Horse farm owner appeals city decision

Anne Bingler filed an appeal against the city of Winter Garden’s decision to annex and rezone a property next to Crown Pointe Equestrian Friday, July 7.

Photo by Annabelle Sikes
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Anne Bingler, owner of Crown Pointe Equestrian, has filed an appeal against the city of Winter Garden’s decision to annex and rezone a property next to her horse farm.

The appeal was filed by S. Brent Spain, the lawyer representing Bingler, Friday, July 7, in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Orange County.

In the appeal, Spain stated the city’s decision “denied the petitioner procedural due process, departed from the essential requirements of law and was not supported by competent substantial evidence.”

The measures the city approved Thursday, June 8, allows for the annexation of the 30.24-acre parcel located on Tilden Road into the city, as well as amends the Future Land Use and rezones the property to Planned Unit Development. 

The approval means the development of a neighborhood with 24 homes on the subject property owned by Gotha-based developer SCMS LLC. Three of the homes would directly abut the horse farm.

“The petitioner will be subsequently affected by the city’s decision to annex and rezone SCMS’s property,” the document reads. “Indeed, the petitioner’s existing horse farm operations will be directly and adversely impacted by SCMS’s proposed residential subdivision and the ongoing viability of the petitioner’s agricultural operations will be directly jeopardized by the development, as proposed.”

Bingler said she cannot comment on the appeal. Spain did not respond to multiple requests for comment as of press time Tuesday, July 18.

Jayne Behrle, communications and marketing manager for the city, said the city cannot comment because of the pending litigation.

Jeff Buak, a business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, said his practice focuses on real property transactions, property rights, land use and zoning, real-estate development and more. 

Upon reviewing the petition, he believes people will know more if and when the petitioner’s request to file an amended petition is approved.  

“Right now, the petitioner has not provided details as to how the city violated their due process rights,” Buak said. “As the counsel for (the) petitioner points out, this is a ‘bare bones’ petition without specifics of how the city failed to meet the statutory requirements in Chapter 171, Florida Statutes, nor which standards within its own land development code were violated by the city. It also does not address standing for the petitioner to bring this action.”

The project has drawn opposition from Bingler and nearby residents since the City Commission first discussed the proposed plans in March. Crown Pointe has owned the narrow plot of land along Tilden Road for almost 25 years.


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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.