Windermere town leaders approve parking ordinance

The ordinance addresses illegal parking in parks after-hours.

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Windermere Town Council heard the second and final reading of a new parking violations ordinance during its Dec. 14 meeting. 

The ordinance is in response to repeated violations throughout the town’s recreation areas.

In the Nov. 9 meeting, Windermere Mayor Jim O’Brien said residents were parking illegally after the parks closed or were parking their vehicles with boat trailers throughout the town while they used the lakes.

The ordinance comes after a previous parking moratorium was placed on East Third Avenue, East Fourth Avenue and the Lake Street and Lake Down parks.

O’Brien said the temporary moratorium was put in place to offer relief to residents in the area while the town went through the proper procedure for the ordinance.

The new ordinance lists the schedule of civil penalties at $30, with the standard $250 penalty for parking in handicapped-accessible spots without a permit.

Prior to this ordinance, Windermere Police Chief Dave Ogden said his department seldom wrote tickets due to the “lack of an articulation in the code.”

A public hearing took place on the ordinance, which was approved unanimously.

In a separate motion, initiated by Town Manager Robert Smith, the council extended the parking moratorium for 45 days, to allow Public Works to work with town engineers regarding signage design and location.


Town staff looked for a motion to approve on the West Second Avenue construction access and easement agreement which was passed unanimously at the meeting. 

“The section that we are looking at is privately owned by six property owners, and we would need this easement in order for us to reconstruct the roadway for storm water, for portable water and for road improvements,” Smith said. “This will increase our BMP numbers to make sure we are awarded the construction portion of this grant.”

Smith said the item has been negotiated for several months with area residents. 


The Butler Basin 90% Design Plans and the Bessie Bason 90% Design Plans passed unanimously after a brief presentation at the meeting from consultant Kimley-Horn.

Kimley-Horn previously completed the Butler Street and Seventh Avenue 45% Design Plans and Exhibits, which the Town Council approved July 13.

The 90% public workshop with residents was held Dec. 1, and the comments received from the workshop were addressed in the latest 90% plans. 

Kimley-Horn officials said the firm reduced swells where possible and extended shoulder gutters in locations that were possible with the goal of minimizing impacts to adjacent residences. 

The company also adjusted a plant in the rain garden from a tropical Milkweed to a native Milkweed.

Kimley-Horn also previously completed the Bessie Street 45% Design Plans and Exhibits, which the council approved Aug. 10.

The 90% public workshop with residents was held Dec. 2, and the comments received from the workshop were addressed in the latest 90% plans.

“This experience has been a good learning process for everyone,” O’Brien said. “I think we’ve learned how to better obtain citizen input, utilize citizen input and get a consolidated feel for what the residents desire and combine that with the engineering and tactics.”


The ongoing boathouse lease debate was also brought up during the council meeting. 

Smith made a comment on the minutes from the Nov. 29 boathouse workshop and said there had been a brief discussion on the boathouses and whether to leave them vacant. But that specific issue was never brought to a vote.

“There was no real consent based upon what I saw in the video,” Smith said. 

Smith said they will briefly discuss the issue at the January Town Council meeting for clarification purposes.

“The recollection that I have is that it was discussed, and it didn’t gain a lot of traction, but it was not negatively or positively left one way or another,” O’Brien said.


Ogden issued a special Community Policing Award to Officer Mark Wilson as part of the town’s meeting. 

Wilson has been a part of several different program including the Care Program where officers check on residents that may require additional care at least once a week. 

Ogden said Wilson goes above and beyond his required duties. 

“Your actions exemplify the community policing model and have earned you this prestigious award,” Ogden said. 

Wilson thanked Ogden and said what drove him to come to Windermere was the chief.

“I fell in love with community policing, and I realized it’s something that society today does need,” Wilson said. “I can’t say enough about him (Ogden) and his vision for this town.”



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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