The City of Oviedo’s Local Planning Agency board approved the construction of eight “urban-like” homes in the Milton Square subdivision, near the intersection of Broadway Street and Adeline B. Tinsley Way, during its Jan. 4 meeting.
Milton Square was established in 1924, when lot sizes could be smaller than the current city code requires. The subdivision predates the city’s land development code.
The modern Oviedo R-2 zoning standard puts at least 16 feet between newly constructed homes, but because the antiquated lots are smaller, building new homes that far apart would be impractical, leading the owners of such lots to ask for a deviation, the city staff said.
In this subdivision, eight single-family homes will be built on 1st and 2nd streets, across from each other, with a proposed gap of only 8 feet between homes. This concerned some members of the board, including Vice Chairman David Pollack, who worried that the proximity of the houses would be a fire hazard.
City staff said that the project will be reviewed by a fire marshal, who will dictate how to build the homes to reduce the hazard of a fire spreading.
Pollack raised other concerns during the meeting.
“These are going to be very close together in an area that isn’t urban,” he said. “Coming from a place like South Florida where we used to have land that looked like Oviedo and then seeing it turned into what it is now, where every new development that went in, you can jump from roof to roof, it destroys the character of these communities.”
Pollack said that this was a big-scale project because they were not approving just one home and asked what would happen when somebody else comes asking for the same thing.
“It’s a significant ask of saying, ‘Hey, I know I just bought these, and I know I cannot build what I want to build the way I bought them,” he said. “So, I’m coming and asking you guys to give me a 50% deviation of eight different lots, so I can maximize my profit.”
This is not the first time the LPA has approved these types of deviations in the area. Milton Square also has some duplexes and “skinny homes,” which are taller and narrower than typical homes.
One of the compromises that the owner of the lots, Nathan Poole, had to commit to for the deviation to be approved was to provide additional privacy features, such as fencing and hedges.
“We are trying to build eight individual, unique family homes at the end of the road that right now is a dead-end,” Poole said. “We want to build some pretty, stand-alone single families.”
The LPA also reelected Chairman Darrell Lopez and Vice Chairman David Pollack for a one-year term.
LPA’s upcoming meetings
- Wednesday, Jan. 19
- Tuesday, Feb. 1
- Tuesday, Feb. 15.