preliminary copy – for review only

A regular MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

january 23, 2018

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida.  Commissioners present at the meeting were:  Timothy I. Sullivan, Chairman; Leslie Campione, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Wendy Breeden; and Josh Blake. Others present were:  Jeff Cole, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Niki Booth, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Kristy Mullane, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Kathleen Bregel, Senior Secretary, Board Support.

INVOCATION and pledge

Pastor Touchton Caruthers from Vine Christian Fellowship gave the Invocation and Commissioner Sullivan led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Mr. Jeff Cole, County Manager, welcomed Ms. Niki Booth as the new Executive Office Manager for the County Manager’s Office.  He also said Tab 18 had been added as an addendum to the Consent Agenda and asked that the Board allow Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Office of Emergency Management Director, to give an update on the recent cold weather sheltering following the Clerk of Courts Consent Agenda.

Minutes approval

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of November 21, 2017 (Regular Meeting) and December 5, 2017 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

Mr. Don Kehr, a member of the Shirley Shores Community Group, shared concerns regarding a proposed development in his area, specifically about the roads as they related to the city’s annexation of property.  His four areas of concern were as follows: when do the roads transfer to the city; when do developers contribute to the construction and maintenance of the roads; driveway permits on collector roads; and maintenance of and widening of roads.  He reported that at the City of Tavares Planning and Zoning Board Hearing on January 18, 2018, a board member stated that if a development exceeded the capacity of a road then the developer should be responsible to expand the road.  He also noted that this developer’s traffic study indicated the development would generate 850 new daily trips and that the road currently operated at satisfactory levels of service and would continue to even with these added trips.  He reported that the Lake County Utility Department said that according to County rules, any trips over 1,200 required a 24 foot wide road and that Shirley Shores Road was currently 20 feet wide.  He added that the Lake County Public Works Department advised that the project access may be subject to further review and/or Lake County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approval.  He opined that there were safety issues created by allowing new development without following the engineering data on record.  He suggested that the new developer of this area off of Shirley Shores Road should participate in the cost of upgrading the road.  He reported that the developer was building 21, three quarter acre size lots along the edge of the development directly across Shirley Shores Road from 5, five acre size lots and that the developer had also requested 41 concessions.  He stated that the Tavares Planning and Zoning Board approved the developer’s proposal and that the neighborhood requested that the County waive driveway rules in order to secure a 64 unit plan, which is now 90 units.  He added that the County was waiving developer participation in paying for road work and he questioned why major concessions were being made to aid this developer.  He requested that the BCC assign a study group to review policies for road work and new developments, like this one.  He also asked that they vote to notify the City of Tavares that they were enforcing the prior engineer’s request to review this development in front of the Lake County BCC before their City Council Hearing on February 21, 2018.

The Board agreed to discuss this topic later under Reports.

Mr. Vance Jochim, a Tavares resident who writes a blog about local government issues, stated he had been following this issue in Tavares as mentioned by Mr. Kehr and opined that he was surprised the developer’s 41 concessions were being waived.  He asked for the Board to find a way to reverse Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements (ISBAs), to make cities responsible for roads if they annex property on them, and to protect people’s desire to live in a rural area by establishing regulations that do not allow higher density developments.  

Mr. Jimmy Crawford, attorney representing the owner and developer of the Shirley Shores Project, opined that this was a zoning issue for the City of Tavares and not the County.  He indicated that there had been several reviews and statements put out by Lake County Public Works and that the developer was going to comply with all of those.  He opined that with ISBAs in place, Lake County was one third protected between Green Swamp, Wekiva and public land that would not be developed but the other two thirds, under the ISBA system, was going to be cities and developed at municipal densities at some point.  He said that the developer was complying with all the rules currently in place.  He felt that transportation impact fees would normally handle increased capacity on a road but had concerns that they were too low to handle that in the future.      

Commr. Campione remarked that this was not really an ISBA situation because it was contiguous and that even raising impact fees would not cover the cost to bring Shirley Shores Road up to the standard it needs to be.

Mr. Crawford agreed that Shirley Shores Road did need work but disagreed that it needed 20 feet of work based on their studies.  He commented that the developer had proposed 64 lots but was met with opposition so they took away the driveway requests and raised it to 90 lots to meet the additional cost scenario.  He added that their traffic study and the county standards showed there was no additional impact that needed to be addressed except the additional .16 seconds at the intersection of County Road (C.R.) 448.  He stated there were already 500 homes in the area and that the Shirley Shores plats had been approved when it was still a clay road.  He said he had appropriately responded to the City of Tavares concerns and would be glad to present any information needed to the BCC.

Commr. Parks asked what the next steps would be for this situation.

Commr. Sullivan suggested this be discussed under Commissioner Reports because this was a policy issue and the Board should consider the process for impact fees.  He noted that what is happening in the municipalities does affect the road system and that infrastructure can be a challenge to fund.

Commr. Campione indicated that the discussion should be broader than just impact fees and should include how to deal with infrastructure issues because the cities are making decisions that affect countywide infrastructure and a new system needs to be discussed. 

Commr. Breeden suggested this be discussed under her gas tax agenda item.

CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 3, as follows:

List of Warrants

Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.

Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission

Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission - Regarding Order Suspending Utilities Inc. of Florida's Petition for Approval of Proposed Tariff's.

Town of Lady Lake

Request to acknowledge receipt of the following from the Town of Lady Lake:

·         Ordinance No. 2017-37 - Establishing a MOA for the Planned Commercial District       Owned by GTMJ Investment Group, LLC and Lazy B Cattle Venture, LTD

·         Ordinance No. 2017-38 - Annexation

·         Ordinance No. 2017-39 - Comprehensive Plan Amendment

·         Ordinance No. 2017-40 - Rezoning

·         Ordinance No. 2017-41 - Annexation

·         Ordinance No. 2017-42 - Comprehensive Plan Amendment

·         Ordinance No. 2017-43 - Rezoning

·         Resolution No. 2017-121 - Granting a Variance from the Provisions of Chapter 5, Section 5-4 f). 4). C). 1. a. - Front Yard Setback (Eff. 12/04/2017).

cold weather shelter update

Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Director for the Office of Emergency Management, gave an update on the recent cold weather sheltering that occurred the previous week.  He commented that after the first cold weather at the beginning of the year, several churches reached out to offer assistance.  He remarked that LifePointe Church in Eustis was the first to offer help and then three other churches joined including First Baptist Church of Mount Dora, Trinity Assembly of God in Fruitland Park and Cathedral of Power Church in Clermont.  He indicated that his office provided cots to the shelters, Lake County Community Services provided meals in the mornings and then LakeXpress provided buses for transportation.  He reported that the shelters were open on Wednesday, January 17 and Thursday, January 18, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and had the following visitors: LifePointe Church in Eustis had 13 people and one dog the first night and 18 people and two dogs the second night; First Baptist Church in Mount Dora had people come by but nobody sheltered either night; Trinity Assembly of God in Fruitland Park had two people the first night and three people the second night; Cathedral of Power Church in Clermont had two people the first night, who were traveling through Clermont and had their car break down and a sheriff took them to the shelter, but nobody sheltered there the second night.  He elaborated that local police departments in Eustis, Mount Dora, Clermont and Fruitland Park had police officers present overnight at the shelters, making it a safe environment.  He remarked that this assistance was provided by various Lake County departments including the Office of Emergency Management, Office of Communications, Transit Department and Community Services along with church staff and volunteers.  He said the churches were willing to help in the future. 

Commr. Campione thanked Mr. Carpenter on the great job he did and stated how much the Board appreciated his efforts.

Commr. Breeden said the Board appreciated the work of all the departments involved and thanked the churches and organizations who opened their doors.

Commr. Blake asked if the numbers that responded to the shelters were what was expected.

Mr. Carpenter responded that staff was not sure what the response would be; however, with previous work they had noticed that the homeless population tends not to shelter as they prefer to stay in the locations they normally do.  He added that once the word got out that these shelters were available, there was more communications among folks about the availability of shelters.

Mr. Cole thanked Mr. Carpenter for identifying the need and for his time spent addressing it.  He also reported that in response to Commissioner Campione’s request from the November 7, 2017 and January 9, 2018 BCC Meetings, staff had been inventorying existing organizations and agencies that provide services to the homeless in Lake County and had identified more than a dozen entities that could be brought together to be a part of a roundtable discussion.  He added that staff was scheduling a tour, along with community partners, to the Kearney Center in Tallahassee, Florida, which is a facility that seeks to reduce long term homelessness.  He noted that Ms. Allison Thall, Health and Human Services Manager, would report back to the Board at the February 13, 2018 meeting.

Commr. Sullivan stated that letters of appreciation should be sent to the churches who opened the shelters and Mr. Cole responded that staff would prepare those letters.

COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Blake and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 11, and Tab 18, as follows:

Proclamation

Request approval of Proclamation 2018-3 for 2018 Severe Weather Awareness Week.  There is no fiscal impact.

PUBLIC SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE

Public Safety

Request for approval to apply to the Department of Homeland Security for a $400,000.00 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant for wildland Personal Protective Equipment with a required 10% local match, and authorize the County Manager to execute all related documents. The fiscal impact is $40,000.00 (expenditure).  

Request for approval to apply for a $60,103.00 Florida Department of Health Emergency Medical Service Matching Grant to upgrade two LifePak heart monitors with a required 25% local match, and authorize the County Manager to execute all related documents. The fiscal impact is $15,026.00 (expenditure).

INFRASTRUCTURE AND INTERNAL SUPPORT SERVICES

Public Works

Request for approval of Resolution 2018-4 authorizing the reduction of the speed limit from 50 MPH to 45 MPH on CR 561 for 3.1 miles from 300 feet south of Rolling Hills Road, north to a location 500 feet south of Thompson Place, and authorizing the reduction of the speed limit on CR 565B/Pine Island Road for 0.33 miles from 55 MPH to 45 MPH, from CR 561 to 600 feet west of Vista Pines Loop, in the Clermont area. The fiscal impact is $200.00 (expenditure) for sign materials. Commission District 1.

Request for approval of Resolution 2018-5 authorizing the installation of stop signs on CR 561 at the intersection of CR 565B/Log House Road, in the Clermont area.  The fiscal impact is $200.00 (expenditure) for sign materials. Commission District 1.

Request for approval and execution of an Amendment to the Traffic Signal Maintenance Agreement with the City of Leesburg.  There is no fiscal impact. Commissioner Districts 1 and 3.

Request for approval for the County Manager to authorize the continued removal of vegetative debris related to Hurricane Irma from state roads. The fiscal impact is up to a total of $50,000.00 (expenditure). 

COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT SERVICE

Community Services

Request for approval of the first amendment to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Partnership Agreement with the City of Leesburg for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 CDBG funding for the Neighborhood Resource Center, to extend the term of the agreement through September 30, 2018. There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval of the first amendment to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Partnership Agreement with the City of Minneola for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 CDBG funding for the wastewater collections mains through the Minneola Main Street Sewer Project to extend the term of the agreement through September 30, 2018. There is no fiscal impact.

Parks and Trails

Request for approval of contract 17-0443, Janitorial Services for Lake County Parks and Trails, to Simply Cleaning Solutions (Bushnell, FL), and authorize the Office of Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation.  The estimated annual fiscal impact is $56,760.00 (expenditure).

public hearings: REZONING

rezoning consent agenda

Mr. Tim McClendon, Office of Planning and Zoning Manager, displayed the advertisements for that day’s rezoning cases on the overhead monitor in accordance with the Florida Statutes.  He said there were a few agenda updates, noting that Tab 3 on the Consent Agenda had minor modifications to the proposed ordinance, all of which had been presented to the Board and were consistent with the ranch’s existing operation.  He said it also included a request from the neighbors to the North who wanted to remove the screening requirement.  He mentioned that along with Tab 3, staff had received an email the previous day from a concerned citizen with regards to shooting events that occurred on the site and he stated that the Florida Statutes preempt local governments from any shooting related activities and therefore they were unable to regulate those events.  He also reported that Tab 4 of the Regular Agenda had a revised concept plan which was presented to the Board.  He requested that the BCC accept the recommendations of the Planning and Zoning Board to approve Tabs 1 through 3 as modified on the Consent Agenda and then he would give a presentation on Tab 4 of the Regular Agenda.    

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

On a motion by Commr. Blake, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 3, with minor modifications to Tab 3, as follows:

Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2018-1

Rezoning Case # RZ-17-23-5

Grand Oaks Holding CFD Amendment

Amend Community Facility District (CFD) Ordinance 2017-27 to increase the zoning district by rezoning 6.7 +/- acres from Agriculture (A) to Community Facility District (CFD) to accommodate placement of future hamlet lodging.

 

Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2018-2

Rezoning Case # CUP-16-04-5

Magnolia Oaks Ranch CUP Amendment

Amend CUP #90/8/2-5 for the existing equestrian stable, with a new CUP ordinance to include equestrian training, education, horse breeding, and 4 short term primitive camping/RV sites for customers using the equestrian facilities.

 

Tab 3. Ordinance No. 2018-3

Rezoning Case # CUP-17-05-5

L-Cross Ranch Equestrian Event Facility CUP

Applicant seeks conditional use permit (CUP) approval for an equestrian event and stable facility and agri-tourism uses in Agriculture (A) zoning.

 

rezoning regular agenda

Tab 4.

Rezoning Case # RZ-17-21-4

Sorrento Pines PUD

Rezone 200.45 acres from Community Facility District (CFD) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) for a Rural Conservation Subdivision of 400 single family dwelling units.

 

Mr. McClendon explained that rezoning case #RZ-17-21-4, Sorrento Pines PUD, was located on the west side of C.R. 437, was approximately one mile south of State Road (S.R.) 44, was within district four, was approximately 200 acres and the request was to rezone the property from Community Facility District (CFD) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) in order to allow a 400 single family unit Rural Conservation subdivision, which is two dwelling units per acre.  He stated the existing Future Land Use (FLU) of the property is Rural Transition.  He displayed a FLU map which showed the surrounding densities as follows: Mt. Plymouth Sorrento neighborhood to the south, which allows up to two dwelling units per acre; Mt. Plymouth Sorrento Receiving Area to the southeast, which allows up to 5.5 dwelling units per acre with Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs); and Receiving Area A 1-20 to the northeast, which allows up to one dwelling unit per acre.  He reiterated there was a revised Concept Plan with the only major change being a shift of the open space to align with the current tree line on the property in order to have less of an environmental impact.  He reported that the staff analysis said the applicant was requesting to use the fourth development alternative within the Rural Transition Future Land Use Category, which allows up to two dwelling units per acre; however, in order to do that the Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) requires 14 very specific criteria to be met including: central utilities, with the City of Eustis having water, waste water and reclaimed water available for this site; 50 percent open space requirement; 50 foot perimeter buffer; clustered densities; community garden; special stormwater requirements; and Florida Friendly Landscaping, etc.  He said staff received a letter from the Lake County School Board which noted that each of the schools in the area are not at capacity with Sorrento Elementary School at 72 percent capacity, Mount Dora Middle School at 71 percent capacity and Mount Dora High School at 94 percent capacity.  He indicated that the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) deemed the request reasonable and requested a tier three traffic study at the time of the platting and that Lake County Public Works required left and right turn lanes with paved shoulders along C.R. 437 for the two entrances and eight foot sidewalks, all of which are consistent with the Multi-Modal study currently underway on C.R. 437.  He concluded that the development was consistent and compatible with the Sorrento Hills subdivision to the north.  He added that staff had received 16 letters of opposition to this request from the surrounding community as well as five letters in support of it.  He said the requested action was for the Board to find the request consistent with the Lake County Comprehensive Plan and accept the Planning and Zoning Board recommendation to approve this request.

Commr. Parks asked if there was a layout for the required clustering or if Mr. McClendon could point to where the clustering might be.

Mr. McClendon responded there was not one for the Concept Plan but that would be handled during the planning stage.  He then pointed to some locations on the map where the lots could not be placed, but noted that where they would cluster was up to the applicant.

Commr. Parks asked if the area on the map labeled conservation was the 50 percent open space. 

Mr. McClendon responded that was part of the 50 percent open space, along with the perimeter buffer.

Commr. Campione asked for clarification on the other Rural Transition FLU Alternatives.

Mr. McClendon replied that there were four avenues for the Rural Transition Future Land Use as follows: one dwelling for five acres, which the applicant could move forward immediately if they chose to plat with that density; one dwelling for three acres, which requires 30-35 percent open space along with a PUD rezoning; one dwelling for one acre, which requires 50 percent open space and Rural Conservation Subdivision; and two dwellings per one acre, which requires those very specific 14 criteria as mentioned previously. 

Commr. Campione asked about central water requirements.

Mr. McClendon responded that one dwelling to one acre and above was the threshold of when utilities were required.

Commr. Parks asked for a list of the 14 specific criteria for the two dwellings per one acre and Mr. McClendon provided copies for each Board member.

Ms. Kathy Hattaway, with Poulos & Bennett, LLC, representing the applicant, shared her credentials and experience with rezoning, including planned developments and community outreach associated with the approval of development projects.  She displayed a FLU map and noted that in the area of this development on C.R. 437, there were three distinct densities which included: the subject property, which is a maximum density of two units per acre; the property to the east, which is a maximum density of 5.5 units per acre with TDRs; and then to the north is the one unit per one acre property.  She opined this was clearly a transition location surrounded by both lower and higher densities.  She mentioned the illustration to the right of the map showed the Wekiva Study Area and the Wekiva Protection Area and that this property was within the Wekiva Study Area, with approximately two thirds of it also within the Mt. Plymouth Sorrento Overlay District.  She reported that in September 2015, the BCC adopted Ordinance 2015-11 which provided for a fourth alternative to develop property within the Rural Transition FLU District.  She reiterated that the fourth alternative did allow up to two dwelling units per acre with the 14 specific conditions being placed on the property.   She indicated that this development did meet the 14 specific conditions and was also meeting the requirement to be developed as a Rural Conservation Subdivision, which has additional criteria in the Comp Plan.  She gave an example that the 14 criteria required 50 percent open space but the Rural Conservation Subdivision policy required that open space to be contiguous, which meant it had to be accessible throughout the entire community.  She elaborated that the Lake County Code did not count active community recreation towards the 50 percent open space so in addition to that open space, they would be providing active recreation facilities in the community for the residents, such as pools, cabanas, play fields, tot lots, etc.  She indicated that the applicant had two minor revisions to the PUD ordinance, which were to amend the boundary of the Conservation Area to allow for more trees and to revise the transportation condition.  She noted that the conservation area and the open space area would have to be owned and maintained by a third party such as the Home Owners Association (HOA).  She elaborated that the revised transportation condition was within the PUD ordinance in section 1, number J.4 on page three and the request was to add the phrase “subject to compliance with Comprehensive Plan Policy I-1.4.5.8.a.”  She stated the reason for this request was because section 8.a. in the Comp Plan allows for a maximum roadway width of 18 feet for two travel lanes, unless additional paved surface for travel lanes is required for fire or Emergency Medical Service, and that the Building Division Fire Section indicated that a 20 foot right of way would be sufficient for their needs.  She added that having the 20 foot road width also allows them to lower the speed limits in the community as well as support the Comp Plan policies.  She reported that the developer met with the Sorrento Springs HOA Board on October 23, 2017, and with the entire community on November 20, 2017, of which 40 residents attended.  She said they also invited all neighbors within 500 feet to an evening meeting on November 28, 2017, of which 16 neighboring property owners attended.  She stated they followed up with everyone who attended and provided an email address; however, they did not receive any requests for information in response to the emails they sent.  She mentioned that they did have subsequent meetings and phone conversations with two neighboring property owners who had attended the November 28, 2017 meeting.  She said the intent was to reach an agreement with them wherein the owners of the subject property would provide extensive provisions to buffer the neighboring homes from this development and in return, the neighbors would agree to support the project.  She said this was intended to be a private agreement; however, they were not able to come to an agreement on terms.  She mentioned that the subject property owners, as evidence of the positive intent to negotiate and the desire to be a good neighbor, did ask that the following five commitments be made conditions of approval for this PUD for the portion of the project west of the conservation area: to provide a 100 foot buffer along the southern boundary of the property; commit to no lots less than 85 feet in width be developed along the southern boundary of the property; that no townhomes be developed west of the conservation area or internal to the site; no pool cabana facility be constructed within that area; and that the six lots closest to the southern boundary be limited to one story in height. 

Commr. Parks asked for more detail regarding the management of the open space.  He stated that sometimes with HOAs, there is not a funding mechanism set aside specifically for land management activities that would be required to maintain the conservation areas, which can cause the funding priorities to shift and this to be neglected.  He added that there should be a long term land management process set in place and that having the HOA manage it could produce problems later.

Ms. Hattaway reiterated that it would be owned by the HOA and there were ways to insure the long term viability.  She said that in the early days of a project, the HOA is controlled by the developer until a certain number of residents buy property.  She stated that typically an arborist would be brought in who would come up with a land management plan for that area to address what needed to be done on a regular basis to preserve the trees and that plan would be adopted as part of the conditions on that property.  She said that when the property owners take over the HOA, they assume the budget requirements, the responsibility for implementing them, and all the conditions and restrictions on that property, which would address everything allowed within the conservation area.  She noted that the HOA would be responsible for the passive open spaces, stormwater system and the active recreation areas.

Commr. Parks asked if there would be signage in the conservation area to educate people on why the space was open and preserved.

Ms. Hattaway replied that was a common practice and that at the preliminary subdivision plan stage, they could provide samples of signage that could be placed at the perimeter of the conservation area to alert residents and guests.

Commr. Breeden questioned if the developer would be responsible for developing hiking paths through this conservation area.

Ms. Hattaway responded that the developer would develop paths because there has to be pedestrian connectivity through all of the open space areas in the project.

Commr. Breeden asked if the existing trees in the buffer area would remain.

Ms. Hattaway said they would remain and that no trees would be cleared out of the buffer.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

The Chairman called on Mr. Phil Gosnell, who had filled out a speaker request form; however, he declined to speak when his request to speak last was not granted by the Chairman.

Ms. Heather Brush, a resident off of Equestrian Trail in Sorrento, stated that her property was south of the 40 acres that are west of the planned conservation area in the Sorrento Pines PUD.  She remarked that she was invited by the developer to a meeting in November 2017 to get a first look at the plans for Sorrento Pines.  She explained that at that meeting, the developer made arrangements to meet and discuss options they might be willing to do to lower the impact and exposure the development would have to her and her neighbor’s property.  She noted that this was greatly appreciated and conditions were discussed and agreed upon to be added to the ordinance; however, she alleged that when the conditions were sent by email, there was also a “gag order” that they had to sign in order for the developer to add the agreed upon conditions.  She said that she could not sign the order and that the developer had not previously mentioned that they had to support the development in order to obtain the conditions.  She submitted copies of the emails to the Board for review.  She opined that the fourth option for Rural Transition zoning should be revised for future projects to allow for a more responsible transition, instead of building high density next to agricultural properties.  She expressed concern that higher densities would affect traffic, schools, light and noise pollution and destroy the quality of life in that area.  She understood that properties would be developed but asked for a lower density to be considered.

Mr. Jerry Rodriguez, a resident off of Equestrian Trail in Sorrento, stated his property was directly adjacent to the proposed development.  He said he was a part of the discussions with the developer regarding the buffer between the properties and that he was asked to sign a document asking him to not speak about the development moving forward.  He opined that it was unethical to be presented with this document since they had been in negotiations and thought they were all in agreement.  He requested that the Board consider if this was truly a Rural Transition area and look at other options in order to conserve this area, as this development’s density was too high for this area.    

Ms. Melinda Rodriguez, a resident south of the proposed development, agreed with the comments just presented.  She remarked that at the beginning she felt there was empathy for their situation due to the higher density development coming in next to their farm.  She said she attended all the meetings and that the developer realized their properties would be the most impacted and did make efforts to follow up and meet with them.  She remarked that the developer had plans to create a large buffer to protect their quality of life on their property.  She said she was being cooperative and that they all agreed to the buffer; however, she alleged that when she received the letter to approve the agreement, there was a “gag order” saying they could not make any comments regarding the development in order to get the buffer they had previously discussed.  She commented she felt blindsided by this and it was disappointing and was told that because they did not sign the document, all proposed conditions would not be met.  She did not agree with the density of this development and as the President of the Student Advisory Council at Sorrento Elementary School, she opined that the school was not at 73 percent capacity and only had enough room for approximately 100 more students.  She shared concerns about how much traffic was on C.R. 437 and that it was not safe.  She thanked the Board for allowing her to speak and asked that they consider and implement the proposed buffer to help them keep the tranquility of their lifestyle.

Mr. Forrest Hackley, a resident of Rolling Oaks Estates across the road from the proposed development, stated they were new to Lake County and moved from south Florida to get away from the congestion and overcrowding there.  He opined he was starting to see the same thing in this county, that C.R. 437 could not handle any more traffic, and that notification of the public hearing was poorly done by only putting up yellow signs on the fence along the road.  He urged the Board to maintain the beautiful, rural lifestyle of Lake County.

Mr. Jon Suarez, a resident of Grove Hill subdivision, stated he bought in a rural area for a reason, which was to enjoy that lifestyle and have cows, horses, and a farm and not have the threat of large subdivisions coming into that area.  He feared that was happening and stated that with how busy C.R. 437 had become, he was afraid to ride his horses down that road.  He remarked that the developer was proposing 400 homes on 200 acres and that if you took away the 50 percent open space and the space needed for buffers and other items, it became approximately 400 homes on less than 100 acres and that was a very high density.  He commented that the surrounding properties, going east of S.R. 44B, had an average lot size of three acres, with many others being five, ten, twenty and forty acres.  He opined that high density developments coming in would ruin the open space lifestyle he enjoys.  He remarked that often the property rights of the developer are considered, but he asked that the property rights of the owners who bought in the rural area be considered.  He explained that he knew growth was inevitable; however, he opined that it should be done the right way and that density should be conducive to what is there now.  He challenged the Board to consider the Clermont area and the Lake Nona area in Orange County, which both used to be rural, and he stated he did not want to see that happen in north Lake County.  He asked the Board to deny this applicant’s request.

Ms. Melodie Collins, a resident of Rolling Oaks subdivision directly across from the proposed development, shared her concerns about the proposal to rezone this area.  She said they purchased their retirement home for the peaceful, rural area which surrounds them.  She understood that S.R. 429 was bringing growth to this area but opined that what was being proposed was not acceptable due to the destruction of native habitat that had already happened.  She stated that many home owners were not aware of this rezoning proposal and that she only became aware of it within the last week.  She felt like the proposal was kept quiet and was pushed through without even notifying the public as she did not consider three small signs as suitable notice of plans.  She thought that the roads and schools were already overcrowded and that higher populations bring other issues like crime.  She said the Plymouth Sorrento area is unique and she wanted it to stay that way and felt this proposal would change their way of life.

Mr. Scott Taylor, a resident off of S.R. 46 in Sorrento, stated he went to the November 2017 meeting and liked how the developer sought the advice of neighbors who would be impacted by it.  He asked that the Board urge the developer to give all five of the items that the neighboring residents requested and to review the Comp Plan.

 Ms. Marlene Garcia-Montes, a resident of Lakewood Ranches, felt that it was a large amount of homes for a small portion of land.  She stated that she came from a very congested area in south Florida, which was not pleasurable to live in, and she did not want to see that happen here.  She added that she was not notified of the neighborhood meetings and that she was concerned about the high density of this development. 

Mr. Jochim shared concerns with the utility issues in regards to annexation and taxes and suggested the County have their own sewer system.  He remarked that the Board should review the notification process, so neighbors adjacent to proposed developments are aware, and urged them to protect the residents of rural areas.

Ms. Ginny Miller, a resident of an equestrian community south of the proposed development, stated she had property in the area for 30 years and that traffic on S.R. 46 had increased greatly in the years she has lived there.  Her concern was that the density of the development was too high and she suggested one of the other four options be considered.  She stated that the surrounding properties were one home per acre or more and that where she lived contained five, ten, fifteen and twenty acre parcels.  She opined that four homes on one acre was not a transition but an encroachment and that this was not a development that would transition to the properties around it.  She urged the Board to consider one of the other density allowances, numbers one through three, instead of the fourth one which is the higher density.

Ms. Jackie Richie, a resident of Altoona, mentioned she came from a busy area in Miami and opined that a large development like this one with a high density will hurt the environment and add to traffic.  She stated she has driven on C.R. 437 in that area and the traffic is already heavy and that she moved to Lake County to get away from this.  She said she was a retired fire fighter/paramedic and wondered if the County had enough resources to handle 911 calls in that area.  She urged the Board to ask the developer to reconsider the density to a minimum of two acre parcels and above. 

Mr. Robert Stever, a resident of Eagle Dunes, stated he attended the meeting in November 2017, but was not aware of any other meetings.  He said he had concerns with the density and the additional 800 vehicles on the road and its effect on traffic.  He indicated that at that meeting, they talked about a possible access gate through his community and that he did not want the extra traffic going through his neighborhood.    

Ms. Theresa Schill, a resident of Cross Tie Ranch off of S.R. 44 near C.R. 437, stated she had lived in the area for 20 years and did not like that a huge development was coming to the area.  She agreed with others who had spoken that five acre lots would blend with the other properties in the area and that this development would greatly affect traffic, which is already so busy.  She asked the developer to consider a smaller density in this development.

Mr. Kehr commended the developer’s presentation and how professional the proceedings had been handled.  He stated that from his experience with doing this type of work, what was happening now was designing the future of the entire area.  He commented that because of the increased demand for housing, due to additional roads and proximity to Orlando, things would be developed.  He encouraged the Board to set a rigid set of standards and adhere to them so that nothing outside the standards would be considered unless there were huge extenuating circumstances.  He added that from his experience with developments in California, he saw many Boards faced with this dilemma and said that one city passed a one year moratorium on permits and applications until they could determine what they wanted, how they would do it and how they could manage growth.

Ms. Joan Hill, a resident of Sorrento since 1994, mentioned that she moved there to enjoy a rural lifestyle and has paid taxes on 10 acres of land for 24 years.  She remarked that since this was a rural area, residents do not have a mayor so the County Commissioners represent them and determine what happens in the area.  She specified that they were there to defend their greatest investment, which is their home, and that the Board had an obligation to consider what their constituents wanted before they considered what outside developers wanted.  She opined that just because a road was built, it does not mean there has to be high density.  She challenged the Board to let Lake County be a beautiful community and an extension of the natural habitat and ecosystem and stated she supported one house per five acres.

Ms. Marilyn Zincka, a realtor representing a property owner on Equestrian Trail, remarked that the owner had 22 acres that were divided into 12 and 10 acre tracts.  She said most buyers were looking for a five acre lot.  She stated that the owner was not allowed to split the land again into smaller five acre tracts per the zoning department.  She elaborated that she used to be able to travel down S.R. 46 to Lake Mary in 20 minutes but that now it takes an hour.  She stated it is almost impossible to get out of her development because of the busy traffic.  She understood there would be development; however, she felt that 400 homes on 100 acres was not good for Lake County and she  supported a density of one or two homes to five acres.     

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

Ms. Hattaway reminded the Board that this application was consistent with the Comp Plan and was a project subjected to 14 very stringent requirements.  She stated that it had been made clear that this is Rural Transition Future Land Use and located between three different maximum density land use categories and at the northern tip of the Plymouth Sorrento Overlay District.  She indicated that this project would facilitate the transitional nature due to the buffers, the internal density and the dark sky lighting requirement.  She elaborated that during the preliminary subdivision plan stage, the Board would be able to review the project again and see exactly the size and placement of the lots, the open space and how it connects and the buffer between adjacent neighbors.  She remarked that they had received a determination from the schools that there was not a capacity issue and that mobility connectivity improvements were budgeted for C.R. 437.  She confirmed there was no proposed access to Equestrian Trail.  She reiterated that this was a gated community with architectural integrity, would be governed by a HOA to maintain its value, would not negatively affect adjacent property owners and would create beautiful spaces within the county.  She indicated that she was surprised by the reaction to the proposed agreement with the neighbors and elaborated that an agreement had two parts and was based on consideration from both sides.  She opined that the “gag order” was a misrepresentation and that the request was for the property owners to not speak against the project but they could speak in favor of it.  She added that it was a private agreement in which the developer made commitments to the owners and was regretful that they did not reach an agreement.  She said the developer added five conditions, presented previously, to meet the intent of those negotiations and which would provide significant and appropriate buffering for the residents on Equestrian Trail. 

Commr. Parks asked if the berm was still a part of the agreement.

Ms. Hattaway replied that the berm was a part of the original agreement but was not being offered today.

Commr. Campione referenced the zoning map and the patterns of the land use in that area and mentioned that the Eagle Dunes subdivision was an anomaly for that area because it had been vested and had a grandfathered zoning, which allowed it to have one unit to one acre.  She added that Eustis provided water and sewer for that development and now has central utilities in the area.  She elaborated that with Rural Transition Future Land Use, there were four specific zonings because each situation is different and the surrounding area must be considered when determining zoning.  She commented it was a unique area and that the zoning should reflect more than just the property to the north but also the properties to the east, south and west.  She mentioned C.R. 46 was overburdened and would remain that way until all the improvements on the Wekiva Parkway were completed.  She reiterated that one of the reasons the Wekiva Parkway was being built was in order to protect the environment, it was decided that C.R. 46 was not going to be widened.  She expressed concern that if density was added to this area, it would exasperate the traffic problems because the road network was not in place yet to handle the extra traffic.  She added that there are many roads that need improvements but there was not current funding to address all the needs and she cautioned the Board to not do anything that would make the situation worse until they could get the road system in place.  Because of all these concerns, she stated she would not be able to support the two units per acre clustered on 100 acres as it was too many homes, too much density and did not fit the character of the immediate surrounding area.  She clarified that this was a special area and encouraged the Board to set the standard to protect this area and put it at a level the community deserved and to consider one of the other densities, such as one unit to three acres.  She stated that there were other options that would still allow the developer to utilize this property in a way that would be more consistent with the area and also set a standard for this to be a high quality area.

Commr. Breeden remarked that she was having trouble supporting the fourth option, not just here but in other areas too and suggested that be looked at.  She opined that four units to one acre was not a Rural Transition.  She suggested possibly considering one unit to three acres with 30 percent open space.  She asked if utilities could be put in at that density because septic tanks were not a good option.

Commr. Campione questioned whether it was better to have a higher number of units in order to have utilities verses a lower number of units on septic tanks.  She added that they would have access to city water and sewer and that they could cluster it and keep the number of units lower.

Commr. Parks stated he did support Commissioner Campione’s comments and that there were still other options.  He stated that he had heard for the last few years the concerns regarding how fast Lake County was growing.  He said some projections show that 100,000 people could come to the county in the next eight to ten years and because of those numbers, he opined that they could be selective in what they do.  He understood the concerns of the adjacent property owners and appreciated that the applicant did offer some accommodations; however, he felt that there were still questions that needed to be considered.   He agreed that there could be improvement in the notification process.  He said when looking at larger tracts of land being developed, there needs to be a higher standard and more specific requirements and that the County should be more selective on what development is accepted in the future. 

Commr. Blake remarked he was sympathetic to the opinions shared by the residents and agreed that the Comp Plan needed to be revised; however, in terms of the development proposal, he would be in favor of approval because the applicant was following the rules, this has happened in the surrounding area, and the Planning and Zoning Board and staff had recommended approval.  He did agree that this issue would continue to come up because of the way the Comp Plan had been developed.

Commr. Sullivan said he understood both sides of the issue and reiterated that a year ago he asked for a study to look at the Comp Plan in order to prevent these issues.  He stated he would like to see this developed but was not sure he had 100 percent of what was needed to support it today, although he thought they could come to a happy medium.  He elaborated that he had lived in Lake County since 1969 and had seen lots of change and that since Florida was the third most populous state in America, people would be coming to live here.  He commented that the “Real Florida, Real Close” brand for Lake County speaks to lifestyle and that it was important to protect the quality of life in this county.  He suggested that the Board make revising the Comp Plan a priority and then look at this property again. 

Commr. Campione reiterated that they should look at the fourth option of the Rural Transition Future Land Use and the correct place to use it.  She added that they could possibly compromise and use one of the other options that would keep it in line with the surrounding area and maintain quality, rural lifestyle in the Sorrento area.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board denied Tab 4, Rezoning Case #RZ-17-21-4, Sorrento Pines PUD.

Commr. Blake voted no.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman called a recess at 11:30 a.m. for 10 minutes.

public hearing Vacate right of way in plat of lake highlands Co.

Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, remarked that this was vacation petition number 1238, requested by Jimmy and Shannon Sloan, for the vacation of right of way in the plat of Lake Highlands Company, near Clermont.  He said it was a 100 year old plat in Commission District 2, that the request had been advertised, that staff had not received any calls or emails in support or opposition and that there were not any utility concerns.  He then showed a map to identify the area.  He said the purpose was to vacate unimproved rights of way in order to enable the property owners to combine their property lying on both sides of the right of way.  He indicated that the applicants had signed drainage deeds to Lake County to use if needed.  He added that the surrounding property owners and the City of Clermont were notified and that staff recommended approval.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Frank Costanzo, President of Summit Greens Residents’ Association which is the HOA immediately adjacent to this property, stated they had no objection to this request; however, since this allows the Sloan family to possibly sell their property, they would have issues in regards to wetlands, drainage, and density, as it relates to the golf course and homes, if a development were to occur on that land.

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

Commr. Parks thanked the Sloan family for all they do in the community and thanked Summit Greens for being involved and watching out for their community.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Breeden and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request to vacate right of way in the plat of Lake Highlands Company, near Clermont, and to execute Resolution 2018-6, which approves the vacation, discontinuation and closing of right of way that is no longer needed for public use in the Clermont area.

public hearing – amended budget for fiscal year 2018

Ms. Jennifer Barker, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, stated this public hearing was for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Mid-Year Budget Amendment and that she would be presenting an overview of the mid-year budget amendment, the status of the general fund reserves, a summary of the changes, and the requested action.  She remarked that the purpose of the mid-year budget adjustment process was to make adjustments to the FY 2018 adopted budget and included a reconciliation of fund balances, which is based on what the ending fund balance is with the various funds from the prior fiscal year, and also addresses any unforeseen changes that were not included in the adopted budget.  She reported that the current countywide budget totaled $382.19 million and that the mid-year changes totaled $7.74 million and that if approved, would bring the supplemental budget to $389.93 million.  She said the general fund reserves in the FY 2018 adopted budget totaled $10.2 million, which equates to 8.2 percent of the operating budget of the general fund, and was based on an estimated fund balance during the budget process last summer.  She stated that after the mid-year budget adjustment, the general fund reserves would total $10.3 million and remain at 8.2 percent of the operating budget.  She commented that in past years, the adjustments to the fund balance of the general fund during the mid-year budget amendment process had been quite sizeable, reporting that it was $2.8 million in FY 2014, $2.6 million in FY 2015, $2.3 million in FY 2016, $1.8 million in FY 2017, with the adjustment being only $32,924 this fiscal year.  She elaborated that the large decrease in the fund balance adjustment amount was due to the funding required in FY 2017 for both Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma.  She said the expenses for the storms in 2017 totaled $1.7 million, which left quite a bit less to carry forward into FY 2018.  She relayed that they were able to increase the reserves by $88,528 due to decreases in other areas of the general fund but that they were still incurring costs related to recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma, which were anticipated to be $5 million or more for FY 2018.  She said the required funding for this would be taken from reserves, which would decrease the balance by approximately half of the $10.3 million following the mid-year adjustments.  She added that by the end of this fiscal year, the general fund reserve balance could be four to five percent of the operating budget, which she noted was well below the policy that stated the goal of the general fund is to maintain an unreserved fund balance between seven and twelve percent of the operating budget.  She then highlighted some of the changes in the mid-year amendment as follows for the general fund: additional funding was included for the balance of the approved seaplane ramp and dock in Leesburg; balance of approved funding for Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery (LASER) as their allocation for 2018 was increased and approved at the September 26, 2017 budget meeting; a contribution for the Leesburg World War II memorial; an increase in Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) payments and fire assessment for the government and institutional waiver portion, based on final property values released on October 1, 2017; re-appropriation of unused capital funds for the fairgrounds; re-appropriation of unused funds for We Care of Lake County; and other administrative adjustments.  She reported that under Judicial Support and Constitutional Offices, the general fund also had these changes: the salary for a position in Judicial Support was being adjusted based on an evaluation of the current job duties; a re-appropriation of unspent funds for the Supervisor of Elections, which were funds not spent in FY 2017 and were being re-appropriated for relocation expenses; security enhancements for the Sheriff at the Detention Center, Historic Courthouse and South Lake District Office; and an adjustment to the Sheriff’s salary as set by the State.    She noted these changes to the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) Stormwater Fund: funds to provide a match for a fertilize education grant; design costs for the Lower Palatlakaha Basin and Lake Yale Basin; re-appropriation of unspent FY 2017 funds for the Harris Road water quality project; and additional funding for the Royal Trails construction.  She mentioned that in the MSTU Parks fund there was resort tax being transferred in order to fund the Astor Boat Ramp renovations and PFXA Spring Softball Tournament.  She indicated additional funding from a Keep Lake Beautiful grant and Emergency Management Performance grant for the Federal/State Grant Fund.  She said the Fire Rescue Fund had additional revenue for the remaining balance of the SAFER grant and that there were various other grant adjustments throughout all the funds based on the balances at the end of FY 2017.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Jochim stated he wanted to see details regarding the extra money given to the Constitutional Offices.

Ms. Barker replied that for the Sheriff it was approximately $230,000, with $196,000 for the enhancements to the Detention Center, $30,000 for the South Lake District Office and Historic Courthouse and his salary adjustment equated to approximately $6,500 to $7,000.

Commr. Campione remarked that the Board had spent time with the staff and knew the details and that the money for the Sheriff related to providing security measures to the Detention Center and that the County was responsible for all the buildings that the Constitutional Officers occupy. 

Mr. Jochim shared concerns that there was not public discussion regarding these items and asked what the Supervisor of Elections was receiving.

Ms. Barker replied that he had unspent funds from FY 2017 of $171,000 which were being re-appropriated to use as relocation expenses.

Mr. Cole added that there were two request letters from the Sheriff that were part of public record and that the numbers requested in the letters equaled what was being requested today.

Commr. Sullivan elaborated that he had met personally with the Sheriff and that could not be done collectively due to the Sunshine Law and that the $196,000 spent on the Detention Center came out of an inspection and recurring maintenance costs and that fixing these issues will cut down on the maintenance cost of the center.

Commr. Campione said that for the Supervisor of Elections, that amount was in the budget and he asked for the reduction in operation costs to be carried over for his request for relocation.

Mr. Cole explained that request was also made in writing as part of the public record.

Mr. Jochim remarked that by not disclosing the amount of funds it gave the appearance that maybe something was happening behind the scenes.  He commented it was helpful to have those numbers described.

Mr. Cole added that the information was part of the backup material attached to the item and was published.

Commr. Campione suggested that dollar amounts be added to the presentations for the future.

Mr. Kehr said that in regards to the expenses related to the hurricane, that he was remarkably impressed with how the County took care of his neighborhood and other areas he noticed. 

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

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the amended budget for Fiscal Year 2018 to include mid-year budget adjustments and approval of Resolution 2018-7, adopting a supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2018 of $389,925,916. 

regular agenda

economic prosperity presentation - economic outlook

Mr. Robert Chandler, Executive Director of the Agency for Economic Prosperity, provided an update on the economic outlook for 2018 and a quarterly update on economic development and tourism.  He stated his first presentation would provide a historical overview and projected forecast for national, state and regional economic indicators to be considered as part of the FY 2019 budget process.  He noted that the information was gathered from different resources with the main two sources being the December 14, 2017, Wells Fargo Securities “2018 Annual Economic Outlook” and the December 2017, Institute for Economic Competitiveness “Florida and Metro Forecast.”  For the national outlook, he looked at gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, interest rates, business spending, energy and retail spending, all of which heavily impact the economy.  He reported that January 2018 marked the 103rd month of the current expansion, noting that the longest expansion on record was 120 months during the 1990’s, with an average expansion being 94 months.  He mentioned that current forecasts called for an average of 2.6 percent growth through 2019, which would make this the longest expansion on record.  He noted that there had been relatively modest growth, averaging approximately 2.3 percent, making it the weakest recovery since World War II; however, the weakness of the recovery in terms of year after year growth was responsible for the length of the expansion.  He added that models predicted less than 1.2 percent chance of a recession in the next six months.  He explained that momentum was strong entering 2018 due to the following: inflation and interest rates remain low; consumers do not appear to be excessively over-leveraged, which was a problem before with the financial crisis; corporate balance sheets are in good shape with profits improving; global growth is reviving; commodity prices have rebounded; housing and commercial real estate are in good balance; expansionary fiscal policy is in place; and no industry sectors are particularly over-extended.  He indicated that there were three potential risks to monitor, although they were fairly limited with respect to looking at former years, which were an increase in rates could slow growth across multiple sectors including tech and real estate, high government debt in China and Japan, and the political situation with North Korea.  He displayed a graph summarizing the GDP, noting it was at 2.9 percent growth in 2015, dropped a little in 2016, and forecasted at 2.7 percent in 2018 and 2.5 percent in 2019.  In regards to inflation, he remarked that at 8.5 years into the current expansion, core inflation had exceeded two percent in only five months with central banks struggling to stoke consumer price inflation and that inflation was expected to increase slightly in 2018 due to higher labor costs, higher energy prices and improving global economy.  He explained that increases in inflation would still not meet historically expected norms, that political risks to inflation were lower but would be balanced out by tax reform, and that inflation was expected to average 2.2 percent in 2018 and 2019.  He reported the following information for interest rates: despite the challenges with inflation, the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2001 and the number of job openings is at a record high indicating the Federal Reserve (Fed) is delivering on the maximum employment portion of its dual mandate; higher inflation, a tighter Fed and other factors will prompt a rise in the benchmark rates; the Fed is expected to raise rates three times in 2018, bringing the federal fund rate to 2.25 percent by year-end 2018 and to over 2.6 percent in 2019; and the 10-year Treasury rate is expected to climb to over 2.8 percent in 2018 and 3.2 percent in 2019.  He then displayed two graphs with the forecast for federal funds target rate and the 10-year Treasury note, noting that the increases in 2018 would drive the number up.  He mentioned the following in regards to business spending: business fixed investment was a key driver of growth in the first several years of this expansion; with the increase in oil and energy prices in 2014, there was a deceleration of that in 2015 and 2016; 2017 was a turnaround year and now there is significant factors in the form of stabilized oil prices, tax reform, global growth and other variables; equipment spending has been up for four consecutive quarters and is expected to continue; and corporate profits are expected to exhibit healthy growth due to an improved economy and tax reform, which should drive increased business spending in 2018 and 2019.  He showed a comparison of the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), noting that it dropped in 2016 due to the increase in energy prices.  For energy, he reported that crude oil prices were expected to remain flat in 2018 and 2019, with increased production matching increased demand, and for the first time in years, there was no major political, economic or other disruptions anticipated in the short term.  He noted that the crude oil price per barrel was forecasted at $54 for 2018 and $56 for 2019.  He mentioned the following for retail spending: consumer spending had provided the momentum for the economy since the recovery began but larger wage and salary gains are needed to offset higher interest rates; there is significant increase in consumer confidence since the presidential election in 2016, which continues to drive consumer spending; personal saving rates have declined while wealth has increased due to the rising stock market and housing prices; inflation will remain low, furthering the strength of consumer spending; and tax reform should have a positive impact on spending in 2018 and 2019.  He shared retail percentage growth numbers, showing there was growth each year with a slight drop off forecasted for 2019, but noted that consumer spending would continue to drive the economy.

Mr. Chandler continued his presentation with a look at the state and regional outlook.  He reported that in 2013, Florida fully exited the recession with a growth rate of 2.1 percent, with the exit driven by improved consumer confidence, the housing market, population growth and an improved labor market.  He said that growth continued to accelerate to a high of 3.6 percent in 2015, and comparing that to the national level at 2.1 percent means Florida had done very well.  It eased back to 3 percent in 2016 when the national economy was growing at 1.5 percent.  He stated Florida is poised for another two year acceleration in growth during 2018 and 2019 before growth is expected to ease in 2020 and 2021 due to anticipated increases in interest rates.  He mentioned that housing prices had made substantial progress during the expansion, going from a median existing home price of $122,200 to over $235,000.  He commented that payroll job growth in Florida was strong and would continue to outpace national job growth, with consistently strong payroll job creation continuing to strengthen Florida’s labor market while putting more residents back into the labor market and attracting out-of-state job seekers.  He noted that job growth was expected to be the strongest in construction, professional and business services, financial and manufacturing sectors.  He elaborated that housing starts would accelerate going forward but not fast enough to alleviate the shortage of single family housing in the short run.  He indicated that hurricane recovery would squeeze the construction labor market which will further exasperate the problem with single family housing.  Lastly, he reported that real personal income would continue to outperform the national rate and that retail sales would be boosted by a stronger national economy, tax reform, rising household wealth and the continued strength of Florida’s labor market.  For the Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties, he reported the following: they would show varying strengths and weaknesses in 2018; population and employment growth would continue to outpace the state and national averages; personal income growth would be the second highest of all MSAs at 6.3 percent; and job growth was expected to be the strongest in construction and mining, professional and business services, and financial sectors.  He then showed several graphs comparing the Orlando MSA to Florida in regards to gross product, employment, labor force, unemployment, housing starts and personal income.  He noted that for gross product, the Orlando market was strong and leading the state with the forecast showing the MSA higher in both 2018 and 2019.  He reported that employment numbers were 2.6 percent for the state of Florida and 3.6 percent for the Orlando MSA in 2018.  He added that labor force for MSA was falling behind the state largely because over the last three years, there were higher numbers of people entering the labor force and therefore not as many who need to enter it in 2018 and 2019.  He remarked that unemployment rates were at historical lows and the country was at full employment nationally, which does not mean there aren’t underemployment problems but that it is at full employment based on the unemployment rate.  He added that the MSA was forecasted to be slightly higher than the state but relatively flat over the next two years.  He commented that the MSA had a deceleration in the number of housing starts in 2017, which does not mean housing was lost but that the number of housing starts was lower in 2017 than in 2016.  He added that there would be a rebound in 2018 and then modest growth in single family housing in 2019 in both the state and Orlando MSA.  He remarked that personal income numbers looked good, with the Orlando MSA expected to outpace the state in both 2018 and 2019 with 6.3 percent in 2018 and 8 percent in 2019, and that hopefully some of that would extend into Lake County.  He displayed a graph of the Revenue Estimating Conference for Ad Valorem Assessments done by the Florida Office of Demographics in August 2017, which showed numbers projected for taxable property values with the forecast for Lake County as 7.7 percent in 2018 and 8.9 percent for 2019.  He said that these numbers were about trying to forecast and project what the taxable values would look like in 2019. 

economic prosperity presentation – quarterly update

Mr. Chandler presented the Economic Development and Tourism Update for first quarter FY 2018 by providing a summary of activities for the quarter which included economic indicators, reorganization and strategy and an update on the fairgrounds.  He noted that the presentation would be a little different than in the past as his focus would be more on strategy and how to bring visitors to Lake County and less on data.  He displayed several graphs noting that each covered a five year time period, from 2012 to 2017, and compared Lake County to Florida.  He reported that the unemployment rate for Lake County was 3.7 percent, which is historically low, and Florida was 3.8 percent.  He commented that the employment annual growth rate represented Lake County residents who have a job and indicates how a region is producing, noting that the county had 4.1 percent year over year growth and the state of Florida had 3.5 percent.  He said these were the highest numbers seen in five years and employment growth was staying strong.  He remarked that labor force annual growth represented people who are in the labor market and have a job or are looking for a job, with Lake County at 3.3 percent year over year growth and Florida at 2.8 percent.  He explained that anything over three percent was strong and that labor force numbers were a good sign of the economy.  He indicated that Lake County payroll job creation were jobs created in the county by businesses and that five years ago the county had approximately 80,000 jobs and currently has 94,757 jobs, which represents an increase of 15,000 jobs over five years and one of the largest expansions from a job perspective in the county.  He showed graphs of net new jobs created annually and payroll job creation annually from 2012 to 2017 and added that 3,000 jobs added was a strong number to see year over year and noted that since 2015, Lake County outperformed the state in terms of year over year job growth.  He specified that the Lake County jobs to labor force ratio slide represented how many jobs are available in the county for every person looking for a job or who already has a job.  He said the ideal scenario would be for the ratio to be 1:1, which would mean that every person who lives in the county and wanted a job, would have one.  He commented the Lake County ratio was .6 in 2012 and .64 in 2017, which means that there are six jobs for every ten people who want one.  He compared this to surrounding counties reporting that Osceola was at .54, Seminole at .75, the state of Florida at .84 and Orange at 1.12, noting that Lake County’s goal was to be above .7.  He elaborated that job growth was good and employment labor force numbers were good; however, the average annual wage for Lake County at $36,626 was lagging behind the state of Florida at $48,152.  He relayed the desire to bring those numbers up in order to increase the quality of life in the county.  He then displayed a graph comparing the average annual wage in the surrounding counties.  He concluded that almost all the numbers were good, except for the wages, and recapped that the unemployment rate was down at 1.1 percentage points per year, employment was up over 4 percent, labor force was up over 3 percent, jobs were up almost 4 percent, and that wages were up 2.5 percent but that needed to be increased.

Mr. Chandler continued with his presentation by sharing the Office of Elevate Lake reorganization and strategy.  He remarked that it had these three phases: phase one focused on organizational structure and staffing, branding, policies and procedures, and relocation; phase two was the knowledge and research phase, to include enhancement of previous work done and development of strategies and new initiatives to gather knowledge and then create a plan of how to improve Lake County’s economy; phase three was developing the resources needed and then actually executing the plan.  As part of phase one, he then shared the organizational chart for the Office of Elevate Lake to include: Ms. Erika Greene as the Associate Director for Workforce and Business Support; the retitled coordinator roles to Managers of Business Development to align with titles in the private sector and to include Mr. Brandon Matulka for South Lake County, Ms. Alexandra Sanchez for Northwest Lake County, and Ms. Amanda Johnson for the Northeast; and the recent hire of Mr. Michael Cooney as the Director for Product Development and Business Attraction.  He commented that staff would be relocating on February 1, 2018, to the former Welcome Center.  He shared the advantages of this new location were that it was centrally located within the county, provided easy access to the turnpike, was adjacent to Ford Park, had ample space for the entire staff and that Lake County owned the building.  For phase two he reiterated their core mission was to create jobs so that families could create wealth and have the quality of life they want.  He reported that the strategic initiatives they would be focusing on were business support, workforce development, product development and business attraction and then he elaborated on each of these initiatives in regards to their challenges, goals and strategy.  For business support he explained: the challenges were creating trust between the business community and government, providing useful, efficient programs and balancing regulation with business friendly policies; the goals were to build strong relationships and increase communication with businesses, become a respected source for information and government facilitation, and create a business friendly regulatory environment that protects the quality of life; and the strategy was to continue to collaborate with and engage the business community, improve knowledge gathering and inventorying of that knowledge, continue to create programs to support businesses and entrepreneurs, and enhance relationships with business support partners.  For workforce development he reported: the challenges were production of labor with skills aligning with business needs, coordination between workforce partners, and collaboration between the community and workforce partners; the goals were to create a workforce delivery ecosystem that will ensure Lake County is creating the skills needed to meet the needs of business; the strategy would be improved coordination between the different workforce partners, improved collaboration between workforce partners and the business community, and focus on initiatives and projects to meet the needs of the target industries of healthcare, manufacturing, construction, ag-tech and technology.  As part of this workforce development strategy, he stated that a workforce taskforce had been created that meets quarterly and that improved collaboration between workforce partners would involve industry specific summits, the skills showcase and mentor programs.  He then shared that one example of improved collaboration was a roundtable happening in April 2018 that would bring together all the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the three hospitals and all the workforce partners and the leaders in the healthcare field for a detail oriented discussion on what are the needs of the healthcare institutions in order for the workforce partners to create programs to meet those needs.  He remarked that product development was the County’s number one business attraction challenge because if the county wants to attract a business, it needs a place to put them.  He then shared the challenges, goals and strategy for product development, noting that the challenges were that there was a shortage of light industrial and large footprint office space and limited ready-to-go vacant land and the goal was to facilitate the creation of more improved space and ready-to-go vacant land.  He reported that the strategy for product development included: increased support and programs for municipal and regional economic development efforts by working with the cities and regions; enhanced relationships with brokers, land owners and developers; development of programs, resources and tools to facilitate development; focus on infrastructure development like roads, utilities and technology; and focus on strategic corridors and commerce park development.  Finally for business attraction he noted: the challenges were an extremely competitive environment, a reduction in state incentives and programs, a perception of Lake County as a rural/distant location and balancing smart growth with quality of life; goals are to provide more exposure for Lake County as a business destination and balance growth to ensure a high quality of life for residents; the strategy is shifting recruitment efforts to in-house management as part of the relationship with Orlando Economic Partnership (OEP), improve messaging to highlight strengths and overcome misperceptions, enhance industry and company specific targeting, and collaboration with OEP and municipalities to make sure goals are aligned with theirs.  Lastly, he indicated that phase three was to execute the strategy, monitor it and then adjust as needed.     

Mr. Chandler continued his presentation with a tourism update and shared graphs of Tourism Development Taxes (TDT) comparing FY 2015, FY 2016 and FY 2017.  He stated that FY 2017 was a historically great year for tourism in Lake County with numbers up 16 percent year over year and a total of almost $3.2 million in FY 2017, as compared to just under $2.6 million in FY 2015.  He then shared the organizational chart for the Office of Visit Lake which included: Ms. Kathy Pagan as Associate Director; Mr. Steven Clenney as Manager of Sports Development; Ms. Tiffani Hubbert as Manager of Tourism Development; and Ms. Amanda Martin as a part time Tourism Support Assistant.  He reported that the strategic initiatives and the areas where TDT dollars were spent remained the same and included advertising and marketing for the county, event recruitment and support, co-op marketing, which allows businesses to leverage Tourism Development Council (TDC) funds for their own marketing, and capital projects.  He commented that the advertising and marketing strategy included the Akers Media and Watauga Group, who manage the master campaign, with the Office of Visit Lake and the Office of Communications overseeing that.  He explained the target segments for the master campaign as follows: Orlando visitors, advertising for them to come spend a part of their vacation in Lake County; 2-hour drive time branding, showcasing Lake County as an alternative vacation choice for those residents who live in Florida and have already been to the beaches and theme parks by highlighting hiking, lakes, seaplanes, and all the aspects that make the county special and “Real Florida, Real Close;” and the two specific niche segments of bass fishing and bird watching.  He added that the Office of Visit Lake and the Office of Communications would manage in-house the smaller, custom projects that do not fit the master campaign, such as weddings, conferences, Familiarization (FAM) tours, endurance training resources, marketing for the Coast to Coast Trail, etc.  He then showed some banner ads created by Akers Media, including ones for the “Real Florida, Real Close, Real (segment)” and the “Wait Time from Here” campaigns, as well as an in-house media buy advertorial done in the SportsEvents Magazine.  He remarked that the event recruitment and support strategy was to continue to evolve the event sponsorship program by providing more options for event producers, to enhance and improve targeting of niche sports and events in order to find new events to bring to Lake County, and to increase collaboration with the Central Florida Sports Commission (CFSC).  He also added that part of the strategy was to make sure the sponsorship program rewards room night generation, significant out-of-county visitors, generating traffic in the low-season, and rewarding events that have regional impacts.  He continued with event recruitment showing three event bids that had been won: the 2018 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Small College National Championship at Hickory Point Beach and the 2019 NCAA DII Men’s and Women’s Golf Regional at Mission Inn.  He shared examples of different niche sports they were trying to obtain such as the 2018 Spartan Race Kids US Championship, 2018 Pickleball Florida Tournament and 2019 American Bass Angler’s Ray Scott National Championship, 2018 Bassmaster Team Championship, 2018 Powerman Florida and 2018 Gran Fondo Series USA.  He remarked that the co-op marketing strategy was underutilized but an area where there could be a great impact moving forward.  He explained the program enables Lake County tourism based businesses to leverage TDC funding to use to advertise, build a website, market, attend a tradeshow, etc. as long as it helps promote Lake County.  He stated that the eligible uses included print media, billboards, television, digital marketing, expo, conference or tradeshow booth rental or registration, print collateral, direct mail and lodging and transportation for FAM tours.  He indicated that TDT revenues were increasing and that the TDC wanted to make sure that money was going back into promoting the county; therefore, staff was looking at ways to enhance the spending with good policies and programs.  He noted that their strategy to increase utilization of the program included increasing outreach to educate tourism businesses to let them know this program exists, developing additional eligible uses such as providing grants to those who use vetted Lake County advertising agencies, and creating more Visit Lake initiated co-op opportunities.  Lastly, he reported that the capital projects strategy was to focus on niche sports that have a high return on investment, avoid the “arms race” for traditional sports since the county does not have the resources for those, partner with a subject matter expert who can help drive the demand at a facility like utilizing USA Volleyball at Hickory Point Beach, and consider potential projects such as a championship pickleball complex, south Lake trail construction, the Wekiva Trail, the Lake Apopka Loop and birding assets.  He then provided updates on two current capital projects.  He said the Hickory Point Beach fieldhouse construction was to begin Summer 2018 with the overall complex improvements starting soon.  He remarked that the design for The Lake County Disc Golf Trail had begun and now had 7 approved courses, and that construction on the Clermont course started the previous week, with hopes for completion of the entire disc golf trail in twelve months.  Lastly, he gave a Fairgrounds and Event Center update sharing that Mr. Cole Scharlau was the Events and Fairgrounds Manager and the goal was to drive more events to the fairgrounds.  He remarked that it was funded by the General Fund and there was a two phase plan to improve performance and drive revenue opportunities.  He indicated that phase one included: enhanced event targeting and recruitment efforts to drive more activity to it; increased collaboration with the Office of Visit Lake; improved local marketing activities for events there; and expansion of the Farmers and Flea Market.  He said phase two included: reviewing the relocation strategy with the BCC and stakeholders; developing new fairgrounds with additional assets and resources; and creating marketing and event promotion plans to support the new facility. 

Commr. Parks appreciated the presentation and liked the “Wait Time From Here” campaign.  He commented how the strategy over the last four to five years had been on target, fiscally responsible and realistic to what Lake County has to offer and capitalizing on those assets.  He remarked that 16 percent in one year was incredible.  He asked Mr. Chandler to clarify his comments regarding workforce development and availability on land and if he thought the county was going to have issues with attracting medium to large size businesses because of the lack of availability of places to put them.

Mr. Chandler responded that was correct and that it is often a forgotten aspect of economic development because everyone focuses on recruiting businesses but not on having a product ready for them to use, meaning the utilities and infrastructure is already in place in a location.  He added that Lake County has vacant land but needs to work with developers and land owners to facilitate the production of more ready to go products because businesses need a site to go to and that is the first item they will consider before moving to an area.

Commr. Parks indicated that part of the challenge was to get land owners on board.

Mr. Chandler replied that the Board would need to decide how involved the government should be with the facilitation of this in regards to infrastructure investment, public-private partnerships, revolving loans, etc. and then decide on a strategy from a resource development perspective. 

Commr. Sullivan remarked that Ford Park was a good example of this because it does not have natural gas, but having that would enhance the facility, attract more businesses, and increase occupancy.  He commented that he would like to see more of those items come before the BCC as there might be resources they could put towards different projects for enhancement that would also bring jobs to the area.

Commr. Breeden thanked Mr. Chandler for his great presentation and said it was exciting to see the momentum and the new Agency for Economic Prosperity.  She asked for clarification on the strategies for business support that would support the goal for a business friendly regulatory environment that protects the quality of life.

Mr. Chandler replied that can be a difficult issue.  He gave the example that if a community feels great and someone wants to live there, but the costs to move their business is too expensive, then they will not move there.  He said it is about finding the balance between making sure this is a place that people want to live and relocate their business and a place that is affordable.

Mr. Cole interjected that this related to the other topics of Land Development Regulations (LDR) and the Comp Plan and that staff would continue to work on this and report back to the Board.  He added that they could also enhance the process for permits and the goal for one stop permitting.

Mr. Chandler stressed that the quality of a place matters for economic development in today’s world and that people move their businesses to places they want to live.

Commr. Parks complimented Mr. Chandler on the presentation they did for Clermont at the workshop for Wellness Way, noting it went very well and that there were a lot of positive take-aways.  He remarked that due to potential development coming to this area, it was important to establish the landscape and residential design guidelines, exclusively for Wellness Way, so there would not be confusion on what is acceptable once development starts.

COMMISSIONERS REPORTS

commissioner parks – district 2

road safety improvements

Commr. Parks said that he had been in conversation with a family who had members killed in a car accident on C.R. 455 by a driver who should not have been sold a car.  He reported that he wanted to look at what could be done at the state level to make changes to how vehicles were sold to individuals like this.  He asked if staff could look at safety improvements that could be done locally at the intersection where the accident had happened.

Mr. Cole responded that he would get with staff on this matter and report back to the Board.

commissioner breeden – district 3

5-cent local option gas tax

Commr. Breeden remarked that there had been complaints regarding county roads and many times in conjunction with proposed developments.  She noted that the Lake County Public Works Department did an excellent job with the resources they have but there are not enough resources to meet the needs.  She said there was an optional 5-cent gas tax that could be implemented with a 4/5 vote or by putting it on a referendum, which was her preference so that citizens would have a chance to vote on it.  She wanted to see if the Board had interest in putting this topic on the November 2018 voting ballot, noting that if approved it would not take effect until January 1, 2020.  She added that Marion, Osceola, Polk and Volusia Counties had added the 5-Cent Gas Tax and that it would not be levied on diesel fuel nor used for road maintenance.  She stated that on the transportation impact fee topic, south Lake County levied that at 70 percent and that in north Lake it was 15 percent of the allowable amount. 

Commr. Sullivan agreed this was something that needed to be done as infrastructure was an area they continue to fall behind in and especially in regards to transportation and roads.  He said it was a quality of life issue and that he had spoken to numerous business people who were in support of it.  He stated he thought that placing it on the ballot was the way to approach it. 

Commr. Campione asked if Commissioner Breeden had numbers to share on what amount that would bring in annually.

Commr. Breeden responded that Mr. Schneider had given her those numbers.  She reported that the entire 5-cent would raise approximately $6 million annually.  She said the county share of the one cent was approximately 66 percent, so the County would get approximately $4 million annually and the cities would share about $2 million annually.

Commr. Campione asked if that was based on the city population or length of the roads in their jurisdictions.

Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, responded that the existing agreements with the cities were two part and look at population and road length; however, that would need to be amended in order for the same formula to apply, otherwise it would default back to a state formula. 

Commr. Campione reiterated that when they had discussions regarding sales tax, they had specific projects and examples of the types of items that would be funded by it.  She elaborated they would need to give citizens an idea of how the funds would be used and what improvements they would see as a result of the tax. 

Commr. Breeden mentioned there was a March 1, 2018 deadline for getting agreements back from the cities.

Commr. Campione stated they could use the five year plan and isolate projects in each of the regions to get a good overview.

Commr. Blake asked if the other counties she mentioned, who had the tax, approved it by a 4/5 vote or referendum.

Commr. Breeden replied she did not have that information.

Commr. Parks suggested using a ballot vote and to propose it to the voters by listing some specific projects and possibly make it a five to seven year length.

Commr. Blake remarked that he did some research on the average household gas consumption and found it was 1,000 gallons a year per household, which equates to $50 annually.  He stated he would not vote to impose a tax but that having people self-impose was the right way to handle it. 

Commr. Breeden commented that people traveling through the county would contribute as well since it was a user fee. 

Commr. Sullivan commented that on the sales tax, approximately 30 percent of the revenue generated was from people who did not live in Lake County.  He reminded the Board that in the last 15 years, 50 percent of the sales tax went to transportation but that going forward was spread out and used for other lifestyle expenses.  He said since the county is growing, they needed to find an effective way to fund transportation in the future.

Commr. Parks said the revenues were conservative but encouraged the Board to make an effort to dedicate any funds above the projected revenues to road projects. 

Commr. Blake reiterated that he was not in favor of it but thought there was a benefit in putting it before the voters to decide.

Commr. Parks clarified this was to move forward with putting it before the voters and not necessarily a vote to support the 5-cent gas tax.

Ms. Marsh clarified that there would be an ordinance brought before the Board in order to set the ballot language which will give the Board and the public a chance to comment.

 Mr. Cole clarified that a vote was not needed and that staff would prepare an ordinance and a list of possible projects that the gas tax could be used on for the Board to discuss and vote on at a later meeting.

Commr. Breeden asked if anyone had comments regarding impact fees.

Commr. Sullivan suggested that should be discussed another time.

Commr. Campione added that when it is discussed, the Board should look at the effect of impact fees on commercial, industrial and targeted industries so as not to create an impediment to bringing businesses into the county.  She opined that some of the categories in the transportation impact fees could be improved to help balance regulation with business friendly policies.

Commr. Parks asked if there was state legislation proposed regarding impact fees which prohibit anyone from collecting until the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is obtained.

Ms. Marsh commented that was going through the State House of Representatives, with a companion bill as part of it, which postpones the collection to CO.  She added that one of the impacts of the bill is whether it would prohibit pre-payments.  She said pre-payments are currently allowed but adjustments might have to be made to that process.

resolution 2018-8 texting while driving

Commr. Breeden asked for support of a resolution to make texting while driving a primary offense.  She reported that since there were two co-sponsors on House Bill 33 and corresponding Senate Bill 90, she wanted to bring it to the Board for consideration.

Commr. Parks asked if the bills covered enforcement and what the fines would be.

Commr. Breeden responded that she was not sure what the fines were.

Commr. Blake respected the motivation behind this; however, shared that his opposition was that studies show that it is not effective and can sometimes be counter-productive in some jurisdictions where it has become a primary offense.  He commented that when looking at distracted driving, texting is only a small part of that category.  He agreed that people should not text while driving but did not feel it was something that could be legislated.

Commr. Campione felt that there was value to the research that indicates that it might be more problematic because people would try to hide texting and be less observant of their surroundings and cause more accidents.  She did not want to support the resolution at this point.

Commr. Sullivan said he would support the resolution but felt it was a state legislation issue.

Commr. Campione felt the ads against texting while driving were very effective.

On a motion by Commr. Breeden, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a 3-2 vote, the Board approved Resolution 2018-8, supporting legislation making texting while driving a primary offense.

Commr. Blake and Commr. Campione voted no.

shirley shores development

Commr. Breeden brought up the discussion of the Shirley Shores Project since it was in her district and had arisen earlier during public comment.  She said the two parties were trying to work together to solve issues and noted that Commissioner Parks wrote a letter to the Mayor of Tavares.  She said she supported the smaller number of lots option and opened the floor for parties involved to speak.

Mr. Kehr asked the Board to make Lake County the place where people come to have their five acre mini-ranch and opined that if the developer was offering five acre lots with septic systems and wells then there would not be any resistance from residents and the county would have ready-to-build lots. 

Commr. Breeden reminded Mr. Kehr that it was not a Board decision but rather the City of Tavares decision if they want to annex.

Mr. Kehr requested for the Board to send the City of Tavares a letter that says the BCC wants to discuss this and form a study committee so that the County has the correct information before Tavares makes their decision.

Mr. Crawford opined that if this project created changes on how infrastructure is financed then that would be good since that was a major problem that will only get worse.  He said Lake County needed the 5-cent gas tax in order to keep up with other counties for economic development.  He clarified that his applicant’s development was proposing 90 lots on 222 gross acres and 174 net acres, which is  net density of 1 unit per 1.93 acres and a gross density of 1 unit per 2 ˝ acres.  He added that this was less dense then the six surrounding subdivisions and that they would provide utilities, open space and protection of the wetlands.  He requested to get information from the city, agreed roads are an issue and stated that the impact fees are a small amount and the developer wants to pay their share.

Mr. Kehr stated the final Tavares City Council meeting was February 21, 2018.

Commr. Parks said the City of Tavares will choose to annex or not to annex and the County cannot control that; however, this topic could be an agenda item for the next meeting to include a report on what the two parties agreed upon.

Mr. Cole said staff could add a discussion agenda item to the February 13, 2018 BCC Meeting and report on what the two parties had decided and that would allow the Board to vote if action by the Board was needed, for example a letter to the City of Tavares.

commissioner campione – VICE CHAIRMAN AND district 4

parks and trails information to students

Commr. Campione reported that she had recently talked with a nursing student regarding childhood obesity and what outdoor areas were available in Lake County for children to use.  She said she started to show the student the county’s passive and active parks and the student was unaware that the county had these resources.  She asked staff to work with the school districts to get information out to students and families about the opportunities available in the parks and trails within the county.

memorial road signs

Commr. Campione mentioned that she recently was in Colorado and noticed signs on the side of the road that said “drive safely” and “in memory of” to honor someone who had passed away in an accident on that road.  She asked staff to explore the possibility of using memorial signs on roads in areas where there had been accidents or where there were unsafe driving conditions as a way to caution drivers and to respectfully honor those who had lost a loved one in an accident.

Commr. Parks asked if the County had a memorial policy.

Mr. Schneider said he would check on the policy but that currently staff does not remove memorial signs that people place on the side of the road.  He commented that the State of Florida has a policy where they put up round signs and leave them up for a year or so. 

Commr. Campione suggested the possibility to offer a family the chance to sponsor a sign as a way to have something more permanent.

Mr. Cole mentioned staff would look at the County’s current policies and bring something back to the Board to consider.

COMMISSIONER BLAKE – DISTRICT 5

juvenile justice circuit five advisory board

Commr. Blake stated he had received an email from a member of the Juvenile Justice Circuit Five Advisory Board asking if a County Commissioner would serve on the Board since it was required by law and they had a vacancy.  He volunteered to serve on this board.

sister cities association robert burns dinner

Commr. Blake mentioned that he had attended the Sister Cities Association Robert Burns dinner in Mount Dora on Saturday, January 20, 2018.   

east central florida regional planning council

Commr. Blake reported that last week was his last time to serve on the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council and that Commissioner Parks had done an excellent job with his presentation on economic development efforts in Lake County.

commissioner sullivan – chairman and district 1

county comprehensive plan

Commr. Sullivan commented that due to the discussion in this meeting that the Board needed to look at the County’s Comprehensive Plan, specifically the four different options for Rural Transition FLU, to make sure it was in line with where the county was headed in the future. 

state constitutional revision

Commr. Sullivan indicated that he was headed to Tallahassee for the legislative session as part of the Florida Association of Counties Conference and that he had concerns regarding a Constitutional Revision Proposal that would affect the ability of counties and municipalities to influence economic development or commercial opportunities.  He urged his fellow Commissioners to get involved on policy issues that affected what local governments were allowed to do.

Ms. Marsh commented it was the Constitutional Revision Proposal 95, which is proposing to put into the Florida Constitution a preemption of local governments regulating anything related to commerce, trade or labor.  She elaborated that none of the terms were defined so it could affect local government’s ability to do code enforcement, LDRs, etc. or anything that might affect commerce, trade or labor.  She said the issue was defining the terms so that if it gets approved and adopted into the constitution, there would not be litigation in order to define the terms after it was adopted.

Commr. Campione remarked that she could understand how uniformity was needed on issues relating to commerce, trade or labor; however, it seemed like there was an ongoing drive to take authority away from local government.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:40 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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timothy i. sullivan, chairman

 

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

 

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NEIL KELLY, CLERK