City Commission Meeting Minutes 03/05/2020

Meeting date: 
Thursday, March 5, 2020
100 N. Country Club Road, Lake Mary, Florida
Regular Meeting

THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 2020, 7:00 P.M.


1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Mayor David Mealor at 7:01 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                        
Steve Noto, Comm. Dev. Director
Michelle McCurdy, City Clerk                                         
Lindsay Malsam, IT Manager  
Wanda Broadway, H.R. Manager
Katie Reischmann, City Attorney

5. Approval of Minutes

A. Draft Commission Minutes – February 20, 2020

A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Miller to approve the Draft City Commission Minutes for February 20, 2020. Commissioner York seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.

6. Special Presentations

A. Lake Mary-Heathrow Festival of the Arts – DeLores Lash, Chairman

DeLores Lash, Chairman, came forward.

Gwen Carter, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee for the Festival, came forward.

Aileen Colon, Marketing Chair for the Festival, came forward.

Andrew Thomas, Director of Artist Support, came forward.

Mayor Mealor thanked all of them for a job well done. He also thanked Commissioner Smith for his involvement with the Festival of the Arts.

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.


8. Unfinished Business

A. Ordinance No. 1618, 2019-ZTA-05 - Proposed amendments to Chapter 154.09 and Chapter 155, Appendix B of the Land Development Code regarding Zoning Definitions and Off-Street Parking Requirements for Dwelling Structures. Applicant: City of Lake Mary (Legislative) (Public Hearing) (Second Reading) (Stephen Noto, Project Manager)

Katie Reischmann, City Attorney, read Ordinance No.1618 by title only.

Steve Noto, Community Development Director, came forward. He stated staff does have a couple of quick follow-up comments. At first reading, he briefly mentioned how the Planning and Zoning Board had a couple of things that they wanted us to do some research on before second reading. He said pages 2 and 3 of the memo went into detail about those items. Staff can provide the following update on the four items that the Planning and Zoning Board asked staff to review:

The word “sufficient” in Chapter 155, Appendix B, Section 2, (C)(1)(a)(i) was replaced with “adequate”. In addition, the following language was added: “The determination of adequacy shall be made by the Development Review Committee based on engineering drawings provided by an applicant.” Staff feels that this meets the intent of the P&Z comment and allows the technical review at staff level to address what will likely be a “case-by-case” basis review.

Staff has reviewed other local agency regulations and how they manage parking for apartments. There was no “one size fits all” standard found. That being said, given: 1) the low probability of apartments being proposed in the coming months, 2) the expedited time frame of this code amendment, and 3) the original direction for this amendment being for single-family residential standards, staff requests the City Commission allow for additional research to be done and that staff provide an update at a later date regarding Apartment Parking Standards.

Similar to parking standards for apartment uses, guest parking standards in other agencies is not a “one size fits all” approach. Historically, City staff has only received complaints regarding guest parking at higher density projects. Having said that, staff recommends a similar approach for this item as the apartment parking review: staff will continue to review how guest parking is dealt with at single-family residential communities in other areas of the region and bring that information back to the City Commission at a later date.

Lastly, Chapter 91.03 outlines that it is unlawful for someone to block a sidewalk. There are also several other sections of the Code of Ordinances that regulate driveways which may also need to be updated. That being the case, as a result of how the legal advertisements for this item have been prepared, much like items #2 and #3, staff recommends that the City Commission allow this item to also be reviewed in greater detail, and if staff finds that those other sections require updating, a subsequent ZTA will be brought back to the City Commission. In the meantime, staff added the following sentence to (C) (1): “Any provided driveway shall be designed in a manner that cars can be parked without blocking an adjacent sidewalk”.

Mr. Noto stated the other items that the Planning & Zoning Board asked us to review, while pertinent, will take a little bit more research. We expedited this item given the history related to it and some of the projects that are in the pipeline. So, we have outlined that each item such as apartment standards, the additional guest spaces for single-family duplexes, we will continue to research those. We are in the middle of a lot of different code updates right now including the Downtown Master Plan.

The last one having to do with the driveways being deep enough, that is already covered in Chapter 191.03, but we did add some language stating that any provided driveway shall be designed in a manner that cars can be parked without blocking an adjacent sidewalk. That request also touches other parts of the code that were not part of the advertising for this amendment, so that is another reason why we are going to keep researching and bring that item back in greater detail in the future as well.

We believe we followed the Commission’s direction as best as we could. We covered two of the items that the Planning & Zoning Board asked us to cover and will continue to research the other two. Staff recommends approval of Ordinance No. 1618.

Commissioner Smith said the Ordinance states “This Ordinance will not apply to residential dwelling units lawfully existing and permitted as of March 5, 2020.” He asked about the process if a structure was to be enlarged/altered and if there is a threshold that will then trigger the requirements for additional parking.

Mrs. Reischmann stated the intention with that applicability section is that any structure that currently exists is not non-conforming.

Commissioner Smith asked if they are required to add the parking.

Mr. Noto replied, no that will not be the intent.

Mrs. Reischmann stated they are not non-conforming. Essentially grand-fathering means that it’s non-conforming. Here we are saying it is conforming. We are not going to look at it if it is existing as of today.

Staff was directed to review the placement of vehicles in parking code in the future.

The item was open for a public hearing.

No one came forward and the public hearing section was closed.

A motion was made by Commissioner Smith to approve Ordinance No. 1618 (2019-ZTA-05) proposed amendments to Chapter 154.09 and Chapter 155, Appendix B of the Land Development Code regarding zoning definitions and off-street parking requirements for dwelling structures. Commissioner York seconded the motion and motion carried 5-0 by roll-call vote. Commissioner Smith, Yes; Commissioner Duryea, Yes; Deputy Mayor Miller, Yes; Commissioner York, Yes; Mayor Mealor, Yes.

9. New Business


10. Other Items for Commission Action


11. City Manager’s Report

A. Items for Approval

a. Retirement Gift to Lorri Lilja (Mike Biles, Police Chief)

Kevin Smith, City Manager, stated the first item is a request to surplus Pfc. Lorri Lilja’s department-issued handgun and gift it to her upon retirement. She has served the City as a police officer for over twelve years.

The weapon is a Glock model 22, serial number LTM649US. Upon your approval, Chief Biles will present the weapon to her and have the weapon removed from our inventory.

Mr. Smith requested Commission declare the above-listed Glock surplus and authorize presentation to Pfc. Lorri Lilja.

A motion was made by Commissioner Duryea to declare Glock model 22, serial number LTM649US surplus and authorize presentation to Pfc. Lorri Lilja. Deputy Mayor Miller seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Mealor directed Chief Biles to communicate with Pfc. Lilja how much we appreciate everything she has done during her tenure with the Police Department.

b. Surplus of Batting Cage Pitching Machines (Bryan Nipe, Parks & Recreation Director)

Mr. Smith stated with the elimination of the Lake Mary Batting Cages, which have been out of operation since May 2019, all related equipment is being re-purposed or sent to auction.

We have consulted with Lake Mary Little League, and they agree with this decision.

The batting cages are not as popular as they used to be. We have moved more towards pitching tunnels, pitching lanes that have a multi-purpose use to include hitting and live-pitching and I think that’s where their support comes from.

Mr. Smith requested Commission declare eight (8) Iron Mike pitching machines surplus and authorize City Manager to dispose of via auction.

Commissioner Duryea stated he thought those were being used quite often.

Bryan Nipe, Parks and Recreation Director, came forward. He said in years past they were frequently used. As the City Manager mentioned, the trend has died off and gone more towards the pitching tunnels. The Sports Complex in Seminole County—when they built that $20 million complex—they put in about a dozen pitching tunnels and we have partnered with Little League to put in a few ourselves. That is where you are seeing the coaches and the kids, in pitching tunnels. In addition to the lack of popularity, mechanically speaking, it has become extremely difficult to maintain.

Commissioner Duryea asked what we are going to do with that area.

Mr. Nipe said we are working with Public Works right now. Our team will be breaking down the lighter elements and auctioning off the machines and possibly netting that is out there, removing fencing, and then Public Works will help us remove the major concrete area. We will then grass and seed—for now--and create a nice open space area. The Little League and our team have some ideas for what could be in the future. We may come back to the Commission with some ideas.

A motion was made by Commissioner Smith to declare eight (8) Iron Mike pitching machines surplus and authorize City Manager to dispose of via auction. Commissioner York seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.

B. Items for Information

Mr. Smith stated very recently staff was approached by Seminole County. They are requesting our participation in the form of economic development incentives for a new economic development project. The project is being referred to by the Orlando Economic Partnership as Project Bluesky.

My research shows it has been a while since the City has participated in this manner. He thought it would be important for us to recap where we are with incentives, what we have done so far, and where we find ourselves today.

Mr. Smith reviewed project names that the City has funded in the past. He said we have been partners and visionaries in economic development with almost $3 million of City funds. We have about $1.5 million remaining to be paid out.

The service on those amounts vary because of the timing—we don’t know when things are coming in until they are approved for an award by the county. For the fiscal year 2020, we budgeted almost $500,000 for purposes of servicing these incentives.

Our incentive has generated economic projects of almost $136 million. Mr. Smith said he thinks that we have put into place a good program and we have seen the benefits therein.

The request for this particular project termed Bluesky would be to create 400 new jobs at an average annual wage of $70,000 which is about 150% of the county average wage. This would expand their current technology delivery center, a new capital investment of about $6.5 million to include a lease of existing Class A office space in their current building, and the incentive request from the City is close to $240,000 to be paid over a period yet to be determined.

Deputy Mayor Miller asked if Project Bluesky was acquiring new space or using existing space. He stated it seemed like a low capital amount.

Mr. Smith stated that in the past they have occupied new space. Due to the capital investment, they seem to be trying to place more people in the current space they have. It does appear they will be leasing a little more space. Deputy Mayor Miller asked if he calculated the payback based on increased property tax on additional space. Mr. Smith stated that is correct.

Commissioner Duryea stated that we have a situation where a company has come in and, whether or not they are owners or leasers, in an effort to get that going we instituted the economic incentive program. This particular company has gone to the well twice. We provide the environment that they want to be in. He is not against new people making an investment into the City.

Commissioner Smith asked what investment has this company done with the City in terms of partnerships or events. Mr. Smith stated that our research shows that they have not done any. That was a concern he expressed at the first meeting.

Commissioner York stated that in 2010 when we were having the sort of species of economic development incentives, it was a very different time. Now that we are in a different economic climate, he thinks that we have to evaluate this with a little more scrutiny.

Mr. Smith stated that the environment was different in 2010 because the state was more economic development driven at that time with the Department of Economic Opportunity and their Qualified Target Industries program (QTI). That program no longer exists. We are seeing a change in that as well.

Commissioner York stated he would like to see a retooling of the economic incentives package that we have focused on just Downtown. Mr. Smith stated we are working on that.

Mayor Mealor stated that he was actively engaged in the first economic incentive package when we brought AT&T to the City. We had a remarkable model and we learned a lot from the economic development people at Georgia Tech. We benefitted from it. In every incentive asked of this City, he has been briefed and made aware of all the implications so that if he felt he had to address the Commission on any matter, he could do that. This is the first time he has not heard one word about what this project was called until tonight. There was no communication from the Orlando Economic Partnership and significantly none from the County. That is not the way that we do business in Lake Mary.

At the last request we had for this group, the Chair of the County Commission spoke to the long term implications for economic development in Seminole County. She stated we need to look at the east side of I-4. I think we have done a great job on the west side. We have the 742 acre Lake Mary Technology Wellness park with options available to us and the County. We also have the Downtown area. At the time we did the first one, we needed to go vertical and we needed jobs and were successful. He stated he will go with the pleasure of the Commission. At this time he has no interest in this particular project for the stated reasons of his four colleagues.

Staff was directed not to participate in pursuing Project Bluesky. Mr. Smith was directed to inform them that any future economic considerations should be considered for anything east of I-4 or the Downtown quadrant.

C. Announcements


12. Mayor and Commissioners Report

Deputy Mayor Miller had nothing to report.

Commissioner York urged everyone to check out Seminole’s County Prepare Seminole Office of Emergency Management’s website for information about preparations being made with regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Commissioner Smith stated he attended his first Municipal Advisory Committee meeting. He is learning about the process and different plans. He is looking forward to serving on that committee.

Commissioner Smith also said the Arts Festival is this weekend. We have a great kid’s area this year, sponsored by Verizon. He said Mr. Nipe and his team have done a tremendous job, and we have a great group of board members this year.

Commissioner Duryea had nothing to report.

Mayor Mealor said that this past Saturday Orlando Health sponsored Running with a Hero. It was a great community event. They are also a presenting sponsor for the Lake Mary Heathrow Festival of the Arts.

13. City Attorney’s Report

Mrs. Reischmann reviewed the legislative proposals that would further prevent local government from regulating short-term rentals.

She continued by discussing the Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act. She stated they are increasing the amounts for continuing contracts.

There is a big push by the building industry on impact fees again. It is requiring that impact fees be based on the most recent data and the formation of an impact fee review committee, to include builders, to have them access our impact fees and to state clearly that the impact fees can only be spent on capital assets.

The Blue-Green Algae Task Force Act is being placed on the calendar. One interesting aspect is that septic systems will now probably be moved from the Department of Health to the Department of Environmental Protection with the idea that there would be more of a focus on contamination.

Mrs. Reischmann also briefly discussed the Bert Harris Act.

Another bill that has been put on the calendar is the Home-Based Businesses bill.

There is also a growth management bill this year. This is on its way to adoption. It requires all cities and counties to do a comprehensive plan amendment.

The regulation of smoking in parks is most likely going to be passed to allow cities to prohibit that.

Mrs. Reischmann also discussed the increase in the sovereign immunity amounts.

Mrs. Reischmann concluded her review.

14. Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 P.M.