- October 31, 2018
Dozens of Dr. Phillips area residents packed the Sand Lake Elementary School cafeteria Tuesday, May 15, to voice their grievances about a proposed development coming to Southwest Orlando.
County officials hosted a community meeting regarding a future land-use map amendment that would allow for the development of up to 450 single-family dwelling units featuring a mix of housing types; 350 multi-family dwelling units; 200 senior-living units; 100,000 square feet of commercial/retail; 50,000 square feet of office; a three-acre park; and 93 acres set aside for conservation.
The 215.67-acre project, known as Kerina Parkside Planned Development, is located east and west of South Apopka-Vineland Road, south of Buena Vista Woods Boulevard and north of Lake Street.
The applicant, Miranda Fitzgerald, of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster Kantor & Reed, P.A., is requesting to change the future land-use map designation of the property from low density residential, low-medium density residential, and rural/agricultural to Planned Development-Commercial/Office/Medium Density Residential/Low Density Residential/Senior Living/Conservation (PD-C/O/MDR/LDR/Senior Living/CONS).
Fitzgerald said Kerina Inc. has owned the property for about 30 years. She added the property has been designated as urban since 1991 and said the owner has been trying to develop it since the early 2000s.
“When we started this process … we were trying to get a community retail center included in this property in 2005,” Fitzgerald said. “We knew we were going to do a PD — a planned development — and that’s what this has been all these years.”
Many area residents raised concerns over density and traffic that would be generated by the proposed development.
Roy Messinger is part of the Southern Dr. Phillips Homeowners Coalition. He said he is opposed to the request and added the coalition has been involved with the applicant regarding the development of the property for about 20 years.
“What they’re asking to do really violates everything that we had negotiated 12 years ago, and it also violates the land-use maps of the Buena Vista North Ordinance,” Messinger said. “What they want to introduce is huge density, which is unlike any density in a residential part of Dr. Phillips. … That’s inappropriate for this location.”
Not every resident who came to the meeting was against the request.
Khalid Ahmed said he supports the owner’s rights to develop the property. Although the request includes plans for a park and conservation area, he suggested developing something eco-friendly with more green spaces within the residential areas.
“We should develop it ... in such a way that it is eco-friendly,” Ahmed said. “I disagree with a lot of people here. I think this (development) is going to come. This is going to happen. The retail and commercial is going to come in that area, because it’s the demand of the area. That’s why Sand Lake (Road) is so busy — because you can’t go anywhere else.”
Although the amendment is being requested, the subject property still could be developed if the request is denied. Current entitlements pertaining to the property allows for the development of up to 575 townhome units, 305 condominium units, a three-acre park and 93 acres set aside for conservation.
“In 2010, Orange County changed its Comprehensive Plan, and now the policies in the Comprehensive Plan are focused very heavily on how we create mixed-use communities,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish. We’re trying to accomplish some community, neighborhood-type commercial (development). … Our idea is to (do) a mix of uses. Not a strip (shopping) center.”
Concerns over the amount of students that could be generated by the development also were raised. Current entitlements would allow for the generation of an estimated 557 students. If the applicant’s request is approved, the development would generate an estimated 559 students, according to Julie Salvo, senior administrator of facilities and planning for Orange County Public Schools.
“It’s a difference of two students,” Salvo said. “For us, the impact (of students) is not significant for planning purposes.”
Regarding the traffic, Fitzgerald said part of the development plans include the construction of a new road that would extend Daryl Carter Parkway and connect to Apopka-Vineland Road.
“One of the things (with) this development — in 2005 — when we came through the process we were required to pay for — essentially — dedicated right of way, to pay for all the design, all the engineering, for the new road,” Fitzgerald said.
Although many of the residents were against the development, District 1 County Commissioner Betsy VanderLey reminded them the applicant still could develop the property if the request is not approved.
“If this (request) does not transmit, they have current entitlements that they can move forward with without coming back in front of you for a public meeting,” VanderLey said. “I don’t want to have you all thinking that if this gets a down vote somewhere along the way that you’re golden and that stays raw land, because that’s not reality.”