A REGULAR MEETING OF THE community redevelopment agency

March 25, 2014

The Lake County Community Redevelopment Agency met in regular session on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 12:20 p.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida.  Commissioners present at the meeting were:  Jimmy Conner, Chairman; Sean Parks, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Leslie Campione; 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; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Jennifer Johnson, Clerk.

Mt. Plymouth Sorrento CRA redevelopment plan

Ms. Dorothy Keedy, Community Services Department Director, gave a presentation regarding the request for approval to transmit the Mt. Plymouth Sorrento Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Redevelopment Plan to the Lake County Local Planning Agency.   She explained that Chapter 163, Park III, F.S., which governs Community Redevelopment Areas, requires a series of steps to create and implement a Community Redevelopment Area Program, such as a governing body to adopt a finding of necessity, establish a CRA boundary and legal description and establish a CRA Agency, which was complete in June 2013; and the CRA Agency approves and transmits the Redevelopment Plan to the Local Planning Agency to determine consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.  She described the Redevelopment Plan history, stating that the BCC approved appointments to the Mt. Plymouth Sorrento CRA Advisory Committee in June 2013; the CRA Advisory Committee met monthly to draft the CRA Redevelopment Plan from July 2013 through December 2013; and the CRA Advisory Committee approved the draft Redevelopment Plan for transmittal to the Community Redevelopment Agency on March 4, 2014. 

Ms. Keedy stated that the contents of the Redevelopment Plan are governed by Ch. 163.360, F.S., and the Plan is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and is based on goals and objectives developed by the CRA Advisory Committee.  She advised that the implementation strategies consist of four broad goals and a number of objectives to implement each goal: economic development, community image, housing, and redevelopment areas.  She noted that together the goals and objectives provide the basis for the capital projects and programs. 

Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic Development and Tourism Director, discussed the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Revenue Projects based on the Mt. Plymouth Sorrento CRA Revenue Analysis prepared by the Lake County Department of Economic Development and Tourism.  He stated that they conducted a detailed study on the projections of the CRA, and the approach was to utilize the Bureau of Economic and Business Research population projections for the County to come up with a capture rate for Northeast Lake County and then for the CRA area specifically, and a projection for housing units over the 30 year time horizon.  He noted that all of their assumptions in terms of capture rates and absorptions were very conservative, and looked at the demand and the available supply in the area.  He explained that in total they are looking at a little over 2,000 homes in the area and 170,000 square feet of non-residential that would be in the CRA.  He stated that over the 30 year time horizon, there would be revenue projections that would be approximately $2-3 million per year in the far outreaching years, with the numbers being much lower in the earlier years, and the TIF value would be from the appreciation of the property values.  He noted that the basis of determining the capture rates and absorption in the area has to do with the Wekiva Parkway coming through in 2020. 

Ms. Keedy explained that the Capital Projects and Program are based on implementation strategies, and all project and programs funded with TIF revenues must be in the Redevelopment Plan.  Other agencies’ capital projects that are located within a CRA included in program and projects can be funded by a combination of federal, state, local and/or private funding sources.  She noted that the Plan can be amended when necessary to update projections and add or delete projects, the CP&P list is divided into short term, mid-term and long term periods and for planning purposes, with actual timing of the projects depending on funding opportunities and availability.  She explained that the Short Term CP&P, which will be from 2014-2020, will include the gateway signage, commercial and residential façade grant program, the SR 46 streetscape plan design coming from TIF revenue, the CR 437 PD&E study from Lake County funds, and the Wekiva Trail design from FDOT funds.  She advised that the Mid-term Plan will be from 2021-2031 and includes the Public Utility Study, partial Streetscape Plan, bike trail to East Lake Park, sidewalk/pedestrian plan and replacement East Lake County library; and the funding sources will be a combination of TIF revenues and other agencies fundings for all of the projects except the Public Utility Study.  She stated that the long term that is planned from 2032-2044 includes the latter construction phases for the Streetscape Plan, enhancements to the Wekiva Trail within the CRA and implementation of the sidewalk/pedestrian plan; and the actual projects and the timing of the work will depend on the revenues received and opportunities to partner with other public or private entities.  She pointed out the next steps will be transmittal by the LPA of the approved Redevelopment Plan to the governing body on April 2, 2014 at the Planning and Zoning meeting and adoption by the governing body of the Redevelopment Plan and approval of the ordinance establishing the Trust Fund for Tax Increment revenues at the April 22, 2014 BCC meeting.

Mr. Tim Bailey, Chair of the Mt. Plymouth Sorrento CRA Advisory Committee, thanked Ms. Keedy and the Board for allowing the community to have a voice regarding this project and stated that they had very good community input and decisions.  He noted that the Board still controls the outcome of the CRA, and the Advisory Committee appreciates all of the hard work done.

Mr. Scott Taylor, Sorrento resident, stated he wanted to provide the Board with a few cautionary notes as he has been a part of the study process for the CRA, and he questioned whether the TIF funding is the appropriate vehicle for some of the projects listed in the documents.  He also expressed concern that the underpinnings of the CRA do not drive Comp Plan and zoning decisions, and they do not have the power to override and change zoning decisions.  

Ms. Helen McCormick, Mt. Plymouth resident, stated that she has questions regarding the CRA, such as whether 60 percent of the acreage is unimproved, and what the value is of only the improved properties that have actual buildings on them.  She mentioned that she is researching and writing a paper about the CRA, because it is a unique experience in Florida to have a CRA with so much vacant land.  She explained that the plan mentions mobile homes quite frequently in the documents as a majority of a section, although she hasn’t seen many mobile homes in the area, so she would like to know the actual number of mobile homes in the CRA.  She also inquired as to whether there is a projection for the TIF income and whether that is based only on the improved properties or the undeveloped properties; she asked that if it is based on both, can it be separated to obtain a more accurate estimate. She questioned whether the CRA designations mandate that there be a plan for affordable housing or a justification for why they do not have it.

Ms. Keedy stated that the requested action is for approval of the Redevelopment Plan and transmittal of the Plan to the Local Planning Agency (LPA).

Commr. Campione noted that there is a typo on page 37 and requested that it get corrected.  She mentioned that this Plan does reference the Comprehensive Plan and attaches it as an appendix, but language could be included to state that the Comp Plan is the controlling document with regard to land uses.  She suggested that there be a standard statement noting that that the Comp Plan will control if there is a conflict between the two, and that is what state law would provide anyway. 

Commr. Cadwell stated that the CRA does not have the ability to change language. 

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Redevelopment Plan and transmittal of the Plan to the Local Planning Agency.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:03 p.m.



jimmy conner, chairman