In August 2008 David Strong, Margie Bridges, and Beth Dillaha voted to reduce the maximum residential Floor Area Ratio to 38% in the Comprehensive Plan (see page 10, here).
What’s the big deal?
The big deal is that:
- The existing maximum Floor Area Ratio is 43% for lots less than or equal to 11,600 square feet. The 43% ratio is only available if the second floor side setback is increased to reduce the mass of the home and its relationship to neighboring homes.
- This new rule will reduce the buildable square footage of renovated and new construction on over 60% of the residential lots in Winter Park.
- The vast majority of architects and designers doing business in Winter Park believe that Floor Area Ratio is NOT the controlling factor influencing the apparent mass of a home.
- Square footage IS directly related to the market value of both your lot and your home.
What is going on here?
On it’s face this is dangerous policy that threatens our property value and tax base for no reason other than to satisfy anti-growth dogma promoted by David Strong, Beth Dillaha, and Margie Bridges.
Winter Park should continually review residential building codes in an effort to improve the quality and character of our neighborhoods. However, legislating a Floor Area Ratio in the Comprehensive Plan is dangerous overkill that needlessly puts our property values and tax base at risk.