Polk County Developments

Polk developers want to downzone Winter Haven MF site for new subdivision

Developers with deep ties to Polk County's citrus industry want to convert a 53-acre orange grove into a 205-lot subdivision.

A Winter Haven real estate developer with deep ties to the citrus industry wants to downzone a site on Eagle Lake Loop Road to build a 205-lot subdivision.

The 53-acre orange grove was approved in 2010 as a Planned Unit Development with entitlements for up to 540 multifamily units.


SDD Development bought the property last year for $1.37 million, and on July 10 the owners will go to the city's Planning Commission to ask for PUD amendment to reduce the density to 205 single-family detached homes. The minimum lot size would be 50 feet wide.

The company principals are Leslie Dunson III, who also owns a citrus packing house next to the site, and Wes Donley, a real estate agent and developer whose father and uncle developed the Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club on one of the family's failed orange groves.


The city's planning staff supports the PUD amendment because it complies with the Residential Low Density land use in the Comprehensive Plan, and reduces the impact to local schools and roads.

JSK Consulting is the civil engineer.

The SDD site is just east of Solis Gardens, a 61-lot starter home subdivision on Eagle Lake Loop Road where homes are all priced below $200,000.

The duo also owns a 38.6-acre tract on Lucerne Lake Road in Winter Haven with frontage on Lake Smart.

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