Developer proposes 42 homes by Lake Roberts

The project could bring a new subdivision to the West Windermere Rural Settlement.

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  • | 11:21 a.m. December 11, 2019
  • Southwest Orange
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Residents in the West Windermere Rural Settlement arrived to a community meeting regarding a proposal of 42 single-family homes east of Lake Roberts with mixed feelings.

Held Monday, Dec. 9, at Windermere Elementary, the meeting served as a point of discussion for the Lake Roberts Reserve land use plan and preliminary subdivision plan.

The applicant, Geoffrey Summitt, is requesting to rezone and subdivide 78.53 acres from A-1 (Citrus Rural District) to Planned Development District to construct the 42 homes. The proposed project would be located west of Windermere Road, north of McKinnon Road and south of Stoneybrook West Parkway.

As part of the rural settlement, the future land use designation allows for no more than one home per acre.

Summitt, president and owner of G L Summitt Engineering Inc., said six of the 42 lots would be lakefront. The subdivision’s access would be through Walker Pond Road, which would be improved — including paving and the addition of streetlights and sidewalks — from Windermere Road down to the project site.

Plans include three retention ponds, some open-space tracts and amenities that have yet to be decided upon. Summit added there are about 42 acres of wetlands and surface waters that will be saved and maintained. There also will be central water and sewer services.

“We have ... a lift station — we’re actually going to be bringing in water and sewer so we’ll have central water and sewer, this won’t be a septic subdivision,” Summitt said. “We’re trying to make sure we don’t cause any additional pollution to Lake Roberts.”

Summitt said the subdivision also is proposed to be gated, and everything is staying within the project site.

“As far as the overall development scheme, that’s it; it’s pretty simple,” he said. “We’re not asking for more density, we’re not asking for any crazy waivers or variances to the code. We’re just asking to stay with the character of the surrounding area with respect to the lot size and the densities that we’re allowed to have.”

The proposed project would be located west of Windermere Road, north of McKinnon Road and south of Stoneybrook West Parkway.
The proposed project would be located west of Windermere Road, north of McKinnon Road and south of Stoneybrook West Parkway.

Carl Brockman, who lives on Walker Pond Road, asked Summitt how the developer planned to bring utilities with the complication of easements in place.

“If anybody subdivides the property, the existing easement is null and void, and as far as I know, no one has made an attempt to contact the residents on Walker Pond Road for an exception,” Brockman said. 

Summitt said he and his team have spoken with several residents on Walker Pond Road and have worked to acquire property to set forth a 50-foot right-of-way. From there, the road will be paved and they will run water and sewer — both of which are located on Windermere Road — into the subdivision.

Other residents questioned whether there will be a financial mechanism to protect the lake and help keep it clean, as well as how the wetlands would be protected. Cathy Novokowsky, a Waterford Pointe resident, expressed concerns about the impact to the surrounding wetlands.

“None of the wetlands should be impacted ideally at all,” she said. “Messing with the wetlands, period, is bound to have negative effects on Lake Roberts and the other lakes. I personally don’t think that any of the wetlands should be used for retention, and I think a lot of us residents would like the wetlands completely left alone.” 

But some residents of Walker Pond Road, including Francois Dennaoui, supported the project because of the benefits they would receive from it. Dennaoui, a resident of 15 years, spoke of the flooding issues that forced him to pump water out of his front yard consistently for six years. He added the road is only on average 15 feet wide, so drivers are constantly having to move over onto the shoulder or into someone’s yard to allow others to pass. 

“There is no speed limits on our street, there is no drainage on our street, there is no sidewalks on our street,” he said. “We have flood issues, we have safety issues with our kids not being able to walk on sidewalks. … We’ve had no help from the county because the road does not meet DOT specs so they don’t maintain it. We have a few neighbors here that fixed the potholes, our road floods all the time so it’s constantly pitted.

“The developer has made a lot of concessions to help us with flooding in our front yards, with fixing the road, with sidewalks, with current code of building the roadway,” he said. 

The project is headed next to the Development Review Committee. For more, contact case planners Nicolas Thalmueller at [email protected] or Romel Seepaul at [email protected]


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