Winter Park wants to maintain city's character

Winter Park wants to keep streets leading into the city free of businesses which the city feels could lower property values.

Used car dealerships, pawn shops, vapor lounges, adult stores, and convenience stores need not apply.

New fast food restaurants will only be considered on a case-by-case basis. Winter Park wants to crack down, not only on what type of business comes to town, but where it sets up shop.  

The text of the measure reads that the policy's being enacted to establish, maintain and enhance the appeal and character of  gateway entrances to Winter Park. These include South Orlando Ave, Aloma Ave, and West Fairbanks Ave.

The city feels that if these undesirable businesses are kept off the main gateways to downtown it will also increase property values in the city. Residents we spoke with agreed.

"The area I was in for 42 years had started to deteriorate, because some of the establishments that were going in the retail  section were not of the quality that would have the area appreciate as much as it should have been after 42 years," says Ann Mims.

"Everyone can to start their own business, so I'm sympathetic, but a community has the right to put forth a vote to see what  people want, where," says Mike Edwards, who works near Winter Park.

While fast food restaurants would need special consideration to set up shop, so-called "fast casual" restaurants, like shake shack, are free to do business. The city commission will vote on the measure on Monday, Sept. 12.