Club plans will feature 9,980SF community center

The city of Winter Garden approved unanimously the site plan for the new West Orange Boys and Girls Club at the commission meeting Thursday, Jan. 12.

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The city of Winter Garden approved unanimously the site plan for the new West Orange Boys and Girls Club at the commission meeting Thursday, Jan. 12.

The applicant is proposing to build a 9,980-square-foot community center for the club at 459 Ninth St. The project will have associated development, including parking, sidewalks, landscaping and a stormwater pond. 

The 7.49-acre subject property is designated Multi-Use Development on the city’s Future Land Use Map and is zoned Planned Commercial Development. 

Planning Director Kelly Carson said the Boys and Girls Club intends to build phase one of its building on the southwest portion of the city’s property. 

Phase one will include the community center with associated development, while phase two will be an addition to the building at a later date.

“I think we’re going to be excited that they’re going to be here,” Mayor John Rees said. “We look forward to that.”

Commissioner Ron Mueller inquired about extending the police resource officers to continue working with the youth in the area. 

“We’ll be working closely with the Boys and Girls Club,” City Manager Jon Williams said. “Obviously, we will still have our presence and add additional resources as needed, but in terms of operation and what the city will be doing and services and programs that we will be providing, we’ll come back with an operating agreement to the commission.”

Commissioner Mark Maciel thanked the commission for the Boys and Girls Club.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Maciel said. “Many of you have been hearing about this project. It’s been on the slate for a long time. It’s going to do great things for east Winter Garden. It’s going to have a lot of great events and services in that building.”


The City Commission discussed the second reading of an ordinance amending the city’s charter to authorize the commission to determine whether the city manager is required to be a resident of the city. 

A motion was made in April 2022 to extend the residency requirements for the city manager through March 2023.

This was approved by the City Commission with the intent that the city would submit a question to the electorate on the March 14, 2023, ballot. 

The question would address whether the city should remove the residency requirement noted under the city’s charter and give the discretion to the City Commission.

Rees said he believed the ordinance should be dropped for several reasons.

“One, we’re not going to have an election, so we would be opening up all of the different polling places in the city of Winter Garden at a cost, and I don’t know what the turnout would be, but it would be very, very small,” he said. “So I think we’re just wasting our time, energy and money.”

The commission unanimously withdrew the ordinance. 




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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