Osceola County’s planning staff is recommending approval for a request from Lennar Homes to expand its residential entitlements on land that could be impacted by the proposed Osceola Parkway Extension.
The county’s Development Review Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a minor PD amendment and revised Concept Plan for Lennar’s portion of Southern Oaks, a proposed subdivision on Cyrils Drive, between Narcoossee Road and the Split Oak Forest. The CP, which adds more than a 100 homesites, calls for a boating community on Springhead Lake and Lake Ajay, which offers canal access to East Lake Tohopekaliga.
The original Planned Development was approved a decade ago and comprised over 400 acres in Orange and Osceola counties assembled by Maurey L. Carter & Associates President Daryl Carter. “At one point, we had 2,100 acres,” he told GrowthSpotter last month.
The bulk of the Carter trust holdings were sold to Orange and Osceola counties and became the Split Oak Forest environmental preserve. The trust sold roughly 170 acres in 2014 to CalAtlantic for $12.5 million, and last year sold the northern 200 acres of the planned subdivision, along with entitlements for 475 homes, to Tavistock Development Co. for $15 million. Lennar inherited the project when it acquired CalAtlantic in 2018.
Carter’s investment group retained the two commercial parcels at the intersection of Cyrils and Narcoossee, and last month he filed plans for a grocery-anchored retail center at the southeast corner.
The latest Lennar CP calls for a total of 519 homesites and a mix of product types, including 112 townhomes. The majority of lakefront lots, and many of the lots backing up to Split Oak would be 60 feet wide. The rest would be 50-foot front entry and 40-foot rear alley-access lots.
The CP also shows a community dock with private boat ramp on the man-made lake, as well as a public boat ramp on the canal that links the community to Lake Ajay and to East Lake Toho to the west and to lakes Hart and Mary Jane to the north. County staff gave high marks to the plan for its expanded trail system, which complies with the Narcoossee Community Plan. The CP provides linear parks along most of the boulevards, along with a network of paved multipurpose trails and an equestrian trail just north of Cyrils, which connects Narcoossee to Split Oak.
In the staff report, project planner Mandy Warwick wrote that the revised CP illustrated greater ingenuity and imagination than a standard subdivision and a more efficient clustering of homes in a compact neighborhood.
“Originality and creativity are demonstrated with proposed trails, man-made private lake with amenities, and other enhanced amenities within the development which are to include things such as hiking/running areas, pocket parks, swimming, fishing and boating," she wrote. "Additionally, this development will provide connection to the Split Oak Forest and Lake Ajay which provide a significantly expanded area for recreation.”
One item not shown in the CP but required as a condition by staff is a 20-acre designated school site. Osceola Engineering is the civil engineer.
Narcoossee Community Plan Architectural Guidelines would be integrated into the building architecture. The commercial sites at Narcoossee and Cyrils would have connectivity to the residential portion of the planned development via pedestrian and vehicle ways. This allows for the commercial to remain consistent with the vision of the Narcoossee Plan, staff wrote.
Lennar officials have been mum on plans for the project largely due to the uncertainty of it ever being developed. The property lies directly in the path of one of the two proposed alignments for the Osceola Parkway Extension toll road. The Split Oak Avoidance Alignment would likely force Lennar to scrap most, if not all, of its plans.
The Split Oak Minimization Alignment, preferred by Tavistock, would impact portions of the PD owned by that developer, and would clip the southwest corner of the Split Oak Forest. But it would avoid the Lennar project entirely.
Central Florida Expressway Authority Executive Direct Laura Kelley told GrowthSpotter last week the agency has had no contact with Lennar regarding the OPE and potential right-of-way impacts.