BARTOW – It appears Bartow may gain nearly 80 new single-family homes, as commissioners recently approved ordinances to allow a development off U.S. 17 in east Bartow.

The first public hearing was on Monday, March 4. A second public hearing will take place before approval for the development is final, and such a hearing will likely take place at a city commission meeting in May.

The land for the development consists of 36 acres on U.S. 17.

The ordinances would allow the city to annex the property into the city limits, as it is currently an unincorporated area now. Another ordinance amends the Land Use Map, and a third one amends the city’s comprehensive plan.

With commissioners approving the three ordinances, copies will now be sent to the Clerk of Circuit Court, Polk County manager and the Department of State. When those agencies sign off, a second public hearing will be scheduled.

The residential layout would allow for 78 single-family houses. Students living in said homes would be zoned for Spessard Holland Elementary, Bartow Middle School and Bartow High School.

The development being annexed into Bartow’s tax base means the city would collect for water, sewer, fire and electrical service. How much money that may mean for the city has not yet been determined.

Aside from the single-family homes, 25 percent of the land will be for commercial use. There would be a separate entrance to the subdivision from U.S. 17 and the Florida Department of Transportation would have a say in how and where it is constructed. The city’s Planning Commission approved the project.

In the public hearing on March 4, City Planner Bob Wiegers said this land not only helps the tax base for the city, but it also helps satisfy three goals in strategic planning. Bartow Strategic Planning Goal No. 3 is to make Bartow a more livable community. Goal No. 4 is to expand the local economy and Goal No. 5 is to redevelop and grow the city.

The size of the homes and expected price range was not yet available, but commissioners compared this development to Holland Park Place, which is under construction on Kissengen Avenue.

Commissioners seemed pleased with what is planned.

“If you talk to people in real estate, Bartow needs the inventory,” Commissioner James F. Clements — himself a commercial realtor — said. “This is a good location.”


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