KATHLEEN, Florida -- A proposed subdivision in Kathleen, a small historic area north of Lakeland, has residents upset.

  • Kathleen residents upset over proposed subdivision
  • Polk County Planning Commission approved the rezoning
  • Residents say the subdivision would bring too much traffic

The proposal is to build 139 homes on 121 acres of which 50 acres is developable due to wetlands.

The Polk County Planning Commission approved of rezoning the land to allow for the subdivision on September 5 in a 4-3 vote. The land is in an area where one dwelling is allowed per five acres.

People living nearby the proposed Ross Creek subdivision, near Kathleen Oaks Road and Kathleen Road, said they've hired a lawyer and are appealing to Polk county commissioners to stop the project.

Jack Grenfell set the opposition team with help from his sons. They've put signs along Kathleen Road and in the neighborhood, held neighborhood meetings, and have circulated a petition both on paper and online gathering more than a 1,000 signatures.

The subdivision would run adjacent to Grenfell's backyard. He said it'd be bring too much traffic to Kathleen Road and ruin their rural lifestyle.

"It's going to put everybody up in our faces basically," Greenfell says. "I moved out here to get away from that."

The owner of the property, GG II Investment LLC, bought the land for $600,000 back in 2004 before the housing bubble.

"At that time it was probably worth what they paid for it," Greenfell says. "But now it's not. So they're trying to recoup their money and we understand that. But we don't want them to recoup their money at our expense. We want to be very clear. We are not fighting this guy to put nothing over there. Ok. The fight is the amount is what of what he wants to put over there."

Bart Allen, the attorney representing GG II Investment LLC, sent the following statement in an email:

"This area has been an area of growth and has all the necessary infrastructure to support the development. There are home ranging from third-acre lots to several acre lots in the area. The county staff and Planning Commission found the project to meet or exceed all the code requirements."

The fate of the property will be decided Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at the Polk County Administration building in Bartow.

Commissioner George Lindsay said the property would still have to go undergo a wildlife, traffic, and wetland study as well as a soil test before a subdivision could be built.