By DOTTY NIST
A development agreement between Walton County and a company planning to create affordable housing in south Walton County was approved at an Aug. 18 special meeting of the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC).
The development company is Texas-based Kingdom Strategies, L.L.C., and the location is a 24.36-acre parcel across from the Christian International campus, on the north side of U.S. 98. The development is known as CI Kingdom Properties, and is to be accomplished in partnership with Christian International Ministries.
To consist of 92 dwelling units, the project is proposed as 100-percent affordable housing in accordance with the requirements of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, the U.S. Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The developers have applied for Section 42 low income housing credits and a loan guarantee under the USDA Rural Development Loan Guarantee Program.
Gerry Demers, Walton County development services director, explained that the agreement approved between the county and the developer vests the developer with the ability to build the 92 dwelling units on the parcel, with detailed plans for the development to be subject to county review and consideration at a later date. Demers added that the development will be required to conform to county code provisions in effect at the time of approval of the agreement; therefore any future changes to the code will not apply to requirements for the project.
Shirl Williams, assistant county administrator, explained that the development agreement was a requirement for the developers’ loan application.
According to Mac Carpenter, county planning manager, the project site is previously developed and contains mobile homes.
The development agreement was deemed to be consistent with the Walton County Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code, along with Florida statutes governing development agreements.
According to a county staff report on the agreement, seven three-story buildings are proposed on the property. The development will consist of rental apartments one, two, and three bedrooms in size, along with special-needs units for eligible applicants with disabilities. A pool and covered parking for residents are planned, along with a community room, business center, fitness center, on-site day care, a playground, and other amenities.
Services planned in conjunction with the development include job training and placement, credit counseling, child development, and a computer lab.
All units are to be rent restricted. Rents are to range from $399 to $831, with rent for special-needs units subject to substantial reduction.
According to an overview document provided by the development company, Kingdom Strategies, L.L.C., has previously been responsible for three senior apartment projects and four family apartment projects in Dallas, Forth Worth, Grand Prairie, and Mesquite, Texas.
The development agreement was approved with an all-favorable vote of the four commissioners present at the Aug. 18 special meeting.
By DOTTY NIST