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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 7 months ago

Winter Garden postpones vote on Daniels Road Business Park

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The proposed commercial development would be at 1200 Daniels Road.
by: Gabby Baquero News Editor

Winter Garden city commissioners tabled their decision regarding the site plan for a proposed commercial development at 1200 Daniels Road during the Feb. 14 City Commission meeting.

The proposed development, referred to as the Daniels Road Business Park, would include five new buildings on the 6.25-acre property. The site, zoned Arterial Commercial District, is situated on the southwest corner of Daniels Road and West Colonial Drive behind the Burger King and SunTrust Bank.

Dan Roberts — the site’s property owner since 2002 — hopes to build two single-story, 8,240-square- foot retail buildings; a single- story, 8,000-square-foot retail/office building; and two two-story buildings spanning 24,100 square feet, according to the city’s meeting agenda.

The latest review of Roberts’ site plan by the city’s Development Review Committee resulted in a recommendation of denial primarily because the project failed to meet code requirements for developments located in wetlands, the agenda states.

“We also, in the last DRC meeting, made it clear that this is not a stormwater issue – this is about the eradication of the wetlands,” said Steve Pash, the city's community development director. “We've never been provided justification as to why we should go against code and allow eradication of the wetland and have it developed. ... that's why DRC recommended denial of the site plan.”

The project would require the removal of four acres of wetlands on the site. During his appeal, Roberts emphasized the wetlands are in such poor condition that agencies have no interest to regulate or improve it. Roberts purchased $175,000 worth of wetland-mitigation credits.

“The primary focus of the recommendation for denial is that the city’s planning committee believes our stormwater-management plans are not adequate, because we are eradicating four acres of wetland on the property,” he said. “There are also smaller engineering issues, such as moving trees here and there. ... But the neighbors have not raised objections to this project. Everyone we have talked to has been in support of the project.”

Roberts brought forward professionals and consultants who disagreed with the city’s opinion and cited reasons to deny the site plan. Roberts also reported the project has generated “tremendous interest,” but he has not been able to move forward without the city’s approval.

After the hourlong appeal, commissioners ultimately approved a motion to postpone any decisions regarding the project to properly review the information. The hearing was rescheduled for the Feb. 28 City Commission meeting.

Gabby is the news editor for the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer newspapers.┬áHave a┬ástory tip? Contact her at (352) 448-5856 or at [email protected]....

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