Residents and future residents have been hearing about the bungalow court concept for a long time now and we appreciate your patience as we work through the construction process. It has taken a lot longer than we anticipated! Here’s a brief recap of what’s been going on “behind the scenes” and where we are now…
At the end of 2013 we requested a major modification to the PUD (planned unit development) where the bungalow court will reside. Because we are also planning a beautiful new wellness/community center within the same PUD, we had to prepare and present documents for both projects to the City of Lakeland. This process took about a year and involved many meetings with both the community development and the planning and zoning departments at City Hall. During this time neighboring residents, in our case the historic Dixieland neighborhood association, were given opportunities to express opinions. The new PUD was approved in August 2014.
The next step was getting the exterior design for the new bungalow court homes approved. The Historic Preservation Board requested features that were more relevant to the historic homes in the Dixieland neighborhood. Revised drawings went before the Historic Preservation Board in October, again in November and were finally approved in December, with continued staff oversight from the community development department to take place regarding materials, paint colors, and so forth.
The architect is currently finishing all the construction documents needed for the permitting process, which can take days, weeks or even months pending technical questions that arise. Demolition of the vacated cottages in the construction zone will take place very soon. Every effort will be made to complete three duplexes along S. Lakeside Ave. as soon as possible.
Priority one is the Porter McGrath expansion project, which will add a two-story 20 bed addition where the walkway and duplex currently sits as well as a 54 space parking lot where the grass lots, older parking lots and Stanyard house currently reside. The historic Stanyard house will be relocated further down Highland St. The plans also include a required “buffer” of landscaping along Highland St. Because this is classified as a major modification to the PUD, it will require an additional two to three months of meetings and reviews. We have tight guidelines from the state in which construction must start by February 2016.
Additional projects include well drilling for irrigation, which will continue throughout 2015. Construction on a single family home at 754 Terrace Gardens is going smoothly. The single family home on the lake (Lakeside Court) is moving along. The lot next to this will be built upon at a later date, as Mrs. Coates’ home will need to be torn down to build the new wellness/community center in a few years.