July 8, 2020 Minutes 6:00pm

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) of the City of Titusville, Florida met in regular session in the Fire Department Multi-Purpose Room, located at 550 South Washington Avenue on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

 

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Chairman Severs called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Secretary Speidel, Member Richardson, Member Murray, Member Porter, Member Cary, and School Board Member Boyer. Also, in attendance were Planning Manager Brad Parrish, Senior Planner Gabriel Quintas, Assistant City Attorney Chelsea Farrell, and Recording Secretary Kim Amick.

 

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Member Richardson motioned to approve the minutes from the March 4, 2020 regular meeting.  Member Cary seconded. There was a unanimous voice vote. 

 

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Quasi-Judicial Confirmation Procedures

 

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Consent Agenda Items

 

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Old Business

None

 

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New Business

Election of Officers (Video start time 1:11:52) 

Member Speidel nominated Joseph Richardson to be Vice-Chair.

Roll call was as follows:

            Secretary Speidel                                Yes

            Member Porter                                    Yes

            Member Murray                                  Yes

            Member Cary                                      Yes

            Member Richardson                           Yes

            Chairman Severs                                 Yes

 

Motion passed.

 

Ordinance/Resolution – Wetland Surveys (Video start time 1:13:25)

Mr. Quintas gave an overview of this item.

 

Member Murray asked for clarification, the five years is in parentheses, clarification from a legal perspective. She was surprised to see a requirement they were asking for in parens.  Mr. Quintas said in the code the number is written out and then the number next to it in parentheses.

 

Member Murray said the actual statement is in parens.  Mr. Parrish said there is no other reason it could be revised for clarity.  He said they could remove that and say valid and approved within five years.

 

Chairman Severs said on Page 17 under the resolution and text amendment dealing with rezoning there is a strikethrough for required information for rezoning.   He asked why are they not requiring it for rezoning request.  Mr. Quintas that was an item that was new to LDR and staff determined they would not need that information for said rezoning request.

 

Chairman Severs said he thinks that requirement should still be in there.  He said he has gone back and looked at some rezoning requests and there was a failure in the past to have wetland information in it at all and if you are considering a zoning property from one zoning category to another that information is valuable.  He said how would Planning & Zoning Commission and/or City Council know unless that information is provided and it can influence what is the appropriate zoning category to be placed upon the property.  He said he is not in favor of that deletion.

 

Secretary Speidel said for clarification, now the strike through will not be in this rewritten ordinance.  Mr. Quintas said correct. 

 

Secretary Speidel asked is there a reason why staff has deleted that.  Mr. Quintas asked the requirement to submit a wetlands survey under rezoning. 

 

Secretary Speidel said under 5.2.8.2 is there a reason why it is being deleted.   Mr. Quintas said staff determined that it was not necessary in this stage of the development process but they would be required to submit one at site plan stage or the sketch plat stage.  He said it would not make too much of a difference to have it before the rezoning is approved.

 

Secretary Speidel said her vote would depend on noting there were wetlands. Mr. Quintas said staff has data from St Johns River Water Management District and the National Wetlands Inventory in their GIS maps and they will review every request and note that in their staff reports.

 

Secretary Speidel said so when the staff reports are presented to P & Z that will be stipulated at that point.  Mr. Quintas said yes.

 

Chairman Severs said under conditional uses likewise that have been eliminated on page 19 his same comments apply.  He said with regard to a conditional use all criteria being considered likewise you would want the wetlands information as a part of considering whether or not a conditional use should be applied whether or not there are to be buffers around the wetlands.  He suggests those revisions should not be deleted and the should be updated as other sections are being updated.

 

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Vice-Chairman Richardson recommended approval of the Wetland Survey Ordinance putting back in those portions of the resolution that Chairman Severs noted.

 

Member Speidel seconded.

 

Discussion followed.

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

            Member Cary                                      Yes

            Secretary Speidel                                Yes

            Member Murray                                  No

            Vice-Chairman Richardson                Yes

            Member Porter                                    Yes

            Chairman Severs                                 Yes

 

Motion Passed.

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell asked that Member Murray state the basis for denial.

 

Member Murray said to clarify based on those stages in the process the information that is pertinent at that time is available to them through staff without additional cost to the applicant.

 

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Ordinance – Concept Plans (Video start time 1:25:12)

Mr. Quintas gave an overview of this item.

 

Mr. Quintas said Section 34-74(c) there is an error, our Conditional Use Permits do require Conceptual Plans be submitted so the term “voluntary” should be stricken because the Tech Manual does require Conditional Use Permits be accompanied with a Conceptual Plan.

 

Chairman Severs complemented staff for providing clarity in detail which constitutes a substantial change.

 

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Member Cary made a motion to approve staff’s recommendation.

 

Secretary Speidel seconded.

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

Secretary Speidel                                            Yes

Member Porter                                                Yes

Member Murray                                              Yes

Member Cary                                                  Yes

Vice-Chairman Richardson                            Yes

Chairman Severs                                             Yes

 

Motion Passed.

 

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Tree Protection Ordinance (Video start time 1:30:07)

Mr. Quintas gave an overview of this item with a power point presentation.

 

Mr. Parrish said on page 66 of the packet there is a list of changes that staff made to its original version that was presented tonight so on page 66 you will see the section numbers they listed and tried to describe the actual change and put a comment as to why that change was made.

 

Member Murray asked why did you eliminate the six inches.  Mr. Parrish said several months ago they came to City Council with a strategy, the minutes are on page 95 of the packet, it was included to give the commission an understanding of the direction they received from City Council.   That is based on some recommendations they gave to City Council that included short term strategies and long term strategies.  The short term was to go for the low hanging fruit such as, one thing that was completed, was to provide credits for pervious pavement and the second one was to come up with criteria in the landscape code and tree mitigation code that address size of trees and which ones should be mitigated so what they did in this version is they increased grand trees of 32” or larger placed at a ratio of 3:1 but the regular mitigation size trees will continue on at a replacement rate of 2:1 but they took out their initial proposal for six inch trees because they thought that coupled with the possibility of canopy regulations in the future would be too burdensome.  They think the canopy regulations could be considered later. Canopy on top of a 6” requirement mitigation replacement would be difficult to apply so that is why they are suggesting more flexibility.  It is more stringent in the current code what they are proposing but it is less stringent than what they initially proposed.

 

Member Murray asked who made the decision that the six inch was a burden.  Mr. Parrish said staff.

 

Member Murray said you have reduced the amount of dollars associated versus what TEC wanted when it comes to mitigation.  Mr. Quintas said staff’s version never included that equation that TEC recommended so it remains the same.

 

Member Murray asked what happens to the money in the trust.  Mr. Parrish said the trust is used by Public Works Department for landscape improvements and street improvements and trees to be planted in public locations but right now it is available for their use.

 

Member Murray said in the future with the canopy it could become part of the canopy because canopy does not necessarily have to be in that development its overall canopy percentage.  Mr. Quintas said the current TEC version is limited to that site and as a further clarification staff actually did strengthen the contributions.  The contributions are now based on net mitigation inches lost rather than the inches of existing tree lost period you multiply [PB1] it by the two or three depending on the type of tree.

 

Member Murray said in the TEC they talked about the IFAS tree types you do not refer at any point to actual tree types except for native.  Mr. Quintas said yes.

 

Member Murray said what is the definition of an acceptable tree.  Mr. Quintas said their ordinance would require Florida grade number one at a minimum.

 

Member Murray said she would have preferred to see it better defined.

 

Member Murray said you mentioned vested rights at the end saying you could grandfather in this or that or other vested rights.  She asked what is an example of that.  Mr. Parrish said you have an approved permit on a piece of property there may be some entitlements on that property that is a vested right.

 

Chairman Severs said there is a separate code dealing with vested rights.

 

Assistant City Attorney Chelsea said the vested rights process can be found in Section 34-374.

 

Chairman Severs asked Mr. Myjak to speak on this item as a member of the Titusville Environmental Commission.

 

Kay St. Onge, 2360 Maryland Avenue, Titusville, Florida, spoke in favor of the TEC version of this item.

 

Toni Shifalo, 715 Tropic Street, Titusville, Florida, spoke in favor of this item.

 

Bruce Moia, 1250 W. Eau Gallie Boulevard, Melbourne, Florida, spoke against this item.  Mr. Moia said a PD Conservation subdivision already requires 50% open space.  He said additional tree and canopy regulations will be a disincentive and could apply to non-residential too.  He said currently the 100 square feet of native vegetation preserved per inch cannot be counted toward required open space.

 

Mary Sphar, 825 Cliftons Cove Court, Cocoa, Florida, spoke neither for or against this item.  Ms. Sphar asked them to consider the County’s tree canopy and mitigation regulations such as:

 

  1.  Consider if canopy is important and what percentage is required per use such as residential, commercial and industrial.
  2. What thresholds or size of trees is important?  In the county, if applicants satisfy the canopy requirements then they do not have to mitigate.
  3. Specimen trees are 20-inch in diameter.

 

Rick Kern, 3700 South Washington Avenue, Titusville, Florida, spoke neither for or against this item.  Mr. Kern said you cannot plant mitigation trees in required buffers and conservation set aside areas and staff should allow these.  He said mitigation trees for six inch trees make development more expensive than the land itself.  He asked if you have a 32 inch palm tree is it a grand tree, would that require Council approval.  He said the City’s 2:1 ratio for 20 inch mitigation size trees is more than the County and other surrounding areas.  He said they should accept completed sketch plat applications instead of only if they have received approval.

 

William Young, 612 Indian River Avenue, Titusville, Florida, spoke neither for or against this item.

 

Chairman Severs said he was not looking for a recommendation tonight, but is looking for some insight for staff.

 

Vice-Chairman Richardson said staff should have brought the revised draft back to the Titusville Environmental Commission and included developers before bringing it to the Planning & Zoning Commission.

 

Member Cary said he is concerned about stringent regulations including cost of mitigation being more than what the land is worth.  He said all the parties need to get together or you have to make a decision that Titusville is not going grow any further because you are restricting growth.  He said he agrees with Mr. Kern about not being able to plant mitigation trees in set aside areas.

 

Member Murray said she is an environmentalist but also pro-business.   She said the challenge there is the capability to come to a compromise but if [PB2] you do not come to the table there is not compromise.  She said tree preservation is a comp plan issue they have to address.

 

Member Richardson said he would recommend a meeting of the TEC members, developers and staff to create a consensus document together.

 

Chairman Severs said this issue arose in April 2019 because citizens approached City Council about the clear cutting of land, Council had a hearing and gave comments and direction.  He said he does not see the current staff draft addressing what Council asked to be commented upon.  For Example:

Mayor Johnson:

  1.  Regulation of clear cutting was of tremendous importance.
  2. Prioritize value of native trees versus in land clearing.

Vice-Mayor Diesel:

  1.  Supported requirements for larger trees in both mitigation standards and landscaping standards.
  2.  Supported tree preservation requirements.
  3. Don’t make tree removal so easy.

Member Jordan:

  1.  Support mandatory preservation of “untouchable” trees.
  2. Support canopy recovery within five (5) years.
  3. Trees should be on the front burner of consideration when developing.

Member Nelson:

  1. Concerned about heritage trees.
  2. Concerned about clear cutting.
  3.  Wants to see mandatory preservation of heritage trees; removal requiring approval by Council.

He said the ordinance proposed by staff does not address 90% of the concerns by Council.  He asked staff to compare Forest Trace, South Carpenter Estates and Park Preserve before and after staff’s ordinance and they will see no difference.  He asked that staff report back to them and analyze whether or not that is true.  He said Brookshire has a 45-inch oak tree that is to be removed on that site would require the processing of TEC and City Council approval otherwise 95% of that subdivision land is going to be altered.  He does not see how it complies with the current ordinance of 10%.  There are no changes between the current regulations of 10%, landscaping under the old code, versus preservation.  The only difference is if you have a 32” or larger you have to go through this process otherwise nothing changes.  He said TEC’s request of 6” inch mitigation trees is unreasonable, should be 10 or 12 inches.  He said there should be some incentives, the County provides some incentives by preserving more trees and the ordinance drafts do not provide incentives.   These issues need to be addressed.   He stated no other city in Brevard County has an Area of Critical Concern.  He read an excerpt of Pat Barne’s Area of Critical Concern report. 

 

Mr. Quintas addressed Chairman Severs points.

 

Chairman Severs asked that his policy recommendations regarding strengthening the Area of Critical Concern be in the Comp Plan.  He asked that they be added to the current Comp Plan now and not wait for the draft 2040 Plan.

 

Mr. Quintas continued addressing Chairman Severs points.

 

Member Porter agreed with Member Richardson’s request for a meeting.

 

Discussion followed.

 

Chairman Severs said his intentions were to receive the public input, staff’s report, TEC report consider the twelve recommendations that they received in writing digest that and come back to their next meeting on the 22 for further discussion, make some kind of recommendation with regard to this item.

 

Member Richardson said he would like to make a motion.

 

Mr. Parrish said if you are going to make a motion to continue, there are three items.

 

Member Richardson made a motion for the Planning and Zoning take the position that staff meet with the TEC and developers and iron out this situation as soon as possible before it comes back to P & Z.

 

Member Cary seconded.

 

Mr. Quintas asked if it is a representative of TEC.

 

Member Richardson said Mr. Myjak could appoint a couple of people to come with him and the developers would say two or three people to represent them.

 

Mr. Quintas asked if that would impact the Sunshine Law.

 

Assistant City Attorney Farrell said a committee would be subject to the Sunshine Rules in its entirety.

 

Chairman Severs asked if the second held.

 

Member Cary said yes.

 

Member Cary said he wanted to make sure the two developers that were present to get the rest of their crowd in on this because he does not want them to come back when it does not go your way and he asks who was there and staff says no one showed because you have blocked yourself.  He said they needed to take it seriously because you have input and, in his opinion, if the developers do not get behind this then you have no dog in the fight.

 

Member Severs said they have a motion and Member Cary seconded, is there discussion.

 

Member Murray said she does not support it.  She said the reason she does not support really has to do with there is no time line associated with this and she does not know what the incentives are for the builders.  She said her biggest concern is time.

 

Chairman Severs asked to include a time frame in the motion.

 

Member Richardson said no, it is up to staff and TEC and developers to set a time.   He said they know this is important and needs to be as soon as possible.  He said it is not up to them to set a time line.

 

Member Severs said this encompasses all three of the items.

 

Roll call was as follows:

 

            Secretary Speidel                                Yes

            Member Murray                                  No

            Vice-Chairman Richardson                Yes

            Member Cary                                      Yes

            Member Porter                                    Yes

            Chairman Severs                                 Yes

 

Motion passed.

 

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Petitions and Requests from Public Present

 

Mary Sphar spoke with regard to trees.

 

Kay St. Ogne recommended adding incentives similar to what Bruce Moia suggested about PD Conservation Developments.

 

Toni Shifalo asked how will you determine which developers will be at the meeting.  

 

Chairman Severs said the Community Development Director would know who to contact.

 

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Reports

 

Chairman Severs mentioned the Public Participation [PB3] Guide presentation item.

 

Mr. Quintas requested[PB4]  the Public Participation Guide be presented at the next meeting.

 

Chairman Severs said the Council Summary of Actions, when the Vice-Chair was removed, did not accurately convey what happened because the motion that was made said he did not meet the qualifications for residency.  Mr. Bobbitt offered to resign and a more appropriate motion would have been I move to accept his resignation.

 

Member Richardson said the term forfeit should not have been used in regard to Mr. Bobbitt’s resignation.

 

Mr. Parrish said on Page 170 of the packet, a member asked for updates on projects, there are screen shots of an online map, you can click on the map and see what projects are going on in the city.

 

Member Richardson asked what is going on with Popeyes.  Mr. Quintas said staff does not know why they have not moved forward.

 

Mr. Parrish said the annual American Planning Association Conference will be virtual September 8-11.  He said the first day session given to commissioners it may be worthwhile for you to attend.

 

Mr. Parrish asked if any member receives a newsletter from APA called Commissioner.  He said there is another journal that you could receive electronically.

 

Mr. Parrish said the draft Comprehensive Plan has been sent out with all changes they could accept.  He set a workshop for July 22 at 5:00 pm before your regular meeting and also you have agenda items for the regular meeting.

 

Chairman Severs said they continued the items from the Special Meeting tonight to the next meeting at 5:00.

 

Mr. Parrish asked how do you want to proceed.  

 

Chairman Severs said he did not have a problem putting Comprehensive Plan as a part of the agenda for the July 22 meeting.  Mr. Parrish said they would put at the end of the agenda items.

 

Mr. Parrish said as part of that Comprehensive Plan, he would like to have one on one meetings with some, mainly with commissioner that are new.

 

Mr. Parrish asked if the commission would be interested in having a separate workshop in August or September on tiny homes.  He said City Council asked for an ordinance back in 2018 so they have a draft to present and invite the public.

 

Member Cary asked how the City of Rockledge ordinance is going.  Brad said he was not sure if they had implemented it.

 

Chairman Severs asked if any Commission members had a problem with 5:00 meetings.

 

City Attorney Farrell said the elevator would be fixed on Friday so they would hopefully be back at City Hall for the next meeting.

 

Chairman Severs on Pages 8 and 9 of the minutes of March 4 raised issues concerning River Palms Condos as a follow up to Member Taylor and at the end it says Mr. Parrish would look into this he would like to put it on the next agenda for reports.

 

Adjournment 8:41 p.m.

 [PB1]GQ revise

 [PB2]Correct

 [PB3]change said to mention and correct particiaption

 [PB4]correct