News & Features » News

News briefs


March 23, 1999, was Mel Martinez's first big stand against developers, the day he overruled the Development Review Committee and quashed a proposed addition to Knight's Krossing, the 2,700-student apartment complex across from the University of Central Florida.

After hearing from the complex's angry neighbors, Martinez declared that a 700-student addition would be a public-safety threat. Since then, appellate courts have ruled that Martinez didn't have enough "competent, substantial evidence" to make that decision, and sent the matter back to the commission.

Next Tuesday the evidence gets scrutinized. And this County Commission meeting will doubtless again feature homeowners complaining of noise and crime, and the developer asserting his private-property rights. Now, all eyes are on Martinez's successor, Rich Crotty.

"Mr. Crotty is not known to us," says Linda Dorian, the homeowner leading the fight. Her perception, she says, is that county leaders want her to strike a deal with the developer. If the county again turns down the development, another round of litigation is nearly certain.

Dorian hopes commissioners won't succumb to threats of more litigation.

They may succumb to county staff, however, who support the project, as in 1999. Public-safety director Tom Hurlburt sees kids just having fun, not rampant crime. "Do I think it's ever gonna improve?" he asks. "Yeah, maybe if they turn it into a retirement center."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.