JANUARY 12, 1999

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, January 12, 1999, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners' Training Room, Room 233, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson, Vice Chair; Robert A. Pool; Rhonda H. Gerber; and G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Others present were: Sue Whittle, County Manager; Alvin B. Jackson, Jr., Deputy County Manager; Sanford (Sandy) A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Valerie Fuchs, Assistant County Attorney; Melanie Marsh, Assistant County Attorney; Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management; Rene' Segraves, Shelter Field Operations Supervisor; Marjorie Toops, Shelter Operations Supervisor; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Supervisor, Board of County Commissioners' Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.

Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, introduced Mr. Hank Wolsmann, Past President of the Lake County League of Cities, a member of the Lake County Solid Waste Study Committee and the Lake County Fire Advisory Board, who was present doing his internship as a member of Leadership Lake County.



On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved the request for approval and execution of Proclamation No. 1999-6 proclaiming that Monday, January 18, 1999, shall be observed as a day to celebrate the life and dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr.




It was noted that a copy of the Executive Summary - Animal Control; Committee's Draft, and Current Code had been distributed prior to the start of the Animal Control Ordinance Workshop this date.

Mr. Alvin Jackson, Jr., Deputy County Manager, expressed appreciation to the following individuals who have worked on the Animal Control Ordinance: Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney; Ms. Valerie Fuchs, Assistant County Attorney; Ms. Quinnette Durkin, Legal Office Administrator; Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management; Ms. Rene' Segraves, Shelter Field Operations Supervisor; and Ms. Marjorie Toops, Shelter Operations Supervisor. Mr. Jackson read the Executive Summary, which provided a comparison between the existing County regulations contained in Chapter 4 of the Code and sections of the Land Development Regulations, the Animal Control Study Committee's recommended ordinance, and the County's proposed draft ordinance. He stated that to facilitate comparison, the three have been grouped according to content, and the groupings include general regulation of animals, enforcement of the code, laws governing the operation of kennels, the Animal Control Board, zoning control and location of kennels or other limitation on numbers of dogs and cats in the Land Development Regulation, and sections related to rabies and licensing.

Commr. Swartz introduced Mr. Pete Ragsdale, a member of the Lake County Animal Control Study Committee, who was present in the audience.

At this time, staff addressed questions from the Board pertaining to the proposed Lake County Animal Control Ordinance.

In response to a question presented by Commr. Swartz regarding a repeat penalty, Mr.  Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the latest draft does not contain a repeat penalty due to the difficulty of keeping records of past offenses and there being no system in place to keep said records.

Commr. Swartz stated that the Lake County Animal Control Study Committee felt very strongly that there was a need for a mechanism to control repeat offenses. He stated that the Committee's draft differentiated between a traditional or conventional kennel or animal training facility that was clearly a commercial operation for profit as opposed to dog or cat fanciers; therefore, the Committee removed the number requirement which was in the current code. He stated that the Committee's draft includes a provision whereby a neighbor or neighbors have the ability to complete a sworn statement and provides the ability for the animal control officer to go before a judge and receive permission to go onto private property, which is not in the current code.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the staff draft does not authorize entry power of an animal control official or employees to enter private property without the consent of the owner or occupant or without a proper warrant due to the significant risk in litigation and damage to the County to allow non-law enforcement officers to enter property against the wishes of the owner.

Ms. Rene' Segraves, Field Operations Supervisor, discussed the current procedure used by the animal control officer in capturing any animal, and noted that they cannot enter private property without the consent of the owner or occupant.

Mr. Minkoff explained that staff has relied heavily on animal control ordinances from other Florida counties, particularly Seminole County and Orange County, and noted that Lake County's proposed animal control ordinance was very similar to ordinances of other Florida counties that have been examined, none of which authorize entry on private property without permission. He explained that, if the animal control officer observes a violation, the animal control officer is authorized to issue a citation and can use law enforcement to issue said citation. He stated that the current dangerous dog ordinance, in Florida Statutes, does not authorize the picking up of an animal with one vicious attack, and noted that the Committee's draft and staff's draft have significant penalties for not confining an animal who was being investigated as being a dangerous dog.

Commr. Pool stated that animals who have attacked or bitten in the past will most likely attack or bite again, and those are the animals that need to receive a citation so that there will be documentation on the attacks. He stated that the owners should be required to restrain their animals when there are continuous attacks.

Discussion occurred regarding Section 4-8. Violations and Enforcement; at which time, Ms. Marjorie Toops, Shelters Operations Supervisor, explained that currently, if the animal control officer is on the site of a complaint, however, does not witness a violation, a citation can be left notifying the owner that there was a complaint against said animal and requesting that the owner contact the animal control office. It was noted that Section 4-37. Noisy Animals, requires that the animal control officer issue a citation if statements are received by three (3) or more residents who reside in the vicinity of the animal incident alleging that a violation exists and said statements must set forth the pertinent facts relating to the incident. One verified complaint sworn to under oath would be sufficient if the makeup of the neighborhood was such that it was impossible to acquire three (3) or more statements from residents.

Mr. Pete Ragsdale expressed concern with language under Section 4-80 Housing and Care of Animals, Item (10), which states that all animals exhibiting symptoms of illness or disease shall be treated by a licensed veterinarian, and the requirement that every licensed facility shall keep a permanent record of the deaths of any warm-blooded animals under its control.

Discussion occurred regarding the requirements under Section 4-80, and it was the decision of the Board to amend the language as follows: All animals exhibiting symptoms of illness or disease shall be treated under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

Mr. Minkoff discussed the definition of Kennel and explained that Chapter 4 of the existing code requires a kennel license for any commercial business involving five (5) or more dogs or five (5) or more cats and the Land Development Regulations require any commercial business involving five (5) or more dogs or seven (7) or more cats to either be in commercial zoning or obtain a CUP (Conditional Use Permit). He explained that a CUP would have to be obtained in Agriculture zoning or the property would have to be zoned Commercial or Industrial for commercial business involving cats or dogs, or if five or more adult dogs or seven or more adult cats are kept on the premises. He stated that CUP's are not available in any Residential zoning district other than Agriculture. He stated that the draft eliminated the kennel requirement under Chapter 4 of the code and a license can be obtained by paying a fee. Discussion continued regarding the issue of kennels.

In response to a question presented by Commr. Swartz regarding the Committee's draft addressing at-large animals, Ms. Segraves directed the Board's attention to Section 4-41. Duty to Keep Animal Under Restraint While On Own Property, which requires that animals be leashed or otherwise controlled by a responsible person or obedient to the voice commands of a person present with the animal with the exception to hunting dogs in authorized areas during authorized hunting seasons.

Mr. Ernie Swindle, Vice President, Deerhaven Homeowner's Association, briefly discussed the circumstances of a neighbor's dog attacking a homeowner in the Deerhaven community and expressed concern that the animal control officer has been unable to keep the dog restrained.

At this time, Mr. Minkoff directed the Board's attention to Section 4-31 Dangerous Dogs and explained that Section 4-31 addresses investigation into reported incidents involving any dog that may be dangerous and states that the division shall make an initial determination, after the investigation, as to whether there was sufficient cause to classify the dog as dangerous and afford the owner an opportunity for a hearing before a senior department director prior to making a final determination. He explained that, within fourteen (14) days after a dog has been classified as dangerous, the owner of the dog must obtain a certificate of registration for the dog, and the certificate must be renewed annually to persons who are at least eighteen (18) years of age and who have presented sufficient evidence of a current certificate of rabies vaccination for the dog, a proper enclosure to confine a dangerous dog and posting of the premises with a clearly visible warning sign, permanent identification, and wearing of the County issued dangerous dog tag. He further explained that it was unlawful for the owner of a dangerous dog to permit the dog to be outside a proper enclosure unless the dog was muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under control of a competent person. He stated that Section 4-32. states that, if a dog that has previously been declared dangerous attacks or bites a person or a domestic animal without provocation, the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree and the dangerous dog shall be immediately confiscated by the division, placed in quarantine, if necessary, or impounded and held for ten (10 business days after the owner is given written notification and, thereafter, destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner. He explained that, if the senior department director determines that the dog should be destroyed, the owner may file a written request for a hearing in County court to appeal the decision within ten (10) business days after receipt of a written determination.

Mr. Minkoff noted that staff would be meeting with veterinarians within the next month and said ordinance would be brought back to the Board in March.

On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved to advertise the Lake County Animal Control Ordinance, as amended, changing Section 4-80, Item 10, as follows: All animals exhibiting symptoms of illness or disease shall be treated under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.



Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, noted that backup for the Adult Entertainment Workshop had been distributed prior to the start of the workshop and included a list of definitions. He stated that the workshop would provide the Board an opportunity to look at the current codes and discuss said codes without necessarily suggesting sweeping changes unless the Board chooses to make changes. He stated that the United States Supreme Court, in a land mark decision, has recently upheld the St. Johns County Anti-Nudity Ordinance banning public nudity in public places. He explained that, in recent years, the Courts have been allowing more regulation of adult type businesses, and the United States Supreme Court has just issued a decision on a New York City ordinance which upheld New York City requiring that all adult businesses in Times Square move to a new location. He stated that the courts are giving local governments the ability to regulate where adult entertainment businesses are located and what can occur inside of the businesses. He stated that Ms. Melanie Marsh, Assistant County Attorney, was present to discuss Alternative/Additional Provisions; and Ms. Valerie Fuchs, Assistant County Attorney, was present to discuss current Lake County Code Provisions.

Ms. Valerie Fuchs, Assistant County Attorney, stated that currently Chapter 3, Section 3-3. provides that nudity is prohibited in a commercial establishment at which alcoholic beverages are offered for sale for consumption on or off the premises or for any person maintaining, leasing or operating any bottle club, hotel, motel, restaurant, nightclub or similar establishment where a product or article is sold. She directed the Board's attention to the Permitted Use Chart and explained that Adult Uses are permitted only as Conditional Uses in C2 (Community Commercial) and CP (Planned Commercial) zoning and subject to Section 3.07.00 of the Land Development Regulations which provides a list of uses subject to the special regulation that no adult entertainment activity shall be located within nor closer than one thousand five hundred (1,500) feet to the boundary of any residential zone. She noted that the code does not currently provide definition for residential zones.

Ms. Melanie Marsh, Assistant County Attorney, stated that, as the Board looks at future alternative provisions to the code, the Board can consider banning public nudity totally throughout the County and, more specifically, to adult entertainment establishments and regulate what goes on in said establishments. She stated that an ordinance like the St. Johns County Anti-Nudity Ordinance was grounded on the theory that it prevents secondary sex of not only adult entertainment but also discourages other type of criminal activity. She stated that, in addition to prohibiting public nudity, the Board can enact provisions which would cover the adult entertainment establishments and this type of legislation could affect zoning. She noted that the Orange County Anti-Nudity Ordinance was one of the most comprehensive adult entertainment ordinances in the state. At this time, she provided an overview of the regulations regarding adult entertainment and/or public nudity in the City of Eustis, City of Mount Dora, City of Tavares, City of Howey-in-the-Hills, City of Clermont, and the City of Umatilla.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the Lake County Sheriff's Office has used the current anti-nudity ordinance with the one establishment currently located in South Lake County. He discussed the complexity of the St. Johns County Anti-Nudity Ordinance and stated that he would support Lake County following the same concept as that of the St. Johns County Anti-Nudity Ordinance, upheld by the United States Supreme Court, to eliminate any attack on Lake County's Adult Entertainment Ordinance. He stated that it was the recommendation of staff that the reference in the Land Development Regulations to residential zones be modified to provide clarification.

Mr. VanNess Kim, a resident in South Lake County, expressed concern that the location of the adult entertainment facility in South Lake County was not appropriate because of the large residential boom occurring in the area. He stated that a mobile home park was located within 500 feet of the facility and this type of commercial entity was not appropriate for the children in the area. He stated that said facilities should be located in commercial areas and should have a minimum setback of fifteen hundred (1,500) feet of residential property.

Commr. Hanson stated that she would prefer that the Board be more pro-active at this time rather than to deal with adult entertainment issues later.

Commr. Swartz stated that he was not particularly interested in developing an ordinance as detailed as the Orange County Anti-Nudity Ordinance but was interested in seeing Lake County prohibit that activity to the extent legally possible rather that regulate it.

Mr. Minkoff stated that, if the Board gives direction to come back with the nudity ordinance and additional regulations, staff would like to get input from the Sheriff's Department, the Lake County League of Cities and the public before scheduling one or more additional workshops.

Commr. Pool requested that the Sheriff's Office frequently visit the adult entertainment establishment in South Lake County to assure compliance with the regulations; at which time Mr. Minkoff stated that he would follow up with this request.

Ms. Linda Rozar, Concerned Citizens of Florida, encouraged the Board to entertain banning public nudity and to establish greater restrictions for adult entertainment businesses. She expressed her appreciation to those who were responsible for bringing this issue to the attention of the Board on behalf of all of the mothers of children.

Commr. Cadwell directed staff to bring back to the Board the proposed Adult Entertainment Ordinance for further review.

There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15 p.m.

_________________________________ WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN