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Apartments could be built at former home of Osama bin Laden's brother

Neighbors upset over proposal on the Orange and Lake County border

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A battle is heating up between residents of an Orange County neighborhood and the residents of a home once owned by the brother of Osama bin Laden.

Victoria English's family currently owns the home once called Desert Bear, named after a company owned by Khalid bin Laden.

They want to sell 11 acres of land they own to a developer, which plans to build 242 apartments.

"We think apartments are the best option for us and for everybody -- we feel like," said English.

English said the money generated from the sale of the land would by used by her family to refurbish the home, which was built in 1928.

Neighbors, however, are not sold on the idea, and some fear an influx of traffic and crime.

"There’s a huge concern all the way around," said Rochelle Pearce, who lives just steps away from the proposed construction site.  

"With more people, typically there can be more crime. It doesn’t matter whether (they are) luxurious or not."

Neighbors who agree with Pearce have packed Oakland city commissioner meetings to protest the project.

Another rezoning meeting is scheduled for March 19.

The English family said they plan to be there to fight for their project.

"You don’t know what else can come in. A car dealership? Loud restaurants? A Rooms-to-Go with lights on 24/7? We don’t want that. We don’t think anybody else would want that," English said.  
 


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