12/10/2015 – Charter Review Commission Public Comment on Rural Boundary

I had the pleasure of driving over to Wekiva High School on the 10th for public comment at the Charter Review Commission meeting regarding the Rural Boundary.

Folks, we have a rare opportunity to ensure the rural area is protected and developed responsibly by requiring that zoning east of the Econ is only approved by a unanimous vote of the BCC. If we can get this placed on the ballot for the people to decide next November, any zoning changes will meet the most stringent scrutiny because all of the commissioners will have to vote yes to rezone. Land owners can still apply for rezoning but will have to convince all 7 members of the BCC to rezone.

Please make time to be at the next CRC meeting for support. There is no CRC meeting posted on the website but the work group meets on Jan 12th at 12 pm. I will post dates as we get closer. The CRC usually meets on the 2nd Thursday so that would be the 14th, 2 days after the work group.

Please share this and post it anywhere you can to spread the word.

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7/1/2015 – An update on the Lake Pickett Properties

A few months ago I spoke at River Run church regarding traffic in the area. At that time there was no plan to fix these roads and there was not enough focus on the area. Many things have changed since that time. Through great time and effort, East Orange County now has a very intense spotlight shining on it because it is the only large area in Orange County with this many traffic issues and there is no doubt people are very upset over traffic. This area has been neglected for a very long time and no money has been put into the infrastructure out here.  But now we have the attention of the county commissioners as well as the mayor and the Orange County staff.

We also have the land owners of the Lake Pickett properties who are working with the county to help develop these areas in a responsible way. They are being required to contribute 40-50 million dollars that will go to fix these roads.

Mayor Teresa Jacobs

In addition to this, the mayor made this announcement in the 2015 State of the County address recently.

“The capstone announcement outlined a proposal for one of the largest capital investment projects by Orange County, a $300 million initiative called “INVEST in Our Home for Life.” The funds will be spent on roads, parks, pedestrian safety projects, public and fire safety facilities and affordable family housing in Orange County.”

These funds coupled with the developer funds will get our roads fixed meaning the roads will accommodate the existing traffic as well as the traffic forecasted from these developments.

The alternative is no funding for roads and by 2030 all of the roads are over-capacity. This just can’t be allowed to happen. We have an opportunity now to have a say in how these properties are developed in one cohesive and organized way or the flip-side is to oppose it and end up with what I believe will be a much worse situation.

I watch each and every Board of County Commissioner meeting and keep in touch with the people downtown. I speak at many meetings during public comment and just recently spoke at the Charter Review Commission workshops in favor of a one cent sales tax for four years. This county has an infrastructure deficit of 1.6 billion dollars and a one cent sales tax for four years will eliminate that problem.  Here is my post of my public comment.

Many people are resisting this change but that is precisely why we are in this situation with our roads. It is because we are our own worst enemy and keep telling Orange County to go away. But we are at a point now when Orange County can’t go away because they must maintain the roads to a certain Level of Service. If you watch the videos closely you will pick this up rather quickly.

Rip Van Winkle

I liken our situation to Rip Van Winkle.  If you remember the story, he was a young man who left his sleepy little village to go hunting with his dog and woke up 20 years later with no dog and his village turned into a town with many more houses and shops.  He was bewildered and disoriented.  We are Rip Van Winkle and have been asleep for 20 years.

I am not sure how this all happened around us but I feel like Rip Van Winkle.  We can’t turn the clock back and undo it so we have to find a way to deal with it.  My approach is to embrace it and make it what we want it to be.  Opposing it can work for some period of time but the clock can’t be reversed and what is here is here to stay.  We are the town now that Rip Van Winkle walked into after 20 years.  He couldn’t go back and neither can we.

There has been a video a day posted and this will continue for the next week or two before the Board of County Commissioner meeting on July 28th. The videos are less than 3 minutes each so as not to bore you too much. We are at critical mass now and we should all be watching this closely.

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Planning and Zoning

6/17/2015 – Email supporting Lake Pickett Applications

Below is the email I wrote to the Planning and Zoning Commission in support of the Lake Pickett Applications.

From: rj@rjmueller.net [mailto:rj@rjmueller.net]
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2015 8:54 PM
To: Olan Hill (Olan.Hill@ocfl.net); ‘district5@ocfl.net’
Cc: ‘mayor@ocfl.net’; ‘district1@ocfl.net’; ‘district2@ocfl.net’; ‘district3@ocfl.net’; ‘jennifer thompson’; ‘district6@ocfl.net’; ‘Chris.Testerman@ocfl.net’; ‘Jon.Weiss@ocfl.net’; ‘Alberto.Vargas@ocfl.net’; ‘Janna.Souvorova@ocfl.net’; ‘Blanche.Hardy@ocfl.net’; ‘Renzo.Nastasi@ocfl.net’; ‘Lynette.Rummel@ocfl.net’
Subject: Proposed Lake Pickett Development Text Amendment Applications

Mr. Hill,

Would you please forward my email on to the members of the Local Planning Authority in preparation for the upcoming meeting on Thursday.  This is in regards to the Lake Pickett property applications.

I am stating that I am in favor of these developments with the reasons below.

This is the third attempt to develop the Lake Pickett properties.  The first time I was mostly an observer but did have the occasion to visit Mary Lamar on her property for a show and tell.  The second I was strongly opposed because there was no plan for traffic and it made no sense to put homes on the properties without a plan for the roadways.  This time I am strongly in favor of the Lake Pickett developments because a plan is in motion to responsibly develop these properties while at the same time fix the traffic issues.  There are many others who feel the same way and live in my community of University Estates and the surrounding communities.  This is evidenced by the number of likes and reads of posts on the Facebook website I created at http://www.facebook.com/fixmyroadway and my blog site at http://www.fixmyroadway.com.

  • I believe these developments are compatible and consistent with the comprehensive plan.
  • I believe the agreements that will be forged after transmittal will establish a wise plan on how these properties will be developed as well as protect the rights of the residents who live in the area.
  • I believe these developments will cement in stone no commercial or high density housing on S. Tanner Road giving the residents who live there the rural lifestyle they now enjoy.
  • The same is true for Lake Pickett Road and 419 north of Lake Pickett Road also giving the residents who live there the rural lifestyle they now enjoy.
  • I believe these developments will stop the uncontrolled spread of urban sprawl to this area through responsible development using the latest Transect development techniques being used by Orange County.
  • There has been talk about these developments being urban sprawl.  I believe it will be urban sprawl if these properties are developed individually and without a global plan as is being proposed this time.  If these applications are denied, urban sprawl will continue as it has with haphazard small developments and Orange County forced to approve in the name of consistency and compatibility.  Eventually Lake Pickett will be developed.  This may be the only opportunity to plan the whole area as one and truly have responsible planned development.
  • I believe these concepts will promote walk-able communities that are also in close proximity to one of Orlando’s five economic hubs and if the roads are planned right these communities will be in commuting range by cyclists to UCF and Research Park reducing energy consumption.
  • Regarding traffic, I believe the money these developments will provide coupled with the recent announcement of 200 million in transportation funding by Orange County will empower Orange County to make the necessary improvements to the roads so needed in East Orange County.  It will literally erase the neglect from the past and put a plan in motion to fix these roads.  Even with the money Orange County is borrowing, it alone will not be enough to make all the necessary improvements.  This holds true for the money from the developers.  That money is not enough but put both sources together there could be enough to get us where we need to be.   This is exactly the plan we need.
  • I want to make this point very clear seeing there are signs all over the place frightening people with the thought of 15,000 more cars on the road.  I am OK with 15,000 more cars if they can get to their destinations faster and safely.  I am NOT OK with even one more car on the road with the current traffic congestion.  I feel people out here have been ramped up using traffic as the hot button.  And it has worked.  Everyone is fine tuned to the traffic issues as evidenced by the last community meeting.   We all want the roads fixed.  I don’t think anyone will disagree with that and say they don’t want the roads fixed.  This is one point that everyone is in agreement.  This is the golden opportunity to fix the roads.
  • But the residents also don’t want changes to the rural character of the area.  I understand the fear of losing a way of life.  I think if done right these people will have their way of life.  Here is a little story to bring this to life.  My property backs up to UCF property.  My house is one of the closest to a 45,000 capacity football stadium.  But walking out my back yard and looking towards the stadium, I might as well be in the middle of Lake Pickett.  All I see are trees.  I don’t know that a gigantic stadium is there and I certainly don’t know there are building upon building on a campus that holds 61,000 students.  But it is there and it is about ¼ mile from my house.  I believe LPS and LPN have listened to the residents and have placed buffers and large lots on S. Tanner, Lake Pickett and 419 and when complete, the residents who live there will not even know there is a community inside the property.  The alternative is to piecemeal the property with many small applications submitted to planning and who knows what could happen.  There might even be a strip mall on S. Tanner as there is right behind O’Berry Hoover  Road.  I think they call it “Waterford Lakes”.  This is the time to do this right and plan this community as one.
  • I also believe these planned developments will allow the county to more easily control the environmental impact to the community and protect the Econ basin again through responsible planned development.  Again, small developments cannot possible be controlled as easily as one very large one.

Please approve these applications to move through transmittal so East Orange County can move forward and close this chapter on the Lake Pickett properties and also begin the road repairs we so desperately need in East Orange County.

Sincerely,

RJ Mueller

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Traffic in East Orange County

6/16/2015 – Orange County has a 1.4 billion dollar deficit for road improvements

Fred Brummer was a Board of County Commissioner who is now on the Charter Review Commission. In this video he is talking about the state of Orange County when it comes to infrastructure and how there is a 1.4 billion dollar deficient for road improvements that are unfunded. He is right on target and we need to do something to raise that money to fix our roads. He thinks we are on the edge of cataclysm with our transportation situation.

He said a penny sales tax will generate between 330 – 380 million dollars a year. If the people could vote for a sales tax for 4 years it would bring in the money needed to fix the roads.

I am in agreement with him. We should ask this to be put on the ballot and allow the public to vote. I will be going to the next charter review commission meeting to support his idea.

Hear what he has to say.

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Traffic in East Orange County

5/13/2015 – Some crystal ball stuff about traffic

At the May 12th meeting I heard a lot of people asking a lot of questions about traffic so I thought I would write a blog of what I know.  Here it is in no priority order and completely random as thoughts come to my mind.  Let me put a disclaimer on all of these comments as they are just my comments and only educated guesses so if it doesn’t turn out like this, it is only my best guess.  It will be interesting to look back in 6 months and see how close I came to the mark.  But if you want to know what I know, read on.

South Lake Pickett Farm SKetch

South Lake Pickett Farm SKetch

Will the developments be built?

There is no crystal ball but I do know this.  I have watched countless hours of video from the BCC (Board of County Commissioner)  meetings and they always make very thoughtful votes and in favor of the majority. I can almost tell you how each board member will vote based on how they have voted in the past.  If there is an overwhelming number of people against this development, I will go out on a limb and say that Commissioner Edwards will not support the developments and most likely the other commissioners and mayor will vote in sync.  I have seen some very gut wrenching and difficult votes that had to be made and saw all kinds of emotion from the commissioners and mayor.  Emotions like sadness, anger, frustration, empathy, regret, and joy too.  My personal feeling is these men and women try to do what is best for us, the residents.

The process goes like this.  When a rezoning is in front of the BCC, the commissioner from that district is responsible for making the motion and is then seconded by another member and then a vote is taken.  In this case, Commissioner Edwards, our commissioner in District 5, will be asked to make the motion as this is in District 5 and he is the commissioner who initiates the vote.  I don’t know what he is thinking right now but if I were in his shoes seeing the tone at the meetings and the situation traffic is in right now, at this moment I could not support the developments and would make a motion against.  Who can tell what the next few weeks will bring.  These developments hinge on traffic and a solution to the problem and enough money from the developments to help fix traffic.  If there is a solution to traffic as residents are most concerned about then it might move forward.  Commissioner Edwards is well aware of this and I am confident will make the right decision when the time comes.

What is the county staff role in the application process?

I have had a lot of interaction with county staff through emails, phone calls and meetings.  I find the staff to be very customer oriented, very professional, courteous and willing to help in any way.  The staff have a very difficult job in my opinion.  Whatever they feel inside, they must remain neutral.  The application process is defined by law and no one in the county has the option to deny an application from going through the defined process.  If the applicant wants to take it all the way to the BCC for a vote they have that option.  The staff can recommend denial but in the end the BCC makes the decision.  If the staff recommends transmittal then it is purely based on consistency with the Comprehensive Plan.  The staff looks at a boat load of criteria that has to be met and if every one is checked off then they find the application consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and will recommend transmittal.  Recommending transmittal means it will go before the BCC for a vote for transmittal.  This means the applications can move to the next step which is Adoption.  If I were to sum up the role of the Orange County staff, it would be this statement that was told to me by one of the county staff.  She said, “we are the guardians of the residents”.  I liked that and I do believe this is their function and their job.  I will say that the signing of the bill by the governor in 2011 made their job much harder and easier for developers to get developments through the system.  But in the end they have to perform their job as defined and required by law.

Will the Woodbury extension be built?

Good question. First, only if the developments are approved.  Without developer money it will never be built because the county doesn’t have the money to build it.  Let’s establish that fact first.  In fact if the developments are not approved you can say goodbye to any road improvements whatsoever as there is no money for road improvements and our roads are not even on the project chart or way down the list.  And with this recent vote at MetroPlan, it will be even harder to get funding.  Watch the video above to get the details.

Woodbury extension

Woodbury extension

The Woodbury extension is a new road that would go from the corner of Lake Pickett and Percival over to Woodbury and Challenger Pkwy.  I think there is a very slim chance this will occur even if the developments are approved.  This is based on a couple of facts.  Eminent Domain would have to be used to buy houses and property to build the road.  This is very expensive and a ball park estimate would be something around 20+ million for this road which includes buying property.  I seriously doubt there is enough money being contributed by the applicants to pay for this road as well as all the other improvements necessary  Let’s add things up.  20 million for Woodbury, 15 million for Lake Pickett, 10 million for 419, 10 million for McCulloch.  We are at 55 million and that doesn’t even touch Hwy 50 which is a state road.  Originally the developers were going to put in about 55 million but that was at higher densities than they have now so let’s say at the density they have now I would estimate 35 million.  There is just not enough money to do all the work that needs to be done.  Seeing Woodbury is so expensive and this idea very much disliked by the residents, I would think it might go by the wayside but the traffic presentation in a couple of weeks should reveal what the most likely course will be.

Will McCulloch be 4 laned?

McCulloch is a hot potato.  It is on then it is off.  About 15-20 years ago the county was going to 4 lane McCulloch from Dean all the way over to N. Tanner but the residents close to McCulloch and Rouse raised such a fuss that it was killed and in fact put on a “do not touch” list forever.  It is still on the list even though it is on another list that says it should be 4 laned.  As of right now it is untouchable.  It will not be improved in any way.  I can say for sure that the bridge across the Econ will not happen any time soon.  That has been verified many times by county staff, our commissioner, the developers and just about anyone else I ask.  That is off the table for now.  But 4 laning McCulloch from Lockwood to N. Tanner is sort of on and off.  Right now it is a no go but may be back on the table with the traffic study that is underway now.  In any case, we will know soon enough what the recommendation will be when Orange County staff completes their study.  My best guess will be it will be 4 laned.

Will Lake Pickett be 4 laned?

Again, it depends on if these developments go in.  If the developments don’t happen, forget it.  There is no money to do it.  If the developments go in then my very clear vision tells me it will be 4 laned as shown on the diagram above.  It has to be to support the traffic from LPN.  There is just no other way to move traffic effectively to the west from LPN.

 Will 419 be 4 laned?

Again, it depends on if these developments go in.  If the developments don’t happen, forget it.  There is no money to do it.  But as Renzo Nastasi said in the May 12th meeting, it will only be 4 laned from Lake Pickett to Hwy 50.  It will not be 4 laned from Lake Pickett to the county line.

Will Hwy 50 be 6 laned?

In time regardless of the developments.  Construction is already underway from Dean to Old Cheney which also includes the bridge across the Econ.  The bridge will be stripped for 4 lanes but will be built to handle 6 lanes so when the time comes it is ready.  From Old Cheney to 520 is on the books to be done but currently unfunded so without these developments it is a long way off but at some point will be done.  LPS has said they will front the money to 6 lane Hwy 50 from Old Cheney to 419 to accommodate their development.  When I say front I mean loan the money to the state which will be paid back at some future date.

Will traffic ever be fixed out here?

My crystal ball tells me no in no uncertain terms if the developments are killed.  If the developments do go in then it is questionable if there will be enough money to really make a difference.  Again, we need to wait for the traffic study in a couple weeks.  The cold hard facts are that Orange County doesn’t have any money to fix the roads and are turning to the only source they can to get money to build roads which is developers.  Here is how it works whether we like it or not and when I say we I mean everyone including Orange County staff, the BCC and even the developers themselves.  In this case the developers are being squeezed for every dollar that can possible come from them because Orange County knows how bad our traffic problem is and wants to fix it.

With the MetroPlan Board vote explained above we are in for a hard road.  The only other option is a tax.  Usually this is a 1 cent tax for a period of time but there are issues that go along with this.  The biggest one being trust.  If the taxes are collected how do we know our roads will be fixed and not spent on another part of the county.  And politicians know they are not very popular and have traditionally shied away from this tax.  It may be our only option out of this but it must be done in such a way that the roads the taxes are used on are clearly defined.

What does Seminole County think of all this?

Seminole County is very concerned with these developments.  They want to remain rural in this area.  There was a request by Seminole County to enter into a joint agreement of some sort with Orange County that did not materialize.  View this video with Brenda Carey who is one of the Commissioners from Seminole County speaking about this at the Expressway Authority meeting.  I think it sums up what Seminole County is thinking.

Orange County Comprehensive Plan Amendment Schedule

Orange County Comprehensive Plan Amendment Schedule

What happens on July 28th?

Maybe nothing if the deadline for the traffic study is not met.  You can see the timeline on the right.  We are in the community meeting part of the process and there is a traffic study from LPS that Orange County (OC) is waiting for.  If the traffic study doesn’t come in time, there is a chance this will have to be pushed off to the next cycle.  I don’t think LPS wants to wait so they will do all they can to get the traffic study to OC.  But then staff has to review both LPN and LPS traffic studies and combine them into their traffic study to see if they can work.  If they don’t feel it can adequately accomodate the traffic problems then they won’t recommend transmittal.  This doesn’t mean the applications won’t go forward.  The applicant themselves can force them forward without the consent of OC staff.  If that happens the applications go to the LPA (Local Planning Agency) for review and approval or denial to go to the BCC.  Even if the LPA denies the applications they can proceed to the BCC for approval or denial.  The BCC can then approve or deny the applications for transmittal and this happens on July 28th.

Application Process

Application Process

What is transmittal?

Transmittal means the applications can enter the Adoption phase where the real work begins.  This is where all of the different agencies get involved to ensure the developments meet their requirements.  This includes agencies such as OCPS, Police, Fire, St. Johns and a myriad of other agencies.  Each agency will look at the developments and make comments in their area of expertise.  These comments go to staff and are compiled for the second go around. More community meetings but with much more detail and another vote by the BCC at a future date.

I hope this gives you some idea of what is going to happen and standing up in a meeting and just saying we don’t want these developments is not quite so simple.  What is being heard is you want things to stay the same and you don’t want traffic fixed.  That is what will happen.  Orange County will hear loud and clear that you don’t want the developments and therefore you don’t want the traffic fixed. I don’t think that is what most people really want but that will be the end result, no fix for traffic.

I am just looking at this in a very pragmatic way.  I am not behind the developer or the county or the residents or a faction such as SOC who strictly wants no change to the area which translates to no change to the roads.  If that is what you want then be content sitting in traffic and be prepared to sit longer and longer as each day passes and the years go by.  If you want traffic fixed then think about what has been written in this post.

My position is this.  If these developers can help solve our traffic problem with the county and perhaps some other innovative ideas then I am all for and even a one cent gas tax if that means fixing our roads.  But if these developments only add more traffic to our already congested roads then it is not a good option.  I will trust the traffic experts at Orange County to come up with the right answers and do what they are supposed to do which is work for us.

I will be posting an email I sent to Orange County with a plan that I think will work.  Keep in mind I am not a traffic expert and am only looking at this from what I know.  I have already received some not so positive feedback on my ideas but that is exactly what we need to hear, the truth.  We need to know what we are up against so we can work to fix it.

If you got down this far in this blog it must mean you are interested enough in these issues. I would encourage everyone to go to this next meeting with an open mind and not look on anyone as “the bad guy”. I think we are all in this together and it is together that we will come to a solution.

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Orange County Community Meeting

5/8/2015 – What I know as of this time about the Lake Pickett Text Amendments

I have had several emails and conversations regarding the Lake Pickett Properties so I thought I would bullet point the latest info.

Traffic Questions:

  • Question:  Traffic on McCulloch is the worst it has been and increasing every day. From my point of view I see these developments adding to the problem and creating a gridlock earlier in time. What is the plan to reduce the traffic on McCulloch?
    • Answer from Orange County:
      Traffic on McCulloch cannot be reduced but can be accommodated/managed better.  A potential approach could be to widen McCulloch to a four lane section (where two lanes currently exist).  The widening will have a positive effect in managing traffic on that road – however, the Board will have to amend the Comp Plan to do so.  To be clear, the improvements would entail the widening of the existing two lane section and not extending the road eastward.  Short of widening, a series of intersection/signal improvements may have a positive effect in managing traffic.
  • Question:  Hwy 50 from Avalon Park Blvd to Alafaya is a parking lot during rush hour. From my point of view these developments will only add to this gridlock. What is the plan to handle the 9 light problem on Hwy 50?
    • Answer from Orange County:
      SR 50 extending from east of Dean Road to east of Old Cheney is currently under construction by the FDOT and is scheduled to be complete in September of 2016. The widening to six lanes should alleviate much of the traffic delay currently being experienced on that section. There are no plans to remove any signals since each one was warranted. Signals are being coordinated during the construction phases to the best extent possible – however, coordination should be more effective once construction is complete.
  • Question:  We have heard that the Expressway Authority is in the midst of a traffic study to extend the 408, do you have an update and what affect it will have on these developments?
    • Answer from Orange County:
      The Expressway has initiated a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study to extend SR 408 from its current terminus to SR 520.  An evaluation of the effect of this road will have on the existing and future development/traffic will be addressed within the context of the PD&E and future traffic and revenue studies to be completed be the Expressway Authority. 
  • Question:  At a meeting with staff recently a map was shown with road failures that did not seem accurate and a question was raised regarding the latest traffic study. When was the latest official traffic study done for these roads by Orange County and if not when is one planned?  Shouldn’t we know the impact to the roads before transmittal?
    • Answer from Orange County:
      Orange County undertakes annual traffic counts on the county roadway system as well as selected state roads. The traffic counts are in part used to determine level of service/capacity evaluations based on the characteristics of individual roadways. Traffic counts conducted by the County are taken at various counting stations along individual roads. The Lake Pickett North applicant, as part of their traffic analysis (for Lake Pickett Road and Chuluota Road) has submitted traffic counts taken at additional locations other than those completed by the County. Therefore, according to the applicant, the additional data derived from the supplemental counts indicate that sections of both Lake Pickett Road and Chuluota Road do not currently fail. The County in turn is assessing the submitted data to determine the validity of the information provided to us.

      In short, the issue has to do with additional traffic counts producing differing results than those completed by the County’s annual traffic count program. The intent of the traffic studies for both applicants is to determine the impacts to the roadway network should one or both developments proceed – hence, impacts to the network associated with these developments should be available prior to transmittal.

Econ Questions:

  • Question:  What does St. Johns Water Management say about this development?
    • Answer from Orange County: 
      Should the Commission select to approve Transmittal; the District will receive a copy of the package for review and comment.
  • Question: What is the effect to Seminole County seeing the Econ River flows into Seminole County on its way to the St. Johns
    • Answer from Orange County: 
      Several criteria are in place and will need to be met to assure no adverse effect takes place on the Econ or other regulated water body. The applicant is required to secure the services of a professional engineer to acquire permits addressing stormwater management, alteration of surface water flow and maintenance of surface water quality throughout and after completion of site activity. State regulations are very specific and require both the water budget and water quality be preserved.
      Included in the policies proposed for Pickett is a requirement to include a Stormwater Master Plan within the required Master Infrastructure Plan. Additional information and requirements may be found here:
      http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wetlands/erp/index.htm
      http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/stormwater/npdes/index.htm
      http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/stormwater/npdes/docs/const_Activity.pdf
      http://www.dep.state.fl.us/legal/Rules/surfacewater/62-25.pdf
      The projects’ location within the Econlockhatchee River Basin requires additional precautions and scrutiny by the County and others as demonstrated by the Orange and Seminole County regulations previously forwarded.

      Additionally, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will receive a copy should the Commission choose to approve Transmittal.
  • Question:  What about the four legged inhabitants that are on this land? Where will they go when they are pushed out of their homes?
    • Answer from Orange County:
      Several criteria are in place and will need to be met to assure the habitat and the viability and biodiversity of plants and wildlife is retained.

      The Applicants are required to complete and submit a Conservation Area Determination (CAD) to the OC Environmental Protection Division as part of the application for development process. Lake Pickett North currently has a CAD on file. The CAD identifies areas, such as the extent of wetlands, which need to be preserved to retain ecological viability. The T-1 Transect was recommended and has been included in the proposed policies to map and protect areas to be set aside for conservation.
      Additionally, the proposed Lake Pickett Comp Plan policies require the preservation of wildlife corridors to facilitate migration between on and off-site habitats. Both of the current proposals retain significant acreage for conservation and open space.
  • Question:   Are there any endangered species with their homes on this land?
    • Answer from Orange County:
      As I previously mentioned and as the following sites state, without a site-specific survey any information presented is speculative.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will receive a copy for review and comment should the Commission choose to approve Transmittal.
      The following links contain the species lists and information regarding habitat where listed species have been identified or where conditions favorable for their occupancy have been noted.
      http://www.fws.gov/northflorida/countylist/orange.htm
      http://myfwc.com/imperiledspecies//
      If you have additional questions, please contact Elizabeth Johnson, Environmental Programs Administrator, OC Environmental Protection Division at (407) 836-1511, liz.johnson@ocfl.net
  • Question:  What about the environmentally sensitive nature of the Econ basin?  How will this be preserved if these developments are built?
    • Answer from Orange County:
      Environmental protection is included in the previously discussed criteria.

School Questions:

  • Question:  I seem to remember that the concept plans for these developments only show 2 elementary schools for the whole development.  That just doesn’t seem like it would accommodate a development of this size.  Has a school study been done to determine how many schools are needed and space set aside inside these developments to account for this increase?
    • Answer from Orange County:
      We looked at the Lake Pickett South and North projects together and determined that one elementary school should be sufficient.  We also need a middle school, although the developments together will not fill an entire middle school.
      Level                     Single Family       Multi Family        Mobile HomesElementary         0.196                        0.137                      0.149

      Middle                  0.100                        0.057                      0.068

      High                       0.134                        0.065                      0.071

      Total                        0.431                       0.259                      0.287

  • Question:  We just went through 3 major re-zoning situations (West Windermere, Wedgefield and Avalon) that were very hard for certain people including the BCC.  The mayor expressed her frustration over poor planning by OCPS when hundreds of blue and orange shirts showed up at the meeting.  What steps are being taken to prevent this if these developments are built?
    • Answer from Orange County:
      OCPS works closely with developers through their approval process to establish a plan for mitigation (a Capacity Enhancement Agreement) and we do a second review (Concurrency) before they plat. 
      .

Concept Plan Presentation at the 4/28/2015 community meeting:

  •  This is a proposed change to the Comprehensive Plan initiated by the owners of the land.
    • Lake Pickett South (LPS) which is now called “The Grow” is proposed south of Lake Pickett and north of Hwy 50 as shown in this photo.

      LPN and LPS Location Map

      LPN and LPS Location Map

    • The 5/12/2015 notice says 2,961 residential dwelling unit and 237,000 sq. ft. of non-residential uses.
    • Dwight Saathoff, the applicant, says the latest is 2,256 residential dwelling unit and 237,000 sq. ft. of non-residential uses.  This should be announced at the next meeting.
    • There are several land owners as shown below:

      Land Owners for Lake Pickett South - The Grow

      Land Owners for Lake Pickett South – The Grow

    • This is the conceptual site plan:
      The Grow conceptual site plan

      The Grow conceptual site plan

       

    • Lake Pickett North (LPN) which is now called “Sustany” is proposed north of Lake Pickett and south of the Seminole County line shown in the photo above.
    • The 5/12/2015 notice says 1,999 residential dwelling unit and no non-residential uses.
    • The applicant is listed as Sean Froelick on the Community Meeting notice.
    • This is the conceptual site plan:

      Sustany conceptual site plan

      Sustany conceptual site plan

    • This is the applicants road network solution in East Orange County.
      Note:  This is straight from the applicant slides shown at the 4/28/2015 meeting and is NOT proposed or accepted by Orange County.

      Applicant - LPN - idea to help solve the traffic problem in East Orange County

      Applicant – LPN – idea to help solve the traffic problem in East Orange County

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Orange County Community Meeting

5/12/2015 – Community Meeting Announcement – Traffic

This is the community meeting announcement for the 2nd Lake Pickett Development meeting on 5/12/2015.

The meeting will be held at Corner Lakes Middle School at 6:30 pm on May 12th.  At the last meeting there were 418 attendees.

PDF version is here:

20150512 - Lake Pickett Community Meeting

20150512 – Lake Pickett Community Meeting

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Orange County Comprehensive Plan

What is the Orange County Comprehensive Plan

Orange County Comprehensive Plan

Orange County Comprehensive Plan

The Orange County Comprehensive Plan guides what Orange County will look like in the year 2030? The Comprehensive Plan embodies a community vision for guiding growth in Orange County. It helps the County manage growth to ensure the quality of life desired by Orange County residents.

The County’s Comprehensive Plan includes a Future Land Use (FLU) Map, with FLU designations for all property in unincorporated Orange County. These designations limit what you can do with your land.  But the designations can be modified through the Comprehensive Plan Amendment process.  Orange County accepts applications twice a year to modify your land use designation with separate schedules for parcels under or over ten acres.

Applications are divided into “Regular Cycle” and “Small Scale Cycle” amendments. Regular Cycle amendments are for properties more than 10 acres and Small Scale Cycles are less than 10 acres.

Related links:

Orange County Comprehensive Plan Summary
Orange County Comprehensive Plan

Orange County Planning 2013 Quick Reference Guide

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