Rural Seminole County residents fight home development proposal

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Residents in a rural part of Seminole County are fighting a new housing development that they believe could ruin their way of life.

A developer is looking into rezoning 40 acres north of Lake Jesup to make way for 114 homes. The property is located near Sipes Avenue and Pine Way.

But residents in the area said they moved there for the rural lifestyle and are upset over the proposed development.

"A barn owl that hangs out in this tree," homeowner Mike Sorel said of the wildlife near his property.

Sorel frequently encounters wildlife on his 3-acre lot, which he said is peaceful and full of nature. But he's worried the latest proposed development would change the lifestyle that dozens of homeowners around Lake Jesup enjoy.

"You wonder how much of that is going to go when they start developing," Sorel said.

The proposal would add around 110 homes on the 40-acre piece of land. The homes would be on a lot that's 75 feet by 125 feet and cost anywhere from $300,000 to $400,000.

Although the construction would bring road improvements and water and sewer changes, long-time residents don't want the any more development.

"Everybody has got 2 plus acres and now they are putting in cookie-cutter houses. Who needs that? We got away from that," Sorel said.

The fight over the development will continue on Wednesday, when a public zoning meeting will be held in Seminole County.