County ordinance passed to protect Windermere's 'Bird Island'

This weekend, law enforcement officers will be out and about patrolling lakes across Central Florida. In Orange County, commissioners approved a new ordinance to help control partying on a small island by Windermere.

It's a quiet day off of Bird Island but on weekends, police say it's a different scene. "The music gets so loud, that the folks that are in the community can’t even enjoy the peace and quiet," Windermere Police Chief Dave Ogden said.

Chief Ogden said it’s not just the noise, but there are also rowdy people. "People that have exposed themselves. People urinating and defecating."

Now a new Orange County ordinance will keep people from parking their boats next to Bird Island. Commissioner Mayra Uribe explained, "Now you’re going to have to dock your boat and swim over to the island." 

Boaters will have to stay 80 feet away from the island. 

While Commissioner Uribe said it’s a solution for Bird Island, residents who live on another popular Orange County lake are facing similar issues.  About eight miles away on Lake Conway, people there gather on a sandbar. Police are worried it could become like the mayhem on Lake George in Volusia County. 

"They start playing music, then they start competing genres of music… we get a lot of complaints from there," Belle Isle Police Lt Jeremy Mills said.

Belle Isle resident Luis Rodriguez said he avoids boating on the weekends and goes during the week.

"Loud music, very loud music," Rodriguez said. "I have to change the way I use the lake." 

Belle Isle police have issued 154 boating citations this year. They said parking has also become an issue. While they would like to limit the number of people using Lake Conway, Commissioner Uribe said there has to be another way to handle these disturbances.

"I want to try to find ways we can do this in the Lake Conway area." 

She said people will still be able to swim up to Bird Island, but they'll have to dock their boats off the island.