Fruitland Park OKs 700-home development and 220-bed assisted living facility

The Fruitland Park Commission gave final approval Thursday night for a new housing development and an assisted living facility to become a part of the city.

The commission agreed to change the zoning on a 177-acre parcel of land off County Road 468 and Urick Street from commercial planned unit development to mixed use planned unit development. That zoning change will allow the property’s owner, Rufus Holloway and his Leesburg Fruit Company Inc., to create a neighborhood consisting of 700 single-family homes, a 220-bed assisted living facility and six acres of commercial use.

Holloway submitted a request in 2015 to have the land zoned as planned unit development so he could create a solar energy farm and continue to use the property for agriculture. It currently is being utilized as a nursery.

Holloway’s new plan calls for 3.97 units per acre, with a minimum of 1,300 square feet per residence. The development is expected to house about 1,869 residents.

The ordinance, which was approved after its second reading, also allows for churches/religious facilities, a convenience store with fuel operations, restaurants, banks, athletic/sports facilities, recreation facilities and a temporary modular office to be used during construction.

Interim agriculture uses also would be allowed, including retail or wholesale plant production, nurseries, green houses, timber, crop production, and hay and sod. Those uses would be allowed to continue until 75 percent of the land area has been developed.

A solar farm can continue to operate on the property and the total commercial square footage can’t exceed 48,000 square feet.