Voters approve protecting Split Oak Forest from development

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Friends of Split Oak Forest have taken every path possible to save its trees, and the animals that live among them.

After constant defeat, the next-level dedication may have finally paid off.

On Tuesday, more than 86% of voters said they wanted to protect Split Oak by taking away county commissioners' ability to change the current restrictions, including development, on the land.

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However, commissioners already approved the plan for developers to build the Osceola Parkway extension about a year ago.

About a mile and-a-half of the nine-mile toll road would cut through the southwest corner of the forest, connecting State Road 417 with the Osceola Parkway.

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County leaders considered the route a compromise, because prior plans cut through a larger portion of the land, and going around the forest would have booted several people from their homes.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.