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Redesigned Cypress Bluff project on site of Groveland mansion heads to City Council

Cypress Bluff would be approved for a total of 386 homes, down from the previously requested 437-home project that was denied by Groveland City Council in 2020.
Cypress Bluff would be approved for a total of 386 homes, down from the previously requested 437-home project that was denied by Groveland City Council in 2020. (Stringfellow Planning)

The City of Groveland Planning and Zoning Board unanimously endorsed a proposed comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning that would allow for the construction of Cypress Bluff, a 163-acre development on Lake Lucy.

A previous iteration of the plan had been unanimously rejected by the Groveland City Council in 2020 even after it was approved by the advisory board.

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The new plan for Cypress Bluff, originally dubbed Indigo Lakes Village, reduces the number of homes from the originally proposed 437 to 386. The plan approved by Planning and Zoning also increases open space from 20 percent to 30 percent and increases yard setbacks from five feet to 10 feet.

Cypress Bluff would be approved for a total of 386 homes, down from the previously requested 437-home project that was denied by Groveland City Council in 2020.

Orlando co-developers Kyle Sanders, of Sovereign Land Co., and Greg Clark, of Loma Land Co., are now seeking City Council approval for the plan. A final vote is expected in September.

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The Indigo Lakes Village proposal was a 450-home master-planned community on the shores of Lake Lucy in Groveland, FL. But even after Planning and Zoning approved that proposal, the council rejected that plan. Sanders and Clark went back to the city and worked with staff and planners to make the proposal more palatable to city officials.

The redesigned development became known as Cypress Bluff. Sanders is more hopeful about council approval this time after hiring Alex Stringfellow of Stringfellow Planning and Design to come up with the new plan. Knight Engineering is the civil partner.

“We hired a planner that is very familiar with Groveland codes, and he came up with a much better plan that was more consistent with what the city was looking for, and staff made sure we got the plan right,” Sanders said.

“Our feeling is that we’ve worked very closely with staff, and our land planner came up with a plan that P & Z could approve. Our hope is that the council goes along with that strong recommendation, and they approve the new plan as much as the Planning and Zoning Board did.”

The developers rushed to redesign the plan for the 437-home subdivision, but it did nothing to move the needle with Groveland's City Council.

Clark added that bad timing for the original plan was also an issue last year, saying that council rejection was the result of the project being caught in the middle of the city’s review of its comprehensive plan and development codes.

“We were in the mix at the wrong time,” Clark said. “This year is different in that all those rules are now in place, and we followed all those rules. They created a road map and we followed it.”

The development plan includes 56 townhomes, 84 small lots (35 feet); and 246 front-loaded lots in two sizes (60 feet and 70 feet). The new plan also eliminates a large public park within the community and replaces it with multiple smaller parks. The amenity center would be located directly on Lake Lucy, and an observation tower park is proposed on the hilltop where the former mansion stood to capitalize on the views.

Detached live-work units like these would provide transition between the neighborhood core and center of the community.
Detached live-work units like these would provide transition between the neighborhood core and center of the community. (Stringfellow Planning)

If the council approves the new plan Sanders said he expects to break ground in the first quarter of 2022. Clark said the first phase of infrastructure construction would be completed around the end of 2022. Clark said the beginning of home construction would depend on the housing market. The project is designed to be developed over two phases.

The property is owned by a German investment bank represented by Jon Walls of Orlando-based NAI Realvest.

Sovereign Land Company has been involved in projects in Clay County, Orange County, Osceola County and the City of Winter Park. The company has sold more than $200 million in real estate, home builders, developers and investors.

Loma Land Co., has assembled and negotiated entitlements for large master-planned communities in Orlando, such as Meridian Park and Vista Park, a development that includes 3,300 homesites, 1,000 apartments, and 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial among other uses. Pulte Homes is the contracted buyer for Vista Park.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at Newsroom@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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