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Photo by: Sarah Wilson - After a series of projects were approved in downtown Maitland, residents and officials have become wary of any more on the rise.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 2 years ago

Maitland mayor proposes moratorium on apartment projects

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Maitland considers housing cap
by: Sarah Wilson Staff Writer

More apartments may not be part of Maitland’s growing downtown.

Mayor Dale McDonald proposed at the Jan. 23 City Council meeting that Maitland look into placing a moratorium on multi-family housing constructed in its downtown district. That would mean, except for those projects already approved or in the approval process, no more new apartment buildings would be allowed in the city’s Downtown Maitland Zoning District.

“When is enough enough?” McDonald asked the Council last Monday.

Since 2013, the Maitland City Council has approved more than 1,700 new apartment units for construction in the city. Those are split between six major projects: Maitland Estates, Maitland Concourse North, Maitland West, Maitland Station, Maitland City Centre and the Courtney at Lake Shadow. Assuming 2.25 residents per unit, that adds up to 3,825 new residents in the city once construction and leasing is complete. That totals to a roughly 23 percent increase to the city’s current estimated 16,000 population.

McDonald said he is concerned about the “proliferation of multifamily development” and the impact it will have on the city.

He raised the issue of an overwhelming number of new apartments being approved in the city in September of last year, when the Council approved 300 new units at Maitland Estates next to the Maitland Publix.

“You start adding those things together … and pretty soon there’s a serious number of new residents coming in,” McDonald said in September.

The city, he said in that meeting, is evolving from its beginnings as a small, bedroom community.

“[It is] culture changing,” he said.

Councilwoman Bev Reponen said last week that she’s heard numerous complaints from residents about the increase in apartments approved in Maitland.

“I’ve had lots of citizens come up to me and say, ‘OK, enough already, I don’t want to see another apartment complex,’” Reponen said.

“…I think the citizens will be totally behind [this].”

McDonald said he will work with the city manager to discuss how best to go about drafting a multi-family moratorium in downtown Maitland that is sensitive to property rights issues. Once fleshed out, the draft will come back to the City Council as a discussion item.

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