UPDATED: December 6, 2017 4:07 PM — Winter Park-based Daly Design Group has helped an Ontario-based client overcome its biggest challenge to developing an isolated 1,033 acres in southeast Orange County known as "Camino Reale," ironing out roadway connectivity for another master-planned community adjacent to Tavistock's future Sunbridge development.
It has emerged 15 months later from a lengthy staff review process with much of the plan's overview intact, and key details ironed out for a road and infrastructure Public Private Partnership. Orange's Development Review Committee gave its recommendation for approval on Wednesday to the PD-RP and APF agreement.
"This will be a very important link to tie in Sunbridge Parkway to Lake Nona," planner Thomas Daly told GrowthSpotter. "Called Innovation Way South, this will be a main roadway corridor that ties in Avalon Park through Sunbridge to Narcoossee Road. It's a big deal from a regional roadway standpoint."
The main challenge for Camino Reale was always its relative isolation in southeast Orange County, and whether its developer could reach deals with land owners to the east and west to build a new road through three or more large properties.
Road agreements would be necessary with the county, Tavistock to the east, and other owners to the west that include affiliates of ICI Homes, Lennar Homes and the Bonnet Creek Resort Community Development District.
Those proposed roads include Innovation Way South running east-west through the middle of DG Group's property, and a new north-south connector road that would also turn east into Sunbridge territory.
Two miles west of the Econlockhatchee River and 3 miles north of the Osceola County line, the Camino Reale boundaries lie south of Weewahootee Road, north of Lake Mary Jane Road and east of Live Oak Estates. Bunkhouse Road runs down much of its center.
The PD-RP calls for a mix of 3,000 residential dwelling units and 330,000 square feet of commercial/office, a 20-acre park and 15-acre public school site.
"Where we're at today is essentially the same plan in terms of its (entitlements), but a lot more detail has been provided and the road issues have been cleared up," Daly said.
This is now the fourth RP that county planning staff have reviewed, following The Grow and Sustany (Lake Pickett North and South), and Sunbridge.
At 688 developable acres, Camino Reale's developable area will be smaller than The Grow (838) and Sunbridge's portion in Orange County (3,094).
County staff are still awaiting a final draft of the proposed term sheet for Camino Reale, as the developer prepares for its zoning hearing in late January or early February 2018, said Jon Weiss, director of Orange County's Community, Environmental and Development Services Department.
The proposed access plan for Camino Reale has shifted since August 2016, with the developer taking the lead in advancing the connection of Innovation Way South to the west, he said. Thus, initial questions of connecting through Sunbridge and coordinating with Tavistock have been deferred somewhat.
The term sheet will identify a phasing plan for the transportation infrastructure. Once received, staff will review prior to it going before the Board of County Commissioners concurrent with the PD-RP zoning.
A formal road agreement would then be due to the county within six months of BCC's expected approval in February.
"We're still working on an agreement with land owners to the west, the challenge is whether they wish to participate," Daly said. "If not, there are still mechanisms to create the regional roadway network."
Staff allowed DG Group to do a term sheet for now instead of a more formal road agreement, even though Camino Reale did not have vested trips, because they felt the developer's proposed access plan from the west enabled them to control the timing of their access and road construction.
Staff have also received and reviewed a full traffic study for Camino Reale, so its transportation impacts are generally understood, Weiss said.
"I am looking forward to working with the Camino developers and Tavistock to discuss the development of the full connection of Innovation Way South from Sunbridge Parkway to S.R. 417," he added. "The final agreement will ensure that connection is able to be completed when needed by the county."
By this time next year, Daly said he expects to be finalizing actual roadway construction drawings for Innovation Way South, which would lead to a groundbreaking on that road in 2019.
Land sales within Camino Reale to residential homebuilders could start at any time in 2018 after the PD-RP zoning approval, said Daly, but a start for home construction is not expected until 2020.
"DG Group will market the land sale opportunities themselves," he said. "They've been waiting until we get the zoning and these road agreements for that opportunity."
Camino Reale's PD-RP incorporates a transect-based approach to zoning. Transect is a key tenet of smart growth movements that blends uses and densities, in contrast to modern Euclidean zoning for suburban development that dedicates large areas to a single use.
Four Transect zones will manage development intensity and density, and create a mix of walkable neighborhoods organized around centralized focal points.
T-1 Natural (409.72 acres proposed) will feature conservation land unsuitable for development. A 100-foot buffer with this zone will be made between Live Oak Estates to the west, the Lake Mary Jane Rural Settlement to the southwest and Camino Reale's closest planned housing.
T-2 Rural Estate (22.85 acres) will be residential land that's compatible with the Lake Mary Jane Rural Settlement, serving as a transition between that community and higher density neighborhoods in Camino Reale. Residential development (45 units) won't exceed the average density of two dwelling units per acre.
T-3 Neighborhood (381.25 acres) will include mainly single-family attached and detached homes (1,525 units) within walkable neighborhoods designed around central focal point uses. Neighborhood scale commercial would be allowed, but not required, when it abuts the central point.
All of T-3 will act as a transition from the dense development near the intersection of Innovation Way South and Sunbridge Parkway.
T-3 would allow townhomes, duplex and stacked flats or live-work units, when adjacent to the community focal point. Residential development in T-3 neighborhoods would not exceed an average of four dwelling units per acre.
T-4 Core/General (219.08 acres) would mix higher density residential uses (1,430 units), commercial, office, light industrial, airport and hospital support, hotel and service uses (330,000 square feet overall), and be located near the Innovation Way-Sunbridge Parkway intersection. Vertical mixed use development would be permitted.
At least 25 percent, or an estimated 331.67 acres, would be designated open space in the development.