WPV Video – Mixed Use Zoning

Unedited Video of July 10 Commission Work Session

WPV Video – Mixed Use Zoning

The Voice has received numerous requests to post the video of the July 10 Commission work session on Mixed Use Zoning. Here it is.

The meeting lasted an hour. The video was made strictly for purposes of documentation. Although you cannot always see the face of the speaker, you can hear what was said. The recording was made on a 10-year-old Canon Vixia HF R300 video cam – nothing fancy.

Why Does It Take the City So Long to Post?

In response to the question posed by “Partly Cloudy” in the Comment section beneath the column on mixed use: “What do they do with the recordings during those two days?” The answer is probably that they are uploading the digital files. It takes a long time. A really long time.

Mixed Use – Mandated in the 2017 Comp Plan

The subject of Mixed Use designation comes up at this time because of Policy 1-2.4.14 of the Comprehensive Plan. In 2017, as the Comp Plan was undergoing revision, the City Commission and Planning Department decided to remove the ‘Planned Development’ designation and replace it with a ‘Mixed Use’ designation. They gave themselves one year to accomplish that. That year has come and gone. You can watch all or part of the video to see how they are going about figuring out how to develop a policy governing Mixed Use Development in our city.

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    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

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18 replies
  1. Born Free says:

    The City should ask The Nature Conservancy to purchase all the commercial property on Orange Avenue, demolish all the buildings, and make the entire neighborhood a permanent wildlife sanctuary.

    • I'm In says:

      This is the BEST idea I have EVER heard!!!


      The Nature Conservancy does stuff like this all the time!!!

      No more traffic!!!

      More green space!!!

      No more dumb buildings!!!

      Perfect fit for Winter Park!!!


      Who can we get to lead a petition effort to get EVERY Winter Park resident on board?

      Any volunteers?

      We can make this happen in Winter Park!!!

  2. The Academy says:

    If Leary’s just pretending he intends to ram this through no matter what the “community” has to say about it, he not only deserves the nomination for Best Actor, he deserves the statue.

  3. Beth Hall says:

    Dear Born Free-

    Please… watch the video and then take the hours it will take to become fully informed and apprised of the lead up to the mixed use standard guidelines discussion.

    Familiarize yourself with the basic premise that what is currently being bandied about is that any redevelopment on the corridor will be optional to the property owner. Let that truth play out in our mind to the fullest possible extent. Then, just ask yourself::

    Who will be most likely to redevelop under new guidelines?
    The owner with a quarter acre or will it be the owner with 1 to 5 acres?

    Maybe they can get a five story building on a quarter of an acre past the public in THIS city, but I doubt it. On 1-5 acres? Next to a possible future rail stop? Born Free, you tell me.

    • The Details says:

      Right. That’s what they SAY is happening. But what happens in these things is they tell the public one thing during all the meetings. They conceal their true intent until the bitter end. Why would they incur public dissent any sooner than they absolutely have to? Then when it gets to a City Commission final vote, and someone makes an amendment to the motion at 9 pm, after almost everyone has left the meeting, that provides incentives for all the property owners to go along with the new plan. next thing you know we’ve got Winter Park Disneyland on our hands – or worse.

      I’d like to see a breakout of the list of property owners in the corridor and how many acres each owns, and who is related to who. There’s a story being bandied about that says there are 60 different property owners, but what that means in reality is that there are 60 different ownership NAMES, many of which can be controlled by the same people.

      Problem with most Winter Park residents is that they watch this stuff and think that what commissioners are talking about in the video is what they want to happen. And don’t realize what they are talking about is only what they want us to THINK they want to happen. Their plans are always much worse than they let on to the public during the early meetings. Case in point: Winter Park Library/Events Center.

      • Sally Flynn says:

        I’m encouraged to see that a few people are

        understanding what is going to transpire on

        Orange Avenue if this zoning passes. If you

        don’t like it, be prepared to act!

        Remember the outcry from the citizens when

        the zoning was going to allow increased density

        on all four lane roads in Winter Park? Yellow

        NO DENSITY signs appeared all over the city.

        Everyone’s help may be needed again.

        What part of “NO DENSITY” does The City

        and commissioners not understand?

  4. Beth Hall says:

    Thank you to the WP Voice for making this video available.

    To anyone who realizes what is at stake on this corridor- and others which likely will follow- this is an hour well worth your time.

    Our comp plan is indeed a “fluid” document …as to Mixed Use.

    The next chapter governing your quality of life in Winter Park is being written right now. The commission is drafting it.

    Please let them know how you would like this chapter to end. Bigger development on Orange, Fairbanks and Lee Rd? Or the same scale and mass you prefer in your visioning statement, comp plan and zoning code?

    • Pitt Warner says:

      Please encourage citizens to follow the possible Orange Ave. process, (nothing has been decided) and to get involved. Some citizens seem to think they can check out and sit at home and 3 big developments will be built with no public involvement. People are going to get involved. Might as well be you, you and you.

      The Sunrail stop seems to be a point of concern. Why? I was told years ago it’s too close to Fl. Hospital stop. But it if were to occur now, what’s the harm?

      And if all else fails, run for office. Rather than complain about the system, get involved and change it.

      • Beth Hall says:


        I actually agree with much of what you say. Especially that citizen engagement is essential- no matter how one views higher density or rail on the corridor that is to serve as the pilot case. (no one asked me. I would have said choose Fairbanks to recoup the millions spent on infrastructure there.)

        The Mayor asked Dori for “next steps” at the work session. The mayor said: “We will kick ourselves if we don’t make this happen.” Sarah Sprinkel longed out loud for the day when she drove the Orange corridor and said “We made that happen while I was on the commission.”

        So maybe your definition of “nothing’s been decided” is a bit different than my own as I see some minds are made up.

        Certainly the mixed use standards of tomorrow have not yet been devised. But Leary clearly instructed Dori Stone to bring forward to the commission names of urban designers and the cost figures to retain them. His time frame for this info was 2 weeks or less.

        The 2017 Comp Plan called for mixed use standards to be formulated “within one year” of April 24, 2017. That date has come and gone. Now suddenly it is a rush rush item. Chop chop.

        Why wasn’t it done by the anniversary date of the Comp Plan adoption?

        Call me a skeptic but I suspect the reason why is that it might have been a political liability for Leary to be leading the cheerleading squad for more massive, more intense development on the Orange Corridor while running for re-election. I don’t recall seeing this mixed use bullet point in any of the “Re-elect” mailers or at his website. I’m so very willing to stand corrected.

        I appreciated reading your point of view. I know of no other place besides the WP Voice where this exchange is facilitated in the same way and to the same extent.

        • Pitt Warner says:

          None of the 3 projects have been proposed. Dori was merely anticipating. If any are built outside current FAR/height I will be the first to protest. (A minor variance of an immaterial amount is not what I’m opposed to) Everyone wants reasonable growth within the confines of current rules.

        • Proud of Pitt says:

          Good thing we residents can always count on Pitt, our constant guardian, our perennial watchdog, our never ending, always protecting, never wavering champion of village scale and a real thorn in the side of development interests.

          When they see Pitt coming, developers cower in fear, dropping their blueprints in midstep and fleeing to another city to carpet bag.

          Winter Park without Pitt would be like Gotham City without Batman!

          • Pitt Warner says:

            another nameless lame comment. I have to laugh at all the anonymous posts who criticize me. I appreciate the pub, bub.

  5. RWA says:

    Someone commented above and wondered who owns the big parcels. Between the property appraiser’s website map view parcel lookup, Sunbiz.org, and wiki corporate visualizer you should be able to get somewhat of an idea who has the big parcels. If all else fails ask a realtor. They usually know the gossip…..

  6. Beth Hall says:


    Thank you for standing with those who would like the development to occur under our current rules. Now is the time for you to let the commission know your stance.

    I’m going to hold you to your promise to be the first to speak out against Orange Avenue mixed use development “outside our current rules.” (Just like you, I am not talking by a foot or something.)

    Clearly you did not attend or listen to audio of the commission meeting and the work session.

    Dori Stone said over and over that the large landholders have come to the city repeatedly over the last year to 18 months asking for these NEW rules to be devised to let them build far outside the “current rules.” They are not seeking special NEW rules to allow them to build SMALLER: they want new rules devised so that they can build BIGGER.

    You will not see a shovel turned on a project by one of these land owners UNTIL new and far larger development is permitted on their holdings. That’s what they’re asking for and this commission has agreed to do it. (The City of WP is also one of the major landholders.)

    Thanks for standing with residents who would prefer new development on Orange Ave. to occur within our current laws. I would not have guessed that was your position. Very few people truly understand what the commission is getting ready to do in the near future on this corridor.

    • Pitt Warner says:

      The only significant variances were passed over 10 years ago. Long before this commission was elected. “Developer variances” is an urban legend. Sounds good. Not true. Any casual review of the large projects approved for the last 10 years proves the point. Rather than promoting urban legends about greedy, disingenuous leaders trying to fool the taxpayers, citizens should be attending city meetings, meeting with city staff and commissioners to find out the plans. Some folks are upset over a potential overlay on Orange Ave. To make a good decision, property owners need to know their rights and city staff and elected leaders need to know the numbers. Is it worth it? What’s the cost? If we subsidize to X level, will taxpayers get Y in return? It was presented in daylight and open to the public. And lots of complain. Oy vey!

      • Beth Hall says:


        Are you already reneging on your vow to oppose future development of this corridor under our existing standards? So soon?? You just got through saying you would be the first to object!

        If you had attended any of the commission meetings, the work session on mixed use, listened to Dori Stone, the mayor and Sarah Sprinkel and Pete Weldon you would know that what they are proposing far, far exceeds what we currently allow.

        Property owners on the Orange corridor, including our own mayor as well as the City of Winter Park, have no interest in developing under our current guidelines. ZERO.

        The first step is adopting the “modernization” of our parking ordinances. This alone will allow significant increases in size of what’s permitted going forward. Did you attend any of those meetings?

        • Pitt Warner says:

          Any Orange Ave. plans are years down the road. The city is trying to make Orange Ave. more pedestrian friendly within the reality that 3 large developments may occur in the next 3-5 years. I’m all for making it more like Park Ave. and New England Ave. than as it is today. Is that bad?


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