October 21, 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, October 21, 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 Porter, and Alternate Member Riley. Alternate Member Noel-Copeland joined via telecommunication. Also, in attendance were Senior Planner Gabriel Quintas, Planner Navael Fontus, Assistant City Attorney Chelsea Farrell, and Recording Secretary Laurie Dargie.

 

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Assistant Attorney Farrell swore in Catherine Riley as the newest alternate member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

 

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Vice Chairman Richardson made a motion to approve the regular and special minutes from the September 16, 2020 meetings. Member Grant seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote in favor.

 

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Quasi-Judicial Confirmation Procedures

 

Chairman Severs read the procedures.

 

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Chairman Severs asked that agenda items 9C and 9F be heard first at tonight’s meeting due to citizens being present for those items. The Planning and Zoning Commission members were all in agreement to hear those items first.

 

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Consent Agenda Item

 

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Old Business

None

 

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New Business

CUP# 2-2020 Indoor Gun Range (Video start time 00:12:45)

Mr. Fontus gave an overview of this item.

 

Member Porter asked if this was a six (6) or seven (7) lane shooting range. Mr. Fontus said seven (7). 

 

Chairman Severs asked if there are any sections of the code that allow gun ranges without a conditional use. Mr. Quintas said that gun ranges are not specifically called out in the code. Chairman Severs asked if there is anywhere in the code that calls out where gun ranges should be located. Mr. Quintas said that the code does not specify specific locations for gun ranges. 

 

Shawn Williams of 2467 S. Washington Avenue Titusville, Florida came to speak in favor of this item. Mr. Williams said that the applicant has complied with everything that has been requested and has gone above and beyond to make sure that this gun range is safe.

 

Justin Gaudi of 23524 Seneca Ridge Court Christmas, Florida came to speak in favor of this item. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked if this is an indoor pistol and rifle gun range. Mr. Gaudi said yes, the types of ammo will be limited to what the gun range will sell. Mr. Gaudi said the only ammo allowed will be frangible lead-free bullets. Mr. Gaudi said that the gun range will sell the ammo on site to ensure that it is the only ammo allowed to be used within the gun range.

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked if any of the lanes are handicapped accessible. Mr. Gaudi said yes. 

 

Member Riley asked the applicant what their experience is with having gun ranges in cities like Titusville, in the heart of town. Mr. Gaudi said he is unsure about comparable cities like Titusville, however Orlando and Jacksonville have gun ranges near residential areas. Mr. Gaudi said those gun ranges don’t even use the frangible lead-free bullets. Mr. Gaudi said he is going above and beyond to use safer ammo. He said frangible lead-free bullets turn into dust after coming into contact with the backstop. 

 

Secretary Speidel asked what is the youngest age that can shoot at the gun range. Mr. Gaudi said 12 years old with a guardian. Mr. Gaudi said all minors up to the age of 17 must be accompanied by a guardian. Secretary Speidel asked what type of screening is done. Mr. Gaudi said the adult must sign in and provide identification and sign a form saying they are the guardian of the minor.

 

Chairman Severs asked Mr. Gaudi if he has previously operated a gun range. Mr. Gaudi said no. Mr. Gaudi said he has five (5) gun shops and pawn shops but this is his first gun range.

 

Chairman Severs asked how old does an individual have to be to come and shoot. Mr. Gaudi said 21 years old. Chairman Severs asked if Mr. Gaudi would agree to another condition regarding the age of customers. Mr. Gaudi said yes, he is going to follow the same guidelines as the Police Hall of Fame in Titusville. Mr. Quintas said that State Statute preempts the entire regulations regarding gun ranges, therefore adding those additional conditions could not be enforced by the City of Titusville. Chairman Severs quoted State Statute Chapter 823.16 (7), pointing out that the City of Titusville does have some jurisdiction regarding gun ranges. Chairman Severs said that Mr. Gaudi is voluntarily agreeing to the conditions. 

 

Member Noel-Copeland asked if the decibel requirement restricts the type of guns that can be used in the gun range. Mr. Gaudi said no. The limitation will be due to the type of ammo since he is only allowing the frangible lead-free ammo to be used. Not all guns can use this type of ammo.

 

Member Noel-Copeland asked what it will sound like to people outside of the building. Mr. Gaudi said it will sound like a low knocking.

 

Member Porter asked if weapons will be provided to shoot at the gun range. Mr. Gaudi said no. Mr. Gaudi said that there will be required training before someone is allowed to use the gun range. The training is regarding shooting etiquette.  

 

Secretary Speidel asked what kind of background checks are done. Mr. Gaudi said none. Secretary Speidel asked how much will it cost to use the gun range. Mr. Gaudi said he has not determined the pricing yet. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked if the only ammo used comes from the gun range. Mr. Gaudi said yes, the frangible lead-free ammo must be bought from the gun range to use in the gun range. There will be no outside ammo allowed. 

 

Member Riley asked if Mr. Gaudi has liability insurance. Mr. Gaudi said yes.

 

Secretary Speidel asked if the residents nearby were notified. Mr. Gaudi said yes.

 

Mr. Williams said that Mr. Gaudi has gone above and beyond to make this a very safe gun range.

 

Member Noel-Copeland asked if inspections will be done on the guns that customers bring in to ensure that there is no ammo in the gun. Mr. Gaudi said yes.

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked if all lanes within the gun range will be supervised at all times. Mr. Gaudi said yes.

 

Chairman Severs asked what zoning district the Police Hall of Fame gun range is in. Mr. Quintas said Planned Industrial Development.

 

Chairman Severs said he would suggest adding the two conditions regarding age requirement and the type of ammo that will be used. Mr. Quintas brought up again that conditions regulating the type of ammunition and regulating who may go into a shooting range are totally preempted to the State and the several Attorneys’ General opinions have advised that; Mr. Quintas said that those conditions will be unenforceable. 

 

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Vice Chairman Richardson made a motion to approve CUP# 2-2020 Indoor Gun Range with the three (3) staff recommended conditions along with the following two (2) conditions; 1. To require that the ammunition used at the range be only frangible ammunition. 2. The requirement that all minors between the years of 12 – 17 be accompanied by a legal guardian. Member Grant seconded. 

 

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Member Riley                         No

Secretary Speidel                    No

Member Porter                        Yes

Member Grant                        Yes

Member Noel-Copeland         Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion passed 5 yes, 2 no vote.

 

Secretary Speidel voted no because it is not compliant with the surrounding zoning. 

 

Member Riley voted no because she feels it does not meet the criteria of nuisance factors, general compatibility and whether the proposed change is out of scale. 

 

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ROW# 2-2020 Hope Hammock (Video start time 00:59:23)

Mr. Quintas gave an overview of this item.

 

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Vice Chairman Richardson made a motion to approve ROW# 2-2020 Hope Hammock. Secretary Speidel seconded.

 

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Member Grant                        Yes

Member Riley                         Yes

Secretary Speidel                    Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Member Noel-Copeland         Yes

Member Porter                        Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion passed.

 

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Removing Obsolete Zoning District References (Video start time 01:03:55)

Mr. Quintas gave an overview of this item.

 

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Secretary Speidel made a motion to approve the removing of obsolete zoning district references in Ordinance 31-2010. Member Grant seconded.

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Member Speidel                      Yes

Member Porter                        Yes

Member Riley                         Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Member Noel-Copeland         Yes

Member Grant                        Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion passed.

 

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Ordinance relating to Site Plan Thresholds (Video start time 01:07:58)

Mr. Quintas gave an overview of this item.

 

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Member Porter made a motion to approve amending the ordinance relating to site plan thresholds. Vice Chairman Richardson seconded.

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Member Noel-Copeland         Yes

Secretary Speidel                    Yes

Member Grant                        Yes

Member Riley                         Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Member Porter                        Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion Passed.

 

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Townhome Ordinance (Video start time 01:10:33)

Mr. Fontus gave an overview of this item.

 

Member Grant asked if there will be no acreage requirement. Mr. Quintas said in R2 the lot size requirement would be 3,000 sq. ft. per unit.

 

Member Riley asked who brought this request for change up. Mr. Quintas said there was a request that was withdrawn after it was determined that a citizen could not apply for a townhome development on a parcel of land along Elizabeth Avenue and Queen Street. Mr. Quintas said this citizen petitioned City Council and Council asked staff to review the requirement for five (5) acres. Member Riley asked if this is approved, could this person go a head and build the townhomes. Mr. Quintas said yes, if they met all other development requirements.

 

Truemilla Johnson of 1300 Elizabeth Avenue Titusville, Florida came to speak against this item. Ms. Johnson said that if this change is approved, they would build townhomes next to her house. Member Noel-Copeland asked how many units could be potentially built on that property. Mr. Quintas said that it depends and that the figure he would give is not realistic; the lot is 2.93 acres and he calculated 43 units. Mr. Quintas stated that they still would have to accommodate all stormwater, parking, landscaping, so he stated they could not arrive at the 43 units.

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that this ordinance change is not specifically for the property being discussed on Elizabeth Avenue. This change would impact all properties in R2 and R3 zoning in the City of Titusville.

 

Chairman Severs said there may be unattended consequences if this ordinance is changed.

 

Member Riley asked what was the reasoning behind the five (5) acre requirement that is currently in place. Mr. Quintas said that Staff has tried to find out why this five (5) acre requirement was put into place but has not been able to find the reason for it. Member Riley suggested tabling this item so that further research could be done to try and find out why it is in place. 

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that a PD application was received but was withdrawn by the applicant. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that the Planning Department and Peggy Busacca has met at length with the City Attorney’s office to discuss the history of the five (5) acre requirement. Staff could not find the basis or justification for this minimum five (5) acre requirement. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that the Commission could discuss modifying it rather than deleting it if they choose to do so. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said she did not feel that tabling it for further research would provide anymore conclusive information because the research has already been done.

 

Secretary Speidel asked what the character of the street currently is. Ms. Johnson said it is single-family homes. 

 

Trevis Williams of 1400 Elizabeth Avenue Titusville, Florida came to speak in favor of this item. Mr. Williams said that one side of the road is single-family and the other side is multi-family. 

 

Chairman Severs said that they have until November 10, 2020 to review this item before City Council will review this. Chairman Severs said when a change like this is made, the Commission needs to understand the consequences whether they are good or bad. Chairman Severs said he would like to see some examples in Ms. Johnson’s community and other communities as to how this would be applied. Chairman Severs said he would suggest tabling this item.

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said he would like to have more background information to make a decision on this change.

 

Member Noel-Copeland asked to find out how many infill lots in Titusville that would be impacted by this change. Mr. Quintas said he was not sure Staff would be able to get this information back to the Commission in two weeks, Staff may need additional time to get this information pulled together. 

 

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Vice Chairman Richardson made a motion to table the Townhome Ordinance for further review until the November 4, 2020 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Member Riley seconded. 

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Secretary Speidel                    Yes

Member Porter                        Yes

Member Noel-Copeland         Yes

Member Riley                         Yes

Member Grant                        Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion Passed. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said that if Staff is not prepared at the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on November 4, 2020 to just let the Planning and Zoning Commission know. 

 

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Ordinance Correcting Code References (Video start time 01:45:12)

Mr. Fontus gave an overview of this item.

 

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Vice Chairman Richardson made a motion to approve the ordinance correcting code references. Member Porter seconded.

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Member Riley                         Yes

Member Grant                        Yes

Member Porter                        Yes

Secretary Speidel                    Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Member Noel-Copeland         Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion Passed.

 

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Petitions and Requests from Public Present and Press

None

 

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(Video Start time 01:48:13)

 

Reports 

 

 

City Council Summary of Action October 13, 2020 

Chairman Severs said he did send an e-mail to the City Manager, Clerk’s office, Attorney’s office and Staff regarding the Planning and Zoning Commission’s actions taken on the Willow Creek item on September 16, 2020, clarifying that the Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that staff review the subdivision and development process to prevent the filling of wetlands prior to change to Open Space and Recreation (OR) zoning and Conservation Land Use. 

 

Chairman Severs asked when the draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan will be going before City Council since it was not on their September 22, 2020 meeting agenda as Mr. Parrish had advised it would be. Mr. Quintas said he is not sure when it will be on City Council’s agenda.

 

Chairman Severs provided handouts to all of the Planning and Zoning Commission members and Staff regarding the Willow Creek - Verona item from their September 16, 2020 meeting. Chairman Severs went over the handouts and explained that it would have been helpful for he and the Commission members to understand the procedures that Mr. Honeycutt was referring to during the meeting. Chairman Severs said he wanted to explain the procedures to the Planning and Zoning Commission so they understood what took place. Chairman Severs said he does not agree with the process and how this was handled. 

 

Chairman Severs provided handouts to all of the Planning and Zoning Commission members and Staff regarding the extension of the permit for the Brookshire Development. Chairman Severs spoke in detail about the items on his handout. Chairman Severs said he does not understand how an extension was granted on a permit that was not even permitted at that time. Chairman Severs said that the City should require that all Developers comply with the current codes. 

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell spoke about the Statutory Extension that allowed for the additional time that the Developer could have due to the Executive Order 19-189. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said the city does not have a choice because the Executive Order says it “shall” be granted. Assistant City Attorney Farrell summarized Fla. Stat. sec. 252.363 procedures, and further stated that the Developer contacted the City of Titusville during the appropriate time asking for the statutory extension upon the expiration of the Hurricane Dorian Executive Order. 

 

Chairman Severs said that the City of Titusville and the League of Cities needs to do a better job at protecting itself and its codes and ordinances.  

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said he attended a virtual session regarding tree canopies. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said Target has several charging stations for electric cars.

 

Member Noel-Copeland brought up the discussion regarding alternate members needing to show up to all Planning and Zoning Commission members whether there was a seat to fill or not. Member Noel-Copeland said she is always prepared for the meetings but has stayed as an alternate due to the travel demands of her job. Member Noel-Copeland said she does not agree with having to come to the meetings if there is not seat to fill and wants to understand if she will be counted absent for not attending meetings that there is not a seat to fill.  Chairman Severs said this is how the By-Laws read and how he interprets the By-Laws, that all members regular and alternate should be present. Chairman Severs said he understands that this was not the expectation of the alternate members in the past. Chairman Severs said that Member Noel-Copeland is always prepared. Chairman Severs said it is good for alternates to be present in case there is a vacancy or a conflict of interest, the seat can be filled. Chairman Severs said that he would give alternate members the opportunity to speak on items if they were present even if they were not able to vote. 

 

Member Riley asked if she could attend the meetings virtually in the future. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that four (4) members must be present to meet the requirement of a quorum. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that the governor’s orders expire on October 31, 2020 and the City of Titusville does not have a policy regarding joining meetings virtually. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that this is something that the Commission can request City Council to review and make a policy regarding. Chairman Severs said the Commission could make suggestions to changing the By-Laws for consideration. Member Noel-Copeland said she will be prepared with suggestions.

 

Member Riley made a motion recommending to City Council to review the resolution relating to allowing virtual meeting participation due to COVID 19. Member Noel-Copeland seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote in favor.

 

Chairman Severs said he will be bringing up at a future meeting regarding how the code does not talk about gun ranges and where they can be located. 

 

Adjournment 8:33pm