Ocoee Commission Debates Tree Trimming and Land Use Changes

The Ocoee City Commission recently convened to discuss a series of pressing local matters, notably the controversy over tree trimming near power lines and significant land use changes. Discussions centered on the aesthetic and safety implications of tree maintenance, the potential risks of unqualified trimming, and the need for clearer delineation of responsibilities between the city and power companies. Additionally, the meeting addressed multiple rezoning requests and amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan.

The debate over tree trimming responsibilities emerged as a focal point during the public comments section of the meeting. Vinnie Singh, a resident, voiced concern over the “mutilated trees” in the city. A discussion ensued among the commission members, emphasizing the need for a collective approach to tree maintenance and the impact of such efforts on the city’s overall image.

Further complicating the issue was confusion over who should be responsible for trimming trees near power lines. Some participants asserted that this duty fell to the power company, while others noted that the city’s Public Works staff had been conducting the trimming, despite concerns about their qualifications for such tasks. This led to a broader conversation about the city’s environmental responsibilities and the community’s role in maintaining and improving Ocoee’s natural surroundings.

In parallel to the tree trimming debate, the commission tackled several rezoning requests and comprehensive plan amendments aimed at aligning zoning classifications with future land use designations. Among the approved requests were the annexation and rezoning of properties on AO Apopka Road and West Silver Star Road, as well as a small-scale comprehensive plan amendment for West Delaware Street West Property.


The commission also unanimously approved a request to change the future land use map designation from public facilities institutional to low-density residential for a property on West Delaware Street. The second read of the annual comprehensive plan text amendment was also approved, updating the Capital Improvement Element with a five-year schedule of Capital Improvements as required by Florida statute.

A public hearing drew attention to a variance request for the placement of accessory structures—a pool and deck area—on South Lake Shore Drive. The unique property configuration presented the need for a variance, with the City Manager explaining the various constraints and special circumstances. Despite some opposition, including concerns about the potential obstruction of the lake view and the height of the fence, the commission ultimately approved the variance.

Another development discussed was the approval of the preliminary subdivision plan for the Ocoee Oaks joint venture, which initially faced opposition from a resident of the neighboring White Hill subdivision. However, after acknowledging the cooperation between developers, the church, and city staff, the resident supported the project, which was then approved by the commission.


The Cambria Suites at Ocoee large-scale preliminary site plan also prompted discussion. The plan, which includes waivers from the Land Development Code, seeks to accommodate a hotel and restaurant. After addressing several technical considerations and the potential impact on a future roundabout, the commission approved the site plan, which features a unique six-story hotel with a restaurant on the top floor.

Commissioner Hart took the opportunity to express satisfaction with the collaborative effort between homeowners, builders, and city staff, emphasizing the importance of working together for mutual benefit. He also commended the HRDB board for initiating a diversity movement on the city’s website and highlighted the empowerment of women.

The commission’s agenda also featured a discussion about the upcoming “Spring into Conservation” event and a tribute to a community member, Mr. Hart, who had recently passed away. Additionally, there was a brief update on traffic enforcement in District 1, the approval of a contract for Craig Shadrick, and a debate about commission attendance at a forum without prior notice.


Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Rusty Johnson
City Council Officials:
Scott R Kennedy, Rosemary Wilsen, Richard Firstner, Ages Hart

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