BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA
October 13, 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, October 13, 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 Kyla Farrell
Dr. Walt Person, Sanford Church of Christ, Sanford, gave the invocation. Commissioner Lockhart led the Pledge of Allegiance.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT UPDATE
Alan Harris, Office of Emergency Management, addressed the Board to report on stormwater. Donna Walsh, Florida Department of Health in Seminole County, addressed the Board to report on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairman Zembower announced they have extended the response deadline for the 2020 Census through November to hopefully get more counts. He urged citizens who have yet to respond to do so as soon as possible.
CARES ACT UPDATE
Nicole Guillet, County Manager, addressed the Board to provide the CARES Act Update (presentation received and filed). Ms. Guillet explained as part of the Individual Assistance Program, the County is paying utilities and landlords or mortgage holders directly, and that's to make sure that those essential services get paid for and nobody gets cut off. There is a little bit of fuzzy guidance about direct payment to utilities because there's a concern that CARES Act funds cannot be used for revenue replacement. In an abundance of caution, they don't want anybody to mistake direct payments to the County's utility or to another local government utility as revenue replacement. Ms. Guillet requested the Board authorize that based on the findings that are included in the report that the County Attorney's Office drafted and authorize the revisions in the overall allocations as presented.
Ms. Guillet stated the County received $2.2 million in SHIP funds that are tied to the CARES Act which also have to be expended by the end of the year but require more paperwork. Staff would like to use those funds to provide funding for folks who are in even greater dire straits, who are either facing eviction or who need more than three months' assistance. It will give an opportunity to direct those funds where they are needed the most and also tell applicants they have to provide more information if they are going to get more money. She requested formal approval on that. Also, as they get more clarification to ensure they are going to get the additional funds from the State, she would like to continue to pursue other options, direct assistance into the community, for some targeted groups that may be prequalified through other programs.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to approve the County Manager's requests for the items that she brought forward today for CARES Act.
Under discussion, Commissioner Carey stated in the reimbursement agreements, it doesn't say what the time frame is they have to apply for the reimbursement; and the money has to be spent by the end of the year. The Commissioner inquired if the money in those agreements is obligated, does that count as being spent, and what is the deadline for them to request the reimbursement. If this is being done through the end of the year, nobody will know what their expenses are until they've closed out their books at the end of the year. She inquired if they will be able to be reimbursed next year. Ms. Guillet explained the expenditures have to be incurred by the subrecipients, whether it's a nonprofit or another governmental entity, before the end of the year. The governmental partners are well aware of that, and she feels comfortable they will notify the County if they're not going to expend money. Community Services staff is working directly with all of the nonprofits and monitoring their agreements. Staff will get with them at the end of November, beginning of December to do a status check and to see where they are in their expenditures. If they're not going to be able to spend all of the money, it can certainly be used for other needs in the community. They can submit for reimbursement and be reimbursed after December 30th, but they have to have incurred the expense and paid the bill themselves by December 30th. Commissioner Carey noted there is not any time frame in the agreements, and she is concerned that somebody will think they're going to get reimbursed for something and then, because they didn't file it timely with the County, they lose the opportunity to reimburse. Ms. Guillet responded putting together some definite time frames would be helpful.
Chairman Zembower inquired if there has been any movement or loosening up on the FEMA front in regards to COVID relief. Ms. Guillet responded she has not heard that it's loosening up. They are not counting on a lot of reimbursement from FEMA because they have narrowed eligibility to the point where it's negligible in the grand scheme of things. FEMA assumes the County is going to use CARES Act money. Mr. Harris added FEMA has advised it's for public safety directly responding to COVID, and any mitigation should be CARES Act.
Commissioner Dallari requested an update on the school system. He wants to make sure they received the money and their needs are being met. Ms. Guillet responded their needs are being met as far as she knows, but they probably will have some needs that come up that they don't anticipate now. They have started drawing down on the funds, but they have not received all of them, because a lot of it is on a reimbursement basis.
Commissioner Lockhart advised she had a prior meeting with Ms. Guillet and Steve Fussell, Office of Organizational Excellence, about the prequalification idea. Her concern that she shared with them is when looking at something like the low-income senior, X amount of additional homestead exemption, there are many seniors who don't own homes who wouldn't be able to benefit or be a part of that prequalification. While it makes complete sense that those folks would be in a prequalification mode because of that deduction, she doesn't want to unintentionally leave out a segment of the community because they have a different living arrangement.
Chairman Zembower inquired if a webinar being put on by the State today will be recorded, and Ms. Guillet responded it was. The Chairman requested that be passed on to the Commission so they can look at it themselves to understand what is being said from the state level. Ms. Guillet advised DEM has assigned every county a grant person. Seminole's grant person was assigned last week, and they have been talking with staff every day.
Commissioner Lockhart requested clarification on the motion. Commissioner Dallari stated the County Manager made some recommendations that needed some approvals, and he made the motion to approve her recommendations. Commissioner Lockhart noted they are all written in Attachment A of the report, and she didn't know if the motion encompasses all of the bullets on Attachment A. Commissioner Dallari responded as presented today in Attachment A.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
With regard to public participation, Gabrielle Milch, 252 Coble Drive, addressed the Board to ask for more information regarding agenda Item #4, demolishment of property located at 115 Wisteria Drive, and staff provided a brief background; no one else spoke in support or opposition to the Consent Agenda, and public input was closed.
Motion by Commissioner Lockhart, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to approve the following:
County Manager’s Office
1. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-111 recognizing October 15, 2020, as Blind Americans Equality Day in Seminole County. (2020-2303)
2. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute Funding Agreements between Seminole County and not-for-profit agencies as follows: American Muslim Social Services, Inc.; Angels of Mercy Ministries, Inc.; The Church of God Universal at Geneva, Florida, Inc.; Diocesan Council of Orlando, Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Inc.; Foundation for Foster Children, Inc.; Foundation for Seminole State College of Florida, Inc.; Harvest Time International, Inc.; La Amistad Foundation, Inc.; Oviedo Memorial Post No. 243, The American Legion, Department of Florida; Lighthouse of Central Florida, Inc.; Making a Difference By Making a Change Foundation, Inc.; Mission Blue Foundation, Inc.; New Hope for Kids, Inc.; Nextstep Orlando, Inc.; and Unidos por Ecuador of Central Florida, Inc. (2020-XXXX)
Office of Emergency Management
3. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute CARES Act Funding Agreements between Seminole County and the following County full-service hotels: Westin, Lake Mary (YRG Hotel Group); Marriott, Lake Mary (Heathrow Hotel Associates); Embassy Suites, Altamonte Springs (Oh Management, LLC); and Hilton, Altamonte Springs (Altamonte Hospitality, LP). (2020-2305)
4. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Purchase Agreement between Michael and Tracy Gore and Seminole County for property located at 115 Wisteria Drive, Longwood, for a purchase price of $129,814.19. (2020-XXXX)
5. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Sports Marketing and Business Development Services Agreement with The Central Florida Sports Commission, Inc. d/b/a Greater Orlando Sports Commission in the amount of $75,000 annually, effective October 1, 2020. (2020-2302)
6. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Purchase Agreement between Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida, Inc. and Seminole County for property located at 2105 Hartwell Avenue, Sanford; and authorize the acceptance of an assignment of the lease for 2105 Hartwell Avenue, Sanford, to be effective as of the closing of the sale and purchase of the property from Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida, Inc. (2020-2298)
Planning and Development
7. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the conveyance of a Drainage Easement on a Seminole County-owned vacant parcel, Parcel I.D 25-21-31-300-0010-0000, to the Hideaway Cove at Oviedo Homeowner’s Association, Inc., for drainage purposes. (2020-2275)
Solid Waste Management
8. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN) for Environmental One, LLC; Randy Suggs, Inc.; Load & Go Dumpsters; and USA Services of Florida, Inc., effective from October 13, 2020, through September 30, 2021. (2020-XXXX)
9. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a State-Funded Grant Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management, in acceptance of $6,216 through the Hazards Analysis Program; and execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-112 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #21-001 through the Public Safety Grant (State) Funds in the amount of $6,216 to establish funding. (2020-2293)
Purchasing and Contracts
10. Award RFP-603925-20/BJC – Destination Marketing Services for Orlando North Seminole County Tourism, to Evok Advertising and Design, Inc., Heathrow; and authorize the Purchasing and Contracts Division to execute the Agreement. (2020-2267)
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
COUNTY MANAGER AND STAFF BRIEFINGS
Ms. Guillet stated she is recommending that the Board authorize the Tax Collector to begin collection of the 2021 Tax Roll prior to completion of the VAB hearings, per Florida State Statute 197.323.
Motion by Commissioner Carey, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to authorize the Tax Collector to begin collection of the 2021 Tax Roll prior to the completion of the VAB hearings per Florida State Statute 197.323.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Ms. Guillet stated there was discussion at the last meeting about putting together a process for consideration of acquisition of golf courses, and staff is working on that. The more they talk about it, there are more things that need to go on the list. Commissioner Lockhart suggested putting together a process that could be utilized should this issue come up again. Staff will be bringing forward a policy at the next meeting to get some direction from the Board. Chairman Zembower stated he wants to make sure staff follows up with Lake County who has recently worked with DEP and St. Johns on some modeling of what those cost analyses or benefits may be to the public.
Ms. Guillet advised in regards to the recent Rosenwald presentations, Joe Abel, Deputy County Manager, has met with most, if not all, of the Commissioners to get some direct feedback. Staff will be bringing a proposal forward, possibly by the next meeting, on how to move forward.
Ms. Guillet reminded proposals for County-owned property at Red Cleveland and East Lake Mary Boulevard were received, and the Board directed staff to put together information to put that out to bid for highest and best use. The appraisal on that piece of property is expected to be delivered this week, and the Board will be updated.
The County received a check in the amount of $227,000 which represents the final closeout on the Altamonte Springs CRA.
There was discussion that started during the English Estates sidewalk project about project notifications. Some communities have not felt like they are notified adequately about projects the County might be doing in their area. Ms. Guillet advised a task force has been put together to come up with some policies on how to notify neighborhoods of any type of work the County is doing. They hope to have a comprehensive program that would apply to Public Works, Leisure Services, and Environmental Services projects; and that will be brought forward at a future meeting.
Ms. Guillet spoke in regards to shoreline protection. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission used to manage any sort of shoreline clearing or impacts on lakes that were 10 acres or larger. In 2018, they changed their rules and are now only dealing with lakes that are 160 acres or larger, which leaves about 200 lakes in the county that are no longer monitored by FWC. Staff has been working on a shoreline protection ordinance. However, there are some competing interests on what that should look like. It is another level of regulation, so staff is approaching it very judiciously. That is something that will be coming before the Board in the very near future. Commissioner Dallari requested to expedite it if possible.
Ms. Guillet noted there about 19 lakes where there has been some sort of report of clearing that may not have been consistent with the former guidelines under FWC. Commissioner Lockhart expressed communicating the conversation with shoreline regulation is going to be very important with the community. Most people who live on lakes who would fall into that category have really good intentions and want to be good stewards. Education more than anything is probably going to help ensure compliance with whatever the County comes forward with. She suggested thinking about a communication plan to go along with this.
Ms. Guillet discussed the remaining meeting schedule for the year. Chairman Zembower stated he would like to make sure staff is fully up to speed on the governor's orders regarding virtual meetings for the BCC and other boards. A discussion ensued regarding allowing the public to continue to attend virtually, and the consensus was to allow the hybrid meeting model of combined live and remote meetings for now.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S BRIEFING
Mr. Applegate stated his office provided all of the Commissioners with a memo last week on Brightline and the MOU. That has morphed into a Resolution of support, which will be brought forward at the next meeting. The Resolution basically softens what the MOU had in it, so the Board's approval will follow up from the MOU approval. Staff will continue to keep the Commissioners posted by memo during the next two weeks as the working group progresses.
ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
Cheryl Boulanger, 413 Whitcomb Drive, addressed the Board and discussed the flooding on Whitcomb Drive after Hurricane Irma in 2018 and her concerns of more flooding.
Mary Carls, 431 Daytona Avenue, addressed the Board to discuss her concerns regarding the Rolling Hills Park plan.
Chairman Zembower recessed the BCC meeting at 10:53 a.m., and convened the BCC work sessions (Agenda Items #11 through #15) at 11:03 a.m.
Item #11 – 2020-2306
East County Trails/Trails Master Plan Update
Richard Durr, Leisure Services Director
Richard Durr, Leisure Services Director, presented the Trails Master Plan 2020 Update (presentation received and filed).
Chairman Zembower inquired if this has been on all of the public pushout during the pandemic. Mr. Durr advised they have worked with Ashley Moore, Community Relations Officer, and her group to push these out at particular times, and they have been able to keep those messages going out on an almost weekly basis. It has taken a lot of coordination because they wanted to make sure they weren't intersecting with other critical emergency information that is going out. The Chairman confirmed with Mr. Durr they have coordinated with Bike Walk Central Florida. Chairman Zembower noted one of his concerns and one he hears from the public is getting the bicycles out of the roadway and getting them onto dedicated trails along the roadways. The Chairman stated there is a lot of equestrian interest on the east side, and they should be looking at the connectability to the state parks in the county and other regions. The east side is still relatively accessible and open where a lot of development has not taken place.
Commissioner Dallari inquired about the demographics and emphasized he wants to make sure everyone is being represented. Mr. Durr responded they are seeing a good representative cross-section now, and they will be able to provide the numbers. He noted they are also getting a lot of website hits from people who do not reside in the county. Commissioner Dallari requested when doing the maps, to go to whatever standards are out there in order to accommodate those who are colorblind. It's difficult to differentiate when looking at colors, and looking at different forms of lines is easier. He wants to make sure they are addressing any disabilities. Commissioner Dallari commented if they can connect to Orange and other areas in a bigger way, they can get additional funding from MetroPlan or FDOT. The Commissioner advised he has noted issues on walking trails with some of the ADA warning strips at some of the crossings because it's a rubber mat. He has seen in some of the areas around the country that they use a concrete form and it's a lot easier and more durable. He suggested staff may want to look at that. He would also like to get more permanent counters put in so they can see what the trail volumes are. The Commissioner stated he is glad they are getting input from the cities and school system, but Seminole State College is missing. They have a couple of big campuses that the County should be trying to connect with. The Commissioner suggested looking at solar-powered inroad LED lighting at the trail road crossings. He also wants to make sure there are limited clicks to get to the maps on the website.
Commissioner Constantine inquired if they are looking at expanding the markers on the trails. Mr. Durr explained they are down to every quarter mile on the main trails. In the wilderness areas, it has been a multiyear effort working with partners to have smaller GPS markers. He noted the markers has helped on emergency response times. Commissioner Dallari suggested it might be beneficial to figure out if there is a way to have a mobile bike shop on the trails also.
Commissioner Lockhart expressed concerns about maintenance and how quickly repairs can be done. Any time there is this type of infrastructure in place, things are going to happen. She emphasized it is critical that staff does not hold back in sharing with the Board what they really need in order to do the quality job to maintain.
With regard to public participation, no one spoke, and public input was closed.
Item #12 – 2020-2307
Rolling Hills Trails Master Plan
Richard Durr, Leisure Services Director, and Pete Sechler, GAI
Mr. Durr and Pete Sechler, GAI, presented the Rolling Hills Community Park Master Plan Update (presentation received and filed).
With regard to public participation, no one spoke and public input was closed.
In regards to the Public Works project, Commissioner Dallari stated he would like to see a link to it on the website so that people understand the two of them are coexisting and working together. He suggested adding a description or outline of why it's important that they're both happening simultaneously but separately. Chairman Zembower reminded that the Board is interested in native foliage and landscaping.
Ms. Guillet advised they have Phase 1 budgeted and would like to pull the trigger on it.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Constantine, to move forward with Phase 1 as presented today.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Zembower recessed the work sessions at 12:08 p.m., reconvening at 1:19 p.m.
Item #13 – 2020-2308
Lake Harney Basin Study
Mark Ellard, Geosyntec Consultants
Jean Jreij, Public Works Director
Mark Ellard, Geosyntec Consultants, presented and reviewed a PowerPoint entitled Lake Harney Basin Watershed Flood Resiliency Plan (received and filed).
With regard to public participation, Gabrielle Milch, 252 Coble Drive, spoke in support.
No one else spoke and public input was closed.
Chairman Zembower emphasized the roadways are an issue, and this is not designed to fix private property issues. Commissioner Carey commented if the residents out there support doing something to improve this, she would hope they would dedicate the right-of-way. She advised people who didn't realize they bought in a floodplain and continually have flooding can apply for a FEMA grant for the acquisition of those properties. The Commissioner noted there are a lot of other areas in the county that flood this time of year, especially when the water tables are high, and she wants to be cautious about moving forward with projects.
Commissioner Dallari inquired what the process is once this is submitted to FEMA. Mr. Ellard responded the standard line would be anywhere from three to nine months to get it through FEMA review and process. Once they conditionally approve, then they go into a public noticing period where anyone can have the chance to ask questions about it before the maps get formally adopted. If this package were to be submitted on schedule next month, they are likely looking at next fall at the earliest before new flood maps would be issued. Commissioner Dallari confirmed with Mr. Ellard, they now have a hydraulic model of the area and inquired what the advantage is of having that. Mr. Ellard explained the hydraulic model is important to be able to confirm what does and does not need to be fixed and to be more cost-effective at targeting improvements. Upon Commissioner Dallari's inquiry of what would be the priority that he would recommend for the five projects, Mr. Ellard responded it would be in the order he presented them with Whitcomb as the highest priority and Old Mims and Jungle Road being the last.
Chairman Zembower inquired what kind of impacts they are dealing with if they make one improvement downstream but don't make the others upstream. Mr. Ellard responded it's a cascading system. Everything is trying to find its way to Lake Harney, so they do have to be careful about unintended consequences of fixing one area that will then cause an issue either downstream or upstream. There's a concurrency issue that has to be looked at. You can improve one area and then have it not impact other areas. Generally, if you work your way from downstream to upstream, it helps the process. That gets factored in on how things are sequenced.
Chairman Zembower inquired if there was anything that led them to believe that improvements, if performed, are going to cause private property damage worse than what already exists when they did this modeling. Mr. Ellard responded no. A specific charge they have when conceptualizing is to evaluate private property impacts. If they are focused on the roadways, their charge is to make sure that the conveyance and improvements are done in such a way that it pulls the risk towards the road and a better managed facility that may help some of the private properties. The Chairman stated there was citizen concern about if X is done, it will shift the problem from Neighbor A to Neighbor C. He confirmed with Mr. Ellard that process was vetted. Mr. Ellard responded it was, and it will be reevaluated during final design stage.
Commissioner Dallari inquired if there would be any value in doing all of the projects at one time from a stormwater perspective. Mr. Ellard answered there would not be any benefit of doing them at the same time because each project is distinct and they do not directly impact each other.
Regarding Chairman Zembower's concern of impacts on infrastructure downstream from improvements upstream and moving the water faster, Mr. Ellard explained that is part of a permitting threshold. St. Johns limits projects to it not being increasing peak discharge so downstream properties are not impacted. So even though they are improving conveyances, it's more to distribute the water and make it flow more efficiently but not to get it downstream faster because that would not be permittable. Chairman Zembower confirmed with Mr. Ellard that none of this is going to do anything about when the St. Johns water level rises and comes back up into the drainage infrastructure. Commissioner Lockhart inquired how frequently people are having issues because of river levels versus drainage flowing to. Mr. Ellard explained that is a very difficult question, and it depends on the conditions.
Chairman Zembower asked how likely is it that St. Johns will issue permits for this work. Mr. Ellard advised they have met with St. Johns and discussed each project, so what has been brought forward has already been vetted through the District with regard to permittability.
Commissioner Lockhart inquired if they have done other studies around the county as well. Mr. Ellard responded they are currently working on updating information in the Wekiva watershed and Yankee Lake watershed, but they haven't advanced to this point. Upon inquiry of the Commissioner of what criteria would fast-track one particular project or necessitate attention more quickly, Mr. Ellard responded it's all about cost to benefit. If they do a fix for so much money, how less often is the road going to be flooded or how many of the properties inundated will now not be inundated.
Chairman Zembower stated he would like staff to look at ranking where the most urgent needs are in the county, provide a cost-of-benefit analysis on which projects related to drainage benefit the most for the least amount of dollars, and look at whatever grant funding may be out there. No objections were voiced.
Chairman Zembower noted it is dangerous not knowing where the ditches are when the roads flood. He requested support from the Board to have staff provide some delineators or markings along those ditches. No objections were voiced. Commissioner Carey advised in other areas that have flooded in the past, the County has gone out and put high reflectors so people could see where the road is and not end up in the ditch.
Commissioner Carey stated staff could go back and look at areas that have historically flooded and put some preliminary information together for further investigation. She suggested the Board accept this study as information for now and then continue it for a bigger discussion when they get the rest of the information together.
Commissioner Lockhart commented the Letters of Map provision that will be going out is going to change some people's financial situations to now have to carry flood insurance if they don't already. She inquired if the citizens out there have a heads-up that that might be coming. Chairman Zembower responded they were all invited to a meeting and have been communicating during the public meetings. Commissioner Lockhart emphasized she does not want anyone who is living in a constrained financial situation to get hit with a flood insurance bill that they may not have understood was coming.
Ms. Guillet summarized her understanding of the Board's comments and direction that they want to put a pause on this study and understand how it fits in the context of everything else in the county that they are looking at from a drainage standpoint. She inquired if they want to pursue the LOMAR before doing the final meeting with the Board on this report or also pause that and then come back and talk to the Board as a whole. She advised staff can come back fairly quickly to provide the bigger picture with how this study fits with everything else in the county. Jean Jreij, Public Works Director, noted there are several basin studies being done. When those basin studies are completed, each one is going to generate some type of project. Staff can take all of those projects and prioritize them and bring that back to the Board.
Chairman Zembower expressed his concern that hypothetically they identify some deficiencies in the Econ Basin, fix that issue which causes water to flow faster towards the St. Johns, and that then would impact what happens in Lake Harney. Mr. Jreij explained every time they do a basin study and develop some type of project, they make sure they talk to St. Johns Water Management to make sure the project is permittable and constructible.
Upon the Chairman's inquiry of what his suggestion would be regarding prioritizing, Mr. Jreij suggested in the meantime to be looking for grants. If there's a grant available, they will take advantage of it. They can prioritize all the projects generated with the basins and see which ones qualify for grants and then bring that before the Board to make a decision on how to move forward. Chairman Zembower stated he believed there was consensus of the Board to do that. No objections were voiced.
Chairman Zembower confirmed with Ms. Guillet she understood the Board's direction. Ms. Guillet added she wants to make sure she comes back to the Board sooner than later with more information showing everything that is in the works, provide a timeline, and have the Board make the decisions about the prioritization list. Commissioner Dallari asked if staff can also provide a map of the county of which basins studies are being done, the dollar amount to fix each basin, and the frequency of the problems. Ms. Guillet responded they can provide a map. In regards to the cost, some of them are done and she can provide that information but some of them are still in study right now. Mr. Jreij advised staff has the data to generate the information on the frequency of the problems.
Ms. Guillet inquired if the Board would like to move forward with the LOMAR application on the Lake Harney Basin Study, and there was consensus of the Board to do so.
Chairman Zembower recessed the meeting at 2:38 p.m., reconvening at 2:54 p.m.
Chairman Zembower asked for a date certain to bring the information back from the Lake Harney work session. Ms. Guillet answered they would bring it back no later than the November 10th meeting.
Item #14 – 2020-2309
Land Development Code (Session 3)
Eliza Juliano, Canin Associates, Inc.
Rebecca Hammock, Development Services Director
Eliza Juliano, Canin Associates, Inc., presented and reviewed a PowerPoint entitled Seminole County Land Development Code Update Work Session #3 (received and filed) addressing mixed use, infill, redevelopment, rural standards, and attainable housing. Ms. Juliano discussed the Board follow-up items of Florida-friendly landscaping, Planned Development alternatives, and open spaces. Rebecca Hammock, Development Services Director, discussed Kennels.
Chairman Zembower recessed the meeting at 3:08 p.m., reconvening at 3:14 p.m.
Commissioner Carey left the meeting at 3:18 p.m.
Commissioner Lockhart noted the County Attorney's Office has given staff an opinion that anything zoned A-1 is exempt from the noise related to animals. She requested confirmation they are saying if you live on a piece of property A-1 zoned, you can be a bad neighbor with your animals and that's okay. Bryant Applegate, County Attorney, stated everyone in his office agrees with this opinion and A-1 is agriculture. Agriculture is governed by the State, and the County is prohibited from regulating it. He noted over the course of time, subdivisions have been built on A-1. A solution to that problem would be to rezone them so they're no longer A-1.
Upon comment of Chairman Zembower, Ms. Hammock clarified the issue they have had is not with businesses. It has been an issue where, for example, there is a resident that is fostering ten dogs, they have erected a kennel on their property line, and the dogs are barking throughout the day and night disturbing the neighbor. The County doesn't have a way to regulate that because they are exempt under Florida statute, because it specifically says this subsection shall not apply to animals on land zoned for agriculture purposes. It doesn't say it has to be utilized for agriculture purposes, just zoned. Chairman Zembower inquired if there was case law on that, and Mr. Applegate responded not specific, no. Mr. Applegate stated if the Board would like, they could ask for an Attorney General advisory opinion.
Commissioner Lockhart inquired what would happen if they were to administratively rezone some of the neighborhoods that clearly are not agriculture neighborhoods and are suburban developments, what that process would look like, and what type of negative ramifications could there potentially be. Ms. Hammock responded they could potentially be administratively rezoned to RC-1.
Chairman Zembower stated they should start with getting an Attorney General opinion if everybody agreed. No objections were voiced. Commissioner Lockhart commented she would like to also talk to the seven cities. Ms. Guillet advised there is not any A-1 zoning in the cities. It is an anomaly the County is dealing with. Mr. Applegate stated they will get an AG opinion on the kennel issue. They will also look at if they are going to impact other residences in A-1 that may have two pigs or a couple of horses by requesting that AG opinion. Ms. Hammock added staff would like to know if the intent regarding noise and the exception is only for livestock, farming, and animals related to agriculture or does it also apply to domestic animals, such as dogs.
Attainable Housing Discussion
Commissioner Dallari stated he would like for someone to define what transit is and what the frequency is to make a project workforce compatible for transit. Mary Moskowitz, Planning and Development, discussed the Affordability Index, which is generally defined as 30% of a household's income. HUD put together the Housing Plus Transportation Index, and that should not exceed 45% of a household's income. In looking at what makes the availability of mass transit, the two things to look at are the frequency and access. When LYNX talks about high-frequency transit, they talk about a bus coming about every 10 to 20 minutes. When talking about the access to that, that's generally defined as a quarter mile area. Commissioner Dallari inquired when the Board is looking at a project with a workforce housing aspect, what piece of that would have to have transit to it and what would that headway and distance be to actually have workforce housing. Ms. Moskowitz responded it's not one size fits all. It's one piece of the tool. Generally speaking, it would be mass transit with a headway of about 10 to 20 minutes and within a 5- to 10-minute walk.
Rural Standards Discussion
Ms. Hammock stated staff needs direction regarding the rural design standards for commercially zoned properties within the rural area and whether that is something the Board would like staff to pursue.
With regard to public participation, Nancy Harmon, 752 Pioneer Trail, Geneva Citizens Association, spoke in support of having design standards in the Geneva area for new businesses. They do not want to impose upon existing businesses a standard that could cause a financial hardship, but would support standards for any future modifications to them. Commissioner Lockhart stated she would not want to do anything that would hurt any of the existing businesses that are out there, and she also does not want to put regulations in place that would make it prohibitive for a family to sell their property if the restrictions are so great that it makes the property unattractive for someone to buy. Ms. Harmon requested the Geneva Citizens Association be involved moving forward.
Joseph Humpreys, 883 Cardinal Pointe Cove, commended Canin Associates for their presentation and spoke in regards to impaired waterways and support of Florida-friendly landscaping.
No one else spoke and public input was closed
Chairman Zembower suggested having a community meeting to inform and notify all of the property owners so they can weigh in and be heard, and then the Board can decide where to go from there. No objections were voiced.
Item #15 – 2020-2310
Board Policies and Procedures
Nicole Guillet, County Manager
Ms. Guillet explained these policies and procedures were sent to the Commissioners in July, August, and then again last week (received and filed). They have talked quite a bit in recent months about formalizing some operating policies for the Board. The policies have taken some of the existing provisions in the Admin Code that relate to the responsibilities of the Commission, some of the senior staff members, administrative roles, how the Commission offices are structured, et cetera and revised some of them and reorganized them a little bit. The second section is meeting operation policies. She stated, to her knowledge, the County has never had a handbook on how to run meetings or take public input. She has looked at what other counties in the state do regarding their approach to public meetings and how they codify a procedure. A compilation of a lot of different existing policies and procedures was circulated (received and filed). She has been in contact with each Commissioner regarding comments, questions, and clarifications. The draft sent last week identified a couple of additional comments. Today she would like to get some feedback and spend as much time talking about any of the provisions the Board would like. The plan is to try to move this forward for adoption as an Admin Code revision on November 10th.
Chairman Zembower confirmed with Mr. Applegate he reviewed the policies and procedures. Mr. Applegate added he worked with Ms. Guillet on a couple of points. He advised if the Board adopts these procedures, they will need to be strictly followed. If they deviate from them, particularly on ex parte, they may open the door for some issues.
Chairman Zembower read a list of comments and questions from Commissioner Carey (received and filed), and Ms. Guillet responded as follows:
In regards to Section 1.15, this is a proposed policy which is not in place now. It is a recommendation. The County Manager's Office is currently working on a new commissioner handbook, and it will be ready in time for any new commissioners that may be sworn in after the upcoming election. They also intend to do a new commissioner training coordinating with the County Attorney's Office to do that on the same day of the annual ethics training. This will be done regardless of whether the new policies and procedures are adopted by the Board. Commissioner Lockhart suggested there be a recommendation that new board members attend and participate in the Florida Association of Counties new commissioner training. Ms. Guillet responded they can include that in the training as the next step for them. Commissioner Lockhart added the time to sign up for the training happens right after the election and fills up quickly. She noted that would be something that would be nice for the County Manager's Office to monitor since they don't know which commission office it may impact.
Ms. Guillet explained in regards to Section 1.30(C), there is an existing section in the Admin Code that deals with mass mailings, and this proposed section is a revision of that. The existing policy can create a challenge sometimes when it comes to doing a community meeting on an issue that has come up at a Board meeting and it precludes even county staff from helping with notification of that kind of thing. There are some circumstances that perhaps don't warrant Board approval so they tried to rewrite this to address that opportunity. The other thing that this particular provision addresses is there are occasions where a Commissioner may request assistance from the communications staff to prepare remarks for an event or something like that, and this clarifies that process. If there's going to be something that is going to be distributed by County staff, it is suggested to work through the County Manager's Office. Chairman Zembower noted it should be a public purpose and he doesn't think the Board should have to approve every communication going out to constituents. Commissioner Dallari stated he had no issue with this as long as it says it must be for a public purpose. Ms. Guillet responded she can add the words "public purpose." No objections were voiced.
Referencing Section 1.35(C), Chairman Zembower noted this was brought up at a work session and ratified at a BCC meeting earlier this year. Ms. Guillet stated this section reflects those discussion. The provision in here for approval is that it is approved by the County Manager, but the County Manager would give quarterly reports to the Board. There was discussion among the Board that travel has been limited this year due to COVID, and there was consensus to continue with the procedure currently in place. Once travel resumes, it can be reevaluated if needed. Commissioner Lockhart noted it does put the County Manager in an awkward situation if there was a Commissioner that were to take advantage, and they don't want to do that. She suggested adding a statement that if the County Manager feels they are being asked to approve something outside of the scope, he or she would go to the Chairman, which would provide another layer of protection for the County Manager. No objections were voiced, and Ms. Guillet responded she would make that change.
Commissioner Lockhart advised in regards to Section 1.40(A)(5), the current policies and procedures for the executive assistants are the same ones that she participated in writing in 2006 and 2007 and have not changed. There is no reason why they could not be amended. Chairman Zembower stated he is okay if they want to charge the County Manager with reviewing those policies, revising those, and bringing them back. Ms. Guillet explained this policy does not contemplate that the County Manager establishes those operating policies for the aides and how they all work together in the office. Although they are certainly engaged, this is language that is in the existing Admin Code now that says the Chairman is the administrative manager of the Commission offices and the Chairman has the authority to put together policies, but that can be changed. Commissioner Lockhart opined it was helpful that the aides were actually the ones who wrote it because they knew what was going on in the offices. To have the County Manager or someone who isn't working in the day-to-day operations say what they think the policies and procedures and operating procedures should be could be counterproductive. If the Board wants these to be readdressed, it would be helpful to have the aides go through them and see what they think should be changed. Chairman Zembower suggested having the aides review them, make their own notes, get with the County Manager, discuss them, and bring them back to the Board. No objections were voiced.
Commissioner Lockhart stated there is an opportunity to provide continuity by having the role of lead aide, which is referenced in these policies, transfer to the County Manager's Office or to another position because they are completely and totally administrative and ministerial in function. Ms. Guillet discussed the lead aide responsibilities and duties and advised they could shift them to the County Manager's Office and not have a lead aide. Chairman Zembower stated there was consensus to have the aides getting with the County Manager who will then decide what comes back to the Board. Commissioner Lockhart confirmed with Ms. Guillet she will also work on Section 1.25(B), Chairman's Executive Assistant.
Ms. Guillet stated Section 1.45(C) should have come out and that will be taken care of.
Ms. Guillet stated they will clarify Section 1.45(F) and identify either the County Attorney or the Chairman if it's a Vice Chair vote.
Ms. Guillet advised they can reference the County Manager Policies in Section 1.70(A).
In regards to Section 1.80(A)(7), Ms. Guillet stated the current practice is to advise the BCC and Department Directors when the Deputy County Manager is acting as County Manager, and they can put that in the policies.
Ms. Guillet advised the plan is to bring this back on November 10th for formal adoption. If any of the Commissioners start thinking about something after, she requests they provide it to her. She will then send it out in this same format with the little comment bubbles to show any changes from today. Chairman Zembower inquired if she will also be bringing back the comments outside of the Board's policies and procedures. Ms. Guillet responded those do not have to be done in advance of November 10th in order to be adopted. But they will get with the aides right away. The Chairman suggested it would be wise to have them determined before the election.
Commissioner Lockhart expressed her concern regarding the appointments each Commissioner makes for boards and committees and possible difficulties of new Commissioners making those appointments by a certain date. She suggested if there's a gap, the existing person stays until their new person is replaced. The Commissioner inquired if that is addressed anywhere in the policies. Ms. Guillet responded she does not think it is because some of them are rolling appointments, but they certainly can. Commissioner Lockhart stated one of the BCC aides is responsible for the boards and committees process, and that is a lot of work. Ms. Guillet explained there are different policies and procedures for all of the boards. Her recommendation would be to consider having a consistent set of bylaws and procedures and attendance requirements and things like that for all of the advisory boards. Commissioner Lockhart stated she would also like to talk about the boards and committees and the appointment process at a future meeting.
Commissioner Carey rejoined the meeting at 4:58 p.m.
With regard to public participation, no one spoke and public input was closed.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the Chairman declared the meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m., this same date.