Sanford Mixed Use Development Approved by Planning Commission

Rezoning approved by planning commission for development

Scott Osborne, who is a baseball fan, put off watching baseball on television on Tuesday, so he could attend a special board meeting regarding a proposed housing development to be put up near his home. He was not in favor of it.

Marshall Downey, director of the city/county Planning and Development Department explains something to Scott Osborne, in regards to a proposed housing development near where Osborne lives. Residents came out Tuesday to express their views on this development through a public hearing.

A major development is one step closer to breaking ground with the city’s planning commission approving their rezoning request.

The decision came after a lengthy public hearing on the issue, Tuesday night, with numerous residents against it and those behind the development, stepping to the podium at the Wicker Civic Center to state their case. Members of the Planning Board met to discuss and decide on the rezoning after the city council approved the annexation of the property into the city limits.

The legislation called for the rezoning of three adjoining tracts of land totaling 168 acres with frontage on Valley Road (S.R. 1325), Forestwood Park Road (S.R. 1384) and Boone Trail Road/U.S. 421 Hwy. from Residential Redistricted to the Brookshire Conditional Zoning District to allow for the development of a residential subdivision with two commercial areas as illustrated on the Brookshire Subdivision Conceptual Development Plan.

The land would be broken up into five sections, three with 404 lots for single family homes of varying lot sizes, 22 acres geared toward the building of apartments and about 5 acres for commercial development.

Members of the planning board unanimously approved the rezoning of the property with some conditions they would like the city council to adhere to once construction began, but were unavailable at press time. One of the issues they wrestled with prior to making their decision was density in terms of how close the homes would be to each other.

The city council will have to vote to approve the board’s rezoning package at their next meeting which is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Terry Slate, manager for the group that makes up Pinnacle Partners LLC, which owns and wants to develop the land, said what the city is going through is difficult but it has to be addressed.

“They realize that Sanford needs housing,” he said. “They are doing a great job bringing in industry and jobs to Sanford and these people need a place to live.”

He said if the council approves the rezoning recommendation he believe they will begin construction within six to eight months.

“It’s their decision if they want the subdivision or not,” he said.

Slate said he understands residents concerns and considers it a part of the process and believes it has been very positive. In terms of the development’s potential impact on current residents he would not comment, but said, if approved by the city council, what they will develop will not be shabby.

“Certainly I want to do something I am proud of and the town of Sanford is proud of,” he said.

In other news, Fred J. McIver, member of the Sanford Planning Board, was recognized for his 23 years of on the board. He recently stepped down as a member of the board.

He was presented with a proclamation from the mayor along with a plaque in recognition of his years of service.

“Thank you to my wonderful Planning Board over the years,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to serve the citizens of Lee County.”

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Published by Angie Hedgepeth

Angie Hedgepeth, Government Affairs Director for the Association, attends all the local meetings each month, as well as NAR and NCAR meetings, and keeps members abreast of the multiple issues being addressed in local, state and national government. She prepares reports on the meetings she attends and they are included in the weekly "Government Affairs Update".