Lack of project details sparks residents’ concern

An applicant is requesting to rezone 1.51 acres from Citrus Rural District to Planned Development to add to the Hamlin West Planned Development.

Courtesy photo
  • Southwest Orange
  • News
  • Share

Orange County’s planning division hosted a community meeting Monday, Oct. 30, to inform residents of an applicant’s request to rezone 1.51 acres from Citrus Rural District to Planned Development to add to the Hamlin West Planned Development.

The applicant also wants to apply a previously approved waiver to the additional property to allow decorative screen fencing as an alternative to the masonry knee wall along framework streets.

Applicant Kendell Keith, Oak Hill Planning Studio, is proposing the use for the property as commercial/non-residential. 

The subject site is located on the west side of Avalon Road, north of New Independence Parkway.


Doug McDowell, Orange County planner, led the presentation on the project. 

McDowell said the Hamlin West PD currently allows for 864 multi-family residential units, 225 townhome residential units and 630,763 square feet of non-residential uses.

If approved by the Orange County Commission, the proposed rezoning would add the additional 1.51 acres to the existing PD but would not add any new entitlements.

The additional land would be included in the Horizon West Retail/Wholesale planning district. 

McDowell said the Retail/Wholesale District is intended to accommodate regional retail business, personal services, office, warehouse and warehouse showroom uses for Horizon West.

To address traffic concerns, a supplement to the existing Hamlin West Road Network Agreements would need to go to the BCC simultaneously with the rezoning request. The agreement provides for fair-share payment for future improvements to Avalon Road and New Independence Parkway. 

McDowell said the long-range plan calls for improvements to Avalon Road and New Independence Parkway (currently in design).

A change determination request to the Silverleaf PD has also been filed to transfer 0.30 acres of Adequate Public Facilities credits to the Hamlin West PD to accommodate the additional acreage added. The ADF agreement for Hamlin West will be updated to reflect this change. These proposed changes will be heard simultaneously with the rezoning. 

McDowell said a waiver was approved previously for the Hamlin West PD to allow decorative screen fencing as an alternative to the masonry knee wall along framework streets in lieu of providing a decorative masonry knee wall.

Such screen fencing shall be designed and constructed in a durable manner which minimizes the need for fence repairs. Decorative screen fencing would be between 40 and 60 inches tall and feature at least 50% opacity.

McDowell said the waiver matches other developments in the area and allows for a consistent landscape theme that has been established throughout the Hamlin projects.


One resident referenced the community’s unease pertaining to the changes because of the recently discussed planned development of a Wawa gas station and a Sweetwater car wash located in close proximity to the Wincey Groves neighborhood.

“The community has a great deal of hesitation because … we as the public got something that has water-safety issues, traffic-safety issues, pedestrian issues, and essentially, we were told it was a done deal,” he said. “This is even closer to homes, and I think we want to have some assurance in a public setting where we have an opportunity to be heard in a public setting what the actual property is going to be used (for), so we can help weigh in before it’s a done deal and our voice has no meaning.”

Boyd Development is the owner of the property. 

“They had always anticipated including this property within their development, but they didn’t own it until recently,” the applicant, representing Boyd, said. “So, they purchased it now and they’re bringing it into their development.”

“We’re just concerned as residents there, because we were all under the impression from the builder that … that was going to be an area like Shoreside Way, where you had small shops and ice cream restaurants and things that we could actually walk to,” another resident said. “We’re just concerned if we let that extra piece go or not fight about it, that we’re going to have a Dollar General, or another gas station, or something right there, right up against us.”

The project will next go to the Planning and Zoning Commission and then the BCC.



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

Latest News