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More than 500 new homes are being planned the small city of Umatilla in Lake County

The conceptual site plan of the proposed Magnolia Pointe subdivision in Umatilla.
The conceptual site plan of the proposed Magnolia Pointe subdivision in Umatilla. (City of Umatilla/Lake County Property Appraiser)

Plans for the largest residential subdivision in the small city of Umatilla are beginning to take shape once again after never taking off in 2007 when the residential community was originally proposed.

City commissioners, last week, approved the first of two public hearings for a zoning modification request by property owner Colin Johnson and land planner Greg Beliveau with LPG Urban & Regional Planners for the proposed Magnolia Pointe subdivision.

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The land development team is seeking to amend previously approved plans that called for a total of 632 residential lots to accommodate 314 single-family homes and 318 townhomes.

New plans for Magnolia Pointe call for up to 515 single-family homes on about 315 acres on the southeast corner of Mills Street and Church Street.

The smallest lots in the subdivision would be 70-feet wide, but neighbors still complained about the density.

Unlike the previous proposal, the subdivision will feature about 135 acres of open space and restricted access to adjacent Lake County streets.

The new agreement is significantly less intense, Beliveau told GrowthSpotter.

“Even with less lots, the subdivision would be the largest in the city,” he said. “The Great Recession paused the previous plans. It really hit Umatilla hard, as well as other parts of Lake County.”

The property was initially annexed and rezoned in 2007 by Bay Pointe LLC. Records show, Johnson bought the land out of foreclosure in 2013 for about $655,000.

According to a conceptual site plan for Magnolia Pointe, the residential community will have one main access point on C.R. 450-A with an emergency gate at the south end of Church Street.

The subdivision will be built in three phases with the majority of lots (371) averaging about 50 feet in width. The remaining 28% of lots will range between 60, 70 and 80 feet in width. Amenities will include gated access, recreational trails and multiple park spaces.

A homebuilder has not yet been selected.

“Umatilla is on the doorstep of the Ocala National Forest, so any one who wants to go to the forest has to go through Umatilla first... It can get pretty busy during fishing and hunting seasons,” Beliveau said. “It’s a quaint city with a recently revitalized downtown."

City Clerk Karen Howard said the city’s currently population has about 4,150 residents.

In an effort for the city to generate more property taxes and bring in more economic development, the city waived annexation fees from 2011 to about 2017.

Howard said an ordinance will soon be going before the city council to reestablish the waiver.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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