• Seminole County commission approves controversial development in rural area


    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Some Seminole County residents just lost their fight to save a rural piece of land from being developed. The property sits east of Old Lockwood Road in Oviedo.
    On Tuesday Seminole County commissioners voted unanimously to approve houses be built on the property.
    Channel 9's Kathi Belich spoke to residents after county leaders voted unanimously to approve new development.
    Seminole County prides itself on its natural surroundings, but some resident said it won't stay natural much longer if development like the kind approved Tuesday continues to happen.
    Belich saw three deer Tuesday on the quiet property right next to where the new neighborhood is going to be built. Property owner Thomas Carey said that's why people come to pick their own organic vegetables here.
    "They like to come out to the country to get away from the encroaching development and sprawl," said Carey.
    Carey and his wife said Stratford Manor, a planned community of 26 homes on 10 acres, will add a row of what they call two-story "McMansions" just 35 feet from their property line and force them to change their plans on their own property for a livestock pen to keep it 100-feet away from the new homes.
    "It's not fair at all," said Carey.
    On Tuesday afternoon Carey, his wife and several other homeowners in the area implored commissioners not to allow the development.
    "It's upsetting. It's insensitive," Maria Joubert said.
    One of the owners, CED Strategies, is former State Rep. Chris Dorworth's company.
    Dorworth is charged with violating public meeting law involving the Expressway Authority.
    His representative told commissioners Tuesday that the homes would be 75 feet from the Careys' and others' property lines and said the development is not inconsistent with the area.

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    Seminole County commission approves controversial development in rural area