With the population and traffic increasing in Oakland, the Town Commission wanted to go the extra step in creating a safe pedestrian crosswalk across Oakland Avenue at the entrance to the Longleaf at Oakland subdivision.
Commissioners at the March 9 meeting passed the first reading of an ordinance that would allow the town to install not only mid-block crosswalk markings but also rectangular rapid-flashing beacons and additional signage at Oakland Avenue and Sansparilla Road. The static signs are to be installed this week but the flashing beacons won’t go in until April, staff said.
Because the crossing will connect to the West Orange Trail, the state of Florida must grant final approval because the connection crosses through the right-of-way. The town plans to begin a safety campaign on social media for pedestrians and bicyclists following the second reading.
The vote came after a work session last month to discuss direction on the crossing enhancement project.
IN OTHER NEWS
• The commission approved a lien release and satisfaction and release of abatement fees so Youdali International Investments LLC can clear up a lien and purchase property at 1070 Chase Drive, Winter Garden. The land was previously owned by Rifaat and Violet Zakhary, who also previously owned the property at 1 N. Nixon St., which had an outstanding code enforcement lien on it. A lien on one of the Zakharys’ properties is attached to every property they own in Florida, and the town is allowing Youdali to pay $350 to clear up the lien on the Winter Garden land.
• The commission authorized the termination of an outdated town of Oakland retirement plan and allowed the town’s finance director to transfer the balance of Town Manager Steve Koontz’s assets into a different account.
• The Town Commission watched the video recently recorded to promote the Health West Orange Arts & Heritage Center and heard an update on the new facility. Koontz reported about 35 people are visiting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays. Staff currently is working on an exhibit on Grace Mather-Smith.
The center will be the stage for the Easter Bunny during the town’s modified spring event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 27. Families can pose for free photos with the costumed character, and children will receive a special gift while supplies last.
• Koontz reported that as of Tuesday, 142 people had registered for the COVID-19 vaccinations being given in Oakland; there are 250 available.