Car dealership on Fairbanks Avenue could be forced to relocate

City officials have long wanted to redevelop Fairbanks Avenue

WINTER PARK, Fla. – An agreement with the city of Winter Park and a property owner allowing car dealerships to operate on Fairbanks Avenue is set to expire at the end of this year.

Communications director Clarissa Howard said in 2007, Winter Park city commissioners amended the city's zoning rules for its general commercial district and would no longer allow new car dealerships along Fairbanks Avenue.

"Those that were already in business before 2007 before the ordinance was passed are grandfathered in," Howard said.

The city currently has an agreement with the owner of the property just east of Interstate 4, on the south side of Fairbanks, to operate as a car dealership, but that agreement will expire at the end of this year.

The owner is now asking for an extension for another two years, according to a letter sent to the city. 

"We have a long relationship with the property owners, and so the commissioners take a lot of factors into consideration," Howard said.

City officials have been interested in redeveloping Fairbanks Avenue for years.

A big part of that process has already started. 

All of the overhead power lines are being relocated to a micro tunnel underground. 

Howard says not only is it more aesthetically pleasing, it's improved reliability for current and future businesses.

"It does encourage businesses to stay, but it also encourages new businesses to stay when the opportunity presents itself."

City commissioners are expected to vote on whether to grant the property owner an extension at its meeting Monday at 3:30 p.m.

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