Council members and residents had hoped for in-person explanations from Estancia developers.
| 8:37 p.m. May 10, 2016
WINDERMERE Members of Windermere Town Council agreed at their April 12 meeting to invite Taylor Morrison officials to their May 10 meeting to explain what led to the various complaints from The Willows about work at the Estancia development.
In the last several weeks, residents on the border between The Willows and Estancia — formerly called Windsong — have listed many violations of stopping and starting times, with noise and dirt blowing their way before 7:30 a.m. and after 7 p.m. This is despite Taylor Morrison officials assuring town officials weeks ago that they would resolve such issues with contractors.
“To me, they’ve shown very little respect for the town of Windermere and its residents,” said Roger Ambuter, whose home in The Willows abuts the Estancia property. “I think Taylor Morrison has shown very little respect to those of us in The Willows.”
Ambuter said dirt has been so thick behind his house in the last six weeks that his wife must avoid going outside to ensure a clean environment during chemotherapy. Fellow resident of The Willows Susan Campbell supported Ambuter’s assertions and said the most important takeaway is for town officials to prevent similar circumstances with future developments.
Town Manager Robert Smith said Taylor Morrison was required to keep dust down within its developer’s agreement, but Ambuter said water trucks had not been used near The Willows to settle dirt. Mayor Gary Bruhn said a brick wall separating Estancia from The Willows would provide the divide residents desire most quickly, with mid-June as the target for completion.
Councilman Al Pichon, another homeowner in The Willows, had reported that timeframe based on correspondence with Taylor Morrison personnel. He and other council members were displeased that Taylor Morrison had failed to show up.
“I would much rather have Taylor Morrison update the council,” Councilman John Armstrong said in thanking Pichon for updates on Estancia. “It seems to me that they didn’t make an effort to be here tonight.”
Smith said Taylor Morrison officials had informed him that day of their absence, based on a Planning & Zoning meeting they had to attend in Clermont. Armstrong said that was absolutely not a valid excuse.
“It is remarkable that a company of that size cannot meet the request to have a representative here despite a month’s notice,” Councilman Bob McKinley said.
IN OTHER NEWS
Windermere Police Chief Dave Ogden swore in new Sgt. DeStefano and gave Officer Ryan Miller a special award for life-saving efforts.
Bruhn proclaimed May 2-6 Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8-14 Women's Lung Health Week and May as Windermere Police Appreciation Month.
The council unanimously approved an ordinance to adopt its Five-Year Capital Improvement Program, a fire inspection services agreement with Ocoee and a town-wide sign inventory and recommendations project.