AV Homes files plans for 700 homes next to new Poinciana SunRail station

AV Homes is reworking a concept plan the developer filed recently for its new 82-acre, transit-oriented community just north of the new Poinciana SunRail Station.

The plan calls for a maximum of 300 single-family and 400 multifamily residential units on the property that was part of the Poinciana Office and Industrial Park. 

The developer already converted its industrial vesting rights on the property for the residential entitlements. Now it's seeking another amendment to carve out a 1.9-acre commercial lot on the east end of the property, fronting Poinciana Boulevard. If approved, the parcel would carry an entitlement for up to 20,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial uses.

The plan was on the agenda for Wednesday's Development Review Committee, but it will likely be continued to a later meeting. The plan received a cool reception from county planners, as indicated by their written comments.

John Adams, an entitlements specialist for Rj Whidden & Associates who is working with AV Homes, told GrowthSpotter the developer is voluntarily making some minor changes to the concept. 

He said the bigger issue -- and what's holding up PD approval -- is the fact that Osceola County still has not adopted an ordinance regulating development standards around SunRail stations. And it doesn't have a Station Area Plan (a transit-oriented master plan) for the Poinciana site.

The station is scheduled to open in 2018, along with two other stations in Osceola one in south Orange County, as part of SunRail's Phase 2 extension.

County planners have asked AV Homes to file a Station Area Plan. But Adams said the developer has no ownership interest in several key parcels that are contiguous to the station. Complicating matters even more, those undeveloped parcels have vested rights that conflict with the county's Transit Oriented Development goals.

"They’re industrial properties," Adams said. "The site immediately next to AV homes is vested for industrial uses. Without their cooperation, it’s impossible for us in the private sector to actually do a plan on someone else’s property."

But that's just one of the issues staff members raised in their comments. The county's engineering department wants AV Homes to provide street connections to the Knightsbridge PUD, which adjoins the property on the north and east. 

Adams said Knightbridge is in Kissimmee's jurisdiction, and the city approved it without connecting streets to the AV Homes property.

"I can't stub out streets to something that doesn't exist," he said.

County planners also objected to AV's plan to gate the community, saying private roads are "not justified," and they pointed out the lack of pedestrian and bike trails. 

"This PD does not show any internal roadways, sidewalks or pedestrian trails," staff wrote. "Please indicate how, and where these facilities will connect internally, as well as to adjacent future development and the adjacent SunRail Station. Bicycle and Pedestrian connections should remain open to the public to maintain an interconnected grid of multiple modes of transportation."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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