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Osceola County settles dispute with D.R. Horton over new subdivision

Osceola Commissioners approved the contested Pine Grove Reserve subdivision plan when D.R. Horton reduced the density from 320 to 315 lots.
Osceola Commissioners approved the contested Pine Grove Reserve subdivision plan when D.R. Horton reduced the density from 320 to 315 lots. (Jordan Engineering)

Osceola County Commissioners on Monday approved a D.R. Horton subdivision plan after the homebuilder cut the number of lots from 320 to 315.

The vote was part of a mediated settlement with Randy Larson, the property owner who had contracted to sell 92 acres near Lake Lizzie to the homebuilder.

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Last December commissioners overruled the staff and planning commission recommendations to approve the subdivision plan for Pine Grove Reserve. Commissioner Fred Hawkins said the project was incompatible with the adjacent properties, even though they all have the same Low Density Residential zoning, because the lot sizes were too small.

The builder swapped out several smaller lots for three lots, each 104-feet wide, that back up to an existing subdivision.
The builder swapped out several smaller lots for three lots, each 104-feet wide, that back up to an existing subdivision. (Jordan Engineering)

Attorney’s for D.R. Horton asked commissioners to reconsider the case in January but they refused. So the builder and property owner appealed to the Florida Department of Administrative Hearings for relief. The parties agreed to a mediated settlement when Horton submitted an alternate plan that replaces seven 52-foot lots with 3 104-lots near the community’s entrance. The new, larger lots, back up to homes in the adjacent subdivision on Ed Harris Court.

After commissioners voted to deny the Pine Grove project earlier this year, the School District of Osceola County, came forward with a proposal to build a massive bus depot and future high school on the 131 acres just west of the subdivision. So as part of the settlement, the county agreed not to allow for any road connections between the school property and the residential community.

The settlement and subdivision plan were both on Monday’s consent agenda.

D.R. Horton has been active in the St. Cloud submarket for years. In addition to being the master developer of Kindred, the homebuilder is actively building in multiple new subdivisions, including Westerly on Nova Road and Canopy Walk just east of Narcoossee Road.

In February, Forestar Group, the land developer for D.R. Horton, paid $10.67 million for nearly 500 lots in Osceola County’s Harmony master-planned community. The developer is also under contract for the final two phases, representing over 1,000 homesites.

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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