North Ocoee development projects move forward

Commissioners voted to transmit comprehensive plan amendments for two large development projects to department of economic opportunity and approved additional phases for Arden Park.

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  • | 12:05 p.m. April 17, 2019
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Two large development projects in north Ocoee have moved forward at the April 16 Commission meeting.

City leaders voted unanimously to transmit comprehensive plan amendments for two separate developments to the Department of Economic Opportunity for state review. 

The first project is the Ocoee Village Center Planned Unit Development (PUD).  The subject site for the proposed development totals 73.17 acres and is made up of three parcels that are generally located on the north side of Clarcona Ocoee Road east of State Road 429, south of Clarcona Ocoee Road, and east of North Lakewood Avenue and east of the intersection of Fullers Cross Road and North Lakewood Avenue. 

Plans for the development proposes 316 apartment units, 196 townhomes, 140 hotel units and up to 150,000 square feet of commercial space. Plans for the development also include water and sewer improvements to the area, as well as a reconfiguration of North Lakewood Avenue. The developer also will be constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Fullers Cross Road and Lakewood Avenue. 

“It is designed that there is a roundabout (at Fullers Cross Road and Lakewood Avenue), which would really function — we think — a lot better than, certainly, a four-way stop or signalized intersection,” City Planner Mike Rumer said. “The proposal is to develop a new Lakewood (Avenue). The applicant would pay for all the cost of the design, engineer, construction (and) receive no impact-fee credits (and) no repayment from the city for that. … (With) no incentives requested (and) no incentives offered, they will be bringing upgraded water and sewer all the way up to the north and building a lift station that enables the properties to the west (of this project) to develop.”

Commissioners voted to transmit for the Ocoee Village PUD a large-scale comprehensive map amendment from low-density residential to high-density residential and commercial to the DEO. City leaders also held the first reading of an ordinance that rezones the subject site to PUD.

The second large development in the area is the CLRM PUD. City leaders also voted to transmit for the project a large-scale comprehensive plan amendment from Orange County rural settlement 1/5 to City of Ocoee low-density residential to the DEO. Commissioners also held the first readings of an annexation ordinance for the subject property and an ordinance that rezones it to PUD. The subject site is part of a 212.3-acre property, but only 193.22 acres is proposed to be annexed. Plans for the proposed development include 381 dwelling units and 68.68 acres of open space. 

Prior to discussing those two large projects, city leaders voted unanimously to approve the final site plans for phase 4B and phase 5 of the Arden Park North residential development. During these phases of construction, the developer will be extending Clarke Road from Clarcona Ocoee Road to McCorkmick Road as part of the development project to allow for an additional access point to the development. 

Although city leaders expressed support for the proposed development projects in north Ocoee, some commissioners voiced their concerns. 

“We all recognized that the north end of Ocoee was going to develop,” Commissioner Richard Firstner said. “I don’t think we realized it was all going to be developed at the same time. We have three projects in this one agenda tonight that’s going to take up a big chunk of the north end of the city. That being said, it just makes me a little concerned. Are our streets and our services and our infrastructure going to able to handle this type of development?”

Building off of Firstner’s comments, Commissioner George Oliver commented on a need for infrastructure improvements in the city. 

“What I’d like to see just one time — just one time — is that when we’re presented with these projects, that you lead with infrastructure,” Oliver said. “I would like to see a project (where) one day, one developer will come to us and say, ‘look, let’s talk about the infrastructure first, and then we’ll present the project.’ I have yet to see that, and I hope one day that I will see it. … We talk about so many different things when we talk about all these projects, but to me, when I look at it in layman’s terms, I see cars.”

“Part of our challenge is — as Commissioner Firstner and Commissioner Oliver mentioned — there’s a lot of traffic that’s being generated by all these homes and buildings coming out of the ground,” Commissioner Larry Brinson said. “What my challenge is I have look at this as a whole and taking a holistic approach to this. I’m looking at every project in the north end of Ocoee … and I don’t see where the traffic … is very accommodating to what we currently have.”


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