Later this month, the Sanford City Commissioners will again have the Silver Lake dilemma in front of them.


The background:


A landowner who, in 2002, bought two estate lots on the East side of Silver Lake, wants to split them up into fourteen lots. To do this he needs annexation to the City to get city water. If the City says, "Yes," then the owners to the North and to the South are forced to sell out and instead of fourteen lots there will be lots of lots.


If he stays in the county, he has no city water. The chances of the County allowing the lot splits are slim and none.


The most powerful word that can come out of a politician's mouth is the word, "No".


When used correctly in a land development situation, it brings about a better outcome.


Historically, Sanford has trashed the neighborhoods around some of its finer homes.  For example, the Hill house at 19th and Magnolia, the Meisch home at Park and 22nd and also the Lesher home at 20th and Magnolia. In those cases the infills are duplexes and 235s.


Sanford has the highest tax rate in the County.  The homes and apartments being built do not generate enough in taxes to pay for the services necessary.  The schools, the firefighters, the police needed to support these developments are spread too thin.  Sanford hasn't increased the size of its police force in years.


Silver Lake, Lake Onora, and Golden Lake are the last chance Sanford has to go upscale.


The County and Winter Springs did this long ago.


After Dawn Estates and Hanover Woods were platted, the County went upscale on Markham Woods Road.  No lots of less than one acre, in some cases larger.  The result, because of the confidence people had that their property values would be protected, is there for all to see.


Estate homes that generate tremendous tax revenue for the County.  Homes that sell for millions of dollars, something that Sanford has not seen.


What if Sanford proposed the following?


The City of Sanford realizes that the Silver Lake area was settled before there was a Sanford. The City is desirous of protecting the affected area. To do so, the City will create a new estate zoning classification that describes the present use of the majority of the properties around the lakes. If the landowners agree to annexation, the City will provide water and sewer so that the septic tanks in the area are no more. The City, by ordinances, will protect the present character of the three lakes.


It's worth a shot.

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