Both cities seek to create a global vision for development and redevelopment along the highway. GAI Consultants, a planning firm that also provides engineering and environmental consulting, is creating proposed guidelines for development along the corridor, including design standards.
"The city needed a bit more time to make the necessary changes in their code, and extending the moratorium gives them that additional time," said Angel de la Portilla, head of Central Florida Strategies, Inc., who Ocoee hired in mid-July on a six-month contract to serve as economic development advisor to the city.
However, Ocoee is working with developers to move moratorium-area plans through approval, if they incorporate the design tenets the city wants in its future code.
This past Monday, Ocoee city commissioners agreed with staff recommendations to prioritize improvements to N. Buford and Oakland avenues downtown, build an extension of the West Orange Trail from downtown into Winter Garden, and build a new city hall to free up the current 9-acre city hall property along N. Lakeshore Drive for redevelopment.
The funding would come from bonding out up to $25 million, without impacting the balance of next year's budget and millage rate. The commission will officially vote in September to approve those projects, after they approve the budget and Capital Improvement Plan.