The Downtown Master Plan is a model for guiding private development decisions and public infrastructure investments in the downtown Ocoee area. The plan produced a list of public infrastructure projects to be undertaken by the city as funds allow. Status: Complete. An initial public input hearing, the Ocoee Downtown Plan Kickoff Meeting (Large PDF), was conducted on March 14, 2017, at the Lakeshore Center. This event was broadcast live on Ocoee’s cable TV outlet, Spectrum, channel 493. Outreach efforts also included website and social media campaigns.
Planning & Refining: Creative Workshop and Public Meetings
Following the public workshop, the planning team added details to the framework of the Downtown Master Plan. Based on citizen feedback from the workshop, the focus moved to improving the street network and bike/pedestrian connections, enhancing open space, and defining the character areas of downtown. These three topics were combined into a draft Downtown Master Plan graphic that was revealed to the public at a presentation at the Lakeshore Center on the evening of June 13th. Citizens were able respond to the details of the plan with what they liked or didn’t like, and to suggest project priorities. These comments were incorporated into a final Master Plan that was presented to the Commission later in the summer. See the evening’s flyer, presentation and photos.
Citizen Themes Revealed
Taking all the public input provided at the kickoff, during walking audits, and through other outreach mechanisms, the team summarized the big ideas into five major “citizen-based themes.” Each of the themes was expressed as a vision statement and further described by a series of “big moves."
Final Presentation: Master Plan Roll-Out
The public was invited to attend a presentation of the Ocoee Downtown Master Plan (Large PDF) in the City Hall Commission Chambers. At this last public presentation, the City Commission reviewed the details of the final Downtown Master Plan document, including the components of the proposed Downtown Land Development Code Overlay. The Downtown Master Plan subsequently received an Award of Excellence from the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Ocoee Walking Tours
Walking audits are pedestrian tours of places that have a two-fold purpose:
1. They help to provide residents and business owners a different perspective of their communities and
2. They allow the planning team to see issues up close and hear input from the participants with context.
Two of these walking audits were conducted in the downtown area where the planning team could show and discuss issues at several locations, most of which were identified in the good/bad/opportunities dot exercise at the public kickoff meeting.
The two walking audits were attended by residents, business owners, commissioners, and City staff. On the audits the groups stopped and discussed the lakefront, downtown neighborhoods, gateways, and opportunities for Bluford Avenue, Oakland Avenue and McKey Street. You can see the walking audit route and see photos from the two days.