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Osceola County's Development Review Committee is scheduled to consider a new conceptual plan for Tohoqua, one of five master-planned communities in the East of Lake Toho district.
Osceola County's Development Review Committee is scheduled to consider a new conceptual plan for Tohoqua, one of five master-planned communities in the East of Lake Toho district. (Osceola County)

Winter Park developer Bob Secrist is seeking Oscoela County's approval for a new site plan for the 785-acre Tohoqua development on the eastern shore of Lake Tohopekaliga.

Secrist went before the county's development review commission a year ago with a proposed mixed-use concept plan, but he and his engineers at Poulous & Bennett have spent much of the last year tweaking the plan.

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"There was no major additional or reduction in density," County Planning Director Kerry Godwin said. "They added a lot more connectivity to the road network."

Osceola County initially approved the Tohoqua Development of Regional Impact (DRI) in 2008. At the time, the community was envisioned as a boating community with a large internal lake system with private docks.

The latest concept plan eliminates the internal lake system in favor of a more compact, grid development and reduces the number of multi-family units by more than 1,000.

"That was all changed a while ago when they filed the first mixed-use concept plan," Godwin told GrowthSpotter. "We think it's a better development program now than what was in the DRI."

Secrist has filed an application to rescind the DRI, since the new plan calls for more hotel rooms, offices and retail space than was permitted in the original development order. Godwin said that application won't be processed until the conceptual plan is approved.

The developer also has applied for a mass grading permit for Tohoqua, but the final approval is pending the adoption of a preliminary subdivision plan submitted a few weeks ago.

The plan for the first of five phased sections calls for 347 lots on 105 acres. When completed, phase one would have 532 homes. All of the multi-family units would be build in phase two, according to the concept plan.

Secrist and partner Douglas Russell are also seeking a utility service agreement with the city of St. Cloud. The city council was scheduled to vote last week on the contract, but the developers withdrew the request.

The property is currently being marketed as a golf course community by Dowd Properties. Jim Dowd declined comment for this article, and Secrist did not return phone calls.

Tohoqua was one of five DRIs and PMUDs that comprise the county's East of Lake Toho Master Plan. It's located south of Kindred - formerly known as Toho Preserve - the northernmost community in the district. D.R. Horton started building homes in Kindred last year.

The master plan also incorporates the Edgewater DRI, Fontana Lakes DRI and Bella Terra. The five communities comprise more than 11,000 acres and have combined entitlements for 16,380 single family homes and 11,800 multi-family units. It also calls for multiple schools, parks and neighborhood commercial centers.

All of the communities will be linked by a series of north-south roads and a multi-modal corridor designed to accommodate future light rail.

Secrist's Neptune Road Investments LLC bought the nearly 1,200-acre parcel a decade ago for $25 million. In 2010, he sold 370 acres to the county for $9.2 million - that property is now a passive park called the Twin Oaks Conservation Area.

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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