March 23, 2010

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida.  Commissioners present at the meeting were:  Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Elaine Renick, Vice Chairman; Jennifer Hill; Jimmy Conner; and Linda Stewart.  Others present were:  Sanford A. (Sandy) Minkoff, Interim County Manager; Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.


Pastor John Barham from First United Methodist Church gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Commr. Cadwell noted that they had Addendum No. 1A and 1B to be added to the agenda.


On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 3, as follows:

Economic Growth and Redevelopment

Request for approval to amend the Lake County Economic Development Strategic Plan to include aviation as a targeted industry.

Environmental Utilities

Request to approve staff’s recommendation to accept the Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan and the Convenience Claim Election payment plan that will result in the County receiving $10,000 of the $12,223.10 unpaid balance.

Fiscal and Administrative Services

Request for approval that the Board (1) declare the items on the attached list(s) surplus to County needs, (2) authorize the removal of all of the items on the attached lists from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records, and (3) authorize the Procurement Services Director or designee to sign vehicle titles.


Commr. Hill requested that they pull Tab 4, which was the only item under the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, and discuss that item later in the meeting under regular business.



Commr. Cadwell asked all the Board members to join him down at the podium for the presentation of the awards, and they presented Proclamation No. 2010-29 to the Honorable Richard W. Boylston congratulating him on his retirement and stating that the Board appreciates his dedication and service as a County Court Judge.

Judge Boylston commented that throughout the 20 years that he has been practicing, he noticed that one thing continually happens over and over that he wanted to let the County Commissioners and the public to be aware of, which was that the judges constantly were getting reminded by lawyers, staff, and expert witnesses from around the state that Lake County is without a doubt the most enjoyable, pleasurable, and professional place to practice law in the State of Florida.  He noted that this compliment included the staff of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, including the bailiff’s office, and the Lake County Clerk’s Office, which he opined was second to none in the State of Florida.


Commr. Stewart stated that on February 28, the Hammerheads received the Champion’s Award at the State Competition of the First Lego League (FLL), which is a hands-on program for ages 9 to 16 that uses challenges based on real world scientific problems to engage children in research, problem solving, and engineering.  She related that the Hammerheads received this award for S.A.F.E. Wheel (Stop Another Fatal Experience), an invention which uses sensors on the steering wheel to detect blood alcohol concentration via skin transmission from the driver and prevents the vehicle from operating if this level is above the legal limit, thereby curbing the problem of drunk driving.  She pointed out that the receipt of this award meant that the Hammerheads would be representing the State of Florida at the SMART MOVE World Festival in April at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA.  She proudly presented the award to the Hammerheads, reading the Proclamation aloud in its entirety.  She also encouraged everyone to attend the competitions to see the grueling competition that they endure and the amazing process that the competitors go through, and she noted that this was similar to the robotics group that they had supported in the past.  She announced that the Hammerheads would be playing a Florida Lego League Robotics Community Expo on April 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Eustis.


employee awards

Ms. Susan Irby, Employee Services Manager, explained that they would be presenting the participants of the voluntary early-out program with this award to recognize and thank each of them for their services to the citizens of Lake County.  She explained that there were ten employees who participated in this program, and their last day would be Friday, March 26.  She then presented to the following participants the awards, commenting on their career with the County:

Timothy Horschler, Animal Control Officer (not present)

Public Safety/Animal Services

Corey Mathis, GIS Analyst

Information Technology/Geographic Information Services

Michelle Perrier, Animal Shelter Technician

Public Safety/Animal Services

Deborah R. Seagraves, Assistant Animal Services Director

Public Safety/Animal Services


Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, presented the following employees with their awards, commenting on their service to the County:

Wayne Gudzinskas, Library Assistant (not present)

Public Resources/Library Services

Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, presented the following employees with their awards:

Donna Bohrer, Public Hearing Coordinator

Growth Management/Planning & Community Design

Albert Sikes, Chief Building Inspector

Growth Management/Building Services

William Hechler, Plans Examiner II

Growth Management/Building Services

Mr. Kristian Swenson, Facilities Development and Management Interim Director, presented the following employees with their awards:

Thomas Elmore, Audio-Visual Specialist

Facilities Development & Management/Facilities Maintenance

David Tibbitts, Senior Maintenance Specialist (not present)

Facilities Development & Management/Facilities Maintenance

addendum No. 1b.

proclamation to the honorable richard w. boylston

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2010-29 honoring Judge Richard W. Boylston.

addendum no. 1a.

approval of april as water conservation month proclamation

Commr. Renick explained that the large group working on water strategies was at the point right now where all the information from the different stake holders’ meetings and everything else has been compiled, and they were going to be bringing experts in from across the country to have a panel discussion.  She commented that she was encouraged that a regional plan for conservation has ended up being the primary focus.

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2010-31 proclaiming April as Water Conservation Month.

Commr. Cadwell commented that Commr. Renick’s work on that issue is commendable, and noted that conservation is the starting point before anything else could be done.

approval of hammerheads resolution

On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2010-30 recognizing the achievements and efforts of the Hammerheads of Lake County, FL.


leesburg business incubator

Mr. James Spencer, Site Manager for the Leesburg Business Incubation Program and Area Manager for the Small Business Development Center, both of which were housed in the Leesburg Business Technology Incubator at 600 Market Street in Leesburg, gave an update on the status of the Business Incubator program, some ideas of where they were headed, some information about what to expect, and an explanation of exactly what business incubation is.  He explained that this program was a dynamic partnership between Lake County, the City of Leesburg, US Department of Agriculture, and University of Florida.  He stated that there were currently six locations and seven facilities making up the UCF Business Incubation Program throughout Central Florida, and the facility in Leesburg was the most recent location.  He related that the program was founded in 1999 by Dr. Tom O’Neal with the idea of helping university professors find ways to commercialize their technology, and since that time it has been applicable to anyone who has a business that fit a certain model.  He stated that there were currently over 80 companies in the program overall, and it has assisted over 130 companies to achieve their goals, resulting in the creation of over 1600 jobs from the program.  He specified that the typical median salary of individuals who come through the program is $60,000, and they have generated about $500 million in revenue.  He noted that they had a study done by research consultants in September showing that for every dollar invested by a county or municipality, there was a return of $5.25 return to the tax base, and they realize that business incubation is a strong component of economic development and were happy to have that program locally in Leesburg.

Mr. Spencer clarified the difference between business welfare and business incubation, and explained that UCF was employing a process for helping businesses become successful and financially viable to the point where they were generating revenues and becoming successful in creating jobs, since job creation was the main focus of business incubation.  He pointed out that 87 percent of incubator clients are still in business after five years, which was almost opposite of what the national statistic is for businesses that did not start with an incubation type environment.  He mentioned that another good point about incubation was that the companies tend to stay in the communities in which they were incubated, and he emphasized that it was a good investment in that there was a low cost per job and that it generated more tax revenue than it costs.  He displayed a chart on the power point presentation that showed the specific process of taking a good idea and helping the professional or technical person learn how to take what they know and turn it into a business, which involves identifying the strengths and weaknesses and putting together a program of mentoring, counseling, seminars, networking, and other educational programs to create an environment to help them succeed and to avoid costly mistakes.  He spoke about the seven current clients that were taking part in the UCF Business Incubator at Leesburg, and he noted that the Leesburg Incubator was full and that they were looking for more space that they could utilize in the building.

Commr. Hill commented that it was a wonderful partnership, and they appreciated what the Business Incubator was doing.

county attorney’s departmental business

first amendment to revocable non-exclusive license agreement with friends of ferndale

Commr. Hill stated that originally she understood that the activity of the Friends of Ferndale would take place in the adjacent community building, but later was told it would be within the fire station where they actually parked the trucks, and she had concerns that they were setting a precedent and for the safety of the citizens and the firefighters who may be answering a call.  She thought that there was liability, since this was a full-time active fire station, and they may get an active call during that time.  She suggested that they could help the Friends of Ferndale find a better location.

Commr. Cadwell noted that the problem in Ferndale was unique as opposed to other places where there were fire stations, since there were no other options for space to hold these kinds of events.

Commr. Conner pointed out that the use of that facility has been ongoing for a long time, and the reason this was on the agenda was because of the nature of the use, not because of the use itself.

Mr. Minkoff stated that since he had a concern with this issue, particularly regarding parking of vehicles and making sure there was adequate access for the fire trucks, the agenda item was written so that there was a trial period, and they would be able to evaluate it.  He commented that he thought it would work, but they could bring it back before the Board to terminate it if there were issues.

Commr. Stewart stated that after looking at the plans, she believed that it was all taken care of, and she felt comfortable about the safety aspect of it.

Commr. Renick noted that this pointed out that they made the right decision at the last meeting by approving the CDBG fund request to rehab a house in Ferndale to use as a community center.  She commented that even though this was not an ideal situation, the fire trucks were pulled out and ready in case of a call.

Commr. Conner pointed out that the agreement had a very liberal 30-day termination period with or without cause, but he did not anticipate any problems with this.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 4, the request from the County Attorney for approval of the First Amendment to the Revocable Non-Exclusive License Agreement with the Friends of Ferndale to expand the use of the Ferndale Fire Station to allow Friends of Ferndale to conduct bingo games.




Ms. Dottie Keedy, Director of Economic Growth and Redevelopment, was pleased to present a request for a business assistance program incentive award for Progressive Aerodyne, Inc., which is a seaplane manufacturing company currently located in Orange County.  She related that the City of Tavares has been working with the company for a little over a year to entice them to move to Lake County, and they have chosen to move in with another Lake County manufacturing company in Tavares.  She explained that the request was to offset the cost of moving their facility from Orange County to Lake County while still trying to keep the business operating, and the total projected cost to move was a little over $79,000.  She noted that the program that they had in place was a reimbursement program to pay up to $25,000, which was the amount of the request.  She reported that they were proposing to add 12 new Lake County jobs, and ten of those either meets or exceeds the criteria for the wages in their incentive program.  She also stated that they were projected to have an overall economic impact to the County of $11.8 million annually, and staff recommended approval of this request.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to award $25,000.00 for a Business Assistance Program incentive to Progressive Aerodyne, Inc. to offset their moving expenses and approval of the associated Budget Change Request.

Commr. Renick commented that the Board needed to have a discussion about treating all cities equally in terms of the economic incentive awards.

Mr. John Drury, Manager of the City of Tavares, pointed out that the City of Tavares spent a year and a half and many hours in staff time pulling this together with the City Council, as well as putting $4.5 million into this program to construct the infrastructure for seaplanes, which was a major factor in attracting this company to Lake County.

environmental utilities

Additional Task scope of services to contract

Mr. Daryl Smith, Director of Environmental Utilities, stated that this request is for the Board to approve an additional Task Scope of Services to the Waste-To-Energy Contract with Malcolm Pirnie to provide assistance to the County in its negotiations with Covanta as a result of the potential additional costs associated with the federal EPA Mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases at the Waste-to-Energy Facility.  He explained that on October 30, 2009, the EPA passed new rules on reporting of greenhouse gases which became effective on December 29, 2009, requiring that many sectors of the economy monitor and report on greenhouse gases on an annual basis based on some formulas that the EPA has established.  It does not currently require any control, but they can probably speculate that sometime in the future there would be some control requirements that they would follow.  He noted that they had a number of landfills that may be required to report, but he suspected that only one would meet the required threshold.  He mentioned that it would not require any kind of monitoring equipment and that the Waste-to-Energy Facility would be required to report, because it exceeds a certain threshold.  He related that the contract they currently had with Covanta requires that if there is a change in law, the County may be subject to reimbursing Covanta for some or all of the costs, and Covanta has advised them that the total cost for the balance of the contract would be about $160,000, which included the capital cost of installing the monitoring equipment and completing the reporting of about $109,000 and the annual maintenance cost in the range of about $12,000. 

Mr. Smith opined that it was in the best interest for the County to get some technical assistance to make sure that the costs that Covanta is going to charge was appropriate, since they did not have the technical expertise in-house to do that.  He explained that the existing contract with Malcolm Pirnie allows the County to negotiate changes in the scope of services to provide this level of service, and their scope of service would be the review of the greenhouse gas applicability for the Waste-to-Energy Facility, review of the change in law request from Covanta, and assisting the County in negotiating the changes to the waste disposal and electric generating agreement.  He reported that the cost that they negotiated was $18,248, and he pointed out that they were not looking to make any budget changes at this point in time, but it may be necessary to amend their budget to reflect those costs in the future.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he had the utmost confidence in Malcolm Pirnie, since they have been with the County a long time and know the issues well.

Commr. Conner asked if they were hiring them on an hourly basis or a contract basis.

Mr. Smith answered that it would be an hourly basis, and the amount of $18,248 was a not-to-exceed cost.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Additional Task Scope of Services to the Waste-To-Energy Contract with Malcolm Pirnie to provide assistance to the County in its negotiations with Covanta as a result of the potential additional costs associated with the federal EPA Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases at the Waste-to-Energy Facility.

public safety

resolution approving revised lake county cemp

Mr. Jerry Smith, Emergency Management Director, stated that they were asking approval for the revised Lake County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), and noted that Florida Statute Chapter 252 of the State Emergency Management Act mandates that each county have a CEMP.  He explained that the Lake County CEMP establishes a framework for which Lake County, its municipalities, and other community partners prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the impacts of a wide variety of disasters that could adversely affect the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the County, and it provides guidance to local officials on procedures, organization, and responsibilities, as well as provides for an integrated and coordinated local, state and federal response.  He stated that they have been working on this process for the last year and a half with a lot of staff time from Emergency Management, and it also has taken staff time from all their community partners and other County agencies.  He related that they took the basic plan and simplified it a little bit, since they have learned over the years that they need a document that was flexible enough to meet their needs. 

Mr. Smith mentioned that they established an Emergency Operations Guide for augmented staff that did not have time to train with them in order to be able to move forward and understand the processes, and they provided specific guidance in the plan for each emergency support function, which were for subject matter experts that come in and work with a variety of specific topics such as public works, fire rescue, law enforcement, electrical restoration, and fuel.  Since they identified that not knowing where the damage was could be a challenge, they identified a specific Emergency Support Function (ESF) that gathers all the intelligence from the municipalities and government agencies and compiles it into one document.  He also noted that debris management was the single most expensive thing that ever occurs in a disaster for a local government, so they thought it would be prudent to have a specific ESF for that.  He explained that they needed to have a single source in the County that all the not-for-profit organizations and other agencies could communicate with so that they would be able to assist and get the information out to the survivors.  He noted a minor typographical error in the document in the backup and assured the Board that it would be corrected before they publish that.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request from Public Safety of Resolution No. 2010-32 approving the revised Lake County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP).




The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the Consent Agenda.

There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, as follows:

Tab 1 – Ordinance No. 2010-15

Rezoning Case No. 4-10-5

Dr. Chet Anthony

Request to rezone from Light Industrial (LM) and Urban Residential (R-6) Zoning Districts to the Planned Commercial (CP) Zoning District to allow medical services (a doctor’s office) as the permitted use, with a portion of the existing building to remain as a single-family residence.


REZONING CASE NO. CUP 10/3/1-5 – zubulon and ann osborne

Ms. Jennifer Cotch, Environmental Specialist with the Growth Management Department, presented CUP 10/3/1-5, stating that the applicant is Brad Osborne and that the ten-acre property was located west of Umatilla and south of Emeralda Island Road on Whilden Lane.  She stated that the applicant was requesting a conditional use permit to allow the keeping of exotic animals on the property. She added that the future land use was rural, and the property was zoned agriculture with surrounding properties zoned agriculture with residential and agricultural uses. She explained that the request for the CUP came after Code Enforcement discovered that the Osbornes were housing exotic animals on the property without a CUP, but Chapter 3 of the Lake County Land Development Regulations requires a CUP in an agricultural zoning district to house exotic animals.  She related that Mr. Osborne started acquiring animals shortly after purchasing the property in 2004, and the state and federal permits were received, but the applicant did not know he needed a CUP from the County.  She noted that the applicant has stated that he has acted as a rescue organization for the exotic animals, and there was no selling or breeding of the animals.  The animals would spend the rest of their lives on the property, and it was not open to the public.  She mentioned that the property was currently served by septic and private well and was located on a dirt road that was not County-maintained.  She noted that no additional traffic was expected, since it was not open to the public, and that the waste generated by the animals would be disposed of in the trash and picked up with routine garbage pickups.

Ms. Cotch reported that there were two similar facilities within one and a half miles of Mr. Osborne’s property.  She related that the Osbornes held a community meeting in their home to discuss the CUP requests and to answer any questions or concerns from the neighbors, with ten neighbors and County staff in attendance.  She commented that all of the neighbors in attendance were in support of the exotic animals being housed on the property and have signed a petition that was included in the backup information.  Also, they have received four other letters of support and one letter of opposition.  She stated that staff finds the request consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Regulations, and staff recommended approval.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2010-16, Rezoning Case No. CUP #10/3/1-5, A.P.E.S./Zebulon and Ann Osborne, request for a Conditional Use Permit in the Agriculture Zoning District to allow for the housing of exotic animals..

rezoning case no. cup 10/3/2-2 – gabriela lobe

Ms. Cotch presented Rezoning Case No. CUP 10/3/2-2, stating that the owner and applicant was Gabriela Lobe, who was requesting a conditional use permit (CUP) to allow a riding stable, and that the five-acre property is located southeast of Clermont near the Orange County line in Terra Vista Court.  She stated that the future land use was rural, and the property was zoned agriculture and was located within the Clermont JPA (Joint Planning Area).  Also, she mentioned that at the time the applicant requested and received a zoning clearance on December 28, 2009 for a 120-foot by 40-foot horse barn with 12 stables, she was notified that she would have to obtain a CUP in order to board horses on the property, and the applicant applied for the CUP on January 4, 2010 with two variance requests to allow the stables to be placed on a property less than ten acres and less than 200 feet away from the property lines as required by Chapter 3 of the Land Development Regulations.  She reported that on February 11, 2010 the Board of Adjustments granted both variance requests, allowing the riding stables to be placed on the five-acre property and located closer than the 200-foot line, with the following conditions for the approval:  (1) The applicant must provide a Type C landscape buffer between the stables and the effected parcels.  (2) The animal waste generated from the stables must be disposed of on a weekly basis.  (3) The owner is required to maintain the public easement known as Terra Vista Court.  (4) The parking area must be at least 200 feet from the parcel to the east for the duration of the CUP.  (5) The number of horses on the site is limited to no more than 20 and that the horses are confined to the boundaries of the property that is owned by the applicant and the leased areas.

Ms. Cotch noted that the property is currently served by septic and private well, and the road was dirt and not County-maintained, with the only access to the property being through Orange County.  However, she related that Orange County staff did not have any comments or concerns regarding the proposed use.  The property is located in the rural future land use category and zoned agriculture, with many of the surrounding properties containing horses and barns.  She commented that the County received a petition from several neighbors who were concerned about the proposed use, and staff worked with the neighbors and the applicant to come up with additional conditions that were also recommended by the Zoning Board.  Those conditions include: (1) There shall be no outdoor sound or public address system associated with the riding stable. (2) All outdoor lighting shall be Dark Sky friendly fixtures. (3) Hours of operation shall be from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from April to October and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from November to March. (4) No more than six riders were to be on the property during riding lessons. (5) Summer camps are reserved for the months of June, July, and August from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  (6) There shall be no corporate events or horse shows. (7) No more than 15 horses, including foals, shall be allowed on the property, which would require added language to the ordinance that would override the variance that would allow 20 horses on the property.  She also pointed out that staff finds this request consistent with the Comprehensive Plan that allows agriculture uses with the rural future land use category and LDR’s.

Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, stated that it was possible for the Board to put a restriction in the CUP that was more restrictive than the variance.

Commr. Renick noted that the issue of whether to run it as a public stable was not within the Board of Adjustment’s purview, but they approved the variance for the stable in terms of the 200 feet and the ten acres.

Ms. Marsh stated that they could correct the wording to clarify that.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Ms. Gabriela Lobe, the Applicant, stated that she had been leasing property in Orange County about two miles away for about six years and ran an outstanding horse-care facility, and she purchased five acres in Lake County about three years ago, primarily because Lake County had no limit of horses per acre.  She explained that recently her family has run into hardship during the past year, and the only way that they could survive and avoid foreclosure was to consolidate breeding and the horse barn lesson facility at her personal location.  She assured the Board that her horses were fed the highest quality grain and hay that money could buy, and she has never had any horse-care issues in all the years that they have been running their business of teaching young children the joy of riding and horse care in a beautiful country environment.  She pointed out that she has been maintaining the road and had been a part of fixing the road in the past.  She informed the Board that she had done everything within Lake County rules and regulations, but she had to refigure and downsize her business after they lost the lease for their farm in December.  She stated that she has been taking good care of the property, since the condition of the property was important to her, by doing things such as growing grass, rotating the paddocks, and using irrigation, and she has also been complying with the conditions set forth in the variance, including planting shrubs for boundaries, making arrangements for the manure, relocating their parking, fixing the road on a regular basis, and building a water retention area for her property.

Mr. Mike Herman, the immediate closest neighbor to the stables, opined that he believed this request for a variance was inappropriate for their residential subdivision, since the applicant did not meet County regulations or codes for this commercial business in a residential neighborhood.  He stated that four of the six residents on Terra Vista Court are in opposition to this application and that the petition that was submitted to the Commissioners was signed by neighbors in nearby homes.  He commented that he wanted to keep the quality and peaceful existence for their rural settlement.  He noted that this commercial business has opened and has been operating for over one month, and the activities associated with this business include but are not limited to feed and hay delivery, waste removal, portable toilet servicing, transport of horse trailers, and arrival and departure of riders and spectators, which has increased the traffic on the road quite a bit.  He mentioned that he has been a resident there for ten years and has contributed two or three times to the upkeep of the privately-maintained road.  He felt that it was such a large building and an inappropriate business to be put on such a small piece of property, since the requirement was ten acres.  He noted that the subject property totals approximately 4.75 acres, and the usable acreage was just over 3 acres.  He mentioned that the recommendation of the Lake County Animal Control Director was for no more than ten horses on that piece of land, and he felt there would not be enough land with the buildings, roads, and parking left for the horses.  He stated that the residents in opposition to that application find that because of the size and placement of stables that were built in five weeks, buffers, waste removal, and limiting the number of horses should be in place, regardless of the outcome of this zoning request.  He mentioned that his residence looks down right on the stables, and he thought there were more appropriate locations for the stables behind the house.  He was concerned that this would be a large commercial enterprise that would be intruding into their residential neighborhood.

Ms. Carol Johnson, a neighbor who stated that she was representing some of the other homeowners who could not attend the meeting, pointed out that the applicant had spent tens of thousands of dollars on a new barn, riding ring, paddocks, and other facilities, despite their claim of financial difficulty.  She also mentioned that the applicant started the CUP process about three days after getting the building permit.  She commented that there were only about three useable acres, which she did not feel was enough room for the amount of horses that were on the land.  She noted that there was a property line dispute between this property, the orange grove, and the other property owners which could affect the buffer zones.  She also believed that the waste has not been picked up on a weekly basis and that there was another resident living in a mobile home on the property, which would be in violation of the 5 to 1 zoning in that area.

Mr. Hugh Cantellops, a horse trainer and resident on the property, commented that he understood the concern of his neighbors regarding their privacy, but they were trying to do the best that they could with the five acres of the property and comply with the code.  He also assured everyone that it would be a small, family-run business, and they were looking to make Lake County their home.

There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Renick stated that Mr. Herman called him about the Board of Adjustment case, and she believed that the variance request represented a huge change from what was normally allowed and that the triangular configuration resulted in a smaller amount of useable land than a normal five-acre parcel.  She noted that access to the property was only through Orange County.   She opined that this was a very large business that held classes and camps with a jumping and riding area, which was too intense for that location.  She commented that there was a reason why the County Code stated that this type of operation needed a minimum of ten acres.  She added that she thought it would be alright for personal use, but had serious concerns about running a business there, and she thought the manure generated by the horses could become a code enforcement problem.  She also had concerns about the maintenance of the road with such heavy activity.

Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Director, what the applicant could currently use the property for without the CUP.

Mr. Sheahan responded that they could use the property for any agricultural use, including the keeping of horses, and the County currently has no limit in their codes for the number of personal horses that could be kept on the property.  He pointed out that the Zoning Director indicated to him that the building would meet code for a personal barn under their agricultural exemption and could remain there.

Commr. Stewart stated that many horse businesses only use a small area, even if they have many more acres that could be used, and that most show horses are stalled most of the time.  She opined that this business could function perfectly well on this amount of acreage, and she believed that 15 horses were not too many for this piece of property.  She opined that the applicant could adequately run that business on five acres, and their horses would be very healthy, well-exercised, and happy.  She indicated that she was comfortable with the conditions placed on the use of the property.  She pointed out that it was an advantage to the residents along that road that the applicant was willing to maintain it, and commented that she believed they would be good neighbors if given the chance and that there would not be much impact to the surrounding area.  She also noted that this type of business would not entail a constant influx of customers, and it was not an intense activity.

Commr. Hill commented that they were promoting a rural way of life, and this was a perfect rural small business operation.  She stated that she had a problem with restricting the applicant’s way of earning a living and being able to have a five-acre tract.  She also commented that she did not have a problem with the Board of Adjustment variance, but she felt they needed to address some of the conditions that were not addressed in that variance such as the sound system, the lighting, and hours of operation, which they already had addressed.  She stated that she believed they needed to uphold the BOA decision.

Commr. Conner asked the applicant if all the conditions are agreeable to her and if she would make a commitment to adhere strictly to all of the requirements from the Planning and Zoning Board.

The applicant indicated that they were already in the process of adhering to all the conditions and would continue to do so.

Commr. Conner commented that he saw both sides of this case, and he pointed out that the Planning and Zoning Board added a lot of restrictions that were not in there from the County’s staff, and in the event that the applicant violates any one of those, the CUP can be revoked.  He stated that with the current economic conditions, he believed that there was a hardship in this case.  However, he opined that the opponents of this request had some legitimate concerns also.

Commr. Renick commented that when staff informed the applicant that she needed those approvals, she thought that the applicant should have thought twice about investing the money to build the huge stables and building the business until they actually had the approval.  She suggested that the applicant not be notified ahead of time before the inspections, so that they could really see what the situation is and what the neighbors deal with on a daily basis.

Commr. Cadwell stated that staff would notify the applicant of a yearly inspection for the CUP, but an inspection done as a result of a complaint was not scheduled.

Commr. Renick expressed concern that they were setting a horrible precedent with this case about going forward with something against the rules and then asking for forgiveness later.

Commr. Stewart commented that they were not making a decision based on the gamble that the applicant made, but basing it on the activity, the welfare of the horses, and whether or not that size property could accommodate it well.

Commr. Renick commented that she felt that the issue was whether it fit in with the neighborhood there.

Commr. Stewart indicated that she felt that it did fit in with the neighborhood.

Commr. Conner stated that he supported Commr. Renick’s suggestion that the applicant not be notified when there was an inspection.

Commr. Cadwell asked the County Attorney whether it was code or policy to announce the yearly inspection.

Ms. Marsh responded that she did not believe it was code, and they had just been putting it into the CUP’s.  She indicated that it could be taken out of the CUP.

On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2010-17, Rezoning Case No. CUP #10/3/2-2, Jewel Court Stables/Gabriela S. Lobe, request for a Conditional Use Permit in the Agriculture Zoning District to allow a riding stable/academy, with the added condition that there would be no notification of any inspections of the property.

Commr. Renick voted “no.”


mpo transportation 2035 plan meeting

Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of Lake-Sumter MPO, announced that on Wednesday, March 24 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. in the Magnolia Room at the Leesburg campus of Lake-Sumter Community College, they would be holding the first stakeholders’ public event for the Transportation 2035 Plan.  He emphasized that this was a first meeting in a series and would run through the summer of getting public input.  He related that the MPO would be doing some outreach at different corners of this county as well as Sumter County as the summer proceeds.  He indicated that this would be an anti-sprawl plan, and they also wanted to work with the municipalities to get new development to those centers and corridors they had discussed, as well as making it a cost feasible plan.

REPORTS – COunty manager

employee food drive

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, Interim County Manager, announced that the employees’ food drive is kicking off this week, and the employees have arranged for drop off sites in the Administration Building and other County buildings, as well as all the County libraries and fire stations, and that would be an ongoing, permanent occurrence.

meeting with dca regarding comp plan

Mr. Minkoff informed the Board that on Thursday, March 25, they would be meeting with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in Tallahassee, and staff has been working very hard in dealing with the St. Johns River Water Management District and the Department of Transportation (DOT) as well as DCA to demonstrate to the agencies how serious the County is about trying to complete the Comprehensive Plan.  He anticipated having the report back by the first of next week, and they were still planning on having the adoption hearing on Tuesday, May 25, 2010.

changing date of zoning agenda

Mr. Minkoff stated that they would like to move the Zoning Agenda in May to the following Tuesday, June 1, so the only item on the Agenda on May 25 would be the Comp Plan.

request from city of tavares regarding bus service

Mr. Minkoff related that the City of Tavares sent the County a request Friday, March 19, regarding a large event in downtown that the City was having on April 10 for the grand opening of their sea plane marina, to extend the bus service on Saturday evening, April 10, from 6:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. for the route that runs between Tavares and Mount Dora.  He reported that the preliminary cost estimate was just under $2,000 to run the buses for those hours, and they would maintain normal fares.  He commented that this event was not as large as the Leesburg event, but the City thought this would be a good way for people to travel back and forth between Tavares and Mount Dora.

On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to place this item on the Agenda.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request from the City of Tavares to extend bus service on the evening of April 10, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. for the City’s event.

Commr. Conner asked that the City ask ahead of time in the future to give the County more time to look into the request.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.