A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
FEBRUARY 27, 2018
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 27, 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; Josh Pearson, Administrative Specialist, Board Support; and Kathleen Bregel, Administrative Specialist, Board Support.
INVOCATION and pledge
Mr. David Hopkins from Benton House of Clermont gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, requested that Tab 29 be removed and brought back at a later date. He also requested to change the Lake County policy number in Tab 5 from LCC-4 to LCC-98. He noted that Tabs 39 and 40 were added to the agenda.
Ms. Jeannine Nelson, Office of Human Resources and Risk Management, announced that the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) would be recognizing citizen volunteers who donated 150 hours or more during calendar year 2017. She stated that the BCC was honored to have over 19,000 hours of time contributed by volunteers in 2017, which was equivalent to nine full-time employees, and that paying minimum wage for these hours would have cost the County over $154,000. She described that in 2017, there were 45 volunteers who contributed their time and effort for over 150 hours, and presented a certificate to the following 17 volunteers who were present:
Mr. Mark Hertlein for 150 hours with the Office of Extension Services
Ms. Susan Bennett for 152 hours with the Office of Library Services/Cagan Crossings Library
Mr. Jim Briggs for 156.25 hours with the Office of Library Services/Literacy
Ms. Carolina Sanchez for 156.5 hours with the Office of Library Services/Literacy
Mr. Tristan VanCise for 226 hours with the Office of Library Services/Astor Library
Mr. L. Strait Hollis for 229 hours with the Office of Emergency Management/Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Ms. Gratia Jacob for 245.5 hours with the Community Services Department/County Probation
Mr. Paul Branch for 257 hours with the Office of Emergency Management/Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Mr. Emil Vandervelde for 299 hours with the Office of Emergency Management/Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Ms. Judith Beda for 304 hours with the Office of Animal Services
Ms. Wanda Klass for 360 hours with the Office of Library Services/Literacy
Mr. Mike Walker for 364 hours with the Office of Emergency Management/Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Mr. Carl Collar for 379 hours with the Office of Library Services/Literacy
Mr. John Walton for 385 hours with the Office of Emergency Management/Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Mr. Frances Anders for 444 hours with the Office of Emergency Management/Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Ms. Christine Cruz for 1,034 hours with the Office of Animal Services
Ms. Susan Richter for 1,076 hours with the Office of Animal Services
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 23, 2018 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a Tavares resident who writes a blog about local government issues, expressed concerns about a lack of Inspector General audit reports in the last four months. He opined that reports should be released in the interest of fiscal transparency.
Mr. Kelly relayed that reports were coming, and that they were currently in a transition period.
Mr. Jochim also expressed a desire for impartial financial reviews of county operations and contracts, noting several agreements on the agenda that exceeded $500,000. He suggested imposing a budget cap for contracts with fiscal impacts that are unable to be determined.
Mr. Don Kehr, a member of the Shirley Shores Community Group, thanked the BCC for trying to promote a more careful review of a proposed development in his area. He recounted that the BCC asked the County Manager to send a message to the Tavares City Manager requesting a joint meeting to discuss the development, and requested that the BCC consider reviewing a document issued by the County Attorney to the City of Tavares which indicated that the BCC would consider granting driveway permits if the development returned to a 64 unit plan. He recommended some changes to that document and suggested the BCC use the plan that was agreeable to the Shirley Shores community.
Commr. Sullivan stated that this development had created an entire review of the BCC’s process for annexations.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 3, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Lake County School Board Financial Report and Federal Single Audit
Request to acknowledge receipt of Report 2018-096 – Lake County District School Board Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Federal Single Audit.
Meeting Schedule for Cascades at Groveland Community Development District
Request to acknowledge receipt of Resolution 2018-03, identifying the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 amended meeting schedule for Cascades at Groveland Community Development District. This meeting schedule is being submitted in accordance with Section 189.015 (1) of the Florida Statutes.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Breeden commented on Tab 14, expressing gratitude for a donation from the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in the amount of $2,065 for assisting with the purchase of additional bear-resistant trash cans.
Commr. Campione agreed that it was great that The Nature Conservatory could help add to the County’s ability to provide bear-proof trash cans. She inquired about getting a report on how many of these trash cans have been issued and how many remain to be distributed.
Mr. Cole recounted that the distribution of trash cans started in October 2017. He said the County was awarded $200,000 from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for the purpose of purchasing the trash cans. He indicated that about 500 of the County’s current 700 trash cans have been deployed so far. He stated that for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the County was awarded $85,000 from FWC to purchase an additional 370 trash cans. He remarked that the County still had cans available for citizen purchase, and they were being used in areas with the most common bear interactions.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 30, pulling Tab 29 and amending the Lake County policy number in Tab 5 from LCC-4 to LCC-98, as follows:
Request approval to accept an Offer to Purchase Alternate Key 3751264, and for the Chairman to execute any necessary closing documents. The fiscal impact is $2,100.00 (revenue). Commission District 5.
Approval of Worker’s Compensation claim settlement in the amount of $39,250.00 for Katherine Reardon. The fiscal impact is $39,250.00 (expenditure).
Request approval of Lake County Policy LCC-98 entitled "Donation Policy" which establishes a policy that provides for the solicitation and acceptance of gifts or donations from the public to Lake County for public purposes. There is no fiscal impact.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE
Request approval to apply to the Division of State Fire Marshal Local Fire Service Cancer Mitigation Grant Program to purchase on-scene decontamination kits for Lake County Fire Rescue trucks. There is no fiscal impact to Lake County.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND INTERNAL SUPPORT SERVICES
Request approval to reassign contract 17-0616, awarded to Space Coast Fire and Safety, Inc. to Cintas Corporation No. 2, dba Cintas Fire Protection, and authorize the Office of Procurement Services to execute the balance of the implementing documentation. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval to declare the items on the list as surplus, authorize their removal from the County's official fixed asset inventory system records and authorize the Office of Procurement Services to execute any required title documents. The fiscal impact (revenue) cannot be determined at this time.
Request approval to execute an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Minneola for the Citrus Grove Road, Phase I, Infrastructure Project. The fiscal impact is approximately $635,817.60 (expenditure/revenue - $419,320.00 in County funding and $216,497.60 in City of Minneola funding). Commission District 2.
Request approval to award contract 18-0004, to Tierra, Inc., (Winter Garden, FL) to provide Construction Engineering Inspection Services for the Citrus Grove Road, Phase I, Project. The fiscal impact is $237,890.00 (expenditure). Commission District 2.
Request approval to:
1. Execute an amended agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for an extension to construct the Citrus Grove Road, Phase I project, from Grassy Lake Road to North Hancock Road.
2. Execute Resolution 2018-11 authorizing the Chairman to sign and deliver the amendment to the FDOT.
There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Request approval to award contract 17-0014, to Metro Consulting Group, LLC, (Orlando, FL) to provide a Project Development and Environment Study on the County Road 455 Extension. The fiscal impact is $793,154.62 (expenditure). Commissioner District 2.
Request approval to award contract 18-0008, to Tierra, Inc., (Winter Garden, FL) to provide Construction Engineering Inspection Services for the County Road 466A, Phase IIIA, Project. The fiscal impact is $272,434.00 (expenditure). Commission District 5.
Request approval of Resolution 2018-12 to amend the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget to receive the donation of $2,065.00 from the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy for the purchase of bear-resistant trash carts. The fiscal impact is $2,065.00 (revenue/expenditure).
Request approval of Resolution 2018-20 to advertise a Public Hearing to vacate a drainage easement in Cherry Lake Landings, in the City of Groveland. The fiscal impact is $2,295.00 (revenue - the vacation application fee). Commission District 1.
Request approval to award a lease and maintenance agreement under Request for Proposals 18-0607, Long Term Operating Lease and Maintenance Agreement for Various Heavy Equipment, to Beard Equipment Co. (Ocala, FL) and Dobbs Equipment LLC (Riverview, FL) (formerly Nortrax Equipment). The total annual fiscal impact is $429,100.44 (expenditure).
Request approval to release a performance bond of $135,850.00 associated with Right-of-Way Utilization Permit #7397, for the extension of utilities within the right of way of Sawgrass Bay Boulevard located off U.S. 27 in the Four Corners area south of Clermont. The fiscal impact is $100.00 (revenue - permit application fee). Commission District 1.
Request approval to release a letter of credit of $210,740.32 associated with Right-of-Way Utilization Permit #7322 and Commercial/Subdivision Driveway Connection Permit #53134 for Innovation at Hidden Lake subdivision (f/k/a Heritage Hills, Phase 7), in the City of Clermont. The fiscal impact is $490.00 (revenue - permit application fees). Commission District 2.
Request approval of Resolution 2018-13 to establish a 30 MPH speed limit on Turkey Lake Road for approximately 1.75 miles, from Number Two Road to Dewey Robbins Road, in the Howey-in-the-Hills area. The fiscal impact is $200.00 (expenditure - sign materials). Commission District 3.
Request approval of Resolution 2018-14 authorizing the installation of stop signs on County Road 25A at the intersection of Berckman Street, in the Fruitland Park area. The fiscal impact is $200.00 (expenditure - sign materials). Commission District 5.
Request approval to:
1. Execute a Local Agency Program (LAP) Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for design services for a traffic signal at the intersection of Citrus Tower Boulevard and Mohawk Road, in the Clermont area.
2. Execute Resolution 2018-15 authorizing the Chairman to execute and deliver the agreement to FDOT.
The fiscal impact is $46,145.00 (expenditure/revenue - $1,680.00 in County funding and $44,465.00 in grant funding). Commission District 2.
Request approval to:
1. Execute a Local Agency Program (LAP) Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for design services for traffic safety improvements on Lake Louisa Road from Gleason Way to south of Hammock Ridge Road, in the Clermont area.
2. Execute Resolution 2018-16 authorizing the Chairman to execute and deliver the agreement to FDOT.
The fiscal impact is $166,200.00 (revenue/expenditure - 100% grant funded). Commission District 2.
Request approval to:
1. Execute a Local Agency Program (LAP) Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for design services for traffic safety improvements on Lakeshore Drive from Crescent Pines Boulevard to Harder Road, in the Clermont area
2. Execute Resolution 2018-17 authorizing the Chairman to execute and deliver the agreement to FDOT.
The fiscal impact is $192,400.00 (revenue/expenditure - 100% grant funded). Commission District 2.
Request approval to seek a Florida Department of Environmental Protection grant for a nutrient pollutant awareness campaign, and authorize the Chairman to execute any associated documents. The fiscal impact is $40,000.00 (expenditure/revenue - $16,000.00 in County funding and $24,000.00 in grant funding).
Request approval of Resolution 2018-18 authorizing the installation of stop signs on Good Hearth Boulevard at the intersection of Willow Hills Lane, in the Clermont area. The fiscal impact is $200.00 (expenditure - sign materials). Commission District 2.
COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT SERVICE
Request approval to renew the Agreement with the Lake County School Board for continued funding for the Lake County Shared Services Network for Fiscal Year 2018, and authorize the Chairman to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $25,000.00 (expenditure from the Crime Prevention Fund established by the County pursuant to Section 775.083(2), Florida Statutes.
Request approval of Resolution 2018-19 to apply for the Shirley Conroy Rural Area Capital Equipment Grant to purchase one 23-foot Ford Turtle Top Odyssey Bus and one ADA Compliant Dodge Grand Caravan for the Transportation Disadvantaged (Paratransit) program, authorize purchase of the vehicles if the grant is awarded under the State Transit Research Inspection Procurement Services Program, and authorize the Chairman to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $135,843.00 (expenditure/revenue - $13,584.30 in County funding and $122,258.70 in grant funding).
Request approval to extend the 2018 Library Impact Fee Application deadline in Policy LCC - 63 (Library Impact Fee and Distribution Process) to May 1, 2018, to allow additional time to evaluate potential changes to the Policy prior to submittal of applications. There is no fiscal impact.
Parks and Trails
Request approval and signature of an Amendment to the Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the City of Fruitland Park, relating to Contribution of Funds for Construction of a Soccer Field at the Northwest Lake Community Park. There is no fiscal impact from this action. Commission District 5.
TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEE PRESENTATION
Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, presented an update on the current status of the County’s transportation impact fee. He noted that the fee is charged to new developments which have created a need for additional capacity on the county road network, and said the new development bears a proportionate share of funding capacity, rather than placing those costs on existing residents and taxpayers. He explained that the transportation revenue that came to the Lake County Department of Public Works in FY 17 was approximately $30 million. He specified that the revenue can be divided into four main sections: the transportation trust fund; grants and aids; sales tax; and the transportation impact fee. He commented that the transportation trust fund, which is comprised of the gasoline tax, made up about 48 percent of the total transportation revenue in FY 17. He noted that the transportation trust fund is primarily used for maintenance and operations, including staffing, mowing, filling pot holes, and fixing drainage problems. He remarked that the category of grants and aids typically stems from federal money, and added that Lake County received about $3.7 million from these sources in FY 17. He relayed that for the next year, the department will present to the Board a $10 million Legislative Appropriation Agreement that was appropriated by the State. He mentioned that sales tax made up $7.4 million of transportation revenue in FY 17, and that category is used to fund resurfacing, constructing sidewalks, safety projects, and traffic signals. He stated that the transportation impact fee brought in $4.5 million to the County in FY 17, and was used for capacity-related issues such as adding lanes to roads and building new roads. He described the governing rules and Florida Statutes, which require the impact fees to be based upon the most recent and localized data. He noted that the government has the requirement to prove, by evidence, that the fee meets the State law, and the court may not use a deferential standard. He added that Lake County practice is to review and update the impact fee as necessary every three years to stay in compliance with the most recent and localized data, and described the current data as being up to date according to a recent study approved by the Board on February 21, 2017. He explained that an impact fee study may evaluate current funding to meet growing travel demands and the road network’s level of service. He commented that the Lake County Code governs the use of impact fees according to Chapter 22-41, and states the following: road impact fees are primarily used for capital improvements within the benefit district in which they were collected; an annual public hearing is required that adopts the road improvement program; impact fees shall be used solely for the purpose of providing additional road capacity; and fees cannot be used for maintenance or operations. He indicated that Lake County currently has these benefit districts: South, which includes the Clermont, Groveland, and Mascotte areas; Central, which includes the Leesburg, Fruitland Park, and Lady Lake areas; and North, which includes Astatula, the Golden Triangle, Eustis, Tavares, Mount Dora, and Umatilla. He displayed a graph detailing current categories and rates for the adopted transportation impact fee, and stated that residential areas provide around 80 percent of the impact fee revenue. He said that for single family homes, adopted transportation impact fees in the South district are discounted at 30 percent for a total charge of $2,706. He mentioned that the North and Central districts are discounted 87 percent for a fee of $500 in the case of a mid-sized single family home. He indicated that in the funding history, the first road impact fee in Lake County was adopted in 1985. He displayed a schedule showing revenues and expenditures since 1985, noting that the largest revenue for a particular year was $20 million in 2005 due to a peak time for homebuilding. He reported that after 2005, revenue continued to drop to what could be considered normal economic conditions. He pointed out a three to four year lag in expenditures when compared to revenues, as it takes time to develop designs and permits, and plans must go out to bid. He stated that the largest expense is actual construction funded by the transportation impact fee, providing the example of a cost of two or three million dollars to design a right-of-way, compared to ten or fifteen million dollars to construct it. He commented that the County suspended the fee from 2010-2014 before reincorporating it for the three new districts in 2014, which is still in effect today. He showed a chart concerning the amount of revenue gained from each of the three districts, reporting that total revenues were $4.5 million in 2017. He added that estimated revenues for 2018 were approximately $2.6 million for the South district, $290,000 in the Central district, and $360,000 for the North district. He relayed information about these completed projects funded by the impact fee: Hammock Ridge Road, where the County constructed a new four lane road in the Clermont area, which was completed in 2008; North Hancock Road, stretching north from State Road (S.R.) 50 to Lake Minneola High School, which was finished in 2016; and C.R. 466, a four lane project in Lady Lake, which was partly funded through an agreement with The Villages and completed in 2011. He also reported on C.R. 466A Phase 1, stretching west from US 27, where a half mile was built in the Fruitland Park area. He noted that the County was preparing to bid an upcoming phase, known as “C.R. 466A Phase 3B” in March, commenting that it would be under construction in a few months. He indicated that this project would total about $28 million, consisting of: a $2.75 million legislative appropriation for construction; another $2 million legislative appropriation on right-of-way expenses; approximately half a million dollars in County road impact fees; upfront money from The Villages as part of a developer’s agreement that has been turned into credits; and an additional legislative request that added $7 million. He indicated that, altogether, the County and State have each contributed about $10 million to this project.
Commr. Breeden asked how long the next phase would be in terms of road length.
Mr. Schneider replied that C.R. 466A Phase 3A was about a half mile. He continued with his presentation, describing the Adopted Impact Fee Program project list for the South district that was included in the BCC’s five year capital improvement program for road projects. He listed a number of projects that included: the C.R. 561A realignment at C.R. 561, where the County had met with some property owners, a project would be looked at for that intersection; North Hancock Road, which connects the Florida Turnpike to C.R. 561A, where he elaborated that a developer’s agreement helped build the first two lanes while the other two still needed to be paved, though had already been graded; Phases I, II, and III at Citrus Grove Road which had been initiated by significant legislative appropriation and a developer’s agreement, with Phase IV having been discussed a few months prior with developers building a bridge over the Florida Turnpike to extend Citrus Grove Road; extending Fosgate Road to U.S. 27, where the County has had positive discussions with land and property owners about this development; the Hooks Street Phase V project, a priority for the city of Clermont, where discussions on design had been held with a land developer; the C.R. 455 project, from Hartle Road to Lost Lake Road, that had been moving forward with the developer; and two other projects on C.R. 455 going to Schofield Road, which have started Project, Development, and Environmental (PD&E) studies. He specified that the North Hancock Road, Citrus Grove Road Phase I, II, and III, Fosgate Road, and C.R. 455 project from Hartle Road to Lost Lake Road have all been fully funded for construction within the county’s five year program, and the Fosgate Road and C.R. 455 projects were funded by developer agreements. He mentioned these three projects in the Central district: Rolling Acres Road; Lake Ella Road; and C.R. 466A Phase IIIA and IIIB, noting that the C.R. 466A project was fully funded and going out to bid. He mentioned that Rolling Acres Road had considerable traffic, and noted that the Town of Lady Lake had requested that the road be widened to four lanes. He indicated that in the North project area, the County had initiated a PD&E study for Round Lake Road, with the first public meeting for this project being scheduled for March 8, 2018, at Camp Challenge in Sorrento, Florida. He also reported that the C.R. 437 realignment was programmed for design in 2018, and that the County was preparing to release a request for quotation to investigate the available funding within the North district since the district did not seem to be bringing in the revenues that were estimated.
Mr. Schneider said that Section 22-39 of the Lake County Code allows for the BCC to enter into agreements with land developers and allows the developer to construct part of a road improvement project shown in the Lake County Comprehensive Plan, construct offsite improvements necessary to result in the development of the property, and donate land or right-of-way for projects shown in the Lake County plan, so long as the project or improvement is within the road benefit district in which the funds were collected. He said that impact fee agreements have been a good public-private partnership opportunity for Lake County, and that most of four lane roads in Lake County, such as those in the Clermont area, were built on donated land, had donated stormwater ponds, or were constructed as a collaboration between developers and the County. He specified that the County generally provided impact fee credits after the developer financed and built the roads upfront, and that instead of the County waiting six or eight years to finance a new road, the developer can fund it themselves and collect credits later. He stated that a road resulting from this type of agreement is constructed long before the County would have enough money to build it. He then said that transportation impact fees in other counties were examined. He noted that Lake County has two district impact fees, while Orange and Osceola Counties have a mobility fee that is applied in highly-urbanized areas with greater levels of bicycles, pedestrians, and public transportation, and that fees are lower in these areas due to less road capacity consumed by new developments. He added that in Seminole County there are four district fees, and the County uses a needs-based assessment for their district-wide impact fee revenue. He explained that the fees charged in each county vary due to a number of factors, such as the methodology of fee calculation, and that roadway costs can vary between counties. He remarked that there is less impact in Lake County where a number of four lane roads have been built through open land, as opposed to an area near C.R. 466A where established property owners are being impacted. He added that impact fee programs in urbanized areas cause right-of-way and construction costs to rise. He reported that the additional variables of travel demand, such as trip lengths, can affect fees charged, and how revenue credits are rewarded for funding additional capacity. He explained that when the sales tax, gas tax, or general fund contribute to the projects, they become an offset for the impact fee, and help to reduce the overall cost. He remarked that policy decisions can affect fees charged, and recalled how the policy decision by the Lake County BCC created a 30 percent discount in the South, and an 87 percent discount in the North and Central districts. He commented that policy decisions can vary from county to county, and there are many factors that can affect the final fee.
Commr. Parks asked if the sources of Lake County transportation revenue for FY 17 included developer agreements.
Mr. Schneider said that this revenue did not include facilities that have been built by developers who are later awarded credits. He stated that there was currently about $9 million in impact fee credits for use by land owners and developers who have already built the infrastructure.
Commr. Campione commented that there should be a chart that includes the value of impact fee credits.
Mr. Schneider added that it depends on the economy, how fast developers are building, how fast they can use those credits, and the level of the impact fee charged. He gave an example that if a developer in the Central district was being charged $500 per home, it would take longer for them to be able to draw the credits as opposed to the South district where they would be charged approximately $2,700 per home. He indicated that this affects the balance of incoming revenues as developers try to draw credits.
Commr. Parks stated a hypothesis that in the next few years, Lake County will see more developers drawing credits due to recent discussions on growth.
Mr. Schneider replied that there was approximately $30 million in current agreements regarding pending infrastructure.
Commr. Parks added that there is often an opportunity for a developer to build more cheaply than the County could.
Mr. Schneider said that developer agreements are open bid, similar to the County’s own projects, and that they help the County obtain good prices.
Commr. Parks asked how much the cost to build a road in Lake County has increased from 2002 to 2018.
Mr. Schneider replied that since 2002, the BCC has moved forward on some roadways that required high cost right-of-way purchases for eminent domain requirements. He specified that in 2002, the BCC was not involved in eminent domain processes, though the County was still involved with paving, road widening, and resurfacing. He remarked that costs have risen as high growth areas have demanded four lane roads, and stated that in 2002, road costs were $1 or $2 million per mile to widen a two lane road to four lanes in an urban area, while today’s costs are about $10 million per mile. He related that costs were around $7 million per mile when building a new four lane road where landowners donate right-of-way.
Commr. Parks stated that costs were not getting any cheaper, and the burden keeps increasing for the County.
Mr. Schneider remarked that public-private partnerships allow infrastructure to be built before new homes are constructed, and that this often avoids issues with driveways and slopes that can raise costs.
Commr. Parks inquired about surrounding counties with mobility fees, and urged a discussion on these fees. He expressed interest in the possibility of implementing mobility fees, and wanted to know what is attractive about them. He remarked that looking at mobility fees could be helpful with affordable housing in Lake County, such as the Infill Housing Initiative, as this fee could incentivize more affordable developments in urban areas where no impact fee would be collected. He related that a mobility fee could be appropriate for affordable housing in walkable areas near retail services.
Mr. Schneider responded that a mobility fee would allow the County to use revenue for purposes other than capacity, such as sidewalks for bicycles and pedestrians.
Commr. Campione asked if the mobility fee in other counties was less than the impact fee.
Mr. Schneider noted that fees imposed by other counties are also influenced by policy decisions, and that while calculated costs may be higher, policy decisions and other variables can reduce those costs. He stated that there are different reasons to use one type of fee over another based on how the County wants to spend it, though policy decisions can bring the cost down.
Commr. Parks described Pasco County’s conservative policies and how an Infill Housing Initiative project in an urbanized area would yield a low mobility or impact fee, though fees would be much higher outside of those areas.
Mr. Schneider said that this was considered when a consultant was previously hired to evaluate a possible hybrid fee for suburban, urban, and rural areas. He stated that in urban areas trip lengths are lower and roads are used less, so costs of capacity are less when compared to rural areas.
Commr. Breeden asked for clarification if the mobility fee is an impact fee or if it is a separate fee.
Mr. Schneider replied that the mobility fee is a measurement of utilization of capacity, similar to the impact fee, although the mobility fee’s measurement takes into account additional uses other than automobiles, such as public transit and pedestrians. He added that when the State passed the statute governing transportation impact fees, they suggested that counties consider mobility fees.
Commr. Parks said that a single family house constitutes the same impact fee regardless of where it is in the county.
Commr. Campione noted that there are situations where the County tries to promote existing Infill Housing lots in urban areas and a mobility fee would allow the County to collect some amount of revenue, even if it is less than the impact fee, which could then be used for projects such as sidewalks and trails.
Mr. Schneider confirmed this was correct, and commented that the level of service desired for those projects would need to be identified.
Commr. Blake asked Commissioner Parks how the urban fee in Pasco County affected the rural fee.
Commr. Parks replied that a single family home in the rural zone would be the highest fee, and that Pasco County did not change the rural fee.
Mr. Schneider concluded that there are different ways that urban and rural fees can be approached.
Commr. Campione considered the idea of creating a needs-based district near the Round Lake Road and C.R. 437 realignment to focus construction efforts there, as opposed to areas further out that would not be using the realignment.
Mr. Schneider confirmed that Seminole County identified certain areas with specific roadways as needs-based districts. He mentioned that Seminole County borrowed money from those districts for their impact fee, which they are now paying back, noting that this is different from how Lake County operates.
Commr. Campione stated that she has not been a proponent of impact fees because of how it harms commercial and industrial development and job creation. She described issues surrounding raising impact fees in South Lake County, as it deterred high wage job creation. She also expressed concern about the affordability of housing. She noted projects in the Central and North districts that are being funded by the new impact fees, and explained that there is considerable traffic and that new roads must be put in place. She opined that it is time to consider adjusting the discount amount, and suggested the BCC consider a few items and how they would affect the County’s targeted industries and high wage job creation such as lodging, medical, industrial manufacturing, technology, and family-owned retail businesses. She expressed a desire to have a consultant evaluate these categories, and considered furthering economic development by increasing the discount across different industries. She commented that an economic development fund could be created for these categories that would supplement or offset fees for those businesses, specifying that businesses creating jobs at a specific wage level, and that certain business types, such as lodging, could also qualify. She expressed interest in budget caps and calculating how much more revenue could be generated from the residential sector.
Commr. Breeden commented on residential impact fees, asking if 2,500 square feet, which represents an average-sized home, was too low to determine when impact fees increase to a higher amount.
Commr. Campione also expressed interest in providing an offset for Infill Housing through a mobility fee, or creating a fund to be paid into separate from impact fees. She recalled a recent discussion about a potential micro housing concept targeted at younger individuals interested in technology-related jobs to create attractive Lake County accommodations for them, noting that a high fee of $3,000 on each unit would price them out of the market. She compared the concept to entry level workforce housing that would provide high quality and be attractive to individuals looking to relocate to or stay in Lake County. She stated that the County’s Economic Development Program was trying to entice companies to come here, that the young people who would be working for them need a place to live, and reiterated that a consultant could assist the County in determining the effects of increasing the impact fee for residential houses. She said that traditional single family homes would still need to pay the fee, as they are a large part of the county’s additional traffic.
Commr. Parks remarked that he does not want impact fees to be a deterrent for companies in Lake County, and expressed interest in finding a way through economic development to assist with this.
Commr. Campione noted that general fund money can be used to offset deterrence through impact fee waivers.
Commr. Blake asked about the average square footage of industrial manufacturing space in Lake County and what those industries are paying.
Commr. Campione replied that they are often five or ten thousand square foot buildings, and can be up to twenty or thirty thousand square feet. She stated that the targeted industries, such as distribution, would be paying a large impact fee.
Commr. Breeden suggested that this may be the reason that Lake County does not have the inventory it needs.
Commr. Campione remarked that companies must be incentivized to come across county lines to Lake County, and that reduced impact fees could be a way to accomplish that.
Commr. Parks stated that the biggest financial return should be prioritized when choosing which categories of fee to reduce. He suggested talking to the Agency for Economic Prosperity and gathering data about average-sized buildings and how Lake County compares to other counties, as impact fees could potentially be a larger burden on small businesses.
Commr. Campione agreed that small businesses are a category worth considering. She recognized a problem with charging similar fees for a popular chain restaurant and a family-owned business, stating that this would be counterproductive for small businesses.
Commr. Sullivan stated that everyone believes it is time to evaluate how impact fees are being used and levied. He expressed support for growth policies targeting industrial and commercial businesses, while also encouraging workforce housing as to not overburden people building smaller houses. He stated that the largest impact fee in Lake County is the school impact fee. He noted a consensus from the BCC to revisit the consultant to review the implementation the following items: impact fee amounts; how discounting in the areas of industrial manufacturing and family-owned businesses can be used; and potential offsets for Infill Housing in locations where road impacts are smaller.
Commr. Campione expressed that she was primarily looking at Infill Housing, and was not interested in reducing fees for new subdivisions since they contribute significantly to road traffic.
Commr. Sullivan replied that timing is a considerable issue.
Commr. Breeden asked if a new category would be necessary for single family homes less than 700 square feet.
Commr. Campione said that a new category would be appropriate, and that retail could also be distinguished as a subcategory. She also noted a lack of a dedicated category for medical facilities, and suggested reevaluation based on increased road impacts from patients traveling to and from the doctor’s office.
Mr. Schneider commented that the previous adopted impact fee had 84 categories, and later was reduced to 12, so there is a middle ground to be explored for additional categories.
Commr. Campione suggested that the Agency for Economic Prosperity should calculate numbers based on existing entitlements and pending annexations to see how much revenue would be brought in from those residential areas. She also expressed an interest in investigating potential offsets for targeted industries to determine how it would affect the transportation fund. She noted that utilizing the general fund to assist with economic development could allow the impact fee to be used for constructing roads.
Commr. Sullivan stated that there was a consensus from the BCC to move forward.
Mr. Schneider indicated that the issue would be investigated and brought back at a future BCC meeting.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 10:07 a.m. for 15 minutes.
public hearings: REZONING
rezoning consent agenda
Mr. Tim McClendon, Office of Planning and Zoning Manager, displayed the advertisements for that day’s rezoning cases on the overhead monitor in accordance with the Florida Statutes. He indicated that Tab 1 would be moved to the regular agenda, and noted a minor update on Tab 2 that states “The hours of operation of the water ski school shall be regulated as follows: Operation hours shall be sun-rise to sun-set or 9 p.m., whichever occurs earliest.”.
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.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Tabs 2 through 3, with minor modifications to Tab 2, as follows:
Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2018-6
Rezoning Case # RZ-17-28-1
Swiss Fairways PUD Amendment
Amend Swiss Fairways PUD Ordinance #2012-56 to add golf pro shop/sales office use and water ski school associated uses, including water ski student dormitory use which was inadvertently omitted from previous PUD amendments.
Tab 3. Ordinance No. 2018-7
Rezoning Case # CP-17-09
ISR Requirements - Adoption
Amend the Comprehensive Plan to allow existing residential lots to continue to be used for residential uses and to exempt existing lots from their impervious surface ratio.
rezoning regular agenda
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2018-5
Rezoning Case # MCUP-17-04-5
Pine Meadows MCUP Amendment
Revise the Pine Meadows Peat Mining Conditional Use Permit (MCUP) to increase the number of trucks leaving the site each day from ten (10) trucks to twenty-five (25) trucks by amending Ordinance 2014-65.
Mr. McClendon explained that rezoning case #MCUP-17-04-5, Pine Meadows Peat Mine, was located on the west side of C.R. 44A in the Eustis/Umatilla area, within district five, was approximately 133 acres, and the request was to revise an existing MCUP to increase the number of trucks leaving the site each day from 10 to 25. He reported that the property currently had a Future Land Use (FLU) designation of Rural Transition and was zoned Rural Residential (R-1). He noted that the request was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and Florida Land Development Regulations (LDRs). He said that the applicant submitted a tier-1 traffic analysis, which found that the current capacity on C.R. 450A was 72 trips westbound. He remarked that this project would add roughly five additional trips during peak hours, and stated that staff recommends the BCC approve the request.
Commr. Breeden asked to confirm that the mine’s hours of operations were from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and that these hours would not change.
Mr. McClendon replied that those hours of operation were correct, and that the mine operates Monday through Friday.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Forrest Banks, a concerned resident, relayed that the rear side of his property was adjacent to the mine’s access road. He indicated that he supported the applicant’s request, though expressed a desire to impose a time limit on how long the mine is allowed 25 trucks per day. He opined that the applicant stated that ideal market conditions and 25 trucks each day could lead to the mining being complete in six years, when compared to 13 years at 10 trucks per day. He recalled the applicant mentioning in a prior hearing that setting a time limit would create a precedent, opining that state and federal permits only concern the mine, while trucking is the County’s business.
Mr. Bill Walker, a concerned citizen, expressed that he took no issue with the number of trucks, though agreed with Mr. Banks’ suggestion of a time limit.
Mr. Rick Hartenstein, Planning Project Manager for Wicks Engineering Services and representing Reliable Peat Company, mentioned that he understood the concerns. He explained that the permitted area had approximately 1.2 million cubic yards of peat, with about 45 yards to a truckload. He relayed that at 10 loads per day under perfect conditions and five days a week, the mining company would need over 13 years to complete the mine. He noted that this did not consider days where trucks would be unable to run due to factors such as inclement weather. He elaborated that 25 trucks per day could reduce the life of the mine down to about five and a half years in perfect conditions, though seven to eight years would be a more realistic estimate. He commented that the mining company employed five people with an average salary between $40,000 and $70,000 per year, and that the mining was good for the economy and did not impact the roads. He encouraged the BCC to approve the amendment, claiming that state and federal permits already imposed a time limit of 15 years for the mine.
Commr. Blake asked if the mining could be completed in ten years with the increased number of trucks.
Mr. Hartenstein confirmed that the chance of finishing mining in that timespan would be good.
Commr. Campione proposed approving the request with the provision of reverting to the original number of trucks after 10 years. She expressed interest in revisiting the issue in 10 years and reevaluating the number of trucks at that time.
Commr. Sullivan indicated a concern with defining the market through a time limit.
Commr. Breeden added that she was in favor of increasing the number of trucks for eight to ten years, and revisiting the issue at that time.
Mr. Hartenstein also suggested revisiting the issue in 10 years to assess additional impacts.
Commr. Campione asked to confirm that there would be no termination of the permit after 10 years, only a review of the life of the mine to see if more trucks would still be necessary.
Mr. Hartenstein replied that the permit would not be terminated after 10 years.
Mr. Jack Reiner, Co-Owner and General Manager of Reliable Peat Company, indicated that his company had been in business in Lake County for 30 or 35 years, and noted that he had multiple successfully completed and reclaimed projects. He remarked that the time frame for the mining permit includes the reclamation process, and that the company must reclaim at least 80 percent of the vegetation in the mining area. He explained that the company would not have trucks running frequently for the entire permit duration, though some trucks could still be used to deliver plants for reclamation. He stated that in the mine’s final phases, the company would have posted $1 million in cash bonds as a result of successfully completing the reclamation, and mentioned that after the mining operation was completed, the company intended to transform the area’s wetland and lake in an act classified as a Lake Restoration Project by the Florida Department of Environment Protection (DEP), which allows for 60 percent open water. He stated that the new open water area would be to a depth of approximately 11 feet, and would be a great recreational lake to be deeded over to Lake County after restoration.
Commr. Campione asked if he would be comfortable with increasing the number of trucks for 10 years, and revisiting the issue at that time.
Mr. Reiner replied that revisiting the case in 10 years would be agreeable, and that his business was interested in completing the project as soon as possible. He recalled previous projects of a similar size in Polk and Lake County, and that no previous project has exceeded 12 years. He commented that the company cannot control events such as Hurricane Irma, which shut the current operation down for multiple months. He said the company was inspected by the DEP in January 2018 and no violations were found.
Commr. Parks expressed that the company had done great work in the county, and he believed they would live up to what they say. He also said the restoration phase would benefit both the company and the county.
Mr. Reiner said that this project was located on an old farming area, and for those concerned about water quality in locations such as Trout Lake and the Chain of Lakes, the mining company had done extensive testing on the site that found the lake was polluted by phosphates and nitrates. He specified that those components are water-soluble and travel in the water column, and dewatering the site pulls those minerals into the peat; therefore, mining removes pollutants from the site. He stated that only the water that the company transfers over would be left, and new plantings would be fed by that water. He described how the remaining nitrogen, potassium and phosphate left in the site would be absorbed by the new plants, and related that this process was endorsed by the DEP.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding any cases on the Rezoning Regular Agenda, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Blake disclosed that he had phone conversations with Mr. Banks and Mr. Reiner about this issue. He advocated approving the amendment as proposed by staff, stating that it is not necessary to revisit the case after 10 years.
Commr. Campione mentioned that reviewing the issue after 10 years would be a good way to address the concerns of neighboring property owners. She added that all parties may still agree to allow more trucks after that time.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 1, Rezoning Case #MCUP-17-04-5, Pine Meadows MCUP Amendment to increase the number of trucks from 10 to 25, for 10 years, with a provision to reevaluate the number of trucks at that time.
PUBLIC HEARING – FIRE RESCUE ASSESSMENT AMENDMENT
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING LAKE COUNTY CODE, CHAPTER 1.5, ARTICLE II, DIVISION 3, REGARDING FIRE RESCUE ASSESSMENTS; RENUMBERING AND CREATING A NEW SECTION 10.5-64, ENTITLED “SINGLE ASSESSMENT DISCOUNT FOR VACANT LANDS”; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Commr. Sullivan stated that this was a revision of a previous ordinance in which some issues were identified.
Commr. Campione added that the new ordinance would allow owners of contiguous vacant land parcels to apply to have them grouped together for the purpose of paying a single fire assessment fee.
Ms. Marsh clarified that the ordinance is for parcels platted before 1985 with no infrastructure, and that each contiguous grouping would cost the owner one $50 fee instead of $50 per lot.
Mr. Cole added that owners would have the obligation to contact the County and group their properties together.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione thanked staff for finding an equitable solution for owners of multiple vacant lots.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2018-4 amending the Lake County Code, Chapter 1.5, Article II, Division 3, regarding Fire Rescue Assessments; renumbering and creating a new Section 10.5-64, entitled “Single Assessment Discount for Vacant Lands”.
HIDDEN RIVERS ANNEXATION DISCUSSION
Mr. Cole reported that this item related to the City of Tavares’ consideration of the proposed Hidden Rivers Development and annexation that is adjacent to Shirley Shores Road and East Shirley Shores Road in unincorporated Lake County. He described that the Board discussed this issue on January 23, 2018 and February 13, 2018. He recalled that in the February meeting he was directed by the BCC to contact the Tavares City Manager and request a joint meeting of the BCC and the Tavares City Council for the purpose of discussing considerations relating to the City’s future growth, such as infrastructure, densities, potable water, and sanitary sewer. He also recalled that it was the BCC’s desire to have a joint meeting prior to the Tavares City Council making a decision on the annexation and development on March 7, 2018. He said he discussed the Board’s request with the Tavares City Manager on February 13 and February 15, 2018, and that the City Manager asked that he follow up with a formal letter that was sent on February 15, 2018 to request the meeting. He stated that the City Manager then discussed that request with the Tavares City Council on February 21, 2018 and notified him of these three points that emerged from the Tavares City Council’s discussion: the applicant opposed delaying the project; the City Council invited the BCC to attend its March 7, 2018 public meeting; and the Tavares City Council expressed interest in having a joint meeting in the future with the BCC as part of the City’s comprehensive planning effort that would begin in Fall 2018. He recounted telling the City Manager that he would bring this item back to the BCC for consideration.
Commr. Campione agreed with participating in a future joint meeting, noting the City of Tavares’ two year process of long-term planning. She described how the Board’s actions with Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements (ISBAs) have not focused on some of the most important issues, such as land planning and road maintenance. She expressed a desire for the Board to have a future opportunity to work with cities to resolve these issues, and that this joint meeting would allow the Board to potentially participate in some land related and road maintenance issues. She mentioned that the City of Tavares should be responsible for maintaining annexed roads, and that annexation can raise questions from both a road maintenance and law enforcement standpoint.
Commr. Breeden stated that when the ISBAs were put into place, the cities and county may have only been looking at a map and pure real estate, rather than practical considerations. She also said that she was attending the March 7, 2018 meeting, and wanted the City of Tavares to know the BCC considers compatibility to be important for this development and those in the future.
Commr. Parks stated that Commissioner Breeden had spent time with Tavares citizens and heard their concerns, and asked if she would speak at the joint meeting.
Commr. Breeden said that she would probably not speak, but indicated that she could support the BCC’s consensus on the 64 lot plan presented on November 17, 2017. She noted that this was likely the most compatible plan proposed by the developers, and would allow more driveways than another plan with an internal road.
Commr. Parks commented that Commissioner Breeden could convey this consensus at the meeting.
Commr. Sullivan stated that he was comfortable with Commissioner Breeden attending the public meeting to express the BCC’s support for the 64 lot plan. He thought this was a good example of why there needs to be more joint meetings.
Commr. Breeden expressed that she would recognize the City’s right to make a decision.
Commr. Parks said that the BCC makes that right clear to all cities, and is familiar with the Municipal Annexation Law.
Commr. Campione echoed support for bigger lots with larger setbacks from Shirley Shores Road, and that in a negotiation she would be looking for the following conditions: a minimum square footage for houses on the lake; a uniform 100 or 150 foot setback from Shirley Shores Road to help maintain property values; and a minimum of one acre for internal lots to preserve a rural feel for the area. She expressed support for Commissioner Breeden, and stated that this should be about collaboration with the city for the long-term quality and character of the area.
SIGN ORDINANCE WORKSHOP
Mr. McClendon presented a review of the Lake County sign ordinance. He stated that in 2015, the United States Supreme Court held that content-based signage restrictions were an affront to the First Amendment and were not narrowly tailored enough to further a compelling government interest, such as when a sign requires reading its content to discern what type of sign it is. He recalled that in March 2017, the Board approved the removal of all content-based sign restrictions in Lake County, and Ordinance 2017-14 still prohibits pole signs and signs in the county right-of-way. He explained that every nonpermanent sign now falls under the guise of a temporary sign, including political, incidental, directional, and non-commercial signs. He displayed the definition of temporary signs as amended, with a 90 day time limit, maximum height, and maximum copy area placed upon them. He noted that temporary signs cannot be electric or illuminated, and that no permits are required to place temporary signs on a parcel of land. He displayed a graph showing benchmarks for the number of calendar days allowed for temporary signage between several cities and neighboring counties, stating that 90 days was the typical amount of time. He mentioned that the Lake County LDR rewrite update was a multi-year, multi-phase project scheduled for approximately three years, and that staff was currently working on Chapter 15 concerning the Clermont Joint Planning Agreements (JPA). He added that staff was working on a zoning overlay between S.R. 50 and United States (U.S.) Highway 27, and that there was collaboration with the City of Clermont to identify allowable uses, prohibited uses, and updates for the commercial design standards in this area. He asked the Board for direction on this issue.
Commr. Blake asked if the time limit is restarted if a citizen moves a temporary sign a short distance right before the end of the 90 day limit.
Mr. McClendon responded that citizens are only allowed two temporary signs per calendar year on residential parcels of land, with a 90 day limit on each.
Commr. Campione inquired if two signs could be placed at the same time.
Mr. McClendon confirmed that this was correct.
Commr. Parks asked if commercial signs are considered permanent signs.
Mr. McClendon answered that as long as the sign is not temporary, it would go through the permitting process.
Commr. Campione asked if a temporary sign could be placed on a commercial property.
Mr. McClendon replied that this was possible.
Commr. Blake inquired if placing three political campaign signs on a residential lot would be allowed for 90 days.
Mr. McClendon reiterated that there is a limit of two signs per year, and clarified that the current temporary sign limit was for all content-based signs.
Commr. Blake indicated that he was in favor of removing the limit of two signs per year, though suggested that a number such as 20 would be too high.
Commr. Campione mentioned that, without a sign cap or time limit, there would be no recourse for a neighbor placing 100 signs on their property. She commented that a high number of signs could lower adjacent property values, and that while free speech should not be restricted, it can infringe on other people’s rights and investments.
Commr. Parks considered the possibility of a residential lot where the owner wants to keep a sign up for an extended period of time, or even permanently, and establishing a possible construction standard for this type of sign that considers potential weather damage.
Commr. Campione stated that agricultural signs do not have any limits.
Mr. McClendon noted that there is a current permitting process for ground signs.
Commr. Parks expressed a desire to make the process easier for permitting ground signs.
Commr. Campione asked if it was possible to obtain a ground sign permit in a residential zoning as long as deed restrictions do not prohibit it. She added that sign permitting would not apply in deed-restricted neighborhoods because they have their own rules concerning allowable signs. She also asked about obtaining a permit for a ground sign with a reader board and changing the message every day on a freestanding parcel zoned Rural Residential.
Mr. McClendon answered that a permit for the sign could be obtained if the performance standards for a ground sign were met.
Commr. Parks asked if it would be possible to accommodate free speech in situations where there is an engineered performance requirement that can be complied with for a total of one permitted sign of a specified size.
Commr. Blake expressed an interest in increasing the time limit for temporary signs from 90 to 180 days at a minimum, with an increased yearly cap of five signs.
Commr. Campione explained that she had been considering placing a sign on her property which would ask people to not litter, and that being limited to two of those signs per year, with a time limit for each, is too restrictive. She also mentioned how the current limit would restrict signs that have been discussed for people participating in Keep Lake Beautiful (KLB).
Commr. Blake commented that the City of Eustis has no time limit for signs, and asked if they have a quantity cap.
Mr. McClendon replied that the benchmarks they reviewed only looked at the number of days that temporary signs were allowed.
Commr. Parks asked if there was an opportunity to more easily enable citizens to have permanent signs, and inquired if a long-term sign would be allowed if it was constructed according to the standard from staff.
Mr. McClendon said that they would still need to follow the permitting process for building requirements, such as constructing a sign with the appropriate wind load.
Commr. Parks asked if this could be done online, and Mr. McClendon confirmed that signs can be permitted online.
Commr. Breeden asked about County-issued signs, such as those from KLB.
Commr. Parks said that County signs would still have to follow performance criteria.
Ms. Marsh said that a sign is granted a building permit if it meets requirements, and clarified that the Supreme Court prohibited content-based regulation of signs.
Commr. Blake indicated an interest to stop regulating signs.
Commr. Campione stated that civil suits could resolve nuisance signs.
Ms. Marsh replied that this would create many defenses citing the First Amendment.
Commr. Sullivan expressed that 90 days was not long enough for political signs endorsing candidates, and said that he was interested in a 180 day limit with a minor increase to the sign limit.
Ms. Marsh stated that changing the limit to 180 days with a maximum of five signs would allow for a single sign to be used for a full year, adding it could be difficult to enforce.
Commr. Parks commented that signs must be safe and not negatively affect adjacent property values.
Commr. Campione said that permanent signs would have to be certified to meet wind load and location requirements.
Commr. Parks suggested providing an official example of a permanent sign that meets regulations so that citizens can quickly obtain permits online.
Commr. Campione commented that someone who is interested in placing a permanent sign should have it professionally constructed, and that the County should not be promoting signs.
Commr. Parks replied that there would still be categories of people that use temporary signs.
Commr. Sullivan expressed a desire for an enforceable solution. He noted that signs cannot be regulated based on their content, and that a property sitting on a large lot would be a different case than two houses in close proximity. He suggested that a 180 day time limit would be a reasonable solution for temporary signs.
Commr. Campione commented that a 365 day time period would allow long lasting signs expressing involvement in KLB, or messages to not disrupt vegetation. She said that the current maximum height of six feet and 32 square feet of copy area for temporary signs could be broken down into smaller signs, and that a citizen could fit eight political campaign signs onto a single temporary sign.
Mr. McClendon replied that as long as a sign is under maximum restrictions, there could be multiple messages on the same sign.
Commr. Blake mentioned that most Lake County citizens are good neighbors and would not place 100 signs on their property.
Commr. Campione indicated that a limit on copy area would be a good way to regulate the number of messages on a single sign, and that lifting the time limit would make it easier for citizens to place signs. She also mentioned that realtor signs are placed for longer than the current limit of 90 days.
Commr. Breeden asked if realtor signs are considered temporary signs, and Mr. McClendon confirmed that realtor signs are considered temporary.
Commr. Parks commented that realtors may want to keep their signs out for longer periods of time.
Mr. McClendon mentioned that this would create a reactionary response, and that it would require a call or complaint to prompt the Lake County Office of Code Enforcement to investigate a temporary sign.
Commr. Parks stated that the Office of Code Enforcement would still have to use extensive permitting to prove a case.
Commr. Campione asked about the level of involvement in creating a permanent sign.
Commr. Parks commented that cases such as neighborhood monuments require extensive involvement, though he is concerned with smaller cases.
Commr. Breeden said that she was unsure about the 365 day limit, and that while it would make it easier for citizens to place temporary signs, there were already too many items on the road.
Commr. Campione clarified that signs would be located on private property.
Commr. Sullivan expressed a concern with enforcement when no time limit is in place, and supported a 180 day limit as a set timeframe to report a sign.
Commr. Campione posed the suggestion of allowing a sign to be placed year round if it meets a certain size requirement.
Commr. Parks asked for clarification on what type of sign constitutes a yard ornament.
Commr. Campione clarified that any amount of copy area would create a sign.
Commr. Blake proposed ending regulation of temporary signs for a trial period of one year.
Commr. Parks said that there may be some citizens concerned about the deregulation of temporary signs.
Ms. Marsh suggested that if regulation ended for temporary signs, the Board should create an exemption for signs of a certain material and under a certain size to create an additional option beyond permanent signs. She noted that wind load is a concern with signage.
Commr. Parks also expressed interest in exempting signs under a specific size.
Commr. Sullivan stated this would allow small masonry signs to be easily implemented.
Ms. Marsh stated that a masonry sign would likely require a building permit as a structure, and would have to not fall under the Florida Building Code.
Commr. Campione agreed that signs of a certain size can cause safety issues due to wind load.
Commr. Breeden commented that the conditions of signs must be considered after being placed for a year.
Commr. Parks stated that there is some consensus to increase the time limit for temporary signs.
Commr. Sullivan added that there is also some consensus on exemption for signs of a certain size.
Commr. Campione reiterated her support for a 365 day time limit, and said that there must be some way to define it so that all signs do not become permanent.
Commr. Sullivan commented that he would consider a sign with a 365 day limit to be permanent.
Mr. McClendon concluded that he would bring back sample signs of different sizes for the Board to discuss at a future BCC meeting.
REAPPOINTMENTS TO THE LIBRARY ADVISORY BOARD
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board reappointed Mr. Pat Kelley as the Minneola Member, and Ms. Mary Page as the Minneola Alternate Member, to the Library Advisory Board to complete four-year terms ending February 28, 2022.
APPOINTMENT TO THE ARTS AND CULTURAL ALLIANCE
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 4-0, the Board appointed Council Member Heidi Brishke to the Arts and Cultural Alliance, to complete an unexpired four-year term ending July 31, 2018.
Commr. Blake was not present for the vote.
APPOINTMENTS TO THE LAKE-SUMTER METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION CITIZENS’ ADVISORY COMMITTEE
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 4-0, the Board appointed Mr. Jose Lopez as the District 1 representative, and Ms. Katherine Cressman as the District 3 representative, to the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO) Citizens’ Advisory Committee, to complete two-year terms ending December 31, 2019.
Commr. Blake was not present for the vote.
dedication of road for sheriff chris daniels
Commr. Parks requested a resolution from the BCC supporting dedicating the portion of S.R. 19 from U.S. 441 to Lane Park Road in memory of former Lake County Sheriff Chris Daniels, and noted the Florida legislature would make that designation.
Commr. Breeden agreed that this was a great idea.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2018-21 to dedicate a portion of S.R. 19 from Lane Park Cutoff Road to U.S. 441 in memory of former Lake County Sheriff Chris Daniels.
Employee policy 4.6 WorkPlace Violence
Commr. Blake stated that in the past few months he had reviewed the Lake County employee policy handbook, and noticed certain issues that he felt should be updated. He said that he had worked with Mr. Cole and Ms. Marsh to draft a new policy allowing Lake County employees with Florida concealed carry licenses to carry their firearms while working, and that the natural right to defend one’s own life should continue when leaving home for work. He commented that the BCC has control over the Lake County employee handbook, and that it would be reasonable to allow employees to use the natural right of self-defense while working. He provided statistics showing that 98 percent of mass shootings occur in gun free zones, as there is no danger posed to the perpetrator. He also described that concealed carry permit holders are among the least likely individuals to commit a firearms violation. He mentioned that Lake County would not be the first county in Florida to allow concealed carry at the workplace, and that Okaloosa and Sarasota Counties allow it. He related his concern that there are other issues in the Lake County employee handbook, such as disallowing County employees from keeping mace spray in their automobile glovebox if their vehicle is parked on County property, and preventing the storage of cutting utensils, such as scissors and box cutters, in a vehicle owned by a County employee. He opined that these regulations are over-prescriptive; though employees are currently able to store a firearm in a vehicle compartment, storing mace or cutting utensils in a vehicle carries a penalty of employment termination. He expressed a desire to allow employees to carry mace when walking to and from their vehicle. He said that Okaloosa County began to allow concealed carry on County property in February 2017 for their 800 employees, and also noted that Santa Rosa and Walton Counties in Florida do not regulate concealed carry for their employees. He stated that approximately 12 percent of Lake County residents have concealed carry permits, and that allowing concealed carry for Lake County employees would not be a pilot program. He noted several counties from other states with a similar policy for concealed carry, as follows: Cherokee County, North Carolina; Jackson County, Michigan; Harvey County, Kansas; and Henderson County, North Carolina. He mentioned that Ms. Marsh’s draft of the new employee policy also revises restrictions on County employees keeping cutting utensils in their glovebox, and summarized that Lake County must protect its employees by allowing those licensed by the State of Florida to carry concealed firearms while employed.
Commr. Campione agreed with Commissioner Blake’s suggestion, and stated that statistics indicate individuals in gun free zones are less safe when compared to those in areas where firearms are allowed.
Commr. Parks also agreed with the proposal, and clarified that only Lake County employees who are law abiding, licensed concealed carry permit holders would be allowed to carry firearms while working.
Commr. Campione mentioned the strict amount of training required to receive a Florida concealed carry permit, and that most permit holders are law abiding citizens. She noted a misconception that gun free zones are safe.
Commr. Blake commented that statutory restrictions would still apply so that concealed carry permit holders would not be able to carry their firearms into the meeting of a local governing body.
Commr. Breeden asked if this restriction would apply to Lake County employees attending local government meetings.
Commr. Blake confirmed that Lake County employees would be unable to bring firearms into these meetings, except for law enforcement.
Commr. Breeden asked if research indicated any human resource issues related to allowing licensed employees to carry concealed firearms, such as if there would be a perceived change in the balance of power between a supervisor and their employee, and if there would be any issues with worker’s compensation.
Commr. Blake stated that one option for this proposal was to not address concealed carry in the employee handbook, though Ms. Marsh wanted to clarify issues relating to worker’s compensation and other questions by including it.
Commr. Breeden expressed her support for allowing mace spray and cutting utensils in gloveboxes for vehicles parked on County property, and noted that BCC members were not bound by the current policy.
Commr. Blake said that he did not believe that restricting cutting tools was intentional due to a lack of enforcement for this issue.
Commr. Campione stated a concern that people walking to and from their vehicle, and those working late, could not protect themselves.
Commr. Sullivan indicated that this change would be timely, and expressed his support.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved a draft with new verbiage for Employee Handbook Policy 4.6 entitled “Workplace Violence”.
Mr. Cole relayed that this was the final week of service for Mr. Robert Chandler, Executive Director of the Agency for Economic Prosperity. He expressed gratitude to Mr. Chandler for his exemplary service to Lake County throughout his six and a half years with the organization, and personally thanked him for his integral role in the recent realignment of County government. He remarked that Mr. Chandler presented some amazing ideas that led to the formation of the Agency for Economic Prosperity, and expressed that he had built a strong team that would carry the Agency’s forward momentum into the future. He stated that Mr. Chandler left a lasting impact on the County, and that he will be missed.
Mr. Chandler thanked the BCC and Mr. Cole for their commitment to the County’s economic development efforts, and stated that it was an honor to serve the Lake County government and residents. He said that it was a position he took a great deal of pride in, and that Lake County had a great team in place to continue momentum.
Commr. Parks offered his best wishes to Mr. Chandler, and mentioned that the changes he led had been phenomenal. He noted the examples set by Mr. Chandler, his energy, and his passion for making Lake County what it was. He recalled recently speaking at Cypress Ridge Elementary School in Clermont with Mr. Chandler, and how the children there expressed interest in Lake County’s “Real Florida, Real Close” program that made them aware of jobs and activities in the county.
Commr. Campione noted that Mr. Chandler set a high standard for his position, and wished him the best.
Commr. Breeden expressed support for Mr. Chandler, and said she was glad that he would remain in the community.
Commr. Sullivan thanked Mr. Chandler for his dedication to the County.
commissioner parks – district 2
intersection of c.r. 561 and c.r. 561a
Commr. Parks recalled a recent meeting regarding the numerous accidents at the intersection of C.R. 561 and C.R. 561A in South Lake County. He stated that the Lake County Sheriff had identified this intersection as a problem, and that the traffic there was three times what was anticipated. He noted that there were plans to put a signal at this intersection soon.
Commr. Breeden stated that she had also discussed this issue with a constituent.
Mr. Cole explained that a traffic signal was warranted and in design for this intersection, and that it should be in operation by September 2018. He related that after recently meeting with Commissioner Parks, Mr. Schneider’s staff quickly installed a flashing caution light for southbound C.R. 561, and that there was already a similar sign on northbound C.R. 561. He indicated that two message boards were also installed to alert drivers about the dangerous intersection.
city of eustis and georgefest
Commr. Parks complimented the City of Eustis for the Georgefest event, and remarked that there was a great crowd in attendance.
commissioner campione – VICE CHAIRMAN AND district 4
city of eustis and georgefest
Commr. Campione said she attended Georgefest in the City of Eustis, and that the City did an excellent job with bringing out a great number of people to the event.
s.r. 46 flooding
Commr. Campione noted that a constituent expressed concerns about a new interchange opening March 31, 2018 that would add traffic to S.R. 46 near Mount Dora, which was prone to flooding. She described a low area along this road that was completely flooded during Hurricane Irma, and remarked that the citizen’s concern was about the road being built below the floodplain. She reported that County staff looked into the issue and also raised concerns, which were passed onto the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). She mentioned that a response from FDOT explained that the road was designed for a 50-year flood event instead of a 100-year flood event. She commented that this was contrary to how the County would have built the road, but it was the State of Florida’s decision. She added that Lake County’s citizens and roads would be affected when S.R. 46 is shut down by big rain events, and that impacts were already affecting Round Lake Road. She also noted that Wolf Branch Road would experience increased traffic if S.R. 46 was shut down. She indicated that the County had noted this concern, though FDOT was comfortable going forward. She expressed an interest to again respectfully ask FDOT to reconsider their position, potentially through an official letter.
Mr. Cole stated that staff would draft a letter.
commissioner sullivan – chairman and district 1
city of eustis and georgefest
Commr. Sullivan relayed that he attended Georgefest in the City of Eustis, and said it was a great event.
fishing league worldwide bass tournament
Commr. Sullivan mentioned a recent Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) bass tournament in Lake County, stating that it was now an international event, as two Canadians won the tournament. He noted a great turnout, and how the event was a significant economic impact on Lake County. He expressed excitement for next year’s event, and thanked the City of Leesburg for their support.
commissioner breeden – district 3
Commr. Breeden reported that Emeralda Marsh had been reopened, and recommended seeing it. She expressed appreciation for the efforts from the St. John’s River Water Management District and the FWC to reopen it.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:54 a.m.
timothy i. sullivan, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK