A plan for 270 apartments on Sandhill Boulevard has replaced a 2019 plan for 114 manufactured homes on 31 acres near Interstate 75 in Port Charlotte.
Georgia developer NGI Acquisitions LLC, received 3-0 thumbs up from the Planning and Zoning Advisory Board Monday for a preliminary step on a complex named Lullwater at 24750 Sandhill Blvd. That preliminary step proposal now goes to county commissioners on July 13.
To proceed, NGI must first receive approval to rearrange the entitlements from single family to multi-family at this site, which is part of the 713-acre Sandhill Development of Regional Impact. The DRI expands all around the Kings Highway and I-75 intersection at highway ramps. Created in the 1980s, the Sandhill DRI was intended to concentrate mixed commercial and residential development near major travel corridors and away from the coast. While development has picked up in recent years, many areas of this DRI remain undeveloped.
In 2019, JBCC Sandhill LLC received county approval to build a manufactured home park on this site. The development would have repeated a traditional theme in Charlotte County, which is a manufactured home park where owners must buy the building but also rent the land under the building from the developer. A different but similar development is proceeding up the road over the DeSoto County line on Kings Highway by a different developer.
JBCC Sandhill is poised now to sell to NGI, if NGI gets the entitlements and approvals it needs, the developers told The Daily Sun at the meeting. NGI plans to build the project itself, if it makes it through all the approval steps.
The apartments would be market rate apartments, neither luxury nor subsidized-affordable, the developer’s lawyer, Geri Waksler said. This contributes to the county’s goal of increasing housing options, she told the board, in a county that has few rental apartments.
The complex would include a club house and pool.
Not everyone was thrilled with the possibility of apartments. Two residents of neighboring Deep Creek single-family home subdivision expressed concern that a high-density development was going up next to a quiet, low-density subdivision started decades ago.
Geraud Gustave of Deep Creek told the board that there are many accidents on Sandhill near his residence. Also, he said, he does not want the area to lose its quiet charm.
“It will become everything that we didn’t want,” he said.
The original development order from the 1980s states that Sandhill Boulevard eventually will have to be widened from two to four lanes. Road-widening projects in the Sandhill area are paid for by impact fees the county charges the developer, or by the developer directly in exchange for impact fee waivers.
“Clearly, there is a growth situation out there,” said Zoning Board member Don McCormick. “The roads are going to have to be widened.”