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  • Mark Baratelli, Editor

Designing Winter Park’s Mixed Use Policies - A Public Talk

You want more Hannibal Squares and Park Aves and less parking lot oceans? Then you want more mixed use in Winter Park.




A discussion is scheduled between the City Commission and City staff regarding the development of a Mixed Use Future Land Use Designation and zoning districts at the next City of Winter Park City Council meeting June 11th in City Hall.


Background

The city already has the ability to provide low-intensity mixed-use development along gateway corridors. Staff is seeking direction on the City Commission’s desire to provide property owners the opportunity to build outside the traditional land use and zoning patterns in return for more community input and assets.


Below are the preliminary points for consideration by the City Commission.


Definition and History

  1. Mixed-use development combines two or more types of land use into a building or set of buildings that are physically and functionally integrated and mutually supporting.

  2. Combination of residential, commercial, industrial, office, institutional, or other land uses.

  3. Vertical or horizontal

  4. Mixed Use creates the main street/downtown, activity center, or commercial corridor

  5. Ideally mixed-use areas promote walkability, connect to public transit systems, and support principles of Transit-oriented development (TOD).

Winter Park examples of Mixed Use:

  1. Park Avenue downtown mixed uses

  2. Hannibal Square redevelopment

  3. Winter Park Village

  4. Ravaudage is a mixed-use project but the intensity and height of this development is incongruous to the historic development patterns that are reflected in other projects. Staff did not include it in this analysis.


Mixed uses are allowed in both Commercial and Office land use categories and the associated C-1, C-2 and C-3 zoning districts as well as in O-1 and O-2 districts. These districts currently allow up to 60% FAR with a density of 17 dwelling units per acre through the conditional use process.



Designing Winter Park’s Mixed Use The community wants mixed-use development to address the following:

  1. Connectivity to the historic development patterns surrounding the development

  2. More pedestrian scale projects

  3. Desire to have more open space/ green space within a project or for community benefit

  4. Desire for pedestrian improvements

  5. Better traffic flow through and around a project

  6. Shared parking

  7. Mobility within and outside a project

  8. More than 15% impervious space for a project


Staff used past public meetings and the outcome of the visioning process to try to define issues that are concerning about any type of mixed-use development. These items include:

  1. Significant height which can be defined by area

  2. Single use development with a pretense of mixed uses (primarily residential with a scattering of retail/restaurant/office)

  3. Sea of asphalt parking

  4. Trendy development that has no long-term architectural benefit to the city


How could the City Commission work with staff and property owners to ensure that implementing a Mixed Use category doesn’t mean higher buildings and more density but delivers the benefits to the community?

  1. The City Commission would need to determine if the Mixed Use category is a land use district and zoning code or a special overlay district that is superimposed over an existing base land use and zoning. The property owner would only activate the overlay if it meets the criteria that is established in the Mixed Use zoning district.

  2. The second consideration is the size of the properties within a Mixed Use category. Staff would recommend a minimum size for mixed use and not setting a maximum size.


Staff recommends adding two steps into the process.

  1. The property owner would need at least one public meeting with citywide notice to educate and engage the community in the proposed development.

  2. The city’s Development Review Committee would have a public meeting prior to the city’s Planning & Zoning Board to opening review and comment on the design standards, architectural style and preliminary and final design.

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