Special Commission Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the July 17, 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 5:30 p.m.

Call to Order

Mayor Rietz

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


Wendy Then, Senior Planner; Rebecca Higgins, Development Coordinator; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

Town Attorney Derek Schroth was also in attendance.


1. Conceptual Discussion of Vinyl Fence Updates for the Lighthouse Storage― New Major Site Plan MJSP 06/21-001 ― A Proposal to Develop a Storage Facility consisting of an 800-square-foot Office, 77,850 square feet of Mini Warehouse Storage, and 181 Covered Parking Stalls for RV and Boat Storage; on property located at 1370 Teague Trail, Referenced by Alternate Key Numbers 1237718 And 1237734; within the town limits of the Town of Lady Lake, Florida.

Senior Planner Wendy Then stated that a Development Order was issued on November 22, 2021, and the project commenced construction in 2022. Since then, the developer has continued to make progress, and to date, Buildings A, B, C, and D are well under way and walls are being built.

Progress is ongoing and our Code Enforcement Officer is checking on the project periodically to ensure the project meets the requirements and regulations outlined in the Town’s Code of Ordinances.

Coordinating the future development of phase 2 with adjacent neighbors, the applicant would like to defer placing the fence along the north and south property boundaries, approximately 580 linear feet; also, west of the westerly lot, approximately 662 linear feet, on the west elevation.

The applicant feels it would be a win-win situation to defer erecting the fence until a later date to allow the neighbors to continue enjoying their backyards with the natural growth intact. The development of phase two will prompt installation of the fence and will necessitate the removal of trees and foliage as per the approved memorandum of agreement.

Steve Valentine – applicant for Lighthouse Storage development

Mr. Valentine stated that the rear of the property is undisturbed and there is a lot of plant growth and wildlife that the neighbors would like to keep in place until the area is developed. His request is to defer placement of the fence until a later date. It would be a big endeavor to remove the planted areas to make room for the fence and it is not necessary to disturb wildlife and foliage until the development order has been approved. The community behind his proposed development is not too far off the property line. This is not a cost issue but rather a way to give the neighboring properties their privacy until phase two is underway.

Commissioner Freeman asked what the plan is for the area over time. Mr. Valentine said they would like to have covered RV parking at the rear of the property and make it a quiet area. RV parking does not generate much activity which is better for areas that are adjacent to homes. Commissioner Freeman asked how many years until completion, to which Mr. Valentine responded that if all goes well, he would like to come back before the Commission with his phase two proposal in about 28 months with completion in three or four years. As an aside, Mr. Valentine commented that it is not their intent to put climate-controlled buildings in that area and phase one is being designed to allow access to phase two.

There was consensus among the Commission to allow Lighthouse Storage to move forward with their proposed plan. 4-0

2. Conceptual Discussion of Storage Facility Proposal – A proposal to develop two 32,450 square foot self-storage buildings and 25 Boat & RV Parking Stalls with an Office and Security Gate and two commercial out parcels on 6.19 acres of property located on the east side of Teague Trail/CR 25, approximately 650 ft. north of the intersection of Fennell Boulevard, Referenced by Alternate Key Number 1225035; within the town limits of the Town of Lady Lake, Florida.

Senior Planner Wendy Then said that since this was initially presented to the Town, there has been a change. The developer no longer wants to provide RV parking, only mini storage. If RV parking was an element of the plan, they would have had to make an amendment to the MOA to include RV and boat storage within that agreement. Currently, Ordinance 2007-15 allows mini storage but since he was coming to the meeting anyway, he wanted to present the Commission with his new plan which now consists of three buildings instead of two.

This development fits the Town’s goals and purposes. It is good for the Town, residents, and other developers in the area. This property is on CR 25 which is a constrained corridor, so they want to be mindful of what development is allowed. Of all the allowed uses, a mini-storage facility generates the fewest number of trips. The new proposal consists of three buildings totaling 115,000 square feet of self-storage and a 1,600 square foot office.

Because of the changes to the original plan, no changes to the MOA are being requested but the applicant is available to answer questions.

Doug Anderson – Lady Lake Group, LLC

Mr. Anderson said his group purchased the site about 1.5 years ago. The plan was to build a self-storage facility with boat and RV parking but because boat and RV parking was not a permitted use, they removed that from the plan. They will rezone and sell the two parcels on CR 25 to be developed with the permitted uses provided for in Ordinance 2007-15. The Town has told Lady Lake Group what would and would not be appropriate to build on those parcels.

Commissioner Kussard said she has no problem with Mr. Anderson’s proposal, but she asked what will be placed on the two large parcels facing CR 25. Mr. Anderson responded that he does not know but they will be applying for a replat. They are looking for something that would support the community.

Ms. Then said that whatever is proposed, it would have to come back before the Commission then each developer of the two front parcels would also have to bring their site plan proposal to the Commission. The Town would need to work closely with Lake County because the road belongs to them. Lady Lake is part of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Town is pushing to have them perform a study on CR 25 from the Marion County line to US 27/441 to identify how capacity can be increased along that corridor.

Commissioner Gourlie asked for clarification from Ms. Then about whether the applicant needed to present his new proposal at the meeting given that it is a permitted use. Ms. Then said that the applicant has zoning entitlements to do what he is proposing and would not have had to attend the meeting. He would have to come back, however, for any variances.

Commissioner Freeman stated that he is concerned about the environmental impact of the project. The current pervious area will become acres of impervious ground. This will have a dramatic effect on local ecology.

Mayor Rietz asked what is planned for the area behind the office along the property line to which Mr. Anderson responded that it will most likely be a single row of storage units.

There was consensus among the Commission to allow Mr. Anderson to move forward with his proposed plan. 3-1 (Freeman)

Public Comments

Phil Mathias – Lakes of Lady Lake

Mr. Mathias said he lives next door to the Lighthouse Storage property. He thought there was a barbed wire fence but is pleased that there is solid ground for the proposed fence. Regarding the second plan presented, he commented that the water retention area shown on the drawing would not be big enough. Ms. Then responded that the plan is very preliminary, and that St. John’s River Water Management would be weighing in on the matter when the time comes.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:51 p.m..

s/ Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

s/ Jim Rietz, Mayor