Master Plan Revision for Avalon Phase 4 Passes with further changes

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Master Plan Revision for Avalon Phase 4 Passes with further changes

Aerial of Avalon Phase 4 location, Hernando Co. Gov.

At the October 10th regular Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, Assistant County Administrator Ron Pianta brought to the board a master plan revision petition submitted by LandBuilder, LLC., the developer of the Avalon community. The current revisions pertain to Phase 4 of Avalon, which is to contain 135 single-family detached lots and is located west of Avalon Phase 1, at the northern terminus of Sparks Road, north of County Line Road. The proposed entrance is from Sparks Road.

The revisions sought to the Master Plan include smaller lot sizes and setbacks. Though the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) commission recommended approval, the BOCC in August postponed approval while the developer addressed issues they identified. The issues included increasing lot sizes to fifty feet, adding a full access point to the rest of the Avalon subdivision and construct frontage road through the front of the new phase.

The revised recommendations also include a neighborhood park, and preservation of natural vegetation, which is in accordance with existing Land Development Rules (LDRs). Along the north side of the property, there will be requirements for trees at least eight feet high, and an opaque fence along the north property line.

The frontage road requirement could be problematic, according to Mr. Pianta, since it was assumed that a right-of-way existed, however it was found it actually does not. The property through which the frontage road is proposed does not belong to LandBuilder, and at the time of the meeting, it was not known who the actual owner is.

Don Lacey of Coastal Engineering, a representative for LandBuilder discussed anticipated traffic, citing little increase through the existing Avalon phases, except for access to the recreation facilities or to access Anderson Snow Road. The need for the frontage road will be determined by the County Engineer. If it is determined that the frontage road is required, then it will be constructed at the time of development.

However, the frontage road will only be constructed to the end of LandBuilder’s property line.

Pianta said that the adjoining developer will be required to continue development of the frontage road, connecting it to it’s termination on Oak. Historically, adjoining developers have refused to construct connecting roadways, which has resulted in legal action, usually in favor of the county.

Commissioner Champion asked if the current residents of Avalon have been informed of the new phase, particularly their awareness of the smaller lots what could be visible from existing structures. Another representative from Coastal answered that the entire community is designated as mixed-use, with lots ranging currently from 50-125 feet. Photos were shown of homes on 40 and 50 foot lots to illustrate their compatibility when built in proximity to each other.

Of mixing the two lot sizes, Commissioner Nick Nicholson said, “In the seven years I served on the Planning and Zoning board, I’ve never voted to approve a new subdivision unless the adjoining lots match the existing adjacent lots, and I’m not going to do that today.”

Commissioner Jeff Holcomb mentioned his personal experience with the area, and how turning onto County Line Road could be challenging. With expansion to County Line being more than five years away, Holcomb expressed his support for the necessary designation of the frontage road. Regarding lot sizes, he said, “If this does pass, we need to do our best to make sure (the 40 to 50 foot lots) is a separate section, from the people who bought 70, 90 or 120 foot lots.”

The community is planning to start development in approximately one year.

Mike Roman, an Avalon resident stated simply “No fence on our property line.” Mr. Roman said he liked the natural buffer. Another resident, Placidus Dagrella spoke to the board and said that each village in Avalon is separate, and not accessible through another village. With the addition of another 135 families, and an interconnected road, there are concerns about “a quiet street becoming a main street.”

Andrew Harbach came to the podium with eighteen pages of resident signatures against development of Avalon Phase 4. “We’d like the lot sizes to be fifties. They’re not compatible with the forties.”

After consideration of the citizen comments and continued discussion, further changes were proposed that addressed the issues raised. Rather than intersperse 40 and 50-foot lots, the 50-foot lots will be located along the North and East borders of the development, with the remainder being 40-foot lots. Existing residents to the north of the planned parcel will have a 20-foot wide tree and vegetation buffer in their line-of-sight, with the fence on the side of Phase 4. All other revisions, and the frontage road remain in place.

The petition passed unanimously via a roll-call vote.