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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 2 weeks ago

Lake Avalon neighbors oppose land-use request

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Many expressed their disapproval regarding a future land-use amendment request for a 9.08-acre parcel in the Lake Avalon Rural Settlement.
by: Danielle Hendrix Black Tie Editor

Dozens of neighbors near the Lake Avalon Rural Settlement presented their opposition to a proposed future land-use amendment during a recent Orange County community meeting.

Held Thursday, Jan. 31, at Whispering Oaks Elementary, the meeting’s topic at hand was a request to change the future land-use designation of 9.08 acres at 3104 Avalon Road. The parcel sits just north of Avalon Road, west of Mann Road and east of Sanctuary Lake, within the Lake Avalon Rural Settlement.

The land is owned by applicant VP Real Estate Inc., which has submitted a request to change the future land-use designation from rural settlement 1/2 (RS 1/2) to rural settlement 1/1 (RS 1/1). Orange County Case Planner Jennifer DuBois told those in attendance the applicant ultimately seeks to build up to nine single-family homes. 

Originally, the property had a designation of rural settlement 1/5 (RS 1/5) and the applicant requested the change to RS 1/1 nearly three years ago, DuBois said. However, at the Local Planning Agency adoption hearing in May 2017, the applicant changed that request to R 1/2, which was adopted by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners the next month. 

Currently, the land is designated RS 1/2 and zoned as A-1 citrus rural district, but VP Real Estate is seeking the originally requested RS 1/1 designation again.

Rebecca Wilson, the land-use attorney representing the applicant, told attendees the current designation allows for four homes, but the RS 1/1 designation would allow up to nine. 

However, the property neighbors the Lake Avalon Planned Development, which is approved for 46 single-family homes and has a 50% open-space agreement in place because of its location in the Wekiva Study Area. VP Real Estate’s adjacent, 9.08-acre property also would comply.

Wilson said if the property only could be developed with four homes, it would result in four different curb cuts onto Avalon Road. Should the future land-use amendment be approved, Wilson said the developer would propose one entrance.

Residents said they already compromised with the original request two years ago and were not willing to do so again. Their primary concerns were regarding lot sizes and infrastructure. Other concerns included whether the new homes would have access to water and sewage or would have wells; contribution to local schools overcrowding; adding more traffic onto Avalon Road; destruction of the rural settlement; and residual home values.

However, those questions remain unanswered. 

“How large the lots would figure out and what infrastructure would look like — we don’t ask them to do that right now, because they don’t have the rights to do them yet,” Orange County District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey said.

Most in attendance remained against a change in designation, because they are worried about the precedent it would set. 

As part of the neighboring Lake Avalon Planned Development’s agreement, it is required to seek Orange County utilities and bring them to the site at the developer’s expense, and the property also would have to seek county utilities, VanderLey said. 

The Local Planning Agency will consider the project Thursday, April 18. Should it be adopted by the LPA, it would head to the Board of County Commissioners sometime in May.

Danielle Hendrix is the Black Tie Editor for all three of Observer Media Group's print publications in Orange County. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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