- City Council Meetings
- Regular Council Presentations Meeting - August 22, 2023 at 5:30 PM
Regular Council Presentations Meeting - August 22, 2023 at 5:30 PM
August 22, 2023
The City Council of the City of Titusville, Florida met in regular session in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 555 South Washington Avenue, on Tuesday, August 22, 2023.
Mayor Diesel called the City Council meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Present were Mayor Daniel E. Diesel, Vice Mayor Joe C. Robinson, and City Council Members Herman A. Cole, Jr., Col USAF Retired, Jo Lynn Nelson, and Dr. Sarah Stoeckel. Also present were City Manager Scott Larese, City Attorney Richard Broome, and City Clerk Wanda Wells. Assistant City Clerk Jolynn Donhoff completed the minutes of the meeting.
Mayor Diesel requested a moment of silence. He then led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. City Clerk Wells read the procedures for public comment and participation.
SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS & PRESENTATIONS
Employee of the Month for August 2023 - No action was requested. Police Department Chief John Lau recognized Police Detective Brandon Williams as the Employee of the Month for August 2023. He highlighted the nomination and presented a plaque and gift to Detective Williams.
Water and Wastewater Financial Forecast Update - No action was requested. Public Works Director Kevin Cook introduced the item and highlighted information on funding water and wastewater projects. Trevor McCarthy, a senior consultant of the rate consulting firm, Raftelis, gave a presentation that highlighted the following information on the Water and Wastewater Fiscal Year 2024 financial forecast:
- Rate Study Tasks
- Purpose and evaluation for the update to the Council for FY 2023 through FY 2028
- Revenue requirements
- Observations since the last update
- Capital Improvement Plan
- Projected annual revenue adjustments
- Reasons for rate adjustments
- Typical residential and commercial monthly bills for ¾” meter at existing and proposed FY 2024 rates
- Typical commercial bill for 1.5” meter at existing and proposed FY 2024 rates
- Current rate comparison - FY2023 rates (histogram)
- Conclusions and recommendations
Council discussion ensued with Mr. McCarthy and Public Works Director Cook on predicting whether future rates may come down, the difficulty of predicting economic inflation, the consultants’ desire to out-perform cost estimates and taking conservative approaches on rate projections, aging infrastructure and related issues, correcting issues incrementally over time and distributing the cost over time, per capita costs, staff was proactive to seek capital projects to mitigate potential issues, the rates were being published on citizens’ water bills, etc.
Police Hall of Fame Expansion Project - No action was requested. Representatives of the Police Hall of Fame and the U.S. Law Enforcement Foundation (USLEF) gave a presentation that highlighted the following information on the Police Hall of Fame Igniting the Flame (Expansion) Project.
- Background information on USLEF
- USLEF’s role and support role to three related law enforcement organizations
- Financial investment and substantive impact
- New campus designed for 250,000 tourists annually
- Concept drawings for the new campus
- Project timeline
Council commended and praised the expansion project. When asked, the representatives advised that financial support of $40,000 to $50,000 could further assist the vision for the project, but they also understood the City was financially responsible to many varying and costly projects.
Urban Tree Canopy Report - No action was requested. Community Development Director Brad Parrish provided an update. This agenda item was scheduled as staff's response to City Council’s direction on March 14, 2023, when the Council was presented and accepted a report on the City’s tree canopy coverage PlanIT GEO of Colorado. This report was completed with a Florida Forest Service grant. This report also included findings and staff proposed strategies to address the consultant’s recommendations. Additionally, the Council had considered the TEC’s request to add recommendations to the report.
Further to the above, staff recommended these next steps:
- Geographic Information System (GIS) staff would complete a canopy assessment every 2-3 years using i-Tree or ArcGIS.
- The City’s Sustainability Planner would take the lead in implementing the consultant’s general recommendations where feasible, including funding for education materials and small-scale tree planting events.
Community Development Director Parrish also commented that staff would continue to seek grant or other funding opportunities (some grants required a 1:1 match), seek opportunities to partner with other organizations, prior project examples, etc.
Member Nelson and staff discussed her questions on the City recently hiring a new Sustainability Planner, whether there were programs to get trees for the purpose of shading sidewalks and roads, future and prior use of the City’s Landscape Trust Fund, a bulk of this trust fund was dedicated to the Gateways Project, when and how much future funding may be available for shade trees, which was presently dependent on the cost for obtaining permits from the FL Department of Transportation for the Gateways Project, whether volunteering was considered in grant funding, etc.
Member Cole and staff discussed his questions on identifying additional funding. There were no additional comments or questions from the Council.
Florida Live Local Act - No action was requested at this meeting; however, an advisability seeking Council direction on this subject was scheduled for the regular City Council meeting on August 22, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. To this, Community Development Director Brad Parrish gave a presentation on the State’s Live Local Act and recommendations. Senate Bill 102 or the Live Local Act was recently approved by the State Legislature, signed by the Governor, and provided for the following:
- Funding and tax credits up to $811 million for affordable housing program
- Three new property tax incentives and sales tax exemption for specified affordable housing developments
- Land use tools and role of local government by facilitating affordable housing in commercial, industrial, and mixed-use areas
- Publicly-owned land disposition procedures and long-term lease restrictions
- Encouraged local governments to adopt best practices
- The effective date was July 1, 2023
Community Development Director Parrish advised that staff would propose definitions, policies and procedures for Council's input. Staff would also present information on the Affordable Housing Property Tax Exemption Local Option described in the Live Local Act. The following information was also highlighted:
- Array of Affordable Housing Policies
- This State Legislation would sunset (expire) on October 1, 2033
- This State Legislation was self-executing meaning that local governments were not required to pass ordinances to enact the State’s Live Local Act
- Council considerations:
- Develop definitions, policies, and procedures and an administrative process
- Adopt affordable housing into appropriate locations
- The State Legislation’s land use standards concerning use, density, and height
- Municipal approval of multifamily affordable housing was set by FL Statute Section 166.04151(7)
- Zoning and height overlay barriers (allowable areas in the City)
- Local standards that were still applicable:
- The City’ Comprehensive Plan, except height and density policies
- Concurrency regulations
- Maximum impervious surface and lot coverage
- Minimum floor area per unit
- Policy considerations:
- Policies to expedite review and approval would be posted on the City’s website
- Neighborhood Services would publish scheduled, real property, inventory lists and make this information available on the City website
- FL Statute Section 166.04151(6) and municipal approval of multifamily affordable housing in mixed-use, commercial, and industrial zones
- Proposed policies recommended to define mixed use, identify commercial and industrial districts, apply R-2 zoning multifamily zoning standards, open space, parking waivers, certification and expedited review procedures
- Local Option Affordable Housing Exemption – discussed property tax exemptions, etc.
Member Stoeckel and staff discussed her questions on whether or not the City Council needed to act quickly to implement policies and procedures discussed by staff. The answer was no; however, one consequence was that staff would be put in the position of having to determine whether a new project indicating that it met the State legislation’s criteria qualified under the Live Local Act.
Member Stoeckel supported creating and approving policies and procedures to mitigate any open-ended or unintended consequences about the new State legislation. The legislation was discussed recently at the Florida League of Cities Annual Conference. There was an indication the new State legislation may possibly be amended during the next State legislative session to mitigate unintended consequences that were discovered with the first adopted version.
Community Development Director Parrish reviewed several of staff’s own questions on the City’s zoning districts in comparison with the Live Local Act legislation, like “what was the certification process”. Staff desired receiving Council’s review and approval on staff’s interpretation of the State legislation to prepare for implementation. The document type for the suggested procedures or policy would need to be determined (a local resolution, ordinance, administrative letter, etc.).
Discussion ensued. One of the bigger questions for staff was defining what was an appropriate residential development standard to apply to a zoning district that did not currently allow residential. Other lingering questions were which standards would staff apply when a project was submitted under the Live Local Act. Staff wanted to avoid the precarious position of having to “pick and choose” (decide) amongst the various standards. The desire was to avoid ambiguity.
Vice-Mayor Robinson desired getting ahead of the implementation of the Live Local Act. He desired placing high emphasis on citizens having accessibility and proximity to public transportation, schools, emergency safety services, etc. for all citizens. He was concerned that a project built far away or isolated from these types of services would not be in the best interest of the citizens that lived in such a development. This would also avoid any social stigma regarding economic status and living far away or isolated. Vice-Mayor Robinson further desired studying potential spaces inside the City for such projects, space that at one time may have been used for industrial uses, spaces that were available, etc.
Member Nelson desired carefully studying the State legislation, definitions, which standards to apply, and where this would go.
Member Cole advised that for a project that met the criteria and if it were located in commercial or industrial zoned areas, the City could not stop the development under the Live Local Act, as long as all criteria and requirements were met.
Mayor Diesel and staff discussed his questions on the intent of the legislation. The intent was discussed in presentations given by the Florida Housing Coalition and others. The intent was to allow for the re-development of old commercial shopping centers or vacant or derelict buildings (desirable near major corridors where public transportation ran, etc.). A possible unintended consequence was the legislation did not limit these projects to only commercial areas. Instead, it opened it up to industrial and other zoning areas that may not be near major transportation corridors.
Member Nelson also desired providing open space and recreation areas for qualifying projects.
Letters of Appreciation - No action was requested. City Manager Larese read the following names of Fire and Emergency Services Department staff that recently received letters of appreciation:
Danny Ellis, Firefighter / Lieutenant / Paramedic
Josh Hall, Driver / Operator / Paramedic
Samuel Delgado, Firefighter / EMT
PETITIONS AND REQUESTS FROM THE PUBLIC PRESENT –
Kay St. Onge read from a prepared statement on her concerns and desires for the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment (Report). She commented on the City’s consultant that emphasized expanding the City’s urban forest to its potential and reducing ground surface temperatures, distributing trees equitably in all areas, seek funding, etc.
Stan Johnston distributed information. He discussed information from an email(s) that he sent to the City earlier in the day that discussed the Titusville Environmental Commission (TEC) and his concerns regarding a prior sewage spill.
Dr. Marlys Breckle commented on attending a recent TEC meeting and the TEC’s thoughtful dedication and discussion on using and implementing the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment (Report) to the fullest extent possible.
William Klein read from a prepared statement that reviewed the City’s history of hiring consultants in 2012 and 2022 for the scope of urban forestry planning, funding, his $2 per capita annual suggested rate costs, TEC concept plan Option No. 1, etc.
Diane Law expressed concern regarding a City pipe that runs along her property at 390 Indian Oaks Ct. that diverts stormwater to her property. She advised that the City dug a trench and sodded her property for stormwater drainage and retention and she requested the ditch be maintained and periodically dug deeper to assist with the flooding.
Mayor Diesel requested Ms. Law provide her contact information to Public Works Director Kevin Cook.
Milton Farrow commented on concerns for who really paid the cost of development impact fees.
Public Works Director Cook highlighted government projections and procedures for collecting development and infrastructure impact fees.
Laurilee Thompson, Chairperson of the Titusville Environmental Commission (TEC), highlighted the meeting minutes and discussion at a recent TEC meeting, where the TEC approved and made recommendations on the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment (Report). The indication was the TEC supported implementing the plan over time, selecting an area where there were five parks, etc.
Toni Shifalo read from a prepared statement that reviewed the TEC’s recommendation in the concept plan for the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment (Report), the TEC’s role as the City’s Tree Board, and her request for Council to approve Option No. 1 in the recommendations, etc.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m.