4.B.7.                         

AGENDA MEMORANDUM

 

 

Meeting Date:           August 14, 2006

 

From:                          Edward F. Smyth, Jr., Assistant City Manager

 

Subject:                      Resolution authorizing execution of an Owner Affidavit for former railroad right-of-way crossing through the Cutrale Property lying East of Lake Street and South of Main Street

 

 

Staff Recommendation:

Staff recommends adoption of a Resolution authorizing execution of an Owner Affidavit for this section of the railroad right-of-way so that the property can be included in an application by Cutrale seeking a Conditional Use Permit (“CUP”).

 

Analysis:

The City of Leesburg owns the former railroad right-of-way running southeast from Lake Street, which crosses the Cutrale property in the area South of Main Street. 

 

Cutrale wishes to obtain a CUP to allow it to use its property and a portion of this former railroad right-of-way for expansion of its operations. Under City procedures applicable to issuance of a CUP, the execution of an Owner Affidavit for this segment of the former railroad right-of-way is necessary so the property can be included in the CUP application. 

 

This authorization does not imply willingness on the part of the City of Leesburg to sell or convey the property and is only given for the purpose of complying with the City's rezoning procedures, so the Planning Commission can hold a hearing on the proposed CUP, receive comments from Cutrale and other affected property owners, and determine whether to issue a CUP and if so, under what conditions and restrictions.  Granting the authorization is not to be considered an endorsement of the proposal, but simply allows the various interested parties to discuss the issue before the Planning Commission and allows the Planning Commission to structure a suitable compromise protecting the rights of all parties involved. Once that process is completed, and if the CUP is granted under conditions deemed acceptable by Cutrale, the question of whether to convey the former railroad right-of-way to Cutrale will be presented to the City Commission.


The Commission removed this item from the March 13, 2006 Commission Agenda to provide Mr. Steve Richey and Cutrale an opportunity to meet with the neighbors to address issues and concerns.  These meetings are complete and the applicant is now prepared to move this project forward.

 

As a result of these meetings, Cutrale has significantly modified its proposal.  However, as is true with most situations of this nature, the modification is acceptable to some, unacceptable to others, and may with certain conditions become acceptable to others.  It is difficult to determine the number of individuals in these various groupings, because there is no formal organization representing the neighborhood, nor is there any means of conducting a democratic vote.  Allowing the applicant to participate in the planning process will be informative in telling us how this amended plan will be accepted in the community. 

 

Options:

1.      Adopt the resolution as presented;

2.      Such other action as the Commission deems appropriate.

 Fiscal Impact

There is no fiscal impact or obligation associated with this action

 

Submission Date and Time:    8/9/06 1:10 PM8/8/06 4:11 PM

 

Department:  Administration

Prepared by:  E.F. Smyth, ACM

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Submitted by:

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RESOLUTION NO. ____________

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO EXECUTE AN OWNER AFFIDAVIT IN CONNECTION WITH A PENDING APPLICATION BY CUTRALE CITRUS JUICES U.S.A. (CUTRALE), INC., FOR A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT ON REAL PROPERTY OWNED BY CUTRALE, WHICH APPLICATION INCLUDES USE OF CERTAIN ABANDONED RAILROAD RIGHT-OF-WAY OWNED BY THE CITY; SPECIFYING THE CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS ON THE AUTHORIZATION GRANTED HEREBY; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

 

            WHEREAS, the City of Leesburg owns certain abandoned railroad right-of-way which is adjacent to real property owned or controlled by Cutrale Citrus Juices U.S.A., Inc. (Cutrale), and

 

            WHEREAS, Cutrale desires to apply to the City for a Conditional Use Permit (“CUP”) which would allow it to utilize its aforementioned real property to expand its existing industrial operations, and to include within that application a portion of the City’s abandoned railroad right of way, and

 

            WHEREAS, the City Commission has not determined whether it wishes to sell, convey, or lease the railroad-right-of-way to Cutrale or otherwise to allow the use of that right-of-way in conjunction with Cutrale’s operations, and

 

            WHEREAS, if the application for a CUP is filed, a public hearing will be held before the Planning Commission at which Cutrale and affected neighboring property owners and residents may present their concerns, and the Planning Commission will determine whether a CUP should be issued to Cutrale, and if so what conditions must be imposed on its use of its property and the railroad right of way for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of surrounding property owners and residents and the value of their property, and

 

            WHEREAS, it would be inappropriate for the City Commission to decide whether to sell, convey, or lease the railroad right-of-way to Cutrale or otherwise to allow Cutrale to use the railroad right-of-way as part of the expansion of its industrial operations, until the hearing before the Planning Commission has been held and a decision has been made by that body whether to issue the CUP and  under what conditions, and

 

            WHEREAS, it is appropriate that this Resolution be limited explicitly to authorization to sign the Owner Affidavit required by the City’s zoning procedures, and that it not be considered or interpreted as any indication that the City Commission supports either the expansion of Cutrale’s industrial operations, or that the City Commission ultimately will approve use of the abandoned railroad right-of-way by Cutrale under any circumstances,

 

            NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:

           

THAT the City Manager is hereby authorized to execute an Owner Affidavit, on the form used by the Community Development Department for all zoning and land use applications, authorizing Cutrale Citrus Juices U.S.A., Inc. to file an application for a CUP which includes a portion of the abandoned railroad right-of-way owned by the City.

 

            THIS RESOLUTION is explicitly conditioned on the following:

 

A.                 Nothing in this Resolution expresses, nor should it be interpreted to imply, any approval by the City Commission of the proposed use of the land by Cutrale. This Resolution should not be considered by the Planning Commission to be supportive of, or as an endorsement of, the proposed land use sought by Cutrale, and the Planning Commission should evaluate the application of Cutrale without giving any weight whatsoever to this Resolution other than as a simple consent for Cutrale to include the railroad right-of-way as part of its proposal.

 

B.                 This Resolution does not obligate the City Commission or the City of Leesburg to sell, lease or convey the railroad right-of-way in question to Cutrale, or to consider doing so, should not be relied on by Cutrale as an indication that when presented with the question of whether to sell, lease or convey the railroad right-of-way to Cutrale or otherwise to allow Cutrale to use the railroad right-of-way, the City Commission will act favorably on such a request. The City Commission shall retain full authority to accept or reject any request by Cutrale to sell, convey, or lease the railroad right-of-way to Cutrale, or otherwise to allow use of the railroad right-of-way by it, and to condition the consent to any such request, if granted, as the City Commission deems necessary or appropriate for the protection of the public interest, including but not limited to imposition of requirements for relocation of recreational trails and imposition of such conditions as the City Commission considers necessary for the protection of the public and surrounding residents and property owners.

 

C.                 The sole purpose of this Resolution is to permit execution of the Owner Affidavit so as to allow the Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing on the CUP sought by Cutrale, and determine whether to grant or deny it, and if granted, what conditions should be imposed on the use of the property included in the CUP.

 

            THIS RESOLUTION shall become effective immediately.

 

            PASSED AND ADOPTED at the regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, held on the 14th   day of August, 2006.

 

 

 

                                                                                    THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA

 

 

 

                                                                                    BY:                                                                 

                                                                                                MAYOR

 

Attest:                                                                        

            CITY CLERK