A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
March 12, 2019
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 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: Leslie Campione, Chairman; Wendy Breeden, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Sean Parks; and Josh Blake. Others present were: Jeff Cole, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Niki Booth, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Gary J. Cooney, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller; Kristy Mullane, Chief Financial Officer; and Kathleen Bregel, Deputy Clerk, Board Support.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Jonathan Pearson of LifePointe Church in the City of Eustis gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, mentioned the following changes to the agenda: Tab 10 would be removed from the agenda because the County had not received the agreement from the financial institution in enough time to allow for a thorough review; Tab 22 was an item which had been moved from the Consent Agenda to a public hearing; and the public hearing dates for Tab 25 were updated to April 9 and April 23, 2019.
Commr. Campione announced that Tab 25 would be discussed prior to the public hearing section of the agenda.
Ms. Jeannine Nelson, Human Resources and Risk Management Manager, announced that they would be recognizing employees who had reached service milestones in their careers with Lake County as follows:
Grace Burgos, Financial Analyst
Office of Parks and Trails
Robert Weaver, Mechanic I (not present)
Office of Fleet Management
Donald Glessner, Facilities Contract Specialist (not present)
Office of Facilities Management
Brian Gamble, Fire Lieutenant/ EMT
Office of Fire Rescue
Jeffrey Hurst, Battalion Fire Chief
Office of Fire Rescue
Brad Russ, Assistant Program Manager
Public Works Department, Aquatic Plant Management
Sheila Short, Senior Planner
Office of Planning and Zoning
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 29, 2019 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Commr. Campione inquired if the issue reflected on the citizens’ comment cards was a pending Lake County Office of Code Enforcement case and if they were allowed to have public comment on it.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, responded that she was unsure if it was an open code enforcement case, although she mentioned that the County had received complaints regarding this matter, and she said that public comments could be heard.
Ms. Vickie Miller, a Lake County resident who lived on County Road (C.R.) 44A, voiced her concerns regarding the extremely loud noises coming from the MedMen’s medical marijuana facility near her home. She displayed pictures showing how close the facility was to her home, the large, noisy humidifiers on the property, the 10 additional air conditioning units that were being added, as well as noise level readings coming from the property indicating average decibels of 73.4, with peaks of 95.5 occurring at 8:28 p.m. She mentioned that this area was zoned Agriculture but she opined the company was operating as a cannabis factory and was an industry that should not be in an agricultural area. She mentioned that the Knox Medical marijuana dispensary in the City of Winter Garden also had noise issues, which she implied was able to be addressed by their county. She asked for the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to intervene and help lessen the noise levels.
Mr. Ted Miller, also a resident near the MedMen’s medical marijuana facility, referenced the Florida Right to Farm Act, Section 823-14, regarding farm operations and he opined that this facility was utilizing industrial equipment in an agriculture zoned area and was operating as a factory. He felt that the noise levels were unbearable and opined that his property value was decreasing because of this. He implied that other neighbors even farther away than his house were experiencing high noise levels, that they were also concerned, and that the smell of the marijuana was an issue as well. He relayed that he had contacted many State Departments without any assistance and he asked the BCC to help with the noise levels.
Ms. Jeanine Shawley, a Lake County resident who lived on C.R. 44A in the City of Eustis, shared that she and her husband lived approximately five-tenths of a mile from the MedMen’s facility and stated that she could hear the noise as well. She showed a map of the area and pointed out the locations of the facility, her home and the Millers’ house. She opined that the noise levels were as loud as a jet engine and were constantly heard twenty-four hours a day. She asked for help from the BCC and encouraged them to consider ways to prevent these types of facilities from being established near residential areas in the county.
Commr. Campione thanked the citizens for sharing their concerns and she asked the County Attorney if it was possible within the Agriculture zoning to bifurcate agriculture and manufacturing production from an agricultural product in order to create two zoning districts. She remarked that because this type of use was considered agricultural and was the subject of a state referendum for medical marijuana, the County’s ability to intervene was difficult. She shared concerns about how this affected Lake County residents and wondered if there was a way to prevent this situation in the future by creating a separate agriculture zoning category to address facilities which performed manufacturing or production in conjunction with their agricultural use.
Ms. Marsh replied that staff could consider creating another category; however, it would not be able to resolve the current situation since this facility was already in place. She reminded the Board that Florida Statutes, Section 381.986, stated that the regulation of cultivation, processing and delivery of marijuana by medical marijuana treatment centers was preempted to the State; therefore, she stated the only item that the County would be able to control was the actual dispensaries, which she noted had been banned in the county. She said that the issue would be if the County was even able to zone these facilities which were preempted to the State. She concluded that she would research what action was taken to control the noise from the Knox Medical facility in the City of Winter Garden, and then staff could follow up on possible future zoning categories for Lake County.
Commr. Campione inquired if these citizens could have recourse through a civil action against this business by utilizing a private attorney to file a nuisance action.
Ms. Marsh replied that potentially that could happen as this statute did not necessarily include protection from civil actions; however, she noted that the citizens would need to discuss that with their own attorney.
Ms. Shawley asked if they should research if this area was zoned properly for this type of use since it was an established nursery prior to the MedMen’s facility taking over operations.
Commr. Campione reiterated that the State preempted local governments which reduced the BCC’s ability to control certain elements. She encouraged Ms. Shawley to present her concerns to her state legislators in order to attempt to have a law passed which would allow recourse and additional protections for surrounding property owners who might be impacted.
Commr. Breeden asked for clarification if the County would be able to apply their noise ordinance in this situation.
Ms. Marsh replied that she would discuss with the City of Winter Garden how they handled their similar situation, noting that it might have been a voluntary resolution rather than an enforcement proceeding.
Commr. Parks informed the citizens that there was currently proposed state legislation that would not allow the County or a City to regulate businesses, which he relayed could lessen the power of local government to act on certain issues.
Commr. Campione remarked that she would follow up with these citizens regarding their concerns and would also assist them with setting up meetings with their state representatives to explore solutions at the state level.
Mr. Miller mentioned that he was not made aware that this facility was coming into the area and reported that they had purchased an additional five acres. He asked if there was a way to stop development on those additional acres.
Commr. Campione replied that staff would have to research this; however, she said that if it was zoned Agriculture, it would be challenging to stop their development. She reiterated that staff could consider the zoning for the surrounding properties to possibly prevent further expansion.
Mr. Dave Scofield, a resident of Baytree on Dead River Road, mentioned that he was a cyclist who used this road and that he had noticed there was glass on the road near the water facility. He asked if this glass could be cleaned up and he also inquired about a possible bike lane being placed on this road for safety reasons.
Mr. Cole said that staff would address the glass on the road and look into the possibility of a bike lane.
Commr. Campione asked if the current developments being built on that road were under the jurisdiction of the City of Tavares and Commissioner Breeden replied that they were. She suggested reaching out to the City for assistance with the costs for these requests since there would be added traffic on the road due to the developments.
Commr. Breeden indicated that the County was requiring one of the developers to extend one of the turn lanes. She said that she would explore these additional considerations.
Mr. Cole remarked that he would also follow up with the City of Tavares.
CLERK OF the circuit COURT and comptroller’s CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Consent Agenda, Item 1, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT agenda
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 21, pulling Tab 10, as follows:
Request approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Order of Taking and Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2018-CA-2075, Lake County vs. Robert Small, et al., (Parcel Number: CG-27) for the needed right of way on the Citrus Grove Road Project. The fiscal impact is $9,500.00 (expenditure). Commission District 2.
Request approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Order of Taking and Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2018-CA-2269, Lake County vs. Connie K. Clem, et al., (Parcel Number: CG-12) for the needed right of way on the Citrus Grove Road Project. The fiscal impact is $313,248.70 (expenditure). Commission District 2.
Request approval for the County Attorney, or designee, to execute the Stipulated Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2017-CA-1535, Lake County vs. Larry G. Schultz, et al. (Parcel Number: FP-73) for needed right of way on the CR 466A Road Project, Phase 3A. The fiscal impact is $24,400.00 (expenditure - the total settlement was $39,500.00 less $15,100.00, which was previously deposited with the Court per the Stipulated Order of Taking). Commission District 5.
Request approval of an amendment to the Employment Agreement with County Manager Jeff Cole, and an amendment to the Amended and Restated Employment Agreement with County Attorney Melanie Marsh. There is no fiscal impact.
HUMAN RESOURCES AND RISK MANAGEMENT
Request approval of an interlocal agreement that facilitates the Lake County Supervisor of Elections functioning as an independent constitutional authority with respect to such functions as employees, payroll, benefits, budgeting, and accounts payable. There is no additional fiscal impact anticipated from this action.
Request approval of a General Release and Settlement Agreement of a workers' compensation claim, and approval to accept reimbursement from the third-party insurance provider. The $50,000 fiscal impact (expenditure/revenue) to be paid from the Property and Casualty Reserve Fund will be reimbursed by the insurance carrier to the fund.
Request approval of:
1. An agreement with Florida Blue - Better You to provide
Personal Health Risk Assessments (PHRA) and bio-metric screenings for all
employees enrolled in Lake County's health plan, and authorization for the
Office of Procurement Services to execute the agreement for the PHRA event.
2. The full premium equivalents and employee share amounts for health insurance during fiscal year 2020 and of the continuation of the 7% premium reduction for employees who complete a PHRA between April 4 and April 30, 2019.
3. Two cost-saving changes to the medical plan design.
The total fiscal impact is $46,900.00 (expenditure).
PUBLIC SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE
Request approval to apply for the 2018 Federal Emergency Management Agency's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. The total fiscal impact over three years is estimated at $2.8 million (revenue/expenditure - $1.7 million in grant funding, and $1.1 million in County funding).
Request approval of an agreement with EMS Technology Solutions, LLC, (Austell, GA) for the Office of Emergency Medical Services’ support software, Operative IQ. The estimated fiscal impact is $29,710.08 (expenditure).
Request approval of Unanticipated Revenue Resolution 2019-27 to amend the Fiscal Year 2019 Emergency Medical Services Fund budget to realize unanticipated revenue received from the County Property and Casualty Fund as approved by the Board of County Commissioners on July 24, 2018. The fiscal impact is $100,000.00 (revenue/expenditure).
1. Approval of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Lake County's continued participation in the Orlando Urban Areas Securities Initiative (UASI).
2. Authorization for the Chairman to execute the MOA.
2. Approval to designate the Director of the Office of Emergency Management as the primary representative for Lake County to the UASI Working Group.
3. Authorization for the County Manager to execute any future no-cost amendments or modifications to the MOA.
The estimated fiscal impact is $68,000.00 (revenue).
INFRASTRUCTURE AND INTERNAL SUPPORT SERVICES
Request approval to:
1. Accept the final plat for Serenoa Village 1 Phase 1B-1, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Serenoa Village 1 Phase 1B-1 final plat, located near Clermont.
2. Execute a Developer's Agreement for Construction of Improvements with VK Avalon Groves, LLC (Tampa, FL).
3. Accept a performance bond of $2,715,031.22.
The fiscal impact is $1,551.00 (revenue - final plat application fee). Commission District 1.
Request approval to:
1. Accept the final plat for Serenoa Village 2 Phase 1B-1, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Serenoa Village 2 Phase 1B-1 final plat, located near Clermont.
2. Execute a Developer's Agreement for Construction of Improvements with VK Avalon Groves, LLC (Tampa, FL).
3. Accept a performance bond of $1,767,016.35.
The fiscal impact is $1,551.00 (revenue - final plat application fee). Commission District 1.
COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT SERVICE
Request approval of the Amended Community Planning and Technical Assistance Grant Agreement with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to specifically amend the language of Deliverable Four, which will provide students and staff from the University of Central Florida School for Urban and Regional Planning currently working on a project within the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) the opportunity to present their findings to the CRA Agency Board. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval of the Partnership Agreement with the City of Tavares for the Suwanee Place and Gary Street Resurfacing Projects (Phase 4) utilizing Community Development Block Grant funding from fiscal year 2019, and approval of a budget transfer from uncommitted project funds. The fiscal impact is $200,000.00 (expenditure). Commission District 3.
Request approval of the Partnership Agreement with the City of Tavares for the Cromartie Alleyway Resurfacing Project utilizing Community Development Block Grant funding from fiscal year 2018, and approval of a budget transfer from uncommitted project funds. The fiscal impact is $202,100.00 (expenditure). Commission District 3.
Request approval of an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Mount Dora for the W.T. Bland Public Library to sell LakeXpress Bus Passes during library operating hours. The fiscal impact is $50.00 (expenditure). Commission District 4.
Parks and Trails
Request approval to award Contract 19-0403 to Rob’s Septic, Inc., (Groveland, FL) to provide holding tank pumping for waterless restrooms in conjunction with the County’s needs effective May 1, 2019, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $25,500.00 (expenditure).
Moratorium for green swamp area of critical state concern
Commr. Parks remarked that this item was a follow up to some suggestions he had made at a recent zoning public hearing relating to subdivision development within the Green Swamp; additionally, he shared that many citizens at that public hearing had concerns about septic tanks, density transfer, open space protection, and overdevelopment of the Green Swamp. He relayed that based on these issues, he was suggesting placing a temporary moratorium of development in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern in order for the Board to analyze the standards for development within it, particularly as it related to subdivisions. He shared his desire to protect this area as well as the rights of the property owners within the Green Swamp. He referenced how the speakers’ ideas at the Better Development Seminar back in 2017 were well received and that some of the standards discussed were potential ones to be incorporated into the County’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs). He recalled that those standards had not yet been incorporated into the LDRs, that his desire was to follow through on the ideas regarding development in the Green Swamp, and that this was the reason he was proposing the moratorium.
Commr. Sullivan remarked that he agreed with Commissioner Parks and that he felt the Green Swamp was a great place to start. He opined that there was a lot of misinformation regarding this area and that the County needed to do a better job of educating the public. He said that he also wanted to ensure that the rules and regulations for the Green Swamp were meeting the latest environmental codes and relayed that he would support this moratorium. He implied that the Green Swamp was the most critical area of concern and needed to be addressed now; however, he wanted the Board to continue to review the County’s LDRs and Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) especially due to all the growth the county was experiencing.
Commr. Breeden indicated that she would support this as well, although she cautioned the Board to be careful since a lot of work went into establishing the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern including obtaining property owners’ support. She encouraged the Board to work closely with the State in order to obtain their approval. She agreed that this was a good place to start but also felt that a thorough study of the LDRs needed to be performed even if it meant hiring a consultant to do so.
Mr. Cole reported that regarding the LDRs, there was a conscious decision by staff to address them as time allowed; however, he said that a consultant could be brought in to expedite that process if that was the Board’s desire.
Commr. Blake relayed that he understood Commissioner Parks’ motivation for this item; however, based on his experience, he felt that the Green Swamp already had a highly regulated, restrictive development process and he did not believe it was necessary to have a moratorium at this point. He commented that he would be in favor of hiring a consultant to expedite the County’s LDRs review but would not support a moratorium.
Commr. Campione relayed that she felt the same as expressed by Commissioner Blake since there was a tremendous amount of time and effort put into the process which put the Green Swamp rules into place. She said that her only concerns were the areas where there was confusion regarding code interpretation and how it is applied and that she would be in favor of clarifying any ambiguity regarding the rules already in place rather than adding more restrictions. She remarked that if the County went to the next level of actually placing additional restrictions, then philosophically, she said it would be difficult for her to support that unless there was some type of compensation for residents as she felt that this might be taking away some of their rights as property owners. She agreed with exploring the concerns of septic tank issues, especially since there was new technology available, and she expressed interest in learning what tracking process was in place to make sure people were following correct procedures for septic tanks. She stated that since there was already the rule that no more than 100 building permits could be issued in a year within the Green Swamp, she would not support a moratorium.
Ms. Marsh clarified that the ordinance was drafted to only be a moratorium on site plans, mining, Planned Unit Development (PUD) rezoning, and future land use amendments and would not cover or prohibit an individual from getting a permit for their own land. She added that it would also not prohibit a person from platting if it was under a six acre lot size as six acres was what would trigger a PUD requirement, noting that plats were not included in the ordinance since the Board had already approved this rezoning for the Hilochee Partners Property PUD. She mentioned that this was the initial draft but stated the Board could make changes if desired; additionally, she noted that there was provision in the ordinance for vested rights which meant that if an individual felt they had met the threshold for vested rights, then they could ask to be exempt from the moratorium.
Commr. Campione asked what the timeframe was to establish vesting rights.
Ms. Marsh replied that there was not a specific timeframe in this provision but since the moratorium was only for a year, there was the assumption that an individual would ask for it quickly. She further relayed that the standard vested rights provision was that someone would have to claim it within a year.
Commr. Breeden said that based on that information, she felt that the Board could look at Green Swamp regulations without establishing a moratorium as she thought the timeframe might be the same. She relayed that she would support the idea of not allowing mining in the Green Swamp, although she mentioned that she was not certain if there was mining in the Wekiva Protection Area. She opined that the County could review the LDRs without having to go into a moratorium.
Commr. Parks opined that the moratorium would help drive the process of getting some of the concerns addressed and he shared that changes to the way subdivisions are developed within the Green Swamp was one of his highest concerns. He agreed that the standards for development within the Green Swamp were strict; however, he felt that there were areas, such as protecting water resources, where there could be tougher standards put into place and the moratorium would allow that to happen. He indicated that some rules for septic tanks would be changing in the summer and could be part of the process for changing the LDRs.
Commr. Campione suggested putting a goal in place to have it accomplished by a certain timeframe, and reiterated that she did not feel that a moratorium was necessary in order to make it a priority.
Commr. Parks gave the example that the County had been working on design criteria in the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento Community Redevelopment Area for about three to five years and yet it was still not in place. He opined that a moratorium for the Green Swamp was a good way to make it a priority.
Commr. Breeden felt that not having the resources to devote to this could possibly be part of the reason it had not been addressed; furthermore, she suggested providing the resources needed moving forward.
The Chairman opened the floor for public comment.
Ms. Sheryan Chester, a Director on the Board of the Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society (OVAS), expressed her thoughts regarding the importance of the Green Swamp to Lake County, Central Florida, the State of Florida, the Southeastern United States, and all of North America. She shared that OVAS was a conservation organization serving Lake County and The Villages, was incorporated in 1966, and that their membership over the last five years was around 500 to 600 members. She explained that their mission was to lead the community in protecting birds and wildlife throughout Lake County and the region using science advocacy and conservation. She relayed that OVAS supported the proposed ordinance to place a moratorium on specific development over the next year in the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, and that they would like to be included in the process due to their expertise in this area.
Ms. Lavon Silvernell, a resident of the Town of Astatula, opined that this moratorium would send a clear signal to both county residents and those facilitating growth in the county that this was an issue that the Board cared about and would be making an effort to closely review. She shared that it was her understanding that when the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern was created, the goal was to protect the property owners; however, it did not guarantee the right for additional individuals to come and maximize their ability to make a profit on this land. She opined that land sales were increasing in the Green Swamp, and that this was an area that needed critical protection. She felt that this would not infringe on development rights and said she supported the moratorium.
Mr. Charles Lee, representing Audubon Florida, stated that he did not view this as a blanket moratorium but rather one that he would characterize as primarily for large, newer developments while staff reviewed the LDRs. He recalled that he had participated in the 1974 hearings when the Division of State Planning was looking at the initial implementation of the area of critical concern. He implied that a lot had changed since then, and opined that it was good to consider modernizing the approach to how the goals of the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern would be achieved, noting this was not just to stop development and protect the environment, but also for allowing land owners to implement innovative technology which would be environmentally better than in the past. He relayed that Audubon Florida supported the moratorium and the ordinance.
Ms. Elaine Renick, a concerned citizen, shared that she cared about both the Green Swamp and the Wekiva Protection Area and was in support of the purpose behind this action although she felt that the word “moratorium” could have negative connotations. She opined that possibly considering a “timeout” might be a more appropriate approach and agreed that there were concerns identified in the 2017 seminar that still needed to be addressed. She relayed support for a timeout and a deadline to ensure this was addressed.
Ms. Cathy Brown, a resident from the City of Clermont, recalled that she was disappointed with the approval for the Hilochee Partners Property PUD, which she noted was adjacent to her home; however, she relayed that she was pleased with the prospect of a moratorium and thanked the Board for considering this.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the floor for public comment.
Commr. Campione explained that this item was for approval to advertise the ordinance in order to hold public hearings prior to a possible final adoption. She remarked that she would personally examine this further and shared her desire for this to be effective and not just about slowing down development. She reiterated that she was not in support of a moratorium but rather that the Board simply make the issues a high priority.
Commr. Sullivan opined that while moratorium may not be the correct verbiage, he saw this as a way to educate people on new technologies developed due to environmental concerns, and to also make sure the rules and regulations were fair and equitable to those who already owned property in the area of the Green Swamp. He explained that the Green Swamp touched more than just Lake County and he encouraged the Board to move forward on this issue expeditiously, even if it meant hiring a consultant as he opined County staff’s workload was full.
Ms. Marsh suggested that the Board vote separately on the two items relating to this tab as the first item was for approval to advertise the ordinance, while the second item was approval to have the public hearings at 9:00 a.m. instead of 5:05 p.m. and would require a four-fifths vote.
Commr. Campione suggested that the Board workshop ideas for the issues mentioned earlier by Commissioner Parks, such as open space, density transfers, septic tanks, and the concepts from the 2017 seminar, instead of addressing them with an open-ended moratorium or spending money on a consultant.
Commr. Breeden and Commissioner Parks stated that the consultant would be for reviewing all of the County’s LDRs.
Commr. Parks remarked that some of the ideas, such as low impact development, had already been discussed, that suggestions relating to the Green Swamp would not necessarily be a cost to the County, and that a moratorium would drive a timeframe for issues to be addressed.
Commr. Breeden suggested the possibility of reducing the number of permits allowed within the Green Swamp in a year from 100 to 75 or 50, instead of imposing a moratorium.
Commr. Parks stated that he would consider that option and that it could be discussed during the public hearing.
Commr. Sullivan opined that was something that was probably already happening as he thought that within the last five years, no more than 50 permits in one year had been approved.
Commr. Breeden asked if staff could propose a tentative plan and the length of time it might take to seriously review the LDRs in the Green Swamp, either performed by staff or a consultant.
Mr. Cole relayed that staff could bring back timeframes and potential costs to the Board, noting that it would take significant time to perform internally based on the current workload for staff which was the reason that LDRs were still needing to be reviewed.
Commr. Parks said that he would additionally discuss the low impact guidelines with the County Manager.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved to advertise an ordinance establishing a temporary moratorium of development in the unincorporated areas of the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern.
Commr. Campione and Commr. Blake voted no.
Ms. Marsh explained that there needed to be two public hearings, noting that one would be at 9:00 a.m. and the other was at 5:05 p.m. unless the Board approved, by a four-fifths vote, for the second hearing to be at 9:00 a.m. as well.
The Board agreed to leave the 5:05 p.m. hearing time; therefore, they did not vote on the second item for this tab relating to having both hearings at 9:00 a.m.
public hearing – rezoning ordinance 2019-19
Ms. Marsh explained that in November 2018, the Board denied this rezoning for a juvenile residential facility and that since that time, the applicants requested to go to a Special Master proceeding, which she noted was their right under Florida Statutes. She stated that all individuals who had attended the November 20, 2018 BCC meeting and had spoken for or against this application had been notified; additionally, she conveyed that the adjoining neighbors who were the closest to the subject property, along with their attorney, did attend the mediation and participated in the process. She elaborated that an agreement was reached, which the adjoining property owners signed. She added that this agreement placed certain restrictions on the facility such as: a limit on the number of students allowed on the property; that students would be low and moderate risk as determined by the Department of Juvenile Justice; that the students be examined for any objects that were not appropriate; and that motion detectors and cameras be added. She remarked that if the Board approved this item, then they would need to hold a public hearing in order to adopt the rezoning ordinance and that the settlement agreement would become part of the rezoning ordinance, including all of the agreement conditions.
Commr. Campione asked if the public hearing was for both of the aspects of the agenda item or only for the rezoning ordinance.
Ms. Marsh replied that the ordinance required a public hearing and that it was the Board’s discretion if they wanted to open up public comment for both aspects of the agenda item.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Barbara Nagy, a resident of Paisley, asked for the Board to consider a solution which would help Cloud Peak, LLC, the Rite of Passage facility and the rural community of Deerhaven. She said that the current Community Facilities District (CFD) zoning for this area allowed campgrounds for part-time usage and single family residences, and she opined that if the CFD zoning was not changed to accommodate this full-time facility, then this business would still be able to have a part-time campground to assist in rehabilitating students. She felt that her community agreed that these rehabilitated programs were needed but opposed having it in their secluded neighborhood area and rezoning a district that had been established for many years.
Mr. Daniel Langley, an attorney with the Fishback Dominick law firm and representing the applicant, commented that the existing ordinance already allowed the use of this type of facility and that this proposed amended ordinance was merely a clarification that this type of activity was permitted. He stated that the Lake County Office of Planning and Zoning staff supported the rezoning and he submitted into the record the staff report from the November 20, 2018 BCC meeting public hearing. He relayed that this report contained an analysis of the request’s consistency with the Lake County Comp Plan and its compliance with the LDRs, and that staff recommended approval. He commended the County Attorney and her office for the way they handled the mediation process, noting it was efficient, fair and open. He opined that this was the right location for this facility, that it already had the needed zoning, and that this was merely a small adjustment to confirm for his client that he could establish this type of use on the property. He mentioned that his client welcomed community involvement in the mediation process and was willing to add the additional conditions even at his own expense. He opined that the community needed these types of programs and that this was the perfect place for it. He then disclosed that he and his law partner had communications with each Commissioner asking for their support.
Mr. Mike Cantrell, with Rite of Passage, stated that he still believed that this was a perfect property for this location and that this would provide many opportunities to positively impact students’ lives. He reiterated that he did not want to be in conflict with neighbors or the County, that he had met with neighboring property owners as well as the Deerhaven community in November 2018, and that neighbors were invited to be a part of the community advisory board and attend community events on the campus; furthermore, he encouraged them to get involved and be role models for the students. He explained that his organization provided treatment and education to assist students in becoming better citizens who could make productive contributions to their communities in the future, and that they believed in a schoolhouse approach, noting that their success rate across the country was 68 percent. He relayed his desire for this facility to be a success and thanked the Board for their consideration.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione addressed the citizens’ comments by clarifying that the zoning on the property currently would allow a variety of activities since the facilities were already in existence; therefore, she opined that rezoning it and utilizing these enclosed buildings would be more secure than operating it as a campground, noting that one of the conditions was to install motion sensors on the doors and windows. She felt that the conditions added as a result of the mediation process were ones which addressed the Board and citizens’ concerns, such as the number of participants being limited to 42, having a fence erected on the property, and the ratio of students to staff. She suggested that if there were any issues at the facility, that there also be a notification process by which the County Manager and the Lake County Sheriff would receive the same notice as the Department of Juvenile Justice; additionally, if a student did go absent without leave (AWOL), that the County be informed of what the facility was doing to address the situation and prevent it in the future and allow the BCC to review and propose additional conditions if needed. She asked to confirm that County staff had an open invitation to visit the facility.
Commr. Sullivan inquired if it was standard operating procedure for local law enforcement to be notified if something did go wrong at the facility.
Mr. Cantrell confirmed that was correct and stated that they were willing to contact the County regarding anything out of the ordinary. He said County staff was welcome on the campus anytime and encouraged them to participate in special events. He added that his organization was also working closely with the Lake County School Board in order to provide appropriate education.
Commr. Breeden asked what types of special events they planned to have on campus.
Mr. Cantrell responded that they would hold a family day at least once a month, that there would be sports banquets and holiday parties, and that there would be special training events specific to working with certain types of students. He reiterated that their goal was to be a part of the community.
Commr. Campione asked if his organization worked with parents in regards to counseling and training that could benefit the families.
Mr. Cantrell replied that they did and that they aimed to get as many parents involved in family therapy as possible. He said they would have five masters’ level therapists as well as a clinical director on staff. He explained that skill development was an important element taught to the students and they desired to give them opportunities to practice those skills, noting that was a key part of the service projects and special events.
Commr. Blake inquired about section 2, condition E of the ordinance, and if that meant that the Lake County Code Enforcement Special Master had the authority to enforce the terms and conditions of the ordinance and to recommend that it be revoked if those conditions were not met.
Ms. Marsh replied that was correct and said that this would be incorporated into the zoning ordinance.
Commr. Campione asked if the Board would be able to revisit conditions if there were situations where the students left the premises.
Ms. Marsh responded that they would, and noted that with any rezoning ordinances, the County had the right to have a rezoning come back to the Board for reconsideration.
Commr. Campione asked how many residents participated in the settlement proceeding and Ms. Marsh replied that there were two, a husband and wife, along with their attorney and that there was no response from the other eight notifications sent out.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the mediated settlement agreement with Cloud Peak, LLC, to allow a juvenile residential facility to serve clients of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, and including the additional provision that if a student was absent without leave (AWOL), then the County would receive notification within twenty-four hours.
Ms. Marsh asked for a second vote for the rezoning ordinance.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved rezoning Ordinance 2019-19, amending the Community Facility District Ordinance 2009-54 for the purpose to allow a juvenile residential facility to serve clients of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, and including the additional provision that if a student was absent without leave (AWOL), then the County would receive notification within twenty-four hours.
public hearing - ordinance 2019-17 prepayment of impact fees
Mr. Cole mentioned that Tabs 23 and 24 would be presented together; however, the Board would vote on them separately.
Ms. Michele Janiszewski, Chief Planner with the Office of Planning & Zoning, presented the proposed impact fee prepayment extension for commercial and industrial uses and the transportation impact fee infill waiver. She indicated that Lake County Ordinance 2018-52 amended the Lake County Code in order to eliminate the prepayment of impact fees program as of August 9, 2019; furthermore, staff was directed to evaluate the continuation of the prepayment program for commercial and industrial uses. She reported that the draft ordinance being considered at this meeting would extend the prepayment program for commercial and industrial uses from August 9, 2019 to August 24, 2020, with the residential prepayment program still terminating on August 9, 2019. She relayed that in regards to the transportation impact fee infill waiver, Section 22-8 of the Lake County Code allowed for waivers of educational impact fees for single family home construction within infill development areas of the county under certain conditions, and that the Board had requested at their October 23, 2018 meeting for an ordinance to be drafted which would create a similar waiver for transportation impact fees. She reported that as presently drafted, the ordinance allowed for a lot which met one or more of the following criteria to possibly be eligible for a transportation impact fee waiver: within a plat recorded on or before June 30, 1991; within a platted subdivision that has a dwelling unit of eighty percent or more of the platted residential lots if the plat was recorded on or before June 30, 2000; within a blighted area as defined in the Florida Statutes; or on a single lot or parcel that was intended to be a homestead property as evidenced by receipt of the homestead exemption granted by the Lake County Property Appraiser. She elaborated that in order to utilize the fourth option, the property owner would need to execute a lien for the amount of waived impact fees, obtain a homestead exemption from the Property Appraiser’s Office no later than March 1 of the year following the issuance of the certificate of occupancy, and submit proof of the homestead exemption to the County Manager or designee in order for the lien to be released. She relayed these additional requirements: lots located within a gated subdivision would not be eligible for the transportation impact fee waiver; the residence would need to adhere to the same architectural design criteria established for the educational impact fee waiver; and the transportation impact fee waivers would require the Board to identify a funding source for the program, with the Board identifying $100,000 from reserves as the funding source.
Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING SECTION 22-11, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED PREPAYMENT OF IMPACT FEES; EXTENDING THE PREPAYMENT OF IMPACT FEES PROGRAM FOR COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL USES; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Commr. Breeden suggested that the end date for the prepayment program for commercial and industrial uses be open-ended rather than having an end date of August 24, 2020. She also asked for consideration that the time period be extended to eighteen or twenty-four months instead of twelve months.
Ms. Marsh clarified that currently within the code, when someone prepaid, they had one year in order to obtain their development order or building permit otherwise the prepayment expired and the person received a dollar for dollar credit for whatever the fee might be at that time. She explained that Commissioner Breeden was requesting for staff to consider extending that one year timeframe for commercial and industrial uses since it could be difficult to get development orders within a year. She elaborated that her request would have to come back to the Board as a separate ordinance and could not be a part of this ordinance since it was not advertised; furthermore, the only change that could be made to this proposed ordinance was for the end date for prepayment for commercial and industrial uses to remain open until such time the Board may choose to give it an end date.
Commr. Blake noted that he would support that idea.
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 vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2019-17 amending Section 22-11, Lake County Code, to extend the prepayment program for commercial and industrial uses, with the change for the end date to be open-ended and not cease on August 24, 2020.
public hearing - ordinance 2019-18 infill development waiver
Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA, AMENDING SECTION 22-8, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED WAIVER OF EDUCATIONAL IMPACT FEES FOR SCHOOL CAPACITY; CREATING A TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEE WAIVER FOR INFILL DEVELOPMENT; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Commr. Campione recapped that staff had been compiling information regarding where the school impact fee waivers had occurred, noting that there were several in the City of Umatilla, one in the Town of Lady Lake, and some in the City of Eustis. A map of these various locations was then displayed.
Ms. Janiszewski relayed that 28 school impact fee waivers had been issued.
Commr. Campione opined that there was a positive increase to the tax roll as a result of these homes being built, noting that nine of the houses resulted in an approximate $5,000 increase to the County’s General Fund and about a $15,000 increase to the Lake County School Board, when combining what would go to the state and to the local area.
Ms. Janiszewski then displayed several pictures of the various homes that were built.
Commr. Parks asked if the waiver payments would come out of the General Fund.
Ms. Janiszewski responded that the transportation impact fee waiver was proposed to come out of reserves.
Mr. Cole clarified it was from the General Fund reserves and recalled that the Board had discussed at their strategies workshop for there to be a cap of $100,000.
Commr. Campione remarked that this would give the Board the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the program, noting that this infill waiver would probably assist current residents who wished to build on an existing lot.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Breeden inquired if a formal request had been made to the school board to continue their waiver.
Commr. Campione replied that was in progress and that data showing the impact on their tax revenues was being compiled.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2019-18 amending Section 22-8, Lake County Code, regarding a waiver of transportation impact fees for infill development, and approved allocating $100,000 in funding.
county logo and conceptual designs of the gateway signs
Ms. Elisha Pappocoda, Director for the Office of Communications, presented the County’s proposed new logo and gateway signs, along with the background of the current logo and the purpose for designing a new logo. She shared that in 2005, the Board hired a communications firm to design the current county logo, noting that it incorporated Lake County’s strengths, such as natural features, hometown lifestyle, location and access which remained a key part of the county’s identity even today. She explained that the visual elements of the current logo included a vista, a sunset, lakes, wildlife, flora and fauna; furthermore, the Office of Communications took these aesthetics and redesigned them into a newer, more modern logo which was performed in-house at no additional cost to the County. She then displayed a visual inspiration board of various pictures throughout the county, which was utilized to create the new county logo and represented the values that make the county “Real Florida, Real Close.” She remarked that the purpose of adapting a new logo included the following: to incorporate Lake County’s trademark, “Real Florida, Real Close,” which she noted had been the Board’s desire for several years; to invoke a feeling of Lake County’s quality of life as a place where people want to live, work and play; to simplify printing and embroidery as the details with the current logo had made that a challenge; and to create cohesive gateway signs that welcomed visitors and residents into the county. She then revealed the new proposed Lake County logo, noting that it featured a sunset, a silhouette of a blue heron, and some Florida native ferns. She indicated that this new logo was immediately recognizable as representing Lake County with the word “Lake” prominently featured and the colors being dynamic yet easily converted to two color printing. She stated that this logo would serve as more than a graphic representation designed for fast recognition but also as an important part of the County’s branding efforts. She explained the various colors utilized in the logo as follows: coreopsis yellow, which represents the Florida state wildflower and is native to Lake County; cypress green, named for the numerous cypress trees found growing in and around the lakes within the county; palmetto green for the sabal palmetto which is the official state tree; heron blue for the Great Blue Heron which is Florida’s wading bird; and dora blue for the iconic Lake Dora. She reported that this new logo would be phased into the County’s stationary, business cards, uniforms, new website, vehicles, street signs, and the gateway signs, noting that existing items featuring the current county logo would be replaced as needed in order to avoid any immediate financial impact related to the new logo rollout. She then displayed some examples of the new logo on various items. She relayed that her office was working with the Office of Visit Lake on the Gateway Sign Program and remarked that gateway signs could be an impactful marketing tool and would positively reflect the County’s “Real Florida, Real Close” branding. She added that they would elevate the county’s image and create a sense of identity. She explained that the Board approved the Gateway Sign Program in 2016 as a direct relationship between the expenditure of Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds and the promotion of tourism in Lake County. She said that different yet consistent signage had been created which would be appropriate for both rural and urban areas within the county. She mentioned that these signs welcomed visitors, created a sense of pride, enhanced marketing efforts, and provided a positive first impression. She then showed a sample of the rural gateway signs, which she noted would include elements of wood and stone with a rustic feel, and would possibly run on solar power due to their placement in potentially lower light areas. She also displayed a sample of the urban area gateway signs, noting that they had free standing columns, a larger footprint than the rural signs, and a streamlined design for better visibility in high traffic areas. She reiterated that these signs were designed in-house at no additional cost and would be competitively procured through the Office of Visit Lake and funded with the Tourist Development Tax. She specified that her office was working with the Office of Visit Lake, the Public Works Department, and the Office of Procurement Services, and that they would present proposed locations for these signs to the Board at a later date. She concluded with the requested action for approval to advertise an ordinance amending Lake County Code, Chapter 2, Section 2-2 entitled “County logo and seal” to modify the County’s logo and approval of conceptual designs of the gateway signs.
Commr. Breeden and Commissioner Campione complimented the Office of Communications staff for their talent and great work done on this.
Commr. Parks also thanked the staff on their excellent work and said he was looking forward to this being rolled out and implemented. He suggested that the Four Corners area and The Villages would still be great locations to place the signs due to the high number of visitors coming in through those areas.
Mr. Cole indicated that staff would prioritize locations based on funding and present them for the Board’s consideration.
Commr. Campione asked that with any press release relating to the gateway signs, that it be made clear these were provided by TDT funding and not property taxes. She remarked that the signs looked incredible and would set a nice tone for the county.
Commr. Parks agreed and suggested adding that the designs were all done internally.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to advertise an ordinance amending Lake County Code, Chapter 2, Section 2-2 entitled “County logo and seal” to modify the County’s logo and approval of conceptual designs of the gateway signs.
appointments - Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento CRA Advisory committee
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the reappointments of Mr. Timothy Bailey, Mr. Thomas Van de Kieft, and Ms. Frances Nipe as members who are residents or property owners within a three mile radius of the planning area to the Mt. Plymouth- Sorrento Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee.
appointments to the lake county library advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointments of Mr. Ebo Entsuah as the representative from District 2, Ms. Leslie Timmen as the municipal representative for the Town of Montverde, Ms. Mary Hopkins as the alternate municipal representative for the Town of Montverde, Ms. Amanda Boggus as the alternate municipal representative for the City of Tavares, Ms. Tahsia O’Keefe as the alternate municipal representative for the Town of Howey-in-the-Hills, and Vice Mayor Laura K. Wright as the municipal representative for the City of Umatilla to the Lake County Library Advisory Board.
commissioner sullivan – district 1
incentive program for commercial development
Commr. Sullivan asked about the Board’s discussion at their Annual Strategies Workshop in February 2019 regarding developing an impact fee incentive program for large commercial developments wanting to come to Lake County if they met certain eligible criteria.
Commr. Campione commented that the idea was for it to be a major new company or expansion that wanted to come into the county and was investing over a certain threshold.
Mr. Brandon Matulka, Executive Director for the Agency for Economic Prosperity, clarified that the new tier created for the economic development program was a $25 million capital investment with 25 jobs at or above the annual average wage for Lake County.
Commr. Campione asked if that was what Commissioner Sullivan was envisioning and he confirmed that was correct. She added that the County could then consider a transportation impact fee waiver if the funds were available in reserves with the decision being made on a case by case basis.
Commr. Sullivan asked for that process to be expedited as quickly as possible.
Ms. Marsh relayed that an ordinance for that was drafted and that staff would place it on an upcoming BCC meeting agenda.
commissioner parKS – district 2
county employee picnic
Commr. Parks thanked staff for putting on a great picnic last week for all the County employees.
commissioner breeden – vice chairman and district 3
yalaha bake sale
Commr. Breeden recognized Yalaha for their wonderful community bake sale the previous Saturday.
commissioner blake – district 5
county employee picnic
Commr. Blake also thanked staff for the great job they did on the County picnic.
astor community meeting
Commr. Blake mentioned that on the previous night he had dinner with the Astor Community Association, which he noted went well and had a great turnout.
city of umatilla keep lake beautiful cleanup event
Commr. Blake announced the Keep Lake Beautiful cleanup event in the City of Umatilla on March 16, 2019.
commissioner campione – chairman and district 4
great american cleanup day
Commr. Campione reminded everyone of the Great American Cleanup on March 23, 2019 and encouraged the Commissioners to pick a location within their district to participate and to involve the local municipalities.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:11 a.m.
leslie campione, chairman
Gary J. Cooney, Clerk