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Developer pitches 87 ‘workforce-affordable’ townhomes off Kathleen Road in Lakeland

In World
June 15, 2024

Lakeland commissioners will consider a developer’s proposal that could help address the city’s “missing middle” in housing stock.

The City Commission will hold two public hearing Monday for a change of zoning and modification of a Planned Unit Development to make way for 87 townhomes in the city’s Gladys Leggett neighborhood in the Northwest District.

The request is for a change of zoning on nearly 5 acres from business park to residential medium to allow for the proposed development of Providence Townhomes at 1250 Providence Road in Lakeland. The development would be built on 9.76 acres immediately west of Providence Road, on undeveloped land spanning from West 5th Street to West 7th Street and between Kathleen Road and the CSX rails.

Developer Vasu Persaud, in his plans submitted to the city, said the townhomes would be marketed as “environmentally sustainable ‘workforce-affordable housing,'” according to city documents. The units would be targeted at middle-income residents, rather than being designated for low-income or luxury.

Chuck Barmby, Lakeland’s planning and transportation manager, said at Friday’s agenda study the developer has indicated the aim is to build primarily three-bedroom, two-bathroom units with a few four-bedroom, three-bathroom units along the end caps.

The submitted plans show the townhomes will be two-stories high with a minimum living space of 1,280 square feet. Each unit will have a one-car garage with a porch or stoop.

Commissioner Bill Read said he has concerns about parking in the development, given the one-car garage and roadways in the development.

Future residents will be limited to using the one-car garages exclusively for parking vehicles, according to Barmby, and will be prohibited from using it as additional storage. He said these regulations will be included in the future homeowners’ association documents and largely up to the HOA to enforce.

Each unit will have space to park two to three vehicles, depending on overall size, Barmby said, with additional 36 on-street parking spaces provided.

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“We’re comfortable that sufficient parking is being accommodated on site,” he said.

The development will have roughly 14,900 square feet designated for open space, to be used by residents for recreational purposes. Part of this, Barmby said, is because of ground-clearance requirements for a nearby cell phone antenna, leading to prohibition against houses being in the zone.

Commissioners will hold the second reading for this development at 9 a.m. Monday in commission chambers at City Hall, 228 S. Massachusetts Ave. All commission meetings are open to the public, who will have an opportunity to comment.

Sara-Megan Walsh can be reached at swalsh@theledger.com or 863-802-7545. Follow on X @SaraWalshFl.

This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Lakeland considers developer’s proposal for 87 townhomes in Northwest

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