East Plant Street Overlay design plans pass first reading

Winter Garden Commissioners are taking steps to establish a design overlay for future development along East Plant Street.

  • By
  • | 11:29 a.m. June 13, 2017
  • West Orange Times & Observer
  • News
  • Share

WINTER GARDEN After nearly five years in the making, Winter Garden commissioners are one step closer to establishing design plans for future development along East Plant Street. During a City Commission meeting on Thursday, June 8, leaders passed the first reading of an ordinance that 

creates building standards for any future growth on East Plant Street from South Dillard Street to State Road 429.

The East Plant Street Overlay breaks up the region into three sections - Gateway District, East Plant Street District and Packing Plant District - with each district featuring different types of development.

The Packing Plant District will include mixed-use, commercial and office projects. East Plant District will include commercial, retail and mixed-use developments, and the Gateway District will feature offices, retail, hotels and some residential.

“If you’re familiar with the interchange, you realize there are some really heavy industrial uses,” said Ed Williams, a development consultant for the city. “It’s going to take a while to change that character and flavor.”

The other goal of establishing the design plans is to create a unified corridor between downtown Winter Garden and downtown Ocoee.

“It became a way to tie the two downtowns together over on Plant Street,” Williams said.

Both cities have been involved in the planning and creation of the design plans so that the corridor will have a unified look. 

“Quite frankly, East Plant Street looks a lot better than it has in the past, but it wasn’t long ago that it looked pretty rough,” said Jay Strates, whose family owns about 70 acres along East Plant Street. “It’s a lot better, but we need to continue that trend going forward.”

Strates said that without the East Plant Street Overlay, his family was concerned about future development in the corridor.

“I am fearful that if they don’t put the overlay in place, it’s going to be hard to bring in the high-quality developers,” he said. “What we want is high-quality, well-done development here.”

In addition to establishing development guidelines in the three different districts along East Plant Street, the overlay would also create architectural guidelines for development so the look of East Plant Street flows seamlessly into downtown Winter Garden. Future development also would have to abide by guidelines to ensure that the corridor is welcoming for both pedestrians and bikers.

“It will actually create a synergy for better development and more development in more communities,” Williams said.

Several commissioners voice their excitement for the design plans and the changes it will bring to the corridor.

“I think it’s going to be a positive impact on East Winter Garden,” said District 3 Commissioner Mark Maciel. “Especially to create those jobs we’ve been talking about.”


Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected].


Latest News