You may recall that we told you HERE in January about a special initiative that the City of Winter Park had labeled the “Orange Avenue Overlay District.”
The plan aimed to establish building codes that were tailored to 75-acres of land along the Orange Avenue corridor in Winter Park, to promote certain types of development. It was a result of roughly 20 public meetings and multiple work sessions by city commissioners before being considered for a public vote.
The first scheduled vote on the Overlay project ran until the wee hours of the morning due to intense public feedback against the move and resulted in a second meeting having to be scheduled so everyone could have their say.
Critics against the project argued that it promoted building heights and density requirements that were out-of-scale with the surrounding neighborhoods and were worried about the traffic impact on nearby streets.
The ordinance was adopted on March 9 by a 3-2 vote.
Winter Park City Commission then voted on April 14 to repeal the ordinance, before it became effective, to start the process over, and to reconsider the adoption of an overlay for the corridor. They are going to use the time to gather more traffic modeling and visualizations on the types of development that could be attracted there by the revised city codes. In the interim, they have placed a moratorium on new development along the corridor until further notice.
Winter Park City Commission will now host more virtual work sessions to consider the next steps and are inviting property and business owners as well as nearby residents to contact the Planning Department to be added to the agendas for upcoming work sessions to have their concerns heard.
A lawsuit has been placed against the City of Winter Park by Demetree Global (Website), one of the major property owners in the area and owner of the former Lombardi’s Seafood building – among others, as a result of the repeal of the ordinance in April. Demetree has been assembling land in the area for years to prepare it for a high-intensity mixed-use development.
We first wrote about Demetree’s vision for the corner of SR 17-92 and Orange Avenue HERE in September 2016. Demetree representatives have since stated that earlier plans for the project have evolved and are no longer accurate but an updated rendering presented at a Winter Park Commission meeting earlier in the year shares what is likely to be built on the property if they’re allowed to move forward.