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Stop the Land Purchases

Please contact the Mayor and Commissioners and tell them to stop wasting our money!

Winter Park requires park and recreation land be at least ten acres per 1,000 population, or 300 acres of park based on a population of 30,000. We now have 471 acres of park land, or 157% of the requirement. Further, Winter Park is completely built out with no land available for residential development that would increase usage of our existing parks.

Now, the city commission is about to commit to purchase 1.88 acres at the corner of Denning Drive and Orange Avenue for over $6,000,000 and dedicate it as more park land. There is no use plan for this new “park” and no funding to buy it, improve it, or maintain it. This land is across the street from “Pointless Park” which has already cost us over $8,000,000 in direct cost and opportunity cost.

Note that this land abuts the railroad tracks, is across the tracks from the existing 7 acre Azalea recreation center and is about 1,000 feet from Mead Garden, a 50 acre passive park.

Please contact the Mayor and Commissioners and tell them to stop this land acquisition.

Other insights:

  • The commission can buy park land without voter approval. Perhaps we need to change the City Charter on this point.
  • Last year less than 19% of registered voters approved a requirement that 4 of 5 commission members must approve the SALE of city owned land, but only 3 of 5 are needed to BUY land.
  • They are already spending every penny we give them. Revenues have increased to over $77,000,000 for 2024 versus $60,000,000 in 2019 (increased property taxes account for almost $11,000,000 of this).

Posted in Policy.

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