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Planning and Zoning/City Commission Work Session Minutes - November 17, 2021

Updated: Jan 5, 2022


Mayor Phil Anderson; Commissioners Marty Sullivan, Sheila DeCiccio, Carolyn Cooper and Todd Weaver; City Manager Randy Knight; City Attorney Dan Langley; City Clerk Rene Cranis.

Planning and Zoning Board members: Richard James, Vashon Sarkisian, Alex Stringfellow, Melissa Vickers-Thomas, Jim Fitch and Michael Spencer.

Also Present Director of Planning and Transportation BronceStephenson and Principal Planner Jeff Briggs.

1) Call to Order Mayor Anderson called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m.

2) Discussion Item(s) a. Potential development opportunities on the West Fairbanks Corridor

Mayor Anderson explained that the purpose of this work session is to discuss the Fairbanks Avenue corridor and redevelopment. He disclosed that he met with a group that is looking at a parcel (Fairbanks near I-4) for development. He stated that the discussion today was not about details of that project, but about overall redevelopment of the entire corridor.

Mr. Briggs gave a presentation on the history of the West Fairbanks area. He stated that the Fairbanks Avenue is a major gateway into the city and that the city has invested millions for dollars over the past 10 years for infrastructure improvements to facilitate redevelopment of the corridor including: • New sanitary sewer system, new decorative street lights, new decorative traffic lights. • Undergrounding of the major electric transmission lines and all overhead service lines. • Removal of billboards along the corridor.

He stated that one of the major intersections is at Fairbanks and Formosa and includes the triangle of Fairbanks, Formosaand I-4 which is approximately 10 acres with parcels under different ownership. He stated that in recent years a developer has put together enough properties for a major development project.

Mr. Briggs stated that the City of Orlando entered into an interlocal agreement with Orange County with the intent to annex this area all the way up to Fairbanks Avenue. He explained that that part of that was predicated on Calvary church needing sanitary sewer which they received from Orlando. He stated that there are opportunities for developers to get sanitary sewer through the City of Winter Park. He stated the city has always felt that annexation of the 10 acres of property is a priority to Winter Park in order to control the quality of development and receive the tax-based revenue. He showed a map of the I-4/Formosa Triangle of the area indicating the 10 acres of property, properties along Kentucky Avenue that have been annexed into the City and properties still part of unincorporated Orange County.

Mr. Briggs gave an overview of the Comp Plan applicable to this triangle which is a candidate for PD2 zoning with 250% FAR and up to 25 units per acre and 5-8 stories. He stated that comp plan, updated in 2017, did not set a maximum FAR as it was realized that FAR and residential densities would be determined by the market. He stated that the FAR indicated that projects would be parking garage-centric as part of overall density.

Mr. Briggs reviewed the comp plan policy for the triangle encouraging annexation and redevelopment of properties. He explained he has had discussions with property owners on their development proposals for this area; however, the market has changed with COVID and some prior plans may not be viable now, economically. He noted that significant land costs will result in requests for higher density in order for the development to be profitable. He presented a list of viable projects in Florida including, apartments, mini-storage, medical offices, and fast foods and showed images of the new apartment buildings at Ravaudage. Mr. Briggs and Mr. Stephenson responded to responded to questions regarding building size, FAR and density.

Commissioner Cooper asked about content of interlocal agreement between Orange County and the City of Orlando. He explained that the agreement with Orlando includes the boundary desired to be annexed and that the interlocal agreement between Orange County and Orlando is non-exclusive and the land could still be annexed into Winter Park.

Mr. Stephenson showed the triangular area which is about 17 acres of land, of which 10 acres are developable, largely because DOT has purchased some of the land. He stated that if the land was annexed into the city, the zoning would likely be commercial or office based on the zoning code. He showed a map noting density per acre along the 1-4 corridor; some of which is outside Winter Park jurisdiction. Discussion followed on density.

Mr. Stephenson presented options including the city driven entitlement process vs. the Orange County driven entitlement process, following the comp plan to determine what would be appropriate regarding FAR, density, mixed-use viability, height, and parking garage inclusion, etc. He provided infrastructure expenditures and noted that the city has set an expectation to redevelop the area and along Fairbanks and that decisions made by the commission will guide future owners, developers and investors on future development plans.

Mayor Anderson stated when thinking of the Winter Park brand it is associated with the “park” aspect of the name. He noted that there is no city park west of 17-92 and stated that should be considered when the city builds a new neighborhood in that area. Staff responded to questions regarding property ownership and discussions with potential applicants.

Ms. Sarkisian asked about the possibility of one development plan or whether there will be several smaller developments and discussed issues related to open space and stormwater treatment and maintenance. She stated that if the city takes care of open space and stormwater and has pedestrian urban link then building height is not a large issue for her.

Commissioner Sullivan feels the city should annex all unincorporated property east of I-4. He stated the city needs to control the development to best serve Winter Park.

Mayor Anderson supported annexation, (triangle and between Orlando Avenue and I-4). He stated that the city may need an interlocal agreement with Orange County to annex property (north of Minnesota, between Clay and Formosa). Mr. Stephenson stated that there is a list of annexation reserve areas in the comp plan. Discussion followed on potential annexation areas. Commissioner Cooper stated that she is comfortable with the annexation reserve areas, but would like to see the annexation study to understand the cost benefit.

Commissioner Weaver asked for the number of single-family homes and residentially zoned properties. Mr. Stephenson stated that the number is a single digit percentage.

Commissioner Cooper recalled that the objective was to bring corporate headquarters and offices to the area. She noted that in discussions over the years, multi-family has been at the bottom of the list of desired development. She feels the city needs to look at what is sustainable and stated that green space, quality and architecture are important to the image of the COWP since it is a gateway to the city. She spoke on issues related to density and traffic. She stated she supports annexation and feels an agreement with Orange County and Orlando is needed.

Mayor Anderson asked for input on a master plan and density.

Mr. Stringfellow suggested that the city might want to look at the corridor from a larger lens and look at gross density across the entire area, not by parcel. He stated open space and stormwater issues need to be addressed. He explained a concept called “build to rent” townhomes, which he feels is viable. Discussion followed on the “build to rent” concept and other viable use options. Commissioner Cooper asked Mr. Stringfellow to share the information.

Mr. Spencer feels the land should be annexed so the city is in control of it, but not rush to do something that only makes sense for one area.

Mr. Stephenson spoke on the bike/ped aspect and stated that having the land under one jurisdiction would provide the ability to create a greenway system that would connect to I-4, the golf course and other regional trail systems.

Mr. Fitch feels the city should annex the land, but in the absence of any viable development, should leave the zoning and usage open and flexible and invite developments to see what appears.

Dr. James feels the city should annex the land and stated he likes idea of broader view of the area.

Mayor Anderson suggested looking at the 10-acre triangle as a master planning district. He said he is looking for consensus to get a good indication of what Winter Park would like to see. He discussed issues related to density and intensity as the area gets close to the interstate.

In response to Commissioner Cooper, Mr. Langley explained neighborhood procedures for voluntary and involuntary annexation for residential or non-residential property. He will provide annexation provisions. He explained that opportunities will be available for residents to participate and express their opinions/issues on the annexation during the public hearing stage.

Commissioner DeCiccio feels the city should annex the land through voluntary annexation. She agreed a master plan is needed for the area and the city should be flexible so there is incentive for property owners to annex.

Commissioner Cooper stated that she can support annexation and the height and is flexible with 25 units per acre but it needs to come with smaller packages, separation, greenspace, connectivity and quality construction. Mr. Stephenson stated that the developer interested in the area would like to present a concept in this type of forum. Commissioner Cooper asked for massing drawing at 200% FAR showing greenspace to determine marketable density units per acre. Discussion followed on massing and units per acre.

Mr. Stringfellow said that it would helpful if an applicant presenting a conceptual plan would look beyond a quarter mile of the proposed development to understand service needs for the area.

Mr. Stephenson stated that a developer interested in the area has requested a work session with the commission and P&Z board. Dr. James expressed support for looking at a development plan. Ms. Sarkisian agreed and stated that creating an open public forum would benefit the community.

Commissioner DeCiccio feels a joint work session would be good opportunity to hear from the developer interested in the property. She stated that this is an opportunity make the area a gateway into to Winter Park.

Commissioner Sullivan supported a joint work session and stated it is a critical step to moving forward.

Commissioner Cooper suggested inviting key property owners to hear their ideas.

Discussion followed on aspects for a joint work session, who should be invited to participate/attend, and process for public input.

Mayor Anderson summarized that there is consensus for a joint work session allowing public comment from property owners in the triangle.

Planning and Zoning Board members left the meeting at 8:33 pm.

Mayor Anderson asked for a special meeting to address a single question about setback challenge in a residential neighborhood to determine whether the commission should give the city manager authority to seek a curative settlement on setback issues.

Consensus was to hold the meeting on Tuesday, November 23rd at 2:00 p.m.

Commissioner DeCiccio raised a question of a second State of the City Address, before the Chamber luncheon. After discussion, this topic will be added to the administrative agenda for the December 8th commission meeting for further discussion.

The meeting adjourned at 8:37 p.m.

Posted to on December 28, 2021.

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