Recreation element again themselves, because some of the things had not been done, and she just wanted to make sure they were not duplicating things and were all working together.

            Commr. Cadwell inquired whether the proposed the level of service would also include any of those lands purchased under the Land Acquisition program.

            Mr. Bennett stated that it did not figure directly into that particular number as he understood the recreation element, and that it included acres focused primarily on community and regional parks, and some of those could include some types of those lands, but he did not think all of them were included.

            Mr. Bennett opined that the Master Plan was an excellent plan, and most, if not all, of the objectives and policies contained in this plan were also found in the Parks and Recreation element, and everyone was on the same page with regard to direction.  He noted that one change was that the level of service went from .92 acres per 1000 residents to 4 acres per 1000 people, also noting that Lake County was already close to achieving that currently in 2007.

            Commr. Cadwell commented that that was an expensive level of service to have for parks, and the decisions made in Tallahassee in the next week could make that difficult.

            Commr. Stivender stated that she was on the original Comp Plan Committee, and the reason the level of service was originally lower was because of funding sources, and finding the funding sources to keep that level up was a major issue.

            Mr. Bennett related that there was a lot of work in the Master Plan process comparing Lake County with the neighboring communities as far as standards, and Lake County was in the middle range of that.  He also mentioned that information in the Master Parks Plan about costs and revenues were also tied to the Capital Improvement Program.

            Mr. Bennett stated that the existing plan was the same as the proposed plan in terms of required open space on PUD’s (Planned Unit Developments).  He also commented that, regarding facility standards, one thing that was included in the existing plan that was not in the proposed plan was that there were a series of numbers in the existing plan stating how much should be spent per acre or per group of people for each particular type of park.  He commented that taking the place of that, this plan contained a number of prototypes of neighborhood and community parks based upon the acreages that were associated with that and stating what those kinds of park facilities would cost, and that this plan offered a better understanding of the costs and benefits of level of service standards and recreational needs.  He opined that one of the things that he particularly liked about the Master Plan and what was in the proposed Comprehensive Plan was that recreational planning areas were established.  He also commented that the Joint Planning Areas would probably be a concern more and more in the future.

            CONSERVATION ELEMENT

            Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design, Growth Management, stated that the Conservation element provided a framework for monitoring, management, and the use of the County’s natural resources.  He commented that the element was interrelated with many of the other elements by its nature, in particular the Future Land Use, Recreation and Open Space, Intergovernmental Coordination, and Transportation elements.  He commented that the element provided information and guidelines regarding the suitability of lands for development, particularly those lands containing or influencing significant or sensitive natural resources.  He also noted that there were guidelines for establishing open space corridors, nature education programs, land use compatibility, and acquisition areas.  He pointed out that the element also provided guidelines for the planning of roadways, such as the Wekiva Parkway.

Mr. Sheahan stated that the element was divided into four broad categories, which were air, water, land, and environmental systems.   He explained that the air category objectives of the element required the County to implement State and Federal guidelines to improve and protect air quality and ensure the County met or exceeded all applicable air quality standards.  He specified that the ground and surface water objectives of the element required the County to coordinate with local, State, Federal, and regional agencies to protect the quality and quantity of ground water resource recharge areas and prevent excessive groundwater draw downs.  He also described the guidelines regarding aquifer protection zones, landscape irrigation, monitoring of septic systems, storm water practices, and land use strategies.  He also mentioned that there were policies for flood plane protection, wet land conservation, preservation of sensitive lands, mining, and encouraging green building systems.  Mr. Sheahan also related that the open space definition was similar to the existing one and did not change the potential density of the property, but did restrict what counted as open space by excluding residential yards and including land only outside of fairways on golf courses as open space.

HOUSING ELEMENT

Mr. Alfredo Massa, Case Manager, Growth Management Department, commented that there were less low income households in the County during a 2005 survey than there were in 2000, going from 15 percent below poverty in 2000 to 10.2 percent in 2005.  He also commented that the home ownership rate increased from 70 percent to 80 percent in that time, and that the average medium income rose to $45,198 for Lake County residents.  He noted that there was still a need for affordable housing within the County, and opined that this element was important.  He related that the purpose of the housing element was to guide Lake County in developing appropriate goals, objectives, and policies that demonstrated the County’s commitment to meet the identified needs of all of our residents.  He specified that some strategies adopted for this element included providing a trust fund for the purpose of renovation of affordable housing units, providing density bonuses for low income housing, permitting reduced lot size and open space requirements, and expediting the permit and review process for affordable housing projects.

Mr. Massa stated that in the adopted Comp Plan, there were a couple of items that were not carried over, such as the permitting of accessory housing; the requirement that new development reserve a portion of  total units for affordable housing; and utilizing tax increment financing.  He explained that a study done in 2005 identified that by 2025, there would be a need of approximately 73,000 additional affordable housing units, which would account for about two-thirds of the total projected households that would be created in the County within the next 20-year planning horizon.  He stated that some of the challenges they faced as they went forward were the facilitating of the provisioning of adequate housing for all the residents that they anticipated would be coming to the County.  He was concerned that the reduction of the housing market would make it harder to work with developers on the affordable housing element.

Commr. Cadwell asked what the logic was in not including the options such as requiring new development to reserve a portion for affordable housing or some similar program.  He was concerned that the practice of setting up housing outside of new developments for housing would create slums and that there should be some way of integrating housing.

Mr. Massa responded that the biggest drawback of including that in there was that it would mean building more homes.

Commr. Hill stated that the County was supposed to establish a policy regarding utilization of job training and creating economic solutions in regard to affordable housing, and currently the County did waivers for affordable housing which the County paid through the assessment that they collected.  She inquired whether there was another level of affordable housing of low to moderate for that category of people that were in essential jobs that were needed in Lake County such as fire fighters, teachers, police, and nurses, where the County could offer some relief in impact or other fees and if there was something they were not doing at that level that they could be doing.

Commr. Cadwell commented that that was more a policy question for the Board, and he had been talking with the County Attorney as they had been working on the impact fee issue about a program to try to do something like that.  He also commented that he was not sure about putting in the Comp Plan that they would set up a local trust fund for affordable housing on top of what they would get from the State, because they were unsure what was going to happen financially within the next couple of weeks.  He opined that hopefully by the time they got closer to the impact fee study, they would have some of the kinks ironed out of it as a way to help residents who may not even qualify for affordable housing help, but are blocked out from housing because of income levels.

Commr. Hill commented that other counties have done a type of recruitment to attract teachers by giving them some type of impact fee incentive if they continue to teach in that particular school district for a certain number of years.

Commr. Cadwell commented that the plan he was looking at would only be available to existing citizens of the County, to help only current residents and not giving incentives for others to move here.  He also stated that the Board would have further discussions about the affordable housing issue.

WRAP - UP

Ms. Stricklin concluded by stating that they would like to take away any questions or policy areas that the Board would like to discuss at future workshops.  She stated that they had been making notes with regard to Parks and Recreation to make sure they were coordinated with the Comprehensive Plan and wanted to look at the issue of workforce housing.

            ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

__________________________

JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK