Orange County commissioners sent plans for a development on Reams Road back to the Development Review Committee and approved two subdivision plans in Horizon West Tuesday, Aug. 20.
Thirteen residents spoke at the meeting regarding several items related to development around Reams Road in Lakeside Village.
The entire project encompasses 1,174 acres with 306.89 affected acres east of the Reams Road and Fiquette Road intersection, which is in Lakeside Village.
Items concerning the development included a substantial change to the Lake Reams Neighborhood Planned Development land use plan modifying the wetlands boundary to allow the construction of 74 units of single-family residences; a preliminary subdivision plan of the 74 units; an adequate public facilities agreement concerning the Reams Road right-of-way; and a conservation area impact permit.
Residents from surrounding neighborhoods took to the podium to express concerns about the entire development’s impact on the local wetlands, Reams Road traffic and surrounding property values.
Mary Shisler, vice president and secretary of the Oasis Cove Condominium Association, expressed concerns to commissioners about the property values of the homes of residents who paid premiums for the lots that abut the wetland area of the proposed development site.
“When I purchased my lot in Oasis Cove in 2012, we were told that the wooded area beyond our retention pond was a conservation area and it would remain so,” Shisler said. “We were assured that we would never have to worry about this particular area being developed. We purchased our home with our life savings with the plan that this would be our forever home.”
Shisler also submitted a petition from 151 Oasis Cove residents in opposition to the development. She believes the addition would exacerbate Reams Road traffic issues, which she said she’s witnessed daily from her home since she moved to the area.
“We believe that this proposed development would have significant impact not only on our community but (also) on Horizon West residents due to the loss of property value and development of this natural area,” Shisler said. “The increase in traffic without widening Reams Road would be a huge mistake, (because) it is already a risk to try to exit the communities that are along this busy road.”
A legal representative for the development company, Developco Inc., said the company is willing to make changes to current plans that would impact wetlands. The plan presented had not been examined by county staff at the time.
After hearing from residents and the applicant, commissioners decided to send all applications regarding the Reams Road projects back to their respective committees and staff for review. The motion was initiated by District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey.
“(Because) your concerns as a community and my concerns are the protection of those wetlands and I felt that the density of 70-something houses was probably still too high, I am going to go ahead and let this to be remanded back to the (Development Review Committee) in order to get a technical review of some of the things the applicant has offered with the hopes of not only gaining the additional right-of-way that we need to improve the roads … but also to look down some of the safeties for the existing wetlands that are out there in response to your concerns,” VanderLey said.
Waterleigh Village Center shifts
Commissioners approved a preliminary subdivision plan for the Waterleigh Village Center — a change that subdivided a 38.37-acre parcel south of Waterway Passage Drive and west of Avalon Road in Horizon West.
According to city documents, plans include dividing the property into the six lots and pond tract for the potential development of 351 multi-family residences, 105,000 square feet of commercial use and 79,456 square feet of occupied uses within the village center district.
Changes in Hamlin
Commissioners approved changes to the Hamlin Planned Development in Horizon West. Two ponds were added to the Hamlin East Proton Therapy Center preliminary subdivision plan. According to county records, the plan is on a 60.78-acre parcel located north of New Independence Parkway and east of Hamlin Groves Trail.