The rezoning process is 50% complete for a 118-home community being planned for the Hull Island property in west Oakland. The town commission has approved the first reading of the ordinance that amends the official zoning map for about 73 acres along Hull Island Drive.
The final vote at an upcoming meeting could change the zoning from agricultural, single-family residential and county agricultural to a planned-unit development with pockets of agricultural for the wetland areas to be preserved.
Laga Enterprises is the applicant and is representing the developer of the six parcels of land currently owned by Wallace E. Stewart III, the Thomas O. Peake Estate, Jennifer Lee Rogers, Karen A. Stewart and 2505 Tanglewood Street Inc.
Prior to the commission approving the first reading on July 12, the applicant agreed to a nature and connectivity plan that implements internal parks and paths. It also agreed to dedicate to the town about 30 acres of wetlands, including a community pier/dock on Lake Apopka; to make a $5,000 donation to the Oakland Nature Preserve for a trailhead feature; and to construct a sidewalk from the project to the West Orange Trail.
Homes are expected to start in the high $300,000s and run as high as the $800,000s.
Jim Peterson, president of ONP, said evidence of Indian activity going back as far as 10,000 years has been found on Hull Island. He said ONP and Friends of Lake Apopka have been concerned about the ecological preservation of artifacts in that area and will be monitoring the project. They are asking that any artifacts found be donated to the nature preserve.
According to Peterson, the property was once a true island until H.S. “Buck” Hull filled in an area so he could access the land.
In other business:
• The commission passed the first reading of an ordinance that would allow a health and wellness retreat to operate in the former Manor House at 620 N. Tubb St. Elected officials also approved the first reading of a zoning map amendment from single-family residential to Residential and Neighborhood Commercial.
The house previously served as a bed-and-breakfast. The owners, Dr. Charlotte Newman Charfen and Cynthia Schultz want to turn it into a B&B again but introduce the wellness aspect “to empower people to take control of their health.” Classes would be offered only to guests staying at the inn.
Contact Amy Quesinberry at [email protected].