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.
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.”
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!
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.
Celebrate Arbor Day by planting a free tree! The City of Winter Springs is giving away one free tree per incorporated Winter Springs household. Registration will be open from February 13, 2023, until March 20, 2023.
Their team will provide you with care instructions for your tree.
Winter Springs Parks and Recreation team will deliver each tree to your home this year!
View the list of available trees below
Tuscarora Crape Myrtle
Tea Olive (Shrub)
Thank you to Budget Tree Service for sponsoring the annual tree giveaway program.
Benefits of Planting Trees
Trees help lower CO2 emissions and purify the air quality.
Office workers with a view of trees report significantly less stress and more satisfaction.
One large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people.
Trees provide vital wildlife habitat.
Trees help clean our drinking water.
Roadside trees reduce nearby indoor air pollution by more than 50%.
Homeowners that experienced flooding of their homes during Hurricane Ian (September 2022) are encouraged to contact us about possible funding from the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for flood mitigation projects that include either:
Elevation of flood Prone Homes (New finish floor is lifted 1.5ft above Base Flood Elevation (BFE)). Homeowners with elevated homes will need FEMA-sponsored Flood Insurance for the remaining of the structure’s life. However, flood insurance is not required to apply for the grant.
Acquisition and demolition of flood-prone homes The affected homes will be purchased by the City and will be demolished soon thereafter. No new structures will ever be allowed to be constructed on those parcels.
Please note that this opportunity is completely voluntary. If eligible to submit to FEMA, the City will submit a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program(HMGP) application to the Florida Division of Emergency Management for funding consideration under the Hurricane Ian disaster to include the properties of interested homeowners under the elevation and acquisition/demolition categories.
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Community Workshop
Homeowners that experienced flooding of their homes during Hurricane Ian (September 2022) are encouraged to contact us about possible funding from the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for flood mitigation projects.
An informational Community Workshop will be held on Thursday, February 9, 2023, at the Winter Springs Senior Center (400 N. Edgemon Avenue), beginning at 6 PM.
The following options are available to homeowners with a past flooding history:
Elevation of flood Prone Homes (New finish floor is lifted 1.5ft above Base Flood Elevation (BFE)).
Homeowners with elevated homes will need FEMA-sponsored Flood Insurance for the remaining of the structure’s life.
However, flood insurance is not required to apply for the grant.
2. Acquisition and demolition of flood-prone homes The affected homes will be purchased by the City and will be demolished soon thereafter.
No new structures will ever be allowed to be constructed on those parcels.
The HMGP assists States, territories, federally-recognized tribes, and local communities by:
Significantly reducing or permanently eliminating future risk to lives and property from natural hazards.
Providing funds to implement projects in accordance with priorities identified in State, tribal, or local hazard mitigation plans
Enabling mitigation measures to be implemented during the recovery following a major disaster declaration.
Typically projects are funded by a combination of Federal and non-Federal funds. HMGP funds may be used to pay up to 75% of the eligible costs.
Please note this opportunity is completely voluntary. If eligible to submit to FEMA, the City will submit a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program(HMGP) application to the Florida Division of Emergency Management for funding consideration under the Hurricane Ian disaster to include the properties of interested homeowners under the elevation.
There have recently been questions regarding street parking in Winter Springs. In order to comply with city ordinances governing on-street parking in the City of Winter Springs, this reference guide has been prepared for your use.
The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC) unanimously approved a request for an Auditor General to conduct an operational audit of the City of Winter Springs. The Auditor General is a state Constitutional Officer which investigates various local governments and other agencies in order to “promote government accountability and stewardship and improve government operations”, according to its website.
“I am aware of concerns regarding activities of the current Mayor, City Commission and City Manager,” State Senator Jason Brodeur said in a letter requesting an independent audit. “The residents of Winter Springs have compiled extensive material showing rampant mismanagement and even malfeasance which is harming the 38,000+ residents of the City of Winter Springs.”
The scope of the audit includes investigating issues related to wastewater, third-party contracting, Consumptive Use Permits, public records requests, testing documentation, ethics, fraud, and the City’s Code of Conduct.
The request letter from Senator Brodeur for an independent audit included concerns about “rampant mismanagement and even malfeasance”, “[s]uspected violations of state ethics laws”, “a complete lack of transparency and censoring residents”, “taxpayer funded misinformation campaigns”, and “[p]ossible public corruption and profiteering with a commissioner”.
The independent audit will proceed following the unanimous vote of the JLAC. The broad scope of the inquiry could lead to referrals to other state agencies. The letter from Senator Brodeur’s office states if “fraud is suspected, the Auditor General may be required by professional standards to report it to those charged with the City’s governance and also to appropriate law enforcement authorities.”
Jesse Phillips, President of the Winter Springs Community Association, made the following statement: “The issues facing our City necessitate an independent review. We need to stop the finger pointing and to understand how we got here and to find solutions to fix the problems affecting our health and livelihoods. We received hundreds of responses to our annual survey and 9 out of 10 Winter Springs residents support the idea of an independent audit of the City of Winter Springs. We strongly recommend City leaders fully cooperate and allow this independent audit to be conducted in full transparency.”
About Winter Springs Community Association: The Winter Springs Community Association (WSCA) was created to help our community become “One Winter Springs”. We are “Living, Growing and Promoting One Heart, One Pulse, One Community, One Winter Springs.” The WSCA serves Winter Springs residents and business leaders who wish to contribute and propel the most positive Community rebuilding effort ever undertaken in our City. Winter Springs is woefully short on entertainment, dining, medical and other important professional services and our Association seeks to serve you, our neighbors by helping any new business wishing to join our community to enhance your quality of life.
Jesse Phillips Winter Springs Community Association
Today I was able to visit the local Boys & Girls Club in Oviedo Florida! It was a great opportunity to celebrate Friendsgiving with the kids.
“Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.”
The location is impressive and they are trying to get more exposure since they opened around the time COVID started. They are fully open now and ready to get the word out about this amazing place. Once they get more kids and families involved, the plan is to expand the offerings.