Over the objections of some local residents, the final phase of the Johns Lake Landing development has received the go-ahead from the Lake County Board of County Commissioners. The move allows the development to convert 186 attached multi-family units and 425,000 square feet of commercial space to 300 multi-family units, 50 single-family units and 370,000 sq.ft of commercial development.
Parkway affiliate, PKY Clermont Owner LLC, had requested an amendment to the Planned Unit Development (PUD) Ordinance to reduce the commercial square footage from 425,000 to 370,000 in order to increase the number of single-family dwellings from 547 to 597 units and increase the multi-family dwellings from 186 to 300 units.
The development site is located between Johns Lake and State Road 50 between Hartle Road and Magnolia Pointe Blvd. and was already entitled for the 186 attached multifamily units and 425,000 square feet of commercial and retail use.
Parkway Land Development Director Rich Toomey previously told GrowthSpotter the firm would commence construction soon after the rezoning was approved. Toomey said 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.”
The apartment community will employ a Modern Farmhouse aesthetic and will feature a large activity lawn, pool and clubhouse with fitness center, business center and private party room. There’s also an outdoor kitchen, separate grilling area and a dog park with designated grooming station.
He said David Weekley Homes, which is building Phase 6 of the community, would be the homebuilder for the 50 single-family lots. Parkway also has deals in place for all of the commercial lots. An outdoor pool and patio store will lease lots 1 and 2; a fast-food restaurant will rise on lot 3; a childcare facility for up to 200 children is slated for lot 4; and a national furniture retailer will build an 80,000-square-foot showroom on lot 5.
Parkway will invest a total of $114 million over the next 3.5 years, according to the firm’s economic impact study. That includes $60 million for the apartments and $35 million for the commercial buildings.
During a public hearing residents’ concerns focused mainly on traffic and traffic flow in the area, particularly on Magnolia Pointe Boulevard and State Road 50, which border the project. Although multifamily housing is a permitted use in the Johns Lake Landing PUD, some neighbors expressed fears that the expansion would lead to more accidents on area roads.
But traffic engineers said that under the original PUD, the development could have generated 10,329 trips a day. The amended PUD would reduce the number of trips to 5,412.
Commission Chairman Sean Parks said later that he remained concerned about traffic on Magnolia Boulevard at peak hours. He had asked for a 30-day delay in approving the measure so that those concerns could be addressed. But he added that the access point on Magnolia Pointe is guaranteed because the PUD ordinance passed in 2005 granted it.
“I was hoping for a little more time to work with the adjacent landowner to gain cross access to Tiny Morse Boulevard,” he said. “It would be ideal to have a signal constructed at Tiny Morse Blvd. I believe everyone wins in that scenario.”
But, he said, the developers will be required to install traffic calming devices such as speed tables and an internal roundabout.
“I do believe the applicant has incorporated many good planning features and the overall intensity should be reduced,” he said. “Despite my concerns, I do welcome the applicant to Lake County and look forward to helping them get open for business as soon as possible.”
GrowthSpotter Editor Laura Kinsler contributed to this report.