Osceola County Developments

Proposed Kenansville fly-in community could be converted to private road course

A racing enthusiast is eyeing the 381-acre Flying S Ranch property in rural south Osceola County, but he wants to build a private race course instead.

A racing enthusiast is eying land on U.S. 441 in rural Osceola County to build his own private road course.

Lakeland broker Lee Saunders represented the prospective buyer Wednesday during a pre-application meeting with Osceola County’s Development Review Committee to discuss the Flying S Ranch property south of Kenansville, which has an approved Planned Development from 2007 for a 67-home equestrian and fly-in community.


“What the potential purchaser would like to do is kind of a variant of that,” Saunders said. “He wants to do a race course — but more like a private-use initially, where he would put in a road course and maybe a little circle track and maybe an off-road portion. And then, potentially in the future, be able to sell off lots that front on it, similar to what they’ve done at Monticello Motor course in New York.”

The PD covers 381.5 acres tucked between U.S. 441 and the Florida’s Turnpike. The 10 acres fronting on U.S. 441 are currently approved for a future commercial site, and Saunders said the client wants to keep the entitlement to potentially sell that piece. Since the property is outside of the county’s Urban Service Boundary, residential density is limited to one home per five acres, which caps the number at 67. The PD called for 1-acre lots on the runway and 2-acre lots in the equestrian area, but the buyer could reduce the density and the lot sizes if he chooses.

The property is on U.S. 441, about a mile south of Kenansville.

Saunders said his client wouldn’t expect to offer more than 30 residential lots within the community. Each home would have access to the racetrack, but it would not be a commercial racetrack or membership club.

“That’s an important distinction, whether it would be open to the public or whether it would be just for the residents,” DRC Chairman José Gomez said.

The owner would be open to conditions on the hours of operation and noise levels, Saunders said.

Gomez said he could apply for a major PD amendment with a new site plan that eliminates the runway, horse trails and equestrian center and replaces them with a racecourse that would wind through the community. The homes would be clustered in locations where they can safely access the track. Or he could apply for rezoning to Conservation Subdivision, but that would eliminate the commercial use. Either would require public hearings.

Saunders said his client wants to be a good neighbor. “So initially it would be private use only, so it’s not going to be something that is continuously used, by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “It’s going to be maybe one or two days a week, so nothing high intensity. The other residential component would come later. But again, I don’t think that the amount of intensity would be greatly ramped up, and in projects that I’ve been with that have similar to this in the past.”

The last time a developer proposed building a racecourse in Osceola County, the project was met with intense opposition. Gomez noted that the previous project was much closer to residential neighborhoods and it included a public racetrack on the W192 tourism corridor. That project fizzled when the county’s Board of Adjustment denied the developer’s noise variance.

More recently, Winter Park-based Scarpello Development filed construction plans for a private motorsports club just off I-4 in Auburndale. The Corsa Club would have a 1.69-mile road course with available lots for garage condos where members can store their cars.

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