Windermere Council approves annexation negotiations

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  • | 10:52 p.m. June 9, 2015
Windermere Town Council approves dock relocation
Windermere Town Council approves dock relocation
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The Windermere Town Council met with Mayor Gary Bruhn in a special April 28 workshop to discuss how they believe Windermere should approach annexation in its near future and the long term.

During the council's June 9 meeting, it approved a consensus map with modifications as its plan to direct Town Manager Robert Smith and his staff in discussions with Orange County personnel as to where the borders of Windermere will expand to.

The council approved this map by a 3-2 vote, with Councilwoman Molly Rose and Councilman John Armstrong dissenting. Both expressed a desire to keep the small feel of the town while annexing places of minimal cost and maintenance to Windermere so that the town can increase its revenue. Costs of street maintenance -- which Orange County currently provides for a significant portion of Windermere roads -- were a major concern for the council.

Bruhn and each member of the council created a map for his or her vision for Windermere in the coming years, and the maps were consolidated to form the consensus map. Some of their maps kept a smaller focus, but some sought gradual, wide growth to encompass the entire surrounding chain of lakes, such as Councilman Richard Gonzalez, who cited preservation of Windermere's land and lakes as his chief motivator within an idea to make it a freshwater maritime city.

Bruhn said finding a compromise with county officials would be the ultimate goal of talks about Windermere's boundaries.


Smith raised the issue of reimbursement for costs of Windermere Police Department officers and the town in issuing speeding tickets.

Smith suggested a discussion with the Orange County League of Mayors and a petition from that group for municipal entities to receive a more appropriate share of money from speeding tickets, just to fully reimburse the expenses of municipal officers.

Sergeant Jayson Bonk said the Windermere Police Department would need to establish a dispatch to receive a greater percentage of that money.


The council approved a renewed agreement with Waste Pro for collection of recycling and solid and bulk waste, which could save residents some money, according to Smith's calculations.

In this agreement, Waste Pro will continue to collect typical waste twice per week and recycling and yard waste once per week each. Uniform 64-gallon carts will be used to collect recycling.

The council considered moving to collecting typical waste just once per week, with Armstrong concerned about the town's dirt roads taking a beating from Waste Pro trucks driving on them thrice per week. Council members also had concerns about the timing of collection along Main Street, which has caused traffic issues during morning rush hours. A Waste Pro representative said he would look at changing the timing, so as to avoid such traffic issues.

Rose voted against the measure, citing a desire to use a different company.


Dobson's Wood & Water received unanimous council approval for its low bid of $27,450 for Main Street landscape enhancements, but with the condition that the council would have staff look into modifications for a later date.

Rose raised a concern about frequent wear and tear to existing soft streetscape and said she would prefer a hardscape, which Gonzaled agreed with. Armstrong said hardscapes are unattractive, which led to Councilman Jim O'Brien proposing softscape with a proper, visually appealing barrier.


  • A member of the Isleworth community requested access to the Windermere boat ramp on Lake Bessie. The council agreed to have town staff examine an ordinance amendment allowing that.
  • The council approved Bruhn as its representative for the Florida League of Cities 89th Annual Conference and several residents for the Windermere Charter Review Committee.
  • The council moved its municipal election and qualifying dates to align with a March 15 Presidential primary election, noting the possibility of altering the town's handling of election dates in the future, once a pertinent section of the town charter is addressed.
  • Right of way use agreements for new home construction at 216 Magnolia Street and a converted driveway opening with pavers at 11518 Willow Gardens Drive received council approval.
  • O'Brien asked staff to look into possible revisions of ordinances involving residential home rentals within town limits, especially for vacations, with Bruhn mentioning Airbnb as an example.
  • The council passed ordinances pertinent to fire assessment/MSTU and rental/lease signage and community garage sales adding Windsong and Rosser Reserve.

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].


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