Special Commission Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Special Commission Meeting November 15, 2021, 5:30 p.m.

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 Kussard presiding. The meeting convened at 5:30 p.m.

A. Call to Order

Mayor Ruth Kussard

B. Roll Call

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Kussard (One) YES
Holden (Two) YES
Freeman (Three) YES (not yet sworn in)
Hannan (Four) YES
Rietz (Five) YES


William Lawrence, Town Manager; Thad Carroll, Growth Management; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Wendy Then, Senior Planner; Becky Higgins, Development Coordinator; Pam Winegardner, Finance Director; Chief Robert Tempesta and Deputy Chief Jason Brough, Police Department; and Nancy Slaton, Town Clerk

C. New Business

1. Conceptual Presentation of the Architectural Elevations and Landscaping Waivers for the Narine Commercial Retail Office MSP 05/21-001 — A Development Proposing a Multi-Tenant 2,115-Square-Foot Commercial Building, with 12 Parking Spaces, Landscaping Buffers, Site Lighting, and Signage; Located at 320 Highway 466, Identified by Alternate Key 1739799 (Thad Carroll)

Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office). The proposal is to tear-down the existing structures and build a new 2,115 square foot commercial building on the property. The site consists of only 12,825 square feet. It is zoned Light Commercial; therefore, the proposed improvements are allowable as per the Town’s Land Development Regulations.

The site will have a total of 12 parking spaces upon completion and will provide right-in, right-out driveway access for the patrons of the new development. Again, given that the site is limited in size, the applicant has requested two landscaping waivers in an effort to provide adequate parking, traffic circulation, and stormwater management on the site. Mr. Carroll noted that the county has actually requested a reduction in canopy trees along Highway 466 due to the possible impact of tree roots on the sidewalks, etc.

Mr. Carroll stated that the engineer for the project is present if there are any questions.

Mayor Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners.

Commissioner Hannan stated he would like to see the developer follow the Town’s commercial design standards. He asked if the county was okay with the closeness to the highway.

Mr. Carroll replied that the project is set back from the highway; there is adequate spacing with a sidewalk there. The septic system is in front of the building. He stated the county is fine with the distance to the highway as long as there are no big trees planted in the right of way.

Commissioner Rietz asked if the median in front of the western entrance is high enough to keep people from crossing it.

Mr. Carroll replied that the medians are typically high, and markers are usually put up if people are seen attempting to cross a median. He noted there is a cut at the next property to turn on to Clay Avenue and will allow for someone to turn around there if necessary.

Mayor Kussard asked for a consensus.

Commissioner Hannan reiterated his concern over adhering to the Town’s commercial design standards, and Mayor Kussard asked the engineer if there was any chance for the design to be modified to better fit the design standards.

Jason Hurley of Springstead Engineering confirmed that it was the building façade design rather than the site plan that Commissioner Hannan was concerned with. He stated they could work with the developer to adjust the façade of the building itself, although they have site constraints due to property being so small.

There was a consensus of the Commissioners for this proposal to move forward with the requested waivers as presented, by a vote of 4 to 0.

2. Discussion of the Creation of a Community Development District (CDD) for the Hammock Oaks Development on Highway 466 (Thad Carroll)

Growth Management Director Thad Carroll presented the background summary for this agenda item (on file in the Clerk’s Office). On Monday, October 25, 2021, the Growth Management Director, Town Manager, and Town Attorney met with Jere Earlywine, Attorney with the KE Law Group, Greg Beliveau of LPG Urban and Regional Planners, Inc., and Eric Morrisette of Kolter to discuss the potential of creating a Community Development District (CDD) for the project known as Hammock Oaks. At the conclusion of the meeting, it was the determination of Town staff and the Town Attorney, that the establishment of a CDD has no negative impacts to the Town.

Mr. Carroll stated that Jere Earlywine, Attorney, will be presenting this concept.

Commissioner Hannan confirmed with Mr. Carroll that this CDD will be a Chapter 190.

Mr. Earlywine introduced himself. He noted others involved with the project are also in attendance: John Curtis, Eric Mohlerset, David Home, Mohammed Abdallah, Phil Hunt, and Greg Beliveau.

Mr. Earlywine provided an explanation of a community development district (CDD). He stated it is a lot like a homeowners association (HOA), but allows for a lot more. A CDD maintains improvements like an HOA, and can finance and construct public improvements using tax exempt bonds, which makes it more powerful than an HOA. Three benefits of a CDD include: financial, default protection, and ancillary benefits.

Mayor Kussard asked if there will be a bond cost to commercial portions and multi-family apartments.

Mr. Earlywine replied that the commercial and multi-family portions would not be part of the CDD.

Mayor Kussard asked if the all the properties have been purchased and closed on yet.

John Curtis stated the Meucci parcel is the only property that has been closed on. The other acreage will be purchased over time.

Mayor Kussard asked if additional properties purchased later will become part of the CDD.

Mr. Earlywine replied that any other annexed property will be part of the CDD other than commercial or multi-family. He declared they will have all of the landowners’ consent for establishment of the CDD.

Mayor Kussard asked who would be considered the landowners; if the roads will be private or public, and who will be providing the utilities.

Mr. Earlywine replied that the developers that purchase the properties will be considered the landowners. He stated there will be public sections such as the roads outside the gates, and private sections such as active adult amenities. The CDD will be responsible for the private roads and the stormwater. They hope to hook up with the Town’s utilities, and hopefully, use the same contractor as the Town for solid waste.

Mayor Kussard asked if there were any questions or comments from the Commissioners.

Commissioner Rietz stated he does not like CDDs. He feels it hides the cost of the infrastructure, and the purchaser is then surprised with a bond on top of the cost of the home.

Mr. Earlywine stated there is a cost advantage to building under a CDD; it saves money on the front end as it costs less, and you end up with better infrastructure.

Mr. John Curtis stated a CDD allows them to include more amenities such as landscaping up front.

Commissioner Holden stated he sees how a CDD would work much better than an HOA for a project this size.

Commissioner Hannan asked if the bonds will be issued at the beginning.

Mr. Earlywine stated the bond will most likely be issued within a year.

Mr. Curtis stated bonds will be implemented for each section coming on line. He noted 100% of this project is being bonded.

Mayor Kussard asked if there will be an assessment, a bond, and an amenity fee. Will the prospective buyer be told up front? She stated her concern since this project is in her ward.

Mr. Curtis stated everyone will be informed.

Commissioner Rietz asked if this is the same subdivision that was discussed at a past meeting where it was suggested that the developer would give some money to the county for Rolling Acres Road.

Greg Beliveau replied that this project is built into the development order portion of the MOA brought before the Commission at a prior meeting, where there is a proportionate share allocation for Rolling Acres Road.

Mayor Kussard asked for a consensus.

There was a 4 to 0 consensus of the Commissioners for this proposal to move forward as presented.

D. Public Comments

There were no comments.

E. Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:09 p.m.

s/ Nancy Slaton, Town Clerk

s/ Jim Rietz, Mayor

Minutes transcribed by Nancy Slaton, Town Clerk