Whispering Hills

WHISPERING HILLS Planned Unit Development (PUD) /b>

LOCATION: Yalaha - Lake Apopka Rural Protection Area
East of Hwy 27, North of Dewey Robbins Road, South of CR 48,
borders portions of Number 2 Road.

ACREAGE: 1,086

PROPOSAL: 2,943 units
44 /- acres Commercial - 451,000 sq. ft.

ANNEXATION: Proposed for Leesburg, Florida

PROJECT SUMMARY: Proposes a variety of lots sizes from 50 x 120 ft, 75 x 140; 640 multifamily units; several 9-hole golf courses; Of the 1,086 acres, only 667 acres is developable land. 203 acres are wetland. 200 acres are proposed retention ponds, recreation and open space.

CONCERNS: The project is incompatible and inconsistent with the Yalaha-Lake Apopka Rural Protection Area. Incompatible and inconsistent with the existing surrounding community, adjacent homesites on Punkin Center and Turkey Lake Roads. Existing adjacent community lots are 5 and 10 acres or more; increased traffic on local roads included Number Two Road and Dewey Robbins Road; impact to schools; lighting/night sky, wildlife, increased crime, loss of rural character.

Project inconsistent with the City of Leesburg Comprehensive Plan Policy: Future Land Use Element, Policy 1.8.3 Annexation states "The city shall pursue a policy of annexation which will provide for the most efficient use of public facilities and services, eliminate areas of jurisdictional problems, and provide for sound growth and development of the city and surrounding area."

Project is incompatible with the character of the surrounding area the City of Leesburg Comprehensive Plan, Policy 1.6.1 Inconsistencies, of the Future Land Use Element states that "Proposed land use amendments which are inconsistent with the character of the community or inconsistent with adjacent future land uses shall not be approved by the City."

Proposed zoning is not compatible with adjacent land uses in Lake County and the City of Leesburg Future Land Use Element, Objective 1.8 Adjacent jurisdictions states "The City shall promote compatibility of adjacent land uses with Lake County and the neighboring Cities." The development and proposed size of the lots at this location is not compatible with adjacent land uses in Lake County.

PROCESS: Proposed Annexation into the City of Leesburg Municipal Boundary requires a Large-Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment and several steps including:
Planning Staff review
a Public Hearing before the Leesburg Planning Commission
a First Reading and Public Meeting including a presentation by the developer and discussion only by the City Commission;
transmittal of project information submitted to the State Department of Economic Opportunity for their review;
a Second Reading and Public Hearing before the Leesburg City Commission where a decision will be made by the five- member Leesburg City Commission to Approve or Deny.

1. Leesburg Staff Recommendation: Approval based on staff assessment of the Leesburg Comprehensive Management Plan.

July 22, 2021 - Leesburg Planning Staff Recommended Approval
July 22, 2021 - Leesburg Planning Commission Voted Approval
August 11,2021 – Letter from Lake County Commission to
Leesburg Commission requesting postponement
and review of Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement.
September 13, 2021 - First Reading with the Leesburg City Commission
with information only, no decision required
December 20, 2021 – Second Reading with the Leesburg City
Commission with a decision to Approve or Deny

UPDATE: 13 September 2021 – Developer has made numerous changes to the Concept Plan in response to residents' concerns. Density still considered too high.

Greatly reduced density to be more consistent with the Yalaha - Lake
Apopka Rural Protection Area
Wider buffers adjacent to existing rural residents
Incorporate Conservation Design principles with at least 50% open space
Current open space calculation includes retention ponds which are unusable by residents and are required for stormwater management.
Connectivity to future county trails proposed for HWY 27