Large Hole Opens on Fairbanks

East-Bound Fairbanks Temporarily Closed

Large Hole Opens on Fairbanks


sinkholeThis was the scene about 4:15 pm on Fairbanks Avenue across the street from Linda’s Diner. A water main beneath the roadway burst, and the resulting hole swallowed a large chunk of Fairbanks Avenue. Winter Park Police Officer Greg Easterbrook, who was at the scene, said the east-bound lanes of Fairbanks between I-4 and Harold St. would be closed “for at least six to eight hours, perhaps more.”

Officer Easterbrook said he had received a call that the road was flooded. He said he responded, “and sure enough, a large hole had opened. Fortunately,” said Easterbrook, “this happened on a Sunday instead of during Monday rush hour.”

Crews will remain on the scene until the roadway repair is complete.

Hannibal Square Heroine

Won’t Take No for an Answer

Hannibal Square Heroine

WAWP_9-4-13_Martha_Hall_pic_1a_215x150.fwAt the October 24 Commission Meeting, Winter Park learned (if it didn’t know already) that Martha Bryant Hall is a force to be reckoned with. Since early summer, Mrs. Hall has sought to have the home she shared with her late husband, the Reverend Jerry Hall, placed on the Winter Park Register of Historic Places.

First, City Staff Recommends in Favor

A Staff Report prepared by City Planning Manager Jeff Briggs for the July 13 meeting of the Historic Preservation Board (HPB) recommended in favor of listing the Hall house at 331 Lyman Avenue. Mrs. Hall’s application was based on the age of the home – 58 years – and the significant contributions to the community of Reverend Jerry Hall.

HPB Tables the Request

Best Hall House3

Reverend Jerry Hall Residence

The minutes of the HPB meeting show that Mrs. Hall’s application was “continued,” however, and would not be heard at the July 13 meeting.

What the Ordinance Said At the Time

At the time of Ms. Hall’s application, the Historic Preservation Ordinance, No. 3024-15, stated, “The eligibility of any potential historic landmark, resource or district shall be supported by meeting applicable (sic) criteria based upon the National Register of Historic Places guidelines criteria (sic) for evaluation at the local, state or national level.”

(1) A quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and associations; and

(2) At least one of the following:
i. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history, or
ii. That are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past, or . . . .

Five additional criteria follow which are not applicable in this case.

Then City Staff Recommends Against

Mrs. Hall’s request came to the HPB again on August 24, with a staff recommendation that the home at 331 Lyman Ave. not be placed on the Winter Park Register of Historic Places. The report, prepared by City Planning Director Dori Stone, stated the home had no architectural significance and that Reverend Hall had not been dead long enough.

“While Reverend Hall was an important figure to the community, he passed away in 2008,” Stone wrote in the report. “It is still too early to know how his legacy and contributions to the city, especially in the Hannibal Square area, will be determined.”

When Hannibal Square resident Mary Daniels rose to ask HPB members whether they knew of any document that stated a person had to be dead a certain length of time to be considered significant, she was told they did not.

Ordinance Was Under Review

The Historic Preservation ordinance was undergoing review at the time of the August meeting. It had been the widest plank in the campaign platform of Commissioner Peter Weldon, who had vowed to revise the ordinance if he were elected, which he was.

The minutes of the August 24 HPB meeting show that Ms. Stone stated: “. . .the initial staff report that Mrs. Hall received was a draft that did not properly cite the new historic preservation ordinance, and the final staff report was rewritten to cite the criteria of the new historic preservation ordinance.”

The HPB unanimously denied Mrs. Hall’s request for historic designation.

Perseverance Pays

On October 24, Mrs. Hall requested the City Commission reconsider her case and overturn HPB’s denial of her request for historic designation. Mrs. Hall and those who spoke on her behalf elicited a range of responses from the Mayor and Commissioners.

Sprinkel: “It’s the Merits of the Man, Not the House.”

Cooper: “It’s a Great Day for Winter Park.”

Weldon: “This Sets a Precedent that Will Be Difficult for Us.”

Seidel: “I Just Want to Apologize That You’re Even Here.”

Leary: “I Have Trouble Supporting This because of the Experts’ Opinions.”

The Commission voted 3 to 2 to approve Mrs. Hall’s request to place the home at 331 W. Lyman Ave. on the Winter Park Register of Historic Places.

WP High Pays Tribute to Roger Trindade

Part of Homecoming Celebration

WP High Pays Tribute to Roger Trindade

trindadetribute-smA tribute to Winter Park High School student Roger Trindade, who died October 18, will take place at the Central Park main stage tomorrow, October 26, at 6:00 p.m.

The tribute is part of Winter Park High School’s Homecoming celebration, which will include a parade down Park Avenue from Webster to Lyman from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Side streets to Park Avenue will be closed during that hour for the passing of the parade.

Police Investigation Ongoing

The Winter Park Police Department investigation into Roger Trindade’s death continues. Police Chief Michael Deal told the Voice, “The Winter Park Police Department is committed to doing a thorough, unbiased investigation regarding the tragic death of Roger Trindade.

“Since day one, we have treated Roger’s death as a criminal investigation. As such, we have dedicated the significant amount of resources necessary to present a prosecutable case. As in all cases of criminal investigation, especially those involving juveniles, our investigation must proceed with care and discretion – and this may take some time.

“We are maintaining contact with Roger’s family and will continue to make the privacy and interests of the family a priority. We are aware and understand the safety concerns of our citizens to include parents and students, and we are committed to ensuring Park Avenue and all of our schools remain safe places.”

WPPD Updates Roger Trindade Case

Suspects Identified – Investigation Continues

WPPD Updates Roger Trindade Case


roberttrindadeAt 11:23 this morning, the City of Winter Park Police Department (WPPD) provided the following update regarding their investigation into the death of 15-year-old Winter Park High School student Roger Trindade.

What Happened

On October 15, 2016, at 9:48 pm, Winter Park Police Officers were dispatched to Central Park at the corner of Park Avenue and Morse Blvd. Police and Fire/Rescue personnel arrived on scene within two minutes. They arrived to find Roger Trindade unconscious. The suspects had already fled the scene. Roger Trindade bore no physical signs of injury and no physical evidence that would suggest he had been beaten.

Investigation Still Active

“This remains an active investigation,” stated Lieutenant Pam Marcum. “The Winter Park Police Department will continue to work directly with the Trindade family through the developments of this investigation.”

WPPD investigators have identified all of the individuals involved and are continuing their criminal investigation into what happened. Because those associated with this incident are juveniles, their identities cannot be released.

Park Ave. Patrols Upped

WPPD has increased patrols in and around Central Park.

Cause of Death Still Unknown

Exactly what caused the death of Roger Trindade is still not known. “Until we know what caused his death,” said Marcum, “we cannot make an accurate assessment of what criminal charges are appropriate.” The Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner is continuing to investigate the cause of death, and their investigation will take several weeks.

State, County Agencies Involved

Other agencies, including the Joint Homicide Investigation Team, the Medical Examiner and the State Attorney’s Office are assisting WPPD in their investigation. In criminal cases where juveniles are arrested, there is a very short window between the arrest and the prosecution. If a law enforcement agency makes a premature arrest, the prosecutor will not have the benefit of the Medical Examiner’s results or any potential forensic examinations at trial.

If You Have Information . . .

Lieutenant Marcum emphasized that the WPPD appreciates everyone who has provided a tip or information about this case. Even though police have identified all parties involved, she said, if you have any information regarding this case, you should contact WPPD at 407-644-1313 or Crime Line at 407-423-TIPS.

State & City Attorneys’ Joint Filing on Library Bond Validation Suit

State Attorney Can Argue Motions at October 20 Hearing

State & City Attorneys’ Joint Filing on Library Bond Validation Suit

city-and-library-logo-scalesCity Attorney Kurt Ardaman reported to the Commission yesterday that Assistant State Attorney Richard Wallsh had withdrawn his motions to strike language regarding the site of the new library in the City’s bond validation suit.

Mayor Leary immediately followed with remarks directed to “media who eagerly reported about the State Attorney [filing] those motions . . . [we are] eagerly anticipating covering dismissal of those motions as well.”

City Seeks to Include Site Language in Bond Validation Complaint

The State Attorney’s motions, filed September 21, challenged the City’s request for validation of up to $30 million in bonds “for the purpose of building a municipal facility in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park” on grounds that the ballot referendum made no reference to the location. “The inclusion of the site is not a proper subject for determination by this court,” reads the State Attorney’s Motion to Strike.

State Attorney Objects to Language, Wants Separate Hearing

As part of his filing, State Attorney Wallsh requested his motions be heard at a separate hearing prior to the October 20 bond validation hearing.

City & State Attorneys Agree to Consolidate Hearings

In a subsequent meeting September 30 between State Attorney Wallsh and City Attorney Ardaman, the two attorneys agreed, in a “Joint Stipulation Regarding the State of Florida’s Motion to Vacate Order to Show Cause and Motion to Strike,” that Wallsh would withdraw his motions and his request for a separate hearing, with the stipulation that he can still make the motions at the October 20 hearing.See Document.

Motions Cannot Be ‘Dismissed’

Motions in court cannot be dismissed. They are either granted or denied, actions only a judge can take. The State Attorney’s motions and his request for a separate hearing have been withdrawn – for now. The substantive arguments of the motions can still be heard at the October 20 hearing.

In other words, nothing has changed except the schedule.

Matthew – Aftermath

Leaving Us to Pick Up After Him

Matthew – Aftermath

Matthew has come and gone, and we can only hope he stays gone.

Winter Parkers are fortunate that Matthew left nothing in his wake but a big mess. Here is how some of our neighbors were dealing with it after the storm moved north.

 

michael-odonnell-on-georgia

Michael O’Donnell on Georgia Ave., making good progress.

 

peter-charlee-concetta-maria-on-via-tuscany

Peter, Charlee, Concetta and Maria on Via Tuscany. Peter has plans for that limb you see on the ground.

 

potty-trees

Trees and Port-a-Potties Upended.

 

hannibal-squre-park-ave

Hannibal Square and Park Avenue did not go unscathed.

 

parking-at-trader-joes

Just look at all that parking at Trader Joe’s. You won’t see that again soon.

 

img_9071

Matthew did leave a fun, if temporary, new jungle gym at MLK Park.

 

 

michael-vaughn-jc-peterson-good-neighbors

The best part of all is having good neighbors who help each other out. Thanks, Michael Vaughn and J.C. Peterson!

Photos courtesy of Kim Allen and Steven McElveen.

H-Words: ‘Heritage’ and ‘Historic’

Are They History?

H-Words: ‘Heritage’ and ‘Historic’

Winter Park’s Visioning Task force has spent more than a year coming up with a vision of how the City will grow and develop. Among the exercises the Task Force conducted was a survey in which citizens were asked what, about Winter Park, was most important to them. The results are illustrated in the graph below. “History/Heritage” beat every other descriptor hands down.
bar chart visioning pg 20

Draft Vision Statement: No Heritage There

Yet, in the final draft of their report to the Commission, the Visioning Task Force removed the word Heritage from the city’s vision statement. Winter Park went from being “The City of Culture and Heritage” to being “The City of Arts and Culture. . . .”

Historic Districts: Ever More Difficult

Meanwhile, on March 15, after running on a one-plank platform of property rights, Peter Weldon was elected to the City Commission. Throughout his campaign, Weldon promised to undo the combined work of the Citizens Committee on Historic Preservation and the Historic Preservation Board, whose members had worked for more than a year to craft a revised Historic Preservation Ordinance. The Commission had approved the revised ordinance in November 2015.

That ordinance lasted a little more than six months. On May 23, the voting threshold for formation of an historic district was restored. The votes required went from 50 percent plus one to two-thirds. The revised ordinance makes designation of historic districts in Winter Park more difficult than in any other Florida city.

Voluntary Historic Designation ‘Encouraged’ . . .

The amended ordinance calls for the City to publish a list of properties which either carry historic designation or are located in an historic district, so that prospective buyers will have prior knowledge of what they are getting into if they purchase a house that has been designated or is located in an historic district. It also contains language about “encouraging voluntary participation.”

Toward that end, Commissioner Weldon drew up a list of six suggested encouragements, which the Historic Preservation Board (HPB) met to discuss in a June 22 work session. Proposed incentives include reducing or waiving building permit fees, waiving the fee to underground utility service, small need-based rehabilitation grants, ornamental streetlights for districts, a complicated ‘transfer of development rights’ and staff assistance with National Register applications.

But Under-funded

City Planning Director Dori Stone told the HPB there is a total of $50,000 in the City budget for historic preservation incentives. Stone stated that historic preservation, especially updating the Florida Master Site File (an inventory of properties that have been or could be designated historic) will “definitely take a back seat” to the upcoming Comprehensive Plan review.

“Words Do Matter,”

. . . one Voice reader posted on this website. And these words – history and heritage – are still important to those who call Winter Park home. At the June 27 Commission meeting, Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel called on the City to celebrate her heritage. Sprinkel was talking about citizens and their contributions to the City. “Heritage is more than a building,” she said. And to Sprinkel, Winter Park’s heritage is important and worthy of a celebration.

Another way Winter Park could celebrate her heritage is to restore the word heritage to the Winter Park Vision Statement. The final draft of Vision Winter Park will come before the Commission at its next meeting on July 11.

City staff and members of the Visioning Task Force have spent a great deal of time meeting with and listening to the citizens.

Did they hear?

The restoration of this small word, which has no fiscal impact, would carry a great deal of weight with the citizens of Winter Park.

WP-WordCloud-Poster

P&Z Upholds West Side Single-Family Zoning

P&Z Upholds West Side Single-Family Zoning

On the night of Tuesday, May 3, Winter Park residents spoke to the Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Board to successfully defend the single family scale and character of the Hannibal neighborhood in west Winter Park against another expensive, speculative development of high-density, multi-family units.

Developer Asks to Build Three-Story Duplexes

Attorney Becky Wilson, representing the developer, came before P&Z to request approval to develop the properties at 326 and 354 Hannibal Square East and at 465, 463 and 455 West Lyman Avenue with six three-story duplexes totaling twelve residential units.

City Planner Recommends Denial

City Planning Director Jeff Briggs, who presented the application to the P&Z, recommended P&Z deny the applicant’s request on the basis of the Comprehensive Plan, which “strongly discourages” out of scale development in neighborhoods with single family zoning.

Comp Plan: Land Use Bible?

Ensuing discussion centered more on the purpose of the Comprehensive Plan, to protect the village scale and character of Winter Park, than it did on the relative merits of the proposed development. In his recommendation for denial, Briggs referred to the Comprehensive Plan as our “land use Bible.”

That sparked a spirited response from attorney Becky Wilson, who countered that the Comp Plan was not “divinely created.”

No More Chipping Away

When the floor was opened for comment, one after another, the neighbors approached the podium, to decry the speculative development of multi-family projects that are “chipping away” at the character of the Hannibal neighborhood.

Several also displayed a detailed knowledge of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Notable among them was Bob Cambric.

Talk of Social Justice

Citizens and P&Z members both spoke of social justice. Barry Greenstein, who had worked on the staff of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in Washington, D.C., warned about discriminatory zoning practices.

P&Z Upholds the Comp Plan

The men and woman who make up the Planning & Zoning Board listened to the residents. They heard the voice of the people. They upheld the recommendation of City staff and the principals set forth in the Comprehensive Plan. They voted unanimously to deny the applicant’s request to further chip away at the essence of the Hannibal neighborhood.