The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 4, 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 Chair; Rhonda H. Gerber; Robert A. Pool; and G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Others present were: Sue Whittle, County Manager; Valerie Fuchs, Assistant County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Supervisor, Board of County Commissioner's Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
STUDENT GOVERNMENT DAY
Commr. Cadwell announced that students from various high schools in the County were participating in Student Government Day and were present at the meeting today. At this time, the Commissioners and Department Heads introduced the students that would be "shadowing" them for the day.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, noted that Proclamation No. 2000-39, declaring April 3 through 9, 2000 as National Public Health Week, requires approval prior to the presentation to Dr. John Pellosie. She noted that a published Addendum No. 1 had been added to the Agenda.
Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance, noted a correction to of the Clerk's Agenda, Item 6, changing the total for unclaimed excess proceeds for tax deeds from $107,152.87 to $17,258.56.
CLERK OF COURT'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:
Bonds - Contractor
Request for approval of Contractor Bond Cancellation, as follows:
5616-99 Florida Roofing Technicians, Inc.
Request for approval of Satisfaction and Release of Fine - Frank J. McEvoy, 706 Sunshower Lane, Lady Lake, FL 32159, Reduction of Order of Fine, in the amount of $500.00, dated February 25, 2000, and authorized proper signature on same. Recorded in Official Records Book 1798, pages 1865 and 1866, of the Public Records of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Lake County, Florida on the 1st day of March, 2000.
Request for approval of Satisfaction of Judgment - State of Florida vs. Kelly Ray Davis, Case No. 94-1727CFA, in the amount of $250.00; and authorized proper signature on same. This Final Judgment entered on the 21st day of February, 1995, and recorded in OR Book 1348, Page 1021, of the Public Records of Lake County, Florida.
Request for approval of Satisfaction of Judgment - State of Florida vs. Danny Ray Connolly, Case No. 94-398CFA, in the amount of $250.00; and authorized proper signature on same. This Final Judgment entered on the 6th day of September, 1994, and recorded in OR Book 1317, Page 1823, of the Public Records of Lake County, Florida.
Request for approval of Satisfaction of Judgment - State of Florida vs. Adrian Casimiro Hilario, Case No. 99-2068CFA, in the amount of $750.00; and authorized proper signature on same. This Final Judgment entered on the 29th day of November, 1999, and recorded in OR Book 1788, Page 125, of the Public Records of Lake County, Florida.
Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136 of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases, Month Ending February 29, 2000 - Disbursements made to Board: $169,725.22; Same period last year:$138,816.69
Request to acknowledge receipt of unclaimed excess proceeds for tax deeds totaling $17,258.56.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance No. 2000-01, an Ordinance of the Town Commission of the Town of Lady Lake, Florida, amending Ordinance No. 92-06 by amending the boundaries of the Village Center Community Development District by deleting certain lands therefrom in Lady Lake, Lake County, Florida. Passed by the Town Commission of the Town of Lady Lake, Florida on the 18th day of January, 2000.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the St. Johns River Water Management District Combined Financial Statements, Other Financial Information, and Independent Auditors' Reports for the Year ended September 30, 1999, as prepared by the CPA firm of Deloitte & Touche and accepted by the St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board on March 8, 2000.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Hearing and Prehearing Conference Before the Florida Public Service Commission to Florida Power Corporation, Florida Power & Light Company, Gulf Power Company, Tampa Electric Company, Florida Industrial Power Users Group, Office of Public Counsel, and All Other Interested Persons, Re: Docket No. 991779-EI, Review of the Appropriate Application of Incentives to Wholesale Power Sales by Investor-Owned Electric Utilities, 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 10, 2000, Betty Easley Conference Center, Room 148, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida. A prehearing conference will be held at 1:30 p.m., May 1, 2000.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice from the Florida Public Service Commission of Commission Hearing and Prehearing to Accutel Communications, Inc. and All Other Interested Persons with regard to Docket No. 981488-TI: In Reference to Initiation of Show Cause Proceedings Against Accutel Communications, Inc. for Unlawful Billing Practices in Violation of Section 364.10(1) and Section 364.604(2), Florida Statutes, and Insufficient Management Capability, Pursuant to Section 364.337(3), Florida Statutes. Issued March 7, 2000. Notice is hereby given that the Florida Public Service Commission will hold a public hearing on April 12, 2000, 9:30 a.m., Room 148, Easley Conference Center; and a prehearing conference will be held on March 23, 2000, 9:30 a.m., Room 152, Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida.
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:
Request for approval and signature on Fiscal Year 1999-2000 Florida Library Literacy Grant in the amount of $25,000.00.
Request for approval for the Board of County Commissioners to serve as the coordinator for local governments in Lake County in the Byrne Drug grant application process; signature on the "Certification of Participation"document; and designation of Robbie Hollenbeck to coordinate the preparation of the application.
Accounts Allowed/Resolutions/Health Department
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2000-45 authorizing receipt and disbursement of unanticipated revenue of developmental review staff fees for Health Department; and to provide appropriations to disburse funds from fees to Health Department in the amount of $17,000.00.
Accounts Allowed/State Agencies/Planning
Request for approval to waive impact fees for various participants in the County's housing assistance program funded by the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP); and approval of payment of these fees from the Impact Fee Trust Fund interest in the amount of $18,410.00.
Accounts Allowed/Economic Development
Request for approval of Jobs Growth Investment Trust Fund Agreement award of up to $45,000.00 to G & T Conveyor.
Accounts Allowed/Economic Development
Request for approval of Jobs Growth Investment Trust Fund Agreement award of up to $200,000.00 to Regal Marine Industries, Inc.
Request for approval of changes to the Jobs Growth Investment Trust Fund that increase the average median wage in Lake County.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements
Request for approval of Amendment to Real Estate Purchase and Sales Agreement between Lake County and Hi-Tech America Development Corporation extending the closing date to August 6, 2000.
Accounts Allowed/Budget Transfers/Sheriff's Department
Request for approval of budget transfer from Contingency, in the amount of $3,350.00, to General Fund, Facilities and Capital Improvements, Machinery and Equipment. The Sheriff is requesting funding for the purchase of a Magna Scanner PD6500 Walk-Through Metal Detector for use at the Lake County Judicial Center public entrance. This new unit would provide state-of-the art metal detection to more adequately service our present average of 1,200 customers per day. The new unit provides for improved detection through pinpoint targets. Current unit will provide as a reliable backup.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Communications
Request for approval to execute and approve the following agreements with Sprint for Internet connectivity:
1. Sales Agreement for the purchase and installation of hardware, total cost of $10,500.00, paid as a lump sum.
2. Centurion Data Service Agreement for four years, total cost of $5,760.00, paid annually at $1,440.00 per year.
3. ISDN-Primary Rate Interface Agreement for sixty months, total cost of $36,006.00, paid as a one-time, non-recurring cost of $1,545.00 and a monthly recurring cost of $574.35.
Bids/County Property/Solid Waste
Request for approval and authorization to declare as surplus a 1996 Maxi Grind 425 Grinder and a 1991 Caterpillar D7H Bulldozer from Solid Waste; and authorize their sale to the highest bidder through the County's competitive bidding process.
Request for approval and execution of Certificates for employees with one year of service.
Accounts Allowed/Solid Waste/County Employees/Human Resources
Request for approval of the addition of an Environmental Inspector I in the Department of Solid Waste Management, Special Programs Division, with a fiscal impact of $36,763.00 annually.
Request for approval and authorization for Chairman to execute Satisfaction of Liens for the following road assessments:
Assessment # Name Date Paid
687005 Curtis & Susan Nelson 02/03/00
688002 Tommy L. Harbin 02/07/00
689026 Madison Sherrer, Jr. 02/16/00
691018 Roger & Mary Anne Hawley 02/02/00
691025 Douglas & Lela Kipp 02/15/00
693001 William & Barbara Wilson 02/01/00
693010 Charles & Margaret Tisdale 02/01/00
654335 Craig Hegstrom, Trustee 06/07/94
763010 Linda A. Dover 08/20/85
763011 Linda A. Dover 08/20/85
767306 Jet Atlantic, Inc. 03/06/87
Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Mountain Lake Estates by Ludecke. Subdivision consists of three lots - Commission District 4.
Accounts Allowed/Bids/Road Projects
Request for approval to award Countywide Resurfacing & Restripping Project No. 3-00, Bid No. 00-030, including the Alternate Bid Item, to C.A. Meyer Paving and Construction Company; and to encumber and expend funds, in the amount of $548,167.02 from the Transportation Trust Fund.
Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2000-39 designating Tavares High School as School Recycler of the Year.
PERSONAL APPEARANCES/PRESENTATIONS/PUBLIC HEARINGS
At this time, Commr. Cadwell presented the following awards and plaques, as Ms. Lourdes Ramos, Personnel Manager, provided information on each individual:
Presentation of Plaque to Employee with Five Years of Service
Lora L. Bailey, Special Service Division Director, Public Works/Special Services
Presentation of Plaques to Employees with Ten Years of Service
Sharon K. Horton, Secretary III, Public Works/Special Services
Jonathan F. Iannone, Support Services Supervisor, Emergency Services/Fire Rescue
Fred A. LaFond, Equipment Operator III, Public Works/Roads/Maintenance Area I
David B. Bailey, Animal Control Officer, Emergency Services/Animal Control
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2000-39 declaring April 3 through 9, 2000 as National Public Health Week.
Commr. Cadwell presented Proclamation No. 2000-39 to Dr. John Pellosie, Director, Lake County Department of Health, declaring April 3 through 9, 2000 as National Public Health Week.
Dr. Pellosie expressed his appreciation to the County and the Board of County Commissioners for their continued support. He noted that Lake County was the first County in the State of Florida to develop a Health Department in 1938 with the appointment of Dr. Terry Byrd.
Ms. Valerie Fuchs, Assistant County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance creating Article I, Shoreline Protection, on the floor for its final reading, by title only, as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; CREATING CHAPTER 22, ARTICLE I OF THE LAKE COUNTY CODE; CREATING SECTION 22-1, ENTITLED COUNTY-WIDE JURISDICTION; CREATING SECTION 22-2, ENTITLED SHORELINE PROTECTION; AMENDING SECTION 6.02.02(C), DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS FOR SHORELINES; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE LAKE COUNTY CODE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Commr. Pool declared a Conflict of Interest and stated that he would be abstaining from the discussion and vote on this issue. A conflict of interest form was filed with the Clerk's Office.
Ms. Fuchs explained that Commr. Pool, his family and/or his business associate own over 4,000 linear feet of lake front property in Lake County and, based on her research and conversations with the Commission on Ethics, it appears that Commr. Pool has a voting conflict.
Mr. Allan Hewitt, Director, Water Resource Management, appeared before the Board and explained that, in 1997, the Lake County Land Development Regulations allowed for an exemption of 25 feet of shoreline clearance and the Florida Department of Environmental Protections'(FDEP) requirements allowed for a 25 foot exemption. He stated that House Bill 57 circumvented the FDEP requirements and granted 50 feet of exemption for organic material removal and shoreline vegetation. He stated that the ordinance before the Board at this time goes back to the original ordinance in place prior to 1997. He noted that a proposed alternative draft had been distributed to the Board prior to the discussion today. He stated that the intent of the ordinance has not been changed and noted that definitions have been added under Section 22-2 for "herb", "herbaceous", "shoreline" and "woody". He stated that this ordinance was necessary because of the benefits of shoreline protection. The ordinance provides an effective barrier to erosion, shades and cools the water in the littoral zone, has recreational value in the littoral zone, protects the wetlands where there is grass, and provides vital upland and wetland habitat in the transition zone for the breeding and habitat of those species. He discussed the benefits of protecting the littoral zone. He stated that stormwater run-off and septic tanks were a problem in Lake County and would have to be dealt with through individual lot requirements; however, aquatic plants do provide protection to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff. Mr. Hewitt explained that, under current FDEP regulations, a permit is required on Outstanding Florida Waters to remove anything from the lake shore, and all other waters have a 50 foot exemption and do not require a permit for mechanical harvesting.
Ms. Fuchs clarified that the current rule provides that the property owner may physically or mechanically clear up to 50% or 50 feet, whichever is less, of the property owner's footage.
Mr. Hewitt clarified that, under the new proposed rules, the property owner may clear up to 50% or 25 feet, whichever is less, of the property owner's footage. He stated that the City of Eustis and the City of Clermont were the only cities in the County with shoreline requirements, and the City of Eustis allows shoreline clearing up to 25 feet and the City of Clermont allows clearing up to 30 feet.
At this time, the Chairman open the public hearing portion of the meeting.
Mr. Robbie Lovestrand, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), appeared before the Board to address questions pertaining to FDEP's permitting process. In response to a question presented by Commr. Gerber, Mr. Lovestrand stated that FDEP's job would not be affected by Lake County's 25 foot rule. He clarified that exotic and evasive species of plants are allowed to be removed outside of the 50 foot access corridor as long as they are replaced with more desirable native plants.
Mr. John Osborne, Professor at the University of Central Florida, appeared before the Board to discuss the ecology of shoreline vegetation and explained that, from the standpoint of water quality improvement, it was well known from research that shoreline vegetation gets nutrients primarily from the sediment, not from the water, and vegetation has very little impact on water quality. He stated that underwater plants and algae growing on shoreline plants was good for a lake in terms of nutrient removal; however, the volume of water taken from the lake by shoreline plants essentially was insignificant. He stated that shoreline vegetation removal will not change the water quality, however, fish habitat, habitat for insects, and shoreline erosion would be changed with shoreline vegetation removal.
Mr. Steve Ruda, a property owner on Pine Isle Lake, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request and expressed concern with the exemption for commercial activities and public use facilities, under Section 22-2, Item C., and discussed same. He discussed safety issues pertaining to his children and family and stated that there were many problems with the proposed ordinance as it was drafted.
Mr. Roy Hunter, a resident of East Lake County, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request, and read a newspaper article from the Daily Commercial, dated April 2, 2000. He stated that thinning, removal, or cutting plants for control was also a rejuvenating process and discussed the danger of too many dry weeds along the shoreline that could fuel fires. He encouraged the Board to focus more on stormwater control and non-use of fertilizers and insecticide near shorelines. He stated that the Board will be discriminating against all rural areas of Lake County if the County allows any cities to be exempt from the proposed shoreline ordinance. He stated that a new complete research by the University of Florida and/or the University of Central Florida should be considered and then the vote should be a referendum vote and decided by the voters of Lake County.
Ms. Tonya Waggoner, a resident on County Road 561, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request and submitted a letter, dated April 3, 2000. At the request of Ms. Waggoner, Ms. Valerie Fuchs read the letter which addressed natural shoreline vegetation, excessive nutrients and pollutants that contaminate the lakes, exotic plants, stormwater run-off, property values, and education.
Mr. Bill Cauthen appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He expressed concern that the 25 foot exemption would allow 10 feet on each side of a five foot dock and, if this ordinance was passed, the Board will have effectively cut him off from any use of his shoreline. He expressed concern that the proposed ordinance creates a public safety hazard and discussed safety issues. He stated that the studies are not conclusive and suggested that the Board focus on stormwater run-off which was the real problem with Lake County's lakes.
Ms. Alice Williams, a property owner on Lake Louisa, appeared before the Board and stated that her real issue of concern was the water levels on Lake Louisa. She informed the Board that there were two Senate bills and a House bill that involves the structure and boundaries in Polk County that have been drawing water out of the Clermont Chain of Lakes. She requested that the Board address the water levels of our lakes.
Ms. Carol Lange appeared before the Board in support of the stormwater protection ordinance and requested that the Board also consider those who do not own lake front property who are concern about the water quality. She stated that the Sierra Club has requested that she express their support of this ordinance and inform the Board that the Sierra Club will be watching how the Board votes today. She stated that the University of Florida Center for Aquatic Plants, the Center for Wetlands, the St. Johns River Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have also requested that she express their support of the proposed ordinance.
Ms. Connie M. Nichols, a property owner on Lake Harris in Astatula, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. She stated that her home was threatened by fire when lightening struck a large tree and ignited the weeds on the adjacent lot. She stated that her husband was a totally disabled veteran who enjoys being able to walk to the end of the pier to fish, and to watch the family of ducks. She stated that she and her husband strongly object to the proposed ordinance.
Mr. Gerald Hayman appeared before the Board and requested clarification on language, under Section 22-2, Item D., which states that "all unvegetated areas shall be cumulatively considered when determining the width of the exempted corridor". He stated that he has a lot that has a deed restriction that states that he cannot put a pier within 15 feet of a property line on either side. If his unvegetated area falls within that 15 feet, he would now have a deed restriction that would preclude him from meeting the County requirement to be able to build a pier at all. He stated that there should be some legal consideration in said language.
Mr. David Bykoski, a property owner on Lake Dorr, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that he and his wife moved to Lake County two years ago and found their dream home on Lake Dorr in the Ocala National Forest. He stated that the Constitution of the United States provides that ownership of property should not be limited by conditions that would reduce the value of his property without adequate compensation, and by reducing the cleared area of frontage and leaving only a 25 foot window would greatly devalue his property to him as well as to future buyers. He urged the Board to proceed with caution and not run blindly ahead with this ordinance, thereby, creating more problems than the issue would resolve. He stated that a referendum on this issue should be given serious consideration.
Mr. Bill Barnes, a property owner on Lake Dora, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He requested clarification on the exemption of commercial property and why commercial property was exempt. He stated that he has 100 feet of lake front on Lake Dora, of which 80 feet of shoreline has been cleared for years. He questioned if a permit was required for routine maintenance and removal of elephant ears from the remaining 20 feet of uncleared shoreline. He stated that property owners should have the latitude to remove the elephant ears as they please without the need for a permit.
Mr. Lovestrand explained that a three year permit was available through the Florida Department of Environment Protection during which time the property owner can do routine maintenance, remove exotic plants and replant. He further explained that, at the end of the three year period, the property owner has the option to renew the permit.
Mr. Michael Hart, a property owner on the Clermont Chain of Lakes, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that he was against mechanical harvesting and discussed the potential hazard of a backhoe blowing a hose and contaminating the lakes. He stated that this ordinance was an undue burden on the lake front property owners and not a burden on the rest of the people that do not own lake front property. He discussed the need for education on septic tank use maintenance. He stated that the County should be concerned about businesses that are using our lakes and refueling on the lakes.
Mr. Steve Glover, an agricultural consultant and property owner of 360 feet of shoreline, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that five years ago his shoreline was encroached by noxious weeds and provided no lake access. He was allowed to clear 125 feet of shoreline and remove the noxious weeds; however, he left the grass line. He stated that studies by the St. Johns River Water Management District on the agricultural areas in the Hastings, feeding into the St. Johns River, have indicated that natural vegetation growing along the shoreline was contributing to one-half of the phosphoreus load going into the water. He stated that, after he cleared his shoreline of the noxious vegetation, it became a breeding ground area for bass and other fish. He stated that stormwater run-off was a major concern and encouraged to Board to evaluate this ordinance on an individual scientific basis.
Mr. John Grissom, a property owner on Lake Griffin, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that he has worked for seven years to bring his shore line back to its natural state by removing the noxious foreign weeds and cattails, and the shore and water has naturally cleaned out the muck. He expressed concern that the ordinance was requiring him to let his shoreline grow back with noxious vegetation.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:20 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for fifteen minutes and reconvene at 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Allen Keller, a lake front property owner, appeared before the Board in opposition to this ordinance, and provided a brief history on Lake County's lakes. He stated that stormwater run-off was the major problem with our waters and not the vegetation clearing. He stated that there were state regulations in place and questioned the need for additional regulations.
Mr. Frank Drake, a property owner on Lake Griffin, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that he has worked on his shoreline for five years with a permit from the state and would not be able to get out of his lagoon if he was not allowed to remove the vegetation. He stated that it was not right to destroy the breeding ground of fish and wildlife and expressed concern that the proposed ordinance would reduce property values.
Mr. James McWhorter, a property owner on Lake Minnehaha, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that this ordinance reflects inconsistency of regulation and inequity in the treatment of the private land owners and would result in inconsistency of regulation and excess litigation because of Chapter 70, Florida Statutes.
Mr. Frank Nickols, a property owner on Lake Harris, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request and stated that cutting down the bamboo along his shoreline to below the water surface has promoted the fishing in the area. He questioned if the proposed ordinance would allow mowing of the grass between his seawall and the beach and the encroachment of the adjacent properties onto his property.
Mr. Bill Harrington, a property owner in Howey-in-the-Hills, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He discuss the public and commercial property exemption and questioned why governmental properties and commercial properties were being exempt. He expressed concern that the 25 foot exemption was not equitable to the large property owner versus the small property owner. He stated that all Lake County residents benefit from the beautiful lakes in the area, and questioned why the impact of this ordinance was solely on the private lake front property owners. He requested that the Board come up with a plan that equitably distributes the cost of this to all beneficiaries of the lakes and not just to the property owners.
Mr. Howard Barry, a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board in support of this request and stated that the proposed legislation was a compromise resulting from long periods of discussion between public officials of the County, the state, staff and private organizations, and those meetings have always been open to the public. He read a portion of the St. Johns River Water Management District Water 2020 Supply Management Plan. He stated that the result of the studies indicate that ground water withdrawals in this area are approaching the point which will likely trigger unacceptable levels of harm.
Mr. Dan Robuck, a property owner on Silver Lake, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request and expressed concern that stormwater management had been deleted from the ordinance. He expressed concern that the reduction of the exemption from 50 feet to 25 feet was a safety issue and will take away his quality of life and endanger his children. He polled those in the audience who were in opposition to this ordinance. He requested that the Board defeat the proposed shoreline ordinance and draft a stormwater ordinance.
Mr. Frank Kutch, a property owner on Silver Lake, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request and discussed the Salt Apopka Study. He explained that the 30 year study has indicated that there was no appreciable damage to the ecology of lakes by property owners maintaining their property. He stated that there was a big difference between having the ability to maintain your property and polluting the lakes, and the property owners should be allowed to help maintain the lakes by muck removal. He stated that stormwater run-off and the on-site water retention problem needs to be addressed.
Mr. Richard Norford, a lake front property owner, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that we have heard the generalities that we need the aquatic plants and grasses at the water line to filter the water and maintain the water quality. He noted that 90% of the shoreline was already planted in shoreline vegetation. He suggested that an ordinance be written to address the particular problems such as mechanical harvesting and stormwater run-off.
Mr. Randy Thompson, a property owner on Lake Harris, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that the lake front property owners were good stewards of the lake front, and County staff needs to become good stewards of our tax dollars. He stated that, from the comments heard today, it was clear that the ordinance was arbitrary, poorly written, could be challenged legally, and was not based on good science. He requested that the Board vote no and restore his faith in local government.
Commr. Swartz responded that it was important that the citizens of Lake County realize that it was not staff that brought the issue of shoreline protection before the Board. He stated that it was the Board, lead by Commr. Pool, who saw some of the things that were occurring in South Lake County that brought this issue forward after the passing of House Bill 57 which essentially changed what the County's Land Development Regulations were providing.
Commr. Pool responded that he brought this issue to the attention of the Board based on information that was provided to him by the Save Our Lakes Committee. He stated that he later learned that many of the individuals that were clearing the shoreline were working with the necessary permits.
Mr. Mike Holmes, a resident of South Lake County, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He expressed concern that the Board was attempting to make a decision based on incomplete information. He stated that it was obvious that the Board was attacking the wrong problem, noting that stormwater run-off was the problem. He expressed concern that commercial sites were exempt and stated that the Board was attacking the wrong group and the wrong problem. He stated that the proposed ordinance violates the property rights of owners, was full of legal problems as it was written and would be challenged.
Ms. Elaine Rennick, a property owner on Lake Minnehaha, appeared before the Board in support of this request. She stated that it appeared to be the consensus that this ordinance would hurt property values, and noted that the Orange County shoreline ordinance has not hurt the property values on the Butler Chain of Lakes. She stated that she owns 1,000 feet of lake front between Lake Minnehaha and Lake Shepherd and, as a lake front property owner, she is in support of the ordinance. She stated that a lot of good points have been made today regarding stormwater run-off and septic tanks, and the proposed ordinance will not solve all of the problems with the lakes; however, it was a beginning. She stated that she wants to restore the grasses and the aquatic plants, and explained that the property owners will have the ability to obtain a permit to remove the noxious vegetation.
Mr. Ed Havill, Lake County Property Appraiser, appeared before the Board and expressed concern that he has noticed over the years an erosion of property rights in Lake County. He stated that property values will be affected in a negative way with the shoreline protection ordinance, and an ordinance, such as the shoreline protection ordinance, has to have something in the ordinance to compensate for the loss of property value to property owners in Lake County.
Mr. Joe Zagame, a property owner on Lake Louisa, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request and stated that the people in the audience do not want this ordiance and the Board should vote no.
Ms. Nancy Fullerton, President, Save Our Lakes Committee, appeared before the Board in support of this request. She stressed the urgency of Lake County gaining control of what happens to its shorelines, and the destruction created by the growth in the County, the weakening of the Growth Management Act, and the increase of self interest environmentally destructive bills in the Florida Legislature. In response to statements made about the motivation of this bill, she stated that it has not been made clear that the initial motivation was due to House Bill 57 that allowed exemptions to what FDEP did permit in the Clermont Chain of Lakes. She explained that there were exemptions that allowed for 50 feet without any review, or permit, backhoes were allowed to go out into the waters through the wetlands without any review, and the state agencies from their own admission admitted this helplessness. She stated that House Bill 67 will allow the clearing of all shoreline vegetation. She read letters from Mr. and Mrs. Paul Dowia, Mr. David Burchart and Mr. Gordon Baugh addressing the shoreline ordinance and expressing support of this ordinance. She stated that this ordinance was as enforceable as any other law in the County and may be a good reason to reinstate the Pollution Control Board. She stated that it isn't an easy choice for the Board to balance man's wants and nature's needs, but we are the custodians of Lake County's waters for all of the people who come and enjoy them.
Mr. Steve Richey, representing shoreline property owners, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that House Bill 57 was adopted and signed by the Governor of Florida and came out of a reaction of the Legislature to over regulation by the Department of Environmental Protection. He discussed the Burt Harris Private Property Rights Act. He discussed a letter that was presented to the Board on December 14, 1999 from Mr. Steve Adams which stated that there was no scientific basis for any of the footages that were being discussed and no scientific basis in the 50 foot exemption that House Bill 57 established. He discussed Section 22-2, which states that the purpose and intent of this section was to minimize the activities which, in the long term, may be detrimental to the shoreline, and stated that the Board was proposing to take away substantive property rights based on a perceived concern with no scientific basis. He stated that the County Attorney has advised him that the Burt Harris Private Property Rights Act did apply to any action taken today which takes away his ability to utilize his shoreline as he can legally do at this time. He stated that the problem was not the clearing of the shoreline, but stormwater run-off from the governmental agencies, and those that build and maintain roadways that have historically dump into our lakes.
Mr. John Curl, a property owner on Lake Dora, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that they are trustees of the lake, and he takes care of his lake front by removing all of the evasive and exotic weeds. He expressed concern with the safety of the children. He asked that the Board address the problem of stormwater run-off.
Mr. Wally Swarkel, a property owner on the Clermont Chain of Lakes, appeared before the Board in support of the shoreline protection ordinance. He explained that he was also a lake front property owner in central Wisconsin on one of the deepest lakes in the mid-west excluding the Great Lakes. He stated that they have a tremendous amount of shoreline protection in his county, as well as in the State of Wisconsin, to protect that very rare natural resource. He stated that projections indicate that the State of Florida, by the year 2020, would surpass New York in terms of populations, whereby, Florida will become the second largest populated state of the union. He stated that he has seen, since Thanksgiving 1999, a major explosion of new home development in Clermont, and he was appalled at what he has seen in terms of heavy equipment going into the lakes and destroying the shoreline on the Clermont Chain of Lakes. He discussed the issue of erosion caused by shoreline clearing. He stated that he would hope that the Board's mission statement is not only what was in the best interest of the public, but what was in the best interest of our lakes.
Ms. Juanita Basica, a property owner on Little Sawmill Lake, appeared before the Board in support of the shoreline protection ordinance. She stated that reasonable rules and regulations are needed to protect the water quality and the variety and abundance of fish and wildlife. She stated that a 25 foot clearing for a pier and beach was reasonable and, if we allow our lakes to become degraded, we will have to spend large sums of money to restore them.
Mr. Dave Andrews, a property owner on Lake Eustis, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that he has 100 feet of shoreline and has no plans to clear any of the grasses that grow along his shoreline; however, he does not want to lose the right to clear 50 feet of the shoreline. He stated that the majority of the pollution and destruction was coming from people who are not living along the lakes.
Mr. Jim Butram, Entomologist and Toxicologist and a property owner on Lake Minnehaha, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He explained that vegetation was needed to protect the shoreline from erosion. He stated that there was a permitting process in place through the Department of Environmental Protection that encourages the property owners to remove the cattails and evasive vegetation and allow the native vegetation to grow. He stated that he was not in support of a change, but he would be in support of more education on how to care for the shoreline.
Mr. Matthew Modica, a resident of Clermont and a member of the Save Our Lakes Committee, appeared before the Board in support of the shoreline protection ordinance. He questioned if there was language initially in the shoreline ordinance addressing stormwater run-off and what was the County's position on this issue.
Commr. Swartz responded that the shoreline protection ordinance was initially a very comprehensive ordinance that dealt not only with shoreline protection but with stormwater run-off issues and with wastewater plants. He stated that the ordinance was too broad as it related to the municipalities; therefore, the Board chose to address shoreline protection only.
Mr. Skip Goener, a business owner on Lake Griffin, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that we need the participation of the lake front homeowners in cleaning up the lakes and getting rid of the muck, and the only way to remove the harmful muck is by using dredging equipment and backhoes. He stated that the stormwater run-off was a major issue. He stated that there was no scientific evidence to support this Ordiance and requested that the Board vote against this ordinance.
Mr. Arman Eldifraei, Physicist, representing 25 property owners on two lakes in the Clermont Chain of Lakes, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He discussed the quality of water on the two lakes that have had no shoreline clearing versus the lakes that have allowed shoreline clearing. He stated that there was no conclusive argument on the appropriate footage or percentage for shoreline clearing, and that there was a lot of scientific advancement that could be applied and many options available for clearing the muck. He requested that the Board remain open to new ideas and remain flexible.
Mr. Ron Hart, a Limnologist and a lake front property owner, appeared before the Board in support of this request and explained that Limnology was the study of fresh water lakes and marshes. He stated that he has 150 feet of shoreline and discussed his need for a certain amount of recreational access for his children to be able to swim. He stated that he obtained a permit from the FDEP that allowed him to clear up to 30 feet of vegetation on the shoreline and to perform other restoration activities. He explained that we need to insure the quality of our lakes, the habitat on the lakes, the fisheries that exists, the wetland vegetation, the other types of wildlife be it alligators or snails and not just the water quality. He stated that the Board of County Commissioners has the responsibility to set the standard for what was going to be applied across the County.
Mr. Bob Ackerbloom, a civil engineer, appeared before the Board in opposition to this request. He stated that he builds bass boats and loves the water and nature, and what he does not like is a small group of people being unfairly attacked. He stated that the Board had a good thing going when they had a plan to study the problem of water quality in Lake County; however, the Board took the easy way out and became champions of taking 50 feet down to 25 feet. He expressed concern that the meeting today has resulted in negative energy with no positive comments or good ideas being presented. He requested that the Board go back to the original plan, become more creative and further study the problem of water quality in Lake County.
Mr. Charles Deckman, a local resident, appeared before the Board to discuss the proposed park in Pine Lakes, and the Astor fire station and expressed concern with how the Board was spending the taxpayers money foolishly.
At this time, Commr. Cadwell closed the public hearing portion of the meeting.
Commr. Hanson expressed concern that the press will bill this issue as an environment versus property rights issue and stated that we are all environmentalist. She stated that this meeting has been very important because it makes the property owners aware of issues that are in front of the County, and makes the citizens part of the process. She expressed concern that the proposed shoreline protection ordinance will create major enforcement problems, and will open up tremendous legal loop holes. She stated that programs, such as an Adopt a Lake Program, based on education, working with FDEP, and working with the Lake County Water Authority would look at issues such as fertilization, anti-erosion plantings on the shoreline and native versus non-native plantings. She stated that it was her proposal not to approve this ordinance and that the Board look at education, and use the money that we would spend on enforcement toward stormwater management.
Commr. Gerber concurred with Commr. Hanson's statements and stated that she would not support the shoreline protection ordinance. She stated that each request needs to be looked at on a case by case basis, and the County does not have sufficient staff to review each request. She stated that she would like to see the County put our money in stormwater programs. She explained that, in the beginning, she did support the 26 foot exemption; however, the County missed the opportunity, at the time that House Bill 57 was adopted, to opted out of House Bill 57, and it would not have been as challengeable.
Commr. Swartz addressed the issue of stormwater run-off and explained that, as roads are built and as FDOT widens Highway 441, they will be addressing stormwater, and the stormwater drains going directly into the lakes will have to find retention ponds. He stated that, during the budget process last year, the Board voted to approve a stormwater management fee which was placed on the tax bill this year for those who live in the incorporated area of the County. He stated that he will support increasing the fee again this budget year, and it was his intention to go to one-half mill over a five year period; however, it has been his impression today that people want to do more sooner; therefore, he will encourage the Board to go from the .1 mill to one-half mill this budget year. He stated that one of the problems with the proposed shoreline protection ordinance was that the ordinance allows for mechanical harvesting without any review or permitting as long as they are under the 25 feet limitation. He stated that he was suggesting that mechanical harvesting be under a review process and based on a series of conditions. He discussed the septic tank issue and explained that it was the cumulative effect of what we do that is changing the nature of where we live. He discussed a report prepared Mr. Steve Adams, Environmental & Permitting Services, Inc., dated December 14, 1999, and discussed the process by which the private property act works in Lake County. He stated that we all must realize that, at some point, removing shoreline vegetation is not good for the lakes and over the years we have seen the failure to protect our lakes. At this time, Commr. Swartz suggested amendments to Section 22-2, Item D. to provide the 25 feet exemption and to provide the ability to get a permit for clearing more than 25 feet and/or to use mechanical equipment.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he has tried to find areas in the proposed shoreline protection ordinance that could be amended to make it an ordinance that all residents in Lake County could live with and always ended up with an ordinance that was so close to the current FDEP regulations that there was no need for the ordinance. He stated that, if a motion is made today to not pass the shoreline protection ordinance, he would request that they include in the motion a pledge from the Board of County Commissioners to provide better education through the Agricultural Extension Center, or other means, to the lake front property owners, and officially request FDEP to continue to step up their enforcement efforts.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Gerber, to not approve an ordinance creating Article I, Shoreline Protection, and to move forward aggressively educating the public through the Agricultural Extension Center or by other means, and to support the Florida Department of Environmental Protections' enforcement efforts, as read on its final reading by title only.
Commr. Swartz stated that he would vote against the motion to not approve an ordinance that would improve Lake County's lakes and shoreline vegetation.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would hope that those present in the audience today would support the Board in their effort to develop a stormwater management plan.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which carried by a 3 - 1 vote.
Commr. Swartz voted in opposition.
Commr. Pool declared conflict of interest and abstained from the discussion and vote.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:55 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch and reconvene at 2:00 p.m.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, introduced Mr. Shawn Hastings, the coordinator of the "soft book" program with Innovation Groups, who was present in the audience to assist with the use of the "soft books".
COMMUTER RAIL IN LAKE COUNTY
Mr. Ben Biscan, Vice President and General Manager, Florida Central Railroad, appeared before the Board to make a presentation on commuter rail in Lake County. He explained that they have succeeded in being added to the short list of the fast track funding to start the program; however, the Secretary of Transportation has issued a letter stating that the Florida Department of Transportation would be premature in funding this project without an updated study on the ridership, a feasibility study, and a financial commitment from the major players. He stated that Florida Central Railroad, the City of Apopka, and Orange County have made a final commitment of $12,500.00 for the commuter rail study, and the City of Orlando was expected to approve a commitment of $12,500.00 on April 17, 2000. At this time, he presented a map illustrating the commuter rail route and explained that the purpose of the study would determine the location of the station, and what the actual cost would be to the participants. He stated that Lynx would manage the study. He stated that the estimated cost of $64,000,000 has not changed and that the Department of Transportation has approved the plan in concept and in mechanics and have indicated that they would fund the balance of the $250,000 to $300,000 for the study. He stated that he was present today to request that Lake County participate in a commuter rail study, with a contribution in an amount of $12,500.00. He stated that they were looking at a possible operating shortfall of approximately $2,000,000.
Commr. Cadwell expressed concern that the ridership may not be in Lake County, however, noted that would not be known until the study has been completed. He stated that it would be a mistake to pass up an opportunity for alternative transportation in the County.
Commr. Hanson concurred that the Board should look at commuter rail although the numbers from the study may indicate that the ridership may not be available at this time.
Commr. Gerber made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Hanson, to participate in a Commuter Rail Study, in an amount of $12,500.00, contingent upon the participation of Florida Central Railroad, City of Apopka, Orange County, City of Orlando, and possibly the City of Altamonte Springs.
Commr. Swartz stated that he was a supporter of mass transit; however, he does not believe that the success of the proposed route would occur. He stated that the development patterns in Lake County do not come close to having the type of densities that would make mass transit work in the County. He noted that the funding for the commuter rail study was an insignificant amount; however, Lake County would not have the resources to fund any operating costs.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which carried by 4 - 1 vote.
Commr. Swartz voted in opposition.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, appeared before the Board to present the new proposed fee schedule and explained that staff anticipates that the new fee schedule will cover the cost of new staff and will bring current staff up to market value. She stated that three contractors were present earlier in the meeting in support of the new fees and the new positions, and staff has received two letters in support of this request.
At this time, Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting.
Mr. Carl Ludeke, Charlie Johnson Builders, appeared before the Board in support of this request and explained that the home builders would like to have a 30 day continuance to allow further review of the new fee schedule. He stated that the home builders would like information on how much revenue the fee schedule will generate and where will the revenue go based on that revenue.
Commr. Swartz suggested that, as an alternative, the Board authorize staff to advertise for the new positions subject to final adoption of the new fee schedule.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved to continue the public hearing on a resolution amending the fee schedule for Fiscal Year 1999-2000 for services provided by the Department of Growth Management Building Services Division to a time certain on April 18, 2000; and authorized staff to advertise for the requested new positions subject to final adoption of the fee schedule.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Charles Deckman, a local resident, appeared before the Board to discuss the proposed park in Pine Lakes, and the purchase of an additional 20 acres because of scrub jays being found on the property.
Commr. Hanson provided an update on the proposed Pine Lakes park. She explained that scrub jays were found foraging on a portion of the acreage, and a new proposal was being reviewed that would allow the County to use the 20 acre parcel without purchasing additional property. She stated that the scrub jay habitat could be used as a passive area of the park.
Mr. Deckman requested information on the cost of the new Astor fire station and requested clarification on whether or not a trailer located on the Astor fire station property had been paying the fire or garbage tax prior to the County purchasing the property.
Commr. Cadwell stated that staff would provide Mr. Deckman with the cost of the new fire station structure and information on the trailer that was previously located on said property.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Senior Director, Department of Community Services, appeared before the Board to present the Lake County Health Department quarterly reports for the period ending September 30, 1999 and December 31, 1999. He briefly discussed the Health Department Service Area Variance Analysis.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board acknowledged receipt of the Lake County Health Department quarterly reports for the period ending September 30, 1999 and December 31, 1999.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Senior Director, Department of Public Works, appeared before the Board and explained that this request was for approval of a resolution endorsing the Lake County Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committees' recommendation for Lake County Transportation Enhancement Project Applications.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2000-43 endorsing the Lake County Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committees' recommendation for Lake County Transportation Enhancement Project Applications.
APPOINTMENTS/COMMITTEES/INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved the reappointments of the following individuals to vacant positions on the Industrial Development Authority to serve a two-year term ending March 10, 2002.
Mr. Carl Lunderstadt Mr. Raymond Gilley
Mr. Dale Bartch Mr. Cecil Shumacker
Mr. Billy Spikes Mr. Shannon Elswick
APPOINTMENTS/COMMITTEES/PARKS & RECREATION
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved the appointments and reappointments of the following individuals to the Lake County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to serve a two-year term ending May 20, 2002:
Ms. Judith Christie
Lake County School Board Representative
Mr. Gerald A. Smith
League of Cities Representative
Mr. Jim Myers
Lake County Water Authority Representative
Ms. Rene James
SUITS AFFECTING THE COUNTY
Ms. Valerie Fuchs, Assistant County Attorney, presented the request for approval for Lake County to take no action and not intervene in the suit of Ludtke v. Chateau Communities, Inc. She explained that the issues in this litigation are in regard to the special assessment for fire protection imposed upon Chateau Communities by Lake County and involve the landlord tenant relationship that exists between the plaintiffs and the defendant.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved for Lake County to take no action and not intervene in the suit of Ludtke v. Chateau Communities, Inc.
SUITS AFFECTING THE COUNTY
At this time, Commr. Cadwell requested that the report on the Board's request regarding Dead River Vic's Restaurant noise issue be rescheduled on April 18, 2000.
COMMISSIONER GERBER - DISTRICT NO. 1
Commr. Gerber extended her appreciation to the team of Board employees who participated in the Golden Triangle Relay for Life Walk. She extended congratulation to the Golden Triangle Relay for Life Committee who raised approximately $64,800.00.
STATE AGENCIES/WATER RESOURCES
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote, the Board approved for the Chairman to send a letter to St. Johns River Water Management District opposing the withdrawal of surface water from Lake Griffin until such time that the "minimum flows and levels" have been established for the upper Ocklawaha and the impacts to fish and wildlife have been determined.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION/PARKS & RECREATION
Commr. Pool made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Hanson, to approve a letter from the Board to the Legislative Delegation expressing Lake County's support to partner in joint planning with the Lake Louisa State Park for recreational purposes.
Commr. Pool explained that, at the time that the Board discussed improving parks in Lake County, the idea was to partnership with the state in the development of Lake Louisa State Park in lieu of purchasing property so that the dollars could be utilized by all of the citizens of the State of Florida.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote.
COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT NO. 2
Commr. Pool expressed his appreciation to Mr. Roy Hunter and the North East Lake County Chamber of Commerce for Safety Day in Paisley.
Commr. Pool expressed his appreciation to those who attended Lake County Days in Tallahassee to help lobby for those issues of interest in Lake County.
Commr. Pool expressed thanks to Deputy Tom Goring, Lake County Marine Patrol, for allowing Commr. Pool to tour the shorelines on the chain of lakes with him on April 2, 2000.
COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT NO. 4
Commr. Hanson informed the Board that discussion on bonding or alternative funding for special assessments would be brought back to the Board on May 2, 2000.
ADDENDUM NO. 1 (CONTINUED)
COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT NO. 4
Commr. Hanson requested that discussion on the Lake County Fairgrounds be brought back to the Board in a workshop in the near future.
COMMISSIONER CADWELL - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT NO. 5
Commr. Cadwell explained that he has received a request from the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners for a resolution of support for legislative funding for the Space Experiment Research and Processing Laboratory.
Commr. Pool made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Gerber, to approve Resolution No. 2000-44 expressing support for legislative funding for Space Experiment Research and Processing Laboratory (SERPL).
Commr. Gerber stated that she attended a presentation on SERPL at the Regional Economic Summit in Orange County and explained that Central Florida was competing with Houston, Texas, and Huntsville, Alabama, in the space program. She stated that this was an important issue to Brevard County and to the Central Florida economy.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which carried unanimously by a 5 - 0 vote.
COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT NO. 4 (CONTINUED)
Commr. Hanson informed the Board that Carroll Fulmer Trucking Company has announced that they would be moving their entire trucking operation to Christopher C. Ford Central Park.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 2: 55 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK