Reply to Mr. Dorworth’s comments on a previous post

In a previous post, Mr. Dorworth engaged in conversation and made some comments.  I appreciated the dialog. Instead of continuing the dialog on that post, I decided to post this.

Mr. Dorworth said,
“Don’t know who you are”.

My response:
I’ve been involved with all the massive development east of the Econ for about 10-12 years and been writing about it for about 6 years. My initial focus was strictly traffic, hence the name FixMyRoadway. That view has changed over the years as I understand more about this area and as a result FixMyRoadway has morphed too.  FixMyRoadway is now focused on traffic but also environmental concerns in our area.  Also, FixMyRoadway was focused on just Orange County but because similar issues are appearing in Seminole County, FixMyRoadway has expanded to cover East Seminole County.

Did you know there is such a thing as the Geneva bubble? Did you know that the Econ is the 3rd most pristine river in Florida? Who would have thought we are living right in the middle of environmental wonders?

Chris Dorworth
Chris Dorworth

Mr. Dorworth said,
“As to why I am so resolute to get this wrong righted, an elected government forced down the value of a piece of land by an illegal and arbitrary boundary conceived of by a man who profits from the existence of that line and that I am committed to getting HI Oaks out of the rural and area to get a truly fair hearing.”

My response:
I asked Mr. Dorworth how a person can profit from the rural boundary line and wasn’t given an answer.

I think we all hold property rights sacred and believe people should have control over their property but even property owners have to abide by the rules set in place by county commissioners and in some cases at the ballot box. I live in a HOA. Can you imagine if I said I didn’t know a new amendment was put in place and came back years later and said I wanted to be excluded. I can scream and yell all day long and it won’t change the fact that the amendment is there especially if I was given a choice to opt out. Sure, I can go ask them for a variance but if they say no, I have to live with that.

I can’t speak to the claim that the Hi Oaks land should or shouldn’t have been in the rural boundary but today it is in the rural area and must abide by the same rules similar to what I live under in my HOA. Somewhere I heard that folks were given the option to opt in or out of the rural boundary and that’s why the line is so jagged. It seems plausible.

The Seminole County rural boundary is similar to what happened in Orange County when the rural boundary along the Econ was decided many years ago. From what I understand, land owners east of the Econ were given a one time “entitlement” which is why there are subdivisions around the Lake Pickett area that aren’t rural. Some landowner east of the Econ did not elect the entitlement and now find themselves in a similar situation as Hi Oaks.

I’m confused and have to ask. How could the owners not know about the rural boundary when it was being formed? Wasn’t it on the ballot and wasn’t there talk about it while it was being debated? It had to be big news at the time and there must have been articles in the paper about it as well as community meetings. It is puzzling.

Seminole County Rural Boundary Map

Mr. Dorworth said:
“I am interested in getting Seminole County into the economic development engine of UCF”
(FYI: UCF is one of five economic hubs in Orange County)

My response:
One commissioner I knew had his pendulum pegged on the urban side and was hell bent on developing the rural area. Development in the right place is good and I admire developers who have the guts to take a risk and build hospitals, schools, fire stations, grocery stores, apartment building, and our homes but on the flip side when do we become good stewards of these lands we borrow for a small bit of time? Times are changing and urban sprawl is becoming a 4-letter word. Re-development is the new mantra. What is River Cross?

The Econ is the 3rd most pristine river in Florida and a person can say that development won’t contaminate it or have no impact but common sense says otherwise. How can laying all that impervious concrete help water drain into the aquifer? How can all that St. Augustine grass that must be fertilized and will end up in the storm water drains that will run into the Econ be good? How can all those people driving all those cars pumping out contaminants into the air and leaking fluids on the road that will also end up in the Econ help the environment? What about the people living downstream?

I don’t consider myself a tree-hugger (said with all affection to true environmentalists) but I’m getting closer to that club every day and hold dear those who are. I just know we don’t own this land, we just borrow it for bit and then pass it on to someone else. What do you want your legacy to be? I want to be known as just a simple guy who finally got it and didn’t sit by and watch this erosion but instead stood up and did something to make life better for the people who will borrow this land after me.

Mr. Dorworth, why not do something wonderful and ask Seminole County to pay you back your million dollars if the owners donate the land to a land trust that over time will bring it back to the pristine condition it was in 2004 by adding it to the ERWA as a conservation area that we all can enjoy. Now, that’s a legacy. I know, I know, I’m dreaming but it’s a blissful dream.

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Posted in McCulloch Road.