Seminole residents want county to nix developer's apartment plans



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Residents in a luxury housing development in Sanford say they've been duped by their builder.

They live in Savannah Park at Heathrow, west of International Parkway, and just recently learned that a developer wants to build an apartment complex in their neighborhood.

They're now asking the Seminole County Commission to pull the plug on the project.

Residents in the neighborhood have been expecting a town center that offers exactly what a sign on the property says, "A place to live, work and shop." But now, the developer wants to build an apartment complex instead, in the middle of the neighborhood.

The apartments would sit on ten acres of land sandwiched between the two luxury town home developments at Savannah Park.

Savannah Park resident Stephan Morin said he was expecting a town center-style development.

"Where we could come and we could go have coffee, or go have dry cleaning, you know, places where we could just walk to," said Morin

The developer's new proposal would mean a 138-unit apartment complex with eight buildings, some three stories high.

"Do you feel duped?" Channel 9's Bianca Castro asked Morin.

"Yeah, a bit misled, yeah," said Morin.

According to county documents, the developer said the change will make it easier for his project to be successful.

The developer didn't return Castro's phone call.

People who live in the area have started a petition to present to county commissioners. They will ultimately decide whether the developer can move forward.

"It's going to cause traffic problems," said Morin. "We are going to have to increase security within our neighborhood because of the apartments, our property values are going to go down ... The residents want what was originally proposed, and that's why we bought here."

Residents are handing out flyers to get the word out about the petition.

The county commission will take up the issue at a meeting in May.