City of Cedar Key CRA, LPA and Commission updates

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Community Redevelopment Agency

Chairperson Royce Nelson provided confirmation of the city of Cedar Key’s payment of $395,060 to SunTrust Bank, the principal due for April 15, 2017 was $226,538 and the interest of $168,522 due as of Jan. 12.

The county Tax Increment Financing payment to Cedar Key due Jan. 1 was late by four days. The Florida statute stating the penalty and interest for late payment was reviewed. A motion was made to request payment for the penalty. It was also agreed that these funds would be applied to April’s payment as principal.

The county paid $540,677. City Attorney Norm Fugate wrote in an email to the city that “any taxing authority that does not pay the increment revenues to the trust fund by Jan. 1 shall pay to the trust fund an amount equal to 5 percent of the amount of the increment revenues and shall pay interest on the amount of the unpaid increment revenues equal to 1 percent for each month the increment is outstanding, provided the agency may waive such penalty payments in whole or in part.”

Cedar Key Local Planning Agency

The Cedar Key Local Planning Agency discussed storage sheds, home occupation and ag/aquaculture commercial land use. They had a follow up on the topic of historic district mapping tabled until more information is gathered.

The current floodplain variance has an allowable storage shed variance of 150 square foot or less for residential and 250 square foot or less for nonresidential uses. The LPA proposed combining residential and non-residential into one group of 200 square foot or less. Small storage structures must be designed and anchored to resist wind loads and flotation. A plan to create a checklist for applicants is in process.

Home Occupation: Laws of Cedar Key 2016 defines the nine requirements making a home business allowable. A resident working strictly on a computer from home would meet those guidelines whereas a retail store creating traffic would not. The operation of home business cannot be a nuisance to the neighbors and outdoor storage of materials is not allowed. No changes were proposed to the current laws.

LPA reviewed updating ag/aquaculture commercial land use codes that were placed into effect 15 years ago. Currently, a pole barn in this zone would be exempt from local and Florida building code but not the flood code. Yet if the owner wanted to do any type of improvement on the pole barn they would be required to go through complete permitting process. A two-list packet will be created to benefit the aquaculture applicant, city and building officer. List one will be composed of engineering and drawings for permits. The second will consist of local law with the exemptions.

Commission Meeting

The City Commission addressed a request by Shawn Stephenson and Jon Gill to replat three small lots into two larger lots. Stephenson and Gill produced all of the proper documentation for the change. Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of the request. The lone dissenting vote came from Mayor Heath Davis who expressed concern on the availability of parking presented in plat. Davis mentioned a street and parking survey was planned for Cedar Key in the near future to evaluate such issues.

George Oakley spoke up in the Public Comment portion of the meeting. Oakley was concerned with Mangrove growth that is blocking the view. Vice Mayor Colson informed Oakley and all in attendance that biologist Savanna Barry would be speaking about mangroves.

The Levy County Department of Emergency Management is allowing use of the Everbridge Emergency Notification System for the city of Cedar Key. It will be for limited use within the city. Staff will be trained by the county on proper use of system. The agreement allows the city to send out emergency notifications to city residents and visitors without having to go through county emergency management or Levy County Sheriff’s Office.

Cedar Key Volunteer Fire and Rescue responded to 55 calls during the fourth quarter of 2017. Two of the incidents were on the water.