MARCH 25, 1997

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 25, 1997, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: William "Bill" H. Good, Chairman; G. Richard Swartz, Jr., Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; Catherine C. Hanson; and Rhonda H. Gerber. Others present were: Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager; Carol Kessinger, BCC Office Manager; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.

Commr. Cadwell gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that he may have an item to add to the agenda later in the morning.


On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:

Community Services/Deeds

Approval and execution of Satisfaction of Mortgage of Kenneth and Barbara Rosser.


Approval and execution of Proclamation 1997-48 designating March 24-28, 1997 as Juvenile Justice Week in Lake County.

Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Growth Management

Approval of acceptance and execution of Developer's Agreement between Lake County and Siena Home Corporation for the issuance of six building permits prior to the acceptance and recordation of the Final Plat.

Commr. Good recognized the following individuals from the Department of Juvenile Justice and presented them with Proclamation 1997-48: Cindy Smith, Lake County Juvenile Justice Supervisor; Sandra Copeland, Supervisor; Ruby Floyd, Secretary; Diane Louis, Delinquency Case Manager; Shelly Moots, Delinquency Case Manager; Ali Rivers, Delinquency Case Manager; Shelly Williams, Sr. Delinquency Case Manager; Darryl Smith, Delinquency Case Manager; and Rick Santos, Delinquency Case Manager.




Mr. Jim Stivender, Senior Director of Public Works, addressed the Board to discuss the request to vacate a portion of the plat of Higley. Mr. Stivender noted that there were two letters in favor of the petition, and no letters of objection.

Commr. Good opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.

Ms. Leslie Campione, Attorney representing the applicant, addressed the Board and explained that the application for the vacation was submitted for the purpose of clearing a title on Ms. Platt's property. Her legal description extends out into the middle of the roads that are being requested to be vacated. Ms. Campione noted that the roads to the north have already been vacated, and there was a single property owner to the south who has offered support of the case.

No one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no further public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Road Vacation Petition No. 837 by Ruth L. Platt (Resolution 1997-49) to vacate roads (Hawkins, First and Emery St.), unrecorded plat of Higley, Sec. 1, Twp. 18, Rge 25, Lake Yale area - Commissioner District 5.



Mr. Bruce Thorburn, Communications Systems Director, addressed the Board to discuss the request for the acceptance of Lake County Cablevision's proposed rate increase effective April 1, 1997, consistent with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.

Commr. Swartz requested that Mr. Thorburn explain briefly what authority the County has today, with regard to any of the rate increases that any of the franchise cable operators may request.

Mr. Thorburn explained that, under the Federal rules, the local franchising authority can only authorize franchise increases predicated on basic cable services, which would be the 2 through 13 channels. The second tier, under the 1992 Cable Television Consumer Protection Act, is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). When the Telecommunications Reform Act went into place in February, 1996, the rights of local authorities were abrogated even more, because you can no longer demand any technical authorizations or requirements of a cable company. Once they file their appropriate forms to the FCC, a benchmark is set for a rate increase predicated on cost of inflation, profit margins, new channels, and a host of other factors. That benchmark is what determines your right to decide whether or not they have met the requirements for the increase. If there is a question on the second tier increases, there has to be a percentage base of the number of customer complaints to justify denial, and the FCC will make the decision as to whether or not the increase is justified. There is no rate regulation on the premium channels and other services under the law. Mr. Thorburn noted that Lake County Cablevision has met all requirements according to the Telecommunications Act, in order to get the rates approved.

Commr. Swartz noted that Tier 1 was initially established to provide a lower structure for people who still wanted the cable services, and this area seemed to be the one that was actually receiving the highest percentage of increase.

Mr. Philip Yapkowitz, General Manager, Lake County Cablevision, explained that, as of July 1, 1996, Tier 1 went from channels 2 to 19, which is the basic service. In looking at the old cost of $8.27 versus the new cost of $9.24 and figuring the cost per channel for the 18 channels, the cost would be way below the cost of the channel when Lake County Cablevision first established Tier 1 Basic. Mr. Yapkowitz stated that Lake County Cablevision never applied to readjust the rates that would have raised the Basic 1 costs.

Commr. Swartz stated that he was not sure that the County had any real control other than to talk with Mr. Yapkowitz and express concern, but he was not sure that the addition of these channels really was equivalent to the $.97 increase.

Discussion occurred regarding the Channel Line Up list and the costs involved with particular channels, with Mr. Yapkowitz explaining that all of the channels were figured in a formula. He explained that, four years ago, an individual's bill was $30.45 a month, and the same group of services today was $3.05 less than it was four years ago.

Commr. Swartz stated that it was frustrating when the Board members get calls and letters from citizens who are concerned about the increases, and the Board can do very little about them. He urged Mr. Yapkowitz, particularly in the lower cost tiers, to be concerned about this as well. He questioned whether the Board was given any of the maps of Lake County that would show where Lake County Cablevision was providing its services and/or not providing cable, because the other concern that still arises comes from the people living in areas where they are not receiving cable and would like to receive it.

Mr. Thorburn stated that two years ago he had requested, from all of the cable franchises, maps of their operating areas where cables are in.

Commr. Swartz stated that he would like to get current maps, because in two years, there have been a lot of areas in the County that have grown substantially and might easily meet the density requirement.

Mr. Yapkowitz explained the additional channels and any changes that had been made to them and stated that most of south Lake County was not Lake County Cablevision.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the acceptance of Lake County Cablevision's proposed rate increases effective April 1, 1997, predicated on the filing of the FCC Forms as mandated by Federal order by the FCC for Basic Rate Increases under the Cable Television Consumer Protection Act of 1992 and subsequent FCC rules and orders.




Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, addressed the Board to request a change to the zoning agenda. She stated that there had been a request for a 30 day postponement on Tab 5, CUP#635C-4, United Southern Bank, Tracking #18-97-CUP/AMD.

Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Cadwell, to approve the request for a 30 day postponement in the above noted case, until April 22, 1997 at 9 a.m., or as soon thereafter.

Under discussion, Commr. Swartz questioned whether there was anyone present who wished to speak for or against the request.

It was noted that no one present wished to address the Board.

The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.



Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained that the applicant was requesting the continued use of a Moose Lodge, and the addition of 12 RV spaces as an accessory use to the fraternal organization. Staff did not have a problem with the 12 RV spaces and was recommending approval; there were no letters in opposition; and it was approved 8-0 at Planning and Zoning. Ms. Farrell stated that the only concern was having them move forward and work with the Department of Health, as far as complying with the Recreational Vehicle Code in terms of disposal, water and hookups. She stated that the only changes she would make to the Ordinance today would be to Page 2, B. Setbacks, because there should actually be a 50 foot setback requirement, and Page 3, G. Development Review and Approval, to add "State Codes".

Commr. Swartz noted that, on Page 2 of the Analysis, it stated that the rezoning had been initiated because of a Code Enforcement complaint regarding the RVs on the site.

Commr. Gerber informed the Board that Mr. Beck first came to see her, and she facilitated his meeting with the Planning Department, because he did not choose to use an attorney. She has talked to him about this, but in no way would it shade her decision.

Ms. Farrell noted that a neighbor complained about setbacks and RVs being on the site, and the applicant came to staff and tried to correct the problem.

Commr. Good opened the public hearing and called for public comment.

Mr. John Beck, Moose Lodge #1271, Leesburg, addressed the Board and stated that the Moose Lodge has been using the spot for the last six to eight years, and there has been no complaints. He explained that the people staying there were members of other Moose Lodges and not from the general public. He understood that the setback was 50 feet from the road right-of-way.

Ms. Farrell presented a site plan, which showed only four spaces and noted that the applicant was proposing 12 additional spaces. The site plan would have to be reviewed again by staff. Ms. Farrell stated that she would like to get at least a minimum setback, possibly 25 feet, in the Ordinance for the RVs.

Mr. Jimmy Crawford, Attorney, addressed the Board and stated that he was representing Mr. Steve Teeter, the land owner to the west of the property in question. Mr. Crawford stated that the applicant did not oppose the RVs being located on the site, however, he was going to request a couple of conditions, because of the proximity to the applicant's property.

Mr. Crawford called Mr. Steve Teeter to testify before the Board. He presented pictures of the site and had Mr. Teeter describe each one for the Board. The pictures were submitted to the Deputy Clerk and marked as Applicant's Exhibit "A". Mr. Teeter testified that he has lived at the site for approximately 18 years. He was concerned about the RVs being parked right on the fence line and having to see rugs and items hanging on the fence and having plastic bags blown onto his property. One of his main concerns was that the Department of Transportation (DOT) condemned and took the front property approximately seven years ago, and since that time, some of the pine trees have become diseased. Mr. Teeter stated that, even though he does not own the property, he was presently being sued by a gentleman, because one of the pine trees blew over onto his RV during a storm. Mr. Teeter explained that the noise has been a problem for him and his wife, and he approached the Moose Lodge three or four years ago about putting up a privacy fence or something that would address this problem. Mr. Teeter stated that he has a well on his property and has experienced some drainage from the RV park, as well as an odor problem, and he asked the Moose Lodge to move the RVs to another location on the property, because of the location of his well.

Mr. Crawford stated that the applicant would like to request at least a 50 foot buffer from his property line, and a privacy fence, and then he would have no objections to the request.

Mr. Kellogg addressed the Board and stated that he has belonged to the Moose Lodge for over 30 years. He has been coming to this particular park for approximately eight years, and he knew of only one case where an individual had a cracked septic tank, and the problem was corrected before he left the site. As far as raw sewage, he explained that there was a neighbor that has two chow dogs that come to the campgrounds all of the time, and he noted that the Moose Lodge was only a stop over site, not a RV park.

Commr. Swartz stated that the adjacent property owner seemed to be quite reasonable with his requests and questioned whether Mr. Beck had any objections to them.

Mr. Beck stated that the applicant could place a buffer, but a 50 foot setback would put the people that stay at the site right at the back door of the Moose Lodge.

Discussion occurred regarding the location of the dumpster, and the turning radius that would have to be allowed for the RVs.

Ms. Farrell felt that the utility sheds could be relocated, and backing the RVs up to the main lodge would be feasible, and some improvements would have to be made to the property, in order to meet the conditions of the Ordinance.

Commr. Hanson stated that she would like to see some type of a landscape buffer at SR 44.

Commr. Gerber stated that Mr. Beck was concerned about the costs, because a $900 fee had already been paid to rezone.

Ms. Farrell noted that staff has been trying to help the applicant get to a point where he has an Ordinance that works for him, and he was legal with the County and the Health Department. She noted that staff has been to the site, and even today, the Board did not need to get as specific as site planning, if staff could at least get the setbacks, the fence, and the landscape buffer in the Ordinance. Ms. Farrell stated that, if the privacy fence could be constructed, a 25 foot setback would be a compromise. She noted that the Code was not specific enough for RV parks, because they are done during the site plan process, but staff would look for ten feet as a normal setback. There would be a minimum of a ten foot landscape buffer between the uses. Ms. Farrell noted that, even if the Board did act on this to approve a buffer, and a privacy fence, the applicant would still have to supply a site plan, which would be handled through the Development Review Staff, in conjunction with the Health Department who sits on the Development Review Staff.

Commr. Gerber made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Hanson, to uphold the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the request for rezoning the existing Moose Lodge and clubhouse from LM (Light Industrial) to CFD (Community Facility District) zoning to add 12 RV spaces for use by the members with the existing uses, with the addition of the 25 foot setback and the privacy fence, and buffering as indicated in the Ordinance.

Under discussion, Commr. Swartz stated that the setback requirement was 150 feet from a road or highway for a commercial building or accessory building, and 50 feet to any of the recreational vehicle sites.

Ms. Farrell noted that staff had a standard for right-of-way buffering and it would be applied.

Commr. Swartz clarified that the motion was calling for a 25 foot setback on the western property boundary, whatever appropriate setbacks the Code requires from the right-of-way, and it was requiring buffering and a privacy fence on the western boundary. He noted that it was also requiring whatever landscape requirement was in the Code along SR 44.

Ms. Farrell noted that the buffering and screening would include right-of-way.

The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.



Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained that the applicant was working under an Ordinance that was approved in 1988, for a used car lot, a convenience store, and auto repairs. The applicants came to staff and requested a clearance and occupational license for a real estate office, and when the Ordinance was pulled, it was so specific that staff could not sign off on it. Therefore, the applicants were requesting approval for a C-1 (Community Commercial) to their CP Ordinance for the use of a real estate office and staff was recommending approval.

Commr. Good opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. It was noted that the applicants were present in the audience. There being no public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.

On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved the request for an amendment to CP Ordinance #33-88 to include C-1 (Community Commercial) uses for a real estate office with the existing approved use of a convenience store, car sales and automotive repair shop.



Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained that the applicants were requesting the placement of a 165 foot unmanned lattice telecommunications tower on 3.14 acres in the Crows Bluff area. Ms. Farrell put the Board on notice that staff was coming forward on April 1, 1997 with a towers workshop and was hoping to present enough information at that time to move forward with a Land Development Regulation (LDR). She stated that there was letter of opposition, and Planning and Zoning approved it 7-1. She noted that there was no opposition at that meeting, and staff was recommending approval of the request. Ms. Farrell stated that the CUP was being amended to remove the legal description from the poultry ranch.

Commr. Good opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.

Ms. Tiffany Batson, Aerial Communications and representative for the applicant, addressed the Board to request approval of the Personal Communications Systems (PCS) communications site. Ms. Batson discussed pictures of the site and submitted them to the Deputy Clerk, who marked them as the Applicant's Exhibit "A". She stated that, in rural areas, they place sites approximately every seven to eight miles, and in urban areas, they place sites every three to four miles. Ms. Batson explained that the tower was designed for collocation.

No one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no further public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.

On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved the request to amend A + CUP#515A-5 to delete a portion of land 370' x 370' in size and rezone to CFD (Community Facility District), for the placement of a 165 foot unmanned lattice telecommunications tower on site.


At 10:30 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a 15 minute recess.



Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained that the applicant was requesting approval to place a 350 foot tall guyed telecommunications tower on their site in the Clermont area. She noted that there was an existing tower on the site that was 120 feet in height, and it was going to be replaced with the tower being proposed. Therefore, the applicant was requesting amendment of the Ordinance to add this use. Staff was recommending approval of the request, and the Ordinance in the backup included 50 foot setbacks from all property lines, and the standard language that the County has today for towers. Ms. Farrell explained that this tower does not have a collocation requirement, but this language could be added.

Commr. Good opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.

Mr. Rick Rewiski, State of Florida Department of Management Services, addressed the Board and stated that the request would be replacing an existing tower and combining five other law enforcement agencies onto the tower with the Department of Corrections to eliminate having multiple towers scattered all over the place. The system was part of an emergency system that they were doing throughout the State and this was in Phase II, which would be centrally located in the Orlando area. In regards to collocation, Mr. Rewiski stated that the County has already requested that it be allowed to have an antenna on the site, which they have agreed to. There were also provisions for collocation with other agencies.

Commr. Gerber questioned whether there had been any conversations with the Sheriff's Department, with regards to upgrading their communications system.

Mr. Rewiski stated that the system would not work directly with the Sheriff's Department, but if it needed coverage in that area and antenna space in that direction, they could locate an antenna on the tower. He explained that, when another antenna is placed on the tower, the engineers do a study to determine whether there is any interference.

Ms. Farrell noted that Growth Management has not had a dialogue with the Sheriff on this issue.

Commr. Swartz stated that Chief Craig Haun, Fire and Emergency Services, through the Capital Improvements Element, has been talking with the Sheriff about upgrading radio systems, not specifically about this tower, but there have been discussions, and if there was to be an upgrade of the Sheriff's Department, or the County's own radio systems, it would be a joint effort, and not a single effort, by both entities.

No one present wished to speak in opposition to the request. There being no further public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved the request to amend CFD Resolution #1994-192 to add a 350 foot tall guyed telecommunications tower on site with the existing Correctional Facility, with the standard language for collocation.



Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, addressed the Board and explained that the applicants were requesting a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the operation of a dog kennel on 8.9 acres. The request came to staff for 40 dogs, and staff's recommendation to Planning and Zoning, along with several conditions, was 25 dogs. Ms. Farrell stated that Planning and Zoning approved the request 5-2, as conditioned, as noted in the backup on Page 4 of the CUP, as follows:

1. No more than forty (40) dogs total, over the age of six (6) months may be kept on premises, including the boarding of 5 animals, for a period of no more than one week.

2. All kennels, runs and exercise areas shall be no less than 200 feet from all property lines.

3. The kennel building shall be sound proofed, so as to limit external sound from the barking dogs.

4. The applicants shall provide a septic tank disposal system.

5. The dogs may only be in the outside run and exercise areas between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

6. A vegetative visual and sound barrier, 0' to 4' in height, shall be provided along the 200' setback line.

7. All run and exercise area must be fenced, with a chain link fence at six (6') feet in height.

8. There shall be no training classes held on site.

9. There shall be no competitions or other events held on the premises.

Ms. Farrell stated that, after reviewing the site and considering the breeds, staff was recommending approval for 25 dogs, even though Planning and Zoning was recommending 40 dogs. She stated that the applicant has provided a site plan, and they were meeting the 200' setback requirement. Ms. Farrell noted that there was a petition with nine signatures in opposition to the request.

Commr. Swartz discussed the Planning and Zoning minutes and noted that, on Page 21, Item #4, the last two sentences were contradicting each other, and on Page 17, he addressed the statement made by Mr. Jimmy Crawford, Attorney, about kennels being approved recently as "hobby kennels". Commr. Swartz noted that the County does not have in its current existing Ordinance a definition or anything called "hobby kennels".

Commr. Good opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.

Mr. Al Abrams, applicant, addressed the Board and stated that he and his wife needed to get a variance to continue their breeding business. They purchased their property in August, 1990, and at that time, they were already in the breeding business. The property they purchased had the appropriate zoning to continue with their business, and at that time, there were no restrictions as to the number of dogs, or hours, to take care of their business. Mr. Abrams stated that he checked with the County's occupational license division and, after explaining to them exactly what he was doing, he was told that a private breeder does not need an occupational license. That was the last he heard, until he applied for some building permits.

Mr. Bruce Duncan, Assistant County Attorney, explained that the County had a five (5) dog, seven (7) cat over the age of six months regulation, in 1991, which would have required someone to get a CUP for anything over or above those numbers.

Mr. Abrams stated that he and his wife were already there prior to 1991. He stated that, when he found out about the CUP problem, he asked zoning when the regulations had been changed, and he was informed that they were changed three or four years ago, which was after he had purchased the property. Mr. Abrams explained that staff had told him, if he had an occupational license, he would have been grandfathered in, but when he had inquired about one, he was told that he did not need one. Mr. Abrams stressed that he and his wife needed to continue the business to support themselves, otherwise they would lose their home and their property. They had already been before the Planning and Zoning Commission and agreed to the conditions, as setforth today. The septic system would cost them $200 for the permit and $1,150 for the septic tank and drain field. They would then turn their second building, which was currently a storage building, into a second kennel building, in order for the dogs to have more room, and to reduce the noise level. They were going to put a border of chain link fence around the property area that would be used to exercise the dogs, which would cost approximately $1,850. The applicants agreed to work with staff on the necessary landscaping requirements, with Mr. Abrams stating that he would have no problem planting trees where necessary. He would like to put trees on the west property line between him and the neighbors that were complaining and SR 33. Mr. Abrams stated that he and his wife were currently applying for a kennel license, but they needed a CUP number. He further stated that the garage, which was 2,200 square feet, was already built, and the house was already permitted. The house was a little over 3,000 square feet and would cost him approximately $140,000 to build, and he would not be devaluing the surrounding property. Mr. Abrams stated that he would like to change the hours for the care of the dogs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. He stated that there were never any more than five or six dogs out at one time. Mr. Abrams noted that, even if he did not have a CUP, he could have five dogs outside. He further noted that the Board had previously approved a kennel for 25 rottweilers, and he was seeking the number of 40 because that was how many dogs they had today.

Commr. Swartz stated that the Ordinance referred to earlier by the Assistant County Attorney was actually adopted in 1987 and was on the books prior to the 1990 purchase.

Mr. Abrams stated that he had called the County and was told differently, and until he had made this application, there had never been one complaint in seven years. He explained that, when he contacted the County, he told staff that he had about 25 dogs when they purchased the property. He contacted the occupational license office, as well as the zoning department, because when they bought the property, in their agreement with the owners of the property, he had wanted to make sure that he could continue his business, or he would not buy the property. Mr. Abrams stated that he was not cited for a violation, and he was not here to correct such a problem.

Mr. Jimmy Crawford, Attorney representing Janice and Terry Longordo, addressed the Board and stated that there were many other neighbors who had asked him to help speak for them today, but he was technically only representing the Longordos. Mr. Crawford stated that the applicants were in opposition to the request, and the operation was not appropriate for this area. He stated that he had used the term "hobby kennel" in the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, not as a legal term, but to only differentiate between the kind of kennels that have been approved before, and just a straight commercial dog breeding operation. He felt there was a significant difference, and this was truly exporting an urban problem into a rural area where it was not appropriate. He stated that there have been other CUPs in agricultural zoning where these questions have been raised in other context, in that its a commercial operation that is not appropriate for an agricultural area. Even though there is not an Ordinance that differentiates between them, he felt the CUP process gives the power for the Board to make that determination.

Mr. Crawford called Ms. Janice Longordo to testify before the Board.

Ms. Longordo testified that she lived directly behind Mr. Abram's property and has been there for approximately six to seven years. Ms. Longordo pointed out the applicant's property and described his buildings on two aerial photographs presented by Mr. Crawford. She testified that the first building was permitted for a animal kennel building, and the second building adjoining it was almost completed, and it was permitted for a storage shed, not to house any animals at all.

Mr. Crawford submitted a site plan to the Deputy Clerk, which was marked as Opposition (Longordo) Exhibit "A", and two aerial photographs, which were marked as Opposition (Longordo) Exhibit "B".

Ms. Longordo testified that the major problem has been the noise, and up until the last two weeks, it has not been as bad, because Ms. Abrams has been addressing the problem. Ms. Longordo stated that the dogs have been barking at 7 a.m. and at 10 and 11 p.m. It has been very disruptive, because any time that anyone comes to the Abrams' house, the animals will bark. Ms. Longordo noted that she was a nurse, and the only time she can get rest was on the weekends. She has witnessed the applicants dumping the dog waste at the fence line and washing it down with a hose, which was a method they have been using for the last five or six years. She noted that she has three children.

Mr. Crawford showed a video that was narrated by Ms. Longordo, which showed the location of property, in relation to her porch, and it revealed the noise coming from the dogs at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning. The video also showed the location of the surrounding neighbors. The video was submitted to the Deputy Clerk and marked as Opposition (Longordo) Exhibit "C".

Commr. Good provided the Board with ten (10) letters that had been handed to the Deputy Clerk from the applicant, which were marked as Applicant's Exhibit "A".

Mr. Crawford called Mr. Terry Longordo to testify before the Board.

Mr. Longordo testified that he has experienced the same noise

as his wife, and if the hours were limited to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., it would allow them to get some rest in the morning, but it could be annoying, if they had people over during the day. He stated that, since the kennel has been built, the noise has increased over the years. Mr. Longordo testified that he has never called Code Enforcement and registered a complaint, because they were trying to be friendly neighbors, but now it has gotten to the point where it has been very annoying.

Mr. Abrams questioned whether he was allowed the privilege of cross-examining any of the witnesses.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, in regards to anyone who testifies, the rules would allow the applicant to ask questions of them.


At 11:30 a.m., Commr. Cadwell left the meeting due to other commitments.



Mr. Abrams questioned Ms. Longordo about a goat and the area it was confined in; the noise and the video which she showed to the Board; and the purpose of her moving to the property, in relation to the homeowners association across the street.

Ms. Longordo testified that she had only seen the goat once when it was housed in the Abrams' laundry room; the video was taped prior to Ms. Abrams closing the windows to the kennel building; that she has a 90 minute video of different times and had selected just a portion to show to the Board; she raised collies when she lived in Orlando; her reason for moving here was to get country property, and she had two collies at that time; and at one time, she had anticipated having a veterinary clinic.

Mr. Abrams stated that he and his wife, along with the Longordos, bought their property together with the intention of building an animal clinic and kennels.

Ms. Longordo testified that there is no homeowners association on their side of the road, and she would have bought her property, if there had been one. She further testified that she did not buy her property to breed animals, but to get in the country.

Mr. Abrams cross-examined Mr. Longordo by questioning him about the number of cookouts he has had in the last seven years, and why he did not call Code Enforcement.

Mr. Longordo testified that he has had several cookouts on a Sunday, and he did not call Code Enforcement, because he and family were trying to be friendly neighbors.

Mr. Crawford cross-examined Mr. Abrams about details of his business.

Mr. Abrams testified that he moved to his property from Oviedo where he had a pet cemetery and horse boarding facility, and he had an animal clinic in Pine Hills. He had about 20 dogs prior to moving to his present property, and he currently has 38 dogs, with approximately seven puppies. Mr. Abrams testified that he has sold approximately 80 to 120 puppies in an average year, and he markets the dogs in the Orlando Sentinel. He has never advertised in any dog magazines, or sold any at the flea markets, and all of their dogs are registered. Mr. Abrams stated that he got the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) in December, 1995, for the first building, and prior to that, the dogs were in their mobile home on their property. He stated that he applied for a kennel building, and he knew about the five dog restriction at that time, but he was told by a County official in the Zoning Department that, as long as none of the neighbors complained, why would he want to spend $1,000 to get a variance when he did not need to. He further stated that he could not afford to pay the $1,000 at that time, but now that he could, he was before the Board to become completely legal. The second building was permitted in December, 1996, as a storage building. Mr. Abrams discussed the cypress pines that he would like to plant as a buffer, and he explained that the storage building, as shown on the blueprint, was completely different from the kennel building, because he had asked the architect to take out the interior of the kennel, so that it could be a storage building, and he could save some money. Mr. Abrams noted that, if he could get the CUP and variance, he would be allowed to use the building as a kennel. Mr. Abrams explained the care he gives the dogs, in terms of shots, and the care given to them by a veterinarian.

Mr. Crawford called Ms. Paula Paradiso to testify before the Board.

Ms. Paradiso testified that she has lived across the street from the applicants for 5 1/2 years, and there is loud noise at all times coming from the property. Ms. Paradiso stated that she would not mind the dogs being outside as long as they were not barking, and she has heard them mainly in the early morning and late at night.

Mr. Abrams cross-examined Ms. Paradiso and questioned whether she has noticed a decrease in the noise.

Ms. Paradiso testified that she did tell Ms. Abrams several days ago that, since the last hearing with the Planning and Zoning Commission, she has not heard the dogs in the last few days and has heard the dogs only a couple of times.

Mr. Crawford called Mr. Dennis Day to testify before the Board.

Mr. Day testified that his property is catty corner from the applicant's property, and he has lived there approximately ten years. He has experienced problems with noise, the smell, and flies from the dogs. He met Mr. Abrams in 1990, when he approached him and told him that he was going to put a kennel on his property. Mr. Day testified that he moved to his property to get some peace and quiet. He has been on vacation for the last two weeks, and he has heard the dogs. Mr. Day stated that there is considerably more traffic on the road to the applicant's house now, and the easement is not in good shape, because there have been trucks going to and from the Abrams' property to work on their building, and the trucks have left ruts in the road.

Mr. Abrams cross-examined Mr. Day about the condition of the roads.

Mr. Crawford called Mr. Larry King, a real estate appraiser in Leesburg, to testify before the Board. Mr. Crawford stated that he could go through Mr. King's qualifications, but he was submitting that as evidence, and unless the Board had some questions, Mr. King has been doing real estate appraisals in Lake County since 1970.

Commr. Good stated that the Board would recognize Mr. King as an expert.

Mr. King testified that he had the opportunity to examine the CUP application and property in this case.

Mr. Crawford submitted to the Board a letter from Mr. Larry King dated March 24, 1997, which was marked as Opposition (Longordo) Exhibit "D".

Mr. King testified that the kennel would have a negative effect to the market value, not only to the adjacent properties, but to the approximate properties, due to the noise factor, the smell factor, and the stigma of being associated with a kennel. It was his opinion that the properties would be lowered approximately 10 to 15 percent, and it would take longer to sell the property. He explained that anyone who sells real estate in the State of Florida has to disclose any adverse effects that would affect the value of the property.

Mr. Abrams cross-examined Mr. King and questioned whether, when he was doing his research, he looked for permits in the building department to see that he has already been permitted for a $115,000 house and would this not change the value of the surrounding properties in the other direction.

Mr. King testified that he did not search for a building permit by Mr. Abrams, and he felt that having the $115,000 house by itself would not devalue the property, but if there was a commercial kennel there with it, with the possibility of over 100 dogs, it was not going to increase the value of the property. Mr. King testified that, in his review, there was an agricultural exemption on the Longordo property, because they have at least one horse. He did not do a formal appraisal on the Longordo's property, but it was his opinion that their house would be appraised at $110,000 to $130,000.

Mr. Crawford called Ms. Mary O'Brien to testify before the Board.

Ms. O'Brien testified that her house was almost directly behind the applicant's house, and the dogs bark all of the time. She is home all of the time, and the noise never stops, and it echoes from the concrete walls. She has lived on her property for two years, and there were no kennels on the applicant's property during that time. She was concerned about how the sewage, as well as the needles that were being used for vaccinating, were being disposed. There were also flies and a lot of traffic on Lake Brite Street. She stated that, because the easement was on her property, she was concerned about maintaining it.

Mr. Abrams cross-examined Ms. O'Brien and questioned her feelings about the buffering he was offering to address the noise problem, and the septic tank that would address the raw sewage problem.

Ms. O'Brien testified that the buffering would absolutely not solve the sound problem, because she did not want a kennel behind her home. She stated that she has been living there for two years, and wondered how he had been dealing with the waste during that time.

Mr. Crawford stated that he has two individuals present from local kennel clubs that could offer historical testimony about Mr. Abram's operation previously, if the Board was interested in hearing their testimony.

It was the Board's determination that it would adhere to the issue before it today.

Mr. Crawford stated that he felt this was a absolute unabashed bonifide commercial kennel in the middle of a suburban area. It was a completely inappropriate use, and it has been there illegally for five or six years. He stated that it was going to devalue the property, and the CUP criteria included it being consistent with the surrounding neighborhood, and that there not be any undue adverse effect on the neighboring properties. He thought it failed both of these, and he was requesting denial of the application.

Mr. Abrams called Ms. Rhoda Ricker to testify before the Board.

Ms. Ricker testified that she lives next door to Ms. Paula Paradiso, and she has had no problems with noise or smell from the kennels. Ms. Ricker testified that it was pretty quiet at night, and she explained that everyone in the neighborhood has dogs. She stated that, since Ms. Abrams has put the air conditioning on in the kennel and closed the doors, she only hears the dogs when Ms. Abrams is going to take care of them. She felt that, if they could separate the dogs and put them into two kennels, they would be a lot quieter. Ms. Ricker stated that the kennels were very clean, and there were flies in the neighborhood, because of horses and cows, and chickens and other foul.

Mr. Crawford cross-examined Ms. Ricker about her occupation and future endeavors.

Ms. Ricker testified that she is a licensed nurse, she has recently taken a real estate course, and she has considered many different types of businesses. Ms. Ricker stated that Ms. Abrams works very hard with the animals and grooming and caring for them, and she felt they did a service to the community.

Mr. Abrams called Ms. Susan Huckster to testify before the Board.

Ms. Huckster testified that she lives in Orlando and was a friend of the Abrams. She stated that she has stayed over night with the Abrams on many occasions, as well as visited them on a regular basis. She enjoyed the total piece and quiet at their place, and there was barking when Ms. Abrams lets the dogs out. Ms. Huckster testified that she has not experienced any noise problem, or odor problem, or a parade of cars coming and going from their property.

Mr. Abrams called Mr. Tommy Leathers, to testify before the Board.

Mr. Leathers stated that he was the Director of Enforcement Services for Lake County. He testified that staff had received a code violation call on February 21, 1997, and after the zoning hearing approximately two weeks ago, Mr. Wayne Frank, Code Enforcement Officer, visited the property. Mr. Leathers was asked to read Mr. Frank's report to the Board, which indicated that the large dogs barked when he drove up close, the noise increased when he entered the kennel and then subsided, and when he drove to the edge of the property and parked for ten minutes, there was no barking during that time.

Mr. Abrams called his wife, Cathy Abrams, to testify before the Board.

Ms. Cathy Abrams testified that she never knew there was a problem with the neighbors, until they applied for the CUP. She stated that they wanted to be cooperative, and it would be devastating to lose her dogs, as well as their home. Since the zoning meeting, she has been very careful about the noise. She has invited some of the neighbors to look at the kennel, and she welcomed any of the Commissioners to come and visit the kennel, as well. Ms. Abrams stated that she had inquired as to whether the code enforcement officer could visit the property, and when he did visit, the officer found that there were other large dogs in the area. She did not feel that she should take the blame for all of the barking dogs in the neighborhood. She stated that the video that was shown before the Board was made before she knew there was a problem, and she has changed her routine to care for the dogs. Ms. Abrams stated that she does not want more dogs than she can maintain properly, and she cannot handle more than 40. This was a good place for a kennel, and there were people that felt good about coming to her, because she was a reputable breeder. She was a dog groomer for eight years at their animal clinic.

Mr. Crawford cross-examined Ms. Abrams about the care of her animals.

Ms. Abrams testified that she has no employees, and she takes care of the dogs herself. She explained that there were very few other dogs that are brought to the kennel, and she did not like to have other dogs around, or to show the dogs, because she did not want to take a chance on any of them catching any diseases. She noted that she had very few males and mostly female dogs. PETITION CUP#97/3/1-2 CUP in A ALAN & CATHERINE ABRAMS


Ms. Abrams continued her testimony and explained the process she had been using to dispose of animal waste. After the zoning meeting, she has been digging holes and burying it, but they had always planned on putting in a septic system.

The Chairman called for further public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.

Commr. Hanson stated that she did not believe there was a limit in the amount of large animals someone could have on a ten acre piece of property, and there was no requirement for disposal of sewage in agriculture. She felt that these issues could be addressed in the CUP, and she did not see anything in the proposed Ordinance addressing road maintenance. Commr. Hanson stated that the question was whether this was agriculture or truly commercial.

Commr. Swartz stated that the appropriate question would be to decide whether a CUP in agriculture would be appropriate for this use. He asked staff about the permits that had been granted for the buildings.

Ms. Farrell stated that the permit issued in October, 1995 was for a dog kennel with no more than five dogs. She stated that there were 38 dogs on the site today. Ms. Farrell stated that the other building, which has not been issued a CO, was a detached storage building not to house animals.

Commr. Hanson questioned whether videos had been made by staff when the animals were in the building with the doors closed and the air conditioners on.

Ms. Farrell stated that staff had a video that depicted the noise issue. The video was shown to the Board and submitted to the Deputy Clerk and marked as County's Exhibit "A".

Commr. Gerber questioned why staff was recommending 25 dogs, when the Planning and Zoning Commission had approved 40.

Ms. Farrell stated that staff did not have a methodology, but decided it was a fewer number (25 adult animals) to place on a nine acre piece of property. She stated that the County does not have anything to determine "dogs per acre". There was a 27 acre site in north Lake County where the County had approved 66 animals on the site, and the County has had no complaints for that parcel.

Commr. Swartz stated that this was where, at times, he had taken exception to some of the Board's decisions with regard to animal kennel, primarily dog kennel, activities in agricultural areas, he believes that previous Boards for years and years have adopted a philosophy that a commercial CUP in agriculture was only appropriate when it related to something that was grown and harvested in some way, from that agricultural land, and included primarily those types of things that were agricultural in nature, but did not include animal kennels. Commr. Swartz stated that it was clearly, in his mind, a commercial kennel operation. He stated that the applicants were having people come to and from the site to look at the animals, and to purchase them. He believed that, based on some previous votes of this Board, and the one that comes to mind was the South Lake Animal League's application for a facility in south Lake County which was a much less populated area than what he was seeing today, the Board denied that CUP in agriculture, because of the concerns of the people who lived in the area. He stated that today, to sanction what is currently going on would be to approve clearly a commercial animal kennel that, even with the first kennel building that was built, the applicant, on the application, had agreed to limit it to no more than five dogs. The second building, which was permitted as a storage building, clearly looks like it was intended today, with a request of the CUP, to become a second building for the kennel. Commr. Swartz stated that, in some cases, the requests were approved, because the Board believed they were less commercial. In this case, it appeared to be absolutely intended as a commercial operation, and he could not support putting kennels in areas where there were residential conflicts. He was aware that there were other areas in the county where people have other livestock and dogs, but the County tries to limit the number of animals that any one individual can have and to approve a commercial kennel in an area where the animals are given space to roam. Commr. Swartz felt that the testimony provided by Mr. King was correct, and it troubled him that, up to this point, this has been operating with 38 dogs and seven puppies, and there was no waste disposal facility whatsoever. Commr. Swartz stated that he would not be able to support approval of the CUP, because it was inconsistent with the land use in this area; he did not believe it was compatible land use; and he did feel it would lower the property values of people who lived more adjacent to it.

Commr. Good stated that his major concern was that it has gotten this far this quickly without action, even by the owner, and it was not brought to the County's attention earlier. The permit he reviewed actually said five dogs, and no more than five dogs, in the building that exists, and this was obviously a departure from the original plan. He felt that the Board needed to be notified sooner and this was not an application for a new operation. He was not sure that it should be his direction to the Board to sanction the facility just because it exists today. He apologized for the imposition of the Board's decision on the lives of the people who own the property, and he respected their property rights, in that sense, but the request did not come to the Board with the proper dialogue they needed with the County. Commr. Good stated that he could not support the CUP at this time, more because of how it came to the Board.

Commr. Gerber stated that this was a hard decision, because it involved so many people, not to mention the dogs. She found it hard to believe that the second building, which was now being asked for as kennel space, was not originally planned for kennel space. The first building was permitted for five dogs and obviously there were more than five in there. She stated that she finds it to be inconsistent, and judging from the pictures and the videos, the homes are very close together, even though they are on five acre tracts. Commr. Gerber stated that she has a problem with stopping a business, but it is an inconsistent use, it is incompatible, and the adverse effect is the noise, and she was not going to be able to support the CUP for those reasons.

Commr. Good stated that the vote he was casting today did not say that the animals were not well cared for or the operation was not as clean as it could be, but it says that the way we got here was that there was going to be five dogs in the building.

Commr. Hanson stated that the Board needed to look at the request as it is today, not necessarily how it got here today, in order to give the applicant due process. To be consistent to where she has been before, she would not support the CUP as the request is today, but she would support the request for the 25 dogs and the other stipulations that are put in place for the septic tank, and with the requirement that this CUP comes back before the Board within six months. Commr. Hanson stated that there had been comments from the neighbors that they have not heard the noise since the hours of operation have been put in place. The Board has not heard anything to the contrary that the noise is still there, and the Board has not heard from staff that noise is a problem right now, with the noise being the major concern. Although the motion would be to deny based on the 40 dogs, she would support it, if it was limited to 25 dogs with a six month review with the understanding that, if the neighbors were still dissatisfied, the CUP could be revoked.

Commr. Hanson made a motion to approve the CUP for a 25 dog limit over the age of six months, with the other stipulations that have been recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission and staff, and that it come back before this Board in a six month time period for review.

Commr. Gerber suggested a three month quarterly review.

Commr. Hanson amended her motion for a three month quarterly review, and Commr. Gerber seconded the motion, as amended.

Under discussion, Commr. Hanson stated that it was not like the Board was moving forward and allowing the applicants to put buildings in place, because the buildings were already there. She stated that her motion would include road maintenance, which would be at the discretion of staff, because there had been comments made that the easement was not being maintained. This would be a community issue, and she was not sure that it could be mandated by the County.

Commr. Swartz stated that, depending on the outcome of the Board's action today, the Abrams may feel they have some recourse to information that they received over a period of time that they were asking questions. At some point between 1990 when they purchased the property to the time that they constructed the first building, they at least became aware of the five animal limit, or they would not have asked for a building permit. He believed it was incompatible land use, and it would not get to be compatible land use, unless the animals were kept in those buildings 24 hours a day. Commr. Swartz stated that it was a commercial kennel in agriculture zoning, it was not an appropriate use for a CUP, and he would vote against the motion on the floor.

Commr. Gerber stated that there were two things that weighed heavily in her decision to at least give them the chance to have 25 dogs; one, the lady testifying that, since the Planning and Zoning Commission hearing, she has not had as much of a problem; and two, the Planning and Zoning Commission voting 5-2 in favor of 40 dogs. Commr. Hanson stated that, with regard to the commercial in agricultural use, this was why the County has a CUP, to handle those issues that are somewhat quasi commercial and not traditionally agriculture.

The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, as amended, which failed by a 2-2 vote.

Commr. Cadwell was not present for the vote, and Commr. Good and Commr. Swartz voted "no".

Mr. Minkoff stated that, if a motion for approval fails, and if there has not been another motion, the Board treats is as a denial. Therefore, the request was denied.




Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, at the last meeting, staff discussed the arbitrage matter for the 1992 bond issue. Staff has been consulting with the escrow agent, the bank, and bond counsel, and although the County may still be $8,000 to $10,000 short, staff believed that the escrow agent was willing to impute an interest of about 3 1/2 percent to that money, and to pay to the County between $85,000 and $95,000, which could then be used to pay the arbitrage rebate. If they did this, they have requested that they be released from any other liability that might occur. It was possible that this figure would not be accepted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); however, bond counsel, as well as Ernst & Young, CPAs, have looked at it, and they believe that it is a defensible position, and if the County is audited, it could be defended. He stated that he has talked with Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, and Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and both of them are in favor of recommending approval of the offer made by the escrow agent.

Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Swartz, to approve the recommendation to accept the offer and accept the sum from the escrow agent, as stated, and execute the release of funds, and to use those funds to pay the rebate.

Under discussion, Commr. Swartz questioned, if for some reason on audit, the County found itself with some tax liability outstanding, the County would not have any recourse with regard to First Union, but it might have recourse with regard to other entities involved in the transaction.

Mr. Minkoff stated that he believed there would be some possible recourse, and whether or not the County went down that road would depend upon the size of the amount that was there, as well as the difficulty in collecting. He clarified that, at this point, there was an $85,000 amount being offered, and he believed they were going to increase it to include the extra $8,000 to $9,000, but staff did not have that assurance yet.

The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried by a 4-0 vote. Commr. Cadwell was not present for the discussion or vote.



Commr. Gerber reminded the Board of the Boy Scout dinner tonight at Silver Lake, which begins at 6 p.m., and the Leesburg Downtown Partnership Fish Fry on April 3, 1997.



Commr. Swartz stated that, in regards to library meetings being scheduled by Ms. Wendy Breeden, Library Services Manager, with the Board and municipalities, it had been suggested that staff might want to send out information and ask if the municipalities have any questions before hand, in order to aid in communication. He asked Mr. Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager, to make sure that, when that information letter goes out, it is solicited before the Board goes to the meetings.



Commr. Good informed the Board that there had been a successful river cleanup over the past weekend, and he extended his very deep thanks to the community, and the employees of the County, that were involved in that activity.

There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1 p.m.