A new South Walton project, Forman LSA (Large Scale Amendment), is moving through the approval process. The developer is seeking a land use change that would change 282 acres from Conservation Residential (2 dwelling units per acre) to Low Density Residential (4 dwellings per acre) on 282 acres, resulting in a doubling of lots from 584 to 1,168. Also, Conservation Residential requires vegetation preservation of 60%; Low Density Residential requires no preservation, which means that the developer can clear cut the property that can be developed. The property is south of Chat Holly, between Hwy 393 and Old Blue Mountain Road.
The project is in a flood-prone area that is 47% wetlands. Does it make sense to double residential density in this environmentally sensitive area? Please give us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forman LSA Project Update 11/13/18
The Forman Large Scale Amendment project went before the BCC on Tuesday November 13 and passed by a vote of 3-1. Here are some thoughts on current status:
- The BCC vote is for transmittal of the application to 10 different state agencies for review and approval. The agencies have 45 days to respond and after that it comes before the BCC again for a final vote; we expect that would be early January.
- We still have a chance to defeat this; the vote on Tuesday was 3-1 with Commander, Jones and Anderson voting yes, and Nipper voting no, but Jones and Commander will be replaced by Nick and Glidewell on Nov 20. Chapman was absent.
- The applicant has agreed to modify the request to change the land use from Conservation Residential (CR) 2:1 (2 dwelling units per acre) to Low Density Residential (LDR) 2:1. The original application was for LDR 4:1.
- LDR 2:1 land use category does not exist yet; it will come up for a vote in December and almost certainly will pass. In the meantime, the county is working on a development agreement that will formally commit Forman to the 2:1 density, and that commitment will be recorded and will be binding on future owners of the property. The development agreement has not been finalized but we will forward a draft to you when available
- The main difference between CR and LDR is that CR requires preservation of 60% of vegetation and LDR does not. This means they can clear cut the developable land and then bring in fill to raise the level. We think this is a problem.
- We suggested that a Planned Unit Development (PUD) application would be appropriate for reviewing the serious wetland and floodplain concerns. The applicant stated that he would submit a PUD application. We would like the development agreement to stipulate that the land use amendment would not take effect until the PUD is approved.
- The applicant has expressed a desire to do the right thing and has offered to meet with us. We will hold a preliminary meeting to discuss the ground rules. Then a community question and answer meeting. We will then form a working group to consider design options. We have no way of knowing if their offer is sincere, but it is definitely worth pursuing.
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If you would like to offer feedback or suggestions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.