WINTER GARDEN After postponing the vote two times, commissioners approved the sale of city property at 109 S. Boyd St. to Tremaine Boyd LLC.
Tremaine Boyd LLC plans to develop the property into a three story development, with the first floor as office space and the second and third floors 22 high-end apartments.
The sale was postponed twice out of concern for the amount of taxpayer money being waived. Because of the city’s belief that the apartments will benefit the city of Winter Garden, the city will waive $174,177 in transportation impact fees and $235,484 in other fees.
The developer made an offer of $177,000, higher than the original price of $152,000. Additionally, if the developer chooses to sell the property within five years of the purchase, it will have to pay a portion of impact fees back to the city.
“The (city) staff has been very much in favor of this project…probably the biggest weakness in our downtown is not having living quarters,” City Manager Mike Bollhoefer said.
The apartments will be located at the intersection of Tremaine Street and Boyd Street in downtown Winter Garden, between the Central Florida Railroad Museum and the Winter Garden Art Association’s SoBo Gallery.
In previous meetings, city staff have cited the increasing property values in downtown, and the need to build housing downtown in order to keep the area desirable. Having housing downtown will make the downtown more walkable, and the presence of people will keep the area safer, especially as the new parking garage opens, staff members said.
Commissioners approved an ordinance that calls for a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensary activity in the city of Winter Garden, excluding activities that have final approval for the city or where City regulation is preempted by Florida law.
The passage of recent legislation raises “substantial questions regarding the impact of Medical Cannabis Activities…upon the public health, safety, and welfare within the City of Winter Garden,” according to the ordinance. Therefore, Winter Garden plans a moratorium, which will last 270 days, while city staff researches potential impacts of medical marijuana.
The state of Florida preempts the city from regulating cultivation and processing of medical marijuana, City Attorney Kurt Ardaman said. However, the city is permitted to regulate dispensing facilities within its boundaries.
During the moratorium, the city won’t process permits or other items related to medical marijuana dispensing facilities. Dispensaries serves as retail facilities for the sale and distribution of medical marijuana.
“During that period of time, staff believes we will have the opportunity to develop appropriate regulations that deal with dispensing facilities and bring back before the expiration of the 270 days, regulations that the commission can consider and will be up for public reading and consideration on how to deal with these dispensing facilities, the retail providing of what’s allowed under the law,” Ardaman said.
Commissioner Bob Buchanan requested that the city hold a workshop on medical marijuana regulations.
The ordinance is of concern to Knox Nursery, located on Avalon Road in Winter Garden, which was licensed December 2015 by the state of Florida to grow and dispense medical marijuana.
Tara Tedrow, an attorney representing Knox Nursery, came to the meeting to clarify the effects of the moratorium, stating the moratorium would allow Knox Nursery to continue growing and cultivating medical marijuana, but it would prohibit the nursery from acting as a dispensary.
“While the moratorium would not allow for Knox to open a dispensing facility, which we acknowledge — we don’t necessarily agree with, and we would object to that aspect of it because the state did give us permission to grow, cultivate, process and dispense from the 940 Avalon Road site — we do understand the moratorium would not stop the first two components but stop dispensing,” Tedrow said.
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].
IN OTHER NEWS
Commissioners approved a lease agreement with Shepherd’s Hope. The agreement allows Shepherd’s Hope to house a clinic and corporate office on Ninth Street — at the former Dreyfus Citrus property site. The property, which is owned by the city, would be leased to Shepherd’s Hope for 20 years, with two five-year renewals, at a rate of $10 per year.
Commissioners voted to postpone the second reading on the ordinance that, if passed, would prohibit bars on windows in the city of Winter Garden.
Commissioners approved the first reading on ordinance that would allow the city to issue two sales tax revenue bonds. The first bond, at $10.2 million, would be used to finance projects such as the parking garage. The second bond, at $9.81 million, would be used to refund all outstanding sales tax revenue bonds the city has, securing a better rate and saving the city $1.69 million.