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Southwest Orange Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 2 weeks ago

Windermere passes ordinance to fight cut-through traffic

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The town manager now has the authority to place no-right-turn signs along Sixth Avenue.
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

After numerous meetings and discussion, new measures to address an ongoing cut-through traffic issue in the town of Windermere are moving forward.

Town Council members approved an ordinance on second reading that allows for no-right-turn signs along Sixth Avenue, placed at Ridgewood Drive and Lee Street and only in effect from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

The measures are intended to curb cut-through traffic along Ridgewood, which handles numerous cars each day as drivers try to circumvent the backup of cars along Sixth Avenue leading up to the roundabout at Main Street.

The Town Council voted down an ordinance in December that would have allowed only eastbound traffic from Lake Street to Lee Street along Ridgewood. Members expressed reservations about making the segment of Ridgewood one way, explaining it would be an inconvenience for residents 24/7 to solve a four-hour issue.

In response to the new signage ordinance, former Windermere Council Member Richard Gonzalez said he doesn’t like not being able to use a road that he pays taxes for as a resident. He said the town should try a different approach.

“I have no problem with selling the road to the residents and changing it into a private drive and that takes care of that forever — that’s just a suggestion,” he said. “There’s other places in town that want that same sort of restricted usage and it’s going to come up again.”

Ultimately, the ordinance was passed unanimously by the Town Council.

 

KEEPING A COOP?

Town Council members also discussed the possibility of introducing a new ordinance that would allow residents to keep chickens on their property.

Communities such as Winter Garden and Orange County already have ordinances in place that include a permitting process. Town Manager Robert Smith said residents typically are restricted to four hens and no roosters. Residents also are prohibited from slaughtering them or selling eggs on-site, he said.

“You’re pretty much not running a poultry business out of you backyard, and you’re tending to and taking care of the chicken coop while you’re having the chickens there,” Smith said, adding that any kind of chicken ordinance would not trump any HOA covenants that prohibit chickens.  

Town Council Member Chris Sapp said he had no issue with exploring the idea of a chicken ordinance.

“I grew up with chickens … and honestly they’re quieter and less obnoxious than a lot of the dogs in the neighborhoods,” Sapp said. 

Smith said a proposed ordinance will be brought forward to the Town Council at a future meeting. 

Council members then will have a chance to tweak and change the ordinance before a second reading.

 

Tim Freed is the Managing Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. He previously spent six years covering the Winter Park/Maitland area and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

See All Articles by Tim

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