Homeowners in an Osceola County retirement community are alarmed by recent actions by their developer-controlled Community Development District to redefine what types of homes could be built in future phases of Twin Lakes.
Located on Hickory Tree Road, south of St. Cloud, Twin Lakes is an active adult community approved for over 2,000 homesites. Jones Homes USA is the builder and master developer for the sprawling, lakefront community, which is designed to be built over eight phases. The developer has filed plans with Osceola County to convert over 500 of the undeveloped future homesites in phases 6, 7 and 8 to primary residential use rather than the current age-restricted use.
While the new section would be a separate community outside the gates of Twin Lakes, the move still caught many residents off-guard.
Now residents fear the developer is laying the groundwork to add apartments and condos to the community. Earlier this year, the Live Oak Lake CDD governing board revised the development program in its assessment methodology to allow for up to 656 multifamily or condo units in Phase 5. The previous methodology called for 138 detached single family homes.
“This does not seem to fit in to what us residents were told by the sales team,” homeowner Gary Clark told GrowthSpotter.
The move doesn’t mean the development program has changed. But it does creates a formula that charges any future multifamily units at three-tenths of the rate of a single family home for non ad valorem assessments used to repay bonds and other CDD expenses. The revised plan also creates new categories for 40-foot and 60-foot lots, neither of which were contemplated in the original, age-restricted community but were added for the residential community.
Scott Stearns, director of land for Jones Homes, declined to speak with GrowthSpotter.
The Twin Lakes Preliminary Subdivision Plan does not include any multifamily units, and the property has a future land use and zoning of Low Density Residential.
Jose Gomez, who chairs Osceola’s Development Review Committee, said Jones Homes has never sought approvals to build multifamily units in Twin Lakes in any phase. The maximum density permitted under LDR zoning is eight units per acre. “I’m not even sure the zoning would allow what they’re proposing,” he said. “At minimum, they would have to modify the Preliminary Subdivision Plan, and that’s assuming it meets the zoning.”
The developer also would have to get the City of St. Cloud to amend its utility service agreement for Twin Lakes to accommodate the higher density. All of those steps would require multiple public hearings.