After receiving a unanimous recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Board, the Tavares City Council voted on Aug. 3 to move forward the rezoning and upgrade of the Future Land Use Map, then sell just over six acres to the Cagan Management Group. Cagan plans to construct 72 market-rate rental townhomes on the property, located north of East Caroline Street.
A second reading and public hearing are scheduled for 4 p.m. on Aug. 17.
The sale of the property from the city to Cagan is contingent on the rezoning.
“This project is being brought forward on the old parcel that once was occupied by the effluent disposal system for the city’s first wastewater treatment plan,” said Ted Wicks, of Wicks Engineering Services, representing Cagan. “It will be a medium-density development of 12 units per acre.”
Wicks said Cagan has a solid track record in the area that speaks for itself and will continue to manage the 3-bedroom and 2-bedroom townhouse complex once it is constructed. He spoke of several other projects Cagan has constructed and managed, including Atwater I and Atwater II apartments and the Bristol Lake Apartments in Mount Dora. “This exhibits their position of being a long-term holder. They just got approved for another 300 units in Mount Dora, so we have the assurance as this project proceeds, it will be a great addition to the neighborhood,” he told the Planning and Zoning Board.
Nearby residents expressed concerns about traffic on East Caroline Street and about bringing crime into the area. A public housing complex nearby has caused problems for the nearby Lakeview Condominiums development, they said, and they do not want any more of that. “We don’t want another place like that,” said Carl Sarver, president of the Lakeview Condos.
Wicks assured them the new complex would be gated and monitored and will not be subsidized housing. There will be nine two-story buildings.
Several residents spoke of issues with traffic on East Caroline Street. Wicks told them a traffic analysis will be conducted and if it is found that traffic from the new complex would hinder traffic operations, Cagan will address those needs.
“This is just our first step,” Wicks said. “We’ve got many hoops to jump through, including the traffic analysis. If the level of service is deficient, we’ll have to fix it. It is a small in-fill project, but years ago, we made the decision that Tavares would be a city” and this project meets all the requirements set forth by the city, including land development regulations and growth management requirements.
The property is currently zoned Public Facilities District (PFD) and the city, which is the applicant in this instance, wants it rezoned to Residential Multi-Family (RMF-3).
The city has already approved the sale of the property contingent on the rezoning. The area is already a mixture of multi-family and single-family residential.
The city is also seeking to amend the future land-use map to re-designate the property from Public Facility/Institutional (PUB) to High Density (HD) on the Future Land Use Map 2040.