Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in the Sanford area. There is a tremendous amount of potential there. Where there is potential, there is usually conflict on what to do with it.
Right now we’re witnessing a battle between residents that live in the downtown area and a major Christian evangelical organization, that wants to move in and start what could be a potentially large operation. This means more cars on the road in what is currently a pretty peaceful location (story HERE).
For once, I’m going to side with the new kids on the block. Here’s why.
Growth in downtown Sanford is inevitable. The area is too beautiful, and the secret is out on what is one of the best nights out in Central Florida. It’s off of the river. You’ve got great cuisine like Willow Tree there. There are a number of smaller breweries and antique stores to wander around. It’s small downtown in the greater Orlando area done right and a model that other municipalities are trying to emulate.
If residents don’t take what sounds like a pretty peaceful religious operation, you’re probably going to get more condos and more commercial space in your neighborhood. We’re talking about vertical living that will result in even more people and more cars on an everyday basis. I know you’re already frustrated with the residual traffic you’re getting from those festivals downtown. This will be worse.
You’re probably telling yourself “Well, I want my quiet neighborhood.”
And I love you guys for that, but it’s not going to happen. Not in this region where thousands are moving in every week.
You can ask the UCF area. The West Orange County area. The College Park area.
Nothing gold can stay. In a perfect world, this organization would choose an area like Lake County that is prime for big projects right now, but the infrastructure for their church/school is already there.
You can keep fighting. You might win. But will you next time, when it’s a big box store that wants in? Then you’ll have construction and then more traffic.
My heart goes out to you, but take the church. You’ll be much better off in the long run.