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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, Jul. 19, 2019 2 years ago

Winter Garden commission receives legislative update

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The commission also approved the final phase of AdventHealth’s Winter Garden hospital.
by: Hannah Swayze News Editor

Winter Garden city commissioners heard about the latest happenings in Tallahassee when Florida Rep. Geraldine Thompson delivered a legislative update at the Thursday, July 11, commission meeting.

In addition to representing District 44, Thompson serves as the democratic ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and as a member of the Civil Justice Committee, Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight and PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee.

Thompson said she supported several bills that passed this year, including legislation that upgrades and streamlines 911 systems, exempts images of mass violence from public record and allows local regulation of micro-mobility devices like ride-share scooters and bicycles, among others.  

“My major focus this year was on elections, and we saw in 2018 three recounts,” Thompson said. “We saw overheated voting equipment in some of our counties trying to feed through ballots. The machines overheated (and) jammed up, and so (a) major focus was trying to prepare us for 2020 so that Florida is not in the national spotlight again for our voting procedure.”

Thompson also wrote a bill that eventually became part of Amendment 4, requiring individuals with felony convictions to pay all of their fines and fees before their right to vote is restored. 

“Even if they’re on a payment plan, it’s like buying a car and saying until you fully pay for it, you won’t be able to drive it,” Thompson said. “There’s a lot of litigation already around that bill.”

SITE PLANS APPROVED

Commissioners approved the site plan for a seven-story, 300,000-square-foot medical tower at 2000 Fowler Grove Blvd. The plan is for the last phase of AdventHealth Winter Garden. Previous phases included an emergency department and medical offices. 

Commissioners also approved a site plan for the construction of a new Goodwill retail location. The new building, set for 14190 W. Colonial Drive, will be 25,000 square feet and include parking and a covered drop-off area.

TABLED ORDINANCES

Commissioners tabled multiple ordinances related to a senior living complex at 12920 and 12921 Reaves Road. 

The ordinances are for the rezoning and annexation of the land on Reaves Road to allow the development of the Stoneybrook Senior Living project. Plans included a three-story independent-living building, a two-story assisted-living building and 10 detached two-car garage buildings, recreation areas and stormwater infrastructure. 

According to City Manager Mike Bollhoefer, the ordinances were tabled because of feedback the city received at the Planning and Zoning Board meeting, which also voted to table the project. 

The ordinances were tabled until an unknown date. 

The next Winter Garden City Commission meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25. 

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Hannah Swayze was the News Editor at the West Orange Times & Observer and Southwest Orange Observer. 

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