‘Everything has to be brought down:’ Orange County families raise wildlife concerns over new development

Residents receive public hearing notice

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Families living in a neighborhood south of Orlando are voicing concerns after learning about plans for a development that could destroy wildlife habitats near their homes.

This week, residents near the intersection of Hall Lane and Lake Jessamine Drive received a public hearing notice from Orange County’s Board of Zoning Adjustment. The notification said there would be a meeting to discuss a variance to allow for 118 parking spaces on a piece of land between Lake Bumby and Lake Jessamine.

[TRENDING: ‘Tragedy and nightmare:’ 10 killed in Colorado | Fla. woman who coughed on cancer patients could face jail time | AstraZeneca may have used outdated info in vaccine trial]

Miguel Hernandez contacted News 6 after learning about the county’s public hearing.

“If it wasn’t because of this notice, we wouldn’t know what was going on,” Hernandez said. “It’s going to destroy the habitat for all these animals that have been here for so many years.”

Hernandez said the area is home to several species of mammals and birds, including bald eagles, which nest on the property.

“Just imagine, everything has to be brought down. You can’t build there unless you tear everything down,” he said.

According to Orange County, the variance is for a multi-family development, however, neighbors said they were unaware of any plans until the recent notice.

Hernandez said everyone he’s spoken with in the community has rejected the proposal but is unsure how the county will move forward.

“We don’t know if that’s going to stop it. We don’t know if that’s enough, so we want to follow up on this,” he said.

Several people who live in the neighborhood said they were planning to attend the public hearing, which is April 1 at 10 a.m. at the Orange County Administration Building.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.