The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, May 21, 1991, at 7:30 p.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Don Bailey, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Michael J. Bakich; Richard Swartz; and Catherine Hanson. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Toni M. Austin, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Bailey informed the Board that the time had arrived for the second public hearing on the proposed School Impact Fee Ordinance.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board that all of the amendments are already enacted into the proposed ordinance, with the Board taking action on them at the first public hearing.
Dr. Tom Sanders, Superintendent of the Lake County Schools, appeared before the Board and extended appreciation to the Board for bringing back the idea of implementing impact fees. Dr. Sanders stated that the heavy growth is impacting Lake County, and the County needs the impact fees, in order to meet the needs of the future. Dr. Sanders stated that there seems to be a positive feeling being reflected by the Board regarding the School Impact Fee, and that there may not be a need for public comment.
Commr. Bailey called for opposition to the proposed School Impact Fee ordinance.
Ms. Jackie Conn, an eighteen year resident of Lake County, appeared before the Board and stated that she is against the tax, but that it is obvious that the County is going to impose it. Ms. Conn stated that she is appearing before the Board to offer another idea, or procedure, to impose the tax.
Ms. Conn stated that she is against the tax, because she did not feel that it is the Board's job to get money for the schools. She stated that she felt the School Board, because they failed at one time to get the bond issue, has given up completely in pursuing this type of funding.
At this time, Ms. Conn presented the Board with a proposal requesting that the Board consider impact fees based on the square footage of living area in the home. Ms. Conn discussed the economy, using her family as an example. She stated that her idea is to get the impact fees on a more fair basis. Ms. Conn also discussed people who have had previous homesteads and are rebuilding, and who have been paying taxes, and, at this time, discussed the credits that should be allowed to these taxpayers.
Commr. Bakich stated that he feels the Board, in part, feels responsible for bringing about the impact fees, because of the Board's jurisdiction over zoning and development in Lake County. Therefore, the Board has agreed to work jointly with the School Board to bring about the impact fees to assist in raising the necessary monies to develop in the new areas throughout the County. He stated that the Board will consider her proposal, but that the Board feels compelled to proceed with this now.
Commr. Gregg stated that the legal constraints for an impact fee are contained within the ordinance, which allows for affordable housing discounts.
Ms. Conn stated that she is not opposed to paying taxes for schools, but is trying to help the "little" person.
Commr. Swartz commended Ms. Conn for appearing before an audience largely in favor of the impact fees. He stated that a cautious, conservative approach will need to be taken when the County begins to issue the permits, and will be a point of concern. He further stated that tonight the Board cannot incorporate either concepts being proposed, but over time, the "bedroom" issue will need to be reconsidered to make sure that the County is not losing revenue. Commr. Swartz stated that the Board needs to move forward
on this issue tonight.
Ms. Conn requested that the Board give its assurance that it will consider her concept and figures presented tonight, with Commr. Bakich indicating that the County and School Board will always consider new ways to fund capital expenditures.
Commr. Hanson extended her appreciation to Ms. Conn for her comments, and stated that she does feel there are inadequacies in what the County is proposing, but that the County needs to move forward now, and address future problems as they arise.
Ms. Jean Kaminski, Executive Director of the Homebuilders Association, appeared before the Board and stated that she, along with the Homebuilders Association, are not in opposition of the fee. Ms. Kaminski expressed her concern for the "automatic escalation" clause. She stated that, no matter what type of tax is being considered, it should be brought up for a yearly review, and, if the situation warrants it, then escalate it at that point. Ms. Kaminski questioned the implementation date, with Ms. Lustgarten stating that the date will be August 1, 1991.
Ms. Sandra Henderson, Leesburg City Commissioner, representing the Leesburg City Commission, appeared before the Board and stated that, at their last meeting, a resolution was passed unanimously supporting the Board's adoption of the impact fees for education.
Mr. Howard Barry appeared before the Board and presented questions regarding the proposed fees indicated in the newspapers, and continued to question the rational basis the County is using when considering the number of bedrooms to determine school populations, with Ms. Lustgarten stating that the methodology was chosen by the consultants hired by the Board, and determined by data.
Mr. Howard suggested that the new people in the County pay 100% of the impact fees, not 85%, as being proposed, and stated that, until the County imposes impact fees on all areas of growth, he is opposed to the fees.
Mr. Ross Buchanan, resident of Lake County, appeared before
the Board and stated that everyone, including the developers, need to pay their way, instead of being subsidized by the taxpayer.
Mr. Buchanan discussed the School Board's budget, in relation to the number of students in the County.
Commr. Gregg informed Mr. Buchanan that the law states that impact fees can be used for capital improvements only, not operating costs.
Mr. Buchanan discussed the employer-employee relationship, and stated that this needs to be re-established in the County, with the Board serving the best interest and needs of the people of Lake County.
Mr. Jerry Smith, Chairman of the Lake County School Board, appeared before the Board and stated that the positive action being taken by the Board tonight is only a small step towards assisting the Lake County School District. Mr. Smith extended his appreciation to the Board for a positive vote on this issue, and that the School Board continues to look forward to working with the Board in solving economic problems, as well as any other County related problem.
Mr. Hubert Hartman appeared before the Board to discuss the handling of the fees, as related to the number of bedrooms. At this time, he discussed proposed building plans, and the fact that the third or fourth bedroom will never be built.
Ms. Lustgarten stated that the Building Department, as they review plans, will look for these items, and stated that the ordinance contains a provision for a change in use or density. When proposed plans, as such, are submitted to the County, the additional fees will be collected at that time.
Mr. Hartman questioned the sincerity of purpose of the Commissioners in enacting this ordinance. Mr. Hartman discussed Page 3, C. & D., and Page 4, Section 5. Intent and Purpose. Mr. Hartman questioned when the County will take care of the rest of the problems, including fire, rescue and police protection. He went on to discuss the statistics, in relation to the people on
welfare and unemployment. Mr. Hartman requested that the Board enact all impact fees necessary to meet the needs of the County.
At 8:11 p.m., the Chairman called for further public comments. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved and adopted Ordinance
1991-8, as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF
LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA, ESTABLISHING SCHOOL IMPACT FEES;
PROVIDING FOR IMPOSITION OF AN IMPACT FEE ON LAND
DEVELOPMENT WITHIN LAKE COUNTY FOR THE PROVISION OF
NEW SCHOOLS, EXPANSION OF EXISTING SCHOOLS, AND
RELATED EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES NECESSITATED BY NEW
DEVELOPMENT; PROVIDING FOR LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS;
PROVIDING FOR A TITLE; PROVIDING FOR APPLICABILITY OF
SCHOOL IMPACT FEES WITHIN UNINCORPORATED LAKE COUNTY
AS WELL AS ALL MUNICIPALITIES WITHIN LAKE COUNTY;
PROVIDING FOR INTENT AND PURPOSE; PROVIDING FOR RULES
OF CONSTRUCTION; PROVIDING FOR AUTHORITY FOR ENACTMENT
OF THE ORDINANCE; PROVIDING DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR
DEDICATION OF LAND; PROVIDING FOR STUDENT GENERATION
RATES; PROVIDING FOR SIZE, LOCATION AND ACCESSIBILITY
OF SCHOOL SITES; PROVIDING FOR THE PAYMENT OF A SCHOOL
IMPACT FEE; PROVIDING A SCHEDULE OF SCHOOL IMPACT FEES;
PROVIDING FOR WAIVERS; PROVIDING FOR SCHOOL IMPACT FEE
DISTRICTS; PROVIDING FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF A SCHOOL IMPACT
FEE TRUST FUND; PROVIDING FOR USE OF SCHOOL IMPACT FEE
FUNDS; PROVIDING FOR THE REMITTANCE OF SCHOOL IMPACT
FEES AND THEIR EXPENDITURE BY THE SCHOOL BOARD OF LAKE
COUNTY FOR EDUCATIONAL CAPITAL FACILITIES; PROVIDING
FOR REFUND OF UNEXPENDED FEES PAID; PROVIDING FOR
EXEMPTIONS; PROVIDING FOR CREDITS FOR DEDICATED LAND;
PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES AND LIENS AGAINST PROPERTY;
PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE LAKE COUNTY CODE;
PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK