Posted: 3:13 p.m. Monday, June 9, 2014

Orange County commission to discuss Osceola Parkway extension plans

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —

For the first time, an Orange County commissioner is weighing in on an Osceola County road project that could cost some local homeowners their homes.

The plan to extend the Osceola Parkway to Narcoossee Road runs right through Commissioner Jennifer Thompson's district and a new community of homes still being built.

Thompson said she found out about Osceola County's plan to cut through Orange County from a postcard in the mail.

"To come into a brand new subdivision in Orange County, and Osceola County is going to build their super-highway toll road in Orange County, that makes no sense," homeowner Benjamin Purdum said.

Homeowners in Wyndham Lakes Estates and other south Orange County subdivisions said they're in disbelief after learning the value of their new homes could plummet.

The homeowners apparently had no idea when they recently purchased their homes that plans were in the works to build a toll road right through the neighborhood.

"Now boom, I wake up one day with a letter saying eminent domain going on your property," homeowner Mike Wald said.

Thompson said she was also blindsided by the plans.

"No idea until a couple of months ago that there was an alignment chosen that would affect Orange County. We knew there was a study. There are studies done all the time," Thompson said.

As soon as she found out, Thompson got involved, although there may not be a lot she can do.

"What power does Orange County have to stop this?" reporter Lori Brown asked.

"We're trying to figure that out right now," Thompson said.

At this point, officials said it appears the Osceola County Expressway Authority can have the final say. Orange County commissioners will discuss the potential toll road at their meeting Tuesday morning.

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