ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — There are some residents who live off Lake Underhill Road in East Orange County that are extremely upset with the current traffic conditions.
- Residents off Lake Underhill upset over potential development
- They say it will make traffic conditions in area even worse
- Orange Co. officials say they have plans to widen roadway
- RELATED: More Central Florida traffic coverage
People have come together, speaking out against a proposed amendment for future land use. It would essentially pave the way for a large apartment complex to go up in place of single-family homes along Lake Underhill Road.
The project, named “Alta Underhill” would allow for the development of 338 multi-family dwelling units. But residents say the area is already too busy.
"If you come out here at 6 o'clock in the evening, it's all stop and go," explained Bill Krause.
Part of the concern is Lake Underhill's classification as an “Alternative Mobility Area.”
Krause, among others, worries that means Orange County expects them to find other ways to get around besides cars, and that officials favor the developer.
"That enables the developer to basically ask for anything they want with virtually no regard to traffic impact," said David Dickinson, another nearby resident.
Orange County says that's not the case. In fact, they say that AMA has nothing to do with alternative means of transportation. The county says that this only refers to the agreement they have with the developer regarding whether or not to lessen transportation impacts.
So, the biggest question residents have: Will Lake Underhill Road be widened to keep up with area growth?
Officials have plans to widen the roadway, which has already begun. Orange County broke up the project into three sections as part of their “2030 Long Range Transportation program.”
Back in November of 2013, the road was widened between Chickasaw Trail and Goldenrod Road. Segment 2 is currently under design between Econlockhatchee Trail to Rouse Road and has already been funded through Orange County's INVEST program.
Segment 3, however, which spans between Chickasaw Trail to the Econ Trail, will only move forward once funding becomes available. Residents remain skeptical if it ever will.
"What they're basically trying to pull on us, is that they're saying, 'Oh, you can leave your car at home and take the bus or use a bicycle,” said resident Linda Burns. “Well, would they do that? I don’t think so!"
An Orange County spokesperson said, "The proposed development is still in the application process and may still be obligated to mitigate transportation costs, given their zoning status."
As for the residents, they have their own plans to conduct their own forum on January 1 at Eastland Baptist Church from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.