Oakland looks to connect golf cart areas

The town wants more connectivity in the community, as well as a link to Winter Garden’s golf cart areas, which includes downtown.

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The Oakland Town Commission held a workshop prior to its regular meeting Feb. 22 to discuss the existing golf cart ordinance and what changes could possibly be made. The catalyst to this discussion is Phase 7 of Oakland Park, Town Manager Steve Koontz said.

The town has had a golf cart ordinance since 2005 when there were fewer neighborhoods and residents. Currently, golf carts are not allowed on or across West Colonial Drive; on Oakland Avenue, South Tubb Street and Remington Road; on private property without written consent; or on the West Orange Trail.

The next phase of this community has three access points, one of which “is going to open up the gates to Winter Garden,” Koontz said.

By expanding the designated areas for golf carts, it would allow for more connectivity between neighborhoods, as well as the Oakland Nature Preserve.

Koontz said he has researched the city of Winter Garden’s golf cart ordinance and wants to create a similar one in Oakland. This way, both municipalities would have the same rules and allow for a smoother transition when traveling between them on golf carts.

“In the future, as things happen and development comes to Oakland, we have an opportunity for people from Winter Garden to come to Oakland,” he said. “Hopefully it works both ways, people going to Winter Garden, people coming to Oakland.”

The goal is to have the ordinance completed prior to the opening of the roads in Oakland Park’s Phase 7 this summer.

The update also would address golf cart equipment and minimum standards, hours of operation, age limit for drivers, speed limit, and a drop-off and pick-up plan for families of Oakland Avenue Charter School.

Several issues came up in the discussion: How to connect Johns Cove and Johns Landing to the town center, and how to handle golf carts going through the industrial areas on the west side of town.

No decisions were made at the workshop, but the subject will be added to a future meeting agenda for a more in-depth discussion.



At the regular Town Commission meeting, elected officials approved two ordinances pertaining to the annexation and Comp Plan amendment for the 45.44-acre Briley Farms properties. The land is owned by Voss Family Holdings (five parcels), Jefferson R. Voss (two parcels) and Jefferson Rich Voss Trust (one parcel).

The amendment to the Comp Plan would change the property from Orange County Rural to Oakland Low-Density Residential. The land abuts residential property to the east and south and the Oakland Nature Preserve to the west.

The applicants have said they are dedicating a park on the southern end of the property along the West Orange Trail and donating a piece of land to ONP.

“That property that is to be dedicated to Oakland Nature Preserve has a beautiful canopy, and (it’s) a beautiful piece of property,” Koontz said.

The next step is for the applicants to request rezoning for Planned Development.

“This is a very diverse development, we’re keeping the topography, not a lot of clearing,” Koontz said. “I think it’s … going to be a very nice development (with) a diverse mix of lot sizes.”

The development plan is for a row of lakeview lots on Lake Apopka, custom homes on the large lots east of Jefferson Street and developer homes on the west side.



• Commissioners approved a resolution confirming the town’s participation in the Healthy West Orange Trails Connection program, a regional trail system that engages the West Orange community through the activation of wellness hubs along well-designed trail facilities. Town Manager Steve Koontz is serving on the HWOTC Committee.

• The commission passed the second reading of an ordinance that establishes a temporary moratorium, until July 24, on multiple-family development, which includes accepting and processing new applications for special-exception use, rezonings, Comp Plan amendments and other development applications or plans proposing to increase multi-family dwellings.

• A budget transfer of $436,721 from the reserve fund into the redundant water well project was authorized, bringing the total funding available for the project to nearly $1.19 million. In addition, the commission awarded the bid to KAT Construction and Materials to build the water treatment plant redundant well.

• Commissioners approved the natural gas distribution franchise agreement with the Lake Apopka Natural Gas District.

• Thomas “Chip” Furches was appointed to the School Advisory Committee for Oakland Avenue Charter School.



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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