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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Friday, Apr. 26, 2019 1 year ago

Maitland names downtown park

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‘Independence Square’ is making its way to the city of Maitland.
by: Harry Sayer Black Tie Reporter

Maitland City Council introduced new ordinances, adopted fertilizer regulations, discussed penalties for recycling containers and officially named its downtown park and more during a two-hour meeting Monday, April 22. 

 

INDEPENDENCE SQUARE

Following a lengthy discussion among council members, the Independence Lane park project is moving ahead with an official name — Independence Square. 

City staff approached the City Council with an idea for the park’s name that had been workshopped by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Maitland citizens starting in February. The group had considered a number of factors in choosing a name, including local geography, previously suggested names, the intent of the park and more. The best-supported options were “Independence Park, Square, Commons or Plaza,” “Maitland Square, Commons or Plaza” and “Horatio Square, Commons or Plaza.” 

They ultimately presented council with what they felt was a solid and direct choice — Independence Park. 

However, council members disagreed with the suggestion, with many members finding “Independence Park” to be unoriginal.  

Councilman John Lowndes suggested the project be named the “14th Colony Park at Independence Lane,” a reference to Florida’s early history as one of the few colonies that fought for the British Empire during the American Revolution. His colleagues disagreed and suggested their own variations on the “Independence Park” idea. 

At one point, the council even considered allowing Maitland students to come up with new park names as a contest, but that idea also failed.

Finally, after a series of failed votes, council finally agreed on a title that harkened to the Independence Lane initiative — Independence Square.

CONTAINER CONUNDRUM

The city introduced an ordinance Monday to better regulate recycling collection containers.

After receiving questions about the regulation of unmanned recycling containers, city staff worked with the city attorney on an ordinance to better regulate these containers. Currently, the amendment would regulate the containers’ size and height, design parameters, placement and locations, maintenance and more. The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted the ordinance forward at a March 7 meeting. 

A member of the public cautioned the council to heavily regulate the containers so they wouldn’t become overstuffed or surrounded by garbage. Councilman Michael Wilde shared the concern  and wondered whether there was a way to penalize organizations or property owners that allowed items to accumulate. 

“People can’t fit the stuff in the bin, so they’re going to leave it (there) no matter what,” Wilde said. “When they get there, if it doesn’t fit in the chute, they’re going to drop it at the side. … Policing it and regulating it is going to be a challenge.”

The penalty for leaving out items after being warned is a fee of up to $500 a day. The council eventually moved the ordinance forward with more precise wording about the code enforcement penalties. A public hearing and action date is set for the May 13 meeting. 

FERTILIZER REGULATION

The council adopted an Orange County ordinance to further regulate fertilizer use. 

Under the current NPDES permit, the city is required to adopt an ordinance that regulates fertilizer use to increase lake health. The ordinance is required to be in place by mid-May. 

Orange County adopted a fertilizer maintenance ordinance in 2009 to better regulate fertilizer use and to decrease the amount of nutrients from the fertilizers from running into the natural waterways. The ordinance has been enforceable by Orange County staff but not by Maitland city staff.  

IN OTHER NEWS

The council approved a resolution allowing a $150 application fee to locate small wireless facilities in the city. This follows the adoption of an ordinance at the April 8 meeting establishing standards and a process for having 5G cellular towers in the city. 

 

Maitland Police Chief David Manuel joined Mayor Dale McDonald to proclaim May 12 to 18 as National Police Week in the city of Maitland.

 

McDonald also proclaimed April 28 to be the official Arbor Day for the city of Maitland. Landscape specialist Mike DiClecmente encouraged Maitland residents to attend the city’s special Arbor Day Farmers’ Market, where various trees will be sold.

Harry Sayer is the Black Tie Reporter for the Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and previously worked the Black Tie beat for the Observer newspaper in Winter Park and Maitland. You can catch him at one of Sarasota's fundraisers and shindigs. 

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