A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
March 12, 2013
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 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; Jimmy Conner, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Sean Parks; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: David Heath, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Reverend Karen Burris from Morrison United Methodist Church gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, noted that a revised resolution for Tab 23 was handed out with some minor changes that were made which do not change the impact of the agenda item at all.
Ms. Susan Irby, Human Resources Director, presented the following employee awards and commented briefly about each employee’s contribution to the County:
Matthew Einhorn, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Denise Williams, Animal Control Officer
Conservation and Compliance/Animal Services Division
Jay Ryon, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Amye King, Growth Management Director
Growth Management Department
Richard Sullivan, Mechanic I (not present)
Facilities and Fleet Management/Fleet Management Division
Demetri Mouyos, Environmental Waste Technician
Public Works/Solid Waste Division
Twenty five years
Mr. Steve Koontz, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, presented the award for twenty-five years of service to the County to Ms. Susan Dugan, Senior Contracting Officer, Procurement Services Division of Fiscal and Administrative Services, and commented extensively on her service.
Chief John Jolliff, Public Safety Director, presented the award for twenty-five years of service to Ms. Laura Nichols, Systems Database Coordinator, Communication Technologies Division of Public Safety, and commented extensively on her service.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, presented the award for twenty-five years of service to the County to Mr. Craig Scott, Entomologist in the Environmental Services Division of Public Works, and commented extensively on his service.
boards and committee certificates
Ms. Susan Irby presented the following awards to former members who have served on County boards and committees:
Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
Mike Cox, for service from 1992-2012
Board of Adjustment
Dr. Christopher L. Cheshire, for service from 2010-2013 (not present)
Parks, Recreation & Trails Advisory Board
Dr. Christopher L. Cheshire, for service from 2011-2012 (not present)
Board of Building Examiners
John J. O’Connell, for service from 2010-2013 (not present)
William Lindemann, for service from 2000-2013 (not present)
Library Advisory Board
Pam Serviss, for service from 2012-2013
Ralph Smith, for service from 2009-2013 (not present)
Paula Bean, for service from 2009-2013 (not present)
Planning & Zoning Board
Lorenzo G. “John” Ameri, for service from 2011-2013 (not present)
Jim Miller, for service from 2011-2012
Tourist Development Council
Nancy Howell, for service from 2004-2012
Ann Dupee, for service from 2002-2012
Andrew O’Keefe, for service from 2008-2012 (not present)
Victor Donahey, Jr., for service from 2004-2012 (not present)
Sanna Henderson, for service from 2003-2012 (not present)
florida surveyors & mappers week proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2013-19 declaring March 17-23, 2013 as Florida Surveyors & Mappers Week, which Commr. Campione read and presented to Mr. Daniel Whittaker from Nieto Whittaker Surveying; Mr. Jim Dunn from Southeastern Surveying & Mapping Corp.; Mr. Jennings Griffin from Southeastern Surveying & Mapping; Mr. Richard Allen, Survey Project Coordinator from the City of Orlando; and Mr. Danny Williams, Director of Survey Department from WBQ Design & Engineering, Inc.
american red cross month proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2013-26, which was presented by Commr. Parks to Mr. John Hartgering and Mr. Jack Guse from the American Red Cross.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of February 5, 2013 (Special Meeting) and February 12, 2013 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog about local governmental issues, expressed concern about the Historical Society issues. He commented that although the County needs an effective historical society, he believes the Board needs to discontinue the liaison if the Board members could not get involved to mediate that squabble, but continue the funds at least for their space, since it still benefits the taxpayers and the county image. He also announced that this was Sunshine Week, which was when the newspapers and others discuss openness and transparency in government, and he named government entities and staff which he believed did a good job in this regard by responding quickly to requests and having data readily available online or in other forms, as well as those that he believed needed to do better in that regard.
Commr. Conner commented that he believed the Board needed to be made aware of a situation regarding a code change that Mr. Fred Mummaw wanted to discuss during the Citizen Question and Comment Period that would help solve a problem he has run into. He added that he has already talked to Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Manager, about a possible code change he would propose that would give Mr. Mummaw some relief.
Mr. Minkoff commented that this could be presented to the Board at this time if the discussion was limited to the Land Development Regulations (LDR) rather than the specific facts about this case, and he added that this was both a Code Enforcement case and a Board of Zoning appeals variance case which could still be in the appeals stage and which would be brought before a judge.
Mr. Mummaw, a resident of Tavares, stated that he had run into a problem in regard to LDR 1.08.04, Section 3.01.02 and Section 3.02.07, which states that residents were not allowed to expand, improve, or make an alteration which increases the nonconformity of a home. He mentioned that he was not aware that he had to have a permit to do the work that he had done on his home. He read aloud some of the regulations in the LDR’s, noting that improvements are allowed on mobile home parks but not on privately-owned property. He opined that it was very hard to meet those regulations in a subdivision with setbacks, and he requested that the Board look at those regulations and whether there is an addendum or change that could be made to those, since this affects thousands of Lake County residents. He also commented that this was passed at a time when the economy was better than it is presently.
Commr. Conner stated that he would bring this up under his reports later in the meeting and let Mr. Sheahan address this. He added that he believed that the issue was that the policy prohibits people from improving their property if they have a single-wide mobile home.
Mr. Dennis Williams clarified that the impact of the previously-mentioned issue was for the purposes of all of the residents of Lake County rather than just for one individual. He added that this affects permitting, taxable income, employment, opportunities for people to do structural work, and property values; and he noted that the current and initial setback regulations do not enable property with homes designated to be single-wide real estates to even put another structure on the property, which locks people in to what they already have.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote (Commr. Cadwell was not present for the vote), the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 4, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of 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.
Ordinances from the Town of Lady Lake
Request to acknowledge receipt of the following copies of ordinances and resolutions from the Town of Lady Lake:
Ordinance No. 2012-04
Ordinance No. 2012-18
Ordinance No. 2012-19
Ordinance No. 2012-20
Ordinance No. 2012-21
Ordinance No. 2013-01
Resolution No. 2012-112
Resolution No. 2012-113
Resolution No. 2012-114
Resolution No. 2013-101
Public Hearing Notice from City of Mount Dora
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the public hearing notice from the City of Mount Dora for a proposed annexation request for Ordinance No. 2013-02 for property generally located on the west side of Britt Road and south 1/3 mile of SR 44, Mount Dora, comprising 1.18 acres and contiguous to the city, in accordance with Section 171.044(6), Florida Statutes.
Audit Report from Town of Montverde
Request to acknowledge receipt of audit report for the Town of Montverde for Fiscal Year ended September 30, 2011.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Campione commented that the expenditure on Tab 13 was coming out of sales tax money that could only be used for capital expenses, and she pointed out that the County was extremely careful with how they were using their general fund dollars.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 5 through 20 as follows:
Request for approval of the Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board's recommendation for the paratransit eligibility application guideline called the "Mary Bennett Rule.” There is no fiscal impact.
Conservation and Compliance
Request for approval of application of Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Expansion Grant to enhance the current BJA Justice and Mental Health Grant. This is a pass-through grant to LifeStream and there is no fiscal impact to Lake County.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request to solicit and accept sponsorships for a Lake County event - The 2nd Annual Wings and Wildflower Festival to be held October 4-6, 2013 at Hickory Point and the Lake County Agricultural Center. There is no fiscal impact.
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval to award contracts for on-call architect services to John S. Dickerson Architect, Inc; KTH Architects, Inc; Powell Studio Architecture, LLC; and Rhodes & Brito Architects, Inc. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $135,000 (Expenditure).
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request to (1) declare the items on the attached list 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 manager to execute any required title documents.
Request for approval of Direct Pay (Check Request) from the State Attorney's Office for Early Intervention Case Resolution Program. The fiscal impact is $87,840.00.
Request for approval of Modification #9 to Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management, to extend the expiration date for federal fund expenditures to April 30, 2013. This agreement provides revenue for the ECOC Construction Project. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2013-28 authorizing establishment of a speed limit of 40 miles per hour on Sullivan Road (2044) from US 27 to Scrub Jay Ln, in the Clermont area, in Commissioner District 2, Section 31, Township 21, Range 26. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of issuance of purchase orders for two (2) full sized trucks, one (1) dozer, three (3) dump trucks, one (1) skid steer (Bobcat) and three (3) flex wing mowers for the Public Works Department, and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all implementing documentation. The fiscal impact is $520,423.75 (Expenditure) from sales tax.
Request for approval of new contracts 13-0417, Roadside Mowing and Litter Removal to Groundtek of Central Florida, Inc. (Ocoee, FL), J Walton Mowing (Webster, FL) and Action Scape, Inc. (Orlando, FL), termination of the existing contracts for those services, and authorization for the Procurement Office to complete all implementing documentation. The fiscal impact is estimated at $155,010 (Expenditure).
Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2013-29 authorizing the posting of “No Standing No Stopping No Drop-Off" signs on Hartwood Marsh Rd (0854) in front of South Lake Charter School in the Clermont area, Section 10, Township 23, Range 26, Commission District 2. There is no fiscal impact.
Request to approve and execute a purchase agreement with Minneola Court Mobile Home, Inc. (rental mobile home park), for a 15 ft. wide strip of right of way, including compensation for impacted improvements, needed for the U.S. 27/Washington Street project. Also, authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing on the property in conjunction with this purchase agreement. This project is scheduled for construction in 2015 on the 5-Year Transportation Construction Program. The fiscal impact is $89,000.00. Commission District 2.
Request for approval of award of contract 13-0312, Grinding Services to Consolidated Resource Recovery, Inc. and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is estimated at $80,000 (Expenditure).
Request to advertise for bids for the #6860B Washington Avenue Area Stormwater Retrofit Phase 2 project, Commission District 5, Tracking Number STR08003. The fiscal impact is $405,277.08.
Request to approve and execute a License Agreement with the City of Umatilla for the purpose of installing a water main extension to serve Lakeview Terrace and the installation of the SR 19 / CR 42 dry line in County-owned railroad property along the West side of SR 19 in the Umatilla area, Commission District 5. There is no fiscal impact.
Request to advertise for bids for the Lake Minneola Shores (CR 561) Bridge No 114045 Abutment and Pile Repair project at an estimated cost of $250,000 from MSTU Stormwater funds, Commission Districts 1 and 2. The fiscal impact is $250,000.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 21 through 25 as follows:
Request for approval of Fisher & Phillips, LLP rate increase effective March 1, 2013; the fiscal impact is unable to be determined at this time.
Request for approval of the lease with Stephen E. VanDellen and Betty J. VanDellen, Co-Trustees of the Stephen E. VanDellen Family Trust and Betty J. VanDellen and Stephen E. VanDellen, Co-Trustees of the Betty J. VanDellen Family Trust for County Health Department Space. The fiscal impact is $76,524 ($31,885 in current fiscal year.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2013-30 to issue Sales Tax Refunding Revenue Note, Series 2013 in an amount not to exceed $3,440,000 and authorize Chairman and Clerk to sign all necessary closing documents. The fiscal impact is $15,000 (savings per year); one time cost $25,000.
Request for approval to cancel the Mortgage and release the Note executed by Richard and Nerylis Brown on December 12, 2007, and recorded at O.R. Book 3555, Page 672, and re-recorded at O.R. Book 3583, Page 1854, upon receipt of the $3,000 payment. Fiscal Impact: The original loan amount was $10,000; recovery will be $3,000.
Request for authorization of reimbursement for Sellar, Sewell, Russ, Saylor & Johnson in the amount of $1,948.75.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
north hancock road safety improvements update & discussion
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that he would give the Board an update on the North Hancock Road safety study they had done in the past and get some direction from the Board on matters relating to that road. He gave some history of this project from its inception in September of 2011, stating that they have done a full corridor study for operational and safety improvements, made a final presentation in May of 2012, received approval to advertise for bids in October 2012, and then went to the Clermont City Council in January 2013 to ask if they would help to fund one of the signals located in that corridor. He illustrated on a map all of the locations and intersections in that corridor which have been studied in depth, and he stated that the areas that they were looking at currently bidding on were the ones closest to SR 50 in order to minimize left turns at certain intersections. He specified that proposed median improvements would include those which would prohibit drivers from making left turns heading south out of the Target, at Legends Way further to the north, and in front of the college at Daryl Carter Blvd. and Target North at an estimated cost for all three intersections of $78,000; and he noted that they did not include in this particular request the U-turn further north at Summit Greens, since they wanted to prioritize the issues and the commercial traffic associated with the intersection of SR 50. He reported that he presented to the Clermont City Council on January 22 the Board’s request to help fund the signalized intersection at Diamond Players Club Drive, and the City Council offered $20,000 toward that signal. He noted that he was requesting direction regarding that issue as well.
Commr. Conner asked if there was crash data available for those sites.
Mr. Stivender responded that that information has been submitted at previous presentations.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the recommended improvements to be made to the previously-mentioned intersections and the traffic signal at Diamond Players Club Drive were completely two separate issues.
Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, Public Works Department, reported that the study they completed showed two crashes over a four-year period at the Legends Way intersection as well as a significant amount of side street traffic, and the City of Clermont also had some concerns with that intersection.
Commr. Campione elaborated that the engineers felt that it was problematic from an engineering standpoint.
Commr. Conner stated that he had driven through that intersection, and although he believed it was awkward, he was not sure that the problem was of a magnitude that needed to be fixed.
Commr. Campione pointed out that Hancock Road would get a lot busier and that traffic counts will go up exponentially after the Minneola interchange is opened, and she commented that she defers to the experts on that.
Mr. Schneider assured the Board that they looked at every intersection on that corridor, and most of their recommendations had to do with the median modifications for each one. He elaborated that they did signal warrant evaluations at a number of those locations, and he specified that there were four crashes at the Target site.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the request to advertise for bids for the proposed median improvements at Target South, Legends Way, and Daryl Carter Blvd.
Commr. Conner voted “no.”
The Chairman opened the public hearing for the issue regarding the traffic signal at Diamond Players Club Drive.
Mr. Ray Goodgame, Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Clermont, recapped that the City of Clermont sent the Board a letter in January stating that it was in support of the traffic signal at Diamond Players Club and offered to support that with a $20,000 check. He mentioned that there were three specific times of day when drivers could not safely exit Summit Greens at Diamond Players Club either north or south on North Hancock Road, with a turn south being especially problematic. He talked about the Lake Minneola Turnpike exchange and the vastness of development that would take place in that area, including 7,500 residential units that are proposed, and opined that a lot of traffic will start taking Grassy Lake Road to Hancock Road, which will impact the residents of Summit Greens and make North Hancock Road into a major arterial road in South Lake County. He summarized that he did not think there was any question that the residents need a traffic signal at Summit Greens for public safety reasons.
Commr. Campione made note of a map prepared by the MPO showing the Minneola interchange, and she commented that it was important to take that interchange into consideration while listening to the information that was being presented.
Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director, Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), explained that the plan for North Hancock Road already involves seven signalized intersections from SR 50 moving northward, including Oakley Seaver, Old 50 East, and Old 50 west when the Hancock extension occurs. He also mentioned that Fosgate Road at Lake Minneola High School will eventually be connected directly east-west to US Hwy 27, and the long-range 20-year plan involves an extension east to Montverde crossing the Turnpike. He continued to explain that to the north, Citrus Grove Road (formerly North Grassy Lake Road) will be a four-lane road coming from US Hwy 27 to Hancock Road, and a traffic signal is planned at the interchange itself on both the north and south sides, which will complete the connection between SR 50 and the Turnpike. He commented that although there will be substantially more traffic on Hancock Road, the warrant for a signal at the side streets will go down if traffic does not increase on them as Hancock Road gets busier.
Commr. Campione clarified that they would be seeing additional traffic on Oakley Seaver that would be generated by the college and the hospital, which will warrant a traffic signal at that intersection. She also pointed out that signalizing Oakley Seaver will help create breaks in the traffic that would help drivers cross nearby intersections, such as Diamond Players Club Road.
Mr. Stivender confirmed that all along the Hwy 441 corridor, the installation of a signal creates gaps in traffic for other intersections.
The Chairman reopened the public hearing.
Mr. Jim Purvis, a resident of Clermont, noted the passion of the residents that were present at the meeting about this issue, and he commented that the question was just about safety and nothing else. He also opined that it was unfortunate that the City of Clermont has to rely on a third-party entity for their own well-being, and he asked the Board to consider all of the facts pertaining to safety. He conveyed reservations about Mr. Fish’s arguments, because there were already so many lights on SR 50 between Hancock Road and the Turnpike. He also expressed displeasure about the changing of the status of this issue by the Board over the last few years.
Ms. Ginger Martin, a resident of Clermont, opined that the traffic signal at Diamond Players Club is not warranted, and she noted that according to the guidelines of the Florida Department of Transportation manual on uniform traffic studies that is used by both the Lake County Public Works Department and Florida Department of Transportation, in all cases at least one or more warrants must be fully met before a traffic signal installation is considered. She commented that the County had conducted an excellent study on the entire Hancock Road corridor, followed by several presentations to residents regarding those results, and the results of that study indicated that not one warrant was met for a traffic signal at this location. She pointed out that a decision to change the procedures and guidelines that Lake County has consistently used to determine locations for traffic signal placement and which have worked well for many years will set a precedent for future requests by making an exception for one community. She mentioned that she had previously sent the Board a breakdown of the accidents that occurred at that intersection, which indicated that there was only one accident in 2008 caused by an 88-year old driver making a left turn from Diamond Club Players Drive involving southbound traffic vehicles, and she opined that this is not a dangerous curve and does not have obstructed view. She also opined that senior citizens must take responsibility for their own safety, assess their own driving capabilities, and take measures to take alternative routes if necessary.
Mr. Andrew Schneider, a resident of Summit Greens in Clermont, presented a power point presentation and stated that he believes a traffic light is warranted at that location. He related that in optimal conditions of dry and straight roads and clear weather, reaction distances are formed by using the reaction time of .75 second, which has been determined to be the average for a driver to stop a car in reaction to a situation but which does not account for distractions such as cell phones and passengers. He showed a chart illustrating that a vehicle moving at 45 mph, which is the speed limit on Hancock Road, will travel 66 feet in approximately ¾ of a second; however, he noted that he has witnessed speeds on that road of between 42 and 63 miles per hour. He displayed a visual showing visibility in 2012 from the College Park entrance to northbound Hancock Road at approximately 389 feet between the southbound vehicle and vehicles entering Hancock Road, which he pointed out was reduced from 575 feet in 2004 due to foliage and other obstructions that have occurred since then. He also showed photographs of the line of sight of a vehicle at the intersection waiting to turn onto Hancock Road. He requested that the Board take into consideration the configuration of the roadway, excessive speed of vehicles on occasion, pedestrian and bicycle traffic, golf course and restaurant traffic, age of the Summit Greens residents, and the fact that it was a school bus stop location.
Mr. Kalman Holetz, a resident of Clermont, pointed out that the decision regarding this traffic signal does not just involve Summit Greens residents, but also involves College Park, golfers, restaurant patrons, employees, vendors, and contractors. He opined that he did not believe that the Board should be concerned about setting a precedent, because they could always establish rules to prevent that from happening. He listed the issues as being excessive speed, a blind curve, four lanes of traffic plus two left-turn lanes, opposing exiting traffic from the community directly across the highway, a school bus stop, ten accidents to date, and the near misses which were not captured in any study or traffic report. He also pointed out that exiting College Park is even more dangerous because those residents have a narrower field of vision due to the blind curve and commented that this was an improperly-designed road. He related that County officials have the ability to override any guidelines that are not in the best interest or safety of the residents. He also commented that restricting left-hand turn access would prevent emergency vehicles quick access to Summit Greens and College Park.
Ms. Anita Hanson, a resident of King’s Ridge in Clermont, mentioned that she had sent emails to the Commissioners regarding this issue and related that she did not think there should be a traffic light installed at the Summit Greens intersection, pointing out that the County’s own traffic study has proven that the traffic there does not merit a stoplight. She stated that emotions and wishful thinking does not mean that it is the right thing to do, and she also expressed concern about the cost of $135,000 to put a traffic signal there during a time of budgetary constraints. She related that a new fast-growing development across from King’s Ridge is generating traffic, and they do not have a median like Summit Greens does. She asked the Board not to start a precedent that would result in other petitions for signal lights in the future, to think about saving money, and to vote “no” for this traffic signal.
Mr. Al Mannella, a resident of Clermont, remarked on how the area has grown over the last 12 years since he first moved to the area and how traffic has increased over that time period. He commented that residents at Summit Greens and the college students needed some safety measures, which was why they were advocates of a traffic light there.
Mr. Tom Marbach, a resident of Clermont, stated that he believed that the stoplight needs to go in for some relief somewhere on this collector road, and he pointed out that the County allowed there to be entrances for College Park, Summit Greens, and the college all within .8 mile on that road. He also opined that the County needed to make sure that there were no more entrances on that collector road as the area continues to develop. He noted that the only entrance to Summit Greens with an ability to make a left-hand turn is really Hancock Road, since the entrance on SR 50 is right turn only, and he opined that only allowing a right-hand turn on Hancock Road would cause a lot of problems for the residents there. He mentioned that he was concerned about the Board only allowing a right-hand turn out of Legends Way as well, since there was a new fire station at that location. He also commented that the speed limit needs to be lowered in a congested area, and he suggested that the County lower the speed limit to 35 mph for a half a mile before the Diamond Players Club intersection.
Ms. Nancy Madden, a resident of Clermont, read part of an email that she had sent to the Commissioners stating that she did not believe there was any justification to prioritize this project at the expense of more worthy projects and that the approval of this traffic light would prove to be a deterrent to the smooth flow of traffic on North Hancock Road. She suggested that if the residents truly feared making a left-hand turn coming out of their subdivision, the intersection should not allow those left-hand turns, and she suggested that residents can make a right-hand turn northbound and then access the proposed U-turn lane or intersection modification, which is used very well along Hwy 27 and is also widely used in other states such as Michigan, allowing traffic to travel unimpeded by stop lights in the area and provides a safer pathway for vehicles wanting to cross through an intersection. She asked the Board not to approve the traffic light at Diamond Players Club Road, since it would not benefit the majority of residents in Lake County.
Mr. Gary Spooner, a resident of the College Park subdivision in Clermont, opined that the conditions at this location constituted a serious traffic hazard that was a fatal accident waiting to happen, and he pointed out that there were several residents in attendance that day who lived near that intersection and were quite concerned. He related that almost every person he spoke to was highly in favor of the traffic light at that location for the safety of vehicles, school children, and pedestrians there. He reported that they had acquired 186 signatures in his neighborhood from 253 homes on a petition in favor of the traffic signal, and he presented the Board with that petition. He also expressed misgivings about the traffic studies alluded to previously by staff, as well as displeasure regarding the fact that the Board rescinded their previous decision regarding this issue. He pointed out that traffic flow on the North Hancock Road corridor has become busier each year for the past 6-7 years, and he expected it to continue to be greater each year. He commented that left turns out of Summit Greens and right and left turns out of College Park are hazardous due to cars and trucks driving 55 to 60 miles per hour in a 45 mile-per-hour speed zone going south on Hancock, since the road was designed so that cars exiting those subdivisions cannot see oncoming traffic due to the curve. He added that more and more homes would be using Hancock Road with the new Florida Turnpike exchange.
Ms. Darlene Phillips, a resident of Summit Greens, related that it was difficult for the residents to exit onto Hancock Road turning both right or left due to the traffic on that road, the College Park community across the street, and poor visibility because of the hill to the south and the curve in the road to the north. She mentioned that Summit Greens was making its entrance on Hancock Road available to guests, since it is usually only for residents, which will increase traffic entering and leaving Diamond Players Club Drive onto Hancock Road. She commented that she was there as a citizen who was concerned about safety and pointed out that there were quite a few accidents at that location that may have been avoided by having a light there. She pointed out that she was only one of a large majority of residents in the community who believe that a light is warranted, and she asked the Board to approve a traffic light for that intersection.
Mr. Charles Wright, a resident of College Park who was President of the Board of Directors of the College Park Homeowners Association, noted that this issue has been debated for several months, and the residents had been under the impression that funds have been allocated for this project until they have subsequently learned that they had been redirected instead to another project. He related that their Board of Directors recently canvassed the residents to ensure that their collective interest was known and learned that they overwhelmingly supported the installation of a traffic light between the communities of College Park and Summit Greens and were concerned about the safety aspect of entering and exiting the community. He stated that they have collected signatures in support of this effort and have made them available to the Board. He mentioned that he has personally observed the traffic flow on Hancock Road at various hours of the day, including several “near-misses,” and believed the situation is only getting worse. He also pointed out that after hearing testimony from several homeowners, the City of Clermont voted to allocate $20,000 towards the installation of this traffic light. He asked the Board to join forces with the City to recognize the potential danger at this particular location, allocate the needed funds for this project, and render an affirmative vote for the traffic light.
Mr. William Pratt, a resident of Summit Greens, opined that the traffic light proposed at Oakley Seaver would help alleviate a lot of the problems. He commented that this is an emotional issue for a lot of the residents but related that he has never had a problem getting onto Hancock Road at this point in time and does not see that there is a blind spot around the curve. He noted that Lake County came up with criteria and facts that should be followed in order to judge the necessity of whether a traffic light is needed, but he suggested that they could lower the standards for a retirement community with residents that have a difficult time getting out into traffic.
Ms. Judy Proli, a resident of Summit Greens, requested a traffic light at the intersection of Diamond Players Club Drive, noted that dozens of people also support a traffic light at that intersection, and she presented petitions signed by nearly 400 taxpaying citizens and voters who request the installation of a traffic signal, which states that unsafe conditions exist due to a blind curve, exiting traffic from the community of College Park directly across the street, a school bus pickup and drop-off, and excessive speed of drivers traveling north and south on Hancock Road. She related that a traffic study in 2011 showed there had been seven crashes, and there were three more in 2012. She expressed displeasure that the Board rescinded its previous vote in favor of installation of the light, despite the fact that money had already been spent for preliminary work, and she pointed out that the conditions that Commr. Parks listed for rescinding the vote at that time have been addressed, including support from the Summit Greens’ Board of Directors, feedback and petitions from College Park, and monetary support from the City of Clermont. She commented that the light would also ensure the safety of restaurant patrons and golfers that share that roadway and the residents of College Park, in addition to the visitors and residents of Summit Greens. She emphasized that residents are blindsided by the steep blind curve, especially during evening hours and when vehicles exceed the posted speed limit; however, there is little chance of lowering the speed on that four-lane wide collector road. She concluded that she believes that providing a traffic light at that intersection would benefit everyone who drives on that road and would provide a safe exit out at that location, but that requiring right-turns only out of that road would not be a viable solution for emergency vehicles coming in and out of that community periodically.
Mr. Walter Martin, a resident of Summit Greens, opined that he did not believe there were any safety issues at that location and that the visibility is good, and he noted that the County and the state have determined that it was not an issue after examining it. He related that there has only been one accident involving a southbound vehicle due to visibility, with all of the rest being northbound accidents caused by improper driving by people coming out of Summit Greens and pulling into oncoming traffic. He suggested that drivers who have a problem making a turn on Hancock should exit by making a right-hand turn from the other exit and then make another right-hand turn. He expressed concern that the installation of a traffic light would increase the amount of time to make a turn there and lengthen the delay.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 11:00 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.
north hancock road safety improvements discussion (CONt’d)
Commr. Campione commented that this issue has become an emotional issue for residents, resulting in passion and animosity; however, she emphasized that an elected body should step back, look at the bigger picture, and base the location of a traffic signal on data and the engineering guidelines and not on emotion. She noted that the other compelling piece of information is a map which shows the proximity of the Oakley Seaver intersection, which they know will warrant a traffic signal in the relatively near future, to this intersection, and she indicated that she was more inclined to approve a signal at Oakley Seaver than at Diamond Players Club. She pointed out that a signal at Oakley Seaver would create gaps in the traffic that would be instrumental in giving residents more time to exit Summit Greens.
Commr. Parks noted that there have been safety improvements made on Hancock Road, and he related that he has talked to a lot of residents and has researched this issue. He stated that although he understands the residents feel endangered at this intersection without a traffic signal, public safety is often a series of difficult choices, and there are an infinite number of crash points on the County’s roads; however, the County’s budget is finite and limited, especially lately. He also explained that the State requires the County to use objective warrant criteria and their engineer’s professional judgment when deciding to install a traffic light in an intersection that is perceived dangerous. He showed on a table that he prepared all of the intersection locations in the area that have risen to the level of doing a warrant study over the past five years, identifying them by study date, whether the signal was warranted or not, whether the signal was installed, the date it was installed, and remarks. He pointed out that the ones that were not warranted fell into the same category as Diamond Players Club, and he assured everyone that they would continue to monitor those intersections. He then went over the data regarding several of the intersections that were studied. He opined that the best solution would be to install a signal at Oakley Seaver, which has been planned and meets the warrant criteria, and he pointed out that the volume would be much greater coming off that road, especially with the college expansion and the hospital. He commented that this would cause a break in traffic along Hancock Road for residents coming out of Diamond Players Club Drive. He also extended an invitation to Mr. Goodgame and Ms. Proli to go with him, Mr. Stivender, and Mr. Schneider to meet with FDOT again regarding this issue.
Commr. Parks made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Sullivan, to approve going forward with a traffic signal at Oakley Seaver Drive, with the understanding that they will monitor the intersection at Summit Greens and do another study in two years after the interchange and future development occurs.
Commr. Conner pointed out as a point of order that the traffic signal at Oakley Seaver was not on the Agenda.
Mr. Minkoff explained that although it is a point of order for the Chairman to ultimately decide, the agenda item is a discussion of the City of Clermont’s response for sharing funding and other proposed improvements, and the Board could add an item to the Agenda with a four-fifths vote if they so choose.
Commr. Cadwell commented that to postpone this issue or take any other action would be counterproductive; however, he believed it was relevant to what was on the agenda and did not need to be a separate agenda item. He also indicated that the Chairman should make that decision rather than the Board adding it to the Agenda.
Commr. Campione indicated that she would like to address it as a separate motion.
Commr. Sullivan withdrew his second to the above-referenced motion. He then related that he has studied this issue, and he was concerned that putting in a signal at Summit Greens would create other problems along the system as well as setting a problematic precedent, since the County was not economically able to put a traffic signal in front of every development. He also commented that he believed in standards, and the standards presented by staff showed that this does not warrant a signal. He also pointed out that Clermont was becoming an urban area which contained many traffic-congested intersections. He stated, however, that he believed they needed to move the traffic light at Oakley Seaver to the front of the list because of the number of students currently enrolled at the college as well as traffic created by the hospital at that location, which would also help alleviate the problem at Summit Greens.
Commr. Conner stated that this has been an issue since 2008, but he believed that the expansion of SR 50 and the removal of the turn lane there have had a major impact since then, which motivated him to bring this to the Board initially, resulting in 5-0 vote in favor of the traffic signal, and he expressed displeasure at the reversal of that vote. He commented that he did not understand the logic of asking the City of Clermont to contribute to the signal and then refusing to approve it after the City agrees to contribute to it. He pointed out that this issue was about safety rather than petitions or who was in favor or against the traffic signal, and he believed there was a blind spot which restricted visibility at that intersection. He commented that once in a while there is a human element involved that they would not see in statistics. He presented a chart comparing data on the roundabout at the intersection of CR 455 and 561 and the Summit Greens intersection to show that there is a much greater need for the Summit Greens traffic signal than there was for the roundabout, which gave statistics including traffic counts, number of accidents, population, and cost. He commented that the Board should consistently apply the same criteria to all of the decisions that they make, and he related that he strongly supported the traffic signal.
Commr. Cadwell commented that although the Board hires competent people to help them with complicated technical policies, one of the Board’s jobs is to allow citizens a chance to ask for relief, even if it was relief from one of those policies, and he believes this issue falls into that category. He opined that they previously committed to doing this, and they should honor that commitment. He also believed that there are reasons for approving that signal, including the changes that were made on SR 50, and he stated that he continued to support it.
Commr. Campione commented that she respectfully disagreed with Commr. Conner’s comparison of this intersection with the roundabout and believed there is no correlation in this particular situation. She pointed out that the matrix he created focused on the number of residents and the traffic counts, but a warrant study takes a number of different factors into consideration and follows the current guidelines that are looked at when making that decision.
Commr. Sullivan pointed out that the roundabout helps make the system of roads more efficient and helps them to stay ahead of the traffic issues that will be created with future development and the interchange.
Commr. Conner made a motion to authorize the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Diamond Players Club Drive and Hancock Road, which was seconded by Commr. Cadwell and failed by a vote of 2-3.
Commr. Campione, Commr. Parks, and Commr. Sullivan voted “no.”
Commr. Cadwell suggested that the Board wait until a warrant study shows it is needed before they vote on a traffic signal at the intersection of Oakley Seaver and Hancock Road.
Commr. Parks asked which intersection will need a traffic light sooner.
Mr. Stivender responded that neither one of them are warranted at this time, but they were watching the Oakley Seaver and North Ridge locations, and he added that traffic counts at North Ridge Blvd. are actually more critical than those at Oakley Seaver.
ordinance regarding suspension of educational impact fees
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and only reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING CHAPTER 22 OF THE LAKE COUNTY CODE ENTITLED IMPACT FEES; EXTENDING THE SUSPENSION OF COLLECTION OF EDUCATIONAL IMPACT FEES UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2013; 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 regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell recapped that the Board gave approval to advertise this ordinance at the last meeting after getting the request from the School Board, and the Board decided they wanted the ordinance to mirror what they were doing with the transportation impact fee ordinance. He commented that he still thought that was the best thing to do, and they had until August to decide a percentage for the fee when it is reinstated.
Commr. Campione referenced a letter that she had received from the City of Mount Dora asking to terminate the interlocal agreement on concurrency that all of the cities in the county are currently partners in. She related that about a year ago, the City of Tavares took concurrency out of their Comprehensive Plan, and she has heard some concerns addressed from the School Board and others that developers would have to negotiate for capacity with the School Board if development picks up considerably to provide additional capacity. She commented that she believed this was a good time to take a look at that interlocal agreement to see if they need to fine tune it to improve upon any glitches and confusion in the procedures, and she suggested that they schedule a workshop to do that. She pointed out that the cities by state law are still required to have an agreement with the County and the School Board on school siting and those types of issues.
Commr. Conner recalled that it had been hard work to get every city to sign on to the concurrency pilot program, and he was concerned that they would not have a concurrency agreement if one city pulls out of the program. He commented that he does not support allowing anyone to withdraw from the agreement, but he believes that the Chairman’s suggestion to relook at the concurrency agreements was good. He also indicated that it was important that the Board provides the leadership to make sure that there are uniform standards throughout the county.
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that he would rethink the amount of impact fees the County charges if they did not have concurrency rules in place.
Mr. Heath clarified that the work session he will schedule would start with a presentation from Mr. Harry Fix from the School Board regarding capacity, followed by a discussion by Mr. Minkoff of the current interlocal agreement, and then discussion of the issues that the Chairman brought up. He also stated that they could invite the City of Mount Dora to that workshop.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption and execution of Ordinance No. 2013-14 amending Section 22-22, Lake County Code, to extend the temporary suspension of the collection of Educational Impact Fees, with the understanding that they would need to make a decision about the percentage by August and that they would welcome any input from the School Board prior to that time.
county manager’s departmental business
fiscal and administrative services
presentation of budget first quarterly report of fy 2013
Mr. Steve Koontz, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, recapped that the budget totaling $381.7 million was adopted on September 25, 2012 and that property values had decreased by 6.2 percent. He also mentioned that the millages were adopted at the same level as FY 2012 with the exception of the voted debt millage for public lands, and the general fund operating budget was $120 million. He illustrated on a graph the top five revenues for the County, commenting that most of the revenues would be coming in during the first quarter of the year. He related that the ad valorem had decreased about $52.3 million for the first quarter, that the fire rescue non ad valorem assessment revenue has been holding steady, and that the solid waste disposal revenues have gone up slightly to $8.9 million, since they have added more homes to the program. He reported that the revenues from both the state sales tax and the infrastructure sales tax are improving and have been a little better than expected. He stated that overall expenditures for the first quarter are in line for the departments, but slightly higher than last year, but he assured the Board that they would keep an eye on those to make sure they stayed where they need to be. He noted that the Commissioners would be receiving reports containing more detailed information in the next day or so regarding individual departments and divisions. He opined that they were doing fairly well overall and were right in line to where they need to be for the first quarter. He related that they had 45 vacant positions during the first quarter of 2013, with the average time to fill the positions of 57 calendar days, and the County was currently recruiting for 19 positions. He reported that the unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in 2011 in Lake County, and was at 7.6 percent as of December of 2012, and he noted that the statewide outlook of property values is positive, with a substantial increase in traditional closed sales of over 48 percent and an increase in the median sales price of 10.7 percent from $135,000 to almost $150,000. He mentioned that the County was definitely seeing an uptake on building permits for residential construction, and he summarized that there were positive trends going on that could make some positive impacts on the County’s revenues. He then went over the schedule regarding the budget for the next several months, with July 30 being the date that the tentative millage rates are set.
Commr. Campione related that she has met with all of the constitutional officers and shared the budget guidelines with them, noting that the Sheriff was still in the process of working on his budget and did not have anything to share at this time.
appointment to children’s services council
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board appointed Ms. Latricia Eaton to complete an unexpired two-year term ending May 14, 2014 to the Children’s Services Council as a Program Administrator of the Department of Children and Families representative.
reports – commissioner parks – district 2
proclamation proclaming may as water safety month
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2013-27 proclaiming May as Water Safety Month.
proclamation for may griffith’s 100th birthday
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2013-25 celebrating May Griffith’s 100th Birthday.
Commr. Parks mentioned that this proclamation will be presented to Ms. Griffith during the City of Minneola’s City Council meeting.
Golden eagle dinner for boy scouts
Commr. Parks commented that he was a strong supporter of scouting in Lake County, and he announced that Thursday, March 14, would be the Boy Scouts Golden Eagle Dinner. He mentioned that 100 percent of the donation money received at that dinner stays within Lake County for things such as camping scholarships and activities.
south lake chamber advisory committee question
Commr. Parks related that the South Lake Chamber Economic Advisory Committee brought up the question regarding whether transportation impact fees could be higher in one zone than another, and he requested that the Board sometime have a discussion if it was requested by the South Lake Chamber via a formal letter.
Mr. Minkoff stated that they could not have different amounts for school impact fees, but it could be legally possible for that to occur with transportation impact fees if the data showed a correlation between the fees and the roads that were being improved. However, he noted that he has never seen a study done on less than a countywide basis.
cost comparison for legal advertising
Commr. Parks asked whether staff was doing cost comparisons for legal advertising that the County does in the local newspapers, since the County spends a lot of money for advertising.
Mr. Heath stated that they could update the study that has been previously done on that and get that to the Commissioners.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER conner – vice-CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
invitation to speak at lakeside inn
Commr. Conner related that the Lakeside Inn has invited him to speak about the County’s budget.
Commr. Conner asked Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Manager, to share the conversation they had about the code issue mentioned earlier during the Citizen Question and Comment Period of the meeting.
Mr. Sheahan explained that Chapter 3 establishes the minimum width for a single-family home at 23 feet, 4 inches and a minimum roof pitch of one to four, and there have been several variance requests over the years for that provision. He stated that there is a concern when someone wishes to do an addition to a home that does not meet that requirement of it falling under the nonconforming provisions of the Code which limits such expansions when they do not comply with Code. However, he related that he had informed Commr. Conner that if someone wanted to do an addition to a home that did not meet that requirement, as long as they were furthering conformance with the minimum width requirement, they could do an LDR amendment to achieve that end if the Board desired to do so. He opined that they could accommodate that within the LDR’s.
Mr. Minkoff elaborated that this suggestion would allow a homeowner of a single wide mobile home to enlarge it, whether or not it had a flat roof, and this would essentially be waiving the nonconformity for a small addition to single wide mobile homes.
Mr. Sheahan assured the Board that the applicants would still have to meet setback and stormwater requirements as well as building code.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that the Board speak to Mr. Sheahan individually and then have a 30-minute workshop to look at an LDR change related to this issue and any ramifications that could occur by changing those rules, which were put in place after a thorough process.
Commr. Campione stated that the Board would look at that change and any possible ramifications and bring it back. She directed all of the residents who were concerned about this issue to meet and discuss it with Mr. Sheahan.
discussion regarding historical society issue
Commr. Conner brought up concerns about the allegations that have been made concerning the Historical Society as its liaison, and he mentioned that he did not feel comfortable getting involved in that dispute. He noted that the Clerk had resigned as Treasurer of that organization effective April 1 and has frozen the group’s $20,000 in funds until a determination could be made of who the officers of the corporation are. He added that there appeared to be a conflict between the advice of the attorney and a staff member of the Historical Society. He asked whether the Board wanted to ask the Clerk to do an internal audit of the organization and related that he had spoken to Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court, who indicated a willingness to conduct that audit if requested to do that by the Board.
Mr. Minkoff explained that he has worked with the Clerk to hold those funds, which are held in two different banks, who has indicated that he would not release them until they resolve the question of who the officers are of the corporation.
Commr. Campione commented that another consideration was that the group was occupying the first floor of the historic courthouse, which was the County’s building, through a lease the County has with them. She related that she had asked Mr. Minkoff to look into the lease provisions to see whether they could terminate the lease or use that as a way to get the members of that organization together to try to get their issues resolved. She explained that he informed her that the lease has a six-month termination clause; she pointed out, however, that some of the items that are in the museum were entrusted to the County in good faith that they would be good custodians of those items.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to add the issue of asking the Clerk to audit the Historical Society funds to the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board authorized asking the Clerk to conduct a financial audit of the Historical Society funds.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to add the item regarding sending the Historical Society a letter to the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board gave approval for Commr. Conner to send that organization a letter giving them until the end of April to resolve these issues and clearly state who their officers and employees are, or the Board will consider termination of the lease, while reserving the right to terminate the lease regardless.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – CHAIRMAN & DISTRICT 4
meetings with gun manufacturers
Commr. Campione related that she was working with staff on the marketing package to ammunition companies and gun manufacturers, and she mentioned that she cancelled her plans to go to Washington D.C. to meet with the lobbyist due to budgetary concerns. She noted that instead she was saving those funds in order to meet with any gun manufacturers that show an interest in the County.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
national association of counties conference
Commr. Cadwell reported that he attended the National Association of Counties conference last week and will give the Board a written report next week.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK