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By Robert Connors
Managing Editor 

Steeple Chase, Iron Mountain Residential Developments Advance With Approvals

Two Projects Total 838 New Homes


Last updated 1/3/2024 at 12:08pm

Two new large residential developments moved closer to reality this month as the Lake Wales City Commission voted to advance their plans.

Steeple Chase, a Planned Development Project (PDP) received a Special Exception Use Permit and a preliminary subdivision Plat. The project encompasses 250 single-family detached lots and 68 townhome units on about 98 acres of former citrus land along the north and east sides of Ridge Manor.

Lying adjacent to Scenic Highway on the west, the property is described in a staff report as bounded by "proposed subdivisions to the south, including Belle Lago, Belleview Subdivision, and Grove at Orchard Hills."

While the developer could have proposed as many as 489 units on the property, 318 are proposed. The development was previously rejected and was brought back with changes that satisfied the volunteer Planning and Zoning Board, earning it a recommendation from city staff and commission approval.

A second development, proposed for land just north of Burns Avenue, received required a required Comprehensive Plan map amendment, a zoning change, and a preliminary subdivision plat approval from commissioners. That project, located just east of the Carillon Place apartments, will include 520 units on approximately 76.95 acres.

The mixed-use development will include 42 single-family detached lots, 250 townhome units, and 228 apartment units, and will be developed in three phases.

A 3.62 acre parcel at the corner of Burns Avenue and Buck Moore Road will be reserved for future commercial development. That intersection is ultimately hoped to be the site of a roundabout under a traffic study report paid for by the City of Lake Wales. Both roads are currently county-maintained.

Development proposals continue to arrive at the city's Growth Management Division offices on a frequent basis, evidence of the enormous growth pressures faced by the community. The recently-adopted conceptual Lake Wales Envisioned plan proposes to shape future growth patterns and housing styles to avoid "urban sprawl."

The plan requires 20 specific actions and ordinances that must be approved by the city commission to put the recommendations into law.

Among the proposed changes to city codes are an emphasis on "traditional neighborhood design" offering "rear-loaded" housing, removing garages as the prominent architectural feature of new homes.

"Complete streets" featuring sidewalks, bike tracks, and street trees may also be required, along with connected street grids, mixed housing types, and nearby commercial services to reduce dependence on vehicles, helping to reduce traffic congestion.


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