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Developers have proposed through 2015 and 2016 the building of nearly 5,000 homes and 237,000 square feet of nonresidential space on former ranch lands east of the Econlockhatchee River in east Orange County.

The proposed projects, known as Lake Pickett North and Lake Pickett South, have now been given names by their developers: Sustany, “an eco-literate community” for Lake Pickett North, and “The Grow, “a farm and garden community” for Lake Pickett South.

County commissioners rejected the plans for Sustany on Nov. 15 that would have added 1,999 homes to the area, after getting more than 1,000 requests from citizens to delay the vote or reject the project. Sustany’s developer must wait two years to resubmit the project, unless they change the plan significantly.

On Sept. 20, commissioners approved the development and regulating plans for The Grow. The board also voted to deny an appeal of changes made to the county’s master plan in July, which made rezoning of the land possible.

Residents who rallied against the two projects have said the ambitious building would destroy their way of life, add traffic to an already greatly congested area and impinge on wetlands.

The parcels were previously part of the Rybolt and Circle C ranch lands. Development proposals going back to 2009 have either been denied or withdrawn by the property owners in the face of opposition.


LOCATION: Just south of Seminole County’s boundry, north of Colonial Drive, east of Tanner Road and west of Chuluota Road. East of the Econlockhatchee River.

OWNERS: Lake Pickett North: Eloise A Rybolt Revocable Trust, Lake Pickett North LLC, Mary Rybolt Lamar, Rolling R Ranch LTD.

Lake Pickett South: Banksville of Florida, Nivesa of Florida, New Ideas, Lopez Robert T Trust and Byrdley Realty Co. LP

DEVELOPERS: Sean Froelich for Lake Pickett North; Dwight Saathoff for Lake Pickett South

START DATE: Saathoff said during the public meeting that ground-breaking for the Lake Pickett South project could be in September of 2016, providing all necessary approvals are in place

END DATE: Not determined

PROJECT BUDGET: Not yet determined, but initial work would require millions of dollars to be committed to a number of infrastructure improvement projects, including roadways

PLANNING FIRMS: Lake Pickett North: Poulos and Bennett; Lake Pickett South: VHB

DESCRIPTION: 2,673 acres in east Orange County that developers want to build out, while area residents are fighting to keep its rural character.