The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Wednesday, May 8, 1996, at 7 p.m., in the City Hall Chambers, Eustis, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson; Rhonda G. Gerber; and G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Commissioners not present at the meeting were: William "Bill" H. Good, Vice Chairman. Staff members present were: Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Sue Whittle, County Manager; Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager; Sarah LaMarche, Director of Budget; Dave Warren, Tourist Development Director; Craig Haun, Senior Director, Fire & Emergency Services; Don Post, Director of Solid Waste Management Services; Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services; Mark Knight, Chief Planner, Planning & Development Services Division; Jim Stivender, Senior Director of Public Services; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk. Others present were: Gwen Manning, Vice Mayor of Eustis; and Jim Myers, City Clerk of Eustis.
Ms. Gwen Manning, Vice Mayor of Eustis, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
It was noted that there were approximately 16 individuals present at the meeting.
Commr. Cadwell explained the quasi-judicial rules and noted that staff would give direction to the Board, if there was an issue that could not be discussed at the meeting tonight. He noted that Eustis was divided into three districts, which included District 3, District 4, and District 5. Commr. Cadwell stated that Commr. Good was not present, because he had requested that he represent the Board at a meeting in Apopka tonight. Commr. Cadwell introduced staff members that were present for the meeting.
Commr. Swartz introduced Ms. Gwen Manning, Vice Mayor of Eustis, and Mr. Jim Myers, City Clerk of Eustis, and asked anyone, who wished to speak to the Board, to come forward at this time.
Ms. Mary Crummer, Palomino Pines, addressed the Board to discuss the possibility of the County allowing "pet fanciers" and stated she understood that an individual, who would fall into this category, could move next to her property and be allowed to have as many animals as they wanted, with no restrictions, no special zoning, and no special licenses. As a taxpayer, she wanted the record to reflect that she was very opposed to this issue.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Animal Control Ordinance was finalized approximately four months ago, after being discussed by the Animal Control Study Committee for five years, which he served as the liaison Commissioner for almost two years. He stated that the Board recently had a workshop on the proposed Ordinance, but it did not complete its review, so it was in the process of scheduling another workshop, which would be advertised the same as before. Commr. Swartz explained that, if the Board adopted the Ordinance, as it had been presented by the Animal Control Study Committee, some of the fears expressed by Ms. Crummer would be true, but it had not been adopted. He stated that he had some concerns with the provision referred to by Ms. Crummer, which included "pet fancier". He explained that there needed to be some provision for a distinction between people who were clearly in a commercial kennel business, and those who were not.
It was noted that approximately ten other individuals, as well as Ms. Crummer, were present with concerns regarding the issue of the Animal Control Ordinance. The Board directed staff to provide the notice of the workshop, once it was scheduled, to those present.
Mr. Richard Harrison, Palomino Pines, addressed the Board regarding the Animal Control Ordinance, and his concern with the definition of a "pet fancier". Mr. Harrison explained that the article in the May 4, 1996 edition of the Lake Sentinel made people think that the Ordinance would take effect any minute. He stated that 99 percent of the people did not think that the Ordinance was a great one, and that it needed a lot of work. Mr. Harrison stated that he was against "pet fanciers".
Ms. Lorraine Rhinehart, Spruce Drive, addressed the Board and stated that she has owned her property since 1970. Ms. Rhinehart addressed the proposed Animal Control Ordinance and stated that there were people who did not follow the existing rules. She stated that, when the County was contacted about some of the current problems, the enforcement was very slow, or non-existent. She suggested that the County make rules that would be enforced, and to take into consideration the way the property was divided in the different areas of the County.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board was aware of the concerns being presented by those in the audience, but he felt that most of the people would agree that the vast majority of the Ordinance made good sense.
Ms. Rhinehart invited the Board to a public hearing in Pine Lakes on Thursday, May 23, 1996, at 7 p.m. She stressed that rational complaints made regarding animal control needed more enforcement by the County.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, addressed the invitation made to the Board to attend the public hearing in Pine Lakes and stated that the Board was subject to the Sunshine Law, therefore, only one Board member could attend the meeting.
Mr. Tom Harbin addressed the Board and stated that he lived near the Royal Trails property, which was a deed restricted area. Mr. Harbin discussed changes that had occurred in this area and stated his concern about the use of guns in such areas. He stated that he had inquired about laws pertaining to guns, through the Sheriff's Department, and found out that an individual could shoot a gun on his own property, with no restrictions for a backdrop, or a certain amount of land, or a specific kind of gun you could shoot. He noted that he had been involved in may close incidents and suggested that the County make people pay to use their guns, or go to driving ranges to use them.
Commr. Swartz stated that, because of problems that had occurred recently in the south end of the County, the Commr. Good had requested the County Attorney's Office to look into drafting an ordinance pertaining to the issue of guns.
Mr. Minkoff stated that his office had prepared a draft ordinance, which prohibits the shooting of guns within 300 feet of a structure anywhere in the County, and it addresses the issue raised by Mr. Harbin. He noted that the draft ordinance had been based on the ordinance from Palm Beach County. He stated that Commr. Good had met with the individual who had the problem in south Lake County and encouraged her to get support through petitions for such an ordinance. He suggested that Mr. Harbin do the same and generate support through a petition.
Commr. Swartz stated that nothing formal had come before the Board regarding the gun issue. He suggested that Mr. Harbin leave his name with staff and contact Commr. Good, or Commr. Hanson about his concern.
Ms. Polly Green, President of Pine Lakes Community Association, addressed the Board and stated that twice a petition had been sent to Commr. Hanson with over 150 signatures requesting a dumpster twice a week.
Mr. Don Post, Director, Solid Waste Management Services, stated that the fees for the dumpster service, and all of the residential drop offs, were based on the user fees of the people living in that area. In order to have twice a week service, the cost would have to be addressed in relation to the assessment program. He stated that the issue being presented by Ms. Green has been evaluated and included in the budget presentation that would be given to the Board this summer for the next fiscal year starting October 1, 1996.
Ms. Janet Brady, Eustis, addressed the Board to reiterate a couple of issues, and to present the Board with a petition from some of the people who live in her area who were requesting that the Board delete, in its entirety, the proposed new definition called "non-commercial dog and cat fanciers". She noted that further petitions would be coming to the Board. Ms. Brady read to the Board a part of the Seller's Disclosure and Latent Defects Statement, #14. Neighborhood, which she had to sign when she listed her house for sale, which pertained to any condition or proposed change of conditions in the neighborhood that could adversely affect the value or desirability of the property. She noted that the Statement was put out by the Greater Orlando Association of Realtors, Copyright 1995, and Lake County was a part of the organization. Ms. Brady stated that, with the Animal Control Ordinance "fancier" definition, or category, the County was going to be responsible for a lot of nuisances, if the Ordinance was passed, as proposed. She stated that the noise section of the Animal Control Ordinance, as it currently existed, was not likely to be enforced, because of a court case that had been thrown out by a judge who had determined that "noise" was not enough evidence to determine that the facility was in violation. Ms. Brady requested that the documents she previously discussed be placed in the public records.
Mr. Julian R. Harper, Dewey Robbins Road, addressed the Board and stated that he was appearing before the Board as a private citizen and was only representing himself. He stated that, as far as he knew, the issue he was bringing before the Board had not been addressed before the Planning and Zoning (P & Z ) Commission. He stated that, if the Board approved the Animal Control Ordinance, as it was being proposed, he would be an adversely affected party. He further stated that he would like to read into the record a handout that had been provided to the Board and staff. He noted that he had a five minute video tape presentation for the Board involving a particular hobby kennel that had already been approved by the Board, but he would not be mentioning the name, in order to protect the owner.
Commr. Swartz explained that there was a part of the Animal Control Ordinance that related to land use, which would be going before the P & Z Commission.
Mr. Minkoff stated that there was nothing that would prohibit a P & Z Commission member from addressing the Board of County Commissioners, but the quasi-judicial process would not allow a member to address the Board of County Commissioners on an ordinance that would be coming before them. The major objection with the Ordinance was the Land Development Regulation (LDR) change, and not the Animal Control Ordinance, because it was the LDR change, which would allow the "fanciers" to be throughout the County.
Mr. Harper interjected and stated that the definition of kennels had been scheduled to be heard before the P & Z Commission the first or second week of this month, but it was pulled from the agenda. He stated that, if the County Attorney would state unequivocally that the issue on the tape would be visited by the P & Z Commission, he would not play the tape, and he would recuse himself from the item when it did come before the P & Z Commission. He clarified that the video tape would cover a matter that had already been considered and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners.
Commr. Swartz stated that, if the video consisted of an issue that had already been adopted by the Board of County Commissioners, the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) would require that the land use be reviewed by the Board.
Mr. Harper stated that he would not show the video, but he reserved the right to show it sometime in the future. He stated that he would be more than willing to give up the depiction of the video, but he felt it would be reasonable for the Board to allow him to read his statement. Mr. Harper clarified that his statement did not address any particular CUP, or any review thereof.
Commr. Swartz requested that Mr. Harper point out certain issues of concern in his statement, because the Board members had copies of the statement, which would become a part of the public record. He noted that there would be a public hearing workshop, and a public hearing on the ordinance, but the Board did not have a final ordinance, at this time, that had been agreed upon by the Board.
Discussion occurred regarding whether Mr. Harper would be allowed to read his seven minute statement into the record. At this point, Mr. Harper declined to read his statement and stepped aside.
Mr. Jack Geeslin, Estes Road, addressed the Board regarding the proposed bypass around the northeast of Eustis. He stated that there had been some workshops concerning this issue, and he questioned the outcome, or recommendations, of those workshops, as well as the status of the bypass.
Commr. Swartz informed Mr. Eastland that the Board had appointed a Citizens Review Committee that would work with staff to review the issue of the bypass.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Services, stated that staff had met with the Citizens Review Committee, and three proposals for different routes had been presented at a public hearing. He stated that staff had met with its consultants this past week and discussed clarification of those routes, and they were to get back with staff with some studies associated with the routes, which would be considered by the Citizens Review Committee. Mr. Stivender explained that none of the routes being proposed included Estes Road.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether Mr. Stivender expected, from the Citizens Review Committee, a review of the different possible alignments, and whether this issue would be coming before the Board for consideration.
Mr. Stivender stated that the Citizens Review Committee would be making recommendations to the Board on the different alignments. He stated that Estes Road was not on the list right now, and after talking with the consultants, the County was trying to get further to the north, in order to totally avoid the Estes Road and CR 44A intersection. He noted that the Citizens Review Committee would be meeting again in late June.
The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Ms. Manning and Mr. Myers for allowing them to utilize the City Hall Chambers for the Town Hall Meeting.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK