ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County residents turned out to vote in favor of protecting Split Oak Forest from development, and they did so by a landslide.
About 86% of Orange County residents voted to protect Split Oak, higher than any other conservation measure passed this election.
Yet the possibility of a roadway expansion continues to threaten the forest, which is located between Osceola and Orange counties. Osceola County filed a lawsuit to keep this amendment off the Orange County ballot, and a judge could still determine the amendment is invalid.
“Obviously the Central Florida Expressway Authority and Tavistock Development Group and Deseret Ranches are very powerful players in politics, in business in the state of Florida," said Valerie Anderson, president of Friends Of Split Oak Forest. "The fight is not over, we just have more tools in our tool box and a bit more power."
Osceola County officials told Spectrum News 13 that they do not comment on pending litigation. The Florida Communities Trust has the final say on any road cutting through this forest.