Oakland Park preparing to build in town limits

The final plat of the next phase signifies the first homes in the community to be built in Oakland.

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Oakland Park is a step closer to building its first homes in the town for which it is named.

The Oakland Town Commission approved at its Nov. 12 meeting the final plat for Phase 6A of the community, which stretches across two municipalities: the town of Oakland and the city of Winter Garden.

The 38 single-family homes in the 22.63-acre phase will be the first built within the town limits; prior home construction in the multi-phase subdivision was in the city limits of Winter Garden.

The final plat includes the reconfiguration of eight lots and two small parks on the shores of Lake Apopka to allow for the completion of the infrastructure.

The applicant, Landeavor LLC, also provided the recorded easements for the Winter Garden utilities and the conservation agreement.

Although the Oakland Park subdivision has gone through multiple plat changes, Jay Marder, Planning & Zoning director, and Town Manager Steve Koontz are assuring residents that the current iteration is consistent with all previous approvals. Among them: The only entrance into Phase 6A is through Winter Garden, and this phase does not back up to any existing Oakland residents.

Lots in this phase now are being sold; it will be about six months before any homes take shape.

Debra Dremann, general manager of Oakland Park, vowed to keep an open line of communication with Oakland residents, including periodic newsletters, emails and community meetings.


In other business:

• Town Manager Steve Koontz updated the commission on the heritage and arts center construction and said decisions need to be made on details such as rocking chairs, garbage cans, benches, tables and bicycle racks. The discussion will continue at the next Town Commission meeting.

• The commission approved the purchase of the .58-acre piece of property at 205 E. Gulley Ave. for $185,000. According to Public Works Director Mike Parker, the land will be used for a future water well site, as well as future expansion of VanderLey Park. The town currently has two drinking water production wells at VanderLey and Speer parks.

• Commissioners approved the first reading of an ordinance that would change the text in two sections of the Comprehensive Plan.

The first affects the units-per-acre density in the Mixed-Use Activity Center land-use designation. The current density range is 3.5 to 55 dwelling units per acre, and the commission is proposing decreasing the cap to 25 per acre. This is more consistent with typical three- and four-story buildings, Koontz said. It also lessens the impact on facilities and services.

The second part of the ordinance seeks to revise the Conservation, Infrastructure and Intergovernmental Coordination elements based on recommendations in the 10-Year Water Supply Facilities Master Plan.

• Parker presented a proposal to the commission regarding several right-of-ways that were abandoned to adjacent property owners in the 1980s. The land in question is a 25-foot section of the former East Hull Avenue, which Parker said needs to be traded for 20 feet of South Arrington Street. The land is needed to provide electric service for the future sewer lift station No. 5 and to re-create another section of the town's street grid network. The land swap is being exercised with West Orange Baptist Church at no cost to the town.

• Police Chief Steve Thomas, in his report to the commission, said there was an increase in criminal activity in October. Two vehicles in John's Landing and three in Oakland Trails were burglarized, and Thomas said all five were left unlocked.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.