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Orange County grants can help beautify local neighborhoods

July 10, 2024

Community Services

Orange County code enforcement officer Steve Marconi was driving through East Orlando when he noticed the entrance sign for a development was missing. Someone had hand-painted the community name in yellow and blue.

“I came across this by chance,” Marconi recalls. “The original poster that was attached to the wall had fallen off. It needed some repairs.”

Marconi wanted to help the Piney Woods community, which does not have a mandatory homeowners association. County Neighborhood Services Division employees visited communities to inform residents about a grant opportunity. A Piney Woods resident applied for funding and the community received $11,000 in January.

Today, two new signs adorn the entrance onto Dean Road.

“I’m very happy about this,” said Jordi Pla, a Piney Woods resident. “It made our driveway beautiful. And the grant application process was very easy.”

This is just one example of how Orange County Neighborhood Beautification Grants make a difference.

Orange County has $410,000 in annual funding to improve the quality of subdivisions with new signage, landscaping, pressure washing, playground equipment, irrigation system repair, lighting and more.

“It is important to understand that our team is taking the lead with this grant,” he said.
Rose-Nancy Joseph, Senior Director of Community Development and Outreach at Neighborhood Services: “We knock on doors to inform residents about the availability of funding. We are here to guide communities through the process.”

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners recently approved grant funding for the following communities:

  • $5,000 to Lake Jean Homeowners Association, Inc., near Winter Park, to replace landscaping on three medians and repair the irrigation system.
  • $15,000 to the Winter Park Pines community to pressure wash and paint brick sign pillars, prune palm trees, and crown lift oak trees
  • $15,000 for the Tealwood Cove subdivision, near Lockhart, to replace two existing subdivision entrance signs
  • $15,000 to Bentons Garden Cove subdivision in West Orlando for tree removal, wall repair, painting and pressure washing
  • $15,000 to the Normandy Shores Neighborhood Association in Pine Hills to repair existing signs and install solar lighting and a reading board
  • $14,030.24 to Windward Cay Winter Garden Homeowners Association, Inc. for entry wall, landscaping and lighting improvements.
  • $8,336.65 to the Long Lake Park Homeowners Association near Lockhart for the installation of two entrance signs

Alicia Hollinger, a member of the Long Lake Homeowners Association, said her community has been looking to replace its signage for years.

“The signs are very dated,” he said. “This neighborhood was built in the 1980s and that’s how long the signs have been there. We wanted something a little more modern.”

Thanks to Orange County, new signs are on the way.

For subdivisions with mandatory homeowners associations, the grant provides up to $15,000 and requires a 50 percent match from the neighborhood organization.

For those without a mandatory homeowners association, the grant provides up to $15,000 for projects and does not require a matching contribution.

Orange County also offers a Sustainable Communities Grant Program. Eligible projects may include lighting, irrigation, community gardens, electricity generation and pollution reduction.

“The programs provide much-needed funding to neighborhoods that lack resources to implement beautification and sustainability projects,” said Jason Reynolds, Neighborhood Services Division Manager.

The County is now accepting applications for Neighborhood Beautification Grants for the next round of funding through October 10, 2024.

The Neighborhood Services Grants Team will soon embark on its summer roadshow to tour communities and assist Orange County Community Centers to promote the grants.

For more information, visit OrangeCountyFL.net/Neighborhoods or email [email protected].