- June 20, 2017
OCOEE – With a vision to transform its downtown and cooperate with Winter Garden on the State Road 429 corridor, Ocoee has moved forward on adopting language to address the types of businesses it hopes to limit in its overlay areas.
The newly proposed language was brought forward to the City Commission for a second reading during the Dec. 5 meeting and passed unanimously.
According to Ocoee City Planner Mike Rumer, the idea behind the ordinance is to ensure future development in its three overlay districts — downtown, State Road 429 and its CRA target area — fits the character of the area and reduces the footprint of fast-food restaurants with drive-thrus, automobile service stores and self-storage facilities.
“The ordinance deals with self-storage facilities in our overlay (districts), so the CRA, the State Road 429 and our downtown overlay,” Rumer said. “So what we’re doing is better defining self-storage facilities, and we’re going to allow it as an integrated element of a mixed-use development. It limits its impact to just 30% of the property. So for instance, the newer facility we have on Colonial Drive by the 429, which has a little retail office that makes up about only 5% of the building would not be allowed in our overlay now, because it’s got to be no more than 30% of the development.”
The ordinance, Rumer added, also singles out fast-food restaurants with drive-thrus. Although there is a Popeye’s establishment in the city’s CRA overlay that was accepted before a now-expired moratorium was passed, moving forward, the city hopes to discourage developers from building large strip malls filled with fast-food restaurants by limiting the locations of drive-thru restaurants.
Also included in the ordinance is a provision that would permit automotive service stations but simultaneously reduce their footprint by limiting each station to only three bays. The reason for that is to ensure there isn’t an automotive emphasis in their S.R. 429 and downtown areas, Rumer said.
None of the new provisions will apply to non-overlay areas.
“In other places, such as Clarke Road, Wurst Road, Silver Star Road, fast food is just under the old code, so they will not be impacted,” he said. “This will just be in those overlay facilities.”
Next on the list to be discussed are discount retail stores, Rumer said. Presently, there is no provision on dollar stores in the ordinance, but city staff did not want to delay the adoption of the ordinance, because the moratorium on building permits has since expired, Rumer said.
He said city staff does not aim to completely prohibit discount stores, but they do need to discuss the matter further. Once a consensus is reached, Rumer will bring the proposed provision back as another ordinance amending the land development code for the commission’s consideration.
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