The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, August 26, 1993, at 1:30 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 (Commr. Swartz was not present due to his attendance at a Grievance Committee meeting); Catherine Hanson, Vice Chairman; Rhonda H. Gerber; Don Bailey; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Peter F. Wahl, County Manager; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT/STATE AGENCIES
The Vice Chairman, Commr. Hanson, opened the special meeting for the purpose of continuing the Transmittal Hearing on the Second 1993 Calendar Year Comprehensive Plan Amendment.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that the Board, during the August 24, 1993 meeting, directed staff to obtain a determination from the Department of Community Affairs in regard to the processing of Comprehensive Plan Amendments. A determination has been received during a conference call with Mr. Charles Patterson, Department of Community Affairs (DCA), and Mr. Patterson has confirmed that the entire Comprehensive Plan Amendment package would be held up if there were incomplete applications in the amendment package; however, the Board does have the ability to withdraw an amendment from said package, if it is determined that additional information must be submitted, and the Board does not wish to hold up the balance of the amendment package.
Commr. Bailey stressed the importance that the Board provide flexibility in the variance process if it is determined by the Board to submit a possible amendment to include variance criteria. He further stated that he would support said amendment providing that the amendment did not harm other amendments included in the package.
Mr. Pete Wahl explained that Mr. Paterson indicated that the County could withdraw any offending amendment at any time. Mr. Paterson suggested that he be notified at the time the Board transmits the Calendar Year Comprehensive Plan Amendment, and if it appears that any one of the amendments are not complete, the Board has the option to authorize the County Manager's office, or the office of the County Attorney, to act for the Board and withdraw the offending amendment, allowing the remaining amendments to continue through the process.
Commr. Cadwell noted that the Board has the option to delay the transmittal of the Second 1993 Calendar Year Comprehensive Plan Amendment so that the language before them at this time can be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission for their recommendation.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, the Board approved to delay the transmittal of the Second 1993 Calendar Year Comprehensive Plan Amendment; and to adopt a time schedule for subsequent hearings on said amendment.
Mr. Mark Knight, Principal Planner, Planning and Development Services, appeared before the Board and informed the Board that a Special Meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission has been scheduled for September 13, 1993 at 9:00 a.m.; and the Board of County Commissioners Transmittal Hearing has been scheduled for September 14, 1993.
Commr. Hanson stated that the Board has before them supplemental information on the Florida Raceplex Land Use Plan Amendment No. LUPA#93/5/1-2 for Transmittal to the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
Mr. Gregg Stubbs, One Stop Permitting Center Coordinator/Director, Development Regulations Services, appeared before the Board to review the supplemental information, which has been provided by the applicant for the Florida Raceplex Land Use Plan Amendment transmittal, and is addressed in a memo to the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, dated August 23, 1993. At this time, the oath was administered by the Deputy Clerk to Mr. Stubbs. Mr. Stubbs explained that the Land Use Plan Amendment package had been transmitted to DCA, and a determination was made that additional items were required under Rule 9J-11 of the Florida Administrative Code. He stated that the supplemental information consists of the availability of and demand on potable water, wastewater, drainage, solid waste, recreation and transportation. Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney, representing Capital Motor Sports and the Florida Raceplex project, appeared before the Board and acknowledged that she is in receipt of a copy of a memo addressed to Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, from Mr. Harry Stewart, Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, P.A., raising serious questions and concerns regarding the process that is being utilized this date. She stated that there will be no hearing today on the Florida Raceplex project due to the applicant requesting that all information regarding said project be withdrawn. At this time, Ms. Bonifay read a prepared statement on behalf of Capital Motor Sports and the Florida Raceplex project announcing that they are not going forward, and are not going to proceed with this Land Use Plan Amendment. She indicated that it was the applicant's feeling that the County Attorney's office has used its position to delayed the process and, thereby, raise questions regarding the content and suitability of said amendment. She stated that in order to protect the investors of the Florida Raceplex project, the applicant must carefully weigh and evaluate all options that are open to them before taking any further actions. Ms. Bonifay stated that a commitment is needed from Lake County giving her clients assurance that the Florida Raceplex can proceed through the process in a timely manner, and that they are given a clear path to follow through said process.
Ms. Lustgarten responded to Ms. Bonifay's comments and explained that the amendment to the Land Use Map, in regard to the Florida Raceplex, was a site specific land use plan amendment, and the amendment to the employment center language, which was approved for transmittal on August 25, 1993, affects the entire Comprehensive Plan; therefore, there was a need for severance of the two amendments. She informed the Board that she is in receipt of the memo alluded to by Ms. Bonifay from Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, P.A., and stated that she has briefly reviewed the memo and does not agree with the conclusions that are addressed in said memo.
Commr. Hanson expressed her concern that the applicant has chosen to withdraw the Florida Raceplex project and stated that it was her hope that the applicant would reconsider. She stated that it was essential that the County be very cautious not to send a negative message to this and future projects, and that it was important for staff to expeditiously move forward with requirements for projects coming into Lake County.
Commr. Cadwell made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Gerber, to accept the withdrawal of the Florida Raceplex Land Use Plan Amendment No. LUPA#93/5/1-2.
Under discussion, Commr. Bailey expressed his objection to the events that have resulted in the withdrawal of the Land Use Plan Amendment, and expressed his concern that Lake County has become a very difficult county to work with, and that staff has not been "user friendly". He stated that Lake County must broaden its economic base in order to encourage young citizens to remain in the County.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which carried unanimously.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 2:05 p.m.
G. RICHARD SWARTZ, JR., CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK