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Bronson seeks residential zoning for acreage on Kissimmee’s Lake Toho

Heirs of Osceola County pioneer rancher Amos Bronson have filed to rezone their land on Pleasant Hill Road for low density residential development.
Heirs of Osceola County pioneer rancher Amos Bronson have filed to rezone their land on Pleasant Hill Road for low density residential development. (Osceola County Property Appraiser)

The family of former longtime Osceola County Tax Collector Murray Bronson has applied to rezone the 200-acre homestead on the west shore of Lake Tohopekaliga for residential development.

Bronson, who died in 2001, was the son of cattle rancher Amos Bronson and worked in the family business before running for his first term in 1965. He served as tax collector for more than 30 years, until he resigned in 1999 for health reasons. Amos Bronson deeded the ranch property at Pleasant Hill and Harbor roads to his son and daughter-in-law, Linda Bronson, in 1984. The couple later transferred ownership to their Bronson Family Limited Partnership.

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Linda Bronson applied this week for Low Density Residential (LDR) zoning, which would allow anywhere from 600 to 1,600 dwelling units.

Kissimmee-based Rj Whidden & Associates worked with Linda Bronson in 2006 to win approval for a mixed-use planned development called Bronson Bay. That PD covered about 215 acres. It was envisioned as a marine lifestyle community with a boat basin and boat lift providing access to Lake Toho. The PD was entitled for a mix of over 800 homes, townhomes and condos built around a village center.

Rj Whidden Vice President John Adams said PD is now expired and the plan doesn’t fit today’s market. Plus, the parcel that would have been the site for the boat basin was removed from the PD.

“It was a mixed-use PD,” Adams said. “It’s more appropriate under the current comprehensive plan to rezone it to LDR.”

The golf course owner is seeking entitlements for nearly 500 apartments where the clubhouse and driving range are now.

The Bronson property is less than mile from the county-maintained Grenada Boat Ramp, but it’s unlikely the land would be developed today as a boating community. “The lake is awful shallow over there,” he told GrowthSpotter. “I don’t know if it would be feasible.”

Adams said Bronson has received offers for the property over the years, but there currently is no builder attached to the project. “There is a lot of interest in the property, but it is not under contract with any buyer,” he said. It has an appraised value of $4.2 million but benefits from an agricultural tax exemption.

The Bronson Family LP is under contract to sell 120 acres on Harbor Road, west of Pleasant Hill Road, to Elevation Development for a new 581-home subdivision called Harbor Reserves. A mediated developers agreement between Bronson/Elevation and the county, along with the LDR rezoning and Preliminary Subdivision Plan are scheduled for votes by Osceola Board of County Commissioners on Feb. 15.

Daryl Carter and Clyde Wells with Maury L. Carter & Associates represented Bronson on the Harbor Reserves deal and have the listing for Bronson Bay.

Located about a 1.5 miles south of U.S. 17-92, the area has grown into a suburban enclave. Bronson Bay is immediately south of the Oak Hammock Preserve, which was developed more than a decade ago. The owner of the nearby Oaks National Golf Course in Kissimmee Oaks is seeking a major PD amendment to build apartments, townhomes and single family homes on the golf course.

Across Pleasant Hill Road, Lennar Homes is actively selling in Storey Creek, a nearly 1,000-home master planned community that stretches from Ham Brown Road to Pleasant Hill. And the Osceola Village Center, just north of Shingle Creek, will bring hundreds of homes and townhomes by Avex Homes, along with commercial development and apartments.

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

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