A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
March 7, 2017
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 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: Timothy I. Sullivan, Chairman; Leslie Campione, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Wendy Breeden; and Josh Blake. 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 Angela Harrold, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Reverend Bill Birdsall, of New Life Presbyterian Church in Fruitland Park, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, stated that Tab 8 regarding surplus property would be pulled from the agenda for further verification and brought back before the Board at a future date. He noted that Tab 20 had been added under Commissioner Parks’ reports for discussion on the proposed Anderson Hill Road annexation and suggested that it be moved up and discussed after Tab 17, as there were members of the public in the audience who wished to speak on the matter.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 10, 2017 (Regular Meeting), January 17, 2017 (Special Meeting) and January 18, 2017 (Special Meeting) as presented.
Board of Adjustment
Craig Covington, for service from 2011-2017 (Not Present)
Phyllis Luck, for service from 2012-2017 (Not Present)
Children’s Services Council
Jan Tobias, for service from 2011-2017 (Not Present)
Keep Lake Beautiful Advisory Committee
Karen LeHeup-Smith, Vice Mayor, for service from 2015-2017 (Not Present)
Brent McCallister, for service from 2015-2017 (Not Present)
Lake Emergency Medical Services (Lake EMS)
Chris Bell, Mayor, for service from 2013-2017 (Not Present)
Library Advisory Board
Ed Rowlett, for service from 2013-2016
Mount Plymouth Sorrento
Matthew Matulia, for service from 2013-2017 (Not Present)
Planning & Zoning Board
Timothy Morris, for service from, 2004-2017
Paul Bryan, for service from 2004-2017 (Not Present)
Public Safety Coordinating Council
Major Wayne Longo, for service from 2005-2017 (Not Present)
Tourist Development Council
Michael Holland, for service from 2014-2016 (Not Present)
Water Safety Advisory Committee
Timothy Bates, for service from 2015-2016 (Not Present)
Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, recognized employees who have reached significant milestones in their careers with Lake County, as follows:
Scott Henderson, Firefighter/EMT (Not Present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Elizabeth Steele, Library Assistant I (Not Present)
Public Resources/Library Services Division/East Lake Library
Tommy Wright, Equipment Operator I
Public Works/Road Operations Division/Maintenance Area III (Umatilla)
Maria Granado, Community Health Worker Specialist
Community Services/Health & Human Services Division/Healthy Community Access Program
Sharon Lewis, Engineer III (Not Present)
Public Works/Engineering Division/Traffic Engineering
10 Years: Rebecca Foley-Kearney, Children & Elder Services (Not Present)
Coordinator Community Services/Health & Human Services Division
30 Years: Gary Steverson, Roads Maintenance Operator (Not Present)
Public Works/Road Operations Division/Maintenance Area III (Umatilla)
31 Years: Mike TerMeer, Landfill Supervisor (Not Present)
Public Works/Solid Waste Division
EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER – 1st Quarter FY2017
Brenda Press, Contracting Officer I
Public Works/Road Operations Division
Mr. Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager, presented the Employee of the Quarter award to Ms. Brenda Press and stated that she was a team player whose creativity, attention to detail and organizational skills were apparent every day. He reported that she readily accepts and completes new assignments without neglecting her existing responsibilities and noted that she recently created a financial process for road operations that improved cost tracking and cost projection. He thanked her for her service.
SUPERVISOR OF THE QUARTER – 1st Quarter FY2017
Cynthia Heffler, Assessment and Customer Service Supervisor
Public Works/Environmental Services Division
Mr. Veach presented the Supervisor of the Quarter award to Ms. Cynthia Heffler. He explained that a supervisor’s role can be changed on short notice, and that was the case in the previous quarter when Ms. Heffler assumed additional responsibilities of a vacated Field Inspector position. He stated that the position involved a range of added responsibilities, and she took the additional workload on successfully without neglecting her responsibilities to her team. He thanked her for her leadership.
T.E.A.M. OF THE QUARTER – 1st Quarter FY2017
State of the County Video Team - Communications:
Taric Levar Cooper
Mr. Veach presented the Team of the Quarter award to the Video Team from the Communications Department for their hard work on the State of the County video. He explained that the annual State of the County function highlights the accomplishments of the County over the previous year, and the video for this incorporates still shots, voice overs, music and animation into a dynamic information piece. He elaborated that an added challenge for the 2016 video was a changed deadline that was moved up one month; however, the video team worked hard and created an exceptional product in record time. He thanked them for their dedication and teamwork, which has produced a quality message that has become the standard in highlighting the wonderful work being done by the County.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Fred Hawkins, a representative of WCA Waste Corporation, stated that WCA was proud to serve Lake County and opined that they provide exceptional service to residents. He explained that there had been some issues that had come up since the beginning of the contract, specifically the drastic change in the recycling market. He elaborated that previously there had been rebates given; however, those had been replaced with charges per ton to dispose of the recycling materials, which was unforeseen in the contract. He stated that the recycling increase had been brought up to staff in 2016, which prompted a request from the County Manager for a financial audit; however, the audit was estimated to cost up to $20,000 and he reported that WCA had already lost $160,000 on the previous year’s contract due to the increased recycling costs. He opined that the contract states that any unforeseen costs or anomalies would be handled, and he made clear that WCA was not asking to backdate costs but to move forward to find solutions to cover the increases in the future. He requested a meeting with County staff to review solutions WCA had suggested to help with the issue.
Mr. Platt Loftis, a representative of Waste Pro of Florida, thanked the County for their continued business and stated that he was also there to request a meeting with County staff. He stated that the cost and nature of neighborhood recyclables had changed dramatically since the inception of the contract, which took place in October 2014. He noted that recyclables were being disposed of as a free commodity when the contract started; however, the rates had increased to approximately $35 per ton of recycled materials, which he felt was a large increase in the cost of doing business. He stated that they respectfully requested a meeting with County staff to review the rate increase for disposing of recyclables and to work towards a solution for the continued increase.
Commr. Sullivan stated that these issues needed to be brought back to the Board by the staff so that the issues could be reviewed.
Mr. Heath noted that the Solid Waste Fund was currently balanced, in terms of the assessment, haulers and the landfill. He stated that under the contract, it states that the waste companies have until April 1 each year to submit any additional cost beyond the contracted amount. He explained that one of the contractors had requested an increase, which would have necessitated an increase in the solid waste assessment, and because of that he requested audited financials, which is per the contract; however, the request was made near the budget deadline, so it could not be accommodated in the budget cycle and ultimately the contractor did not pursue the audit. He stated that he would be happy to meet with them and staff to try and reach a solution, but his suggestion would be to stay within the contract and ask the companies to give a financial justification for the additional costs, because it will translate to an assessment increase. He added that he felt the Board would want the documentation of the audited financials before arbitrarily raising the assessment fee.
Commr. Sullivan clarified that if any additional amounts come as a result of the meeting, it would need to be within the budgetary process.
Mr. Robert Charles Brooks, a representative from the Environmental Protection Agency for the Florida Parks Service, alerted the Board that there were would be two public workshops to create a ten-year operational management plan for the parks, in particular Wekiva Springs State Park, Rock Springs Run State Reserve and Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park. He noted that the meetings would be held on March 29, 2017, at Sorrento Elementary from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and March 30, 2017, at Wekiva Springs State Park from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden 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 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.
City of Groveland; Ordinance 2016-12-553
Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of Ordinance 2016-12-553 annexing property generally located near the intersection of County Road 33 and Baptist Island Road, lying east of CR 33 and comprising approximately 14.45 acres, as well as transmittal letter dated February 9, 2017 transmitting same.
City of Mount Dora; Resolution 2017-23
Request to acknowledge receipt of Resolution 2017-23 of the City of Mount Dora City Council urging the Florida Legislature to support legislation restoring local regulatory authority with respect to the short-term rental of properties.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Parks noted that he appreciated the work that staff completed regarding Tab 12, which was reducing the speed limit from 45 miles per hour to 40 miles per hour on Lakeshore Drive. He stated that he had received a lot of complaints from residents about vehicles going too fast in that area, as well as accidents, and asked if there could possibly be a sign placed in the area noting the speed reduction.
Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer with the Public Works Department, responded that there was a sign placed by the department but that he would look into working with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department to obtain additional signs that include radar for monitoring the speeds.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 14, omitting Tab 8, as follows:
Request approval of Proclamation 2017-17 in observance of National Library Week in Lake County, April 9 - 15, 2017. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign the FY 2016-2017 Community Development Block (CDBG) Agreement with the City of Leesburg in an amount not to exceed $338,000 (from CDBG fund) for Phase 2 of the Neighborhood Center. The fiscal impact is not to exceed $338,000 (Expense; 100% Grant funded).
Request for approval to authorize the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners and the County Attorney to sign all Annual FTA/FDOT Pre-Award Federal Certifications and Assurances for Transit Grants. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval to execute the Stipulated Order of Taking and Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2016-CA-1956, Lake County vs. Richard R. Achor, et al., (Parcel Number: JL-21) for needed right of way on the Johns Lake Road Project. The total settlement for approval and fiscal impact is $41,762.36. Commission District 2
Request for approval to accept Offers to Purchase the following County-owned properties obtained through tax escheatment deeds: Alternate Keys 1125944 and 1499186; and approval for Chairman to execute any necessary closing documents. The fiscal impact is $2,300.
Request for approval to revise LCC-72, Workers' Compensation and Property & Liability Claims Committee, to change the membership and authorize the committee chair to sign settlements under $25,000 that have been approved by the committee.
Request for the Library Services Division to hold an annual food donation drive each spring, allowing donation of food items to reduce some existing fines for library users. The annual fiscal impact is estimated up to $2,000.00.
Request for approval to issue a purchase order for one 19,500 lb. GVWR Signal Bucket Truck under Request for Quotation (RFQ) Q2017-00057 to World Industrial Equipment Inc. d/b/a Stamm Manufacturing (Fort Pierce) for use by the Lake County Public Works Department. Also, request approval for Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The total fiscal impact is $116,990.00 (Expenditure).
Request to approve Resolution 2017-18 relating to reducing the speed limit on Lakeshore Drive (1040) from 45 MPH to 40 MPH, from Preston Cove Road, south to Denali Drive in the Clermont area, Section 1, Township 23, Range 25. There is no fiscal impact. Commissioner Districts 1 and 2
Request for approval of Resolution 2017-19 to execute Amendment Number 1 to the Economic Development Transportation and County Incentive Grant Project Fund Agreement (Off-System Specific Appropriations) for CR 466A Phase 1 (US 27 to Sunny Court), FPN #430253-2-58-01, for the purpose of extending the term of the Agreement. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 5
Request approval to award contract 16-0030, to Traffic Engineering Data Traffic Engineering Data Solutions, Inc. (TEDS), DeBary, FL, for the following two (2) Local Agency Program Agreements (LAP):
1. Engineering design of a Traffic Signal at the intersection of North Hancock Road and North Ridge Blvd. in the amount of $41,882.42 (expense). $32,000 will be funded in FY 2017 by a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), LAP Agreement FPN 437486-1-38-01, Federal-Aid #8886-964-A and the remaining amount of $9,882.42 is funded by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Commission District 2; and
2. Engineering design of CR 473 Corridor Paved Shoulders Design in the amount of $117,828.96 (expense). This design is 100% funded in FY2017 by a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), LAP Agreement, FPN 437485-1-38-01, Federal-Aid #8886-963-A. Commission District 3
public hearing – Ordinance 2017-12
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
an ordinance of the board of county commissioners of lake COUNTY, florida; amending chapter 18, article v, lake county code, entitled “uniform street addressing system”; clarifying requirements for road naming and placement of road name signs; providing for inclusion in the code; providing for severability; providing for filing with the department of state; and providing for an effective date.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2017-11 which due to a clerical error would be corrected to become Ordinance 2017-12, amending Chapter 18, Article V, Lake County Code, entitled “Uniform Street Addressing System,” which clarified requirements for road naming and placement of road name signs.
public hearing – tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds
Ms. Marsh requested approval of Resolution 2017-20 providing preliminary approval of the issuance of tax-exempt and/or taxable senior living revenue bonds for Village Veranda at Lady Lake Project, Series 2017, in an aggregate principle amount not to exceed $35,000,000 for the purposes of Section 147(F) of the Internal Revenue Code and was a TEFRA (Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982) hearing required under the Internal Revenue Code but did not obligate the County or any County finances if approved.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione asked how the generated bond proceeds revert back to the County and how long that would take.
Ms. Marsh explained that if the development moved forward with tax-exempt bonds and those bonds are issued, the County receives a half of one percent of the bond proceeds. She commented that staff monitors those so that the County is included on the settlement statement and payment is received; however, even if approved it does not mandate that the developer issue tax-exempt bonds.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2017-20 Authorizing Issuance of Tax-Exempt Senior Living Revenue Bonds not to exceed $30,390,000.
public hearing – appendix E, land development regulations
Ms. Marsh requested approval for the first of two public hearings of an ordinance amending Lake County Code, Appendix E, Land Development Regulations, Chapter II, entitled “Definitions” and repealing and replacing Chapter XI, entitled “Signs.”
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved holding the first public hearing of an ordinance to repeal and replace Appendix E, Land Development Regulations, Chapter XI entitled "Signs". There is no fiscal impact.
anderson hill road annexation
Commr. Parks explained that his request was to discuss opposition against an application for annexation for property with a proposed commercial development into the City of Clermont and he presented a map outlining the property. He stated that because the surrounding residents were within unincorporated Lake County, they should address it as a Board. He noted that the development was not proposed within the city but in an older part of south Lake County. He reported that he was bringing it to the Board’s attention after receiving calls from residents in the area expressing their concern for both the annexation and the commercial development. He explained that the property could be annexed through the ISBA (Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement); however, it should be noted that the water utilities would be provided by Lake Utility not by the City of Clermont, who would be supplying only sewer utilities if the annexation moved forward. He stated that within the ISBA it is required that the city and county work together, but he felt that did not happen in this particular case because neither he, the County staff nor the residents were aware of the proposal until the hearing was scheduled at the city level. He specified that the City of Clermont was proposing that the site become C-2 General Commercial Zoning under the City; however, the County’s current zoning was CFD (Community Facility District) and Lake County Commercial District, which would have less impervious surface ratio. He pointed out that under the County’s current Future Land Use, the zoning allowed for less intensity than what was being proposed by the city. He stated that the main issue of the residents was an access road being proposed along a residential road called Anderson Hill Road that was not constructed to be an arterial or collector road. He noted that there are houses and bus stops along the road with no sidewalk, and he felt that the residents were right to be concerned about the possible high intensity use of the road. He explained that a 58,000 square foot facility with a restaurant was proposed which could generate up to 1,000 car trips a day on its own. He commented that to assume that there would be minimal to no trips along Anderson Hill Road was not realistic. He stated that he wanted to work with the City of Clermont on the proposal, and he felt that working with the community moving forward would also be appropriate. He opined that the current proposal did not fit the area and requested that a letter be sent to the City of Clermont objecting to the annexation and the commercial development as it was currently planned, with the hope that something could be worked out that would benefit everyone.
Commr. Campione wondered if the access road in the proposal was to distribute the vehicle trips so that a transportation study could be met.
Commr. Parks responded that the City requires two access points; however, the second could not be on US Highway 27, because the two access points would be too close to each other to receive FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) approval.
Mr. Schneider stated that the connection to the north was not worked out with the adjacent property owner, so the main access would be a directional left turn off of US Highway 27. He noted that Clermont requires a second access for emergency purposes but does not generally require that it be a drivable access.
Commr. Campione wondered if it would address the concern of additional daily trips on Anderson Hill Road if the second access was to be used as an emergency access only and not drivable to regular traffic.
Mr. Schneider responded that it would be more logical to have the emergency access off of Anderson Hill Road.
Commr. Parks opined that it could help; however, he stated that even if the access off of Anderson Hill Road was for emergency use only, there would still be an increase of traffic leaving the facility and turning onto Anderson Hill Road. He felt that there would be significant traffic impacts, and planning needed to be done to minimize the situation.
Commr. Campione stated that she agreed the Board should weigh in on the issue and look out for the residents that would be impacted. She pointed out that the ISBA and JPA (Joint Planning Agreement) process is supposed to be collaborative, and if that is not the case, then changes need to be made to the process.
The Chairman opened the floor to public comment.
Mr. Charles Russ, a resident of Clermont, stated that his driveway is on Anderson Hill Road, and he has been in residence there since Anderson Hill Road was constructed. He said that he was concerned that the road would need to be rebuilt if the proposal was approved due to a higher volume of traffic. He explained that the road was originally a clay road laid over sand, and there had been terrible erosion problems with it in the past. He stated that asphalt had been placed on top of the clay and was really built for residential use only. He further noted that there are always large groups of kids walking on the road or in the grass because were no sidewalks for them to use. He stated that he felt that it is a mistake for the proposal to move forward because it would negatively impact the area.
Mr. Tom English, a resident of Clermont, stated that he was appealing to the Board to take into consideration the letter that Commissioner Parks had written about the issue. He noted that he would like to see the Board take an active role in the development of the property. He commented that the residents understand there will be development in that area; however, he encouraged staff to question the density and also complete its own traffic study. He felt that the additional traffic volume could lead to hazards at the intersection of US Highway 27 and Anderson Hill Road. He pointed out that there are no shoulders on the road for the kids to walk on and opined that it would need to be rebuilt if the volume on the road increased. He encouraged the Board to work with the City of Clermont to ensure public safety that would be needed if the project were to move forward.
Ms. Rose Farrell, a resident of Clermont, stated that her property abuts the proposed property to be developed and pointed out that there are blind spots on several parts of the road. She asked that the Board not allow the driveway access from the proposed development onto Anderson Hill Road. She suggested that they use the driveway of the West Star Gym also located there. She felt that the high density development would not be good for the area, which was a low density area. She stated that the City of Clermont’s code for buffers was different from the County’s, and she felt that using Clermont’s code would leave them with very little buffer between the neighborhood and the development.
Ms. Jennifer Cotch, a resident of Clermont, stated that she had worked as a county planner for several years and that she was familiar with the County and Clermont code. She asked the Board to facilitate the residents working with the City of Clermont to ensure a good project for those that live there. She commented that the residents’ concerns about Anderson Hill Road were valid and noted that she had felt unsafe walking on the road due to vehicles driving too fast and the lack of sidewalks. She pointed out that going down the hill on the road slowly is difficult and felt that the drivers who use the road as a cut through to US Highway 27 are not concerned for the residents who live in the area. She urged the Board to agree with Commissioner Parks and to work with the city to create a project that makes sense for the area and the developer.
Mr. Quint Roberts representing Anderson Hill Dlsu, LLC, the owner of the property, stated that 3.2 acres of the property had been purchased in 2007, and at that time they had submitted a proposal for a 28,000 square foot commercial facility, with the same proposed access driveway to Anderson Hill Road with no opposition from the residents. He explained that in the current proposal they were looking to expand to the 58,000 square feet that included 10,000 square feet already existing on the property and they recently acquired the additional 5 acres adjacent, which was a church property with an existing driveway access that they intended to use. He stated that they were a family company and wanted to be an asset rather than a detriment to the area, and they were happy to work with the members of the community to find a solution. He elaborated that the hope was to bring services and businesses that are wanted and needed to the area. He commented that there had been a meeting on February 26, 2017, that they would have been glad to be there to address concerns and bring information to the residents, and he hoped in the future something could be scheduled to discuss the concerns. He reported that they had not applied for the permit necessary for the additional access driveway yet and that they were still completing their traffic study to submit to the County.
Ms. Cecilia Bonifay, an attorney with Ackerman, LLC, stated that she was representing Mr. Roberts and his family who were the property owners. She opined that this had been a rush to judgment, since the proposal was not scheduled to be presented to the City of Clermont City Council until April 11, 2017, due to the fact that the city requested a continuance. She commented that if the County Attorney had not sent her the added agenda information, they would not have known this would be discussed during this BCC meeting. She stated that the Board had not received any data or facts on the proposal, and the traffic study had not been completed but would be submitted to the staff and Board when it was finished. She opined that this was a failure of the County to maintain a county road which had been going on for many years, and it is causing an issue now that there was a developer who owns property, pays taxes and wants to improve the area that was contiguous to the City of Clermont so it could be annexed. She stated that the proposal meets the concurrency and level of service by County standards. She asked the Board not to make a determination but to work with the City to find a solution.
Mr. Peter Pensa, a certified planner with Abbott Group, LLC, the planners and engineers of the proposed project, stated that there seemed to be a lot of misinformation being given to the public and noted that the site plan being reviewed was approximately a year old. He explained that a formal application had been filed in November 2016, and there had been two meetings resulting in a revised plan that had been submitted in January 2017 since the inception of the original site plan. He pointed out that the site plan presented during the meeting showed buildings at the back of the property, but that was not the case in the current site plan. He stated that the development was designed to be pedestrian oriented, aesthetically appealing and functional. He explained that the plan was for the building to be located up front on the lot near US Highway 27 with the majority of the parking behind it, and there was a large retention pond planned to help buffer and a landscape buffer along with a double retaining wall along the back of the property to provide a visual buffer. He stated that it would be a quiet retail project because there were no outdoor uses, storage uses or auto repair planned for the development. He reported that the density was below County code and was compatible with the area. He stated that the traffic would primarily affect US Highway 27, and he speculated that only an additional 20 trips would be added to Anderson Hill Road with the completed development.
Mr. Tim Srodes, a resident of Clermont, stated that he had lived off of Anderson Hill Road for 23 years, and he felt that the 20 trips being speculated was too low of an amount. He commented that he appreciated the Board’s willingness to work with Clermont on the issue and that the information on the annexation was not made available to the residents in November 2016. He mentioned that the only notification given was a sign in the grass, and he was unsure of who placed it there. He stated that the residents would continue to be opposed to access from the development onto Anderson Hill Road and that the access should be put onto US Highway 27.
Mr. Dave Wainwright, a resident of Clermont, stated that he had lived on Anderson Hill Road for 15 years and that he had seen two site plan drawings, which did not indicate a retention pond. He alleged that he had been approached to sign a quick claim deed for a required easement between his home and the property; he did not sign it and was eventually sued. He opined that the developer did not have the best interest of the community in mind and stated that the residents do not want the high intensity development. He stated that he felt that the homes would be able to see the light poles, which would light up their properties too much in the evening, and he suggested that a wall be placed in between the homes and the complex so that the residents do not have to see the back of the complex.
Commr. Sullivan pointed out that it was not a traditional planning and zoning hearing and his understanding was that the City of Clermont was looking to annex the property at their meeting in April, 2017. He wanted to clarify that this was a different process than normal for the County.
Commr. Parks stated that he was firm in his request to object to the proposal and to ask the City of Clermont to work with County staff. He explained that the reason he wanted to talk about the issue now was because there was only a week until the next meeting, and there may not have been a chance to discuss it before that. He noted that the maps used were provided to him by the City of Clermont, and he respectfully disagreed with the planner representing the owners on the intensity amount. He commented that the County should be working and coordinating more with the cities on planning projects. He felt that the traffic study should not be done at a later time and did not agree with the 20 trips at peak hours that were speculated. He asked that there be an honest discussion with the developer about the impacts, how to mitigate the issues and how to make sure that the residents are involved, who he opined were trying to be cooperative rather than unreasonable. He stated that he appreciated that the property owner wanted to work together to clear up the problems.
Mr. Heath stated that he spoke with Mr. Darren Gray, City Manager for the City of Clermont, who indicated that the City staff and applicant were asking for a continuance until April 11, 2017. He commented that there was time for a letter to be written and sent to Clermont about the issue. He relayed that when County staff received the plans, they responded back to City staff on February 8, 2017 and indicated that County staff would prefer that the applicant not have access on Anderson Hill Road, but the County would require traffic calming for that access. He noted that Anderson Hill Road was a county road so the Board had the right to do what it felt was necessary. He explained that currently the City staff had recommended approval of the annexation and the Comprehensive Use Plan and did not address access on Anderson Hill Road. He elaborated that the project went to the Clermont Planning and Zoning Commission, and they recommended that the access be taken off of the plan. He added that there were seven conditions for the project within Commissioner Parks’ letter that should be included in the Chairman’s letter.
Commr. Parks stated that even with no access to Anderson Hill Road, he felt that the County engineers needed to be involved in the process because there would still be impacts on that road.
Commr. Breeden stated that she had been out to observe Anderson Hill Road and agreed that additional traffic would be problematic. She commented that while the commercial development was appropriate for US Highway 27, she did not feel Anderson Hill Road could handle the commercial traffic, and she did not know whether there was right of way available to improve the road.
Commr. Campione noted that she agreed with the conditions that Commissioner Parks put together as part of the request to the City of Clermont. She opined that the residents had the right to think in terms of what the worst case scenario would be and what could be done to make the situation better, and she felt that the overall process could be difficult. She stated that moving in a positive direction with Clermont and letting them know the concerns of the Board and the residents would protect everyone’s rights and possibly help them come up with a good solution regarding Anderson Hill Road.
Commr. Sullivan stated that there was a consensus to follow through with the recommendations given by Commissioner Parks and to send a written letter to the City of Clermont addressing the concerns of Anderson Hill Road. He commented that regardless of what happens with the development, there seemed to be an issue with the road in general that would need to be addressed by Public Works. He stated that he requested funds yearly to keep up with the growth in the area for projects such as the Minneola Turnpike Exchange to US Highway 27. He noted that staff had the direction to do what was needed to weigh in on the issue with Clermont but that it needed to go through the proper process.
Mr. Heath stated that there had already been communication with Clermont at the staff level through the February 8, 2017 response but felt it was appropriate for the Board to take action, allowing the Chairman to send a letter to the Mayor of Clermont that included Commissioner Parks’ comments.
Commr. Blake clarified that the one of the conditions being requested was that access from the commercial development on to Anderson Hill Road would be for emergency access only. He wondered whether the traffic study should be reviewed before making that decision.
Commr. Campione responded that it cannot be connected given the current road conditions, because it would exacerbate the current situation. She stated that if there were suggestions to alleviating the problems, then they would be open to hearing those.
Commr. Blake clarified that unless there were improvements made to Anderson Hill Road, the Board would not be in favor of the development having an access to it. He opined that he would like more information before taking an official stance on the situation.
Commr. Parks responded that the Lake County Public Works engineers have stated that there would be an impact on the area, even though the exact number is unknown, and he wanted to work with Clermont to mitigate that.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved and authorized the Chairman to write a letter to the Mayor of the City of Clermont expressing the Board’s concern and requesting additional work be completed on the proposal, including seven conditions provided by the Board, for the proposed annexation of 58,000 square feet of commercial development, located at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Anderson Hill Road, into the City of Clermont and PUD approval.
Commr. Blake voted “no.”
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 10:30 a.m. for 15 minutes.
Mr. Robert Chandler, Director of Economic Growth, stated that he would provide an overview of the Economic Development Grant Incentive Program to the Board and request approval to advertise an amendment to Sections 7-2, 7-3 and 7-4 of the Lake County Code entitled “Business Development Programs.” He stated that the vision of the Economic Action Plan was for a prosperous local economy supported by a wide range of career opportunities, a diversified tax base and an exceptional quality of life. He said that the mission of the plan was to aggressively retain, attract and grow jobs in Lake County in partnership with others, while protecting and improving Lake County’s quality of life and unique character. He noted that three goals within the plan specifically relevant to the presentation were to establish policies and programs that promote the retention, success and expansion of existing businesses; establish policies and programs to assist start-up and developing businesses and encourage entrepreneurship; and attract and recruit new businesses to Lake County by targeting specific industries, drawing upon regional partnerships and using proven business models. He reported that there had been industry challenges and specifically noted that there had been uncertainty regarding the long-term sustainability of state funded economic development organizations, recent reductions in state funded incentive programs, increased competition from other communities including some with higher incentive budgets, and some Lake County municipalities who had financial incentives to offer prospective businesses, which Lake County currently had no participation in the overall financial package that was offered. He listed programs in other county jurisdictions as well as Lake County municipalities.
Mr. Chandler stated that the staff conducted a thorough analysis of programs administered across the industry to assist in developing a program that would meet the goals of the Economic Action Plan, while fulfilling the grant criteria. He explained that the criteria was important because there was currently a lot of scrutiny on incentives and the economic development process, and that staff wanted to ensure that the criteria was performance based and an incentive rather than a “thank you.” He was concerned that with some past programs there had not been incentive for the companies to stay and grow within Lake County, and he wanted to change that. He continued by stating that the grant criteria would include limited risk and financial burden to the County; would be objective, transparent, easily tracked and monitored; would impact targeted industries; and would have a significant impact. He relayed that the proposed Economic Development Grant Program being presented was modeled after the Revenue Grant used successfully by the City of Jacksonville for many years. He stated that for a company to be eligible for the grant, it must operate within a state targeted industry, create and maintain 10 new jobs paying at least 115 percent of the County’s average annual wage ($41,000) and make a capital investment of at least $1 million in real and/or tangible personal property; and the grant would be open to both new and existing companies that are eligible. He noted that the program provides a grant that repays a percentage of the incremental increase in ad valorem taxes paid by the applicant on real and/or tangible personal property, and the amount each year would be based on percentages, which would be applied to the incremental increase in taxes paid over a five-year period. He pointed out that because manufacturing was more heavily targeted, it was broken out into a separate category and would have a grant amount of 100 percent for the first year, while all other industries would start at 80 percent the first year. He listed the ten steps for the grant process and noted that grant funding would not be awarded until the applicant’s entire project had been completed, all capital investment had been expended, all taxes had been paid in full for the given year, documentation was provided that at least 10 jobs were still employed at the annual average wage of $41,000, and after the Value Adjustment Board appeal period had expired.
He relayed that staff analysis noted that there was legal justification for the grant within Section 125.045 of the Florida Statutes that states “it is necessary and in the public interest to facilitate the growth and creation of business enterprises in the counties of the state and that the use of public funds toward the achievement of such economic development goals constitute a valid public purpose.” He stated that the project had been vetted by the Lake County Tax Collector, the Lake County Property Appraiser and the Lake County Clerk’s Finance Department. He reported that the program would significantly enhance EDT’s ability to both recruit new businesses as well as assist existing businesses with their expansion plans. He explained that because the program was to be utilized as an incentive tool, it provided virtually no additional financial burden to Lake County, as the additional tax revenue would not have been realized had it not been for the program. He added that the program was completely performance based and minimized all risk to Lake County. He noted that staff estimated there would be three to five eligible companies in the early years of the program and would expand potentially to five to ten as the Lake County economy accelerates. He pointed out that the estimated grant amount total would be approximately five to ten thousand for the first year for every $1 million of capital investment for a project. He stated that staff estimated that the majority of projects would be below $10,000,000 in capital investment, and the potential existed for the occasional project to invest a significantly greater amount and thus require a greater grant amount. He requested approval to advertise a proposed ordinance amending Sections 7-2, 7-3, and 7-4 of the Lake County Code entitled “Business Development Programs.”
Commr. Sullivan stated that the staff had come up with the idea of a grant program while working with several municipalities, and it followed the path of trying to grow the county through economic development. He pointed out that the tax abatement portion had the minimum impact on taxation, and the revenues would not be realized if the businesses do not come to Lake County. He noted that it only impacted ad valorem tax and not impact fees, which would still be required as things move forward. He opined that it was a good program and one of the few incentives that the County had to compete with the other counties in the State of Florida, which are also trying to bring economic development to their area.
Commr. Breeden opined that it would be a good addition to the Economic Development Department and help make Lake County competitive. She asked how the 115 percent average wage was determined as opposed to a different amount.
Mr. Chandler replied that it was the industry standard, and that amount had been used before. He noted that some counties did not have a salary requirement, and the criteria were solely job based; however, staff decided that a wage requirement would be beneficial. He stated that he wanted to be clear that the incentives were only one more tool to help prospective businesses choose Lake County.
Commr. Parks asked if the programs offered by the counties and municipalities were adequately funded.
Mr. Chandler stated that he was unsure, but tax abatement programs were seen across the counties and municipalities.
Commr. Blake asked if there was a count on how many existing businesses planned to take advantage of the grant program.
Mr. Chandler replied that staff received all positive responses, but he did not have an exact number that would apply.
Commr. Campione clarified that manufacturing businesses would receive the largest incentive and that retail would not be included in the program. She pointed out that there had been previous discussion in hotel room deficiency and wondered if there had been thought given to incentivize bringing hoteliers to Lake County. She stated that ideally if the industries are being attracted to the county and bringing activity, then hotel groups typically seem to follow, and she hoped that would be the byproduct of the grant program. She explained that the key was that there would not be tax dollars if businesses did not come to the county, so money is not being lost with the program, and if the business decided to leave there would still be an improved property that could be utilized by another business or be on the tax roll. She wondered if there was a limit to the amount of grants awarded.
Mr. Chandler stated that retail would not be included because it would not be able to meet the wage criteria and noted that it would be difficult to incentivize hotels because there would be government specifically incentivizing competition for existing hoteliers and they would also not meet criteria from a wage perspective. He agreed that having more hotel rooms in the county was a positive, and staff would be interested in a program that would help that effort. He added that there was currently a RFP (Request for Proposal) request for a hotel demand study. He explained that the first building constructed using the grant program could make an area viable for projects, which could bring in other businesses, so even if the original company were to move it would leave in place the businesses that came after. He noted that there was not currently a limit to the number of grants to be awarded and the thought was to leave it open ended at first.
Commr. Sullivan suggested that the Board could adjust the ordinance accordingly if there were a lot of applications being submitted. He pointed out that the grant program would be one tool in the toolbox along with the Leesburg International Airport and the road networks.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved advertisement of a proposed ordinance amending Section 7-2, 7-3 and 7-4 of the Lake County Code relating to Business Development Programs creating an Economic Development Grant Incentive Program. There is no fiscal impact.
lake county citizen’s academy
Mr. Anderson presented an overview of the proposed Lake County Citizen’s Academy to the Board. He stated that the goal of a Citizen’s Academy was to build a better understanding between citizens and their County government and that participants would gain an understanding of the Board of County Commissioners, as well as its mission, vision and values and the organizational structure necessary to carry out day to day operations. He explained that Citizen’s Academies had been conducted by governmental organizations throughout the country and in several counties of Florida. He pointed out that Lake County had conducted a Citizen’s Academy twice per year from 2006 through 2009 consisting of eight three-hour sessions that included information about the Board of County Commissioners as well as constitutional officers and were limited to 24 persons per session. He reported that funds for conducting a Citizen’s Academy were included in the approved FY 2017 budget.
Mr. Anderson stated that the previous program allowed only 48 residents to participate, so the new proposal was to conduct the program in an outreach format to Lake County residents in venues throughout the County. He pointed out that the approach had been successfully used in the update of the County’s Parks and Trails Master Plan. He outlined that the proposed program was to conduct multiple academies, having at least one in each Commission District, with up to 30 participants in each academy, and the program would be open to any County resident who was interested in attending. He noted that additional academies could be made available to communities upon request who could guarantee 30 participants and provide the venue. He explained that the Academy could consist of one primary session, two follow-up sessions on additional topics and attendance at one full Commission Meeting. He described that the primary session would be an introduction to the Commission and County Government, which would describe the functions of County departments, provide an overview of the budgetary process and provide an opportunity for citizen input. He noted that the next steps to start the process would be to formalize a curriculum, work to identify dates and venues, develop a communication plan describing the program and how to participate, enroll participants, begin primary sessions in the summer and advertise additional sessions once the first round of primary sessions were completed. He stated that the requested action was for approval from the Board for staff to proceed with the proposed Citizen’s Academy.
Commr. Campione commented that this was a valuable tool to get residents involved and participating in the local government. She opined that this was a very good outreach project.
Commr. Sullivan stated that he had recently met with an active member of the community, and there were processes that this particular resident was still unaware of, illustrating that the academy was beneficial for residents. He commented that people want to be involved and volunteer, and there is a real need for something like this in the community.
Commr. Parks stated that it was a great program that informs citizens and would engage the community into learning more about the process. He opined that it would be a good usage of funds and would pay off with people being more aware of what is going on in the county.
Commr. Breeden thanked staff for taking the project on and developing the process.
Commr. Blake commented that it was a good idea, and he felt that there would be a lot of participation in District 5.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved staff moving forward with the Lake County Citizen’s Academy.
reports – county attorney
legal notice advertisements
Ms. Marsh alerted the Board that legal notice advertisements would no longer be located in the Lake Sentinel newspaper due to a change in the newspaper’s publication and advertising dates. She reported that an account with the Daily Commercial newspaper had been set up and that newspaper would become the primary paper for advertising legal notices.
reports – county manager
public safety director
Mr. Heath reported that Mr. John Molenda had been promoted to the role of Public Safety Director, which would take place upon Chief John Jolliff’s retirement at the end of May. He alerted the Board that his intention was to now advertise for the Deputy Public Safety Director position to ensure an orderly transition.
city of eustis interlocal agreement
Mr. Heath relayed that the City of Eustis had declared an impasse due to the County’s reluctance to enter into an Interlocal Boundary Service Agreement (ISBA), and he wanted to alert the Board that a public meeting between the managers and County Attorney would be taking place on Thursday, March 9, 2017, at Eustis City Hall at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the matter. He stated that his stance would be that the County would not support noncontiguous annexations, including developed residential property, specifically in relation to the issues of Red Tail, Serenity and Sorrento Springs subdivisions. He added that the upcoming ISBA meeting was not the platform to discuss automatic aid; however, there would be a willingness to discuss the provision of utilities in that area but at a different venue setting.
reports – commissioner parks –district 2
nellie oaks bend
Commr. Parks stated that he had received emails on a code case concerning Nellie Oaks Bend in Clermont, and he wanted to make sure that the issue was being followed up on.
parks and trails master plan
Commr. Parks noted that he attended the Parks and Trails Master Plan meeting that took place on March 2, 2017 in Minneola, that it was well attended by the public, and that the staff did a great job. He encouraged residents to take the online survey about Lake County Parks and Trails at the lakecountyfl.gov website.
Commr. Parks gave an update stating that House Bill HCR 631 and its companion Senate Bill HCR 920, which formally exonerates the Groveland Four, had been moving through the Florida House and Senate favorably. He stated that both of the bills acknowledge the injustice and offer a heartfelt apology to the families as well.
pig on the pond
Commr. Parks stated that the City of Clermont’s Pig on the Pond festival had taken place and that it was a great event.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER breeden –DISTRICT 3
Commr. Breeden thanked Mr. Fred Schneider and Mr. Jim Stivender of Lake County Public Works for taking her through the county to see the road work being done for the Minneola Interchange. She stated that she saw a lot of areas that are getting help and some that need help. She opined that the work Family Dynamics is doing is coming along very well, and the Interchange was very impressive.
center for advanced manufacturing
Commr. Breeden stated that she went to Power Technology Southeast in Leesburg and met with Dr. Diane Culpepper, Director of Lake Technical College, and Economic Development staff. She reported that Mr. Craig Waters, President of Power Technology, would be donating over $100,000 in equipment to the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing.
reports – commissioner campione – vice-chairman - district 4
home grant program
Commr. Campione stated that she presented information on the home grant program to the City Commission of Leesburg, because a consortium has to be formed to meet the population and demographic requirements in order to access the program through Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She noted that the Leesburg City Commission agreed to be part of the consortium and added that Groveland, Minneola, Tavares, and Eustis had already agreed.
health care access planning committee
Commr. Campione stated that she attended a meeting at Waterman Hospital for the Health Care Access Planning Committee, which was put together by individuals who are involved in providing healthcare, to discuss how to make healthcare easier to navigate for residents and how to get information out to the public on available resources that may not be known to them. She opined that it was a very valuable session and encouraged other Commissioners to attend upcoming meetings.
impact fee waiver concept
Commr. Campione relayed that she presented the impact fee waiver concept to the School Board, and it received full support. She stated that it would be moving forward, and an Interlocal Agreement would be created. She added that the waivers would be for locations where all three schools had capacity for new students as not to lend to any possible overcrowding issues.
Commr. Campione related that Representative Larry Metz was sponsoring a bill that would require individuals who sit on citizen committees to fill out a more enhanced financial disclosure form, and she was concerned it would dissuade residents from getting involved.
Commr. Parks commented that there were a couple of other bills that he would like to discuss at a later date, in particular Florida House Bill 17 and Senate Bill 7000.
Commr. Sullivan noted that he would be attending the Florida Association of Counties Legislative Days and would be discussing Florida House Bill 17 with other commissions. He stated that it is preemptive of what is done economically on the local level, and he felt it would allow the state to tell local governments how to grow economically if passed.
Ms. Marsh stated that the bill was preemption on any regulation that would affect business occupation or professions and that it was a very broad bill and did not define terms. She noted that it would be watched closely; however, an addition was recently made that any provision a county currently had in place could stay in effect until 2020. She stated that there were a few items in the code that could be affected, because the bill did not have defined terms.
lake technical college
Commr. Campione noted that she attended a ceremony at Lake Technical College and that it was a wonderful event. She was appreciative of all of the hard work and specifically of the efforts of Dr. Diane Culpepper and the manufacturing community in Lake County because it was made possible with that collaboration. She commented that one of the most impactful things that can be done on an economic growth level is to provide a place where residents can receive the education needed to fill local manufacturing jobs.
reports – commissioner blake – district 5
umatilla babe ruth baseball opening day
Commr. Blake commented that he was invited to throw out the first pitch at the Opening Day of Umatilla Babe Ruth Baseball at Northlake Park and he stated that it was a nice day and a good turnout of residents.
Commr. Blake reported that Representative Dennis Baxley noted during Lake Legislative Days that he would be filing Senate Bill 1004 amending the Sunshine Law for local boards regarding public records and public meetings, and the companion House Bill was 843. He stated that currently there is one standard upheld at the state level and then another standard applied at the local level. He explained that at the state level there needs to be record of a meeting when more than two members of an elected body are attending. He relayed that Representative Baxley had filed a bill that applies that standard to the local governing boards as well. He suggested writing a letter on behalf of the Board in support of the bill.
Commr. Parks commented that he would like to read the bill.
Commr. Campione wondered if it related to only public records.
Commr. Blake stated that he understood it to be an attempt to apply the same rules that legislature had to follow to the rest of the boards based on his brief conversation with Representative Baxley.
Mr. Heath suggested giving copies of the bill to the rest of the Board and then adding it to the next meeting’s agenda and possibly send it to the lobbyists as a starting point for them to work from on the issue.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER sullivan – chairman - DISTRICT 1
center for advanced manufacturing
Commr. Sullivan commented that the success of the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing had been a true collaborative effort by the School System, the Legislature, the Board and the manufacturing community.
county manager position
Commr. Sullivan reported that there had been a large number of applications received for the County Manager position. He stated that the Florida Association of County Managers had been contacted to review the applications and narrow down the candidates since there were so many. He stated he feels the hiring process is still on track, but there may be a small delay while the vetting process occurs. He commented that having some overlap between the new and the existing County Manager would be a beneficial goal.
Mr. Heath reported that applications would be accepted through March 17, 2017.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m.
timothy i. sullivan, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK