BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONER
LEON COUNTY, FLORIDA
JULY 24, 2001
The Board of County Commissioners of Leon County, Florida, met in regular session with Chairman Winchester presiding. Those in attendance were Commissioners DePuy, Thaell, Sauls, Rackleff, Proctor, and Grippa. Also in attendance were Senior Assistant County Attorney Julie Lovelace, County Administrator Parwez Alam, Clerk of the Circuit Court Bob Inzer, Deputy Clerk Bill Bogan, Jr., and Secretary Sandra C. O'Neal.
Invocation was provided by Chairman Dan Winchester followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
AWARDS AND PRESENTATIONS
Newly appointed County Commissioner Ed DePuy, joined by his wife, Linda DePuy, was sworn-in by Judge Francis.
Commissioner Ed DePuy joined the other members of the Board and Commissioners welcomed him to the Board.
Commissioner Sauls moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Grippa, and carried unanimously, to approve the following Consent agenda.
1. BILLS AND VOUCHERS
The Board approved the County bills and authorized the Chairman and the Clerk to issue the proper warrants:
2. APPROVAL OF AMENDMENT TO COST SCHEDULE AND EXTENSION OF CONTRACTS BETWEEN LEON COUNTY AND THE APALACHEE CENTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES, NORTH FLORIDA FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY ASSOCIATION, INC. AND THE AAKHET CENTER FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION SERVICES
The Board approved Options 1 and 2: 1) accept the proposed amendment to the cost schedule and authorize implementation; and 2) execute the one-year contract extension option to the current service providers.
3. APPROVAL OF BUDGET AMENDMENT AUTHORIZING THE NEIGHBORHOOD JUSTICE CENTER (NJC) TO USE OFFICE OF THE STATE COURTS ADMINISTRATOR (OSCA) GRANT FUNDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,200 AS A MATCH FOR THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT BLOCK
Board approved Option 1: approve the budget amendment by resolution.
4. APPROVAL OF DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS (DOC) PURCHASE ORDER FOR DRUG TREATMENT SERVICES AND ASSOCIATED BUDGET AMENDMENT
The Board approved Option 1: approve the budget amendment by resolution and the June 29, 2000 DOC Purchase Order.
5. APPROVAL TO AMEND EXISTING FLYOVER PROJECT CONTRACT (BC-11-00-05) TO INCLUDE UTILITY CORRIDOR ADDENDUM
The Board approved Option 1: authorize to amend the existing Flyover Project Contract, referenced as BC-11-21-00-05, to include the attached Utility Corridor Addendum (Attachment 1).
6. REQUEST TO SCHEDULE PUBLIC HEARING TO APPROVE THE ANNUAL DISPOSAL CHARGE FOR THE SOLID WASTE NON-AD VALOREM SPECIAL ASSESSMENT FOR TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 AT 6 P.M.
The Board approved Option 1: proceed with scheduling the public hearing for September 11, 2001, to continue the Annual Disposal Service Charge.
7. APPROVAL TO NAME ENTRANCE TO LAKE MUNSON PARK "JACKSON MOODY PLACE"
The Board approved Option 1: approve naming the entrance road to Lake Munson Preserve "Jackson Moody Place" and direct staff to install appropriate signage.
8. APPROVAL OF COMMUNITY HUMAN SERVICE PARTNERSHIP AND HUMAN SERVICES GRANT REVIEW COMMITTEE FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FY 2001
The Board approved Option 1: approve the Human Services Grant Review Committee’s funding recommendations (Attachment #1) awarded for FY 2001/2002 for $610,4000 and authorize the County Administrator to enter into grant agreements with the various agencies listed:
9. APPROVAL OF CONTRACT WITH ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND DESIGN, INC., TO INITIATE A LAKE LAFAYETTE WATERSHED STUDY
The Board approved Option 1: approve the contract with Environmental Research and Design, Inc., to initiate a Lake Lafayette watershed study and authorize the Chairman to execute it.
CITIZENS TO BE HEARD - 3-MINUTE LIMIT
Dr. C.U. Smith, of the Citizen Task Force working on the over-representation of minorities in the Leon County Jail, presented a report to the Board from the Task Force. Dr. Smith highlighted that the report offers several alternatives to incarceration and requested the Board consider these options. Commissioner Thaell thanked the Task Force and Commissioner Proctor for bringing this matter to the attention of the Board, and inquired as to what the next step would be in working through this issue. Commissioner DePuy noted the importance of this issue, that he has attended Task Force meetings and is concerned about this issue.
Commissioner Proctor requested a Board workshop to discuss the report. Dr. Smith advised that the Task Force is willing to continue working with the Board. The Board directed staff to schedule a workshop for Tuesday, September 18, 2001 from 2-4 p.m., to discuss the findings of the report.
10. RECONSIDERATION OF DIRECTION ON POLICY 2.1.9 ISSUE
This item is a reconsideration of the Board’s determination of February 22, 2000, concerning policy direction on Policy 2.1.9 usage. At the February 22, 2000 meeting, the Board did not modify the existing policy (there was a tie vote on a motion to accept the report and affirm staff’s current interpretation of the policy). At the meeting of July 10, 2001, the Board directed staff to agenda this issue for further consideration. The children of the late Lottie M. Blount, through their realtor, Andy Roberts, are requesting a Policy 2.1.9 subdivision of the property. The County Attorney’s Office has previously made the interpretation that Policy 2.1.9 option is only applicable to an otherwise eligible, living person. Mr. Roberts contends that the property has not yet been conveyed by probate and the deed is still in the decedent’s name, though Ms. Blount passed away in 1997.
Mr. David McDevitt, Growth and Environmental Management, explained that this is the third time this issue has been before the Board. The property owned by the Blount family is located near Lake Talquin and is zoned Lake Talquin Urban Fringe. Mr. Roberts, realtor for the Blount family, proposed a policy 2.1.9 subdivision on the property. Previously the County Attorney has recommended to the Board that the estate cannot represent the previously qualified applicant for policy 2.1.9 subdivision. Mr. McDevitt indicated that there is a possibility for a family heir 2.1.9 subdivision to occur on this property, but the applicant is requesting a regular 2.1.9 subdivision because it is their desire to divide the property and sell it off to others rather than to immediate family members.
County Attorney Thiele opined that policy 2.1.9 subdivisions are a personal right and do not run with the land, and once the owner of the property passes away without exercising the 2.1.9 subdivision option, there is no ability to do so. He further explained that the agenda item expands the Board’s options, noting in particular when someone has been declared incompetent or unable, to have the legally appointed ward of the guardian make the actual applications on their behalf. When that request would have been made, in this particular case, it would have been turned down. Option 4, of this agenda item, would allow a guardian to make application. Mr. Thiele noted that while staff continues to recommend option 1, the Board could approve options 3 and 4, without being inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
Bruce Weiner, attorney for the Blount estate, explained that this is a small piece of property involving 2.1 acres, that fits within the intent of policy 2.1.9, to allow family members to divide the property. He felt that the request is fair and reasonable and follows the intent of the comprehensive plan and requested that the Board approve Option 2, which would allow the use of policy 2.1.9 by Personal Representatives.
Commissioner Sauls noted that this is family property, and because of certain circumstances, was not able to be divided prior to the death of this individual.
Commissioner Sauls moved, seconded by Commissioner Grippa, to approve Options 3 and 4: 3) Revise the current interpretation regarding the applicability of Policy 2.1.9 to allow its use by legal guardians during the lifetime of the ward; and 4) accept factual distinction presented by Mr. Andy Roberts as to his efforts to utilize the guardianship application during the lifetime of the ward, and thus grant this one-time application for Policy 2.1.9 Subdivision.
Commissioner Grippa inquired from Mr. Wiener as to whether Options 3 and 4 would accomplish what the family wants to do with the property. Mr. Wiener responded that it would. Mr. McDevitt requested clarification from the Board that this is a "one-time" application, and Commissioner Sauls advised that this was part of the motion, in Option 4. Commissioner Grippa further requested clarification from the County Attorney on Options 3 and 4, as to whether these options are lawful. The County Attorney responded that he does not believe they are unlawful.
Commissioner Thaell noted that he does not support the motion, because he believes it to be inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan, suggesting the possible legal ramifications that may occur. He further expressed concerned that though it is stated that it is a one time only application, it could serve as a precedent to greatly expand the utilization of policy 2.1.9, thus opening up the potential for increased urban sprawl.
Commissioner Rackleff asked for clarification on the size of the property in the request. David McDevitt, explained that the total size of the Blount property was 9.06 acres, that some of the property was divided and sold years ago, and the remaining parcel that has not been divided is approximately 2 acres, to which the motion above applies. Mr. McDevitt further explained that the average lot size in the area is approximately ½-acre, and the division of the property would be consistent with the surrounding properties. Commissioner Rackleff pointed out that he shares Commissioner Thaell’s concern regarding the inconsistency with the Comprehensive Plan, and the precedent that this may set. Commissioner Rackleff further requested the County Attorney to explain why he recommended against Options 3 and 4. County Attorney Thiele explained that while the options are not unlawful, it could open up the 2.1.9 procedure to administrative problems. He also believes that Option 2 is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan, and does not recommend it. He stated that the only thing the Board should consider, pertaining to Option 4, is whether they believe they have received adequate information to support the contention that while this person was alive, with a legal guardian, could have and was prevented from making the application as proposed in Option 3. Commissioner Rackleff inquired as to whether the County Attorney’s Office had received such a request, and the County Attorney noted that he recalled seeing a letter from Mr. Andy Roberts that explained that he had been the decedent’s legal guardian, but he has no copy of any other paperwork.
The motion on the floor carried 5-2 (Commissioners Rackleff and Thaell voted in opposition).
11. CONSIDERATION OF LEVEL OF SERVICE CHANGES FOR BUCK LAKE ROAD
This item provides the Board with an analysis of the anticipated impacts associated with changes to the adopted level of service (LOS) for Buck Lake Road. County Administrator Alam explained that staff was directed by the Board to look at whether the Comprehensive Plan standard should be revised in terms of the LOS for Buck Lake Road, from a LOS of "E" to a LOS of "D" within the Urban Services Area (USA). He noted that after the agenda item was completed, Stella Furjanik, a citizen, sent comments via Email, to the Board regarding this issue. Staff is recommending that the Comprehensive Plan not be amended at this time. However, staff does agree with Ms. Furjanik, that this issue should continue to be observed and studied and see how traffic conditions change. He further suggested that this issue be continued to the September 18, 2001 meeting, as this will be after the beginning of the school year, and will give staff time to further analyze any impacts this may have on the traffic conditions in the area.
Commissioner Grippa commended Stella Furjanik on her involvement in community issues.
Commissioner Sauls moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Grippa and carried unanimously, to continue this item to the September 18, 2001 meeting.
12. SUBMISSION OF COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AMENDMENT FOR REVISION OF LAND USE GOAL 8 FOR BRADFORDVILLE STUDY AREA
This item outlines the Proposed Bradfordville Study Area Goal 8 revisions for consideration during the Comprehensive Plan Amendment 2002-1 Cycle. Commissioner Grippa noted that this is a work in progress and includes input of staff, the Bradfordville Phipps property owners, and the homeowners associations. He recently spoke with Mr. Pat Rose and Ms. Pam Hall and is encouraged that they want to continue working towards a solution and have a goal 8 that would be a lot more succinct and would include alternative dispute resolutions that would allow the developers to develop in a more responsible manner. He advised of the eleven separate sections that have been eliminated from the Bradfordville Study Area within the Comprehensive Plan and requested that the Board take a position on this issue before it goes before the City Commission.
Commissioner Grippa moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Thaell, to approve Option 1: approve the request to submit the proposed Bradfordville Study Area Goal 8 revisions for consideration during the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle 2002-1.
Commissioner Thaell offered an amendment, accepted by the maker of the motion, that the final draft be available to Commissioners at least 10 days prior to the date the Commission is scheduled to discuss it.
Commissioner Proctor expressed concern regarding some possible "front-end" costs associated with this item such as a filing fee and reminded the Board of rising costs associated with Bradfordville issues. He suggested, in the future, that the Board consider setting limits on the amount of money that is spent on mediation.
The motion carried 6-1 (Commissioner Proctor voted in opposition).
13. REQUEST TO SUBMIT THE PROPOSED COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AMENDMENTS TO ALLOW CHURCHES AND OTHER COMMUNITY FACILITIES NOT EXCEEDING 10,000 SQ. FT. ON SEPTIC TANK
This item outlines a proposed amendment for consideration during the Comprehensive Plan Amendment 2002-1 Cycle. Commissioner Grippa explained that the owners of 13.4 acres on Bannerman Road between the fire station and Tekesta Drive want to build a 10,000-square foot church and would leave the rest of their 13.4 acres as a buffer zone, green space, etc. The surrounding community has responded positively for the church being in the neighborhood.
Commissioner Grippa moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Sauls and carried unanimously, to approve Option 1: approve the request to submit the proposed amendment for consideration during the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Cycle 2002-1.
ADD-ON ITEM: RETROFIT PONDS AT THE RHODEN COVE AND LEXINGTON SITES
The development of the retrofit ponds at the Rhoden Cove and Lexington sites as currently designed, will not be possible due to the presence of environmental constraints. A Comprehensive Plan amendment will be necessary to allow the ponds to be constructed. Chairman Winchester explained that the Board has spent over $8 million to restore Lake Jackson and what is needed now is a series of retrofit ponds sited around Lake Jackson. They are necessary to continue to address water quality issues for existing development. This is a proposal that specifically addresses retrofit ponds in the Lake Jackson basin. He noted that the Board approved a similar policy a year or so ago, pertaining to flood plains. This is a request to allow staff to develop and prepare a comprehensive plan amendment to allow retrofit facilities for Lake Jackson and government flood plain type projects.
Commissioner Grippa moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Sauls, to approve Option 1: direct staff to prepare and submit a comprehensive plan amendment for the current cycle.
Commissioner Rackleff expressed his concern regarding this being in a flood plain and inquired as to how it could be determined that this would have a net benefit to the water quality.
Chairman Winchester further explained that the purpose of the item is to allow staff to draft a policy that addresses that concern, and to allow the Board to have some alternatives as they move forward with retrofit projects. The amendment will not take away the option of using alternative sites within these areas before using the wetlands system, but gives flexibility if no other sites exist. This vote will not adopt a policy, but will simply direct staff to prepare a proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment to address it.
Commissioner Rackleff voiced concern regarding Lake Protection Zones and stated that this is already a wetland and it helps to clean the water down stream. He stated that there is no standard here about how much of an improvement it would take. Chairman Winchester explained that criteria could be set forth in the proposed amendment. Commissioner Rackleff inquired as to why there is a policy that does not allow stormwater facilities in 100-year flood plains. Kevin Pope, Director of Environmental Compliance, explained that it is not allowed because usually structures and other impacts in wetlands and floodplains are usually a detriment to the lake or the stream. Chairman Winchester explained that the Lake Jackson water basin is one of the most critical water basins in this area and in Florida. He stated that the retrofits keep the County from having to spend more money in the future on cleaning the lake. The sites were selected a long time ago and the US Army Corp of Engineer funding is at risk if the County does not move forward.
Commissioner Grippa requested clarification on the issue Kevin Pope raised regarding the structures and possibly other water basins where retrofitting could benefit. Kevin Pope explained that there may be circumstances where there is a wetland of marginal value in a location where a retrofit facility would be overall a net benefit, and this would have to be weighed on a case by case basis. Commissioner Grippa asked if staff opposes this policy and Mr. Pope responded that as long as permitting staff can still review it and have some net benefit standard that includes all of the potential environmental features then they do not oppose such a policy.
Commissioner Proctor stated that he thought the lake would perform the cleaning on its own after removal of the muck.
The motion carried 6-1 (Commissioner Rackleff voted in opposition).
14. Appointments to:
15. PUBLIC HEARING ON CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCE AMENDMENT TO DESIGNATE SUNNY HILL ROAD A CANOPY ROAD
Pursuant to legal advertisement, the first public hearing was conducted to consider the approval of an ordinance amendment to designate Sunny Hill Road a Canopy Road.
Kevin McGorty, representing Tall Timbers Research Station, expressed his support for the designation of Sunny Hill Road as a Canopy Road.
County Administrator Alam noted that a comprehensive plan map amendment is required to include Sunny Hill Road in Comprehensive Plan Map. This was added to the motion by Commissioner Grippa.
Commissioner Grippa moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Proctor and carried unanimously, to approve Option 1: accept public comments and schedule the second public hearing to designate Sunny Hill Road a Canopy Road for Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at 6 p.m., and to direct staff to include a comprehensive plan map amendment to include Sunny Hill Road in the Comprehensive Plan Map.
16. PUBLIC HEARING ON THE FY 2001/2002 TENTATIVE BUDGET
County Administrator Alam explained that although this public hearing was not required by law, it was provided as an informal means for citizens to speak to the Board regarding budget issues. Budget workshops will continue for the next two days.
The following speakers appeared:
Mark Mustain, expressed his desire to see a joint stormwater plan between the City and the County. He advised that much of the efforts for lake clean-up could benefit from a joint stormwater program. He requested the Board consider this issue.
Chairman Winchester explained that in the Board’s budget workshop earlier in the day, the Board approved an item pertaining to pursuing funding for watershed studies out of the $50 million set aside for water quality program from the local option extension (Blueprint 2000). Part of the motion was directing staff to facilitate a discussion with the City on this issue. A County-wide master stormwater plan including the City is needed and the Board is working toward that goal.
Commissioner Grippa suggested that the EECC help facilitate a joint stormwater plan. The City has indicated that it would not agree to a joint stormwater plan until County residents begin to pay the same fee as City residents pay for stormwater. What City residents pay is based on impervious surface.
Commissioner Thaell suggested using the Conflict Resolution Consortium at FSU to help bring the City and County together to resolve the stormwater issues. He suggested that the County extend an invitation to the City to work on this issue. He further noted that as a result of the sales tax extension, an intergovernmental agency was formed to make decisions on stormwater issues. At this point in time, both governments have their own annual stormwater programs and neither entity knows what the other is doing.
County Administrator Alam explained that he and County Attorney Thiele met with the secretary of the Department of Community Affairs, Steve Sibert and he offered to provide mediation services.
Commissioner Sauls offered an amendment to the motion to include that Blueprint 2000 Committee members help facilitate the development of a joint stormwater plan.
Commissioner Rackleff asked what the negotiations would be about and voiced concern that the Board does not know enough about the stormwater because a study has not been conducted. The negotiations would be about providing a structure that allows for that kind of decision- making.
Commissioner Proctor reminded the Board that the EECC has mediated other issues in the past successfully.
Commissioner Thaell moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Rackleff and carried 6-0 (Commissioner Grippa was out of chambers), to approve Option 1: conduct the public hearing in accordance with the advertisement and adopted budget calendar; and to direct staff to work with the City to develop a joint stormwater plan, utilizing Blueprint 2000 Committee members in the event that it is necessary to work out any resolutions, and if necessary, to use the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and/or the Conflict Resolution Consortium at Florida State University to facilitate any type of negotiations and/or compromises.
Chairman Winchester announced that there were additional speakers on this item, who turned in their speaker cards late.
Chuck Mitchell encouraged the Board to keep the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) to fund health care for the uninsured on the table as they continue to negotiate the budget. He expressed the importance of the program for the community.
Art Jusco expressed his opposition to the MSTU to fund health care for the uninsured. He indicated that the City should fund this by working with the hospital and not the County in the form of a tax.
17. PUBLIC HEARING ON CONSIDERATION OF MICCOSUKEE CANOPY ROAD GREENWAY MANAGEMENT PLAN
This item seeks to conduct the first and only public hearing to consider approval of the Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway Management Plan for submission to the State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT). County Administrator Alam explained the issue to the Board.
The following speakers appeared on this issue:
Gary Wiggin, 5036 Centennial Circle, representing the Midyette Homeowners Association, expressed concerns that the homeowners have regarding the controlled burns, and distributed a document regarding this issue. He also voiced concern with the flooding in the neighborhood, explaining that there was a lot of damage to the property. They were under the impression that the portable berm would eliminate the flooding, but it failed to do so.
Commissioner Rackleff asked staff to clarify the use of the portable berm. Mike Willett, Director of Public Works, responded that the berm was used during the recent tropical storm, but only to stop the overflow of water from Dove Pond coming across Miccosukee Road into Lafayette Oaks. It was not intended to stop the flooding that was due to natural drainage from the 100-year storm. The County is working on a solution to the flooding problems in Midyette Plantation.
Rob Lombardo, 9601-54 Miccosukee Road, a County volunteer and member of the "Friends of the Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway," explained his affiliation with the group and his work on the management plan. He expressed concern for the citizens who are experiencing flooding, but encouraged the Board to approve the management plan.
Henree Martin, 5027 Centennial Court, Midyette Plantation, requested that the Board assist them with the flooding problems they have experienced in their neighborhood. While she is appreciative of the Miccosukee Greenway, the flooding situation remains to be a problem and a joint Countywide stormwater plan is needed.
Greg Chelius, Trust for Public Land, 4329 Jacksonview Drive, explained that he has been working on the project for the past four years and provided background of the issue. A cross section of the community was involved in the development of the project. The owner of property was against the construction of a berm on the Greenway and would not have sold the property to the State had it been a part of the plan. A promise was made by State government that a stormwater facility would not be constructed on the Greenway. While he sympathizes with the property owners, Mr. Chelius indicated that there are other options to alleviate the flooding besides the berm.
Dozier Johnson, 5084 Centennial Oaks Circle, indicated support for the Greenway, but was concerned about the flooding. He expressed appreciation for the attention of the Board and County staff. He stated that everything possible should be done to eliminate the flooding and requested the Board do everything possible to keep the Greenway from adversely affecting their neighborhoods.
Randy Ray, 5028 Centennial Oaks Circle, expressed that he is delighted with the Greenway, but the neighborhood has suffered flooding problems. He encouraged the Board to keep in mind the development of the Greenway and the flooding problem in Midyette Plantation and Lafayette Oaks in making their decision. He wants the property located above the Greenway addressed in the Management Plan in the event of future flooding.
George Turain, 5124 Centennial Oaks Circle, explained his experience with the recent flooding of his home. He pointed out that he has taken action to alleviate the flooding on his property, including using a pump to help move some of the water off his property, but it still has not solved the problem. He asked the Board to keep the residents of these affected neighborhoods in mind when making this decision tonight.
Larry Pytel, 5146 Ile de France Drive, reported that while he currently lives in Lafayette Oaks, he has purchased a lot in Midyette Plantation on the lake and his property floods every time it rains. His intention was to eventually build on the lot and he requested the Board’s consideration for the residents who have experienced flooding in their decision tonight.
Sarah Brunger, 1118 N. Bronough Street, explained that she does not live in the affected area. While she sympathizes with the victims of the flooding, she feels the Greenway project is also a victim. She advised that she is a member of the Friends of the Miccosukee Greenway and supports the Management Plan without the construction of the berm.
Nancy Stephens, 11445 Moccasin Gap Road, spokesperson for Southern Trail Riders Association, stated that she has been working with the groups on the Greenway and noted that it is a pastoral park within an urban setting. She advised that she is Vice President of the Friends of the Miccosukee Greenway, supports the management plan and urged the Board to approve it and to continue working with neighbors on flooding problems.
Tammy Salmon, 3441 Sedona Loop, Forest Commons Neighborhood, member of the Friends of the Miccosukee Greenway group, appeared and stated that the flooding problems existed prior to the greenway. She supports the management plan without the berm.
Joseph Vaughn, 2207 Monaco Drive, a member of the Friends of the Miccosukee Greenway, urged the Board to continue to work with the neighbors on the flooding problem, and to support the management plan without inclusion of the berm. He suggested that the County, the City and Powerhouse (owners of Welaunee Plantation) continue to work together to resolve the flooding problems in the area.
Buddy Vincent, 560 Frank Shaw Road, expressed support for the management plan, and remarked that the Greenway was not the reason for the flooding problems in the area.
Joel Embry, 1812 Highland Drive, Fernandino Beach, Florida, explained that he was hired by Welaunee Plantation to coordinate a critical area planning process that has already begun. The process would involve the application of professional planners and engineers and the best ideas of a community advisory group. They have identified the drainage problems and the transportation issues that have been discussed tonight. The owners of Welaunee Plantation are concerned with the flooding and the plan would address any water created by construction by Welaunee. He offered their inclusion in any discussions on the flooding problem.
Commissioner Grippa inquired about a letter dated January 17 from Powerhouse, Inc, regarding use of the greenway for flood control purposes being contrary with the terms of the lease and to "urge the County to delete all references to the proposed flood control berm no matter how denominated and to abandon any intentions for such an unauthorized, inappropriate, illegal use of the greenway." Commissioner Grippa indicated that this was a direct contradiction to what was just stated about this being an advantageous project for everybody. Mr. Embry responded that Welaunee would not want to eliminate the solution that would prevent homes from flooding, however, he explained that the successful solution would be that if all parties could avoid the displacement of the greenway and work on the flooding issues separately. He offered Powerhouse’s assistance in working with staff and others on solutions to this problem.
Commissioner Grippa reported that he had met with the Mettlers and the OGT group; the Mettlers had sold the property but still retain much of the control of the property and are the key to resolving the flooding in the area. As representative, Mr. Embry offered the Mettlers’ help in seeking the best solution that has the least amount of impact on the greenway.
Chuck Mitchell, Miccosukee Land Cooperative, pointed out the increased flooding in the area and expressed support for the management plan. He explained the history of the acquisition of this property. The property was acquired in 1998, and no one from the area who suffered flooding in 1994 attended the public hearings on the acquisition process. He stated that the greenway cannot be used as a stormwater treatment facility and that the greenway was not generating the water.
Chairman Winchester observed that there was quite a bit of disagreement on the solution for the stormwater but noted that the Welaunee owners expressed a desire for a successful solution.
Commissioner DePuy indicated that he does not want to jeopardize the agreement with the State regarding the Greenway, however, he is a resident of Lafayette Oaks and is concerned about his neighbors and the flooding situation. He agreed to work with Welaunee on a solution and was in supported of delaying the matter for one week. He further encouraged the developers of the property to meet the Board halfway and to demonstrate a good faith effort to resolve the flooding problems.
Commissioner Thaell noted that the management plan was due in February and should be submitted now. He stated that water is not coming from the Greenway, but from other areas and thus, should not hold up the approval of the management plan.
Commissioner Thaell moved and was duly seconded by Commissioner Rackleff, to approve Option 1: conduct the first and only public hearing and approve the management plan as submitted for submission to the Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT), and direct staff to work with Powerhouse, Inc., to resolve the flooding problems in Lafayette Oaks and Midyette Plantation.
Commissioner Rackleff indicated that the flooding issue was serious, but the issue tonight involves approval of the park management plan and it is five months late being submitted. He acknowledged that Welaunee was agreeable to working on a solution. Commissioner Rackleff briefly discussed controlled burning on the greenway and Mr. Paul Cozzie, Director of Parks and Recreation, provided explanation.
Commissioner Sauls assured citizens that the Board would stay on top of the critical flooding issue and urged approval of the management plan.
Commissioner Grippa pointed out that any change in the hydrology would be prohibited on the property and requested that Theresa Heiker, County Stormwater Engineer, to speak to the issue. Ms. Heiker explained that she was involved in the stormwater aspect of the greenway. In 1994, following the flooding, the Board appointed a citizen committee who evaluated alternatives that would address the flooding in the tri-basin area. There was a consensus that there had to be solutions in each of the three basins in order to protect the homes. There had to be an impoundment somewhere on the north side of the system; there had to be improvements within Lafayette Oaks sub-basin and there had to be improvements at the receiving end at Pedrick Road. Ms. Heiker pointed out that the County has proceeded with implementing the downstream portion (i.e. purchasing the homes at Pedrick and US 90), had removed the structures, and were now finalizing the design for the site. The County had not proceeded with the upstream portion because they are waiting for approval of the management plan to allow improvements. She indicated that during the flooding in 1994, the only way to stop the water from coming across Miccosukee Road was to build a sandbag berm in the roadbed, which supported the requirement for an impoundment. Ms. Heiker stated that she was not certain who came up with the idea that the greenway could address the flooding problem. The original agreement included the berm, but was later left out.
Commissioner Grippa implied that the owners of the property could change the hydrology to build roads to their developments, but the County cannot change the hydrology to stop the flooding. He suggested that the park is important but that it is more important to address the flooding problem. He urged the Board to delay the plan for one more week to give time to work with the residents and Powerhouse on a solution.
Commissioner Proctor pointed out the importance of solving the flooding problem in these neighborhoods before approving this plan.
Commissioner Grippa offered a substitute motion, duly seconded by Commissioner Proctor and carried 5-2 (Commissioner Rackleff and Thaell voted in opposition) to continue the public hearing to the July 31, 2001 meeting, to give staff time to discuss resolution of the flooding issues in Lafayette Oaks and Midyette Plantation with Powerhouse, Inc.
18. FIRST AND ONLY PUBLIC HEARING TO ADOPT A REMEDIAL AMENDMENT PURSUANT TO THE COMPLIANCE AGREEMENT ON TEXT AMENDMENT 98-2-004 OF THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN RELATING TO THE URBAN SERVICES AREA (USA)
County Attorney Thiele explained that this is a result of the settlement agreement approved a few weeks ago, which resolves the cycle 98-2 amendment, USA boundary issue. Once this is approved, all of the 98 amendments will be disposed of.
Commissioner Proctor moved, duly seconded by Commissioner DePuy and carried 4-0 (Commissioners Sauls, Rackleff and Thaell were not present), to approve Option 1: hold the first and only public hearing and adopt the attached Leon County Ordinance Number 01- in accordance with the Compliance Agreement.
• Advised of an issue involving a drainage easement/ditch located off of Jackson Bluff Road and recommended that the Board convey the easement to the City. Historically, the County took the position that once the drainage ditches were in the City Limits, the City would take over maintenance of those drainage ditches and this is one of those ditches. County Attorney Thiele explained that there had been some problems with the ditch and the property owner and the City are at odds. The recommendation to the Board is to convey the easement to the City. Commissioner Proctor moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Sauls and carried unanimously, to convey the easement to the City.
• ADD-ON: CONSIDERATION OF APPEAL OF CIRCUIT COURT DECISION IN BRADFORDVILLE-PHIPPS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP V. LEON COUNTY; CASE NO. 00-2454
County Attorney Thiele explained that the attachment to the agenda request is an order received in a lawsuit, which is a partial decision regarding the Bradfordville Phipps property, also known as Bradfordville Corners (east corner). This lawsuit deals with the impact and constitutionality of the Sector Plan Ordinance that the Board adopted in July 2000. In this case, Judge Sauls ruled that the Sector Plan does not apply to this property. The County Attorney’s position is that the ruling is incorrect and will be overturned by the Appellate Court. Mr. Thiele recommended that the Board pursue and authorize the appeal and direct staff to continue discussions with the property owners.
Jack Conrad, Millstone Plantation, Lake McBride, urged the Board to follow the County Attorney’s advice and pursue the appeal.
Leeanne Jowers, 7754 McClure Road, stated that the lawsuit should be appealed and urged the Board to vote in the affirmative.
Pat Rose, President of Lake Caroline Homeowner’s Association waived his time to speak since he supported the motion.
Phil Speake, 6240 Old Water Oak Road, expressed support for the motion.
Bill Heiman, 9892 Deerlake E., Killearn Lakes Plantations, supported the motion to appeal the ruling and remarked that if the four-inch standard is contained, then the Board’s problems with Welaunee Plantation will, somewhat, diminish.
Commissioner Proctor remarked that he does not support the motion to appeal, and that all of the issues could be looked at if this is not allowed to be appealed. If this is allowed to go to DCA, then all of the issues could be reviewed rather than this one limited appeal. Commissioner Proctor urged the Board to reach finality, noting that mediation does not do that.
Commissioner DePuy expressed support of the motion and urged the County Attorney’s Office to work to mediate the issue and perhaps to shorten the process.
Commissioner Sauls inquired as to whether this would affect Mr. Middlebrooks’ property, and County Attorney Thiele responded that it would not.
Commissioner Grippa moved, duly seconded by Commissioner DePuy and carried 6-1 (Commissioner Proctor voted in opposition), to approve Option 1: authorize County Attorney’s Office to appeal the decision, and directed the County Attorney to continue to negotiate with all parties. Commissioner Grippa reported that he would continue negotiations with the homeowners association.
CITIZENS TO BE HEARD
Ms. Sheffield, Lake Bradford Road, explained that she is the Browns’ neighbor and that they had made improvements to their yard. She noted that the road is an asset to the neighborhood and she is appreciative, but since its improvement, the Browns have had problems with standing water in their yard. Ms. Sheffield indicated that she, too, had water standing in her driveway.
Kenneth Brown reiterated comments made by his wife, Marion Brown, but indicated that if the culvert could not be returned he would be willing to move. He asked if it would be more expensive for the County to buy his home or to fix the problem. He requested that before the Board makes the decision to buy them out to come out and see if the problem can be fixed.
County Administrator Alam requested that the Board continue this issue to September in order to give staff time to attempt to resolve the problem without moving the house. Mr. Brown inquired as to what they would do if it rains prior to a decision being made, and the County Administrator responded that, while water is standing on the property, it does not flood the house. If there is damage done to the property between now and September, the County would be responsible.
Commissioner Sauls reported that she has been in contact with the Browns and knows Ms. Sheffield. She asked that staff investigate the situation, again, to see if it could be resolved.
Commissioner Thaell pointed out that formal action has already been taken and a motion would be needed to reconsider the action.
Commissioner Sauls moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Proctor and carried 6-0 (Commissioner Grippa was not present), to reconsider the Board’s action at the July 10, 2001 meeting.
Commissioner Proctor moved, duly seconded by Commissioner Sauls and carried 6-0 (Commissioner Grippa was not present), to suspend the Board’s action at the July 10, 2001 meeting on this issue, and to bring the item back on the September 11, 2001 agenda for Board consideration.
Mr. Danaher made allegations of misconduct and malfeasance of the County Administrator and County Attorney regarding the sexual harassment issue, suggesting that they were involved in a cover-up. He requested that the County Attorney and the County Administrator be investigated as it relates to this matter.
Commissioner Grippa advised that he is comfortable with the County Administrator and County Attorney and an investigation was unnecessary. He stated that the County should make certain that there is a safe work place, free of sexual harassment, and that the County should not spend a lot of time and money on false accusations. He indicated that there should be some changes in the process and that staff had followed the processes that were in place. He was satisfied with the FDLE investigation and urged the Board to move forward.
Commissioner Proctor expressed his support for the County Attorney and County Administrator and noted that the issues that have been under review were complex issues. He was opposed to the length of time that Mr. Danaher was allowed to speak and that guidelines should apply to all speakers.
Commissioner Sauls opined that she was satisfied with the FDLE investigation and urged the Board to move forward with County business. She stated that she would be in favor of reviewing the policy, noting that at the time the County Administrator and County Attorney was in an awkward position.
County Administrator Alam responded that this is the first time that he had ever been questioned regarding his integrity and had such accusations made against him. He pointed out that he had always been helpful and responsive to Mr. Danaher’s complaints and was troubled by Mr. Danaher’s misconception and accusations. He felt that he had handled Mr. Danaher’s complaints according to Board policy. If the Board wishes to pursue this issue, Mr. Alam suggested that an independent party be assigned to investigate.
Commissioner Thaell pointed out that he had not read Mr. Danaher’s memos or the County Administrator’s memos regarding this case. He stated that mistakes were made in the course of this investigation and everyone has learned from them. Commissioner Thaell advised that staff had already been directed to develop better procedures and he did not feel that an investigation was necessary.
Commissioner Rackleff agreed with the general sentiment of the Board to put this incident behind them and proceed forward with County business. He was satisfied with the FDLE investigation and was not interested in taking any further action at this point.
DISCUSSION ITEMS BY COMMISSIONERS
Advised that he is looking forward to serving the citizens of Leon County.
Welcomes Commissioner DePuy to the Board.
b. Appointed Gary Wiggin to the Tri-Basin Stormwater Committee.
Advised that he was looking forward to the budget hearing tomorrow.
b. Asked if the Board wished to schedule a team building retreat in September to discuss policy issues and other civility issues. There was no Board support to do so.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:08 p.m.
Clerk of the Circuit Court