BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA
September 8, 2020
The following is a non-verbatim transcript of the BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING OF SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA, held both in person and virtually, via Communications Media Technology (CMT) made permissible pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Orders, at 9:30 a.m., on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, in Room 1028 of the SEMINOLE COUNTY SERVICES BUILDING at SANFORD, FLORIDA, the usual place of meeting of said Board.
Attending in person:
Chairman Jay Zembower (District 2)
Vice Chairman Lee Constantine (District 3)
Commissioner Robert Dallari (District 1)
Commissioner Amy Lockhart (District 4)
County Manager Nicole Guillet
County Attorney Bryant Applegate
Clerk of Court and Comptroller Grant Maloy
Commissioner Brenda Carey (District 5)
Deputy Clerk Chariti Colon
Pastor Charles Jones, Antioch Baptist Church, Oviedo, gave the invocation. Commissioner Constantine led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Zembower called for prayer, led by Kurt Slafkovsky, and a moment of silence in remembrance of Environmental Services staff member Tomasz Sajkowski. Chris Graybosch, Environmental Services, spoke about Mr. Sajkowski and his service to the citizens of Seminole County.
AWARDS AND PRESENTATIONS
Motion by Commissioner Lockhart, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to approve the Proclamation proclaiming the week of September 17-23, 2020, Constitution Week in Seminole County; Honorary Regent Jacque Davis. (2020-2233)
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 voted AYE.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT UPDATE
Alan Harris, Office of Emergency Management addressed the Board to report on the emergency management response to the COVID-19 pandemic (presentation received and filed.) Donna Walsh, Florida Department of Health; Dr. Todd Husty, Medical Director; Tim Cook, AdventHealth Altamonte CEO; Dr. Anita Ekambaram, Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital; Dr. Sean Benoit, Central Florida Regional Hospital; and Dr. David Sinclair, AdventHealth, spoke about testing and positivity rates, mask mandates, community conditions, and the status of local hospitals.
Upon inquiry of Commissioner Lockhart, Mr. Harris discussed pandemic guidelines in the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The Commissioner then inquired how the numbers for benchmarks are being determined. Dr. Husty responded it is based on the hospitals and their resources. Ms. Walsh explained they did research across the nation to find the metrics. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the metrics of if there is less than 5% positivity rate in the community, test once a month. With 5% to 10% positivity rate in the community, test every other week. With more than 10% positivity rate in the community, test weekly. Commissioner Lockhart expressed she thinks it is important that the Board has a work session sometime in the future to discuss with the professionals how to look at this from a policy perspective so they know how to address it in the future.
Upon inquiry of Commissioner Dallari, Mr. Harris explained the process and timeline for updating the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, which is due by the end of next year. Commissioner Dallari confirmed with Mr. Harris they can get input from the public and the Board during that process. Mr. Harris added that can even be done at a work session. Chairman Zembower inquired if there was Board support for a work session, and no objections were voiced. Chairman Zembower confirmed with Ms. Guillet the Board’s direction to hold a work session on this matter.
The Chairman recessed the meeting at 10:59 a.m., reconvening at 11:08 a.m.
With regard to public participation, no one spoke in support or opposition to the Consent Agenda, and public input was closed.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to approve the following:
County Manager’s Office
2. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Agreement between Seminole County and The Central Florida Zoological Society, Inc. for CARES Act funding. (2020-2234)
3. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the First Amendment to the Interlocal Agreement Between Seminole County and The School Board of Seminole County for CARES Act funding in the amount of $5,481,907. (2020-2235)
4. Approve the CARES Act Funding Agreement allocations for 11 Seminole County not-for-profit agencies (Embrace Families, Kids House of Seminole, Inc.; Seminole County Bar Legal Aid Society, Inc.; The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools, Inc.; Shepherd’s Hope, Inc.; Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida, Inc.; IMPOWER, Inc.; Seminole County Victims’ Rights Coalition, Inc. d/b/a SafeHouse of Seminole; Boys Town Central Florida, Inc.; Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida; Seniors First, Inc.) totaling $1,090,000; and authorize the Chairman to execute the necessary agreements. (2020-2236)
5. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Interlocal Agreements between Seminole County and each of the seven municipalities (Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Lake Mary, Longwood, Oviedo, Sanford, and Winter Springs) relating to CARES Act Funding. (2020-2239)
6. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program Annual Report and Local Housing Incentives Certification form for The State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) Annual Performance Report (APR). (2020-2229)
7. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-102 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) 20-085 through the 2014 Infrastructure Sales Tax Fund in the amount of $4,500,000 from reserves for additional funding for the General Engineering Consulting Contract (GEC) (CIPs# 01785486, #99999906). (2020-2226)
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 voted AYE.
COUNTY MANAGER BRIEFING
Ms. Guillet requested authorization to delegate signatory authority to Tricia Johnson, Deputy County Manager, on the CARES Act Small Business Grant applications so they don't have to run them all through the Chairman's office for signature.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to delegate signatory authority to Tricia Johnson, Deputy County Manager, for CARES Act Small Business Grant applications.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 voted AYE.
Ms. Guillet advised in early August, the President issued an executive order allowing for the deferral of certain payroll taxes for employees making under $104,000 a year. Although the executive order was issued a month ago, the guidance only came out recently; and they have been trying to understand how all of that works and whether or not to opt in or opt out. Under the guidance, what gets deferred under that program is the Social Security tax of about 6.2% that is withheld from every employee's paycheck. It would be withheld between September 1 and the end of the year, and it has to be paid back between January and April of next year. They have discussed it internally and with other local government entities, and staff's recommendation is to not take advantage of that deferral because even though the employees will be required between January and April of next year to pay it back, the County will actually be the ones responsible for collecting and remitting it. If somebody leaves during that time period, the County is on the hook for that. Ms. Guillet stated unless the Board had an objection, that's the direction they would like to go with that. No objections were voiced.
ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
Kelly Shilson, 224 Slade Drive, spoke in regards to the coronavirus and in opposition to the local executive order mandating wearing masks in public.
Barbara Dini, 21850 Dairy Road, Eustis, spoke in regards to the coronavirus and in opposition to the local executive order mandating wearing masks in public.
Diana Danin, 938 East Palm Valley Drive, spoke in regards to the Legacy 240 Rezone approved during public hearing at the August 25, 2020, meeting. Ms. Danin stated the proposal she believes the Board wanted to pass was for four stories and 45 feet, and an email Commissioner Carey referenced that was sent to Development Services staff stated five stories. Because of that conflict, she requests the Board rescind the approved motion, bring the entire proposal back through the development process because it was never properly vetted, and bring it back for public hearing. Ms. Danin inquired how to propose questions publicly to the Board that they would have to respond to, and Chairman Zembower advised if it is on an agenda matter or future item. If it something specific, it would be to staff. The Chairman requested Ms. Guillet reach out to Ms. Danin to see what kind of question she may have and provide her any information she may need.
Commissioner Constantine noted he had voted against the proposal. It was his understanding four stories is what was approved. The Commissioner requested input from the County Attorney. Bryant Applegate, County Attorney, advised Ms. Danin has said she plans to file a lawsuit concerning the Board's action, so he would ask there be no further comment at this point. Ms. Guillet clarified the Board's action was based on the draft Development Order and not on an email. Mr. Applegate added his office reviewed the public hearing in detail. They are very confident the Board followed the right procedures, and they will defend a lawsuit if it's filed.
Chairman Zembower recessed the BCC meeting and convened the BCC work sessions (Agenda Items #8 and #9) at 11:29 a.m.
Chairman Zembower stated they would be doing the work sessions out of order since there were multiple presentations for Rosenwald School.
Item #9 – 2020-2238
County-Owned Property Redevelopment Project (Rosenwald School) Presentations
Betsy Cohen, Acting Purchasing and Contracts Manager, addressed the Board and stated the County issued a Request for Qualifications for redevelopment services of 12+ acres of the County-owned property formerly known as Rosenwald School, and they received four responses. The County held a community meeting on July 20, 2020, where the presenters had the opportunity to present their proposals. She advised those four firms were present today to present to the Board.
Ms. Guillet stated these proposals were submitted based on a scope of services the Board has reviewed. Staff has reviewed and ranked the proposals. They are not looking for the Board to choose a proposer today. Because they are all very different, staff wanted the Board to have the opportunity to have more time than during a regular BCC meeting to listen to the presentations, ask questions, and provide feedback to staff. At the end of the presentations, staff is looking to get some feedback with respect to next steps.
Blue Sky Communities
Ryan Raghoo, Blue Sky Assistant Vice President of Project Development, addressed the Board and introduced Adilia Richemond, Green Slate Land & Development. Mr. Raghoo and Ms. Richemond presented Blue Sky's proposal (presentation received and filed).
Commissioner Lockhart noted all of the plans seem to be an affordable housing project with some community stuff thrown in and stated she was more hopeful it was going to be something for the community with some affordable housing. The Commissioner stated under Section I, Community Engagement, it refers to the Area Study Plan that the Renaissance Planning Group did in 2014 and states they are fashioning their community engagement around that plan. She inquired who solicited that plan as it is not something she is familiar with. Mr. Raghoo responded that plan was provided as part of the RFP. Ms. Guillet explained that is the Winwood East Altamonte plan that was done following the SunRail station. Commissioner Lockhart inquired if it was done in conjunction with the City of Altamonte Springs. Ms. Guillet responded it was not. The City's plan was finished before that, but parts of that are incorporated. Commissioner Lockhart asked Mr. Raghoo if the We Kare Plan was provided as well. Mr. Raghoo responded it was not, but they can look at it if it is provided. Ms. Guillet explained the We Kare Plan is specifically referenced in the Renaissance Plan.
Commissioner Lockhart inquired what the affordability period is for Blue Sky's development. Shawn Wilson, President of Blue Sky Communities, responded the State requires 50 years, but they have agreed to perpetuity. The Commissioner inquired if the lead community partner will be a team member on Blue Sky's team or if they will just be coordinating outside of Blue Sky's team. Mr. Wilson responded they would be part of their team, and it could be a person or an organization. Commissioner Lockhart confirmed with Mr. Wilson that entity, as a part of their team, would be considered for compensation.
Chairman Zembower stated there should be an education aspect to this as well in conjunction with the School Board, and this is going to be a big community center for this region. The Chairman inquired about Blue Sky's community land trust experience. Mr. Wilson explained Blue Sky has not done any community land trust development so far because the opportunity has not yet arisen. They have done several nonprofit joint ventures where there was a lead community partner, and those partners were actual partners in the entity. He noted they can still accommodate compensation at the level described in their proposal with a community land trust. Chairman Zembower inquired about the vetting of the lead community partner, whether it's a person or entity. Mr. Wilson explained they prefer the lead community partner be a 501(c)(3) organization with a locally based board, and it doesn't matter if they have staff or not. It can also be a group of faith-based institutions. They wouldn't want it to be just a person or a company or a church. They would want it to be a group of people that can speak for the community or at least has the confidence of the community. Chairman Zembower inquired how they would accommodate community input. Mr. Wilson responded they have reached out to the South Seminole Community Association for Progress, and he believes they are an organization that could be a potential. They would look for the Board's input and for staff's input on how to bring together a lead community partner organization.
Mr. Wilson addressed Commissioner Lockhart's concern about there being more affordable housing and less community and explained the first goal listed in the plan they were provided was mixed income and elderly housing. Since that was the first one, they took it to mean that was the primary need of the community to be addressed, and that's why it's heavily focused on affordable housing.
Commissioner Dallari stated as they move forward, he would hope to see how they are transcending the Winwood Community. He does not want Winwood to lose their identity. He did not see in the presentation what they are doing to either help the community with their identity or help them move them forward. The Commissioner requested elaboration on that, because this is the mustard seed on how they are going to help the Winwood Community flourish and keep their identity. Ms. Richemond explained with the mustard seed concept, once you get going and you don't take the time to plan, to put the people in place, to have a community leader, and have these types of conversations, you are bulldozed. In the more sensitive communities, they find themselves in a situation watching everything else grow up around them. What Blue Sky is proposing is something where they can have a lot of community engagement or encourage the community to be more a part of their community and have a say-so. She would encourage everyone to understand the fears of that community of what happens when development goes there; such as do they still live there, are they still a part of that community, are they still a part of the fabric. Those conversations are important, and right now they have the opportunity to pave the way.
Commissioner Constantine suggested a community committee instead of having a single group as the Winwood Community leader group.
Bright Community Trust/Central Florida Regional Housing Trust
Frank Wells, Central Florida Regional Housing Trust Chief Executive; Gary Tester, President of Catholic Charities of Central Florida; and Traci Blue, CFRHT Director of Strategic Community Initiatives, presented CFRHT’s proposal (presentation received and filed).
Commissioner Lockhart noted Seminole State College’s logo was a part of the presentation. The Commissioner clarified, as a trustee of Seminole State, the college is willing to work with anyone who would take on this project to provide adult high school or any other type of certification. She added she does not believe Winwood and East Altamonte is broken and needs fixing as described in the presentation. The community is incredibly engaged and resilient, and they have done amazing work even though they have not been provided some of the resources that other communities have.
Schumer Capital Corporation
Eric Haynes, Schumer Capital Corporation Chief Investment Officer, presented Schumer Capital Corporation’s proposal (presentation received and filed).
Commissioner Dallari inquired how 10% equity partner would work and if the County had ever done that before. Ms. Guillet responded staff has not explored that detail or whether or not it would be an appropriate element of a partnership with the County, and they would have to look at that. Upon request of Commissioner Dallari, Ms. Guillet reviewed what the RFQ requested the applicants to submit. Mr. Haynes explained the 10% equity piece was the 10% that the association would get as a member of the ownership team for the RFQ, so the association itself will have a 10% vested interest in the development that's inside their community. Commissioner Dallari inquired if the development went into the red, would the association then be responsible from a 10% standpoint, and Mr. Haynes advised they would not. Typically, in terms of operating losses or anything, the primarily developers, he and his partners, will cover any shortfalls. There would be an operating agreement, and it would be a special purpose entity that's created specifically for the engagement.
Commissioner Constantine noted this presentation is the first group that actually wants to use the existing building, which has been sitting there for a long time. He inquired if the building can actually be saved and used. Mr. Haynes responded Buildings One and Two are very structurally sound, and there's minimal work needed to update them. They do not know about the rest of the buildings, which is why they did not propose to keep any of them.
Chairman Zembower inquired where the gated senior living came from. Mr. Haynes explained the community center is not part of the overall development so there needs to be some kind of separation aspect to it. That gated aspect of it would be a private drive that goes alongside that gives access to the senior housing component. That way, the public and the community can continue to use Buildings One and Two and the area out in front of it. Chairman Zembower confirmed with Mr. Haynes that grant programs can be accommodated with a gated-type community.
Southport Development, Inc.
Jordan Nelson, Southport Financial Services, Inc. Development Manager; and Brie Lemmerman, Southport Financial Services, Inc. Project Manager, presented Southport’s proposal (presentation received and filed).
Commissioner Constantine mentioned out of the four proposals being presented, two of them didn't mention any dollar amount or what they would do to pay for the property, one was $2 million in cash, and theirs was $12,000 a year for 99 years. The Commissioner inquired why they took that approach as opposed to purchasing the property. Ms. Nelson responded they have done this land lease program with other jurisdictions and it's just proven to be successful. The County still has their name on something, and they're still getting an influx of income into the community. It benefits all of the parties. Upon request of Commissioner Constantine regarding the developer taking $3.6 million immediately out of the project, Ms. Lemmerman explained that would be provided at the end of the construction period after two years. Ms. Nelson added a portion of that would be their owner equity which they will put in to cover the differences in costs throughout the project's construction.
Chairman Zembower noted in the written proposal, it talks about committing to own and operate this facility for a minimum of 15 years. He inquired what happens in the 16th year. Ms. Lemmerman responded part of the Florida Housing Program is that you commit to a 15-year financing at which point you become eligible to reapply for additional tax credits, whether it be through preservation or other avenues. At that point, they have the opportunity to "recycle" the community to receive additional funding to help rehabilitate should the community need rehabilitation on any different level. During that period, they are not eligible nor would they have any intention of removing the affordable component of that, as they would commit to keeping that an affordable community throughout the life of the property. In the proposal, it mentions 50 years because that is the government requirement; but they would honor the lifetime of the land lease which is 99 years, during which period that community would remain affordable.
Commissioner Constantine stated he thinks it's important that staff takes a hard look after all of the discussion and questions had today and comes back with a recommendation as to how to go forward. He also thinks it's important that the Board and community communicate the various needs they want to have within the proposal.
Chairman Zembower stated he thinks the first thing they have to do as a Board is decide what vehicle they are going to utilize on this property and possibly others for affordable housing. He would support a work session on getting some finality on that so staff knows where to go.
Commissioner Dallari expressed his biggest issue is making sure they are preserving the heritage of the Winwood Community, how they can transcend this community for future generations, and what they are doing to be that small mustard seed as they move forward to allow them to be a part of it. He does not want to see this just turned into a housing development.
Commissioner Lockhart agreed with Commissioner Dallari's point that if they were just going to have this be an affordable housing development, the School Board could have done that. The intention was that this be to the benefit of the existing community. She is concerned with the idea of having just one entity in the community having such a big stake and say and having some type of remuneration. That concept is not being well received in the community, and she thinks they need to spend some time listening to the residents of the Winwood/East Altamonte area. They need to continue to pursue what happens with this project for the benefit of the community, and she thinks they have more work to do. She does not know what more staff can do with these proposals without getting direction from the Board.
Ms. Guillet commented this is similar to lot of the circumstances when they were first looking at Five Points. The difference is the County was going to pay for that project completely. Now that the Board understands a little better what the options are, maybe they should develop a plan that reflects what their intentions are for the community, and then they can still work with private partners to effectuate whatever plan that is created. She clarified she is not asking the Board to make that decision today. From what the Board has said today, they are not ready for staff to come back with a ranking and recommendation, which would normally be the next step at this point. Chairman Zembower stated he believes there is consensus they are not ready to rank. No objections were voiced. Ms. Guillet suggested staff meet with each of the Commissioners individually and then come back at the next meeting to talk about what the next step would be.
Commissioner Lockhart noted the working group related to the Lillie H. Green Community Center was a rather large group made up of the College, the Health Department, the School District, different nonprofits, and County staff. What they came up with was even if certain things didn't happen at Lillie H. Green, perhaps the same model could be moved to Rosenwald. One of the things the Commissioner kept saying to the community was she knew they were frustrated that Lillie H. Green is not providing the services and the accessibility they were looking for, but Rosenwald is coming and will be an opportunity to bring all of those services together in a one-stop shop there. The Commissioner expressed she feels very responsible having been that messenger to them letting them know that that type of collaboration was going to occur whether it be at Lillie H. Green or at Rosenwald. Commissioner Dallari commented they all shared that same philosophy.
Ms. Guillet advised one of the decisions the Board should be thinking about is how much they want to invest in public funds in the site. One of the reasons the proposals are so heavy with housing is because that underwrites the cost of the community facilities. If the Board wants a more robust community facility element, then they need to be thinking about how much they are willing to invest in that. If they start to cut down the housing, that's going to minimize the amount of partnership that is going to be available to fund the community element of it. Chairman Zembower stated if staff would bring information to the Board on how much will need to be invested versus letting the private sector carrying it, then the Board can make a better decision.
With regard to public participation, Christine Watkins, 639 Lake Mobile Drive, spoke in support. Irvin Simpson, 2091 South Ronald Reagan Boulevard, spoke in support and addressed concerns of the need to consider senior and millennial housing, equity portion to the community and the need to address the community fear that they will be displaced.
Mr. Haynes clarified the equity partner from the community will be a 501(c)(3) and will have to comply with tax laws and things of that nature.
No one else spoke in support or opposition, and public input was closed.
Chairman Zembower confirmed with Ms. Guillet staff had direction.
The Chairman recessed the meeting at 1:44 p.m., reconvening at 1:59 p.m.
Item #8 – 2020-2237
Code Enforcement: Seminole County Code 95, Health and Sanitation
Mary Moskowitz, Planning and Development Division, reviewed the Code Enforcement presentation, which was included in the agenda memorandum.
There were requests for clarification and a question-and-answer session between the Board and staff.
Chairman Zembower stated he is okay with giving direction to staff on their recommendations. His concern has always been equal treatment under the law, trying to get compliance, and compensating taxpayers fairly for staff time.
Commissioner Lockhart inquired if staff had a preference to keep unsecured pools in the lien environment or move them over to the abatement process. Rebecca Hammock, Development Services Director, responded either way they will be abated if they're a life safety issue. However, she thinks the County is more likely to be reimbursed if it becomes a special assessment lien and is attached to the property taxes. Ms. Guillet cautioned when considering which lien mechanism to use, whether it's a lien on the property or a tax bill lien, that some people might not have that money when their tax bill comes due. The reason why it might not be repaired is because they can't afford it and they may not be able to pay it when their tax bill comes due, so then they have a delinquent tax situation.
Ms. Hammock stated the other thing staff would like direction on is the definition of an abandoned or junk vehicle and whether that would include a tag and registration. Upon Chairman Zembower's inquiry of what staff's recommendation and research is on that, Ms. Moskowitz responded within Seminole County, most jurisdictions do require a tag to be considered an abandoned vehicle with the exceptions of Longwood and Winter Springs. Oviedo does not explicitly require a tag to be considered an abandoned vehicle, but they say that it could be used as evidence in the case. All of the other surrounding cities and Volusia and Orange Counties would consider a vehicle without tags an abandoned vehicle. Chairman Zembower, Commissioner Lockhart, and Commissioner Dallari all commented in support of allowing a tag to be evidence. Ms. Moskowitz stated they can draft some language similar to what Oviedo has and bring it back. Chairman Zembower noted it's been 43 years since this portion of the code has been updated. A discussion ensued on reviewing existing Ordinances.
Ms. Hammock advised staff will prepare an Ordinance in conjunction with the County Attorney's Office and then bring it to the Commission as a public hearing for consideration.
CARES ACT UPDATE
Ms. Guillet presented the CARES Act Update (presentation received and filed). She advised they have been working with Seminole State College to put together a workforce training program mostly focused on rapid credentialing to get people back into the workforce. The estimated cost is almost half a million dollars, and those details were previously distributed to the Commissioners (received and filed). Ms. Guillet requested authorization to work with that number so the College can start moving forward, and the original agreement will be brought back at the next meeting for ratification.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Chairman Constantine, to approve the request of the County Manager.
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 voted AYE.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the Chairman declared the meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m., this same date.