The odd thing that has always bothered me about Central Florida is why it is made so easy to develop on green areas as opposed to the numerous dilapidated areas that sit abandoned for years.
Take the Pic-n-Save plaza in Longwood that has been vacant for 10 years as an example. Or the large vacant lots and abandoned buildings at the intersection of 436 and 17-92. (17-92 is a poster child for uncontrolled development). It is always the case that someone would rather bulldoze trees to make a new shopping center instead of renovating an old one. And it is always the case that once green space is taken away, it is never brought back. (Nobody will pay to tear down a dilapidated building and replant what was gone).
A recent poll by Envision Seminole said that 75 percent of Seminole County residents favor preservation of rural open space. Yes, we are growing, but we need to preserve the quality of life that has made this area a desirable place to begin with.
For our candidates, it should be noted that many citizens are starting to vote on the single issue of urban sprawl. The letters received by the Seminole Chronicle, the Voice, and the Sentinel have started to show the anger that is normally reserved for various hot-button social issues in national politics. If I was a candidate and had to pick one platform to run on in a local race, responsible growth would be it.
For our citizens, let your elected leaders know where you stand on this issue. Get involved. Participate in public hearings and work with planning groups, such as the Central Florida organization MyRegion.org or Envision Seminole.
The type of place you want to live in depends on you.