Code enforcement officials to decide future of unlicensed Orange County party operation

by: Angela Jacobs, Mark Boxley Updated:

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Residents of an Orange County neighborhood are complaining to officials about a property being used for special events on Lake Pickett Road.

The five-acre property, called “Haciendas El Eden,” advertises itself as a place for weddings, special events and kids’ activities.

“It’s every weekend, Saturdays and Sundays,” one resident said of the activity at the property. “It can start anywhere from (noon) and go to 10 p.m.,” she said.

When Channel 9 looked into the property, it found that the owners did not have the proper permits to operate a commercial business at the address.

Orange County Code Enforcement officers filed a report in May, noting multiple structures on the property with no permits.

The owners were ordered to stop using the property for recreation and to remove all trailers, including a food trailer and makeshift restrooms.

Property owner Miguel Leyva said the property is mainly used to host free events for children.

“That property makes zero money for me,” Leyva said. “What I try to do is do good for the community.”

Even if that is the case, officials still require Leyva to have properly permitted structures.

He told Channel 9 that he was planning to submit the permitting paperwork this week.

Leyva said he was also considering shutting down the property due to the complaints.

Code Enforcement officers said they were working to set up a hearing with the property owners and, depending on the outcome, the county could assess fines or place a lien on the property if it is still not in compliance.