Catholic Diocese to build community, hotel in Seminole Co. despite residents' outcry

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Some Seminole County homeowners have lost their fight to keep the Catholic Diocese from building a retirement community, hotel, and much more on 460 acres near Howell Branch Road and State Road 436.

Documents show the property is one step closer into turning into a massive development.

“I am against it fully because not only is it going to affect where we live, but it’s going to affect the nature that’s already back there,” said resident Dawn Muench.

But Muench does not have much say because she did not move into her Seminole County home until after the land in her back yard was rezoned in 2010.

It is owned by the Catholic Diocese, which wants to build hundreds of apartments, assisted living units, and more than 100 hotel rooms.

The property will also include commercial space, a spiritual center, and an expansion to the cemetery.

“You don’t want to be out here by the pool and all of the sudden someone comes by in a hearse to bury someone. Kind of wrecks the party,” said resident Nancy Muench.

Some nearby business owners said they are excited about the new development.

“Business has been steady the way it is, but it definitely won't hurt things,” said Andrew Brummett who works at Tuscany Pizza.

But right now the land is not bringing tax payers much cash.

The church is exempt from the current $67,000 in property taxes until the commercial space is developed.

The Muenchs said no amount of money would change their minds.

The church did not comment on the development.