OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Some Osceola County residents thought their community was safe from a future road project.
Residents who live in Lake Ajay Village off Narcoosee Road in St. Cloud said their community is back on the table for the future Osceola Parkway extension.
All the options coming off Narcoossee Road would run parallel to Clapp Simms Duda Road.
Dieter Heilmann's property and home is part of the option after he thought he and his fellow neighbors were safe.
“We have nine homes that would be directly impacted,” Stacy Ford said, who also lives in Lake Ajay.
Fellow neighbors said they weren't happy either when they saw new options bringing the road closer to them and in some cases through the community.
“We want to make sure that everyone understands that there is more to protect than just Split Oak Forest. We have homes and a way of life,” said Lake Ajay resident Stacy Ford.
Central Florida Expressway Authority Chairman Fred Hawkins told Channel 9 traffic anchor Racquel Asa that a route has not been selected.
“The environmental community asking us to avoid Split Oak was one reason why that line was put on the map,” Hawkins said.
Friends of Spilt Oak said all but one of the options passes through the preserve. The group, which has garnered roughly five-thousand signatures in support of the preserve, says their alternative should be considered instead since it doesn’t impact Lake Ajay resident or the preserve.
“If they can’t avoid Split Oak, they shouldn’t build the road,” said Valerie Anderson, the president of Friends of Split Oak.
Anderson says if Split Oak can’t be avoided, the project should stop at Narcoossee Road and not continue east to give access to undeveloped land for developers.
Central Florida Expressway officials told Eyewitness News that since no route has been picked yet, now is the time more than ever for public input. Multiple meetings have been scheduled for later this month.
The meetings are at Feb. 13 at St. Cloud High School from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Feb. 15 at Lake Nona Middle School from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 21 Association of Poinciana Villages Community Center from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
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