James Johnson, Jr., Chair
900 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, Florida 33602
James Martin, Jr., Vice-Chair
William Scheuerle, Secretary
Phone: (813) 273-3660
Fax: (813) 273-3707
Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library Board
MINUTES FROM THE NOVEMBER 5, 2001 SPECIAL CALL PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
UPPER TAMPA BAY LIBRARY SITE
DAVIDSEN MIDDLE SCHOOL
- CALL TO ORDER:
The meeting was called to order at 6:00pm.
Marcee Challener presented the grand prize for the Teen Read Week contest to Andrew DeLeon a Davidsen Middle School student.
- ROLL CALL AND ATTENDANCE OF STAFF & SPECIAL GUESTS:
Library Board Members Present:
William Scheuerle, Anniece Ross
Kay O'Rourke, Sandra Cameron
Mary Sherman, Dora Reeder
Mary Silver, Laura Vickers
Library Board Excused:
Library Board Absent:
Alma Hires and Margaret Fisher
Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Libraries
Marcee Challener, Manager, Public Services
Linda Gillon, Manager, Staff Administrative Support
David Wullschleger, Manager Operations & Technology
Priscilla Lakus, Chief Librarian
Suzanne George, Facilities Coordinator
Jackie Zebos, Administrative Librarian
Michele Crowe, Senior Secretary
Mike Kelly, Director, Real Estate Department
Swati Bose, Architectural Services
Greg Petroni, Public Works Department
Mike McCarthy, County Traffic Engineer
- COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Recommendation from the Planning Committee - Sandra Cameron, Chairman, read the following statement. "As a Library Board member I have tried very hard and the Board has also to keep the good of the whole library system in mind in considering new sites. There are many things other than finances to consider. Libraries need to be sited to serve not only the present population but also the future developments for the next thirty or forty years. We've learned the hard way that parking is a big consideration, the relative position of natural or man-made barriers, such as railroads, major highways and toll roads need to be considered. We consider the drive time from other libraries as well as citizen input. Normally this process takes from one to two years, but we are trying to compress this down to less than one year. The Planning Committee met on Friday, and their recommendation was Site Two - LynMar Commerce Park."
- PRESENTATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC/SPECIAL GUESTS:
William Scheuerle asked for a motion to accept the Planning Committee's report. Dora Reeder moved to accept the recommendation. Mary Sherman seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
County Staff Presentations
Mike Kelly, Director, Real Estate Department, gave a brief overview of the three sites. Aerial maps were placed around the room with each site designated.
Site One - Countryway Blvd - site located in Westchase on the East Side of Countryway Blvd. The contract proposes 5.8 acres of land and the County owns 1.8 acres. Total acreage would be 7.6 acres. The purchase price is $700,000 in addition the county would pay a $234,008 CDD debt service cost. The total acquisition cost would be $930,000. Two appraisals have been performed, valuing the property at $950,000 and $1,110,000. Terms negotiated call for a closing on or by December 21, 2001. In addition, the County and the Developer agree to exchange right-of-way parcels that are unassociated with this property. The County would take title subject to CDD assessments. The Real Estate Department recommends that the CDD debt service cost of approximately $234,000 be prepaid. In addition, an annual cost of approximately $62, 500 for operation and maintenance would also be incurred. If the County were to acquire this site it would pursue a reduction in the debt service costs and an exemption in the annual operating and maintenance costs. This would be subject to approval by the CDD board.
Site Two - LynMar Commerce Park - Northeast corner of Race Track Rd. and LynMar Blvd. The site contains 4.2 acres and the rights to onsite stormwater retention systems. The purchase price is approximately $798,830. Two appraisals have been performed valuing the property at $1,170,000 and $1,010,000. The Library portion of the appraised value is approximately $910,000. Other terms pertaining to the site are the seller would receive impact fee credits for the dedication of right-of-way, which is a condition of the rezoning. The seller would also receive tax-free donation for the difference between the purchase price and the appraised values. The closing would occur prior to March 15, 2002. A zoning amendment process would have to be done. Property owner fees are estimated to be $2,750 annually.
Site Three - Highland Park - Northeast corner of Race Track Rd. and proposed Highland Park Dr. The developer has offered to donate a site sufficient to accommodate a 25,000 square foot, two story building with access to at least two hundred parking spaces. Preliminary terms include architectural control, related site planning authority, and cross parking easements. The seller has agreed to provide fill and access to master stormwater, sewer, and retention systems. He also indicated that this site would be excluded from CDD costs.
Helen Swisshelm requested clarification of tax-free donation, the difference between cash/credit and appraised value. Can the annual property owner's fees estimated to be $2,750 be dispensed?
Mike Kelly responded that on Sites One and Two the appraised value is significantly higher than the purchase price. In order to negotiate these contracts the Real Estate Department agreed that if the appraisals were higher than the purchase price the County would agree to cooperate in a tax-free donation between the purchase price and the appraised value. This was done on the South Brandon site. The second question pertains to the annual property owner's assessment fees. There is a property owner's association that assesses fees for each property for maintenance and operating costs. Based on their schedule of cost we have estimated those costs to be approximately $2,750. Mr. Kelly was unsure if a waiver could be granted at this point and would assume that this fee would have to be paid.
Mr. Scheuerle asked if the County was paying CDD fees on any other library property/site. Mr. Kelly didn't recall any.
Ms. Vickers asked what the zoning amendments were needed. Mr. Kelly responded that the zoning amendment would allow for the construction of the library. The Real Estate Department has consulted with the Zoning Administrator and is optimistic that a rezoning can be achieved. This is considered a minor zoning modification and does not have to be presented to a Zoning Hearing Master.
Swati Bose reviewed the site plans for each of the proposed sites.
Site One has access from Countryway Blvd. It does not have frontage on Countryway. An access would have to be made between two existing driveways. The site is very large, with sufficient space for a 10,000 square foot, one story building, as well as a future 15,000 square foot expansion and 200 parking spaces.
Site Two has access from Race Track Rd. and LynMar Blvd. Stormwater has been planned in the development and there is access to offsite stormwater drainage. The site is approximately four acres with sufficient land to build a one story, 10,000 square foot library with a future expansion of 15,000 square feet, and 200 parking spaces. This site has direct visibility from Race Track Rd.
Site Three the developer is willing to donate a site with access through a drive called Highland Park Dr. The property is still under engineering. This would have to be a two-story building. The developer has offered to donate sufficient land to build a two story library as well as having access to two hundred parking spaces, probably with some cross parking easements. This would probably be shared parking and shared development.
Mike McCarthy, Public Works Department, Traffic Section and Greg Petroni, CH2M Hill distributed copies of the impact study and a summary of the analysis. The study was related to transportation factors and considerations of the site selection. The report evaluates the level of service of the adjacent roadways after review of traffic counts, trip generation, and access to the locations. The engineer undertook a quantitative and qualitative analysis. The level of service of the roadways relates to the amount of congestion or the amount of delay that a traveler would experience on those roadways.
Countryway Blvd. has a level of service "A" that is higher than Race Track Rd. which is generally at a level of service "C". The long-range plan, which is underway by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), was consulted and it calls for a widening of Race Track Rd. to four lanes. It is likely that would occur sometime between 2015 and 2025. In looking at the site access, this was one of the areas of major consideration; access would be off of Race Track for two of the sites. Access was of concern on the Countryway site since it does not align with a median opening or an existing intersection. This would require traffic entering Countryway southbound to make a U-turn at the existing median opening. The Public Works Department recommends the purchase of an adjacent parcel of land in order to align the access with the median opening.
The Race Track Road site is a new commercial center and would be in close proximity to a full access driveway on this site as it would off of LynMar Blvd.
Mr. McCarthy referenced pages 2-4 and 2-5 for the access conclusions of each site. On two of the sites there is a full movement access point, you can come in and go out, left and right. On the Countryway site there is a right in and right out access.
Safety of Collision Risk - the four lane configuration is the better configuration. The engineer's conclusion is that the current conditions on Countryway would be somewhat safer and less likely for collision risk. The two lane road, until it is widened would be a slightly higher risk.
The engineer's qualitative analysis was addressed on the summary sheet. The transportation impact is from low to moderate. Impact on the existing facilities is not significant.
Site exposure on the LynMar site would be excellent, on the Countryway site fair, and on Race Track Rd. good (limited to the detail available). Overall the sites have pros and cons. Based on the engineer's opinion, all three sites are fairly equal in regards to safe access however, due to the rapid growth within the area the two sites along Race Track Rd. may be exposed to higher collision risks in the future. Due to those future traffic volumes it is planned that will be a four lane facility and that should be considered. Thus the Countryway Blvd. site is slightly better from a safety standpoint but without a full median opening the site is not, in general, as accessible. Both the LynMar and Race Track sites have more direct access and visibility than does the Countryway site. In addition, without full control or ownership of the access rights to that Countryway site, the value of the property may be greatly impacted.
LynMar Blvd. and Race Track Rd. sites are equal in terms of more direct access but the LynMar Blvd. site does have better visibility. In terms of constructability the LynMar Blvd. site is rated higher than both the other two sites. Each of the latter sites appears to require either quite a bit more data or guarantees and other factors, which may impact the construction timing. In terms of the time factor, it appears that the LynMar Blvd. site would be the easiest to develop in terms of required actions. The conclusion is that the LynMar Blvd. site appears to be most favorable, followed by the Race Track Rd. site and last by the Countryway Blvd. site. Should the Race Track Rd. site be able to guarantee a site within the development site situated within close proximity to the primary access or connected internally via a secondary entrance, it may rise in the ranking. The Countryway Blvd. site although very attractive is hindered by one basic transportation issue it does not have a full median access on to Countryway Blvd.
Ms. Cameron stated that the Board had been told that there was the possibility of traffic light on Race Track Rd. within the next two years. Mr. McCarthy stated that it was possible. Traffic signals throughout the County are based on the volume of traffic and the amount of delay that may be occurring. As the volumes rise and development encroaches, the stop signs begin to fail and then the signals go in.
Ms. Swisshelm asked Mr. McCarthy to repeat the ranking as related to traffic. Mr. McCarthy responded, the engineers recommended the LynMar site, most highly recommended. Second would be the Race Track Site (Site Three) and last was the Countryway site.
Ms. Swisshelm asked Swati Bose to go over the power line situation on the two parcels, and whether there was any further information on the effects of power lines. Ms. Bose responded that Sites One and Two have power lines adjacent to them. Parcel One has power lines running along the south side. Parcel Two also has power lines also on the south side. With regard to the impact on power lines she was not able to respond.
Mr. Stines stated that on Countryway there are two entrances already built and asked Mr. McCarthy why they were built that way and if the adjacent property were not available is there any way to change it. Mr. McCarthy did not know why it was built that way, but speculated it had to do with the layout of the residential use. As far as changing things, he didn't feel that it would be a viable thing to do. In order to do it we would have to limit access to some of the other locations that we don't feel would be appropriate to limit just for this use. There is not enough distance between the driveways and median openings that exist for us to have additional openings. If there was greater spacing we might be able to add median openings but we don't want to close ones we have and adding another one isn't possible.
Comments from the Library Director
This has been a much harder process for the staff and I than any of the other sites we have been involved in. Mr. Kelly and I have set a goal to find three workable sites. I want to comment on Site Three to begin with because I feel that it is still workable. I am concerned about all the unknowns and we have a commitment to open this library in 2004. We also made the commitment to apply for grants to build the two libraries that were funded. With those timelines I can not support Site Three at this time. Between Site One and Site Two they are both workable. I am very concerned about money. Site Two is a safer financial venture. I know that there is some uncertainty about the CDD and whether an exemption can be obtained. The other concern I have is visibility, I truly believe the more visible a library is especially a regional library, the more it will be used. My recommendation is Parcel Two, which is the LynMar Commerce Park site.
Mr. Scheuerle asked the property representatives to speak. Brian Sewell, Countryway Blvd. stated that safety is the primary consideration. The issue of the CDD is not something that can be addressed outside of a CDD Board meeting. This is an issue that the board has agreed to discuss at its annual meeting.
Andrew Lynn thanked the Board for the opportunity to present the site. The reports covered all the points. This is a developed site ready to be built upon. A copy of a petition with sixty signatures was presented to the Library Board. Mr. Lynn addressed the annual assessment issue stating that the CDD covers all of the common areas that each lot owner pays. Ms. Ross stated that there was discussion regarding access to Countryway Blvd. from LynMar Dr. Mr. Lynn responded that he is in easement negotiation with the adjacent property owner. Ms. Ross stated that one of the concerns of the Countryway site is the operating and maintenance fee assessed by the number of acres. There is a property owner's fee that is currently associated with the LynMar site that is currently calculated at $2,750. What would you say is the likelihood of that increasing annually? Mr. Lynn responded that the fee might rise in modest increments due to cost of living.
Mr. Scheuerle mentioned a letter that was written to the Upper Tampa Bay Neighbor from Mr. Lynn and that there were sixty names included that were in favor of his site. The Board members had a copy of a letter from Tom Spence, Project Development Manager, recommending Lyn Harbor. Mr. Scheuerle stated that he also had correspondence from residents dating from May 21st through today. He then asked if there were any additional residents wishing to speak to the Board who had not signed in.
Site One: Site Two:
Countryway Blvd LynMar Commerce Park
Kim Mentor Alex Nesbrit
Maureen Gauzza Mary Thorpita
Harry J. Carter
Mr. Scheuerle stated that several people made a point of the difference in acreage of Site One (7.6) and Site Two (4.2). He asked Mr. Kelly to explain the necessary acreage for a library and what would be done with the excess acreage. Mr. Kelly responded that typically four to five acres is necessary for a library site. The LynMar Site has an off-site master stormwater retention system that we would have the right to use if we purchase this land. That is why less acreage is needed. At the Countryway Site the County owns 1.8 acres of right of way, essentially we are assembling land. That much property in not needed however, it is a potential advantage for the future; it may give the library some expansion potential. On the negative side the CDD costs would have to be paid. Ms. Cameron stated that part of the Countryway Site was not useable due to sewer lines and power line easements. Mr. Kelly responded that part of both sites have areas that are encumbered by easements but those areas could be used as setbacks, or parking, or driveways, etc.
Mr. Scheuerle stated that one person had asked if the building could be reoriented for better visibility on Site One. Mr. Kelly stated that it was possible. Ms. Bose commented that the drawings were concept drawings. There will be other development around the library site and that the building would be blocked from one direction or the other. And some of the view will be seen through the power lines. Architectural Services would try to come up with the optimum location.
Someone from the audience asked why visibility was so important. Mr. Stines responded that one example is the Northwest Regional Library (Jimmie B. Keel) there has been a tremendous growth since the move to Bearss Ave. In a neighborhood library visibility is not as crucial as it is in a regional library.
Ms. Swisshelm asked Mr. McCarthy about the availability of bus service to Site One and Site Two. Mr. McCarthy did not include the bus analysis in the work that was done. Nor did they focus on pedestrian or classical traffic. The analysis focused on vehicular traffic, which seems to be the bulk of the customers being served based on the information that was provided. Mr. McCarthy offered to provide a supplemental report.
Ms. Ross asked Mr. Sewell (Site One) for his opinion on the CDD costs being waived. Mr. Sewell responded that the residents of the CDD Board should be given the opportunity to waive that exemption. He stated that in conversations with Mr. Kelly he would be willing to credit at the closing the first year's fee of $62,500 and let the CDD Board make their decision at their annual meeting. Ms. Ross stated that timing was an issue that the County would own the land before knowing if the CDD costs would be exempted. Mr. Kelly stated that on the issue of timing, this issue will go to the Board of County Commissioners for approval on November 21 and there is an opportunity to amend the contract. Mr. Scheuerle asked in what way the contract could be amended. Mr. Kelly responded that it would include Mr. Sewell's offer.
Ms. Silver stated her concern over the amount of the fee and wanted to know why an agreement had not been negotiated to exempt the fees. Mr. Kelly stated that research has been done on the CDD fees for Site One by Mr. Sewell, the community, and the County Attorney's Office. The Real Estate Department can not represent to the Board that they can secure a waiver. The only way that it can be secured is by applying to the CDD Board, their budget is considered in June or July and that is the only opportunity to have them consider a waiver.
Ms. Cameron commented that Site One - Countryway Site as far as she was concerned had strikes against it because of the power lines. She requested staff look into the issue. In her own research she discovered that the computers could be shielded by special consideration during construction, but not the people. The visibility from Countryway will be good only until the site on the road is developed. A two-story building would put visibility to virtually zero. On paper the acreage compared to price looks good until you realize that some of it is permanently undevelopable due to the easements. The CDD will add two to three hundred thousand to the purchase price. The annual CDD fee of more than sixty thousand, which might or might not be waived, over a ten-year period amounts to a half a million dollars. There is no guarantee that it will remain at sixty thousand dollars. The CDD costs will also have to be paid for a portion of the property that the County already owns and the developer is now paying.
On Site Three - Highland Park this site is next door to a County park, therefore the Library System could have access to free land with no strings attached. It is at the upper boundary of the service area. The owner wants architectural control as well as related planning authority. The donor wants a two-story building; therefore there are additional operating costs. There are no CDD costs and the contract could be written so that they would not be added at a later date. Cross parking would be necessary therefore the library could face future problems. A complex agreement would be necessary that could not be completed within the time frame that the Library System is hoping to meet. The timeline for the surrounding development is unknown, there are too many variables for this site. The LynMar Commerce Site - Site Two, while this seems the best choice of the three is far from perfect. The power lines also cut across this site but there is sufficient land that the building could be placed further away plus the driveway does not have to go under the power lines. At the time I wrote this there were no CDD costs involved. Since then we have discovered that there is an annual fee. There is no stormwater retention needed therefore, the cost of ongoing maintenance would not be a factor. There is no cross parking but there would be adequate parking on site. There is very good visibility.
Ms. O'Rourke and Ms. Silver stated that they could not support any of the sites. Ms. Swisshelm asked what the Board's options were if they could not support any of the sites. Mr. Stines responded that the 2004 deadline could not be met. Boundaries would have to be enlarged. He felt strongly that the two sites that have contracts are workable. Mr. Kelly stated that the Real Estate acquisition budget would have to be raised and estimated that it would take eight to twelve months before the Library Board could make another decision.
Mr. Scheuerle presented the Planning Committee's recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners is to accept Site Two LynMar Commerce Park. Ms. Cameron stated that this recommendation was made before the Committee was aware of the annual fee for Site Two. Mr. Lynn stated that $2,700 would be waived.
Ms. Ross made the motion that the Library Board accept the recommendation of the Planning Committee and recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that the library be built at LynMar. Ms. Reeder seconded the motion. Six members voted yes, Mary Silver and Kay O'Rourke voted no.
Meeting adjourned at 8:30pm
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