Thursday, January 19, 2017

Artegon Tenant Sues to Keep Mall Open

According to Orlando Sentinel, Sky Zone Trampeline Event Space is seeking a court order to block the closure of Artegon Mall. Read full story here


Self-Driving Cars Test Track Coming to Orlando Area

The City of Orlando has announced that it has partnered with several local academic, private sector and government agencies to form the Central Florida Automated Vehicle (AV) Partnership. The Partnership has been working over the past several weeks on the development of a proposal that could have the Central Florida region designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as an Automated Vehicle (AV) Proving Ground.

The Florida Automated Vehicles (FAV) program (different from this new partnership) was established in 2012 to lead the state in developing best safety practices, education models, and promote awareness for AVs and the relevant technology. This program continues today and includes several pilot projects and an annual summit to share ideas and best practices.
If selected, this designation would make Central Florida one of the nation’s premier clusters for research and development of automated vehicle technology across all modes of travel. Joining with other designated entities to share best practices, Central Florida will provide the foundation for this new technology and its safe testing, demonstration and deployment.

The Partnership’s proposal involves research and simulation at some of the area’s universities, including the University of Central Florida and Florida Polytechnic University, as well as safety and policy compliance review with Florida A&M University-Florida State University (FAMU-FSU) Colleges of Law.

Additionally, the proposal specifically outlines the following proposed “test track” facilities:
  1. SunTrax: a long-term partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation’s Florida Turnpike Enterprise and Florida Polytechnic University to construct a new transportation technology testing facility, including a 2.25-mile, oval track designed for high-speed travel and multiple lanes on a 400-acre site in Polk County, centrally located between Tampa and Orlando. The vision for SunTrax includes the build-out of multiple environments, including a simulated downtown urban core, to test transit, vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle interactions with AVs.
  2. NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC): will provide the second controlled testing facility, which offers the ideal contained environment with a vast roadway network and secure access. KSC can conduct controlled extreme environment testing for significant weather events and unusual roadway conditions.
  3. Public highways, roadways and transit: environments like the I-4, SR 540 and SR 528 corridors will provide AVs exposure to complex roadways with varying sections, ingress and egress merging operations, construction operations, both freight and passenger vehicles, work zone safety applications, express bus operations and highway maintenance operations. Transit testing on LYNX’s LYMMO Orange line in Downtown Orlando would explore the use of automated shuttles and automated shared-use vehicles.
USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx is expected to announce the selected entities it will designate as Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds in the first quarter of 2017.

Central Florida AV Partnership Members:
  1. City of Orlando
  2. University of Central Florida
  3. Florida Polytechnic University
  4. FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
  5. Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise
  6. Florida Department of Transportation, Districts 5 and 1
  7. Central Florida Expressway
  8. Lynx
  9. NASA, Kennedy Space Center

Commitments of Support from the Central Florida Community:
  1. MetroPlan Orlando
  2. Orange County
  3. Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
  4. Osceola County
  5. Polk County
  6. Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization
  7. Florida Department of Transportation

Creative Village Development Review Committee Ordinance Amendment Gets First Reading

We told you in December about the desire for Creative Village to create its own Creative Village Development Review Committee (CVDRC) to expedite discretionary permits within the area of the Creative Village Planned Development. City Council will have a first reading of this new Land Development Code amendment on January 23rd. 

Read the Ordinance and the Amendment here

Similar to processes in place for the Southeast Orlando Sector Plan and Baldwin Park, the City  has detailed regulations from the previous approvals that will guide its development. The Municipal Planning Board says this expedited process is warranted and will ensure the timely completion of the entitlement process to match needed construction, financing and infrastructure schedules.

This code amendment was recommended for approval by the Municipal Planning Board at its October 2016 meeting; the minutes of which were subsequently accepted by the City Council on November 14, 2016. MPB's recommended action is approval on first reading. They recommend that the Mayor and City Clerk present the draft ordinance for second reading and public hearing at the next available City Council meeting.

The CVDRC will consist of the following and may provide for other officers as it deems appropriate: 
  1. City planning official
  2. Director of the City’s Transportation Department
  3. Director of the City’s Public Works Department
  4. Executive Director of the City’s Community Redevelopment Agency
  5. Member of the City’s Appearance Review Board. (The member of the Appearance Review Board shall be selected by the Appearance Review Board.) 

The ordinance states the following: 
  1. The establishment of the CVDRC will create sufficient betterment to the community to justify the City Council’s delegation of a portion of its authority; and 
  2. The CVDRC is a better option than any other board, public or private, already in existence that could serve the same purpose; and 
  3. The costs, both direct and indirect, of establishing and maintaining the board do not offset its potential benefit; and 
  4. The CVDRC is not likely necessary to enable the City to obtain state of federal grants or other financing; and 
  5. The CVDRC is not likely necessary in order to comply with state or federal legislation; and 
  6. The CVDRC shall not have bonding authority; and 
  7. The CVDRC shall not have final authority to enter into contracts and spend City funds; and 
  8. The creation of the CVDRC is the best method of achieving the benefit desired. 

Subject Matter Jurisdiction:
  1. Major certificate of appearance approval as provided by Part 4F, Chapter 65 of this code. 
  2. Minor certificate of appearance approval when the applicant seeks reconsideration of a denial or approval with conditions by the appearance review official as provided by section 65.513 of this code. 
  3. Specific parcel master plan as required by the Creative Village planned development zoning ordinance. 
  4. Conditional use permit as provided by Part 2D, Chapter 65 of this code. 
  5. Zoning variances (including design variances) as provided by Part 2J, Chapter 65 of this code. 
  6. Major subdivision plat as provided by Part 3D, Chapter 65 of this code. 
  7. Abandonments of streets and rights-of-way as provided by Part 4E, Chapter 65 of this code. 
  8. Master plan (including without limitation plans for public improvements) as required by the Creative Village planned development zoning ordinance. 
  9. Street name change as provided by Part 4I, Chapter 65 of this code. 
  10. Any other land development order required by the Creative Village planned development zoning ordinance.    

Downtown Sports Themed Mural Project Seeks Artists for

The City of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board (DDB) is seeking artists to submit for a new project! They want to incorporate the four professional sports teams in Orlando in a unique and original mural for a wall within the Downtown Orlando Information Center, located at 201 South Orange Avenue.

Submissions opened on Tuesday, January 17. 
Deadline for submission is Friday, February 17.

View Submission Requirements

View Submission Form


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Historic Landmark Designation Amendments Update Criteria to Match National Register Program

The City saved one Lake Eola house because it knocked down the other three READ HERE

The first reading of proposed ordinance #2017-3 will take place at City Council on January 23rd. The ordinance would amend section 65.720, Orlando City Code, (relating to the designation of Orlando historic landmarks) to:
  1. Update the criteria for evaluation and the criteria considerations to match the standards of the federal government's National Register program.
  2. Require consent from property owners before their property could be nominated for landmark designation.
  3. Streamline the landmark review process by eliminating review by the Municipal Planning Board.

  1. City Names Downtown Home a Landmark because it Demolished the Other Three
  2. City Board Says 1978 Downtown Orlando Bob Carr Center is a Historic Landmark
  3. Historical Landmark Status Granted to Davis Armory in Creative Village

Downtown Balcony Restoration Coming to 28 West Central Boulevard Building

Empire Florida, Ltd., has applied for assistance under the Downtown Façade and Building Stabilization Program for façade improvements to the property at 28 West Central Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32801 (MAP), which is located within the Downtown Historic District. Funding would be used to restore the balcony and the deck with frontage on West Central Boulevard. 

The Program offers a three-year, interest-free deferred loan for façade and/or building stabilization improvements to existing properties within the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area ("Downtown CRA"). The Program, which was approved by the CRA on July 30, 2012, provides assistance with costs related to exterior physical improvements throughout the entire Downtown CRA, as well as building stabilization improvements within the Parramore Heritage Area of the Downtown CRA. The Program offers matching funds to off-set the costs of eligible improvements.

The Program provides an opportunity for the CRA to reimburse up to 50 percent of the project cost, based upon the lowest estimates, but not to exceed $20,000.00 for eligible properties making façade improvements to commercial buildings within the CRA’s Planning Area.

The applicant's capital investment for the proposed improvements is estimated at $43,190.00, which is the lowest of three contractor estimates provided for the above referenced improvements, thus they are eligible for funding assistance of up to $20,000.00. The Downtown Façade Grant Review Committee convened on December 16, 2016 and made a recommendation of approval for funding assistance of up to $20,000.00 toward the proposed façade improvements to 28 West Central Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32801.

Magnolia Hotel to Pay City $50K To Re-Route Bike Trail Beneath SR408

We told you about the Magnolia Hotel in August 2016. The 126-room Magnolia Hotel with first floor restaurant and off-site valet parking at 500 S. Magnolia Ave (MAP) is paying the City of Orlando $50,000 to re-route the City's planned bike trail to go closer to the hotel below the State Road-408 overpasses. This would add an additional 500 feet and additional costs to the City, hence the $50,000 price tag. The deal goes before City Council on January 23rd.

This is the perfect spot for doing special events, right?

Where the hotel will one day sit, across from the Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Parramore Bus Rapid Transit Needs Another Hundred Grand

The City of Orlando and LYNX have two Interlocal Agreements stating that (1) the City will provide design, engineering and construction of a bus rapid transit (BRT) extension of the LYMMO system to serve the Parramore community west of I-4 and the Creative Village and that (2) LYNX will reimburse the City up to $498,108.00 for those services. A request by the City and LYNX for the reimbursement mount to raise $100,000.00 goes before City Council on January 23.