Special Commission Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the December 18, 2023 Special Conceptual 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 Freeman presiding. The meeting convened at 5:30 p.m.

Call to Order

Mayor Freeman

Commissioner (Ward) Present
Regan (Four) YES
Roberts (One) YES
Gourlie (Two) YES
Sage (Five) YES
Freeman (Three) YES

STAFF PRESENT

William Lawrence, Town Manager; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; Becky Higgins, Senior Planner; Mike Burske, Parks and Recreation Director; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

Town Attorney Derek Schroth and Assistant Attorney Taylor Tremel were also present.

NEW BUSINESS

Conceptual Presentation of the Architectural Elevations for the Elite RV Boat Storage in request of a waiver from Chapter 20, Section 3C. 3)A) of the Land Development Regulations.

Growth Management Director Carroll stated that on February 28, 2023, an application for a new site plan was submitted by Common Oak Engineering, LLC for a three-story self-storage building and RV and boat storage stalls. The proposed site includes a 99,850 square foot mini warehouse facility, 200 square foot office and 224 boat/RV storage stalls. The property is approximately 8.71 acres and is located off County Road 25, just south of Griffin Avenue.

There is one issue to be discussed which is the town’s commercial design standards. When the site plan application was submitted, the applicant did not provide any elevations for the mini warehouse facility. Since that time, a rendering of the building façade has been provided by James Garritani for commission consideration. The four recommended architectural styles include Frame Vernacular, Craftsman/Bungalow, Mediterranean or Mission. The elevations feature exterior building materials and elements that cannot be directly linked to any one of the recommended styles although some elements from the Mission Style are present. Because of this, a waiver is being requested from the Commercial Design Standards requirement. The town has granted waivers for storage facilities in the past including Lighthouse Storage on County Road 25. The uniqueness of storage facilities and the way they have to operate with screening and not putting windows into units that will be utilized as storage units may provide some justification for the deviation from our recommended styles.

Mr. Carroll stated that he has not yet heard any justifications as to why the developer cannot completely conform.

James Garritani – Architect - Winter Springs

Mr. Garritani stated that the owners of the project came to him after they received documents from the town indicating they had not complied with requirements in their previous submittal. A lot of the storage facilities on which he works will comply with what the commission sees fit to meet local standards. He has seen some facilities nearby who have conformed to town standards. What is shown in the displayed elevation is half of the long side of the building, the other side is the mirror image of what is being displayed. The two entrances are loading and unloading areas designated by striped pavement. The facility is three stories, and they are 33 feet to the low of the roofline and approximately 35 feet to the top of the building, those values can change. Some regulations of mission style refer to scalloped tops and the owner of the facility said we can accommodate the scalloped tops to conform to more of a mission style. The building is a single slab on foundation, and it is symmetrical. Because of the way storage facilities work, there is a minimum clearance that is aimed for: 8’4” is used for actual storage space leaving room for a/c, fire suppression system and lights. Visor roofs are used over the entrances with a 14’6” clearance with automatic doors. Mr. Garritani outlined other qualities of the structure before asking the commission if they have any questions.

Mayor Freeman asked why they did not conform to our standards in the first place if they knew our code requirements, especially with the owner being so amendable to changes. Mr. Garritani felt that all that would need to be added is the scalloping element to make it conform, adding that it is difficult to have hip roofs and gables on storage facilities.

Commissioner Gourlie stated that aesthetically he is not opposed to the design but does the town want to continually grant variances to our styles? Should the styles be changed in our code? We are setting a precedent by regularly allowing variances.

Mr. Carroll said the problem stems from the design examples in our code being mainly for residential applications. He believes the mission style can be conformed to in this commercial design by adding certain elements. We should open our code and provide better examples to avoid repeated waivers.

Mayor Freeman said he would like to see the updated design. Mr. Garritani agreed to the mayor’s request and said changes to the elevation will be made to adhere to the mission style and brought back before the commission.

Commissioner Roberts said if the scalloping element is added, she is fine with the project.

Consensus to move forward. 5-0.

Public Comments

No Comments

Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:46 p.m..

s/ Nancy Wilson, Town Clerk

s/ Ed Freeman, Mayor