The MC School Board made a presentation to explain their request for one-half mill ad valorem tax increase for essential operating expenses. The request for the half-cent per dollar sales surtax levy for critical capital needs was also discussed. A commissioner stated the FEFP state program instituted in 1973 to create equity for all students is not truly equitable to all counties and school boards. We need to work closely with other counties and school boards to address issues at the state level.It was noted that economic development follows good schools.
The school board provided a clear and simple explanation to educate the voters of Martin County. The county has agreed to include the flier explaining the ad valorem tax request on the August 28th ballot in the July and August utility bills. The flier for the sales tax request on the November 6th ballot will be included in the September and October utility bills. This is an effort by the county to educate voters.
Discussion on the County Tangible Personal Property Grant Program
In 2015 FP&L worked out an agreement with MC utilizing the TPP grant program to keep the millage rate for their storage property in Martin County at 4.0. At that time, the county received $185 million in taxes from this property. The goal was to see that grow to $300 million. Currently, the county receives $474 million is taxes from FP&L. However, this storage facility is now in the incorporated city of Indiantown. It was ultimately agreed that all discussions would be collaborative between FP&L, Indiantown and Martin County.
Planned Unit Development Discussion
The Growth Management Department presented a review of the PUD regulations. A PUD is one type of zoning for single use properties with flexible standards for number of units, square footage, etc. PUD requirements include reviewing the master site plan, zoning agreements an the final site plan. The PUD was designed to overcome limitations of standard building codes.Currently the PUD language has not been updated to reflect changes in the Comp Plan and LDR language. The commissioners voted unanimously to have staff update the PUD regulations. A local attorney requested the county consider tweaking the PUD to allow for a
“Shell” PUD similar to the City of Stuart’s regulation. This would allow a more vague plan initially and would get more specific as the process unfolded. One commissioner stated that this would preclude any public participation or input. The attorney responded that if a developer meets all zoning requirements the public has no say,using the “Costco” experience in Palm City. A motion was made to instruct staff to take this commentary and brainstorm utilizing the City of Stuart’s process and come back with suggestions. This passed 4-1.
Response to Treasure Coast Builders Association Letter
The TCBA sent a letter on March 9, 2018 to the County Commission requesting consideration of several items.
- Restore fair science-based standards on setbacks for wetlands and shorelines. In response, the county staff state the Comp Plan has changed 3 times but the LDRs affecting setbacks have not been updated. Their current plan is to update the language of the LDRs to mirror that of the Comp Plan. A motion was made to direct staff to update the LDR language to equal that of the Comp Plan. This was passed 4-1.
- Create clear regulations specifically for CRA’s,separate from LDRs that govern areas outside of the CRA’s. A change in the language will assist CRA’s to move forward with development plans. Approved 4-1.
- Restore ability of the private sector to bring forth Comp Plan amendments back to twice a year. The state statute now allows amendments to come forth at any time. A motion to change language to reflect current state statutes was passed 4-1.
- Continue to evaluate Preserve Area Management Plans that overly burden single family lot owners with micro-upland preserve areas. The motion was made to defer any recommendations until the staff have had a chance to reach out to the TCBA to determine where these PAMPS are. This passed 4-1.
- Identify ways to streamline process of approved plans, thresholds, approval process, etc. County staff replied that the county has a new online program that will improve efficiency and timeliness when it is completely instituted. No motion was made to make any changes.
The meeting was adjourned after disclosing that the next meeting won’t be until July 17th.