FEBRUARY 5, 2008

The Lake County Value Adjustment Board (VAB) met on Tuesday, February 5, 2008, at 1:30 p.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. The following members were present:  Commissioners Jennifer Hill, Chairman, and Linda Stewart; and School Board Members Jimmy Conner and Scott Strong. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Kimberly Williams, Assistant County Attorney; Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk; Ed Havill, Lake County Property Appraiser; Frank Royce, Chief Deputy, Lake County Property Appraiser’s Office; Robbie Ross, Director, Tangible Personal Property and Agriculture Operations, Lake County Property Appraiser’s Office.

Commr. Hill called the meeting to order, and it was noted that a quorum was present.  She asked Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, to explain the rules for today’s meeting.

Mr. Minkoff explained that the process that this Board had adopted was set up by the legislature, which required that all the petitions to the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) be heard by a Special Master who made the findings of fact and recommendations of law to the Board.  He related that what they had in front of them today were about half of the cases, which were all of the cases dealing with exemptions and property classifications.  He also mentioned that on March 4, they would have a second meeting where they would have in front of them all the cases on valuation.  He reported that they gave everyone involved an opportunity to respond in writing to the Special Master’s recommendation and that there had only been one person who had done that, and they would have that for the Board to consider today.  He noted that they tried to come up with a good, simple way to look at this, so they color coded the recommendatons where each one of the colors would require a motion from the VAB.  He stated that he would describe to the Board what each color represented.

Category 1 – Recommendation to Grant Relief – No Objection from Property Appraiser

Mr. Minkoff explained Category 1 was color coded as a pink color, and his recommendation for these was that the VAB grant the Petitioner’s request for relief.  He further specified that these cases were where the Special Master recommended that relief be granted, and the Property Appraiser had not responded in writing and indicated that they were not going to respond or challenge that.

Mr. Connor inquired whether the Property Appraiser wanted them to pursue any of those.

Mr. Ed Havill, Property Appraiser, stated that he agreed with the recommendation for Category 1.

On a motion by Mr. Strong, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the VAB approved to uphold the recommendation of the Special Master to grant the exemption or property classification for the Category 1 petitions, which are the following cases:

            2007-35, 36                 William Seidle

            2007-47                       Laviance Property Acquisition, LLC

            2007-142, 143             Jonathan Shirley

            2007-160-L                 William Rumph

            2007-199-L                 Robert Hester

            2007-205-L                 Christos Anthony

Category 2 – Recommendation to Deny Request for Relief by Special Master and Property Appraiser / No Written Response

Mr. Minkoff explained that the white category, which was Category 2, were cases where the Special Master recommended that the Petitioner’s request be denied and that the Property Appraiser concurred that it be denied.  He pointed out that none of those property owners responded in writing to challenge the Special Master’s recommendation.  He concluded that for the white category, he recommended that all of those cases be denied

On a motion by Mr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the VAB approved to uphold the recommendation of the special master to rule in favor of the Property Appraiser and deny the following petitions:

            2007-2                         Judy Sears-Reed

            2007-4                         Donna Campbell

            2007-5                         Stacy and Jane Zulia

            2007-12                       Raymond Podkowa

            2007-15, 16/56, 57      Prem Eumanth

            2007-19                       Barbara Harrison

            2007-20                       Janice Bonner

            2007-21                       Javier Marrero

            2007-22                       Manuel Gambini

            2007-25                       John Miller

            2007-37                       Lois Daniels

            2007-38                       Anand Gupta

            2007-39                       Paula MacGregor

            2007-40                       Richard and Donna Schlenger

            2007-44, 45                 Laviance Property Acquisitions, LLC

            2007-55                       Erica Munoz

            2007-73                       Paula Lesle

            2007-74                       Marie Tucker

            2007-76                       Wayne and Catherine Smith

            2007-78                       Robert and Virgina Lowry

            2007-103 – 111           Concetta Ronco

            2007-115                     Ashley  Hunt

            2007-116                     Gary and Sheila Norris

            2007-123                     Steven Lee

            2007-124, 125, 126     Orlando Pellegrino

            2007-128                     Senice and Dwayne Davis

            2007-129                     Terry Ratchford

            2007-132                     Ms. Victoria Winn

            2007-135                     Richard Bisaillon

            2007-136                     David Yovaish

            2007-140, 141             Jonathan Shirley

            2007-144                     John Gilliland

            2007-153                     Mostaque Ahmed

            2007-156                     Bruce Mitchem

            2007-157-L -159-L     Mark Machuga

            2007-163-L -165-L     Robert A. Furnas

            2007-168-L                 Alexandar Nikolaiev

            2007-170-L                 Jane Brown

            2007-172-L, 173-L     James Panico

            2007-174-L                 Edmund Woolfolk

            2007-176-L                 John and Rosanne Brandeburg

            2007-182-L                 Robert Burnett

            2007-183-L                 Emily Riggen

            2007-195-L                 Todd and Stephanie Ochsner

            2007-361-L                 Jeffery Cagan

            2007-394-L, 395-L     Mark Campbell

            2007-421-L                 James Langford

            2007-497-L                 Jackie Padgett

            Category 3 - Recommendation to Deny Request for Relief by Special Master and Property Appraiser / Written Response Filed

Mr. Minkoff stated that the green Category 3 consisted of only one case and that the Special Master in this case recommended that her request for relief be denied, with the Property Appraiser concurring with that.  He noted that the petitioner sent in a response, which was provided for the Board in the package of backup materials.  He commented that the response did not raise any new issues, but attempted to re-argue the facts.  He recommended that the Board deny this petition.

On a motion by Mr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the VAB approved to uphold the recommendation of the Special Master to rule in favor of the Property Appraiser and deny Petition 2007-185-L from Karena (Fechtenburg) Larrisey.

Category 4 – Recommendation to Grant Petitioner’s Withdrawal

Mr. Minkoff stated that the yellow Category 4 was the easiest category, and petitions in all of these cases were withdrawn by the property owners prior to the time the Special Master heard the case or after the Special Master had the case but before it got to the Board.  He recommended that the VAB approve the withdrawals and deny the requested relief.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Strong and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the VAB approved the granting of the Petitioner’s withdrawal and denied the requested relief in the following cases:

2007-1                         Richard Passenti

2007-3                         Deborah Dorn-Ruhl

2007-6                         John Connell

2007-7 – 9                   Alan Dye

2007-11                       Roberta Harvey and Rob Sherrill

2007-14                       Michelina Marchlinski

2007-17                       Mavis Preston f/k/a Mavis Hopper

2007-18                       Robert Emick

2007-23                       Richard and Apryl Clark

2007-26                       Irene Berthold

2007-27                       William Dieden

2007-28                       Craig and Dorendra McCall

2007-29                       Cornelius Caldwell

2007-30                       Ann Williams

2007-31 – 33               Daniel Bellons

2007-51, 53, 54           Laviance Property Acquisition, LLC

2007-58                       J. Michael Rutig

2007-59                       Mitchell and Nancy Walk

2007-71, 72                 Clay Frankel

2007-75                       Bobby Salter

2007-77                       Gregory and Karen Knopf

2007-79 – 82               Louis Meucci

2007-84                       Carrol Fulmer Management Co. Inc.

2007-112, 113             Rudy Weber

2007-114                     Bruce Higgins

2007-127                     Mark Douglas

2007-131                     Aaron and Jennifer Drone

2007-133                     Douglas Hill

2007-137                     Stephen Meyerhoeffer

2007-138                     Laurel All

2007-139                     Sunstar Media, Inc.

2007-155-L                 Donald and Eunice Stapleton

2007-161-L                 Estle Baker

2007-162-L                 Nancy Wilcox

2007-184-L                 David and Sandra Weiss

2007-200-L                 Adrian Ryerson

2007-420-L                 Manuel D. Martin

2007-494-L                 Ms. Thelma Phillips

2007-496-L                 Ms. Lynda Blackford

Category 5 – Recommendation to Grant Petitioner’s Agricultural Exemption

Mr. Minkoff stated that the blue Category 5 cases were the agricultural classifications that were controversial last year, most of which were denied on the three times value.  He explained that last year they were pending appeal in a court case, and the Fifth District has issued an opinion.  He reported that the Property Appraiser’s Office has recommended that all of the petitioners highlighted in blue that were denied the classification based on the three times rule be granted the classification.  He pointed out that the Special Master had recommended denial on some of them because they did not show up at the hearing or other similar reason, but in order to treat everyone the same, the Property Appraiser was recommending that all of those be approved.

On a motion by Mr. Strong, seconded by Mr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the VAB approved the granting of relief and the agricultural classifications for the following cases:

2007-13                                               Abdool and Nazeela Ghani

2007-24                                               Ronald Ingles

2007-34                                               Charles Clayton

2007-41, 42, 43                                   Ronald Roberts

2007-46, 48, 49, 50, 52                       Laviance Property Acquisition, LLC

2007-60 – 65                                       Charles Cook

2007-66 – 69                                       Charles Cook

2007-70                                               James Fant

2007-83                                               Mayro, LLC

2007-85                                               ACR, LLC d/b/a ACR Florida, LLC

2007-86/480-L, 87/481-L                   Howey Groves, LLC

2007-88/477-L, 89/478-L, 90/490L    Place of Peace, LLC

2007-91, 92, 93                                   Gordon Tender, LLC, et al

2007-94                                               Edwards Harbor, LLC et al

2007-95                                               Davidson Harvest, LLC et al

2007-96                                               Curtis Hospitality, LLC et al

2007-97 – 99                                       Baker Heritage, LLC et al

2007-100 – 102                                   Ames Holdings, LLC et al

2007-117                                             Cole Clayton

2007-118                                             John Gray

2007-119 – 122                                   Avery Roberts

2007-130                                             John Baldwin

2007-134                                             Nalina Sombuntham

2007-145                                             Pride Homes of NFL, LLC (Tim Williams)

2007-146 – 148                                   Daryl Carter

2007-149,150                                      Steve and Brenda Carlan

2007-151, 152                                     Ronald Black

2007-154                                             William Brannon Ruderman

2007-166-L, 167-L                             Robert A. Furnas

2007-189-L                                         Onsi Derias

2007-267-L through 273-L                  Drew Pastures, LLC

2007-278-L through 281-L                  Montverde Investments, LLC

2007-366-L                                         Jeffery Unnerstall

2007-410-L through 2007-419-L        Richard Jerman

2007-477-L through 2007-481-L        Dan Harbridge (Howey Groves and Place of Peace)

Mr. Conner commented that he thought the Property Appraiser did the right thing regarding this issue.

Mr. Havill pointed out that the exemptions were just for the appeals to the Value Adjustment Board, and he did not go back and grant these exemptions to people that were denied them because of the three times rule and did not appeal to the VAB.  He also commented that if those people wanted to reapply for 2008, they would take those into consideration based on the decision by the court.

Mr. Minkoff informed the Board that that was all of the business they had that day, but they would be back on March 4 with a whole other set of cases regarding people who challenged valuation and that they would have recommendations from a different Special Master who was an appraiser for those cases.  He assumed that the procedure would be similar to this one.  He also related that they were going to try to have the forms that would be required on that day.  He thought that the only issues that might be in front of the Board might be to arbitrate a question of law regarding a response claiming that the Special Master applied the wrong law.  He commented, however, that they had never really had that problem with valuation cases, only with exemption or classification issues.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:40 p.m.  Mr. Minkoff announced that the VAB would reconvene on March 4, 2008, at 8:30 a.m.





                                                                         JENNIFER HILL, CHAIRMAN