388-acre Preserve at Fellsmere to face 2 public hearings before approval

FELLSMERE — A massive commercial and residential development on the eastside of Fellsmere must go through two public hearings before the Fellsmere City Council can decide whether to approve the proposed 388-acre project.

Nearly half the project would actually consist of conservation land, including public hiking, biking and equestrian trails, according to the developer, Fellsmere 392.

“We’ve finally been able to bring this, hopefully, to fruition,” City Manager Jason Nunemaker said of the Preserve at Fellsmere, noting that the development is something that the city has been working on with the developer since 2005.

Fellsmere 392’s plans include dedicating nearly 168 acres of land to the St. Johns River Water Management District as conservation land, which will allow for recreation.

Nunemaker said the preservation of the green space and trails furthers many of the city’s goals.

“This is a big piece of the puzzle,” he said.

Fellsmere 392 has plans to establish what the city is calling a “regional employment activity center” that would front along the north edge of County Road 512 on the east side of Interstate 95.

The project would also incorporate a mix of residential units. At the most, the developer would be allowed to have 652 homes within the Preserve at Fellsmere.

Of those, approximately half are expected to be recreational vehicle lots. Twenty-three of them would be built with enough room to accommodate a horse trailer and a small stable, as well, according to Alyson Metcalfe, of Fellsmere 392.

The remaining residential units would be a mix of apartments, town houses, and single family homes. There would also be community stables where residents could board their horses.

The first phase of the project would consist of commercial development between 106th and 108th Avenues along County Road 512, Metcalfe said, adding that the developer’s goal would be to sell those first five lots before proceeding with more construction.

Metcalfe said Fellsmere 392 hopes to get started on construction in approximately six months, after receiving the appropriate permits for the water management district.

Before construction could begin, however, Fellsmere 392 would have to present its plans for the buildings and sites to the Fellsmere City Council for approval – and that’s if the council approves moving forward with the Preserve at Fellsmere after the two public hearings.

The first public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 15. The second one is scheduled for May 6 at 7 p.m.

The council could approve the project at that time.

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