Proposed city near Orlando airport gets one green light

The project site is ranch land.
The project site is ranch land.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said the largest development in Florida history, a pre-planned city with 500,000 residents in the mid-section of the state, would have no adverse effect on water, wetlands and wilderness.

The DEP said in a one-page report that it conducted a detailed review of the multi-decade metropolitan development plan by Deseret Ranches and the Osceola County government. Deseret is a diversified agribusiness company and a major Central Florida landowner.

Now ranch land southeast of Orlando International Airport, the proposed development site spans 133,000 acres in Osceola County.

Other government agencies have raised questions about the impact  of the long-term Deseret-Osceola development plan on water use, transportation and suburban sprawl.

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The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity  is coordinating a multi-agency study of the Deseret-Osceola development plan.

St. Johns River Water Management District urged the company and the county to withdraw a proposed dam to provide water because of possible harm to the St, Johns River, to wetlands and to creeks adjacent to wetlands.

The Florida Department of Transportation warns that the dispersed design of the planned city would have inadequate population densities to support public transit. [Orlando Sentinel] Mike Seemuth