BUCKINGHAM, Fla. — Buckingham residents left Wednesday’s Lee Board of County Commissioners Zoning Hearing not happy with the outcome after the Lee BOCC approved the Orange River development to increase the number of homes they can build there.
Nancy Hutto has lived in Buckingham the past 41 years. She said, “We’re mad. We want it stopped.”
The approval from the Lee County Commissioners means the Orange River Residential Planned Development can now increase the number of residential units from 160 to 248 which leaves neighbors upset.
They say they're concerned about the environment, traffic and lifestyle.
Hutto said, “I moved out there 42 years ago to be rural and to be country and that’s why the Buckingham Preserve was formed, and we don't want the city living.”
This 129 acre property is in the middle of the Buckingham Community Rural Preserve.
The preserve was established in 1991 to protect the agriculture and rural lifestyle of the area which allows lots to be at least one acre.
Another long time resident, John Wilkes, said adding more units doesn't fit with Buckingham's character.
"It doesn't meet you way of life. We have rural character, historical character out there, and we don't want to ruin that," Wilkes said.
But this 129 acre lot was exempt from the preserve.
In 2005, the property was zoned for 160 residential units.
Over the past three years, Buckingham residents have fought against more units. At the meeting, more than 30 residents spoke and most wore red to show they're upset.
"We're not against development. We know that's going to happen, but we know this is right, and we want what’s right.
Barraco and Associates represents the property and declined to speak with Fox 4.