- November 2, 2022
A new assisted-living facility is officially coming to Ocoee, after the Ocoee City Commission approved the preliminary/final site plan for Memory Care Cottages at Ocoee during its meeting Tuesday, July 21.
The facility will be located at 1900 E. Silver Star Road on a 6.29-acre parcel, said Kiel Gajadhar — the city’s zoning manager. The property is surrounded by single-family building zoning on all sides.
Overall, the facility will consist of five buildings — four residential buildings that will include 96 beds and one commons building — totaling about 66,723 square feet. All of the buildings will be one story, and each will be surrounded by fencing, while the perimeter of the property will feature a 15- to 25-foot landscape buffer.
During his quick overview, Gajadhar addressed a variety of topics, including traffic.
“It’s going to produce less traffic than a typical residential, because you’re only going to have staff changes at off-peak hours, as well as whatever visitors you have,” Gajadhar said.
Applicant Chuck Pigeon — of Pigeon-Roberts & Associates LLC — thanked the commission for its consideration.
“This has been about a two-year process of getting the project to this point,” Pigeon said. “We appreciate all the staff’s assistance and all of the guidance — you do have a really good staff at your city. It’s been a pleasure.”
The commission approved the plan unanimously.
A majority of the four-hour meeting was spent on a presentation by Human Relations Diversity Board Chair-Elect William Maxwell on plans for the memorial event to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Ocoee Massacre.
Before Maxwell’s presentation, Chairperson Kathleen Crown approached the commission with what the HRDB needed to host the event.
“So many things have changed because of CDC guidelines … so we’re not 100% sure what we’re going to be able to do,” Crown said. “I’d like to ask that the City Commission give the HRDB exclusive rights for Oct. 31 through Nov. 8 for city property — including this building (city hall), the Lakeshore Center and Bluford (Avenue), because we’re probably going to have to shut that down for the unveiling for the first Sunday afternoon deal.”
Along with the use of city buildings, the HRDB asked for financial backing and other items such as portable toilets.
Crown said the week-long memorial will include a variety of events, including a discussion on the research done on the massacre and a surprise speaker.
“I do ask that you do give us approval to continue the planning to completion, to assemble the necessary resources to turn this into a ceremony that will be memorable, that will pay the appropriate respects and dignify all of the negatives that occurred on that unbelievable day,” Maxwell said. “The purpose of that ceremony — as you’ve probably heard me say many times before — will serve the specific service of telling the story while we’re honoring the memory of all of the fallen victims.”
Although the HRDB is opting for a somber event, State Sen. Randolph Bracy — with the support of the July Perry Foundation — is looking to put on another event that would include bringing in nationally renowned entertainers and presidential candidates, he said.
The commission discussed how to handle the discrepancy between the HRDB’s and Bracy’s plans, before finally settling on a motion from Commissioner Rosemary Wilsen that all of the events from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 be coordinated by the HRDB. The motion carried in a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner George Oliver dissenting.