The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, July 9, 1991, at 5:05 p.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; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Commr. Bailey opened the meeting with welcoming comments and introduced Mr. Mike McDaniel, Community Program Administrator and Ms. Carmon Bishop, Planner IV, with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
Mr. John Swanson, Executive Director, Planning & Development, appeared before the Board to acknowledge (for the record) letters that have been received from Mr. Joseph S. Pluchino, Ms. Catherine P. Pluchino, Mr. Edward C. Simmons, Ms. Eloise Fisher, Ms. Audrey Reed, Ms. Jane S. Kramer, Ms. Tracy M. Kramer, Mr. William C. Kercher, Jr., Mr. Greg A. Beliveau, Mr. James J. Bible, Mrs. Robert B. Kent, Ms. Patricia S. Leonard, Ms. Allison Bibler, Ms. Marilyn Bainter, Ms. Janet Brady, Friends 1000 Florida, and the Lake County Conservation Council Board.
Mr. Larry Kirch, Director of Comprehensive Planning, appeared before the Board to review specific comments made at the July 2, 1991 public hearing, to review revised policies and to present additional maps that have been added into the Future Land Use Map Series for inclusion in the Goals, Objectives and Policies of the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Kirch stated that clarification and review has been made to Policy 1-2.1: Wetlands; Policy 1-2.2: Floodplains and Stormwater
Management; Policy 1-2.6: Vegetative Communities and Wildlife Habitats; Policy 1-11.18, Protection of Environmentally Sensitive Resources; and Policy 7-17.3, Land Management to Enhance Wildlife.
Mr. Kirch stated that a revision was made to Environmentally Sensitive language which now states: "Environmentally sensitive lands include, at a minimum, rivers, streams, lakes, springs, sinkholes, wetlands, floodplains, high recharge areas, and habitat inhabited by designated species".
Mr. Kirch stated that a review has been made of comments regarding water and waste water, and staff does not recommend making changes to the policies in question.
Mr. Kirch stated that Policy 7-2.14: Septic Tanks, requires clarification relating to limiting development on severe soils to one acre lots, and the placing of septic tanks on severe soil. He stated that the last sentence should read: "The development of density shall not exceed one unit per acre with soils with severe septic tank limitations by the Soil Conservation Service".
At this time, Mr. Kirch presented policies covering areas that were not previously reviewed or which provide clarification to Plan policies. He reviewed Policy 1-15.3: Material Referenced in Comprehensive Plan Goals, Objectives, and Policies, which states: "Any reference to documents, rules, regulations, codes or statutes in the Comprehensive Plan, whether an explicit citation or not, shall be considered to be that which was in existence July 9, 1991".
Mr. Kirch stated that Policy 1-20.18: Review of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations in the Wekiva River Protection Area is a new policy relating to the review of the Lake County Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Regulations as they pertain to the Wekiva River Protection Area. He stated that, at the Board's direction, by 1996 the County will review the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Regulations for the Wekiva River Protection Area for their effectiveness in meeting the criteria for the Wekiva Protection Act.
Mr. Kirch reviewed Policy 1-20.3: Vested Development and Density Exceptions within the Wekiva River Protection Area, stating that language has been inserted, based on the discussion presented by the County Attorney at the Public Hearing on July 2, 1991. Mr. Kirch stated that B. Density Exceptions, Number 3. states "A complete application for site plan approval or an application for preliminary plat approval was filed prior to the effective date of the Ordinance adopting this Comprehensive Plan, is approved by Lake County and development has commenced within two (2) years for a site plan or eighteen (18) months for a preliminary plat, from the effective date of the Ordinance adopting this Comprehensive Plan".
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that discussion occurred regarding conforming language to the balance of the Comprehensive Plan and retaining the prior existing density intensity exceptions.
Commr. Bakich stated that he does not recall changing the original vesting language submitted, with Ms. Lustgarten responding there is a difference between vesting and density exceptions. She stated that the language regarding vesting exempts an individual from the Comprehensive Plan, and was added to conform to the statutory requirement.
Commr. Hanson stated that direction was not given, from the board, to insert language addressing two (2) years for a site plan or eighteen (18) months for a preliminary plat. She stated that said language puts a time frame on site plan approval.
Commr. Gregg stated that the Board had previously indicated that they did not want any changes made to the Wekiva River Protection Area other than typographical errors and technical changes.
Ms. Lustgarten stated that the language addressing time frames, as stated above, would be removed from Policy 1-20.3 Density Exceptions.
Commr. Bakich questioned the deletion of language pertaining commercial and industrial vesting, with Ms. Lustgarten stating that
commercial and industrial land use designations are now shown on the map as land use designations that exist, and do not have to be vested because they are permitted uses.
Mr. Kirch reviewed Policy 1-12.2: Interpretation of Residential Density Designations, which addresses the maximum allowable units which may be constructed on the gross land area.
Mr. Kirch stated that Policy 8-1.6: Mandatory Dedication of Land for Recreation; Policy 8-1.10: Designation of abandoned Rail Corridors for Recreational Purposes; and Policy 8-2.3: Use of Impact Fees for Recreation require modification due to the change in the adopted level of service for recreation.
At this time, Mr. Kirch presented fourteen (14) maps for inclusion in the Goals, Objectives and Policies of the Comprehensive Plan as the Future Land Use Map Series. Mr. Kirch gave a brief description and review of Map I-1, Future Land Use Map; Map I-2, Conservation Areas with Existing and Planned Waterwells; Map I-3, Wekiva River Protection Area Future Land Use; Map I-4, Wekiva River Protection Area Zoning March 12, 1990; Map I-5, Wekiva River Protection Area "Exhibit A"; Map I-6, Floodplains; Map I-7, General Minerals & Mining Operations; Map I-8, General Soils & Topograph; Map I-9, Historic Resources; Map II-1, Future Traffic Circulation Map Functional Classifications 2005; Map II-2, Future Traffic Circulation Map Number of Lanes 2005; Map IV-1, Future Conditions Map Leesburg Municipal Airport-Airport Improvements Through 2005; Map IV-2, Future Conditions Map Umatilla Municipal Airport-Airport Improvements Through 2005; and Map VIII-1, Generalized Location of Recreation Facilities.
The Chairman opened the Floor for public comment on all Elements of the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Paul Bethune, a resident of the Minneola area, appeared before the Board to state that he is opposed to irresponsible growth and stressed the importance of developing property responsibly and well, without destroying the surrounding areas.
Ms. Eloise Fisher, a resident of Eustis, appeared before the Board to state that growth does not pay for itself, expressing concern that the Comprehensive Plan does little to preserve the quality of life. She stated that the present plan has insufficient protection for wetlands and county roads, and does little for water resources. Ms. Fisher stated that the Parks and Recreation requirements are not satisfactory at 1.5 acres per thousand residents and should be restored to 5.95 acres per thousand residents.
Ms. Mary Smith, President of the League of Women Voters, appeared before the Board to state that the Board's indication that they do not intend to cooperate with DCA indicates that one group of citizenry, the large landowners, the citrus growers, the developers, and the realtors have more rights than the majority of the taxpayers that voted them into office. She stated that the League supports planned growth, and they feel it would be valuable to cooperate with the DCA, and to explain to them the County's special problems.
Ms. Marilyn Bainter, a local resident, appeared before the Board in opposition to the Comprehensive Plan as submitted to the Department of Community Affairs. She strongly urged the Board to comply with the objections and recommendations received from DCA. At this time, Ms. Bainter read from the Constitution of the State of Florida, Article 2, Section 7, Natural Resources and Scenic Beauty, which states: "It shall be the policy of the State to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty". She also referred to Article 2, Section 5, Public Officers, which is the oath taken by Public Officers.
Ms. Cathleen Cook, a local resident, appeared before the Board in support of the Department of Community Affairs' Objections, Recommendations and Comments Report (ORC) on the Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Cook questioned the quality of life in the County, and the quality and quantity of our water in the years to come. She stated that she previously expressed her objection of the inflated
population projection of 407,000, which has been reduced by 85,000, but still leaves a projection of 331,000. Ms. Cook stated that growth can take place, but should be wisely and thoughtfully planned and managed to accommodate all of the people of Lake County.
Mr. Harold Lehner, a resident of Howey-in-the-Hills, appeared before the Board to state there are more compelling reasons, such as our health, our safety, and quality of life, for proper zoning regulations for land use, other than aesthetic purposes. He stated that he would hope the Board would consider the health, the safety and the quality of life not only for the majority of the constituents but also for future generations.
Mr. Jay VanderMeer, a resident of the Green Swamp area, appeared before the Board to address Private Property Rights stating that the value of land can be devalued with over restrictions. He stated that DCA has too much power, and the County should remove these powers by going to the State Senate and House of Representatives. Mr. VanderMeer requested that the Board not lose sight of the fact that Private Property Rights is the one thing that has made our Country strong.
Ms. Carmon Bishop, Department of Community Affairs, appeared before the Board to express her thanks for the opportunity to attend the public hearing and presented a letter, from Mr. Robert Pennock, Chief, Bureau of Local Planning, in response to Commr. Bailey's request to send a representative to participate in the public hearing to adopt the proposed Lake County Comprehensive Plan. She stated that Mr. McDaniels and she are authorized to restate DCA's position as expressed in the May 14, 1991 Objections, Recommendations and Comments Report.
Mr. Hal Turville, President of the Lake County Conservation Council and a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board to state that the Comprehensive Plan should encompass a planning period that is adequate to foresee problems and deal with them. He stated that the Plan should reflect legitimate population
projections, stating bad projections mean bad land use allocations, and bad land use allocations reflect higher cost of providing services. Mr. Turville stated the plan should determine what land is most suitable for development and should direct growth in those areas. He stated that when level of service is cut, the burden of the costs for maintaining quality of life and quality of service is being moved from the developer and new residents to the tax payers. Mr. Dale Ladd, a local resident, appeared before the Board to stated that the County's local officials know what is best for the County and not DCA.
Mr. Richard Serone, a resident of Tavares, appeared before the Board to state that there appears to be an open attempt to flaunt the law by defying the State requirements by DCA to conform with the intent of the Growth Management Act. Mr. Serone stated that the residents of Lake County have been saddled with paying taxes to offset the cost of development placed on the community by the failure of the Commission to enact appropriate impact fees as well as other financial responsibilities, such as the incinerator, solid waste, and the new jail and courts building. Mr. Serone stated that ownership of property does not give licenses to imperil, threaten, or disturb the well being of others.
Mr. Ray Watson, a local resident, appeared before the Board to stated that there is no section in the plan for resource protection or for aquatic resources. He stated that water is a major reason people move into the County, and the plan does not protect the lakes from further pollution. Mr. Watson stated that he does not support fighting DCA.
Mr. Kent Wimmer, representing Friends 1000 Florida, which consist of fifty members who live, own property and operate businesses in Lake County, appeared before the Board to review the evaluation, which was sent to Commr. Bailey, dated June 11, 1991. He stated that the Comprehensive Plan lays a good foundation on which the County's significant natural resources can be protected, but falls short in describing how the County will protect the
qualities of the environment, which is what makes Lake County distinctive and a desirable place to live. He stated the Plan must chart a strategy which includes more specific control over where growth will occur and the intensity of growth. He stated that the goals, objectives, and policies do not go far enough to establish a clear strategy for protecting the County's groundwater resources, its lakes, rivers, or wetlands. Mr. Wimmer addressed the issue of the patterns of growth, the impact of planned transportation developments, the proposed Northwest Beltway, protection of the environmental resources of the Green Swamp Area of Critical Concern, and the Level of Service Standards.
Ms. Janet Brady, a local resident, appeared before the Board to state that the development community in Lake County believe they have unlimited development rights and property rights. Ms. Brady referred to Policy I-20.12, which states: "Industrial development shall be prohibited within the Wekiva River Protection Area" and questioned staff if that was true.
Ms. Lustgarten responded to Ms. Brady's question, stating that new industrial development is not permitted, existing industrial development is permitted to continue as reflected on the Future Land Use Map.
Ms. Brady stated that Policy 7-15.12, of the Conservation Element, does not reflect the true words of the cited Statute, which prohibits industrial waste disposal in septic tanks. The Statute reads, "No construction permit may be issued for an on-site disposal system in any area zoned or used for industrial or manufacturing purpose or its equivalent". Ms. Brady requested the policy reflect the words of the Statute. She stated that various references are made, in the Conservation Element, to hazardous, bio-hazardous and industrial waste disposal identification, and management. She further stated that she supports responsible growth that will not drive taxes up to an unaffordable and intolerable level, will not destroy our essential drinkable water and endanger quality of life.
Mr. William A. Ray, a resident in the Clermont area, appeared before the Board to state that there has to be growth, or taxes will go up. He stated that he has the right to do with his property as he sees fit, providing it does not harm the public's health, safety and welfare, and it is the Board's responsibility to protect the individual's right to live where and how they wish. He stated that transportation moves growth, and growth is expanding to Lake County, urging the public to plan for this growth. Mr. Ray stated that a free society means government can be challenged and charged the Board to support the Plan that is before them.
Ms. Charlotte Lehner, a resident of Howey-in-the-Hills, appeared before the Board and told a story about how cooperation, instead of confrontation between developers, land owners and government can generate and promote industry, business, jobs, and revenues, as well as the opportunity for wholesome living. She expressed the importance of cooperation to bring to Lake County the glory and prosperity that it deserves.
Ms. Ruth Yancey Ray, a resident of the Green Swamp area, appeared before the Board to state that she is in support of the recommendations made by DCA regarding affordable housing. She urged the Board to hold fast to the Comprehensive Plan that has been submitted on behalf of the citizens of the County.
Ms. Audrey Reed, a resident of Howey-in-the Hills, appeared before the Board to elaborate on a letter that she had previously mailed to Commr. Bailey. She stated that she wished to appeal and protest the change of the number of acres of park and recreation land as designated in the revised Comprehensive Land Use Plan. She stated that, as population grows, more parks will be needed, and these parks should be a part of the impact fees on new development. Ms. Reed asked that the DCA representatives take note of the fact that there are approximately 117 linear miles of abandoned rail lines, duly noted on the map, however, not one segment of rail lines is currently in use as a recreational trail. Ms. Reed stated
that she strongly protests the decision to cut the number of acres per thousand population.
Mr. Mark Carson, a developer in the Wekiva Basin area, appeared before the Board to state that the Wekiva River Protection Area is protected by many groups, and a project can take up to five years before completion, due to mandates and compromises. Mr. Carson asked for clarification of language in Policy I-20.3, stating he is in the process of construction, and it is not clear if he has to build under the current Wekiva Comprehensive Plan regulations. At this time, Ms. Lustgarten responded to Mr. Carson's question. Mr. Carson stated that this issue is not clear and language should be clarified.
Ms. Susie Bergman, President of Leesburg Board of Realtors, appeared before the Board to state that the Leesburg Board of Realtors support private property rights for every American, and to express their concern with the environment. Ms. Bergman read a resolution (for the record), adopted by the Board of Realtors, opposing the proposed changes to the Lake County Comprehensive Plan by the Department of Community Affairs, urging the Board to stand firm, and thanking the Board for their commitment to the democratic process, to economic stability and to private property rights.
Ms. Jonnie Hale, President of the Lake County Association of Realtors, appeared before the Board to read a resolution adopted by the Lake County Association of Realtors, supporting the thousands of hours of work invested by private citizens, elected officials and staff; supporting private property rights; and supporting the strongest effort of the County Commissioners to secure approval of the Comprehensive Plan as it stands.
Mr. Carl Ludecke, a local resident, appeared before the Board to speak for the residents of Lake County who want and need affordable housing available to them. Mr. Ludecke stated that the County needs to help these people, through less bureaucracy and not more. Mr. Ludecke stated that there is a place for every type of housing in the County.
Mr. Bob Huffstetler, a local resident, appeared before the Board to state that he feels Lake County has reached the middle ground in the compromise, and it is now time for DCA to meet the County halfway.
Ms. Rosemary Bennett, a local resident, appeared before the Board to state that there are a lot of people who do not like what is in the Comprehensive Plan, but we can compromise, we can live with it, we can adjust it, and we can go forward because we need a tax base.
Mr. Daniel Olson, a local resident, appeared before the Board to state he appreciates what the Department of Community Affairs is trying to do, but we must do what is right for Lake County. Mr. Olson stated that it is not possible to legally farm if every regulation has to be abided by. He stated that the appropriate levels of services will have to be decided in the future.
Ms. Jamie Seymour-Nye, a resident of the Wekiva Basin area, appeared before the Board to state that she opposes the use of golf courses as open space and that golf courses are a business arrangement and with only a select few utilizing these courses. Ms. Seymour-Nye stated that the County needs industry, not necessarily development because development will follow industry. She stated that Lake County has significant natural resources but, if we continue to strip and contaminate the land and water for monetary purposes, there will be higher taxes and fees for the purpose of replenishing the natural resources. She addressed the issue of vesting rights in the Wekiva River Protection Area, stating that the amendment and the Plan say two different things. She stated that to ensure the future of our children, we must plan for the future and must make sacrifices.
Mr. Bill Damer, a local resident, appeared before the Board to express his concern with the strong suggestion, from the residents appearing before the Board, to side step government. Mr. Dameron stated that the Comprehensive Plan is a workable plan and has flexibility. At this time, he asked the Board to protect his
rights as a land owner and citizen of Lake County and, more importantly, his constitutional right to a government by elected officials.
Mr. Mark McLean, a local resident, appeared before the Board to state that, based on principles, the plan runs over individual property rights and individual freedom of opportunity. He stated that he has taken part in the political process, became a part of the political process, and through that process, the Plan has been adopted by a majority vote. At this time, Mr. McLean told how his parents have lost their right to develop their property in Lake County, and how the Board's endorsing the plan will result in his father having to work until he dies.
Mr. Dick Wells, representing Ivey, Harrison & Wells, located in Orlando, and several property owners in the County, appeared before the Board to state that he has had the opportunity to work with the Department of Community Affairs, and it has been his experience that DCA has proven to be dogmatic, uncompromising and virtually lawsuit proof. Mr. Wells stated he supports the adoption of the Plan, and recommends that the negotiation process with DCA take place in Tavares and not Tallahassee.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, The Land Planning Group, representing BMK Ranch, appeared before the Board to address the issue of vesting, stating that the interpretation, given at the public hearing tonight, is inconsistent with the interpretation previously made at a Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) meeting. Mr. Beliveau stated that the BZA interpretation was, if a preliminary plat was filed previous to the date of adoption, you were vested not only for density but also for the development criteria that was in effect prior to that date. He stated that there has been interpretations and actions taken prior to the public hearing today where the language in the Wekiva Amendment did vest development criteria as well as density.
Responding to Mr. Beliveau's comments, Ms. Lustgarten stated that the language in the amendment is clear, and is the same
language that is in the Plan that has been submitted. She stated that the vesting is for density only, which is essentially the language contained in the original amendment and what is contained in the Land Development Regulations that implemented the Land Use Plan Amendment. She stated that it has always been the intent of the Land Use Plan Amendment and the intent of the Land Development Regulations that density only was being vested. She stated that the BZA decision was a one time decision on one particular parcel of property.
Mr. John Kauffman, a resident of Grand Island, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan and expressed his thanks to the Board for their support of the Plan. Mr. Kauffman stated he is willing to go to Tallahassee in support of the Plan.
Ms. Nancy Abbott, a local resident, appeared before the Board to state that the residents of Lake County are thinking of themselves only and not thinking of Lake County as a whole. She stated that it is time for the Commissioners to remember the oath that was taken when they were sworn into office, time to remember their obligations to the State of Florida's Constitution, and time to write a Plan that is best for every person in Lake County.
Mr. Newell Cook, a resident of Eustis, appeared before the Board to state the Department of Community Affairs found serious flaws in the Comprehensive Plan. He stated that if the Board does not heed their findings, the quality of life in Lake County will decrease substantially, and will cause distress to future generations.
Mr. Steve Ruoff, a representative of RDL Consultants, located in Maitland, appeared before the Board to state that his firm has been studying population projections over the last few years in Central Florida. Mr. Ruoff stated that no one could have estimated the growth that Disney World has brought to the area, with over 38,000 jobs. He stated that Disney World Enterprises is buying large amounts of land in Lake County, indicating that there will be a tremendous amount of growth in the County. Mr. Ruoff stated
there are growth opportunities in Lake County, and it is important to keep those opportunities in mind as growth projections are made.
Mr. Daniel Singer, with Ameritec Real Estate, located in Maitland, appeared before the Board to state that the decision which will be made on the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan will affect more than just land, it will affect the economy for years to come. He stated that the three basic principals of economics are land, labor, and capitol. Mr. Singer stated the world's capitol markets are driven by emotion and political stability. He stated that with Lake County's political stability, the international venture capitol will be coming to Lake County, and with this capitol will come industry, jobs and prosperity.
Mr. Roger Conner, a local resident, appeared before the Board to reiterate and support comments made by previous speakers. Mr. Conner stated that property rights are one of the fundamental things that make America great, and there has been a direct assault on property rights by government. He expressed the importance for the residents of Lake County to stand behind the Board of County Commissioners.
Mr. Jim Bible, representing Greater Construction Company, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Bible stated his construction company is building communities in Lake County at an affordable price, and the Comprehensive Plan lays out rules and regulations that will enhance the community. Mr. Bible addressed language in Policy 6A-2.5, which states: "...all private treatment systems be joined and hooked to a regional/subregional wastewater system when the regional/subregional wastewater system comes within one thousand (1,000) feet of the private treatment system or any of the central lines of the private treatment system". He stated he would like to see language added that would address this issue on a case by case basis, suggesting language be inserted after the wording "all private treatment systems" as follows: "unless exempted by Lake County". Addressing the issue of Recreation and Open Space, Mr.
Bible stated that the requirement of 25% open space in a development is very significant, suggesting the ability to place recreation as a percentage of the 25% open space be allowed.
Mr. C. A. Vaughn, a resident of Eustis, appeared before the Board to encourage the Board to continue to represent the feelings of the majority and encouraged the residents of the County to continue their support of the Plan that has been submitted to the Department of Community Affairs.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, representing a number of private sector clients who own property in all areas of Lake County, appeared before the Board to address the issue of vested rights language. Ms. Bonifay questioned why there is only one classification, which is vested rights, and no separate classification for density exceptions vs. vested rights. She stated there is a distinct legal difference. She stated language which has been added in the last revision of the Comprehensive Plan regarding density exceptions, is much more narrow and is not directed at vested rights. She further stated, from her clients' standpoint, (for the record) there is a difference, and if there is not a difference, why are they not all called vested rights. She stated her clients are losing rights under the existing language, and she does not feel that the language is a minor technical variation that has been introduced, but a substantial policy redirection.
Addressing the issue of Parks and Recreation, Ms. Bonifay stated the 5.96 acres per thousand people is inaccurate, flawed and unrealistic, stating she supports 1.5 acres per person.
Ms. Bonifay stated that the Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs) will not work until adequate County staffing is available, stating she is of the legal opinion that TDRs are not private property rights.
Ms. Bonifay stated that development and development costs will increase tremendously with the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan and will not encourage affordable housing. She further stated
the cost of government regulations and pages and pages of Comprehensive Plan does not diminish the cost but only increases the cost.
Mr. Keith Shamrock, a developer in Lake County, appeared before the Board in support of the Comprehensive Plan and to state that determination will be needed to move forward with the Plan. Mr. Shamrock stated that it is simple economics to plan for growth greater than is expected. Mr. Shamrock challenged the Board to stick to their guns, and stated that the majority of the people in the County support the Plan.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, representing clients in Lake County, appeared before the Board to express his concern for vesting language in Policy 1-20.3, Density Exceptions, No. 3, stating that the time limitation of eighteen (18) months for filing a preliminary plat, does substantial harm. At this time, Mr. Richey asked for a clarification on the effective date of the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Richey stated that it is important to insure that the development regulations, vested wording and the Future Land Use Map provide the ability to enhance the County's economic base. He further stated that the Plan does not have the economic incentive needed on industrial development. Mr. Richey, directing his comments to the representatives of DCA, stated that the Comprehensive Plan has been developed by the people of Lake County and the Plan adequately protects the County, without the Objections, Recommendations, and Comments presented by DCA.
Mr. John Weatherford, Attorney, Chairman of the Recreation and Open Space Element, member of the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee, appeared before the Board to address the issue of the level of service for Parks and Recreation, stating that the level of service have has been discussed does not presently cost the County any additional funds, because the numbers for the level of service have been defined at no additional acquisitions. Mr. Weatherford strongly urged the Board to adopt a level of service for parks equal to what is in existence today, so
that we can go forward and acquire additional park lands to meet the additional needs of the citizens of Lake County in the future. He stated if that is not done, he recommends that the Policy regarding mandatory dedication of parks be removed.
Ms. Gena Swartz, a member of the Executive Committee and the Traffic Circulation Element, appeared before the Board to state that the language addressing level of service for Parks and Recreation states that new growth will not pay for additional parks for the citizens, thus lowering the quality of life for those living in the County. Ms. Swartz stated that the same language pertains to the level of service for roads, urging the Board to review the level of service in the Plan. She stated that the comments made in DCA's report are well thought out comments and encouraged those who have not reviewed the report to do so.
Ms. Swartz stated that she opposes the addition of the Northwest section of the Orlando Beltway, in the Traffic Circulation Element, because it is an unfunded project from the Department of Transportation.
Ms. Swartz stated the Conservation Council is supporting Countywide Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs). She stated that TDRs will work if proper planning is in place.
Ms. Barbara Kent, a resident of Eustis, appeared before the Board to present specific issues, in the Comprehensive Plan, that contain inaccuracies and internal inconsistencies. Ms. Kent stated it was her understanding the County was going to protect her property rights, because she made it very clear two years ago that she was interested in the possibility of the County using a portion of King Grove property.
Ms. Kent stated that Lake Lincoln, an eighty (80) acre lake on King Grove property, is not shown on the map, and the Eustis By-Pass is aligned through Lake Lincoln, with Mr. Kirch stating that the policy, which he referred to earlier in the evening, states that the alignment is not a fixed alignment.
In response to Ms. Kent's concern with wording in Policy 2-3.5 addressing a two (2) lane facility from the intersection of County Road 44B and U.S. 441 north to the intersection of County Road 44A and County Road 44A/Estes Road, Mr. Kirch suggested inserting the language such as "the Eustis By-Pass".
The Chairman directed Mr. Kirch to review Ms. Kent's remaining issues with her, and return with her concerns.
Mr. Ron Abbey, Chairman of the Housing Element, appeared before the Board to state that the Comprehensive Plan is not in compliance and expressed his support of many of the comments presented by DCA.
Mr. Bill Good, a local resident, appeared before the Board to state that when cooperation fails, politics and lawyers take over, which is evident with the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Good stated that the ORC report has not been reviewed by the Executive Advisory Committee, asking that DCA review the reports prepared by the minority of the Committee closely in terms of upcoming negotiations and changes in the Plan.
Mr. Good stated that the Comprehensive Plan needs to focus on reducing infrastructure, not by building infrastructure, but by maintaining the existing infrastructure. He stated that the Future Land Use Map is spreading infrastructure, and upgrading roads to spread infrastructure.
Mr. Ed Bergman, a resident of Leesburg and a member of Citizens Advisory Committee for the Transportation Element, appeared before the Board in support of the Plan. Mr. Bergman stated language in Policy 2-1.5: Areas of Special Transportation Concern, addressing the U.S. 441 corridor between the City of Leesburg and the City of Tavares, relates to U.S. 441 only. He requested that language in Policy 2-1.5 be defined as U. S. 27 and U. S. 441 between and through the Cities of Fruitland Park, Leesburg and Tavares, and any areas that are referred to as U. S. 441 be considered U. S. 441 and U. S. 27.
At this time, Mr. Kirch presented, to the Board, the issues of concern that were presented to him by Ms. Kent. He stated Ms. Kent's concerns were: removal of urban density on her property, the insertion of Lake Lincoln on the Future Land Use Map, the Eustis By-Pass language be amended, the map of historic sites include the King Grove 1875 farmhouse, and revised Housing Element policies that relate to Historically Significant Housing.
The Chairman, at this time, closed the public hearing portion of the meeting, with discussion limited to the Board.
Commr. Hanson stated it was her understanding that clear direction had been given that the Wekiva River Protection Area would not be changed and would be resubmitted along with the Comprehensive Plan as it had been approved, stating her opposition to changing the wording in any way so that it could be interpreted in a different way.
Ms. Lustgarten, responding to Commr. Hanson's concern, stated that language on vested development was added to expand the ability to vest property. It was the decision of the Board to delete the added language.
Mr. Kirch, responding to a question presented by Commr. Bakich regarding acreage ratios criteria, as stated in Policy 1-12.2: Interpretation of Residential Density Designations, No. 3, stated that the Board indicated the need for more lakes and wetlands on the Future Land Use map, and if wetlands are to be shown on the map, they need a density associated with them. He stated it will be the Board's decision to choose an appropriate density.
It was the consensus of the Board to use a density of one (1) dwelling unit per five (5) acres of wetlands for all categories.
Discussion occurred regarding the review of specific public comments from the July 2, 1991 public hearing, as alluded to in the Staff Presentation, Items 1 - 4, with the decision of the Board to include the following items in the Comprehensive Plan: Policy 1-2.1; Policy 1-2.2; Policy 1-2.6; Policy 1-11.8; and Policy 7-17.3; the revised definition of Environmentally Sensitive; Policy 6A-2.4,
Policy 6A-2.5, Policy 6D-2.4, Policy 6D-2.5, Policy 6E-1.7 and Policy 7-2.14; and Policy 2-3.5 regarding the alignment of the Eustis By-pass.
Commr. Gregg made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Hanson, to amend the Comprehensive Plan to incorporate the request that a segment of U.S. 441/27, from the south urban limits of the City of Fruitland Park to the south urban limits of the Town of Lady Lake, and a segment of the U.S. 441/27 corridor, between and through the City of Fruitland Park, the City of Leesburg and the City of Tavares be included in Policy 2-1.5.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz asked for clarification of the criteria for designation as an area of Special Transportation Concern, and how it relates to the level of service that exist or would be maintained, with staff responding to Commr. Swartz's request.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion which carried as stated above.
Commr. Swartz voted "No".
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Hanson, and carried unanimously, the Board moved to insert language, in Policy 6D-2.5, "unless exempted by Lake County" after the language "potable water systems".
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Hanson, and carried unanimously, the Board moved to add Lake Lincoln to the Future Land Use Map, to add the notation regarding the Eustis By-pass, and to move her house out of the Lake, as alluded to in comments by Mrs. Robert B. Kent.
At this time, Mr. Kirch informed the Board that language, which has been inserted in Policy 7-15.12, relating to septic tanks in industrial parks, is language recommended by the Department of Environmental Regulations (DER), and is consistent with Section 381.272(9) Florida Statutes.
Ms. Lustgarten presented two amendments to the Ordinance adopting the Lake County Comprehensive Plan, as follows: On
Page 2, Line 21, strike January 21, 1991 and insert February 1, 1991; on Page 7, Line 12, strike Section XII: Monitoring and Evaluation Requirements. Ms. Lustgarten stated that on Page 11, Line 7, the Ordinance's effective date should be addressed.
It was the decision of the Board to make July 16, 1991 the effective date of the Ordinance Adopting the Lake County Comprehensive Plan.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously the Board moved to adopt the three amendments as stated above by the County Attorney.
Commr. Gregg stated he could not support and would not support the residents of Lake County turning over, to Tallahassee, their right to decide local land use. He stated that the bureaucracy resulting from the Plan will be tremendous, and during a recession such as now, impact fees and user fees will not pay for regulations that are in the Plan. Commr. Gregg questioned whether affordable housing will be possible with the cost that will be incurred due to items in the Plan, and stated that the regulations will hurt industrial development. Commr. Gregg stated that the Comprehensive Plan meets the letter of the law, and expressed his hope that Lake County can negotiate with DCA, and those negotiations can be done in good faith.
Commr. Gregg made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Hanson for discussion, to adopt the Ordinance adopting the Lake County Comprehensive Plan, to forward it to the Department of Community Affairs, with the changes and amendments that have been made.
Commr. Hanson stated that she feels the Plan is a good Plan, which will manage growth, allow for growth, and protect natural resources. She expressed her thanks to staff and the Commission for the job they have done in responding to the Department of Community Affair's objections and recommendations. She stressed the importance that the residents of Lake County be in control,
reiterating previous comments that the Plan protects the natural resources and is a Plan for managed growth.
Commr. Bailey stated that the Board has worked hard to provide the residents of Lake County the opportunity to provide their input in the Comprehensive Plan through the public hearing process. He expressed his concern for the Wekiva River Protection Area and the Green Swamp Area.
Commr. Swartz expressed, on behalf of the Board, his appreciation to staff and to the citizens of Lake County who participated in the writing of the Comprehensive Plan. He stated that the Plan, as written by staff, was based on the direction that was given ultimately by the Board.
Commr. Swartz stated his concern that the Plan does not have a vision for Lake County but, if it does have a vision for some, it is not the vision that the County should be choosing as a community. He stated that the policies within the Plan, that were designed to implement the vision that the County has chosen, provide too much of an opportunity to make and repeat mistakes that we have seen in surrounding areas. Commr. Swartz stated that he cannot support the Plan that the County is asking DCA to further review, because he does not feel it is a Plan with vision. He stated that the Plan will cause hardship for many, and there has been no relief provided to those residents. Commr. Swartz stated that he will be voting against the Plan because voting for it would not be representing all of the people of Lake County.
Commr. Bakich expressed his appreciation to the public for their input and involvement in the process of preparing the Comprehensive Plan. He expressed his concern that the laws of the State are totally different from the policies of DCA. He stated that he hopes there will be a spirit of cooperation from DCA, and expressed hope that the representatives present will return to Tallahassee with the message that the people of Lake County want the plan that has been presented. He stated that the Plan is a good plan, it could have been more restrictive, but what we are
embarking upon is much broader and much better for the citizenry of Lake County.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion which carried as stated above by Commr. Gregg.
Commr. Swartz voted "No".
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK