Rendering by Keesee Associates

Plans to convert the Colonial Bowling Lanes (Website) property into a three-story personal storage facility are one step closer to reality, as of mid-October. The Municipal Planning Board marked the plans for recommended approval at their October 17 meeting, despite a number of residents voicing discontent.

The owners of the site, Colonial Bowling Lanes, Inc., filed a Master Plan request for a phased development on the 2.46 acre site at the corner of North Primrose Drive and East Livinston Street [GMap], with the first phase including plans for a three-story personal storage facility – a use which is permitted under the current AC-3 zoning designation. The plans were recommended for approval subject to a number of conditions suggested by City staff.

The applicant was represented at the meeting by Miranda Fitzgerald, Esq., who provided a brief summary of the request and noted that the project would be “a highly secure facility with interior and exterior cameras” and that it would “… go through the appearance review process in order to make it an attractive facility.”

A number of community members spoke in opposition of the project including:

  • Kathleen Fitzgerald, who gave a short PowerPoint presentation of how the bowling alley is more of a community center for her and the community.
  • Julie Matura, who spoke as the representative of the Milk District Residents
    of East Central Park.
  • Jon Bowers, a member of the Milk District Main Street Board of Directors.
  • Ted Payton, on behalf of the Central Florida Leadership Academy.
  • Jody Litchford, as the President of the Central Florida Leadership Academy. Litchford also presented the Board with a letter listing additional conditions she would like added to the Conditions of Approval if the Board were to recommend approval of the Master Plan
  • Robert Soviero, requested this case be deferred until it was known what the second phase of development would be.

The main citizen areas of concern presented were:

  1. The storage facility could become a nuisance, attracting criminal activity.
  2. Concerned for the safety of the children that walk through that area to attend school.
  3. Many expressed their frustration that such a beloved part of their community (the bowling alley) would be replaced with a storage facility.

MPB and City Staff requested that the property owner must remove all of the recycling donation bins now on the property, architecture must be in line with the “Milk District character,” emphasize the retail component and evaluate the need for additional lighting. They also incorporated the elements in Litchford’s aforementioned letter:

1) Require that a sidewalk along Primrose be built as part of the Phase 1 construction.
2) Add a requirement for the post-demolition condition of the vacant land, which is identified as Parcel 2, including the complete removal of the foundation and installation of grass and sod on the vacant land area.

An appeal that was filed against the project has since been withdrawn, following the amended application that included the above enhancements. The next step for the project is to go through an appearance review meeting with City Staff to ensure the above revisions have been considered and worked into the plans. There are no more public hearings scheduled for this project as it moves forward.

We first wrote about this project HERE in August, 2017.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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