April 4, 2017

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 4, 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

Mr. Mike Ellis, Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Umatilla, gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. David Heath, County Manager, noted that approval and presentation of the proclamations in Tabs 2 and Tab 3 was needed and suggested taking action on those prior to the employee awards. He asked that Tab 29 be added to consent agenda for approval and noted that Tab 27 regarding the Anderson Hills Road Annexation had been added under Commissioner Parks’ reports, and Tab 28 regarding the County Manager applicant discussion had been added under Commissioner Sullivan’s reports. He noted that the presentation slides under Tab 24, regarding Vista Del Lago, had been modified and asked that the Board check to be sure they had the revised slides.

Minutes approval

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 23, 2017 (Special Meeting), January 24, 2017 (Regular Meeting) and February 7, 2017 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

employee awards

Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, recognized employees who have reached significant milestones in their careers with Lake County, as follows:

               FIVE YEARS

               Kevin Hamilton, Senior GIS Analyst

               Economic Growth/Planning & Zoning Division


               Jeanne Hotaling, Parts & Supply Technician (Not Present)

               Facilities & Fleet Management/Fleet Management Division


               Heath McArdle, Construction Inspector II

               Public Works/Road Operations Division


               TEN YEARS

               Richard Helfst, Senior GIS Analyst

               Information Technology/Geographic Information Services



               James Kasch, Preventative Maintenance Mechanic

               Facilities & Fleet Management/Fleet Management Division


               Seth Lynch, Engineer III

               Public Works/Engineering Division/Design Engineering


               Brian Tindell, Firefighter/Paramedic (Not Present)

               Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


               FIFTEEN YEARS

               Charles Matlak, Firefighter/EMT (Not Present)

               Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


               Donovan Miller, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic

               Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


               Sean Wilson, Firefighter/EMT (Not Present)

               Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


               TWENTY-FIVE YEARS

               Joseph Harris, Chief Maintenance Supervisor

Facilities & Fleet Management /Facilities Management/Jail & Sheriff Facilities Maintenance



               29 Years:   Robert Chase, Survey Technician II

                     Public Works/Engineering Division/Traffic Engineering

Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, stated that Mr. Chase had spent most of his career on the survey crew within Public Works. He explained that he had done several jobs within surveying and that he had an extensive knowledge of the land in the county.  He noted that he had worked the last several years of his career in the sign shop. He congratulated Mr. Chase on his 30 years of service with Lake County and wished him well in his retirement.

Commr. Sullivan presented him with a clock on behalf of the Board and wished him well.



Ms. Joelle Aboytes of the Department of Children and Families noted that the more a family is connected to their community, the healthier the family is, especially the children. She thanked the Board for all of their support, specifically through the Water Safety Advisory Committee and through supporting the Children’s Services Council, which in turn helps the local prevention programs.  She stated that the prevention programs help to educate children on healthy relationships, which helps to reduce family violence and helps to educate them on substance abuse and mental illness.

Mr. James Argento of the State’s Attorney Office thanked the Board for supporting the State’s Attorney’s Office, which allowed them to prosecute cases of child abuse and child neglect through providing resources that allowed the prosecutors to place their attention where it is needed to be in those cases.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved and presented Proclamation No. 2017-22 for Child Abuse Prevention Month.


Commr. Sullivan presented a video that gave an over view of events that took place on March 14, 2017 when Lake County Fire and Rescue Engine #52 responded to an apartment fire in Leesburg, and Lieutenant Glenn Bidwell, Firefighter Bradley Hermesman, and Firefighter Eric Steiner were able to rescue a 3-year old boy and a 13-year old girl from an apartment. He then read Proclamation No. 2017-27 and presented it to them, thanking them for their service.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved and presented Proclamation No. 2017-27 honoring Lieutenant Glenn Bidwell, Firefighter Bradley Hermesman, and Firefighter Eric Steiner for their service.


Ms. Jenny Treadwell, a resident of Mount Plymouth whose family owns Treadwell Nursery in Sorrento, stated that her family decided to apply for a Low-THC Medical Cannabis License in 2014 after much deliberation and research.  She relayed that they partnered with the Simpson Family of Hillsborough County and applied for the license with the Florida Department of Health in July 2015, and their application received the third highest score in the state. She explained that because they were third in the central region, they were unable to obtain the license; however, they are still pursuing it. She stated to the Board that their team is dedicated to the professional medical approach and encouraged the Board to visit their nursery for a tour.  She requested a letter of support from the Board regarding their efforts to obtain the Low-THC Medical Cannabis License.

Commr. Parks noted that he toured the Treadwell Nursery facility and stated that they are very professional and serious about the process. He encouraged the Board to tour the facility as well.

Ms. Mary Woolridge, a resident of Sorrento, invited the Board to attend Hope Vision’s First Annual Charity Golf Tournament on May 6, 2017, at the Red Tail Golf Club benefitting Hope Vision Incorporated. She explained that Hope Vision represents and empowers middle and high school students who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds to be first generation college students.  She encouraged the Board and staff to golf in the tournament, be a sponsor, or donate to the cause.

Ms. Jeanne Sutton, a resident of Eustis, asked the Board to consider reinstating the ordinance pertaining to family lot splits.  She stated that her husband had aging parents that can no longer maintain their own acreage, and she and her husband would like to be able to split their lot, giving his parents a portion to build a home on; however, they are unable to do so effectively because the lot split ordinance is no longer a viable option. She stated that having the lot split ordinance reinstated would give her and her husband the ability to care for his parents.

Mr. Steve Ballinger, a resident of Sorrento, asked the Board to consider reinstating the ordinance pertaining to family lot splits.  He stated that he owned over 35 acres where he raises cattle, and he would like to split the lot giving some of the property to one of his sons, who would be able to raise his family while also helping Mr. Ballinger work on the farm. He noted hearing that there were some hurdles from the state to overcome, but he encouraged the Board to reinstate it if those were resolved.

Commr. Campione noted that she had been working with the Planning and Zoning staff, the County Manager, and the County Attorney to develop ideas regarding bringing back the ability to do family lot splits. She reported that the issue should be on track to go before the Planning and Zoning Board near the end of May, 2017, as staff had been working directly with the State of Florida to clear up some issues related to the Green Swamp area.  She explained that the State would be excluding lot splits within the green swamp areas, and staff needed to have language in the Land Development Regulations to ensure that the split would be done within a family for legitimate purposes, which would lead to more stringent requirements than there were in the past.

Commr. Parks asked if the intent was to have a one family lot split only.

Commr. Campione explained that the new lot being created for the family tract needed to be at least one acre and to be for a lineal descendant or ascendant of the property. She stated that density credit would be received for up to certain acreage of wetlands in certain areas; however, the one acreage had to be complete upland acreage.


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 9, 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 Minneola; Downtown CRA Annual Report FY2014-2016

Request to acknowledge receipt of a letter dated March 8, 2017 from the City of Minneola referencing the CRA Annual Report for the Minneola Downtown CRA and reporting revenues and expenditures for Fiscal Years 2014-2016.

City of Minneola; Mountain Properties CRA Annual Report FY2014-2016

Request to acknowledge receipt of a letter dated March 8, 2017 from the City of Minneola referencing the CRA Annual Report for the Minneola Mountain Properties CRA and reporting revenues and expenditures for Fiscal Years 2014-2016.

City of Leesburg; Ordinance No. 17-03

Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance No. 17-03 from the City of Leesburg annexing property consisting of approximately 2.59 acres and being generally located on the south side of CR 44 at the intersection of CR 44 and Radio Road and on the east and west sides of Radio Road, lying in Sections 2 and 3, Township 19 South, Range 25 East, Lake County, Florida.

Town of Lady Lake; Ordinances and Resolution

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

a.         Ordinance No. 2016-40 – Annexation

b.         Ordinance No. 2016-41 – Comprehensive Plan Amendment

c.         Ordinance No. 2016-42 – Rezoning

d.         Ordinance No. 2016-43 – Rezoning

e.         Ordinance No. 2016-44 – Amending Chapter 16 – Building and Fire Codes

f.          Ordinance No. 2016-46 – Comprehensive Plan Amendment

g.         Ordinance No. 2016-47 – Rezoning

h.         Ordinance No. 2016-48 – Annexation

i.          Ordinance No. 2016-49 – Comprehensive Plan Amendment

j.          Ordinance No. 2016-50 – Rezoning

k.         Resolution No. 2016-112 – Granting a variance from the Provisions of Chapter 5, Section 5-4.F).4).C).2., of the Town of Lady Lake Land Development Regulations.

City of Eustis; Ordinance 17-01

Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance No. 17-01 from the City of Eustis voluntarily annexing four lots totaling approximately .4 acres of real property located at 701, 708, and 820 Getford Court and 205 Cardinal Street.

City of Leesburg; Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Request to acknowledge receipt of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report from the City of Leesburg for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016.

City of Leesburg; Ordinances 17-03 and 17-06

Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of Ordinance 17-03 and Ordinance 17-06 annexing property into the City of Leesburg.

Lands Available List

Request to acknowledge receipt of property placed on the Lands Available List. Lake County has until June 13, 2017 to purchase property from Lands Available List before it is available to the public.


Mr. Vance Jochim, a writer of a blog about local governmental issues, stated he wanted to discuss a section within Tab 17 that addressed accepting roads into the County Maintenance system.  He asked why the County would be bringing these roads into their maintenance system that were originally under a different entity’s responsibility.  He also suggested that these types of agenda items be split out in the future so they are easier to read.

Commr. Campione explained that the road being addressed in Tab 17 was not originally another entity’s responsibility but came from new construction, and the roads were being built to County specifications and would facilitate the transportation network that was needed in that area.

Commr. Breeden spoke regarding the Medical Marijuana Moratorium under Tab 8 and pointed out that currently the moratorium was on retail sales, but she wanted to be sure that the moratorium would not get in the way of businesses on the agricultural side.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 5 through 17, and Tab 29, as follows:

Community Services

Request approval to award agreements to construct ADA Mobility Ramps under the County’s State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and/or Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs, and authorize the procurement office to complete all implementing documentation.  The recommended vendors are GCICGCCMA, LLC (Mount Dora), Glen Holt Aluminum (Fruitland Park), JFB Construction, Inc. (Eustis), Leesburg Concrete (Leesburg), and Hurd Construction (Jacksonville).  The estimated annual fiscal impact is $25,000, entirely grant-funded.

Request approval of the Partnership Agreement between Lake County and the City of Tavares for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 Road Improvement Project for reimbursement of services in an amount not to exceed $75,000 (Expense).

Request approval of the Paint Only Program in the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) as recommended by the CRA Agency Board.  The estimated fiscal impact is $5,000.

County Attorney

Request approval to advertise an ordinance amending Lake County Code, Chapter 3, Article IX, entitled Medical Cannabis Activities, to extend the temporary moratorium concerning medical cannabis activities in unincorporated Lake County until August 31, 2017, and request for authorization, if accepted by a majority plus one vote, to hold the Second Public Hearing of the proposed Ordinance at 9:00 a.m., rather than at 5:05 p.m. There is no fiscal impact.

Request approval to have a Closed Session of the Board of County Commissioners on April 18, 2017 to discuss pending litigation. There is no fiscal impact.

Request approval of Lease Agreement between Lake County and the City of Minneola for lease space in Minneola’s City Hall, located at 800 South Highway 27, Minneola, for the South Lake Business Opportunity Center (BOC). The fiscal impact for FY17 is $1,413.42 for April through September 2017 ($2,826.84 for FY18).

Economic Growth

Request approval to sponsor the 21st Annual Leesburg Bikefest for $40,000.  The fiscal impact is $40,000 (TDT expenditure).  Commission District 3

Public Safety

Request approval to award contract(s) pursuant to Invitation To Bid (ITB) 17-0606 to provide fire equipment parts, supplies and service on an as-required basis, and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all associated implementing documentation. The estimated annual impact is $232,000 based on prior contract expenditures (Expenditure).

Public Resources

Request approval to award Contract 17-0427, Basic Park Maintenance Services at Lake County Parks and Trails, to Tom’s Playground of Central Florida, Inc. (Sorrento, Florida). The estimated annual fiscal impact is $174,720.

Public Works

Request approval to award contract 17-0417 to Promium (Bothell, WA) for the purchase of Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Software.  The fiscal impact for 2017 is estimated to be $69,898 (Expenditure).

Request approval and signature on Resolution No. 2017-28 authorizing the posting of a "STOP" sign with "ALL WAY" plaque on Oswalt Road (0840) and posting of "ALL WAY" plaques on Reagans Run Drive (0840B) and the eastbound leg of Oswalt Road, in the Clermont area.  Section 12, Township 23, Range 25.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 2

Request approval and signature on a Resolution No. 2017-29 authorizing the posting of a "STOP" sign on Jackson Road (5432) at Park Lane (5432A), in the Leesburg area. There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 3

Request approval to release a performance bond in the amount of $168,901.41 that was posted to guarantee the completion of the infrastructure for Sawgrass Bay Phases 2A, 2B, and 2C, execute a Developer's Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements Between Lake County and D.R. Horton, Inc., accept a maintenance bond in the amount of $179,833.63 for maintenance of improvements, execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction and Maintenance of Sidewalk Improvements Between Lake County and D.R. Horton, Inc., accept a performance bond in the amount of $85,551.18 for sidewalk construction, accept a maintenance bond in the amount of $7,777.38 for maintenance of sidewalk, and execute a Resolution 2017-30 accepting the following roads into the County Road Maintenance System:  Yelloweyed Drive “Part” (County Road No. 0360D), Maidencain Street “Part” (County Road No. 0360F), Ribbon Court (County Road No. 0360G), Centipede Drive (County Road No. 0361), and Fescue Street (County Road No. 0361A).  Sawgrass Bay Phase 2A consists of 62 lots, Sawgrass Bay Phase 2B consists of 50 lots, and Sawgrass Bay Phase 2C consists of 40 lots for a total of 152 lots.  The subdivisions are located East of US Highway 27 off Sawgrass Bay Boulevard in Section 14, Township 24 South, Range 26 East.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 1

Fiscal and Administrative Services

Request from Fiscal and Administrative Services for approval to establish an auditor selection committee and to appoint Jennifer Barker, Budget Manager, as the county commission’s designee.

public hearing – Amended budget for fy 2017

Mr. Steve Koontz, Assistant County Manager, stated the purpose of the presentation was a public hearing to approve the Mid-Year Budget Amendment, which made adjustments to the FY 2017 Adopted Budget due to audited fund balances and unforeseen changes. He relayed that the current County budget was $367.79 million, but the mid-year changes of $7.69 million brought the budget to a new total of $375.48 million.  He reported that the General Fund Adopted Reserves would be increased to approximately $9.9 million, which would make it approximately 7.6 percent of the operating expenses. He elaborated that some of the changes within the General Fund were the reduced ad valorem taxes for final property values that had been received October 1, 2016, which had been lower than projected on July 1, 2016.  He pointed out that additional funding was needed from the General Fund for several projects as well as other administrative adjustments. He reviewed other funds that had changes due to projects gaining additional funds within them.

Mr. Koontz stated that there were several staffing requests within the Mid-Year Adjustment.  He explained that the Building Services Division was unable to meet an increased demand with the current number of building inspectors on staff, so the division was requesting to add two Senior Building Inspector positions to address the increased workload. He noted that the fiscal impact of the new positions would be $112,023, which included two vehicles and office supplies and which would be fully funded by the Building Fund.  He explained that Animal Services was also in need of additional staffing of an Office Associate and two Animal Care Technicians as recommended by the Animal Shelter consultant. He relayed that the fiscal impact of those additional positions would be $52,548, which would be funded by the General Fund. He related that the requested action was for approval of the five new full-time positions and the Amended Budget for FY 2017 to include the mid-year budget amendment and resolution adopting $375,486,306 as the supplemental budget for FY 2017.

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 clarified that the supplemental budget amount that was listed included the adjustments noted.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2017-31 adopting a supplemental budget and the addition of five new full-time employee positions for FY 2017. The fiscal impact is $7,694,771.

public hearing – ordinance 2017-14

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, placed the proposed Ordinance No. 2017-14 on the floor for reading by title only as follows:

            an ordinance of the board of county commissioners of lake county, florida; amending lake county code, chapter 2, article 1, to create a new section 2-3, entitled “campaign finance reports,” allowing for campaign finance reports and activity to be filed electronically; providing for severability; providing for inclusion in the code; 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 matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2017-14 amending Chapter 2, Article 1, Lake County Code, creating Section 2-3, entitled Campaign Finance Reports.

public hearing – ordinance 2017-15

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, placed the proposed Ordinance No. 2017-15 on the floor for reading by title only as follows:

an ordinance of the board of county commissioners of lake county, florida; amending lake county code, chapter 4, entitled “animals;” to amend provisions to be consistent with changes to chapter 767, florida statutes (2016); amending the definition of an animal control officer; removing and replacing designation of lake county animal services director to manager; providing for severability; providing for inclusion in the code; 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 matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Campione noted that there was a provision in the code that an animal which was picked up for a second time would be spayed or neutered at the expense of the owner.  She stated that there had been previous discussion about requiring that any stray picked up would be spayed or neutered prior to being released back to its owner. She commented that she wanted to bring it to the Board’s attention as a discussion point and pointed out that one concern was that it could go against the owner’s rights; however, she opined that if the animal has gotten out and is not spayed or neutered, that can add to the already increasing population of stray and shelter animals. She relayed that currently the owner of an animal that gets picked up as a stray for a second time is given notice, and then the owner has to appeal to the County Manager not to have the animal spayed or neutered, so she suggested implementing that process the first time an animal is picked up. She stated that a pet data organization had been hired several years prior to help with the licensing of animals, and she read while recently reviewing some of the information that the tag had to be on the animal and wondered if that was a state law. She also suggested that there be continued focus on veterinarian participation to ensure rabies shot records are sent in for the licensing.

Commr. Sullivan pointed out that Animal Services was in transition, so it was good to bring items up for staff to work on.

Mr. Heath stated that quarterly reports would be presented to the Board on Animal Services during the transition period, and the items brought up could be discussed at the next update to the Board. 

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2017-15 amending the Lake County Code, Chapter 4, entitled “Animals.”  There is no fiscal impact.




Mr. Robert Chandler, Director of Economic Growth, presented the First Quarter Economic Update on Economic Development and Tourism Activities, which provided a summary of Economic Growth activities through the first quarter of 2017. He reviewed that there had been a year-over-year decrease in the unemployment rate, and then it flattened out. He explained that was not because the Lake County economy was cooling off, but the labor force growth rate was starting to increase, which represented individuals looking for work or who have employment, and that was causing an artificial floor in the unemployment rate. He commented that was a positive thing, because when individuals join the labor force, that means they are optimistic about the economy. He reported that employment numbers continued to stay in a positive trajectory as well, so employment continued to stay strong. He noted that it was possible that the unemployment rate would flatten out at around the high fours or low fives, depending on what month it was in the seasonality, and that was not because the economy was not getting better but because the labor force numbers were artificially creating that floor for the unemployment rate. He reported that Lake County payroll job creation went above $92,000 in terms of total payroll, and there had been four percent job growth year over year, which is the right amount to create sustainability to keep up with the growing Lake County population. He pointed out that the 12-month average annual wage went above $36,000, and the pace was being maintained and improving.

Mr. Chandler stated that within the EDT (Economic Development and Tourism Division) office, the staff had been working 28 business attraction leads during the quarter, 17 of which went directly to the EDT and 11 through the Orlando EDC (Economic Development Council.) He reviewed the current business attraction and expansion highlights, noting that there would be a lot of activity at the 470 Commerce Park. He reported that the Economic Development Coordinators worked through 478 jobs, attended 189 community outreach events, and conducted 92 site visits. He reviewed the update of services after two additional members were added to the Building Services Division and pointed out that the wait time for commercial and residential building licenses was down to approximately 2 days, which was a major improvement. He also noted that the lobby wait time for Building Services was down to less than ten minutes after adding additional staff and rearranging resources. He updated the Board that the South Lake BOC (Business Opportunity Center) lease was approved, and the BOC would move into Minneola City Hall.  He commented that while it was suitable, it was not the ideal location, so a permanent solution was being worked on. He relayed that a lot of work was being done to connect the business community and the local workforce, which was an area where significant improvement could be made. He noted that business driven workforce training partnerships were being created such as Commercial Driver’s License training, and drafting and surveying programs were being taught through Lake Technical College. He explained that workforce partners were collaborating with these programs to ensure that the appropriate training was given to residents so jobs could be filled. He reported that Powertech had donated $100,000 worth of equipment to Lake Technical College for the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, which was done with the help of staff putting two entities together to fulfill needs that benefited everyone. He listed the other business support highlights that were taking place.

Mr. Chandler reported that the TDT (Tourism Development Tax) revenues were almost $2.8 million for a record year in 2016, and he pointed out that 2017 was already trending at a ten percent increase for the year. He stated that there were 129 sponsored events for FY 2016, which was a bit lower than FY 2015. He commented that there had been 35 sponsored events to date in FY 2017, equaling $200,000 in grants. He announced that Akers Media and Watauga Group had been hired to help with tourism marketing and advertising to work in conjunction with the Communications Department staff. He reported that Lake County held three major bass fishing tournaments so far in 2017 that had a $4,000,000 positive economic impact and generated over 4,000 room nights at local hotels and motels. He added that the 2017 tournaments validated the investment in the “LakeBigBass” branding and the Tim Frederick endorsement contract. He explained that the Wings and Wildflowers Festival had originally been intended to spread awareness for Lake County as a birding destination; however, over time it had taken on a more local community component and has consumed substantial staff resources. He elaborated that the festival had solid attendance in 2016 but experienced little growth, so staff believed after a detailed review that the festival was not achieving the same return on investment that was originally anticipated from the tourism aspect. He explained further that staff would like to shift the resources that had been put into the festival and reallocate those resources to familiarization tours to increase marketing and into potential capital investments to help with the birding activities. He commented that staff would be looking into transitioning the festival to a new venue, as there had been interest from other operators and staff who would like to keep the festival going for the local community and who enjoy the festival and artwork but at a better cost that makes sense to the county. He related that there were currently seven Lake County Disc Golf Trails at six locations, and agreements were currently being negotiated with the host locations. He noted that the Florida Disc Golf Foundation was looking forward to holding events in Lake County and pointed out that there would be large positive impacts with just a relatively small investment. He stated that Florida Disc Golf had committed to hosting four state or national events per course, per year and 12 local events per course, per year. He reported that there would be 17 non-local beach volleyball events at Hickory Point Beach bringing in over 2,000 participants, generating over 2,000 room nights, and equaling over a $1,000,000 positive economic impact. He updated the Board that a revised lease had been submitted to the LCWA (Lake County Water Authority) on March 22, 2017 for the new Hickory Point Beach fieldhouse and it was close to a conclusion. He felt confident that staff would be making final revisions to the lease, and it would be presented to the LCWA in April 2017 with the hope of bringing it before the Board for a final approval on May 9, 2017. He noted that the Spring Games had been successful in the City of Clermont with 360 teams from 35 states participating and generating over 10,000 room nights. He pointed out that a plus was that the games were not just taking place in Clermont but also on fields in the City of Leesburg and the City of Minneola. He reported that an RFP (Request for Proposal) had been sent out for a Hotel Demand Study to be done with the purpose of collecting and analyzing data to determine if new or expanding hotel development was needed in northeast Lake County. He explained that the study area included two recreational parks and numerous visitor generated private sector businesses, festivals and events; and the RFP submissions were currently being reviewed. He noted that the Informational Kiosk RFP had also been sent out, and staff was currently accepting proposals. He commented that the purpose was to secure a vendor to develop and construct five informational touch screen kiosks to be placed in strategic locations around the county in areas where high tourism traffic was experienced and that would greatly benefit the County’s tourism marketing efforts.

Mr. Chandler stated that the City of Clermont had been actively trying to bring an Ironman event to the area for many years, and recently Ironman had expressed an interest to bring a new fall event to Clermont for a three-year term named the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon, which coincided with the opening of Victory Point. He explained that the Ironman brand was the number one brand in the triathlon sporting world, and hosting an event brings prestige within the sport. He commented that an Ironman 70.3 was a half-marathon race and typically attracted over 2,500 athletes. He noted that hosting the event in Lake County would bring direct room nights and visitor spending in the area, provide legitimacy to Clermont’s endurance sports and “Choice of Champions” branding, bring substantial marketing exposure for Clermont as a triathlon destination, and provide direct exposure to thousands of triathlon enthusiasts who would visit or participate in the event. He relayed that the event required a $50,000 bid fee per year plus the responsibility for certain operational expenses, and Clermont had agreed to cover the operational expenses; however, they requested that the TDC (Tourism Development Council) provide the $50,000 bid fee for three years. He commented that the TIM (Tourist Impact Model) supported a grant of $20,000. He explained that staff provided the options of fully funding the $50,000 bid fee request, to fund it with an amount in between the TIM-model amount and the $50,000, to fund the event per the TIM model in the amount of $20,000, or agree to cover a cost sharing percentage with the City of Clermont. He reported that staff recommended that the full $50,000 bid fee be funded for the three years due to the extensive marketing and brand building benefits of the events and the ability to continue to identify endurance sports as a niche sport within the Lake County Tourism Marketing Plan. He stated that the TDC recommended providing a grant for the amount of $20,000 for the first year consistent with the TIM model with the option to revisit providing further funding after the conclusion of the first year of the event. He explained that the requested action for the Board was to approve an amount and duration of the grant to be awarded to the City of Clermont to assist in their recruitment of the Ironman 70.3 triathlon event.

Commr. Parks asked whether online permitting was being accessed by the public and if times were being tracked as well.

Mr. Chandler replied that he would have data for those usage numbers at the next meeting, but online permitting was being utilized, and staff was continuing to educate the public on its availability.

Commr. Campione suggested placing a sign in the Building Services waiting area to help get the information out to the public.

Commr. Breeden commented that she did not want to see the Wings and Wildflower Festival go away completely and hoped that they seriously consider bringing it back the following year. She wondered if staff could help with finding funding for anyone who took over running the festival.

Commr. Sullivan mentioned that the TDC was actively trying to find an operator to run the festival and help the staff with the process.

Mr. Chandler pointed out that putting on the festival was very labor intensive, and the department was not built to take on such a large project. He noted that staff could help with finding funding for a new operator of the festival.

Commr. Campione asked whether it had been held during the best time of year.

Commr. Breeden responded that there needed to be an intersection of the wildflowers blooming and the bird migrations.

Commr. Parks commented the he did not want to see the festival go away either and hoped that there could be a transition of it to someone new. He stated that he appreciated the discipline of staff to come before the Board and report that the funds were not being used in the best interest of the Tourism Department and could be redirected to benefit another project.

Ms. Shannon Schmidt, Economic and CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) Director for the City of Clermont, introduced herself and Mr. Scott Davidoff, the Parks and Recreation Department Director for the City of Clermont and thanked the Board and County Staff for the continued support of Clermont’s goal to obtain and retain top events for Economic Development and Tourism. She stated that they were excited to be back before the Board so quickly with the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon event after having been before the Board the month prior to request $400,000 in capital funding for Victory Point, where the Ironman event would be held. She reported that a letter written by Mr. Darren Gray, City Manager for the City of Clermont, was provided to the Board noting that the Ironman events held in Haines City are fully funded by Polk County and indicated that the events bring in an estimated $5 million to $6 million annual return on investment. She commented that there was also a letter from Mr. John Moore, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of South Lake Hospital, showing his full support of the project. She noted that there were several other local Clermont business leaders who support the annual Haines City event, and it would benefit them and Clermont to have those resources redirected back to the community.

Commr. Breeden asked what the amount was of the original request.

Ms. Schmidt replied that the request was for full funding of the $50,000 for a three-year commitment. She noted that it would be a fall event and would help even out seasonality issues with the hotel stays, which are typically slow for that time of year. She explained that it would be positive for south Lake County hoteliers because the triathletes like to stay at hotels close to the events they are participating in.

Commr. Parks thanked them for their hard work and stated that he supported the requested action. He stated that the project would only continue to build upon the positive work being done there and suggested that the Board visit Waterfront Park in Clermont on a Saturday morning to see it firsthand.  

Commr. Campione clarified that the money being considered to help fund the triathlon project comes from hotel taxes, can only be used for tourism projects and events, and would not be pulled from other County resources or funds.

Commr. Blake asked how far in advance the TDC funds could be committed to the project, since the request was for $50,000 per year for three years.

Ms. Marsh replied that there were no restrictions in the statute for multi-year agreements; however, most agreements included termination language so that if for any reason the money could not be budgeted for one of the years, then the County would have the ability to terminate the agreement.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved a TDT grant to be awarded to the City of Clermont, fully funding a bid fee amount of $50,000 per year for three years to assist in their recruitment of the Ironman 70.3 triathlon event.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman called a recess at 10:37 a.m. for 15 minutes.

501c(3) non-profit corporation

Mr. Chandler presented an update on staff’s analysis of the feasibility of creating an Economic Development and Tourism non-profit corporation to the Board. He reported that the Board requested that staff investigate the feasibility of alternative organizational and governance models for the EDT (Economic Development and Tourism Division) at its retreat on January 17, 2017.  He explained that the reason behind the Board’s request was that it was an appropriate timeframe based on the regional and statewide changes in the economic and tourism environments, which coincided with an improving Lake County economy, and the Board was interested in improving operational efficiencies and performance objectives within the EDT Division. He stated that based on direction from the Board, staff conducted a detailed alternatives analysis of various organizational and governance models that were available. He noted that the EDT Division was currently part of the Economic Growth Department, which also included the Planning and Zoning and Building Services Divisions, and he also stated that the EDT Division was funded by both the General Fund and the TDT (Tourism Development Tax) and included 7 full-time employees and 2 part-time employees. He reviewed that the core responsibilities of Economic Development were business recruitment, business support, workforce collaboration, government concierge, BOC (Business Opportunity Center) operations, and management of the Orlando Economic Partnership, formerly Orlando EDC (Economic Development Council) and Lake-Sumter State College professional services contracts. He elaborated that the core responsibilities for Tourism were marketing and advertising, event sponsorships, event recruitment, capital projects and management of the Central Florida Sports Commission professional services contract. He listed all of the core responsibilities within each of the professional services contracts that the EDT Division managed with the Orlando Economic Partnership, Lake-Sumter State College and Central Florida Sports Commission and noted that the contracts needed to be evaluated to ensure a maximum return on investment was being achieved and the timing of the evaluations was appropriate, since the scope of services could be adjusted with the possible development of the new EDT agency. He relayed that new or revised agreements, with corresponding fee structures, would be created to reflect any changes. 

            Mr. Chandler listed the goals for the proposed agency, which would be focus, responsiveness, efficiency, advocacy, innovation, and accountability. He stated that there would be five different options for the department based on research, which were to keep EDT as part of the Economic Growth Department, to separate the department into an Economic Development Department and a Growth Management Department, to make EDT a separate government entity similar to Lake-Sumter MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) with a board made up of appointees from different contractual partners such as the Lake County municipalities, to create a 501c(3) standalone non-profit corporation owned by Lake County similar to the Lake EMS (Emergency Management Services) model with a BCC appointed board structure as well as the possibility of municipal or private sector investors, and to create a 501c(3) independent non-profit corporation that the County would contract with similar to the current contract with Orlando Economic Partnership with an independent board structure with potential BCC seats on that board. He reviewed all of the model alternative considerations for each of the five options. He noted that municipal and/or private sector partners provided numerous challenges that did not outweigh the benefits, and staff recommended that no agency models which required municipal and/or private sector financial partners be considered.  He reported that Florida Statutes only allow a separate government entity to be created through an interlocal agreement between the government and organization, which staff believed was also not a viable option. He explained that both 501c(3) options would allow for municipal and/or private sector financial partners; however, staff was recommending against a partner based model.  He pointed out that adjustments could be made to policies and procedures under the current model that could make the goals achievable if the Board did not want to pursue any other options given. He explained that staff created a ranked system to determine which option would compare to the status quo and would be best suited to reach the goals listed by the staff. He reported that based on the ranking system, staff’s recommendation was that the 501c(3) owned by the BCC would be the best option and would provide the greatest opportunity for Lake County to achieve the goals that have been set out for the new agency.

            Mr. Chandler stated that the proposed process for the staff recommended 501c(3) agency would be to create the non-profit corporation for the purposes of administering all EDT-related functions of the BCC, which would be funded by both the General Fund and TDT and be governed by a BCC appointed board.  He further explained that the TDC would remain intact as a recommending board, all current positions within the EDT Division would transfer to the new agency which would be located off-site, and it would require hiring a new Growth Management Director to oversee the growth management functions of the Economic Growth Department and possibly an office associate position. He noted that the agency board would be made of up of the 5 Lake County Commissioners, a TDC private sector member, one workforce partner, a north Lake County private sector member, and a south Lake County private sector member. He stated that the responsibilities of that board would be approval of all policies and procedures, to create an annual strategy plan, to create an annual budget, to facilitate an Executive Director contract along with all other contracts and agreements, and approval of items that exceed the Executive Director’s spending limit. He added that the BCC would be responsible for the approval of the overall agency budget, approval of any items that require reserve funds, and approval of economic development grants or any other business incentives. He stated that the proposed organizational structure that offered the greatest benefit to the agency would be to have one position fully focused on business recruitment and one fully focused on business support within Economic Development, and under those two positions would be individuals that could work on both recruitment and support projects.  He added that the most beneficial structure would be having a Sports Development position and a Sports Coordinator position in Tourism, which he believed would reduce middle management from an administrative standpoint and shift those skillsets where they could be better utilized. He noted that the benefits of the agency would be the ability for EDT staff to take economic development and tourism efforts to a higher level, to provide increased engagement and advocacy from the private sector, to provide more opportunities for the rapid identification and implementation of new technology and innovative strategies, and to maintain an existing level of accountability to both taxpayers and the Board through a staff services agreement with the Lake County Clerk of Court and the BCC representation on the agency board.  He stated that the next steps were to contact the professional service providers to discuss contract modifications regarding the scope of services, then to have staff present a budget workshop that would include a fiscal impact analysis of the new agency as well as a proposed FY 2018 budget and to have staff begin the process of setting up the agency. He requested approval for staff to take the steps needed to conduct due diligence for the creation of a 501c(3) non-profit corporation and the approval for staff to contact professional service providers to discuss contract modifications.

            Commr. Parks asked how staff would continue to ensure that there would be coordination with the other departments if the agency was created.

Mr. Chandler replied that the coordination with the other departments and entities was an important piece, and the new agency staff would be more focused on their specific tasks, which would allow them to work with the right departments and divisions.  He commented that working with the other government departments and entities was part of the division’s core services which could not be lost even with a different organizational structure. He opined that having been part of the Economic Growth Department, the relationships had been built and staff would be able to further build off of those to continue to help businesses navigate through the County system.

Commr. Campione asked if the process of approving TDT grant funds would stay intact and the Board would continue to be the decision maker.

Mr. Chandler replied that the BCC Board would recommend the amount of money that would go into the tourism budget, and then the agency board would decide how to spend it from there; however, the BCC Board would decide the question of whether reserves needed to be accessed for a capital project since it would not have been accounted for in the annual budget.

Mr. Heath explained that there would be an Interlocal Agreement between the BCC and the new agency which would include TDT funds. He stated that within the capital process, the TDC would stay intact and would recommend to the new agency whether or not the funds should be dispersed, and then the new agency would bring it before its new governing board for approval. He added that as with other agencies such as Lake EMS, each year the Board would fund a budget and a General Fund transfer to the new agency.

Cammr. Campione asked if the decision to spend funds on capital projects would now be decided upon by the new agency’s governing board.

Mr. Heath responded that organizationally that would be the best way, since all five commissioners would sit on the new agency’s governing board.

Mr. Chandler explained that any large incentive projects would be brought before the Board, because the department did not have reserves in Economic Development.

Commr. Campione commented that the process should be thought through well so that it created less red tape. She suggested asking the municipalities to provide a liaison to regularly coordinate with the new agency, and she hoped that the County Manager would be involved and coordinate with the director of the new agency to ensure that good relationships are maintained within the County departments. She noted that the idea of having a partner on the new agency’s board from the workforce development and education areas was a good idea, because it would help everyone feel that they were working together to bring in high wage jobs to the County.  She wondered how the employee benefits would be affected and asked if they would still be under the FRS (Florida Retirement System) or if they would shift to something new. She also commented on the ranking chart for the improved goals of the new agency, and she asked if the efficiency and responsiveness could be improved within the new structure.

Mr. Chandler replied that the employees would not work under the County any longer if the new agency was formed, but all of the current employees except for one were satisfied with the transition and believed in the concept. He stated that efficiency and responsiveness within the Economic Development realm could be improved, and the only difference in the process within the new structure would be that the agency’s location would not be within the same building as the other departments.

Commr. Campione commented that the person that would be hired to oversee the Planning and Zoning and Building Services would need to have the same understanding of the correlation between those departments and the EDT Department.

Mr. Chandler stated that currently there was staff in place that understood the objective but that certainly a management person would need to be hired that understood as well.

Mr. Heath explained that the Economic Development and Planning and Zoning Departments were consolidated several years ago, which improved the response and permitting times; however, Mr. Chandler has been unable to prioritize economic development due to his focus being on those response and permitting times, and separation of those departments would help revitalize EDT’s efforts in terms of economic development within the county.

Commr. Blake asked what the anticipated reduction was of the professional contracts.

Mr. Heath replied that the Board had a goal of redefining the relationship with regional agencies for the past several years, and the only way to make the new agency cost-neutral was to redefine those professional contracts and relationships. He commented that he wanted to ensure that the Board was in agreement to reevaluate those contracts before moving forward and approaching the agencies. He stated that he also wanted the Board to be comfortable with the process now because the budget presentation would be presented to the Board in June 2017, and there would be two separate budget presentations if the Board approved moving forward with the new agency.  He explained that if the Board was in agreement with the fiscal impacts shown in the budget presentation in June, then the County Attorney would become involved in terms of creating legal documents and the creation of the new agency. He stated that although he was unsure whether the new agency would be ready by October 1, 2017, he was confident that it would be completed during FY 2018.

Commr. Blake asked if the funds dispersed for the Lake-Sumter State College contract were to pay the salary for the BOC manager. He also wondered if the performance based incentives for the Central Florida Sports Commission were being met and whether the County had paid any of them.

Mr. Chandler replied that the funds were for the BOC manager, but they also accounted for marketing and advertising and possibly administrative functions. He noted that there would be a Business Support Manager position under the new structure, and a lot of the functions the BOC manager historically did could be brought into the new agency and be completed by the Business Support Manager, which would save costs. He reported that the Central Florida Sports Commission contract had broken even over the previous three years, and no incentives had been paid, but he felt that they had been right where they needed to be.

Commr. Sullivan commented that he was leery of the change, because he felt that the EDT Department energized the other departments in the County, and he was concerned about losing the synergy. He stated that he was also concerned about the funding, because some control over the TDT revenues would be given up by the Board if a new entity was created; however, he did agree that EDT was a large part of getting Lake County to its goals, and because of that he agreed to move forward.

Commr. Campione suggested keeping the role of the new County Manager in mind while moving forward and to keep communication open, because in large part it would be the County Manager who would set the culture of efficiency and being the type of county a business would want to be located in. She felt that it could be achieved with the right decision and culture, but the connectivity could be lost if dialogue and collaboration were not done.

Commr. Blake commented that he felt the TDT money had not been spent efficiently in the past, and he would like to eliminate the business tax receipts.  However, he opined that this was a good alternative to bring the focus back to Lake County.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the requested action for staff to conduct due diligence necessary to form a 501c(3) non-profit corporation for the purposes of conducting all economic development and tourism related functions of the Board of County Commissioners and approved staff contacting professional service providers to discuss contract modifications that reduce scope of services and fees.

Public Works

Creation of new fertilizer ordinance

Ms. Mary Hamilton, Environmental Services Manager for the Public Works Department, provided the Board with an update of the TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) and Fertilizer Ordinance requirement. She reported that Lake County has over 1,000 named lakes which encompassed over 128,000 acres of water and that the lakes were fundamental to the County’s unique quality of life and eco-tourism industry, while also being receiving bodies for stormwater runoff.  She explained that previous development and industry practices had resulted in excessive nutrient loads in the lakes, and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) reported in 2010 that eighty-two percent of the State of Florida’s water bodies were nutrient impaired. She explained further that the TMDL is a State established maximum pollutant amount that a water body can have without falling below the water quality standards and is implemented through the BMAP (Basin Management Action Plan) process, which Lake County participates in and is administered by the FDEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection).  She noted that the BMAP obligations were stormwater retrofits and restoration, structural and non-structural BMPs (Best Management Practice), ordinance and code changes, and public education and outreach. She presented a map of active BMAPs affecting Lake County, which are the Upper Ocklawaha BMAP, the Wekiva BMAP, and the Silver Springs BMAP. She pointed out that seventy-seven percent of the County was within a BMAP area and reviewed significant milestones met starting in 1997, with the latest being the proposed ordinance to meet the standards of the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act, which was a State legislative requirement that came about in 2016 giving local governments located within a springshed or springs BMAP until July 1, 2017 to adopt an ordinance meeting the standards.  She pointed out that Lake County was within the Wekiva Springshed and BMAP and the Silver Springs Springshed and BMAP.

Ms. Hamilton reviewed the state model fertilizer ordinance development milestones and provisions. She noted that the proposed ordinance would apply to all of unincorporated Lake County, and the municipalities could adopt it by reference or adopt their own; however, the Town of Montverde was the only city she was aware of that had currently adopted one. She stated that the ordinance required best practices for anyone applying fertilizer with the exception of true agriculture operations and sports turf fields if those areas were complying with BMPs for their specific operation. She added that commercial fertilizer applicators were required to have training and meet State certification requirements. She reported that the Fertilizer Ordinance BMP requirements were a 10-foot setback area from water bodies with no fertilizer application, no application over paved surfaces, no application to saturated soils, and no application prior to flood watches or tropical weather watches. She stated that additional requirements were that broadcast equipment needed to have cutoff shields, there needed to be cleanup of any errant fertilizer on sidewalks or driveways, and no fertilizer or leaf litter may be placed down a storm drain. She said that the ordinance brought Lake County into compliance with state legislative requirements, reiterated the State Commercial Application Certification requirements, implemented correct BMPs, provided education and outreach to residents, and put an emphasis on enforcement through education with a standard code enforcement procedure. She reported that 27 counties and 50 cities and townships had adopted the ordinance. She reviewed staff analysis by stating that the ordinance was required by the Florida Springs and Aquifer Act, the model fertilizer ordinance addressed the minimum state requirements, had no negative impact to the local businesses, complimented the Lake County UF IFAS Extension efforts, provided an additional tool for nutrient load reduction, and was minimal cost to the County and the residents. She added that copies of the ordinance would be passed out to the local businesses. She stated the recommended action was to approve the Fertilizer Ordinance for public hearing.

Mr. Russ Melling, a resident of Lake County for over 40 years, noted that there had been significant improvement in the lake quality over the last 20 years, and he felt that the proposed ordinance was the last piece of the puzzle. He commented that the BMAP programs had been effective, particularly with residents in the Wekiva Basin area. He pointed out that a lot of tourism in the County was centered on water, and the previous two years had been the warmest recorded in Florida.  He elaborated that the nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients in the fertilizers could increase the opportunity for algae growth and lead to toxic algae blooms. He felt that the ordinance could be an opportunity to reduce the risk for that, since the springs in the County were being challenged by the fertilizer nutrients and warm temperatures. He relayed that some of the surrounding counties had increased the setback area for applying fertilizer and suggested that the Board consider doing the same. He stated that educating the public would very beneficial.

Ms. Linda Bystrak, a resident of Leesburg, presented a map of springsheds and an image of recharge and discharge areas within the county. She pointed out that there are many small springs that are being impacted by fertilizer application and with over 1,000 lakes in the county there was a large amount of runoff and recharge going into the aquifer. She encouraged the Board to read the Seminole County fertilizer ordinance, which she opined was better and commented that the Seminole County ordinance included a 15 foot setback as opposed to a 10 foot setback as stated in the proposed Lake County ordinance. She noted that she would also like the ordinance to include that only sixty-five percent slow release fertilizers be used prior to the 4 month rainy season and that only fertilizers without nitrogen be used during the 4 months of the rainy season.

Ms. Susan Fetter, a member of the Lake Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors and a resident of Leesburg, read a letter from Ms. Mary Farmer, the Chairman of the Lake Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors. She stated that the letter requested that the Board adopt the Seminole County ordinance, which extended the staff proposed ordinance, included a summer months ban on fertilizer that includes nitrogen and phosphates, and required that nitrogen fertilizers be slow release. She pointed out that Volusia County adopted an ordinance similar to Seminole County’s ordinance and they provided an educational pamphlet outlining the rules for its residents and she provided it to the Board. She opined that matching the Lake County ordinance to that of the neighboring Seminole and Volusia counties would help keep the lakes clean and would provide a good economic resource within Lake County.

Ms. Lavon Silvernell, a resident of Astatula, recalled that her family moved to Lake County 30 years prior and would boat and ski on the lakes in south Lake County, specifically Lake Minneola, which she stated was very clear during that time. She elaborated that she recently visited Lake Minneola and the lake was no longer clear so she encouraged the Board to approve a more stringent ordinance to help protect the lakes. She explained that the choices made now will impact the health of the lakes in the future and she hoped the Board would consider that.

Commr. Parks wondered how the proposed 10 foot setback from water bodies with no fertilizer compared to the St. John’s River Water Management District’s set back of 25 foot upland buffers criteria that are required near wetlands, and asked if that had been discussed when determining the 10 foot setback.

Mr. Kevin Coyne with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection responded that there had not been discussion concerning that. He stated that he was under the impression that the 25 foot upland provision by the St. John’s River Water Management District would supersede the 10 foot setback proposed in the ordinance but that he would need to review further and get back to the Board; however, he did not believe it was an exact comparison. He commented that he supported the County in its efforts and that the ordinance was critical and at the bare minimum the proposed ordinance was a good starting point.

Commr. Campione suggested that the ordinance be amended to state that the St. John’s River Water Management District provision supersede the 10 foot setback provision. She stated that due to the time frame the minimum provisions needed to be placed into the ordinance and then the ordinance could be amended to be more stringent at a later time.  

Ms. Marsh responded that the addition could be made to the ordinance and noted that if the ordinance was approved as is that it could come back before the Board at any time for changes to be made.

Commr. Parks clarified that the Lake County proposed ordinance required the use of fifty percent slow release fertilizer and Seminole County required sixty-five percent slow release.

Commr. Campione wondered if there was something on the retail label that made it easily identifiable to the public that they were choosing the correct fertilizer and not breaking a law, and she also asked if there was a state law that allowed only certain types of fertilizers to be sold. She explained that she was in favor of meeting the requirements of the state law but also going further into a more stringent ordinance and opined that the Lake County residents would be supportive; however, she did not want to rush into a decision without fully vetting it with the public and she felt that having more discussions with the public would help them become more aware.

Commr. Blake also wondered how to enforce the law if a resident applied fertilizer that was not slow release or contained nitrogen.

Commr. Breeden opined that if a resident purchased fertilizer at a home improvement store they were likely to believe that the fertilizer was okay to use without giving thought to the ordinance because it was available for sale.

Ms. Hamilton explained that is part of what led staff to recommending an ordinance that contained the base provisions of what the state had approved, and time could then be taken to educate the community to ensure residents are learning about fertilizer, and encourage them to talk with their HOA, and to read fertilizer labels in more detail.

Commr. Parks noted that he had seen signs in home improvement stores located in other areas that noted rules and regulations on fertilizer use per city and county codes.

Mr. Coyne replied that there are areas where targeted outreach occurred and opined that it was a good point of education. He recalled that in other counties passing the ordinance had resulted in improved water conditions.

Commr. Breeden commented that she was in favor of moving forward with the minimum requirements but wanted to see the other recommendations be considered as well.

Commr. Sullivan stated that acting on the minimum requirement ordinance was the beginning of the process and then staff could incorporate many of the additional recommendations for a more stringent ordinance and incorporating educational programs.

Commr. Campione noted that a news release could be sent out to the community to explain the new ordinance and also have it state that the rainy season was coming up and encourage residents not to buy fertilizers that contained nitrogen and phosphorous. She stated that could be a first step to outreach with a target of adopting a more stringent ordinance within six months.

Commr. Breeden opined that it was a good idea to have an ordinance similar to the surrounding areas for the commercial landscapers and businesses that use fertilizer across county lines.

Commr. Parks clarified that this was the beginning step and that there would be further discussion to determine possible, stricter provisions.

Dr. Laurie Trenholm, a Professor of Environmental Horticulture and an Urban Turfgrass Specialist for the University of Florida, stated that the fertilizer that is for sale in the stores have to conform to fertilizer labeling rules and it stated that any fertilizer sold for use on turfgrass had to comply with certain labeling requirements. She encouraged the Board to follow the science because she opined that the science was not always followed when fertilizer ordinances are created and specifically referred to the summertime fertilizer bans.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to advertise the Fertilizer Ordinance for public hearing.

vista del lago boulevard closure

Mr. Stivender presented to the Board a history of the Vistas subdivision and the closure of the Vista Del Lago Boulevard vehicular access to Lake Louisa Road as requested at the special BCC retreat session on January 17, 2017. He explained that the Vistas is a multi-phase platted subdivision consisting of 212 lots located south of Clermont in Commission District 2. He reported that Vista Del Lago Boulevard was constructed in phases as the entrance road to the subdivision, which connected US 27 to Lake Louisa Road and was accepted into the County’s road maintenance system in 1989 and 1993. He reviewed the traffic complaint history and pointed out that one of the main complaints happened in 1993 when a motorcycle group would drive through the subdivision on Vista Del Lago Boulevard on Saturday mornings. He added that in 2000 there were complaints about increased traffic as people used Vista Del Lago Boulevard to cut through the subdivision and access the local shopping area. In 2001, the HOA (Homeowner’s Association) Board of Directors contacted Lake County Public Works to discuss traffic safety concerns and it was determined early on in the process was that there was a volume problem. He recalled that in May 2004 the Board voted to have a temporary closure for 12 months of Vista Del Lago Boulevard where it intersected with Lake Louisa Road and Public Works was to report back to the Board and also to request that a traffic light study be completed by FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) at the US 27 and Lake Louisa Road intersection. He elaborated that within those 12 months a letter was sent to FDOT by the HOA to request a temporary concrete barricade at the south entrance of the Vistas to eliminate cut-through traffic, which it did. He continued that in March 2005 there was a discussion about what needed to be done next but there was no action taken so the barricades remained in place, and then in August 2005 a traffic signal was installed at US 27 and Lake Louisa Road, with a traffic count of 5,418 ADT (average daily trips.) He noted that in February 2006 the Board voted to continue to keep the barricades in place until the southern connector, Hammock Ridge Road, was completed and at that time the HOA presented petitions to support the extension of the Vista Del Lago Boulevard closure by keeping it in place until the connector was completed. He pointed out that prior to the barricade the traffic going through the subdivision was 3,169 ADT and after the barricades were placed it went down to 1,400 ADT. He reported that in August of 2006 the Board approved ceasing the road maintenance, removal of a section of Vista Del Lago Boulevard, and requested a price be presented on the cost of a road vacation, with the understanding that the HOA would be responsible for the cost of the construction. He explained that in January 2007 the Board voted again to leave the temporary barricade in place until the south connector was completed and in February 2008 the Board voted that Vista Del Lago Boulevard would remain barricaded with the understanding that it would not be a permanent closure but also agreed that an earthen berm could be used but would be paid for by the HOA. He pointed out that it was made clear that the HOA was responsible for the berm and any additional items installed such as bike racks. He stated that there was discussion over permanent closure and the majority of the residents favored the closure. He recalled that in July 2008 a right of way permit was issued to the Property Manager that authorized the HOA to remove pavement on Vista Del Lago Boulevard, replace it with an earthen berm, install a swale along Lake Louisa Road and provide a pedestrian crossing; however, the permit was revoked in December 2008 by the Public Works Director at the direction of the County Manager. He noted that there was a general discussion by the Board in March 2009 that referenced a security gate but no action was taken and then in April 2009 the Board voted to permanently close Vista Del Lago Boulevard and to reinstate the right of way utilization permit. He reported that in May 2009 Mr. Tom Madden, a resident of the Vistas, filed an injunction against the Vistas HOA and Lake County to reopen the intersection, but in August 2011 the lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed by the Plaintiff. He explained that in September 2013, Mr. Madden appeared before the Board to discuss the issue and Commissioner Parks stated that he would meet with the property owners, Public Works and the HOA. He recalled that Commissioner Parks reported that he had met with the President and Vice President of the HOA; however, they did not want to meet with the Board or have a workshop to discuss the reopening of Vista Del Lago.

Mr. Stivender reviewed that in August 2016, Mr. Madden appeared before the Board again, and Commissioner Parks sent a letter to the HOA in October 2016 to inquire about reopening the intersection. In November 2016, the HOA responded that they did not want to remove the earthen berm and reopen the intersection. He pointed out that the issue was discussed at the Board special meeting on January 17, 2017, and the earthen berm had been in place at that time for 8 years and Vista Del Lago Boulevard had been resurfaced in 2009 by Public Works. He noted that by that time Hammock Ridge Road had been opened in 2007 and a traffic count also was completed in 2016, which reported an estimated 15,472 ADT. He added that a traffic count was completed in 2016 at the Lake Louisa Road and US 27 intersection that reported 4,044 ADT and that Lake Louisa Road had been resurfaced in February 2017. He pointed out that there are a lot of other variables happening in that area due to growth and the economy and currently US 27 was under construction to be expanded to six lanes south of Lake Louisa Road down to the Four Corners area, which all could have contributed to the current traffic count. He presented a photo of Vista Del Lago Boulevard in 2004 and then a current view of the road. He relayed that the Board had several options, which were option one to leave the earthen berm as is; option two to reopen Vista Del Lago Boulevard at Lake Louisa Road and construct a paved connection at an estimated cost of $78,000; option three to construct the paved connection at the estimated cost and install an emergency access gate for an additional $16,000 for a total of $94,000; option four to install a limited access gate for residents and vacate the public right of way; option five to vacate the public right of way only; or option six research the feasibility of a resident access only gate similar to what is used in The Villages. He pointed out that the residential streets in The Villages were owned and maintained by the residential CDD (Community Development District) and the gates were owned and maintained by the commercial master CDD. He explained that a CDD was not an option for the Vistas because the roads must either be public roads or dedicated to the HOA, so the County Attorney was reviewing The Villages practice and the past Attorney General opinions on that matter. He added that if the Board chose option six the cost would be comparable to the third option, which was $94,000. He stated that if the Board wanted to proceed with an option other than the status quo, staff recommended that a public meeting be scheduled to involve the property owners in the discussion. He relayed that if the Board wanted to pursue option six and have an access gate installed similar to The Villages, staff recommended that an Attorney General opinion be requested prior to a public meeting being held.

Commr. Campione clarified that the gate would only be placed at the back entrance where the current earthen berm was.

Mr. Tom Madden, a resident of the Vistas, felt that a lot of the current discussion was relevant to 2004 and a lot had changed since then but it was always stated that the closure would be temporary to deal with the traffic conditions at that time. He alleged that while it was true that the majority of the homeowners favored the road closure, it was also true that at one time they favored a gated access as well; however, that option was denied by the HOA due to cost and the HOA did not entertain any type of discussion or mediation about the issue. He explained that the original plan was to close Vista Del Lago Boulevard until the traffic patterns had changed and now they had but the road had not been reopened. He stated that he would like to see Vista Del Lago Boulevard reopened for use and opined that the option of gate access was a beneficial one.

Mr. Robert Case, an attorney representing the Vistas Homeowner’s Association, explained that he felt that the discussion was reopening old arguments that had been settled and the HOA brought the issue to the Board in 2001 because there had been a problem with the traffic. He noted that the current president of the HOA did not purchase her home until 2002 so he felt that this was not a two-party dispute as he had heard it described and the petition that had been circulated showed that ninety-seven percent of the homeowners approved of road closure. He recalled that Vista Del Lago Boulevard had been designated by the County as a collector road and it is a very narrow road that could pose safety concerns for pedestrians and children waiting for the school bus if the road was reopened. He explained that an additional 1,700 trips a day would be added right away due to cut through traffic when the road was designated for only 1,500 trips a day. He reported that the HOA paid for one-hundred percent of the earthen berm at a cost of approximately $21,000 and it followed the County design. He commented that there had been discussions of installing a resident gate and he alleged that the County staff said it would not be possible with the easements and right of ways needed. He stated that the HOA would like to have the road permanently closed and their concern was that if the County did take action that the litigation would be reopened, so they are requesting that the status quo be maintained.

Ms. Colleen Madden, a resident of the Vistas, stated that she felt there had been a lot of misinformation associated with the road closure so she requested that the Board bring the issue back for an additional public hearing. She felt that there was no reason why there could not be a gate there and reported that eighty-one percent of the residents did want a gate installed there. She alleged that misinformation was given to the residents and the Board. She requested that there be a chance to correct some of the wrong information and she commented that all they were requesting was a compromise in the form of the gate and she felt that the HOA never wanted to compromise.

Commr. Breeden asked why option three would need to have a vacation of the public right of way when the front entrance to the subdivision on US 27 would not be gated.

Ms. Marsh responded that the statute states that when a public road is vacated the underlying interest goes back to the adjoining property owners. She stated that Florida Statute Chapter 336 Section 125 established a process where the County could take that public interest and transfer it to an HOA. She explained that the only way that it could be done under the statute was if all of the roads were vacated and the subdivision became gated, because by law if one intersection is vacated and does not become a private gated subdivision, then that public interest has to go back to the adjoining property owners because the County does not have the authority to transfer that to the HOA. She commented that the HOA would need to request that to trigger the statute for the process to begin.

Commr. Campione opined that option number four of the limited access gate would be confusing. She explained that the statute was put in place so that neighborhoods that wanted to become gated but were not originally set up to be one had a way to do that without the roads reverting to the adjoining property owners and she felt that option was confusing and not a true solution to the situation. She wondered if asking for an Attorney General opinion on having a single gate at the Vista Del Lago Boulevard entrance would be an allowable utilization of a public right of way. She felt the gate would address the concerns of cut through traffic and the fact that the barrier there was always meant to be temporary. She recalled that she did represent the Madden’s as their legal counsel at the time the litigation was filed and felt that the Board and all involved parties knew that and the history. She explained that she understood that the previous commission may have approved the temporary berm but she opined that the decision never made the situation right. She stated that she felt the best solution would be the gate to allow residents to use the back entrance the way it was designed. She commented that HOA’s typically have their own rules and regulations, which can make it difficult to live under an HOA but an HOA itself should not be given the authority to be able to take away a resident’s right. She explained that the HOA did have a petition with a majority but there were residents that did not want that road closure and their rights were being affected. She stated that the she will continue to assert that having the gate is the best compromise if allowable based on the Attorney General’s opinion.

Ms. Marsh commented that there were already two Attorney General opinion’s on the single gate option and she reported that the 1990 Attorney General opinion was that a town could not gate an entrance way that was a public road, even if the town would make available passcodes to the residents and any member of the public who would be willing to pay for the use of the gate because it violated Chapter 316, which is the Uniform Traffic Control Law.  She stated that there was a second opinion given in 2004, which upheld the 1990 Attorney General opinion based on violation of the Uniform Traffic Control Law; however, because that particular gate would be constructed on private property with private funds it was allowed because there was no public access to the property. She suggested that if the Board wanted to set out to receive an Attorney General opinion, the specific circumstance would need to be outlined with references to prior opinions and then it would be possible to see if anything within this specific circumstance would change the Attorney General’s opinion.

Commr. Breeden felt that the request to the Attorney General may differ since the proposed gate would be similar to the gate access in The Villages, which does not require a code or key.

Ms. Marsh responded that within the request it would be noted that the gate would still allow public access and only gave the impression of a private road and added that could be a factor that could determine a change in the opinion.

Commr. Sullivan opined that the Maddens purchased a home that they believed would give them access to the road; however, things changed and the road was closed, which was paid for by the HOA and his concern was if changes were made now who would pay the approximate $94,000.

Commr. Blake felt the troubling thing was that the Maddens were told repeatedly that the road closure would be temporary and if the Attorney General opinion ended up being a non-issue he felt the gate in option six would be best.

Commr. Parks stated that the misinformation was unfortunate and that this discussion had been ongoing for several years and despite whatever was done moving forward his opinion was that there still needed to be coordination with the HOA. He felt that while HOA’s cannot make decisions that affect resident’s rights there were still other residents that were concerned about the traffic cutting through. He stated he could appreciate the concerns of all involved and that it was a difficult situation but despite what comes back from the Attorney General they still needed to work with the HOA.

Commr. Campione commented that in 2009 when the traffic pattern had changed the road should have been reopened to allow for a traffic count study to be completed because that would have generated data that could have answered a lot of the traffic concern questions and the road closure decision could have been made based upon objective information.

Mr. Heath commented that it was indisputable that the closure was to be temporary when it started and then when a new Board came the subject was revisited. He stated that the first step was to go through the history of the closure and the Board’s involvement on the issue and then present options to find a solution to the issue. He noted that it seemed that the Board wanted to broker a compromise between the Maddens and the HOA and that needed to continue with a process of eliminating the options so the prudent next step would be to obtain an Attorney General opinion on the matter and that would determine which options were truly viable.

Commr. Campione responded that made a lot of sense and wanted to determine if the gate was a viable option that could be a compromise with the residents in the neighborhood.

Commr. Parks noted that it should involve working with Mr. Case and the HOA.

Commr. Sullivan received a consensus for an Attorney General opinion to be obtained on the issue of installing an access gate similar to the gates used in The Villages.

other business


lake-sumter mpo citizen’s advisory committee

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board appointed the following members to the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization Citizen’s Advisory Committee:

Ms. Christina Kurtz-Clark, representing District 1, to complete an unexpired term ending on December 31, 2017.

Mr. Ray San Fratello, representing District 2, to serve a term ending on December 31, 2018.

Mr. Timothy J. Bailey, representing District 4, to serve a term ending on December 31, 2018.

Board of adjustment

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board appointed Mr. Timothy K. Cook as an At-Large Member to the Board of Adjustment, to serve a term ending on January 31, 2019.

reports – county manager

lake county library manager

Mr. David Heath, County Manager, reported that Ms. Ava Barrett had been hired as the new Lake County Library Manager and welcomed her to the County Management Team.

reports – commissioner parks –district 2

lake county fire rescue truck dedication – “colleen”

Commr. Parks noted that he attended the dedication of the new LCFR (Lake County Fire Rescue) truck. He explained that the new truck had been named “Colleen” after a little girl who was surrendered to a LCFR Department under the Safe Haven Act ten years prior. He commented that it was a wonderful idea to name the truck after her and reminded everyone that adoption should always be considered.

bridg facility tour at icamr

Commr. Parks stated that he toured the new ICAMR (International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research) facility, now named BRIDG (Bridging the Innovation Development Gap,) with Lake County School Board member Mr. Mark Dodd and Economic Growth Director Mr. Robert Chandler. He noted that there would be an upcoming ribbon cutting ceremony and encouraged the Board to tour the new facility.


Commr. Parks noted that he had revisions to the letter concerning Anderson Hill Road and wondered if there needed to be motion to have a revised letter sent to the City of Clermont.

Mr. Heath responded that action had been taken on the original letter so there needed to be action taken on the revised letter as well to make it clear for the record that the revised letter superseded the first.

Commr. Campione clarified that the letter stated that they do not want the access to occur unless it was an emergency access and if there was no other choice and an access had to be there then the construction of it would need to follow the provisions listed in the letter.

Commr. Parks replied that even with it just being limited to emergency access that there were still traffic mitigations that needed to be reviewed and implemented and some of those were in combination with the provisions listed.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved revising the letter to the City of Clermont regarding Anderson Hills Road per the verbiage provided by Commissioner Parks and that the revised letter replace the original letter written.


legislative days

Commr. Breeden noted that she would be attending the FAC (Florida Association of Counties) Legislative Day on Wednesday April 5, 2017.


Commr. Breeden stated that she participated in the fire truck dedication that took place in Astatula, which dedicated a new LCFR truck named “Leathers” to firefighter Clifford Leathers. She explained that he is the only line-of-duty death within the LCFR Department, due to suffering a heart attack while working on a patient.

reports – commissioner campione – vice-chairman - district 4

animal shelter fundraising

Commr. Campione explained that she had been approached to help raise funds to move forward with design and potential construction for the new Animal Shelter. She received the consensus of the Board to do private sector fund raising for that purpose, which would be done through the Mount Dora Community Trust.

Skeet shooting

Commr. Campione noted that she had attending a skeet shooting competition with Commissioners Blake and Sullivan.

REPORTS – COMMISSIONER sullivan – chairman - DISTRICT 1


Commr. Sullivan noted that there was a memo sent to the Board letting them know that he would be asking for their approval to continue the County Manager search. He explained that that the memo also stated there had been 91 applications received and that the FAC (Florida Association of County Managers) had been asked to assist in the process. He stated that based on the Board’s and FAC’s recommendations there were five final candidates that he would like to continue the process with and requested approval of the attached list of five candidates for the County Manager's position and for interviews to take place on April 17th and 18th. He asked for parameters from the Board regarding salary and benefits.

Commr. Breeden commented that she was pleased with the field of candidates and did not want to add any additional individuals. She did want to be sure that the salary was competitive.

Mr. Heath noted that there were several different types of employment in the mix of people who had applied so he felt talking about salary requirements at a later time would be best. He explained that the interviews would be in three parts to help the evaluation of the five applicants and he explained the process of the first part, which would be one on one interviews between the applicants and the Board. He explained further that at 5:00 p.m. on April 17, 2017 there would be a reception with the public that included an introduction of the candidates where they would speak about themselves and then there would be time for interaction between the candidates and the public that would last until 7:00 p.m. He stated that on April 18, 2017, the applicants would be sequestered at 2:00 p.m. and at that time they would come before the Board one by one to answer questions posed to them by the Board as a way to determine how they would relate to the Board as a whole. He said that at that point the Board would determine the final outcome.

Commr. Campione asked how the invitation for the reception would be sent out.

Mr. Heath responded that there would be a press release and he also thought that the Commissioners could relay the reception information to the various groups they work with.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to continue the process with the five final candidates for the County Manager position.

Florida Legislative Days

Commr. Sullivan stated that he would be going to Tallahassee for the Florida Association of Counties Legislative Days but it would be a shortened program.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:36 p.m.



timothy i. sullivan, chairman