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NEWBERRY ‒ Tiny homes are one step closer to reality in Newberry as the Newberry City Commission unanimously approved two actions that may lead to development of the first tiny home residential community in the city. The Commission approved Ordinance 2022-23/CPA 22-02 on Second Reading to change the Future Land Use Map from Agriculture to Planned Development on 5.75 +/- acres (Parcel No. 02544-003-006). The property is located immediately north of the Newberry Town Center Planned Development – south of Southwest 15th Avenue, east of State Road 45. for Newberry’s During the June 27 City Commission meeting,

A small-scale comprehensive plan amendment was requested by Christopher Potts, P.E., agent for Norfleet Properties, LLLP, owners. “The property is vacant agricultural land,” said Newberry Planning and Economic Development Director Bryan Thomas.

Commissioners also conducted a quasi-judicial public hearing on Second Reading of Ordinance 2022-24/LDR 22-04 to consider an application to amend the zoning on the same 5.75 +/- acres. The change would add the acreage to the Country Way at Newberry Town Square Planned Development, amending the Preliminary Master Plan and the associated Development Order and Developer’s Agreement.

The current number of single-family residential units will not change. The gross residential density after the amendment will be 3.74 units per acre, while the total of 50 apartments and 180,000 square feet of commercial development will remain the same.

Although the proposed amendment will not change the maximum number of residential units or commercial square footage allowed under the Newberry Town Center PD, the amendment to the Preliminary Master Plan will allow for tiny homes within the development, which are not presently allowed.

Prior to further residential development on the additional area, a preliminary plat and construction plans will have to be presented for review and commercial development will require site and development plan review and approval.

Rezoning

In other business, a quasi-judicial public hearing was held for an application to rezone 1.69 +/- acres from Residential, Single-Family to Planned Development (Parcel Numbers 02282-000-000 and 02235-000-000).

The application was submitted by Tocknell Planning Services LLC, agent for Morlynn Properties LLC, owner, to amend the City’s Official Zoning Atlas by changing the zoning from Residential, Single-Family-2 (RSF-2) to Planned Development (PD). The property is located within the Economic Overlay and Historic Districts.

The site is a full block bounded by Southwest 1st Avenue to the north, Southwest 257th Street to the east, Southwest 2nd Avenue to the south and Southwest 258th Street to the west.

“Because the property is in the Economic Development Overlay District, no change to the future land use category of Residential Low-Density is required,” Thomas said. The property is also partially located within the City’s Historic District. The site is adjacent to City of Newberry potable water, electric and City roadways. Sanitary sewer must be extended to the site prior to development.

The Overlay District refers to the main corridors leading into Newberry, which are State Road 26/Newberry Road and U.S. Highway 27/41. Regulations were created to establish design guidelines to help developers create attractive properties that are functional, but are also are aesthetically pleasing along the entrances to Newberry.

Barrington Rural Subdivision

The proposed development is an infill project that will add 14 cottage-style single family townhomes to the site, while leaving the existing single-family house as is. A central alley will bisect the block and automotive access to each lot will be provided via the alley. The homes will be 1,100 – 1,200 sq. ft. in size.

The application also requests a variance from the requirement of a minimum 10 percent of the development to be devoted to common open space, which is not practical due to the size limitations of the parcel.

The application was unanimously approved with a requirement that the townhouse design is reviewed and approved by the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) because the property is partially in the City’s Historic District.

Commissioners approved Resolution 2022-37/SD 22-09, an application by eda consultants, inc., agent for Hawley Family Holdings, LLC, owner, for approval of construction plans related to a plat entitled Barrington.

The property as generally located at the northwest corner of Southwest 15th Avenue and Southwest 170th Street (04371-001-000).

Currently, the City of Newberry is under contract with eda consultants, inc. for survey and engineering services and they currently operate in the capacity of the City Surveyor. Due to the conflict, the City has contracted with Chris Potts, P.E. of JBPro, Inc. in lieu of eda consultants, inc.

The project includes 23 developable lots and common areas on an 84 +/- acre site. The average density is expected to be one unit per 3.62 acres with a minimum lot size of two acres and including detached single-family homes.

The Development Application Review Team (DART) reviewed and found no objection with the request. JBPro submitted engineering comments, which the property owner has agreed to resolve.

Commissioners also heard and approved a request on the same property for final plat approval of the. JBPro is again acting in lieu of eda consultants.

JBPro has reviewed the Barrington rural subdivision plat for compliance with applicable state law and City of Newberry Land Development Regulations and recommended approval.

Hawley Family Holdings, LLC and Barwick Bank, have provided a $652,800 surety agreement for completion of required infrastructure improvements.

Small Cities CDBG Application

In other business, Summit Professional Services, Inc.’s President Scott Modesitt requested authorization to prepare an application for a $700,000 Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant for Fiscal Year 2021-2022.

Modesitt reviewed the grant and explained its purpose and how it worked. He listed three categories the City could apply to for grant funding but suggested submittals for either the category of Housing Rehabilitation or Neighborhood Revitalization.

The Commission authorized Summit to prepare an application for the Neighborhood Revitalization grant category and also authorized the firm to prepare an application in the Economic Development category, should an eligible project be identified at a later date.

Local Supports Grants Program

City Manager Mike New reported that the Florida Legislature included a new initiative in the FY 2022-23 budget for a Local Supports Grants Program for nonrecurring funding for local governments, education entities, or privately operated programs to support local initiatives. New said that funding requests must be submitted electronically by July 15. Applications must be submitted to a House member who will sponsor the application on behalf of the applicant. New anticipate that State Representative Chuck Clemons will support the City’s application.

“Staff discussed several projects for the program, but given our understanding the parameters for consideration, [we] identified purchase of the quint fire apparatus as a high priority project for Newberry that would likely rank high with the evaluating committee,” said New.

The City Commission authorized acquisition of a replacement quint when it adopted the FY 2021 – 2022 budget. The quint was ordered in last fall at a cost of $780,000. The City planned to borrow money to purchase the new quint and repay the loan from an increase in the City’s fire assessment. Instead, staff proposes to apply to the program for 50 percent, or $400,000, of the total cost. “We intend to pledge the $400,000 balance as a local match for in the grant application,” New said. Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the City Manager to apply for the grant funds as he described.

New announced that a workshop on what impact fees will look like in Newberry will take place at 6:30 p.m., July 18.

Consideration and approval of a new Urban Services Area boundary map was put on hold as the County Commission is considering changes that might require Newberry to adjust the map again in the near future. Mayor Jordan Marlowe said he’d rather do this once rather than having to adjust the map again. Marlowe is meeting with County Commissioners in the next few days.

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