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Apopka City Council Seat 3 Candidate Q&A – Week 9


Questions & Answers with Candidates for Apopka City Council Seat 3 - Week 9

Each week we will be asking the candidates the questions YOU'RE asking.

Week 9 Seat 3 Candidates Seat 4 Candidates

This Week's Question: “Many Apopkans feel that downtown Apopka is unattractive and in need of a facelift. If the City Center project moves forward the need to improve the surrounding area will be even more critical. What can be done to address this issue with or without the City Center?”

Doug Bankson

Alice Nolan

Sam Ruth

Doug Bankson Alice Nolan Sam Ruth
I believe the most natural growth would be to develope the 6th street corridor from Central eastward to Sheeler which lends itself to historic Apopka and creates an off highway walking district, and incentivize the properties on 441 to upgrade their facades.

Next would be to develope Kit Land Nelson park/ Edwards field with the Fran Carlton Center. This could be a great place for an aquatic center or possible even look into a partnership with YMCA. It's central location would be a great place especially for those who could most use the services and also tie in the bike trail.

The Highland property challenge is the traffic and the fact that 441 is a state highway. Though Taurus' proposed design looks great and would be a great gateway, I believe a light at the entrance could create an even greater bottleneck to an already congested area. Perhaps if we could partner with the present Apopka Plaza and create the walkway from that area moving the front entrance to the end of a re-aligned 6th Street and Sheeler, the project would have a better flow and easier access as the present Apopka Plaza could be a park and walk entrance. 

There are different parts of Apopka that need a facelift. We have many City Centers that are coming into play such as Downtown, Kelly Park Crossing and Health Hub. As we put these centers together we need to remember the surrounding areas need to be fixed up too. While we are putting a center the impact fees help give the roads, medians, sidewalks and lighting in the area to be updated. The surrounding buildings can be rejuvenated by the owners. Two ways to encourage property owners to update their buildings would be to offer tax breaks and/or our Economic Developer refer business to rent from the property owners that is willing to put updates in themselves for lease incentives (ie. Rent half price for first X months or Free Rent for X months). FDOT and the City of Apopka currently have plans to update 441 that runs through downtown Apopka. This update hopefully will encourage others to do updates to their building along this road to match. Overall, there should be a discussion between the City of Apopka and these property owners to find ways we can help each other.









I agree certain areas of town could use a face lift. However, it has never been the role of government to renovate or beautify private property. The city has used a tool called a "community redevelopment area" to pool tax revenues toward public area improvements. These improvements can include roadways, lighting, and streetscape. Additionally, the Mayor is providing leadership for a group of private owners who are voluntarily coming together to improve a parking lot.

The downtown area has also been the victim of poor quality land development code. Too many low end or fast food restaurants were allowed to come in under the old codes. In fact, the LDC has not been updated since 1992. This is one of my top priorities upon re-election to the Council.

I also believe once work begins on the privately-owned city center landowners in the nearby vicinity will feel the need to upgrade and beautify their own properties. Cities like Winter Garden and Sanford were able to afford new streetscapes after additional revenues rolled in from Winter Garden Village and Seminole Town Center respectively. I hope the tax revenue generated from the new Florida Hospital and future Kelly Park Crossings zones will stimulate improvements all over the City.



Apopka City Council Q&A Seat 3


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