july 21, 2015

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 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:  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 Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION and pledge

Pastor Milan Weerts with Woodlands Lutheran Church in Montverde gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

There were no changes to the Agenda.


On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of the BCC Meetings of June 9, 2015 (Regular Meeting), June 22, 2015 (Special Workshop), and June 23, 2015 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

There was no one who wished to address the Board at this time.


On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 9, 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.

Annual Financial Audit Report from Cascades at Groveland CDD

Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the Annual Financial Audit Report for the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2014 for the Cascades at Groveland Community Development District.

Ordinance from City of Eustis

Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Ordinance No. 2015-10 adopted by the City of Eustis on June 18, 2015 annexing approximately 0.35 acres of real property at 34 Ohio Boulevard.

Inspector General Reports

Request to acknowledge receipt of Inspector General Report BCC-133 Audit of Community Services Department – Section 8 Program.

Request to acknowledge receipt of Inspector General Report BCC-132, Audit of Park Fees and Maintenance.

Ordinances and Resolutions from Town of Lady Lake

Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the following Ordinances and Resolutions from the Town of Lady Lake:

Ordinance No. 2015-01

Ordinance No. 2015-03

Resolution No. 2015-101

Resolution No. 2015-102

Resolution No. 2015-104

Resolution No. 2015-105

Notice of Public Hearing from City of Eustis for Annexation Ordinance

Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Public Hearing from the City of Eustis for Ordinance 2015-14 annexing approximately 3.86 acres contiguous to the Eustis City limits and located within the Eustis Planning Area.

City of Clermont’s CAFR for Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2014

Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the City of Clermont’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014, in accordance with Section 163.387 (8), Florida Statutes.

Proof of Publication of Unclaimed Moneys

Request to acknowledge receipt of proof of publication of unclaimed moneys and payment to the Board for those non-court related moneys advertised less claims and publications costs.


On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 8 as follows:

County Attorney

Request for approval for Chairman to execute the Tenant Estoppel Certificate to IWG Towers Assets II, LLC, regarding Lake County's Radio Communications cell tower located at 30301 Sea Grape Avenue in Eustis.  There is no fiscal impact.

Fiscal and Administrative Services

Request for approval 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 list from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records, and (3) authorize the Procurement Manager to execute any required title documents.

Public Works

Request for authorization to award CR 44C (Eudora Road) and Sylvan Shores Sidewalk Retrofit Project, Project No. 2015-04, Bid No. 15-0002, Tracking No. S/W15002, to Estep Construction, Inc., in the amount of $207,965.00, and to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $207,965.00 from the Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects Sidewalks fund. The fiscal impact is $207,965.00 (Expenditure). Commission District.

Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2015-69 authorizing the reduction of the speed limit from 30 MPH to 25 MPH on Ivywood Street (0638C) in the Clermont area, Section 13, Township 23, Range 25. There is no fiscal impact.   Commission District 2.

Request for approval of the satisfaction and release of lien for one (1) special assessment.  There is no fiscal impact.   Commission District 4.

Request for authorization to award two portions (road construction and site preparation) of the Hartle Road Connection Project No. 2015-03, Bid No. 15-0019, Tracking No. NRD14012, to Estep Construction (Apopka) in the amount of $714,983; to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $714,983 from the following funding sources: $431,995.00 from Road Impact Fee South Benefit District Fund, and $282,988.00 from Fire Services Impact Fee Trust Fund; and approval of the Unanticipated Revenue Resolution No. 2015-70 (URR) to amend the budget. Clermont will award and fund the utility portion of the project (water and force main placement at $79,000 for a total project price of $793,893) as described in the background section of this item.  The fiscal impact is $714,983.00 ($431,995.00 Road Impact Fee South Benefit District Fund and $282,988.00 Fire Services Impact Fee Trust Fund).  This project is located in Clermont, south of SR 50.

public hearing

vacation petition 1217 – reeve st. and pine ave. – sorrento

Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, explained that this vacation petition by Caroline Austin, Crescencio Abreu, and Adalberta Ramirez was to vacate a portion of platted and unimproved right of way for Reeve Street and Pine Avenue shown on the Plats of Sorrento in the Sorrento area (Plat Book 1, Pgs. 32 and 58), which he noted was a very old plat.  He elaborated that the petitioners all live adjacent to Pine Avenue and Reeve Street, and he showed the area on a map on the overhead monitor, pointing out that it was south of SR 46.  He recommended that the Board give approval to vacate.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

Commr. Campione asked whether the applicants were currently occupying that area.

Mr. Stivender responded that he did not know, but he noted that there were no letters either in favor or in objection to the vacation.

Commr. Campione clarified that it will just unite the property for the Austins, and the other petitioners will get half of that right of way.

Ms. Caroline Austin, the applicant, related that she has owned a home on that property since December, and she explained that since the right of way connects all her property, her intention was to combine all of her property together and fence it in for safety purposes.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2015-71 and Vacation Petition No. 1217 (Caroline Austin, Crescencio Abreu & Adalberta Ramirez) to vacate a portion of platted and unimproved right of way for Reeve St. and Pine Ave. shown on the Plats of Sorrento (PB 1, Pg. 32 & PB 1, Pg. 58) in the Sorrento area.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 4.

closed session

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that Florida Statute 286.011 authorizes the Board to meet in closed session to discuss pending litigation.  He related that one of the requirements is that the attorney requests to meet with the Board, which they had done at the last meeting, and they have advertised this as required by the statute.  He added that once they go into closed session, they could only discuss settlement negotiations or strategy sessions relating to litigation expenditures, and a court reporter will be present to record the entire session, the beginning and ending times, and all discussions and proceedings.  He listed the names of all persons who will be present for the closed session, who were himself, the Board, the County Manager, Ms. Melanie Marsh, and Mr. Greg Stewart from Nabors Giblin.  He noted that no portion of the session can be off the record; also, the court reporter will transcribe her notes after the session has ended and file them with the Clerk, and they will be made public after the litigation is over.  He announced that he believed the estimated length will be 30 to 45 minutes, and they will come back into open session once the closed session is concluded, announce the termination of the session, and complete the rest of the agenda.

recess and reassembly

The meeting reconvened at 9:50 a.m.

presentation - health department update

Mr. Aaron Kissler, Director of the Lake County Health Department, stated that he would give the Board a biannual report, starting with a list of some of the 98 community events that they have been doing across the county during the past six months.  He stated that they have partnered with Area Health Education Centers to provide 22 smoking cessation classes in various locations, which resulted in an impact on the smoking rates in the county.  He related that they worked with the Lake Eustis area, Leesburg, and the South Lake Chambers’ 90-day Business Wellness Challenge to work with the business community to try to influence and help people to choose healthy lifestyles, noting that healthy employees result in less sick days and more productive workers, and they also worked with Get Fit Lake, which is a resource site for people to get information about healthy lifestyles.  He added that they were embarking on a baby-friendly certification process initiative with all three of the hospitals, which will focus on breast feeding for good health and development in a child’s early years.  He commented that one of their greatest accomplishments is that they have reduced tobacco use by 6 percent with their community partners in the last four years and 3 percent last year, focusing especially on helping youth to form healthier habits.  He pointed out that their Environmental Health team scored highest in the state out of the 67 county health departments, and their school immunization rates are 95.4 for Kindergarteners and 96.9 percent for 7th graders, which shows a high level of responsibility in the county to avoid outbreaks of diseases seen in other areas.  He mentioned that his peers elected him as the President Elect of the Florida Association of County Health Officials, and he expressed hope to represent Lake County well on that board when he becomes the president in the coming year.

Mr. Kissler presented a pie chart on the overhead monitor of the financial overview which breaks down the different sources of their funding, pointing out that their General Funds such as Medicaid and federal and state appropriations made up a majority of their funding at 79 percent, but he noted that the funding they get from the County is very important, since many of their other funding sources are very specific to programs without much leeway to deal with some of the local issues that the community feels is important.  He specified that he uses the County funding for things such as emergency preparedness, epidemiology to track and stem any disease outbreaks, and their dental clinic.  He mentioned that because they have had a reduction of employees and a reduction of incoming funds, they have given up one of their buildings and were planning to reinvest half the money spent on that building into the Fruitland Park building where they provide children’s dental service, with the other half going towards other areas.  He reported that AHCA (Agency for Health Care Administration) will report what the funding strategy will be for the LIP (Low Income Pool) program in the next couple of weeks, and he recapped that they had a three-year LIP grant last year and were able to apply for an extension for another year.  He specified that Lake County receives $1.5 million of LIP money, most of which is given to their partners in the Lake Health Partnership consisting of Florida Hospital Waterman, the Community Medical Center of Leesburg associated with LRMC (Leesburg Regional Medical Center), St. Lukes medical and dental clinic, and We Care of Lake County, with LifeStream as a future partner.

Commr. Cadwell asked if they will be able to restore We Care at the current funding level if the LIP funding does come through.

Mr. Kissler confirmed that they would bring We Care to the current funding level and even look to increase it if possible if those funds are available, since it looks like they would not have to use the Health Department’s in-kind money, and he replied that they should have a good idea within the next couple of weeks what the status of the grants are.  He pointed out that the state legislature was able to restore the LIP money, which was a relief since they were not sure that would happen.  He reported that the Health Department did epidemiological case investigations of 1,098 reportable diseases, did over 2,500 inspections and sanitary nuisance investigations relating to environmental health, and provided almost 200,000 total core public health services across the county, including STD testing for the first time and OB services in the Clermont facility, and he noted that they would be doing OB services for all three hospitals, although they are currently trying to find a partner willing and interested in taking over OB services from them.  He commented that he was very proud of his department and presented some of the reviews that they have received from users of their services indicating that their clients were pleased with the service their employees provide and that they had one of the best health departments in the state.  He related that they were getting prepared for Project Public Health Ready, a vital program in the State of Florida to recognize the importance of hurricane and tornado preparedness.  He added that they have been able to work with good community partners on their Ebola preparedness efforts and other communicable disease responses.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he appreciated that Mr. Kissler has been proactive in finding other options and preparing to act depending on what happens in the legislature, as well as keeping the Commissioners informed about what was going on and what their options are.

Commr. Parks expressed appreciation that Mr. Kissler meets with all of the Commissioners individually as well as for his proactive approach.

Commr. Campione opined that it was very helpful for them throughout this legislative session to know what might or might not happen and that Mr. Kissler was preparing contingency plans depending on the ultimate outcome.  She requested that he ask his staff members who were present to stand up in order to be recognized and applauded.

Commr. Sullivan pointed out that the state funding issue is not over, and he appreciates Mr. Kissler’s efforts as they move forward in the process.

Commr. Campione encouraged Mr. Kissler to continue to form an ongoing relationship with LifeStream, which she feels would be beneficial for everyone in the community.

Mr. Kissler added that they look at whole health, including mental, physical, and dental health.

fiscal and administrative services

resolutions for fire and solid waste assessment rolls

Mr. Steve Koontz, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, announced that he would give a presentation on the Fire and Solid Waste Assessments, including a recommendation for the public hearing dates and times for those assessments.  He explained that the Fire Assessment is used to fund fire protection services, such as fire suppression, fire prevention, fire building inspections, and first response medical services (BLS); and he pointed out that this assessment cannot fund ALS (advanced life support) services.  He recapped that the latest Fire Assessment Study by Tindale Oliver and Associates on June 23 recommended estimated revenues of $16,887,000, which was very similar to the FY 2015 revenues.  He also recapped some other findings from that study, which were that the residential rates were being reduced from $181 to $175 due to a shift of utilization of fire services across the unincorporated area, and other land use categories such as hotel/motel, commercial, industrial, and institutional would see rate increases from 4 to 50 percent due to the changes in utilization of fire services by those land use categories.  He further explained that previous studies and resolutions had included a 50 percent reduction for the institutional properties that were considered tax exempt, and there would need to be a 66 percent discount where those properties would pay 34 percent of the fees in order to keep those institutional properties at a consistent rate to 2015, with the rest of the fees coming from the general fund.

Mr. Koontz recapped that the County changed the Solid Waste Assessment rates last year because of the change in the services that were being provided, but this year the assessment has remained stable.  He explained that the Solid Waste Assessment is used to fund collection, management, and disposal of solid waste and recovered material, adding that vacant lots are not assessed, and he pointed out that this assessment is for curbside service and could not fund countywide services.  He elaborated that the rates were based on the area and service level, and he noted that the rates, which have not changed from FY 2015, will bring in estimated revenues of just under $12.6 million.  He presented a chart showing the rates, which he pointed out was the same as he had presented for the current year.  He reported that the requested action was to approve the initial assessment resolutions and establish a public hearing date of September 15, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. for both resolutions.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2015-72 which initiates the annual process for preparation of the Fire Assessment Roll, authorizes the publication of the advertisement for the September 15, 2015 Public Hearing, provides direction to notice all affected parties of the proposed rates, and directs the imposition of the Fire Assessment fees for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2015, with the maximum proposed residential rate of $175; and Resolution No. 2015-73 which initiates the annual process for preparation of the Solid Waste Assessment Roll, authorizes the publication of the advertisement for a September 15, 2015 Public Hearing, provides direction to notice all affected parties of the proposed rates, and directs the imposition of the Solid Waste Assessment fees for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2015.

millage rates to be included on trim notification

Mr. Koontz stated that the purpose of this presentation is to set the tentative millage rates to be included on the TRIM notification and approve the public hearing dates and times.  He reported that the FY 2016 recommended budget addresses the Constitutional Officer’s requests, included funding for parks such as East Lake Community Park lighting and the South Lake Regional Park, incorporated funding for public safety including ambulances and fire trucks, and provided funding to continue the Courthouse renovations.  He elaborated that the budget also included additional funding for the Children’s Services and Health and Human Services Grant programs, additional funding for the Health Department through savings from the loss of the above-mentioned building, funding for veterans memorial parks, and a salary adjustment for employees of three percent as well as funding for a salary study.  He added that other things that have been addressed in the budget were medical insurance funding issues discussed at previous meetings, Florida Retirement System changes to the special risk category such as firefighters, funding for a state lobbyist, funding of the Solid Waste countywide operations, and adequate funding for the Risk and Liability Reserve.  He pointed out that they have met the Board policy for General Fund reserves and that this would include a General Fund millage reduction.  He related that the total recommended budget that the Commissioners received last week had a total budget of $346 million as compared to the 2015 adopted budget of almost $350 million, and he emphasized that the operating budget was reduced from $274.1 million last year to $273.9 million, with a total net increase of 4 positions in the total budget.

Mr. Koontz recapped that the General Fund ad valorem revenues estimated for 2016 is about $86.6 million and that there would be some relief from the debt service from the infrastructure sales tax of $4.6 million.   He reported that the total General Fund Operating Budget is $127.5 million, and the General Fund Reserves are $9.8 million or a reserve percent of 7.7 percent.  He noted that the General Fund Countywide millage reduction would be from 5.3856 to 5.3051, and he illustrated the certified property values on a chart, pointing out that they have increased by 5.59 percent, which was a little more than what was projected, although the increase in the unincorporated areas was not quite as high.  He presented another chart illustrating the proposed millages and related that although the total proposed millage is slightly above the rollback millage of 6.6253, it was a reduction from 2015 at 6.7341.  He mentioned that the Public Lands Voted Debt millage is not included in the aggregate millage, because it was voted through a referendum, and that millage will stay the same and will bring in just slightly more than they need for principal and interest payments.  He listed the proposed public hearing dates, including the first budget public hearing on September 15, 2015 at 5:05 p.m., the second hearing on September 29 at 5:05 p.m., and the assessment public hearings on September 15 at 9:00 a.m.; and he elaborated that those dates would go on the TRIM notices in August.  He stated that the requested action was to get direction from the Board to set the millage rates for the TRIM notices and approval of the above-mentioned public hearing dates and advertisements.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog regarding governmental fiscal issues, mentioned that he has worked in large corporations and in government as an auditor, and he opined that although budget presentations usually show trends and percentage changes for the last three years, this presentation did not show that or dollar figures regarding the budget, although the Commissioners may have been given that information previously.  He questioned whether the net change in positions given was a fair and accurate number and was not just a result of figuring in the employees who handled the phone calls when they changed the waste providers.

Commr. Conner clarified that the employees who were hired to answer the phones regarding solid waste were not figured into that number, and he assured Mr. Jochim that the Board was vigilant about always looking for efficiencies.  He agreed that he would like to see trend lines, since he believed that would show things they were doing in a positive light.

Mr. Heath responded that it was a challenge putting this presentation together after 20 work sessions without repeating information several times, and he specified that some of the positions being added included the Concierge Service/Permit Tech position at the Building Services counter, South Lake Coordinator for Economic Development, Special Events Coordinator for Emergency Management, and others that the Board has already thoroughly discussed.  He elaborated that there were seven positions in Solid Waste that they were eliminating, which they were trying to do through attrition in order to avoid having to lay people off.

Commr. Conner opined that an improved economy does not mean that they do not scrutinize positions and expenses, and he pointed out that they also need to think about their level of service.  He also opined that this was a conservative budget, noting that parks, libraries, and public safety are all important to the public, and he indicated that he was pleased with the budget process this year.

Commr. Campione mentioned that the statement of changes might have to be revisited in order to address LIP funding to entities such as LifeStream and We Care, since that is currently in a state of flux.  She requested that EMS add an additional ambulance in Astor, noting that she has already discussed that possibility with Mr. Jerry Smith, EMS Director, who indicated that it looked promising, and she pointed out that EMS has had additional revenues due to increased call volume which should enable them to do that.  She suggested that in the future it would be helpful to see the dollar amounts associated with each of the items on the summary of changes for the benefit of those who have not followed the budget discussions earlier.

Commr. Conner commended the Commissioners for supporting each other during this budget process, and he stated that he supported Commr. Campione’s request for an ambulance in Astor in order to ensure adequate public safety in that area.

Commr. Cadwell reminded the Commissioners that although they can look at that issue, they needed to take that request to the EMS board, which will discuss the options to expand the service.

Commr. Parks opined that the budget process has been very good this year and expressed appreciation to staff for all they have done towards that goal.  He indicated that he was excited about the pay study, which would look at performance and incentive pay and empower their employees to look for efficiencies, which he believed was cutting edge.

Commr. Sullivan opined that he felt well informed and that this was a great budget and the right thing to do for the citizens of Lake County as they move forward.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the following millages to be included on the TRIM Notices:  General Fund millage of 5.3051, Lake County Ambulance millage of 0.4629, Parks and Stormwater MSTU millage of 0.4957, Fire Medical Services MSTU of 0.4704, and Public Lands Voted Debt millage of 0.1600; as well as approval of the public hearing dates and times for September 15, 2015 @ 5:05 p.m. and September 29, 2015 at 5:05 p.m. and approval to advertise these public hearings.

other business

appointments to arts and cultural alliance

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of the following members to the Lake County Arts and Cultural Alliance to serve two-year terms beginning July 31, 2015:  Richard Colvin (City of Eustis), Nancy Zinkofsky (City of Mount Dora, reappointment), and Lou Buigas (City of Tavares); as well as Ms. Deborah Beck (City of Astatula) to serve a one-year rotating term beginning July 31, 2015.

reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2

visit to nemours hospital

Commr. Parks related that he visited Nemours Hospital and commented that it was an amazing facility.  He mentioned that they were also working on several facilities within Lake County, including in Mount Dora and Clermont, and he expressed hope that someday some of their pediatric specialists will come to Lake County.  He suggested that the Commissioners visit the leadership at Nemours and encourage them to build a presence in Lake County.

south lake regional water initiative meeting

Commr. Parks announced that there was an important meeting coming up in August regarding the South Lake Regional Water Initiative to discuss some policy decisions as well as to hear an update about what is going on, and he requested that it be advertised so that the other Commissioners can join him for that meeting.


ordinance regarding sexual offenders

Commr. Campione referred to an email sent by the County Attorney regarding a case that was upheld relating to the County’s current ordinance concerning sexual offenders and predators and asked whether they need to pursue making modifications to the ordinance or if this was a good indication that their existing ordinance is a good one.

Mr. Minkoff responded that the Fifth District Court of Appeal just decided last week to uphold an ordinance from a city in Brevard County which prohibited employers from employing and sending out employees who were sexual offenders to places where children are present, such as houses or commercial buildings, and he noted that the language of that decision is very favorable to the ordinance that the Board passed about two years ago regarding that issue.

Commr. Campione thanked the legal department for keeping abreast about that issue and for putting together such a good, strong ordinance.

campus for lake sumter community college

Commr. Campione reported that the donation of land is going to be accepted at the Wolf Branch Innovation Center east of Mount Dora for an East Lake campus for Lake-Sumter State College, and she encouraged the Commissioners to attend.

reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5

south lake chamber presentation

Commr. Cadwell mentioned that he and Commr. Sullivan both attended the South Lake Chamber presentation on the Expressway’s 2040 plan on Friday morning, July 17, which had a good turnout.

tdc workshop

Commr. Cadwell opined that the TDC (Tourist Development Council) workshop on Monday, July 20, was excellent and engaging, and he expressed confidence in the staff and the TDC board.  He elaborated that the workshop was in preparation of the joint workshop between the TDC and the Parks and Recreation Committee, and he believed the TDC was open to working cooperatively with the Parks and Rec Committee.  He elaborated that they had also discussed their position regarding capital versus marketing funding and the process for awarding that funding.

Commr. Parks added that he attended the Parks and Trails Advisory Committee meeting on July 20, which he believed went well.  He also reported that that committee is looking forward to the joint meeting scheduled for August 11 and voted unanimously to make a recommendation to support the update of both the Trails and Facilities Master Plans, which will then be coming to the Board.

Commr. Cadwell added that he believed this is the first time those two groups have met together, and he feels that the meeting in August will be a good and productive meeting.

Commr. Parks commented that he feels that the process is going very well for the master planning for the South Lake Regional Park that is underway.


metro orlando edc meeting at tavares pavilion

Commr. Conner thanked everyone who attended the Metro Orlando EDC meeting last week at the Tavares Pavilion, and he thanked staff and Mr. John Drury, Tavares City Manager, who discussed branding for Tavares as the Seaplane City.  He commented that those in attendance were impressed with the pavilion, and there were many people who took seaplane rides and posted pictures of that on social media sites, which he believed would be good publicity for Lake County and showed the area in a good light.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman announced at 10:45 a.m. that there would be a recess until 1:30 p.m.

presentation of 4-h proclamation

Commr. Parks commented that it was a privilege and an honor to be able to present Proclamation No. 2015-68 in recognition of Lake County’s 4-H Horse Program accomplishments that day honoring the great Lake County horse program that has been around since 1922.  He added that 4-H teaches life skills, responsibility, ownership, and other character-building traits, as well as science and mathematics.  He specified that the participants of the 4-H Horse Program compete around the country representing Lake County, and there are 25 charter clubs with 555 members in Lake County.  He opined that the youth involved in 4-H programs have been shown to be less likely to participate in risky behavior.  He read the proclamation aloud, which noted that the 2015 Lake County 4-H Horse Program team won first place in all three state-level competitive 4-H horse events, a feat that has never been done before, and the team will then be representing the State of Florida at regional and national competition in 2015.  He then presented the proclamation to Ms. Megan Brew, Lake County Livestock Agent, Agricultural Department, as well as to team members Logan Daniels, Morgan Swann, Morgan Skrabalak, Callie Williams, Aviles Champion, and Stephanie Walters; however, team members Oceanna Deaton and Jane Thomas were not able to be present during this presentation.

Ms. Brew expressed her sincere thanks to all of the Commissioners and to the County government at large for their support of the 4-H Horse Program, which enabled those participants to travel and represent the State of Florida in ways that they would not have been able to had they not had that support.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation 2015-68 in recognition of the Lake County  4-H Horse Program accomplishments.

public hearings:  rezonings

rezoning consent agenda

Mr. Chris Schmidt, Manager of Planning and Community Design, Economic Growth Department, submitted the advertisements for that day’s rezoning public hearings on the overhead monitor.  He noted that Consent Agenda Items 1 through 4 were all approved unanimously by the Planning and Zoning Board, and the staff recommendation is for the Board to approve those items.

The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the Rezoning Consent Agenda.

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

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 4 as follows:

Tab 1.  Ordinance No. 2015-25

Rezoning Case #FLU-2015-02-5

Stine Property Future Land Use Map Amendment

This small-scale amendment will designate property as Urban Low Future Land Use Category (FLUC) which was recently de-annexed from the Town of Lady Lake.  The parcel is described as Alternate Key #1279160, which consists of approximately 3.18 acres.

Tab 2.  Ordinance No. 2015-26

Rezoning Case No. RZ-15-10-5

Stine Property Rezoning

Request to rezone a 3.18 acre parcel that has been de-annexed from the Town of Lady Lake to unincorporated Lake County Rural Residential (R-1).

Tab 3.  Ordinance No. 2015-11

Rezoning Case No. CP-2015-01

Rural Transition FLUC

4th Alternative for Development

Future Land Use Element Text Amendment

Tab 4.  Ordinance No. 2015-10

Rezoning Case No. CP-2015-02

Mount Dora JPA Boundary Realignment

Map Series Amendment adjusting the Joint Planning Agreement Boundary Line between Mount Dora and Lake County.

rezoning regular agenda

wellness way sector plan – lpa#14/10/1-2

Mr. Schmidt reported that the updated numbers of emails or letters regarding the Wellness Way Sector Plan were none in opposition or support and one expressing questions or concerns.

Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic Growth Director, gave an overview of the Wellness Way Sector Plan and the request for adoption of that plan.  He displayed a map of the Wellness Way Sector Plan area, which comprised roughly 16,000 acres situated south of Hartwood Marsh Road, east of Hwy 27, west of the Orange County border, and north of Hwy 192.  He related that 12,000 acres of that area are upland acres, 3,000 of which are contained within the Conserve II property, and there are 27 major landowners in that area who own greater than 90 acres.  He presented a chart of the breakdown of the existing Future Land Uses for each of those land use categories comprising the 12,000 upland acres, as well as another chart showing the Future Land Use allocations currently on that land broken up into approximately 8,000 units on 10,000 acres for residential, and he pointed out that the actual Future Land Use would allow up to 200 million square feet of non-residential development, although he opined that would be an unreasonable expectation for that land.  He explained that Sector Plans are authorized in Section 163.3245, Florida Statutes, to encourage and recognize the benefits of long-range planning for specific areas within a region or local government jurisdiction.  He elaborated that the minimum acreage requirement was 15,000, and it requires a large scale Comprehensive Plan text and map amendment.  He added that the primary goals of a sector plan are to promote long-term innovative and flexible planning and development strategies, to ensure adequate mitigation of impacts to regional resources and facilities, to emphasize urban form, and to facilitate the protection of regionally-significant resources, especially environmental ones.  He explained that approval of the Sector Plan is accomplished in two stages, which are the long-term master plan, which is what the County is currently doing, and the implementation of the master plan through detailed specific area plans (DSAPs).  He elaborated that details are implemented through a local government development order and can be done concurrently with rezoning, and he noted that DSAPs are typically 1,000 acres or greater, with exceptions in extenuating circumstances.

Mr. Chandler made a comparison of the Sector Plan and the DSAPs, noting that the Sector Plan had general and conceptual development guidelines, broad community design principles, and general road network and infrastructure plans in order to lay the framework for development in the area, whereas the DSAPs, which will come at a later date, will codify the broad Sector Plan principles, specify the development requirements, and encompass the site plans that will show where the different uses will be located.  He recapped that Littlejohn began the Sector Plan process and planning in May 2013 and submitted their draft of the Sector Plan in October 2013; and the Planning and Zoning hearing and approval of that plan was in October 2014.  He added that the Board gave approval for transmittal in November 2014, and staff has been working on responding to the report containing the objections, recommendations, and comments since receiving that report back from the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).  He reported that the deadline for responding to the DEO report is August 2015.  He related that the stakeholders that they have spoken to in order to make sure there is consensus on this plan include the Clermont City Council, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, land owners, Lake County Schools, St. Johns River Water Management District, South Lake Chamber of Commerce, and the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization.  He commented that the goal for this plan was to come up with something that is simple, predictable, and flexible, with the main goal being to ensure that they are providing the opportunity to create job generating uses by including a jobs-to-housing ratio through the setting aside of a land use.  He added that environmental protection and master plans to cover services, utilities, and infrastructure is also important to this plan, and they have strived to balance landowner development rights with development flexibility and proper planning principles.  He mentioned that this plan also encourages recreational opportunities, transportation, and neighborhood connectivity that could not happen without a plan of this size and scale.

Mr. Chandler discussed the framework for this plan, noting that they have allowed for a more flexible plan with the creation of five tiers which allows a mix of uses with the overriding factors of a jobs-to-housing ratio and the densities that are allowed rather than the usual designation of land uses into each area.  He elaborated that all tiers require a 30 percent set aside for open space, 20 percent of which would be wellness space meant to provide a gathering place for the public.  He related that each tier assigns a maximum number of residential units, and the number of jobs that need to be created would be calculated based on a jobs-to-housing ratio for those units.  He displayed a chart specifying information including development units (DU) per net acre, DU capacity, jobs-to-housing ratio, and non-residential square feet, as well as the Future Land Use Map of the area.  He emphasized that there was a maximum number of residential dwelling units of 16,531 with a minimum of non-residential square feet of 12 million and acreage of 1,250, and there will also be a minimum jobs to housing ratio of 1.6 jobs to every housing unit.  He presented a chart illustrating what would happen under their existing Comprehensive Plan compared to the Sector Plan, encompassing variables such as high wage job creation, open space, environmental corridors, water conservation, a technology infrastructure plan, and neighborhood connectivity which they have tried to emphasize during this process in order to ensure that the Sector Plan provides a better outcome than doing nothing across all of those factors.  He summarized that the Sector Plan strategy was simple with a net buildable land allocation with straight forward capacities and jobs to housing ratios, flexible to allow landowners to develop as the market demands within their specific DSAPs, and predictable with expectations that are clear and strong.  He announced that the Pacific Ace PUD consisting of 363 acres has requested to withdraw from the plan as of that day, which would result in a slight decrease in the acreage and the number of residential units previously mentioned, but will not impact anything else in the plan.

Mr. Chandler reported that staff has been working on satisfying the recommendations that were provided to them by the DEO report, which he broke into six categories of development framework, pre-existing entitlements, intergovernmental coordination, environmental, transportation-public facilities, and schools.  He related that since one objection was that the long-term master plan must include a framework map, they have now incorporated that into the plan; also, since another objection stated that the Sector Plan must emphasize urban form, a hierarchy of places, and functional place-making components, they have included that map and more language to signify the urban form they were looking for in the Sector Plan.  He explained that the third objection was more of a scrivener’s error in terms of the dates not aligning, but now all the dates in the Sector Plan are built out to a 2040 buildout date.  He presented the framework map which illustrates where the urban versus rural areas would be, as well as the locations of the wetlands, water, and the Wellness Way corridors; and the hierarchy of place diagram showing the job hub in the middle, the major transportation corridors, the neighborhoods, and the wellness-based corridors.  Mr. Chandler related that they added ratios in the plan, since the DEO requested the County to do so, and they encouraged densities that allow transit.  He elaborated that they included more language that explains exactly how they are treating the densities and capacities, which is a little different than they typically would calculate them in those types of situations.  He added that they also have used a two-step process, with the first step being the development of capacity based on net acres calculated as gross acres less wetlands and water bodies and the second step being determination of the density numbers reflecting how they would build those on the ground.  He presented charts illustrating the calculations for capacity and density/intensity.  He also reported that the DEO wanted the County to show what the mix of uses would be between residential and nonresidential, and they have provided those percentages that were already implicit in the tables; they have also responded to the objection regarding whether the development approvals could occur before or after the master plan is approved by amending the language to reflect the recommended language from the DEO stating that development approvals cannot occur until after the adoption of the DSAP consistent with Section 163.3245(5)(a), Florida Statutes.

Mr. Chandler reported that the DEO questioned whether they were allowing the current entitlements to the existing PUD’s to continue, so they have added language that hopefully satisfies that issue by ensuring that the existing property rights are not allowed to be taken from existing PUD’s, and he specified that this would apply to Avalon Groves and Pacific Ace.  He responded to an objection regarding intergovernmental coordination by removing a piece of Clermont from within the map and garnering the support of the City of Orlando and Orange County for inclusion of Conserv II in the Sector Plan, with a letter of support expected to be received soon from those entities.  He explained that in response to some issues with the timing of conservation easements expressed by the DEO, they have changed those policies to reflect the language that was given to them, and they cleaned up language regarding a goal of achieving a 50 percent overall amount of open space for the entire Sector Plan, which was confusing in regard to the 30 percent required.  He related that the DEO wanted the County to better designate and identify the amount of water and the timing of the water sources regarding water supply, and they have worked with the St. Johns River Water Management District on that issue and also to make sure the language regarding who makes that determination is consistent and acceptable to the DEO.

Mr. Chandler explained some modifications that were made regarding transportation and public facilities in response to the DEO objections, explaining that most of those objections had to do with the original model that was created which included a development plan of 50 million square feet of non-residential and roughly 30,000 residential units, and he noted that those numbers were contracted considerably with their new plan in order to avoid any adverse impacts to the roads.  He pointed out that they have worked with the consultants to make sure they have updated language to deal with the objection indicating that the DSAP transportation plan did not identify strategies and commitments necessary to achieve the reduction in net external trips on the roads, including pedestrian-oriented design emphasis and the possible inclusion of future bus service.  He referenced an objection from DEO regarding the public facilities in the plan, which he indicated they have addressed by incorporating a new objective and policy into the plan.  He reported that the final two objections were regarding public schools, and they have worked with Lake County Schools in both of those cases to make sure the language is consistent.  He concluded that the requested action is to approve adoption of LPA#14/10/1-2, Wellness Way Sector Plan, with the amended Policy I-8.7.9 Existing Approved Developments and Revisions to the Data, Inventory, and Analysis and the Future Land Use Map to reflect the withdrawal of the Pacific Ace PUD.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Andy Dubois, a resident of Howey in the Hills, commented that great lengths have been taken to ensure success of this plan, but he expressed a concern that property owners need to be notified in writing whenever land use regulations change that affect property by the jurisdiction that is changing the land use.  He indicated that he has spoken to several property owners who were not aware of this Sector Plan, although he understood that the Board has gone to great lengths the last three years to satisfy all of the regulatory requirements.  He opined that liberty cannot exist unless property rights are secure, and he believed that the Board should be able to demonstrate that each of the 125 property owners have been notified, which he commented would take minimal time and effort.

Commr. Conner asked if Mr. Dubois would be able to supply the names of those property owners to the Board.

Mr. Dubois responded that he could get that contact information to them.

Mr. Roger Sims, an attorney with Holland and Knight representing Cemex Construction Materials LLC, related that he was authorized to speak on behalf of Lake Louisa LLC, the owner of the Four Corners Mine site, and he mentioned that Cemex has been involved with the Sector Plan from the beginning of the process.  He noted that this plan allows for mining, which was important for them, as well as contained a well thought-out pattern of development that will benefit the landowner after reclamation of the parcel.  He pointed out that they have not had a chance to thoroughly examine the final language that was posted on the website, but their quick review and understanding of that language shows that it is basically the same.  He added that they will be reviewing whether there are any internal inconsistencies that are of concern to them and whether they have any response should they adopt the PUD language they have before them.  He concluded that other than that, they have no objection to the plan.

Mr. Vance Jochim commended Mr. Chandler and his team for their work on this, and he stated that he is a property rights advocate as well as a taxpayer advocate.  He mentioned that he agreed with the statement made earlier about notifying all of the property owners and encouraged the continuous incorporation of free-market values into this project.  He opined that a wildlife corridor would take away the rights of people who owned that land and reduce the value of it, but he believed the wildlife corridor is not mandatory in this plan and should be kept that way.  He commented that the job center development is left to the market for development, and this plan does not contain a requirement to create the ratio of jobs that is stated; however, he believed there should be incentives to get the people within those tier areas to establish a parallel development of the job centers rather than it becoming all residential with a lot of land left over that has been designated for jobs and open areas.  He noted that he has not seen anything showing what staff or consultant time and costs would be to the County for this plan, and he encouraged the Board to make that public and to report that on a periodic basis.  He also opined that when a certain portion of land is allocated for open space and job areas, the cost and density of developing the residential units would increase, which could lower the demand to do so, and he thinks that should be monitored.  He encouraged the Board to resist using any tax dollars or guarantees to fund the roads and infrastructure, since he believes the individual property owners should be paying directly for that.

Mayor Gail Ash of Clermont requested that the Board not postpone the approval of this plan until the notification of all the homeowners, noting that they have waited years to develop this plan, and she opined that the County and the City of Clermont have worked so hard for so long and were at the point that they were ready to proceed and conclude this.  She expressed hope that approval of the Sector Plan will receive a unanimous vote from the Board, and she opined that they have tried to address every single issue such as businesses, residential development, and open areas.

Mr. Mark Thompson, an attorney representing Avalon Groves, thanked staff for the hard work that they have done over the term of this adoption consideration, including their recommendations and revisions, and he noted that they were in favor of the Sector Plan as it is being considered that day, with the change to Policy I-8.7.9.

Ms. Cecilia Bonifay with Akerman LLP, representing property owners of Clonts Groves and the Arnold family at the southern end of the Sector Plan, opined that the County has met all of the proper notice requirements with all of the meetings and coverage that has been given regarding the Sector Plan and urged the Board not to delay approval of the Sector Plan.

Mr. Jim Carr, a resident of Windermere representing the South Lake landowner group, commented that they appreciate all of the hard work from the Board, staff, and the public, and he commented that he believed that it has worked out well and was a fair plan.  He related that they were in favor of what has been drafted and presented that day and asked for the Board’s support of it.

There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding the Wellness Way Sector Plan, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Parks noted that the state’s legislature and governor were very property-rights conscious, and he also asked whether staff followed the sector planning process to the letter.

Mr. Schmidt responded that this process has been going on for about four years, starting with advertised community workshops and meetings.  He assured him that the notice to property owners and all aspects of the planning process were followed, and he noted that they updated their website regularly with the schedule in regards to the Sector Plan.

Commr. Campione clarified that the notice was through newspaper advertisements and press releases, and she mentioned that they had community meetings which were well advertised when they started this process.  She pointed out that this process will give more rights to property owners rather than taking rights away, and she asked whether small property owners could be in a position of having to accept whatever the larger property owners wanted to do, since contiguous land would be needed when putting a plan together.

Mr. Chandler responded that the DSAPs are allowed and encouraged to assimilate as much land as possible for the larger-scale comprehensive planning, but he assured Commr. Campione that in all cases the land owners could continue to do what they are currently doing, since they are only adding to the uses rather than taking anything away.  He also pointed out that the small land owners will have the same rights as anyone who tries to do a Comp Plan amendment next to their property.

Commr. Campione clarified that the Board could address any issues such as formation of any enclaves that come up as part of the DSAP public hearing process.

Commr. Parks commented that there was a great benefit to local long-term planning, and this is a plan that will avoid piecemeal growth, address regionally significant issues such as water supply, and help to shift their economy from a housing-centered economy to one that is promoting long-term higher-wage jobs, particularly in the health and wellness sectors and clean manufacturing.  He added that he believed this was a model for intergovernmental coordination, since this is important to the future of both the County and the City of Clermont, and will address some of the duplication of services and the lack of communication in some areas for planning.  He opined that this plan also creates a vision for the kind of growth that he has heard that residents want and will protect water resources, which is very important, as well as the topography of the land and open space.  He acknowledged that there will be issues to some degree with this plan moving forward and questions that will come up, but he emphasized that there are currently a lot of problems because of a lack of planning due to piecemeal growth, particularly in South Lake, and this plan goes a long way to try to address those issues.  He asked the Board for unanimous support of the Wellness Way Sector Plan.

Commr. Sullivan stated that he agrees that this plan is the best way to establish the future land use of this area, and he added that it is the largest segment of land they have left in Lake County in which to do that.  He related that he is supportive of this plan moving forward and that there has been enough notification for the public.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he appreciates that Commr. Parks has been looking at different ways to drive growth as opposed to growth driving them, and this is the closest thing he has seen of trying to do that with the framework they put together to manage growth in a particular area.  He added that he appreciates Commr. Parks’ efforts and that he certainly would support it.

Commr. Conner thanked the staff, the property owners, and all who came out to speak that day; and he emphasized that Mr. Chandler has gone way above and beyond what the Board expected of him.  He also wanted to recognize the leadership of Commr. Parks, who has been working on this plan for a long time.

Mr. Heath elaborated that the County came in under budget for the amount of money spent on this plan under Mr. Chandler’s leadership.

Commr. Campione commented that she believes this plan contains a winning combination of the flexibility provided to the DSAPs while still setting minimum standards, and she feels that they are setting the right groundwork so that if the housing is maxed out and the jobs do not come, they will have open space.  She explained that although the market will decide on the job creation, the County will at least have established the parameters so that they will not just end up with houses.  She expressed hope that they will hone in during the DSAP process to specific things that will ensure an aesthetic quality of a special place that will attract good jobs and companies to Lake County as well as to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected.  She commented that she was optimistic about this plan and expressed appreciation for all the work that staff has done.  She also stated that she appreciated the work of the property owners working together and expressed hope that they will continue to work together.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of LPA#14/10/1-2, Wellness Way Sector Plan, with the amended Policy I-8.7.9 Existing Approved Developments and Revisions to the Data, Inventory, and Analysis and the Future Land Use Map to reflect the withdrawal of the Pacific Ace PUD.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.



jimmy conner, chairman