Controversial development planned for rural Orange and Seminole counties



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Only Eyewitness News discovered the plan for a controversial development along the border of Orange and Seminole counties is back on the table.

The residential development near State Road 50 and Chuluota Road was shot down four years ago because nearby homeowners were worried about more traffic and the impact on the environment.
Developers are desperately working with community leaders to get it approved.

Many people compared the project to Baldwin Park, but now the developers want to change the dialogue, and they are calling the plans a slow transition from rural land to urban land.

"We have four horses and a miniature donkey," said Seminole County resident Lauren Ventimigila.

Ventimigila raises them on 10 acres in rural Seminole County, but her area may not be rural much longer.

A developer wants to turn 1,400 acres down Chuluota Road into a massive community with thousands of homes and hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial space.

"I would like that part, like having stuff closer to us, but then at the same time traffic is the only thing that would make me not want that," said Ventimigila.

Eyewitness News checked with the Florida Department of Transportation, which said 12,000 vehicles drive along Chuluota Road every day.

Residents worry if construction keeps creeping toward them, it will get worse.

"They build hundreds and then there is like several neighbors in that area attached to each other, and they squeeze all of these houses together, which is what we got away from to begin with," said Grace, Grace (<--Give full name), an Orange County resident.

Community officials said they will build their own roads and improve existing ones.

There would also be changes to the layout.

The developer was going to build roughly four houses per acre, but now it is scaling that back to just two and a half and scaling back the commercial space.

Some are still concerned with storm water runoff and the fact that the land is along the Econlockhatchee River.

The company said it will protect the environment, but the people who live here for the peace and quiet want to keep it that way.