Oakland leaders approve church's West Colonial Drive site plans

Lakeside Church, currently meeting in an industrial park, wants to build a new facility for its congregation.

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Lakeside Church has earned the Oakland Town Commission’s approval of its building design and site plan for the church’s new proposed location. The elected officials approved the proposal for the 9.4-acre parcel at their June 9 meeting.

The church presented detailed plans for a 32,000-square-foot stepped-seating auditorium that can accommodate 1,000 people, a two-story building to house Lakeside Kids and the church office, and an approved landscape buffer.

The south end of the property contains two commercial outparcels, each less than an acre. The town originally approved this tentative plan in 2018, which would place the church in the back of the property. This parcel design was established to conform to the town’s long-term development policies.

Starr Street will be extended — to continue the town’s grid road system — along the east property line with 40-foot rights of way to be dedicated by the church plus additional rights of way along Sadler Avenue on the north side of the site. The plan calls for paved and unpaved parking areas.

Pastor Jason Hitte was present at the meeting to field questions. His architect said the project, once completed, will be worth about $5 million. Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year and will last 12 to 18 months.

The church currently rents space in an industrial park on Countyline Court on the west side of Oakland.

“We’re excited to build a permanent home in the town of Oakland,” Hitte said.



• The Oakland Nature Preserve was awarded a $364,000 grant from the West Orange Healthcare District to refurbish the 19-year-old boardwalk. Construction began last week on the two-thirds-of-a-mile raised walkway from the preserve parking lot to Lake Apopka, and RC Stevens is replacing the wood with a composite material. The path also has a new name: Healthy West Orange Boardwalk at the Oakland Nature Preserve.

• Commissioners approved the agreement with Meritage Homes for the acquisition of land necessary for roundabout construction near the intersection of West Colonial Drive and Oakland Avenue. Meritage agreed to donate property for the transportation improvements; about 1.5 acres of land that is left over at the end of construction will be returned to Meritage.

• Town Manager Steve Koontz said Oakland’s participation numbers are low for the 2020 Census, and he is asking residents to make sure they have filled out the 2020 Census. Residents who did not receive a letter from the Census can visit 2020census.gov/en/contact-us.html or call (844) 330-2020 to be counted. According to information distributed by the town, the census influences community funding and congressional representation for the next decade.

• The commission accepted Tractor Supply’s request to continue to a future meeting its variance request to the town’s design district guidelines for its proposed store on West Colonial Drive.




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.

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