Lake Roberts Reserve earns county approval

The project will add up to 41 homes to a parcel west of Windermere Road, north of McKinnon Road and south of Stoneybrook West Parkway.

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With endorsements from neighboring residents, a plan to add 41 news homes in West Orange breezed through the Orange County Commission Jan. 11.

The commission approved the preliminary site plan for the Lake Roberts Reserve, which calls for up to 41 single-family homes on 78.53 acres on a parcel west of Windermere Road, north of McKinnon Road and south of Stoneybrook West Parkway.

The property originally was zoned A-1 (Citrus Rural District) but was rezoned last November to Planned Development District (PD). 

Orange County District 1 Commissioner Nicole Wilson said the land use plan for Lake Roberts Reserve was approved before she began her term as commissioner.

Because the subject property had already been rezoned and maintained the Future Land Use Plan designation of Rural Settlement, one dwelling unit per acre, Wilson said she had no grounds for denial.

The discussion began with a request by applicant Geoffrey Summitt, of GL Summitt Engineering LLC, to subdivide the acres to construct the units. Summitt said Walker Pond Road is in rough condition and discussed the project’s community benefits, including developer-initiated easement and property acquisition, and design and construction to mitigate flooding on McKinnon and Windermere roads 

Summitt also discussed that there will be no new septic systems and the project will remove existing septic systems along Walker Pond Road that are creating lake contamination. 

The project will provide more than $4.5 million to directly benefit adjacent residents on the road, Summitt said.

Some residents who live along the road attended the meeting and spoke highly of the project. 

AnnMarie Finn, who has lived on the road for about 30 years, said the neighborhood has had trouble with flooding and road potholes. 

“The developer will help us with that, and I am 100% for this,” Finn said. 

Robert Watson, who has lived on the road for 35 years, said the small road never was maintained by the government and the work had to be effectively done by residents themselves. Watson said the road is not large enough for two vehicles to pass each other, causing concerns for delivery systems and emergency vehicles. “Most developers didn’t bring to the table what this one has,” Watson said of Summitt. “Most developers didn’t want to tackle dealing with multiple homeowners … and taking all the steps to get here today. Most of the time, you won’t see a community come together and welcome a new development usually it's quite the opposite. But in this case, 41 new neighbors is a small price to pay for the benefits we are going to get.”

The other two residential speakers at the event also voiced support for the project. 

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings noted he and the commissioners had received four emails pertaining to the project. Of the four received, three voiced in favor of the project because the developer was willing to add value to the residents' property through the proposed developments. 

Demings said one email was in opposition because that resident did not want to see any more development in the area. 

Wilson thanked residents of the Walker Pond community and the residents in the surrounding community for staying so engaged in her office. 

Wilson voiced concern she had heard from some citizens regarding the water quality of Lake Roberts. 

Summit said water quality is an important issue and the project is being permitted and approved under current guidelines. 

He reiterated the project will not have septics and no ground water contamination will be going into the lake. 

“We will not make it any worse,” Summit said. “We will do everything we can to make it better.”



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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