Winter Springs townhome development pushed back 

The Winter Springs City Commission voted on Monday night to push back voting on the proposed 132-unit single-family attached townhome subdivision called Hickory Grove on the north end of the Winter Springs Town Center.

Four of seven waivers requested by the developer, Project Finance & Development, were approved at the meeting, but three remained. Of the seven waivers, item three, regarding the size of the lot that can be covered in impervious surface, item five, regarding the removal of 11 of the site’s 14 specimen trees, and item six, regarding the overall site plan, were contested by the Commission, which voted to continue the vote on those items to the April 11 City Commission meeting.

Item three, requesting a waiver to allow the development to increase lot coverage from 70% to 88%, drew more than an hour and a half of discussion during the hearing, as Commissioners and developer Dwight Saathoff found themselves at odds over how densely each lot would be allowed to be covered as a result of the development. Saathoff contended that a section of city code “makes no sense to developers, builders, engineers, planners.”

Deputy Mayor Kevin Cannon said that the developers “haven’t demonstrated how they’ve tried to minimize the need for the waiver by tweaking something or making revisions” to the lot coverage. 

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“If I had known that there was going to be a 70% hard requirement on each lot, I would have stopped a year ago and I would have saved, and I’m not exaggerating, a couple hundred thousand dollars in expenses,” Saathoff said.

Items involving the moving of a sidewalk to be directly adjacent to parallel parking, reducing the height of a cabana from two stories to one story, and the aesthetics of the development, were approved.

The land is zoned General Urban Zone, which would permit townhomes.

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