Windermere Town Council members will take their time to mull changes requested by the Sunset Bay Homeowners Association Inc. to the neighborhood’s original development agreement .
The Sunset Bay Development agreement originally was signed March 8, 1988, and applies to the Sunset Bay neighborhood located on 24.5 acres of land north of Conroy Windermere Road.
On Tuesday, June 11, the Sunset Bay Homeowners Association Inc. requested the council make six amendments to the agreement: setting a termination date for the agreement; splitting the cost of future road repaving costs between the town and residents evenly; having the town assume responsibility for costs of lighting in the neighboring Down Pointe subdivision; inspecting any needed repairs to sidewalks along Sixth Avenue; having the town fund any future sign repairs; and granting permission to build a 6-foot-tall wall along the length of the property bordering Sixth Avenue.
Brent Spain, of the Theriaque and Spain Law Firm, spoke on behalf of the Sunset Bay Homeowners Association Inc. He said the HOA was not looking for landscaping requirements or for any other similar rules outlined in the agreement be lifted.
Spain said it comes down to maintenance of the improvements on the roadways and the lights.
To address the requests, Town Manager Robert Smith recommended via town documents for the council to approve the requests regarding lights in the Down Pointe subdivision, the costs split for road resurfacing and the sign repair.
Smith recommended the council suggest leaving the agreement in place with no expiration date, and the HOA submit a variance application for the construction of the wall, according to town documents. In response to the request for an inspection of sidewalks of Sixth Avenue, Smith said the town already was inspecting and repairing them as needed.
These recommendations were communicated to the council via Heather Ramos, who serves as the town attorney, because Smith was absent.
“They are kind of in a unique situation, because they are one of the only developments in town that have a 1988 development agreement, and they also have the unfortunate situation of being kind of in the middle of an area where they’re driven through by another subdivision,” Ramos said.
Because of the geography of the area, residents of the Down Pointe subdivision drive through Sunset Bay to get to their homes but do not incur the costs, Ramos said.
The council elected to take no action on the agreement at the meeting to have time to consider the recommendations from Smith before making a decision.
Police Chief Dave Ogden swore in two new reserve police officers, Carollee Burrell and Kevin Tuck, to the Windermere Police Department.
Reserve police officers are employed by the town to lend an extra hand during busy times of the year, helping out with large events and filling in for other officers when needed.
“Most reserve officers have full-time positions somewhere else,” Ogden said. “They still love and enjoy and want to be a police officer — and have a passion to be a police officer — but they have great careers in other services. They do this as a service to the community. So it’s really amazing.”
Burrell, previously a reserve officer with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, is assistant chief at the Winter Garden Fire Department. Burrell brings emergency medical experience to the team, which Ogden said is an asset because the department responds to medical calls, as well.
“Much of the time, we are actually on emergency medical services (scenes) before the fire department even arrives, so it’s a great benefit to the town,” Ogden said.
Tuck also enters the department with law-enforcement experience and Ogden described him as service-oriented. Tuck was a police officer and served as a public information officer before leaving the profession to pursue ministry full-time.
Ogden also recognized Detective John Allen with a five-year service award during the meeting. Allen joined the Windermere Police Department after working for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and has experience in a variety of different types of cases.
“I would truly put him up against any investigator in the country,” Ogden said.
The Windermere Town Council’s next meeting will be July 9.