November 4, 2020 Minutes

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) of the City of Titusville, Florida met in regular session in the Council Chamber of City Hall, located at 555 South Washington Avenue on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

 

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Chairman Severs called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Vice Chairman Richardson, Secretary Speidel, Member Grant, Member Murray and Member Porter. Alternate Member Riley joined via telecommunication. Member Parrish was absent. Also, in attendance were Planning Manager Brad Parrish, Planner Navael Fontus, Assistant City Attorney Chelsea Farrell, and Recording Secretary Laurie Dargie.

 

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Vice Chairman Richardson made a motion to approve the October 21, 2020 meeting minutes with corrections. Member Grant seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote in favor.

 

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Quasi-Judicial Confirmation Procedures

 

Chairman Severs said there were no quasi-judicial items.

 

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Consent Agenda Item

 

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Old Business

 

Townhome Ordinance (Video start time 00:09:39)

Mr. Fontus gave an overview of this item.

 

Member Murray said based upon the High Density Multifamily (R-3) zoning district, 50% of the land can be used for the actual housing units. Member Murray said she wanted to clarify that the number of units allowed on a 2.8-acre site would be about 28 units and not the 43 units that was quoted at the October 21, 2020 meeting.

 

Mr. Parrish said that he believes that the 43 units were quoted because that would be the maximum per the comprehensive plan; however, considering design parameters in the zoning district, that reduces the number of units. Mr. Parrish said he can’t concur with the exact number that Member Murray calculated without first doing estimations himself with all of the parameters to consider. 

 

Member Grant asked if patio homes have a minimum requirement of five (5) acres as of today.  Mr. Parrish said the staff was unable to find out why the 5-acre minimum for patio homes ad townhomes was adopted in 1997. The 5-acre minimum was also not addressed when patio homes was removed as a permitted use from the Medium Density Multifamily (R-2) and R-3 zoning districts in 2006. This left townhomes as the only use in those zoning districts with a 5-acre minimum. Mr. Parrish said staff just carried over the 5-acre minimum requirement in 2015 without questioning it until now due to a developer’s request. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked what the rationale is for removing the 5-acre minimum requirement. Mr. Fontus said it restricts infill and redevelopment projects. Mr. Parrish referred the Commission members to exhibits on page 78 & 79 of the agenda packet.   

 

Mr. Parrish said from a planning perspective there is no compelling reason to have a minimum 5-acre size for a townhome  development. Mr. Parrish said a townhome development is defined by statute as a platted subdivision. 

 

Mr. Parrish referred the Commission members to Sections (c)(2-4) of the Ordinance on page 17 & 18 of the agenda packet and said the city allows townhomes in other districts without a minimum lot size requirement such as the Downtown, Shoreline Mixed Use, Urban Mixed Use and Indian River City Neighborhood Residential zoning districts.

 

Member Murray said she identified all the areas that did not have any size limitations and it was very significant. Member Murray said there is already a precedent in the City of Titusville for this to already occur. 

 

Chairman Severs said from his perspective, townhomes are like any other multi-family development and he does not see drawing a distinction. Chairman Severs said other than from a Land Use and form of ownership, he sees no difference. 

  

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Member Murray made a motion to approve the Townhome Ordinance as presented. Member Porter seconded. 

 

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Member Riley                         Yes

Secretary Speidel                    Yes

Member Porter                        Yes

Member Murray                      Yes

Member Grant                        Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion passed.

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New Business

 

Ordinance relating to Home Based Businesses (Video start time 00:25:45)

Mr. Parrish gave an overview of this item. 

 

Mr. Parrish explained how a resident requested the ability to establish a Business Tax Receipt (BTR) for a home-based business where clients can come to the home. That the Council directed the staff to develop an ordinance using the County’s regulations and Option #3 – Expand Home Based Businesses as Limited Uses as described on page 98 of the agenda packet. 

 

Member Murray asked why product sales are not allowed out of a home-based business. Mr. Parrish said so the residential area doesn’t turn into a retail store, it is not allowed. 

 

Member Murray said as she has watched this go through the process thus far, the husband of the resident that requested the ability to operate a home-based business has a T-shirt business already running from the home. Member Murray asked if this was a conflict. Mr. Parrish said he was unaware of a business already existing from this home and would have to look into that. 

 

Member Murray asked if an additional structure can be added outside of the dwelling to do the business in. Mr. Parrish said it is supposed to be within the home.

 

Chairman Severs said as he reads the Ordinance it has to be within the home. 

 

Alternate Member Riley asked how many home-based businesses are there currently in Titusville and what would be the increase in home-based businesses if this is ordinance is approved. Mr. Parrish said he would have to find out the number of existing businesses. Mr. Parrish said he is unsure of the increase in home-based businesses but would anticipate that it would increase. 

 

Member Grant asked how many customers would be allowed at the home-based businesses at a time. Mr. Parrish described the proposed conditions on page 90 of the agenda packet; Section 5(e) of the Ordinance. 

 

Member Porter asked if there have been complaints made about home-based businesses. Mr. Parrish said the City receives complaints made regarding home-based businesses. Member Porter asked how are the complaints taken care of. Mr. Parrish referred them to page 96 of the agenda packet regarding Code Enforcement actions. 

 

Secretary Speidel asked about the regulations regarding chemicals being used within home-based businesses. Secretary Speidel said she has concerns about chemicals being used and disposed of properly.  Mr. Parrish said the business owners have to get their state licenses for certain businesses and they would be under those regulations. 

 

Chairman Severs said on page 89 of the agenda packet it talks about professional offices. Chairman Severs said he has concerns about office professionals such as an attorney’s office being allowed to open a full-time business within their home. Chairman Severs said he understood the request for the nail salon to be a part-time operation to help supplement her full-time job. Chairman Severs said he does not support a full-time business operation from a home because it is not fair to the commercial-based businesses who have the added expense of rent etc. Chairman Severs said if this is allowed, the hours should be restricted to about 20 hours a week, the number of clients at a time should be restricted and the time of hours should be restricted in his opinion. Chairman Severs respectfully suggested that the Attorney’s office look at the administrator having the authority to require somebody to obtain a conditional use permit because they want to. Chairman Severs said it should be required to go through the conditional use process or it leaves it wide-open for problems.  

 

Secretary Speidel said she is concerned about the enforcement of the conditions. 

 

Member Murray said she would like to know about the businesses that are operating in homes versus  home owners doing business under the table. Member Murray said that neighbors have a way to complain through Code Enforcement. Mr. Parrish said sometimes it is hard for Code Enforcement to prove the complaint that is being made.

 

Member Grant said that it seems that everything that has been discussed has been recognized such as: toxic fumes, noise, dust and traffic. Member Grant said it looks like Option #3 in the agenda packet on page 98, more or less adopts the regulations that Brevard County uses. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that the regulations that are being used as the conditions are from Brevard County’s home-based business regulations. Member Grant said we have to use the honor system regarding the person who would like the license.  

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked if Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are allowed as a home-based business. Mr. Parrish said no. 

 

Member Murray said she agrees with Member Grant about an element of the honor system. 

 

Member Murray applauds the applicant for going through the process and trying to do the business the right way.  

 

Chairman Severs said he still has concerns regarding allowing a full-time business from a home. Chairman Severs suggested that this be allowed as a part-time use. Vice Chairman Richardson asked Chairman Severs if he was in favor of Option #3 with the limitation of the hours. Chairman Severs said yes, they should not be required to go through a conditional use process due to the time and expense involved on a part-time business.

 

Chairman Severs asked if tenants can have a home-based business. Mr. Parrish said the owner would have to provide authorization for a home-based business. 

 

Member Murray said the Commission should be careful about comparing home-based businesses to commercial-based businesses. Member Murray said she has concerns about restricting a home-based business from operating their business full-time and restricting their hours of operation. Chairman Severs said the Commission should be concerned with the commercial corridors, and how home-based businesses can impact businesses. Chairman Severs said they need to also watch adding code enforcement issues. The Commission should be reasonable and encourage home-based businesses. 

 

(Video start time 00:01:21)

Secretary Speidel said she would like to make a motion to City Council to consider Option #3 – Expand Home Based Businesses as Limited Uses by allowing clients in homes; with a condition that there be restricted hours of operation of twenty-hour week and no weekend hours. Member Murray said she has concerns with limiting the hours. 

 

Member Riley seconded. 

 

Discussion continued. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson does not agree with restrictions on weekend hours. Vice Chairman Richardson said he believes by putting restrictions on the hours it will open up enforcement issues.  

 

Member Grant said he supports option #3 does not agree with weekend restrictions or hours being restricted. 

 

Member Murray asked if the concerns of the Commission can be conveyed to City Council instead of recommending conditions and she hears three main concerns. The concerns are code enforcement concerns, chemical regulations, and hours of operation

 

(Video start time 00:01:28)

Chairman Severs asked if Secretary Speidel would be willing to amend her motion to approving Option #3 – Expand Home Based Businesses as Limited Uses by allowing clients in homes with expression of concerns regarding;  hours of operation (full-time versus part-time), types of uses allowed, Code Enforcement concerns, regulations of chemicals, auxiliary buildings and commercial competition. Secretary Speidel said yes.  Chairman Severs asked if the second holds to the amended motion. Alternate Member Riley said yes. 

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Member Grant                        Yes

Member Riley                         Yes

Secretary Speidel                    Yes

Member Murray                      Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Member Porter                        Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion passed.

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Ordinance relating to Mobile Vendors in Public Zoning (Video start time 01:31:30)

Mr. Parrish gave an overview of this item.

 

Alternate Member Riley asked if the airport has any objections. Mr. Parrish said they support it and made the request for this to go forward.

 

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Vice Chairman Richardson made a motion to approve the Ordinance relating to Mobile Vendors in Public Zoning as presented. Secretary Speidel seconded.

 

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Secretary Speidel                    Yes

Member Porter                        Yes

Member Murray                      Yes

Member Riley                         Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Member Grant                        Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion passed.

 

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Cottage Homes (Video start time 01:36:30)

Mr. Parrish gave an overview of this item.


 Member Grant asked if there is a time restriction as to how long someone can have a tiny home on wheels in a permitted area, such as a month. Mr. Parrish said there is no minimum time restriction.

 

Member Murray said one of her concerns is where the utilities are located for non-mobile tiny homes. Mr. Parrish said that the non-mobile tiny homes should have to have outdoor screened utilities. 

 

Member Murray suggested the maximum square feet of a cottage home be 750sq ft. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said he was an advocate for tiny homes for homeless veterans a few years ago and feels that this is a good start towards tiny homes.

 

Chairman Severs said he has concerns. The original concept that was presented had pocket neighborhood developments within a target area of the city. Chairman Severs said there were previously made concerns brought up that this may be too small of an area and there might be other opportunities outside of the target area. Chairman Severs said his concern is now it has gone way beyond that and is allowed in several districts including Planned Development (PD) which can be mostly any district. Mr. Parrish said yes, and he clarified that outside of a new PD district, this is being proposed in the R-2, R-3, RMH-2 and UMU zoning districts as a conditional use permit. Chairman Severs asked  what size parcel is being talked about for this kind of development. Mr. Parrish said according to his estimates the minimum requirement would be 2 acres in order to meet all of the conditions and design requirements. 

 

Chairman Severs said he mentioned that he would prefer this to be its own separate district and encompass it within PD and also a lot of the criteria being used in conditional uses be incorporated in the PD because it is good criteria to be considered in locating these during the review process of PD. Chairman Severs said the Brookshire Development is High Density Single Family (R-1C) and he would prefer a different process to have been used.

 

Mr. Parrish suggested going back to the PD for all new tiny home development and allow them in areas that already have multifamily zoning per the map that was created on page 118 of the agenda packet. Mr. Parrish said a cottage home could be permitted through a PD process where properties are currently zoned multi-family, would that be an acceptable suggestion. Chairman Severs said yes, coupled with the PD process, it has enough check and balances to encourage development and also protect the neighborhoods.

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said he agrees with the comments Chairman Severs made.

 

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Petitions and Requests from Public Present and Press (Video start time 01:59:32)

 

Herbert Brinson of 2379 Fox Hollow Drive Titusville, Florida came to speak. Mr. Brinson said he wanted to find out the process for making a request to rename Orange Avenue. Mr. Parrish provided Mr. Brinson a card and will call him about the request for street renaming.

 

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(Video Start time 02:04:30)

 

Reports 

 

City Council Summary of Action October 27, 2020 

Informational only.

 

Mr. Parrish said he would like to have a workshop with the Planning and Zoning Commission regarding the tree ordinance. The Planning and Zoning Commission decided on December 2, 2020 at 5:00pm for the workshop.

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked why the draft 2040 Comp Plan has not been before City Council when it was supposed to go to them in September 2020. Mr. Parrish said Staff couldn’t meet the deadline for the September 2020 City Council meeting and it was decided to wait and bring it before the new City Council members.

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell asked if anyone had any questions about the MEMO regarding attendance that was sent out from her by the Recording Secretary via e-mail this past week. No comments.

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell advised the Planning and Zoning Commission that Alternate Member Suzanne Noel-Copeland submitted a resignation letter to resign from the Planning and Zoning Commission. Mr. Parrish referred the Planning and Zoning Commission members to view the resignation e-mail from a saved file on the laptops. The Planning and Zoning Commission took a moment to review the e-mail. Chairman Severs said he appreciates Member Noel-Copeland’s service. She has served the City well and has provided valuable input during her service. Chairman Severs said as far as her comments regarding the By-Laws, it was not advertised therefore it would need to be advertised for a future meeting. Chairman Severs suggested asking City Council to adopt a resolution to allow Boards and Commission members, as long as a quorum is present, can attend virtually if they desire to do so. Member Murray said the concern that Alternate Member Noel-Copeland brought up regarding alternates attending all meetings the entire time should be addressed. Member Murray said she does not feel that alternate members should have to attend the entire meeting if they were not needed to fill in as a voting member. Member Murray asked if the regular members would know about a conflict of interest before the meeting started. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that there should be enough information given prior to the meeting for the members to know whether or not they have a conflict of interest. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that attending virtually can pose issues depending on the items being presented.  Quasi-Judicial items could have evidence presented during the meeting that the virtual participants cannot review for themselves during the meetings. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said another consideration she has thought about is if four members agree to meet in person, but due to circumstances they can’t control, one member is unable to come in person at the last minute and there is no one to fill that position in person because three members wanted to participate virtually. Assistant City Attorney Farrell gave the reasonings behind the MEMO.

 

Chairman Severs said City Council could easily adopt a resolution allowing Boards & Commission members to attend meetings virtually. Chairman Severs said he would like this request conveyed to City Council. 

 

Chairman Severs said he attended a conference virtually put on by A Thousand Friends of Florida regarding growth and development and comparing 2010 to 2070.   He said it was very worthwhile. 

 

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Adjournment 8:23pm