November 2020 – November 4, 5, and 7 saw a series of virtual and in-person open houses with the public in Wimauma and Balm. Attended by approximately 150 people, the meetings consisted of presentations of the study recommendations, and provided a forum for residents, business owners and other interested parties to ask questions about the study and talk with one another about the recommendations.
The Wimauma Village Residential-2 (WVR-2) Future Land Use Study recommendations include:
- Granting a density of 3 du/ga to each approved Planned Development within WVR-2 that provides a minimum of 20% of the proposed number of dwellings as affordable housing.
- Expansion of Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) to establish the Wimauma Downtown as a designated receiving area within the Urban Service Boundary and the Downtown Main Street Core as a priority zone. The stacking of TDRs and the affordable housing density bonuses will be allowed and encouraged in downtown Wimauma.
- Replacing the employment and service requirements with “Community Benefit Requirements” that provide community benefits and services to support the needs of the community, improve infrastructure, and enhance economic opportunity.
- Expansion of open space requirements to include specific percentage standards for open space, conservation areas, and agricultural land.
- New residential development standards, including housing types and street network design in the Land Development Code for downtown Wimauma.
The Residential Planned-2 (RP-2) recommendations include:
- Establishing two sub planning areas within RP-2 to acknowledge the different built environments and entitlements existing today and modify allowable densities and slightly different regulations reflecting those two areas.
- Reinforcing the desires of the community set forth in the Balm Community Plan and enhance the rural character of the built environment by updating criteria for open space, buffering/screening, lot sizes, and establishing a minimum number of housing types required within each development.
- Replacing the employment and service requirements with “Community Benefit Requirements” that provide community benefits and services which support the needs of the community, improve infrastructure, and enhance economic opportunity.
The draft policy and presentations for both studies are available and can be viewed on the project pages at www.bit.ly/wimaumavillage and www.bit.ly/residentialplanned. A survey accompanying these materials will close on November 24. If the current schedule is maintained, this phase of the project will transition into public meetings and hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). A BOCC land use workshop will commence on December 8, followed by a Planning Commission workshop on December 14. Public hearings are tentatively scheduled for January/February 2021.
The BOCC requested these studies when they initiated a moratorium on new rezoning applications in the WVR-2 and RP-2 Land Use Categories. The moratorium provided 270 days for staff to gather community input, prepare an analysis, and make recommendations on needed changes. During the June 17 BOCC public hearing, the moratorium was extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing staff up to an additional 270 days for the study to be completed. The adoption of new policy guidance will occur by the end of the moratorium on May 31, 2021.