At their September 10 meeting, City Commissioners agreed to put off a vote on Tree Preservation Ordinance changes until a citizen workshop could be convened.
The panel acknowledged receiving critical letters from citizens concerned about the proposed changes. The discussion opened old fault lines on the Commission — with the Mayor hinting that citizens had been stirred up by misleading information.
Halfway through the discussion, some members of the panel became visibly agitated as they described citizen resistance to proposed policies. Despite the occasionally contentious exchange, the Mayor and Commissioners did ultimately reach consensus that a public forum would benefit the community. City Manager Randy Knight was asked to schedule a workshop on proposed Tree Preservation Ordinance changes.
UPDATE: Public Meeting on proposed Tree Ordinance changes will be held Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6 pm at City Hall.
>> Watch video of the discussion by clicking on the image above.
On Monday, September 17, Phil Eschbach, a member of the city’s Tree Preservation Board, joined a group of Winter Park residents in a meeting with Randy Knight. The group discussed setting up a workshop, scheduled for October 9, that will give city residents an opportunity to learn more about the city’s proposed changes to the Tree Preservation Ordinance.
In a statement to the Voice, Mr. Eschbach said he hopes “for a good turnout on Oct 9th because we want to make sure the public understands what this is all about and what the ramifications are. Also the important thing to get across is that after the hearings, the ordinance will be brought up for a vote later in October.” Mr. Eschbach tells the Voice that the October 9 meeting is scheduled for 6:00 pm, pending final confirmation from City Manager, Randy Knight.
Marc Hagle, past member of the Tree Preservation Board that wrote the current ordinance, has indicated to members of the citizen group that he will attend the workshop. This article was updated on 9/19/12.
Tom was the previous editor of the Winter Park Voice and a citizen of Winter Park. He was a tireless advocate for Winter Park.