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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Sep. 22, 2015 3 years ago

High-end project proposed for Horizon West

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by: Zak Kerr Staff Writer/Reporter

HORIZON WEST — Residents met with developers and county officials Sept. 16 at Bridgewater Middle School to discuss the rezoning from Agriculture-1 to Planned Development of Hickory Nut Estates, a project developers described as being in its infancy.

The 99-acre site is generally south of Old YMCA Road near Hickorynut Lake and the border of Orange and Lake counties. Subtracting conservation and wetland areas leaves about 40 developable acres, on which developers plan to build 40 houses.

Marc Stehli, the Poulos and Bennett practice leader presenting recent plans, said the idea was to build within the plan area of Horizon West Village H with minimum half-acre lots.

“One of the conditions we do have with (what) we have submitted that’s been reviewed by staff is to improve Old YMCA Road from our project entrance up to where Waterleigh … ends their improvements to that road,” he said.

A pedestrian trail would be among the improvements, per county requirements, and a $250,000 lift station would be necessary to connect to county sewer and water, Stehli said. One of the next steps would be a topological survey, he said.

Homes in the development will be high-end, starting at about $750,000, Stehli said.

Residents’ concerns included drainage flows, lake quality, obtaining certain dark-sky streetlights, recent bear sightings in that area and the fate of tortoises in the area once development would start.

District 1 Orange County Commissioner S. Scott Boyd said the S curve on Old YMCA Road would stay and that county officials were trying to get the light type on the county’s approved list.

Diana Garcia, Boyd’s aide, said the Point A to Point B water flow would have to be the same as before the development, based on St. Johns River Water Management District rules.

“We will maintain that flow pattern,” Stehli said. “We are maintaining the majority — I’d say 95% — of the wetlands that are on site.”

Garcia said a county study on County Road 545 (Avalon Road) utilities would happen soon, and Boyd said a connection of houses in the area around the development to county water could be possible, although the process would involve certain fees.

Garcia said tortoises had to be relocated with a permit process, but a resident said a recent development had relocated only 60% of tortoises and that the others likely were buried.

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WHAT’S NEXT

Development Review Committee: Sept. 23, 

Planning and Zoning Commission: Oct. 15 

Orange County Board of County Commissioners: December

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].

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