April 24, 2018

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 24, 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; Kristy Mullane, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Josh Pearson, Administrative Specialist, Board Support.

INVOCATION and pledge

Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, stated that there were no agenda updates.

Minutes approval

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Campione, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of March 27, 2018 (Regular Meeting).

presentation – deliver the difference

Mr. Bob Bostic, Founder and Executive Director of Deliver the Difference, thanked the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) for inviting his organization to the current meeting.  He explained that Deliver the Difference is a hunger relief organization that has operated in Lake County since 2010.  He said that the organization had a unique opportunity in March 2018 to bring in the Tennessee organization Remote Area Medical (RAM).  He commented that RAM was started in 1985 by former television host Mr. Stan Brock, who saw how many Americans needed health, dental and vision care and how these issues were not being addressed.  He noted that on March 3 and 4, 2018, Deliver the Difference invited RAM to the Lake County Fairgrounds, and that hundreds of medical professionals volunteered to treat citizens.  He added that there were no prerequisites for treatment and the services were open to all citizens.  He indicated that there were 349 area citizens that received medical, dental and vision care, and that the event would not have been possible without the County providing the fairgrounds.  He stated a desire to repeat the event on March 2 and 3, 2019, and his organization had already confirmed availability with the fairgrounds for those dates, but noted that they would also need the BCC’s support.  He said that over 1,000 patients were anticipated for the next event, and he showed a short video about the recent event at the Lake County Fairgrounds.  He said that Dr. Alan Hays, Lake County Supervisor of Elections, volunteered to perform dental services, and that Dr. Hays would be recruiting additional local dentists for the next event; furthermore, the organization anticipated having over 40 dentists at the 2019 event.  He recounted that a family from Altoona visited the event and received significant vision and dental care that they would not normally be able to afford, and that the family heard of the event through the kidsPACK hunger relief program.  He relayed that another man walked seven miles to the event, and thanked the BCC again for their support.

Commr. Sullivan reiterated that citizens are not turned away from the event for any reason, and that the service is free.  He stated that the BCC’s support was a small contribution when compared to the efforts of the 274 volunteers.

Mr. Bostic said that one volunteer travelled from Sarasota solely to empty trash cans at the event, and that this person was just as important as the medical professionals.  He clarified that the 274 noted volunteers were only the medical professionals from Remote Area Medical, and that approximately 600 total volunteers were involved. 

Commr. Breeden thanked him for bringing this opportunity to Lake County, and said that few communities are able to receive RAM’s services.  She expressed her support for next year’s event, and stated that more participation should be encouraged for local medical professionals to reach a greater number of patients.  She stated that volunteers also came from outside Lake County, including former Deputy County Manager Mr. Gregg Welstead and his wife. 

Mr. Bostic noted that all licensed medical professionals came from within Florida, including medical and dental students from the University of Florida and Florida State University, though stated that non-medical volunteers also came from other states as far as Illinois and New Hampshire. 

Commr. Parks and Commissioner Campione thanked him for his work on the event.

Commr. Blake thanked him, and expressed an interest in waiving the fairgrounds event fees again for 2019.

Commr. Sullivan noted a consensus to support the event and that this was under the BCC’s purview.

proclamations 2018-41 and 2018-40

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation 2018-41 designating May 4, 2018 as International Firefighters’ Day in Lake County, and Proclamation 2018-40 congratulating the Leesburg High School Yellow Jackets as the 2018 Class 6A State Basketball Champions.

Commr. Sullivan read Proclamation 2018-41 and recognized several fire rescue personnel from throughout Lake County who were present.  He then read and presented Proclamation 2018-40 to members of the Leesburg High School Yellow Jackets varsity basketball team.  He thanked the team for bringing pride to Leesburg High School. 

citizen question and comment period

Mr. Dave Serdar, a resident of Fruitland Park, opined that Lake County should adopt a program for recycling cigarettes and preventing cigarette litter. 

Mr. Vance Jochim, a Tavares resident who writes a blog about local government issues, said that in the BCC’s Goals Workshop on March 29, 2018, it was explained that over the past several years the Constitutional Officers were receiving increased budgets, while budget growth for County departments was smaller.  He opined that the BCC should request that the Constitutional Officers receive professional performance audits.  He asked about a recent Florida Benchmarking Consortium report, claiming that the County paid $3,000 to participate in that program.  He said that the Cities of Mount Dora and Tavares also participated in the program, and Tavares had a City Council presentation about their results.  He also opined that County budget presentations should include a trend showing the previous three years for comparison, using per capita costs by departments or functions.  He claimed that budgets reported as status quo do not reflect growth in salaries, benefits and pension costs for employees.

Commr. Campione clarified that the Constitutional Officers are autonomous elected officials, and that while the BCC works closely with them, it is incumbent upon those officers to operate their agencies efficiently and with accountability.  She stated that the County was maintaining and prioritizing cost control by working with each department and the county managers.

Commr. Parks asked to clarify if the County was receiving relevant or comparable data from the Florida Benchmarking Consortium and if the County would still utilize benchmarking.

Mr. Cole recalled that several years earlier, the BCC expressed an interest in benchmarking for budget workshops, and that the County would continue it.  He added that the County would end its relationship with the Florida Benchmarking Consortium because the appropriate benchmarks were not provided.  He elaborated that the County did not receive comparative subject areas and counties from the consortium, and that Lake County was currently conducting independent benchmarking as in previous years.  He concluded that these benchmarks would be part of the upcoming budget presentations and that benchmarking would continue until different direction from the BCC was received.


On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 5, 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.

Minneola Mountain Properties C.R.A. Annual Report

Request to acknowledge receipt of the Minneola Mountain Properties C.R.A. Annual Report.

Minneola Downtown C.R.A. Annual Report

Request to acknowledge receipt of the Minneola Downtown C.R.A. Annual Report.

Groveland Small Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Annexation Ordinance 2018-02-02

Request to acknowledge receipt of the following from the City of Groveland: Small Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment (Berriel) and Annexation Ordinance 2018-02-02.

Southwest Florida Water Management District Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Annual Financial Report

Request to acknowledge receipt of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2017 and the Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Financial Report filed March 28, 2018.


Commr. Blake indicated a desire to pull Tab 11 for discussion.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 5 through 17, pulling Tab 11 for discussion, as follows:


Request approval of a proclamation designating May 6 through May 12, 2018, to be North American Occupational Safety and Health Week in Lake County, and May 9, 2018, to be Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Day in Lake County, per Commissioner Sullivan. There is no fiscal impact.

Request approval of a proclamation designating May 6 through May 12, 2018, as Tourism Week in Lake County. There is no fiscal impact.  


Request approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2017-CA-1482, Lake County vs. Charles O. McNeely, et al. (Parcel Number: FP-25) for needed right of way on the CR 466A Road Project, Phase 3A. The fiscal impact is $7,600.00 (expenditure -total settlement of $25,900.00 less $18,300.00, which was previously deposited with the Court per the Stipulated Order of Taking). Commission District 5.

Request approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2017-CA-1530, Lake County vs. Valley View Villas Homeowners Association, Inc., et al. (Parcel Number: FP-017) for needed right of way on the CR 466A Road Project, Phase 3A. The fiscal impact for approval is $90,067.85 (expenditure - total settlement of $152,467.85 less $62,400.00, which was previously deposited with the Court per the Stipulated Order of Taking). Commission District 5.

Request approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Order of Taking and Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2017-CA-1921, Lake County vs. CSI Commercial Properties, LLC, et al. (Parcel Numbers: FP-86, FP-87, FP-88, FP-89) for needed right of way on the CR 466A Road Project, Phase 3B. The fiscal impact is $48,000.00 (expenditure – total settlement amount). Commission District 5.


Visit Lake

Request approval of the funding agreement with Lake Sumter State College and the Florida Disc Golf Foundation for the design, construction and maintenance of championship level, 18-hole disc golf courses that will be a part of the Lake County Disc Golf Trail, and approval to terminate the agreement with the City of Leesburg and transfer the related $20,000.00 in funding to the Lake Sumter State College Agreement.  There is no fiscal impact. Commission Districts 1 and 3.


Planning and Zoning

Request approval for a 1-year extension to the Interlocal Agreement with the Lake County School Board regarding the School Impact Fee Waiver Program, which allows for the School Board to set aside a specified amount of funds to use for the impact fee waiver program. There is no fiscal impact.


Human Resources

Request approval of a Settlement and Release Waiver document for Claimant’s signature, and a Liability Claim settlement payment for injuries that occurred on or about May 31, 2016. The fiscal impact is $43,000.00 (expenditure).

Public Works

Request approval to:

1. Accept the final plat for Louisa Grande, located in Clermont, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Louisa Grande final plat; and

2. Execute a Subordination of Utility Interests Agreement between Lake County and Sumter Electric Cooperative, Inc. relating to the Louisa Grande subdivision.

There is no fiscal impact from this action.  Commission District 2.

Request approval to:

1. Accept the final plat for Serenoa Village 1 Phase 1A-2, located in the Four Corners area, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Serenoa Village 1 Phase 1A-2 final plat; and

2. Execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Improvements between Lake County and VK Avalon Groves, LLC; and

3. Accept a performance bond of $725,379.08; and

4. Execute a Temporary Easement Agreement between VK Avalon Groves, LLC and Lake County; and

5. Accept a performance bond of $29,048.58.

The fiscal impact is $1,551.00 (revenue – final plat application fee).  Commission District 1.


Community Services

Request approval of the multi-year Joint Participation Agreement for the Public Transit Block Grant with the Florida Department of Transportation for funding of the Transit Division's operating expenses, and approval of the supporting resolution. The fiscal impact is $1,399,960.00 (expenditure - $699,980.00 in County funding; $699,980.00 in grant funding).

Library Services

Request approval to designate Boyd Bruce as the Single Administrative Head of the Lake County Library System and authorize the Chairman to execute Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services Form DLIS/SA01, State Aid to Libraries Grant Certification of Credentials - Single Library Administrative Head. There is no fiscal impact.


Commr. Blake stated an issue with the proposed ordinance’s ban on the retail sales of cats and dogs.  He indicated that he understood the motivation behind banning these sales, and that retail sales of these animals was not currently a problem in Lake County; however, he did not want to ban them outright. 

Commr. Campione indicated an interest to evaluate if breeding or hobby licenses should be required for retail sales, if private breeders of animals should have to provide certificates of vaccinations and shots for the animals, and if there should be consequences of impounding or fining for private breeders that cannot provide that information.  She also opined that there was not a need for storefronts to sell pets due to an abundance of animals waiting for find homes. 

Commr. Blake specified that his issue was that the ordinance only bans the retail sales of cats and dogs while ignoring other animals, and that Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, indicated that the retail sale of cats and dogs was not currently a problem in Lake County.

Commr. Campione replied that there were overpopulation issues with cats and dogs and that other animals were not creating similar problems.  She remarked that the County was trying to be proactive about this issue, and expressed concern about retailers moving to Lake County due to surrounding areas preventing this type of business.

Commr. Blake commented that banning all retail sales would hurt both good and bad businesses, and that there were no current cat or dog retailers. 

Commr. Breeden asked for clarification on Commissioner Campione’s proposed modification to the ordinance.

Commr. Campione replied that the change would be under Section 4-9, Subsection (d), concerning the provision that discusses what actions the County can perform with animals that come into the Lake County Animal Shelter.  She mentioned that the section discusses these actions: the transfer of ownership or custody to an animal rescue organization; placing the animal for adoption; diverting certain animals, such as feral cats, to a trap, neuter, and return program; and euthanasia.  She said that the first section of the ordinance states the County’s purpose and intent to only utilize euthanasia in instances of animals that are suffering, ill or dangerous and unable to be behaviorally rehabilitated.  She said that she had asked Ms. Marsh to pull the reference to euthanasia in Section 4-9 and create a separate subsection for that item.  She added that euthanasia would only be used for purposes that comply with the no-kill intent of the ordinance, such as when pets are ill or dangerous. 

Ms. Marsh stated that a motion would be for approval to advertise this ordinance, and it would return at the next BCC Meeting on May 8, 2018.

Commr. Campione said that this ordinance had been the result of considerable work and meetings with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and individuals conducting field work for animal services.  She commented that the ordinance would alleviate concerns that these individuals had with regard to enforcement, protecting the welfare of animals and shelter operations.  She opined that the new ordinance would be improved considerably over the previous one, and an issue that is being addressed is that of licensing, which had created issues for residents.  She mentioned that by law, citizens are required to vaccinate their animals and maintain those records, but the added cost and logistics of licensing could be improved by eliminating additional licensing through the County. 

Commr. Blake thanked Commissioner Campione for her work on the ordinance, but reiterated his issue with the blanket ban of retail sales for cats and dogs.

Commr. Breeden asked if staff could evaluate which surrounding areas ban retail sales of cats and dogs.

Commr. Campione replied that Seminole County prohibits this behavior.

Ms. Marsh stated that banning these sales has been a recent movement, and said that more information could be provided at the ordinance’s public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved to advertise an ordinance amending Lake County Code, Chapter 4 entitled, “Animals.”, as amended with a modification to Section 4-9, Subsection (d) to create a separate category for euthanasia, only to be utilized when animals are ill or dangerous and unable to be rehabilitated.   

Commr. Blake voted no.

capital financing workshop

Ms. Jennifer Barker, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, stated that the capital financing presentation would provide an overview of three capital projects and various financing options available for those projects.  She said that in August 2017, the County held an Infrastructure Sales Tax hearing, which was the first hearing for the 2018 through 2032 sales tax authorization.  She added that at that hearing, the list of projects to be funded by the Infrastructure Sales Tax was approved, and after Board discussion, staff identified these three projects that were considered priorities: a new animal shelter; replacement radios for public safety; and the South Lake Regional Park.  She commented that at the first financing workshop that was held in December 2017, the BCC directed staff to procure quotes for all three projects, and that today there would be reviews of the results and the financing options.  She explained that the current Lake County Animal Shelter was constructed in 1994, was 13,460 square feet, and while some maintenance issues had been addressed, there were still significant limitations including insufficient parking for adoption events, the facility not being designed for present day operations, and improvements needed for the intake area to allow for a safe and secure transfer of animals. 

Commr. Campione mentioned that there were also air conditioning and ventilation issues with the building. 

Ms. Barker relayed that the proposed solution was to construct a new animal shelter, and that after procuring quotes, the plan would be for an estimated 23,667 square foot facility.  She added that approximately 19,000 square feet would be enclosed, and the remaining 4,000 square feet would be covered but not enclosed.  She said that the estimated project cost was $7.8 million, and the funding in the current Infrastructure Sales Tax five-year plan was $4.5 million.  She began discussing the public safety radios, stating that in September 2007 the County purchased a new public safety communications system in the amount of $32.4 million, and that this system included 18 tower sites and nearly 3,300 radios and handheld units for the Sheriff, Fire Rescue, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the 14 municipalities.  She elaborated that the previous funding was comprised of $22.4 million from reserves and $11.2 million in the form of a bank loan, with $10 million being principle and the other $1.2 million being interest.  She said that the radios and handheld units purchased in 2007 reached end of life in 2014 and would reach end of support in 2018.  She relayed that staff was suggesting the Request for Proposal (RFP) process and allowing the County to purchase the radios for all entities, including the municipalities.  She noted that the cost would be $12.3 million for a direct purchase or $15 million for financing the purchase through the vendor for ten years.  She mentioned that the municipalities would reimburse the County for their costs associated with the purchase, and the County would receive a cheaper rate for making a bulk purchase.  She commented that a bulk purchase would also offer a $1 million technology credit that could be used for future purchases, and that the current funding in the current Infrastructure Sales Tax five-year plan was $1.45 million.  She began discussing South Lake Regional Park, indicating that in 2014, the City of Clermont conveyed approximately 141.5 acres to Lake County, and the South Lake Regional Park encompasses just over 100 of those acres.  She said that in 2016, following community and stakeholder meetings, the Board approved the master plan for the park, and groundbreaking occurred on April 6, 2018.  She relayed that the received proposal includes a full build-out plan of all three phases for the park, along with the Max Hooks Road and utilities improvements for a guaranteed maximum price of $19.3 million.  She stated that it would take approximately two years for site preparation and construction to be completed, and the current funding identified in the Infrastructure Sales Tax five-year plan was $6.9 million, which would complete only phase one of park construction.  She introduced Mr. Jay Glover, Managing Director, PFM Financial Advisors, to discuss available financing options for these projects. 

Mr. Glover displayed a graph showing the 10-year treasury yields from April 1970 through present day, pointing out that there has been a significant declining interest rate environment.  He noted that there had been an increase in interest rates since the November 2017 election, though commented that this increase was mainly on the short end of the yield curve as federal fund rates have been rising, while the long end had remained relatively low.  He opined that even with this uptick in interest rates, it was currently a good time to borrow funds.  He displayed a slide detailing that the reason to issue some debt to finish capital projects is to be able to complete those projects more quickly than through a pay as you go basis.  He said that many entities use a combination of pay as you go and debt financing to fund capital projects, and that funding all three projects would leave a considerable amount of pay as you go sales tax revenues after paying for the service.  He said that three types of financing would be publicly offered bonds, which is a traditional capital market transaction, privately placed bank loans, and vendor financing for equipment.  He explained that the type of debt issued to fund capital projects would depend on the market conditions and the time the County wanted to enter the market, and could involve different types of financing for each item.  He commented that publicly offered bonds are a reliable method for financing capital projects, and involves going out into the capital market.  He added that these types of transactions are typically good for 15-30 years or longer term borrowing, and are generally the most cost effective alternative for long term borrowing in public capital markets.  He said that these bonds can accommodate creative financing solutions, though he stated that the County’s current projects would more likely require straightforward financing.  He explained that bonds have a higher cost of issuance, because utilizing the public capital market requires credit ratings and preparing an offering document.  He mentioned that assessments would consider the County’s credit quality, the pledged revenues and financial situation, to assign a credit rating.  He said that even if all of the proposed capital projects were financed, the County would still have sufficient debt service coverage to maintain a high quality credit rating, and this would be discussed later in the presentation.  He stated that bonds can sometimes require a debt service reserve fund, which is equal to one-year debt service that is set aside for additional security on the bonds.  He said that that with these bonds, the risk of future tax law changes is passed onto the investor, so there would be no risk to the issuer.  He commented that when contrasted with privately placed bank loans, those bank providers will often pass that risk onto issuers, and when the corporate tax rate recently declined from 35 percent to 21 percent, some bank loans had provisions that would allow the lenders to increase the interest rate to maintain their same value after tax yield, which could also lower to 21 percent also lowered the value of the tax exemption for that lender.  He stated that the County’s current bank loans did not have any of those provisions, but noted their importance when comparing bank loans and bond deals.  He remarked that publicly offered bonds can be sold through a competitive or negotiated process, and they can also require significant initial and ongoing disclosure.  He elaborated that the County would have to prepare an offering document to be sent to investors, and ongoing disclosure on the County’s financial conditions each year.  He indicated that bonds can have flexible call features, and that with a 15-year transaction, bonds could be called at par after 10 years in situations where interest rates are low or the County wanted to refund for debt service savings.  He mentioned privately placed bank loans, recalling that recently when the County used debt for refunding purposes, one of the transactions was done with a publicly offered bond deal and one with a privately placed bank loan because they had different characteristics.  He then described privately placed loans, noting they are typically more efficient for shorter term transactions, generally ten years and under, though some banks will loan for 15 and 20 year transactions; however, the competition when taking longer term loans becomes considerably less, and many banks will include a provision that allows them to adjust the interest rate at some point in time.  He said that privately placed bank loans have a minimal cost of issuance due to not having to utilize rating agencies or a disclosure document, and specified that these loans generally require a financial advisor who would work to get the bank onboard, and then the County’s bond council would draft the necessary documents and the bank would have their own council to review documents.  He added that no credit ratings are required for these loans, and that disclosure is generally limited to providing the lender with the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and annual budget for each year of the loan.  He mentioned that concerning future tax law risk changes, the County should be cognizant that these risks are addressed in the loan documents.  He elaborated that this could result in a higher interest rate because the lender would take it into account upfront.  He commented that the bank loan market, under certain circumstances requires less effort in an initial and ongoing basis.  He said that whereas the public bond market generally has a 10-year par call, the call features of loans vary between banks.  He specified that some banks allow prepaying the loan at any time without penalty, but some banks may require a breakage fee or make whole fee throughout the term of the loan, and how flexible the County wants its prepayment provisions would impact the interest rate.  He elaborated that more call flexibility would relate to a higher interest rate upfront, and less call flexibility would correspond with a lower interest rate.  He indicated that the bank would be selected through an RFP process, and opined that Florida had a robust market.  He also mentioned that vendors for the public safety radios could provide financing themselves through a lender.  He recalled that as part of that ability, the cost for financing through the vendor was approximately $15 million, and that if the County financed that project on its own, the total cost would be about $14 million.  He said that in this case, the County could borrow funds at a lower rate than the financing option offered by the vendor.  He concluded that while vendor financing was an available option, it would not be as efficient as the County borrowing either through a bank loan or bond deal on its own.  He provided an overview of the three available financing options, and showed a chart showing project costs that were determined through the County’s RFP process and the associated debt service if all of the projects were financed.  He specified that the Lake County Animal Shelter would require around $7.8 million of financing for 15 years, the South Lake Regional Park would require approximately $19.3 million over 15 years, and the public safety radios would cost about $12.3 million financed over 10 years because of the shorter useful life of that project when compared to the capital assets being constructed.  He noted that the 15 year term would coincide with the expiration of the sales tax, and reported that if all three financings were conducted on a combined basis, the true interest cost would be about 3.16 percent on the transaction. He commented that the two 15-year projects would be approximately 3.25 percent, and the 10 year project would be around 2.9 percent on current market conditions, though these figures can fluctuate.  He remarked that for the animal shelter, financing approximately $7.8 million over 15 years would be just short of $700,000 of annual debt service payments, or about $9.8 million in total debt service over the life of the loan.  He mentioned that for the public safety radios, financing $12.3 million over 10 years would be about a $1.4 million payment annually, or approximately $14.3 million total; however, about $602,000 of that figure would be reimbursed from the municipalities.  He said that if the County financed $19.3 million of the South Lake Regional Park over 15 years, those payments would be approximately $1.7 million.  He noted that with the total aggregate debt service, the County’s annual payments would be approximately $3.8 million for the first 10 years, and it would drop to about $2.4 million after the public safety radios were paid off.  He stated that when compared to the current sales tax revenues which were projected to increase at a conservative two percent, the debt service coverage ratio was over 4.0 times coverage, and the County had about $15 million worth of revenue and nearly $4 million worth of debt service payment.  He opined that this was a comfortable debt service coverage ratio, and expressed that capital markets and bank lenders would also be comfortable with it.  He said that this should still allow the County to achieve an AA category credit rating, even if all three projects were financed.  He mentioned that even after paying debt service, the County would have approximately $12 million of annual sales tax to utilize for pay as you go projects, and that figure would grow over time as the sales tax grows, and would increase further after the debt service decreases in 10 years.  He said that in total, the County would be able to fund approximately $40 million worth of capital projects through the issuance of debt, and the County would have about $217 million of additional sales tax revenues that could be spent over time on pay as you go capital projects.  He elaborated that the $217 million would include the $6 million reimbursement from municipalities, and that this was based on a conservative two percent growth estimate.  He reiterated that his organization was comfortable with the ability to finance all three capital projects with debt, and that there should not be any concerns over the ability to obtain financing with a strong credit rating while maintaining sufficient revenue for additional pay as you go capital projects. 

Commr. Campione asked to clarify that he was discussing three separate loans. 

Mr. Glover replied that the three projects could all use a single financing to create some efficiencies, and that two of the projects could also be combined.  He opined that in this instance, it would be recommended to utilize a single financing for the desired projects, though the County could set up separate debt service schedules for internal tracking purposes.  He specified that there would be efficiencies for combining the projects, and that the market would be mainly considering the revenues that secure the debt.  He stated that one transaction would minimize the cost of issuance, and that the transaction could be one bank loan or one bond deal to fund all of the projects or any combination of them. 

Commr. Campione commented that debt service would begin once the loan was taken out, and if one of the projects was not ready to be started, it would make sense to finance it at a later date.

Mr. Glover confirmed that the financing for projects not ready to be initiated could occur later, and that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would require it.  He said that anytime tax exempt financing is taken out, there is an expectation to spend those proceeds within three years.

Commr. Breeden asked if one loan could be taken out, but have different debt schedules for 10 and 15 years.

Mr. Glover responded that this was possible, and said that values associated with aggregate debt service would be sold to the investors. He elaborated that one transaction would be sold, and it could be structured such that the debt service tiers down over time.  He added that for internal tracking and budget purposes, his organization could develop a debt schedule to show each project separately.  He stated that the market perspective would consider the debt schedule as a single transaction, but it could be considered many different ways internally. 

Commr. Sullivan noted that interest rates were beginning to move upwards, and opined that financing sooner rather than later would be better due to that and increased construction costs. 

Mr. Glover replied that interest rates were currently attractive, and there was a common perspective that they would continue to trend upward.  He commented that on the short end of the yield curve, there could be at least two more increases by the Federal Reserve in 2018.  He indicated that if the County was ready to move forward and spend funds in the near future, he would suggest borrowing at the present time would be a better option than borrowing after six months or later.  He explained that even though the County would begin paying interest on the loan on the current day, if interest rates increased by 50 or 100 basis points, the County would be paying that for the next 15 years as opposed to paying a small amount of interest for one or two years on a portion of a loan that may not be spent immediately. 

Commr. Sullivan said that two of the projects were capital, and that the radios’ value over five years would be less when compared to the animal shelter and the park.  He asked if there would be any benefit to breaking up the projects or funding the radios separately.

Mr. Glover responded that from a lending perspective, the security for the person lending the money is going to be the sales tax revenue.  He added that they would not have a security interest in the radios or the real estate, so that the nature of the project is not as important from the lender’s perspective.  He noted though that lenders may be responsive to the County financing essential government service projects, and that lenders would like to know the nature of the project even if they do not have a security interest in it.

Ms. Barker requested direction from the Board about financing any combination of the three projects. 

Commr. Campione asked whether the County was confident that the cities will be receptive to the public service radios.

Mr. Cole said that himself, Mr. John Molenda, Assistant County Manager, and Mr. Greg Holcomb, Director of the Office of Public Safety & Support, had discussions with all of the cities on more than one occasion, and he felt there would be no surprise regarding requested Interlocal Agreements with those governments to provide funding for the radios.  He noted, per Mr. Glover’s spreadsheet, that the County had purchasing power for all of the radios. 

Commr. Campione commended staff on the RFP process and the competitive nature of that bidding process.  She opined that the vendor’s rate for the radios was very competitive, and said that the radios would be the means of communication between all of the public safety agencies throughout the county.  She added that the radios would allow all of these agencies to be on the same frequency, and that the current system was reaching obsolescence.

Commr. Sullivan stated that the County did not have a choice due to the lifecycle of the current radios having ended in 2014.

Mr. Cole added that current radio service would end on December 31, 2018. 

Commr. Campione commented that the radios would be important for 911 calls and when other emergency assistance was needed quickly.  She commented that any number of the projects could be financed, but that there was an issue with the South Lake Regional Park concerning dirt on the premises.  She specified that the County had a bid and proposal for dirt removal, though there were still logistical questions about moving dirt from the property in the stated time period.  She explained that the company was projecting that they would take three loads of dirt off the property every hour for five days per week, and opined that it would take two years to have the site fully ready for construction.  She expressed a desire to wait six months into the contract to see how the dirt removal was progressing, and that the money for the park should not be borrowed if the County is unsure when it would be able to begin construction.  She remarked that the dirt truck traffic could also affect park operations.  She noted that she did not want to delay the commitment, though opined that the County should observe the dirt removal for four to six months before addressing that particular issue in case the dirt removal did not keep pace with the construction schedule.

Commr. Parks said that the dirt removal was at no cost to the County, and that it was saving a significant amount of money on the project.  He noted that the company would be removing dirt for up to two years at the park, and asked if removing all of the dirt at once was a condition of the RFP.

Commr. Breeden stated that there could be some flexibility for dirt removal moving forward.

Commr. Sullivan mentioned he had heard that the company would coordinate after six months to allow construction to begin while dirt was still being removed.

Commr. Campione said that her understanding was that this coordination would only occur if dirt removal progressed as anticipated, and there were other factors that may inhibit removal, such as drivers, trucks, weather and the ability to secure the necessary labor.  She recalled that the assumption was that if the projected amount of dirt was removed in six months, then it would be possible to begin site development at the park. 

Commr. Parks expressed a desire not to miss an optimized window of time for financing when considering interest rates, and that financing the park at the current time would still be cheaper and quicker than waiting 15 years to have the park built out.  He added that the penny sales tax was a finite source of revenue.

Commr. Breeden said that the animal shelter and public safety radios were health and safety projects for the county.  She specified that the radios may help preserve the health of citizens, and that animals could not be treated properly in the existing facility.  She commended Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Director of the Office of Parks and Trails, for working quickly in a phased approach, though opined that adding another $19 million to the financing would displace other projects.  She said that if the County constructed the entire park at once, it would also lead to operational costs of $1 million, and that the County was not ready to provide that cost all at once.  She expressed a hope that development could be sped up to less than 15 years.

Commr. Parks said that it was a fiscally conservative discussion to have.  He elaborated that even with principal and interest, at the end of 15 years when the County has a finite sum of penny sales tax, it may be more cost effective to use financing. 

Commr. Breeden agreed that financing would be more cost effective for the park, but reiterated that it may displace other projects.  She said that near the end of the previous penny sales tax, the County was using those proceeds to pay off debt and accrued a backlog of projects.

Commr. Campione recommended signing a six month contract for dirt removal and observing the process to see if the company progresses as anticipated.  She said that the BCC could then have the discussion on whether to fast track improvements or to use a phased approach for construction, starting with where dirt is already removed.  She expressed an intent for the BCC to be flexible in addressing the park until it was logistically known how the dirt removal will proceed, and recommended waiting six months to make a financing determination. 

Commr. Breeden agreed with a six month timeframe from the time when the contractor could begin removing dirt.

Commr. Parks added it could be done in six months or less, and that he had multiple requests for staff about the project.  He said that he would want staff to provide a side by side comparison of the short term financing for all three phases of the park when compared to the full 15 year phase, and also a side by side comparison showing short term financing for just the first and second phase.  He commented that even if only the first phase was financed, it would speed up the process by a few years without accruing significant short term debt.  He also expressed interest in confirming with the contractor that the dirt would be moved on schedule.

Mr. Cole asked to clarify how many years of financing should be included in the side by side comparisons.

Commr. Parks replied that 10 years could be examined because it would still be considerably less than 15 years, and that Mr. Cole could make further suggestions.

Commr. Blake opined that a total of $39 million worth of project costs and almost $10 million in interest would be an issue when considering taxpayer money.  He said that the only item on the list that he would consider necessary was the public safety radios, and that he would support financing the radios through a loan or bond. 

Commr. Parks asked if in three months the BCC could receive an update on the cities’ contributions, particularly from Groveland and Clermont, for park operations and capital costs.  He said that he discussed this issue with Ms. Marsh, and that she would be writing a letter of opinion explaining that if the cities contribute to the park, those contributions could go to credit their level of service.  He elaborated that cities would not have to build a park on their own, and this would avoid a duplication of services.

Ms. Marsh relayed that she would be setting up a meeting with the City Attorneys for those cities, and that they would discuss their Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) level of services when compared to the County’s and what could be agreed upon from a legal perspective. 

Mr. Cole relayed that he had been speaking directly with the City of Groveland due to the park’s close proximity and the expectation that Groveland would annex it, and that there had been informal conversations with other cities in the past.  He said that he met with the Groveland City Manager, and that he and Commissioner. Parks had appeared before the Groveland City Council in the previous month.  He related that there had been interests expressed by the City, but no commitments had been made.  He specified that discussions included the City providing sewer and water, potable and reclaimed, to the site, and also the monthly cost for those services, though there had not been a proposal before the City Council.

Commr. Sullivan commented that another concern was that the BCC set the penny sales tax for renewal in 15 years, and that the County was currently in that 15 year period.  He said that if the Board postponed the park financing, then it would take the County out of that window.

Mr. Cole suggested considering a 14 year financing plan to remain in the penny sales tax window.

Mr. Glover clarified that the market would require that, and that the bond could not be issued longer than the actual tax collections that will come in.  He said that it was estimated that any bonds used by the County could not go past the year 2032, and that annual payments would rise if financing for more than 14 years.

Commr. Parks said it may mean that only part of the park would be financed due to the need to balance interest and principal payments.

Commr. Campione responded that the BCC should give the dirt removal company six months to show if they can perform; however, if they cannot, the County could perform its own dirt removal as part of the park project.

Commr. Sullivan stated that delaying the park could lead to increased costs when there is already a need for the project.  He added that the radios must be procured, and that groundbreaking has already occurred at the park and it should not be postponed.  He said that financing the project would be the most fiscally conservative method to address the need in south Lake County.

Commr. Breeden opined that the most fiscally conservative solution for the park would be to use the existing pay as you go plan.  She commented that the estimated annual operating costs for the park was $1 million, and asked if the County was willing to pay that cost in a single year after the park opens. 

Commr. Campione asked if commitments with the cities should be confirmed, and if a contribution should be expected.

Commr. Parks said that progress was being made with the City of Groveland, and that he appreciated the BCC’s comments on the South Lake Regional Park.  He noted that perhaps information about the cities’ commitment could be obtained in three to six months.

Mr. Cole said that if the BCC decided to finance the project, staff would propose a contract for park construction at a later meeting, and that staff would present a dirt removal contract at the BCC Meeting on May 8, 2018 regardless if the project was financed.  He added that if the park was not financed, staff would return with a contract request to proceed with a phased approach.

Commr. Sullivan expressed that he would be comfortable with a six month waiting period, but did not want to wait beyond that because of rising interest rates.  He mentioned that the state of Florida was growing considerably, and that property and construction values would be rising. 

Commr. Breeden asked if the projects could be addressed individually at the current meeting.

Commr. Sullivan replied that they could, and that there would be a public hearing on this issue at the May 8, 2018 BCC meeting.

Commr. Campione suggested a motion for financing the radios and animal shelter.  She said that in six months, the South Lake Regional Park issue could be raised to determine if the park would be financed entirely or in portions.  She added that the park issue could be revisited sooner if the dirt removal company was on schedule or moving faster than projected.

Commr. Breeden opined that each item should be voted upon individually.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved moving forward with financing new public safety radios.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved moving forward with financing the proposal for the new Lake County Animal Shelter.

Commr. Blake voted no.

Commr. Campione motioned to approve bringing back the South Lake Regional Park proposal between three to six months after executing the dirt removal contract to evaluate whether the BCC should finance all or part of the park. 

Commr. Parks asked if the motion would include the factual questions asked of Mr. Cole.  He also asked if it would include gathering updates on city commitments.

Commr. Campione confirmed that this issue would be examined because the BCC would consider funding all or part of the park, and that additional information about cities’ commitments for construction and operational costs could also be gathered. 

Mr. Cole asked to confirm that staff would come back after three months following the beginning of dirt removal to report back to the Board, at which point the BCC will either make a decision about funding the park or direct staff to return three months later with further updates.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved bringing back the South Lake Regional Park proposal between three to six months after executing the dirt removal contract to evaluate whether the BCC should finance all or part of the park.  Side by side comparisons of shorter term debt schedules and city commitments for construction and operational costs would also be considered during this time.

Commr. Blake voted no.

Commr. Breeden commented that the type of financing was not specified in the motions, and that she would prefer a loan over a bond for the radios and park. 

Commr. Sullivan asked to confirm if bank loans are preferable for financing over 15 years or less.

Mr. Glover indicated that loans and bonds would be evaluated, and that one would be recommended if it yielded significantly less cost.  He commented that the bank loan process is more straightforward and requires less out of pocket expense, though the actual plan of finance, bonds and note resolutions would come back before the BCC at a later date for approval.  He added that it typically requires 60 to 90 days to begin the financing process.

Mr. Cole informed the BCC that staff would return with a formal consideration for financing and a public hearing would be required.  He said that staff would also evaluate the BCC’s sales tax priority list that had a public hearing in August 2017, and that another public hearing would be required between the current date and August 2018 if the list was deviated from.  He mentioned that staff could return with a reprioritized list, and the Board would also have to consider Interlocal Agreements with all of the cities regarding the radio purchase. 

recess and reassembly

The Chairman called a recess at 10:53 a.m. for 17 minutes.

sign ordinance workshop

Mr. Tim McClendon, Director of the Office of Planning and Zoning, stated that the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that local governments could no longer regulate the content of signs.  He recalled that the BCC approved a new sign ordinance in March 2017 which was consistent with the Supreme Court ruling.  He said that the current Lake County Code prohibits pole signs and signs on the county right-of-way, deleted all content based regulations in the old sign code, and denotes that temporary signs encompass all non-permanent signs.  He commented that the existing temporary sign definition includes any sign constructed of cloth, canvas, fabric, paper or plywood, and that the current standards allow citizens up to two signs with a maximum of 90 days for each.  He elaborated that each of those signs could be a maximum of six feet in height, a maximum of 32 square feet in copy area, could not be illuminated or electric and that no permits were required for those types of signs.  He relayed that after the previous sign ordinance workshop, staff considered the BCC’s feedback and suggested removing temporary sign standards from the Land Development Regulations (LDRs).  He mentioned that staff also recommended exempting all non-permanent signs, such as those made of canvas, fabric, plywood and paper, provided that the following standards are met: to allow a maximum of one sign between eight and three square feet in size, this size having been determined due to larger signs posing a hazard in hurricane conditions; no limit to signs less than three square feet in size, though signs of this size would not be allowed on vacant property unless associated with a temporary vendor permit, such as for food trucks; a minimum of 20 foot setbacks from the edge of the pavement for these types of signs, as recommended by the Public Works Department to address visibility issues at intersections; a maximum height of six feet; cannot be electric of illuminated; and any sign not meeting these criteria that is constructed of the stated materials would be prohibited.  He added that staff proposed no calendar day restriction with these new standards, and that a general consensus from the Board would prompt staff to bring the issue back for approval to advertise the ordinance. He showed plain, flat pieces of cardboard that represented sample sizes of 32, 16, 8 and 3 square feet for the BCC’s consideration.

Commr. Campione asked to clarify if deed restricted areas would control signs in those locations, and Mr. McClendon confirmed that the County would not have control for these areas.

Commr. Parks inquired if there would be no limit to three square foot signs, unless a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) would have its own limitations.

Mr. McClendon confirmed that no limits would be imposed by the County on signs of three square feet or smaller.

Commr. Breeden asked if the proposed changes would apply to both residential and commercial areas.  She opined that corrugated plastic should be included as an allowed material since the requested action included language of “other light material”, and campaign signs use corrugated plastic. She also inquired about how the permit requirement for placing signs on vacant property would affect realtors.

Mr. McClendon replied that proposed changes apply to residential and commercial areas, and that corrugated plastic could be added to the list of allowed materials.  He said that one “for sale” sign between eight and three square feet per parcel could still be used. 

Commr. Blake asked about the status of 16 square foot signs, even on commercial parcels, and opined that the 16 square foot sign was common during certain times of the year on commercial parcels.

Mr. McClendon replied that staff’s requested changes would not allow 16 and 32 square foot signs, including for commercial parcels. 

Ms. Marsh clarified that 16 and 32 square foot signs would still be allowed if the required permits for ground signs were obtained.

Commr. Blake stated that he would like to only see a permitting requirement for signs larger than 16 square feet.

Mr. McClendon said that staff decided on eight square feet for exempted signs because of the stated dangers posed by larger signs.

Commr. Parks asked if sign permitting could be conducted online. 

Mr. McClendon clarified that these signs would not require permitting.

Commr. Campione noted that the permitting process would only apply to permanent signs of a size larger than what it decided upon in the current meeting.

Ms. Marsh said that based on the BCC’s previous conversation on this issue and ambiguity over what a temporary sign constitutes, staff wanted to avoid that terminology and allow citizens to avoid permitting altogether if their sign was under a certain size requirement.  She remarked that temporary signs are challenging to enforce when based on a time limit, as the County may not know when the sign was placed. 

Commr. Parks asked if a 16 square foot sign would require a permit.

Mr. McClendon said that a single sign of a size decided upon by the BCC would be exempted from permitting, and that all signs under three square feet would also be exempt. 

Ms. Marsh explained that permitting would be required for signs larger than the size chosen by the Board to be exempt. 

Commr. Blake inquired if there was a permitting fee.

Ms. Marsh replied that fees were required for the engineering and design of ground signs. 

Commr. Blake indicated a concern with parcels not being defined, and that there are large amounts of commercial and agricultural land in which owners will place multiple 16 square foot signs. 

Commr. Campione asked about tying sign limits to a lot of record, or using a tiered system that would allow an additional exempted sign for each five acres of property.  She also gave the example of exempting a single 16 square foot sign, and asked if this would allow citizens to place multiple sign images totaling 16 square feet of copy space upon it.

Commr. Blake said that he did not recall seeing 32 square foot signs on commercial property, but that 16 square foot signs are very common. 

Commr. Breeden opined that signs should not be allowed for a full year, and that she would favor a 180 day time limit. 

Commr. Campione expressed support for citizens not having to keep track of days for their signs, but thought that there should be some restrictions. 

Commr. Parks asked if the 32 square foot size is where wind starts to become a hazard, and if that size should definitely require a permit.

Commr. Campione responded that staff was recommending 8 square feet be the largest exempted size, and that 32 square feet created a safety issue.

Commr. Breeden inquired about compromising at 12 square feet for exempted signs.

Commr. Campione replied that if a citizen wanted a message to be read, they would utilize 16 square feet.

Commr. Blake commented that sign production in the county could be affected, and that 16 square feet was a common size. 

Commr. Sullivan said that 16 square foot signs should be included in the discussion.

Commr. Blake mentioned that the limit on the number of 16 square foot signs on a single parcel should also be removed.

Commr. Campione opined that the number of allowed signs should be based on increments of five acres.

Ms. Marsh asked to clarify if the BCC’s consensus was to eliminate the one sign limit, and there would be no limit on signs less than or equal to 16 square feet in size.  She also asked if there was a consensus on acreage increments for more signs.

Commr. Breeden said that additional signs could also be allowed based on road frontage or spacing. 

Commr. Campione posed the example of a citizen supporting multiple political candidates, and if the current consensus would limit this ability.

Commr. Breeden reiterated that she would not support a 365 day time limit, but she expressed her support for the other changes.

Ms. Marsh remarked that time limits for signs was difficult to enforce because the County does not know when signs are placed, and that time limits may be for either calendar years or rolling 12 month periods.

Commr. Blake asked how long a sign has to be taken down to reset its time limit, and Ms. Marsh indicated that this was another issue to be considered.

Commr. Campione recalled that the County had looked at other counties and municipalities, and the City of Eustis had no sign limitations.

Ms. Marsh clarified that the City of Eustis had no time limit for signs under a certain size.

Mr. McClendon indicated problems with benchmarking Lake County’s sign code, as other nearby codes were out of date and still regulating content. 

Commr. Parks reiterated the idea of using spacing in the regulation of signs, giving the example of one sign per 100 feet of road frontage.

Commr. Campione asked what would happen if a citizen wanted to support three political candidates.

Commr. Blake commented that placing a group of signs together would make it more difficult to see them, and that citizens would naturally space out their signs so that they are not distracting. 

Commr. Parks responded that placing signs together would allow citizens to see them all at once.

Commr. Campione asked if a decision would have to be reached at the current meeting, and Mr. McClendon replied that it did not.  She said that the issue could be brought back at a later meeting after gathering information from constituents.  She noted a consensus to exempt 16 square foot signs, but there was still discussion about the overall number of signs that should be allowed.  She mentioned that multiple signs could be allowed if the total copy area did not exceed 16 square feet. 

Ms. Marsh said that the City of Eustis allows a single, non-illuminated, non-commercial message sign not exceeding eight square feet in all land districts.  She added that citizens could place additional signs based on having active real estate listings for sale, approved garage and special event permits, etc.  She said that Eustis tried to avoid content based restrictions by tying signage to permits, but that the regulations are still content based.

Commr. Breeden asked if the BCC would want to allow 16 square foot signs in subdivisions, though noted that this would be a city issue and that most of those subdivisions would be in city core areas. 

Commr. Campione added that many older subdivisions have deed restrictions that restrict signage.

Ms. Marsh explained that there was another provision in the City of Eustis’ code that stated during the period between election qualifying and its subsequent election, residential districts can place a single non-illuminated sign not exceeding 16 square feet, and commercial, mixed use and other districts can have a single non-illuminated sign not exceeding 32 square feet.  She indicated that the signs would not have to relate to elections.

Commr. Breeden asked if this provision was in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Ms. Marsh replied that the provision was not tied to the content of signs.

Commr. Campione asked if the City of Eustis’ other provisions were not in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling. 

Ms. Marsh responded that the other provisions were tied to permits.  She said that an active building permit would allow a single sign not exceeding 32 square feet on residential property.  She also said that an approved subdivision plat would allow a single sign not exceeding 64 square feet, and that the content of the sign is not discussed. 

Commr. Breeden expressed that she was favorable to the idea of expanding sign limits during election cycles without reference to content. 

Commr. Parks asked if it was still against code to place a sign within a county right-of-way, and if the County would be working with the Supervisor of Elections to provide that information to citizens.

Mr. McClendon confirmed that signs could not be placed on a county right-of-way, and that the Supervisor of Elections would be providing that information to the public.  He indicated that the Supervisor of Elections had met with Mr. Glen Guzman, Director of the Office of Code Enforcement, and also several election candidates to discuss the placing of signs on county right-of-ways.

Commr. Campione asked if staff could consider alternatives for tying the number of allowed signs to road frontage, acreage or spacing, and looking at the possibility of code language similar to the City of Eustis’ that would allow for a window of time for exempted signs. 

Ms. Marsh said that the BCC would be provided with a copy of the City of Eustis’ code.

public hearings: REZONING

rezoning consent agenda

Mr. McClendon displayed the advertisements for that day’s rezoning cases on the overhead monitor in accordance with the Florida Statutes.  He said that there would be eight cases presented to the Board, and noted updates on Tabs 4, 6, 7, and 8.  He stated that for Tab 4, an agreement was reached with the Public Works Department and the applicant to address the transportation condition, and that for Tab 6, there were some minor modifications to the existing language in some of the conditions.  He added that there was a speaker card for Tab 6, and that it would be pulled to the regular agenda. 

Commr. Breeden disclosed that she spoke about Tab 4 with Mr. Mike Hatfield, property owner and representative of the applicant, along with representatives from the Tab 8 Clonts Grove Planned Unit Development (PUD) case. 

Commr. Blake also disclosed a phone call with Mr. Hatfield and that he had meetings with representatives from Tab 8.

Commr. Campione said that she spoke with Mr. Hatfield for Tab 4 and representatives for the Tab 8 case.

Commr. Parks disclosed that he met with the applicant for Tab 4 and the applicant, representatives, planning team, engineering team and attorney for Tab 8.

Commr. Sullivan stated that he met with the applicants for the Clonts Grove PUD.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding any cases on the Rezoning Consent Agenda, the Chairman closed the public hearing. 

Commr. Parks asked for Tabs 5 and 6 to be pulled to the regular agenda due to his prior opposition to the Green Swamp amendment.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 4, with minor modifications to Tab 4, as follows:

Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2018-16 

Rezoning Case # CUP #778-2

Pierre and Denise Grimm CUP Revocation

Revocation of the CUP for a water ski school and student residences on Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoned property.  CUP Ordinance #778-2 has been superseded and replaced by PUD Ordinance 2018-6, that was approved by the BCC on February 27, 2018.


Tab 2.

Rezoning Case # FLU-18-04-4

Eveland Property FLU Amendment – Transmittal

Amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) on two subject parcels containing approximately 42.62 acres from Wekiva River Protection Area A-1-40 Sending Area (A-1-40) Future Land Use Category to Wekiva River Protection Area A-1-20 Sending Area (A-1-20) Future Land Use Category in order to reconfigure these Lots of Record.


Tab 3.

Rezoning Case # FLU-17-11-1

Walker Property FLU Amendment – Transmittal

Amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) to change the Future Land Use Category on approximately 40 acres (Alternate Key 3335708) from Wellness Way 3 to Urban Low Density.


Tab 4. Ordinance No. 2018-17

Rezoning Case # MCUP-17-01-5

D & H Peat Mine MCUP

Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for peat mine and lake restoration in Agriculture (A) zoning.


rezoning regular agenda

Tab 5. Ordinance No. 2018-18

Rezoning Case # FLU-17-06-1

Savanna Reserve FLUM Amendment - Adoption

Amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) on approximately 179.29 +/- acres from Green Swamp Rural Conservation Future Land Use Category to Green Swamp Rural Future Land Use Category; amend Comprehensive Plan Policy I-4.2.3, Green Swamp Rural Future Land Use Category to include conditions to allow properties within the Green Swamp Rural FLUC to connect to central utilities; and amend the future land use map series by designating an Ethylene Dibromide (EDB) zone map as Future Land Use Map Series Map #21.


Tab 6. Ordinance No. 2018-19

Rezoning Case # RZ-17-11-1

Savanna Reserve PUD

Rezone approximately 179.29 acres from Medium Residential District (R-3) and Rural Residential (R-1) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) to facilitate the development of a twenty-five (25) lot subdivision with agricultural uses within the proposed Green Swamp Rural Future Land Use Category.


Tab 7.

Rezoning Case # CP-18-03

Revision to Rural Transition FLUC – Transmittal

Revise the Rural Transition Future Land Use Category to remove the fourth option which allows residential development at a density of two (2) dwelling units per net acre with conditions.


Tab 8. Ordinance 2018-20

Rezoning Case # RZ-17-29-2

Clonts Grove PUD

Rezone approximately 152 acres from Agriculture (A) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) to facilitate the development of a 575 lot subdivision within the Urban Low Future Land Use Category.


rezoning tabs 5 & 6 – savanna reserve

Mr. McClendon said that Tabs 5 and 6 would be presented together.  He commented that Tab 5 was the Future Land Use (FLU) adoption, and Tab 6 was the subsequent rezoning.  He explained that both cases were under the name of the Savanna Reserve, which is located on the west side of County Road (C.R.) 561, north and south of Ruby Lee Road in District 1 in the Clermont area.   He elaborated that the property is approximately 180 acres in size, and the Comp Plan request was to change the FLU designation from Green Swamp Rural Conservation to Green Swamp Rural.  He mentioned that the rezoning portion of the request would be to rezone the property from R-3 Medium Residential District and R-1 Rural Residential to PUD.  He relayed that the applicant was requesting to rezone approximately 180 acres to allow for the development of a 25 lot subdivision, and the Comp Plan is tied directly to the case.  He indicated that in October 2017 the BCC voted to transmit the map amendment to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), and that organization requested a brief work report.  He said that staff had subsequent phone calls with the state and provided the desired hydrogeological test and adoption of the Ethylene Dibromide (EDB) zone map.  He commented that the proposed 25 lot subdivision was consistent with the LDRs and the Green Swamp Rural FLU category which allows a density of one dwelling unit per five acres.  He mentioned that both the Comp Plan and LDRs require clustering within the Green Swamp designation, and he displayed a concept map which showed that only a small portion of the 180 acres would be developed.  He asked the Board to find this request consistent with the Comp Plan and approve the FLU map amendment and PUD.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Jimmy Crawford, Attorney representing the applicant, said that the subject area of rural transition qualifies for a limited exception of not having to increase the density to the Green Swamp.  He also noted that by working with DEO, Lake County and Utilities, Inc., to extend water service on a limited basis pursuant to the upcoming Comp Plan amendment, there would be a great environmental benefit since there would not need to be additional wells created there.  He recalled that the Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the request, though said that two neighbors of the development spoke against it at that meeting.  He indicated that when a map was shown to one neighbor that indicated a buffer for the property using either stormwater or open space tracts for all but one lot, he opined that their objection was removed.  He said that the applicant worked with County staff and DEO, and asked for the Board’s approval.

Commr. Parks thanked him for being pragmatic on this issue.

Commr. Campione asked if there were any speakers on this rezoning case.

Commr. Sullivan said that there was a speaker card, but the citizen was no longer present at the meeting.  He read the speaker card into the record, noting the citizen as Ms. Sally Miller from Ruby Lee Road, and her concerns regarding turtles, C.R. 561, zoning, price, green space and cows.

Mr. Crawford recalled speaking to Ms. Miller’s significant other at the previous Planning and Zoning Board meeting, who was also concerned about the agricultural space in the development.  He said that intensive agricultural practices were not allowed on the space, though grazing of cows and horses would be permitted.  He noted a concern about access to Ruby Lee Road, and mentioned that the Public Works Department cooperated with the applicant’s engineer Mr. Rick McCoy to address this issue.  He displayed the site plan for the development, noting that Ruby Lee Road connects to State Road (S.R.) 50 and runs along the development’s south boundary, and there are also two intersections to the east that are closer than the normal intersection criteria would allow.  He remarked that due to this, the County asked the developer to redesign Ruby Lee Road to come into the development’s entrance to coordinate both roads as a single entrance and exit.  He spoke to the issue of tortoises, saying that the development was only a limited disturbance near the road and where the swales would be.  He also remarked that the applicant conducted gopher tortoise and skink surveys with positive results. 

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this rezoning case, the Chairman closed the public hearing. 

Commr. Campione observed that there was a large amount of open space provided in the development, and said that the ability to connect to the central water system would avoid having to use individual wells that harm the environment.  She said that the Board looked at this case and saw that nearby land had a rural designation with the subject development being an anomaly.  She stated that the County was trying to make the property consistent with the surrounding land, and it would be a positive area for conservation and protection.

Mr. McClendon asked to have separate votes on Tabs 5 and 6.

On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Tab 5, Rezoning Case # FLU-17-06-1, Savanna Reserve FLUM Amendment – Adoption.

Commr. Parks voted no.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Tab 6, Rezoning Case # RZ-17-11-1, Savanna Reserve PUD, with amended language for Sections 1(A)(1), 1(F), and 1(I).

Commr. Parks voted no.

rezoning tab 7 – rural transition fluc

Mr. McClendon said that Tab 7 was unique in that staff initiated text amendments are not normally brought before a regular hearing; however, staff wanted to highlight that this amendment would remove the fourth alternative for development within the Rural Transition FLU category.  He stated that this case stemmed from two previous public hearings for cases that attempted to use the fourth alternative, with one along Wolf Branch Road and the other being the Sorrento Pines PUD.  He commented that after observing the fourth alternative in practice, staff opined that the criteria set forth in those policies did not equate to the County’s desired development.  He remarked that staff recommended striking the fourth development alternative, and he indicated that the tab was moved to the regular agenda because staff was also seeking direction from the BCC for changes to the Comp Plan.  He mentioned that changes could include allowed uses or conditional uses that are allowed within each FLU designation, and asked if the County was trying to allow more uses of land or prohibit certain uses in some areas. He also inquired if the County wanted to modify criteria in which Comp Plan amendments are judged, such as consistency with the entire Comp Plan or a change to the standards of review.  He asked what types of developments the County was trying to encourage, and if staff try to identify policies that do not work in real world terms, or try to find policies that are inadequate or unused.  He said that staff listens to the BCC’s input on the Comp Plan, and that more text amendments would be presented in the coming months.  He mentioned that the Open Space definition would be discussed next month, and that there was an initiative for it to mirror the Wellness Way policies.  He also noted requests from citizens to modify the language for wetland setbacks for when variances are allowed and not allowed.  He also reported receiving numerous calls about rural rustic weddings, and that they were ideally a quasi-commercial use in agriculture, rural or rural transitional land use designations that did not necessarily allow that practice at the current time.  He said that staff was considering a way forward either by allowed permitting or through CUPs to allow these events.  He relayed that staff was listening to the BCC and citizens of Lake County, and that staff would be receptive to ideas.  He also mentioned the LDRs that were currently being rewritten, and that there had not previously been significant input from stakeholders; however, he noted that there was a website set up specifically for the LDRs rewrite where it is encouraged for citizens and stakeholders to submit feedback about obstacles in the permitting process.  He asked that the BCC find the requested amendment consistent with the Comp Plan and approve the removal of the fourth alternative for development.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this rezoning case, the Chairman closed the public hearing. 

Commr. Parks asked to clarify that the request was to remove the fourth alternative.

Mr. McClendon confirmed this, but requested a larger discussion about the Comp Plan’s direction.

Commr. Campione expressed her support for the rural rustic wedding CUP, stating that she had heard of citizens wanting to hold weddings in picturesque and bucolic locations in Lake County that otherwise would not be able to permit a semi-commercial use.  She said that some of the weddings would be in the Wekiva area where commercial uses were not otherwise allowed.  She noted a constituent near C.R. 439 that wanted to host this type of event but was told that the County may not have the ability to allow it.

Mr. McClendon said that the current discussion should lay the groundwork for a larger discussion, and encouraged the BCC to highlight specific areas of the Comp Plan or other ideas that they feel should be addressed. 

Commr. Campione asked for Mr. McClendon to clarify the three remaining alternatives.

Mr. McClendon stated that the three remaining alternatives would include the following: the typical one dwelling unit per five acres, excluding wetlands and water bodies; one dwelling unit per three acres after rezoning the property to PUD and satisfying an open space requirement of 35 percent; and one dwelling unit per one acre with 50 percent open space.

Commr. Campione asked if any credit was given for water bodies or wetlands in open space.

Mr. McClendon confirmed this, and said that it was one dwelling unit per five wetland acres, though noted that the requirement would be split up in the Wekiva area according to what the FLU designation is.

Commr. Campione opined that it should be considered how to grant more credit for those areas.  She asked if there was any leeway to give credits in the Wekiva area.  She opined that there should not be a situation where two dwelling units per acre are allowed in a rural area, though a rural feel can be promoted and credit can be given to landowners.

Commr. Parks remarked that he liked moving in a direction to give more credit for open space, and that developers sometimes make positive proposals that they do not receive credit for. 

Commr. Campione commented that for open or active areas, along with wetlands and bodies of water on properties, she had concerns over citizens not receiving credit at the same density; however, she opined that there must be some limitations so that there is not too much density in the uplands. 

Commr. Parks mentioned that LDRs may limit density through setbacks and other factors. 

Commr. Campione said that credit could be granted for wetlands, even if development was not being placed next to it. 

Commr. Breeden mentioned that the staff had been working on landscaping regulations incrementally, but opined that it should be reconsidered comprehensively.

Mr. McClendon replied that it was a large chapter, and was taking considerable time to rewrite.

Commr. Campione asked if staff could examine tree surveys when developing parcels of property, opining that survey requirements were excessive.  She proposed providing an incentive for utilizing an aerial map and saving trees, and said that this would eliminate the cost for conducting a tree survey. 

Mr. McClendon said that tree sampling language was included in the tree code for large trees, but the code could be reexamined.

Commr. Campione relayed that she had received feedback about the cost of performing these surveys, and commented that the County was trying to promote incorporating trees into designs; however, it was currently too expensive on the developer side.  She opined that she would want to see swathes of trees in developments and using tree lines to separate lots, and that incentivizing it would increase the chance for developers to use this type of design.  She also opined that tiny homes should be allowed under PUDs.

Commr. Parks commented that primary concerns were about historic and larger trees.  He stated that natural vegetation could be used for buffers.  He said that there would be a few months for the BCC to work with Mr. McClendon individually and provide input.

Mr. McClendon said there would be 45 to 60 days until adoption of the Comp Plan.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 7, Rezoning Case CP-18-03, Revision to Rural Transition FLUC – Transmittal.

rezoning tab 8 – clonts grove

Mr. McClendon said that Rezoning Case # RZ-17-29-2, Clonts Grove PUD, was located on the east side of U.S. 27 along North Bradshaw Road, the property size was approximately 152 acres, and the request was to rezone 152 acres from Agriculture to PUD to facilitate the development of a subdivision.  He said that when the application was submitted, the property was within the Urban Low FLU designation, and Wellness Way had since become effective; however, staff reviewed the application based off the Urban Low FLU.  He stated that while the request was consistent with the Urban Low FLU designation, staff had concerns due to the request technically meeting the Comp Plan definition of urban sprawl which is limited by several policies in the Comp Plan.  He relayed that staff also had concerns that the property would be adjacent to the new 30 plus year CEMEX sand mine.  He indicated that the subject was also in the Joint Planning Area (JPA) with the City of Clermont, and the City had sent a recommendation to deny the request.  He noted that the Planning and Zoning Board unanimously recommended approving it, and the applicant revised the ordinance to include modified and extra conditions such as the typical roadway sections, typical buffer sections, architectural themes and technology related to utilities condition.  He elaborated that these revised conditions eliminate the majority of staff’s concerns, and asked the Board to find the request consistent with the Lake County Comp Plan and accept the recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Board.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, an attorney with Akerman LLP and representing the applicant, said that Ridgeview is the name of the project, that it is located on U.S. 27 and that it is in a lower density land use category.  She said her presentation would include the Clonts Grove property in which the development was located and how the development fits with the surrounding area.  She remarked that the property was under the Urban Low future land use category, and the history of the project included being designated as Urban Expansion in the 1991 Comp Plan, allowing up to four units per acre along with office, retail, commercial and light industrial uses.  She stated that when the Comp Plan was changed in 2010 to the current 2030 Comp Plan, the land was designated as Rural Transition which lowered the density from four units per one acre to one unit per five acres without any of the other uses.  She commented that her organization represented Mr. Rex Clonts, owner of Clonts Grove, to file an appeal with the Department of Community Affairs, and a settlement agreement was entered into on July 26, 2011 to restore the same land uses that the property previously had since 1991.  She displayed a map of the entire Clonts Grove property and remarked that it was over 700 acres and had over one mile of road frontage on U.S. 27.  She pointed out that the land in the north side of the property was located in Wellness Way, but the middle portion, developed by Hanover Land Company, was filed before Wellness Way became effective.  She elaborated that the remaining acreage containing a job hub, multi-family residential and commercial space off of U.S. 27 was also considered Wellness Way.  She opined that it was critical for the BCC to consider how all of the land fit together, rather than just considering the Hanover Land Company piece in isolation.  She noted that the land had two tiers of designation, with Wellness Way 1 at the top, and Town Center for the remainder, which are the highest and most intense densities within Wellness Way.  She said that jobs generated in the area would include retail, offices and job hubs, and opined that Hanover Land Company’s single family residential development fit well to serve the properties to the north and south.  She said that the map was critical to understand the development, and all of the properties on the land in the north and south would have to be in compliance with Wellness Way.  She explained that internal connectivity had been considered for the development, and that the development recognizes a trail along U.S. 27 and also provides an internal trail system.  She added that there was an opening on the east side of the property near to where there would be a county park donated from CEMEX.  She said that the developer had also accounted for necessary right-of-way to meet the County’s settlement agreement with CEMEX so that there would be four lanes on Schofield Road going across the property’s northern boundary.  She added that there would also be two lanes along the eastern boundary of Schofield Road. 

Mr. Ben Snyder, applicant and Vice President of Land Acquisition for Hanover Land Company, said that his company is a full service real estate builder and developer.  He stated that in the last 35 years, the company developed over 10,000 lots and built over 20,000 homes, and had a strong track record in Central Florida.  He commented that in the last five years, the company completed 22 projects totaling over 7,000 lots, and the company has a vested interest in Central Florida.  He remarked that in South Lake County, the company had deals such as Ardmore Reserve, Cypress Oaks and Preserve at Sunrise that were either completed or currently being constructed.  He added that in the last five years, the company had committed over $5 million to charitable organizations.  He specified that Ardmore Reserve is a 674 lot project in the City of Minneola which is spread over six phases and was one of the best-selling projects in South Lake County.  He elaborated that the company incorporated a greater than 5,000 square foot pool into Ardmore Reserve’s resort style amenity center to encourage neighbors to interact and produce a great lifestyle for the residents.  He said that there was also a shaded tot lot amenity that would also be incorporated into the amenity center plan for the Ridgeview project.  He indicated that Cypress Oaks is 404 lots over three phases permitted in the City of Groveland, and also has a large community pool and covered playground.  He stated that the company incorporated green spaces and buffers around the project to enhance the residents’ lifestyle.  He mentioned that Preserve at Sunrise is also located in the City of Groveland, and that Hanover Land Company bought the development from another builder/developer who had started and abandoned the project.  He stated that his company installed new hardscaping and landscaping, and was currently building and about to begin phase two of the project.  He indicated that his company was also about to begin constructing the amenity center for Preserve at Sunrise, which includes a 2,500 square foot pool which is higher than the average amenity in the Groveland area and would be completed in the following year. 

Ms. Sarah Maier, with the Dewberry Company, presented specific information for the Ridgeview rezoning application.  She explained that the request was submitted on November 17, 2017, for approximately 152 acres to be rezoned from Agriculture to PUD and that the property’s existing FLU was Urban Low.  She relayed that Ridgeview was proposed to be a residential neighborhood with 573 units, and that Hanover Land Company was proposing a mixture of lot sizes from 40, 50, and 60 feet.  She said that the development has a large open space and recreation network that includes 6.62 acres of neighborhood parks and a system of eight to ten foot wide trails that run through the property for a total of 1.45 miles.  She stated that the developer had agreed to payment for construction of the 12 foot wide trail that would be in the right-of-way along U.S. 27, and that it would be part of the county’s master trail system.  She commented that the development also has open space areas in excess of 39.9 acres, and an amenity center with a pool, a cabana, a tennis court and a tot lot at 1.44 acres in addition to the provided open space.  She displayed a map for the community site plan for Ridgeview that showed the mix of lot sizes, green spaces, open space, parks and amenity center that are connected by the trail system and large buffers on the site boundaries.  She showed another map displaying green space in the development, noting green connections east, west, north and south of the development’s large and small parks that are strategically located to provide amenities in close proximity to residents.  She said that the development compliments the natural topography of the property, and that Lake Louisa State Park was located adjacent to the site and could be easily accessed by the development’s trail system connecting to a crosswalk across U.S. 27.  She showed an overhead image of the site’s amenity center and the main entrance off of U.S. 27, noting views of green space, mix of lot sizes and trails near the entrance to the community.  She showed a conceptual rendering of the trail connection to lessen the reliance on automobiles, and also a rendering of the landscape buffer provided along U.S. 27, stating that the minimum requirement for this buffer is 15 feet; however, the company would be providing between 30 and 300 feet in buffering along U.S. 27.  She also pointed out the 12 foot trail along U.S. 27 in the right-of-way and displayed another conceptual rendering of what the buffer could potentially look like, adding that it would incorporate sandhill restoration plant materials.  She showed a rendering of the buffer along the front edge of Schofield Road, commenting that there was a minimum of 10 feet required and that there would be about 80 feet of landscape buffering there.  She said that there would be a 12 foot wide trail along Schofield Road within the property, and the company would be providing a right-of-way dedication of 17 feet in addition to the 33 feet of right-of-way dedication that the Clonts Grove property had already provided for improvements to Schofield Road.  She expressed that Hanover Land Company views Ridgeview as one of its flagship projects, and showed a conceptual rendering of what the amenity center could look like with a rustic tuscan architectural theme.  She noted that the building would have a low pitched tile roof, stonework and arched entrance way, and showed several more slides showing architectural home features including arched doorways, stonework, decorative wrought iron and rectangular and arched windows that could be framed with stonework or shuttering.  She commented that the homes’ roofs could have deep eaves and exposed rafters, and also highlighted small porch entries with arches or simple columns, shutters with wrought iron details and hinging, simple stone and stucco surrounds on the doorway and window trims and complimentary house colors throughout the community.  She displayed conceptual renderings of potential homes in the community that showed several of the noted features and rustic tuscan architecture.  She said that the company also agreed to additional development standards, including about 25 percent of the 50 to 60 foot lots having recessed garages or front porches.  She added that the development would have these characteristics: all garage doors would have trim and windows; three car garage homes would be limited to 25 percent of all the homes constructed; no front facades would have less than two windows; roofs would have a minimum of 18 inch eaves; and each floor plan would have at least three elevations with three different accent options to create up to nine different variations of each floor plan.  She elaborated that the same house elevation would not be repeated next door or directly across the street from another. 

Ms. Maier reported that once the company submitted its application, it was reviewed and analyzed by County staff for consistency with County requirements.  She noted consistency with the LDRs and the requirements of a PUD zoning district, and the company was requesting a waiver to allow a maximum impervious surface ratio (ISR) of 75 percent on individual lots; however, they would maintain the overall 60 percent ISR for the development, and staff had stated that they were agreeable to the waiver request.  She commented that the developer was providing just above the minimum of 25 percent of open space, and the PUD zoning district is consistent with the Urban Low FLU.  She indicated that for water and wastewater services, the developer received confirmation from Utilities, Inc. that they would be providing capacity for the project due to the development being within their service area.  She elaborated that they would be connecting to the regional sewer system and a potable water service.  She reported that the project does not create urban sprawl, and that the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) had just completed widening of U.S. 27 on the property’s western boundary which includes up to six lanes and provides ample vehicle capacity, and that this was in addition to the planned additions to Schofield Road on the project east boundary per the CEMEX agreement.  She displayed a definition of Urban Service Areas per Florida Statutes, noting that it said areas identified in the Comp Plan were public facilities and services, including water and sewer, and roads are already in place or planned to be in place within an Urban Service Area.  She stated that the development is adjacent to other properties that have FLU designations for urban development.  She remarked that while the Ridgeview development is not required to follow the Wellness Way area plan policies, the company follows many of those principles and initiatives and incorporated them into their design, including transportation connectivity, the creation of a recreation and open space network, and the preservation of scenic resources such as topography.  She added that the company received letters of support from neighbors of the development that have been documented by County staff and the County Attorney.  She said that the project complies with orderly and compact growth, and meets standards for traditional neighborhood design with a mix of land uses.  She explained that the development would be serviced by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake County Fire Station 112 which is located just south of the property off U.S. 27.  She expressed that the developer was working with the Lake County School Board to obtain school capacity.  She commented that the developer was trying to preserve existing geographical areas and unique topography, and that they have been incorporated into the neighborhood’s design.  She mentioned that there are no wetlands or surface waters on site, and that the company had already obtained a no permit required from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for sand skinks and other protected species.  She relayed that the developer would also comply with Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) standards for gopher tortoises and be consistent with Florida Friendly landscaping practices.  She mentioned that since the development was in the JPA with the City of Clermont, the company went through a review process with the City, and that PUD zoning allowed for alternative standards even if it is within a JPA boundary.  She said that the company had a City Council hearing on January 23, 2018 in Clermont, and showed a map of road and pedestrian connectivity that addressed one of the City Council’s concerns.  She stated that the City Council wanted to know if the developer had provided enough connectivity, and that the City Council had also asked about annexation; however, there was an absence of an annexation request from the developer, and the property was also not contiguous to the Clermont city limits.  She reiterated that the City of Clermont expressed concerns about the project, and said that regarding the City Council meeting on January 23, 2018, there was a similar project also presented to the City on that night.  She elaborated that the similar project had these attributes: a density of 3.4 dwelling units per acre; 50, 60 and 75 foot lot sizes; was adjacent to lots that had existing homes on five acre tracts; requested a waiver to City code for a gated neighborhood which does not promote connectivity as well as a reduction in right-of-way width; a similar ISR waiver; and no trails and pedestrian connections.  She requested approval of the project and offered to answer any questions.

There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this rezoning case, the Chairman closed the public hearing. 

Commr. Parks thanked the applicant and Mr. Clonts, saying that there had been some previous concerns about the development integrating into Wellness Way.  He stated that the developer had attempted to make the community as consistent as possible with the intent of Wellness Way, and that entitlements for the development were being recognized at the current time due to the settlement agreement.  He commented that this was a situation where the developer cooperated with the BCC, and praised them for following strict architectural standards that were not mandated.  He mentioned that the landscaping, buffering and screening would help with the adjacent park, and that the proposed trail would integrate into the County’s trail master plan.  He indicated the closing documents state that homeowners should utilize Florida Friendly landscaping practices to be consistent with the County’s landscaping code, and that the fertilizer requirements are also discussed.  He remarked that the site grading was consistent with the City of Clermont, and that a goal for Wellness Way was to have cutting edge communication technologies which is also referenced in the proposed ordinance.  He stated that it was fair for the developer to highlight the adjacent CEMEX facility, and he noted that the developer would implement a school mitigation option and adhere to requirements.  He added that East Ridge High School had a deficiency, and opined that what the developer was paying for impact fees and the mitigation plan was fair.  He asked to confirm if the money for schools would go to a general fund instead of directly to East Ridge High School. 

Ms. Bonifay said that there were concurrency management areas that are examined in terms of school capacity; however, there was no linkage with the Lake County School Board to allow the money paid for development to go directly to the school.  She added that the money would be added to a fund, and another school that is a higher priority may receive the developer’s contributions.  She commented that based on East Ridge High School’s concurrency management services areas, there was a deficiency for elementary and middle school.  She said that the mitigation payments would be based on school seats.

Commr. Parks opined that the fees should go to where the impact would actually be, but noted that the developer was meeting and exceeding their requirements.

Commr. Campione said that fees could stay in the concurrency area or move one area over.  She stated that it was in the purview of the school district to decide how to distribute those impact fees, and that the BCC had previously tried to convince the school district to make those service areas smaller and allow for greater direct impact.

Commr. Breeden expressed appreciation for the developer displaying how the community would fit within the Wellness Way area, and that her most significant concern was a residential area being adjacent to industrial land.  She indicated an interest in communicating to future residents about the industrial areas, and said that it should be clear to those residents where they will be building and living. 

Commr. Parks added that the master plan of 700 acres was considerable in size, and tying it to a larger plan lessens concerns about Wellness Way being just another neighborhood.  He noted that there would also be employment centers and mixed land use within the 700 acre plan.

Commr. Campione thanked the applicant for listening to concerns and giving attention to the development’s architecture.  She opined that 40 foot wide lots were small, but recognized that those units would be two stories and the community would be next to a job hub.  She said that the design criteria prohibits the central feature of the home being the garage, and that this helped to alleviate her concerns about lot sizes.  She stated that it was helpful to see the connectivity and that it demonstrated the neighborhood being part of a larger plan, and that the attention to buffers and native vegetation was also well received.  She expressed a desire to see the other developments to the north and south follow quickly.  She commented that the Wellness Way requirement for an infrastructure funding source to be in place would apply to the property to the north and south; however, the subject property would not have the same requirement.

Commr. Parks stressed that the BCC does not want to allow developments that would be fiscally constraining for residents at a later date, and that the developer fronting costs alleviated these concerns.  He said that when the BCC moves forward with the other parts of Wellness Way with 1,000 acres at a time, the infrastructure and maintaining operational costs for 25 to 30 years would be funded by developers instead of taxpayers. 

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 8, Rezoning Case #RZ-17-29-2, Clonts Grove PUD.

work session – offices of building services, code enfoRcement and planning and zoning proposed fy 19 budgets

Commr. Sullivan suggested moving Tab 23, Offices of Building Services, Code Enforcement and Planning and Zoning updates and proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Presentation, to the May 8, 2018 BCC Meeting and noted a consensus to do that.

public hearing – land development regulations amendment

Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:


Ms. Marsh said that this was the second and final reading and that if approved, would become Ordinance 2018-15.  She added that staff would be bringing back a Comp Plan amendment due to some Comp Plan designations showing public safety uses as conditional uses, and that the item would be presented again to the Board to request changing these permitted uses.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing. 

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Tab 21, Ordinance 2018-15 amending Lake County Code, Appendix E, Land Development Regulations, in order to expressly designate public safety services as a permitted land use in all zoning districts.

work session – office of parks and trails proposed fy 19 budget

Mr. Cole said that this would be the first of eight budget presentations that would be provided to the BCC between the current date and June 5, 2018, as part of the County’s development of the Fiscal Year (FY) 19 budget.  He added that the following events would also occur: on June 19, 2018, staff would provide a budget summary presentation; on July 10, 2018, the BCC would be asked to consider the approval of the tentative budget and millage rates; on August 7, 2018, the Board would hold an infrastructure sales tax public hearing; on September 11, 2018, the Board would hold the first of two public hearings to consider the tentative budget and millage rates; and on September 25, 2018, the BCC would have the final public hearing for the FY 19 budget.

Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Director of the Office of Parks and Trails, said that the services provided by his office include developing and maintaining a clean, safe and attractive parks and trails system for the health and enjoyment of all county residents and visitors while promoting recreation, sports and tourism.  He added that other services are to protect and restore lands to protect water resources, habitat and wildlife corridors while promoting eco-tourism through educational passive recreation opportunities.  He commented that the office’s organizational chart stems at 32 full time employees with sections of active, passive and linear recreation.  He mentioned that there was also a support staff for capital projects and contractor services, and three employees at the administrative level in addition to himself as the Director.  He remarked that his office reports directly to Mr. Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager.  He relayed that for the level of service in the office’s inventory, there were four sports complexes and 12 active parks.  He indicated that for passive recreation, there were 12 parks, 10 public lands and 15 boat ramps.  He said that for trails, there were 21 miles paved, 34 miles unpaved and nine Blueway Trails totaling 162 miles.  He stated that the office also programmed the events taking place at two community centers in Paisley and the City of Umatilla, and that seven cemeteries are also maintained.  He explained that the majority of the county’s parks are open seven days a week with five public lands that remain closed.  He said that staff is available for seven days a week, and that extended hours of operation at gated and staffed parks include North Lake Community Park, the Minneola Athletic Complex, East Lake Sports and Community Complex, the Lake Idamere Park, Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park, Ferndale Preserve, the Ellis Acres Reserve, the McDonald Canal Boat Ramp, the recently opened Pine Meadows Conservation Area and the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead.  He commented that there were four active sports complexes in the county, with North Lake Community Park in the north part of the county, the East Lake Sports and Community Complex in the east part of the county, and in the south there is the Minneola Athletic Complex and the South Lake Regional Park that had recently had its groundbreaking.  He displayed a county map and mentioned that additional active parks include the Astor Lions Park, Lake Idamere Park, Lake Mack, McTureous Memorial Park, Paisley Community Park, PEAR Park’s gateway area, Pine Forest Park’s south side that is delineated for softball and multi-purpose fields, Mt. Plymouth Park, Scott Park, Sorrento Park, South Umatilla Park, and Twin Lakes Park.  He showed a county map and highlighted these passive parks: Carlton Village Park; Ferndale Preserve; Haynes Creek Park; Lake Joanna Park; Lake Saunders Park; Lake Thomas Cove; PEAR Park’s 268 state owned acres that the County has a 50 year lease on; Pine Forest Park’s northern boundary of 28 acres for strictly passive recreation; Spring Lake Park; Sylvan Shores Park; Trout Lake; and the Umatilla Veterans Hall.  He remarked that his office currently managed ten public land properties, with five being open to the public, and over 78 percent of the public lands acreage is open to the public.  He said the Neighborhood Lakes Reserve and the Mt. Plymouth Lakes Reserve would be part of the Lake-Wekiva Trail as it comes south to the West Orange Trail connection, and that those properties would likely be open during that time period as the trail navigates south from S.R. 46.  He explained that there were currently 15 boat ramps, all open to the public and located throughout the county, and that there were additional kayak launch areas in the county including Lake Saunders Park, Lake Mack, Lake May, Ellis Acres, Lake Joanna, Sylvan Shores, Lake Idamere Park, Haynes Creek, and the Pine Meadows Conservation Area.  He relayed that there were currently 21 miles of multi standalone trail system with 17 miles maintained by the County and the others maintained by the municipalities.  He displayed pictures of cyclists utilizing the Hancock and South Lake Trails, with the South Lake Trail being the most popular trail in Lake County.  He displayed a list of the 34 miles of County-maintained paved hiking trails throughout the county and in various park locations, and displayed another map of the seven cemeteries currently maintained by the County.  He showed a map of the 162 miles of Blueway Trails where many kayak paddling events occur in conjunction with the Lake County Water Authority.  He said that after Hurricane Irma, there was considerable debris throughout the parks system and they were cleaned up and opened to the public within three days of the event.  He commented that there were also numerous repairs including damaged scoreboards and fences, washouts on the South Lake Trail, and other amenities damaged beyond repair.  He elaborated that these items were restored and North Lake Park became a staging area for the hurricane debris brought from the north part of the county, and his office was able to coordinate with the Public Works Department to set aside the land while keeping the activities on the Little League field functioning.  He mentioned that in 2017, the County conducted 135 nature based events and that many of the events were mandated through Florida Community Trust (FCT) grant requirements including those at PEAR Park and Ferndale Preserve.  He stated that from 2007 through 2017, the County hosted or partnered on over 1,000 nature based events and many were in support of other agencies, though were generally led by County staff.  He relayed that recently, the Pine Meadows Conservation Area had been opened to the public, that it was currently safe to hike and kayak on the lake and canal there, that there was signage and temporary parking areas.  He remarked that his office had also started some of the gravel trails that may become paved in the future, though in the meantime were mostly a stabilized surface.  He elaborated that some of the work at Pine Meadows in conjunction with the FWC included much of the canal cleaning and vegetation removal that was done at FWC’s expense; however, the County assisted by taking and spreading the debris and adding the infrastructure to support FWC’s equipment.  He stated that his office was scheduled to have a groundbreaking ceremony on May 18, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at the Pine Meadows Conservation Area, and that Pine Meadows was 770 acres and the second largest public land that the County maintains and was operating currently.  He said that in 2013, the County decided that three of the five parcels on the Mt. Plymouth lakebeds were surplus due to unclear boundary issues, and the County received close to $69,000 for them in the last several years as revenue that goes back into the public lands for operating the County’s public land system.  He remarked that at the Sylvan Shores property, the County had begun removing many of the exotic trees, and that it would be a phased approach over several years to treat the areas where invasive and exotic trees regrow.  He added that the County had completed approximately 0.5 acres of that site, and was working with the community at the Sylvan Shores area.  He remarked that at PEAR Park, recently the grape arbor had been relocated as part of a joint effort with the volunteers of the PEAR Association to locate the arbor next to the community garden and allow for a closer and more stabilized area for citizens to walk and utilize the garden.  He added that this would give citizens more proximity to the nature center, the wildlife post station and would keep the public in an area where staff is more readily available to assist.  He relayed that the County also approved a new loop road that goes around the nature center and the compound, and that it was currently being paved and in support with the master plan, the PEAR Association, and the residents that would like to see a stabilized surface.  He mentioned that some of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements throughout the county included walkways, replacements of slab and sidewalks.  He added that this would be an ongoing effort in following with the ADA plan that the BCC approved.  He showed pictures of improvements of the Lake Yale West Boat Ramp, stating that they were funded strictly from boating registration fees and would not use any funds gathered from the sales tax or impact fees.  He displayed pictures of road and parking lot improvements at Marsh Park, and indicated that this was the third phase of improvements and also funded by vessel registration fees.  He commented that Marsh Park was another joint partnership with the Lake County Water Authority and FWC to clear the canal, embankment and some extended vegetation that came into the canal.  He relayed that this process had been in progress for the previous few years and the County had been the lead party.  He showed a chart of the boating revenue collected over the years, and said that approximately $112,000 was the average and that all of this money went back into a fund to design and improve boat ramps.  He said that a significant number of boat ramps consisted of a dirt road and dirt parking area, and there were currently about $4 million of unfunded boat ramp projects; however, significant improvements have been made to the Arnold Brothers, Lake Jem, Astatula, John’s Lake, Palatlakaha and Marsh Park boat ramps.  He explained that in 2017, there were over 5,200 sports related events including tournaments, games and practices at East Lake Sports and Community Complex, North Lake Community Park and the Minneola Athletic Complex and that there had been over 31,000 sports-related events from 2009-2017.  He said that his office also hosted the PFX Athletics events, and since 2012 they have used the County facilities, including the Minneola Athletic Complex, which is city owned but managed and operated by the County according to a 2012 Interlocal Agreement.  He stated in March 2018, the BCC approved the master plan for the inclusion of the future library and Fire Station 39 at the East Lake Sports and Community Complex, which is also the area where the Lake-Wekiva Trail Segment Two would run through on the south portion on the expansion property.  He said that at the East Lake Sports and Community Complex, there were currently five lighted fields, and the shipment of poles for the remaining three fields had arrived; additionally, the contractors were expecting to finish the lighting of the remaining three fields within approximately one month.  He commented that his office had also added additional grass parking behind the prefabricated restroom and adjacent to where the proposed future tennis court would be.  He mentioned that in the next few months, the main parking area would come before the BCC as a future paving contract, and that his office would hope to have the first area paved during the summer of 2018.  He said that at North Lake Community Park, the lighting arrived for the two remaining Little League fields and would be completed within the next two months.  He stated that two unlit multi-purpose fields would also be completed in the next couple of months, with the only pending field being the multi-purpose field on the north side of the master plan.  He relayed that recently, the County held a well-attended groundbreaking for the South Lake Regional Park, and that his office was moving forward with the gopher tortoises survey and mitigation.  He mentioned that at the Minneola Athletic Complex, the County was able to complete the new storage building to allow the removal of the existing building and create space for a third multi-purpose field consistent with the master plan that was approved; furthermore, walkways and fencing were added to the playground, and a stabilized area next to the multi-purpose field was added for the sports league to hold team meetings and conferences along with tables, trash cans and benches.  He said that his office was in its third year with the Miracle League field at Lake Idamere, which is a year round service and open seven days a week, and they worked with the South Lake Miracle League to use the site for the previous three years.  He said that for the Lake Idamere Park, part of the DEP grant that the County applied for over four years ago was recently completed with the path lighting being the last item to grant the County a $200,000 reimbursement check.  He showed images of repairs made at the Astor Park including those for the basketball and tennis courts, and amenities such as bleachers were also added.  He added that the playground area at Astor Park received a walkway around it, new mulch and a new swing set.  He showed images of North Lake Community Park, stating that part of his office’s long term maintenance of the facilities is their continued effort to seal coat the pavement and extend its life.

Commr. Parks noted a picture with seal coating and pavement markings, and asked if the green line on the pavement was the bike lane.  He inquired if future bike lanes could be made green, seal coated to last longer, and how long the coating would last.  He also asked how much this type of bike lane would cost.

Mr. Bonilla confirmed that it was the bike lane.  He indicated that this would be a public works issue, but said that the coating in the picture had lasted about four years.  He indicated that he did not currently have a price.  He said that the North Lake Community Park parking lot holds around 500 cars, included an entrance and exit road, and it would cost approximately $30,000 to seal coat the entire area.  He noted that there were also buses who transport passengers to the park.

Commr. Parks said that seal coating is expensive, but grants longer road life.

Mr. Bonilla mentioned that the seal coating brings awareness, safety and visibility for the park.  He continued his presentation, stating that the Mt. Plymouth area was a partnership with the Office of Communications, the East Lake Community and the Public Works Department for the creation of the historical bike loop which had all its signage placed and was well received by the community.  He explained that as part of finishing the Parks and Trails Master Plan, the County has completed the efforts of six public meetings.  He added that the Trails Master Plan was presented to the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Board in 2017, and was recently brought before the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board.  He added that in May 2018, the Parks Master Plan would be brought before the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board for their review and comments.  He identified these efficiencies: partnerships with external agencies and volunteers; outsourcing various jobs; in-house project management; reusing materials; relocating key personnel throughout the county; and utilizing County tree mitigation revenue to assist with the landscaping of the office’s facilities without spending capital dollars.  He said that since 2012, the Office of Parks and Trails stayed at or below 32 full time employees, and in that time period the office made these additions to its management of operations: the Minneola Athletic Complex in 2012; the East Lake Community Park in 2013; and the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook in 2014.  He added that these operations are gated and staffed with longer hours of operation, and that the addition of the Miracle Field to Lake Idamere Park led to that park being gated and staffed.  He said that the McDonald Canal Boat Ramp and the Pine Meadows Conservation Area were also added to the office’s management since 2012, alongside 6.5 miles of new and improved multi-use standalone trails.  He explained that they were able to achieve this by supplementing staff, maintenance and repair operations through outsourcing.  He displayed a chart with park operating expenditure benchmarks, indicating that Lake County was currently at $17.13 per capita and third from the lowest point when compared to Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties.  He stated that Lake County also had these benchmarks: a total park acreage of 3,907 when not including linear miles of trail; 40 athletic fields with 28 being lit at the end of FY 18; 17 miles of standalone trails; and 34 nature trails.  He recalled that the BCC approved trail and vehicular counters in 2017, and displayed a graph showing pedestrian counts for the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and South Lake Trails, noting an increase for the usage of the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook Trail over time, and typical usage includes an 18 mile hike.  He commented that the South Lake Trail figure included pedestrians walking from the west Orange County line into Lake County, and that up to five more counters would be required at that trail system in various locations.  He showed another graph with bike trail usage, and said that the South Lake Trail at the county line adjacent to west Orange County had 8,567 users in March 2018, with an increase of cyclists over time.  He noted a similar increase for the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook bike trail, and said that it had become a major trailhead for several users due to its parking, infrastructure, amenities, pavilions and a connecting 18 mile trail into the St. John’s River Water Management District property.  He displayed a graph showing vehicle counts for 2018, and said that trail counters were limited to certain parks; however, he hoped that additional counters would be added to East Lake Sports and Community Complex, North Lake Community Park and PEAR Park in the following year.  He commented that Lake Idamere was one of the county’s busiest parks.  He stated that in 2015, counties and regional parks had spent over $31 billion in operations and $23 billion in capital spending, netting approximately $154 billion in economic activity and almost 1.1 million jobs, and that Florida ranked number four for economic impacts of local and regional public parks on the U.S. economy.  He mentioned that approximately $184 billion is spent on outdoor recreation activities in the U.S. annually, including camping, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, off-roading, water and trail sports, wheel sports, wildlife viewing, and snow sports, and that all of these activities except for snow sports is found in Lake County.  He added that most of these expenses were for travel, including airline tickets, hotels, and food, and that 7.6 million jobs in the U.S. have been created by the nationwide outdoor recreation economy.  He listed these unfunded challenges for his office: outstanding repairs to the County maintained multi-use paved trail system; the request from the City of Fruitland Park for the lighting of the soccer field at Northwest Lake Community Park; and the request from the City of Tavares for the County to take ownership, manage and operate the Woodlea Sports Complex.  He showed a slide with the proposed operating budget, and commented that there had been a slight increase due to a decrease of $118,000 in the General Fund transfer, though his office had a larger beginning fund balance and was able to save some dollars from the previous year that were able to be carried forward.  He said that when considering operating expense, Lake County was spending 58 percent on the operations while the typical parks system will spend 37 percent.  He relayed that Lake County was spending 32 percent on personnel services, whereas the typical parks and recreation agency spends 55 percent.  He said there would be a small budget increase of only 2.15 percent, mostly due to the savings acquired in the previous year and the office’s beginning fund balance.  He displayed a list of proposed capital projects, said that most of them were tied to sales tax, and remarked that this was consistent with the five year plan that was outlined for spending and net results.  He mentioned these parks that were noted for capital funding: East Lake Sports and Community Complex; PEAR Park; North Lake Community Park; South Lake Regional Park; Lake Idamere, where the restroom facility would be funded by both sales tax dollars and contributions from the Miracle League and donors who provided approximately $21,000; Mt. Plymouth Park; Scott Park; Helena Run Preserve; Butler Street Boat Ramp; and Pearl Street Boat Ramp.  He added that his office was also using the designated boating improvement fund where applicable to minimize the impact on sales tax.  He continued, listing these parks containing capital projects: Pine Meadows Conservation Area; Ferndale Preserve; South Lake Trail; and Northwest Lake Community Park, where the remaining $50,000 reimbursement from the City of Fruitland Park for the completion of one soccer field would carry forward to the following year’s budget.  He stated that his office had a decrease in its General Fund transfer of $118,370, an overall budget increase of 2.15 percent from FY18, and enhanced levels of service.  He said that his office’s budget included Parks and Trails’ capital projects funded with sales tax, and did not include the unfunded challenges previously mentioned.  He thanked his staff, and expressed gratitude for the internal and external support received from all departments in Lake County.

Commr. Breeden thanked him for his presentation, and asked if there was any funding for the road at South Lake Regional Park in the current year’s budget.

Mr. Bonilla replied that there was some money for the road in the sales tax budget, but it was not all there at the present time.  He said it was assumed that since the dirt at the park was being removed at no cost, the County would have to move forward and his office would be carrying those dollars.  He also said that there would be an additional $700,000 for the road.

Commr. Parks commented that there was also a developer’s agreement to help with that need. 

Mr. Cole clarified that the developer terminated that agreement, and that the County was working on securing a new development agreement. 

Commr. Blake asked about the price for the remaining North Lake Community Park multi-use field lighting.

Mr. Bonilla responded that it would be under $200,000, and that this was consistent with the sales tax plan and was in the proposed budget.

Commr. Parks commented about the possibility of establishing a non-profit parks foundation that would be set up to receive contributions and assist in funding specific projects for County facilities.  He said that it would also enable possibilities for grants the foundation would be able to receive from corporations that the County would not be eligible for.  He recognized that a foundation would require effort to set up, and that there has been hesitancy in the past over what group would move forward with it; however, he opined that the County could find interested individuals to manage it.

Commr. Sullivan thought a foundation was a good idea.

Commr. Breeden added that without a foundation director, it would be difficult for staff to move forward.

Commr. Parks said that it would have to rely on someone that is outside of the BCC.

Commr. Breeden opined that any additional General Fund money should be put toward true restoration.

Mr. Cole commented that for the South Lake Regional Park, the County had $600,000 in sales tax that the BCC approved in August 2017, $1.6 million in sales tax for the following year, and the Public Works Department had $700,000 designated in the current year for the road and utilities.  He added that this was budgeted with the understanding that there would be a cost share with the property owners to the south.

other business

appointments to the arts & cultural alliance

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board reappointed Council Member Heidi Brishke as the City of Clermont representative, to serve a two-year term ending July 31, 2020, and appointed Ms. Amanda Traywick as the City of Groveland representative, to complete an unexpired term ending on July 31, 2018, to the Arts & Cultural Alliance.

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 appointed Ms. Margaret Hopper as an at-large member to the Lake County Elder Affairs Coordinating Council to serve a two-year term beginning February 1, 2018.


county attorney

Local Option Fuel Tax Ordinance

Ms. Marsh stated that the gas tax ordinance would be brought back before the Board in order to amend the ballot language from “For” and “Against” to “Yes” and “No”, and that a public hearing on this issue would occur at the BCC Meeting on May 8, 2018.

county manager

GI shavings

Mr. Cole recalled that at the March 27, 2018 BCC Meeting, staff was directed to send a letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regarding the air permit held by GI Shavings.  He said that the letter was sent to DEP on April 9, 2018, and he explained that residents of the Arlington Ridge community in Leesburg had expressed concerns to the Board about the adjacent industrial use.  He said that on April 19, 2018, he and Ms. Marsh spoke with DEP staff, and that they were cooperative in explaining that their jurisdiction was specifically over GI Shavings’ oven and visible emissions.  He relayed that DEP was committed to ensuring that GI Shavings met their requirements, and submitted their communication information to the County.

lake emergency medical services transition

Mr. Cole explained that the County had been in discussions with the City of Clermont about the Lake Emergency Medical Services (EMS) transition into Lake County government.  He commented that some discussions were concerning where Clermont would prefer to house the 24 hour EMS unit that was temporarily located at County Fire Station 109 on Lakeshore Drive, due to the City’s request to move the unit from its original location in Clermont.  He said that staff proposed to the Clermont City Manager a plan to officially house the ambulance at Fire Rescue Station 109 overnight, while staging it at the Clermont Performing Arts Center on U.S. 27 during the day.  He added that this proposal would stand until the City and County agree to a permanent location for the ambulance, and that the Clermont City Manager was receptive to this idea and planned to propose it to the Clermont City Council later that day.

commissioners reports

commissioner parks – district 2

sheriff’s volunteer banquet

Commr. Parks commented that he attended the Sheriff’s Volunteer Banquet in the previous week.  He said it was an honor to attend along with hundreds of Lake County citizens who volunteer for the Sheriff’s Office which saves approximately $500,000.  He explained that volunteers assist with tasks, such as helping complete forms, so that deputies can return more quickly to patrolling.  He commended the Sheriff’s Department and all law enforcement in Lake County for keeping citizens safe. 

south lake business chamber awards

Commr. Parks mentioned that he and Commissioner Sullivan attended the South Lake Chamber Business Awards at Bella Collina in the previous week, and that the event awarded many great businesses in South Lake County.  He commented that County staff joined the Commissioners there, and that it was a good event. 

commissioner breeden – district 3

lake county award

Commr. Breeden recognized an award that the County received from Lake County school systems and the Educational Foundation.  She elaborated that the Lake County Tourism and Development Council was the business partner of the year, and that the award was also for the BCC’s ongoing support and assistance for the Renaissance Faire.  She stated that Lake County also received a similar state award that would be presented out of town in the coming months. 

cooper memorial library hours extension

Commr. Breeden said that the Cooper Memorial Library was a great partnership between the County, Lake-Sumter State College and the University of Central Florida (UCF); however, there were continuing stresses on the library’s operations.  She noted requests from the citizens and the colleges for expanded library hours.  She indicated that staff created a proposal to add 16 additional library hours on mornings, evenings and weekends, and that the request should be taken to the City of Clermont.  She asked for approval to authorize Commissioner Sullivan to send a letter to the Clermont Mayor requesting an opportunity to speak about funding those extended hours of operation in front of the Clermont City Council.  She commented that it would add three part time staff from the County and would also require a cost $76,920 for the college to operate the facility.  She said that currently, the City of Clermont did not provide any funding for the library.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved authorizing the Chairman to send a letter to the Mayor of the City of Clermont requesting the opportunity for staff to speak in front of the Clermont City Council regarding the potential for extending the hours of operation at Cooper Memorial Library.

commissioner campione – VICE CHAIRMAN AND district 4

meeting with florida department of transportation

Commr. Campione mentioned that on April 19, 2018, the County met with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Secretary, and that several items were discussed.  She reported that the County received a verbal approval for a sign that the County’s Agency for Economic Prosperity had been trying to get approved for the Astor area.  She elaborated that the sign would direct citizens toward certain facilities in Astor, such as a boat ramp, a Sheriff substation and the library, and that the County was following up on that approval.  She said that the concern about S.R. 46 flooding was also discussed, and that the County was told that FDOT did not feel as though this was a significant issue, as part of the road would still be passable if flooding occurs.  She said that if the road floods, FDOT would be responsible for correcting the problem.  She stated that the issue was going to be discussed with the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to reinforce a letter sent by the County about this issue, and that the City of Mount Dora had also sent a letter.  She relayed that funding for C.R. 437 was discussed, and that the item had been appropriated and then vetoed.  She indicated that FDOT opined that because the item was vetoed, the County would have to wait one year to request the item again, though she mentioned that the County was still working on this issue.  She mentioned that Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, indicated that the project’s design and construction plans would continue to be developed so that the County would not lose time due to the request being vetoed, though this would have caused harm to the County if the plans had already been finalized.  She said that the County also asked FDOT for assistance with traffic calming on C.R. 435, but was told that the County would need to follow the normal process of placing these items on a priority list and working through the Lake-Sumter MPO.  She said that part of the Wekiva Parkway development was that FDOT would transfer a portion of S.R. 46 to Lake County, and that the section would become C.R. 46 and renamed Sorrento Avenue.  She mentioned that they agreed to resurface the road before transferring it to the County, and indicated that the County asked FDOT about incorporating some of the streetscapes that the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) requested, though noted that FDOT did not express an interest in allowing the County to take the cost of the resurfacing and put it toward those improvements.  She relayed that FDOT would cooperate with the County to stripe the road or to combine projects together to create cost savings.  She said that the CRA may want to reconsider its designs because the County could assist with road striping or adding additional shoulder area instead of sidewalks.  She noted concerns from neighborhoods along S.R. 46 that were asking for turn lanes and other changes, but FDOT was not receptive to these requests.  She said that the County was working hard on all of these issues, and that FDOT indicated that issues could be examined at a later date after the resurfacing was completed.

Mr. Cole added that he followed up with one of the County’s lobbyists after the meeting with FDOT, and they were not aware of projects becoming sidelined after a veto.  He said that the lobbyist would follow up on this issue and present it to the BCC on May 8, 2018. 

Commr. Campione said that one interpretation was that if the County already had money programmed and asked for an appropriation that was granted but then vetoed, then the programmed funds would be lost.  She stated that this policy is in place to deter local governments from circumventing the typical process through MPOs to obtain funding. 

Commr. Breeden asked if this was a new rule.

Commr. Parks said that the BCC had projects that were vetoed but still received funding afterwards.

Commr. Campione replied that it was an existing rule, and commented that the stated interpretation may only cause the loss of funds that the government already had.  She remarked that she was also told if a requested appropriation is granted, then it should be expected that other projects on the list become deprioritized due to a finite amount of funding available.  She opined that there should be a uniform policy that is understood by all parties. 

Commr. Sullivan stated that this was a legislative issue that the BCC would have to address.

Commr. Breeden asked about flooding signage on S.R. 46.

Commr. Campione said that FDOT would place the signs about flooding, and that Wolf Branch Road and Round Lake Road were already at capacity when flooding occurs. 

transportation impact fees

Commr. Campione said that Mount Dora currently had several large Planned Unit Development (PUD) cases that were pending and would cause significant residential construction if approved.  She opined that the northeast impact fee district should be reviewed, and that the impact fee of $500 per home in that area should be raised to at least $1000 per home or the County should consider increasing it to 50 percent of the total impact fee under the impact fee study.  She expressed a desire to soften the impact fee for commercial developments, but reiterated that housing impact fees should be raised due to the new roads required for residential developments. 

Mr. Cole replied that impact fees would be discussed as a workshop at the next BCC Meeting on May 8, 2018.  He added that a consultant was working on the issue currently, and he would be presenting the workshop along with Mr. Schneider.

Commr. Campione asked how soon the BCC could take action on this issue, and if it would have to be an ordinance.

Ms. Marsh responded that changing impact fees would have to be done as an ordinance, and statutorily it cannot be made effective before 90 days.

Commr. Sullivan added that the issue should be considered in both districts.

Mr. Cole clarified that the reason for the workshop discussion was that staff had devised creative ideas to propose about mobility fees and evolving impact fees.  He remarked that action to advertise an ordinance could be included on the agenda for the May 8, 2018 BCC Meeting.

commissioner sullivan – chairman and district 1

Lake emergency medical services board meeting

Commr. Sullivan stated that there would be a meeting of the Lake EMS Board later that day.

lake-sumter mpo board meeting

Commr. Sullivan commented that there would be a Lake-Sumter MPO Board meeting on April 25, 2018.

leesburg bikefest

Commr. Sullivan expressed that citizens should take extra precautions due to the upcoming Leesburg Bikefest, as there would be many motorcycles on the road.  He mentioned that approximately $300,000 is raised by the event for local charities, and that citizens interested in volunteering could contact the Leesburg Partnership or himself for more information.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:46 p.m.





timothy i. sullivan, chairman