GOVERNMENT - CITY INFORMATION
Belle Isle is a friendly Central Florida community in southeastern Orange County where peaceful, lakefront living provides a permanent vacation from surrounding metros. Originally established in 1924 to protect Lake Conway and the surrounding chain of lakes, Belle Isle’s local government works diligently to preserve the environment that more than 6,000 residents call home.
Once a Native American oasis, Belle Isle was founded by Central Floridians in 1924 to protect Lake Conway and its chain of lakes. Town supporters resisted Orange County’s plan to use the lakes for drainage by forming their own municipality.
Belle Isle’s first citizens and interim Mayor C.H. Hoffner unanimously voted on the city’s name, which resembles the French phrase for “beautiful island.” Arthur Q. Lancaster later served as the first elected mayor.
In 1928, Belle Isle was annexed back into Orange County and records of the City of Belle Isle ceased to exist. However, residents rallied against another attempt by the County to use the lakes for drainage in 1954, and the local government was reinstated. The State of Florida later recognized the City of Belle Isle’s charter in 1972. In the same year, City Hall was named “Dexter Hall” to recognize Mayor Ross Dexter, the first mayor to pass away while in office.
The city’s government ran continuously until the early 2000s when a council-manager form of government was adopted in an attempt to better serve Belle Isle residents. Since that time, the city has flourished. Annexations, the establishment of a Belle Isle Police Department and an agreement to open Cornerstone Charter Academy mark Belle Isle's largest achievements in recent years.
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Total Square Miles: 5.1
Persons Per Square Mile: 2,573.3
Housing Units: 2,625
Median Home Value: $320,800
Median Household Income: $79,563
Approx. Number of Businesses: 75