The City of Davenport’s proposed R-5 zoning is smart planning, say some area homebuilders.
The zoning – set for a vote by the City Commission at the next meeting on Feb. 3 - would allow for lots 50-feet-wide with smaller side yard setbacks. The zoning would set minimum standards for open space and recreational amenities.
“Development follows the market, and people want affordability factor,” David Waronker, CEO of CBD Real Estate Investments, told GrowthSpotter. “Any cut back in the size of lots is about $1000 a foot, at least. That’s a significant savings.”
The proposed fifth residential zoning designation is an effort by the city to help developers, City Planner Raymond Perez told GrowthSpotter. Many of the developments in unincorporated Polk County to which Davenport supplies utilities eventually are annexed and need to fit into the city’s zoning regulations, he said.
“We don’t want to be putting PUDs (planned unit developments) throughout the city,” Perez said. “That’s pretty much what the city commission wants.”
Creating a new zoning category lets the city determine the rules beforehand, including open space and recreational amenity requirements, and not have to adjust proposals as developers present them.
“No one is trying to squeeze more lots on a development,” Waronker said. “This allows for more open space. … It’s a smart move. It’s typical smart growth and responsible growth.”
Currently there are no proposed subdivisions asking for 50-foot lots, Perez said, but the city has approved some in the past, including Highland Meadows in 2016. Another development called Citrus Landing was approved for 55-foot lots in 2018. A new R-5 designation would allow for low- to medium-density building.
The new zoning will help with growth and development, said Waronker, whose Celebration-based CBD had been building in Florida since 1998. “People don’t care as much front yard frontage as they are a useable back yard,” he said. They are getting the same house, the same percentage of open space. ”I’m all for it. I fully support it. Today’s home buyer demands it, wants it.”
Editor’s Note: This vote was originally scheduled for Jan. 21, 2020, but the meeting was canceled due to lack of quorum.