Ocoee Commission considers lien amnesty, emergency access to gated communities

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  • | 12:20 a.m. May 6, 2015
Ocoee Commission celebrates adoption
Ocoee Commission celebrates adoption
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OCOEE — The Ocoee City Commission discussed several potential property measures at its May 5 regular meeting, including a lien-amnesty program and an alteration to the city code regarding emergency access to gated communities.

Assistant Director of Support Services Doug Gaines presented options for handling 259 outstanding code-enforcement liens dating back as early as 1998. Research with the office of City Attorney Scott Cookson led to staff favoring the model of the Hillsborough County Code Compliance Amnesty Program, which would allow eligible property owners to have outstanding code enforcement fines reduced by 85% or pay 15% of the market value of the property in violation — whichever is less, Gaines said.

The proposed length of the program would be three months, at which time the property title would be cleared once the full balance is paid.

The commissioners approved the staff recommendation to pursue public hearings regarding an ordinance change in the realm of liens.

Ocoee Police Chief Charles Brown and Lt. Bill Wagner then presented an ordinance amendment to improve safety and emergency personnel access to gated communities.

Among other factors, lack of a code for public safety personnel to access gated communities slows the ability of such personnel to assist gated communities when needed, Wagner said. Wagner recommended following the Click to Enter technology already mandated in Winter Garden and perhaps soon to become mandatory in the Orange County fire code.

The technology would cost about $2,100 per homeowners association, which District 4 Commissioner Joel Keller said would be a lot for small associations to pay. He and District 3 Commissioner Rusty Johnson recommended the city picking up the tab for its gated communities through taxes.

Communities would have at least a year to comply with the Click to Enter technology. Staff recommended exemptions for constantly staffed gates and subdivisions with multiple gates within 1/4 mile along the same approach. The fire marshal would hold the final exemption with considerations for fire plugs and turning radii.

District 2 Commissioner Rosemary Wilsen and Mayor S. Scott Vandergrift were absent from the meeting.

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].


• The commission approved the purchase of an emergency power generator for Lift Station No. 32, so that sewage overflow could be avoided in the case of a power outage. This station provides primary service for northeast Ocoee, with flows steadily increasing in the 20 years since its 1995 installation. It pumped an average of 19,200 gallons per day last year.

• The commission adopted a preliminary rate resolution for the 2016 fiscal year fire protection assessment, allowing it to set an amount up to $69.50 per Net Fire Protection Unit in August after a public hearing.

• Geotechnical Environmental Consultants, Professional Services Industries and Tierra incorporations received five-year contracts with one-year city options to provide testing services. Annual anticipated geotechnical service expenses are estimated at between $50,000 and $75,000.

• The commission approved the appointment of V. Renee Watson to the Citizen Advisory Council for Ocoee Police Department, with a term ending Jan. 1, 2018.

• Mayor Pro Tem and District 1 Commissioner John Grogan led a series of mayoral proclamations: Civility Month, National Water Safety Month, Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4 to 8), Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15), National Police Week (May 10 to 16) and Women’s Lung Health Week (May 11 to 17).

• The Rotary Club of Ocoee received a waiver of fees for usage of the Tom Ison Seniors and Veterans Center for a May 29 poker fundraiser. The fee amount is $696.40.


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