By DOTTY NIST
Going through a 24-point agenda on July 6, the Walton County Technical Review Committee (TRC) approved warehouses, home sites, duplexes, townhouses, apartments, offices, classrooms, regional beach access and public beach parking, a decision is to be made later on another townhouse project presented at the meeting.
Other agenda items were advanced through the county’s review and approval process and still others were pursued through the July 20 and August 3 TRC meetings.
The July 6 meeting of the TRC took place in the council chambers of the Walton County Board of Commissioners (BCC) in Freeport Commons.
Walton Dunes Regional Beach To access
Walton Dunes Regional Beach Access generated the most discussion of items conditionally approved to advance to development order (approximately an hour-long discussion). This is a Walton County/Walton County Department of Tourism project planned for a 1.99 acre property south of the corner of Lakewood Drive and Beachfront Trail in the community of Eastern Lake.
The project will include the redevelopment of the roadway with parallel parking (14 spaces in total), plus golf cart parking, 625 square feet for washrooms and a boardwalk.
The project had been presented at the June 15 TEC meeting and had been continued to allow review of recent submissions. Reintroducing the project, Bob Baronti of Walton County Planning and Development Services said all outstanding reviewer comments had been addressed by the applicants, with the exception of some from the Walton County Health Department, that he didn’t expect to be major comments. Baronti also explained that Sammy Sanchez of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) had signified that the turning radius of the roundabout / U-turn that would be part of the project would meet the fire truck needs.
Attorney Lisa Minshew and a number of nearby residents raised technical issues and concerns about the project. Minshew spoke on behalf of the Beachfront Townhomes Owners Association.
Among other concerns, Minshew argued to committee members that the county had not submitted a development plan to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as required. BLM had deeded the property to Walton County and made its use subject to certain conditions.
As they did on June 15, neighbors of the project continued to raise concerns about its potential negative impacts on traffic congestion, road safety and emergency vehicle access to the community.
Brian Kellenberger, director of operations for Walton County Beach and acting director of the Walton County Tourism Development Council (TDC), told committee members that the project is focused on managing the number of people who come already at the beach on this property. He felt that the proposed improvements would help the roadway situation by providing a place for vehicles to turn around and he saw the bathroom as an important feature for bathers. Kellenberger also said he had been in contact with BLM throughout the design of the project and was confident the project would meet that agency’s requirements.
In response to a question from TRC Chairman/Director of Walton County Planning and Development Services Mac Carpenter, Kellenberger also said that uniform traffic maintenance procedures would be followed during construction of the project to ensure that residents can enter and exit their homes during construction.
Board members voted to move the project forward to the issuance of a Development Order subject to all outstanding reviewer comments being satisfied – and with BLM approval also to be obtained before the start of development. building. Other conditions included the creation of a construction schedule and traffic plan to be implemented during construction, and a plan to communicate these to neighboring residents/keep residents informed.
This was the last county council approval required for the project.
Municipal parking lot on Eastern Lake Road
Another county project in the community of Eastern Lake, along with the Eastern Lake Road municipal parking lot, has also been conditionally approved to proceed to development order.
The project will include 16 parking spaces, including golf cart and bicycle spaces, on 0.48 acres at 392 and 406 Eastern Lake Road.
Approval was subject to a successful resubmission to address minor stormwater issues.
Other projects approved to move to development order
The following minor development projects have also been conditionally approved to proceed to the issuance of a Development Order: Bowling Warehouses, 13,684 square feet of warehouse space on 1.48 acres at 249 Lynn Drive in Santa Rosa Beach; The Preserve at Point Washington, 12 single-family lots and six duplexes on 4.54 acres located one-half mile from the CR-395 North/East Point Washington Road intersection; Westonwood Improvements, an application to add an 864-square-foot office and classroom building to 9.57 acres at the nonprofit Autism Association’s facility at 4384 Hwy. 20 West near Freeport; the Sandestin Owners Association Office Administration Building, to be constructed on 1.50 acres at the corner of East Baytown Avenue and Administration Drive at Sandestin Resort; Chat Holley Townhomes Phase II, consisting of 12 townhouses on 4.30 acres on the corner of North Eden Park Drive and Chat Holley Road; Serenoa Road Warehouse, 9,800 square feet of warehouse space on 0.74 acres on Serenoa Road, approximately 3,000 feet north of US 98 in southeastern Walton County; Arborview Park, (DSAP 1 Phase 4) a detailed plan submitted by the St. Joe Company featuring 78 single-family lots and infrastructure on 29.94 acres at the end of Suwannee Drive in the Origins development in southeast Walton County ; and Optima Watersound (Multifamily DSAP), another detailed plan submitted by St. Joe for 300 multifamily units on 20 acres located 1.1 miles west of the US 98/Watersound Parkway intersection on the north side of the US 98.
Another minor development project, Shops at 393 Commercial Addition, has also been conditionally approved to proceed to development order after receiving clearance from the Walton County Design Review Board (DRB). This project will consist of 11,132 square feet of retail on 1.50 acres on the north side of US 98, west of CR-393 North and east of South Church Street.
Projects progressing to Walton County planning Commission
Several major development projects on the agenda have been given the green light to proceed to the next stage of the county’s review and approval process, a hearing before the Walton County Planning Commission
One of them, the Seascape Resort DRI Amendment, was presented for 2.48 acres under the Seascape Development of Regional Impact (DRI) at Miramar Beach.
Ken Metcalf, an urban planner speaking on behalf of the plaintiffs, explained that the DRI was originally approved in the 1980s and that Seascape is partially constructed with a number of “towers” (high-rise buildings).
He told council members that two towers, unbuilt, remain approved on the master plan for development. Metcalf said the idea of the amendment was to provide an option to reduce density on the 2.48 acres as well as reduced height for structures.
He said the amendment would allow the property to be developed with 32 single-family homes rather than the 24-story, 250-unit condominium that was previously approved and considered.
As part of the master plan changes, it was proposed to relocate 175 previously approved units to locations primarily along US98.
The application is subject to review by the Walton County Planning Commission, followed by a final review by the Walton County Board of Commissioners (BCC).
The Lakeshore Subdivision, a concept planned unit (PUD) development consisting of six single-family and infrastructure lots on 1.2 acres located 0.1 mile south of US 98/South Walton Lakeshore Drive, also has advanced to the planning commission. at Inlet Beach.
This application was submitted with two proposed deviations, a reduction of the front setback from 20 feet to eight feet and a reduction of the side yard setback from 7 1/2 feet to four feet, except for lot six, which would change to a setback. zero foot side yard. . Kelly Schultz of Walton County Planning and Development Services identified concerns about these discrepancies and other aspects of the proposed development. She relayed opposition from neighboring residents about traffic congestion in the area and problems with public parking in this area, as well as storm water issues.
Schultz noted that across the six units, 46 rooms were offered with 46 parking spaces, adding that a 30-room project had been approved east of that property and was yet to be built.
After some discussion, the application was conditionally approved to move forward as a concept plan, with detailed plans to come back before the TRC at a later date.
The other project conditionally advanced to the planning commission was the WaterColor PUD amendment for ADA beach access, consisting of an additional ADA emergency access walkway on 2.55 acres on Goldenrod Circle, just in across from South WaterColor Boulevard in the WaterColor development.
The presentation of the Cypress Heights townhouse proposal was followed by approximately an hour of debate between the plaintiffs’ representatives and neighboring residents expressing technical concerns.
The 20 townhouse project is proposed for 2.10 acres at the intersection of Cypress Crossing and CR-30A near the west end of County Road.
There was no immediate decision on this minor development project. After listening to public comments from both sides, Carpenter said he would take all of this information along with reviewers’ comments on the project under the editorship and issue a decision within 10 days.
Food requests Advanced
Two dish requests on the meeting agenda were conditionally approved to proceed to final review by the CCB. These were Phase 2 of South Walton Commerce Park and Phase 2-B of Camp Creek Residential.
The following agenda items were continued upon request prior to the July 20 TRC meeting: Bear Creek Phase 3A Flat and the Pearl Place Subdivision.
The Origins Plaza Way road project continued until the July 20 TRC meeting after some discussion and subject to resubmission.
The members of the committee voted in favor of keeping the following points on the agenda of the CET meeting of August 3 after some discussion: The skylights; Seacrest Beach Phase 7A Replat; Hotel at Miramar Beach and The Overlook at Inlet Beach.