Residents question Oakland Park expansion

Neighbors say mature trees are slated for removal and more traffic will pose an addition risk to nearby residential roadways.

The next phase of Oakland Park will be developed in the town limits of Oakland. Some neighboring residents are concerned about buffering landscape, traffic and lot dimensions.
The next phase of Oakland Park will be developed in the town limits of Oakland. Some neighboring residents are concerned about buffering landscape, traffic and lot dimensions.
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Oakland residents are concerned about some of the plans that have been presented for the next phase of Oakland Park, which will be built in the town limits. Many of their homes either face or back up to the subdivision expansion or are on nearby streets that will be affected by additional traffic the community will produce.

Town officials held a work session with Lake Apopka 2012 LLC before their Aug. 9 commission meeting to get an update on the development’s next phase and to answer residents’ questions.

Lake Apopka 2012 LLC was incorporated four years ago by Crescent Communities, which purchased Oakland Park in 2013. A total of 800 units are planned upon build-out in the 300-acre master-planned community, which is situated in both the town of Oakland and the city of Winter Garden.

The town and Crescent Communities representatives are still in discussions regarding revisions to the development. The company modified plans based on feedback received at a Planning & Zoning meeting in July. It increased the lot sizes along the development’s perimeter and created a linear park along Starr Street. A portion of Starr will be widened and paved.

Residents were allowed to make comments and ask questions after the presentation.

Felix Gonzalez, who lives on Macchi Avenue in Winters Landing, was upset to learn that all of the mature oak trees behind his home will be removed, meaning there will be no landscape buffer between his property and the homes in the southwest portion of Oakland Park.

Yolanda Jackson, a resident of Vandermeer Avenue in Southern Oaks, expressed her concern about the traffic flow in her neighborhood.

Traffic consultant Brent Lacy, representing the Littlejohn planning firm, said his company looked at several options, including one with a western Oakland Park entrance and exit at Vandermeer and one that omitted the paving of Starr.

The current plan has western exits at Demens Avenue and a location south of Vick Avenue.

Lacy said that by upgrading streets and creating multiple entrances and exits, traffic will be dispersed and residents shouldn’t notice that much of an increase.

Another Winters Landing resident asked about getting a traffic signal at the neighborhood’s entrance on Oakland Avenue, citing difficulty exiting the community during morning rush hour.

Town Manager Dennis Foltz said the city of Winter Garden is planning a traffic light at the Oakland Avenue entrance to Oakland Park.

This next phase of Oakland Park must go before the Oakland Town Commission for final approval.



• Oakland commissioners have approved an ordinance that allows Florida Municipal Loan Council to move forward with a bond refinancing with a group of Florida municipalities. The maturity date of 2032 remains, and the cost savings to the town will be about $252,000, according to Finance Director Becky Rotroff.

The original bond helped build the town’s meeting hall and public safety facility.

• The town has been awarded four separate, large sums of money to further facilitate infrastructure and public facilities construction. This includes a $1 million appropriation in the state budget to continue with construction of the centralized sanitary sewer initiative, a $270,270 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for construction of a stormwater treatment infrastructure that will provide a reduction in the nutrients being discharged into Lake Apopka, a $184,803 grant from the St. Johns River Water Management District to further assist with the stormwater treatment project and a $225,000 grant from the Orange County Department of Arts and Cultural Facilities for a portion of the cost associated with the future Oakland Art and History Center.

“This is a huge amount of money for a town this size,” Mayor Kathy Stark said. “This doesn’t come easy. Staff has worked really hard.”


Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].


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