WINTER GARDEN Winter Garden is one step closer to getting its first Wawa.
At the Jan. 14 meeting, the Winter Garden City Commission approved an ordinance rezoning about 6.09 acres at the northwest corner of West Colonial Drive and South Dillard Street to planned commercial development.
Commissioners also approved the site plan for the Wawa.
The area also includes plans for a Culver’s and a retail and coffee shop.
“A lot of people have asked, ‘When is this going to happen?’” Commissioner Colin Sharman said. “‘We’ve heard about it for so long. We’re excited.’”
The Wendy’s planned previously was pulled from the site plan, because commissioners did not want to see another fast-food restaurant at that location.
“My comment was the last meeting I wasn’t being specific on Wendy’s,” Mayor John Rees said. “That was more of a general comment of having a fast-food type restaurant with drive-throughs there at a major intersection of our city.”
Commissioner Kent Makin expressed a desire for a hotel at the site, which is still uncertain.
“When we first brought this to the commission originally we said that we didn’t know for sure if there could be a hotel,” said City Manager Mike Bollhoefer. “Tanja (Gerhartz) and I are still meeting with several hotel people. We’re working very hard and diligently to bring a hotel to that site.”
The St. Johns River Water Management District 2015-2016 cost-share funding program funds alternative water supply projects or construction for such projects, and Winter Garden’s project was selected as part of the program.
The program will help fund Winter Garden’s reclaimed and stormwater aquifer recharge system project, which will create a system to capture reclaimed water and stormwater runoff, increasing aquifer recharge and water for reuse irrigation.
The cost-share program splits costs with the city, with a maximum contribution of $1,581,470.
Commissioners approved entering into the program.
Bollhoefer requested commissioners identify the best and safest golf cart routes throughout the city.
Once commissioners determine the legal routes, the city will educate residents about golf cart routes and usage. A golf cart that can travel more than 20 mph is actually not a golf cart by law and is therefore an illegal vehicle on the road.
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].