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Save Orange County is Short on Specifics

*** The writing of this article was before the SOC.org sign was removed from the entrance at Maxim Pkwy and SR520*** However, the facts stay the same and this issue has not been put to rest, YET.

Please plan to attend our next WHOA General Membership meeting on September 12th at 7pm – Wedgefield Clubhouse. Our Guest Speaker will be our House Representative District 50 – Rene Plasencia.
The hope is to get more answers and clarification on where Rep. Plasencia stands on this issue!

By now most have seen the Save Orange County sign at the intersection of Maxim and 520. The group who placed this sign came to present their ideas at a Wedgefield Home Owners Association meeting a couple of months ago. The basic pitch is that Orange County is expanding and we are next for the cross-hairs of growth. If we want to maintain our “rural” way of life, then we need to form a “city” to prevent growth in our area and remain “rural”. It all sounds good, but they sure were not able to answer any question of real merit or concern, especially when the questions were more Wedgefield specific.

So who are these folks. Mostly it appears that they are folks up from around the Lake Pickett area and are mostly concerned about stopping the monster growth in their area. Now that sounds reasonable. But why include more than 300 square miles in the new city? To essentially claim all free land in Eastern Orange County and to consume other areas that would be prime real estate for growth. Now this area is approximately three-times the size the entire city of Orlando and only has about 27,000 residents. It is obvious that much of this area is preserve and protected area, but if only one-third of that 300+ square mile swath is develop-able, then it is still the size of Orlando. How in the world would they possibly provide services to such a large area in any meaningful way without a substantial investment in infrastructure and personnel on a rural tax base? Hence the reason they need Wedgefield.

Wedgefield has almost 8,000 folks with 2,700 residences. So Wedgefield would represent about one-fourth of the population. Since housing values in Wedgefield are considerably higher than most adjacent areas, it would be a fair assumption that Wedgefield residents would also provide well more than one-fourth of the revenue. Which begs the question: what do we get for all of those new high taxes to support a city three times the size of Orlando?

During the Wedgefield HOA presentation, the gentlemen made the statement that 12 or 13 Orange County municipalities have chosen this route to prevent growth in those areas. When asked for examples of the impact to taxes and services, they simply declined to respond to the inquiry. Pressed further during and after the meeting, they still remained non-responsive to the question, yet they continue to cite the other municipalities as examples. What does that mean? You be the judge. Several other Wedgefield Residents asked questions, only to have them waved away or non-responsive answers given that provided little insight to the goals many of the genuine and unique concerns offered.

One-on-one discussions afterwards were even more unsettling. Several Wedgefield residents ventured onto the SaveOrangeCounty.org website for more direct interaction and questioning and have be subsequently experienced banishment from the SaveOrangeCounty.org site for asking the same unanswered questions or expressing unwelcome opinions of concern.

Evidently, Wedgefield residents are not alone. Reports from meetings outside of Wedgefield include concerned citizen being shouted down or not allowed to question the SaveOrangeCounty.org folk’s methods or intentions. How does an organization claim that it wants to represent ALL East Orange County residents with a straight face when they refuse to allow those very same residents to participate in the discussion, refuse to answer question and address real concerns, or allow residents and HOA input on the Feasibility Study methods and goals? Again, you be the judge.

Not only are they short on specifics, they obviously don’t like to be challenged on that fact either.

The views and opinions expressed in this web article are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of The Wedgefield Homeowners Association, Directors, and/or any/all contributors to this site.