A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
March 26, 2019
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 26, 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 Josh Pearson, Deputy Clerk Board Support.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Brooks Braswell from First Baptist Church Umatilla gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
recognizing ms. lyndsi johnson
Commr. Parks introduced Ms. Lyndsi Johnson, Branch Manager for United Southern Bank in the City of Leesburg, who was part of this year’s Leadership Lake County class and was shadowing the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) for their meeting.
Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, stated that in the previous week, staff added additional backup to the Treasure Island Range CUP item under Tab 22 and added Tab 27 under the Chairman’s report.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a concerned citizen, commended Commissioner Campione for Tab 27 and for creating a letter to the Governor regarding the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). He stated that Lake County lacked a representative on the SJRWMD Board for a significant amount of time, and he said that if the Governor did not appoint a Lake County resident to the SJRWMD Board, then he would encourage the BCC to request that the SJRWMD Board provide quarterly reports to the BCC. He advocated for a local law to close the Lake County Water Authority (LCWA) due to his opinion that the LCWA had not been addressing issues, and he also felt that land which the LCWA was managing should be transferred to the County and be kept as public lands, such as Hickory Point. He expressed concerns about the LCWA spending money on chemicals and he claimed that the SJRWMD was allowing pollution from Lake Apopka to move into Lake County without treating it. He asked the BCC to review this issue.
Mr. Cole clarified that the SJRWMD was formed in 1972 and that it had been 24 years since Lake County had representation on its board.
Commr. Campione encouraged residents with a background or expertise in water quality issues to apply for the SJRWMD Board.
CLERK OF the Circuit COURT and comptroller’s CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 4, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
City of Tavares Ordinance No. 2019-01
Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance No. 2019-01 from the City of Tavares amending the boundaries of the city by annexing approximately 01.61 acres of land located at 14828 Oleander Way, rezoning said property from Lake County Urban Residential (R-6) to City of Tavares Residential Single Family (RSF-1).
2018 Audits for Village Community Development District No.11 and Village Center Community Development District
Request to acknowledge receipt of October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018 audits for the following Community Development Districts in The Villages: Village Community Development District No.11 and Village Center Community Development District.
Lake County Semi-Annual Investment Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of Lake County’s Semi-Annual Investment Report as of December 31, 2018.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Sullivan noted that one of the proclamations on the consent agenda would designate November 16, 2019 as Lake County’s first Stand Down event. He explained that “stand down” was a military term and was an idea to pull together resources for homeless veterans in the community. He added that he would be inviting individuals to discuss the issue near Veteran’s Day.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 2 through 20, as follows:
Request approval of Proclamation 2019-29 designating November 16, 2019, as Lake County's first Stand Down event for homeless and near-homeless veterans and non-veterans, per Commissioner Sullivan. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval of Proclamation 2019-34 designating April 7 - 13, 2019, as National Library Week in Lake County. There is no fiscal impact.
human resources and risk management
Request approval of an updated Interlocal Agreement with David Jordan, Lake County Tax Collector, for Risk Management and Employee Benefit Programs. There is no fiscal impact.
Request approval of an Option Agreement to sell County-owned property within the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park to Project Rapid, and authorization for the Chairman to execute the Purchase Agreement and Closing documents if the option is exercised. The fiscal impact is $1,000/non-refundable deposit (revenue). Commission District 1.
Request approval to advertise an ordinance amending Section 22-10, Lake County Code, regarding an Economic Development Waiver for Targeted Business/Industry, and amending Section 22-11, regarding Prepayment of Impact Fees for Commercial and Industrial Uses. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE
Request approval for the Chairman to execute an Interlocal Agreement with the Town of Astatula allowing the Town to perform permitting and inspections on property owned by County Materials Corporation (Astatula, FL) and Nationwide Limited Partnership (Marathon, WI). There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request approval to terminate an agreement with Susan's Landing Homeowners Association, Inc. that allowed for a future sewer system utility connection to Lake County Fire Station 109, located on Lakeshore Drive in the Clermont area. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Request approval of an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Groveland for the use of the AlertLake Emergency Notification System. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND INTERNAL SUPPORT SERVICES
Request approval of an agreement with Jen Florida 30, LLC (Oviedo, FL) for the design and construction of Citrus Grove Road from the intersection of North Hancock Road east to the Florida Turnpike proposed bridge crossing, located near Minneola. The fiscal impact is $4,414,580.74 (expenditure - Transportation Impact Fee Credits). Commission District 2.
Request approval of Resolution 2019-35 authorizing the installation of stop signs with "all way" plaques at the intersections of Sackamaxon Drive and Troon Avenue, Prestwick Avenue and Whitemarsh Street, and Interlachen Drive and Pine Valley Drive, all located within the Mount Plymouth area. The fiscal impact is $350.00 (expenditure - sign materials). Commission District 4.
Request approval to accept public right of way and easement deeds that have been secured in conjunction with development, roadway, and storm water projects. The fiscal impact is $1,030.10 (expenditure - recording fees). Commission Districts 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Request approval of Resolution 2019-36 to advertise a Public Hearing to vacate an unnamed platted right of way in the Orange Summit Subdivision, which is located south of East Orange Avenue and west of Abrams Road, near Eustis. The fiscal impact is $2,295.00 (revenue - vacation application fee). Commission District 4.
Request approval of Resolution 2019-37 to advertise a Public Hearing to vacate portions of unnamed, platted rights of way and blocks in the Map of Land of Denis E. Lowell, which is located south of County Road (CR) 448, east of State Road 19 and west of CR 561, near Tavares. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request approval to:
1. Release a performance bond of $561,985.86 posted for the completion of infrastructure improvements for the Lake Minneola Landing final plat, located between Clermont and Minneola.
2. Execute a Developer’s Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements with KB Home Orlando LLC (Orlando, FL).
3. Accept a maintenance bond of $153,012.90 for maintenance of improvements.
4. Execute Resolution 2019-38 accepting Bradicks Court (County Road No. 1733A) and Guthrie Drive (County Road No. 1733B) into the County Road Maintenance System.
5. Execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction and Maintenance of Sidewalk Improvements with KB Home Orlando LLC.
6. Accept a performance bond of $92,950.00 for performance of sidewalk construction.
7. Accept a maintenance bond of $8,450.01 for maintenance of sidewalk improvements.
There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
Request approval to accept a performance bond of $634,527.42 associated with Right-of-Way Utilization Permit #8142 and Commercial Driveway Connection Permit #53175 issued to construct turn lanes on Hancock Road for the Hills of Minneola subdivision in Minneola. The fiscal impact is $800.00 (revenue – permit application fees). Commission District 2.
Request approval to release a performance bond of $284,691.04 associated with Right-of-Way Utilization Permit #7287 and Commercial Driveway Connection Permit #53132 issued to construct a turn lane and driveway for Overlook at Grassy Lake, a subdivision in Minneola. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Request approval for the re-assignment of vendor responsibilities from Paff Landscape, Inc. (Brooksville, FL) to Groundtek of Central Florida (Ocoee, FL) under contract number 17-0423 for roadside mowing and litter removal, and authorization for the Office of Procurement Services to execute all implementing documentation. The additional estimated annual fiscal impact is $13,234.60 (expenditure).
COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT SERVICE
Request approval to accept the Housing and Urban Development, Permanent Supportive Housing Renewal Grant through Continuum of Care, to assist homeless families. The fiscal impact is $103,329.00 (revenue/expenditure - 100% grant funded).
Request approval of a Partnership Agreement with the City of Minneola to replace and relocate the water distribution system serving the Minneola Downtown Community Redevelopment Area, which will utilize Community Development Block Grant funding from fiscal year 2019. The fiscal impact is $200,000.00 (expenditure). Commission District 2.
presentation - wolf branch innovation district
Mr. Brandon Matulka, Director for the Agency for Economic Prosperity, said that this would be the quarterly update presentation on the Wolf Branch Innovation District and that Dr. Richard Levey, with Levey Consulting, was the County’s consultant for the project. He recalled that the previous update was given at the December 4, 2018 BCC meeting. He explained that Lake County and the City of Mount Dora were collaborating with Dr. Levey to develop both the strategic and implementation plans for the Wolf Branch Innovation District as a future mixed use employment center. He noted that the project area was located east of the existing downtown area in the City of Mount Dora, near the area where State Road (S.R.) 46 and the Wekiva Parkway extension connected. He felt that the City continued to be a great partner with the County on this project.
Dr. Levey outlined these project area boundaries: S.R. 441 to the west; Wolf Branch Road to the north; the Orange-Lake County line to the south; and the edge of the Lake County/City of Mount Dora Joint Planning Area (JPA) to the east. He stated that since the last update, there had been a number of community meetings with the largest being a community stakeholder forum held at the end of February 2019 at the Mount Dora Community Building, and he elaborated that the purpose of this meeting was to gather the stakeholders and update them on the project’s status. He stated that formal notices were sent to property owners as part of this meeting due to there being about 74 parcels which were recommended to have their future land use (FLU) designation changed in the Lake County Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan), with the City of Mount Dora also enacting this upon annexation of the parcels. He noted that a previous forum had informed the Sullivan Ranch Homeowners’ Association (HOA) to explain the project, and he noted that the City of Mount Dora forum had approximately 75 attendees including Commissioner Campione, the Mayor of Mount Dora and several Mount Dora City Council members. He said that the meeting was an open forum followed by a question and answer section, which he felt had answered the attendees’ questions satisfactorily. He relayed that one of the principal drivers of the project was to determine the correct amount of land necessary to serve the needs of the employment center. He showed images of the current acreage of the site and the recommended acreage for the final employment center, which suggested the amount of parcels recommended to receive an FLU change. He explained that the effort would also focus on developing adequate infrastructure for the area and that solely relying on existing roads could create transportation issues. He recommended ensuring that the area would have a sufficient supply of secondary roads to provide a subnetwork to allow individuals to move through the area. He displayed a graphic supporting this recommendation and he thought that it was important to develop the project such that it would be uniquely characteristic of the area. He noted that there had been a trail project along a rail line which was planned for the area and mentioned that it could be an important long term corridor. He stated that his organization had recommended to supplement this with a secondary trail system which would be required via a possible policy change and possibly Land Development Regulations (LDRs) so that private developers must provide the secondary system to create a robust system of movement for recreation, fitness and an alternative way to reach work. He displayed the recommended conceptual plan and stated that they were recommending these items: reducing the office acreage based on market demand; protecting the area’s character by reducing the size of the employment center; and providing an effective mobility system beyond the existing major roads. He stated that they had examined the existing development criteria in the County and the City of Mount Dora’s Comp Plans and he showed a chart containing information about existing and proposed uses for the site. He stated that for residential use, single family dwellings were currently prohibited and that they were now attempting to promote an employment center which was not fully employment. He stated that being 100 percent employment could create transportation issues and that they wanted to integrate residential uses to be mixed with the employment center in a way where employment would be the dominant factor, though there would be opportunities for individuals to live within the site’s boundaries. He proposed criteria to allow up to 25 percent residential uses throughout the entire employment center with a minimum density for townhomes and denser developments; additionally, he commented that they did not want to utilize single family homes on the land because this type of land existed outside of the area. He remarked that the currently allowed floor area ratio (FAR), which was a measure of land intensity, was up to 3.0. He felt that 3.0 was overly intense for this area and said that they preferred to lower it to 1.0, but allow it to be as high as 2.0 if unique design was utilized. He noted that the height limit was determined by FAR and suggested that the massing of the buildings was toward the center of the area to help ensure that the edges would be compatible with surrounding neighborhoods. He thought that the current residential use was restrictive at one dwelling unit per 10,000 square feet, and he proposed defaulting to the County’s Wellness Way standards of two jobs with 450 square feet of employment use per dwelling unit. He relayed that there would be some differences in allowable uses between the City and County and that some uses were considered to be conditional, such as hospitals, and he opined that hospitals and healthcare was possibly the most important target industry sector which could be located in the area. He stated an intent to make it as easy as possible for clinical healthcare, medical research and other types of medical uses to locate in the employment center, which would require changing the differences in uses between the City and the County. He then proposed a gateway district at the intersection of S.R. 46 and Round Lake Road. He stated that the current employment center land use category was Regional Office and did not generally allow service uses such as retail. He said that they wanted to create a mixed use community to limit traffic impacts and to encourage individuals to not have to travel so far for daily goods, and they identified a need to allow an area for retail and other service uses for common goods and needs. He stated that the reaction of nearby HOAs had been positive and that his organization developed standards for a gateway district including intensity ratios and site sizes to allow some flexibility for commercial use and to allow up to 75 percent of the land there to be used for commercial. He opined that allowing typical highway commercial uses would not improve the area’s character, and he showed an image pertaining to design guidelines. He indicated an intent to create a walkable, livable area with mixed-uses and buildings which did not follow a typical structure for parking. He proposed pushing buildings to specific locations to help ensure interaction between them and to locate parking in certain areas. He hoped to deliver a set of design guidelines which could remove uncertainty as to whether place making was occurring to the highest degree possible and give the County the tools to direct investments in a location which would pay off over time. He thought that the market would respond to uniformity between property owners and he showed an image of how the design guidelines could affect individual lots. He mentioned that some of the parcels would have trail frontage and that it was important to consider this in the same way as road or alley frontage. He reiterated that the recommended trail system would be integral to the area’s character, and he said that they would be providing guidelines for when a trail is located adjacent to a development site. He relayed these next steps: finishing proposed policy changes and design guidelines within the next 60 days; providing the County and the City of Mount Dora with a capital improvement plan to identify which projects must be funded to implement the plan from a road and trail standpoint, though he opined that the majority of the project would fall on private development; a presentation of the draft report in July 2019; a final report in September 2019; and the delivery of packages for staff to consider for changes in late 2019 or early 2020.
Commr. Parks said that he appreciated Dr. Levey’s comments and felt that he had expertise in determining how to bring capital investment into the community. He stated that he liked the comments about having some amount of residential uses within the employment center, and he suggested considering affordable housing in the site. He felt that young professionals living nearby could be attractive to employers. He expressed support for the design guidelines and thought that they could make the site more attractive.
Commr. Breeden thanked Dr. Levey and said that she was happy to see manufacturing considered, though she suggested caution to ensure that buffering, noise control and design help protect residential areas.
Commr. Campione asked about the change in zoning for the reduction in employment center uses, and whether the County should work with the existing landowners and assign zonings which would be consistent with the new land uses. She noted concerns about this from the recent forum due to residents having non-conforming zonings if the land use was changed.
Dr. Levey thought that the comments about the character and direction of the study were positive, though there were some individuals looking to the County to lead on the Comp Plan amendments and FLU changes. He recommended that this would be the best way to address the issue.
Commr. Campione stated that the County would be changing the existing land use and would have to coordinate with the property owners to help their properties conform. She then inquired about the jobs to residential ratio and if the residential development could proceed if there was a set aside for the areas which would meet the job requirements.
Dr. Levey responded that there was currently silence on this issue. He commented that if the Wellness Way approach was used, then the residential development could precede the jobs if there was an establishment and securing of the land for the jobs. He reiterated that this was currently the working idea for the project.
Commr. Campione noted that there had been some obstacles to establishing the trail where the railroad bed was, and she applauded Dr. Levey and the City of Mount Dora for recommending that developers create a secondary trail system. She thought that the Wekiva Trail could be finished sooner due to the City’s efforts when considering that the County would have to acquire the railroad right of way, and she said that the Round Lake Road extension could be linked to the Wolf Branch Innovation District to relieve road congestion. She expressed a hope that after getting closer to finalizing the Project, Development and Environment (PD&E) study for Round Lake Road, the County could coordinate with the City of Mount Dora for development applications received for property near the road to help the project be completed sooner. She thanked Dr. Levey for the presentation.
public hearings: REZONING
Rezoning consent agenda
Commr. Campione relayed that comment cards had been received for the two items on the rezoning consent agenda. She relayed her understanding that they would become rezoning regular agenda items.
Ms. Michele Janiszewski, Chief Planner for the Office of Planning and Zoning, displayed the advertisements for that day’s rezoning cases on the overhead monitor in accordance with the Florida Statutes. She stated that there were now five items on the rezoning regular agenda.
rezoning regular agenda
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2019-22
Rezoning Case # RZ-18-24-1
Pacific Ace PUD
Replace Ordinance #1996-17 with a new ordinance for 555 single family dwelling units and new ordinance conditions consistent with the 2030 Comprehensive Plan.
Tab 3. Ordinance 2019-23
Rezoning Case # CUP-18-06-3
Treasure Island Range CUP
Approval for a conditional use permit on approximately 99.338 +/- acres to allow a firearms training range facility within the Agriculture zoning district.
Rezoning Case # FLU-18-17-4
Pandolph Property FLU - Transmittal
Amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) to change the Future Land Use Category on approximately 25.29 acres from Regional Office to Urban Low Density FLUC.
Tab 4. Ordinance 2019-24
Rezoning Case # RZ-19-01-4
Getford Property Rezoning
Rezone approximately seven (7) acres from Rural Professional District (RP) to Medium Suburban District (R-4) to facilitate a residential development consistent with the Urban Low Density Future Land Use Category.
Tab 5. Ordinance 2019-25
Rezoning Case # RZ-19-02-2
Fuccillo Kia Property Rezoning
Rezone approximately 19.62 acres from Planned Industrial (MP) zoning to Planned Commercial (CP) zoning to accommodate vehicular sales use.
pacific ace pud
Ms. Janiszewski presented Tab 1, Rezoning Case #RZ-18-24-1, Pacific Ace PUD, indicating that it was located east of US Highway 27, south of Holly Grove Boulevard and north of Golden Eagle Boulevard in the south Lake County area. She explained that the property was comprised of approximately 376 acres, of which about 159 were wetlands, and the request was to rescind and replace Ordinance 1996-17 with a new ordinance for 555 single family dwelling units and conditions consistent with the 2030 Comp Plan. She recalled that it was approved by the Planning and Zoning Board on the consent agenda with a vote of 5-0, and she indicated that the property was currently part of the Urban Low FLU category and was zoned Planned Unit Development (PUD) by Ordinance 1996-17. She stated this ordinance had approved 653 single family residences and an amenity center, and no development applications to initiate platting or construction of the residential subdivision were submitted prior to the effective date of the 2030 Comp Plan. She commented that the proposed subdivision must be developed consistent with current policies and regulations, and that the applicant had applied to rescind and replace Ordinance 1996-17 with a new ordinance consistent with current regulations and reduce the number of single family dwelling units from 653 to 555. She then relayed that the request was consistent with these items: the Urban Low FLU category, which allowed a maximum residential density of four dwelling units per one net acre; the Comp Plan, which required development within the Urban FLU series to provide central water and sewer services, with Utilities, Inc. indicating that they had capacity to provide central water and sewer to the proposed development; and LDRs Section 4.03.03(B), as the proposed PUD met the 10 acre requirement. She concluded that staff recommended approval of the request to rescind and replace Ordinance 1996-17 with a new ordinance for 555 single family dwelling units and conditions consistent with the 2030 Comp Plan.
Commr. Campione asked to clarify that the request was to rescind an existing ordinance, to meet current policies but would lower the number of units, and Ms. Janiszewski confirmed this.
Ms. Diane Fenech, the applicant and with Heidt Design, stated that she was appearing on behalf of the Pacific Ace Corporation to amend the Pacific Ace PUD. She reiterated that the original PUD ordinance was approved for 653 dwelling units and they were proposing an amendment to allow for a reduction to 555 units on the same approximate 376 acres, though there would still be a community amenity onsite. She stated that there would be a reduction of 98 units and opined that the request was consistent with all elements of the Comp Plan. She noted that the FLU category was Urban Low which would have allowed up to 836 dwelling units on the property. She thought that they were also compatible with the existing and proposed development in the area, and she related that the property was bordered on the east, south and north by existing and developing single family residential subdivisions. She remarked that they had provided an opportunity to update the previously approved conditions to be consistent with the current LDRs and the 2030 Comp Plan, and she expressed that they agreed with staff’s recommendation.
Commr. Sullivan stated that this application would ensure that the development’s layout would protect the lowlands on the property.
Commr. Breeden inquired about the percentage of open space when considering conservation land.
Ms. Fenech thought that any wetlands there would be in conservation. She said that there was a net developable acreage of 219 acres and a total of 75.44 acres of open space.
Commr. Campione asked to clarify that this open space was non-impervious and did not consist of roads, and Ms. Fenech said that it was true open space.
Commr. Breeden observed that over 50 percent of the property was open space.
Ms. Fenech stated that they had approximately 159 acres of preserved wetlands and that while 25 percent open space was required, they had about 54.9 percent.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Michael Lewis, an individual on the Board of Directors for the Orange Tree HOA, said that his subdivision directly abutted the subject property. He asked how the development would affect their current overflow, and he expressed a concern for overflow modification allowing a hurricane to flood his area. He also suggested that there could be 800 to 900 vehicles associated with the development’s 555 homes, and he indicated a concern for there being only one entrance and one exit on US 27 where exiting vehicles would have to make a right turn across three lanes to access a U-turn lane at the entrance to his subdivision. He thought that there would be more accidents resulting from this, along with only having one entrance and one exit. He expressed further concerns about first responders accessing the development and he relayed his understanding that his area was receiving less law enforcement service coverage due to budgets; furthermore, he asked if revenue from the development would contribute toward more police officers in the area. He felt that other nearby developments had to turn right out of their subdivisions and make a U-turn, which he thought would further add to congestion.
Mr. Paul Foor, a resident of Orange Tree, recalled that Hurricane Irma left a significant amount of rain in the nearby area and claimed that he had witnessed several inches of rain standing for days after the storm at the subject property. He opined that when overlaying maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), many homes in the development would be located in a floodplain A Zone, and he thought that approximately 180 to 200 homes would be constructed within the floodplain area and would require flood insurance. He believed that if the development was approved, it would create a flooding hazard for Orange Tree and other nearby communities because it was a drainage area for runoff water. He also thought that the development’s roofs, sidewalks, driveways and roads would collect runoff which would drain into the wetland area and raise the water table. He urged the BCC to visit the subject property and observe the wetlands, and to consider endangered species studies for animals such as gopher tortoises.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione related that rezoning was the first step in the process and that the applicant would also have to go through the Southwest Florida Water Management District and comply with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rules and the federal guidelines for endangered species. She stated that it was not guaranteed that the number of units shown on a zoning map would be the number which could be developed, and she noted that floodplain issues would have to be addressed. She elaborated that lots could not be situated in a floodplain without providing storage capacity for the runoff that they would displace, and the developer would have to prove that they could hold water on their own property.
Commr. Sullivan agreed that the request was the first part of the process and said that there were specific building requirements for constructing in a floodplain, such as height. He noted that there had been many studies in the area and that the Orange Tree subdivision was also required to hold their own water and stormwater runoff. He felt that while it was a good point, hurricanes were natural disasters and could not always be accounted for, and he remarked that there would also be mitigation required for endangered species in the area.
Commr. Parks thought that it was likely for there to be gopher tortoises on the site and commented that the developer would have to wait until 90 days before construction to conduct a survey and a relocation of the animals. He related that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) permitted this. He said that sand skinks could be in the area and that if they were determined to be onsite, there was a wide berth of area around their location which would have to be protected or mitigated when the developer submitted their development approvals.
Commr. Campione felt that with regard to the development’s access, it was unfortunate that a connection could not be made to Sawgrass Boulevard without impacting wetlands significantly. She asked about the outcome of the BCC denying the request and if it would revert to the original ordinance and if the developer would have to meet current code requirements when platting the land and developing construction plans.
Ms. Janiszewski confirmed this and stated that the developer would have to adhere to the current policies, noting that they would be unable to move forward with the original development approval.
Commr. Campione inquired if they could still proceed to develop if they met current rules and if the current request was to incorporate this into a PUD ordinance, and Ms. Janiszewski said that this was correct.
Commr. Breeden expressed a concern about access to the property and asked if alternative access could be required.
Ms. Janiszewski replied that they would have to submit a traffic study during the platting process, in addition to any floodplain studies or environmental assessments for the property. She commented that there was not currently a code requirement to provide more than one access.
Commr. Parks observed that more wetland impacts would be created when trying to find another access. He agreed with the concerns about US 27 and thought that it was the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) decision to have vehicles turn right to both exit or enter the property with a subsequent U-turn. He relayed his understanding that this was due to FDOT not wanting to have traffic signals throughout US 27.
Commr. Sullivan noted that the developer had more work to do before the development was approved and said that he liked reducing the number of units. He felt that working with FDOT on changing the road structure would be a difficult task but that the County could begin intervening with them shortly.
Commr. Sullivan motioned to approve the request and Commissioner Breeden seconded the motion.
Commr. Parks asked if concerned residents could be kept informed about how the site plan was moving forward for factors such as mitigation for flooding and endangered species. He then asked if it would be feasible to provide a secondary access.
Commr. Sullivan thought that they could direct staff to follow through on this issue.
Ms. Marsh stated that residents who wanted to be notified would need to provide their contact information to staff, who could then provide it to the applicant so that they could communicate directly with the residents.
Commr. Campione thought that the developer’s process from this point forward would be arduous, and she agreed with recommending that they seek secondary access. She mentioned design criteria for a previous project near the Wellness Way area and asked if it could be uniform for PUDs to set a higher standard in the Four Corners area. She noted that there was no municipality there and felt that it would be positive for the County to include such criteria.
Commr. Parks agreed and asked how it could be incorporated into this request.
Commr. Breeden relayed that the previous Director for the Office of Planning and Zoning had relayed their intent for any new PUDs to have those design standards.
Commr. Sullivan opined that the Board should approve the request and then have staff ensure that the residents would be notified about the development.
Commr. Campione clarified that they were looking to include the PUD design criteria from the previous rezoning in South Lake near the City of Clermont in the Wellness Way area.
Ms. Janiszewski recalled that the Ridgeview PUD had considerable design criteria for the neighborhood and she asked if there were certain conditions which the Board wanted to carry forward for the current request.
Commr. Sullivan thought that one of the conditions should be to seek an alternative entrance and exit.
Commr. Breeden suggested transferring the design standards from the mentioned ordinance.
Commr. Campione clarified that she was referring to the architectural requirements which attempted to ensure that the community’s aesthetics were of a high quality.
Commr. Parks indicated his support for this.
Ms. Marsh noted that a secondary entrance would not be mandatory and that it would only be included if it was feasible. She said that this type of language had become an issue with another subdivision in South Lake due to residents receiving communication that secondary access would be provided. She suggested being clear that secondary access for this development would not be mandatory.
Commr. Campione asked if the motion could be amended to include the architectural design criteria from the Ridgeview PUD, and Commissioner Sullivan amended his motion to include them.
Ms. Fenech noted that the Board was requesting architectural standards from another approved subdivision, though she and the developer had not seen them and were unsure of what they would be agreeing to.
Commr. Campione suggested allowing the applicant to see the requirements and opined that they would not cause an issue. She explained that they would ensure basic factors such as the aesthetics of the homes and prohibit placing the same model of home adjacent to each other, among other conditions.
Ms. Fenech asked if she could review the standards and revisit the tab later in the meeting.
Commr. Campione agreed to this and indicated that she wanted the development to be satisfactory due to the number of homes and the surrounding neighborhoods. She thought that the standards would help ensure this.
Ms. Marsh asked to clarify if the tab was being postponed to later in the current meeting or to the next BCC meeting, and Commissioner Campione confirmed that it would be postponed to later in the current meeting,
Commr. Blake opined that it would be improper to give the applicant a limited amount of time to review the standards and that the BCC should vote on the request as presented.
Commr. Campione commented that the applicant would have to wait one year to bring it back if it was denied.
Commr. Breeden said that the applicant could also request a delay to the next BCC meeting.
Ms. Fenech stated that they would be amicable to reviewing the standards and revisiting the tab later in the meeting today.
Commr. Sullivan withdrew his motion and Commissioner Breeden withdrew her second.
Mr. Cole indicated that staff was currently moving to obtain the criteria and meet with the applicant.
Commr. Campione said that Tab 1 would be brought back later in the meeting. She recommended moving up the Treasure Island Range CUP case because it had been previously postponed and the BCC had historically heard postponed cases first.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 10:09 a.m. for five minutes.
treasure island range cup
Ms. Janiszewski presented Tab 3, Rezoning Case #CUP-18-06-3, Treasure Island Range CUP, explaining that it was located north and south of North Treasure Island Avenue in the City of Leesburg area. She said that the subject property was comprised of about 99 acres and the request was for a conditional use permit on approximately 99.3 acres to allow a firearms training range facility within the Agriculture zoning district. She noted that the Planning and Zoning Board had recommended approval at their February 2019 meeting, and that the property was part of the Rural FLU category and was currently zoned Agriculture. She relayed that the proposed application was submitted to comply with Special Master Order #2017-11-0051 dated May 2018, and the applicant sought a conditional use permit (CUP) for a firearms training facility to include night training two days per month and special events. She related that in order to minimize any potential impacts to surrounding properties, the ordinance included the following conditions: specific hours of operation; required a noise study and environmental assessment to be completed at the time of site plan submittal; the northern backstop berm for event/long range must be at least 21 to 24 feet in height; prohibited the use of explosive devices and materials; did not allow helicopters to land or take off on the subject property; and a 25 foot wide vegetative buffer along the property perimeter must be maintained in perpetuity. She then relayed these staff analysis findings: the Comp Plan did not specifically list firearms training as a use; the proposed use was likely most similar to the use of active parks, recreation facilities, outdoor sports, and recreation clubs, which were conditionally allowed within the Rural FLU category and utilizing a CUP would satisfy this requirement; the LDRs did not specifically list firearms training as a use; pursuant to LDRs Section 3, uses not specifically listed and not more detrimental than the uses already listed may be permitted in the Agricultural zoning district; and the proposed firearms training range facility was likely similar to and not more detrimental than the uses of a hunting or fishing resort or private country club. She concluded that staff recommended approval of the CUP to allow a firearms training range facility to include night training two nights per month and special events.
Ms. Marsh stated that since this was a continuance, all evidence and testimony presented at the previous meeting would carry over to the current meeting and would be considered part of the record.
Commr. Campione recalled that after the previous meeting, the request was that the attorney representing the applicant would cooperate with the neighbors to develop agreeable conditions to be brought back at the current meeting. She said that since that time, the BCC had received correspondence indicating that attempts to coordinate were unsuccessful. She expressed an interest in having the information and testimony presented at the current meeting to be new information or information directed at specific conditions which were under the Board’s consideration. She asked if staff had further information to present.
Ms. Janiszewski stated that the applicant had provided a revised concept plan on the previous day and that there were no other updates. She noted that attachments one and two contained language prepared by the applicant and language prepared by the adjacent property owners’ legal representation, respectively.
Mr. Cole said that staff had also distributed additional revisions at Commissioner Breeden’s request.
Mr. Brent Spain, an attorney representing the applicant, displayed a presentation which included the updated site plan.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, the applicant, stated that the updated site plan and proposed ordinance included baffles on top of the two 24 foot high type B berms at a 45 degree angle, along with four feet of concrete to assist with containing projectiles. He also pointed out a type A safety berm along the long range line. He noted the location of shooting stalls which would now include sound insulation, and he commented that the short range shooting stalls would now have 10 to 12 foot barriers along each side for the entire distance to the type A berm, which would also match the height of the berm. He also mentioned that there were concerns about two structures in a field on the site and noted that they would be relocated behind the shooting stalls. He opined that these additions would assist in ensuring noise suppression and a reduction in projectile containment issues. He said that these items were included in the National Rifle Association (NRA) Range Source Book and had been a result of listening to the neighbors and their legal representation.
Mr. Spain showed an image of the type A and type B berms which had been included with the previous site plan, and he noted that the new type B berms would be increased from a range of 21 to 24 feet to a minimum of 24 feet and include baffles. He clarified that these improvements would be on the northernmost berm and the western facing berm. He displayed pictures of the shooting cells and noted spray foam insulation on the roof, along with a picture of the barrier for the pistol range. He said that the NRA had specific guidelines for outdoor ranges and that while it was of considerable length, it had separate chapters for outdoor ranges. He showed images of an amended version of the ordinance when compared to the original ordinance that was considered by the Planning and Zoning Board, and he felt that they had addressed reasonable concerns and most of the issues that had been raised by the neighbors. He said that the hours of operation of 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday through Sunday had been reduced to have a closing time of 6:30 p.m. or sunset, whichever occurred sooner; additionally, they had shortened the Sunday hours to 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. He stated that they had also committed to be closed on the first Sunday of each month, and he noted that nighttime training which had originally been proposed for Fridays and Saturdays had been scaled back to the last Friday and Saturday of each month. He commented that a proposed revision would allow non-law enforcement personnel to utilize the nighttime hours if they were training with a class 3 suppressor on their weapon. He remarked that they imposed a condition for being closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas based on feedback from the process, and they had also scaled back the number of special events per year from eight to four. He related that they had voluntarily proposed a condition to retain an off duty law enforcement officer to direct and control traffic on North Treasure Island Avenue for special events held on the property, and he outlined these further conditions which had been proposed: no explosive devices, including tannerite, could be on the range; a helicopter prohibition with the proposed modification to prohibit helicopters from taking off and landing on the property except during an emergency or special event, provided that no demonstrations or use of the helicopter would be allowed during the event; a prohibition of alcohol sales and consumption on the property; no firing from military or paramilitary vehicles, including helicopters; and a written commitment to a height of at least 24 feet for type B berms and a requirement for baffles to be installed on all type B berms. He continued by outlining these changes: a condition to maintain projectiles on the site consistent with the NRA’s guidelines; a prohibition on flamethrowers, including during special events; a condition for all targets to be consistent with the NRA’s guidelines for outdoor ranges to reduce the potential for ricochets and offsite stray fire; a modification to prohibit camping except during special events; and ensuring that all range safety personnel would be trained in the conditions of this CUP. He said that the individuals who would be supervising the site on a daily basis were certified by the NRA in range development and operation, and they would be onsite during operating hours. He stated that a new condition was that any member or visitor would be required to demonstrate competency in shooting 500 yards and complete a two hour safety course before shooting any large caliber weapons on the range. He felt that this condition would ensure that inexperienced individuals would be unable to fire on the long range, and he outlined another condition which would prohibit the firing of automatic weapons on the long range. He said that they had committed that the range must conform to the NRA gun safety and shooting range standards, as amended, which was the language used in the Florida Statutes. He stated that they had also included language for using DEP’s best management practices for shooting ranges and he noted that they would want to comply with them because they provided insulation from liability, though this language used the word “encouraged” due to this regulation being preempted to the State. He noted an increased vegetative buffer which would be at least ten feet tall within five years and would obtain eighty percent opacity, and language was added to Section H concerning noise which referenced the Lake County Noise Control Ordinance, subject to Section 821.16, Florida Statutes. He also highlighted modified language pertaining to FEMA, as well as language requiring Lake County to inspect and approve the facility consistent with this permit. He reiterated that the site plan had been modified and noted that the neighbors had requested a complete prohibition on Sunday use, which he opined was unreasonable. He thought that closing on one Sunday per month was a fair compromise, and relayed that neighbors had also requested a no blue sky range. He relayed his understanding that this had not been imposed on any surrounding ranges, and he claimed that the NRA’s range specialist did not feel that this range would warrant a no blue sky provision. He opined that increasing the height of the rear berms and adding baffles showed good faith to address reasonable issues. He said that he had received an email on the current day from the SJRWMD’s general council stating that they did not have any formal objection to this application. He commented that the SJRWMD would continue to monitor the area once the range resumed operations and that if stray fire was leaving the site, they could contact the range to propose additional modifications which the range would be open to. He opined that they had tried to listen to neighbors and had addressed nearly all of their requests, though reiterated that the prohibition of Sunday operations and no blue sky at the range were unreasonable. He asked the Board for their support.
Commr. Blake asked about the thickness of the baffles.
Mr. Spain thought that they were designed by considering the NRA guidelines and that it would be a standard piece of wood across the top of the berm. He added that it would be two feet by twelve feet.
Mr. Cole requested a copy of the email from the SJRWMD.
Mr. Jimmy Crawford, an attorney representing Mr. Alan Chen, thought that the legal issues for the range included if the County could regulate it, how they could regulate it, and what the responsibility was to regulate it. He displayed Section 823.16, Florida Statutes, which preempted certain areas of range regulation, such as suing a range as a nuisance; additionally, the County could not impose new regulations on an existing range as long as the NRA guidelines were being followed. He quoted Subsection (7) of the statute as “Except as otherwise provided, this act shall not prohibit a local government from regulating the location and the construction of a sports shooting range.” He recalled that the Attorney General (AG) had been asked by Polk County to opine about if a County may enforce its land development to prohibit a shooting range in a residential land use district when considering Section 790.333, Florida Statutes. He said that the AG had opined that “A county clearly may impose existing zoning and land use regulations upon the siting of a proposed sports shooting range; however, no newly created or amended zoning or land use regulations may be enforced against existing ranges.” He felt that the County would be unable to revisit the ordinance at a later time to amend the conditions and that this was important for the protection of the surrounding neighborhood. He stated that Section 14.05.03 of the LDRs contained the County’s standards for a CUP which stated that the BCC shall consider the following items: the effect on adjacent properties will not have an undue adverse impact upon nearby property; the proposed CUP is compatible with the existing or planned character of the neighborhood; and all reasonable steps have been taken to minimize any adverse effect on the immediate vicinity. He relayed that the residents were still concerned about the facility operating on Sundays and that there should be a no blue sky provision to ensure that the neighborhood was protected and that the request met the standards for review. He relayed his understanding that unsubstantiated opinions or general oppositions had generally been found to not be competent substantial evidence; however, he opined that this did not apply to evidence-based facts provided by neighbors. He relayed that the case of Metropolitan Dade County v. Blumenthal, 675 So.2d 598, had found that “Under the correct legal standard, citizen testimony in a zoning matter was perfectly permissible and constitutes substantial competent evidence, so long as it is fact-based.” and that “Mere generalized statements of opposition are to be disregarded, but fact-based testimony is not. The facts disclosed by objecting neighbors should be considered.” He thought that there would be an appeal from either side for this case, and he asked the BCC to state the reasoning for their decision on the record with reference to the CUP standards.
Mr. Alan Chen, a concerned neighbor of the development, displayed a video of the range which he opined showed various improper activities. He then gave a presentation with concerns about the range. He displayed an image of the range and opined that firing at a 2.5 degree angle would clear the short berm, that firing at 1.5 degrees would clear the long berm from the 300 to 400 yard range, and that firing at a 0.5 degree angle would clear the long berm from the 900 yard range. He said that he went frame by frame for a video showing an individual firing a weapon and claimed that several of the shots had cleared the berm; furthermore, he thought that doubling the berm’s height to 24 feet would not have prevented some of the shots from clearing it. He displayed images of other shooters who he alleged had fired over the berm, and he asked why range officers allowed individuals to fire two weapons simultaneously or fire weapons without looking. He relayed his understanding that firing at a berm would lead to most of the shots being in the middle of the distribution, though a few bullets could be outliers and go over the berm. He stated that he had visited an area on the nearby SJRWMD property to survey trees behind one of the berms, and he showed pictures which he claimed showed that trees there had received bullet damage as high as 40 feet and that the berms were insufficient to prevent the bullets from escaping the site. He then displayed graphics showing angles at which shots could clear the berms and endanger the surrounding area, and he reiterated his thought that a 24 foot berm would not be effective at containing projectiles. He showed a map showing the distance that different sizes of bullets could travel in the surrounding area, and he noted that the Emeralda Marsh public trails were within the range of common bullets. He opined that the range would not be retaining projectiles to the greatest extent possible, that having firing line baffles and safety baffles would prevent a blue sky appearance, and that these items along with a berm and ricochet baffle would create an enclosed system.
Mr. Crawford entered into the record an article from Mr. Clark Vargas, an engineer who had expertise in designing outdoor gun ranges. He said that the concept was to contain all projectiles within the vertical projection of the range property lines in order to make the range defensible against trespass lawsuits, that the only remaining argument was the use of the proper materials to achieve this, and that the no blue sky concept was the most economical way to make ranges safer. He concluded by showing an image of a range in Palm Beach County which was designed by the FWC based on the no blue sky concept.
Mr. Spain indicated that he would rebut after citizen comment. He thought that since Mr. Vargas was not present for questioning and that because he had not received a copy of the report, it should be considered hearsay and would constitute a due process violation of his client if it was considered as evidence.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Lowrie Brown, a concerned neighbor of the range, indicated a concern that it was unreasonable for the public to be unable to access property which was purchased with public funds due to the applicant not constructing the proper standards to meet the no blue sky concept. He expressed further concerns that residents were unable to experience quiet enjoyment and to effectively sell their properties as a result of the applicant neglecting to construct necessary infrastructure to reduce the noise to an acceptable level. He also opined that there were difficulties accessing homes on North Treasure Island Avenue because of a lack of sufficient parking at the range, and he felt that properties downstream of the subject property wanted to avoid contamination of their property resulting from a lack of water retention. He felt that the range was incompatible with residential development and would create a significant impediment. He said that he sent an email to the BCC with suggestions to address the impacts of safety, public access, noise reduction, parking, defining special events, and environmental concerns. He felt that his suggestions would incur a significant expense from the applicant and would only occur if required by the BCC, though he opined that the expense would be less than the impact to property values and would increase the facility’s quality. He expressed his understanding that the primary function of the BCC was to protect Lake County residents’ safety, welfare and quality of life, and was not to ensure the economic viability of any business venture. He encouraged the BCC to require conditions to protect residents and allow the applicant to decide if it was economically viable to continue. He opined that economic development should not compromise residents’ quality of life.
Mr. Larry Mott, a concerned neighbor of the range, expressed concern for the subject property’s noise. He claimed that he had heard gunfire from the site on the previous weekend and that the site was open at this time. He felt that a noise study should be conducted by an independent firm to provide information about how to reduce the noise. He opined that the range should not be open on Sundays and that the roads there could not accommodate the range’s traffic. He claimed that the nearby roads were not FDOT compliant and that the traffic would be costly to the County. He opined that safety was the most important factor and he asked the BCC to consider this.
Mrs. Diane Mott, a concerned neighbor of the range, opined that the range was a significant business which aspired to grow. She felt that social media comments about the neighbors’ concerns were dismissive, and she alleged that the range hosted extraordinary events. She displayed an image which promoted a sniper event from April 5 through April 7, 2019 and expressed concern that shots would not be fired at berms or baffles. She also showed a schedule for the event which indicated that that the first day would conclude at 11:00 p.m., which she opined was later than when the site should be open. She said that another event was scheduled for April 13, 2019, though it was her understanding that no special event permit had been obtained.
Ms. Jennifer Herst, a concerned resident of Lake County, indicated a concern about a gate to Emeralda Marsh being closed and said that she had frequently visited the area in the past. She also expressed a concern about being able to go boating there, along with the location of the range when compared to other ranges.
Mr. William Vogel, a resident on East Treasure Island Avenue, asked how the range’s lead abatement program would clean the land there. He felt that the range was unable to contain lead and he indicated a concern for the lead migrating into the groundwater, which could affect the residents’ wells.
Mr. Mike Fredericks, a resident of Grand Island, supported the range and said that he and his family found it to be a safe environment.
Ms. Julie Johnson, an NRA instructor and certified range safety officer, felt that the range operated safely under the supervisor of range safety officers. She thought that it was important to offer a safe environment for women to learn to fire weapons and protect themselves and that the range facilitated this.
Mr. Christopher Wilson, a resident of the City of Umatilla, supported the range and felt that he could take his children there for a safe, family friendly environment.
Mr. Rick Serra, a concerned citizen, stated that he would be building a home on Lake Griffin and had concerns about hearing gunshots on weekends. He asked the Board to consider if the area was for commercial business or residential development, and he opined that the County could generate more property taxes and create more development if the area was residential. He felt that automatic gunfire was unpleasant to hear and he asked the Board to consider this, along with safety issues alleged by Mr. Chen’s video. He also asked if the Board would allow a new range in a residential area.
Mr. Walter Fralick, a resident adjacent to the subject property, asked the Board to restrict the use of helicopters and consumption of alcohol, along with having penalties for this behavior. He claimed that a helicopter had landed on the property on Saturday, March 23, 2019. He also urged the Board to require them to contain projectiles on their property.
Ms. Patricia Tyrpin, a resident on Treasure Island Road, felt that without a CUP, the range could engage in behavior that would be restricted by the request. She thought that the activity in Mr. Chen’s video would be addressed by the CUP and that the range had attempted to address issues. She advocated for the property owner’s rights to use the site.
Mr. Jim Tyrpin, a resident on Treasure Island Road, asked the BCC to be objective about the case. He felt that the applicant had tried to accommodate the neighbors and claimed that he had experienced no adverse effects from the site. He thought that there could be a safety issue from trespassing and expressed concern about residents examining trees there for bullet damage.
Mr. Kevin O’Harrow, a resident of Brevard County, said that he had been visiting the range since July 2018 and had not witnessed the types of behavior shown in the video. He thought that the range had been a controlled and safe environment for families and opined that they were bringing outside revenue to the county.
Mr. Mike Wacaster, a resident of Grand Island, recalled that he had taken a concealed weapons permit class there with his son and felt that the range was conscious of safety. He indicated his support for the range.
Ms. Lorine Davey, a resident of East Treasure Island Avenue, stated that she wanted to utilize the Emeralda Marsh Protection Area and experience a lack of noise in the area. She played an audio clip of her backyard when it was quiet and felt that the range disturbed the peace. She also expressed concerns about safety for residents and damage to trees.
Mr. Daniel Weinzier, a resident of Manatee County, expressed support for the range.
Mr. David Rupert, a resident of Pinellas County, said that he had traveled a considerable distance to safely train at the range and that he supported it. He felt that opposition to the range constituted an attack on second amendment rights.
Mr. Jeremy Liggett, a resident of Orange County and an NRA instructor, remarked that he had taught youth firearms safety programs at the subject property. He relayed his understanding that shooting had occurred on the range for about a decade, and he asked if any individuals had been injured there. He felt that many residents who spoke were not expert witnesses and he indicated his support for the range. He commented that he frequently taught classes at the range and opined that it was a safe, fun and family friendly environment.
Ms. Kimberly Miller, a concerned neighbor of the range, questioned why the range would be rewarded due to her opinion that they had been not been good neighbors. She expressed concern for a lack of communication, noise issues, safety, and declining property values. She felt that the range’s recreation would take precedence over the residents’ rights and that the case would set a precedent. She indicated further concerns for safety, thought that the range had been irresponsible, and asked what the county would gain from approving the request.
Mr. Herb Seegers, a resident of Eustis, supported the range and said that he had felt safe when visiting there. He elaborated that range safety officers patrolled there and ensured safety. He thought that the issues raised in Mr. Chen’s video would be addressed by this request, and he felt that Mr. Chen’s examples of shooting angles which would clear the berm were exceptions.
Mr. Tim Cantrell, a resident of Leesburg, expressed support for the range and claimed that it was operated professionally and safely. He asked the Board to consider approving the request.
Mr. Don Zaharias, a resident of Lake County, stated that he had obtained a concealed weapons permit at the range and was professionally taught how to use a weapon and protect himself. He said that he had not witnessed the activities shown in the video during his time at the range. He indicated his support for the range and asked the Board to consider its training opportunities.
Mr. Ben Zaharias, a resident of Lake County, supported the range and opined that the individuals in the video were shooting into dirt. He thought that the range had been professional and safe.
A Lake County resident identified as Ms. Roxanne stated that she received professional training and obtained a weapons permit at the range. She opined that the range emphasized safety and that a location to practice shooting was necessary. She felt that the range was a safe place to practice and expressed her support for the site.
Mr. Douglas Johnson, a resident of Lake County, supported the range and alleged that measures had been taken to be safe. He indicated that the NFA Review events had been scaled back and would be under control. He relayed his understanding that Mr. Chen’s video showed a previous event.
Mr. James Gibby, a resident of Lake County and a Vietnam War veteran, said that he had shot at the subject property’s 900 yard range and opined that it was unlikely that shots would be fired over the berm. He relayed his finding that approximately 32 percent of state residents owned guns and opined that they needed a place to train. He said that he had brought his grandchildren to the range and that he trusted the property. He thought that the angles were interesting with regard to the reported bullet holes in trees near the property and that he would want to conduct ballistics calculations for those trees. He felt that objecting to the range would be a mistake and that it was necessary to have a place to train.
Mr. William Burke, a resident of Tavares, indicated his support for the range and felt that it offered opportunities, knowledge and safety. He said that he appreciated the range’s offerings in a controlled environment and that it was affordable for his budget.
Mr. Mike Vedder, a resident of Lake County who worked in the firearms industry, opined that the subject property was the only range where he would take his children and that his staff had trained there. He stated that he knew single mothers who felt comfortable using weapons and obtaining a concealed weapons permit at the range. He thought that the CUP would address issues seen in the video and that the range was safe.
Mr. Anton Szymanski, a resident of Lake County, said that he had visited many ranges in different states and opined that the subject property had been the best with regard to safety and knowledgeability. He felt that no other ranges in the area could provide these factors and he expressed his support for the range.
Mr. Blake Hale, a resident of Lake County, supported the range and felt that it was very safe.
Mr. Ray Norton, a resident of Pasco County, supported the range and said that he had always felt safe bringing his family and friends there. He related that he had witnessed first time shooters visiting the range and felt that they had received care and comfort. He thought that it was a welcoming environment and said his experiences there were positive.
Mr. Charles Kelley, a neighbor of the subject property, expressed that he did not oppose the range if it was run correctly, though opined that there had been three occasions when bullets went through the trees on his yard.
Mr. Robert Peterson, a Lake County resident who worked in law enforcement, commented that he had frequently visited the range and had taken his family there to be trained in firearms proficiency and safety. He supported the range and opined that it was the only facility in the county to provide these services. He felt that a range near the Ocala National Forest had unsafe gun handling and a lack of supervision, though this was not experienced at the subject property. He did not recall witnessing the activity in Mr. Chen’s video from his time at the range over the past five years and thought that it may be an older video. He thought that there had been safe gun handling on the property and that they were strict with safety violations.
Ms. Louise Chen, an individual who lived about one mile from the range, showed an image of a four mile radius around the range which she opined was affected by it. She stated that she had received permission to survey the trees behind the range’s berms and she opined that nearly every tree was heavily damaged. She further opined that the trees could block stray bullets from injuring individuals at Haynes Creek. She expressed an understanding that Emeralda Marsh had been referred to by the County as a significant bird watching area, and she asked how long this would last with stray fire. She asked the Board to consider the ecology of the area and on Sundays to allow the residents to enjoy peace, boaters on Haynes Creek to not be at risk of stray rounds, and visitors to Emeralda Marsh to enjoy the area. She claimed that when standing at an observation point at Emeralda Marsh which was about two miles from the range, gunfire could still be heard. She reiterated her thought that there should be one day per week where the range did not operate.
Ms. Louise Crews, a resident of Treasure Island Road, disagreed with changes which affected residents’ quality of life. She said that her family could no longer ride their horses in the SJRWMD property. She recalled that the area had been closed to vehicles and was later closed completely due to nearby gunfire. She felt that the gunfire had disrupted the peace, though noted that the range had generally been quiet since November 2018. She asked the BCC to consider the rights of property owners in the neighborhood.
Mr. Alex Whicher, a resident of Lake County, supported the range and opined that a reasonable compromise could be made between both sides.
Mr. Gabriel Baytan, a resident of Alachua County, indicated his support for the range. He said that he used to shoot at the public Ocala National Forest, though he was dissatisfied with the experience there. He felt that the subject property had been safe and a great place to shoot. He stated that he traveled from the City of Gainesville to visit the range for its safety.
Mr. Rudy Molnar, a resident of Lake County and an NRA certified range officer, expressed his support for the range and the second amendment.
Mr. Rodrigo Miller, a resident of Orange County and former firearms instructor, said that he had trained in numerous places and that the subject property was the safest range he had experienced. He claimed that he had never witnessed an incident at the range and that he supported it.
Mr. Brian Zeppa, a Lake County resident and a state certified firearms instructor, opined that the subject property had always been safe. He said that he had brought his family there and that he supported the range.
Ms. Cheri Vogel, a resident on East Treasure Island Avenue, thought that a safe range was not being advertised on social media, and she expressed concerns for sniper training occurring there. She indicated that she had no objection to a gun range for instruction, and suggested disallowing special events. She claimed that in November 2016, her house shook significantly during an event when a large amount tannerite exploded, and while this material would no longer be allowed, she questioned how the range would be prevented from using it. She opined that the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) had previously responded to a complaint by referring her to the BCC or the Office of Planning and Zoning. She asked about which protections she would have if the range used explosives, and she indicated concerns about automatic gunfire on the weekend. She also did not think that it would be unreasonable for the range to close on Sundays.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called a recess at 12:18 p.m. for five minutes.
Treasure island range cup continued
Dr. Tom Carlson, a pediatrician, thought children benefitted from knowing about firearms and felt that there were not many places to shoot nearby. He opined that if the range was closed, there would never be another opened in the county. He hoped that the range would remain open.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Mr. Spain introduced Mr. Nick Gough to speak on some of the concerns raised.
Mr. Nick Gough, a resident of Lake County and the military and law enforcement program director and lead of product development for a firearms manufacturer in the state, gave a brief history of his background which included work with government entities. He said that he had shot at numerous facilities and opined that they had not exceeded the hardened safety measures or concessions which the subject property was willing to implement. He thought that the maximum distance which bullets could travel from the range were skewed due to missing necessary variables such as the velocity of the projectiles, the angle of the firing platform, and obstacles between the shooter and the intended target. He said that achieving the maximum range without the presence of safety measures such as professional safety personnel and hardened berms would be unlikely. He explained that the maximum ordinant was the maximum height which a projectile achieves when it is discharged from a platform and occurs roughly halfway, plus 10 percent, between the shooter and the intended target. He remarked that when applying this to the subject property, it would constitute 270 yards on the north-south range and 480 yards on the east-west running long range. He relayed his understanding that the maximum ordinant for each commonly fired projectile at the range was below 24 feet, and he stated that a 24 foot berm would be equivalent to the maximum height of the round prior to it drastically dropping off. He also opined that Mr. Chen’s presentation included straight lines based on the projectile’s line of departure rather than its actual trajectory. He clarified that projectiles travel on a parabolic curve and are immediately impacted by gravity, along with dropping off drastically once they lose velocity. He described the angle of fire as the angle of the barrel of the firearm as the projectile exits. He elaborated that for a projectile to reach the maximum range which had been proposed, the barrel would have to be angled between forty-five degrees, plus or minus four degrees. He thought that this was limited at the subject property due to the rear of the rifle needing to be dropped below the surface of the firing line in order for the barrel to be pointed upward at 45 degrees, and because of the certified professionals which oversaw the behavior of shooters on the firing line and who could prevent firing weapons improperly. He felt that if an individual shot from a prone position or at a table, it would be impossible for them to drop the rear of the weapon low enough to achieve a 45 degree angle, and professionals oversaw standing shooters. He recalled concerns about impacts to the county from the required roadwork, and he mentioned the economic impacts from visitors attending special events at the range. He thought that Mr. Chen’s video had shown past activities and that progress could be made by making concessions and modifying how the business was conducted. He then displayed a diagram showing information about firing bullets and noted that the line of departure differed from the path that a bullet would travel.
Commr. Breeden asked if the caliber of the weapon would change this.
Mr. Gough denied this and said that gravity would affect each caliber of bullet at any range after it leaves the barrel.
Commr. Campione inquired about the distance a bullet would travel before a parabolic curve would take effect. She also asked that if a .308 caliber rifle was shot, how this would affect the diagram.
Mr. Gough stated that this would depend on muzzle velocity and that a higher muzzle velocity would allow a bullet to fly father before being affected. He also said that for a .308 round, it would depend on the weight of the bullet and the power of the charge and should occur between 800 and 1,000 yards. He added that the bullet would begin dropping off at half of these distances, plus 10 percent, due to the maximum ordinant and gravity.
Commr. Campione inquired if it would be realistic for an individual to be hit four miles from the range.
Mr. Gough commented that the accuracy of precision firearms was based on minute of angle, specifying that the minute of angle at 100 yards would be approximately one inch. He said that when shooting at 100 yards, the round would impact within one inch of the point of aim and that at 500 yards the round would impact within five inches of the point of aim, and so on.
Commr. Breeden asked about how far the bullets could reach.
Mr. Gough stated that this would require an uninterrupted 45 degree shooting angle with no obstacles and that the bullet would begin to start dropping off around 1,500 yards to the point where it would have no energy. He felt that it would be unrealistic for a bullet to travel four miles from the range. He relayed that his attempts to engage targets at approximately 2.5 miles with a .308 firearm was unsuccessful due to wind and a lack of velocity. He noted that larger calibers such as .50 caliber shot flatter and required less of an arc and could impact an object between the shooter and the target. He claimed to have never shot any caliber of weapon on a range with berms taller than 24 feet.
Mr. Spain clarified an earlier statement and explained that the baffle would be four inches thick, twelve inches in width and would run the entire length of the berm.
Commr. Breeden inquired about the height of the baffle.
Mr. Spain indicated that the baffle was 12 inches tall and that there would also be a baffle on the western facing berm. He said that he had forwarded the SJRWMD’s General Counsel’s email to Ms. Marsh for the record and it was stated that the SJRWMD had no formal objection to this application. He noted that the activity shown in the video and in other circulating media was from a past event, and he indicated his understanding that past violations were not a basis to deny a pending application which was compliant. He believed that concerns had been addressed through measures such as a prohibition on firing from helicopters and increased berm heights, which the SJRWMD had appreciated. He observed that the SJRWMD has not been present since the Planning and Zoning Board meeting and felt that the proposed conditions were to ensure that the previous activity did not occur again. He opined that there had not been any safety concerns from residents who visited the range and that these concerns were speculation. He alleged that the video was from a single special event which was not hosted by his client, and an interview from the video was not with the range. He noted that the special events would have to comply with the conditions of the CUP, and he relayed that a family had owned the property for approximately 50 years and that the range had been there for close to a decade. He said that they examined surrounding ranges and relayed his understanding that the LCSO’s range and the Eustis Gun Club lacked a no blue sky provision. He thought that there was a subdivision to the west of the Eustis Gun Club and that another mixed use PUD had been approved for that area, and he felt that those uses coexisted. He explained that compatibility did not require a use to have no impact on surrounding uses and that the statutory definition indicated that compatible uses would be such that they could coexist without unduly negatively impacting the other uses. He opined that the location of the Eustis Gun Club adjacent to residential development established that these uses could coexist without undue impacts. He clarified that all of the firing on the range was in the opposite direction of any residential structures and that with regard to an individual who lived far north of the site, there was another range on the north side of Emeralda Marsh which could have fired nearby shots. He doubted that residents climbed trees to confirm bullet holes in them, and he relayed that part of the Emeralda Marsh had previously belonged to the subject property’s owners who had shot there during that time. He reiterated that they had been receptive to the SJRWMD’s requests and that the berms had been heightened, widened, and there was now a top baffle with the SJRWMD confirming in writing that they had no formal objection. He stated that the CUP had multiple mechanisms of protection including that if his client was not complying with the terms of the CUP, the BCC could give them notice and a public hearing to revoke the CUP. He added that the County’s code enforcement process could also bring the client before a special magistrate who could impose fines or refer the CUP for revocation. He reconfirmed that they were appearing before the BCC pursuant to a settlement agreement which they voluntarily entered into, and he opined that their new proposed ordinance had improved on the original to address residents’ concerns. He believed that the range would be a valuable asset to the community, that the testimony confirmed that it was safe, and that the terms of the CUP would ensure that it would it continue to be safe. He also thought that the request complied with the Comp Plan with the staff report representing competent substantial evidence of this, and he asked for the Board’s support and approval.
Commr. Campione recalled that issues of environmental impacts would be addressed by the DEP and that the County was not supposed to be involved in this.
Ms. Marsh confirmed this and said that under Section 790.333, Florida Statutes, environmental regulation associated with shooting ranges was preempted to the state.
Commr. Campione noted that in the ordinance, there was a condition at the applicant’s request stating that consistency with the DEP’s Environmental Stewardship at Florida Shooting Ranges Manual, as provided in the Florida Statutes, was encouraged. She asked if the County could get around this provision by encouraging consistency instead of mandating it, and Ms. Marsh confirmed this. Commissioner Campione then inquired if it could be asked what previous measures the range had taken to address lead.
Ms. Marsh thought that the question could be asked, but the BCC should not use that information in their deliberation.
Commr. Campione noted that the concern had been raised by a property owner and that she had heard that the range had conducted lead remediation. She felt that this was important for the public to be aware of.
Mr. Spain clarified that they had conducted one full lead remediation and intended to conduct them on an annual basis. He added that the range would be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for maintenance, which included ensuring that some of the projectiles were gathered. He also stated that there was no adverse findings from the previous lead remediation.
Commr. Campione recalled that Mr. Crawford anticipated an appeal from either side and had requested that the Commissioners detail their thought processes on the record. She encouraged the Board to consider the standards for review and the basis for their decision making.
Commr. Breeden asked if a helicopter had landed on the property in the previous weekend.
Mr. Colin Johnson, the individual who would become the property owner, indicated that a helicopter had landed at the property on Friday, March 22, 2019.
Commr. Breeden said that she wanted the range to be a good neighbor, but was concerned about events that were currently advertised for the near future which showed disregard for a potential CUP due to the event hours or occurring too soon to allow time to submit a special event application.
Mr. Spain responded that one of the events had been rescheduled due to the CUP process and that some of the events had been planned under the assumption that the CUP process would have already concluded. He noted that the events would have to comply with the CUP regardless of the advertisement.
Commr. Breeden disclosed that she had visited the range and met with Mr. Beliveau, Mr. Colin Johnson and Mr. Trey Johnson. She said that she had also met with the following concerned citizens: Mr. Don Herst; Ms. Allison Fralick; Ms. Natalie Kelly; Mr. Larry Mott; and Mr. Lowrie Brown. She felt that this was not a second amendment issue and was rather a safety and property rights issue. She opined that most citizens who opposed the request were gun owners who had private ranges and concealed carry permits. She relayed that she was raised around firearms and that she was interested in receiving training. She noted that she had received many emails in support of the range and that most of them enjoyed the site for its safety, fun, activities and professional training; additionally, one individual expressed that they visited the range because it was peaceful. She felt that the neighbors were concerned about safety, stray projectiles, traffic on a constrained road, their right to peaceful enjoyment of their property, and effects on property values and development rights. She agreed that many activities in Mr. Chen’s video had been addressed in the ordinance, though the proposed ordinance may have been less strict if the range had been a good neighbor in the past. She recalled that the applicant had indicated that the range would behave differently, and she expressed a hope that this would occur; however, she relayed her understanding that construction was occurring without the submission of a site plan. She felt that there had also been disrespectful comments on social media, though she did not think they came from the applicant. She opined that the options were to deny the application or to approve the CUP with additional recommendations that she had made. She also expressed an interest in all commercial gun ranges being indoor, but did not feel that this would be feasible. She recalled that she had provided recommended changes and that if the CUP was approved, she wanted to be confident that the BCC had conducted due diligence in case of an accident or emergency incident, had taken all necessary precautions, and that they were protecting the neighborhood. She elaborated that some of her recommendations had been requested by the neighbors and that she had added others. She wanted to ensure that all reasonable steps had been taken to minimize adverse effects on the neighbors where possible. She also did not believe that the request was truly compatible with the existing or planned character of the area; however, if the owners followed the CUP by being good neighbors, she thought that there could be agreement to move forward. She also thought that under the CUP, there could be some adverse effects on nearby properties. She motioned to approve the CUP as recommended by the ordinance she had provided.
Commr. Parks seconded the motion for discussion and asked about the differences in her ordinance.
Commr. Breeden noted that the differences were highlighted in red and that they included a provision for no Sunday hours and for no blue sky. She said that she also requested a clause due to an advertised sniper training event outlining that all permitted activities should be conducted on the property.
Commr. Campione was unsure if the Board could address activities occurring outside the subject property.
Ms. Marsh clarified that the wording would indicate that activities could be conducted on the subject property and that a CUP amendment would be necessary if the applicant wanted to bring in other properties.
Commr. Breeden stated that another proposed condition was that the applicant would provide the County, simultaneously with their development, a safety design and construction assessment performed by an independent third party which is licensed by the state as an engineer with experience in the design and construction of sports shooting ranges.
Commr. Blake asked to confirm if camping on the site would be prohibited, and Commissioner Breeden stated that this was correct; furthermore, special events would be reduced to twice per year due to a concern for emergency responders being able to access the property when a high volume of visitors were there, though she noted that emergency helicopters could land anywhere.
Commr. Parks said that he appreciated these comments but could not support the motion due to the no blue sky provision. He felt that this provision was extensive and that the applicant had addressed some of his concerns from the previous hearing.
Commr. Sullivan expressed that he could not support the no blue sky regulation and opined that it was too strict for this particular range.
Commr. Campione thought that this requirement would be punitive because of its cost and would change the experience of being in a natural setting. She felt that it could make the site cost prohibitive and undesirable, and she expressed that she could not support it.
Commr. Blake added that it would be a different standard than had been applied to other ranges.
Commr. Breeden said that she supported it because she believed that there was a responsibility to protect the surrounding areas.
Commr. Parks felt that after this hearing, the BCC could consider design standards for commercial gun ranges and that there were not significant standards at the current time.
Commr. Breeden opined that standards existed.
Commr. Parks clarified that they could be standards for special events which were not in the current code.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and denied by a vote of 1-4, the Board did not approve the draft ordinance as presented by Commissioner Breeden.
Commr. Sullivan, Commr. Parks, Commr. Blake, and Commr. Campione voted no.
Commr. Blake opined that this was an issue about balancing property rights and felt that the nighttime training for law enforcement personnel should require suppressors and subsonic ammunition to avoid disturbing the neighbors. He recalled that the applicant had requested there be an exception for non-law enforcement citizens to utilize the nighttime training, though he did not feel that this was necessary. He also thought that the site should not be allowed to operate before 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. He remarked that he appreciated the neighbors’ concerns and that activities such as the use of tannerite would be allowable if there was not a CUP with these conditions. He felt that the majority of residents’ grievances would be addressed by the CUP and noted that the County had a limited amount of control due to state preemption on the issue.
Commr. Campione asked to confirm that he would allow for nighttime training twice per month if suppressors and subsonic ammunition were uses, and Commissioner Blake confirmed this. Commissioner Blake also suggested to leave the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for Sundays. Commissioner Campione then inquired about the applicant’s proposed condition of allowing operations to begin two hours before normal operating hours if suppressors were used.
Commr. Blake disagreed with this because it would allow individuals to shoot at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday through Saturday, though he thought that 9:00 a.m. was reasonable. He advocated that if the Board approved this provision, they should require suppressors and subsonic ammunition to be used during this time.
Ms. Marsh asked to clarify which version of the ordinance he was referring to, and Commissioner Blake said that it was staff’s version.
Commr. Campione remarked that they also had the applicant’s version to consider.
Commr. Blake said that he had referenced some of the applicant’s requests, but would leave it as recommended by staff with the modification to the nighttime training.
Ms. Marsh summarized that the modifications would delete the two hours in the morning, have operations begin at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays, and require suppressors and subsonic ammunition at night.
Commr. Breeden inquired if he would allow non-law enforcement personnel to use the nighttime training, and Commissioner Blake denied this. She also asked about a provision to keep all activities on the property, and Commissioner Blake thought that this would be assumed and the CUP would only apply to the subject property. Commissioner Breeden stated that she appreciated his comments but could not support them.
Commr. Blake disclosed that he had met with Mr. Beliveau, Mr. Brown, Mr. Chen, and Mr. and Mrs. Mott; additionally, he had toured the property after the previous hearing.
Commr. Campione disclosed that she met with Mr. Brown and toured the property. She mentioned that she had visited there before and seen the changes with regard to the berm, the power poles used for the enclosures which seemed to be effective for noise abatement and safety, and the sound attenuation in the shooting stalls. She opined that the proposed CUP would disallow activities seen in Mr. Chen’s video such as explosions and helicopters.
Commr. Breeden noted that the CUP would still allow multiple individuals to fire automatic weapons simultaneously.
Commr. Campione thought that there was a prohibition of firing automatic weapons on the long range and that they would be limited to certain shooting stalls.
Commr. Blake felt that many of the initial issues on the range were caused by the range not being considerate of the neighbors.
Ms. Marsh clarified that staff’s version of the ordinance did not include the language provided by Mr. Spain about the baffle being installed on the type B berms, and she asked if Commissioner Blake wanted to add this.
Commr. Blake confirmed this and inquired if this was the only other substantial change.
Commr. Parks suggested referencing the current site plan which included the baffle.
Ms. Marsh asked if camping was being suggested during special events or if it would be prohibited.
Commr. Campione felt that individuals needed to be on the site if they had equipment there, and she did not think that it would be problematic when considering safety.
Commr. Breeden expressed concerns about noise occurring after the hours of operation and for possible alcohol consumption.
Commr. Blake asked if it would be easier to make changes to the applicant’s proposed ordinance, and Ms. Marsh confirmed this and recommended modifying Mr. Spain’s version. Commissioner Blake felt that adopting the applicant’s version would address the consumption of alcohol on the property.
Commr. Sullivan noted that camping would be prohibited except for special events four times per year.
Commr. Campione suggested that the Board member making the motion should walk through the applicant’s proposed ordinance while making their changes.
Commr. Blake supported the applicant’s proposed ordinance with the modifications to leave the Sunday hours at 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and to limit nighttime training to law enforcement personnel only using suppressors and subsonic ammunition. He also indicated an interest in striking the use of the range two hours before the normal operating hours.
Commr. Campione thought that the applicant wanted to include this because shooting at later hours of the day could create a mirage which affected long range precision shooting. She suggested possibly limiting the number of individuals who could use the range during this time.
Commr. Blake proposed limiting it to one hour before the normal operating hours with suppressors only, which would be at 8:00 a.m. He also opined that 7:00 a.m. would be too early unless subsonic ammunition was being used.
Commr. Breeden recommended reducing these hours, and Commissioner Campione suggested allowing shooting to begin at 8:00 a.m., possibly on a particular day, and clarified that shooters with suppressors could begin one hour before normal operating hours.
Ms. Marsh asked if this modification would apply to specific days because it would currently apply to any day in which the site was open, and she also recalled that the Board had previously indicated opposition for operations beginning before 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. She said that this provision would have to be clarified and that they would need to add an exclusion for Sunday. She then asked if subsonic ammunition would be required or if only a suppressor would be required.
Commr. Blake proposed excluding Sunday from this activity so that Sunday operations would begin at 10:00 a.m. He then relayed his understanding that subsonic ammunition could affect ballistics and indicated that he did not want to micromanage this condition. He reiterated that his main concern with the nighttime training was families who may go to sleep early, which was why he wanted to require subsonic ammunition for this activity. He opined that only requiring suppressors would be acceptable when firing one hour before the normal operating hours. He stated that Sunday would remain the same and would not allow the use of suppressed weapons before the normal operating hours.
Commr. Parks disclosed that he recently visited the site and had met with Mr. Brown, Mr. Beliveau and Mr. Crawford. He relayed that his original concerns were for stray bullets and ricochets and that the updated conditions for baffling, shooting bays, and the extension of the berm had alleviated them. He felt that that the shooting bays, where most of the shooting would occur, would be professional and that the sound insulation would have an effect. He also noted that the SJRWMD’s letter was critical, and he suggesting adding a condition to allow the Lake County Office of Code Enforcement to inspect the site at any time, with or without notice.
Ms. Marsh stated that they would add a condition reading “Code Enforcement may inspect the property at any time, with or without notice,” and Commissioner Parks confirmed this.
Commr. Campione asked if it was clear in the ordinance that if the BCC had the ability to revoke it, and Ms. Marsh confirmed this.
Commr. Parks felt that the safety concern would be addressed after seeing the manuals which would be referenced and the training qualifications that would be in place.
Commr. Breeden inquired if the Board found it acceptable to allow helicopters to land during special events.
Commr. Parks asked about the purpose for the helicopter during a special event.
Ms. Marsh relayed that it currently read such that helicopters would not be permitted to land or take off except during an emergency or a special event, provided that no demonstrations or other similar use involving helicopters are allowed. She opined that the language concerning an emergency was unnecessary due to potential debates over the definition of “emergency” and that emergency medical services (EMS) could access the site if necessary. She stated that it was the Board’s discretion whether to allow helicopters flying in and out of the subject property during special events, and she recommended deleting the language pertaining to emergencies.
Commr. Blake agreed with eliminating the emergency language but expressed that he did not have an issue with helicopters during special events.
Ms. Marsh asked to clarify that the applicant would have to apply for a special event permit when hosting special events, and Commissioner Blake confirmed this.
Commr. Campione felt that the Board had listened to all sides of the issue and opined that the currently proposed ordinance was significantly restrictive when compared to that which was originally proposed. She stated that a CUP would impose limitations on the property and recourse if they were violated, and she opined that it would better protect the neighborhood. She thought that gunfire in the County was common on weekends in some areas and that it was also common for owners of property which was one acre or larger to shoot on it. She opined that these restrictions were significant beyond those which would be placed on an individual owner’s property for the utilization of firearms and tannerite. She thought that a considerable amount of progress had been made on the request and said that provisions were in place if the ordinance was violated.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Tab 3, Rezoning Case #CUP-18-06-3, Treasure Island Range CUP, as proposed by the applicant with the following modifications: regular Sunday hours changed to 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; nighttime training to be limited to law enforcement personnel utilizing suppressors and subsonic ammunition; operations may begin one hour before normal operating hours on Wednesday through Saturday if suppressors were utilized; the Office of Code Enforcement may inspect the property at any time, with or without notice; removed language for helicopters being allowed to land and take off at the property during an emergency; and the applicant must apply for a special event permit when hosting special events.
Commr. Breeden voted no.
Pacific Ace PUD continued
Mr. Cole indicated that the applicant for the Pacific Ace PUD had reviewed the proposed design criteria and that staff was prepared to revisit it.
Ms. Fenech stated that they had reviewed the Ridgeview PUD ordinance, Section E. She indicated that they agreed to standards one through five.
Commr. Campione read standards one through five as follows: 25 percent of 50 and 60 foot wide lots will have recessed garages or front porches; garage doors to have features such as trim and windows; limit three car garage homes to no more than 25 percent of all homes constructed; no front facades shall have less than two windows; and all roofs will have 18 inch eaves.
Ms. Fenech indicated that they were also in agreement with number seven which read “To add variety, the same house elevation will not be repeated next door or directly across the street from each other.” She expressed that for numbers six, eight and nine, they did not currently have an end user or builder; however, they felt that the intent of number seven and some policies in the Comp Plan would ensure a variety of housing options in the development and limiting the development to a rustic tuscan architectural style would be restricting.
Commr. Campione thought that number six, which required that each floor plan would have three elevations and siding options, would be reasonable.
Ms. Fenech reiterated that they did not know which type of builder they would have or which type or style of housing would be provided.
Commr. Parks expressed a concern for there being only one or two elevation styles due to comments requesting new types of development and different standards. He requested a suggestion on this language.
Ms. Fenech proposed two elevations and two different siding accent options.
Commr. Blake asked why the third standard for limiting three car garage homes to no more than 25 percent of all homes constructed was used.
Commr. Parks said that this may have been an attempt to address homes where garages were significantly visible. He opined that this could be addressed by a standard requiring that 70 percent of the facade could not be a garage.
Commr. Breeden did not think that this community would have three car garages unless it was a golf club community.
Commr. Campione liked the idea for having a limitation on the percentage of the home which was covered by a garage.
Ms. Fenech mentioned that she did not have an issue with the third standard.
Commr. Breeden asked about the possibility of three elevations and two siding accents.
Commr. Parks opined that this would not be unreasonable and felt that many large home builders used three elevations.
Ms. Fenech indicated that she could not agree to this.
Commr. Blake did not think that it was fair for the BCC to propose these conditions after the applicant had gone through the process.
Commr. Sullivan asked to confirm if they could agree to two elevations and two siding accent options, and Ms. Fenech said that this would be amicable.
Commr. Campione said that she would not oppose the applicant returning in the following month to discuss the details.
Mr. Gary Miller, representing the applicant, commented that they would prefer to obtain an approval and he asked if there could be a condition of approval that the applicant confirm with a builder if three elevations was a possibility.
Ms. Marsh remarked that an option would be to include the language in the approved ordinance and then if the builder could not meet it, the applicant could come back and amend the ordinance.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 4, Rezoning Case # RZ-18-24-1, Pacific Ace PUD, with the modification to add Architectural Standards 1 through 7 from Ordinance 2018-20, Section E.
fuccillo kia property rezoning
Commr. Campione noted that there was a speaker present for Tab 5 who had to leave shortly, and she suggested taking their comment at this time to be considered during the hearing.
Ms. Amy Wright, a concerned neighbor of the subject property, felt that residents had been promised items such as a wall. She expressed a concern for allowing a car dealership to place buildings on a landfill, and she opined that residents had been promised protections such as checking the gases emitted from the ground, though she did not know if this was being monitored by the proper authorities. She thought that code enforcement had not taken action, and she opined that residents had been told since 1985 that a wall would be constructed. She further opined that the current berm was undesirable and had a chain link fence. She felt that the site had been dug to the water source to remove the dirt, and she expressed a concern for pollutants from car washes. She reiterated her thought that there were issues with landfills and she said that she sent an email to the Board detailing past experiences with the property.
Pandolph Property FLU – Transmittal
Ms. Janiszewski presented Tab 2, Rezoning Case # FLU-18-17-4, Pandolph Property FLU – Transmittal. She explained that this was a transmittal hearing for a large scale amendment and that the property was located east of US Highway 441 and south of Robie Avenue in the City of Mount Dora area. She said that the subject property was comprised of approximately 25 acres and that the requested action was to amend the FLU map from Regional Office to Urban Low; additionally, the Planning and Zoning Board had recommended approval with a vote of 5-0. She noted that the property was located within the Wolf Branch Innovation District, which was being studied by Dr. Levey, and his early findings indicated that Urban Low would be more consistent with the anticipated development in the area and would allow a maximum density of four dwelling units per net acre. She commented that the proposed amendment would facilitate the development of a residential subdivision consistent with the Urban Low FLU category, and that the residential uses allowed within the proposed Urban Low FLU category were consistent with the existing residential uses located to the south, east and west of the subject property. She relayed that staff recommended approval of the request to amend the FLU map from Regional Office to Urban Low on approximately 25 acres in the City of Mount Dora area.
Commr. Campione asked to clarify that this was an area where it was recommended to reduce densities, and Ms. Janiszewski confirmed this. Commissioner Campione noted that this was discussed at the most recent Wolf Branch Innovation District public meeting and that it seemed reasonable for the area.
Mr. Rick Hartenstein, the applicant and the Planning Project Manager for Wicks Engineering Services, agreed with staff’s recommendation. He said that prior to coming before the County, he met with the City of Mount Dora which suggested obtaining a land use change with the County. He indicated his understanding that the City did not want to have the Regional Office FLU in that area and that they wanted to see it used for single family residential dwellings.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Leo Smith, a resident of Robie Avenue, stated that he lived in an area designated for light manufacturing and that he did not want to see manufacturing in the area; rather, he wanted the entire area to be for residential development. He expressed interest in having one or two homes per acre on the subject property which he opined would fit with their plan. He said he was unsure how the number of four dwelling units per acre was decided, and he felt that his neighbors would all support rezoning their street for residential development; however, they had a preference of one home per acre. He asked if residents would be notified of this action.
Commr. Campione indicated that the County would contact the residents before taking action. She did not think that there was an FLU category for one dwelling unit per one acre and said that Urban Low allowed four units per acre, though she thought that the developer intended to use a lower density. She clarified that the applicant would have to obtain a PUD rezoning at a later date and that this was where the density could be addressed. She stated that the current request was only to establish the underlying land use.
Mr. Smith thought that there had been a previous meeting which mentioned four units per acre.
Commr. Sullivan explained that the Comp Plan would be changed to make the land residential and then the zoning would apply accordingly as a different process.
Commr. Campione said that he would receive notice before a rezoning could occur.
Mr. Smith asked if the future rezoning could apply to the entire street.
Commr. Campione replied that a future rezoning hearing would be the time to consider residents’ ideas for how they wanted to develop their properties. She noted that the underlying maximum density of four dwelling units per acre could not be exceeded, though neighbors could propose different plans.
Mr. Smith indicated that the development proposed by the owner of the subject property was amicable to him due to having a density of one unit per acre.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Mr. Hartenstein clarified that the development was in an urbanized area and that Urban Low was chosen because it was the lowest density FLU for an urban area. He remarked that they were working on a final draft of the plan for a 10 lot PUD where each lot would have at least one acre of space in addition to open space. He relayed that the development would resemble estate lots of one to two acres each.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 2, Rezoning Case # FLU-18-17-4, Pandolph Property FLU – Transmittal.
getford property rezoning
Ms. Janiszewski presented Tab 4, Rezoning Case # RZ-19-01-4, Getford Property Rezoning, noting that the property was located south of Getford Road and east of Dawes Street in the City of Eustis area. She explained that the property was comprised of approximately seven acres and the request was to rezone the subject property from Residential Professional (RP) to Medium Suburban District (R-4); furthermore, the Planning and Zoning Board had recommended denial with a vote of 4-0. She commented that the property was currently part of the Urban Low FLU category and was zoned RP. She said that the proposed rezoning was consistent with the Urban Low FLU category which allowed residential uses at a maximum density of four dwelling units per net buildable acre, and the request was consistent with the R-4 zoning district which allowed single family dwelling units at a density of four dwelling units per net acre. She indicated that staff recommended approval of the request to rezone approximately seven acres from RP to R-4 to facilitate the development of a residential subdivision consistent with the Urban Low FLU category.
Commr. Campione asked why the land could not be developed with the RP zoning for the same number of units.
Ms. Janiszewski responded that RP allowed for a higher density and that there was no provision in the code which would prohibit them from platting the subdivision with that zoning district. She added that R-4 was recommended because the density was more compatible in the development standards and that in addition, R-4 had a reduced setback. She said that the applicant was not proposing to develop professional offices and that only a residential subdivision was proposed.
Commr. Campione asked to clarify that the applicant could file a plat with the RP zoning for a residential subdivision, and Ms. Janiszewski confirmed this.
Commr. Parks inquired if the R-4 zoning was requested due to its setback standard.
Ms. Janiszewski stated that the setbacks for RP were higher at ten feet when compared to the five feet of R-4. She indicated that the applicant’s concept plan was currently proposing 18 lots.
Commr. Campione asked if the applicant had reconsidered platting the property with the RP zoning.
Mr. Tom Zahn, a local builder and the applicant, remarked that this was his original intent; however, the R-4 zoning would grant more desirable setbacks and he was willing to lose the ability to construct duplexes and office space.
Commr. Breeden observed that part of the development would be in a flood zone.
Mr. Zahn clarified that approximately one-third of the development was in a flood zone and that they would have to conduct a flood study for up to 22 acres around the property. He relayed that his engineer did not anticipate there being any issues.
Commr. Parks inquired if a variance could be utilized if the RP setback was only an issue for a small number of lots.
Mr. Zahn thought that he could likely develop the homes with the RP zoning, though indicated that he would prefer the R-4 setbacks. He reiterated that the current RP zoning would allow him to construct duplexes and office space and he felt that this was a fair compromise.
Commr. Campione asked about the opposition at the Planning and Zoning Board hearing. She also inquired if the Planning and Zoning Board discussed that the construction plan approval process would have to address the floodplain.
Mr. Zahn recalled that an individual had opined that the property was on wetlands. He claimed that he had walked the property and that it was not wet, and only one-third of the property was in a flood zone. He noted that the floodplain and the required study were brought to the Planning and Zoning Board’s attention.
Ms. Janiszewski clarified that most of the discussion at the Planning and Zoning Board hearing involved the flood zone and that one citizen had expressed concerns about the property being wet. She stated that staff would consider these issues for the construction plans and the preliminary plat review of the subdivision.
Commr. Breeden inquired if the applicant would have to come back before the Board if it was approved today, and Ms. Janiszewski indicated that the final plat would come before the BCC.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Casey Holder, a concerned resident of Lake County, asked if his comments would be relevant if the applicant decided to use the current zoning.
Commr. Campione explained that they could plat the property with the RP zoning and construct duplexes and offices in addition to residential development; however, the rezoning would only allow residential development with single family dwellings.
Mr. Holder opined that the property would flood and asked about what would happen if the development could not proceed. He felt that R-4 would be more desirable than RP for the property, though he thought that neither zonings fit the property. He recalled a point from the Planning and Zoning Board hearing that low income housing was needed at the subject property, though he relayed his understanding that there were 22 lots available within a mile of the subject property which were in an area that he opined would be more appropriate. He elaborated that there were seven vacant lots ready to build there which did not have wetland issues. He felt that those seven lots would not tax the area when considering school and road capacity, and he relayed concerns about another 200 acres in the area which could be used for a major subdivision.
Commr. Campione opined that if there were issues with the floodplain, the developer would likely end up with about half of the proposed lots but could then decide to pave a road and develop infrastructure.
Commr. Campione noted that this case was in her district and opined that changing the property’s zoning to R-4 would likely be preferable for the neighborhood. She reiterated that the developer would have to meet all requirements from the Army Corps of Engineers and any requirements related to flood map changes, and the developer would be limited if they could not make modifications to meet them.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 4, Rezoning Case #RZ-19-01-4, Getford Property Rezoning.
FUCCILLO KIA PROPERTY REZONING Continued
Ms. Janiszewski presented Tab 5, Rezoning Case # RZ-19-02-2, Fuccillo Kia Property Rezoning, explaining that the subject property was located south of S.R. 50 in the City of Clermont area and comprised about 19 acres. She commented that the request was to rezone the property from Planned Industrial (MP) to Planned Commercial (CP) to allow vehicular sales. She noted that the Planning and Zoning Board had recommended approval with a vote of 5-0, and she showed a map indicating that the property was currently zoned MP and was part of the Regional Commercial FLU category. She said that the subject property’s current zoning allowed industrial development and was inconsistent with the Regional Commercial FLU category. She elaborated that the proposed rezoning would be consistent with the FLU category which allowed commerce and retail uses, and the proposed rezoning was consistent with LDR Section 3.01.03 which allowed vehicular sales within the CP zoning district. She stated that staff recommended approval of the request to rezone approximately 19 acres from MP to CP to allow vehicular sales.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, an attorney representing the applicant, said that they had meetings with staff to review the site plan and there were detailed drawings based on this. She thought that the Board had received correspondence indicating opposition to the request and that the opposition from the Planning and Zoning Board meeting stemmed from previous owners of the site and having commercial development on S.R. 50. She noted that the subject property had been industrial and that this was why they wanted to rezone it for compliance with the commercial FLU. She displayed a picture of the site and noted the locations of residents who opposed the request. She stated that the subject property was located between the nearby Mazda and Honda dealerships and was near a self-storage facility; furthermore, there was no residential development to the site’s west. She recalled that she had been involved when the site was approved for a construction and demolition (C&D) landfill by the BCC as a result of a borrow pit on the property. She elaborated that the C&D landfill was intended to fill this pit and was later closed based on statutory requirements. She thought that later, a trucking company or batch plant may have operated there due some buildings and debris on the site, and she opined that the site was currently unattractive and overgrown. She indicated that Universal Engineering had conducted the original studies on the site and had used ground penetrating radar to find the location of items underground, and she remarked that the company was looking to avoid issues with construction. She relayed that the opposition had referred to the site as a landfill, clarifying that it was a C&D landfill which was a different type of facility with regards to permitting and did not emit gases such as methane. She recalled that the County had originally approved to fill the borrow pit with clean fill in order to fill it more quickly over time. She opined that some residents who opposed the landfill reported hazardous material issues to the DEP, though no violation was found and no action was taken against it. She displayed the site plan and noted the residences of two opponents of the request, and she pointed out that there would be a 30 foot landscape buffer and a six to eight foot fence constructed of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material in front of the adjacent residential area. She also noted that a berm would be created behind the property and that there was currently a partial berm and a retention area there. She stated that they would continue the berm across this side of the property along with expanding the retention area. She remarked that the distance between the back of the property to the inventory parking lot would be approximately 250 feet from the closest neighbor. She commented that an area was located near the rear of the property which could not be developed, and she clarified that the proposal was for automotive uses with repair and accessory uses. She indicated her understanding that nearby residents had complained about noise from the Honda dealership’s car wash, which she understood was located near the back of that facility. She recalled speaking to a Honda representative at the previous Planning and Zoning Board hearing and learning that Honda and Mazda both performed dealer preparation for new cars onsite and also allowed customers to obtain free car washes on their properties. She felt that these car washes were being used more frequently than a normal dealership would and that the current request was only for vehicle preparation. She elaborated that the car wash would be interior and that service and dealer preparation would be on its sides to buffer the sound. She also said that there would be a distance of approximately 860 feet from the car wash to a neighbor near the rear of the property. She noted that the rear section of the property would be used for inventory parking and that only employees of the dealership would be allowed there. She mentioned that there had been concerns about lighting and she opined that this was easier to control with light-emitting diode (LED) lights to avoid a spillover effect. She said that motion sensors could be added to control the lights in different areas of the site and that the inventory section lighting could be reduced during the evening. She stated that they had worked with FDOT to move the entrance location and she relayed the traffic there had not yet warranted signage for a traffic signal, though FDOT would be monitoring this.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Gayle Harris, a concerned neighbor of the subject property, indicated that her home directly abutted the property. She relayed that a primary concern was for the residents’ potable wells being within 100 feet of construction. She expressed her understanding that a well in the area had been damaged during the Honda dealership’s construction and also that the buildings on the site could be up to 75 feet tall. She said that she was unsure of which buildings would be on the property and she opined that living adjacent to a dealership was unpleasant. She relayed her understanding that Honda was washing their cars because they were not metered for their amount of stormwater going out and she opined that they were lowering the water table. She claimed that a neighbor had to have their well recently re-drilled due to this, and she indicated an understanding that car washes could produce between 89 and 110 decibels outdoors. She expressed a concern for fuel tanks on the subject property and alleged that an above ground fuel tank at the Honda dealership was unmonitored and rusting; furthermore, she thought that it was located near a grate which led to a storm pollution area behind residents on First Avenue. She stated that there was no setback at the Honda dealership and relayed that a wall was important to residents. She stated a concern about an elevation discrepancy between the Honda dealership and her home on Jefferson Street due to the dealership being at a lower elevation and their sound barrier wall being ineffective because of this. She said that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had informed her that C&D landfills were not considered an issue unless digging occurred there or water was added to the site, though she would continue to be in contact with the EPA on this matter.
Mr. Al Kochnlein, a neighbor of the subject property, indicated concerns for wells, a wall, and noise issues. He opined that noise would be generated from the car wash and that Honda’s car wash was producing over 125 decibels. He asked the Board to not allow more than 60 or 70 decibels due to his opinion that decibel ratings over 70 were deafening. He thought that there were blower attachments to reduce the sound from car washes, and he requested a block wall. He noted that Honda had constructed a block wall with a height of four to six feet, and that to minimize impacts, he asked for a sound mitigating wall of 12 feet in height if the buildings at the proposed dealership would be up to 70 feet tall. He relayed an understanding that the Florida Statutes had specific requirements for C&D landfills due to a risk of damaging neighboring properties. He opined that the Florida Statutes required that development on these sites must be a minimum distance of 100 feet from neighbors who would be disturbed. He felt that the C&D landfill was not maintained and was improperly filled without oversight, and he asked for more consideration than he felt was given when the Honda dealership was approved. He said that he had been calling the Office of Code Enforcement for two weeks about the Honda site without action being taken, and he asked for the Board’s help.
Mr. Charley Crowsd, a resident on First Avenue in the City of Clermont, expressed support for the proposed LED lighting if it was implemented as the applicant indicated, and he relayed a concern with the amount of impervious area on the property. He stated that he had a well and asked what would happen if the construction negatively affected it. He recalled the mention of a 30 foot setback and indicated his understanding that a corporation owned about 30 feet between the residential area and the subject property. He inquired if this corporation was known and if they had been paying taxes on this property. He recalled that when the Honda dealership was built, there was public land which underwent a process for abandoned property and was given to Honda. He asked if this would happen again, if the neighbors could bid on it, or if it would become part of the subject property’s 30 foot buffer. He reiterated that his main concern was with water being on the property due to there being little vegetation or ground area there to absorb it. He hoped that the site would be developed properly and monitored.
Mr. Michael Wilkerson, a concerned neighbor who abutted directly behind the subject property, requested a permanent sound and light barrier. He expressed his understanding that PVC fences had to be replaced after a few years and asked if they would block sound. He inquired if the trees, fences and berm on the subject property would be removed, and he claimed that he had been finding litter on his property which he opined resulted from the subject property’s berm.
Ms. Bonifay opined that there had not been evidence or documentation of the residents’ complaints. She felt that they had been meeting code requirements for height and indicated that the maximum height would be about 37 feet. She also expressed her understanding that the Honda and Mazda dealerships were on central water and sewer, along with the subject property. She thought that the residents could be annexed by the City of Clermont to receive water and sewer as well, and she opined that there was no verification that a resident’s well had collapsed. She said that as the site was developed, they would be going to the DEP and the SJRWMD to obtain the required authorizations and permits. She thought that these organizations were aware that the site was previously a C&D landfill and that special conditions could be required. She noted that an email that the BCC received was from Mr. Tom Lubozynski, a former Waste Program Administrator with the DEP, which indicated items to be aware of with the site. She remarked that Mr. Lubozynski had been retained to assist the developers with permitting, and she opined that most of the concerns about sound were directed at the Honda dealership. She indicated an intent to not replicate these issues, and she opined that the decibels on S.R. 50 could be from 70 to 80. She noted the issue of an existing 40 foot piece of property near the site which had a different owner, though the 30 foot setback would be beyond this 40 feet. She thought that there was a misstatement referring to construction on the site and that regulations for permitting, construction and maintenance of public water systems referred to installing a new public well or water system when adjacent to an area which is a potential sanitary hazard or posed a potentially high or moderate risk; furthermore, she opined that the subject property did not fall into these categories, and she felt that information was being used to justify a lack of development on an industrial site.
Mr. Jean Abi-Aoun, with Florida Engineering Group, commented that the current FLU allowed up to 75 percent impervious space, though the proposed facility would only use 68 percent. He remarked that the pond was about four acres in size and was approximately ten feet deep, and had been remodeled according to the SJRWMD and County requirements. He said that County and SJRWMD permits would be required for the drainage system at a later date, and he related that the well would be under the DEP’s purview; additionally, they would have to obtain an excavation and disposal permit before constructing on the site. He noted that the site would comply with the DEP’s requirements and that Mr. Lubozynski was familiar with the requirements. He said that the elevation near the site was about 161 feet above sea level and that the edge of the parking lot would be about 30 feet away from this property line. He recalled that according to the Lake County Code, having a planned development adjacent to an Agriculture zoning would require a 20 foot buffer. He stated that the subject property would use a 30 foot buffer and would include a two or three foot high berm in front of the adjacent residents with a six foot fence on top for a total of nine feet of height. He related that this fell within the required range in the code for a combination of a berm and a wall, and he indicated that on the south side, the berm would be improved to be 75 feet at the widest point and the closest point would be about 50 feet. He explained that from the west side of the property to the east side, the elevation dropped off from about 163 feet to approximately 157, and he indicated that the berm would vary along the southern property line; however, they would maintain a three to five foot landscaped berm there. He added that there would be an additional buffer of about 250 feet for that area and that the code would be complied with, along with DEP requirements for excavating and removing debris from the site.
Commr. Breeden asked if there would be a gas tank on the property.
Mr. Abi-Aoun indicated that there would not be any gas tanks on the property.
Ms. Bonifay felt that they were trying to be a good neighbor and that the site had been problematic for a significant period of time. She thought that they would be using better technology to detect objects on the site, along with undergoing the permitting process to clean up and landscape the entire site; additionally, sufficient buffers would be provided for the neighbors. She reiterated that the car wash would be between two buildings to maximize its distance from the neighbors and she opined that they had incorporated staff’s recommendations. She remarked that these dealerships had been constructed in the state and in the northeast United States, that there was better technology which could be used currently, and that they would be responsive to issues. She urged the BCC to accept staff’s recommendation for approval with the addition of fencing close to residents on the east side.
Mr. Crowsd felt that the issue was for there to be follow up on the development and to enforce the conditions. He opined that this did not occur with Honda and that it was a bad experience.
Commr. Campione understood concerns about damage to wells, and she asked to clarify if the Honda dealership was in the City of Clermont and inquired why the subject property had not been annexed into the city.
Ms. Bonifay clarified that the Honda and Mazda dealerships were in the City of Clermont. She also stated that they had talked to the Clermont City Manager who had asked that they proceed through Lake County; however, the City had offered to provide water and sewer. She noted that a development agreement with the City was amicable.
Commr. Parks asked if the City would eventually annex the property, and Ms. Bonifay indicated that this was a possibility. Commissioner Parks opined that the City of Clermont wanted to allow the County to approve it to later be annexed by the City. He commented that there were no commercial design standards for S.R. 50 and US Highway 27 and that there had been opposition to this due to the City of Clermont having use prohibitions there. He felt that design standards should be in place for the area.
Ms. Bonifay opined that the site met the JPA standards and the Lake County LDRs and code requirements. She commented that when the City of Clermont previously took Commissioner Parks’ concept for design standards, they were primarily concerned with the prohibition of uses including self-storage, automobile dealerships, motorcycle dealerships, and automotive repair. She felt that there should be an opportunity for better design standards, though the subject property was an industrial piece of land in the county between two car dealerships and had attempted to meet all requirements.
Commr. Parks stated that some of the design standards he was concerned about, such as lighting, were addressed in the current request. He confirmed that the applicant would be using dark sky lighting with lower poles and would also move the building forward so that there would not be an expanse of cars in the front; additionally, restricting customer traffic where the cars were parked could reduce noise impacts to neighbors. He noted the environmental issues with the site being a former C&D landfill and felt that there were associated risks, though the applicant would have to address the issue through the DEP and would be responsible if there were issues.
Commr. Campione thought that the residents’ request for a wall was reasonable when considering the size of the property which immediately abutted residential properties. She felt that a wall could mitigate noise and visual impacts.
Commr. Parks agreed with having a wall along residential areas.
Ms. Bonifay opined that a 12 foot high wall would be unsafe and that there were existing elevation differences and buffers. She clarified that the wall would be on top of the berm on the south side.
Commr. Breeden noted that the fence would be on top of the berm.
Commr. Parks asked if they could run a wall where one was already proposed on the east side to where the parking lot ended and then from there to the west side.
Mr. Abi-Aoun said that this would block their access to maintain the pond.
Commr. Parks proposed a gate to allow access and commented that residents on the south side may want a barrier on the other side of the pond.
Mr. Abi-Aoun clarified that the barrier would be at their property line to allow access to the pond and that installing interior walls and gates would be an issue. He felt that residents on the south side would not be seeing the parking lot due to the berm, the landscaping and the fence. He noted that this would be nine feet in height and that some areas on the east side would be greater than nine feet because they were lower than the site. He noted that the cost could become high when building more than 660 feet of concrete block walls for the entire site.
Commr. Campione remarked that it would only be for the section which abutted the housing. She also asked if residents would be able to see the parking lot.
Mr. Abi-Aoun asked to clarify that she was referring to the four lots on the east side, and Commissioner Parks said that it would be wherever residential property abutted the site. Mr. Abi-Aoun also confirmed that the berm and the fence would prohibit views of the parking lot.
Ms. Bonifay explained that the berm was large across the southern boundary and asked if the residents south of the property were lower or higher than the site.
Mr. Abi-Aoun stated that the site was about the same elevation, but when they finished their design, the top of the pond’s bank would be at the lowest point. He added that they would be filling the property at this location and then coming down to dig the pond. He summarized that the site would be higher than the adjacent properties to the south.
Commr. Parks expressed a concern for residents on Mandarin Circle being able to see the dealership.
Mr. Abi-Aoun opined that they would be unable to see the parking lot, though would likely be able to see the 37 foot tall building; however, other buildings in the area were also visible.
Commr. Parks inquired about the location of the wall along the Honda dealership, and Ms. Bonifay pointed it out on a map. Commissioner Parks then asked staff about the requirements for walls and fences between differing uses.
Ms. Janiszewski clarified that in the ordinance for the Honda dealership, it said that the wall should be a minimum of six feet in height as measured from the crest of Jefferson Street, and shall meander along the existing trees in the area from the southern portion of the property. She said that for buffering between commercial and industrial uses, the code indicated that parking areas, non-structural equipment loading facilities, and storage areas shall be screened on all sides abutting residential zoning districts. She related that these details would be further developed during the site plan review and approval.
Commr. Campione opined that fences became unsightly after a period of time and would not be permanent.
Mr. Abi-Aoun stated that on the east side, they could use precast concrete for a six foot wall, and Commissioner Campione felt that this could be a permanent and effective noise barrier.
Commr. Sullivan thought that this was a good compromise and believed that the applicant was trying to be a good neighbor and fix problems which had occurred on other sites.
Commr. Parks proposed running this wall across the far side of the parking area, in the interior of the property, so that it would not have to run to each corner.
Ms. Bonifay reiterated that there had to be maintenance access for the pond, and she suggested using a wall where a fence would be on the south side of the property or to trade a wall for landscaping.
Mr. Abi-Aoun reiterated that a fence could be located on the berm.
Commr. Breeden expressed opposition to dividing the property in this way.
Commr. Parks thought that there would be access to the pond; furthermore, he asked if the fence would be on the property line along Mandarin Circle and Mr. Abi-Aoun confirmed this.
Commr. Campione asked if there could be a condition indicating that lighting spillover would be a code enforcement issue rather than it burdening the property owners. She also asked if there could be a condition to hold the company responsible for damaging nearby potable water wells.
Ms. Bonifay expressed concern over how this could be proved and indicated that it could predetermine that the company caused this. She said that she was unsure of the condition of residents’ wells and indicated aversion to the company automatically being responsible if a well failed.
Commr. Campione felt that this was not an ordinary situation when considering that the property had previously been a borrow pit and a C&D landfill with compaction issues. She noted than when presenting mining site plans, the SJRWMD required that if an adjoining resident had an issue, the mining company would have to address it. She thought that placing the burden on residents would not be fair when considering the history of the property.
Mr. Abi-Aoun indicated that the DEP would consider the minimum separation from potable wells and would also examine the site’s activities. He said that they would submit a fully executed plan to indicate the amount of excavation to be conducted, which he opined would not be excessive and would match the existing grade. He noted that they would fill a small amount of an existing pond on the southeast corner of the property, and he stated that there would be pavement and minimum excavation, including some pipes. He remarked that the DEP may require them to conduct groundwater monitoring and that Mr. Lubozynski was familiar with their requirements. He thought that the water table there was deep at around 20 feet, though the most they would be digging was around 10 feet. He reiterated that the land would be graded close to the existing grade in order for the drainage to function, though the DEP may require certain actions throughout the construction phase to avoid impacting water.
Commr. Campione reiterated her thought that there should be a wall along the boundary which abutted residential properties and that there should be a provision for if the dark sky lighting spilled over onto other properties.
Commr. Parks noted that the applicant would have to be comfortable with the Office of Code Enforcement visiting the site during and after construction.
Ms. Bonifay indicated that she was amicable to this as long as they were not in any prohibited areas which could cause injury.
Commr. Campione said that it was understood that any other property obtained by the developer could not be used as a buffer and would have to be brought back to be made part of this ordinance. She thought that the applicant would landscape the property and that it should look more attractive. She also asked the property owner to consider items coming off of their property onto adjacent properties.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 5, Rezoning Case #RZ-19-02-2, Fuccillo Kia Property Rezoning, with the modification to require a six foot high wall along the perimeter facing any residential area.
public hearing - ordinance 2019-20 to modify county logo
Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING LAKE COUNTY CODE, CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE I, SECTION 2-1; MODIFYING THE OFFICIAL LOGO OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
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. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2019-20 amending Lake County Code, Chapter 2, Section 2-1 entitled “County logo and seal” to modify the County’s logo.
public hearing - settlement agreement rescinding ordinance 2018-57
Ms. Marsh explained that if the Board wished to approve the settlement agreement, then they would have to open a public hearing to adopt an ordinance to rescind the previous approval. She recalled that this pertained to an entity which received approval to construct a homeless shelter for schoolchildren and that the closing never occurred. She elaborated that there was litigation involved and the parties agreed to revert the property to its prior status. She stated that two motions were required to approve the settlement agreement and to open a public hearing and rescind the previous ordinance.
On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved a Settlement Agreement with Mr. Ray Caito and Living Message Church, Inc.
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. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2019-21 rescinding Ordinance 2018-57, which amended the zoning on property located at 15945 Douglas Road, Mascotte, from Light Industrial to Community Facilities District.
appointment to the arts and cultural alliance
Commr. Breeden stated that this item was to approve a representative appointed by the City of Eustis and that this would be Ms. Jackii Molsick.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Ms. Jackii Molsick as the City of Eustis representative to the Arts and Cultural Alliance.
appointment to the planning and zoning board
Commr. Blake requested to table this tab due to there being another applicant who was interested.
Mr. Cole indicated that the item would be brought back at the April 23, 2019 BCC meeting.
commissioner sullivan – district 1
Kroger and Ocado Project
Commr. Sullivan commended the Office of Elevate Lake and staff for their work in the City of Groveland to bring an e-commerce warehouse and customer fulfillment center for Kroger and Ocado to South Lake. He felt that it would benefit all of the parties and he thanked the other Commissioners for being involved.
florida association of counties
Commr. Sullivan stated that he was headed to the City of Tallahassee later that day to work with the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) on some legislation.
commissioner parks – district 2
kroger and ocado project
Commr. Parks congratulated staff for their work with Kroger and Ocado. He noted that the project would involve automation, though would also generate approximately 500 new jobs.
thanking ms. lyndsi johnson
Commr. Parks thanked Ms. Johnson for shadowing the BCC for this meeting.
motorist and cycling safety panel
Commr. Parks said that he had attended a panel discussion on safety between motorists and cyclists in the City of Minneola which stemmed from the BCC adding signs indicating that cyclists could utilize full lanes on Sugarloaf Mountain Road. He noted that residents of Sugarloaf Mountain had had opposed these signs, and he relayed that he, Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, Police Chief Charles Broadway with the City of Clermont, Mr. Brian Davis, a resident who owned a cycling shop, and an individual representing motorists all spoke at the event. He remarked that most of the concerns came from residents near Sugarloaf Mountain Road and had included litter and other issues with cycling events, including cyclists riding in the middle of the road. He commented that on April 9, 2019, a smaller group would convene and that he would be attending; furthermore, he invited the other Commissioners and explained that it would include residents of Sugarloaf Mountain Road. He felt that addressing these concerns could help lessen the issue of interactions between cyclists and motorists.
Commr. Campione asked if it was the event organizer’s responsibility to remove portalettes after events.
Commr. Parks confirmed that it would be the event organizer’s responsibility. He expressed an interest in holding them more accountable for this.
Commr. Campione noted that the County sponsored certain events and she advocated for requiring organizers to fulfill certain conditions in order for the County to be involved. She proposed the possibility of having a cleanup bond where sponsorship money could be withheld unless the event organizer met their obligations.
Commr. Parks thought that this could be positive, and he also relayed that some cycling shops had discussed meeting with homeowners before events to help lessen their impact.
Mr. Cole related that staff had been discussing potential ideas to help ensure that event areas are cleaned up, and they were scheduled to meet with Commissioner Parks about this.
Commr. Campione suggested having staff contact Ms. Vicky Blate, organizer for the Mount Dora Half Marathon, who had experienced pushback from residents inconvenienced by the event. She said that Ms. Blate had since notified residents of race times and attempted to communicate with and accommodate them.
Commr. Parks thought that this was a great idea. He opined that the large hills in Lake County would be utilized by cyclists and he expressed an interest in event patrons and residents getting along and for increasing public awareness of events. He complimented previous videos from the Office of Communications and suggested continuing to produce them in conjunction with the LCSO.
COMMISSIONER BLAKE – DISTRICT 5
Kroger and ocado project
Commr. Blake congratulated staff for the Kroger and Ocado project.
commissioner breeden – vice chairman and district 3
Kroger and ocado project
Commr. Breeden also congratulated staff for the Kroger and Ocado project.
commissioner campione – CHAIRMAN AND district 4
letter requesting appointment of lake county resident to st. johns river water management district governing board
Commr. Breeden thanked Commissioner Campione for bringing this item forward and stated that she knew someone who had applied for this position. She indicated that she had personally written a letter of support for this applicant.
On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved a letter to Governor DeSantis requesting appointment of a Lake County resident to the St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board.
economic development panel
Commr. Campione stated that on Friday, March 29, 2019, she would be at the Orange County Convention Center to represent the County on a panel for economic development in Central Florida. She explained that the panel was organized by Mr. Jerry Demings, Orange County Mayor, and the Central Florida Partnership. She stated that the Kroger and Ocado project could be discussed at the panel.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:43 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
GARY J COONEY, CLERK