Winter Park advances Sojourn at Idlewild development project

It will include 18 affordable housing units

Charley Sutherland
Special for Sky-Hi News

The Winter Park Town Council voted on an ordinance and three resolutions to advance Highland Development Company’s proposed project at Sojourn at Idlewild at their Aug. 15 regular meeting.

Three of the four measures passed unanimously. In 2007, Winter Park annexed the 22-acre parcel of land, now known as Sojourn at Idlewild on Ski Idlewild Road east of U.S. Highway 40. Resolution 2079 amended the original 2007 annexation agreement most notably to address affordable housing requirements.

The original annexation agreement forces the developer to pay the town $2 per square foot of development in affordable housing fees. Highland Development proposed building affordable housing units as a part of the development instead of paying the town the fee.

Highland Development Company plans to construct two single-family detached units, 22 single-family attached units, 110 townhome dwelling units, and two apartment complexes comprised of 82 multifamily dwelling units across both buildings.

Currently, Highland Development plans to build a total of 18 deed-restricted affordable housing units — 12 for rent accessory dwelling units, five for sale condominium units, and one for sale townhome unit.

Affordable housing units are deed restricted by percentage of area median income, and these deed restrictions are specific for each type of housing Highland Development plans to build.

The 12 leasable deed-restricted accessory units are set at 100% AMI restriction. Buyers are only eligible if they make less than the average AMI.

Eligible buyers of the two of the for sale condominiums must make less than 120% AMI. The remaining three buyable condominiums will be available to full-time residents who make less than 140% of AMI.

The buyable townhome is available only to residents who make less than 180% of AMI.

A map of the planned development Sojourn at Idlewild, which will include affordable housing.
Town of Winter Park/Courtesy image

Highland Development plans to build a 4,080-square-foot community center in one of the apartment buildings and an acre park to fulfill additional requirements of the annexation agreement.

Additionally, ordinance 608 rezoned a portion of the land to planned development with a residential commercial overlay, and resolution 2078 approved a final plat for the development project.

Highland Development Co. expects the full development project to take five to seven years. Members of the town council view affordable housing as a high priority and expressed concern that affordable housing units would come too late in the development project.

Paul Malone, Highland Development’s president, is spearheading the project and addressed the council at their Aug. 15 regular meeting.

“The majority of deed-restricted units are in phase one of the project, we plan on quickly jumping into these affordable units,” Malone said.

The town council, unsatisfied with this commitment, voted to table the passage of resolution 2080, the Development Improvement Agreement.

Town Councilman Art Ferrari suggested the town council draft a Development Improvement Agreement which requires Highland Development Company to build two units of affordable housing for every 30 units of non-restricted housing.

The council will pursue a Development Improvement Agreement that prioritizes early construction of affordable housing units at their Sept. 5 regular meeting.

Other business:

  • The town council passed ordinance 609 to appropriate additional sums of money to provide $1,115,000 in capital contributions to the Hideaway Junction Phase II workforce housing project. 
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