A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
january 28, 2014
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 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: Jimmy Conner, Chairman; Sean Parks, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Leslie Campione; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: David Heath, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Jennifer Johnson and Shannon Treen, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Milan Weerts with the Woodlands Lutheran Church in Montverde gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, asked to pull Tab 6 regarding contracts for on-call environmental assessments from the County Manager’s Consent Agenda for a separate vote.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, asked to pull Tab 17, the ordinance regarding active adult communities, to make some definitional changes to it and bring it back to the Board if necessary.
presentation of human trafficking proclamation
Commr. Conner presented Proclamation No. 2014-1 proclaiming January 2014 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month to Ms. Vanessa Snoody with the Department of Children and Families and members of the Lake County Human Trafficking Task Force. He thanked the organizations in Lake County, as well as Sheriff Gary Borders and Representative Larry Metz for their work on bringing awareness to this issue.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the BCC Minutes of November 21, 2013 (Special Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares who writes a blog called FiscalRangers.com, referred to the audit reports listed under the Clerk of Court’s Consent Agenda and pointed out his concern about whether the records for taxpayer assets were being properly kept and that department directors should be made aware of the importance of keeping proper records. He also suggested explaining to the public about how the Wellness Way Sector Plan process would work in regards to the zoning of land.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 3, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.
Notification of Annexation from the City of Eustis
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notification of Annexation(s) from the City of Eustis of its intent to annex approximately 90.58 acres contiguous to the Eustis City limits and located within the Eustis Planning Area. The public hearings for the small scale annexations are scheduled for January 16, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. and the second reading on February 6, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. The large scale annexations are scheduled for January 16, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. and the second reading on March 20, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. Meetings are held in the Eustis City Hall Commission Room, 10 North Grove Street, Eustis, Florida.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the following audit reports:
BCC-113 Human Services Grant Program
BCC-114 Year-End Inventory Observations, Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2013
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 4 through 11, pulling Tab 6 as follows:
Request for approval for the Florida Department of Health Lake County (FDHLC) to roll over unexpended 2012-2013 Children's Services Council (CSC) grant funds to utilize for FY 2013-2014. Due to changes in the Medicaid program eligibility, staff shortages, and a decrease in second graders seen, $5,275.00 of the FY 2012-2013 grant funds were not expended. There is no fiscal impact.
Facilities and Fleet Management
Request for approval of contract 13-0442, Chiller and Boiler Maintenance and HVAC/Boiler System Chemicals to Hill York (Melbourne, Florida), and authorize Procurement Services to execute all implementing documentation. The fiscal impact is $132,319.28; this is an estimate for the initial year of service (Expenditure).
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2014-6 responding to Fruitland Park resolution 2013-018, initiating the process pursuant to Section 17.203 F.S. for negotiating an Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of grant application to the Institute of Museums and Libraries for the Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries to fund a new program offering supplemental reading activities for autistic and developmentally challenged juveniles. The fiscal impact is $24,777 (100% Grant Revenue).
Request for approval to purchase Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL) equipment via issue of purchase order(s) as described in background summary and approve the associated budget transfer from reserves as specified in the fiscal impact section. The immediate fiscal impact is $82,375.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2014-7 designating County roads within the City of Leesburg City limit as appropriate for golf cart signage and the operation of golf carts, in accordance with Section 15-15, Lake County code. County roads located within the City of Leesburg are Main Street from Canal Street to Dixie Avenue and Main Street from US 27/14th Street to 9th Street. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request for approval to advertise for bids for the CR 565 (Villa City Road) Widening and Resurfacing (Bible Camp Road to Simon Brown Road) project at an estimated cost of $2,056,864.50, as follows: $1,333,465.00 from Account 1156.5056660.860674 – Road Impact Fees Benefit District 6 (remaining balance in account), and $723,399.50 from Account 3040.5056350.860674 Renewal Sales Tax Capital Project – Public Works. The fiscal impact is $2,056,864.50 (Expenditure). Commission District 1.
tab 6 – contracts for on-call environmental assessments
Commr. Campione declared a conflict of interest on this tab since she was working with Kleinfelder on a contract and permit, so she wanted to excuse herself from voting.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request from Fiscal and Administrative Services for approval of contracts 13-0003 for on-call environmental assessments and services to Habitat Restoration & Wildlife Protection Services, Kleinfelder, and Shaw Environmental. The fiscal impact is $61,000 estimated (Expenditure).
Commr. Campione abstained from voting.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tab 12, as follows:
Request for approval of Fifth Amendment to the lease between Lake County and Ali H. Jawad for lease space for the Tax Collector’s office in Clermont. The fiscal impact for FY 2013/2014 is $17,309.16.
presentation by the St. Johns River Water Management District
Mr. Kraig McLane with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) introduced Mr. Tom Bartol, Assistant Director for the Division of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and stated that Mr. Bartol would be giving a presentation on the District’s Regional Water Supply Plan.
Mr. Bartol pointed out that this was the first plan the District had created since 2005 and that a lot of energy and effort had gone into it. He explained that the Water Supply Plan was designed to meet water supply needs through 2035 and that they had evaluated water resources to determine how to meet the projected water demands and how to fund them. He added that the plan must be updated every five years. He showed charts depicting the historical water use and the projections for the SJRWMD and noted that 4.7 million people lived in this district, which was about 25 percent of the State’s population. He related that the current water use for the district was about 1.2 billion gallons per day and that the water use had been flat since the mid 90’s even though the population had increased, which meant that water was being conserved more. He indicated that they were projecting that the demand for water would increase to about 1.5 billion gallons per day by 2035. He stated that the plan was divided into four planning regions so that they could better deal with regional issues and solutions. He added that they had coordinated with other water management districts and entities in each region to deal with the fresh groundwater issues. He noted that they assessed the amount of fresh groundwater available for water supply through the water resource analysis and determined the impacts to water resources, such as the groundwater quality, wetlands, minimum flows and levels, and spring flows. He mentioned that their analysis found that traditional groundwater sources could meet some but not all projected water needs and that the water demand projections exceeded the groundwater availability by 250 million gallons per day (mgd), which meant they would soon need to look into alternative sources. He added that continuing with the traditional groundwater sources would cause an increase in water quality problems, and the lakes and springs would fall below the minimum flows and levels.
Mr. Bartol stated that their solutions were to conserve water, use management techniques to optimize the use of fresh groundwater, use reclaimed water, and use alternative water supplies. He indicated that the St. Johns River currently provided water for public supply, reclaimed water augmentation, and power generation and that there were concerns in the North Florida area about using the river as a potential water source. He noted that five billion gallons of water a day was discharged from the river into the ocean and that the Upper Basin restoration projects would add water to the river. He stated that the comprehensive four-year water supply impact study analyzed effects of potential withdrawals and concluded that 155 mgd could be withdrawn with no more than negligible or minor effects. He added that the study was peer reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences and found to be appropriate and adequate to address the goals that the District established. He mentioned that there was a connection between water supply planning and land use planning that would require all municipalities within the district to develop a water supply facility work plan to ensure they would be able to meet their water demands out to 10 years. He related that the district wanted county and city staff members to review the plan to make sure it reflected local needs and to identify projects to meet future water demands. He outlined the dates for the public meetings that had already been held and the upcoming ones to make everyone aware of the Water Supply Plan and added that the comment period for the plan was through February 20. He pointed out that their action plan was to promote water conservation; maintain the minimum flows and levels and develop strategies to protect them; provide assistance with the Water Supply Development Project; implement water resource development projects; integrate water supply planning and the consumptive use permitting; and continue intergovernmental, water supplier, and public coordination.
Commr. Parks thanked Mr. Bartol for his presentation and his support of the South Lake Water Initiative. He stressed that the cities involved with the initiative recognized that traditional groundwater sources would not meet future needs and that they needed to continue focusing on conservation and work towards an alternative water supply plan for the next generation. He mentioned that the cities had invested a lot of money into the initiative, and he wanted assurance that the District was going to fully support it.
Mr. Bartol stated that the District had already spent a lot of energy on the initiative, because they thought that South Lake had less natural sources than others, and the District would try to continue to provide the support that the water initiative needed.
Commr. Cadwell expressed concern about the use of the St. Johns River as a potential water source. He noted that Lake County, and not just North Florida, needed to be concerned, because diminishing the flow of the river would affect Lake George which could be devastating to the County down the road. He added that Lake George sits at sea level, and without the flow of the St. Johns, it would become a bigger septic tank than it was already.
public hearings: rezonings
Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, showed on the monitor that the cases had been properly advertised.
Rezoning consent agenda
Ms. King stated that there were four cases on the Consent Agenda for the Board’s consideration. She indicated that staff had made a small change to the ordinance for Tab 2, the Church of God PUD rezoning, to recognize the setbacks and the RV spaces that currently existed and asked for the Board to approve that change with the Consent Agenda.
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that the Board had had conversations regarding Tab 6 in public, and it had been initiated by them before it even came forward as a land use amendment.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, along with the ordinance change on Tab 2, as follows:
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2014-4
Loomis Property Rezoning
Request to rezone property from Agriculture (A) to Planned Commercial (CP) for Professional Office uses, to include a Funeral Home.
Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2014-5
Church of God PUD Rezoning
Request to rescind and replace Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Ordinances #498-1, #498A-1, #498B-1 and Public Facility District (PFD) Ordinance 26-86 and R-6 zoning districts with a new Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning ordinance for religious, residential, recreational and community service uses on the Church of God property.
LPA# 14/1-2T (Transmittal Only)
Rural Support Corridor-Impervious Surface Ratio
Text amendment to increase the maximum impervious surface ratio (ISR) for Rural Support uses within Rural Support Corridors in the Rural Transition and Wekiva River Protection Area A-1-20 Sending Area Future Land Use Categories, to reflect an ISR consistent with other nonresidential uses allowed in these categories for Rural Support Corridors.
LPA# 14/1/2-5 (Transmittal Only)
Lake Yale Rural Support Intersection
Add a Rural Support Intersection at the intersection of CR 452 and Felkins Road, SW of Lake Yale, and amend Policy I-126.96.36.199 to permit the proposed Rural Support Intersection.
rezoning regular agenda
cup# 14/1/1-5 – Emory Tower CUP
Ms. King explained that the applicant, Cuozzo Design Group, was requesting a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in the Agriculture (A) Zoning District to allow a 150-foot monopole telecommunications tower, including support equipment and apparatus. She noted that the proposed tower and equipment would be situated on a 4,900 square foot compound area of 70 feet by 70 feet on property located at the southwest corner of Emory Drive and Micro Racetrack Road, west of Fruitland Park. She added that the property currently had an existing residence located approximately 350 feet east of the proposed tower location. She indicated that the Board of Adjustment (BOA) approved a variance request from the applicant so they could meet the centering setback requirement and that the ordinance contained the setback conditions as established by the BOA. She remarked that staff recommended approval of the CUP subject to the conditions set forth in the ordinance.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Donald Cuozzo with the Cuozzo Design Group stated that he concurred with staff’s report and requested the Board’s approval of the CUP.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Rezoning Case CUP# 14/1/1-5, the Emory Tower CUP, which was a request for a Conditional Use Permit for the construction and operation of a 150-foot monopole telecommunications tower within the Agriculture (A) Zoning District.
PH# 21-13-1 – Rubin Grove PUD Amendment
Ms. King pointed out that the applicant, Rubin Groves of Clermont, LLC/Sheldon Rubin, was requesting to amend the Planned Unit Development (PUD) Zoning District (Ordinance No. 2013-8) on approximately 131 acres to allow mass grading and overburden removal exceeding 200 percent of the stormwater volume requirement of a previously approved Mixed-Use Planned Unit Development within the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern. She related that staff viewed this as a request to amend the PUD to add mining or borrow pit activities to the uses allowed on site, because the proposal was to remove greater than the allowed 200 percent or less exemption which was carved out in LDR 6.06.01.F.2.a. She added that staff also determined that the applicant did not demonstrate that the land had unique physical characteristics and topography that would require the excessive elevation change or the excavation to be necessary for access to the property, which was the second exemption allowed for in LDR 6.06.01.F.2.b. She then discussed the events that took place prior to this application, noting that in June 2010 the owner filed a pre-submittal application proposing a borrow pit operation for the 131 acres and was informed that mining was prohibited in the Ridge Future Land Use Category, and no further action was taken. She mentioned that the owner filed a new pre-submittal application in August 2010 proposing a mixed-use PUD consisting of 20 acres of commercial development and 516 residential lots with no indication of intent to mass grade or remove soils from the site, and the applicant was informed of the necessary steps to proceed and that the proposed project would be subject to the Comprehensive Plan and the LDRs; however, no further action was taken. She related that in October 2012, which was after the adoption of the 2030 Comp Plan, the owner filed a new pre-submittal application proposing a mixed-use PUD consisting of approximately nine acres of commercial development and 122 net acres for residential development at a density of four dwelling units to the net acre with no indication of intent to mass grade or remove soils from the site, and the applicant was informed of the necessary steps to proceed and that the proposed project would be subject to the 2030 Comp Plan and LDRs.
Ms. King indicated that in November 2012 the owner filed a rezoning application to rezone the 131 acres from Agriculture to a mixed-use PUD, consistent with the pre-submittal application from the previous month, with the intent to mass grade the site as Phase 1 of the development, but not to remove any soils from the site. She added that the rezoning was approved by the BCC on February 26, 2013. She stated that the owner submitted a preliminary plat application for mass grading of the site in May 2013 with intent to export the overburden from the site to provide fill for the proposed FDOT I-4 widening project between Orlando and Tampa, and the applicant was informed that the removal of the overburden met the definition of “mining activities” in the Comp Plan and LDRs and that mining was prohibited within the Green Swamp Ridge FLUC. She noted that the applicant claimed an exemption under LDR Section 6.06.01.F, which addresses exemptions from the Mining Conditional Use Permit and Operating Plan requirements; however, those requirements have criteria that must be met to qualify, such as in subsection F.2.a where the removal could not be greater than 200 percent of the minimum stormwater retention/detention volume, which equaled approximately 500,000 cubic yards of material. However, the total proposed overburden removal was approximately three million cubic yards of material, which was five times greater and clearly did not qualify.
Ms. King mentioned that subsection F.2.b provided criteria for an exemption when the proposed removal exceeded the 200 percent stormwater volume if the removal was necessary for development of the site due to physical factors of the land or permitting requirements from a governmental agency. She commented that the applicant did not demonstrate that their goal, which was to provide a level grade for the site’s future elderly and disabled residents, would not be met by the grading of the site without removal of the overburden. She indicated that staff approved the preliminary plat on September 12, 2013 with the condition that the overburden removal be addressed prior to the construction plan approval, and it was also suggested that the application be brought to the Board for their determination of whether it qualified as mining or site development since there was a difference of interpretation. She stated that in October 2013 the owner, represented by Mr. Jimmy Crawford, submitted the current rezoning application, and during the review of the application there have been several letters, phone calls, and emails between the applicant, staff, and the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) related to the request. She summarized that the proposed removal of greater than 200 percent of the stormwater volume without meeting the standards for an exemption under Section 6.06.01.F constituted mining, which was prohibited in the Green Swamp Ridge FLUC and was also omitted from the list of both typical and conditional uses in the Ridge FLUC. She added that the DEO had presented several concerns and thought the proposal was inconsistent with the Comp Plan and LDRs. She noted that they had received one letter of opposition and that the Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval of the amendment with a 4-0 vote subject to the conditions set forth in the ordinance; however, staff found the request inconsistent and recommended denial based on the findings of fact and the evidence presented.
Commr. Conner, Parks and Sullivan all disclosed that they had met with Mr. Jimmy Crawford, the applicant’s representative.
Commr. Conner also mentioned that he had a conversation with Mr. Paul Bryan, the Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Jimmy Crawford, Attorney representing Rubin Groves of Clermont, LLC, explained that he agreed with about 85 percent of what Ms. King had stated, except he believed they met the criteria in Section 6.06.01.F.2 and that Mr. Sheldon Rubin, the owner of Rubin Groves, did not recall ever submitting a pre-application for a borrow pit. He then introduced Mr. Ted Wicks with Wicks Engineering Services, the engineer for the project, and stated that he has been an engineer for 20 years and has done work with mines and mini subdivisions.
Mr. Wicks pointed out that Mr. Rubin had approached his firm to discuss some opportunities for his property, and Mr. Rubin’s mindset from the very beginning was to develop an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) friendly single-family community. He noted that he performed a topographic and soil analysis on the property to determine the type of profile and elevations they would be working with and that they worked in conjunction with another planning company to develop some concepts of how to provide a certain number of dwelling units and still meet the requirements of the ADA. He added that they reviewed the open space and density requirements in the Comp Plan for that land use category and developed a preliminary plat that accommodated the number of units they wanted and also provided horizontal and vertical alignment of the streets, sidewalks and building pads that actually went beyond ADA requirements.
Mr. Crawford stated that Mr. Rubin’s property was a mounded hill and asked what the properties on the other sides looked like.
Mr. Wicks replied that the northern piece had been pre-graded to accommodate some type of development, but the piece to the south was an open space area that was part of the Cagan Crossings project and was currently in a pine grove. He added that the topography was at a much lower elevation of about 50 or 60 feet. He also mentioned that they tried to match the existing grade on all sides, because they did not want to grade too close to the property lines and create any abrupt slopes which could require the need for retaining walls.
Mr. Crawford asked how much dirt they planned to remove from the property and what the overall reduction in the height of the property would be.
Mr. Wicks indicated that they would be taking about 36 feet of dirt at the peak elevation and that the average amount they would be removing on the whole property was around 11 feet, but they were not planning on any kind of activities within 400 feet of the wetland. He also noted that they would grade the property to an elevation of about 147 feet and that the lowest elevation was still eight feet above Highway 27. He indicated that it would be about 2 to 2.5 million yards above the 3 million they had proposed to mass grade.
Mr. Crawford asked how much sand would be left above the seasonal high groundwater.
Mr. Wicks responded that it would average between 19 and 29 feet, adding that they would only go down to within five feet of the seasonal high groundwater table.
Mr. Crawford addressed the objection letter from the DEO dated October 31, 2013 and asked what had been done to address the environmental issues on the property.
Mr. Wicks stated that the biggest concern was about stormwater, and he noted that they did a pre and post analysis to ensure they were not going to discharge any additional water off-site. He mentioned that the drainage basins would retain stormwater on the site based on the Green Swamp regulations and the Water Management District requirements. He related that there was about 40 percent open space on the property that would allow them to do a number of unique things as they addressed stormwater and grading of the site.
Mr. Crawford asked about the results of the report from Andreyev Engineering.
Mr. Wicks pointed out that Andreyev Engineering performed a geotechnical investigation and a water balance analysis, and they concluded that the net recharge would remain unchanged. He also mentioned that the surface water flows would not change and that there would be some stormwater within the 400 foot zone from the wetland, but they were proposing about a 200 foot setback from that.
Mr. Crawford mentioned that the DEO also objected to the use of the word “reclamation” since it was typically associated with mining and asked for clarification on that.
Mr. Wicks explained that that word should not have been used, because the project was not considered a reclamation project and that they have since changed the language to recognize that the result of the mass grading was going to be the construction of the subdivision. He then handed out a revised mass grading report that addressed the Green Swamp regulations and LDRs.
Commr. Cadwell asked how many cubic yards of dirt had come out of the borrow pit that Mr. Wicks had already permitted.
Mr. Wicks replied that it was about 1.5 million yards.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that this project would have twice as many cubic yards of dirt, and he questioned why this project would not be considered a borrow pit since the other one was.
Mr. Wicks explained that that borrow pit was not located in the Ridge FLUC, whereas this project was located in the Ridge where borrow pits were not allowed. He related that their position on the project was that they could be eligible for an exemption under Section 6.06.01.F if their intent was to remove the dirt to accomplish the construction of a bona fide subdivision.
Commr. Cadwell emphasized that they would be taking more sand off the site and that taking less sand off the property would not prevent them from developing the site; it would just have to be developed in another way.
Commr. Sullivan asked if there were more innovative systems to use for mitigating the stormwater runoff issues that the Board could require.
Mr. Wicks indicated that there were some very creative things they could do that would go beyond normal permitting requirements that could also provide some environmental benefits; however, he wanted to leave that testimony to Mr. William A. Ray, AICP, environmental consultant with over 30 years of experience working in Lake County.
Commr. Parks asked what kind of assurance the Board could receive to know that they would follow through with developing the property.
Mr. Crawford pointed out that the County had bonding requirements where the applicant would first have to put up a bond for the construction of the subdivision to show that they planned to complete the improvements, and if not, they would have to pay the bond and the County would then complete the improvements. He added that the second requirement was built into the PUD itself that would require going through a mining site plan and operating permit requirements, as well as putting up an additional bond for reclamation.
Commr. Campione asked about having a restoration bond instead of a reclamation bond, because restoration would mean the applicant would have to bring the dirt back if they decided not to finish development.
Mr. Crawford stated that he would not have a problem with that, because his client has indicated that there were builders already interested in the lots and would be moving forward with construction and sale of the lots as soon as they were graded. He then introduced Mr. Ray and asked him whether or not he agreed with the Andreyev Engineering report.
Mr. Ray mentioned that he agreed with the report’s conclusions, because it demonstrated that there would be no adverse impacts on the aquifer, the groundwater table or the aquatic resources.
Mr. Crawford asked if he knew of any issues regarding tortoises and skinks on the property.
Mr. Ray commented that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife provided a letter stating that there was no skink habitat or the likelihood of an occurrence of skinks on the site and that they have either completed or were in the process of completing a gopher tortoise relocation or take permit. He added that it was his understanding that both of those issues had been adequately addressed.
Mr. Crawford asked if he believed the wetlands had been adequately protected on the site.
Mr. Ray stated that the wetlands had been delineated in accordance with state, local and federal guidelines and that there were no impacts proposed to the wetlands or the buffers.
Mr. Crawford asked about the minimum standards in the Comp Plan and LDRs regarding stormwater and recharge.
Mr. Ray explained that those were minimum guidelines set up by local governments; however, Florida was facing issues with nitrates and phosphates in stormwater runoff. He mentioned that they were looking at using a technology called bioswales, which were upland systems specifically designed to take a first flush of stormwater runoff and use a series of plants that could accommodate the flow of stormwater during both dry and wet conditions to assimilate the nitrates, phosphates and suspended solids often found in the stormwater stream that would normally be discharged off site. He related that they wanted to use this biological technology in their stormwater management to trap and retain those nutrients in the biological biomass which could be used on the site in another way, such as in mulch. He added that the technology was not normally approved as it was usually associated with low impact development.
Mr. Crawford pointed out that since the quality of stormwater in Florida was not preserved, they wanted to do the bioswales instead of the traditional stormwater design. He added that since this site was a partial grove, all of the fertilizer had gone straight into the ground and would be recharged with the traditional stormwater design, but they wanted to make it better. He also noted that they wanted to add a condition in the ordinance to state that the project shall provide advanced stormwater treatment through the construction of bioswales. He then asked for Mr. Ray’s opinion on the definition of mining in the Comp Plan.
Mr. Ray opined that it meant that any project where any amount of material was being removed was considered a mine; however, if the intent was for something other than a mine, such as site development, then it was not considered a mine.
Mr. Crawford emphasized that the crux of the whole case was whether or not the applicant could show that the removal of the excess overburden was necessary for the development of the site due to physical factors of the land or permitting requirements from a governmental agency.
Mr. Ray elaborated that there was a recognized need within the State of Florida to adequately design a community to meet ADA requirements, which required it to be a flat design. He specified that this development was necessary to have a flat, level design, and they were proposing a comprehensive design that addressed both the public and private realm.
Commr. Sullivan asked for clarification on whether there was actually a bonding requirement and if they could require the innovative biological swales to be a part of the PUD.
Mr. Minkoff answered that that was misstated, and the only time the County required a bond with a subdivision was when the plat was recorded, but approval of the construction plans and beginning construction typically did not require a bond. He added that they could require the biological swales.
Commr. Parks asked how they could require a bond.
Mr. Minkoff responded that subdivisions could be developed in two ways, and the first way would be to construct the improvements before the plat was recorded in which the payment of a bond or concurrency fees would not be required yet, and the second way would be to record the plat immediately, which would require a bond. He added that the bond would be 110 percent of the improvement and would include the roads and stormwater system. He also mentioned that it would be likely that the bond would have to be renewed after 18 months, since that was such a short period of time for a project of that size.
Commr. Parks asked if they would need to define a timeframe to have the project completed.
Mr. Minkoff answered that they could put in time limits, but the question was what would happen if the applicant did not meet the time limit.
Commr. Campione commented that they would need to make sure there was a definitive time to call the bond and get the work done; otherwise the County would be responsible for completing the subdivision.
Commr. Cadwell asked where the applicant got his information regarding the need for an ADA complete subdivision.
Mr. Crawford answered that his statement in the backup detailed the extensive research he completed showing that the aging and disabled population in Florida was predicted to grow exponentially over the next 20 years and that the demands were not being met.
Mr. Ray elaborated that the U.S. filed a lawsuit against the State of Florida for allegedly not addressing the needs of the immobility impaired community.
Commr. Cadwell commented that that lawsuit had more to do with transportation rather than housing.
Commr. Campione asked if the 40 percent open space would stay the same during and pre and post development.
Mr. Wicks responded that only 400 feet of the open space along the perimeters would be mass graded to match the elevation of their neighbors, and the 40 percent open space would meet the LDR and Comp Plan requirements.
Commr. Campione mentioned that the DEO was concerned that the mass grading would leave the elevation at 10 feet above the water table and asked for clarification on that.
Mr. Wicks stated that his mass grading report showed that there would be a range of 19 to 29 feet remaining.
Commr. Campione commented that the Ridge could eventually disappear if the subdivision was approved and if they approved future requests from other developers with the same type of subdivision, despite the County’s prohibition on mining in the Ridge and the fact that there were many other properties in the County that were already flat.
Mr. Crawford noted that they would be developing on the last big open piece in the Ridge and that there was a 200 acre spot left.
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares who writes a blog called FiscalRangers.com, expressed his support for the request, noting that the Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the request and the Board should do the same. He stated that the main issue was about property rights, and the Board should make the decision to uphold the property rights as opposed to following the excessive land use restrictions of the Comp Plan.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Sullivan stated that his inclination was to support the request, because he was concerned about property rights as well, and he believed the applicant had proven that they met all of the requirements. He added that he would like to require the use of the biological swales for the stormwater system in the PUD, and he wanted to ensure that the subdivision would be completed.
Mr. Minkoff related that the ordinance could be changed to require the recording of the plat before construction began so that bonds would be obtained to ensure that the subdivision was built.
Commr. Campione pointed out that the main question was what the Board felt was necessary for the development of the property and what the applicant felt was necessary, which in turn became a property rights issue. She stated that the letters of opposition made it seem like the applicant was circumventing the rules and regulations, but the report from Andreyev Engineering clearly showed that the applicant’s proposal would not affect the recharge and water table, and the amount of dirt taken from the entire property was less extreme than what was shown. She added that there would still be elevation changes and areas left completely natural on the property. She noted that she was glad there were limited places along the Ridge to develop such a subdivision, so they would not be setting a precedent. She related that the key was to include a requirement in the ordinance for the applicant to record the plat first and put up a bond, and she then clarified that they could require 120 percent instead of 110.
Commr. Parks explained that his biggest concern was making sure the site would be developed, which would be taken care of by requiring the recording of the plat first.
Commr. Cadwell expressed his concern about the request, stating that it was still considered a mine which resulted in three million cubic yards of the natural filtration system being taken out of the Ridge, which had been designated as an important area. He related that the property could still be excavated and developed within the County’s rules, so they were not taking away any property rights. He noted that his other concern was what the cost of the bonds would be and that they should look at other mining operations currently being developed.
Commr. Campione elaborated that, per the County’s rules, the applicant had the right to remove the dirt in order to develop the property, but not just for the purpose of selling the dirt.
Commr. Conner noted that the County was still infringing on the applicant’s property rights even if they granted the application by making them develop the property. He then mentioned that they would not be as far along on the request if it had been next to Kings Ridge.
Commr. Campione stated that in that case they would probably look at the grading plan for Kings Ridge to compare the compatibility and consistency between the two land uses while protecting the property values of all property owners in that area. She then asked if they could include a condition with the bonding requirement that they would not be granted any extensions.
Mr. Minkoff answered that they could require that, but he was unsure whether it was applicable for the applicant.
Mr. Crawford commented that they could probably have the project completed in 18 months, and that they were fine with putting up 120 percent for the bond. He noted that the project would be completed in three phases and they would plat, bond, grade and start building the first phase before moving onto the next one.
Mr. Minkoff related that they could require the plat and a bond on the whole project and still allow phases or they could allow the applicant to bond it in phases; however, he was unsure what the bond amount would be for each phase.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a 3-2 vote, the Board approved Rezoning Case PH# 21-13-1, Rubin Grove PUD Amendment, which was a request to amend the Planned Unit Development (PUD) Zoning District (Ordinance #2013-8) on 131 +/- acres to allow mass grading and overburden removal exceeding 200 percent of the stormwater volume requirement of a previously approved Mixed-Use Planned Unit Development within the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, with the condition that the plat be recorded before construction of the phases with a 120 percent bond and that the applicant provides an innovative stormwater system upgrade for biological swales.
Commr. Cadwell and Conner voted “no.”
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board amended the original motion and approved Rezoning Case PH# 21-13-1, Rubin Grove PUD Amendment, which was a request to amend the Planned Unit Development (PUD) Zoning District (Ordinance #2013-8) on 131 +/- acres to allow mass grading and overburden removal exceeding 200 percent of the stormwater volume requirement of a previously approved Mixed-Use Planned Unit Development within the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, with the condition that the entire plat be recorded before construction of the phases with a 120 percent bond and that the applicant provides an innovative stormwater system upgrade for biological swales.
Commr. Cadwell voted “no.”
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:55 a.m. that there would be a 15-minute break.
ordinance regarding the parking of vehicles
Mr. Minkoff explained that this ordinance would greatly limit the number of unlicensed vehicles allowed outside on a property, and he then 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; AMENDING THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS OF THE LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS; AMENDING CHAPTER I, ENTITLED “GENERAL PROVISIONS,” SECTION 1.08.00, ENTITLED “NONCONFORMING DEVELOPMENT,” SUBSECTION 1.08.03, ENTITLED “NONCONFORMING USES,” BY REQUIRING NONCONFORMING PARKING OF CERTAIN VEHICLES WITHIN SPECIFIC RESIDENTIAL AND AGRICULTURAL ZONING DISTRICTS TO BE BROUGHT INTO COMPLIANCE WITH AMENDED SECTION 3.06.00, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, BY AUGUST 1, 2014; AMENDING CHAPTER II ENTITLED “DEFINITIONS” TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF “VEHICLES” TO INCLUDE STATUTORILY DEFINED MOTOR VEHICLES; AMENDING CHAPTER III, ENTITLED “ZONING DISTRICT REGULATIONS,” SECTION 3.06.00, ENTITLED “REGULATIONS FOR THE PARKING, STORING, OR KEEPING OF BOATS, BUSES, TRAILERS, TRUCKS, AND COMMERCIAL VEHICLES IN THE "A" AGRICULTURE, "RA" RANCHETTE, "AR" AGRICULTURAL RESIDENTIAL, "R-1" RURAL RESIDENTIAL, "R-2" ESTATE RESIDENTIAL, "R-3" MEDIUM RESIDENTIAL, "R-4" MEDIUM SUBURBAN RESIDENTIAL, "R-6" URBAN RESIDENTIAL, "R-7" MIXED RESIDENTIAL, "R-10" MULTIFAMILY RESIDENTIAL, "RP" RESIDENTIAL PROFESSIONAL, "RMRP" MOBILE HOME RENTAL PARK, "RM" MOBILE HOME RESIDENTIAL, AND "RV" RECREATIONAL VEHICLE ZONING DISTRICTS,” BY ALLOWING, IN THOSE ZONING DISTRICTS, THE PARKING OF VEHICLES WITH A "GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING" (GVWR) OF 12,000 LBS. OR LESS PROVIDED THAT THEY MEET CERTAIN CONDITIONS AS TO OPERABILITY AND LICENSING; AND REQUIRING VEHICLES THAT EXCEED 12,000 LBS. GVWR THAT ARE PARKED ON A PARCEL THAT IS FIVE ACRES IN SIZE OR LARGER TO BE OPERABLE AND CURRENTLY LICENSED AND REGISTERED; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; 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.
Commr. Campione mentioned that they had been working on this ordinance for a long time. She commented that the residents that were storing inoperable vehicles outside were actually infringing on the rights of the adjoining property owners, and this would be a way to strike some balance.
Commr. Cadwell expressed that he appreciated staff’s work on this, because it was difficult to make sure that all of the residents could still operate in a normal manner, and although it did not solve everyone’s concerns, it was a better ordinance than what they had.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2014-2 amending Chapters I and III, Lake County Land Development Regulations (LDR), in order to address the parking of vehicles within residential and agriculture zoning districts with specific conditions concerning their operability and licensing status, and to require nonconforming parking in these zoning districts to be brought into compliance by August 1, 2014. There is no fiscal impact.
ordinance regarding commercial design standards
Mr. Minkoff 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, AMENDING THE LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS; AMENDING CHAPTER II, ENTITLED “DEFINITIONS” TO ADD THE DEFINITIONS OF COLOR CHANGE, EARTH TONE COLORS, FAÇADE, MASSING, NEUTRAL COLOR, PRIMARY COLOR, AND TEXTURE CHANGE; AMENDING CHAPTER IX, ENTITLED “DEVELOPMENT DESIGN AND IMPROVEMENT STANDARDS” TO CREATE SECTION 9.10.00, ENTITLED “COMMERCIAL DESIGN STANDARDS” TO ESTABLISH MINIMUM DESIGN CRITERIA FOR COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL, AND COMMUNITY FACILITY ZONING DISTRICTS; AMENDING CHAPTER XIV, ENTITLED “ADMINISTRATION,” SECTION 14.09.00, ENTITLED “SITE PLANS” TO REQUIRE SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS NECESSARY TO DEMONSTRATE COMPLIANCE WITH COMMERCIAL DESIGN CRITERIA, IF APPLICABLE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE LAKE COUNTY CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; 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.
Commr. Campione stated that she appreciated staff’s work on this and also thanked Ms. Carolyn Maimone, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter Homebuilders Association, for getting a group of builders together to look at the ordinance to make sure it would not increase the cost of construction but would instead enhance the curb appeal of commercial buildings built in unincorporated areas.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2014-3 amending Chapter IX of the Lake County Land Development Regulations (LDR), entitled “Development Design and Improvement Standards,” in order to establish minimum commercial design criteria within specified areas, amending Chapter II of the LDR to add related definitions, and amending Chapter XIV to require submission of documents demonstrating compliance with commercial design criteria, if applicable. There is no fiscal impact.
Amended Budget for Fiscal Year 2014
Mr. Steve Koontz, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, gave a presentation on the mid-year grant reconciliations for adjustments to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Adopted Budget and the mid-year adjustment for the Audited Fund Balances, Unforeseen Changes. He noted that they normally had a mid-year adjustment in April of each year after the audit when the fund balances and cash brought forward were finalized, but they were now splitting the process in two. He related that they did a purchase order (PO) carry forward process in the fall to estimate the expenses of all POs, but since the grants were more sensitive, they needed to do the amendment in order to reconcile the accounts to keep the grant projects on track. He summarized the changes to the General Fund, which included additional aiSmartBench software for the judges, an increase in the Supervisor of Elections HAVA Grant, and reductions in the share of the Medical Examiner costs. He noted that the changes to the other funds included reconciling a decrease in operating for the Community Development Block Grant, Public Transportation, SHIP, and Section 8 Grants. He added that there was an accounting change to the Landfill Enterprise, which resulted in an increase. He then requested that the Board approve the Amended Budget for FY 2014 to include the mid-year grant reconciliations and approve a resolution adopting a supplemental budget of $361,268,025 for FY 2014. He related that he would report back in April once the audit was complete and the funds had been reconciled.
Commr. Sullivan asked if the reconciliations helped to balance the budget at the end of the year.
Mr. Koontz answered “yes,” adding that it would allow for more time to get the grant projects on track and spend the money so at the end of the year the estimates would be better.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Amended Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 to include reconciliation of grants and approved Resolution No. 2014-8 adopting a supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2014.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
update on lynx routes 55 and 204
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Community Services Director, gave an update on LYNX Routes 55 and 204 and recapped that in March 2013 the Board approved ending Route 55 effective June 2013 and Route 204 effective September 2013 due to general fund budgetary issues, but the Board then directed staff to negotiate with LYNX to reinstate the routes in FY 2014 utilizing Section 5307 grant funds at the request of the riders. She noted that in October 2013 agreements were signed to reinstate the service for both routes with service starting in January 2014 under certain terms. She indicated that the terms for Route 204 were for reduced service from five morning and five evening trips per day Monday through Friday to two morning and two evening trips per day Monday through Friday at a cost of $56,371. She mentioned that the terms for Route 55 were for reduced service from 32 round trips per day Monday through Sunday to 16 round trips per day Monday through Sunday at a cost of $50,685. She related that the FY 13/14 agreement for Route 204 was approved by LYNX, and the service for both routes began on January 12, 2014. She related that after the Board approved to reinstate service for both routes, LYNX notified them of an increase in the cost and the need to further reduce the number of trips for Route 55. She explained that Route 55, along with all other Osceola County routes, had to be restructured to accommodate the new Kissimmee Intermodal Station for Sunrail and that restructuring had added three miles to Route 55. She noted that the proposed amendment to the Route 55 agreement provided for service between 6:05 a.m. and 8:05 a.m. and between 5:05 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. with only eight round trips instead of the 16 previously offered, and the cost of the service increased to $66,676 for nine months of service, which was an additional $15,991 that could be funded from the Section 5307 funds.
Ms. Keedy stated that LYNX continued the service for Routes 55 and 204 during the negotiations on renewing the agreements and that the service for Route 55 was continued for three months after the agreement ended in June and the service for Route 204 was continued for 18 days after the agreement ended in September. She noted that LYNX billed the County $15,325 for Route 55 and $8,541 for Route 204, and the invoice would have to be paid for with general funds, because the service was provided prior to October 1 when the County received the additional 5307 funds. She then asked the Board to approve the amended FY 13/14 agreement with LYNX for Route 55 and the payment of the LYNX invoices for previous service.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Celeste Clifford, a resident of Clermont, thanked the Board for reinstating Route 55, but she asked if they could extend the service into the evenings until about 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. so that the residents could return home from work. She noted that people still had to walk in dangerous conditions and pay cab fare, and she urged the Board to work with LYNX and find a way to extend the service.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Sullivan expressed that his biggest concern was that they were paying more money for less service and recommended continuing to work with LYNX.
Commr. Parks thanked Ms. Clifford for her persistence on this. He expressed his frustration with LYNX for having to pay extra for less service, and he felt that the County was being penalized because of Sunrail. He also recommended working with LYNX to keep the routes going.
Commr. Cadwell opined that Route 55 was not a convenience route; it was purely for people to get to and from work. He stated that he understood the pressure that LYNX was under with Sunrail, because Sunrail would not work if LYNX did not make changes to their portion of the bus service; however, the County has always dealt with LYNX in good faith, but they were no longer getting their value from them. He suggested having staff get a price from LYNX to get the afternoon service back.
Mr. Heath mentioned that he was planning on having a work session in March regarding Route 5, and they could include a follow up on this.
Commr. Cadwell asked if there was any way to get someone in a decision making position with LYNX to talk to the Board.
Commr. Conner stated that he had already suggested having the Chairman of the Commission and the President of LYNX sit down and iron this out and that he was willing to do that, or they could designate another commissioner.
Commr. Campione commented that the Board was looking for a solution, but they were at the mercy of LYNX, and having the Chairman talk with the President of LYNX was their last hope of getting LYNX to add the additional routes.
Mr. Heath clarified that they would negotiate to expand the routes to eight in the morning and eight in the evening or a similar combination to expand the evening service while making sure that the County’s share of the 5307 funds for South Lake continued to flow so they could pay for the route with funds other than the general fund.
Commr. Cadwell suggested sending a letter to the Chairman of LYNX after the meetings to let them know the history and what the County was asking.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the amended FY 13/14 LYNX/Lake County Agreement for Route 55 at a cost of $66,676 and providing eight round trips per day Monday through Sunday from January to September 2014, and approved the payment of LYNX invoices for previous service of $15,325 for Route 55 from the General Fund and $8,541 for Route 204 from the 5307 Grand Funds. The Board also approved for staff and the Chairman to work with LYNX to increase the evening service for Route 55.
wellness way sector plan
Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, presented an update as well as options to proceed with the Wellness Way Sector Plan. She recapped that in February 2013 the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) supported the County’s Sector Plan proposal for 16,200 acres in southeast Lake County, in July 2013 the landowners formed a corporation to partially fund the planning process, in April 2013 the County contracted with Littlejohn Engineering (LEA) to complete the plan, and in October 2013 LEA presented a draft plan to the Board and the City of Clermont at separate workshops. She indicated that there were multiple benefits of the Sector Plan, including providing long-term planning for largely undeveloped areas to create economic opportunity and to avoid sprawl; addressing regional issues, such as transportation; fostering innovative planning and development strategies; and protecting regionally significant resources and facilities, such as aquifer recharge areas. She detailed the various meetings that had been held for public participation which started with a scoping meeting in November 2012, with the most recent in October 2013 with the City of Clermont.
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Community Safety and Compliance Director and Project Manager for the Wellness Way Sector Plan, explained that the County had received a draft plan from LEA which provided a solid base to move forward with the understanding that some revisions may be necessary, and the Board postponed the plan on October 22, 2013 to allow additional time for consideration by the Board and some of the stakeholders involved in the process. He added that the City of Clermont had also raised some issues not brought up by the Board or stakeholders and related that the major issues included the number of proposed residential units, the coverage and density of the residential uses, the job ratios, and the transportation plan. He pointed out that the Sector Plan proposed five land use categories which were Employment, Mixed Use Urban, Mixed Use Suburban, Rural Reserve, and Conservation and that those categories were intended to provide a Hierarchy of Place to create a well-planned, balanced community with a focus on job creation. He then discussed each category, showed pictures of examples, and stated that the Employment category would have a workplace center within it and was designed for high intensity employment, such as industrial, office, hi-tech, research complexes and hospitals similar to Lake Nona and Medical City. He added that the floor area ratio was 0.3 to 3 and would allow residential with attached single-family and multi-family residences with a density of 4 to 12 dwelling units per acre. He noted that the Mixed Use Urban category included a town center with multi-story buildings similar to Baldwin Park and Avalon Park and was designed as a high intensity and density area with commerce, office, and service uses with a floor area ratio of 0.5 to 3 and a density of 5 to 20 dwelling units per acre. He mentioned that the Mixed Use Suburban category included a village center like a neighborhood shopping center and was designed as moderate intensity and density with office, commercial and service uses with a floor area ratio of 0.01 to 0.75. He added that it would allow single and multi-family residential at a density of 1 to 10 dwelling units per acre. He stated that the Rural Reserve category included a rural reserve center with a density of 0.2 to 1 dwelling unit per acre and explained that the Sector Plan was mandated to preserve areas where agriculture could continue, but to also provide some opportunities for increased development.
Ms. King pointed out that staff analyzed the plan and determined that it provided a good framework and that there was consensus on some of the major issues raised by the landowners and the City of Clermont based on the public input. She indicated that the County, together with the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO), would amend the plan to reallocate the land uses to reduce employment coverage; evaluate residential coverage and density; update goals, objectives, policies, maps, data, inventory and analysis; and refine the transportation model and data. She noted that staff would refine the draft plan in-house to save costs, and the consultant would transmit the proposed sector plan, respond to comments received from the DEO and other state agencies after transmittal, and see the County through to the adoption of the plan. She stated that staff’s next steps were to refine the plan based on Board and public input and bring it back for a workshop by the Board and the City of Clermont. She showed the proposed schedule for the workshops and transmittal and adoption hearings, noting that a public workshop would be held with the BCC and City of Clermont in March or April in which staff would ask for approval to advertise the transmittal of the plan. She related that the plan would be transmitted to the State in May or June, they would work with the consultant to respond to any comments in August and September, and they were planning for adoption of the plan in November or December. She then asked for direction from the Board to proceed with the revisions and scheduling for the Wellness Way Sector Plan.
Mr. Heath explained that one of their best kept secrets was the Economic Development Department, and to minimize costs that department would be looking at the number of units and the employment ratios and then Ms. King and Mr. Sheahan would determine whether or not the map would need recoloring. He added that they wanted to bring all of that back at a joint work session with the BCC and the City of Clermont.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Cecilia Bonifay, an attorney with Akerman Senterfitt, stated that she had attended the meeting to see where they were in the process and what direction the Board would give to staff in moving the plan forward. She opined that they were on the right track, and it was just a matter of refining the plan and figuring out some critical items, such as road locations. She added that they would continue to monitor the project and that they would be available to work with staff as needed.
Mr. Chris Roper, an attorney with Akerman Senterfitt, pointed out that the owners of Arnold Grove and Ranch had contacted him regarding a discrepancy in the land use category and zoning of their property in the proposed Sector Plan. He showed on a map where the property was located and noted that there was a 120-acre portion of the ranch that was currently designated as Urban Low on the Future Land Use Map and was zoned R-3 and R-4, whereas it was designated as Rural Reserve on the proposed plan, which was inconsistent. He mentioned that one of the goals of the Sector Plan was to not harm property owners or property rights and it seemed that that designation had slipped through the cracks. He added that he wanted this on record before the plan was transmitted to the State and that he had already spoken with staff and would continue to work with them.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Parks explained that he had reviewed the concerns about the Sector Plan after the last public hearing in October and came up with a few more. He stated that there was great beauty in simplicity, and he wanted to make the plan simple and predictable, but also protect what was important to everyone. He indicated that his first concern addressed Mr. Roper’s question, adding that the biggest measure they were trying to accomplish in the Sector Plan was not being reliant upon housing. He opined that having five land use categories was too many, and they should go down to four broad categories that were centered around the jobs to housing ratio. He related that he did not want to get away from the overall goal of keeping the 1.5 to 1 housing ratio, but it would mean that certain portions would have less of that ratio and others would have more. He also mentioned that he wanted to keep the existing density that was already entitled to the land. He noted that open space was also a concern, and that there should be a requirement of 50 percent open space including a wellness space which would interconnect the trails and some of the natural areas already defined on the maps. He added that Littlejohn put together a great policy for that, and they should incorporate that as well as a branding strategy. He remarked that one of his biggest concerns was about having a water strategy, and he wanted to change the paradigm for development, because they could not keep developing the current way without withdrawing more water from the aquifer. He noted that an objective should be put into the plan to state that all irrigation needs for landscaping must be met from non-potable water sources and that there should be a landscaping guideline that would provide examples and specific plans for all development in the area to adhere to, which would also enable them to meet the objective of the alternative water supply. He then asked if he could work with the County Manager to get some of those concerns into the Sector Plan.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he did not have a problem with that, but he advised to not be too strict with the plan and to make sure there was some flexibility to entice the market. He added that he wanted the plan to be binding enough so they would not lose sight of their goal, but also vague.
Commr. Parks stated that he recognized that; however, he did not want to get into specific lot per lot design. He noted that the detailed specific area plans (DSAP) process would take care of a lot of the finer points, but the broad goal was to make sure water resources were being protected.
Commr. Sullivan commented that while they wanted to keep the plan simple and predictable, they needed to lay out their goals and objectives in a flexible way and then let the development community figure out how to meet those. He stated that they needed to move forward and try to put a plan together, because transportation networks were important in Lake County and that would come into play as they moved forward. He added that they needed to take advantage of the existing road networks so that it would become a viable project.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved moving forward with the revisions and scheduling for the Wellness Way Sector Plan and for Commr. Parks to work with the County Manager on the changes he wanted incorporated.
appointment to the Enterprise Zone Development Agency
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed Mr. Greg Beliveau to the Enterprise Zone Development Agency to complete a three-year unexpired term ending June 12, 2015 and corrected the term lengths for Mr. Dwight R. Seidner and Mr. Skott Jensen to serve four-year terms ending June 12, 2017.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that he thought the retreat on January 21 had gone very well, with an educated discussion about what they anticipated their goals to be individually and as a group, and he appreciated the way the Chairman conducted it.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER conner – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
Commr. Conner stated that the upcoming Board Retreat would be held on February 12.
Commr. Conner reported attending various events recently, such as the East Lake Chamber and Mount Dora Chamber annual banquet, the Montverde Academy soccer grand opening, and the Veterans Memorial Dinner. He also noted that he had represented the Commission at Royal Harbor on their closed circuit television.
Commr. Conner stated that he had met with Reverend Jim Cornell, the Chaplain of the Jail, and that they would be having an annual banquet soon, and he wanted the entire Commission to attend.
Tour of animal services
Commr. Conner mentioned that he toured the Animal Services building yesterday.
Metro Orlando EDC
Commr. Conner noted that he had attended the Metro Orlando EDC’s board meeting last Wednesday where an employment report was given by a representative from the State of Florida. He related that Mr. Robert Chandler, Mr. David Heath and Commr. Campione all had a great reputation with the EDC. He also mentioned that the Metro Orlando EDC would be holding their annual banquet on April 3 and that he would be unable to attend and asked for Commr. Campione to go in his place.
Recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 12:20 p.m. that they would recess until 1:15 p.m.
fiscal year 2015 budget work session
Mr. Heath explained that they had kicked off their Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget at the January 14th meeting when they had Mr. Andrew Collins, the Chief of Property Tax Resource Management from the Department of Revenue, brief the Board on the developing trends at the federal, state and local level and that the purpose of this work session was to begin planning for the FY 2015 budget.
Mr. Koontz gave an overview of the FY 2014 adopted budget, noting that the Countywide budget was $351.2 million; the General Fund budget was $124 million; the General Fund reserves was $8.8 million, which was 7.6 percent of operating expenses; and the millage rates were kept at the FY 2013 levels. He showed on a graph that the gross taxable value for the General Fund for 2014 was at 0.64 percent, which was about a 33.9 percent decrease since the peak in 2008 and that there had been a 43 percent reduction in the number of General Fund positions since FY 2007. He showed a chart depicting the components of the General Fund and noted that the constitutional offices made up 60 percent, the departments made up 27 percent, the transfers and non-departmental made up 11 percent, and judicial support made up 2 percent. He explained that the Board worked through some challenges for the FY 2014 General Fund budget, which included the expenses continuing to exceed the revenues, causing a decline in the cash brought forward from year to year; the increase in the Florida Retirement System (FRS) contribution rates and the Medicaid expenses; and the one-time incentive for employees. He pointed out that the General Fund was balanced by cutting the County Departments by 5.3 percent and the constitutional budgets by 0.8 percent. He added that the Law Library and some Lynx bus routes were eliminated, $1.1 million from the Infrastructure Sales Tax was used for debt service, and there had been some savings in the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) costs. He predicted that the mid-year adjustment, which would be brought to the Board on April 8, would show that the cash brought forward exceeded their estimate by about $2.5 million and that they would apply that to reserves, facility maintenance and information technology needs after the audit was completed. He added that the revised reserves should be about $10.5 million or nine percent.
Mr. Koontz then discussed the FY 2015 millage outlook starting with the Public Lands-Voted Debt at a millage rate of 0.1900. He mentioned that the countywide values were estimated to increase by three percent and that the revenues would be at $2.9 million, which was an $85,000 increase from FY 2014, and the expenses would be at $2.7 million. He related that the current reserves were at $969,000, and any excess over the debt service would go into reserves. He indicated that the Lake County Ambulance MSTU millage rate was 0.3853, and the countywide values were estimated to increase by three percent. He stated that the estimated revenues would be $5.9 million, which was a $171,000 increase from FY 2014, and the expenses would be $6.5 million with a $5.3 million subsidy and $1.2 million reserved for other expenses. He added that the reserves were at $365,000 and that they used that money to fill in the gap for the current year. He also noted that trying to keep a status quo budget would be difficult since the expenses would exceed the revenues. He pointed out that the reserves supported the $5.3 million subsidy, but it would need to be reduced in FY 2015 and that Lake EMS was experiencing fewer transports and reduced revenue from operations. He remarked that the Lake County Fire EMS MSTU millage rate was 0.3222, and the unincorporated values were estimated to increase by 2.2 percent. He stated that the estimated ad valorem revenues would be $2.7 million, which was a $59,000 increase from FY 2014, and the revenues would be $19.5 million including the Fire Assessment revenues of $16.4 million. He related that they were in the process of updating the Fire Assessment study and would come back at the mid-year adjustment and after the study was completed with an update. He explained that the Parks and Stormwater MSTU millage rate was 0.4984 and was shared with parks at 87 percent and stormwater at 13 percent, and the unincorporated values were estimated to increase by 2.3 percent. He specified that the estimated revenues would be $3.9 million, which was an $87,000 increase from FY 2014. He indicated that they had multiple challenges when balancing this MSTU, because there had been a $400,000 shortfall. He added that an increase to the millage was considered, but they were able to transfer $400,000 from the General Fund due to the reduction in the DJJ costs. He noted that if they kept a status quo budget and even with an increase in revenues they still would not meet the needs of parks and stormwater.
Mr. Koontz described the challenges for parks and trails and mentioned that there was only a small increase in revenues, and there were multiple long-term capital repairs needed. He related that their current maintenance obligations included the East Lake Park, Minneola Athletic Complex, North Lake Park, and PEAR Park, while their future obligations included the South Lake Trail Phase IIIA and the North Shore Overlook. He detailed the challenges for stormwater and specified that their portion of the funding had to support the oversight and administration of current projects; the ongoing maintenance of completed projects; the Flood Plain, permitting, and inspection activities; and the monitoring and compliance with the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements. He reported that there were currently five projects in various stages of development, such as Wolfbranch Road, Lake Dora Basin, Lake Yale Basin, Upper PHA Basin, and Royal Trails flood study and that there was not any funding for new projects. He related that there would be about a $400,000 shortfall for parks for FY 2015, which would impact maintenance activities on the parks and trails and that they would not be able to address any long-term capital maintenance such as trail resurfacing. He indicated that there would be about a $50,000 shortfall for stormwater for FY 2015, which would impact permitting and inspection activities, as well as the Flood Plain insurance rates.
Mr. Koontz explained that the General Fund millage rate was 4.7309, and the countywide values were estimated to increase three percent for a total of $107.2 million. He specified that the ad valorem revenues were estimated at $72.2 million, which was a $2.1 million increase from FY 2014. He noted that the State Sales Tax was estimated at $12.6 million, and the State Revenue sharing was estimated at $5.3 million, which were both a two percent increase. He pointed out that they were estimating a shortfall of $4.3 million with the reserves at seven percent after projecting the revenues, the FY 2014 ending fund balance, and the expenses. He related that there were some challenges for the FY 2015 budget, including an increasing demand for services, specifically in the probation caseload and the development activity in Growth Management. He noted that they also had to consider the aging infrastructure for Facility Management and Information Technology, as well as the State mandates, the FRS contribution rates, and the Astatula Fuel Remediation. He added that there had not been employee raises in five years, the employee turnover had increased in recent years, and multiple jurisdictions around the County had given raises to their employees in FY 2014. He mentioned that a cost of living adjustment was not included in the budget. He showed a graph depicting the inflation and compensation changes over the last five years and pointed out that the employees had furloughs in 2010 and 2011, which impacted their pay by about 4.6 percent each year. He added that the furloughs were eliminated in 2012, but the employees were required to start contributing three percent of their pay to FRS, and a $500 incentive was paid to full-time employees in 2014.
Mr. Heath discussed the Sheriff’s Budget, stating that they have been fortunate that Sheriff Gary Borders had been one of the few Sheriffs in the State to reduce their budget over the last couple of years. He mentioned that Sheriff Borders had identified two principle issues he wanted addressed in his FY 2015 budget, which were vehicles and employee compensation. He indicated that vehicles were very critical to the Sheriff’s operation and that the Sheriff had 59 vehicles that needed to be replaced. He added that the Sheriff wanted to have a schedule where 25 were replaced each year, but there was funding for only nine vehicles in the current budget. He related that the Sheriff’s employees have not had raises in five years, and the deputies’ salaries were increasingly falling behind other jurisdictions, causing him to lose his competitive edge. He pointed out that the starting salary for a Sheriff Deputy was $35,485 which was the sixth highest as compared to other jurisdictions in the County and the fifth highest of the surrounding counties. He emphasized that the Sheriff continued to fall behind as the other jurisdictions gave cost of living raises and increased starting salaries. He added that they would continue to work with the Sheriff to address his funding needs, but they should expect a $3 to $4 million budget increase from him. He noted that they were anticipating around a $7.5 to $8 million deficit going into next year with the increase to the Sheriff’s budget, the $4.3 million shortfall, and the $500,000 deficit in the Parks and Stormwater MSTU.
Mr. Koontz explained that they had three different funding strategies for the General Fund, and the first was budget reductions. He first discussed the mandatory-critical budget if kept at status quo, noting that the total General Fund expense budget would be $116.8 million. He indicated that the expenses for the constitutional offices would be $67.8 million; the debt service would be $5.74 million; Medicaid would be $4.42 million; the community redevelopment areas would be $1.26 million; the Medical Examiner would be $820,000; the Juvenile Justice would be $330,000; the inmate medical would be $1.73 million; the Health Department and LifeStream would be $1.23 million; and the Facility Management, Information Technology and Probation would be $8.48 million, which brought the total expenses to $91.29 million and would leave a balance of $25.51 million. He then discussed the Board priorities budget and explained that the expenses for Economic Development would be $1.76 million; Animal Services would be $1.5 million; Public Lands would be $450,000; the Library transfer would be $3.76 million; Public Transportation would be $1.01 million; Solid Waste would be $300,000; Trout Lake, Historical Society, and We Care would be $140,000; Social Services Grants, Children’s Grants and Veterans Services would be $330,000; and the Fire Assessment for fee waiver institutional would be $200,000, which brought the total expenses to $9.45 million and would leave a balance of $16.06 million. He summarized that they would be looking at a General Fund budget of $116.8 million with the mandatory-critical expenses at $91.29 and the Board priorities at $9.45 million. He added that there would be $16.06 million left for general government funding and a shortfall of $4.3 million, bringing the reductions between 25 and 35 percent.
Mr. Heath commented that the reductions would probably be closer to around 50 percent with the Sheriff’s additional requests.
Commr. Conner pointed out that he understood the reason for showing how drastic the reductions would need to be; however, it was not a realistic solution, especially since citizens have come to them asking for more code enforcement officers and homebuilders have asked for an expansion of operations to deal with the additional permits coming in.
Mr. Heath explained that expenditures were normally looked at first when there was a deficit, and he wanted to make sure the Board knew the severity of it.
Mr. Koontz discussed the Infrastructure Sales Tax, noting that the estimated beginning cash brought forward for FY 2014 was $8.28 million and the total revenues were $5.92 million. He related that the total expenses were $10.5 million, which included the 800Mhz Debt Service at $1.21 million, the Capital Improvement Debt Service at $1.05 million, Lake EMS at $200,000, Parks and Trails funding at $350,000, the Judicial Center expansion at $1 million, the Judicial Center Renovation at $5 million, Animal Services at $150,000, the Historic Courthouse renovation at $1.58 million, Sheriff vehicles at $290,000, and the Emergency Communications and Operations Center closeout at $190,000. He specified that the estimated ending fund balance, which was also the estimated beginning cash brought forward for FY 2015, would be $3.18 million, and the total revenues would be $5.51 million. He mentioned that the total expenses would be $3.55 million, which included the 800Mhz Debt Service at $1.21 million, Parks and Trails funding at $350,000, Sheriff vehicles at $700,000, and the South Lake Regional Park at $1.29 million. He related that the estimated ending fund balance would be $5.14 million. He explained that they also had multiple unfunded needs, such as the Lake Idamere Miracle Field; the Tax Collector and Department of Motor Vehicles future space needs; the replacement of aging HVAC in existing buildings; the potential Fairgrounds relocation; the South Lake Regional Park; the replacement of County equipment, vehicles and other infrastructure; and the Lake County/EMS budget subsidy, which was a total estimate of $20 to $30 million.
Mr. Heath summarized that eliminating the mandatory-critical functions would leave a very limited base of funding to cut, and a lot of the departments would become dysfunctional, subsequently causing the level of service provided to the citizens to decline. He mentioned that legally they could use up to $5.74 million of the Infrastructure Sales Tax revenue to pay the debt of the Judicial Center; however, they currently only had $5.14 million available. He added that they could use the total amount if they cut existing projects such as the South Lake Regional Park. He noted that several commissioners made suggestions at the recent Board retreat regarding a countywide library fund, a Sheriff MSTU, and funding for parks and trails, but staff had not had time to analyze those, and he was not sure they had the expertise in-house for that. He explained the proposed budget strategy which recommended that the Board approve the budget guidelines of a status quo operating budget and to address the employee compensation issues. He added that staff would look at funding solutions for the Sheriff’s needs, monitor the legislature for any unexpected expenses, analyze additional funding for parks and trails, and bring a recommendation back in May or June. He briefly went through the budget calendar, noting that it was important to establish budget guidelines to give the constitutional officers and departments some sort of direction for their budgets. He then asked for the Board to approve the proposed FY 2015 budget strategy.
Commr. Cadwell noted that the suggestion during the Board retreat was to analyze a parks and libraries MSTU. He commented that this was a good start for them and they needed to work through a status quo budget, understanding that they needed to do something for their employees.
Commr. Sullivan mentioned that the earlier they started, the sooner they would find solutions and that this was a good first stab at the budget. He agreed that MSTUs were a good source to look at for parks.
Commr. Conner expressed that it was shocking that a lot of the cities had a higher starting salary than a Lake County Sheriff Deputy.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the proposed FY 2015 Budget Strategy.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:09 p.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK