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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022 6 min ago

Winter Garden commission talks budget, developments

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The Winter Garden City Commission approved unanimously a series of four ordinances in the first reading and public hearings to adopt the proposed budgets and millage rate for Fiscal Year 2022-23 at its Thursday, Sept. 15, meeting.
by: Annabelle Sikes Staff Writer

The Winter Garden City Commission approved unanimously a series of four ordinances in the first reading and public hearings to adopt the proposed budgets and millage rate for Fiscal Year 2022-23 at its Thursday, Sept. 15, meeting. 

The General Fund is tentatively budgeted at $50,848,386 with the city recommending to keep the millage rate at 4.5 mills, which will generate about $21.3 million in revenue, an increase of about $2.3 million.

The city has kept the millage rate flat for the past five years.

NEW GAS STATION

Community Development Director Steve Pash presented the first reading and public hearing of a proposed ordinance request to rezone the property on 3.04 acres of land at 14990 West Colonial Drive from Arterial Commercial District, C-2, to Planned Commercial Development, PCD. 

The proposed development includes demolition of the existing Circle K gas station, which is 2,617 square feet, to construct a 5,200-square-foot gas station with 16 pumps, a car wash and other associated site improvements. 

Pash said the request includes moving the existing entrance that comes off of Avalon Road, south by 180 feet to help with access. He said the applicants have been working with Orange County on the intersection improvements the county has going on in the area. 

Pash said part of the request includes dedication of right-of-way to the county, and the county’s plan also includes a median separator to make the entrance a right-in and right-out only. 

Commissioners passed the ordinance unanimously. 

RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

Pash then presented the first reading and public hearing of a request to rezone 31 acres of land located at 115 Roper Road, and 705 and 721 Winter Garden-Vineland Road from Single-Family Residential District, R-1, to Planned Unit Development, PUD. 

Pash said the property has a low density residential future land use designation, which would allow a maximum of six dwelling units per acre, meaning the property could be developed at its maximum capacity of 186 units. However, the developer has proposed 2.8 units per acre, coming in at a total of 87 homes.

Mayor John Rees said, like with any development, he has concerns about destroying the bigger trees in the area. Commissioner Ron Mueller agreed and also mentioned his concern with the residence being a gated community. 

“I’m not a huge fan — especially when it’s low density like that,” he said. “I would be happy if they took the gates down.”

The ordinance passed 4-1, with Mueller dissenting. 

PAM REHAB HOSPITAL 

Pash also presented the first reading and public hearing of a request to amend and replace an ordinance to change the use of 5.51 acres located at 541 Winter Garden-Vineland Road. 

The previous request asked for two two-story buildings totaling 45,000 square feet to be used as medical offices with a 10,000-square-foot church. The proposed use of the change is to build a 50,000-square-foot single-story physical rehabilitation hospital with 42 beds, a parking lot, landscaping, ponds and site improvements. 

The ordinance passed unanimously.

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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past...

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