Two parcels of land in Horizon West spanning 108 acres might soon host about 500 homes.
A project representative explained the concept plan during a brief community meeting held by Orange County officials on Tuesday, May 24, at Independence Elementary School.
The 108-acre property – only 96 of which are developable – is currently vacant. The project, known as Lake Austin, is located west of Avalon Road, south of Grove Blossom Way and east of Lake County.
According to property records on the Orange County Property Appraiser’s website, the multi-parcel property was purchased for $6.25 million by BB Groves, LLC, in December 2017. The property is surrounded by several resorts, including The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando to the east and Summer Bay Orlando Resort to the south.
Kathryn Hattaway, a project representative from Poulos & Bennett LLC, explained the concept of the planned future project, which is currently in the initial stages of the County’s development approval process.
“This does have a PD future land use and we are requesting to continue the (Planned Development) future land use and we’re actually proposing a specific number of units on this property,” she said. “So in our application, we are asking for a maximum of 500 dwelling units that can be used for any combination of short-term rentals, age-restricted (housing), or market-rate (housing).”
The south parcel of the property is currently designated Growth Center/Resort/Planned Development the north parcel is designated Village, which allows for 10 dwelling units per acre. The property’s current zoning allows for a maximum of 10 units per acre.
According to county documents, the applicant intends to change the official designation of the south parcel Growth Center-Planned Development-Resort/Low-Medium Density Residential, and the north parcel to Horizon West, Village I Special Planning Area Greenbelt.
The applicant also has agreed to make all market-rate housing on the property comply with the Horizon West architectural design standards in order to be consistent with surrounding areas, Hattaway added.
Access points to the property will be from Grove Blossom Way and an access point to the north. The applicant has not proposed any new access points along Avalon Road, Hattaway said.
However, plans may change as the project gets more fleshed out through the development approval process.
“At this point, we don’t know, as we’re still early in the development process,” Hattaway said, referring to the project’s planned housing ratio. “So we can’t tell you today, how many short-term rentals, how many owner-occupied or how many age-restricted units there will be. That will be further defined in the PD zoning document, which will be submitted soon after the transmittal public hearings.”
The process will require the project to be reviewed and voted on by both the Orange County Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of County Commissioners in transmittal hearings and adoption hearings.
The extended two-hearing process is a requirement for approval, as the requested change is considered a large-scale amendment to Orange County’s Future Land Use Map.