Commission Meeting Minutes

Draft Minutes of the January 4, 2023 Commission Meeting, 6 PM

The regular meeting of the Lady Lake Town Commission was held in the Commission Chambers at Lady Lake Town Hall, 409 Fennell Blvd., Lady Lake, Florida, with Mayor Rietz presiding.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.


Pastor Bob Knepel – Hope Lutheran Church

Pledge of Allegiance

Led by Mayor Rietz

Roll Call

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Hannan (Four) YES
Kussard (One) YES
Gourlie (Two) YES
Freeman (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES


Bill Lawrence, Town Manager; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; Wendy Then, Senior Planner; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Aly Herman, Library Director; Tamika DeLee, Human Resources Director; Rob Tempesta, Police Chief; Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

Derek Schroth, Town Attorney was also in attendance.


1. December 19, 2022 — Special Town Commission Meeting Minutes

2. December 19, 2022 – Town Commission Meeting Minutes

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda as presented; Commissioner Gourlie seconded. Motion carried 5-0.


3. Hammock Oaks Subdivision Phases 1-6 — Preliminary Plat Plan — Proposing a total of 1142 units spread amongst 11 phases, including 190 Market Rate Single Family Residences, 722 Market Rate Age-restricted Single Family Residences, and 230 Market Rate Townhomes, on multiple parcels consisting of approximately 377.87 +/- acres of land, zoned Planned Unit Development (PUD), located on the south side of Highway 466, west of Rolling Acres Road and east of Cherry Lake Road/County Road 100, identified by Alternate Key Numbers 1770670, 1770661, 1771498, 1770653, 1279810, 1770700, 1279801, 3325451, 1279763, 1279780 & 1279828.

Growth Management Director Carroll summarized the plat plan for Hammock Oaks Subdivision Phases 1-6. The application was submitted by Robert Walpole from CHW Professional Consultants on behalf of the property owners. The Hammock Oaks Subdivision will be located on 377.87 acres south of Highway 466, east of Cherry Lake and west of Rolling Acres Road. The eleven phases will encompass 1,142 units (Phase 1A, Phase 1B, Phase 1C, Phase 2A, Phase 2B, Phase 2C, Phase 2D, Phase 3, Phase 4, Phase 5 and Phase 6). The land is currently vacant.

The Hammock Oaks Project updated the Memorandum of Agreement under Ordinance 2022-15 to clarify land uses, number of units, setbacks and restrictions for certain proposed land uses within the Planned Unit Development.

Preliminary Plat Plan Approval does not permit the construction of any improvements. The applicant must continue the process via the submittal and approval of an Improvement Plat Plan application. All regulatory agency permits must be submitted to the Town prior to commencing site work. Also, a water, sewer and reuse agreement will have to be created between the Town of Lady Lake and the property owner to provide additional utility capacity.

There are a total of 19 viable historic trees proposed to be removed; removal will require the submittal and approval of an Historic Tree Removal Variance at the Improvement Plat Plan stage, which if approved, will require a Tree Bank donation. Significant vegetation, open space and 13 historic trees are being preserved.

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve the Preliminary Plat Plan for Phases 1-6 of the Hammock Oaks Subdivision; Commissioner Hannan seconded. 


Commissioner (Ward) Present
Hannan (Four) YES
Kussard (One) YES
Gourlie (Two) YES
Freeman (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES

Motion carried 5-0.


4. Ordinance 2022-22 – Second/Final Reading – An Ordinance Providing for the Dissolution of the Library Advisory Board.

Library Director Aly Herman stated that the Commission approved the first reading of Ordinance 2022-22 at the December 19, 2022 meeting. No changes were made to the ordinance, so she asked for it to be adopted unless there were any questions.

Commissioner Hannan made a motion to approve Ordinance 2022-22 on second/final reading as presented; Commissioner Gourlie seconded.

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Hannan (Four) YES
Kussard (One) YES
Gourlie (Two) YES
Freeman (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES

Motion carried 5-0.


The Town Manager stated that he was invited by the Water Oaks’ Veterans Auxiliary to speak to their group which he, Commissioner Freeman, Library Director Herman and Parks & Recreation Director Burske did on January 4th. The Auxiliary members asked what the Town Manager in Lady Lake does, and he answered that he manages the day-to-day activities of the services provided to the community. Also asked was what is currently happening in Lady Lake to which Mr. Lawrence gave an update on Town projects and Commissioner Freeman provided answers about the FDOT road widening project. When asked what Lady Lake has to offer in the way of entertainment, Mr. Burske gave an update on our park project and summarized our events. Ms. Herman added that the library offers programs for seniors such as AARP free income tax services.

Mr. Lawrence said at the first staff meeting of the year, department heads will outline their accomplishments for 2022 and list goals for 2023. This information will be provided to the Commission at their following meeting.


Commissioner Hannan said he has no issues with the residents who live on Edwards Road, but they have been misled. He asked the Commission if there is enough money in the Town’s budget to purchase a quality pair of hearing aids to give to Meta Minton, journalist at Villages News, as over the years, she has rarely reported stories correctly. He said she has reported misinformation that created big problems such as what happened with the residents on Edwards Road and with Town staff.

In Commissioner Hannan’s words: “By now as I speak, all should know, especially our commissioners, the Town Manager and the Town Attorney, that I directed my comments directly about the Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board being out of control, and no comments about the proposed project on Edwards Road. Meta! I am 87.”

Commissioner Gourlie gave a shout out to Chief Tempesta who responded to his request to put a radar traffic sign on Griffin View Road alerting drivers of their speed.

Commissioner Freeman thanked Bill, Aly and Mike for joining him at Water Oak to talk to the Auxiliary members. He was not sure if they understood the traffic situation on 441. He also said that often residents are unaware of what the Town has to offer.

Mayor Rietz said that he was invited to the homeowner’s association meeting at the Villages where FDOT was present to give an update on the 441 road project. Commissioner Freeman updated the audience on upcoming changes to road. The project is now not projected to be completed until 2024.

The Mayor also reported that Lady Lake was recently designated as a Tree City by the Arbor Day Committee.


Greg Beliveau – LPG Urban and Regional Planners

Mr. Beliveau stated that his client asked him to attend the meeting regarding the issue about which Commissioner Hannan just spoke: Edwards Road. He and his client were troubled by the article that appeared in the Villages News on December 12th due to the misinformation it contained. He wanted to set the record straight at a public meeting.

The article stated that Mr. Hannan was not only observed coming to the Planning & Zoning meeting with the developer of the proposed project, but that he also sat with the developer, his attorney and their experts. That was not true. Nor was Mr. Hannan in a huddle with the development team before and after the meeting. Mr. Beliveau reported that he arrived at Town Hall first and by himself. His clients arrived later, also alone. Commissioner Hannan arrived by himself and did not interact with the development team at any point before, during or after the meeting. It is important to Mr. Beliveau that this information is made clear on the public record.

Further, he added, a commissioner can attend planning board meetings and no conflict exists; they are public hearings. This practice happens all throughout Florida. The statement made that Commissioner Hannan was not allowed to attend the meeting is false.

Mayor Rietz added that the security cameras around Town Hall were reviewed, and they did not show any interaction between Commissioner Hannan and anybody related to the development team who were involved with the Edwards Road project.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:23 p.m.

Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

Jim Rietz, Mayor