Leesburg chooses its LOST delegation

LEESBURG -- Pending coordination of the schedules of those involved, the Leesburg City Council selected two of its members to attend a meeting initially planned for Monday morning to discuss the division of local-option sales tax funds collected in the county.

Mayor Jim Quinn and city Finance Committee Chairman Bob Wilson were chosen by the council Tuesday night to attend the meeting, which will include representatives of Lee County and Smithville as well. City Attorney Bert Gregory has a court conflict that would prevent him from attending the meeting at its scheduled time.

"This meeting is serious for the cities of Leesburg and Smithville," Wilson said. "Any drop in the (LOST fund distribution) would impact our budgets severely."

Council members also approved a requested variance that would allow property owner Jeffrey Salter to combine two 25-foot-wide lots on Pine Street and build a single-family home on the resulting lot. City code calls for lot sizes to be no less than 80 feet wide.

The Lee County Planning Commission recommended approving the request because, as member Troy Golden told the Leesburg Council, "As the property currently is, it is undevelopable and it is surrounded by property that is similarly configured.

"We're asking, essentially, that the property be grandfathered in because it is in a 1970s subdivision that was governed by different codes."

The council also approved the use of city rights-of-way for work at the Butterfly Kisses Play Park and the local American Legion post's request to place a monument in honor of Marine Lance Cpl. Steve Sutton in City Park. Sutton was killed in Afghanistan.

Also at the monthly meeting, the council got a report from H&H Resources' Mike Talley on changes to the state-required stormwater permit issued every five years.

"Your permit expires at the end of this year, and one of the federal EPA requirements is that you be issued a report on changes to the new permit," Talley said. "The permit largely stays the same, but it will impact the county slightly concerning ordinances that restrict low-impact (environmental) development and stream monitoring."

Councilwoman Judy Powell told her colleagues on the board a draft of zoning updates would be available for their consideration "hopefully by the end of July."

The council convened for an executive session to discuss personnel and legal issues at the end of the meeting.