HIGH SPRINGS – Thousands of new homes are coming to High Springs as the City Commission approves a number of development agreements and zoning change requests. An estimated 2,000 housing units in one development alone are closer to reality as the High Springs City Commission approved on Oct. 13 a development agreement and zoning change on 688 acres. The proposed Bridlewood Development is in the southern sector of the city, east of U.S. Highway 41 near the City's wastewater treatment plant. Residents had earlier complained that the subdivision was too large and would cause traffic congestion and increase crime in the city.

The Bridlewood Development Master Plan allows for 1,432 single-family lots, 250 multi-family units and 200 independent living, assisted living or memory care units. The maximum number of residential units is limited to 2,000 units. Acreage has also been set aside for up to 300,000 square feet of commercial space, a future police/fire station, a future school as well as 60 acres for parks, recreation and open space.

The Commission approvals result in rezoning the property from PD-1, Planned Development and R-1, Residential to PD-12 Planned Development with a minimum dwelling size of 1,000 square feet, which is the same as for the entire city.

Commissioner Katherine Weitz expressed concern about the reservation of 500 units in the City’s new Wastewater Treatment Plant. City Manager Ashley Stathatos pointed out that the original plat would have allowed the reservation of more than 1,400 units and under the new agreement, the length of time the developer could take advantage of those hookups is limited to five years.

The Development Agreement calls for City water and sewer, roadways with curb and gutter, sidewalks on both sides of the street, enhanced subdivision entrances, increased landscaping along collector streets and along retention/detention areas, native/vegetation requirements, and a 25-foot buffer along the perimeter of the subdivision. The agreement also calls for architectural design guidelines for residential development, a landscape package for single-family homes, regulations pertaining to house repetition and façade elevations, consideration of a future Community Development District, and consideration of future Impact Fee Credit Agreements.

“The stipulations in the Development Agreement that the developer has agreed to are above and beyond what is required by City Code,” said Stathatos.

The Commission approved the Development Agreement and the zoning change 4 – 1 with Commissioner Weitz casting the dissenting votes for both the Agreement and the zoning change.

Hidden Springs Villas

In other business, the Commission unanimously approved a development agreement and zoning change for Hidden Springs Villas, a proposed town home project on 5.8 +/- acres located at 22771 Railroad Avenue. The developer, PR Corporate Holdings, LLC, intends to develop the town home project consisting of 44 units in 11 buildings.

The minimum lot size area proposed is 2,000 square feet and the minimum home size proposed is 1,200 square feet. The development will be served by City water and sewer. Roads with curb and gutter are required. They will be private and maintained by the Home Owners Association (HOA) or Property Owners’ Association (POA).

The Development Agreement calls for five-foot wide sidewalks throughout the development, all landscape areas must retain existing native trees, shrubs, ground cover and grasses to the greatest extent possible. Lawn areas must have water-wise turf grasses and 40 percent native vegetation. A landscape strip of land not less than 10 feet in width is to be provided along Railroad Avenue. In retention/detention areas, one large tree is required to be planted each fifty linear feet of the perimeter. “The developer has agreed to a 10-foot buffer area along the perimeter of the development as well,” City Manager Ashley Stathatos said.

The approved rezoning changes the property from R3, Residential to PD Planned Development. All parking areas and roadways within the development will be constructed with curb and gutter and sidewalks are required in front of buildings and other areas for pedestrian connectivity and pedestrian traffic.

Saddle Ridge Estates

Commissioners unanimously approved the Saddle Ridge Estates Preliminary Plat. The plat proposes 30 single-family lots on 154 acres. The project is located in the southern part of the city off of Northwest 142nd Avenue. The property is zoned Rl, with a future land use of Rural Residential, with a maximum allowable density of one dwelling unit per five gross acres. The project will be serviced by well and septic.

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