Nearly 100 acres of lakefront property with a private marina on Boggy Creek Road was just way too tempting to sit on the market forever.
But county officials said they would have to make significant changes to the conceptual plan, which calls for a mix of 192 townhomes and 289 single-family homes. The 96-acre site is currently part of a larger Planned Development called "Marina Bay" that previously called for an internal lake with boat lift to access to the existing marina.
The first two phases, with 251 homes on 70-foot lots, have already been built. The fish-camp parcel was entitled for another 171 homes, also on 70-foot lots. The Ashton/Toll Brothers plan would require a major PD amendment and community meeting, according to Senior Planning Specialist Amy Templeton.
"There will have to be modifications," Templeton told GrowthSpotter. "What they're showing here here wouldn't even meet the code requirements for basic Low Density Residential zoning, and if they want to get the PD, they would have to go above and beyond the basic minimum."
The conceptual plan, prepared by Appian Engineering, shows an internal lake has been converted to a 10-acre pond with no access to the marina. The perimeter of the property would be surrounded on three sides with 50-foot, single-family detached, front loaded lots. The majority of homesites would be rear-loaded, single-family attached units on 38-foot lots. The townhomes also would be rear-loaded and 22-feet wide.
Templeton said the developers would need to give a better explanation of the recreational amenities and comply with the county's tree ordinance.
"They told us this draft did not depict what their vision is for the property," she said.
DRC Chairman Mahmoud Najda said the homebuilders, along with their team from KPM Franklin, would be expected to complete a series of environmental studies and would have to abandon all of the existing wells, septic tanks and remove the other private utilities according to health department regulations.
"We haven't come to a conclusion on the roadways," he said. "They will probably have to have some kind of traffic calming because of the length of the roads."
He said the existing marina, which has about 35 boat slips, would be converted to a private club for the residents. In the Marina Bay PD, the open space along East Lake Tohopekaliga was shown as a large nature reserve with park pavilions, tennis courts and covered boat storage.
The new conceptual plan shows a large area for boat parking, a community pool and cabana and neighborhood park. Smaller parks would create a greenway through the center of the townhouse community leading to the pond.
"They're intending to show the recreation better so it doesn't look so dry," Templeton said.
Ashton Woods and Toll Brothers are the first homebuilders to come forward with a plan for the RV park redevelopment since 2016, when Pulte had it under contract.
Pulte had planned to develop a boating community similar to Bellalago, but ultimately backed out of the deal because the cost of removing the existing infrastructure made the project financially unfeasible, Division President Clint Ball said at the time.
"It's a beautiful piece of property," he said. "I think eventually someone will come in and buy it."