Over the last few weeks, residents in Lakeside Village have come together again. They have been organizing to plea with county leaders to deny a request by Avatar Homes to remove the required southern connector road in Lakeside Village from the planned development. The planned development is a set of guidelines attached to the property that define how it can be developed.

The decision was continued from September 13 and September 20. The majority of those speaking in support of denial live in the neighborhoods of Newbury Park, Grande Pines, and Lake Mabel Shores. Since the closure of Reams Road, they have seen drivers short cut through their neighborhoods to exit onto County Road 535. The intended route from Reams is to drive north on Lakeside Village Lane, but this adds several minutes and approximately a mile of travel. The safety issues are self-explanatory as these are small neighborhoods with families with young children.

I also have asked that leaders deny this request on the basis of upholding the Horizon West master plan. As Orange County’s very own engineering study has shown, roadway connectivity is an integral component for the success of Horizon West. Projections of new residents confirm increased traffic volumes and delays on our existing roads. Horizon West relies on connectivity, both pedestrian and vehicular. Street connections ease and alleviate the burden we place on our arterial roads.

There is reasonable confusion as to who should pay to construct the road since the adjacent parcels of land are not owned by Avatar. However Avatar owns and plans to develop the largest portion of land in Lakeside and, to a large degree, will directly benefit from its existence. Regardless of whether they should be held responsible for construction of this road, which was in the original PD for all the parcels, we need the road.

Thousands of people travel through, live in, and will move in the west portion of Lakeside Village. This southern connector road is a vital, crucial, and integral piece to our area. Let’s uphold the original intent of Horizon West and not compromise the integrity of the plan and the fabric of Horizon West by allowing another out-of-town developer to do less than what the residents of Orange County deserve.


Author: Tory Parish

  • Anonymous

    The community of Lakeside at Lakes of Windermere opposes the southern connector.  The Southern Connector would be a negative impact to Lakeside at Lakes of Windermere directly across the street on CR 535 north.  This community, also with families and the elderly, has private roads.  If the southern connector is built and the median is opened that will invite many homeowners and residents on CR535 north to trespass on roads that the community maintains  – not the county.

    A better solution needs to be sought than forcing a private, ungated community to pay for
    the comfort and convienance of county residents.
    Diane Rullo
    President, Lakeside at Lakes of Windermere

  • http://twitter.com/JacksonParish Tory Jackson Parish

    Hi Diane, I understand the concern that you have.  However, I also see many of the residents from your community drive over the grassy median to exit and go south on 535.   Drivers can only go right when leaving Lakeside Condos.  It seems that many there would appreciate a median cut since they would rather drive through it than go around it at Lachlan Lane.  And the natural position for it would be the intersection with the future Southern Connector.

    I don’t think that a large percentage of drivers leaving the Southern Connector would be confused and drive into your neighborhood.  CR 535 is wide and noticeable.  It would be hard to miss and unintentionally drive into a private neighborhood.  There’s a neighborhood at the northern end of Dr. Philips Boulevard where it intersects with Conroy Windermere Road, and I have never driven into the neighborhood (even if the County does maintain the roads).

    Nevertheless, I appreciate your passion and your concern for the issues surrounding the road network out here.  Maybe as the issue moves forward, although we’ve bought some time with the reopening of Reams, we can continue the discussion and push for the best possible solution.