Dear Fellow Residents,
Last year, your city commission unanimously changed our Comprehensive Plan to remove the possibility for rezoning land for high density residential use (greater than 17 units per acre) (see page 1). We did this exactly to discourage proposals for large apartment buildings such as that under construction in Ravaudage. We also agreed to remove Planned Development zoning from the Comprehensive Plan and to create yet to be defined Mixed Use zoning (think Hannibal Square). So then, what’s up at Ravaudage?
Ravaudage is a 54 acre Planned Development project approved by Orange County in 2011 (see page 279). It consists of approximately 12 acres of land that was de-annexed from Winter Park into Orange County in 2007 and 2008, and approximately 42 acres formerly in Unincorporated Orange County. The developer received entitlements from Orange County for the entire 54 acres in 2011 (see page 279), and then agreed to annex 51 acres into Winter Park in 2012 (see page 256). The annexation agreement calls for the development process to be governed under the Orange County Planned Development Approvals. Ravaudage is being developed under Orange County codes, NOT Winter Park codes. None of this can happen in the rest of Winter Park and your city commission has already unanimously taken action to make sure it does not happen by changing the Comprehensive Plan as referenced above.
The Ravaudage developer received approval from Orange County in 2011 to build certain things (with later minor adjustments from the city), including up to 576 residential units, 388,000 sq ft of commercial, 891,000 square feet of office, and 320 hotel rooms (see page 95).
The commission unanimously approved the 2007 de-annexation 4-0 (one member was absent).
The commission unanimously approved the 2008 de-annexation 5-0.
The commission unanimously approved the 2012 annexation 5-0.
City staff noted that Winter Park had continuously anticipated annexation of this area in our Comprehensive Plan starting in 1976.
The city commission in 2012 unanimously agreed to annex this project into Winter Park to receive the tax benefits, rather than leave this land in Unincorporated Orange County and have the impact of the approved development without the tax benefits.
Again, Ravaudage would have been developed as part of Unincorporated Orange County if Winter Park had not annexed it, and, the entitlements granted in Ravaudage by Orange County are not available anyplace else in our city.
Regards, Pete Weldon
Winter Park Vice Mayor