COVID causes havoc with development processing; March 24, 2020

Orange County cancels upcoming zoning meetings until further notice

A site plan for the O-Town West mixed-use development in Orange County. The project is one of several cases on hold to seek P&Z approvals.
A site plan for the O-Town West mixed-use development in Orange County. The project is one of several cases on hold to seek P&Z approvals.(Unicorp National Developments)

Orange County just confirmed it will be cancelling the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting until further notice.

Late last week, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings cancelled all advisory committee or board meetings for a minimum of 30 days. That pushed this month’s P&Z meeting to April 16, but that meeting was just cancelled.

Orange County spokesperson Despina McLaughlin told GrowthSpotter the county is in the process of scheduling a special PZC hearing, but there are no dates for any cases at this time.

The decision comes amid concerns about public gatherings as the spread of coronavirus keeps expanding in Florida. More than half of the state’s counties have at least one case and statewide totals continuing to climb.

As of Friday, the next Development Review Committee meeting date (April 22) is still on the book..

“However, given that two DRC meetings before have already been cancelled, it’s unknown whether or not we’ll be able catch up,” McLaughlin said. “This means that cases that were expected to be heard in April may actually get pushed back, too.”

Affected projects include Unicorp National Developments Inc.’s  (an HDSi client) massive O-Town West mixed-use development, which is slated to feature up to 1,500 residential units and a mix of retail, dining and office space.

Other major developments include Demetree Global’s Collegiate Village PD across from the University of Central Florida and Sun Terra Communities’ 530-acre Silverleaf mixed-use community in Horizon West.

“Developers may moan and groan, but it’s the right thing to do,” Jim Hall of Hall Development Services said.

Meanwhile, planners in Osceola County are telling developers to expect significant delays on rezoning applications due to the county’s inability to hold public hearings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The county also canceled Planning Commission meetings until further notice.

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