Winter Springs City Commission Extends Growth Moratorium

Winter Springs City Commission Extends Growth Moratorium

A moratorium on growth enacted by the Winter Springs City Commission in early January has been extended through July 27 while the city implements a new stormwater policy for developers to follow.

The city adopted the original moratorium to temporarily halt new development projects while improvements were made to its stormwater infrastructure following flooding that occurred as a result of Hurricane Ian. The commission voted on March 27 to prolong the moratorium by another 90 days to allow more time for new stormwater standards to take effect.

While at least one apartment developer has backed out of plans for a lower-rent community during the moratorium period, it hasn’t prevented other concepts from coming forward.

Recently, a preliminary plan was presented to bring million-dollar homes to the shore of Lake Jesup.

The latest discussion on the moratorium came after commissioners voted on a game plan for its stormwater systems. The commission directed staff to move toward a policy that aligns with how the Florida Department of Transportation handles its projects.

David Hamstra, stormwater department manager with Pegasus Engineering who brought forward improvement recommendations to the city, said the new direction would result in stormwater ponds accompanying development projects to be built a little larger than what’s currently required by the city.

“This seems to be a good upgrade without getting too far out of the norm,” he told GrowthSpotter. “If engineers (for developers) have been doing this for a while, it will not be a significant increase on their time and effort for those who have done (projects) before through the DOT. As far as the cost to a developer, it’s hard to say. The ponds may get a little larger, maybe by about five percent, but I don’t think they will get much larger than that.”

The DOT follows a model called “Critical Duration Analysis” when it comes to determining the size of stormwater ponds for projects.

FDOT defines it as the following:

“Critical Duration means the duration of a specific storm event that creates the largest volume or highest rate of net stormwater runoff for typical durations up through and including the 10-day duration event. The critical duration is determined by comparing various durations of the specified storm and calculating the peak rate and volume of runoff from each. The duration resulting in the highest peak rate or largest total volume is the “critical duration” storm.”

Hamstra said it requires the developer to evaluate a various number of storm events as opposed to a single one.

“It’s more wide-ranging,” he noted. “They have to make sure the ponds are big enough so they can address large and small storm events of different durations.”

City leaders wanted to find an approach that wouldn’t be too restrictive to developers.

This option is “a proven design approach by the DOT, which has the most facilities in the state,” said interim city manager Philip Hursh. “Without being subjected to lawsuits, you can stand behind the DOT because it’s a proven and sound approach.”

After moving forward on the stormwater plan, the commission then voted unanimously to extend the moratorium that was originally set to expire on April 9.

As part of that extension, the commission stipulated that the moratorium would end upon passage of the new stormwater requirements.

Developers can still bring projects forward for review by staff during the temporary moratorium as long as the applicant agrees to the amended stormwater management and drainage standards adopted by the City Commission.

According to city records, there are 17 development projects currently in some stage of the review process in Winter Springs. One of these projects introduced recently for preliminary review is an upscale 14-lot subdivision on the shores of Lake Jesup. The million-dollar homes would feature a contemporary modern architectural style, according to materials submitted to the city.

Sean Glickman with Colliers International gave a presentation about the concept at the April 10 city commission meeting.

“We believe that a more luxurious style and more contemporary style will be more attractive for the highest payers of taxes that are looking for these types of homes,” he said. “I believe this subdivision will fit very nicely within the area of the town center, but also enhance it dramatically because of the contemporary, European, and luxurious feel.”

He said he believes the homes would sell in the $2 million and $3 million range. City commissioners encouraged the development team to pursue the project.

But at least one developer has abandoned plans amid the moratorium. Third Wave Development wanted to bring one of the company’s Avid-branded apartment communities with 80 units priced below market rate to the city. However, when the company’s CEO Chuck Hollis presented his concept to the commission in January he got little feedback and direction.

“Apartments are a tough one in Winter Springs,” Mayor Kevin McCann told Hollis.

Days later, Hollis informed city staff that he was no longer pursuing the project.

Running 4 Heroes, Inc.

Running 4 Heroes, Inc.

Thank you to Running 4 Heroes Inc.; a 501 (c) 3 that honors the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect their communities.

What started as a young resident running in his community has certainly gone above and beyond all expectations.

Fallen Hero Flag Mission – Every mile that is run for our fallen First Responders, our mission will send the flag that was carried to the family and/or agency of the fallen hero along with a handwritten note.

Injured First Responder Grant Program – Each month, a donation with a minimum of $10,000 will be given to a First Responder Injured in the Line of Duty. As of October 2022, Running 4 Heroes has awarded over $347,000 in these grants.

K9 Grant Program – Each month, a different K9 Officer will be provided with a ballistic vest and/or safety equipment as part of our Running 4 Heroes K9 Program. As of October 2022, we have awarded nearly $25,000 in equipment and monetary donations to these K9 Officers.

Family of the Fallen Beneficiary Fund – When a First Responder is lost in the Line of Duty and leaves behind children 17 years of age or younger, with the agency/family blessing, RFH’s spearheads fundraising campaigns to help financially support the families of these fallen heroes. As of October 2022, Running 4 Heroes has awarded over $258,000 to these families.

Tribute Hall – In October of 2022, Running 4 Heroes officially opened the Tribute Hall in Winter Springs, Florida. This 1,800 square foot Tribute Hall is connected to the main R4H headquarters, and helps RFH continue to honor our fallen heroes. It also provides a place for the families of our fallen to reflect on their heroes, and for future children to be inspired by the mission. From stories of the heroic 9/11 efforts to recently fallen heroes lost in the Line of Duty, this Tribute Hall is a powerful place that will forever honor our fallen heroes and provide anyone visiting Central Florida a place to honor our fallen.

Headquarters/Unofficial P.D. Substation – The Running 4 Heroes Headquarters in Winter Springs, Florida has become an unofficial substation for our local Police Department. To ensure that our local Officers have what they need, RFH stocks the kitchen with various food and beverages, with office space, so that our local First Responders are hydrated, nourished, and healthy.

Travel Mission – Having the opportunity to meet the youth of this mission means so much to our First Responders and our Surviving Families. Your support makes those opportunities possible.

Please consider donating today and helping us show support to our First Responders, their Families, their Communities as well as our K9 Officers and Military.

Make Your Voice Be Heard

Make Your Voice Be Heard

Notice: Tuskawilla Self-Storage PD- Planning and Zoning Commission/LPA.

Consider a Rezone from M-1 (Industrial) and A-1

(Agriculture) to PD (Planned Development) for a proposed self-service storage facility on approximately 4.81 acres, located on Tuskawilla Road approximately 200 feet south of Michael

Blake Blvd.; (Z2022-20) (David Axel, Applicant) 

May 3, 2023: 6:00 PM

Seminole County Board Chambers – Room 1028

1101 East First Street

Sanford, FL 32771

The purpose of this hearing is to receive public input and make recommendations to the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners on the proposed request that is assigned to the property described above.

Winter Springs Storage Development

March 14th Public Meeting Recap

Several frustrated homeowners attended last night’s public meeting on the proposed Tuskawilla Self-Storage; despite the feeling of many neighbors that they “should have more influence over rezoning changes, the courts are reluctant to intervene.”

Seminole County has mandated public hearings under the Zoning Procedures Law, and so neighbors have access into the public hearing process, but once a decision is made, the standard to challenge becomes much tougher. 

There are substantive challenges available to neighbors who are dissatisfied with a zoning decision.

We need to find a legal reason why this project can not move forward, such as some of the following: 

  • The location being pedestrian-oriented development with 3 public schools surrounding the property
  • Being a superfund/brownfield site
  • Evidence that the values of the homes will decrease and interfere with existing development
  • That the property is surrounded by other residential uses; and is inconsistent with surrounding uses

“As the Supreme Court stated in a seminal neighbor case Lindsey Creek Area Civic Assoc. v. Columbus, 249 Ga. 488, 292 S.E.2d 61 (1982), “It is important to keep in mind that the governing authority has approved the zoning change, thereby giving its permission to the landowner to use the property as the landowner desires. It is also important to keep in mind that we deal now with the right or power of neighbors to deny to the landowner the right to use the property as the landowner desires and as approved by the governing authority.” 249 Ga. at 490.”

This project will interference with others’ property rights, diminution in the values of the neighbors’ property (damages), substantial interest-aggrieved on the citizen with substantial evidence of harm, who will suffer damage to their property which derogates from their reasonable use and enjoyment. Evidence of harm could include: that a homeowners view from upstairs window will now be obstructed by a commercial building and now he can’t enjoy the sunrise. 

I understand “increased traffic, potential for storm water issues, crime threats, and generalized claims that home values will diminish. These sorts of general claims are typically rejected.”

However, “In DeKalb County v. Wapensky, 253 Ga. 47, 315 S.E.2d 873 (1984), and in Brand v. Wilson, 252 Ga. 416, 314 S.E.2d 192 (1984), the Supreme Court concluded that evidence of a 15-20 percent decline in value of a neighbor’s adjoining property was sufficient evidence upon which a trial court might find substantial damage to a substantial interest. As the court put it in Wapensky, homeowners who will “bear the brunt of the changed conditions” typically will have a substantial interest. Such persons are not casting themselves in the role of “champions of the community,” if they have presented evidence of an interest of real worth and importance. Thus, the best way to have standing is to have directly adjacent neighbors who can present evidence of potential diminished value from an expert, in addition to other nuisances such as specific noise, odor, light pollution, etc.”

In addition, this enclave is possibly considered “Spot zoning” where the zoning amendment is invalid because it is not in accordance with a comprehensive or well-considered plan. East Lands, Inc. v. Floyd County, 244 Ga. 761, 262 S.E.2d 51 (1979). It has been defined as the process of singling out a small parcel of land for a use classification totally different from that of the surrounding area, for the benefit of the owner of such property and to the detriment of other owners. Spot zoning is generally used to refer to rezoning a small parcel to a classification that differs from the general surrounding area. However, just because a small area is zoned differently from the surrounding area does not equate to spot zoning. Spot zoning has been found in relatively few cases. The general test for spot zoning is whether the zoning is arbitrary or whether it is done in accordance with the comprehensive plan. The analysis depends heavily on the facts of the particular case.Spot zoning has not been mentioned in a decision of the Georgia Supreme Court since 1987 and has not been seriously discussed since 1981. See Bobo v. Cherokee County, Ga., 248 Ga. 554, 285 S.E.2d 177 (1981). In Bobo, the Supreme Court found that the decision to deny the rezoning of property from residential to commercial amounted to the denial of due process, and held that, despite the fact that it would inject a commercial use into a primarily residential area, it did not constitute spot zoning, because there was little evidence of harm to other owners and substantial evidence of harm to Bobo. Thus, a radically inconsistent use is attacked under the framework of an insubstantial relation to the public health, safety, welfare and morality.”

Prior to the Self Storage Public Meeting yesterday; The City of Winter Springs provided a pre-annex agreement to the landowner which would open up the uses to Town Center Development zoning.

Currently, other uses that could be implemented with the current county zoning could include paint and/or auto body shop, warehouse, industrial uses….

New uses could include Town Center District zoning if annexed into the city where city utilities will be provided…

The landowner was given several incentives such as Discounted to Waived Fees if they decide to annex into the city of Winter Springs.

Pre-Annexation Agreement

Download Here

Interlocal Agreement

Download Here

Winter Springs ACE Hardware Development

Winter Springs ACE Hardware Development

Ace Hardware & Commercial Space

Commercial Development – 23,559 sqft Hardware Store & 3 Commercial Spaces




Proposed Development: Northeast corner of Tuskawilla Rd. and Michael Blake Blvd., just south of the Mobil Gas Station

The Community Development Department requests that the City Commission hold a Public Hearing to consider the aesthetics for a proposed Ace Hardware with attached commercial space located within the Town Center (T5 Transect). 

The project includes a 23,559 sqft hardware store as a permitted use and three vacant tenant spaces of 2,621 sqft, 2,187 sqft, and 2,323 sfqt.

City of Winter Springs Tree Arbor Ordinance

City of Winter Springs Tree Arbor Ordinance

City of Winter Springs Tree Arbor Ordinance

The City of Winter Springs Tree Arbor Ordinance requires that a permit application is submitted to the City and a fee paid for each tree removal of 4” DBH* or larger, unless the tree is dead, diseased, or poses a clear and obvious safety hazard to structures or people. 

In addition, the Ordinance requires that all trees which are removed or destroyed and are subject to replacement.

New EPA Drinking Regulations Proposed

New EPA Drinking Regulations Proposed

NEW EPA DRINKING REGULATIONS PROPOSED for Man-Made Chemicals PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances)

There is currently no federal mandate to regulate public water systems to test for PFAS chemicals or take steps to filter them out of their supplies before it reaches consumers.

On March 14, 2023, EPA announced the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA, commonly known as GenX Chemicals), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS).

The limits, known as maximum contaminant levels, or MCLs, are the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. The new MCL requires water treatment plants to lower PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS and GenX to much safer levels than currently exist in water systems.

These are just six of the forever chemicals known as PFAS, a large family of fluorinated chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Even at low levels, they have been linked to cancer, reproductive harm, immune system damage and other serious health problems. The EPA has known about the risks from PFAS at least since the 1990s.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1940s. They have been used to make nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil. 

The proposed PFAS NPDWR does not require any actions until it is finalized. EPA anticipates finalizing the regulation by the end of 2023.

EPA expects that if fully implemented, the rule will prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses;  cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.

Where are PFAS found?
  1. Cleaning products.
  2. Water-resistant fabrics, such as rain jackets, umbrellas and tents.
  3. Grease-resistant paper.
  4. Nonstick cookware.
  5. Personal care products, like shampoo, dental floss, nail polish, and eye makeup.
  6. Stain-resistant coatings used on carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics.
  7. Fish
  8. Cereals
  9. Water
  10. Air
  11. Soil

PTFE, best known by the brand name Teflon™, is typically made using several hazardous PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) that have polluted drinking water across the globe.

PFAS have been found in some brands of bottled water. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not put enforceable limits in place yet.

Reduce Use of Products that Contain PFAS:
  1. Check product labels for ingredients that include the words “fluoro” or “perfluoro.”
  2. Be aware of packaging for foods that contain grease-repellent coatings. …
  3. Avoid stain-resistance treatments. …
  4. Avoid or reduce use of non-stick cookware.
Easter Egg Hunt 2023 Winter Springs, Florida

Easter Egg Hunt 2023 Winter Springs, Florida

The annual Egg Hunt tradition at Central Winds Park was a hopping good time for all who attended! Children ranging in age from 2 to 12 brought their baskets and participated in a park-wide egg hunt with fun and prizes for everyone. It was truly an egg-citing event!

The highlight of the day was the special golden egg, which held a big surprise for the lucky child who found it. With advanced registration required, the event was well-organized and accommodated the largest number of people possible by dividing the egg hunt into age ranges and time slots.

Winter Springs residents were able to participate for free, making it an accessible event for all families in the community. Overall, it was a wonderful day filled with laughter, joy, and plenty of egg-citement. We can’t wait to see what next year’s Egg Hunt has in store!

Choices In Learning Winter Springs

Choices In Learning Winter Springs

A charter school in Seminole County, which has received an A rating and is highly popular, is experiencing turmoil due to the possible departure of the school’s principal. Many parents are blaming the board members for unfairly pushing out the well-liked principal, and there is a sense of fear and anger among the school community. The governing board, which is not elected, has come under fire for making decisions that do not prioritize educational needs.

The conflict began in November 2020, after a board member was denied permission to deliver a tiara and a stuffed animal to his children during school hours, violating the school’s policy. This led to a series of incidents, including the board member requesting footage from the school’s security cameras to monitor the principal’s activities and an orchestrated meeting where former employees spoke critically of the principal.

At a board meeting, the principal resigned, with some board members voting to accept her resignation, while others praised her work. Many parents have signed an online petition to stop the “forced resignation” of the principal, and some have attended board meetings to express their support for her. The principal filed a formal complaint against the board members, accusing them of bullying and harassment.

The board’s previous attorney conducted an investigation into the matter, and the board has since hired a new attorney. The investigation concluded that the board members’ actions did not meet the legal definition of bullying and harassment, but the board member’s actions could lead a reasonable person to believe that there was specific intent against the principal.

The lack of checks and balances within the board, and the fact that it is not elected, has frustrated many parents who feel they have no say in what is happening at the school. The school is in the last year of its 15-year charter, so it will need to seek renewal next year.

Week 4 Legislative Update

Week 4 Legislative Update

Bill Dealing with Residential Building Permits Passes First Committee

CS/HB 671 (Esposito) and SB 682 (DiCeglie) are comprehensive building permit bills. The bills drastically change the process that local governments have to go through before a building permit is approved, including significantly reducing the timeframes for approval of permits. On Tuesday, CS/HB 671 (Esposito) passed in its first committee of reference 11-4. The Senate companion, SB 682, has yet to be put on an agenda. (Branch)

More Help Is On the Way for Operator Shortages at Water and Wastewater Facilities

CS/CS/SB 162 (Collins) and CS/CS/HB 23 (Bell), an FLC Policy Position, would require the Department of Environmental Protection to issue a license by reciprocity to any out-of-state water or wastewater operator that has an active and valid license from that other state with license requirements that are comparable to Florida. This week both bills passed out of committee unanimously. (O’Hara)

Financial Disclosures for Local Officials Passes Through Committee

On Thursday, CS/CS/SB 774 (Brodeur) passed through its last committee of reference on a vote of 16-4. CS/HB 37 (Roach) is waiting to be heard in its third committee of reference. CS/HB 37 would require all municipal elected officials and all city managers to file an annual full disclosure of financial interests (Form 6) with the Florida Commission on Ethics, while CS/CS/SB 774 (Brodeur) was amended in committee to remove city managers from the more stringent requirement. (Taggart)

Winter Springs Gee Creek Update

Winter Springs Gee Creek Update


The City of Winter Springs Public Works staff has been focused for the past few weeks on the debris clean-up No Name and Gee Creeks. The City is aware of the sediment build-up at the culverts on Alton Road and attempted to remove the sediment in-house but the cities equipment could not reach far enough into the creek bed. The City has since contracted a vendor to do so and they are scheduled to address this in late March/early April. They are doing the same for other areas throughout the City.

Once we receive formal notification from NRCS of our funding for the larger debris clean-up, such as larger trees, we will solicit one maybe two contractors to complete the clean-up; which is anticipated to be completed in May 2023.

Gee Creek is a 5.0 mile stream.

This waterbody is located within: Lake Jesup Watershed Gee Creek Watershed

Size and Volume

Length within Atlases

4.97 miles


Lake Kathryn, Seminole County


Unnamed Swamp West Of Lake Jessup

Drainage Basins

Middle St. Johns River