More homes, storage facility coming to Horizon West

Orange County commissioners approved preliminary subdivision plans to construct 709 homes and a 147,637 square-foot storage facility in Horizon West.

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  • | 4:45 p.m. August 29, 2018
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Orange County commissioners unanimously approved the preliminary subdivision plan for two Horizon West projects during the Aug. 21 County Commission meeting.

County leaders first approved the Waterleigh Phase 3 preliminary subdivision plan, which pertains to a 355.02-acre tract located west of Avalon Road and south of Old YMCA Road. 

The applicant requested to subdivide the property to build 709 single-family attached and detached homes, in addition to requesting two waivers from the Orange County Code. The first requested waiver is to allow the lots to front a mew — which is a park, open space or similar space — instead of a dedicated public, paved street. The second waiver request is to allow lots that are more than 50 feet wide that face neighborhood squares to be front loaded instead of access from a rear alley or rear garage, according to the agenda.

Commissioners then approved the preliminary subdivision plan for a 147,637-square-foot self-storage facility in the Hamlin Planned Development. The subject property for the storage facility is 7.13 gross acres and is generally located west of Hamlin Groves Trail and south of New Independence Parkway. 

The official name of the project is the Hamlin PD/Hamlin Self Storage & Infrastructure for lots 2A and 2B PSP, County Planning Administrator John Smoger said.

“The proposal is to create two lots consisting of a 147,637-square-foot self-storage facility on lot 2A and infrastructure improvements for lots 2A and 2B,” Smoger said.

Scott Gentry, of Kelly, Collins & Gentry Inc., is the applicant for the project. He said the project is consistent with the “town center area” of Horizon West.

“Town Center is the commercial area for Horizon West, so not only do we have residential uses in there — we have multi-family, we have single family — but we have a multitude of commercial (uses),” Gentry said. “This is a low-traffic use. There’s not a lot of people here. There’s not a lot of noise. Obviously, people aren’t having parties or outdoor (events) like with restaurants.”

David Russell is a resident of The Cove at Hamlin. He spoke against the project because he thought that residents needed time to learn about it. 

“I’m speaking today to request the BCC (Board of County Commissioners) to please defer, delay or table this request until more data and information can be shared with local residents as to why this is the only location for such a facility,” Russell said.

District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey said the community meetings in which residents learn about — and comment on — the project have passed and that there’s little the public can influence during preliminary subdivision plan meetings.

“It is my policy not to do public hearings for the preliminary subdivision plan phase of a development, because there’s, really, very little the public can change at that point in time,” VanderLey said. “That (phase) is just where the buildings are going to be located, what the road infrastructure looks like, how they’re going to deal with their stormwater — those kinds of details. So, that’s why I don’t do a public meeting at that point, because I would not want to set the expectation that you come to a meeting thinking you’re going to influence what that development looks like when (at that) point, in fact, that ship has already sailed. That (comment period) happened years ago.”