Staff recommends adoption of the proposed Interlocal Agreement between Lake County, the Lake County School Board, and the fourteen cities of Lake County including the City of Leesburg for School Facilities Planning and Siting.
The final meeting on School Concurrency was held on August 23, 2006. Two Leesburg City Commissioners attended, as well as Laura McElhanon, our Community Development Director and Commissioner Elect Polk.
After the meeting, I sought direction from the Commissioners who attended the meeting. One Commissioner suggested that the agreement be put on a future Commission Agenda with a positive recommendation for its adoption while the second suggested that they were likely to vote against the agreement.
In an effort to clarify the issues, develop a staff recommendation, and to assist the Commission in reaching a consensus, I developed a draft letter outlining a number of problems, potential inconsistencies and questions on interpretation. I suggested that seven of these issues were significant and perhaps too important for us to compromise or to leave undecided. The draft was distributed to the Commission for review, but it was never placing on an agenda for adoption, It was, however, helpful in allowing individual Commission members to articulate which of the concerns were important to the Commission, and which were not. At the suggestion of the Mayor, on September 7, 2006 I met with Steve Johnson, the School Board’s Attorney.
Steve assisted in the interpretation of the language of the agreement, and emphasized that the agreement was a compromise. No one got everything that they were looking for. And he stated that he has some of the same questions and concerns we have with the document. However, the document is the first step in a long process and there will be additional opportunities to “flesh out” some of the provisions which are not clear in this agreement. Further, he emphasized that the agreement may be amended by agreement of all of the parties or terminated by one of the parties, upon 120 days written notice.
Steve and I were unable to resolve two issues:
(a) We believe that the final decision on development should not rest with the School Board, but legitimately lies with the local government. As with all concurrency issues there should be, at the end of the day, an option for the developer to write a check.
(b) We also believe that impact fees should be used for the purposes for which they are collected—to improve the capital facilities in the community in which those fees are collected.
As to the first issue, Steve said that the Interlocal Agreement mirrored the language of the enabling legislation.
As to the second issue, the School Board may need more flexibility since one CSA can “borrow” capacity from a neighboring CSA. But, Steve believed that some limitation could be acceptable.
I asked Steve if he had any suggestions about how we raise these issues without appearing to be negative, or without appearing to be obstructionist.
He didn’t believe that it would be possible to amend the Interlocal Agreement before its adoption. Partly because some parties have already adopted it in its current form and partly because Steve and Sandy believe that opening the agreement to any amendment at this time may make it difficult to obtain any agreement within a reasonable period of time.
Both of these issues can be handled in other, subsequent agreements or in the County’s Impact Fee Ordinance. For this reason we recommend your approval.
Without an agreement, Senate Bill 360 will put certain educational funding at risk, and also limits the ability of local governments to amend their comprehensive plan. As such, obtaining an agreement is in the best interests of all.
ATTORNEY’S ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATION
Due to the fact that McLin & Burnsed serves as the School Board’s attorney, the City of Leesburg has had to rely upon other counsel. They have suggested that we limit our approval, so that an additional action is required to extend the life of this agreement beyond an initial term. They have also provided the following, detailed, section by section analysis of the Interlocal Agreement:
Section 1: This section deals with the coordination and sharing of information among the affected local governments.
· Section 1.1 contemplates several different levels of information sharing. At least quarterly, the staffs of the cities, the county and the school board are to meet to discuss facilities, population and student projections, levels of service, etc.
· At least annually, a committee to be known as the Lake County Educational Concurrency Review Committee will meet to discuss the same issues in a public meeting. This Committee will be made of 16 representatives – one from each city, one from the school board, and one from the county. The representatives may be elected officeholders or staff.
· Section 1.2 obligates the staff of the various governments to provide technical information and data to the Committee.
· Section 1.3 obligates the parties to share information vital to school concurrency with one another. The school board is responsible for developing and distributing student enrollment and generation rates, and the county and cities are responsible for population growth projections. Section 1.1.3 requires each city and the county to supply to the school board on a quarterly basis a population growth report, including certain specified substantive data.
· Section 1.4 obligates the City to include a representative appointed by the school board on the Leesburg Planning Commission. This is already required by state law, and we have adopted an ordinance implementing this appointment as a non-voting member. This section also requires the City to notify the school board of each land use application or development proposal that may affect school capacity. This notice must be written and be at least 30 days before the first public hearing on the application.
· Section 1.5 encourages co-location and joint use of school and municipal facilities, and also requires joint notification of planned new facilities to allow for possible joint use projects.
Section 2: This section deals with the school planning and siting process, and involves the cities and the county in that planning process.
· Section 2.2 requires the school board annually to submit to each city and the county a draft Tentative District Educational Facilities Plan. The cities will have 45 days to comment on the Plan. The Plan must include a financially feasible district facilities work program (“Work Program”) which is to include capital projects for a five (5) year period. Each year, a new “fifth” year is to be added to that plan. The cities have the ability to respond to the school Work Program with information regarding the infrastructure and service needs associated with the proposed educational facilities. The school board is to adopt the Work Program by September 15 of each year.
· Section 2.3 requires the cities, county and school board to develop a common Public Schools Facilities Element (PSFE) as a part of their comprehensive plans.
· Section 2.4 requires the City to amend its comprehensive plan to specify which plan categories permit schools.
· Section 2.5 includes a laundry list of items that are to be considered in decisions to construct new schools, close existing schools, or renovate existing schools.
Section 3: This section provides that public schools will only be permitted in zoning categories of the various local governments that allow schools.
Section 4: This section deals with the site design and site plan process for proposed new schools, and gives input to the City in that process. The school board is required to submit a site design/development plan to the City at least 90 days prior to construction for input from the City. The City has 45 days to certify whether that plan is in compliance with the City’s LDRs. If the plan is in compliance with the LDRs, construction may commence without further municipal permitting. If it is not, the parties are required to resolve the matter through negotiation or through the dispute resolution process set forth in the agreement. No site plan approval is required for the placement of temporary portables or renovations of less than 15%.
Section 5: This section establishes levels of service for school concurrency on a countywide basis; sets up the process by which concurrency is determined; establishes Concurrency Service Areas; establishes exemptions; and sets up mitigation procedures.
· Section 5.2 defines the level of service (LOS) as 100% of FISH (Florida Inventory of School Houses) capacity. If core dining capacity is available, then the capacity may be increased by considering portable classrooms for up to 125% of FISH. The adopted LOS cannot be changed by either party without going through a process set forth in the Agreement.
· Non-conversion charter schools and developer-funded public schools shall be counted as FISH capacity, provided they are built to Department of Education standards, are financially acceptable to the school board, and are turned over to the school board in the event they fail to operate satisfactorily.
· Section 5.3 establishes Concurrency Service Areas (CSAs). These are the areas in which initial concurrency determinations are made for a particular development. If capacity does not exist in the development’s CSA, then the Agreement provides that adjacent CSAs may be considered for capacity.
· Section 5.4 again requires cities to provide demographic growth data to the school board on all development ongoing within the cities.
· Section 5.5.1 exempts “vested” single family lots and “vested” multi-family developments; age restricted developments; and de minimus plats of 4 units or less.
· 5.5.2 sets up a process for determining school concurrency. Under this process, all development that is not exempt will have to file a school concurrency application with the school board. There may be a review fee for this process. Within 30 days, the school board must respond whether adequate school capacity exists for the development. If so, the developer may proceed.
· If there is not adequate school capacity, the developer may still proceed if the school board’s 5 year Work Program shows a school to meet the need will be in place or under construction within 3 years.
· If there is not adequate school capacity, and the needed school facility is not within the first 3 years of the Work Program, but is within years 4 or 5, then the developer may still proceed if it pays “proportionate fair share”, or enters into some other acceptable mitigation plan with the school board. The school board gets to decide whether to accept payment of “proportionate fair share” or mitigation. A city may negotiate a separate “urban infill” mitigation agreement with the school board.
· Section 5.6 contains the formula for determining “proportionate share mitigation.”
This outline is a summary only, but should give you an idea about the process. Almost all new development in the City after the effective date of this Interlocal Agreement will have to go through a concurrency review by the school board. There will also be much more required information sharing about growth and population projections.
This Interlocal Agreement is required by amendments to the state growth management act which require that public school concurrency be included as an element of a local government’s comprehensive plan. The Interlocal Agreement is the culmination of many meetings between the staff and elected officials of the affected governments.
1. Approve the attached Resolution.
2. Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate
The next steps in this process will require amendments to the Comprehensive Plan and the LDRs.
In addition, the City will be working with the School Board to define an infill/redevelopment area and a map to allow development within the City’s central core area without requiring compliance with the School Concurrency Element of our Comprehensive Plan.
Department: Community Development
Prepared by: Laura McElhanon, AICP
Attachments: Yes____ No ______
Advertised: ____Not Required ______
Attorney Review : Yes___ No ____
Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________
Finance Dept. __________________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager _______RS____________
Account No. _________________
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE AN INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA, THE LAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD, AND THE FOURTEEN MUNICIPALITIES OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA INCLUDING THE CITY OF LEESBURG FOR SCHOOL FACILITIES PLANNING AND SITING; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
THAT the attached Interlocal Agreement between Lake County, the Lake County School Board, and the Municipalities of Lake County, including the City of Leesburg, for School Facilities Planning and Siting is approved.
THAT the Mayor and City Clerk are hereby authorized to execute the interlocal agreement on behalf of the City of Leesburg, Florida.
THAT this agreement will be valid for three-years to allow for sufficient time for its amendment or supplementation. To remain valid and binding on the City of Leesburg on and after the Interlocal Agreement’s annual renewal date in 2009 additional official action by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg will be necessary to extend the term of this agreement. It is the intention of the City Commission that this provision shall be deemed to be notice of the City’s intent to terminate the Interlocal Agreement on the Agreement’s annual renewal date in 2009 as provided in Section 7 of the Interlocal Agreement and the City Clerk is hereby directed to provide written notice to all of the parties to this agreement of this intent at least 120 days prior to such renewal date in 2009.
THAT City staff is instructed to develop Comprehensive Plan and LDR amendments for submission to the Commission sufficient to put this agreement into effect and to work with the Lake County School Board to define an infill/redevelopment area and a map to allow development within the City’s central core area without requiring compliance with the School Concurrency Element of our Comprehensive Plan.
THAT this resolution shall become effective immediately.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, at a regular meeting held the 9th day of October, 2006