Winter Park commissioners are looking to expand their kingdom after directing city staff to study what it would take to expand city limits to I-4 and to absorb a neighborhood to the east, Winter Park Pines.
The request was made at a commission meeting in late 2022, with no final decisions being made since, but the move, if approved, could add roughly 1,100 new residents to the City of Winter Park — along with 200 acres of land located south of Lake Killarney and north of Fairbanks Avenue.
That area currently gets its water from the City of Winter Park already, but is serviced by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office — a situation many pockets of unincorporated Orange County find themselves in as municipalities shift and redraw their boundaries, like cartographical amoebas, following development projects on their peripheries — because it’s easier to develop property through the city versus the county.
Referendums are legally required for annexing anything over 110-acres and a move to annex that same area by Lake Killarney was voted down by the neighborhood in the early 2000s, according to a report by Orlando Sentinel in 2017. So any formal annexation of these areas will need to be voted on by the residents.
A formal study will ned to measure the costs and benefits of adding so many new residents to the City of Winter Park along with increased fire and police services before heading to a public vote.