Enzian expansion passes penultimate test

From The Orlando Weekly, July 24, 2018

The Maitland City Council decided unanimously last night to move the Enzian Theater’s expansion plan to its final stage: a vote on August 13.

This “vote before the vote” was largely a technicality, but the Council could have decided to not vote on the proposal in August. That was unlikely, however, as the Maitland Planning and Zoning Commission had already recommended that the Council approve the project, which would expand the Enzian from one to three screens while adding new restrooms, kitchen, lobby and offices.

Nine members of the public spoke against the plan at the meeting, with the most common complaints being the potential increase in noise, traffic and light for the neighborhood, plus the shortage of on-site parking. But a dozen spoke in favor, lauding the Enzian’s cultural value and the fact that the theater has a written agreement with Park Maitland School to provide overflow parking and will continue to improve signage and safety along Magnolia Road.

Among the local citizens speaking in favor of the plan was John Rogers, the son of Fred Rogers. (The Enzian is currently showing Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a documentary about the life of Rogers, and has been using the film as metaphor for the theater’s relationship with the community.)

If the Council approves the plan on August 13, groundbreaking would likely occur in the spring, according to Enzian Executive Director David Schillhammer. With construction predicted to last at least a year, work would likely finish after the 2020 Florida Film Festival. But if the Council votes no, the Enzian would probably be forced to either abandon their expansion or significantly redesign the proposed addition or the parking arrangement.

For more information on the expansion plan, see my previous article.


Update: Enzian asks to delay vote

From The Orlando Weekly, August 2, 2018

The Enzian Theater has asked the Maitland City Council to delay their vote on the theater’s expansion proposal, which was scheduled for August 13.

The request to postpone the vote was a surprise, considering the Council recently decided to vote on the proposal in August, following a positive recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

If the Council agrees to the delay at their next meeting on August 13, the new vote will likely be held September 24. But if the Council denies the continuance request, it could proceed with a vote on August 13, according to Maitland public information officer Robert Sargent.

“At Enzian’s July 26 annual meeting, board member Allan E. Keen was named chairman of the board, with Chairperson Sigrid Tiedtke concluding her long term as chair, while remaining a board member and secretary of the board,” says Enzian Executive Director David Schillhammer. “With this change in leadership, Enzian’s board has requested a continuance of the next Maitland City Council meeting, originally scheduled for August 13, as the board wishes to contemplate the various issues and options that were discussed at the most recent City Council meeting.”

The proposed expansion would boost the theater from one to three screens while also adding new restrooms, employee offices, kitchen, lobby, box office and concessions area.

© 2018 Orlando Weekly / Cameron Meier