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SunRail triggers rezoning plan for transit-oriented development at Sanford station

With its proximity to Sanford's SunRail station this land is up for rezoning to a transit-oriented-community.
With its proximity to Sanford's SunRail station this land is up for rezoning to a transit-oriented-community.

Sanford is considering a request to rezone 12.37 acres across S.R. 46 from its SunRail station to allow for transit-oriented development, including housing.

On Thursday the city's planning and zoning commission will vote on whether to change the zoning on five parcels on the south side of State Road 45 at 2901 W, 1st St., between Martin Luther King Blvd. and W. Airport Blvd.

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Currently two parcels are zoned restricted Industrial, while the other three are single-family residential. The owner, Transit Properties LLC, is seeking a zoning change to planned development with commercial tracts along S.R. 46 and multi-family residential on the south side of the property with a maximum of 20 dwellings per acre, according to the zoning agenda.

City staff is proposing that the development should be designed as a Transit Oriented Development, TOD for short. TOD communities are generally defined as mixed-use residential and commercial areas that are designed to capitalize on its location near transit, the city documents say.

The development would be the closest rail-related development Sanford has had so far, said Eileen Hinson, Sanford's development services manager.

Transit Properties was created by Kevin Wydra, a founder of Client Profiles.

"After the sale of our company I was interested in getting into land development," he said.

He became interested in development that might occur near SunRail and a consultant friend pointed him to the property in Sanford, which is in a lightly developed area sandwiched between the fast east-bound growth moving from the Sanford mall and Sanford's quaint downtown.

"It's going to be a natural progression for this stretch of 46 to fill in between the two," he said. "We have already had some interest from a market-rate multi-family developer, as well as some affordable developers" for the residential portion of the project, that isn't quantified yet.

For the commercial part of the property, Wydra said he is hoping for businesses that will be supported by SunRail and the multi-family project. He expects another boost for the project will be the I-4 reconstruction that is expected to push commuters toward SunRail.

Madden Engineering is working on the project and the consultant is Ron Semans, partner and vice president of Suncor Properties Inc.

Sanford is only the latest municipality to entertain development along SunRail. The Orlando Sentinel has reported that more than 1,000 housing units, plus a variety of commercial enterprises are flocking to the tracks.

tburney@growthspotter.com or 407-420 6261

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