Wildwood official says 2008 growth projection has been ‘blown out of the water’

Wildwood commissioners approved plats for more than 500 Villages of Southern Oaks homes Monday night.

They also approved a plat for the first phase of the Beaumont development along County Road 466A across from Pinellas Plaza, where 400 homes are planned.

The Southern Oaks plats are part of the massive Villages development along both sides of the Florida Turnpike.

Commissioners also gave final approval to an amended agreement with The Villages that authorizes up to 26,590 homes in the development along with 8.9 million square feet of commercial space and about 765,000 square feet of office or governmental space.

The new Southern Oaks plats are in eight neighborhoods between County Road 501 and the Florida Turnpike, east of Warm Springs Avenue (County Road 468). They include 111 homes in Unit 36; 94 homes in Unit 35; 90 homes in Unit 33; 57 homes in the Preston Villas; 56 homes in the Rhett Villas; 53 homes in the Blake Villas; 49 homes in the Taylor Villas; and 21 homes in Unit 34.

Annexation of 157 acres southwest of the Village of Fenney as requested by the Villages Land Company also was approved by the city commission. A comprehensive plan amendment and a zoning change would be needed to develop the property.

Unlike the Southern Oaks development, the Beaumont property would not be age-restricted. The plat calls for a neighborhood of 271 single-family homes and 124 townhouses plus a hotel, institutional or commercial development along county roads 468 and 466A.

The Beaumont Community Development District, created earlier this year, plans to spend $16.7 million on improvements over the next three years, including $2.2 million for roadways, $2.8 million for utilities and $4.5 million for storm water management.

“We have been working very closely with the developer,” said development services director Melanie Peavy. “We’re working on a transportation mitigation agreement.“

The agreement would require the developer to pay for a portion of road improvements needed due to increased traffic.

CR 462 was expanded recently to three lanes, but Mayor Ed Wolf said that improvement may not be enough to handle church and Beaumont traffic.

Peavy said the expansion, planned in 2008, was based on outdated assumptions.

“The growth that was projected at the time was just blown out of the water,” she said.