An Opinion Article by Doug Shields 

On Tuesday, January 29, the Lake County Commissioners will be wrestling with a decision that could set a precedent for future high density development in the Green Swamp. Recently, the Lake County Zoning Board approved the first ever high density cluster in the Green Swamp, citing policy that, in our opinion, is appropriate only for areas outside of the Green Swamp.  This issue was up for review at the last Commission meeting but was deferred so that the developer and the residents could work out a compromise.  Unfortunately, the developers has stuck with their original density proposal despite our best efforts.  Help is needed in getting this zoning decision reversed by the Lake County Commissioners to protect the rural environment and the additional traffic headaches that another 1500 homes would bring to south Lake County.

If you are unfamiliar with the proposed zoning change, you can get the details below.  Please let our elected officials know how you feel by clicking on this link to email your County Commissioners.  
Commissioner Sullivan –
Commissioner Campione –
Commissioner Parks –
Commissioner Breeden –
Commissioner Blake –
copy Barbara Powell from the Florida Areas of Critical State Concern Program –

Attend the County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, January 29th, at 9 am, at the Lake County Administrative Building, 315 W. Main St.,Tavares, FL 32778, and wear RED!

Details of the proposed zoning change:

RZ-18-15-1, Hilochee Partners, seeks approval for the reclassification of 284 (mostly swampy) acres between Montevista Rd. and County Rd. 561 from the “Green Swamp Conservation” (1 home on 10 acres) and “Green Swamp Rural” (1 home on 5 acres) designations to a new zoning that would allow a cluster of 29 homes on 29 acres within the acreage in question. See an image of the proposal by clicking the link.

While clustering of homes in and of itself is not a bad thing, it does allow for more homes to be put in the Green Swamp. For example, in the zoning decision referenced above, the owner of the 284 acre parcel would have been able to build 6 homes but now zoning has reworked things to allow 29.  If this continues then, over time, the Green Swamp which had 1 home on every 5 or 10 acres, will have pockets of subdivisions sprinkled throughout (land that was borderline useless would have big chunk of swampland with subdivision on the dry parts.)

This new “policy” would create an additional 1500 + homes in the Green Swamp than is currently possible – all on wells and septic!  And since it is estimated that each new home generates 9 car trips a day, over 13,000 new car trips per day would be flowing to roads such as the already overcrowded Lake Shore Drive and “in-need-of-repair”  Route 561.

Help protect our Green Swamp and our way of life!

Previous articleFlorida Department Of Health Offers The Reach Out And Read Program (January 29)
Next articleLove Is In The Air (February 16)