The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Monday, August 23, 1993, at 5:05 p.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: G. Richard Swartz, Jr., Chairman; Catherine Hanson, Vice Chairman; Don Bailey; and Welton G. Cadwell. Commr. Gerber was on vacation and not present at the meeting. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Peter F. Wahl, County Manager; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
The Chairman opened the meeting.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, informed the Board that they had before them the most recent draft of Land Development Regulation (LDRs) amendments, which reflect changes that the Board had requested be incorporated at the August 3, 1993 meeting. She stated that this public hearing was the first of two that are required by Chapter 125 of the Florida Statutes. She stated that no formal action would be taken this date, in relation to the ordinance itself, noting that said action is scheduled for September 14, 1993.
Mr. Tim Hoban, Assistant County Attorney, referred to Page
I-5 of the draft, noting that Master Park Plan, Preliminary Plat, and Final Site Plan all had the same change, being that, if an individual has completed application for all the necessary permits from Federal and State agencies and those permits have not expired, said individual is allowed to proceed forward, under the old rules, but, if said individual has not completed all of his/her applications, or, one of his/her permits has expired, then said individual would fall under the new rules. He stated that that was the only significant change made in Chapter I, from the last draft.
Commr. Bailey questioned the time frame that one must start construction, being between the dates of March 2, 1993 and October 1, 1995, contained in Paragraphs A. 1. a. and b., on Page I-5.
A brief discussion occurred, however, no change was made in the dates.
Mr. Hoban referred to Page II-1 and discussed the definition of Abutting Lots of Record. He stated that staff attempted to follow direction that the Board had given at the last meeting, therefore, the definition states that, if a Lot of Record is immediately adjacent, contiguous, or across a nonpublicly maintained road to another Lot of Record, then it is considered to be abutting. However, if a publicly maintained road separates two Lots of Record, or, if there is a water body separating two Lots of Record, then they are not contiguous. He stated that the change contained in the language on this page adds a little more flexibility than the prior language.
Mr. Hoban referred to Page III-38, noting that, at the last meeting, the Board directed that if one has five acres, whether said acreage is on a paved road or not, said individual would not have to aggregate more than the five acres to meet the minimum lot size requirement for a Lot of Record.
Mr. Hoban then referred to Paragraph 2. a., on Page III-38, pertaining to the Wekiva area, stating that it states one has to aggregate up to 12,500 square feet, or the minimum lot size of the zoning district that was in place on March 12, 1990, if the Lot of Record fronts on a publicly maintained road.
Mr. Hoban referred to Paragraph 2. b., on Page III-39, stating that it states one does not have to aggregate more than five acres, if they are not on a publicly maintained road.
It was noted that said fact pertained to the entire county.
Mr. Hoban clarified the fact that if one is not on a county maintained road and one meets the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map, one would not have to aggregate more than five acres. However, if one is still in the Green Swamp, where the requirement is one dwelling unit per ten acres, one would still have to aggregate up to the ten acres.
Commr. Hanson stated that she did not see the point in said language, because one is having to aggregate up to the Comprehensive Plan anyway, because the language is required. She stated that she felt it was confusing to say five acres, when it could be ten or twenty acres. She stated that the language contained in Paragraph 2. a., on Page III-38, does not constitute a change for the Wekiva area, however, the language contained in Paragraph 2. b., on Page III-39, constitutes a major change for the Wekiva area.
Mr. Hoban referred to Paragraph G., on the bottom of Page
III-39, stating that the date by which staff was defining a Lot of Record was changed from December 12, 1971 to May 20, 1981.
It was noted that said date is the first date that the County shows Minor Lot Splits and Large Lot Splits being recorded for subdivisions.
Mr. Hoban stated that the changes he alluded to were all the significant changes that were made in the draft before the Board this date.
Commr. Swartz stated that Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, had brought to his attention the fact that language was in the LDRs that stated industrially zoned property, as of the date of the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, was vested and noted that, on the Future Land Use Map, it states that as being so. However, in the draft, said language was taken out and he questioned the County Attorney as to whether it should be reinserted, for clarification purposes, noting that, by doing so, it would remove any questions about the Board's intent, to which the County Attorney replied that said language could be reinserted.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, appeared before the Board stating that he was representing several industrial users and parks. He referred to the wording contained in Section 1.02.09 - Industrial Uses Except Chapter 7 - Wekiva, on Page I-3 of the LDRs, dated June 1, 1992, noting that it states industrial zoning existing as of July 15, 1991 shall be vested for density and intensity.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board will direct the County Attorney to put language back in the LDRs that makes it clear that the Board's intent, when the original Comprehensive Plan was adopted, was that said sites would be vested.
Ms. Jean Kaminski, Executive Director of the Home Builders Association of Lake County, appeared before the Board stating that the whole issue of Lots of Record and the aggregation of same has been a major concern, primarily because the people who are going to be hit the hardest and hurt the most probably are not represented this date and probably are not even aware of it. She referred to Page III-38 of the draft stating that the figure of 1,000 square feet that is used in the examples given, as a lot size, seems to infer that there may be lots in the County that are only 20'x 50', yet, in checking on the matter, it appears that the smallest lot is probably 25' x 130', which she noted would be 3,250 square feet. She stated that, under no circumstances, would that be a buildable lot, unless it was aggregated, additional land was purchased, or until such time as sewer services became available. She stated that many of the lots appear to be 40' x 180' (7,200 square feet) or 60' x 100' (6,000 square feet). She stated that, in good soil conditions, these most likely would be granted for 10D6, a variance for a septic tank.
Ms. Kaminski stated that she felt, by requiring the aggregating of said lots, it will create a hodge-podge with any existing developments and she did not feel that it was necessary. She requested the Board to reconsider the matter, noting that she had checked with people who are much more knowledgeable about Chapter 163 of the Florida Statutes and Rule 9J5 than she is and was told that there is nothing in either that mandates the County to have Lots of Record aggregate and have them as Comprehensive Plan requirements. She questioned the County Attorney as to whether that was a correct statement, to which the County Attorney replied that the Comprehensive Plan contains language that requires aggregation.
It was noted that said requirement was not in the original Comprehensive Plan, however, it was in the Comprehensive Plan that was adopted by the old Board and readopted by the present Board on March 2, 1993, therefore, it is a factor.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, noted, for the record, that it is a part of other Comprehensive Plans throughout the State. She stated that the Department of Community Affairs has insisted that said language be a part of the County's Comprehensive Plan, as part of the Stipulated Settlement Agreement, and that the County is required to comply with it.
Ms. Kaminski requested the Board to reconsider the way that Lots of Record are treated and to consider the effect that it is going to have on the owners of lots that will be affected by same. Commr. Hanson questioned Mr. Mark Knight, Chief Planner, Planning Department, as to what the County's options are regarding amendment of the Comprehensive Plan, if the Board were to amend said language, to which she was informed that it would be a part of the first batch of amendments scheduled for January.
Upon being questioned as to whether it could be done sooner, staff replied that it could not, noting that the time frames have all run out.
The County Attorney stated that, on August 26, 1993, the Board would be approving a request to transmit the second batch of amendments for 1993 and that, on September 7, 1993, the Board would be adopting the amendments that were the first batch initiated in January, therefore, any subsequent amendments to the Comprehensive Plan would have to be initiated for the next available time frame, which she noted would be January.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether it could be handled as an emergency item, due to the fact that some of the subdivisions in the County are going to be found not to be consistent with development that has already occurred, and was informed by the County Attorney that it could not.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether there were any options available, to where the County could begin an amendment process now and not wait until January, to which the County Attorney replied that she was not aware of any at this time, however, would research the matter and get back with the Board.
Commr. Hanson stated that she had a problem with the Planning and Zoning Commission sitting as the County's Local Planning Agency (LPA), due to the fact that she feels it ties the Board's hands, because they cannot change anything without it having to go back to the Planning and Zoning Commission. She stated that she felt it should be changed, to where the Board sits as the LPA.
The County Attorney stated that, with the Board sitting as the LPA, there would still have to be some time allotted between the time that they sit as the LPA and the time that they sit as the Board of County Commissioners, in order to permit public participation in both of the hearing processes.
Commr. Swartz interjected that the County would have to deal with the same time constraints, no matter which body sits as the LPA.
Mr. Frank Kutch, a local realtor, appeared before the Board stating that he felt they needed to look at the issue of blanket zoning and that the County needs to make a diligent effort to notify all landowners of the changes being made, due to the fact that a lot of people may think that they have a particular zoning, only to find out that they do not. He stated that he felt the Board should go along with the vesting of industrial property, due to the fact that a lot of people may have industrial property and not even realize it.
Mr. Kutch stated that he felt the issues being discussed this date were areas of grave concern to the future growth of the County. He stated that the Board needs to look at the economic cost of some of the LDRs, noting that a lot of them are nice to have for growth, however, some of them, as they are presently written, are very costly to the private sector. He stated that the County desperately needs growth, but, some of the LDRs have gotten the cost of development so high that the average person who once could afford to develop in the County can longer afford to do so.
Mr. John Shegas, a local resident, appeared before the Board and referred to Paragraph c., on Page III-38, concerning the issue of Lots of Record. He stated that there are a lot of people who have not been notified of the change in the requirement concerning the aggregation of lots and feels that the County has violated the law by not doing so and that the County has treated some individuals differently than others, therefore, has left itself open for lawsuits.
Commr. Hanson stated that she feels the County should find some way to do the Comprehensive Plan amendment immediately, so that they can allow a variance from the process. She stated that there is no variance for the aggregation and she feels that, if the County does not move forward on that, it is going to set itself up for some lawsuits.
Commr. Swartz requested staff to try and develop language that better clarifies what the County is trying to do, concerning the issue of aggregation of lots.
Ms. Susie Bergman, a local realtor, appeared before the Board questioning why the LDRs would have to go into effect immediately, or retroactively, and why zoning, or permitted plans, cannot have a date to go into effect. She suggested that said date be the end of September, 1996, noting that it would give people time to understand what is going on and to know if their land value is decreasing. She stated that the County also needs to let people know at what point they are going to have to comply with the requirements of the LDRs.
Ms. Bergman stated that she has listened to the Board time and time again try to make the people of the County think that they are getting something, however, noted that the LDRs are whittling away what is on the Future Land Use Map and that the County deals retroactively on some things, to where people do not know what they have. She stated that she cannot understand why the Board keeps stating that they are giving people more, when every person she talks to is ending up with less. She again questioned why the Board could not change the effective date of the LDRs, to which the County Attorney responded, stating that, when a county is enacting legislation, it is effective, as provided by law, when it is filed with the Secretary of State, or, the County can specify a separate date for it to become effective.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that the County is precluded from issuing any development orders, building permits, or any other type of permit, that is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan, which became effective March 2, 1993, and that is the constraint the County is operating under. She stated that anything the County issues that is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan is subject to challenge and puts the County at risk.
Discussion occurred regarding the possibility of a variance, at which time Commr. Cadwell questioned the County Attorney as to whether she was stating that there is no way any type of variance procedure could be set up, without a Comprehensive Plan amendment, to which she responded that that was correct. He also questioned whether she was stating that there is no way that the County can add an additional Comprehensive Plan amendment to what is in place at the present time, to which she replied that that was correct, based on the advertising requirement.
Commr. Bailey questioned why the variance could not come under an emergency situation, noting that, if the County has to wait until January to go through the process, it means one would have to wait a year to deal with an emergency situation and he could not believe that the County would have to do that.
Mr. Ed Watkins, a resident of Okahumpka, appeared before the Board stating that he felt the County was manipulating the landowners' property to meet the Comprehensive Plan and questioned why landowners have to take the loss, to which Commr. Swartz responded.
Mr. Jay VanderMeer, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that he felt the people of the County were being hurt by the new quasi-judicial process. He also stated that, if the County is going to be as firm as it is on the issue of aggregation, he feels there has got to be some place in the ordinance for exemptions and that the requirements have got to be spelled out, noting that people are really having a problem fully understanding it. He stated that he is very concerned that the County is putting itself in a position to where it can be sued and noted what he felt the County should do to prevent said lawsuits.
Mr. Frank Bouis, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that, when the present Comprehensive Plan was being developed, there was a clear recognition on the part of everybody involved in the process that the plan, as adopted, and, as it would have ultimately been approved by DCA, would not be satisfactory, because it would not be perfect and could not be perfect. He stated that there was also a clear recognition that it was so voluminous that it was going to be internally contradictory, subject to interpretation by many different readers.
Mr. Bouis stated that the participants were told many times that the solution to all of the inevitable problems was that the plan could be amended twice a year, in a process somewhat similar to the legislative process. However, the Board is now saying that there are obstacles and road blocks in the way of amending the plan, to correct inequities, therefore, those inequities cannot be corrected. He stated that he felt the County should have in place a program that runs 365 days a year, for the purpose of placing amendments in the plan, if it is found that they are needed. He stated that it should state in the administrative procedures that an amendment can be started, even though the plan cannot be amended more than twice a year.
Commr. Swartz responded to Mr. Bouis' comments, noting that he feels the Board has been trying to do what he suggested.
Mr. Bouis stated that it has not come across in this meeting that the Board is trying to do what he suggested, but rather that they are unwilling to deal with the problems that have been noted, on a timely basis.
Commr. Bailey stated he felt, if the County would include a variance process in the LDRs, that it would help the County solve some of the problems that it is being faced with and questioned whether that could be done at the Board Meeting scheduled for August 24, 1993, to which the County Attorney responded that it could not, due to the fact that it had not been advertised to go before the Board at that meeting, nor had it been to the LPA.
Commr. Hanson questioned how long the plan would be delayed, if the Board were to delay transmittal of the amendments to DCA, to which the County Attorney responded that it would be approximately a month.
Mr. Jim Bible, Vice President, Greater Construction Corporation, appeared before the Board to discuss the issue of PUDs and multi-phased subdivisions. He stated that the language in the present LDRs does not provide vesting for phases of PUDs, or subdivisions. He submitted a letter from Greater Construction Corporation, dated August 17, 1993, and a memorandum from the law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed (the firm representing Greater Construction), for the record, which he noted provides language for vesting PUDs, prior to the 1991 Comprehensive Plan, as well as the 1993 plan. He stated that the language for subdivisions is identical. He stated that he feels the language contained in the memorandum which he submitted would provide a mechanism to vest projects that are ongoing and progressing and that people who may buy into a particular subdivision will know that their community will be completed.
Mr. Bible stated that the only way for a developer to obtain financing is for the lender to know that the developer can finish a project and that it will not be stopped half-way through, because the Future Land Use Map was changed, or some other development regulations were changed. He stated that there had been some discussion that PUDs should be treated as straight zoning and not have vested rights, however, noted that it is his attorney's belief that PUDs, particularly the way that they are handled in Lake County, are different than straight zoning and should be entitled to the ability to become vested, if they continue on the path of development.
Mr. Eddie Francis, Attorney, with the law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, Orlando, representing Greater Construction Corporation, appeared before the Board and discussed the memorandum that Mr. Bible alluded to, from his firm, addressing the issue of vested rights in Lake County for PUDs. He stated that he understood the County Attorney disagrees with some of his firm's conclusions. He discussed his experience in other areas and jurisdictions concerning the issue of vested rights and PUDs and the fundamental fairness issue involved with same.
Mr. Francis discussed the issue of common law vesting and the fact that, if someone in good faith relies on a government act and changes his/her position, or incurs significant expenditures, then the common law suggests that that individual has vested rights and can go forward. He stated that, in many cases, PUDs fit within that category, because the developer has actually started one or more phases of the project and is relying on the assumption, in good faith, that he can finish the project.
Mr. Francis stated that the bottom line is that a PUD involves a different process and a different level of approval than straight zoning. He stated that straight zoning requires filling out a short application, going before the Board, and asking for approval. There is no real discussion about development plans, nor is their any detailed review of the proposed project. On the other hand, PUDs require something very different, such as topographical information, a conceptual stormwater management plan, detailed information about the types of land uses, buffers, setbacks, the location and configuration of roads, water and sewer service, etc., therefore, legally constitutes more than straight zoning.
Mr. Francis stated that, when the County approves a detailed development plan that is thorough and complete, he feels that, at that point, the County and the developer have entered into a joint mutual process of planning. He stated that, in many cases, a developer spends thousands of dollars to come up with a plan that the County likes and that constitutes good planning and then, with one swipe of the brush, the County wipes it all away. He stated he believes, very strongly, that the County has a justified, reasonable, legal basis to put PUD zonings in a different category than straight zoning.
Mr. Francis stated that he felt the Board had the discretion to vest PUDs, if they think that that is the fair thing to do, even if PUDs do not strictly comply with common law vesting situations. He stated that he disagreed with the County Attorney and feels that the Board has the basis for allocating vested rights to PUD projects.
Mr. Bob Mandell, President, Greater Construction Corporation, appeared before the Board stating that his firm has invested approximately $28 million in south Lake County on a project (Greater Hills) that they are currently developing. He stated that, with the proposed changes in the LDRs, his firm cannot rely on the fact that said project will have the same density and intensity that was originally approved for the project in 1987, and he felt that that was unfair.
A brief discussion occurred, at which time Mr. Hoban, Assistant County Attorney, stated that, due to the fact that the Greater Hills development had put in a major recreational center, it would be vested.
Mr. Mandell stated that his firm needs to obtain a letter from the County stating that the Greater Hills development is vested, for purposes of the Comprehensive Plan, however, they have been unable to obtain one, although the bank has closed on the deal.
It was noted that Mr. Mandell would receive said letter.
Mr. Mandell stated that, if the language which they proposed in the memorandum that was submitted were in the vesting ordinance, there would not be a problem. He stated that his company has done what they agreed to do, based upon their PUD, and would like the same reciprocity from the County. He submitted, as an example, for the record, a List of Approvals that the Greater Hills PUD had to go through, to indicate what a developer has to go through in doing a PUD, noting that a tremendous amount of effort and cost is put into one.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, representing a number of clients whom she noted are affected in one way or another by various sections of the LDRs, appeared before the Board, to discuss same. She submitted, for the record, a handout containing some proposed changes in the language dealing with Commercial Zoning, Preliminary Plat, and Site Plan, except for Chapter 7 - Wekiva, which she reviewed. She stated that she feels this County is producing more and more paperwork and intricate methodologies in trying to make what should be simple decisions.
Ms. Bonifay noted that she had crossed out the language for Commercial Zoning, because those time frames have now expired, and just stated that commercial zoning existing as of July 15, 1991 shall be vested for density and intensity and permitted to be developed, if a site plan is approved, and the development commenced prior to September 14, 1996. She noted that she used September 14th as the anticipated date and just extended it out three years. She noted that she used the same methodology throughout for Master Park Plan, Preliminary Plat and Site Plan.
Ms. Bonifay stated that the whole process seems to be working in reverse, noting that the County is giving the most vesting, with the least amount of strings, to those things which the Board fought so hard at one time to eliminate, such as Administrative Lot Splits. She stated that she has heard the Board talk about how horrible they are and that they are bad planning and should be eradicated, yet, all of a sudden, those are the things which have the most vesting. She stated that, for those things that have always been considered as good planning and good growth management, such as PUDs, Master Park Plans, Preliminary Plats, etc., there are now elaborate structures for moving them through the process, with a series of dates.
Ms. Bonifay stated that many people in Lake County have been given vested rights determinations for Master Park Plans and that what the County is now requiring eliminates those vested rights. She stated that the County is eliminating all the well planned developments and that it is going to give unbridled vested rights to those people who have obfuscated the system and not spent large amounts of money to do it the right way and she found this to be very disheartening and very alarming.
Ms. Bonifay noted ways in which the issues of Preliminary Plats and Site Plans could be handled more simply by the County, noting that, if the County followed her advice, everybody would know what is required of them.
Ms. Bonifay briefly discussed the issue of common law vesting, noting that she could not imagine how difficult it is going to be for the County to make common law vesting decisions, because each one of those is going to be highly subjective and done on a case by case basis. She stated that, if she were the Board, instead of making the hearing officer optional, she would give all cases pertaining to common law vesting to the hearing officer. She stated that, if the Board feels quasi-judicial zoning meetings have been bad, common law vesting hearings are going to be worse.
Ms. Bonifay discussed the issue of Lots of Record, noting that all the Comprehensive Plan states is that Lots of Record have to be aggregated, period. She stated that it does not say when they have to be aggregated, nor does it define Lots of Record. She stated that the Board could just as easily have defined a Lot of Record as any lot in a subdivision created after the adoption of the LDRs.
Ms. Bonifay stated that she had spoken with DCA staff, trying to understand it, and noted that not one person she talked to, including the Assistant General Counsel, stated that it was their intent to make Lake County go back and retroactively deprive people of private property rights. She stated that she felt to blame it on the State was short lived, because no staff person that she talked to, including some who had been in the department for 12 to 14 years, who were involved in the negotiation process, say that that was their understanding.
Mr. Bill Ray, a local property owner, appeared before the Board to discuss the issue of vesting PUDs and the Stipulated Settlement Agreement that the County has with the State. He stated that he knows of no other project in the County that has undergone the public and state scrutiny that his project (Ray Ranch Project) had to go through. He stated that, due to the Stipulated Settlement Agreement, at the time that his project was given a PUD approval, his family had to give up vested rights that they had, cash income, and accepted farming practices that they had been doing for years. He noted that his family can no longer farm on their ranch.
Mr. Ray proposed that, if one has received approval of a PUD prior to adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, one is vested and that, to maintain that vesting, one will have to have filed a Preliminary Plat 18 months after adoption of the LDRs, and, for two years beyond that, one would have to continue in good faith. He stated that the types of PUDs that were approved for his family's ranch have to be vested, because regardless of what variances the attorneys say they are going to get for their clients, if their developers find out that they have proceeded in good faith, with the State's and the Board's approval, and are ready to break ground, only to have the County tell them that they are not vested, there are going to be some very serious legal battles.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, interjected that the County is a part of the Stipulated Settlement Agreement and there is no question that the agreement applies to the entire Ray Ranch property, therefore, it is vested and can be developed, based on that agreement.
Commr. Swartz interjected that he felt PUDs that have done something have gotten more than PUDs that did nothing and that, if the Board could structure language that would make it clear that where a PUD puts in recreational facilities and a wastewater plant for five phases, but only completes Phase I or II, that they have done something, then he would support it.
Commr. Swartz requested Mr. Ray to read that portion of the LDRs pertaining to one proceeding with their PUD, in good faith, and send the Board a memo containing comments from him regarding same, before the next Board Meeting, for their perusal. Mr. Ray indicated that he would do so.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, Land Planning Group, Inc., appeared before the Board and noted what all is involved, from a developer's standpoint, in doing a PUD versus straight zoning. He then questioned why the County is spending so much time on PUDs, questioning whether there was some great problem or ill that the County is trying to eradicate by sunsetting them.
Commr. Swartz responded to Mr. Beliveau's question stating that what the County is dealing with, on all the issues that are presently being discussed, whether it be Lots of Record, Preliminary Plats, Site Plans, PUDs, etc., are those initial development reviews and approvals that have occurred and are now in areas that would be inconsistent with the Land Use Map. He stated that the County is trying to determine which set of regulations they will develop under and to what degree they will come under the new plan, for intensity and density.
Further discussion occurred regarding the matter.
Ms. Kathryn Moffett, with the law firm of Steven J. Richey, appeared before the Board stating that approximately two weeks ago her office approached the County Attorney's Office to suggest some language concerning the issue of density and intensity and felt that they had reached an agreement on said language, however, in reviewing the language that appears in the definition on Page
II-32 of the LDRs, they found that the language has not changed any since the proposed language was submitted. She read into the record the language that her office had proposed to the County Attorney's Office, noting that the change is minimal, but one that she feels will address the issue.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, responded to Ms. Moffett's comments, stating that, generally speaking, residential development is measured by density - the number of dwelling units permitted under a particular project. She stated that intensity generally applies to other types of development - commercial, industrial, etc. She stated that that is a general understanding, based on what staff was able to determine, and that is the reason intensity is used in defining non-residential property measured through square footage and trips generated.
Ms. Lustgarten stated that the Comprehensive Plan consistently, throughout, discusses residential development in the nature of density and that is the reason that that distinction is there. She stated that staff did not feel that deleting non-residential provided anything, in fact, it did not make it clear enough that the intensity is intended to discuss and address non-residential property.
Discussion continued, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that what staff was trying to do was distinguish between density and intensity, to which Ms. Moffett responded that it was her office's understanding that what staff was trying to do was arrive at a set of definitions that could be understood by all.
Mr. Richey, Attorney, reappeared before the Board stating that the County Attorney had stated that intensity is intended for
non-residential property and that he disagreed with that. He stated that, if one is vesting for intensity and density, it should be residential and non-residential. He stated that there is no definition anywhere that states that intensity is only limited to non-residential.
The County Attorney noted that she would be willing to look into the matter once again.
Commr. Bailey requested Ms. Moffett to furnish the members of the Board with a copy of what her office had proposed, regarding a change in the language for density and intensity.
Mr. Richey referred to an ad that was placed in the local newspaper, by staff, advertising an upcoming public hearing having to do with amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, a change of land use, and a public transmittal hearing, which he submitted, for the record, and noted concerns that he had about said ad and the way that the Board handles certain issues, after they have gone before the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Mr. Richey stated that, in dealing with the shortcomings in the Lot of Record Ordinance, the Board has to deal with the Comprehensive Plan amendment and he urged them to do so at the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 24, 1993. He discussed the difference between what is required for a PUD versus straight zoning and requested the Board to further consider the issue, as well as to change the language defining density and intensity.
Mr. Kutch reappeared before the Board and discussed the issues of grandfathering and vesting, noting that they are not equal in any way for people who own property and are trying to develop it. He stated that there is a world of difference between the two, being LDRs. He stated that the County needs to come up with a variance program, because people cannot do any financial planning for the future and a lot of people are bound by financial planning.
Mr. Kutch stated that grandfathering is not equal to vesting, because the LDRs are very constrictive financially and even though the County is granting vesting they are approving LDRs that take that vesting back, therefore, they are giving the people nothing. He stated that he felt more public hearings need to be held regarding the LDRs and that the Board needs to obtain citizen input.
Mr. Kutch stated that Lake County is mostly comprised of small businesses and they cannot afford the LDRs, as they are presently written, without financial hardships. He stated that everybody else is allowed to look at profitability and feasibility and he feels that the same should go for the small business people of Lake County.
Commr. Hanson interjected that most people do not understand what LDRs are, nor the impact that they can have on an individual.
Mr. John Shegas reappeared before the Board stating that Lake County is doing a lot more than what the State requires and wanted to remind the Board of that fact. He suggested that the Board exempt individuals from the LDRs, as long as they can meet the health requirements of the septic tank, and, if for some reason or another the Board decides not to exempt said individuals, that they please extend the deadline date, possibly for a year from now, to give people a chance to get notices in their tax bills indicating what they need to do.
Mr. Shegas referred to a statement made by Mr. Ed Havill, Lake County Property Appraiser, reminding them of losses that the County is going to incur in the fire tax, by requiring people to aggregate their lots.
Ms. Bergman reappeared before the Board stating that when she had appeared before them earlier and asked if there was any legal reason for not moving the deadlines forward and giving the citizens of the County an opportunity to know what is going on, she was informed that there was no legal way for the County to do so. However, she had since learned from another attorney that there was no legal reason why the County could not move those deadlines forward. She stated that it all boils down to whether the Board wants to help or hurt the people of Lake County and that the Board needed to take into serious consideration the fact that it is those people that voted to elect them.
Ms. Bergman stated that she felt moving the deadline dates to the end of September, two or three years from now, would give a lot of people an opportunity to protect their life savings and she would like to see the Board do so. She also stated that she would like to see the County develop a commercial development plan for that portion of property that fronts Hwy. 441, from Leesburg to Tavares, noting that it has been very difficult for individuals to obtain building permits for that section of the County.
Ms. Mary Ann Berges, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that she understood the importance of having commercial zoning, but, she felt that the Board needed to deal with individuals and their concerns about aggregating lots, road maintenance, and road rights-of-way, as well.
There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Discussion occurred regarding the possibility of the Board delaying transmittal of the amendment to DCA, however, it was noted that the Board would not be making a decision on the matter this date.
The County Attorney informed the Board that Chapter 163 of the Florida Statutes has recently been amended to change the amendment process and that the time frame involving transmitted amendments has been shortened. She stated that she felt the Board could fit it into the new time frame, but, only if the plan is found to be in compliance and the County has a signed settlement agreement.
Commr. Hanson stated that she felt moving the deadline dates forward, as suggested, for Commercial Zoning, Preliminary Plat, and Site Plan, would eliminate a lot of the need for a variance. She stated that, as she understood it, the LDRs were originally intended to streamline and eliminate the need for all the legal interpretation, so the more simple the County can make some of the determinations, she felt the better.
Commr. Hanson stated that she concurred with a statement made by Commr. Cadwell, earlier in the meeting, that the Board needs to determine whether they want to vest PUDs and the phasing of subdivisions. She stated that she also concurred on the paved road requirements, noting that the real issue she sees in the rural and suburban areas is the requirement for aggregation on the non-paved roads, noting that there is no allowance for someone to come in and do a special assessment on the road, in order to get a greater density. She stated that she feels the Board will have come a long way, if they can address those issues.
It was noted that the request to change the date for the Lot of Record Ordinance should be addressed, as well.
Commr. Hanson further stated that, if the Board exempted those lots in an ongoing subdivision from having to meet the aggregation requirement, then, as she interprets it, the Board would not have to amend the Comprehensive Plan.
The County Attorney interjected that she felt that section of the Comprehensive Plan would have to be amended, to permit further exemptions in the variance process.
Commr. Swartz requested the County Attorney to respond, prior to the meeting scheduled for September 14, 1993, as to whether or not, given the advertising that has occurred, it is appropriate to reinstate the industrial language that is a part of the Future Land Use Map back into the LDRs. If it is not her recommendation to do so, because of the advertising that has already occurred and what has been viewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission, then he would like to have staff look at that as a future LDRs change. He stated that, if it is inappropriate to deal with that issue during this LDRs amendment process, then he would like to see said language before the Board at the meeting scheduled for September 14, 1993.
Commr. Swartz stated that, if the Board can differentiate and distinguish between PUDs that have something, as opposed to PUDs that have sat and sat and are not only inconsistent with the land use, but would be inconsistent if developed without the new LDRs, then he would like to see the Board make that differentiation.
Commr. Swartz discussed, at length, what he feels is wrong with the plan before the Board this date. He stated that the County took a meat ax to the land use map, noting that they cut some people to pieces and gave others something that they are not going to use for years, because there are no facilities around it.
Mr. Hoban, Assistant County Attorney, referred to Paragraph 7., on Page III-37 of the draft, and requested that said date be changed to September 14, 1993, noting the reason for said change.
It was the consensus of the Board to change said date, as requested.
Commr. Bailey referred to Section 12.08.01, on Page XII-30 of the draft, that deals with the hearing officer and questioned whether the County was going to have to hire outside legal counsel to do said meetings, to which the County Attorney responded that the hearing officer would be an outside individual and that the County would have to go through a Request for Proposal process.
Commr. Swartz interjected that that portion of the LDRs provides the Board with an opportunity to go to a hearing officer, but, the Board makes the decision of whether or not to do so.
Mr. Wahl, County Manager, referred to Page III-7 of the LDRs, noting that the County had a problem during the March storm with non-conforming accessory structures that were damaged, or destroyed, and requested the Board to give staff direction regarding same.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the matter, however, no action was taken at this time.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
G. RICHARD SWARTZ, JR., CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK