Skyplex project hits snag, Orange board favors rejection

Last Updated: Thursday, October 15, 2015, 5:39 PM EDT

Skyplex, the planned International Drive complex that would include a Polercoaster, a hotel, a world's largest Perkins restaurant and other shops, suffered a setback Thursday.

In a 4 to 3 vote, Orange County Planning and Zoning Board recommended rejecting the proposal for the complex, citing concerns about lightning, the height of the Skyscraper ride and other issues.

Skyplex is the brainchild of developer Joshua Wallack, who is already building the Mango's Tropical Cafe on the southwest corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road.

Skyplex would be on the northeast corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road.

The Skyscraper would be a 570-foot-tall roller coaster, if built to the developer's height plans. It would be the tallest roller coaster in the world. It would also be taller than other attractions in the area, including the roller coasters at Universal Orlando.

While the P&Z Board rejected the plan, the county commission may approve the project anyway. The commission will take up the matter on November 3.

Orange County Planning Manager Alberto Vargas issued this statement Thursday:

“One can never give a crystal ball prediction about what will happen in regards to how the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) will vote based on the recommendations of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z). There are times when the Board follows Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendations and times when they do not – and it’s not uncommon either way. Rezoning projects go from P&Z to BCC with a recommendation to approve or deny, which the BCC takes into consideration

"This case is different because it’s controversial. Many of the members of the P&Z Commission actually wanted to support the project, but were concerned about height, lighting and the status of the visioning process. The BCC will have a better ability to respond to these issues because of the I-Drive discussion on November 3.

"It’s important to remember that the Planning and Zoning Commission only makes a recommendation to the BCC. It’s all part of an ongoing dialogue.”