Residential development planned for city’s ETJ

In News by Reporter News

Real estate developer Joe Watson presented his plan for a new residential development to city council last week. The project, to be called Newport Lake Estates, is located at the southeast corner of county roads 58 and 48 and will comprise 73 acres and 199 lots. Forty-four percent of the lots will be premium lakefront at over 10,000 square feet with sizes of 70 x 150. The balance of the off-water lots will be 60 x 110. Home sizes are expected between the low 2000 to high 3000 square foot range and prices are projected in the 350,000 to 450,000 range. Gehan Homes and Chesmar Homes are the selected builders for the project. The project is currently under consideration by the city’s Planning, Development & Zoning Commission (PD&Z) and a recommendation will likely be put to council at a January meeting.

The primary entrance will be from CR 58 and the design calls for scenic views of lake and park areas as residents and guest come and go from the development. The lakes to be excavated for the project will differ than the customary water detention areas seen in most developments in that the edge of the waterline will front directly the back yard property lines of the lake lots. There are three lakes spanning 10 acres. Envisioned by the developer are boat docks and piers so that property owners can access their own water crafts and float around to visit friends and neighbors or the community amenities. The lakes will be stocked with edible fish though there will be a catch and release program.

There are several parks planned throughout the development and a main Community Center will be available for public gatherings and a play area for kids and will include a small marina for visitors to launch and /or tie up their various water crafts. Also planned is an area designed more for middle school and high school aged children and adults. It will be set up with nearly one mile of trails with individual exercise stations, a regulation sand lot volley ball court, and a badminton/croquet court.

Smaller “pocket parks” will be spread around the development providing different themes. One will contain a regulation junior soccer field with bleachers. Others include a hummingbird theme, one appealing to various bird species, and a butterfly park will be located near the west entrance on CR 48 which is expected to be used for easy access to the nearby elementary and junior high schools. The planned parks do not meet the city’s current park ordinance but as the preliminary plat for the project was approved previously under different rules the development plan enjoys grandfather status.

Clearing and grubbing of the property is currently underway according to the developer. Excavation and filling are planned for early January and infrastructure improvements will begin immediately thereafter. It is hoped that lots will be available for builders no later than September.

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