In an unusual rebuke to Seminole County's growth-at-any-cost policy, the Florida Department of Community Affairs on Dec. 9 rejected two major developments near the Wekiva River, saying the plans violated state law. The county vowed to fight.
Seminole County has for decades based its economy on sprawl, keeping taxes low by charging impact fees for new development. The policy has diminished residents' quality of life and has led to periodic flooding problems. The Florida Legislature voted to protect a 19,000-acre area surrounding the Wekiva 10 years ago. Orange County obeyed the law, while Seminole ignored it.