BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA
December 8, 2020
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, December 8, 2020, in Room 1028 of the SEMINOLE COUNTY SERVICES BUILDING at SANFORD, FLORIDA, the usual place of meeting of said Board.
Chairman Lee Constantine (District 3)
Vice Chairman Amy Lockhart (District 4)
Commissioner Robert Dallari (District 1)
Commissioner Jay Zembower (District 2)
Commissioner Andria Herr (District 5)
County Manager Nicole Guillet
County Attorney Bryant Applegate
Deputy County Attorney Desmond Morrell
Clerk of Court and Comptroller Grant Maloy
Deputy Clerks Terri Porter and Chariti Colon
Pastor George Stephens, Riverwalk Church of God, Sanford, gave the invocation. Commissioner Dallari led the Pledge of Allegiance.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT UPDATE
Alan Harris, Chief Administrator for the Office of Emergency Management, presented a PowerPoint (received and filed) and addressed the Board to report on the COVID-19 situation in the county, around the state, and in the nation. He noted today is day 271 in the Emergency Operations Center, which is clearly the longest activated EOC operational period that they have ever had. Commissioner Dallari requested a list of staff involved so they can be thanked appropriately. All Board members shared their comments and appreciation.
CARES ACT UPDATE
County Manager Nicole Guillet presented the CARES Act Update (presentation received and filed). She advised they will have just about everything wrapped up with the cities, agencies and Constitutionals by the end of the year. They will have to do a couple of administrative accommodations for projects that will not quite be finished by December 30th for the county, a couple of the cities, and one or two constitutionals, but everything else will be wrapped up by December 30th. Their actual expenditures to date, which include what they have actually cut checks for or have made commitments through contracts, for instance the agreement with the School Board, are at $73 million. By the end of the year, they expect to have spent everything except for about $4.5 million.
Ms. Guillet summarized that the County received $20 million up front. On November 16, they got the second allocation, which was a little over $16 million, and on December 3, they submitted the paperwork to request reimbursement of the remaining $45 million. They are close to that number because they were able to do the Public Safety salary reimbursement scenario that they talked about at the last meeting. She noted they had great cooperation with the Sheriff’s Office on that.
Ms. Guillet stated that she will ask them today to authorize the overall allocations as she has at all the other meetings. They are not sure what comes next. Congress has been talking about another assistance package. There are three different versions being discussed. The democratic version has quite a bit of money for state and local governments, the Senate version has no money for state and local governments, and there is a bipartisan compromise bill that has $160 billion in there for state and local governments. She noted this will continue to be an issue for them and the community beyond January 1 and reiterated the County has about $4.5 million that they can set aside, and they have some additional funds through the CDBG program for individual assistance that do not expire until 2022. She did ask the Deputy County Manager to reach out to their advocates in Washington to try to see if there is a way that they can get some provisions put in that any local government money would come directly to local governments and not funnel through the state.
Commissioner Dallari stated he agrees with the County Manager that they should be going to their federal lobbyist. He also thinks they should be going to NACo, which is the National Association of Counties as well as NARC, National Association of Regional Councils. He noted he was the past president and would be more than happy to help with that. He added if they get the entire country through NACo or through NARC, he thinks that would be advantageous.
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to adopt the recommendation of the County Manager for the additional request for the Seminole CARES Act Funding.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
AWARDS AND PRESENTATIONS
Agenda Item #1 – 2020-2434
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to adopt a Proclamation recognizing United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas F.J. Wyborski, Retired, as Seminole County's December Veteran of the Month.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Agenda Item #2 – 2020-2437
Motion by Commissioner Lockhart, seconded by Commissioner Zembower, to approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-140 recognizing Debra Edge, upon her retirement, for 35 years of service to Seminole County Government and its citizens. The resolution was presented to Senior Assistant County Attorney David Shields in her absence.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Agenda Item #3 – 2020-2436
Motion by Commissioner Herr, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-141 recognizing Joanne Fink as the Artist of the Year. The resolution was presented to the Seminole Cultural Arts Council in her absence.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
COUNTY ATTORNEY BRIEFING
Bryant Applegate, County Attorney, distributed an information package to the Board in connection with his briefing today (received and filed).
Mr. Applegate reported he was on the phone a few minutes ago with the Governor’s Council’s Office, and they are trying to work out a plan to have the appointment made for the Tax Collector prior to January. He noted it may necessitate his calling a special meeting. He thanked Susan Smith of the Governor’s Council’s Office.
Mr. Applegate said for his end-of-the-year County Attorney’s Report, they exceeded over 1,200 formal work requests, which does not include phone calls, litigation, special projects or transaction work. He noted that he summarized what each of the attorneys had worked on and special projects, and with the hiring of a replacement for Debra Edge, he considers his office to be at full strength, and that is with three less positions from when he started in 2011.
The next report Mr. Applegate talked about was on redistricting saying it just summarizes the basics on redistricting. He will be working with the County Manager, GIS (Geographic Information System) and Information Services. Traditionally, an ordinance is adopted, usually in the month of August when the redistricting occurs.
Mr. Applegate indicated he asked David Shields, in light of the major amendment that the BCC members approved to the Purchasing Code, to do a short memo summarizing the different types of proposals, acronyms, and definitions of some of the basic contracts.
Mr. Applegate noted the Board is aware that the voters approved an amendment to their Constitution preventing Counties from making Constitutional Officers Charter Officers. He reported on the Alachua County case that is currently pending before the Supreme Court in connection with the Sheriff’s authority to transfer funds once the budget is approved by the County Commission. He will keep the Board informed, but the Third District Court of Appeals ruled against Alachua County and in favor of the Alachua County Sheriff ruling that they have the ability to move items within their budget.
Mr. Applegate opined they all recognize that the new Tax Collector is going to do a great job, but the citizens do not understand that the Commission does not have any authority over the Tax Collector’s budget, even though they have objected in the past few years over some of the absurd requests that were made. He noted it is up to the Department of Revenue to approve that budget. So, in a memo, he suggested some possible amendments to the statute on the Tax Collector’s budget process that would give a Board of County Commissioners at least the authority to (1) object in writing, and (2) require the Department of Revenue to respond to those objections.
In regard to opioid litigation, Mr. Applegate advised, as predicted, when they first entered the litigation a couple of years ago, they knew the State was going to get involved at some point. It looks like a number of State Attorney Generals are going to get involved and somehow, some way, they are going to get the State involved on how the money is going to be distributed. Some of the defendants have recently declared bankruptcy.
Mr. Applegate stated that in the binder he provided is a summary of the Commission on Ethics Opinions he referred to in their ethics training last week.
Mr. Applegate indicated he has asked Paul Chipok, Deputy County Attorney, to provide a summary of the SunRail saga of 2020, a compilation of key documents in chronological order. They are currently working on a memo regarding issues they have talked about with agritourism in A-1. He has decided, unless the Board requests it, that he is not going to request an Attorney General opinion, because he thinks he knows what the answer will be. He will let them know more on an individual basis as it goes on.
AWARDS AND PRESENTATIONS (Continued)
Agenda Item #4 – 2020-2435
Commissioner Dallari stated as MetroPlan Orlando’s Chair, he can attest to the efforts that Bike/Walk Central Florida has been doing over the past number of years. In fact, for around nine years, they have immersed the values of the Best Foot Forward program by bringing that to the community via MetroPlan. The draft of the MetroPlan 2040 plan shifted from significant road capacity building projects to more complete street projects and multimodal projects improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in this region, with an increase towards funding those projects for equality of importance of educating drivers, such as kids and young drivers, of the rules of the road. He noted a few weeks ago, a Seminole County Citizen on Patrol struck and killed an individual at a Seminole County crosswalk. A few days later, a female pedestrian was struck and killed by a speeding vehicle. Pedestrian fatalities are happening far too often, and they need to continue working with their partners in the county and the region, and Best Foot Forward is one of those partners. He thanked Amanda Day for all of her hard work saying she actually started Best Food Forward as a volunteer nine years ago. He thinks they have just scratched the surface. Safety is one of the primary things they have got to focus on here in Seminole County and Central Florida, and they have all seen the report, Dangerous by Design. Central Florida is number one in the country; Orlando or Central Florida is number three in the state. He opined education is the key. He added he appreciates the Executive Director’s hard work and is looking forward to the presentation.
The Chairman recessed the meeting at 10:45 a.m., reconvening at 10:50 a.m.
Emily Hanna addressed the Board stating she is the new Executive Director of Bike/Walk Central Florida, which is the non-profit advocacy organization who administers the Best Foot Forward program, and it is on behalf of their coalition partners. She advised she will present the Best Foot Forward program, its history, Seminole County’s participation, and how Seminole County can continue to put their best foot forward. (PowerPoint presentation received and filed.)
Commissioner Herr asked that they display the slide entitled Driver Yield Rates Improve by 37% with BFF’s Influence. She said she thinks they are underselling themselves because their rate increased by roughly 142% and the good work they are doing is worthy of that press.
Commissioner Dallari said he wanted to have this presentation because he thinks it is imperative that they continue to educate the public about safety. It is very difficult to adequate how much it actually should cost, but he believes when they are bringing in an organization like Best Foot Forward, they can leverage their programs that they have been doing in Orange and Osceola County and through MetroPlan. He added he thinks they should be moving forward with this to continue to educate their public. Speaking to staff, he believes that some of the funds could easily be looked at through the educational piece of the one-cent sales tax; he would like to see how they can leverage those funds with the one-cent sales tax. Chairman Zembower said he would support that request.
Commissioner Lockhart indicated when she had an opportunity to meet with Amanda Day some months ago, she pointed out that Seminole County is not one of their funding partners right now. She wanted to know what the total ask was from Best Foot Forward at this point. Ms. Hanna responded it is $60,000 annually for the program.
Commissioner Dallari remarked that as much as he is in favor of Bike/Walk Central Florida, he does want to make sure that the checks and balances are there. He thinks they should be getting a presentation and reviewing it on an annual basis to make sure that they are moving forward, because the number could go up or the number could go down. He is asking to fund Bike/Walk Central Florida through the one-cent sales tax with the educational dollars.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Zembower, to direct staff to look into providing funding to Bike/Walk Central Florida in the amount of $60,000, on an annual basis, through the one-cent sales tax educational dollars.
Commissioner Zembower suggested a friendly amendment to ask staff that if they cannot find the funds in the one-cent sales tax dollars, to find them somewhere and bring back to the Board where the funding would come from. Commissioner Dallari as the motioner agreed.
Commissioner Lockhart added that when staff brings this back that they include whatever metrics it is they are going to monitor and what would be required in order to ensure that the annual funding is still available to them. She believes they need to make sure they have some measures in place, as with all of the funds that they give to outside organizations and partner organizations. Chairman Constantine stated that there has been a second friendly amendment which was agreed to by the motioner and seconder.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Ms. Guillet advised that staff is pulling Item #29 because the vendor called yesterday and withdrew. She asked that Item #41 and #42 be added to the Consent Agenda. Since they do not have the ability to renumber agenda items in their system, they were tacked on to the end of the agenda.
With regard to public participation, no one spoke in support or opposition to the Consent Agenda, and public input was closed.
Commissioner Herr requested that Item #8, 2021 Insurance Renewals, be pulled for separate discussion.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Zembower, to approve the following:
5. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the First Amendment to Subrecipient Agreement between Seminole County and Seminole State College of Florida relating to CARES Act Funding. (2020-2441)
6. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Second Amendment to the CARES Act Interlocal Agreement between Seminole County Government and the School Board of Seminole County Public Schools. (2020-2442)
7. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the CARES Act Funding Agreement between Seminole County and BRE Apex Property Owner, LLC d/b/a Residence Inn Orlando Lake Mary, a County select-service hotel. (2020-2433)
8. Pulled for separate discussion.
9. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-142 providing tournament personnel the ability to utilize golf carts on a specific segment of Lake Markham and South Sylvan Lake Roads for the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Girls' Tournament on January 8-10, 2021, and the ECNL Boys' Tournament on January 22-24, 2021. (2020-2429)
10. Approve the re-appointment of Donna Walsh, Health Officer, Florida Department of Health, Seminole County, for a two-year (2) term to the Board of Directors of the Local Health Council of East Central Florida, Inc. (2020-2446)
11. Adopt and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-143 amending certain fees set forth in Section 20.26 of the Seminole County Administrative Code pertaining to fees and charges for services provided by the Seminole County Health Department. (2020-2410)
Planning and Development
12. Authorize release of Performance Bond #3238533 for pavement, curbs, and sidewalks, in the amount of $44,153.77, for Allure on the Parkway; Carriage Encore, LLC, Applicant. (2020-2393)
13. Adopt and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-144 vacating and abandoning a portion of a (5) five-foot-wide platted Utility Easement on Lot 10, Woodbridge at the Springs Unit II, as recorded in the Public Records of Seminole County, Florida in Plat Book 21, Page 34, more particularly known as 110 Springside Court; 110 Springside Ct LLC, Applicant. (2020-2447)
14. Authorize release of Performance Bond #CMS0339730 for water and sewer facilities, in the amount of $26,635.37, for Cadence Park f/k/a Evergreen; M/I Homes of Orlando, LLC, Applicant. (2020-2407)
15. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a Purchase Agreement in the amount of $4,750 between Shane J. Davis, owner, and Seminole County for property interests necessary for the construction and maintenance of a sidewalk along a portion of Longwood Hills Road. (2020-2378)
16. Approve and authorize the Chairman execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-145 and updated Drainage Easement between Paradise Community Club, Inc., and Seminole County for property interests necessary for the construction and maintenance of an upgraded drainage facility to improve the water quality of Bear Lake. (2020-2406)
17. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute Amendment Number One to Lease Number 4770 between the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida, as Lessor, and Seminole County, Florida, Lessee, for the Cross Seminole Trail. (2020-2408)
41. Consent Agenda Item number not sequential - Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-155 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #21-020 through the Public Works Grant Fund in the amount of $1,542,000 from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for the design of roundabouts on SR 434. (2020-2443)
42. Consent Agenda Item number not sequential - Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-146 and Off-System Construction and Maintenance Agreement, FM #415030-6-52-01, between the State of Florida, Department of Transportation, and Seminole County relating to the construction and maintenance of the County Road 419 portion of State Road 426/County Road 419 Widening Phase II from Pine Avenue to Avenue B. (2020-2416)
18. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-147; and submittal of an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Trust Grant Application in the amount of $66,745 from the State of Florida Department of Health to be used for the purchase of Procure Image Trend Continuum Software Add-on and Cadaver Lab for the County. (2020-2418)
19. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a State Financial Assistance Recipient Agreement, FDACS Contract #27302, with the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Mosquito Control Program; authorize the County Manager to execute any documents associated with the grant including amendments; and execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-148 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #21-012 in the amount of $57,532.25 through the Mosquito Control Grant Fund which includes additional $9,043.33 in grant funds and $48,488.92 in carryforward funds from the Fiscal Year 2019/20 Mosquito Zika grant. (2020-2415)
20. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-149 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #21-013 through the MSBU Program Fund to appropriate budget of $362,000 from Reserves for MSBU Program Projects. (2020-2394)
21. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute Modification #1 to Subgrant Agreement, Contract #H0348, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for the Oliver Road Drainage Project to increase the total grant funding by $28,348.50; and execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-150 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) # 21-014 through the Federal Mitigation Grant Fund in the amount of $28,348.50 to increase funding for the project. (2020-2420)
22. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-151 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #21-015 through the Transportation Trust Fund to transfer $8,152 from Traffic Engineering Operating to Capital for the purchase of a new locator. (2020-2422)
23. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-152 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) 21-016 through the 2014 Infrastructure Sales Tax Fund in the amount of $445,775 from Reserves for additional funding for the Smith Canal-Monroe Basin Stormwater Study (CIP#02007111). (2020-2419)
24. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute a Federally Funded Subaward and Grant Agreement, Contract #R0300, with the State of Florida Division of Emergency Management in acceptance of $23,000 for the WebEOC software project; and to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-153 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #21-017 through the Public Safety Grant (Federal) Funds in the amount of $23,000 to establish funding. (2020-2423)
25. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-154 implementing Budget Amendment Request (BAR) #21-019 in the amount of $226,850 through the General Fund to carryforward remaining CARES Act funding for election activities. (2020-2448)
26. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Satisfaction of Liens for the Rolling Hills Environmental Remediation MSBU non-ad valorem capital assessments that have been paid in full; Michael and Dana Coppola and Herbert and Patricia Hinely. (2020-2430)
Purchasing & Contracts
27. Waive the Procurement Process and authorize a Proprietary Source Procurement SS-604021-20/LNF for the purchase of belt filter presses for Andritz equipment refurbishment, currently used at the Water Reclamation Facilities, from Andritz Separation Inc., Dallas, TX; and authorize the Purchasing and Contracts Division to issue a Purchase Order in the amount of $153,900. (2020-2412)
28. Award IFB-603974-20/CAR, Term Contract for Hydrant and Valve Maintenance, Repair, and Flushing Services, to Hydromax USA, Plant City; and R&M Service Solutions, LLC, West Palm Beach; and authorize the Purchasing and Contracts Division to execute the Agreements. (2020-2426)
29. Pulled from the agenda request to award RFP-603892-20/BJC, Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) Solution, to Noble Systems Corporation, Atlanta, GA; and authorize the Purchasing and Contracts Division to execute the Agreement. (2020-2403)
30. Award IFB-603941-20/TLR, Term Contract for Showcase Trails Landscape Maintenance, to Crew Labor Maintenance Management Group, LLC, Sanford; and authorize the Purchasing and Contracts Division to execute the Agreement (2020-2376)
31. Award RFP-603939-20/TLR, Consulting Services for SunRail Transition Plan to WSP USA Inc., Orlando; and authorize the Purchasing and Contracts Division to execute the Agreement. (2020-2297)
32. Approve a full and complete settlement of any and all claims, rights, and actions whatsoever that the Plaintiff may have against Seminole County for the total amount of $190,000, inclusive of attorney's fees, in Case No. 2019-CA-0813-08-L, Gina Lovely vs. Seminole County, Florida; and authorize staff and counsel to execute all necessary settlement documents. (2020-2421)
33. Approve the County’s Workers’ Compensation, Property, Casualty Package, Boiler and Machinery, Cyber and Internet Liability, Aviation Liability, Federal Flood Insurance, and Pollution Liability Insurance Programs for calendar year 2021; and authorize staff to bind coverages effective January 1, 2021. (2020-2425)
County Attorney’s Office Consent Agenda Item #34
34. Approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-156 and approve, solely for the limited purposes of Section 147(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, the issuance by the Housing Finance Authority of Orange County, Florida, of its multifamily housing revenue bonds for the purpose of financing the cost of acquisition, rehabilitation, and equipping a multifamily residential rental apartment project located in the County and owned by Stratford Point Apartments, Ltd. (2020-2257)
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Consent Agenda Item #8 – Human Resources
Commissioner Herr advised she will be filing a Form 8B, Memorandum of Voting Conflict (received and filed), and will abstain from voting on this item.
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to approve the insurance renewals and updated rates for Symetra Stop-Loss Insurance and AIG Statutory Firefighter Death Benefit; and authorize the County Manager to execute the renewal agreements. (2020-2417)
Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 voted AYE.
District 5 abstained.
CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS’ CONSENT AGENDA
Clerk & Comptroller’s Office - Item #35
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to approve Expenditure Approval Lists dated October 20, 27, November 3, and 10, 2020; and Payroll Approval List dated October 29, 2020. (2020-2414)
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Clerk and Comptroller’s “Received and Filed” is for information only
1. Executive Orders #2020-051 and #2020-052 Extending the Declared Local State of Emergency for COVID-19; and Executive Orders #2020-053 and #2020-054 Extending the Declared Local State of Emergency to Include the Imminent Threat Caused by Tropical Storm Eta.
2. FPSC Order PSC-2020-0398-PCO-EI issued October 26, 2020.
3. Audit Report of Tax Collector’s Office (Letter to County Manager Nicole Guillet from MSL CPAs & Advisors dated October 30, 2020.)
4. Background Letter and Settlement Agreement with Edward Giovanni in connection with Retreat Road Drainage Project Purchase Agreement approved by the BCC on May 12, 2020.
5. Certificate of Costs of Abatement for Case #20-00300006, 734 Cherokee Circle, Michael S. Rosen, Heir.
6. Addendum #3 to Developer’s Commitment Agreement #20-20500032 for the Integra Crossings Phase 1 Planned Development; PRM Crossings/Lake Mary Owner, LLC; Ming Yen
7. Corrected Development Order #20-20500001, Woodbridge Commerce Center PD Major Amendment & Rezone, Lance Bremer.
8. Denial Development Order #20-30000073, 212 Monterey Isle, Richard and Carmen Dalrymple.
9. Approval Development Orders ##20-30000060, Lot 73 Lincoln Street, Michael Boffeli; #20-30000061, Lot 74 Lincoln Street, Michael Boffeli, #20-30000062, 1650 Augusta Way, Robert Mungovan, Sr.; #20-30000063, 2134 Shadyhill Terrace, Carlos Valentin; #20-30000066, 47 E 2nd Street, Jesse Huggins and Vicky Langston; #20-30000070, 321 Kimberly Court; #20-30000071, 1453 Bridlebrook Court, Chelsea Wallenquest; #20-30000072, 4800 Cliveden Loop, Kimberly Taylor; #20-30000073, 212 Monterey Isle, Richard and Carmen Dalrymple; #20-30000074, 516 Cinder Point, Stephen Engel; #20-30000075, 1224 Verdent Glade Place, Stephanie Espulgar; and #20-30000076, 470 South Cochran Road, Ian and Heather Clemens.
10. Associate Tennis Pro Agreement with Juan Carlos Rotjes.
11. Tennis Developmental Instructor Agreement with Arthur Viallaneix.
12. Natural Lands Contract for Services with Anna Berry.
13. Parks Contracts for Services with Ariane Moyer, Virginia Alston, Ron Prager, Briana Blackley, Tim Marzullo, John Charles Thaens, and Wesley Schoenberger
14. Tourist Tax Funding Agreement with ISSA Senior Softball for the 2020 Winter Worlds & USA Championship.
15. Tourist Tax Funding Agreement with Perfect Game Youth Florida, Inc., for the 2020 Fall Nationals.
16. Tourist Tax Funding Agreement with ProSwings.com, LLC for the 2020 Power 50 Invitational.
17. Tourist Tax Funding Agreement with USSSA Central Florida Fast Pitch, LLC, for the 2020 Winter States Warm Up Tournament.
18. Change Order #3 to CC-2739-19 with U.S. Veteran Contractors, LLC.
19. Closeout to CC-2793-19 with U.S. Veteran Contractors, LLC.
20. PS-2826-20 with Moffatt and Nichol, Inc.; Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc.; Atkins North America, Inc.; Pegasus Engineering, LLC; Inwood Consulting Engineers, Inc.; and Dewberry Engineers, Inc.; Ranking List Approved by the BCC on July 28, 2020.
21. Change Order #1 to CC-3037-20 with Chincor Electric, Inc.
22. PS-3078-20 with Stearns, Conrad and Schmidt, Consulting Engineers, Inc. d/b/a/ SCS Engineers; Ranking List Approved by the BCC on September 22, 2020.
23. CC-3176-20 with Bearing Point Construction, Inc.
24. CC-3324-20 with Carlson Environmental Consultants, PC.
25. Sixth Amendment to IFB-602939-17 with Bound Tree Medical, LLC.
26. Bids as follows:
BID-603932-20 from Core & Main, LP; Ferguson Enterprises, LLC (Ferguson Waterworks); Fortiline, Inc. d/b/a Fortiline Waterworks;
IFB-603974-20 from EA Tapping Services, LLC; Florida Flow Control, Inc.; Hydromax USA; R&M Service Solutions, LLC;
RFP-603863-20 from Granicus, LLC; Property Registration Champions, LLC d/b/a Prochamps;
RFP-603882-20 from Vector Disease Control International, LLC; Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management, Inc.;
RFP-603794-20 from Computer Power Systems, Inc.; Weissco Power, LLC; Tristar Power Solutions, LLC; Eola Power, LLC; DC Group, Inc.; Battery Systems, LLC;
BID-603930-20 from AED Brands, LLC; Altra Medical Corporation; Bound Tree Medical, LLC; Coro Medical, LLC; CPR Savers & First Aid Supply, LLC; Enerspect Medical Solutions, LLC; Heartsafe America, Inc.; Henry Schein, Inc.; Medical Equipment Sales, Inc.; Rescue One Training for Life, Inc.; School Health Corporation; Stryker Sales Corporation;
RFP-603947-20 from MSL, P.A.; Cherry Bekaert, LLP; Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC; James Moore & Co., P.L.; Plante & Moran, PLLC; and Purvis, Gray and Company, LLP.
COUNTY MANAGER AND STAFF BRIEFINGS
Agenda Item #36 – 2020-2438
Rescue Outreach Mission Update
Chairman Constantine introduced Bob Turnage, Chairman, and Mike Towers, Vice Chairman, of Rescue Outreach Mission (ROM). Mr. Turnage addressed the Board to provide an update on the Rescue Outreach Mission (presentation included in the agenda memorandum). Commissioner Zembower discussed the history of funding the Mission and stated if they are going to continue to fund this long term, he thinks they need to have a very candid conversation. They need to review the agreements they currently have in place and they need to understand where they are headed so the community understands what funding they may want to allocate towards this if they must continue to do so. He understands the problems with raising funds during COVID, but at the same time, homelessness is a problem and needs to be addressed in their community. He feels they cannot necessarily walk away from the only resource they have. He would like to see a long-term strategy plan from the ROM board come back to this Commission to understand what kind of time frames they believe they may be looking at before it can stand up on its own.
Ms. Guillet congratulated the ROM board for all the progress they have made; they are in a vastly different place with the Mission than they were a year ago when they were talking about funding them through the General Fund. They had a false start with the original Emergency Funding Agreement, and she thinks since the ROM board was able to reseat the board in its entirety, they have really put in a lot of time and are very passionate about this. One of the challenges and one of the things the Commission asked for last year was a sustainability plan. She noted that in an email from Mr. Towers yesterday, he stated they are unable to provide a sustainability plan because they do not have the financials. Ms. Guillet opined that Mr. Turnage laid out a sustainability plan during his presentation and suggested they start putting that on paper, because what he talked about today, like partnering with the hospitals, is at least the beginning of one. She encouraged them to start formalizing that because she thinks they are closer than they think. So, until there is an executive director and until the organization is stabilized and able to be more self-sufficient and has a good solid plan, she knows they will be looking for a funding agreement on any sort of additional funding moving forward. She has been a proponent of the Mission and keeping the Mission independent and it not becoming a county agency. She said she does not know how it has limped along for so many years based on what they know now, so she thinks with the new leadership, it will be much more robust and there is a greater opportunity there, but she thinks they need to continue to work together. She added there is not really anyone on the ROM board and on the staff that is experienced in running a homeless shelter; the County has resources that can help with that. And although they have not always agreed on direction, if the County is going to be a funding partner, they need to be engaged in helping ROM accomplish the great goals that they have outlined today.
Commissioner Lockhart stated that after Commissioner Zembower was a member of the board for some time, this Board directed her to represent them on the ROM board and she tried to do that. She thinks the County Commission’s role in being seated on that board, and she knows that Commissioner Herr is going to be taking on that role, is one that needs to be defined. There is a lack of consistent understanding of the purpose of having a County Commissioner serve on that board and it caused a great deal of tension. She added she thinks that needs to be clarified in any sort of agreement moving forward.
Commissioner Lockhart said she believes she is hearing that someone from Sheriff’s Office staff is acting in the role of the shelter manager right now. Mr. Turnage clarified that the title is operations manager and they do not want that person to write checks or make policy, so they have changed the title, but he is running it on a day-to-day basis. Commissioner Lockhart noted that it is wonderful that the Sheriff’s Office is continuing to make that donation of a staff person, but this Board needs to acknowledge that it is still Seminole County taxpayers’ General Fund revenue that is being assigned to fund that. The agreement that they have in place now is not being entirely adhered to and she does not know that that is anybody’s fault at this point, but it is a reality that they need to acknowledge. She opined if they are going to have an agreement in place, they need to stick to it. And if the agreement they have in place right now does not fit with the relationship, then they need to change it. But they need to have something in place where all of these cards are on the table. She agreed that the sustainability plan that was just verbalized is great, but they need it on paper. The hybrid thing has been hard to manage for their staff, for the ROM board and their staff, and for the board liaison; it has been difficult. She does not think they have ever done anything quite like it before. It is definitely worth continuing to try to perfect, but she is not under any illusions, nor does she want this Board to think that it is in a great place right now; she is talking about the relationship and the agreement.
Ms. Guillet advised the agreement they have right now expires at the end of this month, and the funding situation with ROM right now is that the only funding they have coming to them are reimbursements under the existing CARES Act. So, they do have the opportunity for some more funding after the first of the year, some additional Emergency Solutions Grant and CARES Act-type funding. And they have tried to identify some other funding sources. She agrees that Commissioner Lockhart is absolutely correct in that they really do need to clarify the relationship and the respective roles with regard to the County and ROM. She thinks a new funding agreement will give them the opportunity to do that so they all have a shared understanding. She added they were in crisis mode at the Mission during the last two agreements, so they were just trying to quickly put something together.
Commissioner Dallari thanked Messrs. Turnage and Towers along with their board stating it is not easy to pick up the pieces and get running, and this Board asked them to sprint. He mentioned their hard work does not go unnoticed.
Commissioner Dallari stated that Mr. Turnage mentioned they were trying to figure out some issues with the hospital. Pathways to Care and Pathways to Home actually have a model; he is sure that Father John Bluett could assist them in what that model could potentially be because there may be a formula there. He feels it is important that they have open lines of communication and full transparency. As Chairman Constantine stated previously, he agrees that their organization is too valuable to fail, and he thinks they need to make sure they give them all the tools and the ability to succeed.
Commissioner Zembower proposed they have the County Attorney meet with the existing ROM board and the Sheriff’s Office and look at the funding agreement. One of the reasons that the bylaws needed to be revised is due to the structure of the board and the power that the board at the ROM has and what duties they are charged with. The reality is some of those positions are not performing the duties that they are charged with under the current bylaws. The second problem is, and he has acutely become aware of it since being elected to public office, is government does not work in minutes, hours, and days; it works in months, quarters, years and decades. And they have small business people that come to the table and are being forced under a set of guidelines. When they are turning third base and running for home, government is just leaving the batting cage. The problem with that is, their engines are all revved up and want to go, and they have a big anchor hanging out the back of them. If they are going to be successful, they are going to have to find a happy medium with getting the bylaws adjusted and see what is going to work moving forward with a sustainability study so that they do not alienate the fine people that have given of their time away from their families and their businesses to help their community by having an anchor tied around their neck because of what they do in government. There has got to be a way to find a hybrid version to accomplish the end goal. He said he would advocate having the County Attorney’s Office look at the agreements that are in place, and work with their liaison to try to ultimately get to a place where they have a set of rules that can work for everyone to attain the ultimate goals.
Chairman Constantine stated there is nothing more important than the service ROM provides. He knows Commissioners Zembower and Lockhart have done admirable jobs working with them, but he also has watched Commissioner Herr in various boards that she has served on. He called her an action-type leader and even though all the board members need to be involved, he believes she will bring a perspective that will also be very helpful to their overall mission in guiding them and getting that plan.
Commissioner Herr said she thinks it will be helpful, as they all plan before full engagement, to have the bylaws and the agreement in alignment, because if they are not, they are going to be in continuous conflict. And if the bylaws haven’t been updated, maybe that is okay because it can happen now in conjunction with the County Attorney’s review. She is not saying that they are going to step on the board’s responsibility for updating the bylaws, but there is some talent there that they can lend that would be extremely helpful. She referenced the slide entitled “Our Commitment” stating that does not reference heads in beds. If the intention is to keep heads in beds or at least have them come into a bed and then transition out of a bed, it probably needs to, because if the intention is not to do that long term, then they need to be very clear with the public that that is not the long-term intention.
In regard to the next slide, “Outcomes,” Commissioner Herr stated that measurements of success for her will have to be more granular than that and include things like HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) compliance. Their current grade is C at best and they have to get that up to speed and compliant. She added that if in the past they had major funders such as possibly the United Way, measuring success would be bringing back those funders. This is an end result and they have measurements of success that have to happen between now and there, and in order to get there, they have to be in the sustainability plan. She said she is not of the mindset that they have it all and they just need to put it on paper. She thinks they have the construct of it; they have some great ideas. But then they have to get down to how does it happen.
Commissioner Herr commented on the Org Chart that they are going from six full-time employees and one part-time employee with someone on loan to 15 people and no time frame associated with that, so they really need to figure that out how they scale that over time and is that the right number, etc.
One of the things that Commissioner Zembower referenced was that they maybe need to bridge the difference, Commissioner Herr opined she is somewhere between “Let’s go rocket fast,” like a small business, because they have taxpayer money involved and so they just cannot do that, so she really asks for the extension of appreciation for the fact that they are there to be protective of taxpayer money and they have to be respectful of that or not ask for it. Those are the two positions and there is no middle for her on that.
Commissioner Lockhart asked if they have a time frame and whether they are coming back to the Board. Mr. Turnage advised they do have an action plan, but he would not present it because it is not good. They can now take this information with the Board’s help and put a good plan together.
Ms. Guillet suggested the folks that are going to be involved in continuing to work with ROM sit down with them and figure out sort of where they are financially and at what point they might want the County to step in again, and then figure out how that relationship is going to work, bring the clarity that Commissioner Lockhart suggested. She said they have some operating capital so there is some time to bring something back to the Board. Let them understand what is going to happen over the next 6-12 months, from a funding standpoint, before they allocate funds to something else, because they have a lot of need out there. So, understanding what their needs are is going to be important for the them to plan with the limited dollars they have. She thinks they should start that sooner rather than later.
Chairman Constantine addressed the County Manager and stated they don’t want to sit there and then six months from now get the next report. He said he thinks that this almost is something that they need to have constant updates on. They all understand that unless something happens from the federal level, there are going to be a lot of people that are going to potentially lose their homes or where they are renting. It is not just the situation today, it is the situation to come in the very near future. He thinks they need to start moving on this sooner rather than later. Commissioner Zembower thought they should receive an update monthly, at least for the foreseeable future, with Commissioner Herr as a liaison working with them giving them that update. He added they need to be looking at the funding agreements that have been out there for two years and the provisions of some of those and where they are ultimately going to be. Chairman Constantine confirmed that the Commissioner is suggesting an update by county staff and Commissioner Herr and not that the ROM representatives come back monthly.
Commissioner Lockhart stated as they start looking at the timeline and bringing something back to the Board, in terms of a revised agreement, she hopes they will make sure that they have all of the chess board pieces accounted for in that agreement. She knows in their briefing last week, one of the comments was made that perhaps selling some of the assets of the Mission, in terms of property, might be a solution for them to generate some revenue, except this Board holds those deeds. There is a much more tedious conversation to be had here, and all of that, in her opinion, needs to be identified in that next agreement. She does not think they cannot have an agreement in place. Commissioner Zembower agreed, and Mr. Turnage stated then they should start working on the agreement. He asked when the Board would like to have the report, and Chairman Constantine said by the next BCC meeting in January and in what form that comes, they will leave that to the County Manager and the liaison.
Agenda Item #37 – 2020-2439
Slavia Road Improvements Design Update
Joseph Keezel, P.E., Dewberry, addressed the Board stating he is the consultant manager for this project. He presented and reviewed the Slavia Road Update, which was included in the agenda memorandum.
Commissioner Dallari stated he thinks it is important that they try to capitalize on the reconstruction of SR 417, which is going to be happening with the bridge that goes over Slavia Road. He thinks that is something they should capitalize on since the Expressway Authority will be absorbing that cost per the agreement with them. He added it is important that they plan for the future, because by going back and only doing three-lanes, he thinks they will have to come back to this pretty soon to actually figure out how to do four lanes. He thinks the suggestion about Pond 4 and the borrow pit is a great suggestion and they should be moving it that direction, as well as working with the associated property owners, which is the Lukas Nursery and The Master’s Academy. He opined the traffic signal makes sense and also the proposed Alternative 2A makes sense because they will be able to work with the Lukas Nursery folks to actually shift that to save their parking lot, i.e. their business. He would like to see them move in that direction, and after this, he will have a couple more suggestions, but right now he thinks those are the kinds of things they are looking for.
Commissioner Herr agreed with the majority of Commissioner Dallari’s comments, but would like to know why 2A versus Alternative 3. Mr. Keezel responded that it is because of the bike lanes. Commissioner Herr said then that is in preference to bike lanes as opposed to the multiuse path. Mr. Keezel stated they have looked at several alternatives in addition to the ones presented; they could do both bike lanes and a path, but they would end up getting a couple more parcels with a partial take on the north side.
Commissioner Zembower indicated he likes Option 3 because he thinks they need to start working to get bicycles off the roadways and get them into the multiuse paths. They have a trail that is coming right down through there anyway. Commissioner Dallari said he is fine with that. Commissioner Zembower added he realizes it is a couple hundred thousand dollars more, but the bicycles in the roadway are an invitation for disaster. He thinks it needs to be done.
Commissioner Herr wanted to know if Alternative 3 would negatively impact the Lukas parking lot. Mr. Keezel responded that he would still recommend shifting the alignment to the north. Right now he shows a straight alignment; he would take Alternative 3 and shift that north as well. Commissioner Dallari agreed. Chairman Constantine asked if that would cost more, and Mr. Keezel explained it would save them money because of the parking lot, saving their impacts to the parking. He estimates the savings would be $300,000 to $400,000.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Zembower, to approve Alternative 3, with a shift to the north including addressing the traffic light and Pond 4, and working with Lukas Nursery as well as The Master’s Academy.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Commissioner Dallari asked that they show the slide that shows the aerial of Slavia going from Red Bug to Aloma. He addressed Jean Jreij, Public Works Director, and noted he would like to put the extension of Slavia on the overall master plan of projects and have it come back to the Board as to how they would actually do something. He knows they have been looking at this at MetroPlan, extending Slavia to 434. He believes they need to put another east/west connector in this area, because Mitchell Hammock is at a point now that something needs to happen, and they need to be working with the City of Oviedo. He is not asking that Mr. Jreij change the design. He is asking that he bring something back to the Board so they can actually put a plan together to do that systematically, going east from Slavia to 434. Also, he thinks it is important that they talk to the City of Oviedo about some type of a transportation JPA, so they can actually be involved with this and the County is not acting on their own. He would like to understand what those transportation elements could be and move forward with that because he feels it is important that they have another east/west connector, and it would be advantageous for them to start looking at that right now.
Commissioner Dallari stated he also thinks there needs to be a plan of transportation for southeast Seminole including Winter Springs, Oviedo and UCF to see how they can maximize their transportation in this area. MetroPlan has some significant planning dollars and he would like to access those dollars. He would like to have some type of scope brought back to the Board so they can actually look at it.
Commissioner Zembower said he concurs with the additional east/west connector. He advised Orange County completed a traffic study in and around that corridor last year that was funded to the tune of about $75 million for that whole region that they should use in and around UCF, across McCulloch, etc., and he noted they have a JPA with Orange on McCulloch. The issue he thinks they will run into going east, is about two years ago or maybe three, the Duda family was in here and took a chunk of that land and asked to put it into conservation. Commissioner Zembower noted he was sitting on the Planning and Zoning Board and raised the concern then that this really should be looked at. So they need to look and see where that conservation parcel is now in place. Of course, they will have to go across the sod farm if they are going further over to 434, which is obviously the viable route. He thinks the expectation is sooner rather than later before something else happens there. Chairman Constantine added he does not think anyone knows, at this point, where the route is going to go, and it is something that Mr. Jreij will have to look at. He thinks that everybody agrees that there is nothing wrong with looking at it and trying to access MPO money.
Chairman Constantine recessed the meeting at 12:17 p.m., reconvening at 1:30 p.m., with all Commissioners and all other Officials who were present at the Opening Session.
COUNTY INVESTMENT ADVISOR REPORT
Scott McIntyre, Managing Director of Hilltop Securities, addressed the Board remotely to present the Investment Advisor’s Report (received and filed).
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to adopt the recommendations of the Board’s Financial Advisor based on the presentation and report submitted, and direct the Clerk to implement said Board-adopted recommendations.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
COUNTY MANAGER AND STAFF BRIEFINGS (Continued from the a.m. session)
Agenda Item #38 – 2020-2440
Boards and Committees Meeting Requirements
Ms. Guillet stated she put this on the agenda because she neglected to bring this up at the last meeting when Alan Harris, Chief Administrator of Emergency Management, had asked her to. She explained this focuses on a requirement in Chapter 20 of the Code of Ordinances that requires that the Animal Control Board meet three times a year. Mr. Harris stated due to COVID and the need, the Animal Control Board only met twice. He was looking for a formal waiver of the requirement for the third meeting. She asked all the other directors to ensure that they did not have any boards that were in a similar situation so she could just bring them all to the Board at one time. She said it was vague and caused confusion so she wanted to apologize for that. The action she is looking for from the Board today is simply for them to waive the three-meeting requirement for the Animal Control Board.
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Herr, to approve the waiver of a third meeting of the Animal Control Board in 2020.
With regard to public participation, no one spoke and public input was closed.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Tricia Johnson, Deputy County Manager, addressed the Board to speak about Legislative Session 2021, but she also wanted to provide an update about the outcome of Legislative Session 2020. She said the Board may recall that the Legislature had a momentous finish in March as several folks were quarantined, so the budget was not completed by the scheduled end date. The session was extended by six days and they had sine die on March 19th. All three of the County’s initial appropriations requests were put into the state budget pre-veto period, and she thanked Senator Simmons and Representatives Plakon and Smith for their advocacy on these requests. Ultimately, two of their three requests were vetoed. The Governor vetoed about one billion dollars’ worth of requests before the budget was approved the day before the new budget fiscal year began on July 1st. The Lake Jesup Watershed project was funded for the County at $350,000.
Ms. Johnson stated the biggest question that remains from 2020 moving into the 2021 session is what do the budgets for the next fiscal year look like and how much money will be allocated for individual department silos. The State is projecting approximately a $3 billion budget deficit as they move into 2021, and session will convene on March 2nd.
There are a number of issues they are hearing about that may or may not come up as they get into session, i.e. sovereign immunity and affordable housing. She has heard some of their government partners talking about changing Sunshine Law to allow for virtual meetings without a quorum, since many have seen the success with that over the COVID-19 pandemic. She would like to, over the next few weeks, speak with each of the Commissioners individually to talk further about their legislative priorities and appropriations requests. She noted she provided the Commission with a copy of their 2020 Priorities just so they can see what they had on paper last year. She is hearing from a lot of their partners that they are kind of sticking with what they did for 2020 because counties and cities anticipate being more on defense this year than on offense, so putting too many new things forth may be a challenge.
In terms of appropriations requests, it has been suggested that they stick to one to two rather than their typical three and that those requests be focused on shovel-ready projects that will put people to work and that are regional in nature. She said she is working with Public Works to ascertain what projects they have that they may be able to put in requests for, as well as Kim Ornberg, Roads and Stormwater Division, and her team, since they have had luck in the past with respect to water quality and cleanup projects.
Oscar Anderson, The Southern Group, addressed the Board and indicated the State is clearly going to have a big hole in its budget. An article in the newspaper last week reported it was about $2.7 billion; the House and Senate members seem to think it is going to be closer to $3.5 billion. Mr. Anderson said he has heard it as high as $5 billion. At the end of the day, it will be hard from an appropriations perspective. They have a new House Speaker and Senate President; he opined that Speaker Chris Sprowls and President Wilton Simpson are great. He does not believe they have the animosity towards local government as they have seen in the last three or four years. He added he is sure there will be a good share of those attacks that they have seen, but the local governments are hopeful it will not be as bad this year as it has in the past.
There are a lot of things being talked about to solve some of the budget challenges. One of them is what they call the “e-Fairness bill,” and he knows the Association of Counties is going to pursue that as well. It would eventually enforce online sales tax collection that could generate upwards of half a billion dollars a year, which is a big step towards solving that problem. Another issue they have talked about is the Gaming Compact, which had lapsed, and they haven’t been getting those contributions for awhile and so they want to start that again. The problem with all of those things, of course, is it is going to require legislation to get them passed, and they won’t know the answer to that until the end of session. They will be making budget decisions as they go along, so those numbers will not be baked into the budget; they will kind of help backfill some reserves if they solve those problems, and hopefully things will be better for the year after.
Mr. Anderson advised the Senate has announced its committees. With Senator Brodeur who knows his way around Tallahassee, he thinks that will be helpful. Obviously, their representatives came back, which is great because any kind of seniority and understanding of the processes is helpful. They’ve seen some leadership announced in the House Committee, but they haven’t seen the actual committee structure yet and who is going to be on those committees.
Chairman Constantine addressed Ms. Johnson and Mr. Anderson stating what they want the Board to do is over the next couple of weeks get with them to discuss their priorities individually and then they will come back to talk to them. Their legislative delegation meets earlier than most and they are meeting next week. He said he thinks it is important, when they are talking about Home Rule, that they also put a face on the home rule that Seminole is concerned about, and those clearly would be ensuring that the rural boundary is protected and that the Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act is protected, and there aren’t any changes in either one of those.
Commissioner Dallari mentioned that a couple of months ago, they were talking about the need that their Fire Chief was talking about regarding additional fire suppression on I-4. The Board Chairman at the time wrote a letter to FDOT requesting that they change their policy, and DOT just responded on November 16th stating it was a great idea but rejecting it. He thinks they should all be briefed so they can talk about that at the appropriate time. Commissioner Dallari said he feels it is appropriate, but he wants to make sure that everyone is informed before they start having that discussion.
Chairman Constantine expressed one of the things that needs to be said when they are dealing with the Legislature right now is that a $3 billion deficit is huge. They are talking about a $90 billion budget, but so much of that is already taken off the table. Whether it is education or health and human services, and certainly COVID will probably be looked at to get a boost. He thinks all the other discretionary issues, which they are usually the ones they are asking money for, will probably be very difficult. Local government is always playing defense anyway, but anything they might get from the Legislature he thinks might be a Hail Mary this year.
PROOFS OF PUBLICATION
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to authorize the filing of the proofs of publication for this meeting’s scheduled public hearings into the Official Record.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
All five Commissioners advised they are submitting their ex parte communications into the record (received and filed).
Commissioner Dallari questioned the process for submitting ex parte communications. Mr. Chipok addressed the Board to explain that ex parte can be submitted either in hard copy or electronically; however, if it is electronic, it must be available at the meeting so that the public has the opportunity to review it during or prior to the meeting.
Agenda Item #39 – 2020-2245
Board of Adjustment Appeal
2391 Pandora Lane/Patton and Jacqueline Wasson, Applicants
Commissioner Zembower advised that the agenda memorandum shows this item as being in his district; however, it is in Commissioner Dallari’s district (District 1).
Angi Kealhofer, Planning and Development Division, addressed the Board to present the request stating it is a request to appeal the July 27, 2020 Board of Adjustment decision to deny the request for a minimum lot size variance from 5 acres to 2.47 acres in the A-5 (Rural Zoning Classification) district, more particularly known as 2391 Pandora Lane. She reported the subject parcel is part of an illegal land split and is not a legal parcel of record prior to July 28, 1970 and is within the East Rural Boundary district. On August 10, 2020, Patton “Andy” and Jacquelyn Wasson filed a Notice of Appeal to the Board of Adjustment’s decision. The previous owners of the property, Cody and Angie Alstott, bought Parcel 10C at a tax deed sale in May of 2016. They were told in writing by staff in 2018 that the lot is not buildable due to the illegal land split. The parcel was created in the mid 1980’s before the rural land use and zoning regulations were adopted, but the Comprehensive Plan (Future Land Use Policy 11.15) states that the parcel had to be a parcel of record as of 1991, when the Rural Zoning and Future Land Use were established in order to be vested. Unfortunately, this parcel was not a lot of record as of that date, since it was not created through a county subdivision process.
The County adopted its subdivision regulations in 1971. Prior to 1991, the property was zoned A-1 (one dwelling unit per acre) with a Suburban Estates Future Land Use designation. If the zoning had not changed in 1991, there would have been a way for the parcel to become legal through the subdivision process. The parcel, if able to meet the minimum zoning requirements, could be platted through the rural subdivision process, which allows lots to be subdivided/platted on an easement.
Letters of support were received from the surrounding neighbors and letters of opposition were received from Richard T. Creedon, Vice-President of Geneva Citizens Association Inc., and Linda Hornbeak, 3201 Curryville Road.
Ms. Kealhofer stated based on the information, findings and conclusions included in the agenda memorandum, staff recommends the Board uphold the decision of the Board of Adjustment to deny the request.
Mark A. Watts, Cobb Cole Attorneys at Law, addressed the Board to speak on behalf of the Wassons. He stated Mr. and Mrs. Wasson are in attendance today and this appeal is the only option available to them to move forward with the investment they have made in what they plan to be their retirement property. They are asking for the Board to consider an appeal of the Board of Adjustment’s denial of a minimum lot size for what really has, since the mid-1980s, been a lot of record from a tax standpoint in Seminole County.
Mr. Watts displayed a PowerPoint presentation (received and filed). He stated the property is about 2.47 acres. It is actually 3.67 acres, but when you net out the wetland areas, it is 2.47 acres and it is currently in the area zoned A-5. He then reviewed the Timeline of Events stating the parcel was created with a deed that was filed in the mid-1980s, and there has been a separate tax I.D. number that has been taxed and billed by the County since that point in time. The property was zoned A-1 then and was legal at that point in time, but it did not go through the formal subdivision process that was in place. In 1991, the County adopted the revised regulations for the eastern portion of the county that put in place the five-acre minimum. In May of 1991, this property and the property located to the east of it were deeded to that parcel owner, who still own the smaller parcel. They owned it until May of 2013 when they lost the back parcel to a tax deed sale. The County took back control of the property and auctioned it at tax deed in 2013. Mr. and Mrs. Alstott purchased it who ultimately became the sellers to his client. They purchased it in 2016 and in 2018, as staff mentioned, there was a lot research report done that confirmed to the Alstotts that the property was not buildable. The unfortunate part for the Wassons is that that was not noted on the parcel card and it was not noted in the record, so when they came to verify the ability to get a permit before their closing in May of 2019, it was confirmed to them that the property was buildable at that point.
The unfortunate thing here is that their clients did everything right from the standpoint of following all the steps. They had an attorney that did their title work and handled their transaction. They visited the county building as to inquire as to the “permitability” of a home, and they were told at that point in time that, yes, they could get a permit, and yet they find themselves here now confirming after the fact that without a variance or going through the subdivision process, they can’t actually obtain a permit on the property. So, they applied for the variance.
The slide entitled Variance Criteria was shown, and Mr. Watts explained they were able to satisfy all but one. The one criterion that staff indicated they did not believe that their application satisfied was that the request would not confer on the applicant or petitioner any special privilege that is denied by Chapter 30 to other lands, buildings, or structures in the same zoning district. He believes that the staff’s response to that was issuing a building permit to a lot that is an illegally subdivided parcel of land would be a right that is not commonly enjoyed by other properties in similar circumstances. He said, however, what they believe is that by asking for the variance to the lot size to recognize the existing size of a parcel that has existed and been taxed by the County since 1984 or 1985, they are not actually asking them to issue a permit on a parcel that has not gone through the subdivision process. They are asking the Board to grant a variance that will allow them to take the parcel through that subdivision process, to go through the process to establish it as a legal lot and let it move forward with permitting. He displayed an aerial showing the other parcels in that area, which are all less than five acres in size and all created at a time when A-1 zoning allowed there to be smaller lots. The subject parcel is the only one that does not have a house on it at this point in time.
Mr. Watts mentioned the letters of support from the neighbors included in the agenda memorandum. He then covered the failures in the process and procedures that led to where they are today. He noted that one thing from a policy standpoint that would have saved them from the situation they find themselves in now is that in some of the other counties in the area, if a non-conforming parcel is taken back by the County for unpaid taxes, it is only offered to adjacent property owners. It is not put back out through a general auction as this one was; it is only offered to those adjacent parcels that could combine it into a conforming parcel. He does not think that is a policy that Seminole County has in place and he thinks it is a good one to consider because it would help avoid a repeat of this situation that their client finds themselves in. Also when there was a status report done in 2018 with the prior owners, the notation on that parcel record that they had researched the parcel and know it is not a buildable parcel would avoid the mistake of someone coming in to see if they can get a permit for this and then being told that they can. They are unfortunate circumstances but their clients kind of have the cleanest hands in the history of this.
Mr. Watts concluded by stating that variances do not set legal precedent and cited Jacksonville v. Taylor. He then thanked staff for all their hard work.
With regard to public participation, Jerry Edwards, 2411 Pandora Lane, spoke in support of the request. No one else spoke in support or opposition, and public input was closed. Speaker Request Form was received and filed.
Commissioner Dallari asked the attorneys to discuss how they got to this place because he has an issue that they have a nonconforming lot and an individual who is purely innocent because they bought a piece of property on a tax deed sale. He wants to understand from a legal standpoint how this all took place. Attorney Chipok responded that the County cannot restrict the sale of property from anyone to anyone. Their legal authority on regulation starts with the zoning and the building permits. So if somebody sells a non-conforming lot to someone else that is not a buildable lot, the County cannot prevent the sale of that lot. But again, they cannot provide the appropriate permits for that because it does not meet the standard. Commissioner Dallari said then if they did a title search, would it show up in that. Mr. Chipok said that it should, but in this case, the fact that the property was not buildable was not caught in the title search. He indicated he has not researched that but that is a private matter and not a county matter; they would not be involved in the title search.
Commissioner Lockhart stated she was a member of staff here years ago and they had a rash of illegal, non-conforming lots coming forward, and there was a process in about 2005 where they set up a system with the Property Appraiser to flag non-conforming lots. She asked why that did not work for this situation; how was the flag not existing there. Ms. Kealhofer answered because that process was not in place at the time that the lot research request was done. She then explained the process that is in place currently. Rebecca Hammock, Director of Development Services, addressed the Board to clarify what Ms. Kealhofer talked about. She understands the process was put into place within the last ten years, and this lot split was created in the 1980s.
Commissioner Lockhart remembered that at some point in time, there was a concerted effort to scour the county for illegal non-conforming lots in the mid-2000s, and there was some sort of effort on the part of the County because there was a realization that these non-conforming lots existed and people were in an unsuspecting situation purchasing these properties, recognizing it was not the County’s responsibility, but they were somehow involved in helping to identify these. Kathy Hammel, Planning and Development, stated that Commissioner Lockhart is remembering correctly but that it was platted lots that they were looking at. It was where people were splitting existing platted lots; this is not a platted lot, it is a parcel, and that is the difference. It was an issue that came to their attention because there was a sale of a platted lot that someone had divided illegally and that is how they were able to track it. Commissioner Lockhart confirmed the reason this was not caught in that is because it was not platted.
Commissioner Lockhart questioned if they had any more lots like this in the county. Ms. Hammock replied they have probably quite a few lots that are in a similar situation, and they do have this quite often. They try to work with people as much as they can to come up with a resolution. The interesting thing about this case too is that the property owner owned both lots, 10C and the lot to the west 10D, but then because of the tax deed sale where lot 10D was sold, now the other lot is also illegal and non-conforming.
Commissioner Zembower opined the rural referendum in 2004 is what triggered some of these to become non-conforming. His discussion with the Property Appraiser revealed that in the last several years, those are now designated as to whether they are conforming or non-conforming. Ms. Hammock said she would have to confirm that. When they called the Tax Collector’s Office to inquire about the process for the tax deed sales, they were just referred to the Florida statutes, so they were not able to get specific information. Ms. Hammock shared that their Comp Plan does have a policy already that does vest legally created parcels that were done through the subdivision process that were created prior to the adoption of the rural area in 1991, so the parcels that are illegal or non-conforming and cannot hold building permits are those that did not go through a legal subdivision process that was in place in 1971 in the county. Commissioner Zembower stated they heard from Mr. Watts that other counties, which he did verify, do have in place if it is non-conforming and if it comes on the tax deed, it can only be offered to surrounding parcel owners, which cures the problem right then and there, of course. In talking with the Applicant, they have attempted to go the legal route, it is his understanding, and get restitution from the seller if it dead ends. As a property owner in Chuluota himself, he sees that all the parcels around the subject property are basically the same size with homes already on them, so he does not have a problem with this request.
Chairman Constantine mentioned the subject property is 10C and asked whether there was a home on 10D. Ms. Kealhofer answered that there is. Chairman Constantine expressed that the owner of 10D stopped paying the taxes on 10C when they owned that property. He could not build anything on it and stopped paying taxes so the County took it. He wondered if they are setting themselves up for unintended consequences. Commissioner Dallari added that is also his concern because there are a lot of other parcels out there that do not conform and where do they draw the line. Chairman Constantine indicated they do not want this to happen again. They need to find a mechanism to prevent it and if other counties have that, it should be easy to find out what they do and maybe be able to plug it into what they do here.
Mr. Watts said he appreciates the concern about setting a precedent, which is why he included the last slide to assure them from a case law standpoint that variances do not set precedent. He stated he thinks the distinguishing characteristic that they can look to here is that the property passed through the County’s hands. He said he is not casting aspersion in any way, but there is an opportunity for a check and balance there, so this particular property got through without getting that flag associated with the parcel number. He addressed Chairman Constantine’s concern about the property owner that may have two tax parcels and decides that they may want to let one go because it is not the one their house is on. He said if that comes through as a non-conforming parcel and you have the checks and balances in place from a policy standpoint, this would not happen again.
Commissioner Dallari asked if this piece of property was purchased through a real estate agent, and Mr. Watts advised it was actually purchased from a real estate agent. The gentleman that was the seller is a broker. Commissioner Dallari wondered whether that real estate agent has the fiduciary responsibility to disclose this information. Mr. Watts said he believes that they do, but again he thinks what they ultimately get to is a judgement that is not enforceable. They can spend a lot of time and effort going down that road and get to a judgement that they cannot collect on.
Commissioner Herr wanted to hear from the County Attorney in regard to setting or not setting a precedent. Mr. Chipok stated that Mr. Watts is correct that from a legal standpoint, a variance should not carry any weight as precedent for other variances. However, as a practical matter, when a variance is granted it tends to sometimes change the character and the development of the area, so it does have that affect at times. In this particular situation, this is a very unusual circumstance because with the new lot that was created, 10C, the property owner did go and get an easement to reach a public right-of-way, but the property itself is not on a public right-of-way. Other properties that are out in the rural area that are substandard and not legally conforming that are on public rights-of-way can come in and go through the subdivision process to create a subdivision of that existing lot that is less than five acres on the existing right-of-way. That way it can become legitimate through the subdivision process as a lot that is non-conforming. In this situation since it is on an easement, that is not available under the way the Comprehensive Plan is written at this time. So, this is a very unique circumstance.
Ms. Hammock added they do allow subdivision on parcels that have access from an easement in the rural area, so in this case they did have an established easement, so if they were granted the variance, they could come in and go through the rural subdivision process to have access. They have officialized lots previously through the process like Mr. Chipok explained where they were not legally subdivided in the past but they have road frontage, so they were able to officialize them as long as they met zoning and future land use. Here they do not meet zoning or future land use; however, she thinks maybe the unique circumstance or the hardship may be the fact that parcels 10C and 10D probably should have been combined and should not have been able to be sold separately. There were two separate parcels but they should have been combined to make one legal parcel; however, they were separate parcels and because of the failure to pay the taxes, 10D was sold in the tax sale, therefore making 10D also non-conforming. Commissioner Dallari questioned why they allowed that to be subdivided illegally to which Ms. Hammock explained that was something probably property owners did in the past through the property appraisers and that was prior to where they had that failsafe in place where the property appraisers required people who were subdividing, doing a lot split or a lot combination, to come to zoning to make sure that it met zoning and future land use. Unfortunately, back in the 1980s the property owners probably did not know that was required and the property appraisers were not requiring it at the time.
Commissioner Zembower said he wanted to address the character of the area. If you are going to change the character of this area, that is one thing, but they are not changing the character of this area significantly based on what is already there and what is already built. It will be consistent with what is there except for the one owner who is here who supports it. He thinks it is very telling that all the neighbors have written letters of support and they do not have an issue with it. He added as far as precedent setting, this is what the variance process is for. It is a set of circumstances that they must consider that are unique to a request.
Commissioner Lockhart asked staff that if for some reason this variance is not granted, what could they envision that property being used for at this point in time. You cannot put a house on it. Ms. Hammock replied that the property could be used for agricultural uses, but it would not be eligible for anything that requires a building permit, but anything that is a non-residential farm building is not required to go through building permitting. Commissioner Lockhart confirmed that if they wanted to start breeding pigs, they could do that on that property, and if they wanted to have a chicken coup and have a bunch of chickens and start producing eggs, they could do that. She opined that maybe the neighbors out there recognize what the alternative is to having a nice new set of neighbors. She knows that an existing neighbor shared that things that were happening out there before were not good and it is now being cleaned up. Her understanding was that it was not pretty. She added she is not sure what else they would gain as a community and as a county by not allowing this to go forward.
Upon inquiry by Commissioner Dallari, Ms. Hammock explained if the subject property were to become a legal lot through the variance approval, then it would be required to go through their rural subdivision process to create a one-lot, legal subdivision. Commissioner Dallari noted that someone mentioned that it does not have access to a road, it only has an easement, so it could not go to a subdivision plan. Ms. Hammock replied that she thinks the reference there is for a lot split. They could do a legal lot split, which the Code does allow, and it is called “one free lot split,” but you have had to have been a legal parcel as of 1971, and you might be entitled to be able to split your lot as long as it meets zoning and future land use, but you do have to have public road frontage to do that.
Commissioner Dallari asked that the lot sizes be read out loud and stated the subject lot is not the smallest one and its not the largest one, but it is on the upper size of the surrounding lots. Ms. Hammock added it is not out of character with the lot sizes in the area. Commissioner Dallari opined the issue here is it does not adversely affect the surrounding area.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Zembower, to grant the appeal by overturning the Board of Adjustment’s decision to deny the request, thereby approving the request for a minimum lot size variance from 5 acres to 2.47 acres in the A-5 (Rural Zoning Classification) district, more particularly known as 2391 Pandora Lane; Patton and Jacquelyn Wasson, Applicants; Development Order.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Constantine stated he believes there is consensus that they direct the County Manager to, at the minimum, look at the policy that other counties have where they will not sell property like the one in the BOA appeal they just voted upon, other than to adjacent owners. But also what they have outstanding is whether or not they need to establish a policy so this does not happen again, including a person letting their taxes go on a separate property that they have thereby making both of them non-conforming. Commissioner Herr stated she thinks the sale for past-due taxes is separate from the issue of the County’s internal recordkeeping and whether or not the notes are added to the records so there can be no question as to whether that information is given out. She said she consistently heard through this process that that does not happen, and so that piece needs to be addressed as well. She thinks they have internal processes that need to be addressed in addition to working with the Property Appraiser and the Tax Collector, which is a bigger issue. Ms. Guillet pointed out that clearly internal processes need to be clarified and she believes Ms. Hammock wants to address that. She thinks they recognize they need to be on top of that in making sure that when they have those kinds of notations and they do that kind of research that it makes it into the file. Secondly is the issue of policy with respect to non-conforming lots going to tax deed sale. She added it would be easy to bring a policy forward that would be a Board policy that they would establish.
Ms. Guillet remarked she heard discussion earlier about trying to identify all illegal, non-conforming lots in the county. She would like to talk with the County Attorney’s Office about that and do a deeper dive because she does not know what sort of obligation they would be taking on there. If they take that on and miss something, they might end up buying lots. She requested they have a little more internal discussion on that and report back on what they find and what the issues might be.
Commissioner Zembower noted he sat on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee five years ago as the Planning and Zoning Chair, and they had a discussion specifically about needing to identify all non-conforming lots throughout the entire county for another purpose, which was the discussion of people wanting to put tiny homes up. They wanted to know if there were an abundance or any significant amount of non-conforming lots that could be possibly a discussion for tiny homes. Staff was looking into that then, and he said he has brought that up because maybe some of that groundwork has already been done.
Ms. Hammock indicated she is not sure that the effort that she is aware of is directly related to that, but she thinks it may be. She knows there were some code changes that occurred regarding antiquated plats that had lot sizes that did not meet zoning and those specifically identified for affordable housing allowing homes to build on them especially in CDBG areas, even though they did not meet the minimum lot sizes, and they would be allowed to be permitted without the need for a lot size variance, but they would have to meet zoning for setbacks. So that may have partially addressed that. Commissioner Zembower added that Chuluota was one of those areas because it does have a water source, an actual fresh water source, through a utility. You could not have well and septic for affordable housing; you had to have sewer and a potable water supply.
Ms. Guillet remarked she thinks identifying non-conforming lots for that purpose is one thing, but identifying non-conforming lots to protect buyers is another and maybe not something they want to get into, but they can talk about that some more.
Commissioner Lockhart commented that she thinks that a lot of that was already done and that the County already stepped into that realm many years ago and already did that in terms of platted lots. She believes maybe the only ones left to identify are those that are not platted. She understands the County Manager’s concern, but hopes that will not delay her bringing back the information. Mr. Guillet confirmed it would not.
Ms. Hammock wanted to clarify one issue stating what they are going to do in the future, if it is acceptable to the County Manager and County Attorney’s Office, is that on their lot research requests, they can record those in Land Records. They do not currently do that, so that if someone does do a title search, then they should find it in Land Records. There was consensus of the Board.
Chairman Constantine recessed the meeting at 3:07 p.m., reconvening at 3:15 p.m.
COUNTY MANAGER AND STAFF BRIEFINGS (Continued)
Ms. Guillet stated she sent the members of the Board an Assignment related to Florida Power & Light and their Load Control Agreement.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Zembower, to approve and authorize the Chairman to execute the Amendment to Assignment and Assumption of Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) CILC (Commercial Industrial Load Control Program) Agreement with the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Ms. Guillet reminded that all the Commission Offices recently received a request from the Seminole County Bar Association to name a couple of courtrooms in the Criminal Courthouse, and that they cannot discuss that via email with one another. The County does not have a protocol in place for naming buildings, just parks. She advised she asked Meloney Koontz, Assistant County Manager, to start putting together a protocol for the Board to consider moving forward for naming facilities. She noted that someone needs to respond to the BAR Association and she questioned whether this request is something they want to move forward with now. Commissioners Zembower and Dallari both stated they are not opposed to it but would like to see the protocols first.
Commissioner Lockhart stated they obviously need a policy. She pointed out that she does know one of the individuals that the BAR is recommending they name a courtroom after, and she knows that he is wonderful and she does not know who the other person is. However, at the School Board they had a policy that they didn’t want to name things after people who are still alive and still had room in their lives to make decisions that would reflect poorly on a building being named after them. It is the Board of County Commissioners’ building, a building of the public, and she shared she was somewhat surprised, with no offense to the BAR Association, that they felt that basically if the County did not respond, they were going to do what they wanted to do, which took her back a little bit. And then she found out that they have already named a couple of rooms in the courthouse apparently. She wondered if they know how and when that happened. Ms. Guillet and Commissioner Zembower both stated they were not aware of that. He noted that he hasn’t seen any courtrooms named after anyone, they are usually Courtroom 1A, etc. Commissioner Lockhart added this Board needs to decide if they even want to get into the business of naming rooms inside buildings for people; is it even something they want to undertake. And what is the process for that and do names need to be submitted from the public. Does the BAR Association really have the authority? She thinks there is a whole can of worms that this Board needs to have a discussion about.
Commissioner Herr stated they are having two different conversations right now and she is purposely abstaining from one of them for obvious reasons. She will not participate in the naming of rooms in the courthouse locally, but with regard to the larger conversation around whether they even want to be in the business of naming rooms in buildings, that is a really worthy conversation. Commissioner Zembower agreed with Commissioner Lockhart stating he does not necessarily believe it is a great idea to name, whether it is a courtroom, a bridge, a road or anything else, after somebody that is still alive that could at some juncture fall out of good graces with their name. Maybe the County Attorney’s Office can weigh in on that as well.
Ms. Guillet clarified with respect to the request from the BAR Association, the Board is not prepared to move forward on that, but they would like staff to bring them a protocol to discuss.
Commissioner Lockhart wondered if there is a time sensitivity that created the urgency to do this with or without their response and Ms. Guillet responded there is nothing that she is aware of. Commissioner Lockhart then asked who is going to actually interact with the BAR Association and Ms. Gullet responded her office would. Commissioner Lockhart inquired who would be communicating with him and Ms. Guillet replied she has and Ms. Koontz has, and she will likely ask Ms. Koontz to handle the discussions.
Chairman Constantine said he could name one incident where this Board just recently named a road for a person who is still living, and he thinks it is important that they have some sort of process. Commissioner Lockhart added the unintended consequence of that was the descendants were very upset that they were not even brought into the discussion or notified that the road was being renamed because it had been named after their father.
ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDA
No public requests to speak were received.
Commissioner Lockhart stated the only thing she would like the Board to contemplate, and it is something that she had discussed with Rick Durr, Leisure Services Director, had to do with the level of service of their parks in relationship to how much developed space there is in an area. It was mentioned in one of the agenda items as a criterion for approval of a planned development that they reviewed. She asked about that and asked what their goal is as part of their parks plan, and she thought that Mr. Durr felt like he needed some direction to explore that further. She remarked if they are going to have it as a part of their mechanisms for determining whether a PD is appropriate or not or if there is enough park space in the area, they should probably know what their goal is, and at this point she does not think they know what their level of service is that is good or bad. Maybe it is and she does not know, but she thought she would bring it up as a part of the discussion for something they may want to be looked at in the future. Ms. Guillet mentioned that to some degree, it should have been established in the Comprehensive Plan with respect to the parks and recreation element, but she will speak to the Director of Development Services a little more about it.
Joe Abel, Deputy County Manager, addressed the Board to speak as the previous Leisure Services Director. He advised there is language in the Comprehensive Plan about level of service. He thought it was interesting that Commissioner Lockhart brought this up because there was just an article in the National Recreation and Parks Association magazine written by a local person, David Barth, who has done some after planning here. There is a push to change and look at the way you do planning from a level of service used for parks and recreation, because it is unique to every community based on the expectation and what the desire of the community is. He and Mr. Durr have had conversations about following up on that, but that is a planning effort and would be something they would want to work with Development Services on moving forward and looking at that as they look at the master plan for parks and recreation, especially now that they have new numbers from the census and the development review that they are doing right now.
Commissioner Lockhart asked that Mr. Abel highlight that and ensure the Board has a conversation about that when the time comes, and he agreed.
Commissioner Zembower recognized Jason Sutton, a Public Works employee who was involved in an unfortunate accident. He noted he is recovering much better now.
He also brought up the unfortunate and untimely death of Sgt. James LaRue of the Sheriff’s Office. COVID-19 unfortunately took his life. Their prayers remain with the families.
Commissioner Zembower mentioned the Thomas Stable Road repair, the Retreat Road drainage project; the Lake Harney drainage issues, and the cleanup of the excessive weed growth at Sunland Park.
Commissioner Zembower said he knows they brought up the Sanford JPA the last time. He wants to know where that stands and where they are headed with that. He talked to the Mayor of Sanford this week. There seems to be some confusion about what is being requested and what is actually happening with county staff versus their staff. He spoke with the former Mayor and current Mayor stating instead of cherry picking, they should open the JPA up because there are things that should be discussed globally for the transportation costs, firefighter costs, the roads and drainage, and all those types of things that need to be looked at. He asked that staff give the Board an update as soon as possible on where they really are with that and where they need to be headed. What he heard last time is that they were waiting for Sanford to get back to them on whatever had been discussed at the staff level, but that is not the understanding of the Mayor of Sanford.
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to appoint Jeannine Ellenson to the Historical Commission for a two-year term; Dr. Gerardo Viscarindo to the Animal Control Board for a one-year term; Joe Humphreys to the Parks and Preservation Advisory Committee for a three-year term; James Depot to the Contractor Examiner Board for a one-year term; and to reappoint Bob Hughes to the Historical Commission for a two-year term; Brian Wilson to the Animal Control Board for a one-year term; and both Clay Archey and Jim Hunter to the Agricultural Advisory Committee for two-year terms; all effective beginning January 2021.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Commissioner Herr stated she served her last meeting at CFX, as Chairman Constantine will be taking over on that committee as the elected there. The good news is that the toll revenue variance year over year is well above what the revised COVID projections were. The rebound to people actually driving, which she thinks is an indicator of the economy, is uplifting. Work with Brightline continues and they look forward to connectivity to South Florida and the Orlando Airport.
She thanked staff for helping her in the first month of doing this and she particularly thanked, Sam Tucker from the County Manager’s Office, for simply jumping in front of her and handing her things as she walks down the hallway so she looks well informed and ready to go. She said she has really been fantastic.
Commissioner Herr presented a small plaque to Commissioner Zembower in appreciation of his time as chairman.
Commissioner Lockhart reported she and Chairman Constantine attended the Florida Association of Counties Legislative Conference. She suggests that any of them that has the chance to plug into FAC and participate in any of their conferences or the new member orientation or any of the certified County Commissioner programs should take advantage. Every time she goes she learns something she didn’t know that she needed to know. She mentioned there was a discussion about a statewide broadband initiative. The small counties have kind of taken the bull by the horns and they have determined that they are all going to get together and get behind this initiative to support it. While Seminole is not technically a small county, they certainly have a great portion of their county that could benefit from a statewide broadband initiative. Ms. Guillet agreed.
Commissioner Lockhart reported that the Board will be hearing from a group of citizens from the East Crystal Chain of Lakes. They have gone through the MSBU process and have achieved the required number of votes from their surrounding properties, so they will be coming before the Board. She remarked an entire chain of lakes is coming together with the sole intent of making sure that these lakes’ water quality improves and does not degrade. This is an older part of the county where the lakes are utilized for stormwater and the City of Lake Mary’s stormwater. These residents recognize that as waterfront property owners they get a benefit, but they also realize there is a responsibility.
Commissioner Lockhart said as their representative on the superintendent search committee for Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS), she is pleased to report that the committee did a phenomenal job. The have selected five names to go forward to the Seminole County School Board for consideration. Of course, the board has the opportunity to pull up any other names that were not included. The candidates are all within the State of Florida and there is one internal candidate, and one candidate from Lake County who, interestingly enough, had been an elected superintendent in another part of the state where many of the smaller counties have elected superintendents. And three applicants are from Orange County. As the chairman of that committee, Commissioner Lockhart stated they will be presenting the Committee’s work to the School Board on December 15th.
Commissioner Lockhart said there are two things she wanted to bring up that this Board had talked about before with staff and she does not mean to do it ad nauseum, but she is trying to find the magic bullet. The situation this morning with the item that was on the agenda that really was a memory marker, she is finding more and more with items on the agenda that they do not get backup for them, so she tends to wait until the last day before the Board meeting at the end of the day to see if there is stuff that is being distributed. And she does not know how to fix that, but she is not always here and she is not always waiting by her email on Monday afternoon to get anything that might be coming. She wanted to bring this up again as a point of conversation. Commissioner Zembower stated he concurs. For example, he just received some documents yesterday about the public hearing scheduled for 6:00 p.m. this evening from Public Works in an email. He knows they have discussed this multiple times, and he knows sometimes things fall through the cracks or you need something last minute, but he thinks they should be looking at some kind of policy that if they don’t have everything gathered up, it either is removed from the agenda and gets rescheduled or has some kind of process for vetting it. He added he does not want to say it is about being perfect, but it is about being more consistent, because it does happen quite a bit. They get documents at the last minute or he will show up the morning of the hearing and his aide will hand him more stuff that just came in. Is it important, is it not important; he does not know until he looks at it, but it has to have their attention given to it for consideration. So, he would like to see some kind of process put in place that says if you don’t have all the documents ready to go, then don’t put it on the agenda. If they are significant documents that are going to show up at the last minute, then maybe it just needs to be pulled from the agenda and rescheduled.
Chairman Constantine noted they had a discussion after the last meeting, and the staff is well aware of the concerns they all have on this issue. He is not making excuses and he gets the point, but many of the things that they get are from outside sources and then they get the dilemma as to should they give it to the Board or not. This Board has the choice, if they feel they received far too much information to make an honest decision, to just postpone it if they have to. He believes Commissioner Lockhart brings up a good point, but he thinks that staff is sensitive to it and is going to try to make their best effort to ensure that what they provide is given to them in a timely fashion.
Commissioner Lockhart said she wants to expand on this and look at it from less of a myopic perspective and more from the perspective of the public, because they see agenda items and there is nothing for them to click on to learn about what it is, and this Board has a relationship problem right now with their community. There is some distrust and some opportunities for better communication, and she thinks correcting this could probably help with that. If they were to take themselves out of the positions that they are in in this room and put themselves as a member of the public who is interested in what is going on in local government, their perception of what is happening here is not probably terribly positive, given all of the blank pages, because it doesn’t then always get uploaded. The public does not see all of the stuff that is handed out to the Board at the last minute. Selfishly for herself, yes, it is troublesome to get things later, but she is looking at it from a more global perspective and seeing that they are continuing to have and not help themselves to improve their relationships with the public right now. And this is maybe one way that if they can get a handle on this, that might be a step in the right direction. They are teeing it up for people to say, “Well look, there isn’t even any backup on the agenda.” And when there is a good and valid reason, she is all about it, but it is happening too frequently that they are creating their own problems, which is her concern.
Commissioner Dallari stated he would like staff to give them a hard date of when the agenda will be uploaded and basically frozen. He believes that may be the answer. Chairman Constantine questioned whether he means the agenda or backup information. Commissioner Lockhart clarified she is talking about the agenda with fill-in pages that say “backup coming.” She thinks they had four or five in just this agenda. Commissioner Dallari added they do not need to do it today, but he would like staff to report back to them. Ms. Guillet stated if the Board wants, they can say if it is not ready to go on agenda day, it will wait until the next meeting. She noted it is a little difficult because in the 90 days between the end of October and the middle of January, there are two meetings, so often times they know they only have one shot. They have two shots during that 90-day period to do business before the Board. They can just say if they cannot get it done, it just doesn’t get done until January 12. She expressed that she is hearing that they don’t want anything added onto the agenda or even placeholders put on the agenda, so it just needs to be scheduled for the next meeting. If that is what the Board wants, they can do that.
Commissioner Herr stated she thinks what they are asking for is that if November and December are problematic, then when they come back with a plan that you indicate that for ten months of the year, it operates this way, and then for November and December, they request the exception to be able to whatever. She thinks there is flexibility. Commissioner Dallari expressed he was fine with that. Commissioner Herr added her sense of it is that there was frustration prior to November and December.
Commissioner Dallari shared that there was an Orlando Sentinel newspaper article a day or so ago that Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe, who died in 2005 at the age of 35 while in action in Iraq, was decorated with the Medal of Honor. Commissioner Dallari would like to do something in Chuluota for him. He thinks the Medal of Honor is significant enough to do something.
Commissioner Dallari reported he was driving on SR 417 around University Boulevard a couple of weeks ago and it was shut down. He sat in his car for almost 30 minutes. He realized that Duke Energy was changing out their power lines in Orange County. Since then, he had a meeting with Duke and they will be doing the same thing in Seminole County from the Orange County transmission line by University, their substation, all the way to the Howell Branch substation in Seminole County. It is the Winter Park East Transmission project and it will take a little over a year to complete. They have already put in some poles and they are going to put in some temporary lines, and they are going to change out the transmission lines that go through a small portion of southeast Seminole County. Sometime in January, they will be launching a website showing all the things that will be taking place. There will be roads closed but they do plan to coordinate with first responders as well as dispatch.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Zembower, to reappoint Dennis Langlois and Tom Mintor to the Agriculture Advisory Committee for two-year terms; Michael Fratrik to the Contractor Examiner Board for a one-year term; Desta Horner and Paul Zuromski to the Historical Commission for two-year terms; John McGrath to the Animal Control Board for a one-year term; and Don Peterson to the Code Enforcement Board for a three-year term. (Letters to appointees received and filed.)
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Motion by Commissioner Dallari, seconded by Commissioner Zembower, to approve and authorize the Chairman to execute appropriate Resolution #2020-R-158 recognizing Matt Brown, who was on the Planning and Zoning Commission for 16 years, thanking him for his dedication to Seminole County as a volunteer.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
District 3/CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
Chairman Constantine echoed what Commissioner Lockhart stated about the conference in Duval County. He reported that the broadband effort is going to be a top priority for the Florida Association of Counties, and although the small counties are taking the lead, it is for all the rural areas. For example, Palm Beach has one of the largest rural areas in Florida.
Chairman Constantine expressed he had mentioned before and wanted to reiterate that if any of the Commissioners cannot attend their outside board or committee meetings, he thinks it would be great if they could notify their alternate so he or she can attend and represent Seminole County. He added there are meetings coming up that they may have been appointed to and he’d like them to be cognizant so they are available and can get all the information they may need.
Motion by Chairman Constantine, seconded by Commissioner Zembower, to reappoint Rex Clonts, Jr. to the Agriculture Advisory Board; Marianne King to the Animal Control Board; and Donna Bundy to the Historical Commission.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Constantine advised there was a request received by one of their favorite hoteliers about a resolution for Rich Maladecki, who is retiring as President and CEO of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association. He is requesting that they put that resolution on a future BCC agenda for a meeting date closest to his retirement date.
In regard to recognitions and resolutions, Chairman Constantine requested that the members of Board be more inclusive than less. They do not want to overburden, but he asked that they please make sure they get it through his office and they will try to accommodate everyone’s requests.
Chairman Constantine expressed they are looking forward to hearing results about the change to their notification policy [in connection with notifying residents regarding development projects]. Ms. Guillet said she has a final draft that they plan to send out this week and advised staff is already utilizing some of those procedures. She noted they are not going to adopt it as part of the Administrative Code so they can make adjustments to it as they see they need to. They welcome any feedback from the Board on the policy.
Chairman Constantine remarked they have talked time and time again about the Oviedo JPA, and he would like them to start at least communicating with them to see if they can start working on something. Commissioner Zembower noted they have been working on Winter Springs and Oviedo since he and Commissioner Lockhart arrived. Ms. Guillet reminded that Winter Springs has declined, and they received communication from Oviedo this week saying that staff was going to confer with the city manager and they would get back to this Board. She added Ms. Hammock has been checking in with them regularly.
Chairman Constantine expressed they are looking at a time in the near future that they can put together another retreat to clarify some of the things the Board would like to see as far as real benchmarks that they can accomplish as they move forward. He asked that they contact the County Manager’s Office with any suggestions. Commissioner Zembower remarked they had all given clear direction and ranked their priorities and a lot of that is still ongoing. He inquired whether the Chairman is asking to add more on top of those without an understanding of a resolution on what has already been asked. Ms. Guillet explained she had talked to the Chairman about doing a planning session with the Board some time after the first of the year just to understand what the priorities will be moving forward. They would certainly revisit the key strategic issues that they established at the last retreat. They have the track or the action plan that they continue to update. There may be some things they want to adjust or augment; she thinks there are some other initiatives that could fall under those key strategic issues. The one that comes to mind, just based on what they have been seeing recently, is the land use policy and having maybe a broader discussion over the coming year with respect to that. Their meetings seem to be significantly involved in land use issues and she thinks maybe having some clarification and maybe even a conversation with the community about that might be something they want to talk about. She said she uses that just as an example of the kind of thing that she, from a staff standpoint, would like to get some direction from the Board on. They are starting to do planning meetings with all of the directors and the senior management staff. She would like to hear from the Board as to how they feel about what they established last fall over a year ago and maybe identify some things that they would like to work on in the coming year. And not just from a staff standpoint, but she thinks there are some things maybe the Board might want to work on.
Chairman Constantine commented that last time he thought it was helpful, not only to those that had been here before, but to the new Commissioners when they did that, and now they have another new Commissioner. The group dynamics that are developed are important.
Commissioner Herr said she ran for a governing role, and she thinks these are governing roles. She just offers that if there is a strategic plan that is built and it is coming back to a governing board for input, that it is coming to them with recommendations and suggestions prior to coming to them for the white board. She does not think this is the place where the white board can happen. Commissioner Dallari agreed. She said she is happy to build camaraderie in a meeting but opined the Board should be giving input and not giving direction. Commissioner Zembower added their role is basically to set policy and budget. They have to rely on the experts, which is staff, to give them direction, give them advice, find those individuals or consultants that are experts and bring them in, but ultimately it is at this Board’s direction. Commissioner Herr added that they are two different things from a strategic planning perspective, so giving direction is different from her walking into a meeting and whiteboarding where they think they are going. She opined that is a dangerous position to be in. She would think that Ms. Guillet’s team would want to do that before they get to the Commission.
Chairman Constantine stated he believes it has been a long time since they really had a deep dive look into land use and comp planning, and if there is one thing that they continually have battle after battle about is that. And they heard that on the campaign trail. He agrees that the Commissioners are not the experts. They are the board of directors and they can bring ideas to this Commission to help them move forward, and he thinks that is what they are talking about.
Ms. Guillet stated she will use land use policy as an example because that seems to be a topic that comes up at every meeting. There is a land use policy that was codified years ago by the Board, and the land use decisions that they are making are not necessarily consistent with that policy because things have changed, conditions in the county have changed. From a staff standpoint, it is difficult for them to try to give them recommendations and tell them this complied with their policy, because the policy says one thing, but the Board’s actions and application of the policy have been different. She thinks reconciling those things is important. It is important for the Board, for the citizens, and for staff so that the stated policy that people who live in this county and people who may want to develop in this county can rely on reflects where the Board’s thinking is. Getting to the 10,000-foot level on those kinds of things so they can then help them craft land development regulations and more of the operational things that staff does is important, and understanding what their expectation is, for example, Orange Boulevard. Things have changed and getting an understanding of where the Board is on that, she is not sure they can tell them at a meeting, but identifying that this is something they want clarified and this is a priority from a governing standpoint, then staff can do some work on it and bring something back with a recommendation. She would like to identify where the Board wants staff to focus their resources. She noted they may just say they like what staff did in October of 2019 and just keep doing that. Her gut is, at least from a land use policy standpoint, they need to start spending some time on that and some energy. She wants to make sure they are doing that in a way that is reflective of a governing philosophy.
Commissioner Lockhart noted for the record, they did actually stick things on the wall at their retreat. Commissioner Dallari added that they did stick. She said she thinks the gentleman they used to facilitate that was wonderful, but she understands that he has left the area; he is maybe across the country now. She would highly recommend that they have someone still to facilitate that. Commissioner Zembower advised he has already been in contact with him and informed the County Manager’s Office, because they are coming up on review times.
Chairman Constantine said he would like to leave it in the hands of staff to start working with each of the Commission offices so they can come up with a time that accommodates all of their schedules. Ms. Guillet confirmed that the desire of the Board is to go ahead and to try and get Dr. Larry Ross back in, which from a staff standpoint would be great. Chairman Constantine remarked that consistency and continuity would be great.
Chairman Constantine distributed the BCC Liaison Appointments and the Board Appointments for 2021 (received and filed). He had emailed it earlier so the Board would have a chance to review it and make any comments. He said he tried to be fair and consistent and that everyone has six committees.
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to approve the list of board appointments for 2021.
Under discussion, Commissioner Lockhart shared that she was appointed to the Alliance for Regional Transportation last year and they never responded to her inquiries about when and where they actually met. Chairman Constantine advised that they just had a seminar, and since they have something to do with transportation and the MPO, that is why he appointed Commissioner Dallari.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
District 5 (Continued)
Motion by Commissioner Herr, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to approve the reappointment of Imogene Yarborough and Barbara Hughes to the Agriculture Advisory Committee for two-year terms; Gayle Hair to the Animal Control Board for a one-year term; Bill Young to the Contractor Examiner Board for a one-year term; Raychel Garcia to the Library Advisory Board for a two-year term; and Emily Hanna and Daniel Roy to the Parks and Preservation Advisory Committee for three-year terms.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Motion by Commissioner Herr, seconded by Commissioner Dallari, to approve appropriate Resolution #2020-R-157 in appreciation of Jennie Hayes for her service on the Board of Adjustment.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
COMMUNICATIONS AND/OR REPORTS
The following Communications and/or Reports were received and filed.
1. Letter dated November 6, 2020, to the Board of County Commissioners Seminole County, Florida from Deborah L. Pedraza, Senior Director, Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, re: Thank you for your gift of $8,000 to the Central Florida NAF Academies Fund, a fund of the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools.
2. Letter dated October 26, 2020, to the Honorable Jay Zembower from Charles Lacey, Mayor Winter Springs, Florida, re: Communicating Preliminary Interest & Support for Lake Management Services – Little Lake Howell (a/k/a Tuskawilla Lake).
3. Letter dated November 11, 2020 to “Ladies and Gentlemen,” as transmitted to Seminole County Manager Nicole Guillet, from Traci R. Houchin, City of Sanford Office of the City Clerk, re: Ordinance No. 4541, passed and adopted by the City Commission of the City of Sanford, Florida on November 9, 2020 that annexes 299 Monroe Road, Sanford, Florida.
4. Notice of Public Hearings to the Board of County Commissioners Seminole County from Planning & Zoning Board and Mayor and City Commission of City of Lake Mary, re: Public hearings 12-08-20 Planning & Zoning Board Meeting; 01-07-21 Mayor/City Commission meeting First Reading; 01-21-20 Mayor/City Commission meeting Second Reading on Amendment to the SWELL at Lake Mary Planned Unit Development to add 134 N. Lake Street to the Development.
Chairman Constantine recessed the meeting at 4:30 p.m., reconvening at 6:00 p.m. Deputy Clerk Terri Porter was replaced by Deputy Clerk Chariti Colon.
Agenda Item #40 – 2020-2424
Development Order Appeal/Geneva Ski Lake Subdivision
Richard Creedon, Geneva Citizens Association, Appellant
Katrina Shadix, Bear Warriors United, Appellant
Mark King, RPR, Stenographic Court Reporter with Kerr & Associates, was present for this item only. Chairman Constantine announced this is a quasi-judicial matter and explained Florida law requires that the Board's decision be supported by the competent substantial evidence presented during the hearing. Mr. Chipok stated this is an appeal of the Geneva Ski Lake Development Order #19-55100016. Two appeals were filed. At the request of the Appellants, the cases will be heard separately but sequentially. The first case will be Case #20-33000005 by the Geneva Citizens Association followed by Case #20-3300006 by Bear Warriors, Inc. Mr. Chipok reviewed the rules and procedures to be followed for a quasi-judicial hearing.
Danalee Petyk, Planning and Development, addressed the Board to present the request as outlined in the agenda memorandum.
Ex parte was submitted from all districts (received and filed). Commissioner Dallari announced he at one time was a member of the Geneva Citizens Association, but he does not know if his membership is still active. Commissioner Herr advised she is a current a member of the Geneva Citizens Association and has been receiving their newsletters for approximately 20 years.
William Barfield, Esquire, on behalf of the Applicant, displayed and reviewed conceptual plans for the project (received and filed). He explained the lake is being excavated to be designed as a slalom course amenity for the exclusive use of the 12 subdivision residents. Mr. Barfield reviewed the Development Order and required bonds. In regards to the additional conditions staff provided that the Board may want to consider, he advised the Applicant has reviewed those and only has a problem with Number 3, which suggests a third bond that is 110% of the cost to construct the lake which will be in place for five years or until 75% of the lots are sold. Mr. Barfield discussed water levels and lake functions to explain why they do not agree with the additional bond request. Commissioner Zembower inquired if their engineering has arrived at any kind of assurance that the lake will actually fill with water, and Mr. Barfield responded yes. They know what the groundwater level is and they have done borings. There are more borings that will be addressed during the engineering process.
Richard Creedon, Geneva Citizens Association Vice President, briefly explained the reasons why they filed their appeal. He stated the appeal could have been avoided if staff had required a Seminole County borrow pit permit and had used and abided by the commonly accepted definition of conserved open space that is expressed in the rural cluster subdivision provisions of the Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan.
Nancy Harmon, Geneva Citizens Association, reviewed and discussed Section 30.109 of the Seminole County Land Development Code and why they believe this project is not in compliance with that code. She reviewed rural cluster subdivision requirements and stated the standard has been set up to preserve agriculture land so that land would be available any time somebody chose to utilize it for agriculture purposes. She commented with this plan the way it is, the land is gone and it destroys the concept of what the cluster subdivision requirements were set forth in the Comp Plan. She discussed open space easements and having one dwelling unit per five acres of net buildable land.
David Bear, Esquire, on behalf of Geneva Citizens Association, distributed a binder to the Board (received and filed) and reviewed the legal issues in the Development Order and why they believe it was not issued in compliance with the Seminole County Development Code.
Chairman Constantine recessed the meeting at 7:28 p.m., reconvening at 7:36 p.m.
With regard to public participation, Chairman Constantine advised written comment forms in support of the appeal were received from the following: Oliver Henry, 291 Seminole Woods Boulevard.; Don Epps, 144 Peacock Drive; Janice Jourdenais, 4165 North County Road 426; David Jourdenais, 4165 North County Road 426; Greg Loebl, 450 Scott Road; Bridget Geiger, 4020 North County Road 426; Emily Turner, 1797 Tangled Oaks Court; Carole Buzby, 1295 Settlers Loop; Benjamin Buzby, 1295 Settlers Loop; Dylan Rodriguez, 362 Seminole Avenue; Karleen Babcock, 4355 North County Road 426; Dana and Ron Myers, 1651 Old Mims Road; and Bea Imhoff, 1711 Swallowtail Lane.
The following spoke in support of the appeal and addressed concerns including borrow pits, rural boundary, ski lake's ability to maintain water, dump truck traffic, the Geneva Bubble, groundwater tables, wells running dry, environmental impacts, five-acre lots, wildlife, and boat noise: James Miller, 1320 Cochran Road; Wafa Esposito, 5040 Hawks Hammock Way; Keri Thompson, 925 Liberty Lane; Bill Holmes, 210 East State Road 46; Douglas Geiger; 4020 North County Road 426; Sharon Digby, 2490 Snow Hill Road; Natalia Rodriguez, 362 Seminole Avenue; Cindy Haller, 1731 Beacon Drive; David McDonald, 153 Whitcomb Drive; Diane Oliver, 916 Harrison Road; Deborah Poulalion, 1367 Cor Jesu Court; Cali Adams, 1011 Mockingbird Lane; James Rupe, 631 Scott Road; George Sellery, 5231 Shoreline Circle; Michael Crowthers, 180 Peacehill Place; Deborah Selsor, 371 Lake Proctor Court; Michelle Bernstein, 2075 Retreat Road; Joseph Humphreys, 883 Cardinal Pointe Cove; Tom Shafer, 921 Harrison Road; Melody Gaston, 921 Harrison Road; William Wills, 495 Still Forest Terrace; Kim Buchheit, 252 Spring Run Circle; Tamara Dowling, 5130 Morning Dew Loop; Adam Hirst, 1475 Devany Court; and Rebecca Wilkinson, 1240 Brumley Road.
No one else spoke in support or opposition, and public input was closed.
Public Comment and Speaker Forms received and filed.
In rebuttal, Mr. Barfield stated what really is at issue tonight is what the ordinance provides and whether or not they are compliant. He introduced their geotechnical engineer Devo Seereeram, Devo Engineering. Mr. Seereeram reviewed his education and qualifications. He advised in the early '90s he was appointed by Seminole County to be their hydrogeologic expert on the Geneva Task Force, and that committee did the original Geneva Freshwater Study. Mr. Seereeram reviewed the borings that have been done on the site, the different layers and depth of the aquifer, and the Geneva Freshwater Lens. He discussed the surrounding wells and the excavation site. He noted he heard concerns that the lake will not hold water. However, the lake level they are proposing is going to be overwhelmed by the groundwater and will actually have too much water. They have proposed using a flashboard system on the lake so there is no discharge and they are not wasting any freshwater.
Upon Commissioner Zembower's inquiry, Mr. Seereeram advised how many wells immediately around the site were accessed. The Commissioner noted there are several immediately adjacent that were not accessed. Commissioner Zembower confirmed with Mr. Seereeram based upon his expertise, training, and experience, this will not be a dry hole but will actually hold too much water. The Commissioner requested any residents present in chambers and who live adjacent or immediately around the property advise, by a show of hands, if they were contacted by Mr. Seereeram. No hands were raised, and the Commissioner noted nobody present was contacted.
Commissioner Dallari stated he would like to add the condition that a geotechnical report demonstrating the lake will have no negative impact to the Geneva Bubble must be presented prior to final engineering approval and Board approval. Mr. Seereeram advised they are working on a final report right now. The preliminary report was submitted and staff requested additional borings so they have added six more borings for a total of ten.
Upon request of Commissioner Lockhart, Mr. Seereeram explained the borings were completed in two stages. The first stage is when they had a concept sketch of where the ski lake would be constructed. When they got the final plan, there was a shift in the final configuration of the ski lake a bit more to the west so they did a second series of borings further to the west. That last set of water table readings was completed on December 2nd, and the information was sent to Jim Potter, Engineering Division, within the last four or five days. Commissioner Lockhart commented she was concerned about the borings that were done. She looked at the St. Johns Water Management District's response, and their second response on September 30th expressed a concern that there was not yet enough information provided to them showing there would not be negative impacts. Mr. Seereeram responded he has provided a response to St. Johns in regards to that. Chairman Constantine stated he contacted St. Johns today and was advised they have not received that response.
Mr. Barfield stated they have not completed engineering and do not have all of their permits. They are working with St. Johns. However, that is not the issue that is in front of the Commission. The issue is whether or not the Applicant has complied with the ordinance that the County has in place. When looking at the staff report in the agenda memorandum, it goes through each element of the appeal. There are four or five issues raised, and they address each element from a standpoint of whether it complies with the ordinance or not. Staff has been very clear the Applicant is in compliance with the ordinance. Mr. Barfield addressed the concern of an excavation permit and reviewed the requirements in the ordinance. He expressed they are exempt from obtaining a permit in the platting of a subdivision and the material does not have to stay on the site. He reviewed Section 30.109, open space requirements, buffers, the size and intended purpose of the lake, and the Geneva Lens in rebuttal to concerns that were raised. He expressed they are compliant with the ordinance, and this appeal should be denied on the basis that the arguments put forth are unfounded and not supported by any facts.
Upon request of Commissioner Dallari to address why they oppose the suggested condition for an additional bond, Mr. Barfield explained the only way to correct the lake level in the event of a drought would be to supplement the water by way of a well or dig the lake deeper, which nobody wants to do. Once a drought was over, the water would go back to its normal level and the lake would be fine. A bond would not address that problem. Upon inquiry of Commissioner Herr, Mr. Barfield stated there is nothing in the ordinance that says open space cannot be used for recreational purposes.
In the Appellant’s rebuttal, Mr. Bear noted the geotechnical evaluation, which is the only geotechnical data that was made publicly available, has only four SPT borings. He reviewed the findings of those borings. He stated if more borings have been done, those should be shared with everybody and evaluated before coming before the Board, which is why Chapter 65 is configured the way it is and why St. Johns Management's report is supposed to be already completed. He stated the predicate language to all of those seven subsections in Chapter 65.1 state excavated dirt has to stay on the land. Mr. Bear addressed open space and the size of the ski lake. He expressed this process should be going through Chapter 65, which is a procedure set up to make sure the Board has an opportunity to get it right, not so that opportunity is taken away and given to unelected staff. Upon Commissioner Zembower's request, Ms. Harmon clarified agriculture open space.
Chairman Constantine recessed the meeting at 9:54 p.m., reconvening at 10:03 p.m.
Commissioner Zembower requested a legal opinion on the Codes stated during the hearing and those that were relied upon by staff. Mr. Chipok explained when looking at statutes, you apply the plain meaning. He reviewed case law regarding plain meaning, Section 65.1, and borrow pit permits. He noted Subsection F is the one that staff has said is applicable in this situation, excavation in conjunction with platting of a subdivision when the activities are approved by the development review engineer of the public works or both. There is no reference to the excavated material having to stay on site. He noted the subject property is private property and not federal, state, or county property.
Commissioner Lockhart wondered if the Board when they adopted this code contemplated this would be the type of subdivision that could be platted. She inquired how many other subdivisions there are in the county that would have ever excavated this amount of material. Mr. Chipok advised if the end result is something that the current Board does not like, it is within their parameter prospectively to direct staff to plug the holes or get rid of the potential unintended consequences.
Commissioner Herr inquired if it is contemplated that a ski lake is open space in regards to Section 30.109 and if the calculation is being done appropriately. Ms. Petyk responded Section 30.109 states the area not devoted to development shall be preserved through a perpetual open space easement. For this particular development, what staff and what the Applicant was considering the perpetual open space easement area is the approximately 50 acres of wetlands which are being preserved. Condition N of the recorded Development Order says all remaining areas not platted as a ski lake, right-of-way, or single-family lot will be dedicated as open space on the final plat. This open space easement will be perpetually restricted to open space. It may be utilized for active agriculture use, included but not limited to citrus or other fruit or vegetable crops, grazing and pasturing of animals, and in some cases silviculture. That is where staff applied the optional cluster provision for the open space, and the ski lake is not considered open space. The wetlands area and the buffer tracts are the open space areas. Commissioner Herr stated there seems to be a difference of opinion with the lawyers with regard to the wetlands being counted or not being counted as open space. Ms. Petyk explained A-5 is exempt from the open space provision. The only requirement for open space for a subdivision in A-5 is if they do the cluster that the area not devoted to development shall be preserved through a perpetual open space easement. The ski lake is considered part of the development. There is no requirement for what the open space is, where it is, or how big it is.
Upon Commissioner Herr's request for clarification on the density, Ms. Petyk explained the ski lake area is counted towards the net buildable area because it could potentially be built on it. It doesn't have to be that ski lake so it's counted towards the developable area when doing the density. Commissioner Zembower inquired about the differences between the proposed D.O. and a borrow pit permit. Mr. Jreij responded the conditions of the borrow pit are incorporated into the proposed D.O. and will be reviewed during the final site plan approval. Commissioner Zembower confirmed with Mr. Jreij the only thing omitted in the whole process would be a public hearing.
Commissioner Lockhart requested clarification on when a St. Johns permit was required prior to the issuance of a borrow permit. Mr. Jreij responded they cannot start construction before they get a permit from St. Johns Water Management. Ms. Guillet explained it's more of sequencing issue. There are things with a borrow permit application that would be provided in advance of the borrow pit because they're doing the final engineering for the borrow pit. But because they're doing the final engineering for the subdivision, the permitting and everything else comes before the final approval of the final engineering plans for the subdivision.
Commissioner Zembower confirmed with Mr. Bear their main issue is there was no public hearing for a borrow pit permit. Mr. Bear added as presented, this development is not okay according to Geneva Citizens Association because it doesn't comply with multiple sections of the code. If it didn't have the pit, then they wouldn't have an objection.
After questions and discussion regarding the recommended third bond, Ms. Guillet explained the intent of the bond was to address any engineering defects that might manifest. It's a longer-than-normal bond period because there were some concerns that some engineering defects might demonstrate down the road, so staff wanted to give it a little bit more time to make sure that it functioned as a lake. It wasn't intended to penalize anybody for normal water fluctuations just like any other lake would face.
Commissioner Lockhart commented clearly there was enough of a concern on the part of staff to include a lot of the elements of a borrow pit in the development order. She requested staff explain how the decision was made to handle this. Mr. Jreij responded there was a lot of discussion with staff and Development Review staff about what is the best way and what is the understanding of the Code, and then they determined if it's done with the plat, it does not require the permit. Commissioner Lockhart confirmed with Mr. Jreij staff opted to go with the route that would not require the public process. Ms. Guillet clarified the Board that established this code created an exception with respect to platted subdivisions, so there was intention to provide an exception with respect to that. Staff determined there was an exception in these provisions for excavation.
Commissioner Lockhart confirmed with Mr. Chipok somewhere along the lines someone contemplated there might be something that staff would determine to be appropriate and maybe even the attorney would consider to be consistent and appropriate, yet there would still be the ability to appeal. The Commissioner requested what would be the legal basis for the Board to grant the appeal. Mr. Chipok explained staff is obligated to apply the regulations as they are written. In certain circumstances, the regulations may have unintended consequences. In certain circumstances, that is why there is the appeal right, and the Board looks at the broader policy issues rather than the strict application of the law. The Board's decision has to be based on competent substantial evidence and it cannot be arbitrary. If there are policies in the Comp Plan or application of the Code that are different than staff has interpreted them, it is within the Board's purview to address and direct.
Commissioner Lockhart confirmed with Mr. Chipok if staff can suggest conditions to the Development Order and there are modifications that could be made to the development order, the Board can make modifications and suggestions of sequencing in the Development Order.
Ms. Guillet reminded if the decision is made to allow this to continue forward, whether or not additional conditions are put on that, the Applicant still has to get through final engineering review with staff. One of the requirements is the geotechnical report and having a third-party review. The Board can put conditions on it, and it still might not get through it at the end of the day. A discussion ensued regarding what motions and options the Board can consider.
Chairman Constantine closed the public hearing at this time.
Motion by Commissioner Zembower to deny the appeal, thereby upholding the Development Services Director’s decision to approve the Development Order for the Geneva Ski Lake Subdivision, located on the east side of County Road 426.
Chairman Constantine called for a second to the motion, without response, whereupon the motion died for lack of same. Chairman Constantine suggested they grant the appeal and ask the applicant to start over under the other conditions discussed as far as coming back and doing it through the process of public process.
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Lockhart, to grant the appeal, overturning the Development Services Director’s decision, thereby denying the Development Order for the Geneva Ski Lake Subdivision, located on the east side of County Road 426 and to start the process under the conditions that are outlined in the appeal.
Under discussion, Commissioner Lockhart requested confirmation that legally the motion is appropriate. Mr. Chipok responded Motion Number 2 on page 756 is to overturn the Development Service Director's decision to approve the Development Order for the Geneva Lake subdivision. Chairman Constantine added they always have the right to come back and start the process over.
Commissioner Zembower restated the motion for clarification as follows:
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Lockhart, to grant the appeal, overturning the Development Services Director’s decision, thereby denying the Development Order for the Geneva Ski Lake Subdivision, located on the east side of County Road 426.
Commissioner Zembower confirmed with Mr. Chipok that accomplishes the relief requested.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Chairman Constantine inquired of Katrina Shadix, Bear Warriors United, if her appeal still needed to be heard. Ms. Shadix responded it did not and requested a refund of her appeal fee. The Chairman stated he thinks the Appellants brought a very important issue to the Board's attention. He suggested it would be appropriate to ask staff to immediately plug the hole and refund the appeal fee to both Appellants.
Motion by Commissioner Zembower, seconded by Commissioner Lockhart, to refund the $1,000 appeal process fee to Richard Creedon, Geneva Citizens Association, Appellant, Case #20-33000005; and Katrina Shadix, Bear Warriors United, Appellant, Case #20-33000006.
Chairman Constantine inquired if there was consensus to move forward on directing staff to plug the hole. No objections were voiced.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 voted AYE.
Ms. Shadix stated that notice requirements were not addressed and adjacent property owners did not know about this proposed project. She suggested using the County's texting system to let citizens know about zoning and development process. She also stated it should not be this confusing and take this long for a public hearing to be held. She suggested forming an environmental advisory board or committee or group to attend meetings with staff and developers. Ms. Guillet advised the Development Advisory Board is a private group and the meetings are not public, but staff sometimes gets invited to those meetings. Ms. Hammock clarified they did go out 2,000 feet for notifications for this, posted on Nextdoor, posted the property with two placards, and advertised it in the newspaper.
Michael Crowthers, 180 Peacehill Place, stated he owns several properties adjacent to the subject property and has seven wells total listed as 120, 150, and 180, none of which were ever inspected even though the Applicant stated they did. His property is fully fenced and gated. He requested on any case going forward that deals with water, if the Applicant is going to have to do water testing or inspection of any sort, they get approval from the property owner to go onto the property and have something signed saying they were there.
Sharon Digby, 2490 Snow Hill Road, advised after she saw notification on Nextdoor, she contacted Commissioner Zembower's Office and spoke to someone and was misinformed that there would be a County Commission meeting on this, so those that were concerned had absolute assurance that it was going to come before the Board the first time around.
Listing of Speakers and Final Registrants received and filed.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the Chairman declared the meeting adjourned at 11:33 p.m., this same date.