Groveland’s City Council unanimously voted last week to deny plans for a new 455-home subdivision proposed on Villa City Road, but the developer says he still intends to bring the application back for a second vote on Sept. 8.
Sovereign Land Company is the contracted buyer for the 163-acre assemblage that was approved in 2006 as a Planned Unit Development called Indigo Lakes Village. This was the second time the Winter Park developer failed to win support vote from the City Council for the PUD amendment.
President Kyle Sanders told GrowthSpotter he would revise the application before it goes back to City Council next week.
“We worked very closely with the staff, and we complied with everything they asked from us,” he said. “We anticipated that we would get approved. Instead it was 5-0 against.”
Sovereign is seeking to reduce the size and amount of commercial space by more than half. The approved PUD designates 11 acres for 130,000 square feet of office and retail space. Sovereign is seeking to develop 60,000 square feet on just 3 acres at the main entrance to the community.
The developer also wants to change the housing product types from the 2006 plan, in which 89 percent of homes were either attached villa units (44) or townhomes (366). Sovereign prefers a development plan that relies mostly on detached single family lots. In February, the council voted 4-1 to send the matter back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for more review.
Even though Sovereign cleared the Planning Commission in March, Sanders and development partner, Greg Clark, asked their planning team to revise it again before submitting to City Council. Sanders said the council members expressed concerns about lot sizes and side-yard setbacks, so he eliminated the 40-foot lots and swapped them out for rear-alley loaded townhomes (109) and 45-foot lots (80).
The plan also increased the number of 50-foot lots to 254. In both versions, the development plan includes a dozen premium 80-foot lots directly on Lake Lucy. There’s also a community dock on the lake and a pool/cabana amenity center. The developer even agreed to dedicate a 4.3-acre hilltop in the center of the community to the city for a public park.
“We’re doubling the amount of open space,” Sanders said.
Groveland Community Development Director Timothy Maslow said lot size, setbacks and parking were all listed as concerns for by the council.
Before he brings the case back for a second reading, Sanders said he would expand the side-yard setbacks from 5 feet to 7.5 feet. He hopes that will be enough to get 3 council members to change their minds.
“If we can’t get approval of this amendment will proceed under existing PUD,” Sanders said.