Orange County Commissioner Betsy VanderLey hosted a Horizon West Town Hall on June 6 at Windermere High School. The meeting included information on development, transportation, traffic, parks, schools, Sheriff’s Office, and Fire Rescue. This 2-hour meeting was recorded by Orange County and will be available to watch at a later date. In a separate page we have a gallery of Horizon West Town Hall Photos, featuring many of the slides presented. This is a very long article, please continue scrolling to read each segment.
- Horizon West is design to alleviate problems of east orange county, easy accessibility.
- Gated communities are generally prohibited in Horizon West
- Land owners must contribute to adequate public facilities to develop property
- 46% of permitting in occurred in horizon west, which is 4% of space
- Developing is continuing to occur rapidly. Existing developments will continue, and new ones will occur.
- The Blake at Hamlin Assisted Living Facility just approved
- Harvest Bible church has been approved
- Hamlin Plaza will occur south of the main Hamlin town center.
- Overture at Hamlin, a proposed 55+ facility in Hamlin
- The Spot at Silver Lining in Bridgewater is a proposed 27,000sf office/commercial building. Has not yet been approved.
- Monk Property PSP in Lakeside Village was scaled back to 81 units
- Lake Reams Neighborhood at Reams/Ficquette is requested. Preliminary recommendation by planning is denial due to wetland concerns.
- Storey Grove Phase 2 will consist of 137 units.
- Village I
- Spring Grove has two phases for 327 units, which is approved and under construction. Phase 3 has been requested for an additional 107 units.
- Jaffers at Spring Grove is under construction
- Withers PD – 814 units with elementary and middle school sites, with a public park, in Village I. Hartzog Road would be realigned. Not yet approved until zoning is updated.
- Lake Max PD – 399 units with 196,000 commercial space, to be the village center for Village I.
- Serenade at Ovation -269 units
- Karr PD – 697 units with 10,000 commercial
- 2918 proposed units, 216,000 of commercial – only two developments are fully approved.
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- Roads can take extensive timelines to construct
- In Horizon West, developers are able to finance and acquire right-of-way at the beginning of development, allowing faster improvements to the roadway systems.
- Completed Projects:
- Hamlin Groves Trail in January 2017
- Ficquette Road Intersection at Scott Pine Park in April 2018
- Porter Road widening project – August 2018
- Reams Road partial expansion for elementary school – October 2018
- Western Way completed to Avalon in January 2019. Part of a future connector with Lake County.
- In Progress
- Hamlin Groves Trail Extension – January 2020
- New Independence Parkway – January 2020
- Avalon Road Village H Segments 2-3 – June 2020
- Segment 1 timeline TBD
- Seidel Road widening and realignment – May 2021
- Intersection Projects
- Tiny Road at Tilden Road – November 2021
- Design Projects
- Ficquette Road – Construction 2022 – 2024
- Reams Road – Construction April 2024 – April 2026
- Projects in Study
- CR 545 from Turnpike to SR 50
- CR 545 in Village I
- CF 545 from Village I to 192
- Tiny Road from Middle School to Tilden Road
- Three new stoplights coming to Ficquette Road at Overstreet, New Independence Parkway, and Reams/Summerlake.
- National delay in delivery of galvanized steel mast arms have caused a delay
- Once mast arms are delivered, construction will be completed in about a month
- Due to the demand and safety concerns of the intersection, temporary stop signs were placed and approved by the board
- Stop light is expected in 4-6 weeks
- CFX plans to widen southbound 429 off-ramps. Orange County will place traffic signals at these intersections.
- Signal to be placed at 535/Lachlan Road at Westside Shoppes.
- Flashing beacons and speed tables at Avalon Road/Old YMCA Road
- Speed feedback signs to be placed on Winter Garden Vineland Road outside of Windermere High School
- Multi-way stop studies being conducted at Tilden Road/Tiny Road and Summerlake Groves/Murcott Blossom Blvd.
- Signal re-timing to be conducted at Grand Cypress Blvd to Tilden Road/Sunset Lakes. 15 signals were coordinated and optimized.
- Download the 311 app to report problems or complaints. App geo-locates issues and allows you to send photos.
Parks & Recreation Update:
- Horizon West currently has 4 small neighborhood parks
- Lakeside Village Park phase 2 is under design. Initial Phase 1 ran out of money to complete park at once.
- Planned parks will follow the elementary school locations.
- 20 miles of existing trails in Horizon West, with 40 more miles planned.
- Horizon West trail system is planned to connect through Winter Garden to West Orange Trail.
- Horizon West Regional Park vendor has been selected. Will be an enduring, unique regional park.
- Survey and information is available at horizonwestregionalpark.org.
Orange County Public Schools:
- 8th largest district in the nation and the 4th largest in the state, with 211,000 students.
- 25,145 employees
- According to Pam Gould, Orange County is facing a salary issue due to low unemployment in the state and high wage pressure by private businesses.
- 3 new schools will open next year in Horizon West
- OCPS is accelerating schools in Horizon West has quickly as possible
- They are continuing to work on new site school sites for future locations
Orange County Sheriff’s Office
- Crime in Horizon West was -3% in 2018
- Increase in commercial burglaries down 92%, but declines in violent crime are up 15%, and auto burglaries are up 96%. Residential burglaries are down -24%. Overall crime is -3%.
- LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS!
- OCSO partnered with businesses to increase security to reduce crime
- Boundaries are being re-aligned to put Pine Hills and Horizon West into separate sectors, as each region is currently split between coverage areas.
- Smaller zones will allow for deputies to be more focused on Horizon West. Horizon West will be primarily covered by 3 zones, with a minimum of 2 deputies deployed in each zone. 8 deputies will cover Horizon West instead of 2 now.
- The OCSO is currently hiring and looking for individuals to join their team.
- 42 fire stations responded to 126,545 incidents in 2018.
- EMS transported 68,830 people to hospitals in 2018.
- OCFD has an ISO rating of 1, which helps reduce house insurance premiums and is difficult to maintain.
- Fire Chief David Rathbun credits Commissioner VanderLey on the new Fire Station 44, who worked to get this station opened.
- Fire Stations in Horizon West performed well in 2018, with an average 33 seconds for the firefighters to leave the station, but between 6-8 minutes travel time to the location. Total time from call to arrival averages under 9 minutes.
- Download the app PulsePoint to locate AED location, alert if CPR is needed, and monitor active incidents.
- Can the Tourist Tax be used for developed/safety?
- The money is currently only available to be used for tourism, but is being reviewed to use the funds for other needs.
- Can Horizon West get a library?
- OC Library has budget for a new library. Working with the commissioner on a location. Would like to be located near Hamlin/Town Center.
- How much do mast arms costs?
- Typically around $250k, but the single one at Reams will be less due to the design.
- Can the sheriff’s office arrest someone based on a video?
- Only on a very few select circumstances, such as drag racing, can the police arrest without seeing it themselves.
- What can be done to help speeding in school zones?
- OCPS has a high priority to reduce school zone speeding and on texting while driving.
- Insurance companies don’t acknowledge the new temporary fire station.
- Fire Chief will work with citizen on insurance.
- Why does the regional park have a faster timeline than roads
- Park timeline is based on phase 1, but not a completion of the entire park. Roads have extensive timelines of typically 6 years, whereas the park has already planned for years. Many road timelines have been pushed up. Person asking question continued to push against the development of the park and Commissioner VanderLey’s vision of the park.
- What is going on at the corner of Avalon and New Independence Parkway, and why was so much sand moved to the area.
- This will be the Hamlin West project
- (Editor’s Note: Had the questioner followed our website, she wouldn’t known already)
- Will Horizon West become its own city?
- Will anything happen with the Conserv II land?
- There are no plans to change the land. The property is owned by Orange County, which will not develop or sell to developers.
- Is there an elementary school coming to Overstreet?
- OCPS owns a site along Overstreet, but is not currently being developed. There are no plans within 5 years to build a school at the site.
- After the hurricane, West Orange Trail was damaged but the trail was restored.
- Concerned about speeding in the area along Summerlake Park Blvd and requests reduced speed limits.
- Will follow-up with concerns, and recommend using 311 app.
- Sheriff Mina stated 473 tickets were issued on Summerlake Park Blvd.
- Was the AirBnB law lifted in Orange County?
- No action has been taken in Orange County.
- What can be done about USPS service in the Horizon West area?
- USPS is a federal issue. Contact Val Demmings to open a new post office in Horizon West.
- Traffic at Waterleigh and Avalon is challenging to exit the community
- A speed feedback sign is planned to be installed along with additional signage in the next 3-4 months.
- Traffic is also working with the developer of Waterleigh to construct a traffic light long-term.
Tell us what you think about this development in the Horizon West Development Discussion group.
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