A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
November 21, 2017
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, November 21, 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: Jeff Cole, 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
Pastor Mike Ellis of the First Baptist Church of Umatilla gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, reported that Tab 28 had been added to the agenda under the County Attorney’s regular agenda and Tab 29 had been added to the agenda under Commissioner Parks’s business.
citizen question and comment period
Ms. Janet Connelly, President of the Leesburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak and to introduce themselves and talk about their role in the community. She explained that they are a non-profit, private organization that is committed to service, leadership and empowerment and whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in communities throughout the world. She stated that their attendance at the meeting was to observe and understand the role of the County Commission and its contribution to Lake County Government and the community. She commented that the Chapter appreciated the work of the Board and asked that the Board contact them with any questions.
Commr. Sullivan commented that the Board was available to the Alumnae Chapter to help with mentoring or any needs the group might have as they do community outreach.
Mr. Garrett Paquette, a resident of Minneola and the owner of a local towing company, expressed his concern about a proposed ordinance in the consent agenda, under Tab 2, entitled “Maximum Rates for Towing Services and Storage.” He explained that he had been in business for 30 years and he was concerned about the non-consent towing rates. He stated that the ordinance should contain a rate that is definitive for non-consent tows. He asked that the Board gather more information from local towing companies before finalizing the ordinance.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, stated that the ordinance request was submitted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) and staff worked with LCSO on the rates that were listed in the ordinance. She noted that the Economic Development Department did reach out to towing companies in the area but they did not receive any feedback from those companies. She suggested that Tab 2 be pulled from the consent agenda to have further discussion.
Commr. Sullivan received consensus from the Board to pull Tab 2 from the consent agenda and for staff to gather input from companies in the towing industry and then bring it back before the Board.
Mr. Vance Jochim, a writer of a blog on local governmental issues, commended the Board and staff for their diligent work. He submitted a book on management techniques to the County Manager.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 4, 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.
Lake County Water Authority 2018 Meeting Schedule
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Lake County Water Authority Board of Trustees 2018 meeting schedule.
City of Leesburg – Notice to Taxing Authority
Request to acknowledge receipt of an official notice from the City of Leesburg, City Commission, that a public meeting will take place on Monday, November 27, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at City Hall to consider the removal of a parcel from the U.S. Highway 441/27 Community Redevelopment Agency District. This notice is pursuant to Chapter 163 Section 346, Florida Statutes, entitled Notice to Taxing Authority.
Lands Available List
Request to acknowledge receipt of property placed on the Lands Available for Taxes List. Lake County has until February 3, 2018 to purchase property from Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Sullivan noted that Tab 2 regarding Section 15-6 of the Lake County Code, entitled “Parking prohibited in specific places” would be pulled to allow time for staff to gather additional information and to speak to local towing businesses to gain feedback. He commented that it could be opened up as a public hearing as well.
Ms. Marsh clarified that the direction to staff was to review the ordinance and make revisions if necessary.
Commr. Campione stated that staff needed to ensure that they received input from the towing industry. She mentioned that she received emails on the subject and would forward them to the appropriate staff members.
Ms. Marsh noted that the Economic Development staff did reach out to towing companies within the County; however, they did not receive any feedback.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved postponing Tab 2 for staff to gather additional information and to present the tab to the Board at a later date.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 2 through 20, omitting Tab 2, as follows:
Office of Management and Budget
Request approval of:
1. Year-end budget transfers for Fiscal Year 2017 in accordance with County Policy LCC-36, and Administrative Procedure pursuant to Chapter 129.06 (2)(A), Florida Statutes. There is no fiscal impact.
2. Two Unanticipated Revenue Resolutions, Resolution 2017-146 amending the County Transportation Trust Fund and Resolution 2017-145 the Federal/State Grants Fund to receive unanticipated revenue in Fiscal Year 2017. The fiscal impact is $67,916.00 (revenue & expenditure).
Planning and Zoning
Request approval to reimburse impact fees for Lane Park Ridge, in accordance with Lake County Code Section 22-13, Refund of Impact Fees Paid (c), that were paid to the City of Tavares for lots which had available prepayment credits for transportation and schools, and approval for the County Manager to execute all implementing documentation. The fiscal impact is $68,948.00 (expenditure). Commission District 3
Request approval to apply for and accept funds of $41,822.00 for the Fiscal Year 2018 Florida Department of Health and Emergency Medical Services Grant, and approval for the Chairman to execute the grant application and supporting Resolution 20174-147. This grant award has no required matching funds.
Request approval to assign contract 14-0601 awarded to Pierce Manufacturing Inc. on October 22, 2013, to Ten-8 Fire Equipment, Inc., the exclusive dealer in Florida for Pierce, approval of the attached Assignment Agreement, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute the balance of the implementing documentation. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval to purchase one 2018 Pierce/Freightliner Commercial Pumper from Ten-8 Fire Equipment, Inc., and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all implementing documentation and related budget transfer(s). The fiscal impact is $333,147.00 (expenditure).
Request approval to apply for the 2017 E911 State Grant Program to request the Text-to-911 System Upgrade, with any funding requests relating to awarded grant funds brought back to the Board for consideration. Grant requires no match funding. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval to accept the list of public right of way and easement deeds that have been secured in conjunction with development and roadway or stormwater projects. The fiscal impact is $1,303.80 (expenditure) for recording fees. Commission Districts 1, 2, 3, 5
Request approval of a Resolution 2017-148 to advertise a Public Hearing to vacate a portion of a drainage easement in the plat of Montclair – Phase 1, adjacent to a lot along a canal to Lake Minnehaha, near Clermont. The fiscal impact is $2,295.00 (revenue - vacation application fee). Commission District 1
Request approval of a Resolution 2017-149 to advertise a Public Hearing to vacate platted rights of way in the Groveland Farms plat, near Groveland. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1
Request approval to award contract 17-0007 to The Appraisal Group of Central Florida (Altamonte Springs) to provide on-call appraisal consultant services. The estimated fiscal impact is unknown at this time. Previous annual impact was $63,737.50
Request approval of:
1. An amended agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for an extension of time to construct Phase 3 of the CR 466A 4-lane project, from Poinsettia Avenue to Century Avenue, in the City of Fruitland Park.
2. Resolution 2017-150 authorizing the Chairman to execute and deliver to FDOT an amendment to the agreement for funding of the CR 466A, Phase 3 project.
There is no fiscal impact from this action. Commission District 5
1. To execute Change Order #2 for $134,131.16 to Goodwin Bros. Construction, Inc. for the Johns Lake Road Widening and Resurfacing Project No. 2017-04.
2. Of an Unanticipated Revenue Resolution 2017-151 amending the County Transportation Trust Fund to receive unanticipated revenue for Fiscal Year 2018 from the City of Clermont for $23,559.00.
The total fiscal impact is $134,131.16, with $23,558.44 from the City of Clermont, and $110,572.72 from the County's Transportation Impact Fees - South District. Commission District 2
Request approval to:
1. Accept the final plat for Sawgrass Bay Phase 3A, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Sawgrass Bay Phase 3A final plat; and
2. Execute a Developer's Agreement for Construction of Improvements between Lake County and Royal Oak Homes, LLC; and
3. Accept a performance bond of $518,383.37.
The fiscal impact is $1,551.00 (revenue - final plat application fee).Commission District 1
Request approval of the Authorizing Resolution 2017-152 for issuance by the Orange County Housing Finance Authority of Homeowner Mortgage Revenue Bonds, Homeowner Subordinate Mortgage Revenue Bonds, and/or Homeowner Revenue Bonds. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval of the funding request for the Lake County School Board's Choice, Charter and Community Education's Driver Education Program - Behind the Wheel Training for Fiscal Year 2018. The fiscal impact is $139,556.00 (expenditure) and is fully funded by the Traffic Education Trust Fund.
Request approval of the Fiscal Year 2018 Housing and Urban Development Shelter plus Care grant (Continuum of Care) to assist homeless families. The fiscal impact is $97,857.00 (revenue/expenditure).
Request approval of the agreement with LifeStream Behavioral Center, Inc. for provision of Fiscal Year 2018 annual grant funding. The fiscal impact is $1,073,987.00 (expenditure). Commission District 3
Request approval of First Amendment to Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the City of Leesburg Relating to Provision of Library Services to allow Baker & Taylor, Inc. access to the Online Computer Library Center records database, through the County's account. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3
cemex construction materials, llc
Ms. Marsh stated that the agenda item was in reference to litigation between Cemex Construction Materials, LLC and several adjoining land owners in the south Lake County area. She reviewed that in 2015, the Board adopted the Wellness Way Area Plan and Cemex challenged the plan for not being consistent with Florida Statutes. She said this led to an administrative hearing in July 2016, in which the administrative law judge did find that the Wellness Way Plan was not in compliance. Since that time, the adjacent land owners, Lake County and Cemex had been working to settle the issues to benefit all involved and the agenda item was a result of those efforts. She explained that if the Board approved the settlement and if the conditions outlined within the settlement were met, the litigation would end and the Wellness Way Area Plan would go into effect. She noted that the settlement documents included the design and construction of improvements to Schofield Road as well as a development agreement. There was also an impact fee agreement included in the settlement and this agreement was necessary to compensate Cemex for the design, permitting, and construction for the non-site related improvements to Schofield Road. She pointed out that staff had done a site analysis of the cost, which was approximately $4.8 million, and the County non-site share was estimated to be $10 million, which would be given as impact fee credits for that amount. Cemex estimated that the site related cost would be $2.5 million rather than the $4.8 million as estimated by staff and the agreement submitted to the Board reflected Cemex’s estimation of $2.5 million, which was mainly due to the location of the prime entrance of the proposed sand mine. She explained that if the Board approved the settlement agreement, the agreed development conditions would become part of the application for the Mining Conditional Use Permit (MCUP), which was on the zoning agenda and would be before the Board later in the meeting. She added that all of the documents would become attached if the ordinance was approved.
Commr. Sullivan asked if the zoning case could move forward if the Board did not approve the settlement agreement.
Ms. Marsh responded that the zoning case could move forward if the agreement was not approved but the Board would be working within the application as it stood and it would not necessarily incorporate the items offered in the settlement agreement.
Commr. Campione clarified that if the settlement agreement was approved, then its agreement items would be attached to the zoning application and would be heard during the planning and zoning public hearing. She asked if any issues that the Board had with the agreement could be discussed during the public hearing.
Ms. Marsh replied that was possible but to remember that the settlement agreement contained a provision that if there were any additional conditions added by the Board, that were not agreeable to the land owners or Cemex, then Cemex would have the option to pull out of the settlement agreement and the litigation would continue.
Commr. Parks stated that he denied the MCUP in 2015 because access to the proposed sand mine had not been acquired at that time and he had concerns over the effects of the mine on agriculture, adjacent property owners and on the Wellness Way Area Plan. He noted that over the previous year he had been involved in significant discussions with Cemex and the discussions had been beneficial to Lake County. He felt that things were in a much better position than they had been and he made note that there had been many compromises from all sides. He pointed out that the mine access had been acquired, the agricultural concerns had been addressed and that he appreciated the work done with the residents in the area. He stated that significant progress had been made regarding the Wellness Way Area Plan, in particular regarding Schofield Road. He noted that he appreciated that Cemex had recognized the importance of the clay trail that was used for running in that area and that Cemex would also be helping to fund maintenance costs for some of the roads in the area as well as the 100 acres dedication of land to be used for recreation. He felt those things helped address his issue of the compatibility of the sand mine with Wellness Way. He stated that there was one item that was still a concern for him, which was the importance of economic development and the tie in to the Wellness Way Area Plan. He felt that through positive discussions with Cemex, an economic development partnership had been developing and no matter what the outcome was for the settlement he felt that those conversations would continue to move forward. He stated that jointly developing a commerce park was something that had been specifically discussed and was something that could continue that partnership. He felt that the agreement was very close to being finished but he requested that the discussion be placed on hold for two weeks in order to determine if a public/private partnership could be made to develop the commerce park.
Commr. Breeden commented that she had not spoken to the homeowners or Cemex; however, she had been following the discussions and negotiations and she thanked all of the individuals involved who had worked so diligently to come to an agreement to protect the area.
Commr. Campione remarked that she agreed that it was a good location for a commerce park since it was a concentrated land use area, specifically focused on high wage job creation and the targeted industry that the Board was working hard to bring in to the county; however, she stated that it had to be considered in the context of the entire area, which had a lot of land available for those uses. She noted that each of the Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) that came in under the Wellness Way Area Plan had to have a significant amount of non-residential acreage specifically designated for employment, office and retail uses targeted for industries that were laid out in the Wellness Way Area Plan principles. She noted that there had been a private/public partnership in Marion County for a distribution center and she suggested that be used as an example if the Board wanted to enter in that kind of partnership. She felt that land available after the mining was completed would be better served as a commerce park because it would fit better with the Wellness Way Area Plan. She stated that the commerce development should be a private ownership that could be done in partnership with the County but she did not think it was the right fit in the agreement with Cemex. She reported that she had been interested in what the land could be used for post-mining and she learned that it would be useable land, available incrementally at 100 acres at a time. She felt that the there was the possibility for a commerce park on one of those 100 acres parcels and that it was worth continuing the conversation.
Commr. Park stated that a big component of the Wellness Way Area Plan was the employment requirement but he felt that the higher and better use of that property would be a commerce park. He remarked that there were commerce parks around the state that were private/public partnership owned, on approximately 20 acres and his idea was that this commerce park be used to cluster agriculture or health and wellness businesses and could be contained on something smaller than 100 acres. He did not want Cemex to agree to a site plan for a commerce park that would be constructed 20 years later but would rather have something tangible to move forward with and details could be worked out in the future.
Commr. Blake stated that he was not in favor of postponing the discussion and he felt that Cemex had been generous in their offer. He opined that the free market solution to building a commerce park was to get a group of investors to purchase property, build the park and place a desired group of businesses in the facility.
Commr. Parks responded that he felt that process worked in some cases; however, he explained that the process was usually initiated by a local government as a leader facilitating the growth, particularly when there was a long term economic vision held by a county.
Commr. Breeden stated that she did not want the 100 acres noted in the agreement to be used for recreation to be divided up because it was required for a regional park that would be needed in the future. She noted that she was in favor of moving forward with the settlement.
Ms. Marsh noted that on the document there were changes to the agreed development conditions, within paragraphs 17 and 18, and that in the impact fee agreement there were changes pertaining to the performance bond and maintenance bond to make them match the Lake County Code. She did not read these aloud but stated that the changes were submitted to the Clerk. She explained that it was clarified in the impact fee agreement that if Cemex could not connect the road into Orange County due to an issue with Orange County, then Cemex would not utilize that route. It was clarified that any excess right-of-way deemed not necessary could be granted back to the property owners, pursuant to Chapter 255 Section 22, Florida Statutes. Also added was the requirement that Cemex would provide the documentation needed to initiate the impact fee credits.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the Settlement Agreement and Impact Fee Agreement with Cemex Construction Materials, LLC and Lake Louisa, LLC.
Commr. Parks voted no.
public hearings: REZONING
rezoning consent agenda
Mr. Tim McClendon, Manager of the Office of Planning and Zoning, displayed the advertisements for that day’s rezoning cases on the overhead monitor and noted that the applicant for Tab 2, Rezoning Case Number RZ-17-17-1 for Clermont 99-FL, LLC had requested that the case be postponed for 30 days. He reported that Tabs 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the Rezoning Consent Agenda were approved by the Planning and Zoning Board on November 1, 2017. He requested that the Board approve the Rezoning Consent Agenda.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding any cases on the Rezoning Consent Agenda, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Blake made a motion to move Tabs 7 and 8 to the Consent Agenda but the motion failed due to no second.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved postponing Tab 2, Rezoning Case Number RZ-17-17-1 for Clermont 99-FL, LLC, for 30 days.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Tabs 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6, as follows:
Tab 1. Resolution No. 2017-153
Rezoning Case # NOPC-17-01-1
Cagan Crossings NOPC, 7th Amendment
Conversion of 88 market units to 270 age-restricted dwelling units.
Tab 3. Ordinance No. 2017-57
Rezoning Case # FLU-17-02-2
Green Swamp Interlachen FLUC
Adopting Policy 1-4.2.6 Green Swamp Interlachen Future Land Use Category which contains the development criteria for the proposed Green Swamp Interlachen FLUC; amend Comprehensive Plan Table FLUE – 2 to include the Green Swamp Interlachen FLUC; amend Policy 1-4.2.1 to allow the Green Swamp Interlachen FLUC within the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern; and amend the FLU Map to change the Future Land Use Category on 32.91 acres (Alt Key 1663059) from Green Swamp Rural to Green Swamp Interlachen FLUC.
Tab 4. Ordinance 2017-58
Rezoning Case # FLU-17-01-1
Howey-Groveland Rural Support Intersection (SR 19 & CR 455)
Amend the FLUM to establish a Rural Support Intersection at the intersection of SR 19 and CR 455; amend table FLUE-1 to reflect the addition of the Howey-Groveland Rural Support Intersection; and amend Policy I-220.127.116.11 to specifically state that Alt Key #1302625 will be included in its entirety within the Howey-Groveland Rural Support Intersection due to its irregular shape.
Tab 5. Ordinance 2017-59
Rezoning Case # RZ-17-02-2
Rezone approximately 32.91 acres from Rural Residential (R-1) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) to facilitate the development of 35 lot subdivision within the proposed Green Swamp Interlachen FLUC.
Tab 6. Ordinance No. 2017-60
Rezoning Case # RZ-17-03-1
Vista Vision Property
Establish a Planned Commercial (CP) zoning district on 2.5 +/- acres (Alt Key # 1302625) to allow Rural Support Uses.
Tab 7. Ordinance No. 2017-61
Rezoning Case # MCUP-17-03-2
Cemex Four Corners Sand Mine
Approval of Mining Conditional Use Permit for sand mine operation.
Rezoning Case # MCUP-17-03-2
Cemex Development Agreement
Mr. McClendon reviewed that Tab 7 was case number MCUP-17-03-2, Cemex Four Corners Sand Mine, and Tab 8 was a Development Agreement between Lake County, Cemex Construction Materials, LLC and Lake Louisa, LLC. He noted that the land track size was approximately 1,200 acres and the request was for a Mining Conditional Use Permit (MCUP) to operate a sand mine. He explained that the Future Land Use (FLU) of the property was designated as Rural and the current zoning was Agriculture (A.) He stated that there was an updated concept plan that included a jogging trail, which was discussed previously, and would be included in the modified ordinance. He reported that the staff analysis noted that the applicant would only be mining 34 percent of the 1,200 acres, which would occur in 100 acre increments and the excavation would take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until there was vertical construction within a one-half mile of the mining site, at which time those operational hours would change. He stated that the MCUP was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and that the staff request was for the Board to approve Tab 7, with the modified ordinance and the included concept plan and the backup documents discussed in Tab 28, and to approve Tab 8, the Developer’s Agreement. He requested that any technical mining questions be directed to the applicant.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Roger Simms, an attorney with Holland and Knight, represented the applicant in the proceedings, and noted that the settlement package that had been approved included the MCUP application and signed letters of support from adjacent land owners. He requested that the staff report also be included in the settlement package and he commented that he was available for any questions.
Mr. Kurt Ardaman, an attorney with Fishback Dominick, represented the adjacent property owners and stated that they were in support of the MCUP application due to the agreement proposed by the applicant. He explained that it was a great opportunity for the land owners, Lake County and the public. He commented that the agreement required two letters signed in support by the adjacent land owners and he submitted them for the record.
Mr. Jochim stated that the County was growing and construction materials were needed. He remarked that he attended some of the meetings regarding the agreement and all of the parties involved had worked hard and negotiated to come up with a beneficial situation for all, including noise mitigation and the construction of a road. He opined that the Board should support the request and approve the MCUP. He felt that no further conditions should be set for Cemex regarding the commerce park and he stated that larger companies, like the applicant, fix up the land after mining to make it usable for home sites or parks.
Commr. Parks stated that it was not uncommon in the process for applicants or local government to have conditions that both parties agree upon. He commented that the process had taken time because sand mines were a large impact and a lot of thought needed to be put into the use of the land and approval of the conditions. While he agreed that the discussions had gone on for a lengthy time, he felt they had been beneficial for all involved.
Commr. Blake and Commr. Parks disclosed that they had met with property owner and the applicant on the case.
Commr. Sullivan disclosed that he had met with the applicant on the case.
Commr. Campione disclosed that she had met with the applicant, property owners and other interested parties on the case. She noted that she was happy to see that a property previously proposed as a mining area, and adjacent to a blueberry farm, had been removed from consideration. She stated there been concern if the trucks carrying sand would utilize neighborhood streets but the applicant solved the problem by building a road to the east, which allowed the trucks to use that route instead and she was hopeful that issues would be resolved with Orange County. She noted this would be a beneficial resolution because a lot of congestion in the area was due to residents who live in Lake County but work in the Walt Disney World area within Orange County. She stated that the lawsuit with Cemex being resolved saved tax payer dollars and she noted that another big success was that the mining would be done in increments of 100 acres and she felt that facilitated the Wellness Way Area Plan. She commented that the property’s use was set over the next 20 years and that benefited everyone in the surrounding area. She urged the Board to work with Clermont to ensure that the master plan would apply regardless of whether or not a property owner was in the city limits or the unincorporated area. She suggested that the County partner with Clermont and the property owners to bring the commerce park concept to fruition.
Commr. Parks stated that he agreed working with Clermont would be beneficial and he clarified that the utilities would be for the Wellness Way area as a whole and would follow those principles.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved Tab 7, Ordinance No. 2017-61, Rezoning Case # MCUP-17-03-2, Cemex Four Corners Sand Mine, approving the Mining Conditional Use Permit for sand mine operation and Tab 8, Rezoning Case # MCUP-17-03-2, Cemex Development Agreement.
Commr. Parks voted no.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called recess at 10:11 a.m. for 10 minutes.
public hearing – Avalon Groves Easement
Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, reviewed Vacation Petition 1236, which was a request to vacate three portions of a permanent easement in the Avalon Groves Development adjacent to Sawgrass Bay Boulevard. As development continued it was learned that these three small easements were needed for the subdivision. He noted that there no letters of support nor opposition and staff recommended approval of the request to vacate.
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 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution 2017-154 to vacate three portions of a permanent easement in the Avalon Groves Development adjacent to Sawgrass Bay Boulevard in the Clermont area and approval of an effective date.
public hearing – ORDINANCE 2017-55 fertilizer use
Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, SECTION 6.13.00, ENTITLED “FERTILIZER USE”; RESTRICTING THE TIMING OF APPLICATION AND CONTENT OF CERTAIN FERTILIZERS; MODIFYING APPLICATION PERMITTED FROM TEN (10) FEET TO FIFTEEN (15) FEET OF A WATERBODY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Mr. Cole noted that there were letters and emails received that had been included in the packet; however, there was another batch of emails that had been received the night prior to the meeting and they were not included. They were all identical, computerized emails and not in opposition.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Erica Santella, a resident of Sorrento, stated that the goal was protecting the water of Lake County. She noted that she worked for TruGreen, a lawn maintenance company and that she had provided support in developing ordinances around the state since 2008. She believed that the blackout would have unintended consequences by increasing harmful nutrients to the lakes because a healthy lawn filtered pollution, prevented erosion and recharged ground water. She remarked that feeding the lawn actually helped protect the water. She felt that the University of Florida (U/F) research should be followed and stated that fertilizer is quickly absorbed and does not leach or runoff. She showed an image of a lawn that had been treated for many years and pointed out that it had a defined edge on the grass where the fertilizer was applied, and did not move, keeping the nutrients out of the water body, which was the important thing. She felt that the science should be followed and a small amount of nutrients should be applied more frequently throughout the year. She opined that the blackout period forces individuals to do what is wrong by loading the fertilizer in the spring and fall.
Mr. Randy Horning, a resident of Fruitland Park, stated that he had been a property owner in Lake County for 20 years and also worked for TruGreen. He commented that water was very important and protecting it was a shared goal. He remarked that the blackout ordinance would have an unintended consequence and that it was important that a lawn be properly fertilized. He explained that an unmaintained lawn would not serve as the filter system needed to keep away pollutants and would not be able to help prevent erosion. He noted that front or end loading the fertilizer did not properly feed the grass and he felt that the ordinance was not scientific.
Ms. Elizabeth Kapoor, a resident of Leesburg, stated that she did not fertilize and felt her lawn was well cared for. She commented that the studies completed were inconclusive and she stated that the Board should review the record of experience in Pinellas County. She explained that Pinellas County had a very strict ordinance, which had been in effect for years, and their water quality had improved without the lawns suffering. She remarked that there were other items that could be used in place of nitrogen and phosphorous to create green lawns, such as iron. She opined that there was a serious problem with nitrogen and phosphates in the water ways of Florida and in the aquifer. She urged the Board to approve the blackout.
Mr. Will Harrell, a resident of Lakeland and who owns Harrels, LLC, a custom manufacturer of lawn fertilizer for the professional lawn care industry, encouraged the rejection of the fertilizer blackout. He explained that he was a part of a highly technical and science based industry that utilized research in order to find effective solutions for their customers. He felt that the proposed blackout indiscriminately affected all applicators of fertilizer, including professional applicators and Best Management Practice (BMP) trained homeowners. He commented that the research from U/F should be followed and remarked that the blackout would starve the turf at the time the fertilizer would be needed most. He felt that the unintended results of the blackout would be greater nutrient leaching, rather than the prevention, because the natural filtration benefits would not be utilized. He pointed out that some neighboring communities had rejected such strict bans and he urged the Board to do the same. He asked that exemptions be allowed for some businesses and trained homeowners if the Board approved the ordinance.
Commr. Campione clarified that Mr. Harrell was not part of the coalition that ran the campaign in opposition to the proposed ordinance.
Mr. James Skillen, a representative of the Lawn and Horticultural Products Work Group, stated that he had been to Florida a number of times regarding the issue and he participated in the urban turf rule and helped to create the State of Florida model ordinance. It was explained to him that cities and counties needed to document why they wanted to go beyond the model ordinance and he felt that to date none had been able to produce why they would need to. He remarked that it made it difficult to do business in the state if each county had its own ordinance. He asked for the research and scientific information submitted by U/F be relied on and trusted.
Mr. Alex Briley, an account manager with BrightView Landscaping Services, stated that his company had accounts with several Homeowners Associations (HOA) in Lake County. He commented that he took care of HOAs that contained up to 10,000 residents. He remarked that he taught Florida friendly landscaping classes to his customers on a frequent basis. He opined that the residents of Florida had been given good research by U/F that had been bought and paid for by the residents and the research contained one million data points that took place over three different areas to provide a broad spectrum of results. He stated that the research was conclusive and showed that when fertilizer was correctly applied, water quality was protected. He reported that in Virginia, residents were being asked to fertilize their lawns when it is actively growing in order to protect the Chesapeake Bay. He explained that turf was nature’s best pollution filter and it needed to be cared for. He noted that a lot of potential sources had been created to spread nutrients into the water and that turf grass was the best defense against that while also preventing erosion. He felt that there were other possible sources, such as septic tanks, that were adding nitrogen to the water ways that needed to be investigated. He asked the Board that exceptions be allowed for professional businesses and trained homeowners.
Mr. Bob Mann, a representative of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, stated that his association contributed to the Florida friendly landscaping BMP plan and that they fully support the BMP. He explained that the correct timing and amounts of fertilization were in the BMP and he felt that there was no need to go further than what was outlined there. He noted that the research supplied by U/F showed that fertilizer applied outside of a blackout period was not beneficial because the plants were not active enough to absorb the fertilizer. He stated that his association was against the blackout period; however, they requested that there be exempted parties that would be allowed to apply fertilizer, if the Board approved the ordinance.
Ms. Ann Aquillo, a representative of Scotts Miracle Grow Company, stated that the company operated a plant in Groveland and noted that they were happy to be a part of the community. She explained that her company had taken steps to remove phosphorous from its fertilizer formulation and made all of the Florida specific products a 50 percent slow release of nitrogen, which they felt was the correct amount. She noted that a lot of education and outreach had also taken place as part of their commitment to water quality. She noted that research backed having a 50 percent slow release nitrogen and she opined that the summertime blackout was not ultimately protective of water quality. She requested that exemptions be allowable for certified professionals and homeowners.
Commr. Campione clarified that Scotts Miracle Grow Company was a part of several efforts to raise public awareness about the ordinance.
Mr. Ian Rodriguez, a representative of BrightView Landscaping, stated that he wrote economic and pest control programs across the state and often in response to what the local ordinances might be if they go beyond the model ordinance. He explained that he was in support of the state model ordinance without a blackout period and he asked that the Board consider exemptions to those certified to apply fertilizer. He remarked that the science made clear that the model ordinance was the most beneficial and installing a blackout would force commercial application during the leaching season, which occurs in the winter months, instead of in the summer when nutrients were absorbed. He stated that their personnel were well trained at the level required by the state and asked that the Board consider an exemption if they were to pass the ordinance.
Ms. Nancy Hurlbert, a resident of Leesburg, asked that the Board be proactive rather than reactive and to take the advice of the staff. She noted that staff had done the research and prepared an impact report that stated that as a nutrient reduction tool, the ordinance would aid in achieving The Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) targets in Lake County water bodies. She noted that nutrients that were prevented from entering the lakes and canals through education was more cost effective than removing the nutrient loads after the fact. She further read from the statement that if the ordinance was approved it would have a positive economic effect by aiding the restoration of the County’s lakes and streams, which would be beneficial to the eco-tourism of Lake County. She hoped that the Board would consider the residents opinions and be proactive rather than reactive.
Ms. Jane Hepting, a resident who resided on Lake Eustis, explained that she just recently purchased a home there and she stated that the residents revere the County’s lakes. She noted that she understood the need for fertilizers but there were other fertilizers available that did not contain nitrogen or phosphorous and as a homeowner she gladly accepted the responsibility of not adding to the pollution of the lakes. She felt that there was a lot of money involved in the nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers, which she felt was evident by the other public speakers present and the campaign that had been launched to raise awareness of the ordinance but she felt spread misinformation. She asked that the Board support the ordinance.
Ms. Rose Fitzpatrick, a supervisor with the Lake Soil and Water Conservation District, stated that she was an environmentalist and was concerned about the quality of the lakes and land in Lake County. She noted that she had observed algae blooms in the lakes and she opined that they were not being produced solely by septic systems. She expressed that the stronger measures requested be approved.
Mr. Mack Carraway, a representative from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation, stated that he represented green industry stakeholders and that he had been active in statewide water management policy creation for over 20 years. He commented that his comments pertained to evidence and scientific research. He reported that the Foundation did not support the Seminole County style ordinance or the summertime blackout periods because they were not the result of an evidence based process. He indicated that the seagrass beds in Pinellas County had improved long before the blackout period there had been implemented and was not connected. He pointed to the Indian River Lagoon area, which implemented the blackout periods; however, the lagoon did not improve. He requested that the Board eliminate the blackout from the ordinance or add an exemption for professionals and trained homeowners. He felt the blackout period was not good policy and asked that the Board respond to the activity creating the problem, which were residents who fertilized carelessly. He stated that education was important and asked the Board to consider exemptions if they approved the ordinance.
Mr. Todd Josko, a representative of TruGreen, asked for the exemption of professional landscapers from the blackout period. He stated that iron and nitrogen deficiencies were distinctly different and using fertilizer with one and not the other did not correct the problem. He explained that iron was a micronutrient and was purely cosmetic, where nitrogen actually grew the grass. He noted it was not the greenness of the grass that acted as a buffer and prevented leaching but it was the growth and the density of the grass. He opined that the answer was to promote BMP and educate residents.
Ms. Sheryan Epperly Chester, a resident of Tavares and who lived on Lake Harris, expressed that she was concerned about the water quality in the Harris Chain of Lakes and in the Florida springs, especially with the population growth, and that action needed to be taken. She felt that the lakes and springs were compromised but there were things that could be done to improve them. She stated that she had spoken several times to the Keep Lake Beautiful (KLB) committee and it had been a rigorous process. She explained that the KLB Committee recommended the adoption of an amended ordinance that would further restrict fertilizer use and that it was documented that the County’s water quality needed to improve. She pointed out that the blackout only applied to nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers and not to the other fertilizers that contained micronutrients and could be safely used in the rain. She explained that the summer growth of turf grass would be fueled by slow release fertilizer that would be applied in the spring and would then be released during the summer months so there would be no need to reapply during the blackout period. She opined that the information submitted by U/F was not designed to study run off or load in the waters. She indicated that measurements were not taken in the study to determine what the plants were absorbing, what the amount of nitrogen running off into the water was, or what the amount being evaporated into the air that came back down in the rains. She opined that it was a logistical issue, not a science issue, and she encouraged the Board to approve the summer blackout period.
Ms. Sara Younger, a resident of High Springs in Alachua County, stated that she noticed that Lake County had a number of available water ways and requested that the Board approve the ordinance with the blackout period because waterways were not restricted to county lines. She remarked that the blue green algae was a concern in south Florida and both Lake Okeechobee and the Indian River have had issues due to discharge. She felt that some of the science should be questioned because how they obtained funding. She urged the Board to approve the ordinance and also to provide education, which was required to understand Florida’s unique environment. She pointed out that there was evidence that some organic methods could be used to feed lawns.
Ms. Lavon Silvernell, representing the Beautyberry Chapter of the Native Plant Society, reported that the Society held a meeting and it was decided unanimously that she express their support of the ordinance to the Board. She noted that she was also on the KLB committee and was part of the process of creating the proposed ordinance, which took place over a period of three meetings. She commented that the Native Plant Society, The Villages and U/F had created five, turf free landscapes for The Villages to conserve water. She reported that in Lake County during 2016 there was 26,604 tons fertilizer applied and that part of that fertilizer could leach through soil and into air and also be distributed onto yard clippings, which could lead to runoff into the drains. She asked that education on fertilizers be a priority no matter what the Board decided on the ordinance because she would rather have a focus on education than on enforcement.
Ms. Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, a resident of Fort White and a representative from the Sierra Club of Florida, thanked the Board for their reconsideration of the ordinance and noted that if approved, Lake County would be joining other counties with strong fertilizer ordinances in place. She stated that the ordinances were passed by scientifically proven ways and were created in order to make a stronger ordinance than the state model. She reported that letters had been submitted written from Sierra Club members in support of the proposed ordinance. She read a statement made by Dr. Nick Place, Ph.D. Dean and Director, Florida Cooperative Extension Service at U/F, which stated that the application of fertilizer, no matter how precise in rate, timing, placement and method would not result in all of the fertilizer being taken up by the plants. She continued to read the information regarding turf grass uptake ratios and she noted that the ratios showed that there was no stabilization in the uptakes at any given time. She added that stronger ordinances were a low cost alternative that could make a difference without erroneous enforcement measures and prevented fertilizer pollution, which was more cost effective than tax payer cleanup efforts.
Ms. Constance Albright, a resident of Eustis, commented that she attended a reception that was landscaped with all Florida native plants that were not regularly watered or fertilized, yet were healthy. She stated that she grew up in Florida and has seen firsthand the pollution and deterioration of the water ways. She wanted the Board and the County to be more proactive. She commented that it cost less money to take care of the issue in the beginning as opposed to having to do a cleanup. She opined that it was important to understand the Florida ecosystem, the weather patterns and the sandy bottoms of the lakes. She reported that she had spoken with a lawn care business owner who was not aware of the fertilizer ordinance and when she explained the ordinance and blackout period to him, he stated that the ordinance would be beneficial because he received complaints from homeowners that fertilizer had washed away in the summer rains.
Mr. Ron Hart, a representative from the Lake County Water Authority (LCWA), noted that he had a degree in Limnology, which is the study of lakes and wetlands, and he added that he grew up and had lived in Lake County his whole life. He stated that the LCWA strongly supported the proposed ordinance because they were concerned about nitrogen in the water bodies. He explained that a lake can go from being clear to being covered in algae with just a small amount of nitrogen. He also noted that the nitrogen elevation in the ground water was causing negative impacts to the springs. He stated that the heavy rains caused the fertilizer to seep down into the ground water and cause issues in the water supply or runoff into the storm water system and drain directly into the lakes. He recalled that in 2001 the LCWA funded a research paper completed by the United Stated Geological Survey (USGS) and it stated that the ground water had been impacted, including the ground water located in the Ocala National Forest. He noted that he could provide the reports to the Board. He asked that the Board approve the proposed ordinance with the blackout period.
Ms. Melanie Duval, a resident of Minneola, stated that she lived in a waterfront community and was a science teacher. She noted that warmer air, as seen in the summer time, holds more water vapor and because of this, the area was seeing more microbursts of rain that can cause up to five inches of rain in a short period of time. She commented that Florida does not receive small amounts of rain and that causes the fertilizers to wash into the water ways. She opined that the growing number of rain storms would make the runoff worse. She reported that Lake Minneola had a toxic algae breakout during 2015 and 2016, and she noted that this algae can cause symptoms of illness. She felt that native plants would be more appropriate for landscaping, while also moving to a more renewable resource model.
Mr. David Jantz, a resident of Mount Dora, stated that he hoped that the ordinance would be passed with the blackout ban in place during the rainy season. He noted that the area receives a large amount of rain in the summers.
Ms. Sue Jantz, a resident of Mount Dora, commended the staff in the Parks and Recreation Department for implementing BMP around the parks that are on the lakes. She stated that staff had provided good practice examples by not bring the turf to the water’s edge. She explained that there needed to be room to allow for natural growth. She opined that front loading and back loading fertilizer should not be allowed and she supported the proposed ordinance. She remarked that there was an incentive to protect the environment and the people who make their livelihoods on the water ways.
Ms. Anne Bowen, a member of the Sierra Club and resident of Leesburg, stated that she moved to Lake County from the Tampa Bay area where a beach had to be closed due to pollution. She explained that when she purchased her home the lawn was brown because the previous owner was unable to afford the water bill but during the summer it was green due to all of the rain. She further explained that she could live with a light brown lawn in the winter time because she would not be polluting the ground with fertilizer. She pointed out that tourism drives the economy in Florida and it does not benefit the tourism industry or the economy when beaches and lakes have to be closed due to pollution. She referenced an article from 2009 that stated that fertilizer runoff was creating vast dead zones in the water ways across the nation and she remarked that this was a national problem that needed to be addressed.
Mr. Walter Leeman, a resident of Leesburg, stated that he moved to Lake County seven months prior from the Florida Keys and he had yet to go into any of the water bodies passed his knees in the county. He suggested that irrigation systems could help to handle runoff and he pointed out that phosphates come from some of the animal industries, which he opined was the largest polluter from Lake County to the Florida Keys.
Mr. Jochim commented that he wanted to know what the effect of the proposed ordinance would be on individual homeowners because he opined that it was not clear what an applicator was defined as and what they could or could not do. He remarked that there were no enforcement details noted in the ordinance and he was not clear where the funding would come from for education to the public. He suggested that the Board not pass the ordinance if there were no funds to educate the public or enforce the ordinance.
Mr. Trever Honey, a resident who moved from Australia to Leesburg, stated that he lived in Lake County because he loves it and felt it was the best place to live. He noted that he lived in Legacy of Leesburg and he reported fertilizer discussions were taking place there as well. He opined that Mr. Hart of the LCWA was very knowledgeable and he suggested that the Board follow Mr. Hart’s advice. He stated that he had been working with Lake County and had been testing retention ponds, which lead into lakes and rivers, and he reported that there large amounts of phosphorous and nitrogen. He felt that it was clear where the nutrients were going and suggested that the Board listen to the facts. He invited the Board to tour the community he lived in because 98 percent of it was fertilized by outside sources from companies. He reported that he had spoken to some of the companies about slow release but did not receive any positive results. He asked, on behalf of Legacy of Leesburg, that the Board support the ordinance.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Breeden submitted proposed changes to the ordinance after she spoke with several individuals. She reviewed the proposed changes noting that she supported the low maintenance zone area being 15 feet from water bodies. She stated that she could not support the blackout period without exemptions for commercial businesses and homeowners who became educated on how to disperse fertilizer. She felt strongly about educating the homeowners and noted that the Lake County Agricultural and Extension Services already provided training for commercial applicators, which she felt could also be provided to residents. She noted that she supported the ordinance in the areas regarding fertilizer free zones, low maintenance zones, and that fertilizers containing nitrogen should not be applied within 30 days after seeding or sodding a site. She explained that she approved of not applying phosphorous to turf but that she did not eliminate it from landscape plants because it was needed for flower blooms. She opined that the slow release should be no less than 50 percent year around for both turf and landscape plants. She thanked everyone who worked on the ordinance.
Commr. Sullivan noted that the original model ordinance was produced by the State of Florida and then the Board requested that the KLB Committee recommend changes, which was what was being discussed.
Commr. Campione requested that the Chairman allow Mr. Hart the opportunity to provide more information regarding the impacts of the blackout periods in Pinellas County. She felt that there were conflicting opinions from the scientists, who seemed to be disagreeing over small differences that related only to variables and conditions within their own experiments. She noted that Pinellas County did approve the blackout and had a specific experience that she thought should be shared. She commented that Mr. Hart presented information to the KLB Committee and much of that had not been heard by the Board.
Mr. Hart stated that Pinellas County had one of the strongest ordinances in the state and changes to water quality had resulted from it. He explained that one of the watersheds of Lake Tarpon had 79 percent of nitrogen loading into the lake from fertilizer and once the ordinance was passed it decreased by 50 percent, which resulted in water quality improvements. He added that many of the lakes had been listed as being impaired due to excessive nutrients but in the previous year, 22 of the lakes had a decrease in both nitrogen and phosphorous, which resulted in many of those lakes no longer being listed as impaired. He noted that passing the ordinance had also saved Pinellas County $1.35 million by not having to implement water projects to improve water quality. He reported that since 2010 there had been a steady increase of registered fertilizer applicators in the Pinellas County so he felt the blackout period was not negatively impacting businesses or homeowners.
Commr. Campione opined that there needed to be a solution that resolved the needs of the County, the residents and the businesses. She noted that she had not agreed with the marketing campaign that was created against the ordinance because she felt it spread false information. She felt that there had been some residents who did not want government extending into their private lives; however, she thought that most residents understood that their property rights were not being violated and she commented that a positive thing to come from the campaign was that it started a discussion on the issue. She opined that the blackout period was a way for the community to work together to help protect the lakes, while continuing to discuss how to mitigate the other nutrients and pollutants that could also be contributing to the issue. She did not agree with only giving exemptions to the commercial fertilizer businesses and suggested that residents be given the opportunity to take training and become educated on fertilizer application to gain an exemption. She pointed out that yard clippings also seemed to be a large issue and she wondered if guidelines for those could be part of the ordinance or training. She felt that enforcing the correct disposal of yard clippings could be done easily but would need to be complaint driven like typical code enforcement cases. She stated that if the community was involved it could work on a variety of issues to help improve water quality. She pointed out that ultimately she was in favor of the summertime blackout because that made it simple by having commercial businesses and homeowners simply not using nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers during those time periods; however, if the Board did not want to approve that measure, she suggested that the ordinance recommend not to use nitrogen products in the summer and have a program created to encourage the residents and businesses to apply fertilizer the correct way.
Commr. Parks pointed out that the blackout period was the issue that seemed to be the most controversial; however, he stated that he supported Commr. Campione’s comments. He noted that he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science so the process for the ordinance had been interesting for him. He stated that there was a loading problem from fertilizer in the surface and ground water and a revised Wekiva River Basin study completed in 2008 referenced that hundreds of tons of fertilizer were going into the basin area. He noted that photos taken from under the water surface were compared to photos taken 30 years prior and showed that there was a large difference in the water clarity and while there were a number of contributing factors, fertilizer was one of them. He commented that he had reviewed much of the discussion on the issue and stated that in 2013, Dr. Place did state that the uptake from the turf grass of total nitrogen was anywhere between 25 to 74 percent. He pointed out there was a lot of variability and uncertainty in the ratio. He stated that it was difficult to have the legislation place a blanket approach across the state, when each area was different. He pointed out that Lake County contained the Wekiva River, Lake Yale, the Clermont and the Harris Chain of Lakes, and Lake Apopka and they were all outstanding water bodies that were not typically found throughout the state. He noted that there were a lot of economic factors that the lakes brought to the county and the Board needed to protect the water quality by taking a conservative approach, while also respecting businesses. He felt that the proposed ordinance could be passed; however, he thought the increase to a 65 percent slow release requirement in 2020 could be removed.
Commr. Blake stated that he supported the state model ordinance but he had concerns within the proposed ordinance regarding advocacy and enforceability. He noted that he had not seen data or heard any information that justified an additional five foot setback. He also noted that front and end loading fertilizer could lead to more runoff and unintended consequences. He stated that if there was to be a blackout period it should be done in the winter when the root system is dormant.
Commr. Sullivan stated that his major concern had been the blackout period but he supported the rest of the proposed ordinance. He felt that if there were to be a blackout period, the residents should have the option to receive the training for fertilizer application and be exempt from the blackout period. He commented that Lake County was unique and with over 1,400 lakes, the County needed to have its own ordinance separate from the State requirements.
Commr. Breeden clarified that Commr. Sullivan supported removing the 65 percent slow release from future requirements and not allowing phosphorous to be applied to turf.
Commr. Campione noted that how to enforce the ordinance needed to be reviewed and there needed to be education provided to staff and to residents.
Commr. Blake reported that some of the residents had been concerned about over regulation.
Commr. Sullivan suggested taking time to revisit the ordinance and asked if there was a time limit.
Commr. Campione replied that she would like to have feedback from the field to determine whether there were any issues with the residents, complaints and how the complaints were resolved. She felt that the residents would be more willing to participate if they were involved and educated on the issue. She suggested pausing the discussion for six months, doing active public outreach on the issue and then discuss it further.
Commr. Parks stated that he was not in favor of pausing the discussion but would rather reevaluate the ordinance and education processes in one year, with the additional information.
Commr. Breeden wondered if it would be better to provide training and outreach, then have residents work through a summer blackout period and reevaluate after that time.
Commr. Sullivan asked the County Attorney what the limitations were regarding the ordinance’s effective date.
Ms. Marsh responded that the ordinance could be made effective at a future date. She also suggested putting the ordinance in place and adding language that no fines would be enforced for a certain period of time. If complaints were received during that period of time, staff could go out and educate the residents on fertilizer use.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved Ordinance 2017-55, amending Lake County Code, Appendix E, Land Development Regulations, Section 6.13.00, entitled “Fertilizer Use,” approved with the removal of section 6.13.03, which was the increase of the slow release minimum in fertilizers from 50 percent to 65 percent in 2020; amending D.3 to state that fertilizers containing phosphorous shall not be applied to turf unless a soil or tissue deficiency has been verified by an approved test; adding that no Code Enforcement will take place for one year from the ordinance effective date.
Commr. Breeden voted no.
Commr. Blake voted no.
agency for economic PROSPERITY – akers media services
Mr. Adam Sumner, Office of Visit Lake, reported that the economy in Astor is dependent upon seasonal visitors that go there to enjoy the river but it had received significant damage during Hurricane Irma. The flooding that took place there damaged many businesses and staff had been working with the Board, partners at FEMA and some others to try to find some solutions to help the businesses. He noted that a meeting was held and a three phase plan was created. He explained that the plan included a communications phase that would bring local media in to visit the area and report on what businesses were already open and when others would be reopening. The plan consisted of an advertising and marketing campaign phase that was being created by staff to inform visitors, within a four hour drive, that Astor businesses were back open and that access to the St. Johns River was available. The third phase of the plan was the Astor Advertising Grant Program, which was the request to the Board. He presented a marketing video that highlighted Astor and the businesses there, which was produced by the Communications Department. He explained that the Astor Advertising Grant would be one-hundred percent funded by tourism tax dollars, with no General Fund impact, and would provide a maximum grant of up to $6,000 to be used for any tourism related business in the Astor community. He noted that the grant could be used for creative design, strategy and media buying. He stated that Akers Media agreed to offer services to the Astor businesses at a significantly discounted rate and businesses would have until February 28, 2018, to apply for funding and funds must be spent by December 31, 2018. He remarked that approximately 10 to 15 businesses would be eligible and there was currently no cap on the number of grants that could be awarded but the businesses had to be located within the designated area and had to be a tourism business. He pointed out that the funds would come from the Tourism Promotional line item budget and staff would need to amend the Akers Media contract to offer these services. He requested approval to amend the Akers Media contract and to offer the Astor Advertising Grant Program.
Commr. Blake commended staff on the work with the businesses of Astor and for putting together the information for the Board.
Mr. Cole noted that the existing relationship between staff and Akers Media allowed for the reduced rates and he added that the County appreciated that partnership.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the amendment to the Akers Media Tourism Advertising Services agreement to authorize the Astor Advertising Grant Program, which will assist tourism related businesses in Astor with marketing and advertising efforts during recovery from the flooding caused by Hurricane Irma. The grant program will be 100% Tourist Development Tax funded.
APPOINTMENTS – parks, recreation & trails advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Sean O. Johnson, representing District 1, to the Parks, Recreation & Trails Advisory Board to complete a two-year term ending May 20, 2019.
REPORTS - county manager
hurricane irma debris update
Mr. Cole reported that debris cleanup had been taking place for 10 weeks and that the first pass was estimated to be finished by November 30, 2017. He remarked that the second pass would then immediately begin and would take approximately 30 to 60 days to complete. At that time it would be determined whether a third pass would be necessary. He stated that to date the storm related costs totaled $6 million and it was expected that there could be up to a 75 percent reimbursement on those costs from FEMA.
Mr. Cole reminded the Board that the Lake County offices would be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 23, 2017 and Friday, November 24, 2017.
commissioner parks – district 2
lake county sheriff’s office ride along
Commr. Parks reported that he had been on a ride along with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and he noted that they had received a lot of calls for police response. He expressed his support to the Sheriff’s office and anyone in law enforcement.
mental health outreach
Commr. Parks stated that he attended a candlelight vigil that took place in south Lake County for a student who took his life during the week. He expressed his condolences to the family. He asked that the Board support the efforts of local organizations who were working closely with the issue of mental health. He commented that speaking positively and politely could make a difference in someone’s day.
honoring the vietnamese-AMERICAN heritage
Commr. Parks requested approval of a proclamation that honored the local Vietnamese-American community in Lake County. He explained that the community promoted democracy, freedom and human rights. He noted that he placed it on the agenda for discussion so that policy could be adhered to.
Mr. Marsh noted that it would need to be voted on at the following meeting because the item was placed on the agenda to close to the current meeting.
Commr. Campione opined that the proclamation was consistent in supporting the immigrant populations within Lake County and appreciating their efforts in the community. She explained that while they retain the things that are a part of their heritage they are still, first and foremost, Americans and she felt that because of that, not putting an emphasis on the Heritage and Freedom flag that was noted in the proclamation was important. She suggested that clauses three and four in the proclamation be combined because that would allow the proclamation to flow better.
Commr. Sullivan noted that he agreed honoring the Vietnamese-American community was important but he did not want a reference to the flag in the proclamation.
Commr. Breeden felt that recognizing their community was a positive thing for Lake County.
Commr. Campione suggested taking out the reference to the flag and keeping the values of the Vietnamese- American community listed in the proclamation.
Commr. Parks clarified that the proposed proclamation did not specifically recognize the Heritage and Freedom Flag but supported the community and their efforts.
Mr. Cole stated that he had taken note of the suggestions and that he would work with the County Attorney and Commissioner Parks on the final draft for the Board to approve at the following meeting.
commissioner breeden – district 3
Commr. Breeden wished the Board and staff a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
veteran’s day luncheon
Commr. Breeden reported that she attended a Veteran’s Lunch at Beyer’s Funeral Home located in Leesburg. She noted that Congressman Daniel Webster was also in attendance.
texting while driving legislation
Commr. Breeden explained that she was requesting approval to support a legislative action that would provide law enforcement the ability to enforce texting while driving as a primary offense. She explained that she received a letter from State Representative Emily Slosberg requesting the support. She noted that the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Community Traffic and Safety Team and the Public Safety Council were in support of the effort.
Commr. Blake asked if the local Lake County legislative delegations had been contacted for their input on the matter. He stated that he was not opposed to the legislation but felt it should follow the proper process to avoid questionable outcomes.
Commr. Breeden responded that she had not spoken with the local delegation.
Commr. Campione agreed that the legislation should go through the proper process.
Commr. Parks stated that while he understood that texting while driving was a problem, he felt the local delegation should have the opportunity to give feedback on the proposed legislation.
The consensus of the Board was for Commissioner Breeden to consult the Lake County delegation to get input prior to making a determination.
commissioner campione – VICE CHAIRMAN AND district 4
cr 435 and wekiva parkway traffic calming
Commr. Campione requested support from the Board to direct Public Works staff to start creating a traffic calming and complete streets plan for County Road (CR) 435 near the Wekiva Parkway connection. She noted that there was already traffic calming and a complete streets plan in place for State Road (SR) 46 so she suggested combining the two into one plan and presenting it to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for approval. This would alleviate traffic in Mount Plymouth if the interchange was closed. She commented that there would also be a request for FDOT to pay for the improvements so that the construction could be completed and the area ready when the additional traffic started to flow through. She opined that the FDOT was shifting the traffic issue into the community for Lake County to resolve and felt FDOT should fund the improvements since ultimately it was an issue caused by them. She mentioned that this would be an alternative to leaving the interchange open.
Commr. Breeden stated that she was in support of the concept but she was concerned about the cost. She wondered if it would be more beneficial to send a letter to FDOT.
Commr. Campione responded that the complete streets design plan was complete so the County Engineer would only be creating a plan for the intersection of CR 435 and SR 46, and whether there would one or two proposed roundabouts between the Lake County line and SR 46 as a way to calm traffic.
Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, stated that he had shared preliminary exhibits with Commissioner Campione and he noted that staff could add anything additional, while also working with the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) on the priority project list in regards to funding.
Commr. Campione clarified that the plan would need to be added to the Lake County project list by the Lake-Sumter MPO and then the County Engineer would present the need to the FDOT.
Commr. Parks opined that it was a good solution that could be funded by FDOT and it would alleviate the concern over the interchange. He noted that there would be a presentation given at the next Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) meeting to give the history on the legislation related to the parkway and he suggested that Commissioner Campione attend.
Commr. Campione noted that she was still in favor of the interchange but she recognized that having another plan in place to mitigate the impact was a positive thing because there was a real concern over what the additional traffic would do to Mount Plymouth.
Commr. Breeden felt that if the plan was put in place and there were still issues, then it would be important to have information to back up the Board’s concerns.
Commr. Campione explained that there would also be another increase in traffic for the area once the Interstate 4 (I-4) construction was completed.
Commr. Parks noted that the plan would be beneficial without having to reopen the legislation.
Mr. Cole clarified that the interchange would be left as an added item in the Board’s legislative priorities but not be actively pursued and the plans for traffic calming would be added as a separate item under other priorities.
Commr. Sullivan felt that it would be more beneficial to pull the interchange from the legislative priorities and add the traffic calming and complete streets plan, because that was a more reasonable expectation to be completed.
Commr. Campione suggested that the resolution for the interchange stay intact but that it be removed from the legislative priorities and then have staff complete the process of getting the new traffic calming plan on the priority list.
The consensus of the Board was for staff to prepare traffic calming options for the County Road 435 and Wekiva Parkway connection area.
secondary road names
Commr. Campione remarked that she had been approached by residents about adding a secondary name to the different sections of State Road 44 to make it less confusing. She suggested having community input on the names.
The Board was in agreement with the idea.
COMMISSIONER BLAKE – DISTRICT 5
the villages – eoc and public safety meeting
Commr. Blake thanked Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Emergency Operations Manager, and Chief John Molenda, Assistant County Manager, for joining him at a meeting in an older section of The Villages. He explained that it is a unique section of the County because there are multiple layers of local government in the area and they experienced some storm related issues due to Hurricane Irma. He stated that Mr. Carpenter and Chief Molenda were able to explain the Emergency Operations Center and the Public Safety processes and that it was helpful for many residents who live there and do not have easy access to news information.
commissioner sullivan – chairman and district 1
Commr. Sullivan thanked staff for their hard work and support of the Renaissance Faire that took place earlier in the month.
Commr. Sullivan wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:35 p.m.
timothy i. sullivan, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK