Attorneys for the developer say they’re evaluating their options.
After Plant City’s Planning and Zoning and legal staff reviewed the Live Local Act and other documents, the attorneys for Walden Lake LLC received a letter dated Oct. 27 from the city, signed by Planning and Zoning Coordinator Robyn Baker, detailing the reasons the Live Local Act is not applicable to their client’s property.
Walden Lake LLC filed a preliminary plat with the city on Sept. 29 for a mixed-income multifamily project within the Walden Lake community.
The Live Local Act, part of Florida Statutes, requires a municipality to “authorize multi-family and mixed-use residential as allowable in any area zoned for commercial, industrial or mixed-use if at least 40 percent of the residential units in a proposed multifamily rental development are, for a period of at least 30 years, affordable as defined by s.420.004.”
City officials assert that Walden Lake’s 2,080 acres are not zoned as mixed-use and, while there may be a mixture of uses shown on the Walden Lake Community Unit District (Planned Development) site plan, that the subject property is specifically approved for single uses, for example the “golf course” and “clubhouse.” The vast majority of development is listed as residential, recreational and open space.
The letter also stated that their client’s submittal “was incomplete and the proposed preliminary plat is inconsistent with the current zoning of the Walden Lake Community Unit District.” The letter listed dozens of items required by Plant City Code.
It was good news for Walden Lake resident Patti Campbell. “I’m glad to see that the City responded in a timely manner and is still doing a great job managing growth and protecting the rights of the citizens of Plant City,” she said.
Attorneys for the developer weren’t as enthused. “We are disappointed in the City’s response, but are evaluating our options,” said Jake Cremer, shareholder, Stearns & Weaver.