Orange County leaders hosted a community meeting Thursday, Jan. 10, regarding a substantial change request for a 2.07-acre property that already has been approved for short-term rental units.
The property is located at 11753 Ruby Lake Road at the southeast intersection of Ruby Lake Road and Eighth Street in southwest Orange County. The future land-use designation of the property is Activity Center Mixed Use, and it’s zoned as Planned Development.
The applicant is requesting to amend one of the conditions of approval of the development to allow for a minimum stay of six days, as opposed to the current minimum of two weeks. The request is intended to expand the business opportunities of the short-term rental development being proposed for the property.
“What we’re asking for with this (development) is to reduce it from a 14-day minimum stay to a six-day minimum stay,” said Russell Maynard, of Central Florida Engineering Consultants, who spoke on behalf of the applicant. “The average stay in the area for local (tourists) ... (is) anywhere between four and five days. International (tourists stay) six to 10 days, and this is based on a study that Universal (Studios) did. We’re a little bit above the local (average stay) and a little below the international (average stay).”
Maynard said the owner is proposing to build 14 short-term rental units on the property. The units will be constructed to look like single-family homes. Parking for the proposed development would be in the back of the rental units.
“Basically, they’ll be houses that are going to be (short-term rentals),” Maynard said. “The front doors will face the outside roadways, but as far as the vehicular access and so forth, everything will be internal to the project.”
Some residents in attendance brought up the ongoing traffic problems in southwest Orange County and the Dr. Phillips area and argued the proposed development could add to the problem. District 1 County Commissioner Betsy VanderLey said the county has been working on some infrastructure projects in the area that should help alleviate some traffic.
“There is scheduled a new interchange at Daryl Carter Parkway and I-4, which will help alleviate some of the pressure on Sand Lake (Road),” VanderLey said. “Additionally, the entire interchange at Sand Lake (Road) and I-4 will be reconfigured to take the problem of Turkey Lake (Road), Sand Lake (Road) and I-4 out of the equation.”
The applicant, Norberto Duarte, said most tourists who visit the area typically only bring one or two vehicles. He added they usually spend all day visiting the theme parks and are typically off the roads during peak rush hours.
“Normally, tourists come with one … van or a (large) car with six or seven seats,” Duarte said. “They stay, most of the time, out of the area.”