By LEAH STRATMANN
The first project proposed under a major development order application submitted by Anderson Engineering for the new Town Center located on 10 acres on the south side of Chat Holley Road, approximately 2,500 feet west of U.S. 331 is called Lehigh Pines. The project consists of 38 single-family homes plus 41,643 square feet of commercial space on land designated as multi-use and town center (TC-1). The developer reduced the number of homes from 42 to 38 and asked for no variances, noting an additional 54 feet of land will be used for right of way.
Janice McDonald of the planning department said, “This is our very first project in the new town center designation that is governed by a master plan. There is a TC-1 checklist, which must pass design standards etc. This affects things like the type of streetlights and it must be equally friendly to pedestrians and vehicles.
“There is a vision of a town center that is easily walked. It says in the master plan that the Design Review Board (DRC) must look at the plans on June 5. The planning department does not really have any concerns regarding engineering. On design standards the developer has agreed to get things ready for the DRB. A nearby neighbor has agreed to give up some of her right of way. The plan calls for interconnectivity between development projects within TC-1.”
Commissioner Susan Horn asked, “Am I hearing that this project has the potential to be the shimmering shining model for the entire town center?”
Blackshear said, “We would have liked to have even greater connectivity, but we have that wonderful wetland system within this area, so the vehicular connectivity is limited, but there will be plenty of pedestrian connectivity. They have to meet the DRB standards of design. When TC-1 criteria was put together, it was put together in a lenient manner. The whole intent is a walkable area.”
Commissioner Terrell noted there were a considerable number of conditions that must first be met before the project can begin. Commissioner Horn made a motion to approve the project and all passed it.