A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
NOVEMBER 4, 1981
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in Special Session on Wednesday, November 4, 1981, at 1:00 P.M., in the Board of County Commissioners' Meeting Room, Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present were: Glenn C. Burhans, Chairman: Thomas J. Windram; Claude Smoak; C. A. "Lex" Deems; and James R. Carson, Jr.. Others present were: Christopher C. Ford, County Attorney: Michael Willett, Director of Development and Public Works; Kathy McDonald, Administrative Aide; Tim Sullivan, Assistant Planner; and Cathy Roy, Secretary.
Glenn C. Burhans, Chairman, called the meeting to Order.
PUBLIC WORKS/ROADS - COUNTY & STATE/COUNTY POLICY
Commr . Burhans addressed the audience to explain the purpose and objectives of the meeting. Commr . Burhans explained that Mike Willett, Director of Development and Public Works, would make a presentation on their recommendations of the proposed County Road Policy. Commr . Burhans stated that everyone in the audience would be given a chance to voice their opinions concerning the proposed road policy and asked that each group appoint a representative from their area to be the spokesman for their group. Commr . Burhans explained that this was a Public Hearing for the presentation of the Public Works Department and to receive input from the audience and that the proposed policy would be voted on at a later date.
At this time Commr. Burhans asked Mr. Willett to make his presentation. Mr. Willett explained that the objectives were to present the proposed road policies and to recommend a program for existing unmaintained roads within Lake County. Also included in the presentation are alternatives for preventing future utilization of existing lots of record that are not required at the present time to come under the Lake County Subdivision Regulations.
Mr. Willett explained that the LAKE COUNTY ROAD POLICIES
manual distributed to the audience was an informational document that is to make the public, employees and cities aware of how the County is going to handle certain types of problems concerning road maintenance.
Mr. Willett explained that one of the major changes in this policy was that the County would accept clay roads into the County Maintenance System. Mr. Willett explained that these roads would have to meet certain specifications set forth by the County in order to be included in the County Maintenance System. The second major change in this policy would be the changes in the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations outlined in pages seven (7) and eight (8) of the presentation. Mr. Willett also recommends that the County develop a five (5) year road program in order that the Commission might have more information during the budgeting process of how much money will be required to meet specific objectives and goals, and to determine what road projects have the highest priorities. Mr. Willett stated that the new policy also addressed participation projects with area cities if a municipality feels that it can save money by contracting through the County for bidding, inspection and engineering service, for certain projects within the city limits that are a part of the city system. Mr. Willett stated that one of the greatest changes in the lien assessment policy was the reduction of property owner participation from 75% to 55% of the property owners petitioning for consideration of a lien assessment project. The 55% of the petitioning property owners would be required to own 55% of the abutting property affected by the assessment. This would reduce the amount of property owner participation required before a lien assessment program could be implemented.
Mr. Willett explained that his staff had addressed the problem of unmaintained roads within the County by physically surveying each of the three County Maintenance Districts to determine the number of miles of unmaintained roads in each District. There are a total of 182.26 miles of non-maintained roads within the County. The priority system was then applied to these roads in order to prioritize the roads as set out in the Evaluation and Assessment Procedures for Accepting Unmaintained Roads into the County Maintenance System contained in the presentation material.
Mr. Willett explained that the roads were separated into three categories as follows:
1 . Unpaved Collector Streets - The County would pay 40% of the cost of bringing these to clay road standards and for those areas that utilize the lien assessment program the County would use its funds to finance the project.
2 . Paved Unmaintained Roads - The County would pay 33% of the total cost for roads that are now paved. The remaining 67% would have to be obtained from private sources. The County would pledge some of its revenue to the local lending institutions in order that they will be more readily willing to lend to these applicants. These roads would be paved to County standards, except in most cases only 18 feet of paving would be required. The County would also continue to pay the cost of testing the roads to determine how much work is needed to be done to bring them to County Standards.
3 . Unpaved Minor Streets - Would have to obtain the funds to improve their roads totally from private resources, the lien assessment procedure would not be available to them during the first year in order that we may concentrate these programs on the collector streets.
Mr. Willett explained that the funding for the above would come fron Revenue Sharing for the first year. It was also the recommendation of the staff that a one cent (lc) Local Option Gas Tax be placed on the ballot as a possible source of income for future Mr. Willett then addressed the audience to explain the requirements for a road to be accepted into the County Maintenance System as set forth in the handouts in the presentation.
Mr. Willett stated that this program would be brought up for review before the County Commission in December of 1982, to evaluate whether the goals of bringing unmaintained roads into the County System are being met and to again review the priority list.
Also included in the proposed County Road Policy is an update of the existing transportation plan which includes a five year construction plan. This plan addresses alternate transportation methods and safety improvements such as sidewalks and bike paths. This plan also includes the possible utilization of impact fees for the purpose of new development. The County would be divided into traffic zones of interconnected roads so that the developer would pay for the increased traffic on the roads that are already here. If the developer were to use a clay road, he would have to pay to upgrade the road to bring it to the standards that are needed to handle the traffic that the developer is generating.
Mr. Willett then addressed the problem of lots of record wherein existing subdivisions are plats of record but not yet developed. Mr. Willett stated that included in these subdivisions were 499 additional roads. Mr. Willett explained that his staff had three recommendations addressing this problem as follows:
1 . Amend the Zoning Ordinance, Section 70.20, that lots of record would not be recognized.
2 . Do not create any lots that are not on a paved, County Maintained Road.
3 . In a subdivision not completely developed, owners of undeveloped lots would be required to apply for a variance in order to receive building permits. The variance would be based upon agreeing to a lien assessment for road improvements. This could be modified to include lots of record on county clay maintained roads.
1 . Adopt the Subidivision Regulations and Zoning Ordinance under Florida Statutes, Chapter 163. This would permit Lake County to vacate all subdivisions platted longer than five (5) years. This subdivision would have to be under one ownership or 90% of the lots would have to be under one ownership.
2 . Subidivisions located in rural areas (as defined by Lake County Land Use Plan) that are in multiple ownership and partial development:
a . Additional develpment would only be permitted on current open roads.
b. Additional development would not be permitted in areas where roads are not open.
3 . Subdivisions located in urban areas (as defined by Lake County Land Use Plan) in multiple ownership and partial development:
a . Additional development would only be permitted on current open roads that are paved or where owners have agreed to lien assessment to pave streets. This could be modified.to include lots of record on county clay maintained roads.
b. Additional development would not be permitted in areas where roads are not open until property owners have agreed to a lien assessment to pave streets.
1 . Adopt the Subdivision Regulations and Zoning Ordinance under Florida Statutes, Chapter 163. This would permit Lake County to vacate all subdivision platted longer than five (5) years. This subdivision would have to be under one ownership or 90% of the lots would have to be under one ownership.
2 . Subdivisions that have open streets, the applicant may obtain a building permit if he agrees to a lien assessment to either bring this road up to clay or paved standards.
3 . Under no circumstances would a lot of record of less than 12,500 square feet be honored, unless there is central water and sewer, unless a variance by the Board of Zoning Appeals was granted, based on information that the lot could not be expanded because of multiple ownership and development patterns in the area.
Mr. Willett explained that it was the recommendation of his staff that the Board of County Commissioners adopt Recommendation III as stated above. At this time Mr. Willett turned the meeting over to Chairman Burhans.
Commr . Burhans addressed the audience and asked who wished to address the Board at this time.
Mr. John F. Thomas of Acorn Road, Astor, Florida, addressed the Board. Mr. Thomas stated that the roads in the area he lived had few residents; however, he estimated that 200 cars per day use these roads as connector roads to other County roads. Mr. Willett explained to Mr. Thomas that this would fall under the proposed policy that the County would contribute 40% to the cost of the assessment in order to compensate the fact that others beside the abutting property owners utilized the road, if a lien assessment was practical or possible.
Mr. John Gillis, Tree Road, Astor, Florida, addressed the Board concerning a problem of no lights on the roads in this area with narrow roads. Mr. Gillis explained that children have to walk these roads to catch school buses. Mr. Gillis also stated that a drainage ditch off River Road was blocked after County workers had been maintaining the road. Commr . Burhans stated that this problem would be checked out by the Public Works Department. Mr. Gillis stated that approximately 60% of the tax money in the Astor area came from residents of the campsite area and that he felt this area deserved more recognition due to the number of residents in that area.
Mr. James Anderson, 12 Birr Court, Mt. Dora, addressed the Board concerning the dedication of this road to the County. Mr. Anderson stated that 90% of the residents agreed to dedicate this road to the County. Commr . Carson explained to Mr. Anderson that 100% was needed in order to dedicate this road to the County. Commr. Carson asked if Mr. Anderson felt that he could obtain the needed percent for a lien assessment if the road were dedicated. Mr. Anderson stated that he felt he could get 100% participation for right of way on the road and that he felt the residents of this road would be open to consideration of bringing the road into the County system with all costs to be borne by the abutting property owners.
Mrs. Gordon, Boys Ranch Road, Altoona, addressed the Board concerning the problem of the road being impassable. Mrs. Gordon stated that two cars could not pass each other on this road and a dangerous situation because emergency vehicles would have a P problem entering this area. Mrs. Gordon stated that the clay put on the road just washes down toward the lake.
Commr . Burhans explained to Mrs. Gordon that this road has been on the priority list to be paved; however, they County has not been able to secure sufficient right-of-way for the County to pave the road.
Mrs. Gordon stated that she had discussed this with the Engineering Department but that she would meet with them again concerning the problems on this road.
Mr. Henry Knapp, Deerhaven Community, addressed the Board and explained that he lived off Forest Road #40, which has just been taken over on County maintenance. Mr. Knapp asked whether or not this community was eligible for any of the County programs. Mr. Willett explained that because this road was presently on the County maintenance system that it was lower on the list of priorities but would be considered in the future.
Ed Schmidt, Umatilla, addressed the Board concerning paved subdivision roads and where they stand on the priority list. Mr. Willett stated that the paved roads were not on the priority list for this year and recommended that Mr. Schmidt request that this road be tested to see what was needed to briny the road up to County standards.
Sue Glash addressed the Board as representative of the Astor Forest Property Owners Association. Mrs. Glash requested that she receive the specifications needed for this association to have their roads accepted into the County maintenance system.
Commr . Carson stated that at the present time the County did not have specifications for bringing clay roads into the maintenance system; however, should this policy be passed the Astor Forest Property Owners Association would be furnished a copy.
Marsh Church, Forest Ridge, addressed the Board concerning the need of his area roads to be covered with clay due to a sand problem. Mr. Willett informed Mr. Church that the roads in his area were on the first years' priority list should this policy be approved. Mr. Church asked about the possibility of grading these roads. Mr. Willett informed Mr. Church that because these roads were mostly sand that a grader would do more harm than good. The Public Works Department was directed to meet with Mr. Church at a later date.
A resident from Astor Forest Campsites addressed the Board and questioned the present policy concerning the percentage of residents required to briny the road up to County standards. Commr . Burhans explained that 75% participation was required.
Mr. Willett explained that under the proposed system that the County would pay 40% of a lien assessment and that the residents or some other source, would pay the remaining 60%. If the developer owned a number of lots, or a number of lots were owned and not built on, those owners would be responsible for their portion of frontage on the assessed road.
Mrs. Jean Williams, Shockley Hills, questioned Mr. Willett concerning the priority of the inner roads in Shockley Hills. Mr. Willett explained that the first year priority list contained only the outer perimeter roads but that the inner roads would be later in the program.
Mr. John Thomas again addressed the Board concerning the possibility of a special tax district being formed and would the cost have to be a millaqe. Commr . Burhans explained that a tax district would not be feasible in every case due to the homestead exemptions. Christopher Ford, County Attorney, stated that a lien assessment was more advantageous because the home-stead exemption did not apply to the lien assessments.
Mildred McDowell, Ft. Lauderdale, a property owner in Forest Ridge asked if the property owners who owned numerous lots would pay the same in assessment as the property owner who had only one lot. Commr . Burhans explained that the property owners would pay per running foot of road frontage.
Mr. Vanderford, Shockley Hills, addressed the Board and questioned whether or not the lien assessments were tax deductible. Mr. Ford stated that it would have to be included in the property as a capital improvement but that it would be deductible.
Commr . Smoak addressed the audience and asked if anyone in the audience would object to an additional one cent (lc) gas tax in Lake County to financially support this program. No one in the audience voiced objection to the one cent (lc) gas tax.
There being no further business to be brought before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 2:25 P.M.
GLENN C. BURHANS, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK