Bunnell Commission approves first step in massive 2,700-acre development

According to city documents, the development will have over 5,000 residential units, 44 acres of commercial land and, once complete, will add an additional 14,500 people to Bunnell's population.

Bunnell City Hall. Courtesy photo
Bunnell City Hall. Courtesy photo
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The city of Bunnell has approved the first step for a future 2,787-acre development west of Highway U.S. 1.

The development would be a large-scale project with a mixture of commercial, public, single family and multifamily with a village center. A summary of the project describes a range of housing types, from townhomes, garden homes and condominiums, according to city documents.

The development will be called the Reserve at Haw Creek, and is located between State Road 100 West and State Road 11. Bunnell Community Development Director Joe Parsons said a representative of the applicant — Northeast Florida Developers, LLC — estimated 5,000-6,000 residential units were planned for the reserve.

But the Reserve is a long way from breaking ground, Parsons said.

“This first part of the process — we're looking at, realistically, six to seven months. And then once that's all approved, you still have a lot of work ahead of you before you even get to break ground,” he said. “You’re talking about years, to be honest with you.

The additional housing units will bring an estimated 14,500 people to Bunnell — around four times its current population of 3,600, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

At its May 13 meeting, the City Commission approved in a 4-0 vote, with commissioner Pete Young absent, to approve changing the 2,700 acres’ land use designation to allow for development.

From here, the application will be reviewed by several state agencies, Parsons said, to examine the potential impact it will have on things like the city roads, the environment and city infrastructure. Once it has those approvals, the item will return to the City Commission for another vote.

According to the city meeting documents, the Reserve will have, among other land uses: 1,437 acres of single family-low density, another 95 acres of single family-medium density, 212 acres of multifamily use, 44 acres of commercial and 216 acres of industrial land.

The applicant is also applying to be a planned unit development and will have certain responsibilities to its impacts on the city’s infrastructures, Parsons said, namely sewer, water, traffic and schools. For example, the Reserve is also expected to introduce around 860 students to the area, according to meeting documents.

The meeting documents said the development will require multiple access points along S.R. 100 west, S.R. 11 and on County Roads 302 and 65 and buildout having “significant impacts on the number of trips” on those roads.


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