Horizon West residents learned what to expect for the future of their community during Orange County’s 2019 Horizon West Town Hall, held June 6, at Windermere High School.
The amount of growth in the last five years has caused “a lot of growing pains,” Orange County District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey said.
Residents can expect improvements to roads, schools and other infrastructure to address those pains, VanderLey said.
Planning and Development
Eric Raasch, chief planner of the Orange County Planning Division, told residents The Blake at Hamlin Assisted Living Facility was approved, giving local seniors a new, upscale community. Meanwhile, Hamlin Plaza will be constructed south of the main Hamlin town center and a 55-and-older community called Overture also has been proposed for the Hamlin area. As part of the Hamlin expansion, a shopping area and boardwalk will be built on the edge of Lake Hancock.
Village I is expected to see the most growth, but only two developments have been approved. Spring Grove has been approved for two phases at 327 units, and Jaffers at Spring Grove is under construction.
Lake Reams Road Park also is expected to open in 2021, and Bentonshire Park is expected to follow in 2022. New parks will follow the opening of the new elementary schools, and Horizon West trails are planned to connect to the West Orange Trail, while Horizon West Regional Park will be approved for the final time in February 2020.
County officials discussed the construction of three new stoplights along Ficquette Road — set for the intersections at Overstreet Road, New Independence Parkway, and Reams Road and Summerlake Park Boulevard. Temporary stop signs have been approved and placed, while a stoplight is planned to be built in four to six weeks.
A signal will be placed at State Road 535 and Lachlan Road at the Westside Shoppes, while speed feedback signs are scheduled to be placed outside of Windermere High School before the upcoming school year. Speed tables and flashing beacons will be set up at Avalon and Old YMCA roads.
Orange County Public Schools has plans to open 14 new schools in West Orange by 2028, said District 4 Orange County School Board Member Pam Gould. Three — two elementaries and one middle — will be opening this fall, and another three opening in 2020.
Crime and Fire Safety
The crime rate has dropped 3% in Horizon West. However, auto burglaries are up 96%, and Orange County Sheriff’s Office Captain Tony Marlow encouraged residents to lock their car doors.
For more information on upcoming development in Horizon West contact Orange County Commissioner Betsy VanderLey at [email protected] or visit https://bit.ly/2Kg1wxs to view the Horizon West Town Hall presentation.