Planning board vote helps Save Rural Seminole County

Seminole County Planning and Rezoning urges commissioners to vote down project

By Jennifer Ortega - Reporter, Keith Dunlap - Graham Media Group

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A proposed housing development was the hot topic of conversation Wednesday at the Seminole County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, 55 people gave their thoughts on the project that would be constructed along nearly 670 acres of property north of the Orange County line.

To some who live in the area, the project is not desirable.

“They’re trying to make it sound like the county needs this project,” resident Jay Miller said.

Many residents wore green T-shirts that said “Saving Rural Seminole County.”

“I don’t think we need any more haircutter and nail salons and Starbucks in our area,” resident Theodore Mello said. “It’s going to really destroy a jewel in the county. The county’s motto is ‘the natural choice' and that’s not natural.”

In a passionate back-and-forth discussion, the developer of the project took the podium to defend it, telling the county how residents would benefit from the 600 homes, 500 apartments and possible 1.5 million square feet of retail space that would go up near County Road 419.

After hours of debate, the planning board voted unanimously, recommending that commissioners deny the plan.

The Seminole County Commission will next discuss the development on Aug. 14.

News 6 has sought comment from all commissioners and the county manager, but only Commissioner Bob Dallari has replied as of noon Thursday.

Dallari said he will review the developer's plans next week and won't make a decision until he has all the facts. He said the project is the largest proposal he remembers in Seminole County in quite some time.

It's not known what the developer's next move will be.

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