Commission Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the October 7, 2019 6 p.m.
This 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 Jim Richards presiding. The meeting convened at 6 p.m.
Citizens are encouraged to participate in the Town of Lady Lake meetings. Citizen groups are asked to name a spokesperson. Speakers will be limited to three minutes. Additional time may be granted at the Mayor’s discretion. Upon being recognized by the Mayor, please approach the dais, state your name and address, and speak into the microphone. The order of agenda items may be changed if deemed appropriate by the Town Commission. Please be respectful of others and put your cell phone on silent mode.
A. Call to Order
Mayor Jim Richards
By Dr. Paul Harsh of the First Baptist Church of Lady Lake
C. Pledge of Allegiance
D. Roll Call
Kris Kollgaard, Town Manager; Derek Schroth, Town Attorney; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Mike Burske, Parks and Recreation Director; John Pearl, I.T. Director; Chief Rob Tempesta and Deputy Chief Jason Brough, Lady Lake Police Department; Wendy Then, Senior Planner; Pam Winegardner, Finance Director; Maureen Gochee, Human Resource Director; and Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk
E. Public Comment
Mayor Richards asked if anyone had any comments.
David Sirdar of Fruitland Park, a concerned citizen, spoke of Orlando’s ordinance banning straws, plastic bags, and other steps they are taking to help the environment. He stated Eustis has also adopted an ordinance regarding litter. He asked that the Town consider adopting measures against littering.
Mayor Richards presented a plaque to Commissioner Hannan in appreciation of his 15 years of continuous dedication and service as a Commissioner for the Town of Lady Lake.
Commissioner Hannan was pleased to accept this plaque and thanked the Mayor.
1. Minutes — September 18, 2019 — Commission Workshop Meeting
2. Minutes — September 18, 2019 — Special (Conceptual) Commission Meeting
3. Minutes — September 18, 2019 — Special Commission Meeting
4. Consideration of Approval of the Agreement between the Town of Lady Lake (TOLL) and the Florida Police Benevolent Association(PBA) for the Period of October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2022 (Maureen Gochee)
Mayor Richards asked if any of the Commissioners had any concerns regarding the Consent items, and hearing none, asked for a motion.
Commissioner Vincent made a motion to approve Consent Items G-1 through G-4. Commissioner Holden seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.
H. Old Business
No old business.
I. New Business
5. Consideration of Approval for the Lady Lake Historical Society to Utilize the Middle Train Car for a Vietnam War Exhibit (Mike Burske)
Parks and Recreation Director Mike Burske presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office). He stated that five members of the Historical Society are also present if there are any questions.
Mayor Richards asked if there were any questions. He thanked the Chamber and the Historical Society for all the work they do; stating they are an asset to the Town. He commented that this should be a good exhibit.
Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve the Lady Lake Historical Society utilizing the middle train car for a Vietnam War Exhibit. Commissioner Hannan seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.
Town Manager Kris Kollgaard asked that the Commission hear Item J-10, Resolution 2019-113, prior to the site plan for the Villages RV Storage, since it has to do with a variance request for the site plan. The Commissioners proceeded with Item J-10.
6. Consideration for the Villages RV Storage — New Major Site Plan MJSP 01/19-001 — Proposing a 152-Unit RV Storage Site Featuring 19 Parking Spaces on an 8.38-Acre Parcel Located along South Highway 27/441, Just South of the Lady Lake Auto Salvage Site, Identified by Alternate Key 1015049 (Thad Carroll)
Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office). He stated that Mr. Edward McDonald, the engineer, is present if there are any questions. He noted that the Fire Marshall requested that there be five foot spacing between each vehicle for adequate egress. The site plan does not show that, although the owner has provided a letter stating he will try to obtain that spacing and releases the Town for any liability should space between vehicles not be accessible in an emergency.
Mayor Richards asked if there were any questions.
Commissioner Kussard spoke of her concerns regarding the spacing between parked vehicles for safety and liability.
Mayor Richards asked the Town Attorney for his opinion.
Town Attorney Derek Schroth stated that there is typically immunity for planning decisions, although the Commission has discretion to request changes.
Mayor Richards stated he has never seen five feet between parking spaces in parking lots or at storage sites.
Edward McDonald of Thomas Engineering addressed the spacing, stating that there is a mixture of units to include covered parking spaces that are 12.5 feet wide with various lengths, and the width of the spaces in the enclosed building are 15 feet wide, leaving at least five feet between each space. He stated they are providing additional fire safety measures such as sprinkler systems and a fire loop with fire hydrants as well.
Commissioner Kussard confirmed with Mr. Schroth that the Town would be immune in regard to liability.
Mr. Schroth reiterated that planning decisions are usually immune from liability as the sovereign unless there is some kind of gross negligence, which he does not see here; especially as the applicant is meeting the Town’s code.
Commissioner Holden confirmed with the engineer that there is adequate room for fire trucks maneuvering around the roads. He asked the engineer about the location of the fire hydrants.
Mr. McDonald noted there are fire hydrants every 400 feet per the Town’s code.
Mayor Richards asked if there were any comments or questions by the public.
Ed Freeman of 147 Evergreen Lane spoke of his concern for fire safety and liability should there be a fire in the storage unit.
With no further discussion, Mayor Richards asked for a vote.
Commissioner Holden made a motion to approve the Villages RV Storage — New Major Site Plan MJSP 01/19-001 as presented. Commissioner Hannan seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 3 to 2 (Kussard/Vincent
7. Consideration for La Plaza Grande North — Postal Building — New Major Site Plan MSJP 08/19-001 — Proposing a 5,008-Square-Foot Postal Building and 14 Parking Spaces to be Constructed along La Grande Blvd. and Griffin Avenue, to be Addressed as 1 La Grande Blvd., Identified by Alternate Key 2814365 (Thad Carroll)
Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office). He stated that the applicant has confirmed that the services that were provided at the previous postal facility will be continued at this new facility.
Mayor Richards asked if there were any questions, and hearing none, asked for a motion.
Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve La Plaza Grande North — Postal Building — New Major Site Plan MSJP 08/19-001 as presented. Commissioner Holden seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.
8. Discussion — Request by Charter Review Committee Chairperson for Input from Commissioners Regarding the Charter (Bob Nyce)
Charter Review Committee Chairperson Bob Nyce summarized what occurred at the September 23rd Charter Review Committee meeting. He stated Commissioner Hannan and Commissioner Holden attended the meeting and provided some comments at that time. He stated the next meeting is scheduled for October 28, 2019.
Mr. Nyce stated he met with the Town Manager who provided copies of past minutes where Charter issues were brought up. He stated he was also provided comments by Commissioner Kussard this evening. He stated he would welcome input from the Commissioners for suggested revisions to the Town Charter. He stated suggestions for language changes from the Town Attorney would be appreciated.
Mayor Richards and Commissioner Kussard stated they had no problems with the Charter.
Commissioner Kussard stated that in the information she gave Mr. Nyce this evening, she noted the purpose of the Charter Review Committee is to make suggestions on whether there should be any changes made that would impact the Town, and it is not what the Commissioners want, but what would be best for the residents of the Town.
Mr. Nyce noted there were no members of the public in attendance at the first meeting of the Charter Review Committee and he hoped that the media would help get the word out that the next meeting is scheduled for October 28, 2019, at 5 p.m.
Commissioner Hannan asked if the issue of having the Charter reviewed every so often was brought up by the committee.
Mr. Nyce stated that is one of the items that have been identified. He stated he believed there is some confusion on what needs to be in the Charter and some issues of policy that the Commission can approve through an ordinance. One of the items brought up by Commissioner Holden was an employee review process and this is an example of something that could be done through Human Resources or through an ordinance.
Mayor Richards stated he is of the mind that “if it is not broke, don’t fix it”.
Commissioner Vincent asked Mr. Nyce if he had a list of items for review.
Town Manager Kris Kollgaard informed Mr. Nyce that she believed when Municode did their review, they made recommended changes to the Land Development Regulations, not the Charter. She stated she would verify that.
Mr. Nyce reported on the six items that have been identified thus far:
1) Order of the sections of the Charter to establish the fact that the Commissioners’ and Mayor’s position were established before the Town Manager.
2) Copies of the Commission meeting minutes where Charter review came up as a discussion item were requested to be provided to the committee. The Town Manager provided these copies.
3) The length of Commissioners’ terms was raised by Commissioner Hannan.
4) A request by Commissioner Holden to include a section where employees could appeal a disciplinary action. Mr. Nyce stated this is what he mentioned previously, whereby this could be acted upon by the Commissioners by policy or ordinance.
5) The question of whether the same individual can hold two key positions, such as Town Manager and Town Clerk.
6) Mandatory review of the Charter every few years.
Mr. Nyce stated that all of these items, including comments received this evening from Commissioner Kussard, will be shared with the Charter Review Committee and there will be open discussions on October 28th. He encouraged the public to attend.
J. Town Attorney's Report
9. Ordinance 2019-16 (First Reading — Tabled from September 18, 2019) — An Ordinance of the Town of Lady Lake, Lake County, Florida; Providing for a Text Amendment to the Town of Lady Lake Land Development Regulations (Ordinance 94-08) Chapter 5, Section 5-4, “Zoning District Uses”; Amending the Minimum Setback Requirements and Providing an Exemption for Accessory Structures Incidental to Agricultural Activities (Thad Carroll)
Town Attorney Derek Schroth read the ordinance by title only.
Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office). He noted that the Town does have the option to strike the agricultural uses in all of the zoning districts, although it may be best to keep it in the AG1 agricultural district. There are currently 22 parcels in Town that do not have agricultural zoning, although they do have an agricultural exemption with the property appraiser. They include Light Commercial parcels, Heavy Commercial parcels, MX-8 parcels, some RS-6 parcels such as the one discussed previously with the pole barn on the south end of town.
Mr. Carroll stated that those 22 parcels could be grandfathered in and monitored if the language was stricken from all other zoning designations. The 22 parcels would have to be tracked in case a development order was enacted and then they would lose their agricultural exemption. He stated another municipality handles this by ordinance, typically through the annexation process and through a development order.
Mayor Richards asked if there were any questions or comments. He suggested that all agricultural uses be taken out of all other zoning designations other than the AG1 agricultural zoning district.
Mr. Carroll clarified that the Commission’s recommendation is to remove agricultural as a permitted use other than the AG1 agricultural zoning district. The ordinance would acknowledge that those properties with an existing agricultural use exemption could continue until such time that a development order is requested for a new use.
Mr. Schroth agreed with Mr. Carroll that a new ordinance will need to be written since the header will be changed to take away a permitted use; to read perhaps as “removing permitted use of agricultural in the following zoning districts”, with those districts listed. He stated the Commission would need to deny Ordinance 2019-16, then a new ordinance with the revisions will come back before the Commission for first reading.
Mayor Richards asked if anyone in the public wished to comment on this ordinance, and hearing none, asked for a motion.
Commissioner Hannan made a motion to deny the First Reading of Ordinance 2019-16. Commissioner Vincent seconded the motion. The motion to deny passed by the following roll call vote:
10. Resolution 2019-113 (First and Final Reading) — Villages RV Storage — Discount Mini Storage of Lady Lake, LLC — Variance Request to Authorize the Removal of a 36-Inch Historic Live Oak Tree to Accommodate the Construction of a Proposed RV Storage Facility at 650 South Highway 27/441 (Alternate Key 1015049) (Thad Carroll)
This item was taken out of order so that it could be heard prior to site plan approval.
Town Attorney Derek Schroth read the resolution by title only.
Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office). He stated that Mr. Edward McDonald is present to represent the applicant.
Mayor Richards asked if there were any questions or comments.
Commissioner Hannan stated that although he does not like the removal of historic trees, he had no objections to this because of the location of this tree.
Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve the First and Final Reading of Resolution 2019-113 as presented. Commissioner Hannan seconded the motion. The motion passed by the following roll call vote:
K. Town Manager's Report
11. Consideration of Approval to Authorize the Town Manager to Sign and Send the Letter of Acceptance of the Official Estimate to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as Required by the Previously Approved Utility Work by Highway Contractor Agreement (UWHC) for the SR500 — US 27/441 Road Widening Project (Financial Project ID #238395-5-56-01) (Kris Kollgaard, C.T. Eagle and John Pearl)
Town Manager Kris Kollgaard asked that Mr. Eagle present the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office).
Mr. Eagle reported that FDOT presented the official estimates for the work to be performed to include utility relocations and installation of the fiber optic cable; the new total amount of the project is $1,098,857.20. The initial deposit of $350,000 has been sent to an escrow account.
Mayor Richards asked if there were any questions or comments.
Commissioner Vincent stated he was concerned about the increase in the cost and asked for an explanation.
Ms. Kollgaard noted that the Town does not have a choice because the FDOT is widening the road and has to relocate the Town’s utilities. She stated they are including the conduit.
Mr. Eagle stated there is a breakdown of costs for utility and fiber optic cables. He stated the original $350,000 was an estimate and was to initiate pre-engineering work being performed by Metric Engineering with staff’s input. He stated that the bulk of the million dollar cost is for utility relocation. Mr. Eagle noted that the FDOT is absorbing the majority of the cost of the fiber optic conduit installation as part of their Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) plan, and the Town is only paying $181,969.54; saving the Town almost $300,000 for the conduit installation.
Commissioner Kussard made a motion to authorize the Town Manager to sign and send the Letter of Acceptance of the Official Estimate to Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as required by the previously approved Utility Work by Highway Contractor Agreement (UWHC) for the SR500 — US 27/441 Road Widening Project (Financial Project ID #238395-5-56-01). Commissioner Hannan seconded the motion. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 0.
Ms. Kollgaard stated she had an update on the Taylor property and passed out some information showing comparables of sales of nearby properties from Zillow, etc. She stated the owner asked for a purchase price of $122,000 and wants the Town to pay attorney’s fees. Ms. Kollgaard countered at $90,000, and the owner did not accept as she stated she still owes on it and has little leeway for the pricing.
Mayor Richards asked what the Town will be gaining by buying this property with the house on it since the Town already has the easement.
Ms. Kollgaard stated the Town could make it a proper road, as the judge ordered that this is strictly a utility easement and could not be used as a right of way.
Mr. Schroth stated the Town only has access on an emergency basis.
Commissioner Holden stated there should be separate deeds for this property and the easement.
Mr. Schroth stated he would look into how it was done, whether the legal description was reformed, if the Commission decides to move forward to purchase the property.
Mayor Richards noted that the seller’s price is much higher than surrounding comparables.
Commissioner Vincent commented that there is a modular home on the property.
Ms. Kollgaard stated it was built in 2007 and that she will keep the Commissioners informed of any new information on this issue.
Ms. Kollgaard asked if the Commission would like to have the next quarterly workshop meeting at 5 p.m., before the Commission meeting on November 4th. The Commissioners were in agreement.
Ms. Kollgaard stated that in this last 2018—2019 fiscal year, the Town was reimbursed $25,000 for a police vehicle that was totaled in an accident during a traffic stop. Police Chief Tempesta has requested that a replacement vehicle, a 2020 Ford Explorer, be purchased at a cost of $30,513 using this reimbursement amount, with the additional balance coming out of the sales surtax fund. She stated the Finance Director will do a budget adjustment for this purchase.
By consensus, the Commissioners were in favor of the purchase of a replacement police vehicle using the reimbursement funds and the sales surtax fund.
L. Mayor and Commissioner's Report
Mayor Richards asked if any of the Commissioners had anything to report.
Commissioner Hannan thanked everyone once again for the presentation of his plaque in appreciation of his 15 years of service on the Commission.
Commissioner Kussard reported that she attended the Kiwanis Club of Lady Lake Awards Presentation and Installation of Officers and Directors on September 26th. She stated it was a wonderful dinner and program. She stated the Kiwanis serve and support children and are looking for volunteers, particularly from Lady Lake.
Ms. Kollgaard reported that the accreditation ceremony was held last week, and the Town’s Police Department passed with flying colors. She stated that a couple of other Lake County police departments did not fare quite as well.
M. Public Comment
Mayor Richards asked if there were any comments from the audience. There were no comments.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:02 p.m.
s/ Kristen Kollgaard, Town Clerk
s/ Jim Richards, Mayor
Minutes transcribed by Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk