Winter Garden leaders celebrate Avalon interchange withdrawal

The Winter Garden City Commission credited the community’s efforts against the FDOT project.

  • By
  • | 9:49 a.m. November 3, 2021
  • West Orange Times & Observer
  • News
  • Share

Two weeks after supporting a no-build resolution for the Florida Department of Transportation/Turnpike Authority’s proposed Avalon Road interchange, the Winter Garden City Commission celebrated the withdrawal of the project during its Oct. 28 meeting.

“Our strategy was ... if they could see the number of people in opposition, we felt it would be our best shot, early on, to kill this before it could move any further,” City Manager Mike Bollhoefer said of the Oct. 7 public meeting at Tanner Hall, during which residents rallied against the proposal. “The community showed up in great numbers, they spoke, and the FDOT listened.”

The withdrawal was announced during the West Orange Chamber of Commerce Economic & Governmental Advocacy Committee meeting Friday, Oct. 22. 

“This is an example of when they do listen, and it’s because of what the city and its residents and businesses did,” City Attorney Kurt Ardaman said. “It’s an unusual situation, because 90% to 95% of the time they do not make that kind of a change.”


The Oct. 28 meeting also included the second reading of an ordinance to rezone 7.25 acres, along Story Road between South Lakeview Avenue and South Central Avenue, from R-2 (residential district) to planned-unit development for the construction of the Lakeview Village Estates residential project. Plans include 26 new single-family homes and three townhome buildings containing a total of 14 units. The project also would feature recreation areas, pedestrian walkways, landscaping and stormwater ponds.

During the first reading, at the Oct. 14 council meeting, Commissioner Ron Mueller expressed concern with the project’s inclusion of high-density townhome buildings but voted in favor of the rezoning at the Oct. 28 meeting. “It is true that, if it went back to R2 zoning, it would be greater density than what we now have,” he said. “But I’d still like to talk to the developer, revisit the townhomes and either eliminate, or at lease reduce, one of the three units they’re building.”


The City Commission approved the interim city manager contract for Assistant City Manager — Public Services Jon Williams. Winter Garden Mayor John Rees proposed a motion to promote Williams to the role when Bollhoefer announced his resignation during the Oct. 14 City Commission meeting. Williams will serve as interim city manager for six months, beginning when Bollhoefer leaves his position Nov. 14.



Latest News