WINTER GARDEN Winter Garden commissioners welcomed the future of the city at the commission meeting Feb. 11, as commissioners formally adopted the State Road 429 Master Plan.
The joint plan between the cities of Ocoee and Winter Garden addresses three interchanges, West Road, Plant-Franklin and State Road 50, and the corridor connections to downtown Winter Garden and Ocoee.
The plans foresees growth in these key interchanges once the completed Wekiva Parkway will connect State Road 429 to I-4 in Seminole County. One of the goals of the plan is to make these places destinations along SR 429, not merely stopping points.
In Winter Garden, the plan looks to make Plant Street corridor that connects SR 429 to Dillard Street more appealing, as it becomes the “front door” of downtown. The corridor will take on a similar character to that of the rest of Plant Street, adding pedestrian-friendly features, as well as streetscape similar to that seen on the rest of Plant Street. The East Bay District is also planned to have more multi-use development that complements Plant Street.
The Plant-Franklin interchange will become a center of employment, supporting office, residential and retail services with pedestrian-friendly design.
Commissioners also approved the first reading of an ordinance that puts moratorium on the processing of development and building permit applications until Aug. 31 for the area of Plant Street between Dillard Street and State Road 429. This will allow city officials to come up with design guidelines on buildings and development along the road. The second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for Feb. 25.
The moratorium to aid the design process will be similar to the process the city went through to ensure quality design of Winter Garden Village, said Tanja Gerhartz, economic development director at the city of Winter Garden.
“Economic development is about selling a vision; it is about seizing opportunities, it’s about leveraging resources, building partnerships,” said Gerhartz. “What we’ve been doing with the city of Ocoee is about all those things. We have an opportunity tonight to seize an opportunity, and that is to put in place design guidelines that will benefit everyone, and it will benefit everyone for decades.”
IN OTHER NEWS
Commissioners approved a site plan and development agreement for 13100 West Colonial Drive, which will allow a 7,628 square foot O’Reilly Auto Parts Store with parking and landscaping.
Commissioners approved the final plat for Hickory Hammock Phase 2C.
The city of Winter Garden was awarded a $750,000 community development block grant with the purpose of repairing or replacing 12 low-to-moderate income homes currently occupied by the homeowner. Commissioners voted to approve work on three of these homes.
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].