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Lake County Developments

Kolter Homes finalizing plans for retirement community on Lake Harris

Kolter Homes has plans in the works for an active adult community on the east shore of Lake Harris in Tavares. If approved, it will be the second such community on the lake.

Kolter plans to build one of its Cresswind-branded age-restricted communities on 220 acres of property west of the intersection of Woodlea Road and Lane Park Road and will include a $10 million clubhouse, 625 single-family homes, a community pool, tennis and pickleball courts, a dog park and trail network.

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The project received the approval of the Planning and Zoning Board, but the developer is tweaking its request for rezoning from Residential Single Family to Planned Development to appease neighbors on nearby Peninsula Drive, who want a separate access road from that of the proposed adult community. The city council granted a continuance July 6 and rescheduled the second hearing for 4 p.m. July 20.

“The developer has gone above and beyond code minimums for the city and to ensure protections” requested by residents, said Tara Tedrow, with Lowndes Law, acting as land-use attorney for Kolter.

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Kolter agreed to construct a private, gated access road along the southern boundary line for the 17 Peninsula Drive residents — at a cost of nearly $2 million. HALFF Engineering submitted the updated plan with the new roadway off Lane Park Road.

Kolter has Cresswind communities in development now throughout much of the Southeast and in Florida in DeLand, Lakewood Ranch and Palm Beach. The Tavares neighborhood will be called Cresswind at Lake Harris. In addition to the clubhouse, it will include a marina on the lake and ample parking for golf carts. “It’s a pretty spectacular project,” she said.

The current zoning would allow for a community of starter homes called Gorgeous Groves, as opposed to the upscale retirement community Kolter plans to build there. “The applicant’s team worked with residents and the city for months to address all issues raised throughout the process,” Tedrow said.

The property included in this community is currently vacant and the PD zoning designation is compatible with the surrounding zoning, a mix of residential and county agricultural zoning. Cresswind would be a gated community with private roads and a range of lot sizes, with preservation open spaces and scenic areas, along with large landscape buffers. It is consistent with the Tavares Comprehensive Plan, which calls for a mix of available, quality mixed housing types. Kolter would implement urban design principles to promote a livable community, preserve the character of existing homes using wide landscape buffers and consider Tavares’ historic context, according to a report provided by staff to the city council.

The project would be divided into four phases with the sales center, design office, amenity center and marina in Phase 1. Kolter will offer at least 15 different floorplans of all detached homes on 40-, 50- and 60-foot lots. The neighborhood will even have about 30 lots directly on Lake Harris.

Bio-Tech Consulting, Inc., which served as the environmental engineer for the project, found no adverse environmental concerns on the property. Luke Transportation Engineering Consultants conducted traffic analyses for the project and found no adverse impact on level of service on surrounding roadways, with the exception of S.R. 19. The developer is working with the city and Lake County on a proportionate share of traffic mitigation and will devise a developer’s agreement for the design, funding and construction of roadway improvements at the Captain Haynes Road extension from Woodlea Road. That segment of Captain Hayes Road would also serve as the ingress and egress for a future Lake County school site.

Cresswind is the latest new upscale development coming to the shores of Lake Harris, a water body that spans 15,672 acres. Just across the lake, New Jersey-based K. Hovnanian Homes is developing one of its signature Four Seasons active adult resort communities in Howey-in-the-Hills. The gated community on State Road 19 will have 650 homes and a large amenity center and park on the lakeshore.

Orlando-based GPK Holdings is moving forward with plans for a 265-acre community in Yahala called Drake Point, located on the east side of County Road 48 north of Bella Vista Drive to the south and west of Lake Harris. The project is approved for 528 residential units with a separate marina, tennis courts, trails, clubhouse and courts for pickleball. The development would have no age restrictions. The developer estimates the project investment will be $44 million, including the $9 million land acquisition cost.

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The BurnBrae Companies has also won approval last year for a residential subdivision called Lakeside Forest on State Road 19, just north of the city’s Hickory Point Park on Lake Harris. It would add 134 single family homes lots with a minimum lot size of 60 feet. Richmond American Homes bought the project in December and announced it would open its Seasons at Lakeside Forest this winter with a choice of nine floorplans, including two with the homebuilder’s signature “UltraGarage” perfect for storing boats and RVs.

GrowthSpotter Editor Laura Kinsler contributed to this report. 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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