A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF
OCTOBER 27, 2009
The Lake County Board of
sales surtax oversight advisory committee
The Sales Surtax Oversight Advisory meeting was called to order at 8:35 a.m. Mr. Keith Mullins, Chairman, gave the report and noted that the tax was budgeted and spent properly. The next meeting for this committee would be on March 15, 2010, at 9:00 a.m.
recess and reassembly
At 8:40 a.m. a recess was called until 9:00 a.m.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Pastor John Barham from the First United Methodist Church of Tavares gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, Interim County Manager, stated that he wanted to give an update on the State of the County under his business.
Commr. Cadwell wanted to put under his business a
discussion on an upcoming
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr.
Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the
Request to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the FY 2008-09 CDBG-R Partnership Agreement between the County and Easter Seals Florida, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $35,000, granting Easter Seals Florida, Inc. CDBG-R funds to replace sewer lines at Camp Challenge, and to direct the Growth Management Department to execute the agreement and oversee completion of the project covered in the Scope of Services. Commission District 4.
to approve the 2009/10 CDBG Interlocal Agreement with the Town of
Request for approval to award RFP 09-0827 for Impact Fee Studies and Review Updates to James Duncan and Associates, Inc. and approve budget transfer to appropriate funds.
VACATION PETITION NO. 1116 – kevin henderson-img enterprises
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, explained
that Vacation Petition No. 1116 was by Kevin Henderson of IMG Enterprises
(Cherry Lake Tree Farm) for a resolution vacating a portion of a fire road,
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 4, Vacation Petition No. 1116, Kevin Henderson-IMG Enterprises (Cherry Lake Tree Farm) and Resolution No. 2009-155 to vacate and cease maintenance on a portion of Cherry Lake Groves Road (#1923) located in Section 5, Township 22, Range 25 in the Groveland area.
Commr. Cadwell reported that he has received a letter from the applicant requesting to withdraw Rezoning Case No. MSP#09/7/2-5, Tab 5. He opened the public hearing regarding the withdrawal.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
CONSENT REZONING AGENDA
Commr. Renick stated that she wanted to pull Tab 2 of the Rezoning Consent Agenda.
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the Consent Agenda.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tabs 1 and 4 on the Rezoning Consent Agenda, as follows:
Tab 1 – Ordinance No. 2009-55
Benjamin F. Perry III/Hugh Davis, P.A.
Rezoning Case No. PH#13-09-1
Request approval to rezone a 2.3-acre parcel from Agriculture (A) to Rural Residential (R-1) to be consistent with the surrounding land uses, as well as the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations. The property is currently nonconforming to minimum acreage required for agricultural zoned properties.
Tab 4 – Ordinance No. 2009-57
Fla. Twin Markets, Inc./Edward Renninger
American Tower/Jeff Pilgrim
Resoning Case No. CUP#09/10/1-4
Request for approval to amend Conditional Use Permit (CUP#98/11/1-4) in the Agriculture (A) and Planned Commercial (CP) Zoning District to permit the expansion of the lease parcel for an existing 180-foot Monopole Telecommunication Tower.
Commr. Renick commented that she did not have a comfort level regarding the day care center that was included in the request on Tab 2, Rezoning Case No. PH#14-09-3, especially regarding the transportation and traffic impacts for as many as 100 children.
Mr. James Senatore, the architect, stated that they had enough classrooms that were used for Sunday school that they would like the opportunity to have as part of the conditional use for daycare in the future. He explained that there were some large subdivisions that have been platted in the area, and he commented that most people dropped children off on the path that they would normally travel. He also mentioned that they wanted to have recreational facilities there geared toward youth activities, such as a ball field.
Commr Renick asked Mr. Stivender if they have adequately addressed the potential traffic impacts of this project.
Mr. Stivender answered that it was tied to the site plan, and they did not see anything out of the ordinary that they could not address in the site plan review.
Commr. Cadwell commented that if this daycare was closer for the parents to travel, it would result in less total miles traveled on the road.
Commr. Renick asked if they could limit the size of the day care.
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Director of Planning and Community Design, answered that they had previous precedent for the size of the day care.
Commr. Hill commented that the need was so great in that area for daycare, and she believed this was a wonderful idea. She did not have any of those traffic concerns, since it was located on Highway 19, which was a major highway, and not in a residential area.
Commr. Renick stated that she would defer to the district Commissioner on this issue, who was Commr. Conner, since she was not familiar with this particular site.
Mr. Senatore added that they have already been advised that the applicant would have to put in turn lanes for going in and out of the site to help with the traffic.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Rezoning Tab 2 and Ordinance No. 2009-56, Howey-in-the-Hills Community Church, Inc., James Senatore, Architect, Rezoning Case No. PH#14-09-3, the request for approval to rezone the subject property from Agriculture (A) to Community Facility District (CFD) to allow a religious place of worship, pastoral retreat, day care center, and a ball field, with the condition that exterior lighting shall be directed away from the adjacent properties and shall not project beyond the property line and taking out the condition in the Ordinance that illuminated nighttime athletic field activity is prohibited.
REGULAR REZONING AGENDA
REZONING CASE NO. ph07-09-2 – kam investments/leslie campione
Mr. Rick Hartenstein, Senior Planner, related that this was Rezoning Case No. PH07-09-2, the Applicant was Leslie Campione, and the owner was KAM Investments LLC. He stated that the property was located south of Groveland on the west side of SR 33 just north of the intersection with CR 565B, and the Applicant was requesting to rezone a 4.5-acre parcel from Agriculture (A) Zoning District to the Community Facility District (CFD) Zoning District to permit a utility/landscape contractor maintenance and storage facility, which is located in the Transitional Future Land Use Category (FLUC) within the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern. He explained that this request is related to a Code Enforcement Action, which was a Special Master’s proceeding that gave the owner 30 days to apply for the proper zoning or a CUP on the property. The order further stipulated that if the rezoning or CUP was denied or withdrawn, the owner had 30 days to cease the operation of the business from the property, but could continue the previous agricultural uses of the property. He showed on an overhead map the location of the property and the surrounding area. He pointed out that most of the area was zoned Agriculture and showed where there was some Commercial zoning.
Mr. Hartenstein reported that staff evaluated this request and determined that the proposed use did not meet the criteria to be recognized as CFD, since it was not a public or private utility, community use, nor did it provide substantial community interest uses or activities as required by Section 3 of the Land Development Regulations (LDR). He commented that the most similar use for the activity on the property would be a commercial operation such as a general contractor or a utility contractor with a commercial truck yard for the storage of the business’ equipment. The application was evaluated for the potential of a rezoning to commercial rather than CFD, but failed to meet commercial location criteria established in the Comp Plan for a C-1 type use. He related that based on the inconsistencies with the Comp Plan and LDR’s, staff was recommending denial of this application. He mentioned that on October 7, 2009, the Zoning Board recommended with a vote of 6-1 for approval of the CFD zoning, with additions to the proposed ordinance adding a sentence at the end of the first paragraph of Section 1.A stating, “It is to be used solely for contract work with public utilities, as verified on an annual basis by the County,” as well as a sentence under No. 4 in Section 1.C stating, “Best Management Practices acceptable to the County shall be adhered to and demonstrated on any submitted site plan.” He noted that this language has been incorporated in the proposed ordinance, but that this still did not change the staff recommendation. He informed the Board that they have received three different letters of opposition after the packages were presented to the Board, in addition to the nine letters in the package that were in favor of this request. They also received on October 23 an updated conceptual plan that would be incorporated as Exhibit B if the ordinance was approved.
Commr. Cadwell asked whether SECO (Sumter Electric Cooperative) or Progress Energy would come under Public Facility District if they were building some type of facility in this area.
Mr. Hartenstein answered that if it was owned by SECO as a utility and it was their maintenance type facility, it would go through the rezoning, and most likely staff would support a request for a CFD for a utility, because that is part of what is described as uses for a CFD.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out the common sense of the situation, since the business this company does was the same as if a utility was doing it, and if it was bought by a utility, it would be allowed.
Mr. Hartenstein specified that the company’s only customers were SECO, Progress Energy, and Lake Apopka Gas. He pointed out, however, that although they provide services to public utilities, they were still a commercial business and had the option to provide services to anybody.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Leslie Campione, attorney on behalf of the owner, opined that this business fits here and that the Board should not shut it down, which would force them to move somewhere else and result in employees of the business losing their jobs. She pointed out that this case did come down to common sense and explained that KAM Investments provides maintenance, infrastructure repair, and infrastructure construction for public utilities only. She emphasized that they did not have private customers. She pointed out that those utilities could have in-house employees that do exactly what KAM does, but it was financial beneficial to those utilities and consequently to all of their customers to contract with KAM rather than have employees on staff full time that provided those services, which keeps rates down for customers. She stated that they were asking to be put under the category of a utility, and she read the definition of a utility under the LDR’s stating, “This group of activities includes those uses which provide essential or important public services and utilities. Uses include the following, and substantially similar activities based upon similarity of characteristics: utility facilities such as water plants, wastewater treatment plants, power plants, electricity substations; maintenance facilities and storage yards…” She explained that those were the entities that they provide services to, and they had a maintenance facility that contained trucks and materials. She related that they worked from this site and that they were proposing on the site plan to build a separate administrative office with a training room that would be used for OSHA purposes and to use the existing building, which was originally built as an Agricultural building, for storing materials and vehicles. She also emphasized that they could provide indoor storage for materials, and the office space would be the only building that would actually be occupied. She mentioned that they were outside the setbacks from the wetlands, and the signage could be removed if that was an issue with the County.
Ms. Campione noted that there was nothing about this
request that did not fit in the CFD, and the transitional land use in the
Commr. Conner asked if the building that was used as a barn when it was originally built would have been a permissible building if it had not been zoned Agriculture.
Ms. Campione answered that it would not have been permissible from a permitting standpoint, because the permitting structure was different for an Agriculture Property than a non-Agriculture property. However, she noted that they would not be using that building for anything but storage. She emphasized that the intention when the building was originally built was for agricultural purposes and was not a scheme to get around pulling the appropriate permits.
Commr. Renick asked to take a short break to read the three letters of opposition.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman stated that they would take a ten minute recess at 9:50 a.m.
rezoning case no. ph07-09-2 (cont’d)
Mr. Michael Bucher, Vice Chairman of the South Lake
Chamber of Commerce, stated that they had submitted a letter of recommendation
to approve the zoning to CFD. He commented
that KAM Services was a leading small business in
Mr. Jim Nussbaumer, who currently owns the property which borders the property to the south of the KAM property and who formally owned the subject parcel, stated that he constructed the building on the property to house farm equipment such as tractors, and at the time he raised cattle and cut hay. He stated that prior to his purchasing it, that property was a frozen-out orange grove, and the shape and size of the property, as well as the fact that it borders a major highway, makes it unsuitable for other uses such as for growing produce or raising cattle. He mentioned that a SECO substation was across the street, and an entire lot by the corner was owned by SECO for future use. He related how much KAM Investments had grown in the last five years, from a small landscaping business with one lawn mower and a contract to mow grass and do restoration of yards that were damaged by utility trucks for Progress Energy to what they were now, through hard work. He noted that the building on the property was a pre-manufactured steel building that met the 200 mile per hour wind codes, which sat on an engineered thick concrete slab and was built to be safe. He emphasized that the current owners kept the property immaculate and attractive, did not have a lot of things piled up outside, and did not do anything to harshly impact the dirt. He pointed out that the business fit all the zoning requirements, except that the property was not owned by the utility.
Mr. Mark Myer, owner of KAM Services, stated that his background was with utilities, and he had worked in the utility industry doing installations after being in the Marine Corps. He commented that he thought he had done his due diligence when he moved into that property by getting an occupational license from the County. He noted that his business has grown, but emphasized that he worked strictly for utility companies and had no desire to work in the private sector. He related that on a typical day, there may be four trucks that roll out of that location in the morning and come back about 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and the bulk of their employees take the trucks home instead of parking them on the property and report directly to job sites, picking up people along the way. He commented that the equipment that was there was minimal, and both they and their customers were sensitive to any environmental impact.
Commr. Conner asked Mr. Myer if he thought the use he was using the property for was allowed in an Agriculture zoned property.
Mr. Myer responded that he believed it was allowed, based on information he received while obtaining his occupational license. However, he noted that his business has obviously grown since then, and since that time they have become licensed general contractors as well as electrical contractors.
Commr. Conner clarified that Mr. Myer’s business has changed since he originally purchased that property from the landscape business to an expanded type of business, which has made this a nonconforming use.
Mr. Myer responded that his business has done concrete jobs for foundation substation work, mowed grass, installed gas lines, and built substations from the ground up.
Ms. Campione pointed out that they still would have needed a zoning change even if they still only did landscaping.
Commr. Renick asked the County Attorney to address the whole occupational license or occupational tax issue in the future.
Ms. Campione emphasized that this hearing was to ask for zoning that did fit exactly into a CFD, and she added that the owners did not do this in bad faith.
Commr. Conner asked Mr. Myer what the ramifications to his business would be if the Board did not approve his request for rezoning.
Mr. Myer answered that he would have to relocate, which would be a cost to him, and he had been looking for the last year for a suitable location. He stated that he would move his business if he had to, but it would affect his employees.
Commr. Cadwell inquired whether Mr. Myer’s business would have an opportunity in the future to do business with anyone other than a public utility.
Mr. Myer noted that he had looked at that realm in the past, but it was not what he wanted to do, and he felt he had a niche market with public utilities. He mentioned that he did intend to expand his business to other utilities when he had the opportunity to do so.
Commr. Cadwell inquired whether Mr. Myer would have any problem with the language that the Zoning Board recommended stating that it was to be used solely for contract work with public utilities, as verified on an annual basis by the County.
Mr. Myer stated that he had no problem at all with that stipulation.
Commr. Stewart suggested that they look into developing a CUP to allow him to store his trucks there that were agricultural in nature, but have Ms. Dottie Keedy, Director of Economic Growth and Redevelopment, help him find another nearby location with appropriate zoning for the commercial part of the business, and she asked how that would affect his employees.
Mr. Myer stated that it would be an inconvenience, would be hard to run a business that way, and would add additional cost, but he had run his business that way for a while in the past. However, he commented that that would be a better situation that relocating completely.
Ms. Campione noted that DCA commented on an operation of a landscape maintenance business to the general public, but they did not have all the facts about the type of services being provided.
The Chairman asked anyone who was in opposition to this request to speak at this time.
Mr. Ken LaRoe, a resident of Eustis, commented that he encouraged small business activity, but he felt that this was a contrived definition of a community facilities district. He stated that this was a subcontractor to a community facility operator. He suggested that they look at the legislative intent when the law was passed, and he noted that this was in the Green Swamp Area of Critical Concern. He opined that the owner should have done more due diligence when they bought the property.
Ms. Terry Godts, a resident of Groveland and owner of a tree farm to the north of the subject property, stated that she firmly believed that this community needed a more diverse business community, but she felt that this business was not in the right place. She mentioned that she saw the lot and a natural pond on the property being filled, and she felt that the zoning restrictions should be stronger in the Green Swamp area. She commented that allowing exceptions to the restrictions makes their planning efforts meaningless and puts their natural resources in jeopardy. She mentioned that she was surprised about the lack of due diligence on the part of the owners. She stated that there were a lot of things stored outside at this business, and it did not fit with the character of the area. She asked the Board to deny this application for an inappropriate rezoning, to protect the Green Swamp area and their water resources, and to require this business to find an appropriate location.
Mr. Rob Kelly, who resides about 2500 feet from the subject parcel, illustrated on a map that there was nothing around the property except agricultural uses, and he felt that this would begin a strip commercial area there. He mentioned that most days there were 20 trucks going in and out of the property, including large pick up trucks and large equipment that was hauled. He commented that even though this company was great for the community, he believed the County should have standards and not let anyone be located in places that were inappropriate. He stated that the size of the building was too large for commercial, and the owners wanted to build another building in the future. He commented that the request was inconsistent with Lake County’s Comprehensive Plan and the LDR’s. He pointed out that the County has worked with the property owners for a year to find another site, but they have chosen not to find another site yet, and there were a lot of buildings for sale three miles away in Groveland outside the Green Swamp area. He opined that it would be problematic for the County to grant the request with the condition that they only do work for utilities and was not enforceable. He was also concerned that the owners could sell the property with CFD zoning to someone else who would use it for a different type of business in the future. He opined that if this request were approved, it would set a dangerous precedent for many other businesses to move into agricultural barns.
Mr. Scott Ales, a resident of Eustis, commended the owner of KAM Services for the way he created and grew his business in a challenging economic time, but he noted that they did so well at servicing their customers, that their customers had asked them to go beyond their original scope of business. He added that now that they were doing something completely different, it unfortunately did not comply with their current location, and the ability to move to an appropriate facility would be a very small cost of a successful business. He stated that although he appreciated that the business was a well-functioning business which was paying taxes in the County, the critical issue for him was fairness to every other landowner or business owner that has had restrictions put on them in accordance with their due diligence when they bought the property. He respectfully asked the Board to deny this request.
The Chairman asked if anyone would like to speak in favor of this request.
Mr. Chris Smith, owner of Smithwell, Inc., stated that his company did a lot of landscape, maintenance, and irrigation services for the community, and he commented that Mr. Myer has thrown his company hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work in the residential and commercial realm since that was not the work Mr. Myer did. He pointed out that Mr. Myer has allowed his company to prosper and succeed throughout these miserable economic times and that he made a big impact on the community. He pointed out that even though land is less expensive than a few years ago, it still would not be cheap for Mr. Myer to buy property and move his business, which would entail restructuring his whole business and shutting down an operation, and it would not be a simple thing to do. He disputed the statements given earlier about trucks entering and leaving the property, and stated that he rarely sees any trucks driving on or off that location. He commented on how well KAM Services keeps their building maintained, clean, organized, mowed, and trimmed. He commented that a tree farm, which uses a lot of water and fertilizer, has a lot more of an environmental impact than KAM Services. He concluded that it would be very upsetting and an act of bad faith to force them to leave this location.
Mr. Chris Seefeldt, the owner of the Red Wing Restaurant, pointed out that the location of this property was on busy State Road 33, and he did not consider this a residential area. He commented that the owners did great things for the community, and they supported his restaurant tremendously, which was the only non-franchise restaurant left in the area. He pleaded with the Board to let them stay at their location.
Ms. Campione emphasized that they were not asking for an exception to the rules, but a determination that this was an appropriate use at this location. She noted that this was on a county arterial across from a substation. She stated that they were able to provide a site plan and physical conditions on the property that were very consistent with the surrounding land commercial uses. She pointed out that the ordinance was written in such a way that was limited to this use and that it would not be transferrable to another CFD use. She related that the Comprehensive Plan allows CFD’s in the Green Swamp and transitional land use, and Policy 1-5.6, which refers to the location of community type facilities, states that they were allowed in the less intensive land use categories if they provide a regional service or if they have uses that are incompatible with urban services or uses. She also referenced the County’s Policy 1-12.1, Consideration of Community Facilities, stating that it shall be designed to blend in with the existing imposed land use at the scale of density and intensity of the immediate surrounding area. She commented that it was a well kept site, looked very much like an agricultural type use, and fit in with the surrounding area. She pointed out that the Board has the discretion to determine what would and would not fit. She asked the Board to approve this zoning request.
There being no one else who wanted to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Hill stated that this was their opportunity to send a positive message to the business community that they do support business, and they want to try to work with them to make sure that they could do business in this community. She added that this might be a good time to address agriculture uses, because she believed the agriculture community was expanding to include a lot of new noninvasive agricultural uses. She asked whether this was an appropriate use in this location. She also inquired whether the Board needed to amend the LDR’s, or if the best use would be a CUP or agriculture use.
Commr. Renick commented that they were happy that the business was so successful, but it was their success that put them over the line, since there were offices on the property. She also opined that the sign and the heavier business changed the character of it. She stated that the real issue was the zoning, and she stated that she was uncomfortable with putting conditions on a zoning.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that they have put conditions on zoning in the past, and that was one of the advantages of having a CFD. He asked Mr. Sheahan what they would have to do to still be able to utilize that property for at least part of their business without any violation.
Mr. Sheahan responded that it would take an amendment to the definition of “truck yard” to allow the storage of equipment for non-agricultural purposes.
Commr. Hill asked if they approved the zoning, whether the next step for the Applicant would be going to DCA (Department of Community Affairs).
Mr. Sheahan answered that they were required under the Memorandum of Understanding to render all development orders, including rezonings, to the DCA within ten days, and then DCA would have 30 days to render an opinion as to whether or not they would appeal the application. He noted that DCA was concerned about this and thought it would take a code amendment to approve, even though they were aware that the company only did work for public utilities.
Commr. Conner did not think it should matter who owns the property if the use was allowable.
Commr. Stewart congratulated the business for being a fabulous company and having amazing success, but commented that they have outgrown their location because of that success. She stated that they had rules in place that they had to follow in their Comprehensive Plan and their LDR’s. She also expressed concern for the precedent it would set.
Commr. Renick opined that it was safer to do this as a CFD rather than as a conditional use.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he felt comfortable with adding the language that the Planning and Zoning Board recommended and to let the business take their chances with DCA. He asked, whether the applicant would only have 30 days to find another location if they voted against this request.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, responded that they could take the settlement agreement back to the special master asking to give them a certain period of time to either relocate or do whatever the Board desired, since it was a code enforcement case.
Commr. Cadwell stated that if they were not going to approve this, he wanted to give them as much time and help as they could through Ms. Keedy’s office.
Commr. Conner commented that this was a unique situation, and he suggested that they try to find a way to let the business stay there 6 months to a year to give them a window to relocate.
Ms. Marsh noted that the code enforcement order of enforcement was issued in October of 2008, which gave them 30 days to apply for the proper zoning.
Mr. Sheahan clarified that there were multiple circumstances, but the application initially came in as a rezoning to commercial, and there were Comp Plan issues regarding the size of the building. He also stated that there were discussions with DCA and staff, and the applicant came back three months ago for this request for a CFD, at which time there was extensive discussion regarding compliance with the Comp Plan and modifying definitions in the LDR’s. He informed the Board that they had a multiple course of action, including making a decision on the ordinance, directing staff to approach the special master to extend the deadline, and pursuing a code amendment for this type of business.
Commr. Renick pointed out that if the Board voted against the petition, they would not have control over the special master’s decision. She suggested that the Board postpone this to get that worked out.
Ms. Marsh stated that the Board could move to postpone this until next month pending a resolution with the special master.
Commr. Renick commented that she did not have a lot of problem with this business, and if they were willing to stay within the current parameters as defined in the language recommended by the Planning and Zoning Board, she would think of approving this. She wanted to limit it to the utilities with which they currently did business.
Commr. Stewart commented that she could not vote against the rules, Comp Plan, and LDR’s that they had in place, and she agreed with staff’s interpretation. She stated that she wanted to do everything she could to help this company relocate to a location close to them where they were completely in compliance.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the Zoning Board recommendation for approval of Rezoning Case No. PH07-09-2, KAM Investments, LLC/Leslie Campione, P.A., request for approval to rezone a 4.5 acre parcel from Agriculture (A) to Community Facility District (CFD) to permit a maintenance and storage facility for a utility/landscape contractor to allow the owner to proceed with obtaining the necessary permits to correct code violations on the property, with the conceptual plan attached to the ordinance allowing the existing building only and limiting the business to contract work with the current public utilities, as verified on an annual basis by the County.
Commr. Conner and Commr. Stewart voted “no.”
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 11:50 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.
REPORTS – COunty manager
letter to legislative delegation regarding ada voting system
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, Interim County Manager, explained that Tab 5 was a request to have the Chairman write a letter to the Legislative Delegation asking that the legislature extend the time to replace the ADA voting system. He noted that they were still using the touch-screen system with head phones for ADA voting, and the legislature has passed a statute that would require replacement by 2012. He related that the Supervisor of Elections did not think that there was adequate alternative equipment available to purchase at this point, and the $35 million expense statewide would not make sense, specifically the expense they would have in Lake County. He stated that the Florida Association of Counties was asking that Lake County request an extension to 2016 for that requirement.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that he did not think there was going to be any assistance from the state in the near future to help fund that.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that it would be a County expenditure at this point.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 5, the request from the County Manager for approval of a letter from the Chairman to the Legislative Delegation requesting that the 2012 deadline be extended to 2016 regarding the ADA voting system.
refreshments for state of the county
Mr. Minkoff stated that they debated the issue of having refreshments for the State of the County next month served that morning using money left over from donations made a couple of years ago. He related that he spoke to Commr. Cadwell, who agreed with his recommendation to donate that money to area food banks rather than use it for refreshments, and he indicted that they would proceed with that if there were no objections from the Board.
Commr. Cadwell also added that on the invitations they have asked people that come that day to bring food with them.
The Board gave consensus for giving that money to area food banks.
Mr. Minkoff reported that at the workshop in November, one of the items discussed would be an update given by the architects of the Judicial Center project. He related that at the stakeholders meeting on Friday, he asked them to look at how people enter the building and whether the entrance could be moved closer to where people park, so hopefully they would present information regarding that as well.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CONNER – DISTRICT 3
condolences to family of scott strong
Commr. Conner expressed his condolences to the family of Scott Strong, and commented that he would be sorely missed in this community. He mentioned that the funeral would be Wednesday, October 28 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Leesburg.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STEWART – DISTRICT 4
ucf leesburg business incubator
Commr. Stewart stated that she visited the UCF Leesburg Business Incubator, which was affiliated with the UCF Business Incubation Program and Small Business Development Center. She explained that the program guided up and coming businesses which needed a little help and taught them business skills that helped them succeed as they established their business. She specified that there was office space for them, and they currently had five businesses in there, with room for three more. She read from an e-mail which stated that this program “empowers client companies to work smarter, faster, and more cost effectively, which has been shown to lead to more profitable businesses with staying power” and added that most businesses that go through this incubator have a success rate of five years or more, which was a huge improvement over businesses that did not go through this program. She also pointed out that for every dollar invested in business incubator programs like the UCF program, the County could conservatively expect a return of $5.25 to the tax revenue base. She added that businesses of all sizes or people who want to start small businesses have access to Certified Business Analysts who were available to help them at no cost, as well as technical assistance, seminars and workshops. She opined that it was a wonderful facility and recommended that people visit it.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CADWELL – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 5
november 12 meeting in sorrento
Commr. Cadwell stated that he had a conflict on November 12, and he asked Commr. Hill to fill in for him at a meeting in Sorrento regarding incorporation of cities, since she had been on the League of Cities before. He also asked the County Attorney to attend the meeting to discuss the logistics of how to go about that under statute.
Commr. Hill stated that she would not mind attending that with the County Attorney staff.
economic development committee presentation
Ms. Shelly Weidenhamer, from the Economic Development Commission (EDC), reported that they have transmitted the recommendations of the Infrastructure Committee, but they did not have the knowledge or expertise to be able to comment on that and look forward to coming back to the Board again at some point in the future. She related that the Economic Advisory Council was created by Metro Orlando EDC to help implement some of the broad based recommendations of the Economic Development Strategic Plan, and their goal was to provide support assistance to County staff in order to implement those broad based goals that require partnership. She stated that this committee includes 14 individuals and community leaders, but they also have forwarding committees that also were made up of another 80 community leaders. She specified that the working committees were the Industry Cluster Committee, Infrastructure Committee, Marketing Committee, and the Workforce Development Committee. She further explained that the Industry Cluster Committee was broken into three round tables based on the recommendations in the Strategic Plan, which were Agritech, Health and Wellness, and Clean Technology. One of the accomplishments of the Agritech Committee was that they have created a partnership around the BioFlorida concept with BioOrlando, and they are exhibiting at the upcoming bio-Florida conference. Also, the Health and Wellness Committee developed a partnership with a company called Visions at Work to partner with the EDC and Lake-Sumter Community College to provide training for electronics health records retention. The Marketing Communications Committee has helped them develop collateral material around their targeted industries and created a power point presentation called “I’m Proud of Lake” which has been given to the League of Cities and was available for any speaking engagements throughout the County. She stated that the Infrastructure Committee has reviewed the economic elements of the proposed Comp Plan and brought those recommendations forward to the Advisory Council on October 1, which brought them to the Metro-Orlando EDC at their executive meeting on October 21, where they were approved.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they would forward this on to staff and set up a time that was convenient for the EDC to be there.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that the Board would like for staff to review and to give the Board the same kind of comments and format they did with other things that were brought in.
Commr. Stewart thanked Ms. Weidenhamer for the successes that they have had regarding economic development and commented that there was so much going on that people in the county did not know about and that they were doing an excellent job.
future land use map overview
Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, stated that they would be bringing the Future Land Use Map forward, giving the Board a brief overview of the Future Land Use categories that have been recommended by the Local Planning Agency (LPA), and pointing out by district the major changes between the proposed and the adopted map.
Mr. Sheahan pointed out on an overhead map that the forest basically remained the same. He noted that they extended Astor Park’s corridor, which was currently urban expansion, but was designated as a rural intersection. He pointed out on the map areas that have been acquired by public agencies, such as state agencies, the Water Management District and Lake County. He explained that the Mount Plymouth area boundary was essentially unchanged with only a couple of changes, including a Main Street District which focuses development in the commercial or downtown corridor and neighborhood activity centers. He stated that the densities remained essentially unchanged except for the neighborhood proper, which was going from the potential of 5 ½ currently to two units per acre. He commented that one of the highlights of this map was regional office, which was a little more than a square mile, for employment center activities that would encourage some economic development. He explained that the red corridors on the map were called major commercial corridors, a recognition of the existing development and development pattern that has taken place along the U.S. Hwy 441, SR 19, SR 50 and SR 27 corridors, with no limitations put on it except for the underlying density and intensity. He mentioned that the Altoona area was in transition with very small business owners.
Commr. Cadwell asked if they could look at gateway communities zoning in the future.
Mr. Sheahan answered that was one of the things that they looked at in Astor Park and Astor in particular. He continued to explain that in the Golden Triangle area, much of the land use densities have remained the same, and there have been density increases as well as decreases in that area. He added that there were also four rural protection areas on the map. He related that in Lady Lake there was a corridor recognizing the existing development pattern along the Hwy 441 corridor that he mentioned before. He stated that the industrial park being proposed by Leesburg was already annexed into the city, so there was somewhat of an employment center there, and there was a little bit of regional commercial at the intersection of CR 561 and SR 27. He pointed out some intensive proposed development along the SR 50 corridor, including Plaza Collina proposed as regional commercial as well as very large office and industrial areas located near Senninger Irrigation. He related that the Charter between the LPA and the Board regarding the Green Swamp when the process started was to leave it largely untouched, and the only changes being proposed to the existing land uses were where lands have been acquired by public agencies and are now shown as conservation. He explained that some of the land uses in South Lake have changed slightly from lower density to higher density, and another commercial corridor was being proposed in this area along 192, recognizing the Cagan’s Crossing DRI’s. He pointed out the four rural protection areas, which were the Wekiva/Ocala, Emeralda Marsh, Yalaha, and the South Lake, on a map to the Board.
discussion of citizens requesting future land use changes
Jones Property – Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Area Proposed Land Use Change
Mr. Steve Mellich, Mellich/Blenden Engineering, Inc. in Maitland, representing the property owners of the 85-acre Jones parcel in Sorrento, requested that the Future Land Use that was originally proposed on the map be reinstated for this parcel and explained that prior to September 8 when the first Future Land Use Map came out, the parcel in question was included in the Main Street District Future Land Use designation. However, on September 18 of last year, the LPA took this piece along with a number of other parcels immediately adjacent to the south of this piece out of the Main Street District and put it into the Neighborhood District. He requested that the Board put the Future Land Use of the Jones parcel back into the Main Street District Future Land Use. He pointed out that the majority of this largely undeveloped parcel is surrounded by Main Street, and a realignment of CR 437 to a four lane divided roadway is being planned to go through this piece of property.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that anything the Board did during this workshop by consensus was just included as proposed for the public hearings and the workshops. He commented that in this case Mr. Mellich’s request would make sense to him, since it was the intent all along for this parcel to be included in the Main Street future land use category.
Commr. Stewart disclosed that her son was married to the Jones’ daughter, but she did not have grounds to recuse herself because she was not directly affected. She opined that she also supported Mr. Mellich’s request, because the Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento Citizens Advisory Committee had this previously zoned that way. She asked Mr. Sheahan to explain Option C, since she believed that to be a good compromise.
Mr. Sheahan explained that the underlying objective of the Main Street District was to concentrate development in a smaller area, so that it would cost less to provide services and would provide mixed use and walkability. He stated that in order to keep this area compact, Option C would split the property in half, with the northern half which has the majority of upland going to Main Street and the southern half which has the large area of wetlands staying in neighborhood proper. He explained that the advantage of that was that there would be connectivity to the Main Street, and a proposed corridor for the realignment travels through this property. He commented that Mr. Mellich indicated that he could work with that realignment, and roads made good dividing lines for land use and zoning. He further explained that if the density was concentrated on the north side of the road, they did not have to worry about people getting across the highway.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Mellich about what he thought of that proposal.
Mr. Mellich stated that it was transmitted to him that morning, but he did not know the actual nature of this compromise. He pointed out that the wetlands were by soils only, but admitted that there was lowness and flood plane to that part of the property, which was an additional constraint. He commented that the compromise was well intended, but he was concerned about the geometry of the compromise, because unless they get some relief from Public Works on the design speed requirements of the connector roadway, they would be using too much of the roadway in the mixed use development aspect of that.
Commr. Renick opined that it was a large parcel for that kind of increase in density. She stated that she would rather leave it the way the LPA presented it, and then make a decision later based on public comment.
Commr. Stewart stated that she would like to discuss this with Public Works.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento Citizens Advisory Committee, whose opinion he trusted, stated that was originally supposed to be in there.
Commr Stewart confirmed that when they submitted it, that was in there and was later changed. She added that they have to think about the Main Street and the development along there.
Commr. Hill stated that she thought it was part of the downtown look and area.
There was consensus to put it back the way the Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento Citizens Advisory Committee originally recommended.
Boyd-Davis Property – Green Swamp Area Proposed Land Use Change
Mr. Bill Ray, Environmental Specialist and Certified Planner representing the Boyd-Davis property in South Lake County on CR 561, related that staff has reviewed their request and has come up with four alternatives, and their preferred option was Option B to change the portion of the site that was not wetland in nature, was above the 100-year flood plan, and fronted on CR 561 to the map designation of the Green Swamp Rural future land use category, which was what they had proposed all along. He further specified that this was formerly designated as transition, and giving that area a rural map designation would be in accordance with the delineation procedure. He stated that the delineated wetland line would be the border of the 100-year flood plane, and it was their contention that it was not originally mapped on the 1993 Comp Plan due to a scrivener’s error.
Commr. Renick stated that she was willing to consider this in the event that an error had been made, so she had staff look for evidence of an error. She related that she did not think anyone found that there was a scrivener’s error, and she pointed out that there has not been development on that side of CR 561.
Mr. Ray responded that the delineation of CR 561 was a statutory delineation of the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, and there was the same land use immediately west, north, and south of the subject property. He stated that this would be an isolated upland area that had a different land use than those areas that were above the 100-year flood plane, not wetland in nature, and were comprised of well-drained soils. He commented that the issue was not the density, but they were asking that the land be delineated and then shown what the similar lands in that same area have. He noted that staff has concurred that similar lands within this same region have received a designation of transitional and that this land did not receive that designation because it was never delineated initially.
Commr. Hill commented that the topography map shows the land as high and dry.
Mr. Ray pointed out that it had an elevation of about 170 feet, which was the second highest elevation within the Green Swamp area. He noted that those elevations that were currently designated as transitional had about a 115 foot elevation. In response to a question by Commr Cadwell, he estimated that the parcel was about 200 acres.
Commr. Renick noted that the staff report stated that the subject parcels as well as adjacent parcels west of CR 561 have been consistently designated rural conservation since 1992, and she asked if they have development in there. Her impression was that although there were areas that were high and dry, there were enough areas that were not on that piece that they would want to keep it as rural conservation.
Ms. Anita Greiner, Chief Planner, showed on a map the flood zones, wetland areas, and the location of the Boyd-Davis property. She also pointed out the line that separated the transitional and rural conservation, which seemed to somewhat follow the flood zone and wetlands, and then pointed to the area on the map where that was no longer the case. She related that she checked the soil maps, and they are the same types of soils and slopes as the other areas that were listed as transitional, and some of it was in urban areas on the east side of 561. She added that the area that is outside of the flood zone and the wetland area that is part of the property Mr. Ray was referring to is actually elevated higher than some of the other area that is transitional around it.
Commr Renick clarified that they would not be looking at putting that whole parcel back in, just the portion of the property that was located above the 100-year flood plane.
Commr. Stewart asked how many acres they estimated were above the flood plane on that property.
Mr. Ray answered that about 120 acres were above the flood plane.
Ms. Greiner noted that if they did that for the Boyd-Davis property, they would request that that be done for the parcels north and south as well.
The Board gave consensus for Option B, which was to change the subject parcels and the parcels north and south that are located outside of the 100-year flood zone to the Green Swamp Rural future land use category.
Main Street Stakeholders Proposed Policy Changes(Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento)
Mr. Sheahan explained that the Main Street Stakeholders Proposed Policy changes were in consideration of concerns forwarded to them on a few occasions by Main Street Stakeholders. He related that at a previous meeting, the Board had directed staff to come back with options, and that is what this document represents.
Commr. Renick asked how strong a stand they wanted to take regarding gated communities and whether they should use the word “prohibit” or “discourage” in Policy 1-2.1.2.
Commr. Stewart expressed concern about that also, because she thought that there may be a situation where there would be one way in or out in a development, especially with the public lands they have out there. She believed “discourage” would work there, which was the change proposed in Option B.
The Board gave consensus for Option B, which was to change “prohibit” to “discourage” new gated communities.
Regarding Comment 2, Commr. Stewart commented that they needed to establish the design standards before they moved forward.
Commr. Renick stated that she did not understand why they took out “affecting the size and architecture of” in Policy 1-2.1.4.
Mr. Sheahan explained that wording was suggested because it was not only the size and architecture and that it could be much more than that. He added that the specific design standards were all encompassing, and this change would allow them to incorporate appropriate things in the LDR’s.
Commr. Conner commented that he was not for watering the language down in that.
There was consensus of the Board for Option A, which was to make changes to the first bullet so that it read “Establish specific design standards for residential and non residential structures, consistent with the Main Street Future Land Use Category,” but leave the rest of the Policy as proposed.
The Board gave consensus for Option A, which adds “to the maximum extent feasible” after “The County shall require that mature native trees and tree canopies be protected within Mount Plymouth-Sorrento” in Policy 1-2.1.9 under Comment 3.
Commr. Renick stated that she did not see the reason for eliminating the last sentence in Policy 1-2.1.12 as recommended in Option A under Comment 4, but she was alright with adding “or golf cart trails, if feasible” in the first paragraph. She recommended that they choose Option A, but keep the last sentence in.
Mr. Sheahan commented that Comment 5 was a recommendation to delete the transportation analysis in Policy 1-2.1.13.
Commr. Renick asked whether they did not think that analysis was necessary because the concurrency ordinance was county-wide and it would have been redundant to leave it in.
Mr. Sheahan responded that staff has indicated that it was not necessary because this was something that was reviewed through concurrency. He pointed out that if they had additional development after this analysis was done, it would change the conclusion, and the study would no longer be valid and would have to be done a second time. He added that a rezoning would also change the projected development. He assured the Board that their Public Works staff had indicated that they were confident that they could do the appropriate analysis when needed.
Commr. Stewart commented that they needed to make that change for practical reasons, and if they get more information, they could change that later on.
The Board decided on Option A for Comment 5 regarding Policy 1-2.1.13, which was to remove the entire paragraph referring to transportation analysis.
Commr. Renick commented that she thought the policy referred to in Comment 6 regarding parking was clear to begin with under Policy 1-2.14, but she agreed with changing the word “hidden” to “located” in the phrase “parking lots shall be located behind the buildings that front Main Street” under Option A, but leave out “with the exception of on-street angle or parallel parking.”
Mr. Fred Morrison, an attorney representing Haines Creek Development LLC and Snowbirdland Vistas, handed out a copy of a presentation that he had previously given to the LPA regarding an area just to the east of Haines Creek on Hwy 44, and noted that the original Future Land Use Map had that area designated as rural transition, which was one unit to five acres. He stated that it was later changed to urban low density, which was two units per acre, and he pointed out that if there was a tornado or hurricane and the existing homes were torn down, they would have difficulty putting them back. He also pointed out that if the land was designated as a low density future land use, the owners would not be able to finance it, because the banks would not lend money for a nonconforming use, so buyers would not purchase the property. He asked the Board to update the zoning in that area between Haines Creek on the west and the eastern boundary of Mid-Florida Lakes on the south side of 44 to the urban high density of 12 units per acre, which was sufficient to accommodate the 5,000 square foot lots that had been developed out there since the 1970’s.
Commr. Cadwell directed Ms. King to look into this and come back to the Board with their comments.
Ms. Leslie Campione, an attorney on behalf of Karston Lake County, LLC, provided the Board with a presentation which she believed essentially addressed each of the standards that the County put thus far in the Comp Plan for reviewing Comp Plan amendments in the future in regard to the specific requests that they were making. She specified that the property that was involved was in the Four Corners area, which currently has three separate land use designations, making it very difficult to prepare a coordinated plan, and they were asking for a single designation of urban low in that area. She noted that they had a proposed conceptual plan that shows that they did not want to develop any more than 1200 residential units and 250,000 to 350,000 square feet of commercial uses that could include office, institutional, or retail type uses. She commented that it was nearly impossible without a single land use designation to cluster residential and put commercial where it needs to be.
Commr. Cadwell stated that staff would be taking a lot of notes and analyzing all of the comments during the public comment workshops, and then the Board would address those questions.
Mr. Charles Lee, Director of Advocacy Audubon of Florida, stated that they were concerned about the projection of new commercial nodes proposed for the Green Swamp Area and the Wekiva, and they thought there were several recommendations in both of those areas that were distinct clashes with the Comprehensive Plan provisions, particularly in Wekiva that had been just recently approved. He asked the Board to follow what the LPA was recommending in those areas. He also expressed concern that a number of the recommendations that were coming out did not take into consideration what the LPA has worked through to try to create a very tight commercial node which is appropriate in the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento area and instead to extend a strip along SR 46 that would have the affect of moving sprawl into the areas of the Wekiva, and he hoped the Board would constrain that by keeping the specificity of the terms. He also opined that the word “prohibit” should be used instead of “discourage” regarding the policy which referred to gated communities that the Board discussed earlier. He commented on the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs with regard to the best management practices (BMP’s) to strike out of the text a very critical reference to the publication protecting Florida’s springs land use strategies and putting the focus only on the BMP’s and the acts itself. He believed that doing that would step away from the Department of Environmental Protection and the DCA in favor of a much narrower view. He suggested a compromise that would recognize the validity of both land use strategies and BMP’s by not striking through the reference and keeping some duality there.
Commr. Stewart stated that she agreed with Mr. Lee about that.
Commr. Renick commented that she was hesitant to change the language, and she thought that was an excellent point. She also mentioned that she was torn about the word “prohibit” regarding the gated communities. She recommended that they leave the language the way it was.
Mr. Ray Scott with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, explained that their concern was not with the springs document, but that it required agriculture operations to comply with the general recommendations regarding BMP’s in that document. He opined that farmers would be confused about how they would demonstrate compliance as opposed to the BMP’s that they developed in concert with DEP (Department of Environmental Protection). He stated that their goal was to create well-defined, site-specific BMP’s with required record keeping that were more amenable to compliance. He mentioned that they had a very defined process in which DEP plays a significant role to produce manuals that specifically address spring shed issues to take into consideration above and beyond what they would on another agricultural operation.
Commr. Renick suggested that they leave the language as proposed and decide after some research whether or not to change it.
Ms. Peggy Belflower, a member of the LPA, wanted to address some of the issues that had been discussed, including the Jones property request to have the density reinstated to 5.5 units per acre. She related that the LPA on the day it sent the Comp Plan on January 30 to the Board had a second discussion about the Jones property and decided to leave the decision as it was. She noted that they took into account and discussed at some length the recent decision in earlier January when the Commission adopted a new lower BEBR (Bureau of Economic and Business Research) population for the Future Land Use Map, and they decided that extra density was not needed in that area. She asked the Board to remove the Jones property from the Main Street district. Regarding the Main Street Stakeholders’ request, she stated that the LPA did meet with local residents, including Mr. Lou Fabrizio, and decided to leave the limitations in the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento policies so that Main Street in Sorrento would not turn into a full corridor beyond the Market Square district. She reminded the Board that the Advisory Council was a private entity that has been outsourced by the Board and should be following the same standards as public committees and boards.
Commr. Renick commented that the Advisory Council did not get any more weight than any other group.
Mr. Minkoff commented that they have laid out an aggressive schedule of upcoming workshops, which was subject to change, and he asked the Board to look at that.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
NEIL KELLY, CLERK