How to find what projects are being built near your Orange County community

Neighbors concerned about new development behind their homes

ORLANDO, Fla. – In 2022, more people moved to Florida than any other state, according to a census report.

Central Florida specifically is booming, new neighborhoods and shopping plazas are always under construction.

After construction started on a project behind their home and they couldn’t get answers about it, Celia Battistone and her husband reached out to News 6 for help.

The Battistones have lived in her home for 30 years. Beyond their backyard was just trees, now it’s being developed, she said.

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The trees have been cleared from the area behind her home, and the land graded, but they still haven’t gotten confirmation of what’s being built.

“It’s three or four years ago that they started this project that seems to never end,” Battistone said.

“I have called an unlimited amount of people, I have reached out to, and everyone gives me another number to call,” Battistone said.

With so much growth in Central Florida, this will be happening to many people.

If something is going up near your home and you want to know what it is, we will show you how to find out.

Every construction project must have permits.

So, News 6 went to Orange County’s website and went to “Permits and Licensing,” then “Fast-track Online Services” on the next page.

Next, we hit “Search Tools and Properties.”

We got the parcel number from county employees, and it gives you every permit that has been pulled for the address.

“I just want some answers,” Battistone said.

See all segments of Boomtown, our series on Central Florida growth:

We got answers.

The plans are for a new subdivision. The final engineering plans indicate there will be 13 lots for single-family homes.

Battistone’s major concern is how high the lots have been built up.

“They just kept adding dirt and adding dirt,” Battistone said. “My number one concern is privacy.”

Battistone’s privacy fence is 6 feet tall, but the lots have been built up so high, she can see the construction workers from the waist up when they’re working, she says.

“There will be no privacy whatsoever unless something is done and they lower the dirt,” Battistone said.

She is also concerned about water run-off and drainage.

We took the concerns to county engineers and Matt Kalus, the chief engineer for the county’s Public Works Development Engineer office, sent us a statement.

“The lots are being elevated to be consistent with the current code to provide the majority of drainage to be directed to the internal street and stormwater conveyance system where it will be collected and treated in a stormwater pond to be maintained by Orange County. There is a proposed swale and drainage easement along the rear of the elevated lots, that will border the neighboring property on the north to prevent any drainage issues offsite, collecting and conveying rear yard drainage to the same stormwater pond,” according to the statement.

On the plans, you can see there are retention ponds on either end of the property.

The developer also has a landscaping plan, which includes two trees behind each home, but time will tell if that provides the privacy Battistone is looking for.

“I’m not trying to stop progress. I just don’t want it to infringe on my privacy,” Battistone said.

Battistone and her neighbors now know who the developer is, so they also have the option of reaching out to the developer and requesting a more significant landscaping plan to add more privacy.

The county says the subdivision is scheduled to be completed in early 2024.

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About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning reporter Louis Bolden joined the News 6 team in September of 2001 and hasn't gotten a moment's rest since. Louis has been a General Assignment Reporter for News 6 and Weekend Morning Anchor. He joined the Special Projects/Investigative Unit in 2014.