'Agri-hood' plan moves ahead in Orange County

Commissioners approve proposal for Lake Pickett South


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – An early morning decision was made Wednesday about a big, new development proposed for east Orange County.

People on both sides of the issue packed an Orange County Commission land-use meeting and made their voices heard over several hours of debate.

County commissioners voted on the issue at 2 a.m. after listening to about 10 hours of testimony -- some for and most against -- about the Lake Pickett developments.

There were so many people at the meeting that an overflow room was opened for people to watch a live feed on a screen.

In red T-shirts that read "stop urban sprawl," the large group of opponents urged commissioners to reject the requests of two developers to change the land-use rules for property north of Colonial Drive between Tanner and Chuluota roads.

Opponents want the board to keep the land-use requirements in place, limiting one house per 10 acres.

"Keep urban in Orlando, in the urban areas. What happened to no growth, you know, east of the Econ? I'm a native Floridian.  I remember that," a woman told Local 6.

Not all people were wearing red, however. The few who wearing green shirts support smart growth, which their T-shirts read.  They urged commissioners to amend the county's land use plan allowing developers of Lake Pickett North and South to collectively build more than 4,000 homes on less than 3,000 acres.

"I feel like it's an area that's not being used, land that's not being used too well. And I feel like it's a good area and close proximity to UCF and what not, so I feel like it's a good location," a supporter told Local 6.

In addition to the thousands of homes, the development would also include gardens, edible walking trails and a barn for special events.

The developer for Lake Pickett North pulled his request before commissioners got to the early morning vote.

The commission approved the proposal for Lake Pickett South, meaning the state will now take a look at their request to change the current land-use policy, potentially allowing for the construction of the development.

The state is expected to give a response on the land for Lake Pickett South in September.

If the developer for Lake Pickett North wants to resubmit an application, his next opportunity will be in six months.