The New Errol redevelopment project that is meant to save the golf course at Errol Estate from permanent closure, won Apopka City Council’s approval at the special Wednesday, April 11, public hearing at the Apopka Community Center/VFW Building.
In three separate motions, the City Council voted 4-1 on the second reading of the comprehensive plan amendment, 5-0 on the second reading of the rezoning and master plan, and 5-0 on the development agreement between the city and Signature H Property Group, the Celebration developer in charge of New Errol.
For the comprehensive plan vote, City Commissioner Kyle Becker was the ‘no’ vote.
The development agreement is a legally binding contract between Signature H and the city of Apopka and is designed to ensure that the project is developed in the manner presented to the community and the city. The document incorporates the planned unit development master plan, the phasing outline, and the development standards that are repeated from the master plan.
Signature H can’t pass off the development agreement to another entity without City Council’s approval. Also the development agreement requires that Signature H must post, for different phases, a performance bond or other financial assurance acceptable to the city of Apopka in an amount equal to 110 percent of the remaining cost of construction.
“It’s like the peanut butter and jelly of the sandwich – keeping both slices (of bread) together,” said Signature H attorney Jonathan Huels.
Because Signature H was confident that there would be a positive outcome at the City Council meeting, the developer got two crews to remove tree debris from the golf course at the ninth hole in preparation for its reconstruction, according to Signature H vice president Helmut Wyzisk III.
The debris-clearing process had been under way for a week, with an estimated five days to go in getting rid of more than 25 trees and 60-70 piles of debris, he added.
New Errol is a proposed 261 residential unit redevelopment with several amenities including a redesigned golf course with four new holes, the new clubhouse/lodge area Staghorn Club and Lodge with a 40-room lodge, a community water park, and a senior campus in the form of two adult living facilities (ALF) with 90 beds each and one building with a 60-bed post-acute rehabilitation center.
Also as part of the redevelopment project, Signature H has proposed a new two-lane roadway named Staghorn Drive – also called the spine road – connecting Errol Parkway and Vick Road. The spine road, which will connect to Vick Road at the Vick Road/Sun Bluff Lane intersection, will serve as the primary internal collector roadway for the land uses proposed as part of the project.
Signature H and Errol Estate homeowners hope New Errol will save Errol Estate, which has been losing between $50,000 and $60,000 per month in operations.
To keep residents updated on New Errol, Signature H hosted more than 130 community meetings for the past two years, as well as visited different Errol areas and interacted with residents.
According to the property owners who commented at the April 11 City Council meeting, they want to see New Errol come to fruition, and expressed support for Signature H in doing its job.
The full story appears on page 1A of the Friday, April 13, issue of The Apopka Chief.