Judge's ruling halts proposed Lake Pickett development

by: Chip Skambis Updated:

EAST ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A housing development project in Lake Pickett could be stopped in its tracks.

Last year, Orange County commissioners approved the project that would bring more than 2,000 homes to the area despite protests and pleas from people already living there.

Read: 'Save Orange County' continues fight against Lake Pickett development

Since then, some residents have started an online petition to make east Orange County its own town.

A judge said the county’s plan amendments were not in compliance with its own development patterns Friday.

Photos: Proposed Lake Pickett development

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs released the following statement:

“I could not support either of the Lake Pickett projects. I had heard from hundreds of citizens who were overwhelmingly opposed to the projects. For me to have ignored such a large number of voters, I would have needed to see a clear demonstration of overriding public good."

Commissioner Emily Bonilla, who represents that Lake Pickett area, said she was pleased with the ruling. She released the following statement: 

"Finally, after over three years, the people's voice has been heard. Fighting the Lake Pickett developments is what prompted me to run for office and what I ran my campaign on. Growth continues to encroach upon rural Orange County. It is more important than ever for County Commissioners to ensure that our environmentally sensitive, rural and agricultural areas are protected for future generations."

Bonilla said she plans to ask the County Commission to vote to support the judge's ruling at the next meeting Aug. 22. 

A proposed development in east Orange County would include a community farm, according to developers.
 
A proposed development in east Orange County would include a community farm, according to developers.