The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 22, 2000, 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: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson, Vice Chairman; Robert A. Pool; G. Richard Swartz, Jr.; and Rhonda H. Gerber. Others present were: Sue Whittle, County Manager; Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Supervisor, Board of County Commissioner's Office; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Hanson stated that she has an addition to the agenda, which she believes will take a vote by the Board. She stated that the issue pertains to a request for a waiver of the mandatory connection hookup in the City of Eustis. The sewer lines are close enough, but they are on the other side of the highway and will create a major impact on the individual. She stated that the City of Eustis is willing to allow the hookup, and staff is aware of the issue.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place the item brought forth by Commr. Hanson on the agenda.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, requested that Tab 8, the issue regarding the request to advertise the transferring of the Codification of Water Quality Requirements and Shoreline Protection, be postponed until the first meeting in March.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he has an update on the Fruitland Park annexation, and he also has the information on the Transportation Disadvantaged that the Board had requested on Friday.
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, requested that Tabs 1, 2, 3, and 4 be pulled for discussion. She updated the Board on the each of the requests as follows:
Tab 1. Ameritech Library Services has changed its name to Epixtech Inc., and everything in the contract is the same except for the name change.
Tab 2. The RFP for court reporting services was awarded to Geraldine Kerr & Associates, Inc. in the amount of $145,000.
Tab 3. The RFP for the Montverde Small Area Study was awarded to the Genesis Group in an amount not to exceed $100,000. It was noted by the County Attorney that Tab 3 would also include the approval of an agreement with the developer who will be reimbursing the County.
Tab 4. The Joint Resolution between Metroplan Orlando and the Lake County Board of County Commissioners needed to be pulled and it will be rescheduled.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager's Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 6, with the exception of Tab 4, as follows, and with the information provided by Ms. Whittle:
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Libraries
Request for approval and signature on the Software, Hardware and Peripheral Preferred Maintenance Agreement between Epixtech Inc. and the Lake County Library System in the amount of $36,019.26.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Courts-Judges
Request for authorization to award RFP 00-005, encumber funds and authorize contract, subject to County Attorney approval, to Geraldine Kerr & Associates, Inc., for the court reporting services for the Fifth Judicial Circuit in and for Lake county and the Lake County Court, in the amount of $145,000.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Growth Management
Request for authorization to award RFP 00-034, encumber funds and authorize contract, subject to County Attorney approval, to Genesis Group, for the Montverde Small Area Study, in an amount not to exceed $100,000.00. This request also includes approval of an agreement with the developer who will be reimbursing the County.
Accounts Allowed/Bonds/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Subdivisions
Request for authorization to accept a maintenance bond for Upson Downs Phase 1 Subdivision in the amount of $28,160.00, execute a Developer's Agreement between Lake County and Dynamic Properties of Greater Florida, Inc., and release a performance bond in the amount of $281,600.00.
Accounts Allowed/Bonds/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Resolutions/Subdivisions
Request to accept the final plat for Woodridge Phase III subdivision, execute a Developer's Agreement between Lake County and Maesbury Homes, Inc. for Maintenance of Improvements, accept a maintenance bond in the amount of $16,082.00, and accept Cedarwood Way "Part" (County Road Number 2-0163B) into the County road maintenance system, Resolution No. 2000-23.
CASE NO. CUP#99/12/2-4 - CUP in A - JAMES & SHELLY HAYES
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, stated that staff was recommending approval of a request for a CUP in A (Agriculture) for a mobile home for temporary care of the infirm. Ms. Farrell stated that the applicants received a variance from the Board of Adjustments to place a second unit specifically designed for wheelchair access on this particular two acre parcel in the Eustis area. She noted that the Planning and Zoning Commission was recommending approval of the request.
The Chairman opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. It was noted that the applicant was present.
There being no one present who wished to speak in opposition to the request, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved Case No. CUP#99/12/2-4, James and Shelly K. Hayes, the request for a CUP in A (Agriculture) for a mobile home for temporary care of the infirm, Tracking #14-00-CUP, Ordinance 2000-10.
CASE NO. CUP#00/2/1-4 - CUP in A - TROY & DIANA JOHNSON
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, stated that staff was recommending denial of a request for a CUP in A (Agriculture) to allow the placement of a manufactured home on site for residential purposes, with an existing mobile home used for caretaker's purposes. Ms. Farrell explained that there was no real agriculture use for care of the infirm. The applicants wanted somebody to live on the site to provide security, and the County Code only provides for that in industrial commercial zoning. She noted that there is already a mobile home on the site.
Discussion occurred regarding the possibility of a lot split, with Ms. Farrell explaining that someone would have to be on a County maintained paved road to do a lot split. The applicants are in the A-1-20 area, so they would probably run into problems, if they did a five acre lot split. Ms. Farrell stated that they could go down to one acre with a family member.
The Chairman opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Ms. Diane Johnson, applicant, addressed the Board and stated that she was under the impression that the Planning and Zoning Commission had approved the request. Ms. Johnson explained that they were making the request because they have farm equipment on the site, and there have been multiple burglaries there. She stated that they had some people come in who have enhanced the property and provided security. Ms. Johnson stated that she and her children will be moving to the site soon, and she would like to have them there to help her. She noted that the acreage was originally bought in 1987 as two five (5) acre lots, and they are being taxed as two five (5) acre lots.
Ms. Farrell explained that the property is being recognized as one ten (10) acre parcel.
Commr. Hanson explained that, if the children of the applicants are coming, they could do a family lot split, if this request is denied. The applicants would have to put the property in their names, and they would have to build on it, or put a mobile home on it right away.
There being no one present who wished to speak in opposition to the request, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Commr. Hanson questioned what the fees would be, if the applicants immediately moved forward on the family lot split.
Ms. Farrell noted that the fees would be under $300, and the staff research would be about the same. She further noted that staff has the ability to waive fees, if staff has already done the research.
Ms. Johnson stated that there is no farming operations on the property at this time, and she would be willing to go the route of the family lot split, in order to be on the property.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board overturned the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and denied Case CUP#00/2/1-4, Troy and Diane Johnson, a request for a CUP in A (Agriculture) to allow placement of a manufactured home on site for residential purposes, with an existing mobile home used for caretaker's purposes, Tracking #12-00-CUP, with the recommendation that the applicant come forward with a family lot split.
Commr. Hanson noted that there was some understanding that, if the applicants moved forward quickly, there may be some help available with their fees.
CASE PH#7-00-2 - A to R-1 - RAYMOND & JANE TAYLOR
Commr. Swartz declared a conflict of interest and noted that the owners of the property are relatives.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, stated that staff was recommending approval of a request for rezoning from A (Agriculture) to R-1 (Rural Residential). She noted that there was no opposition to the request, and the Planning and Zoning Commission approved it 9 to 0. Staff believed that the R-1 was a good transition in that area, from basically the agricultural nature of the whole area, and the more rural village of the Ferndale area. There are some wetlands on the site, however, even in the R-1, they can cluster.
The Chairman opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Gary Brock addressed the Board and stated that his property borders directly on the property in question, and he questioned what type of residential would be placed on the property.
Ms. Farrell explained that the applicants can get nine single family residential units on the property, with no mobile homes. There is no minimum lot size, however, it is just nine units on the nine acres, which would be equivalent to one dwelling unit per acre.
There being no further public comment, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board upheld the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approved PH#7-00-2, Raymond and Jane Taylor, a request for rezoning from A (Agriculture) to R-1 (Rural Residential), Tracking #10-00-Z, Ordinance 2000-11.
Commr. Swartz had declared a conflict of interest and did not vote.
CASE PH#57-99-2 - AMENDMENT TO THE EXISTING MP - H. LANCIANI & THOMAS & ERNEST RODRIGUEZ - RINKER MATERIALS CORPORATION (CSR RINKER) - TRACKING #8-00-MP/AMD
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, stated that staff had received a request for a 30 day postponement for a request for an amendment to the existing MP zoning (Ordinance #5-85) to allow a concrete batch plant.
The Chairman opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment on the request for postponement. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0, the Board approved to postpone Case PH#57-99-2, H. Lanciani & Thomas & Ernest Rodriguez, Rinker Materials Corporation (CSR Rinker), Tracking #8-00-MP/AMD, for 30 days.
CASE #53-99-4 - AMENDMENT TO PUD ORDINANCE #40-91 - CROSS-TIE RANCH - TIMOTHY W. GREEN/GREEN CONSULTING GROUP INC.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, stated that this particular request was postponed in January, and as of last week, the request has changed dramatically from the original request. The applicants are now requesting permission to add pasture for cattle and horses, as an interim permitted use for Phase III. Ms. Farrell explained that it was a very controversial request, and staff is now able to recommend approval. She noted that, in regards to some discussion on part of the opposition as to the time limit for the agricultural use of that phase, staff is not in a position today to recommend whether there should be a time limit on this use, until such time they develop Phase III. Staff has recommended approval to amend the ordinance. Ms. Farrell noted that the request pertains to 455 acres, with the entire PUD having 690 acres. She stated that staff is comfortable with this particular request, because it allows the owner to utilize the property while he is waiting for the development to move forward.
The Chairman opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Robert Vason, Attorney, addressed the Board and stated that he is appearing on behalf of the owners of the property, Jon and Rita Rackley, and Tim Green, Green Consulting Group Inc. Mr. Vason stated that their initial application was for all general agricultural uses, and there was adamant opposition from some of the 33 homes in the development. He noted that there were 14 letters of opposition in the file. Mr. Vason stated that they have amended the request to limit the use to pasturage for horses and cows, but they are opposed to any time limitation being imposed by the Board. He presented information pertaining to some of the past financial misfortunes of the previous developer and stated that they did not want to get themselves in a situation where they are compelled, or forced, to develop at any time frame, because nobody knows what the future holds, or what the economy will be like in the future. He stated that, if the Board approves the request, he was suggesting that the Board allow the economic forces of the marketplace dictate the timing for the future development. Mr. Vason noted that the Greens and the Rackleys were present to answer questions of the Board.
Commr. Swartz stated that it sounded like that same argument could have been used when the initial development was requested, and it is clear that the marketplace has not worked in favor of the developer the first time through.
Commr. Hanson stated that the property has gone through several owners, and there has been financial problems, but the market is there, and if it was developed, it would sell.
Mr. Vason stated that the initial request was for general agriculture. His client, Mr. Rackley, is in the nursery growing business, and there was some concern that he would be covering the 455 acres with greenhouses. He noted that his Mr. Rackley does have 120 to 140 existing acres on the west side of this development, of which 30 or 40 are in greenhouses, and he has been there since 1971 or 1972. He does grow containerized plants, and he is also in the forestry business. He owns property off of Britt Road, which he has in pasture, and he has many other different agricultural endeavors.
Ms. Leslie Campione, Attorney, addressed the Board and stated that she had filed a Notice of Appearance earlier in this proceeding for a number of residents at Cross-Tie Ranch. Ms. Campione noted that the Minutes of the Planning and Zoning Commission contained in the backup material indicate that it was quite a lengthy meeting, and there was a lot of evidence presented, and the real fear, at that time, was that, if there was no limitation on the types of agricultural uses that could go on that property, then perhaps the owners of Cross-Tie Ranch would be looking at greenhouses. The primary concern was that, with an open door on any agricultural uses, they could be looking at rows and rows of greenhouses where they would have been riding their horses on the 170 acres of open space that was required in this PUD ordinance. Ms. Campione addressed the comment made by Commr. Swartz regarding the property not being market ready when it was approved in the early 1990s, and stated that, prior to the applicant amending their application, she had consulted with a real estate appraiser. When this subdivision was platted initially, the lots were sold very quickly, and the same thing occurred when they opened the second phase. Then there were problems with the developer, and they have seen the values go down as much as ten percent. The appraisers attribute the uncertainty, at this point, to who is going to take care of the common areas. Ms. Campione explained that, if you take out Phase III, then you leave the owners in Phases I and II with the entire burden of maintaining the open spaces and the common areas. She further explained that the higher maintenance common areas are the ones that are in Phases I and II, whereas the open space is primarily in Phase III. She explained that the people would prefer to have the homes instead of the pasture, because with the homes comes 170 acres of equestrian trails that run into Phase III, and with the homes comes additional contributions to their homeowners association fees. It was important for their position to be stated, that they ultimately want to see this property developed according to the master PUD plan. She stated that they were sold an equestrian community, and they paid a premium price for their acreage. Ms. Campione stated that it is a commodity, and as time goes on, this property will only increase in value. She noted that, if the Board had read the Planning and Zoning Commission minutes, there was some confusion, because they were under the impression that the owner of the property was still the owner that filed the application, but they learned that Mr. Rackley had closed on the property the day before the meeting, so he knew about the PUD restrictions and there was no guarantee that, when he came before the Board, it would allow him the opportunity to open up the agricultural uses.
Commr. Cadwell explained that, if anyone was going to have a neighbor, they could not have a better one than Mr. Rackley, because he is one of the most innovative and environmentally sensitive individuals around in his type of business.
Ms. Campione stated that they were well aware of what Commr. Cadwell was stating about Mr. Rackley, and how he is recognized as a leader in his field of expertise.
Ms. Campione showed a diagram of the site, which illustrated the magnitude of the property that is under consideration today, which was Phase III, and stated that they had pointed out at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting the path that would allow school children to get over to the Seminole Springs School without leaving the subdivision. She noted the open space that was to be dedicated to the Lake County School Board, to be used for a sports field, and stated that there were some features about this PUD that they feel are valuable and should be kept intact. Ms. Campione stated that she was asking the Board to preserve those features of the subdivision. She stated that, in the ordinance as it is written now by staff, it provides that the agricultural uses would be allowed for a period of no longer than five years, and then platting would have to begin in increments of 30 lots. Ms. Campione stated that she was in total agreement with the limitation, and she feels this is a reasonable way to address their desire to obtain an agricultural exemption on the property while they look for a developer, but there is language at the end of the time limitation provision, as follows: Page 3: "2. Time Limitation - If the owner developer does not comply with these provisions the Board of County Commissioners may elect to remove the remaining acreage from the PUD and return the zoning to Agriculture at a density consistent with the densities allowed in the Wekiva River Protection Area." Ms. Campione stated that she feels that this language could result in Phase I and II being entirely inconsistent with the County's Comprehensive Plan. She explained that, if you take the property out, and it reverts to agriculture and it is no longer a part of the PUD, then Phases I and II have densities that are not allowable in the Wekiva.
Commr. Hanson stated that there would be no need to have that particular language in the PUD, because it would just have to be renewed in five years.
Ms. Campione requested that the language she referred to be stricken and that the five years remain intact. She suggested that the agricultural operation be allowed to continue for a five year period, and the language containing the reference to the 30 lots being platted, as noted, be eliminated.
Mr. Vason addressed the Board and asked for clarification of the language in the proposed ordinance. He referred to the Analysis, as reported on Page 2 of the Staff Report, and noted that he has not seen the draft ordinance, but he was under the impression that, if they amended the request to simply add, as an agricultural use, pasturage for horses and cows, and take nothing away from the existing PUD, all of the other issues that were in the draft of the proposed ordinance would go away, with the exception of Ms. Campione's request to impose a time limit.
Commr. Gerber questioned, if the use was added to the PUD, and Mr. Rackley is the owner of the remaining lots, would he be agreeable to pay the monthly maintenance fees for the tennis courts and other commodities.
Mr. Vason felt that several issues were being mixed together today, and those would be the rights of the residents, or the current owners of the property, under the zoning laws of Lake County, and the proprietary rights, the ownership rights of the individual who happens to own either the individual lots, or in this case, the 455 acres of adjoining property. He stated that, although the entire 600 acres is zoned for a PUD, the 455 acres is not contained within the deed restrictions that impose those assessments, or that levy those assessments, so the sole issue before the Board today is the use of the 455 acres.
Commr. Swartz stated that he does not agree with Mr. Vason, with regards to these rights. He stated that the Board adopted a PUD, and in that PUD, it has a number of requirements, and those requirements are the basis on which, if someone bought into that development, he would expect that the County would ensure it to be developed as such and that would include the 173 acres of open space. He further stated that this is a part of the existing PUD and that needs to be honored. The other aspect would be to provide a school access through the recreation open space. Commr. Swartz stated that the 173 acres needs to remain intact, unless they are going to rezone out of the PUD, at which time the Board would be able to look and see whether or not it ought to allow the owners to get out of the PUD given the fact that people base their buying decisions on information provided by the developers and by the PUD. He feels that the 173 acres have to remain intact as part of the PUD, unless the Board was going to eliminate the PUD, and he did not feel that the Board could do that and still be truthful and fair to the people who have bought in there. He stated that the Board really ought to be insisting that the school access provision is met, and there is also a requirement in the PUD for an internal pedestrian/bicycle pathway network, and those requirements have to stay as a part of the PUD. Commr. Swartz stated that he will not vote to walk away from the requirements.
Commr. Hanson pointed out that the owners are leaving more acreage in open space by postponing the development of these lots. She explained that no one is arguing the 173 acres, and it can be fenced, because you can still today have horses in that open space, because this is an equestrian community. She noted that this was very similar to Commr. Swartz's argument and presentation he made a couple of years ago when the Board talked about having open space for purposes other than a golf course.
Commr. Swartz explained that the owners are going to take an area that was designated as open space for the benefit of the residents and turn it into a CUP for agriculture for the grazing of cattle and horses.
Mr. Vason explained that zoning laws, for the most part, are permissive and not mandatory. He stated that you cannot make a developer pull a building permit and develop the property. He further stated that the economic forces of the marketplace dictate those things. He stated that the zoning laws tell a particular owner what he can do with a particular piece of property, if he owns it, but they do not grant to other owners any proprietary rights, with the point being that the existing lot owners in Cross-Tie Ranch own the individual lots, and perhaps pursuant to the deed restrictions, have certain rights in the common areas that are shown in the plats, which are Phase I and Phase II, but they have no proprietary rights, no ownership rights in Phase III, which are the 455 acres that are under consideration today. Mr. Vason explained that, when Mr. Rackley gets to the point where he feels the market will bear development of that additional property, he is bound by the PUD. He stated that they are not asking that anything be taken away from the PUD, and when he feels like it is ready to go forward, then he has got to come in and plat and do all of those things that are required by the PUD, but he does not have to do them today.
Commr. Swartz explained that there were some things that he had to do, such as dedicate the right-of-way and put in the turns lanes, which are a part of the PUD as well. At some point, he is required to provide the aspects that are in the PUD ordinance, and from a zoning standpoint, the owners that buy into a planned unit development have some rights to expect it to develop as it was approved, which is the basis upon which they were shown.
Mr. Vason explained that they are not trying to take anything away from the land owners, but they are simply trying to add, as an additional use, the lowest intensive agricultural use, until such time they feel that the development is ready to go forward. He noted that over the years there have been many other developments in the County that have sat until such time it was determined it was economically viable to go forward.
Discussion occurred regarding the time frame in the existing PUD, which has a provision that it was anticipated that the build out would take six years. It was noted that the entire subdivision is vested.
Mr. Vason explained that the ordinance was passed in 1991, and nine years later there have been 33 homes built out of a potential 210.
Commr. Pool questioned whether, on the Phase III of agricultural zoned properties, the existing property owners have the opportunity to put their horses on that pasture and/or ride over it some day.
Mr. Vason explained that Mr. Rackley owns the 455 acres, and he has proprietary rights, but there is the possibility that, at some point in the future, Mr. Rackley may be inclined to work out some arrangement with the homeowners, but he does not have to do that.
Ms. Farrell explained that, in the past, with the DRIs, staff has done non-substantial amendments to extend the time frames. The County Code provides for non-substantial amendments to DRIs, and this was done at staff level with South Lake, Pennbrooke, and Plantation. She noted that, if it was adding a use that was not previously permitted, then it would come back to the Board at a public hearing. Ms. Farrell stated that there are still a few things in the backup ordinance that will have to be changed, and the language under Time Limitation came forward because of the original request with the greenhouses.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he was concerned that, if the Board tried to use government strong-arm to force this developer to move forward and build Phase III, the whole process will fold again. He feels that giving them the pasture land behind them is the best thing the Board can do. If they are forced to develop the property, and the market is not there, it will fold, and then at some point they can vacate the rest of the PUD, and then the economics spoken about by Ms. Campione does not work at that point either.
Commr. Swartz clarified that he was not suggesting that there could not be a way that this could be done, but he thinks that the request before the Board is not the appropriate way to do it. He discussed the Mount Plymouth golf course, which was a part of the plat of the subdivision, and stated that it was drawn on the plat no differently than it is contemplated that 173 acres of open space is part of this development. Commr. Swartz directed the Board's attention to the language on Page 4 of the original ordinance, which states the following:
IV. Transportation Improvements
VI. Recreation and Open Space
Commr. Swartz stated that the fact that there is another owner of that 455 acres, in terms of this PUD, is immaterial. These provisions were put upon the original owners and any subsequent owners. He stated that he was not suggesting that the Board force the developer to try and go forward, but it seems the plan needs to incorporate what the PUD says, because that is the basis which an owner was presented as part of their purchase. He further stated that he feels the Board would make a mistake if it does anything that lessens the chance, or reduces the obligations, for them to be there. Commr. Swartz stated that the owner of the land within the PUD could come back with a plan and show what is required in the PUD, and he would probably be very supportive of voting to allow the balance, which was platted as homes and lots, to be used for that purpose.
The Chairman called for further public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that this is typically an old PUD, and today the County would try and tie dedication requirements to particular phases. Mr. Minkoff stated that, where the PUD currently has mandatory requirements, it may very well be that the County could use Code Enforcement and enforce those requirements. He felt that it is true that, as Mr. Vason had said, the Board cannot force them to develop lots, but to the extent that the PUD says you have to put in a trail by a certain date, the Board could enforce that on this property owner, because his land is subject to the PUD. He clarified that all of the affirmative duties of the developer could be enforced through Code Enforcement. There is a clear obligation legally on the owner/developer of this property to do these things. Mr. Minkoff stated that usually the County uses the risk of taking away the vesting making the project lose its rights, at which point, and in this case, it would be able to develop at a much less density.
Commr. Cadwell reopened the public hearing to allow Mr. Rackley to speak.
Mr. Jon Rackley stated that he owns Phase III of the Cross-Tie Ranch, and he would like to be able to use this property for the grazing of cattle, to reduce the taxes on it, while he is waiting to either sell the property, or develop it himself. Mr. Rackley stated that the common areas in the present Cross-Tie Ranch are not being maintained at this time. He stated that he would like to be able to use this property indefinitely, hopefully less than five years, but if more than five years, he felt that the economic attitude of the area will dictate when it is time to sell or move on with the property. Mr. Rackley stated that he would like the Board's approval to use the land for cattle and/or horses, and for liability reasons, he cannot see that he is obligated to let anyone, from adjacent properties, ride on this property. He noted that the way the laws are written he is absolutely vulnerable to someone being hurt on that land, which is his main reason for wanting to fence it and put cattle on it, in addition to reducing the tax on it. He further noted that he bought the property six weeks ago, and he was aware of the PUD ordinance and that he is bound by all of the conditions of the PUD. He is not asking to be relieved from those conditions other than to use the property for cattle and horses.
Commr. Swartz explained that the ordinance provided that the open space would be there and available for the property owners to use. He stated that, if that land is fenced off, they have no access to it, and it would seem that he would not be in compliance with the requirements of the PUD ordinance. He stated that staff and the owners and/or developers of the property, and possibly representatives for the existing homeowners, need to sit down and determine how to go about creating a situation where Mr. Rackley can use at least the non-open space requirement of the balance of the PUD for his grazing request, and in the interim, create the open space that would comply with the PUD.
Commr. Hanson stated that she can see both sides to the issue, particularly more so when the request was for the nursery, because she believes that the people that live in that subdivision have certain expectations and hopes that it is going to continue to be developed. There is also an economics of scale involved and it needs to be developed, in order to pay for this open space that is now no longer owned by the previous developer, but by an outside entity. The cost of the open space will be born by the lots that are platted and ultimately sold. With that being said, Commr. Hanson stated that she would not have been in favor of having the greenhouses in place, because that would have created a capital improvement that would have been very difficult to move later on, however, the compromise of having the grazing activities for horses and cattle is compatible, particularly since most of that property would be open space for horses and raising of horses.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Gerber, for the Board to approve Case #53-99-4, Cross-Tie Ranch - Timothy W. Green/Green Consulting Group, Inc., Tracking #76-99-PUD/AMD, and to set aside all staff requirements and add the ability to allow horses and cattle to graze on Phase III of the subdivision for a period of five years, and at the end of that five years, the applicant would come forward and again request an extension of that requirement, Ordinance 2000-12.
Under discussion, Commr. Pool clarified that it was not his intent that the Board mandate the use of Mr. Rackley's property for this recreational amenity, or grazing, but that there may be some lease or sublease opportunities, or some opportunity to utilize it, that may come forward that would allow for negotiation with the property owners, and he appreciated the concerns expressed for both sides, in terms of private property rights and their future rights. He did feel that the nursery was a bad idea.
Commr. Gerber stated that, in this case, she felt that the Board is offering them some security that, in five years time, the Board will still be looking at the same PUD and the same situation that they bought originally, and they are just adding a five year period of grace for this to occur, in which time hopefully the economy will support having homes out there.
Commr. Swartz stated that, if the motion passes, the Board will lose, for five years, at least the ability to try and straighten out the problems. He stated that there needs to be an active homeowners association created that is a part of this that provides for a method by which funding of the common area of recreation can be done. This would be the ideal time to solve that problem, and this would not be something that would keep Mr. Rackley from having any use of the property. He stated that the Board needs to understand that, when an owner buys a parcel that has been zoned particularly with a PUD and has conditions, he is accepting the requirements. It has nothing to do with taking away his private property rights, because he is actually giving up some of his rights, based on the ordinance that was in place at the time he bought the property. Commr. Swartz stated that he feels the Board is missing an opportunity to deal with this homeowner issue, and to deal with the common areas to ensure that some of the requirements of the PUD are met, which are really a promise from Lake County to the owner of those parcels.
Commr. Hanson stated that, from what she knows of Mr. Rackley, he will take this property and fence it and improve it and make it an asset to the community for a period of time.
Commr. Gerber stated that, as far as the homeowners association goes, they have to actively organize it under Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes.
Commr. Swartz stated that they have no rights under the existing ordinance, and the ordinance that the Board creates now gives rights to the homeowners association, and in fact, puts obligations and responsibilities on them to share in the upkeep of the various commodities, whether it be storm water, or common areas, and that will not happen unless it is part of this ordinance.
Ms. Campione stated that, in regards to the discussion on the homeowners association, there has been some confusion, because they do have a homeowners association, as it applies to Phases I and II, but that association will not have any authority over Phase III. She stated that they are going to have to look at some other laws to see to what extent that association has enforcement rights with regard to Phases I and II. She was of the understanding that the property owners have expressed desires to have the property developed, even though the Board cannot make Mr. Rackley develop at a certain time.
Commr. Hanson stated that this is probably the only way that the Board can go at this point and not destroy ultimately the PUD.
Ms. Campione stated that she does not agree that, by allowing Mr. Rackley to have an agricultural exemption for five years, it is going to really benefit this subdivision. She does feel that, if the Board had allowed greenhouses, it was going to be a terrible detriment. She stated that, in allowing him to do the pasture, it may prolong the possibility of development.
Commr. Swartz explained that the Board might be prejudging the fact that this property will get an agricultural exemption. It will still be a PUD, and there are parcels in the County that are zoned agriculture that have been denied an agricultural exemption, because of possibly the zoning, or the location, and what the real intent is of the parcel. The Board should not presuppose that Mr. Ed Havill, Property Appraiser, is going to grant an agricultural waiver on this parcel, even if it is rezoned to a CUP under these conditions.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried by a 4-1 vote. Commr. Swartz voted "no".
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:30 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a ten minute recess.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
IMPACT FEES/PUBLIC WORKS
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, discussed the request for approval to advertise the new Transportation Impact Fee rate structure for banks and approval of the new rate structure and a new category for Active Adult Communities. Mr. Minkoff explained that this request resulted from several challenges that the County was receiving from particularly banks, as well as Pennbrooke, and another community, the Legacy, which is in the city limits of Leesburg, who are claiming that their traffic generation rates are less than normal single family houses. The Board approved several months ago to have Tindale-Oliver go back and study these two particular groups. He stated that the Board approved for staff to bring back an ordinance, which would change the chart for banks and create a new category for adult active community residential. Mr. Minkoff noted that it would significantly decrease the banks, and it decreases the active adult and the three bedroom by a fair amount, and there is no significant change in the two bedrooms and four bedrooms.
The Board postponed action on this issue, until such time additional information could be provided for review.
REPORTS - COUNTY ATTORNEY
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, updated the Board on the annexation issue, which involves the City of Fruitland Park. Mr. Minkoff stated that, since last week, staff has met with Mr. Gary Cooney, the City Attorney, and they have now gotten copies of the minutes from the City's Planning and Zoning Meeting, and the City Council meetings to review. He stated that he was still not certain that the annexation ordinance created an enclave, and he has not verified this point, but all of the participants seem to accept that it did create one. With regard to talking to the City about extending the jurisdictional time frame, Mr. Minkoff stated that the City does not meet again until Thursday night. He stated that Mr. Cooney seemed inclined to recommend the extension to his Council, so that they can amicably work out these issues. The setbacks in the City are the same as the County, but the issue is whether or not these mobile homes will be considered structures subject to the setback. He explained that the mobile homes appear to be ten feet from the right-of-way. The setback is 50 feet from the right-of-way, but if the mobile homes are not structures under the City ordinance, they may be able to stay ten feet and not 50 feet back. Mr. Minkoff explained that, if the Council does not approve the extension of the time frame, for 30 days, then the County would have to file by Friday, if it wished to contest the annexation.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the extension of the jurisdictional time frame, to be presented at the City Council meeting on Thursday night, and if it is not approved, the County Attorney will move forward and file an appeal by Friday, in regards to the annexation at Highways 27/441 in Fruitland Park (Resolution 2000-24).
Mr. Don Barfield addressed the Board and explained that it was his understanding that the Florida Statutes indicate that the County would have the same 30 days as an individual in the City, and that the intergovernmental 30 days does not pertain to this particular Statute. He stated that time is of the essence, and next Monday is the deadline.
Mr. Minkoff explained that Mr. Barfield does not have any due process rights to challenge the annexation, even though he has indicated that he is the most affected party. Under current law, the courts have clearly determined that a resident of the County does not have the right to challenge an annexation, and it is not violative of his due process rights to not have that right.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director of Growth Management, stated that staff was pleased to come to the Board the second year in a row with the presentation of a check to Habitat for Humanity in the amount of $8,915.16. Ms. Farrell stated that, under the direction of Mr. Dale Greiner, Building Services Director, this department continues to train and do community outreach, and this is one that staff if particularly proud of because Mr. Mike Holt, who is a professional that travels the circuit, lives in Lake County, and he works with the County staff. She stated that they raised approximately $1,200 more than last year.
Ms. Marge McNish, Habitat for Humanity, addressed the Board and stated that she wanted to tell the Board that the County's Building Department is very user friendly. Ms. McNish stated that Affordable Housing, of which they are a part of, really does see the benefits of having a building department that helps them. She stated that this is the second year for her to accept the check. Ms. McNish stated that the Building Department, including Mr. Dale Greiner, Ms. Sharon Farrell, and Mr. Jay Dagner, Chief Electrical Inspector, are very important to them. She informed the Board that Habitat for Humanity will be finishing its 52nd house, which means that over 450 people have gone from poverty housing into homes. The 53rd house will begin next month. Ms. McNish extended her thanks to the Board and staff, as well as thanks from those individuals living in the homes.
Ms. Farrell extended her appreciation to staff members who worked very hard on this event. Those individuals included Mr. Jay Dagner, Ms. Carmen Carroll, Ms. Cindy Steele, and Ms. Deborah Kohler.
On the behalf of the County Commissioners, Commr. Cadwell presented Ms. McNish with a check in the amount of $8,915.16.
IMPACT FEES/PUBLIC WORKS (CONTINUED)
Mr. Fred Schneider, Director of Engineering, addressed the Board to discuss the request for approval to advertise the new Transportation Impact Fee rate structure for banks and approval of the new rate structure and a new category for Active Adult Communities. Mr. Schneider explained that credit unions are a separate use under the current Impact Fee Ordinance. He explained that there were a number of banks challenging the current fee, which was $23,000 to $24,000 per 1,000 square feet of building area. In its comparison, Orange County is currently charging $13,000; Marion County $10,000; and Volusia County quite a bit less. Mr. Schneider explained that staff looked at four different banks, and Tindale-Oliver added them to their current existing data base of Banks of Florida, and then determined trip generation rates and trip length data, which were incorporated into the formula and gave them the revised fee for the current bank.
Commr. Gerber explained that the original concern that came to her was that there are credit unions being built, and the impact fee that they were being charged was not close to what the banks were being charged, so the bankers felt that this was an unfair advantage, because they do exactly the same thing. She questioned the action being taken to lower the banks, and whether the credit unions were still even lower.
Mr. Minkoff stated that this was one issue, but the main issue was the challenge that came from at least six banks.
Mr. Schneider explained that staff was looking at the category of banks and the Board had approved for staff to look at the whole issue of impact fees for transportation and all of the categories including credit unions, and this will be done sometime at the end of this year. He stated that the banks will drop from $23,000 plus, to approximately $8,000 per 1,000 square feet of buildable area. The current rate for a credit union with a drive-thru is $6,675, which is a lot closer. Mr. Schneider stated that the challenges on residential came from retirement type communities. Staff studied the trip generation rates and trip lengths in three communities in Lake County, which were Kings Ridge, Pennbrooke Fairways, and Royal Highlands, and they found that the trip lengths were higher than the current rates for single family homes, but the trip generation rates were less.
Commr. Pool stated that Pennbrooke is pretty well built out, and Kings Ridge is really in its first phases, so there might be a lot of people coming and going just to preview and potentially purchase in the Kings Ridge development.
Mr. Schneider explained that, for active adult communities, staff did not necessarily use bedrooms, because right now the single family residential goes by two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom. So staff plugs it into the three bedroom rate, and for these communities, regardless of the number of bedrooms, a flat rate per unit will be charged, which is about 82% of the current three bedroom home, and that would be $1,042 per unit versus $1,268. The rates for two bedrooms would be $1,023 and four bedrooms would be $2,037 for single family residential.
Commr. Gerber stated that she has been told for years that the Board cannot change bits and pieces of this study without redoing the whole study.
Mr. Minkoff explained that staff redid the study for these two classifications. He stated that the ordinance has always provided that you could submit studies to change the rate, and that is what happened in these two categories, and now staff is recommending that the two changes be made. The staff recommendation has been to go back and look at all of the categories, but these are the two where the County has had challenges.
Commr. Swartz questioned the meaning of the following language on Page 5, Paragraph 2, and Page 8, the last paragraph: "Prior to making any changes to the individual variables used in the calculation of impact fees, a comprehensive impact fee update analysis should be completed."
Mr. Schneider responded that it means that the current formula that is being used is 15 years old, which means it is outdated in terms of calculating the impact fee, but it has been adopted by the County, and the County has to use it, if it wants to plug back in trip generation and trip length.
Mr. Minkoff stated that Mr. Steve Tindale will be at the public hearing, and he believes he is going to recommend to the Board that these changes be made, and he believes that Mr. Schneider is correct in saying that Mr. Tindale believes that the County's formula is outdated and perhaps does not currently reflect the fairness that is necessary in impact fees.
Commr. Swartz stated that he talked to Mr. Bill Oliver, and he believes they do have some misgivings about it in part, because of some of the questions that would legitimately occur in any impact fee calculation. He thought that, in the past when the County calculated the impact fees, it was using trip distance from some reliable source, but it has not been. The County has been using, in some cases, the data base that existed at the time it was done with Reynolds, Smith & Hill (RS&H), and now it is using what Tindale-Oliver has developed. So there are some variables in there that raise question, but he was also told about another concern, which was the equal protection issue. Commr. Swartz stated that, however you adopt impact fees in that study, everybody gets allocated their share, based on all of these variables being used and based on the population of moving in, you are going to generate an amount based on those fees. He stated that the County is going to collect less money now, but the road need is the same. These people are now going to be paying less than the full share, so you could make a case that everybody else is wrong, and maybe they should be even higher to make up the difference of what the County is losing here. Commr. Swartz stated that the other point is that, with regard to the residential, he was told by Mr. Oliver that three bedroom is probably not paying too much, and probably what they are paying is close to being the right amount. You could make a case that the other three bedroom are not paying enough and they should even be higher.
Mr. Minkoff stated that they are all related to each other, so if they are paying too little, or all paying too much, that is where you deal with the equal protection, but the genesis for these is that the County has studies that have been submitted, under the current code, from banks and retirement communities done by their independent engineers showing their impact being much less than even these numbers. Under the County Code that has been in effect since 1991, or 1993 when it was revised, they have the option to come in and do that and the County is required to give them the lower rate, and the County had nothing to rebut those studies. So staff got the study from Tindale-Oliver to set these rates so all banks and all retirement communities would be treated the same. Mr. Minkoff stated that there is an admission from the staff that the entire study needs to be done, and this recommendation has been made to the Board over the last year, but in terms of equal protection, this way is better. He noted that some of the payments are pending the results of this study where the County has agreed with them that they could pay under protest.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would prefer for the Board to move forward and approve to have this issue advertised, and if they bring forward something during the discussion, then it can be addressed at that time, and it will not hold up the process.
Mr. Schneider noted that staff added the four banks in Lake County into 12 others that Tindale-Oliver had in their data base, for a total of 16 site studies, to determine the weighted averages. There is no ITE category for adult communities. He stated that First Federal was the first to come through, so before staff even had this study done, it looked at trip lengths out of the Tindale-Oliver base, which was 2.4 to 2.5, and it recommended that this trip length be used for the bank. Mr. Schneider stated that right now the County is pretty close to what is being shown by Tindale-Oliver, at least for First Federal.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the question today is whether the Board wants to go ahead and advertise this or to have them come forward and make a presentation before advertising.
Commr. Gerber questioned whether staff was going to move forward with a full study.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, stated that staff is moving forward with a full study, and the RFP is being developed right now.
Mr. Minkoff noted that staff has challenges from several banks including South Trust and Florida Choice, and they have tried to resolve them with Pennbrooke where the County has accepted their study pending completion of the County's study, but they are currently paying less than this amount under the agreement it has made with them. The Legacy at Leesburg is pending as well.
Mr. Schneider stated that staff has some new procedures in place for the studies and now they should be done, so anybody else that comes in from that point forward, last June, they would be doing the studies themselves and there would be some specific requirements on how they are done.
Commr. Swartz stated that, theoretically, if everything else stayed the same as it is today, even the cost of roads, if you reduced retirement community three bedroom, then the non-retirement community three bedroom would have to go up to make up the difference. He is not sure that the $8,000 number being presented is the right number, because you are now plugging different factors into a formula.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved to advertise the ordinance for the new Transportation Impact Fee rate structure for banks and the new rate structure and a new category for Active Adult Communities.
Commr. Swartz voted "no".
REPORTS - COUNTY ATTORNEY
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/STATE AGENCIES
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that Friday at the Board's Retreat, he was asked if the County has a current contract with LifesStreams for Transportation Disadvantaged. The County has one that was dated in October, but the contract only governs the payment of the match to LifeStream. In the current agreement, it is $31,462 match and $27,000 in capital investments for equipment. The main Transportation Disadvantaged contract is between the State and LifeStream. The County's contract is terminable upon 30 days notice, in which case the County would prorate the amount of money it paid, and the State agreement can also be canceled, but it is also prorated on that basis.
Comm. Swartz stated that the arrangement that Transportation Disadvantaged has with the Villages is out of the County's range, so they are going to have to meet whatever commitments they made to the Villages in return for whatever payments they received.
Discussion occurred regarding the rider ship not being there even during the busiest season, and the desire of the Board to put more money behind the grant, once it runs out.
Commr. Swartz stated that they have talked repeatedly with the Transportation Disadvantaged Board about the only way that route can be feasible and cost effective.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to adhere to the contract the County currently has with LifeStream and to make those payments that are consistent with that contract and not to fund at a higher level than it is currently funding. It was noted that this would be the Transportation Disadvantaged portion of LifeStream.
Commr. Cadwell noted that he would get with the Villages to review their contract with the Transportation Disadvantaged.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
Commr. Pool stated that the Fiscal Retreat was very informative, as far as services the County is trying to provide, and where the needs are and how the County may have to either raise taxes, cut services, or find an opportunity to enhance and utilize impact fees. He feels that this Board should look closely, as the new people pour into the area, for potentially a library impact fee, recreation impact fee, or some other way to ensure that the existing residents do not pay a disproportionate fare of what is coming, and at some point in the future, spend some more time on the impact fees.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT #4
Commr. Hanson informed the Board that she received a call a couple of weeks ago from a lady that is putting in an affordable house outside the City of Eustis. The County requires that she hook up to mandatory sewer rather than septic tank, but it would create substantial hardship for her to have to go under the road. The City of Eustis is agreeing with this and the County would have to approve a waiver.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Growth Management, stated that she met with representatives of the City of Eustis, and noted that the City has actual criteria when they do not make people hook up. Ms. Farrell stated that she has a letter from the City of Eustis, but she did not have time to get this on as a regular agenda item.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to grant a waiver, for the individual who is putting in an affordable house outside of the City of Eustis, as stated, with it being noted that staff does have a letter from the City of Eustis, who is in agreement.
Commr. Hanson stated that she would like to request staff to look into letting the County Manager make the decision for a waiver, when a sewer system is not available and an individual is faced with having to go under a major road.
Ms. Farrell stated that this issue has been discussed, because the Comprehensive Plan really does not address availability, but the State language does, and staff would like to clean up that language.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - DISTRICT #5 - CHAIRMAN
Commr. Cadwell reminded the Board that Thursday night is the Economic Development Council's (EDC) annual dinner where Mr. Carl Lunderstadt will be honored as the EDC's person of the year.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK