Tom Childers

Entries by Tom Childers

News Alert–City Schedules Vote to Encourage Developers to Build Bigger Buildings

On a rainy June night, after a long and sometimes acrimonious meeting, the Winter Park Commission voted three to two in favor of a sweeping amendment to Chapter 58 of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan that would open Winter Park’s floodgates to increased density and intensity along all major four-lane roads. The same three commissioners […]

Is City Hall Favoring Developers Over Its Own Citizens?

City Residents Speak Out One evening in early April, residents of Winter Park’s Westside showed up in force at City Hall. In a strong showing of neighborhood solidarity, Westsiders attended the April 8 Planning and Zoning (P & Z) meeting to oppose another attempt by developer Dan Bellows to change the character of their neighborhood. […]

It’s Workshop Week: City Holds 3 Special Hearings/Workshops Reviewing Lee Rd. Cut-Thru & Denning/17-92 Development Over Next 7 Days

     City Consultant Wants Cut-Thru to Turn Toward WP Village. Also Recommends Elimination of Left Turns Onto Webster from 17-92.  This morning, the Voice obtained the City Traffic Consultant report analyzing the proposed extension of Lee Rd. to Denning. As shown in the illustration above, there are three alternatives currently being considered. The image above is […]

Inside Baseball: Winter Park’s Heavy Hitters Negotiate a Stadium and Spoils of the Game

A little more than a year ago Rollins College and (presumably) other baseball principals invoked a Florida statute that kept Winter Parkers in the dark about stadium negotiations with the city. In February 2014, the news blackout expired. Winter Park Voice has filed numerous Freedom of Information document requests with the city asking to see […]

Will Winter Park Play Ball?

Minor League Baseball, in the form of the Brevard County Manatees, is being batted around the City Commission Chambers once again. On January 21, the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) joined Mayor Bradley and city officials in an in-depth discussion of stadium-building and related development in and around Denning Drive and 17-92. Included in the […]

City Welcomes “Grass Roots” Ordinance Reform–Sometimes

The City’s apparent reluctance to fully partner with citizen advocates for stronger historic preservation – including the Commission’s unwillingness (so far) to grant a hearing to the City’s own consultant – has troubled local preservationists. The uneasy relationship between the City and an informal Historic Preservation citizens’ advisory panel contrasts strongly with the close working […]

Did City Risk Breaking Law to Keep Report from Press?

As 2013 comes to a close, a quick review of Winter Park City Hall news stories reveals that there are several key issues that Winter Parkers seem destined to struggle with. Historic preservation, Park Avenue restaurant zoning, tree canopy / green space preservation and high-density development are prime examples. Historic preservation has been front and […]

Bradley/Leary Bid to Pave Meadow Parkland Fails 3 to 2

Story Update In last week’s City Commission meeting, Mayor Bradley opened the hearing on downtown parking expansion by noting that three Commissioners had requested a review of City parking policy.It appears that those three Commissioners were the same three – Cooper, McMacken and Sprinkel – who, at the end of the two-hour hearing, voted against […]