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Parkway seeks rezoning of Johns Lake Landing to add more residential units

The new developer is seeking the second revision in less than a year for the Johns Lake Landing Planned Unit Development.
The new developer is seeking the second revision in less than a year for the Johns Lake Landing Planned Unit Development. (KPM Franklin)

The same developer who brought a Wellness & Technology park to Lake Mary is looking to relaunch a stalled planned development along State Road 50 in Clermont.

Parkway bought 54 undeveloped acres in the mixed-use portion of the Johns Lake Landing in January for $8.6 million. The property is part of a larger Planned Unit Development that recently received approval for its sixth phase of single-family residential lots. Parkway Land Development Director Rich Toomey has applied for a PUD modification with Lake County that’s coming up on the Planning & Zoning Board agenda on July 7.

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“We’re doing a downzoning there — creating a less intensive use on that 54 acres,” Toomey said. “The PUD is 16 years old. This is more in tune with the market today.”

The PUD is currently entitled for 186 attached multifamily units and 425,000 square feet of commercial and retail use. Toomey and Parkway CEO Jim Heistand are seeking to reduce the commercial entitlements to 370,000 square feet in exchange for an increase in residential units.

David Weekley began developing single-family homes in the community in 2014. Today, the homebuilder has closed more than 200 single-family homes in the area.

Specifically, they want to add 50 new single-family lots on the western portion of the property and along the new entrance road from S.R. 50. They also are seeking approvals to build a 300-unit low-rise multifamily community on 24 acres between the commercial lots and the existing residential community.

“We’re prepared to begin very soon after the rezoning is complete,” Toomey said.

While the PUD modification would set the commercial entitlements at 370,000 square feet, Toomey said the most the developer could build on the redrawn commercial lots would be 100,000 square feet. They are courting users that would complement the neighborhood, such as a charter school and a daycare facility, and a lower traffic impact than big-box retail. The developer also would be required to make off-site improvements to S.R. 50.

Toomey told GrowthSpotter the apartment buildings would be an upscale, 2-story product with an extensive amenity and landscaping package. “They’re going to look like townhomes. They’re very high-end,” he said. “We do everything site-specific to the area, so each multifamily project is designed from scratch.”

This would be the second new multifamily community on the same stretch of S.R. 50 where the developer opted for a two-story product. Penler broke ground earlier this year on a 288-unit community just north of the new Car Max dealership at W. Colonial Drive and Hartle Road.

Brian Denham of Denham Engineering is representing Parkway on the rezoning request, which was filed less than a year after Lake County Commissioners amended the PUD at the request of David Weekley Homes. That vote in September 2020 reduced the total number of townhouse or multifamily units from 328 to 186 to create more single-family homesites within the community.

David Weekley is the contracted buyer for Phase 6 of Johns Lake Landing. The homebuilder has closed over 225 homes in Johns Lake Landing since beginning development in 2014.

Lake County’s planning staff has recommended approval of the Parkway PUD modification, noting that it’s consistent with the Urban Low Density future land use. The John’s Lake Landing PUD ordinance allows a mixture of uses including an assisted living facility, single-family dwelling units, multifamily or townhome units, and commercial space.

The case is on the P&Z consent agenda and is scheduled to go to the Board of County Commissioners on Aug. 3.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The headline and article were updated to clarify that the developer is seeking to convert commercial use for residential and that multifamily housing is a permitted use in the Johns Lake Landing PUD.

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

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