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The Lake News Online
  • "Green" community project doesn't take root

  • A planned unit development (PUD) for a "green" mixed use subdivision has been allowed to expire by the Camden County Planning Commission more than four years after it was originally approved.
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  • A planned unit development (PUD) for a "green" mixed use subdivision has been allowed to expire by the Camden County Planning Commission more than four years after it was originally approved.
    All planning commissioners except for Mickey McDuffey voted against a third one-year extension of the PUD.
    The extensions were required because developer Gary Storm had not filed a final plat on the first phase in the initial two-year period of the PUD located on Spruce Rd. off Hwy. MM in Shawnee Bend 3.
    With the lapse of the PUD, the property will revert to the underlying zonings of R-1, single family residential, and one four acre parcel of B-2, general commercial, which is at a different part of the property than had been part of the PUD.
    Storm received approval of the 72-acre PUD in 2010. At that time, the project featured plans for single family homes, zero-lot line attached homes, artists' lofts and community attached garages as well as general commercial and commercial park zonings for a community garden, greenhouse and farmers market. The layout, design and materials of the subdivision were intended to be environmentally friendly with one of Storm's goals to make it a model for "green" development.
    Since its original approval, the development plan has seen different iterations as it has gone through a lawsuit and challenges by the Shawnee Bend 3 Homeowners Association. The property lies within its bounds.
    The latest version from November 2013 removed multi-dwelling unit structures and moved commercial plans 1,000 feet from the lakefront. It was approved by the Camden County Board of Adjustment when the last PUD extension survived an appeal by the HOA.
    Even with the changes to try to comply with the HOA covenants, the organization continued to oppose the PUD as the project still did not fully comply with their restrictions.
    A tough housing market and struggling banking sector has stalled the plans, according to Storm, who has continued to fight for the PUD to avoid losing the attached zonings that could be harder to get now since additional subdivision restrictions have been approved by the HOA since 2010.
    While Storm had finally developed a three-alternative plan for the first phase with an engineer in recent months, he said he was unable to secure financing for 1.5 times the infrastructure for the seven-lot phase that was needed to meet code requirements for the final plat.
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