The High Springs City Commission approved a development agreement and planned development amendment on Thursday for the Bridlewood project.
The commission voted 4-1 on both items with Commissioner Katherine Weitz in dissent.
The city’s plan board approved the nearly 2,000-unit development on Sept. 28, and nothing has changed from the proposal concerning the number of units, parks or connections.
The commission itself heard a presentation on the subdivision during the summer before the developer took the item to the plan board.
On Thursday, the commission approved a development agreement that differed from many. The agreement reserves 500 wastewater connections to the new wastewater treatment facility once it becomes operational. The agreement expires five years after construction begins.
Weitz said she had concerns about the commitment, saying it seems like preferential treatment. City Manager Ashley Stathatos said most developer’s agreements don’t contain the provision because the land has not yet been platted.
However, the Bridlewood development has plats from 1925 and 2005 that could cause legal issues. Instead of taking the route with potential legal issues, the city negotiated the contract as shown to the commission.
Stathatos said the new wastewater facility will have the capacity to accommodate Bridlewood’s 500 units in the agreement and any other new connections that occur within five years of coming online.
During the planned development amendment, Weitz said the development won’t look compatible with surrounding neighborhoods that have 4-acre to 17-acre lots instead of the average .2 acres in Bridlewood.
But Chris Potts, engineer for JBPro, said the land will remain legally compatible based on land use allowances. He said what is compatible and what developers actually build sometimes differs, but the land uses for Bridlewood remain the same as the surrounding neighborhoods.
After Thursday’s vote, the developer will still need to return to the city commission before construction starts.
Assistant City Manager Bruce Gillingham also said the contract for the new wastewater treatment plant will go out to bid in the coming weeks. The city also entered into talks with Newberry and Archer about a regional wastewater facility that could serve all three cities.