A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
june 26, 2012
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 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: Leslie Campione, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, 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; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Shannon Treen, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Brooks Braswell from the First Baptist Church of Umatilla gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, asked to add under his business approval of the Medical Examiner’s contract. He also requested to pull Tab 26 from the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda and bring it back at a later date since there was a slight change in the numbers presented.
Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager, requested to pull Tab 7 from the County Manager’s Consent Agenda and bring it back at a later date.
Commr. Hill asked to pull Tab 4 from the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda and place it under her business for discussion.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to add the Medical Examiner’s contract to the agenda.
presentation by lake technical center
Dr. Diane Culpepper, Director of Lake Technical Center, stated that Lake Technical Center believes that they are an integral part of the economic development of a community and that it takes government entities, business and industry, and the educational partners in the community to grow and thrive. She noted that the Lake County Board of County Commissioners was the major sponsor of the First Annual National Scott Firefighter Challenge held at the Institute of Public Safety in April, and without their financial support the event would not have flourished. She added that the Board had also included Lake Tech in the County’s strategic plan and also recognized the value of the training Lake Tech provides to the skilled workforce in the community. She pointed out that each year Lake Tech selects one business to honor as its business government partner of the year and they chose Lake County that year. She related that at last Tuesday’s GED Graduation Ceremony, the adult education instructors nominated LakeXpress as the adult education business partner of the year because LakeXpress provided bus passes to Lake Tech students so that transportation was not a barrier to their education. She then presented two plaques to the Chairman and expressed her appreciation to the Board.
Commr. Campione expressed that Lake Tech had been a great partner over the past year and had several accomplishments such as working with the School Board to open up a South Lake Campus, as well as coordinating the on-going effort in regards to meeting the needs of businesses and training Lake County residents. She added that Lake Tech stepped up to the challenge and the County greatly appreciated it.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote by those present (Commr. Cadwell was not present for the vote), the Board approved the Minutes of May 22, 2012 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
No one present wished to address the Board.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote by those present (Commr. Cadwell was not present for the vote), the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 8, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) 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.
Notice of Application by Raintree Utilities, Inc.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Notice before the Florida Public Service Commission – In re: Application by Raintree Utilities, Inc. in Lake County for the transfer of the Bentwood water facilities to the Bentwood Homeowners Association, Inc., and the transfer of the Raintree Harbor water facilities and Certificate No. 539-W to Raintree Harbor Utilities, LLC.; Docket No. 110302-WU, Order No. PSC-12-0260-PAA-WU, Issued: May 29, 2012.
Notice of Application for Increase in Water/Wastewater Rates
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Notice before the Florida Public Service Commission – In re: Application for increase in water/wastewater rates in Alachua, Brevard, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Lake, Lee, Marion, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, Volusia, and Washington Counties by Aqua Utilities Florida, Inc.; Docket No. 100330-WS, Order No. PSC-12-0259-FOF-WS, Issued: May 29, 2012.
Arlington Ridge Community Development District’s Proposed Budget for FY 2013
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Arlington Ridge Community Development District’s Proposed Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, with cover letter stating that the public hearing to adopt the proposed budget has been tentatively scheduled for August 8, 2012.
Annual CAFR for the City of Leesburg
Request to acknowledge receipt of email notification informing the BCC that the annual CAFR for the City of Leesburg for the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2011 is now available on like at: http://leesburgflorida.gov/finance/financial.aspx.
Estates at Cherry Lake Community Development District’s Meeting Schedule
Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of Resolution 2012-07 identifying the Fiscal Year 2012/2013 meeting schedule for Estates at Cherry Lake Community Development District. This meeting schedule is being submitted pursuant to Chapter 190, Florida Statutes.
Rate Case Synopsis from Sundstrom, Friedman & Fumero, LLP
Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of the Rate Case Synopsis from the law firm of Sundstrom, Friedman & Fumero, LLP, regarding the Florida Public Service Commission Docket No.: 120037-WS; Application of Utilities, Inc. of Pennbrooke for an Increase in Water and Wastewater Rates in Lake County, Florida.
Cascades at Groveland Community Development District’s Financial Audit Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of the Cascades at Groveland Community Development District’s Annual Financial Audit Report for the Fiscal Year ended September 30, 2011, along with a cover letter dated May 29, 2012.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote by those present (Commr. Cadwell was not present for the vote), the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 5 through 25, pulling Tab 7, as follows:
Request for approval and signature of the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged Trip and Equipment Grant funding for FY 2012-2013 and supporting Resolution No. 2012-71. The fiscal impact is $628,828.00 (County Portion: $62,883.00 / Grant Funded $565,945.00).
Request for approval and signature of the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged, Agency for Healthcare Administration Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation Agreement Amendment Number 4 from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. The fiscal impact is $916,228.00 (Fully Medicaid Grant Funded).
Conservation and Compliance
Request for approval to start a Law & Government Explorer Post through the Teen Court program. Authorization for the Chairman, County Manager and Program Leader to sign the Annual Memorandum of Understanding, New Unit paperwork, and any subsequent related documents.
Request for the Board to (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.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for approval of a High Value Job Creation (HVJC) Program Award in the amount of $10,000.00 to Manta Machining Company, LLC, for the creation of five (5) qualifying positions and approval and signature on the HVJC Program Agreement with Manta Machining Company, LLC, Inc. and the Lake County Board of County Commissioners.
Request for approval of a High Value Job Creation (HVJC) Program Award in the amount of $24,000.00 to Osprey Lodge, LLC, for the creation of (11) eleven qualifying positions and approval and signature on the HVJC Program Agreement with Osprey Lodge, LLC and the Lake County Board of County Commissioners.
Request for authorization to fill one Human Resources Technician position in the Human Resources Department. The fiscal impact is $42,314.
Request for approval to issue an amendment to the Group Cancer Insurance Benefits Services Contract (08-0014A) for vendor signature, and authorize the Chairman to execute the amendment upon its return. There is no fiscal impact.
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval of GMP of $901,564, a 15% construction and design contingency of $135,000, and $25,000 for soft costs such as: permitting, testing, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, for the project entitled “Animal Services Building Renovation (Expansion)”, and authorize County staff to complete all associated implementing documents. The fiscal impact is $ 1,061,564.00.
Request to approve award of RFQ 2012-00083, HP Network Switches and HP accessories to Centric IT, LLC, Norcross, GA, and authorize the procurement office to execute all related contractual documentation. This fiscal impact is $85,925.00.
Request for approval and signature for Leased Books Agreement Between Lake County and Baker and Taylor. Fiscal Impact is $28,206. (County = $14,103; Municipalities = $14,103).
Request for approval for Chairman and Commissioners to declare and sign Proclamation No. 2012-72 designating July as Park and Recreation Month. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for authorization to fill one vacant (1) Extension Agent position in the Public Resources Department, Agricultural Education Division. (The fiscal impact is $22,595 – represents 40% of estimated salary cost.)
Request for approval to ratify employment of Ms. Laura E. Valencia, Extension Agent I, 4-H. The fiscal impact is $36,139.
Request for approval and execution by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners of: (1) Emergency Management Preparedness and Assistance (EMPA) Trust Fund Base Grant Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management, in the amount of $105,806; and (2) Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management, in the amount of $83,341; and (3) approval of Resolution No. 2012-73; and (4) authorization for the County Manager to sign future amendments/modifications that do not involve financial impact.
Request for approval for the Fire Rescue Division to submit application to the United States Fire Administration Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Application period is June 11 through July 6, 2012, with awards given out prior to the end of the year. Twenty percent matching funds will be identified in the FY2012-13 budget should the grant be awarded. Fiscal impact: $296,777.86. The County portion is $59,355.57; the Federal grant funding is $237,422.29.
Request for authorization to fill two (2) positions within the Public Works Department, Engineering Division; one (1) vacant Assistant Traffic Operations Supervisor position and one (1) vacant Traffic Signal Technician position. The fiscal impact for both positions is $97,198.
Request to approve the FY12/13 Detailed Work Plan Budget-Arthropod Control. The fiscal impact is $18,500.
Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2012-74 authorizing changing the speed limits per GMB Engineers and Planners speed study to include raising the speed limit from 40 MPH to 45 MPH, from .30 west of US 27 to 1.05 east of US 27 and reducing the speed limit from 55 MPH to 45 MPH to approximately 500 feet east of Meandering Trails Blvd., per attached map on CR 48 (3029) and CR 48 (3111) in Commissioner Districts 1 & 3, Section 13 & 14, Township 20, Range 24 and Sections 17 & 18. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2012-75 authorizing the posting of "NO PARKING ON RIGHT OF WAY" signs on Obrien Road (2427) in the Groveland area from the intersection of Obrien Road, South Obrien Road and SR 19 north to Justice Place. There is no fiscal impact.
medical examiner’s contract
Mr. Minkoff explained that the Medical Examiner’s contract was identical to the one from last year and the total contract amount was just over $2.6 million with Lake County’s share being about 20 percent of that.
Commr. Conner asked if any documents had been presented to the Board regarding the contract.
Mr. Minkoff replied “no,” adding that he received a copy of the contract last week after it had been approved by the Medical Examiner Board and the dollar amount was exactly the same as last year. He added that under the Statutes, the County was required to pay the Medical Examiner’s expenses.
Commr. Hill mentioned that if there were any changes to the contract from the other Medical Examiner Board members, the contract would come back to the Board again for approval.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Medical Examiner’s Contract.
public hearings: rezoning
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Manager, stated that the zoning cases had been properly advertised and that there were no changes to the consent agenda and there was only one case on the regular agenda.
rezoning consent agenda
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda as follows:
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2012-39
M. McElroy/Planning & Community Design Division
Request an amendment to Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Ordinance #2012-14 to correct a scrivener’s error in the legal description. Ordinance #2012-14 will be rescinded and replaced by the attached proposed ordinance.
Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2012-40
Douglas L. and Elizabeth Vasser
Request to rezone a 5.32-acre property from Urban Residential (R-6) to Rural Residential (R-1) in order to conduct non-intensive agricultural uses.
Tab 3. Ordinance No. 2012-41
Jo Ann & Larry Benton
Benton Property Rezoning
Request to rezone property from Community Facility District (CFD) to Ranchette District (RA).
Tab 4. Ordinance No. 2012-42
Sarabande Property Company, LLC/Michael Latham
Request to amend Ordinance #38-87 to add the use of Golf Academy/School with academy office and training rooms and fitness center, decrease golf course size to 9 holes, add a driving range-golf practice area, and increase the residential density to 1.6 DU/Net Acre.
rezoning regular agenda
CUP# 12/7/1-1 - JAK Holdings, LLC/Revolution Off Road
Mr. Sheahan presented the case explaining that the applicants, Mr. Kevin and Ms. Audrey Jowett, were requesting to combine two existing Conditional Use Permits (CUP) for an off-road driving facility and ski school facility that currently existed. He noted that the applicant was also requesting additional recreational uses such as skeet shooting, archery, paintball, and up to six special events per year. He specified that the special events could include endurance races, fishing and cooking competitions, jamborees and music festivals. He pointed out that the 215-acre site was located east of SR 33, south of CR 561 and north of CR 474 in the Green Swamp Core Conservation Future Land Use Category. He indicated that the property was a former sand mine and was accessed by an easement from SR 33 which was formerly used for trucks. He stated that the surrounding area was primarily rural with a mix of mining, agricultural, and rural residential uses. He related that the Comprehensive Plan allows for small-scale sporting and recreational camps with a conditional use approval and that those activities were seen as a continuation of the already approved conditional uses on the site. He indicated that the outdoor small-scale recreational activities included off-road vehicle activities, paintball courses, archery, skeet shooting, a corn maze and a pumpkin patch. He related that neither the Comprehensive Plan nor the Land Development Regulations (LDR) specifically addressed music festivals; however, the most similar use to music festivals in the Comprehensive Plan was Outdoor Recreation and that was allowed in the Green Swamp Future Land Use Category with a CUP. He added that the most similar use to music festivals in the LDR’s was Outdoor Commercial and that was allowed in the Agricultural Zoning District with a CUP. He explained that specific conditions for the music festivals and the special events have been placed in the ordinance to reduce the potential impact to neighboring properties, such as limits on the location, hours of operation, and duration. He specified that only one music festival was allowed per calendar year and was limited to one day for a 24-hour period and that the special events were limited to six events per calendar year and they could not exceed 72 consecutive hours per event. He mentioned that conditions have also been placed in the ordinance to limit the number of off-road vehicles and watercraft, as well as the hours of operation for the off-road driving, paintball course, skeet shooting, archery and agricultural uses. He stated that the size and number of structures were also limited and that a noise study would be required for any new off-road track or structure requiring site plan approval. He related that a minimum setback of 100 feet from all property lines was required and that any obstacles or structures that would congregate people must be a minimum of 200 feet from any property used for residential purposes and 400 feet from any residence. He noted that emergency medical personnel were required at all events and the special events drawing more than 500 people per day would be evaluated through the Incident Action Plan by Lake County Emergency Management. He explained that the Incident Action Plan was a plan in which applicable agencies evaluate the conditions surrounding the site and address the impacts that the special event might bring to the site and to the surrounding area to ensure that adequate conditions were placed on the event to prevent undue burden to the area residents’ health, safety and welfare. He mentioned that there was also a condition in the ordinance stating that medical access for any adjacent properties must be provided. He pointed out that because the road easement had been a major concern, specific conditions have been included requiring the applicant to maintain the access easement at the applicant’s expense from his property to SR 33 every four weeks or as needed due to heavy rain or extremely dry conditions. He added that after each large special event, the access road must also be maintained within three to five days and if access was restricted for any reason, immediate maintenance was required. He related that an improved and unobstructed point of ingress and egress must be provided for all emergency vehicles at all times and if improvements were necessary, the property owner was responsible for constructing those to County standards. He then stated that the County had received 15 letters in support of the application with the majority of those being from the property owners surrounding the applicant’s property. He added that the adjacent property owner, Mr. Travis Ward, had submitted petitions as well as letters of opposition and that yesterday the County received 279 letters of opposition and 81 letters of opposition that morning. He explained that the application was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the LDR’s; therefore, staff was recommending approval with the conditions contained in the ordinance. He also noted that the Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval as well.
Commr. Parks disclosed that he had met with Mr. Travis Ward and Mr. Kevin Jowett. He then asked what measures would be in place to protect the wetlands and the Green Swamp if the CUP was approved.
Mr. Sheahan replied that all wetlands must be identified and the current Comprehensive Plan required a minimum 50 foot setback. He added that as a requirement of the previous site plan, all of the wetlands on the property were currently under conservation easement with the St. Johns River Water Management District.
Mr. Kevin Jowett, the applicant and owner of Revolution Off Road, addressed the Board showing a presentation in support of his application and he also showed videos of the types of activities and the noise levels from the activities held on his property. He explained that Revolution Off Road was located 15 miles west of Disney World and that the property had been commercially used for many years specifying that in the 1960’s it was a sand mine, in the 1980’s it was a sawmill, in the 1990’s it became a water ski school, and then it became Revolution Off Road. He stated that riders were not allowed to operate the vehicles without guides and that all of their guides were trained with the American Safety Institute. He pointed out that the wetlands were very important to them and that they had 72 acres of wetlands on their property that were in conservation and have done wetland creation as well. He added that they have also hired a company to spray for any non-indigenous species every three months. He noted that they were approached by Mad Cap Events last year to host endurance races and specified that the first event, which was held in August 2011, accounted for over 3,000 people and the second event, which was held in March 2012, accounted for over 6,000 people. He stated that multiple companies benefitted from those races such as the local restaurants, gas stations, stores, hotels, campgrounds and RV Parks, contractors, vendors, portable restroom companies, as well as lumber and equipment suppliers, and noted that the economic contribution was estimated at $500,000 for the March event. He indicated that the events were very successful and ran very smoothly, but they did receive a complaint about the noise from Mr. Ward and that was the first complaint they had ever received since starting their business. He pointed out that aircraft gliders fly over Mr. Ward’s property daily, four-wheelers ride up and down the edge of his property, a sand mine currently operated nearby, and Mr. Ward’s property was 500 yards from a major road; therefore, he did not think that the noise from the endurance races was more than the noise generated from those other activities. He mentioned that the entrance road to their property was constructed many years ago for the sand mine and that it was a very stable road because it had a solid base to it. He explained that they did have an issue with the road after the first endurance race event because they received four to five inches of rain within four hours. He elaborated that the road was a mess but all of the 1,000 vehicles including fire trucks, paramedics, and police were able to leave unassisted. He related that it was in his best interest to keep the road maintained and immediately after the rain stopped, they started working on grading the road. He noted that they continually have complaints from the surrounding neighbors over the condition of the road, but after several inspections by Code Enforcement they were informed that the road was in good condition and actually exceeded County requirements. He explained that they were planning on signing a contract to hold two savage races each year for the next five years, but they lost the contract to Pasco County. He added that those races could have been an economic contribution of about $5 million over the next five years. He stated that he was recently approached by another company with an opportunity to offer a jet lift, which was powered by water and quieter than a speed boat, and he wanted to make sure that would not be excluded within the CUP because he originally agreed not to allow any kind of personal watercraft. He pointed out that their business catered to three different sectors: tourists, corporate, and local residents and stated that they currently had five full-time staff and 15 part-time staff that were on-call for corporate events and that they used 36 vendors on a regular basis in which 23 of those were based in Lake County. He also mentioned that they had over 9,000 visitors to their facility last year. He noted that they were an active member of the Florida Attractions Association and that he was a board member on the Kissimmee Chamber of Commerce and the South Lake Chamber of Commerce. He added that they were affiliated with many major attractions such as Orlando Balloons, Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, Disney, Universal and Sea World and they help promote each other’s businesses. He remarked that there have been many letters of opposition regarding his application and he believed that most of that was attributed to the current litigation between him and Mr. Ward. He then showed a map indicating which surrounding property owners were in support of the application and pointed out that Mr. Ward had been the only one to complain. He expressed that the reason for the application was because the current CUP’s limit their growth and expansion and they do not allow for special events. He added that they wanted to expand to an outdoor sports and recreation facility and become more of a family friendly business.
Commr. Conner asked if alcohol was allowed on the property.
Mr. Jowett responded that they do not sell alcohol to the customers and the customers were not allowed to bring alcohol on the property, but the companies organizing the special events were allowed to supply alcohol.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. John Runner, a resident of Clermont, stated that SR 33, CR 474 and CR 561 could not handle the amount of traffic generated from a music festival and that those roads would be backed up and public services such as fire and police would not be able to travel those roads if needed. He noted that music festivals would also affect the Green Swamp because the fluids leaking from all of those vehicles would seep into the ground and into the aquifer.
Ms. Debbie Forgit, a resident of Clermont, commented that at the last savage race event it took her 45 minutes to travel half of a mile and there was no way an ambulance or fire truck could get down those roads. She added that the area was rural and not suited for those types of events.
Mr. Ralph Rodgers, a resident of Clermont, remarked that he lives approximately four miles north of Mr. Jowett’s property and west of SR 33 and noted that last year there was a music festival catered to motorcyclists about one and a quarter mile from his property and he had to call the Sheriff’s Office multiple times to complain because it was a nuisance. He also mentioned that Mr. Jowett’s property had been used commercially for many years and he questioned whether that property should be classified as agricultural zoning.
Mr. Ky McAteer, a resident of Clermont, asked if there was a parking agreement with the Seminole Lake Gliderport to park vehicles on the runway when Revolution Off Road held large special events.
Mr. Sheahan answered that staff had no knowledge of there being an agreement with the Gliderport to park vehicles.
Ms. Wanda Osteen, a resident of Clermont, noted that she lives half of a mile from Mr. Jowett’s property and she was concerned about allowing alcohol on the premises and the traffic problems. She pointed out that Mr. Ward owns property on both sides of the access road and she was worried about people leaving the events under the influence of alcohol and the possibility of someone running into Mr. Ward’s fence and letting his cows loose. She also mentioned that she lives with elderly people and she was concerned that an ambulance could not reach her house if traffic was backed up from one of the events.
Ms. Rhonda Beach, a resident of Clermont, explained that her son, Mr. Ward, was a paralyzed veteran and Mr. Jowett had a lawsuit against him that has cost him thousands of dollars. She added that the Green Swamp needed to be protected and that the residents live in that area for the peace and quiet. She expressed that if she had been able to, she would have submitted thousands of letters objecting to the request.
Mr. Daniel McElroy, a resident of Clermont, stated that a detailed analysis should be conducted to determine the impacts the events would have on the road, the traffic and the Green Swamp. He added that a reasonable requirement would be to pave the road.
Mr. John Farrington, a resident of Clermont, pointed out that it took him over an hour to travel about a mile from CR 474 to his property during the savage race event held in March and noted that law enforcement was not directing the traffic.
Mr. Sam Abbitt, CEO of Savage Race, addressed some of the concerns raised by the residents and stated that his company made some mistakes with the traffic at the last event mainly because they had not held an event as large as that before so they were not as prepared as they should have been. He noted that it was in their best interest to make sure the customers did not experience traffic issues because it was bad for their business and added that they have since hired outside consulting companies to address traffic management. He then addressed the alcohol concern and pointed out that a lot of their proceeds from the events have gone towards charities specifying that last year they raised over $15,000 for the Angel Snows Charity, which helps children deal with the issues of cancer. He also mentioned that most of the people attending the events were paying $90 to $100 per event and that they were weekend warriors, CEO’s of companies, and attorneys, and the average age was 35 years old and their ages ranged between 25 and 45. He indicated that there had not been a single alcohol related incident at either event. He stated that they have since moved the event to Pasco County because they were offered a grant for $20,000 to move it, but they would be interested in moving the event back to Lake County one day.
Mr. John Moore, a resident of Clermont who lives with Mr. Ward, commented that although he was not opposed to the savage race, he thought the Green Swamp was not the appropriate place to hold one because of the rules and regulations that everyone had to abide by. He mentioned that Mr. Abbitt stated he would like to bring his events back to Lake County, but he stated on his website that the reason he moved venues was because he outgrew Mr. Jowett’s property. He pointed out that Mr. Jowett was already advertising for an event on his website without knowing whether the request would be approved and added that the track and obstacles for the event were located in the wetlands on two adjacent properties that Mr. Jowett did not own. He also remarked that the property owners in that area were trying to make a living off of their farms, cattle and citrus and Mr. Jowett was making a living from amusement which was not considered agriculture.
Ms. Kim Moore, a resident of Clermont who lives with Mr. Ward, stated that she witnessed the traffic and noise problems from both of the savage race events and Mr. Sam Abbitt assured her that there would be two deputy sheriffs present to address any traffic issues at the March event and that he would take full responsibility if anything happened to Mr. Ward’s deer. She indicated that there were not any deputies present and he was not taking responsibility for the deer that died. She mentioned that their telephone jack had been run over and their fence had been hit and one of the posts had broken off, but no one replaced it. She remarked that she was also concerned about the event that Mr. Jowett was scheduling for November because the music for the event was scheduled to be held on a portion of the property where music was not allowed. She expressed that she was in opposition of the request and that if it was approved, Mr. Ward would have to sell all of his deer and his deer business began before Mr. Jowett’s business.
Mr. Adam Ashton, Lake County Manager for the Central Florida Sports Commission, expressed that Revolution Off Road had the potential to make a huge impact to the County and since there were not many events in Lake County that could make such an impact like the savage race did, it would be a shame not to utilize that property for such events. He noted that there was a need for those types of recreational activities and there was not a lot of open land in Lake County to use for such activities.
Mr. William O’Pry, owner of Billy O’s Automotive on SR 33, explained that he bought his automotive property in 1992 with the understanding that no more businesses would be allowed in the Green Swamp and in 1999 he received a CUP for his business and the County indicated that he could not expand his business. He stated that he was not opposed to Revolution Off Road, but he was opposed to the savage race events because they were catastrophic to the community and the attendees to the events did not have respect for the community. He added that the traffic from the race blocked SR 33 for about five hours and expressed that those roads could not handle that amount of traffic and the community did not need or want any more races.
Mr. Jimmy Beach, a resident of Clermont, stated that he and his son, Mr. Ward, were veterans and Mr. Jowett had never shown respect for either of them. He pointed out that everyone should have to abide by the rules and regulations of the Green Swamp. He also mentioned that he could hear the noise from the events at his house and that the attendees to the events threw their trash into his hay field.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
The Chairman announced that there would be a ten-minute recess at 10:39 a.m.
CUP# 12/7/1-1 - JAK Holdings, LLC/Revolution Off Road (cont’d)
Mr. Peter Brown, a resident of Clermont and neighbor to the north of Mr. Jowett’s property, mentioned that the only noise he ever heard came from the planes that fly over his house from the Gliderport. He also noted that Mr. Jowett had been taking care of the wetlands in that area and that the sand mine was located on over 20 acres and it had destroyed tons of the wetlands. He commented that correcting the vehicle parking and traffic issues should solve the problems.
Mr. Dean Calabraro, a resident of Clermont, remarked that he lives about 400 feet away from the Gliderport and the planes had never been a nuisance in the 24 years that he has lived there. He commented that the traffic from the events was a nuisance and that he had been stuck in the traffic problems from the last event. He added that CR 474, CR 561 and SR 33 could not handle that amount of traffic and that he has young children and he did not want all of those people in and around their neighborhood.
Mr. George Beach, a resident of Clermont, stated that his property adjoins Mr. Jowett’s property and that he owns cattle, equipment, and hay fields and he was concerned about what might happen at night if there was overnight camping and the attendees were drinking alcohol.
Ms. Jozette Spina, a resident of Leesburg and LPN who takes care of Mr. Ward, noted that she could not get to Mr. Ward to take care of him after the savage race events because the road was a mess and Mr. Jowett had to shut it down to address the problems with it. She also mentioned that the events have had an impact on Mr. Ward’s health because he had been worrying about his cattle and his deer. She was also concerned about the tortoises in the area because one had already been killed on that road.
Mr. James Bump, a resident of Umatilla, stated that he was concerned about Mr. Ward’s health since he was a disabled veteran and in a wheelchair and also because there would not be any control over the people participating in the events. He added that consideration should be given to Mr. Ward and his family especially after seeing the support of Mr. Ward’s neighbors.
Ms. Tina Fort, a resident of Clermont, explained that she was concerned with the additional traffic from the events because one car accident would shut down an entire road and there were a lot of elderly people that lived in that area. She also commented that the wetlands were protected for a reason and although damage had already been done to them, they could not afford any more.
Mr. Geoff Ball, a resident of Montverde, pointed out that he works at Revolution Off Road on a part-time basis and he had met people from all over the world who came there to fish. He noted that they suggest other recreational activities in Lake County, as well as hotels and restaurants to the customers and he opined that Revolution Off Road was the face of South Lake County. He mentioned that Montverde had grown significantly over the years and the residents have had to deal with the impact of new growth. He expressed that although he understood the inconvenience the events may pose to Mr. Ward, the County needed to grow and move forward.
Mr. Troy Lewis, a resident of Clermont, stated that he had no intent of stopping Mr. Jowett from making a living, but the activities at Revolution Off Road were now infringing upon the neighbors’ rights to live in peace. He pointed out that Mr. Jowett was already advertising for an event in November without proper approval and the event was going to take place on two adjacent properties that were owned by Mr. Donald Paul Simmons, who is a County employee, and he opined that was a conflict of interest. He noted that Mr. Jowett should have bought land in an area that was zoned for those types of activities since they were not agriculturally based. He remarked that a traffic study should be completed and the environmental issues should be addressed as well, such as the impacts the lead from the guns for skeet shooting and the dripping oil from the vehicles would have on the drinking water. He stated that Mr. Jowett should have to put up bonds if he planned to add showers on the property to ensure the mess was cleaned up should something go wrong. He expressed that there were a lot of children and disabled veterans in the area and that studies should be conducted first before approving the request.
Mr. Travis Ward, adjacent property owner, explained that after the savage race event, the road was not safe until three weeks after and his nurse could not get down it for three days. He indicated that his deer were very important to him and he had spent thousands of dollars on them. He added that the deer were scared of the noise from the events and that the noise could be heard from inside his house. He also mentioned that he started his cattle business in 1998 and his deer farm in 2005, and Mr. Jowett started his business in 2008.
Mr. Jonny Simpkins, a resident of Clermont, commented that he lives one and a half miles from Revolution Off Road and that he had attended both savage race events. He related that he was also a member of the Florida Trail Riders, which was one of the largest motorcycle racing organizations in the U.S., and they hold 34 events in Florida each year that were located on private property. He added that they have to address parking, noise, alcohol, law enforcement and emergency medical services and they have never encountered any problems with their events. He stated that the savage race events were very beneficial because not only do they bring revenue to the County, they help with the obesity problem since they were fitness races. He opined that there have been a lot of inaccurate statements made previously and he supported the request.
Mr. Herman Lukz, Jr., a resident of Clermont, mentioned that he was concerned about parking and traffic and that there was not a turn lane off of SR 33 to the entrance road. He stated that there was not an off-site parking plan or a traffic management plan and if Mr. Jowett was proposing 10,000 people at the music event, that meant there would be 3,300 cars since there was on average three people per car. He added that would exceed the amount that Mr. Jowett had space for. He related that the noise from the proposed skeet shooting range would cause problems to Mr. Ward’s deer and when the deer get nervous, they do not breed. He also commented that the wildlife would also be driven away with the noise and that would defeat Mr. Jowett’s purpose of wildlife photography.
Mr. Paul Fabry, a resident of Winter Garden, explained that he owns a citrus grove on the access road and his main concern was the number of cars travelling down that road and the liability of it since it was a private road that he owns. He added that he intended to keep a gate and a fence on that road to protect his right to his property. He indicated that he needed to operate his business in a timely manner and he could not afford to have the road backed up and stated that the road was not in that good of shape to allow that type of traffic.
Mr. Ian Scienze, a resident of Clermont, stated that he has worked at Revolution Off Road for the past year and the future of that business was his livelihood. He added that the business was run well, the land was beautifully kept, and the road was being meticulously maintained.
Mr. Jamie Browne, a resident of Groveland, noted that he owns the tree farm south of the easement in question and Mr. Jowett was one of his first customers and purchased close to $10,000 worth of trees for the previous CUP to buffer his property from Mr. Ward’s property. He added that Mr. Jowett had also purchased additional plants to recreate and mitigate the wetlands, to enhance his property for wildlife, and because of complaints from the neighbors. He pointed out that the road was in much better shape than other dirt roads and that the noise from Revolution Off Road did not affect him as much as the gliders did. He remarked that Mr. Jowett has been an excellent neighbor and an excellent business partner.
Ms. Leisa Watson, a resident of Mascotte, explained that she was concerned about the number of events Mr. Jowett was proposing, the environment and whether the alcohol allowed at the events would be regulated. She expressed that she was worried about the animals, the people that live in the area and the impacts the runoff from the vehicles would have to the water and the Green Swamp.
Ms. Tammy Taylor, a resident of Groveland, pointed out that her main concern was Mr. Ward’s health and if his nurses could not reach him because the roads were backed up. She added that her other concern was allowing alcohol at the events because when alcohol was involved, something bad always happened. She opined that Mr. Jowett should have investigated other properties that could better accommodate his requests.
Mr. Adam Gonzalez, a resident of Clermont, stated that it was disconcerting to him to see what Mr. Jowett was doing to the land. He commented that the environmental concerns should be addressed first to determine the kinds of impact the runoff of oil and gas from the vehicles would have on their water. He also indicated that the noise from the videos previously shown were not representative of the actual noise from the events.
Mr. David Barker, a resident of Groveland, pointed out that last year a music festival being proposed in Groveland was denied because of issues with the road and the noise, and that years ago mud pulls were being held on property off of SR 33 and those were stopped because of environmental concerns. He also noted that Mr. Ward’s deer have been nervous and scared because of the noise from the events at Revolution Off Road.
Mr. Dan Judy, a resident of Groveland, commented that his father had leased the property that Mr. Ward and Mr. Jowett own back in the 1960’s and 1970’s and there were cattle and a farm on that land, but it eventually became unfarmable because of the water levels. He added that over the past 30 years the rainfall has dropped and should the average rainfall levels increase, Mr. Jowett would have to shut down his business.
Ms. Mary Prescott with Florida from a Kayak, LLC noted that Lake County had approximately 12,000 businesses and of those businesses, 86 percent had an average of 7.5 employees. She pointed out that small businesses were the backbone of the community as they paid taxes, created jobs and provided a revenue stream to the community. She mentioned that Revolution Off Road contracted the services of Florida from a Kayak to provide kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding for their corporate team building events and that Florida from a Kayak has had bounce-back business from being an exhibitor at the savage races. She related that those types of cooperative agreements allow small businesses to succeed. She expressed that Revolution Off Road was a Lake County destination and after the initial experience at the park, the guests eat at local restaurants and purchase fuel as they depart.
Ms. Susan Knapp, a resident of Clermont, stated that one of the hallmarks of Lake County was ecotourism and Central Florida had been a poster child for the statement “if you build it, they will come.” She added that JAK Holdings had proven to themselves and to everyone around them that they have a working business model and were poised to move into large-scale production. She noted that the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern was not the appropriate place for such large-scale ventures, nor did the proper infrastructure exist for those. She indicated that the community was not willing to have the Jowetts invite large-scale crowds into their homes. She mentioned that SR 33 was already a deadly road, it was not properly maintained, and it was also already heavily traveled by trucks and additional vehicles would severely impact the flow of traffic. She commented that she not only represented the residents in the area, but represented species of concern such as panthers, gopher tortoises, indigo snakes, and sand skinks who had no say in the debate but depended upon them for survival. She related that large groups of people attracted mosquitos and if the County decided to use mosquito control again, that would impact the food web that existed in that area. She expressed that Mr. Jowett had outgrown the Green Swamp and the delicate balance that existed in that area. She urged the Board to look for other properties that were more suited for such large-scale activities with available infrastructure and to vote to preserve that area as well as to direct the stress and pressures of development elsewhere.
Ms. Vicki Lester-Smith, a resident of Clermont, explained that the residents in that area moved there to get away from the city and although she understood that Mr. Jowett was trying to bring tourism into the Green Swamp to see its beauty, she did not want to lose their sense of community during those events. She noted that the last savage race proved that it was a popular sport and that it could draw people to the area, but it seemed that the County was only interested in how much revenue it could bring in. She stated that a lot of information was missing and it was important to concentrate on the impacts to the area. She urged the Board to take more time to study the requests that have been brought forth to make sure the traffic and other activities were not harmful to the community or to the Green Swamp.
Ms. Linda Diane Stevens, a resident of Clermont, pointed out that her concerns were the traffic, the infrastructure, the off-site parking and protecting the Green Swamp and she wanted to make sure all of those concerns were addressed before a decision was made.
Ms. Anita Geraci-Carver, Attorney representing Travis Ward and Kim and John Moore who live on the adjacent property, stated that Mr. Ward owns 140 acres on both sides of the easement access road and he raises 110 cattle and 80 deer. She noted that the 15 people who submitted letters in support of the project own property in that area but did not reside there. She indicated that Mr. Jowett first came to the County for approval of his business in 2002 and at the time he had made many representations to the Board and the public that there would not be any racing or spectator events, the maximum number of visitors at one time would be approximately 30, the most intensive use would be local corporate retreat events, and noise would not be a concern because there would be restricted hours. She mentioned that Mr. Jowett was now requesting to have paintball, skeet shooting, music festivals, and endurance races. She specified that the ordinance did not address the hours for events other than the music festivals, special events and motorized events and she requested that the hours for all other events be limited as well. She also requested that in order to address the concerns raised by the residents in the area that no special events be allowed and if they were allowed, that the number of people allowed to attend the events at any one time would be limited to 300. She related that the deer and cattle were a major concern to Mr. Ward and the deer have become accustomed to the noise from the ATV’s, the farm equipment, and the Gliderport, but not to clapping, music and different pitches and sounds. She added that an additional buffer of a berm would be appropriate to help muffle the noise coming from Mr. Jowett’s property. She also commented that the clay road was not equipped to handle the number of vehicles coming to those events. She pointed out that originally the marketing of Revolution Off Road was to local residents, but now they were marketing to tourists for more intensive uses. She expressed that it was good to see Lake County’s economic development increase, but it should not be at the expense of the residents who live in that area. She then showed two videos that were taken during the last savage race event depicting the traffic on the road and the noise from the event and also provided pictures of the condition of the road after the event and portions of the BCC minutes and the Planning and Zoning Board minutes from 2002 which discussed the original CUP request.
Mr. Jowett addressed some of the concerns brought forward and confirmed that there was not a contract with the Gliderport for additional parking. He noted that there was a provision in the ordinance stating that law enforcement would address any traffic and alcohol issues and that the special events would be reviewed by Emergency Management and the recommendations would be enacted. He pointed out that it was in his best interest to keep the road in good condition for his customers. He indicated that there would only be six events each year and most of the events would be small, such as Boy Scout jamborees and church events and related that he was only proposing to have two races each year, but since he lost the savage race he was down to only one. He mentioned that the Run for Your Lives event that was being planned for November was being advertised several months early so that the organizer had plenty of time to put the plans together and he explained that the proposed map was not final so the location of the event on the property might change. He added that the organizers were aware that they might need to change venues if the CUP was not approved. He expressed that he has never disrespected any of his neighbors and that because his business has grown, he should not be penalized for his success.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell asked if there was a plan in place to address the parking once the main parking lot was full.
Mr. Sheahan replied that the Incident Action Plan through Emergency Management would address the traffic, the traffic circulation, the ability of the site to accommodate that particular event, the actual placement of the event activities on the site, whether medical personnel was needed, and if additional law enforcement was needed to ensure SR 33 did not get backed up or that parking did not occur on SR 33 or CR 561. He stated that if the event would draw more people than could be accommodated on the site, then off-site parking would have to be arranged and if that could not be arranged and there would be a significant adverse impact on the infrastructure, the event would not be held at that site.
Commr. Campione asked if that analysis would address whether an ambulance was able to navigate through that area and in particular get to Mr. Ward’s house.
Mr. Sheahan stated that because that was very important, it was specifically required in the ordinance.
Commr. Conner asked how an event of that magnitude could be held without backing up traffic on SR 33.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, responded that traffic back-ups were their biggest concern and that typically the beginning of an event had the most back-ups. He mentioned that there would need to be a lot of law enforcement and traffic management for each event, but there would be no way around having back-ups. He related that law enforcement would also be needed to keep the sides of the roads clear of illegal parking.
Commr. Campione asked if message boards could be placed in that area one week in advance of a special event to notify local residents.
Mr. Stivender answered that would be addressed in the Emergency Management plan.
Commr. Cadwell asked why jet skis and seadoos were not permitted.
Mr. Sheahan mentioned that personal watercraft was limited in order to address the noise concern and the perceived adverse impacts they would have on neighbors.
Commr. Cadwell asked if that would include the jet lift.
Mr. Sheahan replied that would fall under personal watercraft because the device that powered the jet pack was a small waverunner. He added that the Board could remove the personal watercraft restriction or place a limit on the number.
Commr. Cadwell opined that it would make more sense to place a limit on the number.
Mr. Sheahan mentioned that five motorized vessels were allowed so personal watercraft would be limited to five as well.
Commr. Cadwell asked why six was chosen as the number of special events allowed.
Mr. Sheahan pointed out that the initial request was for 10, but because the savage race in particular had such strong impacts on the surrounding community they wanted to limit those impacts. He added that the number was compromised to allow the applicant to have six special events assuming that the majority would be low-key events with the remainder being the high-level events.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he would be more comfortable if four of the events were low-key and the other two were the major events.
Mr. Sheahan mentioned that there was a CUP case about two years ago where mud bogging and truck pulls were involved and the specific events were broken down, but that had been cumbersome to apply and to enforce. He noted that by not breaking those special events down, it allowed the events to be addressed on a case by case basis.
Commr. Campione related that it would be better to specify that a certain number of events could be the large ones.
Mr. Sheahan stated that they could specify that only two of the six events were allowed to draw more than 2,000 people.
Commr. Conner asked how that would be regulated.
Mr. Sheahan replied that all six events would require County approval if the event was estimated to draw more than 500 people.
Commr. Parks asked if Emergency Management would have the ability to deny an event if the concerns were not addressed.
Mr. Minkoff replied that the County manager would be able to grant or deny the permit.
Commr. Campione asked if an environmental assessment would be required as a condition to the site plan.
Mr. Sheahan replied “yes,” adding that an environmental assessment was completed and there was already an approved site plan. He stated that the applicant had already received permits from the St. Johns River Water Management District for the wetlands and for stormwater and mentioned that the stormwater permit addressed the water quality and quantity. He noted that the applicant also received a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to address the issues of the gopher tortoises and the other wildlife that was currently on the site.
Commr. Campione asked if the Water Management District would address the issue of having cars parked on non-impervious areas.
Mr. Sheahan responded “yes,” noting that the applicant would have to modify the current site plan to reflect those issues.
Commr. Cadwell asked if they could require the applicant to put up a bond in case the applicant did not maintain the road after an event was held and the County had to repair it.
Mr. Minkoff stated that if Public Works could determine the amount of the bond, they could include that in the ordinance.
Mr. Stivender commented that the amount would be less than $5,000.
Commr. Conner mentioned that he was concerned about allowing alcohol at the events and asked if there was any appetite to prohibit alcohol at the music festivals.
Commr. Cadwell stated “no.”
Commr. Campione opined that she did not have an issue with allowing alcohol.
Commr. Parks noted that the alcohol would be regulated.
Commr. Campione mentioned that the ordinance specified that the Board could revoke the CUP if there was non-compliance with the conditions.
Commr. Conner expressed that he appreciated the steps the Board made to tighten up the application process so that the same problems that occurred at the last events would not occur again, but his main issues were the road, the traffic and allowing alcohol at the music festivals. He opined that although he was in favor of economic development and for allowing people to grow their businesses, it seemed as though they were trying to put more on the property than what the infrastructure would support.
Commr. Campione stated that it was difficult to hear the different sides being presented and she understood the concerns of the neighbors to try to preserve the character of their area and the peaceful setting. She explained that the special events were limited with strict conditions and if those conditions were not adhered to, the Board had the right to revoke the permit. She added that the lessons that have been learned since the savage race would help in evaluating future applications and if the issues could not be dealt with adequately, then the event would not be held at that location. She expressed that they were trying to balance the issues and concerns of the residents with the interests of the applicant and that the County would monitor the CUP and do their best to maintain that balance and protect the character of the area and the residents’ quality of life.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2012-43 and Rezoning Case CUP# 12/7/1-1, JAK Holdings, LLC/Revolution Off Road, which was a request to combine two existing CUP’s to add additional recreational and special event uses to the approved off-road driving and ski school facility with the additional conditions of requiring a $5,000 bond agreement to ensure maintenance of the road, limiting the special events so that only two of the six could exceed 2,000 people, and to allow personal watercraft under the category of Motorized Vessels which was limited to a maximum of five, so that the applicant could use the jet lift.
Commr. Conner voted “no.”
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
The Chairman announced that there would be a ten-minute recess at 12:47 p.m.
clerk of court’s consent agenda – tab 4
Commr. Hill expressed appreciation to the Procurement Department and to the Clerk’s Office Selection Committee in keeping the final bid cost down. She also mentioned that the contract was extended for another six months in case another entity wanted to piggyback onto the contract.
Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court, stated that they thought it was a good idea to make it broad enough so that other entities could use it and to institute an additional period in case the Clerk’s Office had additional needs.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved contract 12-0418 to OEC Business Interiors for the purchase and installation of furniture for the expanded Judicial Center facility, and authorized the procurement office to execute all implementing documentation. The immediate fiscal impact is $400,000 for furniture to be ordered by the Clerk of Courts on an as-required basis.
Mt. plymouth-Sorrento community redevelopment area
Mr. Gray stated that staff would discuss Tabs 27, 28 and 29 together, which was the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Finding of Necessity Resolution, the creation of the Community Redevelopment Agency Resolution, and the Community Redevelopment Advisory Committee Ordinance, but the Board would need to vote on each Tab separately.
Commr. Campione clarified that typically CRAs were created by cities and this would be the first time that the County created a CRA. She noted that the County would have control over the CRA as opposed to the cities being in control, and the CRA could be terminated by the Board if property values increased throughout the County and the Board thought there were sufficient funds designated to that area.
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Community Services Director, explained that a CRA was a designated area targeted for revitalization in order to improve the aesthetics of the community and to foster private investment and that the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) was the CRA’s dedicated funding source and it consisted of incremental increases in ad valorem revenues generated after the adoption of the base year of the CRA. She noted that the base year was established at the end of the process when the redevelopment plan and the ordinance creating the TIF trust fund were approved by the Board, and the adopted redevelopment plan established the goals for improving the community and included a list of projects that would be funded with TIF revenues. She related that implementation safeguards were recommended to ensure that the funds were being utilized for their intended purpose and those included having the Board serve as the agency, bringing future amendments to the Redevelopment Plan for Board consideration at a public hearing, funding redevelopment projects on a pay-as-you-go basis instead of issuing bonds, and only funding infrastructure associated with redevelopment projects rather than new projects. She pointed out that the proposed CRA was adjacent to the future Lake County interchange for the Wekiva Parkway and was located east of the Mount Dora Employment Center. She added that the CRA boundary runs along SR 46 from Orange Street on the west side to the CR 435/SR 46 intersection on the east side, and the northern boundary was adjacent to Sorrento Elementary School and East Lake Community Park. She indicated that the first step in the process of establishing a CRA was for the Board to adopt the Finding of Necessity Resolution and Study, designate the CRA Agency, and create the Advisory Committee. She added that once those were approved, the County would make appointments to the Advisory Committee, who would assist in the process of preparing the Redevelopment Plan, and that the final draft of the Redevelopment Plan would be scheduled for review at a Planning and Zoning Board meeting to determine consistency with the County’s Comprehensive Plan. She related that the Board would then adopt the Redevelopment Plan and establish the TIF trust fund for future revenues. She then reviewed the Finding of Necessity Study and specified that staff analyzed the existing conditions in the study area and found that there was a deterioration of site and other improvements which included vacant commercial properties, commercial and residential structures in need of repair, and numerous code enforcement complaints focusing on abandoned residential units, trash and debris, illegal dumping, and inoperable vehicles. She added that staff also found that there was defective or inadequate infrastructure and a review of road networks and commercial parking areas indicated deficiencies which included roads with crumbling shoulders; no curbs, sidewalks or street lighting; and inadequate or deficient parking. She concluded the presentation stating that the study found that areas of the community were showing signs of deterioration due to age, obsolescence and a lack of investment and that there were numerous commercial and residential structures, as well as streets and parking areas, in need of repair. She noted that there was a significant lack of pedestrian friendly infrastructure and that those conditions indicated a need for a strategic redevelopment effort to reverse the trend.
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and final reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA, CREATING LAKE COUNTY CODE CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE IV, DIVISION 5, ENTITLED “MT. PLYMOUTH-SORRENTO COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE”; PROVIDING FOR FUNCTIONS, POWERS, AND DUTIES; PROVIDING FOR MEMBERSHIP; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing for Tabs 27, 28 and 29.
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares who writes a blog called FiscalRangers.com, stated that he supported business development, but he wanted transparency over the process because after researching CRAs, he found there has been a lot of abuse throughout the Country as well as in Florida. He noted that a CRA was a method to divert funds from existing tax sources into other uses that the voters have not approved and added that the County was taking $1.3 million out of the general fund budget and paying it out to other CRAs that already existed in the County. He mentioned that there may not be a fiscal impact for the CRA for that year, but there could be a significant fiscal impact from the general fund as well as other tax authorities over the next 20 years. He suggested that Sorrento become a city or have a special tax assessment district, because once a CRA was formed there was no control over funds and there would not be any rules governing the future boards and they could make decisions that could harm the taxpayers. He then referenced three reports that showed the various problems and abuses that occurred with CRAs and stated that the State did not audit CRAs for efficiency, effectiveness, compliance or flagrant misspending. He added that the documents relating to the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento CRA did not define a plan to protect the taxpayer or prevent some of the abuses that were known to happen in other CRAs. He related that when the funds come out of the general fund for the CRA, the rest of the taxpayers contributing to the general fund would have to make up for County services that were depleted from the loss of the diversion of funds. He expressed that he recognized the reasons for creating a CRA, but that a CRA could be very dangerous especially since there was not any oversight.
Mr. Dave Croson, a resident and business owner in the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento area, expressed his gratitude to the Board for considering a CRA in that area. He pointed out that a CRA did not divert tax funds from existing budgets to other purposes and that the funds came from the taxes when property values increased. He stated that it would be several years before the taxes from the increased property values could be spent. He mentioned that the County would retain the authority over the agency and that a CRA was an investment in the community giving them an opportunity to have a voice.
Mr. Clark Morris, a resident of Mt. Plymouth, commented that the residents in that area have worked together to help make the community better and they have held community meetings and created committees, but they have never had a mechanism to be able to address the concerns of the residents. He stated that a CRA would be a great way to effectively harness the energy from the residents and give them a feeling that they could make a difference.
Ms. Helen McCormick, a resident of Mt. Plymouth, mentioned that the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento area needed some aesthetic improvements along SR 46, but those improvements should not be achieved through a CRA. She noted that the CRA would only generate approximately $50,000 each year and that would not be enough to cover the improvements that were planned. She related that applying for a block grant made more sense because a plan would be established first and it could be confined to specific areas. She added that a CRA would be appropriate for a small section of Sorrento along SR 46, but including 200 acres of undeveloped property between Mt. Plymouth and Sorrento in the CRA was an inappropriate use of a CRA. She explained that she was a member of the Mt. Plymouth Landowners League and she had been pushing for aesthetic improvements for 10 years and the CRA has been interfering and bringing confusion into the dialogue. She opined that the size of the CRA should be reduced and there should be more transparency over the CRA before it was established.
Commr. Campione clarified that a community would have greater success in receiving approval of a block grant if they were also part of a CRA because already having completed the Finding of Necessity would be an advantage in securing funds for specific projects.
Mr. Tim Bailey, a resident of Mt. Plymouth, stated that the CRA had been a topic of discussion for the Board for the past 15 years and he expressed his appreciation for their continued support. He noted that the CRA would be meaningful and that the most important implication would be governance and having the community come together to resolve differences. He mentioned that the biggest issue was not about the funds but it was about the vision and design of the future of the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento community. He related that at the most recent community meeting, there were approximately 120 people in attendance and everyone except for three people supported the CRA.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Hill commented that the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento community had entertained the idea of incorporating in the past and they held a meeting in which a representative from the Florida League of Cities came and explained the process of incorporating if they chose to do that, but that did not go over well.
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that he wanted to see the development plan and the only way to see that was to move forward that day.
Commr. Parks noted that the plan was very community input oriented and there would be plenty of opportunity to shape their vision. He added that since the Board would be the CRA Agency, they would be held accountable to ensure that the spending of funds was in line with the plan.
Commr. Conner explained that he had several concerns about the CRA and his first concern was the fact that the Board would be obligating future tax revenues and because of the budget problems the County was facing, it would be unwise to bind future commissions. He mentioned that even though he was concerned about the financial obligation, he was also concerned that the CRA would not achieve the desired goal because it would not accumulate enough funds over the next several years. He added that it would make more sense to create a CRA in an area where the decrease in property values was the highest. He expressed that he was very impressed with the community clean-up day because those actions told him that the community was committed to their area and although he wanted to commit to the area, he did not agree with the approach of creating a CRA. He related that since the CRA was most likely going to be approved, he hoped the committee would focus on the commercial corridors and the plan for the expenditures first.
Commr. Campione pointed out that the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento area was unique because of the construction of the Wekiva Parkway and that this was a true example of the County being proactive rather than reactive. She explained that a certain amount of vacant property must be located within the CRA to see any tax increment increases in the future and that the next step was to create a redevelopment plan. She noted that the redevelopment plan would be prioritized by certain areas such as the main street areas, the downtown districts, and the streetscapes. She added that the SR 46 corridor would most likely be the area the advisory committee would focus on first and then they could focus on applying for other sources of funds such as community block grants for the residential areas or brownfield assistance with some of the vacant commercial or commercial areas that needed redevelopment. She indicated that the Board would have the chance to scrutinize the redevelopment plan and review the tax base to see whether there have been any changes. She stated that the concerns of some of the residents would be addressed through the process and that the CRA would not financially bind the County because they would have full control and could terminate the CRA if they thought the funds needed to go back to the rest of the County.
Commr. Conner remarked that from a structural standpoint the Board could cancel the CRA, but from a practical standpoint it would be difficult.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2012-76 adopting the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Area Finding of Necessity.
Commr. Conner voted “no.”
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2012-77 creating the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Agency.
Commr. Conner voted “no.”
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2012-36 creating the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Advisory Committee.
vacation petition no. 1175 – yalaha
Mr. Stivender stated that the request was to vacate a portion of right of way that was donated to the County in 1990 because the property owner requested return of the right of way. He added that staff recommends approval of the request because the County no longer needed it for the public purpose of the road.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
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. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Vacation Petition No. 1175 and Resolution No. 2012-78 to vacate right of way and drainage easement on Punkin Center Rd.
ordinance regarding simulated gambling establishments
Mr. Minkoff explained that this was the first reading and it would require a second reading, and if the Board approved it by a 4/5 majority vote the second public hearing would be held earlier than 5:05 in the afternoon. He placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first reading by title only as follows:
An ordinance of Lake County, Florida relating to simulated gambling establishments; providing for a purpose and adopting findings; providing definitions; extending a temporary moratorium on the acceptance of applications for, the processing of, and the issuance or approval of any business tax receipt, zoning clearance, rezoning, permit, conditional use permit, site plan or any other official action of lake county permitting or having the effect of permitting the construction and/or operation of new simulated gambling establishments, for an additional three hundred and sixty five days to july 31, 2013; providing for existing businesses; providing for an effective date and duration; providing for geographic area covered; providing for severability; and providing for filing with the department of state.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Hill asked if there was a Statute specifying how long a moratorium could be enacted before a decision needed to be made.
Mr. Minkoff replied that there was a U.S. Supreme Court case that indicated as long as there was a valid reason and that the County was moving forward in an effort to work through the problem, then the moratorium could be extended. He added that in that particular case, it took five or six years to come up with a revised growth plan.
Commr. Campione pointed out that it might be prudent to start looking at some regulations that have been used in other places to see what other options the County might have.
Commr. Parks expressed that the internet café issue was very important to him because he cares what the community looks like. He stated that he supported the extension of the moratorium, but he agreed that they needed to regulate it.
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that they put off the decision to see what the legislature would do and to see what would happen in Seminole County.
Mr. Minkoff noted that the Seminole County case was discussed at the Attorneys Conference he attended last week and it was mentioned that the operator may want to dismiss the lawsuit, in which case Seminole County would win, but there were other operators that have intervened that want to press for a decision, so the case was still going on but preliminarily Seminole County was coming out ahead. He commented that if the legislature did not make a decision in a year, the County may want to take a different course of action.
Commr. Campione asked if most of the cities allowed internet cafés.
Mr. Minkoff replied that some of the cities regulated them similar to adult uses, the City of Tavares embraced them, and the City of Clermont enacted a moratorium.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the first public hearing of the Ordinance extending the moratorium on Simulated Gambling Establishments (Internet Cafés) for three hundred sixty-five (365) days to July 31, 2013 and authorization to hold the second public hearing at 9:00 a.m. on July 10, 2012.
ordinance regarding children’s services council
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and final reading by title only as follows:
an ordinance of the board of county commissioners of lake county, florida; amending the lake county code, chapter 2, article iv, division 8, section 2-90.27, regarding membership of the lake county children’s services council; providing for the appointment of individuals without regard to their district residency, if there are no applicants from a particular commission district or districts; providing for severability; providing for inclusion in the code; providing for filing with the department of state; and providing for an effective date.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Conner asked whether the Board was required to appoint the district applicant even if an applicant from another district was more qualified.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the ordinance was written that way.
Commr. Conner remarked that he thought the ordinance would be written to give the Board more latitude in appointing members so that redistricting would not be an issue and the more qualified applicants would not be precluded from being appointed.
Mr. Minkoff noted that the only way to solve that problem would be to make all of the positions At-Large.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2012-38 amending Chapter 2, Article IV, Division 8, Section 2-90.27, Lake County Code, regarding Lake County Children's Services Council membership.
issuance of bonds
Mr. Minkoff explained that he would discuss Tab 33, the issuance of bonds to finance the Via Vita Lady Lake Project, and Tab 34, the issuance of bonds to finance the Osprey Lodge of Clermont Project, together since they were very similar. He indicated that the Board was being requested to issue industrial revenue bonds so that each project could obtain financing and specified that the bonds would not involve any credit of the County nor would the County be responsible to pay the bonds back under any circumstance. He noted that these were preliminary resolutions and that the Board had the ability to decide not to issue the bonds should they determine the projects were not financially feasible. He mentioned that the Via Vita Lady Lake Project must not exceed $48 million of industrial revenue bonds within the Town of Lady Lake.
Commr. Parks stated that he would recuse himself from voting on Tab 33 because he currently had a business relationship with the land owner.
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding Tab 33.
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. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2012-69 and the Memorandum of Agreement regarding issuance of bonds by Lake County to finance the Via Vita Lady Lake project.
Commr. Parks refrained from voting due to a conflict of interest.
Commr. Campione mentioned receiving a letter from a citizen with concerns about utilizing bonds for the Osprey Lodge of Clermont project and that the citizen thought projects such as County infrastructure, roads, and utilities were more appropriate uses. She pointed out that adult care facilities were essential to all communities but were particularly important to Lake County because Lake County had a population of retirees.
Mr. Minkoff commented that both projects were also providing a certain number of beds for lower income people.
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding Tab 34.
Mr. Tom Hofmeister, a partner with Living Well Lodges, LLC, stated that the Osprey Lodge of Clermont project would be their second or third project in Clermont based on the timing of another one they were currently working on. He expressed that County staff had been very expeditious and that it was huge for them as local entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create jobs.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2012-70 regarding issuance of bonds by Lake County to finance the Osprey Lodge of Clermont project.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – vice-CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 1
South Lake Economic Development Update
Commr. Hill reported attending the South Lake Economic Development Update and thought that staff did an excellent job.
Lake Technical Center Graduation Ceremony
Commr. Hill stated that she represented the Board at the Lake Technical Center Graduation Ceremony on June 21, 2012.
reports – commissioner parks – district 2
Kids Against Hunger food drive
Commr. Parks reminded the Board about the food drive for Kids Against Hunger and that they were extending it until July 6, 2012.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – CHAIRMAN & DISTRICT 4
economic development update
Commr. Campione noted that she attended the Economic Development Update in Leesburg and Eustis and thought those meetings had been a great opportunity to interact with the residents and that they received some great information and ideas.
educational needs assessment forum
Commr. Campione mentioned attending the United Way/UCF Educational Needs Assessment Forum at Lake-Sumter Community College on June 12, 2012.
Northwest Orange County/East Lake County meeting
Commr. Campione related that she attended a meeting in Apopka with the Northwest Orange County/East Lake County representatives on June 11, 2012 where they discussed joint issues.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
The Chairman announced that there would be a fifteen-minute recess at 2:21 p.m.
Mr. Gray gave a presentation to update the Board on the General Fund and the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Budget Process. He first gave an overview of what was discussed at the May 2012 Budget Workshop and indicated that the total Countywide millage rate was at 5.2263 and the General Fund millage rate was at 4.7309. He pointed out that property values have declined over 30 percent over the last five years and that they were estimating another three percent decline in FY 2013. He stated that the Countywide Ad Valorem was estimated to be at $70.9 million in FY 2013 and that it was almost at the same level as in FY 2005. He mentioned that the County’s budget challenges included the reductions in Ad Valorem, the Medicaid issue, the Transportation Disadvantaged, the libraries, the Courthouse operations and maintenance, and some litigation issues. He explained that Scenario 4 was a revenue neutral scenario and it assumed that the taxable values remained the same during FY 2012 through FY 2015, but in FY 2016 the property values would slightly start to increase. He noted that there would be a five percent decrease in expenses for FY 2013 and 2014. He mentioned that this scenario included the five year update of Transportation Disadvantaged funding, the impact of Medicaid to Revenue Sharing, the Constitutional transfers at a five percent decrease, the preliminary Department submittals, and the decrease in Solid Waste transfer for FY 2014. He stated that in this scenario, the expenditures and revenues would start to level out in FY 2015, but the reserves would fall below the County required 15 percent in FY 2014. He then discussed the current budget and pointed out that the final property value information and the constitutional office budgets were received since that scenario and noted that the final reduction in property values for the General Fund, the Ambulance, and the Public Lands Voted Debt was 5.87 percent; the Parks, Stormwater, and Roads MSTU was 6.88 percent; and the Fire Services MSTU was 6.68 percent. He reported that the Clerk of Courts had an overall budget decrease of 7.3 percent, the Property Appraiser had an increase of 1.3 percent, the Supervisor of Elections had a decrease of 16.5 percent, the Sheriff had a decrease of 5 percent, and the Tax Collector’s budget was not due until August 1. He indicated that the philosophy of the County Departments was to do more with less and that they were continuously evaluating the processes and looking for ways to be more efficient, to reduce costs, and evaluate outsourcing opportunities where it was financially feasible. He noted that although they eliminated over 150 general fund positions over the last five years, the services provided to the citizens have not decreased. He specified that the department expenditures have significantly decreased since 2009 and that the current budget was $30.9 million and they were proposing another $5 million reduction for FY 2013 which would amount to $25.7 million. He explained that the Medicaid expense reduction, the one-time expense for the South Lake Health Clinic, and the reductions made by County Departments made up the $5 million reduction. He stated that the constitutional offices represented 60 percent of the expenditures, the departments represented 22 percent, the transfers and non-departmental represented 15 percent, and the Judicial Support represented three percent. He then discussed their continued effort to reduce costs and pointed out that some employees in the Building Services Department were only scheduled to work 32 hours per week but because the building fund was now sustainable, he was recommending bringing those employees back up to 40 hours per week since the permit activity had increased and the inspections were not being handled as efficiently as possible. He added that he was also recommending contracting with a private company to handle inspections in outlying areas. He mentioned that the contract for the Petroleum Storage Tank Program was terminated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and that any future inspections would be handled through the Orange County office. He stated that the Facilities Management Department looked at additional opportunities for outsourcing and they planned to include some proposals in the next fiscal year’s budget. He related that staff had been discussing the elimination of the interlibrary loan program and he also brought up the Polk County agreement with Cagan Crossings Library and noted that he and Commr. Cadwell would be meeting with the Chairman of the Polk County Commission and their County Manager to stress the importance of them remaining as a partner for that library.
Mr. Steve Koontz, Budget Director, continued the presentation discussing two different scenarios for the FY 2013 General Fund projections. He first discussed Scenario 1 which was a revenue decrease scenario and explained that the assumptions for the taxable values included a 5.9 percent decrease in FY 2013, a three percent decrease in FY 2014, a zero percent decrease in FY 2015, a one percent decrease in FY 2016, and a two percent decrease in FY 2017. He added that the assumptions also included a five percent decrease in the expenses for FY 2013 and 2014, as well as the five year update of Transportation Disadvantaged funding, the impact of Medicaid to Revenue Sharing, the Constitutional Office submittals, and the decrease in Solid Waste transfer for FY 2014. He stated that they were expecting a $17.1 million gap between the expenses and revenues in FY 2013 and that the reserves would also drop to $14.9 million, which was below County policy, and in FY 2015 the reserves would be depleted. He explained that the reductions in the departments and Constitutional Offices when coupled with the projected ad valorem revenue declines would not maintain the reserves at the County policy of 15 percent. He then discussed Scenario 2 which was a revenue neutral scenario and pointed out that it was the same as the first but the revenues would remain sustained in FY 2013, 2014 and 2015 and would then have a one percent increase in FY 2016 and a two percent increase in FY 2017. He added that there would be a $12.9 million gap between the expenses and revenues in FY 2013 and that the reserves would also drop to $19.1 million. He mentioned that the reserves would still be reduced by $7.7 million for FY 2013, but they would still be close to meeting the policy in FY 2014. He explained that the reductions in the departments and Constitutional Offices when coupled with the same ad valorem revenue as FY 2012 were projected to keep the reserves at the County policy of 15 percent.
Mr. Gray resumed the presentation discussing the Parks, Stormwater and Roads MSTU and stated that this was ad valorem revenue that was levied in unincorporated Lake County. He noted that the estimated property values had declined by 6.88 percent and that the budgeted revenues for FY 2012 were at about $4.1 million and for FY 2013 they were projected to be at about $3.8 million. He pointed out that because the parks operation and maintenance was the biggest percentage of this MSTU, his goal was to get that back into the general fund. He specified that he wanted to include additional money into the budget for next year so that they could hire a consultant to review the County’s tax rate structure for the MSTU’s as well as the general fund to see how they could move things around without increasing the millage rate. He indicated that the expansion of the North Lake Park, the Minneola Athletic Complex and the East Lake Park would be coming soon and due to the declining revenues, they had to reduce the funding for repairs and maintenance. He added that that fund did not require a reserve, but they did have one and it was operating low. He related that this MSTU was also intended to fund operational needs and stormwater projects, but there was no funding for any new stormwater projects. He noted that they had to allocate funding from reserves in the Stormwater Management MSTU to fund the operations and maintenance. He then discussed the public lands voted debt and explained that it was approved by the voters in November 2004 and the ad valorem tax could not exceed 1/3 of a mill. He mentioned that the purpose of the bond issue was for the acquisition and improvement of lands within the County to protect drinking water sources, preserve natural areas, protect open space from overdevelopment, improve water quality, and provide parks and trails. He also noted that $34,720,000 was issued in bonds in April 2007 and they must be paid off by April 1, 2026. He stated that the millage rate for the public lands program was going to slightly increase from 0.1101 to 0.1900 in FY 2013 and that the target reserve was about 20 percent of the expenses. He pointed out that the expenses and the revenues were about equal and there would be enough funds to make the bond payment. He indicated that the fund balance had decreased but it was remaining at a constant level through the next five years and that would keep the reserves at around $.5 million. He then concluded the presentation explaining that the erosion of property values would result in an unacceptable level of reserves of 12.9 percent and maintaining the existing revenue levels was necessary to balance the budget and maintain adequate reserves. He noted that taking additional cuts would reflect on the level of service to the citizens.
Commr. Parks reminded the Board of the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee’s (CFAC) recommendation of having the Board allocate two percent of the general fund each year to transportation.
Commr. Campione pointed out that the Board only had discretion over the $25.7 million departmental budget and not the entire $115 million budget and asked which budget the CFAC was intending the two percent to come from.
Commr. Parks clarified that they wanted two percent from the total budget.
Ms. Linda Nagel with the Home Builders Association stated that the Association was in support of increasing the hours for the inspection staff of the Building Department to 40 hours per week and she then reviewed some statistics from the plans review report for May 2011 as compared to May 2012. She indicated that in May 2011, 362 plans were submitted for review and of those, 93 percent were reviewed within three days or less, 81 percent were reviewed the same day, and of the number of permits that were submitted for single family homes 100 percent were reviewed within three days or less. She noted that in May 2012, 437 plans were submitted for review and of those, 65 percent were reviewed within three days or less, 40 percent were reviewed the same day, and of the number of permits that were submitted for single family homes 39 percent were reviewed within three days or less. She stressed the importance of increasing the staff’s hours because there had been a noticeable decline in service.
Commr. Campione commented that Lake County was being compared by surrounding counties because of the claims they have made about what the County was able to do and they needed to be able to back up those claims.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that when the economy does start to get better, the County would start to lose loyal employees so increasing those staff’s hours to 40 was giving the County a better chance at keeping those employees.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:24 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK