BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA
August 14, 2018
The following is a non-verbatim transcript of the BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING OF SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA, held at 9:30 a.m., on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, in Room 1028 of the SEMINOLE COUNTY SERVICES BUILDING at SANFORD, FLORIDA, the usual place of meeting of said Board.
Chairman John Horan (District 2)
Vice Chairman Lee Constantine (District 3)
Commissioner Robert Dallari (District 1)
Commissioner Brenda Carey (District 5)
Clerk of the Court and Comptroller Grant Maloy
County Manager Nicole Guillet
County Attorney Bryant Applegate
Deputy Clerk Terri Porter
Commissioner Dallari introduced Sidney Brookman, the granddaughter of a retired employee who had worked at the County for many years, Diane Merkt. He stated she is active duty military and had been stationed in Syria and Kuwait for the last seven months and that she celebrated her 21st birthday during that time.
Pastor Jim Lynch, East Coast Believers Church, Oviedo, gave the invocation. Ms. Brookman led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Business Spotlight video for O2B Kids was presented.
AWARDS AND PRESENTATIONS
Agenda Item #1 – 2018-0863
Motion by Commissioner Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Carey, to approve a Proclamation recognizing Sergeant Bobby J. Draughon, United States Army, as the August 2018 Veteran of the Month.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Sergeant Draughon addressed the Board to express his appreciation.
Commissioner Constantine advised that the City of Altamonte Springs became another city in Seminole County designated as a Purple Heart City. The City Administration asked him to extend their thanks to Ed Burford, Veterans Services Officer, for all his hard work and effort. Mr. Burford addressed the Board to say thank you. He noted that the City of Oviedo has indicated they will become a Purple Heart City on November 5. He noted the City of Sanford and the School Board also want to be recognized as Purple Heart entities.
Sheriff Dennis Lemma addressed the Board to congratulate Sgt. Draughon. He thanked him for his service to his country, and his efforts and generosity toward the members of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.
Agenda Item #2 – 2018-0877
Sheriff Lemma was in attendance to accept a Resolution in support of designating a segment of Maitland Boulevard as Deputy Matt Miller Memorial Boulevard.
Sheriff Lemma stated that Deputy Miller spent his entire adult life protecting the community. He noted they were assigned to the same unit to serve in the United States Marine Corps. He talked about Deputy Miller and his time at the Sheriff’s Office. He then publicly thanked and recognized State Representative Bob Cortes and stated he has been a great friend to law enforcement for decades. He explained that Representative Cortes had told him that he wanted to do everything he could to ensure that the legacy of this hero is always remembered. Sheriff Lemma explained why Representative Cortes was unable to attend the presentation today.
Sheriff Lemma introduced Lt. Pete Brenenstuhl who was Deputy Matt Miller’s lieutenant when the tragic accident occurred. Lt. Brenenstuhl addressed the Board and spoke about Deputy Miller’s 24-year career at the Sheriff’s Office. He stated that the deputy was a firm believer and dedicated to the concept of traffic safety, so it is only appropriate that a roadway be named after him due to his lifetime efforts to keep the roadways safe. The Lieutenant noted Deputy Miller is survived by his wife, brother, and younger sister, and the fellow members of the traffic units and expressed their appreciation for recognizing Deputy Miller.
Commissioner Constantine noted this was part of SB 382 which designated a number of different streets throughout Florida.
Motion by Commissioner Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Carey, to approve appropriate Resolution #2018-R-105 supporting the honorary designation of a memorial marker to be placed on Maitland Boulevard, between Magnolia Homes Road and SR 434, as “Deputy Matt Miller Memorial Boulevard.”
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Agenda Item #3 – 2018-0874
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Carey, to approve appropriate Resolution #2018-R-106 recognizing the many contributions of Harold “Harry” W. Barley to MetroPlan and the citizens of Seminole County.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Harry Barley, retiring Executive Director of MetroPlan Orlando, addressed the Board and spoke about his time at MetroPlan and the long-standing relationships he’s had with the members of the Commission, the County Manager, County Attorney, and staff. He said he leaves a very talented staff and he is grateful that board made an excellent choice in choosing his successor, Gary Huttmann. He concluded by saying it has been an honor and pleasure to serve the citizens of Central Florida and thanked the Board for their partnership.
Agenda Item #4 – 2018-0876
Patrick McCormack, outgoing President of the Florida Association of County Attorneys (FACA), addressed the Board and stated he asked to come and present the award to County Attorney Bryant Applegate. He noted they had presented it at the FACA seminar at the end of June, but he wanted an opportunity to address this Commission and their constituents. He explained the outgoing president gets to give an award for any purpose under the County Attorney topic. This is in recognition and in keeping with the theme of service and courage in the face of very serious challenges. He stated with Mr. Applegate struggling through these challenges with his family and his office staff, and stepping up in the face of those challenges to serve the Board of County Commissioners and Seminole County, it was really an inspiration for the County Attorneys’ offices around the state. He added it reflects well on the County Manager and this Board because they ultimately set the standard and the expectation for performance, professionalism, and grit in stepping up to challenges and getting through, because there is a public service job to get through and it has to be done. He also recognized by name the staff in the County Attorney’s Office and stated that as a team, they had to step up during this very difficult time period.
Mr. McCormack presented the 2018 Florida Association of County Attorneys President’s Award to the Seminole County Attorney A. Bryant Applegate. Mr. Applegate thanked Mr. McCormack and expressed that this award is really to his office staff. He talked about the health crises that he and his family endured and how his office stepped up to the plate. He opined he has one of the best County Attorney offices in the state of Florida and thanked his wife, Lynn, who has been at his side through it all. He added his father was a bricklayer and taught him what hard work and dedication were all about and noted he also served his country in Patton’s Third Army. Mr. Applegate thanked the Commission saying they should be proud of what they have accomplished in this county. He added he has been blessed with all kinds of recoveries and thanked them for all the support he has received over the last year and a half. Chairman Horan spoke about the respect and deference Mr. Applegate receives statewide and thanked Mr. McCormack and the County Attorney’s team.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
County Manager Nicole Guillet advised there are two additions to the Consent Agenda; Items 5A and 18A are both related to the Medical Examiner contract with District 5. Also there is an addition to the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, #22A, the Settlement Agreement with Serco. Commissioner Carey added for the benefit of the public, the Meals on Wheels funding allocation has been corrected (Item #6).
With regard to public participation, no one in the audience spoke in support or in opposition to the Consent Agenda items and public input was closed.
Motion by Commissioner Carey, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to authorize and approve the following:
5. Approve participation in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program in which FDLE has set aside $122,750 for use by all units of government within Seminole County; authorize the Chairman to execute the Certificate of Participation naming Olivette Carter as the coordinator for the countywide application(s); and authorize the Chairman to execute any supporting documentation as may be required for the application(s). (2018-0878)
5A. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Interlocal Agreement between Citrus County, Hernando County, Lake County, Marion County, Seminole County, and Sumter County for cost-share of Medical Examiner Services and related matters in the amount of $1,125,546. (2018-0903)
Community Assistance Division
6. Approve the recommended funding allocations to the Seminole County Bar Associations/Legal Aid Society ($21,870), Boys & Girls Clubs ($49,208), Midway Safe Harbor ($18,225), IMPOWER ($33,732), Meals on Wheels ($135,000), SafeHouse ($76,500), Catholic Charities ($36,509), Kids House ($81,000), Recovery House ($43,740), Rescue Outreach Mission ($58,320), Christian Sharing Center ($67,500), Early Learning Coalition ($180,000), and True Health ($45,000), for Community Services Agency (CSA) Partnership Grant funds in the total amount of $846,604 for FY 2018/19; and authorize the Chairman to execute the CSA Agency Agreements upon agency execution. (2018-0879)
Planning & Development Division
7. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute two (2) Satisfaction of Liens in the amounts $4,050 and $3,150 totaling $7,200 for Code Enforcement Board Case #15-11–CEB, at 401 Basewood Lane, Altamonte Springs, Tax Parcel #07-121-30-503-0000-0400, owned by Shilo Eason III. (2018-0813)
8. Authorize the Chairman to execute a Satisfaction of Pool Abatement Lien in the amount of $1,244.27 associated with the property located at 2705 Teak Place, Lake Mary, filed against Wells Fargo Financial System FL Inc. (2018-0857)
9. Approve the plat for the Rivard Estates subdivision containing two (2) lots on 2.32 acres zoned A-1 (Agriculture), located on the south side of Vihlen Road, east of Crown Colony Way; Rossell and Ola Walker, Applicants. (2018-0824)
10. Approve the plat for the Dark Horse Farm subdivision containing one (1) lot on 20.18 acres zoned A-5 (Rural Zoning Classification/Rural Subdivision), located on the south side of CR 426, one-fourth mile southwest of Pine Hill Boulevard; Jennifer Cannon, Applicant. (2018-0880)
11. Approve the plat for the Riverbend at Cameron Heights subdivision containing 176 lots on 58.46 acres zoned PD (Planned Development), located on Cameron Avenue, approximately one-fourth mile north of SR 46 and west of SR 415; D.R Horton, Applicant. (2018-0881)
12. Adopt appropriate Resolution #2018-R-107 and authorize the Chairman to execute a Subordination of County Utility Interests with FDOT (State of Florida Department of Transportation), subordinating utility interests and rights for property in conjunction with improvements to SR 429, the Wekiva Parkway Project. (2018-0853)
13. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute an acceptance of a Public Purpose Quitclaim Deed and a Florida Department of Transportation/Seminole County Bill of Sale relating to an historic bridge for the Lake Monroe-Wayside Drive Park. (2018-0814)
14. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute an Interlocal Agreement between Seminole County and the City of Lake Mary relating to administration of the County's share of funds under the One-Cent Local Government Infrastructure Surtax for Transportation Improvement Projects in the amount of $2,650,000. (2018-0864)
Budget & Fiscal Management Division
15. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a Grant Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management, in acceptance of $990,000 for Hurricane Shelter Retrofit Projects; and appropriate Resolution #2018-R-108 implementing the Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #18-072 through the Public Safety Grant Fund in the amount of $990,000 to establish funding for School Shelter Retrofit Projects. (2018-0861)
16. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2018-R-109 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #18-073 through the 2001 Infrastructure Sales Tax Fund in the amount of $190,140 for the construction of the Bear Lake Drainage Improvement Project. (2018-0856)
17. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution 2018-R-110 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #18-075 in the amount of $28,420 through the General Fund to appropriate grant funding for the purchase of Albert Sensors Network Monitoring hardware and software including installation, and one year of maintenance and monitoring services. (2018-0882)
18. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2018-R-111 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #18-076 through the General Fund in the amount of $69,374 for reimbursement of Hurricane Irma expenditures to the Sports Complex operating budget. (2018-0870)
18A. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2018-R-104 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #18-078 through the General Fund Reserves in the amount of $188,952; and an Agreement for Payment of Startup Costs for Medical Examiner Services with Medicus Forensics, P.A. (2018-0899)
Purchasing & Contracts Division
19. Approve Amendment #2 to Work Order #1 (Grace Lake and Myrtle Lake Watershed Management Model Upgrade and Flood Reduction Alternative Development) under PS-0121-15/RTB, Subdivision Rehabilitation Program Consultant Services Agreement, with Singhofen & Associates, Inc., Orlando, in the amount of $23,384.17; and authorize the Purchasing & Contracts Division to execute the Work Order Amendment. (2018-0851)
20. Approve Work Order #4 (Final Design and Post Design Services for Lake Howell Lane Bridge Replacement) under PS-9983-15/RTB, Master Services Agreement (MSA) for Structural Engineering Consultant Services to Atkins North America, Inc., Orlando, in the amount of $248,319.71; and authorize the Purchasing & Contracts Division to execute the Work Order. (2018-0846)
21. Approve the ranking list, authorize staff to negotiate rates in accordance with Section 287.055, Florida Statutes, the Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA); and authorize the Purchasing & Contracts Division to execute one (1) Master Services Agreement (MSA) for PS-1920-18/RTB, CEI Services for New Oxford Road Widening and U.S. 17-92 at Five Points Project; Estimated Term Usage of $1,048,375. (2018-0860)
22. Award IFB-603158-18/TLR, Term Contract for Solid Waste and Recycling Services to WCA of Florida, LLC, Orange City, for the estimated annual amount of $61,211.30; and authorize the Purchasing & Contracts Division to execute the Agreement. (2018-0827)
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
22A. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a proposed Settlement Agreement with Serco, Inc. for $91,522.18 in full settlement of all claims for damages of any kind, arising from or related to the Fleet Management and Maintenance Services Agreement, RFP-601340-12/BJC. (2018-0892)
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS’ CONSENT AGENDA
Clerk & Comptroller’s Office
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to approve the following:
23. Approve Expenditure Approval Lists dated July 9, 16 and 23, 2018; and Payroll Approval Lists dated July 12 and 26, 2018. (2018-0867)
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
The Board noted, for information only, the following Clerk & Comptroller’s “Received and Filed”:
1. Florida Public Service Commission Order #PSC-2018-0318-PCO-EI approving Florida Power & Light Company’s Mid-Course Corrections and Associated Tariffs; Docket #20180007-EI, Issued June 22, 2018.
2. Florida Public Service Commission Consummating Order #PSC-2018-0324-CO-EI approving revisions to lighting service contract; Duke Energy Florida, LLC; Docket #20180089-EI, Issued June 26, 2018.
3. Florida Public Service Commission Consummating Order #PSC-2018-0347-CO-EQ approving renewable energy tariff and standard offer contract; Florida Power & Light Company; Docket #20180083-EQ, Issued July 13, 2018.
4. Florida Public Service Commission Consummating Order #PSC-2018-0348-CO-EI approving change in rate used to capitalize allowance for funds used during construction; Florida Power & Light Company, Docket #20180038-EI, Issued July 16, 2018.
5. Florida Public Service Commission Consummating Order #PSC-2018-0352-CO-EQ approving amended Standard Offer Contract, Schedule COG-2; Duke Energy Florida, LLC; Docket #20180073-EQ, Issued July 19, 2018.
6. Engagement Letter dated July 24, 2018 from the County Attorney’s Office to Broad and Cassel, LLP for legal opinions and litigation services as/when assigned.
7. Seminole County Port Authority (SCOPA) Budget for FY 2018/19.
8. Educational System Impact Fee Vesting Certificate #18-01800011 for Hideaway Cove.
9. Infrastructure in Right-of-Way Maintenance Agreement for Bay Meadows Road with Bay Meadow Farms at Longwood Homeowners Association, Inc.
10. Developers Commitment Agreement #17-20500043, Home 2 Suites & Holiday Inn Express PD, Michael Spears and James Grodecki, CO TRS FL NAV INV LLC.
11. Addendum #3 to the Cameron Heights PD related to Tract G (Village G) Development Order (which represents a revision to D.O. #04-23000009 issued May 10, 2005); and Amendment #2 to Developers Commitment Agreement #18-20500007; American Land Investments of Cameron Avenue, LLC.
12. Addendum #1 to Developers Commitment Agreement #18-20500024, East Lake Drive PD Minor Amendment, Strong Intergroup Corporation.
13. Development Orders #18-30000041, 1061 Halsey Avenue, Nabot LLC; #18-30000042, 7453 Betty Street, Danelle and Michael Dannhardt; #18-30000043, 1370 Windy Ridge Court, Martin Dortants; #18-30000044, 401 Sandy Hill Drive, Deborah LeGrand; #18-30000045, 1360 Chessington Circle, Kerry and Stacy Bobo; #18-30000046, 1285 Seminole Avenue, Son Driven Inv., LLC; #18-30000048, 149 Hattaway Drive, John Zincone and Jeannette Rosales-Zincone; and #18-30000049, 1244 Erik Court, Thomas and Danielle Mirisola.
14. Denial Development Orders #18-30000039, 1420 Roosevelt Avenue, H&M Realty INV., LLC; and #18-30000047, 83 Sweetbriar Branch, Jeffrey and Patricia Gerlitz.
15. Bill of Sale accepting the water and sewer system for the project known as Clifton Park Phase 2.
16. Conditional Utility Agreement for water and wastewater services with Annabell Property, LLC for the project known as Estates at Savannah Park Lot 3.
17. Conditional Utility Agreement for water and wastewater services with M/I Homes of Orlando, LLC for the project known as Hideaway Cove.
18. Warranty Deed with Concept Development, Inc. (Grantor) for Oviedo Commercial right-of-way dedication.
19. Performance Bond #CMS0330160 (Road, Streets, Drainage) in the amount of $84,512.40 and Final Plat for the project known as Parkdale Place; Park Square Enterprises, LLC.
20. Performance Bond #1067984 (Road, Streets, Drainage) in the amount of $257,542.50 for the project known as Towns at White Cedar; M/I Homes of Orlando, LLC.
21. Maintenance Bond #60126197 (Water and Sewer Facilities) in the amount of $24,976.13 and Rider for the project known as Clifton Park Phase 2; Beazer Homes, LLC.
22. Tourist Tax Funding Agreement with Suncoast Athletics Sports Group, Inc. for the 2018 Florida State All Star Games.
23. Tourist Tax Funding Agreement with Perfect Game USA, Inc. for the 2018 Super25 National Championship 14U/17U.
24. Tourist Tax Funding Agreement with Florida Half Century Amateur Softball Association, Inc. for the July 50s Senior Softball Tournament.
25. Parks Contracts for Services with Matthew Clark, Robert Markos, McKinley Tinny, Susan Dodd, and Matthew Gregory.
26. Tennis Developmental Instructor Agreements with Matthew Gregory, and Assistant Tennis Pro Agreement with Daniel Hall.
27. Unauthorized Commitment Approval Memorandum dated July 23, 2018 from Fire Department requesting permission to process an order for refurbishment of a reserve rescue in the amount of $48,630 to become a new dive unit.
28. Work Order #35 to PS-0009-15 with Pegasus Engineering, Inc.
29. Work Order #9 to PS-0157-15 with S2L, Inc.
30. Change Order #1 to Work Order #14 to CC-0559-15 with Central Florida Environmental Corp.
31. Change Order #1 to Work Order #2 to RFP-1294-17 with Pat Lynch Construction.
32. Change Order #1 to Work Order #3 to RFP-1294-17 with Blackstreet Enterprises.
33. Work Order #7 to RFP-1294-17 with M&J Enterprises International, Inc.
34. Closeout to CC-1369-17 with Dager Construction.
35. Work Order #3 to CC-1391-17 with P&S Paving, Inc.
36. Closeout to CC-1420-17 with Carr & Collier, Inc.
37. Change Order #3 to CC-1453-17 with BSE Construction Group.
38. Closeout to CC-1453-17 with Blackstreet Enterprises.
39. Change Order #1 to CC-1498-17 with Carr and Collier, Inc.
40. PS-1566-17 Master Services Agreement for SCADA with Carollo Engineers, Inc.; Ranking List approved by the BCC on May 22, 2018.
41. Amendment #1 to Work Order #78 to PS-8148-12 with Keith & Schnars, P.A.
42. Work Order #27 to PS-8286-13 with Kittelson & Associates, Inc.
43. Amendment #8 to Work Order #1 to RFP-8721-13 with VHB Miller Sellen.
44. Closeout to Work Order #12 to CC-9184-13 with Driveways, Inc.
45. Amendment #1 to Work Order #2 to PS-9464-14 with GAI Consultants, Inc.
46. Second Amendment to IFB-602239-15 with Herc Rentals Inc.
47. IFB-603176-18 Term Contract with Fausnight Stripe and Line, Inc.
48. Bids as follows:
IFB-603158-18 from Waste Management Inc. of Florida; Waste Pro of Florida, Inc.; WCA of Florida, LLC; Advanced Disposal Services Solid Waste Southeast, Inc.; DisposAll, Inc.; Waste Connections of Florida;
BID-603212-18 from Hydra-Stop LLC; Team Industrial Services, Inc.; TWC Services, Inc. (Notice of No Bid – not in their scope of work);
RFP-603187-18 from Friends of the Library; Library Systems and Services; and
BID-603222-18 from Lab Products, Inc.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to approve the following:
24. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Certifications and Assurances form for the Grant Application to the U.S. Department of Justice for the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) for FY 2018; and authorize the Sheriff to sign future documents related to the grant for the submission process. (2018-0862)
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
COUNTY MANAGER AND STAFF BRIEFINGS
Agenda Item #25 – 2017-0419
The Budget Transfer Status Report was presented for informational purposes only. Commissioner Carey indicated the Board used to see this report at the second meeting of the month or at least once a quarter. Chairman Horan asked how often they see them. County Manager Nicole Guillet advised they are several months behind now but they will get back on schedule; there have been a lot of changes in the office. Commissioner Dallari said to get back on track, he is requesting that the appropriate staff brief the Board individually.
Commissioner Carey reported there has been a lot of news lately about the SunPass accounts. They received word that FDOT will be processing all of those transactions to the Central Florida Expressway Authority by the end of this week so that on Monday they can start fresh. The CFEA board has made the determination that they will not be processing them all at once. They will process them over a period of time so they don’t hit some of their larger customers all at one time, and they will be working directly with them to make sure there are no negative impacts with those transactions. Also, they have opened the first reload lane where people can just drive up and reload their E-Pass accounts at SR 408 and Conway. They have since opened two more; one is at Forest Lake and SR 429 and the other is at John Young Parkway and SR 417. She advised they have been a great success.
Commissioner Carey stated they also have a great partnership with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. They will be rolling out a project called Visit Tollpass, a pilot project they will be running from September through December. It will be a placard that will be used for vacationing families for toll transactions. They can pay for a placard that will be like a transponder and they will be billed when they turn it in. If they don’t turn it in, there will be an additional $10 fee and they will get a bill after their holiday is over.
Commissioner Carey noted at the Sanford Airport Authority meeting this week, they had some continuing great news. July of this year broke all-time records for passenger service.
Commissioner Carey advised there will be a ribbon cutting at Seminole High School this week to celebrate the Seminole High School Career Building and Aviation program. There is a partnership with the school to help encourage kids to get into aviation. She reminded Allegiant has opened a training facility here and as the airport continues to grow, it is important that they try to encourage children to enter that as a career choice.
On January 26, 2019 they will be celebrating Aviation Day, and Commissioner Carey said she would encourage everybody to put that on their calendars.
Commissioner Carey advised that also at the CFEA meeting, there was some discussion about a national air show that is looking to come to their airport in 2020. She opined it takes a long time to plan an event like this, and they are talking about having a night show over the lakefront in Sanford. It would be a multiday event and attract hundreds of thousands of people to the community which is a great economic opportunity.
Commissioner Dallari reported there was a community meeting last week to update the residents along I-4 about the Grace Lake basin. He thought staff and the consultant did a very good job. He believes they need more information out there because the longer they stayed, people continued to ask more and more questions, and he wants to encourage the citizens to reach out to not just the Board but to County staff if they have any questions or concerns. He knows that Jean Jreij, Public Works Director, and his team are talking to the St. Johns River Water Management District to try and figure out what can be done prior to a storm. He indicated one of the questions that came about is they wanted to have some dialogue with Emergency Management and he wants to make sure that the citizens understand how all that works. He requested there be some outreach from Alan Harris’ group regarding that. He said he thinks they still need to have another community meeting out there once more information does come about.
Commissioner Dallari questioned the status of the Oxford Road workshop because he does not see it on his calendar. Ms. Guillet responded that the Board had decided that a workshop was not necessary. Staff and the Applicant were going to get together to work out some of the outstanding details and they did that last week. Commissioner Dallari stated he just wants to make sure that project is not stagnant because it has been taking years. Ms. Guillet advised it has to go to the Planning Commission in September and the Board will see it after that.
Commissioner Constantine noted that the LYNX board met on July 26 and he wanted to report that one of the changes that has been made is a recommendation by that board to have an in-house attorney. The current situation will stay in effect over the next year but they are putting together essentially an RFP on that particular position. It would come back to the board and suggest just exactly what that in-house attorney would do. In the past there have been some issues with procurement and other things and they wanted to put in an in-house attorney that would be looking out on those particular things.
Commissioner Constantine reported this past weekend, the Indian Culture Society of Orlando had their Independence Day celebration. He was honored to be able to speak at that event. It was at Crane’s Roost and there were well over 2,000 people that attended. He believes today is the 71st anniversary of India’s independence, which was back in 1947.
Commissioner Constantine advised from August 16 through the 18, the Florida Regional Planning Council Association and the Florida League of Cities will be having a mutual meeting.
On Monday evening, August 20, Commissioner Constantine’s charity, Charity Challenge, will be giving out checks. He will provide a list and the amount of those charities. He noted 61 different charities will be getting over $200,000.
Commissioner Constantine announced that on August 25 the Zoo will hold a major fundraiser called A Wild Affair, and he will be going and suggested that each of them find a way to be there.
Chairman Horan stated in regard to the logistics of handling Commissioner Henley’s retirement, he proposes that he will take over his liaison responsibilities on the Tourist Development Board. He was also on Risk Management and the Value Adjustment Board, and the Chairman said he will take those over also until November 19. With regard to constituent service, when constituent inquiries come through Commissioner Henley’s Office, his aide will funnel them through the Chairman, and depending upon what the constituent need is, he will either handle it himself or forward it to the appropriate Commissioner’s Office to handle.
Motion by Commissioner Horan, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to appoint Grey Wilson to an unexpired term on the Parks and Preservation Advisory Board; and appropriate Resolution #2018-R-113 in appreciation to Matthew Criswell for his service on that board.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Horan stated in regard to the homelessness issue that some interesting information has come through. They know what they have accomplished through the homelessness initiative in terms of how many people they have housed and how many are chronically homeless, etc. They now have some anecdotal information as to how they have attacked and accomplished success in the homelessness area in Seminole County. On any given night in Seminole County, unlike 2012 and 2013 when they were really struggling for placement and services, there are literally dozens of empty beds at Pathways to Care, Rescue Mission, Recovery House, etc. He opined they have put a significant dent into the homelessness problem in this county, and it is primarily because of the great work of the Community Services Department and the wonderful work that has been done by their business community through the Strategy Action Board. He added that it is a tremendous success.
COMMUNICATIONS AND/OR REPORTS
The following Communications and/or Reports were received and filed:
1. Petition to oppose the major expansion of Wekiva Island signed by: Ann Rusk; Jim Rusk; Kelly Buccieri; D. Pedrosa; Paige Dixon; Dwayne Campbell; Desiree Carter; Solange Beckford; Michael Mullen; Michael Riche; Brent Heaton; Darlene Vanderlaan; Clarence Mark, Jr.; Teresa Resetar; Jacquelyn Hefeli; Jackeline Rodrigez; Dawn Long; Juan Saldarriaga; Barbara Saldarriaga; Angela Pennock; Jessica Purtz; Terry Engels; Michael Wertz; Caitlin Wertz; Bridget Braun; Yadira Santiago; Chase Arthur; Saira Alli; Roselyn Romero; Kevin Manning; Amanda Click; Cathy Case; Joseph Derr; Gray Hudson; Michele Hudson; Chris Marino, and Catalin Bradu.
2. Letter dated July 20, 2018, from James Stansbury, Chief, Bureau of Community Planning & Growth, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, to Chairman Horan re: completed review of proposed comprehensive plan amendment for Seminole County; Amendment #18-2ESR.
3. Letter dated July 25, 2018, from Larry Volenec, FPL Regional Manager, to Chairman Horan re: hurricane preparedness.
4. Letter dated July 26, 2018, from Chairman Horan to Russ Pagano re: appreciation for his service on the Seminole County Industrial Development Authority.
5. Letter dated July 26, 2018, from Chairman Horan to Cole Copertino re: his appointment to the Seminole County Industrial Development Authority for an unexpired term ending January 1, 2019.
6. Letter dated August 2, 2018, from Chairman Horan to Glen Casel, President & CEO, Community Based Care of Central Florida, Inc., re: support of the application to the Florida Department of Children and Families to continue providing child welfare lead agency services in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.
7. Notice dated August 10, 2018 from the City of Oviedo for a Public Hearing re: a PUD Zoning Map Amendment, changing the zoning district from PUD to PUD, with a modified plan of development for 22.93 acres located north of Red Bug Lake Road, west of Oviedo Mall Boulevard, and east of Dovera Drive.
8. Letter dated August 6, 2018, from Traci Houchin, Clerk for the City of Sanford, with a Notice for a Public Hearing re: annexing property described as 0.25 acre between West 5th Street and St. Johns Parkway and between Airport Boulevard West and West Bevier Road; Ordinance #2018-4471.
9. Letter dated August 6, 2018, from Traci Houchin, Clerk for the City of Sanford, with a Notice for a Public Hearing re: annexing property described as 7.98 acres between SR 46 and Moores Station Road and between East Lake Mary Boulevard and West Cameron Avenue; Ordinance #2018-4472.
Chairman Horan announced they have a work session scheduled and they will start at 10:55 a.m.
Chairman Horan recessed the meeting at 10:43 a.m., reconvening at 1:30 p.m., with all Commissioners and all other Officials, with the exception of Deputy Clerk Terri Porter who was replaced by Deputy Clerk Jane Spencer, who were present at the Opening Session.
PROOFS OF PUBLICATION
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Carey, to authorize the filing of the proofs of publication for this meeting's scheduled public hearings into the Official Record.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Horan referred to his appointment to the Parks and Preservation Advisory Committee that he made at the morning session and advised he would like to correct the record. He stated he appointed Grey Wilson to take Matt Criswell’s place and referred to Mr. Wilson as Grey Miller. The Chairman clarified that he is appointing Grey Wilson to the Parks and Preservation Advisory Committee.
SEMINOLE COUNTY PORT
AUTHORITY BUDGET PRESENTATION
Agenda Item #26 – 2018-0883
Proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider the approval of the Seminole County Port Authority Fiscal Year 2018/2019 Budget as presented to the Board of County Commissioners, received and filed.
Andrew Van Gaale, Port Authority Administrator, addressed the Board and introduced Cliff Miller, the incoming Chairman of the Seminole County Port Authority. Mr. Van Gaale stated he is here today to present the Fiscal Year 2018/2019 budget for the Port. He reported that they had a stellar year and continued to run efficiently and cost effectively. They are looking at a profit margin of about 35% for the year. Mr. Van Gaale announced he does have $700,000 out of the current budget year that will be brought to the Board in October.
Mr. Van Gaale reviewed the FY 2018/2018 budget, which is contained in the Agenda Memorandum. He pointed out that the total budget is $4,643,110, which breaks down to budgeted operational revenue projected to be $1,984,114 and operational expenditures predicted to be $1,747,875. That leaves them with a projected profit of $235,000 for the following year. Out of that budget, they do have another $700,000 budgeted and committed for the Seminole County General Fund for September of 2019. He talked about the funds in the budget for continued capital improvements.
Commissioner Dallari asked Mr. Van Gaale to talk about the stormwater projects and whether they are on mark and projected correctly. Mr. Van Gaale stated the projects and the engineers’ estimates are right on the money. He advised they got hung up from the hurricane last year, which delayed the project. They have a little cleanup and are just moving into Phase 2. It is about a $900,000 project and is right on the engineers' estimates. With that, that will complete all of the stormwater. He stated the bidding is tough. A lot of companies are out there and not interested; so they are getting two to three qualified bidders. They are taking some risks on new companies, which have proven to be an interesting ride.
With regard to public participation, no one in the audience spoke in support or in opposition and public input was closed.
Motion by Commissioner Carey, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to approve the Seminole County Port Authority Fiscal year 2018/2019 Budget as presented to the Board of County Commissioners, as described in the proof of publication.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
CHARTER OAKS/TAMARAK WALL RECONSTRUCTION MSBU CLOSURE
LAKE MYRTLE RESTORATION MSBU CLOSURE
Agenda Items #27 and #28 – 2018-0885 and 2018-0886
Proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider an Ordinance amending Chapter 160 by deleting Article XVIII of Part 7, Charter Oaks/Tamarak Reconstruction Municipal Services Benefit Unit, as the purpose of the MSBU has been fulfilled and all assessments levied for funding the capital improvement (Wall Construction) within the unit have been collected and proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider an Ordinance amending Chapter 160 by deleting Article XXIV of Part 7, Lake Myrtle Restoration Municipal Services Benefit Unit, as the purpose of the MSBU has been fulfilled, received and filed.
Joe Saucer, MSBU Project Coordinator, addressed the Board to present the requests as outlined in the Agenda Memorandum. Ms. Saucer stated the MSBU Program coordinates funding for community-based improvements such as wall construction and lake restoration through special assessments districts referred to as Municipal Service Benefit Units (MSBU). After the purpose of an MSBU has been fulfilled and all related assessment liens are satisfied, an amendment to Chapter 160 of the Seminole County Code is required to document the closed status of the MSBU.
With regard to public participation, no one in the audience spoke in support or in opposition and public input was closed.
Motion by Commissioner Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to adopt Ordinance #2018-23 amending Chapter 160 by deleting Article XVIII of Part 7, Charter Oaks/Tamarak Reconstruction Municipal Services Benefit Unit, as described in the proof of publication.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Carey, to adopt Ordinance #2018-24 amending Chapter 160 by deleting Article XXIV of Part 7, Lake Myrtle Restoration Municipal Services Benefit Unit, as described in the proof of publication.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
2018 NON-AD VALOREM ASSESSMENT ROLL
Agenda Item #29 – 2018-0887
Proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider adopting the 2018 Non-Ad Valorem Assessment Roll with Certification provided to the Seminole County Tax Collector, received and filed.
Sarah Benoit, MSBU Program, addressed the Board to present the request as outlined in the Agenda Memorandum. Ms. Benoit stated the 2018 Non-Ad Valorem Assessment Roll that is being presented today is a consolidation of annual billable rate assessments and capital installment billings associated with all MSBUs. The variable assessment rates assigned for 2018 were authorized by the Board by resolution on June 12, 2018. As required by Florida Statute, a notice of proposed assessment was mailed to the owners of all properties included in the 2018 assessment roll. The final roll is due to the Tax Collector by September 15 and will include minor updates to accommodate property record changes initiated by the Property Appraiser and residential solid waste service option changes.
Sharon Carveth, 3214 Tall Tree Lane, addressed the Board and stated that she has never complained about the increased cost for garbage collection or when the County went to twice a week pickup even though she likes twice a month pickup. Ms. Carveth noted that she has lived in her house for 26 years and never had a problem except perhaps in the summer when a relief driver could not find her home. Since last October, she has called Solid Waste at least once a week and sometimes twice a week because they have missed picking up her garbage or missed picking up her recycling.
Ms. Carveth stated that she does not know what the penalty is when they repeatedly miss a collection but she suggested that when the County renegotiates these contracts that the penalties are not enough to get Waste Pro to fix the problem. Chairman Horan determined that Ms. Carveth lives in District 5. Commissioner Carey advised that they have staff present who can speak with Ms. Carveth. Ms. Carveth stated that she and the staff are on a first-name basis. Chairman Horan pointed out that Ms. Carveth has now had wide-spread advertisement as to what her issue is and he is sure she will get direct attention now. Ms. Carveth reiterated that she has spoken to staff and they do not know what the problem is but the problem started last October. Ms. Guillet advised they will “move it up the chain.” Commissioner Carey took down Ms. Carveth’s address and let her know that a direct call will go to the vice president of Waste Pro to ensure they don’t miss Ms. Carveth’s garbage pickup. Commissioner Dallari suggested that if staff is having an issue with this, they should let the Commissioners know so they can address it in the contract.
David Bradley, 1136 Clinging Vine Place, addressed the Board and explained that in his HOA they still use mercury lights and wondered if the purpose of this item is to upgrade to LED or whether it is just maintenance. Chairman Horan stated that he believes Mr. Bradley is in his district and he advised Mr. Bradley that he will address it with County staff and get back to him personally. Ms. Guillet noted that Mr. Bradley may not be in an MSBU. Chairman Horan indicated to Mr. Bradley that he may not be in the MSBU and Commissioner Carey suggested that he talk to Kathy Moore.
Kathleen Chiaro, 1866 Long Pond Drive, addressed the Board and stated she noticed on the mailing that it said “does your solid waste collection meet your needs.” For her, the answer is no. Her neighbor came with her but she is not going to speak. Ms. Chiaro explained that a year or so ago Option Number 1 was changed and one pickup a week for garbage and one for recycle was eliminated. It is now two times a week and one recycle. Ms. Chiaro talked about why for her and many in her subdivision there is not a need for twice-a-week pickup for garbage. She wondered if they would consider putting back Option Number 1, one collection a week for garbage and one for recycle, and have less on their taxes if they have been widowed or single or just a couple that doesn't have that much generation of garbage.
Chairman Horan thanked Ms. Chiaro for her comments. He explained that in setting the rates, they are spread across the county and they are trying to get the best deal for everyone in the county. The Chairman advised they will certainly address this issue on Option 1 because she is not the only one who has brought that to their attention.
Susan Miller Evans, 3420 Holliday Avenue, addressed the Board and stated that she is here today to talk about the MSBU program. She received Option 1, which she pays for annually. She explained that she is entering a complaint today that the waste management collection is returning collected garbage to the residential address. They are returning food, papers, and glass. She has spoken to law enforcement officials about this, and she would like better service and an investigation done as to who is doing this. Chairman Horan confirmed Ms. Evans’ address and indicated she is in District 3.
Commissioner Constantine asked Ms. Evans specifically who is doing what. Ms. Evans stated they are collecting the garbage and she believes they are going through it and then selectively returning old food. When they collect the recycle bin for glass, they have brought the glass back. The Chairman asked if they are returning it to Ms. Evans’ curb. Ms. Evans replied that she does not care to comment right now. Commissioner Carey suggested that Johnny Edwards talk with Ms. Evans. He can hear her complaint and he can deal with it and she will not have to do it in public. Upon inquiry by Ms. Evans as to Mr. Edwards' position with the County, Chairman Horan advised that he is the Division Manager with Environmental Services.
With regard to public participation, no one else in the audience spoke in support or in opposition and public input was closed.
Speaker Request Forms and Written Comment Forms were received and filed.
Motion by Commissioner Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Carey, to approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2018-R-112 adopting the 2018 Non-Ad Valorem Assessment Roll with certification provided to the Seminole County Tax Collector, as described in the proof of publication.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
CELERY AVENUE RIGHT-OF-WAY VACATE/
Archie and Debbie Smith
Agenda Item #30 – 2018-0572
Continuation of a public hearing from March 27, April 10, May 22, June 12, and June 26, 2018, to consider a request to approve a Resolution vacating and abandoning a remnant piece of the public right-of-way known as Celery Avenue, as recorded in Road Plat Book 1, page 47, in the Public Records of Seminole County, Florida, for property located at the intersection of Celery Avenue and East SR 415, Sanford, as described in the proof of publication; Archie and Debbie Smith.
Angie Kealhofer, Planning & Development Division, addressed the Board and advised the Applicant has requested a continuance to the October 9, 2018, BCC meeting.
With regard to public participation, no one spoke in support or in opposition to a continuance, and public input was closed.
Motion by Commissioner Carey, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to continue to October 9, 2018, at 1:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter as possible, the request to approve a Resolution vacating and abandoning a remnant piece of the public right-of-way known as Celery Avenue, as recorded in Road Plat Book 1, page 47, in the Public Records of Seminole County, Florida, for property located at the intersection of Celery Avenue and East SR 415, Sanford, as described in the proof of publication; Archie and Debbie Smith, Applicants.
Districts 1, 2, 3 and 5 voted AYE.
GRANDEVILLE AT WESTSTATE APARTMENTS
EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IMPACT FEES
VESTING DENIAL APPEAL/Matthew Gourlay
Agenda Item #31 – 2018-0740
Continuation of public hearing from July 24, 2018, to consider an appeal of the denial of Educational System Impact Fee Vesting for the Grandeville at Weststate Apartments development located on the north side of West SR 426, one-quarter mile east of SR 417, as described in the proof of publication; Matthew Gourlay.
Rebecca Hammock, Planning and Development Division Manager, addressed the Board and advised that the Applicant is requesting a continuance until the August 28, 2018, BCC meeting so the item can be heard concurrently with the proposed Future Land Use Map Amendment and Rezone.
Kami Corbett, Representative for the Seminole County School System, addressed the Board and stated they do object to the continuance. They see no reason why this appeal of the denial of the vesting certificate needs to be tied with the Future Land Use Map Amendment. She explained that County staff made a determination at the time period when the applications were required to be submitted, which was back in April. The Applicant filed a timely appeal. Ms. Corbett stated they see no reason to keep continuing this because effectively what continuing this does is continue out the timeframe that they have to vest because the Seminole County Code says they get 18 months from the date of the agreement. She noted this is the second continuance and reiterated that the School Board objects to this continuance and suggested the Board uphold their staff’s recommendation.
Joseph Ranaldi, Executive Director of Operations with the School Board, addressed the Board and pointed out that at this point they just seem to be continuing and continuing. Mr. Ranaldi explained that from the standpoint of their budgeting process and from the standpoint of doing the forecasting, they need to know and have a level of certainty as to what the collection is going to be for the impact fees. He stated that at this point, they do not understand the rationale behind the continuance and would like to see the continuance not be approved.
With regard to public participation, no one else in the audience spoke in support or in opposition to a continuance and public input was closed.
Speaker Request Forms were received and filed.
Commissioner Dallari explained that in the past they have always allowed any applicant to have two continuances. They have always done that and he sees no reason why not to do it.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to continue to August 28, 2018, at 1:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter as possible, the appeal of Educational System Impact Fee Vesting for the Grandeville at Weststate Apartments development located on the north side of West SR 426, one-quarter mile east of SR 417, as described in the proof of publication, Matthew Gourlay, Appellant.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
CAMERON HEIGHTS VILLAGE H PD
MAJOR AMENDMENT/Theodore Takvorian
Agenda Item #32 – 2018-0029
Proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider a Rezone from PD (Planned Development) to PD (Planned Development) for approximately 4.38 acres, located on the west side of East Lake Mary Boulevard, approximately 700 feet north of East State Road 46, Theodore Takvorian, received and filed.
Matt Davidson, Planning and Development Division, addressed the Board to present the request as outlined in the Agenda Memorandum. Mr. Davidson explained that the Applicant is requesting a Major Amendment to the Cameron Heights Planned Development (PD) in order to permit access to East Lake Mary Boulevard (SR 415), which was originally prohibited in the Development Order from 2005. The Applicant has submitted the proposed access location to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and has received preliminary approval. Public Works has also reviewed the proposed access location and has no objection.
Mr. Davidson advised that the subject site is located in Village H of the Cameron Heights PD that permits commercial uses listed in the C-1 Retail Commercial district. The Applicant is not proposing any changes to the Development Order other than allowing for access from Village H to East Lake Mary Boulevard. Mr. Davidson reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval. The proposed PD amendment is compatible with the surrounding trend of development in the area and is consistent with both the allowable use and intensity provisions of the previously approved Planned Development Future Land Use designation. Staff is also recommending approval.
Momtaz Barq, Terra Max Engineering, addressed the Board and stated they have gone through the staff report and agree with the findings and recommendations and are available to answer any questions.
With regard to public participation, no one in the audience spoke in support or in opposition and public input was closed.
Motion by Commissioner Carey, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to adopt Ordinance #2018-25 enacting a Rezone from PD (Planned Development) to PD (Planned Development) and approve the associated Development Order (Addendum #4 to the Cameron Heights PD) and Master Development Plan for approximately 4.38 acres, located on the west side of East Lake Mary Boulevard, approximately 700 feet north of East State Road 46, as described in the proof of publication, Theodore Takvorian.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
ORANGE AND MARKHAM LOTS PLANNED DEVELOPMENT SMALL SCALE
FUTURE LAND USE MAP AMENDMENT AND REZONE/Michael Elias
Agenda Item #33 – 2018-0020
Proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider a Small Scale Future Land Use Map Amendment from Suburban Estates to Planned Development (PD), and a Rezone from A-1 (Agriculture) to PD (Planned Development) for a two-lot single-family residential subdivision on 1.6 acres, located at the southwest corner of Markham Road and Orange Boulevard, Michael Elias, received and filed.
Joy Giles, Planning and Development Division, addressed the Board to present the request as outlined in the Agenda Memorandum. Ms. Giles explained that the item came before the Board on June 26, 2018, and was denied with a vote of two in favor and two in opposition of the request. On July 24, 2018, a motion was passed to allow this item to come back to the Board for a rehearing on the next available public hearing agenda.
Ms. Giles stated the Applicant proposes to develop the subject property as a single-family residential subdivision of two lots with a maximum density of 1.4 units per net buildable acre. She reported that the subject property is within the Wekiva River Protection Area (WRPA) and the East Lake Sylvan Transitional Area. The Applicant has demonstrated compliance with the Comprehensive Plan Policy FLU 12.2 by limiting the impervious surface area to a maximum of 7,500 square feet per lot. Ms. Giles advised that the proposal meets the requirements of Chapter 30 of the Land Development Code as well as being compatible with the surrounding trend of development in the area and noted that staff is recommending approval.
Katrina Shadix, 1421 Brigham Loop, addressed the Board and stated that she was approached several months ago by a concerned citizen who was very much against this zoning change. She talked about how this area is used as a corridor for bears. Ms. Shadix stated when she spoke at the League of Women Voters’ debate, this rezoning was one of the top concerns of the people in the audience.
With regard to public participation, no one else in the audience spoke in support or in opposition and public input was closed.
Speaker Request Form was received and filed.
Commissioner Constantine confirmed with Ms. Giles that the Applicant is present. The Commissioner advised that at the last meeting he voted against this because he felt that they could build one unit on the property; that it was in the Wekiva Protection Area; and that the plan was to do it with septic tanks instead of water and sewer. He felt that was a formula for the County to have to go back and spend taxpayer’s money to fix it in the long run. Commissioner Constantine asked whether they explored that opportunity and wondered why, if they can’t do sewer and have to use septic, they would not just allow one unit instead of two. Ms. Giles replied that Policy SAN 1.1 allows for septic to be on the site because of the distance of the force main. Commissioner Carey confirmed with Ms. Giles that they are going to connect to Seminole County water; that the only issue was the sewer because of the distance, size, and the requirement of a force main; and that whether they have either one or two lots, they will have a septic tank.
Commissioner Constantine stated he does not see this as a major problem per se but he believes they are setting a continuing precedent that they are allowing septic tanks in the Wekiva Protection Area, which he thinks in the long run is a formula for disaster. They should do everything they can to stop that as soon as they possibly can. He noted that one to two units is not going to make a huge difference in the world; but again, the problem is that they continually do this and it adds up over and over again. He is against in principle the fact that they are now adding another unit and putting in septic tanks.
Commissioner Dallari requested that they hear from the Applicant. Larry Poliner, RCE Consultants and representing the Applicant, addressed the Board to state he is the engineer of record and offered to answer any questions the Board might have. Chairman Horan stated he thinks the question is the practicality of the connection for one or two lines. Mr. Poliner stated the connection point is pretty far away and is a very high pressure pipe. It is not conducive to that type of development for just two lots. He reported they have already spoken to Environmental Services and they agree.
Commissioner Carey stated she had discussions with Johnny Edwards and the Utility Department and the recommendation from staff is that they connect to water and they have the two septic tanks. This is within the bear management area and is also an odd lot. It is one of the last pieces. It backs up to Heathrow, which is four units per acre. Heathrow has spoken in support on behalf of this project. There are four units per acre already approved across the street. Commissioner Carey pointed out that in all of the larger subdivisions where water and sewer were readily available, the County has required them to connect to water and sewer. This just happens to be an odd lot on the corner. She added that to the east of this property is 12 units per acre and this project is asking for two lots on 1.6 acres. She believes it is acceptable and does have a staff recommendation and a unanimous recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Commissioner Dallari noted Mr. Poliner spoke about pressure and that it is not feasible to connect to the system and asked him to explain. Mr. Poliner explained that in regard to connecting to that, anything is possible if the funds are there. He added because of the distance, because of the friction losses in the pipes, and because of the cost to overcome the pressure in the existing pipe, the lift station would be quite large and quite expensive for just two lots. Commissioner Constantine reiterated why he is opposed to this request and Commissioner Carey reiterated why she thinks this request is reasonable.
Motion by Commissioner Carey, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to adopt Ordinance #2018-26 enacting a Small Scale Future Land Use Map Amendment from Suburban Estates to Planned Development, and adopt Ordinance #2018-27 enacting a Rezone from A-1 (Agriculture) to PD (Planned Development) for 1.6 acres, located at the southwest corner of Markham Road and Orange Boulevard, as described in the proof of publication, Michael Elias, Applicant; Development Order.
Districts 1, 2, and 5 voted AYE.
Commissioner Constantine voted NAY.
Chairman Horan recessed the meeting at 1:18 p.m., reconvening it at 1:26 p.m.
RIVER CROSS TEXT AMENDEMTS TO THE COMPREHENSIVE
PLAN TO AMEND THE URBAN/RURAL BOUNDARY;
LARGE SCALE FUTURE LAND USE MAP AMENDMENT
AND PLANNED DEVELOPMENT (PD) REZONE; AND
CHARTER RURAL BOUNDARY LINE AMENDMENT/Christopher Dorworth
Agenda Item #34 – 2018-0031
Proof of publication calling for a public hearing to consider Text Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan to amend the Urban/Rural Boundary to remove 669.4 acres from the East Rural Area; Large Scale Future Land Use Map Amendment from Rural-5 to Planned Development and a Rezone from A-5 (Rural Zoning) to PD (Planned Development) and consider removal of the 669.4 acres from the rural area of the County Charter for a mixed-use development consisting of 600 single-family residential lots, 270 townhome lots, 500 multifamily units and 1.5 million square feet of commercial uses on approximately 669.4 acres, located west of CR 419, east of the Econlockhatchee River, and north of the Orange County/Seminole County line, Christopher Dorworth, received and filed.
Danette V. Lamb, Court Reporter with Orange Legal, was present.
Chairman Horan briefly discussed the protocol and the procedure for today’s hearing. Commissioners Carey, Dallari, and Constantine submitted their ex parte communications (copy received and filed) into the record. Commissioner Dallari mentioned that his ex parte communication is on a jump drive that his staff put together and he will be giving that to the Clerk. Chairman Horan stated he did not take any personal ex parte communications other than with the Applicant and with staff. He has had over 100 phone calls, which have been handled by his assistant, and that is his public disclosure regarding ex parte contact on this.
Paul Chipok, Senior Assistant County Attorney, addressed the Board and stated that as legal counsel, he wanted to give the Board an overview of the process that they will be following today. Mr. Chipok began the presentation (copy received and filed); and with regard to Actions Required, he explained there are four considerations that are on the table. They are the Comprehensive Plan Rural Boundary Line Amendment, the Charter Rural Boundary Line Amendment, the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Amendment, and the PD Rezoning. Of those four items, the Board will need to take action on two items tonight. They are the Comprehensive Plan Rural Boundary Line Amendment and the Comprehensive Future Land Use Amendment. Mr. Chipok explained that under Chapter 163, a transmittal hearing is required and then it goes up to the State, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. State agencies would have a chance to comment on the application and would send the comments back. The Board would then hold an adoption hearing.
Mr. Chipok displayed the River Cross Transmittal Hearing Process slide and stated that amendments to Comprehensive Plans are legislative decisions. He reviewed the Transmittal Hearing Process regarding denials and pointed out that if the Board chooses not to transmit a Comprehensive Plan Amendment, that is a legislative decision. An appeal of that denial would be to the Circuit Court as a de novo hearing under the "fairly debatable test." If the Board chooses to approve the transmittal, it would go to the Department of Economic Opportunity and then their comments would be received back and the Board would hold a second public hearing to consider adoption after receipt of those comments. At the adoption hearing, the two options would be to approve the project or deny the project. If the project was approved, any aggrieved party would have the opportunity to file a petition for a formal hearing with the Division of Administrative Hearings. If the project is denied, it is a legislative decision and appealable to Circuit Court. Upon inquiry by Commissioner Dallari, Mr. Chipok explained a de novo hearing is brand new and the Court would be taking evidence and testimony itself and it would not just be based on the record of this hearing.
Mr. Chipok stated that legislative action is the formulation of a general rule of policy. He pointed out that the decisions on amendments to the Comprehensive Plan are reviewed on a Fairly Debatable Standard of Review and then described that standard. Mr. Chipok informed the Board that they must base their decisions on competent substantial evidence and displayed and reviewed the items on the Types of Evidence Deemed to be Competent Substantial Evidence slide. With regard to some questions for the Board to consider, he reviewed the Fundamental Questions in a Legislative Proceeding slide.
Mr. Chipok talked about the differences between the Comprehensive Plan Urban/Rural Boundary and the 2004 Charter Amendment Boundary and displayed and reviewed three slides. He advised that the 2004 Charter Amendment specifically said that the Board of County Commissioners must approve all changes to the Future Land Use designations of all rural lands regardless of whether some or all of the rural lands are located within the municipality. He explained that if it is in the rural boundary area, the BCC has control over the land use. He noted that in the Comprehensive Plan there are specific standards for changing the Urban/Rural Boundary. The Board may change the Charter Boundary at their discretion and whenever, in the opinion of the Board, such change is necessary.
Mr. Chipok concluded by stating the Commissioners are here to look at the Comprehensive Plan Amendments and determine whether to transmit them to the State for further review. If approved, it will come back for an adoption hearing. If denied, that would be the end of the Board's legislative action and the Comprehensive Plan and the whole package is deemed to be denied. Mr. Chipok further explained that if the Board denies transmittal tonight, the Applicant has also requested a specific ordinance to amend the Rural Charter Boundary Line. If the Board denies transmittal, they should take up that application and ordinance and either vote it up or vote it down based on whether the Commissioners believe such change is necessary at this point in time. The effect of such change, should the Board approve it, is that it removes that property from the rural boundary line and puts it in the urban boundary. Then upon an annexation, a city would have complete control over that property and the BCC would no longer have control over that area anymore.
Bill Wharton, Principle Planner with the Planning and Development Division, addressed the Board to continue the presentation. Mr. Wharton referred to the Applicant Request slide and reviewed the information regarding the request. He displayed two maps illustrating that the subject property is located in the East Rural Area of the county and is assigned a Rural‑5 Future Land Use designation and a Zoning Classification of A‑5. He then listed what is allowed in the Rural‑5 Future Land Use designation and what uses are permitted on lands included in the A‑5 Rural Zoning District and are located in the rural area of the county where the services are minimal or nonexistent.
Mr. Wharton stated that the Applicant is requesting amendments to the text and exhibits in the Comprehensive Plan to remove the subject property from the East Rural Area and include it in the Urban Service Area. The proposed text amendments also include an amendment to the Future Land Use Element legal description for the rural area. He noted that the proposed development abuts the Econlockhatchee River on the western side of the property and the surrounding Future Land Use on the north and east side of the property is Rural‑5. The west side is Preservation Managed Lands and the abutting property to the south side is in Orange County and has a Future Land Use of Rural 1‑10, which is one residential unit for 10 acres.
The River Cross Proposed Master Development Plan was displayed. Mr. Wharton advised that the Applicant's River Cross project proposes a range of densities from 2 dwelling units to a maximum of 13 dwelling units per acre and a maximum floor area ratio of 0.6 for the proposed commercial and office uses. The project proposes building heights ranging from 35 feet for single‑family residential to 75 feet for mixed‑use commercial and office. Mr. Wharton explained that the Applicant's narrative states that 15% of the residential units within the proposed project will be developed as affordable housing and that the proposed development would provide a 21st Century employment district through the development of an innovation district; however the proposed development order and master plan have no provisions or commitments to ensure the development of affordable units, nor do the documents specify what income level would be served. The development order and master building plan do not include requirements of target industries or high tech employment uses to be built concurrently with the residential uses to ensure and maintain employment opportunities for a true mixed-use development as stated in the project narrative. The subject property contains 311 acres of floodplains, 275 acres of wetlands, and six wildlife species that are listed as threatened or species of special concern.
The River Cross Concept Plan map was displayed. Mr. Wharton stated that the PD Development Order proposes to provide a minimum of 25% open space and green space on the subject property. The proposed Development Order also states that the development shall reserve a minimum of 100 acres for permanent conservation that will be dedicated to the St. Johns River Water Management District. The subject property is located within the Econlockhatchee River Corridor Protection zone and would be required to comply with all development regulations mandated by the protection zone.
Mr. Wharton displayed a River Cross map, which depicted the subject property being located outside of Seminole County's existing utility area, and noted that the development densities and intensities as requested by the Applicant would require connection to central water and sewer. He explained that as part of the requested Urban/Rural Boundary Amendment, data and analysis is required by the Future Land Use Element standards for amending the Urban/Rural Boundary to demonstrate the availability of facilities and services and the orderly, efficient, and cost effective provision of service. Such analysis, as outlined in the staff report, was not provided with the application. Mr. Wharton stated that supplying potable water and sanitary sewer utilities to the site would require crossing the Econlockhatchee River. Policy FLU 1.10 of the Comprehensive Plan states there shall be no additional crossing by road, rail, or utility corridors unless three conditions are met. These conditions are that there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the proposed crossing as determined by the County; that all possible measures to minimize harm to the resources of the Econlockhatchee River Basin will be implemented; and that the crossing supports an activity that is clearly in the public interest as determined by the County. Mr. Wharton advised that the Application does not demonstrate that these three conditions have been met.
Mr. Wharton explained that the transportation analysis for the River Cross PD was prepared but there are multiple outstanding issues as outlined in the staff report. In addition, the application did not adequately address how the needed transportation improvements to support the proposed development would be funded or constructed. He added that it does not appear that any coordination has occurred with Orange County relating to this. The proposed River Cross Development Order does not make any commitments with regard to the developer funding, constructing, or conveying right‑of‑way for the extension of McCulloch Road. The extension of McCulloch Road would also require a demonstration of compliance with the same Future Land Use Policy 1.10 to cross the Econlockhatchee River. Without the additional information, the report is incomplete and compliance with the County's Comprehensive Plan policies related to transportation cannot be established.
Mr. Wharton stated the proposed PD zoning designation and the associated Master Development Plan have been evaluated for compatibility with the Land Development Code of Seminole County in accordance with Chapter 30, Part 25. He reported that the application went through one review cycle with the Development Review Committee (DRC) where staff provided comments and questions on the application and the development itself. The Applicant chose not to resubmit to the Development Review Committee and requested to be placed on the Planning and Zoning Commission agenda. Because the Applicant elected not to respond to the DRC comments, the application is incomplete and the deficiencies in the application submittal preclude a determination of consistency with the County's Land Development Code requirements including Section 30.445, the Master Development Plan submittal requirements, and in Section 30.442, the PD permitted uses.
Mr. Wharton stated that in addition, the proposed PD zoning designation as submitted appears incompatible with the surrounding area and the trend of development in the area. He explained that the proposed PD with a maximum density of 13 dwelling units per acre, an intensity of 0.60 Floor Area Ratio, and a maximum building height of 75 feet is incompatible with the surrounding Future Land Use and Zoning designations of Rural-5 and A-5 zoning as well as with the adjacent Orange County Future Land Use designation to the south of Rural 1-10. Mr. Wharton advised that the A-5 Rural Zoning Classification permits rural residential uses and agricultural operations; therefore, the proposed urban uses within the PD could create conflict with the allowable agricultural uses on surrounding properties. He stated that the PD proposes buffers of only 25 feet and 50 feet, which are not sufficient to create compatibility between land uses and provide a clear separation between rural and urban uses; thus, the proposed project does not support the objectives of the PD zoning designation because it does not provide adequate buffering and transitions to maintain compatibility between the proposed PD and surrounding uses.
Mr. Wharton stated the County’s Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element contains Standards of Review for Comprehensive Plan Amendments as well as standards for amending the Urban/Rural Boundary and they include demonstration of need, location analysis, and consistency with goals, objectives, and policies of the Comprehensive Plan. Staff has determined that the Standards of Review for both the Comprehensive Plan Amendments and the standards for amending the Urban/Rural Boundary have not been met as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan’s summary information report attached as Exhibit 11 in the staff report.
Mr. Wharton reported the Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the request and recommended the BCC deny transmittal of the Ordinance to State and Regional review agencies. Staff finds the application to be incomplete and the request to be inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan, the Land Development Code, and incompatible with the trend of development in the area as detailed in the staff report. Staff recommends that the BCC deny this request.
Rebecca Hammock, Planning and Development Division Manager, addressed the Board to continue the presentation. Ms. Hammock displayed and reviewed the historical timeframe (from 1987 through 2008) of the Rural Area‑Urban/Rural Boundary. The 1987 Seminole County Future Land Use map was displayed. Ms. Hammock pointed out that the City of Oviedo existed east of the Econ River prior to the 1991 establishment of the East Rural Boundary and Chuluota existed with its Commercial and Low Density Future Land Use designations. She then indicated on the map where the subject property was located and advised that the Future Land Uses were Conservation and Suburban Estates.
A map depicting the adjacent land uses around the subject property was displayed. Ms. Hammock referred to the subject property on the map and explained that to the north is the River Woods five‑acre development, which is one dwelling unit per five acres. To the west is LDR, which has A‑1 zoning and is also a five‑acre development. She pointed out the location of the County's Preserved Managed Wilderness Area on the map. She indicated that to the south is Orange County Rural, which is one dwelling unit per ten acres. Ms. Hammock displayed the Existing Route to UCF map and advised that based on the improved roads, as they are today UCF is approximately nine miles from the subject property.
Ms. Hammock displayed the 1991 East Seminole County Rural Area Plan slide and pointed out that in 1991 the BCC created the East Rural Area of Seminole County, with the adoption of the 1991 Seminole County Comprehensive Plan Update as a planning technique to protect the character of the area as agricultural and rural residential. She then reviewed the remaining bullet points listed on the slide. Ms. Hammock stated she thinks it is important to highlight the two bolded items, which are (1) to ensure the cost‑effective provision of public services and (2) to discourage urban sprawl and limit urban uses to eliminate the need for significant investments in capital improvements. This shows that the County not only wanted to preserve the rural character of the area but it was also a business decision on the part of the County.
Ms. Hammock stated that following the 2004 Charter Amendment, the County commissioned a study that was called the 2006 Rural Character Plan. As part of that study, there were recommendations regarding transitioning. Part of that recommendation was the Rural Area Development Standards which included the Rural Cluster Subdivision. That was made up of the two components of open space and rural residential uses. Ms. Hammock stated that part of the recommendation was for a Cluster Subdivision Option, which was one dwelling unit per three acres, or Option B, which was one dwelling unit per one acre. At the time the transition recommendations were made, in the Transportation Improvements, CR 419 was slated to be widened but it has since been removed. She pointed out that ultimately the consultant recommended buffering and the Rural Cluster Subdivision option as transitions. No incentives were advocated by the BCC to increase densities.
The audio of a portion of the June 13, 2006, BCC meeting was played. Ms. Hammock summarized that the audio was of the June 13, 2006, BCC meeting where the Rural Character Plan was presented. The purpose of the clip was to demonstrate that there was never any intent by the Board to increase density as part of the transition recommendations. It was always about buffering and the Rural Cluster Subdivision option. Ms. Hammock explained that following the meeting on June 13, 2006, staff brought the finalized report back to the Board on September 26, 2006. At that meeting, staff stated that Transition Area 3, which was the transition area that the subject property is included within, already transitions and recommended buffers and the Rural Cluster Subdivision option that is already within the Land Development Code. With the Cluster Subdivision option, the lot size is one dwelling unit per one acre. That is the minimum lot size. It is still at the density of the underlying Rural Future Land Use designation.
Ms. Hammock reported that following the 2006 Rural Charter Plan, the County focused its planning policy on maximizing the development potential in the urban area in order to protect the rural area by organizing a Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element in accordance with "How Shall We Grow?" and strengthen the HIP‑TI Future Land Use designation. The County created the Mixed Development Future Land Use designation and the Centers and Corridors overlay. The County also adopted the Transportation Concurrency Exception Area in 2011. Ms. Hammock advised that all of these were put in place in order to create compact land use patterns that discouraged sprawl and to decrease automobile trips. Discussion ensued with regard to the adoption of "How Shall We Grow?"
Ms. Hammock reviewed the three items on the Applicant's Requests slide and pointed out that if the first application fails the Standards of Review, the next two applications are moot as you cannot amend the future land use or the zoning if it does not meet the first standard to amend the Urban/Rural Boundary. Ms. Hammock explained the Standards of Review for Amending the Urban/Rural Boundary which have to affirmatively be met are demonstration of need, location analysis of amendments, and mandatory consistency with the goals, objectives and policies of the Comprehensive Plan and Regional plans.
With regard to the Standards of Review, Ms. Hammock highlighted the information on the Lack of Suitable or Vacant Land in the Urban Area to Provide Affordable Housing slide. She pointed out that the Applicant has said that they meet this Standard of Review because the County lacks affordable housing. Ms. Hammock advised that is not the standard; the standard is whether there is a lack of vacant land in the urban area to provide for affordable housing. Staff has determined that this Standard has not been affirmatively met. Ms. Hammock highlighted the information on the Availability of Facilities and Services and Orderly Efficient and Cost‑Effective Provision of Service slide and advised this Standard has not been demonstrated to be affirmatively met for the services of water and sewer, public safety (fiscal impact to the County for Fire and Police) and transportation (Extension of McCulloch Road). The outstanding question is, what is the fiscal impact to the County for extending urban services and facilities in an area not previously planned for urban services and facilities.
Ms. Hammock reviewed the various items on the Project Review Timeline and Meetings slides and then showed the Board some Examples of Project Timelines for other projects to give them an idea of how long it takes to get other large projects through the County process. With regard to Urban Sprawl, she explained the County believes the application, as submitted, is urban sprawl in that it is requiring an extension of public facilities and services in an inefficient manner and fails to provide a clear separation between urban and rural uses.
Ms. Hammock reported that the Applicant states that the project is in fact not urban sprawl because it proposes a mixed-use development and is providing affordable housing; however, the proposed Development Order does not provide a linkage between their residential uses and their nonresidential uses. They are proposing the majority of their residential uses within Phase 1 and their nonresidential uses within Phase 2, but they do not have any requirement within the D.O. for the two to develop concurrently or to have a ratio of nonresidential and residential uses. Therefore, it is not truly a mixed-use development. With regard to the proposed affordable housing, Ms. Hammock stated the Applicant has in a revised D.O. that they submitted for informational purposes said that they would apply for federal funding for affordable housing and if they did not obtain the funding, it would revert to market rate rental apartments. Ms. Hammock then introduced Melody Frederick to discuss some affordable housing issues.
Melody Frederick, Compliance Officer for the Community Services Department, addressed the Board and began her portion of the presentation. Ms. Frederick explained that as it relates to this particular development, one of the parts of the Standards of Review that is required is that the Applicant has to demonstrate there is a lack of suitable or vacant land in the urban area to provide affordable housing. She then displayed a map depicting all of the tax credit projects that are funded through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and talked about how these developments are widely scattered throughout Seminole County. The tax credit process and the funding is one of the largest sources of funding for affordable housing development. The funds are given through a competitive process to the states, and developers apply annually to receive these funds. Ms. Frederick stated that even when reviewing for tax credit funding, there are certain standards that are also looked at as well through that process. The project is looked at primarily for the population that is served, how many units they provide as well as the proximity to services, to transportation centers and employment.
Ms. Frederick reiterated that the units are scattered throughout the county and not concentrated in a single area. She directed the Board’s attention to the map and pointed out a blue box, which is Census Tract 205. She explained that in Seminole County there is a single Census tract where there is a very high concentration of people in poverty and a very high concentration of persons of either ethnic or racial minorities. She stated it is centered in Census Tract 205 in the Sanford area. In terms of a tax credit project, Ms. Frederick explained that the Florida Housing Finance Corporation will not approve a new development there because there are several tax credit projects already clustered in that area for new development and they do not want to further exasperate the conditions there. She noted what they will approve is redevelopment and if a project came into that section, it would be strictly for redevelopment to take care of what is already existing. In the initial report from the Applicant, there were some comments about concentrating poverty and things of that nature. She stated she wanted to bring to the attention of the Board that the tax credit projects are scattered throughout the county.
The Current FHFC Properties and Funding Source list was displayed. Ms. Frederick stated this is a listing of some of the tax credit projects that have been funded and approved and supported by Seminole County. She emphasized these are just a small sample and are not all of the apartments that have been developed and that it doesn't speak to their homeownership programs. These are developments that are 7,500 units or greater; so when examining it compared to this proposal, this was the closest that she could generate. There are roughly 4,802 units that have been developed over the years with the most current being the Pointe at Merritt Street. Ms. Frederick advised that there are very specific standards that are looked at in order to receive funding from the tax credit process and it is always important to locate the housing near employment centers and traffic and transit areas because people with lower incomes tend to have a need to be able to get to work and transportation can be an issue.
The Areas of Access and Opportunities for Affordable Housing map was displayed. Ms. Frederick stated that in addition to supporting tax credit projects, Seminole County also participated in a series of regional affordable housing workshops in partnership with Orange County, Osceola County, the City of Orlando, and the City of Kissimmee. The Planning staff along with the staff from Community Services participated in a series of these workshops for an extended period of time just to look at affordable housing from a regional context. The group also commissioned a study from the Shimberg Center of Affordable Housing to create a model to look at regionally where affordable housing would be best suited to be located. Using this model, it was very important to pay attention to where the housing was in relation to transportation and transit centers.
Ms. Frederick indicated a location on the map and explained that regionally they can see that the housing is typically located in areas where infrastructure already exists. It is near transportation and employment centers. They are still working through that process and there are some final reports that are coming out that the staff will bring to the Board about this. The point is the affordable housing is located near services and near transportation because it is a significant need. She referred to the map and pointed out that the transportation centers are more in the urban portion of the county.
The Housing + Transportation map was displayed. Ms. Frederick explained that there is a paradigm shift happening with affordable housing. Traditionally, affordable housing was looked at as the cost of housing to not be more than 40% of a household income but in reality, there are more costs that a household has. A lot of times, transportation and the cost of getting to and from work and getting to wherever you need to be can far exceed housing costs. If someone is in a higher income, they can make the tradeoff and it is not that much of an impact. For people who have limited means, a lot of times the transportation costs can sometimes far exceed their housing costs or when they are combined together, it takes up a significant amount of their income.
Ms. Frederick reported that there is a Housing and Transportation Affordability Availability Index that shows for Seminole County where areas are where either the housing costs are high or the transportation costs are high or both. Ms. Frederick indicated the location of the subject property on the map. She explained that the index gives a rule of thumb that to have a good score, the housing costs and transportation costs should not exceed 45% to 50% percent of someone's income. At the location of the subject property, they are looking at between 78% and 87% of any household income in this area that could be diverted to both transportation and housing costs; and that is because of the distance away from transit, bus services, and things of that nature. That could cause a significant strain for households that have a limited income source. Ms. Frederick explained that in keeping with the way affordable housing is being developed and what they are looking at regionally, you should also consider transportation costs in addition to housing because a person would need to have extremely reliable transportation just to be able to get to and from work or home or to any other appointments.
Ms. Frederick stated that the tax credit programs focus mainly on the most vulnerable populations that exist, which are the elderly, the disabled, and lower income families. When all of that is taken into consideration, it gives a very telling picture. It is also important to note that during that entire process, neither the Applicant nor their representative ever contacted Community Services to sit down and talk through these affordable housing issues. She suggested that had some of that occurred, they would have been able to touch base with them and given them a little bit more direction and talk about all of the ways that Seminole County does support affordable housing for funding and other programs.
Chairman Horan mentioned an affordable housing project that is being developed by Wendover Properties in the City of Sanford that the County is involved with. He stated he wanted to put on the record that the Board has always encouraged within the cities the development of affordable housing. Ms. Frederick stated that Seminole County has been very supportive of affordable housing. They are one of the few who actually puts in grant dollars to provide the local contribution toward tax credit projects. She noted that in her past work in other places, there were not very many local governments that actually put forth any money towards that.
Johnny Edwards, Manager of the Utilities Engineering Division for the Environmental Services Department, addressed the Board to continue with his portion of the presentation. Mr. Edwards reviewed the information on the Overview of Current Conditions slide. He stated this shows that there is adequate capacity in the southeast region with respect to potable water and sanitary sewer. He displayed the Potable Water Service Area map and noted that the orange area at the bottom is the southeast region and extends eastward to but not across the Econlockhatchee River. He pointed out the proposed development on the map. The Existing Potable Water Location map was displayed and Mr. Edwards indicated that the water mains are on McCulloch and Old Lockwood; so there would need to be a one‑mile extension to the east and across the Econ River to serve the proposed development.
Mr. Edwards displayed the Sanitary Sewer Services Area and stated the service area is largely the same; the south area extends to the east to but not across the Econlockhatchee River. The Existing Sanitary Sewer Location map was displayed and Mr. Edwards explained that the tie‑in would be a little different; it is up in the Carillon subdivision where they have a master pump station. That would be the most likely tie‑in for the force main and would be approximately 1.85 miles from the proposed development. With regard to Existing Reclaimed Water Service Area, Mr. Edwards reported that the service area does extend further to the east where there are potential agricultural uses for reclaimed water. With respect to existing mains, they are just like the potable water installed along McCulloch and Old Lockwood approximately one mile west of the proposed development.
Mr. Edwards reviewed the Meetings and Communications slide. He pointed out that the April 13, 2018, Letter of Availability stated there was available capacity but until they get far enough along in the review process, they cannot guarantee that capacity. Those are normally made through executing agreements and reserving capacity. Once they get far enough along in the process, those agreements can be discussed. He explained that in late April there was the pre-application meeting with the DRC and there were comments made by the Applicant that essentially took that letter as a guarantee of service that the County had obligated itself to serve water and potable to the proposed development. In May, a clarification letter was sent which basically explained that that was not the case. He talked about an email that said based on comments made at the DRC, the County wanted to explain that it has a Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) issued by the St. Johns River Water Management District that currently does not include the proposed development, that it is beyond the County's service area, and that they are not permitted by the State of Florida to serve water to this proposed development at this time without modifying that permit.
Chairman Horan stated as he understands the State's Consumptive Use Permit that as a county they have to have it and that it is based upon their needs in those particular areas where they are encouraging development, in other words the urban areas. Mr. Edwards stated it is based on projections of growth and development and water demand within their urban areas. He added that they have standards that apply to their service areas within the urban boundary.
Chairman Horan stated he was trying to put together how this would affect policies that the County already has in place and are in place specifically so they don't end up short on their water consumptive use in the areas where they are trying to encourage development because they already have the services there. Mr. Edwards explained that what the Consumptive Use Permit would suggest is that if they are providing water somewhere else, they may not have enough water for the areas where it was originally planned. Commissioner Carey referred to their capital improvement programs and noted they adopt those and look at them five years rolling. She asked Mr. Edwards if it is correct that all of the plans they have and the investments they have made have all been in the urban area and Mr. Edwards agreed. Commissioner Carey added that they don't have any plans that she is aware of to go out into the rural area. Mr. Edwards agreed that is correct. He stated they look at their service areas and that is why they have maps of potential growth and development within their service areas that are all inside the urban boundary.
Mr. Edwards explained that they also wanted to point out to the Applicant that the County's Comprehensive Plan has requirements with respect to potable water and sanitary sewer and that the County's letter was not a guarantee of services. He displayed the DRC Review Comments for the pre‑application and advised that they were fairly general and remained at kind of a higher level. They get into more detail at the Future Land Use Amendment meeting comments where they get into the Comprehensive Plan and the requirements listed therein.
Mr. Edwards displayed the Potable Water Element slides and reviewed the Adopted Levels of Service. With regard to Coordination and Urban Sprawl, he pointed out that under Policy POT 4.1 the County, if looking to expand their service area, needs to evaluate the impact on their existing customers and shall not expand if they cannot continue to provide those minimum levels of service. Policy 4.2 essentially says that outside the adopted urban area, those developments need to continue to rely primarily on individual wells and shall not be designed or constructed with central water or sewer systems. Policy 4.5 indicates that the cost to extend water lines to new developments shall be borne by the development itself. With regard to the policies listed on the Coordination of Potable Water and Land Use Planning slides, Mr. Edwards stated these policies taken together basically say the County needs to maintain projections of growth, water demand, and make sure the 10‑Year Water Supply Facilities Work Plan acknowledges those projections as well. He reiterated that those are intended for their current service areas in the urban boundary.
Mr. Edwards displayed the Potable Water Element Conclusions slide and reviewed the items on the list. He advised that the project would need to be located within the urban boundary for the County to be able to provide central water service. The Master Plan and the 10‑Year Water Supply Facility Plan would have to be updated to reflect the change in service area. There would need to be an evaluation of the impacts of expanding the service area which would include hydraulic modeling, a legal review of existing agreements between the County and other utility providers in the area, and a modification of their Consumptive Use Permit with the St. Johns River Water Management District. They would also need to look at the potential impact on their connection fees and volume metric rates and whether expanding the service would impact the level of service for their existing customers.
Mr. Edwards explained that the Sanitary Sewer Element mirrors largely what he just discussed for the Potable Water Element. He stated there are service standards and they would need to take a look at whether or not expanding the service area would impact the County's ability to provide those levels of service. In the non-urban area, the development needs to look primarily at septic tanks and not be constructed or designed with central water or sewer. Mr. Edwards displayed the Conclusions slide and stated the conclusions are largely the same. The project would need to be within the urban boundary; they would have to update their wastewater plan; and the same types of evaluations would need to be conducted. He emphasized that they don't have this information yet and it was not included with the application; so their conclusions were that the application was incomplete and did not show compliance with the Comprehensive Plan policies that he just discussed.
Commissioner Carey asked Mr. Edwards if a private developer were looking to develop something in an area that the County had not planned for in the future, would they have the ability to provide private water and sewer by building facilities. Mr. Edwards stated he believes the first step in terms of water supply would be for them to talk to the St. Johns River Water Management District about trying to get a Consumptive Use Permit. If they had to provide their own wells or wanted to provide their own treatment system, they would first look at whether or not they could get allocation for groundwater withdrawals. Commissioner Carey confirmed with Mr. Edwards that it is possible.
Tim Ippolito, Seminole County Fire Marshall, addressed the Board to begin his portion of the presentation entitled NFPA and ISO Requirements - Fire Incident. Mr. Ippolito displayed the ISO Rating slide and explained the rating scale. He reported that Seminole County has a dual rating of 2/2Y. The 2 rating is for the urban area and the 2Y rating is for the rural area component. He advised that with regard to a fire incident, the initial requirement for the first unit is that they have to be there within 240 seconds or four minutes. The rest of the crews have to be there within 480 seconds, which is six minutes or less. They have to have a minimum number of personnel for that. With regard to the EMS Incident component, Mr. Ippolito explained that the EMS unit has to be there within 480 seconds provided there is a unit within the first 240 seconds. The way they have it now is the engine gets there first and then the rescue comes in.
Mr. Ippolito displayed the Response Time Map and advised there is a software program that routes the closest units that they go to when they are doing planning for future fire stations. They put in the address and it provides the fastest and shortest routes from the fire station to the property. He indicated the travel times from Stations #43, #48, and #65 to the entrance of the project and pointed out with these three stations, if all of the equipment is in the station and not on another alarm, they would not be able to meet the ISO or the NFPA requirements for that. He next reviewed the cost of a new station and stated the total would be $8.1 million.
Mr. Ippolito stated they did receive a non-formal response and the developer did acknowledge their comments. He stated that one of the things that Public Safety did send to the Planning Department, which was one of their priorities, would be for a secondary means of ingress and egress out of the development. The plan they were shown only indicated one. Mr. Ippolito stated they were looking for a fire station and roughly a two‑acre parcel for the developer to set aside. They were also asking that if they couldn’t agree on a parcel, they could set aside a designated amount of money for outside that area that would cover that area. They are also asking for a Tower that they can negotiate in there. In the station costs, they did not count the cost of the engine, the rescue, the tanker, or the brush truck that is normally assigned there. They just counted the cost of the additional personnel and the equipment that they were looking for. He stated they also put in that they would work with the developer as best they can to meet and noted that when you are in a rural area like that, the typical standards can be massaged a little bit.
Craig Diamond, Balmoral Group, addressed the Board to begin his portion of the presentation. Mr. Diamond briefly talked about his background and stated that Balmoral Group is under term contract with Seminole County, which was executed back in September 2016, to provide continuing socio‑economic services in support of the Planning Division. The primary role they have had to date has been doing long‑range population projections. The list of potential assignments under the contract does include evaluation of Comp Plan amendments as requested. He then reviewed the slide depicting the tasks that were not assigned to the Balmoral Group. He advised that Balmoral's current assignment was to focus solely on the content of the River Cross Plan Amendment and not to look at code or development order compliance or to conduct any new research that might be associated with a typical amendment to the Board. The tasks assigned to Balmoral under the contract included an annotated review of documentation provided by the Applicant as of mid‑May, an analysis of the Applicant's compliance with the applicable Comp Plan Standards of Review that have been referred to multiple times by staff, and an assessment of differences between the Applicant's projections for housing needs and Balmoral's 2017 assessment for the County. Mr. Diamond reported that they have provided the County their annotated review of relevant documents; however, their primary focus, especially for today, was with Task B, compliance with the Standards of Review for modifying the boundary and the rest of his presentation will focus on this.
Mr. Diamond stated a touchstone for his analysis and the Balmoral team's analysis for Seminole County is found on page 114 of the Future Land Use Amendment and emphasized the intent is the management of growth, the provision of public services, and the protection of natural resources. That was their guidance in terms of their scope of review. He displayed and discussed the Standards for Amending the Urban/Rural Boundary and pointed out that the plan requires that all of the conditions need to be affirmatively met. With regard to these Standards, Mr. Diamond stated he does not believe the demonstration of need was met at all. The other two Standards (Locational Analysis of the Proposed Amendment and Mandatory Consistency Specifications) were met in part. He stated this is not a dismissal in any way of the project unto itself, but it is a tested project within the parameters of Seminole County's Plan and the Standards of Review.
The Standards for Amending the Urban/Rural Boundary ‑ Demonstration of Need slide was displayed. Mr. Diamond explained that the most objective standard of the three that they have got is the Demonstration of Need. For any of these substandards listed on the slide, the key phrase is "lack of suitable land or re-developable land within the existing urban area." The Applicant, per Seminole County's code, is charged with providing enough documentation to determine that additional land is needed and that the existing urban area is insufficient to achieve that outcome.
Mr. Diamond displayed the Locational Analysis of Amendments slide and stated this is the second of the three standards. He pointed out that the Applicant needs to meet all five of the items listed on the slide (addressing facilities and services, fiscal capacity, protection of environmental and natural resources, contiguity to existing boundary, and transitions to maintaining compatibility). Under the Locational Analysis Standard, he stated he had indicated that was partially met. He interpreted the application for the Comp Plan Amendment and its supporting material to at least provide some material to make reasonable judgments on with regard to Items 3 and 5 and believed that Items 1, 2, and 4 did not have enough documentation to make a fair assessment. He added that the Applicant is required to provide information for all five.
Mr. Diamond displayed the Mandatory Consistency with the Goals, Objectives and Policies of the Plan and Regional Plans slide. He stated this last standard was a little tougher to judge but does not want to suggest it is in any way subjective. The Applicant did provide a lot of policies and put a lot of policies back into the application in which to judge consistency. He added that consistency from the State's perspective refers to being both compatible and more importantly furthering the other policies within the Comp Plan. Mr. Diamond explained that a lot of the policies that were provided by the Applicant he felt were not applicable and taken out of context.
Mr. Diamond began the Specific Findings portion of his presentation. With regard to the Analysis of Need, he stated there are four pockets of consideration. They only need to focus on one depending on the type of project being contemplated as the justification for moving the urban boundary. There is one just looking at general population and general housing needs. There is another separate standard for affordable housing or workforce housing. There is a third option to look at economic development. The last option is looking at critical need public facilities.
Mr. Diamond stated the Applicant made an attempt to address all four and he does not think any of the four really pass muster. The critical outcome in each case was that insufficient data was provided. There was insufficient demonstration that there was a need beyond what the existing urban area could provide. He believes that is a critical lapse in addressing the three required standards.
The Analysis of Need (Population & Housing) slide was displayed. Mr. Diamond stated that specifically with respect to the generalized population and housing need, the Applicant provided their own population projections. The County’s specifications are that they are to use the County’s own numbers and not use their own. In addition, they have opted to apply a persons-per-household (PPH) statistic, which is a typical Census for looking at the density of persons per household, and chose a number that was smaller than that even used by the Census as of 2016 for Seminole County. Mr. Diamond explained that critically, the Applicant did not consider the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) category and the densities allotted therein for the various vacant parcels that were to be looked at and they also failed to consider that the County has a bunch of additional policies looking at redevelopment and a wide range of other policies that ultimately do affect housing supply.
The Population Projections slide was displayed. Mr. Diamond talked about how Balmoral has been providing the County with population projections for several years. The consultants for the Applicant came up with 559,000 in the year 2038 and Balmoral provided information about 552,000. He acknowledged that is not a big difference but noted that the Applicant provided a higher number, which in turn is part of their justification for the additional housing that they were looking to supply to the County. Mr. Diamond added that the numbers Balmoral has provided to the County have been accepted by the County and are in use by their departments.
With regard to Household Size, Mr. Diamond reported that the Applicant uses a number of 2.51 from ESRI, which is a GIS service, and the current 2016 mean population per household number for the County is 2.81. He stated that doing projections for the County going forward, Balmoral uses a demographically weighted by individual Census block looking at the ethnicity and other demographic characteristics of each Census block to come up with an aggregated total. Mr. Diamond explained that going out in time and recognizing the demographics of the county are changing, they are looking at about 3.03 as to the long-range PPH value that the County would be using for projections and not looking at a static number in time as of several years behind. The consultant’s report indicated that the County would need over 40,000 new units by 2038. Amending for the reduction in total population per the numbers that Balmoral provided would bring that number down to about 37,000. Amending the number for the current Census correct value of 2.81 PPH reduces that to about 33,250. Mr. Diamond stated from their point of view looking at the long-range projections, the actual number is closer to 31,000.
Mr. Diamond advised that Existing Vacant Land is a critical component to understanding what the absorptive capacity is of the County going forward. The Applicant determined there were 7,299 vacant residential lots; however, the Property Appraiser and the Applicant’s documentation did not indicate from what year that information was taken. Balmoral has been using the certified tax rolls from the Department of Revenue for all of their work for counties and state agencies for several years. That is the standard by which they go. With accounting for things like street stub-outs and slivers and GIS layers and everything else and doing all of that quality control and cleanup and looking at parcels that specifically are residential and don’t include anything else, they have 8,277 lots. Mr. Diamond pointed out that the difference is 978 lots and that number is not small when they are looking at this sort of number. In working with the numbers that they have, they are down closer to a long-range need within the planning horizon out to 2038 of about 30,000 units.
The Future Land Use Map Densities table was displayed. Mr. Diamond stated he believes this is the critical touch point in terms of the analysis provided by the Applicant. At the time of submittal, the Applicant assigned a single unit for each vacant lot and subtracted that. The project itself at basically 678 acres could provide 133 units. In the Applicant’s analysis, it only would have received one. This is a problem in the sense of extending that approach to the analysis countywide. Mr. Diamond pointed out that the category one up from the bottom, the Rural Residential, shows the maximum value of 0.3. It is actually a slightly larger number because that is a composite category and included R-3, R-5, and R-10; so that number may be slightly overstated.
Mr. Diamond explained that under the buildout, the current FLUM categories more than address 30,000 units going out through the County’s planning horizon. The planned developments that the County has in the pipeline alone (the vacant lots within those not yet built) account for almost 19,000 units. Even if the County was to build out at a density of two-thirds of what is allowable under the Comp Plan, the County would still have the cushion to get out through their planning horizon. Mr. Diamond emphasized that the 40+ thousand units are vacant lots only with no other policies that the County has in its Comp Plan attached. The County’s policies and those of several of the cities all provide bonuses for properties that are in key transit corridors and around the LYNX and SunRail stations. A lot of those policies provide up to 50% bonus. Recognizing that there are policies operating both within the County and the sister cities, there are an additional 54,000 potential units if all built out at the maximum intensities that the Comp Plans currently provide. In total, they are looking at about 98,000 lots that are potentially available to the County through the planning horizon.
With regard to the Affordable Housing Standard, Mr. Diamond stated that the data provided by the Applicant was really at the 60,000-foot level. It identified what the needs were at the regional level but did not translate that back down specifically to Seminole County to say what in fact the shortfall of affordable housing is in Seminole County that this project needs to address or, more importantly, that moving the urban boundary needs to address. There was no consideration of whether or not that County-specific affordable housing need could be met within the urban area. There was some discussion in the application about rental conditions noting that 24% of renters are below the 60% Area Median Income (AMI). He emphasized that there is no additional data provided to explain how this particular project would satisfy that unique condition.
Mr. Diamond discussed the third standard, Economic Goals, and advised there was a comment included about the general need for housing based on the initial analysis of population and housing demand. They suggested that if the County did not move forward with advancing more property as residential that the County would soon be at a major economic disadvantage. Mr. Diamond advised the County is clearly growing and attracting a lot of investment which would suggest that the County is not currently at any sort of economic disadvantage within the region. He stated some of the other data was fully supportable so that part of the documentation was commendable. More importantly there was a focus in here in terms of office space as the target of economic development and it indicated a need for Seminole County of about 4.5 million square feet. He stated in his discussion with County staff last week as to what kind of development they are seeing, staff indicated that they are now beginning to see five, six, and taller storied buildings coming in for commercial office space. He talked about how a six-story office building might only need 35 acres of office space based on that 4.5 million of need. There are 400 acres that are vacant in commercial property at this time. They have 810 acres of vacant property in FLUM categories in additional to commercial that support office uses, the mixed-use developments and the like that were mentioned before. He stated they are also looking at the County’s other policies that are promoting redevelopment in and around transit corridors. He believes there are about 1,100 additional acres there to accommodate such office space. It seems that existing vacant space and redevelopment space would be more than enough to meet that need for the 4.5 million square feet of office. Mr. Diamond reiterated that the requirement is to show that the existing urban area cannot do it.
Mr. Diamond referred to the last standard, Critical Public Facilities, and advised that the proposed project was not defined and certainly not defined in the County’s Comp Plan as a critically needed public facility. This project was identified as including an innovation district and these innovation districts, as affirmed by the Applicant, often include a connection to a nearby institution (school or hospital). He mentioned that UCF is eight or nine miles away. Mr. Diamond stated that an innovation district may be a very attractive concept but it is not a school, it is not a hospital, and it is not a fire house. It is not a utility substation or some other piece of critical public infrastructure.
Chairman Horan stated to correct the record that UCF is about three miles away. Commissioner Carey stated it is three miles as the crow flies.
Mr. Diamond stated he did take a look at the perimeter of UCF and identified a 12-acre parcel that was less than three miles by road that was nonconservation property. He explained that if actual adjacency to an institution like UCF or a hospital is not a priority for the County, there may well be property there. He added there was no consideration given to properties that were nearby UCF that could be assembled and developed as logically occurs. As an application trying to provide documentation including a lot of quotes about the benefits of innovation districts, he advised it was not really a documentation of need or satisfaction of the requirement to document that the existing urban area could not really carry that out.
With regard to the Locational Analysis, Mr. Diamond reviewed the six items on the Services slide. With respect to Fiscal Capacity, he understands that impacts were under discussion. There was an estimation of about $8.9 million in fiscal impacts based on the County rates and the anticipated number of units. He cautioned that those numbers may or may not be correct because the document was not provided within the application. Mr. Diamond stated that most importantly, from his perspective, there was not information provided whatsoever about how the Applicant was going to meet that $8.9 million threshold. Regarding Protection of Resources, Mr. Diamond reported that this was covered in greater length within the application. The County’s plan requires retaining connectivity of wetlands, improving ecological quality of wetlands, and retaining function and structure of the wetlands in the rural area. He noted that the Applicant is proposing to put an easement on the western 100 acres of the roughly 276 acres of wetlands on site. An undesignated number of acres on the eastern half were to be placed under some sort of easement but you don’t know what those numbers are. Beyond the easement, there was really no indication as to whether the development pattern itself was going to improve ecological integrity, which is what the County’s plan expects and requires, or was it in any way going to provide assurances that the ecological structure and function of wetlands were going to be maintained.
Regarding urban contiguity, Mr. Diamond advised that the requirement is to discourage urban sprawl. This was addressed by staff. He knows that statements were made earlier to the Planning and Zoning Commission that Chuluota is developed nearby but the County’s language says contiguous and there is no contiguous urban development pattern next to the property. He pointed out that it would fail on that count. Mr. Diamond referred to the Transitions slide and stated that with the notion of sprawl management in mind, the County’s standard contemplates being adjacent to existing development to avoid leapfrogging. He discussed the Transect Map that the Applicant included in the application as some sort of means of accommodating this sort of transition and pointed out that the notion of a transect as a tool, a construct taken from the Congress of Urbanism, was taken completely out of context. It is used to help define urban elements such as streetscapes, landscapes, and light fixtures in different areas in different intensities as part of context sensitive solutions for urban development. It is not really a tool for defining compatibility or transitioning between different land uses.
The Findings – Plan Consistency slide was displayed. Mr. Diamond stated this is a tougher one. With regard to policies, the Applicant put up 19 policies out of the County’s Comp Plan, 17 out of the Essential Florida Plan, and 6 out of the State plan. He stated from looking at what those policies actually address, maybe 5 of the local Comp Plan policies were met and 14 of them were not applicable. Policies about interconnected neighborhoods and that sort of thing are fine internal to the development as proposed but those policies are part of objectives and goals for the existing urban area and for land use categories in the existing urban area. When he looked at that long list of policies, a lot of them kind of fall short. The words match what they want to do but they don’t reflect the rest of the plan backing it up. Mr. Diamond advised that select policies are met but the broader Comp Plan policies and the regional policies directed at managing growth, efficient use of infrastructure, land and transportation choice at county and regional levels were not brought into the discussion to test whether those were being met or not. He believes that is a Board interpretation as to whether those policies were being affirmatively met. Mr. Diamond offered to answer any questions the Board may have.
Ms. Hammock pointed out that from Mr. Diamond’s presentation, the Board can see that the Standards of Review for amending the Urban/Rural Boundary are high but they are meant to be difficult standards to meet because they are to ensure that the development potential of the urban area had been fully exhausted before encroaching into the rural area. She clarified for the record that the Applicant did provide a letter from the School Board stating that there is school capacity in the Concurrency Service Area (CSA). If the development were built, the school-aged children might have to be bused to other locations outside of their zoned area; however, the Master Plan did show a five-acre parcel for a school site. Ms. Hammock advised that staff is available for any questions.
Chairman Horan recessed the meeting at 4:13 p.m., reconvening at 4:26 p.m. with Deputy Clerk Jane Spencer being replaced by Deputy Clerk Kyla Farrell.
Tara Tedrow, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kanter & Reed, P.A., 215 North Eola Drive, Orlando, addressed the Board and noted she is here on behalf of the Applicant to present the River Cross project. Ms. Tedrow presented a PowerPoint presentation entitled “River Cross” (received and filed). She stated she is here to establish the premiere master planned community in Seminole County. It is a community that she perceives as being an innovation district, a 21st century employment center, and something that the County will be proud of in the future. As part of the request, they want to move the Rural Boundary and assign a Planned Development Future Land Use and Zoning designation, and bring the Rural Boundary into greater compliance with the federal Fair Housing Act, and help the County address the lack of affordable housing inventory by dedicating 15% of the proposed residential density to creating that exact inventory.
Ms. Tedrow reviewed How’s That Going So Far and explained after spending about $250,000 to put forth an application with industry leaders in every category, she received a staff analysis that by its very design would make it impossible to ever move the Rural Boundary. She opined based on the analysis from County staff, it may sound like she submitted a five-page application put together on some loose-leaf paper. What they put together was a 400-page analysis (received and filed) with industry leaders, innovative thought, and master planning techniques that would give the County one of the best premier communities that they could have in Seminole County. They were told after the fact and after they submitted the 400 pages that it was insufficient information where the rules were beginning to be rewritten during the game, which makes it very difficult for any applicant to be able to provide a satisfactory application in the eyes of a staff that would never support the project. Ms. Tedrow discussed statements that were previously made by Commissioners who believe in upholding the Rural Boundary line.
Ms. Tedrow displayed Project Timeline and pointed out that before they even submitted an application, Commissioner Dallari requested a moratorium on accepting development applications in the rural area. She reviewed the River Cross Timeline: May 30th DRC slides, and stated during the DRC meeting, they were given no clear analysis, no clear recommendations, and no suggestions as to what could be feasible. She expressed they weren’t at the DRC meeting to debate, they were simply there to try to get some clarifications; but from day one, they weren’t even afforded the opportunity during a DRC meeting to get clarifications on critical points regarding their application. She asked what the point would have been to continue to resubmit and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for more studies and more review only to be told after the fact that those were also insufficient and staff didn’t like the methodology most likely because they didn’t like the results that were reached.
Ms. Tedrow reviewed Why Should You Approve This Project. She proposed the question is, is the rural area ever able to be changed and indicated it is. She explained it is able to be changed because of the language of the Charter Amendment. She discussed Florida Statutes Section 570.70 and stated that is a legislative finding that says the rural area is a good area; and due to population growth, the rural area can actually have commercial and residential development within it. However, it is a legislative finding in regards to rural areas and certain accommodations that can be made such as permanent conservation easements. She claimed that would support the project because they would provide 100 acres of permanent conservation; and today they are willing to offer a minimum of 200 acres of permanent conservation because if that is such an important policy with regard to the rural area, then certainly that amount of area of permanent conservation dedicated to the County would be something that would support the rural policies that staff says the Applicant did not meet.
In regard to History of the Line (2004), Ms. Tedrow stated staff has done a very good job in going over how the line was created and some of the policies that the Board has to consider. She pointed out in the Charter where it talks about how the County Commission can approve removal of an area from the Rural Boundary. She explained staff wrote up an ordinance for the Board’s consideration, so even if the Board doesn’t want to finalize today what they would decide in terms of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment and the corresponding Map Amendment, which would lead to a subsequent PD rezoning at the next hearing, the Board can consider separately whether they should move the line for this specific project. She advised if they want to have a discussion about a development program the Board would consider acceptable, she would hope they can have it tonight because she hasn’t had the opportunity to do that. Ms. Tedrow reviewed History of the Line (2005) and opined a 100-foot buffer should be a sufficient boundary.
Ms. Tedrow discussed History of the Line (2006) and City of Oviedo/Seminole County Joint Planning Interlocal Agreement and stated that was an important agreement that ultimately lapsed due to time passing. When that agreement was executed between the two jurisdictions, the JPA was designed to create transitional land uses to address specific edge concerns; but no such concerns were ever defined for the proposed property. Ms. Tedrow explained the River Cross property was called out as a transition area because of its unique location next to the existing development in the City of Oviedo as well as its location next to Orange County. She reminded that they are not talking about a piece of property in the middle of the rural area with nothing on any side except for rural uses. They are talking about a unique piece of property that the County has called out as a transitional area and one that should have special attention paid to it, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened.
Ms. Tedrow discussed History of the Line (2006-2013) and stated the removal of the Rook and Mermel properties from the Rural Boundary never went through the Planning and Zoning Commission; they were done through a specific agreement that the County had with those property owners. She advised just because there is movement in the Rural Boundary doesn’t mean that the entire Rural Boundary has to go away, and the inability to have a dialogue on the standards by which the County judges applications to move the Rural Boundary will be the demise of the Rural Boundary itself.
Ms. Tedrow reviewed the 2006 Rural Character Plan. She stated if the Board listens to staff’s analysis, they’re only looking at part of the Rural Character Plan. Granted while the Rural Character Plan was never formalized into the Code or Comp Plan, it is a guiding document that the County commissioned to have completed. And what it said about the parcels is that they can’t just look at the 50% open space and the clustering, that was only with regard to residential developments, and it doesn’t take into consideration a project that also includes other uses.
Ms. Tedrow discussed Mermel Hearing 8/27/13 and reiterated there are no criteria established in either the ballot language or the Charter Amendment establishing under what circumstances they could move the Rural Boundary line. There is not a lot of guidance on how to deal with it or what the County would establish as necessity, but Ms. Tedrow believes they will make a strong case for necessity by the end of the hearing.
Ms. Tedrow submitted CVs (received and filed) for three experts that will be presenting with Ms. Tedrow. George Kramer, Director of Planning and Area Manager, S&ME, 1615 Edgewater Drive, addressed the Board and explained there are a couple components to being the premier master plan in Seminole County and one is the environmental component. Seminole County has a great Econ wilderness area, and this plan would enhance that through the protection area. Mr. Kramer opined by providing safe and responsible access to the protection area, they can actually appreciate the natural beauty of the county and help long-term preservation efforts. He stated the second component is the transition and the compatibility with rural areas. The lowest densities are along the northern and western borders. In regard to What Is River Cross, Mr. Kramer stated the view shed along 419 is really important and that is why you can see the large estate homes and the buffer to preserve the rural character of that corridor. As you get further into the community, there are larger higher densities with a walkable-community design and a variety of housing types. The most intense area is the innovation district; and innovation districts expressly rely upon a relationship between major research universities, which is why there is a unique opportunity there. There is a unique opportunity for Seminole County to take advantage of 21st century development trends and employment opportunities.
Mr. Kramer displayed Surrounding Seminole County and stated it’s important to note that they are not proposing sprawl. The two things they need to think about are auto dependency and single-use. The plan they are offering is not a continuation of sprawl, which is what the Rural Boundary intended. Mr. Kramer reviewed Regional Planned Development. He stated when you look in a regional context, you see Chuluota to the northwest, outside of the rural area; and you see Sustany and The Grow to the south; and there are other developments down into Orange County that are east of the proposed project and to the south that are already developed, so you have change in character within the area already.
Mr. Kramer stated within the 2006 rural study, the transect was mentioned along with the ability to demonstrate compatibility. He explained they’ve utilized the transect in the planning of the site and reviewed Seminole County Transect. He displayed the Transect Map of Surrounding Uses and stated when they look at it in the context of the region, they see a lot of suburban development around the area; but they also see a nice connected green system and some trail connection opportunities that could be advanced through the plan; and you can also see the compatibility within the site of the rural areas. It’s important when they talk about the most dense and intense areas, to remember that those areas are within the middle of the project, utilizing the transect to provide the appropriate transitions and compatibility with adjacent areas.
Amending the Rural Boundary was displayed and Mr. Kramer reviewed Need, Size and Location. He displayed Master Plan Phase 1 and stated they should be talking about the benefits of a complete street from 434 all the way to 419. It is important to note that this project is proposed as a phased project, and the first phase of the plan does not include the commercial component of the innovation district. It does include 600 single-family homes and 270 townhomes, and it also includes the protection area on the Econ River Basin. The second phase (Master Plan Phase 2) would be in conjunction with the complete street McCulloch extension, and would include 500 multifamily units, including those affordable and also including the innovation district. Mr. Kramer advised there was talk about the importance of linking transportation, jobs and affordable housing; UCF is the fifth largest employer in the region with close to 10,000 employees. The innovation district itself would have employment. In terms of transit, a plan like this that has a range of densities and a mix of uses is transit supportive.
Mr. Kramer expressed the County has a great staff that he has enjoyed working with, but he has been disappointed with the process and discussed political pressure. He explained a lot of things can be addressed through a Development Order, but that won’t be considered tonight. His hope is that an affirmative vote will give the Applicant another chance to engage in a planning process and continue some productive dialogue. In closing, Mr. Kramer displayed Environmental Stewardship, Community Design, and Economic Opportunity.
Ms. Tedrow advised part of what staff analyzed was a Comprehensive Plan Analysis of the criteria in order to move the Rural Boundary. The County’s Comp Plan sets forth standards, and the first one is a demonstration of need. She reviewed Comprehensive Plan Standards for Amending the Rural Boundary and The Home Rule Charter: Section 5.2. Ms. Tedrow stated there are no standards in the Charter for amending the Comp Plan, and it doesn’t provide any criteria by which an applicant would know that they’ve even met that criteria. In regard to Demonstration of Need, Ms. Tedrow explained the demonstration of need portion of the Comp Plan has four criteria, each of which has an “or” after it which means they don’t all need to be satisfied; you only have to satisfy one of the four. In the application, they have reasons why they support all four of the criteria; but she is going to talk about two of them that they know that they definitively do meet. The first is data and analysis provided to document that additional urban lands are needed to accommodate population, housing or employment projected for the horizon year.
Ms. Tedrow introduced Karl Pischke, Senior Associate with RCLCO, and stated she engaged RCLCO because they have done studies all over the United States, not just for private developers but also for local governments. She wanted them to analyze whether or not there was a demonstrable need and whether that need could be met in the existing urban areas or whether additional lands were actually needed. She reviewed Housing Demands: RCLCO Study and A Few Staff Report Highlights. Ms. Tedrow stated Mr. Pischke and his team were expected to look at every piece of property, accommodate what every single Zoning and Future Land Use iteration could potentially be under all of the Zonings and under all Future Land Uses; and then when they were done with that hypothetical exercise that would be basically impossible for anybody to do, they were then supposed to take every parcel and look at putting 1 house, 2 houses, 3 houses, all the way up to 350 units. She opined with that type of hypothesizing, nobody could ever meet the demonstrable need standard.
Mr. Pischke addressed the Board and he and Ms. Tedrow reviewed Response to Key Critiques. Ms. Tedrow confirmed with Mr. Pischke that even taking into consideration criticism from The Balmoral Group and updating his study, he still found a significant need when it comes to population growth and residential units.
Mr. Pischke reviewed Updated Analysis of Residential Need. He explained he took into account the actual acreage of the parcels. They did not utilize a one-to-one relationship between housing units and parcels, but instead they looked at the total acreage of parcels identified as vacant residential uses by the Seminole County Property Appraiser. In order to determine the capacity, The Balmoral Group utilized maximum densities, which in many cases would not be possible based on topography and environmental concerns of not being able to fit that level of development on that land. So what he used was the overall gross density of Seminole County as a whole (.862) which came out to an overall need of 7,740 housing units by 2027 and 24,104 by 2038. On the next slide, Analysis of Residential Need, Mr. Pischke explained one of the things they wanted to analyze was whether or not future growth may actually be denser than that. He looked at other Florida counties, particularly Pinellas County which is one of the most population-dense counties in Florida, and their overall gross density is 1.31. He reran the analysis using the vacant residential acreage and looked at the redevelopment acreage identified by The Balmoral Group, and they still come out with a need of 2,471 housing units by 2027 and 18,835 by 2038.
Ms. Tedrow reviewed the Summary and confirmed with Mr. Pischke that there is still an unmet demand that cannot be satisfied by current urban areas. Ms. Tedrow stated even taking into consideration the outside consultant’s study and what they said was a criticism of the Applicant’s consultant’s study and modifying those numbers, they still find there to be an unmet residential demand that cannot be satisfied by existing urban areas, which means the Applicant has met the first criteria for a demonstration of need. She reviewed Demonstration of Need and pointed out the County understands that there is a definitive demand and a need for affordable housing because the Comp Plan sets that forth as a goal. One of the goals is that the County shall continue to implement and enforce innovative land development techniques to support the provision of affordable and attainable housing by the County’s workforce and lower income residents. She discussed an article in the Orlando Sentinel where it talked about how rural residents are vigilant as growth looms east of the Econ, and opined it was ironic that that same day there was also an article in the Orlando Sentinel reporting on 8,000 people in Central Florida who were standing in line for 201 apartments. She noted the proposed project would create 205 apartments.
Ms. Tedrow reviewed How Do We Know There is a Shortage of Affordable Housing and stated tonight is an opportunity for some quick action, and some of the needed tools to help with the affordable housing shortage come in the form of River Cross’s 15% dedication of residential density to affordable housing projects. She discussed the Shimberg study detailed on the slide and pointed out the differences between chronically homeless and affordable housing programs.
Ms. Tedrow stated staff provided a report that showed a lot of the different affordable housing projects, and only four of them are actually in unincorporated Seminole County; that matters because the cities are seemly the ones actively addressing the problem. She discussed Florida Statues Chapter 163 which prohibits local governments from concentrating affordable housing units in one specific area of their jurisdiction. Ms. Tedrow claimed if the County says that you cannot have any infrastructure in the rural area that would support affordable housing and they prohibit that by policy, then the de facto net effect is they will never have affordable housing in the rural area because there’s never going to be infrastructure or any support network put in place by the County to allow affordable housing there, which means they’re always going to concentrate it in the urban areas of the county. If cities cannot change the land use of properties in the rural area without County consent, then the County could be blocking cities from implementing affordable housing by permanently blocking amendments to the Rural Boundary. So not allowing those changes to the Rural Boundary without the County’s consent means that some of the cities that want to have more affordable housing projects couldn’t until the County consents to them being able to do so, which by policy is going to be basically impossible.
Ms. Tedrow reviewed the two State of Housing in The Region 4/11/18 slides. She stated the Applicant would love the opportunity to participate with the County to provide a solution to a critical shortage of affordable housing units with the River Cross Project. She reviewed the two County’s Remedies slides and opined that fitting families into 500-square-foot “tiny homes” is not a solution to affordable housing. She explained River Cross provides the opportunity to allow people to live with dignity and to live amongst different income levels in an interconnected community that has employment opportunities and doesn’t make people rely on transit.
Ms. Tedrow discussed Staff’s Analysis and pointed out the River Cross project guarantees 15% of all units will be affordable, serving an existing need in the county. In regard to Affordable Housing & Segregation, Ms. Tedrow stated it is a very important issue for the Board’s consideration and one that hasn’t been a point of discussion in the County up until a study was done by the Applicant. She reviewed The Fair Housing Act (FHA) of 1968 and pointed out that even vacant land is subject to the FHA. She discussed Why Does the FHA Matter, What if You Just Want to Keep Out the Outsiders, and The Law Says You Can’t. Ms. Tedrow displayed Should We Care About Housing Options for Racial Minorities and stated a comment was made that the Applicant was playing the “race card.” She stated when they are talking about racial integration, it’s not about “race cards.” It’s an important topic that doesn’t have any place for humor, so she would hope that they treat this topic with the respect and concern that it demands. She reviewed Yes and discussed the Dews v. Town of Sunnyvale case. She stated the fact pattern from the Sunnyvale case is almost identical to the fact pattern today, and that bears consideration in looking at what that is and what that Court found when they talk about the FHA.
Dr. Stephanie Boone, Statistical Consultant, Analytic Focus, LLC, 11467 Huebner Road, San Antonio, Texas, addressed the Board and displayed Seminole County Rural Boundary Impact Report. Ms. Boone reviewed Study Aim and Methodology (Data Sources). She explained she was asked if the Rural Boundary poses a disparate impact on protected minority classes in violation of the FHA, and she believes that available U.S. Census data gave her an answer to that question. She displayed Methodology (General Approach) and noted the U.S. Census has its own definition of rural, but she did not use that; she used the County’s definition of rural. She stated she has done these types of studies quite often, and she understands there are always limitations depending on which regions she’s looking at so she wanted to be sure she was getting a comprehensive understanding of what was going on. She expressed she wasn’t happy looking just at countywide numbers because she thought it would be good to know what was happening directly around the boundaries, so she isolated a one-mile area on either side of the boundary line and considered that region when comparing rural versus non-rural. Then she expanded out and went to three miles out on either side, then five miles out; and she felt that approach would allow her a comprehensive view.
Ms. Boone reviewed Analyses, First Form of Analysis, Analyses: (For the Record), and Second Form of Analysis. She stated in 2016, a Seminole County resident was 37% more likely to be a non-Hispanic white in a rural area as opposed to a non-Hispanic white in a non-rural area. In contrast, a county resident was 66% less likely to be a person of color in a rural area as opposed to a person of color in a non-rural area. She noted the 2016 numbers are statistically significant when you look within any of the minority categories. She clarified that the First Form of Analysis is countywide, and the Second Form of Analysis is looking at the Rural Boundary line and scoping out from one mile to five miles outside of that line. Commissioner Carey asked if she was looking one mile to five miles into Orange County, and Ms. Boone answered she excluded anything in Orange County. Ms. Boone discussed Third Form of Analysis which was rural voter precincts.
In regard to Conclusions, Ms. Boone stated she feels like she “sliced and diced” it in every way she could think of, and the data was consistently telling her that minorities are disproportionately represented on the eastern and western sides of Seminole County. She expressed she has done this for many years and has never seen anything like it; rural areas simply have a much smaller percentage of minorities than non-rural areas, and the Rural Boundary only serves to enforce a disparity that already exists and divides the county in two. Ms. Tedrow explained the conclusion from the study was that in light of those disparities between rural and non-rural, the continued use of the boundary related to development and land use may perpetuate, if not exacerbate, the existing clear disparity; and that could be considered in violation of the FHA.
Ms. Tedrow stated the County’s Comp Plan also requires additional analysis such as locational analysis of amendments. The availability of facilities and services is difficult for an applicant to meet. She explained the Applicant received a utility letter dated April 13, 2018, which stated there was adequate unreserved capacity to serve the proposed project. Then the Applicant received another utility letter dated May 9, 2018, stating the County would need to conduct additional analyses to ensure that the level of service would not be significantly affected. Ms. Tedrow reviewed PD Master Development Plan Submittal Requirements. She stated on the initial Master Plan, the Applicant’s engineer gave an analysis as to how much water they would need to service the project. They understand that there is no infrastructure in place because they are not in the urban boundary, so they can’t prove to the County that there is infrastructure in place to serve the project because they’re not even in an area that the Comp Plan would allow to have that type of infrastructure. She claimed they would be willing to look at different alternatives such as providing it privately on site.
In regard to Utilities, Ms. Tedrow explained the Applicant has to prove that those are available. She reminded the Board that staff provided a long list of policies in the Comp Plan that essentially prohibits urban facilities and services so none are available. Staff even stated they would have to be in the urban service area, but that is exactly what the Applicant is asking to do; remove the property from the rural area and put it into the urban service area so those facilities and services can become available. Staff’s report notes that urban services continue to be excluded by policy from the east rural area, which is why the Applicant doesn’t want to be in the rural area.
Ms. Tedrow presented Utility Crossings and explained the Econ has been crossed six times for utilities, even by the County; so there is availability across the Econ for utility crossing for this project but that will depend on the final development plan that’s agreed to. If they have a smaller development plan, obviously force mains and other sizes would be much smaller to accommodate whatever residential and commercial or office uses that they would ultimately have on the project. Then they would come up with utility plans based on what the Board would be agreeable to, and then they would run the numbers and do things like change consumptive use permits in the Stormwater Treatment Plans. Ms. Tedrow then reviewed the Summary which noted the Applicant will pay for the costs of required utility connections, staff’s requested studies are premature, and staff says the Applicant would need to accommodate for emergency services and schools. She explained once the Board voted to put the property in the urban service area, that’s when the Applicant would know the type of modifications to consumptive use permits, to the Wastewater Master Plan or to the 10-Year Water Supply Plan. Those aren’t agreements the Applicant could enter into or modify before they have proper entitlements on the property to even have those services become available.
Ms. Tedrow stated the Comp Plan also provides guidance on environmental protection, and that is something the Applicant took into consideration when designing the project. In terms of environmental protection, the site is designed around wetlands to the greatest extent practicable. They are clustering the development in satisfaction of Future Land Use Policy 1.7. There is a minimum of 25% open space and green space (she claimed they would be getting closer to 50% by the end of the development program when they look at final lot lines, interior setbacks, and all of the units in the development). They would dedicate 100-plus acres to the County in satisfaction of Future Land Use Policy 1.5, and the Applicant is willing to dedicate 200 acres as a minimum starting point. Staff even agreed the setbacks support Policy 4.5 of the Comp Plan.
In regard to a Leisure Services Report from May 16, 2018, Ms. Tedrow explained the report stated the River Cross project may have official protection of conservation areas and expansion of outdoor recreation available for the public via the Econ River Wilderness Area. Those aren’t things that the Applicant is asking the County to buy through any public trust fund or to put any County money towards in terms of acquiring those lands; they are saying if the County wants 200 acres, they will dedicate that to the County or the St. Johns River Water Management District. The Applicant would be happy to dedicate those acres because it is not only a benefit to the county, it is a benefit to the project as a whole to have those greenways and blueways that make it a livable, walkable environment that people really enjoy and where nature is not only protected but integrated into the design of the project itself.
Ms. Tedrow explained the definition of urban sprawl and stated, by definition, this project is not urban sprawl. She reviewed Urban Sprawl: Chapter 163, Florida Statutes. She summarized that the criteria is saying they need to look to see what is being promoted as urban sprawl and stated the proposed project does not meet the criteria for urban sprawl.
Ms. Tedrow stated the Comp Plan says that they need to have adequate transitions. That was difficult for the Applicant to try to meet just on an intellectual level in looking at what those requirements are. She reviewed Adequate Transitions and noted adequate transitions are required, yet transitioning of land use is ineffective in a rural area. Ms. Tedrow explained the Applicant is not getting consistent feedback as to what would ever be sufficient for any development on the unique piece of property. If anything but rural next to rural is going to be, by policy, considered incompatible, then the Applicant could never get past a compatibility analysis for the project regardless of the amount of studies that they present or how much they write into the Development Order because if staff says all you should be able to have is transitioning (but it’s ineffective so you can’t transition), and you want to have something that’s compatible (but rural next to rural is the only thing staff considers compatible), then quite literally the property will never be able to be changed by virtue of the policies and the interpretations that staff took in their report. Ms. Tedrow stated staff also prevented the Applicant from having a realistic compatibility analysis by concluding that nearby development in the urban area cannot be used to demonstrate compatibility and a change of character in the area. So after the Applicant submitted the analysis, they were told that part of the analysis wasn’t even allowed to be used because they were looking at urban developments nearby. She opined there really is no realistic opportunity for any applicant to be able to come forth with a viable application for the Board’s consideration under that framework.
Regional Context & Comparisons was displayed and Ms. Tedrow reviewed the A Project Similar to Chuluota slides. She expressed the Applicant would be willing, if they take a prorated basis on the 395 net-buildable acres, to take the Chuluota residential densities and intensities prorated out on the proposed property. If you prorate out what Chuluota is entitled to have by right today under their Future Land Use designations, the proposed project would be able to have 1,852 residential units and 410,692 square feet of commercial uses. If that would be an acceptable development program, the Applicant would be willing to take a development program like that. She opined no one who lives in Chuluota would say that their community is not compatible with a rural lifestyle because most people consider Chuluota to be rural by nature even though it’s not rural by policy under the Comp Plan. Ms. Tedrow then reviewed A Project Similar to The Grow. She proposed if the Applicant uses their own net-developable acres, would the Commission allow them to have the identical densities and intensities of The Grow. Ms. Tedrow explained they would have 974 residential lots and 81,000 square feet of commercial. She has looked at every comparable type of planned, mixed-use development in near proximity to the property to try to figure out what would be compatible and what would be allowable. The beginning of the commercial uses northwest of the Applicant’s property in Chuluota is 1,000 feet from the property line across 419. She advised they are also close to The Grow even though she recognizes that The Grow is in a different county.
Ms. Tedrow asked just for consideration purposes, whether or not they could have a dialogue where the Commission would tell the Applicant if they are proposing something that is far too intense. She stated what is important to the Applicant is what the Commission would consider to be too intense or too dense. She asked what the Commission would consider to be sufficient buffers and how much open space does the Commission think the project should have. Ms. Tedrow advised those are the types of answers that the Applicant would like to have so they can submit to the Board the final utility plans and tell the Board how much the Applicant will have to pay to be able to connect and even if they can connect. She expressed the Applicant just wants to know what the Board would be considerate of in terms of a density and intensity that is allowable given the context of the area, the rural character studies, the fact that there is no clear guidance in history aside from a few references here and there in time and considering the fact that there are no standards in the Charter for how the Board should amend the Rural Boundary and that the residents don’t even have the opportunity to vote on that every five or ten years to figure out if there should be some Charter Amendment standards that they would have for considering necessity.
Ms. Tedrow reviewed In Closing and stated they need to look at the Rural Boundary policies and procedures with careful consideration and try to provide some guidance because she guarantees even if the Applicant gets “shot down” tonight, somebody is going to come in the future who wants to develop in the same area; and if somebody hasn’t made the line go away by that point, she would hope that there is something on the record that a developer could look at to see what the Commission had to say about densities and intensities, adequate transitions and buffering, and open space.
Ms. Tedrow stated the Applicant respectfully requests amendment of the Rural Boundary Charter line, transmittal of the Comp Plan Amendments, and approval of the requested rezoning. She advised even if the Commission wants to table consideration of the Comp Plan Amendment to a later date, the Applicant would at least ask that there is the removal of the property from the Rural Boundary under the Charter because the only thing they have to prove is necessity; and she believes there is sufficient evidence on the record to prove the necessity of moving that line specific to the ordinance that staff put forth before the Board. She stated all of the Applicant’s engineers are present, and her team is happy to answer any questions that the Board may have. She asked for the opportunity to respond after the public has had a chance to comment, and Chairman Horan advised she will be given 15 minutes to respond.
Commissioner Dallari stated the Applicant made several comments, and one of them was about the Dews case. He asked if staff has reviewed that at all. Mr. Applegate stated he hasn’t heard from the Applicant’s attorney about any of the issues, and the decision that the Board is faced with is not one under the threat of an FHA complaint. The Board’s decision is based on the evidence and testimony. He discussed his background creating projects which help state and local governments address affordable housing issues. Mr. Applegate advised if he had to find a federal case that is as far off point as legally possible from what the Board is dealing with today, he would cite the Dews case.
Mr. Applegate explained the Dews case involved a city in Texas with a population of 2,000 people. The entire city consisted of one-acre lots, and the reason it was one-acre lots is because the City took great delight in ignoring a consent decree that required desegregation of 30 communities surrounding the Dallas area. Mr. Applegate explained he hired a very reputable firm to tell him he was wrong, and the analysis came back that it is not an issue to be concerned with. The City’s argument was that they don’t have to have minorities in the community because they are living around the city. He read a sentence from the holding in the Dews v. Sunnyvale case, “Moreover, such an argument is circular when Sunnyvale’s zoning ordinance and regulations are to blame for the inability of African Americans like WPI’s (The Walker Project, Inc.) clients to penetrate Sunnyvale’s housing market.”
Mr. Applegate stated that the presumption that African Americans cannot live in a rural area if they choose to do so is not only invalid under the FHA but is disingenuous. He advised the comments regarding Commissioner Dallari requesting a moratorium on accepting development applications in the rural area has nothing to do with the decision the Board is going to make today. Mr. Applegate informed the Board that it is a cardinal principle in this area of law that statically evidence of percentages and the factors relating to statistical evidence, by itself, will not prove a case.
Commissioner Dallari requested staff talk about the Rook and Mermel properties. Ms. Hammock stated those are both small pieces of property (approximately four acres) that have been removed from the rural area. The Rook property was removed based on litigation with the City of Winter Springs. Both the Rook and the Mermel properties were removed based on annexations into Winter Springs. The part of the Mermel property that was removed from the County’s rural area is for a tot lot and open space and a portion of stormwater. Commissioner Dallari confirmed with Ms. Hammock that there is no vertical construction. Ms. Hammock explained the Rook property was annexed into Winter Springs around the same time that the 2004 rural Charter Amendment was approved by the voters; and when that happened, the County and the City were involved in litigation.
Commissioner Dallari confirmed with Ms. Hammock that there are two Rural Boundary lines and asked Ms. Hammock to explain the difference of the two. Ms. Hammock explained the first one was established in 1991 and was established in the Comp Plan, and the second one was established by the Rural Charter Boundary Amendment that was voted on by the citizens of Seminole County. They are similar boundary lines, but there are slight differences. The line is the same where the subject property is located. Commissioner Dallari stated there are different definitions regarding how you can move them. Ms. Hammock advised the Comp Plan has standards that are required to be met in order to move it; and the Charter boundary does not define any standards within the Charter, it is up to the discretion of the Board if they believe that the line needs to be moved.
For the record, Ms. Tedrow advised she disagrees with the County Attorney’s conclusions and the Applicant did try to engage in a conversation with Senior Assistant County Attorney Paul Chipok. Mr. Applegate stated the Development Review Committee is not the forum to get into legal debates about past projects; and County staff, as shown by the presentation, made every effort to meet with the Applicant’s representatives on a number of occasions.
Chairman Horan recessed the meeting at 6:06 p.m., reconvening at 6:17 p.m.
Commissioner Dallari asked if the County Manager concurs with staff and if she has any comments. Ms. Guillet answered yes, she concurs with staff. She explained she worked with staff and was engaged with them as they prepared the information for the Board. She commended staff for their comprehensive and professional approach they took to the analysis of the project. She advised she joins with them and their recommendation to deny transmittal.
Chairman Horan stated they are now going to move into public comment. He advised the Board will hear from public officials first.
Emily Bonilla, Orange County Commissioner, District 5, addressed the Board and stated she started Save East Orlando in 2013. She started that when she met some constituents at a community meeting full of about 300 people. It has grown into Save Orange County and has continued to grow into Seminole County. Orange County Commissioner Bonilla explained that goes to show how passionate all of the constituents are about keeping the rural areas rural in Orange and Seminole Counties. This isn’t just a county issue, it is a regional issue that crosses county boundaries. She fought against the Lake Pickett developments for three years, and eventually the Orange County Commission turned down Lake Pickett North. She discussed why rural areas are affordable areas and noted there has been a trend to build estates in rural areas of Orange County, which drives up the prices and makes the rural area unaffordable. She stated she is a minority who lives in the rural area and supports the Rural Boundary, and she supports it because the line prevents urban sprawl.
Orange County Commissioner Bonilla pointed out that Ms. Tedrow didn’t go into why minorities aren’t living in rural areas. Orange County Commissioner Bonilla explained there are multiple reasons why minorities don’t live in rural areas and you can’t just look at the statistics. If you look at the culture, many Hispanics and African Americans do not live in trailers, and there are a lot of trailers in rural areas. If you want to have a home, it’s expensive to build a home in a rural area; a lot of minorities are low income because they don’t have equal opportunity in the workplace. Minorities are usually of low income, which is why they don’t live in the rural area; it has nothing to do with the Rural Boundary.
Chairman Horan discussed a Joint Planning Agreement concerning the county’s eastern area that the County has been trying to get Orange County to enter into that he believes is an important part of stopping urban sprawl. Orange County Commissioner Bonilla expressed she would like to have a Joint Planning Agreement and would like to head that up and make it happen.
Malcom Clayton’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Ken Clayton, 5405 Diplomat Circle, addressed the Board and stated he is the president of Hi-Oaks, LLC, which is the owner of the property. He explained he is not the Applicant, but the Applicant has done an incredible job and put forth an incredible effort to demonstrate to the Commission that they have a very worthwhile project. Mr. Clayton stated the history of the property has been around longer than a lot of the people in the room have been involved with the area. The property was bought by his father and his cousin in 1989. In 1994, the Econ River Wildlife Area was created when they sold it to the County and that is the other half of the property. The Seminole County Charter Amendment occurred in 2004; however, Mr. Clayton received no notice of that even though his was an obviously affected property. He explained he did not live in Seminole County so he wasn’t sent information on it. As the owner of the property, they never consented and they never agreed. The property was designated as a transition area so it was anticipated that it would transition to something, but that seems to have never happened; and he is discouraged that they are still sitting here looking at a property that is exactly where it was back in 1989 except it is far more restricted.
Mr. Clayton stated the property was purchased with the expectation that it would be able to be developed and that it would be able to be rezoned. He advised Hi-Oaks, LLC, supports the amendment that is being sought by the Applicant and they strongly believe that what they are applying for are highly desirable uses and improvements to the area and will be a very strong, positive development that the people in the area would be very proud of because it will help their values and infrastructure needs.
Commissioner Carey confirmed with Mr. Clayton that since his family didn’t purchase the property until 1989, then they were not the owners of the property when it had the application for one-acre home sites on it. Commissioner Carey asked if there was still an active Development Order at the time his family purchased the property, and Mr. Clayton answered not that he is aware of but he’s pretty certain there was not. Commissioner Carey opined if they had looked back through history and saw that it had an application for a one-acre home site development, their expectation would be that that would probably be the most they’d ever get on it. Mr. Clayton disagreed and explained the property was undeveloped and it was in an area that was undeveloped. He would like to think that over a 50-year period there is a chance that zoning and density could change dramatically as it has all over Seminole and Orange Counties.
Dr. Lisa Jones, P.O. Box 3772, addressed the Board and stated she was shocked when she saw an article on a Planning and Zoning meeting that indicated that the developer’s law firm was stating that the County is playing the race card. She was even more shocked tonight to hear that they seem to actually care about the welfare of African Americans in Seminole County when the Applicant’s law firm is defending a developer in Orlando that is actively engaging in environmental racism. Chairman Horan reminded Dr. Jones to keep her public comments to information pertinent to the issue before the Board. Dr. Jones stated she disagrees with the development and is opposed to it as a Floridian because she enjoys the rural area and enjoys the Econlockhatchee. She agreed with staff’s presentation and their recommendation. She opined when it comes to affordable housing, the developer is not going to build any housing that people who make $20,000 a year are actually going to be able to afford. The Applicant is trying to claim that this is based on racial segregation, but it has nothing to do with racial segregation.
Mary Jo Martin, Geneva Historical Society, addressed the Board and presented a PowerPoint presentation (copy received and filed) and stated she would like to make a few points about the request to change the Rural Boundary and rezone the 669 acres of the Hi-Oaks Ranch. Ms. Martin stated Ms. Tedrow said that they are at a handicap because the County has set no criteria for removing land out of the rural area. There is one criteria and it is that the Commissioners may remove property from the rural area and amend the Rural Boundary whenever, in the opinion of the Board, such a change is necessary. Ms. Martin discussed the history of changes to the Rural Boundary including the Mermel and Rook properties. She talked about the constituents’ rights to the rural area. Ms. Martin opined many blessings of UCF have made it to Seminole County. There are two Seminole State campuses in Seminole County that feed into UCF; the county has the highest in the region of college attainment for high school students, growing new housing of UCF faculty and staff in the County’s cities which love taxable growth in their boundaries; and classes for students at UCF in agriculture, STEM and environmental studies. The rural area serves as a place for UCF students to study and do internships on farms, ranches, at the Rural Heritage Center, and the museum.
Ms. Martin discussed transition. She opined the Applicant seems very proud that they have 30% of the acreage in greenspace. Perhaps that is because around 30% of it is in the flood-hazard area, and those who live around there already worry about flooding on their properties. She pointed out Seminole County is a participant in several regional planning groups and reviewed the mission statement of the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, which is to avoid further sprawl, and discussed “How Shall We Grow.” Ms. Martin suggested they make five-acre lots with beautiful houses, selling for $800,000 to $900,000, and consider using some of those profits for affordable housing in the rural area using existing zoning densities. Or better yet, why choose this one piece of land in the rural area when there is other open space not saved as rural area. She stated it is a beautiful piece of land that deserves something special, and it is very special just the way it is. She doesn’t see how anyone can say such a change is necessary.
Deborah Schafer, 1740 Brumley Road, Chuluota Community Association, addressed the Board and stated while many areas in Seminole County have struggled for identity, Chuluota has not. Chuluota has been a rural community since its founding; and for over 50 years, the citizens of the area have worked to preserve the rural lifestyle. She discussed Chuluota’s history. She advised when Mr. Clayton claims he did not know about any of the changes, he is wrong. Ms. Schafer stated she has the original letter that was sent to every resident that was affected. She noted it may not have been Mr. Clayton personally, but whoever was on the address at that time was notified. Ms. Schafer expressed they want to keep it rural, and they are not against development; but the proposed development is too intense for the area and is not designed for what the residents have all worked on for over 25 years. She asked that the Board back their staff and uphold the will of the voters and vote no on the project.
Gracia Miller, 150 Zenith Pointe, addressed the Board and stated she is a member of the Geneva Village Homemakers and the Geneva Community Association. She explained she lives in Geneva because that is where her grandparents homesteaded in the ‘20s. She knows that today she would not be able to buy the land that she lives on, so she is very grateful for her grandparents and parents. Ms. Miller explained they need to understand that people live where they want to live, and there are no racial barriers or boundaries as far as she can see. And for that to have been implied is the only reason she came today. She worked in a Seminole County elementary school that is considered a poor, urban school; and they had all the races there, but mostly the folks were just poor, but the folks got along. Ms. Miller stated she knows as an African American of Seminole County, there are some places that she doesn’t feel safe and has raised her children not to go in certain places; but for the most part, Seminole County is a great place to be. The Rural Boundary needs to be maintained because the people need the freedom and flexibility to make their own lifestyle choices. She believes the Board will do the right thing.
Stan Stevens, Jr., 455 Live Oak Avenue, addressed the Board and stated his parents have five acres that abut the proposed project on the north. His father worked for years in Seminole County trying to preserve the rural nature of the county; and he is sure that if this project were to pass, his father would roll over in his grave. He asked the Commissioners to not let his father down and to not let down the citizens.
Deborah Poulalion, 1367 Cor Jesu Court, addressed the Board and presented three different maps (copies received and filed). She wondered if the 100 acres that the Applicant is willing to give to conservation are wetlands or uplands. She reviewed her maps and discussed the wetlands by the Econ. She proposed that the County look into making that area a conservation area because they can’t risk putting the Econ in danger. Ms. Poulalion explained Rural-5 and Rural-10 isn’t just about people, it is about protecting the river. The river is not going to move, and they don’t get a do-over on the river. She talked about The Grow and how it has kept the residents in limbo while going through court. She hoped the Board wouldn’t do that to their residents.
Richard Creedon, 1172 Apache Drive, President of the Geneva Citizens Association, addressed the Board and stated at the Planning and Zoning hearing, the Applicant’s attorney referred often to the 2006 Rural Character Plan like it was almost part of the County’s Land Development Code. The plan was prepared for a considerable fee by the firm of Glatting Jackson. Mr. Creedon advised he attended those discussion meetings that the BCC had when the plan was given to them. A lot of the suggested ideas were controversial so the BCC did not adopt the Plan; they didn’t even agree to accept the plan. They finally were able to agree to only receive the plan. Mr. Creedon stated it is hardly a book to try to build a case on. The intent of the Charter Amendment was, and still is, to preserve open space and the rural lifestyle. It was never the intent to make it easy to bring intense development into the rural area; rather it was the intent to make it difficult, not impossible. Mr. Creedon advised as the county’s population continues to increase, the rural jewel of eastern Seminole County, with its clear air and water, forest, pastures and wildlife, will be appreciated even more than it is at present.
Jay Zembower, 3667 Eagle Preserve Point, addressed the Board and stated he has owned property in the Rural Boundary for over 40 years, and he finds it real difficult that Mr. Clayton’s memory is not what it was in 1987 and 1989 when they were fighting the adult entertainment that was proposed to go on that property. He advised there were absolute discussions, as Commissioner Carey referenced, about one unit per acre. They knew that at that time, and that is why they worked with people to try to get the Rural Boundary Initiative Referendum on that ballot and they’ve done so. Mr. Zembower thinks the voters have spoken and believes staff has done a good job. He urged the Commissioners to listen to the experts that have given evidence today.
Melissa Debach, 2945 Star Grass Point, addressed the Board and stated she is the president of the Sanctuary Community Association, a neighborhood of 744 single-family homes a couple of miles away from the proposed River Cross development on CR 419. She is also a board member for Save Rural Seminole. Ms. Debach advised the Applicant has made several references to subjectivity, inconsistency, and being treated unfairly. She asked the Board to acknowledge that although the Applicant is entitled to file an application and have their case heard by the BCC, they are not entitled to a “yes” vote, nor are they entitled to a compromise. She explained the land is currently zoned for agricultural five-acre plots and its Future Land Use is Rural-5. That is the Applicant’s current entitlement and anything granted beyond that should be based on their presentation of substantial competent evidence. She hoped the Board would ask the Applicant questions after public comment. Ms. Debach pointed out the Applicant’s residential and office needs analysis points out that Seminole County will need more residential and office space over the next 20 years but does not attempt to make any compelling argument as to why this location would best serve that need. Neither the Applicant nor his attorney are subject matter experts in the field of traffic engineering or economic analysis.
Ms. Debach stated on the subject of residential and office analysis, she would like to point out that the consultant’s report states that 7,299 parcels zoned for residential development are available. She asked the BCC to ask the Applicant how many of those parcels are single-family versus multifamily since an apartment building can go on one parcel, so the deficiency may not be as severe as represented in the report. The footnote specifies that the parcels include condos and multifamily. The economic report states that there is a need for new office space. Unlike the residential analysis, the report does not provide the existing office entitlements available countywide. The Shimberg study was prepared for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation in 2016. Ms. Debach asked why it was even submitted as evidence. She opined it has nothing to do with the project or with Seminole County because it was a statewide analysis. She talked about the school analysis and noted the project will cause further overcrowding at the zoned schools.
Ms. Debach stated at the Planning and Zoning hearing, Ms. Tedrow pointed out that Chuluota has entitlements that would accommodate approximately 1,774 residential units and 393,000 square feet of nonresidential space. If that is the case, she asked why additional entitlements are needed. If the location is so desirable and important, then Chuluota would already be experiencing more development. She stated that speaks to the location not being ideal for such scale of development. The project would destroy the rural character of Chuluota, goes against the expressed will of the voters as established in 2004, and proposes a 900% increase over the current zoning. Add 1.5 million square feet of commercial space into consideration and this project sets a dangerous precedent that current and Future Land Use designations can and should be substantially altered without equally substantial competent evidence.
Ms. Debach discussed the impact the project would have to local roads and infrastructure. She opined the impact fees are frighteningly inadequate to even begin to fund the infrastructure improvements to support such level of growth and there has absolutely not been a valid demonstration of need. The proposed development is nothing more than a want based on insufficient evidence. Conversely, the people in Chuluota, Geneva and Oviedo have competently demonstrated that they don’t want the development. She urged the Board to deny transmittal of the project.
Drew Pommet, 1809 E. Broadway, addressed the Board and stated he is the president of the Live Oak Reserve HOA. Mr. Pommet talked about his neighborhood and noted it is the large development that is one-third of a mile north of the subject property. He stated he walked around his neighborhood to bump into people and talk to them substantively about the project. Of the greater than 20 folks that he spoke with, it was unanimous opposition to all concepts; transmittal, altering of the Rural Boundary, rezoning, and effective changes to the Comp Plan. Mr. Pommet pointed out there were 55 instances of deficiencies, absent items or inadequacies of the application. He advised Mr. Kramer presented the concept of transmitting and it reminded Mr. Pommet of the Affordable Care Act concept where it was passed in order to figure out what’s in it. So the concept is to have a reasonably adequate application before transmitting, and he would hope the Commissioners will see it the same way. Mr. Pommet urged the Board to deny all three concepts.
Claudia Lamanna’s name was announced, and it was determined that she was not in attendance.
Nancy Harmon, 752 Pioneer Way, addressed the Board and opined the Applicant’s presentation has been a disparaging presentation of a plan that isn’t really a plan that they’ve asked the Board to consider as a way to make income for themselves. She feels the Claytons have a responsibility to the community for which the land is involved in. They have a responsibility to have known what the land zoning was for, and they should have taken into consideration through the years that they owned the property what to do with the property and not wait until now when the family wants to have their investment come to fruition. She claimed the reality is, as a citizen of Seminole County, she doesn’t believe any citizen of Seminole County should have the opportunity to destroy other Seminole County citizens’ lifestyles. She asked the Board to completely deny the Applicant’s request to change the Rural Boundary and all the other associated documents that go along with that request.
Steve Edmonds, 1022 Vanessa Drive, addressed the Board and advised he sat on the Land Planning Agency for the City of Oviedo from 1997 to 2001, he was on the Seminole Soil and Water Conservation District from 2002 to 2006, and he was involved in most of the Rural Boundary fights and discussions if not as a citizen then as an appointed committee person. Mr. Edmonds stated staff did an excellent job at showing how the project is not concurrent to either its surroundings or even to the eastern part of Seminole County in general. It fails in traffic, it fails in emergency services, it fails in water and sewer, and it fails in schools. It fails in every regard. He discussed the Econlockhatchee Protection Zone. Mr. Edmonds opined PUDs are the workaround for developers in the state of Florida, especially in Seminole County and especially in Oviedo. When you don’t want to follow the rules and you don’t want to follow the Comp Plan, you develop a PUD and that way you can get whatever you want out of your development without having to worry about the rest of the citizens that worked very hard at planning their community for the last 20 years and for the future 20 years. He hoped that the Board will follow the will of the people.
Andrew Hogan, 1072 Country Cove Court, addressed the Board and talked about the negative impact the development would have on CR 419. He stated there is a lot of involvement with a bridge going over the Econ and he is opposed to it. He hoped the Board will vote against the project.
Virginia Creedon, 1172 Apache Drive, addressed the Board and noted Ms. Poulalion covered the Econ River as a floodplain very well. She reminded the Commission that it is a recharge area, and that all of the floodplains are recharge areas for drinking water. She asked when the Board considers this project and others in the future, to consider that the residents need drinking water and the recharge areas might be affected by paving and building.
Roberto Gaier, 2220 Orange Street, addressed the Board and stated he is representing the Black Hammock Association. Mr. Gaier advised although the Applicant is saying the development only impacts 1% of the rural area, 1% could be far too much. He pointed out one cancer cell can destroy the entire body. It is a very serious matter to consider the application because it could destroy the rest of the rural area as it is known today. In the rural area is a replenishment of the aquifer for the entire Central Florida; and if you destroy that, you will have to spend millions of dollars to fix what’s been broken.
Don Peterson, 3585 Canal Street, addressed the Board and stated the Board should deny all three items. He expressed the word “precedent” comes to mind because once this would be accepted, it would open the door for everything else. Black Hammock is a rural area and it doesn’t have churches, gas stations or schools; but it does have a lot of open land. They just took out 200 acres of orange trees; and instead of putting in high-rises and offices, they are putting in flowers. He advised they ought to leave the Rural Boundary alone. It was voted on by the people and upheld by at least two, if not three, judges. He asked the Board to deny the project.
Seerina Farrell’s name was announced, and it was determined that she was not in attendance.
Jenelle Ferrer, 3190 Howard Avenue, addressed the Board and stated as a Cuban-American married to a Puerto Rican, the racial issue is mute to her. She advised while the affordable housing arguments can be subjective, the environmental issues are not. Endangered and protected species have been found in studies on the River Cross property. This could create an automatic roadblock for anyone trying to develop on property with red tape and no further movement; but because of funding and connections this project is still under discussion when the environmental detriment is clearly evident in all of the reports both provided by private and public sectors. Ms. Ferrer explained the land use of rural areas exists not primarily to appease those who live in the rural area but to protect the wetlands and the environmental resources. She discussed the language of the 2004 Charter ballot regarding the rural area.
Ms. Ferrer stated the water levels are another environmental factor that the Applicant has grossly understated. Water levels are higher than ever as a result of nearby developments like Oviedo Gardens, Black Hammock Preserve, and Southern Oaks. The drainage goes into her land after it has overflowed from the canals and creeks that no longer withstand the flow of water. She discussed the problems this caused during the recent hurricanes and how the proposed development would exacerbate the issue. Ms. Ferrer advised as a real estate broker she has no problem with responsible development that has evaluated the environmental impact a project may have and takes the appropriate measures to protect the natural resources as well as sociable obligations; however, this is not a responsible development. The developer has not truly considered the negative impact the development has on the schools, water tables, rivers, protected species, roads and overall way of life in the area because he doesn’t live in the area nor will he feel directly affected by his actions. She wondered when they will stop looking at the growth in terms of dollar signs and start looking at the impact that it will have on future generations. She hoped the Commissioners would represent the voice of the people.
Lucas Ferrer, 3190 Howard Avenue, addressed the Board and stated his wife just covered the major arguments. He discussed his history living in the rural area. Mr. Ferrer has seen firsthand what development can do. He is from West Palm Beach and can’t afford anything in that area anymore due to development and increasing growth which has steadily moved its way up through Florida. He and his wife found a beautiful lot in Black Hammock and saw the Rural Boundary as something that could protect that way of life. He is concerned that once this development comes, more development will come. There has already been talk about big lots in Black Hammock being taken. He asked where they will move next. His way of life will be affected and there will be nothing left in that area that will appeal to people that want a rural lifestyle. Mr. Ferrer doesn’t want to move because he loves Seminole County and has started a business here. He stated he wants the Board to vote against the development.
Elton Hogan, 1072 Country Cove Court, addressed the Board and pointed out Seminole County’s slogan, “Florida’s Natural Choice.” Mr. Hogan opined it is not just a slogan, it is a way of life for residents and visitors alike. He stated they can find the woods, water and wildlife within the Rural Boundary; the woods for hiking and camping, water for kayaking and exploring, wildlife high in the trees and flocks of turkey on the ground. The Rural Boundary is not just for the people that live there. Everybody enjoys natural Seminole County. He asked the Board to not make Seminole County a laughing stock when someone reads the slogan by preserving the Rural Boundary.
Jay Jurie, 408 South Virginia Avenue, addressed the Board and noted he has a master’s degree in Environmental Planning, a PhD in Public Administration, has taught the subject matter of Urban and Regional Planning for 32 years at UCF, is one of the cofounders of the current Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at UCF, and several of the County’s past and current staff have passed through his classroom; so he believes he counts as a qualified expert when it comes to this particular subject matter. He stated staff has done a masterful job with their review of the application, the methodology looks sound and solid, and the recommendations are on target. Mr. Jurie opined they need to design with nature and he believes that is what staff and the Planning Commission have recommended. He requested the Board follow suit and deny the Applicant the measures that they are asking the Board to pass.
Harry Smith’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Edward Dec, 1043 Tropical Avenue, addressed the Board and stated what the people are really talking about is the destruction on a rural tranquility. This is a desire, if not a demand, by the people to keep this area in its natural state and prevent overdevelopment also known as urban sprawl. He expressed he cannot in any way, shape or form understand how this issue has gone from being an application being denied into a race and segregation issue. If this was truly an issue of race and segregation, Mr. Dec is quite certain they would be hearing from the Feds about the 1968 Act. He doesn’t believe race and segregation were thrown into the issue with Orange County when they were denying the same application for large developments there. He asked the Board to deny the application because the Applicant has failed to meet 55 different criteria in the application.
Rebecca Wilkinson, 1240 Brumley Road, addressed the Board and stated this battle is now being fought over the future of the Econ River and low-density zoning within the Rural Boundary. In her opinion it comes down to being a fight over the finite resource that the community sees as life sustaining in the broadest sense and what developers and now some politicians view as money to be made under the banner of progress and growth. Developers and politicians have an inability to admit that the River Cross project would ruin the Econ watershed, wreck the rural lifestyle, destroy an ecologically sensitive habitat and the species it sustains, and stick the taxpayers with the infrastructure costs. Ms. Wilkinson opined it comes down to greed. There is no mandate that requires that development cannot be bridled. She stated the people can choose to preserve sensitive land for the common good and for future generations. They have in fact made that choice over and over. She asked that the Board honor her wishes and vote no on River Cross and that the Board provide the leadership that is necessary to buy up the contested lands and put them in trust to the people of Seminole County.
Charles Lee, 1101 Audubon Way, addressed the Board and noted he is the Director of Advocacy of Audubon Florida. He stated he has been working with Audubon for 46 years and has been in quite a few County Commission Chambers in Florida. He has been in a number of land use and zoning proceeding arguments in those chambers. He read word for word the entirety of the staff report and he also read the work of the County’s consultant, Balmoral. Audubon Florida hopes that the County will follow the staff recommendation and deny transmittal and deny the map change and the text change and deny the Rural Boundary change. They think that staff has put it all together as to why the Board should deny. He reflected back on his experiences in similar proceedings.
Mr. Lee opined the Dews v. Sunnyvale case really takes the cake in terms of misrepresentation. He added the town of Sunnyvale is 11,000 acres compared to the 220,000-plus acres in Seminole County. Border to border Sunnyvale’s Planning and Zoning Commission said there shall be no apartments and the only thing they can have other than agriculture is one house or more on one acre in the entire jurisdiction of the town, 12 miles from the center of Dallas, Texas. It was clearly a deliberate exclusionary effort and the Court found that. For the Applicant to come in front of Seminole County and try to make that comparison to this decision in the County’s attempt to protect the rural area was simply disingenuous. Mr. Lee stated it is almost unbelievable that advocates would try to make that representation and he is astounded by it because he’s rarely heard anything as over the top as he has heard with that particular representation. He hoped the Board would rely on staff and take their good advice to deny.
Andre Klass, 3250 Retreat View Circle, addressed the Board and stated he is here to voice his concerns regarding the River Cross project. As the study has been presented earlier by staff, there are six threatened species of wildlife that live in this particular plot. The Rural Boundary was constructed by the Commission and voted for by the people to support and preserve the sensitive wetlands that are critical pieces of land that need to be preserved to sustain the quality of the environment. Mr. Klass explained having worked for the state’s leading electronic recycling company for over six years, he knows the direct relationship between how well people take care of the environment and the quality of life for residents in Seminole County. They need to do their best to make sure that Seminole County remains Florida’s natural choice.
While Mr. Klass supports free markets and economic growth opportunities, he advised he never supports anything that could potentially go against the will of the people. He believes wholly in making sure that the rights of the people to live how they see fit can never be abridged. He asked the Commission to follow his lead and the lead of the people and vote no on the River Cross project and preserve the Rural Boundary.
Rocky Harrelson, 225 Carolina Way, addressed the Board and stated he comes to speak in support of maintaining the Rural Boundary in its present location. He submitted his comments for the record (received and filed).
Chairman Horan recessed the meeting at 8:16 p.m., reconvening at 8:29 p.m.
Steve Meyers, 212 Flame Avenue, addressed the Board and stated his family moved to Altamonte Springs in 1969 and they have lived in Seminole County on and off since then. He’s been involved in animal rights issues since 2015 when the Florida Wildlife Commission had the idea of a bear hunt. He thanked the Commission for their leadership against that horrible idea. For 50 years in Seminole County, he has watched developer after developer ruin the natural environment of Central Florida. It’s essentially the same dog and pony show; beautiful presentation, can’t stop progress, can’t slow down growth, good for the economy. Mr. Meyers opined most commissions roll over time after time and defer to the developers, which causes an environmental Armageddon.
Mr. Meyers indicated if you look around, you see the coastal estuaries are dying. They are filled with blood-red algae, dead manatees and 250-pound loggerhead turtles floating around. The Indian River Lagoon is unsustainable, the St. Lucie estuary is being ruined, and the Caloosahatchee River is filthy. The City of Orlando decided to pave over 120 acres of headwaters of the Little Wekiva River in the Princeton Oaks project. He discussed other similar projects that have an impact on the environment. Mr. Meyers stated the people have spoken. They spoke when they voted for the rural line. The people in East Seminole County spoke at the Chuluota community meeting when 100% of the people spoke against the project. At the Planning and Zoning meeting, 100% of people spoke against the project; and the Planning Board voted unanimously against it and characterized the plan as cartoonish. County staff is even imploring the Board to deny the project. He asked the Board to give a unanimous vote in opposition.
Pam Meharg, P.O. Box 2977, addressed the Board and noted she is the conservation chair of the Seminole Audubon Society. She stated the decision the Board has tonight is a legislative decision, and the Board has absolute discretion to vote as it pleases on the decision. The Applicant is acting like he’s entitled to some kind of change in the plan; he is not. County staff did a thorough, professional job. The Seminole Audubon Society recommends that the Board follows staff’s advice and turns down the River Cross development. Ms. Meharg submitted a letter dated August 8, 2018, from the Seminole Audubon Society to the Board for the record (received and filed).
Tom Patrizzi, 265 Riverwoods Trail, addressed the Board and stated he is on the frontline of this thing and is the major landholder on that line. He expressed nobody ever consulted him about a 150-foot easement, and nobody has talked to him about anything. He knows what is going on, but it is going to affect him personally and monetarily. When he bought his parcel back in 1988, he asked Seminole County about the property adjacent to him; and the County said not in Mr. Patrizzi’s lifetime would that property be rezoned less than one house per five acres. Mr. Patrizzi stated everybody has rules, and the people knew how it was zoned when they invested in it; and now all of a sudden things want to change.
Terry Elliot’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Philip Grave’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Jamie Matos, 3121 Town and Country Road, addressed the Board and stated in 2001 UCF brought her to Central Florida, and in 2003 she made Seminole County her home because of the Rural Boundary. Her house is one mile from the proposed development and she frequently sees deer, turtles, armadillos, possums, rabbits, and bears in her yard. She appreciates and respects the wildlife. Ms. Matos reminded that the Applicant stated UCF is the fifth largest employer in Florida. She advised that all of those staff members are not located at the main campus that is by the proposed development; they are located at regional campuses throughout the state of Florida. During her time at UCF, it was apparent that no one walked to class; they relied on shuttles and cars. If traffic increases, pollution increases and the fragile Econ River is at risk. She discussed her family’s love for the rural area.
Ms. Matos stated in May the Board approved something monumental when it unanimously approved to purchase the Rolling Hills Golf Course from a developer to provide the surrounding residents an opportunity to clean up the land so that they could turn it into a County park. That will preserve their way of life and it’s also going to allow the public to enjoy the park. While facts of this matter are slightly different, she asked the Board to afford the same consideration for the land being considered today. She asked the Board to deny transmittal of the project so everyone may continue to enjoy the area and the Econ River as it exists. Development needs to occur upwards in the urban areas in the county and not outward into land protected within the Rural Boundary.
Pat Lindsey, 1851 Old River Trail, addressed the Board and stated she has lived in Chuluota for 36 years in the development of River Woods. River Woods borders the property that is asking to be removed from the Rural Boundary. She submitted a map entitled City of Oviedo – Live Oak Reserve and 12 letters in opposition from her neighbors (copies received and filed). Ms. Lindsey read one of the letters into the record. She stated she hopes they have an ethical decision tonight in the best interest of the people and that they hear four denials.
Bill Lutz, 2618 S. Tanner Road, addressed the Board and stated he attended a meeting in Orange County that went until 2:00 a.m. regarding a similar development. He advised that ultimately the Orange County Commission let the people down and all that is left is a lawsuit. They have been fighting The Grow for almost five years. He thanked Commissioner Dallari for speaking to the Orange County Commission in opposition to the project and played a short video of his comments.
Tom Narut, 14620 Jesair Drive, addressed the Board and stated he is a little bit confused with the developer. Mr. Narut proposed if the developer wanted land with urban services, wouldn’t he buy land within the urban services area. He submitted a document (received and filed) that was presented awhile back and now he understands why it is so thorough and he assumes it is because of the staff that he watched present earlier. As an active participant in the Save Orange County citizens’ advocacy group and a resident, he thanked the County’s team that helped to get the Lake Pickett North project denied in Orange County. He updated the Board on the lawsuit regarding Lake Pickett South. He discussed the document he submitted and explained the direct correlation between the recent Lake Pickett North and Lake Pickett South projects to the current River Cross project. The document also details various policy violations, inconsistencies, and negative impacts to the defined rural community, Econ River Basin, and more. He thanked the Board for its initial position very clearly stated to Orange County’s BCC and he hopes that position and those findings continue to hold true with today’s deliberation regarding the River Cross proposal.
Gary Minor’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Sharon Howard’s name was announced, and it was determined that she was not in attendance.
Theodor Mello, 56 East 2nd Street, addressed the Board and stated he has a long history in Chuluota and just wants to keep it rural. He lives in a house that his dad helped build in the ‘60s; and he can remember taking naps on 419, dog hunting in Alafaya Woods, and when Mitchell Hammock was a dirt road. He grew up with a stick and a dog and has traveled every river and every lake and he loves it. He advised he is opposed to the development.
James Miller, 1320 Cochran Road, addressed the Board and stated he has come to speak in opposition to the proposed River Cross development. He stated many others have told the Board how the proposed development will destroy the environment and harm the rural character of the area, which it definitely will. Many have spoken out that this development will set a dangerous precedent which will potentially lead to further large development inside the Rural Boundary, and it most definitely will. Mr. Miller advised the developer stated that the County needs the development and its housing citing a lack of affordable housing, yet provides no proven evidence that there is a need for affordable housing outside of the established urban area, which is currently served by existing transportation and infrastructure. The developer further stated that there is a lack of housing and the need for the development is that the County is growing, yet uses data that he has skewed to support his case.
Mr. Miller stated the developer has even gone so far as to accuse rural residents and County leadership of being racist and made a claim that the opposition to the development is a way to keep people of color from moving into the Rural Boundary. Again, the developer offers no evidence of that salacious claim. He has not shown a single incident in the public record of racial discrimination with regard to housing. Mr. Miller opined the developer is attempting to stir negative sentiments among minority residents and scare the Board into accepting the project. What the developer is trying to do is take the attention away from the real issue which is why he uses race and the threat of a Federal lawsuit hoping that no one will bring up the true cost of his development, not to him and his partners but to the taxpayers of the county.
Mr. Miller advised if it is approved, the development will cost all Seminole County residents a lot of money. The County will be required to extend the public road as well as a new four-lane bridge over the environmentally sensitive Econ River. The road and bridge are estimated by FDOT to cost taxpayers over $60 million. He also knows that Seminole County public schools are currently filled past their capacity, and the schools in the vicinity of the project are all currently using portable classrooms. There will be a definite need to build new schools to accommodate the new students in the development. The developer is offering a five-acre plot to the School District. The new schools would cost the County an estimated $150 million, and that is not including the cost of the land. He noted those numbers are from the School District.
Mr. Miller asked if the developer will pay for the massive infrastructure costs associated with the project. He advised the answer is a resounding no. The taxpayers will be on the hook to pay for the required infrastructure while the developer collects potentially millions of dollars in profits. Mr. Miller urged the Commission to unanimously vote no on the proposal and to honor their sworn duty to enforce the County Charter. Additionally, he urged the Commission to hold the line and not to compromise with the developer allowing denser development than is currently allowed by the County’s zoning ordinances.
Dori Sutter, 234 Morton Lane, addressed the Board and noted she previously emailed most of her comments and objections last week, but she has some additional information she would like to add. Ms. Sutter requested that the County’s legal counsel review the case law before the vote. She stated case law states non-expert testimony is perfectly permissible and constitutes substantial competent evidence so long as it is fact based. Ms. Sutter discussed other case law she felt was relatable. She stated presenting fact-based testimony regarding incompatibility of the proposed development with surrounding uses and adjacent existing development around the subject site is exactly what the citizens are presenting to the Board. As such, based on the legal grounds of the proposed development’s fact-based incompatibility, she asked the Board to deny the project and rest in confidence that any later legal challenge from big-builder interest has well established case law to overcome.
Kelly Semrad, 3111 Amalfi Drive, addressed the Board and noted she is a Mexican minority that resides within the rural service area who is married to an immigrant minority residing within the rural service area. She stated first and foremost she is here on behalf of Save Orange County and advised the position of Save Orange County is that they ask that the Board reject the proposed development. Secondly, she is a citizen who resides within two miles of the proposed development, so she asks as a citizen that the Board reject the proposed development.
Ms. Semrad stated in regard to the market demand analysis where UCF is quoted as being an employment opportunity for the proposed development, she is a professor at UCF and UCF is not hiring on their main campus (staff nor faculty positions) in a large quantity; rather they’re hiring at the medical college in Lake Nona (an estimated 37 minutes from the proposed site) as well as the proposed downtown campus and the Rosen campus (57 minutes from the proposed site). She advised the Lake Pickett text amendment is under legal litigation and she was a petitioner on the case. An administrative law judge overheard that hearing and found in favor of the petitioners saying that Orange County had violated its Comp Plan by approving the Lake Pickett text amendment which includes The Grow and Sustany. That was overturned by Governor Rick Scott, and they are now at the Appellate Court level where they have been accepted by the Court as having legal standing as well as legal merit in terms of how the Governor and his Cabinet overturned that decision. She discussed Lake Pickett history.
Ms. Semrad stated the buyer purchased the land knowing it was rural land. The Rural Boundary provides rural property rights to all those residents that reside within that boundary. It doesn’t matter the size of the land that is owned, everybody is afforded the same property rights by that Rural Boundary. In terms of the statistical study that was provided by Dr. Boone with descriptive analyses and percentages, Ms. Semrad advised she is also a statistician for UCF and opined the study is completely erroneous. To draw conclusions of causality that the Rural Boundary causes or influences racial discrimination or segregation is erroneous. The conclusion does not account for other variables that could influence the percentages that were provided. Those percentages are simply descriptive statistics, not inferential results of conclusion. She asked that the Board reject all three of the proposed project requests.
Chuck O’Neal’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Katrina Shadix, 1421 Bringham Loop, addressed the Board and noted she is the director of Bear Warriors United. She discussed how important it is to her that she is here tonight to speak out in opposition to the urban sprawl project entitled River Cross. Ms. Shadix informed the Board that when she found out the date of this meeting last month, she immediately sent a text to Mr. Dorworth to request that he postpone the meeting to give the citizens time to build up paid time off in order to attend the meeting to address the affordable housing issue and to oppose River Cross. She was shocked at how quickly Mr. Dorworth was able to get the item on the agenda when it has taken several months to several years to get the bear/trash ordinance, the fertilizer ordinance, and the fracking ban on the agenda and passed. Ms. Shadix indicated that Mr. Dorworth never answered her text about postponing the meeting.
Ms. Shadix stated this project will kill wildlife and destroy their habitat. She discussed the death of a bear near the proposed project. She asked the Commission to consider the fact that the environmental assessment study done for River Cross by Bio-Tech failed to list the Florida black bears and the nearly extinct panther as species that would be negatively impacted by River Cross. Both species have been documented on that property. She expressed another issue she has, which is that River Cross will not sufficiently provide affordable housing. She met with over 200 Goldsboro residents a few weeks ago, and they do want and need affordable housing but they don’t want it in east Seminole County. They want it in Sanford near their families, friends, workplaces, schools and churches. They want to meet with Mr. Dorworth if he truly does want to build affordable housing. She suggested using the old Flea World property to build on.
Ms. Shadix advised she supports infilling, redevelopment, repurposing existing buildings, responsible growth and ethical capitalism; but she does not support urban sprawl. There is also the issue of an inevitable tax increase. Ms. Shadix explained River Cross is a classic case of a hidden tax increase on Seminole County residents. Using the Price of Sprawl calculator to determine taxpayer cost for new development, rough calculations establish that it does not pay for itself. Even if impact fees are paid, they don’t begin to cover the costs of schools, roads, infrastructure, Fire, Rescue, Police, water supply, et cetera.
Ms. Shadix stated this is another example of privatizing the profits and socializing the costs. River Cross will cost taxpayers $9,328,300 per year. She opined this land use change is all about Mr. Dorworth because he gets all the profits and the residents get the destruction and costs that follow. She asked Mr. Dorworth to respect the Comp Plan, the water supply, natural lands, wildlife, and the rural quality of life. Ms. Shadix noted she is part Moroccan, which is a country in Africa.
Philip Gold’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Brandon Arguelles, 1534 Elf Stone Drive, addressed the Board and stated there is an economic problem and environmental problem with River Cross. Economically he has looked at the mixed development that is going to have a dense population and offices and it’s all going to be in one spot. Infrastructure hasn’t been built yet for it, and they don’t know that it will be ready in time when the development is done. Mr. Arguelles stated from his time living in Orlando, he saw the mixed-use apartment units and downstairs offices. They wanted to create a walkable district for people to go to and get to where they need. In the rural area, they don’t need that. They want to be further away from everything. They want to enjoy the natural parts of Florida. He discussed his love for the outdoors.
Mr. Arguelles advised his trouble on the environmental side is where is the water going to go because it’s just going to be diverted somewhere. He discussed water levels since the recent hurricanes. He stated water is being diverted for the developments, and it’s going in discharge areas, and it takes time for it to filter into the aquifer. Mr. Arguelles expressed he opposes River Cross because it’s just too much. It’s too much overreach and too much building in an area that doesn’t have that character.
Rick Ashby, 1515 Fort Christmas Road, addressed the Board and stated he agrees with Mr. Applegate that it is disingenuous for this project to say that it is advocating affordable housing in the rural area. He explained an actual affordable housing project might meet the requirements for amendment if the Commission wants to approve an actual affordable housing project, but this project obviously does not meet those requirements. Mr. Ashby hoped the Board takes into account the testimony of the citizens as expert witnesses since most of them live in the affected area.
Mr. Ashby opined the affordable housing claim is ridiculous but it isn’t the first ridiculous claim that they’ve heard from the developer and his lawyer. He stated this is the third meeting he has been to regarding this item and the Applicant keeps claiming that this project will fix an urban sprawl problem they claim the county has. Mr. Ashby discussed HB 83 and the lobbying that was done in Tallahassee that was directly related to the project. He asked the Board to represent the will of the people and disapprove all of the aspects of the project. He explained the Board should deny because of the false claims that the Applicant has made and because the project will cost the County and the residents money and destroy a beautiful area that actually produces value just by being there.
Joy Recicar’s name was announced, and it was determined that she was not in attendance.
Ken Gentile, 251 East 7th Street, addressed the Board and stated he is a new resident who just moved into Chuluota in June. The first week he was there he was greeted by a 12-inch snapping turtle, and he knew that he was home. He met all of his neighbors and it is a lovely community. Mr. Gentile stated before the Board is a very important decision, but it is not a very difficult one. In spite of the gravity and the impact it will have on many lives, he heard a very clear presentation by staff that they don’t support it. He opined staff did a thorough job and laid out a very strong case as to why it should not go forward. This project is not a project the county needs.
Mr. Gentile stated he is not against growth and development but it needs to be sustainable and it needs to be in accordance with contiguous properties, and this proposal does not do that. He talked about transition and opined it is not a transitional property. He discussed the Rook and Mermel properties and expressed he was thinking that they were hundreds of units; but he heard it was just a unit or two. He wondered why those two properties were even part of the argument. It is clear to Mr. Gentile that the proposal is not complete and is nowhere near where it needs to be to pass approval right now.
Jason Kirby’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Landon Jose Thomas, 2140 Old River Trail, addressed the Board and noted he is the vice president of River Woods HOA and lives within 250 feet of the proposed subdivision. He discussed how growth and development caused his subdivision to become a cut-through street which destroyed the atmosphere of the whole area. He pointed out he is a Cuban American and owns a large home on ten acres. He expressed he is very happy in a rural community. He suggested the best way to establish a buffer zone is to consider when he shoots his gun, are the 15 neighbors on the other side of the fence going to be happy at the noise and will they feel safe.
Mr. Thomas stated the Applicant claimed that the residents in the area are okay with a 150-foot buffer and they had spoken to the residents. Mr. Thomas advised he is the vice president of the HOA and never heard from anybody. There are ten other owners along that street side that didn’t hear from anybody either. He pointed out in the Chambers he sees what is left of the Senator Tree that lived in the community for 3,500 years and was burned to the ground. He asked what would be left for future generations to appreciate in Seminole County. Mr. Thomas advised the Econ River, Wekiva River, and Rock Springs are a few jewels in the county that will feed natural landscapes and allow wildlife to travel. He stated as a Board member, the Commissioners are entrusted to protect those areas and animals for future generations. Mr. Thomas asked the Board to take a stand and protect the jewels that make Seminole County Florida’s natural choice.
Michael Hill’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Randolph Femmer’s name was announced, and it was determined that he was not in attendance.
Mary Heffner’s name was announced, and it was determined that she was not in attendance.
Sharon McMullin’s name was announced, and it was determined that she was not in attendance.
Marjorie Holt, 8502 Alveron Avenue, addressed the Board and stated she is submitting two letters (received and filed). Ms. Holt advised she is the conservation chair for the Sierra Club Central Florida Group. She expressed using the racial issue to correlate approval for River Cross is very inappropriate. She complimented staff for an excellent, thorough analysis that she believes will uphold the Board’s decision to deny the project. She read some of her letter into the record on behalf of the Sierra Club. She asked the Board to deny the project.
Michael Parker, 1700 Old River Trail, addressed the Board and stated he is African American. Mr. Parker noted his property is adjacent to the proposed development area, and his property line is affected directly. He strongly opposes the development. Mr. Parker stated he would like to address the elephant in the room that did not exist prior to the earlier statement at the last meeting. There are Hispanic families, black and brown families, and African American families. Ethnic people are already in the rural area. He advised the Applicant should not use race as a scapegoat. Lower income housing doesn’t just pertain to race, and that is a shortsighted perspective and a shortcut to getting what the developer wants. Mr. Parker stated that won’t work and the Board should not allow it.
Mr. Parker suggested if the developer cares so much about low-income housing and majority black or ethnic areas or districts, they should renovate and develop areas that are lower income and help the people who want to be helped. He asked that the Board respect what the people want that live in the affected area. Mr. Parker discussed the diversity in the rural area and stated they represent freedom of choice. He loves his land, his guns, his privacy, the value of the area, the nature, and the safety of the community. He encouraged the Board to deny the project.
Thomas Hawkins, 308 N. Monroe Street, addressed the Board and stated he sent the Commission a correspondence and he has a copy of it to make sure it is part of the record (received and filed). Mr. Hawkins is a policy and planning director at 1000 Friends of Florida. He stated Mr. Applegate’s commentary with regard to the case law was appropriate and correct. He complimented the Planning staff who he has spoken with many times in recent months. He pointed out they received a great presentation from Mr. Diamond with the Balmoral Group discussing how the technical details of the application process weren’t met by the Applicant. But Mr. Hawkins wants to bring it back to the big picture and point out what a binary choice it is. To vote “yes” on the request to move the Rural Boundary would make the rural area urban and it would cross the Econ River. To vote “no” on the proposition says that the Board wants to continue to have vital, positive community-building development in the existing communities like Longwood, Lake Mary and Altamonte Springs; using SunRail as a vital transportation corridor; and having the kind of development that supports something positive for the future.
Mr. Hawkins urged the Board to deny the application because the strategy to have strong growth in those walkable communities and to move in that direction is not only the way to build great communities but also to have places that they can continue to leave to recreate along the Econ River and leave to have a viable agricultural economy.
Brian Beute, 153 Overlook Drive, addressed the Board and stated although he serves as president of the committee to Save Rural Seminole County, he is representing himself. He advised by now the Board is aware that the organization’s efforts have communicated with thousands of citizens and procured numerous HOA letters of support for the current Rural Boundary standards. Mr. Beute stated by pushing the limits of the zoning designation in the area, the application attempts to artificially manipulate the laws of supply and demand in an effort to create a much higher profit margin in a short period of time. Strategies such as clever marketing and the threat of litigation are attempts to coerce citizens and put the Board in a double bind.
Mr. Beute advised he doesn’t have time to address the climate of affordable housing but asked how a speculative endeavor of this magnitude could possibly produce affordable housing and still profit. He explained it would require taxpayers to supply hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure. To think that there might even be one vote of support for this application is in itself incredulous and a misrepresentation of the citizens’ wishes. Mr. Beute stated the Board’s denial of the application should prompt the petitioner to seek other opportunities in areas designated for the kind of density that this application proposes.
In closing Mr. Beute expressed that the application conveniently ignores the relationship between the citizens and their elected representatives. The application has not provided demonstrable need, there is no basis for its claim of judicial standing, and most importantly the Board is not obligated to approve any proposal that does not meet the zoning characteristics of the property’s location approved by the citizens of Seminole County. By denying the proposal, the Board is encouraging the Applicant to reconsider an appropriate proposal that meets the specifications of the property’s zoning designation or to pursue free-market solutions that address the Applicant’s passion for providing affordable housing within areas that already provide the infrastructure necessary for high-density developments.
Michael Rich, 300 Lake Eva Drive, addressed the Board and stated he was on the Lake Jesup Task Force for five years, one year on the Geneva Bubble Task Force and has been at numerous administrative hearings. He advised if the Board allows a high-density urban project inside a protected rural area, they are instigating new high-density development in adjacent properties. That domino effect is urban sprawl and will initiate the destruction of the rural area. The cascading urbanization that the project would cause will threaten the recharge of the Geneva bubble, which is protected by Chapter 373, Florida Statutes. He discussed the definition of urban sprawl. Mr. Rich opined it is a dressed-up square peg being tried to put in a round hole, and he asked the Board to reject it.
Steven Rich, 1030 McKinnon Avenue, addressed the Board and advised he has been a professional environmentalist for over 44 years in various capacities and he has reviewed tens of thousands of plans over the years. This is one of the top 5 absolute worst compatible projects he has seen in 44 years. He isn’t sure what the Applicant’s planners were thinking, but there is no effort for compatibility; and it is a disgrace for the county. Mr. Rich stated other aspects of the project disturbed him, like the way it is laid out. The estate lots are up near 419 instead of down near the river where they should be. They have the more dense locations by the river. It is backwards, it shouldn’t be that way. The Applicant is asking the Board to approve the transmittal of the project predicated upon the fact that a road and bridge in another jurisdiction that the Board has no purview over will be approved, otherwise they have an extreme traffic problem. Imagine all of the traffic going out through those two little roads on 419 if McCulloch and the Econ bridge are not approved. Mr. Rich discussed the density of Sustany versus the density of River Cross. He asked the Board to deny the transmittal of this item.
RJ Mueller, 14366 Stamford Circle, addressed the Board and stated he lives just off McCulloch in Orange County and he opposes the project and trusts that the Board will deny it. He doesn’t want to talk about McCulloch or the bridge or the traffic, and he’s not going to talk about the impact of the third most pristine river in Florida or about all the other gimmicks that he has heard over the years because the Board has heard it all too. Mr. Mueller admits he feels like a tired, old soldier in a long war and has been through many of these battles; The Grow, Sustany twice, HB 883, and now River Cross. He stated the cards are stacked against the citizens. Developers have the advantage because they can lose a battle and come back to fight another day; but if the battle is lost, that land can never be un-concreted. Mr. Mueller expressed the Commissioners are what matter. They are the gatekeepers and they get to decide the battle. He trusts the Board will vote no with the other 84 opposition speakers and not with the two speakers who spoke in favor.
H. Alexander Duncan, P.O. Box 620092, addressed the Board and stated he was born and raised a native of the rural area so it is crazy that the racism stuff came up. Mr. Duncan stated the County grew at 16% according to the 2010 census, and the rural area grew at 13%; so if the rural is growing like the urban, that is due to somebody. He discussed the Yankee Lake project. Mr. Duncan stated he spoke here three years ago and pointed out Orlando North was more than a new motto; it was a way of life the Board wanted to see. He opined people don’t understand Consent Agendas because they had three PDs in Agricultural and Rural classification areas that the Board approved with the swipe of a pen because nobody even knew it was on the agenda. The precedent has already been set which is why the developers keep coming because the Board has already taken and moved the Rural Boundary.
Mr. Duncan discussed the difference of the Rural Boundary in the Comp Plan in 1990 and the Charter Amendment in 2004. He stated the Applicant wants to take CDBG money from poor minorities in urban settings to go and destroy “rural white people stuff” according to the Applicant. He opined it is all a game and at the center of the game is the county’s elected officials. Mr. Duncan stated the Rural Boundary has already been encroached upon and people need to know that at the core of all of it is local government.
Chris Calder, 2240 Kildare Drive, addressed the Board and stated he is a business owner. He had the opportunity to relocate his family and business anywhere in the United States; and out of 3,000 counties, he chose Seminole County. Since he has relocated, he is now being encroached with development in Orange County. If this request is approved, it is going to set a precedent and it is going to reach a tipping point. Mr. Calder assumed that the developer would say this is less than 1% of the rural area, and he will say that there are no remaining large parcels that can be developed in the rural area. Mr. Calder explained they aren’t talking about large parcels, they are talking about five acres here and ten acres there because it sets a precedent. That 1% goes to 2% to 5% to 10%.
Mr. Calder referred to the Planning and Zoning meeting and stated the Applicant said it is not about money, it is about his legacy. He discussed legacies and asked what kind of legacy the Board will have. Mr. Calder stated this county is worthy of its good fortune for the people decades to come. He noted River Cross has done something incredible in today’s toxic political environment; it has brought Democrats and Republicans together for a common cause, it has brought hundreds of environmentalists sitting down at the same table united, farmers, homeowners, teachers, mechanics, students, and business owners all united to stop changes to the precious Rural Boundary. Mr. Calder asked that the Board vote against the proposed River Cross development.
In rebuttal, Ms. Tedrow stated that she has heard a lot of testimony today. They have been here for eight hours and she appreciates that everybody has stayed vigilant. She stated that she understands this is a politically unpopular project and they knew coming into tonight that they were going to have a room full of opponents who simply don’t want anything on this piece of property. She can understand that by the end of tonight, she was going to change nobody’s mind in the audience who came in opposition that this was going to be a good project, that this would be a project that would be good for Seminole County in the long run. Ms. Tedrow talked about the type of project and principles that drove the original inception of their plan and how they wanted to develop a community that met existing needs and future projected needs for Seminole County in terms of residential uses and job creation. They wanted to put it not shoved next to undeveloped or rundown houses in foreclosure and parts of town that people don’t want to live in but rather somewhere where people would be in close proximity to the things that make this county Florida’s natural choice. She explained that it is the type of development that would be unique that only Seminole County could have because it would incorporate those greenways and blueways that you would not be able to get in other parts of the municipalities within Seminole County. This is not a project that they can replicate and try and find 700 acres where hundreds of those acres would be dedicated to permanent conservation and would have open space and green space for people to enjoy. It just simply does not exist.
Ms. Tedrow suggested that they can continue to have what she would call “death by a thousand cuts” to the Rural Boundary where they will be poorly planned and will be one acre here, five acres there, ten acres there or they can try and satisfy what is a statistically significant need that was demonstrated through their expert testimony, even taking into consideration the County’s consultant, for unmet residential units in the county. Ms. Tedrow talked about how they are going to have applicants continue to come before the Commission for years. She pointed out that they have a piece of property that for years has been told it is different than the rest in the rural area. That is the guidance that she received from the County in a joint planning agreement with the City of Oviedo where the County identified this as an edge property, as a transitional area, where the County says it deserves planning consideration for very obvious reasons. The County had a Rural Character Plan and it went nowhere. The County had a joint planning agreement and it went nowhere. That does not change the fact that this specific piece of property is fundamentally different than the rest of the Rural Boundary given its location, given its dimensions, and quite frankly given the premier master planned community that they hoped to bring before the Board tonight.
Ms. Tedrow stated she is not surprised in finding two lawyers who are going to disagree with each other on facts of interpreting some case law. She does not want to go into a debate and believes that she and the County Attorney could have a healthy debate about this another time. She does believe that it takes a moment for all of them to pause when they find out what is statistically significant analysis about the line. She emphasized that not once tonight has she said that the County did this, that this was intentional, or that anyone here is to blame. All she said is that this is a problem that they unearthed during their project. It is a problem that quite frankly there is no other evidence on the record except what one of the nation’s leading statisticians has told them was a startling conclusion, one in her 20 years of experience she has never seen anything like before. Ms. Tedrow stated they looked at that and thought that was worth considering as a Commission when taking into consideration a set of policies that make it almost impossible to have a real thoughtful dialogue of what should happen in the Rural Boundary. They have a unique opportunity to do something and to meet an unmet demand and to build a project that would be good for the county.
As to what they want, Ms. Tedrow advised that she certainly does not know what anyone sitting up on the Commission wants and where they want to have communities that incorporate where people can work, live, and play in close proximity so they don’t continue to have auto-dependent development and force development, by definition, to be urban sprawl. She stated they have a piece of property where they are asking the County what it wants and whether there could be something on this property that the County would find acceptable. They would be willing to hear that feedback and table the items that they have put before the Board tonight in order to come back with that revised plan.
Ms. Tedrow suggested that at the minimum given the amount of time, money, and effort they have spent to try to come up with a plan, they would appreciate a minimal amount of feedback as to what at all could be considered on this site because the County has for years said that it considers some transitional planning principles. She wondered what those would look like and whether there could be buffers that they think are adequate, an amount of residential units they think is adequate, an intensity of commercial development they think would be okay and a way that they would want that designed. She wondered whether they want more than 200 acres of permanent conservation or a guarantee of 50% open space. She asked whether they want Chuluota where a lot of folks in this room currently live and find that lifestyle to be rural and compatible with rural lifestyles. She questioned what would be wrong with giving the Commission Chuluota on this specific piece of property, which is only 1,000 feet to the northwest. Ms. Tedrow noted that it seems to her that they are asking for some dialogue from this Commission on an important topic because another developer is going to continue to ask and she does not think simply saying we will not engage in the dialogue is a fair shake at due process for any applicant regardless of how politically unpopular a project may be.
With regard to a solution, Ms. Tedrow stated they have asked the Board to transmit their project and they are asking the County to give them feedback as to what they would or would not find acceptable. She believes if the Board thinks there is something that is debatable under the County’s Comprehensive Plan or if the Board wants more information or analysis or they want to see a plan that has been modified to perhaps accommodate some of those concerns, then they can bring that back.
Ms. Tedrow advised that they would like there to be a vote on the Charter Amendment because County staff put together an ordinance that says the Board could move that under the ordinance if they deemed it to be necessary. She stated they feel that they have presented competent and substantial evidence not only to support their case but certainly to support the Board voting yes on that amendment even if they ask the Board to table the rest of the items to let them bring back something that perhaps the Board would consider to be acceptable for this piece of property. She appreciates all of the time that the Board has taken in considering the project. She appreciates all of the comments that they heard from the community tonight. Ms. Tedrow stated she would ask that the Board approve their project; but at a minimum if this is going where she thinks it might be, that they will not get approval, she would ask the Board what they would approve and give them the opportunity to show whether that is a viable plan that could come to life on this project.
Ms. Hammock stated that she would like to point out several things with regard to staff’s presentation. With regard to the issue of affordable housing, she stated the Applicant provided staff a revised Development Order. They provided information; it wasn’t a formal resubmittal. As part of the revised Development Order, they did commit to providing 15% affordable housing, but the submission also stated they would be applying for Florida Finance Corporation funding and if they did not receive that, the units would revert to market rate units.
With regard to the transitions that were brought up, Ms. Hammock advised that at the meeting on September 26, 2006, staff did state in regard to Transition Area 3 (which the property is located within) that the area already transitions and the Cluster option could be employed, which is already in the Land Development Code. Ms. Hammock stated this particular property has a Rural-5 Future Land Use designation; so it is entitled to one dwelling unit per five acres. With the Rural Cluster Subdivision Options, they would be entitled to 58 dwelling units because they calculate density based on net buildable. Ms. Hammock stated she has a record book (copy received and filed) with various studies that she would like to enter into the record.
Commissioner Dallari asked Ms. Hammock if she had indicated that the Applicant had emailed information on Friday, because he got a copy of it, and that there were some changes to the D.O. but they were not substantial. Ms. Hammock replied that the Applicant did make some changes and did answer some of the questions that were within the DRC comments. One of the changes was related to the mixed-use and commercial and office provision. She pointed out that Phase 1 of the development is all residential uses and Phase 2 would be the nonresidential; so there is no correlation between the nonresidential and the residential. There is no linkage. They are not requiring a certain amount of nonresidential uses to be built concurrently with a number of residential units. Therefore, it is not truly mixed use. Commissioner Dallari pointed out that Ms. Hammock had stated it was not a formal submittal but that they still emailed it to the County and asked what that means. Ms. Hammock responded that it was just for information and staff did not do a formal review on it. Chairman Horan stated there was not a formal review but he indicated to the Applicant that they could put it into the record.
With regard to public participation, no one else in the audience spoke in support or in opposition and public input was closed.
Speaker Request Forms and Written Comment Forms were received and filed.
Commissioner Dallari asked Mr. Applegate if he feels that there has been due process here because it has been said several times that there has not been due process. Mr. Applegate stated he thinks due process has been met very clearly. They talked about the Dews case at length and the Board heard other comments about it. He stated when a Board, a public body, is threatened with litigation (in other words if you don’t vote this way, we will see you in Federal court), he feels obligated to remind the Commissioners, as he knows this Board has done repeatedly over the years that he has been the County Attorney, they do not let that threat persuade them one way or the other. They should base their decision on the testimony, the evidence, and the record before them; and he knows they will do that.
Commissioner Dallari stated he thinks the staff did a phenomenal job. He knows they have all worked very hard on this over the past several months and thanked each one of them for their hard work. He also thanked the citizens for their input. He advised that it is nice to be in a public setting like this where there is actually decorum and civility. The Commissioner mentioned all of the emails and correspondence that he received and noted that it was impressive, and he thinks the citizens have done their work as well. He reiterated that he has submitted them as part of the record. Commissioner Dallari stated in going through the submittal, hearing the testimony, and basing his decision on the evidence presented today, he feels the application is incomplete and he would like to make a motion.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to deny transmittal of the Ordinance enacting Text Amendments to the Seminole County Comprehensive Plan to amend the Urban/Rural Boundary, and enacting a Large Scale Future Land Use Map Amendment from Rural-5 to Planned Development to the State and regional review agencies; deny adoption of the associated Ordinance enacting a Rezone from A-5 (Rural Zoning Classification) to PD (Planned Development), and the associated Development Order and Master Development Plan for approximately 669.4 acres, located west of CR 419, east of the Econlockhatchee River, and north of the Orange County/Seminole County Line; and deny the adoption of an Ordinance enacting the Charter Rural Boundary Amendment, as described in the proofs of publication, Christopher Dorworth; Denial Development Order.
Under discussion, Commissioner Constantine stated he wanted to echo what Commissioner Dallari just said. He pointed out they have been here on this issue for seven hours and noted the civility on both sides has been incredible. The testimony on both sides has been incredible and is something you don’t see very often in a public hearing like this. He thinks that everyone deserves a great deal of credit. Commissioner Constantine indicated that he is not going to spend a whole lot of time stating the reasons why he is going to vote. He believes less is more and that this development is not necessary and not compatible with the County’s current land uses.
Commissioner Carey advised that this Board has taken a lot of steps to encourage growth and development in their centers and in their existing corridors, and they have taken a lot of steps to discourage growth in the Rural Boundary. She emphasized when you start to widen roads, you encourage growth and mentioned that they have taken some of these improvements out of their long-range plans so they are not really encouraging growth to occur out in the rural area. Commissioner Carey stated the issue they have, which they talked about in 2006, is that there is always going to be pressure on the Rural Boundary until something is built. Whether it is a five-acre subdivision or a three-acre subdivision or one unit per ten acres, that pressure is going to remain. They have situations out there where the Urban Boundary has gone right up to the imaginary line in the sand. Snowhill Road is a great example of where you have four units per acre on one side of the line and then you have one unit per five and ten on the other side. She questioned how they address that. Commissioner Carey acknowledged that in 2006 they didn’t want to talk about how to transition from one area to the other to relieve that pressure and advised that at some point they do have to have that discussion.
Commissioner Carey explained that the Commissioners’ job is to review the applications before them and not to tell the developer what the Board thinks they ought to do; but she thinks they should have good, clear policy on what needs to happen in transitions and what appropriate setbacks are. At some point with all of the encouragement the County has to develop in the corridors that exist in their urban area, there will come a time when they will be looking at where they go next. She thinks planning for it and at least having a discussion about it is a reasonable thing to do. It is a conversation they need to have in the future as to how they are really going to protect the Rural Boundary by having some guidelines in place about how to protect it. Commissioner Carey mentioned that was the one thing that she thought was missing when the Comp Plan was adopted in 1991. She does not know what the next 20 to 50 years are going to look like; but for the landowners out there, there has to be some conversation so they have some anticipation of what to expect or not expect. She thinks that is fair.
Chairman Horan stated when he looks at this, he thinks it is important to have some historical perspective on all of this. He explained that when the Rural Boundary passed in 2004, it was followed up by a vote in 2006. He talked about how, in the early 1990s or late 1980s, the voters in Seminole County passed a $5 million bond issue backed up by a special millage to pay off those bonds. With that $5 million, they bought about $20 million of natural lands, much of which is in the eastern rural areas. The Chairman explained how in 2006, they went back out to the people and asked for another $5 million bond issue to buy more natural lands and it got voted down. One of the things they wanted to do because they had the Rural Character Plan was buy up development rights of major owners in that area, but they never had the money to do it. After that came the recession and they forgot about all of this stuff because no one was developing anyway. In 2018, developers are coming out again. He thinks it is important to see a little bit of a historical perspective as to how they got to this point today in 2018.
With regard to what they are supposed to be doing here, Chairman Horan stated they are supposed to be acting in a legislative fashion on a transmittal and acting in a legislative fashion with regard to the movement of the boundary line. The standard they have to follow is, is their policy as set forth in their Comprehensive Land Use plan fairly debatable, and is that policy something that is not arbitrary or capricious. When looking at the County’s Comprehensive Land Use plan, there is no impossibility.
Chairman Horan stated that the provisions about moving the line and about exercising the Board’s discretion on transmittal, especially with regard to the rural area, have nothing to do with the rural area. It has everything to do with the urban area because the policy is to develop those particular areas of the urban before developers would go to the cheaper land in the rural area. With regard to the Applicant’s question of “what do you want us to do,” Chairman Horan stated under the County’s policy what they want developers to do is exactly what the developers of Oxford Road, Reagan Center, Winter Springs Golf Course, 434 Greenway District, Lake Mary Colonial Town, and Allure projects are doing. The land is more expensive but the policy here is definitely more than fairly debatable. The Chairman emphasized that it is dead certain clear that Seminole County’s policy and the other policies involving TCEAs and DULAs are consistent. He added the rural area and the Rural Boundary have more to do with the entire county than it does with just the eastern rural areas. He is in support of the motion. The Chairman thanked staff for all of their hard work and their excellent presentation. He thanked the Applicant and their representatives for their excellent presentation. He thanked the people who came to the meeting tonight for their comments and civility and patience.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 voted AYE.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the Chairman declared the meeting adjourned at 9:38 p.m., this same date.