Osceola County Developments

D.R. Horton eying land east of Lake Toho for mixed-use community

D.R. Horton and SG Communities are eying 321 acres of land with Mixed-Use zoning on Kissimmee Park Road, just east of Lake Tohopekaliga.

America’s largest homebuilder is part of a development group eying some 321 acres in Osceola County’s rapidly growing East of Lake Toho District.

Dallas Austin, forward planning manager for D.R. Horton’s Orlando division, recently had a pre-application meeting with the county’s Development Review Committee to get feedback from staff before submitting a Concept Plan for the land, which already has an approved Conceptual Master Plan.


Also taking part were Robert Godwin and Domingo Sanchez, principals for SG Communities. They were joined by Xabier Guerricagoita, director of engineering for Boyd Civil.

Guerricagoita said the CP would differ from the CMP because the prospective buyers are hoping to find more buildable land. “Based on the county’s plan, they would only be able to take advantage of about 20% of their property for development,” he said. The engineers are waiting for surveys to confirm that they could develop up to 106 acres, which would be closer to a third of the total acreage, with minimal environmental impacts.

County planners said this preliminary conceptual plan would not be accepted because it fails to meet the guidelines for mixed-use development, which includes short blocks and interconnectivity with adjacent properties.

The site is located in the county’s East of Lake Toho Mixed-Use District and has a Conceptual Master Plan that was approved in 2010. That plan includes a half-dozen master-planned communities such as Crossprairie/Edgewater, Bella Terra and Fontana Lakes that have entitlements for a combined16,380 single-family homes and 11,800 multifamily units. The subject site is located in Whaley Platt neighborhoods 1 and 2, which have entitlements in the CMP for 1,290 dwelling units. Those entitlements include the existing homes west of the property.

The land is south of Kissimmee Park Road and extends west almost to the Lake Tohopekaliga shoreline. “We’re almost as far west as you can go without being in the lake,” Guerricagoita said.

The property is owned by Kissimmee Park Properties, an entity led by Shane Platt, grandson of late rancher Cecil Whaley. Platt and his wife also own the 752-acre Whaley Platt property (WP Neighborhoods 3, 4, 5 and 6) to the east that has an approved CP for 2,663 homes and allowance for a Crystal Lagoon. That property has approved construction plans and is under contract to Tampa-based Metro Development Group. The subject property is contiguous to the Whaley Platt property along the southernmost portion, and Guerricagoita said they came up with a preliminary design that allows for the neighborhood streets to connect at Keystone Avenue and one other point to the south. The primary access to the community would be from Kissimmee Park Road.

The subject site is located in Whaley Platt Neighborhoods 1B and 2. The county has already approved Concept Plans for all of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Planner Photenie Burnette said the design, with a single interior road running parallel to the wetlands, doesn’t comply with the mixed-use development standards, which call for short, compact blocks. “Just from looking at your plan, it looks like you’re scalping along the edge with no east-west connections. So that’s something that will need to be corrected,” she said.

DRC Chairman Jose Gomez noted that Kissimmee Park Road is a framework street in the CMP, and developers of Edgewater, Bella Terra and Whaley Platt are donating right-of-way and improving the road so it meets the county standard. But there’s a significant gap of .8 miles between the end of Whaley Platt at Osceola Road and the beginning of the Platt property at Cherokee Road. “So I’m not sure how that right-of-way is going to be acquired in order for that framework road to connect, but that will have to be addressed,” Gomez said. “OK. What I’m trying to say is you may have to wait until the roads get to you. It might limit how much you can move forward at this time.”

D.R. Horton was the first major developer to activate the county’s East of Lake Toho Element in 2014 when it started construction in Kindred, the northernmost community in the district and now one of the county’s fastest-growing subdivisions. The former Toho Preserve DRI covers nearly 1,600 acres and has approvals for nearly 3,000 single-family homes, 639 multifamily units and 550,000 square feet of retail, office and institutional uses.

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