Sep 15 2009
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
September 15, 2009
The Board of County Commissioners of Brevard County, Florida met in regular session on September 15, 2009, at 9:05 a.m. in the Government Center Commission Room, Building C, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Present were: Chairman Chuck Nelson, Commissioners Robin Fisher, Trudie Infantini, Mary Bolin, and Andy Anderson, Interim County Manager Stockton Whitten, and County Attorney Scott Knox.
The Invocation was given by David Dingley, Special Assistant to District 4 Commissioner Mary Bolin.
Chairman Nelson led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
RESOLUTION, RE: CONGRATULATING SHELLEY HARDY FOR BEING NAMED THE 2009
COMMISSION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION DISADVANTAGED DRIVER OF THE YEAR
Commissioner Fisher read aloud a Resolution congratulating Shelley Hardy.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to adopt Resolution congratulating Shelley Hardy for being named the 2009 on his accomplishments for being named the 2009 Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged Driver of the Year. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: COMMENDING RUTH KOLODGIE FOR HER 35 YEARS OF SERVICES
Commissioner Nelson read aloud a Resolution commending Ruth Kolodgie.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to adopt Resolution commending Ruth Kolodgie for her 35 years of dedicated and valued service to Brevard County.
Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: RECOGNIZING DESERET CATTLE AND CITRUS RANCH
Commissioner Bolin read aloud a Resolution recognizing Deseret Cattle and Citrus Ranch.
Motion by Commissioner Bolin, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to adopt Resolution recognizing Deseret Cattle and Citrus Ranch on their recent “2009 Florida Environmental Stewardship Award”; and on their continued efforts to be responsible landowners. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: COMMENDING STEPHEN R. BENN FOR HIS 25 YEARS OF SERVICE
Commissioner Bolin read aloud a Resolution commending Stephen R. Benn.
Motion by Commissioner Bolin, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to adopt Resolution commending Stephen R. Benn for his 25 years of dedicated and professional services to Brevard County. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: PROCLAIMING THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 17 THROUGH 23, 2009
AS CONSTITUTION WEEK
Commissioner Nelson read aloud a Resolution proclaiming the week of September 17 through 23, 2009 as Constitution Week.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to adopt Resolution proclaiming the week of September 17 through 23, 2009 as Constitution Week; and urges all citizens to study the Constitution and reflect on the privileges of being an American with all the rights and responsibilities. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RE: RECOGNIZING AND COMMENDING CURTIS BEATOVICH FOR
ATTAINING RANK OF EAGLE SCOUT
Commissioner Nelson read aloud a Resolution recognizing and commending Curtis Beatovich
Motion by Commissioner Bolin, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to adopt Resolution recognizing and commending Curtis Beatovich for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout and offering congratulations and best wishes for a successful future. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
REPORT, RE: “SAVE SPACE” LETTER CAMPAIGN
Commissioner Fisher stated he wants to mention under his report about a letter writing campaign that he would like to get started. He mentioned the Augustine Report tells of the possible loss of jobs at Kennedy Space Center; he started thinking about what kind of resources as a community that would be available for 3,500 jobs. He stated he understands that one of the recommendations coming out of the Augustine Report was to extend the Shuttle; Bob Walker, in the past, also made the comment to him that Brevard County should have a message that it needs to send to Washington; it became apparent to him that during president Obama’s campaign, when he was in Brevard in August, he made some promises towards extending the Shuttle Program; and he thinks that should be the message to try to get President Obama to live up to some of the campaign promises that he made. He stated he also thinks that 500,000 people from the community need to write about how devastating this is to them; and they should be writing to the President, Congresswoman Kozmos, Senator Nelson, and all the other Legislatures.
Commissioner Fisher mentioned he met with Leigh Holt last week and they started drafting some possible letters that people could send to the President so that people would not be fearful of coming up with their own letter; and he talked with Lynda Weatherman from the Economic Development Commission (EDC) who also has the link to launch websites. He spoke with Information Technology Director Jon Sellers about some ways that he can help get that website linked up; the goal is to get as many people possible writing to Washington, D.C. asking to extend the Shuttle Program; and at the same time, he would like to make sure that this letter writing campaign is taken Statewide, because this is not only in Brevard County. He advised he has seen somewhere where National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) budget in Florida was $4 Billion; and Brevard gets $1.5 Billion of it, $2.5 Billion are going to the other 60 something counties. He stated a grass roots campaign is good and emails are good, but he wants to help put the Postal Service back in business by taking up physical space in Washington, D.C., because he thinks that will make an impact and hopefully get them thinking about how important Florida and Brevard County are with the job loss. He stated there has been a lot of money spent in a lot of other areas trying to create jobs; and he feels the President needs to spend some money trying to save jobs. He stated he has invited the Melbourne, Titusville, and Palm Bay Chambers of Commerce, along with Lynda Weatherman from the EDC, to support of the letter writing campaign; they are welcome to come to the podium to speak; he feels it is time to put the full-court press on Washington about the Stimulant Shuttle Campaign; and that is going to take some County resources with the Information Technology Department.
Marcia Gaedcke, President of Titusville Chamber of Commerce stated the Melbourne Chamber could not be present today, Tom Gaum is here from the Greater Palm Bay Chamber, and Melissa Stains from the Cocoa Beach Chamber all stand before the Board today representing almost 6,000 businesses in Brevard County; and they are extremely supportive of Commissioner Fisher’s initiative and hope to be able to get the Chamber Members to help send out as many letters as possible. She stated when she was talking with Leigh Holt and Commissioner Fisher she thought it was a great idea; all of the Chamber Presidents have been very involved in this process, in seeing what is happening; and are trying to do whatever can be done to be supportive of maintaining those jobs in Brevard County.
Commissioner Bolin inquired about the letters that have been proposed if the Chambers and Ms. Weatherman have gone through the text and feels comfortable with it. Ms. Weatherman responded there will be some tweaking, with an economic spin on it regarding some ramifications to job loss; outreach to peer Economic Development Offices (EDO) throughout the State; and to tie in the budget dollars from NASA to those areas.
Commissioner Fisher stated the letters provided are drafts, so not to take these letters provided as the final letters, because Marshall Herd and Frank Cabela stated in a phone conference yesterday that they wanted to add another line or two into the letter and these letters may be drafted over five times before being ready to send.
Commissioner Anderson stated that this a great idea; and inquired if Commissioner Fisher has thought about using Space Coast Government Television (SCGTV) to advertise this; and mentioned getting the municipalities, Space Coast agencies, and the Florida Association of Academies onboard to help promote this. Commissioner Fisher stated it was supposed to be introduced last night at the League meeting by Leigh Holt; and he does not know if she got the chance to do that yet. Commissioner Bolin mentioned she was at the League meeting last night and Ms. Holt was not present.
Commissioner Fisher stated the theory is to get the whole community behind this; that is why he has asked Mr. Sellers to see if he might be able to tell the Board what can be done with the Internet and the County’s website.
Jon Sellers, Information Technology Director, stated he has worked with the EDC to have a link-to-launch site that was very successful in the past, and that site can be expanded to do everything that the County needs to do with it. He mentioned there are no technical problems associated with this, only the appropriate resources and people getting together for some of the insights to put the whole project together.
Commissioner Anderson inquired if the Chambers will help with the individual cities websites to provide a link; and who would the point-of-contact person be.
Ms. Gaedcke responded there are great partnerships with some of the folks that are participating in the Space Forum, the Orlando Regional Chamber, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce CEO, Mark Wilson, which is another great opportunity to spread it Statewide.
Commissioner Fisher mentioned he was hoping to get MyRegion and the seven surrounding counties to help support this cause with their membership. Chairman Nelson advised he is trying to think when the next MyRegion meeting is. Commissioner Fisher stated their next meeting is this coming Friday and he will attend.
Commissioner Bolin stated she is 100 percent enthusiastic about this; she thinks it is a great thing to do; and inquired what action he wants from the Board so he can continue full-force on this project. Commissioner Fisher responded to allow Leigh Holt to continue to work on this project, along with Mr. Sellers; and to give him the okay that he can take some resources that the Information Technology Department might need to help get the website launched with manpower hours to get the site going and keeping it up to date, as cities and other people are linked into the process. Commissioner Bolin inquired if there are other suggestions of other locations or community connections that he would like the information sent to. Commission Fisher responded County Manager and Leigh Holt is who he thinks would be the grassroots individuals for staff to work with.
Commissioner Nelson stated if Commissioner Fisher would like to make a motion to authorize the Interim County Manager and staff, that would then incorporate Mr. Sellers and Ms. Holt to coordinate this effort on behalf of the County Commission.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to authorize the Interim County Manager and staff, including Government Relations Manager Leigh Holt, to coordinate letters to send to President Barack Obama regarding extending the Shuttle Program; and directed Information Technology Director Jon Sellers to develop a website for the same. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Tom Gaum, Director of Government Affairs with the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce mentioned that he supports Commissioner Fisher’s initiative with the Board’s unanimous vote; he takes it that the Commission, as a whole stands behind it; he would implore each one of the
Commissioners to go back to their districts, take this message, and do everything possible the Board can to move this forward.
REPORT, RE: COMMENDING THE CITY OF WEST MELBOURNE FOR 50 YEARS
Commissioner Infantini mentioned she would like to commend the City of West Melbourne on its 50 years and 50-year gala. She stated former Commissioner Helen Voltz really spearheaded the activity; and it was a really nice at Levelz Nightclub in West Melbourne.
REPORT, RE: OFFSHORE DRILLING
Motion by Commissioner Infantini, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to authorize sending a letter to the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) indicating the Board is taking no current position with offshore drilling. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Amy Tidd mentioned she put a card in on this issue because according to the rules, if it is under the Agenda a person cannot speak under Public Comment; and she wanted to explain that. She stated she is here today representing a Statewide coalition of business and environmental groups to deal with the offshore drilling called Protect Florida’s Beaches; she wants to make a few comments since it was brought up; and she is pleased to hear that the Board is neutral, because she is very concerned about the ocean drilling. She advised there is new technology that will protect Florida’s beaches; right now there presently is drilling off of Australia taking place using these new drilling technologies; there is 120 square miles of oil spill that is going to take three to four weeks to cap it; if this drill was off of Florida’s beaches, it would devastate the Gulf Coast. She stated individuals may say how does that affect Brevard County; there are two sources of revenue in Florida, such as tourism and new residents; it may have been seen that the new residents have dropped; a net loss in the tourist revenue is what makes up the County with $65 billion in tourist revenue, which is why there is not a State income tax; and she is not in favor of one because if drilling was started the tourism would be at risk. She stated a lot of cities and business groups have signed a resolution and she wants to submit it for consideration as a neural resolution would give the Board more information.
REPORT, RE: PRESENTATION BY LAWRENCE LAWTON ON REALITY CHECK
Commissioner Anderson stated he has had the opportunity to meet with Lawrence Lawton from the Reality Check Program, and he was impressed with his presentation in his office; and he asked him to make a brief presentation today before the Commission to give a little insight of what his organization does.
Lawrence Lawton, President Reality Check Program, stated what his program does is actually work with at-risk kids; he wants to commend the Sheriff’s Department about a great article in the paper this morning about statistics; he wants to let everybody know that juvenile delinquency in the County, since the 2009 May report, went up 15 percent; and per 100 juveniles in Brevard County, 41 percent is for drug possession, and for the State it is 34 percent. Mr. Lawton stated in the court system the Judges have recognized the program and have actually used it, along with the Public Defenders Office, Probation Officers, and the State Attorney for plea bargains and pre-trial diversion; and what he would like to see is to get the program in the hands of every parent in the community. He mentioned he invited his business partners here today and they have this program at a rate where they really do not make any money; and they are really not going to make any money, because he is going to give a stimulus package to the Commission. He explained for every Digital Video Disk (DVD) the Commission buys, the Reality Check
Program will donate a Reality Check Program DVD; and they want every one of the Commissioners to have them, so when there is a person in their community that cannot afford the price of the DVD, which is not expensive it costs $39.00, but if they can afford it he wants every Commissioner to be able to go out and give the DVD to the community. He stated he is going to challenge the Board to find the funding; it is not a lot of money, because he figured the numbers this morning; and he met with Commissioner Fisher yesterday to figure the numbers. He advised the average stay of a person in prison is 52 months; if 48 months are taken at $31,000 a year to house one inmate, it would be a total of $124,000 if one was saved from this program; if five were saved, it would be a $600,000; and if 20 people were saved, it would be $2.4 million the County could save. He stated the numbers are there, but the numbers he cannot address is the harm that kids are doing today in the community; everybody who does not know him he invites to go to the website at www.realitycheckprogram.org and they will know that he was in those places; he has changed his life around and a lot of the kids could be saved; it is time that the Board acts and he is challenging the Board to find the funding for a small amount and he will match whatever DVD’s the Board buys one for one.
Commissioner Anderson stated his office has some private fund-raising to try and get these DVD’s in the hands of the Deputies where they can hand them out to the kids that are at risk. He mentioned Rockledge Police Department is doing that and are being very successful with the program.
Commissioner Fisher stated if the Crime Workshop is held, he thinks it might be great to incorporate this there, because part of the solution to all of this is keeping kids out of the system.
ITEM PULLED FROM THE CONSENT
Commissioner Infantini stated she would like to pull from Consent Agenda Item III.A.2, Consent Agreement with St. Johns River Water Management District, Re: Resolution of Disputes Regarding the Disposal of Hurricane-Generated Mulch; Item III.B.4, Authorization of Request for Proposals (RFP), and Appointment of Selection and Negotiating Committees, Re: Pine Island Conservation Area Management and Education Center – Sams House Exhibits; and Item III.C.2, Permission to Use Continuing Construction Management (At Risk) Contract, Re: Construction of Brevard County Fire Station #84 in Palm Bay.
MODIFICATIONS 3 AND 4 OF CONTRACT #08HM-3G-06-15-01-031 WITH FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, RE: ST. JOHNS-CRANE CREEK
OUTFALL (LAMPLIGHTER) GRANT AGREEMENT
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to execute Modification 3 and 4 to Contract 08HM-3G-06-15-01-031 with Florida Department of Emergency Management for a no cost time extension and increase of the Federal cost-share for the St. Johns-Crane Creek Outfall (Lamplighter) Project; and authorized necessary Budget Change Requests. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
LEASE AGREEMENT WITH BAREFOOT BAY RECREATION DISTRICT, RE: OFFICE
SPACE USED BY UTILITY SERVICES FOR WATER BILLING AND CUSTOMER
SERVICE IN BAREFOOT BAY
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, executed Lease Agreement with Barefoot Bay Recreation District for office space used by the Utility Services Department for water billing and customer service in Barefoot Bay. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
TASK ORDER NO. 4 WITH CAMP, DRESSER, AND MCKEE, INC. (CDM), RE:
MECHANICAL INTEGRITY TESTING OF SYKES CREEK INJECTION WELL SYSTEM
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to execute Task Order No. 4 with Camp, Dresser, and McKee, Inc. (CDM) for necessary engineering services associated with the FDEP permit required Mechanical Integrity Test (MIT) at the Sykes Creek Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AGREEMENT WITH CITY OF MELBOURNE, RE: UTILITY BILLING SERVICES
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to execute Agreement with City of Melbourne for the collection of monthly wastewater and reclaimed water services fees. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
CONTRACTS WITH CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF CENTRAL FLORIDA, CENTRAL BREVARD
SHARING CENTER, COALITION FOR THE HUNGRY AND HOMELESS, AND SOUTH
BREVARD SHARING CENTER, RE: HOMELESS PREVENTION AND RAPID RE-
HOUSING GRANT PROGRAM (HPRP) FUNDS
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to approve Contracts with Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Central Brevard Sharing Center, Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless, and South Brevard Sharing Center for HPRP Grant Funds; and authorize the Chairman to execute the Contracts and subsequent amendments, contingent upon approval of the County Attorney and Risk Management. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF APPLICATION TO FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE, DIVISION OF
LIBRARY SERVICES, RE: STATE AID TO LIBRARIES FY 2009-2010
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to approve Application to Florida Department of State, Division of Library Services, for State Aid for Libraries FY 2009/2010. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
ENCROACHMENT AGREEMENT WITH FLORIDA GAS TRANSMISSION COMPANY, RE:
VALKARIA COMMUNITY PARK
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to execute Encroachment Agreement with Florida Gas Transmission Company (FGT) for the County’s use of property within a FGT easement for the development of Valkaria Community Park. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR SELECTION COMMITTEE, RE:
VEHICLE FLEET MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR MANAGEMENT FOR SPACE COAST
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to approve establishing a Selection Committee consisting of Transit Services Director James Liesenfelt, Solid Waste Director Euripides Rodriguez, Mosquito Control Director Craig Simmons, and Purchasing Manager or designee as a non-voting member, for fleet maintenance and repair management for Space Coast Area Transit. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AWARD OF REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATION #RFQ-3-09-01, RE: ATTORNEY FOR
BREVARD COUNTY CHARTER REVIEW COMMISSION
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to accept the Law Firm Goren, Cherof, Doody, and Ezrol, P.A., with Sam Goren and David Tolces as the attorneys representing the Charter Review commission for the year 2009-2010; and authorized the Chairman to execute the Contract, subject to review and final approval by the Brevard County Charter Review Commission. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
LEASE AGREEMENT WITH CITY OF COCOA, RE: BREVARD COUNTY FAMILY AND
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to execute Lease Agreement with City of Cocoa for the building located at 400 South Varr Avenue, Cocoa, for the Brevard County Housing and Human Services Department’s Family and Children’s Services office. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AUTHORIZATION FOR STAFF TO PRECEED WITH ALL CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS, AND
COUNTY MANAGER OR DESIGNEE TO AUTHORIZE BIDS AND AWARDS, RE: SPACE
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to authorize staff to proceed with all design and construction for capital improvements at the Space Coast Stadium; authorized the County Manager or designee to authorize bids and awards or use of continuing contracts for all material, services, and equipment necessary for the expedited completion of these projects; and approve necessary budget changes to increase the Stadium CIP budget. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF APPLICATION, RE: HOMELAND SECURITY STATE GRANT
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to execute Subrecipient Agreement with State of Florida, Department of Financial Services, to apply for the FY 2008 State Homeland Security Grant, which is a continuation of a previously Board approved grant program. The Board further directed the funds are to be used for the purchase and maintenance of equipment and specialized training; and examples of the equipment to be purchased with this grant are hazardous materials personal protective equipment, detection equipment, and decontamination equipment. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AUTHORIZATION TO ADVERTISE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, APPOINT OF
SELECTION AND NEGOTIATION COMMITTEES, AND AUTHORIZATION FOR
CHAIRMAN TO EXECUTE A CONTINUING CONTRACT, RE: PROFESSIONAL
SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to authorize the advertisement, acceptance, and negotiation of a Request for Proposals (RFP) from qualified firms for a minimum of two (2) continuing contracts for professional software development services; authorize the Chairman to execute the resulting contracts; and appoint a Selection and Negotiation Committee consisting of Jon Sellers, Information Technology Director, Software Development Manager Lois Boisseau, Transit Services Director Jim Liesenfelt, and Assistant County Manager for Management Services or designee. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AUTHORIZATION TO FILE LAWSUIT, RE: REMOVAL OF CARETAKER FROM JAMES G.
BOURBEAU MEMORIAL PARK
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to authorize Scott Knox, County Attorney, to file a lawsuit, including eviction, ejectment, and/or such other action as may be necessary to remove former caretaker William D. Riley from James G. Bourbeau Memorial Park. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: LIABILITY AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE PROGRAMS
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009-2010
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to approve placement of the County’s General Liability/Professional Liability/Airport and Aviation Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF PAYMENT OF AWARD TO JAMES M. MILES, RE: EMPLOYEE
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to approve payment of award in the amount of $200 to James M. Miles, Utility Services Department for recommendation (EIP #379) under Brevard County’s Employee Innovations Program. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL OF PAYMENT OF AWARD TO EUGENE REDDEN, RE: EMPLOYEE
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to approve payment of award in the amount of $382.66 to Eugene Redden, Natural Resources Management Department, for recommendation (EIP #380) under Brevard County’s Employee Innovations Program. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: ALTERED AND ADDED PRECINCT LEGAL DESCRIPTIONS
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to approve the revised precinct legal descriptions for the changes to existing precincts due to annexations by the Cities of Melbourne, West Melboune, and Titusville. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS, RE: BREVARD WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to appoint Brian Bingelli to serve on the Brevard Workforce Development Board with said term of appointed term expiring June 30, 2012. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPOINTMENT/REAPPOINTMENTS, RE: CITIZEN ADVISORY BOARDS
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to appoint Edmund M. Kindle to serve on the Historical Commission with said appointed term expiring December 31, 2009; Frank Zilaitis to serve on the Charter Review commission, replacing William Tolley; and Wayne Cooper to serve on the Planning and Zoning Board, replacing Frank Tsamoutales with said appointed term expiring December 31, 2009. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: BILLS AND BUDGET CHANGES
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to approve Bills and
Budget Changes. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
CONSENT AGREEMENT WITH ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT, RE:
RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES REGARDING THE DISPOSAL OF HURRICANE-
Commissioner Infantini stated she spoke with Euripides Rodriquez, Solid Waste Management Director, about this item; she has an objection to paying $50,000 to monitor something that the County gave out Contracts for; if one of the sub-contractors is guilty of doing something wrong, she believes they should be held accountable; she does not think the County should be held accountable to clean up for sub-contractors mistakes because they are well paid, bid the process, and if they lay mulch in the wrong area of a wetland she would like for them to pay for the clean up. She stated that is why she pulled the item; in this budgetary time she is trying to save; and she knows it is only $50,000; but $50,000 is one job for one person for a year.
Commissioner Fisher mentioned he had the same concern yesterday; but he wants to hear from staff why it is at this point.
Mel Scott, Assistant County Manager, stated first he would like to say that staff shares the sentiments expressed by the Commissioners as it relates to this item. He mentioned for a couple years now settlement negotiations have been taking place with the help of the County Attorney’s office; he thinks there are times when there is an agency, such as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in this case, that is saying they are going to withhold $3.7 million if the County does not participate in the outcome that FEMA desires, which is getting full compliance; then FEMA is going to de-obligate $3.7 million; staff believes with the advice of the County Attorney’s office in this regard that the County does not like this settlement and he would venture to say that all three parties are unhappy with this settlement; but he does believe that this is the best that can be done at this juncture and the County will probably spend more money than if taking this Settlement Agreement. He mentioned that is why this item was put on the Agenda the way it is.
Chairman Nelson inquired what the dollar value at risk is for the County. Mr. Scott responded $3.7 million was received from FEMA that would be de-obligated; it has given that to the County in writing; if FEMA does not hear from St. John’s River Water Management District that the violations have been corrected, the money that the County would pay is the least amount from the three parties; and it would settle it, the County would have the outcome that FEMA is desiring.
Chairman Nelson inquired where the funds are coming from. Mr. Scott responded the funds would come from the Enterprise Funds. Chairman Nelson stated those would come from the Solid Waste Enterprise Funds. Mr. Scott responded it is coming from the business of Solid Waste.
Commissioner Infantini stated if this item does have to move forward she would like to request that there is something put in the Contracts to hold contractors accountable, so the County can no longer be held responsible for clean up. Commissioner Infantini mentioned when someone fails on a job she does not want to be held accountable; she is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and if she messes up on a tax return, that tax return is free and she cleans up her mess, or corrects it; she thinks people should be held accountable for work; if the Board does not do that, she thinks the tax payers will not be very happy with them; and she is not very happy about this Agreement.
Commissioner Fisher mentioned he is not very happy about it either and does not know how to get past it, because there is $3.7 million at risk; the Board has not heard from the County Attorney; and he is assuming that the Board felt there is some kind of obligation.
Scott Knox, County Attorney, stated what he has been led to understand is FEMA has opened the proverbial barrel by saying the County has to participate; FEMA looks at it as a three-party participation with the engineers, the Company, and the County; and it is looked at as an investment of $50,000 to get $3.7 million.
Commissioner Bolin stated the suggestion was to have something in the Contract that would be able to be avoided like this in the future; and inquired if this is possible. Attorney Knox responded that is certainly possible and he is not sure that this Contract does not have that in there, because he has not looked at that issue but certainly will look at it.
Commissioner Infantini inquired if the Board can possibly look at seeking compensation if it is provided for in the Contract and if it is agreed to pay this out just to get the settlement for the $3.7 million; but in going forward, can the contractor be looked at to see if there is a clause in the Contract. Attorney Knox responded he will look into the Contract.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to execute Consent Agreement with St. Johns River Water Management District, Larry D. Merwin, David Nichols, Kay Nichols, and AshBritt, Inc. to resolve disputes regarding the disposal of vegetative mulch generated from the 2004 storms. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
AUTHORIZATION OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP), AND APPOINTMENT OF
SELECTION AND NEGOTIATING COMMITTEES, RE: PINE ISLAND CONSERVATION
AREA MANAGEMENT AND EDUCATION CENTER – SAMS HOUSE EXHIBITS
Commissioner Infantini stated currently the EEL’s Program does not have sufficient funding from taxation to handle the maintenance upkeep, are using reserves; to obligate the County to build more buildings, and have an estimated annual cost of funding be $71,000; she is proposing that the Board not move forward with anymore building, capital improvements, and acquisitions until sufficient revenues are met, because if the Board is going to indebt itself to using more reserves; she thinks that is not a wise choice to use reserves to pay for operating expenses; and she does not suggest the County to do so.
Commissioner Bolin mentioned through her briefing on this item it is her understanding that on July 7th the Board voted on this and it was a five to zero vote; the reason why it’s before the Board now is there are some wordsmithing that needs to be corrected; and she inquired if she is correct on this statement. Mike Knight, EEL Program Manager, responded that is correct; the Board approved moving forward with bidding but EEL’s used the incorrect language needed to go through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Commissioner Bolin mentioned this was already a done deal; and it just needed to do some wordsmithing.
Commissioner Infantini stated she does not think that the Board has the dollars lined up; now that she sees how much it is going to cost and the budgetary alignment where the Board is already using reserves; she thought she was going to be able to move forward and encourage the Board to cut some of the costs in that area, not necessarily in personnel, but other spending areas such as copy machines; that was why she originally voted for it; and she cannot support this issue at this point, because she does not want to move forward and indebt the Board more with reserves.
Commissioner Anderson stated he remembers on the July 7th discussion on this issue that the Board did agree to move forward with the RFP; and he had voiced then that it does not obligate the Board to award it, so he does not think there was an intention to go ahead and move forward, it was just to move forward with the RFP, and then see what the bids were when they came back.
Chairman Nelson inquired about the dollars that are obligated to the project at this point in time and if they are reserve dollars that are being referring to; and if there is already a building that is there, these are, in effect, the features that people are going to go see. Mr. Knight responded right, these are the interior and exterior exhibits in the building that are completed; and it would be Bond funds that would be used for that. Chairman Nelson stated these are not reserved dollars; and it does not impact that decision making process.
Commissioner Infantini stated she has read in the paper that EEL’s was considering going back out and issuing more bonds; and at this point in time when there is too little referendum monies coming in to support projects, she does not think it is a good time to move forward on building or modernizing an existing project, and also having an additional facility with annual operational costs of $71,000, because it is not a good time to do so.
Chairman Nelson stated there have been decisions like keeping the old Rodes Park open and building new community centers that are being used with reserved funds that Commissioner Infantini did support. Commissioner Infantini mentioned she is only trying to bail the Board out of what happened because of the prior Parks Director, Chuck Nelson, making promises to just about every community that the County would build them a community center; so if not for those promises, she would not be making quite as many tough decisions; and she is just trying to reduce costs decision-by-decision of the $71,000 to the County and the taxpayers where there is no revenue to stop eating into reserves. Chairman Nelson stated the community center that was in the referendum that the citizens voted for is in Commissioner Infantini’s District; that is what she is saying she does not want to fund that at this point in time. Commissioner Infantini responded no, what is being said is she has to bail out the County for promises that he made to every single community. Chairman Nelson advised that staff does not make promises. Commissioner Infantini advised that he did. Chairman Nelson stated first of all the Board gives direction to staff, that is how that works, and maybe she has not figured that out yet, but the point is that the citizens voted not once, but twice to fund and build those referendums and they funded to maintain those. Commissioner Infantini mentioned that because people were poorly informed and they did not know that there would not be enough money to operate the community centers without using reserves; had they been well informed, they probably would have not voted to pass so much referendum taxation on themselves when there would not be enough money in the operating budget to run them.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to authorize solicitation of a Request for Proposals (RFP); approve appointment of a Selection Committee consisting of EEL Program Manager Mike Knight or designee, EEL Program Central Region Land Manager Scott Taylor or designee, EEL Program Education Coordinator Katrina Morrell or designee, EEL Program South Beach Land Manager Raymond Mojica or designee, and EEL North Region Land Manager Xavier De Seguin des Hons or designee, to select qualified contractors through the RFP process; approve appointment of a Negotiating Committee consisting of Don Lusk or designee, Community Services Assistant County Manager or designee, EEL Program Manager Mike Knight or designee, EEL Program Central Region Land Manager Scott Taylor or designee, EEL Program Education Coordinator Katrina Morrell or designee, and a Representative of the County Attorney’s Office to attend Negotiation Committee meetings in an advisory capacity, to negotiate with qualified contractors for the design, fabrication, and installation of environmental education and historical exhibits at the Sams House Management and Education Center at the Pine Island Conservation Area; and directed staff to return to the Board for approval prior to awarding the contract, not to exceed the budgeted $175,000. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioners Anderson and Infantini voted nay.
PERMISSION TO USE CONTINUING CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT (AT RISK)
CONTRACT, RE: CONSTRUCTION OF BREVARD COUNTY FIRE STATION #84 IN
Commission Infantini stated this project was originally bid out to be about a $1 million project a few years ago; fortunately through staff efforts, it is down to a $360,000 project, which she commends; however, she does question the need for another structure, because it is in the City of Palm Bay; and inquired if those Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) transports can be housed at one of the local Palm Bay Fire Stations; and have them respond to the EMS, rather than keep the monopoly, as Brevard County has on transport, because to go out and build another structure at $360,000 will be more capital improvements. Dennis Neterer, Interim Fire Rescue Director, responded the closest Palm Bay Fire Station is almost within a quarter mile and maybe even closer than that; it is Palm Bay Station No.1, and he believes the City is doing everything it can to rebuild that particular Fire Station; and is sure that Commissioner Anderson is aware of that. He stated the Station that he is here for today is not an additional one, it is replacement of an existing one; it is a single-wide modular home that has been available since prior to 1999, it has been storm weakened; two ambulances are being operated out of one structure; and they are being very cost effective in that manner. He advised what is being seen on the Agenda today from Facilities is basically removing that one, putting in a larger modular that can withstand hurricane-force winds of 120 miles per hour; it will be shuttered; and is a very effective structure. Mr. Neterer stated in terms of being able to put two ambulances and associated people into an existing Palm Bay Fire Station, he does not know if that is feasible; and he also does not know if the City has plans to replace that Station, because it is not in that greatest shape.
Commissioner Infantini stated she would like to table this item until she has some time to work with the City to see if there are any opportunities to house the two ambulances there; because it is only a quarter of a mile away; and it just seems that they may have an opportunity to save.
Commissioner Anderson mentioned that Steve Quickel, Facilities Director, needs to get his light fixed for him when he gets the chance. He advised he has a lot of knowledge on Station No.1; it is at max-capacity; the reason that the City of Palm Bay is building a new public safety annex or planning to on trial means is that station is in such disrepair and it is a safety issue for the current firefighters there with no room left; and they have a lot of concerns whether it can even withstand another hurricane. He stated he knows the City of Palm Bay is planning on doing the public safety annex on a trial basis when he spoke with staff about this issue; he also knows there have been past discussions about co-location, but those have not gone very far; the City of Palm Bay holds the key to that; and he does not think that the public safety annex that they are planning currently could even accommodate what it holds is not being build big enough; however, he is sure that if the County went to the City of Palm Bay and tells it that the County will give them $1 million, they would make it big enough, but this is only $359,000; and that is all the history that he knows of it.
Stockton Whitten, Interim County Manager, stated in the meantime Commissioners, this is, as the Chief noted a Station that has been weakened by hurricane damages; the County is in the same predicament that the City of Palm Bay is in; as a matter-of-fact, he thinks this is the Station where the washer and dryer actually fell through the floor; and this is not a replacement just for the sake of getting something new, this is an structural issue with regards to this particular Station.
Commissioner Bolin noted what she is hearing is that it is actually a safety issue for the County’s staff of firefighters to be able to work efficiently currently; and she agrees with Commissioner Anderson that if it is decided to do some co-oping, she does not think that $359,000 is going to cover it with the City of Palm Bay.
Chief Neterer mentioned that Mr. Whitten is absolutely right, that Station is in very poor condition; and like Mr. Whitten said this is his last regular meeting today; if he could ask the Board not to delay it for the sake of the firefighters that are operating out of that Station; and it does need to be replaced.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to grant permission to use Continuing Construction Management (At Risk) Contract for construction of a new modular Fire Station No. 84 for Brevard County Fire Rescue Department in Palm Bay; and authorize the Chairman to sign said Contract. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT, RE: INTERCITY RAIL COMPONENET OF THE FEC
CORRIDOR PROJECT (AMTRAK SERVICE)
Dr. Kim Delaney, Growth Management Coordinator with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Counsel, stated she has had the pleasure of working with County staff and three cities in Brevard County, such as Melbourne, Cocoa, and Titusville on a project that the Board is probably somewhat familiar with; and it is the restoration of passenger train service in the form of Amtrak on the Florida East Coast (FEC) Corridor from Jacksonville to Miami. She stated this is a Project that Amtrak actually approached the State with in 2001; there was a lot of enthusiasm with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), FEC, and the various cities negotiated agreements, but there was no funding to extend Transit Service for new Amtrak routes in 2001 – 2002; and with the new administration Transit of course is a very big part of the future mobility for the Country. She stated Florida is very well positioned to receive some of those dollars; there is $8 billion available in a funding source for high-speed rail intercity passenger service; this project would qualify for that type of funding; and it would be constructed in three years, operational by October 2012, and construct eight new stations in St. Augustine, Daytona, Titusville, Cocoa, Melbourne, Fort Pierce, Stuart, and Vero Beach. She mentioned that service would interconnect Jacksonville to Miami, by way of a track connection that would be constructed in West Palm Beach; that would interconnect the FEC corridor track, which runs on the East Coast, and the Chessie System Express (CSX), which runs in the center of the State, bringing those trains together in West Palm Beach where they would continue South ultimately terminating at Miami International Airport at the Miami Intermotal Center (MIC). She stated what is on the Agenda today is a resolution of support; it is a symbolic gesture, but one that very clearly evidences the support for the projects Statewide; in fact, the resolution will be number 100; and there has been a lot of enthusiasm about the projects Statewide, cities, counties, MPO’s, TPO’s, and Statewide organizations like the Florida Association of Counties and the Florida League of Cities; and it would help evidence the strong desire there is for this project in the face of some pretty serious competition to bring these dollars in. She stated it is probably about a $120 million investment in the State; and all capital funds to construct the stations and track improvements.
Chairman Nelson stated it certainly is consistent with what the TPO has looked at; and he did not see that it mentioned what the three sites were, so I know it is not going to be Merritt Island.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to adopt Resolution supporting the Intercity Rail Component of the FEC Corridor Project (in the form of Amtrak service) linking Jacksonville with Miami, with three station sites proposed for Brevard County.
Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
The Board recessed at 10:19 a.m. and reconvened at 10:34 a.m.
TRANSMITTAL, RE: COMPREHENSIVE PLAN PACKAGE 2009-2 PLAN AMENDMENTS
Chairman Nelson inquired if staff would do a quick overview of the process the Board is entering into.
Robin Sobrini, Planning and Development Director, stated the Planning and Development Department is having the Public Hearing regarding transmittal of the second amendment cycle of 2009; there are two items included in this amendment package; one being the Evaluation Approval Report (EAR) based amendments; and these are the once every seven year updates to the Comprehensive Plan to ensure a consistency with State Statutes and any changes that have occurred locally. She mentioned each of the Chapters individually at separate meetings have worked through the product and are ready to package it up and transmit it the State; also, as part of this Amendment Package are what is called the update of the Future Land Use Map; the Board will be readopting the Future Land Use Map and incorporating scriveners errors and any changes that have been noted that needed to be addressed through the EAR based amendments; primarily the things that the Board will be seeing are errors that occurred when converting the Maps in 2000 from the USGS Maps, which were one inch equals 2000 feet, the GIS Base Map, which are parcels specific, so it gave the opportunity to examine each parcel in Brevard County and makes sure that the Comprehensive Plan Designation is correct and true for today’s standards, so she has provided the Board with a Package that highlights those changes that were made for your information; and each of the property owners were sent courtesy notices to let them know of the disposition of any changes to their property. She stated the second item in the Package is the private proposal by the Miami Corporation and Swallowtail requesting the Board’s approval for a text amendment to address its proposed project; both of these items were reviewed by the LPA yesterday and the EAR Based Amendments were approved unanimously as presented; the Miami Corporation application was also approved unanimously, subject to six stipulations; she thinks it might be most appropriate for the Board to hear the presentation by the applicants and any comments by the audience before she explains the stipulations; because then it will make more sense as to what those stipulations refer to.
Chairman Nelson suggested for the Board to first take Plan Amendment 2009-2.1; those are the cleanups of this; he knows Commissioner Anderson has a lot of the same concerns he has that will be talked about at an upcoming workshop; this has been moving forward; and it is the third time to have looked at this. He stated there are no cards specifically to this item; and inquired if there is a motion by the Board.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to approve the transmittal of Comprehensive Plan Amendment 2009-2.1, a proposal by Brevard County to transmit EAR Based Amendments, including text amendments and re-adoption of the Future Land Use Map to reflect corrections to scrivener’s errors, rightsizing, EEL’s acquisitions for conservation, and designation of County park properties to Recreation. Motion ordered and carried unanimously.
Commissioner Anderson stated the last two times this has been in front of the Board he has voted against it; he has been working with staff to get a level of comfort; and he is voting this time in favor because he has that level of comfort with what is being done.
Chairman Nelson stated now there is Item 2.2; and inquired if the applicant will approach the podium.
Glen Storch, Law Firm of Storch, Lawrence, and Harris, stated he has represented the Miami Corporation for about 20 years, which is a long piece of his life; and during the last four years they have looked at this piece of property, options, and visions that could be on this property. He stated this is a huge piece of property; it is one of the largest single ownership properties in the State; it is 94 square miles, 59,000 acres total, 47,000 in Volusia, and 11,500 in Brevard; and it is located near the interchange with State Road 5A and Interstate 95 that is currently fairly underused. He stated as a history he should point out the Miami Corporation, which is a Corporation mainly made up of the Deering family that bought this property in 1925; at the time of purchase there were several towns already on this property, because this was one of the single most important railroads in the State of Florida at that time; it connected to the Indian River with the St. Johns River; and this was where all of Commerce went up and down the coast, so this area was foreseen as being a major growth area at the time. He mentioned the towns that were on the site included MayTown, Cow Creek, and Farmton; that is where the name Farmton came from; over time things have changed, although this is continued to be used as agricultural and for civil culture; the last few years several things have happened like the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) came to them and said they should look at something called rural land stewardship where there is actually an idea created of a town; and in return donate and preserve the environmental areas that are so important to Farmton. He advised DCA was required to do that because there is a provision statute that says they are required to encourage it, so it was looked into; and at the same time it noticed a number of other things like a reduction in timber prices, and significant offers to purchase segments of the property in fragments; the expansion of the cities such as Edgewater now has several miles that border with it and I-95 came through in the last 80 years; the land uses were changed although it was bought with the idea that there could be a town or towns there; and over time, it went from a density of one-to-one, which this property for years was one to five acres in the last five years, so a trend was seen that was not particularly good for keeping this property; and at the same time they are caught in the middle of water-wars, which is an expensive proposition for everybody and something that they did not want to deal with. He stated based on all of that, they authorized Farmton to start looking at some options; one of the reasons they did that is because of the fact that if the present land use is looked at now that will allow for five-acre ranchettes with a total of 23,006 acres could potentially be there under the Comprehensive Plan; that to them did not do anything, it did not provide for any economic development opportunity, it was located near this interchange, and there was no reason to create that interchange extension for five-acre ranchettes; ranchettes developments themselves do not lead themselves to anything, they are sprawling, with no utilities; usually what happens if someone comes in and buys a five, 10, or 20-acre piece of property they clear it, fence it, put a mobile home or a small home there, and that is it; and from a concept of economic development planning, and habitat corridor that property is gone, because every time this done it stops the habitat corridor from taking place. Mr. Storch mentioned from a tax-based standpoint, it is a difficult issue, because each one of those usually are Homestead Exempt, the tax-base will be stagnant, and that is all there is to it. He advised in looking at this there were a couple of things seen like if two uses were created with one use allowing to transfer all the existing entitlements in to a mixed-use program as opposed to ranchettes that would allow for clustering, economic development, and a habitat across the southern part and north corridors that would benefit everyone; and what is really being looked at is taking the ranchettes and turning them into two uses, agricultural with a conservation easement over it, and mixed-use with a potential for economic development. He stated there is a similar proposal in the EAR Program that was just looked at, and that is to give density bonuses for clustering. He noted when this is done, and if this is done, it will allow for a residential, workplace, commercial, and industrial, all the things that will hopefully create an economic incubator that will allow Farmton to look at a northern gateway for economic development; it also will convert residential uses to employment center, although there are certain residential uses allowed right now; those trips can be converted to allow non-residential; and he anticipates that this could be potentially two million square feet of non-residential economic development. Mr. Storch mentioned one important key issue is there is a jobs ratio, and what happens with this is that no additional residential density is allowed on this site without a creation of jobs, so it will be mandated to create jobs in order to take advantage of that additional density; and this is something that is very important, because it also gives the incentive to make this happen. He stated there are also regional wildlife corridor goals; the borders really do not matter as much as the corridors themselves, so they have been working with Volusia County as well to work on a sister-plan that will be consistent with the Brevard County plan; it will provide for the regional wildlife corridors that will preserve Farmton to 40,000 acres of property; it will provide the potential for economic development, encourage a healthy tax-base as apposed to what is present under greenbelt, and it will allow for this regional plan with two counties in a number of ways. He stated in doing this, they have been working to create a consensus for that last four years to try and bring as many people together and give input on what this plan visions should be in Volusia and Brevard Counties; and it can be seen that there have been a number of meetings held, hundreds of invitations have been sent out for stakeholder meetings held in New Smyrna Beach for input, plus a Peer Review Panel that gave recommendations from County staff, and the Florida Atlantic University brought in nationwide experts to critic the plan and give recommendation to make it even better. He mentioned there have been various meetings held everywhere for the stakeholders; and their attendance and time has been appreciated for looking into this plan and giving input. He stated the goals for Brevard County were different from goals for Volusia County; one primary goal for Brevard County was to provide opportunities for economic development, to create a gateway at that interchange of I-95; right now the gateway at I-95 really is a place where people meet with All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) on weekends and trespass; that may not be the best possible use for that area; but they are looking into other things. He mentioned they have also been working to establish a regional rail trail; that has taken several years to work with Volusia and Brevard Counties; and that is now a reality as far as the corridor itself, and will continue to work with them with, because there are 13 miles of that rail trail to incorporate into design and plans. He stated right-of-ways need to be reserved; he has noticed with the Palm Bay area corridors having to be created around to move traffic; if there was a single landowner beforehand in advance that could donate that land in advance, that is what should have been done; it is hard to think 50 years into the future; and this is what is trying to be done now, and is what they are proposing. He stated in addition to working together with Volusia County, Titusville, and a number of other people to provide for a regional water supply, one of the key issues was creation of that habitat corridor, especially the habitat corridor between the Indian River Lagoon and St. Johns River; and he wants to introduce Clay Henderson, the former President of the Audubon Society, to speak about how everyone worked to create that habitat corridor.
Mr. Henderson stated he knows that for a lot of people the economic development is an exciting part of this; but for him it is the conservation opportunity that this presents. He mentioned when this first reached out to the Nature Conservancy, Audubon, and EEL’s, what was seen was this property fits right in the middle of a very potential regional wildlife corridor, which would link the Ocala National Forrest and Everglades in South Florida; and it took two years to look at this property, work with these Statewide stakeholders, and try to develop a green-print that would preserve perpetuity in this wildlife corridor. He stated altogether this would preserve an excess of 40,000 acres, over two-thirds and roughly 75 percent of this site, and 8,000 acres plus in Brevard County; this is very significant on a regional scale; the most important thing is that there is no cost to taxpayers; and that is what is unique about this. He stated if this were a conservation transaction, it would be twice the value of the Legislative Appropriations of Florida Forever; it would be more than the Legislature paid for Babcock Road a few years ago; it would be the largest conservation transaction in the history of Florida; this will be at no cost to the taxpayers; and that is found to be quite extraordinary. He mentioned the process that they have gone through was to understand land, getting out there and looking at it on an acre-by-acre basis to determine what is the best-of-the-best; it is trying to determine the habitat values of this property to reach a consensus about what were the most significant habitats to be protected; and that is what was accomplished. He noted a proposed Land Use Map was originally submitted to the Board in May; since then various models were looked at by the Peer Review Panel, Regional Planning Council, the Nature Conservancy, and the University of Florida; they gave their recommendations, and a plan was evolved to actually revise the Map to be able to actually shrink the sustainable development area, or the mixed use area, to increase the conservation area; and that is one of the things that the Planning Board heard last night and one of the conditions the Board will hear when it is presented to it later. He stated he is asking that this Map be included as part of the transmittal package; this will take the level of protection up to 80 percent when adding the conservation area in to protect the wetlands area; it is in excess of 9,000 acres; it will shrink the development footprint; and it is believed that there is sufficient lands there to be able to do the development program, which is proposed for this property. He stated he will tell the Board that this is a very good recommendation; he is sure there will be public comments on this; and he hopes there will be opportunity to respond later.
Mr. Storch stated one thing that he thought was so important is the essential regional rail trail, because he has worked closely with County staff, and this area will now have buffers that were donated along that rail trail that will help make this a reality. He mentioned it will also allow to design everything around the rail trail, and the corridors that will be another condition of approval; and the road corridors will be a condition of approval. He stated something that is interesting is that this can be used as an economic incubator; but if it is looked at from a tax standpoint, it is even better, because right now this area is listed as agriculture; after this is done the green areas on the map will still be agricultural so the taxes will be about the same on that area; but when the mixed-use area is developed, the tax base will increase exponentially over what was before; so although there is a trade off, they are protecting certain areas; and there will be no taxes for those areas or the same as current. He stated down-the-road, because of the way it is planned, the County will get far more taxes and more importantly a much better product with more job production; it is anticipated that there could be as much as 1,500 to 2,000 jobs on this site alone; and there is a provision in there that if in the event an important new employer comes in, then there are other options with more flexibility as well. He noted it is meeting a very high standard of sustainability with energy and water conservation; all of the things that are there now plus added provisions were in the event the technology changes, they will also change as far as those stands. He stated some of the things that were asked of Farmton to address were traffic by reserving the right-of-ways; that has been agreed upon and done; I-95 improvements that is critical; Farmton has already been acquiring land to connect I-95 to that area; utilities plan for utilities, but on top of that, they have worked out a joint-venture with Titusville that will allow Farmton to provide water to Titusville as part of its joint-venture, in any manor that will allow for perpetual water as opposed to what Titusville’s previous plan was, which was a very small area; this will allow for the entire area to work as partners; conservation easements will be provided to remove the development rights in the agricultural areas; but again, all those development rights will go into the mixed-use areas, so the tax base will not be affected; fiscal neutrality as he knows it is how difficult it is to be a government these days; anything that is caused by what Farmton does on this site will be paid for by Farmton; especially anything internal; the 5A extension will be paid for by Farmton; and Farmton will also pay for a proportional share for anything outside Farmton that they are impacting. He stated this is such a good thing for everybody, because of what Brevard County has to offer with the underutilized interchange at I-95 and 5A that has never really had its potential dealt with; a very educated and trained workforce in Brevard County that should be the envy of every place in this State; it is a way of attracting people to this area as a potential to attracting people to a sustainable community; and a new town, in essence, that will be a reason for people to want to come to this area. He mentioned the water resources that are necessary; there will be a single landowner; and that is a huge point. Mr. Storch stated he wants to explain a story of something that happened a few years ago; the Volusia County Council Chairman called him one evening and said, “we have the potential to bring scripts to the area of Southeast Volusia and Northwest Brevard, is there any chance that 2,000 acres could be donated?” He stated he called the President of Farmton and he authorized in one day that, they will donate the 2,000 acres; it has made a huge difference; but the problem was that because of the fact the Comprehensive Plan was for Agriculture and those types of uses it would have taken a year to then make the changes to the land uses that would allow for something to happen; they did not have a year of time; they ended up going to the West Palm Beach area to another planned community of Avachoa, and that is where they are right now with over 600 very high trained tech jobs there, plus all of the spin-offs of a company called Biotech; and that is the sort of thing the he anticipates this property to be used for. He stated if there is an incubator site like thing with this Northern Gateway, it would be better for attracting business and it will be the gateway along the north of Brevard County; and more importantly, it will allow for less government to lay, because of this flexibility that is being built in, for providing that incentive for economic development. He mentioned in Farmton’s way of thinking, there are two choices right now; the choice of sprawl, which is the lot after lot of ranchettes as currently had, or a potential for economic development, sustainability, and preservation; and that is what Farmton is trying to pull together. He stated there was a very interesting discussion last night with a lot of good questions from the Local Planning Agency (LPA); it was thoroughly enjoyed with several hours of discussion and unanimous recommendations for approval based on several additional stipulations; and if staff would like to discuss this or he can do whatever is preferred. He noted on stipulation was that the map changed to reflect Dr. Hilsenbeck’s concern regarding the corridors; the map has been changed; two, being the conservation easement be placed on the property at the effective date of the Comprehensive Plan that has been agreed upon, and that the Comprehensive Plan conservation easement would be given to several entities; not just Brevard County, but also to perhaps a Statewide organization such as the Audubon Society, to ensure that this is perpetual and that has been agreed upon; and third, the existing agriculture that is allowed on this site is not increased in intensity, because right now there is silver culture and cattle; Farmton will work on a list of agriculture that would no be allowed to make sure that does not increase in intensity; and the word may is replaced with shall for the creation of a community stewardship organization to help manage this conservation area; and that is a stewardship organization that will also work in the Volusia County side of the conservation areas; plus the landowner shall reserve that right-of-way corridor that is so important for that north/south spin road, that will ultimately connect to State Road 442, that will be an alternate I-95 eventually. Mr. Storch stated this is a 50 year plan with a vision; there are no development plans right now; but right now as a result of all the activity done, they are looking at potentially $22 million worth of things going out as a result of that well field; and the pipeline is going to go in, so that is how Farmton sees this project. He stated it is being seen as a piece-by-piece working together; and he hopes to continue working together with the Board on these processes.
Commissioner Fisher stated he met with Mr. Storch and Mr. Henderson a lot in the last year that he has been in office; and he is very impressed with how they have been so accommodating to his office, but also the citizens. He mentioned he had some concerns with Farmton working out something with Titusville and the well fields in the Joint Venture Agreement; and they have stepped up to the plate and done it. He stated he had some concerns with the right-of-way easements for 5A; he knows at some point in time utilities and road right-of-ways will be important to the County; and Farmton agreed to do that on their dime. He noted he met with Mr. Storch and Mr. Henderson later after thinking about the St. John Heritage Parkway and how the County has to acquire right-of-way; talked about doing that if the County would consider donating and putting all of the right-of-ways in there right now; and made sure that that was on Farmton’s dime too, which was agreed upon to do. He stated there was a concern that is not agreed upon yet, but is being entertained, because there is a serious problem with ATV riders in Brevard County having a place to ride; and Farmton is entertaining it and he is not holding them to that, but hopes that there is something that can be done for the ATV riders. He mentioned he does not know if a price tag can be put on the decisions Farmton is making; but if he had to guess, and knowing what some of those road right-of-ways, building roads, and 5A, it is millions and millions and millions of dollars; he takes his hat off to Mr. Storch and Mr. Henderson for trying to accommodate as many people as they can; and he knows he had two groups, Laurilee Thompson with Dixie Crossroads and the East Mims community, receiving information. Mr. Storch mentioned it is not just accommodation, it is really good planning; and by working together, there will be more accomplishments. Commissioner Fisher stated if the Board can think about the Melbourne and West Melbourne water fights; this issue is possibly Volusia County sending water south; and it will be in their best interest, because Brevard County might be doing some kind of joint agreement with them on utilities; he does not want Brevard County to get into a Melbourne and West Melbourne fight about water costs; and they agreed to make sure that Brevard County citizens are not paying anymore than Volusia County does for water. He stated as these communities get developed down-the-road, he knows that in a normal DRI process there is land set aside for parks and community centers; and he inquired if that is being done here correctly. Mr. Storch responded absolutely because that is part of good planning; and there will be a number of additional chances to look at everything Farmton does, because they will be working on this for literally decades to come.
Commissioner Infantini stated she met with Mr. Storch and Mr. Henderon, not as many times as Commissioner Fisher has, but was able to meet with them and go over the package; she thinks they have done an excellent job trying to work together with the community to avoid future problems with development of the intersection at 5A, utilities, and is glad to hear that they are entertaining the idea for the four-wheel park, because considering it is already being heavily used for it, that it does not seem like a far stretch if they were somehow able to work that in, because there are so many people in the community that are four-wheelers that go there all the time. Mr. Storch mentioned it is the same in Volusia County; people buy ATV’s and they have no place to ride, because there is no place to do it; one of the things that they are doing in Volusia County is creating a park at one of the speedways; and they are talking to the owner there about the idea. Commissioner Infantini mentioned that she has seen how Brooksville really has expanded with economic development with the folks that really love going out four-wheeling. Mr. Storch noted that there is more money going into ATV’s and dirt bikes than there are into hunting; and there needs to be a provided way for these people to find some use legally.
Commissioner Bolin stated she believes very strongly in balance, and applauds Mr. Storch for the balance being done between the businesses, conservation, and residential environments; her one concern is with the adjustments of the mixed-use area, that all of the businesses that want to come into the area and establish themselves are going to be on the Brevard County south line instead of Volusia County. Mr. Storch responded no, there is still some workplace area in Volusia County; it straddles the line, but all of the Volusia and Brevard County area, which at one point had villages and hamlets as part of it, all of that now is mixed-use; and in essence, all of that is now economic development. Commissioner Bolin mentioned it is going to look very attractive when a company comes in and looks at his development because Brevard County is very friendly to business; and then they look at Volusia County to decide what they want to do as far as the environment.
Chairman Nelson stated he wrote down five items that were discussed; but he heard Robin Sobrino, Planning and Development Director, only mention six. Ms. Sobrino advised she will inform the Board again; the Farmton mixed-area will be on the map as being adjusted to reflect the recommendations for Dr. Hilsenbeck of the Nature Conservancy; the conservation easement would be put in place at the time of the effective date of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment; the holders of the easement include Brevard County and at least one Statewide conservation organization such as Audubon Society; the proposed form of the easement will be presented by the applicant and included in the transmittal package; the easement that allows existing out agriculture, such as civil culture and cattle to continue, but to prohibit the additional and more intensive types of agriculture; specific to Policy 17.6, which is the replacement of a may to a shall for the establishment of a community stewardship organization to support the conservation management plan; to change a reservation of right-of-way to a donation of right-of-way for the 5A network; and water rates to ensure that they are consistent between Brevard and Volusia Counties.
Mr. Storch stated he would like to clarify that is a water rate, in the event there is a single utility, which is the plan now.
Mr. Henderson mentioned another clarification is that they ask Dr. Hilsenbeck’s letter be part of the transmittal; but the map has been adjusted to reflect his recommendations on the map.
David Myers, Miami Tract Hunt Club Vice President, stated he represents 275 individuals in the Club; between vehicles, guns, boats, and various hunting and camping equipment there is several million dollars of revenue in the economy; and have a great interest in the hunting club, along with the future use of the property. He mentioned he personally has 40 years of use on the property; four generations have hunted on this property; and he would like to see it continue as long as possible, as it is realized this is the planning stage of the property. He stated with his 50 years in Brevard County and being involved in land and housing development for the last 25 years, he has worked for U.S. Fish and Wildlife in areas of environmental and biological programs on the Space Center, he has witnessed the impact of poor planning, and that is why he is to support this new green plan that is for this proposed property. He stated under this plan there is more than 70 percent of the property that will be for recreational use and minimal impact on the environmental and the wildlife; and he is here today to say Miami Tract will support this plan, and it is one of the best he has seen.
Charles Lee, Advocacy of Audubon of Florida Director, stated he has been with Audubon for 37 years; he will tell the Board what Audubon has tried to achieve as the mainstay of the activities to move large ecosystems-sized tracts of land from the uncertainties of what might happen to them in the future path of development into conservation. He stated recently he has had the privilege of going before the Governor and the Cabinet of State, to advocate spending $70 million to acquire 1,500 acres of land in Orange and Lake Counties; know as the Neighborhood Lakes Property that is part of the Wekiva connector; and also, to advocate an excess of $50 million for the acquisition of around 4,000 acres in Orange County known as the Joshua Keep Creek Tract. He mentioned last year Audubon was in front of the Cabinet to advocate $30 million spent to acquire a little over 300 acres in Lake County, which was a tract known as the Pine Plantation. He noted another example is in recent years working on a complex set of development tradeoff; but none the less, with a very large public subsidy well in excess of $300 million; and accomplishing the conservation of the majority of the Babcock Branch Tract on the Southwest Coast of the State. He mentioned to establishing a contrast where approximately 40,000 acres coming from ultimate uncertainty into assured conservation; in the care of Brevard County, 80 percent of the company’s holdings are coming immediately into a binding conservation easement; and without any public dollars being spent to accomplish that. He stated he thinks that that indicates the very essence of the importance of this proposal to the public for conservation in this area; it is not like the 59,000 acres of the Miami Corporation are without entitlements; it is very clear the pattern of entitlements, which exist on this property, is the typical layout of large lots seen in most of the agriculturally zoned land in Florida; and if that were to become the ultimate development pattern, and it really is a sort of default situation, that is what it will be if nothing is done. He mentioned extirpate the ecosystem vale of this tract, and essentially erase its value as a conservation enterprise; Miami Corporation, through its history on this property, has been an excellent conservation steward of the land; their continuing with that tradition with the plan that is being presented to the Board; this is just the very first step in a long set of approvals; transmitting to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA); the next step will be after the work report comes from the DCA, it will come back to the Board; there will be a great deal of opportunity for further discussion on this plan; and moving it forward today is a very important act that Audubon encourages the Board to follow and approve. He mentioned this is exactly what Audubon likes to see with large land holdings in Florida; and they are very fortunate that the Miami Corporation is in viewed with a conservation philosophy that allows it to be moved forward here.
Jason Steele stated he is here today in his capacity as a businessman and not as his capacity as Chairman of the Republican Party; and he would like that to be understood. He stated he came today because he thinks that he has never in his entire life seen a project that deserves to be moved forward as quickly as possible. He stated he has visited this property many times since 1972 when his brother Val was County Commissioner here; he has hunted, fished, and loved it; and when he saw that is was going to be developed, he got extremely excited, because he saw for the first time a company that is taking pride in pristine conservation, economic balance, and transfer of density rights that will offset any potential tax losses that might come to the County. He mentioned he has looked at the Farmton and the players that are involved in the planning process; and they have picked people like Joel Ivey, Celebration, and Lassiter, the people that are the best in the State of Florida. He stated yesterday he attended the Local Planning Association (LPA) meeting there were some concerns with water; being a former Legislator and being involved with growth management, concurrency, DCA, and all of the other stops that will have to be made along the line, this will be dealt with a fine tooth comb; and if there are problems that come up he thinks this Commission will have an opportunity for many things. He stated he is very excited about this and he does not normally get involved in a capacity to testify at a zoning or potential zoning hearing; but for the first time, he is proud to be present today as a Brevard County resident to tell the Board that this project needs to move forward as quickly as possible.
Vince Lamb stated he is representing the Sierra Club Executive Committee that approved a three-part recommendation to the LPA and the County Commission; and the first part of the Sierra Clubs recommendation is that the County should not be in a rush to vote on this amendment, it should understand the amendment, and get its questions answered before it votes. He stated it is especially important in light of staff comments on the matter with water, wetlands, and flood plains; Brevard County Utility Services Director Richard Martens provided a summary of his comments on water; and he would like to bring three of his points to the Board’s attention. He read aloud, the Farmton project is outside the County’s future water and sewer service area; the County’s North Brevard water systems does not have the capacity to serve the Farmton project; the Farmton local plan does not discuss the presence of a sufficient water supply to meet the needs of the project; and he understand that some negotiations have occurred with the City of Titusville recently, but that has not been settled yet. He mentioned on September 3rd, the staff comments by Ernest Brown, Natural Resources Director, were that the revised policies were not necessarily to be in conflict with the Comprehensive Plan if the development could be completed with minimal wetland and flood plain impacts; the problem is that the Farmton mixed-use area appears to be about 30 percent wetlands and about 30 percent flood plain; and requested the Board please get the questions answered on the wetlands and flood plain. He stated the Sierra Club recommends that the Board take its time and get its questions answered before approving this amendment.
Doug Sphar stated he is representing the Sierra Club, Turtle Coast Group; the Farmton properties served an extremely important ecological connector between public-owned conservation properties in Central Florida, in a larger scale between North and South Florida. He mentioned they now know of a bootlegging ATV operation at the State Road 5A exit, but what the Sierra Club is especially concerned about is a large portion of Farmton that will be placed into a conservation easement and the sensitive corridors that lie in that easement. Mr. Sphar stated this past weekend a team of Brevard environmentalists met with Farmton representatives; they mentioned that a County Commissioner had requested Farmton explore accommodating ATV’s with a tentative commitment to look into that; and what needs to be considered is where that ATV area might be. He stated in recent years, there has been an explosive increase in the popularity of motorized Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) such as ATV’s, swamp buggies, and other vehicles not licensed for highway operation; and OHV operations have been restricted in a number of Florida counties and municipalities with the result that OHV operations are increasingly focused on those areas that are less restricted in the Farmton area. He mentioned the word was spread on OHV blogs and websites that Bull Creek was a place to race ATV’s at high speed; the Water Management District has people there clocking OHV’s going over 75 miles per hour and there has been great damage to that resource, with a State survey showing 1,125 ATV riders in a three month period; and the State has since cracked down on OHV operations there. He advised that unrestricted OHV operations in the conservation easement could result in habitat destruction fragmentation, erosion compactional soil, stripping and crushing of vegetation, and mainly the OHV fuel being released into the environment, which can pollute the streams and soils. He stated the Sierra Club proposes that an additional section be added to the Comprehensive Plan Policy 17.2 or 17.6, that says recreational operation of motorized off-road vehicles in Farmton lands placed under conservation easement shall be prohibited except for the operation of motorized recreational ATV associated with hunting under an improved hunting lease and operating on established service roads and fire brakes; this recognizes the act of and continuing hunting lease on farms and, the fact that there is some low level of ATV use associated with that activity; and the hunters do not like for the game to be interrupted during hunting season, as was the problem at Bull Creek. He noted there is an opportunity to fine tune the language before adopting; especially with regards to ecotourism operation involving OHV’s; and the Sierra Club looks forward to working with staff and others with the language.
Mary Sphar stated she is representing the Sierra Club today and she has recommendations to present to the Board; and it has to do with the maps. She mentioned the Sierra Club wants to incorporate recommendations to improve the design configuration to be documented in a letter that was sent yesterday afternoon to the County by Dr. Hilsenbeck, who is one of the States most respected ecological experts; that is what is sincerely intended by Laurilee Thompson, who made the motion to transmit with conditions at the LPA meeting; and she is a very respected environmentalist and businesswoman who has done a lot of wonderful things for Brevard County. She mentioned that Ms. Thompson had been assured by Farmton Attorney Henderson in an email dated Saturday, September 12th, stating they agreed that the recommendations can be included in the motion to transmit, so they are part of the transmittal package, but there is a problem with the motion containing wording written by the applicants Attorneys, which is not unusual; but in case the Board is considering a motion that says transmit with the recommendation from the LPA with conditions that the Farmton mixed-use area depicted on the Future Land Use Map should be adjusted to exclude the areas recommended by the scientific peer review as set forth in the letter from Dr. Hilsenbeck, as depicted on the revised map prepared by the applicant. She inquired when the Board thinks the map prepared by the applicant incorporated the changes recommended by Dr. Hilsenbeck; she is convinced that the map only contains a little bit of the map changes recommended by Dr. Hilsenbeck; and she would like the Board to remember the applicant drew the map. She mentioned if the Board is planning on transmitting, she would like for it not to say recommended by LPA, or make the same motion that Ms. Thompson naively made; to make the motion Ms. Thompson intended to make right before the vote she said “everything that Dr. Hilsenbeck recommended in his letter will be preserved”; and she did not realize the letter and map did not match. Ms. Sphar would really just like for the wording that is depicted on the revised map prepared by the applicant; and the Sierra Club is asking that the recommendations of Dr. Hilsenbeck stated in the letter be reflected in the map sent with the transmittal if approved.
Laurilee Thompson stated there is an opportunity to preserve 9,000 acres of conservation land in North Brevard County to provide new jobs, new businesses, creation enhancement of a rail trail that the entire State of Florida can enjoy, a road right-of-way that the County will not have to spend a dime on, and the list goes on and on; obviously it is much more preferred to have that type of development versus 23,000 five-acre ranchettes, new wells, new septic tanks, and no economic development in the North end of the County other than whatever it takes to haul manufactured homes onto the five-acre lots that will be cleared and contribute to the complete obliteration of any connectivity of both north, south, east, and west across the north end of the County; and she knows it is an unusual public spectacle for the conservationist to be up here disagreeing with each; but there is concurrency requirements for water, schools, roads, etcetera that is all written into comp plans and reviewed by DCA, there is habitat protection standards, and the little discrepancy on the map language; and she hopes that will not be the thing that keeps the Board from allowing this to be transmitted to Tallahassee today. She stated there is a business corporation that has been in a process for four years trying to get this done; in that period of time they have watched the market decline, and she is sure they are stepping back and wondering why they are still doing this; and now there is the conservation community disagreeing over where boundaries lines are going to be drawn. She stated the boundary lines can be established in further ground truthing; Dr. Hilsenbeck and the State Art Committee are coming to Brevard County next week about the disputes over boundaries that can be worked out between the conservationist and the landowners, and that can be done at a later date; what is available here today is a need to go forward with this transmittal, because of hometown democracy, it is like fear of the unknown; there is no idea what is going to happen in the November election of 2010, when hometown democracy is voted on; and she does know there is a log jam of the Comprehensive Plan amendments that are headed for Tallahassee, because of this fear of the unknown. She stated the Board has the opportunity today to go ahead and transmit; things can be worked out after the transmittal, because this process needs to be started; it is a good project for Brevard County and the conservation community; she hopes that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”; and right now there are 9,000 acres of conservation land in the north end of the County, an economic business development center, that is proposed to be mostly in Brevard County with the opportunity to bring in jobs. She stated she hopes the Board has the wisdom to go ahead and go forward with transmittal.
Commissioner Fisher stated thanks to Ms. Thompson, and he is very concerned that there was a fight among the group. Ms. Thompson advised there is no fight. Commissioner Fisher commented that his take on this is that Farmton has been wonderful; they have given a lot to this project, and at times people can get greedy; and he sees the Sierra Club getting greedy. Ms. Thompson stated it is not greedy; and they are just doing their job of trying to make sure that that is the best habitat. Commissioner Fisher stated it is greedy to him, because there is 11,000 acres that could be developed and Farmton gives 9,000 of the acres away to the community; that is a pretty good gift; but when it is asked for 9,500 acres, it is wrong; he wants to talk about the ATV’s, because there is a serious problem with ATV riders; there is an ordinance coming up that may be approved, that is going to curtail some of the problems with ATV’s. Commissioner Fisher stated there is no place for the ATV riders to ride; every time he tries to throw out an option to ride on EEL’s properties, it gets shot down, such as Hunters Brook; as things are developed, and there is a lot of government property, there is no place for the ATV riders to ride; it is very selfish to think that now it is wanted to stop the ATV’s out of this huge tract, if it is a possibility; he mentioned he will not be supporting this Comprehensive Plan Amendment that is being recommended by the Sierra Club; and he hopes a solution is found by Mr. Storch for the ATV riders. Ms. Thompson stated actually she thinks it is just an addition to a section. Commissioner Fisher stated he does not even want it on the thing. Ms. Thompson advised with the ATV’s, Commissioner Fisher is 100 percent correct; this is a segment of the population that is basically being ignored and there are families that have been riding it for generations and it is a family activity; there needs to be a place provided for them to ride and conservation lands are not the answer; she thinks Mr. Storch will step up and assure the Board that ATV use will be prohibited in the conservation area other than for hunting season and forestry fire lines; but she believes it is in the best interest of the Miami Corporation to find another area for the ATV’s to use other than 5A, which is where they are riding right now; it may not even take place on Miami Corporation land; and it could be mitigated offsite somewhere on a cow pasture that has already been disturbed to make a place for the ATV’s.
Commissioner Infantini stated she wants to address the ATV use; it is now the new family activity and she would rather find a legalized space so they would not be intruding on all the areas that are so pristine in conservation areas; if they are given a legalized opportunity to go someplace, they will go there rather than risk getting into trouble with the law; she is very happy the opportunity is being considered to expand this; and this is a huge opportunity for economic development, because they do bring dollars, fun, family, and friends.
Maureen Rupe stated she wants to make it absolutely clear to the Board that she is representing the Partnership For a Sustainable Future, and that there are no environmental groups that are opposing this plan, which there could not be, because it has only been know about for two weeks; and now lies the problem, that is the most disappointing aspect of this plan. She mentioned in Brevard County there have been no public meetings, workshops, stakeholders meetings, or meetings with Volusia County, that will be the immediate neighbors. She stated yesterday she received notice from the Mims Community Group, saying they are having Farmton there tonight to tell them of this plan, which is the first time they will have heard of the plan that is going to transmit today; once it does it cuts out the local government aspects of it for the Groups and now are dealing with the State, which has been done before, but it not as good; and she has heard many times of this Board and the Commissioners at the Planning and Zoning meetings sending applicants back to meet with the affected parties when there have been meetings with them; and they are not fully aware of what is going on. She noted there has not been enough involvement with this at all, which is probably making the discrepancies that could have been worked out, had the Board been involved a year ago; and she thinks there has been a considerable amount of time, because all of the meetings have been in Volusia County; and that is not right Commissioners.
Chairman Nelson inquired if any of the Board members have any questions for the applicant.
Commissioner Anderson inquired if any of the State level environmental groups take a position on this project. Mr. Storch responded no, they have tried to include so many people in this process; and he apologizes for not personally inviting Ms. Rupe, Mr. Sphar, and Ms. Sphar; and has tried to invite as many people possible and has sent out hundreds of invitations, and has asked many individuals who should they invite part of this process; Ms. Thompson was one of those people that participated in the stakeholders meetings; and he feels Farmton has done their best. Commissioner Anderson stated everybody knows that he is a big property rights guy and it is hard at times, because there are irresponsible landowners that make things harder to defend from time-to-time; but he stands on principles and tries to defend those people, because sometimes the ignorance of good conservation; and this is probably the first time since he has been a City Council Member and not a County Commissioner that he has seen landowners, conservationists, and even some property rights that people have informed him that this a good plan for all to come together on one project. He commended Farmton for doing such a great job with a long process to go with many, many years ahead; and he will support transmittal today.
Chairman Nelson inquired if Scott Knox, County Attorney, knows if this precludes the County from making any changes after receiving the comments from DCA; and what is the range of options that the Board has for working with the applicant and the community on the projects.
Attorney Knox responded the transmittal process involves sending it to DCA, they in turn send it out to different agencies for review; the review agencies all give the Board reports on what they think about this project; that comes backs to the Board in the form of an Objections, Recommendations, and Comments (ORC) Report from DCA where they tell the Board the different comments the agencies had; and obviously that is intended to allow time to take further action if needed with comments that may be valid to help make changes accordingly. He stated the process gets reopened again; there is an adoption hearing that is held further down-the-road; and so this whole thing will be heard again.
Chiarman Nelson inquired if there is anything that would preclude the Board from having a workshop on this issue after receiving those comments. Attorney Knox responded no, nothing stops that from happening. Chairman Nelson stated he talked to Dr. Hilsenbeck about Volusia County’s portion where a reference is made to the DRI process; he thinks the commitment was made that they would follow the DRI process and should that process, in effect disappear; and there was some wording included in the Volusia County one that would address that. Mr. Storch stated they put elements in of what the DRI process is, so that as it was looked at on a regional basis that it is consistent. Chairman Nelson inquired if staff understood that. Robin Sobrino, Planning and Development Director, responded yes, it is understood. Chairman Nelson stated to some extent he thinks the applicant is getting all the blame and he is not sure that the blame for notification does not run throughout all of the organizations, because there are Statewide organizations that were working through this process; as a County working on the process and clearly a better job could have been with notifying and suggesting that there will be a Brevard County stakeholder meeting; and in retrospect it is easy to do that. He stated it is clear to him that it is going to pass and the key thing is, there is still an option of making changes; he would suggest as part of the motion there be a workshop held when the comments come back, to give the community an opportunity to reflect on the DCA comments and anything else that may have been discusses; and that wording be added to what is consistent with the DRI in Volusia County.
Motion by Commissioner Infantini, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to approve transmittal of Comprehensive Plan Amendment 2009 – 2.2, a proposal initiated by Miami Corporation and Swallowtail LLC, to amend the Part XI, the Future Land Use Element, creating policies related to the Farmton Sustainable Development Area, to change the Future Land Use Map series designation from Agriculture to Farmton Mixed Use for approximately 3,406 acres adjacent to the northern and western boundaries of Brevard County, west of U.S. Highway 1, and north of Gandy Road, with approximately 1,500 feet lying south of Gandy road, pursuant to the recommendations of the Local Planning Agency (LPA), and to include the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) wording included by the applicant for their Volusia County application; and approved scheduling a workshop at a later date following the County’s receipt of the DCA ORC (Objections, Recommendations, and Comments) Report prior to the adoption public hearing. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 62, ARTICLE VIII, DIVISION 2,
ENTITLED LANDSCAPING, LAND CLEARING, AND TREE PROTECTION
Chairman Nelson called for the public hearing to consider an ordinance Amending Chapter 62, Article VIII, Division 2, Entitled Landscaping, Land Clearing, and Tree Protection; he stated there are seven speaker cards in reference to this item; and inquired if Ernest Brown, Natural Resources Management Director, could give a synopsis of where the County is in terms of this process relating to the landscaping, land clearing, and tree protection ordinance.
Ernest Brown, Natural Resources Management Director, stated what is here before the Board today is the response to a very long process that the Board of County Commissioners began in May 2008, for a revision process specifically of the landscaping, land clearing, and tree protection Code. He mention a little prior history to that in 2004, the Board of County Commissioners was at a little impasse as it relates to the landscaping and land clearing Codes, because there were two different Codes at the time, which required a 25 percent preservation criteria onsite; if that was not there, whatever was onsite had to be preserved; and that was creating a significant impediment of development within Brevard County. He advised there was a task force commissioned in 2005 to evaluate a number of items, but to create some flexibility in that 2004 Code, that would allow development to continue forward but still manage the canopy preservation criteria in such a manor that was acceptable to the Board. He stated in 2006 this task force brought back a Comprehensive Combined Ordinance, there were two Ordinances as mentioned before a Landscaping Ordinance and a Land Clearing and Tree Protection Ordinance; those two Ordinances were combined into one and it provided flexibility for the business community to move forward and not be stuck with the scenario of 25 percent or no build; and the 2006 Ordinance that was presented to the Board and adopted created a suite of options that the business community could mitigate through planting trees or through a cash option into an environmental trust fund; to allow for development to continue and still address the canopy issues. He stated in 2006 when the Board passed that revised Ordinance it was recognized that there would need to be a evaluation period of the implementation of that Ordinance and that modifications would be required, because it was a significant change from the 2000 Ordinance, which everybody agreed the criteria in the 2004 Ordinance was untenable for the community. He mention in 2008 the Board had looked at the implementation of the Ordinance, there were several public forums to get feedback needed to be modified in the 2006 Ordinance, which is being called the current Ordinance; and 18 items were identified by the Board in 2008 and they said that the task force will be reconvened with the same group that worked on this in 2005 to look at the 18 items that the Board wanted addressed; and in the packet before the Board today, it will find the 2008 Agenda Item, which the Board clearly directed staff and the Landscaping and Land Clearing Task Force to address those 18 items. Mr. Brown mentioned the task force reformed and went through 15 meetings in a little over a years time frame, which was a monumental task for them; he believes in his professional opinion met-the-mark to what the Board directed them to address as related to these 18 points; they came to consensus on those 18 points and this product that is coming back to the Board today served those revisions up to the Board, contrary to what the Florida TODAY stated; this is actually a lessening of the current Code; he knows that the information presented in Florida TODAY inferED that there are new, more stringent Codes coming out for Brevard County, which is not accurate; and this is a lessening of the current Code, it is a less restrictive Code than what is currently on the books now. He mentioned he wanted to make sure that was clear to the public that may have read the front page article, as it relates to the ordinance; and it is not a new ordinance that is creating more restrictions, it is an amendment to an existing ordinance that is lessoning certain restrictions as directed by the Board in 2008.
Chairman Nelson stated when talking about lessening, he thinks it is in some cases clarification, because some things overlapped; the one that got him was the shrubs; and inquired where would someone put 400 shrubs, which was in there and they are just cleaning it up.
Commissioner Anderson stated the way he understands the working group is they came to a consensus; and there was no formal motion, because there was still some items of contention that cannot be agreed upon. Mr. Brown responded there are minority reports that a lot of concessions were made through this process; there were some areas such as the criteria to not have canopy preservation at all, and was subject of much concern amongst the group; but that was not something that the Board at the time to address the canopy preservation issue. He stated in working within the confines that the Board had structured with some recognizing that the option of throwing out the entire Code or going to absolute preservation were not options for discussion, it was work within the confines of the 18 points that the Board had directed and came up with the best solution possible, recognizing that the Board expected a delivery of a revised ordinance. He stated he would say it was a consensus, it was not a vote; but there were minority reports on that. Commissioner Anderson stated in summary, it was the working group staying within the confines of the Board’s desires, which three of the Commissioners were not there. Mr. Brown responded absolutely, that is correct.
Bruce Moia, President of MBV Engineering, Inc. stated he wants to clarify one thing that Mr. Brown mentioned, the Code that is currently in place was adopted; there was significant objections and because of those objections the Board had it revisited with a new task force being formed; but basically the Code passed because there were bonding issues and other projects that were being upheld; in order to move forward, the Code was passed, and the new task force was convened; he was a member on that task force and maybe one of the only members that made 100 percent attendance; and he feels this is a very important issue that affects him everyday. He stated this is what he does; he designs developments in Brevard County and for every governing agency in Brevard County; he submitted a memo presenting some of the issues that he had with the Code for adoption; the first issue is he suggests to the Board to adopt something today because what the task force put together is better and there are some simple issues that needs to be addressed, as the Board decides today, such as, to eliminate the requirement for landscaping bond, which he thinks is number one and very important; it is the only post construction bond for private improvements that are privately maintained in the development process; and he knows of no other agency in Brevard County that requires it, and he does not see why it is necessary. He stated all developments in Brevard County fund a requirement sidewalk; if the right-of-way cannot accommodate that sidewalk it will have to be on the property and an easement will have to be provided to the County for maintenance, or to whatever entity maintains the road way, because the developer gets penalized for that because he cannot encroach in that 15 foot buffer, and still has to provide 15 feet even if the sidewalk has to be put on the property. He believes that the developer should get the benefit if the right-of-way cannot accommodate this sidewalk, which it should, but a lot of times it cannot because the road way is too close to the property line, at no fault of the property owner, and the developer should be able to put the right-of-way in the landscape buffer and not be panelized.
Chairman Nelson inquired if that impacts any of his current projects. Mr. Moia responded it mostly impacts smaller projects, but he has not gotten that far yet, because he was put on complete hold. He stated those issues mentioned are very minor issue and some of the major issues are the proposed code is very complicated and what little staff is left has not disagreed with that because it is very complicated when a developer comes in and wants to know if they can put the building on a certain site; it is not a yes or no answer, it takes a lot of work, discussion, resource, and is very uncomfortable for the developer to not be able to know if they can come and develop on the site; and it makes the developer uncomfortable with coming to Brevard County to develop, because there is so much uncertainty with finding out how many trees are on the site, how big are the trees, how many trees need to be put on the site, and many other things, as well if a developer wanting to actually build as the developer builds all over the State. He stated he tells the developer if they pay him some money, he can do the research, present it to the County at a meeting to find out, and he thinks that makes things very difficult; one thing the Board may want to consider is using a Code that is already in the municipalities within this County; and he does not think there is any city that he works in where there would be doubt to tell someone yes or no. He stated one of the options that he seen proposed was to accept a Code that all the other cities are using, which is typically something like the buffers, interior landscape requirements, and this is how many trees have to be planted, which is simple; and the current plan is not that simple. He mentioned the current Code requires that if a tree is preserved there has to be a conservation easement over that tree, so if that is done all over a site there could be conservation easements basically scattered all over the site and that is something that he has never seen before; Brevard County is the only County that requires that; it encumbers the property forever; and this is something that the task force tried to get an alternate for, that has not held up legally and have agreed that conservation language needed to be fixed. He stated what is leftover in the Code that makes things difficult, is the preservation of the trees canopy and then mitigation of those tree of the ones that have to be taken out; basically if 20 percent of the trees were saved for a commercial property, now for all the other trees that need to be taken out there has to be 150 percent planted back; and after losing 20 percent of the property to the tree canopy, putting another 20 percent in Storm Water Management, and the having to find room for all the other trees that have to be planted back, so to plant six, four inch trees would probably take up half of this room, and it makes it extremely difficult. He mentioned there needs to be work done on that, whether the Board chooses to reduce the mitigation or eliminate it completely, and there are two separate parts to it, such as protected and specimen trees; protected trees are at 150 percent and specimen trees are at 200 percent, because they are 24 inches and above; it makes it extremely difficult and expensive; and usually there has to be more property if it is available. Mr. Moia stated if tree preservation and mitigation would go away, the requirements due in Alternate Landscape Enhancement Plan (ALEP) would go away too, because there can be two different plans in Brevard County, which is also different from any other municipally.
Chairman Nelson noted that Mr. Moia would like to see something passed today with some minor modifications; those modifications were on the bonding, conservation easement, and sidewalk encroachment; but he is not currently aware of the sidewalk problem. Mr. Moia explained he has seen it in the past.
Commissioner Fisher stated Mr. Brown said this was easier and he was led to believe yesterday that it is easer; inquired how is conservation easement around every tree on a piece of property; and by looking at a title and survey of a piece of property, that would mean that it would never get developed if they wanted to make improvements to their building or expand, because there is now an easement in the middle of the property that says a tree has to be there; and he wants to understand that mindset. Mr. Brown stated Option 2 on the Agenda Report is to approve this and remove the conservation easement requirement in addition to a few other different things, so it was recognized that that was a concern because the working group had proposed a affidavit of conservation as an option, they did not recommend removing the conservation easement criteria at that time, so because the affidavit of conservation was being proposed, at the time the working group was fine with that; and that did not pass legally as a implementable tool, so that was removed and now are back to this conservation easement, hence the reason there is Option 2, with recognizing staff has no implementation objection to the removal of that. He mentioned it does become an enforcement issue because right now when a person puts in a conservation easement it becomes a title issue, if that is removed and are required to preserve; it will operate as a Code Enforcement issue. He stated if the Board chooses Option 2 today, as modified, that would remove the conservation easement requirement that is currently in the plan. Commissioner Fisher inquired about the landscaping bond and the sidewalk buffer. Mr. Brown responded the landscaping bond itself is the only post development, post CO (Contractual Obligation) bonding tool that is available; and again, staff has no implementation concern about removing that. He explained the sidewalk easement is with the 15-foot buffer and the way the Code is currently written, the sidewalk can be put in there, if it is a four-foot sidewalk, ten-foot can be done on one side and five-foot on the other; the buffer is still in place and they are allowed to put the sidewalk in; it is just extended; and the Viera Company does this, as they have very large buffers, and put sidewalks in it, but still maintain their minimum buffer criteria.
Chairman Nelson stated what Mr. Moia said is that in certain situations there is more land taken up that cannot be used; and he is fairly comfortable with removing the bond and the easement; he would like to take a little more time on the sidewalk piece of that to see what those ramifications are; and maybe there is a process that could be looked at that waives it, because he is not sure in all cases it will be a technical issue as much as self inflicted issue, which is what he wants to get a comfort level of development because more development versus could have met it. Mr. Moia explained what is usually ran into is in the right-of-way, with power poles running right down the property line, and the roadway pushed all the way up to that, so it has to be put on the property. Chairman Nelson mentioned any individual property that came in with that problem could be looked at versus making a wholesale change.
Commissioner Infantini stated she would like to thank Mr. Moia for serving on the Landscaping Committee in her District and she thinks he is doing a really good job; this has been an area where she pledged to try to revise the Ordinance, because it was so incredibly restrictive; and in going for an option would he go for Option 2 on the Agenda Item. Mr. Moia stated he does not have the Agenda Item. Commissioner Infantini read aloud the Agenda Report; she had heard from other engineers prior to today’s meeting that they were worried and said to delete everything to do with the canopy; and she is not sure if that option handles that situation.
Mr. Brown advised it takes care of the conservation easement requirement; the canopy discussion is something that the Board may wish to have further debate on; it is something that is fairly contentious; and it may want to have further discussion in the easement area. Commissioner Infantini responded okay and she needs to work on the canopy issue overall. Mr. Moia stated he would suggest Option 2.
Commissioner Fisher mentioned developers must find out if a development can go on a certain site; and what creates that problem. Mr. Moia responded the biggest problem found is when the site is completely wooded especially with large trees; there is even a penalty when there is a canopy cluster because it could be invasive; and is there credit for that or is it just 100 percent canopy. Mr. Brown stated the invasive species is actually removed from the equations in its entirety. Mr. Moia mentioned if it is a completely wooded site then there has to be enough set aside and then mitigate for what is taken out. Commissioner Fisher stated he wondered if a site at I-95 and Highway 50 that has heavy canopy if that heavily wooded area for commercial growth on that corner, on that one to two-acre site, makes it harder or easier to build on the proposed change. Mr. Moia responded the only way it would make it easer is if there is a clause that says, to preserve what is required to preserve or plant 20 percent of the property in canopy; if that whole 20 percent was put in one piece, there would be a 25 percent credit on one acre; instead of having to set aside two acres it would be 1.5 acres; and depending on the size of the tree, if it is heavily wooded, then there has to be mitigation.
Mr. Brown stated he would like to clarify; if the minimum canopy criteria is met under the proposed Ordinance, there is no replacement criteria. Chairman Nelson stated he thinks the danger is that these guys have spent a year doing this and the Board is doing this on camera; he thinks the Board needs to get kind of a feel for what it wants to do today, so that as the speakers come up, it has an idea, because he really sees the Board having a workshop on this item; and he thinks the Board could be here for the rest of the evening doing this.
Commissioner Anderson stated the discussion taking place shows the weakness of the way it is set up now, it may not be intended that way, but he is certain that if they go to the City of Palm Bay or the City of Melbourne right now these discussions do not happen; in fact, to force some annexation when he was a City Council Member in the City of Palm Bay, because of this previous Ordinance. Mr. Brown stated the 2004 Ordinance, which required a minimum 25 percent preservation on site or a person could not build; that absolutely was an impetus for a few annexations; and this current Code does not do that. Commissioner Anderson stated he still thinks there is a long way to go on this issue.
Commissioner Bolin stated it was heard by Mr. Moia that he wanted to move forward with this and pointed out a couple issues; and inquired if it is possible to move forward with this and pull out the area that seems to be a problem, with the canopy preservation related requirements. Mr. Brown responded yes, the canopy-related conservation easement requirements and the sidewalk bond is also something that can be easily removed without any detrimental impact of the implementation. Commissioner Bolin stated a workshop could be scheduled for these specific problem areas to deal with them specifically, but yet the rest of it can go forward. Mr. Brown advised yes. Commissioner Infantini stated when she developed for commercial property there were almost three and one-half acres; one was a one-acre site, it was so heavily wooded that she needed a tree survey and had to get a permit to cut a path to do the tree survey, but could not get a permit to cut a path, because a tree survey was needed to know whether or not a path could be cut; and she thinks this is really out of control. Mr. Brown noted that issue itself has been resolved through these modifications. Chairman Nelson stated he supports having a landscaping ordinance; there are some things that needs to be tweaked; his suggestion to the Board is that as a target for today, for when the speakers come up the Board look to approve the recommendations of the Committee, with the changes, which would include removing the bonding for landscaping and the easement requirement for the canopy; he still thinks the sidewalks need to be talked about; and to schedule a workshop to discuss this, and that might help, as some of the speakers come up. He stated he does not want everyone to be afraid of the landscaping ordinance in its entirety, and what the Board is to make it make sense.
Tom Schuller stated he has had the privilege of servicing Brevard County since 2004 as a representative for Farm Bureau; he is here today wearing two hats; one, representing the agricultural community; and two, as a private citizen. He stated the agricultural community came out of this okay because it was a workable ordinance, but as far as a private citizen, he does not like it. He stated he is a pro-property rights individual who believes that if a person pays taxes, what is on the land should be up to the individual; and the canopy of trees should be up to the landowner. He mentioned he does not think that the ordinance was simplified because it grew by volumes and pages, but with the way that the Committee was structured, with a diverse group of people on the Committee to draft this through consensus, this was the only possible outcome that came about. He stated he wished the previous Commission who started this could have stepped up to the plate and made the decision instead of passing it off on a Committee that lasts four or five years; this ordinance is workable for an agriculture community; and he does not like it as a private citizen.
Chairman Nelson stated what happens is if the Committee’s are not structured then it would mean they did not take citizen input; he cannot win whichever way the Board goes; and having stakeholder folks involved is good to hear comments. Mr. Schuller mentioned it has been a process since 2004, and he does not know how many countless hours have been spent on this from private citizens, County, and staff; and yet are talking about continuing this item again. Chairman Nelson stated he thinks what happened was the Board that he and Commissioner Bolin sat on heard the complaints saying this needs to be fixed, which is the process taking place now; there was a decision made; he is not sure if that decision was the right one in 2004 related to the difficulty of implementation; and it is a problem, and he thinks it will be brought to a conclusion.
Commissioner Infantini stated she agrees with Chairman Nelson and she thinks that Committees serve a purpose and advises the Board, but now the Committee has been listened to; not only are the Committees listened to, but there are such things as telephones, email, and a door for constituents to use to talk to her; she is more than willing to go forward and does not understand the confusion with this item or the ambiguity; she is ready to take the item line-by-line and finally vote on it instead of scheduling another workshop; and Thursday is open to discuss this more if more time is needed to be done on this item.
Laurilee Thompson stated she likes Chairman Nelson’s ideas.
Hassan Kammel stated he is representing BSE Consultants, Inc., has served on the second task force, and joined late as a fill-in for somebody that was not able to continue; and he appreciates the opportunity to speak today. He stated the task force was tasked to look at 18 specific items; they have worked them line item by line item, which was a good process; it answered a lot of the questions originally raised; he thinks one of the failures of that process was there never was the ability to step back to see after all the changes were made how the whole ordinance affected a specific project, or different scenarios; and he thinks when looking back the task force came up with a very complicated ordinance, that may ease some things, but he does not know if everyone really knows the full effect of this. He mentioned he has been working in Florida for over 20 years and has done projects from Homestead up to the
Panhandle; he has never seen a land clearing or landscape ordinance this difficult; and the overall complexity of the ordinance, plus some reliance such as using the terminology the greatest extent possible, really causes a lot of problems, and adds a lot of uncertainty and potential costs to somebody looking to develop a piece of property; as an example, he could have a project that has 100 trees and saves 75 of them; and as he sits with staff and they tell him they have done all they can do and he thinks they can do more. He mentioned a lot of the points that Mr. Moia has raised; he is in agreement with him; he wants to be respectful of the Boards time and not go through item by item, but he does want to discuss the requirement for the canopy preservation areas and conservation easements that are very problematic requirements placed and is a huge burden on a piece of property. He stated there is no discussion in the ordinance of the process with the requirements to remove conservation easements, or the criteria that needs to be met; all of the sudden there a reconservation easements scattered all over a piece of property and then a big storm comes in an knocks down a bunch of the trees, or redevelopment may be wanted, but is burdened with all the conservation easement; and even if a person could get the conservation easements removed it is one additional step in the process that is not needed. He mentioned right now, if a site plan is approved, they have to plan it; if they violate and take out a protected tree it is a Code Enforcement issue; he does not think another layer needs to be added; and it is an expensive process to get an easement removed. He stated the goal of tree preservation is an admirable goal, but right now it is handled as a punitive measure, instead of being incentivized he feels what should be done is, take a look at the property and give incentives instead of being penalized for taking out some of the other trees; and those incentives can be done either as density bonuses, alternative development standards that allow reduced parking, or reduced planning requirements in lieu of preservation. He noted in this ordinance there is very little coordination between the impacts of this ordinance and the other County criteria’s that has to be met, being mostly storm water criteria; when storm water criteria has to be met a certain amount of the property has to be filled; a lot of time that filling conflicts with the requirements to preserve any trees, a certain amount of property has to be dedicated to storm water management, so that is going to require a clearing, which causes a penalty; and there is not an integrated approach in looking at all the different requirements at the County level, let alone the State requirements; so as the Board moves forward and looks at some of this; and there should be some consideration given as to how the different County ordinances coordinate and impact each other.
Rich Mehalick stated he is representing Newton Land Development Group and they actually developed a piece of property in the PineHurst area that took about six years to bring to fruition; one of the main impacts was through the tree canopy with County, State and the St. John’s River Water Management District (SJRWM); it was a 61-acre, heavily wooded with sand pines; out of that 61 acres there was one-third designation totaling 21 acres to be wetland preserved; then had to take another 25 percent of it and put it towards this canopy preserve; and this 25 percent was not even viable canopy to be beneficial to the property in any way. He mentioned hearing the news about modifications to reduce the canopy or eliminating the canopy was very good news for him as a developer, but to hear that it now has become more complex is not good to hear; and he does not know if people will realize and appreciate the costs and the expenses that the developer has to pay to go in and see if a site is even viable with easements all around conservation areas. Mr. Mehalick noted after having the 25 percent of land the way the County wanted it, then SJRWMD wanted to completely changed there were two completely different sides battling over terminology languages of how things should be done. He stated to sum it up, whatever could be done to remove or reduce the tree canopy ordinance would be great, or to make it to a point where there is more flexibility and not more complexity will benefit this County and development.
Brad Smith stated he represented the Florida Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Charter confides were the biggest constraint where the limited 18 point area within, which to work; and anytime there are ultra conservationists, radical property rights folks, and pro-developers in the same room, just get something to the Board is a major accomplishment. He stated he does want to commend County staff; they are incredible and not a bunch of burrocates; they know what they are talking about, are professional, and it has been a real pleasure working with them; and they have had incredible diligence in light of the reductions they have faced. He stated the Agenda packet does reflect a number of concerns that have been brought forward; he agrees with several on the conservation easements and he is glad to hear that that seems to be on the way out; he is concerned with a la carte revisions that could have unforeseen ramifications as the Chairman Nelson had previously mentioned. He stated in his opinion one of the significant factors of the ordinance is the change that has taken place, because it does make an attempt to reflect actual market conditions, rather than just operating in a silo, the effect that water takes the least path resistance as it flows down the hill; and the same is going to be true with economics, the developer is going to go with the least cost solution, so if something certain needs preserving it has been tried to make it more in tune with cost within the industry and equivalency. He mentioned that it was finally realized that canopy can be planted, it does not have to be just preserved, as trees are planted they are going to grow and produce canopy; there can be development and planting in the same area, it does not have to be set aside as 25 percent and it is just not the same as if there are wetlands in the hand that has been dealt; there certainly needs to be more flexibility and simplicity; he thinks the real issue is dealing with living things not like utilities, paving, grading, drainage, bricks, and mortar; but things die and that is why it is a tough issue; it needs so much common sense; and every developer is not going to be like the Miami Corporation trying to make the best effort. He stated he does agree that the Option 2 makes the most sense; he would hate to see the County stay with the old Ordinance.
Tuck Ferrell stated he is representing Ferrell Ranch and most things have been covered; there have been some great points made and he does appreciate the staff; he thinks the County got into this problem by trying to put in a real onerous thing in 2004; and have tried to fix and build on it, which has made it a tough situation for everyone. He stated he has talked to Mr. Brown, he knows he is trying to fix it, and everybody is trying to come together and make it work; trying to get economic development in Brevard County and trying to put a development on a piece of property can be very difficult with tree canopy, the conservation easement is a terrible thing; and that slanders the title and creates a nightmare for the future and cannot change anything. He stated Chairman Nelson and Commissioner Fisher have both brought up great points and good plans that will need to be put in place; but something needs to be done, because it is just not friendly; and to maintain friendly and to accommodate the property owners by having pillaging of the property where people are just tearing at every tree. Mr. Ferrell stated 150 percent could be a huge and onerous thing on a small property and there needs to be some flexibility, so people can work, have business, and businessmen can build properties in the environmental to set aside spaces on the larger parcels. He noted there are ways to work this, but it is kind of a difficult situation now and he thinks pulling together with staff has hurt the County; and he applauds Mr. Brown for trying to fix some things, because this was done before he got here and it has been trying to tweak this thing, with a lot of pressures to fix it or not, but need to come up with something that is a minimal to economic development and progress in the County.
Kathleen Burson stated she is a Landscape Architect, is a member of the task force, and represented International Society of Arboreal Culture (ISA); she is not a certified Arborist, but she has taken many classes and she appreciates what is needed in a type of environment is conducive to healthy trees, whether they are preserved or planted; and she offered a lot of that information to the Board that was used. She stated she would like to thank Mr. Moia for making this ordinance so complicated, that is because this ordinance is incentive based, that makes it easy and gives the development credit for preserving trees; it is very simple to set aside ten to 20 percent of a canopy; it gets complicated if that is not done and that is where the incentives come in; and meaning if some is preserved, then there will be a credit, so less would have to be preserved to get the incentive. She stated there is no mandate that trees have to be preserved; the preservation is encouraged through incentives and every ordinance takes time to get use to and it will get easier as going along with it. She stated she fully supports that this ordinance is incentive-based and it can be simple over time; and some things could be fine tuned but it should try to encourage the preservation of trees. She stated preservation cuts development costs; she has had projects and submitted over the past 20 years over 100 projects for Brevard County such as Merritt Island and Cities of Melbourne and Titusville; and she has many experiences with many ordinances She mentioned considerably less preservation is required than was required two years ago; now it is ten to 20 percent depending on the type of use, instead of the 25 percent; tree preservation is critical in Brevard and the main reason is the Live Oak; it is a very unique tree in many ways, with a high-spread height ratio that gives a lot of shade out of one tree, that can cover an entire parking lot; and can achieve entire preservation requirements through the preservation of one tree, depending on its size and the Live Oak has an infinite in the right conditions. She stated the Laurel Oak has a 60 to 80-year life span, which is considered in tree preservation, if that tree can be shown that it is not viable; it is really focused on the Heritage Tree of Brevard County, which is the Live Oak and can get credit for wetland canopy; to try and separate, preserve wetlands, and canopy are not true; sometimes they are one in the same; and if there are Bald Cypress, Willow, and Live Lualaba, credit can be received for those trees even though already receiving credit for wetland preservation for those. She stated in addition to a very interesting new incentive built in is providing credit to a client for canopy that is not really canopy, if there is an area of Pine Flatwoods that has a canopy between two Flatwoods everything in-between that that is save is in tact understory credit would be given for; this was one of the last incentives built in and a person can get credit for the whole Pine Flatwoods if they are preserved and in tact, which is a disappearing habitat in Brevard; and this was worked out between the task force, which is a creditable task force, and there were not major disagreements. She stated one of her complaints over-the-years has been area without the tree preservation that Brevard has; if the site plan is not done and is done by another designer; a lot of times what is left is parking islands, swales, buildings, and asphalt; trees do not grow well near buildings and islands; it was built in the ordinance that larger tree islands really respected the root systems that will result in healthier, more viable trees, Heritage Trees, and eliminate hazard trees. She mentioned planting a tree every ten parking space does not have to be done anymore, or evenly distribute the islands, as long as a tree survey is started and has a cluster of fine trees in certain areas and those become tree islands, instead of one per ten; and Palms do not have to be preserved that are growing up through Citrus trees, but can get credit for them if wanted.
Commissioner Anderson stated one of things stuck with this is something will have to be moved forward today; he has a unique situation on Minton Road, for example, individual property owners are taking their properties and annexing to West Melbourne to get away from this ordinance: that is actually hurting the whole concept of tree preservation in the long run; however, there needs to be a way found in this economy to be a competitive County to ensure that business is attracted; and if someone is going to build a business in Brevard County versus Bay County they look at the current preservation ordinance. He stated he does not mind moving forward today with the elimination of the things agreed upon, with tree canopy and the landscaping bond issue, however, the Board needs to go back and revisit this thing; and he thinks it is to the point now that this has gone on for so long that it almost time to just start over with something else, have staff look at it, with the input of the Board, and revisit it. He mentioned Brevard County needs to be as streamlined as possible with the municipalities; and otherwise there, will be situations like he has in his District where people just annex out, if not even close to their current ordinance.
Commissioner Infantini stated she knows in her discussions with the EDC, they have said that one of their plans for moving forward to help economic development was to help remove some of the restrictions on development within the County, to help to remove some of the restrictive ordinances, which prevent development and this is one of those ordinances, which is really doing overkill; and if the County really wants to help EDC do their job and deliver approximately 2,500 jobs in the next three years, then this ordinance needs to be moved faster and not make it take another four or six year to get this done. She stated the Board needs to set up a workshop today, so there is a date certain and it is not sitting in limbo saying lets talk about it; and then at that date, the Board will agree to have all of the facts and portions of the entire ordinance to be able to receive information from the constituents, engineers, and whoever, she would be okay with doing that and going with the suggested recommendations by Mr. Moia.
Commissioner Bolin stated she feels comfortable to move forward with this, with the anticipation of doing Option 2 and pull from that the canopy, bonds, and the move forward with that as an entity; and inquired if there could be further discussion on the sidewalk issue; and to be able to facilitate those that need to have this taken care of. Mr. Brown responded the Board can certainly move in any direction seen fit; the sidewalk issue actually speaks to the actual buffer issue and how the Board wants to buffer the roadways and the associated land uses that may or not be inconsistent, so that has some other implications and ramifications that the Board may want to vet-out in a more broad menu.
Chairman Nelson inquired if he could get a clarification from Commissioner Bolin if she means not doing away with the canopy in its entirety; and is it the easement requirement at this point or everything. Commissioner Bolin responded she is talking about the canopy preservation requirements of the easements. Chairman Nelson stated he is comfortable with that; and certainly the Board can discuss the other requirements as part of the workshop.
Commissioner Anderson stated for the sake of argument this Board decided to go forward with this, but it is asked to go back and look at the other surrounding jurisdictions and their current ordinances, because obviously there are a lot of other requirements that have to be matched into any landscaping ordinance done; and inquired how long would that take to come up with something new that is a little more business friendly. Mr. Brown responded the answer is predicated on funding; if the Board wants it done with internal staff, or contract out that review; and the contracting out will take several months, the full review and recommendation brought back to the Board would be nine months to a year using existing staff.
Chairman Nelson inquired if it was contracted out all of the input value would be lost that was already received; he has looked at the Melbourne Ordinance and he thinks it is a good base to look at; he would be more inclined to have staff look at a blend of Melbourne versus starting from scratch; and that maybe could accelerate the process. Mr. Brown responded there are actually 32 ordinances that were used in the review process to actually get the task force where they are now; but there has been a level of review with comparatives to date and trying to get ideas of how to address some of these issues. He mentioned a chosen ordinance could be taken as a template framework to start building on; then get the Board’s input of what its desired outcomes are; and he thinks what staff really needs is what is the Board’s desire or what is required for a landscaping, land clearing, and tree protection ordinance.
Commissioner Infantini inquired if the Board would take the City of Melbourne’s Ordinance for review and ask Mr. Moia for his input. Mr. Moia responded he would volunteer to put a matrix together for the Board if it were limited to Titusville, Melbourne, and Palm Bay. Commissioner Infantini noted she would accept that. Mr. Brown inquired if that could be done in partnership with staff. Commissioner Infantini responded sure. Mr. Moia mentioned he would submit it to staff prior to the workshop. Commissioner Infantini stated thanks to Mr. Moia’s offer. Chairman Nelson stated rather than giving the timeline today, would staff work with Mr. Moia and give the Board some indication as to when it will be able to come back to the Board. Mr. Brown responded yes.
Chairman Nelson inquired if Commissioner Bolin is making the motion to approve Option 2 and to remove the canopy related conservation easement requirements in the bonding for landscaping; and the sidewalk will be handled separately. Commissioner Bolin responded yes.
Motion by Commissioner Bolin, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to approve Ordinance Amending Chapter 62, Article VIII, Division 2, Entitled Landscaping, Land Clearing, and Tree Protection, with the deletion of canopy related conservation easement requirements, landscaping maintenance bond requirements, and including an exemption for public and private linear projects; and adopted an Ordinance of Brevard County, Florida, Amending Chapter 62, Article XIII, Division 2 Code of Ordinances of Brevard County, Florida, relating to landscaping, Land Clearing, and Tree Protection; specifically amending Section 62-4332 Definitions; Section 62-4334 Exemptions; Section 62-4336 Penalties and Remedies; Section 62-4337 Permit Application requirements and review process; Section 62-4338 Land Clearing performance standards; Section 62-4339 Canopy and Tree Preservation Performance standards; creating Section 62-4340 Tree Root Protection and Planting Chart; Section 62-4341 Landscaping performance standards; Section 62-4342 Landscape Buffers; Section 62-5353 Maintenance and Inspections; Section 62-4344 Incentives for Increased Canopy and Tree Preservation and Increased Landscaping; Section 62-4345 Alternative Landscape Enhancement Plans Mitigation, and Compensation; Section 62-4346 Waivers; Creating Section 62-4347 Appeals; Providing for Conflicting Provisions; Providing for Severability; Providing for Area Encompassed; Providing for
Inclusion in Code and an Effective Date. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Motion by Commissioner Bolin, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to direct staff to work with Bruce Moia on a timeline and matrix for a revised landscaping ordinance in whatever fashion, using comparative ordinances from the Cities of Melbourne, Titusville, and Palm Bay. Motion ordered and passes unanimously.
ACCEPTANCE OF PROPOSALS, RE: STATE LEGISLATIVE LOBBYIST SERVICES
Chairman Nelson stated the issue before the Board is the proposals for State Legislative Lobbyist services; and inquired how does the Board want to deal with the process.
Commissioner Bolin stated her suggestion is that the Board have the list of those who made proposals, each of the Commissioners make a rating of them for the top five, and after looking at the results of that, she would like to suggest that the top three are brought in for interviews.
Chairman Nelson stated instead of ranking the top five, what if each Commissioner selected the five that they would like to have interviewed, to see what those numbers look like; and it is not in a ranking process per se.
Chairman Nelson inquired if the four and five votes could be read aloud.
Steve Stultz, Central Services Director, read aloud the four names of Gray/Robinson, Ronald L. Book, Southern Strategy Group, and The Banyan Netwok.
Motion by Commissioner Anderson, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to accept the proposals received for State lobbying services; and directed the County Manager to arrange for a future Board meeting date for the presentations from Gray/Robinson, Ronald L. Book, Southern Strategy Group, and The Banyan Network. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
Commissioner Anderson inquired if local preference plays into this selection at all. Mr. Stultz responded all of the proposals, with the exception of one, claimed a Florida location; there was one firm, Capitol Alliance Group, that claimed that 50 percent of staff assigned would be residing in Brevard County; however, they did not provide the required documentation for it, so all of them are on equal ground as far as it just being Florida entities.
The Board recessed at 1:12 pm and reconvened at 2:20 p.m.
James Sondet stated at the last meeting it was brought up that the public cannot go to the members of the Commission; one of the Commissioners actually said to him that the Commissioners do not run this County it is the County Manager that runs this County; at one previous meeting it was also said that when electing a new County Manager, Commissioner Infantini inquired if the public is going to be able to ask any particular questions for the interviewees to find out which would be a good selection, so that their judgment could be passed on to other Commissioners; and it was said by the individuals selecting the new County Manager that it was out of the ordinary to have something done like that. He stated there is supposed to be a Charter Review soon and everyone is supposed to be looking at the Codes and he thinks it is time to really look at this so there is not another one of these tree incidents, such as like this morning; and he thinks these things need to be figured out beforehand and if items are in line with the Constitution of this nation.
Kenneth Manney stated he is speaking before the Board today regarding a billboard sign, which is an eyesore and a safety hazard located on a State Road A1A right-of-way, directly in front of his front lawn, which must be removed. He stated this off- premises billboard sign was erected by the Fish Camp pursuant to a letter of permission issued by the County on May 21, 2003, allowing this sign to be located on the Mullet Creek Road right-of-way, with the assumption, that this permission was temporary; and when Mullet Creek Road was closed and a new access road to the fish camp was opened the sign would be moved to the new road. Federal Department of Transportation (FDOT) issued a permit based upon the County’s permission pursuant to the May 21, 2003 letter; however, the sign was improperly erected in the State Road A1A right-of-way; over a year ago, Mullet Creek Road was closed off and Old Florida Trail was opened as the new access road to the Fish Camp. He mentioned the Fish Camp did erect a new off-premise sign at the entrance of Old Florida Trail; however, they refuse to remove their old sign from in front of his property on the State Road A1A right-of-way; he has pursued dealing with FDOT and Brevard County to remove this obsolete billboard sign; FDOT is demanding that Brevard County revoke the permission granted in the May 21, 2003 letter before FDOT will revoke its permit; and Brevard County is refusing to act. He mentioned based upon the survey report prepared by AAL Land Surveying Services, Inc. and verified by Brevard County surveyors, the sign is located in the State Road A1A right-of-way, which is owned and maintained by Brevard County; and this sign should have never been erected in the State Road A1A right-of-way, because it is such an eyesore, creates confusion as cars with boats continue to turn on Mullet Creek Road, which is a residential street that creates safety issues, because the road is now a dead-end. He stated the sign is in a unsafe and hazardous location; the posts from the sign abuts the bike path; the top of the sign hangs over the bike path; this has created a potential liability for the County; and the County has been on notice of this dangerous condition. He explained he comes before the Board today and requests that the Board vote today to have this dangerous eyesore billboard sign removed from in front of his property; the documents given to the Board show a survey report prepared by AAL Land Surveying Service, Inc., it shows a survey dated in the year 2000 showing that the sign is partially now on what is his property, a second survey in 2002 showing that the sign did not exist at all, the May 21, 2003 permission letter from FDOT permit application letter with missed statements, a letter from FDOT in 2009 stated that the sign is not located in the FDOT right-of-way portion of A1A, and a 2009 survey showing the current location of the sign. He stated the second document the Board has is an email from Brevard County, with a survey report prepared by Brevard County, which confirms the findings of AAL Land Surveying Service, Inc.; and an email from FDOT stating that it will not take any action until Brevard County withdraws its permission granted in that May 2003 letter.
Commissioner Infantini inquired about the picture that shows the road leading in off of A1A to the park was blocked off and vacated by the County when the park was built in the South Beaches, and it is closed off now, so there is no access; and she believes it was told that the sign would come down. She stated now there is a label over the sign saying that there is no access; she will tell everyone that Mr. Manney has been working with her office for about nine months trying to get this sign down; and she gave him permission one time to take it down, because it was said that the County does not have jurisdiction over it; and FDOT said it is not in its right-of-way, so it did not have the authority to grant a permit because it is not in its right-of-way. She mentioned Andrew Post from AAL Land Surveying Service, Inc. did a survey and showed that it was on the A1A right-of-way; he has exhausted all efforts through her office and staff to get this removed; and he is now coming before the Board to see if the sign will finally be allowed to come down, because there is a sign leading into the new driveway entrance; and the County got to have the say-so in what the road named, but will not take down that sign.
Mel Scott, Assistant County Manager, stated Commissioner Infantini’s staff has worked very hard on this issue; this is one of those peculiar incidences where FDOT has 50-foot right-of-way from the center line all the way down to Sebastian Inlet, except for this little peculiar stretch, wherein lies this sign that FDOT only has right-of-way at 38 feet, so there is a gap between the 38 feet and 50 feet that this sign sits in the middle of; and the County is now in a position where there is a sign where State and local governments cannot confirm jurisdiction. He mentioned FDOT has said it is not within their right-of-way; he had it investigated if it is within Brevard County’s right-of-way; to get there it has to be proven that there is some maintenance history to do a maintenance map to claim the right-of-way, which has been exhausted; and he has commissioned survey and title work to be done to see if Brevard County could tie that little 18-foot strip back to Brevard County, which could not be done. He explained he actually got an updated position from FDOT stating it is done with this issue; it does not find that it is in unsafe condition; and is not going to tell Brevard County that it is going to initiate action to take it down. He stated the State does not think that it has responsibility for the sign at this point; he cannot find that the County has responsibility for authority to take the sign down, but he does know that if the sign is taken down, the current owner of the sign is going to be looking for someone for compensation; and that would probably be Honest John’s Fish Camp saying that they have a current permit from FDOT that says it can be there. He stated staff has looked at this for months and months; he shares Mr. Manney’s frustration, but he can share that the County has exhaustively looked at this; and the conclusion is there is probably some liability on the Brevard County’s point of view if it takes the sign down.
Commissioner Infantini stated the County signed off on the application given to FDOT, so that authorization needs to be revoked, because there was no authority to give that authorization. Mr. Scott responded he has done that with a form that is in this package that was provided to FDOT in an email that says the Brevard County has no objection to FDOT issuing the permit; and on that application, it actually provided an incorrect location as to where that sign should go; he has told FDOT the information represented on the permission that Brevard County gave and then translated into a permit, is incorrect; FDOT has the information and knows that the information that it relied upon to grant the permit was incorrectly represented on that form; and FDOT has that from him.
Commissioner Infantini stated FDOT told her it needs to have Brevard County revoke the permission that was originally given to them to grant the permit; she does not understand why there is a sign leading to a vacated road and why the County vacated the road; and the County should open the road back up since that is the way into the park and into Honest John’s Fish Camp. She mentioned if the road is vacated, the sign goes to nowhere, and they were authorized permission to put a replacement sign, which was in lieu of the existing sign back when the road was vacated, and she does not understand why there is still a sign on Mr. Manney’s property. She inquired if it takes a motion or is there anything that the County is permitted to do to allow Mr. Manney to finally have the signed removed, she will make the motion to have the sign removed, because the County does not have the authority to have a permit to put that sign there; and if Honest John’s Fish Camp would like to come after the County because it did something wrong giving them permission, then they can have their sign back and put it at their entrance once it exceeds the park’s boundaries.
Commissioner Fisher inquired if the sign in on Mr. Manney’s property. Mr. Manney explained the sign is just over his property line. Mr. Scott stated the sign is on the edge of the bike path, which is in between the 50-foot right-of-way that FDOT traditionally has and the 38 feet of right-of-way, that on this stretch of State Road A1A, FDOT actually has. Mr. Manney stated it is 32 feet. Commissioner Fisher stated Mr. Manney cannot really take it down because it is not really on his property. Mr. Manney stated that is correct, and the depiction can be seen on the third from the last page of the handout he gave the Board showing where the FDOT right-of-way is, the 32 feet, and the Brevard County right-of-way between the 32-foot line and the 50-foot line; and the 50-foot line is where his property is.
Scott Knox, County Attorney, inquired when Mr. Scott did the title work did it determine who owned the little strip that this sign is now on. Mr. Scott responded it was inconclusive who owned it. Attorney Knox inquired if there were any candidates. Mr. Scott responded in the late 1950’s when FDOT was acquiring the title, it got it from the property owners at the time, but failed to record it; and it has gone into the abyss of title work at this point. Attorney Knox inquired about transfer of title. Mr. Scott responded the deeds were lost before they were recorded; FDOT assembled all rights-of-way; on this little stretch of State Road A1A, they were never recorded; and they have truly been lost. He stated that is why he was trying to revert to the maintenance map option on FDOT and the County behalf to gain that right-of-way and to assign it to someone. Mr. Manney stated the issue is once the deed is executed, the deed is legally valid; and the fact that it was not recorded has no bearing on the validity of the deed. Mr. Scott stated if that were the case, FDOT owns the property. Attorney Knox explained the deed had to be delivered to whoever owned it, that is what transfers title. Mr. Manney stated right, because assumable it was, with all the deeds collected, then were lost at sometime later. Attorney Knox stated if FDOT is looking for official Board action to rebut the approval initially; he thinks just to make a motion to that affect and see what happens, because it sounds to him that this is much more complicated; and this is going to be an adverse possession claim, with all kinds of stuff that will have to be dealt with eventually. Mr. Manney stated his first possession would not kick in, because that sign was not erected until after May 21, 2003. Chairman Nelson stated there will be no arguing about the legal points here; there are other factors associated with this one that the County needs to have a full-blown report on; so the points can be made, then sit down with FDOT one last time before making a decision; and he is not ready to do it just off the cuff, because he knows there was more to this than that.
Commissioner Anderson stated the simple thing that he is thinking of is what is Honest John’s position on giving up the sign and location. Mr. Manney stated they just do not want to take it down; from his understanding from when he purchased his property, it was Mullet Creek Road was going to be closed, then at some point after it was purchased, Honest John’s somehow got an FDOT permit to have the sign put up; at that time he said fine, he was not going to fight about it because they have a business and they need a sign; the road will be closed and it would eventually be moved to the new road; and that process took five years. Mr. Manney stated now they have a brand new sign and he is still stuck with the terrible looking sign.
Commissioner Anderson inquired if the County has been in communication with the owners of Honest John’s Fish Camp. Mr. Scott responded yes, he has kept them apprised in the communication. Commissioner Anderson inquired if they are willing to remove this sign. Mr. Scott responded Honest John’s Fish Camp would like the sign to remain. Commissioner Anderson inquired if Commissioner Infantini has talked to the property owners of Honest John’s Fish Camp. Commissioner Infantini responded no she has not; there are a couple of extra signs that were placed that she was asked to look into, to see whether or not they had received permits; for instance, the sign they have leading into the park now, plus somebody placed another sign in the northbound lanes on State Road A1A. Commissioner Anderson stated he wondered if somebody would just take the sign and see if they could work out some on the property before facing lawsuits.
Commissioner Fisher inquired if the sign is in compliance with the Sign Ordinance, with these different, multiple signs on their property. Mr. Scott responded it is not within the County’s jurisdiction; Brevard County does not allow off-premise signs; and if this was in the County’s jurisdiction, this sign would not be up. Commissioner Fisher stated they do not have to have a County permit. Mr. Scott stated they have a County sign permit for the sign that they own that is connected to their property at the entrance of the park, which is there on-premise sign; and at best, this would be a non-conforming sign, if it were on County property. Commissioner Fisher inquired if there is a sign ordinance in Brevard County that says it only allows so many square footage of sign. Mr. Scott responded, absolutely. Commissioner Fisher inquired if Honest John’s is in compliance with that. Mr. Scott responded they are not. Commissioner Fisher inquired if the County could revoke the new sign if they kept the old sign up. Mr. Scott stated this sign is not on County property. Commissioner Fisher stated he understands, but as a business, Honest John’s cannot have unlimited signage. Mr. Scott stated that is correct.
Chairman Nelson inquired if Mr. Scott would please explain where the new sign is located. Mr. Scott responded the new sign that Honest John’s has is located at the entrance of the new park; and that sign is connected to Honest John’s property, so they have an on-premise sign, consistent with County Code, at the entrance of the new park.
Commissioner Infantini stated the park is County-owned property, which is adjacent to Honest John’s Fish Camp that just recently sold to St. John’s River Water Management. Mr. Scott explained when the County closed the access to Honest John’s from Mullet Creek Road, it was faced with an issue at the time then, with signage to Honest John’s; what the County did was connected Honest John’s by actually giving them a strip of land that goes from Honest John’s Fish Camp along the banks of the Indian River Lagoon and running all the way to State Road A1A, technically connecting their property to the road, and there is a sign there, that is technically per the legal description of Honest John’s property, on their property, and it is an on-premise sign; this sign is at best, a non-conforming sign if it were on County property; but it is not within County property, because it is with that 32 to 50 feet that the County collected deeds for in the 1950’s, but never recorded. He stated this is a peculiar incidence that has persevered due to its uniqueness because it is not know who owns this property; FDOT has told the County that it does not own it; the County knows that it does not own it and have never maintained it, so there cannot be a maintenance in that procedure on it. Mr. Manney stated the County has been mowing the lawn there; and his lawn man does not go out that far. Mr. Scott stated FDOT maintains it; the County installed the bike path; and FDOT mows it.
Attorney Knox inquired if this sign is located on the strip that was given to them, that the County does not own. Mr. Scott responded that is incorrect; the sign that is being talked about is their old sign, which is one on the face of Mullet Creek that has since been vacated. Chairman Nelson stated it would be best served to have some follow-up on this; it raised the question whose bike path is it, because it also fits in that no-mans-land; and there are a variety of issues. Mr. Manney inquired if the Board can vote on it now, because certainly some seem inclined to have this sign taken down; and it can be certainly seen that it should not be there.
Commissioner Anderson inquired if Andrew Post from AAL Land Surveying Service, Inc. has any comments to add, and does the Board mind if he speaks. Chairman Nelson responded it is fine. Mr. Post stated from his observation, it appears that it does not matter if the sign is in front of Mr. Manney’s property, or if it is a non-conforming sign, the Board has the ability to remove non-conforming signs in Brevard County; this is not a 30-year-old sign, this is a sign that was not there in 2002; it came down before 2002 because there was an older sign that use to straddle Mr. Manney’s property in this line to the bike path; and that sign came down because a subsequent survey was done in 2002 and there was no sign present in front of Mr. Manney’s property. He stated the sign that is being seen today is a sign that has been re-erected improperly, is only a few years old, and is non-conforming; and inquired does the County offer off-site signage whether it is on Mr. Manney’s property or some unknown property, as it is still an off-site sign. Chairman Nelson stated the issues are much greater than that, because there was a non-conforming sign there that was a grandfathered sign, that is why this has so many parts to it; he thinks the Board understands and really needs to drill down to the issue; and he was not aware that the sign disappeared. Mr. Scott stated the sign disappeared and a new sign was erected with the FDOT permit. Chairman Nelson stated the issue to focus on is the issue of how that sign got back there. Commissioner Infantini stated that was not grandfathered in; if the new sign came down then it does not meet the grandfathered clause; and inquired on a private property can there be a non-conforming sign that fronts State Road A1A, because she knows the County applied to put up a sign and was told no. Mr. Scott responded a person cannot put up a non-conforming sign because by virtue of putting it up, that act, in real time, means it has to be legal or illegal; non-conforming signs are legal signs; a person cannot take down non-conforming signs until they have been destroyed by over 50 percent of their value; and non-conforming signs concept means that is legal, and cannot be re-erected if it is destroyed.
Chairman Nelson stated what would be helpful for the legal issues, which is, is if the County’s going to in effect be liable for thousands of dollars of business loss if the County takes the sign out; and Mr. Andrews, it may be for the courts to decide and understand that position. Attorney Knox stated he would be happy to take a look at it; it sounds combobulated, but is sure there is a file; and he would like to see the two surveys too, because that may have a big bearing on this. Chairman Nelson stated he would like to get a staff report back to the Board with the options, instead of the Board trying to do this on the fly. Commissioner Infantini stated she can forward all of the emails, because she can tell the Board she has a whole folder of emails.
Commissioner Bolin stated she vaguely remembers the situation when the County was talking about giving Honest John’s the strip of land and the closing of the road for the park; but she would like to get a date so she could pull that up and re-watch it, because she wants to hear what was stated, as far as the old sign versus the new sign.
Chairman Nelson stated the Board will get a staff report to the County Attorney; and for the Assistant County Manager to work through this issue with Commissioner Infantini.
Charles Tovey stated he does not know how to present everything that he has to discuss; he is wondering where he could stay, because he is ousted out of his property and needs money and a place to stay; although, he has five lots and a business; Code Enforcement has told him he cannot have anything, he has to get rid of it all; and he has not done that because it is his whole livelihood and whole way of life in sustaining and putting food on his table and paying his bills; and if he gets rid of everything his whole life is gone. He explained he has a boat on side of his house, which Natural Resources took inadvertently from what the Sheriffs office told him; it ended up in a marina down in Grant, so the Sheriff was able to get an Officer to arrange for his boat to come back up to the County storage; and it was dumped and his propeller was broken, all of his tools were stolen, and the cabin was collapsed. He stated he paid the fine and after a brief discussion that was held without him there, there was a cinder block size hole that was put in the hull of his boat; he was told to stand back while they are putting a whole in his boat; then he was asked to sign a release for it and got the boat back on his property; and he was fined with Code Enforcement fines everyday since then for his boat being on his property. He mentioned there is a $3,500 lien on his property, in his opinion he thinks someone burned his house down; it was said to be electrical, but he does not agree; he welcomes the Board to come to his property and verify what he is saying is true; and these are professional people telling him that this is not happening and he can show that in real life the comparison that it would be evident for the Board to see that these are crimes in provocations. He stated he his being prejudiced against; he had trucks that were are all operational with tags and insurance; every year he gets fines and fees even though he makes them operate and moves for Code Enforcement; he also has shown Code Enforcement a video of the trucks in use and making him money; and everything he has encompasses his life trying to make money and a living. He mentioned his easement was taken from him without his knowledge, so he drove all of trucks on his property line and that’s what he is getting fined for; that is his security and why he has property; and he feels his house would have been torn down had he not of had the property plat in his hands. He stated he has to comply and conform to all of the rules and regulations, but Brevard County has inadvertently taken his whole life away; he thought there were rules before taking peoples property away, whether it is a derelict vessel or not; and when the file is looked at it can be clearly seen that his boat did float and he has all kinds of pictures documenting his work; he cleans the river voluntarily and has thousands of hours of cleaning the river; and all the freshwater arteries and veins that go to the lagoon for Eau Gaullie Boulevard to the Pineda Causeway, which is what his life encompasses. He stated his lawn service and landscape business also encompasses his environment of what he does by managing any water that runs off erosion; that is the other part of his Code Enforcement issue with weeds, which are defined as being undesirable and unproductive; he has an erosion problem since the easement was taken and given away; the easement has been graded so all of the water does not fill the wetland area, because his property is on a rain basin, that use to sit and hold water and fill Pineda Creek; and that is what he cleaned until they eliminated his easement grated, so all of the weeds hold his property in from the undermining of the erosion problem. He stated in anyone else’s terms nobody agrees with him that his reasons are justifiable, but he can show the Board his whole life encompasses the use of weeds as being productive and a part of balancing the environment and property.
Commissioner Infantini inquired if Mr. Tovey could explain what it is that he would like from the Board today, because she does understand his situation, has driven by the property, and viewed the property and the burned house; what is it that he wants from the Board today; staff is at a disadvantage, it was nice of him to come forward on public opinion, but when a person is
not on the Agenda, staff does not know that a person is coming before the Board, to be able to explain the other side of the story; and if it were a formalized item staff will have the opportunity to tell the Board exactly what is going on and why, because right now all the Board hears is one side and there is always something else more to the story. Mr. Tovey responded he understand Commissioner Infantini’s position and wanted to explain his perspective and it might be abrasive or whatever, but understanding a problem and knowing there is a problem is the first step into solving a problem; he does not know all the ways the government works, but he needs help and cannot stay in his house; if he complies with Code Enforcement, then he has to get rid of everything; and an Officer said to him that he cannot have anything. He stated this is whole life he has to get rid of and just because other people’s perspective do not think its working for them it is working for him and it makes his life. He mentioned he does not know what he is looking for; he needs help from anybody that can give him help to verify all the things that he is saying are true; and all of the provocations that happening to him have been discussed with other County agencies, even though it is evident they are still being bypassed, avoided, and ignored as being anything.
Joy From stated she lives at 127 Vanguard Circle, which is the old drive-in; and she wanted to address the Board today because the last time she was before the Board she went next door to check the status of her property. She read aloud a complaint she has against the office of Code Enforcements lack of ethics and their inconsideration of their victim’s rights to life. “Vanguard Estates, the community where I live, has no deed restrictions, actually it is a mobile home community built around the Vanguard. The Vanguard was left like an eye sore and used as a dumping ground. On every project I have undertaken since I bought the place, I have relied on the Building or Zoning Department for advice to make the best use of my time and resources, because I work full-time, I do not make a lot of money, I save, and I take time off to do these projects. I never called Code Enforcement, they are not a help office in any way, they are like truancy officers watching for someone to pounce on; they resent that their victim’s have any rights; and to them, we are sub-human. Two weeks ago after I left here I went next door to check if that $50 a day fine was still accumulating, that was levied in that kangaroo session I was squeezed through on May 21st; I was not even allowed to read my explanation; and yes, the fine is still accumulating and that is the reason why I have not had any Code terrorist snooping through my yard. I have dug a 100 foot trench over two feet deep to bury the Florida Power and Light (FPL) electric service underground, with a permit; typically, they would have trampled all over the place to site various Code violations, because I had board, roof pan, ladders, wheel barrows, and over-turned tables coving the trench; and 100 feet is a long distance to cover up a big excavation, until it was backfilled. Plus, I had to use the orange construction fence to protect people from wandering into the unsafe area, which I was also sited with another Code violation from a dig site out front and they made me take it down. I’ve had to construct a temporary stockade fence right across the front of my house. I cannot look out and see the yard anymore and no one can see the house, it looks like a fort. Visitors have to holler out from the yard and then my dogs bark, so then I know somebody is out there. Just what do I have to do to get rid of this accumulating fine/lien? There is no possible way to be what they call in compliance, while in the middle of excavations to make improvements and to prepare for concrete work. The reason this exists is because in that whole entire development every lot had a driveway, a pad, electric, and the entire infrastructure, but this old building was just abandoned; and that is how I bought it. It had no plumbing, no driveway, no patio, and it was just a broken down old situation, which I think I even told the Board that one other time when I was here. When I bought the property I had to sign a release to the seller, that I accepted the building at my own risk; and I paid only for the land, that building was my baby, so that explains how much work I had to do. I had to do a lot of fill in the yard because every time it rained, I am at the top of the hill; washes down half the yard into the cul-de-sac, so there is a lot of hard labor involved in getting this place finished; and you cannot put a concrete driveway in until you got the concrete up at the top of the hill, because a Rinker truck will break your driveway, a full truck. I have about 30 more yards to pour maybe 40, so to me this the most absurd state of affairs I have ever dealt with. I have the necessary permit; the inspection that was in November/October was deliberately delayed and expired for which I was double charged, then I had to come back and get the same permit a second time for the same project that was already finished months before; and the flimsy excuse used was they claimed they could not read my drawing. Mr. Pickerelli had no trouble deciphering it when he examined it and used it for the second permit so who is behind all of this terrorist activity. Any crime in the country carries its prescribed penalties if found guilty, in fact we are innocent until proven guilty, but to be processed by the Code shame; it costs you each time you go through their doors. Even when innocent, you are automatically fined a whopping $350 for your first trip in you contest, which you cannot agree what it does right if its wrong; and then each trip thereafter, its $550, for trying to contest these trumped-up charges, which you do not even get a change to defend, you are charged as guilty, a summons to appear in person is just an add-on scare tactic, because appearing does not make an iota of difference to them, they already know what they are going to do to every person who comes through those doors. I am sure some movie-mogul like Michael Miller will eventually get wind of these clandestine operations and expose it publicly for all to see. To request an adjustment on an accumulating fine, the Code people told me, I must once again schedule another hearing, another $550 because I am a repeat offender, this is outright thievery in broad daylight; and where does one go to get justice in this County if not to you Commissioners? Is there anything else that I must still do that I have not yet done? Mr. Paul Hayduct, the Building Inspector, told me this whole thing was going to go away, this accumulating fine did not go away, it is still attached to my property; and this is the lien and here is the statement that came up on the County search. Can you imagine putting a lien on some ones property for work performed? It is usually the opposite. I have attached this cute little postcard that Wuesthoff gives their consumers; this is a satisfaction postcard, a very welcoming and reassuring of care we are going to receive; and on the back it reads we work in healthcare because we care about you; you deserve the very best in healthcare service, so please let us know if you need anything. When you see us caring in an exceptional way please fill out this card and turn it in at the front desk or the nurse’s station, so associates can be recognized for a job well done. I thought to myself what a good incentive this would be for Code Enforcement people; send these to all your people that you are victimizing and see how many you get back. Could your Code employees be trained to match this? How many satisfaction reports could they gather from the public they claim to serve? The only other surviving tyrannical operations in this country today that I know of are inter-city gangs and illegal sweat shops. To remind everybody, I thought that was a catch-22 like Ms. Infantini mentioned earlier; you cannot cut the trees without a permit and you cannot get a permit without cutting down certain trees, so it is a catch-22. I have to finish the job, it is going to be messy, I am working with my two hands and limited funds; I can only do one thing at a time; there is only room for one Rinker truck; and I can only do concrete work once every three months. It is very laborious with digging and I will tell you why it is so hard; but that whole Vanguard property was a parking lot, so that little bit of dirt that spread around is on top of packed gravel road based, with a little bit of patches of asphalt. Half of the stuff I do I have to rent a chip and hammer to brake through it, so that is one reason why it is not easy; I just had to let you know that my lot was never ever developed; and it was just like a bulldozed lot dirt piled over top of an old driveway. So thank you very much, and one of these days I will put it on the Agenda, so I can hope to get some real concrete help.”
Stockton Whitten, Interim County Manager, stated staff is very respectful of the right of the public to come under Public Comment; this has been probably the third time since the Board has set the workshop that Ms. From has come before the Board; and staff deserves an opportunity to present the other side of the story. He stated in those three visits staff has been compared to rapists. Mrs. From blurted out not staff, Code. Mr. Whitten stated no, staff has, and that is pretty much him; today staff has been accused of having a lack of ethics and some other inflammatory statements; he would like an opportunity to present the full story; and he thinks the best way for the Board to do that is to actually put Ms. From’s specific issue on the Agenda for the Code Enforcement workshop, so she and staff can address it.
Chairman Nelson inquired where in the process is Ms. From. Robin Sobrino, Planning and Development Director, advised she has been attempting to do a compliance inspection because it has been represented that she has come into compliance; the best way to put everything behind her is to allow the Code Enforcement Officer to come on the property and confirm the compliance. She stated she understands she has declined allowing Code Enforcement to come and do that, in order to put everything behind her, so everything continues to remain pending; and she knows it has been this way for a couple of months at a minimum, and that this could have been taken care of had Code Enforcement been able to come to the property and acknowledge the clearance of the violations.
Ms. From stated the violations that he took close up pictures of were in her front yard, under a palm tree, where she had a construction fence, and began digging for her front patio; she had to move a little pool that she had nursery plants in; she kept moving the pool around, because there is a lot of money in that dirt; and with the construction fence she had no idea that was a violation. She stated the Code Enforcement Officer said to the Judge while in court that there were buckets, and she does not even have any buckets.
Chairman Nelson inquired if Ms. From sees where the difficulty is, because she is asking the Board to listen to and cure the case, that is difficult because the Board does not have the benefit of what she is speaking about; and inquired if she would like to schedule something for the Board to review. Ms. From responded she would definitely, and has wanted to, but has been so tired and overworked; and she is trying to get that great, big100 feet of underground power cable done.
Mr. Whitten stated the County Manager’s Office will schedule Ms. From’s specific case before the Board; it cannot wait until the October 15, 2009 workshop; and if there are no objections, she will be scheduled for the October 6, 2009 meeting. Ms. From stated that would give her time, because she has been working so hard on this thing for so long, and Code Enforcement will not ever leave her alone; and when she first started she had doors and everything, along comes one of these Code guys and said she had to put screen doors in there; so what does she do, she leaves all of her doors on hold and spends her time buying screen doors; now all her money is gone and she has to go back to work; and her door can just sit in a pile.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: RESOLUTION VACATING RIGHT-OF-WAY – LONDON
BOULEVARD FKA ROOSEVELT AVENUE IN MAP OF KELLY PARK – PHILLIPS AND
SPACE COAST PETRO DISTRIBUTOR, INC.
Chairman Nelson called for the public hearing to consider vacating a right-of-way – Loundon Boulevard fka Rossevelt Avenue in Map of Kelly Park – Phillips and Space Coast Petro Distributor, Inc.; stated he had an opportunity to meet with the applicant, as well as, with the adjacent home owners; and there was a consensus to a solution, and he would like to continue this item to October 20, 2009.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to continue the public hearing to consider vacating a portion of London Boulevard fka Rossevelt Avenue in Map of Kelly Park in Section 18, Township 24 South, Range 37 East, to the October 20, 2009 Board meeting. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: CONSIDERATION OF REVISION TO MERIT SYSTEM LEAVE
Chairman Nelson called for the public hearing to consider revision to the Merit System Leave Policy.
Frank Abbate, Interim Assistant County Manager, stated the changes are on the attached page 34 of the Merit System language that provides for a Short-Term Income Protection Plan, for non-work related disabilities; it was employer-paid; and by eliminating this provision in the Policy, the County will then move forward from October 1, 2009 and not be providing this as employer paid benefit. He mentioned there currently is a Request for Proposal (RFP) to provide this type of benefit in the future, as an employee paid option if employees choose to do that.
Chairman Nelson inquired the action is to approve the strikethroughs, which are contained in the strikethrough version from page 34 to page 35. Mr. Abbate responded that is correct.
There being no objections heard, Motion was made by Commissioner Infantini, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to approve request that the Board, in accordance with Chapter 82 of the Brevard County Code of Ordinances, Personnell, consider in public hearing, revisions to the Merit System Policy IX, Leave. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: ORDINANCE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT RECOVERY ZONE
Chairman Nelson called for the public hearing to consider ordinance for Economic Development Recovery Zone.
Stockton Whitten, Interim County Manager, stated there will be a couple of other steps that will take place after the adoption of the ordinance.
Scott Morgan, Melbourne City Manager, stated this ordinance is an economic development tool that does not have risk to the County or its taxpayers; he thinks there will be a lot of support from the cities and communities; he does favor establishing the entire County as a designated zone, providing the maximum benefits or choose an area that is small; but it provides the most flexibility. He recommends an allocation to consider to the cities and County at least initially of the cap, so that there be some time when everybody could have an opportunity; if they have a project to take advantage of this to put it forth, and if not, then it certainly would want to keep as much in Brevard County as possible; and that would provide opportunity for many cities to try to put forth projects.
Chairman Nelson stated previously what was said was the Board would accept applications from any of the cities, but were not going to create a specific allocation.
Mr. Whitten mentioned that was his recommendation and is still wanting that recommendation there; the application process is the next step, which has not been established yet; and he will recommend that the Board keep the allocation intact and Countywide so the best project bonding dollars go to the best project regardless of which city; and if the Board will recall the only city that actually receives its own allocations is the City of Palm Bay. He stated his recommendation would be that the funding is a Countywide bonding capacity Countywide, with the thought being the best project ultimately wins out, regardless of which city it decides to locate in.
Milo Zonka stated he hopes the Board received the communication he sent late last night and the Space Coast League of Cities actually came across with the same recommendations as was heard from Mr. Morgan; and the idea behind the concept of doing an allocation is quite simply, the cities having a very good idea of who out there would be interested in taking advantage of these. He explained his concern is the timeline that was being presented was extremely quick with having until January 11, 2010 to issue the Bonds and from any city in the County and from the County’s perspective there may be opportunities that have not yet presented themselves and may not present themselves for a few months, that needs to be prepared for; and regardless of whatever system is chosen he strongly encourages the Board to not use a snapshot announcement for 30 days to have an answer back in 60 days and call it a day, because these are probably going to be the most creative and hotly contested economic development tools, that are available to every large municipality within counties across the country. He stated he urges the Board and the League of Cities to look at an allocation method, at least for a short term period of time, to have the cities go out and see if they can generate any interests than may not come from an announcement in the newspaper; then after a period of time, possibly 120 days, then all of those funds would revert back to the County without any allocation process; certainly, whatever project that would come forward from the cities would still have to meet the County’s criteria and selection, to make sure that one project does not absorb all of the funds; by having the allocation process on an interim basis, could ensure that companies large and small can take a look at this as a financing vehicle to do an expansion or a new development here in Brevard County.
Chairman Nelson explained the only thing that troubles him is he and Commissioner Bolin represents some intensely-developed area of unincorporated Brevard County; by setting aside dollars specific or for cities basically, excludes those areas, which do not happen to be called cities, but look, feel, and have all the same kinds of characteristics as cities. Mr. Zonka advised it does and it does not; if it was looked at, as a population basis, which may or may not be skewed because Palm Bay does have an allocation of its own; of that $28 million, roughly about $10 million still falls into unincorporated; on a prorata, there is still a good representation; the Board would look at formula for allocation; and there is no question that the unincorporated would have to be kept in mind, because this is not a municipality issue, it is a Brevard County issue.
Chairman Nelson inquired in terms of the timing, has Greg Lugar, Economic and Financial Programs Director, projected any thoughts on what the County is going to do. Mr. Lugar responded he and Mr. Whitten have been discussing this and he hopes to come back with some kind of procedure and an application that will be utilized in a form of a resolution, as it is stated in this ordinance that it would come back to Board and ask for consideration and adoption of; and concurrently, there will probably be a recommendation on how long the first phase or single phase would be, in terms of the advertising of these allocation dollars to be made available. Mr. Lugar mentioned one thing that has to be realized is there could be more than one round for Brevard County, depending on the use of these allocations; other states other than Florida have somewhat of a proportionate share of allocation that may not be utilized; those dollars, by the end of 2010, will be absorbed by the State for reallocation to other counties; and it may be that if the County utilizes the allocations up front, there still may be more available at a later date.
Commissioner Anderson inquired if the County was to use the suggestion of the League of Cities in the allocation method; and what would be an acceptable timeframe in Mr. Lugar’s estimation. Mr. Lugar responded he would allow the cities to maintain that allocation no longer than five or six months, because typically to do a Bond issue, it may take another four to five months to go through a process of validating Bonds and working out relationships with the bank; and are only giving the County 14 months from the time of consideration of resolution next month. Mr. Whitten added the issue is going to be what if there is somebody out there who is ready to go, it is decided to allocate out to the cities, they put forth their best efforts, and nobody comes to the plate; then those dollars are basically given up, as Mr. Lugar eluded to earlier, that other cities and counties may actually forego, which will be a very difficult issue for the Board. He stated there is no 30 or 60 days right not, because again, this is simply the ordinance and staff will have to bring back the entire process of application of timelines of whether or not the Board wants to allocate out of the portion of these allocations.
Commissioner Bolin inquired if adopting the ordinance and determining the guts of how the County is going to do the allocations at a later date, needs to moved forward, with the anticipation of following up with the procedure. Mr. Whitten responded the County will have to come back to the Board for all of the follow up procedures.
Mr. Zonka stated sticking to the issue of the moment, he did not convey in the letter, but the League of Cities is fully supportive of naming the entire County as a recovery zone.
Chairman Nelson stated he honestly does not like the allocation to the cities because Palm Bay may actually have better projects as a group; the County may be holding an allocation for other cities; and he thinks it could even hurt cities in the long run and would prefer to see the best first, with the incentive to the cities is that the County knows what the challenge is.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner Bolin, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to adopt Ordinance designating Brevard County an recovery zone for purposes of Sections 1400U-1, 1400U-2, and 1400U-3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, to be codified in the Brevard County Code; providing findings of fact; providing a title; designating the Recovery Zone; providing for funding appropriation; providing for eligible activities/projects for Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds; providing for eligible activities/projects for Recovery Zone Facility Bonds; providing criteria for activity/project investment; providing for project application and selection process; providing for investment amount; providing for compliance; providing for severability; providing for renumbering/relettering; and providing for an effective date. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING, RE: ORDINACE AMENDING SECTION 38-7 (a) AND (b), INCREASING
STATE COURT FACILITIES SURCHARGES FROM $15 TO $30
Chairman Nelson called for the public hearing to consider ordinance amending Section 38-7 (a) and (b), increasing State Court Facilities Surcharges from $15 to $30.
There being no objections heard, motion was made by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Bolin to adopt Ordinance amending the Code of Ordinance of Brevard County, Florida, Sections 38-7(a) and (b); increasing the surcharge authorized there under for State Court Facilities from $15.00 to $30.00. As provided for pursuant to Section 318.18(13)(a), Florida Statutes, as amended by SB 2108 (2009); adding “As Provided For” to Section 38-7(b) for clarity; providing for severability; providing for inclusion in the Code of Ordinances for Brevard County; providing for conflicting provisions; providing for area encompasses; providing for an effective date. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Infantini and Anderson voted nay.
Commissioner Anderson mentioned he spoke with some Law Enforcement Officers and they poled a couple of shifts; the Officer’s claim now that they are having a hard time writing tickets, because of the current economic situation; if the Board chose another $15 they would be even less likely to write tickets; and he is just cautioning this Board because less income may be seen from this as a result of Officer’s discretion in writing tickets. Commissioner Bolin stated with this particular item it is also being used to balance the budget; if this is not done, then the County will be looking at $700,000 to pull out of Reserves. Commissioner Anderson mentioned he does agree with that, but there are going to be a lot of Officers not writing tickets; and the County may not realize that $700,000 regardless. Commissioner Bolin explained she understands what he says and wishes they would have done it three weeks ago. Commissioner Infantini stated she would like to go on the record that she did not include that in her balanced budget; and she wanted to do budget cuts, so this is not part of her balanced budget program. Chairman Nelson stated in his balanced budget he cut $40 million, so he is not sure what Commissioner Infantini did; the difficulty is going to be that he would hope that the economy is causing people to drive slower; and if the incentive is not to give tickets then maybe that is not a bad thing either. Commissioner Anderson stated his whole point is, there are unintended consequences possibly with this.
OPTION AGREEMENT FOR SALE AND PURCHASE WITH THE PULTE HOMES, INC., RE:
FORTENBERRY REGIONAL STORMWATER TREATMENT PROJECT
Ernest Brown, Natural Resources Management Director stated before the Board today is the combination of the Option Agreement for Sale and Purchase that the Board entered into on May 28, 2009 with Pulte Homes, Inc.; the Option Agreement cost/price was $2,665,750; the Board directed Natural Resources to move forward with dugilesence to ascertain the appraisal; the appraisal for the property, the environmental dugilesence and the associated title work; that has all been preformed at this point in time, with the appraisals coming back at $5.2 million as the average of the two appraisals; and the Land Acquisition Committee met and found those appraisals to be acceptable. He stated the environmental work determined that were no hazardous material or hazardous waste on site; there was about 61,000 cubic yards of solid construction debris that would have to be removed; and it was determined that the $4 million be available to acquire for clean up and building phase one of the pond, as it is available to be moved forward if the purchase price is dropped to $2 million, as apposed to the $2.665 million. Mr. Brown mentioned as effective this morning, communication with Pulte Homes, Inc. would be receptive to accepting the $2 million price, which is below the Option Agreement and far below the appraised value of the property; and there were a few considerations that the County Attorney’s Office can go into detail if so desired, one of which was that closing be at the end of this month.
Chairman Nelson passed the gavel to Vice Chairman Bolin and stated his appreciation to Commissioner Fisher for his efforts on behalf of the project, because he has done a great job of getting to this number from when it was started; and he has had some business folks describe this project and the redevelopment that is going to occur in that area as being on the most remarkable projects they have ever seen on Merritt Island, in terms of redevelopment. He mentioned the key thing here is that while it does take some land off the tax rolls; the taxable value of the remaining properties throughout a 190-acre basin area is going to be much greater as a result of that; and it is going to facilitate the ability to redevelop properties that the Board knows will come up for redevelopment, such as Jimmy Vickers Dealership and The Sutherland Dealership, which are major tracts of land that are going to be redeveloped. He stated the one thing that always held this up was the old Wal-mart site on Merritt Island and the lack of retention capacity to be able to expand there; and that will be addressed. He stated the nice part is that the storm water utility that was created is going to actually recoup much of those dollars, based on the type of development that goes in there; in and of itself the acquisition would be worthwhile, because it is going to help meet the State levels for the water treatment, as much of that water currently goes into a ditch system and gets dumped into Newfound Harbour and Indian River Lagoon; and if for no other purpose there is actually the development community willingly participating in this. He mentioned the spin-off benefit; he did not ask the Vietnam Veteran’s and the Brevard Veteran Organization to come out today, because they are both looking to benefit from this; the Vet’s have looked to have the County to acquire this site for sometime to allow for expansion of their facility; and this will be able to do that without impeding the ability of storm water to do what they need to do. He stated it truly is a win, win, win project and it is one that he thinks can serve as a model for other communities that are going to be faced with the same thing; and Commissioner Fisher was involved with one kind similar in Titusville with the McCotter Ford property; and the Port did their project, which has helped them, as there are two retention areas on the South side of the highway there that redirected all the storm water into that for treatment, which allows them to develop more fully the land that they have, so it is a great way of facilitating the use of the existing infrastructure.
Commissioner Infantini stated when staff first presented this project she thinks the price was around $2.5 to $3 million; Commissioner Fisher was tasked with going out to negotiate and at that time when he came back with the $2.665 million. Commissioner Fisher advised actually if she would remember correctly he was asking for an appraisal and for everything to be stopped at that time and make the developer come back with a letter telling what he would sell the property for, so that the County was not getting into it historically; and he thinks the County has bought on appraisal price, so the developer came up with a number, before an offer was made to him, because originally the developers offer was $3 million and he went to Mr. Brown and said to tell the developer no; and then negotiations started. Commissioner Infantini stated even at $3 million, if the $2 million in clean up costs were deducted, that leaves $1 million; and inquired if the asking price was given at $3 million, did the developer know the clean up cost would be $2 million. She stated she knows when she and Commissioner Fisher spoke with each other about of the huge impact and the lack of development because of the muck. Commissioner Fisher stated the price was lowered from $3 million with the understanding of some issues of clean up to do. Commissioner Infantini inquired if an environmental site assessment had been done. Mr. Brown responded extensive Phase II work has been preformed and verified that there is no hazardous waste or hazardous material on site; it is approximately 61,000 cubic yards of solid waste, which estimates are from the consultant that works with the County’s actual development plan, which is actually excavating a pond; and they are looking at about $1 million in clean up and approximately $1 million to develop Phase I. He stated to fully developing Phase I of the project acquisition clean up and construction; the Phase I pond, which starts the ability right off the bat for the Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency (MIRA) storm water utility to begin redeveloping those properties; and they immediately treating the storm water run off to meet the State and Federal mandates of $4 million, that is a completed project. He mentioned even the acquisition, the clean up, and the construction is less than the appraised value of the property. Commissioner Infantini stated she could never go forward and make a purchase on something that the County has $1 million worth of clean up on a project that costs $2 million to purchase; she does not see the cost benefit and the benefit down the road is too far down the road for development in the Merritt Island area; this is tax dollars that were earned off of the appreciation in value, that ended up not going to Brevard County, instead went to this one specialized District; and she does not think it is a good use of taxpayer money at this point in time. Commissioner Fisher stated there was a Land Acquisition Group that thought the County should buy it and he still thought there was a couple hundred thousand dollars left to get out of them; and inquired who was on the committee. Mr. Brown responded on the Land Acquisition Review Committee, which is a committee that provides advice to the Directors that are actually dealing with acquisition; Assistant County Manager Mel Scott, Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis, Assistant County Attorney Christine Lepore, Public Works Director John Denninghoff, and he are on the Committee; with all sitting around the table and having a pretty lengthy discussion about the appropriateness of this particular acquisition, with every body at the table was concurrent that the appraisals were reasonable and that this was an acceptable purchase based on the appraisal costs and associated liabilities from the environmental perspective. He mentioned there was no opposition from any of the members from that Land Acquisition Review Committee. Commissioner Fisher stated the County is buying a piece of property, way below price value; buying the property at retail value for storm water treatment, being forced to buy at a time when people will know the County would be in the position to do so, and from a timing standpoint, it is a good buy. He stated there will always have to be treatment for storm water issues and what it is coming out of MIRA and storm water funds is what those funds are to be used for; and he knows it is important to the Chairman, the people in his District, and to the people of Merritt Island; and he thinks it should be supported
Commissioner Anderson stated he knows this is important to Chairman Nelson; he will support it and the reason he wanted to speak is just to show that on his part, there were robust discussions during the budget that he is not parochial; it is important to economic development, which is important to all of the Board members; and he is just plugging his Parkway right now, so do not forget that when the time comes. Chairman Nelson commented he appreciates that perspective because he represents unincorporated and city residents as well; and there just happens to be a large city that does not have a government other than Merritt Island. He stated they rely on the County Commission to be the city council; he could use some help because normally there would be five city councilmen for a city the size of Merritt Island; he gets to do it all; and he appreciates the help and support. He mentioned there are only so many façade grants; a great job has been done with that, but his is one that is truly going to jump start this particular segment of the community.
Motion by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to authorize staff exercise the Option to Purchase the Pulte property in the amount of $2 million ($265,000.00 less than the purchase price stated in the Option Agreement); approve waivers to certain deletions, identified in the request, from coverage contained in the title commitment; and execute First Amendment to Option Agreement for Sale and Purchase. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Infantini voted nay.
Christine Lepore, Assistant County Attorney, stated Pulte’s response to reduce the purchase price is an amendment to the Option Agreement, reducing that purchase price and moving up the closing deadline to the end of this month; and waiving all additional title objections; and inquired if there could be a motion to authorize the Chairman to sign the Amendment that was provided this morning.
Motion by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to execute the first Amendment to the Option Agreement for Sale and Purchase with Pulte Homes, Inc. Motion carried and ordered; Commissioner Infantini voted nay.
Vice Chairman Bolin passed the gavel back to Chairman Nelson.
INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT WITH CITY OF WEST MELBOURNE, RE: HOLLYWOOD
ESTATES ENTRANCE ROAD
Scott Morgan, Melbourne City Manager, stated John D’Amico the Deputy Mayor was present before the Board when this project was first awarded; it is very important to him, Melbourne, and Palm Bay because it is a major corridor; and he appreciates the awarding of that intersection improvement.
Motion by Commissioner Infantini, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to approve the Interlocal Agreement and County Deed with City of West Melbourne for the transfer of ownership and maintenance of property acquired by the County for the relocation of the Hollywood Estates Entrance Road; and authorize the Chairman to sign the documents needed. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
RESOLUTION, RAILROAD REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT, AND FEC LICENSE
AGREEMENT WITH FDOT, RE: RAILROAD CROSSING ON BARNES BOULEVARD
Motion by Commissioner Bolin, seconded by Commissioner Anderson, to adopt Resolution and approve Railroad Reimbursement Agreement with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and Florida East Coast Railway (FEC); approve FEC License Agreement with FEC for improvements to the railroad crossing located on Barnes Boulevard, west of U.S. 1; and authorize the Chairman to sign the documents. Motion carried and ordered unanimously. (See page for Resolution No. 09-185, FEC and FDOT Agreement.)
BOARD DIRECTION, RE: WHYMEYER ANNUITY
Morris Richardson, Assistant County Attorney, stated direction is needed for the Whymeyer annuity offer that was received; fortunately, Ms. Whymeyer was kind enough to designate the Animal Shelter as the beneficiary, unfortunately she designated Animal Shelter and technically that is not the correct name of the Animal Shelter; the secondary beneficiary, or contingent beneficiary, is The Salvation Army; American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is not going to distribute the annuity until The Salvation Army and the Board agrees on a disbursement, or to go to court; and currently The Salvation Army has presented an offer to settle, splitting the proceeds of the annuity 50/50. He stated direction is needed on how to respond to that settlement offer.
Chairman Nelson stated he thinks how the Agenda Item is read it was presumed it was going to be a 50/50 split, which is the Option 2.
Motion by Commissioner Infantini, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to approve Option 2, to authorize settlement on the terms proposed by The Salvation Army, in response to The Salvation Army’s offer to split the proceeds from the Whymeyer annuity (approximately $242,000 total value) 50/50 with the South Animal Care and Adoption Center. Motion carried and ordered unanimously.
APPROVAL, RE: CANCELLATION OF SEPTEMBER 17, 2009 WORKSHOP
Motion by Commissioner Infantini, to schedule the tree ordinance workshop for then, that way it will not be drug out; she stated she believes Bruce Moia can have his matrix available at that time, there is already a scheduled workshop, and it will not delay the whole process. Motion died for lack of a second.
Chairman Nelson stated that would be Thursday and there will be no time to read it. Commissioner Infantini stated Mr. Moia could probably get it to the Board by tomorrow afternoon; she spoke to somebody prior to this, and she thinks most of the ordinance has already been analyzed in the past; basically to have a matrix going on, because it is not like a brand-new research; and she is just trying to get this done, rather than procrastinating. Chairman Nelson stated there is no procrastination; it will be given the amount of attention and time to review it that is necessary to make a informed decision; and he is offended by her assertion that the Board is just dragging it on, because there is nothing in its hands today to review. Commissioner Infantini mentioned she has emails from people that have corresponded with her over the past probably seven months; she does not have nothing she has plenty of research that she would be glad to forward it to his office. Chairman Nelson explained with encountering points of some say they hate it and some saying they love it; and inquired what will be given. Commissioner Infantini stated the ones that hate it, because they are the only ones who have taken the time to write. Chairman Nelson advised it needs be done correctly and has to have good information.
Commissioner Anderson inquired if the tree ordinance will be received rather quickly. Mel Scott, Assistant County Manger, stated it will be given priority and worked as hard as possible; the one arborist on staff is out this week; it will need to be understood to what Mr. Moia will give in his matrix, so cogent ideas are well thought and laid out, to help the Board can make a decision. Commissioner Infantini inquired by priority is it meant 30 days or can a window be put on it. Chairman Nelson mentioned what was said previously was that they would give us the timeline; that was the direction the Board gave them at that time. Commissioner Anderson stated he just does not want this drug-out, because he knows there are a lot of people waiting to get this thing resolved; his fear is there are projects on hold until the Board can take further action; and as quickly as possible will be better. Mr. Scott stated it is a priority Commissioners. Commissioner Fisher stated it sounds like there needs to be more employees working on it. Commissioner Anderson advised to change the ordinance there is no need to have more employees.
Motion by Commissioner Anderson, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to approve the cancellation of the September 17, 2009 workshop. Motion ordered and carried; Commissioner Infantini voted nay.
APPOINTMENT, RE: CITIZEN MEMBER TO BREVARD COUNTY VALUE ADJUSTMENT
Stockton Whitten, Interim County Manager, stated this the application and the application process.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to approve the advertisement for applications for a citizen member and an alternate to the Brevard County Value Adjustment Board. Motion ordered and carried unanimously.
STAFF DIRECTION, RE: SUSPENSION OF TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEE WAIVER
WITHIN CITIES PARTICIPATING IN BREVARD COUNTY PROGRAM
Scott Morgan, City Manager, City of West Melbourne, stated he recommends the Board select Alternative 2; and on October 6, 2009 it will be a time certain, to address the larger issues. Don Griffin, City of Rockledge Planning Director, stated he has not seen what Option 2 is, but has been talking to Mel Scott; and right now there are concerns from builders that are coming in, that are being charged impact fees, as it stands today they feel this is unjust, because they have already closed on properties and now all of the sudden this $4,700 fee is on them, which is basically their profit margin; and asked for due notice if the moratorium is changed. Chairman Nelson inquired it the City of Rockledge has taken a position, because the County has been waiting to hear what is needed to be done; and now for some reason it has came back to the Board. Mr. Griffin stated the City of Rockledge has not officially taken any position; right now if anything is built in Brevard County it is not charging an impact fee; and anything built in the City is charging an impact fee. He stated something seems to be all wrong. Chairman Nelson responded it is wrong only if the City continues to want to collect it; the intent was to give the option; and the problem was that was not understood. He stated the Option 2 is to continue to waive impact fees until the City makes an action to do otherwise. Mr. Griffin responded he thinks that option is fair.
Motion by Commissioner Anderson, seconded by Commissioner Bolin, to approve Option 2, to continue to waive all transportation impact fees within participating cities to ensure a uniform application of the fee waiver until such time as different collection arrangements are established within cities that seek to opt out of the waiver; and continue to retain collected fees within the City of West Melbourne, pending resolution of the issue. Motion ordered and carried unanimously.
CITIZEN REQUEST, RE: MICHAEL ORLIK D.B.A. AMERICAN EAGLE ELECTRICIANS OF
FLORIDA – UNLICENSED CONTRACTOS
An audience member advised that Mr. Orlik had to go to work. The Board took no action on Michael Orlik’s request to increase fines and jail time for repeat unlicensed contractors.
AUTHORIZATION, RE: STAFF TO REQUEST TWO PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR FPL
FLORIDA ENERGY SECURE PIPELINE PROJECT
Scott Knox, County Attorney, stated this is part of a Pipeline Siting Act requirement that the County is empowered to seek public hearings to notify the citizens as to what FPL is going to attempt to do, in terms of locating this pipeline. Attorney Knox mentioned he wanted to bring this to the Boards attention to see if the Board wanted to authorize the public hearings.
Chairman Nelson stated his understanding is that FPL is notifying everyone on 200 feet, either side of the pipeline, but he certainly does not think it would be a bad idea at all.
Motion by Commissioner Fisher, seconded by Commissioner Infantini, to authorize staff to request two public hearing, the first a public informational hearing about the FPL Florida Energy Secure Pipeline Project Siting process, and the second a public hearing before an Administrative Law Judge to discuss the location of the gas line corridor in Brevard County. Motion ordered and carried unanimously.
DISCUSSION, RE: REVERSE CALL NOTIFICATION FOR LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN
Commissioner Fisher stated he has one thing he would like to bring up; today at lunch it was brought up that possibly the County could use the Emergency Management call to residents for notification of the letter writing campaign; and if that could be an option to consider to be able to be used. Commissioner Bolin mentioned the call notification. Commissioner Fisher stated the County has a way of calling residents about the letter writing campaign; and that it could be done through that system. Chairman Nelson stated he sees two that are squeamish and he cannot see Commissioner Anderson. Commissioner Fisher inquired what are they squeamish about; and inquired if he should not have started out with the Emergency Management thing. Commissioner Bolin inquired if this is to receive a phone call asking someone to do a solicitation on the County’s benefit. Commissioner Fisher noted for the Board’s benefit or the public’s benefit. Commissioner Bolin stated for a benefit it is pretty hard to do cold-calling on something like that. Commissioner Fisher inquired what Commissioner Bolin means. Commissioner Bolin explained with these phone calls and contacting people who might not have a concern about the benefit; it is mass-calling; and if she can, it is related to getting a call from a solicitor. Commissioner Fisher stated he thought this would be great for a District to be calling in its own District; and the Commissioner’s voice would go out; and being a campaign year, with concerns about jobs, people would love to hear from their Commissioner. Chairman Nelson stated he wants to give a little different perspective; when talking about the Space Program and loss of jobs, it was at the same time Sea Ray, was laying off folks, and he received a bunch of calls saying why is he not taking care of them and only taking care of the Space Program. Commissioner Fisher stated that is a good question. Chairman Nelson explained the answer is they are trying to do both, but it sometimes can turn up and bite; and he thinks the Board should think about this; and it is an interesting concept. He mentioned his squeamish concern was that it is an Emergency Program System notification that there is a gas leak in the neighborhood or those kinds of things; and there is no Policy on where that limit lies or what should or should not be used for that purpose. Commissioner Fisher requested that the Board members to think about it. Commissioner Infantini stated she thinks it is a very novel idea, but at the same time she does not want to use something that was designed for emergency notification; people will take that phone number when it comes in and wonder if it is important this time, because there are family members that will not pick up the phone; and she does not want people to not pick up a phone call, thinking it is going to be a solicitation. Commissioner Fisher inquired if Stockton Whitten, Interim County Manger, can tell how it was used in the past. Mr. Whitten stated it is used for boil water notices, amber alerts, and evacuations for hurricanes; it is, in fact, a reverse call system and the thought process was just to use it, because there is going to have to be a public information component of what is proposed earlier; and that was a simple thought process. Commissioner Anderson stated he knows that the School Board, specifically Dr. Dipatri, used it aggressively when they had the big thing at the King Center for individuals to come out and nail their legislature and tell them to fund schools, which is probably not as high-profile as saving the Space Center; and that was an actual definition of abuse of the system for political reasons, this is not this is to save jobs. Commissioner Fisher stated he will come up with the wording and language for the Board to have a chance to really look at it as possibly a tool to use to be able to help with the campaign.
DISCUSSION, RE; POSITION OF THE PRESIDENT OF SPACE FLORIDA
Chairman Nelson stated he does have one more item; it was brought to his attention by Commissioner Bolin that apparently the committee that is reviewing the selection to permanently be the position of the President of Space Florida. Commissioner Bolin stated it is the position for the President of Space Florida, they where determining the selection committee today. Chairman Nelson stated Shana Dale has been selected over Frank DiBello; and he thinks from the Board’s perspective, Mr. DiBello is a choice; not that Ms. Dale is not a good person but he thinks from the Board’s perspective; that Mr. DiBello is the person who can do the best job; if it would please the Board, he would like to do a letter, on behalf of the Board, expressing the desire to have them consider Mr. DiBello; and while there is a recommendation there is a confirmation process it has to go through. Commissioner Bolin stated if Chairman Nelson is going to do a letter it will have to be faxed because of being on a time-crunch; and she would prefer all to believe that having someone from Brevard County represent the Board as a President of Space Florida; and to get on the phone immediately leaving this meeting and call everyone possible, to see if this can be reversed.
Commissioner Infantini stated she would like to not put the opinion of the Board out; if an individual Commissioner feels a certain way and would like to voice their opinion, that would be fine; each one individually can make those respective phone calls; but as a Commissioner she does not think it is appropriate to go forward and endorse one candidate over another. Commissioner Fisher inquired if the Board is creating a problem for itself by going out strong for Mr. DiBello; he likes Mr. DiBello; and after speaking about this, he wants to talk about using him for lobbying, if he does not get this deal. He stated he thinks Mr. DiBello does wonderful stuff and maybe this is a blessing in disguise for the County, because he knows Commissioner Bolin had some problems with Mr. Walker and possibly, as money is budgeted for lobbying, Mr. DiBello could be the guy to do it. He inquired does the Board really want to do this, because at the end of the day there has to be a relationship with whoever is selected for Space Florida; if Ms. Dale is selected, could the Board have damaged that relationship already by support Mr. DiBello; and individually, he thinks anybody can do anything they want to do.
Commissioner Bolin stated she understands exactly what Commissioner Fisher is saying and thanked him for his levelheaded reasoning; she believes very strongly in Mr. DiBello’s ability and maybe she personally would like to make those phone calls, but as a Commissioner, she understands the position and does not want to burn any bridges; and she thinks it is an excellent idea. Commissioner Anderson stated he concurs. Chairman Nelson stated it will be handled individually.
Commissioner Fisher inquired what the confirmation date is of the Crime workshop date. Stockton Whitten, Interim County Manager, responded it is still in the works, and he will give the date as soon as it is arranged with all calendars.
Upon motion and vote, the meeting adjourned at 4:03 p.m.
SCOTT ELLIS, CLERK CHUCK NELSON, CHAIRMAN
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA