ORLANDO, Fla. — Plans to expand are moving forward in Orlando, after the City Council voted unanimously Monday to continue with a proposal to annex more than 6,300 acres of land.

What You Need To Know

  • City officials approved more than 6,000 acers of land to be used for new developments due to a rapidly growing population

  • Though city leaders voted unanimously to approve the proposed annexation, county officials say that there are still a lot of concerns regarding the land that should be addressed first

  • There is a second reading  on the proposal scheduled for April 1

According to Mayor Buddy Dyer, an estimated 1,000 people are moving to Central Florida every week, and new housing developments are needed to help accommodate the growth. The proposed annexation of the area known as Sunbridge will help alleviate the need, city leaders said.

The land discussed is in Southeast Orange County, on both the north and south sides of the 528 Beachline and the Innovation Way/Sunbridge Parkway Interchange. During the Orlando City meeting Monday, Orlando Planning Division Manager Elizabeth Dang said that the county had previously approved a development program for the land.

The city’s development plans are in alignment with what the county originally approved, she said. They would roll out in two phases resulting in more than 7,000 housing units, office space, industrial developments, hotels, retail and other civic uses.

However, the vote didn’t come without concerns from the county. Officials said there are concerns in the feasibility study about whether the area would be capable of supporting the city's plans.

“The county is disappointed that we were not consulted regarding this annexation. We did not receive the feasibility study of annexation as required by Florida statutes. The governing body of the city, this council, never sent the notification to the board of county commissioners,” said Andrew Mai, the assistant county attorney for Orange County.

Dyer said that the development would either happen within the city or on the border with the city.

“If it’s going to be developed in that fashion, it should be in the city of Orlando,” Dyer said.

Monday was the first reading on the annexation approval, but a second reading is set for April 1.

“The county finds the city to be a valuable partner in the development of the region," Mai said. "We are surprised and concerned about this annexation and hope you will take the time to slow the process down so our concerns can be addressed.”