Commission Budget Workshop Meeting Minutes

Draft Minutes of the Commission Workshop - October, 25, 2021, 10 a.m.

The workshop meeting of the Lady Lake Town Commission was held in the Commission Chambers at Lady Lake Town Hall, 409 Fennell Blvd., Lady Lake, Florida. The meeting convened at 10 a.m.

A. Call to Order

Mayor Ruth Kussard

B. Roll Call

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Kussard (One) YES
Holden (Two) YES
Vincent (Three) YES
Hannan (Four) NO
Rietz (Five) YES


William Lawrence, Town Manager; Town Attorney Derek Schroth; Pamela Winegardner, Finance Director; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; Becky Schneider, Development Coordinator; Nancy Slaton, Town Clerk, and Nancy Wilson, Deputy Town Clerk

C. New Business

1. Discussion Regarding the Tri-County Villages Lake Development of Regional Impact (DRI) (Bill Lawrence)

Mayor Kussard announced that this meeting was solely for the purpose of discussing the Tri-County Villages Lake Development of Regional Impact (DRI) rescission; the meeting has nothing to do with apartments. She further stated that there will be no public comments permitted.

The Mayor asked Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director to define the DRI.

Mr. Carroll explained that a DRI is a term of any development that, because of its character, magnitude or location, would have a substantial effect on the health, safety, and welfare on citizens in more than one county. The Villages spans Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties. The original DRI started in 1988 in Orange Blossom Gardens South. There have been iterations of and amendments to the original document in the last 33 years and each one has either taken an entitlement away or added an additional entitlement; each coming before the Town Commission. At this time, the developer has met all the mitigations as required by the terms of the development order and they have requested rescission of the DRI. What that means is that the document, which is another level of governance of The Villages, will be removed if it is rescinded, and the area within Lady Lake’s jurisdiction will be governed by our Land Development Regulations.

Town Attorney Schroth stated that the purpose of the workshop was to explain to the Commission the statutory obligation and history of the DRI and the effect of a potential termination. Statute 380.115 says if requested by developer, the DRI shall be rescinded. “Shall” is a mandate and must be followed. A condition of the approval to rescind is that mitigation would be performed by the developer. That has occurred.

Commissioner Rietz stated that the Commissions’ jurisdiction is only within the boundaries of Lady Lake. He asked why issues in areas outside of Lady Lake are referred to at all.

Mr. Carroll replied that the Commissioners have jurisdiction in Lady Lake; if the developer wants to rescind the DRI in other jurisdictions, they will have to go Sumter or Marion counties.

Commissioner Rietz stated that he does not know why issues that affect other jurisdictions are included in our DRI.

Mr. Carroll clarified that whatever mitigation Lady Lake required has been met and that we only have control of property within the Town’s boundaries as outlined in the DRI. DRIs cover multiple counties, so to be a complete document, it would have to contain information regarding areas outside of Lady Lake even though we do not have control over those areas.

Jo Thacker, Villages attorney, stated that obligations from the DRI do not go away. Anything that was in the DRI for mitigation has been met. The DRI covered other jurisdictions because that is what it was designed to do; it took all jurisdictions to make sure each component would not affect another.

Mr. Carroll noted that in 2018, the Commission did adopt an ordinance to recognize that the mitigation had been satisfied.

Responding to a question asked by Commissioner Rietz, Town Attorney Schroth stated that there is a 30-year agreement that was signed in 1994, whereby Lady Lake is to provide police services in exchange for $100,000 annually.

Commissioner Rietz stated that those services now cost the Town over $180,000, and the agreement reads that it should be reviewed annually by both parties and may be amended at any time upon mutual agreement.

Commissioner Holden stated that to his knowledge the agreement has never been renegotiated.

Town Manager Lawrence stated that this matter was brought to the attention of the Commission during the budget workshop. The agreement is for a 30-year term at a cost of $100,000 annually. He added that the Town Attorney should review the matter to determine how to move forward.

Town Attorney Schroth stated that when the agreement expires, the Commission will need to renegotiate the time frame and dollar amount. He suggested putting this matter on a future agenda at which time they could address terms and provide him with direction.

Mr. Carroll clarified that changes regarding the police detail can be accomplished via an interlocal agreement outside of any decisions regarding the DRI.

Mayor Kussard asked if there were any more questions. She wanted to ensure that everybody understood what the Commission will be voting on at the November 1, 2021 Town Commission meeting.

Commissioner Rietz had a concern that he would not be able to make that meeting because of a previous obligation sitting on the election canvassing board.

When asked if she would be all right with continuing the matter to a future meeting, Ms. Thacker responded that it had been continued once and further delay would carry it over to December. She stated she would prefer that first reading be held at the November 1st meeting if there is a quorum present.

Town Attorney Schroth stated that continuance could be discussed at the November 1, 2021, meeting.

D. Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:22 a.m.

Nancy Slaton, Town Clerk

Ruth Kussard, Mayor

Minutes transcribed by Nancy Wilson, Deputy Town Clerk