The city of Winter Garden approved unanimously plans for the Stoneybrook Exchange development following a commission meeting Thursday, Sept. 28.
The second reading and public hearing of the ordinance passed commissioners, with eight additional staff conditions formed with the help of resident recommendations.
The ordinance pertains to the rezoning of 11.34 acres located at Stoneybrook West Parkway.
The subject property is located south of State Road 429, west of Windermere Road, east of Scarlett Sage Court and north of Stoneybrook West Parkway.
The applicant is requesting to rezone the subject property from Arterial Commercial District to Planned Commercial Development to construct 13 buildings consisting of office space, medical offices and retail uses.
The 89,889-square-foot development also will include parking, a stormwater pond and enhanced landscaping.
Planning Director Kelly Carson said all the buildings will be one-story tall, except for the building at the corner of Stoneybrook West and Windermere, which will be two stories.
Carson said the city has been working with residents to discuss the eight additional items pertaining to traffic and safety concerns that will be addressed during the site plan review.
“This project was designed in close coordination with the community members and neighborhood groups who desired an attractive, neighborhood-scale commercial development that emphasized pedestrian comfort and safety,” she said.
The items relate to improvements within the right-of-way and the roundabout at the corner of Stoneybrook West Parkway and Windermere Road, elevations, fencing, sidewalks, utilities, runoff and lighting.
Kelly Morphy, resident of the Westfield Lakes subdivision and speaker for the Safe Streets West Orange coalition, has worked with City Commissioner Mark Maciel to protect the area.
“This is a project that the city staff has been incredibly collaborative; working with us and ensuring the needs of the community and the community’s well-being are foremost in the considerations,” she said. “Everybody has been working really hard for at least, as far as I know, 11 years on making sure that this becomes a great place for Winter Garden to be very proud of. A lot of time, effort and money have gone into protecting that area and keeping it prime for great development. … With a few caveats, this is a really good project. It’s the type of project that is going to create an anchor for the intersection and ensure it remains a place that we all want to go to, as opposed to just a space to pass through in your car as fast as possible. We’ve been working against allowing cars to go through there as fast as possible, because we want to make sure that it remains a place for people, and this type of project can help do that.”
Morphy said residents like that the project honors the ideals of a walkable, suburban development to the extent it can given the context. With the extent of uses, she believes the development will become a place to which locals can drive, bike or walk.
Although Morphy said there are numerous benefits to the project, she said eight additional items are of importance to residents.
“We’re asking the City Commission to embrace that,” she said. “As proposed, it’s a good project, and it won’t be detrimental to the community. But with some additional improvements, it can be a fantastic project.”
Morphy said the residents worked with the city’s consultant transportation engineer to identify points for improvement.
Of the items, she said the two most important are the raising of the crosswalk at the roundabout and for the right-turn lane into the development to be terminated by a physical barrier by moving the pork chop island.
Carson said the raised crosswalk item will pose the most difficulty.
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.