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Osceola County is buying this 5.5-acre site on Buenaventura Boulevard, along with the adjoining stormwater pond, and could build affordable rental housing there. But first the county would have to rezone the property.
Osceola County is buying this 5.5-acre site on Buenaventura Boulevard, along with the adjoining stormwater pond, and could build affordable rental housing there. But first the county would have to rezone the property. (Osceola County)

Osceola County Commissioners are already hearing resistance to a plan to build affordable housing on 11 acres in the Buenaventura Lakes area.

Commissioners voted this week to pay $249,000 plus related costs to buy the property on Buenaventura Boulevard from the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida. About half of the property is already used for stormwater retention, and County Manager Don Fisher said the other half could be used for a second pond to relieve area flooding.

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But first county staff will survey the site to determine if it could be developed as a mixed-use project with affordable rental housing. The property is surrounded on three sides by single-family homes with town homes to the north, but is currently zoned as a planned development.

The average household income within a mile radius of the site is nearly $50,000, but the average home value is $133,251, according to a demographics report prepared for the seller by Equity Investment Services.

"I have gotten some concerns, and I did speak to those people individually," Chairwoman Viviana Janer said. "But I want to reiterate that we will have public meetings because the property will have to be rezoned."

Fisher said the county has a 45-day due diligence period to close the deal. "It's a good value," he told commissioners. He said opponents would have an opportunity to comment on the rezoning during public hearings at the planning commission and county commission. "And we would hold our usual community meeting, as well," he said.

If commissioners rezone the site for mixed-use/affordable housing, the county's procurement office would issue a request for proposals or letters of interest from developers with experience building affordable housing.

Last year the county selected Kissimmee-based Parramore Construction Co. to build the first phase a 200-unit affordable housing complex on Yates Road, just north the W192 tourist corridor. That parcel is 9 acres - all high and dry.

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

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