Revised Oak Tree Landing development
By John M. Ayers
The Gilchrist County Planning Commission heard a presentation last week from Stiles Partnership involving the amended Oak Tree Landing development in northeast Gilchrist and southwest Alachua counties along CR 232.
The amended development plan now identifies Oak Tree Landing as a Rural Florida Destination Village that is intended to provide Gilchrist County with resort-based economic development opportunities in rural and agricultural lands. A Gilchrist County RFD shall provide a second home and visitor destination community to those visitors interested in a Florida Rural Village experience. The presentation was made to the Planning Commission for informational purposes. There was no action taken by the Planning Commission involving this proposal.
A Rural Florida Destination must contain a clustered, energy efficient land use pattern with a large mix of uses. Within this residential area, 50 percent of the residences must be within 1300 feet of a public square, and 70% of total land must be designated as open areas. The rural village must be located on a transportation node for easy access to metropolitan areas and interstate highways. The area must provide a centrally managed pool of rental housing and a 150-foot wide perimeter buffer and central water and wastewater systems.
The Stiles Partnership group is working with Gilchrist County Planning staff and the Florida Department of Community Affairs to present this concept as an amendment to the Gilchrist County Comprehensive Plan as a future land use amendment, text amendment and have it approved by the Gilchrist County Board of Commissioners. A time and date for the county commission meeting to consider the planned amendment has not been released.
The Oak Tree Landing development is still identified as an 815 total acre project including Gilchrist and Alachua counties. The project is 13 miles northeast of Trenton and 7 miles south of High Springs and 8 miles north of Newberry.
The Vision the Oak Tree Landing is seeking is to create a resort based second home community which would promote Eco-Tourism of the surrounding nature based area. The development will have a 5000 foot paved airstrip that will provide air traffic to planes up to small jets.
This development in Gilchrist County which borders SE 80th Avenue up to CR 232 is proposed to be paved along the entire boundary of the property by the development group. The development will also have a fire station and emergency medical service station in the development. There will also be a church building in the development. The Gilchrist County impact from this project is reported to be a $5 million property tax and a $3 million impact fees tax when the development is completed. The developer also agreed to use local contractors and business people when the local community made these professional people available. The project will also provide many jobs to the people in this area.
The development is proposing to provide a 5000 foot paved airstrip with FBO and GPS approach lighting and an 18-hole Maverick gold designed championship golf course and practice facilities. This development will also have a Wimbledon style tennis facility with amenities including a spa, gym, and dining for the public. The development improvements now include a sporting clay range, equestrian center and trail ride system. The development will also have miles of recreation trails for walking, running and cycling. A winery and other agricultural processing facilities are also identified in the planning. Included will be a fine arts school associated with the University of Florida, the community colleges and the local schools districts for the students in the area. The development will also include a neighborhood commercial park along with an inn, hotel, bread and breakfast and a centralized rental pool.
This newly designed development is patterned along the lines of Steinhatchee Landing, a rural Florida destination village that is located along the banks of the Steinhatchee River in Taylor County.
The next meeting involving this proposed development has not been made public. The board and the public asked several questions in the Planning Commission meeting. They were assured a complete plan would be available for public review in a future meeting.