September 2, 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, September 2, 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 Parrish.  Alternate Member Noel-Copeland joined the meeting via telecommunication. Member Porter 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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Assistant City Attorney Farrell swore in Joyous Parrish as the newest member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

 

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Secretary Speidel made a motion to approve the minutes from the August 19, 2020 regular meeting with a correction. Motion also included approval of the August 19, 2020 special meeting minutes. Vice Chairman Richardson seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote in favor.

 

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Quasi-Judicial Confirmation Procedures

 

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Consent Agenda Item

 

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Old Business

None

 

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New Business

2040 Comprehensive Plan draft (Video start time 00:10:37)

Mr. Parrish said he wanted to go over and address some of the Commission’s comments and recommendations that have been made. 

 

Mr. Parrish said that Member Murray brought up how the Comprehensive Plan talks about Form Base Code but does not provide it in the code. The reason the Comprehensive Plan does not provide the regulations for Form Based Code is because the Comprehensive Plan is a policy document that sets visions and goals. The Land Use Regulations sets the actual code regulations. 

 

Mr. Parrish said that the next step for the 2040 Comprehensive Plan is a transmittal hearing. The Comprehensive Plan will go to the State for review and then the State will send comments back to the City of Titusville and Staff will have to address the comments. The Comprehensive Plan will then come back before the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council for final approval. Mr. Parrish said this could still take up to a year to complete.

 

Mr. Parrish said that Staff is asking if the Planning and Zoning Commission thinks Staff is on the right track and could this document be supported and eventually adopted.

 

Mr. Parrish said Member Murray has brought up that the Comprehensive Plan does not have metrics that can be measurable. Mr. Parrish said that because of state law and how the Comprehensive Plans in the State of Florida are to be structured , it is much more stringent and regulatory than it is in other states. Mr. Parrish said a lot of states do not even have Comprehensive Plans. Mr. Parrish said what is typically found in the State of Florida Comprehensive Plans is a plan that includes goals, objectives and policies. The strategic plans are spawned off of  the Comprehensive Plan. Staff has already worked on a Resiliency Strategic Plan and Multimodal Plan. 

 

(Video time 00:26:05)

Mr. Parrish wanted to address some of the ADA concerns that Vice Chairman Richardson has brought up. Mr. Parrish said he provided a handout called Quick Notes from the American Planning Association about Universal Design, and it is basically a concept asking developers, contractors etc. to go above and beyond ADA guidelines. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said his concerns are regarding commercial developments, such as Titus Landing. Vice Chairman Richardson said that the handicapped parking spots in some areas are on the opposite side of  the parking lot and the street is cobble stone, it is difficult for handicapped people to cross the cobble stone surfaces. There needs to be smooth surfaces. Titus Landing is one example of why these things need to be considered more when commercial development takes place. Vice Chairman Richardson said he has offered to help Staff when developments like this take place because he would be available to make recommendations if needed. Mr. Parrish said Staff could add ADA to the city-wide strategies at the beginning of the Comprehensive Plan that talk about  new development and encourage and incentivize going above and beyond when it comes to ADA requirements.

 

Member Murray said that the American Disabilities Act has been in place since 1960. Member Murray said that she believes that there is a misunderstanding about what the ADA requirements are. Member Murray said how thorough are the ADA requirements being looked at during the review process because the ADA guidelines are very clear. Member Murray said she is concerned that the City is not addressing ADA according to the Federal Law.

 

 

 

(Video time 00:37:20)

Mr. Parrish went over the Implementation Matrix handout that was given to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Mr. Parrish addressed comment numbers 1,3,4 and 25 from Chairman Severs three-page letter. Mr. Parrish said what is being suggested in the proposed Comprehensive Plan is short-term time-frame of five years and long-term would be beyond to the end of the planning horizon. This is equivalent to the Capital Improvement Element which is required to be updated every five years. If the Commission desires a shorter time frame they can make a recommendation. 

 

Member Murray said Statute 163.31771(d) says you must have a process to monitor. Mr. Parrish said the State requires that the Comprehensive Plan be evaluated every seven years, the report is an Evaluation Appraisal Report (EAR). 

 

Member Murray said she has not been able to see Brevard County’s Comprehensive Plan. How can she see their Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Parrish said it used to be on their website but it is not on the website at this time and Staff has not been able to get their plan either.

 

Chairman Severs said his preference would be to insert the timeframes within the Comprehensive Plan or we have simultaneously, the Implementation Matrix so the Commission knows what is being voted on and what the expectations are when it is being reviewed. Otherwise, it appears to be very indefinite. Chairman Severs said he wants to know what he is voting on as black/white and put into the plan or the matrix as apart of the plan. 

 

(Video time 00:45:10)     

Chairman Severs said he has brought up since day one his concerns regarding the Indian River Lagoon and the protection of the city’s wellfields. Chairman Severs asked what has been changed in the new Comprehensive Plan that talks about additional protections of the Indian River Lagoon and the wellfields. 

 

Mr. Parrish said the ordinance that was adopted a few years ago talks about what can be done 20-feet from the water. This code in the Land Development Regulations has been made even more stringent to increase it to 25-feet and even 50-feet depending on circumstances. The code regulates  how much impervious surface is allowed and any stormwater system has to be reviewed by the City Engineer. This ordinance has regulations to address bullet points A and B under comment 1 of the three-page letter.  

 

Chairman Severs suggested coming up with a strategy rather than relying on a County agency that is going to pump muck out of the river, how will that benefit the citizens of Titusville. Chairman Severs said the City of Titusville needs to evaluate the current condition of the Indian River Lagoon and come up with plans and strategies to improve the conditions. These plans and strategies need to be inserted into the Comprehensive Plan  to address these issues. Mr. Parrish said that it could be inserted into the Comprehensive Plan that these are the strategies that will go forward and these are the parameters. Chairman Severs said he attempted to do this on bullet F of the three-page letter. 

 

Member Murray asked what is supposed to go into the Comprehensive Plan verses policies when it comes to protecting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). What can be done to encourage ordinances to be done that are very specific with regards to protecting the IRL. Member Murray said the Comprehensive Plan is a visionary document and feels that maybe this should be addressed through an ordinance or at the code level.

 

Mr. Parrish said that the Public Works Director, Kevin Cook, gave a presentation regarding Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) which is a plan adopted by the City of Titusville. The BMAP includes metrics and baselines that have to be followed in order to reduce nutrient loads into the IRL. The City of Titusville has been adopting everything that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been asking to do. Chairman Severs said he agrees but the IRL is in such a condition that the DEP has required the City of Titusville to do this to continue with development. Chairman Severs said more improvements need to be done to improve the water quality over and above what is being done.

 

Member Parrish said the City of Titusville could have a zero-tolerance policy and could divert all of the stormwater west and our part of the IRL would be pristine, but as long as Cocoa and Melbourne are continuing what they are putting into the IRL, it will get to Titusville. The problem is bigger than Titusville, and this needs to be addressed. She is unsure if Titusville can tell these other cities what to do. 

 

Mr. Parrish said that the 2040 Comprehensive Plan is introducing the BMAP policy into the plan. Member Murray asked if the BMAP is an attachment to this Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Parrish said it is by the way of reference. Member Murray said she would like to be able to access these references and asked if there will be a link available. Mr. Parrish said that as of right now several plans are not on the City’s website due to ADA compliance, but Staff is working on getting everything ADA compliant and back online. 

 

(Video time 00:57:54)

Mr. Parrish addressed concerns regarding some of the land use categories being allowed on local roads. Mr. Parrish referred the Commission to page 123 of the agenda packet. Mr. Parrish spoke about the land use table. Chairman Severs suggested that this be included in the Land Development Regulations rather than in the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Parrish said that Staff finds it appropriate in the Comprehensive Plan because of the large land use categories. Mr. Parrish said there were about twenty land use categories that were consolidated into about nine. This matrix would be helpful in forming the decision as to if a land use is appropriate. Chairman Severs suggested adding language that says “in addition” and reference the Land Use Regulations.     

 

Mr. Parrish spoke briefly about freezing densities.

 

(Video time 01:04:21)

Mr. Parrish gave a presentation regarding the changes made to the Land Use Map. Mr. Parrish said that Chairman Severs had questions about the Civic land use category. Mr. Parrish said the Civic land use is a catch all public institutional land use category. The question was why are not all of the schools considered as Civic, and Mr. Parrish said that schools that are associated with a neighborhood are apart of the neighborhood and are not necessarily just institutional.  Staff did not see a problem with allowing some schools to be included in the Neighborhood Center category because it is a mixed-use category that serves the neighborhood. Chairman Severs said he continues to suggest that all schools should be Civic. Oak Park Elementary was changed to Civic and it is on Dairy Road, however, Coquina Elementary which is on Knox McRae is Neighborhood Center. They are very similar and he does not know why one is being treated differently over the other. Mr. Parrish said that if the Commission desires for all schools to be in the Civic category then Staff can make that change. Chairman Severs said he would still suggest that all schools be in Civic.

 

Chairman Severs said that the south end of Riverside Drive was originally as Gateway and now looks to be changed to Downtown. Mr. Parrish said it is actually Neighborhood in the proposed Comprehensive Plan.

 

Member Murray asked if the land use categories have to match up to the statutes’ categories. Mr. Parrish said that the city has the latitude to call the land use categories what we want but have to reference the elements called out in the statutes.  

 

Member Murray asked to receive a full-size map once this is complete so she can better see and understand what it says. Mr. Parrish said this will be provided.

 

Mr. Parrish continued on his presentation.

 

Chairman Severs said he is satisfied with what has been changed regarding the size of Neighborhood Center (NC), the schools being all in Civic and Riverside Drive. 

 

(Video time 01:18:32)

Mr. Parrish addressed the comments on incentivizing versus requiring. Chairman Severs said in thinking about this comment, he would suggest language that says “may incentivize or require”. Mr. Parrish said he would agree to that change.

 

Mr. Parrish spoke briefly about protecting the uplands.

 

Chairman Severs said he would like the language to be kept in policy 1.1.2 and 1.1.3. Mr. Parrish said this will be kept.

 

Chairman Severs would like to have a canopy goal or the city within a “x” amount of time review and study to come up with a canopy goal. Mr. Parrish said the city has submitted for a grant to help with getting a canopy analysis of the city. This study would help justify any policies and requirements for a minimum canopy on new development or redevelopment. Chairman Severs suggests that the Comprehensive Plan include that this will be done. Mr. Parrish said he thought there was language that said the city will come up with a canopy goal. 

 

Chairman Severs said he would suggest in EN Policy 2.2.3 that language be included that says “city or property owner”. Mr. Parrish said this can be changed.  

 

Mr. Parrish went over EN Policy 2.2.2 and 2.2.3. Member Parrish asked what controls the development of the “green” area that is not considered a wetland but is encompassed in this area in reference to the Conservation land use category. Mr. Parrish explained how the Conservation Land Use was first applied to the City using the National Wetlands Inventory in 1988, and the policy and process of how the boundaries are amended with a wetland survey. Mr. Parrish explained the options of protecting wetlands through the development process including the designation of the Conservation Land Use. Mr. Parrish also explained the Planned Development process, including the option of preserving wetlands in a platted tract. Chairman Severs said he is concerned with Conservation Land Use being developed as Planned Development. Chairman Severs said that under Conservation Land Use you can have 1 unit per 5 acres and if you put it in a conservation easement they won’t be limited to 1 unit per 5 acres because it is given a Planned Development classification where they may be allowed 5 units per acre so suddenly on 5 acres instead of having 1 unit per acre we have 5 times 5 which is 25 units.  Chairman Severs said he sees this as a device that Staff may be promoting that allows for greater density and intensity of use on the land. Chairman Severs said this was used for Brooks Landing and fortunately they are only 2 units per acre. Chairman Severs said he opposes this methodology because it degrades conservation areas and has higher intensity development adjacent to wetlands. Chairman Severs said this is the wrong approach. Mr. Parrish said it is good to have an incentive to encourage building around the conservation areas. Chairman Severs said the conservation should be set aside for parks, recreation and tree canopies, not changing the wetlands to a different land use. Chairman Severs said the proposed plan will cause greater issues and higher densities. Mr. Parrish said he disagrees and explained it would be good to discuss this further in detail if needed outside of this meeting. 

 

(Video 01:38:32)

Chairman Severs said he wants language to state no net wetland loss in the City of Titusville. Mr. Parrish said no net wetlands loss means no net wetlands loss inside the bigger area, what encompasses St. Johns River Water. Chairman Severs said he is suggesting no net wetlands loss in the City of Titusville. Mr. Parrish said Staff would have to find out if this is feasible or can even be accomplished. Chairman Severs said it is his suggestion to see if it can be within the City of Titusville boundaries. 

 

Member Murray said she would like for language to say that the preference is for mitigation to take place within the City of Titusville, but if not possible, then other options are as follows.

 

Mr. Parrish addressed EN strategy 6 and EN Strategy 5 regarding a 15-foot wetland buffer and 30% tree canopy and native vegetation. Mr. Parrish said these are regulations that should be in the code and he would request to have time to see if these are feasible. Chairman Severs said this goes back to his concern with preserving Area II Wellfield and there are four factors the original study shows and one talks about retaining natural vegetation. Chairman Severs said this should be a requirement or goal included in the plan to protect the Area of Critical Concern.

 

(Video time 01:49:10)

Mr. Parrish addressed the comment regarding setting aside money for reclaimed water improvements. Mr. Parrish said there is a line item in the budget to get a consultant to help do a Reclaimed Water Master Plan. Chairman Severs said he isn’t suggesting money be put aside in the CIE plan for this year but would suggest it be budgeted for the following year so this study can be implemented. Vice Chairman Richardson asked what happened to the master plans that were done 20-30 years ago. Mr. Parrish said he would have to find out. Vice Chairman Richardson said he does not know why the city has to hire consultants to do studies that were done 20-30 years ago. 

 

 Mr. Parrish said that the Joint Planning Agreement with Brevard County expired, it never got renewed by the city or county. It was basically a contract between the city and county as to how properties will be annexed either into the county or city along the boundaries. The City include the County in the review of site developments within a distance of the City’s boundaries and vice versa. The draft comp plan proposes a strategy to do a master annexation plan with the county to streamline the annexation process. Member Murray asked when the agreement expired. Mr. Parrish said he believes it expired in 2014. 

 

 

 

(Video time 01:56:01)

Stan Johnston of 860 Poinsettia Avenue Titusville, Florida came to speak neither for nor against this item. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson made a motion to allow Mr. Johnston two more minutes of speaking time. Member Murray seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote in favor.

 

Mr. Johnston continued.

 

Chairman Severs said he would authorize a transmittal of everyone’s comments as apart of whatever is sent to City Council.

 

(Video time 02:02:51)

 

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Member Murray made a motion to recommend moving forward transmitting the existing documents as the Planning and Zoning Commission has it and include the comments that were discussed at the September 2, 2020 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, that are to be incorporated to City Council for the next steps in this process. Member Grant seconded. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked that the term “tiny homes” not be used and it be referred to as “cottage homes”.

 

Member Murray and Member Grant accepted this amendment to the motion. 

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Secretary Speidel                    Yes

Member Murray                      Yes

Member Parrish                       Yes

Member Grant                        Yes

Member Noel-Copeland         Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     Yes

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion passed.

 

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Petitions and Requests from Public Present and Press

 

Stan Johnston of 860 Poinsettia Avenue Titusville, Florida came to speak. Mr. Johnston spoke about the city’s mistakes and honesty, lack of discussion and the need for input of a professional engineer.

 

Member Murray made a motion to allow Mr. Johnston to have two more minutes of speaking time. Member Grant seconded.

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Member Grant                        Yes

Secretary Speidel                    No

Member Murray                      Yes

Vice Chairman Richardson     No

Member Noel-Copeland         Yes

Member Parrish                       No

Chairman Severs                     Yes

 

Motion passed with a 4 yes, 3 no vote.

 

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Reports 

 

City Council Summary of Action August 25, 2020 (Video Start time 02:12:00)

Informational only.

 

Member Murray suggested that the Planning and Zoning Commissions’ motions are read verbatim at the City Council meetings. She is concerned that the motions and conditions are not being conveyed to City Council well. She would like for the motions to be passed on with the concerns that the Planning and Zoning Commission have regarding the conditions. Vice Chairman Richardson said this has been a concern for years. Assistant City Attorney Farrell makes the Commission members state the motion clearly and also when a Commission member votes no it must be stated why they voted no. Vice Chairman Richardson believes the problem is between the time from the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to the City Council meetings, the information is passed from various staff members, Ms. Busacca tells City Council that the conditions are not necessary. Member Murray said she will always vote no if it is not supported by ordinances or codes. Member Murray said she is concerned about the communication done efficiently between the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. Chairman Severs said this has been brought up several times regarding communication between the P&Z Commission and City Council. Chairman Severs said sometimes conditions are based on deficiencies in the plan and they are not explained. Chairman Severs suggested setting aside time to discuss this issue. Vice Chairman Richardson suggested a 5:00pm workshop. Secretary Speidel agrees to have a discussion regarding this and would suggest a workshop setting. Mr. Parrish said it is the Commission’s preference as to when this can be discussed. Mr. Parrish agreed to the 5:00pm workshop for discussion. 

 

 

(Video 02:21:56)

Mr. Parrish said that the Planning Department is very busy working on new applications and working on ordinances. Mr. Parrish gave a brief update regarding how staff looked at the Low Impact Development Ordinance.

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell advised the Commission that Alternate Member Jan Cary resigned and there is now a vacancy on the Commission. 

 

Chairman Severs asked if there are any policies regarding what the Commission or Staff should do if they contract COVID. Chairman Severs said he has not been advised of any protocols or policies regarding notification regarding COVID. Assistant City Attorney Farrell said that Staff and Commission would need to quarantine for 14 days, then have two negative COVID tests. Secretary Speidel said that HIPAA and CDC guidelines would need to be followed. Mr. Parrish said he can find out if the city has specific policies regarding this. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson said that the Commission members need to realize that part of the By-Laws state that if you miss three consecutive meetings that the Chairman has to advise City Council of the absences. Vice Chairman Richardson said the Recording Secretary sends e-mails and follows up with e-mails and phone calls to verify attendance. Therefore, notice is given regarding the meetings. He encouraged the Commission members to be sure that they let city staff know if they cannot attend the meetings. Vice Chairman Richardson brought up the attendance sheet for the Commission. 

 

Vice Chairman Richardson asked if the meeting regarding Dairy Road took place at La Cita. Mr. Parrish said yes, the applicant was unable to secure a different meeting location.

 

Member Murray said she watched the Tree Team video and asked what the next step was. Mr. Parrish said that Staff is working on the tree ordinance and it will be coming back to the Planning and Zoning Commission when completed. 

 

Adjournment 8:36pm