Before I describe the project, I thought I would talk briefly about what can go into something like this before it can be approved. There were changes of plans that caused delays but ultimately, it was a positive example of the City Commission and Staff, the owner and the architect, working together toward the best outcome for the city.
There would be fifty additional shade trees required by the city in addition to the existing, and six different types of trees. Of course, all of the grand trees would be preserved. An arborist would be hired to inventory and tag each existing tree with a condition rating. An application for tree removal in conjunction with our infrastructure would be required. We were scheduled for a second reading by the city commission after the County changed the land use designation.
We then had the second reading at the commission and met all requirements demanded by the arborist. The City changed the zoning from Mobile Home to Medium Density Residential. The project was finally approved by the City Commission in June of 2018 after almost eight months of hearings and reviews.
So, what have we been able to achieve? In keeping with the growth of the downtown area and the repurposing of blighted property, the project offers desirable residential units ($550,000 starting cost) with amenities such as a community pool and individual elevators and personal parking for up to four places at each unit in walkable/bikeable distance to the new upcoming Publix (and Greenwise Market) and other retail, restaurants, breweries and a bus stop, in a modern community with character – and a lot of trees!
I am looking forward to seeing what ideas the process of the upcoming public art ordinance will bring to the project as well.