City Council Highlights – April 13, 2020

Last updated on April 13, 2020

City Council Update 4.13.20 

Agenda Review: 

We have received several inquiries requesting to speak on two items, during the global health pandemic, we are deferring that item until the City of Orlando finalizes an expanded public participation process that includes the option to provide public comment remotely during the Council meeting.    

Item 15 (1) under Appeals, which is an appeal of the legislative recommendation made by the Municipal Planning Board to the City Council for the District West project has been moved to the April 27 Council meeting.   

Item 16 (1) under Quasi-Judicial Hearings, which is a Recommended Order from a Hearing Officer in case # QJ2019-004 relating to a rezoning, Conditional Use Permit and Master Plan for the District West project has been moved to the April 27 Council meeting.   

Item 11(1) under Hearings/Ordinances/1st Read-Ordinance No. 2020-21 which is a request for a GMP amendment and rezoning that is also related to the District West project, was advertised as a public hearing, so we will need to open the hearing and then continue it to the April 27 Council meeting.   

Item 12(2) under Hearings/Ordinances/2nd Read-Ordinance No. 2020-10 which is a request to annex and to assign a Future Land Use designation and initial zoning for properties located along Hoffner Avenue was advertised as a public hearing, so we will need to open the hearing and then continue it to the May 11 Council meeting.    

General Items: 

Update on COVID –  

Good afternoon and welcome to our second virtual City Council meeting. 

By holding this meeting in this format we are ensuring that city projects, programs and services are moving ahead while allowing for physical distancing, and ensuring public participation. 

Even during this difficult time, residents and essential businesses are still depending on critical municipal services. We want to thank our city staff for their dedication to continuing to serve our city. 

Commissioners, we want to thank you for your leadership – for encouraging our community to stay home, while connecting residents and businesses to needed support. 

We especially want to thank our community - all of Orlando. We're proud of the way our residents are taking this pandemic seriously and doing everything they can to protect themselves and everyone in our city. 

We all have the power to combat this virus and must continue to be vigilant by staying home, and then by practicing physical distancing and wearing a face covering when it’s essential to go out. 

I am proud of our response and I continue to be comforted by the fact that in Orlando we are strong and our collective compassion and strength will get us through this.  

Items of Note: 

City Council – Housing Item F#2 

This week is National Community Development Week, a week to highlight the impact the HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs have in our community. It is appropriate that we mention this week for a number of reasons –   

These programs have helped us to further our efforts to ensure that our residents have access to safe, quality housing they can afford.   

And now, some of the programs highlighted as part of National Community Development Week, are the same programs that will be used to funnel some of the federal government’s 2.2 trillion dollar CARES Act funds to our community. These funds can be used for a variety of purposes from helping expand the capacity of hospitals to providing essential services for those experiencing homelessness and who are impacted by COVID-19. 

We want to do all we can to ensure Orlando gets its share of these funds and we anticipate receiving guidance from HUD on the administrative process for the funds and possibly even our allocation before the next City Council meeting.    

Recognizing time is of the essence to begin receiving and disbursing these funds, on today’s agenda is an item that grants permission for staff to initiate the actions required to move forward with any necessary steps for the city to receive such funds from HUD. Any contracts or agreements will come back to City Council at a future date.  

And just a reminder, many of the annual allocations for these programs are based on the population of a community. And, so we want to encourage everyone to complete the Census form as soon as possible.   

It’s never been more important that our community has an accurate count so we can receive our fair share of much-needed resources from the federal government to help us improve the quality of life for everyone in our city.  

CRA Item #1 

And, the Census also helps us get federal funding to provide services to those experiencing homelessness which is a top priority for our region.  

We wanted to note that on today’s CRA agenda is a funding agreement with the Salvation Army to support what they are doing for those experiencing homelessness during the current COVID-19 crisis which includes operating its shelter 24 hours a day so the homeless have someplace to be during the day AND ensuring the beds are distanced according to CDC guidelines.  

We’d like to thank the Salvation Army for all they’re doing during this pandemic and for all they do for our most vulnerable residents year-round.