East Orange County residents protesting re-election of commissioner

Group: Commissioner Ted Edwards did not listen on Lake Pickett developments

The debate of developing thousands of acres of land in East Orange County may be over, but that is not stopping residents from fighting the plans. They are now fighting the re-election of the commissioner who represents them.

Residents who live in the Lake Pickett area want to keep it quiet, rural, and development free. But plans to built more than 4,000 homes on more than 2,600 acres got the green light Tuesday from the Orange County Commission.

"They're developing in spots that shouldn't be developed. It's not smart growth," Bill Lutz with Save Orange County Inc. said.

The grassroots group "Save Orange County Inc." said Commissioner Ted Edwards led the movement to bring the developments to the large stretch of land north of Colonial Drive and east of the Econ River.

In Tuesday's meeting, Edwards supported the project. He said Orange County needs to address the growing population and the plan provides solutions to transportation concerns.

He was one of four commissioners who voted in favor of the developments.
"He did not listen to the 10,000 citizens in this area who said they do not want these developments," Lutz said.
"He has obviously and blatantly disregarded our wishes out here over and over again," resident Sally Bush said.
The group is now taking their fight from inside the commission chambers to the voting booths. They are going house to house trying to convince people not to re-elect Edwards this year. But the group admits they may not win in the long run.

"I think it will help prevent it. It's never a full proof thing, but at some point citizens got to stand up and say enough is enough," Lutz said.

News 6 called Commissioner Edwards office several times Friday. We were told he was not available for an interview. We asked him if he wanted to respond to his constituents and their concerns, but he did not call us back.

About the Author: