Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oviedo Urged to Protect Land

Once harshly criticized for its attempts to encroach into the Black Hammock, Winter Springs has backed off in a big way.

Now, the city has re-created its image as a defender of the Black Hammock. So at a meeting Wednesday night on development in rural areas, Winter Springs Mayor John Bush enjoyed "not being in the middle of the bull's-eye."

Instead, he slung some arrows at Oviedo and Seminole County. He urged Oviedo to strongly state its intentions to keep the Black Hammock rural. And he needled Seminole County for not taking Winter Springs up on offers of a joint planning agreement similar to Oviedo's.

Bush recounted Winter Springs' actions, including an ordinance and a comprehensive land-use plan change, declaring a firm annexation limit."

We believe this was the right thing to do," Bush said. "I'd like to challenge the Oviedo council to do the same thing."

Oviedo, meanwhile, says it has already agreed on its own limits, but through a joint-planning agreement with Seminole County, which has boundaries that are part of its comprehensive plan.

Bush appeared with representatives from Oviedo and Seminole County on Wednesday night during a meeting organized by the Black Hammock Association. About 100 people packed the audience, including state Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Orlando, Oviedo mayoral candidates, and activists from Geneva, Chuluota and the Black Hammock.Some residents who attended had been alarmed at a recent report from an economic-development task force in Oviedo, recommending annexation into the Black Hammock to develop high-wage businesses there.
Courtesy Orlando Sentinel.