The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, December 6, 1990, 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: Donald B. Bailey, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Richard Swartz; Catherine Hanson; and Michael J. Bakich. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
COMMITTEES/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
FUTURE LAND USE ELEMENT OF THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, appeared before the Board and informed those present that the next public hearing scheduled for the purpose of further discussing the Future Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan had been set for Thursday, December 13, 1990, at 9:00 a.m.
Mr. Swanson stated that staff had inserted range, section, and township lines to the Future Land Use Map, as directed by the Board, noting that this should make it a little easier for individual property owners to locate their property. He pointed out the fact that at the top of the Future Land Use Map, there is a statement that states, "This map cannot be correctly interpreted independently of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan, as adopted by Ordinance", noting that this statement refers to the entire verbal section of the element. He then discussed the point system, stating that on Page 44 of the element, it discusses several locational criteria, which would be evaluated in the point system, in order to arrive at densities up to 15 units per acre. He pointed out the fact that the point system only occurs in the urban and urban expansion areas, not in the rural or semi-rural areas. He stated some of the locational criteria are: (1) Proximity to a designated activity center, commercial corridor or employment
center; (2) vehicular access to arterials; and (3) utilization of lands previously altered (i.e. non-native habitats). He stated there are facility service criteria that also have to be analyzed, and they include the facility service, as it relates to the level of fire protection and the inclusion of an existing central water and sanitary system. Points are also awarded for affordable housing and developments in which a portion of the units meet the affordable housing criteria. Also, bonus points may be awarded to developments which provide additional very low or low income housing. Additional points may be awarded, as well, for: (1) proximity to schools; and (2) proximity to public parks. He further stated the point system is designed to provide an average density of three units per gross acre in urban areas and two units per gross acre in the Urban Expansion Areas.
Upon being questioned regarding the densities for the different classifications, Mr. Swanson stated that the densities up to 15 units per acre may be obtainable in the urban expansion areas, if the cities surrounding or contained within the urban areas have a density up to whatever the number might be (i.e. fifteen to one, seven to one, etc.).
In answer to a question by the Board regarding densities in the urban areas, Mr. Swanson pointed out the fact that on page 45 of the handout, it states that densities in urban areas shall be restricted to that of the adjacent municipality (i.e. if the adjacent municipality's maximum density is six units per acre, then the maximum density of the adjacent unincorporated area would be six units per acre).
Commr. Gregg questioned Mr. Swanson as to whether staff had looked at the possibility of putting the base, or mimimum density, that would start out in a particular district, and what density could be reached, rather than putting the maximum density and stating that it could be achieved through points, to which Mr. Swanson stated staff would rephrase the wording, regarding fifteen
units per acre, to indicate that the maximum densities would assume that of the adjacent incorporated area.
Commr. Swartz questioned staff as to how far in a particular category one must still be consistent with what is adjacent immediately to a city, to which Mr. Swanson replied to the extent that is serviced by central water and sewer and proximity to schools, parks, arterial highways and collectors. He stated there is actually no distance attached to it.
Upon being questioned by Commr. Swartz as to what density would be allowed if a development is permitted to put in a central wastewater system, and is located three miles from the nearest city limits where six units per acre is allowed, to which Mr. Swanson replied that the matter would have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Commr. Swartz stated he felt this matter should be addressed early on, as it makes a big difference.
Commr. Gregg stated that something which he felt was important, and staff had not brought out, was the projections which they used, noting that if one carries said projections out into the urban area, based on the map before them, one would wind up with an average density of three units per acre; however, if one carries them out into the urban expansion areas, one would end up with an average density of two units per acre. He stated one has to take the projections into account, noting that the point system is hard to fathom, as one does not know what a certain density is when one gets to the edge of an urban area, noting that without an infrastructure, it might be entirely different than that urban area.
Commr. Bakich interjected that the point system is going to determine the density within the urban and urban expansion areas.
Mr. Swanson stated that it would be determined by whether or not the applicant or developer chooses to use the point system, noting that it may not be applied in all cases, but, under normal circumstances, densities would attain that which is contiguous to the incorporated area.
Commr. Bakich stated that one of the things which concerned him was, when one is talking about the various designations that staff has for poor land use, he was concerned that there was not a broader breakdown. He questioned whether it was the committee's and staff's impression that the point system would create those varying degrees of density, to which Mr. Swanson replied that, early on, it was staff's recommendation, with the committee's blessing, to go along with a "broad brush" type land use, simply because of going from nothing to where the County is today. He stated staff patterned the "broad brush" land use after several counties which have won DCA (Department of Community Affairs) awards on their approach to it. He stated staff wanted to keep it as broad and general as they possibly could, in identifying neighborhood centers, commercial centers, and employment centers within that particular area. He stated staff has taken a proven methodology that has been accepted by DCA in other areas and applied it to this County's particular situation. He stated through the application of the density criteria, the unincorporated areas of the County are going to be abutting fourteen different cities that have varying degrees of density. He stated that, through the application of a point system applied to the urban or urban expansion areas (which include proximity to schools, parks and recreation, central water or sewer, fire protection, libraries, etc.) developers, through the provision of these various amenities, will be able to attain a higher density.
Upon being questioned as to how comfortable he felt about going with a point system, as opposed to a per acre type system, Mr. Swanson stated he felt the point system was a workable and viable solution, even more so than just having the density on a per acre type basis.
Mr. Carl Hammons, Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of Leesburg, appeared before the Board and submitted (for the record) a memo which stated that the City of Leesburg entered into an interlocal planning agreement with Lake County, and the City of
Fruitland Park, which allowed the City of Leesburg to conduct planning studies for a clearly defined area outside the city's corporate boundaries. He stated his staff was quickly made aware of the many, perhaps unresolvable problems, inherent in the agreement; however, neither of the two cities (Leesburg or Fruitland Park) nor Lake County, ever terminated or altered the agreement and the City of Leesburg's staff continued to do what the agreement required, including numerous detailed studies of their designated extra-territorial planning area. He stated that, due to the fact the City of Leesburg is both willing and able to extend water, sewer, and other utilities into the planning area, it is in the best interest of both the City of Leesburg and Lake County that their respective future land use maps, for the same general territory, not seriously conflict. He stated that, in general, they believe, in two areas, the current County draft map recommends too much presently agricultural land for urban development, which encourages - not discourages - urban sprawl. He then indicated sections which they requested be re-designated from urban to semi-rural (future urban). He stated that the City of Leesburg strongly desires, and believes, that this potential conflict can be amicably resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
Ms. Charlotte Lehner, a resident of Howey-in-the-Hills, appeared before the Board stating that the County needs ways to encourage growth and, at the same time, enhance Lake County features that brought its residents to the County in the first place. She stated the County needs a balanced, consistent, businesslike, evenhanded plan for the entire County and urged the Board to employ whatever innovative, creative mechanisms they can legally apply, to allow for development and expansion to co-exist with the permanent preservation of other areas in the County.
Mr. LaVerne Molye, Director of Planning and Zoning with the City of Minneola, appeared before the Board stating a concern he had that Map No. 4 indicated a density, in the area surrounding Minneola, of up to fifteen units per acre, noting that the City of
Minneola is a bedroom community and expected to expand accordingly, at which time the Board responded that said density would be the same as that which Minneola presently allows, which is four units per acre.
Mr. Jim Miller, the gentleman that colored the map which Mr. Molye referred to, appeared before the Board and indicated the reason changes had been made to it.
After further discussion regarding the issue, it was noted that there are communities in Lake County that have a density as high as seventeen units per acre; however, what the urban designation is stating is that the County will mirror a particular city's density, up to fifteen units per acre.
Ms. Rosemary Purdum, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating she was concerned about the proposed Employment Center near and surrounding the Leesburg Airport. She stated she had been assured that the right-of-way frontage would be maintained in its present commercial classification and wanted to be sure that this was correct, at which time the Board assured her that it was.
Mr. Wayne Scott, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that, as far as he could tell, he was in the area classified as rural, to be expanded to urban development later on. He questioned whether this meant that if his property is classified as semi-rural, and is ready for development, he would be allowed two houses per acre, to which the Board clarified it meant he would be allowed one house per two acres.
Mr. Scott then questioned why there was not a buffer between high and low density areas. He then stated he had been told his area would always remain rural or semi-rural, however, was now being told differently. He stated he, as well as his neighbors, would like to see the area remain rural, with possibly a buffer around it, and become semi-rural (future urban) later on.
Commr. Gregg stated he feels the public does not understand the fact that the Land Use Map does not replace the Zoning Map, they work hand in hand with one another.
Mr. Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, interjected that there were going to be many inconsistencies between the Land Use Map and the Zoning Map; however, the Land Development Regulations are going to take effect from February 1, 1991 through 1992, therefore, the County must bring them into consistency. He stated the controlling factor is the Land Use Map, with the Zoning Map being over the Land Use Map, however, they must be consistent. He stated that, during the interim year, there will have to be a policy adopted by the Board of County Commissioners that is going to establish what regulations the County is going to control. He stated he would anticipate that the existing zoning and existing subdivisions would be the controlling factor, until the Board adopts the Land Development Regulations Manual.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, interjected that development orders cannot be issued that are inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan; therefore, they will have to be handled on a case-by-case approach.
Ms. Elizabeth Bowen and Ms. Tonya Guest, students from Leesburg High School, appeared before the Board and discussed changes which had been made between Land Use Maps No. 3 and 4, noting that they were glad to see the changes, as there will not be as much urbanization. They stated, however, what harm they felt the change in maps would bring to the Aquifer, as well as to the Florida panther and other wildlife in the area, noting that they felt the East/West corridor should be reopened, in order to allow the wildlife more freedom to roam. They also discussed harm they felt the corridors would do to the aesthetic beauty of the County, as well as the fact that property taxes will increase, with the increase in urbanization.
Mr. Paul Mazade, Planning Director for the Town of Howey-in-the-Hills, appeared before the Board stating that he and his staff are in support of the land use designation of urban around Howey, as they believe the performance standard that is being proposed gives Howey a buffer zone that will permit compatible land uses
with what the town has, as well as the immediate area outside the town.
Mr. Keith Ray, Weatherly Investments, appeared before the Board stating that his company owns 144 acres in what is known as the Bramalea Urban Node. He noted that the Sunchase DRI, which contains 2,000 units, is immediately adjacent of his property to the north. He stated that his property is in the urban expansion area, on Map No. 4, noting that when he became interested in this particular piece of land, he obtained from the County, zoning for a 333 unit RV park and an R-1-7 zoning for residential single-family houses, believing that he was in step with the County's desires for growth in the area. He purchased the property and further set about trying to acquire additional property adjacent to him, which he noted is currently going through the rezoning process. He stated he was surprised to see that the new map places the Sunchase DRI, his property, and additional property approximately two miles north of the urban line, even though said properties are now legally within the Bramalea Urban Node. He requested the Board to move the urban area to at least the line consistent with the current Bramalea Urban Node.
Mr. Larry Kirch, Director of Planning, stated it was a factor of the line itself, as well as the fact of changing the densities from seven units per acre down to four units per acre. He stated if it was seven units per acre, it would not matter if his property was urban or urban expansion, based on the density that Mr. Ray was proposing.
Mr. Ray stated, in terms of pure density, this may or may not be correct, pointing out the fact that Policy 10-1.2.6, of the Capital Improvements Element, specifically states that utilities, sewer, and water cannot be extended into an urban expansion area, except in the case of health and safety; therefore, on a density basis with seven units per acre, it might or might not be consistent with the plan. He stated he felt the urban expansion is
not consistent, either with the approved DRI of Sunchase, or with the zoning which he has obtained.
Commr. Bailey requested the Planning staff to note the different concerns being discussed this date, and provide a list of them to the Board, so it can address them at some later point in time.
Mr. Bill Kercher, with the firm of Glatting Lopez Kercher Anglin, out of Orlando, representing The Summit Group (which is the firm that is responsible for managing what is known as The Bradshaw Properties), appeared before the Board and submitted (for the record) a letter (with an attached map indicating the property in question) requesting a revision of the Land Use Map which is currently under consideration. The letter stated the most recent draft of the map classifies the eastern portion of the property as urban expansion and the western portion as rural. Mr. Kercher requested that, rather than split Mr. Bradshaw's property, to include the entire property in the urban expansion area and let them plan it as one unit.
Mr. Kercher then submitted and discussed a second letter and map regarding another piece of property that is handled by The Summit Group, concerning a 6,500 acre tract of land in south Lake County, requesting that same be designated as urban expansion, rather than semi-rural (future urban), on the Land Use Map.
Ms. Miranda Fitzgerald, with a law firm in Orlando, representing Clermont Groves, Inc., appeared before the Board and distributed maps showing the West Hills development, south of the present city limits of Clermont. She stated it is an area that, in the earlier versions of the map, was designated in the urban expansion area, however, later changed in Map No. 4 to a semi-rural (future urban) category. She requested that said change be reconsidered, and that said property be included in the urban expansion area, as it is within the City of Clermont and Lake County Joint Planning Area. She stated her biggest concern was staff's comment that the semi-rural (future urban) area is not
anticipated to expand into an urban category until after the year 2005, noting that she very strongly disagrees with that, because she feels that it is really a market consideration. She stated one can look at the facts, as they exist today, and make the determination, based on the Joint Planning Area Agreement that is in existence as well as the market forces operating today, that there is a demand for a residential community in that area, at relatively low density urban designation. She stated that, at the very least, given past history of the County's dealings with the City of Clermont and the way the County went about the process in the past, that said area is appropriate for an urban expansion area today.
Mr. Glenn Brecheen, Chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Committee, for the Town of Montverde, as well as a member of the Town's Planning and Zoning Board, appeared before the Board stating that the Town of Montverde is located in what is being called the urban node, noting that they are not urban. He stated they average one house per two and three quarter acres, overall, and that on the developed land in the town, they average approximately three houses per acre. He stated this leaves approximately 400 acres left to be developed, most of which is protected by the Subdivision Ordinance, which requires a half-acre lot minimum. He stated if the town achieves total build-out, they would only be able to come down to one house per acre, average; therefore, in the next fifteen years, their overall average could only go from one house on two and three quarter acres, down to one house per one acre. He stated they do not want an open town with suburbs that are more dense than the town. He requested that the Board not make the town a high density area, but to keep it a more rural one. It was noted that Mr. Berkine was only representing the Town of Montverde and not the surrounding property owners.
Senator Richard Langley, representing Crittenden Fruit Company Shop, as well as the Langley Fruit Company, appeared before the Board stating that a lot of individuals are upset over the planning
of the urban nodes, and that they need to be reminded that the County is looking at the absolute maximum densities, and that the Board will have to approve every project within the area. He stated that the Department of Environmental Regulation is also going to have to approve every project, as well as the Corp of Engineers, and everybody else that gets their hands in the actual development of said properties. He stated he was pleased to see that the Board had created a new "transition zone", although he was somewhat upset when he heard that semi-rural (future urban) would not be subject to take place until after the year 2005, questioning staff as to whether or not this was correct.
Mr. Larry Kirch, Director of Planning, stated that it was correct, unless there would be a case-by-case Comprehensive Plan amendment.
Senator Langley stated that the Legislature passed the Preservation 2000 Program last year and reminded the Board that the financial basis of it is real estate transactions; therefore, cautioned them to be careful that they do not defeat it. He stated the purpose of the program is to buy sensitive lands all over the State, noting that the best way to preserve land is for the State to buy it. He stated if the Board kills real estate transactions that come along with new developments, new home sales, etc. that come into the County, the Preservation 2000 Program is not going to have the money to buy the sensitive lands that everyone is concerned about. He stated there has to be a balance in planning that is going to maintain a level of the economy that can support the affluent necessities of a good planning program. He requested the Board to consider a transition area under semi-rural or semi-urban, for an area on Hwy. 33, north of Mascotte, where the County has drawn the urban area out to the south line of Township 21, as he feels it is a rather abrupt change from urban expansion to rural.
Mr. William (Bill) Ray, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that he has been involved with the Comprehensive Plan
process from the very beginning, and noted he had served on numerous Boards within the County that involved environmental protection and quality of life for the people of Lake County. He stated one thing he found out was that the County needs to be prepared. He discussed the population issue, stating that problems arise when one does not recognize what can happen - not necessarily what will happen, but what can happen. He discussed the issue of the point system, noting that he felt it was a very adequate, innovative, and accurate means to allow and promote quality growth within Lake County, as it takes design and location criteria into account, when a new project is proposed. He touched on the issue of protecting open space within the County, noting that there are only three ways to do so, being (1) for the Government to buy it; (2) for agricultural to own it; or (3) for agricultural to own it, with investment speculators controlling it.
Mr. Ray then discussed the fact that Disney World presently employs 35,000 people, and will be employing approximately 30,000 more in the next few years, who will be residing in Central Florida, and Lake County needs to be prepared. He stated it is a difficult job to do long-range planning, but, it is better to be safe than sorry. He stated that by making it larger, the County is being safer, noting that if the County does not reach build-out by the end of the planning period, then the County can still work with the same plan for another planning period and still have quality growth; however, if the County makes it too small, then the County will have to redo the plan, when they are not anticipating redoing it, therefore, have a disorganized growth pattern. He requested the Board not to make it too small, noting that where it is right now is relatively accurate, with some few minor adjustments to be made. The concept of a large "broad brush" planning tool is a very accurate one to use for an urbanizing rural county.
Ms. Susan McClean, a resident of Sugarloaf Mountain, appeared before the Board to discuss the land use map, stating that it indicates three different expansion nodes in the area of Sugarloaf
Mountain, of which she was not pleased to see. She stated, around the Ferndale area, the County has allowed urban expansion in what is presently a very semi-rural area, and in what is approximately 90% of the Sugarloaf Mountain area, the County has designated rural, when that area already has a large number of two and one-quarter acre lots, with $150,000 homes on them. She was troubled about the fact that at the bottom of the mountain, and all across Hwy. 561, the County has designated semi-rural zoning, consisting of five acre plots having mobile homes on them. She stated that, basically, the way the County presently has the map drawn, it does not relate to how most of the usage currently is, and this concerned her. She stated she does not want a subdivision on the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, but there is nothing wrong with the area being semi-rural, with two and one-quarter acre lots. She requested the Board to take a closer look at the area and at least make it homogeneous - not split it up in three different ways.
Mr. Jerry Eggebrecht, a local resident, appeared before the Board and requested them to consider changing the classification of a parcel of property located near the intersection of Hwy. 27/19 and the Turnpike (previously a portion of the Libby tract) to where it would be in the urban expansion area, or to consider a transitional zone of one unit per acre, as it is sandwiched in between two commercial properties.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the issue of a possible transitional zoning between the one unit per two acres, and the four units per one acre, to which Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, informed the Board that this matter had been discussed, however, not in depth. He stated that the issue will be discussed further, at a later date.
Mr. Larry Kirch, Director of Planning, informed the Board that, at the Executive Committee Meeting, a vote was taken, and a fifth land use category was created; however, the Committee went back to the four land use category, due to the fact that the County can do the one unit per acre, within the urban expansion area.
Mr. John Wetherford, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that the plan which the County is proposing enhances urban sprawl, and that the land use map is inconsistent with the other elements the County has adopted - at least in concept. He stated the Conservation Element strongly supports the aquifer recharge areas, yet the map promotes and is pointing development toward those areas of high aquifer recharge, which he feels is a mistake. He stated the plan needs to be consistent with the other goals and objectives of the policy, as well as the Housing Element, the Recreation Element, and the Conservation Element. He stated the plan needs to allow residential development, with controlled development clustering, to provide economic development for developers, and also preserve land for Lake County. He stated he felt a strong map, plus the Conservation Element, gives the County good quality development and a good quality of life.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, representing several clients of hers, appeared before the Board stating that although the Board was only discussing the Land Use Element, one has to look at it in the context of the overall plan. She stated the County seems to have developed all the other elements, and is now just focusing on land use, which is the driving force, in terms of transportation, economics, etc. She mentioned other elements which have to be complied with, as well, noting that one cannot look at a map out of context with the rest of the documentation. She recommended going back to seven units per acre in the urban expansion area, as one is very rarely going to achieve seven units per acre - they are going to be in a two to three unit average. She stated if one reduces the maximum, and then tries to apply a development rating criteria, feels they will never achieve even four units per acre. She pointed out the fact that it has been seven units per acre, until the very last meeting, at which time the figure was changed, and a recommendation made that the Board reinstate the seven to one, with development rating criteria, or, if the Board is going to use four to one, then give individuals up to four units per acre, without a
development rating criteria. She stated several people had commented on, perhaps, the need for a little more flexibility in a rural area, in terms of the different kinds of designation, stating that in looking around at surrounding counties and how they handled said issue, feels that to go from either four or seven units per acre, to one unit per acre, may limit areas which have the potential to develop in a confined, programmed, balanced manner, but are still more of a rural nature than an urban nature. She stated she agrees totally with what staff is trying to do, in that instead of having 500 different kinds of uses, to group property based on its relative nature, and within that, to allow a range of densities. She stated another misconception is that the only people that go through a development point rating system are the big guys - those that are classified as a MUQ (Mixed Use Quality) development, which she noted is not the case at all, based on the element.
Regarding urban sprawl, Ms. Bonifay stated that for the County to say urban sprawl is what they are trying to prevent, and that is why everything in the County that was once citrus will now have to be rural, is really not the approach to take. She stated the County cannot stop growth, it is going to come; therefore, the County needs to encourage and give incentives and bonuses to those that will do it the right way, and not have an arbitrary time frame, so that nothing happens within the specified period, if, in fact, the County can provide a balanced community. She discussed the Apopka area and suggested ways of creating a cohesive urban expansion area and then taking the area that is currently urban expansion, around Lake Apopka, and making it either rural or semi-rural, thus ensuring greater protection of the lake, as well as the fact of helping the lake restoration project.
Ms. Bonifay stated her only concern regarding the goals, policies and objectives of the Land Use Element is how to make the Comprehensive Plan operational. She stated her understanding was that, as long as they are in an urban or urban expansion area, they
are consistent, and do not have to be rezoned or require Comprehensive Plan amendments - they can go forward and develop. She stated she also understood that there is no development point rating system for any use other than residential, at this time. In other words, there is no separate performance criteria for commercial and industrial. She also stated she understands that if one is not a commercially zoned piece of property at present, that there will be no commercial uses designated until the year 1992, with the exception being if one is a large scale development. She stated she also understands that there will no longer be industrial zoning, as that is what the employment centers are, and that the County is going to concentrate and direct industrial only in factories.
Ms. Bonifay stated another area that needs clarification is what a commercial corridor is; why the County is doing specific area and sector studies regarding it; and how it differs from what the County has already designated as commercial centers on the map. Mr. Claude Smoak (past Commissioner), appeared before the Board stating that he heard discussion regarding the economics involved with the plan and the implementation of the plan, however, had not heard much discussion about the cost, from the public standpoint, to implement it, noting that it is going to be massive. He discussed a parcel of land located on Hwy. 470, outside Okahumpka, stating that it is currently designated as rural with one unit per five acres residential zoning, noting that he felt it was an inappropriate area for any kind of residential zoning. He stated the Department of Transportation is currently looking at an interchange at that location, if, in fact, the prison (once sited for Lake County) is located in Sumter County. He then questioned whether the employment center was the appropriate thing to designate both north and south of Hwy. 27 and west of the Florida Turnpike, noting that he felt this was good planning, if one is talking about trying to address a crystal ball between now and the year 2005. He feels the one unit per five acre designation is
wrong for that location, in that there will be built-in conflicts for whatever may happen there, when there is an interchange.
Mr. Ron Abbey, a member of the Executive Advisory Committee and the Planning and Zoning Board for the City of Tavares, appeared before the Board stating that he felt the committee did a pretty good job on the whole element, except for the Future Land Use Map. He stated if the committee was to go back and redo the maps, the maps would all have one thing in common - a degree, more or less, of urban sprawl. He feels the County needs to shrink the urban areas. He also noted he feels staff has done an outstanding job.
Commr. Hanson stated she felt what Mr. Abbey suggested could be part of the solution, as she feels that the County has lost all perspective, in wanting to control land rather than find a viable use for it, or keep a viable use for it. She stated that agriculture needs to have some kind of incentive not to divide its acreage up into five acre tracts, noting that there needs to be a definite flexibility in the rural areas.
Commr. Gregg stated he liked the idea of development rights and some of the open space requirements, and felt the matter could be addressed in the Development Regulations, noting that he felt it would be hard to address it in the Land Use Element and Map at this time. He stated he feels it offers some compensation to someone who wants to continue to farm and gives him some economic value in his land.
Commr. Hanson stated that farmers do not want to stop farming, and feels this is a concept that the County does not want to get away from. She noted that she liked the "Mickey Mouse" map the best, out of all of them.
Commr. Swartz stated he felt there was a lot of merit in what both Commrs. Hanson and Gregg stated, however, the County cannot rely on just the Land Development Regulations - that the County has got to make the land use map bear some consistency to that, because the inequities that are being seen throughout the presentation continue to exist and the Board needs to address these issues.
Commr. Gregg stated the Board needs to be careful and not tie their hands so they can't do some of the innovative things, and then kick themselves a year from now, when somebody has a good idea, and the Board agrees with it, but can't put it into place, without a plan amendment. He stated the County has the task of not being too rigid, but, also answering some of the concerns that the people have, to use their lands.
Commr. Hanson stated if the land owners realize that there is enough flexibility in some of the rural areas, then they probably would not be as unhappy, but, when it is cut in stone and they are on one side or the other, it is very important to them.
Ms. Nikki Clayton, Attorney, with the law firm of Baker & Huffstetler, appeared before the Board commending them for their patience in enduring long and arduous hours with the Comprehensive Plan process, stating she had seen other processes elsewhere, and the one that this County has is as intelligent a process as she has been able to observe. She also complimented the Executive Committee for a job well done, as well. She stated she represents clients who own approximately 600 acres in south Lake County, at which time she discussed a parcel of property located along the eastern boundary, going north to south along the Lake County line with Orange County, in the south Lake County area. She noted that staff had asked land owners in the south Lake County area to come together and talk about points of common interest and to try and develop what was truly a comprehensive approach to a subregional area, and hoped the Board would encourage that to continue. She stated she would like to see the parcel of land she alluded to earlier be reconsidered.
Ms. Kathleen Traywick, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that she is concerned about the fact that due consideration has not been given to the water system which the future developments and areas are going to require.
Mr. Dale Ladd, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that he feels the Land Use Map is very unfair and does not
make a lot of sense, and that he feels everyone should be treated equally. He questioned what use the map would serve, since the County now has a bonus system and a new Comprehensive Plan in place, as well as the fact of concurrency coming in, which will control how much growth and where said growth will be. He stated he feels all the map will do is create conflict. He stated that growth is inevitable and all the properties that are being discussed are basically the same (orange groves that have burned out leaving barren hills), therefore, felt the only equitable thing to do would be to make it all urban expansion, and let the other elements of the plan control how that urban expansion takes place, noting that this is why there is a bonus system and concurrency.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:15 p.m. the Chairman announced the Board would recess for lunch and would reconvene at 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, representing Mr. Buster Hancock and Mr. Buddy Oswalt, appeared before the Board stating that as he understands the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida, the Board does not endow the people with rights, they, in fact, take away those rights, as the people already have the private property rights, and what the Board is doing is limiting and restricting those rights, based on the health, safety and welfare provision, which he feels is an important distinction. He then discussed the inequitable provisions and discussions which were raised and requested the Board to deal with them, noting that he felt a map which would put everyone on equal standing, based on where their property is and how they meet the performance standards and point system adopted by the Board, and directly relating that to the areas of concurrency, would be the best way to go. He discussed the matter of economic development in Lake County and stated the present Land Use Map is deficient, with regard to areas set aside for future industrial development. He stated the County needs to set some performance standards of where it is going to allow industrial development and
how it is going to buffer that from the conflicts that are inherent with the retirement communities that come up right next to them. He stated there needs to be substantially more acreage set aside for industrial development, which will allow the County the luxury of having it come in without inherent conflict. He briefly discussed the point system and how it affects existing zoning, at which time he requested the Board to clarify whether or not he had correctly understood the way it works. He stated the County needs to set some performance standards for the utilization of commercial, either by requiring frontage roads, joint access, or some buffering, which would allow the withdrawal of a lot of urban, leaving commercial, without falling into the pitfall of strip commercial. He stated that equity is the rule and requested the Board to look at some system that would put every property owner on an equal footing, noting that he felt the performance standards could be developed to do so.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, responded to Mr. Richey's comments, stating that Chapter 163 of the Florida Statutes is very clear that a Future Land Use Map, that shows the distribution location and extent of the various land use categories, is required to be part of the County's Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Mike Boswell, a partner with Castle Development Association, out of Orlando, appeared before the Board stating that his firm has three parcels of approximately 170 upland acres, accessible to the Chain-of-Lakes, and that they were quite pleased with the land use designation of two of those parcels, however, was present to discuss the land use designation of the other parcel. He stated said parcel is located on the eastern shore of Cherry Lake, which he noted, on the original map, was designated as urban expansion, however, was later recategorized, then went back to urban expansion, and is now semi-rural (future urban). He requested the Board to redesignate said parcel as urban expansion,
thereby, making it consistent with the Clermont Joint Planning Area.
Ms. Lisa Rutzebeck, a local land owner, appeared before the Board stating that she was having a hard time understanding the point system, and requested the Board to clarify when density is, or is not, going to apply, and questioned what was going to happen to those property owners that cannot reach the point system. She suggested that the Board have workshops whereby they could explain the point system to the general public.
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, informed the Board that staff would be happy to have those individuals that do not understand the point system come into the office, and staff will walk them through any particular problems they may have, as long as it is within a reasonable number.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the matter of additional workshops, at which time it was the consensus of the Board, sitting as the Land Planning Agency, to hold a Public Hearing in the Board Meeting Room, rather than at the Ag Center, on Thursday, December 13, 1990, and that said meeting go from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, at which time it would recess and reconvene at 7:00 p.m., for further discussion.
Mr. Murphy Cameron, a local resident, appeared before the Board and submitted written comments (for the record) regarding the land use issue and requested the Board to find other ways and means of dealing with it.
Mr. Ed Bergman, a local businessman, appeared before the Board stating that he agreed with Mr. Richey's comments, regarding the Land Use Element, noting that he felt Mr. Richey's idea was one of the most innovative ones he has heard to date. He stated Lake County has special conditions and circumstances, and felt that the Board should look for an escape hatch from its present Land Use Map.
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Land Planning Group, Inc., representing the City of Umatilla, appeared before the Board and submitted (for the
record) some changes which the City of Umatilla would like the Board to consider, regarding the Land Use Map, being (1) shrinking the urban designated area around the City of Umatilla and (2) adding a buffer of urban expansion outside that area, within the Joint Planning Area.
At this time considerable discussion occurred regarding the Future Land Use Map, at which time Commrs. Hanson and Gregg noted some areas in which they felt changes needed to be made, one of them concerning commercial designations and the fact that the County should tie some performance standards into it.
Commr. Swartz suggested incorporating those performance standards which would include some of the concepts that dealt with reducing some of the setbacks, moving the commercial up, getting the parking on the side and rear, and doing those types of things that would make it more attractive, and, as an alternative, to create a backward road, instead of a frontage road, which would allow the commercial to move forward more and be seen.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the vested issue, at which time Mr. Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, stated that a planned commercial or industrial zoning shall be vested, whether or not a site plan has been previously approved, and, if a site plan has not been previously approved, County approval is required. He noted this was new language which had been added.
Commr. Swartz requested staff to go back and try to take a logical view of what has been developing, and note in what areas they felt it would make good sense to have industrial locations, which do not have conflicts with residential, recreational, or potential conservation problems, and come back to the next Board Meeting with said suggestions, for the Board to consider.
Commr. Bakich stated when talking about the County's urban and urban expansion areas, he sees the validity in the point system and basing development from that, however, would feel much more at ease
with it, if he could be shown that through the point system the County is not creating densities.
Mr. Kirch, Director of Planning, stated the intent was to do away with urban nodes, as they were never defined with a legal boundary, noting that the approach which staff used does away with the need to have legal boundaries for every single urban node, except the Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento Urban Node.
A brief discussion occurred regarding housekeeping, at which time Mr. Kirch stated that, as far as the DRI site is concerned, it is now four units per acre, and questioned whether the Board wanted to do anything about making the DRI site urban, urban-expansion, or a smaller concentrated area of urban and then urban-expansion within the boundary, or if it wanted to go back to seven units per acre, to which a suggestion was made to add housekeeping amendments, with possibly some more added later on.
Commr. Swartz suggested that, to make it conform to whatever logic previously took place, that it be the same as urban expansion, with the exception of what is the Bramalea Urban Node (as a temporary proposal).
At this time, Commr. Bailey requested staff to provide the Board with comments which were made this date, from the individuals who appeared, for the Board to act on.
Commr. Swartz requested the Board to indulge in some ideas he had regarding the land use map, noting that he was not asking the Board to vote on it, but to just think about it. He stated he was concerned about what he viewed as bad planning, noting that he felt, regardless of the point system, it was going to contribute to a continuation of sprawling, low density development into much of the County's countryside, including what is some very good agricultural land. Secondly, he feels that the map is very unfair, as he sees a tremendous amount of inequity throughout it, therefore, suggested the following: (1) Rather than have urban or urban expansion, designate urban expansion areas around the cities, which could develop up to whatever the city adjacent to it is. He
stated the County needs to identify and encourage "rural villages" and have a classification for same, noting that it ought to be something that allows the type of densities that the County wants to encourage around them. He stated the County may want to have different ones (depending on how they have been developing in the past), but should find and encourage them, and allow community commercial within those rural villages.
Commr. Gregg stated he saw some merit in what Commr. Swartz suggested, noting that the idea behind it is good and felt it is a means of being fair; however, regarding maintaining the economic balance of the agricultural interest felt, in some cases, logic would dictate.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether the County would be working from gross acreage or net acreage, to which Commr. Swartz stated it would be gross acreage. She then stated that Commr. Swartz's suggestions might be part of the solution in solving some of the problems facing the County at present, however, noted that the market has to be there - there has got to be demand and supply. She stated she felt the matter needed to be left open for more flexibility, noting that she felt new rural villages could be created - not necessarily with churches, schools, etc. - just a residential village without central sewer and water, but with well and septic tanks.
Commr. Swartz requested staff to think about and analyze some of the problems associated with the issues he brought up, and note what they feel would be pros and cons, as well as some of the problem areas or issues he might have left out, and get back to the Board for further consideration.
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, informed the Board that staff had only fifteen days before the plan goes to the printer, and asked the Board's consideration of staff, in that they can only do so much in such a limited time frame. He stated that he felt the proposal made by Commr. Swartz was a good one, and felt that staff could analyze and merge it into what they
are presently doing, however, reminded the Board that this was only the beginning of the process. He noted that if staff cannot do it at the present time, along with the development regulations, they can amend it at a later date.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, interjected that there is a month between the Board sitting as the Local Planning Agency and the final recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners, noting that the Board could make any changes they wanted to, at the final public hearing, to which Mr. Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, recommended they not make too many changes, as it could have a ripple effect through all fourteen of the elements.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, suggested that the Board give staff some time to look into the matter and inform them, at the next Board Meeting, whether or not they can do what is being proposed.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 3:55 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK