Article Courtesy of The
By Tim Freed
Published November 3, 2019
Lakes of Windermere HOA leaders are contemplating the ramifications of a
voluntary annexation of the Monk Property.
Lakes of Windermere
residents are at a crossroads: Should a new 81-home
neighborhood be annexed into their community?
Residents and homeowners association board members discussed
how to move forward at an emergency meeting Tuesday, Oct.
The new neighborhood will be located on a 49.57-acre piece
of land known as the Monk Property at 13000 and 13003 Orange
Isle Drive. That land sits within the existing Lakes of
Windermere neighborhood — north of Overstreet Road, west of
Duncaster Street and south of Little Lake Sawyer Drive
within the Lakeside Village special planning area.
The residential lots would be about 50 feet wide, and the
homes would have a maximum height of 45 feet and a minimum
living area of 1,200 square feet.
Lakes of Windermere Homeowners Association Vice President Jon Johnston said the
developer’s attorney approached the board about the new neighborhood becoming
part of the Lakes of Windermere community.
Johnston said a potential benefit of annexation includes potential input on the
community’s architecture and design.
Teresa O’Brien, president of the Lakes of Windermere Homeowners Association,
said there are financial risks if the annexation happens — such as the concern
of how well the new homes would sell — but added that those risks can be
mitigated and that there are certainly benefits.
It’s important to weigh all the pros and cons, Johnston said.
“We have to look at the big picture — the big-picture impact to us,” he said.
The 81-home project approved by Orange County earlier this year is its latest
iteration; a previous version included 113 single-family homes. The proposal
drew criticism and concerns regarding traffic and congestion from Lakes of
Windermere residents, because the only point of access to the property is
through the existing neighborhood streets.
That request for 113 homes received a recommendation of denial by the Orange
County Planning and Zoning Commission on Sept. 20, 2018. The reduced project of
81 homes was submitted as a compromise, Erika Hughes of project applicant VHB
Inc. said at the Jan. 17 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
O’Brien said few details about the new development have been released to Lakes
of Windermere residents.
“We have not received perfect clarity from the developer of exactly what their
amenities are or will be — we have very sketched ideas from the developer,”
O’Brien said. “I have not seen any concrete plans.”
The HOA board doesn’t have a strong opinion either way yet about the annexation,
“Our attorney did not advise us one way or another on what to do,” she said. “It
comes down to what we think we might want.”
Johnston said the HOA has requested more information about the development and
the new homes. Once that information is received by the community, the board
will consider taking a vote, which will decide whether the residents will have
an opportunity to vote on the annexation.