The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, December 12, 1989, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: C. W. "Chick" Gregg Chairman; Thomas J. Windram; Richard Swartz; Michael J. Bakich; and Don Bailey. Others present were: James C. Watkins, Clerk; Robert K. McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk; Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
James C. Watkins, Clerk, gave the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commr. Windram.
Commr. Gregg noted some changes which needed to be made to the Minutes of November 16, 1989 (Umatilla Town Hall Meeting), as follows:
On Page 9, Line 25, the word "legislation" should be "Legislature", and on Line 30, the spelling of the word "legislator" should be corrected.
On Page 12, Line 9, the word "dead" should be "debt" service.
On Page 14, Line 29, the name Mr. Browne should be corrected to read Mr. F. Browne Gregg.
On Page 15, Line 10, the word "screen" should be changed to "screenings".
Commr. Swartz noted the following change:
On Page 7, Line 19, the words "but not" should be inserted between the words "dispose of solid waste" and "until all of the other options..."
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Windram and carried unanimously, the Board approved the Minutes of November 16, 1989, as corrected.
Commr. Gregg presented Ms. Brenda vonHartmann with a Resolution, in appreciation of her years of service to the Lake County Library Board, and a plaque to Mr. Frank R. Johnson, Equipment Operator III, Public Works, in appreciation of five years of service to the County, as well as a plaque to Mr. Oscar A. Thibodeau, Court Bailiff II, Bailiffs, in appreciation of ten years of service to the County.
CLERK OF COURT'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following requests:
Request to pay Warrant No. 114532 through Warrant No. 114949, for the following accounts:
Paisley Fire District County Transportation Trust
Landfills General Revenue
Mt. Plymouth Fire District Countywide Fire District
Animal Shelter Trust Fund Mosquito Control
Miscellaneous/Gas Fund Countywide Library
Revenue Sharing Capital Outlay
Northwest Fire District Bassville Fire District
Pasco Fire District Fine & Forfeiture
Private Industry Council South Lake Fire District
Section 8 Aquatic Weed
Emergency 911 Fund Fish Conservation
Request to approve Satisfaction of Judgments for the following:
Joseph William Waldron and Ronney or Stella Waldron, in the amount of $50.00 - Case No. 89-1139-CJ.
Andrew Paul Norman and Martha Beatty, in the amount of $50.00 -Case No. 89-581-CJ.
Lowell T. Golby and Elaine Hyatt, in the amount of $50.00 -Case No. 89-1045-CJ.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases, for the month ending November 30, 1989, in the amount of $128,381.44.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Revised Statement of Revenues, Expenditures & Changes in Fund Balance - Budget & Actual (Year-end Report), from the Sheriff's Department.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance No. 89-35, from the City of Leesburg, annexing certain property owned by Mr. John D. Beck and Doris Beck, located west of the junction of U.S. Hwy. 441 and Georgia Avenue, into the City of Leesburg.
CLERK'S OTHER BUSINESS
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/COUNTY PROPERTY
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved a request to delete items from Fixed Assets, for the month of December 1, 1989, as follows:
Prop.# Department Item Amount Reason
45 Prop. Records Visible Card File $ 316.50 Junked
5686 Prop. Records Visible Card File 332.25 Junked
8386 Lake Co. EMS Conference Chair 210.00 Junked
8387 Lake Co. EMS Conference Chair 210.00 Junked
8388 Lake Co. EMS Conference Chair 210.00 Junked
8389 Lake Co. EMS Conference Chair 210.00 Junked
8390 Lake Co. EMS Conference Chair 210.00 Junked
8391 Lake Co. EMS Conference Chair 210.00 Junked
8392 Lake Co. EMS Conference Chair 210.00 Junked
9205 Northwest F.D. Portable Radio 635.00 Junked
11175 Area I Barn Chain Saw 499.95 Junked
11530 Astatula VFD Portable Radio 612.00 Junked
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Bakich questioned Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health & General Services, as to what size trucks will be purchased from State contract, as stated in Tab 12, to which Mr. Strickland replied that the trucks will be full size.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following requests:
Request to adopt a resolution for volunteer firefighter Mr. Chuck Morgan, for services above and beyond the call of duty.
Request for reimbursement to the City of Eustis, for salaries, benefits, and other expenditures, for the Eustis Library, for the month of September, 1989, in the amount of $29,511.99.
Request for reimbursement to the City of Eustis, for salaries, benefits, and other expenditures, for the Eustis Library, for the month of October, 1989, in the amount of $19,596.54.
Accounts Allowed/Animal Control/Contracts, Leases & Agreements
Request from Animal Control, to purchase two (2) pickup trucks, from State contract, at a cost of $10,265.24.
Grants/Health & General Services
Request for authorization for Social Services to apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant.
Request for approval of Service Certificates for County employees with one and three years of service, and authorized proper signatures on same.
Accounts Allowed/Planning & Development/Subdivisions
Request to release an Irrevocable Letter of Credit, in the amount of $6,000.00, for maintenance, on Sunset Hills Subdivision, and to replace same with a Certificate of Deposit, for the time remaining.
Roads-County & State/Signs/Subdivisions
Request by property owners, to change road names (cul de sacs which will convect to the main street name), in the Plantation at Leesburg.
Public Works/Roads-County & State/Subdivisions
Request to accept release of Murphy Act State Road Reservations, as follows:
#1439 - Reserve 40 ft. from centerline on Lake Griffin Road - Harbor Hills Subdivision - The 347 Corporation of Florida, Inc. - #l-7611.
Deeds/Roads-County & State
Request to accept the following right-of-way deeds:
JWG, a Florida General Partnership C-19A
Charley C. Hughes SR 42
J. Harry Erickson & Blanche C. Erickson #5-7660 Wilson Parrish Rd.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board to explain this request. He stated that a few months ago the Board expressed an interest in looking at full service solid waste collection for the unincorporated areas of the County. In response to said request, staff prepared RFP's for consulting firms to provide the County with assistance in preparing a full service solid waste collection program.
Mr. Findell stated that what staff was asking the firms to do was develop a plan that will set minimum standards for franchise operations, a method for awarding exclusive franchises versus non-exclusive franchises, establish franchise service areas, establish collection service levels for urban/rural areas, residential/commercial areas, develop mechanisms of finance through collection programs, develop the method for establishing additional residential and commercial rates, recommend initial collection rates, and develop a method for reviewing and evaluating future rate increase requests.
Mr. Findell stated that the Selection Committee had met on Thursday, December 7, 1989, and had interviewed and shortlisted the firms alluded to above to Camp, Dresser & McKee and SCS Engineers, noting that it was the consensus of the Selection Committee that Camp, Dresser & McKee be the firm to conduct the work effort, as being the most qualified firm to carry out said work. He stated, therefore, that he was requesting authorization to negotiate a contract with said firm, to bring back to the Board, for approval, sometime during the month of January.
Commr. Gregg questioned Mr. Findell as to whether, when said plan comes back to the Board, it is going to include recommendations as far as designated areas, franchised areas, etc., to which Mr. Findell replied that it would.
Mr. Findell stated that, as far as collections go, it will also readdress the special assessment versus the tipping fee issue.
Commr. Bailey then questioned whether the plan would make recommendations on the fee system, be it assessment, tipping, etc., to which Mr. Findell replied that it would. He then stated that the franchising, service areas, and special assessments versus tipping fees is what this program is all about.
Commr. Bailey questioned at what point the County could determine what the fee is going to cost the residents, to which Mr. Findell stated that it is too early, at this point, to tell. He stated that they are hoping the fees will be less, noting that one of the things that will be looked at is achieving economies of scale, through proper franchising and establishment of service areas in this collection program. One of the things that the consultants will be required to do is look at the rates that are being charged by the existing franchisers and then recommend rates that ought to be charged when this system is set up - if and when it is implemented by the Board - and to establish a mechanism for the Board to review said rates on a front-end basis, if the County goes to an exclusive franchise with exclusive service areas.
Commr. Bakich questioned where the $30-50,000.00 fiscal impact figure (noted in the handout) came from, to which Mr. Findell replied that it was a figure which a number of the firms, through proposals, submitted as a price range for the work, however, stated that said price would be negotiated.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Windram and carried unanimously, the Board authorized Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, to negotiate a contract with the firm of Camp, Dresser L McKee, for the development of a program that would provide for all residents of the unincorpocated area of the County to receive solid waste collection services.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board and explained this request, stating that the County would cooperate with the Cities, by providing drop-off points for the collection of Christmas trees (possibly various fire stations), and then have those Cities that have chippers and shredders come in and grind the trees into mulch, which would then be made available to the public, at no charge.
Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, questioned whether said program could be continued after Christmas to which Mr. Findell stated that it could, if it is done in a City that has a chipper or shredder, noting that the County, at present, has no capabilities of doing it.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board authorized Environmental Services to conduct a Christmas Tree Recycling Program, as recommended by Mr. Don Findell, Director.
BONDS/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning L Development, appeared before the Board and explained this request, stating that it was to enable the individual involved to complete the construction of his home, noting, that said request represents the sixth extension for said individual. He stated, however, that according to the progress report from last year, there has been some substantial progress made.
After a brief discussion occurred regarding this request, Mr. Swanson was asked by the Board what he would recommend, being said individual has had so many prior extensions, to which Mr. Swanson replied that, based on the progress said individual has made on his home over the past year, he would recommend a 6 months extension, however, monitor the construction very closely, as he feels said individual will have his home completed in that period of time.
On a motion by Commr. Windram, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved a request for a 6 months extension, only, of a mobile home bond for Mr. Michael Fashaw, Eustis area, District #4.
COUNTY ATTORNEY'S MATTERS
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board that she was going to start advertising for another staff person in the next few weeks, due to the heavy load which is being placed on her present staff.
On a motion by Commr. Windram, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved a Proclamation declaring the week of December 10-16, 1989, as "Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week".
Discussion occurred regarding the fact that the Chairman had not yet received names from his fellow Commissioners for their appointees to the Animal Shelter Committee. It was decided that said appointments would be made, at this time.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following appointments to the Animal Shelter Committee:
Mr. Stan Davis, Animal Abuse Investigator for the Lake County Humane Society, appointed by District 1 Commissioner
Ms. Lois Stacks, Animal Abuse Investigator, appointed by District 2 Commissioner
Mr. Richard Thompson, Veterinarian, appointed by District 3 Commissioner
Mrs. Jane Scovil, appointed by District 5 Commissioner
(District 4 appointee to be announced later.)
Commr. Swartz recommended that Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, assign whatever staff personnel is needed, to said Committee, as soon as possible, in order to help them get organized and obtain some direction.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, questioned whether the Board would want to define what the scope of duties of said Committee would be, to which Commr. Swartz replied that he had stated in a memo, as well as at the Board Meeting of December 5, 1989, the areas that he would like to see the Committee look into, which are the procedures, policies, and facilities that Lake County has, including the euthanasia policy and facilities. It was not to get involved in employee consideration, but strictly in the policies, guidelines, and procedures which the County is presently using in its Animal Control Program.
Commr. Bakich requested that the Committee bring back to the Board cost proposals to implement the program with this being included in the Resolution.
Commr. Swartz stated that his intention is for said Committee to meet, look at things on a very short-term basis, and get back to the Board with some immediate recommendations - that this is not something that will be ongoing, as such.
Mr. Thelen, County Manager, stated that putting the Committee's charge in a resolution, as suggested by the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, will be useful to the Committee. He stated that the resolution could be reviewed by the Board before it goes to said Committee, noting that it could be brought before the Board at the December 19, 1989, Board Meeting.
Commr. Swartz stated that the County has an Animal Control Ordinance of which a portion of it pertains to an Animal Control Board.
Discussion occurred regarding the fact that a "sunset" should be inserted in the resolution (possibly for no more than 6 months), otherwise, said Committee will be an ongoing thing, which it is not meant to be.
Commr. Bakich brought to the attention of the Board the matter of County vehicles (mainly full size pickup trucks) being assigned to employees and then being driven from work to home and vice versa, with said individuals having no real need for same, noting that he felt a committee should be formed for handling said matter He stated that he felt taxpayers could be saved money, over a long period of time, if said matter was given a hard look at.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, informed the Board that at Commr. Bakich's request, the Purchasing Department is developing a report which will soon come to the Board for their perusal. He stated that the issue came up when the two pickup trucks for Animal Control were requested, noting that he was withholding said purchases, until such time as the report from the Purchasing Department is available, which should be within the next two weeks, He stated, however, that one of the vehicles being replaced was in such disrepair that staff was forced to move ahead with said request.
Commr . Gregg stated that he felt it was a good idea and, in the process, felt that the Board should also look at who vehicles are issued to, in general, and try to establish some policy as to who they will be issued to in the future.
ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES/COUNTY EMPLOYEES
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, brought to the attention of the Board the fact that he had hired a Director of Administrative Services and Budget, being Ms. Eleanor Anderson, who, for the last three years has been Administrator for Osceola County, and for the ten years before that, was in the Management and Budget Office of Seminole County - the last five years as the Director.
HEALTH & GENERAL SERVICES
Commr. Bailey brought to the attention of the Board the fact that he had received a letter regarding the "Showcase of Senior Services", which is scheduled for March 16, 1990, at the Leesburg Community Building. He stated that he had attended said function last year and found it to be a very worthwhile thing. He stated that he would like for staff to work with all the County Government and provide a table, perhaps, in displaying any services which would be of benefit to the senior citizens.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 9:35 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 2:00 p.m., for a Mining Ordinance Workshop.
MINING ORDINANCE WORKSHOP
Commr. Gregg opened the Mining Ordinance Workshop by stating that the Board would go through the Mining Ordinance by starting where they left off at the last meeting, which was with language concerning "vesting", work their way through, and try to arrive at a consensus on each item as they go through it.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board stating that he has copies of the Conditional Use Permits, in the files, for the mines which the County presently has, as well as copies of Mining Ordinances from other counties, for reference purposes.
Commr. Gregg questioned Mr. Findell whether, when going through the existing mines and CUPS, he found that the largest majority of mines are already operating under a CUP or some form of operating permit, to which Mr. Findell replied that they found somewhere in the neighborhood of approximately 50 mines, give or take, that are under a CUP, in some fashion or another. He stated that if one we're to go through the CUPS, one would see that from around February or March of 1989, CUPS have followed the standards and requirements of the Mining Ordinance, however, prior to that, the CUPS were substantially less restrictive, or the County had less control over the mining operations and information requirements, as the CUPS were substantially less than what is presently being required.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, questioned the Board as to what action was actually taken at the last workshop meeting, where the Mining Ordinance was discussed, noting that there was some discussion regarding the possibility of doing two separate ordinances - one for small operators and one for other than small operators. He stated that, before going through the ordinance again, he felt those small operators present in the audience needed to understand fully what had transpired at said meeting, and needed to know if the Board was, in fact, going to have two separate ordinances.
Commr. Gregg, Chairman, responded, stating that at the workshop that was held some months back, the Board had asked for two separate ordinances to be prepared, however, as of yet, this has not been done, noting that Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, had given an explanation as to why this had not been done at the.last meeting which was held, regarding the Mining Ordinance.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that the potential of having two separate ordinances was discussed between himself, Mr. Greg Homan, Chairman of the Mining Ordinance Committee, and various other individuals in the technical field, and a conclusion was reached that the viability of doing so was very limited, as there is really not a strong mechanism or rationale for separating clay, sand, or peat mines of different sizes, because the individual impact associated with said activities could vary widely from site to site, therefore, each of the operations needed to be looked at, on a site specific basis, rather than looked at in a generalized sense.
Commr. Bakich stated that he was not aware of the fact that it had been decided not to draft two separate ordinances, until shortly before this meeting, noting that he would have liked to have had prior notice, due to the fact that he was involved in the process of working toward having two separate ordinances. He stated that he was not aware that the Mining Ordinance Committee was opposed to having two separate ordinances.
Commr. Swartz stated that he did not think, necessarily, that the Mining Ordinance Committee was opposed to having two separate ordinances, nor did he think that Mr. Findell was opposed to it, if a concept could be developed that could clarify and categorize the different aspects of it. He stated that he had been reviewing some of the other ordinances, however, had not seen one that was able to make that distinction.
Commr. Bailey stated that he was under the impression that it was the consensus of the Board to have two separate ordinances.
Commr. Swartz stated that he did not feel the Board should come down on the staff, as they have been working hard on the ordinance, as well as some individuals from the mining community, noting that it was not a simple thing to do, as evidenced by the fact that there does not seem to be anyone that is satisfied with it, noting that he was not satisfied with it, nor is the mining community. He stated that he has not seen anyone who has been able to present proposals to the Board suggesting that they do a certain thing. He suggested possibly continuing to work with what the Board has in front of them, this date, and, parallel to that, possibly having Mr. Richey work with some of the clients he has in the mining community that are the small mine operators, and come forth with a proposal that would make some sense and do what, hopefully, everybody wants it to do.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that two meetings ago, there were a lot of small operators present in the audience and they were told that the Board was going to develop a separate ordinance that would affect them. He stated they were told that the Board would be commenting on the ordinance which was before them at that time, however, would prepare another ordinance which those present in the audience could comment on at a later date. He stated that that did not happen, as the burden was not put on them to develop an ordinance for the small operators, or they probably would have tried to do so. He stated they were told that one was going to be developed, which was after the Mining Ordinance Committee had met and after the public hearing. He stated he was concerned about the fact that the Board had indicated there was going to be a separate ordinance, therefore, there ace individuals not present, this date, who are not worried about this particular ordinance, because they think these is going to be another one developed to cover them. He is concerned about the fact that the Board did state that a separate ordinance was going to be developed and put in comments, based on the ordinance before them this date, with an understanding that there would be a small operator mining ordinance developed at a later date. He stated that, to his knowledge, a separate ordinance covering the small operatrors was not presented to the Mining Ordinance Committee, therefore, one was not developed.
Another concern which Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated he had was that, if the idea is to develop this ordinance, and then, case by case, person by person, place by place, make this, or parts of it apply and have it be totally in the discretion of someone other than the applicant, then he felt that a proposal by the Board was in order, saying that they are going to adopt this ordinance. He also requested that staff develop a set of criteria, or performance standards, with which applications will be judged, thereby, giving individuals some sense of comfort and something to rely on, as it scales from a thousand acre deep water dredge to a five acre bar pit. He is concerned about the fact that the small operators will be substantially and materially affected, and is sure they thought they were going to be under something other than this ordinance, therefore, are not present.
Mr. Homan, Chairman of the Mining Ordinance Committee, stated that the Mining Ordinance Committee had discussed this very issue at length, noting that they finally gave up and drew a line at 5,000 cubic yards, stating that once the contractor trips to 5,000 yards, then they are considered a mine. He noted that the original ordinance, which was presented to the Board, reflected this. He stated that Mr. Logan (a local mine owner) had stated that the 5,000 yards was ridiculous and suggested making the limit 7,000 cubic yards, however, later decided that he did not like that amount either. He stated that Mr. Richey suggested, at the last workshop, to make it 20 acres, therefore, questioned where one draws the line. He stated that the small mine, located on the highway, has a greater impact on the residents of the County than does the big mine that is two miles off the road, stating that maybe the line needs to be drawn according to distance off the road.
Commr. Gregg Chairman, stated that he felt the Board had given an obvious, unanimous consensus of what they wanted, and felt that if staff was not going to follow that guideline, then the Board should have been informed as to why and what the difficulties were. He stated that he, personally, felt the ordinance before them was not an ideal ordinance, but had hoped that by the time the Board finished reviewing it, this date, they would be able to come up with something that would work in all cases. He requested his fellow Board members to speak up, at this time, if they wished to see all small mines eliminated from said ordinance, thereby, saving a lot of individuals a lot of hassle.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, commented, stating that if it is the ultimate goal of this ordinance to distinguish between small and large mine operators, and the Board wants the ordinance before them this date to apply to large operators, then they will have to face said issue head on, as they will have to define in this ordinance to whom it applies, which seems to be the fundamental problem that has not been able to be resolved, at this point.
Commr. Gregg stated that he did not feel it was the consensus of the Board to do that, however, if it was, then he felt the Board would come up with some sort of administrative regulations guaranteeing the pre-mining application.
There was no discussion regarding Page 1 of the ordinance.
Regarding Vested Rights on Page 2, Commr. Bakich stated that last week he had brought up the idea of meeting and discussing the possible phases of this issue, however, in talking with various individuals, he stated that he did not know how viable that option is. In terms of establishing the criteria for "vesting", he stated that if the mine presently has a St. Johns permit, a DER permit, a CUP from the Board, or have the reclamation processes, that those mines might be considered "vested". He stated that, from what he could gather, there was a lot of similarity between St. Johns, DER, and Lake County, noting that the only difference was enforceability. He stated that, at the local level, one has a greater ability to enforce, which he felt was the main emphasis of this ordinance, questioning Mr. Findell as to whether this was correct.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that it was correct to an extent, stating that what one would have to do is go back and look at CUPS that the County has prepared, on an historical basis, and discern whether there is a St. Johns permit, and a DER permit.
Commr. Bakich then stated that what he was saying was that if it was not any one of the three, then it was not "vested".
Mr. Findell stated that, if the mining activity preceded any of those permitting processes, then it could, in fact, still be a lawful mine under the ordinance before the Board this date.
Commr. Swartz stated that he had gone back and reviewed some of the existing CUPS which the County has and it appeared (noting that there could be some exceptions) that back to 1984 the County required something in the area of reclamation and some standards, however, prior to 1984 they began to be very erratic, with some requiring reclamation and some not even referring to it - no reference whatsoever. He questioned Commr. Bakich as to whether he was saying that if the mines met all the other requirements of a lawful mine, at the time that they were permitted, and had some type of reclamation program in place, that it would be considered fully "vested", to which Commr. Bakich replied that one of the biggest things that was discussed was the "eyesores" that some of the older mines have become. He stated that his opinion was, if the mine is not presently being mined, then it is not going to be mined, therefore, it is not going to be reclaimed - it is a scar, so to speak. Those that ace actively mined and have a St. Johns or DER permit, or a CUP, with a reclamation process, should be considered "vested".
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that if one went back to the older CUPS that were written, one would find that they did not set any standards for reclamation. He stated that the guidelines the County used, to some extent, at that time, was that if one had two-to-one excavation initially, then one was going to have a two-to-one reclamation slope, and if said slope was seeded, then it could be reclaimed. He stated that there was a mechanism to it, however, was not sure that the mechanism was ever followed to ensure that the reclamation, in fact, did occur and occurred properly.
Commr. Swartz injected that some of them had no provisions for a bond, to ensure that it was done. He stated that they did not have any "teeth" in them to make them enforceable.
Mr. Findell stated that another problem associated with them was that even though an operation plan and a reclamation plan was required to be submitted, he could not find any indication that the majority of those plans were ever reviewed or approved.
Commr. Bakich questioned whether, if a mine had a CUP, and those same mines had a DER permit or a St. Johns permit, or both, they would have to have some type of reclamation process, to which Mr. Findell replied that it would depend on when they were written and who regulated them. He stated that the County does not have requirements from other agencies as pact of their CUP applications. He stated that what the County's CUPS said, regarding that, in many instances, was that the applicant or permittee would follow the requirements of the Department of Environmental Regulations and the St. Johns River Water Management District, or whomever, from all the other regulatory agencies, but, that nothing was ever used as a measurable tool to determine whether that, in fact, took place, or what those requirements were.
Commr. Bakich stated that something the County has to keep in mind is that there is going to be a small part the County is going to have to pay in going back trying to retrofit this to today.
Mr. Findell, Director- of Environmental Services, recapped what the "vested rights" provision calls for, at present, and what Commr. Bakich's suggestion was, at the last meeting, regarding phasing in. He stated the way the "vested rights" provision is currently written, is that it fully vests any mine that is a lawful mine on the effective date of the ordinance, in terms of not having to apply for either a mining site plan or an operating permit - for the entire mine site. He stated that what it does require is that for that portion of the mine that is not being actively mined, they would be required to meet the standards of this ordinance - the general standards - the operation, the environmental standards, the reclamation standards, which has been a problem, insofar as there may be a mine that is 100 acres, and 20 acres are actively being mined, with 80 acres to be mined in the future, however, and the owner does not wish to meet those standards on said 80 acres. He stated what Commr. Bakich suggested at the last meeting was that, rather than dealing with the actively mined definition, as the determining factor of what will meet the new standards and what is fully grandfathered under the old regulations, would be the phase for operating in. That way, if one had a mine that had four phases and two of said phases were mined, rather than drawing the line that would have to be met under the new ordinance, as far as standards were concerned, anything beyond the phase they were operating in would have to meet the standards of the new ordinance.
Commr. Gregg questioned Mr. Findell as to how many of the mines were actually phased, to which MK. Findell replied that the smaller mines are not, however, the majority of the larger ones are.
Mr. Don Darley, Florida Rock Industries, appeared before the Board, stating that his firm operates large sand mines and questioned who got the idea of phasing sand mines, noting that they do not have to be phased, as once a mine is built, one begins operation, and it cycles within that area. He stated that there is a beginning as one goes into it, and an end as that permitted area is complete - it is just one continuous cycle.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, disputed what Mr. Darley had said, stating that the large operations, such as Florida Crushed Stone and Florida Rock Industries, do not have phases within the pit - they may have additional land which adds to it, but, he added, if the Board was to look at the excavation CUPS which they have before them, they would see that the mines on Hwy. 50 have five acre phasing, and some of the other mines have two acre phasing. He stated that Mr. Hewitt's mine (a local mine) has a 10 acre phasing, noting that it is the small operators that have phasing. He stated a problem with the large operators is that they have already started their dredge and cannot physically phase, and the small operator may have the land to do something different, but economically cannot afford to. He stated that if one goes from a two-to-one slope (which is in a lot of the CUPS), to a four-to-one slope, the small operators will be hit hard, materially and economically. He stated that the large operators cannot do it, because their dredge is already there.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, then commented, regarding what Commr. Bakich had suggested concerning "vesting", and a concern that Commr. Swartz had regarding someone operating a mine that is not regulated. He stated that the large operators, and those that are not running the dredge operation, could probably live with the idea of "vesting" being tied to a DER permit, a St. Johns permit, or DNR permit (which would have the conditions alluded to by Commr. Bakich and have, as part of them, a reclamation plan which the Board is concerned about), and the others are covered by the CUP. He stated that, although they might not have all the "teeth" in their CUPS, the idea of "vesting", based on the contractors being able to show a permit, with the concerns the Board has expressed, regarding reclamation, he feels, is acceptable to the great majority of individuals he represents, however, there are some individuals that have a three and four acre pit, that do not have St. Johns permits, but, he feels they are such small operations that they are not the ones that are causing concern.
Commr. Bakich stated that he was under the impression that a majority of the mines were, in fact, phased.
Mr. Darley, Florida Rock Industries, reappeared before the Board stating that all the sand mines that his firm has that are not dredging, even the oldest ones, have been required to come back to the St. Johns River Water Management District, to get what they call a Manage and Store Service Water Permit (MSSW), which has, at the present time, the most stringent regulations that the mining community is dealing with in Florida. He stated that, even though they may not be addressed in a CUP, at the County level, they are still addressed.
Commr. Windram questioned Mr. Darley, since part of Lake County is under the jurisdiction of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), whether they had similar requirements to which Mr. Darley replied that the SWFWMD is currently writing mine reclamation rules.
Commr. Windram then questioned whether it is the intent of the SWWMD to go back and pick up the older: mines, the way the St. Johns River Water Management District did, to which Mr. Darley stated that the SWFWMD is required, by law, to go back and pick said mines up as still being active.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, injected that Florida Rock Industries and Florida Crushed Stone did not have a phased mining operation, in fact, their CUPS are in phases, noting that this is what he was referring to - that on the larger mines, they may have a mine site permitted, but the permitting is done in phases, so they operate through a phase approach.
Mr. Fred Crabill, Florida Crushed Stone, appeared before the Board stating what he felt the different stages of phasing is. He stated that Florida Crushed Stone received their initial CUP, and subsequently, purchased additional acreage, then, when they purchased said acreage, they went in and applied for a permit to mine said acreage. He stated that the Board may call this phasing, because it was a permit, with an amendment and then another amendment, but, in his opinion, this was not phasing.
Commr. Bakich questioned Mr. Findell as to whether he was familiar with Mr. Darley's comments, in reference to the St. Johns River Water Management District which required reclamation, to which Mr. Findell replied that he was, questioning the fact that if the current mines are operating under substantially more stringent standards than what the County is proposing in the Mining Ordinance, he does not see why it is a problem for the operators to meet the standards of said ordinance.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, commented, stating that adding acreage, under any definition that has been applied this date, would require any of the new acreage to meet the new standards of the ordinance before the Board this date, noting that if his client had 100 acres and then added 20 acres to it, they would be meeting the new standards. He stated that all his client would be trying to do would be to vest the 20 additional acres. He stated that once the dredge is there, it would be difficult to switch to some other standard, and this is the problem he has with not "vesting", as based on the CUP. He stated that some of the standards of the St. Johns River Water Management District, depending on the time, have different conditions, but, the mine operators are relying on it and dealing with it now. For the Board to come in with either more stringent, or some other kind of standacds at this time, may be unnecessary in some cases, or may be more burdensome. The County already has a set of permits in place and is relying on them, therefore, it seems ludicrous to have to come back and do something different. He stated that all he is asking the Board to do is, when there is additional land, that the operators be allowed to move into the new areas, and meet the new requirements, because that additional land, and product which is being gained, is economically judged, based on the new standards and burdens. He stated to go back retroactively and deal with those burdens - not just on the sloping - which is the reclamation, but the whole operation side of it, is a burden that the operators do not need. He stated that the large operators ace not the ones that complaints are being received on, but rather the small operators. He stated that, if the Board looked at their excavation operations, which are the focal point of most of the public criticism, there are substantial protections already in them.
Commr. Swartz injected that those substantial protections have not done the job - that it is more than just an aesthetic situation, noting that some of those mines that are located along Highways 27 and 50 present more of a problem than just aesthetics - that, on some days, blowing sand from them has clouded the sun.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that the ordinance before the Board this date would not change that problem, to which Commr. Swartz responded that this was one of the problems he has with said ordinance.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that there are enough "teeth" in the present CUPS, that if the County wanted to, they could use the enforcement acts available, to deal with such problems.
Commr. Bailey questioned the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, whether there was any way staff could check to see if the enforcement in some of the CUPS is there, for the Board to be able to recall them, and do something about it, to which Ms. Lustgarten replied that any violation of the CUP's condition is enforceable. Commr. Swartz stated the problem is that the conditions in those CUPS are much like some of the conditions and the standards that are in the ordinance before them this date - vague and open-ended.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that the conditions, the code enforcement, and the revocation is there, and there is enough specificity in those that, if the Board wanted to, they could take action.
Commr . Gregg stated that in this new ordinance, no matter what language the Board adopts in the "vesting", he does not think anyone will argue, or has, so far, suggested taking out the language concerning a hazard to the public health, safety and welfare, at which time he referred to the blowing dust on Hwys. 50 and 27, where it becomes a hazard to the public.
Commr . Swartz stated that the mines do not just create an air quality situation, but also create problems due to noise and setbacks, as well as problems with the sloping that some of them have. He stated the reason he brings the issue up, is due to the fact that the Board is dealing with the issue of "vesting", but the issue of "vesting" impacts all of the pages and pages of standards that come behind, and whether the Board agrees or disagrees on the standards, the "vesting" will have a lot of impact on that.
Commr. Bailey questioned Mr. Findell as to what date the mines (SO), listed on the sheet that was distributed to the Board for their perusal (dated from 1970 to the present), started meeting the standards of the ordinance before the Board this date, to which Mr. Findell replied it would be the mines that are listed since February, 1989. He stated that one would have to go back and look at the CUP for that individual mine and make a determination whether it, in fact, does meet the requirements, through some other regulatory agency, and address the standards that have been established.
Commr. Bakich stated that within the registration provisions of 90 days, if they cannot prove that they have a permit from St. Johns or DER, or if it does not comply with the County's CUP, then it would not work.
Commr. Gregg stated that the language "if required" will have to be put in the ordinance, due to the fact that some of the mines are not required to have a St. Johns or DER permit.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that, if the County is looking for some way of determining how much should be "vested", and is going to rely upon the permit that another agency has given the operator then, perhaps, what the County is going to have to do is make a determination whether the permit for that particular mine, from another agency, in fact, does meet the standards that the County proposes in said ordinance, and, if it does not meet the standards that the Board settles upon, then they would have to meet the standards, and conditions of the standards, that have been established by another agency.
Mr. Crabill, Florida Crushed Stone, reappeared before the Board, pointing out the fact that he has a couple of permitted amendments that are prior to 1989, that have the stringent standards, therefore, he believes that it is not just in 1989, but, possibly a little earlier than that. He then stated, regarding "vesting", that miners have looked at a piece of property and relied on the Board's decision, and what was in place at the time that they did their economic determinations to allow them to go ahead and say that they were going to commit themselves to putting in the mine (noting the expense of building a mine, the plant, the dredge, etc.), and after being in the process (having relied on the economics of whether it would be a profitable operation), the Board changes the rules. He stated that the economic side could kill the miners. He stated the concern is that there ace a lot of mines that have a lot of acreage, that have no standards applied to them, because they were permitted under more lenient standards years ago. He stated that he feels the Board needs to look at how much of said acreage is really out there, to see what kind of problem it is or is not.
Senator Richard Langley appeared before the Board stating that he was tepresenting a good majority of the citizens of south Lake county, and would limit his remarks to "vesting". He stated that he felt the Board would have to look at the overall picture and ask whether said mines are good or bad for Lake County, noting that there is very little employment involved in said mines, as most of the trucks are out of Orange County, and have little or no benefit to Lake County, other than utterly destroying the topography of the
County. He stated that it is time to stop the bleeding, which he feels the County is doing, in the whole look of the area. He stated that, in looking through the definitions, rather than just "vesting", feels the Board should do a broader scope and draw the line if it disturbs the land. If the land has already been topped off, or has had the top removed and started mining, fine, let them continue to do that, but to allow these people who have permitted hundreds of acres to carry on under the old law is not going to help the situation whatsoever. He stated that it is the Board's duty to protect the welfare of the citizens of Lake County. He stated that he has stood on his tennis court, on the north side of Lake Minneola, and watched sand fall on the tennis court, from the mine on Hwy. 50, which is almost three and a half miles away, as the crow flies. He stated that, whatever the County is doing, its not working, and feels the citizens of Lake County need to be protected from problems such as this, and the Board is the only one, right now, that can do it. He stated that as long as the rules are applied fairly across the Board, he does not see how the miners can complain.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, reappeared before the Board stating that he went back to the 1984 and 1985 CUPS, which were given to the Board, and found in them dust control provisions, an excavation plan, phasing, bonding, etc., starting with 1984. He stated that, if the Board would look at the number of pits that have been done, and the number of permits, a substantial amount of the mines are already under CUPS. He stated that, clearly, there is a problem in Lake County with winds blowing uncontrolled sand, some from agricultural purposes, some of it from excavation operations, and some of it from acts of God, but, it is clear that there are critiques within the CUPS to control it. He stated that they are not talking about the fact that someone might adjust, to accomodate - what they are talking about is a financial inability to comply, and putting a man out of business when he, in fact, bought and relied on the CUP. He stated that the Board can talk about the large operator versus the small operator, however, the ordinance the Board is proposing this date deals only with one kind of operator. He stated that, if the Board asked the operators to go back and convect to two-to-one slopes, and lose the ability to "vest", they would be putting the small operators out of business. He stated that the large operators have the financial ability to adjust, but the small operators do not.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, then touched on the issue of "disturbed land", stating that it is not a workable situation, when one talks in terms of "vesting", because (1) in the large facilities, there is a sheer dropoff, and there is not any 8 ft. excavation on top, and (2) the small operators were given permission, by the Board, to remove the top soil, but the top soil is only 5 ft. deep, therefore, they lose their grandfathering (their ability to "vest") because they cannot meet the 8 ft. depth. He stated that, if the County starts adjusting this, they will end up doing harm to someone, because there isn't a magic formula that meets the criteria. He stated, that if the miners have a DER permit, or a St. Johns permit, more than 80% of the existing CUP's have substantial conditions in them which deal with the problems. If, in fact, the County has been enforcing them, that is one concern, but, the fact that the County has the "teeth" to do it, and is going to have more "teeth", from this point on, is something the Board can deal with, independent of this ordinance.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, then stated that, due to the visibility of certain mines, and pcoblems they have caused for the general public, this ordinance is being enacted, however, it does harm to individuals whose mines ace off the highways, ace not seen by the general public, and have not caused a problem to anyone, yet they are being put out of business - this concerns him.
Commr. Bailey questioned Mr. Findell as to whether the problem with the blowing sand, from the mines on Hwys. 50 and 27, can be enforced, to which Mr. Findell replied that he would have to look at the individual CUPS for those operations.
Commr. Bailey then stated he would be interested in finding out why nothing is being done about those that, supposedly, have an enforcement clause in their CUP.
Commr. Swartz stated that one of the problems staff has is trying to go back and enforce CUPS that do not have a lot of clarification, or real standards, to gauge them on.
Commr. Bailey questioned the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, as to where the County is, legally, regarding mines which have gone through County regulations, and Board approval, to which Ms. Lustgarten replied that they are existing, permitted mines, within Lake County, as far as how the Board would affect subsequent operation of the mines. As far as the definition of actively mined, she stated that, as long as the County specifically designates that portion of a mine, they clearly have the ability to "vest" a certain operation, and have new regulations apply to subsequent operations that are not actively operating. She stated that all the mines that presently have CUPS are validly operating mines, within Lake County. As far as enforcement, it can be difficult to enforce those particular provisions that do apply, if the County has very big standards. Code Enforcement would have to address the problems they may or may not have had in the past, in attempting to enforce.
Commr. Bailey questioned whether there was anything that Code Enforcement could do, to which Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, replied that Code Enforcement could make a professional judgment, based on their experiences, as to whether there is a violation of an existing provision in a particular CUP, then site a particular activity, and go through the process. She stated that the violator would have a public hearing, at the Code Enforcement Board level, at which time they can refute any alleged violation that staff determines may have occurred.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, questioned whether the Board could address said problem if it became a nuisance, to which he was informed that they could. He stated that regarding "vesting", clearly, the public health, welfare and safety is evident. He stated, however, that this points out a problem with the new ordinance, as well as any old CUPS, in that there ase no standards -that the Board has not adopted any standards, nor does the ordinance before them today have any standards, regarding the problems alluded to earlier. He, therefore, suggested that the Board adopt some standards, independent of the ordinance being discussed this date, where everyone is treated equally.
Mr. Feed Crabill, Florida Crushed Stone, stated, from the audience, that the CUP should require the mines to have some kind of dust control plan that Code Enforcement can go back to and enforce.
Commr. Swartz stated that the problem is in having a standard that all agree upon, and wording that can be fully understood.
Commr. Gregg questioned whether there were a lot of mines in existence where they have, for example, 100 acres, however, have only actively mined 10 of said acres, questioning whether this was a major problem, or was that an exception rather than the rule, to which Mr. Findell stated that he could not answer said question, at this time, as he would have to review each CUP. He stated that this was one of the reasons why the County has a registration provision in the ordinance - to enable staff to determine where the mines are, in their mining process.
Commr. Bailey stated that the subject of "phasing" keeps coming up, however, the mine operators say that there is no "phasing" clause in their CUPS. He questioned whether, in fact, the CUPS do mention "phasing", to which Mr. Findell replied "yes", that in some of the CUPS, there is a requirement that a "phase" approach to the mining operation be followed. He stated that one of the reasons why the mining community often wants to do a "phase" app-oath, is because the reclamation bond, associated with the activity, is less, if it is carried out on a "phase" basis, than it would be if the mine was permitted and a reclamation bond was established for the whole mining operation, at one time.
Commr. Swartz commented on the area of reclamation considerations, stating that one of the concerns he is aware the large operators have is that, if one is not given extraordinary "vesting" rights, they are concerned about their ability to go back and provide some of the sloping and reclamation that the standards provide. He questioned whether, when moving from one pit, that is permitted, to another pit, the second pit should not be permitted, as well. He questioned whether some understanding could be reached to where, when the mine operators cannot meet some of the reclamation standards, they could obtain variance for some of those procedures - that all they would have to do is show the Board that they cannot meet them.
Mr. Crabill, Florida Crushed Stone, commented regarding the fact that there would be additional cost to go into an ordinance that is going to require higher standards, higher levels of reclamation at the end, etc., to which Commr. Swartz responded that the Board is aware of these facts, however, requested the operators to, when moving from one pit to another, try and meet some of the standards.
Commr. Windram brought up for discussion the issue of setbacks and questioned how the surrounding counties, such as Sumter, Marion, and Orange, handle setbacks, to which Mr. Findell replied that said counties have mining ordinances or excavation ordinances.
Commr. Windram stated that the only reason he was questioning the setback issue, was to see if the surrounding counties were all playing by the same rules, due to the fact that it creates a level playing field, from a standpoint of economics.
Commr. Gregg stated that he did not think there was a level playing field, due to the fact that some counties do not have the resources that Lake County has, that are being mined, such as Seminole County, therefore, one cannot compare.
Commr. Gregg then stated that he feels the biggest source of complaints have been regarding the blowing sand, from the clay operations and the soil/cement operations, and would bet if staff looked at the CUPS for said operations, they would find that the County has the means for enforcing the violation of the blowing sand, therefore, need to request Code Enforcement to investigate the problem and, if necessary, enforce it. He stated that he feels the County is beating on an issue that it already has regulations for. He stated the problems is not that the County does not have the ordinances, but that the County is not enforcing the ordinances they have. He stated that, as a means to solve the stalemate the Board seems to be at, suggested "vesting" the existing lawful, permitted operations, and require the operators to register for a period of 24 months, then, they would fall under the new guidelines.
Considerable more discussion occurred regarding the issue of the blowing sand, at which time Mr. Richey, Attorney, and several of the Commissioners commented, one being Commr. Gregg, who stated that he did not think that any of those present would disagree, as far as the public's safety in controlling the blowing sand, and felt that all involved could probably come to an agreement.
Mr . Richard Cauthen, Attorney, representing one of the smaller mine operations addressed the Board, from the audience, stating that what the Board is suggesting, regarding the 24 month provision, is going to cause some very substantial problems for at least two of the mines in Lake County, to which Commr. Gregg stated that that idea died, so the Board did not need to waste any time discussing it further.
Ms. Millie Warren, a resident of Clecmont, appeared before the Board and stated that the "fugitive particles" (blowing sand), as it is, called is very visible in her area, which is Anderson Hill, overlooking the City. She stated that the sand is going to destroy the health and welfare of Clermont, due to the dust blowing in clouds over the City. She stated that she took pictures of the sand mines, from Hwy. 50, coming into Clermont, and residents were actually driving with their car lights on at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon, due to the amount of dust in the air. She stated that sand mines should never have been allowed within 10 miles of the City.
Mr. Emil Jahna, E. R. Jahna Industries, stated, from the audience, that he feels a lot of the problem regarding the blowing sand is due to the mines being located on a hill. He stated that before 1983, they never received a call regarding the blowing sand, however, after the freezes which killed all the orange groves, they started receiving such calls.
Discussion occurred regarding the language of the ordinance and exactly how it should be written, at which time Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, suggested that the mines register, as the ordinance is presently written, and then staff would review the permits associated with those mines, whether it is a Conditional Use Permit, a DNR permit, a DER permit, or a St. Johns River Water Management District Permit, to determine said mine's compliance with the standards of this ordinance. He stated that once staff reviews, and makes a determination that the permit conditions from other agencies do not comply with the proposed ordinance, or with the ordinance which will eventually be adopted, then they will be required to meet the standards that they are not under, under their existing permits.
Commr. Swartz stated that the only exception to that would be, in cases where they can show staff that they cannot meet a particular standard, then, through the review process which Mr. Findell alluded to, staff would deal with that as a portion of the "vesting" and the meeting of standards. In cases where, through the administrative review, that cannot be resolved, then he feels it should come before the Board and let the Board decide whether or not they should meet those particular standards.
Commr. Gregg stated that, regarding the slope standards required in the ordinance, he feels if they show the angle of repose of the material they are digging is a lot less slope than what is indicated in the ordinance (noting that he is talking about public safety in the failure of the slope), then he does not know if the County ought to require it, being that this is where some of the major expenses occur. He stated that, requiring them to change the slope which they are presently operating on is getting into a major loss of material, and if the diagonal repose on the material they are dealing with is a lot greater than the slope, then it does not present a public safety hazard, therefore, he thinks the Board needs to give some leeway to staff in administratively reviewing the CUPS, to see what actually is a hazard to public safety. He feels that blowing sand is a hazard to public safety, as well as an extremely steep slope that is beyond diagonal repose, which is going to fail beyond the property line, oc right at the property line.
Ms. Lustgacten, County Attorney, stated that the Board's direction is relatively clear and, as Commr. Swartz pointed out, the exemption process is available, and clearly provides that if there is a hardship, a variance can be granted.
Discussion occurred regarding the issue of who would grant the variance, the Board of County Commissioners or the Board of Zoning Appeals, at which time Ms. Lustgarten stated that this was a decision the Board needed to determine.
Commr. Swartz stated that even during the period of review, he would like for staff to have the ability to deal with said issue, if they can - that it would only be in instances where staff and the applicant cannot come to an agreement, as to meeting the standards, that it would need to come before the Board for a decision.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that some of the provisions in the ordinance do not have specific guidelines, and feels that any ordinance, in order for it to be viable, has to have minimum guidelines, in order for staff and the applicant to know what they are.
Commr. Gregg stated that any duplication of services the County can avoid needs to be kept in mind, noting that passing an ordinance is not going to solve the problem - that the County has got to enforce the ordinance. He requested the County not to duplicate any more existing laws and regulations than they have to, if they are presently being enforced.
Commr. Windram stated he felt it was extremely unfortunate that the County has to have the number of government entities involved in the same procedure, as it has. He stated he thought it was disgraceful that there is not some way that the County cannot put this authority in one element of government and get the job done.
Commr. Swartz stated that there is a way to do it (noting that some other counties are presently doing it), which is by entering into interlocal agreements with some of the agencies, such as DER, EPA, the Water Districts, etc., thereby, allowing the County to issue the same permits that the other agencies do, however, be willing to enforce and regulate, to the extent that said agencies do, which is something that the County ought to consider doing.
Upon being questioned by Commr. Bakich as to what he had stated earlier, Commr. Swartz stated that what he was suggesting was that, when the County deals with mines that currently have lawful permits, that they be vested in the ordinance before the Board this date, in the sense that they can come under the registration provision, as outlined in the ordinance, but, in addition to that, that they be required t o meet those standards, which he feels they can, and to deal particularly with those standards that involve the public's health, safety, and reclamation - to look closely at those, and to require those existing lawful mines to meet them. He noted that there is presently a provision in the ordinance, but he would like to allow staff the administrative flexibility in looking at it and determining the degree of "vesting" and the degree of compliance with the standards - that they will be able to look at it and require those mines to meet them, to the extent that they can meet them - the standards and the reclamation. Beyond that, any applicants which are unable to come to an agreement with staff, in an administrative type hearing, have the variance ability to vary the standards, as they are written.
Under Term of Vested Rights, Commr. Bakich stated that the Board had discussed, at a previous meeting, the fact that should mining activities cease for a period of two (2) years or greater, mining permission shall expire unless extended, however, it states in the ordinance three (3) years, questioning why, if a mine is inactive for two years, the County is going to allow it to be inactive for three or more years..Mr. Homan, Chairman of the Mining Ordinance Committee, responded, from the audience, stating that the reason the three years was put in the ordinance, was because the term "vested rights" had a lot to do with demand of the product. He stated that if the County got into a recessive situation, where there is not a lot of construction going on, it might force the mines to slow down for said length of time.
Commr. Swartz stated that this question becomes a little less important, since the County is now requiring them to come under the standards. He stated that, if they are under the standards, what the County might want to do is say that, if a mine does cease activity for a period of time, that they have to meet the new standards when they begin again.
Commr. Gregg stated that he would suggest leaving the length of time at three (3) years, as this is what the Mining Ordinance Committee came back with, noting that he had seen in the past where a lot of sand mines closed down for a period of three to five years. He stated that what the ordinance is indicating is that, as long as a mine does not shut down for a period of more than three years, they maintain their "vesting", and the Board just changed the definition of "vesting", therefore, he does not see any point in changing the wording of said paragraph.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that general language can be inserted which says that this ordinance may be amended, from time to time, and the new regulations will effectively apply.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, suggested that the words "or sketch" be inserted in Paragraph b., under 3. Registration Provisions, on Page 3, after the word "survey", to which it was the consensus of the Board that this be done.
Commr. Gregg stated that the wording of Paragraph a., under & Approval or Denial of Vested Rights, on Page 4, should be reworded to reflect the change which was just made in Paragraph b., on Page 3, alluded to above.
Commr. Gregg then referred to Paragraph 2, under E. Exemptions,.on Page 4, stating that he had spoken with Mr. Findell regarding it, noting that it does not address material hauled off site, and in some cases, sold off site, stating that he thinks the County needs to allow flexibility regarding this matter, citing as an example, a residential lot which is located on a lakefront or canal that has muck located under it, where loads of muck are hauled off site, which would be a legitimate site improvement - not a mine.
Commr. Swartz stated he felt that, by the County exempting the excavation consideration, they were opening the possibility for it to occur, and even in an excavation, there can be excavating under the guise of site excavation, noting that the considerations and concerns are the same, however, are not addressed, nor will they necessarily be addressed when staff deals with it from a site plan perspective. He noted that staff has some control, in dealing with residential construction, however, they do not have said control when dealing with commercial or industrial type construction. He stated that this is a concern he has, with the County totally exempting excavation, noting that the County needs to find some way to deal with the issue.
Discussion continued regarding said issue, at which time Mr. Richey stated that it seems that by putting some "teeth" in the site plan review ordinances, or some other ordinances that the matter falls under, would be more appropriate than putting it under a mining ordinance, to which Commr. Swartz stated that this would be fine, as long as it is required that when one receives this type of exemption for excavation, in dealing with commercial/industrial type construction, if the soil is actually going to be moved off site, that they come under some review process.
Mr. Homan, Chairman of the Mining Ordinance Committee, commented, regarding this matter, stating that, if the County is going to exempt said operations from this ordinance, for any length of time, he felt that, since the County is bonding for reclamation concerning commercial, it should bond for the improvements of the commercial development, the same as it would for a residential subdivision. He also stated that, if it is called presite excavation, for a residential area or shopping center, then the developer should up front zoning for said use, as well, to which Commr. Swartz responded that, if the developer was going to pull a building permit, they would have to have proper zoning, therefore, would be doing what Mr. Homan had suggested.
Commr. Gregg stated that he did not want to see the County get into bonding commercial site plans - that he did not think the County needed to require rezoning, because they are going to have to be properly zoned before they pull a permit.
Commr. Swartz stated that he wanted to make sure the County refers back, at some point, to indicate that any excavation that OCCULS, where material is going to be hauled off site in a particular project, that the impacts, which are mining in nature, but what is otherwise a legitimate commercial/industrial or residential development, be dealt with in a site plan review process noting that there is nowhere, at present, that gives a developer the ability to do that in the subdivision regulations.
Discussion occurred regarding whether or not hauling off site would indicate a mining activity, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that it was an indication of one. He stated that the point he was trying to make was that in all other appearances, it appears likely that it is a mining operation, and has some of the same impacts of a mining operation.
Commr. Gregg stated that he would agree with Commr. Swartz if he was talking about blowing material (noting that some language could be inserted in the ordinance to the effect that blowing material must be wet and confined to the site), however, disagreed, as far as hauling off site. He stated that there is a problem in confining material blowing on site, and it is going to be a problem when it is hauled off site or moved on site, and should be addressed, however, it does not have anything to do with hauling off site. He stated that there may be some impact when it is hauled off site, but, the "fugitive material", as it is called, is going to be a problem no matter what, and feels that some language can be inserted in the ordinance to address it.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that if the Board is going to address said issue, it needs to be addressed in the proper place and feels that it requires amending in the development regulations and the subdivision regulations, with due process. He stated that someone who is carrying out that type of activity is not paying a lot of attention to the application of this ordinance. He stated that one of the areas where he sees the potential for something slipping through the crack, which would affect the County, is in the exemption itself. He questioned what would happen if the County fully exempts the development, and the developer does not initiate construction within six months - the County would have nothing to go back to the developer on, in making sure that the project is initiated or completed. He suggested, when they are exempted, requiring them to establish a reclamation bond for their project, and when the construction is initiated the reclamation bond will be released.
Commr. Swartz requested the Board to allow staff to address and pick out those particular types of operational standards that would be appropriate in a site preparation situation, and to be sure that they are either included in this ordinance or are included in the site plan or development review process, to which Commr. Gregg stated that he would not have any problem with what Commr. Swartz suggested. He stated that he felt staff should have the leeway to make a decision, as far as time goes, as in some cases six months is not enough time, and in other cases two to three months is ample time.
Ms. Millie Warren (a local resident), questioned, from the audience, whether more stringent rules could be applied to sites that axe within city limits, or, are bordering city limits, to which Commr. Swartz stated that the problem is that this ordinance is only going to apply to land that is in the unincorporated area of Lake County, therefore, if the mines are on land that is within a particular city limit, said city will have to deal with it.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, questioned the Chairman as to whether the Board was requesting language that states that construction shall be initiated within a reasonable time, as determined by the County, of which time shall be set out in the exemption, based on the nature of the application, to which the Chairman, Commr. Gregg, replied that this was correct. He stated he felt it was something that staff and the developer could come to an agreement on, if it is a legitimate site improvement - if it is not, the developer will have the right to appeal the decision.
Commr. Swartz injected that he felt, at some point, those subdivision and commercial development regulations need to have something inserted that would indicate, for those types of excavation projects, which are otherwise exempted from the mining ordinance (to the extent that they have impacts), that they need to be considered in that review process.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, questioned whether the Board was asking that an amendment to the site development regulations be initiated to address said issue, to which Commr. Swartz replied that this was correct.
Commr. Gregg stated that it was understood that the Board wanted staff to make said changes.
At this time Commr. Gregg discussed Paragraph 3, under E. Exemptions, on Page 4, stating that it should follow the same language which was just discussed concerning Paragraph 2, noting that it could almost be eliminated and the two paragraphs be rolled into one.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, pointed out to the Board that excavation is not presently defined in the ordinance and will have to be taken care of.
Ms. Pat Myers, representing the Clermont Garden Club, apeared before the Board stating that she understood the sand mine operators to say that they had so many restrictions under the St. Johns River Water Management District, and that there was a lot of duplication of said restrictions in this ordinance, therefore, questioned why, if this is so, they have difficulty in complying with it. She then read a statement from the Clermont Garden Club, regarding the issue of reclamation of the land, stating that they were pleased to see that the Board was working on said ordinance.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 4:30 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a 10 minute recess.
Commr. Gregg questioned whether there were any changes that needed to be made on Page 5, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that he felt the Board needed to revise Paragraph 1. Actively Mined, under G. Definitions, as it has now been changed.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, questioned whether the Board was asking that a definition for "lawfully mined" be inserted, rather than "actively mined", to which it was indicated that this was correct.
Mr. Cauthen, Attorney, commented, from the audience, regarding Paragraph 5, Best Management Practices, under G. Definitions, on Page 5, stating that he felt it should be changed to read "...those standards and established practices or techniques for mining operations in the State of Florida that are used by the Lake County Department of Environmental Services", not necessarily what the Department recommends.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, responded, stating that said language came from the Mining Ordinance Committee, and the rationale for it is that there are standards that are recommended by various agencies in the State, and someone needs to review those standards and make a recommendation as to how they are going to apply.
Mr. Cauthen, Attorney, commented further regarding the issue, at which time Commr. Gregg stated that he agreed with Mr. Cauthen in that best management practices are those standards and established practices or techniques for mining operations in the State of Florida.
Commr. Swartz stated that there are some best management practices which do not work, however, they are listed as best management practices by the State and other organizations. He stated that staff had indicated to him that there ace some other practices that do work, and that those are the ones that the Board should be trying to encourage and approve - to take the best of the best management practices, rather than just leaving it to some that, in fact, do not work.
Mr. Cauthen, Attorney, stated that his client did not like to be dictated to, by staff, as to how he was going to operate his mine.
Discussion continued regarding the matter, at which time Commr. Gregg suggested that, perhaps, "Best Management Practices" could be defined as "... those standards and established practices, or techniques, for mining opecations in the State of Florida, but, review shall be made by the Lake County staff.", which was noted that it was the consensus of the Board to do so.
It was noted that the definition for "excavation" needed to be inserted on this page.
Commr. Gregg stated that someone brought up the fact that under Paragraph 23. "Pre-mining Activity", on Page 7, that some language needed to be inserted to include tailing storage areas.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, briefly commented, regarding said paragraph.
Mr. Cauthen, Attorney, commented regarding Paragraph 33. "Wetlands", on Page 8, stating that the County has another proposed ordinance, being the Wetlands Ordinance, and that his client has some real problems with all the permit fees, as well as the time and expense of dealing with it.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, responded, stating that the project, itself, would be reviewed under both the Mining Ordinance and the Wetlands Ordinance, however, the mine operator will not have to pay both a wetlands alteration application fee and a mining site plan application fee.
Mr. Cauthen, Attorney, then commented on Paragraph H. Change of Ownership or Operation of the Mining Activity, on Page 8, stating that he wished to clarify that the permits would be transferable, regarding the sale of a mine.
Commr. Gregg stated that the County obviously has a problem with Section 22.2, Mining Site Plan and Operating Permit Application, Review and Approval Process, on Page 8, based on the "vesting" language which was discussed earlier, however, it was not discussed any further at this time.
Commr . Bailey stated that he had a concern regarding Paragraph
5, under B. Mining Site Plan Application, on Page 9, stating that if it is a County maintained road, there should be some way in which to post notification, other than the 150 foot requirement. He stated that if he was the owner of a piece of property, he would want more than 150 feet of notification, to which Commr. Swartz agreed.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that language can be added to the ordinance requiring posting on the closest County public road or public access.
Mr. Darley, Florida Rock Industries, commented, from the audience, regarding the requirement of a map depicting existing topography of the proposed mining site and its relationship to the existing watershed, and as to how expensive it would be to obtain an actual topographic map of one foot contours.
Commr . Swartz questioned Mr. Darley, Florida Rock Industries, as to how else the land would be reclaimed, based on the requirements of this ordinance, which is that the land be reclaimed back to premining contours, to which Mr. Darley replied that one knows that sand or clay cannot be taken off a piece of property and have the property be returned to like contours.
Commr. Swartz stated that one might not be able to return the land to the same elevations, but the land might have similar contours and the same slope of the land.
Commr. Gregg questioned what was wrong with USGS maps, to which it was noted that, in some cases, the contours on said maps are only at 10 foot or 20 foot intervals, and, in some cases, only at 5 foot intervals. Mr. Findell, Director of Enviconmental Services, commented, regarding the USGS maps, stating that the Mining Ordinance Committee discussed said maps and found that, in some instances, based on topography of the site, there were one foot contours (which was in the original ordinance), therefore, a compromise was made to go with five foot contours.
Discussion continued regarding topography maps and contour requirements, at which time Mr. Crabill stated that, to undertake a one foot contour survey would be expensive, and he hoped that there would be some guidelines to where it might not always be needed.
Further discussion occurred regarding one foot contours versus five foot contours, at which time Mr. Crabill stated that he believed one could give any hydrologist a USGS topo map, on five foot contours, and ask him to come up with a dcainage boundary and he would be able to do so.
Mr. Walter Wood, a registered professional geologist on the Lake County staff, who also has had several years of experience working for USGS, commented, stating that he has seen substantial differences between USGS contours and contours that were done by private surveyors.
Commr. Swartz stated that there is a variance procedure in this ordinance, and if one feels that staff is being unreasonable in their one foot contours, one has the ability to come before the Board and ask for variance on it.
Mr. Wood informed the Board, for informational purposes, that the St. Johns River Water Management District, in some areas, have one and two foot contour aerial maps available - not in all areas, but, in a number of areas.
After further discussion regarding contours, Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that the mine owners do not have a level of comfort, due to disagreements regarding which maps should and should not be used, as well as the fact that when they look at the requirement, they find it to be needless, therefore, are frustrated with it, and feel that the Board needs to take a look at their frustrations.
Commr. Gregg stated he felt the problem was that when the mine owners come to staff, they do not have clearcut guidelines as to what they are going to be required to have - that too much of it is left up to staff to decide. He feels they would like to have more clearcut guidelines, and does not see why they cannot interpolate on a five foot contour interval. He stated that the Board needs to arrive at a consensus regarding this matter.
Commr. Gregg then stated that he would be willing to strike the one foot contours from Paragraph c., under B. Mining Site Plan Application, on Page 10, of the ordinance, at which time he questioned the Board as to whether they agreed. It was noted that it was the consensus of the Board to do so.
Mr. Jahna, E. R. Jahna Industries, commented, from the audience, regarding Paragraph e., on Page 10, under the same category alluded to above, concerning a requirement that existing natural and man-made features be included in the maps, both on site and within 300 feet of the proposed mine site. He stated that he did not know how practical this would be, as the designated wildlife species is a great number of plants and animals. He stated that it is expensive enough to do this on site, much less off site.
Commr. Swartz stated that, depending on what the setbacks are, one may not have to go 300 feet outside the property line.
After discussion continued regarding this matter, Commr. Gregg requested staff to clear up the language in the ordinance, regarding it, so that it is apparent that one does not have to go on adjoining property and take an inventory.
Commr. Swartz brought up for discussion Paragraph g., on Page 11, under the same category alluded to above, stating that it deals with proposed major haul routes in Lake County, and the proposed daily volume of vehicles hauling the excavated material, during the first year of operation. He stated that there was a concern among one of the mine owners regarding tying himself down to a number that might possibly be an estimate. He stated that it seems to him the mine owners should be able to identify the major routes coming out of their facilities, and feels that the Board needs to know what the impacts are going to be to said highways.
Mr. Crabill, Florida Crushed Stone, stated that the estimate they give is going to show up on their permit, and is concerned that, sometime in the future, should their number increase staff may say that they have to study the numbers, and that the mines will not be able to haul as many loads as they were hauling.
Commr. Swartz stated that, in the initial study of what the transportation impacts ace going to be, the Department of transportation is going to say to the mine owners that, at 100 trucks there may not be an impact to a particular intersection, however, if said number is increased to 200 trucks, said intersection may go from level D to F, for example, therefore, the mines are going to have to do some improvements to bring it back into what may be an acceptable limit. He stated that he felt the mines just need to be clear in what is required to analyze the transportation impacts, thereby, protecting themselves from the number given on their permits.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board that concurrency will effectively determine, at that point in time, if the level of service deteriorates beyond what is acceptable.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that the transportation impacts are not going to have anything to do with this ordinance, that it is going to have to do with concurrency, and finds it frustrating that the Board is messing with the mines, when the transportation impacts have something to do with everyone not only the mines, but the shopping center on the corner, the residential developments, etc., noting that concurrency is going to take care of all of it, and feels that it does not need to be addressed in this ordinance Commr. Gregg stated that one does not know, when they open a mine, as to what their haul routes are going to be. He stated that, requiring them to show the major access routes and the number of loads leaving their operation is within reason, but to have one try and define how many trucks are going to travel on what roads is too much to ask.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that the reason staff needs to know how many vehicles are going to be traveling on what roads is to enable the County to know what maintenance is going to need to be made to said roads. A second reason is that the County (once the Comprehensive Plan is completed and staff reviews said projects and makes a recommendation to the Board), is going to have to advise the Board as to whether any level of service is being degraded by the proposed activity, so that they know whether or not it is a viable activity, in order to know whether or not to issue the permit.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that a traffic impact analysis, based on particular operations, acreage, proposed mining schedule, etc., will determine what the impact on the road system is going to be, noting that this is what staff is going to need in order to issue a development permit of this nature, so that when concurrency does kick in, everyone knows what the perimeter is, and when the mines reach that certain level, they will have planned, in advance, for any road improvements, which should then be ongoing.
Commr . Bakich informed those present that staff needs said numbers in order to be able to plan, not to restrict.
Ms. Marti Norman stated, from the audience, that she owned a small business on Round Lake Road, and the Board had requested her not to use Wolfbranch Road, even though she helps pay for the upkeep on said road. She stated she had discovered that 16 major companies use Wolfbranch Road, and questioned whether they also will be told that they have to give their haul routes and keep up the road.
Commr. Swartz replied that, in the future, any type of commercial and industrial enterprise should be able to indicate what the impact is going to be on the road system, and should come under the same type of provisions.
After further discussion regarding the matter, Commr. Swartz suggested that the language in Paragraph g., on Page 11, be changed to make it clear that staff is talking about the major ingress and egress routes to a particular facility, and those intersections that I -- will be impacted by traffic from said facility.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that said paragraph (9. on Page 11) can be worded as follows: "A map depicting the proposed major access routes in Lake County, including impacted intersections and a proposed daily volume of vehicles hauling the excavated material, during the first year of operation."
Commr. Gregg stated that he felt the intersections should be limited to those intersections by the sites, not 50 miles away from the sites.
It was noted that "closest to said facility" would be added to the language in Paragraph g, alluded to above.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services stated that, if the Board was going to try and address the concurrency issue, they might, perhaps, want to require the mines to provide said information to the County in an annual report, this way the County can determine whether, in fact, concurrency is being met.
Mr. Crabill, Florida Crushed Stone, noted that all these little things that ace being required start to mount up and can become very expensive.
Regarding Paragraph 13, on Page 11, Mr. Jahna, E. R. Jahna Industries, stated that, not only in this paragraph, but in other paragraphs in the ordinance, as well, whether the issue of confidentiality of information submitted could be addressed, to which Ms. Lustgacten, County Attorney, informed the Board that Chapter 119, of the Florida Statutes, prohibits the Board from providing confidentiality of any information which is provided to them, unless it is provided for in the Statutes. She noted that this information is not provided for in said Statutes.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, debated what Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, had stated, regarding a provision in the Florida Statutes concerning confidentiality, stating that it is provided for in other types of mining. He stated that there is a specific Florida Statute providing confidentiality of materials which are being discussed this date, to which Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, replied that it is not referenced in Chapter 119, of the Florida Statutes, that she is aware of.
After further discussion, it was determined that the reference was to Chapter 16.336, of the Florida Administrative Code. Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that she would need to review it, as it is not referenced in the Florida Statutes.
Mr. Cauthen, Attorney, commented, from the audience, regarding Paragraph 14, on Page 11, concerning a requirement that a hydrogeologic report on surface and groundwater conditions and the hydrogeologic impact of the proposed activity be furnished to staff, stating that, first of all, it is very difficult to obtain said information, due to having to obtain it from a swamp, or wetlands. Secondly, he stated that the Mining Ordinance Committee had made a recommendation, which appeared in one of the prior drafts, and then a new paragraph, being NO. 14, was proposed. He stated that this requirement would be very, very expensive to comply with, and his client needs some assurance, in black and white, from exemption, if staff chooses to do so, as they have indicated they might.
Mr. Steven Cook, C & C Company (represented by Mr. Cauthen, Attorney), appeared before the Board stating that he had submitted a letter to the Board indicating some concerns which he had regarding how peat mining is being treated, with respect to geologic information and core samples. He stated that he had no problem with the draft dated August, 1988, concerning same, however, some changes have now been made and he questioned whether Paragraphs 14 and 15 really meet what the Board had in mind.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, responded to Mr. Cook's concerns, stating that there was some controversy regarding Paragraphs 14 and 15, as they were originally written, therefore, the Board requested staff to meet with a geologist who would represent the mining community, and work out language that would be amiable to both parties, as to a minimum criteria for submission, to allow a professional geologist to make a determination as to what the hydrogeological impact of the proposed activity would be.
Commr. Bakich questioned whether there would be a negative effect if it is not required, to which Mr. Findell replied that, if the mines are not required to submit dcilling information, the Board might as well exempt them from the ordinance.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that M.C. Wood, from the County staff, spent all day with Mr. Rick Powers, from Bromwell & Associates, to come up with language that, basically, provided a minimum level of detail, that would allow staff to determine the hydrogeologic impact for any type of mine.
Commr. Gregg questioned whether Mr. Powers was aware that he was acting on behalf of all the different types of mines, to which Mr. Wood replied that he was, indeed, aware of this fact.
Mr. Wood, County staff geologist, stated that, being he was coming into this at such a late date, he was not aware of what the, direction of the Board has been, however, the research he has done has indicated that peat mining, because it is in a wetland, has the potential for having the most severe impacts of any of the mines, being it is a sensitive area. He stated that staff tried to re-word the ordinance in such a way that it would be left up to the discretion of a professional, that the mines would hire, who is aware of what is going on.
Commr. Swartz requested Mr. Wood to briefly tell the Board what it is that staff is looking for, when they require the borings, which Mr. Wood did.
Discussion continued regarding this issue, at which time Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that the mines have been asked to provide a comfort level for something that has never been a problem. He stated that, from an industry point of view, they do not think that it is necessary to spend big bucks obtaining the information being requested in Paragraphs 14 and 15, on Page 11, because there has never been a problem concerning it.
Mr. Wood, County staff geologist, informed the Board, for informational purposes, that the USGS publishes fairly detailed maps twice a year, and the St. Johns River Water Management District publishes a map once a month.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board that Paragraph h., on Page 12, gives the option of how the borings shall be made, in the event that they are necessary.
Commr. Swartz requested staff not to request unique information in what is a standard situation, to which Mr. Wood stated that this was one of the things staff was trying to do, in working out the new language - to try and take out a certain level of regidity that was not necessary in all cases - that they were trying to give some flexibility.
Commr. Swartz requested staff to provide flexibility, but to also provide clarity, so that the miners have a clear understanding of what is required.
Further discussion occurred regarding this issue, at which time Commr. Gregg, Chairman, requested staff to prepare and inform the Board, at their next workshop meeting, as to what budget impact this ordinance is going to have.
Commr . Gregg stated he wanted to make sure that there is a clear understanding of what "vesting" is, before this meeting adjourns, and how staff is going to look at it, administratively, on a case by case basis. He then requested Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, to state what he understood the consensus of the Board was, regarding "vesting", which Mr. Findell did, noting that it was also the understanding of the County Attorney, as well.
Mr. Findell stated that it was his understanding that those mines that are lawful mines would be "vested" from the provision of having to obtain a mining site plan approval, or an operating permit approval. Also, that the miners would be required to register, and that, upon registration, the County would review their submission, which includes not only the survey of property and stats report of where they ace located and what they are doing, but the permits they have from other agencies, as well, to determine whether said permits comply with the standards of the ordinance, as approved. Where they do not comply with the standards of the ordinance, staff would indicate that they do not apply, and they would then be required to meet those standards, unless they have a specific requirement that they could not adhere to, at which time staff would negotiate with them, and see if a mutual conclusion of acceptability for waiver could be reached. If a mutual conclusion cannot be reached, then they can come before the Board, for the Board to make a
Mr. Richey, Attorney, stated that a major defect was left out of what Mr. Findell stated, being that the criteria of the existing ordinance was going to be looked at in relation to public health, safety, and welfare, as well as reclamation of the land.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated he understood that the emphasis for the review would be on public health, safety, and welfare - not the entire review.
Commr. Gregg questioned, in a case where there is a CUP, and the miner's reclamation guidelines do not agree with the ones in this ordinance, whether staff was going to make them abide by the ones in this ordinance, or whether staff was going to say that they do have a reclamation plan, and can continue on that basis.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that staff's understanding was they would indicate that the miner's reclamation plan was not in compliance with reclamation standards presented herein, and would then negotiate with them, or meet with them and make a determination as to whether they, in fact, could meet the reclamation requirement that Lake County has in its ordinance. If they cannot, administratively, reach a mutual, agreeable conclusion, then they can go before the Board, for the Board to make that determination.
Commr. Gregg questioned whether this is what is in the public safety feature, to which Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that, most of the provisions applicable are public health, safety, and general welfare provisions, as far as the operation of the mines are concerned.
After it was determined that there was some confusion as to what the ordinance was going to state, Commr. Swartz stated that what the ordinance is designed to do is to say that, if an existing mine cannot meet the existing standards, it would be required to to the extent that it could - which includes all the operational type of procedures. The ordinance does not require that the miners.go back and do those things that are required to get an initial permit, or site plan approval, but only that they meet the existing
Discussion then occurred regarding reclamation standards, at which time it was determined that there was a great deal of misunderstanding, among those present, regarding said standards.
Mr. Homan, Chairman of the Mining Ordinance Committee, questioned whether reclamation standards require bonding, to which Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that they do.
Discussion continued regarding the reclamation bonding issue, at which time Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that if one is looking at the reclamation provision of the ordinance, there are certain requirements that have to be met, which she stated.
Commr . Gregg stated that he did not feel what Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, had just stated, regarding the requirements of the reclamation provision, was the consensus of the Board. He stated that the consensus was that staff would look at the reclamation plan that is in the CUP, which the mine presently has in operation, and if it does not endanger the public, then there would be no changes required to it - that it would be grandfathered.
Mr. Homan, Chairman of the Mining Ordinance Committee, stated, from the audience, that he could not believe current mines were going to be "vested" for reclamation in the future, to which Commr. Gregg stated that what the Board was saying is that, if the reclamation plan for existing operations do not endanger the public, they are "vested".
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that each case will have to be reviewed on a case by case basis.
After further discussion regarding "vesting", Commr. Gregg requested the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, to state what she understood the consensus of the Board was, at this point, regarding the issue, to which she replied that she understood the consensus to be that currently permitted and approved mining operations are essentially "vested". The mines will be required to go through the registration process, at which time those particular mining.-operations (being the entire process all existing permits, CUPS, or anything in relation to said particular mining operation that exist) will be reviewed by staff, to look at what the conditions of the existing permits are. In relation to the standards for operation, these ace what will be compared to the existing permits. If changes, related to public health, safety, and general welfare are, in fact, contemplated by staff, then they would negotiate with the applicant, and in the event that, for any particular reason they were not able to comply with those operating standards, an exemption could be processed. Included in the process would be the review of any existing reclamation plan. If said reclamation plan effectively protects public health, safety, welfare, etc., then that particular plan would be acceptable. If it was determined to be a hazard to public health, safety, and general welfare, (which she noted is a broad definition), then, as part of the special exception process, those particular requirements would be imposed on that particular mining operation, including bonding, if it were determined by the Board that said requirement did not exist, for the existing reclamation plan, as amended by the Board. She stated that it needs to be determined, by the Board, whether they want the exceptions to come to them, or whether the Board wants them to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
It was noted that said exceptions would come before the Board, rather than the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Mr. Homan, Chairman of the Mining Ordinance Committee, stated, from the audience, that the changes made today are not what the Mining Ordinance Committee had presented to the Board. He stated that what the Board did today was exempt pre-site excavation and future expansion of existing mines. He stated that the only thing the Board did not exempt was future requests for new mines, which was not the intent of the Committee, or the ordinance.
Commr . Gregg questioned whether his fellow Board members had any problem with the language which Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated above, to which it was noted that Commr. Bakich, Bailey, and Gregg agreed to same. Commr . Swartz did not agree and Commr. Windram was not present, as he had left the meeting at 6:00 p.m., due to prior commitments.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.
C. W. "CHICK" GREGG, CHAIRMAN
James C. WATKINS, CLERK