march 1, 2016

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 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:  Sean Parks, Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Jimmy Conner; and Leslie Campione.  Others present were:  David Heath, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Kristy Mullane, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION and pledge

Commr. Conner gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. David Heath, County Manager, requested that the Commissioners remain down from the dais immediately after the employee awards and the committee certificates presentation so that they could then present the Commander’s Award for the Toys for Tots program.  He also asked that the Commissioners announce any ex parte communication before the public hearing on Tab 11 dealing with the Lake Minneola Landing subdivision.  He mentioned that he issued a revised agenda that included the Groveland Four resolution under Commissioner Discussion/Action Items, which would be the new Tab 14.


On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the minutes for the BCC Meetings of January 19, 2016 (Regular Meeting) and February 2, 2016 (Regular Meeting) as presented.


Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, related that they would recognize citizens who have served on boards and committees for the County, as well as employees who have reached significant milestones in their careers, including two employees who are retiring from Lake County.


Board of Building Examiners

Joseph M. Quinn, for service from 2011-2015

Lake County Enterprise Zone Development Agency

            Louis C. Ward, for service from 2012-2015 (accepted by Wynderlon Blue)

            Ms. Wynderlon O. Blue, for service from 2012-2015

            Greg Beliveau, for service from 2014-2015

            Nancy Muenzmay, for service from 2012-2015

            Ginger Howard, for service from 2012-2015 (not present)

            Sue Cordova, for service from 2012-2015 (not present)

            Emily A. Lee, for service from 2012-2015 (not present)

            Dwight R. Seidner, for service from 2013-2015

            Skott Jensen, for service from 2013-2015

Library Advisory Board

            Michael J. Sweeney, for service from 2008-2016 (not present)

            Jane O’Connor, for service from 2011-2016 (not present)


Lake County Planning & Zoning Board

            Michael Mazzeo, for service from 2014-2015 (not present)




            Stephen Koontz, Fiscal & Administrative Services Director

            Fiscal & Administrative Services


            Richard Marino, Roads Maintenance Operator

            Public Works/Road Operations Division/Maintenance Area II (Minneola)



            Niki Booth, Agenda Coordinator (not present)

            County Manager’s Office


            Sonia Carrillo, Office Associate III (not present)

            Facilities & Fleet Management/Facilities Management Division


            Susan Carroll, GIS Manager

            Information Technology/Geographic Information Services Division


            Janice Cavanaugh, Landfill Attendant (not present)

            Public Works/Solid Waste Division


            Cathryn Eaton, Office Associate III

            Public Works/Engineering Division/Right-of-Way


            Robert Richardson, Radio Systems Coordinator

            Public Safety/Communications Technologies Division


fifteen years

            Juana Barron, Associate Planner

            Economic Growth/Planning & Zoning Division


            Rebecca Brown, Records Management Technician

            Information Technology


            Linda Goff, Librarian II (not present)

            Public Resources/Library Services Division


            Christopher Hicks, Equipment Operator III

            Public Works/Road Operations Division/Maintenance Area III (Umatilla)


            Kristian Swenson, Facilities & Fleet Management Director

            Facilities & Fleet Management

thirty years

            Mary Harris, Program Associate

Economic Growth/Planning & Zoning Division


Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, presented the award recognizing the retirement of Mr. Kent Tombow, Field Inspector, Solid Waste Division, after 30 years of service.  He related that Mr. Tombow started working with him in 1986 before working in Growth Management as a draftsman and then in the Solid Waste Division as a scale house attendant, where he excelled in public service.  He stated that Mr. Tombow was promoted to a field inspector for special assessments, noting that he was instrumental in creating the Mount Dora dog park and was part of the TEAM award in 2015 when they introduced the new solid waste program.  He congratulated Mr. Tombow on 30 years of service to Lake County.

Ms. Dottie Keedy, Community Services Director, presented the award recognizing the retirement of Ms. Teresa Dunham, Program Supervisor in the Housing Services Division of Community Services, for 36 years of service.  She noted that Ms. Dunham began her career as a clerical assistant in 1980 and was hired shortly afterward as an intake specialist for the Housing Division.  She added that Ms. Dunham was promoted to a Housing Coordinator in 1985 and held that position for 15 years, supporting the mission of the Housing Division.  She explained that Housing was moved into the Growth Management Department in 2001, where Ms. Dunham held a position as a Permit Specialist for the next five years; however, she served as a Community Development Specialist when the Housing Division was moved back into Community Services, working primarily with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs.  She elaborated that Ms. Dunham obtained a Program Specialist position in 2007 working with the County’s SHIP (State Housing Initiative Partnership) program assisting clients with home rehabilitation and replacement of dilapidated housing and worked in various roles in the Housing Division for the next eight years until 2015 when she was promoted to Program Supervisor, where she worked closely with the Manager in administering the SHIP and CDBG programs.  She commented that Ms. Dunham has consistently throughout her career in Lake County exhibited professionalism and a positive attitude and has made a difference in so many lives with her dedication and commitment to helping others.  She congratulated Ms. Dunham on her 36 years of service to Lake County and expressed appreciation for all she has done.

presentation of commander’s award for toys for tots program

Mr. Greg Marimee, the Toys for Tots pickup driver, introduced Mr. Dennis Purcel as the coordinator last year for the entire Toys for Tots program and commented that they had a very successful campaign in 2015, raising a record 49,000 toys which benefitted 12,614 needy children in Lake and Sumter Counties.  He recognized Ms. Grace Watson, Office Associate III, County Manager’s Office, for being instrumental in raising the toys and coordinating the different County departments for this effort, and he presented her with the Commander’s Award, their highest honor, for her hard work and effort.  He requested that the Board support their effort this fall for their Toys for Tots campaign and that all employees personally get involved in their departments to raise more toys, since some departments fell short in their efforts last year.  He commented that he has seen many times the difference it makes when a supervisor shows support of this effort and the positive results that occur, and he opined that it will not take a lot of their time.  He thanked Ms. Watson and the rest of the County employees for helping them be successful in their efforts.

citizen question and comment period

Mr. David Serdar, a professional commercial cleaner, expressed an intention to help the County by presenting a program to clean up the environment from cigarette butts as well as from other types of litter. 


On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 3, as follows:

List of Warrants

Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.

Ordinances from the Town of Lady Lake

Request to acknowledge receipt of the following Ordinances from the Town of Lady Lake as follows:

Ordinance No. 2015-11 redesignating the zoning classification for properties being 49 acres of land owned by Elijah Bailey, Jr. located north of Lake Ella Road and west of Hwy 27/441; Ordinance No. 2015-15 voluntarily annexing property being .43 acres of land owned by the Villages of Lake-Sumter, Inc. located within Orange Blossom Gardens; Ordinance No. 2015-16 pertaining to Comprehensive Planning amending the Town of Lady Lake Ordinance No. 81-1-(83); Ordinance No. 2015-17 redesignating the zoning classification for certain property being .43 acres of land owned by the Villages; Ordinance No. 2015-18 adopting corrections, updates and modifications to the Capital Improvements Schedule; Ordinance No. 2015-19 amending the Town’s Development Regulations Chapter 10, Section 5 entitled “Tree Protection;” and Ordinance No. 2016-04 amending Chapter 13 of the Town’s Code of Ordinances entitled Special Assessments, Impact Fees, Supplemental Fees, Section 13-21 suspending collection of the supplemental education assistance fee retroactively from January 16 to a date uncertain; and

Resolution No. 2015-108 from the Town of Lady Lake granting a variance from the provisions of Chapter 5, Section 5-4 c). 4). E) of the Town’s Development Regulations which states that the maximum impervious surface area within the RS-3 zoning district cannot exceed 35 percent of the lot size, in order to allow the maximum impervious surface area to be increased to 42.8 percent of the lot for concrete already poured on property owned by Cezary and Patricia Frondczak located at 510 Dowling Circle.

Ordinance from the City of Tavares

Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of Ordinance 2016-01 from the City of Tavares amending the boundaries of the City by annexing approximately 9.97 acres located on the south side of Woodlea Road, rezoning said property from Lake County Agriculture District (A) to City of Tavares Public Facilities District (PFD), as well as the City of Tavares Annexation Notification regarding this annexation.


On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 4 through 10 as follows:

Community Services

Request for approval to appoint Tomika Monterville, Transit Division Manager, as the representative and David Hope, Fixed Route Coordinator, as the alternate representative to the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO) Technical Advisory Committee. There is no fiscal impact.

Community Safety and Compliance

Request for approval of the State Financial Assistance Agreement DEP Agreement #LP35140 to accept an additional $300,000 grant ($600,000 total) amending the agreement to perform Phase III of the South Lake Regional Water Initiative entitled Clermont Chain of Lakes Basin Study; authorize the County Manager to execute all necessary documents; and approve the Unanticipated Revenue Resolution No. 2016-24. The fiscal impact is $300,000 (Revenue/Expenditure). Commissioner Districts 1 & 2.

County Attorney

Request for approval to advertise an ordinance that would place on the November 2016 ballot a measure regarding the extension of the North Lake County Hospital District for ten (10) years beginning October 1, 2017.  The fiscal impact is unable to be determined at this time.

Public Works

Request for approval to release cash funds posted as maintenance surety in the amount of $34,004.80 for Highland Groves Phase II.  Highland Groves Phase II consists of 34 lots and is located off Oswalt Road, Southwest of Clermont, in Section 13, Township 23 South, Range 25 East.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 2.

Request for authorization to release cash funds posted as maintenance surety in the amount of $29,140.70 for Highland Groves Phase III.  Highland Groves Phase III consists of 22 lots and is located off Oswalt Road, Southwest of Clermont, in Section 13, Township 23 South, Range 25 East.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 2.

Request for approval to award contract 16-0010 to Tierra, Inc. (Winter Garden) for construction and engineering inspection (CEI), materials testing and post-design engineering services for the CR 466A Phase I from Sunny Court to US 27/441 project in the amount of $219,480.00 (expense). The CEI portion is not grant funded, although this award is part of a Transportation Economic Development Transportation and County Incentive Grant Program Project Fund Agreement to be funded by the Road Impact Fee Benefit District 3 Fund.   The fiscal impact is $219,480.00 (Expenditure).  Commission District 5.

Request for authorization for the Chairman to execute Change Order #2 to the North Hancock Road Extension and Widening Phase IIIA and IIIB Project No. 2014-11, Bid No. 14-0030, to Pospiech Contracting.  Change Order #2 is for various items that include:  modify the signal at Old Highway 50, adjust for elevation differences, add permanent and temporary sidewalks, reconstruct curbs, add pedestrian school access, modify the trail along Old Highway 50 West, add asphalt overbuild, modify maintenance of traffic plan, construct a left turn lane onto Old Highway 50 West, and add four (4) days to the contract completion time.  The net total cost of the work is $69,496.22, of which $1,893.22 is to be funded by Road Impact Fee Benefit District 5 Fund and $67,603.00 is to be funded by Road Impact Fee South District Fund.  The fiscal impact is $69,496.22 (Expenditure).  Commission District 2.

public hearings

exception to comprehensive plan policy IX-3.1.2 and iii-2.1.22

Mr. Chris Schmidt, Planning and Zoning Division Manager, Economic Growth Department, submitted the advertisement for this public hearing and displayed it on the overhead monitor.  He explained that this approximately 39.7-acre project known as Lake Minneola PUD is located in District 1, and the applicant is requesting an exemption to the central sewer connection requirement contained within the Comprehensive Plan Policy IX-3.1.2 (Mandatory Sewer Connection) and Policy III-2.1.22 (Regulate and Monitor Septic Tanks) for the parcels located north of CR 565A and west of CR 561 in the Groveland area.  He elaborated that currently the project has an existing PUD approved for 27 single-family homes, and the applicant will be requesting an additional 42 single-family homes for a total of 69 single-family homes.  He related that the existing sanitary sewage connection is approximately 3,000 linear feet from this property, and the City of Groveland has indicated that they will not require a connection to central sewer to service this project.  He noted that the staff recommendation is for the Board to approve the request as presented by staff.

Commr. Parks and Commr. Campione both disclosed that they have met with Ms. Cecilia Bonifay, the attorney for the applicant, regarding this issue.

Commr. Sullivan disclosed that he had spoken on the phone to Ms. Bonifay.

Commr. Cadwell mentioned that Ms. Bonifay’s office tried to contact him, but they were never able to talk.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

Commr. Campione confirmed with staff that it appears the distance from the project itself actually exceeds the required location of 3,000 feet, and in addition, the City of Groveland indicated that they do not have the availability or capacity to serve this project, which she opined were important to note for the record.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the exception to the Comprehensive Plan Policy IX-3.1.2 (“Mandatory Sewer Connection”) and Policy III-2.1.22 (“Regulate and Monitor Septic Tanks”), for the proposed Lake Minneola Landing 69-lot residential subdivision.   There is no fiscal impact.

presentation -  status of wekiva trail PD&E study by MPO

Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization), introduced Mr. Mike Woods from the MPO, Project Manager of the Project, Development, and Environmental (PD&E) Study of the Wekiva Trail, and reported that they went before the Mount Dora City Council a couple of weeks ago and received a unanimous vote of approval to support moving forward with this project.  He noted that they had design funds provided through FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) that are currently available in this year’s state budget, and they were anxious to move out of the study phase and into the design phase.  He expressed appreciation that the County’s Public Works staff is willing to manage that project with the funds provided by FDOT and get this project designed.  He specified that two of the four pieces of this large regional project are committed in the east part of the county, noting that the connection from Camp Challenge to Seminole County will be constructed as the Wekiva Parkway is built and that the segment through the Neighborhood Lakes Project to Orange County has construction funds dedicated in the five-year program.  He related that they would now focus on Mount Plymouth, Sorrento and Mount Dora.

Mr. David Graeber from Inwood Consulting Engineers related that the purpose of this presentation is to provide the Board with some information about the entire trail network and the ongoing PD&E study, which includes Segments 1 and 2 of the Wekiva Trail from Mount Dora to Sorrento, and he asked for the Board’s input and feedback as they take the project forward into additional public meetings.  He explained that a PD&E study is a mechanism that meets the Federal Highway and FDOT requirements for funding by developing alignments and concept plans; reviewing them for environmental impacts, right of way needs, and construction costs; and essentially developing a package that could be moved into a design phase, while conducting extensive public outreach and awareness along the way.  He commented that the project delivery process for FDOT begins with planning, and he mentioned that Lake County and the City of Mount Dora included the Wekiva Trail within their Master Plan in 2008.  He elaborated that an 18-month schedule is anticipated that would include right of way surveying and mapping, but he noted that both the right of way purchase and the construction have not been funded.  He displayed a map showing the four segments of the overall Wekiva Trail network, adding that Segment 1 and 2 are the subjects of this PD&E Study, Segment 3 is currently funded and being designed by FDOT as part of the Wekiva Parkway, and Segment 4A and part of 4B are currently under design by FDOT.  He opined that the Wekiva Trail fits very strategically within the regional network and was within a few miles of two very major regional trails, which were the 250-mile Coast to Coast connector trail running from St. Petersburg to the Canaveral National Seashore and the Heart of Florida Loop. 

Mr. Graeber specified that Segment 1 of the Wekiva Trail is from Tremain Street to SR 46, and they had evaluated three corridor alternatives, including the use of the Florida Central Railroad corridor and some local streets.  He presented a list of different stakeholder and public involvement that they performed with groups such as the Mount Dora Historic Preservation Board and the Cultural Resource Committee, as well as community events, and he related that the recommended alternative that came out of the stakeholder involvement was the minimized design which resulted in a no-adverse effect determination by the State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO) for both the Tremain Street and US 441 Bridges, which are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), although the existing US 441 Bridge would need to be raised three feet for vertical clearance as part of the conversion to a pedestrian bridge from the existing railroad bridge.  He summarized that the recommended alternative is a 14-foot wide paved trail utilizing the Florida Central Railroad Corridor and repurposing the existing Tremain Street and US 441 bridges, noting that Old US 441 and the new Expressway designs are not impacted.  He reported that the estimated cost for design and right of way survey for Segment 1 is $1.8 million, but they still do not have an estimate for the right of way acquisition, since the estimates for that are still ongoing due to the railroad situation; and the CEI (construction, engineering, and inspection) costs for that segment are estimated at $5.9 million.

Mr. Graeber displayed the location of Segment 2 of the Wekiva Trail on the overhead map from State Road 46 to Hojin Street.  He commented that they worked very closely with the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento CRA (Community Redevelopment Area) Advisory Committee to develop alternatives, to select six alternatives for evaluation, and ultimately to select the recommended Alternative 2B, which was approved by the CRA and presented to the public on December 1, 2015.  He also presented a map showing the different alignments that were considered, with the recommended alignment in yellow, noting that public input indicated broad support of it and the trail.  He added that they also held meetings with about 90 percent of the owners of properties adjacent to the trail and had attended a community event in May.  He stated that the recommended alternative is a 12-foot wide paved trail that connects to East Lake Park in order to serve as a regional trail head, integrates with the Complete Street project on Sorrento Avenue (SR 46), and creates a pedestrian network that meets the intent of the 2008 Trail Master Plan and also meets the needs of the community for connectivity.  He reported that the design and right of way survey is estimated to cost $750,000, the right of way is estimated at about $3 million, and the CEI is expected to cost about $1.5 million.  He indicated that the next steps are to receive the Board’s feedback, and then a public meeting is scheduled for Segment 1 on March 17 in Mount Dora; afterwards, they will present the study and alignment for final approval to the Lake-Sumter MPO in April 2016.  He concluded that they expect the documents to be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration and FDOT in May, with the design phase anticipated to kick off in June of 2016.

Commr. Campione commented that it was very exciting to be at this point after discussing this for so many years and already getting great public feedback and participation in this process, and this was a great opportunity to be part of the Coast-to-Coast Trail, which has been getting a lot of momentum recently.  She mentioned that she was at a lot of those CRA Advisory Board meetings and opined that the committee put in a lot of work and time to look at the multiple alternatives and all of the detail regarding each alignment before giving their recommendation, which she felt was a good one.

Commr. Cadwell mentioned that there was a lot of discussion in regard to the segment going by the park and the elementary school.  He opined that more housing opportunities will occur and that the trail will be able to tie the whole area to the school and the park as well as connect the two downtown areas together.

Commr. Campione added that they were planning to widen the sidewalks in that area as well, which will give people another alternative to travel along SR 46.

Commr. Parks predicted that this trail will be as heavily traveled as the trails in the south part of the county, and he commented that it will be great for that type of tourism.  He added that there have been a number of studies that show that trails increase property values, since people were looking for that amenity and infrastructure right now.

Mr. Fish thanked the Board for their supportive comments and acknowledged the partnership between the MPO and the County’s Public Works Department, who will do the engineering for the project.

Commr. Campione commented that she was extremely appreciative of the MPO’s good work and their efforts to make sure this project got incorporated into the construction of the Wekiva Parkway.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman announced at 9:50 a.m. that there would be a fifteen-minute recess.


economic growth

landscape ordinance

Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic Growth Director, explained that the Landscape Ordinance was an endeavor that came out of the South Lake Regional Water Initiative (SLRWI) in order to make the landscaping requirements more consistent.

Mr. Tim McClendon, Chief Planner, Planning and Zoning Division, related that the purpose of this presentation is to discuss the proposed ordinance amending Land Development Regulations (LDR) Chapter IX, Landscape Standards, which is specifically in regard to irrigation systems.  He mentioned that the South Lake Regional Water Initiative (SLRWI) is a collaborative effort between Lake County, Lake Utilities, Clermont, Groveland, Mascotte, Montverde, and Minneola in order to address water needs in their region and that this group has already initiated collaborative efforts to identify potable water projections for their area, locate alternative water supplies should they need them, and share resources and facilities.  He commented that it was identified during one of the stakeholder meetings that there were inconsistent regulations in place, and Lake County was asked to draft consistent landscape and irrigation conservation regulations for the entire stakeholder group to adopt.  He recapped that the existing Lake County irrigation regulations and enforcement does not require the installation of an irrigation system, and all of the regulations apply uniformly to residential, commercial, and industrial properties; also, only minimal conformity to the Florida Building Code is required, which requires irrigation systems to use zones, automatic timers, backflow preventers, and rain sensors.  He added that the Building Department currently charges fees for reviews and inspections of irrigation plans only with compliance to the Florida Building Code and that the Code Enforcement Division responds to any complaints of noncompliance.  He mentioned that the proposed ordinance was drafted using the Florida Water Star (FWS) Program as the model, which was a statewide voluntary certification program developed by the St. Johns River Water Management District in 2006 in order to meet the water conservation needs of the entire state and which contains water restrictions and specific irrigation conservation design criteria and landscape requirements for residential, commercial, and industrial properties.  He presented a chart showing the existing conditions and any updates needed in the existing code for municipalities intending to adopt the ordinance.

Mr. McClendon related that the proposed standards in the new ordinance will apply to all of unincorporated Lake County and the municipalities adopting the ordinance, and he explained that the main changes will be to Chapter II and the definitions in Chapter IX in the Land Development Regulations regarding landscape standards, which include a definition of the FWS Program and other key terms, institution of specific design criteria for irrigation systems, and cleaning up of inconsistencies in the existing ordinance; however, he pointed out that the regulations do not require the installation of an irrigation system.  He noted that the proposed ordinance will only apply to new irrigation systems installed after June 1, with repair or replacement of existing systems exempt, and new irrigation systems installed after that date would have to either be certified that it meets the new FWS requirements or meet the proposed design criteria for irrigation systems.  He elaborated that although individuals would apply for a permit as they currently would, no CO (Certificate of Occupancy) would be issued until a self-inspection checklist is signed off by a licensed irrigation professional or documentation from an FWS Accredited Professional is received by the Planning and Zoning Department; however, an owner/builder may self-inspect.  He specified that some of the design criteria for the irrigation systems are limitation of the total irrigated area on residential lots, requirement that irrigation be divided based on vegetated groupings or zones, requirement of proper installation of rain sensor devices or moisture sensors six inches below the turf, and prohibition of sprinkler heads from spraying onto walkways, buildings, roadways, and driveways.  He noted that staff had gotten feedback from irrigation vendors regarding cost and installation of irrigation for a typical quarter-acre lot which indicated that a proposed irrigation system that would typically require four zones would cost approximately a total of $2,930, which is comparable to a currently conventional irrigation system consisting of eight zones costing $3,000.  He commented that since staff is using the self-certification method, the administration and review can be performed by existing staff, and no increase in County fees will be required.  He requested approval to advertise the ordinance for a public hearing.

Commr. Cadwell mentioned that the County had tried this several years ago without success, and he wanted to make sure that all the landscape and sod businesses had plenty of time to review this proposed ordinance in order to understand what the County is trying to do.  He pointed out that this is for a limited area of the county and results in considerably less regulation than they had looked at before.

Commr. Parks indicated that that was a valid concern and suggested that they can elaborate the extent of the outreach at the public hearing in getting businesses involved, such as through the South Lake Chamber.  He assured the Board that there was a good and genuine attempt to get everyone involved and that the SLRWI spent about a year and a half to two years discussing this issue.

Commr. Campione clarified that the Home Builders Association was one of the groups consulted in putting together this proposed ordinance.  She asked whether they were actually going to specify that property owners could only landscape and irrigate a percentage of a one-acre lot.

Mr. McClendon responded that he believed a requirement already exists in the current code for 60 percent of the turf, and the new code would continue the requirement of irrigating 60 percent or a half acre of the landscaped area, whichever is less, noting that this pertains to parcels that were less than five acres.  He clarified that there would be no change to the type of turf allowed from the current code.

Commr. Parks commented that that fact will ease a lot of concerns.

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that they have to think about the marketability of lots compared to other areas without the restrictions, although most people are more water conscious than they were five years ago, and he expressed concern about some opposition to this ordinance.

Commr. Campione commented that the rain and soil moisture sensors are great ideas; however, she expressed concern about too much restriction.  She opined that they need to be cognizant of the fact that individuals who live in urban areas are of a different mindset and have a different lifestyle in a lot of ways than people who live in the unincorporated areas.

Commr. Parks opined that they have to have a balanced approach, and there is a chance for Lake County to show some leadership in the long-range issue of water supply for the state.  He noted that long-range predictions to the year 2030 show that they will have about a 12 to 16-million gallon per day shortage in available potable water that will have to be made up somehow through conservation or an alternative water supply (AWS), and they hope this will give them a chance to meet that gap, since the alternative to that will be extremely costly.  He added that the five South Lake cities are expected to adopt this ordinance as well.

Commr. Sullivan commented that the SLRWI has put a lot of time and effort studying this issue extensively, and the County needs to be the leaders to make the process work.  He indicated his support for this moving forward.

Commr. Parks suggested a couple of changes, including the use of innovative technologies without favoring a specific vendor, an increase in the percentage of native plants for trees and canopies, and a listing of native plant nurseries in Lake County.

Mr. Heath emphasized that they need to be careful to keep the business side separate from the regulation.

Commr. Cadwell made a suggestion to certify nurseries as “native friendly” while being careful not to endorse one over the other.

Commr. Parks recognized the presence of Ms. Susan Davis from the St. Johns River Water Management District, who had been working with the County for almost a year on this issue, as well as some representatives from Groveland who had been part of the SLRWI.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved advertisement of the Landscape Ordinance.

commissioner action items

resolution in support of exoneration of the groveland four

Commr. Parks opined that although they now passionately believe that Lake County has a bright future and is the best county in the State of Florida, Lake County was not the best place to live in 1949 for African-American residents and could be quite dangerous for those individuals.  He elaborated that in the summer of 1949, Mr. Charles Greenlee and Mr. Ernest Thomas came to Lake County because they saw some opportunity for employment to support their families, and Mr. Samuel Shepherd and Mr. Walter Irvin were World War II veterans who returned to Groveland at that time after serving their country admirably.  He explained that those four men were wrongfully accused of a terrible crime, homes were destroyed, lives were lost, angry mobs of people wanted to take justice into their own hands, and the media at the time was quick to condemn those men and stir up resentment.  He added that Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall meted out his own hateful version of justice, completely opposite of American justice and the Judeo-Christian values of its basis.  He commented that they unfortunately cannot rewrite the history that has already occurred, but they can write a new chapter in their history and can become as a Commission a force for unification to make Lake County a community in which people will want to live.  He asked for the passing of this resolution unanimously for the betterment of their county and to promote unity in Lake County, as well as the subsequent proclamation that will be presented to the families of these four men.  He explained that this resolution urges their state to exonerate the Groveland Four, specifically requested in Senator Geraldine Thompson’s Senate Bill, and he mentioned that Senator Thompson has seen and supports this resolution.  He related that he expects to honor the families of those men by presenting the proclamations to each of those families at a future meeting.  He recognized Mayor Tim Loucks from Groveland, who has already started this process in Groveland.  He mentioned that Mayor Loucks is expected to be in attendance when the Board presents the resolution and proclamations and that they would also invite Mr. Gilbert King, the author of the book “The Devil in the Grove,” to be in attendance at that presentation.

Commr. Campione commented that they have all felt a lot of pride for the Chairman’s efforts regarding this issue and for so eloquently expressing how they all feel.  She mentioned that the lecture at UF (University of Florida) regarding this matter was well-attended, including 20 family members of the victims, some of whom indicated interest in coming to Commission Chambers to receive the proclamation and resolution; and she indicated support of the Board reaching out to Cabinet members and the Governor to try to move the state bill forward at a faster pace.

Commr. Sullivan pointed out that it was important that they expanded the resolution to include the Governor and the Cabinet, which takes it to the next level to exonerate the falsely accused.

Commr. Conner agreed with the previously-mentioned comments, and he related that he has seen the culture in Lake County change greatly over the years.  He commented that although the present Board and County officials were not responsible for what had happened to the Groveland Four, some of the agencies they represent were responsible for it.

Commr. Cadwell recapped that this Board had taken action several years ago by changing the name of a road that was named after Sheriff McCall.  He commented that it is more tragic when good people stay silent during bad incidents than when bad people actually do those things, and he noted that the Board was not staying silent about this.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2016-25 which strongly supports passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 136 and encourages the Governor and the Cabinet to exonerate or grant pardons to the Groveland Four (Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd, and Ernest Thomas), as well as approval of Proclamation No. 2016-26 to be presented to the families of those exonerated men.

reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1

georgefest event in eustis

Commr. Sullivan mentioned that he had attended the Georgefest event in Eustis that past weekend, which is currently the longest running festival for George Washington’s birthday in America.  He elaborated that the event was a huge success which brought in thousands of people from all over Lake County as well as from outside the county.


events attended

Commr. Conner reported that he had attended the Umatilla Chamber dinner along with two other Commissioners, and he also related that he and Commr. Cadwell had gone to the Special Olympics event at Tavares High School.

death of georgia phillips

Commr. Conner related that Ms. Georgia Phillips, one of the great leaders of the Republican Party, had passed away; and he had attended her funeral service on Monday, February 29.  He extended the Board’s condolences to Ms. Phillips’ family.


Commr. Conner mentioned that he was interested in the cigarette butt program that was mentioned earlier in the meeting by Mr. David Serdar, and he asked and received consensus from the Board to speak with Mr. Serdar about that initiative.


update regarding spay and neuter programs

Commr. Campione gave the Board an update on her discussion with the Sheriff regarding the Spay and Neuter program and the possibility of using additional funds to continue that successful program which offered spaying and neutering to Lake County residents.  She added that the Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) program was working very well, but the funds for that program were getting depleted due to its popularity.  She reported that the Sheriff was very limited by statute in the way he could use the forfeiture funds, such as funding at risk youth programs and drug prevention.  She commented that there were many other opportunities for getting those programs funded with greater outreach, and the Sheriff was open to working with the County to come up with other funding options such as donations and fund raising events in order to replenish that fund.  She pointed out that the spay-and-neuter programs will ultimately help Animal Services by reducing the population of stray animals.

keep lake beautiful event at clermont elementary school

Commr. Campione mentioned a large Keep Lake Beautiful event at Clermont Elementary School that took place on Saturday, February 27, in which 60 people painted and landscaped the school.  She mentioned that the Key Club was also involved, and the projects included a painted multicolored map of the United States on the pavement and other beautification efforts.

inaugural babe ruth ceremony

Commr. Campione related that she had attended the inaugural Babe Ruth group ceremony on Saturday, February 27, at East Lake Park, and she mentioned that some teams then went to Mount Dora and North Lake Park to play teams in those venues after the ceremony.  She commented that there was a lot of excitement and that attendees expressed appreciation for the lights that had been partially installed and for the Board’s support for all that has been done.  She added that the facilities were constructed on a shoestring budget and were carefully phased in to make sure that the County is getting the best value for the taxpayer and that there is no waste involved.

reports – commissioner cadwell – vice chairman and district 5

oakley bass fishing tournament

Commr. Cadwell reported that he had attended the Oakley Bass Fishing Tournament at Hickory Point Park held on Saturday, February 27, which he opined was a very professional and top-notch event that promotes fishing throughout the country and brings in a lot of people.

mental illness jail diversion

Commr. Cadwell relayed that there was a lot of discussion at the NACo (National Association of Counties) conference last week in regards to mental illness jail diversion, and he requested and obtained consensus to ask the Public Safety Coordinating Council to look into the feasibility and cost of some programs that are being done in North Carolina and one other state using some type of counselors in non-emergency transport vehicles for specific kinds of documented chronic cases rather than what they are currently doing, which was to use ambulances to take those individuals to the emergency room and then calling the Sheriff’s Department to take them to LifeStream or the jail.  He commented that this seemed like an interesting way to give some relief to the emergency rooms, the Sheriff’s Department, and the jail population while getting help quicker for the mentally ill individuals.

reports – commissioner parks –chairman and district 2

groveland four resolution

Commr. Parks indicated that he will work with the County Manager on a strategy to take the Groveland Four Resolution to the state legislature in support of the Senate Bill.

Commr. Campione suggested that one of the Commissioners who goes to Tallahassee often could help set up some of those meetings and that they could each meet with a different cabinet member about this issue.

Commr. Cadwell offered to make a list of who he believes would be the best people to talk to about this resolution, including some outside of their own regular delegation, and he noted that Commr. Campione would be the most qualified person to talk to the Attorney General on a professional level.  He also suggested that they do this in a timely manner.

Commr. Parks asked the Commissioners to give their list of who they would like to communicate with to the County Manager, and they will plan a strategy for that.

umatilla chamber event

Commr. Parks commented that he greatly enjoyed the Umatilla Chamber event this past Tuesday, February 23, which was well done and well attended.

closed session

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, announced that she had previously asked for the closed session as authorized by Statute 286.011 to discuss litigation against the County.  She explained that once the closed session starts, it will be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions related to the litigation and its expenditures.  She noted that the court reporter will record the entire session from when it begins to when it ends and will include all discussions in these proceedings, including the names of all persons present at the time and whoever speaks, and none of the session will be off the record.  She elaborated that the court reporter’s notes will be transcribed and will be made public when the litigation is concluded.  She related that she has a copy of the advertisement in her possession of the closed session, which ran on February 26, 2016 in the Lake Sentinel.  She specified that persons who will be at that meeting will include all of the Board members, the County Manager, the court reporter, and herself.  She asked the members of the public to exit the room and noted that they will be shutting down the recording system during the closed session.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.



sean parks, chairman