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Developer Thomas Tompkins will make a second attempt to rezone 3 acres on Pine Island Road for a 14-unit luxury condo project. Osceola County Commissioners rejected a similar request last July.
Developer Thomas Tompkins will make a second attempt to rezone 3 acres on Pine Island Road for a 14-unit luxury condo project. Osceola County Commissioners rejected a similar request last July. (Osceola County)

Longtime Central-Florida developer Tommy Tompkins is making a second attempt to get Planned Development (PD) zoning to build 14 luxury condominiums on the eastern shore of Lake Tohopekaliga.

Osceola County Commissioners rejected Tompkins' rezoning application last July for Sunset Oaks, an age-restricted condo development on three acres at the end of Pine Island Road. Scores of neighbors objected to the project, saying the planned three-story condo building was incompatible with the single-family homes surrounding it.

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The land development code would allow up to 23 single-family homes on the property under the current zoning, but the PD zoning allows for greater height. The proposed condo building would be 46 feet tall.

Tompkins submitted a revised plan in January and earned the endorsement from county staff. On Wednesday the Development Review Committee signed off, moving the project forward to the Planning Commission on April 7, and BOCC on April 18.

But first, Tompkins will have to face the fire at a community meeting March 1.

He told GrowthSpotter several cosmetic changes have been made to the building and he has tweaked the design to respect the neighbors' privacy and security concerns.

"We've added more architectural detail around the windows and doors," he said. "And we've made changes to the recreation and landscaping."

Broc Althafer, vice president of Osceola Engineering, Inc., said the design calls for a solid six-foot masonry wall to separate the development from surrounding homes. The landscape plan would provide significantly more buffer than the land development code requires.

The conceptual design calls for a mix of plantings to include 28-foot-tall canopy trees, 12-to-14-foot understory trees, and 30 shrubs per 100 linear feet. "It's larger, more mature and more dense than the code requires," he said. The lakefront terrace would feature a Jacuzzi, an outdoor kitchen and a firepit.

A multi-slip boat dock would extend 308 feet into the safe-build zone on Lake Toho.

Tompkins said each two-bedroom unit would be priced in the $400,000-$500,000 range, and that half of the units "are already spoken for from people within the community."

A real estate developer since the 1960s, Tompkins founded Kissimmee-based American Heritage Homes, at one time one of the largest homebuilders in the region, but lost the company in 1992. His Osceola County subdivisions include Mill Run, Oak Run and Pine Lake Estates. He told GrowthSpotter he recently completed a condo tower in Cocoa Beach.

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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