Winter Garden approves lien reduction on neglected home

The house at 13728 Fox Glove St. accrued code-enforcement violations and fines for years and required city involvement.

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  • | 1:29 p.m. July 15, 2020
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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A home in the Stoneybrook West community that once was considered a safety hazard soon will have new life.

Winter Garden commissioners voted unanimously during their July 9 meeting to reduce and remove a code-enforcement lien from the property at 13728 Fox Glove St., Winter Garden.

According to city documents, the property owners incurred the lien in 2010 because they did not maintain the house or pool area, creating a mosquito-breeding area with unsafe conditions. Such conditions include a ripped-open pool screen and a pool filled with black water.

“The homeowners vacated the house, there were ripped screens, the pool was not being maintained — I guess there were multiple violations,” Community Development Director Steve Pash said. “Then, in 2017, the homeowners association asked the city to become a little more involved. We paid for a cover to be installed over the pool to make it safe and … to prevent any children or anybody from falling in.” 

City documents state staff spent a “considerable amount of time” working on the property over the years, and the homeowners association eventually foreclosed on the property. 

The home now has a potential buyer who plans to refurbish and sell it. In a letter to city staff, Realtor Barbara Waltman wrote that upon acquiring the property, the HOA “had no idea the amount of municipal liens on it.” She requested the liens be lowered, because the HOA now has the property listed and a pending contract to close.

Although staff initially recommended reducing the lien to $20,000 to cover city expenses, it reviewed the numbers and suggested a reduction to $6,000 as long as it is paid by July 31, Pash said.



Commissioners also heard the first reading of two ordinances regarding the property at  543 S. Lakeview Ave. — north of Story Road and west of South Boyd Street. 

The requests are to change the future land-use designation of the 0.26-acre property from Low-Density Residential to Residential Neighborhood Commercial and to rezone it from Residential District to Residential-Neighborhood Commercial.

Pash said the applicants, Robbie and Thelma Robinson, intend to convert the existing garage to a hair salon. Currently, the property contains one single-story house, a garage and an accessory building.

The parcel is the result of a split/lot reconfiguration for 537 S. Lakeview Ave. and 39 W. Story Road, which the Planning and Zoning Board approved June 1.

With unanimous approval, both ordinances will see a second reading and public hearing at the July 23 City Commission meeting.



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