Nassau County Board of County Commissioners
Special Session, October 4, 2016 6:00 p.m.
Joint Workshop Session with the Planning and Zoning Board,
October 4, 2016 6:00 p.m.
Commission Chambers, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, Florida
Present: Chairman Walter J. Boatright, Commissioners Daniel B
Leeper, Steve W. Kelley, and Pat Edwards.
Absent: Commissioner George W. Spicer.
Planning and Zoning Board Members:
Present: Vice Chair John Stack, Board Members Charles Rogers, Wayne Arnold, Jeff Gray, Jimmy L. Higginbotham, Bobby Franklin, Patricia Quaile, Scottie Murray and Linda Morris, representing the School Board.
Absent: Chair Tom Ford and Board Member Bruce Jasinsky.
Other Officials Present:
Michael S. Mullin, County Attorney; and Ted Selby, County Manager.
Staff Present: Shanea Jones, Assistant County Manager; Taco Pope, Planning and Economic Opportunity Director; Doug McDowell, Strategic Planner, and representing the Clerk’s office Connie Arthur and Peggy Snyder, Deputy Clerks.
Purpose: Chair Boatright explained that this meeting would be opened in special session in order to approve a Resolution for the Declaration of a State of Local Emergency in preparation for Hurricane Matthew’s imminent landfall in Nassau County. Chair Boatright attended a press conference with Governor Rick Scott who advised that Hurricane Matthew was making its way up the Atlantic coast of Florida and to be prepared.
SS161004 – 6:15:59 Approve a Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners of Nassau County, Florida for the Declaration of a State of Local Emergency.
Discussion: Mr. Selby just returned from the meeting with the National Hurricane Center and Florida Department of Emergency Management and Emergency Operations Center. According to the latest advisory, Hurricane Matthew moved even further to the west and is projected to come directly off the coastline. Unless there is a change to the path of the storm, the County will probably issue an evacuation order tomorrow evening and will be opening shelters and taking necessary actions to protect the citizens. He advised that the Emergency Operations Center will meet at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow to finalize preparations and fully activate the Emergency Operations Center at noon tomorrow. Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday; and the Board of County Commissioners’ offices will close Thursday and Friday and possibly early in the afternoon on Wednesday depending on the path of this storm. A mandatory evacuation order will be issued at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow for Flood Zones A, C and possibly F.
Motion: Approve Resolution as stated above and authorize the
Board to sign Resolution 2016-138 regarding same.
Maker: Commissioner Leeper
Second: Commissioner Edwards
Action: Aye: Commissioners Leeper, Kelley, Edwards,
Absent: Commissioner Spicer
Follow Up: Emergency Management, County Manager, Public Works, Sheriff, Finance, OMB
There being no further discussion, the special session of the Board of County Commissioners adjourned at 6:20 p.m. and the Joint Workshop session with the Planning and Zoning Board was called to order.
WS161004 – 6:20:54
PURPOSE: For the Board of County Commissioners and the Planning and Zoning Board to address the East Nassau Community Planning Area (ENCPA).
Discussion: Mr. Mullin explained that the workshop between the two boards was to have staff provide an update regarding the East Nassau Community Planning Area (ENCPA). He added that there are representatives from Rayonier and its subsidiary Raydient Properties + Places available for any questions.
Mr. Pope and Doug McDowell explained that they were here to discuss the East Nassau Community Planning Area Sector Plan. Mr. Pope advised that the purpose of tonight’s meeting was fourfold: 1) remind the Boards of where they have been; 2) explain where they are; 3) prepare them for where the process is going; and 4) put the ENCPA in the proper context. He explained that it was never the intent of the sector plan to promote strip commercial development along the County’s primary corridors or to build more houses. The purpose is to create jobs, diversify the local economy, expand the tax base, and increase the quality of life and standard of living for the citizens. Mr. Pope pointed out that the County is fortunate to have a corporate partner in Rayonier that has a long-term vested interest in the success of the community; however, it is the responsibility of the governing body charged with regulatory oversight to ensure that the development program is consistent with the intent of the sector plan. He advised that the initial site plans staff reviewed for the Market Street Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) currently under construction near I-95 is a distinct and welcome change from the development pattern seen along SR200 for the last few years. In conversation with the design team from Raydient Places + Properties, a subsidiary of Rayonier, staff was confident that the County would continue to see quality development.
Mr. McDowell provided an overview of the structure of the sector plan, how it works, and how it is approved and the role of local government. He mentioned that the ENCPA sector plan covers approximately 24,000 acres in the eastern central part of the county. It is entirely owned by Rayonier or its subsidiaries. This sector plan was authorized by the State of Florida. The idea for sector plans has been around for a long time; however, the rules for sector plans radically changed in 2011 with the passing of the Community Planning Act which made many changes to the Florida growth management system to provide more control to local governments. Sector plans allow for the master planning of large areas with the minimum size of 5,000 acres. A primary reason that sector plan legislation was passed was to avoid the duplication of efforts that are present in the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process in Florida. The DRI system has been in Florida for a long time and is how large developments have traditionally been accomplished. The process is lengthy with much State oversight to it. Sector plans are intended to promote and encourage long-term planning, support good planning and development strategies, and protect regionally significant resources. In his opinion, Nassau County’s sector plan does all three of these.
Mr. McDowell then provided an overview of the documents required for a sector plan including agreements between the State and the landowners to create the sector plan. The sector plans are divided into two main parts: Long Term Master Plan and Detailed Specific Area Plans (DSAPs). The Long Term Master Plan was established in the County’s Comprehensive Plan before the inversion agreement was signed and was part of the latest update to the Comprehensive Plan. The Master Plan is made up of a set of seventeen policies and a special Future Land Use Map (FLUM) that establishes the principles by which the sector plan will be constructed. Also, upon adoption, there were additional documents that were adopted but are not a part of Florida Statutes. These documents are the Mobility Plan, which established a separate mobility fee system and a plan for improvements within the sector plan and how this fee would be collected. The other document adopted was a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district allowing for a certain amount of the tax increment to be collected on future development within the sector plan and reimbursed to developers for the construction of infrastructure, primarily transportation infrastructure, within the sector plan.
Mr. McDowell stated that the next document to be created is the Detailed Specific Area Plan (DSAP) which is the document most important to both of these Boards. He explained that this is the plan that each Board will review. The Planning and Zoning Board will make recommendations and the Board of County Commissioners will adopt the DSAP. Once the DSAP is approved, a Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) is submitted; similar to the preliminary development plan process for a Planned Unit Development (PUD). This PDP is reviewed by County staff and approved administratively by the Planning Director. Once approved, the normal site engineering plan and subdivision plat review process applies.
Mr. McDowell indicated in his PowerPoint a graphic copy of the Long Term Master Plan Map of the ENCPA which shows the various land use subcategories specific to the ENCPA. This map is adopted as part of the Comprehensive Plan as it establishes employment centers, regional activity centers, and village centers around which will be mixed use centers and residential neighborhoods of varying intensities. There is also a resort community planned for the northeastern corner depicted on the map. The description of what is allowed in each of those land use categories is outlined in the Comprehensive Plan or Master Plan. From the Long Term Master Plan Map and the policies, the Detailed Specific Area Plan (DSAP) is then created.
Next, Mr. McDowell discussed the Mobility Plan Map which indicates a list of mobility improvements included in the plan for which the mobility fees will be collected within the ENCPA and can be used for construction or widening of certain roads, multi-use trails and other infrastructure improvements that may be needed within that area. To date, one DSAP has been approved and is known as the East Nassau Employment Center located from I-95 to US 17 mainly on the north side of A1A/SR200 comprised of several thousand residential units and approximately seven million square feet of residential over time. Mr. McDowell provided an overview of how a DSAP becomes approved. First, an application is completed and sent to staff and other state agencies such as the St. Johns River Water Management District (STRWMD) and the Regional Council for review. Following review, these agencies provide comments back to staff who then schedule public hearings with the Planning and Zoning Board. The Planning and Zoning Board will make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners. Following another public hearing, the Board of County Commissioners will consider the DSAP for adoption by ordinance. No development can take place anywhere in the sector plan that does not have an approved DSAP attached to it.
Next, Mr. McDowell provided the timeline of the ENCPA beginning in 2007 with the planning partnership with Rayonier to the 2017 opening of the Wildlight Elementary School. He pointed out that much time has been spent in terms of compiling the land management and land uses as well as reviewing the infrastructure required. The policies and the Master Plan were adopted in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. In 2011, the Sector Plan agreement was signed and enforced. The first DSAP, East Nassau Employment Center, was approved in 2013. This year, the County will see the first site plans within that DSAP; the Market Street District, which includes Rayonier’s corporate headquarters and a mix of commercial, office, and residential uses. In 2017, the new school, Wildlight Elementary, will open for students. Mr. McDowell responded to questions posed from Commissioners and Board Members related to recreation, special zoning district, DSAP scheduling, and stewardship.
Dan Camp with Raydient Properties + Places came forward to address the stewardship district which is a completely separate entity; it is a management entity for public infrastructure. He explained that the sector plan and documents for the ENCPA are land use rights and privileges that the County approves; however, a stewardship is mainly operational. The stewardship district would provide one entity to oversee the infrastructure. The sector plan is a land use document. He addressed the landscaping requirements and architectural guidelines. He also recalled that the idea of Wildlight Elementary School began with dialogue with the Planning Board as well as the ability to think long term as a partnership. Discussion ensued regarding the provision for adequate medical facilities to service the ENCPA. Mr. Camp responded that the ENCPA was a fifty to seventy-five year plan and a partnership and the test is always consistency.
Jim Sellen, MSP, planner with VHB, came forward on behalf of Raydient Properties + Places to respond to a question posed by Board Member Stack regarding Transit Oriented Development (TOD). He explained that what the County has in this Master Plan is the hierarchy of places where neighborhoods build the villages; and villages build the town centers. What are required for a TOD are a mobility element and a higher density area that is walkable and relies on transit. He explained that this will come but it takes time to build to that point. Eventually, there is a village with enough density which will be set up to accommodate transit. Transit and walkability must be considered early in the planning process because once it is built out and built out wrong, it cannot accommodate transit. Mr. Sellen advised that this Long Term Master Plan was put together to be walkable in order to make transit work. There must be enough population and density to make transit work. Transit will not be effective unless it takes someone to their destination quicker than an automobile. Even if that timeframe is twenty years, this Master Plan is set up for it. Commissioner Leeper explained that for many years, Nassau County was so spread out that transit did not work. Currently, the County has a transit study working group developing transit strategies.
Chair Boatright advised that the Board of County Commissioners will hold another special meeting at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning following the 8:00 a.m. hurricane update on Hurricane Matthew. Mr. Mullin explained that in the morning, the Emergency Management Committee will provide a recommendation to the Board regarding the possible requirement for evacuations.
In response to a question posed by Board Member Arnold regarding the proposed rocket launch site in St. Marys, Georgia, Mr. Selby advised that he has not been contacted.
There being no further business, the workshop session adjourned at 6:54 p.m.
John Stack, Vice Chair Walter J. Boatright, Chair
Planning and Zoning Board Board of County Commissioners
John A. Crawford, Ex-Officio Clerk