Apopka-based Hanlex Civil plans to develop two Dollar General stores in Kissimmee, but new design guidelines for the E192 CRA district could eliminate the project across from the Florida Turnpike exit.
Hanlex Vice President Jeremy Anderson and project manager Jason Bullard met Tuesday with Osceola County planning staff to discuss both Dollar General projects.
The planning staff had no serious issues with one site at the intersection of Orange Blossom Trail (U.S. 17-92) and Lime Street. But a second site, which lies within the E192 CRA district, generated lengthy discussion and some confusion due to the proposed design guidelines that are scheduled to go to the Board of Commissioners later this month.
The ordinance, which stresses urban design, taller buildings and form-based zoning, is intended to raise property values around the county's new Florida Tech Farm research park and Osceola Heritage Park.
The Hanlex site lies just outside of the proposed Tech Transitional Zone, which has a minimum two-story building height. That created some confusion Tuesday morning, since the county's planning staff mistakenly told Anderson the minimum height applied to his case.
County Principal Engineer Jose Gomez told GrowthSpotter he later called Anderson to let him know the Dollar General site is actually in the proposed General Commercial district, which allows one-story buildings.
But other requirements in the new ordinance could still make the project unfeasible, Anderson said. That's because the county wants all new developments to dedicate 47 feet of right-of-way that would include sidewalks, bike trails and a one-way reverse frontage road with on-street parallel parking.
Anderson said that could be a problem for his site, because it's adjacent to an existing gas station with pumping stations in the front.
"Dumping all of our customers onto the Speedway property -- that's the big challenge," he said. "We're still at the very beginning of this process. There are other challenges on the site -- easements, environmental. So it's all very preliminary."
Complicating matters even more is the E192 building moratorium, which is set to expire at the end of October. The design guideline ordinance was scheduled to go to Planning Commission on Thursday, a requirement before the Commissioners can hold their first public hearing. But the Planning Commission meeting was canceled because of Hurricane Matthew, meaning the moratorium could expire before the ordinance goes to the board.