December 3rd Meeting Recap
Here's a quick recap of what took place at the City Council meeting last night.
The City kicked off the meeting by making a few presentations. First, Firefighter Heather Churchwell was recognized for being the Coordiantor/Collector for all of Mount Dora's Toys For Tots locations. For the last ten years Heather has worked with the United States Marine Corps Auxiliary to organize collection sites for Toys for Tots and the City awarded her a plaque last night to show our appreciation.
The next presentation was in honor of, now former, City Councilmember Cathy Hoechst. Cathy has dedicated the last 15 years of her life to working, in one capacity or another, for the City of Mount Dora, all while beating Breast Cancer. Mayor Girone presented Cathy with a framed proclamation detailing all of Cathy's accomplishments in her time with the City and each Councilmember had the opportunity to thank Cathy for all of her efforts. No sooner did Cathy take her seat after the presentation and she was nominated to a new advisory committee. That didn't take long. More on that committee below.
The last presentation was from GAI, the consulting firm hired to create the City's new Parks & Recreation Master Plan. GAI has spent the last nine months studying ALL of our parks and will compile all of the input from public work sessions along with their findings from studying our parks to present a Master Plan to City Council for approval. You can find all the details on the progress of this plan here.
Onto the resolutions that were voted on. Last night City Council approved builder Park Square Homes to begin construction on their next phase of homes in the Summerbrooke Subdivision. Summerbrooke is the subdivision that would be on your right if you are traveling North of Hwy 441 fro Apopka, just after you cross over SR 46. This phase is part of the builder's overall plan that was initially approved, Council was just giving the go ahead to the detailed plans that were presented for this next phase. This phase will result in an additional 166 homes in Summerbrooke. This was approved unanimously.
The second and final resolution that was voted on was to waive annexation application fees. Our City Manager asked City Council to approve this resolution to continue waiving application fees for annexation for an additional two years. The prior resolution was due to sunset(expire) on January 17, 2019. Over the last two years only one resident has taken advantage of the fee waiver by having his property annexed into the city limits. This was approved unanimously.
The ordinance regarding Residential Design Guidelines was continued until the January 15, 2019 meeting.
The ordinance regarding the retail sale of cats and dogs was approved unanimously. This ordinance follows the position that Lake County has taken to ban the "disposal" of dogs or cats by any pet store or pet supply store within the City limits. The definition of disposal includes everything from selling to renting to displaying to giving away a dog or a cat. Pet stores are allowed to make room for a shelter or rescue organization to come in and offer pets to be adopted by the public so long as those pets are owned by the shelter or rescue organization.
For a complete list of Holiday Events taking place in Mount Dora please click here.
The meeting concluded with several discussions prompted by our City Manager. There was some discussion regarding the process of collecting the Fire Assessment Fee we've all seen on our property tax bill for next year. It was suggested by several Councilmembers throughout this process that there could perhaps be a payment plan available for residents that could not afford to pay that fee all at once. Tom Klinker, our interim Finance Director, noted that since that fee is collected by the County, the process by which the County collects that fee is out of our control.
We were presented an update on the repair and rebuild of Dogwood Mountain Reserve. The contractor has fallen behind by approximately one week. This makes the "substantial completion" date December 21, 2018.
We should plan to wrap up the discussion of short term rentals at a meeting in January when the City has finished creating new forms for owners of short term rental properties within the City limits. It is important to the City to distinguish our Short term rental properties from our Bed & Breakfast properties.
There has been some concern over dog trainers using our City Dog Parks to train dogs potentially causing an unsafe condition for other dogs using our City parks. The City Attorney will look into this further to see if that is permitted. City will also take into consideration our leash law.
The Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee appointments have been announced. This committee will be tasked with reviewing our City Charter as a whole. Any changes to our City's Charter must come before voters so this committee will present its potential changes to the Charter by June 2019, in time to appear on next year's ballot. The meetings of the Advisory Committee will be open to the public. The appointees are: Doug Bryant, Steve Guch, Kate Ondrasik, Cathy Hoechst, Richard Huss and Paula Tucker.
Thanks for your attention(if you made it this far 😃). In the future I will generate a quick post letting you know what is "to be discussed" before each meeting as well as a "wrap up" post, like this one, to give you a recap of what took place. It is my hope that those of you that may find some interest in a particular topic will take time to attend our City Council meetings. The next meeting is Tuesday, December 18th at 6:00pm at City Hall. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to subscribe to this website so that they too, will receive my updates.