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Ocala
Thursday, September 22, 2022

Ocala SW 80th Avenue LLC seeks approval for 529-unit residential development

Ocala SW 80th Avenue LLC is seeking approval from Marion County commissioners to rezone a 132-acre property for the construction of 529 single-family residential units in southwest Ocala.

The request will be presented to the Marion County Board of County Commissioners during its regular meeting on Tuesday, August 16.

The 132.26-acre vacant site is located on SW 80th Avenue, on the east side, between SW 74th Street and SW 63rd Street Road.

Ocala SW 80th Avenue LLC seeking approval for 529 unit residential development
An aerial shot of the proposed 132.26-acre site and surrounding areas

County staff highlighted that the site is located within a few miles of multiple schools (Saddlewood Elementary, Liberty Middle, and West Port High), grocery and retail stores, restaurants, hospitals, a library, and several parks.

The property owner and applicant, Ocala SW 80th Avenue LLC, is seeking a rezoning of the land from A-1 (General Agriculture) to PUD (Planned Unit Development). A proposed amendment to the future land use designation, from Low Residential to Medium Residential, is also being requested to increase the development potential for the site.

Ocala SW 80th Avenue LLC is proposing a PUD that would consist of 529 residential units. Under the proposal, the maximum building height would be 40 feet, and setbacks would be 20 feet in the front, 15 feet in the rear, and 5 feet on the side. The buildings would be separated by a minimum of 10 feet.

Ocala SW 80th Avenue LLC seeking approval for 529 unit residential development 1
The revised conceptual plan for the Planned Unit Development (PUD)

The PUD is proposing 20% open space for the site and indicates the inclusion of multiple common areas, including an amenity center. County staff noted that the proposal does not provide any details regarding what would be included with the common areas or amenity center.

County staff has concerns regarding access to the PUD. Only one access point was proposed on SW 80th Avenue along with one emergency non-paved access point that would connect to SW 80th Avenue. According to the Land Development Code, any development with 50 or more residential units is required to have at least two full access points that are preferably on different roads.

In the event that the proposed PUD is unable to find a second full access to the development site, then county staff has indicated that the number of allowed units within the PUD would be reduced to be more consistent with the requirements of the Land Development Code.

A detailed traffic impact study will be required to examine the operational impacts on all the adjacent roadways that would be impacted by the PUD. County staff stated that turn lane and signal improvements may be required, especially at the entrance of the development.

According to county staff, the proposed development would generate nearly 5,460 daily trips and over 500 peak hour trips. Under the current land use and zoning, the traffic that is generated is “significantly less,” with just over 1,300 daily trips and nearly 130 peak hour trips.

While county staff feels that there will be sufficient capacity on SW 80th Avenue for traffic, the planning level analysis does not take into account the committed traffic from On Top of the World and Calesa. As a result, county staff has indicated that the actual available capacity for traffic on SW 80th Avenue once the proposed development is completed could be “less than what the analysis shows.”

The owner and applicant is anticipating that construction would be fully completed within three years, which county staff feels is “too optimistic” of an estimate since the proposed development has just begun the rezoning and comprehensive plan amendment process.

County staff is recommending approval of the future land use designation amendment, and staff also recommends approval of the rezoning request with developmental conditions that include the following: the PUD must have two full access points that are approved by the development review committee, amenity details must be provided (clubhouse, pool, sports court, playground, stormwater open space, dog park, tree grove, etc.), and a traffic study must be completed to the satisfaction of the county engineer and planning director.

The rezoning and future land use designation requests will be presented to the county commissioners for approval or denial during their upcoming regular meeting on Tuesday, August 16 at the McPherson Governmental Complex, which is located at 601 SE 25th Avenue in Ocala.