Tavistock faces closing deadline for Sunbridge agreements in coming month

An updated conceptual map of the Transect zones in the Regulating Plan for Tavistock's proposed Sunbridge development in East Orange County, as of Sept. 7.
An updated conceptual map of the Transect zones in the Regulating Plan for Tavistock's proposed Sunbridge development in East Orange County, as of Sept. 7. (Tavistock)

Finalizing three public school sites, appraising land for a central park and agreeing on future road connections with a neighbor are key tasks  for Tavistock Development Company over the coming month to stay on track with rezoning the Southeast Orange County portion of its proposed Sunbridge community.

Tavistock is scheduled to go before the Local Planning Agency (another hat worn by the Planning and Zoning Commission) on Sept. 15, for a concurrent Future Land Use Map (FLUM) amendment and rezoning public hearing for the 4,787-acre portion of the proposed Sunbridge in Orange

It would be the northern half of Sunbridge, a phased community to span 37 square miles of Orange and northeast Osceola County, covering 24,000 acres of Mormon Church ranch land. 
It will be Orange planners' second massive Regulating Plan to review after staff cut their teeth on "The Grow" in recent months -- though Tavistock's property will be more than four times the size.
The rezoning application also includes a final Planned Development–Regulating Plan (PD-RP), which details how the mixed-use development would be rolled out over a decade or more.

If recommended by the LPA next week, a final public hearing would follow with the Board of County Commissioners on Oct. 18. If approved by BCC and no challenges to that decision are received, the FLUM amendment and rezoning should become effective by December of this year.


With the LPA public hearing a week away, Tavistock has yet to complete four key agreements with the county that must be done prior to the Oct. 18 BCC meeting.

What lies ahead of Tavistocks FLUM and Comp Plan amendment requests in Orange County for its proposed Sunbridge community through the rest of this year.

These include a transportation agreement; a Capacity Enhancement Agreement (CEA) with Orange County Public Schools for the size,  location and land appraisal value for two public middle schools and one elementary school; an Environmental Land Stewardship Plan (ELSP) that's now under review by the county attorney; and an Adequate Public Facilities (APF) agreement with appraisals of space to be dedicated as public parks.

Those appraisals establish a fair market value for the park and school lands, and are used to determine the amount of assigned impact fee credits given for the dedication of public sites to Orange County. 

The four agreements would normally be due by Sept. 15 for staff to schedule the applicant on the next month's BCC agenda. But like with the PD-RP for The Grow earlier this year, leeway is being given for Sunbridge because of its size and complexity.

The challenge will be ensuring all four agreements are completed once the case is pre-scheduled for Oct. 18. Otherwise a key window is missed, and BCC would have to continue the case to November.

This map of Sunbridge shows the proposed regional trail system (dashed teal line), the potential locations of three schools (purple) and the APF park space (green, in center).
This map of Sunbridge shows the proposed regional trail system (dashed teal line), the potential locations of three schools (purple) and the APF park space (green, in center). (Tavistock)

A delay could complicate Tavistock's land acquisition. The developer previously told county planners that its contracts for purchase of the Mormon Church affiliate land require it has zoning and entitlements in place by end of this year.

Richard Levey, a Tavistock consultant who has worked on Sunbridge's entitlements planning, declined to comment on potential deadlines for the land purchase.

Tavistock also must reach a road connectivity agreement with the county and its neighbor to the west, Ontario-based developer DG Group, to earn rezoning approval.

DG Group has revived dormant plans for 1,033 acres known as Camino Reale, filing its own PD-RP in early August that proposes another mixed-use community.

A deep dive into this Ontario-based developer's plan for 1,033 acres west of the Econlockhatchee, and the road agreements that will be key.

In late August, Tavistock revised its PD-RP to include roadway connections to the Camino Reale property, as requested by county staff.

Those connections should include Innovation Way South (to run east-west through DG Group and Tavistock's property), and at least three smaller roads that would branch west into Camino Reale from the T4, T3-E and T3-G zones of Sunbridge (see map at top of page).

Sunbridge's newest PD-RP version also includes a site for the required APF park, and a location for a fire/EMS facility on Sunbridge Parkway.

Thomas Daly of Winter Park-based Daly Design Grouprepresenting the Camino Reale land owners, said Wednesday that negotiations on the road connections are progressing, and that "all the owners in the end have a mutual interest to get this done."

With an eye toward incremental urbanism for Sunbridge's dense central zone, Tavistock's Levey asked planners in mid-August to allow for ground-floor space in mixed-use buildings to be flexible, so the developer could lease it first as residential and transition to commercial as population grows and demand rises.

"For T5, our highest density zone, we need a walkable urban environment. But my past experience with development in Downtown Orlando taught me that this takes time," Levey said.

County planning manager Alberto Vargas agreed.

"The spirit of the form-based code should allow them this flexibility, so that if the development is built right it can accept what the market indicates," he said. "The idea is to promote a vertical integration of uses."

Tavistock's PD-RP shows how the 4,787 acres would be broken down in its development program.

The single-family residential (5,720 dwelling units) may occupy 1,688.6 acres, and multi-family residential (1,650 DUs) will take 69.9 acres, totaling 1,758.5 acres for housing.

Employment/office space (5.47 million square feet) would cover 459.6 acres, while retail/commercial (880,000 SF) would take 48.9 acres. 

Industrial space (2.9 million SF) would cover 273 acres, hospitality (490 rooms) 14.8 acres, and civic space has 103.7 acres reserved. 

The plan involves four transect zones that vary in housing density and business use. The periphery of the property would remain more rural, and two T5/T4 zones would feature denser development around commerce centers.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.