September 16, 2020 Minutes 5:00pm

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) of the City of Titusville, Florida met in Special session in the Council Chamber of City Hall, located at 555 South Washington Avenue on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

 

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Chairman Severs called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. Present were Vice Chairman Richardson, Member Porter, Member Grant, Member Murray and Member Parrish.  Alternate Member Noel-Copeland joined the meeting via telecommunication. Secretary Speidel was absent. 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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Business

Communication with Council

Chairman Severs briefly explained why this special meeting was called to discuss communication between the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council.

 

Member Murray said the Low Impact Development ordinance is a good example as to the Planning and Zoning’s conditions not being conveyed to City Council the way the Commission intended the conditions to be conveyed. Member Murray said the motions need to be presented verbatim and the concerns be explained clearly. Member Murray asked how should the concerns from the Commission be given to City Council so they know the Commission’s concerns and where they are coming from. Staff is having to determine what is important out of hours of discussion. 

 

Chairman Severs said historically speaking, a representative of the Planning and Zoning Commission would be present at the City Council meetings to explain the reasoning behind the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendations. Chairman Severs said that former Chairman Williams had the same concerns that the voices of the Planning and Zoning Commission are not being heard and is the Planning and Zoning Commission serving a purpose. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said that City Council receives very large agendas and they have very limited time to review all of the information. Vice Chairman Richardson said that many years ago there was about a two-week delay between the Planning and Zoning Commission’s meeting and City Council meetings, allowing a lot more time for the information to be put together and given to City Council more clearly. Vice Chairman Richardson asked how other Planning and Zoning   Commissions in other cities relay their information to their City Council. Vice Chairman Richardson said he would like to find this out. 

 

Member Noel-Copeland said she believes speed and process are two different topics. 

 

There was some discussion amongst the members regarding the issue of time-frame to review and relay the information from the Planning and Zoning Commission to City Council. 

 

Member Grant said he feels the Low Impact Development (LID) ordinance was done properly by the Planning and Zoning Commission. City Council did not agree with the Planning and Zoning Commission’s conditions.  How much clearer can the Planning and Zoning Commission be.

 

Member Murray agreed with Member Grant. The LID ordinance had four conditions and the Planning and Zoning Commission was very clear. The Commission just needs to be more clear as to the reasons behind the conditions. 

 

Member Noel-Copeland said that the key concerns need to be made very clear to City Council. 

 

Member Grant said that City Council gets draft minutes and recordings of the Planning and Zoning Commission meetings, isn’t that everything they need. 

 

Member Porter asked who interprets the motions and conditions that are discussed during the meeting. Chairman Severs said Staff relays the information. Member Porter suggested having someone on the Planning and Zoning Commission draft the motions and conditions so that it is conveyed the way that the Planning and Zoning Commission intends for it to be conveyed. Member Porter said maybe a Planning and Zoning Commission member needs to attend the City Council meetings. Chairman Severs said he is not sure that City Council would like that much involvement from the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

 

Mr. Quintas said that Staff personally meets with the Director of Community Development, Peggy Busacca, the following morning after the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting takes place and conveys the concerns and actions of the meeting. 

 

Mr. Quintas suggested that all motions and conditions are articulated very clearly. Assistant City Attorney Farrell also suggested getting the reason behind the recommendation and conditions stated clearly within the motion. 

 

City Council Member Nelson said that a problem is that the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting is Wednesday night and the City Council agenda is sent out the next day (Thursday) by noon. The City Council agendas are long and there is a lot of information to review in a short period of time. She said that the reasons for the conditions do not always come across clearly. It would be very helpful to have the reasons stated in the motion. She said it would be helpful for the video start times to be indicated in the minutes. 

 

Chairman Severs said he has the impression that City Council does not want Planning and Zoning Commission members to attend City Council meetings. Chairman Severs said that the Planning and Zoning Commission has obligations to ask questions and gets chastised for asking questions. 

 

City Council Member Nelson said she does not personally have any issues with members of the Planning and Zoning Commission attending City Council meetings.

 

Chairman Severs said he agrees that the motions need to be stated clearly and the reasons should be backed up with the codes, ordinances, etc. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said that he recalls on one occasion that four conditions were given and a fifth condition was made by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the fifth condition was not given to City Council. There was no reason given as to why the fifth condition was omitted.

 

City Council Member Nelson said she does not have a problem with having things in the code made into conditions as long as there is no conflict between ordinances.

 

Member Porter said that the motions should be made clear during the meeting and that if needed Staff can help make sure that the motions and conditions come across clearly. Then everyone understands the motions and conditions so it is relayed to City Council correctly.  If a condition that is made by the Planning and Zoning Commission is not conveyed to City Council that is not the fault of the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

 

Member Murray said one issue is the Planning and Zoning Commission does not see the draft minutes before City Council sees the draft minutes. She volunteered to review the draft minutes if needed. Member Murray asked that Staff help the Commission members state the motions clearly so that it is easily understood. Member Murray also said she would volunteer to attend City Council meetings if needed. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked Staff if giving more time in between meetings would help solve the problem. Mr. Quintas said he would agree with Member Porter about taking the time during the meeting to state the motions and conditions clearly so everyone understands what is intended. 

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that after long discussions take place, the Commission needs to be sure that they are stating their concerns very clearly and concise, so Staff isn’t trying to pick out what they think are the important points. 

 

Chairman Severs said if a Commission member is struggling to formulate a motion that Staff would intervene and help the Commission member formulate the motion or condition clearly.

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell suggested that Commission members take notes during the meetings so they can look back at their notes to help articulate a motion with points that they feel were discussed that are important. 

 

Chairman Severs said he feels that after all the discussion that everyone will try and work better together to be clearer with the motions and conditions. 

 

Thomas Perez said that having the video times available for the item discussions available would be helpful. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said this is already being done. 

 

 

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Adjournment 5:56pm