A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
February 13, 2018
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 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; Niki Booth, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Kristy Mullane, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Kathleen Bregel, Administrative Specialist, Board.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Greg Watts of Liberty Baptist Church in Tavares gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, asked for Tab 3 to be moved to after Tab 4, Approval of the Minutes.
treadway elementary school essay winners
Commr. Breeden reported that the County was going to be using a grant to build sidewalks on County Road (C.R.) 473, which would be a great benefit to students going to Treadway Elementary School in Leesburg. She remarked that when Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, talked to the principal of the school regarding the sidewalks, the principal had the fourth and fifth graders do an essay contest on why it would be helpful to have the sidewalks for safety reasons. She introduced the two winners of the essay contest, Master Caleb Kelly and Miss Makenzie Brionez, whose essays were read to the audience.
Commr. Sullivan and Commr. Parks congratulated the students and remarked what a great job they did on their essays.
lake county’s lakebigbass angler presentation
Mr. Robert Chandler, Executive Director of the Agency for Economic Prosperity, first introduced Mr. Michael Cooney as the new Director for Product Development and Business Attraction for Elevate Lake. He then recognized Mr. Tim Frederick as Lake County’s LakeBigBass angler, commenting that four years ago, the County decided to sponsor a local angler in order to get more exposure for the LakeBigBass brand. He reported that in his first year, Mr. Frederick participated in some of the lower level tournaments and qualified for the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Tour, that in his second year he fished as a rookie in the FLW Tour and then in this his third year, he won his first FLW Tour event two weeks ago in Lake Okeechobee. He noted what a monumental event that was for Mr. Frederick and then showed a video clip of his recent win.
Mr. Frederick thanked the Board for their continued support and commented how Lake County was a great resource for fishing and how that was bringing tourism dollars into the county. He shared his desire to continue to represent and promote the LakeBigBass brand and remarked what an amazing job Mr. Chandler and his staff do on local fishing tournaments. He thanked everyone for allowing him to live his dream.
Commr. Breeden mentioned how she also appreciated Mr. Frederick participating in the Bassville Park clean up community event.
Commr. Parks thanked Mr. Frederick for being a great ambassador for Lake County and shared how a child in his neighborhood was interested in going into fishing because of Mr. Frederick’s influence.
Ms. Jeannine Nelson, Human Resources Interim Manager, announced that they would be recognizing employees who had reached significant milestones in their careers with Lake County, as follows:
Donna Bohrer, Public Hearing Associate (not present)
Office of Planning & Zoning
Christopher MacDonald, Construction Inspector II
Office of Parks & Trails
David Hope, Transit Division Manager
Community Services/Transit Division
Elizabeth Kelley, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
Gustavo Marquez, Communications Associate
Office of Public Safety Support
Anthony Moore, Technologies System Analyst
Office of Public Safety Support
Donald King, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
Lisa Piper, Library Assistant I (not present)
Office of Library Services/Cooper Memorial Library
Jay Ryon, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Office of Fire Rescue
Susan Dugan, Senior Contracting Officer (not present)
Office of Procurement Services
Lake County Fire Chief Jim Dickerson recognized Battalion Fire Chief Randy Jones, Office of Fire Rescue, for his 30 years of service with the County. He stated that Chief Jones was hired on January 4, 1988, starting his career as a firefighter at Bassville Fire Station 51, which is currently Station 71. He said that at the time he was hired, Lake County only had 10 fire stations and he was one of only 28 firefighters in the entire department and that staffing at that time was one person per fire truck. He remarked that Chief Jones gave 30 years of his life to better Lake County Fire Rescue, was promoted up the ranks to Battalion Chief, and was instrumental in building the County’s Special Operations Team. He commented that he had worked on many large wildfire campaigns throughout the country during his career and was an expert on mitigating wildland fires and that his expertise would be greatly missed. He stated that during this next chapter of his life, Chief Jones planned to travel the country with his wife and possibly build a cabin in Montana. He thanked him for his service to the County and wished him the best in retirement.
Commr. Campione arrived at 9:26 a.m.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of December 19, 2017 (Regular Meeting) and January 9, 2018 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
trout lake nature center presentation
Ms. Joan Bryant, Director at Trout Lake Nature Center and Chairman of their Funding and Building Committee, presented an update on their Capital Building Campaign. She reported that the center had recently launched their capital building campaign with a goal of raising $1,250,000 to build classrooms, build a museum, and provide safe, convenient parking for 80 vehicles. She commented that the Trout Lake Nature Center was created 30 years ago and had become an asset and a jewel to the community. She remarked that it was a 230 acre environmental classroom which provided a living, breathing Central Florida habitat for preschoolers, grade-schoolers and beyond. She stated that Lake County students receive hands-on environmental education at the center and participate in strategically designed programs, which incorporate state of the art education theory, exceed state standards and continuously evolve to ensure excellence. She said that their spring break camp was very popular and that a new program, Birding for Kids, was started this year and co-sponsored by the Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society. She noted that one full day of their spring break camp is devoted to fishing and includes learning how to fish, dissecting a fish, and education on the importance of maintaining the environmental quality of lakes so fish can thrive. She said they also provide continuing education for adults through monthly programs which nurture relationships between nature and adults and bring visitors who are Trout Lake Nature Center members, neighbors, newcomers and visitors to Central Florida. She stated that their teacher workshops advance environmental education for educators, including providing strategies for introducing nature into classrooms. She added that many visitors come just to enjoy the peaceful walk along the trails or to relax at the waterfront. She said the Trout Lake Nature Center is a welcoming community gathering place with the Oklawaha Valley Chapter of the National Audubon Society, the Lake Beautyberry Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, Scout Troops, and weekly yoga enthusiasts all meeting there. She noted that the Lake Eustis Folk Music Society gathers monthly for music festivals at the center and that the center also hosts seasonal events for various holidays. She reported that zip code data gathered for the past 12 months showed that 32 percent of visitors came from outside of Lake County, including some from out of state and other countries. She commented that their volunteers are the heart of Trout Lake Nature Center and support the education programs as well as work to maintain and improve the exhibits, habitats, trails, boardwalks and buildings. She mentioned the highlights of the Capital Building Campaign as follows: build an exit road, allowing the existing road to become a one-way road; tie into the city sewer system to eliminate two above ground septic tanks; and extend the fire/water hydrant closer to the building. She added that the aging infrastructure needs to be replaced as well. She reported that the site plan had been approved by the City of Eustis and the final engineering drawings were currently being prepared. She said that the City of Eustis Commission voted to waive the $750 fee for the final plans. She noted that they had the funds to begin this first phase and hoped to begin construction sometime this year. She reported that the next phase still needed funding and would include building the following: parking for 80 or more cars, away from the center of activity; a perimeter road with a better bus loading area; and a meadow teaching area for special learning programs and events. She stated that the final phase was for the building, which will have 80 percent of it dedicated to education, will be ADA accessible and as environmentally sustainable as possible. She remarked that the building would house a classroom with six spaces for viewing macro-organisms with microscopes, water and soil related activities and have the ability to be divided into two classrooms if needed. She stated there would also be a covered, screened, outdoor classroom, a museum, a meeting space and some additional office space. She noted that building construction would begin in 2020 with the grand opening in 2021. She commented that the success of the center had stretched their physical resources, reporting that they had 11,983 visitors over the last year with 8,845 students participating in the education program and 27,961 contacts made through their outreach programs. She opined that the center needs to take extreme steps to accommodate their future in order to ensure the center is there for future generations. She asked Lake County to provide $100,000 for this project so that Trout Lake Nature Center could expand their ability to provide environmental education for students and residents. She thanked the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on behalf of the Trout Lake Nature Center Board of Directors, staff, members and volunteers.
Commr. Sullivan thanked Ms. Bryant for all that she and the center do for Lake County and said the Board would consider this request.
Mr. Cole stated staff would include this request for funding in their budget preparation.
citizen question and comment period
Dr. Alan Holden, CEO/President of United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties, commented that the task force for the hurricane recovery was closed out the previous Friday since most of their work was coming to an end. He remarked that over the last five months, United Way had raised over $172,000 to provide direct assistance to citizens recovering from Hurricane Irma and to assist evacuees from Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria. He stated that this assistance consisted of $38,000 for rent, mortgage or housing placement and that for every dollar invested, they received federal matching dollars. He reported that $22,000 was spent for utility assistance, $8,000 for tree removal, $25,000 for home repairs and assistance to four businesses for repair, over $36,000 for new beds and bedding sheets, and $27,000 for food. He noted they had a little over $14,000 remaining for additional expenses that would be used to continue assisting evacuees from Hurricane Maria. He said that over 1,200 individuals in their service area were assisted and that the citizens of Lake and Sumter Counties were very generous. He noted that they raised the money mentioned while at the same time posting over double digit increases in their Fall United Way Campaign. He opined this was amazing when considering that 78 percent of the money raised by United Way comes from individuals earning $10 an hour. He said his team of volunteers thanked the citizens of Lake and Sumter Counties for the privilege to serve them and wanted to convey their continued desire to partner with Lake County Government to tackle social issues that face their communities.
Commr. Sullivan thanked Dr. Holden for the great report and commented that Lake County does pull together in times of need and that this report represents the type of citizens that the Board has the privilege to represent.
Commr. Parks also thanked Dr. Holden for how his organization addressed helping evacuees from Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria.
Mr. Vance Jochim, a Tavares resident who writes a blog about local government issues, asked that public input be allowed as part of the Shirley Shores discussion later in the meeting. He then referred to President Trump’s recent meeting regarding $1.5 trillion going to infrastructure for fast, local, permit ready projects and repairs. He stated the money would go to local governments who already have permitting in place, noting that the goal was for federal permits to be done in six to twenty-four months. He encouraged the Board to try and obtain some of this funding. He opined that the County had deferred road funding for too long and cut impact fees to a fraction of what was needed to pay for infrastructure caused by growth. He remarked that the penny sales tax money previously allocated to roads was now going to other items and opined that the Board needed to consider adequate funding for roads. He also commended the Board for rejecting the Sorrento Pines Development request at the last BCC meeting. He urged the Board to develop a plan to protect the rights of people who move into large acreage home sites from high density developments and Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements (ISBAs). He opined that the cities, through annexation, would bypass the County Comprehensive Plan studies and remove restrictions. He summarized by asking the Board to develop a plan on how to deal with county roads and protecting the rights of people in rural areas.
Ms. Ann Cunningham, a resident of Wolf Branch Estates in Sorrento, remarked she has a visual of the intersection of Wolf Branch Road and Round Lake Road from her back patio and had witnessed two accidents in the last two months, one being fatal, at this dangerous intersection. She suggested the Board consider putting a round-a-bout at this intersection instead of a traffic signal. She said it would aid drivers going to the school to have a steady, continuous flow of traffic and would also slow down the speed of drivers on this road.
Commr. Sullivan thanked Ms. Cunningham for bringing this to the Board’s attention and stated that the Board had been talking about road issues and funding for improvements and would consider this request.
Commr. Campione added that the County was in the process of doing a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study in this area because of the extension of Round Lake Road and the Wekiva Parkway interchange that comes in on C.R. 46 opening soon. She said that hopefully through the PD&E process, the County could apply for safety grant funding to help with improving this intersection. She stated she drives that area often and realizes it is a critical area of concern.
Mr. Cole stated that the County was currently in design for a traffic signal at that intersection, outside of the PD&E study of Round Lake Road, which is to be funded for installation in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. He noted that if the Board was interested in pursuing a different path, such as a round-a-bout, then staff would need to know. He added that they would be enhancing the signage at that intersection in the interim until more traffic control could be put in place there.
Commr. Breeden opined that she thought that intersection would be a good area for a round-a-bout.
Commr. Campione remarked that traffic on Wolf Branch Road would continue to increase and that possibly a study could identify if a round-a-bout would function as needed to keep the traffic moving safely.
Ms. Cunningham commented she uses the round-a-bout that was placed on State Road (S.R.) 44, which is a heavily traveled 55 mile per hour road, and opined that it worked very well in that area.
Mr. Cole concluded that staff could bring several possible scenarios for that intersection back to the Board to consider.
CLERK OF COURTs’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Item 1, 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.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT agenda
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 6 through Tab 23 as follows:
1. Of a Lease Agreement with Zellwin Farms Company for commercial lease space located at 1898 West Burleigh Boulevard in Tavares for the Supervisor of Elections Operations Center;
2. To terminate the Lease Agreement with Strickland Warehouses with an effective date that satisfies the 120-day notice requirements, while minimizing the overlapping of lease payments. The County Attorney is authorized to send the termination letter under these conditions; and
3. To authorize the
County Manager to approve all relocation-related expenses.
The additional fiscal impact for fiscal year 2018 is up to $205,966.26 (expenditure; $34,739.26 for increased lease payments, and up to $171,227.00 for relocation-related expenditures). Commission District 3.
Request approval to accept Offer to Purchase on Alternate 3866118 for $700 (correcting a scrivener's error from December 5, 2017 that stated Alternate Key 3866121). There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Order of Taking and Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2017-CA-1532, Lake County vs. Mark C. Browne and Melissa W. Browne, et al., (Parcel Number: FP-18 and FP 18(A)) for needed right of way on the CR 466A Road Project, Phase 3A. The total settlement for approval and fiscal impact is $80,000.00 (expenditure). Commission District 5.
Request approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2017-CA-1533, Lake County vs. James A. Alderman, as Trustee of the James A. Alderman Family Trust dated August 24, 2011, et al., (Parcel Number: FP-079) for right of way needed for the CR 466A Road Project, Phase 3A. The fiscal impact for approval is $4,253.63 (expenditure; total Settlement of $7,453.63 less $3,200.00, which was previously deposited with the Court per the Stipulated Order of Taking). Commission District 5.
MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
Request approval to advertise an ordinance amending Lake County Code, Chapter 10.5, Article II, Division 3, regarding Fire Rescue Assessments, renumbering and creating a new Section 10.5-64, entitled “Single Assessment Discount for Vacant Lands." The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.
Request approval of "Policy Council" level partnership with the Orlando Economic Partnership. The annual fiscal impact is $50,000.00 (expenditure).
Request approval of the sponsorship agreement with PFXA for the 2018 Spring Games to be held at multiple softball complexes throughout Lake County, and authorize the County Manager to execute the agreement. The fiscal impact is not to exceed $40,000.00 (expenditure). Commission districts 2 and 3.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE
Request approval to issue a purchase order to Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY), for the purchase of Antivenin North American Coral Snake Injection medication and authorize the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is estimated to be $29,700.00 (expenditure; 100% grant funded).
INFRASTRUCTURE AND INTERNAL SUPPORT SERVICES
Request approval to award contract 17-0002, to CivilSurv Design Group, Inc. (Lakeland, FL), to provide professional engineering design services for the CR 473 Safe Routes to School Sidewalk, to be installed from Fountain Lake Boulevard to Haines Creek Road. The fiscal impact is $145,739.00 (expenditure; 100% grant funded). Commission District 3.
Request approval of the Revocable Non-Exclusive License Agreement for monitoring wells on the Loma Linda property located on Frankies Road in the Tavares area. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request approval to:
1. Accept the final plat for Johns Lake Landing Phase 4, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Johns Lake Landing Phase 4 final plat; and
2. Execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Improvements between Lake County and Johns Lake, LLC; and
3. Accept a performance bond of $1,259,009.18.
The fiscal impact is $1,551.00 (revenue for final plat application fee). Commission District 2.
Request approval to execute Resolution 2018-10 authorizing the installation of a "STOP" sign on North Grove Street, at the intersection of Laurel Oak Drive, in the Eustis area. The fiscal impact is $65.00 (expenditure for sign materials). Commission District 4.
Request approval to apply to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for a Derelict Vessel Removal Grant, which requires a 25% local match, and authorize the County Manager to execute an application, grant agreement, and all supporting documentation and related expenditures. The fiscal impact is $20,000.00 (expenditure/revenue - $5,000 in County funding and $15,000.00 in grant funding). Commission District 5.
COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT SERVICE
Request approval to participate in the State of Florida Heavy Duty Transit Bus Consortium to support timely and cost-effective purchases of fixed route transit buses as required, and authorize the County Manager to execute any related documentation. There is no fiscal impact from this action.
Request approval to apply for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's Annual Community Planning and Technical Assistance Grant to be used to contract with the University of Central Florida's School for Urban and Regional Planning, as well as WellFlorida, to initiate a Master Plan Study for the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). The fiscal impact is $40,000.00 (expenditure; 100% grant funded).
Request approval of the Agreement and Release Following Termination with Graphics Direct, Inc., in the amount of $6,837.22. The fiscal impact is $6,837.22 (expenditure).
Request approval of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) Medicaid Waiver Services Agreement to provide transportation for the developmentally disabled. The fiscal impact is $225,098.89 (expenditure/revenue; $138,694.00 in County funding and $86,404.89 in APD funding).
Request approval of the Amended Interlocal Agreement with the City of Fruitland Park, which reallocates Library Impact Fees of $350,000 awarded to the City in 2017 for the purchase of furniture for its new library to instead be used for construction costs, and combines all $1,422,553.11 in Impact Fee funding awarded in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 into the Amended Agreement. There is no additional fiscal impact from this Amended Interlocal Agreement. Commission District 5.
lake emergency medical services into county organization
Mr. John Molenda, Assistant County Manager, presented an overview of the transition of Lake Emergency Medical Services (EMS) into the County organization by focusing on the background, consultant analysis, internal analysis, stakeholder input, timeline and requested action. He recapped that in October 30, 2017, the Clerk’s Office notified the County Manager that Lake EMS had exceeded its $1 million pooled cash limit by $300,000. He explained that prompted the Board to authorize a temporary increase of pooled cash to $1.5 million and to direct staff to work with Lake EMS to identify efficiency opportunities. He noted that on January 9, 2018, the Board received an update and authorized staff to discuss a potential transition of Lake EMS into the County organization and to increase the pooled cash limit to $2 million to ensure Lake EMS was able to pay their bills. He said they then discussed this possible transition with the municipalities, hospitals and other stakeholders in the community to seek their input.
Mr. Jerry Smith, Executive Director of Lake EMS, remarked that Lake EMS is a government not-for-profit corporation owned by the Board of County Commissioners. He commented that the core services provided by Lake EMS were as follows: transport of the sick and injured; consolidated communications of Fire Services and Lake EMS; medical director for Lake EMS and 12 of the 13 fire departments in Lake County; medical logistics for Lake EMS and all 13 Fire Services; and quality assurance and regulatory compliance with the Department of Health since they are an advanced life support provider. He explained that in March 2016, Fitch & Associates conducted an overall study of emergency medical services within Lake County, including partnerships with Fire Service, and looked for duplications and ways to improve service. He elaborated that in December 2017, Fitch & Associates presented their final findings which included: changes to the deployment plan; for ambulances to work closer with Fire Services on priority dispatching as a new computerized dispatch system was installed; and alternatives for the BCC to consider regarding the organization of Lake EMS.
Mr. Molenda shared that the three alternatives presented by Fitch & Associates were as follows: option one was for all personnel and divisions of Lake EMS to be placed under the Board of County Commissioners as the Office of EMS; option two was to fully consolidate Lake EMS under Lake County Fire Rescue, which is a model done throughout 83 percent of the state; and option three was for Lake EMS to maintain field operations as it does currently but to move administrative support, such as Human Resources (HR), Information Technology (IT), Fleet, Facilities, Procurement, Finance, etc., over to Lake County since they already have those departments and functions. He explained that with all the alternatives, it was recommended that dispatch be provided by Lake County Government through Public Safety support, that outsourcing patient billing be explored and that potential long term savings and efficiencies were identified. He mentioned that the internal analysis of staff looked to identify organizational and fiscal efficiencies while enhancing service. He added that additional issues identified during the analysis were the projected need for an increase in pooled cash, increasing service costs, depleted reserves, and insufficient funding for capital purchases. He commented that each component of Lake EMS, which allow it to be a stand-alone operation, were considered and included 911 communications/dispatch, administration, human resources, quality development/training, support services/logistics, fleet maintenance, financial services/patient billing, financial services/accounting, information services/IT and field operations. He reported that staff discovered that two-thirds of these components were duplicated in County Government. He explained that following extensive collaboration between the County and Lake EMS staff, the evaluation of Fitch & Associates, coordination with stakeholders and information from County Directors of Offices that may be impacted by the duplications, the conclusion was that the best alternative was alternative one, the transition of Lake EMS into the County organization through the formulation of the Office of EMS. He then displayed an organizational chart for Public Safety and Compliance with the additional Office of Emergency Medical Services as part of that and noted that Mr. Smith would be the Director for that office. He stressed the reasoning behind this decision was due to savings, enhancements and overall improvements to the current system. He noted that there would be a $112,800 increase in personnel costs due to the high risk employees falling under the Florida Retirement System (FRS); however, there were also some redundant vacant positions, salary adjustments, turnover reductions and employer insurance that factored into this amount. He remarked that operational expenditures would decrease $612,800 due to equipment and vehicle reallocation not being duplicated, less facilities being leased, IT hardware and software being shared, bulk purchasing offset, elimination of travel duplication and other efficiencies. He reported that in year one there would be a net $500,000 savings.
Mr. Cole clarified that the Fitch & Associates study identified an approximate increase of $900,000 for the FRS due to the high risk component; however, the personnel costs were only an increase of $112,800 due to savings in the other categories listed. He reiterated that this personnel increase was offset by the $612,800 decrease in operational expenditures for a total of $500,000 savings overall.
Mr. Molenda described that staff did get input from several stakeholders in the community regarding the transition, starting with the municipalities since they provide the first responder service. He said they conducted approximately three dozen meetings with the various municipalities to obtain their input and to discuss the pooled cash issue, the consultant study, the internal analysis and what the transition would look like. He mentioned that several attended the meetings including the City/Town Manager, Fire Chief and Public Safety/Police Chief.
Mr. Smith recalled that they also met with local hospitals, since they are a partner in health care, to assure them that integration into the County would not impact the ability to provide service to the community or to them. He mentioned the meetings were very successful with good input and that staff learned about some hospital changes that will help in planning for the future.
Mr. Molenda added that they also discussed with the medical stakeholders service items that they could possibly do now that were above and beyond what is currently being done. He gave examples such as critical care paramedic units, inoculations to school age children, and other areas where they can help the hospitals to fill some needs and the hospitals could also help them. He said how impressed he was with the relationship Mr. Smith has with the hospitals and he was excited to be a part of leading the field in medical services with the hospital staff and Lake EMS. He mentioned that they met with Lake EMS and Lake County Fire Rescue employees, through multiple shift meetings, to discuss the transition and get their input. He also reported that they had communications with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Tech College, League of Cities, City/County Managers, south Lake Mayors and Managers and the Mount Dora 2018 Event. He specified that the community was aware of the transition, that staff had received input from all involved, and that what was formulated addressed the issues needed. He then answered these frequently asked questions that had arisen from the meetings. Does the transition require additional funding from stakeholders to support EMS? He responded it did not and that was one of the reasons that alternative one was considered because it did not increase cost. Does the transition reduce funding presently provided to stakeholders? He replied that it would not as they did not want to take away any funding to partners who help provide service. He added that they hope to maintain funding through the efficiencies identified in order to make funding better. Will communications be maintained with stakeholders through dissolving the Lake EMS Board? He stated that since only three cities and one hospital sit on that board, the goal was to find a better way to communicate and to increase communications. He added that there are multiple meetings that all municipalities attend, along with Lake EMS staff, and that all the Lake County Fire Chiefs meet monthly as well as part of their operations meeting for Lake EMS. He shared they were open to the idea of having quarterly update meetings in the future and felt that by having the Office of Emergency Services, there would actually be more communication with the municipalities. Will there be a continuance of emergency dispatching, 1-for-1 supplies, medical direction, ambulance locations, and training/licensing assistance provided to municipalities? He said that nothing of that nature would change and that through the efficiencies, services may be improved. Will there be any reduction in emergency service delivery? He responded that there would not be any reduction and that the goal was to improve service delivery. He concluded by explaining that the transition would be accomplished through a two-phase strategic implementation. He reported that phase one would be for all components of Lake EMS to move into the County organization, with the completion date targeted for February 2019 and an estimated $500,000 savings. He remarked that as part of phase two, there were additional savings projected for the second and third year, with the $500,000 savings being year over year, and the additional savings being identified through the transition. He reiterated that no stations would be closed and no units would be shut down. He added that there was the possibility of adding units as they consider the best position for units in regards to need, population and ways to increase response times. He said any changes would be communicated with stakeholders prior to happening. He also noted that the emergency medical dispatch would remain the same, but outsourcing of billing would be considered. He stated that adding a transport EMS service to rural areas might be added and that their goal was to place identified savings back into operational reserves. He indicated that the ultimate goal was to improve service levels and that this transition would aid in that. He summarized that the requested action from the Board was to transition Lake EMS into the County organization by forming the Office of Emergency Medical Services, to move forward with dissolving the Lake EMS 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and authorize the County Manager to execute all related actions, agreements and documentation to complete the transition.
Commr. Parks said he appreciated the presentation and supported the transition. He asked for confirmation that this was not outsourcing, except for the possibility of the billing, as outsourcing of the operation was not something he would support.
Mr. Molenda replied that although Fitch & Associates considered three alternatives, staff actually considered five options. He indicated that the other two considerations were privatization of EMS or leaving it as it currently exists; however, they consistently came back to making it the Office of EMS as they felt that was the best alternative.
Commr. Parks also asked to reiterate that no stations would be shut down.
Mr. Molenda confirmed that no stations would be shut down. He elaborated that some of the confusion came when the consultant said that out of the 22 stations, 11 posts could reduce their response times, which did not mean the station went away but rather that units move to and deploy from that location. He added that changes could affect that, for example one hospital is considering becoming a stroke center and that would pull one unit back into the system which might have been going to Orlando for those calls. He stated they would continue to look at the situation each year and that there were benefits and negatives to using posts but that the goal was to make it the best possible situation for the employee, the equipment, restocking of supplies, etc. He clarified that no units would be reduced; however, some stations might be moved around based on need each year, but only with concrete data supporting that and with the municipalities having input. He added that units would probably be added as they consider rural rescue in the future.
Commr. Parks stated that with the current organization, they could not apply for any type of grants for additional ambulance service. He asked if the transition was made, would it allow staff to apply for federal grants such as the Staffing for the Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.
Mr. Molenda replied that by having the office under the County, it can be included in evaluations of what is needed and the grants can be used for EMS. He said the County is very diligent in applying for and receiving grants and Lake EMS would also be applying for grants to help improve service.
Commr. Blake thanked Mr. Molenda, Mr. Cole and Mr. Smith for all the time they devoted to this and for analyzing all possible options. He reiterated that his goal was to provide the highest level of service in the most cost effective manner and that alternative one was a good option.
Commr. Breeden agreed with Commissioner Blake and thanked Mr. Smith for working with Mr. Molenda and Mr. Cole so thoroughly over the last few months by analyzing the Fitch & Associates study, operational efficiencies, working with the many partners involved, and ensuring service will be enhanced. She remarked the substantial savings were wonderful and appreciated them presenting a solid plan for the future.
Commr. Campione thanked them for all the time they spent working with the cities, hospitals and partners involved. She stated one of her concerns over the last few years was the morale of Lake EMS employees and the desire for them to receive the same benefits as the County. She elaborated how this was important for creating a team atmosphere, which is critical for emergency medical response. She thought the current structure did not maximize the sense of team but that this was a great step to achieving that. She indicated that no stations were proposed to be closed and that mobilization of units may be from a station or a post depending on what is best for getting the job done. She said it was unfortunate that some information presented to the public said service would be reduced; however, she reiterated the goal was to enhance service and response times. She hoped that the turnover rate would decrease and noted that this plan was employee and service driven and would improve oversight and coordination and collaboration with the cities. She remarked that this was a great step towards meeting the needs of residents of all areas in the county and that she appreciated all the hard work and many hours that went into developing the best option. She commented that outsourcing the billing was just a possibility and would be evaluated to see if it resulted in savings or efficiencies.
Commr. Sullivan remarked that he had been on both the BCC and the Lake EMS Board for many years and that this change was for the betterment of the system. He said it would cut out duplication and improve response times and better service would be provided to rural areas. He believed this was the right direction to go in and that staff had been looking at every department to see if processes could be done better.
Mr. Cole mentioned that this transition would occur over a year in order to ensure that responses and workflow were not disrupted, with the goal to have it final by February 2019. He added that it might happen sooner but that they wanted the flexibility to move methodically and strategically through the process.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the transition of Lake Emergency Medical Services into the County organization by forming the Office of Emergency Medical Services, to move forward with dissolving the Lake EMS 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and to authorize the County Manager to execute all related actions, agreements and documentation to complete the transition by February 13, 2019.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 10:41 a.m. for 10 minutes.
Ms. Allison Thall, Manager for Health and Human Services Division and Interim Manager for Housing and Community Development, presented information regarding homelessness in Lake County. She remarked that the purpose of the presentation was to provide the Board with an update and overview of a proposed forum on homelessness. She reported that Lake County food pantries, faith based organizations and cities are reporting increasing numbers of individuals and families, many of which are homeless, who are seeking assistance for food, clothing and shelter. She commented that there are few resources within the county that assist with sheltering homeless individuals and that existing resources include drop-in shelters in Eustis, Leesburg and Clermont that provide only limited services and hours of operation. She noted that there are no permanent shelters in the county providing overnight accommodations for the homeless. She stated that Lake County is part of the Mid-Florida Homeless Coalition (MFHC), which is a 501(C)3 non-profit corporation established in 2001 and is the lead agency coordinating the region’s response to homelessness and also includes Sumter, Citrus and Hernando counties. She added that MFHC’s goal is to create a homeless service system that achieves the reduction in new instances of, the length of, and returns to homelessness and meeting the varying needs of homeless populations, including unaccompanied youth, veterans and families with children. She reported that as a result of the homeless needs that Lake County had been experiencing, staff had been researching the issue of homelessness in other regions throughout the state. She said staff had participated in the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) meetings to learn about best practices being utilized, had coordinated with MFHC to identify non-profit and faith based organizations currently providing services to the homeless and had been gathering information on local resources. She remarked that at the request of the BCC, staff was planning a countywide forum, tentatively scheduled for late Spring 2018, to bring together community providers that provide services to homeless individuals and families in order to gather and share information, determine existing levels of service, and identify gaps in the services provided.
Commr. Campione mentioned that due to the extreme cold weather within the last few months, this topic of homelessness came to the forefront for discussion and the County was aware that there were many homeless individuals who did not have access to shelter. She said that fortunately, with the guidance of Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Office of Emergency Management Director, several local churches stepped forward to provide temporary shelters during the cold weather. She said the immediate need was addressed; however, long term this was something that needed to be considered. She added that it can be a complicated issue due to the different types of homeless individuals and their situations. She stated the question that arose was what were the real gaps in service and was there a possibility to partner with churches, organizations and individuals who have a desire to provide a shelter. She stated a group was going to visit The Kearney Center in Tallahassee to look at their center and how it operates. She commented that the obvious gap was that Lake County did not have any type of shelter and therefore needed to consider how to address this, whether it was a facility, an organization helping, or utilizing the help of United Way, who indicated they had access to matching funds, etc. She opined that it should not necessarily be a County Department that operates the shelter; however, that the County Government should be a leader in bringing the right people and groups together to make this happen. She summarized that the County was moving in the right direction by bringing people with expertise together, gathering information, seeing what other counties are doing and looking at what could be done in Lake County.
Commr. Parks agreed that County staff should help facilitate it and he reminded the Board that Clermont was also considering a shelter. He suggested that County staff connect with the City of Clermont staff to see what they were doing so as not to duplicate services.
Commr. Campione suggested that if Clermont did something in south Lake County then possibly something could be done in north Lake County as one facility may not work since the county is so spread out.
Commr. Breeden asked if staff was looking at other models besides The Kearney Center.
Ms. Thall replied that they were considering other models, noting that the FAC had some best practices they were sharing, especially Pinellas County which had a good program. She said they hoped to take the best of several programs as they create the one for Lake County.
Commr. Campione shared that Marion County did not have a physical facility but did have a program and they might be a county to partner with for ideas.
Ms. Thall added that almost every county was addressing this need and considering funding, partners, level of service, etc.
Commr. Campione remarked that law enforcement should be included in the discussions because by having a shelter, it can assist them since they cannot remove homeless individuals from a public place if there is not a shelter to take them to. She said the humanitarian side of this needed to be addressed but also how it affects the community and local businesses.
Commr. Sullivan reported that the City of Leesburg did a study on homelessness and covered all the same issues being discussed. He said it was a great discussion to have and it was important to include all partners involved and was not a simple fix. He added that this could also help individuals who are released from jail and do not have any place to transition into after being released.
appointments to the elder affairs coordinating council
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointments of the following members to the Elder Affairs Coordinating Council to serve two-year terms beginning January 31, 2018: Mr. George Wanberg (District 1), Ms. Angie DiMura (District 2), Ms. Carol Clendinen (District 3), Ms. Barbara Crewell (District 5) and Ms. Kathy Haviland (District 5), and approved an ethical conflict waiver for Mr. George Wanberg.
appointment to the board of building examiners
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Todd B. Drennan, as an Architect Representative, to the Board of Building Examiners to complete an unexpired four-year term ending January 14, 2019.
appointments to the Lake-sumter mpo bicycle & pedestrian advisory committee
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Ms. Julie McKenzie (District 1) and the reappointment of Mr. Michael Stephens (District 5) to the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to serve two-year terms beginning January 1, 2018.
appointment to the water safety advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Amer Kassas, as a Lake Emergency Medical Services Representative, to the Water Safety Advisory Board to complete an unexpired term ending October 10, 2019.
County Offices closed for president’s day
Mr. Cole reported that all Lake County Offices would be closed on Monday, February 19, 2018 in observance of the President’s Day Holiday.
commissioner parks – district 2
minneola elementary charter school
Commr. Parks commented that he participated in a reading day with students at Minneola Elementary Charter School and enjoyed sharing that experience with them.
commissioner campione – district 4
eustis middle school
Commr. Campione reported that she had the opportunity to go to Eustis Middle School, noting that the students and faculty were great and it was a wonderful experience. She said it was nice to see students getting a good education and enjoying school and that the teachers were very impressive.
commissioner blake – district 5
2018 teacher of the year for Lake county
Commr. Blake congratulated the Lake County 2018 Teacher of the Year Mr. Jason Lancy, a math teacher from Windy Hill Middle School, who was selected the previous week. He said he had attended the dinner honoring him.
commissioner sullivan – chairman and district 1
legislative meeting in tallahassee
Commr. Sullivan reported that he spent several days in Tallahassee during the legislative process and that he received positive feedback regarding the Lake County legislative priorities.
sorrento heritage festival
Commr. Sullivan remarked that he attended the Sorrento Heritage Festival on Saturday, February 10, 2018, and that Commissioner Campione represented the Board by reading a history of Lake County to the audience.
commissioner breeden – district 3
treadway elementary school
Commr. Breeden commented that she went to Treadway Elementary School to read to Pre-K and Kindergartners. She remarked how well behaved and sweet the students were and what a great opportunity it was for her.
Commr. Breeden recapped that the Hidden Rivers Subdivision off of Shirley Shores Road had been in discussion for several months and that she had met with Mr. Don Kehr and Mr. Jimmy Crawford to receive input from all involved. She said this topic was a decision for the City of Tavares; however, she wanted to see how the Board could support the community and help find some common ground.
Commr. Campione remarked that this situation had brought to light an issue that she thought would continue to happen in other locations throughout the county as cities grow and expand into rural areas. She proposed that the Board reach out to the City of Tavares and other cities throughout Lake County and ask them to work together with the Board to address some key issues that arise when cities grow into semi-rural areas. She indicated that many of these areas are special to the county with unique character to them. She noted that when the cities grow into these areas and provide water and sewer, then they need developments to be higher densities in order to pay for those services, and these higher densities are often contrary to the character of the surrounding area. She remarked that the county will continue to see this happen and hoped that the Board could have discussions with the cities and get collaboration from them. She stated the cities have the jurisdiction to grow and the County cannot stop that growth; however, in order to grow responsibly, the following issues should be considered: can the infrastructure support the added density and growth in certain areas; are higher densities appropriate for the areas or should cities consider the possibility of lower densities; and what are the rules and regulations that govern the connection to water and sewer, looking at the possibility for it to not be mandatory to connect as this connection then causes the higher densities. She added that new technologies for septic tanks is improving and that maybe central services is not always the best option. She clarified that with the Shirley Shores area, there is an infrastructure issue and that if the City of Tavares wants to grow into this area, they need to look at the deficiencies and figure out a plan on how improvements could be paid for and consider if the developer needs to be part of the solution. She stated that the city has the control to demand that a certain level of infrastructure be met before higher density developments add additional trips on roads. She suggested the Board reach out to the City of Tavares and ask them to work with the Board and consider if this location is an area where a lower density would be more appropriate and to figure out a way for infrastructure to be funded and put in place before more traffic is introduced to a road that needs to be upgraded. She indicated that the county needs a variety of housing types and that the character of special areas need to be preserved, but this can only be done through cooperation between cities and the County.
Commr. Breeden thanked Commissioner Campione for her comments and agreed this was a countywide issue that needed to be addressed quickly due to developments trying to come into the county.
Commr. Parks appreciated Commissioner Campione’s comments and agreed that a discussion regarding this needed to happen. He said that while each Board member has issues that are important to them, all of them feel the need to govern the fiscal responsibility of development. He gave an example of an old citrus grove road in south Lake County which now has neighborhoods on it and stated it would cost $15,000 to $30,000 for the County to widen that road. He said now is the time to ask these tough questions and that there are opportunities with some developers to help with past situations not done correctly and to possibly look for some public-private partnership opportunities. He added that he would like to look at Joint Planning Agreements (JPAs) instead of Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements (ISBAs) and was a supporter of master planning larger areas. He commented that Lake County is going to grow and needed to do it correctly and be fiscally responsible.
Commr. Campione stated that current Comprehensive (Comp) Plans say that capital facilities need to be in place before development is approved; however, she opined that it does not really happen that way since it can become a legal issue. She reiterated the need to work together so that development is not approved in certain locations if the infrastructure is not there to support it. She added that if the developer needs the infrastructure, then they should help to put it in place. She said that maybe some of the cities would consider estate type lot size or agricultural residential type uses.
Commr. Blake said he agreed and that he recently had a conversation regarding the septic tank issue and questioned why there cannot be additives and measures put in place to make them safer as he thought this was an important issue.
Commr. Parks added there are new technologies for septic tanks that can be more expensive, but if there was a higher demand, then possibly the cost could come down.
The Commission then opened the floor for public comment.
Mr. Don Kehr, a member of the Shirley Shores Community Group, thanked the Board for their time and consideration of their concerns, stating that their community group was made up of five neighborhoods, three home owners associations and approximately 280 homes. He stated that 277 residents had signed a petition sharing their concerns with this development coming into the area. He displayed a map of the area and noted that due to the annexation of 1,400 acres on the south side of Lake Dora by the City of Tavares, this development was the first to be considered because it was contiguous with that annexation. He showed a map displaying the connection between this property and the Allen Ranch property and opined that because of the location of this project, whatever happens with it would spread through the entire county area. He reported that County staff did an analysis in August 2017, which addressed the following concerns in a letter written to the City of Tavares: for a possible round-a-bout to be added in order to get safely in and out of the property; that lots be accessible only from internal development roads instead of driveways coming out onto Shirley Shores Road; that traffic volumes be considered, noting that according to County rules, any trips over 1,200 required a 24 foot wide road; and they also recommended sidewalk construction due to safety issues on the road. He noted that the developer’s traffic study indicated the development would generate 850 new daily trips and that the road currently operated at satisfactory levels of service and would continue to even with these added trips. He then showed another map visually showing the two roads that needed the most repair, commenting that he and Commissioner Breeden had met with Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, to discuss this. He reported the Mr. Schneider said the one road would need $300,000 to bring it into code and he questioned who would pay for this work. He addressed that the developers of Deer Island, not the city, paid for their sewer and water system, financed roadways and stormwater drainage systems, and covered the cost to widen Shirley Shores Road, the intersection at C.R. 448 and the sidewalks out to Shirley Shores Road. He reported the County approved a plan on this site in 2009 for 37 homes, which is one unit on five acres, and that this current developer’s plan was to put 90 homes on three quarters of an acre. He opined that from the estimates given by the developer, it should be a $9 million project and there might be some money to help pay for these needs. He summarized that the issues were as follows: driveways coming onto already busy roads; the addition of 855 trips per day; the Shirley Shores Road width of 20 feet when County rules require it to be 24 feet; and the current low pavement rating on two of the roads. He then showed pictures of the roads showcasing his concerns. He added that from his experience with developments in California, he saw many Boards faced with this issue and said that one city passed a one year moratorium on permits and applications until they could determine what they wanted, how they would do it and how they could manage growth. He requested the Board consider the seriousness of the safety issues on this road, develop a solution and bring in quality projects to the county.
Mr. Jimmy Crawford, an attorney representing the owner and proposed developer of this property, stated that the developer has done more than 100 of these large lot, semi-rural type subdivisions nationwide, including about a dozen in Central Florida, and three in Lake County. He said they all have high values, good tax revenue to the city and are all in low density areas with septic tanks and wells. He reported that the property was for sale, was looked at by several development interests and was a much sought after piece of property, which is adjacent to the city with water and sewer available. He opined there was no way to stop development and thought this developer was a good one. He stated that since water and sewer was available through the City of Tavares, the County Comp Plan requires connection to them and the city was welcoming to the developer. He indicated that the developer went to the city and reviewed their Comp Plan and Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and that their lowest density was three units to an acre. He remarked that the city wants this type of urban development but this developer does not want that because it is not the type of development they do and it does not fit in with the surrounding neighborhood. In response to this, he said his client developed a Planned Unit Development (PUD) ordinance which limits the density of the property. He said the current plan before the city is 90 units, which makes the average lot size 1.5 acres. He stated the gross density is one unit per every 2 ˝ acres, and the net density is one unit per two acres. He then displayed a map showcasing the various lots sizes of the developed subdivisions around this proposed development, noting that Squirrel Pointe’s average lot size was 1.04 acres, Shirley Shores was 1.86 acres, Deer Island Estates was less than half an acre, Lake Beauclaire was three quarters of an acre and Venetian Village was about a half an acre. He stated their development lot size was larger than all the surrounding neighbor developments’ lot sizes. He commented that Mr. Kehr’s comparison of one unit for eight or ten acres in the surrounding area was not equivalent since it included large, undeveloped tracts of 40 and 100 acres that will be developed, whereas this comparison was platted lots to platted lots. He indicated the plan that was currently in front of the City of Tavares was the 90 lot plan. He explained that this developer does not want to build the 90 lot plan and had proposed to the neighbors a plan that has 70 lots or less, with only six driveways on Shirley Shores Road and four on East Shirley Shores Road. He indicated the neighbors had not yet responded to this proposal. He explained that the reason the developer went from the original 64 lot plan to the 90 lot plan was because of the county road connection policy, which specifies that any driveway or connection requires a county driveway permit, and he elaborated that a County issued letter in August 2017 stated they could not get driveway permits for their development. He reported that he went back to his client and informed them that even if the City of Tavares approves the development and annexes them, they still might not be able to move forward without the driveway permits. Because of this, he remarked that they revised their plan to have an internal road with a cul-de-sac, which caused the plan to go to 90 lots because of the road construction costs for this additional road. He mentioned that in January 2018, they received a letter with an update to the County process stating that if a plan was approved that has one through twenty-six lots along Shirley Shores Road and East Shirley Shores Road, then Lake County Public Works would approve either single driveways for wide lots over 200 feet or joint driveways for lots less than 200 feet. He added that the letter also requested there be a condition in the ordinance which would mandate traffic calming devices in that area. He commented that the 90 lot plan was recommended for approval by the City of Tavares Planning and Zoning Department and was scheduled to appear before the City Council in a few weeks. He indicated that the City Attorney opined that the plan that should be presented is the 90 lot plan approved by the City Planning and Zoning Department. He elaborated that he was planning to offer the proposed plan of 70 lots or less, with six driveways on Shirley Shores Road and four on East Shirley Shores Road, to the City Council as an alternative. He concluded that this was a 90 lot proposed development in an area where 500 lots were already approved and that this developer would not be able to fund the entire needs for the road infrastructure improvement. He reiterated that this subdivision complies with all the county and city rules and that the developer even went with a lower density in an effort to be consistent with the surrounding neighborhood.
Commr. Campione asked if the developer considered the 37 lots that were already approved on this property.
Mr. Crawford responded that the water and sewer mandated requirement becomes an issue since Florida Statute requires you to connect if water and sewer are available.
Commr. Campione remarked that she thought there was a waiver that could be done for that connection requirement.
Commr. Parks agreed that he thought there was a waiver too.
Mr. Crawford commented that neither County nor City staff reported that but said if a development is within 660 feet of sewer, and a little farther for water, then it is required to connect to it per the State Statute.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, replied that it would be waived if it was determined that it was not available by the city. She added that there were some recent changes made to the Comp Plan that Mr. Tim McClendon, Lake County Planning and Zoning Manager, could address if needed.
Mr. Crawford clarified that at one unit to five acres, the number of lots allowed on this property was 41, because wetlands can be transferred up, and that the lowest proposed plan was 64 lot with connection to water and sewer. As far as the road issue, he explained that the deficient part of the road was north of the entrance to their property and the development traffic would not even impact it. He agreed the road issue was something that should be addressed but felt his client should not shoulder the entire burden since there are 500 approved homes in that area that could equitably fix the issues. He indicated that this development has been trying to get approval since August 2017 and opined it was time to move forward. He reiterated that by proposing the 70 lot plan at one unit to 2 ˝ acres, it was consistent with surrounding neighbors, and that the developer had abided by all county and city regulations.
Ms. Lorretta Pitner, a resident of Squirrel Pointe, commented that the lot sizes in her neighborhood are bigger than what was stated earlier in the meeting as many of the home owners have double lots. She mentioned she has lived in other states were development grew at a fast pace and opined that the most successful communities were built when the counties and the cities formed a group which looked out for area commerce, trade and development. She felt like her community did not have a voice. She commented that the last development done by this developer was built out at 87 lots and that 13 homes had currently sold, noting that lots originally listed for $300,000 and were now down to $30,000 for a lot. She opined that everything was coming into place for Lake County to be the most sought after place to live in Central Florida and that developers want to be a part of that. She said she encouraged the city development department to get together with the County and other cities to lay out a plan of what could happen on this property and urged the Board not to bring in developers who are not willing to spend money on infrastructure or roads. She encouraged the Board to represent the community and to develop a plan that meets the needs of the infrastructure and provides benefits for future generations.
Mr. Terry Tsocheff, a resident off of Deer Island Road, stated he understood the benefits of this development for the city and the developer but had not seen how residents would benefit from this. He expressed concerns regarding the removal of his septic system and stated he did not want a lift station but preferred to keep his septic system. He felt that tract housing would lower the value of his home.
Commr. Campione suggested a workshop between the City of Tavares and the County in order to brainstorm ways to address some of the issues like water, sewer, densities, etc.
Commr. Sullivan reminded the audience that since this was happening in the City of Tavares, the BCC really did not have authority.
Ms. Marsh responded that the BCC did not have any jurisdiction and that the city has the right to annex and does not need the County’s permission, as long as they are not creating an enclave. She explained this was a forum for the residents to express their concerns to the Board.
Commr. Breeden added that the Board could make requests and recommendations but it was ultimately the City of Tavares’ decision.
Commr. Sullivan agreed that this was just the beginning of what was going to continue to happen and that it was important to address these issues; however, the Board is limited on this particular situation. He said in the best interest of the community, he felt they should support the least density possible, and realizes that the County is in need of road construction. He suggested writing a letter to the City of Tavares asking them to postpone the hearing until some joint planning could take place between the County and the City.
Commr. Campione suggested the Board send a letter to the City of Tavares stating that in the spirit of cooperation and quality of life for county and city residents, the Board hoped they would consider doing a joint workshop to look at issues such as infrastructure, residential densities, and water and sewer regulations and collaborate on ways to protect the character of the areas surrounding the city and places they are considering for annexation.
Commr. Parks supported Commissioner Campione’s comments and hoped the City of Tavares would be willing to collaborate. He expressed concerns with driveway permits and stated that he was not in support of those except when a few were needed for access purposes.
Ms. Marsh specified that driveway connection permits are an administrative function which means that if they meet the requirements set forth in the code, a permit would be issued. She said it was not a permit that currently comes before the Board; however, if the Board wanted to move in that direction and see every driveway permit request, the code would need to be changed.
Commr. Parks responded that he did not want to see every permit, as that would be too many, but thought driveway permits were an issue to be considered as well as the other issues discussed.
Commr. Breeden mentioned that the developer did propose one plan that did away with all driveway permits.
Commr. Campione added that was the plan that had the internal road with the cul-de-sac and the houses facing the back of Shirley Shores Road. She asked that if Shirley Shores Road was brought up to standards, could joint driveways be allowed.
Ms. Marsh responded that Lake County Public Works did look at these designs and that if the lots were 200 feet in width or larger, then there could be individual driveways; however, if they were smaller than 200 feet, they would do joint driveways. She cautioned that the County has to be careful with denying driveway connections because it opens the door to a property owner or developer suing the County because it is denying them access to their property. She remarked that some of the lots on this plan do not connect to the central part of the property so they have to access Shirley Shores Road. She noted that the County Engineer had made recommendations on ways to limit some of the driveways.
Commr. Parks asked if the original 37 lot plan, which was approved in the County, had any driveways.
Commr. Campione responded that plan did have some driveways but they were much larger lots. She suggested that the County Manager could reach out to the City of Tavares Manager and include both Planning and Zoning Managers and Attorneys to consider the 37 lot plan and discuss if there was a way to have the larger lots and be consistent with the character of the area. She added if that was not legally a possibility, then they could consider if there was a way to address the infrastructure concerns prior to development and then possibly have the wider driveways onto Shirley Shores Road. She stated if the City of Tavares was going to approve the development, the Board could encourage them to consider the 64 lot plan as a way to keep the character of the neighborhood and protect the surrounding neighbors. She added that if this area is annexed into the city, the roads would become city roads and it was in everyone’s best interest to get the roads up to the proper standards.
Commr. Breeden asked Mr. Cole if staff could consider placing those portions of Shirley Shores and East Shirley Shores Roads on the project list they are developing for the 5-cent gas tax.
Commr. Sullivan confirmed the Board consensus was for the County Manager to contact the City of Tavares Manager regarding a joint workshop in reference to the Shirley Shores area development prior to March 7, 2018.
Mr. Cole responded that he would reach out to the City Manager.
Ms. Marsh reminded the Board that the City of Tavares’s first meeting on this topic was going to be February 21, 2018, with their adoption being March 7, 2018, and that with the ten day advertising time for BCC meetings, it would be very tight to get a workshop done prior to them adopting it.
Commr. Breeden thanked the Board for helping with this issue.
Commr. Sullivan thanked all the members of the audience for being present and for their input.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:33 p.m.
timothy i. sullivan, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK