A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
September 29, 2015
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 30, 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; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Victoria Bartley, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Rick Fountain, First Baptist Church of Tavares, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts' Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 7, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Property on Lands Available List
Property placed on the Lands Available List. Lake County has until December 2, 2015 to purchase property from Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
Letter from City of Minneola Transmitting Ordinance 2015-04
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of letter dated September 6, 2015 from the City of Minneola transmitting Ordinance 2015-04 amending the city boundaries and advising that the City of Minneola has incorporated into and made part of the city limits approximately 29.94 acres of property generally located east of US Highway 27, north of East Minneola Street, and west of White Wing Circle and rezoned the property from County Agriculture to Single Family High Density Residential (RSF-3).
Southwest Florida Water Management District’s FY 2016 Schedules of Meetings
Request to acknowledge receipt of The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Fiscal Year 2016 Schedules of Meetings and a map depicting the District’s boundaries, per Section 189.417, Florida Statutes, along with a cover letter dated September 11, 2015 transmitting same.
Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District’s Final Adopted Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District’s Final Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2015/2016.
Notification of Annexation by the City of Eustis
Request to acknowledge receipt of notification of Annexation by the City of Eustis of approximately 9.5 acres contiguous to the Eustis City limits located within the Eustis Planning Area on the south side of Mount Homer Road, east of Dillard Road, pursuant to Florida Statute Chapter 171. The notice also gives the public hearing dates for this annexation of September 17 and October 1, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. to be held at the Eustis City Hall Commission Room, 10 North Grove Street, Eustis.
Cascades at Groveland Community Development District’s Final Adopted Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the Cascades at Groveland Community Development District’s Final Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2015/2016.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 2 through 13 as follows:
Request for approval and signature on the Lake County Funeral Directors Association, Inc. Agreement for cremation, burial, and transportation of indigent or unclaimed deceased persons. The actual amount spent year-to-date for FY15 was $101,000.00 serving 152 deceased. The future fiscal impact to be determined (Expense).
Request for approval of the quote from Hunt Insurance Group, LLC, to renew the catastrophic/hospital inmate medical insurance policy effective October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016 and authorize the County Manager to sign all related implementation documentation. The fiscal impact is $44,452.80 (Expense).
Community Safety and Compliance
Request for approval to seek individual grants, monetary donations, and contributions to solicit grants, monetary donations, and in kind materials up to $10,000 for the Keep Lake Beautiful program and approval for the County Manager to sign any associated documents. The fiscal impact is dependent upon receipt of grants, donations, and contributions.
Request that the Board order the 2015 tax roll be extended prior to completion of the Value Adjustment Board hearings. There is no fiscal impact.
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2015-103 adopting the fee schedules for Fiscal Year 2016.
Request for approval of a request from the Sheriff for reimbursement from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund for AED's purchased by the Sheriff's Office. The fiscal impact is $49,750.00.
Request for approval for a distribution of $105,000.00 from funds designated as Crime Prevention Funds for use in the Sheriff's crime prevention activities. The fiscal impact is $105,000.00 (expenditure).
Request for approval of a three percent increase (3%) to the maximum of the pay range for each of the current job classifications in the Lake County Classification and Pay Plan. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2015-104 authorizing the posting of “No Standing No Stopping No Drop-Off" signs on Superior Blvd. (0357) and Ryegrass Street (0360A) in front of Sawgrass Bay Elementary School in the Clermont area, Section 11 & 14, Township 24, Range 26. There is no fiscal impact. Commissioner District 1.
Request for approval for the Chairman to submit a letter to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) acknowledging the retirement of Eric Cotsenmoyer and the Interim Manager, Craig Scott (current Entomologist/Supervisor).
Request for authorization to execute a Resolution No. 2015-105 accepting Colley Drive (County Road No. 4055) into the County Road Maintenance System. Colley Drive is located in unincorporated Tavares in Sections 27 & 34, Township 19S, Range 26E. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request for approval to award contract 16-0403, Sod Services contracts for Public Works to Cottom's A-1 Sod (Weirsdale) and Lake Jem Farms (Mt. Dora), and authorize Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The annual fiscal impact is $100,000 (Expenditure - Estimated).
public hearings: rezoning
rezoning regular 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 and 2 had been approved unanimously by the Planning and Zoning Board and the staff recommendation was 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 these rezoning cases, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda Items 1 and 2, as follows:
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2015-36
Rezoning Case # RZ-15-11-5
Stills and Navarre Property Rezoning
Request to rezone property from Community Facility District (CFD) to Rural Residential (R-1) for residential use.
Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2015-37
Rezoning Case # RZ-15-17-3
Midway Baptist Church Rezoning
Request to rezone from Urban Residential (R-6) and Planned Commercial (CP) to Community Facility District (CFD), combine parcels into one zoning district for church facilities expansion, rescind and replace Ordinance
Rezoning Regular Agenda
Loves Landing PUD
Mr. Schmidt introduced Item 3 on the Rezoning Regular Agenda, RZ-15-18-5, Loves Landing PUD. He explained that a 43.2 acre parcel was located in the northeast Lady Lake area, off Kitty Hawk Drive. He reported that the request was a rezone from Ranchette (RA) and Estate Residential (R-2) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) for an 11 single family residential development in accordance with the Special Master Settlement Agreement (SM-02-14). He related that the Planning and Zoning Board had pulled the case to address concerns by the residents in regards to construction. He then read into the record the two additional conditions the Board had added, which were that construction access shall be from Haywood Grove Road only and that there be no unauthorized vehicle access to the North/South runway. He stated that the case had been approved unanimously by the Planning and Zoning Board and that staff recommended approval.
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the Loves Landing PUD.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this rezoning cases, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Item 3 of the Rezoning Regular Agenda as follows:
Tab 3. Ordinance No. 2015-38
Rezoning Case # RZ-15-18-5
Loves Landing PUD
Request to rezone property from Ranchette (RA) and Estate Residential (R-2) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) for single family residential development in accordance with Special Master Settlement Agreement (SM-02-14), with the additional conditions that construction access shall be from Haywood Grove Road only and that there be no unauthorized vehicle access to the North/South runway.
Mr. Schmidt introduced Item 4 on the Rezoning Regular Agenda, FLU-2015-01-1, Sawmill Lake Property. He explained that the request was to amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) on four parcels, consisting of approximately 103 gross acres, located north of the CR561/Lakeshore Drive intersection, south of Clermont from the Rural and Rural Transition Future Land Use Categories to Urban Low and Rural Transition. He reported that staff recommended approval for this request.
Ms. Anita Geraci-Carver, representative of the property owner, reiterated that they were seeking a future land use amendment change to the properties owned by their client, and the Planning and Zoning Board had recommended approval with a 4-0 vote. She explained that there are four total properties and that the two northern pieces currently have a future land use designation of Rural Transition and the southern pieces have a designation of Rural. She related that they are asking to have the southern portion of the property be designated as Rural Transition and the northern part be designated as Urban Low Density, similar to the neighboring property to the north. She recounted that 78 of the 103 acres are developable and currently zoned as R6, that they are proposing potable water and central utilities for sewer, and that all of the schools zoned for the area had sufficient capacity. She mentioned that they were seeking a PUD zoning and had submitted that application that morning.
Ms. Geraci-Carver displayed a map of the area’s residential densities on the monitor and stated that their property was consistent with the other subdivision developments in the area. She specified that they had submitted for 168 lots and that their net density would be 2.4 per acre and gross density would be at 1.82 per acre, which is significantly less than several of the other subdivisions in the area. She related that both an environmental study and a wetland assessment had been completed, and no issues had been observed. She displayed a conceptual layout of the proposed subdivision that had been submitted with their PUD application. She mentioned that they had originally proposed community access, which was opposed by the residents and have now limited access to the 15 fifteen lake-front lot owners. She relayed that they had commissioned a traffic study when they had originally proposed 274 family units which showed that there was sufficient capacity on the roads, and they have since reduced that number to 168 units, although the study will be updated to include existing conditions at the time of construction. She noted that the MPO had reviewed their current traffic study and is in concurrence with the assessment.
Ms. Geraci-Carver commented that population projections in Lake County demonstrate that there is a need for new housing, particularly for lake-front lots. She commented that after the original Planning and Zoning Board hearing, they had met with the opposition and their attorney to discuss their concerns and determine what could be done to address them, and though unfortunately no final agreement had been reached, they now had a much better understanding of the opposition’s concerns. She reported that one of these concerns was the increase in traffic and the additional five minutes it would take for residents to get to work in the morning. She noted that they would support speed limit changes should they be needed. She specified that they would update their environmental study to ensure that no endangered species are present in order to allay concerns in that area as well. She pointed out that they had made several changes to the conceptual plan in response to concerns from the neighboring properties, including reducing the number of lots down from 274 to 168 lots, as well as the sizes and location of some of the lots. She stated that they believed that it would be prudent to have central utilities as opposed to septic tanks in order to maintain the lake’s health. She declared that they would insure that there are no storm water drainage issues and that there is no runoff into the lake. She remarked that they believed that this request is justified by the market demand and that they have addressed the concerns of the neighboring residents to the best of their abilities and have changed their proposal accordingly.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the Board was addressing the underlying land use and the zoning will come back as a PUD if they approve the request today.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the zoning for the area was currently R6, and legally the applicant is able to develop the property without having to submit a PUD when the comprehensive plan is changed, but they have committed to not doing so.
Commr. Campione clarified that if the land use is approved, there would not be a legal mechanism for the County to deny a plat if it is filed using an R6 zoning. She clarified that the number of units generated from an R6 zoning would be around 200 units.
Mr. Minkoff stated that they could require that they would not consider adoption unless the PUD is heard at the same time.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Doug Shields, resident of Sawmill Lake, gave a presentation in opposition to the requested action. He relayed that the residents were unsure why Lake County would agree to change the Comp Plan when it specified that this piece of land on the edge of the Green Swamp should not have a subdivision on it, but stay mostly rural. He reported that their website, KeepClermontRural.org, had received 902 signups from concerned citizens. He explained that the residents are opposed to this development for a number of reasons that include the additional traffic that will be generated, harm to the lake, loss of wildlife habitat, loss of property values, impact on quality of Lake County life, increase pressure on the lake, and a lack of justification for the project. He detailed that they were opposed only to the rezoning that would increase the density of their neighborhood, not to the land being developed at the current rate of 1 home to 5 acres that it is zoned for. He remarked that dense and cheaper housing on the lake would devalue the investment of the current residents’ homes. He mentioned that the applicant seemed sure of the development’s success, but there is always the risk that the houses will not sell, in which case they would be left with an empty development. He pointed out that bulldozing 34 acres of lakefront property with a 65 foot drop over 1100 feet will cause runoff issues that will need to be dealt with, and there had been issues with previous developments that had caused at least 9 years of runoff problems before it was addressed and a retention pond was built.
Mr. Shields advised that there were many issues with the applicant’s proposed sewage solution, as the residents were not convinced of feasibility of pumping sewage uphill and the proposed lift station location. He asserted that the property in question was a nesting, resting, and hunting ground for a variety of animals, including bald eagles and great horned owls. He displayed a picture on the monitor of the daily traffic that occurs for the local school pickup. He explained that he and the other residents did not believe that the schools were under capacity, and the additional houses will only make the current traffic situation worse. He noted that there were current safety issues with the roads that will only worsen with the additional traffic, particularly in the areas near the schools where there are no sidewalks or shoulders by the road. He reported that while the applicant claims they have addressed the community concerns, there are still no open spaces for wildlife, no sidewalks, and most of the lots are still 60 feet in width. He specified that the Comprehensive Plan already accounts for population growth, so the applicant’s claim that these houses are needed is flawed. He concluded that Lake County did not need these houses, the economic calculations that the applicant had cited were dubious, and that construction would be a detriment to the home owners already living in the area.
Mr. Jimmy Crawford, land use lawyer and representative of the opposition, explained that the applicant had displayed an aerial view photo with the surrounding developments’ densities marked as justification for this development; however, if that photo is centered it shows that it is actually a rural transition area. He quoted from the Comp Plan on how this area should be developed with its current zoning, which does allow some development, but on a smaller scale than what the applicant is suggesting. He reiterated that the estimated population growth has already been accounted for in the Comp Plan, so that reasoning from the applicant is therefore not an applicable justification for a rezoning. He pointed out that there were other underdeveloped subdivisions along the same lake.
Ms. Michelle Sacino, resident on the opposite side of Porter Lake, explained that the developer’s current proposal would put the pumping station across the lake from their property. She asserted that this development would change their quality of life, and the additional traffic will cause further safety issues, particularly with bus stops.
Mr. Ed Cassano, Sawmill Lake resident speaking in opposition, explained that when he had bought his house, he had been assured that the piece of property across the lake would not be developed as there was a land use plan in place. He asserted that the development would impact his quality of life as well as the endangered species that live in the area. He commented that these developments were ruining the lakes and taking them away from the residents who moved to Lake County in order to enjoy them.
Mr. John Fiddler, a resident of Windscape subdivision speaking in opposition, remarked that this development would create water pressure issues due to the additional homes.
Ms. Courtney Franklin, a teacher at Pine Ridge Elementary School, explained that the traffic issues brought up by Mr. Shields occur every day because the school was not designed to accommodate so many houses and children. She reported that while Pine Ridge may be under capacity, that 9 percent equals around 79 students, and the development would certainly generate more than that. She specified that the other schools’ populations will be going up without the addition of these houses, and so this development would put even more strain on the schools’ resources.
Ms. Nancy Pierce, a resident speaking in opposition, advised the Board that this property was located in near proximity to the Green Swamp, which serves as the recharge for the Florida aquifer. She asserted that this development would affect the water supply and that Clermont should be kept rural.
Ms. Betty Jean Cogley, life-long Florida resident, related that she had seen the deterioration of Lake County’s rural life style. She remarked that the area already has traffic and safety issues with the roads. She commented that this area may not be a part of the Green Swamp, but its proximity to it will still affect the wildlife that depends on it and the water supply in general.
Mr. Scott Osgood, a resident on Lake Susan, reiterated that the additional traffic this development would generate would go through an already unsafe intersection.
Mr. Todd Odasz, a resident of Canal Zone Way, pointed out that the proposed sewage treatment pipe would be built along his street, which is a privately maintained dirt road. He related that when Barrington Estates was being constructed, the developer had driven all the equipment and vehicles down Canal Zone Way, which has completely destroyed the road. He relayed that there had been flooding issues on their property since Barrington Estates had been constructed. He remarked that he did not want prior precedence to take place should this development go through and have more construction vehicles driven over his street.
Ms. Geraci–Carver gave her rebuttal. She explained that her client had purchased the property just before the Comp Plan was changed and was unaware that the planned development was now in the wrong zone. She pointed out that the way the property was currently zoned, a development could be built with 43 lots, without the restrictions that they have already agreed to, such as limiting lake access to only the 15 lot owners on the lake. She had offered to have the project engineer’s plans for the stormwater system reviewed at a reduced fee, in order to ensure that no runoff or flooding issues occur. She displayed a map of the area on the monitor and indicated that the area to the south of the development was zoned Rural, and they were requesting a Rural Transition zoning for the southern half of their property in deference to that. She pointed out that the property to the north of the development was zoned Urban Low Density, which was what they were requesting for the northern half of their property.
Ms. Geraci–Carver asserted that she believed that the requested zoning matches the development in that area and that other developers have chosen to build at lower densities, but are still zoned appropriately. She commented that they had spoken with the opposition to try to address traffic concerns, as they did not want to contribute to dangerous conditions. She pointed out that the developers are required to adhere to FDO standards for sight vision, and this will be a part of the planning process if the project is allowed to move forward. She reported that General Utilities will operate the sewer plant and mentioned that the lift station has not been located. She stated that they would try to locate the lift station away from any neighbors, but noted that it was too early in the process to give any specifics at this time. She remarked that the applicant was committed to the sidewalk issue and specified that they are required to have sidewalks around the subdivision, but will ensure that they are also constructed all the way to Pine Ridge Elementary School. She reiterated that the MPO had reviewed and approved their traffic study and plan. She commented that they had tried to address the problems brought forward by the opposition and have reduced the number of planned houses in response to that. She clarified that she was unaware of the issues with Canal Zone Way, but would be looking to address that.
Mr. Momtaz Barq, Terra-Max Engineering, clarified that they did not currently have all the easements required for utilities, as they would need permission from Barrington Estates and the County in order to install a utility line.
Commr. Campione inquired what the land use had been when the applicant had originally owned the property and what density it would have yielded.
Ms. Geraci–Carver replied that it had been at least partially zoned as Urban Low, which would have allowed them to build the development they have proposed.
Mr. Schmidt clarified that this zoning would have yielded suburban 3 to 1.
Commr. Campione inquired if there were any central sewer systems in the area.
Ms. Geraci–Carver responded that Barrington Estates to the west of the property was connected to the sewer plant on the applicant’s property, which they plan to expand and is owned by General Utilities. She specified that the other properties were not on central sewer, but utilized septic tanks.
Commr. Sullivan reported that he had met with both the applicant and the opposition. He indicated that had the application been for 300 or more units, he would not have supported it. He opined that the use of central water and sewer needed to be included in the request, in order to protect their environment. He commented that the reduction to only 15 on-the-lake lots was a protective measure as well. He remarked that this was a difficult decision because Lake County was currently in a transition where they want to grow, but they also need to ensure that they are protecting their environment. He mentioned that this may be the last subdivision in the area. He declared that without the input of the residents, this development would have been over 300 units. He suggested that the request be approved, with the obligation that the PUD be included as part of the approval process.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that this was a transmittal hearing and that the final adoption would come back with the PUD at a later date for approval. He stated that the land use request was consistent with the surrounding development. He opined that this should be the final development in the area. He related that he would not have supported this request without the utility requirements, as he believed that additional septic tanks would impact the quality and health of the lake.
Commr. Campione commented that the issues seem to be compatibility, lake access, the width of the lake lots, the internal lot sizes, traffic, septic systems versus central sewer, and whether it is appropriate to amend the Comp Plan. She did not agree that existing development patterns should drive the development pattern of this property. She postulated that 1 unit to 1 acre with 50 percent open space would be better suited to this area, in keeping with the Comp Plan’s instructions for Rural Transition and using conservation development as a way to create a buffer in order to have an actual transition area. She suggested recreating the entire subdivision plan to be more in line with the current zoning and use the PUD to address lake access issues.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that Commr. Campione’s suggestion could be achieved if the whole property was zoned as Rural Transition. He pointed out that there would be no incentive for the property owner to make these suggested changes if the property is zoned Rural Transition.
Commr. Campione remarked that a PUD was still needed, and this would be an opportunity to address the specific issues brought up by the property’s neighbors.
Commr. Parks voiced his appreciation for the applicant’s plans for sidewalks. He asserted that he could not support the request as it currently stands, although there were several good things about the proposal. He explained that there were some outstanding issues within the region, such as the traffic at Lake Shore Drive that so many residents had brought up as a safety concern. He opined that he would like to see more of the specifics for the subdivision design, particularly for a low impact development.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that Commr. Campione’s suggestion is that the request would be better served to come back at a later date with the PUD.
Commr. Campione recommended that they use the Rural Transition zoning and have the applicant return with the specifics of a plan for this land use. She suggested that if the applicant encounters issues with this new zoning, then they could propose a land use overlay. She opined that there was room for further compromise that would address all aforementioned concerns before a final decision needed to be made.
Commr. Sullivan inquired what the process would be to implement this suggestion.
Mr. Minkoff related that an alternative option would be to postpone approval, with the direction that the applicant returns in accordance with Commr. Campione’s suggestion. He explained that they would see the development and land use plans with the PUD and Comp Plan amendments at adoption.
Commr. Parks asked that the applicant keep the concerns heard at the meeting in mind, particularly when creating a low impact design plan for the subdivision.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that this would not be for the next cycle.
Commr. Conner clarified that they would not be transmitting or approving the request with this motion, but providing a continuance for the two parties to find a better compromise.
Commr. Campione clarified that the applicant would work with staff to create a proposed PUD with new conditions that the Board would review in conjunction with a Rural Transition land use request for the property.
Commr. Conner opined that he had been uneasy with the proposed density and would not have supported the transmittal. He commented that he supported Commr. Campione’s suggestion.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that this would be resolved in this cycle before the end of the year, with the clear direction that it comes back as Rural Transition with the PUD.
On a motion from Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board granted a continuance for the request to amend the Future Land Use Map on four parcels, with the recommendation that it come back as Rural Transition with the proposed PUD included with the transmittal.
ORDINANCE AMENDING CODE TO INCREASE 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 COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING SECTION 22-21, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; AMENDING SECTION 22-22, LAKE COUNTY CODE, TO INCREASE THE EDUCATIONAL IMPACT FEES TO $9,324 FOR SINGLE FAMILY UNITS, $8,045 FOR MULTI-FAMILY UNITS, AND $5,856 FOR MOBILE HOMES IN PARKS TO BE EFFECTIVE ON JANUARY 11, 2016; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Bud Dorman, Vice President of the Home Builders Association, voiced his concern that with the current rates being charged, there is a chance that homeowners will relocate to other counties. He opined that the impact fees were too high and advocated that the Board deny the increase.
Mr. Mike Carter, President of the Home Builders Association, remarked that impact fees are set for capacity and future growth, but the growth these fees are calculated for may not occur, which will in turn hurt the home builders of the county. He commented that home builders are at the heart of Lake County’s economy and that they are still recovering from the housing bubble that occurred during the recession. He spoke against raising the impact fees for the third time in two years and suggested that the County look into other sources of funding for schools.
Mr. Vance Jochim, a financial blogger, declared that schools need an ability to fund themselves wherever funds are available. He advised that some counties charge a lower fee for homes that are near existing infrastructure, but a higher fee for those by new infrastructure.
Mr. Stephen Tibbits, a former teacher and homebuilder, noted that impact fees were not an unfair tax, as every new family who moves into the area has an effect and an impact. He cited that impact fees improve schools and attract growth. He opined that the schools needed support and mentioned that there were several school facilities that were nearly 100 years old. He asserted that people were moving to other counties because they were looking for better quality schools, not because of impact fees. He voiced his support for raising the impact fees.
Ms. Courtney Franklin, Pine Ridge Elementary Teacher, reported that the State had increased the rigor of the curriculum for students but not their funding. She relayed that the schools will not survive if their funding is not reached. She noted that the needs of the school have increased, and so the impact fees needed to increase.
Ms. Debbie Stivender, Chairman of the School Board, explained that the 2004 impact fee update had specifically addressed the issue of a district-wide collection versus a separate zone collection. She reported that the St. John’s County ruling clarified that a school district had a constitutional duty for a uniform educational system. She related that the School Board had the duty and responsibility to provide a countywide, uniform educational system. She relayed that with the increase in personalized learning and school choice, the lines drawn around schools will continue to fade. She advised that returning to different zones would impair the School Board’s ability and flexibility to make the appropriate programmatic decisions for the entire school district. She requested approval for the ordinance as presented.
The Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione specified that they were trying to find a solution that is as fair as possible. She specified that impact fees are not a perfect solution, which is why she has never advocated for 100 percent of the fee. She detailed that the fees were for the impact that the new house has on the growth of the entire system. She related that the fees would not affect affordable housing or the economy in southern Lake County, but will affect them in the north part of the county. She suggested that the Board consider a funding mechanism to address the affordable/workforce housing issue if they moved forward with the 100 percent impact fees. She advocated that the Board should try to find a happy medium, such as a 75 percent rate.
Commr. Conner suggested that they defer the affordable housing debate for another time, as the day’s issue was the level of impact fees. He opined that he was open to a happy medium, but did support the 100 percent rate.
Commr. Cadwell asserted that his support of the 100 percent rate was predicated on the assurance of a future discussion on how to address the affordable housing issue.
Commr. Conner mentioned that he would be reluctant to relocate funds from the reserves in order to pay impact fees.
Commr. Sullivan remarked that it was a difficult issue, and he was not comfortable with a 100 percent rate but was not comfortable with below 85 percent either. He emphasized that the school system needed substantial funds and that he would support a 90 percent rate.
Commr. Park voiced his support for a 100 percent rate and stated that he believed that it was currently the best option. He mentioned that in regards to the future discussion on affordable housing, there was a transportation component worth around $1,063 of the total impact fee, which assumes that bussing is being supplied for all students in the area. He explained that students living within a 2 mile area of the school do not receive busing, however, and suggested that there may be a way to reduce the impact fee for developments in that area. He opined that this would both encourage affordable housing and promote walkability. He suggested that they monitor the economic effect of this fee every 3 months if it is passed at a 100 percent rate.
Ms. Amye King, Community Liaison Manager, displayed a document on the monitor detailing the impact fee rates for single families with the number of residential permits issued from 2007 through 2015.
Commr. Conner pointed out that the Board had suspended impact fees for 3 years in a row due to the unprecedented economic downturn of the time. He asserted that it was critical that they monitor this fee along with the number of building permits and will adjust the rate if there is a negative economic impact.
Mr. Steve Koontz, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, displayed the calculations for a 90 percent rate on the monitor, which came to $8,392 for single family units, $7,241 for multi-family units, and $5,270 for mobile homes.
Commr. Cadwell specified that this rate would have no effect on the affordable housing issue and voiced his support for the 100 percent rate.
Commr. Parks related that he had received a letter from the South Lake Chamber of Commerce that detailed their recommendation for the 100 percent impact fee rate. He specified that he hoped this decision was predicated on a future discussion on affordable housing in-fill development and that they monitor the fee every 3 months.
Commr. Campione mentioned that when the fee is being monitored, the infill issue could be discussed, as there is a possibility that they may be able to promote the construction of sidewalks around the schools in return for a lesser impact fee rate. She stated that she would not be voting in favor of this ordinance. She mentioned that the funding formula in the State of Florida needed to be addressed.
Commr. Sullivan related that he would have preferred the 90 percent rate, but that the crux of the matter is determining what they need to do to influence economic development in Lake County, and schools are an important part of economic development.
Commr. Conner commented that the discussions he has had with residents have indicated a strong support for 100 percent impact fees.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried by a vote of 3-2, with Commrs. Campione and Sullivan dissenting, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2015-40 and the Educational Impact Fees as advertised.
Sales Surtax ordinance
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 COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING SECTION 13-1, ENTITLED DISCRETIONARY SALES SURTAX LEVIED; USE OF PROCEEDS; REQUIRING A PUBLIC HEARING PRIOR TO PLEDGING PROCEEDS FOR DEBT; CLARIFYING THE PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO THE EXTENSION OF THE TAX; PROVIDING FOR AN ANNUAL PROJECT REVIEW PROCESS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Vance Jochim, financial blogger, opined that he supported the revision that mitigates some of the issues he had found with the Sales Tax. He suggested that the Board consider adding a cap amount or prohibiting bonds. He asked to have the Inspector General perform a controls review of the Sales Surtax Committee fund process. He opined that the ordinance should include priorities for spending the fund.
Commr. Campione remarked that there was nothing in the Inspector General’s report that suggested that the percentages were not adhered to as they should have been. She relayed that the only issue that had arisen from that report had be the roads, which are usually paid for with impact fees. She asserted that the auditor’s report had shown that this process worked and the each of the cities makes their own decisions about how to conduct their own capital spending. She commented that this provision in the ordinance was a result of listening to their constituents, and they are now able to concentrate on the important matters. She stated that Lake County would look very different if this had not been passed in 1988 and renewed in 2001.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2015-41 amending Section 13-1, entitled Discretionary Sales Surtax Levied; Use of Proceeds.
reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1
Cores Lab Structure groundbreaking ceremony
Commr. Sullivan reported that the Board members had all received invitations to the Cores Lab Structure groundbreaking ceremony in Leesburg on October 13, 2015.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
Wings and Wildflowers Festival
Commr. Cadwell reminded the Board that the Wings and Wildflowers Festival was the coming weekend and encouraged everyone to attend.
reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2
Commr. Parks thanked Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, for doing the Quarterly Ride-Around, with particular attention to the issues of bicycle and pedestrian safety.
South Lake Regional Water Initiative meeting
Commr. Parks related that the latest South Lake Regional Water Initiative meeting had been successful and mentioned that he would have an update for the Board soon.
Commr. Parks requested that a workshop item be drafted for discussion on design criteria overlay, specifically for the Hwy 50 corridor from Clermont east.
recess and reassembly
The Board reassembled at 5:05 p.m. Commr. Campione was not present.
final budget hearing
Mr. Steve Koontz gave a presentation on the requested adoption of the final millage rates and their changes from the rolled-back millage rates and the requested adoption of the final budget for FY 2016. He displayed a graph of the proposed 2016 millage rates over the rolled-back rates with the percentage of difference. He asserted that the 2016 budget addresses the Constitutional Officer’s requests, funding for Parks and Public Safety, an adjustment to recognize savings from the 2007 bond refinancing, funding for the Astatula Fuel Remediation grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, a salary adjustment for employees, funding for the Children’s and Health and Human Service’s Grant programs, additional funding for the Health Department, additional funding for Lifestream and WeCare, and funding for veterans; meets the Board Policy for General Fund Reserves; and includes a General Fund Millage reduction.
The Chairman opened the public hearing
Ms. Linda Kruptsky, President and founder of Love Extension, a non-profit organization for the elderly and disabled, reported that Love Extension was one of the agencies selected to receive grant funding. She explained that with this grant money, they would be able to provide groceries or hot meals for over 200 additional seniors in Lake County. She mentioned that there were a large number of seniors that are eligible for food stamps that do not receive them and only 131 people that received Meals on Wheels in Lake County, which has a one to two year waiting list. She asserted that more needed to be done for their seniors and thanked the Board for their help.
Mr. Heath reported that while Commr. Campione had not been able to attend, she had left a message voicing her support in favor of the proposed resolutions.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the adoption of the final millage rate for Resolution No. 2015–95 the Lake County General Countywide Levy of 5.3051 mills; Resolution No. 2015– 96 the Lake County MSTU for Ambulance and Emergency Services Levy of .4629 mil; Resolution No. 2015–97 the Lake County MSTU for Stormwater, Parks and Roads Levy of .4957 mil; Resolution No. 2015–98 the Lake County Fire Rescue MSTU Levy of .4704 mil; and Resolution No. 2015–99 the Lake County Voter Approved Debt Levy of .1600 mil.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the adoption of changes to the Fiscal Year 2016 Tentative Budget totaling $1,537,999.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the adoption of the budget Resolution No. 2015-100 for the final Fiscal Year 2016 budget totaling $349,526,646.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK