MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GILCHRIST COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HELD JANUARY 21, 1999.
The Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners, in and for Gilchrist County, Florida, convened in a regular meeting on January 21, 1999, at 5:00 p.m. in the County Commissioner's Meeting Room, located in the Gilchrist County Courthouse, 112 South Main Street, Trenton, Florida, with the following members present to-wit:
Randy Durden, Chair
Sue B. Suggs
John Rance Thomas
Others in attendance were: Joseph W. Gilliam, Clerk of Court, Samuel A. Mutch, County Attorney, Scott Koons, North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Allen Luzader, and Charissa Strickland, Building Department.
Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs to approve the minutes of the meeting held November 2, 1998. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Public Hearing- Special Permit SP 98-01 Pit Mining (Royster):
Mr. Mutch, county attorney, advised the Board that this hearing is a quasi-judicial hearing. The Board must determine whether there is competent substantial evidence to approve the application submitted for a special permit. If the applicant has met the burden after his testimony, the Board may hear from those in opposition who must submit competent substantial evidence. If the applicant does not have competent substantial evidence, the Board may deny the permit. After the quasi-judicial portion of the hearing, the Board may take comments and ask questions. Those people who have evidence which relates to the criteria in the land development regulations and comprehensive plan, must be sworn in prior to testimony. Following the quasi-judicial hearing, the Board may receive comments or ask questions. Once the comments have been closed, no one may speak unless questioned by the Board.
Mr. Scott Koons, Director of Local Government Assistance, North Central Florida Regional Planning Council was sworn in by Mr. Mutch, prior to giving testimony.
Mr. Koons presented the staff report (concurrency assessment) on the special permit application. According to the concurrency assessment, there will be no impact on potable water or sewer. This report was prepared for the special permit application for mining and excavation operations on a twenty acre parcel of property in section 9, township 8 south, range 16 east, owned by William Royster. The proposed use associated with this special permit does not anticipate or require potable water services, therefore there is no anticipated impact on potable water services. It is not anticipated that this use will require on-site sanitary sewer facilities. There will be no impact on the solid waste services, nor any increase to impervious services as a result of the permitted activity. This use will not generate any additional population to the county, therefore this is no anticipated impact on recreational facilities. In regards to traffic, the estimated trips for this type of use is estimated at 160 trips per day. The estimated current traffic volume on county road 340 is 1000 trips. It is not anticipated that this activity will adversely affect the traffic volume. The existing land use on the site is agricultural-forest and is bordered on each side by the same land use classification. There are no known historic resources on the site. The site is not in a flood prone area and does not contain any wetlands. The soils on the site is fine sands and penny fine sands. Mr. Koons submitted the document to the Board, recorded as County Exhibit # One. Mr. Koons reviewed the resolution from the Planning and Zoning Board, which was adopted to recommend approval with conditions, in addition to the standard conditions set forth in the Land Development Regulations for mining operations. The four additional conditions recommended by the Planning and Zoning Board are: the hours of operation be limited to 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays; a dumpster be located on the site for the disposal of petroleum containers and filters; a storage facility with a concrete floor and containment area be constructed on site for storage of petroleum products; the access road to the site be paved with milled asphalt material a minimum of 900 feet long, 10 feet wide with one inch of milled material. Mr. Koons submitted the resolution to the Board, recorded as County Exhibit # Two.
Commissioner Suggs stated that in the concurrency assessment, she did not find where the proposed activity will serve a public use or purpose.
Mr. Koons stated that the proposed use is an enterprise business to sale fill dirt to contractors in the area.
Mr. Mutch stated that there is nothing in the Land Development Regulation which requires a showing that there must be a benefit for a public purpose.
Mr. William Royster, applicant, was sworn in by Mr. Mutch prior to giving testimony. Mr. Royster displayed a map of the proposed site, which is a ten acre area. Mr. Royster pointed out the road, which is 900 feet long. The nearest house to the current excavation site is 1200 feet. If the area was mined to the property boundary line, the nearest house would be 800 feet. There are heavy woods between the boundary and the homes in the area. Mr. Royster stated that he traded in his old loader and purchased a new back hoe to decrease the noise. On the busiest day, 35 loads hauled out of the pit was the highest number he can recall. Mr. Royster has addressed all the complaints he heard at the Planning and Zoning Board hearing. Mr. Royster feels there is no need for a dumpster because he is not allowed to haul any trash onto the property and the small back hoe will be serviced by Highland Tractor Company, eliminating oil changes on the property. Fuel is carried in the back of his personal pick up to fuel the back hoe, eliminating the need for a concrete retention area. Commissioner Durden asked if a power line crosses his property and if so if the applicant owns the easement. Mr. Royster stated that the power company has a right-of-way to enter the property, however, since it is his property, he has no need for written approval from the power company. Chairman Durden asked what Mr. Royster's plans are for the existing pit. Mr. Royster stated that he plans to leave it like it is currently. The depth of digging is 8 to 20 feet. The Board asked Mr. Royster if he has made any attempts to reclaim the current pit. Mr. Royster stated that he intends to plant a portion of the area in timber (the portion he no longer uses). A portion of the current pit area that is no longer being used has been turned into a dirt bike track. Chairman Durden asked Mr. Royster if he intends to mine out of the current pit if operating restrictions are placed on the new proposed site. Mr. Royster replied that he would continue to mine the current pit because no operating hours were established for that pit. Commissioner Thomas asked Mr. Royster if he intends to mine limerock. Mr. Royster replied that he would only mine fill dirt or top soil. Mr. Mutch asked Mr. Royster if he has a reclamation plan for the proposed site. Mr. Royster stated that he plans to plant it in pines. Commissioner Wilkerson asked how long he will be able to haul dirt from a ten acre pit. Mr. Royster replied that he anticipates less than five years. Mr. Mutch stated that the description of the property for which the permit has been requested includes twenty acres. Mr. Royster stated he is only asking for ten acres. Mr. Mutch asked which ten acres and what is the legal description for that ten acres.
Mr. Peter Butt was sworn in by Mr. Mutch. Mr. Butt is a resident near the proposed site area. He is concerned about water resources in the area. The property is in the defined high recharge area according to the county's comprehensive plan map. Mr. Butt counted 15 five gallon containers for fuel and oil at the site. He is also concerned about illegal dumping. The intent on the special use permit is for 10 acres, however, Mr. Royster began mining before the permit application was submitted. Mr. Butt contacted the Department of Environmental Protection, speaking to the Mines and Bureau of Reclamation advised him that if the excavation process removes more than an acre per year and the total exceeds five acres, it is not exempt from permitting and a notice of intent needs to be filed, which includes reclamation. This form also address duration. He was also advised that an environmental review process needs to be filed and thus far, DEP has not received any information regarding the permit application by Mr. Royster. Mr. Butt is concerned that no studies have been performed by geologists, no soil samples have been taken.
Mr. Mutch swore in Lee Schaldenbrand. Mr. Schaldenbrand asked about the format used by the Planning and Zoning Board, commenting that it reads as though the Board had already made a decision. Mr. Mutch explained that the North Central Florida Planning Council prepares resolutions in advance for either approval or denial of the permit. Mr. Schaldenbrand is a resident of Spring Ridge which is near the proposed site, and does not feel that it is in the public interest to have a pit near his home, due to the noise, which has occurred all hours of the day and night. He is a member of the local volunteer fire department and has extinguished fires on this property at night, when burn permits are not issued. He has witnessed trucks hauling what looks like debris into the property and leaving empty. Mr. Schaldenbrand has had fill dirt delivered to his house, mixed with various types of debris, including glass and metal. Commissioner Bush asked if Spring Ridge has a property owner association. Mr. Schaldenbrand stated that at this time, they do not have an association. Mr. Schaldenbrand stated that if the Board approved the permit he would encourage them to place the additional conditions recommended by the Planning and Zoning Board.
Mr. Mutch swore in Ron Mills. Mr. Mills lives in Spring Ridge and he testified that as a member of the local volunteer fire department he has responded to fires in the pit at night. There was debris in the pit which was burning and he is concerned about the possibility of a new pit containing debris. He is concerned that this type of operation will adversely affect his property value.
Attorney Duncan Jones stated that he has been retained to represent John Elton. Mr. Jones stated that Mr. Elton was unable to attend tonight, however, he is opposed to the proposed permit application for some of the same reasons previously expressed. Mr. Elton is requesting that reasonable operating hours be placed as a condition. Mr. Jones stated that the application is inadequate and the reclamation plan has not been filed. Mr. Jones recommends that the applicant escrow funds to reclaim the pit and asked the Board to deny the application until a detailed reclamation plan can be reviewed by the Board. Mr. Jones stated that no indemnity has been offered by the applicant to protect the county. Commissioner Bush asked Mr. Jones how long Mr. Elton has owned the property. Mr. Jones replied that he is not sure. There are deed restrictions placed on the properties in Spring Ridge subdivision.
Mr. Gary Poitras, resident at Spring Ridge stated that Mr. Elton purchased his property prior to the first pit being mined. Mr. Poitras added that he is not in favor of the Board granting the permit.
Mr. Allen Mintzy, Columbia County resident, hauls dirt from the current pit mined by Mr. Royster and feels that if he had to haul from further away, the price of dirt would be much more expensive. Mr. Mintzy stated that the debris referred to being hauled into the pit was delivered by him. Mr. Mintzy stated the debris was tree limbs.
Mr. Eddie Futrull stated that he is concerned about the language regarding twenty acres referred to in the resolution. He would like the special use permit limited to ten acres. Mr. Futrull stated that there have been problems with dump trucks blocking the road and they travel too fast for children in the area.
Michael Ortiz stated that he lives in Spring Ridge, and that the applicant testified that he was going to close the old pit if the new pit is approved in the Planning and Zoning Board meeting, however, that has not been the applicant's testimony this evening.
Mr. John Wood lives near the pit and stated that the noise and traffic has not been a problem for him.
Sheila Royster pointed out that her family pays intangible taxes on the equipment used at the pit and the county receives sales taxes from their sale of dirt.
Mr. Jim Wilgus who lives about one mile from the area, stated that he does not feel a person's capacity to earn a living should be jeopardized after he's been in the mining business for years.
Following discussion, Commissioner Suggs made a motion to deny the permit because it is not in the public's interest in regards to health, safety and welfare. The motion died for lack of a second.
Commissioner Thomas stated that he does not feel he can make a decision until he is certain that the required permits are obtained by the applicant.
Mr. Mutch stated that the special permit application meets the criteria of section 14.7 of the land development regulations, however, it is his opinion that section 14.7 is weak. Mr. Royster was given an application for special permit to use county roads, rather than a special permit for a mine. Mr. Royster has met the requirements under section 14.7. Mr. Mutch reviewed the criteria for section 14.7 which requires a boundary map, a description of existing or proposed processing facilities, a topographic map of the area and its relationship to watersheds, drainage ways, floodways, streams, rivers and lakes, a description of the mining process to be conducted, description of the reclamation process to be conducted after mining (which is the weakest area of his application). He has addressed the criteria and it is up to the Board to determine if he has met the criteria. The Board has no requirement to insure that the reclamation process is performed.
Commissioner Thomas made a motion to table a decision until February 15th, at 6:00 p.m., and to direct the applicant to secure the required permits, define the ten acres, and submit a written reclamation plan. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was as follows:
The Board recessed the quasi-judicial hearing.
Ms. Lancaster presented a survey of a portion of the county's property located at Walker's Curve, with a 60 easement and turning radius. The existing dirt drive is outside the easement. The School Board voted to purchase five acres for a total of $7500. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Suggs to sale five acres to the School Board for $7500 and place funds collected from the sale into the Law Enforcement Trust Fund. The motion passed unanimously. Ms. Lancaster stated that the School Board would pay for the title insurance and closing costs.
Commissioner Suggs reported that the courthouse renovation committee has narrowed the pool of architects to four, however, they would like to postpone making a decision for two weeks and ask Judge Philman to be involved in the selection process. Commissioner Suggs made a motion to include Judge Philman in the courthouse renovation committee and bring back a recommendation to the Board on February 15th. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Commissioner Suggs advised the Board that the CDBG/ED grant proposals were ranked and Summitt Professional Services were ranked the highest. She, Mr. McQueen and Mr. Gilliam will negotiate with Summitt in regards to their fees.
Commissioner Suggs stated that she was approached by the two members of the Wacasassa VFD who were previously approved to attend EMT classes. The class has been increased by 30 hours and they are requesting that the additional cost of approximately $300 each be approved for payment. The Board took no action.
Commissioner Suggs departed the meeting at 7:30 p.m.
Public Hearing- LDR Amendment 98-07 (landfills):
Mr. Koons announced that this is the first of two required public hearings to amend the Land Development Regulations concerning landfills in the county. Section 2.1 (definitions) will be amended, as well as Section 4.2.10 to add other types of solid waste facilities to the list of public buildings and facilities that would require an amendment to the future land use map to public land use prior to approval of a special exception for such use. The third revision will be to Section 4.5.5 to add to the list of allowable special exceptions under agricultural districts A-2 through A-5, solid waste transfer stations, solid waste processing plants, recycling facilities and land clearing debris facilities.
Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve LDR 98-7 on first public hearing. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Minor Subdivision SD 98-01 R & L Estates:
Mr. Koons reviewed the concurrency assessment concerning a minor subdivision R & L Estates. This subdivision is located in Section 5, Township 10 South, Range 14 East, with frontage on county road 232. The proposed subdivision will contain four residential lots. This subdivision meets the land development regulations requirements for a minor subdivision. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve the subdivision. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. The motion passed unanimously.
Minor Subdivision SD 98-02 Mulberry Acres:
Mr. Koons reviewed the concurrency assessment for this subdivision. The property is located in Section 9, Township 9 South, Range 14 East, containing 20.02 acres, southwest of Bell with frontage on S. W. 20th Street. This subdivision contains four residential lots. Mr. Koons stated that this minor subdivision meets the requirements for minor subdivisions in the Land Development Regulations. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion to approve the subdivision. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and vote of the Board was unanimous.
The Board recessed at 7:45 p.m. and reconvened at 8:03 p.m.
Chairman Durden spoke to Mr. Koons and Mr. Luzader, stating that the Board previously accepted two recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Board in regards to intensive agriculture. Chairman Durden feels it is time to give the Planning and Zoning Board some direction prior to the expiration of the moratorium. Mr. Koons reviewed the formal process for amending the comprehensive, which first requires a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Board, followed by a public hearing by the Board of County Commissioners on a specific proposal to determine whether to transmit the amendment to DCA for review. It would come back for a second public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners for final action and would then be transmitted back to DCA. Once approved by DCA, the same process would apply in order to change the Land Development Regulations to comply with the Comprehensive Plan amendment. According to Mr. Mutch, the Board has the ability to accept either proposal from the Planning and Zoning Board or leave the language as it is. If no changes are made, the moratorium may be lifted and the process is over. Commissioner Bush made a motion to place the issue of intensive agriculture on the February 1st meeting at 5:00 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and unanimously approved.
The Sheriff spoke to the Board about the feasibility of having architects look at the present jail site for the construction of a new jail facility and administration building, using the same plans that were drawn for the Walker Curve site. Chairman Durden stated that he discussed trading some of the property at the Walker Curve site to locate the county road department. The Sheriff could then expand his operations at his current site, once the road department was relocated. Sheriff Turner stated that he still has funds to build a new administration building. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to authorize the Sheriff to bring back an overall site plan for the current location. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wilkerson and vote of the Board was unanimous.
Commissioner Wilkerson stated that a buffer is needed between the road department and the Woman's Club. Cedar trees were planted however, they did not survive. This could be included in the site plan.
Budget Amendment Hearing:
Mr. Gilliam stated that Fund 190 needs to be amended. A year end carry-forward was budgeted, however, the actual carry-forward is $37,346.46, which increases the total budget to $114,651.46. The actual carry-forward was previously approved to be spent on finishing the 911 installation. Commissioner Bush made a motion to amend the fund by resolution. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved. A copy of resolution 99-04 is on file in the Clerk's Office.
Mr. Mutch stated that he hopes to meet with Mr. McQueen and Mr. Gilliam soon regarding impact fees.
Mr. Mutch met with Professor Mulkey and Professor Carriker and they are anxious in working with the county on strategic planning. The Board indicated that they are willing to meet at the convenience of IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Services). Mr. Mutch stated that he would set up a meeting.
Mr. Mutch reported that he has not received any correspondence from Ms. Gallagher (SHIP recipient).
Mr. Corbin stated that he would give the county right-of-way on Shady Grove Road, providing that the other property owners convey right-of-way. The cost of the survey will be $5000-$8000 to establish a right-of-way from a center line. There are 32 land owners and Gilchrist Title has quoted approximately $150 per title search. Commissioner Bush stated that Mr. Corbin advised him that he would move the fence for $3000, however, that does not solve the problem of the other property owners. Mr. Mutch stated that a title search could be done on one parcel of property to determine if right-of-way was secured. He will report his findings back to the Board on the 1st of February. The Board suggested that Mr. Mutch speak to Roy Wilson and Addy Jones for some history regarding that road.
Following discussion, Commissioner Thomas made a motion to authorize the chair to send a letter of support to the Trenton Medical Center for their grant funding application. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Commissioner Bush asked about the employment or appointment of the EMS medical director. Dr. Cox is employed with the county and is in fact a county employee. Commissioner Bush asked if it would be beneficial to have someone within the county to perform the job. Mr. Mutch stated that the medical director takes on a great responsibility. Commissioner Bush stated that Dr. Ivey has indicated an interest in the position. Commissioner Bush stated that he would speak to Ms. Walker, EMS director.
Mr. Gilliam submitted a contract for the Board's approval with the Department of Community Affairs for the CDBG Neighborhood Revitilization grant. This grant is for $600,000 for improvements to the Sun N Fun subdivision. Commissioner Bush made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Thomas to authorize the chair to sign the contract.
Mr. Gilliam reported that the environmental review for the CDBG Economic Development grant has been completed and requires the Board's approval. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the review and authorize the chair to sign the document. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Gilliam presented a grant agreement between the county and DCA for the funding of the Mr. Brideson's position. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the grant agreement and authorize the chair to execute same. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Gilliam spoke to the Board about a letter from DOT regarding road numbering on some of the county roads. They are recommending that the county change some of the numbers. Mr. McQueen has some history on these roads however he is not here tonight. The Board agreed to postpone discussion until February 1st.
The Suwannee River Economic Council has requested that the Board appoint a representative to their Board of Directors. Commissioner Wilkerson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to reappoint Commissioner Suggs. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Mutch stated that he was approached by Frances Terry, Director of the Suwannee River Economic Council. She has asked Mr. Mutch if he would do the estate planning for Suwannee River Economic Council clients for Dixie, Levy and Gilchrist counties. Mr. Mutch asked if he could use some space in the courthouse. The Board indicated they did not have a problem with Mr. Mutch's request.
The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council has asked for an appointment from the Board for a vacancy on the North Central Florida Economic Development Partnership, as well as an alternate. Currently Rhonda Johnson is the Board's representative on the Original Florida Tourism Task Force and they are requesting that an alternate be appointed to that Board as well. Commissioner Thomas made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Bush to appoint Mr. Al Sifferlen as the Board's representative on the North Central Florida Economic Development Partnership and the alternative on the Original Florida Tourism Task Force, and to appoint Ms. Johnson as the alternate on the North Central Florida Economic Development Partnership. Vote of the Board was unanimous.
Mr. Gilliam stated that he received correspondence from the Suwannee River Water Management District regarding district owned lands in the county. They are asking that the Tax Collector certify the amount of taxes levied on those properties. Mr. Gilliam has forwarded the information to the Tax Collector.
The Florida Municipal Investment Trust sent a letter regarding investments and they are currently paying a higher interest rate that the SBA (State Board of Administration).
The Office of the Attorney General sent a check to the Board in the amount of $5772.03 which represents the county's share of a recently approved settlement to resolve the petroleum products price-fixing case filed by the state of Florida. These funds can be used for road paving and maintenance.
EMA/County Coordinator's Report:
Mr. Gilliam presented Mr. McQueen's report. Chairman Durden stated that he reviewed the report and there does not appear to be many items requiring action. A letter from the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission is included in his report. The Commission is requesting the Board's approval to install a walk-through in an area where they have installed a fence near the Oasis boat ramp (the Commission owns property on both sides of the ramp). Commissioner Bush made a motion to approve their request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and unanimously approved.
A proposed contract for the EMS union has been received and forwarded to Mike Grogan, labor attorney. A copy may be obtained through Mr. McQueen's office.
Alachua County has extended an invitation to the Board to tour their new Solid Waste Transfer Facility. Commissioner Thomas stated that he intends to tour the facility.
Mr. Bud Riffle asked about the Board's decision not to enact an ordinance regarding smoking by minors. Mr. Gilliam stated that a statute was passed prohibiting smoking or possession of tobacco products by minors. The state attorney, county judge, circuit judge, sheriff and clerk had problems with the language because even though the law was passed, there was little guidance in regards to fines and enforcement. The chief judge, at a quarterly seminar, expressed concerns with the enforcement issue. Both schools in the county are within municipalities, so even though the Board chose not to adopt the ordinance, the cities may. Chairman Durden stated that it is his opinion that the Sheriff's Department has enough to do without having to enforce no smoking laws for minors. He added that it is the parents responsibility to counsel their children about smoking. Commissioner Wilkerson agreed.
There being no further business to discuss, Commissioner Thomas made a motion to adjourn at 9:30 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bush and unanimously approved.
RANDY DURDEN, CHAIR
JOSEPH W. GILLIAM, CLERK