Commission Meeting Minutes

Draft Minutes of the January 18, 2023 Special Commission Meeting

The special 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. The meeting convened at 5:15 p.m.

Call to Order

Mayor Jim Rietz

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


Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; Wendy Then, Senior Planner; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Mike Burske, Parks & Recreation Director; Rebecca Higgins, Development Coordinator; Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

Derek Schroth, Town Attorney, was also in attendance.


1. Conceptual Discussion of the Old Vineyard Road Extension to Griffin Avenue to allow for road connectivity, Report on Completion and Transfer of Sewer Utilities Improvements along CR 25 and Griffin Avenue, and Progress Update of the Lady Lake Square Apartments Development and a request for the extension of the development order.

Growth Management Director Carroll said Marty DelleBovi from the Benchmark Group is going to update the Commission on his projects. Last year, a development order was approved for the Lady Lake Square Apartments where site work and utility extensions have begun. As part of that project, there is an opportunity to tie in a paper street as a platted street to Griffin Avenue. Mr. DelleBovi is also going to ask for an extension to the development order. They have complied with the development order but when going before lenders, it is best to have a formal extension.

Marty DelleBovi – Benchmark Group – Executive Vice President

Mr. DelleBovi said he wants to ensure that the Commission is kept abreast of all that is happening regarding his projects. He said Benchmark is embarking on the 288 units at Lady Lake Square at a difficult time. Infrastructure has begun along with road improvements on County Road 25. The sewer line has been extended to their property and beyond for future use by the Town. There was a walk through the previous week and only one or two punch list items were found which have since been satisfied and that sewer line project is completed. The project started out at $510,000 but the contract came in at $680,000, an increase of 35%; they will absorb the difference so the Town portion will not be increased from the $470,000 that was agreed upon by both parties. Road improvements are underway starting on Nancy Drive which will tie them in off of 2nd Avenue (Old Vineyard). They are also starting their stormwater detention on the apartment site. Their permits are all in order including the permits that are ready to be pulled. Growth Management did a great job of moving quickly with permitting when it was really needed. There will be nine buildings housing 288 units and they are all permitted. The civil permits are also in place as well as a draft of the utility agreement and approval for stormwater improvements. Benchmark is ready to go but the equity requirement has almost doubled since the onset of the project, so they had to find a partner who is in the last phase of due diligence. Hopefully, they are 45-60 days away from an established partnership that will allow them to continue with the project. The apartments will cover 25 acres but the future of the remaining 19 acres has not been established.

Regarding Lady Lake Crossing, they are working on getting another retailer for the space that Earth Fare vacated. There will be a final tour on February 7th by a potential lessee, but Benchmark has two other parties interested if that deal should fall through.

Mr. DelleBovi said that Benchmark would like formal approval to extend the Development Order for a year. This is important now that partners and lenders are involved in the financing of the project.

Regarding Old Vineyard/2nd Avenue, it does not need to be extended for their development. However, if the Town Commission wants it to be extended, they will do that. Old Vineyard is a paper road established long ago. It was assumed that it would become a platted road when the area is developed but because it is not necessary for their project, it is up to the Commission. If the Commission decides it would be beneficial, Benchmark will work with the county and hire traffic engineers to make sure the road work does not interfere with any other county projects.

Commissioner Hannan is in favor of having the paper road extended and feels it would help with traffic.

Commissioner Kussard responded that she is very much in favor of having the road extended.

Commissioner Gourlie said extending the road would add value to the development and add a service to the residents of Lady Lake.

Commissioner Freeman would like to see the traffic study once it is completed.

Mayor Rietz is in favor of extending the road.

Commissioner Freeman said as long as a study on the paper road is being performed, there may be a need for turn lanes at the end of Dunning onto Rolling Acres. There are currently traffic backups on Dunning Avenue and with the apartments, there will be even more traffic on that road. He added that according to FDOT, Old Vineyard is going to be the next intersection they complete.

Mr. DelleBovi will get the traffic study and bring it back before the Commission before presenting it to the county.

The Commission agreed by consensus (5-0) to approve the request for an extension of the Development Order for the Lady Lake Square Apartments and to request that Benchmark conduct a traffic study for the extension of Old Vineyard Road.

2. Consideration of the Architectural Elevations for the Gettings RV Storage New Major Site Plan MJSP 12/22-001 – An RV Storage Facility proposing 530 square feet of Office Building, a Manager’s Residence, Four Covered Parking Area Structures consisting of approximately 56,460 square feet or 100 RV Storage Slots, Providing Parking Spaces including one Florida ADA Parking Space, RV Dump Station, Storm Water Retention Pond, landscaping buffers, and dumpster enclosure, on a 6.62-acre parcel zoned Planned Commercial(CP), identified by Alternate Key Numbers 1121612, 1584876, 2700416, and 3793334, within the Town Limits of Lady Lake, Florida.

Senior Planner Then summarized the agenda item. A New Major Site Plan application was filed in December 2022 for property that involves four parcels totaling 6.62 acres located on South Old Dixie Highway. The parcels received zoning entitlements in December 2021 when the zoning was changed from Residential Professional to Planned Commercial. This was done to accommodate the RV storage land use. A waiver to the Commercial Design Standards is required for this project because it does not closely follow one of the four recommended architectural styles though the elevations of the office building do feature elements that are similar to the Craftsman/Bungalow Architectural Design.

The office building is the only structure that will be seen from Old Dixie Highway. The other buildings are set back from the road so in conjunction with the required landscaping buffer and vinyl fencing, the other buildings will be blocked from view.

Commissioner Kussard asked if any of the RV storage units are enclosed.

Jason Hurley – Springstead Engineering

Mr. Hurley responded that the original plans included enclosed units but ultimately, they decided to have all open storage units. The entire area is secured with fences and cameras.

Commissioner Freeman asked Ms. Then if the property between the eastern side of their development and Old Dixie Highway is owned by another entity. She responded that it is.

Mayor Rietz asked about power to the storage units for RV charging. Mr. Hurley said there will be an assortment of charging capabilities, but nobody can live onsite.

The Commission agreed by consensus (5-0) to approve the architectural elevations for the Gettings RV Storage New Major Site Plan.

Public Comment



There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:47 p.m..

Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

Jim Rietz, Mayor