Leon County Development Put on Hold

The developer, Arbor Properties, disagrees with the judge's interpretation and says the fight isn't over.

The proposed Summerfield development neighbors Lake Jackson. Arbor Properties is hoping to bring affordable housing into an area they say is currently under-served. It has big plans for the 107 acre site: 175 single family homes, three story apartments and commercial space.

Mike Brezin with the Lake Jackson Alliance says he's not opposed to development, but says this project is crossing the line.

Mike says, "Our main issues have to do with the special development zones that are set up to protect Lake Jackson and the water quality."

The county rezoned the property in 2004 from a lake protection to a planned unit development, despite the strong opposition of the Lake Jackson Alliance.

They don't like the idea of 13 three-story apartment buildings going up obstructing the view and crowding a nearby canopy road.

This week's ruling sides with the alliance. That the special development zones previously implemented by the comprehensive plan limit the amount of development that can go in.

Richard Reeves, a consultant, said, “We're still reviewing the ruling. We obviously disagree with parts of it, so the issues are not far from the side. There's a trial in August that will tell us where we're going to from here.”

And that's why Brezin says there are still some uncertainties, but as it stands now the special development zones apply.

Brezin says, "I guess it came out that the gavel was stronger than the gall in this situation."

Brezin makes that comment referring to the county's four to three decision two years ago to rezone the property to a planned unit development.

He said they tried to negotiate with the developer and failed, and that's when the group decided to take legal action. The Leon County attorney was not available for comment Thursday afternoon.


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