Commission Meeting Minutes

Draft Minutes of the June 19, 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 Tom Omerzu – Crossroads Community Church

Pledge of Allegiance

Led by Mayor Rietz

Roll Call

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Hannan (Four) NO
Kussard (One) YES
Gourlie (Two) YES
Freeman (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES


Thad Carroll; Growth Management Director; Wendy Then, Senior Planner; Rebecca Higgins, Planning Coordinator; Elisha Pappacoda, Communications Director; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Mike Burske, Parks & Recreation Director; Interim Police Chief Steve Hunt; Deputy Chief Jason Brough; Lieutenant Rob Tempesta; Carol Osborne, Deputy Town Clerk

Town Attorney Derek Schroth was also in attendance.

Orange Blossom Lion’s Club representatives, Lori Blum and Doris Turlo, presented Mayor Rietz with the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award.

Ms. Turlo stated that the Melvin Jones Fellowship is the Foundation’s highest recognition honoring, the commitment to humanitarian service.


1. May 15, 2023 — Special Commission Meeting Minutes

2. May 15, 2023 — Town Commission Meeting Minutes

3. Supplies for Fines (Aly Herman)

Commissioner Kussard requested to pull item A-1 for discussion.

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve Consent Agenda items 2 and 3 as presented; Commissioner Freeman seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

Commission Kussard explained that at the she was not in favor of the Taste of Lady Lake conceptual presentation and voted against it. She stated that the draft minutes show a vote of 4-0 and it should be 3-1. The Deputy Clerk stated that the vote has been corrected in the minutes.

Commission Kussard made a motion to approve Consent Agenda, Item 1, with the correction; Commissioner Gourlie seconded. Motion carried 4-0


4. Consideration of Approval to Purchase New K-9 for the Lady Lake Police Department Utilizing Money from the PD K-9 Donation Fund, from the Moritz Foundation (Interim Police Chief Hunt)

Interim Police Chief Hunt presented the background information regarding this agenda item. He stated that he has been looking for a replacement for our retired K-9, Lux. He stated that Central Florida K-9 has a single-purpose, Labrador Retriever. He stated that the dog will have workability certification, including hips and elbows protection, along with 160 hours of narcotics and tracking training. He stated that this certification is significant as this certification is what staff was looking for to bring the program up to a higher standard. The total cost is $10,000.

Commissioner Freeman asked the age of the dog.

Lt. Tempesta stated the dog is two years old.

Chief Hunt stated this is a good age for training. He stated that he has trained dogs for hunting and two-years old is a good age. He stated that staff has vetted this program by speaking with several different people about the business owner and his business.

Commissioner Freeman made a motion to approve the purchase of a new K-9 utilizing money from the Police Department K-9 Fund from the Moritz Foundation; Commissioner Kussard seconded. Motion carried 4-0.

5. Lake Ella Estates Phases 2 & 3 — Final Plat Plan — Proposing a 152 Non-Age Restricted Single-Family Residential Lots, Zoned RS-6 within Lake Ella Estates Subdivision, Located on the North Side of Lake Ella Road approximately ¾ Mile East of Rolling Acres Road, addressed as 1295 Boone Boulevard, referenced as Alternate Key Number 1283159, owned by ROIB SFR Lake Ella LLC, within the town limits of the Town of Lady lake, Florida (Thad Carroll)

Growth Management Director Carroll presented the background summary for this agenda item, and reviewed updated documents that are included in the commission packets. He stated that the applicant is present. Staff recommendation is to approve the final plat plan.

Mr. Carroll stated that Lake Ella Estates is a total of 232 lots and is located on 66.75 acres of property. He stated that staff has begun receiving building permit applications for Phase 1.

Mayor Rietz confirmed with Mr. Carroll that this entire development is not an age-restricted development.

Commissioner Freeman made a motion to approve Lake Ella Estates Phases 2 & 3 Final Plat Plan. Commissioner Gourlie seconded the motion. Motion carried, 4-0.


5. Ordinance 2023-09 — First Reading — 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 No. 94-08), Chapter 5, Section 5-4 A), “Zoning District Uses”; Providing for Amendment to the Allowable Square Footage for Accessory Structures, Providing for Amendment to Allow Accessory Structures in the Absence of a Primary Dwelling Unit for Properties Greater than Five Acres. (Thad Carroll)

Growth Management Director Carroll presented the background summary of this agenda item. He stated that there are not many AG1 properties within the town and that most of them are in the vicinity of Edwards Road. He stated that even though these properties are five to seven acres the property owners are still required to adhere to the same zoning restrictions as some of our other zoning districts.

Mr. Carroll explained that a primary structure is required on the property to place an accessory structure on the property. He explained that one resident does not have a primary structure on his property and would like to use his property to store equipment. He stated that under the direction of the commission, he presented this ordinance to the Planning and Zoning board, who recommends approval of this ordinance.

Mr. Carroll stated that the some of the text amendments are to allow an accessory structure to be placed on a property without a primary structure, if the property is more than five acres, and amending the accessory amount. Therefore, if a property has five or more acres, they would be allowed 7% of the property area in accessory structure. Mr. Carroll stated that these amendments will allow the property owners who have more property to utilize it more.

Mr. Carroll stated that one concern that was brought up at the planning and zoning meeting was would a landscaping company be permitted to store equipment on these properties, with many workers arriving to get the vehicles/equipment. He stressed that this is not the intent of this ordinance. He clarified that the intent of this ordinance is for the property owners to store the equipment and to use the equipment on their property. He stated that there is specific language in the code to prohibit commercial operations.

Mr. Carroll stated that if there are any suggestions or recommendations from the commission, they will be incorporated prior to the second reading, which is July 3.

Commissioner Freeman asked if AG 1 requires five acres.

Mr. Carroll clarified that five acres are required for agricultural uses. There are properties with the AG1 zoning designation that have less than five acres.

Commissioner Freeman asked if a property owner with three acres could put an accessory structure on their property.

Mr. Carroll clarified that if the property is less than five acres, a primary residence is required for an accessory structure to be placed on the property.

Commissioner Kussard made a motion to approve Ordinance 2023-09 on first and final reading; Commissioner Gourlie seconded.

Commissioner (Ward) Vote
Kussard (One) YES
Gourlie (Two) YES
Freeman (Three) YES
Rietz (Five) YES

Motion carried 4-0


Town Manager Lawrence stated that at the beginning of the year, he set a goal for all the department managers to improve their communication skills and work better together as a team. He commended the Library director and Public Works director on their teamwork for the Truck Rodeo that was held at the library. He stated it was the largest group of children to attend this event, and thanked Communications Director, Elisha Pappacoda, for getting the information out to the public.

Mr. Lawrence thanked Parks & Recreation Director, Mike Burske, Growth Management Director, Thad Carroll, Public Works Director C.T. Eagle, and Chief Hunt for the putting together a great safety plan for the upcoming fireworks event.

Mr. Lawrence stated that the police have taken time to respond to certain neighborhoods whose residents have reported speeding vehicles. He has received positive feedback and the residents appreciate the police presence.

Mr. Lawrence stated that the County has informed all its municipalities that the emergency alert system contract has been cancelled by our governor due to a system failure. He stated that the company must honor the contract through this year’s hurricane season. He stated that the County is considering taking over the alert system and is requesting assistance from the municipalities. He stated that he discussed this issue with Jennifer Barker at the County and asked if she would present the information to the commission at an upcoming meeting. He stated that he does not believe they are willing to do that. Therefore, he is unsure if the Town should participate in this endeavor. He stated that he may have this issue included on an upcoming agenda for discussion only.


Commissioner Kussard stated that she attended the truck rodeo, along with the mayor, at the library. She stated that the library staff and the public works staff went all-out. She stated that she is looking forward to the ribbon cutting ceremony at Snooky Park, June 29 at 10 AM.

Mayor Rietz stated he, too, had great time at the truck rodeo. He stated that he is looking forward to the ceremony at Snooky Park and the fireworks event July 1. He stated it will be a great event with food trucks, bounce houses, and music.


There were no comments.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:28 p.m.

Carol Osborne, Deputy Town Clerk

Jim Rietz, Mayor