Seminole tightens grip on natural lands

On Tuesday, the Seminole Board of County Commissioners approved an item to go before county voters that makes it harder for the Commission to sell land it bought for the purpose of preservation. A supermajority vote (four of five commissioners) is now required.

The county had been considering such a measure for a while but Commissioner Jay Zembower said the process was expedited because of a lawsuit by developer Chris Dorworth, which claims the county’s amendment establishing the rural boundary (approved by voters in 2004) is unconstitutionally vague.

Dorworth is attempting to swap land within the county’s rural boundary for the 240-acre Econ Wilderness Area, on Old Lockwood Road, to build a 669-acre development called River Cross as well as remove 67 acres in Black Hammock that Pappy’s Patch occupies from the rural boundary, according to an Oct. 1 Orlando Sentinel report.

“When taxpayer money goes to buy lands, it’s bought for the perpetual enjoyment of future generations,” Zembower said.

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