Leesburg may soon have another new single-family subdivision, a mix of smaller and larger lots in an accessible area near numerous amenities.
Jerome Henin, president of The Henin Group, recently announced that Treasure Trove is expected to “start shaping up” by year’s end.
The 55.45-acre property is located at State Road 44 and East Treasure Island Avenue. Henin purchased the property from Levy A. Wong, trustee of the Julie Robinson and Barbara Lueallen Trust. He has designed the project for 155 home sites.
“Once the City of Leesburg approves the comprehensive plan for the 50- and 60-foot estate homesites we will begin construction permits for the community,” he said.
Henin already has a couple of projects in Tavares and the property in Leesburg is “a good-looking site across the street from Lennar’s Liberty Preserve, which is a successful subdivision.”
He said he was attracted to this property because it is a corner site with high visibility and accessibility and close to Elmwood, a subdivision in Tavares where D.R. Horton is constructing homes.
“The access is really, really getting so much better so quickly,” Henin said. “There is connectivity to the southern part of Orlando, to I-4 and to Lake Mary.”
He said the decision also took into consideration that there are already nearby restaurants, hospitals, grocery stores and storage facilities. “There are all kinds of things growing in that area and it is near to Mount Dora. And Tavares is also growing nicely.”
Henin said he does not yet know who the builder will be for Treasure Trove. “Each homebuilder has a different type of product. Sometimes, we ask a builder to comply with certain requirements on the way it looks and the colors they will use. I always think how it looks first.”
Henin is working with Gary Beverly with CDS Design Solutions out of Maitland for civil engineering, who created the proposed comprehensive plan to change the designation to Estate Residential, and with environmental planner Bill Ray with Ray and Associates, based in Ocala. Surveyors Halff Associates are also working on the project.
Henin said the second reading of the ordinances to make the necessary changes is scheduled for Nov. 14. The comprehensive plan amendment has already received state approval. The rezoning and annexation into the City of Leesburg also require a second reading.
The comprehensive plan amendment would change the land use on the property from County Rural Transition to City – Estate Residential. The rezoning is to change the designation from County Agricultural to City Planned Unit Development, or PUD.
The project is not without some pushback. Leesburg resident Lisa Hayden started an online petition that garnered more than 100 signatures on its first day at change.org. The petition is asking Lake County to hold off on approval of any more development in the rural area until it can complete its Rural Conservation Subdivision Ordinance with new criteria, and to consider the impact of future construction.
“We have been told by Lake County Commissioners that volume matters, so we are hoping to get enough signatures to influence the decision makers in our favor,” she commented under the petition.
There will always be challenges to development, Henin said. “The bottom line is always to offer diversity and options and make it more interesting.”