City Commission Meeting Minutes 03/04/2021

Meeting date: 
Thursday, March 4, 2021
LAKE MARY CITY COMMISSION
 
Lake Mary City Hall
100 N. Country Club Road
 
Regular Meeting
MINUTES
THURSDAY, MARCH 4, 2021 7:00 P.M.
 

 NO VIDEO RECORDING WAS MADE FOR THIS MEETING

 

1. Call to Order 

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor David Mealor at 7:02 P.M.

 

2. Moment of Silence 

 

3. Pledge of Allegiance 

 

4. Roll Call 

 

David Mealor, Mayor
Jordan Smith, Commissioner
George F. Duryea, Commissioner
Sidney Miller, Deputy Mayor
Justin York, Commissioner
Kevin Smith, City Manager
Frank Cornier, Fire Chief
Mike Biles, Police Chief
Brent Mason, Finance Director
Bruce Paster, Public Works Director
Bryan Nipe, Parks & Recreation Director
Michelle McCurdy, City Clerk                                       
Steve Noto, Community Development Director
Ehab Azer, Assistant Finance Director
Krystal Clem, Planning & GIS Services Manager
Lindsay Malsam, IT Manager
Wanda Broadway, Human Resources Manager
Kendall Story, Urban Planner
Katie Reischmann, City Attorney

 

5. Approval of Minutes 

 

A. Draft City Commission Work Shop Minutes and Draft City Commission Meeting Minutes - February 18, 2021

 

Commissioner Duryea made a motion to approve the Draft Workshop Minutes and Draft City Commission Meeting Minutes of February 18, 2021. Deputy Mayor Miller seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

 

6. Special Presentations 

 

A. FY 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report - McDirmit Davis, LLC (Tammy Campbell)

 

Tammy Campbell, McDirmit Davis, LLC, came forward to present this item.

 

Brent Mason, Finance Director, came forward. He stated that the City received a clean audit for FY 2020. He thanked his staff for a job well done.

 

Mayor Mealor addressed Mr. Mason and thanked him for a job well done.

 

Mrs. Campbell started her presentation by mentioning a few highlights. The City received the certificate of achievement for the 2019 Annual Report, and this 2020 report is also being submitted. We believe that once again, the City will receive a certificate for excellence in financial reporting. She continued by saying the City received an unmodified audit report, and this is the best type of opinion you can get. Our audit reports and the other report sections state that the City complies with the laws, regulations, and contracts we tested.

 

Additionally, there were no current or prior year management comments. It demonstrates overall good internal controls within the City. Management has emphasized internal controls.

 

She said they did not find any areas for improvement, which speaks to the Finance Department as a whole. To continue, we do have a separate letter that we present to the Commission; it merely summarizes the audit procedures, again highlighting that there are no issues with management and everything went smoothly.
                                                                            
The assets of the City exceeded liabilities by $100.4 million. This was just an $18,000 increase from 2019. So, overall, things were pretty steady, which again, given the conditions of 2020, is a good thing.

 

The largest portion of the City’s net position is $60 million or 60%, and that is the investment in capital assets—the roads, streets, buildings, etc.--make up the majority of the City’s assets.

 

The General Fund balance was $19.8 million, and $18 million of that is unassigned--that is the amount that the City has discretion over how it is spent and there are no external limitations on that.

 

Fund balance in the General Fund decreased $1.3 million; however, this decrease was mainly due to the note payable repayment. As a result, the City is now debt-free—another good financial indicator showing that you have leverage if you need it.

 

The Water Fund’s net position increased $184,000, and the Stormwater Fund decreased $84,000, so those two funds again are relatively comparable to the prior year—no major changes.

 

Mrs. Campbell referenced a graph on the overhead showing the General Fund balance over the past few years. She then concluded her presentation.

 

Commissioner Duryea thanked Mrs. Campbell for her efforts.

 

Mayor Mealor was pleased with the report. He thanked Mrs. Campbell for her presentation.

 

7. Citizen Participation  - This is an opportunity for anyone to come forward and address the Commission on any matter relating to the City or of concern to our citizens. This also includes: 1) any item discussed at a previous work session; 2) any item not specifically listed on a previous agenda but discussed at a previous Commission meeting or 3) any item on tonight’s agenda not labeled as a public hearing. Items requiring a public hearing are generally so noted on the agenda and public input will be taken when the item is considered.

 

No one came forward, and the citizen participation section was closed.
 
8. Unfinished Business 

 

There was no unfinished business. 

 

9. New Business 

 

A. 2020-SP-08: A request for a site plan with one variance for the construction of a 4,000 sq. ft. commercial office building, located at 130 Middle Street. Applicant: Ms. Heather Lee, 130 Middle, LLC. (Quasi-Judicial - Public Hearing) (Kendall Story, Project Manager)

 

Kendall Story, Urban Planner, came forward to present this item. She said the subject property is 130 Middle Street, and the applicant is requesting site plan approval for 4,000 square feet of a commercial office building with one landscape variance. The applicant would be the tenant. Currently, there is an existing single-family residential home on the property, and that would be demolished.

 

The subject property was rezoned on July 16, 2020, from residential to C-1 (General Commercial), and that now matches the rest of the streets on Middle Street. Access to the subject property is provided via Middle Street on the northeast side of the property, and this point of access would be restricted one-way.

 

The stormwater of the subject property would be on the west side, and the landscaping requirements are per the City’s Code Chapter 157, which requires a 10-foot-wide buffer on the north, south, and west, and a 15-foot-wide landscape buffer on the east side of the property. The applicant is requesting a landscape variance to the eastern buffer’s width from 15-feet down to 11-feet.

 

The property was initially platted over 100-years ago, before any zoning district regulations, and it was platted as a residential subdivision. As the City gets closer to build-out, we would see more in-fill projects like this one, and those tend to be smaller in size and tend to be more difficult to develop while still meeting the city code requirements.

 

The applicant would still provide the required number of plantings within that eastern buffer; just the width would be less.

 

At their regularly scheduled meeting on February 23, 2021, the Planning & Zoning Board recommended approval 4-1. Staff finds that all criteria have been met for granting approval of the site plan with one variance and recommends approval with the conditions listed in the staff report.

 

Commissioner Duryea referred to Chairman Hawkins’ comment that this is a moot variance request more or less because it would not need a variance if the building were shorter.

 

Mrs. Story replied that was his comment. However, staff has justified in the staff report some of the reasons we support the variance. It was initially platted over 100-years ago, and it was platted as a residential property. There are precedents that exist on the east side of Middle Street where other landscape variances have been approved, and the property is also not as deep as the properties that are on the east side of Middle Street. The applicant is still providing the same number of plantings; that is why staff has supported the variance.

 

Steve Noto, Community Development Director, came forward. He wanted to add that we approve many landscape variances, and they are the most common. The one thing we emphasize is, are you able to still provide the same number of trees required in the buffer—99.9% of the time? The answer is yes. Now, why do they need the width variance? It varies from project to project. This one argument could be made because of the building’s size, but that is a similar argument that could probably be made on every other project regarding the variances’ width. These folks tried to minimize the variance request’s width by providing only a one-way drive aisle which is only 20-feet wide. If that were a two-way access point, that would have to be 24-feet wide, so the variance request would have to be larger. So, we looked at ways to relieve the variance request-- instead of 20-feet, maybe it should be 16-feet-- but then you get into a public safety issue. So, we thought this was a nice meet-in-the-middle for this type of request. They are still providing the required trees, and we have the one-way access heading from north to south while still getting all of the trees required within that buffer area.

 

Katie Reischmann, City Attorney, wanted to add that this is not a real variance; it is more of a waiver. It is a lesser standard, and it doesn’t have the same strict standards that a variance has.

 

Commissioner Smith asked about sidewalks and street lighting.

 

Mr. Noto replied, back when Griffin Farms was being planned, we were looking at a potential for tying in Middle Street to an access point within Griffin Farms—vehicular access and pedestrian access. Unfortunately, we were unable to get there due to the layout configuration needs of both the commercial side and the residential side. With that, we stopped all review potentials for any sort of interconnection between that project and Middle Street.

 

Commissioner Smith asked about street lighting.

 

Mr. Noto replied he does not believe there are any street lights down Middle Street right now. There is not much pedestrian activity to his knowledge, but we will take a closer look and work with the City Manager on that.

 

Deputy Mayor Miller said it appeared to him that Chairman Hawkins felt that they had started off overdesigning on the property, but the property supported the 3,000 square foot building just fine. They need a variance because they want a 4,000 square foot   building.

 

Mr. Noto replied it is difficult to pin just the building size on the reason for the variance request. As the City Attorney said, the landscape waiver/variance is a very different variance/different type of request as opposed to setbacks and things of that nature where you have six very firm findings of fact that you have to follow.

 

With the landscape variance, you have three that are somewhat more general. For example, across the street from this property on the east side, you have multiple office buildings that were developed over 15-years ago; all of those received landscape variance approvals on the east side of those properties, and it was based on the zoning of the Griffin Farm property at that time which was A-1 and then they had a mixture of R-COM and Commercial land use categories. So, there is this flex built into the landscape code that says if you have conflicting zoning and land use categories on the existing property or neighboring property, that is one of the reasons you can support a landscape variance.

 

Now, fast-forward 15-20 years, we have a PUD there, with more intense use, arguably you can have an even more narrow landscape buffer on those properties. In this instance and other instances where folks have asked for landscape variances, most recently being the SMART office on Country Club and Lake Mary Boulevard, you could make the argument, “well, if the building were just a little smaller, they would not have to ask for X, Y, or Z” but at the same time, we have to take into account what is the market asking us for development in these areas.

 

To Kendall’s point about when the lots were created, this lot specifically---similar to what happens in the Downtown--- was part of a plat that was done over 100-years ago, smaller parcels have been added to it over time, but as we get into the modern era, it becomes a little bit more difficult to require every single zoning code requirement that we look to folks to follow. Could the building have been made smaller? Maybe. That doesn’t necessarily mean it would have solved it because then we might have required a larger drive aisle, and then it would have been a two-way street; they may have needed a variance request anyway.

 

To add to this, it is a one-tenant building, so it is not going to be where you have multiple tenants trying to max out the building’s space. This is the minimum these folks felt they needed to be able to develop here. He believes that based on those factors, we felt comfortable supporting the variance.

 

The building’s size is 1,000 square feet smaller than what Mr. Shaw has done here on 4th Street. The property is roughly the same size as perhaps one and a half of those lots.

 

Deputy Mayor Miller asked if it is a guarantee that it would be a one-tenant building forever.

 

Mr. Noto replied, no, we cannot guarantee that. At this time, it is planned to have office space, and then they have an auxiliary warehouse in there. If they want to expand the building, they would have to come back with a minor site plan, which is a whole other review process.

 

There were no further questions for Mr. Noto, and the item was opened for a public hearing.

 

Richard Fess, 106 Pine Circle Drive, Lake Mary, came forward. He said he is the owner of the property south of this site. He built the assisted living facility behind there, and when he did that, he acquired the three adjacent lots. His plan was to put a 3,000 square foot footprint (two-story) for exactly the reasons we talked about. He has no opposition to the variance of 4-feet on it. He only requests that if he comes in,  he be given the same consideration. He thinks it is great to have a neighbor like that, and he would have loved to have bought the land.

 

Mayor Mealor thanked Mr. Fess for his input.

 

No one else came forward, and the public hearing section was closed. The item was then opened for discussion and a motion.

 

Commissioner Smith made a motion to approve 2020-SP-08, A request for a site plan with one variance for the construction of a 4,000 sq. ft. commercial office building, located at 130 Middle Street, with five conditions of approval. Commissioner York seconded the motion.

 

Commissioner Duryea wanted further clarification.

 

Commissioner Duryea asked if it is possible to move the dumpster back a little bit. It is right at the base of the building.

 

Mr. Noto replied, we can look at that between now and site construction. Based on the contours of the stormwater pond areas, we might run into some issues there. We will take a look at that, but one thing we do have as part of our DRC process is the plan being reviewed by WastePro as part of their analysis as to whether or not their trucks can get in or not, but we will take a look at that with the applicant.

 

Mr. Noto referenced the site plan where the dumpster would be located. He said it is green with hedges and other ground cover treatment as well.

 

Mrs. Story added that it is located behind the base of the building as well.

 

Deputy Mayor Miller stated that Mr. Noto had clarified things to his satisfaction, and he is now in support of this item.

 

Mayor Mealor wanted to add that one of the things that we have directed is that we have been very explicit with staff as to what we want and what will not be acceptable to us, so before anything coming to us, for the most part, staff has worked it out. He said that he pays attention to Chairman Hawkins’ comments.

 

The motion then carried 5-0 by roll-call vote. Commissioner Smith, Yes; Commissioner Duryea, Yes; Deputy Mayor Miller, Yes; Commissioner York, Yes; Mayor Mealor, Yes.

 

Mayor Mealor thanked the applicant for her willingness to invest in Lake Mary. He looks forward to working with her and hopes that her project is successful.

 

He also thanked Mrs. Story for everything she has done for the City of Lake Mary. He is aware that she has accepted a promotion with the City of Deland as a Sr. Planner, and he wished her success.

 

10. Other Items for Commission Action 

 

11. City Manager’s Report 

 

A. Items for Approval

 

a. Water Treatment Plant Storage Tank Painting 

 

Kevin Smith, City Manager, said the City’s Water Treatment Plant includes two concrete water storage tanks; one 1.0 million gallon tank and one 0.5 million gallon tank. The tanks were last painted in 2013. In addition to cleaning and repainting the outside of the tanks, repair to caulking as well as cleaning and repainting piping is needed.

 

The two tanks will be cleaned, repaired, and repainted by Lamphier & Company by piggybacking Seminole County Government Contract IFB-603017-17/TLR. The total cost of this project is $46,782.24. The project is budgeted under the City’s Water and Sewer fund.

 

He requested Commission authorize him to enter into an agreement with Lamphier & Company in the amount of $46,782.24 for the cleaning and painting of water storage tanks as described above.

 

Commissioner Duryea asked what color would they be painted.

 

Bruce Paster, Public Works Director, replied the same color they are now.

 

Commissioner Smith asked how this correlates to the expansion of the water treatment plant.

 

Mr. Paster replied that we actually delayed the painting of these tanks until the expansion was further along because of construction debris. The expansion is going along quite well; all the major construction is complete. There are lots of wires to be pulled, and we are expecting to be making water probably in about 4 months, so we may still delay the painting until the site is cleaned up a bit, but we want to get the purchase order going.
 
Commissioner York made a motion to approve the request to authorize the City Manager to enter into an agreement with Lamphier & Company in the amount of $46,782.24 for the cleaning and painting of water storage tanks as described above. Commissioner Duryea seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

 

b. Surplus of FD Stryker Power Load Stretcher Mount

 

Mr. Smith continued his report by saying we are requesting to surplus a Stryker Power Load stretcher mount, which currently is in rescue vehicle 358 with the Lake Mary Asset Tag of 12018.  This equipment has met its service life and will be used as a trade-in for newer equipment to meet department needs.

 

He requested Commission declare the aforementioned equipment surplus and authorize trade-in.

 

Commissioner Duryea made a motion to approve the surplus of FD Stryker Power Load Stretcher Mount and authorize trade-in. Commissioner Smith seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

 

c. FY 2021 Milling and Paving Program

 

Mr. Smith moved to the third item. He said the FY 2021 Milling and Paving Program will include the milling, resurfacing, and restriping of the following streets/areas: Country Club Oaks, Flagg Ln., Humphrey Rd., Mile Post Ct., Quail Run  Ct., and 5th St.The City advertised for bids for Milling and Paving per BID #21-01. On February 19, 2021, we received submittals from the following firms:

 

D. A. B. Constructors, Inc.
Hubbard Construction Company
Masci General Contractor, Inc.
Middlesex Paving, LLC
P & S Paving, Inc.
Ranger Construction Industries, Inc.

 

The most responsive bid (see attached bid summary) was received from Masci General Contractor, Inc. with a bid of $232,371.04. The 2021 Street Resurfacing budget is $250,000. The City has worked with Masci General Contractor, Inc. in the past with excellent results.

 

Mr. Smith requested Commission authorize him to enter into an agreement with Masci General Contractor, Ic. in the amount of $232,371.04 for the milling and paving road work described in Bid #21-01.

 

Commissioner York asked about the anticipated completion date for all of the paving.

 

Mr. Paster replied the actual paving is only going to take a few weeks. We anticipate completion in 3-months.

 

Commissioner Smith asked if this is the same company we used last summer.

 

Mr. Paster replied it is not.

 

Commissioner Smith asked if we are notifying the residents of the paving schedule and how we are notifying them.

 

Mr. Paster replied the plan is to put door hangers with the contractor’s phone number on each door of each street being paved.

 

Commissioner York moved to authorize the City Manager to enter into an agreement with Masci General Contractor, Inc. In the amount of $232,371.04 for the milling and paving road work described in Bid #21-01. Commissioner Duryea seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

 

B. Items for Information

 

C. Announcements

 

Mr. Smith wanted to remind everyone that this Saturday is the first pickup date for our annual Spring Cleanup. Those dates have been published on social media platforms, water bills, and the city website. Anyone looking for information should refer to the website.

 

Mr. Smith said a year ago yesterday, March 3, 2020, marked the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the State of Florida; nine days later, we had our first confirmed case here in Seminole County. A lot certainly happened after that--stay at home orders, mask mandates, etc.; some of them potentially jeopardized our ability to provide services to our residents, and we simply could not let that happen. Looking back a year later, he humbly believes that we did just that. He wanted to take the opportunity to thank whom he believes to be the sole reason, if not the primary reason for that, and that is our incredible and remarkable staff.

 

Starting with Chief Cornier’s emergency management efforts and DC Niles, Steve Noto, and our entire Department Head team, he believes in his humble opinion we did an amazing job, a tremendous job at keeping our citizens and employees informed. Many times when there were questions that we simply did not have answers to because no one had answers to, just the job they did, he cannot speak enough about it.

 

Moving on to our Police Department, who, quite frankly, just showed up and went to work every day. They made sure that everybody felt comfortable and safe like they do every day of their lives.

 

To our Public Works Department, when the water doesn’t run, and the toilets don’t flush-- it is a bigger deal than you think. We take those things for granted, and day-in and day-out, they showed up and did that.

 

To our Community Development Department, a lot of you may remember in May of last year, there was a hail storm, and all of a sudden “almost everybody” in Lake Mary needed a new roof; and the Building Department processed almost 1,000 roofing permits while everything else was going on.

 

To our Parks and Recreation Department, as things started to go a little longer than we wanted it to, and parents and their kids were looking for something to do for Halloween, we did not shut down our Spooktacular event. The Parks and Recreation Department stepped up and came up with an innovative drive-through event with almost 600 cars, and you were there seeing the thank-you’s that we got along the way.

 

Not to dismiss or forget our admin folks who showed up every day and made sure that someone was there to take the utility bills or take the calls that we get almost on a daily basis.

 

He could not be more prouder and appreciative to work alongside these folks; he thought he should mention that. He thanked the Commission for listening and gave kudos once again to the team.

 

Deputy Mayor Miller replied, well said.

 

Mayor Mealor said he agrees. We are very fortunate.

 

12. Mayor and Commissioners Report

 

Deputy Mayor Miller had nothing to report.

 

Commissioner York echoed Mr. Smith’s comments and thanked staff for a job well done. He also wanted to thank the Parks & Recreation staff for the WineArt Wednesday event and the Police Department for ensuring everyone’s safety during the event. It is great for the community to have the event back.

 

He continued by saying earlier today; he was at the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, where they honored Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin. He will be retiring, and his successor has been selected.

 

He also said earlier this week, the Florida League of Cities Advocacy Committee met over Zoom to mark the beginning of this year’s legislative session and continue monitoring legislation. He hopes that he can provide an update to Commission soon. He then concluded his report.

 

Mayor Mealor thanked Commissioner York for his advocacy on that committee and his expertise.

 

Commissioner Smith said he had a busy morning. He attended a Metroplan meeting this morning. There were two presentations, one on signal retiming crash impact assessment and the other one was on Best Foot Forward. They are trying to get more cities and counties involved.

 

This morning he also attended the Sonata  Senior Living groundbreaking ceremony with the Mayor, City Manager, and staff. He is very excited about the investment that they made in Lake Mary. Completion is expected in the Fall of 2022.

 

He also wanted to mention Central Florida’s free meal program. It is located in Oviedo. He said they are looking for volunteers and also spread the word about the free meal program.

 

Lastly, he wanted to extend his thoughts and prayers to the Triplett family and the City of Sanford on the loss of former Mayor Jeff Triplett. He will surely be missed, and he did great things for the City of Sanford.

 

Mayor Mealor thanked Commissioner York and Commissioner Smith for their representation at various meetings and events. He said what is exciting about Sonata is that the building in Lake Mary will be their prototype and their best. It is in conjunction with Orlando Health. It is their new marker building. We are pleased to have that kind of investment and that kind of structure.

 

Commissioner Duryea had nothing to report. He wanted to echo Mr. Smith’s comments about staff.

 

13. City Attorney’s Report 

 

Mrs. Reischmann had nothing to report.

 

14. Adjournment 

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:44 P.M.