A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MAY 26, 2009
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 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; Jimmy Conner; Elaine Renick; and Linda Stewart. Others present were: Melanie Marsh, Deputy County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; and Ellie McDonald, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Reverend Dr. S. William Tyson, from the Union Congregational Church in Tavares gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
There were no changes to the Agenda.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 2 through 7, pulling Tab 1, as follows:
Request for approval of impact fee deferral agreement – Clermont Neurological & Chiropractic, LLC. Commission District 2.
Request for approval to 1) declare the items on the attached list(s) surplus to County needs, (2) authorize the removal of all of the items on the attached lists from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records, and (3) authorize the Procurement Services Director or designee to sign vehicle titles.
Request for approval and execution of a contract to Stokes Electric of Central Florida, Inc. to furnish and install an emergency generator at Fire Station 54. The cost of this contract is not to exceed $29,071.00. Commission District 5.
Request for approval and execution of a construction contract to Pillar Homes, LLC. to provide construction of Lake County Horticultural Learning Center (Tavares) in the amount of $192,817.00, and 2) approve allowances of $20,500 and contingency cost of $19,218.70. Commission District 3.
Request for approval to receive the donation of $8,453.15 from the former Lake Katherine Volunteer Fire Department. Also requested is the approval and execution of the attached Resolution No. 2009-71 to receive the unanticipated revenue.
Request for authorization to release a maintenance bond in the amount of $44,894.00 posted for Biscayne Bluff. Biscayne Bluff consists of 27 lots and is located in Section 29, Township 18 South, Range 26 East. Commission District 4.
Commr. Renick referred to Item II. Definitions and References of the Corrective Action Policy, Section B, and stated that she would like language included in the Policy for problems arising from upper level management and asked if there was a separate policy for them.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, responded by stating that they were “at-will” employees which grants the County much greater latitude in dealing with them. She commented that they do not fall under any kind of process as do all the other employees.
Commr. Renick stated that she understood that at-will employees could be dismissed at any time, but she was thinking in terms of a person’s record. She remarked that if someone were to leave and go to another county they would want to have a written record of any major problems for an employee at that level as well as the other employees. She explained that she and Ms. Hall had discussed this and had disagreed. She requested the Board’s opinion on this issue.
Commr. Conner asked if this Policy process was exempt to upper level management and questioned whether there should be a procedure that the County Manager follows to discipline high level Department Heads the same as other employees.
Ms. Hall responded by stating that it does not exempt the County from putting anything in their file. She stated that if there were that kind of procedure she believed that the latitude of discipline or termination would be compromised. She commented further that if there were a procedure she had to follow then it would be more restrictive than it was now.
Commr. Cadwell stated that there could be other procedures but those that would tie the County Manager’s hands would not be included. He remarked that it would just be a different policy of how to deal with upper management employees.
Commr. Renick opined that when they have someone applying for a Director’s position from another county that had written disciplinary actions on file, they would be aware of any serious problems that had occurred. She commented that it seemed to be a bad policy not to require written documentation of any type of serious problem with someone in an upper management position.
Commr. Cadwell wanted to make sure the County Attorney’s office would be involved in the process because if they do have to let an at-will employ go there could still be some repercussions if not handled correctly. He stated that they should have a separate policy for those at-will employees.
Commr. Conner questioned why it would not be in this Policy.
Commr. Cadwell stated that at-will employees should not be given a grievance process which would eliminate taking corrective action and holding a hearing. He explained that the at-will employee would simply be informed that the position was not working out as planned and let them go.
Commr. Renick stated that she wanted something documented in this regard.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the updated Corrective Action Policy.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
FUNDING FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTION FOR MULTIFAMILY DEVELOPMENTS
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, addressed the Board stating that they were requesting local government contribution, impact deferral, or waiver for three projects in Lake County; two in Eustis, one from Wendover Development and another from Atlantic Housing; and one in Clermont also from Atlantic Housing. He explained that the reason they were appearing before the Board was to identify possible funding sources. He reported that after doing some research they would initially use State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) dollars to provide some assistance for developers. He commented that at the present time the current Local Housing Assistance Plan (LHAP), in effect until the end of June, has a Bridge Loan Strategy, but it limits their contributions to non-profit or government entities. He explained that when they had the LHAP before the Board recently, they rewrote the Bridge Loan Strategy in order to use SHIP funds to provide assistance to for-profit developers for development costs of rental units. He mentioned that LHAP was still under review by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) and that plan would not be effective until July 1, 2009, or once approved by the FHFC. He explained that the State has not funded the SHIP program for this coming year; the only program they are funding is the First Time Homebuyers Program to eligible buyers under the Tax Credit Program. He commented that the way their Plan was written and approved by the State, they were limited on how SHIP dollars were to be used. He reported that they could use Community Development Fiscal Year Grant dollars for this local contribution under certain circumstances. He stated that Mr. Bill Gearing, Community Enhancement Coordinator, Community Services, provided information indicating that the use of CDBG funds to build new housing, either for purchase by homebuyers or as rental units, was generally ineligible with one exception. He commented that the exception would be from being forced to use CDBG funds for “Housing of Last Resort” which meant demolishing a public housing unit or some type of structure and displacing eligible renters. He explained that when they use CDBG dollars for this purpose it can be used to assist qualified Community Based Development Organizations. He stated that he spoke with one developer that thought it would not be a problem becoming identified as a Community Based Developmental Organization. He explained that in order to use these dollars they would have to identify the funding in upcoming years and indicate in their Plan that the funding would be used for that purpose. He remarked that was future funding and commented that if they wanted to use existing funds it would require a public hearing and redirect, or reallocate funds from a project currently on the books to be used for this process. He mentioned that the other funding source is the General Fund. He explained that if the Board decided to provide funding it would be for one developer and if they go into a contract with them they would need to make sure that in a situation where two developers received an okay to continue with their project, they would still be limited to providing funding for only one developer. Therefore, they would be obligating themselves to $100,000 not $200,000.
Commr. Cadwell opined that the General Fund was out of the question and not doing any of the CDBG programs that they have scheduled was also out of the question. He stated that there was very little money remaining in that block grant program, and he did not think that the Board should consider it.
Mr. Smith stated that it is targeted for low income residents in Lake County whether it is housing or other types of activities. He commented that it has been done in other counties, but has not been their focus in Lake County.
Commr. Conner stated that he believed this was a $14 to $15 million dollar project.
Mr. Smith responded that one of the projects is around that amount and that all of the developments are between $9 million to $15 million.
Commr. Conner remarked that when they met in the review meetings he asked about the supply and demand for this and asked what Mr. Smith had ascertained about the need for this type of housing since the last meeting.
Mr. Smith remarked that he had received a study from Atlantic Housing that was completed in part by the FHFC which indicated that Lake County appears to have sufficient housing rental stock for family units, but that there was not sufficient stock for senior housing. He explained that two of the developments before the Board were for senior housing and one was for family housing. He stated that both elder housing units are in Eustis, one is proposed by Wendover the other is proposed by Atlantic.
Commr. Conner stated that a $100,000 investment for a $9 to $15 million local stimulus package was a good investment and that they would probably get tax dollars back on that through the money being moved from person to person and spent. He commented that he would not be in favor if the need did not exist, and that he would also have concerns about taking money from the General Fund.
Commr. Stewart asked if the County had any input into which project would be chosen.
Mr. Smith opined that the determination would be made by the FHFC.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the County would not commit their money to the multifamily units; but would commit to either of the two senior housing projects.
Mr. Smith commented that at the last meeting they discussed the fact that there were funds in the impact fee deferral account that could be used for these projects, but he was not sure it could be used in conjunction with another funding source in order to meet the $100,000 local government contribution.
Commr. Hill commented that there was approximately $70,000 dollars left in the Impact Fee Deferral fund which she intended to discuss the Board given that they were looking for funding sources. She remarked that the money was not needed for 18 months. She explained that right now they need a letter saying they could commit to the $100,000 and that by the time the 18 months comes around a lot of this money may be allocated differently, according to the criteria with the State and Federal government. She mentioned that what they lock in today may change in the future, but they did not have to produce the actual dollars for another 18 months.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Smith if that would give them time to go through another cycle with the CDBG and if they would be into a new budget year at that time.
Mr. Smith responded that was correct.
Commr. Hill stated that the criteria may change, but in the worst case scenario they would have approximately $70,000 they could take from the General Fund to be paid back when the new cycle came forward.
Ms. Angie Thompson, Impact Fee Coordinator, stated that the portion that would cover the Impact Fee Waiver would only apply to “x” amount of dollars from that $100,000 and that was what Mr. Smith had. She explained that they have that funding available, but the Board would have to fund the difference because their impact fees do not total the $100,000 match.
Commr. Hill reiterated that what they want now is a commitment letter in order to go forward in this cycle to submit their paperwork.
Commr. Cadwell commented that during that 18 months or when they would begin CDBG public hearings, they would know what was in the impact fee account and perhaps just fund the difference. He explained that a policy decision could be made to determine how much to fund out of CDBG during that process.
Commr. Conner, speaking for himself, stated that if they were going to put local money into this project, he would hope that every effort would be made to use local contractors, subcontractors and suppliers so that local residents would be the beneficiaries of the stimulus work since they were the ones providing the down payment on the project.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the recommendation of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to provide funding for local government contributions for the two senior housing developments in order to receive 9% Federal Housing Credits.
Ms. Sharon Wall, Employee Services Director, discussed the opening of the parking garage on June 1, 2009, and requested the Board’s input on the Policy before them. She explained that the Policy basically states that employees should park in the garage rather than the contracted parking lots or the streets. She commented that the garage would be a great benefit to everyone.
Commr. Cadwell stated that County employees should be notified that they should use the top four floors and leave the bottom floors for the public. He stated that once the Policy was approved he would direct it to the Constitutional Officers with a cover letter hoping that they would comply accordingly.
Commr. Conner agreed, and remarked that rather than using the language in Number 1 of the Policy they should insert language that the Chairman referenced requiring employees to use the top four floors and would hope the Constitutional Officers would follow the County Policy as well.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Parking Policy as amended to restrict employee parking to the higher parking levels of the garage.
AWARD FOR FUEL UNDER INVITATION TO BID 09-0804
Mr. Barnett Schwartzman, Procurement Services Director, addressed the Board stating that this item was departmental due to the dollar value and was a consolidated Procurement Officials of Lake County (POOL) organization award. He stated that the organization includes most of the public sector purchasing entities from the Lake County who worked together to develop a consolidated purchase by combining their estimated quantities. He reported that as a result of this effort, they had received the best pricing and service than in the past. He commented that it was wonderful working with everyone in this regard. He recommended the Board’s approval of the award.
Commr. Hill commented that Mr. Schwartzman and the entire Procurement Department worked very hard on this vision and expressed her appreciation.
Commr. Conner stated that he was impressed that the School Board and other government entities were involved in this process.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the award under Invitation to Bid 09-0804 (Fuel) to the lowest priced responsive and responsible vendor on an item-by-item basis via counter-signature of bid document and issuance of associated purchase orders by the Office of Procurement Services.
REASSIGNMENT OF OPERATING LEASE FROM AL-JON MANUFACTURING TO FIRST NATIONAL CAPITAL CORPORATION
Mr. Schwartzman stated that this item was a routine process of unusual actions and was departmental because of dollar value. He explained that this was for a lease that is in effect with a vendor that had requested the lease payments be assigned to a third party. He commented that this is not unusual and they have a process in place to deal with this type situation.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the reassignment of an operating lease from Al-jon Manufacturing LLC to First National Capital Corporation subject to County Attorney approval.
GRANT AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAKE COUNTY AND THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that this item requested the approval of a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grant Agreement for Ferndale. He commented that approximately $150,000 worth of restoration was being done by removing trees and seedlings, herbiciding non-native species, and planting native species. He explained that the grant would allow them to continue the work.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Grant Agreement between Lake County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Resolution No. 2009-72 for unanticipated revenue.
ORDINANCE CREATING CHAPTER 7, LAKE COUNTY CODE
Ms. Melanie Marsh, Deputy County Attorney, placed the proposed Ordinance on the floor for its first and final reading, by title only, as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY FLORIDA; CREATING CHAPTER 7, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND BUSINESS INCENTIVES; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that approximately $2 million was set aside as part of their Economic Stabilization Reserve. She commented that if there were a project that was of a magnitude the Department thought would qualify for some of the larger incentives they would present them to the Board and a one time decision could be made on those.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2009-26 creating Chapter 7, entitled Economic Development and Business Incentives.
VACATION PETITION NO. 1142 – MAX LENKER (RACETRAC)
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that this Petition had been postponed at last month’s meeting and was to vacate rights of way to Causey Road existing in the Clermont area at the intersection of CR 561 and U.S. 27. He stated that they had met with Commr. Renick regarding the site plan. He explained that the Petitioner, who owns the entire piece of property, agreed to a conditional right of way along CR 561. He commented that the relocation would be further east so that the additional right of way would be granted and the road vacated. He remarked that there was a great deal of discussion about the trees and site plan and explained that they saved as many trees as possible, but there were still many to be removed.
The Chairman opened the public hearing. The Applicant/Applicant’s representative was present.
There being no one who wished to address the Board the Chairman closed the public hearing reserving the right of the Applicant to come before the Board if there were any questions.
Commr. Hill wanted to know if this road was a section that had been resurfaced.
Mr. Stivender responded by stating it was a clay road that loops around and comes back to U.S. 27. He mentioned that they were paving the back portion as part of their site plan approval.
Commr. Hill questioned how far those improvements, in general, come down CR 561.
Mr. Stivender remarked that CR 561 was a signalized intersection that had been resurfaced within the last ten years and the pavement was in good shape.
Commr. Hill stated that, in that regard, there was no need for any other right of way except for in that section.
Mr. Stivender stated that was all they own so that was the part the County acquired for the right of way for future expansion and if need be, that intersection.
The Chairman asked for a motion.
Commr. Renick commented that she drives by this property every day on her way to Tavares this morning she drove down Causey Road. She commented that from the road grandfather oaks were visible all over the property, and noted that the property was very low and would require a great deal of fill. She commented that after reviewing the plans for the project she realized that it was not for a small corner gas station, but rather an 18 pump station. She stated that she was not interested in vacating the road until the project was scaled down.
Commr. Cadwell asked how it compared to the new Racetrac being built at Wolf Branch.
Mr. Stivender responded by stating he thought it was the same size as the ones in Lady Lake and Leesburg. He commented that they were already zoned properly and could build this site without the road being vacated. He commented that right now they did not need the distance between CR 561 and Causey Road to put an access into or out of the site, so by moving the road further back it would allow better access to the site, and was, therefore, part of the design and discussion with staff.
Ms. Consuella C. Ragin, Assistant Engineering Project Manager for Racetrac Petroleum, Inc., of Atlanta, Georgia, explained that the store at Wolf Branch had 24 gas pumps, rather than 18 pumps; however, the convenience store was actually the same size. She stated that the convenience store was approximately 4,197 square feet.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that they already had the proper zoning to build the station without the vacation and opined that a better site plan could be made by moving the road. He stated he would be in favor of the vacation.
Commr. Stewart stated that she was going to vote favorably because they could legally do it without the road vacation.
Commr. Renick opined that if they did not vacate the road, they would not go back and review the project to make it better. For that reason she commented that she would not support vacating the road.
Commr. Hill asked how soon CR 561 would go into failure.
Mr. Stivender commented that they have no problems with CR 561 at the present time.
Commr. Conner stated that he would like them to save as many oak trees as possible and Commr. Stewart agreed.
Commr. Renick asked if the trees would survive when they bring in the fill. She noted that even though it was said that there were no problems with CR 561 now, this is the intersection they are looking to improve in their long range plans; therefore, there is a problem with the intersection.
Commr. Conner asked if the intersection improvements would be part of the responsibility of the developer as far as turn lanes.
Mr. Stivender stated that was correct and there were already improvements planned as part of the site and noted that a signalized intersection already exists. He commented that most of the turns at the present time were southbound left on U.S. 27, and northbound right turns and, therefore, they have not had much conflicted traffic.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they assumed they would follow the County’s policies and rules in regards to lot clearing, the tree Ordinance, and the overall requirements of the Ordinance.
Mr. Stivender stated that Growth Management and arborists have been on the site and met with the Commissioner. He explained that the north end is wet and that those trees will not be touched and that other oak trees throughout the site would be saved as well. He commented, however, that several trees were removed.
Commr. Cadwell commented that it was not good government to force someone to vacate a road when they could legally go forward without it.
Ms. Ragin stated that in an effort to save trees they went with the County recommended arborist to locate those that could be saved in the right of way. She commented that those trees removed would not have survived; those that could be saved were saved. She stated that whatever could be done during construction to protect the trees would be done in accordance with the approved site plan.
Commr. Renick commented that continued to think that if they vacate the road people would revisit the project and scale it back. She moved to deny the vacation.
As there was no second to this motion, the Chairman asked for a new motion.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2009-73, Vacation Petition No. 1142, Max Lenker (Racetrac), to vacate right of way and cease maintenance on a portion of Causey Drive in the Clermont area.
Commr. Renick voted “no.”
Under discussion Commr. Conner stated that although it seems to be out-of-the-way, tens of thousands of cars were going by there everyday and although he would like the project scaled down, it was needed in that particular area.
Commr. Stewart disagreed because she did not think it was needed at this time, and although she did not like it, she would vote for it because it could be done legally and did not wish to delay the project.
REGULAR REZONING AGENDA
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Director of Planning and Community Design, reported that there were no changes to the Agenda. He noted that the zoning cases had been properly advertised.
REZONING CASE NO. CUP #09/5/2-5 - WINSTON AND CAROLYN BRASWELL
Mr. Steve K. Greene, Chief Planner, Planning and Community Design, presented Rezoning Case No. CUP #09/5/2-5 stating that the applicant seeks a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for continuation of the stockpiling activity that has been ongoing for approximately 22 years on property zoned for Agriculture. He explained that the property is located at the northeast intersection of the northeast corner of North Emeralda Road and Emeralda Island Road, and the Future Land Use designation of the property is rural. He explained that the original CUP came to the Board in 2001 by way of a Code Enforcement violation; in 2008 the Applicant seeks to continue this activity for the purpose of addressing the Code violations; today by another violation. He commented that the notice of the Code violation indicates that the Applicant should amend the CUP or restore the property to its natural state. He reported that staff visited the property within the past month and determined that no land restoration had been initiated and the property was not screen enforced with the CUP conditions laid out in 2001. He commented that the Applicant indicated he was not aware he was in violation and believed that the screening requirements were waived. He commented that the Applicant provided information to staff demonstrating what he believed was compliance with that conditional use. He stated that staff examined the request to continue the CUP and determined that the activity was similar in nature to mining and quarrying which are allowable activities as conditional use in an Agriculture Zoning District. He commented that staff also examined the effect of the activity on adjacent properties and determined that although the property appears to be visually obtrusive, they have not received any complaint from neighbors since its inception in 2001. He stated that in regard to compatibility, the stockpiling activity could be deemed compatible since the application ceased to continue something that was initiated in 2001. He explained that the property is surrounded with agriculture or rural ranchettes on the north, east and west and to the south of the property is the South Lake Animal Shelter. He reported that the Applicant indicated a willingness to minimize the impacts of the property by establishing screening along the perimeter of the property and staff believes that the activity could be made further compatible by establishing additional conditions not identified in 2001 such as stockpiling setbacks from the property lines along with other screening methods. He mentioned that they had received four letters of support since the Zoning Board Meeting earlier in the month. He stated that staff has established locations for screening and landscaping along the perimeter property lines and found the application to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and LDRs with conditions as specified in the submitted Ordinance.
The Chairman opened the public hearing. The Applicant/Applicant’s representative was present. There was no one in opposition to the rezoning.
Ms. Mary Gerding, President of the Leesburg Humane Society, addressed the Board by stating that the Humane Society was directly south of the property spoke on behalf of Mr. Winston Braswell, the Applicant. She stated that she had been asked to request a continuance on this Petition based on the fact that Mr. Braswell’s attorney was unable to attend today’s meeting.
Commr. Cadwell asked Ms. Gerding if there was a majority vote of the Board to approve the Petition today, were there any conditions in the Ordinance as it stands that the Applicant had problems with.
Ms. Gerding replied “yes.”
Commr. Renick stated that she also had problems with some of the conditions contained in the Ordinance although she was not sure they would want to postpone it. She commented that she actually wanted to scale back the requirements and asked if that was why the Applicant thought he needed a lawyer.
Ms. Gerding stated they tried to get some answers beforehand, but were unable to do so because of the holiday.
Commr. Cadwell asked if she knew what problems they had with the Ordinance.
Ms. Gerding stated that moving the dirt could be accomplished, but putting up a privacy fence around it was extremely expensive. She commented further that planting trees directly under power lines did not seem to be a good idea and they wished to address those concerns.
Commr. Renick stated that the reason they included all these conditions was to protect the neighbors. She explained, however, that the neighbors do not have a problem.
Commr. Cadwell asked if the biggest cost was the landscaping and fencing which was their biggest concern.
Ms. Gerding stated that was correct.
Commr. Renick stated that they had not had landscaping and fencing for 22 years.
Commr. Cadwell asked if Mr. Braswell would want to have it approved today if they removed the language regarding buffering, landscaping and fencing.
Ms. Gerding responded yes.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2009-27, Rezoning Case No. CUP #09/5/2-5, Wink’s Trucking, to renew a Conditional Use Permit to continue the stockpiling of materials (dirt, gravel, fill, sand, bricks, etc.) and storage of related equipment on Agriculture zoned property, striking the buffering requirement including fencing and landscaping.
REZONING CASE NO. PH #02-09-5 - PAUL AND SANDRA BAKER/KIM DUCHARME
Mr. Sheahan presented this case on behalf of Ms. Karen Block, Senior Planner, who was unable to attend the meeting. He stated this was a request from the owners, Paul and Sandra Baker, and the Applicant was Ms. Kim Ducharme. The petition was to rezone 5.8 acres from Urban Residential District (R-6) to Rural Residential (R-1) to allow non-intensive agricultural uses and more particularly in this case, to keep a horse on the property. He commented that the property is located in the Leesburg area lying one quarter mile south of CR 44 on Goose Creek Road and is in the Urban Expansion Land Use Category which allows development in a density of 1 unit to 4 units per acre. He commented that the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) permit the requested zoning district in the Urban Expansion Land Use Category and as such the requested density of R-1, one unit per acre, is consistent with that requirement. He stated that the LDRs require the use of the urban area residential density chart in calculating densities for zoning categories within urban expansion. He commented that based on the chart the property may only allow 1 unit per 1 acre maximum. He explained that the current R-6 zoning is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the Future Land Use Category and that therefore, the rezoning request is in keeping with the Comprehensive Plan. He noted further that the R-1 category allows non-intensive agricultural uses including horses, while higher densities such as R-2 categories and above do not allow this use. He stated that staff evaluated the surrounding zoning categories and displayed a map of the property. He stated that they had received a petition containing 56 signatures in opposition to this rezoning because the neighbors were concerned with keeping farm animals and related concerns such as soil and water contamination, and horses leaning over the fence eating landscape material. The Zoning Board recommended approval by a 4-3 vote.
The Chairman opened the public hearing and asked if the Applicant/Applicant’s representative was present and if there was anyone present in opposition to the Ordinance.
The Applicant, Ms. Kim Ducharme, real estate agent for the property, addressed the Board stating that Lake County attracts neighboring communities due to its abundance of lakes, recreational activities, and many novice horse enthusiasts. She remarked that the County’s website indicates that Lake County is a horse lover’s paradise and local institution for quality handmade tack to a world-renowned equestrian facility and is a delight for professional or novice equestrians. She stated that they have been successful in trying to attract horse lovers and that they were trying to rezone because the potential R-1 zoning conforms to neighboring usage. She stated that she had a Petition from neighbors surrounding the owners’ property which she distributed to the Board. She displayed photographs of the property showing its privacy and that those interested in the property would like to keep horses and she would imagine that the buyer would continue to keep the property private. She commented that a buffer could be created with respect to landscaping concerns. She remarked that the neighboring church, which is situated on four acres, did not object to the rezoning and distributed a letter to that effect. She commented that there were some residents concerned with animals being on the property; however, there are goats, chickens and pigs already on the street down the road from the property. She displayed a map showing the subject property in relation to horse properties and farms on Misty Oak, off Radio Road, a mile down the road. She commented that lowering the density may more adequately reflect the property’s highest and best usage and that they did not believe the higher density current zoning was necessary; noting that other higher density projects in the area for the past several years have failed. She reported that from January 2008 to the present time, ten acre parcels on the sales market in Leesburg and Eustis range from $250,000 to $350,000 according to a recent property performance analysis. She mentioned that out of 28 active properties currently on the market, 24 allow horses. She stated that within the past four months their website tracked 299 inquiries on the properties and out of the last several inquiries, 9 out of 11 have been asking if horses were allowed on the property.
Ms. Velma Green who lives on Shelly Drive stated that her property is directly affected by this piece of property. She commented that she had a petition with 54 signatures against allowing horses from residents around Shelly Drive and Goose Creek. She remarked that if horses were allowed the door would open for all types of livestock on the non-intensive agricultural uses as long as it is not zoned commercial. She remarked that the property in question abuts her property. She commented that the purpose of R-1 zoning is to provide a transition between agriculture and conservation areas, and the area is not agriculture or conservation and has been zoned R-6 for years. If horses are allowed, she stated that the owners may ride up and down the street and the horses may drop feces on the road which would cling to the tires of cars and would be tracked into their individual driveways. She stated that they have been told that the riders cannot be forced to remove the feces from the roadway. She went on to say that if horses, cows, chickens or pigs were allowed in the area, all the contaminated water caused by rain would run into her back yard since there is no drainage or buffering in that area. She mentioned that she has chain link fencing on her property but others do not. She noted that the property owners’ original letter requested it be zoned agricultural and it has now been changed to R-1.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he rode out to the site and while they certainly encourage ranchettes in this County the surrounding area was not ranchettes. He commented that from a planning standpoint getting this zoned properly makes sense, but their intent to rezone is purely to get horses on the property.
Commr. Stewart stated that as a horse lover, people would probably put one or two horses on five acres and that the owners are very meticulous about keeping their pastures clean to protect the horses. She commented that even though it may be rezoned R-1 that did not necessarily mean that horses will go on the property, but they would be allowed.
Commr. Stewart stated she believed if they approved the Ordinance and a horse does go on the property it would make it easier to sell homes in that area and would not be detraction.
Commr. Renick stated that after reading their petition and the animals they were concerned about, she thought only grazing animals would be allowed because they were talking about pigs, emus and cows.
Mr. Sheahan read what constitutes non-intensive agriculture as follows: “Non-intensive agriculture would be the milking, feeding or sheltering of farm animals or growing of supplemental food supplies for domestic non-commercial use of families living on the land.”
Commr. Hill questioned if that was the purpose of going to R-1 rather than to straight agriculture. She commented that this is more or less a for a hobby pet rather than sustaining livelihood; classic agriculture would sustain a lifestyle or products in commercial, but R-1 pretty much puts them into a pet ownership category, thus the reason for R-1 zoning rather than agriculture.
Mr. Sheahan responded that was correct and that rezoning to agriculture would be inconsistent with the future land use.
Commr. Hill stated she was very familiar with this urbanized area and was aware that they were always talking about mixed use within areas. She explained that the Lake County Water Authority owns a huge preserve area so there were very rural areas that would never be developed; therefore, it is not such an uncommon mix use as one would think.
Commr. Stewart stated that even without the issue of horses, R-1 zoning was more fitting there than R-6. She remarked that even if a horse does go on it, it is compatible, attractive, and tranquil and adds to the property values.
Commr. Cadwell stated that after looking at the area he did not think it was compatible to the community.
Commr. Conner commented that he noticed that the Planning & Zoning Board voted 4-3 in favor of the Ordinance and requested staff’s recommendation.
Mr. Sheahan stated that staff recommended approval on this application.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried by a 3-2 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2009-28 to rezone 5.8 acres from Urban Residential District (R-6) to Rural Residential (R-1) due to the Owners desire to allow non-intensive agricultural uses.
Commrs. Cadwell and Conner voted “no.”
REPORTS – ms. cindy hall – county manager
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, reminded everyone that the Workshop today would be held in Training Room 233 at 1:00 p.m.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER RENICK - DISTRICT 2
Commr. Renick stated that the Green Symposium would be held June 11-12, 2009. She commented that Ms. Cynthia Barnett, award-winning author of Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., and editor of Florida Trend Magazine would be the keynote speaker at the Luncheon on June 12, 2009. She stated that if anyone desired to go to the luncheon rather than going to the entire Green Symposium it would cost $15.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CONNER – DISTRICT 3
Commr. Conner reported that he attended the Ribbon Cutting at North Lake Community Park in Umatilla last Saturday which was very enjoyable.
The Chairman called for a recess at 10:25 a.m. and stated that the Board would reconvene at 1:00 P.M. in Training Room 233 for a Workshop on the Comprehensive Plan.
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners reconvened in special workshop session on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 1:00 p.m., in Room 233, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Jimmy Conner; Elaine Renick; and Linda Stewart. Others present were: Melanie Marsh, Deputy County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Brian Sheahan, Planning Director; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, went over the schedule for the next three workshops, stating that on June 9 they would like to discuss the remainder of the Future Land Use Element, which would be Comments 36 through 89, and the Financial Feasibility Study that the consultants had been working on. She related that on June 16 they were planning on discussing Comments 90 through 214, which would be the Capital Improvements, Concurrency Management, Conservation, Economic, Housing, and Intergovernmental Coordination Elements. At the final workshop on July 7, they would be discussing Comments 215 through 284, which were Parks and Recreation, Transportation, Public Facilities (Aquifer Recharge, Potable Water, Sewer, Solid Waste, and Stormwater), and the Public School Facilities Elements, as well as an overview of the map and discuss any comments that they received.
Commr. Cadwell requested staff to illustrate three projects, such as a large distributor project, a small business, and an economic development project that was in the fast track, with a fake scenario to show how the plan would affect those types of projects at their next workshop on June 16.
Ms. King stated that if the Board was in agreement with that schedule, they would get it to the press so that the public could prepare to comment on those items on those dates. She noted that on Comment 25, there was a scrivener’s error where staff had reversed the two comments a and b, and stated that the Growth Management and Economic Development staff would like an opportunity to talk to the Cities of Mount Dora and Tavares specifically about the Old Hwy 441/Alfred Street corridor, which was a part of Comment 25, reserving comment on that specific corridor until the next workshop.
Commr. Hill, regarding Comment 1, Page 9, inquired why they would need a buffer inside a conservation easement.
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning Director, explained that their code both currently and as proposed requires wetland buffers around certain wetlands, and typically a conservation easement even currently is required on the wetlands, so it would end at the wetland jurisdictional line. He noted that this change was just requiring that the conservation easement should also be on the required buffer as well, because the protection was not only the wetland, it was the area surrounding the wetland.
Commr. Hill asked if it would be in the management plan how they would handle all those wetlands within the conservation easement.
Mr. Sheahan replied that that was correct, and they were hoping that most of those wetlands would be taken over by the St. Johns Water Management District and would be maintained through an acceptable management plan through that agency.
Commr. Renick complimented staff for realizing that the wetland buffer was environmentally sensitive as well and that the environmental sensitivity would not stop at the end of the wetlands.
list of allowed and conditional uses/future land use
Regarding Comment 4, Commr. Renick stated that they want to be more specific, so if there was a problem with the list, then they needed to go over the specifics of it. She thought it would be more helpful to group some of them into a category and call them “institutional uses,” because they might overlook something by being too specific. She suggested that they went back and looked over the list.
building height limits in future land use categories
Commr. Renick commented that she did not have a problem with removing the building height limits in the heavy industrial and probably not for other industrial, and she thought staff’s suggestion about the spires, steeples, and towers was good. She stated that on the chart on Page 22, there were limits even for heavy industrial at 40 feet, and she thought they could discuss that when they got to that section. She also stated that she did not have a problem with keeping the residential building heights, including Ferndale and Mount Plymouth.
economic development strategies
Commr. Renick stated that she did not understand why Comment 7 was in the Future Land Use Element rather than the Economic Element, and she was not happy with either the new language or the language from the LPA in this section.
Commr. Stewart commented that she believed this was a relationship between economic development and land use rather than an economic development strategy.
Commr. Cadwell asked Ms. King to come back to the Board with another suggestion regarding the language for this.
Ms. King explained that the Future Land Use Element is for the culmination of all the other chapters of the Comprehensive (Comp) Plan and is a brief representation of the Economic Element. She related that one idea was to absorb everything into the economic element, and another thought was to reference the relationship of that Economic Element to the Future Land Use Element.
Commr. Renick stated that she understood the reasons for keeping it there.
Commr. Renick stated that she believed staff’s suggestion of adding brownfield areas in Comment 8 was important to put in the language, but she was much more comfortable with the original language than with the other suggested changes. She commented that there was a danger with calling those areas infill.
future land use categories
Commr. Renick asked to go through the building height part of the chart on page 22, which was listed under Comment 13. She received agreement from the other Commissioners to take out height requirements for both light and heavy industrial and to keep in the height limits for residential. She pointed out to Mr. Sheahan on the bottom of the chart under the Green Swamp category that it had a 40 foot height limit under the Green Swamp Ridge, but did not have anything under the other Green Swamp categories.
Mr. Sheahan responded that there was no height specified, and it was not included in the policies. He thought if it was brought to the attention of the LPA, they would have specified a height.
Commr. Renick asked the LPA members present in the audience if it was supposed to be 40 feet for each category.
Mr. Rob Kelly, a member of the LPA, stated that he thought that was an oversight and that all four of the Green Swamp categories were supposed to be the same.
Mr. Sheahan also noted that under the Mount Plymouth policies listed as Mount Plymouth/Sorrento Main Street and Mt. Plymouth Neighborhood, instead of specifying a height of 40 feet, they might want to say, “See Mount Plymouth policies,” because there it was done by stories. He also mentioned that would also include reflecting that in the actual policy language as well as this table for consistency.
Commr. Renick stated that she thought there was a basic unfairness or inequity in the first policy under “Notes” on Page 23 in the scenario of a person paying a premium for high and dry land compared to the low lying lands, and in the transfer from wetlands area, they were almost guaranteeing that the person that paid less for that property would still get the same benefit as the person that paid for the more expensive land.
Ms. King clarified that the question was whether a property owner who paid less for low lying land should be granted the same entitlements as a property owner who paid a premium for high and dry land. She stated that the policy has been in the Comp Plan since 1993 that gave a transfer for their wetlands density, and the LPA recommended in favor of the policy.
Mr. Sheahan added that even though the owners could not build on the wetlands, they were entitled to the density.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Sheahan to demonstrate a scenario of that policy at the next workshop, and then they would come back and look at that.
mixed use development
Commr. Renick stated that she totally agreed with directing the higher density to urban areas, but the language and the suggestions by staff under Comment 14 concerned her, because of the potential of making areas a lot more dense than they would want them to be. She requested that they find another way to promote mixed use rather than the options listed on Page 23, perhaps using a different number for the density.
Commr. Cadwell asked staff to work on that and bring it back.
applicability of traditional neighborhood development (tnd)
Commr. Cadwell stated that he thought that increasing the threshold to 250 buildable acres under Comment 16 to implement TND design made sense, but that it would be acceptable even if they could get a consensus to increase it to 100 net buildable acres from the current threshold of 50.
Commr. Renick stated that she would not be comfortable with 250, but she would consider 100. There was consensus to go with the figure of a threshold of 100 net buildable acres.
guiding principles of traditional neighborhood development
Commr. Renick commented that on Comment 17 she did not understand when it stated that “sub-policy 1-126.96.36.199 which outlines development principles for TND has a criterion that addresses building standards and may be unlawful to require inconsistent with the Florida Building Code.” She thought that they needed to leave the policy as proposed and that it could be written more clearly. She did not understand the objection to the original text on Page 9, which states “provide for environmentally responsible development through the minimization of land disturbance in order to maintain existing topography and natural amenities, low impact development practices, and implementation of building standards such as leadership, energy, environmental design…” She pointed out that it did not state that it had to be anything particular, and except for the writing being a little awkward, she did not see anything wrong with it.
Commr. Stewart added that if they were concerned about whether it was unlawful or not, they could leave the policy as proposed and add “unless contrary to Florida Building Code.”
commercial far in urban residential land uses
Commr. Renick stated that on Comment 19, they could take out the building height if they agreed with the height restrictions listed under Comments 6 and 13, but not the other changes. She thought that if they had this information covered elsewhere, they did not need to repeat it here.
open space in urban high density residential land uses
Mr. Sheahan noted that Comment 20 was just a revision for consistency.
The Board did not have any problem with that Comment.
regional office land use
Commr. Renick stated in regard to Comment 21 that she had a problem with a change which would involve including more rooftops. She did not see how they have accomplished anything if they add those residential uses.
Commr. Cadwell commented that provision was tied to a regional office, and 15 or 20 years from now, they may not have that inventory. He thought that if someone came in with a project to build a regional office facility, it would make planning sense to have housing.
Commr. Stewart noted that it stated that it would be located in proximity to urban residential uses anyway.
Commr. Renick believed that if there was a need for it in 15 years, then they should do a Comp Plan change then, but she did not see a current need to change it. She mentioned that she did not have a problem with changing the 10 percent to 20 percent of the floor area allocated to commercial uses that support office uses, and she suggested they leave the policy as proposed except for that change.
regional commercial land use
Commr. Renick stated that as in Comment 21, she wanted to leave out the allowance of residential uses listed under Comment 22, except for a caretaker residence or something of that nature that would be appropriate. She mentioned that the change to the floor area ratio listed in Option B did not bother her, but other than that, she wanted to leave the policy the way it was proposed.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he disagreed with her about that, because he thought the changes in Comments 21 and 22 made good planning sense.
Commr. Renick stated that if they were going to allow limited residential, there needed to be strict limitations in place.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he thought there should be a way to give a comfort level so that it was not just a ploy to allow more rooftops. He directed the staff to continue to look at that language.
Commr. Renick noted that that might be something that would be appropriate if it came before them in the future if they wanted to do a Comp Plan change there.
industrial land uses
Commr. Renick stated that she did not understand why on Comment 23 they would want to take out light industrial, and she thought they needed to keep industrial broken down into heavy and light industrial.
Mr. Sheahan explained that typically future land uses were done as industrial, residential, multi-family, and commercial; and he was not aware of any future land use categories in use in Florida where they were broken down into such specificity. He stated that it was a different technique that could be used, but it really limits what could be done on that property. He stated that the designation would be typically done at the zoning level, not necessarily at the future land use level.
Commr. Stewart commented that she liked two different categories.
Commr. Cadwell thought they ought to go with staff’s recommendation on this one, and to have zoning decide what would be light and heavy industrial. He pointed out that zoning concerns could be fixed quickly, but the Comp Plan could not be fixed quickly or easily.
Ms. Nadine Foley, a member of the LPA, explained that they went through an evolutionary process, trying to locate industrial that would be good with the future residential that was already approved. She related that as they came to the mapping part of it, they were trying to achieve compatibility with neighborhoods, provide well-located opportunities for business and economic development, and honor various existing zoning. They were also trying to keep in mind many of the interfaced problems that they have had in the County, and they have tried to preclude them and put things on the map that were ready to go without having to face a Future Land Use Element plan amendment. She also pointed out that there was light industrial on the map that was buffering heavy industrial to existing neighborhoods.
Commr. Renick commented that she thought that making a change difficult would be a good thing, and they should designate those areas which were much more appropriate for light industrial.
Commr. Hill commented that she thought this was so restrictive as far as buffering and height limitation, it would not allow for another industrial park.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they would come back to Comment 23.
commercial centers and corridors
Ms. King explained that the first part of Comment 25 was regarding the scrivener’s error, and recapped that they would like to remove from discussion today the small geographic area of the Old 441/Alfred Street corridor so that they could have an opportunity to work with the Cities of Mount Dora and Tavares on a potential land use scenario that would support a CRA (Community Redevelopment District). She informed the Board that they would have that discussion in the next two weeks and come back with their recommendation on that area at the next meeting.
Commr. Cadwell stated that regarding the chart mentioning River Road in Astor to the Volusia County line on Page 33, he thought they needed to find another geographic line to draw further west, such as Lightfoot Road.
Commr. Renick commented that the sentence that was added stated: “encourage redevelopment and revitalization of existing strip style development, and appropriate infill development shall be encouraged…” was a good addition. She stated that she did not understand, however, why staff commented that “the language limiting location is confusing and likely to promote strip style development” under the Discussion part of Comment 25.
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Director of Economic Growth and Redevelopment, responded that she thought that the limits of the depth of the property would make it difficult to be able to accomplish any redevelopment of the current development, which was mainly strip commercial. She commented that planning theory tried to discourage strip commercial through redevelopment. She also noted that there were not many areas of the unincorporated corridor that this would affect.
Ms. King pointed out that on Page 18 and 19 of the Comprehensive Plan, there are linear footage limits to the north and south. She stated that another solution that they have been discussing was to keep these depths in the plan, but to write in some language that would allow the Board to review that on a site basis, and the Board would reserve the right to hear those in a public hearing to grant those on an individual basis.
Commr. Cadwell asked Ms. King to check whether there were 4,000 acres set aside for industrial, and he wanted to find out how much of that acreage would be available for new development under the proposed plan. He also asked that she find out and report to him those numbers regarding employment centers as well.
recess and reassembly
At 2:00, the Chairman announced that there would be a ten-minute recess.
CONSERVATION FUTURE LAND USE
Commr. Renick complimented staff for adding the Lake County Water Authority and the Public Lands Section to the Policy 1-1.5.1 establishing the Conservation Future Land Use in Comment 28.
Parking in the mt. Plymouth-sorrento community
Commr. Stewart stated that they wanted to keep a smaller feeling in the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento community regarding small parking areas in Comment 31. She also pointed out that the policy originally stated “shall emphasize,” which did not mean that it was required. She related that they had a landscape ordinance that they would be following in their parking areas that would generally take care of this, and she thought that staff and the LPA wanted the same thing.
Mr. Sheahan stated that when they were dealing with such a specific statement as 25 spaces or less, that level of specificity should be in the LDR’s, but this policy would be taken care of if they stated generally 25 spaces or less with an option to obtain a variance. He added that “shall emphasize” could be interpreted as requiring 25 spaces or less, and they did not want that kind of ambiguity when this was adopted.
Commr. Renick suggested that they keep the line in there and change the word “emphasize” to “encourage.”
FERNDALE COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
Commr. Renick stated that even though she appreciated what Ferndale was trying to do regarding Comment 34, she thought that they could not afford to give those residents the special treatment of individual notification. She thought that they should go with option B under that Comment, which was to delete the policy and that notice would be provided consistent with adopted notice requirements in the LDR’s.
Ms. Jean Etter, a resident of Mount Dora, mentioned that she worked for a civil engineer in Lake County and that they have had a number of commercial clients come in from different areas wanting to spend money to develop in Lake County, but the processes and costs they had to go through were prohibitive. She commented that Mr. Sheahan’s direction in the Growth Management Department has improved that situation tremendously, but the hard feelings that were created have caused those developers to continue to avoid Lake County. She expressed concern about some of the restrictions mentioned and the specificity about some of them, and she pointed out that if they were left in the way they were written, many would have to go through text amendment and there would be no variances available, which would compound the expenses and require long delays to go through a text amendment process twice a year with DCA. She suggested that they leave the building height in the LDR for all categories, because some might come in with a site plan that was slightly over 40 feet just because of the architectural design, and they would be limiting them without being able to work out a change with the County. She had concerns about building heights in general as being too restrictive under the Comp Plan Amendment. She also requested taking out the section regarding parking in Mount Plymouth, because it would not invite walkability, and one of the main things they wanted out there was a walkable community.
Commr. Renick responded that regarding building heights, the Board agreed on taking those out for commercial and industrial, and clarified that Ms. Etter was referring to any category that referred to a commercial or industrial entity.
Ms. Leslie Campione, an attorney in Lake County, urged the Board regarding Comment 21 and 22 to consider language that would allow the multifamily residential development to go into those particular categories. She commented that the language was very good there, but what was being proposed would require that residential would go in after or simultaneously with the construction of the office or commercial uses and being strictly tied to what is being developed there for offices or commercial purposes. She pointed out that it took 6 to 18 months to go through the process of amending the Comp Plan, which would cause Lake County to lose those businesses to other counties or jurisdictions.
Mr. Sean Parks, a resident of Montverde, stated that he supported the staff recommendation regarding Comment 23, and he thought that it would be better for an industrial-type business to go through a very tightly-defined zoning process instead of spending up to 18 months to get a Comprehensive Land Use change. He thought that the restrictions would scare businesses away from bringing that type of business to the County.
Mr. Bob Curry, a resident of Seminole Springs, stated that he was in favor of the definition of the two categories of light and heavy industrial, and he mentioned that he presented the research to the LPA on what was happening throughout the country. He stated that it becomes the tool by which a lot of jurisdictions around the country divide what they need to sequester from that which they do not. He was concerned that there would be no justification for those rules in the Comp Plan, and he noted that light was an allowable use in many commercial areas. He was concerned that the County would not have the tools it needed to control the placement of heavy industry.
Ms. Nadine Foley, a member of the LPA, pointed out that this was a Comprehensive Plan for unincorporated Lake County, not for the cities, which was why there were less densities and intensities. She stated that they were locating the addition of residential and regional office and commercial in keeping with the vision of having Lake County still retain a good portion of it in less crowded conditions. She felt that they needed to place a lot of the density in cities rather than the unincorporated areas of the County. She also mentioned that they did try to add a good amount of industrial opportunities for the County and other economic development opportunities.
Mr. Bill Ray stated that concerning the industrial land uses, he suggested that there be only one industrial land use and that they address the specificity of the individual site plans through the zoning CUP process, where they could address locational criteria. He remarked that if the County was trying to get employment bases and job creation opportunities to Lake County, they needed to look at something that was consistent and reliable that future employers could look at. He pointed out that heavy industrial was not necessarily an obnoxious use and that it could be clean and light manufacturing. He also pointed out that if hometown democracy passes, employers would go to other counties rather than risk millions of dollars in capital and not be able to get a land use approval within 180 days.
Ms. Cindy Barrow, a member of the School Board and the LPA, stated that it was a primary goal of the LPA to add in industrial categories all over Lake County so as to encourage economic development. She related that when they went through the Future Land Use Map, they looked at areas where industry could be supported, and they tried to keep heavy industry away from residential areas. She stated that she was definitely in favor of the two different categories, and she believed that the locations of the light and heavy industry on the Future Land Use Map made sense. She also noted that they have added so much more commercial and industrial uses to that map than what existed before.
Mr. John Pospisil stated that because of the complexity of the plan, they should both retain as much flexibility as possible in the plan itself and defer as much specificity as possible to the LDR’s. His concern was that they have a number of very worthy provisions that were in and of themselves good and noncontroversial that could have the cumulative effect of becoming problematic. He stated that Comment 1 requiring that all those buffers be placed into the conservation easement combined with the requirement that conservation easements be common open areas could result in some configuration problems, and he asked that they at least put in an escape valve that says to the extent feasible. On Comment 15 regarding agricultural and equestrian uses in all land use categories, he thought that the LPA was aware of the fact that this might create some complications, which was why they stated it as “may” rather than “shall.” He stated that combined with some of the buffering issues, it could create a variety of problems when they got into the higher density urban areas and typically much smaller parcels, and he asked that they keep the word “may.”
Mr. Rob Kelly, a member of the LPA, stated that he thought DCA was asking for tables to help clarify things and make it easier to read; however, he wanted to make sure that the text in the Comp Plan would take precedence over the tables if there was any conflict. He stated that they discussed Comment 14 in length, but they did not believe that incentives were needed for commercial, which was usually more attractive. He pointed out that if they increased the amount of commercial and residential to 200 percent in every urban category, they would basically be doubling the potential for both of those. He stated that 200 percent did not make sense to the LPA, and they thought it made a lot more sense to keep it at 100 percent. On Comment 16, he noted that the TND type of design criteria would be used on any development over 50 acres, and then the full-blown TND requirements would be mandatory for those that were over 200 acres. On Comment 19 regarding commercial in the urban land use categories, he was concerned that some of those recommendations were to double and triple the amount of commercial that was allowed in the urban land use categories. He noted that they had gone through long discussions of scale, quantity, and what would fit mixed in with residential areas, and he recommended keeping those the way they were. Regarding Comments 21 and 22 about residential with regional office and regional commercial, he stated that they placed those in areas that were surrounded by many thousands of existing residential, and many of those areas were urban categories that could have multi-family as well as single-family homes. They did not think it was appropriate to create some new categories with residential that could potentially be placed out in rural areas, and it forces the regional uses and the regional commercial uses to be placed where their residential currently was. He recommended keeping those the way they were without residential in them. On Comment 23, he pointed out that they probably would not have placed a tremendous amount of industrial on the map if it was one category, because they went through every parcel in the county and decided which areas would be appropriate for light or heavy industrial. He noted that they have already done the locational criteria, and he recommended keeping those categories separate. He related that they talked in depth about commercial corridors referred to in Comment 25, and they designed it to have both a minor and a major corridor, with the size difference of about 2 ½ times scalewise. They looked at existing corridors that were developed and separated those by the depth and by the floor area ratios. He was concerned that if they were removed, all the corridors would become major and recommended keeping those numbers in there. He stated that the 25 spaces that they indicated regarding the parking in Plymouth-Sorrento was a maximum, which could be more restricted in the LDR’s. He commented that they designed the Comp Plan to get what the majority of the people in Lake County wanted, and he believed that a lot of good quality companies would fit into that. He did not think fundamentally it should be about providing flexibility or that there should be concern that it would be too hard and take too long to change, and he thought they needed specificity in the plan.
Mr. Keith Schue, a member of the LPA, stated that the idea of the Economic Development Strategies referred to in Comment 7 was to talk about the relationship between the Future Land Use Element and economic development. He thought that a lot of the scratched out elements in that Comment were pertinent and valid to retain, such as locating employment opportunities and employment-based Future Land Use Categories near existing and planned residential areas. He believed that all of these points related in many ways to future land use, infrastructure, and things that related to future land use, and he suggested that it made sense to include them there. He believed, however, that staff accurately pointed out that the first one needed correction where it related to an economic development strategic envision plan within 12 months. He recommended that they make sure there was consistency between the table and the text. He stated that changing the maximum floor area ratio in regional office of 1.0 with a maximum of 3.0 to a minimum floor area ratio of 1.0 would be a little too restrictive and that he would not put a minimum floor area ratio of regional office in there. Regarding parking in Mount Plymouth/Sorrento, he mentioned that the language that emphasized 25 spaces or less actually was in the original policy, and this was not a mandate. He believed that if there was nothing about that issue, they were inviting the type of standard big box commercial sea of parking of retail establishments, which was not the vision.
future workshop dates
Commr. Cadwell announced that the next meeting would be June 9, which would cover Comments 36 through 89 as well as the financial feasibility regarding the Judicial Center expansion.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
welton g. cadwell, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK