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While not technically related to the Addison development, staff has received a number of questions about this and would like to address a rumor about apartments being approved for this site. The Whispering Oaks Mobile Home Park is, as of June 22nd, currently being demolished by the owner to correct a number of long-standing code enforcement issues. Community Development staff is as of this writing unaware of any future development plans for this site on the part of the owner or a third party, and has not been provided a formal or informal proposal for any use, including apartments.
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City Response: The City’s primary economic development focus is on restaurants (like the new F&D Italian Kitchen), retail and service (like the new Publix and LA Fitness locations), and job-creating industrial and medical in the appropriate areas (like the UPS and South Seminole Hospital expansions). However, as the City does not own this particular property, and as multi-family dwellings are an allowable use in the Comprehensive Plan and Development Code on primary corridors like SR 434, Dog Track, and Highway 17-92 an in special districts like the Heritage Village, apartments are within a property owner or developer’s rights to pursue without requiring special permission such as re-zoning or a conditional use. This is not a case-by-case decision (i.e. the City does not and cannot arbitrarily approve or deny a project where the use is allowable and all other applicable codes and standards are met), but rather something that is established within the Comprehensive Plan and Development Code for almost a decade on a corridor-wide basis.
While apartments are typically controversial in communities because, by comparison, residents are not able to enjoy the same direct benefits that a new restaurant, retail, or service use would provide, apartments do provide a significant boost to the City in terms of property taxes, utility fees, and more. Each of the apartment complexes under construction or proposed would immediately be one of the City’s Top 10 Taxpayers once eligible, a list generated by the Seminole County Property Appraiser each year. Additionally, apartments by their nature bring a large number of new residents to the City to increase the spending power within the community to support local businesses. One of the first things that prospective retail developers ask to see is the construction of new dwelling units within a community.
City Response: Staff has received a number of questions and comments about a flyer that went out regarding the project, including comments that some of the information on it is illegible. The City, as required by the Longwood Development Code, has sent out a certified letter to property owners within 500 feet of the project site. That letter includes a link to this page, which was further publicized on the main City website. The City has not prepared or distributed a flyer regarding the project, this was evidently prepared by a third party.
City Response: Some may recall that a previous proposal on this property, known as the Shoppes at Longwood, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Longwood that included financial incentives in the form of tax rebates for a mixed-use project with a retail component. That MOU has since expired, this is a wholly different project, and the single-use residential nature of this project does not qualify for financial incentives such as tax rebates or abatement under the Longwood Economic Development Tax Abatement program.
By using the "Submit Your Question or Comment Here" link, you will be submitting a comment or question directly to staff. Either staff or the developer (depending on who is more appropriate for the question) will answer the question. Frequently Asked Questions will be placed in this feed. Additionally, contact information for both the developer’s team and the City project review are located on the main The Addison Longwood CAPP page.