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Evergreen Property Will Be Restricted to Single Family Homes, Duplexes

An R-3 Designation Might Have Allowed 40 Condo Units

After a brief discussion Tuesday, Lake Wales City Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the recommendations of the Planning and Zoning Board and city staff to designate a recently-annexed parcel on Evergreen Road as low density residential (LDR) and an R-2 zoning, restricting it to single-family homes and duplexes. The parcel of approximately eight acres will be allowed to host up to 40 units.

Pastor Michael Blare of property owner Trinity Baptist Church had originally asked for the higher density provided by a medium-density MDR Comprehensive Plan map designation and R-3 zoning. The property in question lies on the east side of Evergreen Road, just behind the church fronting SR 60 on the east side of Lake Wales.

A single resident of the Lake Wales Country Club, Lisa Jenson, spoke in favor of the low density recommendation, saying that her home touches the subject property across a fence, and that it would be more compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

Local Realtor John Gravel, who serves on the Planning and Zoning board, asked the commissioners to consider splitting the issue with an R-3 designation to go along with the LDR mapping, which could have permitted the same 40 units to be configured as a condominium rather than duplexes, indicating that it would make the property more marketable, hinting that the result would be more desirable.

According to the Development Services staff report presented to commissioners, a "land use designation of LDR achieves the least intensive density and is compatible with the surrounding area as the property is surrounded by existing residential development on three sides." In the end the commission accepted the original staff recommendation without further discussion.


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