Winter Park residents oppose proposed assisted living facility

Residents fear monsters in Winter Park

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  • | 2:07 p.m. November 26, 2014
Photo: Courtesy of CHANCEY DESIGN PARTNERSHIP - A 106-bed assisted living facility could change an area near Winter Park's Mead Garden.
Photo: Courtesy of CHANCEY DESIGN PARTNERSHIP - A 106-bed assisted living facility could change an area near Winter Park's Mead Garden.
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A new development planned to sit just west of Mead Garden along U.S. Highway 17-92 has some Winter Park residents concerned about a large increase in traffic in their neighborhood.

Real estate investment group Sentio Investments LLC recently submitted plans to the city for a 73,000-square-foot assisted living facility, designed for an empty lot beside St. John’s Lutheran Church. The three story building would hold 106 total beds throughout 90 units.

But a group of nearby Winter Park residents are less than thrilled about the new project. Nearby locals created a Facebook page titled “No More Monsters,” leading a charge against a development they believe will cause an overflow of traffic to an already overburdened area.

An influx of employees, medical staff and other services would likely be coming and going from the facility 24/7, said resident Sara Brady.

“The way the traffic patterns are now, we’re already impacted by the congestion and back up from the Trader Joe’s development and the combination of SunRail-increased train traffic, because the train tracks are right by our neighborhood,” said Brady, whose home sits adjacent to the empty lot.

Brady said the development also infringes on the area’s village character.

“We feel that it’s a residential community and so it needs to be a project that would align with the character of the community that’s already there,” Brady said.

“This is a very understated, quiet, village-like community. This proposal to up-zone [the property] would change that in flagrant disregard to the land use plan.”

The group of disgruntled residents have written a petition as well, gathering 112 signatures as of Tuesday.

“This will destroy the peace and quiet of our neighborhood, bring way too much traffic and destroy the beauty of Garden Drive between 17-92 and Orchid,” wrote resident Laura Lopez. “This is our home and it is indecent of anyone to decide to go against what the people who live here need and want.”

Sentio reportedly claimed the development wouldn’t have any negative impacts during a community meeting earlier this month, but residents aren’t convinced.

“Our little village is going to become a major thoroughfare, that is the fallout from this,” Brady said

“We’ve been here, invested in our homes and invested in our city … they just want to put this big monster right in the middle of our neighborhood.”

The development is set to go before the city’s Planning and Zoning Board on Dec. 2


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