The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in joint session with the Town of Lady Lake on Monday, September 16, 1991, at 8:00 p.m., at the Town Hall Council Chambers, Lady Lake, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Donald B. Bailey, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Richard Swartz; Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Michael Anderson, Interim County Manager; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
Those present from the Town of Lady Lake were: Robert Q. Williams, Attorney; Storm Kern, Mayor; Johanna K. Perrigo; Yvonne I. Knudson; Ottis Birge; Lee Hokr; and John B. Lynch, Jr., Town Manager.
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT/PUBLIC WORKS/SUITS AFFECTING THE COUNTY
Mr. Storm Kern, Mayor for the Town of Lady Lake, called the regular meeting of the Lady Lake Commission to order, at which time, Mr. Robert Q. Williams, Attorney for the Town of Lady Lake, briefly reviewed the purpose behind the joint meeting of the Lady Lake Town Commission with the Lake County Board of County Commissioners pursuant to Chapter 164 of the Florida Statute regarding the County Road Impact Fees.
Mr. Williams stated that Chapter 164 of the Florida Statute is a statute requiring local governments to meet with one another in an attempt to resolve problems prior to initiating litigation. He stated that under this statute, the County is required to give notice of their intent to file suit against the Town of Lady Lake and schedule a joint public meeting for the purpose of discussing the matter of the contemplated lawsuit and attempt to resolve the matter before going to court.
Mr. Williams stated that the Town of Lady Lake was notified by Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, of the intent of the County to initiate litigation against the Town of Lady Lake for failure of the Town of Lady Lake to collect traffic impact fees established in County Ordinance 1990-18.
Mr. Williams stated that, when road impact fees were initially adopted in 1985 by Lake County, municipalities within Lake County were asked to participate by means of entering into an interlocal agreement requiring the cities to collect road impact fees per the County Ordinance, and to remit those impact fees, less a 3% administrative fee, to the County for the purpose of funding road impact fee benefit districts. Municipalities, at that time, were given the option of opting out, pursuant to a provision of the Florida Constitution that provides municipalities, who adopt conflicting ordinances, supremacy over a County ordinance that purports to apply within their municipality. He stated that several municipalities opted out in 1985, including the Town of Lady Lake. He stated that, in 1989-90, the Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled that municipalities did not have the authority to adopt "Opt Out" Ordinances that were, for all intents and purposes, veto ordinances that vetoed the County's obligation to maintain the County Road Impact System.
Mr. Williams stated that he prepared "Opt Out" Ordinance No. 90-33, at the direction of the Town of Lady Lake, which was adopted following the County's adoption of Ordinance No. 1990-18, and listed in Ordinance No. 90-33 were the reasons that the Town of Lady Lake determined constituted a valid purpose for Lady Lake to opt out of Ordinance No. 1990-18.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that the purpose of this meeting, as required by Chapter 164 of the Florida Statute, is to achieve an amicable settlement to the controversy between the County and the Town of Lady Lake.
Ms. Lustgarten stated that the County has the authority to impose the Impact Fee Ordinance in Lake County as the supervisor and entity that has jurisdiction over County roads.
At this time, Mr. Storm Kern, Mayor of the Town of Lady Lake, brought up for discussion the flexibility of the County regarding this issue. Commr. Bailey stated that he would consider changing his vote not to implement the right-of-way fee.
Commr. Gregg stated that he does not support the 30% right-of-way fee, due to the fact that it puts the County in a position where the County will be purchasing rights-of-way for everything.
Commr. Swartz stated that the right-of-way acquisition is scheduled to begin October 1, 1991, and he does not support removing the fee. He stated that it is not in the best interest of the County to remove a funding mechanism by which the County can acquire necessary rights-of-way. He stated that he would support a review of the Impact Fee Districts for the purpose of recognizing the present traffic patterns and looking at districts comprehensively.
Commr. Johanna K. Perrigo stated that her major concern is that the Ordinance does not specify where the road impact fee monies will be used and would like a guarantee that the people that are putting forth the money will see some benefit from it.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, stated that the intent is that the County would work with Lady Lake, Fruitland Park, and Leesburg to determine the priority of each road project. Commr. Gregg stated that he would not object to a review of the districts, with an option of changing or adding another district.
Commr. Lee Hokr stated that Lady Lake has just invested in a sewer system, and they have a major concern that they will lose commercial and industrial opportunities to surrounding counties if impact fees are enacted.
Mayor Kern stated that he has a major concern with the equity issue and would support a review of the redistricting maps by the County.
Commr. Swartz stated that he supports moving forward with a concept that would put reasonable lines on the redistricting maps, with the hope that the Town of Lady Lake would see that as being a fair compromise and would also move forward. He stated that this would involve all of the municipalities in Lake County.
At this time, discussion occurred among the Town of Lady Lake Commissioners. Commr. Yvonne I. Knudson stated that she supports meeting with County staff for the purpose of resolving this issue, and expressed her concern regarding future business and commercial opportunities.
Commr. Birge stated that he agrees with comments made by Commr. Swartz and feels deadlines should be set to resolve this issue.
At this time, Commr. Swartz questioned the Town of Lady Lake Commission if they would agree to join the impact fee, if the Lake County Board of County Commissioners agreed to have the County's traffic modeling reviewed and reevaluated, which would also include a review of district lines based on the most recent data.
Mayor Kern stated that the Town of Lady Lake is willing to work with the County and stated that it is important that the other municipalities also have input.
Commr. Gregg suggested that, in lieu of hiring a consultant to do a study, Mr. John Lynch, Town Manager for Lady Lake, John Swanson, Executive Director of Planning and Development and Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, work together to arrive at a solution to resolve this issue in a timely manner.
Mayor Kern stated that there are other issues in "Opt Out" Ordinance 90-33 that have not been addressed, and he requested that a written response be made concerning these issues by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners.
It was the consensus of the Town of Lady Lake Commission to proceed with a joint meeting with Mr. Lynch, Mr. Swanson and Mr. Stivender for the purpose of reviewing the district maps and other pertinent issues, with the Lady Lake Commission scheduling a meeting on October 21, 1991 for the purpose of reviewing the
results of the meeting with their Town Manager and County staff regarding the issues in question.
There being no further discussions, Mayor Kern closed this portion of the regular meeting of the Lady Lake Commission at 8:50 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK