The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, May 21, 1990, at 6:00 p.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Michael J. Bakich, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Thomas J. Windram; Richard Swartz; and Don Bailey. Others present were: Gerry Clark, Assistant County Attorney; Mike Anderson, Director of Capital Improvements; John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development; and Toni M. Austin, Deputy Clerk.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commr. Bailey.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT/ORDINANCES
At 6:00 p.m., the Chairman announced that the advertised time had arrived for the public hearing on the proposed ordinance amending zoning regulations, with regard to boat docks and ramps.
Commr. Bakich questioned the process of grandfathering-in existing permit applications, with Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, stating that this is not reflected in the proposed ordinance, but may be added, at the discretion of the Board.
Mr. Gerry Clark, Assistant County Attorney, stated that the Florida law makes it available to a County, or municipality, to administratively delay applications for permits. This is not mandatory, but is a policy decision for the governing body.
Commrs. Gregg, Windram and Bakich stated that they did not feel that the Board chose to place as a moratorium on the permitting of boat docks or boat ramps.
Commr. Swartz stated that he felt the Board did choose to do so, but perhaps in a way that they did not realize. He stated that the Board indicated to staff not to proceed to issue any permits in these types of cases, until such time as a policy was put together and brought back to the Board, to be adopted. This included all cases that were impacted by the considerations for permits dealing with common areas, and boat docks and ramps that were not contiguous or internalized, and had been brought to the Board, at that time.
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, stated that there are two types of boat docks, one that is for an individual private owner on lake front property, with staff continuing to issue these permits, and the other type that is for a common facility that is used by a number of people within the subdivision, where there has been a reluctance to continue to issue permits, even when they were internalized.
Commr. Gregg stated that he felt the confusion is with the issue of boat ramps and docks being internalized, which was not the intent of the Board. The issue was boat docks and ramps that were not being internalized.
Commr. Swartz referred to Page 2, Paragraph (c), of the proposed ordinance, where the Planning and Zoning Board recommended increasing the distance from an adjacent property line from (50) feet to (l00) feet. Commr. Swartz stated that he had requested that Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, provide additional language that would be inserted, to this extent: "However, an applicant with a recorded plat, which designates a parcel for recreational uses shall be permitted to setback less than (100) feet, but shall provide, at a minimum, a setback of (50) feet, in lieu of the (100) foot setback otherwise required."
Discussion occurred regarding the setback requirement being proposed, and the additional language being recommended.
Mr. Greg Stubbs, Chief of Development Coordination, stated that all of the adjacent counties have a (25) foot setback requirement, for any boat dock or boat ramp. Some counties do not address boat ramps, and there is no separate ordinance set aside in any of the adjacent counties that address common boat docks.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney representing Mr. Tony Hubbard and Mr. Fred Miller, appeared before the Board and stated that she felt that her clients are the target for the proposed legislation. She stated that she is not opposed to an ordinance that will fairly and equitably regulate the use of boat ramps and boat docks in Lake County, but felt that this is not what the ordinance is intended to do. Ms. Bonifay stated that, through her research, there is no record of the Board directing staff to deny all pending permits. She stated that pending is a boat ramp permit being requested by Mr. Hubbard, which was requested some time last year. At this time, she discussed case law on this issue, along with case law on the issue of moratoriums. Ms. Bonifay discussed the process used by her clients in trying to obtain the necessary applications and permits from the County, and the Department of Natural Resources needing a clearance letter from the County before they can issue their permits.
Ms. Bonifay stated that the Board has the prerogative to grandfather-in existing permit applications, and feels that the problems that her clients are facing can be resolved by placing a granfather clause within the proposed ordinance. She stated that she and her clients object to the (100) foot setback requirement, and requested that the County retain the existing distance requirements that the County has today, (25) feet, and apply those to individual homes, as well as subdivisions.
At this time, Ms. Bonifay explained the problem that Mr. Hubbard has with his platted development at Lake Louisa Oaks. She stated that the boat ramp is located on a contiguous piece of property, which is designated as a common area, and is internalized.
Mr. Steve Richey, attorney representing Mr. Buddy Oswalt, appeared before the Board to discuss the proposed ordinance. At this time, Mr. Richey distributed a permit package for review. Mr. Richey directed the Board's attention to the plat, which showed a boat ramp area within the subdivision, which is platted. He stated that all permits have been pulled on the internalized boat ramp. He further stated that his client would like to pull the building permit based on the (25) foot setback. Mr. Richey stated that he has no problem with the proposed ordinance, or the County making the ordinance more stringent, but would like to pull the permit under the permitting allowed when his client made application and had the development platted.
Mr. Oswalt stated that there are two recreation areas in the development, and he has separated the beach from the boat ramp, for safety purposes. He also stated that he has no problem with the proposed ordinance, but would like to proceed towards what he made application for three years ago.
Mr. Robert F. Kidder, Edgewater Drive, Clermont, appeared before the Board and stated that he would like to keep the boat ramps from the private property grounds, and stated that this is the only access to the area of Edgewater Drive. At this time, Mr. Kidder read a petition signed by 73 individuals in opposition "...to common areas located between private residences from the construction of their boat ramps, and access to the facilities less than (100) feet from the adjacent property owners. We feel the solution to this problem is to locate these facilities within the subdivision, but if that cannot be done, please impose these restrictions".
Mr. Bob Koch appeared before the Board and stated concerns with the platted area on the canal, which has lots that have been there since the early 1950's. He stated that a developer, who owns a lot on the canal, is advertising that he will use this lot as a common area. Mr. Koch stated that he, along with several others in the audience, request that the Board use the proposed ordinance to cover, not only boat docks and boat ramps, but also common area for beach and picnic areas, or common use. He further stated that he is also concerned with the additional traffic coming from 37 additional families traveling past six houses to get to this lot.
Commr. Swartz stated that one point of clarification is that the controversy involved more than one boat ramp, or boat dock. He stated that he felt the Board is trying to be consistent to other decisions made by the Board, by proposing this ordinance, which is compatible with the decisions that have been made previously regarding common areas.
Commr. Gregg stated that he agreed with the common areas including beach areas, or boat docks and ramps, and all being internalized.
It was the consensus of the Board not to delay the issuing of permits to Mr. Oswalt.
Commr. Swartz stated that no one should be singled out, and that the proposed ordinance is an attempt to say that anywhere, where there is a recorded plat designating a recreational area, and you cannot meet the 100 foot setback, but you can meet the minimum of 50 feet, you should be able to obtain a permit, under those circumstances. He stated that, if this cannot be met, a variance would be warranted, because it was platted that way. He further stated that the proposed ordinance should contain amendments applicable for everyone.
Commr. Bakich and Commr. Gregg stated that they felt the Board should address the issue of the plats already recorded that involve a 25 foot setback. Commr. Gregg stated that he did not feel that the Board should retroactively pass an ordinance at the first hearing. He further stated that, the present setback of 25 feet in the case of existing platted subdivisions, where it is platted as a recreational area, should be included in the ordinance, and that he has no problem with the 100 foot setback for anything in the future.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following amendment to Page 2, Paragraphs (c), and (d), to strike the word "or" after boat dock and add "boat dock, or common recreational area...".
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Windram and carried, the Board approved an amendment to the language presented earlier, in regards to the setbacks, to include a 25 foot setback in the case of existing platted subdivisions, with designated common recreation areas, and there shall be a minimum of a 25 foot setback, or otherwise there shall be a 100 foot setback.
Commr. Swartz voted "no".
Mr. Clark stated that the only legal requirement of the Board is, if the Board if going to make a find that there be no administrative delay, or if there should be an administrative delay, it should apply to all affected persons, and should not exempt single situations from that policy, unless there is a rational reason.
Commr. Bakich stated that he felt it was the consensus of the Board not to delay any process of permitting, and that the Board's concerns are being addressed, and that there is no moratorium.
It was noted that the amended proposed ordinance will be advertised for a public hearing in June, 1990.
Discussion occurred regarding the permits applied for by Mr. Oswalt and Mr. Hubbard, with the Board stating that Mr. Oswalt's permit would qualify under the proposed amended ordinance, but that Mr. Hubbard's would not, but that the Board could not prevent either party from pulling a permit.
Commr. Gregg referred to Page 2, Paragraph (d), of the proposed amended ordinance and stated that, under this paragraph, Mr. Hubbard's request would not be permitted.
MUNICIPALITIES/CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS
Commr. Gregg informed the Board that there had been a request from the City of Leesburg to transfer recreational funds for ski beach improvements at Venetian Gardens, with the City now requesting that the funds be used for new boat ramps in this area.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request from the City of Leesburg, as stated above.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
MICHAEL J. BAKICH, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK