• Retired couple forms PAC to slow growth in Winter Park


    WINTER PARK, Fla. - A retired couple in Winter Park said they are weary of the rapid growth going on around them so they have formed a political action committee in an effort to slow it down.
    The couple said an apartment building was the breaking point for them. They said there are too many buildings and too much traffic in Winter Park.
    "This is terrible. This is not why we live here," said Rod Sward.
    Sward and his wife Jackie have lived in Winter Park for nearly five decades. It's where they raised their family.
    The Swards said they are concerned that their city is changing, for the worse. City leaders are working on changing density rules.
    "They are allowing a lot of buildings to be built that are too large and out of scale for our city," said Jackie Sward.
    So the couple, who said they had spent most of their time gardening, is now leading a civil charge.
    The Swards have formed a political action committee called Citizens for Managed Growth.
    "We have over 500 signs out now," said Jackie Sward.
    The yellow signs have popped up all around Winter Park.
    "This place was set up as a village; we want it to remain a village," said Rod Sward.
    With the recent and rapid addition of bigger businesses and a higher number of residences the Swards and their supporters worry that the city won't stop, as it voted to increase density rules.
    "It's too much traffic, too much congestion," said Jackie Sward.
    A city spokesperson said, “The City Commission recently approved the beginning of a community-wide visioning process that will help shape the future of our city. We value the addition of new residents and businesses that add to our city’s quality of life. We look forward to visioning with our community on the future growth in Winter Park.”
    The Swards said they fear that the quality of life they have enjoyed is going down.
    "It's a vanishing Eden now," said Rod Sward.
    According to the Swards, demand for their "No density" signs has been so high that the signs are all gone. They said they have another 200 on order.
    The City Commission is expected to vote on changing its increased density rules at a meeting next month.

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    Retired couple forms PAC to slow growth in Winter Park