Opposition to the Save Split Oak Campaign
There are many corporations, development firms, elected officials and board appointees that have a special interest in the fate of the toll road through Split Oak Forest, and not for good reasons. There is a lot of profit to be made by exploiting our tax-funded conservation land and below is a list of many groups actively working against the will of the residents to see returns on their investments, regardless of how destructive this could be for all of our futures.
Central Florida Expressway Authority
The Board of the Central Florida Expressway is leading the negotiations for a proposed toll road through the most critical and sensitive parts of the Split Oak Forest. This is because they want to subsidize urban sprawl through using tax-funded land for FREE to cut costs on going around or lifting the road over existing infrastructure. The board is made up of representatives from private interest groups and elected officials that accept donations from developers that would profit from this destruction.
Tavistock Development Company
Tavistock, a development firm owned by Joe Lewis, is actively lobbying from the State Legislature down to local government across Florida in order to ship away at land use protections in sensitive habitats including Split Oak Forest in order to build Mega-Developments that sprawl past the urban corridors of major metropolitan areas like Orlando. They spend millions of dollars degrading our local democracy by moving harmful legislation through their team of overpaid lobbyists but also fund campaign contributions for many of our elected officials in office today.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Mormon church owns $2billion worth of farmland across the US, covering around 859,000 acres, which is more land than billionaire Bill Gates (270,000 acres) and China (383,935) combined. They thousands of acres in East Osceola called Deseret Ranch and have a special interest in the destruction of Split Oak Forest for a toll road which will connect their development to existing infrastructure so they can develop large mega-developments for profit despite depleting our aquifer and using tax-subsided roads without paying their fair share of impact fees due to pre-emption caps. Therefore, current residents will be paying for their sprawl while they profit off destroying our conservation lands.
Over 30,000 acres of land sprawling over three counties, and owned by the Mormon Church of the Latter-day saints in East Central Florida. While currently owned for agricultural purposes and ranching, there are proposals for future mega-developments to be built in this unsustainable and dangerous future land use idea. This area is special due to the wildlife corridors connected here and would inhibit migration patterns for many of the beloved species in the State, many found nowhere else in the world.
Developing these acres would also cause a massive depletion of our aquifer and cause a major fresh water shortage which the region is already experiencing.