Orange County Mega-Park: Common Concerns When Transforming Land

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Florida’s Orange County is considering the building of a Horizon West mega-park in the fast-growing community near Walt Disney World, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The Mega-Park would feature botanical gardens, an outdoor amphitheater for concerts, as well as an aquatics center.  The property is close to a freeway network and is more than 10 times the size of other regional parks, according to county officials. The plans for the 220-acre piece of land where the park will sit were discussed in a public meeting by the Mayor and Orange County Commissioners.

Happy families enjoying a day in the park.

This is not the first vision for a park the county has dreamed about, however. In 2003, the county sketched out a plan for a sportsplex park with athletic fields for youth tournaments. Then, when interest in that went away, the county envisioned an adventure park with sheltered pavilions and play areas. For the past two years, Horizon West has made up two of every three building permits issued by the county. The estimated costs for the building of the park have yet to be made public, but officials noted that funding would need to come from both public and private dollars.

Common Land Use and Zoning Concerns

Land use and zoning law is what governs the regulation of use and development of real estate. The most common regulation of land-use comes from zoning regulations. These restrictions are passed by ordinance and used by local governments in an effort to control and direct property development within either city or county limits.

The purpose of zoning regulations is to divide a geographical area, whether county or municipal, into distinct zones with the use of the properties within that zone being uniform. Typical zoning in a municipality or county is comprised of a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial uses. The reason behind different zoning categories being geographically distant is so, for example, an industrial factory will not be adjacent to a residential neighborhood.

Furthermore, within the zoning categories, there may be additional restrictions — albeit specifically set forth by the governing municipality or county — that may include:

  • The number of rooms allowable
  • The location of any utility lines for the property
  • The size and height of the buildings
  • The type of building(s) allowed
  • Any restrictions on accessory buildings
  • Historic preservation of buildings, if applicable
  • Building setbacks from the street and other boundaries

There are restrictions on the power of government entities to regulate land use. Accordingly, there are several arguments that may be used, based on the specific facts of the case, to challenge regulations.

For the past two years, Horizon West has made up two of every three building permits issued by the county.

Legal Help with Orlando Zoning Issues

If you are a developer, please contact the experienced land use attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns today so we can help make your project a reality.

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NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.

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