A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
february 22, 2011
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 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: Jennifer Hill, Chairman; Leslie Campione, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Jimmy Conner; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: Darren Gray, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Randy Ford from the Whitney Baptist Church in Leesburg gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager, asked to pull Tab 5 to get some more information on that and would bring that back to the Board. He also wanted to give the Board an update under his report on the Emergency Communications and Operations Center that they had requested about a month ago.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 4 (pulling Tab 5) as follows:
Request for approval of the Interlocal Agreement with Lake County Health Department and authorize the Chairman to sign the agreement and to direct the Community Services Department to execute the agreement and oversee completion of the project as covered in the Scope of Services. Fiscal impact - $83,000 CDBG Grant funding, $70,000 General Revenue Funds.
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval for execution of contract assignment 10-0029 for On-Call Environmental Studies and Services from LPG Environmental & Permitting Services, Inc. to Kleinfelder Southeast, Inc. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of award of contract 11-0208 for marketing and outreach activity under the County's EECBG Program to Carbon Solutions America LLC on a best value basis. The fiscal impact is $89,972 which is fully funded by the EECBG.
Request for approval of standardization of pavilions manufactured by two specific manufacturers for use in County parks. There is no fiscal impact associated with this agenda item.
lsmpo request for funding of rail line improvement project
Commr. Campione clarified that this presentation would be regarding freight rail and not high-speed rail, with a component that involves commuter rail in the future.
Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), related that they have partnered with one of their board members representing a freight rail company, and they and the MPO have worked together with FDOT to secure some funds that they would discuss today. He stated that the first issue was that the MPO’s dealings in transportation investments would result in an opportunity for economic development, which was a symbiotic relationship. He noted that the Board as well as a group of municipalities have an opportunity to fulfill a very appropriate role of local government by catalyzing private investment with their own public investment in infrastructure. He pointed out, however, that it would not guarantee anything, and they would need to market what they have. He reported that the MPO was looking at a few different types of modes for Lake County, such as the Minneola interchange project, which would reverse the commute from South Lake to Orange County and create a job center; the Wekiva Parkway, which would give Mount Dora and the County an opportunity to capitalize on an employment center at Round Lake Road; the Leesburg airport, which was an underutilized asset; and the Umatilla airport, which he felt presented real economic development potential with the expansion efforts underway for that facility. He emphasized that they were in a very hot market for freight rail, due to some extent by the fact that they were at a pivotal point in the western hemisphere with South America and with the expansion Panama Canal, resulting in a new level of global shipping coming into the area’s ports. He quoted figures from DOT indicating that freight rail would produce 143,000 jobs as well as $21 billion in business income, $8 million in personal income and over $700 million in tax revenues. He also noted that 61 miles of CSX track has been purchased by the State of Florida, and that line would be completely dedicated to passenger rail, with freight cargo only happening in off hours under the terms of DOT, and they would have to find sites with access, which is what Lake County could offer. He explained that certain products move better on rail, such as large or high-volume items, and he pointed out that railroads maintain their own infrastructure and that they pay property taxes on their real estate.
Mr. Fish commented that the County needed to think about what they would do to capitalize on options that rail presented. He presented a map which showed proposed freight rail upgrades in the area, pointing out that a section from Plymouth to the Orange County line was currently 1920’s vintage track which was extremely slow and bumpy and a 21-mile section that they wanted to upgrade, which would cost approximately $12 million to raise it from a Class 1 to a Class 3. He commented that doing those upgrades would increase the speed and weight, expand opportunities, and enable potential future passenger rail service. He reported that they had $13.8 million in this year’s DOT budget, and the state requires a 25 percent match, which is $4.6 million, some of which would be covered by Florida Central Railroad and Orange County. He noted that Tavares has a marketing plan, and he specified some locations in Eustis that would present opportunities for freight rail, which were the Powers Dairy site and the existing industrial park. He also went over an economic analysis which named some businesses that utilized or were dependent on rail. He pointed out that the DOT has put up 75 percent of the money to do a $1.7 million study of whether commuter rail would be feasible on a 36-mile corridor, which would be from Orlando to Apopka and then to Lake County, which would feed the SunRail project that was to commence in 2013, with the total requested of the County for the study being $107,500; and he reported that Lake County’s total match for the project would be $1.7 million.
Commr. Campione asked about the concerns of the commuter line going into downtown Mount Dora and where the commuter station would be in the Mount Dora area.
Mr. Fish responded that Mount Dora would like to see the rail corridor either converted to a trail or put along the trail, and the Mount Dora City Council designated the Golden Triangle Plaza area where there were several roads coming together as appropriate for that type of use, which was a redevelopment opportunity.
Commr. Parks commented that he wanted to make sure that the County’s $900,000 investment in the rail line would assure that it would be utilized.
Mr. Fish responded that the Orlando Metro Economic Development Commission (EDC) would be a key factor when that industrial opportunity comes to the Orlando area, since Lake County would have an asset that not every location would have, which were sites with freight rail connections. He emphasized that 70 percent of all freight on trains in Florida stays within the state. He also mentioned that the price for the rail infrastructure upgrades was the up-to amount, and if they receive a federal grant, their funding commitment would be further lowered.
Commr. Conner asked if the project would be fully funded if the Board approved this request.
Mr. Fish answered that Orange County and Apopka were expected to approve the funding for their portions in March, which would then result in full funding for the project, and he noted that the money was in this year’s budget, which runs out June 30 and that rail was a one-time investment.
Commr. Conner asked if there were private sector partners.
Mr. Fish responded that their private sector partner was the railroad company, who would generate customers once the County helps them improve this track.
Commr. Conner asked if the money for this project would come out of reserves.
Mr. Gray answered that it would come out of the money set aside for economic development, but would stay in reserves until all of the partners were on board and it was brought back to the Board for final approval.
Commr. Campione added that this would not encroach in the area of reserves set aside for emergency needs, but would come out of reserves that have been set aside for capital needs for specific programs, and she opined that it was a perfect fit to give them the opportunity to recruit new businesses along that line. However, she expressed concern about putting public money into a private asset and having assurances once they make that investment that the private company that owns the asset will actually keep up its obligation with regard to maintenance, which was a major ongoing cost, and she wanted to make sure the legal documents make it clear that that obligation is there.
Mr. Fish commented that that was a very reasonable request and was requested by the other partners as well, and Florida Central understood that stipulation.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they had very few opportunities to put infrastructure in that would help economic development, and he believed they needed to move forward with this opportunity.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved funding for the freight upgrades taken from economic development reserves and the funding for the alternative analysis that would be conditioned on full funding by all of the partners of the infrastructure.
public hearings: rezoning
Mr. Steve Greene, Chief Planner, noted that the rezoning cases for that day were properly advertised and that there were no changes to the agenda.
rezoning consent agenda
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda as follows:
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2011-11
CUP Revocation: CUP#683-5
Forest Hills United Methodist Church
rezoning regular agenda
rezoning case ph#28-10-4 – renninger’s florida twin markets
Mr. Greene explained that Rezoning Case PH#28-10-4 was a rezoning consideration for the Renninger’s Florida Twin Markets, requesting to add approximately 44 additional acres of Agriculture (A) and Urban Residential (R-6) zoning to an existing Planned Commercial zoning district, and he mentioned that Renninger’s was located along Hwy 441 south of Wolf Branch Road near Mount Dora. He specified that the property was about 68 acres of existing flea market, produce market, antique market, and dealership type of activities. He pointed out the location of the additional 44 acres and noted that the Applicant seeks to add some additional uses which include motorized and other special events specified in their packet. He related that the property is surrounded by Mount Dora on the south and east side, with Hwy 441 on the west, and there were residential uses on the north and south end. He noted that this matter was presented to the Zoning Board on February 16, which recommended approval with no changes. He also related that the Applicant and Mount Dora have worked very closely in discussing some of the concerns that were presented and that staff has reviewed the request, heard the concerns of Mount Dora and the surrounding property owners, found it consistent with the Land Development Regulations and Comprehensive Plan, and recommended approval. He mentioned that there were two letters of opposition to this rezoning request.
Commr. Conner asked whether the motorized events would be allowed only during daylight hours as proposed.
Mr. Greene responded that the special times for those would be from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Commr. Cadwell disclosed that he had previously spoken to the Applicant about some concerns he had last week. He asked what the logic was of having the Applicant come back before the Board as specified in Item E on Page 3 of 11 of the ordinance for any additional events, since he felt that their current open air and event rules were tough enough.
Mr. Greene explained that was to allay some concerns of Mount Dora, and it was the opinion of the Zoning Board and staff that anything above and beyond that would need some level of approval and acknowledgement from the Board and allow Mount Dora to voice their opinion about whether they were agreeable to that.
Commr. Cadwell opined that it was already addressed in Item J of the ordinance, and he pointed out that the more objectionable activities, such as demolition derby and the mud bogging events are excluded.
Commr. Campione clarified that Section E was in regard to additional events that were not dealer extravaganzas or spectator activities. She also stated for the record that she met with the applicant.
Mr. Greene added that the Applicant conveyed a wealth of activities that they typically hold on their property, and some of those things are hard to categorize.
Commr. Hill disclosed that she has also met with Ms. Bonifay on February 16, and commented that she felt the open air ordinance should take care of that issue. She related that Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning Director, had given her some language that could be added which indicated that six additional events which would draw under 500 people per year could be approved by staff, and they could strike the section stating “approved by the Board of County Commissioners.”
Commr. Cadwell opined that he did not believe they should put a specific number on it, and he commented that where it was located would not cause traffic problems for the downtown part of the City, which was their tourist draw.
Commr. Conner asked for clarification about whether the ordinance has a limit of one motorized event per month.
Mr. Green responded that they would continue their normal operations of their flea and open air market activities, but their motorized events would be limited to four motorized events per year, which could last for all three days during the hours of operation specified in the ordinance. However, he pointed out that a lot of that time would be spent to haul, load, unload, and move equipment, and things of that nature.
Commr. Parks disclosed that he met for about ten minutes with the applicant as well on February 17 to get some clarity on some things, and asked whether it would become a code enforcement issue if they exceeded the four-event limit specified in the ordinance.
Mr. Green answered that if the use of the property was not within confines of the ordinance, it would be a violation of the ordinance.
Commr. Cadwell commented that Renninger’s has been a good business partner in the community, and he did not think that whether the business would abide by the ordinance would be an issue.
Ms. Cecilia Bonifay, an attorney with Akerman Senterfitt on behalf of Renninger’s, mentioned that they have been working on the ordinance for this case since August, and she explained that the entire Renninger’s site would be brought in under this ordinance with the remaining 44 acres that were currently not under the CP. She noted that this was an attempt to document everything that has happened in all of the prior ordinances and to look at some newer events that were added in the last year or two. She stated that they have spent innumerable hours talking with the staff of the City of Mount Dora as well as taking a number of continuances at the request of the City. She opined that the primary issue left with the City was whether or not there would be motorized vehicle events on this site, and she noted that they have agreed to cut back the hours from what they previously were at the request of Mount Dora. She explained that the actual event itself only takes up to four hours, but the majority of the designated time is spent on the setup and bringing in the vehicles, and she pointed out that they also put a sunset provision in the ordinance that the events would have to cease as of December 31, 2014 to take into account some of the residential development that has been planned but not built yet due to the economy. She also commented that dealer extravaganzas, which were the second type of use and were allowed three times annually, brought in a lot of people to the area as well as a lot of business for the local hotels, motels, stores, and other businesses as an economic development generator. She went through some other uses that were listed in the ordinance and the frequency limitations. She requested one change to the ordinance to omit Section E on Page 3 requiring that any additional type of event that did not fall under any of those classifications come back to the Board, since she felt that would be an undue burden. She also noted that she tried to be as inclusive as she could in the ordinance and that she put in an additional notice provision in Section J to give notice to the City of Mount Dora.
Mr. Mark Reggentin, Planning and Development Director for the City of Mt. Dora, stated that at the first Zoning Board meeting, the difference between the City and the Applicant were a chasm apart with at least a dozen issues they had with the ordinance, including the operating hours, types of events allowed, noise issues, and flexibility in allowing additional events, among other things, but since then they have worked out everything except for one concern, which was the issue of the potential impact of motorized events on the surrounding residential areas, and there was agreement with about 95 percent of the ordinance. He showed on the zoning map that the entire area was surrounded by residential property, and he expressed concern that regardless of the conditions placed on the applicant, there would be impact to those areas. He opined that there were compatibility issues with the motorized events, and he was concerned that the noise study that would be done and the 500 foot setback would not be useful, since they have already gotten complaints and heard concerns from residents who could hear these events at night up to 4,000 feet away. He did not think the area has changed enough to justify a use of this nature, and he thought that there was significant concern for adverse affects, including concern about property values. He pointed out that Renninger’s would be able to hold a lot of events without a special event permit, but their concern was that keeping the ordinance too open ended would result in some adverse effects regarding types of events and times and days of events.
Ms. Bonifay responded that the noise study clause was put in primarily by staff and was actually a cost and burden to the applicant, and she noted that the Future Land Use Map that was adopted by the Board designates that area as commercial. She commented that she did not see a lot of people in opposition present at the public meetings, and they have worked out the issues with most of those that were originally in opposition. She asked again for removal of Section E from the ordinance.
Commr. Campione asked whether they could add the word “concert” to the mention of music festivals for clarification. She asked whether the track was inside the setback that was included in the ordinance and what the cost was to move that track.
Ms. Bonifay responded that there was a provision that the track must be moved, which would result in quite a bit of expense for the business owner.
Mr. Don Channel, one of the property owners, assured the Board that they expect to go by all guidelines and always have done so. He related that it cost $30,000 to create the tracks and would cost $40,000 to $50,000 now to move the racetrack to satisfy the 500 foot setback, and he requested that they could extend the time to do that to 2014. He commented that he did not expect to recoup his investment in the track, and he just wanted their children and grandchildren to have a safe place to play in an environment that had adult supervision.
Commr. Campione expressed concern that since moving the track would be a significant investment, the Board would get another request in 2014 to leave the track and motorized vehicles in place.
Mr. Channel commented that he was concerned that they may never develop back there, and it has been an orange grove ever since he has been a child.
Commr. Conner commented that he has never received any complaints about the motorized events there, and he asked if they would be doing anything different that would drastically increase the decibel level.
Ms. Bonifay answered “no” to that question.
Commr. Campione commented that she has heard about this issue from City Council members and Mount Dora residents. She opined that Renninger’s was a wonderful business generator for the area, but she was concerned about the noise close to the residential uses. She added that they could address the compatibility issue to a certain degree with the sunset provision. She proposed that the Board eliminate the additional requirement that they come back to the Board for any other events not specified, that the applicant comply with their code provisions for open air permits, and that the Board eliminate the motorized event provision. She expressed concern that the uncertainty would make it difficult to sell the lots in the nearby subdivision, and she felt that they had to defer to the City of Mount Dora. She also opined that there were other locations in Lake County that would be better for this type of event.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that there would only be four events a year at the most, which he felt was not intrusive, and it would not make sense to move that track and disturb more property and for the owner to incur additional expense. He also felt that the location was good, because it had infrastructure to allow access for participants as well as emergency vehicles and it was not disturbing wildlife that would be present in a more remote location.
Commr. Conner suggested that they not make the applicant move the track, but give them a shorter amount of time, such as six months or a year, to hold the motorized events.
Commr. Parks commented that he believed limiting the events to four times a year was a good compromise.
Commr. Campione moved for approval of the ordinance, striking the provision for the motorized events, striking the requirement that they bring the additional special events back to the Board of County Commissioners, and adding the word “concert” to spectator events that would fall under the once a month limitation, which was seconded for discussion by Commr. Parks, and failed by a vote of 1-4.
Commrs. Hill, Conner, Parks, and Cadwell voted “no.”
Commr. Conner inquired about whether they could continually grant the applicant CUP’s for six-month increments of time.
Mr. Minkoff explained that there could be continued sunset dates in the ordinance, but that would take a full rezoning hearing and process each time that happens, which would be costly for everyone involved.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved Ordinance 2011-12, Rezoning Case No. PH#28-10-4, Renningers Florida Twin Markets, Inc., Cecelia Bonifay/Christopher Roper, Esq., Akerman Senterfit, to include an additional 44 acres of adjacent properties zoned Agriculture (A) and Urban Residential (R-6) in the existing Planned Commercial (CP) zoning ordinances (Ordinances #32-92, #119-88, #25-87, #28-84 and #22-83), and to add special events to the authorized uses, with the following changes: removing the condition listed under 4(e) requiring approval by the Board of additional events; adding the word “concerts” under spectator activities listed in 4(c); and exclude the location of the track from the 500 foot setback. The site is currently approved for an antique market, flea market, and produce market.
Commr. Conner and Commr. Campione voted “no.”
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced that there would be a 15-minute recess at 10:45 a.m.
Mr. Minkoff explained that Florida Statute 286.011 authorizes Boards of County Commissioners to meet in private with their attorney and manager to discuss litigation which is pending, and the requirements are that he would have to request a meeting with them, which he had done at the last meeting, and they would have had to advertise the meeting, which had been done. He related that the subject of the meeting will be confined to settlement negotiations and strategy sessions, and there will be a court reporter present who will record the entire proceeding, with nothing that could be off the record, as well as the names of anyone present and anyone who speaks. He noted that he, Mr. Gray, Ms. Melanie Marsh, and the Commissioners will be present. The regular meeting reconvened at 11:38 a.m. after the closed session.
REPORTS – COUNTY MANAGER
Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager, related that they were contacted by their federal lobbyists a couple of months ago, and they have put together some of their legislative priorities under Tab 7. He pointed out that they had the rail project for the freight rail included in those, and he reported that he would probably be going to Washington D.C. in March with Mr. Minkoff and Commr. Cadwell to meet with representatives and to discuss and look at their legislative priorities.
Commr. Hill pointed out that Commr. Cadwell was still part of the Congress of Regional Leaders, and she hoped he would continue attending the Washington D.C. event and bring that forward. She also asked if the Vice Chairman would also attend the delegation in her place, along with some of staff.
Commr. Campione responded that she would be happy to do that.
update of emergency commuications and operations center
Mr. Gray stated that they received information last week regarding the Emergency Communications and Operations Center after the Board had directed staff to go back and work with their construction manager and the independent cost estimator. He noted that he would put this on the agenda next week to discuss this further.
After some discussion, the Board decided to first discuss this individually with staff and then to hear the full presentation and update about this issue next week.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – DISTRICT 1
work session at cooper memorial library
Commr. Hill reminded the Board about the workshop scheduled for Friday, February 25 at 9:00 a.m. at Cooper Memorial Library in Clermont.
agriculture education services division request
Commr. Hill related that the Agriculture Education Services Division of the Public Resources Department, which was a committee under their Agricultural Extension, requested that a Commissioner attend those meetings, and she asked the Board if anyone would be interested in doing that.
Mr. Minkoff explained that this committee was required by the contract between the County and the Extension Service, which sets up the program, to meet once every quarter.
Commr. Parks stated that he would be interested, and Commr. Campione volunteered to act as an alternate.
meeting with school board officials
Commr. Hill related that she was meeting on March 1 with the School Board Chairman and Superintendent regarding the school impact fees.
reports – commissioner parks and district 2
east central florida regional planning council requests
Commr. Parks gave an update on the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council and related that they need to provide two things, one of which was a report on the 2060 Plan.
Commr. Cadwell added that the disk that would be provided to the Board of the 2060 Plan has the strike-throughs in the language, because it has been through their staff process and they have commented on it once before, but they needed to comment on it in draft form one more time before it is sent to DCA (Department of Community Affairs).
Commr. Parks continued to explain that they also were asked for the Commissioners’ input on potential committee members for the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee, which is comprised of business citizens from around the region. He noted that the committee would hold six meetings for two hours each over the next year.
Commr. Cadwell reported that they currently have only one commitment for that position, and he urged the Board members to let the Planning Council know if they know of any business person they think would like to participate in that.
Commr. Parks explained that they could recommend as many people as they wanted to suggest, and the participants would immediately take part in the process of providing input of ideas regarding the economic strategy for the region.
proclamation for teen dating violence awareness month
Commr. Parks related he was given the opportunity of introducing this resolution by Ms. Rosanna Kingston from The Haven, and he opined that it was a great opportunity for them to make a statement about teen dating violence and protecting their teenagers. He suggested that they could present this resolution to Ms. Kingston at a future meeting.
Commr. Conner added that Representative Kurt Kelly from District 24 in Marion County introduced legislation on this issue that he believed passed in the last legislative session.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2010-22 proclaiming February 2011 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month in Lake County.
reports – commissioner conner – district 3
representative webster town hall meeting
Commr. Conner announced that Representative Dan Webster would have a town hall meeting on Thursday, February 24, in Chambers at 5:30 p.m.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER campione– vice chairman & DISTRICT 4
school impact fees
Commr. Campione related that she has received several comments about the possibility of creating a problem in the lending and building industry since bringing up the school impact fee discussion last meeting that could be brought about by some potential buyers holding off on the purchase of homes to see whether the price would be reduced. She asked if the Board would consider a resolution or ordinance stating that if a reduction is made to the school impact fee, they would make it retroactive to last week when they first had the discussion.
Mr. Minkoff stated that if the Board would clearly direct them, they could make an ordinance retroactive to last Tuesday, February 15.
Commr. Conner commented that although he did not have a problem with that, he thought it was premature to make assumptions about those fees.
Commr. Campione also asked the Chairman to have a discussion with Chairman Stivender of the School Board and for both boards to meet to discuss this issue. She noted that she has been doing research about what the surrounding counties’ fees are, and she did not feel that it would be difficult to justify a reduction.
Commr. Hill stated that she would bring up those points when she talks with them.
Commr. Conner suggested that she emphasize to Commr. Stivender that the Board needs a response from them at their next School Board Meeting.
Commr. Campione thought it was important for all of them to have a dialogue about this if there was any concern.
Commr. Hill opined that she believed the School Board had been receptive to the idea of reduced impact fees before, but they just wanted to look into the legal ramifications of how they set that number.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER CADWELL – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 5
naco legislative conference
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would be going to Washington, D.C. a week from Friday, March 4, for the NACo legislative conference, and he would be back from that on Wednesday, March 9.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m.
jennifer hill, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK