A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
comprehensive plan workshop
NOVEMBER 2, 2009
The Lake County Board of County
Commissioners met in special session
on Monday, November 2, 2009 at 6:00 p.m., at Cooper Memorial Library in Room
108, Clermont, 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: Sanford
A. “Sandy” Minkoff, Interim County Manager; Erin Hartigan, Assistant County
Attorney; and Brenda Law, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Cadwell explained that this meeting was an
opportunity for the Board to hear public comment and that all comments would be
reviewed and researched by staff and presented to the Board at the November 17,
2009 workshop. He stated that the final
public hearings would be held on January 19, 2010 before the Comprehensive Plan
is transmitted to the Department of Community Affairs. He mentioned that there is a three minute
time limit for each speaker.
Commr. Cadwell requested a moment of silence for Ralph
Hester, Groveland City Manager who recently passed away.
Commr. Renick welcomed the public and commented that she
wanted to address a previous issue presented to the Board by Mr. Ray regarding
his property which is located in part of the Green Swamp
on CR 561. She reported that Mr. Ray
suggested there was a scrivener’s error and requested that the density be
changed from one dwelling per ten acres to one dwelling per five acres. She recommended that the density remain at
one dwelling per ten acres although staff did suggest that there was some merit
to Mr. Ray’s claim.
Mr. Choice Edwards, Lake County
resident, opined that the Comp Plan should not be amended, and that any changes
should only be made if there is a recognizable community emergency. He asked that the Board honor the time and
effort already spent by several individuals on the original Comp Plan.
Ms. Miranda Fitzgerald, attorney for South
Lake property owners, stated that the proposed Comp Plan does not
support the County’s economic development strategic plan. She submitted a report that presents her
comments for some of the policies in the proposed Comp Plan. She reported that the property owners she
represents own 1,980 contiguous acres in southeastern Lake
County, and suggested that this
property is one of only two potentially viable locations for the development of
new agri-tech and bio-tech industries in Lake County
that has access to the regional road network with availability to SR 429. She opined that if the Hometown Democracy
Amendment passes, the opportunity to make changes will be lost.
Mr. Lowrie Brown, Lake County
resident, opined that the Comp Plan should not be a tool to limit growth. He commented that there is a significant
amount of opposition to the proposed Plan due to the lack of flexibility in the
plan and the cost versus benefit of complying with the new policies. He suggested changing the language in the
Comp Plan from “shall” to “may”, to put specific language in the Land
Development Regulations (LDRs), and to utilize Conditional Use Permits in an
effort to make the plan more flexible.
He commended the Board for their recent decision on the utilities
subcontractor and commented that issue is a good example why the Comp Plan
should be more flexible.
Ms. Lonita Cotteleer, Clermont resident, expressed concern
that amending the Comp Plan will result in runaway development. She commented that if the Comp Plan is
changed, there will be many different interpretations and the policies will
continue to be reinterpreted as the Board members change and that there will no
longer be a definitive law regulating development.
Ms. Patricia Myers, former Planning and Zoning Commission
member, who was involved in writing the original Comp Plan, explained that the
Commission was very careful when reviewing requests for zoning or permitting
and commented that the Boyd Davis property was intended to be one dwelling unit
per ten acres when she was a member.
Mr. Mark Stover commented that he owns ten and half acres
on CR 455 and he is having disputes with the City of Minneola regarding his property and city
boundaries. He stated that his property
is not part of Sugar
and that he wants the area to remain rural with the density set at one dwelling
per five acres.
Commr. Cadwell directed staff to assist Mr. Stover with
Ms. Judy Proli, Clermont resident, stated that there were
a lot of hours put into the original Comp Plan and opined that it should remain
Ms. Leslie Campione, attorney for ICI Homes which owns 985
acres in the Four Corners area and is located in a rural protection zone that
abuts Orange County,
stated that it has the opportunity to positively impact the Four
Corners area and could provide an East/West connection to US
Highway 192. She noted that the proposal
for this property had been previously submitted to the Board. She reported that this property currently has
three Future Land Use Categories, and requested that Urban Medium
classification be applied to the entire property, noting that they need this
designation in order to accommodate the right of way for the connector. She opined that once the proposed Comp Plan
is finalized, there should not be any more amendments except for extenuating
Commr. Cadwell directed staff to provide an analysis of
the submitted proposal to the Board at the workshop scheduled for November 17,
Commr. Renick confirmed with Ms. Campione that she is only
requesting staff to review the land use for this property and not the proposed
Mr. David Haas, President of Land Acquisition and
Development for ICI Homes, opined that the Comp Plan is intended to be a living
and breathing document that will require updates and amendments.
Ms. Peggy Cox, resident of the Green
Swamp, asked how much more residential
and commercial growth is expected in unincorporated Lake County
based on the Proposed Comp Plan. She
opined that making the Comp Plan subjective undermines its purpose and the
County should not allow the fear of the impending Hometown Democracy Amendment
determine the action it takes on the Comp Plan.
Mr. Stephen Cook opined that the Board, staff and Local
Planning Agency (LPA) has put in a tremendous amount of work over the past four
years in this plan, and that it is not a perfect plan, but encouraged the Board
to adopt the proposed Comp Plan.
Ms. Nancy Fullerton, Clermont resident and Land Water Use
Chairman of the Alliance to Protect Florida Resources, asked the Board to deny
any requests to change the land use for the Boyd Davis property located on CR
561 and the other surrounding properties.
She stated that the County has fought for the Green
Swamp and that particular area since
1998 and trusts that the Board will not make any changes to the Green Swamp.
Commr. Cadwell asked all current and former members of the
LPA to please stand. The Board
acknowledged all members and applauded them for their service.
Mr. Rob Kelly, President of Citizen’s Coalition, stated
that the request for the land use change of the Boyd Davis property in the Green Swamp
located along CR 561 has been brought before the LPA three different times and
was carefully reviewed each time but resulted in the same decision by the LPA
to deny the request. He opined that the Green Swamp
is one of seven jewels in Central Florida that need to be protected and that
any changes in the Green
Swamp should be held to
the highest standards.
Mr. Jim Hitt, City of Clermont Planning and Zoning Director,
commended the staff and the LPA on their efforts on the proposed Comp Plan.
Ms. Ann Dupee, Clermont resident, reported that a lot of Lake County
residents commute to Orange County for better paying jobs and that Lake County
has fewer college graduates with a lower quality work force. She opined that underemployment is an issue
and hopes this Future Land Use Map provides land that will give the County the
opportunity to create high tech, higher paid jobs for its residents.
Commr. Cadwell thanked Ms. Dupee for her years of service
and concern for South
Mr. Sean Parks, Montverde resident and member of the
Economic Development Commission (EDC) Infrastructure Committee, noted that this
committee consists of professionals from diverse backgrounds that provide
recommendations to the EDC. He commented
that the committee is not recommending any changes to the Green Swamp. He presented the following committee
recommendations to the Board, encourage the Interlocal Service Boundary
Agreement process, encourage infill and redevelopment, encourage brownfill
designation, incentivize mixed use development, combine the Industrial Land Use
Categories, remove some language from the Comp Plan to create specificity in
the LDRs, and add a “workplace district” along the border of the Horizon West
community into the Comp Plan. He
commented that this meeting is just as important as the first meeting held five
years ago and asked the Board to make changes to create and retain more jobs in
Mr. Bernard Yokel, Mount Dora
resident, submitted a memo to the Board.
He expressed his concern for the Green
Swamp and commented that the strongest
shield of protection for a healthy, functioning, undeveloped ecosystem is an
intact and enforced commitment to protect it, and such a commitment is
currently in place in the Green
Swamp and should remain
intact. He opined that the proposed
zoning changes for the Green
Swamp are a mistake.
Ms. Cindy Barrow, Lake County School Board Member, stated
that as a former LPA member she informed the Board that the LPA reviewed the
existing housing patterns in Lake
County and separated the
Industrial Land Uses into two separate categories in an effort to bring more
industry into the area. She commented
that it is a goal of the LPA to create high tech, bio-agricultural jobs in Lake County. She opined that the County needs to recruit
people with the creativity to create these kinds of jobs. She noted that there are designated
commercial corridors throughout the County, which were carefully planned by the
LPA, and additional designated areas along Highway 27 is not needed for
commercial growth. She thanked the Board
for being available and traveling to South
to hear public comment.
Commr. Cadwell acknowledged that Ms. Cindy Barrow, Lake
County School Board Member; Mr. John Harris, Lake County Water Authority
Member; Mr. Ray Goodgame, Chairman of the Lake Sumter Metropolitan Planning
Organization and Mr. Keith Mullins, Chairman of the Salex Surtax Oversight
Advisory Committee were in attendance.
Mr. John Harris,
Lake County Water Authority Member, expressed his concerns about maintaining
the quality of life in the Green
Swamp. He asked the Board to keep the Comp Plan
which protects the Green
Mr. Scott Blankenship, Lake County Zoning Board Member,
reported that the people he deals with in his professional life state that Lake County
does not have the tracts of land available for economic development. He commented that South
Lake is a bedroom community for Orange County
and that every day there are over 50,000 cars on Highway 50 and it is Lake County
residents commuting to work in Orange
County. He opined that the County needs developers
like the ones that built this library, the hospital and some of our schools.
Commr. Cadwell thanked the public for attending and
providing their input. He stated that
the next meeting was going to be Thursday, November 5, 2009 at six o’clock at
the Cassia Community Building
on SR 44.
There being no further business to be brought to the
attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 7:07 p.m.
welton g. cadwell,
NEIL KELLY, CLERK