A new threat: SB 410 – Urgent

SB-410 is a direct threat to the rural boundary in Seminole County.

It’s a great feeling knowing that the Econ River Wilderness Area (ERWA) is safe. When we get into these fights, many times it seems we are beating our heads against the wall with no reward and it is a great day when we win. Personally, the greatest joy comes when I see families with young children walking the trails and enjoying nature. The ERWA is the only place we have on the west side of the river and it is a great feeling knowing it will be there for future generations and we had a part in that.

But our celebration is short lived as SB-410 threatens the entire rural area in Seminole County.  Those unfamiliar with SB-410, you can read about it in the link below but here is the short version.

From 1000 Friends of Florida website:  “SB 410 was intended to override county oversight for a few specific development projects but will unintentionally impact planning to protect rural lands in dozens of counties across Florida.”

This puts the Seminole County rural boundary at great risk.  Here is what can happen.  If SB410 is signed by the governor, the developer who wanted the ERWA swap can ask Oviedo to annex the High Oaks land on the east side of the Econ in the rural area.  If it is annexed, Seminole County cannot stop Oviedo from re-zoning the land and we could easily see a small city over there with 5,000 homes.  But that isn’t even the worst of it.  Once that land is part of Oviedo the next contiguous property can be annexed and re-zoned and on and on it goes gobbling up the rural area.

This is a terrible bill and one that should never have passed.  A paragraph was inserted at the 11th hour and flew under the radar.   We must all ask Governor DeSantis to veto this bill. 

1000 Friends of Florida has a petition.  Sign the petition asking Governor DeSantis to veto this horrible bill.

If you want to read more about this and email or call Governor DeSantis’ office, here is the link https://1000fof.org/legis/veto-sb-410/

Please sign, email and/or call as this is very time sensitive.

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How to contact commissioners

  1. Commissioners emails:
  2. Commissioners phone numbers:
    Jay Zembower 407-665-7205
    Bob Dallari 407-665-7215
    Lee Constantine 407-665-7207
    Amy Lockhart 407-665-7201
    Brenda Carey 407-665-7209
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Econ Wilderness Area update – DRC meeeting

There was supposed to be a Development Review Committee (DRC) meeting on April 1st but it was cancelled. The DRC is a scheduled meeting between Seminole County staff and the developer to review the application and make staff comments. Residents are allowed to attend but not speak.

Because the meeting was cancelled. Staff made comments and posted them at the link below. The public is encouraged read the comments and contact Mary Moskowitz (407) 665-7375, mmoskowitz@seminolecountyfl.gov.

Here’s the summary from the DRC documents.

Land value comparison

Hi-Oaks has six separate properties totaling $4,336,200.
The Econ Wilderness Area has four separate properties totaling $3,649,480

According to this application the Hi-Oaks property is worth more but I am hearing otherwise. People say the Econ Wilderness Area is worth far more because of the availability of utilities. There is no doubt it would be much easier to develop.

One document called “Comment Document – Initial Submittal” is a checklist that looks like this.

Continue reading

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Highway 50 traffic at new apartments - going East

Orange County 1 cent sales tax

Remember the Orange County 1 cent sales tax for transportation. It’s just a memory. With all this COVID-19 pandemic, Demings pulled the plug.

He said, “We are suspending our pursuit of the one penny transportation/infrastructure sales tax to be placed on the November 2020 ballot,” Demings said. “Times are just too uncertain right now, so we are postponing our efforts. We will take up the transportation tax issue after the pandemic is over. Our focus for the time being will be on the health and welfare of our residents as we go through this pandemic.”

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Seminole County BCC meeting: Commissioner Constantine requests meeting on the Econ River Wilderness Area land swap

Here’s the excerpt from the Seminole County BCC meeting where Commissioner Constantine brought up the shade meeting on the Econ River Wilderness Area land swap.

Here’s my take.

This is the meeting that will force the commissioners to show their hand. As I see it, all of the commissioners have had ample time to look at what the developer is proposing and consider the project. I think if any commissioner votes to move forward, it is a tell-tale sign they want this project to go through.

This is the meeting where the rubber meets the road and in my opinion will decide if the ERWA stays or goes.

It is unfathomable to think that with over 6,000 petitions including countless phone calls and emails, the commissioners would go against the will of the people and continue this debacle. Commissioner Edwards in Orange County did that and lost the next election.

I commend Commissioner Constatine for bringing up the swap and talking about all the petitions and emails and I commend him for asking for a discussion on the swap. I commend Commissioner Zembower for asking the attorney to move to a shade meeting asap and getting it on the agenda.

When you hear the discussion, I think Commissioner Carey and Commissioner Lockhart have already shown their hand and want the process to move forward. That, to me, because they have seen the project and studied it, says they are in favor of this swap. Lockhart said she is a process person and wants to see this play out in public. Every person and organizations are in opposition and don’t want this to play out in public, we want it stopped? Doesn’t the will of the people count?

Regarding Lockhart and Carey, in a previous hearing the same day, 23 resident in a community called Bear Lake called in opposition to a commercial property. Both Lockhart and Carey went against the will of the people and voted in favor.

Commissioner Dallari didn’t say a word during the exchange.

There is no way to read the outcome of this shade meeting but depending on the outcome, the future will be crystal clear.

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