Orange County government officials gave Dr. Phillips residents updates on ongoing projects and activity in their area during a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, May 2.
The meeting took place at the Rosen Jewish Community Center. Chief Planner Eric Raasch was the first to give a presentation at the meeting, and discussed the ongoing development projects in Dr. Phillips. He divided the area into three sections — north, central and south.
“The north section (is) generally boundaried by the turnpike,” Raasch said. “The central (section), which is kind of the Sand Lake Road area south of Sand Lake, and then the south section, which is probably the busiest area in Dr. Phillips that we’re seeing right now.
To the north, Raasch discussed only one development project: the CERTUS Senior Living community. The project has been approved by the county and will bring a 64-bed, assisted-living facility along Conroy-Windermere Road just west of Hiawassee Road. The project has not yet broken ground.
In the central section of Dr. Phillips, Raasch discussed several more development projects. One of those projects was the Granada Planned Development, which was originally approved in 1972. That project, which is divided into three lots, is entitled to the development of 183 single-family units on Granada Lot A, 394 multi-family units on Granada Lot B and a 185 unit active-adult community on Granada Lot C.
“It just never came out of the ground,” Raasch said, referring to the Granada PD. “The property owner landbanked them. The entitlements were changed back in 2006 to allow for some multi-family (units).”
Raasch also discussed a project in the central section of Dr. Phillips called the National Spa property, also known as the former Yogi Bear campground. That project — located just west of I-4 and bordered by Big Sand Lake to the east — was approved in 2018 is entitled to 134,000 square feet of commercial, a 120-room hotel and 286 multi-family units.
The majority of the development in Dr. Phillips is taking place in the southern section because it has the most undeveloped land in the area, Raasch said.
Two of the largest development projects proposed for the southern area of Dr. Phillips are known as the Kerina Parkside Parkside PD and the Hannah Smith PD, which is also known as the “O-Town West” project. Both projects will be headed to the Board of County Commissioners on June 4. Commissioners will be considering the approval of a comprehensive plan amendments for both projects.
The O-Town West project is proposed on an 84.32-acre parcel located south of Fenton St., north of Interstate 4, and east of Lake Ruby. The development proposes up to 1,800 dwelling units and up to 415,142 square feet of commercial space. The Kerina Parkside PD is proposed on a 215.67-acre property located east and west of South Apopka Vineland Road, south of Buena Vista Woods Boulevard and north of Lake Street. That project proposes 400 multi-family units, 301 single-family attached and detached units, 200 senior-living units, 150,000 square feet of retail and a five-acre park.
Lauren Roth of Orange County Public School Facilities Planning gave a presentation about new schools planned for the area. She said a new elementary school that will be relieving Sand Lake Elementary will be opening up the fall of this year. That school recently was named Castleview Elementary, and will be located at 9131 Taborfield Ave.
“We’re opening three brand-new schools (this year),” Roth said. “All of them, actually, are relatively close to here. They’re all in Horizon West.”
In addition to the relief elementary school opening up, a relief middle school and high school also are planned for the area. The relief high school, site 80-H-SW-4, will be opening in 2021 and will relieve Dr. Phillips High and Freedom High. The relief high school for the Dr. Phillips area is one of two schools that were moved up to open a year early.
“The (School) board has already agreed to move up two high schools by an additional year from 2022 … to 2021,” Roth said. “We’re actually building two new high schools a year sooner because the need is so great. That is how fast students are moving to this area.”
The relief middle school, known as site 48-M-SW-4, is scheduled to open in 2026, according to the OCPS capital project list for 2018-2019.