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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Jul. 19, 2018 4 months ago

Winter Park P&Z mulls parking solutions

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The city is seeking parking solutions for Park Avenue, Orange Avenue and in Hannibal Square.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

Residents got a chance Tuesday, July 17, to learn more about possible parking code modernizations at a special workshop hosted by the Winter Park Planning and Zoning Board.

Held at the Winter Park Welcome Center, the meeting was mostly led by Kimley-Horn Vice President Stephen Stansbery and Traffic Engineer Project Manager David Taxman, who went over research the company had done on the parking situation in the city.

“Your code is not bad, but it is just a little bit antiquated,” Stansbery said. “There are some things — like all good codes — that need to be revisited, and they have to be revisited because the market changes.” 

The group focused on the areas of Park Avenue, Orange Avenue and Hannibal Square. Kimley-Horn compared Winter Park to five peer cities — such as Davidson, North Carolina and Highland Park, Illinois.

“At a glance, what I can tell you is that each of those communities have gone through — fairly recently — an update to their parking standards based on market rates, and modern development forms and essentially collaboration with a host of community initiatives,” Stansbery said. “When you look at residential — if you look at aggregate for those peer cities — you are 36% more conservative on your parking rate. That means that your rate of parking spaces that are required is 36% more than those peer cities.”

Kimley-Horn found Winter Park had a 30% greater need for commercial parking spaces, a 45% greater need for restaurant parking spaces and a 33% greater need for office parking spaces.

Starting with Park Avenue, Kimley-Horn noted four short-term solutions: a modification of the retail-to-restaurant conversion variance; a fee-in-lieu of parking; modernized shared parking guidance; and an updated minimum parking requirement.

For Hannibal Square, only three suggestions were made: modification of the retail-to-restaurant conversion variance; a fee-in-lieu of parking; and modernized shared parking guidance.

Finally, for Orange Avenue, the group suggested five solutions: a fee-in-lieu of parking; modernized shared parking guidance; an updated minimum parking requirement; captive demand reductions; and adaptive reuse incentives.

For long-term ideas, Kimley-Horn suggested concepts such as starting employer transportation demand management program — which would reduce peak employment parking demand through incentives for telecommuting — and transit-oriented development reductions, which would see parking discounts offered to folks in close proximity to transit.

“It makes sense that when you have a concerted effort to make a transit supportive node in your community — you have one right outside of this area here called (Park) Avenue, it’s walkable and it’s got access to regional transit,” Stansbery said. “If you look at the long-range transportation plan, you’re going to see a lot of things in this region talked about — from revisiting light rail to having things like bus route transit.”

As the process of developing the city’s parking codes comes to a close, draft ordinances are already in process — which will go to P&Z next month for possible approval.

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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