Proposed assisted living facility to come before Winter Park Commission

Failed proposal comes back

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  • | 10:05 a.m. January 14, 2015
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.
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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A proposed assisted living facility in Winter Park may still come to fruition despite being voted down by a city board last month.

Winter Park City Commissioners will vote Feb. 23 on a 90-unit, 73,000-square-foot assisted living facility along U.S. Highway 17-92, more than two months after the proposal had originally been voted down unanimously by the city’s planning and zoning board on Dec. 2.

Real estate investment group Sentio Investments LLC planned to build the facility in the empty lot beside the St. John’s Lutheran Church, but planning and zoning board members voted down the project due to its size.

“The project is just too big for the footprint of that property right now,” board member Shelia De Ciccio said during the Dec. 2 meeting. “I would have to vote against it.”

The vote came as a relief to nearby Winter Park residents, who feared the new influx of employees and services to and from the facility would worsen existing traffic problems. The group of disgruntled residents had written a petition against the project, gathering more than 100 signatures prior to the meeting.

But the developer isn’t expected to make any changes to the project’s scale when it goes before the City Commission in February, said Planning and Community Development Manager Jeff Briggs.

Resident Sara Brady is less than thrilled to see the development come back, especially without any revisions.

“The developer’s disregard of the planning and zoning board’s unanimous decision to deny validates our frustration,” Brady said. “They continue to behave as if the neighbors and the residents don’t exist and aren’t going to be impacted by their plan.”

Briggs said it’s rare to see a developer push a denied project through to the City Commission without significant changes.

“Usually you realize that, your chances aren’t good,” said Briggs, who couldn’t recall a specific instance when it had last happened.

Briggs added that Sentio Investments LLC would rather build the facility at another location than scale it down.

The neighborhood surrounding the proposed site will be well represented at the February meeting, Brady said.

“The neighbors are even more organized than the first time; we’re more cohesive,” Brady said. “We intend to be there at the City Commission meeting.”

“If any of those Commissioners lived in our neighborhood, they certainly would deny it. I hope that they can put themselves in our shoes and our homes.”


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